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The Quaternary Isotope Laboratory (QIL) at the University of Washington was launched in 1969 and directed by Minze Stuiver until his retirement in 1998. Here we review some of the scientific work undertaken in the QIL and the memories of some of Minze’s former students and colleagues.
Anelaphus villosus (Fabricius) and A. parallelus (Newman) are longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Cerambycinae: Elaphidiini) that closely resemble each other in appearance. In practice, if antennomere 3 is distinctly longer than antennomere 4, the specimen is considered to be A. villosus, but the accuracy of this methodology is unknown. Authorities disagree about the ease of separating these two species based on morphological traits, and recent work hypothesises that they should be synonymised due to the difficulty of distinguishing them by either morphology or natural history. Assuming correct initial species determinations of curated specimens, as well as of those determined with DNA barcoding and by the primary author, data from 23 body measurements were collected from 50 A. villosus and 60 A. parallelus specimens. Stepwise discriminant analyses and discriminant functions were used to evaluate the ability to distinguish these species based on morphology. Species assignments from discriminant functions were very accurate and were supported by assignments determined with DNA barcoding. The ability to distinguish A. villosus and A. parallelus based on morphological and molecular differences provides evidence against the taxonomic hypothesis of synonymy under one species. A need for greater ecological understanding of these species remains.
The number of people over the age of 65 attending Emergency Departments (ED) in the United Kingdom (UK) is increasing. Those who attend with a mental health related problem may be referred to liaison psychiatry for assessment. Improving responsiveness and integration of liaison psychiatry in general hospital settings is a national priority. To do this psychiatry teams must be adequately resourced and organised. However, it is unknown how trends in the number of referrals of older people to liaison psychiatry teams by EDs are changing, making this difficult.
We performed a national multi-centre retrospective service evaluation, analysing existing psychiatry referral data from EDs of people over 65. Sites were selected from a convenience sample of older peoples liaison psychiatry departments. Departments from all regions of the UK were invited to participate via the RCPsych liaison and older peoples faculty email distribution lists. From departments who returned data, we combined the date and described trends in the number and rate of referrals over a 7 year period.
Referral data from up to 28 EDs across England and Scotland over a 7 year period were analysed (n = 18828 referrals). There is a general trend towards increasing numbers of older people referred to liaison psychiatry year on year. Rates rose year on year from 1.4 referrals per 1000 ED attenders (>65 years) in 2011 to 4.5 in 2019 . There is inter and intra site variability in referral numbers per 1000 ED attendances between different departments, ranging from 0.1 - 24.3.
To plan an effective healthcare system we need to understand the population it serves, and have appropriate structures and processes within it. The overarching message of this study is clear; older peoples mental health emergencies presenting in ED are common and appear to be increasingly so. Without appropriate investment either in EDs or community mental health services, this is unlikely to improve.
The data also suggest very variable inter-departmental referral rates. It is not possible to establish why rates from one department to another are so different, or whether outcomes for the population they serve are better or worse. The data does however highlight the importance of asking further questions about why the departments are different, and what impact that has on the patients they serve.
Early assessment, diagnosis and management for people living with dementia is essential, both for the patient and their carers. We recognised delays in established local pathways when patients had unplanned acute hospital admissions preventing them from attending memory diagnostic appointments. The Psychiatric Liaison Team (PLT) Memory Pathway was introduced as we had the skills and expertise to resume the process and to find new undetected patients.
Our aim was to determine how well the newly implemented PLT Memory Pathway follows the standards outlined in the National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guideline 97 (CG97): Assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers.
A retrospective analysis of all PLT referrals from July 2018 to February 2020 (20 months) was performed to identify patients on the community memory pathway and those with possible undetected cognitive impairment. Data were collected from electronic patient records which included demographics, primary and collateral history, cognitive testing and imaging, dementia type among others. Results were analysed using Microsoft Excel.
41 patients were included (59% female). 80% of patients were referred for memory problems or confusion. 63% had previous referrals to a memory service and was on the community memory pathway at the time of the referral. 34% were on anticholinergic medication but in only 14% were this documented as reviewed. 100 % were offered and had head imaging. A finding worthy of note was the absence of any from the ethnic minority background. 63% of patients were given a memory diagnosis and 34% had anti-dementia medication started. Patients’ families were made aware of the diagnosis in 83% of cases, due to the absence of next of kin details in the patient record. Primary Care was made aware in 100% of cases; post-diagnostic support was 100%.
The PLT is well placed to bridge the service gap between the acute care trust and established community memory services when dealing with patients with dementia. A dedicated Memory Pathway has helped to close this gap and adherence to NICE CG97 standards was good, but there is room for improvement. A particular focus will be on improving documentation of anticholinergic medication review and exploration for the absence of ethnic minority patients. Aiming to achieve 100% family involvement is also recommended.
This study has been submitted to the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Faculty of Old Age Annual Conference 2021.
Intrauterine preeclampsia exposure affects the lifelong cardiometabolic health of the child. Our study aimed to compare the growth (from birth to 6 months) of infants exposed to either a normotensive pregnancy or preeclampsia and explore the influence of being born small for gestational age (SGA). Participants were children of women participating in the Post-partum, Physiology, Psychology and Paediatric follow-up cohort study. Birth and 6-month weight and length z-scores were calculated for term and preterm (<37 weeks) babies, and change in weight z-score, rapid weight gain (≥0.67 increase in weight z-score) and conditional weight gain z-score were calculated. Compared with normotensive exposed infants (n = 298), preeclampsia exposed infants (n = 84) were more likely to be born SGA (7% versus 23%; P < 0.001), but weight gain from birth to 6 months, by any measure, did not differ between groups. Infants born SGA, irrespective of pregnancy exposure, were more likely to have rapid weight gain and had greater increases in weight z-score compared with those not born SGA. Preeclampsia exposed infants born SGA may benefit from interventions designed to prevent future cardiometabolic disease.
We examined whether Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)-informed measures of prenatal stress predicted newborn neurobehavior and whether these effects differed by newborn sex. Multilevel, prenatal markers of prenatal stress were obtained from 162 pregnant women. Markers of the Negative Valence System included physiological functioning (respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA] and electrodermal [EDA] reactivity to a speech task, hair cortisol), self-reported stress (state anxiety, pregnancy-specific anxiety, daily stress, childhood trauma, economic hardship, and family resources), and interviewer-rated stress (episodic stress, chronic stress). Markers of the Arousal/Regulatory System included physiological functioning (baseline RSA, RSA, and EDA responses to infant cries) and self-reported affect intensity, urgency, emotion regulation strategies, and dispositional mindfulness. Newborns’ arousal and attention were assessed via the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Network Neurobehavioral Scale. Path analyses showed that high maternal episodic and daily stress, low economic hardship, few emotion regulation strategies, and high baseline RSA predicted female newborns’ low attention; maternal mindfulness predicted female newborns’ high arousal. As for male newborns, high episodic stress predicted low arousal, and high pregnancy-specific anxiety predicted high attention. Findings suggest that RDoC-informed markers of prenatal stress could aid detection of variance in newborn neurobehavioral outcomes within hours after birth. Implications for intergenerational transmission of risk for psychopathology are discussed.
The importance of data science in society today is undeniable, and now is the time to prepare data science talent (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018). Data science demands collaboration, but collaboration within political science departments has been weak in teaching data science. Bridging substantive and methods courses can critically aid in teaching data science because it facilitates this collaboration. Our innovation is to integrate data science into both substantive and methods courses through a dedicated data science course and modules on data science topics taught in substantive courses. This approach allows not only for more opportunities for teaching and practice of data science methods but also helps students to understand how social, economic, and political biases and incentives can affect their data.
We aimed to investigate the associations of poor oral health cross-sectionally with diet quality and intake in older people. We also examined whether change in diet quality is associated with oral health problems. Data from the British Regional Heart Study (BRHS) comprising British males aged 71–92 years and the Health, Aging and Body Composition (HABC) Study comprising American males and females aged 71–80 years were used. Dental data included tooth loss, periodontal disease, dry mouth and self-rated oral health. Dietary data included diet quality (based on Elderly Dietary Index (BRHS) and Healthy Eating Score (HABC Study)) and several nutrients. In the BRHS, change in diet quality over 10 years (1998–2000 to 2010–2012) was also assessed. In the BRHS, tooth loss, fair/poor self-rated oral health and accumulation of oral health problems were associated with poor diet quality, after adjustment. Similar associations were reported for high intake of processed meat. Poor oral health was associated with the top quartile of percentage of energy content from saturated fat (self-rated oral health, OR 1·34, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·77). In the HABC Study, no significant associations were observed for diet quality after adjustment. Periodontal disease was associated with the top quartile of percentage of energy content from saturated fat (OR 1·48, 95 % CI 1·09, 2·01). In the BRHS, persistent low diet quality was associated with higher risk of tooth loss and accumulation of oral health problems. Older individuals with oral health problems had poorer diets and consumed fewer nutrient-rich foods. Persistent poor diet quality was associated with oral health problems later in life.
There is a large treatment gap for common mental disorders in rural areas of low-income countries. We tested the Friendship Bench as a brief psychological intervention delivered by village health workers (VHWs) in rural Zimbabwe.
Rural women identified with depression in a previous trial received weekly home-based problem-solving therapy from VHWs for 6 weeks, and joined a peer-support group. Depression was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ). Acceptability was explored through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The proportion of women with depression pre- and post-intervention was compared using McNemar's test.
Ten VHWs delivered problem-solving therapy to 27 women of mean age 33 years; 25 completed six sessions. Women valued an established and trustful relationship with their VHW, which ensured confidentiality and prevented gossip, and reported finding individual problem-solving therapy beneficial. Peer-support meetings provided space to share problems, solutions and skills. The proportion of women with depression or suicidal ideation on the EPDS declined from 68% to 12% [difference 56% (95% confidence interval (CI) 27.0–85.0); p = 0.001], and the proportion scoring high (>7) on the SSQ declined from 52% to 4% [difference 48% (95% CI 24.4–71.6); p < 0.001] after the 6-week intervention.
VHW-delivered problem-solving therapy and peer-support was acceptable and showed promising results in this pilot evaluation, leading to quantitative and qualitative improvements in mental health among rural Zimbabwean women. Scale-up of the Friendship Bench in rural areas would help close the treatment gap for common mental disorders.
Intracerebral haemorrhage and subarachnoid haemorrhage are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Too often the focus is on acute treatment after a haemorrhage has occurred, instead of primary and secondary prevention. Medical therapies to control hypertension, achieve tobacco abstinence, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption can confer broad reductions in haemorrhage risk across pathophysiological subtypes. Judicious restriction of antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies to only those individuals and those intensities for which they are indicated also can substantially reduce haemorrhagic stroke frequency. Specific endovascular and surgical therapies, judiciously employed, will further reduce risk of first or recurrent haemorrhage from structural vascular anomalies, including arteriovenous malformation, cavernous malformations, and saccular aneurysms. For unruptured intracranial aneurysms, features that favour consideration of preventive occlusion include include younger patient age, prior subarachnoid haemorrhage from a different aneurysm, familial intracranial aneurysms, large aneurysm size, irregular shape, basilar or vertebral artery location, and aneurysm growth on serial imaging. Among individuals who are technical candidates for either coiling or clipping, endovascular coiling is associated with a reduction in procedural morbidity and mortality but has a higher risk of recurrence.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Background: Measles is a highly contagious virus that reemerged in 2019 with the highest number of reported cases in the United States since 1992. Beginning in March 2019, The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) responded to an influx of patients with concern for measles as a result of outbreaks in Maryland and the surrounding states. We report the JHH Department of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (HEIC) response to this measles outbreak using a multidisciplinary measles incident command system (ICS). Methods: The JHH HEIC and the Johns Hopkins Office of Emergency Management established the HEIC Clinical Incident Command Center and coordinated a multipronged response to the measles outbreak with partners from occupational health services, microbiology, the adult and pediatric emergency departments, marketing and communication and local and state public health departments. The multidisciplinary structure rapidly developed, approved, and disseminated tools to improve the ability of frontline providers to quickly identify, isolate, and determine testing needs for patients suspected to have measles infection and reduce the risk of secondary transmission. The tools included a triage algorithm, visitor signage, staff and patient vaccination guidance and clinics, and standard operating procedures for measles evaluation and testing. The triage algorithms were developed for phone or in-person and assessed measles exposure history, immune status, and symptoms, and provided guidance regarding isolation and the need for testing. The algorithms were distributed to frontline providers in clinics and emergency rooms across the Johns Hopkins Health System. The incident command team also distributed resources to community providers to reduce patient influx to JHH and staged an outdoor measles evaluation and testing site in the event of a case influx that would exceed emergency department resources. Results: From March 2019 through June 2019, 37 patients presented with symptoms or concern for measles. Using the ICS tools and algorithms, JHH rapidly identified, isolated, and tested 11 patients with high suspicion for measles, 4 of whom were confirmed positive. Of the other 26 patients not tested, none developed measles infection. Exposures were minimized, and there were no secondary measles transmissions among patients. Conclusions: Using the ICS and development of tools and resources to prevent measles transmission, including a patient triage algorithm, the JHH team successfully identified, isolated, and evaluated patients with high suspicion for measles while minimizing exposures and secondary transmission. These strategies may be useful to other institutions and locales in the event of an emerging or reemerging infectious disease outbreak.
Disclosures: Aaron Milstone reports consulting for Becton Dickinson.
Dementia caregiving is associated with a variety of negative outcomes including poor caregiver mental and physical health and low relationship satisfaction. Prior research has linked these negative caregiver outcomes to patients’ cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. However, few studies have examined the link between patients’ socioemotional functioning and caregiver outcomes. We examined how patients’ socioemotional functioning was related to caregiver marital satisfaction, physical health, and psychopathology in a sample of 103 caregivers of dementia patients (with a wide range of diagnoses). Measures included: (a) patient socioemotional functioning (Caregiver Assessment of Socioemotional Functioning), (b) patient cognitive functioning (Mini-Mental State Exam), (c) patient psychiatric symptomatology (Neuropsychiatric Inventory), (d) caregiver marital satisfaction (Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test), (e) caregiver physical health (Medical Outcomes Study Health Survey), and (f) caregiver psychopathology (Symptom Checklist-90 -Revised). Results indicated that poor patient socioemotional functioning predicted lower levels of caregiver marital satisfaction (beta= −.45, p < .001) and physical health (beta= −.25, p < .05), and greater caregiver psychopathology (beta= .41, p < .001), above and beyond patient cognitive functioning and psychiatric symptoms. These findings suggest that low levels of socioemotional functioning in patients make important and unique contributions to negative caregiver outcomes.