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Objectives: Studies suggest that impairments in some of the same domains of cognition occur in different neuropsychiatric conditions, including those known to share genetic liability. Yet, direct, multi-disorder cognitive comparisons are limited, and it remains unclear whether overlapping deficits are due to comorbidity. We aimed to extend the literature by examining cognition across different neuropsychiatric conditions and addressing comorbidity. Methods: Subjects were 486 youth consecutively referred for neuropsychiatric evaluation and enrolled in the Longitudinal Study of Genetic Influences on Cognition. First, we assessed general ability, reaction time variability (RTV), and aspects of executive functions (EFs) in youth with non-comorbid forms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as in youth with psychosis. Second, we determined the impact of comorbid ADHD on cognition in youth with ASD and mood disorders. Results: For EFs (working memory, inhibition, and shifting/ flexibility), we observed weaknesses in all diagnostic groups when participants’ own ability was the referent. Decrements were subtle in relation to published normative data. For RTV, weaknesses emerged in youth with ADHD and mood disorders, but trend-level results could not rule out decrements in other conditions. Comorbidity with ADHD did not impact the pattern of weaknesses for youth with ASD or mood disorders but increased the magnitude of the decrement in those with mood disorders. Conclusions: Youth with ADHD, mood disorders, ASD, and psychosis show EF weaknesses that are not due to comorbidity. Whether such cognitive difficulties reflect genetic liability shared among these conditions requires further study. (JINS, 2018, 24, 91–103)
The unique phenotypic and genetic aspects of obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS) are not well characterized. Here, we examine symptom patterns and heritability of OCD and ADHD in TS families.
OCD and ADHD symptom patterns were examined in TS patients and their family members (N = 3494) using exploratory factor analyses (EFA) for OCD and ADHD symptoms separately, followed by latent class analyses (LCA) of the resulting OCD and ADHD factor sum scores jointly; heritability and clinical relevance of the resulting factors and classes were assessed.
EFA yielded a 2-factor model for ADHD and an 8-factor model for OCD. Both ADHD factors (inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms) were genetically related to TS, ADHD, and OCD. The doubts, contamination, need for sameness, and superstitions factors were genetically related to OCD, but not ADHD or TS; symmetry/exactness and fear-of-harm were associated with TS and OCD while hoarding was associated with ADHD and OCD. In contrast, aggressive urges were genetically associated with TS, OCD, and ADHD. LCA revealed a three-class solution: few OCD/ADHD symptoms (LC1), OCD & ADHD symptoms (LC2), and symmetry/exactness, hoarding, and ADHD symptoms (LC3). LC2 had the highest psychiatric comorbidity rates (⩾50% for all disorders).
Symmetry/exactness, aggressive urges, fear-of-harm, and hoarding show complex genetic relationships with TS, OCD, and ADHD, and, rather than being specific subtypes of OCD, transcend traditional diagnostic boundaries, perhaps representing an underlying vulnerability (e.g. failure of top-down cognitive control) common to all three disorders.
Exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) provides optimal nutrition for infants and mothers. The practice of EBF while adhering to antiretroviral medication decreases the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV from approximately 25 % to less than 5 %. Thus the WHO recommends EBF for the first 6 months among HIV-infected women living in resource-limited settings; however, EBF rates remain low. In the present study our aim was to design and implement a pilot intervention promoting EBF among HIV-infected women.
The Information–Motivation–Behavioural Skills (IMB) model was applied in a brief motivational interviewing counselling session that was tested in a small randomized controlled trial.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, at two comparable rural public health service clinics.
Sixty-eight HIV-infected women in their third trimester were enrolled and completed baseline interviews between June and August 2014. Those randomized to the intervention arm received the IMB-based pilot intervention directly following baseline interviews. Follow-up interviews occurred at 6 weeks postpartum.
While not significantly different between trial arms, high rates of intention and practice of EBF at 6-week follow-up were reported. Findings showed high levels of self-efficacy being significantly predictive of breast-feeding initiation and duration regardless of intervention arm.
Future research must account for breast-feeding self-efficacy on sustaining breast-feeding behaviour and leverage strategies to enhance self-efficacy in supportive interventions. Supporting breast-feeding behaviour through programmes that include both individual-level and multi-systems components targeting the role of health-care providers, family and community may create environments that value and support EBF behaviour.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but – counterintuitively – in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study.
One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials).
Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = −0.28, p = 0.007).
Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.
There are insufficient data from nationwide surveys on the prevalence of specific psychotic disorders and associated co-morbidities.
The 2010 Australian national psychosis survey used a two-phase design to draw a representative sample of adults aged 18–64 years with psychotic disorders in contact with public treatment services from an estimated resident population of 1 464 923 adults. This paper is based on data from 1642 participants with an International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 psychotic disorder. Its aim is to present estimates of treated prevalence and lifetime morbid risk of psychosis, and to describe the cognitive, physical health and substance use profiles of participants.
The 1-month treated prevalence of psychotic disorders was 3.10 cases per 1000 population aged 18–64 years, not accounting for people solely accessing primary care services; lifetime morbid risk was 3.45 per 1000. Mean premorbid intelligence quotient was approximately 0.5 s.d.s below the population mean; current cognitive ability (measured with a digit symbol coding task) was 1.6 s.d.s below the population mean. For both cognitive tests, higher scores were significantly associated with better independent functioning. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was high, affecting 60.8% of participants, and pervasive across diagnostic groups. Of the participants, two-thirds (65.9%) were current smokers, 47.4% were obese and 32.4% were sedentary. Of the participants, half (49.8%) had a lifetime history of alcohol abuse/dependence and 50.8% lifetime cannabis abuse/dependence.
Our findings highlight the need for comprehensive, integrative models of recovery to maximize the potential for good health and quality of life for people with psychotic illness.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Conditions at Dome C are known to be exceptional for astronomy. The seeing (above ∼30 m height), coherence time, and isoplanatic angle are all twice as good as at typical mid-latitude sites, while the water-vapour column, and the atmosphere and telescope thermal emission are all an order of magnitude better. These conditions enable a unique scientific capability for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents an overview of the optical and instrumentation suite for PILOT and its expected performance, a summary of the key science goals and observational approach for the facility, a discussion of the synergies between the science goals for PILOT and other telescopes, and a discussion of the future of Antarctic astronomy. Paper II and Paper III present details of the science projects divided, respectively, between the distant Universe (i.e. studies of first light, and the assembly and evolution of structure) and the nearby Universe (i.e. studies of Local Group galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Solar System).
Despite substantial recent advancements in psychiatric genetic research, progress in identifying the genetic basis of anxiety disorders has been limited. We review the candidate gene and genome-wide literatures in anxiety, which have made limited progress to date. We discuss several reasons for this hindered progress, including small samples sizes, heterogeneity, complicated comorbidity profiles, and blurred lines between normative and pathological anxiety. To address many of these challenges, we suggest a developmental, multivariate framework that can inform and enhance anxiety phenotypes for genetic research. We review the psychiatric and genetic epidemiological evidence that supports such a framework, including the early onset and chronic course of anxiety disorders, shared genetic risk factors among disorders both within and across time, and developmentally dynamic genetic influences. We propose three strategies for developmentally sensitive phenotyping: examination of early temperamental risk factors, use of latent factors to model underlying anxiety liability, and use of developmental trajectories as phenotypes. Expanding the range of phenotypic approaches will be important for advancing studies of the genetic architecture of anxiety disorders.
New organic/inorganic hybrid materials were prepared by hydrolysis and co-condensation of tetramethylorthosilicate (TMOS) with trimethoxysilane functionalized polyimide oligomers via sol-gel ultrastructure processing. In the first reaction step, amine terminated, fully imidized, soluble, high Tg polyimides were prepared from appropriate diamines and dianhydrides by solution imidization techniques. The amine end-groups were then quantitativell derivatized to nadimide structures through reaction with cis-norbornene 2,3 dicarboxylic anhydride. Subsequently, the nadimides were quantitatively derivatized to trimethoxysilane functionalities via hydrosilylation reactions in the presence of chloroplatinic acid catalyst. The resulting hexamethoxy functionalized polyimide oligomers were hydrolyzed and co-condensed at elevated temperatures under mild pressure with TMOS via sol-gel processing to generate thermally stable polyimidesilicate hybrids. The synthesis and characterization of these materials is discussed.
Foamed polyimides have been developed in order to obtain thin film dielectric layers with very low dielectric constants for use in microelectronic devices. In these systems the pore sizes are in the nanometer range, thus, the term “nanofoam”. The polyimide foams are prepared from block copolymers consisting of thermally stable and thermally labile blocks, the latter being the dispersed phase. Foam formation is effected by thermolysis of the thermally labile block leaving pores the size and shape corresponding to the initial copolymer morphology. Nanofoams prepared from a number of polyimides as matrix materials, were investigated as well as a number of thermally labile polymers. The foams were characterized by a variety of experiments including, TEM, SAXS, WAXD, DMTA, density measurements, refractive index measurements and dielectric constant measurements. Thin film foams, with high thermal stability and dielectric constants approaching 2.0, can be prepared using the copolymer/nanofoam approach.