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Iron deficiency is common in pregnant and lactating women and is associated with reduced cognitive development of the offspring. Since iron affects lipid metabolism, the availability of fatty acids, particularly the polyunsaturated fatty acids required for early neural development, was investigated in the offspring of female rats fed iron-deficient diets during gestation and lactation. Subsequent to the dams giving birth, one group of iron-deficient dams was recuperated by feeding an iron-replete diet. Dams and neonates were killed on postnatal days 1, 3 and 10, and the fatty acid composition of brain and stomach contents was assessed by gas chromatography. Changes in the fatty acid profile on day 3 became more pronounced on day 10 with a decrease in the proportion of saturated fatty acids and a compensatory increase in monounsaturated fatty acids. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the n-6 family were reduced, but there was no change in the n-3 family. The fatty acid profiles of neonatal brain and stomach contents were similar, suggesting that the change in milk composition may be related to the changes in the neonatal brain. When the dams were fed an iron-sufficient diet at birth, the effects of iron deficiency on the fatty acid composition of lipids in both dam’s milk and neonates’ brains were reduced. This study showed an interaction between maternal iron status and fatty acid composition of the offspring’s brain and suggests that these effects can be reduced by iron repletion of the dam’s diet at birth.
Common mental health problems affect a quarter of the population. Online cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is increasingly used, but the factors modulating response to this treatment modality remain unclear.
This study aims to explore the demographic and clinical predictors of response to one-to-one CBT delivered via the internet.
Real-world clinical outcomes data were collected from 2211 NHS England patients completing a course of CBT delivered by a trained clinician via the internet. Logistic regression analyses were performed using patient and service variables to identify significant predictors of response to treatment.
Multiple patient variables were significantly associated with positive response to treatment including older age, absence of long-term physical comorbidities and lower symptom severity at start of treatment. Service variables associated with positive response to treatment included shorter waiting times for initial assessment and longer treatment durations in terms of the number of sessions.
Knowledge of which patient and service variables are associated with good clinical outcomes can be used to develop personalised treatment programmes, as part of a quality improvement cycle aiming to drive up standards in mental healthcare. This study exemplifies translational research put into practice and deployed at scale in the National Health Service, demonstrating the value of technology-enabled treatment delivery not only in facilitating access to care, but in enabling accelerated data capture for clinical research purposes.
Declaration of interest
A.C., S.B., V.T., K.I., S.F., A.R., A.H. and A.D.B. are employees or board members of the sponsor. S.R.C. consults for Cambridge Cognition and Shire. Keywords: Anxiety disorders; cognitive behavioural therapies; depressive disorders; individual psychotherapy
Serious mental illness (SMI, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder) is associated with worse general health. However, admissions to general hospitals have received little investigation. We sought to delineate frequencies of and causes for non-psychiatric hospital admissions in SMI and compare with the general population in the same area.
Records of 18 380 individuals with SMI aged ⩾20 years in southeast London were linked to hospitalisation data. Age- and gender-standardised admission ratios (SARs) were calculated by primary discharge diagnoses in the 10th edition of the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes, referencing geographic catchment data.
Commonest discharge diagnosis categories in the SMI cohort were urinary conditions, digestive conditions, unclassified symptoms, neoplasms, and respiratory conditions. SARs were raised for most major categories, except neoplasms for a significantly lower risk. Hospitalisation risks were specifically higher for poisoning and external causes, injury, endocrine/metabolic conditions, haematological, neurological, dermatological, infectious and non-specific (‘Z-code’) causes. The five commonest specific ICD-10 diagnoses at discharge were ‘chronic renal failure’ (N18), a non-specific code (Z04), ‘dental caries’ (K02), ‘other disorders of the urinary system’ (N39), and ‘pain in throat and chest’ (R07), all of which were higher than expected (SARs ranging 1.57–6.66).
A range of reasons for non-psychiatric hospitalisation in SMI is apparent, with self-harm, self-neglect and/or reduced healthcare access, and medically unexplained symptoms as potential underlying explanations.
Limitations of access have long restricted exploration and investigation of the cavities beneath ice shelves to a small number of drillholes. Studies of sea-ice underwater morphology are limited largely to scientific utilization of submarines. Remotely operated vehicles, tethered to a mother ship by umbilical cable, have been deployed to investigate tidewater-glacier and ice-shelf margins, but their range is often restricted. The development of free-flying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) with ranges of tens to hundreds of kilometres enables extensive missions to take place beneath sea ice and floating ice shelves. Autosub2 is a 3600 kg, 6.7 m long AUV, with a 1600 m operating depth and range of 400 km, based on the earlier Autosub1 which had a 500 m depth limit. A single direct-drive d.c. motor and five-bladed propeller produce speeds of 1–2 m s−1. Rear-mounted rudder and stern-plane control yaw, pitch and depth. The vehicle has three sections. The front and rear sections are free-flooding, built around aluminium extrusion space-frames covered with glass-fibre reinforced plastic panels. The central section has a set of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic pressure vessels. Four tubes contain batteries powering the vehicle. The other three house vehicle-control systems and sensors. The rear section houses subsystems for navigation, control actuation and propulsion and scientific sensors (e.g. digital camera, upward-looking 300 kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler, 200 kHz multibeam receiver). The front section contains forward-looking collision sensor, emergency abort, the homing systems, Argos satellite data and location transmitters and flashing lights for relocation as well as science sensors (e.g. twin conductivity–temperature–depth instruments, multibeam transmitter, sub-bottom profiler, AquaLab water sampler). Payload restrictions mean that a subset of scientific instruments is actually in place on any given dive. The scientific instruments carried on Autosub are described and examples of observational data collected from each sensor in Arctic or Antarctic waters are given (e.g. of roughness at the underside of floating ice shelves and sea ice).
Mitochondrial dysfunction and resulting changes in adiposity have been observed in the offspring of animals fed a high fat (HF) diet. As iron is an important component of the mitochondria, we have studied the offspring of female rats fed complete (Con) or iron-deficient (FeD) rations for the duration of gestation to test for similar effects. The FeD offspring were ~12% smaller at weaning and remained so because of a persistent reduction in lean tissue mass. The offspring were fed a complete (stock) diet until 52 weeks of age after which some animals from each litter were fed a HF diet for a further 12 weeks. The HF diet increased body fat when compared with animals fed the stock diet, however, prenatal iron deficiency did not change the ratio of fat:lean in either the stock or HF diet groups. The HF diet caused triglyceride to accumulate in the liver, however, there was no effect of prenatal iron deficiency. The activity of the mitochondrial electron transport complexes was similar in all groups including those challenged with a HF diet. HF feeding increased the number of copies of mitochondrial DNA and the prevalence of the D-loop mutation, however, neither parameter was affected by prenatal iron deficiency. This study shows that the effects of prenatal iron deficiency differ from other models in that there is no persistent effect on hepatic mitochondria in aged animals exposed to an increased metabolic load.
Studies are underway concerning the masses of horizontal-branch A stars. Hayes and Philip (1979) discussed masses determined for seven field HB stars using gravities and temperatures obtained from spectrophotometric scans. They found a mean mass of 0.6 M⊙ ± 0.4 for these stars. However, there was a strong trend of mass with temperature. In the present study four-color measures of over 150 FHB and BHB stars have been dereddened and plotted in the grid relating (b-y), c1 and log g, Teff (Philip and Relyea 1979). If one calculates a mean mass, again the figure of 0.6 M⊙ is obtained. A more detailed look at the data, however, reveals structure in the distribution of points in the various diagrams. A discussion of this result follows.
The absolute fluxes and energy distributions of stars are the foundation of the calibration of fundamental effective temperatures and bolometric corrections. In this paper I will review recent progress in the calibration of absolute fluxes and energy distributions in the visual and IR parts of the spectrum. In the visual, the calibration of the absolute flux and energy distribution of Vega has settled down well, and the remaining difficulties include the lack of a worldwide common list of brighter secondary standard stars, the lack of enough satisfactory fainter secondary standard stars and the possibility of variability in Vega. In the IR, the process of arriving at a dependable and accurate calibration, and of linking it to commonly used photometric systems, is in its infancy. A final, and rather special problem, is the question of the calibration of the Sun. The Sun is a special case both because it is so well studied astrophysically and because its extreme brightness makes it very difficult to calibrate photometrically. Some progress has recently been made on the calibration of the absolute flux and energy distribution of the Sun, and I will discuss this work.
The energy distributions of 16 horizontal-branch A-stars and 11 horizontal-branch stars in globular clusters have been measured using the Harvard Scanners at KPNO and CTIO and the Oke multichannel spectrophotometer on the 5-m telescope at Mt. Palomar (Philip and Hayes 1983, Hayes and Philip 1983). Wavelengths between 3400 and 6800 Å were measured and reduced to absolute energy distributions on the system of Hayes and Latham (1975). The internal measuring errors were ± 0.034 mag. per observation for the 15th mag. globular cluster stars and ±0.025 mag. per observation for the 7th to 11th mag. field stars, averaged over all wavelengths. Eleven of the field stars have been observed over nine times each and have low internal measurement errors; these stars plus four globular cluster stars with low internal measurement errors are recommended as secondary standard stars. (See Table I.)
This study examined the response of forage crops to composted dairy waste (compost) applied at low rates and investigated effects on soil health. The evenness of spreading compost by commercial machinery was also assessed. An experiment was established on a commercial dairy farm with target rates of compost up to 5 t ha−1 applied to a field containing millet [Echinochloa esculenta (A. Braun) H. Scholz] and Pasja leafy turnip (Brassica hybrid). A pot experiment was also conducted to monitor the response of a legume forage crop (vetch; Vicia sativa L.) on three soils with equivalent rates of compost up to 20 t ha−1 with and without ‘additive blends’ comprising gypsum, lime or other soil treatments. Few significant increases in forage biomass were observed with the application of low rates of compost in either the field or pot experiment. In the field experiment, compost had little impact on crop herbage mineral composition, soil chemical attributes or soil fungal and bacterial biomass. However, small but significant increases were observed in gravimetric water content resulting in up to 22.4 mm of additional plant available water calculated in the surface 0.45 m of soil, 2 years after compost was applied in the field at 6 t ha−1 dried (7.2 t ha−1 undried), compared with the nil control. In the pot experiment, where the soil was homogenized and compost incorporated into the soil prior to sowing, there were significant differences in mineral composition in herbage and in soil. A response in biomass yield to compost was only observed on the sandier and lower fertility soil type, and yields only exceeded that of the conventional fertilizer treatment where rates equivalent to 20 t ha−1 were applied. With few yield responses observed, the justification for applying low rates of compost to forage crops and pastures seems uncertain. Our collective experience from the field and the glasshouse suggests that farmers might increase the response to compost by: (i) increasing compost application rates; (ii) applying it prior to sowing a crop; (iii) incorporating the compost into the soil; (iv) applying only to responsive soil types; (v) growing only responsive crops; and (vi) reducing weed burdens in crops following application. Commercial machinery incorporating a centrifugal twin disc mechanism was shown to deliver double the quantity of compost in the area immediately behind the spreader compared with the edges of the spreading swathe. Spatial variability in the delivery of compost could be reduced but not eliminated by increased overlapping, but this might represent a potential 20% increase in spreading costs.
We studied neuroinflammation in individuals with late-life, depression, as a
risk factor for dementia, using [11C]PK11195 positron emission
tomography (PET). Five older participants with major depression and 13
controls underwent PET and multimodal 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
with blood taken to measure C-reactive protein (CRP). We found significantly
higher CRP levels in those with late-life depression and raised
[11C]PK11195 binding compared with controls in brain regions
associated with depression, including subgenual anterior cingulate cortex,
and significant hippocampal subfield atrophy in cornu ammonis 1 and
subiculum. Our findings suggest neuroinflammation requires further
investigation in late-life depression, both as a possible aetiological
factor and a potential therapeutic target.
Recent re-evaluations of dietary reference values (DRV) for vitamin D have established intake requirements between 10 and 20 µg/d. National nutrition surveys indicate that habitual mean intakes of vitamin D in the population are typically in the range 3–7 µg/d. As vitamin D supplementation will not be effective at a population level because the uptake is generally low, creative food-based solutions are needed to bridge the gap between current intakes and these new requirement values. The overarching aim of this review is to highlight how food-based solutions can have an important role in bridging this gap and counteracting vitamin D inadequacy in Europe and elsewhere. The present review initially briefly overviews very recent new European DRV for vitamin D and, while not in agreement on requirement estimates, how they point very clearly to the need for food-based solutions. The review discusses the need for traditional fortification of foods in the dairy and other sectors, and finally overviews recent advances in the area of biofortification of food with vitamin D. In conclusion, increasing vitamin D intakes across the population distribution is important from a public health perspective to reduce the high degree of inadequacy of vitamin D intake in Europe. Fortification, including biofortification, of a wider range of foods, which accommodate diversity, is likely to have the potential to increase vitamin D intakes across the population distribution. Research has had, and will continue to have, a key role in terms of developing food-based solutions and tackling vitamin D deficiency.
Cover crops are suites of non-marketable plants grown to improve soil tilth and reduce erosion. Despite these agronomic benefits, the use of cover crops is often limited because they do not provide a direct source of revenue for producers. Integrating livestock to graze cover crops could provide both an expeditious method for cover crop termination and an alternative source of revenue. However, there has been little research on the agronomic impacts of grazing for cover crop termination, especially in horticultural market-gardens. We conducted a 3-year study comparing the effects of sheep grazing to terminate a four species cover crop (buckwheat, sweetclover, peas and beets) with those of mowing on soil quality indicators, cover crop termination efficacy, and subsequent cash-crop yields. In addition, we tested the nutritional quality of the cover crop as forage. Compared with mowing, sheep grazing did not affect soil chemistry, temperature or moisture. Our study demonstrates that sheep grazing removed more cover crop biomass than mowing at termination. The assessment of nutritional indices suggests that the four-species cover crop mixture could provide high-quality forage with a potential value of US$144.00–481.80 ha−1 of direct revenue as a grazing lease. Cash-crop yields did not differ between previously grazed and previously mowed plots in the subsequent growing season. We conclude that integrating sheep grazing into market vegetable garden operations could make cover crops more economically viable without having adverse effects on subsequent cash crops.
Palmer amaranth is a very problematic weed that has evolved resistance to several classes of herbicides, including 5-enolypyruvylshikimate-3-phosate synthase–inhibiting herbicides and photosystem II–inhibiting herbicides. In recent years, corn producers have had difficulty controlling large Palmer amaranth (> 20 cm) in corn > 30 cm whether it be due to environmental conditions or management failures. Palmer amaranth management in corn this tall is made even more challenging because atrazine is not labeled POST in corn > 30 cm tall. Therefore, a study was conducted in 2013 and 2014 in Jackson, TN, to evaluate herbicide programs in corn > 30 cm tall for the control of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth > 20 cm tall. Treatments consisted of herbicides applied alone and in mixtures with dicamba plus diflufenzopyr. Herbicides were applied POST to corn between the V5 and V6 growth stages. Dicamba plus diflufenzopyr 28 d after application controlled Palmer amaranth > 87%. The herbicides alone or in combinations applied as tank mixtures did not improve control (< 76%) over dicamba plus diflufenzopyr alone. There were no grain-yield differences among treatments because of Palmer amaranth control. This was likely due to the Palmer amaranth competition having already affected corn yield by the V5 to V6 corn growth stages.
There are no existing longitudinal studies of inflammatory markers and atopic disorders in childhood and risk of hypomanic symptoms in adulthood. This study examined if childhood: (1) serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP); and (2) asthma and/or eczema are associated with features of hypomania in young adulthood.
Participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective general population UK birth cohort, had non-fasting blood samples for IL-6 and CRP measurement at the age of 9 years (n = 4645), and parents answered a question about doctor-diagnosed atopic illness before the age of 10 years (n = 7809). These participants completed the Hypomania Checklist at age 22 years (n = 3361).
After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic status, past psychological and behavioural problems, body mass index and maternal postnatal depression, participants in the top third of IL-6 values at 9 years, compared with the bottom third, had an increased risk of hypomanic symptoms by age 22 years [adjusted odds ratio 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–2.85, p < 0.001]. Higher IL-6 levels in childhood were associated with adult hypomania features in a dose–response fashion. After further adjustment for depression at the age of 18 years this association remained (adjusted odds ratio 1.70, 95% CI 1.03–2.81, p = 0.038). There was no evidence of an association of hypomanic symptoms with CRP levels, asthma or eczema in childhood.
Higher levels of systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 in childhood were associated with hypomanic symptoms in young adulthood, suggesting that inflammation may play a role in the pathophysiology of mania. Inflammatory pathways may be suitable targets for the prevention and intervention for bipolar disorder.