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We evaluated the safety and feasibility of high-intensity interval training via a novel telemedicine ergometer (MedBIKE™) in children with Fontan physiology.
The MedBIKE™ is a custom telemedicine ergometer, incorporating a video game platform and live feed of patient video/audio, electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, and power output, for remote medical supervision and modulation of work. There were three study phases: (I) exercise workload comparison between the MedBIKE™ and a standard cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer in 10 healthy adults. (II) In-hospital safety, feasibility, and user experience (via questionnaire) assessment of a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training protocol in children with Fontan physiology. (III) Eight-week home-based high-intensity interval trial programme in two participants with Fontan physiology.
There was good agreement in oxygen consumption during graded exercise at matched work rates between the cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer and MedBIKE™ (1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute versus 1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute, p = 0.44). Ten youth with Fontan physiology (11.5 ± 1.8 years old) completed a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training session with no adverse events. The participants found the MedBIKE™ to be enjoyable and easy to navigate. In two participants, the 8-week home-based protocol was tolerated well with completion of 23/24 (96%) and 24/24 (100%) of sessions, respectively, and no adverse events across the 47 sessions in total.
The MedBIKE™ resulted in similar physiological responses as compared to a cardiopulmonary exercise test ergometer and the high-intensity interval training protocol was safe, feasible, and enjoyable in youth with Fontan physiology. A randomised-controlled trial of a home-based high-intensity interval training exercise intervention using the MedBIKE™ will next be undertaken.
Introduction: Workplace based assessments (WBAs) are integral to emergency medicine residency training. However many biases undermine their validity, such as an assessor's personal inclination to rate learners leniently or stringently. Outlier assessors produce assessment data that may not reflect the learner's performance. Our emergency department introduced a new Daily Encounter Card (DEC) using entrustability scales in June 2018. Entrustability scales reflect the degree of supervision required for a given task, and are shown to improve assessment reliability and discrimination. It is unclear what effect they will have on assessor stringency/leniency – we hypothesize that they will reduce the number of outlier assessors. We propose a novel, simple method to identify outlying assessors in the setting of WBAs. We also examine the effect of transitioning from a norm-based assessment to an entrustability scale on the population of outlier assessors. Methods: This was a prospective pre-/post-implementation study, including all DECs completed between July 2017 and June 2019 at The Ottawa Hospital Emergency Department. For each phase, we identified outlier assessors as follows: 1. An assessor is a potential outlier if the mean of the scores they awarded was more than two standard deviations away from the mean score of all completed assessments. 2. For each assessor identified in step 1, their learners’ assessment scores were compared to the overall mean of all learners. This ensures that the assessor was not simply awarding outlying scores due to working with outlier learners. Results: 3927 and 3860 assessments were completed by 99 and 116 assessors in the pre- and post-implementation phases respectively. We identified 9 vs 5 outlier assessors (p = 0.16) in the pre- and post-implementation phases. Of these, 6 vs 0 (p = 0.01) were stringent, while 3 vs 5 (p = 0.67) were lenient. One assessor was identified as an outlier (lenient) in both phases. Conclusion: Our proposed method successfully identified outlier assessors, and could be used to identify assessors who might benefit from targeted coaching and feedback on their assessments. The transition to an entrustability scale resulted in a non-significant trend towards fewer outlier assessors. Further work is needed to identify ways to mitigate the effects of rater cognitive biases.
Introduction: The Ottawa Emergency Department Shift Observation Tool (O-EDShOT) was recently developed to assess a resident's ability to safely run an ED shift and is supported by multiple sources of validity evidence. The O-EDShOT uses entrustability scales, which reflect the degree of supervision required for a given task. It was found to discriminate between learners of different levels, and to differentiate between residents who were rated as able to safely run the shift and those who were not. In June 2018 we replaced norm-based daily encounter cards (DECs) with the O-EDShOT. With the ideal assessment tool, most of the score variability would be explained by variability in learners’ performances. In reality, however, much of the observed variability is explained by other factors. The purpose of this study is to determine what proportion of total score variability is accounted for by learner variability when using norm-based DECs vs the O-EDShOT. Methods: This was a prospective pre-/post-implementation study, including all daily assessments completed between July 2017 and June 2019 at The Ottawa Hospital ED. A generalizability analysis (G study) was performed to determine what proportion of total score variability is accounted for by the various factors in this study (learner, rater, form, pgy level) for both the pre- and post- implementation phases. We collected 12 months of data for each phase, because we estimated that 6-12 months would be required to observe a measurable increase in entrustment scale scores within a learner. Results: A total of 3908 and 3679 assessments were completed by 99 and 116 assessors in the pre- and post- implementation phases respectively. Our G study revealed that 21% of total score variance was explained by a combination of post-graduate year (PGY) level and the individual learner in the pre-implementation phase, compared to 59% in the post-implementation phase. An average of 51 vs 27 forms/learner are required to achieve a reliability of 0.80 in the pre- and post-implementation phases respectively. Conclusion: A significantly greater proportion of total score variability is explained by variability in learners’ performances with the O-EDShOT compared to norm-based DECs. The O-EDShOT also requires fewer assessments to generate a reliable estimate of the learner's ability. This study suggests that the O-EDShOT is a more useful assessment tool than norm-based DECs, and could be adopted in other emergency medicine training programs.
Evidence suggests that early trauma may have a negative effect on cognitive functioning in individuals with psychosis, yet the relationship between childhood trauma and cognition among those at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis remains unexplored. Our sample consisted of 626 CHR children and 279 healthy controls who were recruited as part of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study 2. Childhood trauma up to the age of 16 (psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and bullying) was assessed by using the Childhood Trauma and Abuse Scale. Multiple domains of cognition were measured at baseline and at the time of psychosis conversion, using standardized assessments. In the CHR group, there was a trend for better performance in individuals who reported a history of multiple types of childhood trauma compared with those with no/one type of trauma (Cohen d = 0.16). A history of multiple trauma types was not associated with greater cognitive change in CHR converters over time. Our findings tentatively suggest there may be different mechanisms that lead to CHR states. Individuals who are at clinical high risk who have experienced multiple types of childhood trauma may have more typically developing premorbid cognitive functioning than those who reported minimal trauma do. Further research is needed to unravel the complexity of factors underlying the development of at-risk states.
Innovation Concept: The outcome of emergency medicine training is to produce physicians who can competently run an emergency department (ED) shift. While many workplace-based ED assessments focus on discrete tasks of the discipline, others emphasize assessment of performance across the entire shift. However, the quality of assessments is generally poor and these tools often lack validity evidence. The use of entrustment scale anchors may help to address these psychometric issues. The aim of this study was to develop and gather validity evidence for a novel tool to assess a resident's ability to independently run an ED shift. Methods: Through a nominal group technique, local and national stakeholders identified dimensions of performance reflective of a competent ED physician. These dimensions were included in a new tool that was piloted in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa during a 4-month period. Psychometric characteristics of the items were calculated, and a generalizability analysis used to determine the reliability of scores. An ANOVA was conducted to determine whether scores increased as a function of training level (junior = PGY1-2, intermediate = PGY3, senior = PGY4-5), and varied by ED treatment area. Safety for independent practice was analyzed with a dichotomous score. Curriculum, Tool or Material: The developed Ottawa Emergency Department Shift Observation Tool (O-EDShOT) includes 12-items rated on a 5-point entrustment scale with a global assessment item and 2 short-answer questions. Eight hundred and thirty-three assessment were completed by 78 physicians for 45 residents. Mean scores differed significantly by training level (p < .001) with junior residents receiving lower ratings (3.48 ± 0.69) than intermediate residents who received lower ratings (3.98 ± 0.48) than senior residents (4.54 ± 0.42). Scores did not vary by ED treatment area (p > .05). Residents judged to be safe to independently run the shift had significantly higher mean scores than those judged not to be safe (4.74 ± 0.31 vs 3.75 ± 0.66; p < .001). Fourteen observations per resident, the typical number recorded during a 1-month rotation, were required to achieve a reliability of 0.80. Conclusion: The O-EDShOT successfully discriminated between junior, intermediate and senior-level residents regardless of ED treatment area. Multiple sources of evidence support the O-EDShOT producing valid scores for assessing a resident's ability to independently run an ED shift.
Childhood adversity is associated with poor mental and physical health outcomes across the life span. Alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis are considered a key mechanism underlying these associations, although findings have been mixed. These inconsistencies suggest that other aspects of stress processing may underlie variations in this these associations, and that differences in adversity type, sex, and age may be relevant. The current study investigated the relationship between childhood adversity, stress perception, and morning cortisol, and examined whether differences in adversity type (generalized vs. threat and deprivation), sex, and age had distinct effects on these associations. Salivary cortisol samples, daily hassle stress ratings, and retrospective measures of childhood adversity were collected from a large sample of youth at risk for serious mental illness including psychoses (n = 605, mean age = 19.3). Results indicated that childhood adversity was associated with increased stress perception, which subsequently predicted higher morning cortisol levels; however, these associations were specific to threat exposures in females. These findings highlight the role of stress perception in stress vulnerability following childhood adversity and highlight potential sex differences in the impact of threat exposures.
To evaluate long-term efficacy of deutetrabenazine in patients with tardive dyskinesia (TD) by examining response rates from baseline in Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) scores. Preliminary results of the responder analysis are reported in this analysis.
In the 12-week ARM-TD and AIM-TD studies, the odds of response to deutetrabenazine treatment were higher than the odds of response to placebo at all response levels, and there were low rates of overall adverse events and discontinuations associated with deutetrabenazine.
Patients with TD who completed ARM-TD or AIM-TD were included in this open-label, single-arm extension study, in which all patients restarted/started deutetrabenazine 12mg/day, titrating up to a maximum total daily dose of 48mg/day based on dyskinesia control and tolerability. The study comprised a 6-week titration and a long-term maintenance phase. The cumulative proportion of AIMS responders from baseline was assessed. Response was defined as a percent improvement from baseline for each patient from 10% to 90% in 10% increments. AlMS score was assessed by local site ratings for this analysis.
343 patients enrolled in the extension study (111 patients received placebo in the parent study and 232 patients received deutetrabenazine). At Week 54 (n=145; total daily dose [mean±standard error]: 38.1±0.9mg), 63% of patients receiving deutetrabenazine achieved ≥30% response, 48% of patients achieved ≥50% response, and 26% achieved ≥70% response. At Week 80 (n=66; total daily dose: 38.6±1.1mg), 76% of patients achieved ≥30% response, 59% of patients achieved ≥50% response, and 36% achieved ≥70% response. Treatment was generally well tolerated.
Patients who received long-term treatment with deutetrabenazine achieved response rates higher than those observed in positive short-term studies, indicating clinically meaningful long-term treatment benefit.
Presented at: American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 21–27, 2018, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Petach Tikva, Israel.
To evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of deutetrabenazine in patients with tardive dyskinesia (TD) at 2years.
In the 12-week ARM-TD and AIM-TD studies, deutetrabenazine showed clinically significant improvements in Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale scores compared with placebo, and there were low rates of overall adverse events (AEs) and discontinuations associated with deutetrabenazine.
Patients who completed ARM-TD or AIM-TD were included in this open-label, single-arm extension study, in which all patients restarted/started deutetrabenazine 12mg/day, titrating up to a maximum total daily dose of 48mg/day based on dyskinesia control and tolerability. The study comprised a 6-week titration period and a long-term maintenance phase. Safety measures included incidence of AEs, serious AEs (SAEs), and AEs leading to withdrawal, dose reduction, or dose suspension. Exposure-adjusted incidence rates (EAIRs; incidence/patient-years) were used to compare AE frequencies for long-term treatment with those for short-term treatment (ARM-TD and AIM-TD). This analysis reports results up to 2 years (Week106).
343 patients were enrolled (111 patients received placebo in the parent study and 232 received deutetrabenazine). There were 331.4 patient-years of exposure in this analysis. Through Week 106, EAIRs of AEs were comparable to or lower than those observed with short-term deutetrabenazine and placebo, including AEs of interest (akathisia/restlessness [long-term EAIR: 0.02; short-term EAIR range: 0–0.25], anxiety [0.09; 0.13–0.21], depression [0.09; 0.04–0.13], diarrhea [0.06; 0.06–0.34], parkinsonism [0.01; 0–0.08], somnolence/sedation [0.09; 0.06–0.81], and suicidality [0.02; 0–0.13]). The frequency of SAEs (EAIR 0.15) was similar to those observed with short-term placebo (0.33) and deutetrabenazine (range 0.06–0.33) treatment. AEs leading to withdrawal (0.08), dose reduction (0.17), and dose suspension (0.06) were uncommon.
These results confirm the safety outcomes seen in the ARM-TD and AIM-TD parent studies, demonstrating that deutetrabenazine is well tolerated for long-term use in TD patients.
Presented at: American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 21–27, 2018, Los Angeles, California,USA
Funding Acknowledgements: Funding: This study was supported by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Petach Tikva, Israel
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Much of the interest in youth at clinical high risk (CHR) of psychosis has been in understanding conversion. Recent literature has suggested that less than 25% of those who meet established criteria for being at CHR of psychosis go on to develop a psychotic illness. However, little is known about the outcome of those who do not make the transition to psychosis. The aim of this paper was to examine clinical symptoms and functioning in the second North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS 2) of those individuals whose by the end of 2 years in the study had not developed psychosis.
In NAPLS-2 278 CHR participants completed 2-year follow-ups and had not made the transition to psychosis. At 2-years the sample was divided into three groups – those whose symptoms were in remission, those who were still symptomatic and those whose symptoms had become more severe.
There was no difference between those who remitted early in the study compared with those who remitted at one or 2 years. At 2-years, those in remission had fewer symptoms and improved functioning compared with the two symptomatic groups. However, all three groups had poorer social functioning and cognition than healthy controls.
A detailed examination of the clinical and functional outcomes of those who did not make the transition to psychosis did not contribute to predicting who may make the transition or who may have an earlier remission of attenuated psychotic symptoms.
We report daptomycin minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolated from bloodstream infections over a 4-year period. The daptomycin MIC increased over time hospital-wide for initial isolates and increased over time within patients, culminating in 40% of patients having daptomycin-nonsusceptible isolates in the final year of the study.
Attenuated positive symptom syndrome (APSS), characterized by ‘putatively prodromal’ attenuated psychotic-like pathology, indicates increased risk for psychosis. Poor premorbid social adjustment predicts severity of APSS symptoms and predicts subsequent psychosis in APSS-diagnosed individuals, suggesting application for improving detection of ‘true’ prodromal youth who will transition to psychosis. However, these predictive associations have not been tested in controls and therefore may be independent of the APSS diagnosis, negating utility for improving prediction in APSS-diagnosed individuals.
Association between premorbid social maladjustment and severity of positive, negative, disorganized, and general APSS symptoms was tested in 156 individuals diagnosed with APSS and 76 help-seeking (non-APSS) controls enrolled in the Enhancing the Prospective Prediction of Psychosis (PREDICT) study using prediction analysis.
Premorbid social maladjustment was associated with social anhedonia, reduced expression of emotion, restricted ideational richness, and deficits in occupational functioning, independent of the APSS diagnosis. Associations between social maladjustment and suspiciousness, unusual thought content, avolition, dysphoric mood, and impaired tolerance to normal stress were uniquely present in participants meeting APSS criteria. Social maladjustment was associated with odd behavior/appearance and diminished experience of emotions and self only in participants who did not meet APSS criteria.
Predictive associations between poor premorbid social adjustment and attenuated psychotic-like pathology were identified, a subset of which were indicative of high risk for psychosis. This study offers a method for improving risk identification while ruling out low-risk individuals.
Cognitive deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia, and impairments in most domains are thought to be stable over the course of the illness. However, cross-sectional evidence indicates that some areas of cognition, such as visuospatial associative memory, may be preserved in the early stages of psychosis, but become impaired in later established illness stages. This longitudinal study investigated change in visuospatial and verbal associative memory following psychosis onset.
In total 95 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 63 healthy controls (HC) were assessed on neuropsychological tests at baseline, with 38 FEP and 22 HCs returning for follow-up assessment at 5–11 years. Visuospatial associative memory was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Visuospatial Paired-Associate Learning task, and verbal associative memory was assessed using Verbal Paired Associates subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Revised.
Visuospatial and verbal associative memory at baseline did not differ significantly between FEP patients and HCs. However, over follow-up, visuospatial associative memory deteriorated significantly for the FEP group, relative to healthy individuals. Conversely, verbal associative memory improved to a similar degree observed in HCs. In the FEP cohort, visuospatial (but not verbal) associative memory ability at baseline was associated with functional outcome at follow-up.
Areas of cognition that develop prior to psychosis onset, such as visuospatial and verbal associative memory, may be preserved early in the illness. Later deterioration in visuospatial memory ability may relate to progressive structural and functional brain abnormalities that occurs following psychosis onset.
Objectives: Research demonstrates heterogeneous neuropsychological profiles among individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, few studies have included visuoconstructional ability or used latent mixture modeling to statistically identify MCI subtypes. Therefore, we examined whether unique neuropsychological MCI profiles could be ascertained using latent profile analysis (LPA), and subsequently investigated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, genotype, and longitudinal clinical outcomes between the empirically derived classes. Methods: A total of 806 participants diagnosed by means of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) MCI criteria received a comprehensive neuropsychological battery assessing visuoconstructional ability, language, attention/executive function, and episodic memory. Test scores were adjusted for demographic characteristics using standardized regression coefficients based on “robust” normal control performance (n=260). Calculated Z-scores were subsequently used in the LPA, and CSF-derived biomarkers, genotype, and longitudinal clinical outcome were evaluated between the LPA-derived MCI classes. Results: Statistical fit indices suggested a 3-class model was the optimal LPA solution. The three-class LPA consisted of a mixed impairment MCI class (n=106), an amnestic MCI class (n=455), and an LPA-derived normal class (n=245). Additionally, the amnestic and mixed classes were more likely to be apolipoprotein e4+ and have worse Alzheimer’s disease CSF biomarkers than LPA-derived normal subjects. Conclusions: Our study supports significant heterogeneity in MCI neuropsychological profiles using LPA and extends prior work (Edmonds et al., 2015) by demonstrating a lower rate of progression in the approximately one-third of ADNI MCI individuals who may represent “false-positive” diagnoses. Our results underscore the importance of using sensitive, actuarial methods for diagnosing MCI, as current diagnostic methods may be over-inclusive. (JINS, 2017, 23, 564–576)
The developmental course of daily functioning prior to first psychosis-onset remains poorly understood. This study explored age-related periods of change in social and role functioning. The longitudinal study included youth (aged 12–23, mean follow-up years = 1.19) at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis (converters [CHR-C], n = 83; nonconverters [CHR-NC], n = 275) and a healthy control group (n = 164). Mixed-model analyses were performed to determine age-related differences in social and role functioning. We limited our analyses to functioning before psychosis conversion; thus, data of CHR-C participants gathered after psychosis onset were excluded. In controls, social and role functioning improved over time. From at least age 12, functioning in CHR was poorer than in controls, and this lag persisted over time. Between ages 15 and 18, social functioning in CHR-C stagnated and diverged from that of CHR-NC, who continued to improve (p = .001). Subsequently, CHR-C lagged behind in improvement between ages 21 and 23, further distinguishing them from CHR-NC (p < .001). A similar period of stagnation was apparent for role functioning, but to a lesser extent (p = .007). The results remained consistent when we accounted for the time to conversion. Our findings suggest that CHR-C start lagging behind CHR-NC in social and role functioning in adolescence, followed by a period of further stagnation in adulthood.
Robust time-averaged molecular dynamics has been developed to calculate finite-temperature elastic constants of a single crystal. We find that when the averaging time exceeds a certain threshold, the statistical errors in the calculated elastic constants become very small. We applied this method to compare the elastic constants of Pd and PdH0.6 at representative low (10 K) and high (500 K) temperatures. The values predicted for Pd match reasonably well with ultrasonic experimental data at both temperatures. In contrast, the predicted elastic constants for PdH0.6 only match well with ultrasonic data at 10 K; whereas, at 500 K, the predicted values are significantly lower. We hypothesize that at 500 K, the facile hydrogen diffusion in PdH0.6 alters the speed of sound, resulting in significantly reduced values of predicted elastic constants as compared to the ultrasonic experimental data. Literature mechanical testing experiments seem to support this hypothesis.
We describe new experiments in which a bubble plume, produced from a point source of bubbles, rises through an ambient fluid composed of two layers of fluid of different density. In the lower layer, the speed of the plume exceeds the bubble rise speed and the motion is well described using classical theory of turbulent buoyant plumes. As the mixture enters the upper layer, it is either buoyant and rises to the top of the layer, or is negatively buoyant and forms a fountain. In our experiments, in which a fountain forms in the upper layer, the bubble rise speed exceeds the characteristic speed of this fountain, and a separated flow develops. The bubbles rise to the top of the system, while the lower layer fluid in the fountain rises a finite distance into the upper layer, entrains some of the upper layer fluid, and then collapses. This mixture of fluids then feeds a growing layer of density which is intermediate between the upper and lower layer. The height of rise of the fountain scales with the square of the Froude number of the fountain and the rate of entrainment of upper layer fluid into the fountain is directly proportional to the height of the fountain. This is analogous to the scaling for single-phase fountains with Froude numbers in the same range,
, but the constants of proportionality are smaller. We illustrate the relevance of the work for the design of mixing and aeration systems in freshwater reservoirs.
Salience network (SN) dysconnectivity has been hypothesized to contribute to schizophrenia. Nevertheless, little is known about the functional and structural dysconnectivity of SN in subjects at risk for psychosis. We hypothesized that SN functional and structural connectivity would be disrupted in subjects with At-Risk Mental State (ARMS) and would be associated with symptom severity and disease progression.
We examined 87 ARMS and 37 healthy participants using both resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging. Group differences in SN functional and structural connectivity were examined using a seed-based approach and tract-based spatial statistics. Subject-level functional connectivity measures and diffusion indices of disrupted regions were correlated with CAARMS scores and compared between ARMS with and without transition to psychosis.
ARMS subjects exhibited reduced functional connectivity between the left ventral anterior insula and other SN regions. Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity were also found along white-matter tracts in close proximity to regions of disrupted functional connectivity, including frontal-striatal-thalamic circuits and the cingulum. FA measures extracted from these disrupted white-matter regions correlated with individual symptom severity in the ARMS group. Furthermore, functional connectivity between the bilateral insula and FA at the forceps minor were further reduced in subjects who transitioned to psychosis after 2 years.
Our findings support the insular dysconnectivity of the proximal SN hypothesis in the early stages of psychosis. Further developed, the combined structural and functional SN assays may inform the prognosis of persons at-risk for psychosis.
Many of the important events in the life of a star occur, or are thought to occur, during the red giant or supergiant phase of evolution. For example, in heavy and intermediate mass stars supernova explosions terminate normal evolutionary processes while in lower mass stars the stellar envelope is entirely removed giving rise to planetary nebulae and, subsequently, white dwarfs. Theoretical calculations suggest that before the onset of these rather drastic events, a significant amount of nucleosynthesis occurs, giving rise to enhanced surface abundances of He, C, N and s-process elements (e.g., Iben and Truran 1978; Renzini and Voli 1981); loss of the envelope material by stellar winds, planetary nebula ejection and supernova explosions produce overall galactic enrichment in these elements.
A low-cost differential image motion monitor (DIMM), consisting of an 11-inch Celestron, an SBIG ST-4 autoguiding CCD camera and a PC, is described. Two such systems were used during June–July and November–December 1993 to make near-simultaneous seeing measurements at Freeling Heights in the Northern Flinders Ranges and at Siding Spring Observatory. The results of these campaigns show that the seeing-distribution is generally similar at both sites, with the most common seeing value being ~l·2″. Siding Spring does, however, have slightly more bad seeing (>2″) than Freeling Heights. Weather records from Arkaroola Resort (15 km south of Freeling Heights) indicate that there is ~15% less cloud cover at Freeling Heights than at Siding Spring. Episodes of rapid seeing deterioration at Siding Spring in winter are shown to coincide with warm air masses crossing the mountain.