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Perceived loneliness, an increasingly prevalent social issue, is closely associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the neural mechanisms previously implicated in key cognitive and affective processes in loneliness and MDD still remain unclear. Such understanding is critical for delineating the psychobiological basis of the relationship between loneliness and MDD.
We isolated the unique and interactive cognitive and neural substrates of loneliness and MDD among 27 MDD patients (mean age = 51.85 years, 20 females), and 25 matched healthy controls (HCs; mean age = 48.72 years, 19 females). We assessed participants' behavioral performance and neural regional and network functions on a Stroop color-word task, and their resting-state neural connectivity.
Behaviorally, we found greater incongruence-related accuracy cost in MDD patients, but reduced incongruence effect on reaction time in lonelier individuals. When performing the Stroop task, loneliness positively predicted prefrontal-anterior cingulate-parietal connectivity across all participants, whereas MDD patients showed a decrease in connectivity compared to controls. Furthermore, loneliness negatively predicted parietal and cerebellar activities in MDD patients, but positively predicted the same activities in HCs. During resting state, MDD patients showed reduced parietal-anterior cingulate connectivity, which again positively correlated with loneliness in this group.
We speculate the distinct neurocognitive profile of loneliness might indicate increase in both bottom-up attention and top-down executive control functions. However, the upregulated cognitive control processes in lonely individuals may eventually become exhausted, which may in turn predispose to MDD onset.
Recent advances in techniques to generate static ultra-high pressure (>100 GPa) in the diamond anvil cell have significantly enhanced our understanding of the properties of solids under these extreme conditions. In order to characterize the structure of solids at these pressures, X-ray diffraction using synchrotron radiation has become an invaluable tool. Since the highest pressures are attained at the expense of sample volume (~ 100 μm3) , it is best to use the intense radiation available from a synchrotron to study the very small samples used in ultra-high pressure studies. Even with the intense x-ray beams currently available, it is still often desirable to focus the x-ray beam to increase the available flux. We have developed a focusing system which uses multilayer coated spherical mirrors. With this system, intense x-ray beams with sizes smaller than 10 μm by 10 μm can be achieved at a synchrotron radiation beamline. Previously, we used the focusing system for x-ray microprobe experiments.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Pathogenesis of pregnancy toxemia (PT) is believed to be associated with the disruption of lipid metabolism. The present study aimed to explore the underlying mechanisms of lipid metabolism disorder in the livers of ewes with PT. In total, 10 pregnant ewes were fed normally (control group) whereas another 10 were subjected to 70% level feed restriction for 15 days to establish a pathological model of PT. Results showed that, as compared with the controls, the levels of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and cholesterol were greater (P<0.05) and blood glucose level was lower (P<0.05) in PT ewes. The contents of NEFAs, BHBA, cholesterol and triglyceride were higher (P<0.05) and glycerol content was lower (P<0.05) in hepatic tissues of PT ewes than those of the controls. For ewes with PT, excessive fat vacuoles were observed in liver sections stained with hematoxylin–eosin; furthermore, inner structures of hepatocytes including nuclei, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum were damaged seriously according to the results of transmission electron microscope. Real-time PCR data showed that compared with the controls, the expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and triglyceride synthesis (TGS) was enhanced (P<0.05) whereas that related to acetyl-CoA metabolism (ACM) was repressed (P<0.05) in PT ewes. Generally, our results showed that negative energy balance altered the expression of genes involved in FAO, ACM and TGS, further caused lipid metabolism disorder in livers, resulting in PT of ewes. Our findings may provide the molecular basis for novel therapeutic strategies against this systemic metabolic disease in sheep.
The triplite LiFeSO4F displays both the highest potential ever reported for an Fe-based compound, as well as a comparable specific energy with that of popular LiFePO4. The synthesis is still a challenge because the present approaches are connected with long time, special equipments or organic reagents, etc. In this work, the triplite LiFeSO4F powder was synthesized through an ambient two-step solid-state route. The reaction process and phase purity were analyzed, coupled with structure refinement and electrochemical test.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
U60 ([UO2(O2)(OH)]6060− in water) is a uranyl peroxide nanocluster with a fullerene topology and Oh symmetry. U60 clusters can exist in crystalline solids or in liquids; however, little is known of their behavior at high pressures. We compressed the U60-bearing material: Li68K12(OH)20[UO2(O2)(OH)]60(H2O)310 (
; a = 37.884 Å) in a diamond anvil cell to determine its response to increasing pressure. Three length scales and corresponding structural features contribute to the compression response: uranyl peroxide bonds (<0.5 nm), isolated single nanoclusters (2.5 nm), and the long-range periodicity of nanoclusters within the solid (>3.7 nm). Li68K12(OH)20[UO2(O2)(OH)]60(H2O)310 transformed to a tetragonal structure below 2 GPa and irreversibly amorphized between 9.6 and 13 GPa. The bulk modulus of the tetragonal U60-bearing material was 25 ± 2 GPa. The pressure-induced amorphous phase contained intact U60 clusters, which were preserved beyond the loss of long-range periodicity. The persistence of U60 clusters at high pressure may have been enhanced by the interaction between U60 nanoclusters and the alcohol pressure medium. Once formed, U60 nanoclusters persist regardless of their associated long-range ordering—in crystals, amorphous solids, or solutions.
The aim of this post-hoc analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of lurasidone in treating major depressive disorder (MDD) with mixed features including irritability.
The data in this analysis were derived from a study of patients meeting DSM–IV–TR criteria for unipolar MDD, with a Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score ≥26, presenting with two or three protocol-defined manic symptoms, and who were randomized to 6 weeks of double-blind treatment with either lurasidone 20–60 mg/d (n=109) or placebo (n=100). We defined “irritability” as a score ≥2 on both the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) irritability item (#5) and the disruptive-aggressive item (#9). Endpoint change in the MADRS and YMRS items 5 and 9 were analyzed using a mixed model for repeated measures for patients with and without irritability.
Some 20.7% of patients met the criteria for irritability. Treatment with lurasidone was associated with a significant week 6 change vs. placebo in MADRS score in both patients with (–22.6 vs. –9.5, p<0.0001, effect size [ES]=1.4) and without (–19.9 vs. –13.8, p<0.0001, ES=0.7) irritability. In patients with irritable features, treatment with lurasidone was associated with significant week 6 changes vs. placebo in both the YMRS irritability item (–1.4 vs. –0.3, p=0.0012, ES=1.0) and the YMRS disruptive-aggressive item (–1.0 vs. –0.3, p=0.0002, ES=1.2).
In our post-hoc analysis of a randomized, placebo-controlled, 6-week trial, treatment with lurasidone significantly improved depressive symptoms in MDD patients with mixed features including irritability. In addition, irritability symptoms significantly improved in patients treated with lurasidone.
Magnetic fields are an important component in galaxies, and yet, we still do not know how these magnetic fields were originally seeded within galaxies, nor how they have grown to the strengths we observe today. One way we can unravel this complex problem is by measuring the growth of magnetic fields over cosmic time. We present the initial results of a rotation measure study to search for the presence of coherent magnetic fields around young disk-like galaxies at z ~ 0.5. The S-band receiver at the VLA allows us to simultaneously observe Stokes I, Q, U, and V from 2-4 GHz. With these broadband polarization observations we apply multiple methods for determining the rotation measure of each source, improving the fidelity of our results. Beyond magnetogenesis, the results of this study also have implications for the life-cycle of baryons within galaxies and the composition of galactic haloes.
The phylogenetic and epidemiological relationships of 102 Burkholderia pseudomallei clinical isolates from different geographical and population sources in China were investigated by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The MLST data were analysed using the e-BURST algorithm, and an unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean dendrogram was constructed based on the pair-wise differences in the allelic profiles of the strains. Forty-one sequence types (STs) were identified, of which eight were novel (ST1341, ST1345, ST1346, ST1347, ST1348, ST1349, ST1350, ST1351). No geographical-specific or host population-specific phylogenetic lineages were identified. ST46, ST50, ST55, ST58, ST70 and ST1095 predominated, but ~44% of isolates were assigned to 45 STs illustrating high genetic diversity in the strain collection. Additionally, the phylogenetic relationships of the dominant STs in China showed significant linkeage with B. pseudomallei isolates from Thailand. Analysis of the gmhD allele suggests high genetic variation in B. pseudomallei in China.
Concern has been expressed recently that Se may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but this has not been tested in a randomised-controlled trial (RCT) in pregnant women. We took advantage of having stored plasma samples from the Se in Pregnancy Intervention (SPRINT) RCT of Se supplementation in pregnancy to test the effect of Se supplementation on a marker of insulin resistance in UK pregnant women. Because our blood samples were not fasted, we measured plasma adiponectin concentration, a recognised marker of insulin resistance that gives valid measurements in non-fasted samples, as diurnal variability is minor and there is no noticeable effect of food intake. In SPRINT, 230 primiparous UK women were randomised to treatment with Se (60 μg/d) or placebo from 12 weeks of gestation until delivery. We hypothesised that supplementation with Se at a nutritional level would not exacerbate the fall in adiponectin concentration that occurs in normal pregnancy, indicating the lack of an adverse effect on insulin resistance. Indeed, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the change in adiponectin from 12 to 35 weeks (P=0·938), nor when the analysis was restricted to the bottom or top quartiles of baseline whole-blood Se (P=0·515 and 0·858, respectively). Cross-sectionally, adiponectin concentration was not associated with any parameter of Se status, either at 12 or 35 weeks. It is reassuring that a nutritional dose of Se had no adverse effect on the concentration of adiponectin, a biomarker of insulin resistance, in pregnant women of modest Se status.
People with schizophrenia recognize speech poorly under multiple-people-talking (informational masking) conditions. In reverberant environments, direct-wave signals from a speech source are perceptually integrated with the source reflections (the precedence effect), forming perceived spatial separation (PSS) between different sources and consequently improving target-speech recognition against informational masking. However, the brain substrates underlying the schizophrenia-related vulnerability to informational masking and whether schizophrenia affects the unmasking effect of PSS are largely unknown.
Using psychoacoustic testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively, the speech recognition under either the PSS or perceived spatial co-location (PSC) condition and the underlying brain substrates were examined in 20 patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls.
Speech recognition was worse in patients than controls. Under the PSS (but not PSC) condition, speech recognition was correlated with activation of the superior parietal lobule (SPL), and target speech-induced activation of the SPL, precuneus, middle cingulate cortex and caudate significantly declined in patients. Moreover, the separation (PSS)-against-co-location (PSC) contrast revealed (1) activation of the SPL, precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex in controls, (2) suppression of the SPL and precuneus in patients, (3) activation of the pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus in both controls and patients, (4) activation of the medial superior frontal gyrus in patients, and (5) impaired functional connectivity of the SPL in patients.
Introducing the PSS listening condition efficiently reveals both the brain substrates underlying schizophrenia-related speech-recognition deficits against informational masking and the schizophrenia-related neural compensatory strategy for impaired SPL functions.