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The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
Depression is characterised by negative views of the self. Antidepressant treatment may remediate negative self-schema through increasing processing of positive information about the self. Changes in affective processing during social interactions may increase expression of prosocial behaviours, improving interpersonal communications.
To examine whether acute administration of citalopram is associated with an increase in positive affective learning biases about the self and prosocial behaviour.
Healthy volunteers (n = 41) were randomised to either an acute 20 mg dose of citalopram or matched placebo in a between-subjects double-blind design. Participants completed computer-based cognitive tasks designed to measure referential affective processing, social cognition and expression of prosocial behaviours.
Participants administered citalopram made more cooperative choices than those administered placebo in a prisoner's dilemma task (β = 20%, 95% CI: 2%, 37%). Exploratory analyses indicated that participants administered citalopram showed a positive bias when learning social evaluations about a friend (β = 4.06, 95% CI: 0.88, 7.24), but not about the self or a stranger. Similarly, exploratory analyses found evidence of increased recall of positive words and reduced recall of negative words about others (β = 2.41, 95% CI: 0.89, 3.93), but not the self, in the citalopram group.
Participants administered citalopram showed greater prosocial behaviours, increased positive recall and increased positive learning of social evaluations towards others. The increase in positive affective bias and prosocial behaviours towards others may, at least partially, be a mechanism of antidepressant effect. However, we found no evidence that citalopram influenced self-referential processing.
As the novel coronavirus disease 2019 changed patient presentation, this study aimed to prospectively identify these changes in a single ENT centre.
A seven-week prospective case series was conducted of urgently referred patients from primary care and accident and emergency department.
There was a total of 133 referrals. Referral rates fell by 93 per cent over seven weeks, from a mean of 5.4 to 0.4 per day. Reductions were seen in referrals from both primary care (89 per cent) and the accident and emergency department (93 per cent). Presentations of otitis externa and epistaxis fell by 83 per cent, and presentations of glandular fever, tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess fell by 67 per cent.
Coronavirus disease 2019 has greatly reduced the number of referrals into secondary care ENT. The cause for this reduction is likely to be due to patients’ increased perceived risk of the virus presence in a medical setting. The impact of this reduction is yet to be ascertained, but will likely result in a substantial increase in emergency pressures once the lockdown is lifted and the general public's perception of the coronavirus disease 2019 risk reduces.
This study investigated the impact of recipe and single-use herb/spice packet provision on egg intake and protein intake in community-dwelling individuals aged over 55 years.
Using a randomised-controlled intervention design, 100 older adults were randomised to receive (n 53) or not receive (n 47) high-protein egg-based recipes and herb/spice packets through the post for 12 weeks, from June to December 2016. Egg intake, protein intake, adverse events, lean body mass and functional measures of lean body mass were measured at baseline, after the 12 weeks and after a further 12 weeks.
Community-dwelling older adults.
Intention-to-treat data were analysed using regression, controlling for various demographic and lifestyle characteristics. Ninety-three individuals (intervention, n 50; control, n 43) completed assessments at all three time points. Egg intakes increased by end of intervention in both groups (mean: 4–5 eggs/month). After a further 12 weeks, higher egg intakes were sustained in the intervention group, while egg intakes in the control group returned to baseline levels (between-group difference: β = −0·124, P = 0·047). No differences were found in other measures (largest β = −0·106, P = 0·12).
The provision of high-protein egg-based recipes and single-use herb/spice packets over 12 weeks increased egg intakes up to 12 weeks after end of intervention. Other factors may explain increased egg intakes during the intervention, but the sustained effects most plausibly result directly from recipe provision. Limited effects in other measures suggest that the recipes may have replaced as opposed to added to existing protein intakes.
Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder with undetermined neurobiological causes. Understanding the impact on brain anatomy of carrying genetic risk for the disorder will contribute to uncovering its neurobiological underpinnings.
To examine the effect of rare copy number variants (CNVs) associated with schizophrenia on brain cortical anatomy in a sample of unaffected participants from the UK Biobank.
We used regression analyses to compare cortical thickness and surface area (total and across gyri) between 120 unaffected carriers of rare CNVs associated with schizophrenia and 16 670 participants without any pathogenic CNV. A measure of cortical thickness and surface area covariance across gyri was also compared between groups.
Carrier status was associated with reduced surface area (β = −0.020 mm2, P < 0.001) and less robustly with increased cortical thickness (β = 0.015 mm, P = 0.035), and with increased covariance in thickness (carriers z = 0.31 v. non-carriers z = 0.22, P < 0.0005). Associations were mainly present in frontal and parietal areas and driven by a limited number of rare risk alleles included in our analyses (mainly 15q11.2 deletion for surface area and 16p13.11 duplication for thickness covariance).
Results for surface area conformed with previous clinical findings, supporting surface area reductions as an indicator of genetic liability for schizophrenia. Results for cortical thickness, though, argued against its validity as a potential risk marker. Increased structural thickness covariance across gyri also appears related to risk for schizophrenia. The heterogeneity found across the effects of rare risk alleles suggests potential different neurobiological gateways into schizophrenia's phenotype.
Sarcopenic obesity is characterised by the double burden of diminished skeletal muscle mass and the presence of excess adiposity. From a mechanistic perspective, both obesity and sarcopenia are associated with sub-acute, chronic pro-inflammatory states that impede metabolic processes, disrupting adipose and skeletal functionality, which may potentiate disease. Recent evidence suggests that there is an important cross-talk between metabolism and inflammation, which has shifted focus upon metabolic-inflammation as a key emerging biological interaction. Dietary intake, physical activity and nutritional status are important environmental factors that may modulate metabolic-inflammation. This paradigm will be discussed within the context of sarcopenic obesity risk. There is a paucity of data in relation to the nature and the extent to which nutritional status affects metabolic-inflammation in sarcopenic obesity. Research suggests that there may be scope for the modulation of sarcopenic obesity with alterations in diet. The potential impact of increasing protein consumption and reconfiguration of dietary fat composition in human dietary interventions are evaluated. This review will explore emerging data with respect to if and how different dietary components may modulate metabolic-inflammation, particularly with respect to adiposity, within the context of sarcopenic obesity.
Although several initiatives have produced core competency domains for training the translational science workforce, training resources to help clinical research professionals advance these skills reside primarily within local departments or institutions. The Development, Implementation, and AssessMent of Novel Training in Domain (DIAMOND) project was designed to make this training more readily and publicly available. DIAMOND includes a digital portal to catalog publicly available educational resources and an ePortfolio to document professional development. DIAMOND is a nationally crowdsourced, federated, online catalog providing a platform for practitioners to find and share training and assessment materials. Contributors can share their own educational materials using a simple intake form that creates an electronic record; the portal enables users to browse or search this catalog of digital records and access the resources. Since September 2018, the portal has been visited more than 5,700 times and received over 280 contributions from professionals. The portal facilitates opportunities to connect and collaborate regarding future applications of these resources. Consequently, growing the collection and increasing numbers of both contributors and users remains a priority. Results from a small subset of users indicated over half accomplished their purpose for visiting the site, while qualitative results showed that users identified several benefits and helpful features of the ePortfolio.
Many youth with tics experience distress about having tics and how others may perceive them. Such symptoms are often more impairing and distressing than are the tics and negatively impact self-concept, functioning, and quality of life. Although treatments exist that target the frequency and severity of tics, no intervention has been developed that helps youth with tics cope with their condition and limit associated functional impairment and distress. Given this, we developed a cognitive-behaviorally oriented psychotherapy protocol that promotes adaptive coping and resiliency among youth with tics in addressing varied issues commonly experienced by this population. This poster reports data from the Phase I component of this study.
Phase I concentrated on developing the treatment protocol through expert opinion coupled with focus groups with parents and children with a tic disorder. Based on this, we developed a preliminary manual and piloted it in 6 youth with tics who met relevant inclusion/exclusion criteria. Phase II involves a preliminary test of the protocol in that focuses primarily on feasibility issues. All subjects participated in assessments (Screening, Baseline, Post-treatment) conducted by a blinded independent evaluator.
Only Phase I data will be presented as Phase II is ongoing. Descriptive statistics related to improvement rates; tic severity; child self-esteem and self-efficacy; and child internalizing symptoms will be reported. Qualitative data from the focus groups will also be presented regarding domains of impairment for youth with tics.
This treatment shows early promise of helping youth with tics cope with their condition.
Post hoc analysis of occupational attainment and performance on a standard neurocognitive battery suggests that performance on letter-number sequencing is strongly associated with work attainment. Letter-number sequencing may warrant further investigation as a clinically useful tool to inform decisions around vocational rehabilitation.
To compare Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) between people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
AD is characterised by cognitive impairment. 10-15% of people with MCI progress to dementia each year. The hippocampus is involved in memory functioning and is one of the brain regions first affected by AD. MRI based hippocampal volumetric measurement enables accurate quantification of atrophy. In addition, 1H-MRS can be used to measure concentrations of brain metabolites including myoinositol (mI) and N-acetylaspartate (NAA). NAA is a proxy measure of neuronal density.
Subjects with AD (n=46), MCI (n=28) and controls (n=39) were scanned using a 1.5 Tesla MR system. Manual tracing of hippocampal volumes was undertaken using Measure software. 1H-MRS voxels of interest were defined in the left and right hippocampi. A point-resolved spectroscopy pulse sequence produced spectra from each voxel and clearly resolved NAA and mI peaks. Statistical analysis was undertaken using SPSS15.
Hippocampal volumes were significantly reduced between AD and controls (p=0.003) and between AD and MCI (p=0.001). Compared to controls, individuals with AD and MCI had a significant reduction in [NAA]. MCI showed a non-significant increase in [mI]. A positive relationship was found between hippocampal volume and [NAA] and between hippocampal volume and [mI] for MCI.
AD is associated with decreased viable neuronal density/function (as measured by NAA) and a reduction in hippocampal volume associated with impaired cognitive functioning. The elevated [mI] in MCI may be a “tipping point” into dementia.
The clinical phenotype of pediatric OCD and tic disorders in relation to streptococcal antibody patterns will be discussed. Also, cellular and other immune findings will be presented on a group of children with OCD and tic disorders taking into account clinical phenotype data.
To compare Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) findings in Alzheimer's dementia (AD) in the general population with Down's syndrome dementia.
Background review: AD is characterised by cognitive dysfunction interfering with activities of daily living. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate state between normal aging and dementia. People with Down's syndrome have an increased risk of developing AD. AD pathology initially appears in the entorhinal cortex, followed by the hippocampus and later in the temporal lobes. These areas are critical for memory functioning.
Volumetric analysis was performed on MRI brain scans using Measure software. Manual tracing was undertaken for the hippocampus, temporal lobes and lateral ventricles as well as the total brain volume of the cerebral hemispheres and cerebellum. Brain volumes were normalised as a percentage of traced intracranial volumes. Freesurfer software was used to obtain entorhinal cortical thickness measures. Statistical analysis was undertaken using SPSS15.
Subjects with AD (n=46), MCI (n=28) and controls (n=39) were compared with Down's syndrome demented subjects (DS+, n=20), non-demented subjects with Down's syndrome (DS-, n=45) and age-matched controls (n=43). Hippocampi, entorhinal cortex and temporal lobes were significantly reduced in AD and DS+ compared to controls. Lateral ventricles were significantly increased in AD and DS+ compared to controls. MCI and DS- produced findings between those of dementia and controls.
Critical memory regions atrophy in dementia corresponding to decreased cognitive functioning. DS+ morphology is comparable to AD in the general population but the atrophy is less pronounced.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and psychopathy involve significant interpersonal and behavioural impairments. However, little is known about white matter (WM) abnormalities in tracts linking grey matter regions. A previous diffusion tensor imaging (DT-MRI) tractography study in ASPD and psychopathy revealed abnormalities in the right uncinate fasciculus, indicating fronto-limbic disconnectivity.
It is not clear whether WM abnormalities are restricted to only this tract or are more widespread. Therefore, we planned to use whole brain DT-MRI voxel-based analyses.
To clarify if WM abnormalities extend beyond the frontal lobe.
We used whole brain DT-MRI to compare WM fractional anisotropy (FA) of 15 adults with ASPD and healthy age, handedness and IQ-matched controls. Also, within ASPD subjects, we related differences in FA to severity of psychopathy measures.
Significant WM FA reductions were found in ASPD subjects relative to controls. These were found bilaterally in the anterior corpus callosum. Right hemisphere FA reduction was found in the anterior corona radiata, uncinate fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and internal capsule. Left hemisphere, FA deficits encompassed the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and internal capsule. There was a significant negative correlation between WM FA in the right uncinate fasciculus and corpus callosum and measures of psychopathy.
We report FA reduction in the uncinate fasciculus and anterior corpus callosum which may be associated with frontal and inter-hemispheric disconnectivity in ASPD, in addition to abnormalities in other tracts which directly or indirectly connect to prefrontal regions.
The provision of support for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the community is improving as a consequence of policy and legislative changes. However, specialist services are not currently provided in prisons.
This aim of the study was to determine the extent of ASD and co-occurring mental health problems among prisoners. We tested the hypothesis that ASD traits would be unrecognised by prison staff and would be significantly associated with increased rates of anxiety, depression and suicidality.
ASD traits were measured among 240 prisoners in a resettlement prison in London, UK using the 20-item Autism Quotient (AQ-20). Anxiety, depression and suicidality were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
There were 39 participants (16%) with an AQ-20 score ≥10; indicating significant autistic traits. Mental health data were available for 37 ‘high autistic trait’ participants and another 101 prisoners with no/low ASD traits. There was a significant positive association between AQ-20 and suicidality scores (r=.29, p=0.001). Participants with ASD traits had significantly higher suicidality scores (means=15.1 vs. 5, p= 0.001) and chi-square analysis showed that they were more likely to have a high suicidality rating (27% vs. 8%, p=0.003) than those without ASD traits. Moreover, those with ASD were significantly more likely to be experiencing a current episode of depression (30% vs. 6%, p<0.001) or Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (27% vs. 11% p=0.019).
Our initial data suggests that severity of ASD traits is a risk factor for suicidality and common mental health problems among prisoners.
Animal experimental studies suggest that 5-HT4 receptor activation holds promise as a novel target for the treatment of depression and cognitive impairment. 5-HT4 receptors are post-synaptic receptors that are located in striatal and limbic areas known to be involved in cognition and mood. Consistent with this, 5-HT4 receptor agonists produce rapid antidepressant effects in a number of animal models of depression, and pro-cognitive effects in tasks of learning and memory. These effects are accompanied by molecular changes, such as the increased expression of neuroplasticity-related proteins that are typical of clinically useful antidepressant drugs. Intriguingly, these antidepressant-like effects have a fast onset of their action, raising the possibility that 5-HT4 receptor agonists may be a particularly useful augmentation strategy in the early stages of SSRI treatment. Until recently, the translation of these effects to humans has been challenging. Here, we review the evidence from animal studies that the 5-HT4 receptor is a promising target for the treatment of depression and cognitive disorders, and outline a potential pathway for the efficient and cost-effective translation of these effects into humans and, ultimately, to the clinic.
Participation in European surveillance for bloodstream infection (BSI) commenced in Ireland in 1999 with all laboratories (n = 39) participating by 2014. Observational hand hygiene auditing (OHHA) was implemented in 2011. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of OHHA on hand hygiene compliance, alcohol hand rub (AHR) procurement and the incidence of sensitive and resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium and faecalis BSI. A prospective segmented regression analysis was performed to determine the temporal association between OHHA and outcomes. Observed hand hygiene improved from 74.7% (73.7–75.6) in 2011 to 90.8% (90.1–91.3) in 2016. AHR procurement increased from 20.1 l/1000 bed days used (BDU) in 2009 to 33.2 l/1000 BDU in 2016. A pre-intervention reduction of 2% per quarter in the ratio of methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus BSI/BDU stabilized in the time period after the intervention (P < 0.01). The ratio of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) BSI/BDU was decreasing by 5% per quarter pre-intervention, this slowed to 2% per quarter post intervention, (P < 0.01). There was no significant change in the ratio of vancomycin sensitive (P = 0.49) or vancomycin resistant (P = 0.90) Enterococcus sp. BSI/BDU post intervention. This study shows national OHHA increased observed hand hygiene compliance and AHR procurement, however there was no associated reduction in BSI.
Involuntary admission and treatment is often a traumatic experience for patients and there is a wide variation in attitudes towards care even when patients are recovered.
The purpose of this large prospective study was to identify clinical predictors of attitudes towards care during involuntary admission.
Three hundred and ninety-one consecutively admitted involuntarily patients to three psychiatric inpatient units over a 30-month period were invited to participate in the study. Comprehensive assessments at admission and 3 months after discharge were attained including measures of symptoms, insight, functioning, attitudes towards involuntary admission and coercive experiences. Multiple linear regression modelling was used to determine the optimal explanatory variables for attitudes towards care.
Two hundred and sixty-three individuals participated at baseline and 156 (59%) successfully completed follow-up assessments. Individuals improved significantly over time clinically and in their attitudes towards their care. At baseline greater insight (P < 0.001) and less symptoms (P = 0.02) were associated with more positive attitudes towards care as was older age (P = 0.001). At follow-up, greater insight (P < 0.001), less symptoms (P = 0.02) and being older (P = 0.04) were associated with more positive attitudes towards care. More positive attitudes towards care at follow-up were associated with greater improvements in insight over time (P < 0.001) and having a diagnosis of an affective psychosis (P = 0.0009).
The best predictors of positive attitudes towards care during and after involuntary admission are illness related factors, such as levels of insight and improvement in insight, rather than service or legislation related factors, such as the use of coercive measures, seclusion and restraint.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The Mental Health Act 2001 provides a legal framework for the involuntary admission and treatment of individuals deemed to have a mental disorder to psychiatric units. The perspectives of people who have been detained are relatively poorly understood.
To develop a theoretical understanding of individual's experiences throughout the trajectory of their detention and to understand the psychological and social processes that individuals use to cope before, during and after detention.
Fifty individuals subject to detention across three psychiatric units consented to be interviewed three months after their detention. Using a semi-structured interview people recounted their experiences. Interviews were analysed using the principles underpinning Grounded Theory.
The theory ‘Preserving Control’ encapsulates individuals’ experiences and consists of three related themes: ‘Losing Control’, ‘Regaining Control’ and ‘Maintaining Control’. ‘Losing Control’ describes individuals’ experiences of losing their autonomy and liberty thought the process of detention and hospitalisation. ‘Regaining Control describes, the strategies individuals used in an attempted to restore their loss of autonomy and control. ‘Maintaining Control’ describes how individuals lived with the consequences of detention and contended with impact on discharge.
Whilst a large variation existed in relation to the subjective experience of being detained, the characteristic process that individuals tend to experience related to identifiable phases of preserving control in the face of this loss of autonomy. Findings from this study highlight the importance of more sensitive interactions support and information during and after the detention process.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.