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Subthreshold/attenuated syndromes are established precursors of full-threshold mood and psychotic disorders. Less is known about the individual symptoms that may precede the development of subthreshold syndromes and associated social/functional outcomes among emerging adults.
We modeled two dynamic Bayesian networks (DBN) to investigate associations among self-rated phenomenology and personal/lifestyle factors (role impairment, low social support, and alcohol and substance use) across the 19Up and 25Up waves of the Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study. We examined whether symptoms and personal/lifestyle factors at 19Up were associated with (a) themselves or different items at 25Up, and (b) onset of a depression-like, hypo-manic-like, or psychotic-like subthreshold syndrome (STS) at 25Up.
The first DBN identified 11 items that when endorsed at 19Up were more likely to be reendorsed at 25Up (e.g., hypersomnia, impaired concentration, impaired sleep quality) and seven items that when endorsed at 19Up were associated with different items being endorsed at 25Up (e.g., earlier fatigue and later role impairment; earlier anergia and later somatic pain). In the second DBN, no arcs met our a priori threshold for inclusion. In an exploratory model with no threshold, >20 items at 19Up were associated with progression to an STS at 25Up (with lower statistical confidence); the top five arcs were: feeling threatened by others and a later psychotic-like STS; increased activity and a later hypo-manic-like STS; and anergia, impaired sleep quality, and/or hypersomnia and a later depression-like STS.
These probabilistic models identify symptoms and personal/lifestyle factors that might prove useful targets for indicated preventative strategies.
In November 2019, an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 was detected in South Yorkshire, England. Initial investigations established consumption of milk from a local dairy as a common exposure. A sample of pasteurised milk tested the next day failed the phosphatase test, indicating contamination of the pasteurised milk by unpasteurised (raw) milk. The dairy owner agreed to immediately cease production and initiate a recall. Inspection of the pasteuriser revealed a damaged seal on the flow divert valve. Ultimately, there were 21 confirmed cases linked to the outbreak, of which 11 (52%) were female, and 12/21 (57%) were either <15 or >65 years of age. Twelve (57%) patients were treated in hospital, and three cases developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Although the outbreak strain was not detected in the milk samples, it was detected in faecal samples from the cattle on the farm. Outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease caused by milk pasteurisation failures are rare in the UK. However, such outbreaks are a major public health concern as, unlike unpasteurised milk, pasteurised milk is marketed as ‘safe to drink’ and sold to a larger, and more dispersed, population. The rapid, co-ordinated multi-agency investigation initiated in response to this outbreak undoubtedly prevented further cases.
This article focuses on the development of Ireland’s first National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework for Higher Education. There is growing concern for student mental health in higher education nationally and globally. The majority of students are aged between 18 and 24, which is identified as a high-risk group for mental health difficulties. Recent surveys of student mental illness, mental distress, and low well-being have been recognized by the World Health Organization, the Union of Students in Ireland National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education, the My World survey and the My World 2 study. The Higher Education Authority in Ireland made a commitment to the Department of Health Connecting for Life (Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015–2020) to form national guidelines for suicide prevention in higher education. In order to deliver on this commitment, The National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework was developed. The Framework is informed by international evidence and was the product of a collaborative cross sector and cross disciplinary team including health professionals, government representatives, educators, students, policy makers, community organizations, researchers and clinicians.
Informal carers play an essential role in the care of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This role, however, is often fraught with difficulties, including emotional, physical, and financial. Coping styles and relationship quality have been hypothesized to influence the impact of stressors. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between carers’ coping style, relationship quality, and carer burden.
Thirty-nine PD patient carer dyads were included in the study.
Participants completed self-rated questionnaires including the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Zarit Burden Interview, and Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory.
Correlational analyses found significant and positive correlation between carer burden and all three coping styles (problem-focused, emotion-focused, and dysfunctional). There was also a moderate association between carers’ perceived relationship quality and satisfaction and carer burden. Regression analyses found that carer’s gender, severity of PD, relationship quality, emotion-focused, and dysfunctional coping styles did not predict carer burden. Conversely, problem-focused coping style predicted carer burden.
The results highlight that there is no perfect way to react and care for a loved one and serves as important information for practitioners who design and implement interventions.
Many mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are associated with poor dietary quality and nutrient intake. There is, however, a deficit of research looking at the relationship between obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality.
This study aims to explore the relationship between OCD severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality.
A post hoc regression analysis was conducted with data combined from two separate clinical trials that included 85 adults with diagnosed OCD, using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5. Nutrient intakes were calculated from the Dietary Questionnaire for Epidemiological Studies version 3.2, and dietary quality was scored with the Healthy Eating Index for Australian Adults – 2013.
Nutrient intake in the sample largely aligned with Australian dietary guidelines. Linear regression models adjusted for gender, age and total energy intake showed no significant associations between OCD severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality (all P > 0.05). However, OCD severity was inversely associated with caffeine (β = −15.50, 95% CI −28.88 to −2.11, P = 0.024) and magnesium (β = −6.63, 95% CI −12.72 to −0.53, P = 0.034) intake after adjusting for OCD treatment resistance.
This study showed OCD severity had little effect on nutrient intake and dietary quality. Dietary quality scores were higher than prior studies with healthy samples, but limitations must be noted regarding comparability. Future studies employing larger sample sizes, control groups and more accurate dietary intake measures will further elucidate the relationship between nutrient intake and dietary quality in patients with OCD.
Background: On DECT, the ratio of maximum iodine concentration within parenchyma compared to the superior sagittal sinus has been shown to predict hemorrhagic transformation. We aimed to determine if this ratio also predicts the development of an infarct. Methods: 53 patients with small infarct cores (ASPECTS≥7) and good endovascular recanalization (mTICI 2b/3) were enrolled. Maximum brain parenchymal iodine concentration as per DECT relative to the superior sagittal sinus (iodine ratio) was correlated with the development of an infarct on follow up CT. Results: All patients showed contrast staining, 52 developed infarcts in the area of staining. The extent of infarction (smaller, equal or larger than area of staining) did not correlate with the iodine ratio. Conclusions: Brain parenchyma with contrast staining on post-procedure head CT almost invariably goes on to infarct, however the extent of infarct development is not predicted by the intensity of contrast staining.
n=53 patients with successful recanalization of anterior circulation LVO infarct (TICI2b,3) with post procedural parenchymal iodine staining
F/U infarct extent
Iodine ratio on intial CT(median/range)
0: No infarct in area of staining
1: Infarct smaller than staining
2: Infarct equal to staining
3:Infarct larger than staining
0,1:No or smaller infarct than staining
2,3 :equal or larger infarct than staining
There was no correlation between the degree of contrast staining on initial post procedural CT as expressed in iodine ratio and F/U infarct extent.
Pompe disease results from lysosomal acid α-glucosidase deficiency, which leads to cardiomyopathy in all infantile-onset and occasional late-onset patients. Cardiac assessment is important for its diagnosis and management. This article presents unpublished cardiac findings, concomitant medications, and cardiac efficacy and safety outcomes from the ADVANCE study; trajectories of patients with abnormal left ventricular mass z score at enrolment; and post hoc analyses of on-treatment left ventricular mass and systolic blood pressure z scores by disease phenotype, GAA genotype, and “fraction of life” (defined as the fraction of life on pre-study 160 L production-scale alglucosidase alfa). ADVANCE evaluated 52 weeks’ treatment with 4000 L production-scale alglucosidase alfa in ≥1-year-old United States of America patients with Pompe disease previously receiving 160 L production-scale alglucosidase alfa. M-mode echocardiography and 12-lead electrocardiography were performed at enrolment and Week 52. Sixty-seven patients had complete left ventricular mass z scores, decreasing at Week 52 (infantile-onset patients, change −0.8 ± 1.83; 95% confidence interval −1.3 to −0.2; all patients, change −0.5 ± 1.71; 95% confidence interval −1.0 to −0.1). Patients with “fraction of life” <0.79 had left ventricular mass z score decreasing (enrolment: +0.1 ± 3.0; Week 52: −1.1 ± 2.0); those with “fraction of life” ≥0.79 remained stable (enrolment: −0.9 ± 1.5; Week 52: −0.9 ± 1.4). Systolic blood pressure z scores were stable from enrolment to Week 52, and no cohort developed systemic hypertension. Eight patients had Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome. Cardiac hypertrophy and dysrhythmia in ADVANCE patients at or before enrolment were typical of Pompe disease. Four-thousand L alglucosidase alfa therapy maintained fractional shortening, left ventricular posterior and septal end-diastolic thicknesses, and improved left ventricular mass z score.
Social Media Statement: Post hoc analyses of the ADVANCE study cohort of 113 children support ongoing cardiac monitoring and concomitant management of children with Pompe disease on long-term alglucosidase alfa to functionally improve cardiomyopathy and/or dysrhythmia.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is often challenging to treat and resistant to psychological interventions and prescribed medications. The adjunctive use of nutraceuticals with potential neuromodulatory effects on underpinning pathways such as the glutamatergic and serotonergic systems is one novel approach.
To assess the effectiveness and safety of a purpose-formulated combination of nutraceuticals in treating OCD: N-acetyl cysteine, L-theanine, zinc, magnesium, pyridoxal-5′ phosphate, and selenium.
A 20-week open label proof-of-concept study was undertaken involving 28 participants with treatment-resistant DSM-5-diagnosed OCD, during 2017 to 2020. The primary outcome measure was the Yale-Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), administered every 4 weeks.
An intention-to-treat analysis revealed an estimated mean reduction across time (baseline to week-20) on the YBOCS total score of −7.13 (95% confidence interval = −9.24, −5.01), with a mean reduction of −1.21 points per post-baseline visit (P ≤ .001). At 20-weeks, 23% of the participants were considered “responders” (YBOCS ≥35% reduction and “very much” or “much improved” on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale). Statistically significant improvements were also revealed on all secondary outcomes (eg, mood, anxiety, and quality of life). Notably, treatment response on OCD outcome scales (eg, YBOCS) was greatest in those with lower baseline symptom levels, while response was limited in those with relatively more severe OCD.
While this pilot study lacks placebo-control, the significant time effect in this treatment-resistant OCD population is encouraging and suggests potential utility especially for those with lower symptom levels. Our findings need to be confirmed or refuted via a follow-up placebo-controlled study.
To prioritise and refine a set of evidence-informed statements into advice messages to promote vegetable liking in early childhood, and to determine applicability for dissemination of advice to relevant audiences.
A nominal group technique (NGT) workshop and a Delphi survey were conducted to prioritise and achieve consensus (≥70 % agreement) on thirty evidence-informed maternal (perinatal and lactation stage), infant (complementary feeding stage) and early years (family diet stage) vegetable-related advice messages. Messages were validated via triangulation analysis against the strength of evidence from an Umbrella review of strategies to increase children’s vegetable liking, and gaps in advice from a Desktop review of vegetable feeding advice.
A purposeful sample of key stakeholders (NGT workshop, n 8 experts; Delphi survey, n 23 end users).
Participant consensus identified the most highly ranked priority messages associated with the strategies of: ‘in-utero exposure’ (perinatal and lactation, n 56 points) and ‘vegetable variety’ (complementary feeding, n 97 points; family diet, n 139 points). Triangulation revealed two strategies (‘repeated exposure’ and ‘variety’) and their associated advice messages suitable for policy and practice, twelve for research and four for food industry.
Supported by national and state feeding guideline documents and resources, the advice messages relating to ‘repeated exposure’ and ‘variety’ to increase vegetable liking can be communicated to families and caregivers by healthcare practitioners. The food industry provides a vehicle for advice promotion and product development. Further research, where stronger evidence is needed, could further inform strategies for policy and practice, and food industry application.
Recurrent outbreaks of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serotype O55:H7 occurred in England between 2014 and 2018. We reviewed the epidemiological evidence to identify potential source(s) and transmission routes of the pathogen, and to assess the on-going risk to public health. Over the 5-year period, there were 43 confirmed and three probable cases of STEC O55:H7. The median age of cases was 4 years old (range 6 months to 69 years old) and over half of all cases were female (28/46, 61%). There were 36/46 (78.3%) symptomatic cases, and over half of all cases developed HUS (25/46, 54%), including two fatal cases. No common food or environmental exposures were identified, although the majority of cases lived in rural or semi-rural environments and reported contact with both wild and domestic animals. This investigation informed policy on the clinical and public health management of HUS caused by STEC other than serotype O157:H7 (non-O157 STEC) in England, including comprehensive testing of all household contacts and household pets and more widespread use of polymerase chain reaction assays for the rapid diagnosis of STEC-HUS.
The literature on late-life anxiety has grown exponentially in the last two decades, and a wide array of research questions are being explored by an ever-growing cadre of clinicians and scientists internationally. In fact, in the last decade, there have been several special journal issues devoted to aspects of anxiety in later life – for example, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (2011, vol. 19, issue 4), Journal of Anxiety Disorders (2013, vol. 27, issue 6), International Psychogeriatrics (2015, vol. 27, issue 7), and Clinical Gerontologist (2017, vol. 40, issue 3). All have made the point that while our understanding of the etiology, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of such disorders has grown and continues to increase, there are still many areas requiring further research attention. In addition, experimental techniques to study the biological mechanisms underpinning anxiety continue to grow in sophistication and access.
Historically, clinicians and researchers interested in the mental health of older people have focused on depression and dementia and have given little attention to anxiety except as a complication of depression or dementia. Over recent years, however, research into anxiety in older people has increased substantially, leading to both a burgeoning scientific literature and increasing clinical interest in the field.
Anxiety disorders in later life have historically been overshadowed by strong clinical and epidemiological interest in mood disorders and cognitive disorders. This chapter reviews the key scientific literature on the epidemiology of anxiety disorders in older people and putative risk and protective factors.
Although behavioural and psychological interventions are considered first-line treatments for anxiety disorders in older people (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014), psychotropic medications are also widely prescribed (Hollingworth & Siskind, 2010). Drugs from a range of psychotropic classes have been used to treat anxiety disorders, including benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics (Reinhold et al., 2011). While there is clinical trial evidence for the short-term efficacy of drugs from each of these classes, particularly for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), there is scant evidence for long-term effectiveness. Psychotropic drugs exhibit a wide range of adverse effects, including some that pose particular hazards in later life.