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During the first wave of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 epidemic in the Netherlands, notifications consisted mostly of patients with relatively severe disease. To enable real-time monitoring of the incidence of mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – for which medical consultation might not be required – the Infectieradar web-based syndromic surveillance system was launched in mid-March 2020. Our aim was to quantify associations between Infectieradar participant characteristics and the incidence of self-reported COVID-19-like illness. Recruitment for this cohort study was via a web announcement. After registering, participants completed weekly questionnaires, reporting the occurrence of a set of symptoms. The incidence rate of COVID-19-like illness was estimated and multivariable Poisson regression used to estimate the relative risks associated with sociodemographic variables, lifestyle factors and pre-existing medical conditions. Between 17 March and 24 May 2020, 25 663 active participants were identified, who reported 7060 episodes of COVID-19-like illness over 131 404 person-weeks of follow-up. The incidence rate declined over the analysis period, consistent with the decline in notified cases. Male sex, age 65+ years and higher education were associated with a significantly lower COVID-19-like illness incidence rate (adjusted rate ratios (RRs) of 0.80 (95% CI 0.76–0.84), 0.77 (0.70–0.85), 0.84 (0.80–0.88), respectively) and the baseline characteristics ever-smoker, asthma, allergies, diabetes, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease and children in the household were associated with a higher incidence (RRs of 1.11 (1.04–1.19) to 1.69 (1.50–1.90)). Web-based syndromic surveillance has proven useful for monitoring the temporal trends in, and risk factors associated with, the incidence of mild disease. Increased relative risks observed for several patient factors could reflect a combination of exposure risk, susceptibility to infection and propensity to report symptoms.
In Ireland, regularly reviewed Individual Care Plans (ICPs) for inpatients at all acute psychiatric inpatient units are a requirement of the Mental Health Act 2001. In this study, we comprehensively evaluated and compared opinions of key stakeholders in relation to the ICP as a care delivery tool.
We employed a descriptive survey design. Questionnaires were distributed to 123 stakeholders (patients and mental health professionals (MHPs)) to evaluate and compare opinions regarding the impact of the ICP in relation to healthcare delivery and health outcomes, and regarding the structure and frequency of use of the ICP.
Ninety-eight stakeholders (80%) completed study questionnaires. Stakeholders (patients (58%) and MHPs (85%)) reported that the ICP assisted in healthcare delivery. However, different attitudes between groups were noted in relation to whether the ICP contributed towards healthcare outcomes, with 64% of patients, but only 41% of MHPs reporting that the ICP positively contributed to mental healthcare outcomes. Some free-text comments described patient dissatisfaction with the role of the ICP for healthcare delivery, and MHP dissatisfaction that the ICP was time-consuming and did not significantly enhance standard patient care.
Whilst the implementation of the ICP is generally viewed positively by both patients and MHPs, considerable dissatisfaction by MHPs was also noted with certain aspects of how the ICP was delivered in practice. Practical adjustments to the implementation of ICP in order to build more positive stakeholder experiences appear warranted and worthy of further research.
Previously reported associations between hospital-level antibiotic use and hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile infection (HO-CDI) were reexamined using 2012–2018 data from a new cohort of US acute-care hospitals. This analysis revealed significant positive associations between total, third-generation, and fourth-generation cephalosporin, fluoroquinolone, carbapenem, and piperacillin-tazobactam use and HO-CDI rates, confirming previous findings.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of a new viral entity, coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), to be a worldwide pandemic. The characteristics of this virus, as well as its short- and long-term implications, are not yet well understood. The objective of the current paper was to provide a critical review of the emerging literature on COVID-19 and its implications for neurological, neuropsychiatric, and cognitive functioning.
A critical review of recently published empirical research, case studies, and reviews pertaining to central nervous system (CNS) complications of COVID-19 was conducted by searching PubMed, PubMed Central, Google Scholar, and bioRxiv.
After considering the available literature, areas thought to be most pertinent to clinical and research neuropsychologists, including CNS manifestations, neurologic symptoms/syndromes, neuroimaging, and potential long-term implications of COVID-19 infection, were reviewed.
Once thought to be merely a respiratory virus, the scientific and medical communities have realized COVID-19 to have broader effects on renal, vascular, and neurological body systems. The question of cognitive deficits is not yet well studied, but neuropsychologists will undoubtedly play an important role in the years to come.
To examine the psychological and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions on a cohort of patients with severe and enduring mental illness treated with clozapine.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 63 individuals attending a clozapine clinic within the Galway–Roscommon Mental Health Services to determine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and depressive symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life, by utilising Likert scale data. The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) were additionally utilised to measure anxiety symptoms cross-sectionally.
Anxiety symptoms were low with a median BAI score of 4.0 and HAM-A score of 4.0. Likert scale measurements recorded only a modest adverse impact of COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and depressive symptoms, quality of life and occupational and social functioning. Free-text comments from patients (n = 55), were grouped into five themes: neutral impact (n = 22), negative psychological impact (n = 13), negative social impact (n = 11), positive psychological impact (n = 5) and media coverage inducing anxiety (n = 4).
Three months into the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, the impact on individuals with treatment-resistant psychotic disorders attending a clozapine clinic has been modest, with preliminary evidence demonstrating minimal increases in subjective symptoms of anxiety and reduced social functioning. Reduced social engagements and supports attainable both within the community and from mental health services were noted by some participants.
To examine if the Covid-19 pandemic is associated with a differential effect over time in relation to its’ psychological and social impact on patients with established anxiety disorders.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 individuals attending the Galway-Roscommon Mental Health Services with an ICD-10 diagnosis of an anxiety disorder at two-time points (six-months apart) to determine the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions on anxiety and depressive symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life.
No statistical difference in symptomatology was noted between the two time points in relation to anxiety symptoms as measured utilising psychometric rating scales (BAI, HARS) or utilising a Likert Scale. The greatest impact of COVID-19 at both time points related to social functioning and quality of life. Significant variability was noted for individual participants. Qualitative analysis noted social isolation, concern for the participants’ future and increased difficulty managing anxiety with ongoing restrictions.
No significant overall change in symptomatology or functioning over time was noted for individuals with pre-existing anxiety disorders. Variability was however demonstrated between individuals, with some individuals describing ongoing anxiety, social isolation and concern for their future. Identifying those with ongoing symptoms or distress and providing multidisciplinary support to this cohort is suggested.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: Our work provides guidance on whether dietary fat intake influences serum cholesterol levels in response to ketogenic diet therapy in adults with epilepsy. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: The modified Atkins diet (MAD) is used in the management of drug-resistant epilepsy in adults. Some patients on MAD show an increase in serum levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We explored whether dietary fat composition predicts short-term elevations in serum lipid levels in diet-naive adults who begin MAD. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Participants self-reported their diet intake with 3-day food records at baseline, 1 month and 2 months. Food records were analyzed using Nutrition Data System for Research software. Fasting serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides were also collected and LDL level calculated at baseline, 1 month, and 2 months. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: 38 patients submitted complete food records at each study visit (baseline, 1 month, and 2 month). Compared to baseline diet intake, there was a significant reduction in daily carbohydrate intake at 1 and 2 months (p<0.001) and a significant increase in daily fat intake at 1 and 2 months (p<0.001). There was also a significant increase in daily saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake at 1 and 2 months (p<0.001), daily mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) intake at 1 and 2 months (p<0.001), and daily cholesterol intake at 1 month (p<0.05) and 2 months (p<0.001), but no change in daily poly-unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake over time. Compared to baseline, there was a significant increase in serum LDL at 1 month (p<0.001) and 2 months (p<0.01) and an increase in serum TC at 1 month (p<0.01) but not 2 months. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: Despite a significant increase in total fat, saturated fat and mono-unsaturated fat intake as well as an increase in total cholesterol and LDL levels following MAD initiation, dietary fat composition appears to minimally predict serum lipid values in the short term.
We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakening. Adverse impacts on human society include increasing water shortages and impacts on mental health. Options for solutions emerge from rethinking economic models, rights-based litigation, strengthened governance systems and a new social contract. The disruption caused by COVID-19 could be seized as an opportunity for positive change, directing economic stimulus towards sustainable investments.
A synthesis is made of ten fields within climate science where there have been significant advances since mid-2019, through an expert elicitation process with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) a better understanding of equilibrium climate sensitivity; (2) abrupt thaw as an accelerator of carbon release from permafrost; (3) changes to global and regional land carbon sinks; (4) impacts of climate change on water crises, including equity perspectives; (5) adverse effects on mental health from climate change; (6) immediate effects on climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for recovery packages to deliver on the Paris Agreement; (7) suggested long-term changes to governance and a social contract to address climate change, learning from the current pandemic, (8) updated positive cost–benefit ratio and new perspectives on the potential for green growth in the short- and long-term perspective; (9) urban electrification as a strategy to move towards low-carbon energy systems and (10) rights-based litigation as an increasingly important method to address climate change, with recent clarifications on the legal standing and representation of future generations.
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Stronger permafrost thaw, COVID-19 effects and growing mental health impacts among highlights of latest climate science.
Out-of-network air ambulance bills are a pernicious and financially devastating type of surprise medical bill. Courts have broadly interpreted the Airline Deregulation Act to preempt most state attempts to regulate air ambulance billing abuses, so a federal solution is ultimately needed. However, in the absence of a federal fix, states have experimented with a variety of approaches that may survive preemption and provide some protections for their citizens
To examine the psychological and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with established anxiety disorders during a period of stringent mandated social restrictions.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 individuals attending the Galway-Roscommon Mental Health Services with an International Classification of Diseases diagnosis of an anxiety disorder to determine the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and mood symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life.
Twelve (40.0%) participants described COVID-19 restrictions as having a deleterious impact on their anxiety symptoms. Likert scale measurements noted that the greatest impact of COVID-19 related to social functioning (mean = 4.5, SD = 2.9), with a modest deleterious effect on anxiety symptoms noted (mean = 3.8, SD = 2.9). Clinician rated data noted that 8 (26.7%) participants had disimproved and 14 (46.7%) participants had improved since their previous clinical review, prior to commencement of COVID-19 restrictions. Conditions associated with no ‘trigger’, such as generalised anxiety disorder, demonstrated a non-significant increase in anxiety symptoms compared to conditions with a ‘trigger’, such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Psychiatric or physical comorbidity did not substantially impact on symptomatology secondary to COVID-19 mandated restrictions.
The psychological and social impact of COVID-19 restrictions on individuals with pre-existing anxiety disorders has been modest with only minimal increases in symptomatology or social impairment noted.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: The modified Atkins diet (MAD) is used in the management of drug-resistant epilepsy in adults. Some patients on MAD show an increase in serum levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We explored whether dietary fat composition predicts short-term elevations in serum lipid levels in diet-naïve adults who begin MAD. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Participants self-reported their diet intake with 3-day food records at baseline, 1 month and 2 months. Food records were analyzed using Nutrition Data System for Research software. Fasting serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides were also collected and LDL level calculated at baseline, 1 month, and 2 months. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: 38 patients submitted complete food records at each study visit (baseline, 1 month, and 2 month). Compared to baseline diet intake, there was a significant reduction in daily carbohydrate intake at 1 and 2 months months (p<0.001). There was also a significant increase in daily saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake at 1 and 2 months (p<0.001), daily mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) intake at 1 and 2 months (p<0.001), and daily cholesterol intake at 1 month (p<0.05) and 2 months (p<0.001), but no change in daily poly-unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake over time. Compared to baseline, there was a significant increase in serum LDL at 1 month (p<0.001) and 2 months (p<0.01) and an increase in serum TC at 1 month (p<0.01) but not 2 months. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT : Despite a significant increase in total fat, saturated fat and mono-unsaturated fat intake as well as an increase in total cholesterol and LDL levels following MAD initiation, dietary fat composition appears to minimally predict serum lipid values in the short term. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DESCRIPTION: Tanya McDonald has received speaking honoraria from Nutricia North America. Bobbie Henry-Barron receives grants from Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) which is funded in part by Grant Number UL1 TR 001079 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, Nutricia and Vitaflo. Diane Vizthum receives grants from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) which is funded in part by Grant Number UL1 TR 001079 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Mackenzie C. Cervenka has received grant support from Nutricia North America, Vitaflo, Army Research Laboratory, The William and Ella Owens Medical Research Foundation and BrightFocus Foundation. She receives speaking honoraria from LivaNova, Epigenix, Nutricia North America and the Glut1 Deficiency Foundation and performs consulting with Nutricia North America and Sage Therapeutics and receives Royalties from Demos Health.
Background: Massive hemorrhage protocols (MHPs) streamline the complex logistics required for prompt care of the bleeding patient, but their uptake has been variable and few regions have a system to measure outcomes from these events. Aim Statement: We aim to implement a standardized MHP with uniform quality improvement (QI) metrics to increase uptake of evidence-based MHPs across 150-hospitals in Ontario between 2017 and 2021. Measures & Design: We performed ongoing PDSA cycles; 1) stakeholder analysis by surveying the Ontario Regional Blood Coordinating Network (ORBCoN), 2) problem characterization and Ishikawa analysis for key QI metrics based on areas of MHP variability in 150 Ontario hospitals using a web-based survey, 3) creation of a consensus MHP via a modified Delphi process, 4) problem characterization at ORBCoN for the design of a freely available toolkit for provincial implementation by expert working groups, 5) design of 8 key QI metrics by a modified Delphi process, and 6) identification of process measures for QI data collection by implementation metrics. Evaluation/Results: PDSA1-2; 150-hospitals were surveyed. 33% of hospitals lacked MHPs, mostly in smaller sites. Major areas for QI were related to activation criteria, hemostatic agents, protocolized hypothermia management, variable MHP naming, QI metrics and serial blood work requirements. PDSA3; 3 Delphi rounds were held to reach 100% expert consensus for 42 statements and 8 CQI metrics. Major areas for modification were protocol name, laboratory resuscitation targets, cooler configurations, and role of factor VIIa. PDSA4; adaptable toolkit is under development by the steering committee and expert working groups. Implementation is scheduled for Spring 2020. PDSA5; the 8 CQI metrics are: TXA administration < 1 h, RBC transfusion < 15 min, call to transfer for definitive care < 60 min, temp >35°C at end of protocol, Hgb kept between 60-110g/L, transition to group-specific RBC by 90 min, appropriate activation defined by ≥6 units RBC in the first 24 hours, and any blood component wastage. Discussion/Impact: MHP uptake, content, and tracking is variable. A standardized MHP that is adaptable to diverse settings decreases complexity, improves use of evidence-based practices, and provides a platform for continuous QI. PDSA6 will occur after implementation; we will complete an implementation survey, and design a pilot and feasibility study for prospective tracking of patient outcomes using existing prospectively collected inter-hospital and provincial databases.
Recent studies have identified DAAO as a probable susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, little is known about how this gene may affect brain function to increase vulnerability to these disorders.
The present investigation examined the impact of DAAO genotype on brain function in patients with schizophrenia, patients with bipolar I disorder and healthy volunteers.
We tested the hypotheses that the high-risk variant of DAAO would be associated with altered prefrontal function and functional connectivity in schizophrenic and bipolar patients.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain responses during a verbal fluency task in a total of 121 subjects comprising 40 patients with schizophrenia, 33 patients with bipolar I disorder and 48 healthy volunteers. We then used statistical parametric mapping (SPM) and psycho-physiological interaction (PPI) analyses to estimate the main effects of diagnostic group, the main effect of genotype and their interaction on brain activation and functional connectivity.
In schizophrenic patients relative to bipolar patients and controls, the high-risk variant of DAAO was associated with lower deactivation in the left precuneus and greater activation in the right calcarine and posterior cingulate gyrus during task performance. In addiction, these areas expressed altered functional connectivity with the rest of the brain in schizophrenic patients relative to bipolar patients and controls.
Our results suggest that genetic variation in DAAO has a significant impact on brain function and provide preliminary evidence for a disease-specific pattern of gene action in specific brain regions.
We sought to explore whether obstetric complications (OCs) are more likely to occur in the presence of familial/genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia or whether they themselves represent an independent environmental risk factor for schizophrenia.
The presence of OCs was assessed through maternal interview on 216 subjects, comprising 36 patients with schizophrenia from multiply affected families, 38 of their unaffected siblings, 31 schizophrenic patients with no family history of psychosis, 51 of their unaffected siblings and 60 normal comparison subjects. We examined the familiality of OCs and whether OCs were commoner in the patient and sibling groups than in the control group.
OCs tended to cluster within families, especially in multiply affected families. Patients with schizophrenia, especially those from multiply affected families, had a significantly higher rate of OCs compared to normal comparison subjects, but there was no evidence for an elevated rate of OCs in unaffected siblings.
Our data provides little evidence for a link between OCs and genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia. If high rates of OCs are related to schizophrenia genes, this relationship is weak and will only be detected by very large sample sizes.
P300 wave anomalies correlate with genetic risk for schizophrenia and constitute a plausible endophenotype for the disease. The COMT gene is thought to influence cognitive performance and to be a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Unlike two previous studies, we found no significant influence of the COMT gene on P300 amplitude or latency in 189 individuals examined. The well-supported role of the COMT gene both in dopamine catabolism as well as in prefrontal cognition makes a strong theoretical case for the influence of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on P300 endophenotypes. However, the available neurophysiologic evidence suggests that any such association, if present, must be very subtle.
There have been previous suggestions in the literature of a link between schizophrenia and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) or its associated syndromes. In this article, we describe two cases of schizophrenía and two cases of delusional disorder occurring in patients with RP. We explore possible reasons for an association between RP and schizophrenia including shared genetic predisposition, sensory deprivation, coarse brain disease and retinoid dysregulation. Awareness of an association may help to direct future research into the aetiology of these disorders, especially in the areas of neurochemistry and medical genetics.
To examine the effect of a polymorphism in the Dopamine Transporter (DAT) gene on brain activation during executive function and, for the first time:
1. determine the extent to which this is altered in schizophrenia and
2. use a verbal fluency paradigm.
This is relevant since:
1. DAT plays a key role in the regulation of dopamine, which modulates cortical activation during cognitive tasks and
2. a disruption of dopamine function is a fundamental pathophysiological feature of schizophrenia.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure whole-brain responses during overt verbal fluency in 85 subjects: 44 healthy volunteers and 41 DSM-IV schizophrenia patients. Main effects of genotype and diagnostic group on activation and their interaction were estimated using an ANOVA in SPM5.
The 10-repeat allele of the 3'UTR VNTR was associated with greater activation than the 9-repeat allele in the left (Z=4.8; FWEp=0.005) and right (Z=4.2; FWEp=0.057) anterior insula and with decreased activation in the rostral anterior cingulate (Z=4.3 FWEp=0.04) during word generation (versus baseline). These effects were irrespective of diagnostic group but generally more marked in patients. There were also strong trends for groupxgenotype interactions in the left middle frontal gyrus and the left nucleus accumbens. Analysis was controlled for task performance, IQ, antipsychotic medication, psychopathology and demographics.
Cortical function during executive tasks is normally modulated by variation in the DAT gene, effect which is dependent on the brain region. DAT's effect may be altered in schizophrenia patients, which may reflect altered central dopamine function.
Impaired working memory is a core feature of schizophrenia and is linked with altered engagement the lateral prefrontal cortex. Although altered PFC activation has been reported in people with increased risk of psychosis, at present it is not clear if this neurofunctional alteration differs between familial and clinical risk states and/or increases in line with the level of psychosis risk. We addressed this issue by using functional MRI and a working memory paradigm to study familial and clinical high-risk groups. We recruited 17 subjects at ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis, 10 non-affected siblings of patients with schizophrenia (familial high risk [FHR]) and 15 healthy controls. Subjects were scanned while performing the N-back working memory task. There was a relationship between the level of task-related deactivation in the medial PFC and precuneus and the level of psychosis risk, with deactivation weakest in the UHR group, greatest in healthy controls, and at an intermediate level in the FHR group. In the high-risk groups, activation in the precuneus was associated with the level of negative symptoms. These data suggest that increased vulnerability to psychosis is associated with a failure to deactivate in the medial PFC and precuneus during a working memory task, and appears to be most evident in subjects at clinical, as opposed to familial high risk.