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Delirium is recognized as a key healthcare target for our increasingly aged society. Improved management of delirium and related neuropsychiatric presentations can allow for significant improvements in outcomes but requires fundamental change in the structure of healthcare services. There is a pressing need for cognitive-friendly hospital programmes that can increase awareness of delirium, provide better education around its management, improve detection in real-world practice, and promote evidence-based management of cognitive problems in the general hospital. We outline key elements of delirium-friendly services that span interventions in our day-to-day clinical care of individual patients all the way to wider organizational practices.
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.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Depression and chronic inflammatory medical conditions have been linked to impaired cognitive ability. However despite frequent comorbidity, their combined association with cognitive ability has rarely been examined.
This study examined associations between self-reported depression and chronic inflammatory diseases and their interaction with cognitive performance in 456,748 participants of the UK Biobank, adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. Numbers with available data ranged from 94,899 to 453,208 depending on the cognitive test.
Self-reported depression was associated with poorer performance compared to controls in several cognitive tests (fully adjusted models, reaction time: B = 6.08, 95% CI = 5.09, 7.07; pairs matching: incidence rate ratio = 1.02, 95% CI = 1.02, 1.03; Trail Making Test B: B = 1.37, 95% CI = 0.88, 1.87; Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST): B = −0.35, 95% CI = −0.44, −0.27). Self-reported chronic inflammatory conditions were associated with slower reaction time (B = 3.79, 95% CI = 2.81, 4.78) and lower DSST scores (B = −0.21, 95% CI = −0.30, −0.13). No interaction effects were observed.
In this large, population-based study we provide evidence of lower cognitive performance in both depression and a comprehensive category of chronic inflammatory conditions. Results are consistent with additive effects of both types of disorder on cognitive ability. Clinicians should be aware of such effects, particularly as cognitive impairment is linked to poorer disease outcomes and quality of life.
This research was carried out to quantify the effects of a range of variables on milk fat globule (MFG) size for a herd of Holstein-Friesian cows managed through an automatic milking system with year-round calving. We hypothesised that the overall variation in average MFG size observed between individual animals of the same herd cannot sufficiently be explained by the magnitude of the effects of variables that could be manipulated on-farm. Hence, we aimed to conduct an extensive analysis of possible determinants of MFG size, including physiological characteristics (parity, days in milk, days pregnant, weight, age, rumination minutes, somatic cell count) and milk production traits (number of milkings, milk yield, fat yield, protein and fat content, fat-protein ratio) on the individual animal level; and environmental conditions (diet, weather, season) for the whole herd. Our results show that when analysed in isolation, many of the studied variables have a detectable effect on MFG size. However, analysis of their additive effects identified days in milk, parity and milk yield as the most important variables. In accordance with our hypothesis, the estimated effects of these variables, calculated using a multiple variable linear mixed model, do not sufficiently explain the overall variation between cows, ranging from 2.70 to 5.69 µm in average MFG size. We further show that environmental variables, such as sampling day (across seasons) or the proportion of pasture and silage in the diet, have limited effects on MFG size and that physiological differences outweigh the effects of milk production traits and environmental conditions. This presents further evidence that the selection of individual animals is more important than the adjustment of on-farm variables to control MFG size.
Cognitive impairment is strongly linked with persistent disability in people with mood disorders, but the factors that explain cognitive impairment in this population are unclear.
To estimate the total effect of (a) bipolar disorder and (b) major depression on cognitive function, and the magnitude of the effect that is explained by potentially modifiable intermediate factors.
Cross-sectional study using baseline data from the UK Biobank cohort. Participants were categorised as having bipolar disorder (n = 2709), major depression (n = 50 975) or no mood disorder (n = 102 931 and n = 105 284). The outcomes were computerised tests of reasoning, reaction time and memory. The potential mediators were cardiometabolic disease and psychotropic medication. Analyses were informed by graphical methods and controlled for confounding using regression, propensity score-based methods and G-computation.
Group differences of small magnitude were found on a visuospatial memory test. Z-score differences for the bipolar disorder group were in the range −0.23 to −0.17 (95% CI −0.39 to −0.03) across different estimation methods, and for the major depression group they were approximately −0.07 (95% CI −0.10 to −0.03). One-quarter of the effect was mediated via psychotropic medication in the bipolar disorder group (−0.05; 95% CI −0.09 to −0.01). No evidence was found for mediation via cardiometabolic disease.
In a large community-based sample in middle to early old age, bipolar disorder and depression were associated with lower visuospatial memory performance, in part potentially due to psychotropic medication use. Mood disorders and their treatments will have increasing importance for population cognitive health as the proportion of older adults continues to grow.
Declaration of interest
I.J.D. is a UK Biobank participant. J.P.P. is a member of the UK Biobank Steering Committee.
The current study explored the experiences and aspirations of a cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with neurocognitive disability residing in a homeless shelter in regional Queensland, Australia. Neurocognitive disability (NCD) refers to any acquired disorder or injury to the brain where the primary clinical deficit is in cognitive function.
The data reported on in this paper emerged from a broader study that aimed to understand the extent and nature of neurocognitive disability amongst homeless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The broader study found high levels of NCD which impacted on people’s ability to participate in society. As part of the study, qualitative information was sought regarding participant life experiences. A culturally safe and acceptable structure of “past, present and future” was applied to open-ended questions.
Thematic analysis of the data identified four broad themes of i) normalisation of illness and disability; ii) trauma and loss; iii) socioeconomic disadvantage; and iv) hope and disempowerment. This paper reports on these themes and experiences, which occurred across the life span, intersected with NCD, and contributed to what we have termed ‘complex disablement’ amongst this cohort.
While causal links between life experience, disability and disablement are not always clear, our findings suggest that attempts to address homelessness must engage with this complexity. The application of holistic, intersectoral supports, which encompass culturally informed, community driven approaches are needed. Understanding the impacts of individual and intergenerational trauma is crucial to safe and effective service provision for this cohort.
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.
A survey of hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs was performed to validate core element achievement data from the National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) Patient Safety Component Annual Survey. In total, 89% of hospitals met all 7 core elements, compared to only 68% according to the NHSN survey.
Incidence of human yersiniosis in New Zealand has increased between 2013 and 2017. For surveillance and outbreak investigations it is essential that an appropriate level of discrimination between pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica isolates is provided, in order to support epidemiological linking of connected cases. Subtyping of 227 Y. enterocolitica isolates was performed using a range of different typing methods, including biotyping, serotyping and seven loci multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA). In addition, core genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (core SNP) analysis and multi-locus sequence typing were performed on a subset of 69 isolates. Sixty-seven different MLVA types were identified. One MLVA profile was associated with an outbreak in the Bay of Plenty region, supported by epidemiological data. Core SNP analysis showed that all the outbreak-related isolates clustered together. The subtyping and epidemiological evidence suggests that the outbreak of yersiniosis in the Bay of Plenty region between October and December 2016 could be attributed to a point source. However, subtyping results further suggest that the same clone was isolated from several regions between August 2016 and March 2017. Core SNP analysis and MLVA typing failed to differentiate between Y. enterocolitica biotype 2 and biotype 3. For this reason, we propose that these biotypes should be reported as a single type namely: Y. enterocolitica biotype 2/3 and that the serotype should be prioritised as an indicator of prevalence.