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There is demand for new, effective and scalable treatments for depression, and development of new forms of cognitive bias modification (CBM) of negative emotional processing biases has been suggested as possible interventions to meet this need.
We report two double blind RCTs, in which volunteers with high levels of depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory ii (BDI-ii) > 14) completed a brief course of emotion recognition training (a novel form of CBM using faces) or sham training. In Study 1 (N = 36), participants completed a post-training emotion recognition task whilst undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate neural correlates of CBM. In Study 2 (N = 190), measures of mood were assessed post-training, and at 2-week and 6-week follow-up.
In both studies, CBM resulted in an initial change in emotion recognition bias, which (in Study 2) persisted for 6 weeks after the end of training. In Study 1, CBM resulted in increases neural activation to happy faces, with this effect driven by an increase in neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala. In Study 2, CBM did not lead to a reduction in depressive symptoms on the BDI-ii, or on related measures of mood, motivation and persistence, or depressive interpretation bias at either 2 or 6-week follow-ups.
CBM of emotion recognition has effects on neural activity that are similar in some respects to those induced by Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) administration (Study 1), but we find no evidence that this had any later effect on self-reported mood in an analogue sample of non-clinical volunteers with low mood (Study 2).
To further understand the contribution of feedstuff ingredients to gut health in swine, gut histology and intestinal bacterial profiles associated with the use of two high-quality protein sources, microbially enhanced soybean meal (MSBM) and Menhaden fishmeal (FM) were assessed. Weaned pigs were fed one of three experimental diets: (1) basic diet containing corn and soybean meal (Negative Control (NEG)), (2) basic diet + fishmeal (FM; Positive Control (POS)) and (3) basic diet + MSBM (MSBM). Phase I POS and MSBM diets (d 0 to d 7 post-wean) included FM or MSBM at 7.5%, while Phase II POS and MSBM diets (d 8 to d 21) included FM or MSBM at 5.0%. Gastrointestinal tissue and ileal digesta were collected from euthanised pigs at d 21 (eight pigs/diet) to assess gut histology and intestinal bacterial profiles, respectively. Data were analysed using Proc Mixed in SAS, with pig as the experimental unit and pig (treatment) as the random effect. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses of stomach and small intestinal tissue using haematoxylin–eosin, Periodic Acid Schiff/Alcian blue and inflammatory cell staining did not reveal detectable differences in host response to dietary treatment. Ileal bacterial composition profiles were obtained from next-generation sequencing of PCR generated amplicons targeting the V1 to V3 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Lactobacillus-affiliated sequences were found to be the most highly represented across treatments, with an average relative abundance of 64.0%, 59.9% and 41.80% in samples from pigs fed the NEG, POS and MSBM diets, respectively. Accordingly, the three most abundant Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were affiliated to Lactobacillus, showing a distinct abundance pattern relative to dietary treatment. One OTU (SD_Ssd_00001), most closely related to Lactobacillus amylovorus, was found to be more abundant in NEG and POS samples compared to MSBM (23.5% and 35.0% v. 9.2%). Another OTU (SD_Ssd_00002), closely related to Lactobacillus johnsonii, was more highly represented in POS and MSBM samples compared to NEG (14.0% and 15.8% v. 0.1%). Finally, OTU Sd_Ssd-00011, highest sequence identity to Lactobacillus delbrueckii, was found in highest abundance in ileal samples from MSBM-fed pigs (1.9% and 3.3% v. 11.3, in POS, NEG and MSBM, respectively). There was no effect of protein source on bacterial taxa to the genus level or diversity based on principal component analysis. Dietary protein source may provide opportunity to enhance presence of specific members of Lactobacillus genus that are associated with immune-modulating properties without altering overall intestinal bacterial diversity.
Following active labour recruitment in the Caribbean, postwar Britain was not only unprepared, offering hastily equipped air raid shelters to her colonial citizens, but also quite unwilling to welcome its new arrivants. In the slew of novels from the 1950s and 1960s, dislocated men (predominantly) have relocated to the ‘mother country’ but find themselves in effect doubly displaced, halfway between their origins and their destination. Sam Selvon’s ‘boys’ are groping through thick London fog in search of the imperial romance that the metropolis had seemed to promise. The protagonists of his Moses trilogy struggle to survive by inhabiting enclosed spaces, leading a subterranean room-based existence. They represent this first migrant generation’s embattled quest, both literal and metaphorical, to be accommodated in Britain. This chapter focuses on how the works of various writers of different backgrounds and political persuasions – including Braithwaite, Desani, Lamming, Markandaya, Naipaul, Salkey, and Selvon – engage with Britain as an inhospitable nation, anticipating through their fictions later debates on the location of culture and the power of writing the centre from the margins.
− Agency is one of five core analytical problems in the Earth System Governance (ESG) Project’s research framework, which offers a unique approach to the study of environmental governance. − Agency in Earth System Governance draws lessons from ESG–Agency research through a systematic review of 322 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2008 and 2016 and contained in the ESG–Agency Harvesting Database.− ESG–Agency research draws on diverse disciplinary perspectives with distinct clusters of scholars rooted in the fields of global environmental politics, policy studies, and socio-ecological systems. − Collectively, the chapters in Agency in Earth System Governance provide an accessible synthesis of some of the field’s major questions and debates and a state-of-the-art understanding of how diverse actors engage with and exercise authority in environmental governance.
Research on psychotic illness is loosening emphasis on diagnostic stringency in favour of including a more dimensionally based conceptualization of psychopathology and pathobiology. However, to clarify these notions requires investigation of the full scope of psychotic diagnoses.
The Cavan–Monaghan First Episode Psychosis Study ascertained cases of first episode psychosis across all 12 DSM-IV psychotic diagnoses via all routes to care: public, private or forensic; home-based, outpatient or inpatient. There was no arbitrary upper age cut-off and minimal impact of factors associated with variations in social milieu, ethnicity or urbanicity. Cases were evaluated epidemiologically and assessed for psychopathology, neuropsychology, neurology, antecedent factors, insight and quality of life.
Among 432 cases, the annual incidence of any DSM-IV psychotic diagnosis was 34.1/100 000 of population and encompassed functional psychotic diagnoses, substance-induced psychopathology and psychopathology due to general medical conditions, through to psychotic illness that defied contemporary diagnostic algorithms. These 12 DSM-IV diagnostic categories, including psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, showed clinical profiles that were consistently more similar than distinct.
There are considerable similarities and overlaps across a broad range of diagnostic categories in the absence of robust discontinuities between them. Thus, psychotic illness may be of such continuity that it cannot be fully captured by operational diagnostic algorithms that, at least in part, assume discontinuities. This may reflect the impact of diverse factors each of which acts on one or more overlapping components of a common, dysfunctional neuronal network implicated in the pathobiology of psychotic illness.
Short-term survival after paediatric cardiac surgery has improved significantly over the past 20 years and increasing attention is being given to measuring and reducing incidence of morbidities following surgery. How to best use routinely collected data to share morbidity information constitutes a challenge for clinical teams interested in analysing their outcomes for quality improvement. We aimed to develop a tool facilitating this process in the context of monitoring morbidities following paediatric cardiac surgery, as part of a prospective multi-centre research study in the United Kingdom.
We developed a prototype software tool to analyse and present data about morbidities associated with cardiac surgery in children. We used an iterative process, involving engagement with potential users, tool design and implementation, and feedback collection. Graphical data displays were based on the use of icons and graphs designed in collaboration with clinicians.
Our tool enables automatic creation of graphical summaries, displayed as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, from a spreadsheet containing patient-level data about specified cardiac surgery morbidities. Data summaries include numbers/percentages of cases with morbidities reported, co-occurrences of different morbidities, and time series of each complication over a time window.
Our work was characterised by a very high level of interaction with potential users of the tool, enabling us to promptly account for feedback and suggestions from clinicians and data managers. The United Kingdom centres involved in the project received the tool positively, and several expressed their interest in using it as part of their routine practice.
The Cassini Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) spans a wavelength range of 0.34 to 5.2 µm. Executing numerous close targeted flybys of the major moons of Saturn, as well as serendipitous flybys of the smaller moons, VIMS gathered millions of spectra of these bodies during its 13-year mission, some at spatial resolutions of a few hundred meters. The surfaces of the inner moons are dominated by water ice, while Iapetus, Hyperion, and Titan have substantial amounts of dark materials, including hydrocarbons, on their surfaces. Phoebe is grayer in color in the visible than Saturn’s other low-albedo moons. The surfaces of the inner small moons are also dominated by water ice, and they share compositional similarities to the main rings. The optical properties of the main moons are affected by particles from Saturn’s rings: the inner moons are coated by the E-ring, which originates from cryoactivity on Enceladus, while Iapetus and Hyperion are coated by particles from the Phoebe ring. Cassini VIMS detected previously unknown volatiles and organics on these moons, including CO2, H2, organic molecules as complex as aromatic hydrocarbons, nano-iron, and nano-iron oxides.
Nudging in microbiology is an antimicrobial stewardship strategy to influence decision making through the strategic reporting of microbiology results while preserving prescriber autonomy. The purpose of this scoping review was to identify the evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of nudging strategies in susceptibility result reporting to improve antimicrobial use.
A search for studies in Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and All EBM Reviews was conducted. All simulated and vignette studies were excluded. Two independent reviewers were used throughout screening and data extraction.
Of a total of 1,346 citations screened, 15 relevant studies were identified. Study types included pre- and postintervention (n = 10), retrospective cohort (n = 4), and a randomized controlled trial (n = 1). Most studies were performed in acute-care settings (n = 13), and the remainder were in primary care (n = 2). Most studies used a strategy to alter the default antibiotic choices on the antibiotic report. All studies reported at least 1 outcome of antimicrobial use: utilization (n = 9), appropriateness (n = 7), de-escalation (n = 2), and cost (n = 1). Moreover, 12 studies reported an overall benefit in antimicrobial use outcomes associated with nudging, and 4 studies evaluated the association of nudging strategy with subsequent antimicrobial resistance, with 2 studies noting overall improvement.
The number of heterogeneous studies evaluating the impact of applying nudging strategies to susceptibility result reports is small; however, most strategies do show promise in altering prescriber’s antibiotic selection. Selective and cascade reporting of targeted agents in a hospital setting represent the majority of current research. Gaps and opportunities for future research identified from our scoping review include performing prospective randomized controlled trials and evaluating other approaches aside from selective reporting.
Antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) interventions, such as prospective audit and feedback (PAF), have been shown to reduce antimicrobial use and improve patient outcomes. However, the optimal approach to PAF is unknown.
We examined the impact of a high–intensity interdisciplinary rounds–based PAF compared to low–intensity PAF on antimicrobial use on internal medicine wards in a 400–bed community hospital.
Prior to the intervention, ASP pharmacists performed low–intensity PAF with a focus on targeted antibiotics. Recommendations were made directly to the internist for each patient. High–intensity, rounds–based PAF was then introduced sequentially to 5 internal medicine wards. This PAF format included twice–weekly interdisciplinary rounds, with a review of all internal medicine patients receiving any antimicrobial agent. Antibiotic use and clinical outcomes were measured before and after the transition to high–intensity PAF. An interrupted time–series analysis was performed adjusting for seasonal and secular trends.
With the transition from low–intensity to high–intensity PAF, a reduction in overall usage was seen from 483 defined daily doses (DDD)/1,000 patient days (PD) during the low–intensity phase to 442 DDD/1,000 PD in the high–intensity phase (difference, −42; 95% confidence interval [CI], −74 to −9). The reduction in usage was more pronounced in the adjusted analysis, in the latter half of the high intensity period, and for targeted agents. There were no differences seen in clinical outcomes in the adjusted analysis.
High–intensity PAF was associated with a reduction in antibiotic use compared to a low–intensity approach without any adverse impact on patient outcomes. A decision to implement high–intensity PAF approach should be weighed against the increased workload required.
5-HT4 receptor stimulation has pro-cognitive and antidepressant-like effects in animal experimental studies; however, this pharmacological approach has not yet been tested in humans. Here we used the 5-HT4 receptor partial agonist prucalopride to assess the translatability of these effects and characterise, for the first time, the consequences of 5-HT4 receptor activation on human cognition and emotion.
Forty one healthy volunteers were randomised, double-blind, to a single dose of prucalopride (1 mg) or placebo in a parallel group design. They completed a battery of cognitive tests measuring learning and memory, emotional processing and reward sensitivity.
Prucalopride increased recall of words in a verbal learning task, increased the accuracy of recall and recognition of words in an incidental emotional memory task and increased the probability of choosing a symbol associated with a high likelihood of reward or absence of loss in a probabilistic instrumental learning task. Thus acute prucalopride produced pro-cognitive effects in healthy volunteers across three separate tasks.
These findings are a translation of the memory enhancing effects of 5-HT4 receptor agonism seen in animal studies, and lend weight to the idea that the 5-HT4 receptor could be an innovative target for the treatment of cognitive deficits associated with depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Contrary to the effects reported in animal models, prucalopride did not reveal an antidepressant profile in human measures of emotional processing.