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Early adolescents (ages 10–14) living in low- and middle-income countries have heightened vulnerability to psychosocial risks, but available evidence from these settings is limited. This study used data from the Global Early Adolescent Study to characterize prototypical patterns of emotional and behavioral problems among 10,437 early adolescents (51% female) living in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Indonesia, and China, and explore the extent to which these patterns varied by country and sex. LCA was used to identify and classify patterns of emotional and behavioral problems separately by country. Within each country, measurement invariance by sex was evaluated. LCA supported a four-class solution in DRC, Malawi, and Indonesia, and a three-class solution in China. Across countries, early adolescents fell into the following subgroups: Well-Adjusted (40–62%), Emotional Problems (14–29%), Behavioral Problems (15–22%; not present in China), and Maladjusted (4–15%). Despite the consistency of these patterns, there were notable contextual differences. Further, tests of measurement invariance indicated that the prevalence and nature of these classes differed by sex. Findings can be used to support the tailoring of interventions targeting psychosocial adjustment, and suggest that such programs may have utility across diverse cross-national settings.
There are many structural problems facing the UK at present, from a weakened National Health Service to deeply ingrained inequality. These challenges extend through society to clinical practice and have an impact on current mental health research, which was in a perilous state even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. In this editorial, a group of psychiatric researchers who currently sit on the Academic Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and represent the breadth of research in mental health from across the UK discuss the challenges faced in academic mental health research. They reflect on the need for additional investment in the specialty and ask whether this is a turning point for the future of mental health research.
Social cognition has not previously been assessed in treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia, in patients over 60 years of age, or in patients with less than 5 years of schooling.
We revised a commonly used measure of social cognition, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), by expanding the instructions, using both self-completion and interviewer-completion versions (for illiterate respondents), and classifying each test administration as ‘successfully completed’ or ‘incomplete’. The revised instrument (RMET-CV-R) was administered to 233 treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia (UT), 154 treated controls with chronic schizophrenia (TC), and 259 healthy controls (HC) from rural communities in China.
In bivariate and multivariate analyses, successful completion rates and RMET-CV-R scores (percent correct judgments about emotion exhibited in 70 presented slides) were highest in HC, intermediate in TC, and lowest in UT (adjusted completion rates, 97.0, 72.4, and 49.9%, respectively; adjusted RMET-CV-R scores, 45.4, 38.5, and 34.6%, respectively; all p < 0.02). Stratified analyses by the method of administration (self-completed v. interviewer-completed) and by education and age (‘educated-younger’ v. ‘undereducated-older’) show the same relationship between groups (i.e. NC>TC>UT), though not all differences remain statistically significant.
We find poorer social cognition in treatment-naive than in treated patients with chronic schizophrenia. The discriminant validity of RMET-CV-R in undereducated, older patients demonstrates the feasibility of administering revised versions of RMET to patients who may otherwise be considered ineligible due to education or age by changing the method of test administration and carefully assessing respondents' ability to complete the task successfully.
Antipsychotics are widely used for treating patients with psychosis, and target threshold psychotic symptoms. Individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis are characterized by subthreshold psychotic symptoms. It is currently unclear who might benefit from antipsychotic treatment. Our objective was to apply a risk calculator (RC) to identify people that would benefit from antipsychotics.
Drawing on 400 CHR individuals recruited between 2011 and 2016, 208 individuals who received antipsychotic treatment were included. Clinical and cognitive variables were entered into an individualized RC for psychosis; personal risk was estimated and 4 risk components (negative symptoms-RC-NS, general function-RC-GF, cognitive performance-RC-CP, and positive symptoms-RC-PS) were constructed. The sample was further stratified according to the risk level. Higher risk was defined based on the estimated risk score (20% or higher).
In total, 208 CHR individuals received daily antipsychotic treatment of an olanzapine-equivalent dose of 8.7 mg with a mean administration duration of 58.4 weeks. Of these, 39 (18.8%) developed psychosis within 2 years. A new index of factors ratio (FR), which was derived from the ratio of RC-PS plus RC-GF to RC-NS plus RC-CP, was generated. In the higher-risk group, as FR increased, the conversion rate decreased. A small group (15%) of CHR individuals at higher-risk and an FR >1 benefitted from the antipsychotic treatment.
Through applying a personal risk assessment, the administration of antipsychotics should be limited to CHR individuals with predominantly positive symptoms and related function decline. A strict antipsychotic prescription strategy should be introduced to reduce inappropriate use.
This study aimed to assess completeness of antenatal care coverage following implementation of a voucher scheme for maternal health in Bangladesh. The investigation used interview data from a survey conducted in Bangladesh in 2017 of 2400 randomly selected women aged 15–49 with children aged 0–23 months in four geographical areas where voucher scheme implementation was underway. Of these women, 1944 had attended at least one antenatal clinic visit so were included in the analysis. A ‘completeness index’ for antenatal visits was constructed as an outcome variable based on recall of thirteen elements of care. Bivariate analysis against independent variables of interest was carried out and multivariate linear regression models developed to examine the influence of voucher scheme participation on completeness of antenatal care adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics. Voucher scheme membership was associated with higher ‘completeness index’ scores, with a mean score of 185.2±101.0 for voucher recipients and 139.6 ± 93.3 for non-recipients (p<0.001). Scheme membership reduced the differentials associated with health facility type and socioeconomic status. Women from the lowest socioeconomic group who were voucher recipients received substantially more components of antenatal care (mean score: 159.6±82.1) compared with non-recipients (mean score: 115.7±83.0). This favourable effect of voucher scheme membership on the most vulnerable socioeconomic group remained significant after adjusting for educational status. The Bangladesh voucher scheme model has the potential to maximize gains in maternal and newborn health through enhancing the completeness of service provision.
Background: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are endemic in the Chicago region. We assessed the regional impact of a CRE control intervention targeting high-prevalence facilities; that is, long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) and ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs). Methods: In July 2017, an academic–public health partnership launched a regional CRE prevention bundle: (1) identifying patient CRE status by querying Illinois’ XDRO registry and periodic point-prevalence surveys reported to public health, (2) cohorting or private rooms with contact precautions for CRE patients, (3) combining hand hygiene adherence, monitoring with general infection control education, and guidance by project coordinators and public health, and (4) daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing. Informed by epidemiology and modeling, we targeted LTACHs and vSNFs in a 13-mile radius from the coordinating center. Illinois mandates CRE reporting to the XDRO registry, which can also be manually queried or generate automated alerts to facilitate interfacility communication. The regional intervention promoted increased automation of alerts to hospitals. The prespecified primary outcome was incident clinical CRE culture reported to the XDRO registry in Cook County by month, analyzed by segmented regression modeling. A secondary outcome was colonization prevalence measured by serial point-prevalence surveys for carbapenemase-producing organism colonization in LTACHs and vSNFs. Results: All eligible LTACHs (n = 6) and vSNFs (n = 9) participated in the intervention. One vSNF declined CHG bathing. vSNFs that implemented CHG bathing typically bathed residents 2–3 times per week instead of daily. Overall, there were significant gaps in infection control practices, especially in vSNFs. Also, 75 Illinois hospitals adopted automated alerts (56 during the intervention period). Mean CRE incidence in Cook County decreased from 59.0 cases per month during baseline to 40.6 cases per month during intervention (P < .001). In a segmented regression model, there was an average reduction of 10.56 cases per month during the 24-month intervention period (P = .02) (Fig. 1), and an estimated 253 incident CRE cases were averted. Mean CRE incidence also decreased among the stratum of vSNF/LTACH intervention facilities (P = .03). However, evidence of ongoing CRE transmission, particularly in vSNFs, persisted, and CRE colonization prevalence remained high at intervention facilities (Table 1). Conclusions: A resource-intensive public health regional CRE intervention was implemented that included enhanced interfacility communication and targeted infection prevention. There was a significant decline in incident CRE clinical cases in Cook County, despite high persistent CRE colonization prevalence in intervention facilities. vSNFs, where understaffing or underresourcing were common and lengths of stay range from months to years, had a major prevalence challenge, underscoring the need for aggressive infection control improvements in these facilities.
Funding: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (SHEPheRD Contract No. 200-2011-42037)
Disclosures: M.Y.L. has received research support in the form of contributed product from OpGen and Sage Products (now part of Stryker Corporation), and has received an investigator-initiated grant from CareFusion Foundation (now part of BD).
Only 30% or fewer of individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) convert to full psychosis within 2 years. Efforts are thus underway to refine risk identification strategies to increase their predictive power. Our objective was to develop and validate the predictive accuracy and individualized risk components of a mobile app-based psychosis risk calculator (RC) in a CHR sample from the SHARP (ShangHai At Risk for Psychosis) program.
In total, 400 CHR individuals were identified by the Chinese version of the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes. In the first phase of 300 CHR individuals, 196 subjects (65.3%) who completed neurocognitive assessments and had at least a 2-year follow-up assessment were included in the construction of an RC for psychosis. In the second phase of the SHARP sample of 100 subjects, 93 with data integrity were included to validate the performance of the SHARP-RC.
The SHARP-RC showed good discrimination of subsequent transition to psychosis with an AUC of 0.78 (p < 0.001). The individualized risk generated by the SHARP-RC provided a solid estimation of conversion in the independent validation sample, with an AUC of 0.80 (p = 0.003). A risk estimate of 20% or higher had excellent sensitivity (84%) and moderate specificity (63%) for the prediction of psychosis. The relative contribution of individual risk components can be simultaneously generated. The mobile app-based SHARP-RC was developed as a convenient tool for individualized psychosis risk appraisal.
The SHARP-RC provides a practical tool not only for assessing the probability that an individual at CHR will develop full psychosis, but also personal risk components that might be targeted in early intervention.
Externalizing disorders are known to be partly heritable, but the biological pathways linking genetic risk to the manifestation of these costly behaviors remain under investigation. This study sought to identify neural phenotypes associated with genomic vulnerability for externalizing disorders.
One-hundred fifty-five White, non-Hispanic veterans were genotyped using a genome-wide array and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Genetic susceptibility was assessed using an independently developed polygenic score (PS) for externalizing, and functional neural networks were identified using graph theory based network analysis. Tasks of inhibitory control and psychiatric diagnosis (alcohol/substance use disorders) were used to measure externalizing phenotypes.
A polygenic externalizing disorder score (PS) predicted connectivity in a brain circuit (10 nodes, nine links) centered on left amygdala that included several cortical [bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) pars triangularis, left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC)] and subcortical (bilateral amygdala, hippocampus, and striatum) regions. Directional analyses revealed that bilateral amygdala influenced left prefrontal cortex (IFG) in participants scoring higher on the externalizing PS, whereas the opposite direction of influence was observed for those scoring lower on the PS. Polygenic variation was also associated with higher Participation Coefficient for bilateral amygdala and left rACC, suggesting that genes related to externalizing modulated the extent to which these nodes functioned as communication hubs.
Findings suggest that externalizing polygenic risk is associated with disrupted connectivity in a neural network implicated in emotion regulation, impulse control, and reinforcement learning. Results provide evidence that this network represents a genetically associated neurobiological vulnerability for externalizing disorders.
Mössbauer spectra have been obtained at room temperature on a series of phlogopites and biotites which have also been characterized by chemical analyses, I.R. and N.M.R. The distribution of the Fe2+ ions on the two possible octahedral sites is on the average nearly random. A clear example of tetrahedrally coordinated Fe3+ ions in a natural phlogopite is given. This phlogopite has a very high vermiculitization ability. The Fe3+ content of the samples has been determined by two different chemical methods and it is shown that even when precautions are taken to minimize oxidation, the agreement with Mössbauer spectra is poor.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and stress/trauma exposure are cross-sectionally associated with advanced DNA methylation age relative to chronological age. However, longitudinal inquiry and examination of associations between advanced DNA methylation age and a broader range of psychiatric disorders is lacking. The aim of this study was to examine if PTSD, depression, generalized anxiety, and alcohol-use disorders predicted acceleration of DNA methylation age over time (i.e. an increasing pace, or rate of advancement, of the epigenetic clock).
Genome-wide DNA methylation and a comprehensive set of psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses were assessed in 179 Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans who completed two assessments over the course of approximately 2 years. Two DNA methylation age indices (Horvath and Hannum), each a weighted index of an array of genome-wide DNA methylation probes, were quantified. The pace of the epigenetic clock was operationalized as change in DNA methylation age as a function of time between assessments.
Analyses revealed that alcohol-use disorders (p = 0.001) and PTSD avoidance and numbing symptoms (p = 0.02) at Time 1 were associated with an increasing pace of the epigenetic clock over time, per the Horvath (but not the Hannum) index of cellular aging.
This is the first study to suggest that posttraumatic psychopathology is longitudinally associated with a quickened pace of the epigenetic clock. Results raise the possibility that accelerated cellular aging is a common biological consequence of stress-related psychopathology, which carries implications for identifying mechanisms of stress-related cellular aging and developing interventions to slow its pace.
The number of people living with dementia in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expected to increase rapidly in the coming decades. However, our understanding of how best to reduce dementia risk in the population is very limited. As a first step in developing intervention strategies to manage dementia risk in this setting, we investigated rates of cognitive decline in a rural population in Tanzania and attempted to identify associated factors.
The study was conducted in the rural Hai district of northern Tanzania. In 2014, community-dwelling people aged 65 years and over living in six villages were invited to take part in a cognitive screening program. All participants from four of the six villages were followed-up at two years and cognitive function re-tested. At baseline and follow-up, participants were assessed for functional disability, hypertension, and grip strength (as a measure of frailty). At follow-up, additional assessments of visual acuity, hearing impairment, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and clinical assessment for stroke were completed.
Baseline and follow-up data were available for 327 people. Fifty people had significant cognitive decline at two-year follow-up. Having no formal education, low grip strength at baseline, being female and having depression at follow-up were independently associated with cognitive decline.
This is one of the first studies of cognitive decline conducted in SSA. Rates of decline at two years were relatively high. Future work should focus on identification of specific modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline with a view to developing culturally appropriate interventions.
The development of algorithms for agile science and autonomous exploration has been pursued in contexts ranging from spacecraft to planetary rovers to unmanned aerial vehicles to autonomous underwater vehicles. In situations where time, mission resources and communications are limited and the future state of the operating environment is unknown, the capability of a vehicle to dynamically respond to changing circumstances without human guidance can substantially improve science return. Such capabilities are difficult to achieve in practice, however, because they require intelligent reasoning to utilize limited resources in an inherently uncertain environment. Here we discuss the development, characterization and field performance of two algorithms for autonomously collecting water samples on VALKYRIE (Very deep Autonomous Laser-powered Kilowatt-class Yo-yoing Robotic Ice Explorer), a glacier-penetrating cryobot deployed to the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska (Mission Control location: 61°42′09.3″N 147°37′23.2″W). We show performance on par with human performance across a wide range of mission morphologies using simulated mission data, and demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithms at autonomously collecting samples with high relative cell concentration during field operation. The development of such algorithms will help enable autonomous science operations in environments where constant real-time human supervision is impractical, such as penetration of ice sheets on Earth and high-priority planetary science targets like Europa.
Dunes adjacent to the Snow Water Lake playa in Elko County of northeastern Nevada rise up to ~10 m above the playa surface in seven distinct clusters. The dunes are composed of tan silty loam containing calcite, quartz, plagioclase, and dioctahedral clay. Abundances of trace elements, along with relative proportions of quartz and calcite, are distinct between dunes along the north and south sides of the playa, reflecting proximity to streams draining different lithologies in the neighboring mountains. Luminescence (optically stimulated luminescence and infrared-stimulated luminescence) dating of dune crest samples demonstrates that the last episode of dune accumulation occurred in the mid-eighteenth century. Moisture-sensitive tree ring records from a nearby site indicate that dune accumulation coincided with an interval of below-average precipitation immediately following a very wet decade. This sequence is consistent with models requiring wetter climatic conditions to move coarse sediment onto a playa surface, followed by dune building under drier conditions. Younger luminescence ages from a sand-dominated unit exposed in an arroyo cut through the dunes may reflect a wetter, more erosive climatic regime ca. AD 1800. The Snow Water Lake dunes are currently eroding, signaling a reduction in the amount of sediment reaching the playa.
World Trade Organization (WTO) judges regularly assess aggregate state practice and international standardswhen they adjudicate claims under Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and Art. XIV of the General Agreement on Trade inServices (GATS). How they do so has helped to determine the institutional evolution of the WTO, given the paralysis of its legislative organs. In this comment, we con-sider the reports in the EC—Seal Products dispute in light of this view, as well as theory and evidence of a comparative nature.
Background: The degree of overlap between schizophrenia (SCZ) and affective psychosis (AFF) has been a recurring question since Kraepelin’s subdivision of the major psychoses. Studying nonpsychotic relatives allows a comparison of disorder-associated phenotypes, without potential confounds that can obscure distinctive features of the disorder. Because attention and working memory have been proposed as potential endophenotypes for SCZ and AFF, we compared these cognitive features in individuals at familial high-risk (FHR) for the disorders. Methods: Young, unmedicated, first-degree relatives (ages, 13–25 years) at FHR-SCZ (n=41) and FHR-AFF (n=24) and community controls (CCs, n=54) were tested using attention and working memory versions of the Auditory Continuous Performance Test. To determine if schizotypal traits or current psychopathology accounted for cognitive deficits, we evaluated psychosis proneness using three Chapman Scales, Revised Physical Anhedonia, Perceptual Aberration, and Magical Ideation, and assessed psychopathology using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist -90 Revised. Results: Compared to controls, the FHR-AFF sample was significantly impaired in auditory vigilance, while the FHR-SCZ sample was significantly worse in working memory. Both FHR groups showed significantly higher levels of physical anhedonia and some psychopathological dimensions than controls. Adjusting for physical anhedonia, phobic anxiety, depression, psychoticism, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms eliminated the FHR-AFF vigilance effects but not the working memory deficits in FHR-SCZ. Conclusions: The working memory deficit in FHR-SZ was the more robust of the cognitive impairments after accounting for psychopathological confounds and is supported as an endophenotype. Examination of larger samples of people at familial risk for different psychoses remains necessary to confirm these findings and to clarify the role of vigilance in FHR-AFF. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1026–1037)