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Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Brain imaging studies have shown altered amygdala activity during emotion processing in children and adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) compared to typically developing children and adolescents (TD). Here we aimed to assess whether aggression-related subtypes (reactive and proactive aggression) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits predicted variation in amygdala activity and skin conductance (SC) response during emotion processing.
We included 177 participants (n = 108 cases with disruptive behaviour and/or ODD/CD and n = 69 TD), aged 8–18 years, across nine sites in Europe, as part of the EU Aggressotype and MATRICS projects. All participants performed an emotional face-matching functional magnetic resonance imaging task.
Differences between cases and TD in affective processing, as well as specificity of activation patterns for aggression subtypes and CU traits, were assessed. Simultaneous SC recordings were acquired in a subsample (n = 63). Cases compared to TDs showed higher amygdala activity in response to negative faces (fearful and angry) v. shapes. Subtyping cases according to aggression-related subtypes did not significantly influence on amygdala activity; while stratification based on CU traits was more sensitive and revealed decreased amygdala activity in the high CU group. SC responses were significantly lower in cases and negatively correlated with CU traits, reactive and proactive aggression.
Our results showed differences in amygdala activity and SC responses to emotional faces between cases with ODD/CD and TD, while CU traits moderate both central (amygdala) and peripheral (SC) responses. Our insights regarding subtypes and trait-specific aggression could be used for improved diagnostics and personalized treatment.
The model of PGE describes the emergence of new systems based on reference by the activities carryover, embodiment and principle variation - qualitatively different manifestations of a transfer process. We investigate indicators which constitute these different manifestations measurably for different types of systems. We propose generalized variation operators to describe system development with respect to different product elements and system types. We use case studies from automotive, production systems and simulation models.
Classical stewardship efforts have targeted immunocompetent patients; however, appropriate use of antimicrobials in the immunocompromised host has become a target of interest. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is one of the most common and significant complications after solid-organ transplant (SOT). The treatment of CMV requires a dual approach of antiviral drug therapy and reduction of immunosuppression for optimal outcomes. This dual approach to CMV management increases complexity and requires individualization of therapy to balance antiviral efficacy with the risk of allograft rejection. In this review, we focus on the development and implementation of CMV stewardship initiatives, as a component of antimicrobial stewardship in the immunocompromised host, to optimize the management of prevention and treatment of CMV in SOT recipients. These initiatives have the potential not only to improve judicious use of antivirals and prevent resistance but also to improve patient and graft survival given the interconnection between CMV infection and allograft function.
As in other European countries, the current COVID-19 pandemic has not only massively restricted normal life in Germany but it is also having a significant effect on medical treatment, particularly in the areas of child and adolescent psychiatric care, as well as on university teaching. The federal structure of Germany and epidemiological differences between individual federal states have had a crucial impact on the regulations issued and their success. During the last number of weeks, tele-child-psychiatry and psychotherapy have increased, and outpatient services have been used cautiously and sparingly. Medical staff numbers will be augmented by doctors and nurses returning from retirement and also by medical students on a voluntary basis. The federal government has warned that discrepancies in education will increase due to the closure of schools. Questions of child protection are currently of particular importance in the context of such closures and the non-availability of day-care centers.
Age-of-onset (AO) seems to be a phenotypic variable with a strong genetic component and therefore useful in molecular analysis of bipolar disorder (BP). A debate about the cut-off point for defining early AO has developed over the last few years. Using an Expectation-Maximization algorithm Bellivier et al. (2001) found the best fit for a model with three onset-groups, proposing the age 20-21 as cut-off for early onset, while using the same algorithm Kennedy et al. (2005) found the best fit for a two onset-group model with age 40 as cut-off with an incidence peak for mania in the age-band 21-25. Based on segregation analysis, we proposed a two AO-group model with cut-off age 25 for early onset (Grigoroiu-Serbanescu et al. 2001). The present study aimed at investigating the best AO-model in 500 Romanian BPI and 1458 German BPI patients using commingling analysis (SAGEv6.01-software) (Elston et al, 2009). The best model was selected according to Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC).
The two AO-group and three AO-group models provided similar AIC-values both in the Romanian and the German sample. The Romanian early-onset group (40% cases) had means around 18 years, SDs=6-7, while in the German early-onset group the mean AO was around 20 years (SDs=9-11) (50% cases). Thus the cut-off for early-onset (X +1SD) was different.
Our results overlapped with the findings of Kennedy et al (2005) showing that two-curve and three-curve AO mixtures similarly fit the AO-distribution in BPI disorder and the cut-offs for early-onset differ by sample.
The quality of life (QOL) of patients with schizophrenia has been found to be positively correlated with the social network and empowerment, and negatively correlated with stigma and depression. However, little is known about the way these variables impact on the QOL. The study aims to test the hypothesis that the social network, stigma and empowerment directly and indirectly by contributing to depression influence the QOL in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.
Data were collected on demographic and clinical variables, internalized stigma, perceived devaluation and discrimination, empowerment, control convictions, depression and QOL. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was applied to examine the impact of the above-mentioned constructs on QOL.
The influences of the social network, stigma, empowerment and depression on QOL were supported by the SEM. A poor social network contributed to a lack of empowerment and stigma, which resulted in depression and, in turn, in poor QOL. Interestingly, however, the social network and stigma did not show a direct effect on QOL.
Following a recovery approach in mental health services by focusing on the improvement of the social network, stigma reduction and especially on the development of personal strength has the potential to reduce depression in patients with psychosis and improving their QOL.
We sought to explore whether obstetric complications (OCs) are more likely to occur in the presence of familial/genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia or whether they themselves represent an independent environmental risk factor for schizophrenia.
The presence of OCs was assessed through maternal interview on 216 subjects, comprising 36 patients with schizophrenia from multiply affected families, 38 of their unaffected siblings, 31 schizophrenic patients with no family history of psychosis, 51 of their unaffected siblings and 60 normal comparison subjects. We examined the familiality of OCs and whether OCs were commoner in the patient and sibling groups than in the control group.
OCs tended to cluster within families, especially in multiply affected families. Patients with schizophrenia, especially those from multiply affected families, had a significantly higher rate of OCs compared to normal comparison subjects, but there was no evidence for an elevated rate of OCs in unaffected siblings.
Our data provides little evidence for a link between OCs and genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia. If high rates of OCs are related to schizophrenia genes, this relationship is weak and will only be detected by very large sample sizes.
Quetiapine immediate release (quetiapine IR) improves PANSS total, positive, negative and general psychopathology scores in schizophrenia. This study (D1444C00132) evaluated the efficacy of once-daily extended release quetiapine fumarate (quetiapine XR) in patients with acute schizophrenia.
This was a 6-week, double-blind, randomised study (n=588) comparing quetiapine XR (400, 600 or 800 mg/day) and quetiapine IR (400 mg/day) with placebo. Efficacy was assessed using ANCOVA analyses of the change from baseline to study endpoint (Day 42) for: PANSS total score; positive, negative and general psychopathology subscale scores; and aggression and depression cluster scores (modified ITT population, LOCF). Changes in individual PANSS item scores were assessed post hoc.
At Day 42, there were statistically significant reductions (ie two-sided p-value <0.05) versus placebo with all doses of quetiapine XR for the change in PANSS total, positive, general psychopathology and aggression cluster scores. Changes in negative and depression cluster scores were statistically significant versus placebo for quetiapine XR 600 mg/day and 800 mg/day. There was statistically significant separation from placebo with quetiapine XR 600 mg/day and 800 mg/day for the change in 6/7 PANSS positive items, 5/7 negative items, and 12/16 general psychopathology items. For those items with no statistically significant separation from placebo, baseline scores were generally low.
Once-daily quetiapine XR is effective across a broad range of symptoms in acute schizophrenia, including positive and negative symptoms, as well as symptoms of general psychopathology, aggression and depression.
Neuropsychological deficits are considered endophenotypes for schizophrenia, because they are not only found in patients but also in many of their unaffected relatives, albeit in attenuated form. It is not yet clear which of these deficits in relatives are related to genetic or to environmental causes. We tested effects of inferred genetic liability for schizophrenia on neurocognitive variables to address this problem.
Twenty-eight patients with schizophrenia, 129 non-affected biological parents and 143 matched controls were assessed with an extensive neuropsychological test battery including tests of attention, memory, executive functioning and motor soft signs. Twenty-two parents had an ancestral history of schizophrenia and therefore were hypothesized to be more likely than their spouses without such a history (n = 17) to carry a genetic risk for schizophrenia.
Unaffected parents of schizophrenic patients showed significant deficits in a wide array of neuropsychological tasks and task domains. However, comparison of more likely and less likely carriers of illness-related genes showed specifically attentional and executive functioning, but not memory, to vary with degree of inferred genetic loading.
Attentional and executive (frontal) impairments vary with genetic loading for schizophrenia and can be considered true endophenotypes for this disorder. Consequently, these functions are particularly suited to evaluate the functional impact of candidate genes for schizophrenia in future studies.
Prolactin (PRL) data from adolescents treated with olanzapine are presented.
Data from 454 adolescents (13-18, mean=15.9 yrs) with schizophrenia or bipolar mania were pooled from 4 olanzapine (2.5-20.0mg/day) studies (4-32 weeks; 2 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies [combined for acute phase endpoint PRL levels] with open-label extensions; 2 open-label studies). Age- and sex-specific Covance reference ranges defined normal PRL; categorical increases were based on multiples of the upper limit of normal (ULN). Baseline-to-endpoint PRL changes in adolescents were compared with data pooled from 84 olanzapine clinical trials in adults with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Olanzapine-treated adolescents had mean PRL increases at both the acute (11.4μg/L) and open-label endpoints (4.7μg/L). Of those patients with normal PRL levels at baseline (N=311), high PRL occurred in 54.7% at anytime; 32.2% at endpoint. The percentage of patients in which PRL levels shifted from normal-to-abnormal was smaller at endpoint than at anytime during treatment; 26.7% shifted to a higher category. Among patients with normal baseline PRL, 32.7% remained <=1X ULN; 32.3% increased to 1¬<=2X; 6.0%, >2-<=3X; and 1.2%, >3X at anytime; 4.6% had at >=1 potentially PRL-related adverse event. Adolescents had significantly higher mean changes at endpoint (p=.004), and a greater incidence of high PRL levels at anytime during olanzapine treatment (p<.001) versus adults.
Incidence of high PRL was significantly higher, and mean increases in PRL were significantly greater in adolescents versus adults. Mean increases and high PRL incidence were lower at the open-label compared with the acute phase endpoint.
To evaluate efficacy and tolerability of quetiapine sustained release (SR) in a 6-week study (D1444C00132).
588 patients with acute schizophrenia (PANSS total ≥70; CGI-S ≥4) were randomised to fixed-dose quetiapine SR 400, 600 or 800 mg/day (once-daily), quetiapine immediate release (IR) 400 mg/day (200 mg twice-daily; 5-day dose-escalation schedule), or placebo. Quetiapine SR doses: 400, 600 mg reached by Day 2; 800 mg by Day 3. Primary endpoint: change from baseline to Day 42 in PANSS total score (LOCF; ANCOVA). Other assessments: PANSS response rate (% patients with ≥30% reduction in total score from baseline); CGI-I response rate (% patients with rating ≤3); CGI-S; AEs.
446 patients (76%) completed the study (similar across groups). LS mean change from baseline in PANSS total score at Day 42 showed significant improvement versus placebo (-18.8): -24.8 (p=0.03), -30.9 (p<0.001), and -31.3 (p<0.001), quetiapine SR 400, 600, and 800 mg, respectively; -26.6 (p=0.004), quetiapine IR. Statistical separation from placebo at Day 42 for: change from baseline in CGI-S (quetiapine SR 600 and 800 mg; IR); PANSS and CGI-I response rates (all active treatments). Most common AEs with quetiapine: somnolence and dizziness. There were no unexpected AEs with quetiapine SR. Incidence of EPS-related AEs was similar to placebo. Two quetiapine SR and two IR patients discontinued due to AEs in Week 1.
Once-daily quetiapine SR (400-800 mg) was effective versus placebo in patients with acute schizophrenia. Rapid dose escalation was well tolerated, with a therapeutically effective dose reached by Day 2.
The changes in metabolic parameters in olanzapine-treated adolescents were examined.
Data from 454 adolescents (13–18, mean=15.9 years) with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder were pooled from 4 olanzapine (2.5–20.0mg/day) studies (4–32 weeks). Changes in metabolic parameters in adolescents were compared with those of olanzapine-treated adults (pooled from 84 clinical trials); changes in weight and BMI were compared with US age- and sex-adjusted standardized growth curves.
Olanzapine-treated adolescents had significant increases from baseline-to-endpoint in fasting glucose (p=.021); total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides (p<.001); and significant decreases in HDL (p<.001). Significantly more adolescents gained >=7% of their baseline weight versus adults (65.1% vs. 35.6%, p<.001); mean change from baseline-to-endpoint in weight was significantly greater in adolescents (7.0 vs. 3.3kg, p<.001). Adolescents had significantly lower mean changes from baseline-to-endpoint in fasting glucose (0.3 vs. 0.1mmol/L, p=.002) and triglycerides (0.3 vs. 0.2mmol/L, p=.007) versus adults. Significantly more adults experienced treatment-emergent normal-to-high changes at anytime in fasting glucose (4.8% vs. 1.2%, p=.033), total cholesterol (6.9% vs. 1.1%, p=.001), LDL (5.8% vs. 1.5%, p=.014), and triglycerides (25.7% vs. 17.4%, p=.030). Compared with standardized growth curves, olanzapine-treated adolescents had greater increases from baseline-to-endpoint in weight (1.0 vs. 7.1kg, p<.001), height (0.5 vs. 0.7cm, p<.001), and BMI (0.2 vs. 2.2kg/m2, p<.001).
Olanzapine-treated adolescents may gain significantly more weight compared with adults, but may have smaller changes in other metabolic parameters. Clinicians may want to consider both efficacy and changes in metabolic parameters when selecting treatment options for individual adolescent patients.
Neurocognitive and functional neuroimaging studies point to frontal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenia. Molecular and behavioural genetic studies suggest that the frontal lobe is under significant genetic influence. We carried out structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the frontal lobe in monozygotic (MZ) twins concordant or discordant for schizophrenia and healthy MZ control twins.
The sample comprised 21 concordant pairs, 17 discordant affected and 18 discordant unaffected twins from 19 discordant pairs, and 27 control pairs. Groups were matched on sociodemographic variables. Patient groups (concordant, discordant affected) did not differ on clinical variables. Volumes of superior, middle, inferior and orbital frontal gyri were calculated using the Cavalieri principle on the basis of manual tracing of anatomic boundaries. Group differences were investigated covarying for whole-brain volume, gender and age.
Results for superior frontal gyrus showed that twins with schizophrenia (i.e. concordant twins and discordant affected twins) had reduced volume compared to twins without schizophrenia (i.e. discordant unaffected and control twins), indicating an effect of illness. For middle and orbital frontal gyrus, concordant (but not discordant affected) twins differed from non-schizophrenic twins. There were no group differences in inferior frontal gyrus volume.
These findings suggest that volume reductions in the superior frontal gyrus are associated with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (in the presence or absence of a co-twin with schizophrenia). On the other hand, volume reductions in middle and orbital frontal gyri are seen only in concordant pairs, perhaps reflecting the increased genetic vulnerability in this group.