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Anticholinergic medications block cholinergic transmission. The central effects of anticholinergic drugs can be particularly marked in patients with dementia. Furthermore, anticholinergics antagonise the effects of cholinesterase inhibitors, the main dementia treatment.
This study aimed to assess anticholinergic drug prescribing among dementia patients before and after admission to UK acute hospitals.
352 patients with dementia were included from 17 hospitals in the UK. All were admitted to surgical, medical or Care of the Elderly wards in 2019. Information about patients’ prescriptions were recorded on a standardised form. An evidence-based online calculator was used to calculate the anticholinergic drug burden of each patient. The correlation between two subgroups upon admission and discharge was tested with Spearman’s Rank Correlation.
Table 1 shows patient demographics. On admission, 37.8% of patients had an anticholinergic burden score ≥1 and 5.68% ≥3. At discharge, 43.2% of patients had an anticholinergic burden score ≥1 and 9.1% ≥3. The increase was statistically significant (rho 0.688; p=2.2x10-16). The most common group of anticholinergic medications prescribed at discharge were psychotropics (see Figure 1). Among patients prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors, 44.9% were also taking anticholinergic medications.
This multicentre cross-sectional study found that people with dementia are frequently prescribed anticholinergic drugs, even if also taking cholinesterase inhibitors, and are significantly more likely to be discharged with a higher anticholinergic drug burden than on admission to hospital.
Conflict of interest
This project was planned and executed by the authors on behalf of SPARC (Student Psychiatry Audit and Research Collaborative). We thank the National Student Association of Medical Research for allowing us use of the Enketo platform. Judith Harrison was su
This study aimed to analyse if there were any associations between patulous Eustachian tube occurrence and climatic factors and seasonality.
The correlation between the monthly average number of patients diagnosed with patulous Eustachian tube and climatic factors in Seoul, Korea, from January 2010 to December 2016, was statistically analysed using national data sets.
The relative risk for patulous Eustachian tube occurrence according to season was significantly higher in summer and autumn, and lower in winter than in spring (relative risk (95 per cent confidence interval): 1.334 (1.267–1.404), 1.219 (1.157–1.285) and 0.889 (0.840–0.941) for summer, autumn and winter, respectively). Temperature, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity had a moderate positive (r = 0.648), negative (r = –0.601) and positive (r = 0.492) correlation with the number of patulous Eustachian tube cases, respectively.
The number of patulous Eustachian tube cases was highest in summer and increased in proportion to changes in temperature and humidity, which could be due to physiological changes caused by climatic factors or diet trends.
This study aimed to analyse the results of chyle fistula testing using the SD LipidoCare system in patients who had undergone neck dissections performed in our hospital in 2019.
Sixty patients who underwent neck dissections from March 2019 to November 2019 were identified based on their medical records.
Post-operative chyle fistulas were observed in 3 of 60 patients (5 per cent). All patients who developed chyle fistulas had undergone left-sided neck dissections. Within 3 minutes, the SD LipidoCare test had produced triglyceride results of 49, 56 and 207 mg/dl in the three patients. The remaining 57 patients measured ‘low’ for triglycerides on the SD LipidoCare test system.
The SD LipidoCare test quickly and accurately diagnosed chyle fistulas in patients who had undergone neck dissections. All patients improved with conservative treatment following the early diagnosis of chyle fistulas.
Impulsivity is a central symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and its neural basis may be instantiated in a frontoparietal network involved in response inhibition. However, research has yet to determine whether neural activation differences in BPD associated with response inhibition are attributed to attentional saliency, which is subserved by a partially overlapping network of brain regions.
Patients with BPD (n = 45) and 29 healthy controls (HCs; n = 29) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while completing a novel go/no-go task with infrequent odd-ball trials to control for attentional saliency. Contrasts reflecting a combination of response inhibition and attentional saliency (no-go > go), saliency processing alone (oddball > go), and response inhibition controlling for attentional saliency (no-go > oddball) were compared between BPD and HC.
Compared to HC, BPD showed less activation in the combined no-go > go contrast in the right posterior inferior and middle-frontal gyri, and less activation for oddball > go in left-hemispheric inferior frontal junction, frontal pole, superior parietal lobe, and supramarginal gyri. Crucially, BPD and HC showed no activation differences for the no-go > oddball contrast. In BPD, higher vlPFC activation for no-go > go was correlated with greater self-rated BPD symptoms, whereas lower vlPFC activation for oddball > go was associated with greater self-rated attentional impulsivity.
Patients with BPD show frontoparietal disruptions related to the combination of response inhibition and attentional saliency or saliency alone, but no specific response inhibition neural activation difference when attentional saliency is controlled. The findings suggest a neural dysfunction in BPD underlying attention to salient or infrequent stimuli, which is supported by a negative correlation with self-rated impulsiveness.
Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health conditions treated in primary care. They frequently co-occur and involve recommended treatments that overlap. Evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) shows specific stepped care interventions to be cost-effective in improving symptom remission. However, most RCTs have focused on either depression or anxiety, which limits their generalisability to routine primary care settings. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a collaborative stepped care (CSC) intervention to treat depression and/or anxiety among adults in Australian primary care settings.
A quasi-decision tree model was developed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a CSC intervention relative to care-as-usual (CAU). The model adapted a CSC intervention described in a previous Dutch RCT to the Australian context. This 8-month, cluster RCT recruited patients with depression and/or anxiety (n = 158) from 30 primary care clinics in the Netherlands. The CSC intervention involved two steps: (1) guided self-help with a nurse at a primary care clinic; and (2) referral to specialised mental healthcare. The cost-effectiveness model adopted a health sector perspective and synthesised data from two main sources: RCT data on intervention pathways, remission probabilities and healthcare service utilisation; and Australia-specific data on demography, epidemiology and unit costs from external sources. Incremental costs and incremental health outcomes were estimated across a 1-year time horizon. Health outcomes were measured as disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to remitted cases of depression and/or anxiety. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were measured in 2019 Australian dollars (A$) per DALY averted. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses were performed to test the robustness of cost-effectiveness findings.
The CSC intervention had a high probability (99.6%) of being cost-effective relative to CAU. The resulting ICER (A$5207/DALY; 95% uncertainty interval: dominant to 25 345) fell below the willingness-to-pay threshold of A$50 000/DALY. ICERs were robust to changes in model parameters and assumptions.
This study found that a Dutch CSC intervention, with nurse-delivered guided self-help treatment as a first step, could potentially be cost-effective in treating depression and/or anxiety if transferred to the Australian primary care context. However, adaptations may be required to ensure feasibility and acceptability in the Australian healthcare context. In addition, further evidence is needed to verify the real-world cost-effectiveness of the CSC intervention when implemented in routine practice and to evaluate its effectiveness/cost-effectiveness when compared to other viable stepped care interventions for the treatment of depression and/or anxiety.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to mental health. Herein, we assessed the impact of COVID-19 on subthreshold depressive symptoms and identified potential mitigating factors.
Participants were from Depression Cohort in China (ChiCTR registry number 1900022145). Adults (n = 1722) with subthreshold depressive symptoms were enrolled between March and October 2019 in a 6-month, community-based interventional study that aimed to prevent clinical depression using psychoeducation. A total of 1506 participants completed the study in Shenzhen, China: 726 participants, who completed the study between March 2019 and January 2020 (i.e. before COVID-19), comprised the ‘wave 1’ group; 780 participants, who were enrolled before COVID-19 and completed the 6-month endpoint assessment during COVID-19, comprised ‘wave 2’. Symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia were assessed at baseline and endpoint (i.e. 6-month follow-up) using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), respectively. Measures of resilience and regular exercise were assessed at baseline. We compared the mental health outcomes between wave 1 and wave 2 groups. We additionally investigated how mental health outcomes changed across disparate stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, i.e. peak (7–13 February), post-peak (14–27 February), remission plateau (28 February−present).
COVID-19 increased the risk for three mental outcomes: (1) depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.62); (2) anxiety (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.16–1.88) and (3) insomnia (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.07–1.77). The highest proportion of probable depression and anxiety was observed post-peak, with 52.9% and 41.4%, respectively. Greater baseline resilience scores had a protective effect on the three main outcomes (depression: OR = 0.26, 95% CI: 0.19–0.37; anxiety: OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.14–0.33 and insomnia: OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.11–0.28). Furthermore, regular physical activity mitigated the risk for depression (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.79–0.99).
The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a highly significant and negative impact on symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Mental health outcomes fluctuated as a function of the duration of the pandemic and were alleviated to some extent with the observed decline in community-based transmission. Augmenting resiliency and regular exercise provide an opportunity to mitigate the risk for mental health symptoms during this severe public health crisis.
Brief measurements of the subjective experience of stress with good predictive capability are important in a range of community mental health and research settings. The potential for large-scale implementation of such a measure for screening may facilitate early risk detection and intervention opportunities. Few such measures however have been developed and validated in epidemiological and longitudinal community samples. We designed a new single-item measure of the subjective level of stress (SLS-1) and tested its validity and ability to predict long-term mental health outcomes of up to 12 months through two separate studies.
We first examined the content and face validity of the SLS-1 with a panel consisting of mental health experts and laypersons. Two studies were conducted to examine its validity and predictive utility. In study 1, we tested the convergent and divergent validity as well as incremental validity of the SLS-1 in a large epidemiological sample of young people in Hong Kong (n = 1445). In study 2, in a consecutively recruited longitudinal community sample of young people (n = 258), we first performed the same procedures as in study 1 to ensure replicability of the findings. We then examined in this longitudinal sample the utility of the SLS-1 in predicting long-term depressive, anxiety and stress outcomes assessed at 3 months and 6 months (n = 182) and at 12 months (n = 84).
The SLS-1 demonstrated good content and face validity. Findings from the two studies showed that SLS-1 was moderately to strongly correlated with a range of mental health outcomes, including depressive, anxiety, stress and distress symptoms. We also demonstrated its ability to explain the variance explained in symptoms beyond other known personal and psychological factors. Using the longitudinal sample in study 2, we further showed the significant predictive capability of the SLS-1 for long-term symptom outcomes for up to 12 months even when accounting for demographic characteristics.
The findings altogether support the validity and predictive utility of the SLS-1 as a brief measure of stress with strong indications of both concurrent and long-term mental health outcomes. Given the value of brief measures of mental health risks at a population level, the SLS-1 may have potential for use as an early screening tool to inform early preventative intervention work.
Families facing end-stage nonmalignant chronic diseases (NMCDs) are presented with similar symptom burdens and need for psycho-social–spiritual support as their counterparts with advanced cancers. However, NMCD patients tend to face more variable disease trajectories, and thus may require different anticipatory supports, delivered in familiar environments. The Life Rainbow Programme (LRP) provides holistic, transdisciplinary, community-based end-of-life care for patients with NMCDs and their caregivers. This paper reports on the 3-month outcomes using a single-group, pre–post comparison.
Patients with end-stage NMCDs were screened for eligibility by a medical team before being referred to the LRP. Patients were assessed at baseline (T0), 1 month (T1), and 3 months (T2) using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS). Their hospital use in the previous month was also measured by presentations at accident and emergency services, admissions to intensive care units, and number of hospital bed-days. Caregivers were assessed at T0 and T2 using the Chinese version of the Modified Caregiver Strain Index, and self-reported health, psychological, spiritual, and overall well-being. Over-time changes in outcomes for patients, and caregivers, were tested using paired-sample t-tests, Wilcoxon-signed rank tests, and chi-square tests.
Seventy-four patients and 36 caregivers participated in this research study. Patients reported significant improvements in all IPOS domains at both 1 and 3 months [ranging from Cohen's d = 0.495 (nausea) to 1.793 (depression and information needs fulfilled)]. Average hospital bed-days in the previous month fell from 3.50 to 1.68, comparing baseline and 1 month (p < 0.05). At 3 months, caregiver strain was significantly reduced (r = 0.332), while spiritual well-being was enhanced (r = 0.333).
After receiving 3 month's LRP services, patients with end-stage NMCDs and their caregivers experienced significant improvements in the quality of life and well-being, and their hospital bed-days were reduced.
The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) is a widely used measure in developmental science that assesses adults’ current states of mind regarding early attachment-related experiences with their primary caregivers. The standard system for coding the AAI recommends classifying individuals categorically as having an autonomous, dismissing, preoccupied, or unresolved attachment state of mind. However, previous factor and taxometric analyses suggest that: (a) adults’ attachment states of mind are captured by two weakly correlated factors reflecting adults’ dismissing and preoccupied states of mind and (b) individual differences on these factors are continuously rather than categorically distributed. The current study revisited these suggestions about the latent structure of AAI scales by leveraging individual participant data from 40 studies (N = 3,218), with a particular focus on the controversial observation from prior factor analytic work that indicators of preoccupied states of mind and indicators of unresolved states of mind about loss and trauma loaded on a common factor. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that: (a) a 2-factor model with weakly correlated dismissing and preoccupied factors and (b) a 3-factor model that further distinguished unresolved from preoccupied states of mind were both compatible with the data. The preoccupied and unresolved factors in the 3-factor model were highly correlated. Taxometric analyses suggested that individual differences in dismissing, preoccupied, and unresolved states of mind were more consistent with a continuous than a categorical model. The importance of additional tests of predictive validity of the various models is emphasized.
To conduct international comparisons of self-reports, collateral reports, and cross-informant agreement regarding older adult psychopathology.
We compared self-ratings of problems (e.g. I cry a lot) and personal strengths (e.g. I like to help others) for 10,686 adults aged 60–102 years from 19 societies and collateral ratings for 7,065 of these adults from 12 societies.
Data were obtained via the Older Adult Self-Report (OASR) and the Older Adult Behavior Checklist (OABCL; Achenbach et al., 2004).
Cronbach’s alphas were .76 (OASR) and .80 (OABCL) averaged across societies. Across societies, 27 of the 30 problem items with the highest mean ratings and 28 of the 30 items with the lowest mean ratings were the same on the OASR and the OABCL. Q correlations between the means of the 0–1–2 ratings for the 113 problem items averaged across all pairs of societies yielded means of .77 (OASR) and .78 (OABCL). For the OASR and OABCL, respectively, analyses of variance (ANOVAs) yielded effect sizes (ESs) for society of 15% and 18% for Total Problems and 42% and 31% for Personal Strengths, respectively. For 5,584 cross-informant dyads in 12 societies, cross-informant correlations averaged across societies were .68 for Total Problems and .58 for Personal Strengths. Mixed-model ANOVAs yielded large effects for society on both Total Problems (ES = 17%) and Personal Strengths (ES = 36%).
The OASR and OABCL are efficient, low-cost, easily administered mental health assessments that can be used internationally to screen for many problems and strengths.
We study the dynamics of cash-and-carry arbitrage using the U.S. crude oil market. Sizable arbitrage-related inventory movements occur at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) futures contract delivery point but not at other storage locations, where instead, operational factors explain most inventory changes. We add to the theory-of-storage literature by introducing two new features. First, due to arbitrageurs contracting ahead, inventories respond to not only contemporaneous but also lagged futures spreads. Second, storage-capacity limits can impede cash-and-carry arbitrage, leading to the persistence of unexploited arbitrage opportunities. Our findings suggest that arbitrage-induced inventory movements are, on average, price stabilizing.
The aeroelastic phenomenon of limit-cycle oscillations (LCOs) is analysed using a projection-based reduced-order model (PROM) and Navier–Stokes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in the time domain. The proposed approach employs incompressible Navier–Stokes CFD to construct the full-order model flow field. A proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) of the snapshot matrix is conducted to extract the POD modes and corresponding temporal coefficients. The POD modes are directly projected to the incompressible Navier–Stokes equation to reconstruct the flow field efficiently. The methodology is applied to a plunging cylinder and an aerofoil undergoing LCOs. This scheme decreases the computational time while preserving the capability to predict the flow field accurately. The ROM is capable of reducing the computational time by at least 70% while maintaining the discrepancy within 0.1%. The causes of LCOs are also investigated. The scheme can be used to analyse non-linear aeroelastic phenomena in the time domain with reduced computational time.
The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program is a Consortium of nearly 60 academic medical research centers across the USA and a natural network for evaluating the spread and uptake of translational research innovation across the Consortium.
Dissemination of the Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT) Network, a federated clinical informatics data network for population-based cohort discovery, began January 2018 across the Consortium. Diffusion of innovation theory guided dissemination design and evaluation. Mixed-methods assessed the spread and uptake across the Consortium through July 1, 2019 (n = 48 CTSAs). Methods included prospective time activity tracking (Kaplan–Meier curves), and survey and qualitative interviews.
Within 18 months, nearly 80% of CTSAs had joined the data network and two-thirds of CTSAs achieving technical readiness had initiated launch to local clinical investigators. Over 10,000 ACT Network queries are projected for 2019; and by 2020, nearly all CTSAs will have joined the network. Median time-from-technical-readiness-to-local-launch was 154 days (interquartile range: 87–225 days]. Quality improvement processes reduced time-to-launch by 35.2% (64 days, p = 0.0036). Lessons learned include: (1) conceptualize dissemination as two-stage adoption demonstrating value for both CTSA hub service providers and clinical investigators; (2) include institutional trial into dissemination strategies so CTSA hubs can refine internal workflows and gather local user feedback endorsement; (3) embrace designing-for-dissemination during technology development; and (4) sustain adaptive dissemination and customer relationship management to keep CTSA hubs and users engaged.
Scale-up and spread of the ACT Network provides lessons learned for others disseminating innovation across the CTSA Consortium. The Network is primed for embedded implementation research.
Previous research has suggested an association between depression and subsequent acute stroke incidence, but few studies have examined any effect modification by sociodemographic factors. In addition, no studies have investigated this association among primary care recipients with hypertension.
We examined the anonymized records of all public general outpatient visits by patients aged 45+ during January 2007–December 2010 in Hong Kong to extract primary care patients with hypertension for analysis. We took the last consultation date as the baseline and followed them up for 4 years (until 2011–2014) to observe any subsequent acute hospitalization due to stroke. Mixed-effects Cox models (random intercept across 74 included clinics) were implemented to examine the association between depression (ICPC diagnosis or anti-depressant prescription) at baseline and the hazard of acute stroke (ICD-9: 430–437.9). Effect modification by age, sex, and recipient status of social security assistance was examined in extended models with respective interaction terms specified.
In total, 396 858 eligible patients were included, with 9099 (2.3%) having depression, and 10 851 (2.7%) eventually hospitalized for stroke. From the adjusted analysis, baseline depression was associated with a 17% increased hazard of acute stroke hospitalization [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.32]. This association was suggested to be even stronger among men than among women (hazard ratio = 1.29, 95% CI 1.00–1.67).
Depression is more strongly associated with acute stroke incidence among male than female primary care patients with hypertension. More integrated services are warranted to address their needs.
Patulous Eustachian tube appears to be caused by a concave defect in the anterolateral wall of the tubal valve of the Eustachian tube. This study aimed to compare the clinical features of patulous Eustachian tube patients with or without a defect in the anterolateral wall of the tubal valve.
Sixty-six patients with a patulous Eustachian tube completed a questionnaire, which was evaluated alongside endoscopic findings of the tympanic membrane, nasal cavity and Eustachian tube orifice.
Females were more frequently diagnosed with a patulous Eustachian tube, but the valve defect was more common in males (p = 0.007). The ratio of patulous Eustachian tube patients with or without defects in the anterolateral wall of the tubal valve was 1.6:1. Weight loss in the previous six months and being refractory to conservative management were significantly associated with the defect (p = 0.035 and 0.037, respectively). Symptom severity was significantly higher in patients with the defect.
Patulous Eustachian tube patients without a defect in the anterolateral wall of the tubal valve can be non-surgically treated more often than those with the defect. Identification of the defect could assist in making treatment decisions for patulous Eustachian tube patients.
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a widely hypothesized biomarker of biological aging. Persons with shorter LTL may have a greater likelihood of developing dementia. We investigate whether LTL is associated with cognitive function, differently for individuals without cognitive impairment versus individuals with dementia or incipient dementia.
Enrolled subjects belong to the Long Life Family Study (LLFS), a multi-generational cohort study, where enrollment was predicated upon exceptional family longevity. Included subjects had valid cognitive and telomere data at baseline. Exclusion criteria were age ≤ 60 years, outlying LTL, and missing sociodemographic/clinical information. Analyses were performed using linear regression with generalized estimating equations, adjusting for sex, age, education, country, generation, and lymphocyte percentage.
Older age and male gender were associated with shorter LTL, and LTL was significantly longer in family members than spouse controls (p < 0.005). LTL was not associated with working or episodic memory, semantic processing, and information processing speed for 1613 cognitively unimpaired individuals as well as 597 individuals with dementia or incipient dementia (p < 0.005), who scored significantly lower on all cognitive domains (p < 0.005).
Within this unique LLFS cohort, a group of families assembled on the basis of exceptional survival, LTL is unrelated to cognitive ability for individuals with and without cognitive impairment. LTL does not change in the context of degenerative disease for these individuals who are biologically younger than the general population.
Earlier studies examining structural brain abnormalities associated with cognitively derived subgroups were mainly cross-sectional in design and had mixed findings. Thus, we obtained cross-sectional and longitudinal data to characterize the extent and trajectory of brain structure abnormalities underlying distinct cognitive subtypes (“preserved,” “deteriorated,” and “compromised”) seen in psychotic spectrum disorders.
Data from 364 subjects (225 patients with psychotic conditions and 139 healthy controls) were first used to determine the relationship of cognitive subtypes with cross-sectional measures of subcortical volume and cortical thickness. To probe neurodevelopmental abnormalities, brain structure laterality was examined. To examine whether neuroprogressive abnormalities persist, longitudinal brain structural changes over 5 years were examined within a subset of 101 subjects. Subsequent discriminant analysis using the identified brain measures was performed on an independent subject group.
Cross-sectional comparisons showed that cortical thinning and limbic volume reductions were most widespread in “deteriorated” cognitive subtype. Laterality comparisons showed more rightward amygdala lateralization in “compromised” than “preserved” subtype. Longitudinal comparisons revealed progressive hippocampal shrinkage in “deteriorated” compared with healthy controls and “preserved” subtype, which correlated with worse negative symptoms, cognitive and psychosocial functioning. Post-hoc discrimination analysis on an independent group of 52 subjects using the identified brain structures found an overall accuracy of 71% for classification of cognitive subtypes.
These findings point toward distinct extent and trajectory of corticolimbic abnormalities associated with cognitive subtypes in psychosis, which can allow further understanding of the biological course of cognitive functioning over illness course and with treatment.