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The love story between Chibinda Ilunga and Lueji, one of the best-known legends of Central African history, recounts the genesis of the Mwant Yav dynasty of the Lunda polity. Previous discussions of the narrative pitted symbolic interpretations against historical findings. This article asks why the Lunda love story became so influential from the middle of the nineteenth century. Instead of being an exclusively Lunda genesis narrative, the love story represented the interests and narratives of societies brought together by the caravan trade in Kasai and eastern Angola, including Chokwe, Ambakista, Luba, and Imbangala, all of whom added components to the legend compiled by Portuguese explorer and diplomat Henrique Dias de Carvalho. The legend took on importance as diverse factions competed for political titles and trading profits. In the hands of Carvalho and his informants the love story became a tool to construct a Pax Lunda guaranteed by the Portuguese. By demonstrating the quotidian politics of the love story, the article suggests the utility in the historical contextualization of the telling of oral traditions to appreciate their multiple meanings.
Childhood trauma and adversity are common across societies and have strong associations with physical and psychiatric morbidity throughout the life-course. One possible mechanism through which childhood trauma may predispose individuals to poor psychiatric outcomes is via associations with brain structure. This study aimed to elucidate the associations between childhood trauma and brain structure across two large, independent community cohorts.
The two samples comprised (i) a subsample of Generation Scotland (n=1,024); and (ii) individuals from UK Biobank (n=27,202). This comprised n=28,226 for mega-analysis. MRI scans were processed using Free Surfer, providing cortical, subcortical, and global brain metrics. Regression models were used to determine associations between childhood trauma measures and brain metrics and psychiatric phenotypes.
Childhood trauma associated with lifetime depression across cohorts (OR 1.06 GS, 1.23 UKB), and related to early onset and recurrent course within both samples. There was evidence for associations between childhood trauma and structural brain metrics. This included reduced global brain volume, and reduced cortical surface area with highest effects in the frontal (β=−0.0385, SE=0.0048, p(FDR)=5.43x10−15) and parietal lobes (β=−0.0387, SE=0.005, p(FDR)=1.56x10−14). At a regional level the ventral diencephalon (VDc) displayed significant associations with childhood trauma measures across both cohorts and at mega-analysis (β=−0.0232, SE=0.0039, p(FDR)=2.91x10−8). There were also associations with reduced hippocampus, thalamus, and nucleus accumbens volumes.
Associations between childhood trauma and reduced global and regional brain volumes were found, across two independent UK cohorts, and at mega-analysis. This provides robust evidence for a lasting effect of childhood adversity on brain structure.
Why is misleading partisan content believed and shared? An influential account posits that political partisanship pervasively biases reasoning, such that engaging in analytic thinking exacerbates motivated reasoning and, in turn, the acceptance of hyperpartisan content. Alternatively, it may be that susceptibility to hyperpartisan content is explained by a lack of reasoning. Across two studies using different participant pools (total N = 1,973 Americans), we had participants assess true, false, and hyperpartisan news headlines taken from social media. We found no evidence that analytic thinking was associated with judging politically consistent hyperpartisan or false headlines to be accurate and unbiased. Instead, analytic thinking was, in most cases, associated with an increased tendency to distinguish true headlines from both false and hyperpartisan headlines (and was never associated with decreased discernment). These results suggest that reasoning typically helps people differentiate between low and high quality political news, rather than facilitate belief in misleading content. Because social media play an important role in the dissemination of misinformation, we also investigated willingness to share headlines on social media. We found a similar pattern whereby analytic thinking was not generally associated with increased willingness to share hyperpartisan or false headlines. Together, these results suggest a positive role for reasoning in resisting misinformation.
A substantial body of evidence suggests that favoring reason over intuition (employing an analytic cognitive style) is associated with reduced belief in God. In the current work, we address outstanding issues in this literature with two studies examining the relationship between analytic cognitive style (as measured by performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test) and belief in God. First, prior research focused on Judeo-Christian cultures, and it is uncertain whether the results generalize to other religious systems or beliefs. Study 1 helps to address this question by documenting a negative correlation between CRT performance and belief in God, r = −.18, in a sample of 513 participants from India, a majority Hindu country. Second, among 150 participants from the United Kingdom, Gervais et al. (2018) reported the first and (to date) only evidence for a positive relationship between CRT and belief in God. In Study 2, we assess the robustness of this result by recruiting 547 participants from the United Kingdom. Unlike Gervais et al., using the same items, we find a negative correlation between CRT and belief in God (r = −.19). Our results add further support to the argument that analytic thinking undermines belief in God.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) was previously associated with negative affective biases. Evidence from larger population-based studies, however, is lacking, including whether biases normalise with remission. We investigated associations between affective bias measures and depressive symptom severity across a large community-based sample, followed by examining differences between remitted individuals and controls.
Participants from Generation Scotland (N = 1109) completed the: (i) Bristol Emotion Recognition Task (BERT), (ii) Face Affective Go/No-go (FAGN), and (iii) Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT). Individuals were classified as MDD-current (n = 43), MDD-remitted (n = 282), or controls (n = 784). Analyses included using affective bias summary measures (primary analyses), followed by detailed emotion/condition analyses of BERT and FAGN (secondary analyses).
For summary measures, the only significant finding was an association between greater symptoms and lower risk adjustment for CGT across the sample (individuals with greater symptoms were less likely to bet more, despite increasingly favourable conditions). This was no longer significant when controlling for non-affective cognition. No differences were found for remitted-MDD v. controls. Detailed analysis of BERT and FAGN indicated subtle negative biases across multiple measures of affective cognition with increasing symptom severity, that were independent of non-effective cognition [e.g. greater tendency to rate faces as angry (BERT), and lower accuracy for happy/neutral conditions (FAGN)]. Results for remitted-MDD were inconsistent.
This suggests the presence of subtle negative affective biases at the level of emotion/condition in association with depressive symptoms across the sample, over and above those accounted for by non-affective cognition, with no evidence for affective biases in remitted individuals.
Smartphones have the potential for capturing subtle changes in cognition that characterize preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in older adults. The Ambulatory Research in Cognition (ARC) smartphone application is based on principles from ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and administers brief tests of associative memory, processing speed, and working memory up to 4 times per day over 7 consecutive days. ARC was designed to be administered unsupervised using participants’ personal devices in their everyday environments.
We evaluated the reliability and validity of ARC in a sample of 268 cognitively normal older adults (ages 65–97 years) and 22 individuals with very mild dementia (ages 61–88 years). Participants completed at least one 7-day cycle of ARC testing and conventional cognitive assessments; most also completed cerebrospinal fluid, amyloid and tau positron emission tomography, and structural magnetic resonance imaging studies.
First, ARC tasks were reliable as between-person reliability across the 7-day cycle and test-retest reliabilities at 6-month and 1-year follow-ups all exceeded 0.85. Second, ARC demonstrated construct validity as evidenced by correlations with conventional cognitive measures (r = 0.53 between composite scores). Third, ARC measures correlated with AD biomarker burden at baseline to a similar degree as conventional cognitive measures. Finally, the intensive 7-day cycle indicated that ARC was feasible (86.50% approached chose to enroll), well tolerated (80.42% adherence, 4.83% dropout), and was rated favorably by older adult participants.
Overall, the results suggest that ARC is reliable and valid and represents a feasible tool for assessing cognitive changes associated with the earliest stages of AD.
Some children are more affected by specific family environments than others, as a function of differences in their genetic make-up. However, longitudinal studies of genetic moderation of parenting effects during early childhood have not been conducted. We examined developmental profiles of child behavior problems between 18 months and age 8 in a longitudinal parent–offspring sample of 361 adopted children. In toddlerhood (18 months), observed structured parenting indexed parental guidance in service of task goals. Biological parent psychopathology served as an index of genetic influences on children’s behavior problems. Four profiles of child behavior problems were identified: low stable (11%), average stable (50%), higher stable (29%), and high increasing (11%). A multinominal logistic regression analysis indicated a genetically moderated effect of structured parenting, such that for children whose biological mother had higher psychopathology, the odds of the child being in the low stable group increased as structured parenting increased. Conversely, for children whose biological mother had lower psychopathology, the odds of being in the low stable group was reduced when structured parenting increased. Results suggest that increasing structured parenting is an effective strategy for children at higher genetic risk for psychopathology, but may be detrimental for those at lower genetic risk.
This article is a clinical guide which discusses the “state-of-the-art” usage of the classic monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants (phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and isocarboxazid) in modern psychiatric practice. The guide is for all clinicians, including those who may not be experienced MAOI prescribers. It discusses indications, drug-drug interactions, side-effect management, and the safety of various augmentation strategies. There is a clear and broad consensus (more than 70 international expert endorsers), based on 6 decades of experience, for the recommendations herein exposited. They are based on empirical evidence and expert opinion—this guide is presented as a new specialist-consensus standard. The guide provides practical clinical advice, and is the basis for the rational use of these drugs, particularly because it improves and updates knowledge, and corrects the various misconceptions that have hitherto been prominent in the literature, partly due to insufficient knowledge of pharmacology. The guide suggests that MAOIs should always be considered in cases of treatment-resistant depression (including those melancholic in nature), and prior to electroconvulsive therapy—while taking into account of patient preference. In selected cases, they may be considered earlier in the treatment algorithm than has previously been customary, and should not be regarded as drugs of last resort; they may prove decisively effective when many other treatments have failed. The guide clarifies key points on the concomitant use of incorrectly proscribed drugs such as methylphenidate and some tricyclic antidepressants. It also illustrates the straightforward “bridging” methods that may be used to transition simply and safely from other antidepressants to MAOIs.
A standardised multi-site approach to manage paediatric post-operative chylothorax does not exist and leads to unnecessary practice variation. The Chylothorax Work Group utilised the Pediatric Critical Care Consortium infrastructure to address this gap.
Over 60 multi-disciplinary providers representing 22 centres convened virtually as a quality initiative to develop an algorithm to manage paediatric post-operative chylothorax. Agreement was objectively quantified for each recommendation in the algorithm by utilising an anonymous survey. “Consensus” was defined as ≥ 80% of responses as “agree” or “strongly agree” to a recommendation. In order to determine if the algorithm recommendations would be correctly interpreted in the clinical environment, we developed ex vivo simulations and surveyed patients who developed the algorithm and patients who did not.
The algorithm is intended for all children (<18 years of age) within 30 days of cardiac surgery. It contains rationale for 11 central chylothorax management recommendations; diagnostic criteria and evaluation, trial of fat-modified diet, stratification by volume of daily output, timing of first-line medical therapy for “low” and “high” volume patients, and timing and duration of fat-modified diet. All recommendations achieved “consensus” (agreement >80%) by the workgroup (range 81–100%). Ex vivo simulations demonstrated good understanding by developers (range 94–100%) and non-developers (73%–100%).
The quality improvement effort represents the first multi-site algorithm for the management of paediatric post-operative chylothorax. The algorithm includes transparent and objective measures of agreement and understanding. Agreement to the algorithm recommendations was >80%, and overall understanding was 94%.
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) shotgun metagenomics (metagenomics) attempts to sequence the entire genetic content straight from the sample. Diagnostic advantages lie in the ability to detect unsuspected, uncultivatable, or very slow-growing organisms.
To evaluate the clinical and economic effects of using WGS and metagenomics for outbreak management in a large metropolitan hospital.
Intensive care unit and burn unit of large metropolitan hospital.
Simulated intensive care unit and burn unit patients.
We built a complex simulation model to estimate pathogen transmission, associated hospital costs, and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) during a 32-month outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB). Model parameters were determined using microbiology surveillance data, genome sequencing results, hospital admission databases, and local clinical knowledge. The model was calibrated to the actual pathogen spread within the intensive care unit and burn unit (scenario 1) and compared with early use of WGS (scenario 2) and early use of WGS and metagenomics (scenario 3) to determine their respective cost-effectiveness. Sensitivity analyses were performed to address model uncertainty.
On average compared with scenario 1, scenario 2 resulted in 14 fewer patients with CRAB, 59 additional QALYs, and $75,099 cost savings. Scenario 3, compared with scenario 1, resulted in 18 fewer patients with CRAB, 74 additional QALYs, and $93,822 in hospital cost savings. The likelihoods that scenario 2 and scenario 3 were cost-effective were 57% and 60%, respectively.
The use of WGS and metagenomics in infection control processes were predicted to produce favorable economic and clinical outcomes.
We present the data and initial results from the first pilot survey of the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU), observed at 944 MHz with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The survey covers
of an area covered by the Dark Energy Survey, reaching a depth of 25–30
rms at a spatial resolution of
11–18 arcsec, resulting in a catalogue of
220 000 sources, of which
180 000 are single-component sources. Here we present the catalogue of single-component sources, together with (where available) optical and infrared cross-identifications, classifications, and redshifts. This survey explores a new region of parameter space compared to previous surveys. Specifically, the EMU Pilot Survey has a high density of sources, and also a high sensitivity to low surface brightness emission. These properties result in the detection of types of sources that were rarely seen in or absent from previous surveys. We present some of these new results here.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
In the First-HD pivotal trial, the maximum deutetrabenazine dose evaluated to treat chorea associated with Huntington’s disease (HD chorea) was 48 mg/d, which is the approved maximum dose for this population. In ARC-HD, an open-label extension study evaluating the long-term efficacy and safety of deutetrabenazine to treat HD chorea, dosage ranged from 6 mg/d to 72 mg/d, with doses ≥12 mg/d administered twice daily. Doses in ARC-HD were increased by 6 mg/d per week in a response-driven manner based on efficacy and tolerability until 48 mg/d (Week 8). At the investigator’s discretion, further increases were permitted by 12 mg/d per week to a maximum of 72 mg/d. This post-hoc analysis evaluates the safety and tolerability of deutetrabenazine >48 mg/d compared to ≤48 mg/d to treat HD chorea in ARC-HD.
Patient counts and safety assessments were attributed to patients when they received a dose of either ≤48 mg/d or >48 mg/d. For 9 selected adverse events (AEs), we compared AE rates adjusted for duration of drug exposure (as number of AEs/year) at ≤48 mg/d or >48 mg/d. The AE rates were determined after titration when participants were on stable doses of deutetrabenazine.
All 113 patients were exposed to doses ≤48 mg/d (177.1 patient-years) and 49 patients were ever exposed to doses >48 mg/d (74.1 patient-years). In patients taking deutetrabenazine >48 mg/d compared to ≤48 mg/d after the titration period, there were no apparent differences in exposure-adjusted AE rates.
Based on clinical experience, some patients with HD may benefit from doses higher than 48 mg/d to adequately control chorea. These doses were tolerated without apparent increase in the exposure-adjusted rates of selected AEs after titration. This analysis does not address the occurrence of other AEs or whether adequate efficacy was achieved at lower doses, factors that may have influenced dose increases.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Petach Tikva, Israel
Chorea is a prominent motor dysfunction in Huntington’s disease (HD). Deutetrabenazine, a vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitor, is FDA-approved for the treatment of chorea in HD. In the pivotal, 12-week First-HD trial, deutetrabenazine treatment reduced the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) total maximal chorea (TMC) score versus placebo. ARC-HD, an open-label extension study, evaluated long-term safety and efficacy of deutetrabenazine dosed in a response-driven manner for treatment of HD chorea.
Patients who completed First-HD (Rollover) and patients who converted overnight from a stable dose of tetrabenazine (Switch) were included. Safety was assessed over the entire treatment period; exposure-adjusted incidence rates (EAIRs; adverse events [AEs] per person-year) were calculated. A stable, post-titration time point of 8 weeks was chosen for efficacy analyses.
Of 119 patients enrolled (Rollover, n=82; Switch, n=37), 100 (84%) completed ≥1 year of treatment (mean [SD] follow-up, 119  weeks). End of study EAIRs for patients in the Rollover and Switch cohorts, respectively, were: any AE, 2.6 and 4.3; serious AEs, 0.13 and 0.14; AEs leading to dose suspension, 0.05 and 0.04. Overall, 68% and 73% of patients in Rollover and Switch, respectively, experienced a study drug–related AE. Most common AEs possibly related to study drug were somnolence (17% Rollover; 27% Switch), depression (23%; 19%), anxiety (9%; 11%), insomnia (10%; 8%), and akathisia (9%; 14%). Rates of AEs of interest include suicidality (9%; 3%) and parkinsonism (6%; 11%). In both cohorts, mean UHDRS TMC score and total motor score (TMS) decreased from baseline to Week 8; mean (SD) change in TMC score (units) was –4.4 (3.1) and –2.1 (3.3) and change in TMS was –7.1 (7.3) and –2.4 (8.7) in Rollover and Switch, respectively. While receiving stable dosing from Week 8 to 132 (or end of treatment), patients showed minimal change in TMC score (0.9 [5.0]), but TMS increased compared to Week 8 (9.0 [11.3]). Upon drug withdrawal, there were no remarkable AEs and TMC scores increased 4.4 (3.7) units compared to end of treatment.
The type and severity of AEs observed in long-term deutetrabenazine exposure are consistent with the previous study. Efficacy in reducing chorea persisted over time. There was no unexpected worsening of HD or chorea associated with HD upon deutetrabenazine withdrawal.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Petach Tikva, Israel
Previous genetic association studies have failed to identify loci robustly associated with sepsis, and there have been no published genetic association studies or polygenic risk score analyses of patients with septic shock, despite evidence suggesting genetic factors may be involved. We systematically collected genotype and clinical outcome data in the context of a randomized controlled trial from patients with septic shock to enrich the presence of disease-associated genetic variants. We performed genomewide association studies of susceptibility and mortality in septic shock using 493 patients with septic shock and 2442 population controls, and polygenic risk score analysis to assess genetic overlap between septic shock risk/mortality with clinically relevant traits. One variant, rs9489328, located in AL589740.1 noncoding RNA, was significantly associated with septic shock (p = 1.05 × 10–10); however, it is likely a false-positive. We were unable to replicate variants previously reported to be associated (p < 1.00 × 10–6 in previous scans) with susceptibility to and mortality from sepsis. Polygenic risk scores for hematocrit and granulocyte count were negatively associated with 28-day mortality (p = 3.04 × 10–3; p = 2.29 × 10–3), and scores for C-reactive protein levels were positively associated with susceptibility to septic shock (p = 1.44 × 10–3). Results suggest that common variants of large effect do not influence septic shock susceptibility, mortality and resolution; however, genetic predispositions to clinically relevant traits are significantly associated with increased susceptibility and mortality in septic individuals.
To advance research from Dishion and others on associations between parenting and peer problems across childhood, we used a sample of 177 sibling pairs reared apart since birth (because of adoption of one of the siblings) to examine associations between parental hostility and children's peer problems when children were ages 7 and 9.5 years (n = 329 children). We extended conventional cross-lagged parent–peer models by incorporating child inhibitory control as an additional predictor and examining genetic contributions via birth mother psychopathology. Path models indicated a cross-lagged association from parental hostility to later peer problems. When child inhibitory control was included, birth mother internalizing symptoms were associated with poorer child inhibitory control, which was associated with more parental hostility and peer problems. The cross-lagged paths from parental hostility to peer problems were no longer significant in the full model. Multigroup analyses revealed that the path from birth mother internalizing symptoms to child inhibitory control was significantly higher for birth parent–reared children, indicating the possible contribution of passive gene–environment correlation to this association. Exploratory analyses suggested that each child's unique rearing context contributed to his or her inhibitory control and peer behavior. Implications for the development of evidence-based interventions are discussed.