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Meal timing may influence food choices, neurobiology and psychological states. Our exploratory study examined if time-of-day eating patterns were associated with mood disorders among adults.
During 2004–2006 (age 26–36 years) and 2009–2011 (follow-up, age 31–41 years), N = 1304 participants reported 24-h food and beverage intake. Time-of-day eating patterns were derived by principal components analysis. At follow-up, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview measured lifetime mood disorder. Log binomial and adjacent categories log-link regression were used to examine bidirectional associations between eating patterns and mood disorder. Covariates included sex, age, marital status, social support, education, work schedule, body mass index and smoking.
Three patterns were derived at each time-point: Grazing (intake spread across the day), Traditional (highest intakes reflected breakfast, lunch and dinner), and Late (skipped/delayed breakfast with higher evening intakes). Compared to those in the lowest third of the respective pattern at baseline and follow-up, during the 5-year follow-up, those in the highest third of the Late pattern at both time-points had a higher prevalence of mood disorder [prevalence ratio (PR) = 2.04; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20–3.48], and those in the highest third of the Traditional pattern at both time-points had a lower prevalence of first onset mood disorder (PR = 0.31; 95% CI 0.11–0.87). Participants who experienced a mood disorder during follow-up had a 1.07 higher relative risk of being in a higher Late pattern score category at follow-up than those without mood disorder (95% CI 1.00–1.14).
Non-traditional eating patterns, particularly skipped or delayed breakfast, may be associated with mood disorders.
The present study aimed to examine the correlates of fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) separately among parents and their adolescents.
Parents and adolescents completed the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) survey through the National Cancer Institute. The survey assessed daily intake frequencies of food/beverage groups, psychosocial, parenting and sociodemographic factors. Generalized linear models were run for both parents and adolescents, for a total of six models (three each): (i) sociodemographic characteristics; (ii) psychosocial factors; (iii) parent/caregiver factors.
Parent participants (n 1542) were predominantly 35–59 years old (86 %), female (73 %), non-Hispanic White (71 %) or non-Hispanic Black (17 %), with household income <$US 100 000 (79 %). Adolescents (n 805) were aged 12–14 years (50 %), non-Hispanic White (66 %) and non-Hispanic Black (15 %). Parents consumed 2·9 cups fruits and vegetables (F&V) daily, while adolescents consumed 2·2 cups daily. Educational attainment (higher education had greater FVI) and sex (men consumed more than women; all P<0·001) were significant FVI predictors. Parents with greater autonomous and controlled motivation, self-efficacy and preferences for fruit reported higher FVI (all P<0·001). Similarly, adolescents with greater autonomous and controlled motivation, self-efficacy and knowledge reported higher FVI (all P<0·001). Parenting factors of importance were co-deciding how many F&V teens should have, rules, having F&V in the home and cooking meals from scratch (all P<0·05).
Findings suggest factors that impact FVI among parents and their adolescent(s), which highlight the importance of the role of parent behaviour and can inform tailored approaches for increasing FVI in various settings.
Neonatal mortality in small ruminant livestock has remained stubbornly unchanging over the past 40 years, and represents a significant loss of farm income, contributes to wastage and affects animal welfare. Scientific knowledge about the biology of neonatal adaptation after birth has been accumulating but does not appear to have had an impact in improving survival. In this paper, we ask what might be the reasons for the lack of impact of the scientific studies of lamb and kid mortality, and suggest strategies to move forward. Biologically, it is clear that achieving a good intake of colostrum, as soon as possible after birth, is crucial for neonatal survival. This provides fuel for thermoregulation, passive immunological protection and is involved in the development of attachment between the ewe and lamb. The behaviour of the lamb in finding the udder and sucking rapidly after birth is a key component in ensuring sufficient colostrum is ingested. In experimental studies, the main risk factors for lamb mortality are low birthweight, particularly owing to poor maternal nutrition during gestation, birth difficulty, litter size and genetics, which can all be partly attributed to their effect on the speed with which the lamb reaches the udder and sucks. Similarly, on commercial farms, low birthweight and issues with sucking were identified as important contributors to mortality. In epidemiological studies, management factors such as providing assistance with difficult births, were found to be more important than risk factors associated with housing. Social science studies suggest that farmers generally have a positive attitude to improving neonatal mortality but may differ in beliefs about how this can be achieved, with some farmers believing they had no control over early lamb mortality. Facilitative approaches, where farmers and advisors work together to develop neonatal survival strategies, have been shown to be effective in achieving management goals, such as optimising ewe nutrition, that lead to reductions in lamb mortality. We conclude that scientific research is providing useful information on the biology underpinning neonatal survival, such as optimal birthweights, lamb vigour and understanding the importance of sufficient colostrum intake, but the transfer of that knowledge would benefit from an improved understanding of the psychology of management change on farm. Developing tailored solutions, on the basis of adequate farm records, that make use of the now substantial body of scientific literature on neonatal mortality will help to achieve lower neonatal mortality.
Financial incentives have become a core component of private lands conservation programmes because of their ability to motivate stewardship behaviour. Concern exists about the durability of stewardship behaviours after payments end. Payments for performance may impact farmers' current and future engagement with an incentive programme to protect an at-risk ground-nesting grassland bird. Farmer motivations for participating in the programme, as well as their intention to continue the programme if the financial incentive no longer existed, were quantified. Although farmers did not report a high level of current involvement in the programme, most reported they would continue at a similar or higher level of engagement if the payments ended. These outcomes were related to their perception that their participation was driven by their internal motivation to help rather than the desire to obtain the financial reward. The perception that their behaviour was self-directed was positively influenced by the flexibility surrounding landowners’ engagement with the programme, a feeling of competence and achievement, and a feeling of connectedness to the organization implementing the programme. The success of conservation incentive programmes over the long term can be enhanced by explicitly accounting for the needs of landowners in programme design and administration.
The aim of this experiment was to study the effects of pen size and parity on maternal behaviour of twin-bearing Small-Tail Han ewes. A total of 24 ewes were allocated to a 2×2 design (six per pen), with parity (primiparous or multiparous) and pen size (large: 6.0×3.0 m; small: 6.0×1.5 m) as main effects at Linyi University, Shandong Province, China. Behaviour was observed from after parturition until weaning. All ewes were observed for 6 h every 5 days from 0700 to1000 h and from 1400 to 1700 h. Continuous focal animal sampling was used to quantify the duration of maternal behaviours: sucking, grooming and following as well as the frequency of udder accepting, udder refusing and low-pitched bleating. Oestradiol and cortisol concentrations in the faeces (collected in the morning every 5 days) were detected using EIA kits. All lambs were weighed 24 h after parturition and again at weaning at 35 days of age. The small pen size significantly reduced following (P<0.005), grooming (P<0.001) and suckling durations (P<0.05), as well as the frequency of udder refusals (P<0.001). However, there was a significant interaction with ewe parity, with decreased grooming and suckling in the small pen largely seen in the multiparous ewes (P<0.001). Independent of pen size, multiparous ewes accepted more sucking attempts by their lambs (P<0.05) and made more low-pitched bleats than primiparous ewes (P<0.001). Multiparous ewes had higher faecal oestradiol concentrations than primiparous ewes (P<0.001), and ewes in small pens had higher faecal cortisol levels compared with ewes in larger pens (P<0.001). As lambs increased in age, the duration of maternal grooming, following and suckling as well as frequency of udder acceptance and low-pitched bleating all declined, and the frequency of udder refusing increased (P<0.001 for all). Ewe parity, but not pen size, affected lamb weight gain during the period of observation (P<0.001). This is the first study to show that pen size, interacting with parity, can affect the expression of maternal behaviour in sheep during lactation. The study is also the first to report on the maternal behaviour of Chinese native sheep breeds (Small-Tail Han sheep), with implications for the production of sheep in China.
The prenatal period is of critical importance in defining how individuals respond to their environment throughout life. Stress experienced by pregnant females has been shown to have detrimental effects on offspring behaviour, health and productivity. The sheep has been used extensively as a model species to inform human studies. However, in the farmed environment, the consequences for the lamb of the imposition of prenatal stresses upon the ewe have received much less attention. The stressors that pregnant ewes are most frequently exposed to include sub-optimal nutrition and those related to housing, husbandry and environment which may be either acute or chronic. A systematic review of the literature was adopted to identify material which had production-relevant maternal stressors and lamb outcomes. The current review focussed upon the lamb up to weaning around the age of 100 days and the results clearly demonstrate that stressors imposed upon the ewe have implications for offspring welfare and performance. Maternal under-nutrition (UN) in the last third of pregnancy consistently impaired lamb birth-weight and subsequent vigour and performance, while earlier UN had a variable effect on performance. Feeding the ewe above requirements did not have positive effects on lamb performance and welfare. Social and husbandry stressors such as transport, shearing, mixing and physiological treatments designed to mimic acute stress which would be considered disadvantageous for the ewe had positive or neutral effects for the lamb, highlighting a potential conflict between the welfare of the ewe and her lamb. This review also identified considerable gaps in knowledge, particularly in respect of the impact of disease upon the ewe during pregnancy and interactions between different stressors and the responses of ewe and lamb.
Whether there are differential effects of first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) and second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) on the brain is currently debated. Although some studies report that FGAs reduce grey matter more than SGAs, others do not, and research to date is limited by a focus on schizophrenia spectrum disorders. To address this limitation, this study investigated the effects of medication in patients being treated for first-episode schizophrenia or affective psychoses.
Cortical thickness was compared between 52 first-episode psychosis patients separated into diagnostic (i.e. schizophrenia or affective psychosis) and medication (i.e. FGA and SGA) subgroups. Patients in each group were also compared to age- and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 28). A whole-brain cortical thickness interaction analysis of medication and diagnosis was then performed. Correlations between cortical thickness with antipsychotic dose and psychotic symptoms were examined.
The effects of medication and diagnosis did not interact, suggesting independent effects. Compared with controls, diagnostic differences were found in frontal, parietal and temporal regions. Decreased thickness in FGA-treated versus SGA-treated groups was found in a large frontoparietal region (p < 0.001, corrected). Comparisons with healthy controls revealed decreased cortical thickness in the FGA group whereas the SGA group showed increases in addition to decreases. In FGA-treated patients cortical thinning was associated with higher negative symptoms whereas increased cortical thickness in the SGA-treated group was associated with lower positive symptoms.
Our results suggest that FGA and SGA treatments have divergent effects on cortical thickness during the first episode of psychosis that are independent from changes due to illness.
Childhood cardiovascular risk factors affect vascular function long before overt cardiovascular disease. Twin studies provide a unique opportunity to examine the influence of shared genetic and environmental influences on childhood cardiovascular function. We examined the relationship between birth parameters, markers of adiposity, insulin resistance, lipid profile and blood pressure and carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), a validated non-invasive measure of arterial stiffness in a healthy cohort of school-aged twin children.
PWV was performed on a population-based birth cohort of 147 twin pairs aged 7–11 years. Fasting blood samples, blood pressure and adiposity measures were collected concurrently. Mixed linear regression models were used to account for twin clustering, within- and between-twin pair associations.
There were positive associations between both markers of higher adiposity, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides and PWV, which remained significant after accounting for twin birth-set clustering. There was a positive association between both diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure and PWV in within-pair analysis in dizygotic, but not monozygotic twins, indicating genetic differences evident in dizygotic not monozygotic twins may affect these associations.
Increased blood pressure, triglycerides and other metabolic markers are associated with increased PWV in school-aged twins. These results support both the genetic and environmental contribution to higher PWV, as a marker of arterial stiffness, and reiterate the importance of preventing metabolic syndrome from childhood.
Parental care promotes offspring survival and, for livestock species, this care is provided solely by the mother. Maternal behaviour in the sheep has been exceptionally well-studied compared with other species and many of the underpinning biological processes leading to the expression of maternal care are known. In this review the current state of play with regard to the biology of maternal care will be reviewed, and its application to provide practical solutions to reduce lamb mortality considered. For maternal care to be elicited at birth the ewe requires elevated circulating oestradiol in late gestation, which stimulates the expression of oxytocin receptors in both peripheral and central areas (particularly the hypothalamic and limbic areas of the brain). At birth stretching of the vaginocervical canal elicits a spinal reflex which triggers the release of oxytocin primarily from neurones within the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Oxytocin release causes an increase in the neurotransmitters noradrenaline, acetylcholine, glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the olfactory bulb, and other brain regions important for maternal behaviour. Finally, sensory cues provided by the lamb, in particular the amniotic fluids surrounding it, lead to the expression of maternal behaviours (licking, low-pitched bleats, acceptance of the lamb at the udder and suckling). This allows the expression of the two facets of maternal behaviour in the ewe: nurturance of the young and maternal selectivity, whereby a specific olfactory memory for the ewes own lamb is formed and the expression of maternal care is restricted to this lamb. Variation in the expression of maternal care has been demonstrated in primiparous ewes compared with multiparous, in different sheep genotypes, with undernutrition, stress in pregnancy, following a difficult delivery, and may occur with variation in ewe temperament. An understanding of the importance of the timing of various events in late pregnancy and during parturition, as well as the factors that can disrupt these events, can help to design management activities to minimise risks to the successful onset of maternal behaviour. Management practices that work with the biology of the ewe will be the most successful in ensuring that maternal care is expressed, so improving the welfare of the ewe and lamb, and the profitability of the farm.
In situ imaging using (scanning) transmission electron microscopy has proven to be an extremely important and powerful cross-disciplinary scientific technique. In particular nanotechnology and materials sciences have special interest in assembly and disintegration processes, in growth and shape-tuning of (nano)-particles, and, furthermore in mechanistic studies of chemical reactions underlying these processes. However, limitations for in liquid and in situ imaging using electron microscopy arise from the stringent experimental conditions required with respect to electron scattering.
Here, we present a nanofluidic sample cell allowing for controlled fluidic conditions which preserve the highest possible spatial resolution for in-liquid electron microscopy. The nanocell allows for liquid flow with a flow control mechanism operated external to the microscope column enabling on-the-fly sample exchange within the imaging area. A well-defined flow path allows us to direct the motion of gold nanorods through fluid flow. Further a particle’s Brownian motion becomes evident once the external flow is terminated. In addition to quantitatively showing the resolution capabilities of our nanofluidic design, we show preliminary results of in situ imaging of gold nanorods and unstained amyloid fibrils to emphasize the significance of this imaging modality for both material sciences and biology.
Lamb mortality remains a significant welfare and economic issue for sheep production. Lamb survival is to a degree dependent upon an easy delivery and the expression of appropriate behaviours from both mother and offspring, such as rapid standing, udder seeking and sucking by the lamb. Genetic solutions have the potential to improve birth assistance and lamb behaviour but large amounts of data are needed. Therefore, to achieve this objective, simple, proxy methods (scoring systems) were developed to quantify the level of birth difficulties and lamb vigour on farm. In the first study, detailed historical behavioural data from 1156 lambs (Scottish Blackface and Suffolk (S)) were analysed to develop criteria for 3 scores: birth assistance, lamb vigour and sucking assistance. The birth assistance score was developed by analysing the relationships between birth presentation and intervention levels, and intervention level and labour length. Lambs with abnormal birth positions required more assistance than normally presented lambs and lambs with long labours required more and greater assistance than those with short labours. Lamb vigour score was developed by analysing the latencies for the lamb to first perform specific behaviours; more vigorous lambs reach landmark behaviours faster than low vigour lambs. The sucking assistance score was developed from the relationship between the latency to suck successfully and assistance level, where lambs that were slow to suck required more assistance than lambs that were quick to suck. In the second study, the behaviour scoring systems (5-point categorical scales) were validated using a commercial flock of 80 twin-bearing crossbred ewes mated with either Texel (T) or S sires by simultaneously recording scores and the latency to perform specific landmark behaviours (i.e. to stand, seek the udder and suck). The vigour scores (recorded at 5 min of age) were compared with the latency from birth to standing and showed that lambs with lower (better) vigour scores were faster to stand after birth than those with higher scores. The sucking assistance scores were compared with the latency from birth to sucking, and showed that lambs with lower sucking assistance scores are quicker to suck than those with high scores. These results showed that the scoring systems could provide a practical and reliable assessment of birth assistance and lamb behaviour on farm and were sufficiently sensitive to discriminate vigour levels between lambs sired by either S or T rams.