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Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Impaired illness awareness or insight into illness (IIA) is a common feature of schizophrenia that contributes to medication nonadherence and poor clinical outcomes. Neuroimaging studies suggest IIA may arise from interhemispheric imbalance in frontoparietal regions, particularly in the posterior parietal area (PPA) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). In this pilot study, we examined the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on brain regions implicated in IIA.
Eleven patients with schizophrenia with IIA (≥3 PANSS G12) and 10 healthy controls were included. A crossover design was employed where all participants received single-session bi-frontal, bi-parietal, and sham stimulation in random order. For each condition, we measured (i) blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to an illness awareness task pre- and post-stimulation, (ii) regional cerebral blood-flow (rCBF) prior to and during stimulation, and (iii) changes in illness awareness.
At baseline, patients with schizophrenia showed higher BOLD-response to an illness awareness task in the left-PPA compared to healthy controls. Bi-parietal stimulation reduced the interhemispheric imbalance in the PPA compared to sham stimulation. Relatedly, bi-parietal stimulation increased rCBF beneath the anode (21% increase in the right-PPA), but not beneath the cathode (5.6% increase in the left-PPA). Bi-frontal stimulation did not induce changes in rCBF. We found no changes in illness awareness.
Although single-session tDCS did not improve illness awareness, this pilot study provides mechanistic justification for future investigations to determine if multi-session bi-parietal tDCS can induce sustained changes in brain activity in the PPA in association with improved illness awareness.
From simple averaging to more sophisticated registration and restoration strategies, such as super-resolution (SR), there exist different computational techniques that use a series of images of the same object to generate enhanced images where noise and other distortions have been reduced. In this work, we provide qualitative and quantitative measurements of this enhancement for high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging. These images are compared in two ways, qualitatively through visual inspection in real and reciprocal space, and quantitatively, through the calculation of objective measurements, such as signal-to-noise ratio and atom column roundness. Results show that these techniques improve the quality of the images. In this paper, we use an SR methodology that allows us to take advantage of the information present in the image frames and to reliably facilitate the analysis of more difficult regions of interest in experimental images, such as surfaces and interfaces. By acquiring a series of cross-sectional experimental images of magnetite (Fe3O4) thin films (111), we have generated interpolated images using averaging and SR, and reconstructed the atomic structure of the very top surface layer that consists of a full monolayer of Fe, with topmost Fe atoms in tetrahedrally coordinated sites.
Background: Genetically-determined leukoencephalopathies comprise a rare group of inherited white matter disorders. The vast majority are associated with a progressive disease course and early death. This study seeks to determine the clinical and demographic correlates of stress in parents of leukodystrophy patients, for future clinical guidance. Methods: A cross-sectional study including 36 families was performed. Children aged 1 month to 12 years with a diagnosed leukodystrophy or genetically-determined leukoencephalopathy were included. 31 mothers and 24 fathers completed the Parental Stress Index, 4th edition (PSI-4). One demographic questionnaire was completed per family. Clinical data was gathered within 6 months of the questionnaires. Statistical analysis was performed with total stress (TS) scores as the primary outcome. Results: Mothers and fathers had comparable TS scores. No clinical or demographic factors predicted the father’s TS score. Greater ambulatory impairment, using the GMFCS scale, correlated to lower TS scores in the mother. Conclusions: The progressive nature of these conditions makes it such that anticipating a child’s inability to walk may cause more stress for mothers than a child’s actual inability to ambulate. The inability of all other variables to predict total stress highlights a need for individualized approaches when addressing stress in these families.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
New routes in additive devices fabrication techniques and advances in printable materials are required to meet the ever increasing demands for low-cost and large-area flexible electronics. In particular, perovskite-based materials have gained an appeal due to their unique optoelectronics and ferroelectrics properties, which may replace p-n junction in semiconductor devices. Metal-organic methylammonium lead trihalide perovskite formulations have been extensively studied in the last few years as promising materials for use in printed electronics, which do not require high temperatures or vacuum environment, contrary to conventional semiconductor fabrication techniques. In this work, digital inkjet-printing in ambient atmosphere is proposed as a deposition pathway for the fabrication of perovskite active layers in photodetector and thin-film photovoltaic device architectures. The device architecture containing a printed perovskite active layer sandwiched between TiO2 and Spiro-OMeTAD as electron and hole transport layers, respectively, as well as layer-on-layer fabrication and responsivity spectra of the perovskite-based device are presented.
A pilot study by 6 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) explored how bibliometrics can be used to assess research influence.
Evaluators from 6 institutions shared data on publications (4202 total) they supported, and conducted a combined analysis with state-of-the-art tools. This paper presents selected results based on the tools from 2 widely used vendors for bibliometrics: Thomson Reuters and Elsevier.
Both vendors located a high percentage of publications within their proprietary databases (>90%) and provided similar but not equivalent bibliometrics for estimating productivity (number of publications) and influence (citation rates, percentage of papers in the top 10% of citations, observed citations relative to expected citations). A recently available bibliometric from the National Institutes of Health Office of Portfolio Analysis, examined after the initial analysis, showed tremendous potential for use in the CTSA context.
Despite challenges in making cross-CTSA comparisons, bibliometrics can enhance our understanding of the value of CTSA-supported clinical and translational research.
Interdisciplinary collaboration is a critical component of translation, dissemination, implementation, and improvement (TDII) science. Yet, little is known about effective frameworks and practices regarding interdisciplinary research in TDII.
This study drew on data collected from an expert panel during a regional symposium.
Findings highlight facilitators and barriers to stimulating interdisciplinary TDII research in different domains: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, power and hierarchy, physical environment, and communication and language.
Findings have significant implications for TDII of clinical practices.
The role of tachoclines, the thin shear layers that separate solid body from differential rotation in the interior of late-type stars, in stellar dynamos is still controversial. In this work we discuss their relevance in view of recent results from global dynamo simulations performed with the EULAG-MHD code. The models have solar-like stratification and different rotation rates (i.e., different Rossby number). Three arguments supporting the key role of tachoclines are presented: the solar dynamo cycle period, the origin of torsional oscillations and the scaling law of stellar magnetic fields as function of the Rossby number. This scaling shows a regime where the field strength increases with the rotation and a saturated regime for fast rotating stars. These properties are better reproduced by models that consider the convection zone and a fraction of the radiative core, naturally developing a tachocline, than by those that consider only the convection zone.
Recent observations of the magnetic field in pre-main sequence stars suggest that the magnetic field topology changes as a function of age. The presence of a tachocline could be an important factor in the development of magnetic field with higher multipolar modes. In this work we performed MHD simulations using the EULAG-MHD code to study the magnetic field generation and evolution in models that mimic stars at two evolutionary stages. The stratification for both stellar phases was computed by fitting stellar structure profiles obtained with the ATON stellar evolution code. The first stage is at 1.1Myr, when the star is completely convective. The second stage is at 14Myrs, when the star is partly convective, with a radiative core developed up to 30% of the stellar radius. In this proceedings we present a preliminary analysis of the resulting mean-flows and magnetic field. The mean-flow analysis shown that the star rotate almost rigidly on the fully convective phase, whereas at the partially convective phase there is differential rotation with conical contours of iso-rotation. As for the mean magnetic field both simulations show similarities with respect to the field evolution. However, the topology of the magnetic field is different.
We present Spitzer Space Telescope archival mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectroscopy of a sample of eleven planetary nebulae (PNe). The observations, acquired with the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS), cover the spectral range 5.2-14.5 μm that includes the H2 0-0 S(2) to S(7) rotational emission lines. This wavelength coverage has allowed us to derive the Boltzmann distribution and calculate the H2 rotational excitation temperature (Tex). The derived excitation temperatures have consistent values ≃ 900 ±70 K for different sources despite their different structural components. We also report the detection of mid-IR ionic lines of [Ar iii], [S iv], and [Ne ii] in most objects, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) features in a few cases.
The mechanism by which sunspots are generated at the surface of the sun remains unclear. In the current literature two types of explanations can be found. The first one is related to the buoyant emergence of toroidal magnetic fields generated at the tachocline. The second one states that active regions are formed, from initially diffused magnetic flux, by MHD instabilities that develop in the near-surface layers of the Sun. Using the anelastic MHD code EULAG we address the problem of sunspot formation by performing implicit large-eddy simulations of stratified magneto-convection in a domain that resembles the near-surface layers of the Sun. The development of magnetic structures is explored as well as their effect on the convection dynamics. By applying a homogeneous magnetic field over an initially stationary hydrodynamic convective state, we investigate the formation of self-organized magnetic structures in the range of the initial magnetic field strength, 0.01 < B0/Beq < 0.5, where Beq is the characteristic equipartition field strength.
Cottonseed hulls are co-product of agribusiness that can be used in beef cattle rations, decreasing the cost of feed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different cottonseed hull levels, display and ageing times on visual and sensorial meat acceptability. Longissimus thoracis muscle from 30 crossbred young bulls finished on three high-grain diets (210, 270 or 330 g/kg of cottonseed hulls on dry matter, respectively) were visually evaluated during 10 days of display by 37 appraisers. Tenderness, flavour and overall acceptability from the three diets and three ageing times (1, 7 and 14 days) were evaluated by 120 consumers. On the visual study, time of display (P⩽0.001) was a more significant factor than diet. Cottonseed hull level had no effect on sensorial analyses, with tenderness acceptability improving with ageing time (P⩽0.001). Results indicate the possibility of using the three studied levels of cottonseed without damaging consumer meat acceptability.
Butterflies and moths are subject to different evolutionary pressures that affect several aspects of their behaviour and physiology, particularly sexual communication. Butterflies are day-flying insects (excluding hedylids) whose partner-finding strategy is mainly based on visual cues and female butterflies having apparently lost the typical sex pheromone glands. Moths, in contrast, are mostly night-flyers and use female-released long-range pheromones for partner-finding. However, some moth families are exclusively day-flyers, and therefore subject to evolutionary pressures similar to those endured by butterflies. Among them, the Castniidae, also called ‘butterfly-moths’ or ‘sun-moths’, behave like butterflies and, thus, castniid females appear to have also lost their pheromone glands, an unparallel attribute in the world of moths. In this paper, we review the sexual communication strategy in day-flying Lepidoptera, mainly butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), Zygaenidae and Castniidae moths, and compare their mating behaviour with that of moth families of nocturnal habits, paying particular attention to the recently discovered butterfly-like partner-finding strategy of castniids and the fascinating facts and debates that led to its discovery.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
The chemical synthesis of the copolymers poly(3-HT-co-EDOT-co-fluorene) and poly(3-HT-co-EDOT-co-TDR1) is reported. The first copolymer is derived of 3-hexylthiophene (3-HT), 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) and 2,2'- (9,9-dioctyl-9H-fluorene-2,7-diyl) bisthiophene (fluorene). The second copolymer is derived of 3-hexylthiophene (3-HT), 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) and (E)-2-(ethyl(4-((4-nitrophenyl)diazenyl)phenyl)amino)ethyl 2-(thiophen-3-yl)acetate (TDR1). Their physicochemical characterization by 1H NMR, FT-IR, DSC-TGA, GPC, UV-vis, cyclic voltammetry was carried out. These copolymers combine the high electron density and low oxidation potential of EDOT with the high charge mobility and processability of 3-HT. These are candidates for applications as active or barrier layer in electronic devices (bulk heterojuntion organic solar cells) or as functional membranes (e.g., sensors).
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.