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Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) has been associated with depression and can have an impact on quality of life. Therefore, researchers have suggested the potential utility of psychological interventions for targeting depression among CSU patients. Psychological interventions that may hold the most promise are those that are brief and easily transportable, such as brief behavioural activation treatment for depression. We report results of a preliminary investigation of an uncontrolled open trial of a one-session behavioural activation treatment for depression designed for patients with CSU (BATD-CSU) at a university-based allergy and immunology clinic. Participants were 11 females with chronic, poorly controlled urticaria and symptoms of depression. Following the completion of pretreatment questionnaires, participants were administered BATD-CSU primarily by non-mental health professionals trained and supervised in its delivery. One month post-BATD-CSU, participants completed follow-up questionnaires. Participants exhibited significant reductions in depression severity, avoidance/rumination, and work/school impairment. BATD-CSU was also associated with improvements in urticaria control one month post-treatment. Moreover, five of nine patients reported reliable and clinically significant improvement on at least one outcome. Results demonstrate that BATD-CSU may have benefits for CSU patients even when consisting of one session and delivered by professionals with limited background in psychological interventions, thus speaking to its feasibility and transportability.
We present a multi-frequency study of the intermediate spiral SAB(r)bc type galaxy NGC 6744, using available data from the Chandra X-Ray telescope, radio continuum data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array and Murchison Widefield Array, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared observations. We identify 117 X-ray sources and 280 radio sources. Of these, we find nine sources in common between the X-ray and radio catalogues, one of which is a faint central black hole with a bolometric radio luminosity similar to the Milky Way’s central black hole. We classify 5 objects as supernova remnant (SNR) candidates, 2 objects as likely SNRs, 17 as H ii regions, 1 source as an AGN; the remaining 255 radio sources are categorised as background objects and one X-ray source is classified as a foreground star. We find the star-formation rate (SFR) of NGC 6744 to be in the range 2.8–4.7 M⊙~yr − 1 signifying the galaxy is still actively forming stars. The specific SFR of NGC 6744 is greater than that of late-type spirals such as the Milky Way, but considerably less that that of a typical starburst galaxy.
We present a model for the force acting to fragment a biofilm-seeded microbial aggregate in shear flow, which we derive by coupling an existing model for the shape and orientation of a deforming ellipsoid with one for the surface force density on a solid ellipsoid. The model can be used to simulate the motion, shape, surface force density, and breakage of colloidal aggregates in shear flow. We apply the model to the case of exhaustive fragmentation of microbial aggregates in order to compute a post-fragmentation density function, indicating the likelihood of a fragmenting aggregate yielding daughter aggregates of a certain size.
A substantial proportion of persons with mental disorders seek treatment from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professionals. However, data on how CAM contacts vary across countries, mental disorders and their severity, and health care settings is largely lacking. The aim was therefore to investigate the prevalence of contacts with CAM providers in a large cross-national sample of persons with 12-month mental disorders.
In the World Mental Health Surveys, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to determine the presence of past 12 month mental disorders in 138 801 participants aged 18–100 derived from representative general population samples. Participants were recruited between 2001 and 2012. Rates of self-reported CAM contacts for each of the 28 surveys across 25 countries and 12 mental disorder groups were calculated for all persons with past 12-month mental disorders. Mental disorders were grouped into mood disorders, anxiety disorders or behavioural disorders, and further divided by severity levels. Satisfaction with conventional care was also compared with CAM contact satisfaction.
An estimated 3.6% (standard error 0.2%) of persons with a past 12-month mental disorder reported a CAM contact, which was two times higher in high-income countries (4.6%; standard error 0.3%) than in low- and middle-income countries (2.3%; standard error 0.2%). CAM contacts were largely comparable for different disorder types, but particularly high in persons receiving conventional care (8.6–17.8%). CAM contacts increased with increasing mental disorder severity. Among persons receiving specialist mental health care, CAM contacts were reported by 14.0% for severe mood disorders, 16.2% for severe anxiety disorders and 22.5% for severe behavioural disorders. Satisfaction with care was comparable with respect to CAM contacts (78.3%) and conventional care (75.6%) in persons that received both.
CAM contacts are common in persons with severe mental disorders, in high-income countries, and in persons receiving conventional care. Our findings support the notion of CAM as largely complementary but are in contrast to suggestions that this concerns person with only mild, transient complaints. There was no indication that persons were less satisfied by CAM visits than by receiving conventional care. We encourage health care professionals in conventional settings to openly discuss the care patients are receiving, whether conventional or not, and their reasons for doing so.
The treatment gap between the number of people with mental disorders and the number treated represents a major public health challenge. We examine this gap by socio-economic status (SES; indicated by family income and respondent education) and service sector in a cross-national analysis of community epidemiological survey data.
Data come from 16 753 respondents with 12-month DSM-IV disorders from community surveys in 25 countries in the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. DSM-IV anxiety, mood, or substance disorders and treatment of these disorders were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Only 13.7% of 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI cases in lower-middle-income countries, 22.0% in upper-middle-income countries, and 36.8% in high-income countries received treatment. Highest-SES respondents were somewhat more likely to receive treatment, but this was true mostly for specialty mental health treatment, where the association was positive with education (highest treatment among respondents with the highest education and a weak association of education with treatment among other respondents) but non-monotonic with income (somewhat lower treatment rates among middle-income respondents and equivalent among those with high and low incomes).
The modest, but nonetheless stronger, an association of education than income with treatment raises questions about a financial barriers interpretation of the inverse association of SES with treatment, although future within-country analyses that consider contextual factors might document other important specifications. While beyond the scope of this report, such an expanded analysis could have important implications for designing interventions aimed at increasing mental disorder treatment among socio-economically disadvantaged people.
Grazing experiments have shown that using a ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) variety bred by conventional techniques for high water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentrations can improve liveweight gain in pre-weaned lambs (Lee et al., 2001) and increase milk yields and reduce N excretion in dairy cows (Miller et al., 2001) compared to conventional ryegrass. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of using reseeded upland pastures, sown with either a ryegrass variety bred for elevated levels of WSC or a control ryegrass on the production performance of grazing steers when compared to steers grazing permanent ryegrass/white clover pastures.
Livestock farming is a traditional and important contributor to the rural economy in the hills and uplands of the UK. However, significant areas of the uplands have seen a decline in the condition of heath and mire habitats and the loss of dwarf shrubs as a result of over-grazing. Attempts to halt the decline and improve the condition of upland heath and mire habitats have been undertaken by the introduction of agri-environment schemes. In the main, such schemes rely on the reduction of sheep numbers. However, recent Defra funded research (LS1508) has indicated that this can result in dominance by competitive and/or unpalatable species such as purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea ) or mat-grass (Nardus stricta ), leading in time to a reduction in the physical and financial performance of the flock. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of cattle grazing on Nardus stricta dominated pasture on sheep and cattle performance. It is being carried out as part of a wider project to determine environmentally sustainable and economically viable grazing systems for heather moorland.
The overall objective of our work is to assess the relative contributions of plant enzymes and rumen microbes to rumen degradation of freshly-ingested herbage. In situ techniques have been used extensively to compare rumen degradation characteristics of feeds, though there remain technical problems associated with microbial contamination of residues after incubation. We hypothesised that techniques to study microbial contamination might also provide insights into microbial colonisation. Our earlier studies (Lee et al., 1999) identified distinctive odd-chain fatty acids that could be used as microbial markers. A dacron bag study was conducted to examine the influence of dacron bag rinsing techniques on DM disappearance and microbial contamination in residues from fresh grass, assessed using odd-chain fatty acids as markers.
Sheep group breeding schemes have gained in popularity in recent years. The objectives of group breeding schemes are to improve desirable traits such as carcass conformation, weight and maternal ability whilst maintaining local type. However, if group breeding schemes were to work together then a larger genetic pool of performance recorded animals would be available to facilitate improvements. The objectives of this project were therefore twofold, 1.) was to improve traits such as weight and carcass conformation and 2.) to demonstrate the benefits of cooperative groups working together. In this project, group breeding schemes from North and Mid Wales have been working together with ram performance testing groups from North, South and Mid Wales to improve results from Welsh Mountain breeding schemes.
In the MEETINGDEM project, the Meeting Centers Support Program (MCSP) was adaptively implemented and evaluated in three European countries: Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom. The aim of this study was to investigate overall and country-specific facilitators and barriers to the implementation of MCSP in these European countries.
A qualitative multiple case study design was used. Based on the theoretical model of adaptive implementation, a checklist was composed of potential facilitators and barriers to the implementation of MCSP. This checklist was administered among stakeholders involved in the implementation of MCSP to trace the experienced facilitators and barriers. Twenty-eight checklists were completed.
Main similarities between countries were related to the presence of suitable staff, management, and a project manager, and the fact that the MCSP is attuned to needs and wishes of people with dementia and informal caregivers. Main differences between countries were related to: communication with potential referrers, setting up an inter-organizational collaboration network, receiving support of national organizations, having clear discharge criteria for the MCSP and continuous PR in the region.
The results of this study provide insight into generic and country specific factors that can influence the implementation of MCSP in different European countries. This study informs further implementation and dissemination of MCSP in Europe and may also serve as an example for the dissemination and implementation of other effective psychosocial support interventions for people with dementia and their informal caregivers across and beyond Europe.
Escherichia coli O157 are zoonotic bacteria for which cattle are an important reservoir. Prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 in British cattle for human consumption are over 10 years old. A new baseline is needed to inform current human health risk. The British E. coli O157 in Cattle Study (BECS) ran between September 2014 and November 2015 on 270 farms across Scotland and England & Wales. This is the first study to be conducted contemporaneously across Great Britain, thus enabling comparison between Scotland and England & Wales. Herd-level prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 did not differ significantly for Scotland (0·236, 95% CI 0·166–0·325) and England & Wales (0·213, 95% CI 0·156–0·283) (P = 0·65). The majority of isolates were verocytotoxin positive. A higher proportion of samples from Scotland were in the super-shedder category, though there was no difference between the surveys in the likelihood of a positive farm having at least one super-shedder sample. E. coli O157 continues to be common in British beef cattle, reaffirming public health policy that contact with cattle and their environments is a potential infection source.
The error box of the unusual Gamma-Ray Burst of March 5, 1979 falls completely inside the optical and radio image of the Supernova Remnant N49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This region was observed twice in x-rays with the High Resolution Imager of the Einstein Observatory, six weeks and nearly two years after the Gamma-Ray Burst. We show the comparison between the two observations.
Mental health stigma and discrimination are significant problems. Common coping orientations include: concealing mental health problems, challenging others and educating others. We describe the use of common stigma coping orientations and explain variations within a sample of English mental health service users.
Cross-sectional survey data were collected as part of the Viewpoint survey of mental health service users’ experiences of discrimination (n = 3005). Linear regression analyses were carried out to identify factors associated with the three stigma coping orientations.
The most common coping orientation was to conceal mental health problems (73%), which was strongly associated with anticipated discrimination. Only 51% ever challenged others because of discriminating behaviour, this being related to experienced discrimination, but also to higher confidence to tackle stigma.
Although stigma coping orientations vary by context, individuals often choose to conceal problems, which is associated with greater anticipated and experienced discrimination and less confidence to challenge stigma. The direction of this association requires further investigation.
Capturing service users’ perspectives can highlight additional and different concerns to those of clinicians, but there are no up to date, self-report psychometrically sound measures of side effects of antipsychotic medications.
To develop a psychometrically sound measure to identify antipsychotic side effects important to service users, the Maudsley Side Effects (MSE) measure.
An initial item bank was subjected to a Delphi exercise (n = 9) with psychiatrists and pharmacists, followed by service user focus groups and expert panels (n = 15) to determine item relevance and language. Feasibility and comprehensive psychometric properties were established in two samples (N43 and N50). We investigated whether we could predict the three most important side effects for individuals from their frequency, severity and life impact.
MSE is a 53-item measure with good reliability and validity. Poorer mental and physical health, but not psychotic symptoms, was related to side-effect burden. Seventy-nine percent of items were chosen as one of the three most important effects. Severity, impact and distress only predicted ‘putting on weight’ which was more distressing, more severe and had more life impact in those for whom it was most important.
MSE is a self-report questionnaire that identifies reliably the side-effect burden as experienced by patients. Identifying key side effects important to patients can act as a starting point for joint decision making on the type and the dose of medication.