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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.
Maternal insufficiency during fetal development can have long-lasting effects on the offspring, most notably on nephron endowment. In polycystic kidney disease (PKD), variability in severity of disease is observed and maternal environment may be a modifying factor. In this study, we first established that in a rodent model of PKD, the Lewis polycystic kidney (LPK) rat’s nephron numbers are 25% lower compared with wildtype animals. We then investigated the effects of prenatal and postnatal maternal environment on phenotype and nephron number. LPK pups born from and raised by homozygous LPK dams (control) were compared with LPK pups cross-fostered onto heterozygous LPK dams to improve postnatal environment; with LPK pups born from and raised by heterozygous LPK dams to improve both prenatal and postnatal environment and with LPK pups born from and raised by Wistar Kyoto-LPK heterozygous dams to improve both prenatal and postnatal environment on a different genetic background. Improvement in both prenatal and postnatal environment improved postnatal growth, renal function and reduced blood pressure, most notably in animals with different genetic background. Animals with improved postnatal environment only showed improved growth and blood pressure, but to a lesser extent. All intervention groups showed increased nephron number compared with control LPK. In summary, prenatal and postnatal environment had significant effect in delaying progression and reducing severity of PKD, including nephron endowment.
SNP in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is associated with risk of lower respiratory infections. The influence of genetic variation in the vitamin D pathway resulting in susceptibility to upper respiratory infections (URI) has not been investigated. We evaluated the influence of thirty-three SNP in eleven vitamin D pathway genes (DBP, DHCR7, RXRA, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP3A4, CYP27A1, LRP2, CUBN and VDR) resulting in URI risk in 725 adults in London, UK, using an additive model with adjustment for potential confounders and correction for multiple comparisons. Significant associations in this cohort were investigated in a validation cohort of 737 children in Manchester, UK. In all, three SNP in VDR (rs4334089, rs11568820 and rs7970314) and one SNP in CYP3A4 (rs2740574) were associated with risk of URI in the discovery cohort after adjusting for potential confounders and correcting for multiple comparisons (adjusted incidence rate ratio per additional minor allele ≥1·15, Pfor trend ≤0·030). This association was replicated for rs4334089 in the validation cohort (Pfor trend=0·048) but not for rs11568820, rs7970314 or rs2740574. Carriage of the minor allele of the rs4334089 SNP in VDR was associated with increased susceptibility to URI in children and adult cohorts in the United Kingdom.
Citizenship is undoubtedly one of the more contentious issues in Myanmar today. Much of the discussion focuses on the boundaries of national inclusion, of deciding which groups are officially considered citizens, either according to the 1982 Citizenship Law or according to various other metrics. Most prominent in these discussions is the status of the Rohingya, but the subject is also relevant for other groups on the margins that might either be in danger of being excluded in the future or might be considered for inclusion in the future (such as some Chinese populations). While this is an important aspect of Myanmar's contemporary politics, this chapter focuses instead on an aspect of citizenship that is often ignored: its practice.
The practice of citizenship would include various perspectives on what citizenship entails (the different rights and responsibilities), the roles of state and civil society groups in fostering citizenship, and expectations of citizen participation. This latter category refers not only to ways in which citizens would expect to be able to participate in the political process, but also expectations of the state in facilitating that participation. A discussion of the practice of citizenship should also include attention to the many “skills” of citizenship that go beyond basic rights and responsibilities. While these are potentially applicable to all citizens, this chapter seeks to highlight the ways in which differently positioned individuals might be expected to develop and display different citizenship skills, especially government officials.
Developing a broader understanding of a diverse range of citizenship skills and practices is particularly important in the context of Myanmar's rapid political change. Since at least the 2008 constitutional referendum, the country's citizens have been expected to participate in politics in a variety of ways that were not only not available to them previously, they were actively denied by military-led governments. The result is a situation in which the meaning and content of citizenship is either limited among citizens or expressed in ways that do not necessarily accord with centralized notions of citizenship and participation in Myanmar or with international norms.
An instructive example can be found in a series of studies on citizenship conducted by the research and education organization Myanmar Egress. The researchers note that for field work in 2012 and 2013, they found it necessary to focus on educated middle and lower class respondents.