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Behaviors typical of body-focused repetitive behavior disorders such as trichotillomania (TTM) and skin-picking disorder (SPD) are often associated with pleasure or relief, and with little or no physical pain, suggesting aberrant pain perception. Conclusive evidence about pain perception and correlates in these conditions is, however, lacking.
A multisite international study examined pain perception and its physiological correlates in adults with TTM (n = 31), SPD (n = 24), and healthy controls (HCs; n = 26). The cold pressor test was administered, and measurements of pain perception and cardiovascular parameters were taken every 15 seconds. Pain perception, latency to pain tolerance, cardiovascular parameters and associations with illness severity, and comorbid depression, as well as interaction effects (group × time interval), were investigated across groups.
There were no group differences in pain ratings over time (P = .8) or latency to pain tolerance (P = .8). Illness severity was not associated with pain ratings (all P > .05). In terms of diastolic blood pressure (DBP), the main effect of group was statistically significant (P = .01), with post hoc analyses indicating higher mean DBP in TTM (95% confidence intervals [CI], 84.0-93.5) compared to SPD (95% CI, 73.5-84.2; P = .01), and HCs (95% CI, 75.6-86.0; P = .03). Pain perception did not differ between those with and those without depression (TTM: P = .2, SPD: P = .4).
The study findings were mostly negative suggesting that general pain perception aberration is not involved in TTM and SPD. Other underlying drivers of hair-pulling and skin-picking behavior (eg, abnormal reward processing) should be investigated.
Trichotillomania (TTM) and skin picking disorder (SPD) are common and often debilitating mental health conditions, grouped under the umbrella term of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). Recent clinical subtyping found that there were three distinct subtypes of TTM and two of SPD. Whether these clinical subtypes map on to any unique neurobiological underpinnings, however, remains unknown.
Two hundred and fifty one adults [193 with a BFRB (85.5% [n = 165] female) and 58 healthy controls (77.6% [n = 45] female)] were recruited from the community for a multicenter between-group comparison using structural neuroimaging. Differences in whole brain structure were compared across the subtypes of BFRBs, controlling for age, sex, scanning site, and intracranial volume.
When the subtypes of TTM were compared, low awareness hair pullers demonstrated increased cortical volume in the lateral occipital lobe relative to controls and sensory sensitive pullers. In addition, impulsive/perfectionist hair pullers showed relative decreased volume near the lingual gyrus of the inferior occipital–parietal lobe compared with controls.
These data indicate that the anatomical substrates of particular forms of BFRBs are dissociable, which may have implications for understanding clinical presentations and treatment response.
Although behavior therapy reduces tic severity, it is unknown whether it improves co-occurring psychiatric symptoms and functional outcomes for adults with Tourette's disorder (TD). This information is essential for effective treatment planning. This study examined the effects of behavior therapy on psychiatric symptoms and functional outcomes in older adolescents and adults with TD.
A total of 122 individuals with TD or a chronic tic disorder participated in a clinical trial comparing behavior therapy to psychoeducation and supportive therapy. At baseline, posttreatment, and follow-up visits, participants completed assessments of tic severity, co-occurring symptoms (inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, anger, anxiety, depression, obsessions, and compulsions), and psychosocial functioning. We compared changes in tic severity, psychiatric symptoms, and functional outcomes using repeated measure and one-way analysis of variance.
At posttreatment, participants receiving behavior therapy reported greater reductions in obsessions compared to participants in supportive therapy ($\eta _p^2 $ = 0.04, p = 0.04). Across treatments, a positive treatment response on the Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scale was associated with a reduced disruption in family life ($\eta _p^2 $ = 0.05, p = 0.02) and improved functioning in a parental role ($\eta _p^2 $ = 0.37, p = 0.02). Participants who responded positively to eight sessions of behavior therapy had an improvement in tic severity ($\eta _p^2 $ = 0.75, p < 0.001), inattention ($\eta _p^2 $ = 0.48, p < 0.02), and functioning ($\eta _p^2 $ = 0.39–0.42, p < 0.03–0.04) at the 6-month follow-up.
Behavior therapy has a therapeutic benefit for co-occurring obsessive symptoms in the short-term, and reduces tic severity and disability in adults with TD over time. Additional treatments may be necessary to address co-occurring symptoms and improve functional outcomes.
Objectives: Although subjective cognitive complaints (SCC) are an integral component of the diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), previous findings indicate they may not accurately reflect cognitive ability. Within the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, we investigated longitudinal change in the discrepancy between self- and informant-reported SCC across empirically derived subtypes of MCI and normal control (NC) participants. Methods: Data were obtained for 353 MCI participants and 122 “robust” NC participants. Participants were classified into three subtypes at baseline via cluster analysis: amnestic MCI, mixed MCI, and cluster-derived normal (CDN), a presumptive false-positive group who performed within normal limits on neuropsychological testing. SCC at baseline and two annual follow-up visits were assessed via the Everyday Cognition Questionnaire (ECog), and discrepancy scores between self- and informant-report were calculated. Analysis of change was conducted using analysis of covariance. Results: The amnestic and mixed MCI subtypes demonstrated increasing ECog discrepancy scores over time. This was driven by an increase in informant-reported SCC, which corresponded to participants’ objective cognitive decline, despite stable self-reported SCC. Increasing unawareness was associated with cerebrospinal fluid Alzheimer’s disease biomarker positivity and progression to Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, CDN and NC groups over-reported cognitive difficulty and demonstrated normal cognition at all time points. Conclusions: MCI participants’ discrepancy scores indicate progressive underappreciation of their evolving cognitive deficits. Consistent over-reporting in the CDN and NC groups despite normal objective cognition suggests that self-reported SCC do not predict impending cognitive decline. Results demonstrate that self-reported SCC become increasingly misleading as objective cognitive impairment becomes more pronounced. (JINS, 2018, 24, 842–853)
Objectives: 1) To assess temporal patterns in historical patient arrival rates in an emergency department (ED) to determine the appropriate number of shift schedules in an acute care area and a fast-track clinic and 2) to determine whether physician scheduling can be improved by aligning physician productivity with patient arrivals using an optimization planning model.
Methods: Historical data were statistically analyzed to determine whether the number of patients arriving at the ED varied by weekday, weekend, or holiday weekend. Poisson-based generalized additive models were used to develop models of patient arrival rate throughout the day. A mathematical programming model was used to produce an optimal ED shift schedule for the estimated patient arrival rates. We compared the current physician schedule to three other scheduling scenarios: 1) a revised schedule produced by the planning model, 2) the revised schedule with an additional acute care physician, and 3) the revised schedule with an additional fast-track clinic physician.
Results: Statistical modelling found that patient arrival rates were different for acute care versus fast-track clinics; the patterns in arrivals followed essentially the same daily pattern in the acute care area; and arrival patterns differed on weekdays versus weekends in the fast-track clinic. The planning model reduced the unmet patient demand (i.e., the average number of patients arriving at the ED beyond the average physician productivity) by 19%, 39%, and 69% for the three scenarios examined.
Conclusions: The planning model improved the shift schedules by aligning physician productivity with patient arrivals at the ED.
Subjective cognitive complaints are a criterion for the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), despite their uncertain relationship to objective memory performance in MCI. We aimed to examine self-reported cognitive complaints in subgroups of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) MCI cohort to determine whether they are a valuable inclusion in the diagnosis of MCI or, alternatively, if they contribute to misdiagnosis. Subgroups of MCI were derived using cluster analysis of baseline neuropsychological test data from 448 ADNI MCI participants. Cognitive complaints were assessed via the Everyday Cognition (ECog) questionnaire, and discrepancy scores were calculated between self- and informant-report. Cluster analysis revealed Amnestic and Mixed cognitive phenotypes as well as a third Cluster-Derived Normal subgroup (41.3%), whose neuropsychological and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarker profiles did not differ from a “robust” normal control group. This cognitively intact phenotype of MCI participants overestimated their cognitive problems relative to their informant, whereas Amnestic MCI participants with objective memory impairment underestimated their cognitive problems. Underestimation of cognitive problems was associated with positive CSF AD biomarkers and progression to dementia. Overall, there was no relationship between self-reported cognitive complaints and objective cognitive functioning, but significant correlations were observed with depressive symptoms. The inclusion of self-reported complaints in MCI diagnostic criteria may cloud rather than clarify diagnosis and result in high rates of misclassification of MCI. Discrepancies between self- and informant-report demonstrate that overestimation of cognitive problems is characteristic of normal aging while underestimation may reflect greater risk for cognitive decline. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–12)
Trichotillomania (TTM) is an impulse control disorder characterized by recurrent pulling out of one's hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss. The most common hair pulling sites include the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes, but pulling also occurs frequently on the face, abdomen, legs, arms, armpits, or chest. Early studies of functional impairment in TTM patients suggested that concealing the physical effects of pulling from friends and family, avoiding treatment because of embarrassment, low self-esteem, decreased life satisfaction, and a negative impact on day-to-day living were all common. The TTM diagnostic interview is a standardized clinician interview designed to assess the revised third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R) criteria and can be useful. However, further questioning is needed to evaluate the additional criteria described in DSM-IV-TR. Psychotherapy for individuals with TTM typically involves a variety of techniques: habit-reversal training (HRT) and stimulus control training.
Imploding indirect-drive double shell targets may provide an
alternative, non-cryogenic path to ignition at the National Ignition
Facility (NIF). Experiments are being pursued at OMEGA to understand the
hydrodynamics of these implosions and the possibility of scaling it to the
NIF design. We have used 40 beams from the OMEGA laser to directly drive
the capsules, and we have used the remaining 20 beams to backlight the
imploding shells from two different directions at multiple times. We will
review the recent experiments to measure the hydrodynamics of the targets
using two-view X-ray radiography of the capsules. We will present data on
measured yields from the targets. We will present a measured time history
of the hydrodynamics of the implosion. Experiments were pursued using
direct drive in which the M-band effect (experienced in the indirect drive
experiments) could be eliminated or controlled. It was learned in the
direct drive experiments that the best performing capsules were those that
had a thin outer layer of gold. This effectively causes M-band pre-heat
effects giving implosion hydrodynamics and performance closer to the
indirect drive case. We will review the methods used to radiograph the
targets and the techniques used to extract useful information to compare
with calculations. The effect of imperfections in the target construction
will be shown to be minimal during the initial stage of implosion. The
yields from the targets were observed to be uniformly low compared to
It is shown that, in the pulsed-laser irradiation of crystalline or lightly damaged GaAs, good agreement is obtained between measured and calculated thresholds for melting, for catastrophic damage due to vaporization, and for the duration of surface melting at various energy densities. Good agreement between theory and experiment is also obtained for dopant profile spreading during pulsed-laser annealing.
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