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This study aims to address a gap in the data on cognitive sex differences in persons living with Parkinson disease (PD). There is some evidence that cognitive dysfunction is more severe in male PD, however data on episodic memory and processing speed is incomplete.
One hundred and sixty-seven individuals with a diagnosis of PD were included in this study. Fifty-six of those individuals identified as female. The California Verbal Learning Test 1st edition and the Wechsler Memory Scale 3rd edition were used to evaluate verbal and visuospatial episodic memory and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3rd edition was used to evaluate processing speed. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to identify sex-specific differences across groups.
Our results show that males with PD performed significantly worse than females in verbal and visuospatial recall as well as a trend for the processing speed task of coding.
Our finding of superior performance among females with PD in verbal episodic memory is consistent with reports in both healthy and PD individuals; however, females outperforming males in measures of visuospatial episodic memory is unique to PD. Cognitive deficits preferentially affecting males appear to be associated with frontal lobe-related function. Therefore, males may represent a disease subgroup more susceptible to disease mechanisms affecting frontal lobe deterioration and cognitive disturbances in PD.
Impactful, transdisciplinary scientific discoveries are created by teams of researchers spanning multiple disciplines, but collaboration across disciplines can be challenging. We examined how team dynamics and collaboration are related to successes and barriers faced by teams of researchers from multiple disciplines.
A mixed-methods approach was used to examine 12 research teams granted multidisciplinary pilot awards. Team members were surveyed to assess their team dynamics and individual views about transdisciplinary research. Forty-seven researchers (59.5%) responded, including two to eight members from each funded team. Associations were examined between collaborative dynamics and scholarly product outcomes, including manuscripts, grant proposals, and awarded grants. One member from each team was selected for an in-depth interview to contextualize and extend information about collaborative processes, successes, and barriers to performing transdisciplinary research.
Quality of team interactions was positively associated with achievement of scholarly products (r = 0.64, p = 0.02). Satisfaction with team members (r = 0.38) and team collaboration scores (r = 0.43) also demonstrated positive associations with achievement of scholarly products, but these were not statistically significant. Qualitative results support these findings and add further insight into aspects of the collaborative process that were particularly important to foster success on multidisciplinary teams. Beyond scholarly metrics, additional successes from the multidisciplinary teams were identified through the qualitative portion of the study including career development and acceleration for early career researchers.
Both the quantitative and qualitative study results indicate that effective collaboration is critical to multidisciplinary research team success. Development and/or promotion of team science-based trainings for researchers would promote these collaborative skills.
Optimizing the effectiveness of a team-based approach to unite multiple disciplines in advancing specific translational areas of research is foundational to improving clinical practice. The current study was undertaken to examine investigators’ experiences of participation in transdisciplinary team science initiatives, with a focus on challenges and recommendations for improving effectiveness.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with investigators from twelve multidisciplinary teams awarded pilot research funding by the University of Kentucky College of Medicine to better understand the barriers and facilitators to effective team science within an academic medical center. An experienced qualitative researcher facilitated one-on-one interviews, which lasted about one hour. Structured consensus coding and thematic analysis were conducted.
The sample was balanced by gender, career stage (five were assistant professor at the time of the award, seven were senior faculty), and training (six were PhDs; six were MD physicians). Key themes at the team-level centered on the tension between clinical commitments and research pursuits and the limitations for effective team functioning. Access to tangible support from home departments and key university centers was identified as a critical organizational facilitator of successful project completion. Organizational barriers centered on operationalizing protected time for physicians, gaps in effective mentoring, and limitations in operational support.
Prioritizing tailored mentoring and career development support for early career faculty, and particularly physician faculty, emerged as a key recommendation for improving team science in academic medical centers. The findings contribute to establishing best practices and policies for team science in academic medical centers.
Childhood adversities (CAs) predict heightened risks of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive episode (MDE) among people exposed to adult traumatic events. Identifying which CAs put individuals at greatest risk for these adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) is important for targeting prevention interventions.
Data came from n = 999 patients ages 18–75 presenting to 29 U.S. emergency departments after a motor vehicle collision (MVC) and followed for 3 months, the amount of time traditionally used to define chronic PTSD, in the Advancing Understanding of Recovery After Trauma (AURORA) study. Six CA types were self-reported at baseline: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect and bullying. Both dichotomous measures of ever experiencing each CA type and numeric measures of exposure frequency were included in the analysis. Risk ratios (RRs) of these CA measures as well as complex interactions among these measures were examined as predictors of APNS 3 months post-MVC. APNS was defined as meeting self-reported criteria for either PTSD based on the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 and/or MDE based on the PROMIS Depression Short-Form 8b. We controlled for pre-MVC lifetime histories of PTSD and MDE. We also examined mediating effects through peritraumatic symptoms assessed in the emergency department and PTSD and MDE assessed in 2-week and 8-week follow-up surveys. Analyses were carried out with robust Poisson regression models.
Most participants (90.9%) reported at least rarely having experienced some CA. Ever experiencing each CA other than emotional neglect was univariably associated with 3-month APNS (RRs = 1.31–1.60). Each CA frequency was also univariably associated with 3-month APNS (RRs = 1.65–2.45). In multivariable models, joint associations of CAs with 3-month APNS were additive, with frequency of emotional abuse (RR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.43–2.87) and bullying (RR = 1.44; 95% CI = 0.99–2.10) being the strongest predictors. Control variable analyses found that these associations were largely explained by pre-MVC histories of PTSD and MDE.
Although individuals who experience frequent emotional abuse and bullying in childhood have a heightened risk of experiencing APNS after an adult MVC, these associations are largely mediated by prior histories of PTSD and MDE.
Mental health regional differences during pregnancy through the COVID-19 pandemic is understudied.
We aimed to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal mental health during pregnancy.
A cohort study with a web-based recruitment strategy and electronic data collection was initiated in 06/2020. Although Canadian women, >18 years were primarily targeted, pregnant women worldwide were eligible. The current analysis includes data on women enrolled 06/2020-11/2020. Self-reported data included mental health measures (Edinburgh Perinatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD-7)), stress. We compared maternal mental health stratifying on country/continents of residence, and identified determinants of mental health using multivariable regression models.
Of 2,109 pregnant women recruited, 1,932 were from Canada, 48 the United States (US), 73 Europe, 35 Africa, and 21 Asia/Oceania. Mean depressive symptom scores were lower in Canada (EPDS 8.2, SD 5.2) compared to the US (EPDS 10.5, SD 4.8) and Europe (EPDS 10.4, SD 6.5) (p<0.05), regardless of being infected or not. Maternal anxiety, stress, decreased income and access to health care due to the pandemic were increasing maternal depression. The prevalence of severe anxiety was similar across country/continents. Maternal depression, stress, and earlier recruitment during the pandemic (June/July) were associated with increased maternal anxiety.
In this first international study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, CONCEPTION has shown significant country/continent-specific variations in depressive symptoms during pregnancy, whereas severe anxiety was similar regardless of place of residence. Strategies are needed to reduce COVID-19’s mental health burden in pregnancy.
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) exhibit maternally driven fidelity to feeding grounds, and yet occasionally occupy new areas. Humpback whale sightings and mortalities in the New York Bight apex (NYBA) have been increasing over the last decade, providing an opportunity to study this phenomenon in an urban habitat. Whales in this area overlap with human activities, including busy shipping traffic leading into the Port of New York and New Jersey. The site fidelity, population composition and demographics of individual whales were analysed to better inform management in this high-risk area. Whale watching and other opportunistic data collections were used to identify 101 individual humpback whales in the NYBA from spring through autumn, 2012–2018. Although mean occurrence was low (2.5 days), mean occupancy was 37.6 days, and 31.3% of whales returned from one year to the next. Individuals compared with other regional and ocean-basin-wide photo-identification catalogues (N = 52) were primarily resighted at other sites along the US East Coast, including the Gulf of Maine feeding ground. Sightings of mother-calf pairs were rare in the NYBA, suggesting that maternally directed fidelity may not be responsible for the presence of young whales in this area. Other factors including shifts in prey species distribution or changes in population structure more broadly should be investigated.
Despite previous research demonstrating the benefits of including growth factors and antioxidants to maturation medium to support embryo production, to date the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and melatonin (Mel) on oocyte competency has not been studied. This study supplemented in vitro maturation (IVM) medium with EGF (10 ng/ml) and Mel (50 ng/ml) alone, or in combination, and evaluated cumulus cell (CC) gene expression and the development and quality of parthenogenetic blastocysts. No differences in CC gene expression levels indicative of developmental potential were found among the treatment groups. Antioxidant gene CuZnSOD was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in CCs from the Mel group. Moreover, blastocyst rates on day 7 were significantly increased in EGF or Mel (P < 0.05), but not EGF+Mel. Significant decrease (P < 0.05) in GPX1, CuZnSOD, SLC2A1 and HSPA1A (P = 0.07) mRNA levels was observed in blastocysts from the Mel group. OCT4 gene expression was significantly increased (P < 0.05) in EGF+Mel and confirmed using immunofluorescence. Our results indicate that, despite the lack of changes of competence-related genes in CCs, IVM medium supplemented with Mel improved the culture environment sufficiently, resulting in improved blastocysts. Moreover, EGF and Mel combined during maturation increased OCT4 gene and protein expression in blastocysts, indicating its potential for stem cells.
The aims of this study were: (a) to examine associations of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociative symptoms and (b) to investigate gene–environment (G × E) interaction with childhood maltreatment. Salivary DNA samples from 228 women of European ancestry were analysed. Two SNPs, rs237895 and rs237897, were associated with dissociative symptoms but not PTSD diagnosis. Another SNP (rs2254298) was associated with dissociation when interacting with history of childhood maltreatment. These results contribute to theorising and evidence suggesting that the oxytocin system and its genetics may be associated with risk for dissociation among European American women, including those with maltreatment history. Replication with larger patient samples, including men and other ancestry groups, is needed.
Around the world, domestic courts focused on commercial disputes hire foreign judges. The practice seems to resemble arbitration, but is also rooted in colonialism. These traveling judges are predominantly retired English judges hired by small, market-dominant jurisdictions, like Hong Kong or Dubai. The judges' identities reveal efforts to harness business preferences for English common law into domestic court systems. While judges aspire to spread the rule of law, local politics may dictate these courts' futures. This Article maps the practice of traveling judges and explores its implications.
To determine if otolaryngologists and audiologists of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery have noticed an increase in the incidence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
A questionnaire was developed for the purpose of providing a cross-sectional descriptive analysis of perceived association between the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and an increase in the incidence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Of respondents, 63.0 per cent did not notice an increase in sudden sensorineural hearing loss during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. There was a weak positive correlation between patients identified with sudden sensorineural hearing loss and the percentage of coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients reported by each medical care provider (Spearman correlation = 0.20, 95 per cent confidence interval = 0.05–0.33). There was no association between geographical location and perceived increase in sudden sensorineural hearing loss (p = 0.38).
The majority of respondents did not perceive an increase in the incidence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss during the coronavirus pandemic, regardless of geographical region.
Management of tympanic membrane perforations is varied. This study aimed to better understand current practice patterns in myringoplasty and type 1 tympanoplasty.
An electronic questionnaire was distributed to American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery members. Practice patterns were compared in terms of fellowship training, practice length, practice setting, paediatric case frequency and total cases per year.
Of the 321 respondents, most were comprehensive otolaryngologists (60.4 per cent), in private practice (60.8 per cent), with a primarily adult practice (59.8 per cent). Fellowship training was the factor most associated with significant variations in management, including pre-operative antibiotic usage (p = 0.019), contraindications (p < 0.001), approach to traumatic perforations (p < 0.001), use of local anaesthesia (p < 0.001), graft material (p < 0.001), tympanoplasty technique (p = 0.003), endoscopic assistance (p < 0.001) and timing of post-operative audiology evaluation (p = 0.003).
Subspecialty training appears to be the main variable associated with significant differences in peri-operative decision-making for surgical repair of tympanic membrane perforations.
Cyberchondria involves excessive and uncontrollable online searching of information about a perceived illness. This behavior can cause or maintain distress.
Little is known about cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic or how cyberchondria in one individual may cause distress in their significant other if they are self-isolating together; our study sought to fill these gaps.
We conducted a Qualtrics Panel survey with 760 cohabitating Canadian couples; in June 2020, participants retrospectively reported on their cyberchondria behavior, general anxiety, and COVID-19 fears during the month of April 2020, while adhering to stay-at-home advisories. Two separate actor-partner interdependence models (APIMs) used cyberchondria excessiveness and compulsion to predict generalized anxiety and COVID-19 danger/contamination fears in the actor and partner.
Both cyberchondria excessiveness and compulsion were associated with higher general anxiety and higher COVID-19 danger/contamination fears in the individual (actor effects). Partner cyberchondria compulsion was associated with higher general anxiety in the individual whereas partner cyberchondria excessiveness was associated with higher COVID-19 danger/contamination fears in the individual (partner effects).
Findings suggest that excessive and uncontrollable searching of information about COVID-19 on the internet during lockdown may contribute to distress in both the individual engaging in the cyberchondria behavior, and in their romantic partner. Moreover, different aspects of cyberchondria in the partner (compulsion vs. excessiveness) appears to contribute to general vs. COVID-19-specific anxiety/fears in the partner, respectively. Future research should examine mechanisms underlying the observed partner effects (e.g., co-rumination, social contagion) and reasons for the differential partner effects of cyberchondria components.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) struggle with communication, sensory sensitivities and social interaction. These difficulties can make hospital visits challenging. Every child with ASD is unique, and as such, some children can do well in clinical settings with minimal supports while others may require environmental modifications to achieve optimal care. ASD is prevalent worldwide and cultural differences can lead to varied care. Several hospitals, including Boston Medical Center in USA and Sidra Medicine and Research Center in Qatar, have attempted to address these challenges by developing strategies to create an ‘Autism Friendly’ environment.
This workshop will 1. Describe the 4 domains of an “Autism Friendly” environment 2. Describe practical steps for successful implementation of interventions and modifications to consider based on setting and culture.
Didactic section 1 will describe the 4 domains for greating an ‘Autism Friendly environment’. Didactic section 2 will describe implementation in an inpatient and outpatient setting focusing on modifications based on environmental differences. These didactic presentations will be followed by a hands on, interactive section where participants will break out in small groups to learn specific implementation skills.
Participants will learn how to improve care offered to children with ASD during hospital visits. Participants will develop the skills to implement similar interventions in their home institutions.
Hospitals can create an Autism Friendly environment by using 4 domains of intervention which could help improve provider skills and patient and family experience.
The relationships infants and young children have with their caregivers are fundamental to their survival and well-being. Theorists and researchers across disciplines have attempted to describe and assess the variation in these relationships, leading to a general acceptance that caregiving is critical to understanding child functioning, including developmental psychopathology. At the same time, we lack consensus on how to assess these fundamental relationships. In the present paper, we first review research documenting the importance of the caregiver–child relationship in understanding environmental risk for psychopathology. Second, we propose that the National Institute of Mental Health's Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative provides a useful framework for extending the study of children's risk for psychopathology by assessing their caregivers’ social processes. Third, we describe the units of analysis for caregiver social processes, documenting how the specific subconstructs in the domain of social processes are relevant to the goal of enhancing knowledge of developmental psychopathology. Lastly, we highlight how past research can inform new directions in the study of caregiving and the parent–child relationship through this innovative extension of the RDoC initiative.
Diagnosis of CHD substantially affects parent mental health and family functioning, thereby influencing child neurodevelopmental and psychosocial outcomes. Recognition of the need to proactively support parent mental health and family functioning following cardiac diagnosis to promote psychosocial adaptation has increased substantially over recent years. However, significant gaps in knowledge remain and families continue to report critical unmet psychosocial needs. The Parent Mental Health and Family Functioning Working Group of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative was formed in 2018 through support from an R13 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to identify significant knowledge gaps related to parent mental health and family functioning, as well as critical questions that must be answered to further knowledge, policy, care, and outcomes. Conceptually driven investigations are needed to identify parent mental health and family functioning factors with the strongest influence on child outcomes, to obtain a deeper understanding of the biomarkers associated with these factors, and to better understand how parent mental health and family functioning influence child outcomes over time. Investigations are also needed to develop, test, and implement sustainable models of mental health screening and assessment, as well as effective interventions to optimise parent mental health and family functioning to promote psychosocial adaptation. The critical questions and investigations outlined in this paper provide a roadmap for future research to close gaps in knowledge, improve care, and promote positive outcomes for families of children with CHD.