To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Maternal antenatal depression strongly influences child mental health but with considerable inter-individual variation that is, in part, linked to genotype. The challenge is to effectively capture the genotypic influence. We outline a novel approach to describe genomic susceptibility to maternal antenatal depression focusing on child emotional/behavioral difficulties. Two cohorts provided measures of maternal depression, child genetic variation, and child mental health symptoms. We constructed a conventional polygenic risk score (PRS) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (PRSADHD) that significantly moderated the association between maternal antenatal depression and internalizing problems at 60 months (p = 2.94 × 10−4, R2 = .18). We then constructed an interaction PRS (xPRS) based on a subset of those single nucleotide polymorphisms from the PRSADHD that most accounted for the moderation of the association between maternal antenatal depression and child outcome. The interaction between maternal antenatal depression and this xPRS accounted for a larger proportion of the variance in child emotional/behavioral problems than models based on any PRSADHD (p = 5.50 × 10−9, R2 = .27), with similar findings in the replication cohort. The xPRS was significantly enriched for genes involved in neuronal development and synaptic function. Our study illustrates a novel approach to the study of genotypic moderation on the impact of maternal antenatal depression on child mental health and highlights the utility of the xPRS approach. These findings advance our understanding of individual differences in the developmental origins of mental health.
Stress elicits adaptive responses from the brain, but it can also lead to maladaptive consequences. For example, stress can precipitate mental illness, including depression. Prolonged stress also causes damage to neurons in the hippocampus. Antidepressant drugs must be evaluated, not only for their ability to potentiate adaptive responses, but also to inhibit maladaptive consequences of stress. Ongoing research in our laboratory has compared the atypical tricyclic antidepressant, tianeptine, with the typical tricyclics, desipramine and imipramine, with respect to the effects of isolation and repeated restraint stress. Tianeptine and desipramine similarly attenuated isolation stress-induced increases in locus coeruleus and midbrain tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA levels and isolation-stress induced decreases in preproenkephalin mRNA levels in striatum and nucleus accumbens. However, tianeptine and imipramine differed in their effects in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus on 5HT2, and 5HT1A receptor levels but, surprisingly, produced similar effects on levels of the serotonin transporter labelled with [3H] paroxetine. Tianeptine also prevented stress-induced reductions in the length and number of branchpoints of dendrites of CA3 pyramidal neurons in hippocampus; comparison with effects of typical tricyclics are ongoing. Tianeptine also blocked effects of corticosterone treatment to reduce branching and length of CA3 dendrites. These actions of tianeptine may be due to interactions between 5HT and excitatory amino acids in the mossy fiber terminals on CA3 pyramidal neurons. Taken together, these results indicate that tianeptine has unique properties compared to some other antidepressant drugs, but shares in common with those drugs the ability to attenuate stress effects on tyrosine hydroxylase gene expression and on the serotonin transporter. It remains to be seen whether these actions are the basis of a common antidepressant action.
Maternal mental well being influences offspring development. Research suggests that an interplay between genetic and environmental factors underlies this familial transmission of mental disorders.
To explore an interaction between genetic and environmental factors to predict trajectories of maternal mental well being, and to examine whether these trajectories are associated with epigenetic modifications in mothers and their offspring.
We assessed maternal childhood trauma and rearing experiences, prenatal and postnatal symptoms of depression and stress experience from 6 to 72 months postpartum, and genetic and epigenetic variation in a longitudinal birth-cohort study (n = 262) (Maternal adversity, vulnerability and neurodevelopment project). We used latent class modeling to describe trajectories in maternal depressive symptoms, parenting stress, marital stress and general stress, taking polygenetic risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), a composite score for maternal early life adversities, and prenatal depressive symptoms into account.
Genetic risk for MDD associated with trajectories of maternal well being in the postpartum, conditional on the experience of early life adversities and prenatal symptoms of depression. We will explore whether these trajectories are also linked to DNA methylation patterns in mothers and their offspring. Preliminary analyses suggest that maternal early life adversities associate with offspring DNA methylation age estimates, which is mediated through maternal mental well being and maternal DNA methylation age estimates.
We found relevant gene-environment interactions associated with trajectories of maternal well being. Our findings inform research on mechanisms underlying familial transmission of vulnerability for psychopathology and might thus be relevant to prevention and early intervention programs.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Competence committees play a key role in a competency-based system of assessment. These committees are tasked with reviewing and synthesizing clinical performance data to make judgments regarding residents’ competence. Canadian emergency medicine (EM) postgraduate training programs recently implemented competence committees; however, a paucity of literature guides their work.
The objective of this study was to develop consensus-based recommendations to optimize the function and decisions of competence committees in Canadian EM training programs.
Semi-structured interviews of EM competence committee chairs were conducted and analyzed. The interview guide was informed by a literature review of competence committee structure, processes, and best practices. Inductive thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted to identify emerging themes. Preliminary recommendations, based on themes, were drafted and presented at the 2019 CAEP Academic Symposium on Education. Through a live presentation and survey poll, symposium attendees representing the national EM community participated in a facilitated discussion of the recommendations. The authors incorporated this feedback and identified consensus among symposium attendees on a final set of nine high-yield recommendations.
The Canadian EM community used a structured process to develop nine best practice recommendations for competence committees addressing: committee membership, meeting processes, decision outcomes, use of high-quality performance data, and ongoing quality improvement. These recommendations can inform the structure and processes of competence committees in Canadian EM training programs.
Norovirus is a predominant cause of infectious gastroenteritis in countries worldwide [1–5]. It accounts for approximately 50% of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and >90% of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks [6, 7]. The incubation period ranges between 10 and 48 h and illness duration is generally 1–3 days with self-limiting symptoms; however, this duration is often longer (e.g. 4–6 days) in vulnerable populations such as hospital patients or young children [2, 8]. Symptomatic infection of norovirus presents as acute vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and nausea, with severe vomiting and diarrhoea (non-bloody) being most common [2, 5, 9].
In Australia, there are two distinct populations, each with vastly disparate health outcomes: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and non-Aboriginal Australians. Aboriginal Australians have significantly higher rates of health and socioeconomic disadvantage, and Aboriginal babies are also more likely to be born low birth weight or growth restricted. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis advocates that a sub-optimal intrauterine environment, often manifested as diminished foetal growth, during critical periods of foetal development has the potential to alter the risk of non-communicable disease in the offspring. A better understanding of the role of the intrauterine environment and subsequent developmental programming, in response to both transgenerational and immediate stimuli, in Aboriginal Australians remains a relatively unexplored field and may provide insights into the prevailing health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. This narrative review explores the role of DOHaD in explaining the ongoing disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal People in today’s society through a detailed discussion of the literature on the association between foetal growth, as a proxy for the quality of the intrauterine environment, and outcomes in the offspring including perinatal health, early life development and childhood education. The literature largely supports this hypothesis and this review therefore has potential implications for policy makers not only in Australia but also in other countries that have minority and Indigenous populations who suffer disproportionate disadvantage such as the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
Prenatal adversity shapes child neurodevelopment and risk for later mental health problems. The quality of the early care environment can buffer some of the negative effects of prenatal adversity on child development. Retrospective studies, in adult samples, highlight epigenetic modifications as sentinel markers of the quality of the early care environment; however, comparable data from pediatric cohorts are lacking. Participants were drawn from the Maternal Adversity Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) study, a longitudinal cohort with measures of infant attachment, infant development, and child mental health. Children provided buccal epithelial samples (mean age = 6.99, SD = 1.33 years, n = 226), which were used for analyses of genome-wide DNA methylation and genetic variation. We used a series of linear models to describe the association between infant attachment and (a) measures of child outcome and (b) DNA methylation across the genome. Paired genetic data was used to determine the genetic contribution to DNA methylation at attachment-associated sites. Infant attachment style was associated with infant cognitive development (Mental Development Index) and behavior (Behavior Rating Scale) assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 36 months. Infant attachment style moderated the effects of prenatal adversity on Behavior Rating Scale scores at 36 months. Infant attachment was also significantly associated with a principal component that accounted for 11.9% of the variation in genome-wide DNA methylation. These effects were most apparent when comparing children with a secure versus a disorganized attachment style and most pronounced in females. The availability of paired genetic data revealed that DNA methylation at approximately half of all infant attachment-associated sites was best explained by considering both infant attachment and child genetic variation. This study provides further evidence that infant attachment can buffer some of the negative effects of early adversity on measures of infant behavior. We also highlight the interplay between infant attachment and child genotype in shaping variation in DNA methylation. Such findings provide preliminary evidence for a molecular signature of infant attachment and may help inform attachment-focused early intervention programs.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder associated with disrupted connectivity within the thalamic-cortico-cerebellar network. Resting-state functional connectivity studies have reported thalamic hypoconnectivity with the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex as well as thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory cortical regions in SZ patients compared with healthy comparison participants (HCs). However, fundamental questions remain regarding the clinical significance of these connectivity abnormalities.
Resting state seed-based functional connectivity was used to investigate thalamus to whole brain connectivity using multi-site data including 183 SZ patients and 178 matched HCs. Statistical significance was based on a voxel-level FWE-corrected height threshold of p < 0.001. The relationships between positive and negative symptoms of SZ and regions of the brain demonstrating group differences in thalamic connectivity were examined.
HC and SZ participants both demonstrated widespread positive connectivity between the thalamus and cortical regions. Compared with HCs, SZ patients had reduced thalamic connectivity with bilateral cerebellum and anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, SZ patients had greater thalamic connectivity with multiple sensory-motor regions, including bilateral pre- and post-central gyrus, middle/inferior occipital gyrus, and middle/superior temporal gyrus. Thalamus to middle temporal gyrus connectivity was positively correlated with hallucinations and delusions, while thalamus to cerebellar connectivity was negatively correlated with delusions and bizarre behavior.
Thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory regions and hypoconnectivity with cerebellar regions in combination with their relationship to clinical features of SZ suggest that thalamic dysconnectivity may be a core neurobiological feature of SZ that underpins positive symptoms.
The Neogene was a time of transition both in the development of the present vegetation and the palynological study of it. The vegetation cover changed from one dominated by rainforest, which is traditionally regarded as ‘Tertiary’, to one in which rainforest became very reduced in extent. The nature of this change has been difficult to document due to an increasingly arid landscape with a concomitant reduction in suitable pollen preservation sites. The difficulty has been compounded by a relative lack of palynological study on the period. Stratigraphic palynologists have focussed on the earlier part of the Tertiary and there is no formal or well dated biostratigraphy, for much of the period under consideration, that is applicable to Australian terrestrial environments. Palynologists concerned with vegetation reconstruction have largely restricted their attention to the later part of the Quaternary period and have had variable success when venturing back into the Tertiary, as the vegetation then was frequently very different from that of today. Consequently, the database from which we piece together this critical period in Australia's vegetation history is very fragmentary and of varying quality.
In keeping with the problematic documentation of vegetation, there are difficulties in defining the period itself. There is general agreement on its beginning - the Miocene began about 25 million years (Ma) ago, although this does not necessarily hold any palynostratigraphic or biogeographical significance - but there are different views on the best location of the end of the period, i.e. the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Conventionally this boundary is placed at the top of the Olduvai palaeomagnetic event dated to 1.6 Ma (Berggren et aL, 1985) but there is increasing pressure to reposition this close to the Gauss/Matuyama palaeomagnetic reversal boundary, around 2.4 Ma, as this reflects more closely the beginning of the substantial cooling and climatic fluctuations that characterise the Pleistocene period (Zagwin, 1985; Kukla, 1989).
Major factors influencing the whole of Australia during the Neogene include global climatic changes and the northward movement of the continent. The build up of ice on Antarctica, partly a result of the northward movement of Australia, which allowed the development of a circum-Antarctic ocean current, caused a steepening of the temperature gradient from equator to pole and development of the present atmospheric circulation pattern (Kemp, 1978).
We sought to conduct a major objective of the CAEP Academic Section, an environmental scan of the academic emergency medicine programs across the 17 Canadian medical schools.
We developed an 84-question questionnaire, which was distributed to academic heads. The responses were validated by phone by the lead author to ensure that the questions were answered completely and consistently. Details of pediatric emergency medicine units were excluded from the scan.
At eight of 17 universities, emergency medicine has full departmental status and at two it has no official academic status. Canadian academic emergency medicine is practiced at 46 major teaching hospitals and 13 specialized pediatric hospitals. Another 69 Canadian hospital EDs regularly take clinical clerks and emergency medicine residents. There are 31 full professors of emergency medicine in Canada. Teaching programs are strong with clerkships offered at 16/17 universities, CCFP(EM) programs at 17/17, and RCPSC residency programs at 14/17. Fourteen sites have at least one physician with a Master’s degree in education. There are 55 clinical researchers with salary support at 13 universities. Sixteen sites have published peer-reviewed papers in the past five years, ranging from four to 235 per site. Annual budgets range from $200,000 to $5,900,000.
This comprehensive review of academic activities in emergency medicine across Canada identifies areas of strengths as well as opportunities for improvement. CAEP and the Academic Section hope we can ultimately improve ED patient care by sharing best academic practices and becoming better teachers, educators, and researchers.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
Our objective in the present study was to conduct the first empirical study of the effects of regular physical activity habits and their relationship with brain volume and cortical thickness in patients in the early phase of schizophrenia. Relationships between larger brain volumes and higher physical activity levels have been reported in samples of healthy and aging populations, but have never been explored in first-episode schizophrenia patients. Method: We collected MRI structural scans in 14 first-episode schizophrenia patients with either self-reported low or high physical activity levels. We found a reduction in total gray matter volume, prefrontal cortex (PFC), and hippocampal gray matter volumes in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. Cortical thickness in the dorsolateral and orbitofrontal PFC were also significantly reduced in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. In the combined sample, greater overall physical activity levels showed a non-significant tendency with better performance on tests of verbal memory and social cognition. Together these pilot study findings suggest that greater amounts of physical activity may have a positive influence on brain health and cognition in first-episode schizophrenia patients and support the implementation of physical exercise interventions in this patient population to improve brain plasticity and cognitive functioning. (JINS, 2015, 21, 868–879)
A scoping review was conducted to identify modifiable non-antimicrobial factors to reduce the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in cattle populations. Searches were developed to retrieve peer-reviewed published studies in animal, human and in vitro microbial populations. Citations were retained when modifiable non-antimicrobial factors or interventions potentially associated with antimicrobial resistance were described. Studies described resistance in five bacterial genera, species or types, and 40 antimicrobials. Modifiable non-antimicrobial factors or interventions ranged widely in type, and the depth of evidence in animal populations was shallow. Specific associations between a factor or intervention with antimicrobial resistance in a population (e.g. associations between organic systems and tetracycline susceptibility in E. coli from cattle) were reported in a maximum of three studies. The identified non-antimicrobial factors or interventions were classified into 16 themes. Most reported associations between the non-antimicrobial modifiable factors or interventions and antimicrobial resistance were not statistically significant (P > 0·05 and a confidence interval including 1), but when significant, the results were not consistent in direction (increase or decrease in antimicrobial resistance) or magnitude. Research is needed to better understand the impacts of promising modifiable factors or interventions on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance before any recommendations can be offered or adopted.
Food- and waterborne disease is thought to be high in some Canadian Indigenous communities; however, the burden of acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) is not well understood due to limited availability and quality of surveillance data. This study estimated the burden of community-level self-reported AGI in the Inuit communities of Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, and Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Cross-sectional retrospective surveys captured information on AGI and potential environmental risk factors. Multivariable logistic regression models identified potential AGI risk factors. The annual incidence of AGI ranged from 2·9–3·9 cases/person per year in Rigolet and Iqaluit. In Rigolet, increased spending on obtaining country foods, a homeless person in the house, not visiting a cabin recently, exposure to puppies, and alternative sources of drinking water were associated with increased odds of AGI. In Iqaluit, eating country fish often, exposure to cats, employment status of the person responsible for food preparation, not washing the countertop with soap after preparing meat, a homeless person in the house, and overcrowding were associated with increased odds of AGI. The results highlight the need for systematic data collection to better understand and support previously anecdotal indications of high AGI incidence, as well as insights into unique AGI environmental risk factors in Indigenous populations.
Early life environments interact with genotype to determine stable phenotypic outcomes. Here we examined the influence of a variant in the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) gene (Val66Met), which underlies synaptic plasticity throughout the central nervous system, on the degree to which antenatal maternal anxiety associated with neonatal DNA methylation. We also examined the association between neonatal DNA methylation and brain substructure volume, as a function of BDNF genotype. Infant, but not maternal, BDNF genotype dramatically influences the association of antenatal anxiety on the epigenome at birth as well as that between the epigenome and neonatal brain structure. There was a greater impact of antenatal maternal anxiety on the DNA methylation of infants with the methionine (Met)/Met compared to both Met/valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes. There were significantly more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites where methylation levels covaried with right amygdala volume among Met/Met compared with both Met/Val and Val/Val carriers. In contrast, more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites covaried with left hippocampus volume in Val/Val infants compared with infants of the Met/Val or Met/Met genotype. Thus, antenatal Maternal Anxiety × BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism interactions at the level of the epigenome are reflected differently in the structure of the amygdala and the hippocampus. These findings suggest that BDNF genotype regulates the sensitivity of the methylome to early environment and that differential susceptibility to specific environmental conditions may be both tissue and function specific.
Laboratory-based surveillance data is essential for monitoring trends in the incidence of enteric disease. Current Canadian human enteric surveillance systems report only confirmed cases of human enteric disease and are often unable to capture the number of negative test results. Data from 9116 hospital stool specimens from the Waterloo Region in Canada, with a mixed urban and rural population of about 500 000 were analysed to investigate the use of stool submission data and its role in reporting bias when determining the incidence of enteric disease. The proportion of stool specimens positive for Campylobacter spp. was highest in the 15–29 years age group, and in the 5–14 years age group for Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7. By contrast, the age-specific incidence rates were highest for all three pathogens in the 0–4 years age group which also had the highest stool submission rate. This suggests that variations in age-specific stool submission rates are influencing current interpretation of surveillance data.
A new spin wavelet transform on the sphere is proposed to analyse the polarisation of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), a spin ± 2 signal observed on the celestial sphere. The scalar directional scale-discretised wavelet transform on the sphere is extended to analyse signals of arbitrary spin. The resulting spin scale-discretised wavelet transform probes the directional intensity of spin signals. A procedure is presented using this new spin wavelet transform to recover E- and B-mode signals from partial-sky observations of CMB polarisation.
A population-based study investigated the burden of illness, including the duration of illness associated with laboratory-confirmed cases of campylobacteriosis in two health unit areas. Questionnaire data were collected for 250 cases. The median duration of illness was 8 days and 66% of cases reported symptoms of moderate severity or greater. A Cox proportional hazards model identified antimicrobial use factors associated with a significantly increased rate of symptom resolution (shorter duration of illness): macrolides for less than the recommended number of days, ciprofloxacin for at least 3 days, and antimicrobials not recommended for campylobacteriosis. The impact of antimicrobial use was consistent regardless of when, during the course of illness, the antimicrobial use began. The effectiveness of ciprofloxacin in these results may be due to the low prevalence of resistance to ciprofloxacin in isolates from this study. The effect of antimicrobials not recommended for campylobacteriosis should be further investigated.
The allostatic load (AL) model represents an interdisciplinary approach to comprehensively conceptualize and quantify chronic stress in relation to pathologies throughout the life cycle. This article first reviews the AL model, followed by interactions among early adversity, genetics, environmental toxins, as well as distinctions among sex, gender, and sex hormones as integral antecedents of AL. We next explore perspectives on severe mental illness, dementia, and caregiving as unique human models of AL that merit future investigations in the field of developmental psychopathology. A complimenting transdisciplinary perspective is applied throughout, whereby we argue that the AL model goes beyond traditional stress–disease theories toward the advancement of person-centered research and practice that promote not only physical health but also mental health.