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The aims of this study were to evaluate changes in inflammatory and oxidative stress levels following treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) or mitochondrial-enhancing agents (CT), and to assess the how these changes may predict and/or moderate clinical outcomes primarily the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).
This study involved secondary analysis of a placebo-controlled randomised trial (n=163). Serum samples were collected at baseline and week 16 of the clinical trial to determine changes in interleukin (IL)-6 and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) following adjunctive CT and/or NAC treatment, and to explore the predictability of the outcome or moderator effects of these markers.
In the NAC treated group, no difference was observed in serum IL-6 and TAC levels after 16 weeks of treatment with NAC or CT. However, results from a moderator analysis showed that in the CT group, lower IL-6 levels at baseline was a significant moderator of MADRS χ2 (df) = 4.90, p=0.027) and Clinical Global Impression-improvement (CGI-I, X2 (df)=6.28 p=0.012). In addition, IL-6 was a non-specific but significant predictor of functioning (based on the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS)), indicating that individuals with higher IL-6 levels at baseline had a greater improvement on SOFAS regardless of their treatment (p=0.023).
Participants with lower IL-6 levels at baseline had a better response to the adjunctive treatment with the mitochondrial-enhancing agents in terms of improvements in MADRS and CGI-I outcomes.
Two common approaches to identify subgroups of patients with bipolar disorder are clustering methodology (mixture analysis) based on the age of onset, and a birth cohort analysis. This study investigates if a birth cohort effect will influence the results of clustering on the age of onset, using a large, international database.
The database includes 4037 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, previously collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust the data for country median age, and in some models, birth cohort. Model-based clustering (mixture analysis) was then performed on the age of onset data using the residuals. Clinical variables in subgroups were compared.
There was a strong birth cohort effect. Without adjusting for the birth cohort, three subgroups were found by clustering. After adjusting for the birth cohort or when considering only those born after 1959, two subgroups were found. With results of either two or three subgroups, the youngest subgroup was more likely to have a family history of mood disorders and a first episode with depressed polarity. However, without adjusting for birth cohort (three subgroups), family history and polarity of the first episode could not be distinguished between the middle and oldest subgroups.
These results using international data confirm prior findings using single country data, that there are subgroups of bipolar I disorder based on the age of onset, and that there is a birth cohort effect. Including the birth cohort adjustment altered the number and characteristics of subgroups detected when clustering by age of onset. Further investigation is needed to determine if combining both approaches will identify subgroups that are more useful for research.
Major psychosis and mood disorders are neuroprogressive illnesses that develop from prodrome to episodic onset to relapse and recurrence and finally chronic, debilitating illness. There is considerable evidence supporting a staged model for mental illness. Moreover, acknowledging the staged progression of major psychiatric illness creates new opportunities for intervention. Conventional treatments focus on symptom reduction and prevention of relapse, with many services requiring triage levels that exclude all but the most severe patients. This generally results in most of the mental health resources being directed towards patients in the later stages of illness. Re-conceptualising major psychosis and mood disorders as staged illnesses suggests that there is a potential for improvement with regards to illness burden for patients and reduced health care costs if a greater portion of mental health resources were directed towards patients in early stages of illness and toward treatments that may prevent neuroprogression. Successful service models for early intervention already exist, such as Orygen Youth Mental Health in Australia, and many treatments that may impede the progression of mental illness have been identified. Ongoing research is investigating mechanisms by which illness neuroprogression occurs and is evaluating the neuroprotective capabilities of treatments. There is already sufficient experience and knowledge, as well as stage appropriate treatment and possible neuroprotective agents with mechanisms of action that may counteract the mechanisms of neuroprogression. There are sufficient tools to apply the staging model to our treatment and services now, and doing so will lead to better outcomes for patients.
Antidepressants are amongst the most commonly prescribed classes of drugs and their use continues to grow. Adverse outcomes are part of the landscape in prescribing medications and therefore management of safety issues need to be an integral part of practice.
We have developed consensus guidelines for safety monitoring with antidepressant treatments.
To present an overview of screening and safety considerations for pharmacotherapy of clinical depressive disorders and make recommendations for safety monitoring.
Data were sourced by a literature search using Medline and a manual search of scientific journals to identify relevant articles. Draft guidelines were prepared and serially revised in an iterative manner until all co-authors gave final approval of content.
A guidelines document was produced after approval by all 19 co-authors. The final document gives guidance on; the decision to treat, baseline screening prior to commencement of treatment, and ongoing monitoring during antidepressant treatment. The guidelines state or reference screening protocols that may detect medical causes of depression as well as screening and monitoring protocols to investigate specific adverse effects associated with antidepressant treatments that may be reduced or identified earlier by baseline screening and agent-specific monitoring after commencing treatment.
The implementation of safety monitoring guidelines for treatment of clinical depression may significantly improve outcome, by improving a patient's overall physical health status.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a psychiatric disorder with an uncertain aetiology. Recently, special attention has been given to homocysteine (Hcy), as it has been suggested that alterations in 1-carbon metabolism might be implicated in diverse psychiatric disorders. However, there is uncertainty regarding possible alterations in peripheral Hcy levels in BD.
This study comprises a meta-analysis comparing serum and plasma Hcy levels in persons with BD and healthy controls. We conducted a systematic search for all eligible English and non-English peer-reviewed articles.
Nine cross-sectional studies were included in the meta-analyses, providing data on 1547 participants. Random-effects meta-analysis showed that serum and plasma levels of Hcy were increased in subjects with BD in either mania or euthymia when compared to healthy controls, with a large effect size in the mania group (g = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.8–1.17, P < 0.001, n = 495) and a small effect in the euthymia group (g = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.11–0.48, P = 0.002, n = 1052).
Our meta-analysis provides evidence that Hcy levels are elevated in persons with BD during mania and euthymia. Peripheral Hcy could be considered as a potential biomarker in BD, both of trait (since it is increased in euthymia), and also of state (since its increase is more accentuated in mania). Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the relationship between bipolar disorder and Hcy, as well as the usefulness of peripheral Hcy as both a trait and state biomarker in BD.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a psychiatric disorder associated with increased rates of obesity and inflammation. Leptin is an adipokine that is mainly produced by the white adipose tissue in response to insulin. It stimulates the immune system, increasing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. There is currently uncertainty regarding possible alterations in peripheral leptin levels across the mood states in BD.
This study comprises a between-group meta-analysis comparing serum and plasma leptin levels in people with BD in mania, depression or euthymia and healthy controls. We conducted a systematic search for all possibly eligible-English and non-English peer-reviewed articles. We calculated the effect size (ES) utilizing Hedges’ adjusted g using random effects.
Eleven studies were included in the meta-analyses, providing data on 1118 participants. Serum and plasma leptin levels were not altered in subjects with BD when compared to healthy controls in mania (g = −0.99, 95% CI −2.43 to 0.43, P = 0.171), in depression (g = 0.17, 95% CI −0.45 to 0.79, P = 0.584), or in euthymia (g = 0.03, 95% CI −0.39 to 0.46, P = 0.882). However, we did observe a stronger association between leptin levels and both age and BMI in patients with BD in euthymia compared to healthy controls, such that the greater the age of the individuals, the greater the difference in leptin levels between BD and controls; and the higher the BMI, the greater the difference in leptin levels between BD and controls.
Our meta-analysis provides evidence that leptin levels are not altered in BD across the mood spectrum compared to healthy controls. The disproportionate increase of leptin levels with increase in BMI in BD speaks in favour of a potential inflammatory role of white adipose tissue in BD and a disproportionate increase of leptin levels with increase in age.
Key lifestyle-environ risk factors are operative for depression, but it is unclear how risk factors cluster. Machine-learning (ML) algorithms exist that learn, extract, identify and map underlying patterns to identify groupings of depressed individuals without constraints. The aim of this research was to use a large epidemiological study to identify and characterise depression clusters through “Graphing lifestyle-environs using machine-learning methods” (GLUMM).
Two ML algorithms were implemented: unsupervised Self-organised mapping (SOM) to create GLUMM clusters and a supervised boosted regression algorithm to describe clusters. Ninety-six “lifestyle-environ” variables were used from the National health and nutrition examination study (2009–2010). Multivariate logistic regression validated clusters and controlled for possible sociodemographic confounders.
The SOM identified two GLUMM cluster solutions. These solutions contained one dominant depressed cluster (GLUMM5-1, GLUMM7-1). Equal proportions of members in each cluster rated as highly depressed (17%). Alcohol consumption and demographics validated clusters. Boosted regression identified GLUMM5-1 as more informative than GLUMM7-1. Members were more likely to: have problems sleeping; unhealthy eating; ≤ 2 years in their home; an old home; perceive themselves underweight; exposed to work fumes; experienced sex at ≤ 14 years; not perform moderate recreational activities. A positive relationship between GLUMM5-1 (OR: 7.50, P < 0.001) and GLUMM7-1 (OR: 7.88, P < 0.001) with depression was found, with significant interactions with those married/living with partner (P = 0.001).
Using ML based GLUMM to form ordered depressive clusters from multitudinous lifestyle-environ variables enabled a deeper exploration of the heterogeneous data to uncover better understandings into relationships between the complex mental health factors.
We simulate the flow of two immiscible and incompressible fluids separated by an interface in a homogeneous turbulent shear flow at a shear Reynolds number equal to 15 200. The viscosity and density of the two fluids are equal, and various surface tensions and initial droplet diameters are considered in the present study. We show that the two-phase flow reaches a statistically stationary turbulent state sustained by a non-zero mean turbulent production rate due to the presence of the mean shear. Compared to single-phase flow, we find that the resulting steady-state conditions exhibit reduced Taylor-microscale Reynolds numbers owing to the presence of the dispersed phase, which acts as a sink of turbulent kinetic energy for the carrier fluid. At steady state, the mean power of surface tension is zero and the turbulent production rate is in balance with the turbulent dissipation rate, with their values being larger than in the reference single-phase case. The interface modifies the energy spectrum by introducing energy at small scales, with the difference from the single-phase case reducing as the Weber number increases. This is caused by both the number of droplets in the domain and the total surface area increasing monotonically with the Weber number. This reflects also in the droplet size distribution, which changes with the Weber number, with the peak of the distribution moving to smaller sizes as the Weber number increases. We show that the Hinze estimate for the maximum droplet size, obtained considering break-up in homogeneous isotropic turbulence, provides an excellent estimate notwithstanding the action of significant coalescence and the presence of a mean shear.
Prenatal sex steroid exposure plays an important role in determining child development. Yet, measurement of prenatal hormonal exposure has been limited by the paucity of newborn/infant data and the invasiveness of fetal hormonal sampling. Here we provide descriptive data from the MIREC-ID study (n=173 girls; 162 boys) on a range of minimally invasive physical indices thought to reflect prenatal exposure to androgens [anogenital distances (AGDs); penile length/width, scrotal/vulvar pigmentation], to estrogens [vaginal maturation index (VMI) – the degree of maturation of vaginal wall cells] or to both androgens/estrogens [2nd-to-4th digit ratio (2D:4D); areolar pigmentation, triceps/sub-scapular skinfold thickness, arm circumference]. VMI was found to be associated with triceps skinfold thickness (β=0.265, P=0.005), suggesting that this marker may be sensitive to estrogen levels produced by adipose tissue in girls. Both estrogenic and androgenic markers (VMI: β=0.338, P=0.031; 2D:4D – right: β=−0.207, P=0.040; left: β=−0.276, P=0.006; AGD-fourchette − β=0.253, P=0.036) were associated with areolar pigmentation in girls, supporting a role for the latter as an index of both androgen and estrogen exposure. We also found AGD-penis (distance from the anus to the penis) to be associated with scrotal pigmentation (β=0.290, P=0.048), as well as right arm circumference (β=0.462, P<0.0001), supporting the notion that these indices may be used together as markers of androgen exposure in boys. In sum, these findings support the use of several physical indices at birth to convey a more comprehensive picture of prenatal exposure to sex hormones.
Multi-sire mating of a mob of ewes is commonly used in commercial sheep production systems. However, ram mating success (defined as the number of lambs sired by an individual) can vary between rams in the mating group. If this trait was repeatable and heritable, selection of rams capable of siring larger numbers of lambs could reduce the number of rams required for mating and ultimately lead to increased genetic gain. However, genetic correlations with other productive traits, such as growth and female fertility, could influence the potential for ram mating success to be used as a selection trait. In order to investigate this trait, parentage records (including accuracy of sire assignment) from 15 commercial ram breeding flocks of various breeds were utilised to examine the repeatability and heritability of ram mating success in multi-sire mating groups. In addition, genetic and phenotypic correlations with growth and female fertility traits were estimated using ASReml. The final model used for the ram mating success traits included age of the ram and mating group as fixed effects. Older rams (3+years old) had 15% to 20% greater mating success than younger rams (1 or 2 years of age). Increasing the stringency of the criteria for inclusion of both an individual lamb, based on accuracy of sire assignment, or a whole mating group, based on how many lambs had an assigned sire, increased repeatability and heritability estimates of the ram mating success traits examined. With the most stringent criteria employed, where assignment of sire accuracy was >0.95 and the total number of lambs in the progeny group that failed to have a sire assigned was<0.05, repeatability and heritability for loge(number of lambs) was 0.40±0.09 and 0.26±0.12, respectively. For proportion of lambs sired, repeatability and heritability were both 0.30±0.09. The two ram mating traits (loge(nlamb) and proportion) were highly correlated, both phenotypically and genetically (0.88±0.01 and 0.94±0.06, respectively). Both phenotypic and genetic correlations between ram mating success and growth and other female fertility traits were low and non-significant. In conclusion, there is scope to select rams capable of producing high numbers of progeny and thus increase selection pressure on rams to increase genetic gain.
Continental paleoclimate proxies with near-global coverage are rare. Land snail δ18O is one of the few proxies abundant in Quaternary sediments ranging from the tropics to the high Arctic tundra. However, its application in paleoclimatology remains difficult, attributable in part to limitations in published calibration studies. Here we present shell δ18O of modern small (<10 mm) snails across North America, from Florida (30°N) to Manitoba (58°N), to examine the main climatic controls on shell δ18O at a coarse scale. This transect is augmented by published δ18O values, which expand our coverage from Jamaica (18°N) to Alaska (64°N). Results indicate that shell δ18O primarily tracks the average annual precipitation δ18O. Shell δ18O increases 0.5–0.7‰ for every 1‰ increase in precipitation δ18O, and 0.3–0.7‰ for every 1°C increase in temperature. These relationships hold true when all taxa are included regardless of body size (ranging from ~1.6 to ~58 mm), ecology (herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores), or behavior (variable seasonal active periods and mobility habits). Future isotopic investigations should include calibration studies in tropical and high-latitude settings, arid environments, and along altitudinal gradients to test if the near linear relationship between shell and meteoric precipitation δ18O observed on a continental scale remains significant.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
This study aimed to explore effects of adjunctive treatment with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) on markers of inflammation and neurogenesis in bipolar depression.
This is a secondary analysis of a placebo-controlled randomised trial. Serum samples were collected at baseline, week 8, and week 32 of the open-label and maintenance phases of the clinical trial to determine changes in interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) following adjunctive NAC treatment, and to explore mediation and moderator effects of the listed markers.
Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukins (IL) -6, 8, or 10 were not significantly changed during the course of the trial or specifically in the open-label and maintenance phases. There were no mediation or moderation effects of the biological factors on the clinical parameters.
The results suggest that these particular biological parameters may not be directly involved in the therapeutic mechanism of action of adjunctive NAC in bipolar depression.
Concordant with an increased emphasis on consumer engagement, the Patient Global Impression Scale of Improvement (PGI-I) is commonly used as an outcome measure in studies evaluating the efficacy of treatments in medical and psychiatric conditions with subjective symptom domains. The current study evaluated the agreement between PGI-I and Clinician Global Impression Scale of Improvement (CGI-I) ratings and convergent validity of PGI-I among individuals with bipolar or major depressive disorders.
Data were derived from three double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre studies conducted from 2007 to 2015 among adult individuals (N = 472). Clinicians were asked to rate participants symptoms using the CGI-I as well as severity of depression by the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression (MADRS), quality of life (Q-LES-Q), social and occupational functioning (SOFAS), and functional impairment (LIFE–RIFT). Participants were asked to assess their symptom improvement with the PGI-I. Bland-Altman agreement plots and Intra-class correlations were used to evaluate agreement, and Spearman correlation coefficients were implemented to examine convergent validity. Sub-group analyses for disorder type (bipolar and major depression) were performed.
There was high agreement between the PGI-I and CGI-I ratings across follow-up time points (weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, and 28). Similar results were observed in male only and female only data and after adjustment for age and gender. Both PGI-I and CGI-I ratings were robustly positively correlated with MADRS, and LIFE-RIFT and negatively correlated with SOFAS and Q-LES-Q, supporting the convergent validity of the PGI-I. Sub-group analyses for bipolar and major depressive disorder showed similar findings.
Our findings support the utility of the PGI-I as a participant rated measure of global improvement among individuals with bipolar or major depressive disorders.
Introduction: The ECG diagnosis of acute coronary occlusion (ACO) in the setting of ventricular paced rhythm (VPR) is purported to be impossible. However, VPR has a similar ECG morphology to LBBB. The validated Smith-modified Sgarbossa criteria (MSC) have high sensitivity (Sens) and specificity (Spec) for ACO in LBBB. MSC consist of 1 of the following in 1 lead: concordant ST Elevation (STE) 1 mm, concordant ST depression 1 mm in V1-V3, or ST/S ratio <−0.25 (in leads with 1 mm STE). We hypothesized that the MSC will have higher Sens for diagnosis of ACO in VPR when compared to the original Sgarbossa criteria. We report preliminary findings of the Paced Electrocardiogram Requiring Fast Emergency Coronary Therapy (PERFECT) study Methods: The PERFECT study is a retrospective, multicenter, international investigation of ED patients from 1/2008 - 12/2016 with VPR on the ECG and symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (e.g. chest pain or shortness of breath). Data from four sites are presented. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was defined by the Third Universal Definition of AMI. A blinded cardiologist adjudicated ACO, defined as thrombolysis in myocardial infarction score 0 or 1 on coronary angiography; a pre-defined subgroup of ACO patients with peak cardiac troponin (cTn) >100 times the 99% upper reference limit (URL) of the cTn assay was also analyzed. Another blinded physician measured all ECGs. Statistics were by Mann Whitney U, Chi-square, and McNemars test. Results: The ACO and No-AMI groups consisted of 15 and 79 encounters, respectively. For the ACO and No-AMI groups, median age was 78 [IQR 72-82] vs. 70 [61-75] and 13 (86%) vs. 48 (61%) patients were male. The median peak cTn ratio (cTn/URL) was 260 [33-663] and 0.5 [0-1.3] for ACO vs. no-AMI. The Sens and Spec for the MSC and the original Sgarbossa criteria were 67% (95%CI 39-87) vs. 46% (22-72; p=0.25) and 99% (92-100) vs. 99% (92-100; p=0.5). In pre-defined subgroup analysis of ACO patients with peak cTn >100 times the URL (n=10), the Sens was 90% (54-100) for the MSC vs. 60% (27- 86) for original Sgarbossa criteria (p=0.25). Conclusion: ACO in VPR is an uncommon condition. The MSC showed good Sens for diagnosis of ACO in the presence of VPR, especially among patients with high peak cTn, and Spec was excellent. These methods and results are consistent with studies that have used the MSC to diagnose ACO in LBBB.
To determine the feasibility and value of developing a regional antibiogram for community hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective analysis of antibiograms.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
A total of 20 community hospitals in central and eastern North Carolina and south central Virginia participated in this study.
We combined antibiogram data from participating hospitals for 13 clinically relevant gram-negative pathogen–antibiotic combinations. From this combined antibiogram, we developed a regional antibiogram based on the mean susceptibilities of the combined data.
We combined a total of 69,778 bacterial isolates across 13 clinically relevant gram-negative pathogen–antibiotic combinations (median for each combination, 1100; range, 174–27,428). Across all pathogen–antibiotic combinations, 69% of local susceptibility rates fell within 1 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate, and 97% of local susceptibilities fell within 2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate. No individual hospital had >1 pathogen–antibiotic combination with a local susceptibility rate >2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate. All hospitals’ local susceptibility rates were within 2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate for low-prevalence pathogens (<500 isolates cumulative for the region).
Small community hospitals frequently cannot develop an accurate antibiogram due to a paucity of local data. A regional antibiogram is likely to provide clinically useful information to community hospitals for low-prevalence pathogens.