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Associations of socioenvironmental features like urbanicity and neighborhood deprivation with psychosis are well-established. An enduring question, however, is whether these associations are causal. Genetic confounding could occur due to downward mobility of individuals at high genetic risk for psychiatric problems into disadvantaged environments.
We examined correlations of five indices of genetic risk [polygenic risk scores (PRS) for schizophrenia and depression, maternal psychotic symptoms, family psychiatric history, and zygosity-based latent genetic risk] with multiple area-, neighborhood-, and family-level risks during upbringing. Data were from the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally-representative cohort of 2232 British twins born in 1994–1995 and followed to age 18 (93% retention). Socioenvironmental risks included urbanicity, air pollution, neighborhood deprivation, neighborhood crime, neighborhood disorder, social cohesion, residential mobility, family poverty, and a cumulative environmental risk scale. At age 18, participants were privately interviewed about psychotic experiences.
Higher genetic risk on all indices was associated with riskier environments during upbringing. For example, participants with higher schizophrenia PRS (OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.06–1.33), depression PRS (OR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.08–1.34), family history (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.11–1.40), and latent genetic risk (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.07–1.38) had accumulated more socioenvironmental risks for schizophrenia by age 18. However, associations between socioenvironmental risks and psychotic experiences mostly remained significant after covariate adjustment for genetic risk.
Genetic risk is correlated with socioenvironmental risk for schizophrenia during upbringing, but the associations between socioenvironmental risk and adolescent psychotic experiences appear, at present, to exist above and beyond this gene-environment correlation.
Antarctica's ice shelves modulate the grounded ice flow, and weakening of ice shelves due to climate forcing will decrease their ‘buttressing’ effect, causing a response in the grounded ice. While the processes governing ice-shelf weakening are complex, uncertainties in the response of the grounded ice sheet are also difficult to assess. The Antarctic BUttressing Model Intercomparison Project (ABUMIP) compares ice-sheet model responses to decrease in buttressing by investigating the ‘end-member’ scenario of total and sustained loss of ice shelves. Although unrealistic, this scenario enables gauging the sensitivity of an ensemble of 15 ice-sheet models to a total loss of buttressing, hence exhibiting the full potential of marine ice-sheet instability. All models predict that this scenario leads to multi-metre (1–12 m) sea-level rise over 500 years from present day. West Antarctic ice sheet collapse alone leads to a 1.91–5.08 m sea-level rise due to the marine ice-sheet instability. Mass loss rates are a strong function of the sliding/friction law, with plastic laws cause a further destabilization of the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, East Antarctica. Improvements to marine ice-sheet models have greatly reduced variability between modelled ice-sheet responses to extreme ice-shelf loss, e.g. compared to the SeaRISE assessments.
Reducing global warming will require enacting strong climate policies, which is unlikely to happen without public support. While prior research has identified varied predictors of climate change policy support, it is unclear which predictors are strongest for the American electorate as a whole, and which predictors are strongest for Democrats and Republicans. In a nationally representative sample of registered voters (n = 2063), we use relative weight analysis to identify the strongest predictors of public climate policy support. We find that, among registered voters in the USA, the five most important predictors of climate policy support are: worry about global warming; risk perceptions; certainty that global warming is happening; belief that global warming is human-caused; and general affect toward global warming. Collectively, these five variables account for 51% of the variance in policy support. Results split by political party indicate that pro-climate injunctive norms and global warming risk perceptions are the variables that differ most between Republicans and Democrats, accounting for significantly more variance in policy support among Republicans. These findings can inform policymakers and advocates seeking to build public support for climate action.
Cognitive impairments in childhood are associated with increased risk of schizophrenia in later life, but the extent to which poor academic achievement is associated with the disorder is unclear.
Major databases were searched for articles published in English up to 31 December 2019. We conducted random-effects meta-analyses to: (1) compare general academic and mathematics achievement in youth who later developed schizophrenia and those who did not; (2) to examine the association between education level achieved and adult-onset schizophrenia; and, (3) compare general academic achievement in youth at-risk for schizophrenia and typically developing peers. Meta-regression models examined the effects of type of academic assessment, educational system, age at assessment, measurement of educational level attained, school leaving age, and study quality on academic achievement and education level among individuals with schizophrenia.
Meta-analyses, comprising data of over four million individuals, found that: (1) by age 16 years, those who later developed schizophrenia had poorer general academic (Cohen's d = −0.29, p ⩽ 0.0001) and mathematics achievement (d = −0.23, p = 0.01) than those who did not; (2) individuals with schizophrenia were less likely to enter higher education (odds ratio = 0.49, p ⩽ 0.0001); and, (3) youth reporting psychotic-like experiences and youth with a family history of schizophrenia had lower general academic achievement (d = −0.54, p ⩽ 0.0001; d = −0.39, p ⩽ 0.0001, respectively). Meta-regression analyses determined no effect modifiers.
Despite significant heterogeneity across studies, various routinely collected indices of academic achievement can identify premorbid cognitive dysfunction among individuals who are vulnerable for schizophrenia, potentially aiding the early identification of risk in the population.
How neighbourhood characteristics affect the physical safety of people with mental illness is unclear.
To examine neighbourhood effects on physical victimisation towards people using mental health services.
We developed and evaluated a machine-learning-derived free-text-based natural language processing (NLP) algorithm to ascertain clinical text referring to physical victimisation. This was applied to records on all patients attending National Health Service mental health services in Southeast London. Sociodemographic and clinical data, and diagnostic information on use of acute hospital care (from Hospital Episode Statistics, linked to Clinical Record Interactive Search), were collected in this group, defined as ‘cases’ and concurrently sampled controls. Multilevel logistic regression models estimated associations (odds ratios, ORs) between neighbourhood-level fragmentation, crime, income deprivation, and population density and physical victimisation.
Based on a human-rated gold standard, the NLP algorithm had a positive predictive value of 0.92 and sensitivity of 0.98 for (clinically recorded) physical victimisation. A 1 s.d. increase in neighbourhood crime was accompanied by a 7% increase in odds of physical victimisation in women and an 13% increase in men (adjusted OR (aOR) for women: 1.07, 95% CI 1.01–1.14, aOR for men: 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.21, P for gender interaction, 0.218). Although small, adjusted associations for neighbourhood fragmentation appeared greater in magnitude for women (aOR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.11) than men, where this association was not statistically significant (aOR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.95–1.04, P for gender interaction, 0.096). Neighbourhood income deprivation was associated with victimisation in men and women with similar magnitudes of association.
Neighbourhood factors influencing safety, as well as individual characteristics including gender, may be relevant to understanding pathways to physical victimisation towards people with mental illness.
To understand hospital policies and practices as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) conducted a survey through the SHEA Research Network (SRN). The survey assessed policies and practices around the optimization of personal protection equipment (PPE), testing, healthcare personnel policies, visitors of COVID-19 patients in relation to procedures, and types of patients. Overall, 69 individual healthcare facilities responded in the United States and internationally, for a 73% response rate.
To evaluate the impact of a pharmacist-driven Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) safety bundle supported by leadership and to compare compliance before and after implementation.
Retrospective cohort study with descriptive and before-and-after analyses.
Tertiary-care academic medical center.
All patients with documented SAB, regardless of the source of infection, were included. Patients transitioned to palliative care were excluded from before-and-after analysis.
A pharmacist-driven safety bundle including documented clearance of bacteremia, echocardiography, removal of central venous catheters, and targeted intravenous therapy of at least 2 weeks duration was implemented in November 2015 and was supported by leadership with stepwise escalation for nonresponse. A descriptive analysis of all patients with SAB during the study period included pharmacy interventions, acceptance rates, and escalation rates. A pre–post implementation analysis of 100 sequential patients compared bundle compliance and descriptive parameters.
Overall, 391 interventions were made in the 20-month period following implementation, including 20 “good saves” avoiding potentially major adverse events. No statistically significant differences in complete bundle compliance were detected between the periods (74% vs 84%; P = .08). However, we detected a significant increase in echocardiography after the bundle was implemented (83% vs 94%; P = .02) and fewer patients received suboptimal definitive therapy after the bundle was implemented (10% vs 3%; P = .045).
This pharmacist-driven SAB safety bundle with leadership support showed improvement in process measures, which may have prevented major adverse events, even with available infectious diseases (ID) consultation. It provides a critical safety net for institutions without mandatory ID consultation or with limited antimicrobial stewardship resources.
Prognosis and disposition among older emergency department (ED) patients with suspected infection remains challenging. Frailty is increasingly recognized as a predictor of poor prognosis among critically ill patients; however, its association with clinical outcomes among older ED patients with suspected infection is unknown.
We conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study at two tertiary care EDs. We included older ED patients (≥75 years) with suspected infection. Frailty at baseline (before index illness) was explicitly measured for all patients by the treating physicians using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). We defined frailty as a CFS 5–8. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality. We used multivariable logistic regression to adjust for known confounders. We also compared the prognostic accuracy of frailty with the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) and Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) criteria.
We enrolled 203 patients, of whom 117 (57.6%) were frail. Frail patients were more likely to develop septic shock (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08–2.51) and more likely to die within 30 days of ED presentation (aOR 2.05; 95% CI, 1.02–5.24). Sensitivity for mortality was highest among the CFS (73.1%; 95% CI, 52.2–88.4), compared with SIRS ≥ 2 (65.4%; 95% CI, 44.3–82.8) or qSOFA ≥ 2 (38.4; 95% CI, 20.2–59.4).
Frailty is a highly prevalent prognostic factor that can be used to risk-stratify older ED patients with suspected infection. ED clinicians should consider screening for frailty to optimize disposition in this population.
The typical marine animal has increased in biovolume by more than two orders of magnitude since the beginning of the Cambrian, but the causes of this trend remain unknown. We test the hypothesis that the efficiency of intra-organism oxygen delivery is a major constraint on body-size evolution in marine animals. To test this hypothesis, we compiled a dataset comprising 13,723 marine animal genera spanning the Phanerozoic. We coded each genus according to its respiratory medium, circulatory anatomy, and feeding mode. In extant genera, we find that respiratory medium and circulatory anatomy explain more of the difference in size than feeding modes. Likewise, we find that most of the Phanerozoic increase in mean biovolume is accounted for by size increase in taxa that accomplish oxygen delivery through closed circulatory systems. During the Cambrian, water-breathing animals with closed circulatory systems were smaller, on average, than contemporaries with open circulatory systems. However, genera with closed circulatory systems superseded in size genera with open circulatory systems by the Middle Ordovician, as part of their Phanerozoic-long trend of increasing size. In a regression analysis, respiratory and circulatory anatomy explain far more size variation in the living fauna than do feeding modes, even after accounting for taxonomic affinity at the class level. These findings suggest that ecological and environmental drivers of the Phanerozoic increase in the mean size of marine animals operated within strong, anatomically determined constraints.
Acute cannabis administration can produce transient psychotic-like effects in healthy individuals. However, the mechanisms through which this occurs and which factors predict vulnerability remain unclear. We investigate whether cannabis inhalation leads to psychotic-like symptoms and speech illusion; and whether cannabidiol (CBD) blunts such effects (study 1) and adolescence heightens such effects (study 2).
Two double-blind placebo-controlled studies, assessing speech illusion in a white noise task, and psychotic-like symptoms on the Psychotomimetic States Inventory (PSI). Study 1 compared effects of Cann-CBD (cannabis containing Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and negligible levels of CBD) with Cann+CBD (cannabis containing THC and CBD) in 17 adults. Study 2 compared effects of Cann-CBD in 20 adolescents and 20 adults. All participants were healthy individuals who currently used cannabis.
In study 1, relative to placebo, both Cann-CBD and Cann+CBD increased PSI scores but not speech illusion. No differences between Cann-CBD and Cann+CBD emerged. In study 2, relative to placebo, Cann-CBD increased PSI scores and incidence of speech illusion, with the odds of experiencing speech illusion 3.1 (95% CIs 1.3–7.2) times higher after Cann-CBD. No age group differences were found for speech illusion, but adults showed heightened effects on the PSI.
Inhalation of cannabis reliably increases psychotic-like symptoms in healthy cannabis users and may increase the incidence of speech illusion. CBD did not influence psychotic-like effects of cannabis. Adolescents may be less vulnerable to acute psychotic-like effects of cannabis than adults.
Is support for democracy in the United States robust enough to deter undemocratic behavior by elected politicians? We develop a model of the public as a democratic check and evaluate it using two empirical strategies: an original, nationally representative candidate-choice experiment in which some politicians take positions that violate key democratic principles, and a natural experiment that occurred during Montana’s 2017 special election for the U.S. House. Our research design allows us to infer Americans’ willingness to trade-off democratic principles for other valid but potentially conflicting considerations such as political ideology, partisan loyalty, and policy preferences. We find the U.S. public’s viability as a democratic check to be strikingly limited: only a small fraction of Americans prioritize democratic principles in their electoral choices, and their tendency to do so is decreasing in several measures of polarization, including the strength of partisanship, policy extremism, and candidate platform divergence. Our findings echo classic arguments about the importance of political moderation and cross-cutting cleavages for democratic stability and highlight the dangers that polarization represents for democracy.
This work presents an experimental validation study of Isaacs’ incompressible unsteady-airfoil theory at Reynolds numbers above
, and explores the validity of the classical Kutta condition applied to surging flows. Harmonic variation of the free-stream velocity was produced by rotating choke vanes in an unsteady transonic wind tunnel, with time-resolved lift coefficients determined from surface pressure measurements on a NACA 0018 airfoil. Unsteady lift results demonstrate the same trends with reduced frequency and velocity amplitude ratio that are predicted by Isaacs’ theory. However, significant deviations of the lift magnitude and phase angle are observed. In order to understand the cause of these deviations, the background-oriented schlieren technique was used to visualize density gradients in the immediate vicinity of the airfoil trailing edge. The time-resolved background-oriented schlieren displacement field indicates oscillatory behaviour of the trailing-edge stagnation streakline, which violates the classical Kutta condition for this unsteady surging flow.
Biblical and non-Biblical prophecy from the ancient Near East, in all its manifestations, is an equivalent form of divination translated through human words and gestures. Prophets do not need to be members of a guild of religious practitioners or operate within a cultic context based on learned skills. They are measured by the perceived veracity of their message and their strict adherence to the god they serve. The recording of these messages in letters or collected sayings becomes the basis for what we term “prophetic literature,” a diverse body of literary forms that at its heart demonstrates to devotees the active interest of the god(s) in human activities and endeavors. To comprehend the basic characteristics of prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible, this study examines the social and cultural setting contributing to its development as well as the prophetic traditions that are found in documents from ancient Mesopotamia.
In Late Imperial China sexual and domestic violence were understood in terms of the Confucian kinship system. Legally defined social status keyed to class structure (‘free commoner’ vs. ‘mean/debased’) had played a complementary role for much of the imperial era. But in the Qing dynasty it yielded to the primacy of gender roles defined in terms of normative kinship hierarchy – a shift from status performance to gender performance. The chief priority of Qing law was to ensure that males played their proper role as husbands and fathers, and that females played their proper role as wives and mothers. A related priority was to defend chaste wives and daughters, as well as vulnerable young sons, against the predatory threat of the single, rogue male (‘bare stick’) who was left outside the family order altogether. This shift in the law reflected not only underlying change in imperial ideology but also the long-term transformation of social structure and the mounting social crisis in China.
Formal thought disorder (FTD) and social functioning impairments are core symptoms of schizophrenia. Although both have been observed for over a century, the strength of the relationship between FTD and social functioning remains unclear. Furthermore, a variety of methodological approaches have been used to assess these constructs—which may contribute to inconsistency in reported associations. This meta-analysis aimed to: (a) systematically test the relationship between FTD and social functioning and (b) determine if the methodology used to assess FTD and/or social functioning moderates this relationship.
Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a targeted literature search was conducted on studies examining the relationship between FTD and social functioning. Correlations were extracted and used to calculate weighted mean effect sizes using a random effects model.
A total of 1,478 participants across 13 unique studies were included in this meta-analysis. A small-medium inverse association (r = −0.23, p < 0.001) was observed between FTD and social functioning. Although heterogeneity analyses produced a significant Q-statistic (Q = 52.77, p = <0.001), the relationship between FTD and social functioning was not moderated by methodology, study quality, demographic variables, or clinical factors.
Findings illustrate a negative association between FTD and social functioning. Despite differences in the methodological approach used and type of information assessed, measurement type and clinical factors did not moderate the relationship between FTD and social functioning. Future studies should explore whether other variables, such as cognitive processes (e.g., social cognition), may account for variability in associations between these constructs.
Adolescent-onset schizophrenia (AOS) is associated with cognitive impairment and poor clinical outcome. Cognitive dysfunction is hypothesised, in part, to reflect functional dysconnectivity between the frontal cortex and the striatum, although structural abnormalities consistent with this hypothesis have not yet been demonstrated in adolescence.
To characterise frontostriatal white matter (WM) tracts in relation to cognition in AOS.
A MRI volumetric and diffusion tensor imaging study.
Thirty-seven AOS subjects and 24 age and sex-matched healthy subjects.
Using probabilistic tractography, cortical regions with the highest connection probability for each striatal voxel were determined, and correlated with IQ and specific cognitive functions after co-varying for age and sex. Fractional anisotropy (FA) from individual tracts was a secondary measure.
Bayesian Structural Equation modeling of FA from 12 frontostriatal tracts showed processing speed to be an intermediary variable for cognition. AOS patients demonstrated generalised cognitive impairment with specific deficits in verbal learning and memory and in processing speed after correction for IQ. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity with the striatum correlated positively with these measures and with IQ. DTI voxel-wise comparisons showed lower connectivity between striatum and the motor and lateral orbitofrontal cortices bilaterally, the left amygdalohippocampal complex, right anterior cingulate cortex, left medial orbitofrontal cortex and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
Frontostriatal dysconnectivity in large WM tracts that can explain core cognitive deficits are evident during adolescence. Processing speed, which is affected by alterations in WM connectivity, appears an intermediary variable in the cognitive deficits seen in schizophrenia.
Acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) are commonly diagnosed and major drivers of antibiotic prescribing. Clinician-focused interventions can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for ARIs. We elicited clinician feedback to design sustainable interventions to improve ARI management by understanding the mental framework of clinicians surrounding antibiotic prescribing within Veterans’ Health Administration clinics.
We conducted one-on-one interviews with clinicians (n = 20) from clinics targeted for intervention at 5 facilities. The theory of planned behavior guided interview questions. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for qualitative analysis. An iterative coding approach identified 6 themes.
Emergent themes: (1) barriers to appropriate prescribing are multifactorial and include challenges of behavior change; (2) antibiotic prescribing decisions are perceived as autonomous yet, diagnostic uncertainty and perceptions of patient demand can make prescribing decisions difficult; (3) clinicians perceive variation in peer prescribing practices and influences; (4) clinician-focused interventions are valuable if delivered with sensitivity; (5) communication strategies for educating patients are preferred to a shared decisions process; and (6) team standardization of practice and communication are key to facilitate appropriate prescribing. Clinicians perceived audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, academic detailing, and enhanced patient communication strategies as viable approaches to improving appropriate prescribing.
Implementation strategies that enable clinicians to overcome diagnostic uncertainty, perceived patient demand, and improve patient education are desired. Implementation strategies were welcomed, and some were more readily accepted (eg, audit feedback) than others (eg, shared decision making). Implementation strategies should address clinicians’ perceptions of antibiotic prescribing practices and should enhance their patient communication skills.