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Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) may lead to persistent depression symptoms. We conducted several pilot studies to examine the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions to deal with this issue; all showed strong effect sizes. The logical next step was to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT).
We sought to determine the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for people with depression symptoms post-TBI (MBCT-TBI).
Using a multi-site RCT design, participants (mean age = 47) were randomized to intervention or control arms. Treatment participants received a group-based, 10-week intervention; control participants waited. Outcome measures, administered pre- and post-intervention, and after three months, included: Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R). The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale (PHLMS) captured present moment awareness and acceptance.
BDI-II scores decreased from 25.47 to 18.84 in treatment groups while they stayed relatively stable in control groups (respectively 27.13 to 25.00; p = .029). We did not find statistically significant differences on the PHQ-9 and SCL-90R post- treatment. However, after three months, all scores were statistically significantly lower than at baseline (ps < .01). Increases in mindfulness were associated with decreases in BDI-II scores (r = -.401, p = .025).
MBCT-TBI may alleviate depression symptoms up to three months post-intervention. Greater mindfulness may have contributed to the reduction in depression symptoms although the association does not confirm causality. More work is required to replicate these findings, identify subgroups that may better respond to the intervention, and refine the intervention to maximize its effectiveness.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
Multi-sire mating of a mob of ewes is commonly used in commercial sheep production systems. However, ram mating success (defined as the number of lambs sired by an individual) can vary between rams in the mating group. If this trait was repeatable and heritable, selection of rams capable of siring larger numbers of lambs could reduce the number of rams required for mating and ultimately lead to increased genetic gain. However, genetic correlations with other productive traits, such as growth and female fertility, could influence the potential for ram mating success to be used as a selection trait. In order to investigate this trait, parentage records (including accuracy of sire assignment) from 15 commercial ram breeding flocks of various breeds were utilised to examine the repeatability and heritability of ram mating success in multi-sire mating groups. In addition, genetic and phenotypic correlations with growth and female fertility traits were estimated using ASReml. The final model used for the ram mating success traits included age of the ram and mating group as fixed effects. Older rams (3+years old) had 15% to 20% greater mating success than younger rams (1 or 2 years of age). Increasing the stringency of the criteria for inclusion of both an individual lamb, based on accuracy of sire assignment, or a whole mating group, based on how many lambs had an assigned sire, increased repeatability and heritability estimates of the ram mating success traits examined. With the most stringent criteria employed, where assignment of sire accuracy was >0.95 and the total number of lambs in the progeny group that failed to have a sire assigned was<0.05, repeatability and heritability for loge(number of lambs) was 0.40±0.09 and 0.26±0.12, respectively. For proportion of lambs sired, repeatability and heritability were both 0.30±0.09. The two ram mating traits (loge(nlamb) and proportion) were highly correlated, both phenotypically and genetically (0.88±0.01 and 0.94±0.06, respectively). Both phenotypic and genetic correlations between ram mating success and growth and other female fertility traits were low and non-significant. In conclusion, there is scope to select rams capable of producing high numbers of progeny and thus increase selection pressure on rams to increase genetic gain.
Introduction: The ECG diagnosis of acute coronary occlusion (ACO) in the setting of ventricular paced rhythm (VPR) is purported to be impossible. However, VPR has a similar ECG morphology to LBBB. The validated Smith-modified Sgarbossa criteria (MSC) have high sensitivity (Sens) and specificity (Spec) for ACO in LBBB. MSC consist of 1 of the following in 1 lead: concordant ST Elevation (STE) 1 mm, concordant ST depression 1 mm in V1-V3, or ST/S ratio <−0.25 (in leads with 1 mm STE). We hypothesized that the MSC will have higher Sens for diagnosis of ACO in VPR when compared to the original Sgarbossa criteria. We report preliminary findings of the Paced Electrocardiogram Requiring Fast Emergency Coronary Therapy (PERFECT) study Methods: The PERFECT study is a retrospective, multicenter, international investigation of ED patients from 1/2008 - 12/2016 with VPR on the ECG and symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (e.g. chest pain or shortness of breath). Data from four sites are presented. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was defined by the Third Universal Definition of AMI. A blinded cardiologist adjudicated ACO, defined as thrombolysis in myocardial infarction score 0 or 1 on coronary angiography; a pre-defined subgroup of ACO patients with peak cardiac troponin (cTn) >100 times the 99% upper reference limit (URL) of the cTn assay was also analyzed. Another blinded physician measured all ECGs. Statistics were by Mann Whitney U, Chi-square, and McNemars test. Results: The ACO and No-AMI groups consisted of 15 and 79 encounters, respectively. For the ACO and No-AMI groups, median age was 78 [IQR 72-82] vs. 70 [61-75] and 13 (86%) vs. 48 (61%) patients were male. The median peak cTn ratio (cTn/URL) was 260 [33-663] and 0.5 [0-1.3] for ACO vs. no-AMI. The Sens and Spec for the MSC and the original Sgarbossa criteria were 67% (95%CI 39-87) vs. 46% (22-72; p=0.25) and 99% (92-100) vs. 99% (92-100; p=0.5). In pre-defined subgroup analysis of ACO patients with peak cTn >100 times the URL (n=10), the Sens was 90% (54-100) for the MSC vs. 60% (27- 86) for original Sgarbossa criteria (p=0.25). Conclusion: ACO in VPR is an uncommon condition. The MSC showed good Sens for diagnosis of ACO in the presence of VPR, especially among patients with high peak cTn, and Spec was excellent. These methods and results are consistent with studies that have used the MSC to diagnose ACO in LBBB.
Alcohol consumption around the time of conception is highly prevalent in Western countries. Exposure to ethanol levels during gestation has been associated with altered development of the mesolimbic reward pathway in rats and increased propensity to addiction, however the effect of exposure only around the time of conception is unknown. The current study investigated the effects of periconceptional alcohol exposure (PC:EtOH) on alcohol and palatable food preferences and gene expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens of the adult offspring. Rats were exposed to a liquid diet containing ethanol (EtOH) (12.5% vol/vol) or a control diet from 4 days before mating until 4 days after mating. PC:EtOH had no effect on alcohol preference in either sex. At 15 months of age, however, male PC:EtOH offspring consumed more high-fat food when compared with male control offspring, but this preference was not observed in females. Expression of the dopamine receptor type 1 (Drd1a) was lower in the VTA of male PC:EtOH offspring compared with their control counterparts. There was no effect of PC:EtOH on mRNA expression of the µ-opioid receptor, tyrosine hydroxylase (Th), dopamine receptor type 2 (Drd2) or dopamine active transporter (Slc6a3). These data support the hypothesis that periconceptional alcohol exposure can alter expression of key components of the mesolimbic reward pathway and heighten the preference of offspring for palatable foods and may therefore increase their propensity towards diet-induced obesity. These results highlight the importance of alcohol avoidance when planning a pregnancy.
Korea has the highest suicide rate of developed countries, two times higher than the USA. Suicide trends among Koreans Americans living in the USA during the same period have not yet been described. We report suicide mortality rates and trends for four groups: (1) Korean Americans, (2) non-Hispanic White (NHW) Americans, (3) selected Asian American subgroups and (4) Koreans living in the Republic of Korea.
We used US national (n = 18 113 585) and World Health Organization (WHO) (n = 232 919 253) mortality records for Korea from 2003 to 2012 to calculate suicide rates, all expressed per 100 000 persons. We assessed temporal trends and differences in age, gender and race/ethnicity using binomial regression.
Suicide rates are highest in Koreans living in the Republic of Korea (32.4 for men and 14.8 for women). Suicide rates in Korean Americans (13.9 for men and 6.5 for women) have nearly doubled from 2003 to 2012 and exceed rates for all other Asian American subgroups (5.4–10.7 for men and 1.6–4.2 for women). Suicide rates among NHWs (21.0 for men and 5.6 for women) remain high. Among elders, suicide in Korean Americans (32.9 for men and 15.4 for women) is the highest of all examined racial/ethnic groups in the USA.
Suicide in Korean Americans is higher than for other Asian Americans and follows temporal patterns more similar to Korea than the USA. Interventions to prevent suicide in Korean American populations, particularly among the elderly, are needed.
Within acute psychiatric inpatient services, patients exhibiting severely disturbed behaviour can be transferred to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) and/or secluded in order to manage the risks posed to the patient and others. However, whether specific patient groups are more likely to be subjected to these coercive measures is unclear. Using robust methodological and statistical techniques, we aimed to determine the demographic, clinical and behavioural predictors of both PICU and seclusion.
Data were extracted from an anonymised database comprising the electronic medical records of patients within a large South London mental health trust. Two cohorts were derived, (1) a PICU cohort comprising all patients transferred from general adult acute wards to a non-forensic PICU ward between April 2008 and April 2013 (N = 986) and a randomly selected group of patients admitted to general adult wards within this period who were not transferred to PICU (N = 994), and (2) a seclusion cohort comprising all seclusion episodes occurring in non-forensic PICU wards within the study period (N = 990) and a randomly selected group of patients treated in these wards who were not secluded (N = 1032). Demographic and clinical factors (age, sex, ethnicity, diagnosis, admission status and time since admission) and behavioural precursors (potentially relevant behaviours occurring in the 3 days preceding PICU transfer/seclusion or random sample date) were extracted from electronic medical records. Mixed effects, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed with all variables included as predictors.
PICU cases were significantly more likely to be younger in age, have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and to be held on a formal section compared with patients who were not transferred to PICU; female sex and longer time since admission were associated with lower odds of transfer. With regard to behavioural precursors, the strongest predictors of PICU transfer were incidents of physical aggression towards others or objects and absconding or attempts to abscond. Secluded patients were also more likely to be younger and legally detained relative to non-secluded patients; however, female sex increased the odds of seclusion. Likelihood of seclusion also decreased with time since admission. Seclusion was significantly associated with a range of behavioural precursors with the strongest associations observed for incidents involving restraint or shouting.
Whilst recent behaviour is an important determinant, patient age, sex, admission status and time since admission also contribute to risk of PICU transfer and seclusion. Alternative, less coercive strategies must meet the needs of patients with these characteristics.
The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research – MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.
Pituitary volume enlargements have been observed among individuals with first-episode psychosis. These abnormalities are suggestive of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, which may contribute to the development of psychosis. However, the extent to which these abnormalities characterize individuals at elevated risk for schizophrenia prior to illness onset is currently unclear, as volume increases, decreases and no volume differences have all been reported relative to controls. The current study aimed to determine whether antipsychotic-naive, putatively at-risk children who present multiple antecedents of schizophrenia (ASz) or a family history of illness (FHx) show pituitary volume abnormalities relative to typically developing (TD) children. An additional aim was to explore the association between pituitary volume and experiences of psychosocial stress.
ASz (n = 30), FHx (n = 22) and TD (n = 32) children were identified at age 9–12 years using a novel community-screening procedure or as relatives of individuals with schizophrenia. Measures of pituitary volume and psychosocial stress were obtained at age 11–14 years.
Neither ASz nor FHx children showed differences in pituitary volume relative to TD children. Among FHx children only, pituitary volume was negatively associated with current distress relating to negative life events and exposure to physical punishment.
The lack of pituitary volume abnormalities among ASz and FHx children is consistent with our previous work demonstrating that these children are not characterized by elevated diurnal cortisol levels. The findings imply that these biological markers of HPA axis hyperactivity, observed in some older samples of high-risk individuals, may emerge later, more proximally to disease onset.
Psychological stress is implicated in the development of schizophrenia, but little is known about experiences of stress among children at elevated risk for the disorder.
To examine stressor exposure and reactivity in children with different vulnerability profiles for schizophrenia: (a) children presenting multiple antecedents of schizophrenia (ASz group), (b) children with a family history of schizophrenia (FHx group) and (c) typically developing low-risk (TD) children.
Ninety-five children (ASz = 29; FHx = 19; ASz+FHx = 5; TD = 42), identified aged 9–12 years using a community-based screening procedure or as relatives of individuals with schizophrenia, completed questionnaires assessing environmental stressors and psychopathology at age 11–14 years.
Relative to their typically developing peers, children in the FHx and ASz groups were exposed to a greater number of negative life events and a higher frequency of daily stressors, respectively; and were more distressed by these experiences.
Stress exposure and reactivity may constitute useful targets of early intervention for psychosis.
Rapid and wide dispersal of passengers after flights makes investigation of flight-related outbreaks challenging. An outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in a group of Irish travellers returning from Tanzania. Additional international cases sharing the same flight were identified. Our aim was to determine the source and potential vehicles of infection. Case-finding utilized information exchange using experts' communication networks and national surveillance systems. Demographic, clinical and food history information was collected. Twenty-five additional cases were identified from Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, USA and Canada. We conducted a case-control study which indicated a significant association between illness and consumption of milk tart (OR 10·2) and an egg dish (OR 6) served on-board the flight. No food consumed before the flight was associated with illness. Cases from countries other than Ireland provided supplementary information that facilitated the identification of likely vehicles of infection. Timely, committed international collaboration is vital in such investigations.
The effects of source field plates on AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor reliability under off-state stress conditions were investigated using step-stress cycling. The source field plate enhanced the drain breakdown voltage from 55V to 155V and the critical voltage for off-state gate stress from 40V to 65V, relative to devices without the field plate. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the degradation of the gate contacts. The presence of cracking that appeared on both source and drain side of the gate edges was attributed to the inverse piezoelectric effect. In addition, a thin oxide layer was observed between the Ni gate contact and the AlGaN layer, and both Ni and oxygen had diffused into the AlGaN layer. The critical degradation voltage of AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors during off-state electrical stress was determined as a function of Ni/Au gate dimensions (0.1-0.17μm). Devices with different gate length and gate-drain distances were found to exhibit the onset of degradation at different source-drain biases but similar electric field strengths, showing that the degradation mechanism is primarily field-driven. The temperature dependence of sub-threshold drain current versus gate voltage at a constant drain bias voltage were used to determine the trap densities in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) before and after the off-state stress. Two different trap densities were obtained for the measurements conducted at 300-493K and 493-573K, respectively.
Experts have proposed removing obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) from the anxiety disorders section and grouping it with putatively related conditions in DSM-5. The current study uses co-morbidity and familiality data to inform these issues.
Case family data from the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study (382 OCD-affected probands and 974 of their first-degree relatives) were compared with control family data from the Johns Hopkins OCD Family Study (73 non-OCD-affected probands and 233 of their first-degree relatives).
Anxiety disorders (especially agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder), cluster C personality disorders (especially obsessive–compulsive and avoidant), tic disorders, somatoform disorders (hypochondriasis and body dysmorphic disorder), grooming disorders (especially trichotillomania and pathological skin picking) and mood disorders (especially unipolar depressive disorders) were more common in case than control probands; however, the prevalences of eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia nervosa), other impulse-control disorders (pathological gambling, pyromania, kleptomania) and substance dependence (alcohol or drug) did not differ between the groups. The same general pattern was evident in relatives of case versus control probands. Results in relatives did not differ markedly when adjusted for demographic variables and proband diagnosis of the same disorder, though the strength of associations was lower when adjusted for OCD in relatives. Nevertheless, several anxiety, depressive and putative OCD-related conditions remained significantly more common in case than control relatives when adjusting for all of these variables simultaneously.
On the basis of co-morbidity and familiality, OCD appears related both to anxiety disorders and to some conditions currently classified in other sections of DSM-IV.
Dublin, as seen in Joyce's writing, affords not only an insight into his personal experiences, but a picture of aspects of the social life of the city. Dubliners is primarily an account of life on the north side, or in the case of the most famous of the stories, ‘The Dead’, of a Christmas party held in a house on Usher's Island, immediately across the Liffey. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is, in its central section, an account of an adolescent attending the Jesuit College at Belvedere and of his frequenting the district around the College in the north inner city. Moreover, it is less an account of his schooldays there than a version of certain key experiences which began to take place in 1898, when he was around sixteen. His earlier life, some important episodes apart, is glossed over quickly, as is the account of later life in the north city which jumps forward quickly from first impressions to his exploration of sex, both actual and imagined, and of the brothel district that had developed quite recently off Gardiner Street.
The extraordinary account of a Catholic adolescence in Joyce's pages, while an artistic creation and a psychological study, is also saturated in the geography of a distinct district.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is probably an etiologically heterogeneous condition. Many patients manifest other psychiatric syndromes. This study investigated the relationship between OCD and co-morbid conditions to identify subtypes.
Seven hundred and six individuals with OCD were assessed in the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study (OCGS). Multi-level latent class analysis was conducted based on the presence of eight co-morbid psychiatric conditions [generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depression, panic disorder (PD), separation anxiety disorder (SAD), tics, mania, somatization disorders (Som) and grooming disorders (GrD)]. The relationship of the derived classes to specific clinical characteristics was investigated.
Two and three classes of OCD syndromes emerge from the analyses. The two-class solution describes lesser and greater co-morbidity classes and the more descriptive three-class solution is characterized by: (1) an OCD simplex class, in which major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most frequent additional disorder; (2) an OCD co-morbid tic-related class, in which tics are prominent and affective syndromes are considerably rarer; and (3) an OCD co-morbid affective-related class in which PD and affective syndromes are highly represented. The OCD co-morbid tic-related class is predominantly male and characterized by high conscientiousness. The OCD co-morbid affective-related class is predominantly female, has a young age at onset, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) features, high scores on the ‘taboo’ factor of OCD symptoms, and low conscientiousness.
OCD can be classified into three classes based on co-morbidity. Membership within a class is differentially associated with other clinical characteristics. These classes, if replicated, should have important implications for research and clinical endeavors.
Studies suggest that neuronal density in left dorsolateral prefrontal
cortex is increased in schizophrenia.
To replicate these findings and extend them to both hemispheres.
Neuronal density, size and shape were estimated in the prefrontal cortex
(Brodmann area 9) of the left and right hemispheres of brains taken
postmortem from 10 people with schizophrenia and 10 without mental
illness (6 men, 4 women in both groups).
Overall neuronal density (individually corrected for shrinkage) did not
differ between the groups. In the control brains, density was generally
greater in the left than the right hemisphere, the reverse was seen in
the schizophrenia brains; this loss or reversal of asymmetry was most
significant in cortical layer 3. Pyramidal neurons in this cell layer
were significantly larger on the left and more spherical in shape than on
the right side in control brains, but size and shape did not differ
between the two sides in schizophrenia. Non-pyramidal and glial cell
densities were unchanged.
We failed to find an increase in neuronal density, but found evidence at
a cellular level of loss or reversal of asymmetry, consistent with the
hypothesis of a primary change in the relative development of areas of
heteromodal association cortex in the two hemispheres.