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Suicide accounts for 2.2% of all years of life lost worldwide. We aimed to establish whether infectious epidemics are associated with any changes in the incidence of suicide or the period prevalence of self-harm, or thoughts of suicide or self-harm, with a secondary objective of establishing the frequency of these outcomes.
In this systematic review and meta-analysis, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and AMED were searched from inception to 9 September 2020. Studies of infectious epidemics reporting outcomes of (a) death by suicide, (b) self-harm or (c) thoughts of suicide or self-harm were identified. A random-effects model meta-analysis for the period prevalence of thoughts of suicide or self-harm was conducted.
In total, 1354 studies were screened with 57 meeting eligibility criteria, of which 7 described death by suicide, 9 by self-harm, and 45 thoughts of suicide or self-harm. The observation period ranged from 1910 to 2020 and included epidemics of Spanish Flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome, human monkeypox, Ebola virus disease and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Regarding death by suicide, data with a clear longitudinal comparison group were available for only two epidemics: SARS in Hong Kong, finding an increase in suicides among the elderly, and COVID-19 in Japan, finding no change in suicides among children and adolescents. In terms of self-harm, five studies examined emergency department attendances in epidemic and non-epidemic periods, of which four found no difference and one showed a reduction during the epidemic. In studies of thoughts of suicide or self-harm, one large survey showed a substantial increase in period prevalence compared to non-epidemic periods, but smaller studies showed no difference. As a secondary objective, a meta-analysis of thoughts of suicide and self-harm found that the pooled prevalence was 8.0% overall (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.2–12.0%; 14 820 of 99 238 cases in 24 studies) over a time period of between seven days and six months. The quality assessment found 42 studies were of high quality, nine of moderate quality and six of high quality.
There is little robust evidence on the association of infectious epidemics with suicide, self-harm and thoughts of suicide or self-harm. There was an increase in suicides among the elderly in Hong Kong during SARS and no change in suicides among young people in Japan during COVID-19, but it is unclear how far these findings may be generalised. The development of up-to-date self-harm and suicide statistics to monitor the effect of the current pandemic is an urgent priority.
The primary aim of this review is to evaluate the efficacy of essential amino acid (EAA) supplementation as a strategy to increase dietary protein intake and improve muscle mass, strength and function in older adults. A sufficient daily protein intake is widely recognised to be fundamental for the successful management of sarcopenia in older undernourished adults. In practice, optimising protein intakes in older adults is complex, requiring consideration of the dose and amino acid composition (i.e. a complete EAA profile and abundant leucine content) of ingested protein on a per meal basis, alongside the age-related decline in appetite and the satiating properties of protein. Recent studies in older adults demonstrate that EAA-based supplements are non-satiating and can be administered alongside food to enhance the anabolic properties of a meal containing a suboptimal dose of protein; an effect magnified when combined with resistance exercise training. These findings support the notion that EAA supplementation could serve as an effective strategy to improve musculoskeletal health in older adults suffering from non-communicable diseases such as sarcopenia. Compliance is critical for the long-term success of complex interventions. Hence, aspects of palatability and desire to eat are important considerations regarding EAA supplementation. In conclusion, EAA-based supplements enriched with l-leucine offer an alternative strategy to whole protein sources to assist older adults in meeting protein recommendations. In practice, EAA supplements could be administered alongside meals of suboptimal protein content, or alternatively between meals on occasions when older adults achieve their per meal protein intake recommendations.
The mechanics of extreme intensity events in the buffer and logarithmic layers of a turbulent channel at $Re_\tau =2000$ is investigated. The 99.9th percentile of the most intense events in the dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy is analysed by means of conditional space–time proper orthogonal decomposition. The computed spatio-temporal modes are coherent in space and over the considered time frame, and optimally capture the energy of the ensemble. The most energetic mode with transverse symmetric structure describes a turbulent burst event. The underlying mechanism is a varicose instability which generates localized extrema in the dissipation and production of turbulent kinetic energy and drives the formation of a hairpin vortex. The most energetic anti-symmetric mode is related to a sinuous-type instability that is situated in the shear layer between two very-large-scale streaks. Statistical results show the energy in the symmetric mode to exceed that in the anti-symmetric mode by a near constant factor for the considered wall distances. Both mechanisms occur throughout the range of wall distances in an effectively self-similar manner that is consistent with the attached-eddy hypothesis. By analogy with transitional flows, the results suggest that the events are induced by an exponential growth mechanism.
Recent technological advances have led to a novel class of microfluidic devices which can be rapidly fabricated by printing a fluid onto a solid substrate with flows generated passively via surface tension. The nonlinear dependence between flow and the heights of the conduits, however, prevent straightforward calculation of the resulting dynamics. In this paper we use matched asymptotic expansions to predict how flow through these devices can be tuned by changing their geometry. We begin with the simple ‘dumbbell’ configuration in which two fluid drops with different sizes are connected by a long, thin and narrow conduit. We calculate the time scale required for one drop to drain into the other and how this depends both on the geometry of the pinned contact line and volume of fluid deposited into the drops. Our model therefore provides the mechanistic basis to design conduits with a particular fluid flux and/or shear stress, which are often key experimental constraints. Our asymptotic predictions are shown to be in excellent agreement with numerical simulations even for moderate aspect ratios (the ratio of conduit width to length). Next, we show how our results for the simple dumbbell configuration can be extended to predict the flow through networks of conduits with multiple drops and nodes, and hence may assist in their design and implementation. This new mathematical framework has the potential to increase the use of surface tension driven microfluidics across a wide range of disciplines as it allows alternate designs to be rapidly assessed.
Over the past 15 years, there has been substantial growth in web-based psychological interventions. We summarize evidence regarding the efficacy of web-based self-directed psychological interventions on depressive, anxiety and distress symptoms in people living with a chronic health condition.
We searched Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE databases and Cochrane Database from 1990 to 1 May 2019. English language papers of randomized controlled trials (usual care or waitlist control) of web-based psychological interventions with a primary or secondary aim to reduce anxiety, depression or distress in adults with a chronic health condition were eligible. Results were assessed using narrative synthases and random-effects meta-analyses.
In total 70 eligible studies across 17 health conditions [most commonly: cancer (k = 20), chronic pain (k = 9), arthritis (k = 6) and multiple sclerosis (k = 5), diabetes (k = 4), fibromyalgia (k = 4)] were identified. Interventions were based on CBT principles in 46 (66%) studies and 42 (60%) included a facilitator. When combining all chronic health conditions, web-based interventions were more efficacious than control conditions in reducing symptoms of depression g = 0.30 (95% CI 0.22–0.39), anxiety g = 0.19 (95% CI 0.12–0.27), and distress g = 0.36 (95% CI 0.23–0.49).
Evidence regarding effectiveness for specific chronic health conditions was inconsistent. While self-guided online psychological interventions may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and distress in people with chronic health conditions in general, it is unclear if these interventions are effective for specific health conditions. More high-quality evidence is needed before definite conclusions can be made.
Approximately, 1.7 million individuals in the United States have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This has disproportionately impacted adults, but many children have been infected and hospitalised as well. To date, there is not much information published addressing the cardiac workup and monitoring of children with COVID-19. Here, we share the approach to the cardiac workup and monitoring utilised at a large congenital heart centre in New York City, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
The COVID-19 pandemic is exerting major pressures on society, health and social care services and science. Understanding the progression and current impact of the pandemic is fundamental to planning, management and mitigation of future impact on the population. Surveillance is the core function of any public health system, and a multi-component surveillance system for COVID-19 is essential to understand the burden across the different strata of any health system and the population. Many countries and public health bodies utilise ‘syndromic surveillance’ (using real-time, often non-specific symptom/preliminary diagnosis information collected during routine healthcare provision) to supplement public health surveillance programmes. The current COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a series of unprecedented challenges to syndromic surveillance including: the impact of media reporting during early stages of the pandemic; changes in healthcare-seeking behaviour resulting from government guidance on social distancing and accessing healthcare services; and changes in clinical coding and patient management systems. These have impacted on the presentation of syndromic outputs, with changes in denominators creating challenges for the interpretation of surveillance data. Monitoring changes in healthcare utilisation is key to interpreting COVID-19 surveillance data, which can then be used to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the population. Syndromic surveillance systems have had to adapt to encompass these changes, whilst also innovating by taking opportunities to work with data providers to establish new data feeds and develop new COVID-19 indicators. These developments are supporting the current public health response to COVID-19, and will also be instrumental in the continued and future fight against the disease.
This chapter provides a wide-ranging review of the clinical pharmacology of drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis other than clozapine. These are dopamine receptor antagonists and dopamine partial agonists (as per the new Neuroscience-based Nomenclature (NbN) classification). This chapter covers their pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, the latest evidence regarding their ‘antipsychotic’ mechanism of action, their use in the acute and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia, other therapeutic indications and some controversies that surround their use.
Dopamine receptor antagonists and dopamine partial agonists are commonly referred to as antipsychotics. As a clinical shorthand the term ‘antipsychotic’ is likely to remain in use.
In this paper we explore ancient DNA (aDNA) as a powerful new technique for archaeologists. We argue that for aDNA to reach its full potential we need to carefully consider its theoretical underpinnings. We suggest that at present much aDNA research rests upon two problematic theoretical assumptions: first, that nature and culture exist in binary opposition and that DNA is a part of nature; second, that cultures form distinct and bounded identities. The nature–culture binary, which underpins much aDNA research, not only is a misunderstanding of our world but also results in placing archaeology and material culture in a secondary and subservient position to science and aDNA. Viewing cultures as distinct and bounded creates exclusionary, simplistic and singular identities for past populations. This stands in contrast to the work of social scientists, which has revealed identity to be complex, multiple, changing and contradictory. We offer a new way forward drawing upon assemblage thinking and post-humanism. This allows us to consider the messy and complex nature of our world and of human identities, and demands that we expect equally messy and complex results to emerge when we bring aDNA into conversation with other forms of archaeological evidence.
We report two cases of respiratory toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection in fully vaccinated UK born adults following travel to Tunisia in October 2019. Both patients were successfully treated with antibiotics and neither received diphtheria antitoxin. Contact tracing was performed following a risk assessment but no additional cases were identified. This report highlights the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion for re-emerging infections in patients with a history of travel to high-risk areas outside Europe.
Physical evidence of weapon trauma in medieval burials is unusual, and evidence for trauma caused by arrowheads is exceptionally rare. Where high frequencies of traumatic injuries have been identified, this is mainly in contexts related to battles; it is much less common in normative burials. Osteological analysis of one context from an assemblage of disarticulated and commingled human bones recovered from a cemetery associated with the thirteenth-century Dominican friary in Exeter, Devon, shows several instances of weapon trauma, including multiple injuries caused by projectile points. Arrow trauma is notoriously difficult to identify, but this assemblage shows that arrows fired from longbows could result in entry and exit wounds in the skull not incomparable to modern gunshot wounds. Microscopic examination of the fracture patterns and spalling associated with these puncture wounds provides tentative evidence that medieval arrows were fletched to spin clockwise. These results have profound implications for our understanding of the power of the medieval longbow, for how we recognise arrow trauma in the archaeological record and for our knowledge of how common violent death and injury were in the medieval past, and how and where casualties were buried.
High levels of alexithymia as well as low scores on assertiveness have been described in patients with chronic pain and headache.
To determine alexithymia and assertiveness scores and to explore their association with headache impact, in primary chronic headache patients.
This study aims to advance knowledge of the emotional expressiveness in headache impact.
In a sample of 62 outpatients, we used the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Rathus Assertiveness Scale and the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) and applied the Pearson correlation index.
77.4% of women, 36.3 years mean age. The most prevalent diagnoses are migraine combined with tension type headache (33.9%), migraine alone (32.3%) and tension-type headache alone (22.6%). Most of the patients have not any psychiatric comorbidity (77.8%). We observe a direct linear relationship and statistically significant difference, between the total impact of headache and the total score of alexithymia (r = 0.27 p = 0.03) and there is an inverse correlation between the impact of headache and the total score of the scale of assertiveness, not statistically significant (r = −0.004 p = 0.97).
Discriminated by diagnostic groups, we found that the association between assertiveness and headache impact remains only in patients with migraine alone, while that between alexithymia and headache impact is preserved in all subgroups.
Two indirect measures of the difficulties in emotional expressiveness such as alexithymia and assertiveness, show the expected association with headache impact. The sample size can influence some of the correlations not statistically significant.
Case management has been an integral part of psychiatric practice in the United States for over a decade and has generated a large body of literature. The application of case management principles to the care of people suffering from psychiatric disorders is becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom and Europe and literature is now beginning to be published. However, no definitive statements about the efficacy of case management have been made due to a range of conceptual and methodological problems. The present paper is a critical review of the case management outcome literature. Reported outcomes are reviewed in the context of study design and service characteristics. The authors conclude that case management practice can have at least some impact on patients' use of services (including marked decrease in in-patient bed days); satisfaction with services; engagement with services; and social networks and relationships when it is delivered as a direct, clinical service with high staff: patient ratios. A set of recommendations are suggested for the future practice and presentation of research into case management.
Airborne radio-echo sounding (RES) surveys are widely used to measure ice-sheet bed topography. Measuring bed topography as accurately and widely as possible is of critical importance to modelling ice dynamics and hence to constraining better future ice response to climate change. Measurement accuracy of RES surveys is influenced both by the geometry of bed topography and the survey design. Here we develop a novel approach for simulating RES surveys over glaciated terrain, to quantify the sensitivity of derived bed elevation to topographic geometry. Furthermore, we investigate how measurement errors influence the quantification of glacial valley geometry. We find a negative bias across RES measurements, where off-nadir return measurement error is typically −1.8 ± 11.6 m. Topographic highlands are under-measured an order of magnitude more than lowlands. Consequently, valley depth and cross-sectional area are largely under-estimated. While overall estimates of ice thickness are likely too high, we find large glacier valley cross-sectional area to be under-estimated by −2.8 ± 18.1%. Therefore, estimates of ice flux through large outlet glaciers are likely too low when this effect is not taken into account. Additionally, bed mismeasurements potentially impact our appreciation of outlet-glacier stability.
From 1971 to 2012, in New York State, years with human Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) were more strongly associated with the presence of Aedes canadensis, Coquillettidia perturbans and Culiseta melanura mosquitoes infected with the EEE virus (Fisher's exact test, one-sided P = 0.005, 0.03, 0.03) than with Culiseta morsitans, Aedes vexans, Culex pipiens-restuans, Anopheles quadrimaculatus or Anopheles punctipennis (P = 0.05, 0.40, 0.33, 1.00, 1.00). The estimated relative risk of a case in a year in which the virus was detected vs. not detected was 14.67 for Ae. canadensis, 6.38 for Cq. perturbans and 5.50 for Cs. morsitans. In all 5 years with a case, Cs. melanura with the virus was detected. In no year was there a case in the absence of Cs. melanura with the virus. There were 18 years with no case in the presence of Cs. melanura with the virus. Such observations may identify the time of increased risk, and when the methods may be used to prevent or reduce exposure to vector mosquito species in this geographic region.
National guidance cautions against low-intensity interventions for people with personality disorder, but evidence from trials is lacking.
To test the feasibility of conducting a randomised trial of a low-intensity intervention for people with personality disorder.
Single-blind, feasibility trial (trial registration: ISRCTN14994755). We recruited people aged 18 or over with a clinical diagnosis of personality disorder from mental health services, excluding those with a coexisting organic or psychotic mental disorder. We randomly allocated participants via a remote system on a 1:1 ratio to six to ten sessions of Structured Psychological Support (SPS) or to treatment as usual. We assessed social functioning, mental health, health-related quality of life, satisfaction with care and resource use and costs at baseline and 24 weeks after randomisation.
A total of 63 participants were randomly assigned to either SPS (n = 33) or treatment as usual (n = 30). Twenty-nine (88%) of those in the active arm of the trial received one or more session (median 7). Among 46 (73%) who were followed up at 24 weeks, social dysfunction was lower (−6.3, 95% CI −12.0 to −0.6, P = 0.03) and satisfaction with care was higher (6.5, 95% CI 2.5 to 10.4; P = 0.002) in those allocated to SPS. Statistically significant differences were not found in other outcomes. The cost of the intervention was low and total costs over 24 weeks were similar in both groups.
SPS may provide an effective low-intensity intervention for people with personality disorder and should be tested in fully powered clinical trials.
Technological advances have led to better patient outcomes and the expansion of clinical services in paediatric cardiology. This expansion creates an ever-growing workload for clinicians, which has led to workflow and staffing issues that need to be addressed. The objective of this study was the development of a novel tool to measure the clinical workload of a paediatric cardiology service in Cape Town, South Africa: The patient encounter index is a tool designed to quantify clinical workload. It is defined as a ratio of the measured duration of clinical work to the total time available for such work. This index was implemented as part of a prospective cross-sectional study design. Clinical workload data were collected over a 10-day period using time-and-motion sampling. Clinicians were contractually expected to spend 50% of their daily workload on patient care. The median patient encounter index for the Western Cape Paediatric Cardiac Service was 0.81 (range 0.19–1.09), reflecting that 81% of total contractual working time was spent on clinical activities. This study describes the development and implementation of a novel tool for clinical workload quantification and describes its application to a busy paediatric cardiology service in Cape Town, South Africa. This tool prospectively quantifies clinical workload which may directly influence patient outcomes. Implementation of this novel tool in the described setting clearly demonstrated the excessive workload of the clinical service and facilitated effective motivation for improved allocation of resources.
Resilience is a cross-disciplinary concept that is relevant for understanding the sustainability of the social and environmental conditions in which we live. Most research normatively focuses on building or strengthening resilience, despite growing recognition of the importance of breaking the resilience of, and thus transforming, unsustainable social-ecological systems. Undesirable resilience (cf. lock-ins, social-ecological traps), however, is not only less explored in the academic literature, but its understanding is also more fragmented across different disciplines. This disparity can inhibit collaboration among researchers exploring interdependent challenges in sustainability sciences. In this article, we propose that the term lock-in may contribute to a common understanding of undesirable resilience across scientific fields.
Flagellar dyneins are the molecular motors responsible for producing the propagating bending motions of cilia and flagella. They are located within a densely packed and highly organised super-macromolecular cytoskeletal structure known as the axoneme. Using the mesoscale simulation technique Fluctuating Finite Element Analysis (FFEA), which represents proteins as viscoelastic continuum objects subject to explicit thermal noise, we have quantified the constraints on the range of molecular conformations that can be explored by dynein-c within the crowded architecture of the axoneme. We subsequently assess the influence of crowding on the 3D exploration of microtubule-binding sites, and specifically on the axial step length. Our calculations combine experimental information on the shape, flexibility and environment of dynein-c from three distinct sources; negative stain electron microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). Our FFEA simulations show that the super-macromolecular organisation of multiple protein complexes into higher-order structures can have a significant influence on the effective flexibility of the individual molecular components, and may, therefore, play an important role in the physical mechanisms underlying their biological function.