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In September 2021, a cluster of 6 patients with nosocomial coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were identified in a transplant unit. A visitor and 11 healthcare workers also tested positive for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Genomic sequencing identified 3 separate introductions of SARS-CoV-2 with related transmission among the identified patients and healthcare workers.
Ketamine is a rapidly-acting antidepressant treatment with robust response rates. Previous studies have reported that serial ketamine therapy modulates resting state functional connectivity in several large-scale networks, though it remains unknown whether variations in brain structure, function, and connectivity impact subsequent treatment success. We used a data-driven approach to determine whether pretreatment multimodal neuroimaging measures predict changes along symptom dimensions of depression following serial ketamine infusion.
Patients with depression (n = 60) received structural, resting state functional, and diffusion MRI scans before treatment. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17), the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-C), and the Rumination Response Scale (RRS) before and 24 h after patients received four (0.5 mg/kg) infusions of racemic ketamine over 2 weeks. Nineteen unaffected controls were assessed at similar timepoints. Random forest regression models predicted symptom changes using pretreatment multimodal neuroimaging and demographic measures.
Two HDRS-17 subscales, the HDRS-6 and core mood and anhedonia (CMA) symptoms, and the RRS: reflection (RRSR) scale were predicted significantly with 19, 27, and 1% variance explained, respectively. Increased right medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate and posterior insula (PoI) and lower kurtosis of the superior longitudinal fasciculus predicted reduced HDRS-6 and CMA symptoms following treatment. RRSR change was predicted by global connectivity of the left posterior cingulate, left insula, and right superior parietal lobule.
Our findings support that connectivity of the anterior default mode network and PoI may serve as potential biomarkers of antidepressant outcomes for core depressive symptoms.
This study aimed to explore the association between hyperglycemia in pregnancy (type 2 diabetes (T2D) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)) and child developmental risk in Europid and Aboriginal women.
PANDORA is a longitudinal birth cohort recruited from a hyperglycemia in pregnancy register, and from normoglycemic women in antenatal clinics. The Wave 1 substudy included 308 children who completed developmental and behavioral screening between age 18 and 60 months. Developmental risk was assessed using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) or equivalent modified ASQ for use with Aboriginal children. Emotional and behavioral risk was assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the association between developmental scores and explanatory variables, including maternal T2D in pregnancy or GDM.
After adjustment for ethnicity, maternal and child variables, and socioeconomic measures, maternal hyperglycemia was associated with increased developmental “concern” (defined as score ≥1 SD below mean) in the fine motor (T2D odds ratio (OR) 5.30, 95% CI 1.77–15.80; GDM OR 3.96, 95% CI 1.55–10.11) and problem-solving (T2D OR 2.71, 95% CI 1.05–6.98; GDM OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.17–5.54) domains, as well as increased “risk” (score ≥2 SD below mean) in at least one domain (T2D OR 5.33, 95% CI 1.85–15.39; GDM OR 4.86, 95% CI 1.95–12.10). Higher maternal education was associated with reduced concern in the problem-solving domain (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.11–0.69) after adjustment for maternal hyperglycemia.
Maternal hyperglycemia is associated with increased developmental concern and may be a potential target for intervention so as to optimize developmental trajectories.
While comorbidity of clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR-P) status and social anxiety is well-established, it remains unclear how social anxiety and positive symptoms covary over time in this population. The present study aimed to determine whether there are more than one covariant trajectory of social anxiety and positive symptoms in the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study cohort (NAPLS 2) and, if so, to test whether the different trajectory subgroups differ in terms of genetic and environmental risk factors for psychotic disorders and general functional outcome.
In total, 764 CHR individuals were evaluated at baseline for social anxiety and psychosis risk symptom severity and followed up every 6 months for 2 years. Application of group-based multi-trajectory modeling discerned three subgroups based on the covariant trajectories of social anxiety and positive symptoms over 2 years.
One of the subgroups showed sustained social anxiety over time despite moderate recovery in positive symptoms, while the other two showed recovery of social anxiety below clinically significant thresholds, along with modest to moderate recovery in positive symptom severity. The trajectory group with sustained social anxiety had poorer long-term global functional outcomes than the other trajectory groups. In addition, compared with the other two trajectory groups, membership in the group with sustained social anxiety was predicted by higher levels of polygenic risk for schizophrenia and environmental stress exposures.
Together, these analyses indicate differential relevance of sustained v. remitting social anxiety symptoms in the CHR-P population, which in turn may carry implications for differential intervention strategies.
People presenting with first-episode psychosis (FEP) have heterogenous outcomes. More than 40% fail to achieve symptomatic remission. Accurate prediction of individual outcome in FEP could facilitate early intervention to change the clinical trajectory and improve prognosis.
We aim to systematically review evidence for prediction models developed for predicting poor outcome in FEP.
A protocol for this study was published on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, registration number CRD42019156897. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidance, we systematically searched six databases from inception to 28 January 2021. We used the Checklist for Critical Appraisal and Data Extraction for Systematic Reviews of Prediction Modelling Studies and the Prediction Model Risk of Bias Assessment Tool to extract and appraise the outcome prediction models. We considered study characteristics, methodology and model performance.
Thirteen studies reporting 31 prediction models across a range of clinical outcomes met criteria for inclusion. Eleven studies used logistic regression with clinical and sociodemographic predictor variables. Just two studies were found to be at low risk of bias. Methodological limitations identified included a lack of appropriate validation, small sample sizes, poor handling of missing data and inadequate reporting of calibration and discrimination measures. To date, no model has been applied to clinical practice.
Future prediction studies in psychosis should prioritise methodological rigour and external validation in larger samples. The potential for prediction modelling in FEP is yet to be realised.
The potential for art activities to help in alleviating loneliness is explored through a focus on older women's regular attendance at creative social activities. We apply the concept of perceived emotional synchrony to understand how weekly craft group sessions enable feelings of belonging and self-worth to develop in older women. Using a multi-site six-month study of 62 women aged 70+ attending social creative activities, our multi-stage research design captures the experiences of these women through observation and narrative group discussions held weekly. Our findings show that feelings of belonging and self-worth developed over a relatively short time. In particular, social integration and identity fusion were found to occur as a result of the emotional synchrony engendered via a regular shared activity, out of the home, and requiring some challenge and creativity. We propose a virtuous cycle model to explain the value in such activities and discuss the wider implications for wellbeing in older age. Perceived emotional synchrony has not been used before to explore the mechanisms through which social creative activities form lasting benefits for older women. Our research highlights the importance of feeling at one with others in improving feelings of belonging and self-worth and indicates how a variety of social creative experiences could be designed to enable this.
Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic agent responsible for human Q fever, a potentially severe disease that can lead to persistent infection. This cross-sectional study aimed to estimate the seroprevalence to C. burnetii antibodies and its association with potential risk factors in the human population of five regions of Québec, Canada. A serum bank comprising sera from 474 dog owners was screened by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay followed by confirmation of positive or equivocal sera by an indirect immunofluorescence assay. Observed seroprevalences of 1.2% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.0–6.6), 2.6% (95% CI: 0.5–7.4) and 5.9% (95% CI: 3.4–9.6) were estimated in the regions of Montréal, Lanaudière and Montérégie, respectively, which all included at least 83 samples. Having lived or worked on a small ruminant farm (prevalence odds ratio (POR) = 5.4; 95% CI: 1.6–17.7) and being a veterinarian or veterinary student (POR = 6.1; 95% CI: 1.6–24.0) were significantly associated with C. burnetii seropositivity. Antibodies against C. burnetii were detected in the human population of Québec. Although seropositivity to this agent was associated with occupational contact with domestic animals, antibodies were also detected in people with no reported professional exposure. No associations with ruminant farm proximity were identified.
The Ethiopian government has several initiatives to expand and intensify the dairy industry; however, the risk of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) spread is a challenge. To assess the rate of expansion and risk factors for transmission of bTB within-herds, we carried out a repeated cross-sectional survey at two time points, 2016/17 and 2018, in three regional cities, namely, Gondar, Hawassa and Mekelle, representing the emerging dairy belts of Ethiopia. The total number of herds involved was 128, comprising an average of 2303 cattle in each round. The Single Intradermal Comparative Cervical Tuberculin (SICCT) test was used to identify reactor status and data on herd-level risk factors were collected using a structured questionnaire. In the first survey, the apparent prevalence of bTB, as measured by the SICCT test, was 4.5% (95% CI 3.7–5.4%) at the individual animal-level and 24% (95% CI 17.5–32%) at the herd-level. There was no statistically significant change in the overall apparent prevalence or regional distribution at the second survey, consistent with the infection being endemic. The incidence rate was estimated at 3.6 (95% CI 2.8–4.5) and 6.6 (95% CI 3.0–12.6) cases/100 cattle (or herd)-years at the animal- and herd-levels, respectively. Risk factors significantly associated with the within-herd transmission of bTB were age group and within-herd apparent prevalence at the start of the observation period. We noted that farmers voluntarily took steps to remove reactor cattle from their herds as a consequence of the information shared after the first survey. Removal of reactors between surveys was associated with a reduced risk of transmission within these herds. However, with no regulatory barriers to the sale of reactor animals, such actions could potentially lead to further spread between herds. We therefore advocate the importance of setting up regulations and then establishing a systematic bTB surveillance programme to monitor the impact prior to implementing any control measures in Ethiopia.
Subanesthetic ketamine infusion therapy can produce fast-acting antidepressant effects in patients with major depression. How single and repeated ketamine treatment modulates the whole-brain functional connectome to affect clinical outcomes remains uncharacterized.
Data-driven whole brain functional connectivity (FC) analysis was used to identify the functional connections modified by ketamine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD patients (N = 61, mean age = 38, 19 women) completed baseline resting-state (RS) functional magnetic resonance imaging and depression symptom scales. Of these patients, n = 48 and n = 51, completed the same assessments 24 h after receiving one and four 0.5 mg/kg intravenous ketamine infusions. Healthy controls (HC) (n = 40, 24 women) completed baseline assessments with no intervention. Analysis of RS FC addressed effects of diagnosis, time, and remitter status.
Significant differences (p < 0.05, corrected) in RS FC were observed between HC and MDD at baseline in the somatomotor network and between association and default mode networks. These disruptions in FC in MDD patients trended toward control patterns with ketamine treatment. Furthermore, following serial ketamine infusions, significant decreases in FC were observed between the cerebellum and salience network (SN) (p < 0.05, corrected). Patient remitters showed increased FC between the cerebellum and the striatum prior to treatment that decreased following treatment, whereas non-remitters showed the opposite pattern.
Results support that ketamine treatment leads to neurofunctional plasticity between distinct neural networks that are shown as disrupted in MDD patients. Cortico-striatal-cerebellar loops that encompass the SN could be a potential biomarker for ketamine treatment.
Neuroticism is associated with the onset and maintenance of a number of mental health conditions, as well as a number of deleterious outcomes (e.g. physical health problems, higher divorce rates, lost productivity, and increased treatment seeking); thus, the consideration of whether this trait can be addressed in treatment is warranted. To date, outcome research has yielded mixed results regarding neuroticism's responsiveness to treatment, perhaps due to the fact that study interventions are typically designed to target disorder symptoms rather than neuroticism itself. The purpose of the current study was to explore whether a course of treatment with the unified protocol (UP), a transdiagnostic intervention that was explicitly developed to target neuroticism, results in greater reductions in neuroticism compared to gold-standard, symptom focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) protocols and a waitlist (WL) control condition.
Patients with principal anxiety disorders (N = 223) were included in this study. They completed a validated self-report measure of neuroticism, as well as clinician-rated measures of psychological symptoms.
At week 16, participants in the UP condition exhibited significantly lower levels of neuroticism than participants in the symptom-focused CBT (t(218) = −2.17, p = 0.03, d = −0.32) and WL conditions(t(207) = −2.33, p = 0.02, d = −0.43), and these group differences remained after controlling for simultaneous fluctuations in depression and anxiety symptoms.
Treatment effects on neuroticism may be most robust when this trait is explicitly targeted.
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. Antipsychotic medication and possibly other psychotropic medication like antidepressants can induce weight gain or worsen other metabolic cardiovascular risk factors. Patients may have limited access to general healthcare with less opportunity for cardiovascular risk screening and prevention than would be expected in a non-psychiatric population. The European Psychiatric Association (EPA), supported by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) published this statement with the aim of improving the care of patients suffering from severe mental illness. The intention is to initiate cooperation and shared care between the different healthcare professionals and to increase the awareness of psychiatrists and primary care physicians caring for patients with severe mental illness to screen and treat cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes.
As awareness of ADHD has increased throughout the world, interest has grown beyond the constellation of ADHD symptoms, including long-term effects and impact on people's lives.
To examine the consequences of childhood ADHD and the relevance of these outcomes in different world regions.
This analysis examined the publication trends of studies of long-term outcomes of ADHD over time and among world regions.
Study identification followed Cochrane guidelines. Twelve databases were searched for reports published in English 1980–2010. Limiting criteria were designed to maximize study inclusion while maintaining a high level of study rigor: the studies were to
(1) be peer-reviewed,
(2) be primary study reports,
(3) include a comparator group or baseline, and
(4) report outcome results measured for a mean of 8 years (prospective studies, range of all studies was 6 months-40 years) after the start of the study, in late adolescence, or adulthood.
The fully-defined electronic search yielded 4615 citations, which were then reviewed manually based on the titles and abstracts, yielding a final of 371 studies.
Study publication trends analysed included: publication year, country and world region of origin, outcome types, and study types. In general, the numbers of studies published per year globally has increased substantially (from 2 in 1980 to more than 40/year in 2007 and 2008) with differences observed between Europe and North America.
Analysis of publication trends can provide insight into outcomes of ADHD and the focus of specific world regions.
As awareness of ADHD has increased worldwide, interest has grown beyond the constellation of ADHD symptoms, to include long-term impact on people's lives and society in general.
Examine the results of studies of long-term life consequences of ADHD.
To identify areas of life affected long-term by ADHD and differences in outcomes with and without ADHD treatment.
Following Cochrane guidelines, 12 databases were searched for studies published in English (1980–2010). Limiting criteria maximized study inclusion while maintaining high study rigor: (1) peer-reviewed, (2) primary study reports, (3) including a comparator condition, and (4) reporting long-term outcomes (mean 8 years, range 6 months-40 years from study start for prospective studies; subjects in adolescence or adulthood for retrospective or cross-sectional studies). The fully-defined electronic search yielded 4615 citations. Manual review based on titles and abstracts yielded 340 studies included in this analysis of outcomes.
The majority of studies (86%, 243 of 281; studies of untreated ADHD only) showed that untreated ADHD has substantial negative long-term outcomes, encompassing nine broad-ranging areas of life: non-medicinal drug use/addictive behaviour, antisocial behaviour, academic achievement, occupational achievement, public services use, self-esteem, social function, obesity, and driving outcomes. In contrast, most studies including ADHD pharmacotherapy and/or non-pharmacotherapy (94%, 46 of 49) showed that compared with baseline or untreated ADHD, long-term outcomes improved or stabilized with treatment of ADHD.
ADHD has notable negative long-term consequences, and this negative impact may be reduced with treatment of ADHD. Supported by Shire Development Inc.
Improving the quality of care on psychiatric inpatient wards has been a major focus in recent mental health policy, a recurrent criticism being that contact between staff and patients is limited in time and therapeutic value. Change is unlikely to be achieved without recruitment and retention of a high quality and well-motivated work force.
The NHS commissioned national inpatient mental health staff morale study is intended to inform service planning and policy by delivering evidence on the morale of the inpatient mental health workforce and the clinical, organisational, architectural and human resources factors that influence it.
100 wards in 17 area ‘Trusts’ are participating in the study, in addition to 40 community teams. The study will take place over two years, and has 6 modules:
1. A quantitative questionnaire for all staff in participating wards and
2. A comparison group in 20 community mental health teams and 20 crisis teams.
3. Case studies of 10 wards scoring in the top and bottom quartile for indicators of morale.
4. Repeated questionnaires for 20 wards in the second year to investigate how morale changes over time.
5. Staff who leave the wards in the course of the first year will be asked their reasons for leaving.
6. Links between rates of staff sickness and morale will be investigated.
Questionnaires have been distributed to 3,500 staff with a response rate of 65%, results from which will be presented in 2009.
In the context of untimely access to community formal services, unmet needs of persons with dementia (PwD) and their carers may compromise their quality of life.
The Actifcare EU-JPND project (www.actifcare.eu) focuses on access to and (non) utilization of dementia formal care in eight countries (The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Italy, Portugal), as related to unmet needs and quality of life. Evaluations included systematic reviews, qualitative explorations, and a European cohort study (PwD in early/intermediate phases and their primary carers; n = 453 days; 1 year follow-up). Preliminary Portuguese results are presented here (FCT-JPND-HC/0001/2012).
(1) extensive systematic searches on access to/utilization of services; (2) focus groups of PwD, carers and health/social professionals; (3) prospective study (n = 66 days from e.g., primary care, hospital outpatient services, Alzheimer Portugal).
In Portugal, nationally representative data is scarce regarding health/social services utilization in dementia. There are important barriers to access to community services, according to users, carers and professionals, whose views not always coincide. The Portuguese cohort participants were 66 PwD (62.1% female, 77.3 ± 6.2 years, 55.5% Alzheimer's/mixed subtypes, MMSE 17.8 ± 4.8, CDR1 89.4%) and 66 carers (66.7% female, 64.9 ± 15.0 years, 56.1% spouses), with considerable unmet needs in some domains.
All Actifcare milestones are being reached. The consortium is now analyzing international differences in (un) timely access to services and its impact on quality of life and needs for care (e.g., formal community support is weaker in Portugal than in many European countries). National best-practice recommendations in dementia are also in preparation.
Abstract submitted on behalf of the Actifcare Eu-JPND consortium.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Q fever (caused by Coxiella burnetii) is thought to have an almost world-wide distribution, but few countries have conducted national serosurveys. We measured Q fever seroprevalence using residual sera from diagnostic laboratories across Australia. Individuals aged 1–79 years in 2012–2013 were sampled to be proportional to the population distribution by region, distance from metropolitan areas and gender. A 1/50 serum dilution was tested for the Phase II IgG antibody against C. burnetii by indirect immunofluorescence. We calculated crude seroprevalence estimates by age group and gender, as well as age standardised national and metropolitan/non-metropolitan seroprevalence estimates. Of 2785 sera, 99 tested positive. Age standardised seroprevalence was 5.6% (95% confidence interval (CI 4.5%–6.8%), and similar in metropolitan (5.5%; 95% CI 4.1%–6.9%) and non-metropolitan regions (6.0%; 95%CI 4.0%–8.0%). More males were seropositive (6.9%; 95% CI 5.2%–8.6%) than females (4.2%; 95% CI 2.9%–5.5%) with peak seroprevalence at 50–59 years (9.2%; 95% CI 5.2%–13.3%). Q fever seroprevalence for Australia was higher than expected (especially in metropolitan regions) and higher than estimates from the Netherlands (2.4%; pre-outbreak) and US (3.1%), but lower than for Northern Ireland (12.8%). Robust country-specific seroprevalence estimates, with detailed exposure data, are required to better understand who is at risk and the need for preventive measures.
Evidence suggests that early trauma may have a negative effect on cognitive functioning in individuals with psychosis, yet the relationship between childhood trauma and cognition among those at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis remains unexplored. Our sample consisted of 626 CHR children and 279 healthy controls who were recruited as part of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study 2. Childhood trauma up to the age of 16 (psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and bullying) was assessed by using the Childhood Trauma and Abuse Scale. Multiple domains of cognition were measured at baseline and at the time of psychosis conversion, using standardized assessments. In the CHR group, there was a trend for better performance in individuals who reported a history of multiple types of childhood trauma compared with those with no/one type of trauma (Cohen d = 0.16). A history of multiple trauma types was not associated with greater cognitive change in CHR converters over time. Our findings tentatively suggest there may be different mechanisms that lead to CHR states. Individuals who are at clinical high risk who have experienced multiple types of childhood trauma may have more typically developing premorbid cognitive functioning than those who reported minimal trauma do. Further research is needed to unravel the complexity of factors underlying the development of at-risk states.
Critics have long debated the origins and influences on what might be called the McCarthian universe of violence. This chapter argues for a rethinking of the place of American literary naturalism – particularly the works of Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Jack London, and Theodore Dreiser – as a key influence on McCarthy’s understanding of the omnipresence and inescapability of violence in human existence. Reading both McCarthy’s and the literary naturalists’ connections to the pessimistic philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer and the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin in the mid-nineteenth century, the chapter marks striking similarities between the judge’s philosophy in Blood Meridian of “before man was, war waited for him” and the naturalist philosophy (as perhaps most purely articulated in Dreiser’s The Financier) that “life was war.” Both McCarthy and the naturalists, then, display an acceptance of a world and universe in which morality and justice no longer held any sway, violence, degradation, corruption, and indifference are the only constants, and human beings are little more than flickering, momentary flashes, either subject to or reveling in these violent characteristics.
A systematic review and network meta-analysis were conducted to assess the relative efficacy of internal or external teat sealants given at dry-off in dairy cattle. Controlled trials were eligible if they assessed the use of internal or external teat sealants, with or without concurrent antimicrobial therapy, compared to no treatment or an alternative treatment, and measured one or more of the following outcomes: incidence of intramammary infection (IMI) at calving, IMI during the first 30 days in milk (DIM), or clinical mastitis during the first 30 DIM. Risk of bias was based on the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0 tool with modified signaling questions. From 2280 initially identified records, 32 trials had data extracted for one or more outcomes. Network meta-analysis was conducted for IMI at calving. Use of an internal teat sealant (bismuth subnitrate) significantly reduced the risk of new IMI at calving compared to non-treated controls (RR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.25–0.72). For comparisons between antimicrobial and teat sealant groups, concerns regarding precision were seen. Synthesis of the primary research identified important challenges related to the comparability of outcomes, replication and connection of interventions, and quality of reporting of study conduct.