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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional practice of psychiatric assessment and treatment via face to face interaction. Telepsychiatry, the delivery of psychiatric care remotely through telecommunications technology, is an existing and under-utilised tool that may help to minimise disruption to patient care. Technological advancement is at a stage where it can facilitate widespread use of this practice; however concerns that limited its expansion previously were not unfounded. This article discusses the use of telepsychiatry in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individuals with tardive dyskinesia (TD) who completed a long-term study (KINECT 3 or KINECT 4) of valbenazine (40 or 80 mg/day, once-daily for up to 48 weeks followed by 4-week washout) were enrolled in a subsequent study (NCT02736955) that was primarily designed to further evaluate the long-term safety of valbenazine.
Participants were initiated at 40 mg/day (following prior valbenazine washout). At week 4, dosing was escalated to 80 mg/day based on tolerability and clinical assessment of TD; reduction to 40 mg/day was allowed for tolerability. The study was planned for 72 weeks or until termination due to commercial availability of valbenazine. Assessments included the Clinical Global Impression of Severity-TD (CGIS-TD), Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ), and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs).
At study termination, 85.7% (138/161) of participants were still active. Four participants had reached week 60, and none reached week 72. The percentage of participants with a CGIS-TD score ≤2 (normal/not ill or borderline ill) increased from study baseline (14.5% [23/159]) to week 48 (64.3% [36/56]). At baseline, 98.8% (158/160) of participants rated their prior valbenazine experience with a PSQ score ≤2 (very satisfied or somewhat satisfied). At week 48, 98.2% (55/56) remained satisfied. Before week 4 (dose escalation), 9.4% of participants had ≥1 TEAE. After week 4, the TEAE incidence was 49.0%. No TEAE occurred in ≥5% of participants during treatment (before or after week 4).
Valbenazine was well-tolerated and persistent improvements in TD were found in adults who received once-daily treatment for >1 year.
During pregnancy, changes occur to influence the maternal gut microbiome, and potentially the fetal microbiome. Diet has been shown to impact the gut microbiome. Little research has been conducted examining diet during pregnancy with respect to the gut microbiome. To meet inclusion criteria, dietary analyses must have been conducted as part of the primary aim. The primary outcome was the composition of the gut microbiome (infant or maternal), as assessed using culture-independent sequencing techniques. This review identified seven studies for inclusion, five examining the maternal gut microbiome and two examining the fetal gut microbiome. Microbial data were attained through analysis of stool samples by 16S rRNA gene-based microbiota assessment. Studies found an association between the maternal diet and gut microbiome. High-fat diets (% fat of total energy), fat-soluble vitamins (mg/day) and fibre (g/day) were the most significant nutrients associated with the gut microbiota composition of both neonates and mothers. High-fat diets were significantly associated with a reduction in microbial diversity. High-fat diets may reduce microbial diversity, while fibre intake may be positively associated with microbial diversity. The results of this review must be interpreted with caution. The number of studies was low, and the risk of observational bias and heterogeneity across the studies must be considered. However, these results show promise for dietary intervention and microbial manipulation in order to favour an increase of health-associated taxa in the gut of the mother and her offspring.
There is strong public belief that polyunsaturated fats protect against and ameliorate depression and anxiety.
To assess effects of increasing omega-3, omega-6 or total polyunsaturated fat on prevention and treatment of depression and anxiety symptoms.
We searched widely (Central, Medline and EMBASE to April 2017, trial registers to September 2016, ongoing trials updated to August 2019), including trials of adults with or without depression or anxiety, randomised to increased omega-3, omega-6 or total polyunsaturated fat for ≥24 weeks, excluding multifactorial interventions. Inclusion, data extraction and risk of bias were assessed independently in duplicate, and authors contacted for further data. We used random-effects meta-analysis, sensitivity analyses, subgrouping and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) assessment.
We included 31 trials assessing effects of long-chain omega-3 (n = 41 470), one of alpha-linolenic acid (n = 4837), one of total polyunsaturated fat (n = 4997) and none of omega-6. Meta-analysis suggested that increasing long-chain omega-3 probably has little or no effect on risk of depression symptoms (risk ratio 1.01, 95% CI 0.92–1.10, I2 = 0%, median dose 0.95 g/d, duration 12 months) or anxiety symptoms (standardised mean difference 0.15, 95% CI 0.05–0.26, I2 = 0%, median dose 1.1 g/d, duration 6 months; both moderate-quality evidence). Evidence of effects on depression severity and remission in existing depression were unclear (very-low-quality evidence). Results did not differ by risk of bias, omega-3 dose, duration or nutrients replaced. Increasing alpha-linolenic acid by 2 g/d may increase risk of depression symptoms very slightly over 40 months (number needed to harm, 1000).
Long-chain omega-3 supplementation probably has little or no effect in preventing depression or anxiety symptoms.
Declaration of interest
L.H. and A.A. were funded to attend the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Subgroup on Diet and Health meetings and present review results. The authors report no other conflicts of interest.
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to investigate differences in the levels of chlorate (CHLO), perchlorate (PCHLO), trichloromethane (TCM) and iodine residues in bulk tank (BT) milk produced at different milk production periods, and to monitor those levels throughout a skim milk powder (SMP) production chain (BTs, collection tankers [CTs], whole milk silo [WMS] and skim milk silo [SMS]). Chlorate, PCHLO and iodine were measured in SMP, while TCM was measured in the milk cream. The CHLO, TCM and iodine levels in the mid-lactation milk stored in the WMS were lower than legislative and industrial specifications (0.0100 mg/kg, 0.0015 mg/kg and 150 µg/l, respectively). However, in late-lactation, these levels were numerically higher than the mid-lactation levels and specifications. Trichloromethane accumulated in the cream portion after separation. Perchlorate was not detected in any of the samples. Regarding iodine, the levels in mid-lactation reconstituted SMP were higher than that required by manufacturers (100 µg/l), indicating that the levels in milk should be lower than 142 µg/l. The higher residue levels observed in late-lactation could be related to the low milk volume produced during that period and changes in sanitation practices, while changes in feed management could have affected iodine levels. This study could assist in controlling and setting limits for CHLO, TCM and iodine levels in milk, ensuring premium quality dairy products.
Background: The physician-reported Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis (QMG) test was a key efficacy measure in REGAIN, a 26-week, phase 3, placebo-controlled study of eculizumab in anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive refractory generalized MG. Ocular and generalized weakness have shown variable responses to therapies including prednisone and intravenous immunoglobulin/plasma exchange. Using the patient-reported MG Activities of Daily Living (MG-ADL) scale during REGAIN, eculizumab showed a consistent trend toward rapid and sustained improvement across bulbar, respiratory, limb and ocular domains. We analyzed the effect of eculizumab on bulbar, respiratory, gross motor and ocular domains during REGAIN, using the QMG test. Methods: QMG domain score changes to REGAIN week 26 were determined for patients with abnormal baseline scores. Repeated-measures analyses were performed for bulbar (swallowing/speech), respiratory (forced vital capacity), gross motor (limb/axial motor items) and ocular (ocular/facial muscles) domains. Results: Eculizumab-treated patients showed improvements in all four QMG domain scores to week 26. Rapid, sustained improvements were demonstrated across all domains, with a trend toward significant differences between eculizumab and placebo (bulbar, p=0.0628; respiratory, p=0.0682; gross motor, p=0.0114; ocular, p=0.0017). The eculizumab safety profile was consistent with previous reports. Conclusions: Eculizumab demonstrated a consistent response across all QMG muscle domains. This aligns with previously reported MG-ADL findings with eculizumab. (NCT01997229).
Background: Chronic intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is used to treat refractory myasthenia gravis (MG). This subgroup analysis evaluated response to eculizumab in patients receiving chronic IVIg before entry to REGAIN, a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of eculizumab in anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive refractory generalized MG. Methods: IVIg was only permitted during REGAIN as rescue therapy; previously treated patients underwent a 4-week washout before randomization. Patients included in this analysis had received chronic IVIg ≥4 times in 1 year, with ≥1 dose within 6 months before REGAIN entry. Exacerbations and MG status changes were assessed. Results: Eighteen patients were evaluated; four experienced exacerbations (eculizumab-treated, 1/9; placebo-treated, 3/9). Clinically relevant improvements were larger with eculizumab than placebo, respectively (mean change, standard deviation [SD]: MG Activities of Daily Living score [MG-ADL], -5.3 [4.0] vs -2.1 [2.8]; Quantitative MG score [QMG], -4.1 [6.1] vs -1.3 [3.5]). More patients receiving eculizumab (7/9) had clinically meaningful responses (MG-ADL ≥3 and/or QMG ≥5 points) than those receiving placebo (3/9). Eculizumab safety was consistent with previous reports. Interim data from the open-label extension of REGAIN will be presented. Conclusions: In patients previously receiving chronic IVIg, eculizumab showed a trend toward meaningful clinical improvements and fewer exacerbations compared with placebo. (NCT01997229, NCT02301624).
Background: Patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive (AChR+) generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) unresponsive to conventional treatment experience greater disease burden than responsive patients. This is partly due to exacerbations, which may result in significant healthcare resource utilization. Eculizumab is well tolerated and gives clinically meaningful benefits in these patients. We evaluated the effect of long-term eculizumab treatment on exacerbations, hospitalizations and rescue therapy in the REGAIN study and its open-label extension. Methods: Exacerbations were defined as clinical worsening/deterioration, MG crises or rescue therapy usage; pre-study exacerbations/hospitalizations were defined from patient records. Event rates adjusted for patient-years were calculated for all patients in the pre-study year, patients receiving placebo during REGAIN, and patients receiving eculizumab during REGAIN and its open-label extension (median exposure, 27.5 months [range, 22 days–42.8 months]); rates were compared using a Poisson regression model. Results: Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 65% (p=0.0057), hospitalizations by 71% (p=0.0316) and rescue therapy use by 66% (p=0.0072) versus placebo. Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 74% and hospitalizations by 83% (both p<0.0001) versus the pre-study year. Conclusions: Long-term eculizumab treatment reduces disease burden and healthcare resource utilization, demonstrating continuing improvements in clinical endpoints that lead to additional meaningful outcomes for patients with AChR+ generalized MG. (NCT01997229, NCT02301624).
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to track the microbiological load of milk throughout a low-heat skim milk powder (SMP) manufacturing process, from farm bulk tanks to final powder, during mid- and late-lactation (spring and winter, respectively). In the milk powder processing plant studied, low-heat SMP was produced using only the milk supplied by the farms involved in this study. Samples of milk were collected from farm bulk tanks (mid-lactation: 67 farms; late-lactation: 150 farms), collection tankers (CTs), whole milk silo (WMS), skim milk silo (SMS), cream silo (CS) and final SMP. During mid-lactation, the raw milk produced on-farm and transported by the CTs had better microbiological quality than the late-lactation raw milk (e.g., total bacterial count (TBC): 3.60 ± 0.55 and 4.37 ± 0.62 log 10 cfu/ml, respectively). After pasteurisation, reductions in TBC, psychrotrophic (PBC) and proteolytic (PROT) bacterial counts were of lower magnitude in late-lactation than in mid-lactation milk, while thermoduric (LPC—laboratory pasteurisation count) and thermophilic (THERM) bacterial counts were not reduced in both periods. The microbiological quality of the SMP produced was better when using mid-lactation than late-lactation milk (e.g., TBC: 2.36 ± 0.09 and 3.55 ± 0.13 cfu/g, respectively), as mid-lactation raw milk had better quality than late-lactation milk. The bacterial counts of some CTs and of the WMS samples were higher than the upper confidence limit predicted using the bacterial counts measured in the farm milk samples, indicating that the transport conditions or cleaning protocols could have influenced the microbiological load. Therefore, during the different production seasons, appropriate cow management and hygiene practices (on-farm and within the factory) are necessary to control the numbers of different bacterial groups in milk, as those can influence the effectiveness of thermal treatments and consequently affect final product quality.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
We compared sepsis “time zero” and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) SEP-1 pass rates among 3 abstractors in 3 hospitals. Abstractors agreed on time zero in 29 of 80 (36%) cases. Perceived pass rates ranged from 9 of 80 cases (11%) to 19 of 80 cases (23%). Variability in time zero and perceived pass rates limits the utility of SEP-1 for measuring quality.
To date, Ireland has been a leading light in the provision of youth mental health services. However, cognisant of the efforts of governmental and non-governmental agencies working in youth mental health, there is much to be done. Barriers into care as well as discontinuity of care across the spectrum of services remain key challenges. This editorial provides guidance for the next stage of development in youth mental care and support that will require significant national engagement and resource investment.
We present a multi-frequency study of the intermediate spiral SAB(r)bc type galaxy NGC 6744, using available data from the Chandra X-Ray telescope, radio continuum data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array and Murchison Widefield Array, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared observations. We identify 117 X-ray sources and 280 radio sources. Of these, we find nine sources in common between the X-ray and radio catalogues, one of which is a faint central black hole with a bolometric radio luminosity similar to the Milky Way’s central black hole. We classify 5 objects as supernova remnant (SNR) candidates, 2 objects as likely SNRs, 17 as H ii regions, 1 source as an AGN; the remaining 255 radio sources are categorised as background objects and one X-ray source is classified as a foreground star. We find the star-formation rate (SFR) of NGC 6744 to be in the range 2.8–4.7 M⊙~yr − 1 signifying the galaxy is still actively forming stars. The specific SFR of NGC 6744 is greater than that of late-type spirals such as the Milky Way, but considerably less that that of a typical starburst galaxy.
Identifying the transmission sources and reservoirs of Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) is a long-standing question for pneumococcal epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and vaccine policy. Here we use serotype to identify SP transmission and examine acquisitions (in the same household, local community, and county, or of unidentified origin) in a longitudinal cohort of children and adults from the Navajo Nation and the White Mountain Apache American Indian Tribes. We found that adults acquire SP relatively more in the household than other age groups, and children 2–8 years old typically acquire in their own or surrounding communities. Age-specific transmission probability matrices show that transmissions within household were mostly seen from older to younger siblings. Outside the household, children most often transmit to other children in the same age group, showing age-assortative mixing behavior. We find toddlers and older children to be most involved in SP transmission and acquisition, indicating their role as key drivers of SP epidemiology. Although infants have high carriage prevalence, they do not play a central role in transmission of SP compared with toddlers and older children. Our results are relevant to inform alternative pneumococcal conjugate vaccine dosing strategies and analytic efforts to inform optimization of vaccine programs, as well as assessing the transmission dynamics of pathogens transmitted by close contact in general.
The extent to which indices of maternal physiological arousal (skin conductance augmentation) and regulation (vagal withdrawal) while parenting predict infant attachment disorganization and behavior problems directly or indirectly via maternal sensitivity was examined in a sample of 259 mothers and their infants. Two covariates, maternal self-reported emotional risk and Adult Attachment Interview attachment coherence were assessed prenatally. Mothers' physiological arousal and regulation were measured during parenting tasks when infants were 6 months old. Maternal sensitivity was observed during distress-eliciting tasks when infants were 6 and 14 months old, and an average sensitivity score was calculated. Attachment disorganization was observed during the Strange Situation when infants were 14 months old, and mothers reported on infants' behavior problems when infants were 27 months old. Over and above covariates, mothers' arousal and regulation while parenting interacted to predict infant attachment disorganization and behavior problems such that maternal arousal was associated with higher attachment disorganization and behavior problems when maternal regulation was low but not when maternal regulation was high. This effect was direct and not explained by maternal sensitivity. The results suggest that maternal physiological dysregulation while parenting places infants at risk for psychopathology.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
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.