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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an important treatment in conjunction with psychopharmacotherapy in schizophrenia. However, there is only very little research on the effects of such interventions on brain function.
Recent studies have suggested that jumping to conclusions and a specific attributional bias is a predominant cognitive style in patients which might lead to the development of delusions. In this multi-centre fMRI trial, we investigated the effect of nine months of CBT on neural correlates of “jumping to conclusions” and the “attributional style” in patients with psychosis. Eighty patients and 80 control subjects were recruited in six centres and measured with 3-Tesla functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) before and after CBT.
It could be shown that CBT ameliorates differences in brain activations between patients and controls after nine months.
These results support the feasibility of fMRI multicenter trials and sheds further light into the mechanisms relating psychotherapy to brain function in Schizophrenia.
There is evidence that patients with persecutory delusions tend to attribute excessively hypothetical positive events to internal causes and hypothetical negative events to external causes, arrive at hasty conclusions and fail in gathering and assessing adequate feedback, particularly when emotionally salient material is involved. Research on the neural correlates of the corresponding neural correlates and even more so on the potential effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on the associated cerebral networks is almost unavailable.
The first and preliminary results of a multicentre fMRI study will be presented.
In this study eighty schizophrenia patients from the POSITIVE clinical trial and eighty healthy subjects were recruited at six German university hospitals (Bonn, Duisburg-Essen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne, Tubingen). After nine months of therapy (either with CBT or Supportive Therapy) patients and controls were re-examined enabling the study correlates of cerebral reorganization processes.
We found reliable differences in brain activation relating to phenomena of decision making under uncertainty, and biased attribution (self- vs. external reference of emotional events).
The comparison of both groups revealed significant decreased activation in key areas for decision making, self-reflection, self-relevance and agency attribution of patients with schizophrenia.
The preliminary data analysis of the still blinded treatment arms shows significantly increased activations in these areas after nine months of CBT. This suggest neuroplasitic changes according to relearning strategies in psychotic patients with schizophrenia and will hopefully give rise to a more widespread application of CBT in treatment of schizophrenia.
Treatment resistant schizophrenia (TRS) is one of the most disabling of psychiatric disorders, affecting about 1/3 of patients. First-line treatments include both atypical and typical antipsychotics. The original atypical, clozapine, is a final option, and although it has been shown to be the only effective treatment for TRS, many patients do not respond well to clozapine. Clozapine use is related to adverse events, most notably agranulocytosis, a potentially fatal blood disorder which affects about 1% of those prescribed clozapine and requires regular blood monitoring. This as a barrier to prescription and there is a long delay in access for TRS patients, of five or more years, from first antipsychotic prescription. Better tools to predict treatment resistance and to identify risk of adverse events would allow faster and safer access to clozapine for patients who are likely to benefit from it. The CRESTAR project (www.crestar-project.eu) is a European Framework 7 collaborative project that aims to develop tools to predict i) treatment response, particularly patients who are less likely to respond to usual antipsychotics, indicating treatment with clozapine as early as possible, ii) patients who are at high or low risk of adverse events and side effects, iii) extreme TRS patients so that they can be stratified in clinical trials for novel treatments. CRESTAR has addressed these questions by examining genome-wide association data, genome sequence, epigenetic biomarkers and epidemiological data in European patient cohorts characterized for treatment response, and adverse drug reaction using data from clozapine therapeutic drug monitoring and linked National population medical and pharmacy databases, to identify predictive factors. In parallel CRESTAR will perform health economic research on potential benefits, and ethics and patient-centred research with stakeholders.
Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) represents a relatively large cryptic species complex. Australia has at least two native populations of B. tabaci sensu lato and these were first found on different host plants in different parts of Australia. The species status of these populations has not been resolved, although their mitochondrial sequences differ by 3.82–4.20%. We addressed the question of whether these AUSI and AUSII B. tabaci populations are distinct species. We used reciprocal cross-mating tests to establish whether the insects from these different populations recognize one another as potential mating partners. The results show that the two native Australian populations of B. tabaci have a mating sequence with four phases, each of which is described. Not all pairs in the control crosses mated and the frequency of mating differed across them. Some pairs in the AUSI-M × AUSII-F did mate (15%) and did produce female progeny, but the frequency was extremely low relative to controls. Microsatellite genotyping of the female progeny produced in the crosses showed these matings were successful. None of the AUSII-M × AUSI-F crosses mated although some of the males did search for females. These results demonstrate the critical role of the mate recognition process and the need to assess this directly in cross-mating tests if the species status of different populations is to be tested realistically. In short, AUSI and AUSII B. tabaci populations are distinct species because the individual males and females do not recognize individuals of the alternative population as potential mating partners.
A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
Sex differences in the incidence of infections may indicate different risk factors and behaviour but have not been analysed across pathogens. Based on 3.96 million records of 33 pathogens in Germany, notified from 2001 to 2013, we applied Poisson regression to generate age-standardised incidence rate ratios and assessed their distribution across age and sex. The following trends became apparent: (a) pathogens with male incidence preponderance at infant and child age (meningococcal disease (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.19, 95% CI 1.03–1.38, age = 0–4); influenza (IRR = 1.09, 95% CI 1.06–1.13, age = 0–4)), (b) pathogens with sex-switch in incidence preponderance at puberty (e.g. norovirus (IRR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.02–1.19 in age = 5–14, IRR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.93–0.99, age ⩾ 60), (c) pathogens with general male incidence preponderance (bacterial/parasitic infections with campylobacter, Yersinia and Giardia), (d) pathogens with male incidence preponderance at juvenile and adult age (sexually transmitted or vector-borne infections (combined-IRR = 2.53, 95% CI 2.36–2.71, age = 15–59), (e) pathogens with male preponderance at older age (tick-borne encephalitis - IRR = 2.75, 95% CI 1.21–6.24, listeriosis - IRR = 2.06, 95% CI 1.38–3.06, age ⩾ 60). Risk factor concepts only partly serve to interpret similarities of grouped infections, i.e. transmission-related explanations and sex-specific exposures not consistently explain the pattern of food-borne infections (b). Sex-specific differences in infectious disease incidence are well acknowledged regarding the sexually transmitted diseases. This has led to designing gender-specific prevention strategies. Our data suggest that for infections with other transmission routes, gender-specific approaches can also be of benefit and importance.
An internationally approved and globally used classification scheme for the diagnosis of CHD has long been sought. The International Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Code (IPCCC), which was produced and has been maintained by the International Society for Nomenclature of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease (the International Nomenclature Society), is used widely, but has spawned many “short list” versions that differ in content depending on the user. Thus, efforts to have a uniform identification of patients with CHD using a single up-to-date and coordinated nomenclature system continue to be thwarted, even if a common nomenclature has been used as a basis for composing various “short lists”. In an attempt to solve this problem, the International Nomenclature Society has linked its efforts with those of the World Health Organization to obtain a globally accepted nomenclature tree for CHD within the 11th iteration of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The International Nomenclature Society has submitted a hierarchical nomenclature tree for CHD to the World Health Organization that is expected to serve increasingly as the “short list” for all communities interested in coding for congenital cardiology. This article reviews the history of the International Classification of Diseases and of the IPCCC, and outlines the process used in developing the ICD-11 congenital cardiac disease diagnostic list and the definitions for each term on the list. An overview of the content of the congenital heart anomaly section of the Foundation Component of ICD-11, published herein in its entirety, is also included. Future plans for the International Nomenclature Society include linking again with the World Health Organization to tackle procedural nomenclature as it relates to cardiac malformations. By doing so, the Society will continue its role in standardising nomenclature for CHD across the globe, thereby promoting research and better outcomes for fetuses, children, and adults with congenital heart anomalies.
Notoungulates, native South American fossil mammals, have been recently objective of several palaeoecological studies. Ecomorphology and biomechanics of the masticatory apparatus, together with micro and mesowear analyses on tooth enamel, were applied in order to understand their palaeobiology. In particular, the relationship between some dental traits (hypsodonty, occlusal surface area and complexity) and body mass is still poorly understood. These features were measured by means of the hypsodonty index (HI), occlusal surface area (OSA) and tooth area (OTA), enamel crest complexity (ECC) and length (OEL). The relationships between these indices were evaluated in five pan-contemporaneous Santacrucian Notoungulata genera from Patagonia: Adinotherium and Nesodon (Toxodontia), Interatherium, Protypotherium and Hegetotherium (Typotheria). While OSA, OTA and OEL were size dependent and strongly correlated, HI and ECC were size independent. All notoungulates analysed have very hypsodont teeth, indicating high rates of tooth wear in response to an increase of abrasives consumed with the food; their tooth occlusal area and complexity could be related to chewing efforts associated with the toughness of the plants consumed. HI, OSA and ECC were considered useful for palaeoecological reconstructions, but the results presented here show that these three features are integrated as a complex, so should not be evaluated separately.
Arctotherium angustidens Gervais and Ameghino, 1880 (the South American giant short-faced bear) is known for being the earliest (Ensenadan Age, early to middle Pleistocene) and largest (body mass over 1 ton) of five described Arctotherium species endemic to South America. Here we assess the diet of this bear from multiple proxies: morphology, biomechanics, dental pathology, stable isotopes and a previous study using geometric morphometric methodology. Results favor the idea of animal matter consumption, probably from large vertebrates in addition to vegetable matter consumption. Most probably, active hunting was not the unique strategy of this bear for feeding, since its large size and great power may have allowed him to fight for the prey hunted by other Pleistocene carnivores. However, scavenging over mega mammal carcasses was probably another frequent way of feeding. South American short-faced bears adjusted their size and modified their diet through Pleistocene times, probably as a response to the diversification of the carnivore guild (from the few precursory taxa that crossed the Panamanian Isthmus during the Great American Biotic Interchange).
High-redshift quasars are unique probes of the evolution of supermassive black holes and the intergalactic medium at the end of the epoch of reionization. We present the optical spectra of eight new z ~ 6 quasars selected from the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System 1 (Pan-STARRS1). Details of the selection strategy can be found in Bañados et al. (2014). With this work we increase the number of known quasars at z < 5.7 by more than 10%. The quasars discovered here span a large range of luminosities (19.6 ≤ zP1 ≤ 21.2) and are remarkably heterogeneous in their spectral features: half of them show bright emission lines whereas the other half show weak or no Lyα emission line. We find a larger fraction of weak–line emission quasars than in lower redshift studies, although still based on low number statistics, this may imply that the quasar population could be more diverse than previously thought.
Autecology and its place in ecological interpretation is only poorly understood. It has consequently been edged out of consideration as a valid ecological theory. The term “autecology” is used relatively infrequently in the ecological literature and seldom, if ever, in evolutionary biology. The understanding of autecology is confounded further because it is perceived in several fundamentally different ways. The various background perceptions of autecology therefore need to be disentangled to help establish its limits and thus determine what autecology really is. This aspect is covered in section 2. The place of autecology relative to other branches of ecology can thus be established.
The foundation statements (basic assumptions or fundamental premises) that define the basis and scope of autecology are expanded in section 3. At this stage it is sufficient to state that autecology deals with the species-specific adaptations of organisms, as they change through the various stages of the species’ life cycle, and how these are involved in interactions that impact on individual organisms in nature. The consequences for interpreting the local presence and geographical distribution of species and their changing intensity of occurrence (or abundance) across space and through time can thus be determined. In this way, autecology provides a mutually exclusive alternative perspective on these issues of central concern to ecology. Clearly, other branches of ecology also deal with these central issues, including population, community and landscape ecology. Teasing apart these alternative perceptions of ecology to justify that autecology is, indeed, a true alternative begins in section 2, but is returned to periodically through the chapter.