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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
Intake of vegetables is recommended for the prevention of myocardial infarction (MI). However, vegetables make up a heterogeneous group, and subgroups of vegetables may be differentially associated with MI. The aim of this study was to examine replacement of potatoes with other vegetables or subgroups of other vegetables and the risk of MI. Substitutions between subgroups of other vegetables and risk of MI were also investigated. We followed 29 142 women and 26 029 men aged 50–64 years in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Diet was assessed at baseline by using a detailed validated FFQ. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95 % CI for the incidence of MI were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression. During 13·6 years of follow-up, 656 female and 1694 male cases were identified. Among women, the adjusted HR for MI was 1·02 (95 % CI 0·93, 1·13) per 500 g/week replacement of potatoes with other vegetables. For vegetable subgroups, the HR was 0·93 (95 % CI 0·77, 1·13) for replacement of potatoes with fruiting vegetables and 0·91 (95 % CI 0·77, 1·07) for replacement of potatoes with other root vegetables. A higher intake of cabbage replacing other vegetable subgroups was associated with a statistically non-significant higher risk of MI. A similar pattern of associations was found when intake was expressed in kcal/week. Among men, the pattern of associations was overall found to be similar to that for women. This study supports food-based dietary guidelines recommending to consume a variety of vegetables from all subgroups.
Using list experiments on the 2008 and 2012 Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project, we investigated whether respondents are more likely to vote against presidential candidates from marginalized groups. We show that conservative and Republican respondents are disinclined to support Muslim and gay candidates. However, neither Right- nor Left-leaning respondents are significantly opposed to female candidates. Surprisingly, we uncovered asymmetric prejudices toward Mormons and African Americans. In both 2008 and 2012, Republicans were far more uncomfortable with gay or Muslim candidates than with African American candidates (per se). However, Democrats in 2012 were deeply uncomfortable with Mormon candidates. These findings illustrate that prejudice in presidential politics is not confined to right-wing pathologies alone but is present on both sides of the partisan–ideological divide.
Despite their use in clinical practice, there is little evidence to support the use of therapist written goodbye letters as therapeutic tools. However, preliminary evidence suggests that goodbye letters may have benefits in the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN).
This study aimed to examine whether therapist written goodbye letters were associated with improvements in body mass index (BMI) and eating disorder symptomology in patients with AN after treatment.
Participants were adults with AN (n = 41) who received The Maudsley Model of Anorexia Treatment for Adults (MANTRA) in a clinical trial evaluating two AN out-patient treatments. As part of MANTRA, therapists wrote goodbye letters to patients. A rating scheme was developed to rate letters for structure and quality. Linear regression analyses were used to examine associations between goodbye letter scores and outcomes after treatment.
Higher quality letters and letters that adopted a more affirming stance were associated with greater improvements in BMI at 12 months. Neither the overall quality nor the style of goodbye letters were associated with improvements in BMI at 24 months or reductions in eating disorder symptomology at either 12 or 24 months.
The results highlight the potential importance of paying attention to the overall quality of therapist written goodbye letters in the treatment of AN, and adopting an affirming stance.
The policies of Republican Governor Scott Walker have come to symbolize a resurgent assault on the public sector, and on public employee unions in particular, by the Republican Party. The fact that this is happening in Wisconsin, the state that in the last century was considered the “laboratory of Progressivism,” makes the politics surrounding these policies all the more compelling. In The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, Katherine J. Cramer analyzes the “politics of resentment” surrounding these developments. Employing an ethnographic “method of listening,” Cramer furnishes thick description of the political language employed by rural Wisconsinites, and proceeds to develop an interpretive theory of “political resentment” that illuminates the reasons why lower-class citizens so strongly oppose public policies seeking to offset social and economic inequality. The book is important methodologically and politically. We have thus invited a range of social and political scientists to comment on the book as a work of political science and as a diagnosis of the current political moment.
Red meat has been suggested to be adversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction (MI), whereas vegetable consumption has been found to be protective. The aim of this study was to investigate substitutions of red meat, poultry and fish with vegetables or potatoes for MI prevention. We followed up 29 142 women and 26 029 men in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health study aged 50–64 years with no known history of MI at baseline. Diet was assessed by a validated 192-item FFQ at baseline. Adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for MI associated with specified food substitutions of 150 g/week. During a median follow-up of 13·6 years, we identified 656 female and 1694 male cases. Among women, the HR for MI when replacing red meat with vegetables was 0·94 (95 % CI 0·90, 0·98). Replacing fatty fish with vegetables was associated with a higher risk of MI (HR 1·23; 95 % CI 1·05, 1·45), whereas an inverse, statistically non-significant association was found for lean fish (HR 0·93; 95 % CI 0·83, 1·05). Substituting poultry with vegetables was not associated with risk of MI (HR 1·00; 95 % CI 0·90, 1·11). Findings for substitution with potatoes were similar to findings for vegetables. Among men, a similar pattern was observed, but the associations were weak and mostly statistically non-significant. This study suggests that replacing red meat with vegetables or potatoes is associated with a lower risk of MI, whereas replacing fatty fish with vegetables or potatoes is associated with a higher risk of MI.
Red meat has been suggested to be adversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction (MI), but previous studies have rarely taken replacement foods into consideration. We aimed to investigate optimal substitutions between and within the food groups of red meat, poultry and fish for MI prevention. We followed up 55 171 women and men aged 50–64 years with no known history of MI at recruitment. Diet was assessed by a validated 192-item FFQ at baseline. Adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for specified food substitutions of 150 g/week. During a median follow-up time of 13·6 years, we identified 656 female and 1694 male cases. Among women, the HR for replacing red meat with fatty fish was 0·76 (95 % CI 0·64, 0·89), whereas the HR for replacing red meat with lean fish was 1·00 (95 % CI 0·89, 1·14). Similarly, replacing poultry with fatty but not lean fish was inversely associated with MI: the HR was 0·81 (95 % CI 0·67, 0·98) for fatty fish and was 1·08 (95 % CI 0·92, 1·27) for lean fish. The HR for replacing lean with fatty fish was 0·75 (95 % CI 0·60, 0·94). Replacing processed with unprocessed red meat was not associated with MI. Among men, a similar pattern was found, although the associations were not statistically significant. This study suggests that replacing red meat, poultry or lean fish with fatty fish is associated with a lower risk of MI.
Previous studies have suggested that prenatal maternal folate deficiency is associated with reduced prenatal brain growth and psychological problems in offspring. However, little is known about the longer-term impact. The aims of this study were to investigate whether prenatal maternal folate insufficiency, high total homocysteine levels and low vitamin B12 levels are associated with altered brain morphology, cognitive and/or psychological problems in school-aged children. This study was embedded in Generation R, a prospective population-based cohort study. The study sample consisted of 256 Dutch children aged between 6 and 8 years from whom structural brain scans were collected using MRI. The mothers of sixty-two children had insufficient (<8 nmol/l) plasma folate concentrations in early pregnancy. Cognitive development was assessed by the Snijders-Oomen Niet-verbale intelligentietest – Revisie and the NEPSY-II-NL. Psychological problems were assessed at age 6 years using the parent report of the Child Behavior Checklist. Low prenatal folate levels were associated with a smaller total brain volume (B –33·34; 95 % CI –66·7, 0·02; P=050) and predicted poorer performance on the language (B –0·28; 95 % CI –0·52, –0·04; P=0·020) and visuo-spatial domains (B –0·27; 95 % CI –0·50, –0·04; P=0·021). High homocysteine levels (>9·1 µmol/l) predicted poorer performance on the language (B –0·31; 95 % CI –0·56, –0·06; P=0·014) and visuo-spatial domains (B –0·36; 95 % CI –0·60, –0·11; P=0·004). No associations with psychological problems were found. Our findings suggest that folate insufficiency in early pregnancy has a long-lasting, global effect on brain development and is, together with homocysteine levels, associated with poorer cognitive performance.
Academic disciplines, including departments of history, emerged slowly and unevenly in the second half of the nineteenth century. Professional societies, including the American Historical Association (AHA) at its founding in 1884, were generally tiny organizations, a few would-be specialists collecting together to stake a claim on a distinct scholarly identity. Fields of study were necessarily fluid—interdisciplinary because they remained, to a large degree, predisciplinary. As fields went, the study of religion appeared especially amorphous; it was spread out across philology, history, classics, folklore, anthropology, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and oriental studies. Adding to the complexity more than simplifying it was the persisting claim that the study of religion belonged specifically (if not exclusively) to theology and hence to seminaries and divinity schools. Elizabeth A. Clark's Founding the Fathers illuminates the importance of Protestant theological institutions in shaping the study of religion in nineteenth-century America, suggesting, in particular, how well-trained church historians pointed the way toward disciplinary consolidation and specialization. Marjorie Wheeler-Barclay's Science of Religion, by contrast, explores the leading British intellectuals responsible for extending the study of religion across a broad swath of the new human sciences. Together these two books offer an excellent opportunity to reflect on what religion looked like as a learned object of inquiry before religious studies fully crystallized as an academic discipline in the middle third of the twentieth century. Clark opens the introduction to her book with an epigraph from Hayden White: “The question is, What is involved in the transformation of a field of studies into a discipline?” (1). What indeed?
This chapter talks about a 39-year-old man, a human resource executive, who was seen at the outpatient clinic of the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Unit of the Hospital das Clı´nicas, a public university hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Physical examination showed a well-nourished man, with a blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg, and neurologic examination revealed only dysarthria, with normal and reactive pupils and normal reflexes. His insight about his problems seemed to be normal. The initial diagnostic impression was a Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), but the final diagnosis was of paretic dementia, a neuropsychiatric condition caused by neurosyphilis. He was treated with intravenous aqueous crystalline penicillin G, 4 million units every 4 hours for 21 days, and with fluoxetine. FTD or behavioral subtype of fronto-temporal lobar degeneration was the initial diagnosis in this case because the clinical picture was dominated and confirmed the presence of frontal or fronto-temporal involvement.