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A history of childhood adversity is associated with psychotic disorder, with an increase in risk according to the number of exposures. However, it is not known why only some exposed individuals go on to develop psychosis. One possibility is pre-existing polygenic vulnerability. Here, we investigated, in the largest sample of first-episode psychosis (FEP) cases to date, whether childhood adversity and high polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia (SZ-PRS) combine synergistically to increase the risk of psychosis, over and above the effect of each alone.
We assigned a schizophrenia-polygenic risk score (SZ-PRS), calculated from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC2), to all participants in a sample of 384 FEP patients and 690 controls from the case–control component of the EU-GEI study. Only participants of European ancestry were included in the study. A history of childhood adversity was collected using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Synergistic effects were estimated using the interaction contrast ratio (ICR) [odds ratio (OR)exposure and PRS − ORexposure − ORPRS + 1] with adjustment for potential confounders.
There was some evidence that the combined effect of childhood adversities and polygenic risk was greater than the sum of each alone, as indicated by an ICR greater than zero [i.e. ICR 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) −1.29 to 3.85]. Examining subtypes of childhood adversities, the strongest synergetic effect was observed for physical abuse (ICR 6.25, 95% CI −6.25 to 20.88).
Our findings suggest possible synergistic effects of genetic liability and childhood adversity experiences in the onset of FEP, but larger samples are needed to increase precision of estimates.
The purpose of this study was to pilot safety and tolerability of a 1-week aerobic exercise program during the post-acute phase of concussion (14–25 days post-injury) by examining adherence, symptom response, and key functional outcomes (e.g., cognition, mood, sleep, postural stability, and neurocognitive performance) in young adults.
A randomized, non-blinded pilot clinical trial was performed to compare the effects of aerobic versus non-aerobic exercise (placebo) in concussion patients. The study enrolled three groups: 1) patients with concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) randomized to an aerobic exercise intervention performed daily for 1-week, 2) patients with concussion/mTBI randomized to a non-aerobic (stretching and calisthenics) exercise program performed daily for 1-week, and 3) non-injured, no intervention reference group.
Mixed-model analysis of variance results indicated a significant decrease in symptom severity scores from pre- to post-intervention (mean difference = −7.44, 95% CI [−12.37, −2.20]) for both concussion groups. However, the pre- to post-change was not different between groups. Secondary outcomes all showed improvements by post-intervention, but no differences in trajectory between the groups. By three months post-injury, all outcomes in the concussion groups were within ranges of the non-injured reference group.
Results from this study indicate that the feasibility and tolerability of administering aerobic exercise via stationary cycling in the post-acute time frame following post-concussion (14–25 days) period are tentatively favorable. Aerobic exercise does not appear to negatively impact recovery trajectories of neurobehavioral outcomes; however, tolerability may be poorer for patients with high symptom burden.
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.
A novel paediatric disease, multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, has emerged during the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic.
To describe the short-term evolution of cardiac complications and associated risk factors in patients with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.
Retrospective single-centre study of confirmed multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children treated from 29 March, 2020 to 1 September, 2020. Cardiac complications during the acute phase were defined as decreased systolic function, coronary artery abnormalities, pericardial effusion, or mitral and/or tricuspid valve regurgitation. Patients with or without cardiac complications were compared with chi-square, Fisher’s exact, and Wilcoxon rank sum.
Thirty-nine children with median (interquartile range) age 7.8 (3.6–12.7) years were included. Nineteen (49%) patients developed cardiac complications including systolic dysfunction (33%), valvular regurgitation (31%), coronary artery abnormalities (18%), and pericardial effusion (5%). At the time of the most recent follow-up, at a median (interquartile range) of 49 (26–61) days, cardiac complications resolved in 16/19 (84%) patients. Two patients had persistent mild systolic dysfunction and one patient had persistent coronary artery abnormality. Children with cardiac complications were more likely to have higher N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide (p = 0.01), higher white blood cell count (p = 0.01), higher neutrophil count (p = 0.02), severe lymphopenia (p = 0.05), use of milrinone (p = 0.03), and intensive care requirement (p = 0.04).
Patients with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children had a high rate of cardiac complications in the acute phase, with associated inflammatory markers. Although cardiac complications resolved in 84% of patients, further long-term studies are needed to assess if the cardiac abnormalities (transient or persistent) are associated with major cardiac events.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) frequently co-occur, and large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified significant genetic correlations between these disorders.
We used the largest published GWAS for AUD (total cases = 77 822) and SCZ (total cases = 46 827) to identify genetic variants that influence both disorders (with either the same or opposite direction of effect) and those that are disorder specific.
We identified 55 independent genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms with the same direction of effect on AUD and SCZ, 8 with robust effects in opposite directions, and 98 with disorder-specific effects. We also found evidence for 12 genes whose pleiotropic associations with AUD and SCZ are consistent with mediation via gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic covariance between AUD and SCZ was concentrated in genomic regions functional in brain tissues (p = 0.001).
Our findings provide further evidence that SCZ shares meaningful genetic overlap with AUD.
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.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
Previously reported associations between hospital-level antibiotic use and hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile infection (HO-CDI) were reexamined using 2012–2018 data from a new cohort of US acute-care hospitals. This analysis revealed significant positive associations between total, third-generation, and fourth-generation cephalosporin, fluoroquinolone, carbapenem, and piperacillin-tazobactam use and HO-CDI rates, confirming previous findings.
To investigate the association between the Children’s Dietary Inflammatory Index (C-DIITM) scores and atherogenic risk in Brazilian schoolchildren.
A cross-sectional representative study. Three 24-h dietary recalls were performed to evaluate food consumption and to calculate C-DII scores. Blood samples were collected for the lipid profile analysis (serum total cholesterol (TC), HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol and triglycerides (TAG)) and to determine atherogenic indexes (Castelli risk indexes I and II, lipoprotein combined index (LCI), and atherogenic index of plasma and atherogenic coefficient (AC)). A semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain sociodemographic characteristics and screen time. Body fat was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We compared the distributions of outcomes by C-DII categories using multivariable linear regression.
Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Three hundred seventy-eight children between the ages of 8 and 9 years.
The mean C-DII score was 0·60 ± 0·94, and the prevalence of dyslipidaemia was 70 %. Children with hypercholesterolaemia and hypertriglyceridaemia had higher C-DII scores. The C-DII was directly associated with atherogenic risk. Every 1 sd of C-DII was associated with a 0·07 (0·01, 0·13), 1·94 (0·20, 3·67), 0·06 (0·002, 0·12) and 0·12 (0·02, 0·22) units higher TC:HDL cholesterol ratio, LCI, AC and accumulation of altered dyslipidaemia markers (high TC + high LDL-cholesterol + high TAG + low HDL-cholesterol), respectively.
Dietary inflammatory potential, as estimated by the C-DII, is directly associated with atherogenic risk in Brazilian schoolchildren. This results reinforce the importance of effective nutritional policies to promote healthy eating habits and improve children’s lipid profiles.
Salt marshes are valuable but complex biophysical systems with associated ecosystems. This presents numerous challenges when trying to understand and predict their behaviour and evolution, which is essential to facilitate their continued and sustainable use, conservation and management1. Detailed understanding of the hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics, and ecology that control the system is required, as well as their numerous interactions2,3, but is complicated by spatial and temporal heterogeneity at a range of scales4,5. These complex interactions and feedbacks between the physical, biological, and chemical processes can be investigated in situ following natural, unintentional, or intentional manipulation6, but the mechanistic basis of any observations are confounded by the presence of collinear variables. Hence, laboratory investigations can be beneficial, as they provide the opportunity for systematic testing of subsets of coastal processes, mechanisms, or conditions typical of salt marsh systems, in the absence of confounding variables. With appropriate scaling, this allows a better understanding of the overall function of the salt marsh, and better predictions of their evolution.
State governments, often described as “laboratories of democracy,” design and implement many public policies, but this moniker also implies course correction when initial efforts fail. But how do states learn from failure? Existing hypotheses about policy learning and broad research capacity are insufficient. Using case studies of failed juvenile justice policies in Texas and Washington, I explore when failure acknowledgment occurs at all. I argue that a state’s bureaucratic capacity to gather data—distinct from its analytical capacity—is necessary for public officials to acknowledge failure, highlighting the impact of policy and institutional design on evidence-based policy making and policy corrections.
Perceived discrimination is associated with worse mental health. Few studies have assessed whether perceived discrimination (i) is associated with the risk of psychotic disorders and (ii) contributes to an increased risk among minority ethnic groups relative to the ethnic majority.
We used data from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions Work Package 2, a population-based case−control study of incident psychotic disorders in 17 catchment sites across six countries. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between perceived discrimination and psychosis using mixed-effects logistic regression models. We used stratified and mediation analyses to explore differences for minority ethnic groups.
Reporting any perceived experience of major discrimination (e.g. unfair treatment by police, not getting hired) was higher in cases than controls (41.8% v. 34.2%). Pervasive experiences of discrimination (≥3 types) were also higher in cases than controls (11.3% v. 5.5%). In fully adjusted models, the odds of psychosis were 1.20 (95% CI 0.91–1.59) for any discrimination and 1.79 (95% CI 1.19–1.59) for pervasive discrimination compared with no discrimination. In stratified analyses, the magnitude of association for pervasive experiences of discrimination appeared stronger for minority ethnic groups (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.12–2.68) than the ethnic majority (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.65–3.10). In exploratory mediation analysis, pervasive discrimination minimally explained excess risk among minority ethnic groups (5.1%).
Pervasive experiences of discrimination are associated with slightly increased odds of psychotic disorders and may minimally help explain excess risk for minority ethnic groups.
Escalating demands for limited food supplies at America’s food banks and pantries during the COVID-19 pandemic have raised ethical concerns underlying “first-come, first-served” distributions strategies. A series of model ethical principles are designed to guide ethical allocations of these resources to assure greater access among persons facing food insecurity.
Psychosis rates are higher among some migrant groups. We hypothesized that psychosis in migrants is associated with cumulative social disadvantage during different phases of migration.
We used data from the EUropean Network of National Schizophrenia Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) case–control study. We defined a set of three indicators of social disadvantage for each phase: pre-migration, migration and post-migration. We examined whether social disadvantage in the pre- and post-migration phases, migration adversities, and mismatch between achievements and expectations differed between first-generation migrants with first-episode psychosis and healthy first-generation migrants, and tested whether this accounted for differences in odds of psychosis in multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 249 cases and 219 controls were assessed. Pre-migration (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.06–2.44, p = 0.027) and post-migration social disadvantages (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.02–3.51, p = 0.044), along with expectations/achievements mismatch (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26, p = 0.014) were all significantly associated with psychosis. Migration adversities (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.672–2.06, p = 0.568) were not significantly related to the outcome. Finally, we found a dose–response effect between the number of adversities across all phases and odds of psychosis (⩾6: OR 14.09, 95% CI 2.06–96.47, p = 0.007).
The cumulative effect of social disadvantages before, during and after migration was associated with increased odds of psychosis in migrants, independently of ethnicity or length of stay in the country of arrival. Public health initiatives that address the social disadvantages that many migrants face during the whole migration process and post-migration psychological support may reduce the excess of psychosis in migrants.
The ability to effectively lead an interdisciplinary translational team is a crucial component of team science success. Most KL2 Clinical Scholars have been members of scientific teams, but few have been team science leaders. There is a dearth of literature and outcome measures of effective Team Science Leadership in clinical and translational research. We focused our curriculum to emphasize Team Science Leadership, developed a list of Team Science Leadership competencies for translational investigators using a modified Delphi method, and incorporated the competencies into a quantitative evaluation survey. The survey is completed on entry and annually thereafter by the Scholar; the Scholar’s primary mentor and senior staff who educate and interact with the Scholar rate the Scholar at the end of each year. The program leaders and mentor review the results with each Scholar. The survey scales had high internal consistency and good factor structure. Overall ratings by mentors and senior staff were generally high, but ratings by Scholars tended to be lower, offering opportunities for discussion and career planning. Scholars rated the process favorably. A Team Science Leadership curriculum and periodic survey of attained competencies can inform individual career development and guide team science curriculum development.
Discrepancies between the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) schizophrenia guideline recommendations and current clinical practice in the UK have been reported.
We aim to assess whether it is cost-effective to improve adherence to the NICE schizophrenia guideline recommendations, compared with current practice.
A previously developed whole-disease model for schizophrenia, using the discrete event simulation method, was adapted to assess the cost and health impacts of adherence to the NICE recommendations. Three scenarios to improve adherence to the clinical guidelines were modelled: universal provision of cognitive–behavioural therapy for patients at clinical high risk of psychosis, universal provision of family intervention for patients with first-episode psychosis and prompt provision of clozapine for patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia. The primary outcomes were lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life-years gained.
The results suggest full adherence to the guideline recommendations would decrease cost and improve quality-adjusted life-years. Based on the NICE willingness-to-pay threshold of £20 000–£30 000 per quality-adjusted life-year gained, prompt provision of clozapine for patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia results in the greatest net monetary benefit, followed by universal provision of cognitive–behavioural therapy for patients at clinical high risk of psychosis, and universal provision of family intervention for patients with first-episode psychosis.
Our results suggest that adherence to guideline recommendations would decrease cost and improve quality-adjusted life-years. Greater investment is needed to improve guideline adherence and therefore improve patient quality of life and realise potential cost savings.