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Response to lithium in patients with bipolar disorder is associated with clinical and transdiagnostic genetic factors. The predictive combination of these variables might help clinicians better predict which patients will respond to lithium treatment.
To use a combination of transdiagnostic genetic and clinical factors to predict lithium response in patients with bipolar disorder.
This study utilised genetic and clinical data (n = 1034) collected as part of the International Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLi+Gen) project. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were computed for schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, and then combined with clinical variables using a cross-validated machine-learning regression approach. Unimodal, multimodal and genetically stratified models were trained and validated using ridge, elastic net and random forest regression on 692 patients with bipolar disorder from ten study sites using leave-site-out cross-validation. All models were then tested on an independent test set of 342 patients. The best performing models were then tested in a classification framework.
The best performing linear model explained 5.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response and was composed of clinical variables, PRS variables and interaction terms between them. The best performing non-linear model used only clinical variables and explained 8.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response. A priori genomic stratification improved non-linear model performance to 13.7% (P = 0.0001) and improved the binary classification of lithium response. This model stratified patients based on their meta-polygenic loadings for major depressive disorder and schizophrenia and was then trained using clinical data.
Using PRS to first stratify patients genetically and then train machine-learning models with clinical predictors led to large improvements in lithium response prediction. When used with other PRS and biological markers in the future this approach may help inform which patients are most likely to respond to lithium treatment.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on how health outcomes are unequally distributed among different population groups, with disadvantaged communities and individuals being disproportionality affected in terms of infection, morbidity and mortality, as well as vaccine access. Recently, there has been considerable debate about how social disadvantage and inequality intersect with developmental processes to result in a heightened susceptibility to environmental stressors, economic shocks and large-scale health emergencies. We argue that DOHaD Society members can make important contributions to addressing issues of inequality and improving community resilience in response to COVID-19. In order to do so, it is beneficial to engage with and adopt a social justice framework. We detail how DOHaD can align its research and policy recommendations with a social justice perspective to ensure that we contribute to improving the health of present and future generations in an equitable and socially just way.
To assess the mental health of pregnant women, with reference to anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Ireland during the third wave of the pandemic between February and March 2021. Psychiatric, social and obstetric information was collected from pregnant women in a Dublin maternity hospital, alongside self-reported measures of mental health status.
Of 392 women responding, 23.7% had anxiety, scoring >9 for GAD-7 (7-item generalised anxiety disorder), 20.4% had depression, scoring >9 for PHQ-9 (9-item depression screening tool: Patient health questionnaire) and 10.3% had obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), scoring >13 for Yale–Brown obsessive-compulsive scale symptom checklist (Y-BOCS). Amongst self-reported OCD symptoms, there was a preponderance for obsessions rather than compulsions. Of 392 women, 36.2% described their mental health as worse during the pandemic, most frequently describing symptoms of anxiety and sleep disturbance. When analysed against test scores, self-reported worsening of mental health was significantly associated with higher scores on the GAD-7, PHQ-9 and Y-BOCS scales. The three scores were positively interrelated. Poor mental health scores were associated with self-reported strain in relationship with the baby’s father, and current or previous history of mental illness.
This study found high levels of depression, anxiety and OC symptoms amongst pregnant women during COVID-19. This highlights the vulnerability of this group to mental illness and the importance of enhanced screening and support during pandemics.
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.
An accurate estimate of the average number of hand hygiene opportunities per patient hour (HHO rate) is required to implement group electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems (GEHHMSs). We sought to identify predictors of HHOs to validate and implement a GEHHMS across a network of critical care units.
Multicenter, observational study (10 hospitals) followed by quality improvement intervention involving 24 critical care units across 12 hospitals in Ontario, Canada.
Critical care patient beds were randomized to receive 1 hour of continuous direct observation to determine the HHO rate. A Poisson regression model determined unit-level predictors of HHOs. Estimates of average HHO rates across different types of critical care units were derived and used to implement and evaluate use of GEHHMS.
During 2,812 hours of observation, we identified 25,417 HHOs. There was significant variability in HHO rate across critical care units. Time of day, day of the week, unit acuity, patient acuity, patient population and use of transmission-based precautions were significantly associated with HHO rate. Using unit-specific estimates of average HHO rate, aggregate HH adherence was 30.0% (1,084,329 of 3,614,908) at baseline with GEHHMS and improved to 38.5% (740,660 of 1,921,656) within 2 months of continuous feedback to units (P < .0001).
Unit-specific estimates based on known predictors of HHO rate enabled broad implementation of GEHHMS. Further longitudinal quality improvement efforts using this system are required to assess the impact of GEHHMS on both HH adherence and clinical outcomes within critically ill patient populations.
Colleges and universities around the world engaged diverse strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baylor University, a community of ˜22,700 individuals, was 1 of the institutions which resumed and sustained operations. The key strategy was establishment of multidisciplinary teams to develop mitigation strategies and priority areas for action. This population-based team approach along with implementation of a “Swiss Cheese” risk mitigation model allowed small clusters to be rapidly addressed through testing, surveillance, tracing, isolation, and quarantine. These efforts were supported by health protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and compliance monitoring. As a result, activities were sustained from August 1 to December 8, 2020. There were 62,970 COVID-19 tests conducted with 1435 people testing positive for a positivity rate of 2.28%. A total of 1670 COVID-19 cases were identified with 235 self-reports. The mean number of tests per week was 3500 with approximately 80 of these positive (11/d). More than 60 student tracers were trained with over 120 personnel available to contact trace, at a ratio of 1 per 400 university members. The successes and lessons learned provide a framework and pathway for similar institutions to mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and sustain operations during a global pandemic.
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.
This chapter comprises the following sections: names, taxonomy, subspecies and distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, movements and home range, activity patterns, feeding ecology, reproduction and growth, behavior, parasites and diseases, status in the wild, and status in captivity.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an urge to move and uncomfortable sensations. Genetic studies have identified polymorphisms in up to 19 risk loci, including MEIS1 and BTBD9. Rodents deficient in either homolog show RLS-like phenotypes. However, whether MEIS1 and BTBD9 interact in vivo is unclear. Here, with C. elegans, we observed that the hyperactive egg-laying behavior caused by loss of BTBD9 homolog was counteracted by knockdown of MEIS1 homolog. This was further investigated in mutant mice with Btbd9, Meis1, or both knocked out. The double knockout mice showed an earlier onset of the motor deficit in a wheel running test but did not have increased sensitivity to heat stimuli as observed in single knock outs. Meis1 protein level was not influenced by Btbd9 deficiency, and Btbd9 transcription was not affected by Meis1 haploinsufficiency. Our results demonstrate that MEIS1 and BTBD9 do not regulate each other.
The second and final year of the Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme, where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in-class’ time is limited to 4 weeks a year, and the programme spans 2 years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion. Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just finished its second and final year. Six Learning Teaching Training activities have been held at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University, the University of Salamanca and the Institute of Plasma Physics and Lasers of the Hellenic Mediterranean University. The last of these institutes hosted two 2-week-long Intensive Programmes, while the activities at the other four universities were each 5 days in length. In addition, a ‘Multiplier Event’ was held at the University of Ioannina, which will be briefly described. In this second year, the work has concentrated on training in both experimental diagnostics and simulation techniques appropriate to the study of plasma physics, high power laser matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail, and some metrics relating to the activities carried out will be presented. In particular, this paper will focus on the overall assessment of the programme.
In patients with β-lactam allergies, administration of non–β-lactam surgical prophylaxis is associated with increased risk of infection. Although many patients self-report β-lactam allergies, most are unconfirmed or mislabeled. A quality improvement process, utilizing a structured β-lactam allergy tool, was implemented to improve the utilization of preferred β-lactam surgical prophylaxis.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communal, aesthetic, and scientific values. The Fort Apache workshop integrated four generally partitioned domains of CPC expertise: (1) theories of perpetrators’ motivations and methods; (2) recommended practice in sustaining public and community opposition to CPC; (3) tactics and strategies for documenting, investigating, and prosecuting CPC; and (4) forensic sedimentology—uses of biophysical sciences to link sediments from implicated persons and objects to crime scenes. Forensic sedimentology served as the touchstone for dialogues among experts in criminology, archaeological sciences, law enforcement, and heritage stewardship. Field visits to CPC crime scenes and workshop deliberations identified pathways toward integrating CPC theory and practice with forensic sedimentology’s potent battery of analytic methods.