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Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Despite the sweeping societal and economic transformation brought about by digitization, it has remained a relatively marginal topic in elections, with parties having few incentives to signal commitment to digitization. Why then would parties start to do so? We address this question by examining party manifestos from German subnational elections in the period between 2010 and 2018. Our analysis contributes to the research on issue competition by looking at why parties engage with the topic of the digitization even though it has neither become politicized nor salient, at present. We find, first, that parties emphasize digitization more in regions belonging to the mid-tier in terms of their degree of digital modernization. Second, parties with more resources and greater ideological compatibility signal more commitment to digitization. Finally, electoral success of the Pirate Party as a credible challenger has been followed by greater emphasis on digitization, especially among the ideologically closest competitors.
Although the impact of diarrhoeal disease on paediatric health in Nigeria has decreased in recent years, it remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children under 5 years. Rotavirus is recognised as an important aetiological agent, but information on the contribution of intestinal protozoa to watery diarrhoea in this age group in Nigeria is scarce. In this cross-sectional study, faecal samples from children admitted to healthcare centres in Abakaliki, Nigeria with acute watery diarrhoea (N = 199) and faecal samples from age-matched controls (N = 37) were examined for Cryptosporidium and Giardia using immunofluorescent antibody testing and molecular methods. Cryptosporidium was identified in 13 case samples (6.5%) and no control samples. For three samples, molecular characterisation indicated C. hominis, GP60 subtypes IaA30R3, IaA14R3 and IdA11. Giardia was not detected in any samples. This contrast in prevalence between the two intestinal protozoa may reflect their variable epidemiologies and probably differing routes of infection. Given that these two parasitic infections are often bracketed together, it is key to realise that they not only have differing clinical spectra but also that the importance of each parasite is not the same in different age groups and/or settings.
Scientific fields benefit when their researchers engage in self-reflection. Accordingly, we welcome the evidence gathered by Gardner, Ryan, and Snoeyink (2018) on gender differences in our field, the field of industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology. In this commentary, we argue that such self-reflection processes can be further enhanced by taking advantage of the wealth and breadth of scientometrics, the quantitative study of science.
Traditionally, it is understood that dizygotic (DZ) twins always have a dichorionic placenta. However, with 8% blood chimerism in DZ twins, placental sharing is probably more common than previously has been recognized. In this article, we will review all available cases of monochorionic dizygotic (MCDZ) twins. A total of 31 twins have been described in literature. A monochorionic diamniotic placenta is reported in all cases. Assisted reproductive technology is responsible for the origin of the pregnancy in 82.1% of the cases. In 15.4% of the sex-discordant twins, a genital anomaly was reported in one of the twins. Chimerism is demonstrable in 90.3% of the twins, leading to various diagnostic difficulties. As this review shows that most MCDZ twins are discovered by accident, it can be argued that it is far more common than has been assumed until now. However, the prevalence is still unclear. Awareness of MCDZ twinning is important, with subsequently correct medical strategies. Similarly, the resulting (blood) chimerism is essential to consider in diagnostic procedures, pre- and postnatally. More research on the effect of placental transfusion between sex-discordant twins is required.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious illness leading to substantial morbidity and mortality. The treatment of AN very often is protracted; repeated hospitalizations and lost productivity generate substantial economic costs in the health care system. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the differential cost-effectiveness of out-patient focal psychodynamic psychotherapy (FPT), enhanced cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT-E), and optimized treatment as usual (TAU-O) in the treatment of adult women with AN.
The analysis was conducted alongside the randomized controlled Anorexia Nervosa Treatment of OutPatients (ANTOP) study. Cost-effectiveness was determined using direct costs per recovery at 22 months post-randomization (n = 156). Unadjusted incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were calculated. To derive cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs) adjusted net-benefit regressions were applied assuming different values for the maximum willingness to pay (WTP) per additional recovery. Cost–utility and assumptions underlying the base case were investigated in exploratory analyses.
Costs of in-patient treatment and the percentage of patients who required in-patient treatment were considerably lower in both intervention groups. The unadjusted ICERs indicated FPT and CBT-E to be dominant compared with TAU-O. Moreover, FPT was dominant compared with CBT-E. CEACs showed that the probability for cost-effectiveness of FTP compared with TAU-O and CBT-E was ⩾95% if the WTP per recovery was ⩾€9825 and ⩾€24 550, respectively. Comparing CBT-E with TAU-O, the probability of being cost-effective remained <90% for all WTPs. The exploratory analyses showed similar but less pronounced trends.
Depending on the WTP, FPT proved cost-effective in the treatment of adult AN.
Feedback learning is essential for behavioral development. We investigated feedback learning in relation to behavior problems after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Children aged 6–13 years diagnosed with TBI (n = 112; 1.7 years post-injury) were compared with children with traumatic control (TC) injury (n = 52). TBI severity was defined as mild TBI without risk factors for complicated TBI (mildRF− TBI, n = 24), mild TBI with ⩾1 risk factor for complicated TBI (mildRF+ TBI, n = 51) and moderate/severe TBI (n = 37). The Probabilistic Learning Test was used to measure feedback learning, assessing the effects of inconsistent feedback on learning and generalization of learning from the learning context to novel contexts. The relation between feedback learning and behavioral functioning rated by parents and teachers was explored.
No evidence was found for an effect of TBI on learning from inconsistent feedback, while the moderate/severe TBI group showed impaired generalization of learning from the learning context to novel contexts (p = 0.03, d = −0.51). Furthermore, the mildRF+ TBI and moderate/severe TBI groups had higher parent and teacher ratings of internalizing problems (p's ⩽ 0.04, d's ⩾ 0.47) than the TC group, while the moderate/severe TBI group also had higher parent ratings of externalizing problems (p = 0.006, d = 0.58). Importantly, poorer generalization of learning predicted higher parent ratings of externalizing problems in children with TBI (p = 0.03, β = −0.21) and had diagnostic utility for the identification of children with TBI and clinically significant externalizing behavior problems (area under the curve = 0.77, p = 0.001).
Moderate/severe pediatric TBI has a negative impact on generalization of learning, which may contribute to post-injury externalizing problems.
The present study examined the possibilities and consequences of selecting pigs for reduced aggression and desirable maternal behaviour. Data were recorded from 798 purebred Large White gilts, with an age of 217±17.7 (mean±SD) days, which were observed at mixing with unfamiliar conspecifics. The reaction of the sows towards separation from their litter was assessed for 2022 litters from 848 Large White sows. Sows’ performance during their time in the farrowing unit was scored based on the traits farrowing behaviour (i.e. need of birth assistance), rearing performance (i.e. litter quality at day 10 postpartum (pp)), usability (i.e. additional labour input during lactation period e.g. for treatments) and udder quality of the sow (i.e. udder attachment). For agonistic behaviour, traits heritabilities of h2=0.11±0.04 to h2=0.28±0.06 were estimated. For the sow’s reaction towards separation from her litter low heritabilities were found (h2=0.03±0.03 for separation test on day 1 pp and h2=0.02±0.03 for separation test on day 10 pp). Heritabilities for lactating sow’s performance (farrowing behaviour, rearing performance, usability of the sow and udder quality) in the farrowing unit ranged from h2=0.03±0.02 to h2=0.19±0.03. Due to these results it can be assumed that selection for these traits, for example, for udder quality or reduced aggression, is possible. Antagonistic associations were found between separation test on day 1 pp and different measures of aggressiveness (rg=−0.22±0.26 aggressive attack and rg=−0.41±0.33 reciprocal fighting). Future studies should determine economic as well as welfare-related values of these traits in order to decide whether selection for these traits will be reasonable.
In endangered and local pig breeds of small population sizes, production has to focus on alternative niche markets with an emphasis on specific product and meat quality traits to achieve economic competiveness. For designing breeding strategies on meat quality, an adequate performance testing scheme focussing on phenotyped selection candidates is required. For the endangered German pig breed ‘Bunte Bentheimer’ (BB), no breeding program has been designed until now, and no performance testing scheme has been implemented. For local breeds, mainly reared in small-scale production systems, a performance test based on in vivo indicator traits might be a promising alternative in order to increase genetic gain for meat quality traits. Hence, the main objective of this study was to design and evaluate breeding strategies for the improvement of meat quality within the BB breed using in vivo indicator traits and genetic markers. The in vivo indicator trait was backfat thickness measured by ultrasound (BFiv), and genetic markers were allele variants at the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) locus. In total, 1116 records of production and meat quality traits were collected, including 613 in vivo ultrasound measurements and 713 carcass and meat quality records. Additionally, 700 pigs were genotyped at the RYR1 locus. Data were used (1) to estimate genetic (co)variance components for production and meat quality traits, (2) to estimate allele substitution effects at the RYR1 locus using a selective genotyping approach and (3) to evaluate breeding strategies on meat quality by combining results from quantitative-genetic and molecular-genetic approaches. Heritability for the production trait BFiv was 0.27, and 0.48 for backfat thickness measured on carcass. Estimated heritabilities for meat quality traits ranged from 0.14 for meat brightness to 0.78 for the intramuscular fat content (IMF). Genetic correlations between BFiv and IMF were higher than estimates based on carcass backfat measurements (0.39 v. 0.25). The presence of the unfavorable n allele was associated with increased electric conductivity, paler meat and higher drip loss. The allele substitution effect on IMF was unfavorable, indicating lower IMF when the n allele is present. A breeding strategy including the phenotype (BFiv) combined with genetic marker information at the RYR1 locus from the selection candidate, resulted in a 20% increase in accuracy and selection response when compared with a breeding strategy without genetic marker information.
As physical activity may modify the effect of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele on the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, we tested for such a gene–environment interaction in a sample of general practice patients aged ⩾75 years.
Data were derived from follow-up waves I–IV of the longitudinal German study on Ageing, Cognition and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe). The Kaplan–Meier survival method was used to estimate dementia- and AD-free survival times. Multivariable Cox regression was used to assess individual associations of APOE ε4 and physical activity with risk for dementia and AD, controlling for covariates. We tested for gene–environment interaction by calculating three indices of additive interaction.
Among the randomly selected sample of 6619 patients, 3327 (50.3%) individuals participated in the study at baseline and 2810 (42.5%) at follow-up I. Of the 2492 patients without dementia included at follow-up I, 278 developed dementia (184 AD) over the subsequent follow-up interval of 4.5 years. The presence of the APOE ε4 allele significantly increased and higher physical activity significantly decreased risk for dementia and AD. The co-presence of APOE ε4 with low physical activity was associated with higher risk for dementia and AD and shorter dementia- and AD-free survival time than the presence of APOE ε4 or low physical activity alone. Indices of interaction indicated no significant interaction between low physical activity and the APOE ε4 allele for general dementia risk, but a possible additive interaction for AD risk.
Physical activity even in late life may be effective in reducing conversion to dementia and AD or in delaying the onset of clinical manifestations. APOE ε4 carriers may particularly benefit from increasing physical activity with regard to their risk for AD.
Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated an association between lithium (Li) treatment and brain structure in human subjects. A crucial unresolved question is whether this association reflects direct neurochemical effects of Li or indirect effects secondary to treatment or prevention of episodes of bipolar disorder (BD).
To address this knowledge gap, we compared manually traced hippocampal volumes in 37 BD patients with at least 2 years of Li treatment (Li group), 19 BD patients with <3 months of lifetime Li exposure over 2 years ago (non-Li group) and 50 healthy controls. All BD participants were followed prospectively and had at least 10 years of illness and a minimum of five episodes. We established illness course and long-term treatment response to Li using National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) life charts.
The non-Li group had smaller hippocampal volumes than the controls or the Li group (F2,102 = 4.97, p = 0.009). However, the time spent in a mood episode on the current mood stabilizer was more than three times longer in the Li than in the non-Li group (t51 = 2.00, p = 0.05). Even Li-treated patients with BD episodes while on Li had hippocampal volumes comparable to healthy controls and significantly larger than non-Li patients (t43 = 2.62, corrected p = 0.02).
Our findings support the neuroprotective effects of Li. The association between Li treatment and hippocampal volume seems to be independent of long-term treatment response and occurred even in subjects with episodes of BD while on Li. Consequently, these effects of Li on brain structure may generalize to patients with neuropsychiatric illnesses other than BD.
This study aimed to explore if natural dizygotic (DZ) twinning is associated with earlier menopause and lower anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) values. We investigated if advanced biological reproductive aging, which can be responsible for the multiple follicle growth in familial twinning, is similar to mechanisms that occur in normal ovarian aging, reflected by earlier menopause in mothers of DZ twins and lower levels of AMH. A total of 16 mothers of DZ twins enrolled with the Netherlands Twin Register (average age at first assessment: 35.9 ± 3.0 years) and 14 control mothers (35.1 ± 3 years) took part in a prospective study. Fifteen years after entry into the study, which included follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) assessment, AMH was measured in stored serum samples and menopause status was evaluated. Average AMH levels were not significantly different between DZ twin mothers and controls (2.1 ± 2.4 μg/L vs. 1.9 ± 1.9 μg/L). Among the 16 mothers of twins, 7 had an elevated (FSH) value over 10 U/L at first assessment. Their AMH levels were lower than the nine twin mothers with normal FSH values: 0.6 ± 0.4 versus 3.4 ± 2.6 μg/L (p = .01). Of the mothers of twins, eight mothers had entered menopause at the second assessment compared with only one control mother (p = .07). Thus, slightly more DZ mothers were in menopause than the control mothers, although this difference was not significant. The subgroup of DZ twin mothers who had an increased FSH concentration 15 years ago had a limited ovarian reserve as reflected by lower AMH levels. These data indicate that advanced ovarian aging can be a feature in familial DZ twinning, particularly with elevated early follicular phase FSH.
It is well documented that global warming is unequivocal. Dairy production systems are considered as important sources of greenhouse gas emissions; however, little is known about the sensitivity and vulnerability of these production systems themselves to climate warming. This review brings different aspects of dairy cow production in Central Europe into focus, with a holistic approach to emphasize potential future consequences and challenges arising from climate change. With the current understanding of the effects of climate change, it is expected that yield of forage per hectare will be influenced positively, whereas quality will mainly depend on water availability and soil characteristics. Thus, the botanical composition of future grassland should include species that are able to withstand the changing conditions (e.g. lucerne and bird's foot trefoil). Changes in nutrient concentration of forage plants, elevated heat loads and altered feeding patterns of animals may influence rumen physiology. Several promising nutritional strategies are available to lower potential negative impacts of climate change on dairy cow nutrition and performance. Adjustment of feeding and drinking regimes, diet composition and additive supplementation can contribute to the maintenance of adequate dairy cow nutrition and performance. Provision of adequate shade and cooling will reduce the direct effects of heat stress. As estimated genetic parameters are promising, heat stress tolerance as a functional trait may be included into breeding programmes. Indirect effects of global warming on the health and welfare of animals seem to be more complicated and thus are less predictable. As the epidemiology of certain gastrointestinal nematodes and liver fluke is favourably influenced by increased temperature and humidity, relations between climate change and disease dynamics should be followed closely. Under current conditions, climate change associated economic impacts are estimated to be neutral if some form of adaptation is integrated. Therefore, it is essential to establish and adopt mitigation strategies covering available tools from management, nutrition, health and plant and animal breeding to cope with the future consequences of climate change on dairy farming.
Whether late-onset depression is a risk factor for or a prodrome of dementia remains unclear. We investigated the impact of depressive symptoms and early- v. late-onset depression on subsequent dementia in a cohort of elderly general-practitioner patients (n = 2663, mean age = 81.2 years).
Risk for subsequent dementia was estimated over three follow-ups (each 18 months apart) depending on history of depression, particularly age of depression onset, and current depressive symptoms using proportional hazard models. We also examined the additive prediction of incident dementia by depression beyond cognitive impairment.
An increase of dementia risk for higher age cut-offs of late-onset depression was found. In analyses controlling for age, sex, education, and apolipoprotein E4 genotype, we found that very late-onset depression (aged ⩾70 years) and current depressive symptoms separately predicted all-cause dementia. Combined very late-onset depression with current depressive symptoms was specifically predictive for later Alzheimer's disease (AD; adjusted hazard ratio 5.48, 95% confidence interval 2.41–12.46, p < 0.001). This association was still significant after controlling for cognitive measures, but further analyses suggested that it was mediated by subjective memory impairment with worries.
Depression might be a prodrome of AD but not of dementia of other aetiology as very late-onset depression in combination with current depressive symptoms, possibly emerging as a consequence of subjectively perceived worrisome cognitive deterioration, was most predictive. As depression parameters and subjective memory impairment predicted AD independently of objective cognition, clinicians should take this into account.
Botulinum toxin is a widely accepted, effective treatment for Frey's syndrome. While some patients need only one injection, others require repeated treatments. We aimed to describe the clinical features of patients with a more challenging treatment course.
Literature review and retrospective analysis of eight consecutive patients treated at a university hospital.
These patients' treatment responses were categorised (using our own system) and compared with those of 25 published cases.
Combined analysis identified no significant correlation between treatment response and age, gender or the extent of primary salivary gland surgery. There was no significant correlation between botulinum toxin dosage and time between treatments.
Frey's syndrome should be viewed as a dynamic process in which the stimulus for aberrant reinnervation of parasympathetic nerve fibres can be reduced, in some patients, with higher botulinum toxin dose injections to the treated areas. However, responses are unpredictable, and relapses may occur at different time points and in different areas.
A novel sensor concept for detecting the fundamental components of the visible light has been developed. The multi-channel sensors based on three stacked amorphous thin film detectors are color moiré or color aliasing free due to their vertical integration. The four terminal devices enable the generation of three or six linearly independent spectral response curves at the same spatial position. The 3-channel sensor based on three stacked pin-diodes generates a red-green- blue signal with one shot, whereas the 6-channel sensor with three stacked pinip structures allows the detection of up to six linearly independent spectral response curves. The reproducibility of the complex layer sequences is enhanced by introducing a textured TCO-layer in the rear part of the device, which leads to a distinct scattering of the incoming light for longer wavelengths.
In order to gain information on how to improve the sensor performance, the sensors are characterized. The presented characterization model facilitates the quantification of color errors with regard to the human perception. Furthermore, the color errors of amorphous thin film sensors are compared with a commercial color CCD camera and a BiCMOS color-sensor.
The relationship between metabolic control and cognitive function in adolescents with type 1 diabetes (DM type 1) is not clear. We compared the quality of glycemic control (GC) and cognitive measures in adolescents with DM type 1 to find out if the quality of diabetes management is related to cognitive impairment.
We assessed executive functions (EFs) and other neuropsychological and psychosocial variables in 70 adolescent patients with DM type 1 and 20 age-matched controls. Patients were divided into two groups according to their last hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c): acceptable (HbA1c 5.9–8.0%, mean 6.9%, 36 patients, mean age 14 years) and non-optimal (HbA1c 8.2–11.6%, mean 9.3%, 34 patients, mean age 15.6 years).
We found impaired EFs, mainly problems of concept formation (p=0.038), cognitive flexibility (p=0.011) and anticipation (p=0.000), in the patients with DM type 1. Both groups did not differ in intelligence, most assessed EFs and adjustment to chronic illness (Youth Self-Report; YSR). Younger patients (<15 years) were cognitively less flexible. GC was worse in older patients and in patients with longer duration of the disease. We also found significant differences between patients with diabetes and controls concerning somatic complaints, internalizing problems (Child Behavior Checklist; CBCL) and social activity (CBCL and YSR).
DM type 1 is associated with cognitive deficits in adolescents independent of the quality of metabolic control and the duration of the disease. These deficits are probably related to the disease, especially in patients with early-onset diabetes.
Perspectives from 22 countries on aspects of the legal environment for selection are presented in this article. Issues addressed include (a) whether there are racial/ethnic/religious subgroups viewed as “disadvantaged,” (b) whether research documents mean differences between groups on individual difference measures relevant to job performance, (c) whether there are laws prohibiting discrimination against specific groups, (d) the evidence required to make and refute a claim of discrimination, (e) the consequences of violation of the laws, (f) whether particular selection methods are limited or banned, (g) whether preferential treatment of members of disadvantaged groups is permitted, and (h) whether the practice of industrial and organizational psychology has been affected by the legal environment.