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Attention, working memory (WM), information processing and memory deficits are important features of schizophrenia. WM functions appear to be mediated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Functional imaging studies have shown a failure to activate the DLPFC during working memory tasks in patients with chronic schizophrenia. The primary aim of this study is to determine whether there are brain activation changes in the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as a result of engaging in a randomized, controlled 12 week course of cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) in inpatients with chronic schizophrenia.
Patients with DSM IV schizophrenia are randomized to a 12 week trial of Cognitive Remediation (CR) using a Computerized CR program (COGPACK) or to a 12-week control condition. Patients receive at baseline and endpoint an fMRI scan with a cognitive task (N-back task), a neuropsychological test battery (MATRICS), functional and symptom assessments.
Preliminary results of this ongoing study show that patients after 12 weeks of CR showed (1) significantly more improvement in WM functions than patients who participated in the control group and (2) improvement in accuracy on the verbal letter 2-back task during the fMRI scan. Signal difference between 2-back and 0-back was not present or only present minimally at baseline (Pre-CR); however, at endpoint (Post-CR) there was signal difference present, which corresponds to an increase in activation in the areas of the DLPFC. This increase in activation pattern may be reflective of the effects of the exposure to the CR intervention.
Minor depression is diagnosed when a patient suffers from two to four depressive symptoms for at least two weeks. Though minor depression is a widespread phenomenon, its pathophysiology has hardly been studied. To get a first insight into the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this disorder we assessed serum levels of biomarkers for plasticity, glial and neuronal function: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), S100B and neuron specific enolase (NSE). Twenty-seven subjects with minor depressive episode and 82 healthy subjects over 60 years of age were selected from the database of the Leipzig population-based study of civilization diseases (LIFE). Serum levels of BDNF, S100B and NSE were compared between groups, and correlated with age, body-mass index, and degree of white matter hyperintensities (score on Fazekas scale). S100B was significantly increased in males with minor depression in comparison to healthy males, whereas other biomarkers did not differ between groups (P = 0.10–0.66). NSE correlated with Fazekas score in patients with minor depression (rs = 0.436, P = 0.048) and in the whole sample (rs = 0.252, P = 0.019). S100B correlated with body mass index (rs = 0.246, P = 0.031) and with age in healthy subjects (rs = 0.345, P = 0.002). Increased S100B in males with minor depression, without alterations in BDNF and NSE, supports the glial hypothesis of depression. Correlation between white matter hyperintensities and NSE underscores the vascular hypothesis of late life depression.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) history have high rates of performance validity test (PVT) failure. The study aimed to determine whether those with scores in the invalid versus valid range on PVTs show similar benefit from psychotherapy and if psychotherapy improves PVT performance.
Veterans (N = 100) with PTSD, mild-to-moderate TBI history, and cognitive complaints underwent neuropsychological testing at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month post-treatment. Veterans were randomly assigned to cognitive processing therapy (CPT) or a novel hybrid intervention integrating CPT with TBI psychoeducation and cognitive rehabilitation strategies from Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy (CogSMART). Performance below standard cutoffs on any PVT trial across three different PVT measures was considered invalid (PVT-Fail), whereas performance above cutoffs on all measures was considered valid (PVT-Pass).
Although both PVT groups exhibited clinically significant improvement in PTSD symptoms, the PVT-Pass group demonstrated greater symptom reduction than the PVT-Fail group. Measures of post-concussive and depressive symptoms improved to a similar degree across groups. Treatment condition did not moderate these results. Rate of valid test performance increased from baseline to follow-up across conditions, with a stronger effect in the SMART-CPT compared to CPT condition.
Both PVT groups experienced improved psychological symptoms following treatment. Veterans who failed PVTs at baseline demonstrated better test engagement following treatment, resulting in higher rates of valid PVTs at follow-up. Veterans with invalid PVTs should be enrolled in trauma-focused treatment and may benefit from neuropsychological assessment after, rather than before, treatment.
Thirty warthogs, Phacochoerus africanus, were collected in the Pongola Game Reserve, South Africa and examined for helminths. Gastrointestinal helminth assemblages comprised Gastrodiscus aegyptiacus, the cestode genus Moniezia and seven species of nematodes. A single warthog harboured a metacestode of Taenia hydatigena in the mesenteries. No helminths were found in the heart, lungs or liver of the warthogs. Probstmayria vivipara and Murshidia spp. were the most prevalent as well as abundant helminth species, followed by Physocephalus sexalatus. The incidence of Moniezia did not differ between hosts of different sex or age. Numbers of Murshidia spp. were not affected by host sex, but were higher in adults than in juveniles. Conversely, burdens of Trichostrongylus thomasi were not affected by host age, but were higher in males than in females. While not highly significant, helminth assemblages in male warthogs were more species rich than in females. Helminth communities in the three genera of wild sub-Saharan suids are largely unique, but Ph. africanus and Hylochoerus meinertzhageni share more worm species with each other than with Potamochoerus larvatus, possibly because the former two are more closely related. Overlap between helminth communities of African wild suids and those of other suids and Tayassuidae worldwide is limited.
Immunocastration provides a less invasive means of castrating lambs. Considering increasing consumer awareness, the efficacy of this technique on commercial slaughter lambs needs to be further investigated and its effects on growth and stress responses need to be established. This study compared the growth rate, testes size and stress responses of immunocastrated lambs with that of lambs physically castrated with a Burdizzo clamp, as well as intact rams. A total of 40 Dohne Merino ram lambs (average live weight = 45.4±3.68 kg) were randomly allocated to the following four treatment groups: control (intact; R), Burdizzo-castrated (on day 2; B), immunocastrated with a 4-week (ICS4), or a 6-week (ICS6) interval between the second immunocastration vaccination and slaughter. Within the immunocastration treatments, the reaction to vaccination was assessed through injection site scoring, recording the local injection site surface temperature and assigning a walking score. The response to Burdizzo castration was assessed by scoring the reaction during the procedure, testes palpation reaction, walking gait and measuring testis temperature. Additional parameters recorded included BW, serum cortisol concentration, scrotal circumference and rectal temperature. Pain behaviours were described for the short-, medium- and long-term effects after the two methods of castration. Predominantly, tissue-hardening and bruising occurred at the injection sites of immunocastrates, but little effect was observed on walking comfort and no effect on injection site temperature or rectal temperatures. After Burdizzo castration, lambs spent more time in abnormal postures, and from day 3 (D3) to D8 of the trial, discomfort was observed during testes palpation and walking in B lambs. Serum cortisol concentrations were elevated in B lambs on D3 and D15, indicating physiological stress. Thus, immunocastration improved the welfare of castrated lambs as assessed by cortisol secretion, scrotal swelling and pain behaviours, without influencing growth rate.
Immunocastration improves the welfare of castrated commercial slaughter lambs; however, the time-point at which this technique influences semen quality and sperm production has not yet been established for various vaccination schedules. Furthermore, the effect of extended intervals between second vaccination and slaughter needs to be investigated regarding continued testosterone suppression in immunocastrated lambs. The effect of extending the interval between second immunocastration vaccination and slaughter from four to six weeks on the reproductive capacity of Dohne Merino lambs was examined. A total of 40 Dohne Merino lambs were stratified according to initial weight (45.4±3.68 kg) and randomly assigned to four treatments that included intact control rams (R), Burdizzo-castrated lambs (B) and lambs immunocastrated with either four (ICS4) or six (ICS6) weeks between second vaccination and slaughter. Blood and semen samples were collected throughout the study period to determine serum testosterone concentrations, evaluate semen quality and assess sperm viability. Semen samples from R showed improvement over the trial. Throughout the collection period, B lambs had low serum testosterone concentrations, poor sperm motility and sperm viability, as expected. However, a slight increase in the percentage of live sperm in semen samples from B lambs towards the end of the collection period indicated poor success rates of the technique in some lambs. Burdizzo-castration also caused testes tissue necrosis and abscessing, indicating physiological stress. Semen appearance scores varied for both immunocastrated treatments, but the mass motility scores decreased over time. The ICS6 lambs showed a consistent and continuous decline in serum testosterone concentrations and sperm viability, with an increased percentage of dead abnormal sperm in the semen samples at the end of the study. The ICS4 treatment was successful in interrupting serum testosterone production and reducing semen quality; however, not as consistently as the ICS6 treatment. Primary immunocastration vaccination influenced serum testosterone concentrations but consistently low levels were only realised for both treatments after secondary vaccination. Although all castration treatments influenced testes size and colour, the six-week vaccination-to-slaughter interval caused a greater decrease in testes cut surface L* (lightness) colour values and in seminiferous tubule circumference. Extending the interval between second immunocastration vaccination and slaughter resulted in a more consistent and reliable influence on reproductive capacity of immunocastrated lambs. Thus, immunocastration is a suitable alternative to Burdizzo-castration regarding the interruption of testosterone production and testis functioning.
Residential instability, including transience (i.e. unusually frequent mobility), is associated with higher risk for emotional and behavioural problems in children and young adults. However, most studies have not compared the effect of recent v. more distal moves on mental health or on mental health treatment. This study examined associations between recent (past year) and distal (past 2–4 years) residential transience and past year major depressive episode (MDE) and mental health treatment in a nationally representative sample of US adolescents aged 12–17.
Data are from the 2010–2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (n = ~107 300 adolescents). T-tests were used to examine the prevalence of MDE by number of moves in the past 5 years among a nationally representative sample of adolescents. Additionally, multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate the adjusted association between recent (⩾2 moves in the past year) and distal (⩾4 moves in the past 5 years, but no recent transience) and (1) past year MDE and (2) past year mental health treatment among adolescents with MDE.
MDE prevalence increased linearly with number of moves in the past 5 years (p < 0.001). The adjusted odds of MDE were greater among youths with distal transience (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.09–1.44) and among those with proximal transience (AOR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.17–1.46), compared with those without transience in the past 5 years. The MDE prevalence did not differ between those with distal and proximal transience (p = 0.163). In youths with past year MDE, the prevalence of past year mental health treatment was greater among those with proximal transience compared with those without transience (AOR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.15–1.70), but there was no significant difference in treatment among those with distal v. no transience.
Distal and recent transience are associated with past year MDE among adolescents. Adolescents with MDE who had recent transience were more likely to receive past year mental health treatment compared with those without transience. However, those with only distal transience were not more likely to receive treatment. Parents, school officials and health care providers should be aware that residential mobility in the past 5 years may indicate increased odds of depression among adolescents even among adolescents whose housing stability has improved in the past year.
Optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) [Dubietis et al., Opt. Commun. 88, 437 (1992)] implemented by multikilojoule Nd:glass pump lasers is a promising approach to produce ultraintense pulses (
). Technologies are being developed to upgrade the OMEGA EP Laser System with the goal to pump an optical parametric amplifier line (EP OPAL) with two of the OMEGA EP beamlines. The resulting ultraintense pulses (1.5 kJ, 20 fs,
) would be used jointly with picosecond and nanosecond pulses produced by the other two beamlines. A midscale OPAL pumped by the Multi-Terawatt (MTW) laser is being constructed to produce 7.5-J, 15-fs pulses and demonstrate scalable technologies suitable for the upgrade. MTW OPAL will share a target area with the MTW laser (50 J, 1 to 100 ps), enabling several joint-shot configurations. We report on the status of the MTW OPAL system, and the technology development required for this class of all-OPCPA laser system for ultraintense pulses.
Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are the most common complication of pregnancy and have been found to have long-term implications for both mother and child. In vulnerable patient populations such as those served at Denver Health, a federally qualified health center the prevalence of PMADs is nearly double the nationally reported rate of 15–20%. Nearly 17% of women will be diagnosed with major depression at some point in their lives and those numbers are twice as high in women who live in poverty. Women also appear to be at higher risk for depression in the child-bearing years. In order to better address these issues, an Integrated Perinatal Mental Health program was created to screen, assess, and treat PMADs in alignment with national recommendations to improve maternal–child health and wellness. This program was built upon a national model of Integrated Behavioral Health already in place at Denver Health.
A multidisciplinary team of physicians, behavioral health providers, public health, and administrators was assembled at Denver Health, an integrated hospital and community health care system that serves as the safety net hospital to the city and county of Denver, CO. This team was brought together to create a universal screen-to-treat process for PMAD’s in perinatal clinics and to adapt the existing Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) model into a program better suited to the health system’s obstetric population. Universal prenatal and postnatal depression screening was implemented at the obstetric intake visit, a third trimester prenatal care visit, and at the postpartum visit across the clinical system. At the same time, IBH services were implemented across our health system’s perinatal care system in a stepwise fashion. This included our women’s care clinics as well as the family medicine and pediatric clinics. These efforts occurred in tandem to support all patients and staff enabling a specially trained behavioral health provider (psychologists and L.C.S.W.’s) to respond immediately to any positive screen during or after pregnancy.
In August 2014 behavioral health providers were integrated into the women’s care clinics. In January 2015 universal screening for PMADs was implemented throughout the perinatal care system. Screening has improved from 0% of women screened at the obstetric care intake visit in August 2014 to >75% of women screened in August 2016. IBH coverage by a licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker exists in 100% of perinatal clinics as of January 2016. As well, in order to gain sustainability, the ability to bill same day visits as well as to bill, and be reimbursed for screening and assessment visits, continues to improve and provide for a model that is self-sustaining for the future.
Implementation of a universal screening process for PMADs alongside the development of an IBH model in perinatal care has led to the creation of a program that is feasible and has the capacity to serve as a national model for improving perinatal mental health in vulnerable populations.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
Los Angeles County's civil service rule specifies a 70% cutoff score regardless of the situation (type of job, type of assessment, or outcome of interest). This civil service rule would be difficult to defend if it were challenged in court, and the rule places the county at increased risk in the event of employment litigation, particularly with public safety jobs (police, fire, sheriff, etc.). Additionally, it is unlikely that this cutoff would optimally balance the county's interests in fair employment practices and expected job performance (SIOP, 2003). Given the propensity for public safety candidates and employees to file lawsuits related to hiring and promotions, and given the fact that public safety agencies in this county have been subjected to a number of employment-related lawsuits in the past, the current rule is problematic. Prior to this rule's development, as well as after its implementation in 1988, there has been substantial litigation related to cutoff scores, and courts have identified what they consider to be more and less appropriate methods for setting cutoff scores.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the association between personality factors and age-related longitudinal cognitive performance, and explore interactions of stress-proneness with apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4, a prevalent risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods: A total of 510 neuropsychiatrically healthy residents of Maricopa County recruited through media ads (mean age 57.6±10.6 years; 70% women; mean education 15.8±2.4 years; 213 APOE ɛ4 carriers) had neuropsychological testing every 2 years (mean duration follow-up 9.1±4.4 years), and the complete Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Personality Inventory-Revised. Several tests were administered within each of the following cognitive domains: memory, executive skills, language, visuospatial skills, and general cognition. Primary effects on cognitive trajectories and APOE ɛ4 interactions were ascertained with quadratic models. Results: With personality factors treated as continuous variables, Neuroticism was associated with greater decline, and Conscientiousness associated with reduced decline consistently across tests in memory and executive domains. With personality factors trichotomized, the associations of Neuroticism and Conscientiousness were again highly consistent across tests within memory and to a lesser degree executive domains. While age-related memory decline was greater in APOE ɛ4 carriers as a group than ɛ4 noncarriers, verbal memory decline was mitigated in ɛ4 carriers with higher Conscientiousness, and visuospatial perception and memory decline was mitigated in ɛ4 carriers with higher Openness. Conclusions: Neuroticism and Conscientiousness were associated with changes in longitudinal performances on tests sensitive to memory and executive skills. APOE interactions were less consistent. Our findings are consistent with previous studies that have suggested that personality factors, particularly Neuroticism and Conscientiousness are associated with cognitive aging patterns. (JINS, 2016, 22, 765–776)
Undernutrition is a stressor with long-term consequences, and the effect of nutritional recovery on cortisol and thyroid hormone status is unknown. To investigate basal thyroid hormones and the cortisol response to a cold pressor test in children recovered from undernutrition, a cross-sectional study was undertaken on children (6–16 years) separated into four groups: control (n 41), stunted (n 31), underweight (n 27) and recovered (n 31). Salivary cortisol was collected over the course of 10 h: upon awakening, before and after an unpleasant and a pleasant stimulus. Cortisol upon awakening was highest in the stunted and lowest in the underweight groups: control=5·05 (95 % CI 3·71, 6·89) nmol/l, stunted=6·62 (95 % CI 3·97, 11·02) nmol/l, underweight=2·51 (95 % CI 1·75, 3·63) nmol/l and recovered=3·46 (95 % CI 2·46, 4·90) nmol/l (P=0·005). Girls had higher cortisol concentrations upon awakening compared with boys (P=0·021). The undernourished groups showed an elevated cortisol response both to the unpleasant stimulus and at the last measurement (16.00 hours) compared with that of the recovered group: AUC, control=2·07 (95 % CI 1·69, 2·45) nmol/l×30 min, stunted=2·48 (95 % CI 1·91, 3·06) nmol/l×30 min, underweight=2·52 (95 % CI 2·07, 2·97) nmol/l×30 min, recovered=1·68 (95 % CI 1·26, 2·11) nmol/l×30 min (P=0·042); and control=2·03 (95 % CI 1·75, 2·39) nmol/l×30 min, stunted=2·51 (95 % CI 1·97, 3·19) nmol/l×30 min, underweight=2·61 (95 % CI 2·16, 3·16) nmol/l×30 min, recovered=1·70 (95 % CI 1·42, 2·03) nmol/l×30 min (P=0·009). Lower free thyroxine (T4) was found in the recovered and stunted groups: control=1·28 (95 % CI 1·18, 1·39) pmol/l, stunted=0·98 (95 % CI 0·87, 1·10) pmol/l, underweight=1·10 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·21) pmol/l and recovered=0·90 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·99) pmol/l (P<0·001). Multivariate analysis showed a lower cortisol concentration along 10 h (06.00–16.00 hours) in the recovered compared with the other groups (P=0·017), and similar concentrations between the recovered and control group. In conclusion, the children with recovery in weight and height had a cortisol stress response similar to control but a lower basal free T4. Longitudinal studies are warranted to determine the extent of these endocrine changes after recovery of undernutrition and in adulthood.
We present the observed “continuum” levels of polarization as a function of time for four well-observed Type II-Plateau supernovae (SNe II-P; Fig. 1), the class of SNe decisively determined to arise from red supergiant stars (Smartt 2009). All four objects show temporally increasing degrees of polarization through the end of the photospheric phase, with some exhibiting early-time polarization that challenge existing models (e.g., Dessart and Hillier 2011) to reproduce. A fundamental ejecta asymmetry is present in this photometrically diverse sample of type II SNe, and it probably takes different forms (e.g., 56Ni blobs/fingers, large scale deformation). We acknowledge support from NSF grants AST-1009571 and AST-1210311.