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The antipsychotic aripiprazole is often used in the treatment of first-episode psychosis. Measuring aripiprazole blood levels provides an objective measure of treatment adherence, but this currently involves taking a venous blood sample and sending to a laboratory for analysis.
To detail the development, validation and utility of a new point of care (POC) test for finger-stick capillary blood concentrations of aripiprazole.
Analytical performance (sensitivity, precision, recovery and linearity) of the assay were established using spiked whole blood and control samples of varying aripiprazole concentration. Assay validation was performed over a 14-month period starting in July 2021. Eligible patients were asked to provide a finger-stick capillary sample in addition to their usual venous blood sample. Capillary blood samples were tested by the MyCare™ Insite POC analyser, which provided measurement of aripiprazole concentration in 6 min, and the venous blood sample was tested by the standard laboratory method.
A total of 101 patients agreed to measurements by the two methods. Venous blood aripiprazole concentrations as assessed by the laboratory method ranged from 17 to 909 ng/mL, and from 1 to 791 ng/mL using POC testing. The correlation coefficient between the two methods (r) was 0.96 and there was minimal bias (slope 0.91, intercept 4 ng/ml).
The MyCare Insite POC analyser is sufficiently accurate and reliable for clinical use. The availability of this technology will improve the assessment of adherence to aripiprazole and the optimising of aripiprazole dosing.
Personality traits (e.g. neuroticism) and the social environment predict risk for internalizing disorders and suicidal behavior. Studying these characteristics together and prospectively within a population confronted with high stressor exposure (e.g. U.S. Army soldiers) has not been done, yet could uncover unique and interactive predictive effects that may inform prevention and early intervention efforts.
Five broad personality traits and social network size were assessed via self-administered questionnaires among experienced soldiers preparing for deployment (N = 4645) and new soldiers reporting for basic training (N = 6216). Predictive models examined associations of baseline personality and social network variables with recent distress disorders or suicidal behaviors assessed 3- and 9-months post-deployment and approximately 5 years following enlistment.
Among the personality traits, elevated neuroticism was consistently associated with increased mental health risk following deployment. Small social networks were also associated with increased mental health risk following deployment, beyond the variance accounted for by personality. Limited support was found for social network size moderating the association between personality and mental health outcomes. Small social networks also predicted distress disorders and suicidal behavior 5 years following enlistment, whereas unique effects of personality traits on these more distal outcomes were rare.
Heightened neuroticism and small social networks predict a greater risk for negative mental health sequelae, especially following deployment. Social ties may mitigate adverse impacts of personality traits on psychopathology in some contexts. Early identification and targeted intervention for these distinct, modifiable factors may decrease the risk of distress disorders and suicidal behavior.
Among outpatients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to the severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) δ (delta) variant who did and did not receive 2 vaccine doses at 7 days after symptom onset, there was no difference in viral shedding (cycle threshold difference 0.59, 95% CI, −4.68 to 3.50; P = .77) with SARS-CoV-2 cultured from 2 (7%) of 28 and 1 (4%) of 26 outpatients, respectively.
The North American Waterfowl Management Plan highlights the importance of enhancing waterfowl habitat for productivity and resilience. Many forms of land management are conducted in wetlands to support the diverse communities of waterfowl and other species. Primary burrowing crayfish are also abundant and important in these environments, but little research is available assessing the effects of waterfowl land management on primary burrowers. We examined the response of the digger crayfish, Creaserinus fodiens, to the common vegetation management practices of mowing and disking at waterfowl conservation areas in south-eastern Missouri. Our results demonstrated that at a fine scale, crayfish density was affected by only canopy cover. We also highlighted distributional effects of landscape-level environmental variables and suggested that habitat generalists were tolerant of vegetation management, responding more to vegetation composition and broader landscape effects. We discuss wetlands conservation practices and suggest that burrowing crayfish management would integrate well with some current management strategies for waterfowl.
Impaired olfaction may be a biomarker for early Lewy body disease, but its value in mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) is unknown. We compared olfaction in MCI-LB with MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease (MCI-AD) and healthy older adults. We hypothesized that olfactory function would be worse in probable MCI-LB than in both MCI-AD and healthy comparison subjects (HC).
Cross-sectional study assessing olfaction using Sniffin’ Sticks 16 (SS-16) in MCI-LB, MCI-AD, and HC with longitudinal follow-up. Differences were adjusted for age, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used for discriminating MCI-LB from MCI-AD and HC.
Participants were recruited from Memory Services in the North East of England.
Thirty-eight probable MCI-LB, 33 MCI-AD, 19 possible MCI-LB, and 32HC.
Olfaction was assessed using SS-16 and a questionnaire.
Participants with probable MCI-LB had worse olfaction than both MCI-AD (age-adjusted mean difference (B) = 2.05, 95% CI: 0.62–3.49, p = 0.005) and HC (B = 3.96, 95% CI: 2.51–5.40, p < 0.001). The previously identified cutoff score for the SS-16 of ≤ 10 had 84% sensitivity for probable MCI-LB (95% CI: 69–94%), but 30% specificity versus MCI-AD. ROC analysis found a lower cutoff of ≤ 7 was better (63% sensitivity for MCI-LB, with 73% specificity vs MCI-AD and 97% vs HC). Asking about olfactory impairments was not useful in identifying them.
MCI-LB had worse olfaction than MCI-AD and normal aging. A lower cutoff score of ≤ 7 is required when using SS-16 in such patients. Olfactory testing may have value in identifying early LB disease in memory services.
The present study aimed to clarify the neuropsychological profile of the emergent diagnostic category of Mild Cognitive Impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) and determine whether domain-specific impairments such as in memory were related to deficits in domain-general cognitive processes (executive function or processing speed).
Patients (n = 83) and healthy age- and sex-matched controls (n = 34) underwent clinical and imaging assessments. Probable MCI-LB (n = 44) and MCI-Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (n = 39) were diagnosed following National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) consortium criteria. Neuropsychological measures included cognitive and psychomotor speed, executive function, working memory, and verbal and visuospatial recall.
MCI-LB scored significantly lower than MCI-AD on processing speed [Trail Making Test B: p = .03, g = .45; Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST): p = .04, g = .47; DSST Error Check: p < .001, g = .68] and executive function [Trail Making Test Ratio (A/B): p = .04, g = .52] tasks. MCI-AD performed worse than MCI-LB on memory tasks, specifically visuospatial (Modified Taylor Complex Figure: p = .01, g = .46) and verbal (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test: p = .04, g = .42) delayed recall measures. Stepwise discriminant analysis correctly classified the subtype in 65.1% of MCI patients (72.7% specificity, 56.4% sensitivity). Processing speed accounted for more group-associated variance in visuospatial and verbal memory in both MCI subtypes than executive function, while no significant relationships between measures were observed in controls (all ps > .05)
MCI-LB was characterized by executive dysfunction and slowed processing speed but did not show the visuospatial dysfunction expected, while MCI-AD displayed an amnestic profile. However, there was considerable neuropsychological profile overlap and processing speed mediated performance in both MCI subtypes.
Electroencephalographic (EEG) abnormalities are greater in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) than in MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease (MCI-AD) and may anticipate the onset of dementia. We aimed to assess whether quantitative EEG (qEEG) slowing would predict a higher annual hazard of dementia in MCI across these etiologies. MCI patients (n = 92) and healthy comparators (n = 31) provided qEEG recording and underwent longitudinal clinical and cognitive follow-up. Associations between qEEG slowing, measured by increased theta/alpha ratio, and clinical progression from MCI to dementia were estimated with a multistate transition model to account for death as a competing risk, while controlling for age, cognitive function, and etiology classified by an expert consensus panel.
Over a mean follow-up of 1.5 years (SD = 0.5), 14 cases of incident dementia and 5 deaths were observed. Increased theta/alpha ratio on qEEG was associated with increased annual hazard of dementia (hazard ratio = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.01–3.35). This extends previous findings that MCI-LB features early functional changes, showing that qEEG slowing may anticipate the onset of dementia in prospectively identified MCI.
The objectives of this study were to develop and refine EMPOWER (Enhancing and Mobilizing the POtential for Wellness and Resilience), a brief manualized cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based intervention for surrogate decision-makers of critically ill patients and to evaluate its preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and promise in improving surrogates’ mental health and patient outcomes.
Part 1 involved obtaining qualitative stakeholder feedback from 5 bereaved surrogates and 10 critical care and mental health clinicians. Stakeholders were provided with the manual and prompted for feedback on its content, format, and language. Feedback was organized and incorporated into the manual, which was then re-circulated until consensus. In Part 2, surrogates of critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) reporting moderate anxiety or close attachment were enrolled in an open trial of EMPOWER. Surrogates completed six, 15–20 min modules, totaling 1.5–2 h. Surrogates were administered measures of peritraumatic distress, experiential avoidance, prolonged grief, distress tolerance, anxiety, and depression at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at 1-month and 3-month follow-up assessments.
Part 1 resulted in changes to the EMPOWER manual, including reducing jargon, improving navigability, making EMPOWER applicable for a range of illness scenarios, rearranging the modules, and adding further instructions and psychoeducation. Part 2 findings suggested that EMPOWER is feasible, with 100% of participants completing all modules. The acceptability of EMPOWER appeared strong, with high ratings of effectiveness and helpfulness (M = 8/10). Results showed immediate post-intervention improvements in anxiety (d = −0.41), peritraumatic distress (d = −0.24), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.23). At the 3-month follow-up assessments, surrogates exhibited improvements in prolonged grief symptoms (d = −0.94), depression (d = −0.23), anxiety (d = −0.29), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.30).
Significance of results
Preliminary data suggest that EMPOWER is feasible, acceptable, and associated with notable improvements in psychological symptoms among surrogates. Future research should examine EMPOWER with a larger sample in a randomized controlled trial.
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.
Dopaminergic imaging is an established biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies, but its diagnostic accuracy at the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage remains uncertain.
To provide robust prospective evidence of the diagnostic accuracy of dopaminergic imaging at the MCI stage to either support or refute its inclusion as a biomarker for the diagnosis of MCI with Lewy bodies.
We conducted a prospective diagnostic accuracy study of baseline dopaminergic imaging with [123I]N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane single-photon emission computerised tomography (123I-FP-CIT SPECT) in 144 patients with MCI. Images were rated as normal or abnormal by a panel of experts with access to striatal binding ratio results. Follow-up consensus diagnosis based on the presence of core features of Lewy body disease was used as the reference standard.
At latest assessment (mean 2 years) 61 patients had probable MCI with Lewy bodies, 26 possible MCI with Lewy bodies and 57 MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. The sensitivity of baseline FP-CIT visual rating for probable MCI with Lewy bodies was 66% (95% CI 52–77%), specificity 88% (76–95%) and accuracy 76% (68–84%), with positive likelihood ratio 5.3.
It is over five times as likely for an abnormal scan to be found in probable MCI with Lewy bodies than MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. Dopaminergic imaging appears to be useful at the MCI stage in cases where Lewy body disease is suspected clinically.
The updated common rule, for human subjects research, requires that consents “begin with a ‘concise and focused’ presentation of the key information that will most likely help someone make a decision about whether to participate in a study” (Menikoff, Kaneshiro, Pritchard. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2017; 376(7): 613–615.). We utilized a community-engaged technology development approach to inform feature options within the REDCap software platform centered around collection and storage of electronic consent (eConsent) to address issues of transparency, clinical trial efficiency, and regulatory compliance for informed consent (Harris, et al. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 2009; 42(2): 377–381.). eConsent may also improve recruitment and retention in clinical research studies by addressing: (1) barriers for accessing rural populations by facilitating remote consent and (2) cultural and literacy barriers by including optional explanatory material (e.g., defining terms by hovering over them with the cursor) or the choice of displaying different videos/images based on participant’s race, ethnicity, or educational level (Phillippi, et al. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. 2018; 47(4): 529–534.).
We developed and pilot tested our eConsent framework to provide a personalized consent experience whereby users are guided through a consent document that utilizes avatars, contextual glossary information supplements, and videos, to facilitate communication of information.
The eConsent framework includes a portfolio of eight features, reviewed by community stakeholders, and tested at two academic medical centers.
Early adoption and utilization of this eConsent framework have demonstrated acceptability. Next steps will emphasize testing efficacy of features to improve participant engagement with the consent process.
A physical oceanographic, geophysical and marine geological survey of Edward VIII Gulf, Kemp Coast, collected data from conductivity–temperature–depth casts, multi-beam bathymetric swath mapping and 3.5 kHz sub-bottom surveying. Modified circumpolar deep water (mCDW) is observed in Edward VIII Gulf, as well as notable bathymetric features including mega-scale glacial lineations and a 1750 m-deep trough. Sedimentological, geochemical, rock-magnetic and micropalaeontological analysis of two kasten cores document regional palaeoclimate and palaeo-oceanographic conditions over the past 8000 years, with a warm period occurring from c. 8 to 4 ka and a shift to cooler conditions beginning at c. 4 ka and persisting until at least 0.9 ka. Sediment packages > 40 m thick within deep troughs in Edward VIII Gulf present potential targets for higher-resolution Holocene and deglacial climate studies. Despite the presence of mCDW on the shelf, inland bed topography consisting of highland terrain suggests the likelihood of relative stability of this sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.
The mechanism through which developmental programming of offspring overweight/obesity following in utero exposure to maternal overweight/obesity operates is unknown but may operate through biologic pathways involving offspring anthropometry at birth. Thus, we sought to examine to what extent the association between in utero exposure to maternal overweight/obesity and childhood overweight/obesity is mediated by birth anthropometry. Analyses were conducted on a retrospective cohort with data obtained from one hospital system. A natural effects model framework was used to estimate the natural direct effect and natural indirect effect of birth anthropometry (weight, length, head circumference, ponderal index, and small-for-gestational age [SGA] or large-for-gestational age [LGA]) for the association between pre-pregnancy maternal body mass index (BMI) category (overweight/obese vs normal weight) and offspring overweight/obesity in childhood. Models were adjusted for maternal and child socio-demographics. Three thousand nine hundred and fifty mother–child dyads were included in analyses (1467 [57.8%] of mothers and 913 [34.4%] of children were overweight/obese). Results suggest that a small percentage of the effect of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI overweight/obesity on offspring overweight/obesity operated through offspring anthropometry at birth (weight: 15.5%, length: 5.2%, head circumference: 8.5%, ponderal index: 2.2%, SGA: 2.9%, and LGA: 4.2%). There was a small increase in the percentage mediated when gestational diabetes or hypertensive disorders were added to the models. Our study suggests that some measures of birth anthropometry mediate the association between maternal pre-pregnancy overweight/obesity and offspring overweight/obesity in childhood and that the size of this mediated effect is small.
Objective: Post-stroke cognitive impairment is common, but mechanisms and risk factors are poorly understood. Frailty may be an important risk factor for cognitive impairment after stroke. We investigated the association between pre-stroke frailty and acute post-stoke cognition. Methods: We studied consecutively admitted acute stroke patients in a single urban teaching hospital during three recruitment waves between May 2016 and December 2017. Cognition was assessed using the Mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment (min=0; max=12). A Frailty Index was used to generate frailty scores for each patient (min=0; max=100). Clinical and demographic information were collected, including pre-stroke cognition, delirium, and stroke-severity. We conducted univariate and multiple-linear regression analyses with covariates forced in (covariates included were: age, sex, stroke severity, stroke-type, pre-stroke cognitive impairment, delirium, previous stroke/transient ischemic attack) to investigate the association between pre-stroke frailty and post-stroke cognition. Results: Complete data were available for 154 stroke patients. Mean age was 68 years (SD=11; range=32–97); 93 (60%) were male. Median mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment score was 8 (IQR=4–12). Mean Frailty Index score was 18 (SD=11). Pre-stroke cognitive impairment was apparent in 13/154 (8%) patients. Pre-stroke frailty was significantly associated with lower post-stroke cognition (Standardized-Beta=−0.40; p<0.001) and this association was independent of covariates (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.005). Additional significant variables in the multiple regression model were age (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.002), delirium (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.81; p<0.001), pre-stroke cognitive impairment (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.28; p=0.001), and stroke-severity (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.20; p<0.001). Conclusions: Pre-stroke frailty may be a moderator of post-stroke cognition, independent of other well-established post-stroke cognitive impairment risk factors. (JINS, 2019, 25, 501–506)
We develop a test, based on the Lagrange multiplier [LM] testing principle, for the value of the long memory parameter of a univariate time series that is composed of a fractionally integrated shock around a potentially broken deterministic trend. Our proposed test is constructed from data which are de-trended allowing for a trend break whose (unknown) location is estimated by a standard residual sum of squares estimator applied either to the levels or first differences of the data, depending on the value specified for the long memory parameter under the null hypothesis. We demonstrate that the resulting LM-type statistic has a standard limiting null chi-squared distribution with one degree of freedom, and attains the same asymptotic local power function as an infeasible LM test based on the true shocks. Our proposed test therefore attains the same asymptotic local optimality properties as an oracle LM test in both the trend break and no trend break environments. Moreover, this asymptotic local power function does not alter between the break and no break cases and so there is no loss in asymptotic local power from allowing for a trend break at an unknown point in the sample, even in the case where no break is present. We also report the results from a Monte Carlo study into the finite-sample behaviour of our proposed test.
Introduction: Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are becoming increasingly popular. However, little is known regarding their patterns of use in patients with established CVD.
Aims: We aimed to assess the perceptions and patterns of use of e-cigarettes in patients presenting to a vascular clinic.
Methods: We performed a qualitative study to identify perceptions and beliefs about e-cigarettes. Semi-structured interviews of consecutive patients consenting to participate were performed over five-months. Individuals were recruited from a vascular surgery outpatient clinic. Initial interviews were based on a questionnaire. Further structured interviews were conducted with patients currently using e-cigarettes, which were transcribed and analysed to assess perceptions and patterns of use.
Results/Findings: Four overarching themes emerged: attraction to e-cigarettes as a harm reduction/smoking cessation strategy; uncertainty regarding the risks of e-cigarettes; use of various types of smoking cessation strategies; dual use and often complete relapse to tobacco products.
Conclusions: Patients with established CVD view e-cigarettes as a means of smoking cessation; however, many relapse to tobacco products or use both simultaneously. Further research is necessary regarding the role of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation in this high-risk group.
Dopaminergic imaging has high diagnostic accuracy for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) at the dementia stage. We report the first investigation of dopaminergic imaging at the prodromal stage.
We recruited 75 patients over 60 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 33 with probable MCI with Lewy body disease (MCI-LB), 15 with possible MCI-LB and 27 with MCI with Alzheimer's disease. All underwent detailed clinical, neurological and neuropsychological assessments and FP-CIT [123I-N-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)] dopaminergic imaging. FP-CIT scans were blindly rated by a consensus panel and classified as normal or abnormal.
The sensitivity of visually rated FP-CIT imaging to detect combined possible or probable MCI-LB was 54.2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 39.2–68.6], with a specificity of 89.0% (95% CI 70.8–97.6) and a likelihood ratio for MCI-LB of 4.9, indicating that FP-CIT may be a clinically important test in MCI where any characteristic symptoms of Lewy body (LB) disease are present. The sensitivity in probable MCI-LB was 61.0% (95% CI 42.5–77.4) and in possible MCI-LB was 40.0% (95% CI 16.4–67.7).
Dopaminergic imaging had high specificity at the pre-dementia stage and gave a clinically important increase in diagnostic confidence and so should be considered in all patients with MCI who have any of the diagnostic symptoms of DLB. As expected, the sensitivity was lower in MCI-LB than in established DLB, although over 50% still had an abnormal scan. Accurate diagnosis of LB disease is important to enable early optimal treatment for LB symptoms.
Recent modelling estimates up to two-thirds of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men occur within partnerships, indicating the importance of dyadic HIV prevention efforts. Although new interventions are available to promote dyadic health-enhancing behaviours, minimal research has examined what factors influence partners’ mutual engagement in these behaviours, a critical component of intervention success. Actor-partner interdependence modelling was used to examine associations between relationship characteristics and several dyadic outcomes theorised as antecedents to health-enhancing behaviours: planning and decision making, communication, and joint effort. Among 270 male-male partnerships, relationship satisfaction was significantly associated with all three outcomes for actors (p = .02, .02, .06 respectively). Latino men reported poorer planning and decision making (actor p = .032) and communication (partner p = .044). Alcohol use was significantly and negatively associated with all outcomes except actors’ planning and decision making (actors: p = .11, .038, .004 respectively; partners: p = .03, .056, .02 respectively). Having a sexual agreement was significantly associated with actors’ planning and decision making (p = .007) and communication (p = .008). Focusing on interactions between partners produces a more comprehensive understanding of male couples’ ability to engage in health-enhancing behaviours. This knowledge further identifies new and important foci for the tailoring of dyadic HIV prevention and care interventions.