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Substantial clinical heterogeneity of major depressive disorder (MDD) suggests it may group together individuals with diverse aetiologies. Identifying distinct subtypes should lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment, while providing more useful targets for further research. Genetic and clinical overlap between MDD and schizophrenia (SCZ) suggests an MDD subtype may share underlying mechanisms with SCZ.
The present study investigated whether a neurobiologically distinct subtype of MDD could be identified by SCZ polygenic risk score (PRS). We explored interactive effects between SCZ PRS and MDD case/control status on a range of cortical, subcortical and white matter metrics among 2370 male and 2574 female UK Biobank participants.
There was a significant SCZ PRS by MDD interaction for rostral anterior cingulate cortex (RACC) thickness (β = 0.191, q = 0.043). This was driven by a positive association between SCZ PRS and RACC thickness among MDD cases (β = 0.098, p = 0.026), compared to a negative association among controls (β = −0.087, p = 0.002). MDD cases with low SCZ PRS showed thinner RACC, although the opposite difference for high-SCZ-PRS cases was not significant. There were nominal interactions for other brain metrics, but none remained significant after correcting for multiple comparisons.
Our significant results indicate that MDD case-control differences in RACC thickness vary as a function of SCZ PRS. Although this was not the case for most other brain measures assessed, our specific findings still provide some further evidence that MDD in the presence of high genetic risk for SCZ is subtly neurobiologically distinct from MDD in general.
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the leading cause of spinal cord impairment. In a public healthcare system, wait times to see spine specialists and eventually access surgical treatment for CSM can be substantial. The goals of this study were to determine consultation wait times (CWT) and surgical wait times (SWT), and identify predictors of wait time length. Methods: Consecutive patients enrolled in the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network (CSORN) prospective and observational CSM study from March 2015 to July 2017 were included. A data-splitting technique was used to develop and internally validate multivariable models of potential predictors. Results: A CSORN query returned 264 CSM patients for CWT. The median was 46 days. There were 31% mild, 35% moderate, and 33% severe CSM. There was a statistically significant difference in median CWT between moderate and severe groups; 207 patients underwent surgical treatment. Median SWT was 42 days. There was a statistically significant difference in SWT between mild/moderate and severe groups. Short symptom duration, less pain, lower BMI, and lower physical component score of SF-12 were predictive of shorter CWT. Only baseline pain and medication duration were predictive of SWT. Both CWT and SWT were shorter compared to a concurrent cohort of lumbar stenosis patients (p <0.001). Conclusions: Patients with shorter duration (either symptoms or medication) and less neck pain waited less to see a spine specialist in Canada and to undergo surgical treatment. This study highlights some of the obstacles to overcome in expedited care for this patient population.
Maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum predicts later emotional and behavioural problems in children. Even though most perinatal mental health problems begin before pregnancy, the consequences of preconception maternal mental health for children's early emotional development have not been prospectively studied.
We used data from two prospective Australian intergenerational cohorts, with 756 women assessed repeatedly for mental health problems before pregnancy between age 13 and 29 years, and during pregnancy and at 1 year postpartum for 1231 subsequent pregnancies. Offspring infant emotional reactivity, an early indicator of differential sensitivity denoting increased risk of emotional problems under adversity, was assessed at 1 year postpartum.
Thirty-seven percent of infants born to mothers with persistent preconception mental health problems were categorised as high in emotional reactivity, compared to 23% born to mothers without preconception history (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.1). Ante- and postnatal maternal depressive symptoms were similarly associated with infant emotional reactivity, but these perinatal associations reduced somewhat after adjustment for prior exposure. Causal mediation analysis further showed that 88% of the preconception risk was a direct effect, not mediated by perinatal exposure.
Maternal preconception mental health problems predict infant emotional reactivity, independently of maternal perinatal mental health; while associations between perinatal depressive symptoms and infant reactivity are partially explained by prior exposure. Findings suggest that processes shaping early vulnerability for later mental disorders arise well before conception. There is an emerging case for expanding developmental theories and trialling preventive interventions in the years before pregnancy.
An increasing body of genetic and imaging research shows that it is becoming possible to forecast the onset of major psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia before people become ill with ever improving accuracy. Practical issues such as the optimal combination of clinical and biological variables are being addressed, but the application of predictive algorithms to individuals or in routine clinical settings have yet to be tested. The development of predictive methods in mental health comes with substantial ethical questions, including whether people wish to know their level of risk, as well as individual and societal attitudes to the potential adverse effects of data sharing, early diagnosis and treatment, which so far have been largely ignored. Preliminary data suggests that at least some people think predictive research is valuable and would take part in such studies, and some would welcome knowing the results. Future initiatives should systematically assess opinions and attitudes in conjunction with scientific and technical advances.
Declaration of interest
In the past 3 years, S.M.L. has received personal fees from Otsuaka, Sunovion and Janssen, and research grant support from Janssen and Lundbeck. A.M.M. has received research support from the Sackler Trust, Eli Lilly and Janssen. S.M.L. is part of the PSYSCAN consortium.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder, linked to several structural abnormalities of the brain. More specifically, previous findings have suggested that increased gyrification in frontal and temporal regions are implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
The current study included participants at high familial risk of schizophrenia who remained well (n = 31), who developed sub-diagnostic symptoms (n = 28) and who developed schizophrenia (n = 9) as well as healthy controls (HC) (n = 16). We first tested whether individuals at high familial risk of schizophrenia carried an increased burden of trait-associated alleles using polygenic risk score analysis. We then assessed the extent to which polygenic risk was associated with gyral folding in the frontal and temporal lobes.
We found that individuals at high familial risk of schizophrenia who developed schizophrenia carried a significantly greater burden of risk-conferring variants for the disorder compared to those at high risk (HR) who developed sub-diagnostic symptoms or remained well and HC. Furthermore, within the HR cohort, there was a significant and positive association between schizophrenia polygenic risk score and bilateral frontal gyrification.
These results suggest that polygenic risk for schizophrenia impacts upon early neurodevelopment to confer greater gyral folding in adulthood and an increased risk of developing the disorder.
The spatial distribution and polarization characteristics of the SiO (v=1, J=1-0) maser emission from several late type stars have been observed. The spatial distribution, derived from VLBI observations, generally shows a number of emitting regions but no clear velocity pattern or geometry. Some of these regions have well defined polarization characteristics. The results of high spatial resolution polarization measurements of RCas are similar to the lower spatial resolution polarimetry performed on this source.
Information on the structure of the molecular flow within 1″ of IRC-2, in Orion-KL, is sparse. Measurements of the continuum at 7.8μ and 12.5μ show a disk of size and suggest that the center of the disk may be dust free (Lester et al. 1985). Aperture synthesis mapping of water maser shell features (Sylber 1986) has provided information on the scale. Smaller scales can be studied by mapping SiO maser emission. We observed the 43 GHz, v=1, J = 1 → 0, transition of SiO using a 2 station interferometer with a 74 km baseline between Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA and Five College Radio Observatory, New Salem, MA. The fringe spacing was 20 milliarcseconds (mas) and the velocity resolution was 0.25 km-s−1. Our results provide the highest resolution view to date of what is likely to be the inner of IRC-2.
Introduction: This study evaluates the association of baseline e-cigarette use with smoking cessation in a sample of 2-year college student smokers.
Methods: Participants were 1,400 students from over 60 2-year colleges across 25 states who were current smokers enrolled in a web-assisted tobacco intervention (WATI) trial. Survey data at baseline, 1-, and 6-months, were evaluated.
Results: At 6-months, baseline e-cigarette users were more likely to report cessation of traditional cigarettes compared to non-users (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.002–1.92). Cessation was also associated with higher baseline confidence in quitting and greater time to first cigarette after awakening. Baseline e-cigarette use was not associated with self-reported cessation of all nicotine/tobacco products (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.75–1.58) nor biochemically verified cessation of all nicotine/tobacco products (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.47–1.47). Higher confidence was again associated with both self-reported and biochemically verified cessation of all nicotines.
There is a lack of evidence pointing to the efficacy of any specific psychotherapy for adults with anorexia nervosa (AN). The aim of this study was to compare three psychological treatments for AN: Specialist Supportive Clinical Management, Maudsley Model Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults and Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
A multi-centre randomised controlled trial was conducted with outcomes assessed at pre-, mid- and post-treatment, and 6- and 12-month follow-up by researchers blind to treatment allocation. All analyses were intention-to-treat. One hundred and twenty individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for AN were recruited from outpatient treatment settings in three Australian cities and offered 25–40 sessions over a 10-month period. Primary outcomes were body mass index (BMI) and eating disorder psychopathology. Secondary outcomes included depression, anxiety, stress and psychosocial impairment.
Treatment was completed by 60% of participants and 52.5% of the total sample completed 12-month follow-up. Completion rates did not differ between treatments. There were no significant differences between treatments on continuous outcomes; all resulted in clinically significant improvements in BMI, eating disorder psychopathology, general psychopathology and psychosocial impairment that were maintained over follow-up. There were no significant differences between treatments with regard to the achievement of a healthy weight (mean = 50%) or remission (mean = 28.3%) at 12-month follow-up.
The findings add to the evidence base for these three psychological treatments for adults with AN, but the results underscore the need for continued efforts to improve outpatient treatments for this disorder.
The aims of the study were to describe the patterning and persistence of anxiety and depressive symptoms from adolescence to young adulthood and to examine long-term developmental relationships with earlier patterns of internalizing behaviours in childhood.
We used parallel processes latent growth curve modelling to build trajectories of internalizing from adolescence to adulthood, using seven waves of follow-ups (ages 11–27 years) from 1406 participants of the Australian Temperament Project. We then used latent factors to capture the stability of maternal reported child internalizing symptoms across three waves of early childhood follow-ups (ages 5, 7 and 9 years), and examined relationships among these patterns of symptoms across the three developmental periods, adjusting for gender and socio-economic status.
We observed strong continuity in depressive symptoms from adolescence to young adulthood. In contrast, adolescent anxiety was not persistent across the same period, nor was it related to later depressive symptoms. Anxiety was, however, related to non-specific stress in young adulthood, but only moderately so. Although childhood internalizing was related to adolescent and adult profiles, the associations were weak and indirect by adulthood, suggesting that other factors are important in the development of internalizing symptoms.
Once established, adolescent depressive symptoms are not only strongly persistent, but also have the potential to differentiate into anxiety in young adulthood. Relationships with childhood internalizing symptoms are weak, suggesting that early adolescence may be an important period for targeted intervention, but also that further research into the childhood origins of internalizing behaviours is needed.
Previous neuroimaging studies indicate abnormalities in cortico-limbic circuitry in mood disorder. Here we employ prospective longitudinal voxel-based morphometry to examine the trajectory of these abnormalities during early stages of illness development.
Unaffected individuals (16–25 years) at high and low familial risk of mood disorder underwent structural brain imaging on two occasions 2 years apart. Further clinical assessment was conducted 2 years after the second scan (time 3). Clinical outcome data at time 3 was used to categorize individuals: (i) healthy controls (‘low risk’, n = 48); (ii) high-risk individuals who remained well (HR well, n = 53); and (iii) high-risk individuals who developed a major depressive disorder (HR MDD, n = 30). Groups were compared using longitudinal voxel-based morphometry. We also examined whether progress to illness was associated with changes in other potential risk markers (personality traits, symptoms scores and baseline measures of childhood trauma), and whether any changes in brain structure could be indexed using these measures.
Significant decreases in right amygdala grey matter were found in HR MDD v. controls (p = 0.001) and v. HR well (p = 0.005). This structural change was not related to measures of childhood trauma, symptom severity or measures of sub-diagnostic anxiety, neuroticism or extraversion, although cross-sectionally these measures significantly differentiated the groups at baseline.
These longitudinal findings implicate structural amygdala changes in the neurobiology of mood disorder. They also provide a potential biomarker for risk stratification capturing additional information beyond clinically ascertained measures.
It has been recognized that the magnetic flux observed on the solar surface appears first in low latitudes, and then this flux is gradually dispersed by super granular convective motions and meridional circulation. Theoretically, the magnetic flux transport could be explained by the interactions between magnetic fields and plasma flows on the solar surface through the theory of magnetohydrodynamics.
To understand this physical scenario, a quasi-three-dimensional, time-dependent, MHD model with differential rotation, meridional flow and effective diffusion as well as cyclonic turbulence effects is developed. Numerical experiments are presented for the study of Bipolar Magnetic Regions (BMRs). When the MHD effects are ignored, our model produced the classical results (Leighton, Astrophys. J., 146, 1547, 1964). The full model’s numerical results demonstrate that the interaction between magnetic fields and plasma flow (i.e., MHD effects), observed together with differential rotation and meridional flow, gives rise to the observed complexity of the evolution of BMRs.
There is now a well-established link between childhood adversity (CA) and schizophrenia. Similar structural abnormalities to those found in schizophrenia including alterations in grey-matter volume have also been shown in those who experience CA.
We examined whether global estimates of cortical thickness or surface area were altered in those familial high-risk subjects who had been referred to a social worker or the Children's Panel compared to those who had not.
We found that the cortical surface area of those who were referred to the Children's Panel was significantly smaller than those who had not been referred, but cortical thickness was not significantly altered. There was also an effect of social work referral on cortical surface area but not on thickness.
Cortical surface area increases post-natally more than cortical thickness. Our findings suggest that CA can influence structural changes in the brain and it is likely to have a greater impact on cortical surface area than on cortical thickness.
Impaired neuropsychological functioning is a feature of major depression. Previous studies have suggested that at least some aspects of neuropsychological functioning improve with successful treatment of major depression. The extent to which medications may affect the degree of normalization of these functions is unclear. The aim of the current study was to examine the course of neuropsychological functioning during treatment of major depression with cognitive–behaviour therapy (CBT) or schema therapy (ST).
A total of 69 out-patients with a primary diagnosis of major depression and 58 healthy controls completed mood ratings, neuropsychological measures, and measures of emotional processing at baseline and after 16 weeks. Participants were randomized after baseline assessment to a year-long course of CBT or ST. Patients reassessed at 16 weeks were medication-free throughout the study.
Significant neuropsychological impairment was evident at baseline in depressed participants compared with healthy controls. After 16 weeks of psychotherapy, mean depression rating scores fell more than 50%. However, no neuropsychological measures showed convincing evidence of significant improvement and emotional processing did not change.
Persisting impairment in neuropsychological functioning after the first 16 weeks of CBT or ST suggests a need to modify psychological treatments to include components targeting cognitive functioning.
Neurocognitive performance deficits have been observed in mood disorder patients and their unaffected relatives and may therefore qualify as endophenotypes. However, the precise time course of neurocognitive deficits has not been studied so that it is unknown whether neurocognitive abnormalities reflect the early effects of familial vulnerability to mood disorders or if they emerge at illness onset.
A neuropsychological test battery was administered at baseline and after a 2-year follow-up interval in 111 initially unaffected young adults at high familial risk of mood disorders and 93 healthy controls (HC). During the follow-up period, 20 high-risk subjects developed major depressive disorder (HR-MDD), with the remainder remaining well (HR-well). Linear mixed-effects models were used to investigate differences and longitudinal changes in the domains of attentional processing, working memory, verbal learning and memory, and cognitive flexibility.
Reduced long delay verbal memory and extradimensional set-shifting performance across both time points were found in the HR-well group relative to controls. The HR-MDD group displayed decreased extradimensional set-shifting abilities across both time points as compared with the HC group only. There were no significant performance differences between the two high-risk groups.
Reduced verbal memory and cognitive flexibility are familial trait markers for vulnerability to mood disorders in individuals with a close family history of bipolar disorder. Both neurocognitive performance deficits appear to be relatively stable over a 2-year time period and do not appear to be linked to the onset of MDD. These findings support their use as stable quantitative endophenotypes for mood disorders.
Magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere provide the energy for most varieties of solar activity, including high-energy electromagnetic radiation, solar energetic particles, flares, and coronal mass ejections, as well as powering the solar wind. Despite the fundamental role of magnetic fields in solar and heliospheric physics, there exist only very limited measurements of the field above the base of the corona. What is needed are direct measurements of not only the strength and orientation of the magnetic field but also the signatures of wave motions in order to better understand coronal structure, solar activity, and the role of MHD waves in heating and accelerating the solar wind. Fortunately, the remote sensing instrumentation used to make magnetic field measurements is also well suited to measure the Doppler signature of waves in the solar structures. We present here a mission concept for the Waves And Magnetism In the Solar Atmosphere (WAMIS) experiment which is proposed for a NASA long-duration balloon flight.