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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.
Characterizing non-lethal damage within dry seeds may allow us to detect early signs of ageing and accurately predict longevity. We compared RNA degradation and viability loss in seeds exposed to stressful conditions to quantify relationships between degradation rates and stress intensity or duration. We subjected recently harvested (‘fresh’) ‘Williams 82’ soya bean seeds to moisture, temperature and oxidative stresses, and measured time to 50% viability (P50) and rate of RNA degradation, the former using standard germination assays and the latter using RNA Integrity Number (RIN). RIN values from fresh seeds were also compared with those from accessions of the same cultivar harvested in the 1980s and 1990s and stored in the refrigerator (5°C), freezer (−18°C) or in vapour above liquid nitrogen (−176°C). Rates of viability loss (P50−1) and RNA degradation (RIN⋅d−1) were highly correlated in soya bean seeds that were exposed to a broad range of temperatures [holding relative humidity (RH) constant at about 30%]. However, the correlation weakened when fresh seeds were maintained at high RH (holding temperature constant at 35°C) or exposed to oxidizing agents. Both P50−1 and RIN⋅d−1 parameters exhibited breaks in Arrhenius behaviour near 50°C, suggesting that constrained molecular mobility regulates degradation kinetics of dry systems. We conclude that the kinetics of ageing reactions at RH near 30% can be simulated by temperatures up to 50°C and that RNA degradation can indicate ageing prior to and independent of seed death.
Rey’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) is a widely used word list memory test. We update normative data to include adjustment for verbal memory performance differences between men and women and illustrate the effect of this sex adjustment and the importance of excluding participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from normative samples.
This study advances the Mayo’s Older Americans Normative Studies (MOANS) by using a new population-based sample through the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, which randomly samples residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, from age- and sex-stratified groups. Regression-based normative T-score formulas were derived from 4428 cognitively unimpaired adults aged 30–91 years. Fully adjusted T-scores correct for age, sex, and education. We also derived T-scores that correct for (1) age or (2) age and sex. Test-retest reliability data are provided.
From raw score analyses, sex explained a significant amount of variance in performance above and beyond age (8–10%). Applying original age-adjusted MOANS norms to the current sample resulted in significantly fewer-than-expected participants with low delayed recall performance, particularly in women. After application of new T-scores adjusted only for age, even in normative data derived from this sample, these age-adjusted T-scores showed scores <40 T occurred more frequently among men and less frequently among women relative to T-scores that also adjusted for sex.
Our findings highlight the importance of using normative data that adjust for sex with measures of verbal memory and provide new normative data that allow for this adjustment for the AVLT.
Implantable neural interfaces are important tools to accelerate neuroscience research and translate clinical neurotechnologies. The promise of a bidirectional communication link between the nervous system of humans and computers is compelling, yet important materials challenges must be first addressed to improve the reliability of implantable neural interfaces. This perspective highlights recent progress and challenges related to arguably two of the most common failure modes for implantable neural interfaces: (1) compromised barrier layers and packaging leading to failure of electronic components; (2) encapsulation and rejection of the implant due to injurious tissue–biomaterials interactions, which erode the quality and bandwidth of signals across the biology–technology interface. Innovative materials and device design concepts could address these failure modes to improve device performance and broaden the translational prospects of neural interfaces. A brief overview of contemporary neural interfaces is presented and followed by recent progress in chemistry, materials, and fabrication techniques to improve in vivo reliability, including novel barrier materials and harmonizing the various incongruences of the tissue–device interface. Challenges and opportunities related to the clinical translation of neural interfaces are also discussed.
We describe transmission of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli sequence type (ST) 1193 in a group home. E. coli ST1193 is an emerging multidrug-resistant clone not previously shown to carry carbapenemases in the United States. Our investigation illustrates the potential of residential group homes to amplify rare combinations of pathogens and resistance mechanisms.
The nature and degree of cognitive impairments in schizoaffective disorder is not well established. The aim of this meta-analysis was to characterise cognitive functioning in schizoaffective disorder and compare it with cognition in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Schizoaffective disorder was considered both as a single category and as its two diagnostic subtypes, bipolar and depressive disorder.
Following a thorough literature search (468 records identified), we included 31 studies with a total of 1685 participants with schizoaffective disorder, 3357 with schizophrenia and 1095 with bipolar disorder. Meta-analyses were conducted for seven cognitive variables comparing performance between participants with schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, and between schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder.
Participants with schizoaffective disorder performed worse than those with bipolar disorder (g = −0.30) and better than those with schizophrenia (g = 0.17). Meta-analyses of the subtypes of schizoaffective disorder showed cognitive impairments in participants with the depressive subtype are closer in severity to those seen in participants with schizophrenia (g = 0.08), whereas those with the bipolar subtype were more impaired than those with bipolar disorder (g = −0.23) and less impaired than those with schizophrenia (g = 0.29). Participants with the depressive subtype had worse performance than those with the bipolar subtype but this was not significant (g = 0.25, p = 0.05).
Cognitive impairments increase in severity from bipolar disorder to schizoaffective disorder to schizophrenia. Differences between the subtypes of schizoaffective disorder suggest combining the subtypes of schizoaffective disorder may obscure a study's results and hamper efforts to understand the relationship between this disorder and schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Many plant bugs (Miridae) are generalist herbivores that feed on multiple host species. The reasons these bugs move across hosts and the behavioural mechanisms responsible for their retention at specific hosts remain elusive. Green mirids (Creontiades dilutus) are endemic to Australia. These insects are important pests of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and even in low numbers can cause substantial damage to crops. These bugs are also present in relatively much higher numbers on pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) planted alongside cotton fields, and evidence shows they move across these crops in both directions. Observations of these highly mobile insects in the field are challenging, but indirect evidence suggests that they may be nocturnal. This study evaluated: (1) the diel (24 h) period in which C. dilutus adults were most active, (2) whether they respond to plant volatiles immediately prior to landing on host substrates, and (3) if their presence on a host is in response to attraction or arrestment cues. The results suggest that C. dilutus bugs are typically most active early in the evenings, after remaining motionless during the day (unless disturbed). Their movement (at night) was arrested by hosts prior to touching plant tissues. There was no evidence to suggest that these bugs are attracted by volatiles beyond 2 cm. These outcomes demonstrate that insect behaviours need to be investigated within their typical activity periods, and that arrestment cues possibly play a central role in the host finding process of generalist C. dilutus and probably, therefore, other mirid species.
It is not clear to what extent associations between schizophrenia, cannabis use and cigarette use are due to a shared genetic etiology. We, therefore, examined whether schizophrenia genetic risk associates with longitudinal patterns of cigarette and cannabis use in adolescence and mediating pathways for any association to inform potential reduction strategies.
Associations between schizophrenia polygenic scores and longitudinal latent classes of cigarette and cannabis use from ages 14 to 19 years were investigated in up to 3925 individuals in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Mediation models were estimated to assess the potential mediating effects of a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral phenotypes.
The schizophrenia polygenic score, based on single nucleotide polymorphisms meeting a training-set p threshold of 0.05, was associated with late-onset cannabis use (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.08,1.41), but not with cigarette or early-onset cannabis use classes. This association was not mediated through lower IQ, victimization, emotional difficulties, antisocial behavior, impulsivity, or poorer social relationships during childhood. Sensitivity analyses adjusting for genetic liability to cannabis or cigarette use, using polygenic scores excluding the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster, or basing scores on a 0.5 training-set p threshold, provided results consistent with our main analyses.
Our study provides evidence that genetic risk for schizophrenia is associated with patterns of cannabis use during adolescence. Investigation of pathways other than the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral phenotypes examined here is required to identify modifiable targets to reduce the public health burden of cannabis use in the population.
Half or more of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from co-occurring alcohol use disorder and/or drug use disorder. The aim of the study was to investigate the development of substance use disorders (SUD) in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the long-term course.
175 patients with BPD and 396 patients with other personality disorders (OPD) were assessed with semistructured interviews at baseline and at 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, and 84 months. They were compared on the frequency of new onsets of SUD. Kaplan-Meier analyses were used to to generate time to new onsets, and Cox regression analyses were used to examine relevant predictors for new onsets.
BPD patients did show a shorter time to new onsets of SUD than the OPD group. Thirteen percent of BPD patients developed a new alcohol use disorder, and 11% developed a new drug use disorder, as compared to rates of 6% and 4% respectively for OPD. The number of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) criteria predicted new onsets of SUD in BPD.
Patients with BPD have a two to three times higher risk than patients with selected other personality disorders of developing a new SUD. The severity of antisocial psychopathology is related to new onsets of substance use disorder in BPD. These findings support the concept of a spectrum relationship between ASPD, BPD and SUD.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an important treatment in conjunction with psychopharmacotherapy in schizophrenia. However, there is only very little research on the effects of such interventions on brain function.
Recent studies have suggested that jumping to conclusions and a specific attributional bias is a predominant cognitive style in patients which might lead to the development of delusions. In this multi-centre fMRI trial, we investigated the effect of nine months of CBT on neural correlates of “jumping to conclusions” and the “attributional style” in patients with psychosis. Eighty patients and 80 control subjects were recruited in six centres and measured with 3-Tesla functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) before and after CBT.
It could be shown that CBT ameliorates differences in brain activations between patients and controls after nine months.
These results support the feasibility of fMRI multicenter trials and sheds further light into the mechanisms relating psychotherapy to brain function in Schizophrenia.
There is evidence that patients with persecutory delusions tend to attribute excessively hypothetical positive events to internal causes and hypothetical negative events to external causes, arrive at hasty conclusions and fail in gathering and assessing adequate feedback, particularly when emotionally salient material is involved. Research on the neural correlates of the corresponding neural correlates and even more so on the potential effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on the associated cerebral networks is almost unavailable.
The first and preliminary results of a multicentre fMRI study will be presented.
In this study eighty schizophrenia patients from the POSITIVE clinical trial and eighty healthy subjects were recruited at six German university hospitals (Bonn, Duisburg-Essen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne, Tubingen). After nine months of therapy (either with CBT or Supportive Therapy) patients and controls were re-examined enabling the study correlates of cerebral reorganization processes.
We found reliable differences in brain activation relating to phenomena of decision making under uncertainty, and biased attribution (self- vs. external reference of emotional events).
The comparison of both groups revealed significant decreased activation in key areas for decision making, self-reflection, self-relevance and agency attribution of patients with schizophrenia.
The preliminary data analysis of the still blinded treatment arms shows significantly increased activations in these areas after nine months of CBT. This suggest neuroplasitic changes according to relearning strategies in psychotic patients with schizophrenia and will hopefully give rise to a more widespread application of CBT in treatment of schizophrenia.
Halting biodiversity loss depends on changing people’s choices and actions. Increasingly, conservationists use approaches based on social marketing to influence people’s behaviour for the benefit of wider society through techniques developed in the business world. We give definitions of the terms and outline when it should be used instead of, or alongside, law-based, education-based and technical intervention-based approaches. We then illustrate the systematic, step-by-step process underpinning social marketing campaigns with an example from the Caribbean, where the number of people taking wild parrots as pets was successfully reduced. This is followed by examples of social marketing from three different conservation contexts: in community-based natural resource management to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species, in demand reduction for rhino horn products, and in flagship species fundraising to broaden the benefits for biodiversity. We discuss the lessons that relate more broadly to conservation, including the need to acknowledge ethical issues and the difficulties involved in changing behaviour and the importance of identifying target audiences and evaluating campaigns.
Treatment resistant schizophrenia (TRS) is one of the most disabling of psychiatric disorders, affecting about 1/3 of patients. First-line treatments include both atypical and typical antipsychotics. The original atypical, clozapine, is a final option, and although it has been shown to be the only effective treatment for TRS, many patients do not respond well to clozapine. Clozapine use is related to adverse events, most notably agranulocytosis, a potentially fatal blood disorder which affects about 1% of those prescribed clozapine and requires regular blood monitoring. This as a barrier to prescription and there is a long delay in access for TRS patients, of five or more years, from first antipsychotic prescription. Better tools to predict treatment resistance and to identify risk of adverse events would allow faster and safer access to clozapine for patients who are likely to benefit from it. The CRESTAR project (www.crestar-project.eu) is a European Framework 7 collaborative project that aims to develop tools to predict i) treatment response, particularly patients who are less likely to respond to usual antipsychotics, indicating treatment with clozapine as early as possible, ii) patients who are at high or low risk of adverse events and side effects, iii) extreme TRS patients so that they can be stratified in clinical trials for novel treatments. CRESTAR has addressed these questions by examining genome-wide association data, genome sequence, epigenetic biomarkers and epidemiological data in European patient cohorts characterized for treatment response, and adverse drug reaction using data from clozapine therapeutic drug monitoring and linked National population medical and pharmacy databases, to identify predictive factors. In parallel CRESTAR will perform health economic research on potential benefits, and ethics and patient-centred research with stakeholders.
Language disturbances are the core symptoms of schizophrenia [Crow,2000]. Considering the influence of migration on the symptoms of schizophrenia [Bhugra, Gupta,2011] and few studies on the interaction of schizophrenia and bilingualism [Bersudsky, et al.,2005], we hope to clarify the linguistic profile of disorder and emphasize the role of language in schizophrenia research.
To examine the linguistic features of schizophrenia in the first (L1) and the second (L2) languages, particularly in fluency as the ability to cope with native and nonnative pragmatics.
Among sixty Russian immigrants to Israel diagnosed with schizophrenia, ten Russian-Hebrew fluent bilinguals met criteria for inclusion in the study (age: M=33.8,s.d.=11.0; length of residence: M=14.6,s.d.=6.8; time of immigration to diagnosis:M=5.3,s.d=3.9; PANSS Total score: M = 94.9,s.d = 9.8). Interviews were analyzed using clinical, linguistic and fluency speech markers. Statistical evaluation included t-test for dependent samples, two-way ANOVA(Fisher LSD post-hoc test).
The mean length of language samples demonstrated more productivity in L1 (Table1). Clinical speech markers associated with thought disorders were similarly represented in both languages. Linguistic markers of schizophrenia occurred more often in L2. Discourse markers, as bilingual phenomenona, reflected more dysfluency in L1.
1) The higher frequency of linguistic schizophrenia markers in L2 shows more impairments in the syntax/semantic components of language, where different neural representations may underlay the two languages in a bilingual brain damaged by schizophrenia. 2) The higher frequency of fluency markers in L1 reflects attempts to maintain verbal fluency, evidenced by the use of L2 lexical items, which afford a compensatory resource for communicative discourse in schizophrenia.
Alcohol dependence is a complex psychiatric disorder.
To investigate the role of temperament on the course of alcohol dependence.
To further investigate the role of temperaments in alcohol dependent patients and to analyse the differences in relevant clinical features in correlation with the different temperament distributions.
The patients‘case files of 116 alcohol dependent patients, according to ICD-10 and DSM-IV-TR, admitted to the Vienna General Hospital between 02/08 and 03/09, were examined retrospectively. The brief-TEMPS-M auto-questionnaire was used to assess the temperamental distribution. The dimensions of alcohol dependence have been assessed using the Lesch Alcoholism Typology, a computerized structured interview. The potential effect of temperamental scores on various outcomes describing the course of illness is investigated using multi-variable regression models.
Cyclothymic score was the only temperament which significantly influenced the age of onset of alcohol abuse and age of onset of alcohol dependence. Backward selection among temperaments exhibits depressive temperament as most important effect regarding the likelihood of suicide-attempts in the patient‘s case history and anxious temperament as most important effect regarding having psychiatric treatment focusing on alcohol dependence prior to current in- or outpatient stay.
Dominant cyclothymic, but also depressive and anxious temperament, seem to be negative predictors for the course of illness in alcohol dependence.
Pedophilia is a disorder where sexual preferences of adults are directed towards children. This disorder impacts society with 1–2 out of every 10 children being sexually approached by an adult, often resulting in prolonged negative psychological effects. Prior research reported structural and functional amygdala alterations in pedophilia. As the neurophenomenological model of sexual arousal suggests the importance of the amygdala in the emotional component, we focused on amygdala functional connectivity in pedophilia.
To investigate amygdala functional connectivity (FC) modulated by expectancy and salient stimuli in pedophilic patients.
Thirteen pedophilic patients and 13 matched healthy controls underwent a salience expectancy task in a 7T ultra high fMRI study. Subjects perceived pictures of naked adults and children. Half of the pictures were preceded by an expectancy cue. Participants were instructed to actively expect the picture depending on the cue. We conducted psychophysiological analysis (PPI) to examine amygdala FC changes in two amygdala sub-regions for child/adult stimuli during the expectancy period and the visual stimuli consummation period using as seed regions the basolateral (BLA) and central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA).
Healthy controls, relative to patients showed significant stronger left CeA to right post-central gyrus FC during expectancy of adult > child picture. For picture condition (adult > child picture) we found significant stronger left CeA to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex FC in patients compared to healthy controls.
These findings add to the recent literature by indicating that amygdala dysfunctional connectivity is involved in development of deviant sexual behavior.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The development and maintenance of an alcohol addiction is a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Genetic effects seem to contribute substantially to the risk of developing an addiction, but also to its course and patients’ responses to different treatments. Recent studies identified associations between polymorphisms in the genes of glutamate and μ-opioid receptors and addiction risk. Those receptors are of special interest, because they are targets of therapeutic agents, such as acamprosate and topiramate.
Objectives and aims
Several studies were conducted, in order to further determine the effects of genetic polymorphisms in glutamate and opioid receptor genes on addictive behavior, neural response to alcohol cues and relapse risk.
Genetic effects were investigated in samples of alcohol-dependent patients using functional imaging techniques, neuropsychological tests and follow-up investigation after standard clinical treatment. Data on clinical parameters, neuronal response to alcohol cues, functional neuronal connectivity and relapse risk were collected and analyzed.
Results demonstrate effects of genetic polymorphisms in glutamate and opioid receptors on neuronal response to alcohol cues in frontal and mesolimbic brain areas, subjective craving and time to first relapse. Current findings will be discussed in the light of existing evidence on the contribution of genetic effects to treatment outcome and patient stratification.
The investigation of genetic risk factors and mechanisms by which they affect addiction related phenotypes seems to be a promising tool to identify molecular treatment targets and predictors for successful treatment strategies.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Diet modifies the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), and inconclusive evidence suggests that yogurt may protect against CRC. We analysed the data collected from two separate colonoscopy-based case–control studies. The Tennessee Colorectal Polyp Study (TCPS) and Johns Hopkins Biofilm Study included 5446 and 1061 participants, respectively, diagnosed with hyperplastic polyp (HP), sessile serrated polyp, adenomatous polyp (AP) or without any polyps. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to derive OR and 95 % CI to evaluate comparisons between cases and polyp-free controls and case–case comparisons between different polyp types. We evaluated the association between frequency of yogurt intake and probiotic use with the diagnosis of colorectal polyps. In the TCPS, daily yogurt intake v. no/rare intake was associated with decreased odds of HP (OR 0·54; 95 % CI 0·31, 0·95) and weekly yogurt intake was associated with decreased odds of AP among women (OR 0·73; 95 % CI 0·55, 0·98). In the Biofilm Study, both weekly yogurt intake and probiotic use were associated with a non-significant reduction in odds of overall AP (OR 0·75; 95 % CI 0·54, 1·04) and (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·49, 1·06) in comparison with no use, respectively. In summary, yogurt intake may be associated with decreased odds of HP and AP and probiotic use may be associated with decreased odds of AP. Further prospective studies are needed to verify these associations.