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Early life adversity (ELA) has been associated with inflammation and immunosenescence, as well as hyporeactivity of the HPA axis. Because the immune system and the HPA axis are tightly intertwined around the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), we examined peripheral GR functionality in the EpiPath cohort among participants who either had been exposed to ELA (separation from parents and/or institutionalization followed by adoption; n = 40) or had been reared by their biological parents (n = 72).
Expression of the strict GR target genes FKBP5 and GILZ as well as total and 1F and 1H GR transcripts were similar between groups. Furthermore, there were no differences in GR sensitivity, examined by the effects of dexamethasone on IL6 production in LPS-stimulated whole blood. Although we did not find differences in methylation at the GR 1F exon or promoter region, we identified a region of the GR 1H promoter (CpG 1-9) that showed lower methylation levels in ELA.
Our results suggest that peripheral GR signaling was unperturbed in our cohort and the observed immune phenotype does not appear to be secondary to an altered GR response to the perturbed HPA axis and glucocorticoid (GC) profile, although we are limited in our measures of GR activity and time points.
We aimed to examine the association between pain, stiffness and fatigue in newly diagnosed polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) patients using baseline data from a prospective cohort study. Fatigue is a known, but often ignored symptom of PMR. Newly diagnosed PMR patients were recruited from general practice and mailed a baseline questionnaire. This included a numerical rating scale for pain and stiffness severity, manikins identifying locations of pain and stiffness and the FACIT-Fatigue questionnaire. A total of 652 PMR patients responded (88.5%). The mean age of responders was 72.6 years (SD 9.0) and the majority were female (62.0%). Manikin data demonstrated that bilateral shoulder and hip pain and stiffness were common. The mean fatigue score (FACIT) was 33.9 (SD 12.4). Adjusted regression analysis demonstrated that a higher number of pain sites (23–44 sites) and higher pain and stiffness severity were associated with greater levels of fatigue. In newly diagnosed PMR patients, fatigue was associated with PMR symptom severity.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
The phase-space correlation of dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy pose a serious challenge to our understanding of structure formation. Recently, another planar structure was discovered around Cen A, the major galaxy of the Centaurus group. We have surveyed this galaxy group for new dwarf galaxies and presented the discovery of 57 new dwarf member candidates. Furthermore, we have studied the kinematics of previously known dwarfs and again found a kinematic coherence in their movement, similar to the Local Group satellites. In CDM simulations, such an alignment appears in less than 0.5 percent.
We present ALMA band 7 data of the extreme OH/IR star, OH 26.5+0.6. In addition to lines of CO and its isotopologues, the circumstellar envelope also exhibits a number of emission lines due to metal-containing molecules, e.g., NaCl and KCl. A lack of C18O is expected, but a non-detection of C17O is puzzling given the strengths of H217O in Herschel spectra of the star. However, a line associated with Si17O is detected. We also report a tentative detection of a gas-phase emission line of MgS. The ALMA spectrum of this object reveals intriguing features which may be used to investigate chemical processes and dust formation during a high mass-loss phase.
Human disturbance can have behavioural, physiological and population-level consequences on wildlife. Unregulated tourism is having a negative effect on the endangered Yellow-eyed Penguin Megadyptes antipodes on mainland New Zealand. Subantarctic Yellow-eyed Penguins are exposed to tourism on Enderby Island in the Auckland Islands group, 450 km south of New Zealand. Restrictions and guidelines for tourism are in place on Enderby Island, but there has been little study on the efficacy of these. We quantified behavioural responses of the Yellow-eyed Penguin on Enderby Island to human presence by documenting movement patterns and behaviour of penguins in the presence and absence of humans, through both controlled approaches and monitoring penguin behaviour in the presence of tourists. We used these data to model the effective approach distances for reducing disturbance. Human presence caused a significant drop in the probability of a successful transit to or from their nest, and significantly increased the time penguins spent alert and decreased the time spent preening. Modelling showed the distance from a human to a penguin is a significant predictor of the likelihood of a bird displaying disturbance behaviour, with the current minimum approach guideline of 5 m not sufficient for preventing disturbance. Our results indicate that the minimum approach guideline needs to be revised if the probability of disturbance is to be reduced. Modelling the appropriateness of minimum approach guidelines by predicting the probability of disturbance is a useful technique that could be applied to other species and systems. Worldwide, management guidelines need to be scientifically evaluated to ensure efficacy and cater for the more sensitive species affected.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
Compulsory admission can be experienced as devaluing and stigmatising by people with mental illness. Emotional reactions to involuntary hospitalisation and stigma-related stress may affect recovery, but longitudinal data are lacking. We, therefore, examined the impact of stigma-related emotional reactions and stigma stress on recovery over a 2-year period.
Shame and self-contempt as emotional reactions to involuntary hospitalisation, stigma stress, self-stigma and empowerment, as well as recovery were assessed among 186 individuals with serious mental illness and a history of recent involuntary hospitalisation.
More shame, self-contempt and stigma stress at baseline were correlated with increased self-stigma and reduced empowerment after 1 year. More stigma stress at baseline was associated with poor recovery after 2 years. In a longitudinal path analysis more stigma stress at baseline predicted poorer recovery after 2 years, mediated by decreased empowerment after 1 year, controlling for age, gender, symptoms and recovery at baseline.
Stigma stress may have a lasting detrimental effect on recovery among people with mental illness and a history of involuntary hospitalisation. Anti-stigma interventions that reduce stigma stress and programs that enhance empowerment could improve recovery. Future research should test the effect of such interventions on recovery.
To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
Models of neutrino-driven core-collapse supernova explosions have matured considerably in recent years. Explosions of low-mass progenitors can routinely be simulated in 1D, 2D, and 3D. Nucleosynthesis calculations indicate that these supernovae could be contributors of some lighter neutron-rich elements beyond iron. The explosion mechanism of more massive stars remains under investigation, although first 3D models of neutrino-driven explosions employing multi-group neutrino transport have become available. Together with earlier 2D models and more simplified 3D simulations, these have elucidated the interplay between neutrino heating and hydrodynamic instabilities in the post-shock region that is essential for shock revival. However, some physical ingredients may still need to be added/improved before simulations can robustly explain supernova explosions over a wide range of progenitors. Solutions recently suggested in the literature include uncertainties in the neutrino rates, rotation, and seed perturbations from convective shell burning. We review the implications of 3D simulations of shell burning in supernova progenitors for the ‘perturbations-aided neutrino-driven mechanism,’ whose efficacy is illustrated by the first successful multi-group neutrino hydrodynamics simulation of an 18 solar mass progenitor with 3D initial conditions. We conclude with speculations about the impact of 3D effects on the structure of massive stars through convective boundary mixing.
Little is known about time perception, its putative role as cognitive endophenotype, and its neuroanatomical underpinnings in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Twenty adults with ADHD, 20 unaffected first-degree relatives and 20 typically developing controls matched for age and gender undertook structural magnetic resonance imaging scans. Voxel-based morphometry with DARTEL was performed to obtain regional grey-matter volumes. Temporal processing was investigated as a putative cognitive endophenotype using a temporal reproduction paradigm. General linear modelling was employed to examine the relationship between temporal reproduction performances and grey-matter volumes.
ADHD participants were impaired in temporal reproduction and unaffected first-degree relatives performed in between their ADHD probands and typically developing controls. Increased grey-matter volume in the cerebellum was associated with poorer temporal reproduction performance.
Adults with ADHD are impaired in time reproduction. Performances of the unaffected first-degree relatives are in between ADHD relatives and controls, suggesting that time reproduction might be a cognitive endophenotype for adult ADHD. The cerebellum is involved in time reproduction and might play a role in driving time performances.
A search for Type Ia supernovae at cosmological distances is being undertaken in an attempt to exploit their standard candle property to constrain the mass density of the universe. We describe the rationale for such a program, the observational approach and strategy taken, and the progress made to date. The science that is being generated by the project in additional to supernova detection is also discussed briefly.
Patients with psychosis display the so-called ‘Jumping to Conclusions’ bias (JTC) – a tendency for hasty decision-making in probabilistic reasoning tasks. So far, only a few studies have evaluated the JTC bias in ‘at-risk mental state’ (ARMS) patients, specifically in ARMS samples fulfilling ‘ultra-high risk’ (UHR) criteria, thus not allowing for comparisons between different ARMS subgroups.
In the framework of the PREVENT (secondary prevention of schizophrenia) study, a JTC task was applied to 188 patients either fulfilling UHR criteria or presenting with cognitive basic symptoms (BS). Similar data were available for 30 healthy control participants matched for age, gender, education and premorbid verbal intelligence. ARMS patients were identified by the Structured Interview for Prodromal Symptoms (SIPS) and the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument – Adult Version (SPI-A).
The mean number of draws to decision (DTD) significantly differed between ARM -subgroups: UHR patients made significantly less draws to make a decision than ARMS patients with only cognitive BS. Furthermore, UHR patients tended to fulfil behavioural criteria for JTC more often than BS patients. In a secondary analysis, ARMS patients were much hastier in their decision-making than controls. In patients, DTD was moderately associated with positive and negative symptoms as well as disorganization and excitement.
Our data indicate an enhanced JTC bias in the UHR group compared to ARMS patients with only cognitive BS. This underscores the importance of reasoning deficits within cognitive theories of the developing psychosis. Interactions with the liability to psychotic transitions and therapeutic interventions should be unravelled in longitudinal studies.
In September 2011, a patient cluster with a rare Salmonella serotype – Strathcona – was identified in Denmark. An outbreak investigation was initiated to reveal the source in order to stop the outbreak. In addition to hypothesis-generating interviews, comparable analyses of patients’ household shopping receipts were conducted. A matched case-control study with 25 cases and 56 population register controls was conducted to test the findings of the hypothesis-generating investigation. In total, 43 cases of Salmonella Strathcona were reported in Denmark. Additionally, 28 cases were reported from Germany, Italy, Austria and Belgium. The results of the investigation in Denmark showed that 8/10 cases had bought datterino tomatoes prior to disease onset. Illness was associated with a specific supermarket chain [matched odds ratio (mOR) 16·9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·2–130], and having consumed elongated small tomatoes (OR 28·1, 95% CI 2·6–302). Traceback investigation showed that the tomatoes came from an Italian producer. This outbreak, linked to tomatoes, underpins the growing recognition of the broad source range of Salmonella and the ability of fresh produce to cause multi-country outbreaks. It is important to strengthen the international cooperation between public-health and food-safety authorities in the European Union to investigate future multi-country outbreaks in order to prevent illness from ready-to-eat produce.