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People living in precarious housing or homelessness have higher than expected rates of psychotic disorders, persistent psychotic symptoms, and premature mortality. Psychotic symptoms can be modeled as a complex dynamic system, allowing assessment of roles for risk factors in symptom development, persistence, and contribution to premature mortality.
The severity of delusions, conceptual disorganization, hallucinations, suspiciousness, and unusual thought content was rated monthly over 5 years in a community sample of precariously housed/homeless adults (n = 375) in Vancouver, Canada. Multilevel vector auto-regression analysis was used to construct temporal, contemporaneous, and between-person symptom networks. Network measures were compared between participants with (n = 219) or without (n = 156) history of psychotic disorder using bootstrap and permutation analyses. Relationships between network connectivity and risk factors including homelessness, trauma, and substance dependence were estimated by multiple linear regression. The contribution of network measures to premature mortality was estimated by Cox proportional hazard models.
Delusions and unusual thought content were central symptoms in the multilevel network. Each psychotic symptom was positively reinforcing over time, an effect most pronounced in participants with a history of psychotic disorder. Global connectivity was similar between those with and without such a history. Greater connectivity between symptoms was associated with methamphetamine dependence and past trauma exposure. Auto-regressive connectivity was associated with premature mortality in participants under age 55.
Past and current experiences contribute to the severity and dynamic relationships between psychotic symptoms. Interrupting the self-perpetuating severity of psychotic symptoms in a vulnerable group of people could contribute to reducing premature mortality.
Little is known about parents’ compensatory health beliefs (CHB) surrounding their children’s engagement in physical activity (PA). Our aim was to provide evidence regarding the nature of, and factors underpinning, parents’ PA-related compensatory beliefs for their children.
A qualitative descriptive approach and thematic content analysis were employed.
Parents were recruited from community sport and PA programmes.
Eighteen parents aged 32–52 years (mean age = 40·8 (sd 5·4) years; six males; twelve females).
Analyses indicated that parents compensate through ‘passive’ or ‘active’ means. Among parents who compensated, most described their provision of ‘treat’ foods/drinks and a minority described allowing extended sedentary time to their children. Parents’ reasons underpinning these beliefs related to their child’s general physical/health status and psychological characteristics, and their own motivation and mood state.
These findings provide the first evidence of unhealthy dietary and sedentary behaviour CHB that parents may hold regarding their children’s involvement in PA.
Compared to the general population, adoptees are more often referred to specialist psychiatric treatment, exhibit increased risk of suicide and display more symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disorder. However, little is known about the impact of being an adoptee on the risk of developing an eating disorder. The aim of the present study was to assess whether international adoptees have a higher risk for eating disorders than native Swedes.
In the present retrospective cohort study, data from the Swedish total population registers on individuals born between 1979 and 2005 were used to assess whether international adoptees residing in Sweden (n = 25 287) have a higher risk for anorexia nervosa (AN) and other eating disorders (OED) than non-adoptees with Swedish-born parents from the general population (n = 2 046 835). The patterns of these results were compared to those for major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety disorders to determine whether any observed effects were unique to eating disorders or reflected a more general impact on mental health outcomes.
A survival analysis adjusting for relevant demographic covariates revealed an elevated risk of all examined psychiatric disorders in international adoptees: hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) are 1.21 (1.04–1.41) for AN, 1.60 (1.44–1.79) for OED, 1.90 (1.81–2.00) for MDD, 1.25 (1.09–1.44) for OCD, and 1.69 (1.60–1.78) for anxiety disorders.
Elevated risk of eating disorders as well as of MDD, OCD, and anxiety disorders was found in international adoptees. A parallel pattern between AN and OCD was observed, which both display less elevated rates than the other diagnoses. A considerable number of biological, environmental, and societal factors have been suggested to explain the observed differences in mental health between adoptees and non-adoptees, but they remain primarily theoretical.
In this paper, class operators are used to give a complete listing of distinct base radical and semisimple classes for universal classes of finite associative rings. General relations between operators reveal that the maximum order of the semigroup formed is 46. In this setting, the homomorphically closed semisimple classes are precisely the hereditary radical classes and hence radical–semisimple classes, and the largest homomorphically closed subclass of a semisimple class is a radical–semisimple class.
Previous work has shown that amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions is inversely related to level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e. reduced guilt and empathy) in youth with conduct problems. However, some research has suggested that the relationship between pathophysiology and CU traits may be different in those youth with significant prior trauma exposure.
In experiment 1, 72 youth with varying levels of disruptive behavior and trauma exposure performed a gender discrimination task while viewing morphed fear expressions (0, 50, 100, 150 fear) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent responses were recorded. In experiment 2, 66 of these youth performed the Social Goals Task, which measures self-reports of the importance of specific social goals to the participant in provoking social situations.
In experiment 1, a significant CU traits-by-trauma exposure interaction was observed within right amygdala; fear intensity-modulated amygdala responses negatively predicted CU traits for those youth with low levels of trauma but positively predicted CU traits for those with high levels of trauma. In experiment 2, a bootstrapped model revealed that the indirect effect of fear intensity amygdala response on social goal importance through CU traits is moderated by prior trauma exposure.
This study, while exploratory, indicates that the pathophysiology associated with CU traits differs in youth as a function of prior trauma exposure. These data suggest that prior trauma exposure should be considered when evaluating potential interventions for youth with high CU traits.
Prior research demonstrated that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with binge-eating behavior, binge-eating disorder (BED), and bulimia nervosa (BN). The aim of this study was to investigate these associations in an adult twin population, and to determine the extent to which ADHD symptoms and binge-eating behavior share genetic and environmental factors.
We used self-reports of current ADHD symptoms and lifetime binge-eating behavior and associated characteristics from a sample of over 18 000 adult twins aged 20–46 years, from the population-based Swedish Twin Registry. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to examine the association between ADHD and lifetime binge-eating behavior, BED, and BN. Structural equation modeling was used in 13 773 female twins to determine the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the association between ADHD symptoms and binge-eating behavior in female adult twins.
ADHD symptoms were significantly associated with lifetime binge-eating behavior, BED, and BN. The heritability estimate for current ADHD symptoms was 0.42 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.41–0.44], and for lifetime binge-eating behavior 0.65 (95% CI 0.54–0.74). The genetic correlation was estimated as 0.35 (95% CI 0.25–0.46) and the covariance between ADHD and binge-eating behavior was primarily explained by genetic factors (91%). Non-shared environmental factors explained the remaining part of the covariance.
The association between adult ADHD symptoms and binge-eating behavior in females is largely explained by shared genetic risk factors.
Genetic and environmental factors contribute to the etiology of anorexia nervosa (AN). The co-twin control design is one of the most powerful methods available to evaluate environmental factors that could contribute to differences between monozygotic (MZ) twins who are discordant for AN. Using available data from a unique and rare sample of 22 Swedish female MZ pairs discordant for AN, we compared personality, life events, comorbidity, and health factors. Twins with AN had significantly higher perfectionism scores than unaffected co-twins and reported younger ages at first diet than unaffected co-twins who had dieted. Consistent with previous literature, more twins with AN reported gastrointestinal problems than unaffected co-twins. Although not significant due to low statistical power, more unaffected co-twins reported experiencing emotional neglect than twins with AN. Early dieting may be a harbinger of the development of AN or an early symptom. Higher perfectionism may represent a risk factor, sequela, or both. Sibling perception of neglect is noteworthy given the impact of an ill child with AN on family function and wellbeing. The health and wellbeing of siblings should be addressed clinically when one child in the family suffers from AN.
Advanced paternal age at childbirth is associated with psychiatric disorders in offspring, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. However, few studies have investigated paternal age's relationship with eating disorders in offspring. In a large, population-based cohort, we examined the association between paternal age and offspring eating disorders, and whether that association remains after adjustment for potential confounders (e.g. parental education level) that may be related to late/early selection into fatherhood and to eating disorder incidence.
Data for 2 276 809 individuals born in Sweden 1979–2001 were extracted from Swedish population and healthcare registers. The authors used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the effect of paternal age on the first incidence of healthcare-recorded anorexia nervosa (AN) and all eating disorders (AED) occurring 1987–2009. Models were adjusted for sex, birth order, maternal age at childbirth, and maternal and paternal covariates including country of birth, highest education level, and lifetime psychiatric and criminal history.
Even after adjustment for covariates including maternal age, advanced paternal age was associated with increased risk, and younger paternal age with decreased risk, of AN and AED. For example, the fully adjusted hazard ratio for the 45+ years (v. the 25–29 years) paternal age category was 1.32 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14–1.53] for AN and 1.26 (95% CI 1.13–1.40) for AED.
In this large, population-based cohort, paternal age at childbirth was positively associated with eating disorders in offspring, even after adjustment for potential confounders. Future research should further explore potential explanations for the association, including de novo mutations in the paternal germline.
Relapse is distressingly common after the first episode of psychosis, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to predict. Investigating changes in cognitive function preceding relapse may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of relapse in psychosis. We hypothesized that relapse in fully remitted first-episode psychosis patients was preceded by working memory deterioration.
Visual memory and verbal working memory were monitored prospectively in a 1-year randomized controlled trial of remitted first-episode psychosis patients assigned to medication continuation (quetiapine 400 mg/day) or discontinuation (placebo). Relapse (recurrence of positive symptoms of psychosis), visual (Visual Patterns Test) and verbal (Letter–Number span test) working memory and stressful life events were assessed monthly.
Remitted first-episode patients (n = 102) participated in the study. Relapsers (n = 53) and non-relapsers (n = 49) had similar baseline demographic and clinical profiles. Logistic regression analyses indicated relapse was associated with visual working memory deterioration 2 months before relapse [odds ratio (OR) 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–7.92, P = 0.02], more stressful life events 1 month before relapse (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20–3.72, P = 0.01) and medication discontinuation (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.08–14.62, P = 0.001).
Visual working memory deterioration beginning 2 months before relapse in remitted first-episode psychosis patients (not baseline predictor) may reflect early brain dysfunction that heralds a psychotic relapse. The deterioration was found to be unrelated to a worsening of psychotic symptoms preceding relapse. Testable predictors offer insight into the brain processes underlying relapse in psychosis.
With the changing distribution of infectious diseases, and an increase in the burden of non-communicable diseases, low- and middle-income countries, including those in Africa, will need to expand their health care capacities to effectively respond to these epidemiological transitions. The interrelated risk factors for chronic infectious and non-communicable diseases and the need for long-term disease management, argue for combined strategies to understand their underlying causes and to design strategies for effective prevention and long-term care. Through multidisciplinary research and implementation partnerships, we advocate an integrated approach for research and healthcare for chronic diseases in Africa.
Evidence shows that the health of the work environment impacts staff satisfaction, interdisciplinary communication, and patient outcomes. Utilising the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ Healthy Work Environment standards, we developed a daily assessment tool.
The Relative Environment Assessment Lens (REAL) Indicator was developed using a consensus-based method to evaluate the health of the work environment and to identify opportunities for improvement from the front-line staff. A visual scale using images that resemble emoticons was linked with a written description of feelings about their work environment that day, with the highest number corresponding to the most positive experience. Face validity was established by seeking staff feedback and goals were set.
Over 10 months, results from the REAL Indicator in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory indicated an overall good work environment. The goal of 80% of the respondents reporting their work environment to be “Great”, “Good”, or “Satisfactory” was met each month. During the same time frame, this goal was met four times in the cardiovascular operating room. On average, 72.7% of cardiovascular operating room respondents reported their work environment to be “Satisfactory” or better.
The REAL Indicator has become a valuable tool in assessing the specific issues of the clinical area and identifying opportunities for improvement. Given the feasibility of and positive response to this tool in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, it has been adopted in other patient-care areas where staff and leaders believe that they need to understand the health of the environment in a more specific and frequent time frame.
Reduced cortical gray-matter volume is commonly observed in patients with psychosis. Cortical volume is a composite measure that includes surface area, thickness and gyrification. These three indices show distinct maturational patterns and may be differentially affected by early adverse events. The study goal was to determine the impact of two distinct obstetrical complications (OCs) on cortical morphology.
A detailed birth history and MRI scans were obtained for 36 patients with first-episode psychosis and 16 healthy volunteers.
Perinatal hypoxia and slow fetal growth were associated with cortical volume (Cohen's d = 0.76 and d = 0.89, respectively) in patients. However, the pattern of associations differed across the three components of cortical volume. Both hypoxia and fetal growth were associated with cortical surface area (d = 0.88 and d = 0.72, respectively), neither of these two OCs was related to cortical thickness, and hypoxia but not fetal growth was associated with gyrification (d = 0.85). No significant associations were found within the control sample.
Cortical dysmorphology was associated with OCs. The use of a global measure of cortical morphology or a global measure of OCs obscured important relationships between these measures. Gyrification is complete before 2 years and its strong relationship with hypoxia suggests an early disruption to brain development. Cortical thickness matures later and, consistent with previous research, we found no association between thickness and OCs. Finally, cortical surface area is largely complete by puberty and the present results suggest that events during childhood do not fully compensate for the effects of early disruptive events.
Here, we report the feasibility and long-term efficacy of a granulomatous slack skin disease (GSSD) treatment with combined high-energy photon and proton beams.
Patient and methods
A GSSD patient with abdominal disease volume 25×15×2–4 cm deep was recommended for treatment at this institution. In addition to photons and electrons, high-energy protons delivered with advanced planning techniques and patient positioning were used. The patient was irradiated to a total dose of 40 Gy by using 20 Gy matched photon and electrons followed by 20 Gy equivalent protons delivered by using innovative range compensation and patient positioning.
The test patient tolerated the treatment well and is now a 10-year survivor of the disease.
Treatment of GSSD with protons is feasible. The range and narrow penumbra properties of the proton beam provided an ideal capability to match fields accurately to cover large volumes while also sparing underlying normal tissues.
The financial crisis began on August 9, 2007, when BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, halted redemption of three investment funds. The federal funds rate spiked about 13 basis points on the day only to fall by nearly 75 basis points the next. The Fed's initial response was anemic: on August 10, the Fed announced that the discount window was “open for business”; on August 17, the primary credit rate (the discount rate) was cut by 50 basis points. As evidence mounted that difficulties in financial markets were intensifying, the Fed took bolder steps. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decreased the federal funds rate from 5.25 percent to 2 percent in a series of seven moves between September 18, 2007, and April 30, 2008; the primary lending rate was reduced to 25 basis points on December 11; and Term Auction Facility (TAF) was introduced on December 12. The Fed's next major policy actions did not occur until Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection on September 15, 2008. The Fed responded by injecting massive amounts of credit into the market, mostly through its lending facilities. Between September 15, 2008 and January 2009 the monetary base doubled. In mid-March 2009 the FOMC initiated what is commonly referred to as quantitative easing 1 (QE1), announcing that it would purchase up to $1.75 trillion in mortgage-backed securities, agency debt, and longer-dated Treasuries.
Information on the burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease is needed to inform policy decisions on primary and secondary prevention. Specimen-based laboratory data (1989–2004) were converted to person-based data and combined with notification data (2004–2009) to describe the burden of HCV infection in Ireland. More than 10 000 people were confirmed as HCV infected in 1989–2004, with the numbers peaking in 2000. The predominant genotypes were 1 (55%) and 3 (39%). Drug use was the most likely risk factor in 80%, with receipt of blood or blood products in 16%. It is estimated that 20 000–50 000 people in Ireland are chronically infected with HCV, a population prevalence of 0·5–1·2%, which is similar to other countries in Northern Europe. This is the first published estimate of the number of chronic HCV infections in Ireland. These data will be of value in health service planning and will contribute to the understanding of HCV infection in Europe.
We investigated an international outbreak of Salmonella Agona with a distinct PFGE pattern associated with an Irish Food company (company X) producing pre-cooked meat products sold in various food outlet chains in Europe. The outbreak was first detected in Ireland. We undertook national and international case-finding, food traceback and microbiological investigation of human, food and environmental samples. We undertook a matched case-control study on Irish cases. In total, 163 cases in seven European countries were laboratory-confirmed. Consumption of food from food outlet chains supplied by company X was significantly associated with being a confirmed case (mOR 18·3, 95% CI 2·2–149·2) in the case-control study. The outbreak strain was isolated from the company's pre-cooked meat products and production premises. Sufficient evidence was gathered to infer the vehicles of infection and sources of the outbreak and to justify the control measures taken, which were plant closure and food recall.