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Mass asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplified testing of healthcare personnel (HCP) was performed at a large tertiary health system. A low period-prevalence of positive HCP was observed. Of those who tested positive, half had mild symptoms in retrospect. HCP with even mild symptoms should be isolated and tested.
Epilepsy is a common neurological condition that shows a marked genetic predisposition. The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has transformed clinical genetic testing by allowing the rapid screen for causative variants in multiple genes. There are currently no NGS-based multigene panel diagnostic tests available for epilepsy as a licensed clinical diagnostic test in Ontario, Canada. Eligible patient samples are sent out of country for testing by commercial laboratories, which incurs significant cost to the public healthcare system.
An expert Working Group of medical geneticists, pediatric neurologists/epileptologists, biochemical geneticists, and clinical molecular geneticists from Ontario was formed by the Laboratories and Genetics Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to develop a programmatic approach to implementing epilepsy panel testing as a provincial service.
The Working Group made several recommendations for testing to support the clinical delivery of care in Ontario. First, an extension of community healthcare outcomes-based program should be incorporated to inform and educate ordering providers when requesting and interpreting a genetic panel test. Second, any gene panel testing must be “evidence-based” and takes into account varied clinical indications to reduce the chance of uncertain and secondary results. Finally, an ongoing evaluative process was recommended to ensure continued test improvement for the future.
This epilepsy panel testing implementation plan will be a model for genetic care directed toward a specific set of conditions in the province and serve as a prototype for genetic testing for other genetically heterogeneous diseases.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Aeroacoustic measurements and analysis have been made for an unshrouded rotor partially immersed in a planar equilibrium turbulent boundary layer at low Mach number. This configuration provides an idealized model of inflow distortion effects seen when a rotor is mounted adjacent to the hull or fuselage of a vehicle. At low and moderate thrust conditions, the rotor produces broadband noise organized into haystacks produced by large eddies of the ingested turbulence being cut multiple times by successive rotor blades. At high thrust, however, the acoustic signature changes and becomes louder and more tonal. This change is accompanied by separation of the boundary layer from the wall in the vicinity of the rotor blade disk. The separation region is highly unsteady and populated by intense vortex structures. Acoustic analysis suggests that blade–vortex interactions with these structures are the source of the additional tonal noise at high thrust.
Partisan identification is a fundamental force in individual and mass political behavior around the world. Informed by scholarship on human sociality, coalitional psychology, and group behavior, this research argues that partisan identification, like many other group-based behaviors, is influenced by forces of evolution. If correct, then party identifiers should exhibit adaptive behaviors when making group-related political decisions. The authors test this assertion with citizen assessments of the relative physical formidability of competing leaders, an important adaptive factor in leader evaluations. Using original and novel data collected during the contextually different 2008 and 2012 U.S. presidential elections, as well as two distinct measures obtained during both elections, this article presents evidence that partisans overestimate the physical stature of the presidential candidate of their own party compared with the stature of the candidate of the opposition party. These findings suggest that the power of party identification on political behavior may be attributable to the fact that modern political parties address problems similar to the problems groups faced in human ancestral times.
The incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide, including in developing countries, particularly in South Asia. Intakes of foods generating a high postprandial glucose (PPG) response have been positively associated with T2DM. As part of efforts to identify effective and feasible strategies to reduce the glycaemic impact of carbohydrate-rich staples, we previously found that addition of guar gum (GG) and chickpea flour (CPF) to wheat flour could significantly reduce the PPG response to flatbread products. On the basis of the results of an exploratory study with Caucasian subjects, we have now tested the effect of additions of specific combinations of CPF with low doses of GG to a flatbread flour mix for their impacts on PPG and postprandial insulin (PPI) responses in a South-Asian population. In a randomised, placebo-controlled full-cross-over design, fifty-six healthy Indian adults consumed flatbreads made with a commercial flatbread mix (100 % wheat flour) with no further additions (control) or incorporating 15 % CPF in combination with 2, 3 or 4 % GG. The flatbreads with CPF and 3 or 4 % GG significantly reduced PPG (both ≥15 % reduction in positive incremental AUC, P<0·01) and PPI (both ≥28 % reduction in total AUC, P<0·0001) compared with flatbreads made from control flour. These results confirm the efficacy and feasibility of the addition of CPF with GG to flatbread flour mixes to achieve significant reductions in both PPG and PPI in Indian subjects.
Clozapine remains the only evidence-based antipsychotic for treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). The ability to predict which patients with their first onset of schizophrenia would subsequently meet criteria for treatment resistance (TR) could help to diminish the severe functional disability which may ensue if TR is not recognized and correctly treated.
This is a 5-year longitudinal assessment of clinical outcomes in a cohort of 246 first-episode schizophrenia spectrum patients recruited as part of the NIHR Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) study conducted in South London from 2005 to 2010. We examined the relationship between baseline demographic and clinical measures and the emergence of TR. TR status was determined from a review of electronic case records. We assessed for associations with early-, and late-onset TR, and non-TR, and differences between those TR patients treated with clozapine and those who were not.
Seventy per cent (n = 56) of TR patients, and 23% of the total study population (n = 246) were treatment resistant from illness onset. Those who met criteria for TR during the first 5 years of illness were more likely to have an early age of first contact for psychosis (<20 years) [odds ratio (OR) 2.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–4.94] compared to those with non-TR. The relationship between an early age of first contact (<20 years) and TR was significant in patients of Black ethnicity (OR 3.71, 95% CI 1.44–9.56); and patients of male gender (OR 3.13 95% CI 1.35–7.23).
For the majority of the TR group, antipsychotic TR is present from illness onset, necessitating increased consideration for the earlier use of clozapine.
Many studies have reported that cannabis use increases the risk of a first episode of psychosis (FEP). However, only a few studies have investigated the nature of cannabis-related experiences in FEP patients, and none has examined whether these experiences are similar in FEP and general populations. The aim of this study was to explore differences in self-reported cannabis experiences between FEP and non-psychotic populations.
A total of 252 subjects, who met International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria for FEP, and 217 controls who reported cannabis use were selected from the Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) study. The Medical Research Council Social Schedule and the Cannabis Experience Questionnaire were used to collect sociodemographic data and cannabis use information, respectively.
Both ‘bad’ and ‘enjoyable’ experiences were more commonly reported by FEP subjects than controls. Principal components factor analysis identified four components which explained 62.3% of the variance. Linear regression analysis on the whole sample showed that the type of cannabis used and beliefs about the effect of cannabis on health all contributed to determining the intensity and frequency of experiences. Linear regression analysis on FEP subjects showed that the duration of cannabis use and amount of money spent on cannabis were strongly related to the intensity and frequency of enjoyable experiences in this population.
These results suggest a higher sensitivity to cannabis effects among people who have suffered their first psychotic episode; this hypersensitivity results in them reporting both more ‘bad’ and ‘enjoyable’ experiences. The greater enjoyment experienced may provide an explanation of why FEP patients are more likely to use cannabis and to continue to use it despite experiencing an exacerbation of their psychotic symptoms.
The amplitude of the cortically generated somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) is used to predict outcome in comatose patients. The relationship between epileptiform discharges and SSEP amplitude has not been elucidated in those patients.
Bilateral median nerve SSEP and electroencephalograph (EEG) studies were performed in a comatose patient (patient 1) 1 day after cardiac surgery and repeated 4 days later. He had tranexamic acid administered before and during surgery. Another comatose patient (patient 2) had the same studies performed 1 day after sustaining 10 minutes of pulseless electrical cardiac activity.
Both comatose patients had epileptiform discharges (on EEG) that were coincident with giant cortically generated SSEPs. In patient 1, the EEG and SSEP studies repeated 5 days postoperatively showed no epileptiform discharges, and the cortically generated SSEP amplitude was decreased (normalized) compared with that obtained one day postoperatively. He emerged from coma and had a good recovery. Patient 2 died shortly after EEG and SSEP testing.
Epileptiform discharges were associated with giant cortically generated median nerve SSEP amplitude (tranexamic acid was implicated in patient 1 and anoxic brain injury in patient 2). Accordingly, those who use the amplitude of cortically generated SSEPs for predicting outcome in comatose patients should consider the presence of epileptiform discharges (detected by EEG) as a potential confounding factor.
The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors and establish the proportion of people with psychosis meeting criteria for the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The study also aimed to identify the key lifestyle behaviours associated with increased risk of the MetS and to investigate whether the MetS is associated with illness severity and degree of functional impairment.
Baseline data were collected as part of a large randomized controlled trial (IMPaCT RCT). The study took place within community mental health teams in five Mental Health NHS Trusts in urban and rural locations across England. A total of 450 randomly selected out-patients, aged 18–65 years, with an established psychotic illness were recruited. We ascertained the prevalence rates of cardiometabolic risk factors, illness severity and functional impairment and calculated rates of the MetS, using International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and National Cholesterol Education Program Third Adult Treatment Panel criteria.
High rates of cardiometabolic risk factors were found. Nearly all women and most men had waist circumference exceeding the IDF threshold for central obesity. Half the sample was obese (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) and a fifth met the criteria for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Females were more likely to be obese than males (61% v. 42%, p < 0.001). Of the 308 patients with complete laboratory measures, 57% (n = 175) met the IDF criteria for the MetS.
In the UK, the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors in individuals with psychotic illnesses is much higher than that observed in national general population studies as well as in most international studies of patients with psychosis.
Kalisch and colleagues highlight coping potential (CP) as a principle resilience mechanism during event engagement. We complement this discussion by exploring generative implicit CP self-models, arguably emerging during “resting-state,” subsequent and prior to events. Resting-state affords a propitious environment for Bayesian learning, wherein appraisals/reappraisals may update active inferential CP self-models, which then mediate appraisal style organization and resilience factor valuation.
Early research on the Taylor rule typically divided the data exogenously into pre-Volcker and Volcker–Greenspan subsamples. We contribute to the recent trend of endogenizing changes in monetary policy by estimating a real-time forward-looking Taylor rule with endogenous Markov switching coefficients and variance. The response of the interest rate to inflation is regime-dependent, with the pre- and post-Volcker samples containing monetary regimes where the Fed did and did not follow the Taylor principle. Although the Fed consistently adhered to the Taylor principle before 1973 and after 1984, it followed the Taylor principle from 1975 to 1979 and did not follow the Taylor principle from 1980 to 1984. We also find that the Fed only responded to real economic activity during the states in which the Taylor principle held. Our results are consistent with the idea that exogenously dividing postwar monetary policy into pre- and post-Volcker samples is misleading. The greatest qualitative difference between our results and recent research employing time-varying parameters is that we find that the Fed did not adhere to the Taylor principle during most of Paul Volcker's tenure, a finding that accords with the historical record of monetary policy.
Current guidelines for image-guided cervical cancer brachytherapy planning recommend both computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for adequate visualisation of the applicator and soft tissues, respectively. MRI-only planning would be ideal as it would save time within the patient pathway and avoid the concomitant CT exposures. However, applicator visualisation on MRI is usually achieved using fluid-filled fiducial marker tubes, which can be awkward to use and suffer from unwanted air bubble artefacts. Therefore, a new fiducial-free imaging technique was developed.
A dual echo time (TE) turbo spin echo sequence was used, at 1·5 T, to provide both T2-weighted images (100 ms TE) for tissue visualisation and strongly proton density-weighted images (17 ms TE) for improved applicator visualisation. In-house software was used to automatically segment the applicator in the short TE images (using Otsu's method) and transfer the information to the long TE images to provide a single fused dataset.
The method was evaluated successfully using titanium applicators in three patient cases and using a plastic applicator in a tissue-equivalent gel phantom.
The dual-echo technique provides a simple and efficient method for improving the visualisation of brachytherapy applicators in cervical cancer MRI images without the need for marker tubes.