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Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection can cause serious illness including haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The role of socio-economic status (SES) in differential clinical presentation and exposure to potential risk factors amongst STEC cases has not previously been reported in England. We conducted an observational study using a dataset of all STEC cases identified in England, 2010–2015. Odds ratios for clinical characteristics of cases and foodborne, waterborne and environmental risk factors were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by SES, adjusting for baseline demographic factors. Incidence was higher in the highest SES group compared to the lowest (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). Odds of Accident and Emergency attendance (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10–1.75) and hospitalisation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.36–2.15) because of illness were higher in the most disadvantaged compared to the least, suggesting potential lower ascertainment of milder cases or delayed care-seeking behaviour in disadvantaged groups. Advantaged individuals were significantly more likely to report salad/fruit/vegetable/herb consumption (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16–2.17), non-UK or UK travel (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.40–2.27; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35–2.56) and environmental exposures (walking in a paddock, OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22–2.70; soil contact, OR 1.52, 95% CI 2.13–1.09) suggesting other unmeasured risks, such as person-to-person transmission, could be more important in the most disadvantaged group.
Introduction: The number of seniors presenting to emergency departments after a fall is increasing. Head injury concerns in this population often leads to a head CT scan. The CT rate among physicians is variable and the reasons for this are unknown. This study examined the role of patient characteristics and country of practice in the decision to order a CT. Methods: This study used a case-based survey of physicians across multiple countries. Each survey included 9 cases pertaining to an 82-year old man who falls. Each case varied in one aspect compared to a base case (aspirin, warfarin, or rivaroxaban use, occipital hematoma, amnesia, dementia, and fall with no head trauma). For each case, participants indicated how “likely” they were to order a head CT scan, measured on a 100-point scale. A response of 80 or more was defined a priori as ‘likely to order a CT scan’. The survey was piloted among emergency residents for feedback on design and comprehension, and was published in French and English. Recruitment was through the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, Twitter and CanadiEM. For each case we compared the proportion of physicians who were ‘likely to scan’ with relative to the base case. We also compared the proportion of participants who were ‘likely to scan’ each case in the USA, UK and Australia, relative to Canada. Results: Data was collected from 484 respondents (Canada-308, USA-64, UK-67, Australia-27, and 18 from other countries). Social media distribution limited our ability to estimate of the response rate. Physicians were most likely to scan in the anticoagulation cases (90% likely to order a scan compared to 36% for the base case (p = <0.001)). Other features associated with increased scans were occipital hematoma (48%), multiple falls (68%), and amnesia (68%) (all p < 0.005). Compared to Canada, US physicians were more likely to order CT scans for all cases (p = <0.05). Compared to Canada, UK physicians were significantly less likely to order CT for patients in every case except in the patient with amnesia. Finally, Australian physicians differed from Canada only for the occipital hematoma case where they were significantly more likely to order CT scan. Conclusion: Anticoagulation, amnesia and a history of multiple falls appear to drive the ordering a head CT scan in elderly patients who had fallen. We observed variations in practice between countries. Future clinical decision rules will likely have variable impact on head CT scan rates depending on baseline practice variation.
Both India and Nepal are prone to a wide range of natural and man-made disasters. Almost 85% of India’s area is vulnerable to one or more hazards, and more than 80% of the total population of Nepal is at risk of natural hazards. In terms of the number of people affected in reported disastrous events, India is in the top 10 and Nepal is in the top 20 globally. Over the last two decades, India and Nepal have taken steps to establish their respective National Disaster Management organizations, which provide essential disaster responses. However, key gaps still remain in trained clinical capacity for managing impacts from various disasters. Our review of the region has shown that large parts of the population suffer injuries, diseases, disabilities, psychosocial, and other health-related problems from disasters.
Develop disaster medicine clinical capacity to reduce morbidities and mortalities from disasters.
Independent published data and work undertaken by the lead author in various disasters in India and Nepal since 1993 formed the basis of establishing the Faculty of Disaster Medicine for South Asia. The Faculty of Disaster Medicine - India and Nepal (FDMIN) was launched from Pune in March 2015. This initiative is supported by the National Association of Primary Care (UK), Public Health England, Faculty of Pre-hospital Care of Royal College of Surgeons - Edinburgh and CRIMEDIM (Novara) - Italy.
FDMIN has international expert advisors and has outlined 16 modules training curriculum for health care professionals. FDMIN currently has partnerships for teaching disaster medicine program with 3 medical universities and 12 major health care providers. Six pilot training programmes have been conducted in Pune, Delhi, Chennai, and Kochin. Work is underway to submit an application to the Indian regulatory bodies for approval to establish a post-graduate diploma and Master’s for Disaster Medicine.
Introduction: Simulation has assumed an integral role in the Canadian healthcare system with applications in quality improvement, systems development, and medical education. High quality simulation-based research (SBR) is required to ensure the effective and efficient use of this tool. This study sought to establish national SBR priorities and describe the barriers and facilitators of SBR in Emergency Medicine (EM) in Canada. Methods: Simulation leads (SLs) from all fourteen Canadian Departments or Divisions of EM associated with an adult FRCP-EM training program were invited to participate in three surveys and a final consensus meeting. The first survey documented active EM SBR projects. Rounds two and three established and ranked priorities for SBR and identified the perceived barriers and facilitators to SBR at each site. Surveys were completed by SLs at each participating institution, and priority research themes were reviewed by senior faculty for broad input and review. Results: Twenty SLs representing all 14 invited institutions participated in all three rounds of the study. 60 active SBR projects were identified, an average of 4.3 per institution (range 0-17). 49 priorities for SBR in Canada were defined and summarized into seven priority research themes. An additional theme was identified by the senior reviewing faculty. 41 barriers and 34 facilitators of SBR were identified and grouped by theme. Fourteen SLs representing 12 institutions attended the consensus meeting and vetted the final list of eight priority research themes for SBR in Canada: simulation in CBME, simulation for interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning, simulation for summative assessment, simulation for continuing professional development, national curricular development, best practices in simulation-based education, simulation-based education outcomes, and simulation as an investigative methodology. Conclusion: Conclusion: This study has summarized the current SBR activity in EM in Canada, as well as its perceived barriers and facilitators. We also provide a consensus on priority research themes in SBR in EM from the perspective of Canadian simulation leaders. This group of SLs has formed a national simulation-based research group which aims to address these identified priorities with multicenter collaborative studies.
Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are associated with overlapping symptoms of anxiety and depression. More accurate discrimination between emerging neuropsychiatric and cognitive symptoms would better assist illness detection. The potential for protection against cognitive decline and dementia following early identification and intervention of neuropsychiatric symptoms warrants investigation.
Declaration of interest
B.J.S. consults for Peak, Mundipharma and Cambridge Cognition. J.T.O. has acted as a consultant for TauRx, Axon, GE Healthcare and Lilly.
Bipolar disorder is less prevalent in older people but accounts for 8–10% of psychiatric admissions. Treating and managing bipolar disorder in older people is challenging because of medical comorbidity. We review the cognitive problems observed in older people, explore why these are important and consider current treatment options. There are very few studies examining the cognitive profiles of older people with bipolar disorder and symptomatic depression and mania, and these show significant impairments in executive function. Most studies have focused on cognitive impairment in euthymic older people: as in euthymic adults of working age, significant impairments are observed in tests of attention, memory and executive function/processing speeds. Screening tests are not always helpful in euthymic older people as the impairment can be relatively subtle, and more in-depth neuropsychological testing may be needed to show impairments. Cognitive impairment may be more pronounced in older people with ‘late-onset’ bipolar disorder than in those with ‘early-onset’ disorder. Strategies to address symptomatic cognitive impairment in older people include assertive treatment of the mood disorder, minimising drugs that can adversely affect cognition, optimising physical healthcare and reducing relapse rates.
After reading this article you will be able to:
•understand that cognitive impairment in euthymic older people with bipolar disorder is similar to that in working-age adults with the disorder, affecting attention, memory and executive function/processing speeds
•recognise that cognitive impairment in older people is likely to be a major determinant of functional outcomes
•Implement approaches to treat cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
B.J.S. consults for Cambridge Cognition, PEAK (www.peak.net) and Mundipharma.
Visual hallucinations are a common symptom in dementia and Parkinson’s disease and have been associated with greater cognitive and functional decline, but optimal management strategies are unclear. We review the frequency and pathogenesis of visual hallucinations in dementia and Parkinson’s disease and examine the evidence base for their management.
We undertook a systematic review of the visual hallucinations in dementia, searching studies published between January 1980 and July 2017 using PubMed with the search terms visual hallucinations AND review AND (dementia OR parkinson*).
We found 645 articles and screened them for relevance, finally including 89 papers (11 meta-analyses, 34 randomized controlled trials, six other trials and a number of relevant review articles). Only six of the trials reported visual hallucination outcomes separately from other neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Atypical antipsychotics were frequently studied, but with the exception of clozapine in Parkinson’s disease dementia, results were equivocal. There was some evidence that acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may help visual hallucinations. Overall, effect sizes for most treatments were small and there were few studies with long term follow up. Treatments need to be carefully weighed up with the risks and reviewed often, and many patients improved without treatment. There is a lack of data regarding visual hallucinations due to the grouping of psychotic symptoms together in commonly used rating scales. The lack of a specific rating scales, or analyzable items within other scales, for visual hallucinations, limited efficacy of current and small evidence base with short follow up are important areas for future studies to address.
This paper considers the timing and mechanisms of deforestation in the Western Isles of Scotland, focusing in particular on the landscape around the Calanais stone circles, one of the best preserved late Neolithic/early Bronze Age monumental landscapes in north-west Europe. We present new archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence from a soil and peat sequence at the site of Aird Calanais, which spans the main period of use of the Calanais circles. We then draw on a new synthesis of archaeobotanical and palynological evidence from across the Western Isles and a review of comparable data from the wider North Atlantic zone, before assessing the role of early farming communities in clearing the wooded landscapes of the region. Pollen and radiocarbon dating at the site of Aird Calanais reveal that a layer of birch branches, dating to the late Neolithic (2912–2881 cal bc), was contemporaneous with a decline in woodland at the site, as well as with the major phase of Neolithic activity at the Calanais stone circle complex. However, our synthesis of the pollen and plant macrofossil evidence from across the Western Isles suggests that the picture across these islands was altogether more complex: woodlands declined both before, as well as during, the Neolithic and deciduous woodlands remained sufficiently abundant for Neolithic fuel procurement. Finally, we consider the implications of the results for understanding the interactions between first farmers and woodlands in the wider North Atlantic region.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Morphea (localized scleroderma) is an autoimmune disease characterized that is widely thought to have a monophasic course, in which an initial period of inflammation (activity) ultimately results in scarring, atrophy, and functional impairment (damage). Understanding the long-term clinical course of morphea is important for the planning of future interventional studies, and as a tool for clinicians in determining risk for poor disease outcomes. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 130 participants enrolled in the Morphea in Children and Adults Cohort over a median follow-up time of 4.3 years, to determine the rates of response to treatment and disease recurrence as measured by the Localized Scleroderma Cutaneous Assessment Tool (LoSCAT). To determine risk factors for recurrence of disease activity, survival analysis using the log-rank test was used to compare subgroups by morphea type, therapy, and age at disease onset. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Within a 1-year follow-up period, 66% of patients treated with methotrexate and 46% of patients with UVA1 phototherapy had achieved complete response to treatment. In patients who had achieved response to treatment, 29% experienced disease recurrence at an average of 1.7 years after documented disease inactivity. Patients with generalized morphea experienced higher recurrence rates than those with linear morphea (HR: 3.03, 95% CI: 1.48–6.22), and those treated with UVA1 phototherapy had higher recurrence over those treated with methotrexate (HR: 2.33, 95% CI: 1.03–5.31). In patients with follow-up periods longer than 5 years (n=50), disease recurrence was observed in 44% of patients and the majority of recurrence represented new activity in an area of pre-existing morphea (82%). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This study highlights the previously under-studied dynamic long-term course of morphea, and identifies the clinical characteristics that predispose patients to having a relapsing-remitting course. We conclude that patients with morphea should be followed closely over time even in the absence of disease activity due to the potential for disease recurrence.
Introduction: Head injury is a common presentation to all emergency departments. Previous research has shown that such injuries may be complicated by delayed intracranial hemorrhage (D-ICH) after the initial scan is negative. Exposure to anticoagulant or anti-platelet medications (ACAP) may be a risk factor for D-ICH. We have conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the incidence of delayed traumatic intracranial hemorrhage in patients taking anticoagulants, anti-platelets or both. Methods: The literature search was conducted in March 2017 with an update in April 2017. Keyword and MeSH terms were used to search OVID Medline, Embase and the Cochrane database as well as grey literature sources. All cohort and experimental studies were eligible for selection. Inclusion criteria included pre-injury exposure to oral anticoagulant and / or anti-platelet medication and a negative initial CT scan of the brain (CT1). The primary outcome was delayed intracranial hemorrhage present on repeat CT scan (CT2) within 48 hours of the presentation. Only patients who were rescanned or observed minimally were included. Clinically significant D-ICH were those that required neurosurgery, caused death or necessitated a change in management strategy, such as admission. Results: Fifteen primary studies were ultimately identified, comprising a total of 3801 patients. Of this number, 2111 had a control CT scan. 39 cases of D-ICH were identified, with the incidence of D-ICH calculated to be 1.31% (95% CI [0.56, 2.27]). No more than 12 of these patients had a clinically significant D-ICH representing 0.09% (95% CI [0.00, 0.31]). 10 of them were on warfarin and two on aspirin. There were three deaths recorded and three patients needed neurosurgery. Conclusion: The relatively low incidence suggests that repeat CT should not be mandatory for patients without ICH on first CT. This is further supported by the negligibly low rate of clinically significant D-ICH. Evidence-based assessments should be utilised to indicate the appropriate discharge plan, with further research required to guide the balance between clinical observation and repeat CT.
Dopaminergic imaging has high diagnostic accuracy for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) at the dementia stage. We report the first investigation of dopaminergic imaging at the prodromal stage.
We recruited 75 patients over 60 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 33 with probable MCI with Lewy body disease (MCI-LB), 15 with possible MCI-LB and 27 with MCI with Alzheimer's disease. All underwent detailed clinical, neurological and neuropsychological assessments and FP-CIT [123I-N-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)] dopaminergic imaging. FP-CIT scans were blindly rated by a consensus panel and classified as normal or abnormal.
The sensitivity of visually rated FP-CIT imaging to detect combined possible or probable MCI-LB was 54.2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 39.2–68.6], with a specificity of 89.0% (95% CI 70.8–97.6) and a likelihood ratio for MCI-LB of 4.9, indicating that FP-CIT may be a clinically important test in MCI where any characteristic symptoms of Lewy body (LB) disease are present. The sensitivity in probable MCI-LB was 61.0% (95% CI 42.5–77.4) and in possible MCI-LB was 40.0% (95% CI 16.4–67.7).
Dopaminergic imaging had high specificity at the pre-dementia stage and gave a clinically important increase in diagnostic confidence and so should be considered in all patients with MCI who have any of the diagnostic symptoms of DLB. As expected, the sensitivity was lower in MCI-LB than in established DLB, although over 50% still had an abnormal scan. Accurate diagnosis of LB disease is important to enable early optimal treatment for LB symptoms.
This article offers an architectural blueprint for the study of economic connections between warfare in the early modern period and the long-term growth of Europe's competing national economies. It surveys and critically investigates the concepts derived mainly from economic theory and the statistical evidence accessible in primary and secondary sources for the investigation of this meta-problem for students of economic theory.
The accurate clinical characterisation of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is becoming increasingly important. The aim of this study was to compare the neuropsychiatric symptoms and cognitive profile of MCI with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) with Alzheimer's disease MCI (MCI-AD).
Participants were ⩾60 years old with MCI. Each had a thorough clinical and neuropsychological assessment and 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)-N-(3-fluoropropyl)-nortropane single photon emission computed tomography FP-CIT SPECT). MCI-LB was diagnosed if two or more diagnostic features of dementia with Lewy bodies were present (visual hallucinations, cognitive fluctuations, motor parkinsonism, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder or positive FP-CIT SPECT). A Lewy body Neuropsychiatric Supportive Symptom Count (LBNSSC) was calculated based on the presence or absence of the supportive neuropsychiatric symptoms defined by the 2017 DLB diagnostic criteria: non-visual hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, depression and apathy.
MCI-LB (n = 41) had a higher LBNSSC than MCI-AD (n = 24; 1.8 ± 1.1 v. 0.7 ± 0.9, p = 0.001). 67% of MCI-LB had two or more of those symptoms, compared with 16% of MCI-AD (Likelihood ratio = 4.2, p < 0.001). MCI-LB subjects scored lower on tests of attention, visuospatial function and verbal fluency. However, cognitive test scores alone did not accurately differentiate MCI-LB from MCI-AD.
MCI-LB is associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms and a cognitive profile similar to established DLB. This supports the concept of identifying MCI-LB based on the presence of core diagnostic features of DLB and abnormal FP-CIT SPECT imaging. The presence of supportive neuropsychiatric clinical features identified in the 2017 DLB diagnostic criteria was helpful in differentiating between MCI-LB and MCI-AD.
Lewy body dementia (consisting of dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's disease dementia) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterised by visual hallucinations, fluctuating attention, motor disturbances, falls, and sensitivity to antipsychotics. This combination of features presents challenges for pharmacological management. Given this, we sought to review evidence for non-pharmacological interventions with patients with Lewy body dementia and their carers. Bibliographic databases were searched using a wide range of search terms and no restrictions were placed on study design, language, or clinical setting. Two reviewers independently assessed papers for inclusion, rated study quality, and extracted data. The search identified 21 studies including two randomised controlled trials with available subgroup data, seven case series, and 12 case studies. Most studies reported beneficial effects of the interventions used, though the only sizeable study was on dysphagia, showing a benefit of honey-thickened liquids. Given the heterogeneity of interventions and poor quality of the studies overall, no quantitative synthesis was possible. Overall, identified studies suggested possible benefits of non-pharmacological interventions in Lewy body dementia, but the small sample sizes and low quality of studies mean no definite recommendations can be offered. Our findings underscore the clear and urgent need for future research on this topic.
In the context of water use for agricultural production, water footprints (WFs) have become an important sustainability indicator. To understand better the water demand for beef and sheep meat produced on pasture-based systems, a WF of individual farms is required. The main objective of this study was to determine the primary contributors to freshwater consumption up to the farm gate expressed as a volumetric WF and associated impacts for the production of 1 kg of beef and 1 kg of sheep meat from a selection of pasture-based farms for 2 consecutive years, 2014 and 2015. The WF included green water, from the consumption of soil moisture due to evapotranspiration, and blue water, from the consumption of ground and surface waters. The impact of freshwater consumption on global water stress from the production of beef and sheep meat in Ireland was also computed. The average WF of the beef farms was 8391 l/kg carcass weight (CW) of which 8222 l/kg CW was green water and 169 l/kg CW was blue water; water for the production of pasture (including silage and grass) contributed 88% to the WF, concentrate production – 10% and on-farm water use – 1%. The average stress-weighted WF of beef was 91 l H2O eq/kg CW, implying that each kg of beef produced in Ireland contributed to freshwater scarcity equivalent to the consumption of 91 l of freshwater by an average world citizen. The average WF of the sheep farms was 7672 l/kg CW of which 7635 l/kg CW was green water and 37 l/kg CW was blue water; water for the production of pasture contributed 87% to the WF, concentrate production – 12% and on-farm water use – 1%. The average stress-weighted WF was 2 l H2O eq/kg CW for sheep. This study also evaluated the sustainability of recent intensification initiatives in Ireland and found that increases in productivity were supported through an increase in green water use and higher grass yields per hectare on both beef and sheep farms.
This work builds on a survey first done in 1999 to understand how old age psychiatry teaching is embedded in undergraduate medical schools in the UK and Ireland and the influence of academic old age psychiatrists on teaching processes. We invited deans of 31 medical schools in the UK and Ireland in 2015 to complete an online survey to reassess the situation 16 years later.
Response rate was 74%. As found in the original survey, there was variation across medical schools in how old age psychiatry is taught. Half of schools stated there was not enough space in the curriculum dedicated to old age psychiatry, and not all medical school curricula offered a clinical attachment. Medical schools that involved academic old age psychiatrists in teaching (59%) showed a greater diversity of teaching methods.
There is a need to recognise the importance of old age psychiatry teaching, with the consensus of opinion continuing to be that more curriculum space needs to be given to old age psychiatry. To achieve this we advocate increasing the number of old age psychiatrists with teaching roles, as relying on academics to teach and lead on curriculum development is challenging given their greater research pressures.
Mesenchymal stem cell behavior can be regulated through mechanical signaling, either by dynamic loading or through biomaterial properties. We developed intrinsically responsive tissue engineering scaffolds that can dynamically load cells. Porous collagen- and alginate-based scaffolds were functionalized with iron oxide to produce magnetically active scaffolds. Reversible deformations in response to magnetic stimulation of up to 50% were recorded by tuning the material properties. Cells could attach to these scaffolds and magnetically induced compressive deformation did not adversely affect viability or cause cell release. This platform should have broad application in the mechanical stimulation of cells for tissue engineering applications.