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Few studies have evaluated the association between a healthful plant-based diet and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We followed 50 290 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS; 1992–2000) and 51 784 women in NHSII (1993–2001) for 8 years to investigate changes in plant-based diet quality in relation to changes in physical and mental HRQoL. Plant-based diet quality was assessed by three plant-based diet indices: overall plant-based diet index (PDI), healthful PDI (hPDI) and unhealthful PDI (uPDI). Physical and mental HRQoL were measured by physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey. Diet was assessed 2 years before the HRQoL measurements and both were updated every 4 years. The associations between 4-year changes in PDIs and HRQoL were evaluated. Each 10-point increase in PDI was associated with an improvement of 0·07 (95 % CI 0·01, 0·13) in PCS and 0·11 (95 % CI 0·05, 0·16) in MCS. A 10-point increase in hPDI was associated with an increment of 0·13 (95 % CI 0·08, 0·19) in PCS and 0·09 (95 % CI 0·03, 0·15) in MCS. Conversely, a 10-point increase in uPDI was associated with decreases in PCS and MCS (−0·07 (95 % CI −0·12, −0·02) and −0·10 (95 % CI −0·16, −0·05), respectively). Compared with a stable diet, an increase in hPDI was significantly associated with improvements in physical HRQoL in older women and with mental HRQoL in younger women. In conclusion, adherence to a healthful plant-based diet was modestly associated with improvements in both physical and mental dimensions of HRQoL.
We hypothesized an increase in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) glutamate levels would occur after three weeks of repetitve transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment and a decrease in major depressive disorder (MDD) symptoms.
We report six cases (four females) 15–21 years of age with treatment-resistant MDD. Participants had a mean age of 18.7 years and a mean IQ of 102.3. Short echo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-MRS) was used to quantify glutamate levels in the left DLPFC (4.5cc) before and after rTMS treatment. rTMS was localized to the left DLPFC and applied for 15 consecutive weekdays. Treatment response was defined as a greater than 50% reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores (Ham-D).1H-MRS data was analyzed with LCModel to determine glutamate concentration.
Following rTMS, treatment responders (N=4) showed an increase (relative to baseline) in left DLPFC glutamate levels (11%), which corresponded to an improvement in depressive symptom severity (68% Ham-D score reduction). Treatment non-responders (N=2) had elevated baseline glutamate levels compared to responders in that same region, which decreased with rTMS (−10%). Procedures were generally well tolerated with no adverse events.
rTMS is feasible and possibly efficacious in adolescents with MDD. In responders, rTMS may act by Induced elevations in elevating DFPLC glutamate levels in the left DLPFC, thereby leading to symptom improvement. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Adolescent Depression (TMSAD)
Sexual dysfunction occurs in 40%-60% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), due to either the illness itself and/or the effects of antidepressant treatment. The phase-2 CLARITY trial recently demonstrated the efficacy of adjunctive pimavanserin (PIM) for MDD when added to ongoing selective serotonin or serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSRI/SNRI) treatment. No new safety observations were reported in this study. This post-hoc analysis examines the potential impact of PIM treatment on sexual function.
Study methodology has been presented previously (APA 2019). Adult male and female patients with moderate-to-severe MDD were randomized to PIM 34 mg/day (n=51) or placebo (PBO, n=152) added to ongoing SSRI/SNRI treatment. Massachusetts General Hospital–Sexual Functioning Inventory (MGH-SFI) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAMD-17) item 14 (sexual interest) scores were examined by analysis of covariance.
Adjunctive PIM resulted in significantly greater 5-week reduction (improvement) relative to SSRI/SNRI treatment plus placebo on mean MGH-SFI scores (difference –0.634, SE 0.167; P<0.001; effect size [ES], Cohen’s d 0.614). Similarly, PIM resulted in greater improvement compared with placebo on individual MGH-SFI items that applied to both males and females: Interest in Sex (P=0.006; ES=0.483), Ability to Get Sexually Aroused/Excited (P=0.001; ES=0.560), Ability to Achieve Orgasm (P<0.001; ES=0.609), Overall Sexual Satisfaction (P=0.003; ES=0.524). HAMD-17 item 14 scores were also significantly more reduced (improved) with PIM (P<0.001; ES=0.574).
These results underscore the potential of adjunctive PIM for improving sexual function in patients with MDD and inadequate response to SSRIs/SNRIs. Potential benefits should be confirmed in further studies.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with fewer than 50% of treated patients achieving full remission. This study (“CLARITY,” ACP-103-042: NCT03018340) examined the 5-HT2A inverse agonist pimavanserin (PIM) as a potential adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD).
Adult female and male subjects with a DSM-5 primary diagnosis of a major depressive episode as part of MDD, inadequate response to ongoing SSRIs or SNRIs of adequate dose and duration as confirmed by the Massachusetts General Hospital Antidepressant Treatment History Questionnaire, and a MADRS total score >20 were randomized to PIM 34 mg/day or placebo (PBO) added to their SSRI/SNRI treatment. A sequential parallel comparison design was used, consisting of two 5-week stages. PBO nonresponders in Stage-1 who met prespecified criteria were re-randomized to PIM or PBO for the second period (Stage-2). The primary efficacy measure was the weighted average of Stage-1 and Stage-2 total scores of the HAMD-17.
Of the 207 patients enrolled, 52 received PIM, and 155 received PBO in Stage 1. Mean age was 46.2 years, and 72.9% of patients were female. Baseline MADRS total (mean [SD]: 31.5 [0.4]) and HAMD-17 total scores (22.2 [0.3]) indicated a moderate overall severity of illness. PIM met the primary endpoint, reducing the weighted Stage-1/Stage-2 HAMD-17 total score relative to PBO (least-square means [LSM] difference, –1.7; standard error [SE], 0.9; P=0.04). Stage-1 PIM patients demonstrated highly significant 5-week improvement on the HAMD-17 (LSM difference=–4.0, SE=1.1; P<0.001; effect size, Cohen’s d: 0.626), separating from placebo by the end of Week 1 (LSM difference=–1.7, SE=0.8; P=0.04). Stage-2 results showed no significant separation among Stage-1 placebo nonresponders (P=0.69). In Stage 2, a substantively smaller number of subjects (n=58) were rerandomized than planned, likely due to restrictive criteria for re-randomization. Greater overall improvement was seen with PIM relative to PBO on the key secondary endpoint, the Sheehan Disability Scale (LSM difference=–0.8, SE=0.3; P=0.004), and positive results were also seen on 7 of the 11 other secondary endpoints, including responder rate (≥50% reduction in HAMD-17 total; P=0.007), Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Functioning Index (P<0.001), and Karolinska Sleepiness Scale for daytime sleepiness (P=0.02). Discontinuations due to adverse events were low (PIM 1.2%, PBO 3.2%). One serious adverse event was reported in each treatment group, deemed unrelated to treatment. No deaths were reported. Laboratory assessments, electrocardiography, and changes in vital signs were unremarkable, and no new safety signals were reported.
Study data provide evidence of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of adjunctive PIM in treating MDD inadequately responsive to SSRI or SNRI therapy. Efforts to confirm these results are ongoing in a Phase 3 program.
Giant electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated during the interaction of high-power lasers with solid targets can seriously degrade electrical measurements and equipment. EMP emission is caused by the acceleration of hot electrons inside the target, which produce radiation across a wide band from DC to terahertz frequencies. Improved understanding and control of EMP is vital as we enter a new era of high repetition rate, high intensity lasers (e.g. the Extreme Light Infrastructure). We present recent data from the VULCAN laser facility that demonstrates how EMP can be readily and effectively reduced. Characterization of the EMP was achieved using B-dot and D-dot probes that took measurements for a range of different target and laser parameters. We demonstrate that target stalk geometry, material composition, geodesic path length and foil surface area can all play a significant role in the reduction of EMP. A combination of electromagnetic wave and 3D particle-in-cell simulations is used to inform our conclusions about the effects of stalk geometry on EMP, providing an opportunity for comparison with existing charge separation models.
Endophenotypes are laboratory-based measures hypothesized to lie in the causal chain between genes and clinical disorder, and to serve as a more powerful way to identify genes associated with the disorder. One promise of endophenotypes is that they may assist in elucidating the neurobehavioral mechanisms by which an associated genetic polymorphism affects disorder risk in complex traits. We evaluated this promise by testing the extent to which variants discovered to be associated with schizophrenia through large-scale meta-analysis show associations with psychophysiological endophenotypes.
We genome-wide genotyped and imputed 4905 individuals. Of these, 1837 were whole-genome-sequenced at 11× depth. In a community-based sample, we conducted targeted tests of variants within schizophrenia-associated loci, as well as genome-wide polygenic tests of association, with 17 psychophysiological endophenotypes including acoustic startle response and affective startle modulation, antisaccade, multiple frequencies of resting electroencephalogram (EEG), electrodermal activity and P300 event-related potential.
Using single variant tests and gene-based tests we found suggestive evidence for an association between contactin 4 (CNTN4) and antisaccade and P300. We were unable to find any other variant or gene within the 108 schizophrenia loci significantly associated with any of our 17 endophenotypes. Polygenic risk scores indexing genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia were not related to any of the psychophysiological endophenotypes after correction for multiple testing.
The results indicate significant difficulty in using psychophysiological endophenotypes to characterize the genetically influenced neurobehavioral mechanisms by which risk loci identified in genome-wide association studies affect disorder risk.
It is well known that energy plays an important role in sow growth and development. Increasing the utilization of lipids will be beneficial to sows. Emulsifiers are substances which stabilize mixtures and prevent oil and water from separating, thereby enhancing the digestion of lipids. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary emulsifier (lysophospholipids (LPL)) supplementation in diets differing in fat contents on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and milk composition in lactating sows, as well as performance and fecal score in piglets. A total of 32 multiparous sows (Landrace×Yorkshire) were used in a 21-day experiment. On day 110 of gestation, sows were weighed and moved into the farrowing facility, randomly assigned in a 2×2 factorial arrangement according to their BW with two levels of LPL (0 and 30 mg/kg) and two levels of fat (4.75% and 2.38% fat; 13.66 and 13.24 MJ/kg). BW loss and backfat thickness loss were decreased (P<0.05) by LPL supplementation. Backfat thickness at weaning was higher (P<0.05) in sows fed LPL supplementation diets. The apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter, nitrogen, gross energy and crude fat in sows fed LPL diets was increased (P<0.05) compared with those fed non-LPL diets. Sows fed the high-fat diets had higher (P<0.05) milk fat on day 10 and milk lactose on day 20 than those fed the low-fat diets. Milk fat and lactose concentrations in LPL supplementation treatments was increased (P<0.05) compared with non-LPL treatments on day 10 and day 20, respectively. Positive interaction effects (P<0.05) between fat and LPL were observed for milk fat concentration on day 10. In conclusion, LPL addition decreased BW loss and backfat thickness loss, improved nutrient digestibility and milk fat as well as milk lactose concentrations. In addition, there was a complementary positive effect of dietary fat and LPL supplementation on milk fat concentration in lactating sows.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
The first aim was to use confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to test a hypothesis that two factors (internalizing and externalizing) account for lifetime co-morbid DSM-IV diagnoses among adults with bipolar I (BPI) disorder. The second aim was to use confirmatory latent class analysis (CLCA) to test the hypothesis that four clinical subtypes are detectible: pure BPI; BPI plus internalizing disorders only; BPI plus externalizing disorders only; and BPI plus internalizing and externalizing disorders.
A cohort of 699 multiplex BPI families was studied, ascertained and assessed (1998–2003) by the National Institute of Mental Health Genetics Initiative Bipolar Consortium: 1156 with BPI disorder (504 adult probands; 594 first-degree relatives; and 58 more distant relatives) and 563 first-degree relatives without BPI. Best-estimate consensus DSM-IV diagnoses were based on structured interviews, family history and medical records. MPLUS software was used for CFA and CLCA.
The two-factor CFA model fit the data very well, and could not be improved by adding or removing paths. The four-class CLCA model fit better than exploratory LCA models or post-hoc-modified CLCA models. The two factors and four classes were associated with distinctive clinical course and severity variables, adjusted for proband gender. Co-morbidity, especially more than one internalizing and/or externalizing disorder, was associated with a more severe and complicated course of illness. The four classes demonstrated significant familial aggregation, adjusted for gender and age of relatives.
The BPI two-factor and four-cluster hypotheses demonstrated substantial confirmatory support. These models may be useful for subtyping BPI disorders, predicting course of illness and refining the phenotype in genetic studies.
Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs), which are coupled excitations of electrons bound to a metal-dielectric interface, show great potential for application in future nanoscale photonic systems due to the strong field confinement at the nanoscale, intensive local field enhancement, and interplay between strongly localized and propagating SPPs. The fabrication of sufficiently smooth metal surface with nanoscale feature size is crucial for SPPs to have practical applications. A template stripping (ST) method combined with PMMA as a template was successfully developed to create extraordinarily smooth metal nanostructures with a desirable feature size and morphology for plasmonics and metamaterials. The advantages of this method, including the high resolution, precipitous top-to bottom profile with a high aspect ratio, and three-dimensional characteristics, make it very suitable for the fabrication of plasmonic structures. By using this ST method, boxing ring-shaped nanocavities have been fabricated and the confined modes of surface plasmon polaritons in these nanocavities have been investigated and imaged by using cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy, which has been turned out to be a powerful means to characterize the resonant SPPs modes confined in metal nanocavities [1∼5] . The mode of the out-of-plane field components of surface plasmon polaritons dominates the experimental mode patterns, indicating that the electron beam locally excites the out-of-plane field component of surface plasmon polaritons. Quality factors can be directly acquired from the spectra induced by the ultrasmooth surface of the cavity and the high reflectivity of the silver (Ag) reflectors. Because of its three-dimensional confined characteristics and the omnidirectional reflectors, the nanocavity exhibits a small modal volume, small total volume, rich resonant modes, and flexibility in mode control. Numerous applications, such as plasmonic filter, nanolaser, and efficient light-emitting devices, can be expected to arise from these developments.
In horses, successful in vitro fertilization procedures are limited by our inability to consistently mature equine oocytes by in vitro methods. Growth hormone (GH) is an important regulator of female reproduction in mammals, playing an important role in ovarian function, follicular growth and steroidogenesis. The objectives of this research were to investigate: the effects of equine growth hormone (eGH) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) on the in vitro maturation (IVM) of equine oocytes, and the effects of eGH in addition to estradiol (E2), gonadotropins (FSH and LH) and fetal calf serum (FCS) on IVM. We also evaluated the cytoskeleton organization of equine oocytes after IVM with eGH. Equine oocytes were aspirated from follicles <30 mm in diameter and matured for 30 h at 38.5°C in air with 5% CO2. In experiment 1, selected cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were randomly allocated as follows: (a) control (no additives); (b) 400 ng/ml eGH; (c) 200 ng/ml IGF-I; (d) eGH + IGF-I; and (e) eGH + IGF-I + 200 ng/ml anti-IGF-I. In addition to these treatment groups, we also added 1 μg/ml E2, 5 IU/ml FSH, 10 IU/ml LH and 10% FCS in vitro (experiment 2). Oocytes were stained with markers for microtubules (anti-α-tubulin antibody), microfilaments (AlexaFluor 488 Phalloidin) and chromatin (TO-PRO3-iodide) and assessed via confocal microscopy. No difference was observed when eGH and IGF-I was added into our IVM system. However, following incubation with eGH alone (40%) and eGH, E2, gonadotropins and FCS (36.6%) oocytes were classified as mature v. 17.6% of oocytes in the control group (P < 0.05). Matured equine oocytes showed that a thin network of filaments concentrated within the oocyte cortex and microtubules at the metaphase spindle showed a symmetrical barrel-shaped structure, with chromosomes aligned along its midline. We conclude that the use of E2, gonadotropins and FCS in the presence of eGH increases the number of oocytes reaching oocyte competence.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO), which will be launched onboard the
Lomonosov spacecraft, contains two crucial instruments: UFFO Burst
Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) for detection and localization of Gamma-Ray Bursts
(GRBs) and the fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) designed for the observation
of the prompt optical/UV counterparts. Here we discuss the in-space calibrations of the
UBAT detector and SMT telescope. After the launch, the observations of the standard X-ray
sources such as pulsar in Crab nebula will provide data for necessary calibrations of
UBAT. Several standard stars will be used for the photometric calibration of SMT. The
celestial X-ray sources, e.g. X-ray binaries with bright optical sources
in their close angular vicinity will serve for the cross-calibration of UBAT and SMT.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) Pathfinder for Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) consists
of two telescopes. The UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) handles the
detection and localization of GRBs, and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) conducts the
measurement of the UV/optical afterglow. UBAT is equipped with an X-ray detector, analog
and digital signal readout electronics that detects X-rays from GRBs and determines the
location. SMT is equipped with a stepping motor and the associated electronics to rotate
the slewing mirror targeting the GRBs identified by UBAT. First the slewing mirror points
to a GRB, then SMT obtains the optical image of the GRB using the intensified CCD and its
readout electronics. The UFFO Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) is responsible for the
overall function and operation of the observatory and the communication with the satellite
main processor. In this paper we present the design and implementation of the electronics
of UBAT and SMT as well as the architecture and implementation of UDAQ.
One of the unexplored domains in the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is the early time
phase of the optical light curve. We have proposed Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) to
address this question through extraordinary opportunities presented by a series of small
space missions. The UFFO is equipped with a fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope that
uses a rapidly moving mirror or mirror array to redirect the optical beam rather than
slewing the entire spacecraft or telescope to aim the optical instrument at the GRB
position. The UFFO will probe the early optical rise of GRBs with sub-second response, for
the first time, opening a completely new frontier in GRB and transient studies. Its fast
response measurements of the optical emission of dozens of GRB each year will provide
unique probes of the burst mechanism and test the prospect of GRB as a new standard
candle, potentially opening up the z > 10 universe. We describe the current limit in
early photon measurements, the aspects of early photon physics, our soon-to-be-launched
UFFO-pathfinder mission, and our next planned mission, the UFFO-100.