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Jaswal & Akhtar provide several quotes ostensibly from people with autism but obtained via the discredited techniques of Facilitated Communication and the Rapid Prompting Method, and they do not acknowledge the use of these techniques. As a result, their argument is substantially less convincing than they assert, and the article lacks transparency.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
The unique and diverse physico-chemical properties of nanoscale materials suggest that their toxicological properties may differ from materials of similar composition but larger size. Studies suggest that particle size, surface area and surface chemistry of engineered nanoscale materials can impact toxicity equally, if not more so, than chemical composition. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) (ntp.niehs.nih.gov) is a multi agency program headquartered at the NIEHS that coordinates toxicology research and testing programs within the federal government and conducts research to provide information about potentially toxic chemicals to health, regulatory, and research agencies, scientific and medical communities, and the public. The NTP is currently engaged in a research program that is evaluating the toxicological properties of current major nanoscale materials classes. These materials represent a cross-section of composition, size, surface coatings, and physico-chemical properties. The studies are designed to investigate fundamental questions concerning how nanoscale materials are absorbed and distributed in vivo and whether they can adversely impact biological systems. Some of these fundamental questions include: What are the appropriate methods for detection and quantification of nanoscale particles in tissues? How are nanoscale materials absorbed, distributed in the body and taken up by cells? Are there novel toxicological interactions? The NTP's nanotechnology safety initiative (http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/nanotech) is focusing research with respect to specific types or groups of nanoscale materials: Non-medical, commercially relevant/available nanoscale materials to which humans are intentionally being exposed, e.g., cosmetics and sunscreens; Nanoscale materials representing specific classes (e.g., fullerenes and metal oxides) so that information can be extrapolated to other members of those classes; Subsets of nanomaterials to test specific hypotheses about a key physiochemical parameter (e.g., size, composition, shape, or surface chemistry) that might be related to biological activity. Ongoing research activities are addressing (1) the fate and distribution of nanoscale metal oxides and quantum dots in the body following their dermal application to rodents with attention given to the role of surface coating, size, polarity, vehicle, and skin condition on the ability of nanoscale TiO2 to penetrate the skin; (2) whether nanoscale TiO2 and ZnO applied dermally to mice in combination with UVA-containing light affects cell signaling, and (3) the potential for TiO2 applied dermally to haired and hairless mice in combination with UV-containing light to cause skin cancer.
Perceptions of social-contextual food environments and associated factors that influence food purchases are understudied in American Indian (AI) communities. The purpose of the present study was to: (i) understand the perceived local food environment; (ii) investigate social-contextual factors that influence family food-purchasing choices; and (iii) identify diet intervention strategies.
This qualitative study consisted of focus groups with primary household shoppers and key-informant interviews with food retailers, local government food assistance programme directors and a dietitian. An inductive, constant comparison approach was used to identify major themes.
A large AI reservation community in the north-central USA.
Four focus groups (n 31) and seven key-informant interviews were conducted in February and May 2016.
Perceptions of both the higher cost of healthy foods and limited access to these foods influenced the types of foods participants purchased. Dependence on government assistance programmes and the timing of benefits also contributed to the types of foods purchased. Participants described purchasing foods based on the dietary needs and preferences of their children. Suggestions for improving the purchase and consumption of healthy foods included: culturally relevant and family-centred cooking classes and workshops focused on monthly food budgeting. Participants also emphasized the importance of involving the entire community in healthy eating initiatives.
Cost and access were the major perceived barriers to healthy eating in this large rural AI community. Recommended interventions included: (i) family-friendly and culturally relevant cooking classes; (ii) healthy food-budgeting skills training; and (iii) approaches that engage the entire community.
Children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders are at elevated risk for a range of behavioral and emotional problems. However, as the usual reporter of psychopathology in children is the parent, reports of early problems in children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders may be biased by the parents' own experience of mental illness and their mental state.
Independent observers rated psychopathology using the Test Observation Form in 378 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 24 (mean = 11.01, s.d. = 4.40) who had a parent with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or no history of mood and psychotic disorders.
Observed attentional problems were elevated in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (effect sizes ranging between 0.31 and 0.56). Oppositional behavior and language/thought problems showed variable degrees of elevation (effect sizes 0.17 to 0.57) across the three high-risk groups, with the greatest difficulties observed in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Observed anxiety was increased in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (effect sizes 0.19 and 0.25 respectively) but not in offspring of parents with schizophrenia.
Our results suggest that externalizing problems and cognitive and language difficulties may represent a general manifestation of familial risk for mood and psychotic disorders, while anxiety may be a specific marker of liability for mood disorders. Observer assessment may improve early identification of risk and selection of youth who may benefit from targeted prevention.
Maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum predicts later emotional and behavioural problems in children. Even though most perinatal mental health problems begin before pregnancy, the consequences of preconception maternal mental health for children's early emotional development have not been prospectively studied.
We used data from two prospective Australian intergenerational cohorts, with 756 women assessed repeatedly for mental health problems before pregnancy between age 13 and 29 years, and during pregnancy and at 1 year postpartum for 1231 subsequent pregnancies. Offspring infant emotional reactivity, an early indicator of differential sensitivity denoting increased risk of emotional problems under adversity, was assessed at 1 year postpartum.
Thirty-seven percent of infants born to mothers with persistent preconception mental health problems were categorised as high in emotional reactivity, compared to 23% born to mothers without preconception history (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.1). Ante- and postnatal maternal depressive symptoms were similarly associated with infant emotional reactivity, but these perinatal associations reduced somewhat after adjustment for prior exposure. Causal mediation analysis further showed that 88% of the preconception risk was a direct effect, not mediated by perinatal exposure.
Maternal preconception mental health problems predict infant emotional reactivity, independently of maternal perinatal mental health; while associations between perinatal depressive symptoms and infant reactivity are partially explained by prior exposure. Findings suggest that processes shaping early vulnerability for later mental disorders arise well before conception. There is an emerging case for expanding developmental theories and trialling preventive interventions in the years before pregnancy.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
After five positive randomized controlled trials showed benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke with emergent large-vessel occlusion, a multi-society meeting was organized during the 17th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in October 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. This multi-society meeting was dedicated to establish standards of practice in acute ischemic stroke intervention aiming for a consensus on the minimum requirements for centers providing such treatment. In an ideal situation, all patients would be treated at a center offering a full spectrum of neuroendovascular care (a level 1 center). However, for geographical reasons, some patients are unable to reach such a center in a reasonable period of time. With this in mind, the group paid special attention to define recommendations on the prerequisites of organizing stroke centers providing medical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but not for other neurovascular diseases (level 2 centers). Finally, some centers will have a stroke unit and offer intravenous thrombolysis, but not any endovascular stroke therapy (level 3 centers). Together, these level 1, 2, and 3 centers form a complete stroke system of care. The multi-society group provides recommendations and a framework for the development of medical thrombectomy services worldwide.
Self-harm in young people is associated with later problems in social and emotional development. However, it is unknown whether self-harm in young women continues to be a marker of vulnerability on becoming a parent. This study prospectively describes the associations between pre-conception self-harm, maternal depressive symptoms and mother–infant bonding problems.
The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS) is a follow-up to the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) in Australia. Socio-demographic and health variables were assessed at 10 time-points (waves) from ages 14 to 35, including self-reported self-harm at waves 3–9. VIHCS enrolment began in 2006 (when participants were aged 28–29 years), by contacting VAHCS women every 6 months to identify pregnancies over a 7-year period. Perinatal depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale during the third trimester, and 2 and 12 months postpartum. Mother–infant bonding problems were assessed with the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire at 2 and 12 months postpartum.
Five hundred sixty-four pregnancies from 384 women were included. One in 10 women (9.7%) reported pre-conception self-harm. Women who reported self-harming in young adulthood (ages 20–29) reported higher levels of perinatal depressive symptoms and mother–infant bonding problems at all perinatal time points [perinatal depressive symptoms adjusted β = 5.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.42–7.39; mother–infant bonding problems adjusted β = 7.51, 95% CI 3.09–11.92]. There was no evidence that self-harm in adolescence (ages 15–17) was associated with either perinatal outcome.
Self-harm during young adulthood may be an indicator of future vulnerability to perinatal mental health and mother–infant bonding problems.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
We shall be concerned at first with some properties of the solutions of the matrix differential equation
is an n × n symmetric matrix whose elements are continuous real-valued functions for 0 < x < ∞, and Y(x) = (yij(x)), Y″(x) = (y″ ij(x)) are n × n matrices. It is clear such equations possess solutions for 0 < x < ∞, since one can reduce them to a first-order system and then apply known existence theorems (6, Chapter 1).
Enhanced odor sensitivity, particularly toward threat-related cues, may be adaptive during periods of danger. Research also suggests that chronic psychological distress may lead to functional changes in the olfactory system that cause heightened sensitivity to odors. Yet, the association between self-reported odor sensitivity, objective odor detection, and affective psychopathology is currently unclear, and research suggests that persons with affective problems may only be sensitive to specific, threat-related odors.
The current study compared adults with self-reported odor sensitivity that was described as functionally impairing (OSI; n = 32) to those who reported odor sensitivity that was non-impairing (OS; n = 17) on affective variables as well as quantitative odor detection.
Increased anxiety sensitivity, trait anxiety, depression, and life stress, even while controlling for comorbid anxiety and depressive disorders, was found for OSI compared to OS. While OSI, compared to OS, demonstrated only a trend increase in objective odor detection of a smoke-like, but not rose-like, odor, further analysis revealed that increased detection of that smoke-like odor was positively correlated with anxiety sensitivity.
These findings suggest that persons with various forms of psychological distress may find themselves significantly impaired by an intolerance of odors, but that self-reported odor sensitivity does not necessarily relate to enhanced odor detection ability. However, increased sensitivity to a smoke-like odor appears to be associated with sensitivity to aversive anxiogenic stimuli. Implications for the pathophysiology of fear- and anxiety-related disorders are discussed.
Theorists and researchers have linked resilience with a host of positive psychological and physical health outcomes. This paper examines perceptions of resilience and physical health symptoms in a sample of individuals exposed to multiple community disasters following involvement in integrated mental health services.
A multiwave naturalistic design was used to follow 762 adult clinic patients (72% female; 28% minority status), ages 18-92 years (mean age=40 years), who were evaluated for resilience and physical health symptoms prior to receiving services and at 1, 3, and 6 months’ follow-up.
Data indicated increases in perceptions of resilience and decreased physical health symptoms reported over time. Results also indicated that resilience predicted physical health symptoms, such that resilience and physical health symptoms were negatively associated (ie, improved resilience was associated with decreases in physical health symptoms). These effects were primarily observed for those individuals with previous exposure to natural disasters.
Findings provide correlational evidence for behavioral health treatment provided as part of a stepped-care, collaborative model in reducing physical health symptoms and increasing resilience post-disaster. Controlled trials are warranted. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:223–229)