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The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
Depression is characterised by negative views of the self. Antidepressant treatment may remediate negative self-schema through increasing processing of positive information about the self. Changes in affective processing during social interactions may increase expression of prosocial behaviours, improving interpersonal communications.
To examine whether acute administration of citalopram is associated with an increase in positive affective learning biases about the self and prosocial behaviour.
Healthy volunteers (n = 41) were randomised to either an acute 20 mg dose of citalopram or matched placebo in a between-subjects double-blind design. Participants completed computer-based cognitive tasks designed to measure referential affective processing, social cognition and expression of prosocial behaviours.
Participants administered citalopram made more cooperative choices than those administered placebo in a prisoner's dilemma task (β = 20%, 95% CI: 2%, 37%). Exploratory analyses indicated that participants administered citalopram showed a positive bias when learning social evaluations about a friend (β = 4.06, 95% CI: 0.88, 7.24), but not about the self or a stranger. Similarly, exploratory analyses found evidence of increased recall of positive words and reduced recall of negative words about others (β = 2.41, 95% CI: 0.89, 3.93), but not the self, in the citalopram group.
Participants administered citalopram showed greater prosocial behaviours, increased positive recall and increased positive learning of social evaluations towards others. The increase in positive affective bias and prosocial behaviours towards others may, at least partially, be a mechanism of antidepressant effect. However, we found no evidence that citalopram influenced self-referential processing.
Alexithymia (difficulties in identifying and describing emotion) is a transdiagnostic trait implicated in social–emotional and mental health problems in the general population. Many autistic individuals experience significant social-communication difficulties and elevated anxiety/depression and alexithymia. Nevertheless, the role of alexithymia in explaining individual variability in the quality/severity of social-communication difficulties and/or anxiety and depression symptoms in autism remains poorly understood.
In total, 337 adolescents and adults (autism N = 179) were assessed for alexithymia on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and for social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms. A total of 135 individuals (autism N = 76) were followed up 12–24 months later. We used regression models to establish cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between alexithymia, social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms.
Autistic individuals reported significantly higher alexithymia than comparison individuals (p < 0.001, r effect size = 0.48), with 47.3% of autistic females and 21.0% of autistic males meeting cut-off for clinically relevant alexithymia (score ⩾61). Difficulties in describing feelings were particularly associated with current self-reported social-communication difficulties [p < 0.001, β = 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44–0.67] and predicted later social-communication difficulties (p = 0.02, β = 0.43, 95% CI 0.07–0.82). Difficulties in identifying feelings were particularly associated with current anxiety symptom severity (p < 0.001, β = 0.54, 95% CI 0.41–0.77) and predicted later anxiety (p = 0.01; β = 0.31, 95% CI 0.08–0.62).
Our findings suggest that difficulties in identifying v. describing emotion are associated with differential clinical outcomes in autism. Psychological therapies targeting emotional awareness may improve social-communication and anxiety symptoms in autism, potentially conferring long-term benefits.
As the novel coronavirus disease 2019 changed patient presentation, this study aimed to prospectively identify these changes in a single ENT centre.
A seven-week prospective case series was conducted of urgently referred patients from primary care and accident and emergency department.
There was a total of 133 referrals. Referral rates fell by 93 per cent over seven weeks, from a mean of 5.4 to 0.4 per day. Reductions were seen in referrals from both primary care (89 per cent) and the accident and emergency department (93 per cent). Presentations of otitis externa and epistaxis fell by 83 per cent, and presentations of glandular fever, tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess fell by 67 per cent.
Coronavirus disease 2019 has greatly reduced the number of referrals into secondary care ENT. The cause for this reduction is likely to be due to patients’ increased perceived risk of the virus presence in a medical setting. The impact of this reduction is yet to be ascertained, but will likely result in a substantial increase in emergency pressures once the lockdown is lifted and the general public's perception of the coronavirus disease 2019 risk reduces.
In 2019, BYK Additives (Widnes, UK; www.byk.com) marked the 55th anniversary of the discovery by Dr Barbara Zsusanna (Susanna) Neumann of the extraordinary product known as Laponite®. The range of Laponite® products developed in the UK during the early 1960s is one of the first examples of truly nanodimensional materials manufactured on an industrial scale, at a time when the field of nanotechnology was only being hinted at (Feynman, 1959). These hectorite-like synthetic nanoclays with very unusual properties have been an enduring commercial success for the UK company that first patented and introduced them to the market, Laporte Industries, which is now a part of the BYK company. The Laponite® brand has proved tremendously popular with academic and industrial scientists worldwide, being cited in >3000 patents and >2500 published academic articles.
A subcommittee of the Hawaii Governor's Joint Task Force on Rat Lungworm Disease developed preliminary guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of neuroangiostrongyliasis (NAS) in 2018 (Guidelines, 2018). This paper reviews the main points of those guidelines and provides updates in areas where our understanding of the disease has increased. The diagnosis of NAS is described, including confirmation of infection by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RTi-PCR) to detect parasite DNA in the central nervous system (CNS). The treatment literature is reviewed with recommendations for the use of corticosteroids and the anthelminthic drug albendazole. Long-term sequelae of NAS are discussed and recommendations for future research are proposed.
Although several initiatives have produced core competency domains for training the translational science workforce, training resources to help clinical research professionals advance these skills reside primarily within local departments or institutions. The Development, Implementation, and AssessMent of Novel Training in Domain (DIAMOND) project was designed to make this training more readily and publicly available. DIAMOND includes a digital portal to catalog publicly available educational resources and an ePortfolio to document professional development. DIAMOND is a nationally crowdsourced, federated, online catalog providing a platform for practitioners to find and share training and assessment materials. Contributors can share their own educational materials using a simple intake form that creates an electronic record; the portal enables users to browse or search this catalog of digital records and access the resources. Since September 2018, the portal has been visited more than 5,700 times and received over 280 contributions from professionals. The portal facilitates opportunities to connect and collaborate regarding future applications of these resources. Consequently, growing the collection and increasing numbers of both contributors and users remains a priority. Results from a small subset of users indicated over half accomplished their purpose for visiting the site, while qualitative results showed that users identified several benefits and helpful features of the ePortfolio.
This study explored family caregivers’ use of technology to care for people with dementia living at home. Three questions were pursued: (1) what are the important, unmet needs of family caregivers, (2) how do they use technologies to assist in care tasks, and (3) what do health care providers know about caregivers’ needs and technology use? Two comprehensive surveys were developed to answer these questions: one for family caregivers (n = 33), and one for health care providers (n = 60). Descriptive and quantitative analyses showed that caregivers’ important, unmet needs were in the domains of information, formal services, and emotional support. Caregivers make limited use of technology but believe in its potential usefulness. Health care providers agree that technology is useful in dementia care; however, they underestimate caregivers’ willingness to adopt technologies to communicate with providers. Findings prove caregiver willingness to use technology to support their care role and provide guidance regarding the caregiver needs that these technologies should address.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Although their 5-year survival >90%, young patients with HL face tradeoffs between near-term disease control and risk of treatment-related adverse effects decades later, so we seek to understand what patients and clinicians value in HL treatment decisions. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Leveraging our access to large cohorts of physicians, HL patients/survivors, and caregivers, we will use adaptive choice-based conjoint analysis (ACBC) to elicit treatment preferences when offered scenarios that incorporate tradeoffs, e.g., would a patient rather live 20 years with 10% risk of second malignancy or live 40 years with 30% of second malignancy. To reduce survey fatigue, prior choice responses limit subsequent scenarios. Through ACBC, we will identify variations in preferences and the importance of disease outcomes, treatment characteristics, and late effects for HL by respondent type. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The goal is a final sample of 200 physicians and 200 patients/caregivers. We will collect demographics from physicians (age, type of physician, years practicing, type of practice, gender, and geography) and patients/caregivers (age at diagnosis, time since treatment, race, gender, smoker, education). We will ask questions about values of disease outcomes, late effects (second cancers, cardiac disease, chronic fatigue and neuropathy), and treatment characteristics (uncertainty of late effects, salvageability). Results will include utilities about participants views on disease-control and late effects. We anticipate participants to value disease control over late effects. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Our study will elicit how physicians and patients/caregivers value treatment tradeoffs for HL. In an era of multiple treatment choices with varying short- and long-term benefits and harms, identifying values and preferences become critical for patient-centered treatment decisions.
Forgetting names is a common memory concern for people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and is related to explicit memory deficits and pathological changes in the medial temporal lobes at the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the current experiment, we tested a unique method to improve memory for face–name associations in people with aMCI involving incidental rehearsal of face–name pairs.
Older adults with aMCI and age- and education-matched controls learned 24 face–name pairs and were tested via immediate cued recall with faces as cues for associated names. During a 25- to 30-min retention interval, 10 of the face–name pairs reappeared as a quarter of the items on a seemingly unrelated 1-back task on faces, with the superimposed names irrelevant to the task. After the delay, surprise delayed cued recall and forced-choice associative recognition tests were administered for the face–name pairs.
Both groups showed reduced forgetting of the names that repeated as distraction and enhanced recollection of these pairs.
The results demonstrate that passive methods to prompt automatic retrieval of associations may hold promise as interventions for people with early signs of AD.
In this paper, we characterize a high repetition-rate regenerating plasma mirror produced by the thin film of liquid formed when two laminar streams collide. The use of a flowing liquid film is inexpensive and the interaction surface refreshes automatically, avoiding buildup of on-target debris. The composition of the liquid material and the relative angle of the film-generating nozzles was optimized for this application. Spectra measured in reflection from a water-based plasma mirror showed a blue shift but an optical reflectivity of up to 30%. The thickness of the film was found to be of the order of 2
m, and the stability of the reflected spot was
mrad. The reflected beam profile was highly distorted but stable. Further optimization of the nozzles to affect the fluid flow should enable significant improvements in control of the fluid films and increase in the reflectivity of these mirrors.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are one of the most versatile and accessible classes of nanomaterials. Their chemical stability, ease of colloidal synthesis, surface functionalization, and plasmonic resonance—tunable from the visible through the near-infrared—have made AuNPs the metal nanoparticle of choice for many applications. This article summarizes the chemical synthesis of AuNPs, particularly gold nanorods, with a focus on recent developments in shape control and surface modifications. Current applications using the photothermal properties of AuNPs, as well as AuNP connections to biology and the environmental sciences, will be discussed.
Many youth with tics experience distress about having tics and how others may perceive them. Such symptoms are often more impairing and distressing than are the tics and negatively impact self-concept, functioning, and quality of life. Although treatments exist that target the frequency and severity of tics, no intervention has been developed that helps youth with tics cope with their condition and limit associated functional impairment and distress. Given this, we developed a cognitive-behaviorally oriented psychotherapy protocol that promotes adaptive coping and resiliency among youth with tics in addressing varied issues commonly experienced by this population. This poster reports data from the Phase I component of this study.
Phase I concentrated on developing the treatment protocol through expert opinion coupled with focus groups with parents and children with a tic disorder. Based on this, we developed a preliminary manual and piloted it in 6 youth with tics who met relevant inclusion/exclusion criteria. Phase II involves a preliminary test of the protocol in that focuses primarily on feasibility issues. All subjects participated in assessments (Screening, Baseline, Post-treatment) conducted by a blinded independent evaluator.
Only Phase I data will be presented as Phase II is ongoing. Descriptive statistics related to improvement rates; tic severity; child self-esteem and self-efficacy; and child internalizing symptoms will be reported. Qualitative data from the focus groups will also be presented regarding domains of impairment for youth with tics.
This treatment shows early promise of helping youth with tics cope with their condition.
Varenicline is an α4β2 partial nicotinic agonist approved for smoking cessation. There have been spontaneous postmarketing reports of neuropsychiatric adverse events (NPAEs) in smokers without a history of psychiatric illness quitting with varenicline.
110 smokers without history of psychiatric illness (screened by Structured Clinical Interview for DSM) were randomized to 12 weeks of varenicline (n=55) (1mg bid) or placebo. Adverse events were solicited systematically. Depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, aggression and irritability were measured at baseline and weekly using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression-rating scale (MADRS), the Hamilton Anxiety scale (HAM-A), and the Overt Aggression scale-modified (OAS-m). The Profile of Mood States (POMS) was administered daily. Mixed Model analysis of repeated measures was conducted to compare mean changes in scores between groups across the study period.
Smokers had a mean age of 33; smoked on average 22 cigarettes/day with mean Fagerstrom score for Nicotine Dependence >7 at baseline. Reported NPAEs were similar between groups. No suicidal events were reported. There were no significant differences between groups for the MADRS (treatment difference vs. placebo [TD] = 0.03, 95% CI: -0.68, 0.73; NS), HAM-A (TD = 0.14, 95% CI: -0.62, 0.90; NS), OAS-m irritability subscale (TD = 0.08, 95% CI: -0.17, 0.34; NS), OAS-m aggression subscale (TD = 0.5, 95% CI: -1.18, 2.18, NS) and the POMS total scores (TD = 0.5, 95% CI: -0.52, 1.53; NS).
There were no significant differences between groups on measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety and aggression/hostility. Systematically solicited NPAEs were similar between varenicline and placebo.
Aripiprazole and quetiapine are the two most recent second generation antipsychotics available in the UK. We aimed to study patients who were prescribed aripiprazole and quetiapine in routine clinical practice, to identify and compare patients who had a good clinical response.
From a data set of 22,000 electronic patient records (from 2002 to 2007), we retrospectively identified all secondary care psychiatric patients started on aripiprazole and quetiapine for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. We retrospectively assigned a severity and an improvement score of Clinical Global Impression (CGI) to records, to measure the effectiveness of both drugs.
89 patients were newly prescribed aripiprazole and 132 patients prescribed quetiapine, for schizophrenia and other psychotic conditions. Patients on aripiprazole had a lower initial severity of illness, CGI (Severity) 3.9 versus 4.4, p=0.0003. After excluding treatment resistant patients, a CGI (Improvement) score 1-4 (minimally to very much improved) was achieved with aripiprazole in 69% and quetiapine in 71% of patients. There were no statistical differences in overall discontinuation rates (aripiprazole 40%, quetiapine 41.5%). There were differences in mean time to discontinuation, aripiprazole,165 days, quetiapine, 267 days (p=0.017)
This study is an independent comparison of aripiprazole and quetiapine in schizophrenia and psychoses. Both aripiprazole and quetiapine were clinically effective in the majority of patients. CGI improvement scores were similar for both drugs as were overall discontinuation rates. Patients on aripiprazole, however, discontinued earlier than those discontinuing from quetiapine.
The provision of support for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the community is improving as a consequence of policy and legislative changes. However, specialist services are not currently provided in prisons.
This aim of the study was to determine the extent of ASD and co-occurring mental health problems among prisoners. We tested the hypothesis that ASD traits would be unrecognised by prison staff and would be significantly associated with increased rates of anxiety, depression and suicidality.
ASD traits were measured among 240 prisoners in a resettlement prison in London, UK using the 20-item Autism Quotient (AQ-20). Anxiety, depression and suicidality were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
There were 39 participants (16%) with an AQ-20 score ≥10; indicating significant autistic traits. Mental health data were available for 37 ‘high autistic trait’ participants and another 101 prisoners with no/low ASD traits. There was a significant positive association between AQ-20 and suicidality scores (r=.29, p=0.001). Participants with ASD traits had significantly higher suicidality scores (means=15.1 vs. 5, p= 0.001) and chi-square analysis showed that they were more likely to have a high suicidality rating (27% vs. 8%, p=0.003) than those without ASD traits. Moreover, those with ASD were significantly more likely to be experiencing a current episode of depression (30% vs. 6%, p<0.001) or Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (27% vs. 11% p=0.019).
Our initial data suggests that severity of ASD traits is a risk factor for suicidality and common mental health problems among prisoners.
Animal experimental studies suggest that 5-HT4 receptor activation holds promise as a novel target for the treatment of depression and cognitive impairment. 5-HT4 receptors are post-synaptic receptors that are located in striatal and limbic areas known to be involved in cognition and mood. Consistent with this, 5-HT4 receptor agonists produce rapid antidepressant effects in a number of animal models of depression, and pro-cognitive effects in tasks of learning and memory. These effects are accompanied by molecular changes, such as the increased expression of neuroplasticity-related proteins that are typical of clinically useful antidepressant drugs. Intriguingly, these antidepressant-like effects have a fast onset of their action, raising the possibility that 5-HT4 receptor agonists may be a particularly useful augmentation strategy in the early stages of SSRI treatment. Until recently, the translation of these effects to humans has been challenging. Here, we review the evidence from animal studies that the 5-HT4 receptor is a promising target for the treatment of depression and cognitive disorders, and outline a potential pathway for the efficient and cost-effective translation of these effects into humans and, ultimately, to the clinic.
Participation in European surveillance for bloodstream infection (BSI) commenced in Ireland in 1999 with all laboratories (n = 39) participating by 2014. Observational hand hygiene auditing (OHHA) was implemented in 2011. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of OHHA on hand hygiene compliance, alcohol hand rub (AHR) procurement and the incidence of sensitive and resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium and faecalis BSI. A prospective segmented regression analysis was performed to determine the temporal association between OHHA and outcomes. Observed hand hygiene improved from 74.7% (73.7–75.6) in 2011 to 90.8% (90.1–91.3) in 2016. AHR procurement increased from 20.1 l/1000 bed days used (BDU) in 2009 to 33.2 l/1000 BDU in 2016. A pre-intervention reduction of 2% per quarter in the ratio of methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus BSI/BDU stabilized in the time period after the intervention (P < 0.01). The ratio of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) BSI/BDU was decreasing by 5% per quarter pre-intervention, this slowed to 2% per quarter post intervention, (P < 0.01). There was no significant change in the ratio of vancomycin sensitive (P = 0.49) or vancomycin resistant (P = 0.90) Enterococcus sp. BSI/BDU post intervention. This study shows national OHHA increased observed hand hygiene compliance and AHR procurement, however there was no associated reduction in BSI.
Involuntary admission and treatment is often a traumatic experience for patients and there is a wide variation in attitudes towards care even when patients are recovered.
The purpose of this large prospective study was to identify clinical predictors of attitudes towards care during involuntary admission.
Three hundred and ninety-one consecutively admitted involuntarily patients to three psychiatric inpatient units over a 30-month period were invited to participate in the study. Comprehensive assessments at admission and 3 months after discharge were attained including measures of symptoms, insight, functioning, attitudes towards involuntary admission and coercive experiences. Multiple linear regression modelling was used to determine the optimal explanatory variables for attitudes towards care.
Two hundred and sixty-three individuals participated at baseline and 156 (59%) successfully completed follow-up assessments. Individuals improved significantly over time clinically and in their attitudes towards their care. At baseline greater insight (P < 0.001) and less symptoms (P = 0.02) were associated with more positive attitudes towards care as was older age (P = 0.001). At follow-up, greater insight (P < 0.001), less symptoms (P = 0.02) and being older (P = 0.04) were associated with more positive attitudes towards care. More positive attitudes towards care at follow-up were associated with greater improvements in insight over time (P < 0.001) and having a diagnosis of an affective psychosis (P = 0.0009).
The best predictors of positive attitudes towards care during and after involuntary admission are illness related factors, such as levels of insight and improvement in insight, rather than service or legislation related factors, such as the use of coercive measures, seclusion and restraint.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.