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A single radiocarbon date derived from the Buhl burial in south-central Idaho has frequently been used as a data point for the interpretation of the Western Stemmed Tradition (WST) chronology and technology because of the stemmed biface found in situ with the human remains. AMS dating of bone collagen in 1991 produced an age of 10,675 ± 95 14C BP, immediately postdating the most widely accepted age range for Clovis. The Buhl burial has been cited as evidence that stemmed point technology may have overlapped with Clovis technology in the Intermountain West. We discuss concerns about the radiocarbon date, arguing that even at face value, the calibrated date has minimal overlap with Clovis at the 95.4% range. Furthermore, the C:N ratio of 3.69 in the analyzed collagen is outside of the typical range for well-preserved samples, indicating a postdepositional change in carbon composition, which may make the date erroneously older or younger than the age of the skeleton. Finally, the potential dietary incorporation of small amounts of anadromous fish may indicate that the burial is younger than traditionally accepted. For these reasons, we argue that the Buhl burial cannot be used as evidence of overlap between WST and Clovis.
The Ross Sea is known for showing the greatest sea-ice increase, as observed globally, particularly from 1979 to 2015. However, corresponding changes in sea-ice thickness and production in the Ross Sea are not known, nor how these changes have impacted water masses, carbon fluxes, biogeochemical processes and availability of micronutrients. The PIPERS project sought to address these questions during an autumn ship campaign in 2017 and two spring airborne campaigns in 2016 and 2017. PIPERS used a multidisciplinary approach of manned and autonomous platforms to study the coupled air/ice/ocean/biogeochemical interactions during autumn and related those to spring conditions. Unexpectedly, the Ross Sea experienced record low sea ice in spring 2016 and autumn 2017. The delayed ice advance in 2017 contributed to (1) increased ice production and export in coastal polynyas, (2) thinner snow and ice cover in the central pack, (3) lower sea-ice Chl-a burdens and differences in sympagic communities, (4) sustained ocean heat flux delaying ice thickening and (5) a melting, anomalously southward ice edge persisting into winter. Despite these impacts, airborne observations in spring 2017 suggest that winter ice production over the continental shelf was likely not anomalous.
Background: In patients with acute hip fracture, a fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB) has been shown to provide effective non-opioid analgesia, reduce the incidence of pneumonia, and potentially decrease the rate of delirium . However, this procedure was infrequently used in the St. Michael's Hospital (SMH) emergency department (ED). Aim Statement: Our aim was to increase the proportion of patients with hip fracture receiving FICB in the ED to 50% in six months. Measures & Design: We completed two Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, measuring rates of FICB before and after each cycle. The first was a departmental rounds presentation with information about the process and benefits of FICB, addressing barriers identified by surveying the group. The second cycle included a bundle of interventions comprising of an “instruction card” with the steps required to do the procedure, access to a video tutorial, and a list of experienced physicians willing to help less experienced providers perform FICB. Evaluation/Results: In the three months prior to the project, the rate of FICB in the ED was 12.5% (3/24). For the three months after the first PDSA cycle, the rate increased to 22.2% (8/36). Then, the second cycle was performed. In the following two months the rate further increased to 36.8% (7/19). Discussion/Impact: Despite the clear increase in FICB rate, these changes were not statistically significant (p = 0.063). Our methodology was shown to be safe and effective, and our model can be applied to other ED groups looking to increase their rates of FICB.
Psychological stress is associated with accelerated cellular aging and increased risk for aging-related diseases, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear.
We examined the effect of stress on a DNA methylation age predictor that was shown to correlate strongly with chronological age across human tissues (Horvath 2013). Genome-wide DNA methylation was measured in peripheral blood using the 450K Illumina array in three independent cohorts: the Grady Trauma Project/GTP (N=366); a panic disorder case/control sample recruited at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry/MPI-P (N=318); and the Conte Center for the Psychobiology of Early-Life Trauma/Conte (N=42). Age acceleration was calculated by subtracting chronological age from age predicted by DNA methylation. Psychiatric symptomatology and stressors were assessed using standard questionnaires.
DNA methylation age strongly correlated with chronological age in all samples (r=0.9, p=2.5x10<sup>-133</sup>). Cumulative lifetime stress but not childhood or current stress predicted age acceleration in GTP (p=0.012) and MPI-P (p=0.021). Moreover, epigenetic age acceleration predicted depression (GTP: p=0.002; Conte: p=0.014) and panic disorder (p=0.007). In secondary analyses, we examined the effect of lifetime stress on individual CpGs of the DNA methylation age predictor. After correcting for multiple comparisons, we identified in both GTP and MPI-P a stress-regulated CpG near MCAM, a gene implicated in aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Cumulative lifetime stress, but not childhood or current stress, and psychiatric phenotypes are associated with accelerated epigenetic aging. Our findings may explain the accelerated cellular aging and increased disease risk associated with chronic stress and psychiatric disorders.
The increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome in people with severe mental illness (SMI) is well documented. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria for metabolic syndrome are three or more of the following: waist circumference ( 80 cm (females), (94 cm (males) OR BMI (30, triglycerides >1.7 mmol/l or on treatment, raised blood pressure (systolic >130 mg Hg or diastolic >85 mm Hg, OR on treatment for hypertension), raised fasting blood glucose (.5.6 mmol/l) OR diagnosed type II diabetes) and reduced HDL cholesterol (< 1.03 mmol/l) OR on treatment.
The IMPACT RCT is a Department of Health funded trial of a health promotion intervention (HPI) delivered by care co-ordinators to people with SMI across South London, Kent and Sussex. The intervention is focussed on improving health by addressing modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, obesity, cigarette smoking, alcohol and substance use.
We investigated the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a sample of 212 patients for whom we had relevant baseline measures.
Data (weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels) were analysed on 212 patients.
45% of the sample met IDF criteria for metabolic syndrome. Mean BMI was 30.6, glucose 6.4 mmol/L, triglycerides 2.0 mmol/L, HDL 1.2 (mmol/L), waist circumference 105.8 cm, and BP 122/82 mm Hg.
Metabolic syndrome was highly prevalent in this sample, significantly increasing the risk of physical morbidity and potentially lowering life expectancy. There is an unmet need for health promotion interventions in order to lower morbidity and mortality risk in these populations.
Social interactions dysfunctions make up core symptoms of many mental disorders and have been extensively studied through cognitive paradigms gathered under the concept of social cognition. Nevertheless, a growing body of literature have demonstrated that motor coordination is an important feature of these human social interactions but has been little studied in the context of mental diseases.
In this study, we propose to compare the processes of inter-agent coordination in healthy and socially impaired clinical populations (e.g. schizophrenia and social phobia patients).
20 schizophrenia and 20 social phobia patients were compared to 20 healthy subjects using an hand-held pendulum paradigm in intentional and unintentional interpersonal motor coordination, with different leadership conditions. All participants had psychopathological and neuropsychological evaluations.
Our results demonstrated that each group of subject was characterised by specific signature concerning interpersonal motor coordination. More specifically, instability of the coordination and temporal delay between patient and controls revealed that schizophrenia impaired intentional coordination but not spontaneous non-intentional coordination whereas social phobia only affected leader conditions.
Taken altogether, these preliminary results give evidence that motor control through motor coordination behaviours is a fundamental part of social interactions deficits in schizophrenia and social phobia. These results lead us to examine if the evaluation of motor coordination during a social interactions could help to discriminate the deficits in social interactions and to propose specific therapy for their rehabilitation.
This research was supported by an Agence Nationale de la Recherche grant (Project SCAD # ANR-09- BLAN-0405-03).
Why patients with psychosis use cannabis remains debated. The self-medication hypothesis has received some support but other evidence points towards an alleviation of dysphoria model. This study investigated the reasons for cannabis use in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and whether strength in their endorsement changed over time.
FEP inpatients and outpatients at the South London and Maudsley, Oxleas and Sussex NHS Trusts UK, who used cannabis, rated their motives at baseline (n = 69), 3 months (n = 29) and 12 months (n = 36). A random intercept model was used to test the change in strength of endorsement over the 12 months. Paired-sample t-tests assessed the differences in mean scores between the five subscales on the Reasons for Use Scale (enhancement, social motive, coping with unpleasant affect, conformity and acceptance and relief of positive symptoms and side effects), at each time-point.
Time had a significant effect on scores when controlling for reason; average scores on each subscale were higher at baseline than at 3 months and 12 months. At each time-point, patients endorsed ‘enhancement’ followed by ‘coping with unpleasant affect’ and ‘social motive’ more highly for their cannabis use than any other reason. ‘Conformity and acceptance’ followed closely. ‘Relief of positive symptoms and side effects’ was the least endorsed motive.
Patients endorsed their reasons for use at 3 months and 12 months less strongly than at baseline. Little support for the self-medication or alleviation of dysphoria models was found. Rather, patients rated ‘enhancement’ most highly for their cannabis use.
The Department of Health in the UK wants the National Health Service to make £20 Billion worth of efficiency savings by 2015 to reinvest.
In the UK the General Hospitals use paper records which are then scanned to create electronic records while Psychiatric Hospitals require that information to be typed on to their electronic records and these electronic records are not available to each other.
Therefore liaison psychiatry assessments require a written entry to be made in the Medical notes and a second entry typed on to the psychiatric electronic patient record which requires a full psychiatric history.
This duplication in typing information was consuming a considerable amount of this Teams time and resources which could have instead been spent with patients.
To identify how much time is spent by Staff typing information on to the psychiatric electronic patient records.
We electronically checked for the preceding three months the amount of time spent typing information on to the electronic records after every liaison psychiatry assessment.
We were then able to obtain the average for every week.
On average about 36 to 40 hours were spent every week typing information on to the electronic records.
Liaison Psychiatry should dispense with the requirement for information to be duplicated on to the electronic patient records and should instead scan the written entry made in the Medical notes.
This should lead to a saving of about £50,000, enough to employ an additional member of Staff every week.
In recent years the association between sexual dysfunction (SD) and obesity in the general population has drawn major attention. Although sexual dysfunction is common in psychosis, its relationship with weight gain and obesity remains unclear.
To investigate the association between sexual dysfunction and obesity in a cohort of patients with first episode psychosis.
Sexual function was assessed in a cohort of patients with first episode psychosis using the Sexual Function Questionnaire (SFQ). Anthropometric measures, including weight, BMI, waist, waist–hip ratio were investigated. Additionally, leptin and testosterone were investigated in male patients.
A total of 116 patients (61 males and 55 females) were included. Of these 59% of males and 67.3% of females showed sexual dysfunction (SD) according to the SFQ. In males, higher SFQ scores were significantly correlated with higher BMI (Std. β = 0.36, P = 0.01), higher leptin levels (Std. β = 0.34, P = 0.02), higher waist–hip ratio (Std. β = 0.32, P = 0.04) and lower testosterone levels (Std. β = −0.44, P = 0.002). In contrast, in females, SFQ scores were not associated with any of these factors.
While sexual dysfunction is present in both female and male patients with their first episode of psychosis, only in males is sexual dysfunction associated with increased BMI and waist–hip ratio. The association between SD, BMI, low levels of testosterone and high levels of leptin suggest that policies that lead to healthier diets and more active lifestyles can be beneficial at least, to male patients.
The prevalence of many diseases in pigs displays seasonal distributions. Despite growing concerns about the impacts of climate change, we do not yet have a good understanding of the role that weather factors play in explaining such seasonal patterns. In this study, national and county-level aggregated abattoir inspection data were assessed for England and Wales during 2010–2015. Seasonally-adjusted relationships were characterised between weekly ambient maximum temperature and the prevalence of both respiratory conditions and tail biting detected at slaughter. The prevalence of respiratory conditions showed cyclical annual patterns with peaks in the summer months and troughs in the winter months each year. However, there were no obvious associations with either high or low temperatures. The prevalence of tail biting generally increased as temperatures decreased, but associations were not supported by statistical evidence: across all counties there was a relative risk of 1.028 (95% CI 0.776–1.363) for every 1 °C fall in temperature. Whilst the seasonal patterns observed in this study are similar to those reported in previous studies, the lack of statistical evidence for an explicit association with ambient temperature may possibly be explained by the lack of information on date of disease onset. There is also the possibility that other time-varying factors not investigated here may be driving some of the seasonal patterns.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Leafy spurge, a noxious perennial weed, is a major threat to the prairie ecosystem in North America. Strategic planning to control leafy spurge requires monitoring its spatial distribution and spread. The ability to detect flowering leafy spurge at two biological control sites in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, was investigated using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system. Three flight missions were conducted on June 30, 2016, during the leafy spurge flowering period. Imagery was acquired at four flight heights and one or two acquisition times, depending on the site. The sites were reflown on June 28, 2017, to evaluate the change in flowering leafy spurge over time. Mixture tuned matched filtering (MTMF) and hue, intensity, and saturation (HIS) threshold analyses were used to determine flowering leafy spurge cover. Flight height of 30 m was optimal; the strongest relationships between UAV and ground estimates of leafy spurge cover (r2 = 0.76 to 0.90; normalized root mean square error [NRMSE] = 0.10 to 0.13) and stem density (r2 = 0.72 to 0.75) were observed. Detection was not significantly affected by the image analysis method (P > 0.05). Flowering leafy spurge cover estimates were similar using HIS (1.9% to 14.8%) and MTMF (2.1% to 10.3%) and agreed with the ground estimates (using HIS: r2 = 0.64 to 0.93, NRMSE = 0.08 to 0.25; using MTMF: r2 = 0.64 to 0.90, NRMSE = 0.10 to 0.27). The reduction in flowering leafy spurge cover between 2016 and 2017 detected using UAV images and HIS (8.1% at site 1 and 2.7% at site 2) was consistent with that based on ground digital photographs (10% at site 1 and 1.8% at site 2). UAV imagery is a useful tool for accurately detecting flowering leafy spurge and could be used for routine monitoring purposes in a biological control program.
Rules of thumb (RoTs) are proposed as a means of promoting higher levels of Defined Contribution (DC) pension saving and to help stimulate debate about the high and uncertain cost of pension provision, leading to the development of solutions. The Lifetime Pension Contribution (LPC) tells young people what pension contribution is required over a full working life to achieve a decent retirement income, calculated as 23% of average UK earnings. Another RoT is that each 1% of earnings provides a pension of 1.5% of earnings. Other RoTs show how costs vary by retirement age and if the saverʼs retirement planning is on track. The current high cost of pensions is partly due to low interest rates and the inefficiencies of the DC market, with inadequate bulk purchasing power and risk sharing. RoTs might help encourage higher employer contributions, either through automatic enrolment or on a voluntary basis.
Topical nasal decongestants are frequently used as part of the medical management of symptoms related to Eustachian tube dysfunction.
This study aimed to assess the effect of topical xylometazoline hydrochloride sprayed in the anterior part of the nose on Eustachian tube active and passive opening in healthy ears.
Active and passive Eustachian tube function was assessed in healthy subjects before and after intranasal administration of xylometazoline spray, using tympanometry, video otoscopy, sonotubometry, tubo-tympano-aerodynamic-graphy and tubomanometry.
Resting middle-ear pressures were not significantly different following decongestant application. Eustachian tube opening rate was not significantly different following the intervention, as measured by all function tests used. Sonotubometry data showed a significant increase in the duration of Eustachian tube opening following decongestant application.
There remains little or no evidence that topical nasal decongestants improve Eustachian tube function. Sonotubometry findings do suggest that further investigation with an obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction patient cohort is warranted.
Effective management of uncertainty can lead to better, more informed decisions. However, many decision makers and their advisers do not always face up to uncertainty, in part because there is little constructive guidance or tools available to help. This paper outlines six Uncertainty Principles to manage uncertainty.
Face up to uncertainty
Deconstruct the problem
Don’t be fooled (un/intentional biases)
Models can be helpful, but also dangerous
Think about adaptability and resilience
Bring people with you
These were arrived at following extensive discussions and literature reviews over a 5-year period. While this is an important topic for actuaries, the intended audience is any decision maker or advisor in any sector (public or private).