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Based on evidences in molecular neuroimaging, postmortem and genetic studies, impaired serotonergic neurotransmission has been implicated with affective disorders. Moreover, a growing number of evidences showed strong interrelations within the serotonergic system suggesting a common mechanism in the modulation of receptor and transporter densities.
Here we directly investigated the regional expression of the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A and 5-HTT using PET and the three highly selective and specific radioligands [carbonyl-11C]WAY-100635, [18F]Altanserin and [11C]DASB in healthy subjects.
A total of 55 healthy subjects (5-HT1A: 36 subjects, 18 males, age = 26.0 ± 4.9; 5-HT2A: 19 subjects, 11 males, age = 28.2 ± 5.9; 5-HTT: 8 males, age = 28.12 ± 3.6) were included in this study. Binding potential (BPND) values were quantified according to the AAL parcellation scheme.
BPND values averaged over both hemispheres ranged from 0.40–6.35 for the 5-HT1A receptor; 0.01–2.01 for the 5-HT2A receptor and 0.09–2.05 for the 5-HTT, respectively. There was a specific topological pattern according to the ratio between the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A receptors and 5-HTT (“fingerprints”).
Such information can be essential for detecting potential local alterations in the ratio between different binding proteins on a network level in pathological conditions.
Moreover, these data might provide further insight in area-specific effects of frequently prescribed selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI):
1) due to the distinct local receptor and transporter availability;
2) SSRI application alters the postsynaptic receptor expression and thus;
3) leads to a modified interaction of inhibitory and exhibitory receptors.
Efforts focused on prevention and early intervention may have a significant impact on public health by avoiding onset of mental illness and limiting severity of onset. The European project ProYouth investigates the potential of an Internet-based program in the prevention and early intervention of eating disorders where we know that only a minority of affected individuals seek professional help and additionally we often see a substantial delay between symptom onset and the uptake of treatment.
The functions of the ProYouth online platform are a) to raise awareness and to educate about eating disorders, b) to provide individualized feedback on eating disorder related attitudes, behaviours, and symptoms, c) to provide peer support and professional support online, and d) to refer individuals to regular professional healthcare if online support is not sufficient. These functions should allow for an early detection of eating disorder related impairment, early intervention via the Internet as well as timely access to regular care if necessary.
Via various dissemination channels (e.g., Internet, print media, social media, workshops), more than 100.000 young people have been informed about the ProYouth initiative in six European countries, more than 15.000 have used the online screening tools and more than 6.000 have registered to get full access to the information and support modules of the platform.
Findings confirm poor mental health literacy, shame, and stigmatization of eating disorders as barriers in the helpseeking process and point to the potential of the ProYouth platform in overcoming such barriers.
Two common approaches to identify subgroups of patients with bipolar disorder are clustering methodology (mixture analysis) based on the age of onset, and a birth cohort analysis. This study investigates if a birth cohort effect will influence the results of clustering on the age of onset, using a large, international database.
The database includes 4037 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, previously collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust the data for country median age, and in some models, birth cohort. Model-based clustering (mixture analysis) was then performed on the age of onset data using the residuals. Clinical variables in subgroups were compared.
There was a strong birth cohort effect. Without adjusting for the birth cohort, three subgroups were found by clustering. After adjusting for the birth cohort or when considering only those born after 1959, two subgroups were found. With results of either two or three subgroups, the youngest subgroup was more likely to have a family history of mood disorders and a first episode with depressed polarity. However, without adjusting for birth cohort (three subgroups), family history and polarity of the first episode could not be distinguished between the middle and oldest subgroups.
These results using international data confirm prior findings using single country data, that there are subgroups of bipolar I disorder based on the age of onset, and that there is a birth cohort effect. Including the birth cohort adjustment altered the number and characteristics of subgroups detected when clustering by age of onset. Further investigation is needed to determine if combining both approaches will identify subgroups that are more useful for research.
Self-ratings of psychotic experiences might be biased by depressive symptoms.
Data from a large naturalistic multicentre trial on depressed inpatients (n = 488) who were assessed on a biweekly basis until discharge were analyzed. Self-rated psychotic symptoms as assessed with the 90-Item Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) were correlated with the SCL-90 total score, the SCL-90 depression score, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 21 item (HAMD-21) total score, the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score and the clinician-rated paranoid-hallucinatory score of the Association for Methodology and Documentation in Psychiatry (AMDP) scale.
At discharge the SCL-90 psychosis score correlated highest with the SCL-90 depression score (0.78, P<0.001) and with the BDI total score (0.64, P<0.001). Moderate correlations were found for the MADRS (0.34, P<0.001), HAMD (0.37, P<0.001) and AMDP depression score (0.33, P<0.001). Only a weak correlation was found between the SCL-90 psychosis score and the AMDP paranoid-hallucinatory syndrome score (0.15, P<0.001). Linear regression showed that change in self-rated psychotic symptoms over the treatment course was best explained by a change in the SCL-90 depression score (P<0.001). The change in clinician-rated AMDP paranoid-hallucinatory score had lesser influence (P = 0.02).
In depressed patients self-rated psychotic symptoms correlate poorly with clinician-rated psychotic symptoms. Caution is warranted when interpreting results from epidemiological surveys using self-rated psychotic symptom questionnaires as indicators of psychotic symptoms. Depressive symptoms which are highly prevalent in the general population might influence such self-ratings.
Wearable devices are fast evolving to address mobility and autonomy needs of elderly people who would benefit from physical assistance. Recent developments in soft robotics provide important opportunities to develop soft exoskeletons (also called exosuits) to enable both physical assistance and improved usability and acceptance for users. The XoSoft EU project has developed a modular soft lower limb exoskeleton to assist people with low mobility impairments. In this paper, we present the design of a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton to improve person’s mobility, contributing to independence and enhancing quality of life. The novelty of this work is the integration of quasi-passive elements in a soft exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides mechanical assistance for subjects with low mobility impairments reducing energy requirements between 10% and 20%. Investigation of different control strategies based on gait segmentation and actuation elements is presented. A first hip–knee unilateral prototype is described, developed, and its performance assessed on a post-stroke patient for straight walking. The study presents an analysis of the human–exoskeleton energy patterns by way of the task-based biological power generation. The resultant assistance, in terms of power, was 10.9% ± 2.2% for hip actuation and 9.3% ± 3.5% for knee actuation. The control strategy improved the gait and postural patterns by increasing joint angles and foot clearance at specific phases of the walking cycle.
Research demonstrates the importance of nutrition for early brain development. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of multiple micronutrient powders (MNP) on child development. This study examined the impacts of home fortification with MNP on motor and mental development, executive function and memory of children living in Bihar. This two-arm cluster-randomised effectiveness trial selected seventy health sub-centres to receive either MNP and nutrition counselling (intervention) or nutrition counselling alone (control) for 12 months. Front-line health workers delivered the intervention to all households in study communities with a child aged 6–18 months. Data were collected using cross-sectional surveys at baseline and endline by selecting households from intervention (baseline, n 2184; endline, n 2170) and control (baseline, n 2176; endline, n 2122) communities using a two-stage cluster-randomised sampling strategy. Children in the intervention group had a significantly larger improvement from baseline to endline compared with those in the control group on scores for motor and mental development (Cohen’s d, motor=0·12; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·22; mental=0·15; 95 % CI 0·06, 0·25). Greater impacts of MNP on motor and mental development were observed in children from households with higher stimulation scores at baseline compared with those with lower stimulation (Cohen’s d, motor=0·20 v. 0·09; mental=0·22 v. 0·14; Pinteraction<0·05). No significant treatment differences were seen for executive function or memory. Home fortification with MNP through the existing health infrastructure in Bihar was effective in improving motor and mental development and should be considered in combination with other child development interventions such as stimulation.
The present study investigated the population dynamics of Exhippolysmata oplophoroides in an area influenced by upwelling, focusing on reproductive period, sex ratio, growth rate, longevity, mortality, relative growth and size of sex change. We also tested the hypothesis that the appendices internae increased in size with sex change from the male to the simultaneous hermaphrodite phase as possible replacements for the male appendices masculinae, which are reduced or lost at sex change. Population structure was assessed by the distribution of size frequency in three demographic groups: male phase, hermaphrodite phase with, and without embryos. For relative growth analysis, the length of the following structures was measured: carapace, second pleuron, first pereopod, second pereopod, appendices internae of the second to fifth pleopods, and appendix masculina. Smaller size classes were composed only by male-phase individuals. The sex ratio was significantly biased towards the simultaneous hermaphrodite phase. Reproduction was continuous in the population throughout the year. Slower growth rates but higher maximum body sizes than those estimated at other locations in south-eastern Brazil were observed in the population studied. Cooler temperatures and higher nutrient levels associated with upwelling may have produced this pattern of reproduction and growth, similar to that found in more southerly austral latitudes. We also found that sex change influences the relative growth of body structures such as the second pereopods, appendices internae, and appendix masculina, and hypotheses on the adaptive value of such allometric growth are proposed.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
We derive zphot for sources in the entire (~0.4 deg2) H-HDF-N field with the EAzY code, based on PSF-matched broad-band (U band to IRAC 4.5 μm) photometry. Our catalog consists of a total of 131,678 sources. We find σNMAD = 0.029 for non-X-ray sources. We also classify each object as a star or galaxy through SED fitting. Furthermore, we match our catalog with the 2 Ms CDF-N main X-ray catalog. For the 462 matched non-stellar X-ray sources, we improve their zphot quality (σNMAD = 0.035) by adding three additional AGN templates. We make our photometry and zphot catalog publicly available.
Completing the census of AGN in the Universe is the key to understanding the cosmic evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBH) and galaxies, and to resolving the spectrum of the X-ray background (XRB). However, a large population of AGN, especially the heavily obscured, Compton-thick AGN, are still missing from even the deepest X-ray surveys. The infrared spectra energy distribution (SED) of distant star-forming galaxies can reveal the presence of bright AGN activity. Using some of the deepest infrared, X-ray and radio data available in the GOODS fields, we identify a population of infrared bright quasars at redshift z ~ 2, which are often missed in the X-ray band. Amongst these sources the number of obscured and heavily-obscured quasars is much higher than those previously found in several X-ray and optical selected samples. A unique view on these heavily-obscured quasars is now given at high energies by NuSTAR. I will present the first NuSTAR detection of a heavily obscured quasar at z 2. This source is a potential archetype of the heavily-obscured high-z AGN in which most of the black hole growth is happening, that can explain the mysterious missing fraction of the XRB.
Strophomenid brachiopods have long been interpreted as “snowshoe” strategists, with their flattened concavo-convex valves providing resistance to foundering in very soft sediments. There has been a sharp difference of opinion in whether the shells were oriented with their convex or their concave surface in contact with the sediment. This study, along with independent evidence from sedimentology, ichnology, and morphology, indicates that the strophomenids lived with their shells concave down (convex up). Experiments indicate the force required to push shells into soft cohesive muds is much greater for the convex up than for the convex down orientation. Forces also increase with shell curvature. All measured forces greatly exceed estimates of the downward force exerted by the weight of the shell, indicating that foundering resistance may not have been the key functional requirement. Instead, a convex up orientation would have provided resistance to overturning in currents, in particular if the valves gaped widely. The “snowshoe” may not be the relevant paradigm for the shell morphology of these forms. An alternative is that they functioned more as a tip-resistant base, similar to those of garden umbrellas or stanchions.
The study of variable stars in open clusters via asteroseismology is a powerful tool for the study of stellar evolution and stars in general. That is because stars in clusters can be assumed to originate from the same interstellar cloud, so they share similar properties such as age and overall metallicity. We performed a search for variable stars in the field of the young open star cluster Roslund 2, with photoelectric and CCD photometry acquired at two different telescopes. Within the resulting light curves we have found 12 variable stars. Our measurements confirm three previously known variables.
The electronic structure of delta plutonium (δ-Pu) and plutonium compounds is investigated using photoelectron spectroscopy (PES). Results for δ-Pu show a small component of the valence electronic structure which might reasonably be associated with a 5f6 configuration. PES results for PuTe are used as an indication for the 5f6 configuration due to the presence of atomic multiplet structure. Temperature dependent PES data on δ-Pu indicate a narrow peak centered 20 meV below the Fermi energy and 100 meV wide. The first PES data for PuCoIn5 indicate a 5f electronic structure more localized than the 5fs in the closely related PuCoGa5. There is support from the PES data for a description of Pu materials with an electronic configuration of 5f5 with some admixture of 5f6 as well as a localized/delocalized 5f5 description.