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This research examines maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk for poorer executive function in siblings discordant for exposure. Data (N = 173 families) were drawn from the Missouri Mothers and Their Children study, a sample, identified using birth records (years 1998–2005), in which mothers changed smoking behavior between two pregnancies (Child 1 [older sibling]: Mage = 12.99; Child 2 [younger sibling]: Mage = 10.19). A sibling comparison approach was used, providing a robust test for the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and different aspects of executive function in early-mid adolescence. Results suggested within-family (i.e., potentially causal) associations between maternal smoking during pregnancy and one working memory task (visual working memory) and one response inhibition task (color-word interference), with increased exposure associated with decreased performance. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was not associated with stop-signal reaction time, cognitive flexibility/set-shifting, or auditory working memory. Initial within-family associations between maternal smoking during pregnancy and visual working memory as well as color-word interference were fully attenuated in a model including child and familial covariates. These findings indicate that exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy may be associated with poorer performance on some, but not all skills assessed; however, familial transmission of risk for low executive function appears more important.
In pediatric fatty liver disease (FLD) can develop into steatohepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in adulthood. We assessed if early-life physical exercise reduced the effects of high fat diet (HF)-induced steatosis. Male HF-fed rats with access to a running wheel from weaning until day (D)60 (early exercise) or from D67-D120 (late exercise) were compared to control HF- or chow-fed groups with no wheel. At D63 and D120 liver histopathology (Kleiner score), type I collagen and plasma enzymes were assessed.
At D63, early-life activity significantly reduced histopathology scores (total, portal inflammation, steatosis, ballooning, but not lobular inflammation or fibrosis) and the number of rats affected. At D120, HF control scores were higher than in chow-fed controls, but the effect of activity was selective: early exercise reduced portal inflammation, steatosis, ballooning and fibrosis, but late activity affected only portal inflammation and ballooning. The chow-fed portal inflammation score was significantly less than all HF groups, but lobular inflammation was lower in the HF control group only. The fibrosis score in the HF early exercise and control chow group were lower than in the late exercise and sedentary HF groups, indicating that early-life exercise was more effective than when activity was introduced later in life. Plasma biomarkers showed minor between-group differences.
The retained effect on liver histopathology rat at D120 after only early-life exposure activity suggests that timing of introduction of exercise is critical in reducing FLD scores and prevalence in children, young adults and possibly into adulthood.
Glutamatergic dysfunction has been implicated in sensory integration deficits in schizophrenia, yet how glutamatergic function contributes to behavioural impairments and neural activities of sensory integration remains unknown.
Fifty schizophrenia patients and 43 healthy controls completed behavioural assessments for sensory integration and underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) for measuring the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) glutamate levels. The correlation between glutamate levels and behavioural sensory integration deficits was examined in each group. A subsample of 20 pairs of patients and controls further completed an audiovisual sensory integration functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task. Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) activation and task-dependent functional connectivity (FC) were assessed based on fMRI data. Full factorial analyses were performed to examine the Group-by-Glutamate Level interaction effects on fMRI measurements (group differences in correlation between glutamate levels and fMRI measurements) and the correlation between glutamate levels and fMRI measurements within each group.
We found that schizophrenia patients exhibited impaired sensory integration which was positively correlated with ACC glutamate levels. Multimodal analyses showed significantly Group-by-Glutamate Level interaction effects on BOLD activation as well as task-dependent FC in a ‘cortico-subcortical-cortical’ network (including medial frontal gyrus, precuneus, ACC, middle cingulate gyrus, thalamus and caudate) with positive correlations in patients and negative in controls.
Our findings indicate that ACC glutamate influences neural activities in a large-scale network during sensory integration, but the effects have opposite directionality between schizophrenia patients and healthy people. This implicates the crucial role of glutamatergic system in sensory integration processing in schizophrenia.
We report the experimental results of the commissioning phase in the 10 PW laser beamline of the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility (SULF). The peak power reaches 2.4 PW on target without the last amplifying during the experiment. The laser energy of 72 ± 9 J is directed to a focal spot of approximately 6 μm diameter (full width at half maximum) in 30 fs pulse duration, yielding a focused peak intensity around 2.0 × 1021 W/cm2. The first laser-proton acceleration experiment is performed using plain copper and plastic targets. High-energy proton beams with maximum cut-off energy up to 62.5 MeV are achieved using copper foils at the optimum target thickness of 4 μm via target normal sheath acceleration. For plastic targets of tens of nanometers thick, the proton cut-off energy is approximately 20 MeV, showing ring-like or filamented density distributions. These experimental results reflect the capabilities of the SULF-10 PW beamline, for example, both ultrahigh intensity and relatively good beam contrast. Further optimization for these key parameters is underway, where peak laser intensities of 1022–1023 W/cm2 are anticipated to support various experiments on extreme field physics.
The risk of antipsychotic-associated cardiovascular and metabolic events may differ among countries, and limited real-world evidence has been available comparing the corresponding risks among children and young adults. We, therefore, evaluated the risks of cardiovascular and metabolic events in children and young adults receiving antipsychotics.
We conducted a multinational self-controlled case series (SCCS) study and included patients aged 6–30 years old who had both exposure to antipsychotics and study outcomes from four nationwide databases of Taiwan (2004–2012), Korea (2010–2016), Hong Kong (2001–2014) and the UK (1997–2016) that covers a total of approximately 100 million individuals. We investigated three antipsychotics exposure windows (i.e., 90 days pre-exposure, 1–30 days, 30–90 days and 90 + days of exposure). The outcomes were cardiovascular events (stroke, ischaemic heart disease and acute myocardial infarction), or metabolic events (hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and dyslipidaemia).
We included a total of 48 515 individuals in the SCCS analysis. We found an increased risk of metabolic events only in the risk window with more than 90-day exposure, with a pooled IRR of 1.29 (95% CI 1.20–1.38). The pooled IRR was 0.98 (0.90–1.06) for 1–30 days and 0.88 (0.76–1.02) for 31–90 days. We found no association in any exposure window for cardiovascular events. The pooled IRR was 1.86 (0.74–4.64) for 1–30 days, 1.35 (0.74–2.47) for 31–90 days and 1.29 (0.98–1.70) for 90 + days.
Long-term exposure to antipsychotics was associated with an increased risk of metabolic events but did not trigger cardiovascular events in children and young adults.
Research on flight emissions at airports is very important for environmental policymaking. This study analysed the trend of aircraft air pollutant emissions at mainland China airports from 1990 to 2017, mainly focusing on standard landing and take-off (LTO) cycles. Total flight movements increased 29-fold from 1990 to 2017 at Chinese airports. Over the same period, the emissions of NOx, SOx, CO, hydrocarbons (HC), and particulate matter (PM) increased 46, 27, 12, 5, and 4 times, respectively. Emissions at the 216 public airports showed a growth trend. It was estimated that in 2017, Chinese airports emitted 12,875 kilotons of CO2, 59 kilotons of NOx, 3 kilotons of SOx, 38 kilotons of CO, 5 kilotons of HC, and 0.4 kilotons of PM. The largest 30 airports produced 68.2% of the total emissions. Emissions from B737-800, A320, A321, B737-700, A330-300, and A319 aircraft accounted for more than 75% of aircraft LTO emissions at Chinese airports in 2017. Results show that average emissions per passenger have decreased for CO2, CO, HC, SOx, PM, and NOx from 1990 to 2017.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Previously the GABA(A) receptor beta-2 subunit gene GABRB2 was found to be associated with schizophrenia (SCZ). for SNPs and haplotypes in GRBRB2, the associations with bipolar disorder (BPD), the functional consequences on GABRB2 expression and their relationship to demographic and clinical characteristics in BPD and SCZ remain to be elucidated.
Case-control analysis was performed for association study of GABRB2 with BPD, and its mRNA expression in postmortem BPD brains was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. Quantitative trait analysis was subsequently employed to assess the covariate effects of demographic and clinical characteristics on genotypic correlation of GABRB2 expression in SCZ and BPD.
Significant association of GABRB2 with BPD and reduction in GABRB2 mRNA expression in BPD brains were observed in the present study. Duration of illness (DOI) was found to be a significant covariate for the correlation of the disease-associated SNPs rs1816071, rs1816072 and rs187269 with GABRB2 expression in both SCZ and BPD. for individuals with homozygous major genotypes of these SNPs, while GABRB2 expression increased with age in the controls, it decreased with DOI and age in SCZ, and with DOI in BPD. with age of onset as covariate, these three SNPs were significantly correlated with antipsychotic dosage in SCZ.
These results have thus revealed correlations of GABRB2 SNPs and expression not only with the occurrence of SCZ and BPD, but also with the clinical characteristics of patients, therefore providing support for a shared etiological role played by the gene in both diseases.
Women are more likely to be admitted to nursing home after stroke than men. Differences in patient characteristics and outcomes by sex after institutionalization are less understood. We examined sex differences in the characteristics and care needs of patients admitted to nursing home following stroke and their subsequent survival.
We identified patients with stroke newly admitted to nursing home between April 2011 and March 2016 in Ontario, Canada, with follow-up until March 2018 using linked administrative data. We calculated prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the primary outcomes of dependence for activities of daily living, cognitive impairment, frailty, health instability, and symptoms of depression or pain, comparing women to men. The secondary outcome was all-cause mortality.
Among 4831 patients, 60.9% were women. Compared to men, women were older (median age [interquartile range, IQR]: 84 [78, 89] vs. 80 [71, 86]), more likely to be frail (prevalence ratio 1.14, 95% CI [1.08, 1.19]), have unstable health (1.45 [1.28, 1.66]), and experience symptoms of depression (1.25 [1.11, 1.40]) or pain (1.21 [1.13, 1.30]), and less likely to have aggressive behaviors (0.87 [0.80, 0.94]). Overall median survival was 2.9 years. In a propensity-score-matched cohort, women had lower mortality than men (hazard ratio 0.85, 95% CI [0.77, 0.94]), but in the age-stratified survival analysis, the survival advantage in women was limited to those aged 75 years and older.
Despite lower subsequent mortality, women admitted to nursing home after stroke required more care than men. Pain and depression are two treatable symptoms that disproportionately affect women.
Optimal stroke care requires access to resources such as neuroimaging, acute revascularization, rehabilitation, and stroke prevention services, which may not be available in rural areas. We aimed to determine geographic access to stroke care for residents of rural communities in the province of Ontario, Canada.
We used the Ontario Road Network File database linked with the 2016 Ontario Acute Stroke Care Resource Inventory to estimate the proportion of people in rural communities, defined as those with a population size <10,000, who were within 30, 60, and 240 minutes of travel time by car from stroke care services, including brain imaging, thrombolysis treatment centers, stroke units, stroke prevention clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and endovascular treatment centers.
Of the 1,496,262 people residing in rural communities, the majority resided within 60 minutes of driving time to a center with computed tomography (85%), thrombolysis (81%), a stroke unit (68%), a stroke prevention clinic (74%), or inpatient rehabilitation (77.0%), but a much lower proportion (32%) were within 60 minutes of driving time to a center capable of providing endovascular thrombectomy (EVT).
Most rural Ontario residents have appropriate geographic access to stroke services, with the exception of EVT. This information may be useful for jurisdictions seeking to optimize the regional organization of stroke care services.
We aimed to investigate the heterogeneity of seasonal suicide patterns among multiple geographically, demographically and socioeconomically diverse populations.
Weekly time-series data of suicide counts for 354 communities in 12 countries during 1986–2016 were analysed. Two-stage analysis was performed. In the first stage, a generalised linear model, including cyclic splines, was used to estimate seasonal patterns of suicide for each community. In the second stage, the community-specific seasonal patterns were combined for each country using meta-regression. In addition, the community-specific seasonal patterns were regressed onto community-level socioeconomic, demographic and environmental indicators using meta-regression.
We observed seasonal patterns in suicide, with the counts peaking in spring and declining to a trough in winter in most of the countries. However, the shape of seasonal patterns varied among countries from bimodal to unimodal seasonality. The amplitude of seasonal patterns (i.e. the peak/trough relative risk) also varied from 1.47 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.33–1.62) to 1.05 (95% CI: 1.01–1.1) among 12 countries. The subgroup difference in the seasonal pattern also varied over countries. In some countries, larger amplitude was shown for females and for the elderly population (≥65 years of age) than for males and for younger people, respectively. The subperiod difference also varied; some countries showed increasing seasonality while others showed a decrease or little change. Finally, the amplitude was larger for communities with colder climates, higher proportions of elderly people and lower unemployment rates (p-values < 0.05).
Despite the common features of a spring peak and a winter trough, seasonal suicide patterns were largely heterogeneous in shape, amplitude, subgroup differences and temporal changes among different populations, as influenced by climate, demographic and socioeconomic conditions. Our findings may help elucidate the underlying mechanisms of seasonal suicide patterns and aid in improving the design of population-specific suicide prevention programmes based on these patterns.
Current adolescent substance use risk models have inadequately predicted use for African Americans, offering limited knowledge about differential predictability as a function of developmental period. Among a sample of 500 African American youth (ages 11–21), four risk indices (i.e., social risk, attitudinal risk, intrapersonal risk, and racial discrimination risk) were examined in the prediction of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette initiation during early (ages 11–13), mid (ages 16–18), and late (ages 19–21) adolescence. Results showed that when developmental periods were combined, racial discrimination was the only index that predicted initiation for all three substances. However, when risk models were stratified based on developmental period, variation was found within and across substance types. Results highlight the importance of racial discrimination in understanding substance use initiation among African American youth and the need for tailored interventions based on developmental stage.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
A stable reference gene is a key prerequisite for accurate assessment of gene expression. At present, the real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction has been widely used in the analysis of gene expression in a variety of organisms. Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a major predator of mites on many important economically crops. Until now, however, there are no reports evaluating the stability of reference genes in this species. In view of this, we used GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder software tools to evaluate the expression stability of 11 candidate reference genes in developmental stages and under various abiotic stresses. According to our results, β-ACT and Hsp40 were the top two stable reference genes in developmental stages. The Hsp60 and Hsp90 were the most stable reference genes in various acaricides stress. For alterations in temperature, Hsp40 and α-TUB were the most suitable reference genes. About UV stress, EF1α and α-TUB were the best choice, and for the different prey stress, β-ACT and α-TUB were best suited. In normal conditions, the β-ACT and α-TUB were the two of the highest stable reference genes to respond to all kinds of stresses. The current study provided a valuable foundation for the further analysis of gene expression in N. barkeri.
We are performing systematic observation studies on the Galactic interstellar isotopic ratios, including 18O/17O, 12C/13C, 14N/15N and 32S/34S. Our strategy focuses on combination of multi-transition observation data toward large samples with different Galactocentric distances. Our preliminary results show positive Galactic radial gradients of 18O/17O and 12C/13C. In both cases, the ratio increases with the Galactocentric distance, which agrees with the inside-out scenario of our Galaxy. Observations of other isotopes such as 14N/15N and 32S/34S are on-going.
Recent studies indicate that early postnatal period is a critical window for gut microbiota manipulation to optimise the immunity and body growth. This study investigated the effects of maternal faecal microbiota orally administered to neonatal piglets after birth on growth performance, selected microbial populations, intestinal permeability and the development of intestinal mucosal immune system. In total, 12 litters of crossbred newborn piglets were selected in this study. Litter size was standardised to 10 piglets. On day 1, 10 piglets in each litter were randomly allotted to the faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and control groups. Piglets in the FMT group were orally administrated with 2ml faecal suspension of their nursing sow per day from the age of 1 to 3 days; piglets in the control group were treated with the same dose of a placebo (0.1M potassium phosphate buffer containing 10% glycerol (vol/vol)) inoculant. The experiment lasted 21 days. On days 7, 14 and 21, plasma and faecal samples were collected for the analysis of growth-related hormones and cytokines in plasma and lipocalin-2, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), selected microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in faeces. Faecal microbiota transplantation increased the average daily gain of piglets during week 3 and the whole experiment period. Compared with the control group, the FMT group had increased concentrations of plasma growth hormone and IGF-1 on days 14 and 21. Faecal microbiota transplantation also reduced the incidence of diarrhoea during weeks 1 and 3 and plasma concentrations of zonulin, endotoxin and diamine oxidase activities in piglets on days 7 and 14. The populations of Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the concentrations of faecal and plasma acetate, butyrate and total SCFAs in FMT group were higher than those in the control group on day 21. Moreover, the FMT piglets have higher concentrations of plasma transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobulin G, and faecal sIgA than the control piglets on day 21. These findings indicate that early intervention with maternal faecal microbiota improves growth performance, decreases intestinal permeability, stimulates sIgA secretion, and modulates gut microbiota composition and metabolism in suckling piglets.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
Neoseiulus barkeri (HUGHES) is the natural enemy of spider mites, whiteflies and thrips. Screening for chemically-resistant predatory mites is a practical way to balance the contradiction between the pesticide using and biological control. In this study, the number of eggs laid by fenpropathrin-susceptible and resistant strains of N. barkeri was compared. Additionally, we cloned three N. barkeri vitellogenin (Vg) genes and used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to quantify Vg expression in susceptible and resistant strains. The total number of eggs significantly increased in the fenpropathrin-resistant strain. The full-length cDNA cloning of three N. barkeri Vg genes (NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3) revealed that the open reading frames of NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3 were 5571, 5532 and 4728 bp, encoding 1856, 1843 and 1575 amino acids, respectively. The three N. barkeri Vg possessed the Vitellogenin-N domain (or lipoprotein N-terminal domain (LPD_N)), von Willebrand factor type D domain (VWD) and the domain with unknown function 1943 (DUF1943). The NbVg1 and NbVg2 expression levels were significantly higher in the resistant strain than in the susceptible strain, while the NbVg3 expression level was lower in the resistant strain. Thus, we speculate that the increased number of eggs laid by the fenpropathrin-resistant strain of N. barkeri may be a consequence of changes in Vg gene expression.
The present study investigated alteration of brain resting-state activity induced by antidepressant treatment and attempted to investigate whether treatment efficacy can be predicted at an early stage of pharmacological treatment.
Forty-eight first-episode medication-free patients diagnosed with major depression received treatment with escitalopram. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was administered prior to treatment, 5 h after the first dose, during the course of pharmacological treatment (week 4) and at endpoint (week 8). Resting-state activity was evaluated in the course of the 8-week treatment and in relation to clinical improvement.
Escitalopram dynamically modified resting-state activity in depression during the treatment. After 5 h the antidepressant induced a significant decrease in the signal in the occipital cortex and an increase in the dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and middle cingulate cortex. Furthermore, while remitters demonstrated more obvious changes following treatment, these were more modest in non-responders suggesting possible tonic and dynamic differences in the serotonergic system. Changes after 5 h in the caudate, occipital and temporal cortices were the best predictor of clinical remission at endpoint.
This study revealed the possibility of using the measurement of resting-state neural changes a few hours after acute administration of antidepressant to identify individuals likely to remit after a few weeks of treatment.