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The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic resulted in the cessation of elective surgery. The continued provision of complex head and neck cancer surgery was extremely variable, with some UK centres not performing any cancer surgery. During the pandemic, Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust received high numbers of coronavirus disease 2019 admissions. This paper presents our experience of elective complex major head and neck cancer surgery throughout the pandemic.
A head and neck cancer surgery hub was set up that provided a co-ordinated managed care pathway for cancer patients during the pandemic; the Guy's Cancer Centre provided a separate, self-enclosed coronavirus-free environment within the hospital campus.
Sixty-nine head and neck cancer patients were operated on in two months, and 13 patients had a microvascular free tissue transfer. Nosocomial infection with coronavirus disease 2019 was detected in two cases (3 per cent), neither required critical care unit admission. Both patients made a complete recovery and were discharged home. There were no deaths.
Performing major head and neck surgery, including free flap surgery, is possible during the pandemic; however, significant changes to conventional practice are required to achieve desirable patient outcomes.
Despite broad evidence suggesting that adversity-exposed youth experience an impaired ability to recognize emotion in others, the underlying biological mechanisms remains elusive. This study uses a multimethod approach to target the neurological substrates of this phenomenon in a well-phenotyped sample of youth meeting diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Twenty-one PTSD-afflicted youth and 23 typically developing (TD) controls completed clinical interview schedules, an emotion recognition task with eye-tracking, and an implicit emotion processing task during functional magnetic resonance imaging )fMRI). PTSD was associated with decreased accuracy in identification of angry, disgust, and neutral faces as compared to TD youth. Of note, these impairments occurred despite the normal deployment of visual attention in youth with PTSD relative to TD youth. Correlation with a related fMRI task revealed a group by accuracy interaction for amygdala–hippocampus functional connectivity (FC) for angry expressions, where TD youth showed a positive relationship between anger accuracy and amygdala–hippocampus FC; this relationship was reversed in youth with PTSD. These findings are a novel characterization of impaired threat recognition within a well-phenotyped population of severe pediatric PTSD. Further, the differential amygdala–hippocampus FC identified in youth with PTSD may imply aberrant efficiency of emotional contextualization circuits.
The literature on nineteenth-century Newcastle city region is a narrative of industrial progress premised upon technological prowess. But there is another story to be told about the transformation of a relatively small northern town into a conurbation with the attributes of a modern city. This second process of ‘rounding out’ the city with social, cultural and political institutions to accompany the economic prowess is relatively under-reported. In this study, we follow 1,621 individuals and compare their record of being mentioned in the literature to their participation in 343 local institutions. The focus is directed towards those who are much more visible in the literature compared to institutional membership – ‘narrative heroes’ – and those with the reverse pattern, much more to be found in institutions than in the literature – civic builders. The two sets of individuals are discussed and reasons for their contrasting positions are suggested.
In-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) provides an avenue to explore time-dependent nanoscale material changes induced by a wide range of environmental conditions that govern material performance and degradation. The In-situ Ion Irradiation TEM (I3TEM) at Sandia National Laboratories is a JEOL 2100 microscope that has been highly modified with an array of hardware and software that makes it particularly well suited to explore fundamental mechanisms that arise from coupled extreme conditions. Examples pertaining to multibeam ion irradiation, rapid thermal cycling, and nanomechanical testing on the I3TEM are highlighted, along with prospective advancements in the field of in-situ microscopy.
Cholinergic deficits are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Lewy body dementia (LBD). The nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) provides the major source of cortical cholinergic input; studying its functional connectivity might, therefore, provide a tool for probing the cholinergic system and its degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases. Forty-six LBD patients, 29 AD patients, and 31 healthy age-matched controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A seed-based analysis was applied with seeds in the left and right NBM to assess functional connectivity between the NBM and the rest of the brain. We found a shift from anticorrelation in controls to positive correlations in LBD between the right/left NBM and clusters in right/left occipital cortex. Our results indicate that there is an imbalance in functional connectivity between the NBM and primary visual areas in LBD, which provides new insights into alterations within a part of the corticopetal cholinergic system that go beyond structural changes.
Dopaminergic imaging is an established biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies, but its diagnostic accuracy at the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage remains uncertain.
To provide robust prospective evidence of the diagnostic accuracy of dopaminergic imaging at the MCI stage to either support or refute its inclusion as a biomarker for the diagnosis of MCI with Lewy bodies.
We conducted a prospective diagnostic accuracy study of baseline dopaminergic imaging with [123I]N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane single-photon emission computerised tomography (123I-FP-CIT SPECT) in 144 patients with MCI. Images were rated as normal or abnormal by a panel of experts with access to striatal binding ratio results. Follow-up consensus diagnosis based on the presence of core features of Lewy body disease was used as the reference standard.
At latest assessment (mean 2 years) 61 patients had probable MCI with Lewy bodies, 26 possible MCI with Lewy bodies and 57 MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. The sensitivity of baseline FP-CIT visual rating for probable MCI with Lewy bodies was 66% (95% CI 52–77%), specificity 88% (76–95%) and accuracy 76% (68–84%), with positive likelihood ratio 5.3.
It is over five times as likely for an abnormal scan to be found in probable MCI with Lewy bodies than MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. Dopaminergic imaging appears to be useful at the MCI stage in cases where Lewy body disease is suspected clinically.
Type 2 diabetes results mainly from weight gain in adult life and affects one in twelve people worldwide. In the Diabetes REmission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), the primary care-led Counterweight-Plus weight management program achieved remission of type 2 diabetes (for up to six years) for forty-six percent of patients after one year and thirty-six percent after two years. The objective of this study was to estimate the implementation costs of the program, as well as its two-year within-trial cost effectiveness and lifetime cost effectiveness.
Within-trial cost effectiveness included the Counterweight-Plus costs (including training, practitioner appointments, and low-energy diet), medications, and all routine healthcare contacts, combined with achieved remission rates. Lifetime cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) was estimated according to projected durations of remissions, assuming continued relapse rates as seen in year two of DiRECT and the consequent life expectancy, quality of life and healthcare costs.
The two-year intervention cost was EUR 1,580 per participant, with over eighty percent of the costs incurred in year one. Compared with the control group, medication savings were EUR 259 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 166–352) for anti-diabetes drugs and EUR 29 (95% CI: 12–47) for anti-hypertensive medications. The intervention was modeled with a lifetime horizon to achieve a mean 0.06 (95% CI: 0.04–0.09) gain in QALYs for the DiRECT population and a mean total lifetime cost saving per participant of EUR 1,497 (95% CI: 755–2,331), with the intervention becoming cost-saving within six years.
The intensive weight loss and maintenance program reduced the cost of anti-diabetes drugs through improved metabolic control, achieved diabetes remission in over one-third of participants, and reduced total healthcare contacts and costs over two years. A substantial lifetime healthcare cost saving is anticipated from periods of diabetes remission and delaying complications. Healthcare resources could be shifted cost effectively to establish diabetes remission services, using the existing DiRECT intervention, even if remissions are only maintained for limited durations. However, more research investment is needed to further improve weight-loss maintenance and extend remissions.
To compare sensitivity of specimens for COVID-19 diagnosis, we tested 151 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate swab pairs from 117 COVID-19 inpatients using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Sensitivity was 94% for nasopharyngeal and 75% for midturbinate swabs (P = .0001). In 88 nasopharyngeal/midturbinate pairs with matched saliva, sensitivity was 86% for nasopharyngeal swabs and 88% for combined midturbinate swabs/saliva.
Childhood exposure to interpersonal violence (IPV) may be linked to distinct manifestations of mental illness, yet the nature of this change remains poorly understood. Network analysis can provide unique insights by contrasting the interrelatedness of symptoms underlying psychopathology across exposed and non-exposed youth, with potential clinical implications for a treatment-resistant population. We anticipated marked differences in symptom associations among IPV-exposed youth, particularly in terms of ‘hub’ symptoms holding outsized influence over the network, as well as formation and influence of communities of highly interconnected symptoms.
Participants from a population-representative sample of youth (n = 4433; ages 11–18 years) completed a comprehensive structured clinical interview assessing mental health symptoms, diagnostic status, and history of violence exposure. Network analytic methods were used to model the pattern of associations between symptoms, quantify differences across diagnosed youth with (IPV+) and without (IPV–) IPV exposure, and identify transdiagnostic ‘bridge’ symptoms linking multiple disorders.
Symptoms organized into six ‘disorder’ communities (e.g. Intrusive Thoughts/Sensations, Depression, Anxiety), that exhibited considerably greater interconnectivity in IPV+ youth. Five symptoms emerged in IPV+ youth as highly trafficked ‘bridges’ between symptom communities (11 in IPV– youth).
IPV exposure may alter mutually reinforcing symptom co-occurrence in youth, thus contributing to greater psychiatric comorbidity and treatment resistance. The presence of a condensed and unique set of bridge symptoms suggests trauma-enriched nodes which could be therapeutically targeted to improve outcomes in violence-exposed youth.
Over the course of the nineteenth century children increasingly became social, economic and scientific concerns. Their physical and mental well-being was deemed intrinsic to the future development of Britain and its Empire, and thus maintaining healthy youngsters was, by the turn of the twentieth century, considered a national priority. This article explores the interconnectivity between poverty and the child residents of pauper lunatic asylums in England. It draws on a corpus of extant patient case files from four pauper lunatic asylums between 1851 and 1907 and engages with detailed information about the children and their mental conditions. Additionally, there will be a focus on understanding family backgrounds, parental occupations, the correlation between diagnoses and class, and methods of ‘treatment’ designed to equip children for independent working lifestyles. The overarching objective is to consider the socio-economic ramifications of child mental illness for parents and families and better understand how Victorian institutions accommodated this specific class of patient.
Adults with significant childhood trauma and/or serious mental illness may exhibit persistent structural brain changes within limbic structures, including the amygdala. Little is known about the structure of the amygdala prior to the onset of SMI, despite the relatively high prevalence of trauma in at-risk youth.
Data were gathered from the Canadian Psychiatric Risk and Outcome study. A total of 182 youth with a mean age of 18.3 years completed T1-weighted MRI scans along with clinical assessments that included questionnaires on symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants also completed the Childhood Trauma and Abuse Scale. We used a novel subfield-specific amygdala segmentation workflow as a part of FreeSurfer 6.0 to examine amygdala structure.
Participants with higher trauma scores were more likely to have smaller amygdala volumes, particularly within the basal regions. Among various types of childhood trauma, sexual and physical abuse had the largest effects on amygdala subregions. Abuse-related differences in the right basal region mediated the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, even though no participants met criteria for clinical diagnosis at the time of assessment.
The experience of physical or sexual abuse may leave detectable structural alterations in key regions of the amygdala, potentially mediating the risk of psychopathology in trauma-exposed youth.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of acute respiratory infection. There is an excess of respiratory infections and deaths in schizophrenia, a condition where vitamin D deficiency is especially prevalent. This potentially offers a modifiable risk factor to reduce the risk for and the severity of respiratory infection in people with schizophrenia, although there is as yet no evidence regarding the risk of COVID-19. In this narrative review, we describe the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in schizophrenia, report the research examining the relationship between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 and discuss the associations between vitamin D deficiency and respiratory infection, including its immunomodulatory mechanism of action.
Smoking rates in people with depression and anxiety are twice as high as in the general population, even though people with depression and anxiety are motivated to stop smoking. Most healthcare professionals are aware that stopping smoking is one of the greatest changes that people can make to improve their health. However, smoking cessation can be a difficult topic to raise. Evidence suggests that smoking may cause some mental health problems, and that the tobacco withdrawal cycle partly contributes to worse mental health. By stopping smoking, a person's mental health may improve, and the size of this improvement might be equal to taking antidepressants. In this article we outline ways in which healthcare professionals can compassionately and respectfully raise the topic of smoking to encourage smoking cessation. We draw on evidence-based methods such as cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and outline approaches that healthcare professionals can use to integrate these methods into routine care to help their patients stop smoking.
Liquid phase (or liquid cell) transmission electron microscopy (LP-TEM) has been established as a powerful tool for observing dynamic processes in liquids at nanometer to atomic length scales. However, the simple act of observation using electrons irreversibly alters the nature of the sample. A clear understanding of electron-beam-driven processes during LP-TEM is required to interpret in situ observations and utilize the electron beam as a stimulus to drive nanoscale dynamic processes. In this article, we discuss recent advances toward understanding, quantifying, mitigating, and harnessing electron-beam-driven chemical processes occurring during LP-TEM. We highlight progress in several research areas, including modeling electron-beam-induced radiolysis near interfaces, electron-beam-induced nanocrystal formation, and radiation damage of soft materials and biomolecules.
Recently published diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) include five neuropsychiatric supportive features (non-visual hallucinations, systematised delusions, apathy, anxiety and depression). We have previously demonstrated that the presence of two or more of these symptoms differentiates MCI-LB from MCI due to Alzheimer's disease (MCI-AD) with a likelihood ratio >4. The aim of this study was to replicate the findings in an independent cohort.
Participants ⩾60 years old with MCI were recruited. Each participant had a detailed clinical, cognitive and imaging assessment including FP-CIT SPECT and cardiac MIBG. The presence of neuropsychiatric supportive symptoms was determined using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Participants were classified as MCI-AD, possible MCI-LB and probable MCI-LB based on current diagnostic criteria. Participants with possible MCI-LB were excluded from further analysis.
Probable MCI-LB (n = 28) had higher NPI total and distress scores than MCI-AD (n = 30). In total, 59% of MCI-LB had two or more neuropsychiatric supportive symptoms compared with 9% of MCI-AD (likelihood ratio 6.5, p < 0.001). MCI-LB participants also had a significantly greater delayed recall and a lower Trails A:Trails B ratio than MCI-AD.
MCI-LB is associated with significantly greater neuropsychiatric symptoms than MCI-AD. The presence of two or more neuropsychiatric supportive symptoms as defined by MCI-LB diagnostic criteria is highly specific and moderately sensitive for a diagnosis of MCI-LB. The cognitive profile of MCI-LB differs from MCI-AD, with greater executive and lesser memory impairment, but these differences are not sufficient to differentiate MCI-LB from MCI-AD.
Compulsory admission procedures of patients with mental disorders vary between countries in Europe. The Ethics Committee of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) launched a survey on involuntary admission procedures of patients with mental disorders in 40 countries to gather information from all National Psychiatric Associations that are members of the EPA to develop recommendations for improving involuntary admission processes and promote voluntary care.
The survey focused on legislation of involuntary admissions and key actors involved in the admission procedure as well as most common reasons for involuntary admissions.
We analyzed the survey categorical data in themes, which highlight that both medical and legal actors are involved in involuntary admission procedures.
We conclude that legal reasons for compulsory admission should be reworded in order to remove stigmatization of the patient, that raising awareness about involuntary admission procedures and patient rights with both patients and family advocacy groups is paramount, that communication about procedures should be widely available in lay-language for the general population, and that training sessions and guidance should be available for legal and medical practitioners. Finally, people working in the field need to be constantly aware about the ethical challenges surrounding compulsory admissions.
The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has necessitated almost exclusive National Health Service focus on emergency work and cancer care. There are concerns that increased hospital and community pressures will lead to decreased referrals and worse outcomes for head and neck cancer patients.
This is a retrospective review of all cases referred for suspected head and neck cancer to our institution in January and April 2020.
There was a 55 per cent decrease in referrals but diagnostic yield rose from 2.9 per cent in January to 8.06 per cent in April. In both months, 100 per cent of patients met the 31- and 62-day targets, with similar 14-day wait time success (97.83 per cent for January vs 98.33 per cent for April). Referrals for laryngopharyngeal reflux rose from 27.5 per cent to 41.9 per cent. Referrals for those aged over 60 years fell from 42 per cent to 26 per cent.
It is suggested that further research be conducted into the reasons why fewer patients were referred, particularly elderly patients, and why laryngopharyngeal reflux is so prevalent in fast-track referrals.
While neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are highly heritable, several environmental risk factors have also been suggested. However, the role of familial confounding is unclear. To shed more light on this, we reviewed the evidence from twin and sibling studies. A systematic review was performed on case control and cohort studies including a twin or sibling within-pair comparison of neurodevelopmental outcomes, with environmental exposures until the sixth birthday. From 7,315 screened abstracts, 140 eligible articles were identified. After adjustment for familial confounding advanced paternal age, low birth weight, birth defects, and perinatal hypoxia and respiratory stress were associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and low birth weight, gestational age and family income were associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), categorically and dimensionally. Several previously suspected factors, including pregnancy-related factors, were deemed due to familial confounding. Most studies were conducted in North America and Scandinavia, pointing to a global research bias. Moreover, most studies focused on ASD and ADHD. This genetically informed review showed evidence for a range of environmental factors of potential casual significance in NDDs, but also points to a critical need of more genetically informed studies of good quality in the quest of the environmental causes of NDDs.