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Coronavirus disease 2019 was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020. All non-urgent surgical procedures have been postponed indefinitely. The British Association of Head and Neck Oncology state that only those with treatable head and neck cancer unsuitable for alternative treatment should undergo surgery. This paper details our management of a patient who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 days before curative surgery for laryngeal cancer.
By following British Association of Head and Neck Oncology guidance, a 49-year-old male scheduled for total laryngectomy and bilateral neck dissection for a T3 transglottic squamous cell cancer was pre-operatively identified as an asymptomatic carrier of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2. Following 14-day isolation and laboratory proven viral clearance, he underwent successful major surgery. He was managed throughout the peri- and post-operative phases without complications or adverse effects on staff.
With careful planning, previous coronavirus disease 2019 positive status should not prevent an individual from undergoing successful total laryngectomy and bilateral neck dissection in a safe and timely manner during the pandemic.
Major depression (MD) is often characterised as a categorical disorder; however, observational studies comparing sub-threshold and clinical depression suggest MD is continuous. Many of these studies do not explore the full continuum and are yet to consider genetics as a risk factor. This study sought to understand if polygenic risk for MD could provide insight into the continuous nature of depression.
Factor analysis on symptom-level data from the UK Biobank (N = 148 957) was used to derive continuous depression phenotypes which were tested for association with polygenic risk scores (PRS) for a categorical definition of MD (N = 119 692).
Confirmatory factor analysis showed a five-factor hierarchical model, incorporating 15 of the original 18 items taken from the PHQ-9, GAD-7 and subjective well-being questionnaires, produced good fit to the observed covariance matrix (CFI = 0.992, TLI = 0.99, RMSEA = 0.038, SRMR = 0.031). MD PRS associated with each factor score (standardised β range: 0.057–0.064) and the association remained when the sample was stratified into case- and control-only subsets. The case-only subset had an increased association compared to controls for all factors, shown via a significant interaction between lifetime MD diagnosis and MD PRS (p value range: 2.23 × 10−3–3.94 × 10−7).
An association between MD PRS and a continuous phenotype of depressive symptoms in case- and control-only subsets provides support against a purely categorical phenotype; indicating further insights into MD can be obtained when this within-group variation is considered. The stronger association within cases suggests this variation may be of particular importance.
22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) associates with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs), autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and other psychiatric disorders, but co-occurrence of diagnoses are not well described.
We evaluated the co-occurrence of SSDs, ASDs and other axis I psychiatric diagnoses in 31 adolescents and adults with 22q11DS, assessing ASDs using either stringent Collaborative Program for Excellence in Autism (ASD-CPEA) criteria, or less stringent DSM-IV criteria alone (ASD-DSM-IV).
Ten (32%) individuals met criteria for an SSD, five (16%) for ASD-CPEA, and five others (16%) for ASD-DSM-IV. Of those with ASD-CPEA, one (20%) met SSD criteria. Of those with ASD-DSM-IV, four (80%) met SSD criteria. Depressive disorders (8 individuals; 26%) and anxiety disorders (7; 23%) sometimes co-occurred with SSDs and ASDs. SSDs, ASDs, and anxiety occurred predominantly among males and depression predominantly among females.
Individuals with 22q11DS can manifest SSDs in the presence or absence of ASDs and other axis I diagnoses. The results suggest that standard clinical care should include childhood screening for ASDs, and later periodic screening for all axis I diagnoses.
Australian conservation cropping systems are practiced on very large farms (approximately 3,000 ha) where herbicides are relied on for effective and timely weed control. In many fields, though, there are low weed densities (e.g., <1.0 plant 10 m−2) and whole-field herbicide treatments are wasteful. For fallow weed control, commercially available weed detection systems provide the opportunity for site-specific herbicide treatments, removing the need for whole-field treatment of fallow fields with low weed densities. Concern about the sustainability of herbicide-reliant weed management systems remain and there has not been interest in the use of weed detection systems for alternative weed control technologies, such as targeted tillage. In this paper, we discuss the use of a targeted tillage technique for site-specific weed control in large-scale crop production systems. Three small-scale prototypes were used for engineering and weed control efficacy testing across a range of species and growth stages. With confidence established in the design approach and a demonstrated 100% weed-control potential, a 6-m wide pre-commercial prototype, the “Weed Chipper,” was built incorporating commercially available weed-detection cameras for practical field-scale evaluation. This testing confirmed very high (90%) weed control efficacies and associated low levels (1.8%) of soil disturbance where the weed density was fewer than 1.0 plant 10 m−2 in a commercial fallow. These data established the suitability of this mechanical approach to weed control for conservation cropping systems. The development of targeted tillage for fallow weed control represents the introduction of site-specific, nonchemical weed control for conservation cropping systems.
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.
Between 2010 and 2019 the international health care organization Partners In Health (PIH) and its sister organization Zanmi Lasante (ZL) mounted a long-term response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, focused on mental health. Over that time, implementing a Theory of Change developed in 2012, the organization successfully developed a comprehensive, sustained community mental health system in Haiti's Central Plateau and Artibonite departments, directly serving a catchment area of 1.5 million people through multiple diagnosis-specific care pathways. The resulting ZL mental health system delivered 28 184 patient visits and served 6305 discrete patients at ZL facilities between January 2016 and September 2019. The experience of developing a system of mental health services in Haiti that currently provides ongoing care to thousands of people serves as a case study in major challenges involved in global mental health delivery. The essential components of the effort to develop and sustain this community mental health system are summarized.
Lieder and Griffiths rightly urge that computational cognitive models be constrained by resource usage, but they should go further. The brain's primary function is to regulate resource usage. As a consequence, resource usage should not simply select among algorithmic models of “aspects of cognition.” Rather, “aspects of cognition” should be understood as existing in the service of resource management.
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.
Frozen raw breaded chicken products (FRBCP) have been identified as a risk factor for Salmonella infection in Canada. In 2017, Canada implemented whole genome sequencing (WGS) for clinical and non-clinical Salmonella isolates, which increased understanding of the relatedness of Salmonella isolates, resulting in an increased number of Salmonella outbreak investigations. A total of 18 outbreaks and 584 laboratory-confirmed cases have been associated with FRBCP or chicken since 2017. The introduction of WGS provided the evidence needed to support a new requirement to control the risk of Salmonella in FRBCP produced for retail sale.
Bicycle helmets protect against head injury. Mandatory helmet laws likely increase their use. Although 21 states and Washington, DC have mandatory helmet laws for youth (variously defined) bicyclists, no U.S. state has a mandatory helmet law that applies to all ages; however, some localities have all-age helmet laws for bicyclists. This study abstracted local helmet laws applicable to all-ages to examine their elements.
This article argues in general support of the sIRB rule, but also draws on recent empirical research to highlight several residual weaknesses in the US regulatory structure for research ethics review, and suggests ways in which these weaknesses might be addressed in future regulatory reforms to improve upon the sIRB rule.
To help eliminate perinatal HIV transmission, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends against breastfeeding for women living with HIV, regardless of viral load or combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) status. However, cART radically improves HIV prognosis and virtually eliminates perinatal transmission, and breastfeeding's health benefits are well-established. In this setting, pregnancy is increasing among American women with HIV, and a harm reduction approach to those who breastfeed despite extensive counseling is suggested. We assess the evidence and ethical justification for current policy, with attention to pertinent racial and health disparities. We first review perinatal transmission and breastfeeding data relevant to US infants. We compare hypothetical risk of HIV transmission from breastmilk to increased mortality from sudden infant death syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis and sepsis from avoiding breastfeeding, finding that benefits may outweigh risks if mothers maintain undetectable viral load on cART. We then review maternal health considerations. We conclude that avoidance of breastfeeding by women living with HIV may not maximize health outcomes and discuss our recommendation for revising national guidelines in light of autonomy, harm reduction and health inequities.
There is community concern about the treatment of farm animals post-farm gate, particularly animal transport and slaughter. Relationships between lamb behavioural and physiological variables on farm, stockperson, dog and lamb behavioural variables pre-slaughter and plasma cortisol, glucose and lactate in lambs post-slaughter were studied in 400 lambs. The lambs were observed in three behavioural tests, novel arena, flight distance to a human and temperament tests, before transport for slaughter. Closed-circuit television video footage was used to record stockperson, dog and lamb behaviour immediately before slaughter. Blood samples for cortisol, glucose and lactate analyses were collected on farm following the three behavioural tests and immediately post-slaughter. The regression models that best predicted plasma cortisol, glucose and lactate concentrations post-slaughter included a mixture of stockperson and dog behavioural variables as well as lamb variables both on-farm and pre-slaughter. These regression models accounted for 33%, 34% and 44% of the variance in plasma cortisol, glucose and lactate concentrations post-slaughter, respectively. Some of the stockperson and dog behaviours pre-slaughter that were predictive of the stress and metabolic variables post-slaughter included the duration of negative stockperson behaviours such as fast locomotion and lifting/pulling lambs, and the duration of dog behaviours such as lunging and barking at the lamb, while some of the predictive lamb behaviour variables included the durations of jumping and fleeing. Some of the physiological and behavioural responses to the behavioural tests on farm were also predictive of the stress and metabolic variables post-slaughter. These relationships support the well-demonstrated effect of handling on fear and stress responses in livestock, and although not direct evidence of causal relationships, highlight the potential benefits of training stockpeople to reduce fear and stress in sheep at abattoirs.
This research investigates the long-forgotten relationship between diphtheria and tuberculosis. Historical medical reports from the late 19th century are reviewed followed by a statistical regression analysis of the relationship between the two diseases in the early 20th century. Historical medical reports show a consistent association between diphtheria and tuberculosis that can increase the likelihood and severity of either disease in a co-infection. The statistical analysis uses historical weekly public health data on reported cases in five American cities over a period of several years, finding a modest but statistically significant relationship between the two diseases. No current medical theory explains the association between diphtheria and tuberculosis. Alternative explanations are explored with a focus on how the diseases assimilate iron. In a co-infection, the effectiveness of tuberculosis at assimilating extracellular iron may lead to increased production of diphtheria toxin, worsening that disease, which may, in turn, exacerbate tuberculosis. Iron-dependent repressor genes connect both diseases.
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.