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With the shift from deinstitutionalization to community care in mental health services, relatives of persons with severe and enduring mental illnesses have had to take over the role as primary caregivers. Disturbed family dynamics have been observed within families with an ‘ill’ member. Although schizophrenia and related mental illnesses are biologically based disorders, environmental stress (including stress within family relationships) plays a major role in the onset and maintenance of symptoms. With this study, we assume that family dynamics play a central role in the course of severe psychiatric illness and hypothesized that dysfunction within family systems is a prognostic indicator of hospitalization in the course of schizophrenia/bipolar and schizoaffective disorders.
Prospective, observational cohort study evaluating family functioning of 121 patients (schizophrenia/bipolar and schizoaffective disorder) from community at baseline and followed-up over 12-month period after recruitment. Measurements included demographics, diagnosis, Family Assessment Device – General Functioning, Perceived Criticism Scale, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning and Social Support Questionnaire-6.
Significant differences found between patients admitted and not admitted during the 12-month time period for age (p = 0.003), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS; p = 0.026), Family Assessment Device – General Functioning (FAD-GF; p = 0.007) and Social Support Questionnaire total satisfaction level (p = 0.042) at baseline. Bivariate analysis showed that those admitted into hospital were younger with a higher BPRS score, less social satisfaction and disturbed family dynamics. FAD-GF (p = 0.006) and age (p = 0.022) were significant independent predictors for admission.
This provides further evidence supporting importance of promoting better family functioning through modified family dynamics, integrating and involving family into the care of such patients.
Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) in infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) cohort study examined associations between SSB intakes at ages 18 months and 5 years with adiposity measures at age 6 years. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) at ages 18 months (n=555) and 5 years (n=767). The median (interquartile range) for SSB intakes is 28(5.5-98) ml at age 18 months and 111 (57-198) ml at age 5 years. Associations between SSB intakes (100 ml/day increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (s.d. unit), sum of skinfolds (SSFs)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intakes at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intakes when modelled as 100ml/day increments were associated with higher BMI by 0.09 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.16) s.d. unit, higher SSF thickness by 0.68 (0.06, 1.44) mm, and increased risk for overweight/obesity by 1.2 times (1.07, 1.23) at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intakes modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and risk for overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programs targeted at young children.
To describe an outbreak of bacteremia caused by vancomycin-sensitive Enterococcus faecalis (VSEfe).
An investigation by retrospective case control and molecular typing by whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
A tertiary-care neonatal unit in Melbourne, Australia.
Risk factors for 30 consecutive neonates with VSEfe bacteremia from June 2011 to December 2014 were analyzed using a case control study. Controls were neonates matched for gestational age, birth weight, and year of birth. Isolates were typed using WGS, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was determined.
Bacteremia for case patients occurred at a median time after delivery of 23.5 days (interquartile range, 14.9–35.8). Previous described risk factors for nosocomial bacteremia did not contribute to excess risk for VSEfe. WGS typing results designated 43% ST179 as well as 14 other sequence types, indicating a polyclonal outbreak. A multimodal intervention that included education, insertion checklists, guidelines on maintenance and access of central lines, adjustments to the late onset sepsis antibiotic treatment, and the introduction of diaper bags for disposal of soiled diapers after being handled inside the bed, led to termination of the outbreak.
Typing using WGS identified this outbreak as predominately nonclonal and therefore not due to cross transmission. A multimodal approach was then sought to reduce the incidence of VSEfe bacteremia.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Evidence on long-term influences of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency or concentrations on infant cognition is limited. We examined associations between maternal plasma vitamin B12 and cognitive development in 24-month-old infants. Maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were measured at 26–28 weeks’ gestation; infant cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at 24 months, for 443 mother–infant pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort. Linear regressions adjusted for key confounders examined associations of maternal vitamin B12 with cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor subscales. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamin B12 with folate or vitamin B6 insufficiencies on child’s cognition was explored. Average maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations was 220·5 ± 80·5 pmol/l; 15 % and 41 % of mothers were vitamin B12 deficient (<148 pmol/l) and insufficient (148–220·9 pmol/l), respectively. Infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency had 0·42 (95 % CI −0·70, −0·14) sd lower cognitive scores, compared with infants of mothers with sufficient vitamin B12. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamins B12 and B6 insufficiencies was associated with 0·37 (95 % CI −0·69, −0·06) sd lower cognitive scores in infants compared with infants of mothers sufficient in both vitamins. No significant associations were observed with other subscales. Study findings suggest the possible need to ensure adequate vitamin B12 during pregnancy. The impact of co-occurrence of maternal B-vitamins insufficiencies on early cognitive development warrants further investigation.
Objectives: The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) is a complex measure of executive function that is frequently employed to investigate the schizophrenia spectrum. The successful completion of the task requires the interaction of multiple intact executive processes, including attention, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and concept formation. Considerable cognitive heterogeneity exists among the schizophrenia spectrum population, with substantive evidence to support the existence of distinct cognitive phenotypes. The within-group performance heterogeneity of individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) on the WCST has yet to be investigated. A data-driven cluster analysis was performed to characterise WCST performance heterogeneity. Methods: Hierarchical cluster analysis with k-means optimisation was employed to identify homogenous subgroups in a sample of 210 schizophrenia spectrum participants. Emergent clusters were then compared to each other and a group of 194 healthy controls (HC) on WCST performance and demographic/clinical variables. Results: Three clusters emerged and were validated via altered design iterations. Clusters were deemed to reflect a relatively intact patient subgroup, a moderately impaired patient subgroup, and a severely impaired patient subgroup. Conclusions: Considerable within-group heterogeneity exists on the WCST. Identification of subgroups of patients who exhibit homogenous performance on measures of executive functioning may assist in optimising cognitive interventions. Previous associations found using the WCST among schizophrenia spectrum participants should be reappraised. (JINS, 2019, 25, 750–760)
Metal chalcogenides have attracted great attention because of their broad applications. It has been well acknowledged that microstructure can alter the intrinsic properties and performance of metal chalcogenides. The structure–property–performance relationships can be investigated at atomic scale with scanning transmission and transmission electron microscopy (STEM and TEM). Nevertheless, careful specimen preparation is paramount for accurate analyses and interpretations. In this work, we compare the effects of a variety of well-established TEM specimen preparation methods on the observed microstructure of an ingot stoichiometric lead telluride (PbTe). Most importantly, from aberration corrected STEM and first principles calculations, we discovered that argon (Ar) ion milling can lead to surface irradiation damage in the form of Pb vacancy clusters and self-interstitial atom (SIA) clusters. The SIA clusters appear as orthogonal nanoscale features when characterized along the <001> crystal orientation of the rock salt structured PbTe. This obfuscates the interpretation of the intrinsic microstructure of metal chalcogenides, especially lead chalcogenides. We demonstrate that with sufficiently low energy (300 eV) Ar ion cleaning or appropriate high-temperature annealing, the surface damage layer can be properly cleaned and the orthogonal nanoscale features are significantly reduced. This reveals the materials’ intrinsic structure and can be used as the standard protocol for future TEM specimen preparation of lead-based chalcogenide materials.
The aim of the study was to examine racism and the Pinkerton syndrome in Singapore. Specifically, the study examined the effects of race on hiring decisions in a simulated hiring decision task. Participants were 171 (61% males) Singaporean Chinese undergraduates from a private university in Singapore. They were randomly assigned into one of nine groups and asked to review a resume of a job applicant. The study used a 3 (Academic qualifications: strong, moderate, or weak) × 3 (Race: White, Chinese, or Malay) between-subjects design with perceived warmth, competence, applicant suitability and recommended salary as the dependent variables. The results showed that while Chinese participants discriminated against Malay applicants (racism), they discriminated in favor of White applicants (the Pinkerton syndrome). The results provided a potential explanation to the economic disparities between Malays and the other races, and first experimental evidence for racism and the Pinkerton syndrome in Singapore.
Objectives: Antisaccade error rate has been proposed to be one of the most promising endophenotypes for schizophrenia. Increased error rate in patients has been associated with working memory, attention and other executive function impairments. The relationship between antisaccade error rate and other neuropsychological processes in patients compared to healthy controls has not been explored in depth. This study aimed to replicate the finding of heightened antisaccade error rate in patients and determine which cognitive processes were most strongly associated with antisaccade error rate in both patients and controls. In addition, the study investigated whether different antisaccade task paradigms engage different cognitive processes. Methods: One hundred and ninety-one participants (54 patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder and 137 controls) completed the antisaccade task, which included both gap and step task parameters. Neuropsychological measures were obtained using the MCCB and the Stroop task. Results: The current study replicated a pronounced antisaccade error rate deficit in patients. In patients, working memory variance was most significantly associated with antisaccade errors made during the step condition, while attentional processes were most associated with errors made during the gap condition. In controls, overall global cognitive performance was most associated with antisaccade rates for both gap and step conditions. Conclusions: The current study demonstrates that in schizophrenia patients, but not controls, elevated antisaccade error rate is associated with attention and working memory, but not with global cognitive impairment or psychopathological processes. Our novel findings demonstrate that the gap and step conditions of the antisaccade task engage different cognitive processes. (JINS, 2019, 25, 174–183)
To determine the relationship between falls and deficits in specific cognitive domains in older adults.
An analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) cohort.
United Kingdom community-based.
5197 community-dwelling older adults recruited to a prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Data on the occurrence of falls and number of falls, which occurred during a 12-month follow-up period, were assessed against the specific cognitive domains of memory, numeracy skills, and executive function. Binomial logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between each cognitive domain and the dichotomous outcome of falls in the preceding 12 months using unadjusted and adjusted models.
Of the 5197 participants included in the analysis, 1308 (25%) reported a fall in the preceding 12 months. There was no significant association between the occurrence of a fall and specific forms of cognitive dysfunction after adjusting for self-reported hearing, self-reported eyesight, and functional performance. After adjustment, only orientation (odds ratio [OR]: 0.80; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.65–0.98, p = 0.03) and verbal fluency (adjusted OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96–1.00; p = 0.05) remained significant for predicting recurrent falls.
The cognitive phenotype rather than cognitive impairment per se may predict future falls in those presenting with more than one fall.
While studies suggest that nutritional supplementation may reduce aggressive behavior in children, few have examined their effects on specific forms of aggression. This study tests the primary hypothesis that omega-3 (ω-3), both alone and in conjunction with social skills training, will have particular post-treatment efficacy for reducing childhood reactive aggression relative to baseline.
In this randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled, factorial trial, a clinical sample of 282 children with externalizing behavior aged 7–16 years was randomized into ω-3 only, social skills only, ω-3 + social skills, and placebo control groups. Treatment duration was 6 months. The primary outcome measure was reactive aggression collected at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, with antisocial behavior as a secondary outcome.
Children in the ω-3-only group showed a short-term reduction (at 3 and 6 months) in self-report reactive aggression, and also a short-term reduction in overall antisocial behavior. Sensitivity analyses and a robustness check replicated significant interaction effects. Effect sizes (d) were small, ranging from 0.17 to 0.31.
Findings provide some initial support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing reactive aggression over and above standard care (medication and parent training), but yield only preliminary and limited support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing overall externalizing behavior in children. Future studies could test further whether ω-3 shows promise in reducing more reactive, impulsive forms of aggression.
Radiocarbon dates from recent excavations of a range of Angkorian Khmer (~9th–14th CE) stoneware kiln complexes provide a new and independent perspective on the timing and geography of Khmer ceramic production. These data demonstrate a clear two-phase sequence. The first, in the late 9th to late 12th centuries CE, marks a period of intensive production located both to the east of Angkor and to the south at Cheung Ek, south of Phnom Penh. A second shorter phase of production occurred in the late 13th to late 14th CE at more distant provincial settings following the collapse of the Angkorian state.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
The correlation between objective and subjective nasal obstruction is poor, and dissatisfaction rates after surgery for nasal obstruction are high. Accordingly, novel assessment techniques may be required. This survey aimed to determine patient experience and preferences for the measurement of nasal obstruction.
Prospective survey of rhinology patients.
Of 72 questionnaires distributed, 60 were completed (response rate of 83 per cent). Obstruction duration (more than one year) (χ2 = 13.5, p = 0.00024), but not obstruction severity, affected willingness to spend more time being assessed. Questionnaires (48 per cent) and nasal inspiratory peak flow measurement (53 per cent) are the most commonly used assessment techniques. Forty-nine per cent of participants found their assessment unhelpful in understanding their obstruction. Eighty-two per cent agreed or strongly agreed that a visual and numerical aid would help them understand their blockage.
Many patients are dissatisfied with current assessment techniques; a novel device with visual or numerical results may help. Obstruction duration determines willingness to undergo longer assessment.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of computer-assisted “drill-and-strategy” cognitive remediation (CR) for community-dwelling individuals with schizophrenia on cognition, everyday self-efficacy, and independent living skills. Methods: Fifty-six people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were randomized into CR or computer game (CG) playing (control), and offered twenty 1-hr individual sessions in a group setting over 10 weeks. Measures of cognition, psychopathology, self-efficacy, quality of life, and independent living skills were conducted at baseline, end-group and 3 months following intervention completion. Results: Forty-three participants completed at least 10 sessions and the end-group assessment. Linear mixed-effect analyses among completers demonstrated a significant interaction effect for global cognition favoring CR (p=.028). CR-related cognitive improvement was sustained at 3-months follow-up. At end-group, 17 (77%) CR completers showed a reliable improvement in at least one cognitive domain. A significant time effect was evident for self-efficacy (p=.028) with both groups improving over time, but no significant interaction effect was observed. No significant effects were found for other study outcomes, including the functional measure. Conclusions: Computer-assisted drill-and-strategy CR in schizophrenia improved cognitive test performance, while participation in both CR and CG playing promoted enhancements in everyday self-efficacy. Changes in independent living skills did not appear to result from CR, however. Adjunctive psychosocial rehabilitation is likely necessary for improvements in real-world community functioning to be achieved. (JINS, 2018, 24, 549–562)
Struggles managing conflict and hostility in adolescent social relationships were examined as long-term predictors of immune-mediated inflammation in adulthood that has been linked to long-term health outcomes. Circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a marker of immune system dysfunction when chronically elevated, were assessed at age 28 in a community sample of 127 individuals followed via multiple methods and reporters from ages 13 to 28. Adult serum IL-6 levels were predicted across periods as long as 15 years by adolescents’ inability to defuse peer aggression and poor peer-rated conflict resolution skills, and by independently observed romantic partner hostility in late adolescence. Adult relationship difficulties also predicted higher IL-6 levels but did not mediate predictions from adolescent-era conflict struggles. Predictions were also not mediated by adult trait hostility or aggressive behavior, suggesting the unique role of struggles with conflict and hostility from others during adolescence. The implications for understanding the import of adolescent peer relationships for life span physical health outcomes are considered.
The bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) is one of the most important wheat pests with polyphagia and autumn migrants. And, chemosensory genes were thought to play a key role in insect searching their hosts, food and mate. However, a systematic identification of the chemosensory genes in this pest has not been reported. Thus, in this study, we identified 14 odorant-binding proteins, nine chemosensory proteins, one sensory neuron membrane protein, 15 odorant receptors, 19 gustatory receptors and 16 ionotropic receptors from R. padi transcriptomes with a significantly similarity (E-value < 10−5) to known chemosensory genes in Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii. In addition, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was employed to determine the expression profiles of obtained genes. Among these obtained genes, we selected 23 chemosensory genes to analyze their expression patterns in different tissues, wing morphs and host plants. We found that except RpOBP1, RpOBP3, RpOBP4 and RpOBP5, the rest of the selected genes were highly expressed in the head with antennae compared with body without head and antennae. Besides that, the stimulation and depression of chemosensory genes by plant switch indicated that chemosensory genes might be involved in the plant suitability assessment. These results not only provide insights for the potential roles of chemosensory genes in plant search and perception of R. padi but also provide initial background information for the further research on the molecular mechanism of the polyphagia and autumn migrants of it. Furthermore, these chemosensory genes are also the candidate targets for pest management control in future.