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Prior research has established associations between neighbourhood poverty and cumulative biological risk (CBR). CBR is conceptualized as indicative of the effects of stress on biological functioning, and is linked with increased morbidity and mortality. Studies suggest that supportive social relationships may be health protective, and may erode under conditions of poverty. This study examines whether social relationships are inversely associated with CBR and whether associations between neighbourhood poverty and CBR are mediated through social relationships. Data were from a stratified probability sample community survey (n=919) of residents of Detroit, Michigan, USA (2002–2003) and from the 2000 US Census. The outcome variable, CBR, included anthropometric and clinical measures. Independent variables included four indicators of social relationships: social support, neighbourhood satisfaction, social cohesion and neighbourhood participation. Multilevel models were used to test both research questions, with neighbourhood poverty and social relationships included at the block group level, and social relationships also included at the individual level, to disentangle individual from neighbourhood effects. Findings suggest some associations between social relationships and CBR after accounting for neighbourhood poverty and individual characteristics. In models that accounted for all indicators of social relationships, individual-level social support was associated with greater CBR (β=0.12, p=0.04), while neighbourhood-level social support was marginally significantly protective of CBR (within-neighbourhood: β=−0.36, p=0.06; between-neighbourhood: β=−0.24, p=0.06). In contrast, individual-level neighbourhood satisfaction was protective of CBR (β=−0.10, p=0.02), with no within-neighbourhood (β=0.06, p=0.54) or between-neighbourhood association (β=−0.04, p=0.38). Results indicate no significant association between either social cohesion or neighbourhood participation and CBR. Associations between neighbourhood poverty and CBR were not mediated by social relationships. These findings suggest that neighbourhood-level social support and individual-level neighbourhood satisfaction may be health protective and that neighbourhood poverty, social support and neighbourhood satisfaction are associated with CBR through independent pathways.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Major depression and anxiety disorders are known to negatively influence cognitive performance. Moreover, there is evidence for greater cognitive decline in older adults with generalized anxiety disorder. Except for clinical studies, complex executive planning functions and subclinical levels of anxiety have not been examined in a population-based sample with a broad age range.
Planning performance was assessed using the Tower of London task in a population-based sample of 4240 participants aged 40–80 years from the Gutenberg Health Study (GHS) and related to self-reported anxiety and depression by means of multiple linear regression analysis.
Higher anxiety ratings were associated with lower planning performance (β = −0.20; p < 0.0001) independent of age (β = 0.03; p = 0.47). When directly comparing the predictive value of depression and anxiety on cognition, only anxiety attained significance (β = −0.19; p = 0.0047), whereas depression did not (β = −0.01; p = 0.71).
Subclinical levels of anxiety but not of depression showed negative associations with cognitive functioning independent of age. Our results demonstrate that associations observed in clinical groups might differ from those in population-based samples, also with regard to the trajectory across the life span. Further studies are needed to uncover causal interrelations of anxiety and cognition, which have been proposed in the literature, in order to develop interventions aimed at reducing this negative affective state and to improve executive functioning.
A number of laser facilities coming online all over the world promise the capability of high-power laser experiments with shot repetition rates between 1 and 10 Hz. Target availability and technical issues related to the interaction environment could become a bottleneck for the exploitation of such facilities. In this paper, we report on target needs for three different classes of experiments: dynamic compression physics, electron transport and isochoric heating, and laser-driven particle and radiation sources. We also review some of the most challenging issues in target fabrication and high repetition rate operation. Finally, we discuss current target supply strategies and future perspectives to establish a sustainable target provision infrastructure for advanced laser facilities.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
Since W. E. B. Du Bois documented the physical and social environments of Philadelphia’s predominantly African American Seventh Ward over a century ago, there has been continued interest in understanding the distribution of social and physical environments by racial make-up of communities. Characterization of these environments allows for documentation of inequities, identifies communities which encounter heightened risk, and can inform action to promote health equity. In this paper, we apply and extend Du Bois’s approach to examine the contemporary distribution of physical environmental exposures, health risks, and social vulnerabilities in the Detroit metropolitan area, one of the most racially-segregated areas in the United States. We begin by mapping the proximity of sensitive populations to hazardous land uses, their exposure to air pollutants and associated health risks, and social vulnerabilities, as well as cumulative risk (combined proximity, exposure, and vulnerability), across Census tracts. Next, we assess, quantitatively, the extent to which communities of color experience excess burdens of environmental exposures and associated health risks, economic and age-related vulnerabilities, and cumulative risk. The results, depicted in maps presented in the paper, suggest that Census tracts with greater proportions of people of color disproportionately encounter physical environmental exposures, socioeconomic vulnerabilities, and combined risk. Quantitative tests of inequality confirm these distributions, with statistically greater exposures, vulnerabilities, and cumulative risk in Census tracts with larger proportions of people of color. Together, these findings identify communities that experience disproportionate cumulative risk in the Detroit metropolitan area and quantify the inequitable distribution of risk by Census tract relative to the proportion of people of color. They identify clear opportunities for prioritizing communities for legislative, regulatory, policy, and local actions to promote environmental justice and health equity.
Research indicates that intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) may be associated with negative health consequences. However, differences between assessment methods can affect the comparability of intake data across studies. The current review aimed to identify methods used to assess SSB intake among children and adults in pan-European studies and to inform the development of the DEDIPAC (DEterminants of DIet and Physical Activity) toolbox of methods suitable for use in future European studies.
A literature search was conducted using three electronic databases and by hand-searching reference lists. English-language studies of any design which assessed SSB consumption were included in the review.
Studies involving two or more European countries were included in the review.
Healthy, free-living children and adults.
The review identified twenty-three pan-European studies which assessed intake of SSB. The FFQ was the most commonly used (n 24), followed by the 24 h recall (n 6) and diet records (n 1). There were several differences between the identified FFQ, including the definition of SSB used. In total, seven instruments that were tested for validity were selected as potentially suitable to assess SSB intake among adults (n 1), adolescents (n 3) and children (n 3).
The current review highlights the need for instruments to use an agreed definition of SSB. Methods that were tested for validity and used in pan-European populations encompassing a range of countries were identified. These methods should be considered for use by future studies focused on evaluating consumption of SSB.
Evidence suggests that health benefits are associated with consuming recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables (F&V), yet standardised assessment methods to measure F&V intake are lacking. The current review aims to identify methods to assess F&V intake among children and adults in pan-European studies and inform the development of the DEDIPAC (DEterminants of DIet and Physical Activity) toolbox of methods suitable for use in future European studies.
A literature search was conducted using three electronic databases and by hand-searching reference lists. English-language studies of any design which assessed F&V intake were included in the review.
Studies involving two or more European countries were included in the review.
Healthy, free-living children or adults.
The review identified fifty-one pan-European studies which assessed F&V intake. The FFQ was the most commonly used (n 42), followed by 24 h recall (n 11) and diet records/diet history (n 7). Differences existed between the identified methods; for example, the number of F&V items on the FFQ and whether potatoes/legumes were classified as vegetables. In total, eight validated instruments were identified which assessed F&V intake among adults, adolescents or children.
The current review indicates that an agreed classification of F&V is needed in order to standardise intake data more effectively between European countries. Validated methods used in pan-European populations encompassing a range of European regions were identified. These methods should be considered for use by future studies focused on evaluating intake of F&V.
This study examines the independent effects of neighbourhood context (i.e. neighbourhood poverty) and exposure to perceived discrimination in shaping risk of obesity over time. Weighted three-level hierarchical linear regression models for a continuous outcome were used to assess the independent effects of neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination on obesity over time in a sample of 157 non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic White and Hispanic adults in Detroit, USA, in 2002/2003 and 2007/2008. Independent associations were found between neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination with central adiposity over time. Residents of neighbourhoods with high concentrations of poverty were more likely to show increases in central adiposity compared with those in neighbourhoods with lower concentrations of poverty. In models adjusted for BMI, neighbourhood poverty at baseline was associated with a greater change in central adiposity among participants who lived in neighbourhoods in the second (B=3.79, p=0.025) and third (B=3.73, p=0.024) poverty quartiles, compared with those in the lowest poverty neighbourhoods. The results from models that included both neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination showed that both were associated with increased risk of increased central adiposity over time. Residents of neighbourhoods in the second (B=9.58, p<0.001), third (B=8.25, p=0.004) and fourth (B=7.66, p=0.030) quartiles of poverty were more likely to show greater increases in central adiposity over time, compared with those in the lowest poverty quartile, with mean discrimination at baseline independently and positively associated with increases in central adiposity over time (B=2.36, p=0.020). The results suggest that neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination are independently associated with a heightened risk of increase in central adiposity over time. Efforts to address persistent disparities in central adiposity in the USA should include strategies to reduce high concentrations of neighbourhood poverty as well as discrimination.
We present low resolution spectrophotometric and imaging ISO observations of a sample of 58 AGN's over the 2.5–11.6 μ range. The data strongly support unification schemes and set new constraints on models of the molecular torus.
Data on gender-specific profiles of cognitive functions in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are rare and inconsistent, and possible disease-confounding factors have been insufficiently considered.
The LANDSCAPE study on cognition in PD enrolled 656 PD patients (267 without cognitive impairment, 66% male; 292 with mild cognitive impairment, 69% male; 97 with PD dementia, 69% male). Raw values and age-, education-, and gender-corrected Z scores of a neuropsychological test battery (CERAD-Plus) were compared between genders. Motor symptoms, disease duration, l-dopa equivalent daily dose, depression - and additionally age and education for the raw value analysis - were taken as covariates.
Raw-score analysis replicated results of previous studies in that female PD patients were superior in verbal memory (word list learning, p = 0.02; recall, p = 0.03), while men outperformed women in visuoconstruction (p = 0.002) and figural memory (p = 0.005). In contrast, gender-corrected Z scores showed that men were superior in verbal memory (word list learning, p = 0.02; recall, p = 0.02; recognition, p = 0.04), while no difference was found for visuospatial tests. This picture could be observed both in the overall analysis of PD patients as well as in a differentiated group analysis.
Normative data corrected for gender and other sociodemographic variables are relevant, since they may elucidate a markedly different cognitive profile compared to raw scores. Our study also suggests that verbal memory decline is stronger in women than in men with PD. Future studies are needed to replicate these findings, examine the progression of gender-specific cognitive decline in PD and define different underlying mechanisms of this dysfunction.
The Herschel Space Observatory was the fourth cornerstone mission in the European Space Agency (ESA) science programme with excellent broad band imaging capabilities in the sub-mm and far-infrared part of the spectrum. Although the spacecraft finished its observations in 2013, it left a large legacy dataset that is far from having been fully scrutinised and still has a large potential for new scientific discoveries. This is specifically true for the photometric observations of the PACS and SPIRE instruments. Some source catalogues have already been produced by individual observing programs, but there are many observations that risk to remain unexplored. To maximise the science return of the SPIRE and PACS data sets, we are in the process of building the Herschel Point Source Catalogue (HPSC) from all primary and parallel mode observations. Our homogeneous source extraction enables a systematic and unbiased comparison of sensitivity across the different Herschel fields that single programs will generally not be able to provide. The catalogue will be made available online through archives like the Herschel Science Archive (HSA), the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), and the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS).
Relatively lower executive functioning is characteristic of individuals with schizophrenia. As low socio-economic status (SES) early in life (i.e. parent SES) has been linked with lower executive skills in healthy children, we hypothesized that parental SES (pSES) would be more strongly related to executive functioning in individuals with schizophrenia than in controls and have a greater impact on prefrontal cortical morphology.
Healthy controls (n = 125) and individuals with schizophrenia (n = 102) completed tests assessing executive functioning and intelligence. The groups were matched on pSES, which was evaluated with the Hollingshead–Redlich scale. A principal components analysis (PCA) was conducted on 10 variables from six executive tests, yielding three specific components (fluency, planning and response inhibition). Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to evaluate effects of pSES on gray matter (GM) concentration.
Lower pSES was associated with lower scores across the three executive functioning components, and a significant group by pSES interaction was observed such that low pSES, in particular, affected individuals with schizophrenia. These effects remained significant when intellectual ability, education and self-SES (sSES) were added as covariates. VBM revealed that lower pSES was associated with reduced GM volume in several anterior brain regions, especially the superior frontal gyrus, in patients but not in controls.
These findings suggest that individuals with schizophrenia may be particularly vulnerable to the adverse impact of low pSES, in terms of both lower executive skills and reduced anterior GM volumes.
Renewable energy sources – including biomass, geothermal, ocean, solar, and wind energy, as well as hydropower – have a huge potential to provide energy services for the world. The renewable energy resource base is sufficient to meet several times the present world energy demand and potentially even 10 to 100 times this demand. This chapter includes an in-depth examination of technologies to convert these renewable energy sources to energy carriers that can be used to fulfill our energy needs, including their installed capacity, the amount of energy carriers they produced in 2009, the current state of market and technology development, their economic and financial feasibility in 2009 and in the near future, as well as major issues they may face relative to their sustainability or implementation.
Present uses of renewable energy
Since 1990 the energy provided from renewable sources worldwide has risen at an average rate of nearly 2% a year, but in recent years this rate has increased to about 5% annually (see Figure 11.1.) As a result, the global contribution of renewables has increased from about 74 EJ in 2005 to about 89 EJ in 2009 and represents now 17% of global primary energy supply (528 EJ, see Figure 11.2). Most of this renewable energy comes from the traditional use of biomass (about 39 EJ) and larger-scale hydropower (about 30 EJ), while other renewable technologies provided about 20 EJ.
More than 50% of the global population already lives in urban settlements and urban areas are projected to absorb almost all the global population growth to 2050, amounting to some additional three billion people. Over the next decades the increase in rural population in many developing countries will be overshadowed by population flows to cities. Rural populations globally are expected to peak at a level of 3.5 billion people by around 2020 and decline thereafter, albeit with heterogeneous regional trends. This adds urgency in addressing rural energy access, but our common future will be predominantly urban. Most of urban growth will continue to occur in small-to medium-sized urban centers. Growth in these smaller cities poses serious policy challenges, especially in the developing world. In small cities, data and information to guide policy are largely absent, local resources to tackle development challenges are limited, and governance and institutional capacities are weak, requiring serious efforts in capacity building, novel applications of remote sensing, information, and decision support techniques, and new institutional partnerships. While ‘megacities’ with more than 10 million inhabitants have distinctive challenges, their contribution to global urban growth will remain comparatively small.
Energy-wise, the world is already predominantly urban. This assessment estimates that between 60–80% of final energy use globally is urban, with a central estimate of 75%. Applying national energy (or GHG inventory) reporting formats to the urban scale and to urban administrative boundaries is often referred to as a ‘production’ accounting approach and underlies the above GEA estimate.
Equations for predicting body composition from bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) parameters are age-, sex- and population-specific. Currently there are no equations applicable to women of reproductive age in rural South Asia. Hence, we developed equations for estimating total body water (TBW), fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass in rural Bangladeshi women using BIA, with 2H2O dilution as the criterion method. Women of reproductive age, participating in a community-based placebo-controlled trial of vitamin A or β-carotene supplementation, were enrolled at 19·7 (sd 9·3) weeks postpartum in a study to measure body composition by 2H2O dilution and impedance at 50 kHz using multi-frequency BIA (n 147), and resistance at 50 kHz using single-frequency BIA (n 82). TBW (kg) by 2H2O dilution was used to derive prediction equations for body composition from BIA measures. The prediction equation was applied to resistance measures obtained at 13 weeks postpartum in a larger population of postpartum women (n 1020). TBW, FFM and fat were 22·6 (sd 2·7), 30·9 (sd 3·7) and 10·2 (sd 3·8) kg by 2H2O dilution. Height2/impedance or height2/resistance and weight provided the best estimate of TBW, with adjusted R2 0·78 and 0·76, and with paired absolute differences in TBW of 0·02 (sd 1·33) and 0·00 (sd 1·28) kg, respectively, between BIA and 2H2O. In the larger sample, values for TBW, FFM and fat were 23·8, 32·5 and 10·3 kg, respectively. BIA can be an important tool for assessing body composition in women of reproductive age in rural South Asia where poor maternal nutrition is common.
Previous studies have suggested that motivational aspects of executive functioning, which may be disrupted in schizophrenia patients with negative symptoms, are mediated in part by the striatum. Negative symptoms have been linked to impaired recruitment of both the striatum and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Here we tested the hypothesis that negative symptoms are associated primarily with striatal dysfunction, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Working-memory load-dependent activation and gray matter volumes of the striatum and DLPFC were measured using a region-of-interest (ROI) approach, in 147 schizophrenia patients and 160 healthy controls. In addition to testing for a linear relationships between striatal function and negative symptoms, we chose a second, categorical analytic strategy in which we compared three demographically and behaviorally matched subgroups: patients with a high burden of negative symptoms, patients with minimal negative symptoms, and healthy subjects.
There were no differences in striatal response magnitudes between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, but right DLPFC activity was higher in patients than in controls. Negative symptoms were inversely associated with striatal, but not DLPFC, activity. In addition, patients with a high burden of negative symptoms exhibited significantly lower bilateral striatal, but not DLPFC, activation than schizophrenia patients with minimal negative symptoms. Working memory performance, antipsychotic exposure and changes in gray matter volumes did not account for these differences.
These data provide further evidence for a robust association between negative symptoms and diminished striatal activity. Future work will determine whether low striatal activity in schizophrenia patients could serve as a reliable biomarker for negative symptoms.