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We describe a case of healthcare-associated bloodstream infection due to Mycobacterium fortuitum. Whole-genome sequencing showed that the same strain was isolated from the shared shower water of the unit. Nontuberculous mycobacteria frequently contaminate hospital water networks. Preventative actions are needed to reduce the exposure risk for immunocompromised patients.
Obesity is a major burden on the health system in England and the rest of the UK. Obesity prevalence is high in adults and children and most of the UK population are consuming more energy than required, and not meeting other dietary recommendations, including those for saturated fat, free sugars, fibre, oily fish and fruit and vegetables. Over the past 5 years, a number of cross-government policies, both promoting voluntary action and legislative, have been put in place to tackle diet-related health and obesity. The food environment is complex with many influencing factors, some of which act through individual automatic choices. Other factors such as accessibility, advertising, promotion and nudging drive increased food and drink purchases. With continual changes in the food environment favouring fast-food outlets and meal delivery companies alongside the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diets and physical activity levels, further governmental action is likely needed to deliver sustained improvements to diet and health.
This study aimed to investigate the association between consumption of ultra-processed foods, whole foods and breast cancer risk in black women from Soweto, South Africa. A population-based case (n 396)–control (n 396) study matched on age and residence, using data from the South African Breast Cancer study. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated quantified FFQ. Food items were categorised using the NOVA system ((1) unprocessed/minimally processed foods, (2) culinary ingredients, (3) processed foods and (4) ultra-processed foods). Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate OR and 95 % CI of dietary contributions from each NOVA food group (as a percentage of total energy intake (EI)) and adjusting for potential confounders. Considering contributions to total EI per day, ultra-processed food consumption contributed to 44·8 % in cases and 47·9 % in controls, while unprocessed/minimally processed foods contributed to 38·8 % in cases and 35·2 % in controls. Unprocessed/minimally processed food consumption showed an inverse association with breast cancer risk overall (OR = 0·52, 95 % CI 0·35, 0·78), as well as in pre- and postmenopausal women separately (OR = 0·52, 95 % CI 0·27, 0·95 and OR = 0·55, 95 % CI 0·35, 0·89, respectively) and in women with progesterone positive breast cancer (OR = 0·23, 95 % CI 0·06, 0·86). There was no heterogeneity in association with breast cancer when analyses were stratified according to BMI. No significant associations were observed for the consumption of other NOVA food groups. Intake of unprocessed/minimally processed foods may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in black women from Soweto, South Africa.
Ambulance patients who are unable to be quickly transferred to an emergency department (ED) bed represent a key contributing factor to ambulance offload delay (AOD). Emergency department crowding and associated AOD are exacerbated by multiple factors, including infectious disease outbreaks such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Initiatives to address AOD present an opportunity to streamline ambulance offload procedures while improving patient outcomes.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the initial outcomes and impact of a novel Emergency Medical Service (EMS)-based Hospital Liaison Program (HLP) on ambulance offload times (AOTs).
Ambulance offload times associated with EMS patients transported to a community hospital six months before and after HLP implementation were retrospectively analyzed using proportional significance tests, t-tests, and multiple regression analysis.
A proportional increase in incidents in the zero to <30 minutes time category after program implementation (+2.96%; P <.01) and a commensurate decrease in the proportion of incidents in the 30 to <60 minutes category (−2.65%; P <.01) were seen. The fully adjusted regression model showed AOT was 16.31% lower (P <.001) after HLP program implementation, holding all other variables constant.
The HLP is an innovative initiative that constitutes a novel pathway for EMS and hospital systems to synergistically enhance ambulance offload procedures. The greatest effect was demonstrated in patients exhibiting potentially life-threatening symptoms, with a reduction of approximately three minutes. While small, this outcome was a statistically significant decrease from the pre-intervention period. Ultimately, the HLP represents an additional strategy to complement existing approaches to mitigate AOD.
Irregular hospital discharge is highly prevalent among people admitted to hospital for mental health reasons. No study has examined the relationship between irregular discharge, post-discharge mortality and treatment setting (i.e. mortality after patients are discharged from acute in-patient or residential mental health settings).
To understand the relationship between irregular discharge and mortality among patients discharged from acute in-patient and residential settings.
A retrospective study was conducted in members of the US veteran population discharged from acute in-patient or residential settings of the US Department of Veterans Affairs between 2003 and 2018. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards were used to evaluate associations between irregular discharge and suicide, external-cause (as defined by ICD-10 Codes: V01-Y98) and all-cause mortality in the first 30-, 90- and 180-days post-discharge.
There were over 1.5 million mental health discharges between 2003 and 2018. Patients with an irregular discharge were at increased risk for suicide, external-cause and all-cause mortality in the first 180 days after discharge. In the first 30 days after discharge, patients with irregular discharge had more than three times greater suicide risk than patients with regular discharge (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 3.41, 95% CI 2.21–5.25). Suicide risk was higher among patients with irregular discharge in the first 30 days after acute in-patient discharge (adjusted HR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.11–2.16). In both settings, the mortality risk associated with irregular discharge attenuated but remained elevated within 90 and 180 days.
Irregular discharge after an acute in-patient or residential stay poses a large risk for mortality soon after discharge. Clinicians must identify effective interventions to mitigate harms associated with irregular discharge in these settings.
Given the high prevalence of multiple non-communicable chronic diseases in Mexico, the aim of the present study was to assess the association between dietary patterns and sleep disorders in a national representative sample of 5076 Mexican adults (20–59 years) from the 2016 National Health and Nutrition Survey. Through a cross-sectional study, we used the Berlin sleep symptoms questionnaire to estimate the proportion of adults with insomnia, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and other related problems such as daytime symptoms and inadequate sleep duration. Dietary data were collected through a seven-day semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and dietary patterns were determined through cluster analysis. Associations between dietary patterns and sleep disorders were assessed by multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, well-being, rural/urban area type, geographical region, tobacco use, physical activity level and energy intake. Three dietary patterns were identified: traditional (high in legumes and tortilla), industrialised (high in sugar-sweetened beverages, fast foods, and alcohol, coffee or tea) and mixed (high in meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables). Multivariate logistic regression showed that the industrialised pattern yielded higher odds for daytime symptoms (OR 1⋅49; 95 % CI 1⋅12, 1⋅99) and OSA (OR 1⋅63; 95 % CI 1⋅21, 2⋅19) compared with the traditional pattern. In conclusion, dietary patterns are associated with sleep disorders in Mexican adults. Further research is required to break the vicious cycle of poor-quality diet, sleep symptoms and health.
We aimed to evaluate the association between eating context patterns and ultraprocessed food consumption at two main meal occasions in a representative sample of UK adolescents. Data were acquired from 4-d food records of adolescents aged 11–18 years, who participated in the 2014–2016 UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (n 542). The eating context was assessed considering the location of the meal (lunch and dinner) occasion, the individuals present, whether the television was on and if the food was consumed at a table. Ultraprocessed foods were identified using the NOVA classification. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify eating context patterns for lunch and dinner. Linear regression models adjusted for the covariates were utilised to test the association between eating context patterns and the proportion of total daily energy intake derived from ultraprocessed foods. Their contribution was about 67 % to energy intake. Three patterns were retained for lunch (‘At school with friends’, ‘TV during family meal’ and ‘Out-of-home (no school)’), and three patterns were retained for dinner (‘Watching TV alone in the bedroom’, ‘TV during family meal’ and ‘Out-of-home with friends’). At lunch, there was no significant association between any of the three patterns and ultraprocessed food consumption. At dinner, the patterns ‘Watching TV alone in the bedroom’ (coefficient: 4·95; 95 % CI 1·87, 8·03) and ‘Out-of-home with friends’ (coefficient: 3·13; 95 % CI 0·21, 6·14) were associated with higher consumption of ultraprocessed food. Our findings suggest a potential relationship between the immediate eating context and ultraprocessed food consumption by UK adolescents.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a familial psychiatric disorder associated with frontotemporal and subcortical brain abnormalities. It is unclear whether such abnormalities are present in relatives without BD, and little is known about structural brain trajectories in those at risk.
Neuroimaging was conducted at baseline and at 2-year follow-up interval in 90 high-risk individuals with a first-degree BD relative (HR), and 56 participants with no family history of mental illness who could have non-BD diagnoses. All 146 subjects were aged 12–30 years at baseline. We examined longitudinal change in gray and white matter volume, cortical thickness, and surface area in the frontotemporal cortex and subcortical regions.
Compared to controls, HR participants showed accelerated cortical thinning and volume reduction in right lateralised frontal regions, including the inferior frontal gyrus, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, frontal pole and rostral middle frontal gyrus. Independent of time, the HR group had greater cortical thickness in the left caudal anterior cingulate cortex, larger volume in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex and greater area of right accumbens, compared to controls. This pattern was evident even in those without the new onset of psychopathology during the inter-scan interval.
This study suggests that differences previously observed in BD are developing prior to the onset of the disorder. The pattern of pathological acceleration of cortical thinning is likely consistent with a disturbance of molecular mechanisms responsible for normal cortical thinning. We also demonstrate that neuroanatomical differences in HR individuals may be progressive in some regions and stable in others.
Writing about the perfect fifths that begin the first movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Donald Francis Tovey made the following observation:
Half the musical miseducation in the world comes from people who know that the Ninth Symphony begins on the dominant of D minor, when the fact is that its opening bare fifth may mean anything within D major, D minor, A major, A minor, E major, E minor, C sharp minor, G major, C major, and F major … A true analysis takes the standpoint of a listener who knows nothing beforehand, but hears and remembers everything.
The Allegretto from Beethoven's Symphony no. 7 in A Major, op. 92 (1811–12), remains one of his most popular works—an instantaneous “hit” ever since its first public performance in Vienna's University Aula on December 8, 1813, evidenced by the audience's demand for an immediate encore. The same reaction greeted the Allegretto at its second performance, an event that took place one week later. The reasons for this movement's popularity are, it would seem, self-evident. To begin with, it is relatively short, clocking in at anywhere from approximately seven to ten minutes, depending on what tempo is chosen by the conductor. Its brevity alone is an especially interesting feature given the immense size of the movement that precedes it and those that follow. Its A-minor modality, beginning with a simple, but oddly unsettling, second-inversion chord in the winds, is followed by a staccato theme in the lower strings, with a rhythmic profile comprising dactyls and spondees. Together these create a hypnotic effect. The legato counter-theme, first introduced in measure 27 in the cellos, adds an attractive new element of seductive sensuality and exoticism, created in part by its Schleifer (grace-note slides) and the subtle chromatic inflections in the counter-theme's second half. Finally, the two contrasting episodes in A major bring a welcome contrasting element of lyricism, calm, and warmth. The unveiling of its opening theme with its monotone repeated notes on the dominant of the central tonality of A minor (E), unfolds as if to suggest that we are experiencing a theme and variations form. The movement's macrostructure ultimately presents itself as a five-part rondo, although it deviates slightly from the strict definition of the form.
La problématique du suicide est une question complexe aux Antilles car les derniers chiffres de prévalence de la mortalité par suicide indiquent une sous suicidalité dans cette région du monde. Il n’existe actuellement aucun chiffre sur la prévalence des tentatives de suicide (TS) et peu d’étude descriptive de cette population.
L’étude POSTA vise à établir un état des lieux de la population des sujets pris en charge au CHU de Martinique pour TS ou pour idéations suicidaires avec antécédent de TS.
Soixante-six patients ont été inclus en septembre/octobre 2013 (80 % pour TS et 20 % pour idéations suicidaires). On observe : 68,1 % de femmes, la population suicidante est plutôt jeune, avec une surreprésentation des personnes célibataires et divorcées, inactifs ou au chômage et plutôt avec un bon niveau scolaire comparativement à la population martiniquaise. La majorité n’est pas en contact avec le système de soin primaire de façon régulière. Trente-huit pour cent rapporte une addiction aux substances dont un quart sont pris en charge (37,7 % déclarent avoir consommé une substance au moment de l’acte). Deux tiers ont déjà été en contact avec le système de santé mentale. Deux tiers rapporte des évènements de vie à potentiel traumatique (30 % rapportent une agression sexuelle). La moitié a déjà réalisé une TS par le passé et 85 % des passages à l’acte sont réalisés de manière impulsive. Les premiers résultats montrent que les sujets consultants pour idéations suicidaires avec antécédents de TS sont majoritairement des hommes avec un score élevé à l’Hospital Anxiete Depression Scale (HADS), ce résultat est intéressant car cette population est à haut risque de suicide réussi.
Cette étude permettra de faire un état des lieux descriptifs de cette population avant la mise en place d’une étude modifiant la prise en charge de ces patients.
Preliminary data suggest that patients who suffer from both bipolar disorder (BD) and alcohol dependence (AD) may be more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction than patients with a single diagnosis, especially during periods that are clinically unstable.
The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive recovery of dually-diagnosed patients during remission from an acute mood disturbance.
The study aimed to replicate our previous comparison of cognitive functioning between BD patients with and without AD, while on the inpatient unit, and to extend this investigation in a longitudinal design post-discharge.
Fifty-five adult inpatients with bipolar I disorder completed a neuropsychological battery, mood measures and substance abuse measures upon discharge from the hospital and at a 3 month follow up. Analyses provided group comparisons on these measures between patients who presented with co-occurrence of AD (n = 21) in the year prior to hospital admission and patients without a Substance Use Disorder (SUD; n = 34).
Compared to patients without SUD, dually-diagnosed patients scored significantly more poorly on measures of visual memory, verbal memory and executive functioning both at hospital discharge and follow-up. They also exhibited more limited recovery of these functions over the course of this period. Mood symptoms decreased in both groups from discharge to follow up.
Patients with co-occurring BD and AD may suffer from more severe cognitive dysfunction and less favorable recovery of cognitive deficits than BD patients without SUD over the course of remission from a mood episode.
Patients with schizophrenia display significant working memory and executive deficits. In patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), several studies suggest that working memory dysfunction may be one of the causes of compulsive checking behaviors. Hence, this study aimed at assessing whether patients with schizophrenia were impaired on an image comparison task used to measure checking behaviors, and whether the origin and profile of impairment on this task was different between schizophrenia and OCD.
Eye movement recordings were used to assess the checking behavior of 24 patients with schizophrenia and 24 control participants who had to decide whether two images were different or identical. The verbal and visuo-spatial components of participants’ working memory were measured using the reading span and backward location span tests.
Compared to controls, patients with schizophrenia had reduced working memory spans and showed excessive checking behavior when comparing the two images. However, the intensity of their checking behavior was not significantly related to their working memory deficits.
Several recent studies demonstrated that the excessive checking behaviors displayed by patients with OCD were related to working memory dysfunction. The absence of a relationship between the excessive checking behavior of patients with schizophrenia and their working memory deficits suggests that checking behaviors do not have the same origin in the two disorders.
Previous theories about the etiology of cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder (BD) emphasize trait factors such as chronic neurological impairment. State factors that may contribute to cognitive deficits in BD have not yet been considered.
The purpose of this study was to examine changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) arousal in response to cognitive challenge. The study aimed to determine whether ANS arousal during cognitive testing was associated with test performance in patients with BD and healthy controls (HC).
Twenty-eight euthymic patients with BD and twelve HC completed the study. Participants completed mood (BDI-II, YMRS), anxiety (STAI), and substance abuse (DAST, AUDIT) measures. They were then connected to an ECG device, a sensitive thermometer (i.e. measuring figure temperature) and electrodes that measure Galvanic skin Response (GSR). After a 5-minute baseline measurement at rest, participants completed a computerized neuropsychological battery (CNS-VS).
The group with BD reported significantly more mood symptoms and scored higher on a measure of state anxiety than HC. At baseline and during testing, analysis revealed higher ANS arousal on all physiological measures in the BD group relative to HC. In addition, the relative increase in arousal from baseline to testing was higher in the BD group. HC scored higher than patients with BD on most memory, attention and executive measures, with effect sizes ranging from 0.8 to 1.3.
Acute ANS arousal in response to cognitive challenge, as measured by neuropsychological testing, may increase cognitive deficits in people with BD.
Cognitive deficits are a core feature of the first psychotic episode patients and could be an obstacle to functional ability. Cognitive stimulation could be a promising method to surpass neuropsychological deficits.
–to implement an online training protocol to stable first psychotic episode outpatients;
–to assess adherence to the intervention;
–to measure neurocognitive, psychopathological and functional outcomes pre- and post-training.
To investigate the feasibility of an online-based resource for cognitive stimulation (COGWEB®) and explore possible benefits in different domains.
Fifteen patients were enrolled from the Early Psychosis Intervention Program (PROFIP) at the Department of Psychiatry of Santa Maria Hospital, Lisbon. The training consisted on 30-40-minute online sessions performed every weekday during 6 months at home. Assessments were performed at baseline and after program completion and included: psychopathological scores; personal and social functioning scores; Clinical Global Impression and a neuropsychological battery.
Every participant had some kind of impairment on baseline. Mean training time was 36 h. Six patients left the program before completion (half of them because they got employed). The program showed overall good feasibility and safety with no reported significant psychiatric occurrences or hospitalizations. Results regarding final neuropsychological, psychopathological and functioning showed a tendency for stability or improvement on an individual case analysis.
Our results show that cognitive training using an online-based stimulation software is a feasible intervention for first-episode psychosis patients with possible benefits for this population. However, results should be analyzed very carefully because of different participant trajectories and of study limitations.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
The present commentary contains a clear and simple guide designed to identify ultra-processed foods. It responds to the growing interest in ultra-processed foods among policy makers, academic researchers, health professionals, journalists and consumers concerned to devise policies, investigate dietary patterns, advise people, prepare media coverage, and when buying food and checking labels in shops or at home. Ultra-processed foods are defined within the NOVA classification system, which groups foods according to the extent and purpose of industrial processing. Processes enabling the manufacture of ultra-processed foods include the fractioning of whole foods into substances, chemical modifications of these substances, assembly of unmodified and modified food substances, frequent use of cosmetic additives and sophisticated packaging. Processes and ingredients used to manufacture ultra-processed foods are designed to create highly profitable (low-cost ingredients, long shelf-life, emphatic branding), convenient (ready-to-consume), hyper-palatable products liable to displace all other NOVA food groups, notably unprocessed or minimally processed foods. A practical way to identify an ultra-processed product is to check to see if its list of ingredients contains at least one item characteristic of the NOVA ultra-processed food group, which is to say, either food substances never or rarely used in kitchens (such as high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or interesterified oils, and hydrolysed proteins), or classes of additives designed to make the final product palatable or more appealing (such as flavours, flavour enhancers, colours, emulsifiers, emulsifying salts, sweeteners, thickeners, and anti-foaming, bulking, carbonating, foaming, gelling and glazing agents).
The Protestant work ethic (PWE), or the belief that hard work leads to success, is a popular belief across cultures. Much work indicates that PWE contributes to negative evaluations of disadvantaged groups presumably through the notion that they deserve their disadvantage for not working hard enough (“PWE-Justifier”). But there is another dimension of PWE that expresses the belief that everyone could succeed through hard work (“PWE-Equalizer”). We propose that the PWE-Justifier is meaningful in cultures that emphasize individualism and personal responsibility, but not in others. In a cross-cultural study, we compare how PWE-Justifier relates to evaluations of poor persons in the USA (individualist culture) and the Philippines (low individualist culture). In the USA sample, regression analysis indicated that internal attributions of poverty mediated the relationships of PWE-Justifier with negative stereotypes (R2 = .32) and with negative attitudes towards poor persons (R2 = .13). Bootstrapping analysis indicated that both indirect effects of PWE-Justifier were significant: Negative stereotypes, B = .17, SE = .03, p < .0001, 95% CI [.11, .24]; negative attitudes, B = 2.52, SE = 1.11, p = .014, 95% CI [0.49, 4.84]. The results were not found in the Philippine sample, where instead, PWE-Equalizer negatively predicted negative attitudes (R2 = .05) and positively predicted empathy (R2 = .05) for poor persons. The results are discussed in terms of how the negative consequences of PWE may derive from the cultural syndrome of individualism that emphasizes personal control and responsibility.
Apathy is a very common behavioural and psychological symptom across brain disorders. In the last decade, there have been considerable advances in research on apathy and motivation. It is thus important to revise the apathy diagnostic criteria published in 2009. The main objectives were to: a) revise the definition of apathy; b) update the list of apathy dimensions; c) operationalise the diagnostic criteria; and d) suggest appropriate assessment tools including new technologies.
The expert panel (N = 23) included researchers and health care professionals working on brain disorders and apathy, a representative of a regulatory body, and a representative of the pharmaceutical industry. The revised diagnostic criteria for apathy were developed in a two-step process. First, following the standard Delphi methodology, the experts were asked to answer questions via web-survey in two rounds. Second, all the collected information was discussed on the occasion of the 26th European Congress of Psychiatry held in Nice (France).
Apathy was defined as a quantitative reduction of goal-directed activity in comparison to the patient’s previous level of functioning (criterion A). Symptoms must persist for at least four weeks, and affect at least two of the three apathy dimensions (behaviour/cognition; emotion; social interaction; criterion B). Apathy should cause identifiable functional impairments (criterion C), and should not be fully explained by other factors, such as effects of a substance or major changes in the patient’s environment (Criterion D).
Apathy diagnostic criteria 2018.
CRITERION A: A quantitative reduction of goal-directed activity either in behavioral, cognitive, emotional or social dimensions in comparison to the patient’s previous level of functioning in these areas. These changes may be reported by the patient himself/herself or by observation of others.
CRITERION B: The presence of at least 2 of the 3 following dimensions for a period of at least four weeks and present most of the time B1. BEHAVIOUR & COGNITION Loss of, or diminished, goal-directed behaviour or cognitive activity as evidenced by at least one of the following: General level of activity: the patient has a reduced level of activity either at home or work, makes less effort to initiate or accomplish tasks spontaneously, or needs to be prompted to perform them. Persistence of activity: He/she is less persistent in maintaining an activity or conversation, finding solutions to problems or thinking of alternative ways to accomplish them if they become difficult. Making choices: He/she has less interest or takes longer to make choices when different alternatives exist (e.g., selecting TV programs, preparing meals, choosing from a menu, etc.) Interest in external issue: He/she has less interest in or reacts less to news, either good or bad, or has less interest in doing new things Personal wellbeing: He/she is less interested in his/her own health and wellbeing or personal image (general appearance, grooming, clothes, etc.). B2. EMOTION Loss of, or diminished, emotion as evidenced by at least one of the following: Spontaneous emotions: the patient shows less spontaneous (self-generated) emotions regarding their own affairs, or appears less interested in events that should matter to him/her or to people that he/she knows well. Emotional reactions to environment: He/she expresses less emotional reaction in response to positive or negative events in his/her environment that affect him/her or people he/she knows well (e.g., when things go well or bad, responding to jokes, or events on a TV program or a movie, or when disturbed or prompted to do things he/she would prefer not to do). Impact on others: He/she is less concerned about the impact of his/her actions or feelings on the people around him/her. Empathy: He/she shows less empathy to the emotions or feelings of others (e.g., becoming happy or sad when someone is happy or sad, or being moved when others need help). Verbal or physical expressions: He/she shows less verbal or physical reactions that reveal his/her emotional states. B3. SOCIAL INTERACTION Loss of, or diminished engagement in social interaction as evidenced by at least one of the following: Spontaneous social initiative: the patient takes less initiative in spontaneously proposing social or leisure activities to family or others. Environmentally stimulated social interaction: He/she participates less, or is less comfortable or more indifferent to social or leisure activities suggested by people around him/her. Relationship with family members: He/she shows less interest in family members (e.g., to know what is happening to them, to meet them or make arrangements to contact them). Verbal interaction: He/she is less likely to initiate a conversation, or he/she withdraws soon from it Homebound: He /She prefer to stays at home more frequently or longer than usual and shows less interest in getting out to meet people.
CRITERION C These symptoms (A - B) cause clinically significant impairment in personal, social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
CRITERION D The symptoms (A - B) are not exclusively explained or due to physical disabilities (e.g. blindness and loss of hearing), to motor disabilities, to a diminished level of consciousness, to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g. drug of abuse, medication), or to major changes in the patient’s environment.
The new diagnostic criteria for apathy provide a clinical and scientific framework to increase the validity of apathy as a clinical construct. This should also help to pave the path for apathy in brain disorders to be an interventional target.