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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a high demand on personal protective equipment, including disposable N95 masks. Given the need for mask reuse, we tested the feasibility of vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), ultraviolet light (UV), and ethanol decontamination strategies on N95 mask integrity and the ability to remove the infectious potential of SARS-CoV-2.
Disposable N95 masks, including medical grade (1860, 1870+) and industrial grade (8511) masks, were treated by vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), ultraviolet light (UV), and ethanol decontamination. Mask degradation was tested using a quantitative respirator fit testing. Pooled clinical samples of SARS-CoV-2 were applied to mask samples, treated and and then either sent immediately for real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or incubated with Vero E6 cells to assess for viracidal effect.
Both ethanol and UV decontamination showed functional degradation to different degrees while VHP treatment showed no significant change after 2 treatments.We also report a single SARS-CoV-2 virucidal experiment using Vero E6 cell infection in which only ethanol treatment eliminated detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
We hope our data will guide further research for evidenced-based decisions for disposable N95 mask reuse and help protect caregivers from SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Our objective is to understand the influence of the features comprising metabolic syndrome (central obesity, raised fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides, blood pressure, and decreased HDL cholesterol) on brain structure in men and women. With the understanding that MetS is a strong predictor of gray matter volume loss in specific brain regions, in this study we sought to quantify the influence of each of the metabolic syndrome biometric variables on the structures involved in the neural signature of metabolic syndrome. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We conducted multiple linear regression analyses on a cross-sectional sample of 800 individuals from the Genetics of Brian Structure (GOBS) image archive (352 men and 448 women). GOBS is an offshoot of the San Antonio Heart Study involving an extended pedigree of Mexican Americans from the greater San Antonio area. Its goal is to localize, identify, and characterize genes/quantitative trait loci associated with variations in brain structure and function (Winkler, 2010). The archive has continuously added participants from approximately 40 families since 2006. Neuroanatomic (T1-weighted MRI scans obtained on a Siemens 3T scanner and processed using FSL), neurocognitive, and biometric phenotypes have been obtained for each subject (including blood lipids). Linear regressions were run using SPSS and incorporated biometric and gray matter volume values obtained from 800 GOBS participants. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Linear regressions incorporating metabolic syndrome variables as dependent variables and gray matter volume from regions involved in the neural signature of metabolic syndrome as predictors show significant predictive patterns that are largely similar between men and women, with some differences. Another linear regression conducted with gray matter volume from the neural signature of metabolic syndrome as the dependent variable and metabolic syndrome variables as predictors show that waist circumference and triglycerides are the greatest predictors of gray matter volume loss in men, and fasting plasma glucose and waist circumference are the greatest predictors of gray matter volume loss in women. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Significant sex differences in the relationships between metabolic syndrome variables and gray matter volume changes between brain regions comprising the neural signature of metabolic syndrome were identified. waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose, and triglycerides are the most reliable predictors of gray matter volume loss. The variance in gray matter volume of the neural signature of metabolic syndrome in men is more significantly explained by waist circumference and triglycerides (when accounting for age) and in women is more significantly explained by waist circumference and fasting plasma glucose (when accounting for age). A model of metabolic syndrome that emphasizes a risk of neurodegeneration should focus on waist circumference for both men and women and weigh the remaining variables accordingly by sex (triglycerides in men and fasting plasma glucose in women).
Objectives: The Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) is a common cognitive screening test for dementia. Here, we examined the relationship between the most recent version (ACE-III) and its predecessor (ACE-R), determined ACE-III cutoff scores for the detection of dementia, and explored its relationship with functional ability. Methods: Study 1 included 199 dementia patients and 52 healthy controls who completed the ACE-III and ACE-R. ACE-III total and domain scores were regressed on their corresponding ACE-R values to obtain conversion formulae. Study 2 included 331 mixed dementia patients and 87 controls to establish the optimal ACE-III cutoff scores for the detection of dementia using receiver operator curve analysis. Study 3 included 194 dementia patients and their carers to investigate the relationship between ACE-III total score and functional ability. Results: Study 1: ACE-III and ACE-R scores differed by ≤1 point overall, the magnitude varying according to dementia type. Study 2: a new lower bound cutoff ACE-III score of 84/100 to detect dementia was identified (compared with 82 for the ACE-R). The upper bound cutoff score of 88/100 was retained. Study 3: ACE-III scores were significantly related to functional ability on the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale across all dementia syndromes, except for semantic dementia. Conclusions: This study represents one of the largest and most clinically diverse investigations of the ACE-III. Our results demonstrate that the ACE-III is an acceptable alternative to the ACE-R. In addition, ACE-III performance has broader clinical implications in that it relates to carer reports of functional impairment in most common dementias. (JINS, 2018, 24, 854–863)
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
This chapter reviews evidence concerning the vital role that temporal dynamics can have in the ecology of trees and other long-lived species in the assembly and maintenance of natural communities. The research synthesised here was stimulated by a desire to determine the action of temporal dynamics in nature, and its implications for the nature of competition, community structure and assembly on multiple scales and across a range of climatic conditions. For the most part, the results discussed concern tropical forests, but we think they provide strong support for a more general view that can be applied across biomes. Finally, we ask if there may be a potential role for temporal dynamics in speciation, in light of what we have learned from the tropical trees.
A field programme begun in the late ’90s in the tropical dry forest of México was consciously designed to study the coexistence of closely related species in a very speciose community, but the role of temporal dynamics had not been suspected and its finding was serendipitous. With centuries-long lifespans, decades-long juvenile stages and low population turnover rates, trees are problematic candidates for demographic analyses, either observational or experimental. Unless instant death is involved, the particular hurdle with trees, as with any long-lived organism, is directly connecting any specific response in the early life of the individual with the long-term individual persistence or character of the standing population. However, trees differ from many long-lived organisms in carrying their history in their structure at both the individual and population levels. Thus, a tree population itself documents individual success over the history of the population (Parker et al. 1997, Cole et al. 2011). The distribution of a population with regard to physical conditions, size and age structure and relative to other woody species all contain information on the ecology and interactions of species (e.g. Veblen 1989, 1992, Villalba and Veblen 1998, Kelly et al. 2001) and it was the age structure of populations that revealed the action of temporal dynamics at Chamela Biological Station.
Depression is a common and costly comorbidity in dementia. There are very few data on the cost-effectiveness of antidepressants for depression in dementia and their effects on carer outcomes.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of sertraline and mirtazapine compared with placebo for depression in dementia.
A pragmatic, multicentre, randomised placebo-controlled trial with a parallel cost-effectiveness analysis (trial registration: ISRCTN88882979 and EudraCT 2006-000105-38). The primary cost-effectiveness analysis compared differences in treatment costs for patients receiving sertraline, mirtazapine or placebo with differences in effectiveness measured by the primary outcome, total Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) score, over two time periods: 0–13 weeks and 0–39 weeks. The secondary evaluation was a cost-utility analysis using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) computed from the Euro-Qual (EQ-5D) and societal weights over those same periods.
There were 339 participants randomised and 326 with costs data (111 placebo, 107 sertraline, 108 mirtazapine). For the primary outcome, decrease in depression, mirtazapine and sertraline were not cost-effective compared with placebo. However, examining secondary outcomes, the time spent by unpaid carers caring for participants in the mirtazapine group was almost half that for patients receiving placebo (6.74 v. 12.27 hours per week) or sertraline (6.74 v. 12.32 hours per week). Informal care costs over 39 weeks were £1510 and £1522 less for the mirtazapine group compared with placebo and sertraline respectively.
In terms of reducing depression, mirtazapine and sertraline were not cost-effective for treating depression in dementia. However, mirtazapine does appear likely to have been cost-effective if costing includes the impact on unpaid carers and with quality of life included in the outcome. Unpaid (family) carer costs were lower with mirtazapine than sertraline or placebo. This may have been mediated via the putative ability of mirtazapine to ameliorate sleep disturbances and anxiety. Given the priority and the potential value of supporting family carers of people with dementia, further research is warranted to investigate the potential of mirtazapine to help with behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia and in supporting carers.
Logopenic progressive aphasia (LPA) is a form of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) characterized by hesitant speech with marked impairment in naming and repetition. LPA is associated with brain atrophy in the left temporal and inferior parietal cortices and is predominantly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. In contrast to LPA, “typical” AD is commonly associated with episodic memory disturbance and bilateral medial temporal lobe atrophy. Recent evidence suggests verbal short-term memory is more impaired than visuospatial short-term memory in LPA. This study investigated verbal and visuospatial short-term memory in 12 LPA and 12 AD patients matched for disease severity, and in 12 age- and education-matched healthy controls. Overall, both patient groups showed significantly reduced verbal and visuospatial spans compared with controls. In addition, LPA patients performed significantly worse than AD patients on both forward and backward conditions of the Digit Span task. In contrast, no difference was present between patient groups on either version of the Spatial Span task. Importantly, LPA patients showed better visuospatial than verbal span whereas AD patients and controls did not differ across modality. This study demonstrates the specificity of the short-term memory disturbance in LPA, which arises from a breakdown of the phonological system. (JINS, 2012, 19, 1–7)