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We aimed to identify groups of children presenting distinct perinatal adversity profiles and test the association between profiles and later risk of suicide attempt.
Data were from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD, N = 1623), and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC, N = 5734). Exposures to 32 perinatal adversities (e.g. fetal, obstetric, psychosocial, and parental psychopathology) were modeled using latent class analysis, and associations with a self-reported suicide attempt by age 20 were investigated with logistic regression. We investigated to what extent childhood emotional and behavioral problems, victimization, and cognition explained the associations.
In both cohorts, we identified five profiles: No perinatal risk, Poor fetal growth, Socioeconomic adversity, Delivery complications, Parental mental health problems (ALSPAC only). Compared to children with No perinatal risk, children in the Poor fetal growth (pooled estimate QLSCD-ALSPAC, OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.04–3.44), Socioeconomic adversity (pooled-OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.08–1.85), and Parental mental health problems (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.27–2.40), but not Delivery complications, profiles were more likely to attempt suicide. The proportion of this effect mediated by the putative mediators was larger for the Socioeconomic adversity profile compared to the others.
Perinatal adversities associated with suicide attempt cluster in distinct profiles. Suicide prevention may begin early in life and requires a multidisciplinary approach targeting a constellation of factors from different domains (psychiatric, obstetric, socioeconomic), rather than a single factor, to effectively reduce suicide vulnerability. The way these factors cluster together also determined the pathways leading to a suicide attempt, which can guide decision-making on personalized suicide prevention strategies.
To determine how well machine learning algorithms can classify mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subtypes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using features obtained from the digital Clock Drawing Test (dCDT).
dCDT protocols were administered to 163 patients diagnosed with AD(n = 59), amnestic MCI (aMCI; n = 26), combined mixed/dysexecutive MCI (mixed/dys MCI; n = 43), and patients without MCI (non-MCI; n = 35) using standard clock drawing command and copy procedures, that is, draw the face of the clock, put in all of the numbers, and set the hands for “10 after 11.” A digital pen and custom software recorded patient’s drawings. Three hundred and fifty features were evaluated for maximum information/minimum redundancy. The best subset of features was used to train classification models to determine diagnostic accuracy.
Neural network employing information theoretic feature selection approaches achieved the best 2-group classification results with 10-fold cross validation accuracies at or above 83%, that is, AD versus non-MCI = 91.42%; AD versus aMCI = 91.49%; AD versus mixed/dys MCI = 84.05%; aMCI versus mixed/dys MCI = 84.11%; aMCI versus non-MCI = 83.44%; and mixed/dys MCI versus non-MCI = 85.42%. A follow-up two-group non-MCI versus all MCI patients analysis yielded comparable results (83.69%). Two-group classification analyses were achieved with 25–125 dCDT features depending on group classification. Three- and four-group analyses yielded lower but still promising levels of classification accuracy.
Early identification of emergent neurodegenerative illness is criterial for better disease management. Applying machine learning to standard neuropsychological tests promises to be an effective first line screening method for classification of non-MCI and MCI subtypes.
Giant miscanthus has the potential to move beyond cultivated fields and invade noncrop areas, but this can be overshadowed by aesthetic appeal and monetary value as a biofuel crop. Most research on giant miscanthus has focused on herbicide tolerance for establishment and production rather than terminating an existing stand. This study was conducted to evaluate herbicide options for control or terminating a stand of giant miscanthus. In 2013 and 2014, field experiments were conducted on established stands of the giant miscanthus cultivars ‘Nagara’ and ‘Freedom.’ Herbicides evaluated in both years included glyphosate, hexazinone, imazapic, imazapyr, clethodim, fluazifop, and glyphosate plus fluazifop. All treatments were applied in summer (June or July) and September. For both years, biomass reduction ranged from 85% to 100% when glyphosate was applied in June or July at 4.5 or 7.3 kg ae ha−1. No other treatment applied at this timing provided more than 50% giant miscanthus biomass reduction 1 yr after application. September applications of glyphosate were not consistent: treatments in 2013 reduced biomass by 40% or less, whereas in 2014, at all rates provided at least 78% biomass reduction. Glyphosate applied in June or July was the only treatment that provided effective and consistent control of giant miscanthus 1 yr after treatment.
Research on psychotic illness is loosening emphasis on diagnostic stringency in favour of including a more dimensionally based conceptualization of psychopathology and pathobiology. However, to clarify these notions requires investigation of the full scope of psychotic diagnoses.
The Cavan–Monaghan First Episode Psychosis Study ascertained cases of first episode psychosis across all 12 DSM-IV psychotic diagnoses via all routes to care: public, private or forensic; home-based, outpatient or inpatient. There was no arbitrary upper age cut-off and minimal impact of factors associated with variations in social milieu, ethnicity or urbanicity. Cases were evaluated epidemiologically and assessed for psychopathology, neuropsychology, neurology, antecedent factors, insight and quality of life.
Among 432 cases, the annual incidence of any DSM-IV psychotic diagnosis was 34.1/100 000 of population and encompassed functional psychotic diagnoses, substance-induced psychopathology and psychopathology due to general medical conditions, through to psychotic illness that defied contemporary diagnostic algorithms. These 12 DSM-IV diagnostic categories, including psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, showed clinical profiles that were consistently more similar than distinct.
There are considerable similarities and overlaps across a broad range of diagnostic categories in the absence of robust discontinuities between them. Thus, psychotic illness may be of such continuity that it cannot be fully captured by operational diagnostic algorithms that, at least in part, assume discontinuities. This may reflect the impact of diverse factors each of which acts on one or more overlapping components of a common, dysfunctional neuronal network implicated in the pathobiology of psychotic illness.
Refractory depression is a major contributor to the economic burden of depression. Radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RO DBT) is an unevaluated new treatment targeting overcontrolled personality, common in refractory depression, but it is not yet known whether the additional expense of RO DBT is good value for money.
To estimate the cost-effectiveness of RO DBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) compared with TAU alone in people with refractory depression (trial registration: ISRCTN85784627).
We undertook a cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a randomised trial evaluating RO DBT plus TAU versus TAU alone for refractory depression in three UK secondary care centres. Our economic evaluation, 12 months after randomisation, adopted the perspective of the UK National Health Service (NHS) and personal social services. It evaluated cost-effectiveness by comparing the net cost of RO DBT with the net gain in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), estimated using the EQ-5D-3L measure of health-related quality of life.
The additional cost of RO DBT plus TAU compared with TAU alone was £7048 and was associated with a difference of 0.032 QALYs, yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £220 250 per QALY. This ICER was well above the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) upper threshold of £30 000 per QALY. A cost-effectiveness acceptability curve indicated that RO DBT had a zero probability of being cost-effective compared with TAU at the NICE £30 000 threshold.
In its current resource-intensive form, RO DBT is not a cost-effective use of resources in the UK NHS.
Declaration of interest
R.H. is co-owner and director of Radically Open Ltd, the RO DBT training and dissemination company. D.K. reports grants outside the submitted work from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). T.L. receives royalties from New Harbinger Publishing for sales of RO DBT treatment manuals, speaking fees from Radically Open Ltd, and a grant outside the submitted work from the Medical Research Council. He was co-director of Radically Open Ltd between November 2014 and May 2015 and is married to Erica Smith-Lynch, the principal shareholder and one of two directors of Radically Open Ltd. H.O'M. reports personal fees outside the submitted work from the Charlie Waller Institute and Improving Access to Psychological Therapy. S.R. provides RO DBT supervision through her company S C Rushbrook Ltd. I.R. reports grants outside the submitted work from NIHR and Health & Care Research Wales. M. Stanton reports personal fees outside the submitted work from British Isles DBT Training, Stanton Psychological Services Ltd and Taylor & Francis. M. Swales reports personal fees outside the submitted work from British Isles DBT Training, Guilford Press, Oxford University Press and Taylor & Francis. B.W. was co-director of Radically Open Ltd between November 2014 and February 2015.
Individuals with depression often do not respond to medication or psychotherapy. Radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RO DBT) is a new treatment targeting overcontrolled personality, common in refractory depression.
To compare RO DBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) for refractory depression with TAU alone (trial registration: ISRCTN 85784627).
RO DBT comprised 29 therapy sessions and 27 skills classes over 6 months. Our completed randomised trial evaluated RO DBT for refractory depression over 18 months in three British secondary care centres. Of 250 adult participants, we randomised 162 (65%) to RO DBT. The primary outcome was the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), assessed masked and analysed by treatment allocated.
After 7 months, immediately following therapy, RO DBT had significantly reduced depressive symptoms by 5.40 points on the HRSD relative to TAU (95% CI 0.94–9.85). After 12 months (primary end-point), the difference of 2.15 points on the HRSD in favour of RO DBT was not significant (95% CI –2.28 to 6.59); nor was that of 1.69 points on the HRSD at 18 months (95% CI –2.84 to 6.22). Throughout RO DBT participants reported significantly better psychological flexibility and emotional coping than controls. However, they reported eight possible serious adverse reactions compared with none in the control group.
The RO DBT group reported significantly lower HRSD scores than the control group after 7 months, but not thereafter. The imbalance in serious adverse reactions was probably because of the controls' limited opportunities to report these.
Objective: Detection of cognitive impairment suggestive of risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression is crucial to the prevention of incipient dementia. This study was performed to determine if performance on a novel object discrimination task improved identification of earlier deficits in older adults at risk for AD. Method: In total, 135 participants from the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center [cognitively normal (CN), Pre-mild cognitive impairment (PreMCI), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and dementia] completed a test of object discrimination and traditional memory measures in the context of a larger neuropsychological and clinical evaluation. Results: The Object Recognition and Discrimination Task (ORDT) revealed significant differences between the PreMCI, aMCI, and dementia groups versus CN individuals. Moreover, relative risk of being classified as PreMCI rather than CN increased as an inverse function of ORDT score. Discussion: Overall, the obtained results suggest that a novel object discrimination task improves the detection of very early AD-related cognitive impairment, increasing the window for therapeutic intervention. (JINS, 2019, 25, 688–698)
As research into psychotic illness evolves along established lines, insights are emerging that deviate from those lines and challenge more fundamentally our understanding. On the background of a new generation of studies on first-episode psychosis, investigations across the gene–environment interface and the intersection with ‘normal’ human mentation heighten these concerns. Using findings from the Cavan-Monaghan First Episode Psychosis Study (CAMFEPS) as an exemplar, we here review the complexity of these challenges from the perspective of this real-world setting. They range from trans-diagnostic epidemiology and clinical characterisation, through molecular genetics, social milieu, developmental pathobiology and functional outcome across arbitrary diagnostic boundaries, to the evidence base for early intervention and more radical conceptualisations and structures for provision of mental health care.
Embedding psychosis research within community mental services is highly desirable from several perspectives but can be difficult to establish and sustain, especially when the clinical service has a rural location at a distance from academic settings with established research expertise. In this article, we share the experience of a successful partnership in psychosis research between a rural Irish mental health service and the academic department of a Dublin medical school that has lasted over 30 years. We describe the origins and evolution of this relationship, the benefits that accrued and the challenges encountered, from the overlapping perspectives of the academic department, the mental health service and psychiatric training. We discuss the potential learning that arose from the initiative, particularly for national programme planning for early intervention in psychosis, and we explore the opportunities for enhanced training, career development and professional reward that can emerge from this type of partnership.
The wheat bZip transcription factor TaABF1 mediates both abscisic acid (ABA)-induced and ABA-suppressed gene expression. As levels of TaABF1 protein do not change in response to ABA, and TaABF1 is in a phosphorylated state in vivo, we investigated whether TaABF1 could be regulated at the post-translational level. In bombarded aleurone cells, a TaABF1 protein carrying phosphomimetic mutations (serine to aspartate) at four sites (S36D, S37D, S113D, S115D) was three to five times more potent than wild-type TaABF1 in activating HVA1, an ABA-responsive gene. The phosphomimetic mutations also increased the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate the ABA-suppressed gene Amy32b. These findings strongly suggest that phosphorylation at these sites increases the transcriptional regulatory activity of TaABF1. In contrast to the activation observed by the quadruple serine to aspartate mutation, a single S113D mutation completely eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to upregulate HVA1 or downregulate Amy32b. Thus phosphorylation of TaABF1 can either stimulate or inhibit the activity of TaABF1 in regulating downstream genes, depending on the site and pattern of phosphorylation. Mutation of S318 and S322 (in the bZIP domain) eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to activate HVA1, but had no effect on the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate Amy32b, suggesting that TaABF1 represses Amy32b expression through a mechanism other than direct DNA binding. An important step towards understanding how ABA and gibberellin (GA) signals are integrated through TaABF1 phosphorylation to regulate downstream gene expression is to clarify the effects of those hormones on the expression of specific genes. In contrast to some other ABA-induced genes, we found that HVA1 induction by ABA or TaABF1 is not inhibited by GA.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of psychotic disorders, but the profile of impairment across adulthood, particularly in African-American populations, remains unclear.
Using cross-sectional data from a case–control study of African-American adults with affective (n = 59) and nonaffective (n = 68) psychotic disorders, we examined cognitive functioning between early and middle adulthood (ages 20–60) on measures of general cognitive ability, language, abstract reasoning, processing speed, executive function, verbal memory, and working memory.
Both affective and nonaffective psychosis patients showed substantial and widespread cognitive impairments. However, comparison of cognitive functioning between controls and psychosis groups throughout early (ages 20–40) and middle (ages 40–60) adulthood also revealed age-associated group differences. During early adulthood, the nonaffective psychosis group showed increasing impairments with age on measures of general cognitive ability and executive function, while the affective psychosis group showed increasing impairment on a measure of language ability. Impairments on other cognitive measures remained mostly stable, although decreasing impairments on measures of processing speed, memory and working memory were also observed.
These findings suggest similarities, but also differences in the profile of cognitive dysfunction in adults with affective and nonaffective psychotic disorders. Both affective and nonaffective patients showed substantial and relatively stable impairments across adulthood. The nonaffective group also showed increasing impairments with age in general and executive functions, and the affective group showed an increasing impairment in verbal functions, possibly suggesting different underlying etiopathogenic mechanisms.
In 2017, Public Health England South East Health Protection Team (HPT) were involved in the management of an outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis (the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis) in a pack of working foxhounds. This paper summarises the actions taken by the team in managing the public health aspects of the outbreak, and lessons learned to improve the management of future potential outbreaks. A literature search was conducted to identify relevant publications on M. bovis. Clinical notes from the Public Health England (PHE) health protection database were reviewed and key points extracted. Animal and public health stakeholders involved in the management of the situation provided further evidence through unstructured interviews and personal communications. The PHE South East team initially provided ‘inform and advise’ letters to human contacts whilst awaiting laboratory confirmation to identify the infectious agent. Once M. bovis had been confirmed in the hounds, an in-depth risk assessment was conducted, and contacts were stratified in to risk pools. Eleven out of 20 exposed persons with the greatest risk of exposure were recommended to attend TB screening and one tested positive, but had no evidence of active TB infection. The number of human contacts working with foxhound packs can be large and varied. HPTs should undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of all potential routes of exposure, involve all other relevant stakeholders from an early stage and undertake regular risk assessments. Current guidance should be revised to account for the unique risks to human health posed by exposure to infected working dogs.
Paragonimiasis, human lung fluke disease, is a foodborne anthropozoonosis caused by the trematodes assigned to Paragonimus and is regarded by the World Health Organization as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). The life cycle of this medically important parasite centres on a complex freshwater biological community that includes two intermediate hosts: a mollusc and a decapod, usually a brachyuran. Although there is a perception that the biology, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Paragonimus is well understood, in reality, this is not the case, especially in Africa. Much remains unknown concerning the life-cycle of the parasite, its transmission, the current epidemiology of the disease, diagnosis and the effectiveness of treatment. Furthermore, cases of paragonimiasis may be misdiagnosed as resistant tuberculosis (TB) because of the similar pulmonary symptoms and no remission after anti TB therapy. The endemic foci of human paragonimiasis in Africa have been reported mainly in the forest zones of Upper Guinea (Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast) and Lower Guinea (Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon). Despite the perceived medical importance of paragonimiasis, relatively little attention has been paid to this NTD since its discovery in Africa in the 1960s. This review focuses on the current understanding of the life cycle and transmission of Paragonimus in Africa, discusses its diagnosis and public health importance and highlights many outstanding gaps in the knowledge that still exist for this NTD.
Since the construction of the Diama Dam (1985), the epidemiology of schistosomiasis along the Senegal River Basin (SRB) has been extremely dynamic with outbreaks of both intestinal and urogenital schistosomiasis. In the early 2000s, technicians reported cases of suspected urogenital schistosomiasis in adults from the local hospital in Richard-Toll, Lower SRB. The genetic analysis of schistosome miracidia isolated from 11 patients in 2012 from two neighbourhoods (Campement and Gaya) of Richard-Toll confirmed infection with Schistosoma haematobium but also S. haematobium/S. bovis hybrids. Thirty-seven per cent of the miracidia were S. bovis/S. haematobium hybrids and 63% were pure S. haematobium. The data are discussed in relation to the ongoing dynamic epidemiology of the schistosomes in Senegal and the need to treat non-target individuals.
The causative agent of urogenital schistosomiasis, Schistosoma haematobium, was thought to be the only schistosome species transmitted through Bulinus snails on Unguja and Pemba Island (Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania). For insights into the environmental risk of S. haematobium transmission on Pemba Island, malacological surveys collecting Bulinus globosus and B. nasutus, two closely related potential intermediate hosts of S. haematobium were conducted across the island in November 2016. Of 1317 B. globosus/B. nasutus collected, seven B. globosus, identified through sequencing a DNA region of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), were observed with patent infections assumed to be S. haematobium. However, when the collected cercariae were identified through sequencing a region of the cox1 and the nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 + 2), schistosomes from five of these B. globosus collected from a single locality were in fact S. bovis. The identified presence of S. bovis raises concerns for animal health on Pemba, and complicates future transmission monitoring of S. haematobium. These results show the pertinence for not only sensitive, but also species-specific markers to be used when identifying cercariae during transmission monitoring, and also provide the first molecular confirmation for B. globosus transmitting S. bovis in East Africa.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.