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On the 1st of August 2010 guidelines aimed at ensuring the safe supply of over-the -counter codeine containing medicinal products came to force in Ireland.
The study aimed to examine the frequency of use as well as reasons for the use of non-prescription codeine containing medicines in an Irish psychiatric population before and after the introduction of regulations on the supply of codeine containing medicines.
Self administered questionnaires were designed and administered to patients before and after the introduction of guidelines regulating the sale of non-prescribed codeine containing medicines in Ireland. The results were compiled and analysed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test.
Significantly more patients reported that they often or regularly used codeine containing medicines before the introduction of the regulation compared to the period after that(33.3% vs. 17.4%, x2 = 6.354, p = 0.01). Significantly more patients also reported that others had expressed concerns about the frequency with which they used codeine containing medicines before the introduction of the regulation compared to the period after the introduction of the regulation (15.5% vs. 4.8%, x2 = 7.29, p = 0.03). Finally, significantly more patients stated that they would use codeine containing medicines either for the ‘feel good’ effect or to curb cravings before the introduction of the regulation than after the introduction of the regulation (15.9% vs. 1.9%, p = 0.00).
Tight regulations on the supply of non-prescription codeine containing medicines have the potential to reduce the abuse of such medicine among psychiatric patients in general.
The use of mechanical restraint is a challenging area for psychiatry. Although mechanical restraint remains accepted as standard practice in some regions, there are ethical, legal and medical reasons to minimise or abolish its use. These concerns have intensified following the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Despite national policies to reduce use, the reporting of mechanical restraint has been poor, hampering a reasonable understanding of the epidemiology of restraint. This paper aims to develop a consistent measure of mechanical restraint and compare the measure within and across countries in the Pacific Rim.
We used the publicly available data from four Pacific Rim countries (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States) to compare and contrast the reported rates of mechanical restraint. Summary measures were computed so as to enable international comparisons. Variation within each jurisdiction was also analysed.
International rates of mechanical restraint in 2017 varied from 0.03 (New Zealand) to 98.8 (Japan) restraint events per million population per day, a variation greater than 3000-fold. Restraint in Australia (0.17 events per million) and the United States (0.37 events per million) fell between these two extremes. Variation as measured by restraint events per 1000 bed-days was less extreme but still substantial. Within all four countries there was also significant variation in restraint across districts. Variation across time did not show a steady reduction in restraint in any country during the period for which data were available (starting from 2003 at the earliest).
Policies to reduce or abolish mechanical restraint do not appear to be effecting change. It is improbable that the variation in restraint within the four examined Pacific Rim countries is accountable for by psychopathology. Greater efforts at reporting, monitoring and carrying out interventions to achieve the stated aim of reducing restraint are urgently needed.
Introduction: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a time sensitive aortic catastrophe that is often misdiagnosed. There are currently no Canadian guidelines to aid in diagnosis. Our goal was to adapt the existing American Heart Association (AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) diagnostic algorithms for AAS into a Canadian evidence based best practices algorithm targeted for emergency medicine physicians. Methods: We chose to adapt existing high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPG) previously developed by the AHA/ESC using the GRADE ADOLOPMENT approach. We created a National Advisory Committee consisting of 21 members from across Canada including academic, community and remote/rural emergency physicians/nurses, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiologist, radiologists and patient representatives. The Advisory Committee communicated through multiple teleconference meetings, emails and a one-day in person meeting. The panel prioritized questions and outcomes, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations. The algorithm was prepared and revised through feedback and discussions and through an iterative process until consensus was achieved. Results: The diagnostic algorithm is comprised of an updated pre test probability assessment tool with further testing recommendations based on risk level. The updated tool incorporates likelihood of an alternative diagnosis and point of care ultrasound. The final best practice diagnostic algorithm defined risk levels as Low (0.5% no further testing), Moderate (0.6-5% further testing required) and High ( >5% computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, trans esophageal echocardiography). During the consensus and feedback processes, we addressed a number of issues and concerns. D-dimer can be used to reduce probability of AAS in an intermediate risk group, but should not be used in a low or high-risk group. Ultrasound was incorporated as a bedside clinical examination option in pre test probability assessment for aortic insufficiency, abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysms. Conclusion: We have created the first Canadian best practice diagnostic algorithm for AAS. We hope this diagnostic algorithm will standardize and improve diagnosis of AAS in all emergency departments across Canada.
Background: The surgical risk factors and neuro-imaging characteristics associated with cerebellar mutism (CM) remain unclear and require further investigation. We aimed to examine surgical and MRI findings associated with CM in children following posterior fossa tumor resection. Methods: Using our data registry, we retrospectively collected data from pediatric patients who acquired CM and were matched based on age and pathology type with patients not acquiring CM after posterior fossa surgery. The strength of association between surgical and MRI variables and CM were examined using odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: A total of 22 patients were included. Medulloblastoma was the most common pathology among CM patients (91%). Tumor attachment to the floor of the fourth ventricle (OR, 6; 95% CI, 0.7-276), calcification/hemosiderin deposition (OR 7; 95% CI 0.9-315.5), and post-operative peri-ventricular ischemia on MRI (OR, 5; 95% CI, 0.5-236.5) were found to have the highest association with CM. Conclusions: Our results may suggest that tumor attachment to the floor of the fourth ventricle, pathological calcification, and post-operative ischemia are relatively more prevalent in patients with CM. Collectively, our work calls for a larger multi-institutional study of CM patients to further investigate the determinants and management of CM to potentially minimize its development and predict onset.
Widespread access to the internet is offering new possibilities for data collection in surveillance. We explore, in this study, the possibility of using an electronic tool to monitor occurrence of the tick vector of Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis. The study aimed to compare the capacity for ticks to be identified in web-based submissions of digital images/photographs, to the traditional specimen-based identification method used by the provincial public health laboratory in Quebec, Canada. Forty-one veterinary clinics participated in the study by submitting digital images of ticks collected from pets via a website for image-based identification by an entomologist. The tick specimens were then sent to the provincial public health laboratory to be identified by the ‘gold standard’ method using a microscope. Of the images submitted online, 74·3% (284/382) were considered of high-enough quality to allow identification. The laboratory identified 382 tick specimens from seven different species, with I. scapularis representing 76% of the total submissions. Of the 284 ticks suitable for image-based species identification, 276 (97·2%) were correctly identified (Kappa statistic of 0·92, Z = 15·46, P < 0·001). This study demonstrates that image-based tick identification may be an accurate and useful method of detecting ticks for surveillance when images are of suitable quality.
A few studies have examined the association between vitamin D and telomere length, and fewer still have examined the relationship in black or male populations. We investigated the cross-sectional association between the vitamin D metabolite 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration in plasma and relative leucocyte telomere length (LTL) in 1154 US radiologic technologists who were 48–93 years old (373 white females, 278 white males, 338 black females, 165 black males). Plasma 25(OH)D concentration was measured by the chemiluminescence immunoassay, and relative LTL was measured by quantitative PCR. Logistic regression was used to obtain OR and 95 % CI for long v. short (based on median) LTL in relation to continuous 25(OH)D, quartiles of 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D deficiency. We found no significant association between continuous 25(OH)D and long LTL in all participants (Ptrend=0·440), nor in white females (Ptrend=0·845), white males (Ptrend=0·636), black females (Ptrend=0·967) or black males (Ptrend=0·484). Vitamin D deficiency (defined as 25(OH)D<30 nmol/l), however, was significantly associated with short LTL in whites (P=0·024), but not in other groups. In this population, we found little evidence to support associations between 25(OH)D and long LTL over the entire range of 25(OH)D in the overall study population or by sex and race.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
In Ontario, Canada, the number of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) cases increased over the years 2005–2010. A population-based case-control study was undertaken from January to August 2011 for the purpose of identifying risk factors for acquiring illness due to SE within Ontario. A total of 199 cases and 241 controls were enrolled. After adjustment for confounders, consuming any poultry meat [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2·24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·31–3·83], processed chicken (aOR 3·32, 95% CI 1·26–8·76) and not washing hands following handling of raw eggs (OR 2·82, 95% CI 1·48–5·37) were significantly associated with SE infection. The population attributable fraction was 46% for any poultry meat consumption and 10% for processed chicken. Poultry meat continues to be identified as a risk factor for SE illness. Control of SE at source, as well as proper food handling practices, are required to reduce the number of SE cases.
The prognostic value of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in the diagnosis of dementia of the Alzheimer's type is unclear. While some studies have found an association between SMCs and cognitive decline, many have found a stronger association with depression, which raises questions about their diagnostic utility.
We examined the cross-sectional association between SMC severity (as measured using the MAC-Q, a brief SMC questionnaire) and affect, memory, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers (β-amyloid deposition and the apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOEε4) allele) in healthy elderly controls (HC; M = 78.74 years, SD = 6.7) and individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; M = 72.74 years, SD = 8.8). We analyzed a subset of individuals drawn from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study of Aging.
SMCs were more severe in MCI patients than in HCs. SMC severity was related to affective variables and the interaction between age and group membership (HC/MCI). Within the HC group, SMC severity was related to affective variables only, while severity correlated only with age in the MCI group. SMCs were not related to cognitive variables or AD biomarkers.
SMCs were related to solely by poorer mood (greater depressive and anxious symptomatology) in the cognitively healthy elderly however mean levels were subclinical. This finding argues for the assessment of affective symptomatology in conjunction with cognitive assessment in elderly memory complainers. Future AIBL research will focus on assessing other AD biomarkers, such as brain atrophy and Aβ plasma markers, in relation to complaint severity. Once our 36-month follow-up data are collected, we propose to assess whether SMCs can predict future cognitive decline.
In recent years, concerns have been highlighted in several jurisdictions, including Ireland, regarding abuse of over-the-counter codeine-containing medicines. On the 1st of August 2010, national regulatory guidelines aimed at limiting the supply of these medicines in Ireland came into force.
To study the effects of the new regulations on the use of non-prescribed codeine-containing medicines by psychiatric patients admitted to an Irish university teaching hospital before (n = 117) the regulations came into effect and 6 months afterwards (n = 126).
Participants completed a brief self-administered survey questionnaire about their use of over-the-counter codeine-containing medicines in the preceding 3 months.
Compared with before the introduction of the new regulations, there was a large decline in the reported ‘often’ or ‘regular’ use of codeine-containing medicines in the 3 months before admission (33.3% v. 17.4%, χ2 = 6.354, p = 0.01) and there was a reduction in the proportion of patients for whom others had expressed concerns about their frequency of use of such medications (15.5% v. 4.8%, χ2 = 7.29, p = 0.03). There was also a decline in the proportion of patients who stated that they would use codeine-containing medicines for either a ‘feel-good’ effect or to curb cravings (15.9% v. 1.9%, p < 0.01, two-tailed Fisher's exact test).
We conclude that tight regulations on the supply of non-prescription codeine-containing medicines have the potential to reduce the use and abuse of such medicines in patient populations availing of admission to psychiatry hospitals.
Herpes virus infections can cause cognitive impairment during and after acute encephalitis. Although chronic, latent/persistent infection is considered to be relatively benign, some studies have documented cognitive impairment in exposed persons that is untraceable to encephalitis. These studies were conducted among schizophrenia (SZ) patients or older community dwellers, among whom it is difficult to control for the effects of co-morbid illness and medications. To determine whether the associations can be generalized to other groups, we examined a large sample of younger control individuals, SZ patients and their non-psychotic relatives (n=1852).
Using multivariate models, cognitive performance was evaluated in relation to exposures to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), controlling for familial and diagnostic status and sociodemographic variables, including occupation and educational status. Composite cognitive measures were derived from nine cognitive domains using principal components of heritability (PCH). Exposure was indexed by antibodies to viral antigens.
PCH1, the most heritable component of cognitive performance, declines with exposure to CMV or HSV-1 regardless of case/relative/control group status (p = 1.09 × 10−5 and 0.01 respectively), with stronger association with exposure to multiple herpes viruses (β = −0.25, p = 7.28 × 10−10). There were no significant interactions between exposure and group status.
Latent/persistent herpes virus infections can be associated with cognitive impairments regardless of other health status.
A survey of muscid flies from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, in 2007 yielded 155 species. Some components of species richness and composition of this contemporary assemblage were compared with those of a historical (pre-1965) assemblage, and the contribution of the three collecting methods used in the 2007 survey protocol was evaluated. Estimates of species richness indicated that Malaise traps yielded more species than did pan traps or sweep netting, and that species composition did not differ significantly between Malaise trap and pan trap catches. These results suggest that Malaise traps and sweep netting are adequate methods to survey northern Muscidae. We report little difference in estimated species richness and composition between time periods for material collected by sweep netting. When all material from the 2007 survey was pooled, 87% of the pre-1965 species were collected again in 2007. Most nonoverlapping species between time periods were rare in samples and (or) collected by different methods, suggesting a failure to detect as the most likely explanation for their absence in one assemblage. Nevertheless, the proportion of aquatic and semiaquatic species of Spilogona Schnabl was more than twice as high in the list of species not recovered in 2007 than in the pre-1965 assemblage.
Tb doped gadolinium fluoride nanophosphors embedded in an aluminosilicate glass matrix is reported for X-ray imaging applications. The nanocomposite scintillators were prepared by a melt-quench method followed by annealing. The GdF3:Tb nanophosphors precipitated within the oxide glass matrix during the processing and their luminescence and scintillation properties were investigated.
The effects of silanising using the coupling agent γ-glycidoxpropyltrimethoxysilane on microstructural stability and magnetic properties of Sm-Co powder particles have been investigated. The silanisation provides structural stability by improving the oxidation resistance at 400oC for 10 hours. The untreated particles undergo microchemical changes by redistribution of alloying elements which mainly accumulate in parallel black and grey streaks in the interior of the particles. The silanised particles after heat treatment show coercivity of 836 Oe and the untreated particles show a much lower coercivity of 376 Oe. The difference in magnetic properties of uncoated particles is caused by diffusion of oxygen and microstructural instability.
To establish whether there is a requirement for a network policy on management of suspected intraparotid lymphoma, and to answer the question, ‘Can lymphoma of the parotid region be adequately diagnosed, typed and treated on the basis of a core biopsy, within the West of Scotland?’
We identified 22 patients from the West of Scotland Managed Clinical Network database who had been diagnosed between 2003 and 2005 with lymphoma of the parotid region (nodal or extranodal). These 22 cases were reviewed, assessing specifically their investigation and diagnosis (compared with the World Health Organization classification of parotid lymphoma).
Three of the 22 patients underwent core biopsy to diagnose and type their lymphoma. All these procedures were performed within a single centre.
It is possible to successfully perform core biopsy of parotid lymphoma lesions (generally under ultrasonic guidance). This may obviate the need for open procedures. Close collaboration with haematology, pathology, radiology, and head and neck colleagues is required.