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The Stricker Learning Span (SLS) is a computer-adaptive digital word list memory test specifically designed for remote assessment and self-administration on a web-based multi-device platform (Mayo Test Drive). We aimed to establish criterion validity of the SLS by comparing its ability to differentiate biomarker-defined groups to the person-administered Rey’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT).
Participants (N = 353; mean age = 71, SD = 11; 93% cognitively unimpaired [CU]) completed the AVLT during an in-person visit, the SLS remotely (within 3 months) and had brain amyloid and tau PET scans available (within 3 years). Overlapping groups were formed for 1) those on the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continuum (amyloid PET positive, A+, n = 125) or not (A-, n = 228), and those with biological AD (amyloid and tau PET positive, A+T+, n = 55) vs no evidence of AD pathology (A−T−, n = 195). Analyses were repeated among CU participants only.
The SLS and AVLT showed similar ability to differentiate biomarker-defined groups when comparing AUROCs (p’s > .05). In logistic regression models, SLS contributed significantly to predicting biomarker group beyond age, education, and sex, including when limited to CU participants. Medium (A− vs A+) to large (A−T− vs A+T+) unadjusted effect sizes were observed for both SLS and AVLT. Learning and delay variables were similar in terms of ability to separate biomarker groups.
Remotely administered SLS performed similarly to in-person-administered AVLT in its ability to separate biomarker-defined groups, providing evidence of criterion validity. Results suggest the SLS may be sensitive to detecting subtle objective cognitive decline in preclinical AD.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization stressed the importance of daily clinical assessments of infected patients, yet current approaches frequently consider cross-sectional timepoints, cumulative summary measures, or time-to-event analyses. Statistical methods are available that make use of the rich information content of longitudinal assessments. We demonstrate the use of a multistate transition model to assess the dynamic nature of COVID-19-associated critical illness using daily evaluations of COVID-19 patients from 9 academic hospitals. We describe the accessibility and utility of methods that consider the clinical trajectory of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Management of tympanic membrane perforations is varied. This study aimed to better understand current practice patterns in myringoplasty and type 1 tympanoplasty.
An electronic questionnaire was distributed to American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery members. Practice patterns were compared in terms of fellowship training, practice length, practice setting, paediatric case frequency and total cases per year.
Of the 321 respondents, most were comprehensive otolaryngologists (60.4 per cent), in private practice (60.8 per cent), with a primarily adult practice (59.8 per cent). Fellowship training was the factor most associated with significant variations in management, including pre-operative antibiotic usage (p = 0.019), contraindications (p < 0.001), approach to traumatic perforations (p < 0.001), use of local anaesthesia (p < 0.001), graft material (p < 0.001), tympanoplasty technique (p = 0.003), endoscopic assistance (p < 0.001) and timing of post-operative audiology evaluation (p = 0.003).
Subspecialty training appears to be the main variable associated with significant differences in peri-operative decision-making for surgical repair of tympanic membrane perforations.
Anticholinergic medications block cholinergic transmission. The central effects of anticholinergic drugs can be particularly marked in patients with dementia. Furthermore, anticholinergics antagonise the effects of cholinesterase inhibitors, the main dementia treatment.
This study aimed to assess anticholinergic drug prescribing among dementia patients before and after admission to UK acute hospitals.
352 patients with dementia were included from 17 hospitals in the UK. All were admitted to surgical, medical or Care of the Elderly wards in 2019. Information about patients’ prescriptions were recorded on a standardised form. An evidence-based online calculator was used to calculate the anticholinergic drug burden of each patient. The correlation between two subgroups upon admission and discharge was tested with Spearman’s Rank Correlation.
Table 1 shows patient demographics. On admission, 37.8% of patients had an anticholinergic burden score ≥1 and 5.68% ≥3. At discharge, 43.2% of patients had an anticholinergic burden score ≥1 and 9.1% ≥3. The increase was statistically significant (rho 0.688; p=2.2x10-16). The most common group of anticholinergic medications prescribed at discharge were psychotropics (see Figure 1). Among patients prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors, 44.9% were also taking anticholinergic medications.
This multicentre cross-sectional study found that people with dementia are frequently prescribed anticholinergic drugs, even if also taking cholinesterase inhibitors, and are significantly more likely to be discharged with a higher anticholinergic drug burden than on admission to hospital.
Conflict of interest
This project was planned and executed by the authors on behalf of SPARC (Student Psychiatry Audit and Research Collaborative). We thank the National Student Association of Medical Research for allowing us use of the Enketo platform. Judith Harrison was su
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has defined translation as the process of turning observations into interventions that are adopted, sustained, and improve health. Translation must attend to research and community systems and context at multiple levels, and to key stakeholders. Dissemination and implementation (D&I) sciences are informed by an understanding of the critical role of people and systems in disseminating, adopting, and sustaining innovations within real-world settings. Thus, the D&I sciences provides a set of principles that can guide the translational work of Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) programs from basic research to public health. In this special communication, our cross-domain working group of the CTSA consortium, comprised of experts in methods and processes, workforce development, evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and D&I sciences, share a vision of how CTSAs can enhance translation across the translational spectrum through the integration of D&I sciences into the critical areas of methods and processes, workforce development, and evaluation. We propose a set of recommendations for NCATS national and local leaders that are intended to move D&I sciences out of a position of unfamiliarity and ancillary value and into the core identity of who CTSAs are, how they think, and what they do, to advance translation and health.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
There is a high rate of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with epilepsy. However, the impact of surgical treatment of refractory epilepsy on psychopathology remains under investigation. We aimed to examine the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life at 1-year post-surgery in a population of patients with epilepsy refractory to medication.
This study initially assessed 48 patients with refractory epilepsy using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory 89 (QOLIE-89) on admission to an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) as part of their pre-surgical assessment. These patients were again assessed using the SCID-I, QOLIE-89 and HADS at 1-year follow-up post-surgery.
There was a significant reduction in psychopathology, particularly psychosis, following surgery at 1-year follow-up (p < 0.021). There were no new cases of de novo psychosis and surgery was also associated with a significant improvement in the quality of life scores (p < 0.001).
This study demonstrates the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life in a patient population with refractory surgery. The presence of a psychiatric illness should not be a barrier to access surgical treatment.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Impairments in social cognition contribute significantly to disability in schizophrenia patients (SzP). Perception of facial expressions is critical for social cognition. Intact perception requires an individual to visually scan a complex dynamic social scene for transiently moving facial expressions that may be relevant for understanding the scene. The relationship of visual scanning for these facial expressions and social cognition remains unknown.
In 39 SzP and 27 healthy controls (HC), we used eye-tracking to examine the relationship between performance on The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), which tests social cognition using naturalistic video clips of social situations, and visual scanning, measuring each individual's relative to the mean of HC. We then examined the relationship of visual scanning to the specific visual features (motion, contrast, luminance, faces) within the video clips.
TASIT performance was significantly impaired in SzP for trials involving sarcasm (p < 10−5). Visual scanning was significantly more variable in SzP than HC (p < 10−6), and predicted TASIT performance in HC (p = 0.02) but not SzP (p = 0.91), differing significantly between groups (p = 0.04). During the visual scanning, SzP were less likely to be viewing faces (p = 0.0001) and less likely to saccade to facial motion in peripheral vision (p = 0.008).
SzP show highly significant deficits in the use of visual scanning of naturalistic social scenes to inform social cognition. Alterations in visual scanning patterns may originate from impaired processing of facial motion within peripheral vision. Overall, these results highlight the utility of naturalistic stimuli in the study of social cognition deficits in schizophrenia.
The in utero and immediate postnatal environments are recognized as critical windows of developmental plasticity where offspring are highly susceptible to changes in the maternal metabolic milieu. Maternal hypercholesterolemia (MHC) is a pathological condition characterized by an exaggerated rise in maternal serum cholesterol during pregnancy which can program metabolic dysfunction in offspring, including dysregulation of hepatic lipid metabolism. Although there is currently no established reference range MHC, a loosely defined cutoff point for total cholesterol >280 mg/dL in the third trimester has been suggested. There are several unanswered questions regarding this condition particularly with regard to how the timing of cholesterol exposure influences hepatic lipid dysfunction and the mechanisms through which these adaptations manifest in adulthood. Gestational hypercholesterolemia increased fetal hepatic lipid concentrations and altered lipid regulatory mRNA and protein content. These early changes in hepatic lipid metabolism are evident in the postweaning environment and persist into adulthood. Further, changes to hepatic epigenetic signatures including microRNA (miR) and DNA methylation are observed in utero, at weaning, and are evident in adult offspring. In conclusion, early exposure to cholesterol during critical developmental periods can predispose offspring to the early development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which is characterized by altered regulatory function beginning in utero and persisting throughout the life cycle.
European data on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the general population is sparse.
Aims and objectives
To report HRQoL in UK adults with ADHD.
UK residents aged 18–55 years with a diagnosis of adult ADHD completed an online, cross-sectional survey including questions on disease history, the EuroQol Five Dimensions questionnaire with five-levels (EQ-5D-5L) and the Work productivity and activity impairment questionnaire: general health (WPAI:GH). ADHD symptom severity was assessed by telephone using ADHD rating scale version IV with adult prompts (ADHD-RS-IV).
The survey was completed by 233 participants (65.2% women; 77.3% white British), mean age 32.6 years (standard deviation [SD] 9.5), mean ADHD-RS-IV total score 43.46 (SD 7.88). Their mean EQ-5D-5L utility score of 0.74 (SD 0.21) was lower than the UK population norm of 0.86 (SD 0.23). WPAI:GH scores indicated that health problems resulted in impairments of 32.04% in work productivity and 45.79% in regular daily activities. Regression analyses adjusting for gender, age and comorbidities demonstrated associations between EQ-5D-5L utility scores and gender (men had lower scores, P < 0.001), work impairment due to health problems (increasing impairment was associated with lower scores, P = 0.005) and age (for each additional year of age, scores decreased by 0.007, P = 0.010).
These results highlight the impact on health utility, work productivity and regular daily activities, and add to the description of the disease burden of adult ADHD in the UK.
This study was funded by Shire Development LLC.
Disclosure of interest
Kings College London research support account for Asherson received honoraria for consultancy to Shire, Eli-Lilly and Novartis educational/research awards from Shire, Lilly, Novartis, Vifor Pharma, GW Pharma and QbTech speaker at sponsored events for Shire, Lilly and Novartis.
Maternal obesity is associated with obesity and metabolic disorders in offspring. However, there remains a paucity of data on strategies to reverse the effects of maternal obesity on maternal and offspring health. With maternal undernutrition, taurine supplementation improves outcomes in offspring mediated in part via improved glucose–insulin homeostasis. The efficacy of taurine supplementation in the setting of maternal obesity on health and well-being of offspring is unknown. We examined the effects of taurine supplementation on outcomes related to growth and metabolism in offspring in a rat model of maternal obesity.
Wistar rats were randomised to: 1) control diet during pregnancy and lactation (CON); 2) CON with 1.5% taurine in drinking water (CT); 3) maternal obesogenic diet (MO); or 4) MO with taurine (MOT). Offspring were weaned onto the control diet for the remainder of the study.
At day 150, offspring body weights and adipose tissue weights were increased in MO groups compared to CON. Adipose tissue weights were reduced in MOT versus MO males but not females. Plasma fasting leptin and insulin were increased in MO offspring groups but were not altered by maternal taurine supplementation. Plasma homocysteine concentrations were reduced in all maternal taurine-supplemented offspring groups. There were significant interactions across maternal diet, taurine supplementation and sex for response to an oral glucose tolerance test , a high-fat dietary preference test and pubertal onset in offspring.
These results demonstrate that maternal taurine supplementation can partially ameliorate adverse developmental programming effects in offspring in a sex-specific manner.
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.
Tracheocutaneous fistula represents one of the most troublesome complications of prolonged tracheostomy. Simple closure of a fistula can be ineffective, particularly in the context of prior surgery and adjuvant radiation. As such, modes of repair have expanded to include locoregional flaps and even free tissue transfers.
This paper describes a case of persistent tracheocutaneous fistula in an irradiated patient who had undergone previous unsuccessful attempts at repair.
Method and results
The use of regional fasciocutaneous supraclavicular flap with prefabricated conchal bowl cartilage resulted in successful closure of the tracheocutaneous fistula.
This represents a novel technique for closure of such fistulas in patients for whom previous attempts have failed. This mode of repair should be added to the surgeon's repertoire of reparative techniques.
Silicon carbide together with amorphous carbon are the main components of dust grains in the atmospheres of C-rich AGB stars. Small gaseous Si-C bearing molecules (such as SiC, SiCSi, and SiC2) are efficiently formed close to the stellar photosphere. They likely condense onto dust seeds owing to their highly refractory nature at the lower temperatures (i.e., below about 2500 K) in the dust growth zone which extends a few stellar radii from the photosphere. Beyond this region, the abundances of Si-C bearing molecules are expected to decrease until they are eventually reformed in the outer shells of the circumstellar envelope, owing to the interaction between the gas and the interstellar UV radiation field. Our goal is to understand the time-dependent chemical evolution of Si-C bond carriers probed by molecular spectral line emission in the circumstellar envelope of IRC+10216 at millimeter wavelengths.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
We examined longitudinally the course and predictors of treatment resistance in a large cohort of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients from initiation of antipsychotic treatment. We hypothesized that antipsychotic treatment resistance is: (a) present at illness onset; and (b) differentially associated with clinical and demographic factors.
The study sample comprised 323 FEP patients who were studied at first contact and at 10-year follow-up. We collated clinical information on severity of symptoms, antipsychotic medication and treatment adherence during the follow-up period to determine the presence, course and predictors of treatment resistance.
From the 23% of the patients, who were treatment resistant, 84% were treatment resistant from illness onset. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that diagnosis of schizophrenia, negative symptoms, younger age at onset, and longer duration of untreated psychosis predicted treatment resistance from illness onset.
The striking majority of treatment-resistant patients do not respond to first-line antipsychotic treatment even at time of FEP. Clinicians must be alert to this subgroup of patients and consider clozapine treatment as early as possible during the first presentation of psychosis.