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Schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia are common presentations to psychiatry services. Research to date has focussed on hypothesised biological differences between these two disorders. Little is known about possible variations in admission patterns. Our study compared demographic and clinical features of patients admitted voluntarily and involuntarily with diagnoses of schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia to three psychiatry admission units in Ireland.
We studied all admissions to three acute psychiatry units in Ireland for periods between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2018. We recorded demographic and clinical variables for all admissions. Voluntary and involuntary admissions of patients with schizoaffective disorder were compared to those with schizophrenia.
We studied 5581 admissions to the study units for varying periods between January 2008 and December 2018, covering a total of 1 976 154 person-years across the 3 catchment areas. The 3 study areas had 218.8, 145.5 and 411.2 admissions per 100 000 person-years, respectively. Of the 5581 admissions over the study periods, schizoaffective disorder accounted for 5% (n = 260) and schizophrenia for 17% (n = 949). Admissions with schizoaffective disorder were significantly more likely to be female and older, and less likely to have involuntary admission status, compared to those with schizophrenia. As first admissions were not distinguished from re-admissions in this dataset, these findings merit further study.
Admissions with a schizoaffective disorder differ significantly from those with schizophrenia, being, in particular, less likely to be involuntary admissions. This suggests that psychotic symptoms might be a stronger driver of involuntary psychiatry admission than affective symptoms.
The declaration of a COVID-19 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – CoronaVirus2) pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020 has vastly changed the landscape in which mental health services function. Consideration is required to adapt services during this unusual time, ensuring continued provision of care for current patients, availability of care for patients with new-onset mental health difficulties and delivery of evidence-based support for healthcare professionals working with affected patients. Lessons can be learned from research carried out during the severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome and Ebola epidemics to ensure the delivery of efficient and effective mental health services both now and into the future.
Subjective cognitive difficulties are common in mental illness and have a negative impact on role functioning. Little is understood about subjective cognition and the longitudinal relationship with depression and anxiety symptoms in young people.
To examine the relationship between changes in levels of depression and anxiety and changes in subjective cognitive functioning over 3 months in help-seeking youth.
This was a cohort study of 656 youth aged 12–25 years attending Australian headspace primary mental health services. Subjective changes in cognitive functioning (rated as better, same, worse) reported after 3 months of treatment was assessed using the Neuropsychological Symptom Self-Report. Multivariate multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact of baseline levels of and changes in depression (nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire; PHQ9) and anxiety symptoms (seven-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder scale; GAD7) on changes in subjective cognitive function at follow-up while controlling for covariates.
With a one-point reduction in PHQ9 at follow-up, there was an estimated 11–18% increase in ratings of better subjective cognitive functioning at follow-up, relative to stable cognitive functioning. A one-point increase in PHQ9 from baseline to follow-up was associated with 7–14% increase in ratings of worse subjective cognitive functioning over 3 months, relative to stable cognitive functioning. A similar attenuated pattern of findings was observed for the GAD7.
A clear association exists between subjective cognitive functioning outcomes and changes in self-reported severity of affective symptoms in young people over the first 3 months of treatment. Understanding the timing and mechanisms of these associations is needed to tailor treatment.
Ecosystem engineers such as the Antarctic scallop (Adamussium colbecki) shape marine communities. Thus, changes to their lifespan and growth could have far-reaching effects on other organisms. Sea ice is critical to polar marine ecosystem function, attenuating light and thereby affecting nutrient availability. Sea ice could therefore impact longevity and growth in polar bivalves unless temperature is the overriding factor. Here, we compare the longevity and growth of A. colbecki from two Antarctic sites: Explorers Cove and Bay of Sails, which differ by sea-ice cover, but share similar seawater temperatures, the coldest on Earth (-1.97°C). We hypothesize that scallops from the multiannual sea-ice site will have slower growth and greater longevity. We found maximum ages to be similar at both sites (18–19 years). Growth was slower, with higher inter-individual variability, under multiannual sea ice than under annual sea ice, which we attribute to patchier nutrient availability under multiannual sea ice. Contrary to expectations, A. colbecki growth, but not longevity, is affected by sea-ice duration when temperatures are comparable. Recent dramatic reductions in Antarctic sea ice and predicted temperature increases may irrevocably alter the life histories of this ecosystem engineer and other polar organisms.
This study provides a morphological and phylogenetic characterization of two novel species of the order Haplosporida (Haplosporidium carcini n. sp., and H. cranc n. sp.) infecting the common shore crab Carcinus maenas collected at one location in Swansea Bay, South Wales, UK. Both parasites were observed in the haemolymph, gills and hepatopancreas. The prevalence of clinical infections (i.e. parasites seen directly in fresh haemolymph preparations) was low, at ~1%, whereas subclinical levels, detected by polymerase chain reaction, were slightly higher at ~2%. Although no spores were found in any of the infected crabs examined histologically (n = 334), the morphology of monokaryotic and dikaryotic unicellular stages of the parasites enabled differentiation between the two new species. Phylogenetic analyses of the new species based on the small subunit (SSU) rDNA gene placed H. cranc in a clade of otherwise uncharacterized environmental sequences from marine samples, and H. carcini in a clade with other crustacean-associated lineages.
In response to advancing clinical practice guidelines regarding concussion management, service members, like athletes, complete a baseline assessment prior to participating in high-risk activities. While several studies have established test stability in athletes, no investigation to date has examined the stability of baseline assessment scores in military cadets. The objective of this study was to assess the test–retest reliability of a baseline concussion test battery in cadets at U.S. Service Academies.
All cadets participating in the Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium investigation completed a standard baseline battery that included memory, balance, symptom, and neurocognitive assessments. Annual baseline testing was completed during the first 3 years of the study. A two-way mixed-model analysis of variance (intraclass correlation coefficent (ICC)3,1) and Kappa statistics were used to assess the stability of the metrics at 1-year and 2-year time intervals.
ICC values for the 1-year test interval ranged from 0.28 to 0.67 and from 0.15 to 0.57 for the 2-year interval. Kappa values ranged from 0.16 to 0.21 for the 1-year interval and from 0.29 to 0.31 for the 2-year test interval. Across all measures, the observed effects were small, ranging from 0.01 to 0.44.
This investigation noted less than optimal reliability for the most common concussion baseline assessments. While none of the assessments met or exceeded the accepted clinical threshold, the effect sizes were relatively small suggesting an overlap in performance from year-to-year. As such, baseline assessments beyond the initial evaluation in cadets are not essential but could aid concussion diagnosis.
Archaeologists have long subjected Clovis megafauna kill/scavenge sites to the highest level of scrutiny. In 1987, a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) was found in spatial association with a small artifact assemblage in Converse County, Wyoming. However, due to the small tool assemblage, limited nature of the excavations, and questions about the security of the association between the artifacts and mammoth remains, the site was never included in summaries of human-killed/scavenged megafauna in North America. Here we present the results of four field seasons of new excavations at the La Prele Mammoth site that confirm the presence of an associated cultural occupation based on geologic context, artifact attributes, spatial distributions, protein residue analysis, and lithic microwear analysis. This new work identified a more extensive cultural occupation including the presence of multiple discrete artifact clusters in close proximity to the mammoth bone bed. This study confirms the presence of a second Clovis mammoth kill/scavenge site in Wyoming and shows the value in revisiting proposed terminal Pleistocene kill/scavenge sites.
The aim of this study was to identify the features of first episode schizophrenia that predict adherence antipsychotic medication at six-month follow-up. We used validated instruments to assess clinical and socio-demographic variables in all patients with first episode schizophrenia from a defined geographical area admitted to a Dublin psychiatric hospital over a four-year period (N = 100). At six-month follow-up (N = 60) we assessed adherence to medication using the Compliance Interview. One third of patients with schizophrenia were non-adherent with medication within six months of their first episode of illness. High levels of positive symptoms at baseline, lack of insight at baseline, alcohol misuse at baseline and previous drug misuse predict non-adherence. These results indicate that an identifiable subgroup of patients with first episode schizophrenia is at high risk of early non-adherence to medication. While high positive symptom scores pre-date and predict non-adherence in most patients, reduced insight is the best predictor of non-adherence in patients who do not misuse alcohol or other drugs.
To explore clinical indications for, and results of, brain imaging in a department of general adult psychiatry.
We reviewed the 100 most recent episodes of brain imaging at the Department of General Adult Psychiatry, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin.
Patients had a mean age of 55.30 years. The most common indications for scans were cognitive impairment (33%) and other neurological concerns (e.g. seizures) (30%). Forty-seven per cent of scans were abnormal. The most common abnormalities were ischaemia (17%) and atrophy (10%). Patients with abnormal scans were older than those with normal scans (61.90 and 48.70 years, respectively; p< 0.001).
Brain imaging contributes significantly to diagnosis in general adult psychiatry, especially for older patients.
Having a diagnosis of schizophrenia is a risk factor for involuntary admission to psychiatric inpatient care, but we have a limited understanding of why some patients and not others require involuntary admission. We aimed to identify the predictors of involuntary admission in first episode schizophrenia. We used validated instruments to assess clinical and socio-demographic variables in all patients (n = 78) with first episode schizophrenia from a defined geographical area admitted to a Dublin psychiatric hospital over a 4-year period. Involuntary patients (n = 17) could not be distinguished from voluntary patients (n = 61) on the basis of age, gender, living status, marital status, drug abuse or duration of untreated psychosis. Neither positive nor negative symptoms were useful predictors of admission status. Lack of insight was a strong predictor of involuntary status.
Many institutions are attempting to implement patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures. Because PROs often change clinical workflows significantly for patients and providers, implementation choices can have major impact. While various implementation guides exist, a stepwise list of decision points covering the full implementation process and drawing explicitly on a sociotechnical conceptual framework does not exist.
To facilitate real-world implementation of PROs in electronic health records (EHRs) for use in clinical practice, members of the EHR Access to Seamless Integration of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Consortium developed structured PRO implementation planning tools. Each institution pilot tested the tools. Joint meetings led to the identification of critical sociotechnical success factors.
Three tools were developed and tested: (1) a PRO Planning Guide summarizes the empirical knowledge and guidance about PRO implementation in routine clinical care; (2) a Decision Log allows decision tracking; and (3) an Implementation Plan Template simplifies creation of a sharable implementation plan. Seven lessons learned during implementation underscore the iterative nature of planning and the importance of the clinician champion, as well as the need to understand aims, manage implementation barriers, minimize disruption, provide ample discussion time, and continuously engage key stakeholders.
Highly structured planning tools, informed by a sociotechnical perspective, enabled the construction of clear, clinic-specific plans. By developing and testing three reusable tools (freely available for immediate use), our project addressed the need for consolidated guidance and created new materials for PRO implementation planning. We identified seven important lessons that, while common to technology implementation, are especially critical in PRO implementation.
Acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) are commonly diagnosed and major drivers of antibiotic prescribing. Clinician-focused interventions can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for ARIs. We elicited clinician feedback to design sustainable interventions to improve ARI management by understanding the mental framework of clinicians surrounding antibiotic prescribing within Veterans’ Health Administration clinics.
We conducted one-on-one interviews with clinicians (n = 20) from clinics targeted for intervention at 5 facilities. The theory of planned behavior guided interview questions. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for qualitative analysis. An iterative coding approach identified 6 themes.
Emergent themes: (1) barriers to appropriate prescribing are multifactorial and include challenges of behavior change; (2) antibiotic prescribing decisions are perceived as autonomous yet, diagnostic uncertainty and perceptions of patient demand can make prescribing decisions difficult; (3) clinicians perceive variation in peer prescribing practices and influences; (4) clinician-focused interventions are valuable if delivered with sensitivity; (5) communication strategies for educating patients are preferred to a shared decisions process; and (6) team standardization of practice and communication are key to facilitate appropriate prescribing. Clinicians perceived audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, academic detailing, and enhanced patient communication strategies as viable approaches to improving appropriate prescribing.
Implementation strategies that enable clinicians to overcome diagnostic uncertainty, perceived patient demand, and improve patient education are desired. Implementation strategies were welcomed, and some were more readily accepted (eg, audit feedback) than others (eg, shared decision making). Implementation strategies should address clinicians’ perceptions of antibiotic prescribing practices and should enhance their patient communication skills.
Methods to stimulate appetite in the sick or elderly remains a challenge with few safe therapeutic options. Ghrelin is an orexigenic hormone, increasing appetite and subsequent food intake. It has received considerable attention as a therapeutic target to stimulate food intake in patients with anorexia. The identification of food-grade bioactives with proven orexigenic effects would mark significant progress in the treatment of disease-related malnutrition. This study therefore investigated the effects of two milk-derived ghrelinergic peptides on appetite and energy intake in healthy humans.
A single-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-arm (placebo, casein bioactive MF1145 and whey bioactive UL-2-141) cross-over trial was conducted in healthy male volunteers. Participants received 26 mg/kg of both the bioactives and placebo. The main outcome measures were energy & protein intake from a set breakfast and ad libitum lunch and subjective appetite sensations as assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS). Basal and postprandial levels of active ghrelin (AG) were measured. Dietary intakes were analysed using Nutritics software. Statistical analyses were performed in R.
Overall, 22 male participants (mean age 27 years) were included, average BMI was 24.6 kg/m2, (19.8 to 30.2 kg/m2). Mean energy and protein intakes at lunch when treated with placebo were 1343 kcal (95% CI: 1215–1471 kcal) and 74 g (95% CI: 66–81 g), respectively. Energy and protein intakes were not significantly different from placebo for either treatment (p = 0.918, p = 0.319 for UL-2-141 and p = 0.889, p = 0.959 for MF1145, respectively). Similarly, appetite, hunger and satiety responses on VAS were not significantly different from placebo for either treatment. AG peak post-lunch on placebo was 653 pg/ml (95% CI: 511–794 pg/ml). Treatment with UL-2-141 resulted in 139 pg/ml reduction in post-prandial AG compared to placebo and treatment with MF1145 resulted in 114 pg/ml reduction compared to placebo. This pattern was significant for both treatments (p = 0.021 and p = 0.045, respectively) however when controlling for fasting-AG, the pattern was no longer significant (p = 0.590 and p = 0.877 respectively). Pre-prandial AG peaks were not significantly different across treatments.
While these peptides have previously demonstrated ghrelinergic effects in rats, no effect on appetite or food intake in humans was identified by this study. This may be attributable to the small sample size or low dose. However, since healthy adults are often not in tune with their own physiological hunger, they may not respond strongly to simple physiological modulators and repeating the study in subjects with established anorexia may be prudent.
Alcohol and cannabis remain the substances most widely used by adolescents. Better understanding of the dynamic relationship between trajectories of substance use in relation to neuropsychological functioning is needed. The aim of this study was to examine the different impacts of within- and between-person changes in alcohol and cannabis use on neuropsychological functioning over multiple time points.
Hierarchical linear modeling examined the effects of alcohol and cannabis use on neuropsychological functioning over the course of 14 years in a sample of 175 adolescents (aged 12–15 years at baseline).
Time-specific fluctuations in alcohol use (within-person effect) predicted worse performance across time on the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence Block Design subtest (B = −.05, SE = .02, p = .01). Greater mean levels of percent days of cannabis use across time (between-person effect) were associated with an increased contrast score between Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Color Word Inhibition and Color Naming conditions (B = .52, SE = .14, p < .0001) and poorer performance over time on Block Design (B = −.08, SE = .04, p = .03). Neither alcohol and/nor cannabis use over time was associated with performance in the verbal memory and processing speed domains.
Greater cumulative cannabis use over adolescence may be linked to poorer inhibitory control and visuospatial functioning performance, whereas more proximal increases in alcohol consumption during adolescence may drive alcohol-related performance decrements in visuospatial functioning. Results from this prospective study add to the growing body of literature on the impact of alcohol and cannabis use on cognition from adolescent to young adulthood.
We study star formation and metallicity enrichment histories of 24 massive galaxies at 1.6 < z < 2.5. Deep slitless spectroscopy + imaging data set collected from multiple HST surveys allows robust determination of their SEDs. Our new SED modeling with no functional assumptions on star formation histories revels that 1. most of the sample galaxies have already formed >50% of their extant masses ∼1.5 Gyr before the time of observed redshifts, with a trend where more massive galaxies form earlier, 2. most of our galaxies already have stellar metallicities compatible with those of local early-type galaxies, and 3. inferred metallicities are on average ∼ 0.25 dex higher than observed gas-phase metallicities of star forming galaxies at the time of their formation. Continuation of low-level star formation, rather than abrupt termination of star forming activity, may explain the observed gap of metallicities.