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Over the last two decades, heart centres have developed strategies to meet the neurodevelopmental needs of children with congenital heart disease. Since the publication of guidelines in 2012, cardiac neurodevelopmental follow-up programmes have become more widespread. Local neurodevelopmental programmes, however, have been developed independently in widely varying environments. We sought to characterise variation in structure and personnel in cardiac neurodevelopmental programmes. A 31-item survey was sent to all member institutions of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative. Multidisciplinary teams at each centre completed the survey. Responses were compiled in a descriptive fashion. Of the 29 invited centres, 23 responded to the survey (79%). Centres reported more anticipated neurodevelopment visits between birth and 5 years of age (median 5, range 2–8) than 5–18 years (median 2, range 0–10) with 53% of centres lacking any standard for routine neurodevelopment evaluations after 5 years of age. Estimated annual neurodevelopment clinic volume ranged from 85 to 428 visits with a median of 16% of visits involving children >5 years of age. Among responding centres, the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development and Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence were the most routinely used tests. Neonatal clinical assessment was more common (64%) than routine neonatal brain imaging (23%) during hospitalisation. In response to clinical need and published guidelines, centres have established formal cardiac neurodevelopment follow-up programmes. Centres vary considerably in their approaches to routine screening and objective testing, with many centres currently focussing their resources on evaluating younger patients.
This article describes priority areas for research on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on older adults that have been identified by the CIHR Institute of Aging (CIHR-IA). The process used by CIHR-IA consists of several iterative phases and thus far has resulted in identification of three key areas for Covid-19 research needs and four cross-cutting thematic areas. The key research priority areas are as follows: response of older adults to disease, vaccination, and therapeutics; mental health and isolation; and supportive care environments. The four cross-cutting themes are equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI); ethical/moral considerations; evidence-informed practices; and digital health technologies. The priorities outlined in this article will inform CIHR-IA’s responses to Covid-19 research needs.
Mindfulness meditation has become a common method for reducing stress, stress-related psychopathology and some physical symptoms. As mindfulness programs become ubiquitous, concerns have been raised about their unknown potential for harm. We estimate multiple indices of harm following Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on two primary outcomes: global psychological and physical symptoms. In secondary analyses, we estimate multiple indices of harm on anxiety and depressive symptoms, discomfort in interpersonal relations, paranoid ideation and psychoticism.
Intent-to-treat analyses with multiple imputations for missing data were used on pre- and post-test data from a large, observational dataset (n = 2155) of community health clinic MBSR classes and from MBSR (n = 156) and waitlist control (n = 118) participants from three randomized controlled trials conducted contemporaneous to community classes in the same city by the same health clinic MBSR teachers. We estimate the change in symptoms, proportion of participants with increased symptoms, proportion of participants reporting greater than a 35% increase in symptoms, and for global psychological symptoms, clinically significant harm.
We find no evidence that MBSR leads to higher rates of harm relative to waitlist control on any primary or secondary outcome. On many indices of harm across multiple outcomes, community MBSR was significantly preventative of harm.
Engagement in MBSR is not predictive of increased rates of harm relative to no treatment. Rather, MBSR may be protective against multiple indices of harm. Research characterizing the relatively small proportion of MBSR participants that experience harm remains important.
Each year, 3–5% of individuals suffer from depression. Approximately 50% will experience persistent disorder; however, factors associated with depression persistence in the population are not yet fully understood. We tested the hypothesis that long-term depression course is predicted by socioeconomic position. Data come from the Gazel cohort study, which began in 1989 (n = 20 624,35–50 ans, 73% of men). We included 13,142 participants who reported symptoms of depression (CES-D) in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005 et 2008. These repeated measures were dichotomized (high symptom level : yes vs no) and we identified four longitudinal trajectories (no depression, decreasing symptoms, intermediate/increasing symptoms, persistent depression). Socioeconomic position was measured by occupational grade in 1996 (manual worker/clerk, administrative associate/technician, vs. manager). Analyses were conducted using multinomial regression models, stratifying on sex and controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, negative life events, health behaviors, and preexisting health problems. The probability of being depressed during follow-up followed a socioeconomic gradient. For instance, compared to managers, administrative associates/technicians were more likely to have persistent depression (fully adjusted ORs: men: 1.28, 95% CI 1.05–1.56; women: 1.86, 95% CI: 1.05-3.29) as were manual workers/clerks (fully adjusted ORs: men: 2.32, 95% CI 1.76–3.06; women: 2.63, 95% CI 1.41-4.92). This socioeconomic gradient is consistent with a social causation explanation of persistent depression. The implication for clinicians and public health decision makers is that efforts aimed to reduce the burden of depression should take into account mental health needs across the population, rather than solely focus on high-risk groups.
to describe the impact of pain on quality of life (QoL) in patients with depression
FINDER was a 6-month, european observational study to assess outcomes of QoL (SF36, EQ-5D), depression and anxiety (HADS), somatic (SSI) and pain (VAS) in a clinically diagnosed population initiating antidepressants.
606 patients enrolled in France by 57 psychiatrists and 46 general practitioners were 45.6±13.0 years old, 69% female and 39% have had a previous episode in the last 2 years. According to the patient rated HADS score greater than 11, 75% of patients were classified as cases for depression and 84% as cases for anxiety. 51% of patients rated their overall pain severity (based on VAS cut-off of 30) as moderate/severe, with 65% of them reporting no medical explanation for their pain.
During the 6-month follow-up, French patients improved on SF36 physical score (46.8±10.4 to 50.2±8.3) and mental score (20.2±8.6 to 40.5±12.3), EQ-5D Health State Index (0.38±0.28 to 0.75±0.27) and EQ-5D VAS (39.9±20.0 to 71.4±20.3). Patients with moderate/severe pain at baseline and patients defined as cases for depression or anxiety at baseline had poorer QoL scores on SF36 physical score, EQ-5D Health State Index, EQ-5D VAS and HADS both at baseline and over the 6 months of since treatment started.
Over half of French patients of this study experienced pain associated with depression. We observed that patients experiencing a moderate/severe pain at baseline had worse outcomes on QoL and depression response than those with mild or not pain at baseline.
Basal units – visibly distinct englacial structures near the ice-bed interface – warrant investigation for a number of reasons. Many are of unknown composition and origin, characteristics that could provide substantial insight into subglacial processes and ice-sheet history. Their significance, moreover, is not limited to near-bed depths; these units appear to dramatically influence the flow of surrounding ice. In order to enable improved characterization of these features, we develop and apply an algorithm that allows for the automatic detection of basal units. We use a tunable layer-optimized SAR processor to distinguish these structures from the bed, isochronous englacial layers and the ice-sheet surface, presenting a conceptual framework for the use of radio-echo character in the identification of ice-sheet features. We also outline a method by which our processor could be used to place observational constraints on basal units’ configuration, composition and provenance.
This post-hoc analysis evaluated whether the efficacy of lurasidone in major depressive disorder (MDD) with mixed features is moderated by the number and characteristics of manic symptoms present at study baseline.
Patients meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for MDD who presented with two or three manic symptoms (consistent with the DSM–5 mixed features specifier) were randomly assigned to 6 weeks of double-blind treatment with either lurasidone 20–60 mg/d (n = 109) or placebo (n = 100). Finite mixture models were applied to identify latent class patterns of the 10 baseline manic symptoms.
Three latent class profiles were identified: 105 (50.5%) patients had manic symptom profile 1 (MIX 1) with mean MADRS 33.0, mean YMRS 9.2, mean number of manic symptoms 3.8; 63 (30.3%) patients had manic symptom profile 2 (MIX 2) with similar baseline mean MADRS (32.4) and YMRS (9.3) and lower number of manic symptoms 3.5; 40 patients had manic symptom profile 3 (MIX 3) with significantly higher severity scores in MADRS (35) and YMRS (14.9) and mean number of manic symptoms 4.6. A significant moderating effect on change in YMRS score was observed for the “decreased need for sleep” symptom, with greater lurasidone effect size (vs. Placebo) found in patients without vs. With this symptom (P < 0.05).
In this post-hoc analysis of a placebo-controlled trial involving MDD patients with mixed features, absence of “decreased need for sleep” was found to be significantly associated with improvement in manic and depressive symptoms and to moderate the treatment effect on manic symptoms.
Disclosure of interest
I am full time employee of Sunovion pharmaceuticals Inc.
Several grass and broadleaf weed species around the world have evolved multiple-herbicide resistance at alarmingly increasing rates. Research on the biochemical and molecular resistance mechanisms of multiple-resistant weed populations indicate a prevalence of herbicide metabolism catalyzed by enzyme systems such as cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and glutathione S-transferases and, to a lesser extent, by glucosyl transferases. A symposium was conducted to gain an understanding of the current state of research on metabolic resistance mechanisms in weed species that pose major management problems around the world. These topics, as well as future directions of investigations that were identified in the symposium, are summarized herein. In addition, the latest information on selected topics such as the role of safeners in inducing crop tolerance to herbicides, selectivity to clomazone, glyphosate metabolism in crops and weeds, and bioactivation of natural molecules is reviewed.
A study conducted as part of the development of the Eleventh International Classification of Mental Disorders for Primary Health Care (ICD-11 PHC) provided an opportunity to test the relationships among depressive, anxious and somatic symptoms in PHC.
Primary care physicians participating in the ICD-11 PHC field studies in five countries selected patients who presented with somatic symptoms not explained by known physical pathology by applying a 29-item screening on somatic complaints that were under study for bodily stress disorder. Patients were interviewed using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised and assessed using two five-item scales that measure depressive and anxious symptoms. Structural models of anxious-depressive symptoms and somatic complaints were tested using a bi-factor approach.
A total of 797 patients completed the study procedures. Two bi-factor models fit the data well: Model 1 had all symptoms loaded on a general factor, along with one of three specific depression, anxiety and somatic factors [x2 (627) = 741.016, p < 0.0011, RMSEA = 0.015, CFI = 0.911, TLI = 0.9]. Model 2 had a general factor and two specific anxious depression and somatic factors [x2 (627) = 663.065, p = 0.1543, RMSEA = 0.008, CFI = 0.954, TLI = 0.948].
These data along with those of previous studies suggest that depressive, anxious and somatic symptoms are largely different presentations of a common latent phenomenon. This study provides support for the ICD-11 PHC conceptualization of mood disturbance, especially anxious depression, as central among patients who present multiple somatic symptoms.
Pathological worry is a hallmark feature of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), associated with dysfunctional emotional processing. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is involved in the regulation of such processes, but the link between vmPFC emotional responses and pathological v. adaptive worry has not yet been examined.
To study the association between worry and vmPFC activity evoked by the processing of learned safety and threat signals.
In total, 27 unmedicated patients with GAD and 56 healthy controls (HC) underwent a differential fear conditioning paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Compared to HC, the GAD group demonstrated reduced vmPFC activation to safety signals and no safety–threat processing differentiation. This response was positively correlated with worry severity in GAD, whereas the same variables showed a negative and weak correlation in HC.
Poor vmPFC safety–threat differentiation might characterise GAD, and its distinctive association with GAD worries suggests a neural-based qualitative difference between healthy and pathological worries.
We critically evaluate arguments in a recent Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics article by Svoboda, Adler, and Van Howe disputing the 2012 affirmative infant male circumcision policy recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. We provide detailed evidence in explaining why the extensive claims by these opponents are not supported by the current strong scientific evidence. We furthermore show why their legal and ethical arguments are contradicted by a reasonable interpretation of current U.S. and international law and ethics. After all considerations are taken into account it would be logical to conclude that failure to recommend male circumcision early in infancy may be viewed as akin to failure to recommend childhood vaccination to parents. In each case, parental consent is required and the intervention is not compulsory. Our evaluation leads us to dismiss the arguments by Svoboda et al. Instead, based on the evidence, infant male circumcision is both ethical and lawful.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome are at a risk for neurodevelopmental delays. Current guidelines recommend systematic evaluation and management of neurodevelopmental outcomes with referral for early intervention services. The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial represents the largest cohort of children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome ever assembled. Data on life events and resource utilisation have been collected annually. We sought to determine the type and prevalence of early intervention services used from age 1 to 4 years and factors associated with utilisation of services.
Data from 14-month neurodevelopmental assessment and annual medical history forms were used. We assessed the impact of social risk and geographic differences. Fisher exact tests and logistic regression were used to evaluate associations.
Annual medical history forms were available for 302 of 314 children. Greater than half of the children (52–69%) were not receiving services at any age assessed, whereas 20–32% were receiving two or more therapies each year. Utilisation was significantly lower in year 4 (31%) compared with years 1–3 (with a range from 40 to 48%) (p<0.001). Social risk factors were not associated with the use of services at any age but there were significant geographic differences. Significant delay was reported by parents in 18–43% of children at ages 3 and 4.
Despite significant neurodevelopmental delays, early intervention service utilisation was low in this cohort. As survival has improved for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, attention must shift to strategies to optimise developmental outcomes, including enrolment in early intervention when merited.
In this article, I assess three contemporary criticisms levelled at Kant’s theory of evil in order to evaluate whether his theory can be saved. Critics argue that Kant does not adequately distinguish between evil and mundane wrongdoing, making his use of the term ‘evil’ emotional hyperbole; by defining evil as the subordination of the moral law to self-love his analysis is seemingly overly simplistic and empirically false; and by focusing solely on the moral character of the perpetrator of evil, Kant’s theory apparently ignores the most salient aspect of evil – the suffering of victims. While I will not claim that Kant provides us with a fully adequate theory of evil, I respond to each of these criticisms and conclude that Kant’s theory can still provide significant insight into both the nature of evil and the moral psychology of perpetrators of evil.
High-fidelity simulation (HFS) is a relatively new teaching modality, which is gaining widespread acceptance in medical education. To date, dozens of studies have proven the usefulness of HFS in improving student, resident, and attending physician performance, with similar results in the allied health fields. Although many studies have analyzed the utility of simulation, few have investigated why it works. A recent study illustrated that permissive failure, leading to simulated mortality, is one HFS method that can improve long-term performance. Critics maintain, however, that the use of simulated death is troubling and excessive. Given the controversy regarding simulated death, we consider the data about the educational value and the emotional harms associated with them, expecting that evidence could be useful in resolving the question. The goal of this narrative review is to explore the argument against simulated mortality and provide educators with an imperative as to why it can be safely utilized.
Large volumes of data and multiple computing platforms are now universal components of paediatric cardiovascular medicine, but are in a constant state of evolution. Often, multiple sets of related data reside in disconnected “silos”, resulting in clinical, administrative, and research activities that may be duplicative, inefficient, and at times inaccurate. Comprehensive and integrated data solutions are needed to facilitate these activities across congenital heart centres. We describe methodology, key considerations, successful use cases, and lessons learnt in developing an integrated data platform across our congenital heart centre.
Fontan survivors have depressed cardiac index that worsens over time. Serum biomarker measurement is minimally invasive, rapid, widely available, and may be useful for serial monitoring. The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers that correlate with lower cardiac index in Fontan patients.
Methods and results
This study was a multi-centre case series assessing the correlations between biomarkers and cardiac magnetic resonance-derived cardiac index in Fontan patients ⩾6 years of age with biochemical and haematopoietic biomarkers obtained ±12 months from cardiac magnetic resonance. Medical history and biomarker values were obtained by chart review. Spearman’s Rank correlation assessed associations between biomarker z-scores and cardiac index. Biomarkers with significant correlations had receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve estimated. In total, 97 cardiac magnetic resonances in 87 patients met inclusion criteria: median age at cardiac magnetic resonance was 15 (6–33) years. Significant correlations were found between cardiac index and total alkaline phosphatase (−0.26, p=0.04), estimated creatinine clearance (0.26, p=0.02), and mean corpuscular volume (−0.32, p<0.01). Area under the curve for the three individual biomarkers was 0.63–0.69. Area under the curve for the three-biomarker panel was 0.75. Comparison of cardiac index above and below the receiver operating characteristic curve-identified cut-off points revealed significant differences for each biomarker (p<0.01) and for the composite panel [median cardiac index for higher-risk group=2.17 L/minute/m2 versus lower-risk group=2.96 L/minute/m2, (p<0.01)].
Higher total alkaline phosphatase and mean corpuscular volume as well as lower estimated creatinine clearance identify Fontan patients with lower cardiac index. Using biomarkers to monitor haemodynamics and organ-specific effects warrants prospective investigation.