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To prove the hypothesis of a common defect in the central nervous system and immune system in patients with major depression, we examined the inhibition of phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced lymphocyte proliferation by in vitro and in vivo administration of glucocorticoids in 20 patients with major depression. The patients were divided into two groups according to the results of the dexamethasone suppression test (DST). Six patients showed cortisol non-suppression. They had significantly higher baseline plasma cortisol levels in comparison with cortisol suppressors. The lymphocytes from cortisol non-suppressors were significantly stronger inhibited by in vitro administration of glucocorticoids compared to the lymphocytes from cortisol suppressors. However, there were no significant differences of lymphocyte inhibition by in vivo administration of glucocorticoids between both patient groups. From our results we conclude that cortisol non-suppressors reveal impaired down-regulation of glucocorticoid receptors of lymphocytes. Furthermore, the effect of glucocorticoids on lymphocyte reactivity may reflect the effects on brain structures in patients with major depression.
A new species of the Paleozoic bryozoan genus Ptilotrypa of the order Cryptostomata is described from the lower part of the Yong Limestone Formation, Katian, Upper Ordovician of the Kumaun Tethys Himalaya: Ptilotrypa bajpaii new species. The presence of the genus Ptilotrypa in the Tethyan Himalaya suggests paleogeographic connections to the Upper Ordovician of North America and, consequently, Upper Ordovician age for the lower part of the Yong Limestone Formation. This species displays a reticulate colony shape, which suggests an efficient filtering capacity in an environment with a high primary production. Morphological peculiarities and systematic assignment of the genus Ptilotrypa are discussed.
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.
In unipolar depressed patients participating in trials on antidepressants, we investigated if illness characteristics at baseline could predict conversion to bipolar disorder.
A long-term register-based follow-up study of 290 unipolar depressed patients with a mean age of 50.8 years (SD = 11.9) participating in three randomized trials on antidepressants conducted in the period 1985–1994. The independent effects of explanatory variables were examined by applying Cox regression analyses.
The overall risk of conversion was 20.7%, with a mean follow-up time of 15.2 years per patient. The risk of conversion was associated with an increasing number of previous depressive episodes at baseline, [HR 1.18, 95% CI (1.10–1.26)]. No association with gender, age, age at first depressive episode, duration of baseline episode, subtype of depression or any of the investigated HAM-D subscales included was found.
The patients were followed-up through the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register, which resulted in inherent limitations such as possible misclassification of outcome.
In a sample of middle-aged hospitalized unipolar depressed patients participating in trials on antidepressants, the risk of conversion was associated with the number of previous depressive episodes. Therefore, this study emphasizes that unipolar depressed patients experiencing a relatively high number of recurrences should be followed more closely, or at least be informed about the possible increased risk of conversion.
Laboratory tasks to delineate anxiety disorder features are used to refine classification and inform our understanding of etiological mechanisms. The present study examines laboratory measures of response inhibition, specifically the inhibition of a pre-potent motor response, in clinical anxiety. Data on associations between anxiety and response inhibition remain inconsistent, perhaps because of dissociable effects of clinical anxiety and experimentally manipulated state anxiety. Few studies directly assess the independent and interacting effects of these two anxiety types (state v. disorder) on response inhibition. The current study accomplished this goal, by manipulating state anxiety in healthy and clinically anxious individuals while they complete a response inhibition task.
The study employs the threat-of-shock paradigm, one of the best-established manipulations for robustly increasing state anxiety. Participants included 82 adults (41 healthy; 41 patients with an anxiety disorder). A go/nogo task with highly frequent go trials was administered during alternating periods of safety and shock threat. Signal detection theory was used to quantify response bias and signal-detection sensitivity.
There were independent effects of anxiety and clinical anxiety on response inhibition. In both groups, heightened anxiety facilitated response inhibition, leading to reduced nogo commission errors. Compared with the healthy group, clinical anxiety was associated with excessive response inhibition and increased go omission errors in both the safe and threat conditions.
Response inhibition and its impact on go omission errors appear to be a promising behavioral marker of clinical anxiety. These results have implications for a dimensional view of clinical anxiety.
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.
Case-control studies of sporadic Campylobacter infections have predominately been conducted in non-Hispanic populations. In Arizona, rates of campylobacteriosis have been historically higher than the national average, with particularly high rates in Hispanics. In 2010, health departments and a state university collaborated to conduct a statewide case-control study to determine whether risk factors differ in an ethnically diverse region of the United States. Statistically significant risk factors in the final multivariate model were: eating cantaloupe [odds ratio (OR) 7·64], handling raw poultry (OR 4·88) and eating queso fresco (OR 7·11). In addition, compared to non-Hispanic/non-travellers, the highest risk group were Hispanic/non-travellers (OR 7·27), and Hispanic/travellers (OR 5·87, not significant). Results of this study suggest Hispanics have higher odds of disease, probably due to differential exposures. In addition to common risk factors, consumption of cantaloupe was identified as a significant risk factor. These results will inform public health officials of the varying risk factors for Campylobacter in this region.
In this paper we derive limit theorems for the conditional distribution of X1 given Sn=sn as n→ ∞, where the Xi are independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) random variables, Sn=X1+··· +Xn, and sn/n converges or sn ≡ s is constant. We obtain convergence in total variation of PX1∣ Sn/n=s to a distribution associated to that of X1 and of PnX1∣ Sn=s to a gamma distribution. The case of stable distributions (to which the method of associated distributions cannot be applied) is studied in detail.
Trepostome bryozoan Dianulites borealis Astrova, 1965, the earliest known member of this genus, has been identified from the Early Ordovician of Severnaya Zemlya, Arctic Russia. This species developed hemispherical colonies which indicate that it lived on a relatively soft substrate with moderately low rates of sedimentation and erosion. The new record from Severnaya Zemlya expands the palaeogeographical distribution of Dianulites, known before from the Early Ordovician of Novaya Zemlya, Arctic Russia.
The trematode Alaria alata, an intestinal parasite of different carnivore species is widely distributed throughout Europe. The mesocercarial stages of Alaria spp. may infect almost all vertebrate species, including humans, and, in particular, omnivorous scavengers such as wild boars serve as paratenic hosts for the parasite. The introduction of the A. alata mesocercariae migration technique (AMT) opened the way to a reliable detection of Alaria spp. mesocercariae in different body tissues of their paratenic hosts. For the first time, it was possible to detect vital A. alata mesocercariae from two Bulgarian wild boars by means of this new method. In addition, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examination of the respective parasitic DNA allowed the unequivocal species identification of the parasites as A. alata. Isolation and molecular biological identification of the parasite's developmental stages make significant contributions to completion of data on both the distribution of Alaria spp. in stocks of European game and the relationship between different Eurasian Alaria spp. isolates.
To investigate the effectiveness of a relatively novel concept of providing employees with healthy ready-to-heat meals to bring home to their families, here referred to as Canteen Take Away (CTA).
Employees’ dietary intake on two weekdays when they received free CTA was compared with that on weekdays when they did not receive CTA. Four non-consecutive 24 h dietary recalls were applied to assess dietary intake on a daily basis. Moreover, a digital photographic method was used to assess evening meal intake for three consecutive weeks. Data were analysed using a mixed-effects model.
A financial worksite offering CTA.
Overall dietary quality as expressed by the energy density of the food (excluding beverages) was found to be significantly lower on days consuming CTA meals compared to days not consuming CTA with regard to evening meal intake (average difference: −187 (95 % CI −225, −149) kJ/100 g) and on a daily basis (average difference: −77 (95 % CI −132, −21) kJ/100 g). Other favourable differences included increased vegetable intake (average difference: 83 (95 % CI 67, 98) g/evening meal, 109 (95 % CI 62, 155) g/d).
The present study shows that providing healthy take-away dinners has potential for promoting healthy dietary habits among employees. This reinforces the importance of availability and convenience as effective tools to promote healthy eating habits.
In the context of a general survey on the thermoelectric potential of cationic clathrates, formation, crystal chemistry and physical properties were investigated for novel inverse clathrates deriving from Sn19.3Cu4.7P22I8. Substitution of Cu by Zn and Sn by Ni was attempted to bring down electrical resistivity and lower thermal conductivity. Materials were synthesized by mechanical alloying using a ball mill and hot pressing. Structural investigations for all specimens confirm isotypism with the cubic primitive clathrate type I structure (lattice parameters a = ˜1.1 nm and space group type Pm-3n). Studies of transport properties evidence holes as the majority charge carriers. Thermal expansion data, measured in a capacitance dilatometer from 4 to 300 K on Sn19.3Cu1.7Zn3P19.92.1I8, compare well with literature data available for Sn24P19.62.4Br8 and for an anionic type I clathrate Ba8Zn8Ge38. From the rather complex crystal structure including split atom sites and lattice defects thermal conductivity in inverse clathrates is generally low. Following Zintl rules rather closely inverse clathrates tend to be semiconductors with attractive Seebeck coefficients. Thus for thermoelectric applications the main activity will have to focus on achieving low electrical resistivity in a compromise with still sufficiently high Seebeck coefficients.
The main activity of the WG on Abundances in Red Giants has been to propose a JD for the IAU GA in 2009. The increasing evidence for distinct populations within globular clusters is leading to the view that there is a continuum between globular clusters and the smallest of the galaxies. Our JD was designed to investigate this link. However, our JD was incorporated into IAU Symposium No. 266 Star Clusters: Basic Building Blocks throughout Time and Space for the IAU XXVII in Rio de Janeiro, 2009. We will be responsible for organising one session in the Symposium to cover the agenda put forward in our JD proposal.
Neuroanatomical abnormalities are a well-established feature of
schizophrenia. However, the timing of their emergence and the extent to
which they are related to vulnerability to the disorder as opposed to
psychotic illness itself is unclear
To assess regional grey matter volume in the at-risk individuals who
subsequently developed psychosis
Magnetic resonance imaging data from at-risk individuals who developed
psychosis (n = 12) within the following 25 months were
compared with data from healthy volunteers (n=22) and
people with first-episode psychosis (n=25)
Compared with healthy volunteers, individuals who subsequently developed
psychosis had smaller grey matter volume in the posterior cingulate
gyrus, precuneus, and paracentral lobule bilaterally and in the left
superior parietal lobule, and greater grey matter volume in a left
parietal/posterior temporal region. Compared with first-episode patients,
they had relatively greater grey matter volume in the temporal gyrus
bilaterally and smaller grey matter volume in the right lentiform
Some of the structural brain abnormalities in individuals with an at-risk
mental state may be related to an increased vulnerability to psychosis,
while others are associated with the development of a psychotic
The environmental abundances of 129I and 127I in Lower Saxony, Germany, and their pathways to animals and man were investigated. The iodine isotopes are in severe disequilibrium in the different environmental compartments. Today, the environmental isotope ratios range from 10-6 to 10-10. The highest ratios were found in North Sea water, the lowest in deep soil samples and ground water. A differentiation by about a factor of ten between the iodine isotopes was observed for different air-borne iodine species. Time series for iodine in precipitation show a decade-long increase of 129I fallout until the 1990ties and an ongoing constant input of 129I with deposition densities of ~ 15 mBq m-2 per year. In surface waters, a dilution of the fall-out iodine takes place by stable iodine which is just weakly adsorbed in the soils. The isotope ratios in soils and ground waters demonstrate a high mobility and an accumulation of 129I in the water unsaturated soil zones and an efficient migration into water saturated soil layers and ground water. The transfer into the food chain is ruled by the complex situation in the water-soil system. Given the environmental 129I abundances, the relatively low 129I/127I ratios in human thyroid glands (2 × 10-9 - 3 × 10-8) can only be explained by additional iodine sources with low ratios in the diet.
The interest in virtual substrates, consisting of standard Si substrates
overgrown with SiGe strain-relaxed buffers (SRBs), is mainly driven by
applications in MOSFETs. They require thin SiGe layers with a high
Ge content, a high degree of relaxation, smooth surfaces, and a low threading
dislocation density. To fabricate such SRBs, we have developed a two-step MBE
method. The first step is carried out at low temperature (LT) and introduces
a supersaturation of point defects. In the second step, growth continues at a
conventional MBE temperature. During this stage, the point defects introduced
in the first step enable a high degree of strain relaxation, a smoother
surface, and a lower defect density. The most critical process parameter is
the growth temperature during the first (LT) step. If the temperature is too
high, sufficient relaxation will not occur because the concentration of point
defects is insufficient. When the temperature is too low, the concentration of
point defect becomes too high and causes structural disorder. We have found a
process window in which a high degree of relaxation and good crystal quality
are achieved in sub-100 nm layers. To characterize the surface morphology
and defects in the layers, various methods of optical, atomic force, and
transmission electron microscopy have been employed.
Background. Chronic fatigue greatly affects quality of life and is a common reason for consulting a physician. Since conventional therapy is often of limited help, fatigued patients may use herbal treatments. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of Siberian ginseng.
Method. Subjects were recruited from advertisements in Iowa (82%) and members of chronic fatigue syndrome support groups (18%). Potential subjects were required to have substantial fatigue [ges ]6 months with no identifiable cause. The mean change in a fatigue measure was compared for placebo and Siberian ginseng at 1 and 2 months. Comparisons were for all subjects and for subjects with characteristics previously identified in the literature as important for categorizing chronic fatigue.
Results. Ninety-six subjects were randomized to treatment groups, and 76 provided information at 2 months of follow-up. Fatigue among subjects assigned to either placebo or Siberian ginseng was substantially reduced during the study, but differences between treatment groups were not statistically significant in the full sample. Fatigue severity and duration had a statistically significant interaction with response to Siberian ginseng at the P<0·05 level. Treatment was effective at 2 months for 45 subjects with less severe fatigue (P=0·04 unadjusted for multiple comparisons) and for 41 subjects with fatigue for [ges ]5 years (P=0·09 unadjusted for multiple comparisons).
Conclusion. Overall efficacy was not demonstrated. However, the findings of possible efficacy for patients with moderate fatigue suggests that further research may be of value.