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Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Structure and optical properties have been successfully determined for a series of niobium- and tantalum-containing layered alkaline-earth silicate compounds, Ba3(Nb6−xTax)Si4O26 (x = 0.6, 1.8, 3.0, 4.2, 5.4). The structure of this solid solution was found to be hexagonal P-62m (No. 189), with Z = 1. With x increases from 0.6 to 5.4, the lattice parameter a increases from 8.98804(8) to 9.00565(9) Å and c decreases from 7.83721(10) to 7.75212(12) Å. As a result, the volume decreases from 548.304(11) to 544.479(14) Å3. The (Nb/Ta)O6 distorted octahedra form continuous chains along the c-axis. These (Nb/Ta)O6 chains are in turn linked with the Si2O7 groups to form distorted pentagonal channels in which Ba ions were found. These Ba2+ ions have full occupancy and a 13-fold coordination environment with neighboring oxygen sites. Another salient feature of the structure is the linear Si–O–Si chains. When x in Ba3(Nb6−xTax)Si4O26 increases, the bond valence sum (BVS) values of the Ba sites increase slightly (2.09–2.20), indicating the size of the cage becoming progressively smaller (over-bonding). While SiO cages are also slightly smaller than ideal (BVS range from 4.16 to 4.19), the (Nb/Ta)O6 octahedral cages are slightly larger than ideal (BVS range from 4.87 to 4.90), giving rise to an under-bonding situation. The bandgaps of the solid solution members were measured between 3.39 and 3.59 eV, and the x = 3.0 member was modeled by density functional theory techniques to be 3.07 eV. The bandgaps of these materials indicate that they are potential candidates for ultraviolet photocatalyst.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Determining infectious cross-transmission events in healthcare settings involves manual surveillance of case clusters by infection control personnel, followed by strain typing of clinical/environmental isolates suspected in said clusters. Recent advances in genomic sequencing and cloud computing now allow for the rapid molecular typing of infecting isolates.
To facilitate rapid recognition of transmission clusters, we aimed to assess infection control surveillance using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial pathogens to identify cross-transmission events for epidemiologic review.
Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were obtained prospectively at an academic medical center, from September 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Isolate genomes were sequenced, followed by single-nucleotide variant analysis; a cloud-computing platform was used for whole-genome sequence analysis and cluster identification.
Most strains of the 4 studied pathogens were unrelated, and 34 potential transmission clusters were present. The characteristics of the potential clusters were complex and likely not identifiable by traditional surveillance alone. Notably, only 1 cluster had been suspected by routine manual surveillance.
Our work supports the assertion that integration of genomic and clinical epidemiologic data can augment infection control surveillance for both the identification of cross-transmission events and the inclusion of missed and exclusion of misidentified outbreaks (ie, false alarms). The integration of clinical data is essential to prioritize suspect clusters for investigation, and for existing infections, a timely review of both the clinical and WGS results can hold promise to reduce HAIs. A richer understanding of cross-transmission events within healthcare settings will require the expansion of current surveillance approaches.
Objectives: We assessed trends in the incidence, prevalence, and post-diagnosis mortality of parkinsonism in Ontario, Canada over 18 years. We also explored the influence of a range of risk factors for brain health on the trend of incident parkinsonism. Methods: We established an open cohort by linking population-based health administrative databases from 1996 to 2014 in Ontario. The study population comprised residents aged 20–100 years with an incident diagnosis of parkinsonism ascertained using a validated algorithm. We calculated age- and sex-standardized incidence, prevalence, and mortality of parkinsonism, stratified by young onset (20–39 years) and mid/late onset (≥40 years). We assessed trends in incidence using Poisson regression, mortality using negative binomial regression, and prevalence of parkinsonism and pre-existing conditions (e.g., head injury) using the Cochran–Armitage trend test. To better understand trends in the incidence of mid/late-onset parkinsonism, we adjusted for various pre-existing conditions in the Poisson regression model. Results: From 1996 to 2014, we identified 73,129 incident cases of parkinsonism (source population of ∼10.5 million), of whom 56% were male, mean age at diagnosis was 72.6 years, and 99% had mid/late-onset parkinsonism. Over 18 years, the age- and sex-standardized incidence decreased by 13.0% for mid/late-onset parkinsonism but remained unchanged for young-onset parkinsonism. The age- and sex-standardized prevalence increased by 22.8%, while post-diagnosis mortality decreased by 5.5%. Adjustment for pre-existing conditions did not appreciably explain the declining incidence of mid/late-onset parkinsonism. Conclusion: Young-onset and mid/late-onset parkinsonism exhibited differing trends in incidence over 18 years in Ontario. Further research to identify other factors that may appreciably explain trends in incident parkinsonism is warranted.
We present observations of 50 deg2 of the Mopra carbon monoxide (CO) survey of the Southern Galactic Plane, covering Galactic longitudes l = 300–350° and latitudes |b| ⩽ 0.5°. These data have been taken at 0.6 arcmin spatial resolution and 0.1 km s−1spectral resolution, providing an unprecedented view of the molecular clouds and gas of the Southern Galactic Plane in the 109–115 GHz J = 1–0 transitions of 12CO, 13CO, C18O, and C17O.
We present a series of velocity-integrated maps, spectra, and position-velocity plots that illustrate Galactic arm structures and trace masses on the order of ~106 M⊙ deg−2, and include a preliminary catalogue of C18O clumps located between l = 330–340°. Together with the information about the noise statistics of the survey, these data can be retrieved from the Mopra CO website and the PASA data store.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
On 1 December 2011 the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide ice-core project reached its final depth of 3405 m. The WAIS Divide ice core is not only the longest US ice core to date, but is also the highest-quality deep ice core, including ice from the brittle ice zone, that the US has ever recovered. The methods used at WAIS Divide to handle and log the drilled ice, the procedures used to safely retrograde the ice back to the US National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) and the methods used to process and sample the ice at the NICL are described and discussed.
Appropriate selection of tongue cancer patients considering surgery is critical in ensuring optimal outcomes. The American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (‘ACS-NSQIP’) risk calculator was developed to assess patients' 30-day post-operative risk, providing surgeons with information to guide decision making.
A retrospective review of 30-day actual mortality and morbidity of tongue cancer patients was undertaken to investigate the validity of this tool for South Australian patients treated from 2005 to 2015.
One hundred and twenty patients had undergone glossectomy. Predicted length of stay using the risk calculator was significantly different from actual length of stay. Predicted mortality and other complications were found to be similar to actual outcomes.
The American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program risk calculator was found to be effective in predicting post-operative complication rates in South Australian tongue cancer patients. However, significant discrepancies in predicted and actual length of stay may limit its use in this population.
As the consciousness of energy saving and carbon reduction and comfortable environment is paid increasing attention to, the common objective of various countries with decreasing energy is to develop and popularize high efficiency and low running noise blowers. This study uses CFD to calculate the flow field and performance of a blower and compare with the experimental measurement. The characteristic curve of blower shows that the simulated and experimental values are close to each other, the difference between the values is only 0.4%. This analysis result proofs the CFD package is a highly reliable tool for the future blower design improvement. In addition, this study discusses the noise distribution of blower flow field, the periodic pressure output value calculated by CFD is used in the sound source input of sound pressure field, so as to simulate and analyze the aerodynamic noise reading of the flow field around the blower. The result shows that the simulated value of flow field around the fan has as high as 80.5 dB(A) ∼ 81.5 dB(A) noise level and is agree with measurement (82 dB(A)). The noise level is low but has a sharp noise. According to the numerical results, designer of the blower modify the tongue geometry and remove the sharp noise.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and identifying effective treatment strategies is crucial for the control of depression. Well-conducted systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses can provide the best evidence for supporting treatment decision-making. Nevertheless, the trustworthiness of conclusions can be limited by lack of methodological rigour. This study aims to assess the methodological quality of a representative sample of SRs on depression treatments.
A cross-sectional study on the bibliographical and methodological characteristics of SRs published on depression treatments trials was conducted. Two electronic databases (the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects) were searched for potential SRs. SRs with at least one meta-analysis on the effects of depression treatments were considered eligible. The methodological quality of included SRs was assessed using the validated AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool. The associations between bibliographical characteristics and scoring on AMSTAR items were analysed using logistic regression analysis.
A total of 358 SRs were included and appraised. Over half of included SRs (n = 195) focused on non-pharmacological treatments and harms were reported in 45.5% (n = 163) of all studies. Studies varied in methods and reporting practices: only 112 (31.3%) took the risk of bias among primary studies into account when formulating conclusions; 245 (68.4%) did not fully declare conflict of interests; 93 (26.0%) reported an ‘a priori’ design and 104 (29.1%) provided lists of both included and excluded studies. Results from regression analyses showed: more recent publications were more likely to report ‘a priori’ designs [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.57], to describe study characteristics fully (AOR 1.16, 95% CI 1.06–1.28), and to assess presence of publication bias (AOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.19), but were less likely to list both included and excluded studies (AOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.81–0.92). SRs published in journals with higher impact factor (AOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04–1.25), completed by more review authors (AOR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01–1.24) and SRs on non-pharmacological treatments (AOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.01–2.59) were associated with better performance in publication bias assessment.
The methodological quality of included SRs is disappointing. Future SRs should strive to improve rigour by considering of risk of bias when formulating conclusions, reporting conflict of interests and authors should explicitly describe harms. SR authors should also use appropriate methods to combine the results, prevent language and publication biases, and ensure timely updates.
Screening for depression in older adults is recommended.
To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the Two-Question Screen for older adults and compare it with other screening instruments for depression.
We undertook a literature search for studies assessing the diagnostic performance of depression screening instruments in older adults. Combined diagnostic accuracy including sensitivity and specificity were the primary outcomes. Potential risks of bias and the quality of studies were also assessed.
A total of 46506 participants from 132 studies were identified evaluating 16 screening instruments. The majority of studies (63/132) used various versions of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and 6 used the Two-Question Screen. The combined sensitivity and specificity for the Two-Question Screen were 91.8% (95% CI 85.2–95.6) and 67.7% (95% CI 58.1–76.0), respectively; the diagnostic performance area under the curve (AUC) was 90%. The Two-Question Screen showed comparable performance with other instruments, including clinician-rated scales. The One-Question Screen showed the lowest diagnostic performance with an AUC of 78%. In subgroup analysis, the Two-Question Screen also had good diagnostic performance in screening for major depressive disorder.
The Two-Question Screen is a simple and short instrument for depression screening. Its diagnostic performance is comparable with other instruments and, therefore, it would be favourable to use it for older adult screening programmes.
Phenomenological and mechanistic models are widely used to assist resource planning for pandemics and emerging infections. We conducted a systematic review, to compare methods and outputs of published phenomenological and mechanistic modelling studies pertaining to the 2013–2016 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemics in four West African countries – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. We searched Pubmed, Embase and Scopus databases for relevant English language publications up to December 2015. Of the 874 articles identified, 41 met our inclusion criteria. We evaluated these selected studies based on: the sources of the case data used, and modelling approaches, compartments used, population mixing assumptions, model fitting and calibration approaches, sensitivity analysis used and data bias considerations. We synthesised results of the estimated epidemiological parameters: basic reproductive number (R0), serial interval, latent period, infectious period and case fatality rate, and examined their relationships. The median of the estimated mean R0 values were between 1·30 and 1·84 in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Much higher R0 value of 9·01 was described for Nigeria. We investigated several issues with uncertainty around EVD modes of transmission, and unknown observation biases from early reported case data. We found that epidemic models offered R0 mean estimates which are country-specific, but these estimates are not associating with the use of several key disease parameters within the plausible ranges. We find simple models generally yielded similar estimates of R0 compared with more complex models. Models that accounted for data uncertainty issues have offered a higher case forecast compared with actual case observation. Simple model which offers transparency to public health policy makers could play a critical role for advising rapid policy decisions under an epidemic emergency.
Default mode network (DMN) is vulnerable to the effects of APOE genotype. Given the reduced brain volumes and APOE ε 4-related brain changes in elderly carriers, it is less known that whether these changes would influence the functional connectivity and to what extent. This study aimed to examine the functional connectivity within DMN, and its diagnostic value with age-related morphometric alterations considered.
Whole brain and seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis were conducted in cognitively normal APOE ε 4 carriers and matched non-carriers (N=38). The absolute values of mean correlation coefficients (z-values) were used as a measure of functional connectivity strength (FCS) between DMN subregions, which were also used to estimate their diagnostic value by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
APOE ε 4 carriers demonstrated decreased interhemispheric FCS, particularly between right hippocampal formation (R.HF) and left inferior parietal lobular (L.IPL) (t=3.487, p<0.001). ROC analysis showed that the FCS of R.HF and L.IPL could differentiate APOE ε 4 carriers from healthy counterparts (AUC value=0.734, p=0.025). Moreover, after adjusting the impact of morphometry, the differentiated value of FCS of R.HF and L.IPL was markedly improved (AUC value=0.828, p=0.002).
Our findings suggest that APOE ε 4 allele affects the functional connectivity within posterior DMN, particularly the atrophy-corrected interhemispheric FCS before the clinical expression of neurodegenerative disease.
Carbon isotope ratios were measured in organic and inorganic carbon of settling particulate matter collected with a sediment trap at Ocean Station “P” in the Gulf of Alaska from March to October, 1983. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIG) in surface sea water collected during two different seasons in 1984 were analyzed using large gas proportional counters and revealed a minimum seasonal Δ14C variation of 14‰. Results show that the Δ14C of calcium carbonate scdimenting to the deep sea is the same as that measured in surface water DIC. In contrast, particulate organic carbon (POC) had significantly higher Δ14C values (by 25–70‰) than that in surface water DIC. Also, the δ13C of the POC was markedly lower than previously reported values from other trap stations and marine particulate matter in general. Results from this study suggest that a significant amount of the POC settling to the deep sea at this pelagic station is of terrestrial origin, not strictly of marine origin as had previously been believed.
Late-life depression (LLD) in the elderly was reported to present with emotion dysregulation accompanied by high perceived loneliness. Previous research has suggested that LLD is a disorder of connectivity and is associated with aberrant network properties. On the other hand, perceived loneliness is found to adversely affect the brain, but little is known about its neurobiological basis in LLD. The current study investigated the relationships between the structural connectivity, functional connectivity during affective processing, and perceived loneliness in LLD.
The current study included 54 participants aged >60 years of whom 31 were diagnosed with LLD. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of an affective processing task were collected. Network-based statistics and graph theory techniques were applied, and the participants’ perceived loneliness and depression level were measured. The affective processing task included viewing affective stimuli.
Structurally, a loneliness-related sub-network was identified across all subjects. Functionally, perceived loneliness was related to connectivity differently in LLD than that in controls when they were processing negative stimuli, with aberrant networking in subcortical area.
Perceived loneliness was identified to have a unique role in relation to the negative affective processing in LLD at the functional brain connectional and network levels. The findings increas our understanding of LLD and provide initial evidence of the neurobiological mechanisms of loneliness in LLD. Loneliness might be a potential intervention target in depressive patients.
A key question in studies of mass extinctions is whether the extinction was a sudden or gradual event. This question may be addressed by examining the locations of fossil occurrences in a stratigraphic section. However, the fossil record can be consistent with both sudden and gradual extinctions. Rather than being limited to rejecting or not rejecting a particular scenario, ideally we should estimate the range of extinction scenarios that is consistent with the fossil record. In other words, rather than testing the simplified distinction of “sudden versus gradual,” we should be asking, “How gradual?”
In this paper we answer the question “How gradual could the extinction have been?” by developing a confidence interval for the duration of a mass extinction. We define the duration of the extinction as the time or stratigraphic thickness between the first and last taxon to go extinct, which we denote by Δ. For example, we would like to be able to say with 90% confidence that the extinction took place over a duration of 0.3 to 1.1 million years, or 24 to 57 meters of stratigraphic thickness. Our method does not deny the possibility of a truly simultaneous extinction; rather, in this framework, a simultaneous extinction is one whose value of Δ is equal to zero years or meters.
We present an algorithm to derive such estimates and show that it produces valid confidence intervals. We illustrate its use with data from Late Permian ostracodes from Meishan, China, and Late Cretaceous ammonites from Seymour Island, Antarctica.
Jupiter’s microwave emission was observed throughout the SL9 impact period by many different telescopes, among which the NRAO 140-foot telescope in Green Bank (21 cm), Westerbork (92 cm), Effelsberg (6, 11 cm), Parkes (21 cm), NASA DSN (13 cm), and the Very Large Array (22, 90 cm). We determined the “average” total nonthermal flux density from the planet after having subtracted the thermal contribution, following the formulation by de Pater and Klein, (1989) and Klein et al., (1989). The flux density increased typically by 40-50% at 6 cm wavelength, 27% at 11-13 cm, 22%at 21 cm and 10-15% at 90 cm. Thus the radio spectrum hardened considerably during the week of cometary impacts. Following the week of cometary impacts, the flux density began to subside at all wavelength.
VLA images show the brightness distribution of the planet; a comparison of images taken before and during the week of impacts show marked changes in the brightness distribution. At a central meridian longitude λIII≈ 110°, the left side of the belts increased considerably and moved inwards by ~ 0.2 RJ. This suggests that the increase in flux density is caused by energization of the resident particle population.