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Previous research in clinical, community, and school settings has demonstrated positive outcomes for the Secret Agent Society (SAS) social skills training program. This is designed to help children on the autism spectrum become more aware of emotions in themselves and others and to ‘problem-solve’ complex social scenarios. Parents play a key role in the implementation of the SAS program, attending information and support sessions with other parents and providing supervision, rewards, and feedback as their children complete weekly ‘home mission’ assignments. Drawing on data from a school-based evaluation of the SAS program, we examined whether parents’ engagement with these elements of the intervention was linked to the quality of their children’s participation and performance. Sixty-eight 8–14-year-olds (M age = 10.7) with a diagnosis of autism participated in the program. The findings indicated that ratings of parental engagement were positively correlated with children’s competence in completing home missions and with the quality of their contribution during group teaching sessions. However, there was a less consistent relationship between parental engagement and measures of children’s social and emotional skill gains over the course of the program.
Over the past decade, a growing interest has developed on the archaeology, palaeontology, and palaeoenvironments of the Arabian Peninsula. It is now clear that hominins repeatedly dispersed into Arabia, notably during pluvial interglacial periods when much of the peninsula was characterised by a semiarid grassland environment. During the intervening glacial phases, however, grasslands were replaced with arid and hyperarid deserts. These millennial-scale climatic fluctuations have subjected bones and fossils to a dramatic suite of environmental conditions, affecting their fossilisation and preservation. Yet, as relatively few palaeontological assemblages have been reported from the Pleistocene of Arabia, our understanding of the preservational pathways that skeletal elements can take in these types of environments is lacking. Here, we report the first widespread taxonomic and taphonomic assessment of Arabian fossil deposits. Novel fossil fauna are described and overall the fauna are consistent with a well-watered semiarid grassland environment. Likewise, the taphonomic results suggest that bones were deposited under more humid conditions than present in the region today. However, fossils often exhibit significant attrition, obscuring and fragmenting most finds. These are likely tied to wind abrasion, insolation, and salt weathering following fossilisation and exhumation, processes particularly prevalent in desert environments.
Starting university is an important time with respect to dietary changes. This study reports a novel approach to assessing student diet by utilising student-level food transaction data to explore dietary patterns. First-year students living in catered accommodation at the University of Leeds (UK) received pre-credited food cards for use in university catering facilities. Food card transaction data were obtained for semester 1, 2016 and linked with student age and sex. k-Means cluster analysis was applied to the transaction data to identify clusters of food purchasing behaviours. Differences in demographic and behavioural characteristics across clusters were examined using χ2 tests. The semester was divided into three time periods to explore longitudinal changes in purchasing patterns. Seven dietary clusters were identified: ‘Vegetarian’, ‘Omnivores’, ‘Dieters’, ‘Dish of the Day’, ‘Grab-and-Go’, ‘Carb Lovers’ and ‘Snackers’. There were statistically significant differences in sex (P < 0·001), with women dominating the Vegetarian and Dieters, age (P = 0·003), with over 20s representing a high proportion of the Omnivores and time of day of transactions (P < 0·001), with Dieters and Snackers purchasing least at breakfast. Many students (n 474, 60·4 %) changed dietary cluster across the semester. This study demonstrates that transactional data present a feasible method for dietary assessment, collecting detailed dietary information over time and at scale, while eliminating participant burden and possible bias from self-selection, observation and attrition. It revealed that student diets are complex and that simplistic measures of diet, focusing on narrow food groups in isolation, are unlikely to adequately capture dietary behaviours.
Mental disorders are increasingly common among adults in both the developed and developing world and are predicted by the WHO to be the leading cause of disease burden by 2030. Many common physical conditions are more common among people who also have a common mental disorder. This scoping review aims to examine the current literature about the prevention, identification and treatment of physical problems among people with pre-existing mental health disorders in primary care in Europe.
The scoping review framework comprised a five-stage process developed by Arksey & O’Malley (2005). The search process was guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Both quantitative and qualitative studies were included, with no restriction on study design.
The initial search identified 299 studies, with a further 28 added from the hand-search (total n = 327) of which 19 were considered relevant to the review research question and included for full analysis. Depression was the mental health condition most commonly studied (nine studies), followed by depression and anxiety (seven studies), with three studies examining any mental disorder. Eleven studies examined the effects of various interventions to address physical and mental comorbidity, with the most commonly studied intervention being collaborative care.
With just 19 studies meeting our criteria for inclusion, there is clearly a paucity of research in this area. Further research is essential in order to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the association between mental disorders and chronic conditions.
Correlation of Rodinian and Gondwanan crustal domains relies on a thorough knowledge of those vestiges preserved today. The Bunger Hills hold a critical place in East Antarctica, recording the Mesoproterozoic assembly of Australo-Antarctica in Rodinia and the Neoproterozoic–Cambrian amalgamation of Indo- and Australo-Antarctica in Gondwana. It is situated in a region of disputed overlap between the different components of Rodinia and Gondwana, where there is little consensus on the location of sutures in this region and thus often speculative geological interpretations. The Bunger Hills therefore provide an opportunity to better understand the tectonic setting and palaeogeography during the assembly of these supercontinents. Recent work has confirmed that the Bunger Hills are one of few rare outcrops in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica that can be directly correlated with the broader Musgrave–Albany–Fraser–Wilkes Orogen (MAFWO). Whilst other constituent terranes of the MAFWO have been intensely studied, our geological knowledge of the Bunger Hills was comparatively limited until recently. In light of recent geological and geophysical developments, this contribution serves as an updated and concise standalone reference for the present state of knowledge of the Neoarchean–Cambrian evolution of the Bunger Hills region.
Psychotic experiences (PEs) are reported by a significant minority of adolescents and are associated with the development of psychiatric disorders. The aims of this study were to examine associations between PEs and a range of factors including psychopathology, adversity and lifestyle, and to investigate mediating effects of coping style and parental support on associations between adversity and PEs in a general population adolescent sample.
Cross-sectional data were drawn from the Irish centre of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe study. Students completed a self-report questionnaire and 973 adolescents, of whom 522 (53.6%) were boys, participated. PEs were assessed using the 7-item Adolescent Psychotic Symptom Screener.
Of the total sample, 81 (8.7%) of the sample were found to be at risk of PEs. In multivariate analysis, associations were found between PEs and number of adverse events reported (OR 4.48, CI 1.41–14.25; p < 0.011), maladaptive/pathological internet use (OR 2.70, CI 1.30–5.58; p = 0.007), alcohol intoxication (OR 2.12, CI 1.10–4.12; p = 0.025) and anxiety symptoms (OR 4.03, CI 1.57–10.33; p = 0.004). There were small mediating effects of parental supervision, parental support and maladaptive coping on associations between adversity and PEs.
We have identified potential risk factors for PEs from multiple domains including adversity, mental health and lifestyle factors. The mediating effect of parental support on associations between adversity and PEs suggests that poor family relationships may account for some of this mechanism. These findings can inform the development of interventions for adolescents at risk.
Dissemination and implementation (D&I) science is dedicated to studying how to effectively translate and apply research in real-world contexts. There has been increasing interest in health equity within the D&I field to ensure the equitable implementation of evidence-based programs/practices across a range of diverse populations and settings. At the same time, health equity researchers recognize the potential of D&I science to promote the more widespread dissemination, implementation, and sustainment of evidence-based interventions to address health inequities. The National Center for Accelerating Clinical and Translational Science Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program has been a champion for community engagement and translational scholarship in its mission to improve individual and population health. The overall CTSA infrastructure and resources within and among CTSA hubs are well-equipped to facilitate a health equity focus to D&I across the phases of translational research. This paper proposes a framework that demonstrates the interaction and opportunities between health equity and D&I science and highlights how CTSAs can support and facilitate wider efforts in translational research with a focus on equitable D&I.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
Research on producer willingness to adopt individual best pasture management practices (BMPs) is extensive, but less attention has been paid to producers simultaneously adopting multiple, complementary BMPs. Applications linking primary survey data on BMP adoption to water quality biophysical models are also limited. A choice-experiment survey of livestock producers is analyzed to determine willingness to adopt pasture BMPs. Sediment abatement curves are derived by linking estimates of producer responsiveness to incentives to adopt rotational grazing with a biophysical simulation model. Current cost share rates of $24/acre should yield a 12% decrease in sediment loading from pastures.
Sleep has been shown to impact on both physical and mental health, and sleep problems present a considerable burden for individuals and society. There appears to be a complex bidirectional relationship between sleep disturbance and psychiatric symptoms, each potentially influencing the other. In particular, sleep disorders have been associated with more severe symptoms and are predictive of relapse in those with psychotic disorders. This article discusses the relationship between psychosis and insomnia, sleep apnoea, nightmares, circadian rhythm abnormalities and the impact of medications on these relationships. We also discuss the clinical implications of the relationship between sleep disturbance and psychotic disorders along with potential targets for intervention.
A developing application of laser-driven currents is the generation of magnetic fields of picosecond–nanosecond duration with magnitudes exceeding
. Single-loop and helical coil targets can direct laser-driven discharge currents along wires to generate spatially uniform, quasi-static magnetic fields on the millimetre scale. Here, we present proton deflectometry across two axes of a single-loop coil ranging from 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Comparison with proton tracking simulations shows that measured magnetic fields are the result of kiloampere currents in the coil and electric charges distributed around the coil target. Using this dual-axis platform for proton deflectometry, robust measurements can be made of the evolution of magnetic fields in a capacitor coil target.
Cognitive impairment associated with lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD) is well-supported by meta-analytic studies, but population-based estimates remain scarce. Previous UK Biobank studies have only shown limited evidence of cognitive differences related to probable MDD. Using updated cognitive and clinical assessments in UK Biobank, this study investigated population-level differences in cognitive functioning associated with lifetime MDD.
Associations between lifetime MDD and cognition (performance on six tasks and general cognitive functioning [g-factor]) were investigated in UK Biobank (N-range 7,457–14,836, age 45–81 years, 52% female), adjusting for demographics, education, and lifestyle. Lifetime MDD classifications were based on the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Within the lifetime MDD group, we additionally investigated relationships between cognition and (a) recurrence, (b) current symptoms, (c) severity of psychosocial impairment (while symptomatic), and (d) concurrent psychotropic medication use.
Lifetime MDD was robustly associated with a lower g-factor (β = −0.10, PFDR = 4.7 × 10−5), with impairments in attention, processing speed, and executive functioning (β ≥ 0.06). Clinical characteristics revealed differential profiles of cognitive impairment among case individuals; those who reported severe psychosocial impairment and use of psychotropic medication performed worse on cognitive tests. Severe psychosocial impairment and reasoning showed the strongest association (β = −0.18, PFDR = 7.5 × 10−5).
Findings describe small but robust associations between lifetime MDD and lower cognitive performance within a population-based sample. Overall effects were of modest effect size, suggesting limited clinical relevance. However, deficits within specific cognitive domains were more pronounced in relation to clinical characteristics, particularly severe psychosocial impairment.
This report updates the incidence of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds across western Canada from the last report covering 2007 to 2011. This third round of preharvest surveys was conducted in Saskatchewan in 2014 and 2015, Manitoba in 2016, and Alberta in 2017, totaling 798 randomly selected cropped fields across 28 million ha. In addition, we screened 1,108 weed seed samples submitted by prairie growers or industry between 2012 and 2016. Of 578 fields where wild oat seed was collected, 398 (69%) had an HR biotype: 62% acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitor (WSSA Group 1) resistant, 34% acetolactate synthase inhibitor (Group 2) resistant, and 27% Group 1+2 resistant (vs. 41%, 12%, and 8%, respectively, in the previous second-round surveys from 2007 to 2009). The sharp increase in Group 2 resistance is the result of reliance on this site of action to manage Group 1 resistance and the resultant increased selection pressure. There are no POST options to control Group 1+2–HR wild oat in wheat or barley. The rise of Group 2 resistance in green foxtail (11% of sampled fields) and yellow foxtail (17% of Manitoba fields), which was not detected in the previous survey round, parallels the results for wild oat resistance. Various Group 2–HR populations of broadleaf weeds were confirmed, with cleavers and field pennycress being most abundant. Results of submission-sample testing reflected survey results. Although not included in this study, a postharvest survey in Alberta in 2017 indicated widespread Groups 2, 4 (dicamba), and 9 (glyphosate) resistance in kochia and Group 2 resistance in Russian thistle. These surveys bring greater awareness of HR weeds to growers and land managers at local and regional levels, and highlight the urgency to preserve herbicide susceptibility in our key economic weed species.
This study examines the distribution options of 85 large public retirement plans covering general state employees, teachers, and local government employees. The interest rates used to price annuities vary considerably across the plans. As a result, retirees with the same monthly benefit if a single life benefit is chosen will have substantially different monthly benefits if they select a joint and survivor annuity. We examine the impact of variation in the pricing of annuity options using both cross-plan differences in interest rates and the change in the choice of annuity options in one plan after the price of options changes due to new assumed interest rates and mortality rates.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Major depressive disorder and neuroticism (Neu) share a large genetic basis. We sought to determine whether this shared basis could be decomposed to identify genetic factors that are specific to depression.
We analysed summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of depression (from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, 23andMe and UK Biobank) and compared them with GWAS of Neu (from UK Biobank). First, we used a pairwise GWAS analysis to classify variants as associated with only depression, with only Neu or with both. Second, we estimated partial genetic correlations to test whether the depression's genetic link with other phenotypes was explained by shared overlap with Neu.
We found evidence that most genomic regions (25/37) associated with depression are likely to be shared with Neu. The overlapping common genetic variance of depression and Neu was genetically correlated primarily with psychiatric disorders. We found that the genetic contributions to depression, that were not shared with Neu, were positively correlated with metabolic phenotypes and cardiovascular disease, and negatively correlated with the personality trait conscientiousness. After removing shared genetic overlap with Neu, depression still had a specific association with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, coronary artery disease and age of first birth. Independent of depression, Neu had specific genetic correlates in ulcerative colitis, pubertal growth, anorexia and education.
Our findings demonstrate that, while genetic risk factors for depression are largely shared with Neu, there are also non-Neu-related features of depression that may be useful for further patient or phenotypic stratification.
Sleep disturbances are prevalent in cancer patients, especially those with advanced disease. There are few published intervention studies that address sleep issues in advanced cancer patients during the course of treatment. This study assesses the impact of a multidisciplinary quality of life (QOL) intervention on subjective sleep difficulties in patients with advanced cancer.
This randomized trial investigated the comparative effects of a multidisciplinary QOL intervention (n = 54) vs. standard care (n = 63) on sleep quality in patients with advanced cancer receiving radiation therapy as a secondary endpoint. The intervention group attended six intervention sessions, while the standard care group received informational material only. Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), administered at baseline and weeks 4 (post-intervention), 27, and 52.
The intervention group had a statistically significant improvement in the PSQI total score and two components of sleep quality and daytime dysfunction than the control group at week 4. At week 27, although both groups showed improvements in sleep measures from baseline, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in any of the PSQI total and component scores, or ESS. At week 52, the intervention group used less sleep medication than control patients compared to baseline (p = 0.04) and had a lower ESS score (7.6 vs. 9.3, p = 0.03).
Significance of results
A multidisciplinary intervention to improve QOL can also improve sleep quality of advanced cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Those patients who completed the intervention also reported the use of less sleep medication.
Additional crystallographic data are given for the recently reported mineral middlebackite, which has been described for discoveries at Iron Knob in South Australia and Passo di San Lugano near Trento, Italy. The material examined in the present study was from a third finding of the mineral, viz. from a quartz outcrop at Mooloo Downs Station in Western Australia within which it was co-located with the chemically- and structurally-related mineral moolooite, CuIIC2O4·nH2O, reported by Clarke and Williams (1986). In this study, the crystal structure was elucidated independently of the other studies using a combination of the a priori charge flipping and simulated annealing methods with synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) powder data. The principal crystal data for the Mooloo Downs material are: space group P21/c with lattice parameters a = 7.2659(18) Å, b = 5.7460(11) Å, c = 5.6806(11) Å, β = 104.588(3)°; Vc = 229.46(18) Å3; empirical formula CuII2C2O4(OH)2 with 2 formula units per unit cell; and calculated density = 3.605 g cm−3. The lattice parameters agree approximately with values given for the other studies, but not within the reported error estimates. The atom coordinates, interatomic distances, and angles for the Mooloo Downs material are compared with those from the other studies using single crystal data, with the values from all three studies agreeing approximately, but again not within the reported uncertainties. The crystal chemistry found for middlebackite received strong confirmation through the synthesis for the first time of di-copper oxalate di-hydroxide. Laboratory X-ray diffraction powder data for the synthetic form of the mineral from this study agree closely with the SRD data for the natural mineral.
Individual differences in cognitive responses to trauma may represent modifiable risk factors that could allow early identification, targeted early treatment and possibly prevention of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ehlers and Clark's cognitive model of PTSD suggests that negative appraisals, disjointed trauma memories, and unhelpful coping strategies maintain PTSD. These are thought to be influenced by cognitive processing during trauma. The aim of this study was to test this model prospectively with path analyses.
Participants (N = 828) were recruited from an emergency department following injury in a violent assault or road traffic collision and 700 participated in the 6-month assessments. Cognitive processing was assessed shortly after the event, negative appraisals, disjointed memories, and unhelpful coping strategies at 1 month, persistent PTSD symptom severity at 6 months, and early PTSD symptom severity at 2 weeks.
Cognitive variables, with trauma type and gender, explained 52% of the variance in PTSD symptom severity at 6 months. Including early symptom severity in the model did not explain more variance (53%). Early PTSD symptom severity, with trauma type and gender, only predicted 40%. Negative appraisals and disjointed memories predicted persistent symptom severity both directly and indirectly via unhelpful strategies. Peritraumatic processing predicted persistent symptom severity mainly indirectly. The effects of trauma type and gender were fully mediated by the cognitive factors.
The results are consistent with theoretically derived predictions and support cognitive factors as indicators of risk for chronic PTSD and as a target for the treatment and prevention of PTSD.