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The criteria for objective memory impairment in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are vaguely defined. Aggregating the number of abnormal memory scores (NAMS) is one way to operationalise memory impairment, which we hypothesised would predict progression to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia.
As part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing, 896 older adults who did not have dementia were administered a psychometric battery including three neuropsychological tests of memory, yielding 10 indices of memory. We calculated the number of memory scores corresponding to z ≤ −1.5 (i.e., NAMS) for each participant. Incident diagnosis of AD dementia was established by consensus of an expert panel after 3 years.
Of the 722 (80.6%) participants who were followed up, 54 (7.5%) developed AD dementia. There was a strong correlation between NAMS and probability of developing AD dementia (r = .91, p = .0003). Each abnormal memory score conferred an additional 9.8% risk of progressing to AD dementia. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for NAMS was 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI) .81–.93, p < .01]. The odds ratio for NAMS was 1.67 (95% CI 1.40–2.01, p < .01) after correcting for age, sex, education, estimated intelligence quotient, subjective memory complaint, Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score and apolipoprotein E ϵ4 status.
Aggregation of abnormal memory scores may be a useful way of operationalising objective memory impairment, predicting incident AD dementia and providing prognostic stratification for individuals with MCI.
With one in ten young people being affected by ill mental health and stigma regularly cited as a factor affecting access to early intervention services, focussing resources on school based stigma reduction strategies seems prudent. ‘Headucate’, a student society, designed a 50 minute workshop which aims to increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma.
Repeated, cross sectional surveys were carried out at three time points; 1) immediately before (n=77), 2) Immediately after (n=81) and 3) three months post workshop (n=73). The surveys were paper based versions of the Reported Intended Behaviours Score (RIBS) and Mental Health Knowledge Scale (MAKS) utilising a social distance scale.
Four year 10 classed (pupils aged 14-15) were recruited. Post hoc t-tests were carried out when one-way ANOVAS were significant.
Disorder knowledge (from MAKS) and intended contact (from RIBS) significantly increased between time points one and two (p<0.01 and <0.004 respectively) but then decreased.
Analysis of the question pertaining to knowing where to access help showed a statistically significant increase (p<0.001) between time points one and two and then a decrease at time three, albeit to a higher value than at time point one (3.45 compared to 3.13, P=0.088).
Headucate workshops offer a low resource option which is well accepted by students. Like other school based stigma reduction strategies, a dramatic increase was seen between immediately before and after indicating that the workshop resonates with the pupils, but there was little sustained change in attitudes.
Against a backdrop of poor mental health education in UK schools a group of students from Norwich Medical School have formed a student society called ‘Headucate’ in order to create, deliver and evaluate an educational intervention for adolescents, initially to be delivered in Norfolk schools.
To create an educational intervention that:
Is the length of a standard lesson
Is age appropriate and acceptable
Contains appropriate signposting
Contains content that challenges common myths and replaces them with knowledge
Contains content that encourages empathy and understanding towards those with mental illnesses
Is easily delivered in the same way each time so that its effectiveness can be evaluated
To create an intervention effective at tackling stigma and empowering adolescents to recognise signs of poor mental health and access services appropriately.
Lesson plan created after consultation with psychiatrists, a psychologist, a GP, a university outreach professional, a teacher and secondary school age children, then trialled and revised.
Interactive workshop produced with 5 sections.
1) Myth vs Fact activity that dispels prevalent myths
2) Scenario based activity to demonstrate that mental health is a spectrum
3) An interactive presentation covering the most common mental illnesses and their symptoms
4) An activity focusing on talking to those with mental illnesses, furthering the scenario from the previous activity
5) A question and answer session. Every student leaves with a leaflet containing appropriate signposting.
We have created an educational intervention ready to be delivered and evaluated.
Mental health education is not compulsory in the UK therefore adolescents have very varied experiences despite half of people with mental health illnesses reporting having experienced symptoms by 14 years old. University students are ideal for delivering a relaxed, educational intervention aimed at this age group, providing an opportunity to for them to learn necessary tools for recognising signs of poor mental health and tackle associated stigma.
To expand Headucate's membership, including other disciplines within the University of East Anglia (UEA) and provide core training enabling members to deliver a school-based educational intervention
Recruitment of members has been a multifaceted approach utilising social media sites such as Facebook and the Headucate website, and oncampus events and ‘awareness campaigns’ including several successful evening talks and lectures.
Three training sessions, which include ‘Introduction to Mental Health’, ‘Workshop run-through’ and ‘Child Protection’, have been developed for all members wishing to partake in the delivery of workshops.
We have recruited approximately 300 members since summer 2012; 70 fully paid members in 2012/13 academic year and currently 45 paid members for 2013/14.
A total of 18 members are fully trained and ready to deliver workshops within schools and 17 other members have just one training session remaining.
We are looking forward to delivering our first workshops in October and building on a successful first year. We are confident we can provide workshops for approximately 600 children per year.
The symptoms of many mental illnesses often begin during high school. Interventions to improve mental health awareness amongst adolescents may lead to improved outcomes. in the UK unfortunately many schools do not fulfil this need and mental health education is not a compulsory part of the curriculum.
To develop and measure the effectiveness of and educational intervention designed to raise awareness and empower adolescents to recognise signs of poor mental health and access services appropriately.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention through baseline and follow up surveys.
Students at Norwich Medical School collaborated with teachers, psychiatrists and general practitioners to design an educational intervention that aims to tackle stigma and raise awareness of mental health conditions among 13-14 year olds in the hope that they can access services when needed, support those around them and look after their mental health. To evaluate effectiveness of the intervention, a knowledge, attitudes and practices survey that utilises a social distance scale that has been adapted for this age group and will be used to gather baseline and follow up data after six months.
We have developed a one-hour educational intervention delivered by medical students, that uses a variety of teaching techniques to raise awareness of mental health issues. We will start implementation in January 2013 so will have baseline effectiveness results shortly after.
Headucate has the potential to fill an important gap in effectively raising awareness of mental health issues in schools.
Although the impact of diarrhoeal disease on paediatric health in Nigeria has decreased in recent years, it remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children under 5 years. Rotavirus is recognised as an important aetiological agent, but information on the contribution of intestinal protozoa to watery diarrhoea in this age group in Nigeria is scarce. In this cross-sectional study, faecal samples from children admitted to healthcare centres in Abakaliki, Nigeria with acute watery diarrhoea (N = 199) and faecal samples from age-matched controls (N = 37) were examined for Cryptosporidium and Giardia using immunofluorescent antibody testing and molecular methods. Cryptosporidium was identified in 13 case samples (6.5%) and no control samples. For three samples, molecular characterisation indicated C. hominis, GP60 subtypes IaA30R3, IaA14R3 and IdA11. Giardia was not detected in any samples. This contrast in prevalence between the two intestinal protozoa may reflect their variable epidemiologies and probably differing routes of infection. Given that these two parasitic infections are often bracketed together, it is key to realise that they not only have differing clinical spectra but also that the importance of each parasite is not the same in different age groups and/or settings.
There is much epidemiological evidence suggesting a reduced risk of development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in habitual coffee drinkers, however to date there have been few longer-term interventions, directly examining the effects of coffee intake on glucose and lipid metabolism. Previous studies may be confounded by inter-individual variation in caffeine metabolism. Specifically, the rs762551 SNP in the CYP1A2 gene has been demonstrated to influence caffeine metabolism, with carriers of the C allele considered to be of a ‘slow’ metaboliser phenotype. This study investigated the effects of regular coffee intake on markers of glucose and lipid metabolism in coffee-naïve individuals, with novel analysis by rs762551 genotype. Participants were randomised to either a coffee group (n 19) who consumed four cups/d instant coffee for 12 weeks or a control group (n 8) who remained coffee/caffeine free. Venous blood samples were taken pre- and post-intervention. Primary analysis revealed no significant differences between groups. Analysis of the coffee group by genotype revealed several differences. Before coffee intake, the AC genotype (‘slow’ caffeine metabolisers, n 9) displayed higher baseline glucose and NEFA than the AA genotype (‘fast’ caffeine metabolisers, n 10, P<0·05). Post-intervention, reduced postprandial glycaemia and reduced NEFA suppression were observed in the AC genotype, with the opposite result observed in the AA genotype (P<0·05). These observed differences between genotypes warrant further investigation and indicate there may be no one-size-fits-all recommendation with regard to coffee drinking and T2D risk.
The correlation between ATP concentration and bacterial burden in the patient care environment was assessed. These findings suggest that a correlation exists between ATP concentration and bacterial burden, and they generally support ATP technology manufacturer-recommended cutoff values. Despite relatively modest discriminative ability, this technology may serve as a useful proxy for cleanliness.
The Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin exemplifies multi-stage basin development within a regional setting of diachronous continental collision. The Plio-Pleistocene represented a period of major sediment accumulation between two topographic highs, the Kyrenia Range in the north and the Troodos Massif in the south. During Pliocene time, open-marine marls and chalks of the Nicosia (Lefkoşa) Formation accumulated in a shelf setting. The Early Pleistocene period was characterized by a relative fall in sea level and a change to shallower-water bioclastic deposition of the Athalassa (Gürpınar) Formation. The northern margin of the basin was approximately delineated by the E–W neotectonic Ovgos (Dar Dere) fault zone. A carbonate ramp system formed directly to the south of this structural feature. During Early Pleistocene time, the basin evolved from an open-marine shelf to semi-enclosed lagoons with deltaic deposits, and finally to a non-marine aeolian setting, flanked by the rising Kyrenia Range to the north. Synthesis of geological evidence from the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin as a whole, including outcrop and borehole evidence from the south, adjacent to the Troodos Massif, indicates that the Pliocene – Early Pleistocene represented a relatively quiescent period. This intervened between Late Miocene – earliest Pleistocene southward thrusting–folding of the Kyrenia Range and Pleistocene intense surface uplift of both the Kyrenia Range and the Troodos Massif. The basin development reflects flexurally controlled collapse during Late Miocene – earliest Pliocene time related to southward thrusting, followed by strike-slip during westward tectonic escape of Anatolia, and finally regional uplift controlled by under-thrusting of continental crust from the south, as collision progressed.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
The objective of this study was to assess the use of statistical algorithms in identifying significant clusters of Salmonella spp. across different sectors of the food chain within an integrated surveillance programme. Three years of weekly Salmonella serotype data from farm animals, meat, and humans were used to create baseline models (first two years) and identify weeks with counts higher than expected using surveillance algorithms in the third (test) year. During the test year, an expert working group identified events of interest reviewing descriptive analyses of same data. The algorithms did not identify Salmonella events presenting as gradual increases or seasonal patterns as identified by the working group. However, the algorithms did identify clusters for further investigation, suggesting they could be a valuable complementary tool within an integrated surveillance system.
Previous studies regarding the acute effects of coffee on glycaemic control have used a single large dose of coffee, typically containing the caffeine equivalent of 2–4 servings of coffee. This study investigates whether the acute effects of coffee are dose-dependent, starting with a single serving. A total of ten healthy overweight males participated in a two-part randomised double-blind cross-over study. In the first part, they ingested 2, 4 or 8 g instant decaffeinated coffee (DC) dissolved in 400 ml water with caffeine added in proportion to the DC (total 100, 200 or 400 mg caffeine) or control (400 ml water) all with 50 g glucose. In the second part, they ingested the same amounts of DC (2, 4, 8 g) or control, but with a standard 100 mg caffeine added to each. Capillary blood samples were taken every 15 min for 2 h after each drink and glucose and insulin levels were measured. Repeated measures ANOVA on glucose results found an effect when caffeine was varied in line with DC (P=0·008). Post hoc analysis revealed that both 2 and 4 g DC with varied caffeine content increased the glycaemic response v. control. There was no effect of escalating doses of DC when caffeine remained constant at 100 mg. These results demonstrate that one standard serving of coffee (2 g) is sufficient to affect glucose metabolism. Furthermore, the amount of caffeine found in one serving (100 mg) is sufficient to mask any potential beneficial effects of increasing other components. No dose-dependent effect was found.