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Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
Among 353 healthcare personnel in a longitudinal cohort in 4 hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia (May–June 2020), 23 (6.5%) had severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies. Spending >50% of a typical shift at the bedside (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.2–10.5) and black race (OR, 8.4; 95% CI, 2.7–27.4) were associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity.
Recently, artificial intelligence-powered devices have been put forward as potentially powerful tools for the improvement of mental healthcare. An important question is how these devices impact the physician-patient interaction.
Aifred is an artificial intelligence-powered clinical decision support system (CDSS) for the treatment of major depression. Here, we explore the use of a simulation centre environment in evaluating the usability of Aifred, particularly its impact on the physician–patient interaction.
Twenty psychiatry and family medicine attending staff and residents were recruited to complete a 2.5-h study at a clinical interaction simulation centre with standardised patients. Each physician had the option of using the CDSS to inform their treatment choice in three 10-min clinical scenarios with standardised patients portraying mild, moderate and severe episodes of major depression. Feasibility and acceptability data were collected through self-report questionnaires, scenario observations, interviews and standardised patient feedback.
All 20 participants completed the study. Initial results indicate that the tool was acceptable to clinicians and feasible for use during clinical encounters. Clinicians indicated a willingness to use the tool in real clinical practice, a significant degree of trust in the system's predictions to assist with treatment selection, and reported that the tool helped increase patient understanding of and trust in treatment. The simulation environment allowed for the evaluation of the tool's impact on the physician–patient interaction.
The simulation centre allowed for direct observations of clinician use and impact of the tool on the clinician–patient interaction before clinical studies. It may therefore offer a useful and important environment in the early testing of new technological tools. The present results will inform further tool development and clinician training materials.
In November 2009, we initiated a multistate investigation of Salmonella Montevideo infections with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern JIXX01.0011. We identified 272 cases in 44 states with illness onset dates ranging from 1 July 2009 to 14 April 2010. To help generate hypotheses, warehouse store membership card information was collected to identify products consumed by cases. These records identified 19 ill persons who purchased company A salami products before onset of illness. A case-control study was conducted. Ready-to-eat salami consumption was significantly associated with illness (matched odds ratio 8·5, 95% confidence interval 2·1–75·9). The outbreak strain was isolated from company A salami products from an environmental sample from one manufacturing plant, and sealed containers of black and red pepper at the facility. This outbreak illustrates the importance of using membership card information to assist in identifying suspect vehicles, the potential for spices to contaminate ready-to-eat products, and preventing raw ingredient contamination of these products.
To investigate the marked increase noted over an 8-month period in the number of Legionella pneumophila isolates recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid specimens obtained during bronchoscopy in our healthcare system.
Bronchoscopy suite that serves a 580-bed tertiary care center and a large, multisite, faculty practice plan with approximately 2 million outpatient visits per year.
Cultures of environmental specimens from the bronchoscopy suite were performed, including samples from the air and water filters, bronchoscopes, and the ice machine, with the aim of identifying Legionella species. Specimens were filtered and acid-treated and then inoculated on buffered charcoal yeast extract agar. Serogrouping was performed on all isolates recovered from patient and environmental samples.
AU L. pneumophila isolates recovered from patients were serogroup 8, a serogroup that is not usually recovered in our facility. An epidemiologic investigation of the bronchoscopy suite revealed the ice machine to be contaminated with L. pneumophila serogroup 8. Patients were exposed to the organism as a result of a recently adopted practice in the bronchoscopy suite that involved directly immersing uncapped syringes of sterile saline in contaminated ice baths during the procedures. At least 1 patient was ill as a result of the pseudo-outbreak. Molecular typing of isolates recovered from patient and environmental samples revealed that the isolates were indistinguishable.
Extensive cleaning of the ice machine and replacement of the machine's water filter ended the pseudo-outbreak. This episode emphasizes the importance of using aseptic technique when performing invasive procedures, such as bronchoscopies. It also demonstrates the importance of reviewing procedures in all patient areas to ensure compliance with facility policies for providing a safe patient environment.
In the face of climate variability and change, science in Antarctica needs to address increasingly complex questions. Individual small studies are being replaced by multinational and multidisciplinary research programmes. The Latitudinal Gradient Project (LGP) is one such approach that combines a series of smaller studies under a single broad hypothesis to provide information that uses a gradient in latitude as a surrogate for environmental gradients, particularly climate. In this way latitudinal differences can be used to indicate climate change differences. The Key Questions for the LGP were developed via national workshops in Italy, New Zealand, and the USA and via two international workshops at SCAR conferences. Science and logistics are currently jointly shared by New Zealand, Italy and the USA, and cover marine and inland ecosystem studies along the Victoria Land coast from 72° to 78°S with plans for extensions to 85°S. The LGP forms part of the SCAR Programme Evolution and Biodiversity in Antarctica. This Special Issue summarizes some of the work in the first three years of the LGP (2002–2005), between McMurdo Sound and Cape Hallett, to form a basis for future comparative studies as the research shifts along the latitudinal span in the next decade.
This study tested the hypothesis that the hippocampus has a
relatively specific role in retaining information over delays.
Thirty-seven subjects with probable Alzheimer's disease were
evaluated with a verbal memory task and structural MRI. Cortical gray
matter but not hippocampal volume predicted immediate free recall. In
contrast, hippocampal volume was the best predictor of how well
information was retained over a delay, even after controlling for
levels of immediate recall. Results suggest that the role of the
hippocampus is relatively specific to the consolidation of new
memories. (JINS, 2004, 10, 639–643.)