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Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Fluid–structure interaction is fundamental to the characteristics of the induced flows due to the motion of structures in fluids and also is crucial to the performance of submerged structures. This paper presents a three-dimensional analytical study of the intrinsic free vibration of an elastic multilayered hollow sphere interacting with an exterior non-Newtonian fluid medium. The fluid is assumed to be characterized by a compressible linear viscoelastic model accounting for both the shear and compressional relaxation processes. For small-amplitude vibrations, the equations governing the viscoelastic fluid can be linearized, which are then solved by introducing appropriate potential functions. The solid is assumed to exhibit a particular material anisotropy, i.e. spherical isotropy, which includes material isotropy as a special case. The equations governing the anisotropic solid are solved in spherical coordinates using the state-space formalism, which finally establishes two separate transfer relations correlating the state vectors at the innermost surface with those at the outermost surface of the multilayered hollow sphere. By imposing the continuity conditions at the fluid–solid interface, two separate analytical characteristic equations are derived, which characterize two independent classes of vibration. Numerical examples are finally conducted to validate the theoretical derivation as well as to investigate the effects of various factors, including fluid viscosity and compressibility, fluid viscoelasticity, solid anisotropy and surface effect, as well as solid intrinsic damping, on the vibration characteristics of the submerged hollow sphere. Particularly, our theoretically predicted vibration frequencies and quality factors of gold nanospheres with intrinsic damping immersed in water agree exceptionally well with the available experimentally measured results. The reported analytical solution is truly and fully three-dimensional, covering from the purely radial breathing mode to the torsional mode to any general spheroidal mode as well as being applicable to various simpler situations, and hence can be a broad-spectrum benchmark in the study of fluid–structure interaction.
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.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Although parasites and microbial pathogens are both detrimental to insects, little information is currently available on the mechanism involved in how parasitized hosts balance their immune responses to defend against microbial infections. We addressed this in the present study by comparing the immune response between unparasitized and parasitized pupae of the chrysomelid beetle, Octodonta nipae (Maulik), to Escherichia coli invasion. In an in vivo survival assay, a markedly reduced number of E. coli colony-forming units per microliter was detected in parasitized pupae at 12 and 24 h post-parasitism, together with decreased phagocytosis and enhanced bactericidal activity at 12 h post-parasitism. The effects that parasitism had on the mRNA expression level of selected antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) of O. nipae pupae showed that nearly all transcripts of AMPs examined were highly upregulated during the early and late parasitism stages except defensin 2B, whose mRNA expression level was downregulated at 24 h post-parasitism. Further elucidation on the main maternal fluids responsible for alteration of the primary immune response against E. coli showed that ovarian fluid increased phagocytosis at 48 h post-injection. These results indicated that the enhanced degradation of E. coli in parasitized pupae resulted mainly from the elevated bactericidal activity without observing the increased transcripts of target AMPs. This study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the immune responses of a parasitized host to bacterial infections.
Previous studies showed that butyrate played benefit roles in the health and metabolism of animals. However, little information on the effects of butyrate on the metabolism of piglets at the extraintestinal level is available. The present study investigated transcriptomic and metabolomic responses in the livers of pigs to evaluate the effects of intravenous sodium butyrate (SB) on the body’s metabolism at the extraintestinal level. A total of 12 Duroc×Landrace×Large White growing barrows (60 days of age) fitted with jugular vein cannula were randomly allocated to either the SB group or the control (CO) group. Pigs in the SB group were intravenously infused with 10 ml SB (200 mmol/l) for 7 days, whereas pigs in the CO group were treated with the same amount of saline. The livers of pigs were collected for gene expression and metabolome analyses. The RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis showed that the mRNA expression of Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 1 (ACSL1), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), acetyl-CoA acyltransferase 2 (ACAA2) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1) were downregulated (Q<0.05), whereas fatty acid binding protein 1 (FABP1) and cytochrome P450 family 7 subfamily A member 1 (CYP7A1) were upregulated (P<0.05) by SB treatment, indicating a decrease in fatty acid oxidation and gluconeogenesis and an increase in fatty acid transportation and cholesterol metabolism. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed that raffinose was enriched in the SB group compared with the CO group, indicating a decrease in metabolism of galactose. Moreover, SB treatment significantly decreased the concentration of blood cholesterol. The results suggest that a short-term intravenous infusion of SB could modulate hepatic lipid metabolism by decreasing fatty acid oxidation and increasing fatty acid transportation and cholesterol metabolism.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Better understanding of the complex interplay among key determinants of functional outcome is crucial to promoting recovery in psychotic disorders. However, this is understudied in the early course of illness. We aimed to examine the relationships among negative symptoms, neurocognition, general self-efficacy and global functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients using structural equation modeling (SEM).
Three hundred and twenty-one Chinese patients aged 26–55 years presenting with FEP to an early intervention program in Hong Kong were recruited. Assessments encompassing symptom profiles, functioning, perceived general self-efficacy and a battery of neurocognitive tests were conducted. Negative symptom measurement was subdivided into amotivation and diminished expression (DE) domain scores based on the ratings in the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms.
An initial SEM model showed no significant association between functioning and DE which was removed from further analysis. A final trimmed model yielded very good model fit (χ2 = 15.48, p = 0.63; comparative fit index = 1.00; root mean square error of approximation <0.001) and demonstrated that amotivation, neurocognition and general self-efficacy had a direct effect on global functioning. Amotivation was also found to mediate a significant indirect effect of neurocognition and general self-efficacy on functioning. Neurocognition was not significantly related to general self-efficacy.
Our results indicate a critical intermediary role of amotivation in linking neurocognitive impairment to functioning in FEP. General self-efficacy may represent a promising treatment target for improvement of motivational deficits and functional outcome in the early illness stage.
Early weak treatment response is one of the few trans-diagnostic, treatment-agnostic predictors of poor outcome following a full treatment course. We sought to improve the outcome of clients with weak initial response to guided self-help cognitive behavior therapy (GSH).
One hundred and nine women with binge-eating disorder (BED) or bulimia nervosa (BN) (DSM-IV-TR) received 4 weeks of GSH. Based on their response, they were grouped into: (1) early strong responders who continued GSH (cGSH), and early weak responders randomized to (2) dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or (3) individual and additional group cognitive behavior therapy (CBT+).
Baseline objective binge-eating-day (OBD) frequency was similar between DBT, CBT+ and cGSH. During treatment, OBD frequency reduction was significantly slower in DBT and CBT+ relative to cGSH. Relative to cGSH, OBD frequency was significantly greater at the end of DBT (d = 0.27) and CBT+ (d = 0.31) although these effects were small and within-treatment effects from baseline were large (d = 1.41, 0.95, 1.11, respectively). OBD improvements significantly diminished in all groups during 12 months follow-up but were significantly better sustained in DBT relative to cGSH (d = −0.43). At 6- and 12-month follow-up assessments, DBT, CBT and cGSH did not differ in OBD.
Early weak response to GSH may be overcome by additional intensive treatment. Evidence was insufficient to support superiority of either DBT or CBT+ for early weak responders relative to early strong responders in cGSH; both were helpful. Future studies using adaptive designs are needed to assess the use of early response to efficiently deliver care to large heterogeneous client groups.
Mcl-1 is an anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member that is often over-expressed in the malignant brain tumour glioblastoma (GBM). It has been previously shown that epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) up-regulate Mcl-1 expression contributing to a cell survival response. Hypoxia is a poor prognostic marker in glioblastoma despite the fact that hypoxic regions have areas of necrosis. Hypoxic regions of GBM also highly express the pro-cell death Bcl-2 family member BNIP3, yet when BNIP3 is over-expressed in glioma cells, it induces cell death. The reasons for this discrepancy are unclear. METHODS: Using malignant glioma cell lines +/- hypoxia, gain and/or loss of function assays of BNIP3 or Mcl-1 were performed. BNIP3 and MCL-1 expression was assessed in GBM tumours from adult patients and human gliomas grown as xenografts in immunocompromised mice. RESULTS: Mcl-1 expression is reduced under hypoxia due to degradation by the E3 ligase FBW7 leading to increased hypoxia-induced cell death. This cell death is augmented by EGFR activation leading to increased Mcl-1 expression under hypoxia. Conversely, BNIP3 is over-expressed in hypoxia at times when Mcl-1 expression is decreased. Knocking down BNIP3 expression reduces hypoxia cell death and Mcl-1 expression effectively blocks BNIP3-induced cell death. Of significance, BNIP3 and Mcl-1 are co-localized under hypoxia in glioma cells, GBM tumours and in xenograft glioma tumours expressing mutant EGFR (EGFRvIII). CONCLUSION: These results support that Mcl-1 can block the ability of BNIP3 to induce cell death under hypoxia in GBM tumours
H9 avian influenza virus played a key role during generation of the novel H7N9 virus. A surveillance programme was conducted to assess the H9 virus in relation to the risk of H7N9 virus contamination in the environment. Risk of H7N9 virus contamination in the presence of H9 virus was higher than without (adjusted odds ratio 4·49, 95% confidence interval 3·79–5·31). Adjusted odds ratios of the H7N9 virus associated with co-presence of H9 virus and interacting factors were 4·93 (rural vs. urban area), 46·80 (live poultry markets vs. other premises), 6·86 (Huzhou vs. Hangzhou prefecture), 40·67 (year 2015 vs. 2013), and 9·63 (sewage from cleaning poultry vs. poultry faeces). Regular surveillance on gene variability of H7N9 and H9 viruses should be conducted and extra measures are needed to reduce co-circulation of H7N9 and H9 viruses in the environment.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
An outbreak of acute hepatitis recently occurred in a nursing home in Zhejiang Province, China. The objectives of this study were to confirm the outbreak and identify the aetiology, source and transmission patterns. All residents and staff in or near the nursing home during the period from 1 October 2014 to 21 May 2015 were investigated regarding hygiene and for epidemiological information including water and food (eating meat especially pork products). Serum and stool specimens were collected for detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies using ELISA and RNA using RT–PCR. Samples that were RNA positive were genotyped. Of 185 senior residents and 24 staff in the nursing home, there were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases during the outbreak. Of these cases, 12 patients (three deaths) were symptomatic with jaundice, a common clinical symptom for hepatitis E infection. HEV strains were isolated from three cases and they formed a single cluster within genotype 4d. A case-control study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for the outbreak and the results revealed that cases more often washed their dishes and rinsed their mouths using tap water than the controls (P < 0·05). Based on hygiene investigation and meteorological information, it is likely that HEV-infected sewage and faeces contaminated the water network on rainy days. Collectively, these results suggest that the outbreak of HEV genotype 4 infection was most likely caused by contaminated tap water rather than food.
The effects of various parameters, such as thermal properties of substrates, thermal interface materials (TIMs) and heat sinks on the thermal performance of the light emitting diode (LED) light bars and backlight module are investigated experimentally and numerically in terms of junction temperature (Tj) and thermal resistances from junction to air (Rj-a). The results show that the measured Rj-a of the light bars by powering-on five LEDs in the test is different from one by powering-on only one LED, resulting from the extra heat coming from the adjacent LED packages affecting the Tj for the case of powering-on five LEDs. For the modules, Rj-a is significantly reduced by using the heat sinks for all backlight modules, and aluminum and iron heat sinks do not show any obvious difference in heat dissipation along with any substrates and TIMs. Furthermore, both experimental and simulation results show that the thermal conductivity of the substrates are more important and dominant than TIM and heat sink for the Rj-a of the backlight modules concerned, and also demonstrate that the thermal field for the local model can represent the one in full-scale backlight module.
Differences by ethnic group in STI diagnosis rates have long been recognized in England. We investigated whether these may be explained by ethnic disparities in socioeconomic deprivation (SED). Data on all diagnoses made in sexual health clinics in England in 2013 were obtained from the mandatory STI surveillance system. Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of STIs, by ethnicity, with and without adjustment for index of multiple deprivation (IMD) a measure of area-level deprivation. Unadjusted IRRs (95% confidence intervals) were highest for gonorrhoea [8·18 (7·77–8·61) and 5·76 (5·28–6·29)] and genital herpes [4·24 (3·99–4·51) and 3·58 (3·23–3·98)] for people of black Caribbean and non-Caribbean/non-African black ethnicity and IRRs were highest for syphilis [8·76 (7·97–9·63)] and genital warts [2·23 (2·17–2·29)] for people of non-British/non-Irish white ethnicity compared to white British ethnicity. After adjustment for IMD, IRRs for gonorrhoea [5·76 (5·47–6·07)] and genital herpes [3·73 (3·50–3·97)] declined but remained highest for black Caribbeans and IRRs for syphilis [7·35 (6·68–8·09)] and genital warts [2·10 (2·04–2·16)] declined but remained highest for non-British/non-Irish white compared to white British. In England, ethnic disparities in STI diagnosis rates are partially explained by SED, but behavioural and contextual factors likely contribute. Clinic and community-based interventions should involve social peer networks to ensure they are targeted and culturally sensitive.
Relapse is distressingly common after the first episode of psychosis, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to predict. Investigating changes in cognitive function preceding relapse may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of relapse in psychosis. We hypothesized that relapse in fully remitted first-episode psychosis patients was preceded by working memory deterioration.
Visual memory and verbal working memory were monitored prospectively in a 1-year randomized controlled trial of remitted first-episode psychosis patients assigned to medication continuation (quetiapine 400 mg/day) or discontinuation (placebo). Relapse (recurrence of positive symptoms of psychosis), visual (Visual Patterns Test) and verbal (Letter–Number span test) working memory and stressful life events were assessed monthly.
Remitted first-episode patients (n = 102) participated in the study. Relapsers (n = 53) and non-relapsers (n = 49) had similar baseline demographic and clinical profiles. Logistic regression analyses indicated relapse was associated with visual working memory deterioration 2 months before relapse [odds ratio (OR) 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–7.92, P = 0.02], more stressful life events 1 month before relapse (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20–3.72, P = 0.01) and medication discontinuation (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.08–14.62, P = 0.001).
Visual working memory deterioration beginning 2 months before relapse in remitted first-episode psychosis patients (not baseline predictor) may reflect early brain dysfunction that heralds a psychotic relapse. The deterioration was found to be unrelated to a worsening of psychotic symptoms preceding relapse. Testable predictors offer insight into the brain processes underlying relapse in psychosis.
Cochlear implantation is the standard of care for treating severe to profound hearing loss in all age groups. There is limited data on long-term results in elderly implantees and the effect of ageing on outcomes. This study compared the stability of cochlear implantation outcome in elderly and younger patients.
A retrospective chart review of cochlear implant patients with a minimum follow up of five years was conducted.
The study included 87 patients with a mean follow up of 6.8 years. Of these, 22 patients were older than 70 years at the time of implantation. Hearing in Noise Test scores at one year after implantation were worse in the elderly: 85.3 (aged under 61 years), 80.5 (61–70 years) and 73.6 (aged over 70 years; p = 0.039). The respective scores at the last follow up were 84.8, 85.1 and 76.5 (p = 0.054). Most patients had a stable outcome during follow up. Of the elderly patients, 13.6 per cent improved and none had a reduction in score of more than 20 per cent. Similar to younger patients, elderly patients had improved Short Form 36 Health Survey scores during follow up.
Cochlear implantation improves both audiometric outcome and quality of life in elderly patients. These benefits are stable over time.
The scope of Commission 12 has broadened somewhat in recent years, to include not only the structure of the solar atmosphere, but that of the solar interior as well. The scientific purview of this commission, and of the present report, are complementary to those of Commission 10 (solar activity). Rather than attempting to review all progress in solar structure studies over the past triennium, this report deals with six topics of great current interest, in which there is a great deal of current work.
To investigate the effect of uterine space on timing of embryonic mortality, multiparous sows were left intact (CTR; n=42) or subjected to unilateral oviduct ligation (LIG; n=23), after their first post wean oestrus. Intact sows were killed at day 9 (n=10), day 21 (n=15), or day 35 (n=17), and LIG sows were killed at day 21 (n=11) or day 35 (n=12) of gestation. At day 9, 92% of ovulations were represented by an embryo. At day 21, embryonic mortality was 24% and was not altered by increasing uterine space. At day 35, space per embryo was twice as large in LIG sows (30±3 v. 16±0.8 cm), and implantation length tended to be larger (19.0±1.2 v. 15.5±1.3 cm). Between day 21 and day 35, CTR sows lost another 8% to 14% of their embryos, whereas LIG sows lost none. Embryos tended to be heavier (4.9±0.2 v. 4.3±0.3 g) in LIG sows. In conclusion, embryonic loss in multiparous sows is 24% by day 21 and is not related to space, whereas after day 21 limited space causes additional 8% to 14% embryonic mortality in intact sows only.