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Recent world events, such as the rise of hypermasculine authoritarian leaders, have shown the importance of both sex and gender for understanding international politics. However, quantitative researchers of conflict have long relegated the study of sex and gender inequality as a cause of war to a specialized group of scholars, despite overwhelming evidence that the connections are profound and consequential. In this review essay, we demonstrate the tremendous progress made in this field by analyzing a wave of research that examines the relationships between sex and gender inequality and war. We divide this work into theories that emphasize strategy versus those that analyze structures. In addition, we focus on two aspects of this research agenda—specifying mechanisms that link sex and gender inequality to war, and leveraging data at multiple levels of analysis—to outline fruitful pathways forward for the broader international security research agenda. Ultimately, we argue that the study of the nexus of sex and gender inequality and war will enliven theoretical debates, illuminate new hypotheses, and enrich the policy discourse with robust evidence.
COVID-19 vaccination effectiveness in healthcare personnel (HCP) has been established, however, questions remain about its performance in high-risk healthcare occupations and work locations. We describe the effect of a COVID-19 HCP vaccination campaign on SARS-CoV-2 infection by timing of vaccination, job type, and work location.
A retrospective review of COVID-19 vaccination acceptance, incidence of post-vaccination COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality among 16,156 faculty, students, and staff at a large academic medical center was conducted. Data were collected 8 weeks prior to the start of Phase 1a vaccination of frontline employees and ended 11 weeks after campaign completion.
COVID-19 employee incidence rate at our institution decreased from 3.2% during the 8 weeks prior to the start of vaccinations to 0.38% by four weeks after campaign initiation. SARS-CoV-2 infection risk was reduced among individuals receiving a single vaccination (HR = 0.52 [0.40, 0.68], p<0.0001) and further reduced with 2 doses of vaccine (HR = 0.17 [0.09, 0.32], p<0.0001). By two weeks after the second dose, the observed case positivity rate was 0.04%. Among Phase 1a HCP, we observed a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among physicians and a trend toward higher risk for respiratory therapists independent of vaccination status. Rates of infection were similar in a sub-group of nurses when examined by work location.
Our findings show the real-world effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in HCP. Despite these encouraging results, unvaccinated HCP remain at an elevated risk of infection highlighting the need for targeted outreach to combat vaccine hesitancy.
Exposure to childhood maltreatment (CM) may disrupt typical development of neural systems underlying impulse control and emotion regulation. Yet resilient outcomes are observed in some individuals exposed to CM. Individual differences in adult functioning may result from variation in inhibitory control in the context of emotional distractions, underpinned by cognitive–affective brain circuits. Thirty-eight healthy adults with a history of substantiated CM and 34 nonmaltreated adults from the same longitudinal sample performed a Go/No-Go task in which task-relevant stimuli (letters) were presented at the center of task-irrelevant, negative, or neutral images, while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The comparison group, but not the maltreated group, made increased inhibitory control errors in the context of negative, but not neutral, distractor images. In addition, the comparison group had greater right inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral frontal pole activation during inhibitory control blocks with negative compared to neutral background images relative to the CM group. Across the full sample, greater adaptive functioning in everyday contexts was associated with superior inhibitory control and greater right frontal pole activation. Results suggest that resilience following early adversity is associated with enhanced attention and behavioral regulation in the context of task-irrelevant negative emotional stimuli in a laboratory setting.
Antidepressant medication and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both recommended interventions in depression treatment guidelines based on literature reviews and meta-analyses. However, ‘conventional’ meta-analyses comparing their efficacy are limited by their reliance on reported study-level information and a narrow focus on depression outcome measures assessed at treatment completion. Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis, considered the gold standard in evidence synthesis, can improve the quality of the analyses when compared with conventional meta-analysis.
We describe the protocol for a systematic review and IPD meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of antidepressants and IPT for adult acute-phase depression across a range of outcome measures, including depressive symptom severity as well as functioning and well-being, at both post-treatment and follow-up (PROSPERO: CRD42020219891).
We will conduct a systematic literature search in PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and the Cochrane Library to identify randomised clinical trials comparing antidepressants and IPT in the acute-phase treatment of adults with depression. We will invite the authors of these studies to share the participant-level data of their trials. One-stage IPD meta-analyses will be conducted using mixed-effects models to assess treatment effects at post-treatment and follow-up for all outcome measures that are assessed in at least two studies.
This will be the first IPD meta-analysis examining antidepressants versus IPT efficacy. This study has the potential to enhance our knowledge of depression treatment by comparing the short- and long-term effects of two widely used interventions across a range of outcome measures using state-of-the-art statistical techniques.
To determine whether age, gender and marital status are associated with prognosis for adults with depression who sought treatment in primary care.
Medline, Embase, PsycINFO and Cochrane Central were searched from inception to 1st December 2020 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of adults seeking treatment for depression from their general practitioners, that used the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule so that there was uniformity in the measurement of clinical prognostic factors, and that reported on age, gender and marital status. Individual participant data were gathered from all nine eligible RCTs (N = 4864). Two-stage random-effects meta-analyses were conducted to ascertain the independent association between: (i) age, (ii) gender and (iii) marital status, and depressive symptoms at 3–4, 6–8,<Vinod: Please carry out the deletion of serial commas throughout the article> and 9–12 months post-baseline and remission at 3–4 months. Risk of bias was evaluated using QUIPS and quality was assessed using GRADE. PROSPERO registration: CRD42019129512. Pre-registered protocol https://osf.io/e5zup/.
There was no evidence of an association between age and prognosis before or after adjusting for depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ that are associated with prognosis (symptom severity, durations of depression and anxiety, comorbid panic disorderand a history of antidepressant treatment). Difference in mean depressive symptom score at 3–4 months post-baseline per-5-year increase in age = 0(95% CI: −0.02 to 0.02). There was no evidence for a difference in prognoses for men and women at 3–4 months or 9–12 months post-baseline, but men had worse prognoses at 6–8 months (percentage difference in depressive symptoms for men compared to women: 15.08% (95% CI: 4.82 to 26.35)). However, this was largely driven by a single study that contributed data at 6–8 months and not the other time points. Further, there was little evidence for an association after adjusting for depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ and employment status (12.23% (−1.69 to 28.12)). Participants that were either single (percentage difference in depressive symptoms for single participants: 9.25% (95% CI: 2.78 to 16.13) or no longer married (8.02% (95% CI: 1.31 to 15.18)) had worse prognoses than those that were married, even after adjusting for depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ and all available confounders.
Clinicians and researchers will continue to routinely record age and gender, but despite their importance for incidence and prevalence of depression, they appear to offer little information regarding prognosis. Patients that are single or no longer married may be expected to have slightly worse prognoses than those that are married. Ensuring this is recorded routinely alongside depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ in clinic may be important.
COVID-19 altered research in Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs in an unprecedented manner, leading to adjustments for COVID-19 research.
CTSA members volunteered to conduct a review on the impact of CTSA network on COVID-19 pandemic with the assistance from NIH survey team in October 2020. The survey questions included the involvement of CTSAs in decision-making concerning the prioritization of COVID-19 studies. Descriptive and statistical analyses were conducted to analyze the survey data.
60 of the 64 CTSAs completed the survey. Most CTSAs lacked preparedness but promptly responded to the pandemic. Early disruption of research triggered, enhanced CTSA engagement, creation of dedicated research areas and triage for prioritization of COVID-19 studies. CTSAs involvement in decision-making were 16.75 times more likely to create dedicated diagnostic laboratories (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.17–129.39; P < 0.01). Likewise, institutions with internal funding were 3.88 times more likely to establish COVID-19 dedicated research (95% CI = 1.12–13.40; P < 0.05). CTSAs were instrumental in securing funds and facilitating establishment of laboratory/clinical spaces for COVID-19 research. Workflow was modified to support contracting and IRB review at most institutions with CTSAs. To mitigate chaos generated by competing clinical trials, central feasibility committees were often formed for orderly review/prioritization.
The lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic emphasize the pivotal role of CTSAs in prioritizing studies and establishing the necessary research infrastructure, and the importance of prompt and flexible research leadership with decision-making capacity to manage future pandemics.
COVID-19 has caused a major global pandemic and necessitated unprecedented public health restrictions in almost every country. Understanding risk factors for severe disease in hospitalised patients is critical as the pandemic progresses. This observational cohort study aimed to characterise the independent associations between the clinical outcomes of hospitalised patients and their demographics, comorbidities, blood tests and bedside observations. All patients admitted to Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK between 12 March and 15 April 2020 with COVID-19 were retrospectively identified. The primary outcome was death. Associations were explored using Cox proportional hazards modelling. The study included 981 patients. The mortality rate was 36.0%. Age (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.53), respiratory disease (aHR 1.37), immunosuppression (aHR 2.23), respiratory rate (aHR 1.28), hypoxia (aHR 1.36), Glasgow Coma Scale <15 (aHR 1.92), urea (aHR 2.67), alkaline phosphatase (aHR 2.53), C-reactive protein (aHR 1.15), lactate (aHR 2.67), platelet count (aHR 0.77) and infiltrates on chest radiograph (aHR 1.89) were all associated with mortality. These important data will aid clinical risk stratification and provide direction for further research.
Previous genetic association studies have failed to identify loci robustly associated with sepsis, and there have been no published genetic association studies or polygenic risk score analyses of patients with septic shock, despite evidence suggesting genetic factors may be involved. We systematically collected genotype and clinical outcome data in the context of a randomized controlled trial from patients with septic shock to enrich the presence of disease-associated genetic variants. We performed genomewide association studies of susceptibility and mortality in septic shock using 493 patients with septic shock and 2442 population controls, and polygenic risk score analysis to assess genetic overlap between septic shock risk/mortality with clinically relevant traits. One variant, rs9489328, located in AL589740.1 noncoding RNA, was significantly associated with septic shock (p = 1.05 × 10–10); however, it is likely a false-positive. We were unable to replicate variants previously reported to be associated (p < 1.00 × 10–6 in previous scans) with susceptibility to and mortality from sepsis. Polygenic risk scores for hematocrit and granulocyte count were negatively associated with 28-day mortality (p = 3.04 × 10–3; p = 2.29 × 10–3), and scores for C-reactive protein levels were positively associated with susceptibility to septic shock (p = 1.44 × 10–3). Results suggest that common variants of large effect do not influence septic shock susceptibility, mortality and resolution; however, genetic predispositions to clinically relevant traits are significantly associated with increased susceptibility and mortality in septic individuals.
Geological, geomorphological and soil maps provide important information on the substrate as well as on the past and present physical landscape. For the intensely studied Netherlands coastal plain and Rhine–Meuse delta, many such map datasets have been compiled over the last two centuries. These mapping materials comprise older and younger legacy datasets, often fragmented over regions. They have been compiled within various research traditions and by various parties, involving geologists, soil scientists, geomorphologists and landscape archaeologists. The maps and datasets summarise overwhelming amounts of underlying data accumulated over the last few centuries, and are therefore valuable for reconstructing past landscapes.
Digital-infrastructure developments have enhanced possibilities for recombining existing and new data over the last few decades, e.g. through GIS solutions such as palaeogeographical base maps, from which multiple derived map products can be generated. Integration of thematic information from various source maps and underlying data is needed to use the accumulated data diversity to its full potential and to answer applied and fundamental scientific questions. Using diverse information to compile or update maps, however, requires awareness of legacy surveying strategies and the state of knowledge at the time the original data and maps were produced. This paper reviews the soil, geological and geomorphological mapping traditions. We evaluate their products, underlying data and the reasoning behind their compilation, focusing on their use in conventional and digital palaeogeographical mapping. This helps get the most out of large quantities of legacy and modern data, a major challenge for surface and substrate digital mapping in the big-data era.
Asenapine is indicated in adults for acute treatment of schizophrenia and manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder with or without psychotic features. We report the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of asenapine in patients with bipolar I disorder completing up to 52 weeks of treatment.
Patients completing either of two 3-week efficacy trials and a 9-week double-blind extension were eligible for this 40-week double-blind extension. Patients in the 3-week trials were randomized to flexible-dose asenapine (5 or 10 mg BID), placebo, or olanzapine (5-20 mg QD; included for assay sensitivity only). Patients entering the extension continued their preestablished treatment; those originally randomized to placebo received flexible-dose asenapine (placebo/asenapine, 5 or 10 mg BID). Safety and tolerability endpoints included adverse events (AEs), extrapyramidal symptoms, laboratory values, and anthropometric measures. Efficacy was measured as the change in Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) total score from 3-week trial baseline to week 52; the placebo/asenapine group was included in the safety analyses.
Incidence of treatment-emergent AEs was 71.9%, 86.1%, and 79.4% with placebo/asenapine, asenapine, and olanzapine, respectively. The most frequent AEs included headache and somnolence (placebo/asenapine); insomnia, sedation, and depression (asenapine); and weight gain, somnolence, and sedation (olanzapine). Mean ± SD changes in YMRS score at week 52 among observed cases in the intent-to-treat population were -28.6±8.1 for asenapine and -28.2±6.8 for olanzapine.
In this 52-week study, asenapine was well tolerated and long-term maintenance of efficacy was supported in patients initially presenting with bipolar mania.
People with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder, have worse physical health and reduced life expectancy compared to the general population. The excess cardiovascular mortality associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is attributed in part to an increased risk of the modifiable coronary heart disease risk factors; obesity, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia.
Over recent years both national and international groups have developed screening and monitoring guidelines but these are not being routinely implemented in the clinical care of patients. A review of the literature identifies barriers to comprehensive screening, monitoring and treatment of somatic co-morbidities on the level of professionals (both within psychiatry as well as in primary care), patients, health care systems (organisational and financial aspects) and health policies.
Psychiatrists and primary care physicians should play an active role in ensuring that patients with mental illness are not disadvantaged. Measures should include the assessment and management of cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes as part of the care of their psychiatric patients. When indicated, shared care with cardiologists, diabetologists, specialist nurses or other specialists should be established.
The aim of the recent joint statement on cardiovascular disease an diabetes in people with severe mental illness of the EPA, EASD and ESC is to reduce cardiovascular risk and to improve diabetes care in patients with SMI and to improve overall health and well-being of the patients (De Hert et al. 2009). This should reduce the burden of physical illness for patients, their families and healthcare services.
Second-generation antipsychotics (SGA) are being used more often than ever before in children and adolescents with psychotic and a wide range of non-psychotic disorders. Several SGA have received regulatory approval for some paediatric indications in various countries, but off-label use is still frequent. The aim of this paper was to perform a systematic review and critically evaluate the literature on cardiometabolic and endocrine side-effects of SGA in children and adolescents through a Medline/Pubmed/Google Scholar search of randomized, placebo controlled trials of antipsychotics in children and adolescents (<18 years old) until February 2010. In total, 31 randomized, controlled studies including 3595 paediatric patients were identified. A review of these data confirmed that SGA are associated with relevant cardiometabolic and endocrine side-effects, and that children and adolescents have a high liability to experience antipsychotic induced hyperprolactinaemia, weight gain and associated metabolic disturbances. Only weight change data were sufficiently reported to conduct a formal meta-analysis. In 24 trials of 3048 paediatric patients with varying ages and diagnoses, ziprasidone was associated with the lowest weight gain (−0.04 kg, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.38 to +0.30), followed by aripiprazole (0.79 kg, 95% CI: 0.54 to 1.04], quetiapine (1.43 kg, 95% CI: 1.17 to 1.69) and risperidone (1.76 kg, 95% CI: 1.27 to 2.25) were intermediate, and olanzapine was associated with weight gain the most (3.45 kg, 95% CI: 2.93 to 3.97). Significant weight gain appeared to be more prevalent in patients with autistic disorder who were also younger and likely less exposed to antipsychotics previously. These data clearly suggest that close screening and monitoring of metabolic side effects is warranted and that the least cardiometabolically problematic agents should be used first whenever possible. A good collaboration between child- and adolescent psychiatrists, general practitioners and paediatricians is essential to maximize overall outcomes and to reduce the likelihood of premature cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) has a central role in brain dopamine, noradrenalin and adrenalin signaling, and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis and pharmacological treatment of affective disorders. The functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 4 (Val158Met, rs4680) influences the COMT enzyme activity. The Val158Met polymorphism is a commonly studied variant in psychiatric genetics, and initial studies in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder presented evidence for association with the Met allele. In unipolar depression, while some of the investigations point at an association between the Met/Met genotype and others have found a link between the Val/Val genotype and depression, most of the studies cannot detect any difference in Val158Met allele frequency between depressed individuals and controls.
In the present study, we further elucidated the impact of COMT polymorphisms including the Val158Met in MDD. We investigated 1,250 subjects with DSM-IV and/or ICD-10 diagnosis of major depression (MDD), and 1,589 control subjects from UK. A total of 24 SNPs spanning the COMT gene were successfully genotyped using the Illumina HumaHap610-Quad Beadchip (22 SNPs), SNPlex™ genotyping system (1 SNP), and Sequenom MassARRAY® iPLEX Gold (1 SNP). Statistical analyses were implemented using PASW Statistics18, FINETTI (http://ihg.gsf.de/cgi-bin/hw/hwa1.pl), UNPHASED version 3.0.10 program and Haploview 4.0 program.
Neither single-marker nor haplotypic association was found with the functional Val158Met polymorphism or with any of the other SNPs genotyped. Our findings do not provide evidence that COMT plays a role in MDD or that this gene explains part of the genetic overlap with bipolar disorder.
Given the limited knowledge on the long-term outcome of adolescents who receive electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the study aimed to follow-up adolescents treated with ECT for severe mood disorder. Eleven subjects treated during adolescence with bilateral ECT for psychotic depression (n = 6) or mania (n = 5), and ten psychiatric controls matched for sex, age, school level, and clinical diagnosis, completed at least 1 year after treatment a clinical and social evaluation. Mean duration between time of index episode and time of follow-up evaluation was 5.2 years (range 2–9 years). At follow-up: (1) all patients except two in the control group received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. (2) Fifteen patients had had more than one episode of mood disorder. (3) The two groups did not differ in social functioning nor school achievement. (4) Impact on school achievement was related to the severity of the mood disorder rather than ECT treatment. The results suggest that adolescents given ECT for bipolar disorder, depressed or manic, do not differ in subsequent school and social functioning from carefully matched controls.
We shall present the development of a cohort of 40 children aged from 6 to 11 who were initially diagnosed with ADHD (T0) and then reassessed after two years of treatment with multimodal treatment in addition to stimulant medication. At the outset of the study (T0) the children underwent a complete assessment which included a child psychiatric examination, a neuropsychological evaluation of attention skills and a psychodynamic psychological assessment using the T.A.T. and Rorschach projective tests interpreted from a psychoanalytic viewpoint. An identical protocol was used for the reassessment of the children two years later (T2).
Clinically, and from a strictly behavioral point of view, it is clear that there was a calming down of the symptoms associated with the ADHD. Can the same be said for the results of the neuro-psychological and projective tests as well as for the overall psychic functioning of the children?
At this point in our research, and taking into account that T 2 just ended, we can affirm that the children who were assessed with neurotic disorders (according to the classification of psychopathological disorders in childhood) were those who showed the clearest signs of improvement. We shall then study in depth the majority of the population who were assessed with borderline personality disorders (BPD). As these children received a multimodal treatment over the two years time of the study which involved either individual, group or family psychotherapy, we shall use brief clinical case studies for a comparative approach to our research results.
According to Oedegaard et al. (2010) the co-morbidity of migraine and bipolar disorder (BPD) is well documented in numerous epidemiological and clinical studies, and there are clear pathophysiological similarities. Interestingly, in a genome-wide scan, Lea et al. (2005) identified a susceptibility locus for a severe heritable form of common migraine on chromosome 3q29. With respect to BPD, a susceptibility region on chromosome 3q29 was identified in a genome-wide linkage scan (Bailer et al. 2002) and follow-up linkage analysis (Schosser et al. 2004). These findings were also supported by further fine-mapping of this region (Schosser et al. 2007). Since 3q29 is among the chromosomal regions implicated in migraine and bipolar linkage studies, the aim of the current study is to test for 3q29 association of migraine in sample of patients with BPD. The sample consists of 463 patients with a diagnosis of BPD (34.63% men, 65.37% women; mean age ± SD: 48.01 ± 11.26), as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition operational criteria (DSM-IV) and the International Classification of Diseases 10th edition operational criteria (ICD-10), derived from the Bipolar Affective Disorder Case Control Study (BACCS). A total of 51 SNPs in the region of the 3q29 were genotyped using Sequenom MassARRAY® iPLEX Gold and tested for association with migraine. The results of this association study investigating the 3q29 region in a sample of patients with BPD will be presented.