(HealthDay News) — A day after his inauguration, President Joe Biden plans to unveil a new, far-reaching pandemic response plan. He will also issue executive orders that aim to ramp up the production and distribution of COVID-19 tests and vaccines, make schools and travel safer, and help states fight the spread of COVID-19.

Biden has repeatedly promised to get 100 million COVID-19 shots into the arms of the American people by his 100th day in office; he has already directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to begin constructing federally supported community vaccination centers, with the goal of having 100 centers in operation within the next month.

On Wednesday, Biden signed three executive orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic shortly after taking office, The New York Times reported. They require mask wearing and social distancing on federal property and under other limited circumstances; halting the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization; and recreating a White House unit on global health security and biodefense that was disbanded a few years ago, the newspaper said.


Continue Reading

For travel, the president plans to sign an executive order requiring masks to be worn in airports and international travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding planes to the United States, The Times said.


Continue Reading

The New York Times Article

The potential of a mobile app as a valid and easily accessible tool for measuring cognitive function in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) was demonstrated in study findings presented at the Psych Congress 2020, held virtually from September 10 to 13, 2020.

Evaluation of the convergent validity of the Cognition Kit DSST (Digit Symbol Substitution Test) mobile app in patients with MDD compared with the traditional paper Pearson WAIS IV DSST served as the primary objective of the study. Researchers also assessed patient satisfaction with the smartphone app.

A total of 30 adults (40% men) aged 18 to 65 years (mean 42, SD=13) who were experiencing a moderate to severe major depressive episode as indicated by a score ≥20 on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale were included in the prospective, longitudinal validation study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03999567).

Participants completed a paper DSST and the mobile app DSST at both the initial visit and a second visit scheduled the following week. At the second visit, patients completed a 10-item app satisfaction questionnaire that was scored using a 5-point Likert satisfaction scale. Convergent validity of the mobile app and the DSST was calculated using Pearson correlates.

Positive correlations were found between the DSST score and the mobile app score at both visits (r = .24, P =.207). The researchers also found significant positive correlations between scores on the DSST from the first visit to the second (r = .92, P <.001) and between scores on the mobile app from visit 1 and visit 2 (r = .75, P <.001). Overall, 87% of the respondents indicated that the mobile app was easy to use, and 57% preferred the mobile app to the paper version. All 30 patients agreed that the instructions for the Cognition Kit DSST app were understandable.

Limitations of the study include the small study population and recruitment from a single center. The researchers also noted that the Cognition Kit DSST was validated against only 1 standardized measure and “may not provide adequate conceptual coverage” of all subdomains involved in neurocognition.

“The ubiquity of smartphones provides the opportunity for app-based neurocognitive assessments that are free of charge, and also easy and brief to administer,” the investigators wrote. They believe their study results support the potential of the Cognition Kit DSST mobile app as “a valid and accessible alternative to the paper DSST for measuring cognitive functioning in adults with MDD.”

Disclosure: This clinical trial was supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the study poster and abstract for a full listing of author disclosures.

(HealthDay News) — For patients with symptomatic, radiographically confirmed osteolysis undergoing revision total hip arthroplasty surgery, a single dose of denosumab results in a reduction in osteoclast numbers, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in The Lancet Rheumatology.

Mohit M. Mahatma, from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a phase 2 randomized, proof-of-concept superiority trial involving patients aged 30 years or older and scheduled for revision total hip arthroplasty surgery for symptomatic, radiographically confirmed osteolysis. Participants were randomly assigned to either subcutaneous denosumab or placebo. The between-group difference in osteoclast number per millimeter of bone surface of biopsies taken from the osteolytic membrane-bone interface at surgery eight weeks later was assessed as the primary outcome.

Ten patients in the denosumab group and 12 in the placebo group were assessed for the primary outcome. The researchers found that compared with the placebo group, in the denosumab group, there were 83 percent fewer osteoclasts at the osteolysis membrane-bone interface (median, 0.05 versus 0.30 per mm). There were no deaths or treatment-related serious adverse events reported.

“The results of this proof-of-concept clinical trial indicate that denosumab is effective at reducing bone resorption activity within osteolytic lesion tissue and is well tolerated within the limitations of the single dose used here,” the authors write.


Continue Reading

The study was funded by Amgen. Amgen provided denosumab and placebo free of charge.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Reference

McCue M, Lipsitz O, Subramaniapillai M, et al. Validation of a mobile application version of the cognition kit digit symbol substitution test in patients with major depressive disorder. Presented at: Psych Congress 2020 Virtual Experience; September 10-13, 2020. Poster 213. 

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor