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Studies on neighbourhood characteristics and depression show equivocal results.
This large-scale pooled analysis examines whether urbanisation, socioeconomic, physical and social neighbourhood characteristics are associated with the prevalence and severity of depression.
Cross-sectional design including data are from eight Dutch cohort studies (n= 32 487). Prevalence of depression, either DSM-IV diagnosis of depressive disorder or scoring for moderately severe depression on symptom scales, and continuous depression severity scores were analysed. Neighbourhood characteristics were linked using postal codes and included (a) urbanisation grade, (b) socioeconomic characteristics: socioeconomic status, home value, social security beneficiaries and non-Dutch ancestry, (c) physical characteristics: air pollution, traffic noise and availability of green space and water, and (d) social characteristics: social cohesion and safety. Multilevel regression analyses were adjusted for the individual's age, gender, educational level and income. Cohort-specific estimates were pooled using random-effects analysis.
The pooled analysis showed that higher urbanisation grade (odds ratio (OR) = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.10), lower socioeconomic status (OR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.87–0.95), higher number of social security beneficiaries (OR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.06–1.19), higher percentage of non-Dutch residents (OR = 1.08, 95% CI 1.02–1.14), higher levels of air pollution (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.01–1.12), less green space (OR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.88–0.99) and less social safety (OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.88–0.97) were associated with higher prevalence of depression. All four socioeconomic neighbourhood characteristics and social safety were also consistently associated with continuous depression severity scores.
This large-scale pooled analysis across eight Dutch cohort studies shows that urbanisation and various socioeconomic, physical and social neighbourhood characteristics are associated with depression, indicating that a wide range of environmental aspects may relate to poor mental health.
Genetic predispositions play an important role in the development of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Understanding the mechanisms through which genetic risk unfolds to influence these developmental outcomes is critical for developing prevention and intervention efforts, capturing key elements of Irv's research agenda and scientific legacy. In this study, we examined the role of parenting and personality in mediating the effect of genetic risk on adolescents’ major depressive disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Longitudinal data were drawn from a sample of 709 European American adolescents and their mothers from the Collaborative Studies on Genetics of Alcoholism. Results from multivariate path analysis indicated that adolescents’ depressive symptoms genome-wide polygenic scores (DS_GPS) predicted lower parental knowledge, which in turn was associated with more subsequent major depressive disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Adolescents’ DS_GPS also had indirect effects on these outcomes via personality, with a mediating effect via agreeableness but not via other dimensions of personality. Findings revealed that the pattern of associations was similar across adolescent gender. Our findings emphasize the important role of evocative gene–environment correlation processes and intermediate phenotypes in the pathways of risk from genetic predispositions to complex adolescent outcomes.
PSR B1820–30A is located in the globular cluster NGC 6624 and has the smallest projected distance to the centre of any globular cluster in the sky plane. We observe this millisecond pulsar over more than 25 years and obtain higher-order rotational frequency time derivative measurements through high-precision timing. Modelling these higher-order derivatives as being due to orbital motion, we find that the pulsar is in either a low-eccentricity smaller orbit with a low mass companion or a high-eccentricity larger orbit with a massive companion. The cluster mass properties and the observed properties of other nearby sources indicate that the high-eccentricity solution is more probably. This reveals that the pulsar is orbiting around an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) of mass >7500 M⊙ located at the cluster centre. This contribution is based on previous work published in MNRAS 471, 1258 (2017).
PSR B1828–11 is a young pulsar once thought to be undergoing free precession and recently found instead to be switching magnetospheric states in tandem with spin-down changes. Here we show the two extreme states of the mode-changing found for this pulsar and comment briefly on its interpretation.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Giant pulses (GPs), occasional individual pulses with an intensity 100 times the average intensity, have been detected in four pulsars to date. Their origin is not well understood, but studies suggest a connection between the strength of magnetic field at the light cylinder Blc and the existence of GPs. Here, we report on detection of significant Large Amplitude Pulses (LAPs) in two more pulsars with high values of Blc, PSRs J0218+4232 and B1957+20, observed using Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT).
PSRs J1847–0130 and J1718–37184 have inferred surface dipole magnetic fields greater than those of any other known pulsars and well above the “quantum critical field” above which some models predict radio emission should not occur. These fields are similar to those of the anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs), which growing evidence suggests are “magnetars”. The lack of AXP-like X-ray emission from these radio pulsars (and the non-detection of radio emission from the AXPs) creates new challenges for understanding pulsar emission physics and the relationship between these classes of apparently young neutron stars.
During the ORFEUS-SPAS (Orbiting Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer on the Shuttle Pallet Satellite) mission STS-51, flown in September 1993, we observed the central star of the planetary nebula NGC 6543 in the far ultraviolet (90 nm to 115 nm) wavelength region using the University of California, Berkeley spectrometer with a spectral resolution of 0.03 nm.
ORFEUS (Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer) is a 1 m normal incidence telescope for spectroscopic investigations of cosmic sources in the far and extreme ultraviolet spectral range. The instrument will be integrated into the freeflyer platform ASTRO-SPAS. ORFEUS-SPAS is scheduled with STS ENDEAVOUR in September 1992. We describe the telescope with its two spectrometers and their capabilities i.e. spectral range, resolution and overall sensitivity. The main classes of objects to be observed with the instrument are discussed and two examples of simulated spectra for the white dwarf HZ43 and an O9-star in the LMC are shown.
Far UV high resolution spectra of 3 LMC and SMC stars were obtained with the Echelle spectrograph during the second ORFEUS mission in Dec. 1996. We present the first results from observations of the LMC star HDE 269546. We find definitely components of very hot gas identified as OVI and SVI absorption in the galactic halo of the Milky Way and in the LMC. Additionally, more than 30 ions of the most abundant elements in different stages of ionization can be identified in both our galaxy and the LMC. For the first time we can identify a significant absorption component of molecular hydrogen in the ORFEUS II Echelle spectrum with a redshift of 200 km s−1, doubtlessly to be attributed to the LMC.
During the second flight of the ORFEUS-SPAS satellite (Nov./Dec. 96) high resolution (λ/∆λ = 10,000) Echelle-spectra of BD+28° 4211 in the wavelength regime 912–1400 Å have been taken. Deuterium can be clearly identified in the ORFEUSII Echelle-spectra of this star. For the first time it was possible to take spectra of faint, not redshifted objects in the far ultraviolet with a sufficient spectral resolution to study the deuterium column density in the whole spectral range of the Lyman-series down to the Lyman-limit. We obtained a value of log(ND) = 14.7 (±0.3) towards BD+28° 4211. The hydrogen column density has been determined using ORFEUS Echelle- and IUE-spectra of Ly-α (log(NH) = 19.8 (±0.2)). Thus a value of 8 × 10−6 can be obtained for the D/H-ratio on the line-of-sight towards BD+28° 4211.
Dementia cases are increasing worldwide; thus, investigators seek to identify interventions that might prevent or ameliorate cognitive decline in later life. Extensive research confirms the benefits of physical exercise for brain health, yet only a fraction of older adults exercise regularly. Interactive mental and physical exercise, as in aerobic exergaming, not only motivates, but has also been found to yield cognitive benefit above and beyond traditional exercise. This pilot study sought to investigate whether greater cognitive challenge while exergaming would yield differential outcomes in executive function and generalize to everyday functioning. Sixty-four community based older adults (mean age=82) were randomly assigned to pedal a stationary bike, while interactively engaging on-screen with: (1) a low cognitive demand task (bike tour), or (2) a high cognitive demand task (video game). Executive function (indices from Trails, Stroop and Digit Span) was assessed before and after a single-bout and 3-month exercise intervention. Significant group × time interactions were found after a single-bout (Color Trails) and after 3 months of exergaming (Stroop; among 20 adherents). Those in the high cognitive demand group performed better than those in the low cognitive dose condition. Everyday function improved across both exercise conditions. Pilot data indicate that for older adults, cognitive benefit while exergaming increased concomitantly with higher doses of interactive mental challenge. (JINS, 2015, 21, 768–779)
We investigate the changes in polarization position angle in radiation from pulsar A around the eclipse in the Double Pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B at the 20 cm and 50 cm wavelengths using the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. The changes are ~ 2σ during and shortly after the eclipse at 20 cm but less significant at 50 cm. We show that the changes in position angle during the eclipse can be modelled by differential synchrotron absorption in the eclipse regions. Position angle changes after the eclipse are interpreted as Faraday rotation in the magnetotail of pulsar B. Implied charge densities are consistent with the Goldreich-Julian density, suggesting that the particle energies in the magnetotail are mildly relativistic.
Antenatal exposure of the fetus to inflammation may alter postnatal organ development. In our previous work, we demonstrated that the fetal liver is involved in the systemic inflammation associated with chorioamnionitis, leading to metabolic changes. On the basis of these findings, we hypothesized that chorioamnionitis can lead to postnatal inflammation-related liver injury and disturbed lipid metabolism. Chorioamnionitis was induced in sheep by intra-amniotic injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline at 90, 100 and 110 days of gestation. Liver homeostasis and lipid metabolism were analyzed at term and at 7 weeks of age. At term, hepatic T-lymphocytes and apoptotic hepatocytes were increased. In addition, hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride levels were decreased in LPS-exposed animals compared with controls. At 7 weeks of age, no hepatic inflammation could be detected. However, liver triglycerides and plasma cholesterol levels were increased in LPS-exposed animals relative to controls. The changes in lipid levels at 7 weeks of age were associated with increased leptin receptor mRNA levels, increased lipid peroxidation, increased expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 as a marker for mitochondrial function and increased circulating ceramide levels. These findings demonstrate that chorioamnionitis-mediated antenatal inflammation-related liver disturbances have long-lasting postnatal effects on lipid metabolism.
Genes for depression may act by making individuals more sensitive to childhood trauma. Given that childhood adversity is a risk factor for adult psychosis and symptoms of depression and psychosis tend to cluster within individuals and families, the aim was to examine whether the association between childhood adversity and psychotic-like symptoms is moderated by genetic liability for depression. A secondary aim was to determine to what degree a depression-related increase in stress sensitivity or depressive symptoms themselves occasioned the moderating effect.
Female twins (n=508) completed both prospective and retrospective questionnaires regarding childhood adversity [the Symptom Checklist-90 – Revised (SCL-90-R) and SCID-I (psychotic symptoms)] and psychotic trait liability [the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE)]. Stress sensitivity was indexed by appraisals of event-related stress and negative affect (NA) in the flow of daily life, assessed with momentary assessment technology for five consecutive days. Multilevel regression analyses were used to examine moderation of childhood adversity by genetic liability for depression in the prediction of follow-up psychotic experiences.
The effect of childhood adversity was significantly moderated by genetic vulnerability for depression in the model of both follow-up psychotic experiences (SCL-90-R) and follow-up psychotic trait liability (CAPE). The moderation by genetic liability was mediated by depressive experience but not by stress sensitivity.
Genetic liability for depression may potentiate the pathway from childhood adversity to psychotic-like symptoms through dysfunctional emotional processing of anomalous experiences associated with childhood trauma.