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Mental health and wellbeing, including addressing impacts of historical trauma and substance use among young people, has been identified as a key priority by Indigenous communities and leaders across Canada and globally. Yet, research to understand mental health among young Indigenous people who have used drugs is limited.
To examine longitudinal risk and strengths-based factors associated with psychological distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
The Cedar Project is an ongoing cohort study involving young Indigenous people who use drugs in Vancouver, Prince George, and Chase, British Columbia, Canada. This study included participants who completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, returned for follow-up between 2010 and 2012, and completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Adjusted linear mixed-effects models estimated effects of study variables on changes in area T-scores of psychological distress.
Of 202 eligible participants, 53% were women and the mean age was 28 years. Among men, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect), any drug use, blackouts from drinking, and sex work were associated with increased distress. Among women, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, physical neglect), blackouts from drinking, and sexual assault were associated with increased distress, while having attempted to quit using drugs was associated with reduced distress. Marginal associations were observed between speaking their traditional language and living by traditional culture with lower distress among men.
Culturally safe mental wellness interventions are urgently needed to address childhood trauma and harmful coping strategies that exacerbate distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
Previous work has shown that amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions is inversely related to level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e. reduced guilt and empathy) in youth with conduct problems. However, some research has suggested that the relationship between pathophysiology and CU traits may be different in those youth with significant prior trauma exposure.
In experiment 1, 72 youth with varying levels of disruptive behavior and trauma exposure performed a gender discrimination task while viewing morphed fear expressions (0, 50, 100, 150 fear) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent responses were recorded. In experiment 2, 66 of these youth performed the Social Goals Task, which measures self-reports of the importance of specific social goals to the participant in provoking social situations.
In experiment 1, a significant CU traits-by-trauma exposure interaction was observed within right amygdala; fear intensity-modulated amygdala responses negatively predicted CU traits for those youth with low levels of trauma but positively predicted CU traits for those with high levels of trauma. In experiment 2, a bootstrapped model revealed that the indirect effect of fear intensity amygdala response on social goal importance through CU traits is moderated by prior trauma exposure.
This study, while exploratory, indicates that the pathophysiology associated with CU traits differs in youth as a function of prior trauma exposure. These data suggest that prior trauma exposure should be considered when evaluating potential interventions for youth with high CU traits.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are co-morbid and associated with similar neural disruptions during emotion regulation. In contrast, the lack of optimism examined here may be specific to GAD and could prove an important biomarker for that disorder.
Unmedicated individuals with GAD (n = 18) and age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched SAD (n = 18) and healthy (n = 18) comparison individuals were scanned while contemplating likelihoods of high- and low-impact negative (e.g. heart attack; heartburn) or positive (e.g. winning lottery; hug) events occurring to themselves in the future.
As expected, healthy subjects showed significant optimistic bias (OB); they considered themselves significantly less likely to experience future negative but significantly more likely to experience future positive events relative to others (p < 0.001). This was also seen in SAD, albeit at trend level for positive events (p < 0.001 and p < 0.10, respectively). However, GAD patients showed no OB for positive events (t17 = 0.82, n.s.) and showed significantly reduced neural modulation relative to the two other groups of regions including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and caudate to these events (p < 0.001 for all). The GAD group further differed from the other groups by showing increased neural responses to low-impact events in regions including the rostral mPFC (p < 0.05 for both).
The neural dysfunction identified here may represent a unique feature associated with reduced optimism and increased worry about everyday events in GAD. Consistent with this possibility, patients with SAD did not show such dysfunction. Future studies should consider if this dysfunction represents a biomarker for GAD.
Social anxiety disorder involves fear of social objects or situations. Social referencing may play an important role in the acquisition of this fear and could be a key determinant in future biomarkers and treatment pathways. However, the neural underpinnings mediating such learning in social anxiety are unknown. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined social reference learning in social anxiety disorder. Specifically, would patients with the disorder show increased amygdala activity during social reference learning, and further, following social reference learning, show particularly increased response to objects associated with other people's negative reactions?
A total of 32 unmedicated patients with social anxiety disorder and 22 age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched healthy individuals responded to objects that had become associated with others’ fearful, angry, happy or neutral reactions.
During the social reference learning phase, a significant group × social context interaction revealed that, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed a significantly greater response in the amygdala, as well as rostral, dorsomedial and lateral frontal and parietal cortices during the social, relative to non-social, referencing trials. In addition, during the object test phase, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed increased bilateral amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ fearful reactions, and a trend towards decreased amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ happy and neutral reactions.
These results suggest perturbed observational learning in social anxiety disorder. In addition, they further implicate the amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in the disorder, and underscore their importance in future biomarker developments.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE) program is aimed at producing high-resolution images of southern radio sources. The radio telescopes of the present SHEVE array are described below and some recent results presented.
The objective of this study was to determine whether altered maternal energy supply during mid-gestation results in differences in muscle histology or genes regulating fetal adipose and muscle development. In total, 22 Angus cross-bred heifers (BW=527.73±8.3 kg) were assigned randomly to the three dietary treatments providing 146% (HIGH; n=7), 87% (INT; n=7) or 72% (LOW; n=8) of the energy requirements for heifers from day 85 to day 180 of gestation. Fetuses were removed via cesarean section at day 180 of gestation and longissimus muscle (LM) and subcutaneous fat were collected and prepared for analysis of gene expression. Samples from the LM and semitendinosus (ST) were evaluated for muscle fiber diameter, area and number. The right hind limb was dissected and analyzed to determine compositional analysis. Fetal growth and muscle histology characteristics of the LM and ST were similar among treatments. Preadipocyte factor-1 expression was up-regulated in fetal LM (P<0.05) of HIGH fetuses as compared with INT, whereas LOW fetuses showed increased CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-β (C/EBP-β) expression in LM as compared with INT (P<0.05). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γand C/EBP-α did not differ as a result of dietary treatment in LM or subcutaneous fat samples. There was a tendency for increased expression of fatty acid synthase in LM of LOW fetuses as compared with INT (P<0.10). Myogenin was more highly expressed (P<0.05) in LM of the LOW fetuses, whereas μ-calpain expression was increased in the HIGH treatment compared with INT. A tendency for increased expression of IGF-II was observed for both LOW and HIGH fetuses compared with INT (P<0.10). Expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase, myoblast determination protein 1, myogenic factor 5, myogenic regulatory factor-4, m-calpain, calpastatin, IGF-I and myostatin was similar between treatments. Collectively, these results suggest that fetal growth characteristics are not affected by the level of maternal nutritional manipulation imposed in this study during mid-gestation. However, differences in expression of fetal genes regulating adipose and muscle tissue growth and development could lead to differences in postnatal composition and warrants further investigation.
Theory suggests that early experiences may calibrate the “threshold activity” of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis in childhood. Particularly challenging or particularly supportive environments are posited to manifest in heightened physiological sensitivity to context. Using longitudinal data from the Family Life Project (N = 1,292), we tested whether links between maternal sensitivity and hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis activity aligned with these predictions. Specifically, we tested whether the magnitude of the within-person relation between maternal sensitivity and children's cortisol levels, a proxy for physiological sensitivity to context, was especially pronounced for children who typically experienced particularly low or high levels of maternal sensitivity over time. Our results were consistent with these hypotheses. Between children, lower levels of mean maternal sensitivity (7–24 months) were associated with higher mean cortisol levels across this period (measured as a basal sample collected at each visit). However, the magnitude and direction of the within-person relation was contingent on children's average levels of maternal sensitivity over time. Increases in maternal sensitivity were associated with contemporaneous cortisol decreases for children with typically low-sensitive mothers, whereas sensitivity increases were associated with cortisol increases for children with typically high-sensitive mothers. No within-child effects were evident at moderate levels of maternal sensitivity.
Seed dormancy can prevent germination under unfavourable conditions that reduce the chances of seedling survival. Freshly harvested seeds often have strong primary dormancy that depends on the temperature experienced by the maternal plant and which is gradually released through afterripening. However, seeds can be induced into secondary dormancy if they experience conditions or cues of future unfavourable conditions. Whether this secondary dormancy induction is influenced by seed-maturation conditions and primary dormancy has not been explored in depth. In this study, we examined secondary dormancy induction in seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana matured under different temperatures and with different levels of afterripening. We found that low water potential and a range of temperatures, from 8°C to 35°C, induced secondary dormancy. Secondary dormancy induction was affected by the state of primary dormancy of the seeds. Specifically, afterripening had a non-monotonic effect on the ability to be induced into secondary dormancy by stratification; first increasing in sensitivity as afterripening proceeded, then declining in sensitivity after 5 months of afterripening, finally increasing again by 18 months of afterripening. Seed-maturation temperature sometimes had effects that were independent of expressed primary dormancy, such that seeds that had matured at low temperature, but which had comparable germination proportions as seeds matured at warmer temperatures, were more easily induced into secondary dormancy. Because seed-maturation temperature is a cue of when seeds were matured and dispersed, these results suggest that the interaction of seed-maturation temperature, afterripening and post-dispersal conditions all combine to regulate the time of year of seed germination.
Increasing evidence shows attachment security influences symptom expression and adaptation in people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses.
To describe the distribution of secure and insecure attachment in a cohort of individuals with first-episode psychosis, and to explore the relationship between attachment security and recovery from positive and negative symptoms in the first 12 months.
The study was a prospective 12-month cohort study. The role of attachment, duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), baseline symptoms and insight in predicting and mediating recovery from symptoms was investigated using multiple regression analysis and path analysis.
Of the 79 participants, 54 completed the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI): 37 (68.5%) were classified as insecure, of which 26 (48.1%) were insecure/dismissing and 11 (20.4%) insecure preoccupied. Both DUP and insight predicted recovery from positive symptoms at 12 months. Attachment security, DUP and insight predicted recovery from negative symptoms at 12 months.
Attachment is an important construct contributing to understanding and development of interventions promoting recovery following first-episode psychosis.
This chapter reviews evidence concerning the vital role that temporal dynamics can have in the ecology of trees and other long-lived species in the assembly and maintenance of natural communities. The research synthesised here was stimulated by a desire to determine the action of temporal dynamics in nature, and its implications for the nature of competition, community structure and assembly on multiple scales and across a range of climatic conditions. For the most part, the results discussed concern tropical forests, but we think they provide strong support for a more general view that can be applied across biomes. Finally, we ask if there may be a potential role for temporal dynamics in speciation, in light of what we have learned from the tropical trees.
A field programme begun in the late ’90s in the tropical dry forest of México was consciously designed to study the coexistence of closely related species in a very speciose community, but the role of temporal dynamics had not been suspected and its finding was serendipitous. With centuries-long lifespans, decades-long juvenile stages and low population turnover rates, trees are problematic candidates for demographic analyses, either observational or experimental. Unless instant death is involved, the particular hurdle with trees, as with any long-lived organism, is directly connecting any specific response in the early life of the individual with the long-term individual persistence or character of the standing population. However, trees differ from many long-lived organisms in carrying their history in their structure at both the individual and population levels. Thus, a tree population itself documents individual success over the history of the population (Parker et al. 1997, Cole et al. 2011). The distribution of a population with regard to physical conditions, size and age structure and relative to other woody species all contain information on the ecology and interactions of species (e.g. Veblen 1989, 1992, Villalba and Veblen 1998, Kelly et al. 2001) and it was the age structure of populations that revealed the action of temporal dynamics at Chamela Biological Station.
The new 1 m f/4 fast-slew Zadko Telescope was installed in June 2008 about 70 km north of Perth, Western Australia. It is the only metre-class optical facility at this southern latitude between the east coast of Australia and South Africa, and can rapidly image optical transients at a longitude not monitored by other similar facilities. We report on first imaging tests of a pilot program of minor planet searches, and Target of Opportunity observations triggered by the Swift satellite. In 12 months, 6 gamma-ray burst afterglows were detected, with estimated magnitudes; two of them, GRB 090205 (z = 4.65) and GRB 090516 (z = 4.11), are among the most distant optical transients imaged by an Australian telescope. Many asteroids were observed in a systematic 3-month search. In September 2009, an automatic telescope control system was installed, which will be used to link the facility to a global robotic telescope network; future targets will include fast optical transients triggered by high-energy satellites, radio transient detections, and LIGO gravitational wave candidate events. We also outline the importance of the facility as a potential tool for education, training, and public outreach.
The name Paragonimus westermani (Kerbert, 1878) is commonly applied to members of a species complex that includes the well-known Asian lung fluke of medical and veterinary importance. Unambiguous molecular and morphological evidence showing the presence of a member of the complex in India has recently been published. In the present study we report the occurrence of 2 more members of the P. westermani complex in northeastern (NE) India. Surveys of the freshwater crabs Maydelliatelphusa lugubris in NE India revealed 2 morphologically distinct types of lung fluke metacercariae. Phylogenetic analyses, using DNA sequences from ITS2, 28S and cox1 gene regions indicate that these lung metacercariae belong to P. westermani complex. Type 1 metacercariae have a more basal position within the complex whereas type 2 metacercariae are closely related to the relatively derived forms of P. westermani from NE Asia (Japan, Korea, China) and Vietnam. A third type of metacercaria (type 3), detected in another crab host, Sartoriana spinigera in Assam, was phylogenetically close to P. siamensis, also a member of the P. westermani group. Molecular evidence has demonstrated the existence of 3 genotypes of lung flukes within the Paragonimus westermani complex in NE India. Two of these were previously unknown.
This study aimed to determine whether patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show difficulty in recruitment of the regions of the frontal and parietal cortex implicated in top-down attentional control in the presence and absence of emotional distracters.
Unmedicated individuals with PTSD (n = 14), and age-, IQ- and gender-matched individuals exposed to trauma (n = 15) and healthy controls (n = 19) were tested on the affective number Stroop task. In addition, blood oxygen level-dependent responses, as measured via functional magnetic resonance imaging, were recorded.
Patients with PTSD showed disrupted recruitment of lateral regions of the superior and inferior frontal cortex as well as the parietal cortex in the presence of negative distracters. Trauma-comparison individuals showed indications of a heightened ability to recruit fronto-parietal regions implicated in top-down attentional control across distracter conditions.
These results are consistent with suggestions that emotional responsiveness can interfere with the recruitment of regions implicated in top-down attentional control; the heightened emotional responding of patients with PTSD may lead to the heightened interference in the recruitment of these regions.
We amplified the cDNA coding for arginine kinase (AK) from the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum, cloned it in pMAL plasmid and expressed the enzyme as a fusion protein with the maltose-binding protein. The whole cDNA was 1260 bp, encoding 400 amino acids, and the recombinant protein had a molecular mass of 45,341 Da. Ascaris suum recombinant AK showed significant activity and strong affinity for the substrate l-arginine. It also exhibited high catalytic efficiency comparable with AKs from other organisms. Sequence analysis revealed high amino acid sequence identity between A. suum AK and other nematode AKs, all of which cluster in a phylogenetic tree. However, comparison of gene structures showed that A. suum AK gene intron/exon organization is quite distinct from that of other nematode AKs. Phosphagen kinases (PKs) from certain parasites have been shown to be potential novel drug targets or tools for detection of infection. The characterization of A. suum AK will be useful in the development of strategies for control not only of A. suum but also of related species infecting humans.
Each year, U.S. institutions grant well over 10,000 bachelor's degrees in science and engineering. However, only a small fraction of those students pursue graduate study. Many who do often experience great difficulty partly due to a lack of preparation for research: the nature of research is inherently foreign to those who are accustomed to studying course material and demonstrating their mastery of it by passing an exam. Carefully involving undergraduates in research can be an effective means for inspiring students to pursue graduate study. We have found that one can create a positive research experience for the student by implementing simple techniques. In this presentation, we present these practical techniques which include: Defining a manageable undergraduate research project; marketing the project to undergraduates; enabling effective record keeping in laboratory notebooks; focussing and directing research through efficient experimental designs. Along with these techniques, we will present examples—taken mainly from our Polymer Electronics Laboratory. We will also present the inherent pitfalls associated with these techniques.
The radioactive decay heat from nuclear waste packages may, depending on the thermal load, create coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrological-chemical (TMHC) processes in the near-field environment of a repository. A group of tests on a large block (LBT) are planned to provide a timely opportunity to test and calibrate some of the TMHC model concepts. The LBT is advantageous for testing and verifying model concepts because the boundary conditions are controlled, and the block can be characterized before and after the experiment. A block of Topopah Spring tuff of about 3 × 3 × 4.5 m was sawed and isolated at Fran Ridge, Nevada Test Site. Small blocks of the rock adjacent to the large block were collected for laboratory testing of some individual thermal-mechanical, hydrological, and chemical processes. A constant load of about 4 MPa will be applied to the top and sides of the large block. The sides will be sealed with moisture and thermal barriers. The large block will be heated by heaters within and guard heaters on the sides so that a dry-out zone and a condensate zone will exist simultaneously. Temperature, moisture content, pore pressure, chemical composition, stress, and displacement will be measured throughout the block during the heating and cool-down phases. The results from the experiments on small blocks and the tests on the large block will provide a better understanding of some concepts of the coupled TMHC processes. The progress of the project is presented in this paper.
Nanophosphors correspond to nanostructured inorganic insulator materials that emit light under particle or electromagnetic radiation excitation. In this work we investigate the structure and luminescent properties of Ce-doped Lu2SiO5 (LSO) nanophosphors prepared by solution combustion synthesis with the Ce content 0.1 to 12 at. %. Samples were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), line scan electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Photoluminescence excitation and emission spectra are composed of two major bands centered at 360 and 430 nm, respectively. These results reveal a red-shift and enhanced Stokes shift for the nanophosphors when compared to bulk. Ce content was also found to affect photoluminescence emission intensity and fluorescent lifetime. The nanophosphor concentration quenching curve presents a broad maximum centered at 1 at.%. Lifetime measurements show a continuous decrease from 34 to 21 ns as Ce content is increased.