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First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
The authors report on strong exciton–photon coupling in all-metal microcavities containing functionalized anthradithiophene (ADT) in host poly(methyl methacrylate) matrices for a wide range of ADT concentrations. Angle-resolved reflectance of polycrystalline films revealed Rabi splittings up to 340 meV. Angle-resolved photoluminescence in films with low ADT concentrations (dominated by “isolated” ADT molecules) showed Rabi splittings which scaled with the square root of oscillator strength. When “aggregated” and “isolated” ADT molecules coexisted in film, cavities preferentially coupled to “isolated” molecules due to an anisotropic distribution of aggregates. As a solution-processable high-performance organic semiconductor, ADT shows promise as an (opto)electronic polaritonic material.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The association between schizophrenia and decreased vitamin D levels is well documented. Low maternal and postnatal vitamin D levels suggest a possible etiological mechanism. Alternatively, vitamin D deficiency in patients with schizophrenia is presumably (also) the result of disease-related factors or demographic risk factors such as urbanicity.
In a study population of 347 patients with psychotic disorder and 282 controls, group differences in vitamin D concentration were examined. Within the patient group, associations between vitamin D, symptom levels and clinical variables were analyzed. Group × urbanicity interactions in the model of vitamin D concentration were examined. Both current urbanicity and urbanicity at birth were assessed.
Vitamin D concentrations were significantly lower in patients (B = −8.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) −13.68 to −2.42; p = 0.005). In patients, higher vitamin D concentration was associated with lower positive (B = −0.02; 95% CI −0.04 to 0.00; p = 0.049) and negative symptom levels (B = −0.03; 95% CI −0.05 to −0.01; p = 0.008). Group differences were moderated by urbanicity at birth (χ2 = 6.76 and p = 0.001), but not by current urbanicity (χ2 = 1.50 and p = 0.224). Urbanicity at birth was negatively associated with vitamin D concentration in patients (B = −5.11; 95% CI −9.41 to −0.81; p = 0.020), but not in controls (B = 0.72; 95% CI −4.02 to 5.46; p = 0.765).
Lower vitamin D levels in patients with psychotic disorder may in part reflect the effect of psychosis risk mediated by early environmental adversity. The data also suggest that lower vitamin D and psychopathology may be related through direct or indirect mechanisms.
Magnetic skyrmions are particle-like, topologically protected magnetization entities that are promising candidates for information carriers in racetrack-memory schemes. The transport of skyrmions in a shift-register-like fashion is crucial for their embodiment in practical devices. Recently, we demonstrated experimentally that chiral skyrmions in Cu2OSeO3 can be effectively manipulated by a magnetic field gradient, leading to a collective rotation of the skyrmion lattice with well-defined dynamics in a radial field gradient. Here, we employ a skyrmion particle model to numerically study the effects of resultant shear forces on the structure of the skyrmion lattice. We demonstrate that anisotropic peak broadening in experimentally observed diffraction patterns can be attributed to extended linear regions in the magnetic field profile. We show that topological (5-7) defects emerge to protect the six-fold symmetry of the lattice under the application of local shear forces, further enhancing the stability of proposed magnetic field driven devices.
Depression has been associated with abnormalities in neural underpinnings of Reward Learning (RL). However, inconsistencies have emerged, possibly owing to medication effects. Additionally, it remains unclear how neural RL signals relate to real-life behaviour. The current study, therefore, examined neural RL signals in young, mildly to moderately depressed – but non-help-seeking and unmedicated – individuals and how these signals are associated with depressive symptoms and real-life motivated behaviour.
Individuals with symptoms along the depression continuum (n = 87) were recruited from the community. They performed an RL task during functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and were assessed with the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), completing short questionnaires on emotions and behaviours up to 10 times/day for 15 days. Q-learning model-derived Reward Prediction Errors (RPEs) were examined in striatal areas, and subsequently associated with depressive symptoms and an ESM measure capturing (non-linearly) how anticipation of reward experience corresponds to actual reward experience later on.
Significant RPE signals were found in the striatum, insula, amygdala, hippocampus, frontal and occipital cortices. Region-of-interest analyses revealed a significant association between RPE signals and (a) self-reported depressive symptoms in the right nucleus accumbens (b = −0.017, p = 0.006) and putamen (b = −0.013, p = .012); and (b) the quadratic ESM variable in the left (b = 0.010, p = .010) and right (b = 0.026, p = 0.011) nucleus accumbens and right putamen (b = 0.047, p < 0.001).
Striatal RPE signals are disrupted along the depression continuum. Moreover, they are associated with reward-related behaviour in real-life, suggesting that real-life coupling of reward anticipation and engagement in rewarding activities might be a relevant target of psychological therapies for depression.
The transition period is the most critical period in the lactation cycle of dairy cows. Extended lactations reduce the frequency of transition periods, the number of calves and the related labour for farmers. This study aimed to assess the impact of 2 and 4 months extended lactations on milk yield and net partial cash flow (NPCF) at herd level, and on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of fat- and protein-corrected milk (FPCM), using a stochastic simulation model. The model simulated individual lactations for 100 herds of 100 cows with a baseline lactation length (BL), and for 100 herds with lactations extended by 2 or 4 months for all cows (All+2 and All+4), or for heifers only (H+2 and H+4). Baseline lactation length herds produced 887 t (SD: 13) milk/year. The NPCF, based on revenues for milk, surplus calves and culled cows, and costs for feed, artificial insemination, calving management and rearing of youngstock, was k€174 (SD: 4)/BL herd per year. Extended lactations reduced milk yield of the herd by 4.1% for All+2, 6.9% for All+4, 1.1% for H+2 and 2.2% for H+4, and reduced the NPCF per herd per year by k€7 for All+2, k€12 for All+4, k€2 for H+2 and k€4 for H+4 compared with BL herds. Extended lactations increased GHG emissions in CO2-equivalents per t FPCM by 1.0% for All+2, by 1.7% for All+4, by 0.2% for H+2 and by 0.4% for H+4, but this could be compensated by an increase in lifespan of dairy cows. Subsequently, production level and lactation persistency were increased to assess the importance of these aspects for the impact of extended lactations. The increase in production level and lactation persistency increased milk production of BL herds by 30%. Moreover, reductions in milk yield for All+2 and All+4 compared with BL herds were only 0.7% and 1.1% per year, and milk yield in H+2 and H+4 herds was similar to BL herds. The resulting NPCF was equal to BL for All+2 and All+4 and increased by k€1 for H+2 and H+4 due to lower costs for insemination and calving management. Moreover, GHG emissions per t FPCM were equal to BL herds or reduced (0% to −0.3%) when lactations were extended. We concluded that, depending on lactation persistency, extending lactations of dairy cows can have a positive or negative impact on the NPCF and GHG emissions of milk production.
The perception and production of emotional and linguistic (focus) prosody were compared in children with cochlear implants (CI) and normally hearing (NH) peers. Thirteen CI and thirteen hearing-age-matched school-aged NH children were tested, as baseline, on non-verbal emotion understanding, non-word repetition, and stimulus identification and naming. Main tests were verbal emotion discrimination, verbal focus position discrimination, acted emotion production, and focus production. Productions were evaluated by NH adult Dutch listeners. All scores between groups were comparable, except a lower score for the CI group for non-word repetition. Emotional prosody perception and production scores correlated weakly for CI children but were uncorrelated for NH children. In general, hearing age weakly predicted emotion production but not perception. Non-verbal emotional (but not linguistic) understanding predicted CI children's (but not controls’) emotion perception and production. In conclusion, increasing time in sound might facilitate vocal emotional expression, possibly requiring independently maturing emotion perception skills.
Lowering protein level in diets for piglets urge to have knowledge on the piglet’s requirements for essential amino acids (AA) and their interactions. The present studies aimed to determine the interaction between the dietary level of valine (Val) and tryptophan (Trp) and the effect of AA imbalance at two levels of dietary Val on the growth performance of post-weaning piglets. In Experiment 1 (duration 4 weeks), the effects of supplementation of free l-Val (1.0 g/kg) and/or l-Trp (0.5 g/kg) in a low-CP diet (CP 17.7%), marginal in Trp and Val, was studied in a 2×2 factorial design and using an additional reference treatment (CP 19.5%). In Experiment 2 (duration 5 weeks), the influence of a stepwise increase in excess supply of isoleucine (Ile), histidine (His) and leucine (Leu), up to 10, 10% and 30% relative to their requirement values respectively, was evaluated at 60% or 70% standardized ileal digestible (SID) Val relative to SID lysine, using a 3×2 factorial design. In Experiment 1, over the whole experimental period, feed intake (FI) was affected by dietary Trp level (P<0.05) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) by both the level of Trp and Val in the diet (both P<0.05). Increasing Trp level increased FI and decreased FCR while increasing dietary Val level reduced FI and increased FCR. For BW gain (BWG), there was an interaction between dietary level of Trp and Val (P<0.05). Valine supplementation decreased BWG using a diet marginal in Trp, whereas it increased BWG when using a Trp sufficient diet. Piglets fed the low-CP diet with adequate levels of Val and Trp showed at least same performance compared to piglets fed the high CP reference diet. In Experiment 2, increasing dietary Val improved FI and BWG (P<0.001) and tended to improve FCR. Dietary AA excess for Ile, His and Leu reduced FI and BWG (P<0.05) and only affected FCR (P<0.01) in the 1st week of the study. Dietary level of Val and AA excess did not show interactive effects, except for FCR over the final 2 weeks of the study (P<0.05). In conclusion, an interaction exists between dietary supply of Val and Trp on the zootechnical performance of post-weaning piglets and dietary AA excess for Ile, Leu and His, reduces growth performance of piglets in low-protein diets, independent of the dietary level of Val.
We report on reliability testing of vertical GaN (v-GaN) devices under continuous switching conditions of 500, 750, and 1000 V. Using a modified double-pulse test circuit, we evaluate 1200 V-rated v-GaN PiN diodes fabricated by Avogy. Forward current–voltage characteristics do not change over the stress period. Under the reverse bias, the devices exhibit an initial rise in leakage current, followed by a slower rate of increase with further stress. The leakage recovers after a day's relaxation which suggests that trapping of carriers in deep states is responsible. Overall, we found the devices to be robust over the range of conditions tested.
The jumping to conclusions (JTC) reasoning bias and decreased working memory performance (WMP) are associated with psychosis, but associations with affective disturbances (i.e. depression, anxiety, mania) remain inconclusive. Recent findings also suggest a transdiagnostic phenotype of co-occurring affective disturbances and psychotic experiences (PEs). This study investigated whether JTC bias and decreased WMP are associated with co-occurring affective disturbances and PEs.
Data were derived from the second Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS-2). Trained interviewers administered the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) at three time points in a general population sample (N = 4618). The beads and digit-span task were completed to assess JTC bias and WMP, respectively. CIDI was used to measure affective disturbances and an add-on instrument to measure PEs.
Compared to individuals with neither affective disturbances nor PEs, the JTC bias was more likely to occur in individuals with co-occurring affective disturbances and PEs [moderate psychosis (1–2 PEs): adjusted relative risk ratio (RRR) 1.17, 95% CI 0.98–1.41; and high psychosis (3 or more PEs or psychosis-related help-seeking behaviour): adjusted RRR 1.57, 95% CI 1.19–2.08], but not with affective disturbances and PEs alone, whereas decreased WMP was more likely in all groups. There was some evidence of a dose–response relationship, as JTC bias and decreased WMP were more likely in individuals with affective disturbances as the level of PEs increased or help-seeking behaviour was reported.
The findings suggest that JTC bias and decreased WMP may contribute to a transdiagnostic phenotype of co-occurring affective disturbances and PEs.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Background: We investigated whether the presence of dural sinus narrowing is a more reliable marker of intracranial hypertension / shunt failure in children than the imaging finding of hydrocephalus. -Methods: Cranial MRIs of n=12 children were included when being well and when there was definitive intracranial hypertension as per follow-up and intraoperative results (gold standard). Images werde assessed for hydrocephalus on T2w images and narrowing of dural sinuses on MR vengraphy (diameter of <50%). Results: Dural sinuses narrowing was detected with a sensitivity of 0.67, a specificity of 1.0, PPV of 1.0 and NPV of 0.75 (Table 1). Hydrocephalus was detected with a sensitivity of 0.5, a specificity of 0.83, PPV of 0.75 and NPV of 0.63. Results differed between the test methods (p = 0.01, Cochrane Q test). Conclusions: Dural sinus narrowing more reliably predicted intracranial hypertension, a sign which might significantly improve care in critically ill children.
Age at MRI
Shuntfailure as per clinical follow-up(Goldstandard)
Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) poses a threat to public health due to its complicated, expensive and often unsuccessful treatment. A cluster of three XDR TB cases was detected among foreign medical students of a Romanian university. The contact investigations included tuberculin skin testing or interferon gamma release assay, chest X-ray, sputum smear microscopy, culture, drug susceptibility testing, genotyping and whole-genome sequencing (WGS), and were addressed to students, personnel of the university, family members or other close contacts of the cases. These investigations increased the total number of cases to seven. All confirmed cases shared a very similar WGS profile. Two more cases were epidemiologically linked, but no laboratory confirmation exists. Despite all the efforts done, the source of the outbreak was not identified, but the transmission was controlled. The investigation was conducted by a team including epidemiologists and microbiologists from five countries (Finland, Israel, Romania, Sweden and the UK) and from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Our report shows how countries can collaborate to control the spread of XDR TB by exchanging information about cases and their contacts to enable identification of additional cases and transmission and to perform the source investigation.
Self-reported psychotic experiences (SRPE) by individuals from the general population are often unconfirmed by clinical interview and referred to as ‘false-positive’ (FP) SRPE. FP SRPE have been suggested to represent the mildest form of risk along the extended psychosis continuum. However, little is known about their (clinical) outcome and evolution over time. Aims of this study were to prospectively examine, in individuals with FP SRPE, (1) the prevalence of remission, persistence and transition to validated PE at 3-year follow-up; (2) potential baseline psychopathological and psychosocial predictors of persistence of FP SRPE and transition to validated PE; and (3) whether those with persistent FP SRPE and validated PE already differed on psychopathology and psychosocial factors at baseline. We tested the hypotheses that (i) individuals with FP SRPE would be more likely to have SRPE and validated PE at follow-up; and (ii) that FP SRPE would be predictive of lower functioning and more psychopathology and help-seeking behaviour at follow-up.
Baseline (n = 6646) and 3-year follow-up (n = 5303) data of the second the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS-2), a general population research project on prevalence, incidence, course and consequences of psychiatric disorders was used. Self-report of PE was followed by clinical interview to determine clinical validity. The presence of mood, anxiety and substance use disorders, childhood adversity, help-seeking and functioning as well as PE characteristics (number, frequency, distress and impact) were used in the analyses which included only individuals with complete data for both assessments waves (n = 4683).
At baseline, 454 participants had any FP SRPE; of these 372 participants had complete follow-up data available. Those with baseline FP SRPE were significantly more likely to report SRPE (OR = 3.58; 95% CI 2.38–5.40, p < 0.001) and validated PE (OR = 6.26; 95% CI 3.91–10.02, p < 0.001) at follow-up. Baseline FP SRPE also predicted the presence of mood and anxiety disorders, reduced functioning and help-seeking at follow-up. Several baseline psychopathological, psychosocial and PE characteristics were predictive for the persistence of SRPE. These factors also differentiated groups with FP SRPE or validated PE from those with remitted FP SRPE at follow-up.
‘FP SRPE’ are not truly ‘false’ as they index risk for the development of clinically relevant psychotic symptoms, development of mood and anxiety disorders and reduced functioning. Self-reported PE, even unconfirmed, warrant ‘watchful waiting’ and follow-up over time, especially when they are reported by individuals with reduced psychosocial functioning and general psychiatric problems.
To describe the transmission dynamics of the emergence and persistence of vanA vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) in an intensive care unit (ICU) using whole-genome sequencing of patient and environmental isolates.
Retrospective cohort study.
ICU in a tertiary referral center.
Patients admitted to the ICU over an 11-month period.
VanA VRE isolated from patients (n=31) were sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Environmental samples from bed spaces, equipment, and waste rooms were collected. All vanA VRE-positive environmental samples (n=14) were also sequenced. Data were collected regarding patient ward and bed movements.
The 31 patient vanA VRE isolates were from screening (n=19), urine (n=4), bloodstream (n=3), skin/wound (n=3), and intra-abdominal (n=2) sources. The phylogeny from sequencing data confirmed several VRE clusters, with 1 group accounting for 38 of 45 isolates (84%). Within this cluster, cross-transmission was extensive and complex across the ICU. Directionality indicated that colonized patients contaminated environmental sites. Similarly, environmental sources not only led to patient colonization but also to infection. Notably, shared equipment acted as a conduit for transmission between different ICU areas. Infected patients, however, were not linked to further VRE transmission.
Genomic sequencing confirmed a predominantly clonal outbreak of VRE with complex transmission dynamics. The environmental reservoir, particularly from shared equipment, played a key role in ongoing VRE spread. This study provides evidence to support the use of multifaceted strategies, with an emphasis on measures to reduce bacterial burden in the environment, for successful VRE control.
Exercise and physical training are known to affect gastrointestinal function and digestibility in horses and can lead to inaccurate estimates of nutrient and energy digestibility when markers are used. The effect of exercise on apparent nutrient digestibility and faecal recoveries of ADL and TiO2 was studied in six Welsh pony geldings subjected to either a low- (LI) or high-intensity (HI) exercise regime according to a cross-over design. Ponies performing LI exercise were walked once per day for 45 min in a horse walker (5 km/h) for 47 consecutive days. Ponies submitted to HI exercise were gradually trained for the same 47 days according a standardized protocol. Throughout the experiment, the ponies received a fixed level of feed and the daily rations consisted of 4.7 kg DM of grass hay and 0.95 kg DM of concentrate. The diet was supplemented with minerals, vitamins and TiO2 (3.0 g Ti/day). Total tract digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM), CP, crude fat, NDF, ADF, starch, sugar and energy was determined with the total faeces collection (TFC) method. In addition, DM and OM digestibility was estimated using internal ADL and the externally supplemented Ti as markers. Urine was collected on the final 2 days of each experimental period. Exercise did not affect apparent digestibility of CP, crude fat, starch and sugar. Digestibility of DM (DMD), OM (OMD), ADF and NDF tended to be lower and DE was decreased when ponies received the HI exercise regime. For all treatments combined, mean faecal recoveries of ADL and Ti were 87.8±1.7% and 99.3±1.7%, respectively. Ti was not detected in the urine, indicating that intestinal integrity was maintained with exercise. Dry matter digestibility estimated with the TFC, ADL and Ti for ponies subjected to LI exercise were 66.3%, 60.3% and 64.8%, respectively, while DMD for HI ponies were 64.2%, 60.3% and 65.2%, respectively. In conclusion, physical exercise has an influence on the GE digestibility of the feed in ponies provided with equivalent levels of feed intake. In addition, the two markers used for estimating apparent DMD and OMD indicate that externally supplemented Ti is a suitable marker to determine digestibility of nutrients in horses performing exercise unlike dietary ADL.
Susceptibility to cold is usually reported as a major factor involved in the neonatal mortality of piglets (English and Morrison, 1984). Low energy reserves and poor insulation largely contribute to the limited thermoregulatory capacities of the newborn pig (Mersmann, 1974; Curtis, 1974). Glycogen is the predominant source of energy accounting for about 0.6 of the total energy available at birth (Mellor and Cockburn, 1986) but glycogen stores are rapidly depleted after birth. In addition, the total body fat content is very low at birth, ranging from 10 to 20g/kg (Manners and McCrea, 1963). Whereas attempts made to increase the energy stored as fat in the newborn pig by manipulation of the sow diet during late gestation have given variable results (Seerley, 1984), colostrum has proved to be an efficient route for depositing fat and hence for the supply of energy to the piglet during the first postnatal day (Le Dividich, Esnault, Lynch, Hoo-Paris, Castex and Peiniau, 1991). The present study was designed to determine the effects of colostral fat level on the energy and fat metabolism of the newborn piglet when maintained during the 1st day of life at thermal neutrality (34°C) or in the cold (21°C).
A total of 35 newborn Large White pigs averaging 1140 (s.e. 54) g in weight were used. Within each litter five piglets were selected according to their live weight. One was killed in order to determine the initial body composition. The remaining pigs were fitted with umbilical artery catheters and stomach tubes. They were placed in individual cages in closed temperature-controlled chambers maintained at either 34 or 21°C and were fed normal colostrum (60 g fat per kg, NFC) or a colostrum deprived of fat (< 10 g fat per kg, LFC) at the rate of 15 to 18 g per meal per kg birth weight. A total of 24 meals were given at about 65-min intervals.
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.
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.