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Schizotypy represents an index of psychosis-proneness in the general population, often associated with childhood trauma exposure. Both schizotypy and childhood trauma are linked to structural brain alterations, and it is possible that trauma exposure moderates the extent of brain morphological differences associated with schizotypy.
We addressed this question using data from a total of 1182 healthy adults (age range: 18–65 years old, 647 females/535 males), pooled from nine sites worldwide, contributing to the Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Schizotypy working group. All participants completed both the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire Brief version (SPQ-B), and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), and underwent a 3D T1-weighted brain MRI scan from which regional indices of subcortical gray matter volume and cortical thickness were determined.
A series of multiple linear regressions revealed that differences in cortical thickness in four regions-of-interest were significantly associated with interactions between schizotypy and trauma; subsequent moderation analyses indicated that increasing levels of schizotypy were associated with thicker left caudal anterior cingulate gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus and insula, and thinner left caudal middle frontal gyrus, in people exposed to higher (but not low or average) levels of childhood trauma. This was found in the context of morphological changes directly associated with increasing levels of schizotypy or increasing levels of childhood trauma exposure.
These results suggest that alterations in brain regions critical for higher cognitive and integrative processes that are associated with schizotypy may be enhanced in individuals exposed to high levels of trauma.
Several hypotheses may explain the association between substance use, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. However, few studies have utilized a large multisite dataset to understand this complex relationship. Our study assessed the relationship between alcohol and cannabis use trajectories and PTSD and depression symptoms across 3 months in recently trauma-exposed civilians.
In total, 1618 (1037 female) participants provided self-report data on past 30-day alcohol and cannabis use and PTSD and depression symptoms during their emergency department (baseline) visit. We reassessed participant's substance use and clinical symptoms 2, 8, and 12 weeks posttrauma. Latent class mixture modeling determined alcohol and cannabis use trajectories in the sample. Changes in PTSD and depression symptoms were assessed across alcohol and cannabis use trajectories via a mixed-model repeated-measures analysis of variance.
Three trajectory classes (low, high, increasing use) provided the best model fit for alcohol and cannabis use. The low alcohol use class exhibited lower PTSD symptoms at baseline than the high use class; the low cannabis use class exhibited lower PTSD and depression symptoms at baseline than the high and increasing use classes; these symptoms greatly increased at week 8 and declined at week 12. Participants who already use alcohol and cannabis exhibited greater PTSD and depression symptoms at baseline that increased at week 8 with a decrease in symptoms at week 12.
Our findings suggest that alcohol and cannabis use trajectories are associated with the intensity of posttrauma psychopathology. These findings could potentially inform the timing of therapeutic strategies.
Cognitive dispersion across neuropsychological measures within a single testing session is a promising marker predictive of cognitive decline and development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, little is known regarding brain changes underlying cognitive dispersion, and the association of cognitive dispersion with in vivo AD biomarkers and regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) has received limited study. We therefore examined associations among cognitive dispersion, amyloid-beta (Aβ) positivity, and regional CBF among older adults free of dementia.
One hundred and forty-eight Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) participants underwent neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging. Pulsed arterial spin labeling (ASL) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was acquired to quantify CBF. Florbetapir positron emission tomography (PET) imaging determined Aβ positivity.
Adjusting for age, gender, education, and mean cognitive performance, older adults who were Aβ+ showed higher cognitive dispersion relative to those who were Aβ-. Across the entire sample, higher cognitive dispersion was associated with reduced CBF in inferior parietal and temporal regions. Secondary analyses stratified by Aβ status demonstrated that higher cognitive dispersion was associated with reduced CBF among Aβ+ individuals but not among those who were Aβ-.
Cognitive dispersion may be sensitive to early Aβ accumulation and cerebrovascular changes adjusting for demographics and mean neuropsychological performance. Associations between cognitive dispersion and CBF were observed among Aβ+ individuals, suggesting that cognitive dispersion may be a marker of brain changes among individuals on the AD continuum. Future studies should examine whether cognitive dispersion predicts brain changes in diverse samples and among those with greater vascular risk burden.
Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) are often thought to show heightened self-control and increased ability to inhibit desires. In addition to inhibitory self-control, antecedent-focused strategies (e.g., cognitive reconstrual—the re-evaluation of tempting situations) might contribute to disorder maintenance and enable disorder-typical, maladaptive behaviors.
Over a period of 14 days, 40 acutely underweight young female patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and 40 healthy control (HC) participants reported their affect and behavior in self-control situations via ecological momentary assessment during inpatient treatment (AN) and everyday life (HC). Data were analyzed via hierarchical analyses (linear and logistic modeling).
Conflict strength had a significantly lower impact on self-control success in AN compared to HC. While AN and HC did not generally differ in the number or strength of self-control conflicts or in the percentage of self-control success, AN reported self-controlled behavior to be less dependent on conflict strength.
While patients with AN were not generally more successful at self-control, they appeared to resolve self-control conflicts more effectively. These findings suggest that the magnitude of self-control conflicts has comparatively little impact on individuals with AN, possibly due to the use of antecedent-focused strategies. If confirmed, cognitive-behavioral therapy might focus on and help patients to exploit these alternative self-control strategies in the battle against their illness.
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
Approximately, 1.7 million individuals in the United States have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This has disproportionately impacted adults, but many children have been infected and hospitalised as well. To date, there is not much information published addressing the cardiac workup and monitoring of children with COVID-19. Here, we share the approach to the cardiac workup and monitoring utilised at a large congenital heart centre in New York City, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is involved in the aetiopathology of mood disorders. GDNF is a neurotrophic factor from the transforming growth factor-β-family, playing a role in cell development and function in the limbic system. This is the first study to examine GDNF concentration in different brain regions of patients with depressive disorder (DD).
Material and Methods
We used sandwich-ELISA-technique to ascertain GDNF concentration and Lowry assay for overall protein levels in post-mortem brain tissue of 7 patients with recurrent depressive disorder and 14 individuals without any neurological or psychiatric diagnoses. We included cortical regions as well as limbic area's (hippocampus, entorhinal cortex) basal ganglia (putamen, caudate nucleus), thalamus and cingulated gyrus.
We found a significant increase in GDNF concentration in the parietal cortex of patients with DD compared to the control group. In other regions the trend of an increased GDNF concentration did not reach statistical difference.
This proof of concept study supports previous findings of an alteration of the GDNF in patients with depressive disorder. However, for the first time a significant increase of GDNF in a cortical brain area was found in DD.
Novel approaches to improving disaster response have begun to include the use of big data and information and communication technology (ICT). However, there remains a dearth of literature on the use of these technologies in disasters. We have conducted an integrative literature review on the role of ICT and big data in disasters. Included in the review were 113 studies that met our predetermined inclusion criteria. Most studies used qualitative methods (39.8%, n=45) over mixed methods (31%, n=35) or quantitative methods (29.2%, n=33). Nearly 80% (n=88) covered only the response phase of disasters and only 15% (n=17) of the studies addressed disasters in low- and middle-income countries. The 4 most frequently mentioned tools were geographic information systems, social media, patient information, and disaster modeling. We suggest testing ICT and big data tools more widely, especially outside of high-income countries, as well as in nonresponse phases of disasters (eg, disaster recovery), to increase an understanding of the utility of ICT and big data in disasters. Future studies should also include descriptions of the intended users of the tools, as well as implementation challenges, to assist other disaster response professionals in adapting or creating similar tools. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:353–367)
We comment on the proposition “that lower temperatures and especially greater seasonal variation in temperature call for individuals and societies to adopt … a greater degree of self-control” (Van Lange et al., sect. 3, para. 4) for which we cannot find empirical support in a large data set with data-driven analyses. After providing greater nuance in our theoretical review, we suggest that Van Lange et al. revisit their model with an eye toward the social determinants of self-control.
To identify correlates between burnout and job stress of care staff at Leros PIKPA Asylum. Forty-nine asylum employees were assessed by Maslach's Burnout Inventory, a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Perceived Stress Scale and the Job Content Questionnaire.
Emotional exhaustion is related negatively to social support (P = 0.010, r = −0.362). Lack of job achievements is related positively to overall job responsibility (P =0.040) and negatively to lack of job satisfaction (r = −0.430). Depersonalisation was negatively associated with support from superiors (P = 0.036). Employees with high levels of perceived stress reported higher levels of fatigue (P = 0.050). Positive associations of perceived stress with depression (P = 0.011) and sleep problems (P < 0.001) were also detected. Positive correlation was found between monthly salary and lack of sense of personal achievement (P = 0.020).
It is necessary to address these issues through staff education and stress management.
For many patients with bipolar disorder there is a long delay between the onset of illness and receiving a diagnosis and the initiation of treatment. This may have an adverse effect on the clinical outcome. Early intervention in bipolar disorder has received less attention than in schizophrenia, and there are relatively few specialist services in this area. This article reviews the literature on the early detection of bipolar disorder and on the effectiveness of pharmacological, psychological and psychosocial interventions in the early phase of the disorder.
Counselling on contraception and contraceptive method provision are key components of post-abortion care (PAC). Some studies have suggested that adolescent PAC patients receive worse care than older women seeking these services. This study aimed to evaluate an intervention whose goal was to improve the counselling and contraceptive uptake of PAC patients, with special attention given to the needs of adolescent patients, in the four public hospitals in the Dominican Republic where PAC services were not being routinely offered. The counselling intervention effort included provider training and the development of adolescent-friendly information, education and communication (IEC) materials. Eighty-eight providers were interviewed at baseline and 6 months after the intervention was implemented. Six months after providers were trained, 140 adolescent PAC patients (≤19 years of age) and 134 older PAC patients (20–35 years) were interviewed about the contraceptive counselling messages and contraceptive methods they received before they were discharged from hospital. The adolescent and older PAC patients were matched on study hospital and time of arrival. Significant improvements were noted in provider knowledge and attitudes. No changes were noted in provider-reported PAC counselling behaviours, with close to 70% of providers reporting they routinely assess patients' fertility intentions, discuss contraception, assess STI/HIV risk and discuss post-abortion complications. Adolescent and older PAC patients reported receiving PAC counselling messages at similar rates. Forty per cent of adolescent PAC patients and 45% of older PAC patients who wanted to delay pregnancy were discharged with a contraceptive method. Adolescents were more likely to receive an injectable contraceptive method whereas older women were discharged with a variety of methods. The PAC counselling intervention increased provider knowledge and improved their attitudes and benefited both adolescent and older patients.
In recognition of patient wait times, and deteriorating patient and staff satisfaction, we set out to improve these measures in our emergency department (ED) without adding any new funding or beds.
In 2005 all staff in the ED at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital began a transformation, employing Toyota Lean manufacturing principles to improve ED wait times and quality of care. Lean techniques such as value-stream mapping, just-in-time delivery techniques, workplace organization, reduction of systemic wastes, use of the worker as the source of quality improvement and ongoing refinement of our process steps formed the basis of our project.
Our ED has achieved major improvements in departmental flow without adding any additional ED or inpatient beds. The mean registration to physician time has decreased from 111 minutes to 78 minutes. The number of patients who left without being seen has decreased from 7.1% to 4.3%. The length of stay (LOS) for discharged patients has decreased from a mean of 3.6 to 2.8 hours, with the largest decrease seen in our patients triaged at levels 4 or 5 using the Canadian Emergency Department Triage and Acuity Scale. We noted an improvement in ED patient satisfaction scores following the implementation of Lean principles.
Lean manufacturing principles can improve the flow of patients through the ED, resulting in greater patient satisfaction along with reduced time spent by the patient in
Hay cada vez más evidencias que indican que el factor neurotrófico derivado de la línea de células gliales (GDNF) está implicado en la etiopatología de los trastornos del ánimo. El GDNF es un factor neurotrófico de la familia de los factores transformadores del crecimiento que desempeña algún papel en el desarrollo de las células y en la función del sistema límbico. Éste es el primer estudio que ha examinado la concentración de GDNF en diferentes regiones cerebrales de pacientes con trastorno depresivo (TD).
Material y métodos
Usamos una técnica sandwich-ELISA para determinar la concentración de GDNF y el ensayo de Lowry para calcular las concentraciones de proteínas totales en tejido cerebral p o st mortem en 7 pacientes con trastorno depresivo recurrente y en 14 individuos sin ningún diagnóstico neurológico o psiquiátrico. Incluimos regiones corticales y áreas límbicas (hipocampo, corteza entorrinal), ganglios basales (putamen, núcleo caudal), tálamo y circunvolución cingulada.
Encontramos un aumento significativo de la concentración de GDNF en la corteza parietal de los pacientes con TD comparados con el grupo de control. En otras regiones, la tendencia al aumento de la concentración de GDNF no indicó ninguna diferencia estadísticamente significativa.
Este estudio de prueba de concepto confirma resulados anteriores que indicaban que había una alteración del GDNF en pacientes con trastorno depresivo. Sin embargo, es la primera vez que se ha encontrado un aumento significativo de GDNF en un área cortical cerebral en pacientes con TD.
Background. Prevalence of childhood anxiety disorders at specific ages and genetic etiological influences on anxiety disorders in young children have been little studied. The present study reports prevalence estimates in a community sample of 6-year-old twins, and patterns of genetic and environmental influences on these early-onset anxiety disorders.
Method. Using a two-phase design 4662 twin-pairs were sampled and 854 pairs were assessed in the second phase by maternal-informant diagnostic interview using DSM-IV criteria.
Results. The most common conditions were separation anxiety disorder (SAD) [2·8%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·1–3·8, for current disorder] and specific phobia (10·8%, 95% CI 8·4–13·6, for current disorder). Behavioral genetic modeling was feasible for these two conditions, applied to two phenotypes: symptom syndrome (regardless of impairment) and the narrower one of diagnostic status (symptom syndrome with associated impairment). The heritability estimate for SAD diagnostic status was high, 73%, with remaining variance attributed to non-shared environment. The heritability estimates for specific phobia were also high, 80% for the symptom syndrome and 60% for diagnostic status, with remaining variance attributed in both cases to non-shared environment.
Conclusions. Compared with previous epidemiological surveys of children and adolescents in wide age-bands, the current estimates suggest that rates of anxiety disorders assessed in young childhood are generally at least as high and perhaps higher compared with those found in older children. The heritability estimates suggest that the genetic effects on these early-onset anxiety disorders are substantial and more significant than environmental effects, whether shared or non-shared.
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