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The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial randomised neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome to a shunt strategy but otherwise retained standard of care. We aimed to describe centre-level practice variation at Fontan completion.
Centre-level data are reported as median or median frequency across all centres and range of medians or frequencies across centres. Classification and regression tree analysis assessed the association of centre-level factors with length of stay and percentage of patients with prolonged pleural effusion (>7 days).
The median Fontan age (14 centres, 320 patients) was 3.1 years (range from 1.7 to 3.9), and the weight-for-age z-score was −0.56 (−1.35 + 0.44). Extra-cardiac Fontans were performed in 79% (4–100%) of patients at the 13 centres performing this procedure; lateral tunnels were performed in 32% (3–100%) at the 11 centres performing it. Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (nine centres) ranged from 6 to 100%. Major complications occurred in 17% (7–33%). The length of stay was 9.5 days (9–12); 15% (6–33%) had prolonged pleural effusion. Centres with fewer patients (<6%) with prolonged pleural effusion and fewer (<41%) complications had a shorter length of stay (<10 days; sensitivity 1.0; specificity 0.71; area under the curve 0.96). Avoiding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and higher weight-for-age z-score were associated with a lower percentage of patients with prolonged effusions (<9.5%; sensitivity 1.0; specificity = 0.86; area under the curve 0.98).
Fontan perioperative practices varied widely among study centres. Strategies to decrease the duration of pleural effusion and minimise complications may decrease the length of stay. Further research regarding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest is needed to understand its association with prolonged pleural effusion.
Meta-analyses suggest that clinical psychopathology is preceded by dimensional behavioral and cognitive phenotypes such as psychotic experiences, executive functioning, working memory and affective dysregulation that are determined by the interplay between genetic and nongenetic factors contributing to the severity of psychopathology. The liability to mental ill health can be psychometrically measured using experimental paradigms that assess neurocognitive processes such as salience attribution, sensitivity to social defeat and reward sensitivity. Here, we describe the TwinssCan, a longitudinal general population twin cohort, which comprises 1202 individuals (796 adolescent/young adult twins, 43 siblings and 363 parents) at baseline. The TwinssCan is part of the European Network of National Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions in Schizophrenia project and recruited from the East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey. The main objective of this project is to understand psychopathology by evaluating the contribution of genetic and nongenetic factors on subclinical expressions of dimensional phenotypes at a young age before the onset of disorder and their association with neurocognitive processes, such as salience attribution, sensitivity to social defeat and reward sensitivity.
Decline in cognitive functioning precedes the first psychotic episode in the course of schizophrenia and is considered a hallmark symptom of the disorder. Given the low incidence of schizophrenia, it remains a challenge to investigate whether cognitive decline coincides with disease-related changes in brain structure, such as white matter abnormalities. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is an appealing model in this context, as 25% of patients develop psychosis. Furthermore, we recently showed that cognitive decline also precedes the onset of psychosis in individuals with 22q11DS. Here, we investigate whether the early cognitive decline in patients with 22q11DS is associated with alterations in white matter microstructure.
We compared the fractional anisotropy (FA) of white matter in 22q11DS patients with cognitive decline [n = 16; −18.34 (15.8) VIQ percentile points over 6.80 (2.39) years] to 22q11DS patients without cognitive decline [n = 18; 17.71 (20.17) VIQ percentile points over 5.27 (2.03) years] by applying an atlas-based approach to diffusion-weighted imaging data.
FA was significantly increased (p < 0.05, FDR) in 22q11DS patients with a cognitive decline in the bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus, the bilateral cingulum bundle, all subcomponents of the left internal capsule and the left superior frontal-occipital fasciculus as compared with 22q11DS patients without cognitive decline.
Within 22q11DS, the early cognitive decline is associated with microstructural differences in white matter. At the mean age of 17.8 years, these changes are reflected in increased FA in several tracts. We hypothesize that similar brain alterations associated with cognitive decline take place early in the trajectory of schizophrenia.
Past cases are the European Court of Justice's most prominent tool in making and justifying the rulings and decisions which affect the everyday lives of more than half a billion people. Marc Jacob's detailed analysis of the use of precedents and case-based reasoning in the Court uses methods such as doctrinal scholarship, empirical research, institutional analysis, comparative law and legal theory in order to unravel and critique the how and why of the Court's precedent technique. In doing so, he moves the wider debate beyond received 'common law' versus 'civil law' figments and 'Eurosceptic' versus 'Euromantic' battle lines, and also provides a useful blueprint for assessing and comparing the case law practices of other dispute resolution bodies.