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Intracerebral abscess is a life-threatening condition for which there are no current, widely accepted neurosurgical management guidelines. The purpose of this study was to investigate Canadian practice patterns for the medical and surgical management of primary, recurrent, and multiple intracerebral abscesses.
A self-administered, cross-sectional, electronic survey was distributed to active staff and resident members of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society and Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative. Responses between subgroups were analyzed using the Chi-square test.
In total, 101 respondents (57.7%) completed the survey. The majority (60.0%) were staff neurosurgeons working in an academic, adult care setting (80%). We identified a consensus that abscesses >2.5 cm in diameter should be considered for surgical intervention. The majority of respondents were in favor of excising an intracerebral abscess over performing aspiration if located superficially in non-eloquent cortex (60.4%), located in the posterior fossa (65.4%), or causing mass effect leading to herniation (75.3%). The majority of respondents were in favor of reoperation for recurrent abscesses if measuring greater than 2.5 cm, associated with progressive neurological deterioration, the index operation was an aspiration and did not include resection of the abscess capsule, and if the recurrence occurred despite prior surgery combined with maximal antibiotic therapy. There was no consensus on the use of topical intraoperative antibiotics.
This survey demonstrated heterogeneity in the medical and surgical management of primary, recurrent, and multiple brain abscesses among Canadian neurosurgery attending staff and residents.1
Recently, the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales 65+ (HoNOS65+) were revised. Twenty-five experts from Australia and New Zealand completed an anonymous web-based survey about the content validity of the revised measure, the HoNOS Older Adults (HoNOS OA).
All 12 HoNOS OA scales were rated by most (≥75%) experts as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for determining overall clinical severity among older adults. Ratings of sensitivity to change, comprehensibility and comprehensiveness were more variable, but mostly positive. Experts’ comments provided possible explanations. For example, some experts suggested modifying or expanding the glossary examples for some scales (e.g. those measuring problems with relationships and problems with activities of daily living) to be more older adult-specific.
Experts agreed that the HoNOS OA measures important constructs. Training may need to orient experienced raters to the rationale for some revisions. Further psychometric testing of the HoNOS OA is recommended.
This study compared the per capita annual global incidence rate of disasters caused by natural hazards with the annual world real gross domestic product, GDP (per global capita), as reported during 1961 through 2020.
Sixty (60) values for the world real GDP per global capita (in constant 2015 $USD) were compared to corresponding annual values for global incidence rates for five natural disaster subgroups and then for a total of twelve individual disaster types that comprise the subgroups; each expressed as an annual global incidence rate (in terms of annual incidence per 100,000 persons). Calculations of multiple linear regression, ANOVA, and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were performed for comparing population-adjusted values for GDP to corresponding values.
Four out of five hydrological and meteorological disasters were found to have a positive correlation with GDP. Results of the analysis revealed a relatively high degree of correlation between world GDP and the annual incidence of flood and storm disasters (P = 6.21 × 10−10 and P = 4.23 × 10−4, respectively). The annual incidence of heat waves and cold weather disasters also appeared to correlate with GDP (P = .002 and P = .019, respectively). In comparison, wet landslides indicated no such correlation (P = .862). No significant associations were found among the seven other individual biological, climatological, and geophysical disasters and GDP.
The global incidence of four extreme weather (hydrometeorological) disasters appear to be positively associated with world real GDP during 1961-2020. These findings contradict previous postulates that the risk of disaster incidence is inversely associated with the capacity of the population.
Delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) is a complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. There is little high-quality evidence available to guide the management of DCI. The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is comprised of resident physicians who are positioned to capture national, multi-site data. The objective of this study was to evaluate practice patterns of Canadian physicians regarding the management of aSAH and DCI.
We performed a cross-sectional survey of Canadian neurosurgeons, intensivists, and neurologists who manage aSAH. A 19-question electronic survey (Survey Monkey) was developed and validated by the CNRC following a DCI-related literature review (PubMed, Embase). The survey was distributed to members of the Canadian Neurosurgical Society and to Canadian members of the Neurocritical Care Society. Responses were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods.
The response rate was 129/340 (38%). Agreement among respondents was limited to the need for intensive care unit admission, use of clinical and radiographic monitoring, and prophylaxis for the prevention of DCI. Several inconsistencies were identified. Indications for starting hyperdynamic therapy varied. There was discrepancy in the proportion of patients who felt to require IV milrinone, IA vasodilators, or physical angioplasty for treatment of DCI. Most respondents reported their facility does not utilize a standardized definition for DCI.
DCI is an important clinical entity for which no homogeneity and standardization exists in management among Canadian practitioners. The CNRC calls for the development of national standards in the definition, identification, and treatment of DCI.
Monoclonal antibody therapeutics to treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Many barriers exist when deploying a novel therapeutic during an ongoing pandemic, and it is critical to assess the needs of incorporating monoclonal antibody infusions into pandemic response activities. We examined the monoclonal antibody infusion site process during the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted a descriptive analysis using data from 3 sites at medical centers in the United States supported by the National Disaster Medical System. Monoclonal antibody implementation success factors included engagement with local medical providers, therapy batch preparation, placing the infusion center in proximity to emergency services, and creating procedures resilient to EUA changes. Infusion process challenges included confirming patient severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity, strained staff, scheduling, and pharmacy coordination. Infusion sites are effective when integrated into pre-existing pandemic response ecosystems and can be implemented with limited staff and physical resources.
A new specimen of Basilosaurus cetoides was discovered on the banks of the Flint River in Albany, Georgia, USA, in 2010. This fossil, which was the most complete specimen of the species from Georgia to date, consisted of five nearly complete and two partial post-thoracic vertebrae, tentatively identified as S4 through Ca6. During excavation, however, the site was looted and most of the specimen was lost to science. Nonetheless, we use this discovery as an opportunity to update the current state of knowledge on the stratigraphic, biogeographic, and environmental distribution of Basilosaurus in North America, as well as the position of the late Eocene shoreline in the southeastern United States. The results show that Basilosaurus was most abundant across the southeastern coastal plain during the early to middle Priabonian, coincident with the late Eocene maximum marine transgression. The decline in Basilosaurus localities is associated with the retreating shoreline of the terminal Eocene. The majority of Basilosaurus localities fall well south of the position of the late Eocene shoreline hypothesized in this study, suggesting the genus favored middle to outer neritic zones of the epicontinental sea. The comparatively low number of Priabonian specimens in the Atlantic Coastal Plain versus the Gulf Coastal Plain, then, suggests the presence of shallow zones in the Atlantic Coastal Plain that may have limited the distribution of Basilosaurus across the region. The hypothesized shoreline of this study ultimately differs from earlier reconstructions by extending the Mississippi embayment at the Bartonian/Priabonian boundary farther north than previously noted.
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.
The number of mental health-related 999 calls to emergency services has increased in recent years. However, emergency services staff have an unfavourable reputation when it comes to supporting people experiencing mental health problems.
To assess the levels of explicit and implicit mental health stigma among accident and emergency, ambulance and police staff, and draw comparisons with the general population. Additional analyses sought to identify which variables predict mental health stigma among emergency services staff.
A cross-sectional survey of 1837 participants, comprising four independent groups (accident and emergency, ambulance and police staff, and the general population).
Levels of mental health stigma across all four groups were lower than those reported in recent surveys of the general population by the ‘Time to Change’ campaign. Within this study, explicit levels of mental health stigma were lower among the general population compared with emergency services staff. There was no difference between emergency service professions, nor were there any between-group differences in terms of implicit mental health stigma. The only consistent predictors of mental health stigma were attitudes and future behavioural intentions, whereby increased stigma was predicted by increased fear, reduced sympathy and greater intended discrimination.
Our findings suggest that levels of mental health stigma have improved over time, but there is room for improvement in emergency services staff. Interventions to improve mental health stigma may be most effective if, in line with the cognitive–behavioural model of stigma, they target attitudes and behavioural intentions.
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures are likely to have a marked effect on mental health. It is important to use longitudinal data to improve inferences.
To quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, to identify groups at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic.
Data were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) index generation (n = 2850, mean age 28 years) and parent generation (n = 3720, mean age 59 years), and Generation Scotland (n = 4233, mean age 59 years). Depression was measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in ALSPAC and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Generation Scotland. Anxiety and mental well-being were measured with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment-7 and the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Depression during the pandemic was similar to pre-pandemic levels in the ALSPAC index generation, but those experiencing anxiety had almost doubled, at 24% (95% CI 23–26%) compared with a pre-pandemic level of 13% (95% CI 12–14%). In both studies, anxiety and depression during the pandemic was greater in younger members, women, those with pre-existing mental/physical health conditions and individuals in socioeconomic adversity, even when controlling for pre-pandemic anxiety and depression.
These results provide evidence for increased anxiety in young people that is coincident with the pandemic. Specific groups are at elevated risk of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important for planning current mental health provisions and for long-term impact beyond this pandemic.
Wright’s “adaptive landscape” has been influential in evolutionary thinking but controversial, especially because the landscape that organisms encounter is altered by the evolutionary process itself and the effects organisms have on their environments. Lewontin offered a mathematical heuristic describing the coupling of niche construction and adaptive evolution. Here, we propose a “dual landscape” model to view these relationships. Our model represents change as simultaneous movement on two landscapes, each a function of phenotype and environment. This model clarifies the evolutionary feedback generated by niche construction. We relate our model to Lewontin’s niche construction equations and illustrate it with three examples.
Observational studies have linked elevated homocysteine to vascular conditions. Folate intake has been associated with lower homocysteine concentration, although randomised controlled trials of folic acid supplementation to decrease the incidence of vascular conditions have been inconclusive. We investigated determinants of maternal homocysteine during pregnancy, particularly in a folic acid-fortified population.
Data were from the Ottawa and Kingston Birth Cohort of 8085 participants. We used multivariable regression analyses to identify factors associated with maternal homocysteine, adjusted for gestational age at bloodwork. Continuous factors were modelled using restricted cubic splines. A subgroup analysis examined the modifying effect of MTHFR 677C>T genotype on folate, in determining homocysteine concentration.
Participants were recruited in Ottawa and Kingston, Canada, from 2002 to 2009.
Women were recruited when presenting for prenatal care in the early second trimester.
In 7587 participants, factors significantly associated with higher homocysteine concentration were nulliparous, smoking and chronic hypertension, while factors significantly associated with lower homocysteine concentration were non-Caucasian race, history of a placenta-mediated complication and folic acid supplementation. Maternal age and BMI demonstrated U-shaped associations. Folic acid supplementation of >1 mg/d during pregnancy did not substantially increase folate concentration. In the subgroup analysis, MTHFR 677C>T modified the effect of folate status on homocysteine concentration.
We identified determinants of maternal homocysteine relevant to the lowering of homocysteine in the post-folic acid fortification era, characterised by folate-replete populations. A focus on periconceptional folic acid supplementation and improving health status may form an effective approach to lower homocysteine.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Cultures around the world are converging as populations become more connected. On the one hand this increased connectedness can promote the recombination of existing cultural practices to generate new ones, but on the other it may lead to the replacement of traditional practices and global WEIRDing. Here we examine the process and causes of changes in cultural traits concerning wild plant knowledge in Mbendjele BaYaka hunter–gatherers from Congo. Our results show that the BaYaka who were born in town reported knowing and using fewer plants than the BaYaka who were born in forest camps. Plant uses lost in the town-born BaYaka related to medicine. Unlike the forest-born participants, the town-born BaYaka preferred Western medicine over traditional practices, suggesting that the observed decline of plant knowledge and use is the result of replacement of cultural practices with the new products of cumulative culture.
Major depressive disorder and neuroticism (Neu) share a large genetic basis. We sought to determine whether this shared basis could be decomposed to identify genetic factors that are specific to depression.
We analysed summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of depression (from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, 23andMe and UK Biobank) and compared them with GWAS of Neu (from UK Biobank). First, we used a pairwise GWAS analysis to classify variants as associated with only depression, with only Neu or with both. Second, we estimated partial genetic correlations to test whether the depression's genetic link with other phenotypes was explained by shared overlap with Neu.
We found evidence that most genomic regions (25/37) associated with depression are likely to be shared with Neu. The overlapping common genetic variance of depression and Neu was genetically correlated primarily with psychiatric disorders. We found that the genetic contributions to depression, that were not shared with Neu, were positively correlated with metabolic phenotypes and cardiovascular disease, and negatively correlated with the personality trait conscientiousness. After removing shared genetic overlap with Neu, depression still had a specific association with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, coronary artery disease and age of first birth. Independent of depression, Neu had specific genetic correlates in ulcerative colitis, pubertal growth, anorexia and education.
Our findings demonstrate that, while genetic risk factors for depression are largely shared with Neu, there are also non-Neu-related features of depression that may be useful for further patient or phenotypic stratification.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether vehicle type based on size (car vs. other = truck/van/SUV) had an impact on the speeding, acceleration, and braking patterns of older male and female drivers (70 years and older) from a Canadian longitudinal study. The primary hypothesis was that older adults driving larger vehicles (e.g., trucks, SUVs, or vans) would be more likely to speed than those driving cars. Participants (n = 493) had a device installed in their vehicles that recorded their everyday driving. The findings suggest that the type of vehicle driven had little or no impact on per cent of time speeding or on the braking and accelerating patterns of older drivers. Given that the propensity for exceeding the speed limit was high among these older drivers, regardless of vehicle type, future research should examine what effect this behaviour has on older-driver road safety.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.