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There is wide acknowledgement that apathy is an important behavioural syndrome in Alzheimer’s disease and in various neuropsychiatric disorders. In light of recent research and the renewed interest in the correlates and impacts of apathy, and in its treatments, it is important to develop criteria for apathy that will be widely accepted, have clear operational steps, and that will be easily applied in practice and research settings. Meeting these needs is the focus of the task force work reported here.
The task force includes members of the Association Française de Psychiatrie Biologique, the European Psychiatric Association, the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium and experts from Europe, Australia and North America. An advanced draft was discussed at the consensus meeting (during the EPA conference in April 7th 2008) and a final agreement reached concerning operational definitions and hierarchy of the criteria.
Apathy is defined as a disorder of motivation that persists over time and should meet the following requirements. Firstly, the core feature of apathy, diminished motivation, must be present for at least four weeks; secondly two of the three dimensions of apathy (reduced goal-directed behaviour, goal-directed cognitive activity, and emotions) must also be present; thirdly there should be identifiable functional impairments attributable to the apathy. Finally, exclusion criteria are specified to exclude symptoms and states that mimic apathy.
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 a substantial body of literature on the use of probiotics in humans. Mostly, this literature examines the use of specific probiotics for treating various acute and chronic health conditions and diseases, (gastrointestinal conditions, respiratory illnesses, metabolic disorders, and atopic diseases) in both adults and children. The sex of the populations in these studies tends to be mixed, while studies that focus on female participants are largely restricted to pregnant populations. It is well established that pre-pregnancy is an important time-point over the life-course, where improvements to the health of the woman may also benefit potential future pregnancies. Furthermore, the route of delivering the probiotic intervention may differ across studies. These modes of delivery include capsules, powdered sachets, yoghurt foods, and fermented milk drinks. There is uncertainty as to the confounding effect of this variability. The objective of this review is to identify the evidence for the effects of probiotic interventions, administered as capsules, on metabolic and immune markers in healthy women of reproductive age.
Materials and Methods
The data sources selected were PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science. A grey literature search using controlled vocabulary was performed. PRISMA guidelines were followed, and the Cochrane risk of bias tool was used. Publications were considered for inclusion if they were in English and reported the results of a randomised-controlled trial.
Four papers were identified with review relevant outcomes. The reported findings from the included studies did not provide conclusive evidence for the effect of probiotic capsule supplementation in healthy, non-pregnant women.
Sources of variability are multifaceted in this area. Functional differences occur at the strain level, lowering the specificity of the effects of various bacterial strains across different studies. These factors may reduce the external validity of results across such studies. It is imperative that an evidence base be established in this cohort. This can be achieved with prospectively registered, randomised-controlled trials of sufficient sample size and statistical power.
The past decade has been a time of significant growth in paleopathology, and also a time of transition in the relationship between paleopathology – “the investigation of diseases and related conditions in skeletal and soft tissue remains” (Paleopathology Association 2018) – and the broader field of bioarchaeology – the “integrative, contextualized study of human skeletal remains derived from archaeological settings” (Larsen 2018:865). These trends are driving a real florescence in paleopathology as this work, which starts from the study of individual bones, finds an integral role in larger-scale contextualized explorations of life in the past (Buzon 2012; Grauer 2018a, 2018b). In this chapter, we review the underpinnings of the enhanced articulation of paleopathology and bioarchaeology, especially in regard to studies of disability and care. We address the difficulties attendant to discussions of disability that stem from the epistemologies and semantics of disability studies and the cross-cultural (and temporal) differences in the experience of illness, the perceived sources of illness, and attitudes toward the ill or disabled. These are significant issues in contemporary society and global epidemiology, as well as in the interpretation of pathologies identified in skeletal and soft tissue remains. Returning to the role of paleopathology, we review current approaches to quantifying impairment and interpreting disability in the bioarchaeological record, highlighting the role of interpreting evidence for the provision (and withholding) of care – care of the very young and the very old, of the ill and disabled, and care of the dead – as a bridge between paleopathology and the broader studies that represent significant developments in bioarchaeology.
Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) data analysis requires unprecedented levels of accuracy in radio interferometer pipelines. We have developed an imaging power spectrum analysis to meet these requirements and generate robust 21 cm EoR measurements. In this work, we build a signal path framework to mathematically describe each step in the analysis, from data reduction in the Fast Holographic Deconvolution (FHD) package to power spectrum generation in the εppsilon package. In particular, we focus on the distinguishing characteristics of FHD/εppsilon: highly accurate spectral calibration, extensive data verification products, and end-to-end error propagation. We present our key data analysis products in detail to facilitate understanding of the prominent systematics in image-based power spectrum analyses. As a verification to our analysis, we also highlight a full-pipeline analysis simulation to demonstrate signal preservation and lack of signal loss. This careful treatment ensures that the FHD/εppsilon power spectrum pipeline can reduce radio interferometric data to produce credible 21 cm EoR measurements.
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.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
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.
The World Health Organization will publish its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) in 2018. The ICD-11 will include a refined model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a new diagnosis of complex PTSD (CPTSD). Whereas emerging data supports the validity of these proposals, the discriminant validity of PTSD and CPTSD have yet to be tested amongst a sample of refugees.
Treatment-seeking Syrian refugees (N = 110) living in Lebanon completed an Arabic version of the International Trauma Questionnaire; a measure specifically designed to capture the symptom content of ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD.
In total, 62.6% of the sample met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD or CPTSD. More refugees met the criteria for CPTSD (36.1%) than PTSD (25.2%) and no gender differences were observed. Latent class analysis results identified three distinct groups: (1) a PTSD class, (2) a CPTSD class and (3) a low symptom class. Class membership was significantly predicted by levels of functional impairment.
Support for the discriminant validity of ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD was observed for the first time within a sample of refugees. In support of the cross-cultural validity of the ICD-11 proposals, the prevalence of PTSD and CPTSD were similar to those observed in culturally distinct contexts.
A 57-year-old female patient with a diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder since 1986 was commenced on clozapine due to persistent positive and negative psychotic symptoms in September 2014. After commencement of clozapine she was delusion free and demonstrated an improvement in negative symptoms. Three months after commencement of clozapine she developed a hypersensitivity reaction. Her symptoms continued to deteriorate despite being prescribed an anti-histamine. Clozapine was discontinued 6 days after the appearance of a generalised pruritic rash, as it was believed to be the probable cause. There was complete resolution of symptoms 1 week after discontinuation of clozapine. Clozapine was replaced with olanzapine and amisulpride. There has been no similar cutaneous or allergic reactions for the past 30 months.
Genetic improvement in production efficiency traits can also drive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This study used international ‘best-practice’ methodology to quantify the improvements in system-wide CO2 equivalent emissions per unit of genetic progress in the Irish Maternal Replacement (MR) and Terminal (T) beef cattle indexes. Effects of each index trait on system gross emissions (GE) and system emissions intensity (EI) were modelled by estimating effects of trait changes on per-animal feed consumption and associated methane production, per-animal meat production and numbers of animals in the system. Trait responses to index selection were predicted from linear regression of individual bull estimated breeding values for each index trait on their MR or T index value, and the resulting regression coefficients were used to calculate trait-wise responses in GE and EI from index selection. Summed over all trait responses, the MR index was predicted to reduce system GE by 0.810 kg CO2e/breeding cow per year per € index and system EI by 0.009 kg CO2e/kg meat per breeding cow per year per € index. These reductions were mainly driven by improvements in cow survival, reduced mature cow maintenance feed requirements, shorter calving interval and reduced offspring mortality. The T index was predicted to reduce system EI by 0.021 kg CO2e/kg meat per breeding cow per year per € index, driven by increased meat production from improvements in carcass weight, conformation and fat. Implications for incorporating an EI reduction index to the current production indexes and long-term projections for national breeding programs are discussed.
Currently it is estimated that about 1 billion people globally have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which liver fat exceeds 5 % of liver weight in the absence of significant alcohol intake. Due to the central role of the liver in metabolism, the prevalence of NAFLD is increasing in parallel with the prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance and other risk factors of metabolic diseases. However, the contribution of liver fat to the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and CVD, relative to other ectopic fat depots and to other risk markers, is unclear. Various studies have suggested that the accumulation of liver fat can be reduced or prevented via dietary changes. However, the amount of liver fat reduction that would be physiologically relevant, and the timeframes and dose–effect relationships for achieving this through different diet-based approaches, are unclear. Also, it is still uncertain whether the changes in liver fat per se or the associated metabolic changes are relevant. Furthermore, the methods available to measure liver fat, or even individual fatty acids, differ in sensitivity and reliability. The present report summarises key messages of presentations from different experts and related discussions from a workshop intended to capture current views and research gaps relating to the points above.
To evaluate if n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and lipid levels are associated with episodes of self-harm or depression over a 10-year period.
We included 40 individuals who self-harmed and 40 controls. Episodes of self-harm and depression were ascertained and levels of depression, impulsivity, suicidal ideation and plasma lipid levels measured at baseline and at 10-year follow-up.
Further episode(s) of self-harm occurred in 26% of cases. Omega-3 PUFAs or lipids were not predictive of depressive or self-harm episodes. Baseline eicosapentaenoic acid levels were modestly correlated with suicidal ideation at follow-up and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid were modestly correlated with motor impulsivity at follow-up in cases.
Despite significant negative correlations at baseline between plasma lipids, n-3 PUFAs and psychopathology, these levels were not predictive of clinical outcome over a 10-year period. Further research however is required due to the relatively low sample size and the risk of selection bias due to loss to follow-up in this study.
Calving difficulty (CD) is a key functional trait with significant influence on herd profitability and animal welfare. Breeding plays an important role in managing CD both at farm and industry level. An alternative to the economic value approach to determine the CD penalty is to complement the economic models with the analysis of farmer perceived on-farm impacts of CD. The aim of this study was to explore dairy and beef farmer views and perceptions on the economic and non-economic on-farm consequences of CD, to ultimately inform future genetic selection tools for the beef and dairy industries in Ireland. A standardised quantitative online survey was released to all farmers with e-mail addresses on the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation database. In total, 271 farmers completed the survey (173 beef farmers and 98 dairy farmers). Both dairy and beef farmers considered CD a very important issue with economic and non-economic components. However, CD was seen as more problematic by dairy farmers, who mostly preferred to slightly reduce its incidence, than by beef farmers, who tended to support increases in calf value even though it would imply a slight increase in CD incidence. Farm size was found to be related to dairy farmer views of CD with farmers from larger farms considering CD as more problematic than farmers from smaller farms. CD breeding value was reported to be critical for selecting beef sires to mate with either beef or dairy cows, whereas when selecting dairy sires, CD had lower importance than breeding values for other traits. There was considerable variability in the importance farmers give to CD breeding values that could not be explained by the farm type or the type of sire used, which might be related to the farmer non-economic motives. Farmer perceived economic value associated with incremental increases in CD increases substantially as the CD level considered increases. This non-linear relationship cannot be reflected in a standard linear index weighting. The results of this paper provide key underpinning support to the development of non-linear index weightings for CD in Irish national indexes.
To examine the delivery and assessment of psychiatry at undergraduate level in the six medical schools in the Republic of Ireland offering a medical degree programme.
A narrative description of the delivery and assessment of psychiatry at undergraduate level by collaborative senior faculty members from all six universities in Ireland.
Psychiatry is integrated to varying degrees across all medical schools. Clinical experience in general adult psychiatry and sub-specialities is provided by each medical school; however, the duration of clinical attachment varies, and the provision of some sub-specialities (i.e. forensic psychiatry) is dependent on locally available resources. Five medical schools provide ‘live’ large group teaching sessions (lectures), and all medical schools provide an array of small group teaching sessions. Continuous assessment encompasses 10–35% of the total assessment marks, depending on the medical school. Only one medical school does not provide a clinical examination in the form of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination with viva examinations occurring at three medical schools.
Many similarities exist in relation to the delivery of psychiatry at undergraduate level in Ireland. Significant variability exists in relation to assessment with differences in continuous assessment, written and clinical exams and the use of vivas noted. The use of e-learning platforms has increased significantly in recent years, with their role envisaged to include cross-disciplinary teaching sessions and analysis of examinations and individual components within examinations which will help refine future examinations and enable greater sharing of resources between medical schools.
Childhood sexual abuse has previously been associated with adult mental health difficulties, however, few studies have evaluated all forms of childhood maltreatment in individuals attending adult mental health services. Consequently, this study investigates the association of five forms of childhood trauma with a range of clinical symptoms and mental health disorders in 136 individuals attending a mental health service in Ireland utilising the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ).
One hundred and thirty-six patients attending the Roscommon Mental Health Services completed the CTQ and a number of additional psychometric instruments evaluating illness severity, impulsivity, disability and the presence of a personality disorder(s) (PD) to ascertain the prevalence of childhood trauma and any potential associations between childhood trauma and a range of demographic and clinical factors.
Seventy-six per cent of individuals reported childhood trauma, with emotional neglect most frequently reported (61%). Individuals who had experienced childhood trauma had higher rates of clinical symptoms, distress and impulsivity. Substance abuse and paranoid, borderline and antisocial PDs most associated with childhood trauma.
This study demonstrates the need to routinely elicit information on all forms of childhood traumatic experiences from patients.
We present the case of a 27-year-old man with a background diagnosis of treatment resistant schizophrenia and absent insight who for the last 3 years has been residing in a high support residential setting on approved leave under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2001. The case demonstrates how this man achieved clinical stability in the community with the assistance of long-term involuntary admission under the MHA 2001, in contrast to the previous years of his illness in which he had suffered multiple relapses of his psychotic illness with ssociated distress, poor self-care and repeated in-patient re-admissions. We discuss the equivalent use of community treatment orders in other jurisdictions and how the judicious use of approved leave under the MHA 2001 may be used as an alternative in Ireland where community treatment orders are not currently available.
The case report highlights how the use of long-term approved leave under the MHA2001 may be used as alternative in Ireland to mimic CTOs for certain difficult to treat patients with psychotic illness who would benefit from ongoing treatment, but lack capacity to engage in such treatment due to persistent symptoms and lack of insight.