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Recent work suggests that antihypertensive medications may be useful as repurposed treatments for mood disorders. Using large-scale linked healthcare data we investigated whether certain classes of antihypertensive, such as angiotensin antagonists (AAs) and calcium channel blockers, were associated with reduced risk of new-onset major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD).
Two cohorts of patients treated with antihypertensives were identified from Scottish prescribing (2009–2016) and hospital admission (1981–2016) records. Eligibility for cohort membership was determined by a receipt of a minimum of four prescriptions for antihypertensives within a 12-month window. One treatment cohort (n = 538 730) included patients with no previous history of mood disorder, whereas the other (n = 262 278) included those who did. Both cohorts were matched by age, sex and area deprivation to untreated comparators. Associations between antihypertensive treatment and new-onset MDD or bipolar episodes were investigated using Cox regression.
For patients without a history of mood disorder, antihypertensives were associated with increased risk of new-onset MDD. For AA monotherapy, the hazard ratio (HR) for new-onset MDD was 1.17 (95% CI 1.04–1.31). Beta blockers' association was stronger (HR 2.68; 95% CI 2.45–2.92), possibly indicating pre-existing anxiety. Some classes of antihypertensive were associated with protection against BD, particularly AAs (HR 0.46; 95% CI 0.30–0.70). For patients with a past history of mood disorders, all classes of antihypertensives were associated with increased risk of future episodes of MDD.
There was no evidence that antihypertensive medications prevented new episodes of MDD but AAs may represent a novel treatment avenue for BD.
The first episode of psychosis is a critical period in the emergence of cardiometabolic risk.
We set out to explore the influence of individual and lifestyle factors on cardiometabolic outcomes in early psychosis.
This was a prospective cohort study of 293 UK adults presenting with first-episode psychosis investigating the influence of sociodemographics, lifestyle (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, substance use) and medication on cardiometabolic outcomes over the following 12 months.
Rates of obesity and glucose dysregulation rose from 17.8% and 12%, respectively, at baseline to 23.7% and 23.7% at 1 year. Little change was seen over time in the 76.8% tobacco smoking rate or the quarter who were sedentary for over 10 h daily. We found no association between lifestyle at baseline or type of antipsychotic medication prescribed with either baseline or 1-year cardiometabolic outcomes. Median haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) rose by 3.3 mmol/mol in participants from Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, with little change observed in their White counterparts. At 12 months, one-third of those with BME heritage exceeded the threshold for prediabetes (HbA1c >39 mmol/mol).
Unhealthy lifestyle choices are prevalent in early psychosis and cardiometabolic risk worsens over the next year, creating an important window for prevention. We found no evidence, however, that preventative strategies should be preferentially directed based on lifestyle habits. Further work is needed to determine whether clinical strategies should allow for differential patterns of emergence of cardiometabolic risk in people of different ethnicities.
Field and greenhouse studies were conducted in 2016 and 2017 to determine sweetpotato tolerance to herbicides applied to plant propagation beds. Herbicide treatments included PRE application of flumioxazin (107 g ai ha−1), S-metolachlor (800 g ai ha−1), fomesafen (280 g ai ha−1), flumioxazin plus S-metolachlor (107 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), fomesafen plus S-metolachlor (280 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), fluridone (1,120 or 2,240 g ai ha−1), fluridone plus S-metolachlor (1,120 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), napropamide (1,120 g ai ha−1), clomazone (420 g ai ha−1), linuron (560 g ai ha−1), linuron plus S-metolachlor (560 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), bicyclopyrone (38 or 49.7 g ai ha−1), pyroxasulfone (149 g ai ha−1), pre-mix of flumioxazin plus pyroxasulfone (81.8 g ai ha−1 + 104.2 g ai ha−1), or metribuzin (294 g ai ha−1). Paraquat plus non-ionic surfactant (280 g ai ha−1 + 0.25% v/v) POST was also included. After plants in the propagation bed were cut and sweetpotato slip number, length, and weight had been determined, the slips were then transplanted to containers and placed either in the greenhouse or on an outdoor pad to determine any effects from the herbicide treatments on initial sweetpotato growth. Sweetpotato slip number, length, and/or weight were affected by flumioxazin with or without S-metolachlor, S-metolachlor with or without fomesafen, clomazone, and all fluridone treatments. In the greenhouse studies, initial root growth of plants after transplanting was inhibited by fluridone (1,120 g ai ha−1) and fluridone plus S-metolachlor. However, by 5 wk after transplanting few differences were observed between treatments. Fomesafen, linuron with or without S-metolachlor, bicyclopyrone (38 or 49.7 g ai ha−1), pyroxasulfone with or without flumioxazin, metribuzin, and paraquat did not cause injury to sweetpotato slips in any of the studies conducted.
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 describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
Introduction: Situational awareness (SA) is essential for maintenance of scene safety and effective resource allocation in mass casualty incidents (MCI). Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can potentially enhance SA with real-time visual feedback during chaotic and evolving or inaccessible events. The purpose of this study was to test the ability of paramedics to use UAV video from a simulated MCI to identify scene hazards, initiate patient triage, and designate key operational locations. Methods: A simulated MCI, including fifteen patients of varying acuity (blast type injuries), plus four hazards, was created on a college campus. The scene was surveyed by UAV capturing video of all patients, hazards, surrounding buildings and streets. Attendees of a provincial paramedic meeting were invited to participate. Participants received a lecture on SALT Triage and the principles of MCI scene management. Next, they watched the UAV video footage. Participants were directed to sort patients according to SALT Triage step one, identify injuries, and localize the patients within the campus. Additionally, they were asked to select a start point for SALT Triage step two, identify and locate hazards, and designate locations for an Incident Command Post, Treatment Area, Transport Area and Access/Egress routes. Summary statistics were performed and a linear regression model was used to assess relationships between demographic variables and both patient triage and localization. Results: Ninety-six individuals participated. Mean age was 35 years (SD 11), 46% (44) were female, and 49% (47) were Primary Care Paramedics. Most participants (80 (84%)) correctly sorted at least 12 of 15 patients. Increased age was associated with decreased triage accuracy [-0.04(-0.07,-0.01);p=0.031]. Fifty-two (54%) were able to localize 12 or more of the 15 patients to a 27x 20m grid area. Advanced paramedic certification, and local residency were associated with improved patient localization [2.47(0.23,4.72);p=0.031], [-3.36(-5.61,-1.1);p=0.004]. The majority of participants (78 (81%)) chose an acceptable location to start SALT triage step two and 84% (80) identified at least three of four hazards. Approximately half (53 (55%)) of participants designated four or more of five key operational areas in appropriate locations. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the potential of UAV technology to remotely provide emergency responders with SA in a MCI. Additional research is required to further investigate optimal strategies to deploy UAVs in this context.
Background: Neurosurgical residents face a unique combination of challenges, including long duty hours, technically challenging cases, and uncertain employment prospects. We sought to assess the demographics, interests, career goals, self-rated happiness, and overall well-being of Canadian neurosurgery residents. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was developed and sent through the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative to every resident enrolled in a Canadian neurosurgery program as of April 1, 2016. Results: We analyzed 76 completed surveys of 146 eligible residents (52% response rate). The median age was 29 years, with 76% of respondents being males. The most popular subspecialties of interest for fellowship were spine, oncology, and open vascular neurosurgery. The most frequent self-reported number of worked hours per week was the 80- to 89-hour range. The majority of respondents reported a high level of happiness as well as stress. Sense of accomplishment and fatigue were reported as average to high and overall quality of life was low for 19%, average for 49%, and high for 32%. Satisfaction with work-life balance was average for 44% of respondents and was the only tested domain in which significant dissatisfaction was identified (18%). Overall, respondents were highly satisfied with their choice of specialty, choice of program, surgical exposure, and work environment; however, intimidation was reported in 36% of respondents and depression by 17%. Conclusions: Despite a challenging residency and high workload, the majority of Canadian neurosurgery residents are happy and satisfied with their choice of specialty and program. However, work-life balance, employability, resident intimidation, and depression were identified as areas of active concern.
Since the discovery of the first pulsar in 1967, over 2500 pulsars have been discovered. Pulsars enable a broad range of studies: from the study of the properties of the interstellar medium and of pulsar magnetospheres to tests of gravity in the strong-field regime and the characterisation of the cosmological gravitation wave background. These reasons are the main drive for searching for more pulsars. A blind pulsar survey, named SPAN512, was initiated with the Nançay Radio Telescope in 2012. Conducted at 1.4 GHz with a sampling time of 64μs and 500-kHz frequency channels, SPAN512 was designed to search for fast and distant pulsars in the Galactic plane. Here we describe the current status of the survey and present the latest discovery, PSR J2055+3829, a 2.08-ms pulsar in a black widow system.
We present low-frequency spectral energy distributions of 60 known radio pulsars observed with the Murchison Widefield Array telescope. We searched the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array survey images for 200-MHz continuum radio emission at the position of all pulsars in the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) pulsar catalogue. For the 60 confirmed detections, we have measured flux densities in 20 × 8 MHz bands between 72 and 231 MHz. We compare our results to existing measurements and show that the Murchison Widefield Array flux densities are in good agreement.
Fontan survivors have depressed cardiac index that worsens over time. Serum biomarker measurement is minimally invasive, rapid, widely available, and may be useful for serial monitoring. The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers that correlate with lower cardiac index in Fontan patients.
Methods and results
This study was a multi-centre case series assessing the correlations between biomarkers and cardiac magnetic resonance-derived cardiac index in Fontan patients ⩾6 years of age with biochemical and haematopoietic biomarkers obtained ±12 months from cardiac magnetic resonance. Medical history and biomarker values were obtained by chart review. Spearman’s Rank correlation assessed associations between biomarker z-scores and cardiac index. Biomarkers with significant correlations had receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve estimated. In total, 97 cardiac magnetic resonances in 87 patients met inclusion criteria: median age at cardiac magnetic resonance was 15 (6–33) years. Significant correlations were found between cardiac index and total alkaline phosphatase (−0.26, p=0.04), estimated creatinine clearance (0.26, p=0.02), and mean corpuscular volume (−0.32, p<0.01). Area under the curve for the three individual biomarkers was 0.63–0.69. Area under the curve for the three-biomarker panel was 0.75. Comparison of cardiac index above and below the receiver operating characteristic curve-identified cut-off points revealed significant differences for each biomarker (p<0.01) and for the composite panel [median cardiac index for higher-risk group=2.17 L/minute/m2 versus lower-risk group=2.96 L/minute/m2, (p<0.01)].
Higher total alkaline phosphatase and mean corpuscular volume as well as lower estimated creatinine clearance identify Fontan patients with lower cardiac index. Using biomarkers to monitor haemodynamics and organ-specific effects warrants prospective investigation.
Levels of pollution, including contamination by toxic metals, in the Thames estuary reduced over the last four decades of the 20th century. This 2014 study investigates whether the declines in the bioavailabilities of trace metals (Ag, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, Zn) have continued in the 21st century, using a suite of littoral biomonitors also employed in 2001 – the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus, the strandline, talitrid amphipod Orchestia gammarellus and the estuarine barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus. Bioaccumulated concentrations represent relative measures of the total bioavailabilities of each metal to the biomonitor over a previous time period, and can be compared over space and over time. Trace metal bioavailabilities varied along the estuary, and, in general, fell between 2001 and 2014, a reflection of the continuing remediation of the Thames estuary from its severely polluted state in the middle of the 20th century.
A growing body of literature has explored the influence of physical activity on brain structure and function. While the mechanisms of this relationship remain largely speculative, recent research suggests that one of the effects of physical exercise is an increase in synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP). This has not yet been explored directly in humans due to the difficulty of measuring LTP non-invasively. However, we have previously established that LTP-like changes in visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) can be measured in humans. Here, we investigated whether physical fitness status affects the degree of visual sensory LTP. Using a self-report measure of physical activity, participants were split into two groups: a high-activity group, and a low-activity group. LTP was measured and compared between the two groups using the previously established electroencephalography-LTP paradigm, which assesses the degree to which the N1b component of the VEP elicited by a sine grating is potentiated (enhanced) following a rapid “tetanic” presentation of that grating. Both groups demonstrated increased negativity in the amplitude of the N1b component of the VEP immediately after presentation of the visual “tetanus,” indicating potentiation. However, after a 30-min rest period, the N1b for the high-activity group remained potentiated while the N1b for the low-activity group returned to baseline. This study presents the first evidence for the impact of self-reported levels of physical activity on LTP in humans, and sheds light on potential neurological mechanisms underlying the relationship between physical fitness and cognition. (JINS, 2015, 21, 831–840)
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
FFQ are commonly used to examine the association between diet and disease. They are the most practical method for usual dietary data collection as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to administer. In Australia, the Cancer Council of Victoria FFQ (CCVFFQ) version 2 and the online Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation FFQ (CSIROFFQ) are used. The aim of our study was to establish the level of agreement between nutrient intakes captured using the online CSIROFFQ and the paper-based CCVFFQ. The CCVFFQ and the online CSIROFFQ were completed by 136 healthy participants. FFQ responses were analysed to give g per d intake of a range of nutrients. Agreement between twenty-six nutrient intakes common to both FFQ was measured by a variety of methods. Nutrient intake levels that were significantly correlated between the two FFQ were carbohydrates, total fat, Na and MUFA. When assessing ranking of nutrients into quintiles, on average, 56 % of the participants (for all nutrients) were classified into the same or adjacent quintiles in both FFQ, with the highest percentage agreement for sugar. On average, 21 % of participants were grossly misclassified by three or four quintiles, with the highest percentage misclassification for fibre and Fe. Quintile agreement was similar to that reported by other studies, and we concluded that both FFQ are suitable tools for dividing participants’ nutrient intake levels into high- and low-consumption groups. Use of either FFQ was not appropriate for obtaining accurate estimates of absolute nutrient intakes.