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Childhood and lifetime adversity may reduce brain serotonergic (5-HT) neurotransmission by epigenetic mechanisms.
We tested the relationships of childhood adversity and recent stress to serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptor genotype, DNA methylation of this gene in peripheral blood monocytes and in vivo 5-HT1A receptor binding potential (BPF) determined by positron emission tomography (PET) in 13 a priori brain regions, in participants with major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy volunteers (controls).
Medication-free participants with MDD (n = 192: 110 female, 81 male, 1 other) and controls (n = 88: 48 female, 40 male) were interviewed about childhood adversity and recent stressors and genotyped for rs6295. DNA methylation was assayed at three upstream promoter sites (−1019, −1007, −681) of the 5-HT1A receptor gene. A subgroup (n = 119) had regional brain 5-HT1A receptor BPF quantified by PET. Multi-predictor models were used to test associations between diagnosis, recent stress, childhood adversity, genotype, methylation and BPF.
Recent stress correlated positively with blood monocyte methylation at the −681 CpG site, adjusted for diagnosis, and had positive and region-specific correlations with 5-HT1A BPF in participants with MDD, but not in controls. In participants with MDD, but not in controls, methylation at the −1007 CpG site had positive and region-specific correlations with binding potential. Childhood adversity was not associated with methylation or BPF in participants with MDD.
These findings support a model in which recent stress increases 5-HT1A receptor binding, via methylation of promoter sites, thus affecting MDD psychopathology.
Aberrant activity of the subcallosal cingulate (SCC) is a common theme across pharmacologic treatment efficacy prediction studies. The functioning of the SCC in psychotherapeutic interventions is relatively understudied, as are functional differences among SCC subdivisions. We conducted functional connectivity analyses (rsFC) on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, collected before and after a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), using seeds from three SCC subdivisions.
Resting-state data were collected from unmedicated patients with current MDD (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 > 16) before and after 14-sessions of CBT monotherapy. Treatment outcome was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Rostral anterior cingulate (rACC), anterior subcallosal cingulate (aSCC), and Brodmann’s area 25 (BA25) masks were used as seeds in connectivity analyses that assessed baseline rsFC and symptom severity, changes in connectivity related to symptom improvement after CBT, and prediction of treatment outcomes using whole-brain baseline connectivity.
Pretreatment BDI negatively correlated with pretreatment rACC ~ dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and aSCC ~ lateral prefrontal cortex rsFC. In a region-of-interest longitudinal analysis, rsFC between these regions increased post-treatment (p < 0.05FDR). In whole-brain analyses, BA25 ~ paracentral lobule and rACC ~ paracentral lobule connectivities decreased post-treatment. Whole-brain baseline rsFC with SCC did not predict clinical improvement.
rsFC features of rACC and aSCC, but not BA25, correlated inversely with baseline depression severity, and increased following CBT. Subdivisions of SCC involved in top-down emotion regulation may be more involved in cognitive interventions, while BA25 may be more informative for interventions targeting bottom-up processing. Results emphasize the importance of subdividing the SCC in connectivity analyses.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for many patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), but predictors of treatment outcome are lacking, and little is known about its neural mechanisms. We recently identified longitudinal changes in neural correlates of conscious emotion regulation that scaled with clinical responses to CBT for MDD, using a negative autobiographical memory-based task.
We now examine the neural correlates of emotional reactivity and emotion regulation during viewing of emotionally salient images as predictors of treatment outcome with CBT for MDD, and the relationship between longitudinal change in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) responses and clinical outcomes. Thirty-two participants with current MDD underwent baseline MRI scanning followed by 14 sessions of CBT. The fMRI task measured emotional reactivity and emotion regulation on separate trials using standardized images from the International Affective Pictures System. Twenty-one participants completed post-treatment scanning. Last observation carried forward was used to estimate clinical outcome for non-completers.
Pre-treatment emotional reactivity Blood Oxygen Level-Dependent (BOLD) signal within hippocampus including CA1 predicted worse treatment outcome. In contrast, better treatment outcome was associated with increased down-regulation of BOLD activity during emotion regulation from time 1 to time 2 in precuneus, occipital cortex, and middle frontal gyrus.
CBT may modulate the neural circuitry of emotion regulation. The neural correlates of emotional reactivity may be more strongly predictive of CBT outcome. The finding that treatment outcome was predicted by BOLD signal in CA1 may suggest overgeneralized memory as a negative prognostic factor in CBT outcome.
The impact of dementia-related stressors and strains have been examined for their potential to threaten the well-being of either the person with dementia or the family care partner, but rarely have studies considered the dyadic nature of well-being in dementia. The purpose of this study was to examine the dyadic effects of multiple dimensions of strain on the well-being of dementia care dyads.
Using multilevel modeling to account for the inter-relatedness of individual well-being within dementia care dyads, we examined cross-sectional responses collected from 42 dyads comprised of a hospitalized patient diagnosed with a primary progressive dementia (PWD) and their family care partner (CP). Both PWDs and CPs self-reported on their own well-being using measures of quality of life (QOL-Alzheimer’s Disease scale) and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale).
In adjusted models, the PWD’s well-being (higher QOL and lower depressive symptoms) was associated with significantly less strain in the dyad’s relationship. The CP’s well-being was associated with significantly less care-related strain and (for QOL scale) less relationship strain.
Understanding the impact of dementia on the well-being of PWDs or CPs may require an assessment of both members of the dementia care dyad in order to gain a complete picture of how dementia-related stressors and strains impact individual well-being. These results underscore the need to assess and manage dementia-related strain as a multi-dimensional construct that may include strain related to the progression of the disease, strain from providing care, and strain on the dyad’s relationship quality.
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.
The geologic setting of the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site is somewhat unusual — the sediments containing the Pleistocene fossils were deposited in a lake on top of a ridge. The lake basin was formed near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) when a glacier flowing down Snowmass Creek Valley became thick enough to overtop a low point in the eastern valley wall and entered the head of Brush Creek Valley. When the glacier retreated at about 155–130 ka, near the end of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 6, the Brush Creek Valley lobe left behind a moraine that impounded a small alpine lake. The lake was initially ~ 10 m deep and appears to have been highly productive during most of its existence, based on the abundant and exquisitely preserved organic material present in the sediments. Over time, the basin slowly filled with (mostly) eolian sediment such that by ~ 87 ka it contained a marsh or wetland rather than a true lake. Open-water conditions returned briefly between ~ 77 and 55 ka before the impoundment was finally breached to the east, establishing ties with the Brush Creek drainage system and creating an alpine meadow that persisted until historic times.
Studies of terrestrial biotic and environmental dynamics of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5, also called the Last Interglacial Period, provide insight into the effects of long-term climate change on Pleistocene ecosystems. In North America, however, there are relatively few fossil sites that definitively date to MIS 5. Even fewer contain multiple ecosystem components (vertebrates, invertebrates, plants) that have been studied in detail, and none are located at high elevation. Thus, our view of North American ecosystems during MIS 5 is, at best, an incomplete composite view, and alpine ecosystems are entirely undocumented.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
Paraquat applied from mid-February through early April over 2 yr was evaluated for sugarcane tolerance and Italian ryegrass control. Sugarcane 31 cm tall at application was injured 16 to 25% and 8 to 14% 28 and 56 d, respectively, after mid-March application of paraquat at 0.35 or 0.70 kg ai/ha. Early-April application to 61-cm-tall sugarcane caused 13 to 25% injury. The observed injury was not reflected in reduced sugarcane shoot population or height or sugarcane or sugar yield when compared with diuron, the standard herbicide treatment. Italian ryegrass control 28 d after the mid-February application of paraquat alone at 0.53 or 0.70 kg/ha was variable, ranging from 80% in 1994 to no more than 66% in 1995. For each year, diuron at 3.2 kg/ha in combination with both rates of paraquat increased Italian ryegrass control 28 d after the mid-February application 11 to 17 percentage points. At 56 d after the mid-February application, addition of diuron proved beneficial only in 1994 when the paraquat and diuron combinations controlled ryegrass 93% compared with no more than 62% for paraquat applied alone. In contrast, Italian ryegrass was controlled the second year no more than 80% 56 d after the mid-February application of paraquat alone or with diuron. Paraquat applied at 0.70 kg/ha with diuron in mid-March controlled Italian ryegrass 80 and 86% 28 d after treatment in 1994 and 1995, respectively. For the standard herbicides metribuzin, terbacil, and diuron applied in mid-March, weed control was no greater than 38%. Although differences in Italian ryegrass control among herbicide treatments were observed, efficacy was sufficient to reduce weed competition such that sugarcane growth and yield were not negatively affected.
To determine the clinical diagnoses associated with the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) pneumonia (PNEU) or lower respiratory infection (LRI) surveillance events
Retrospective chart review
A convenience sample of 8 acute-care hospitals in Pennsylvania
All patients hospitalized during 2011–2012
Medical records were reviewed from a random sample of patients reported to the NHSN to have PNEU or LRI, excluding adults with ventilator-associated PNEU. Documented clinical diagnoses corresponding temporally to the PNEU and LRI events were recorded.
We reviewed 250 (30%) of 838 eligible PNEU and LRI events reported to the NHSN; 29 reported events (12%) fulfilled neither PNEU nor LRI case criteria. Differences interpreting radiology reports accounted for most misclassifications. Of 81 PNEU events in adults not on mechanical ventilation, 84% had clinician-diagnosed pneumonia; of these, 25% were attributed to aspiration. Of 43 adult LRI, 88% were in mechanically ventilated patients and 35% had no corresponding clinical diagnosis (infectious or noninfectious) documented at the time of LRI. Of 36 pediatric PNEU events, 72% were ventilator associated, and 70% corresponded to a clinical pneumonia diagnosis. Of 61 pediatric LRI patients, 84% were mechanically ventilated and 21% had no corresponding clinical diagnosis documented.
In adults not on mechanical ventilation and in children, most NHSN-defined PNEU events corresponded with compatible clinical conditions documented in the medical record. In contrast, NHSN LRI events often did not. As a result, substantial modifications to the LRI definitions were implemented in 2015.
Objective: This study examines the impact of comorbidity of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with disruptive and anxiety disorders in childhood on clinical course and outcome. We consider the relative contribution of each comorbid symptom constellation, and also their interaction, to assess the following questions: (1) Does early comorbidity with conduct disorder (CD) and anxiety disorders define specific developmental trajectories?; (2) Is comorbid anxiety disorders in childhood continuous with anxiety disorders in adolescence?; (3) Does comorbid anxiety disorders mitigate the negative behavioral outcome of youth with ADHD?; and (4) Is there an interaction between comorbid CD and anxiety disorders, when they occur simultaneously, that predicts a different outcome than either comorbid condition alone?
Method: Thirty-two 15- to 18-year-old adolescent males, diagnosed with ADHD between 7 and 11 years of age, were re-evaluated for assessment of adolescent outcome 4.3–9.2 years later. Hierarchical regression analyses were run with each of the eight Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report problem scales, and the four anxiety symptom subscales of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children serving as outcome variables.
Results: Findings indicate that comorbid CD at baseline predicteds parent reports of behavior problems in adolescence, while comorbid anxiety disorders in childhood predicted youth reports of anxiety and social problems. Anxiety disorders without CD did not predict poor behavioral outcome. Children with both comorbid CD and anxiety disorder had the highest levels of parent-rated symptoms on follow up. In particular, adolescent social problems were best predicted by the combination of comorbid CD and anxiety disorder in childhood.
Conclusion: These data provide evidence that children with ADHD plus anxiety disorder do in fact have anxiety disorders, and that the combination of anxiety disorder and CD predicts a more rather than less severe course.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop a decision support tool to assess the potential benefits and costs of new healthcare interventions.
Methods: The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) commissioned the development of a Cancer Risk Management Model (CRMM)—a computer microsimulation model that simulates individual lives one at a time, from birth to death, taking account of Canadian demographic and labor force characteristics, risk factor exposures, and health histories. Information from all the simulated lives is combined to produce aggregate measures of health outcomes for the population or for particular subpopulations.
Results: The CRMM can project the population health and economic impacts of cancer control programs in Canada and the impacts of major risk factors, cancer prevention, and screening programs and new cancer treatments on population health and costs to the healthcare system. It estimates both the direct costs of medical care, as well as lost earnings and impacts on tax revenues. The lung and colorectal modules are available through the CPAC Web site (www.cancerview.ca/cancerrriskmanagement) to registered users where structured scenarios can be explored for their projected impacts. Advanced users will be able to specify new scenarios or change existing modules by varying input parameters or by accessing open source code. Model development is now being extended to cervical and breast cancers.