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Studies on neighbourhood characteristics and depression show equivocal results.
This large-scale pooled analysis examines whether urbanisation, socioeconomic, physical and social neighbourhood characteristics are associated with the prevalence and severity of depression.
Cross-sectional design including data are from eight Dutch cohort studies (n= 32 487). Prevalence of depression, either DSM-IV diagnosis of depressive disorder or scoring for moderately severe depression on symptom scales, and continuous depression severity scores were analysed. Neighbourhood characteristics were linked using postal codes and included (a) urbanisation grade, (b) socioeconomic characteristics: socioeconomic status, home value, social security beneficiaries and non-Dutch ancestry, (c) physical characteristics: air pollution, traffic noise and availability of green space and water, and (d) social characteristics: social cohesion and safety. Multilevel regression analyses were adjusted for the individual's age, gender, educational level and income. Cohort-specific estimates were pooled using random-effects analysis.
The pooled analysis showed that higher urbanisation grade (odds ratio (OR) = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.10), lower socioeconomic status (OR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.87–0.95), higher number of social security beneficiaries (OR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.06–1.19), higher percentage of non-Dutch residents (OR = 1.08, 95% CI 1.02–1.14), higher levels of air pollution (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.01–1.12), less green space (OR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.88–0.99) and less social safety (OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.88–0.97) were associated with higher prevalence of depression. All four socioeconomic neighbourhood characteristics and social safety were also consistently associated with continuous depression severity scores.
This large-scale pooled analysis across eight Dutch cohort studies shows that urbanisation and various socioeconomic, physical and social neighbourhood characteristics are associated with depression, indicating that a wide range of environmental aspects may relate to poor mental health.
Objective: White matter (WM) microstructural changes are
increasingly recognized as a mechanism of age-related cognitive differences.
This study examined the associations between patterns of WM microstructure and
cognitive performance on the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Brain Health Assessment (BHA) subtests of memory (Favorites), executive
functions and speed (Match), and visuospatial skills (Line Orientation) within a
sample of older adults. Method: Fractional anisotropy (FA) in WM
tracts and BHA performance were examined in 84 older adults diagnosed as
neurologically healthy (47), with mild cognitive impairment (19), or with
dementia (18). The relationships between FA and subtest performances were
evaluated using regression analyses. We then explored whether regional WM
predicted performance after accounting for variance explained by global FA.
Results: Memory performance was associated with FA of the
fornix and the superior cerebellar peduncle; and executive functions and speed,
with the body of the corpus callosum. The fornix–memory association and
the corpus callosum–executive association remained significant after
accounting for global FA. Neither tract-based nor global FA was associated with
visuospatial performance. Conclusions: Memory and executive
functions are associated with different patterns of WM diffusivity. Findings add
insight into WM alterations underlying age- and disease-related cognitive
The Square Kilometre Array will be an amazing instrument for pulsar astronomy. While the full SKA will be sensitive enough to detect all pulsars in the Galaxy visible from Earth, already with SKA1, pulsar searches will discover enough pulsars to increase the currently known population by a factor of four, no doubt including a range of amazing unknown sources. Real time processing is needed to deal with the 60 PB of pulsar search data collected per day, using a signal processing pipeline required to perform more than 10 POps. Here we present the suggested design of the pulsar search engine for the SKA and discuss challenges and solutions to the pulsar search venture.
The majority of fast radio bursts (FRBs) are poorly localised, hindering their potential scientific yield as galactic, intergalactic, and cosmological probes. LOFT-e, a digital backend for the U.K.’s e-MERLIN seven-telescope interferometer will provide commensal search and real-time detection of FRBs, taking full advantage of its field of view (FoV), sensitivity, and observation time. Upon burst detection, LOFT-e will store raw data offline, enabling the sub-arcsecond localisation provided by e-MERLIN and expanding the pool of localised FRBs. The high-time resolution backend will additionally introduce pulsar observing capabilities to e-MERLIN.
PSR B1820–30A is located in the globular cluster NGC 6624 and has the smallest projected distance to the centre of any globular cluster in the sky plane. We observe this millisecond pulsar over more than 25 years and obtain higher-order rotational frequency time derivative measurements through high-precision timing. Modelling these higher-order derivatives as being due to orbital motion, we find that the pulsar is in either a low-eccentricity smaller orbit with a low mass companion or a high-eccentricity larger orbit with a massive companion. The cluster mass properties and the observed properties of other nearby sources indicate that the high-eccentricity solution is more probably. This reveals that the pulsar is orbiting around an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) of mass >7500 M⊙ located at the cluster centre. This contribution is based on previous work published in MNRAS 471, 1258 (2017).
W49 A is a star-forming region (SFR) found in the constellation of Aquila. It contains 3 active regions: W49 North (W49 N), W49 South West (W49 SW) and W49 South (W49 S). We present preliminary results from two epochs (e-)MERLIN observations of all ground-state OH masers towards the star-forming region (SFR) complex W49 A. The first epoch of observations was done in full-polarization mode with MERLIN in 2005 while the second epoch was obtained only in dual circular polarization during the test observations of the upgraded e-MERLIN in 2013. The overall maser spatial distributions in both epochs are in good agreement. We found several new high velocity maser features up to +34 km s−1 and −28 km s−1. The magnetic field strengths are between 1.1 to 10.8 mG. All three sources show evidence of magnetic field reversal.
PSR B1828–11 is a young pulsar once thought to be undergoing free precession and recently found instead to be switching magnetospheric states in tandem with spin-down changes. Here we show the two extreme states of the mode-changing found for this pulsar and comment briefly on its interpretation.
An evolution of the low-frequency pulse profile of PSR B2217+47 is observed during a six-year observing campaign with the LOFAR telescope at 150 MHz. The evolution is manifested as a new component in the profile trailing the main peak. The leading part of the profile, including a newly-observed weak component, is steady during the campaign. The transient component is not visible in simultaneous observations at 1500 MHz using the Lovell telescope, implying a chromatic effect. A variation in the dispersion measure of the source is detected in the same timespan. Precession of the pulsar and changes in the magnetosphere are investigated to explain the profile evolution. However, the listed properties favour a model based on turbulence in the interstellar medium (ISM). This interpretation is confirmed by a strong correlation between the intensity of the transient component and main peak in single pulses. Since PSR B2217+47 is the fourth brightest pulsar visible to LOFAR, we speculate that ISM-induced pulse profile evolution might be relatively common but subtle and that SKA-Low will detect many similar examples. In this scenario, similar studies of pulse profile evolution could be used in parallel with scintillation arcs to characterize the properties of the ISM.
We present the results from the Australian Long Baseline Array (LBA) observations of the ground- and excited-state OH masers at high resolutions towards the massive star-forming region G351.417+0.645 in 2012. We obtain the most accurate spatial gradient of magnetic fields at ground state transitions and verify the reliability of magnetic field strengths measured from previous lower resolution observations. In comparison with previous LBA observations in 2001 at 6.0 GHz, we identified several matched Zeeman pairs. We found that the OH maser features have no significant change of magnetic field strengths and directions with small internal proper motions, implying quite stable physical conditions. Additionally, we found that 1665- and 6035-MHz OH maser features reveal the same trend of reversal of magnetic fields. Moreover, we also analyzed the physical conditions at different locations from the coincidence of different OH maser transitions based on current OH maser models.
Can core genetic liabilities for suicidal behavior be indexed using psychological and neural indicators combined? The current work addressed this question by examining phenotypic and genetic associations of two biobehavioral traits, threat sensitivity (THT) and disinhibition (DIS) – operationalized as psychoneurometric variables (i.e., composites of psychological-scale and neurophysiological measures) – with suicidal behaviors in a sample of adult twins.
Participants were 444 identical and fraternal twins recruited from an urban community. THT was assessed using a psychological-scale measure of fear/fearlessness combined with physiological indicators of reactivity to aversive pictures, and DIS was assessed using scale measures of disinhibitory tendencies combined with indicators of brain response from lab performance tasks. Suicidality was assessed using items from structured interview and questionnaire protocols.
THT and DIS each contributed uniquely to prediction of suicidality when assessed psychoneurometrically (i.e., as composites of scale and neurophysiological indicators). In addition, these traits predicted suicidality interactively, with participants high on both reporting the greatest degree of suicidal behaviors. Biometric (twin-modeling) analyses revealed that a high percentage of the predictive association for each psychoneurometric trait (83% for THT, 68% for DIS) was attributable to genetic variance in common with suicidality.
Findings indicate that psychoneurometric assessments of biobehavioral traits index genetic liability for suicidal behavior, and as such, can serve as innovative targets for research on core biological processes contributing to severe psychopathology, including suicidal proclivities and actions.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Infection prevention in electrophysiology (EP) laboratories is poorly characterized; thus, we conducted a cross-sectional survey using the SHEA Research Network. We found limited uptake of basic interventions, such as surveillance and appropriate peri-procedural antimicrobial use. Further study is needed to identify ways to improve infection prevention in this setting.
While trauma-focused cognitive–behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is the ‘gold standard’ treatment for pediatric post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), little is known about the neural mechanisms by which TF-CBT produces clinical benefit. Here, we test the hypothesis that PTSD symptom reduction during TF-CBT among adolescent girls with PTSD is associated with changes in patterns of brain functional connectivity (FC) with the amygdala during cognitive reappraisal.
Adolescent girls with PTSD related to physical or sexual assault (n = 34) were enrolled in TF-CBT, delivered in an approximately 12-session format, in an open trial. Before and after treatment, they were engaged in a cognitive reappraisal task, probing neural mechanisms of explicit emotion regulation, during 3 T functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Among adolescent girls completing TF-CBT with usable pre- and post-treatment scans (n = 20), improvements in self-reported emotion from pre- to post-treatment were positively related to improvements in PTSD symptoms. Adolescent girls with greater post-treatment symptom reduction were also able to suppress amygdala–insula FC while re-appraising, which was not evident in girls with less symptom reduction. Pre- to post-treatment changes in right amygdala to left insula FC that scaled with PTSD symptom reduction also scaled with improvements in emotion regulation.
These preliminary results suggest the neurocircuitry mechanisms through which TF-CBT produces clinical outcomes, providing putative brain targets for augmenting TF-CBT response.
We report on the progress of our search for highly dispersed pulsars near the Galactic Center at 5 GHz using the 100-m radio telescope in Effelsberg. We also present key aspects of our new survey for millisecond pulsars at 21 cm in parts of the northern sky. This survey will greatly benefit from the L-band multibeam receiver and a new FFT-based backend which are currently under construction at the MPIfR.
Giant pulses (GPs), occasional individual pulses with an intensity 100 times the average intensity, have been detected in four pulsars to date. Their origin is not well understood, but studies suggest a connection between the strength of magnetic field at the light cylinder Blc and the existence of GPs. Here, we report on detection of significant Large Amplitude Pulses (LAPs) in two more pulsars with high values of Blc, PSRs J0218+4232 and B1957+20, observed using Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT).
Radiocarbon measurements of different lipid fractions and individual compounds, isolated from soil samples collected on 2 different agricultural long-term study sites, located in the rural area of Rotthalmünster (Germany) and in the city of Halle/Saale (Germany), were analyzed to obtain information about sources and the stability of soil organic matter (SOM). Different lipid compound classes were isolated by automated solvent extraction and subsequent medium-pressure liquid chromatography. Generally, 14C contents of lipid compound classes from topsoil samples of maize plots at Rotthalmünster are close to the modern atmospheric 14C content. Lower 14C values of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons isolated from neutral lipids suggest a contribution of old carbon to these fractions. In contrast, 14C values of bulk soil (52 pMC) as well as isolated lipid classes from Halle are highly depleted. This can be attributed to a significant contribution of fossil carbon at this site. Extremely low 14C contents of aromatic (7 pMC) and aliphatic hydrocarbons (19 pMC) reflect the admixture of fossil hydrocarbons at the Halle site. Individual phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA), which are used as a proxy for viable microbial biomass, were isolated by preparative capillary gas chromatography (PCGC) from topsoils at Rotthalmünster and Halle. PLFA 14C values are close to atmospheric 14C values and, thus, indicate a clear microbial preference for relatively young SOM. At Rotthalmünster, the 14C concentration of short-chain unsaturated PLFAs is not significantly different from that of the atmosphere, while the saturated PLFAs show a contribution of sub-recent SOM extending over the last decades. At Halle, up to 14% fossil carbon is incorporated in PLFAs n-C17:0 and cy-C18:0, which suggests the use of fossil carbon by soil microorganisms. Moreover, it can be concluded that the 14C age of soil carbon is not indicative of its stability.
We report the status of a search for pulsars in the Galactic Centre, using a completely revised and improved high-sensitivity double-horn system at 4.85-GHz. We also present calculations about the success rate of periodicity searches for such a survey, showing that in contrast to conclusions in recent literature pulsars can be indeed detected at the chosen search frequency.
Crop yields can be similar in organic and conventional systems even when weed biomass is greater in organic systems. Greater weed tolerance in organic systems may be due to differences in management-driven soil fertility properties. The goal of this experiment was to determine whether soil collected from a long-term organic cropping system with a diverse crop rotation and organic fertility inputs would support higher soil nitrogen (N) resource partitioning, as indicated by overyielding of corn–weed mixtures, than a cropping system with a less diverse crop rotation and inorganic N inputs. A replacement series greenhouse experiment was conducted using corn : smooth pigweed and corn : giant foxtail proportions of 0 : 1, 0.25 : 0.75, 0.5 : 0.5, 0.75 : 0.25, and 1 : 0 and harvested at 29, 40, or 48 d after experiment initiation (DAI). The monoculture density of corn was 4 plants pot−1 and the monoculture density of each weed species was 36 plants pot−1. Corn was consistently more competitive than both weed species at 40 and 48 DAI when soil inorganic N was limiting to growth. Corn–smooth pigweed mixtures had greater shoot biomass and shoot N content than expected based on the shoot biomass and shoot N content of monocultures (i.e., overyielding) at the onset of soil inorganic N limitation, providing some evidence for N resource partitioning. However, soil management effects on overyielding were infrequent and inconsistent among harvest dates and corn–weed mixtures, leading us to conclude that management-driven soil fertility properties did not affect corn–weed N resource partitioning during the early stages of corn growth.