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Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
We undertook a quality improvement project to address challenges with pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) line maintenance in a setting of low-baseline central-line infection rates. We observed a subsequent reduction in Staphylococcal PAC line infections and a trend toward a reduction in overall PAC infection rates over 1 year.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
There is increasing evidence of an association between depressive symptoms and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in cross-sectional studies, but the longitudinal association between depressive symptoms and risk of MCI onset is less clear. The authors investigated whether baseline symptom severity of depression was predictive of time to onset of symptoms of MCI.
These analyses included 300 participants from the BIOCARD study, a cohort of individuals who were cognitively normal at baseline (mean age = 57.4 years) and followed for up to 20 years (mean follow-up = 2.5 years). Depression symptom severity was measured using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D). The authors assessed the association between dichotomous and continuous HAM-D and time to onset of MCI within 7 years versus after 7 years from baseline (reflecting the mean time from baseline to onset of clinical symptoms in the cohort) using Cox regression models adjusted for gender, age, and education.
At baseline, subjects had a mean HAM-D score of 2.2 (SD = 2.8). Higher baseline HAM-D scores were associated with an increased risk of progression from normal cognition to clinical symptom onset ≤ 7 years from baseline (p = 0.043), but not with progression > 7 years from baseline (p = 0.194). These findings remained significant after adjustment for baseline cognition.
These results suggest that low levels of depressive symptoms may be predictive of clinical symptom onset within approximately 7 years among cognitively normal individuals and may be useful in identifying persons at risk for MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease.
TiO2 nanomaterials with platelet or nanosheet morphologies can offer improved properties for photocatalytic applications, but established methods to produce them typically require structure-directing agents since anatase-phase TiO2 does not have a layered structure. In the present work, the preparation of TiO2 nanosheets by the chemical oxidation of TiS2 nanosheets is demonstrated. Electrochemical exfoliation of bulk TiS2 into TiS2 nanosheets, followed by the hydrothermal treatment at 180 °C for 14 h is performed. The results show that polycrystalline TiO2 nanosheets with the anatase structure are formed, and that the nanosheet morphology can still be maintained after the hydrothermal treatment. The TiO2 nanosheets show good photocatalytic activity for the degradation of methylene blue, but the performance is negatively affected by the residual carbon black that was needed in the TiS2 electrode to enable electrochemical exfoliation. These results show that conversion of TiS2 nanosheets to TiO2 nanosheets is a promising synthetic strategy but highlights how the interfacial properties of the obtained materials could be affected by ancillary components in the preparation method.
Introduction: Medical education includes a diverse range of topics and disciplines. For junior clinician educators, it may be difficult to get a grasp of pertinent literature. Our study aims to retrospectively identify whether senior clinician educators (SCEs) and junior clinician educators (JCEs) differ in their selection of what they perceive as key medical education articles. Methods: As a part of the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) Faculty Incubator program, we developed a series of primer articles for JCEs over the preceding year, designed to enhance their educational growth by identifying and discussing key articles within specific medical education arenas. Each set of articles within the primer series were selected based on data collected from JCEs and SCEs, who ranked the specific articles with respect to their perceived relevancy to the JCEs. ANOVA analysis was performed for each of the nine primer series to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between senior and junior CEs ratings of articles. Results: 216 total articles were evaluated within the nine different primer topics. Through a multilevel regression analysis of the data, no statistically significant difference was found between the rankings of papers by SCEs and JCEs (95%CI: -0.27, 0.40). However, a subgroup analysis of the data found that 3 of the 9 primers showed statistically significant divergence based on seniority (p<0.05). Conclusion: Based on this data, involvement of JCEs in the consensus-building process was important in identifying divergence in views between JCEs and SCEs in one-third of cases. To our knowledge, no other group have compared whether junior and senior clinical educators may have divergent opinions about the relevance of medical education literature. Our findings suggest that it may be important to involve JCEs in selecting articles that are worthwhile for their learning, since SCEs may not fully understand their needs.
Introduction: Emergency medicine clinicians (physicians, nurses, paramedics, physician assistants) utilize podcasts for learning. However, their versatility produces variability in the ways they are used (e.g. their speed can be increased or decreased, unrelated activities can be performed simultaneously, or they can be accompanied by active learning methods). This study investigated how and why podcasts are used by an international cohort of clinicians. Methods: An international sample of medical students, residents, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and paramedics was recruited to complete a survey hosted on FluidSurveys software using social media (Twitter and Facebook), direct contact from our international authorship group, infographics, and a study website (https://METRIQstudy.org/). Participants who indicated interest in the study were sent an email containing the study survey. Reminder emails were sent every 5-10 days a maximum of three times. Results: 462 clinicians expressed interest and 397 completed the survey (86.0% completion rate). Participants hailed from 34 countries (38.8% Canada, 30% United States, 31.2% outside of North America) and a majority (61.9%) were physicians. Approximately half (45.8%) of the participants listened to podcasts weekly. Podcasts were used to learn core material (75.1%), refresh memory (72.3%), or review new literature (75.8%). Most listened on iPhones (61%) and the native Apple App (66.1%). The preferred Android apps were Pocket Casts (22.8%) and Google Play (18.5%). Many listened to podcasts while driving (72.3%). Active learning techniques such as pausing, repeating segments, taking notes, or listening to a podcast more than once were rarely used (1/4 of the time or less) by the majority of participants. Conclusion: This study describes how and why medical education podcasts are used by emergency medicine clinicians and should inform both podcast producers and future research investigating the impact of various listening habits on retention. Further analysis of the data will elucidate differences in listening habits
In Hong Kong, universal varicella vaccination started in July 2014. Before this, children could receive varicella vaccine via the private market. We analysed the epidemiology of varicella and zoster before universal vaccination. We estimated varicella vaccination coverage through surveys in preschool children. We estimated the burden of varicella and zoster with varicella notifications from 1999/00 to 2013/14, Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) attendance and inpatient admissions to public hospitals from 2004/05 to 2013/14. We fitted a catalytic model to serological data on antibodies against varicella-zoster virus to estimate the force of infection. We found that varicella vaccination coverage gradually increased to about 50% before programme inception. In children younger than 5 years, the annual rate of varicella notifications, varicella admission and zoster A&E attendance generally declined. The annual notification, A&E attendance and hospitalisation rate of varicella and zoster generally increased for individuals between 10 and 59 years old. Varicella serology indicated an age shift during the study period towards a higher proportion of infections in slightly older individuals, but the change was most notable before vaccine licensure. In conclusion, we observed a shift in the burden of varicella to slightly older age groups with a corresponding increase in incidence but it cannot necessarily be attributed to private market vaccine coverage alone. Increasing varicella vaccination uptake in the private market might affect varicella transmission and epidemiology, but not to the level of interrupting transmission.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Schizotypal traits are considered a phenotypic-indicator of schizotypy, a latent personality organization reflecting a putative liability for psychosis. To date, no previous study has examined the comparability of factorial structures across samples originating from different countries and cultures. The main goal was to evaluate the factorial structure and reliability of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) scores by amalgamating data from studies conducted in 12 countries and across 21 sites.
The overall sample consisted of 27 001 participants (37.5% males, n = 4251 drawn from the general population). The mean age was 22.12 years (s.d. = 6.28, range 16–55 years). The SPQ was used. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Multilevel CFA (ML-CFA) were used to evaluate the factor structure underlying the SPQ scores.
At the SPQ item level, the nine factor and second-order factor models showed adequate goodness-of-fit. At the SPQ subscale level, three- and four-factor models displayed better goodness-of-fit indices than other CFA models. ML-CFA showed that the intraclass correlation coefficients values were lower than 0.106. The three-factor model showed adequate goodness of fit indices in multilevel analysis. The ordinal α coefficients were high, ranging from 0.73 to 0.94 across individual samples, and from 0.84 to 0.91 for the combined sample.
The results are consistent with the conceptual notion that schizotypal personality is a multifaceted construct and support the validity and utility of SPQ in cross-cultural research. We discuss theoretical and clinical implications of our results for diagnostic systems, psychosis models and cross-national mental health strategies.
Introduction: The CJEM Social Media Team was created in 2014 to assist the journal with the dissemination of its research online. It consists of two Social Media Editors (Junior and Senior) and a team of volunteer medical students and residents to assist their work. Collaborative promotional agreements were developed to promote CJEM articles on the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine (SGEM) podcast through the ‘Hot off the Press’ (HOP) series and the CanadiEM blog through an infographic series. Methods:CJEM papers were selected for promotion by the Team based on their perceived interest to the online community of emergency physicians. Altmetric scores, which are a measure of online dissemination derived from a weighted algorithm of social media metrics, were collated for articles promoted using the SGEM HOP or CanadiEM blogs. A control group was created using the articles with the top two Altmetric scores in each CJEM issue in 2015 and 2016. Erratum, Letters, and articles written by the social media editors were excluded from the control groups. The success of the social media promotion was quantified through the measurement of Altmetric scores as of January 1, 2017. Unpaired two-tailed t-tests with unequal variance were used to test for significant differences. Results: 106 and 82 eligible articles were published in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Four articles in 2015 and two articles in 2016 were excluded from the control groups because they were written by the social media editors. SGEM HOP podcasts promoted one article in 2015 and five articles in 2016. CanadiEM infographics promoted three articles in 2015 and eight articles in 2016. No articles were promoted in both series. The average Altmetric score was higher for SGEM HOP (61.0) than CanadiEM Infographics (31.5, p<0.04), 2015 controls (15.8, p<0.01), and 2016 controls (13.6, p<0.01). The average Altmetric score for CanadiEM Infographics was higher than 2015 controls (p<0.04) and 2016 controls (p<0.02). There was no significant difference between the control groups. Conclusion: The results suggest that collaborating with established social media websites to promote CJEM articles using podcasts and infographics increases their social media dissemination. Given the nonrandomized design of these results, causative conclusions cannot be drawn. A randomized study of the impact of social media promotion on readership is underway.
As biomarkers of dietary intake or disease risk factor, n-3 fatty acid (FA) can be measured in plasma phospholipids (PL), total lipids (TL) or erythrocytes. However, the numeric relationships between n-3 FA in these lipid pools are not clear. Our goal was to derive conversion ratios for plasma and erythrocyte n-3 FA. Potential studies were identified through systematic literature search in PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library of Systematic reviews (1950 to October 2014). In all, fifty-six studies reporting n-3 in healthy individuals were included, of which thirty-four articles reported plasma PL and erythrocytes, and twenty-two reported plasma TL and erythrocytes. Meta-regressions were performed to quantify the ratio between plasma and erythrocyte n-3 FA weight percentages, controlling for covariates including age, sex and study design. The conversion ratios from plasma PL to erythrocytes for EPA, DHA, DPA and total n-3 PUFA are 0·75, 1·16, 2·32 and 1·22; the corresponding conversion ratios from plasma TL to erythrocytes are 1·00, 2·10, 3·85 and 2·08, respectively. The conversion ratios were validated using reported values from the literature and measured data from fifty individuals. The relative error of the predicted results were within 10 % of the mean reported values except for EPA, and the individual measured data except for DPA, in plasma TL. The conversion ratios between plasma PL and erythrocytes were more stable compared with plasma TL. Such conversion ratios will be useful for nutritionists or public health professionals to assess FA profiles of different populations using data collected with different methodologies.
Screening for depression in older adults is recommended.
To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the Two-Question Screen for older adults and compare it with other screening instruments for depression.
We undertook a literature search for studies assessing the diagnostic performance of depression screening instruments in older adults. Combined diagnostic accuracy including sensitivity and specificity were the primary outcomes. Potential risks of bias and the quality of studies were also assessed.
A total of 46506 participants from 132 studies were identified evaluating 16 screening instruments. The majority of studies (63/132) used various versions of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and 6 used the Two-Question Screen. The combined sensitivity and specificity for the Two-Question Screen were 91.8% (95% CI 85.2–95.6) and 67.7% (95% CI 58.1–76.0), respectively; the diagnostic performance area under the curve (AUC) was 90%. The Two-Question Screen showed comparable performance with other instruments, including clinician-rated scales. The One-Question Screen showed the lowest diagnostic performance with an AUC of 78%. In subgroup analysis, the Two-Question Screen also had good diagnostic performance in screening for major depressive disorder.
The Two-Question Screen is a simple and short instrument for depression screening. Its diagnostic performance is comparable with other instruments and, therefore, it would be favourable to use it for older adult screening programmes.
To search for studies on tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning used as isolated treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea in children with Pierre Robin sequence.
A systematic literature search of PubMed/Medline and three additional databases, from inception through to 8 July 2016, was performed by two authors.
Seven studies with 90 patients (59 tongue–lip adhesion and 31 tongue repositioning patients) met the inclusion criteria. Tongue–lip adhesion reduced the mean (± standard deviation) apnoea/hypopnoea index from 30.8 ± 22.3 to 15.4 ± 18.9 events per hour (50 per cent reduction). The apnoea/hypopnoea index mean difference for tongue–lip adhesion was −15.28 events per hour (95 per cent confidence interval = −30.70 to 0.15; p = 0.05). Tongue–lip adhesion improved the lowest oxygen saturation from 75.8 ± 6.8 to 84.4 ± 7.3 per cent. Tongue repositioning reduced the apnoea/hypopnoea index from 46.5 to 17.4 events per hour (62.6 per cent reduction). Tongue repositioning improved the mean oxygen saturation from 90.8 ± 1.2 to 95.0 ± 0.5 per cent.
Tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning can improve apnoea/hypopnoea index and oxygenation parameters in children with Pierre Robin sequence and obstructive sleep apnoea.
Rural-to-urban migrant workers are a large marginalised population in urban China. Prevalence estimates of common mental health problems (CMHPs) in previous studies varied widely and very few studies have investigated migration-related factors of CMHPs in migrant workers. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of CMHPs among Chinese migrant workers.
A random sample of 3031 migrant workers of ten manufacturing factories in Shenzhen, China, completed a standardised questionnaire containing socio-demographic and migration-related variables and the Chinese 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). A GHQ-12 score of three or higher was used to denote the presence of CMHPs.
The prevalence of CMHPs was 34.4% in Chinese migrant workers. In multiple logistic regression, risk factors for CMHPs included being 16–25 years old (odd ratio [OR] 1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28, 2.12), being 26–35 years old (OR 1.36, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.75), low monthly income (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.04, 1.92), poor living condition (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.22, 2.54), physical illness in the past 2 weeks (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.43, 2.05), having worked in many cities (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.03, 1.74), infrequently visiting hometown (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.22, 1.99), poor Mandarin proficiency (OR 1.51, 95%CI 1.13, 2.01), a low level of perceived benefits of migration (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.14, 1.55) and working more than 8 h/day (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.14, 1.70).
CMHPs are very prevalent among Chinese migrant workers. Given the large number of Chinese migrant workers, there is an urgent need to address the mental health burden of China's migrant worker population.