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Second-generation antipsychotic medications (SGAs) have advanced the treatment of schizophrenia over the past 30 years. However, a number of potentially life-threatening cardiac side-effects associated with these treatments concern and can discourage prescribers from administering these evidence-based treatments. This review provides a practical, psychiatrist-oriented understanding of the relative frequencies, mechanisms, investigations and treatments associated with these cardiac toxicities. We aim to highlight that these are relatively rare complications of an effective class of drug and to promote the advantages of early involvement of cardiologists in the psychiatric multidisciplinary team to guide the investigation and management of these conditions.
After reading this article you will be able to:
•understand the relative incidence of cardiotoxic side-effects of the various SGAs
•perform preliminary investigations to diagnose the common cardiotoxic side-effects of SGAs
•understand the treatments for these cardiac side-effects and the role of cardiologists involved the care of these patients.
There is limited evidence of the safety and impact of task-shared care for people with severe mental illnesses (SMI; psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder) in low-income countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and impact of a district-level plan for task-shared mental health care on 6 and 12-month clinical and social outcomes of people with SMI in rural southern Ethiopia.
In the Programme for Improving Mental health carE, we conducted an intervention cohort study. Trained primary healthcare (PHC) workers assessed community referrals, diagnosed SMI and initiated treatment, with independent research diagnostic assessments by psychiatric nurses. Primary outcomes were symptom severity and disability. Secondary outcomes included discrimination and restraint.
Almost all (94.5%) PHC worker diagnoses of SMI were verified by psychiatric nurses. All prescribing was within recommended dose limits. A total of 245 (81.7%) people with SMI were re-assessed at 12 months. Minimally adequate treatment was received by 29.8%. All clinical and social outcomes improved significantly. The impact on disability (standardised mean difference 0.50; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.35–0.65) was greater than impact on symptom severity (standardised mean difference 0.28; 95% CI 0.13–0.44). Being restrained in the previous 12 months reduced from 25.3 to 10.6%, and discrimination scores reduced significantly.
An integrated district level mental health care plan employing task-sharing safely addressed the large treatment gap for people with SMI in a rural, low-income country setting. Randomised controlled trials of differing models of task-shared care for people with SMI are warranted.
In preparation for a multisite antibiotic stewardship intervention, we assessed knowledge and attitudes toward management of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) plus teamwork and safety climate among providers, nurses, and clinical nurse assistants (CNAs).
Prospective surveys during January–June 2018.
All acute and long-term care units of 4 Veterans’ Affairs facilities.
The survey instrument included 2 previously tested subcomponents: the Kicking CAUTI survey (ASB knowledge and attitudes) and the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).
A total of 534 surveys were completed, with an overall response rate of 65%. Cognitive biases impacting management of ASB were identified. For example, providers presented with a case scenario of an asymptomatic patient with a positive urine culture were more likely to give antibiotics if the organism was resistant to antibiotics. Additionally, more than 80% of both nurses and CNAs indicated that foul smell is an appropriate indication for a urine culture. We found significant interprofessional differences in teamwork and safety climate (defined as attitudes about issues relevant to patient safety), with CNAs having highest scores and resident physicians having the lowest scores on self-reported perceptions of teamwork and safety climates (P < .001). Among providers, higher safety-climate scores were significantly associated with appropriate risk perceptions related to ASB, whereas social norms concerning ASB management were correlated with higher teamwork climate ratings.
Our survey revealed substantial misunderstanding regarding management of ASB among providers, nurses, and CNAs. Educating and empowering these professionals to discourage unnecessary urine culturing and inappropriate antibiotic use will be key components of antibiotic stewardship efforts.
The difference in the defect structures produced by different ion masses in a tungsten lattice is investigated using 80 MeV Au7+ ions and 10 MeV B3+ ions. The details of the defects produced by ions in recrystallized tungsten foil samples are studied using transmission electron microscopy. Dislocations of type b = 1/2 and  were observed in the analysis. While highly energetic gold ion produced small clusters of defects with very few dislocation lines, boron has produced large and sparse clusters with numerous dislocation lines. The difference in the defect structures could be due to the difference in separation between primary knock-on atoms produced by gold and boron ions.
Background: Brain tumors present unique challenges to patient and family quality of life (QOL). Cognitive dysfunction is common and functionally limiting, with no established treatments. These studies evaluate feasibility and preliminary efficacy of behavioral interventions developed for neuro-oncology patients. Study 1: A randomized controlled trial (N=25 primary brain tumor patients) compared an adapted version of Goal Management Training (GMT, a neuroscience-based integration of mindfulness and strategy training) and a newly-designed supportive psychoeducational intervention (Brain Health Program, BHP) to standard of care. Each intervention comprised 8 individual sessions and at-home practice between sessions. GMT patients’ executive functions improved immediately (p=.077, d=1.13), with maintenance at 4-month follow-up (p=.046, d=1.09). Both intervention groups reported improvements in everyday cognitive functioning immediately (p=.049; d’s GMT=0.43, BHP=0.79) and at follow-up (p=.001; d’s GMT=0.22, BHP=1.01). BHP patients also reported improved mood (p’s=.026 & .012, d’s=0.61 & 0.62). Study 2: Following a needs assessment about cognitive concerns and QOL in brain metastases patients (N=109) and caregivers (N=31), we developed a novel, brief (3 sessions + homework) Cognitive Support Program to provide education and strategy-training in key areas of concern: executive functions, memory, and communication. Options include caregiver co-training, and in-person or web-based delivery. Preliminary data from a pilot trial in progress demonstrate objective and subjective improvements. Conclusions: Cognitive rehabilitation may be a feasible and effective option for primary or metastatic brain tumor patients, addressing a need that is largely unmet in standard cancer care. Further development and larger trials appear warranted, with capacity for remote delivery recommended.
Transitioning from administration of monthly palivizumab to a single dose at discharge was associated with substantial pharmacy cost savings. With the concurrent adoption of private hospital rooms and visitor restriction policies, hospital-wide and neonatal intensive care unit healthcare-associated respiratory syncytial virus infections decreased following these changes.
We examined longitudinally the course and predictors of treatment resistance in a large cohort of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients from initiation of antipsychotic treatment. We hypothesized that antipsychotic treatment resistance is: (a) present at illness onset; and (b) differentially associated with clinical and demographic factors.
The study sample comprised 323 FEP patients who were studied at first contact and at 10-year follow-up. We collated clinical information on severity of symptoms, antipsychotic medication and treatment adherence during the follow-up period to determine the presence, course and predictors of treatment resistance.
From the 23% of the patients, who were treatment resistant, 84% were treatment resistant from illness onset. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that diagnosis of schizophrenia, negative symptoms, younger age at onset, and longer duration of untreated psychosis predicted treatment resistance from illness onset.
The striking majority of treatment-resistant patients do not respond to first-line antipsychotic treatment even at time of FEP. Clinicians must be alert to this subgroup of patients and consider clozapine treatment as early as possible during the first presentation of psychosis.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
Compressive Sensing is an emerging technology for data compression and simultaneous data acquisition. This is an enabling technique for significant reduction in data bandwidth, and transmission power and hence, can greatly benefit space-flight instruments. We apply this process to detect exoplanets via gravitational microlensing. We experiment with various impact parameters that describe microlensing curves to determine the effectiveness and uncertainty caused by Compressive Sensing. Finally, we describe implications for space-flight missions.
Proton beam therapy (PBT) offers compelling advantages in physical dose distribution compared to photon therapy. There are increasing numbers of gantry-based proton facilities worldwide but no such facilities exist in Canada. To access PBT, Canadian patients must travel abroad for treatment at high cost. In the face of limited access, this report seeks to provide recommendations for the selection of patients most likely to benefit from PBT and suggests an out-of-country referral process. METHODS: A systematic literature search for studies between January 1990 and May 2014 evaluating clinical outcomes after PBT. A draft report was developed through review of evidence, externally reviewed, and approved by the Alberta Health Services Cancer Care Proton Therapy Guidelines steering committee. RESULTS: Proton therapy is often used to treat tumours close to radiosensitive tissues, and children at risk of developing significant late effects of radiation therapy (RT). Local control rates with PBT appear similar to or, in some cases, higher than photon RT in uncontrolled and retrospective studies. Randomized trials comparing equivalent doses of PBT and photon RT are not available. SUMMARY: Referral for PBT is recommended for patients being treated with curative intent, with an expectation for long-term survival, and who are able and willing to travel abroad to a proton facility. Commonly accepted indications for referral include chordoma and chondrosarcoma, intraocular melanoma, and solid tumours in children and adolescents occurring in patients with greatest risk of long-term sequelae. Current data do not provide sufficient evidence to recommend routine referral of patients with most head and neck, breast, lung, gastrointestinal tract, and pelvic cancers including prostate cancer. It is recommended that all referrals be considered by a multidisciplinary team to select appropriate cases.
To describe antimicrobial resistance patterns for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) that occurred in 2011–2014 and were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network.
Data from central line–associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonias, and surgical site infections were analyzed. These HAIs were reported from acute care hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Pooled mean proportions of pathogens that tested resistant (or nonsusceptible) to selected antimicrobials were calculated by year and HAI type.
Overall, 4,515 hospitals reported that at least 1 HAI occurred in 2011–2014. There were 408,151 pathogens from 365,490 HAIs reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network, most of which were reported from acute care hospitals with greater than 200 beds. Fifteen pathogen groups accounted for 87% of reported pathogens; the most common included Escherichia coli (15%), Staphylococcus aureus (12%), Klebsiella species (8%), and coagulase-negative staphylococci (8%). In general, the proportion of isolates with common resistance phenotypes was higher among device-associated HAIs compared with surgical site infections. Although the percent resistance for most phenotypes was similar to earlier reports, an increase in the magnitude of the resistance percentages among E. coli pathogens was noted, especially related to fluoroquinolone resistance.
This report represents a national summary of antimicrobial resistance among select HAIs and phenotypes. The distribution of frequent pathogens and some resistance patterns appear to have changed from 2009–2010, highlighting the need for continual, careful monitoring of these data across the spectrum of HAI types.
The inner few hundred parsecs of the Milky Way, the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), is our closest laboratory for understanding star formation in the extreme environments (hot, dense, turbulent gas) that once dominated the universe. We present an update on the first large-area survey to expose the sites of star formation across the CMZ at high-resolution in submillimeter wavelengths: the CMZoom survey with the Submillimeter Array (SMA). We identify the locations of dense cores and search for signatures of embedded star formation. CMZoom is a three-year survey in its final year and is mapping out the highest column density regions of the CMZ in dust continuum and a variety of spectral lines around 1.3 mm. CMZoom combines SMA compact and subcompact configurations with single-dish data from BGPS and the APEX telescope, achieving an angular resolution of about 4″ (0.2 pc) and good image fidelity up to large spatial scales.
“Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS)” mission on-board GSAT-2 Indian spacecraft was launched on 08 May 2003 by GSLV-D2 and deployed in geostationery orbit to study the X-ray emission from solar flares with high spectral and temporal resolution. The SOXS consists of two independent payloads viz. SOXS Low Energy Detector (SLD) payload, and SOXS High Energy Detector (SHD) payload. The SLD consists of two solid state detectors Si PIN and CZT, which cover the energy range from 4-60 keV, while the SHD has NaI(Tl)/CsI(Na) sandwiched phoswich detector that covers energy range from 20 keV to 10 MeV. We present very briefly the science objectives and instrumentation of SLD payload. After the successful In-orbit Tests (IOT), the first light was fed into SLD payload on 08 June 2003 when the solar flare was already in progress. We briefly present the first results from the SLD payload.
The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors and establish the proportion of people with psychosis meeting criteria for the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The study also aimed to identify the key lifestyle behaviours associated with increased risk of the MetS and to investigate whether the MetS is associated with illness severity and degree of functional impairment.
Baseline data were collected as part of a large randomized controlled trial (IMPaCT RCT). The study took place within community mental health teams in five Mental Health NHS Trusts in urban and rural locations across England. A total of 450 randomly selected out-patients, aged 18–65 years, with an established psychotic illness were recruited. We ascertained the prevalence rates of cardiometabolic risk factors, illness severity and functional impairment and calculated rates of the MetS, using International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and National Cholesterol Education Program Third Adult Treatment Panel criteria.
High rates of cardiometabolic risk factors were found. Nearly all women and most men had waist circumference exceeding the IDF threshold for central obesity. Half the sample was obese (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) and a fifth met the criteria for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Females were more likely to be obese than males (61% v. 42%, p < 0.001). Of the 308 patients with complete laboratory measures, 57% (n = 175) met the IDF criteria for the MetS.
In the UK, the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors in individuals with psychotic illnesses is much higher than that observed in national general population studies as well as in most international studies of patients with psychosis.
There are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, hence one can consider the case of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU from the star would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for about 8 Gyr. Polarisation due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 102 (104) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a powerful tool to detect close-in planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow one to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, even providing a first characterisation. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue. Preliminary habitability study show also that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on Earth-like planets orbiting CWDs and that the DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, hence white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life from the perspective of UV irradiation.