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To assess availability, variety, price and quality of different food products in a convenience sample of supermarkets in Germany and the USA.
Cross-sectional study using an adapted version of the Bridging the Gap Food Store Observation Form.
Information on availability, quality, price and variety of selected food products in eight German and seven US supermarkets (discount and full service) was obtained and compared by country.
A general tendency for lower prices of fruits and vegetables in Germany was observed, while produce quality and variety did not seem to differ between countries, with the exception of the variety of some vegetables such as tomatoes. Chips and cereals did not differ significantly in variety nor price. In both countries, high energy-dense foods were lower in energy costs than lower energy-dense foods.
The influence of food prices and availability on consumption should be further explored, including the impact of country differences.
We implemented universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of patients undergoing surgical procedures as a means to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was <0.5%, which suggests that early local public health interventions were successful. Although our protocol was resource intensive, it prevented exposures to healthcare team members.
Surface waves called meniscus waves often appear in systems that are close to the capillary length scale. Since the meniscus shape determines the form of the meniscus waves, the resulting streaming circulation has features distinct from those caused by other capillary–gravity waves recently reported in the literature. In the present study, we produce symmetric and antisymmetric meniscus shapes by controlling boundary wettability and excite meniscus waves by oscillating the meniscus vertically. The symmetric and antisymmetric configurations produce different surface capillary–gravity wave modes and streaming flow structures. The root-mean-square speed of the streaming circulation increases with the second power of the forcing amplitude in both configurations. The flow symmetry of streaming circulation is retained under the symmetric meniscus, while it is lost under the antisymmetric meniscus. The streaming circulation pattern beneath the meniscus observed in our experiments is qualitatively explained using the method introduced by Nicolás & Vega (Fluid Dyn. Res., vol. 32 (4), 2003, pp. 119–139) and Gordillo & Mujica (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 754, 2014, pp. 590–604).
This study aimed to assess whether increasing operative experience results in better surgical outcomes in endoscopic middle-ear surgery.
A retrospective single-institution cohort study was performed. Patients underwent endoscopic tympanoplasty between May 2013 and April 2019 performed by the senior surgeon or a trainee surgeon under direct supervision from the senior surgeon. Following data collection, statistical analysis compared success rates between early (learning curve) surgical procedures and later (experienced) tympanoplasties.
In total, 157 patients (86 male, 71 female), with a mean age of 41.6 years, were included. The patients were followed up for an average of 43.2 weeks. The overall primary closure rate was 90.0 per cent.
This study demonstrates an early learning curve for endoscopic ear surgery that improves with surgical experience. Adoption of the endoscopic technique did not impair the success rates of tympanoplasty.
Despite considerable advances in the evidence-based treatments, the long-term management of depressive disorders remains a challenge. Many depressive disorders follow a chronic or recurrent course. Substantial proportions of patients end treatment, especially those with residual symptoms, leave treatment with considerable risk for relapses and/or persistent psychosocial impairment. Long-term strategies are needed that can effectively help patients minimize the negative consequences of their illness without imposing a too much of an extra burden. We present the protocol of a multi-center RCT on the efficacy of an Internet based disease management strategy for the specific health conditions in recurrent depression. 234 patients who are treated for their minimum third episode of a major depression (MD) in one of the six participating centers will participate post-treatment in one of two internet delivered interventions or usual care alone. The interventions continue over 12 months and consist of supportive monitoring, an online forum for peer support, and individual crisis management either with or without personal clinical support. Primary outcome of the trial is the ratio of “well” to “unwell weeks” over a 24-month observation period after index treatment assessed with the Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation. We would like to discuss the new options that information and communication technology offers for long-term disease management strategies for patients with recurrent depression and invite for a discussion about strategies for other chronic mental disorders.
Studies into social cognition in psychiatric disorders have recently been expanded to address the questions whether or not “theory of mind” (ToM), that is, the ability to represent own and others’ mental states, is impaired in bipolar affective disorder (BPD).
Results have been mixed so far, mainly due to possible confounding effects of neurocognition, as well as, clinical factors such as acuity and current mood. Here, we explored ToM and its associations with neurocognitive functioning in BPD.
33 patients with bipolar I disorder (of which 12 were currently depressed, 10 manic, and 11 remitted) and 29 healthy controls were assessed using a test battery that was identical to the one that was used in previous studies into schizophrenia, comprising diverse neurocognitive tasks, including measures of intelligence, executive functioning, and ToM tasks.
The bipolar patient group as a whole, as well as all three clinical subgroups, were impaired on all measures of ToM relative to controls, but did not differ from each other in most ToM scores. Patients’ poorer performance on executive tasks did not fully explain ToM differences between patients and controls, suggesting a partially selective ToM deficit in BPD.
Patients with BPD are impaired in ToM, partially independent of other cognitive dysfunctions and current mood.
Hippocampal cavities (HcC) are frequent findings in brain MRIs of elderly subjects. The prevalence, evolution and impact on cognitive performance of these cavities are unclear. Our study therefore aims at providing data on prevalence, morphological evolution and clinical significance of HcC. We used a population-based sample of nondemented elderly subjects aged 75–85 and a comparison group with Alzheimer's disease for cross-sectional analysis. All nondemented subjects were included in a prospective study (mean follow-up 3.2 years). HcC numbers and volume were recorded from volumetric T1w MRI scans. Serial MRIs were performed for a subgroup of subjects. Cognitive functions were assessed by SIDAM and CDR. Hippocampal and brain volume, medial temporal lobe atrophy, white matter lesions, ApoE genotype and vascular risk factors were considered as confounders. The prevalence of HcC in our sample was approx. 60% with no differences between cognitive groups. HcC volume was found to be a predictor of short-term episodic memory performance. The effect of HcC volume was non-linear with the highest risk for decrease in short-term memory associated with the smallest HcC volumes. Mean HcC number and volume remained stable during follow-up. However, we provide anectodal evidence for both cases with increase and decrease of HcC volume over time. In conclusion, small HcC may be an independent risk factor for decline in short term episodic memory performance in elderly subjects.
Minor motor and sensory deficits or neurological soft signs (NSS) are frequently found in patients with schizophrenia at any stage of their illness. Numerous structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies repeatedly revealed accentuated thinning of cortical mantle in schizophrenia. However, whether NSS are related to alterations of cortical thickness has so far remained mostly unexplored.
Whole brain high-resolution MRI at 3 Tesla was used to investigate cortical thickness in twenty five patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Cortical reconstruction was performed with the Freesurfer image analysis suite. NSS were examined on the Heidelberg Scale after remission of acute symptoms and related to cortical thickness. Age, education, medication and duration of illness were considered as potential confounders.
Higher NSS scores were associated with decreased cortical thickness in multiple areas. Significant correlations were found in somatosensory and primary motor cortex, pre-motor area and temporal lobe. Our results confirm the hypothesis of significant relationship between alterations of cortical thickness and the extent of NSS in schizophrenia.
Our findings provide new insights into the association of NSS with brain morphometric alterations and an involvement of cortical thickness in schizophrenia.
The Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) balloon experiment was designed to detect radio signals initiated by high-energy neutrinos and cosmic ray (CR) air showers. These signals are typically discriminated by the polarization and phase inversions of the radio signal. The reflected signal from CRs suffer phase inversion compared to a direct ‘tau neutrino’ event. In this paper, we study subsurface reflection, which can occur without phase inversion, in the context of the two anomalous up-going events reported by ANITA. It is found that subsurface layers and firn density inversions may plausibly account for the events, while ice fabric layers and wind ablation crusts could also play a role. This hypothesis can be tested with radar surveying of the Antarctic region in the vicinity of the anomalous ANITA events. Future experiments should not use phase inversion as a sole criterion to discriminate between down-going and up-going events, unless the subsurface reflection properties are well understood.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
Psychotropic prescription rates continue to increase in the United States (USA). Few studies have investigated whether social-structural factors may play a role in psychotropic medication use independent of mental illness. Food insecurity is prevalent among people living with HIV in the USA and has been associated with poor mental health. We investigated whether food insecurity was associated with psychotropic medication use independent of the symptoms of depression and anxiety among women living with HIV in the USA.
We used cross-sectional data from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a nationwide cohort study. Food security (FS) was the primary explanatory variable, measured using the Household Food Security Survey Module. First, we used multivariable linear regressions to test whether FS was associated with symptoms of depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression [CESD] score), generalised anxiety disorder (GAD-7 score) and mental health-related quality of life (MOS-HIV Mental Health Summary score; MHS). Next, we examined associations of FS with the use of any psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, sedatives and antipsychotics, using multivariable logistic regressions adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, income, education and alcohol and substance use. In separate models, we additionally adjusted for symptoms of depression (CESD score) and anxiety (GAD-7 score).
Of the 905 women in the sample, two-thirds were African-American. Lower FS (i.e. worse food insecurity) was associated with greater symptoms of depression and anxiety in a dose–response relationship. For the psychotropic medication outcomes, marginal and low FS were associated with 2.06 (p < 0.001; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.36–3.13) and 1.99 (p < 0.01; 95% CI = 1.26–3.15) times higher odds of any psychotropic medication use, respectively, before adjusting for depression and anxiety. The association of very low FS with any psychotropic medication use was not statistically significant. A similar pattern was found for antidepressant and sedative use. After additionally adjusting for CESD and GAD-7 scores, marginal FS remained associated with 1.93 (p < 0.05; 95% CI = 1.16–3.19) times higher odds of any psychotropic medication use. Very low FS, conversely, was significantly associated with lower odds of antidepressant use (adjusted odds ratio = 0.42; p < 0.05; 95% CI = 0.19–0.96).
Marginal FS was associated with higher odds of using psychotropic medications independent of depression and anxiety, while very low FS was associated with lower odds. These complex findings may indicate that people experiencing very low FS face barriers to accessing mental health services, while those experiencing marginal FS who do access services are more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications for distress arising from social and structural factors.
Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the influence of lower limb loss (LL) on mental workload by assessing neurocognitive measures in individuals with unilateral transtibial (TT) versus those with transfemoral (TF) LL while dual-task walking under varying cognitive demand. Methods: Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded as participants performed a task of varying cognitive demand while being seated or walking (i.e., varying physical demand). Results: The findings revealed both groups of participants (TT LL vs. TF LL) exhibited a similar EEG theta synchrony response as either the cognitive or the physical demand increased. Also, while individuals with TT LL maintained similar performance on the cognitive task during seated and walking conditions, those with TF LL exhibited performance decrements (slower response times) on the cognitive task during the walking in comparison to the seated conditions. Furthermore, those with TF LL neither exhibited regional differences in EEG low-alpha power while walking, nor EEG high-alpha desynchrony as a function of cognitive task difficulty while walking. This lack of alpha modulation coincided with no elevation of theta/alpha ratio power as a function of cognitive task difficulty in the TF LL group. Conclusions: This work suggests that both groups share some common but also different neurocognitive features during dual-task walking. Although all participants were able to recruit neural mechanisms critical for the maintenance of cognitive-motor performance under elevated cognitive or physical demands, the observed differences indicate that walking with a prosthesis, while concurrently performing a cognitive task, imposes additional cognitive demand in individuals with more proximal levels of amputation.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Commingled and fragmentary remains are found in numerous contexts worldwide. These assemblages typically require large scale, long term study to fully extract and contextualize meaningful data. However, when uncovered in CRM and foreign settings where remains cannot leave their country of origin, there is a need for quick, reliable data collection. Presented here is a recording system for use in field- and research-based laboratory settings. Utilizing visual forms and a minimal set of observations for skeletal elements from the cranium to the foot, the database facilitates data collection of fragment identification, age at death and sex estimation, dental observations, trauma recording, and taphonomic observations. A data dictionary is also provided, with definitions and value lists used in the database itself. The database has been used in field labs throughout the old world and by numerous researchers who have modified it to meet their own research needs. By presenting a minimal standard of data in a highly adaptable database, the recording system described here provides consistent baseline data in a user-friendly, quick-access format
Childhood obesity is a common concern across global cities and threatens sustainable urban development. Initiatives to improve nutrition and encourage physical exercise are promising but are yet to exert significant influence on prevention. Childhood obesity in London is associated with distinct ethnic and socio-economic patterns. Ethnic inequalities in health-related behaviour endure, underpinned by inequalities in employment, housing, access to welfare services, and discrimination. Addressing these growing concerns requires a clearer understanding of the socio-cultural, environmental and economic contexts of urban living that promote obesity. We explore opportunities for prevention using asset based-approaches to nutritional health and well-being, with a particular focus on adolescents from diverse ethnic backgrounds living in London. We focus on the important role that community engagement and multi-sectoral partnership play in improving the nutritional outcomes of London's children. London's children and adolescents grow up in the rich cultural mix of a global city where local streets are characterised by diversity in ethnicities, languages, religions, foods, and customs, creating complex and fluid identities. Growing up with such everyday diversity we argue can enhance the quality of life for London's children and strengthen their social capital. The Determinants of young Adult Social well-being and Health longitudinal study of about 6500 of London's young people demonstrated the positive impact of cultural diversity. Born to parents from over a hundred countries and exposed to multi-lingual households and religious practices, they demonstrated strong psychological resilience and sense of pride from cultural straddling, despite material disadvantage and discrimination. Supporting the potential contribution of such socio-cultural assets is in keeping with the values of social justice and equitable and sustainable development. Our work signals the importance of community engagement and multisectoral partnerships, involving, for example, schools and faith-based organisations, to improve the nutrition of London's children.
Externalizing disorders are known to be partly heritable, but the biological pathways linking genetic risk to the manifestation of these costly behaviors remain under investigation. This study sought to identify neural phenotypes associated with genomic vulnerability for externalizing disorders.
One-hundred fifty-five White, non-Hispanic veterans were genotyped using a genome-wide array and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Genetic susceptibility was assessed using an independently developed polygenic score (PS) for externalizing, and functional neural networks were identified using graph theory based network analysis. Tasks of inhibitory control and psychiatric diagnosis (alcohol/substance use disorders) were used to measure externalizing phenotypes.
A polygenic externalizing disorder score (PS) predicted connectivity in a brain circuit (10 nodes, nine links) centered on left amygdala that included several cortical [bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) pars triangularis, left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC)] and subcortical (bilateral amygdala, hippocampus, and striatum) regions. Directional analyses revealed that bilateral amygdala influenced left prefrontal cortex (IFG) in participants scoring higher on the externalizing PS, whereas the opposite direction of influence was observed for those scoring lower on the PS. Polygenic variation was also associated with higher Participation Coefficient for bilateral amygdala and left rACC, suggesting that genes related to externalizing modulated the extent to which these nodes functioned as communication hubs.
Findings suggest that externalizing polygenic risk is associated with disrupted connectivity in a neural network implicated in emotion regulation, impulse control, and reinforcement learning. Results provide evidence that this network represents a genetically associated neurobiological vulnerability for externalizing disorders.