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We examined leukocyte numbers, circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CD34+, CD133+), circulating mesenychmal stem cells (CD105+) and circulating endothelial cells (CD146+) at the beginning, after 4 weeks and at the end of an inpatient antidepressant treatment.
24 insufficiently pretreated inpatients with major depression were included. At admission, after four weeks and at demission blood samples were obtained, and cell numbers were counted by flow cytometric analysis (FACS). At each examination the severity of the depression was evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). We were especially interested in the changes of cell numbers during the antidepressant treatment. The data were statistically analyzed using SPSS 14.0.
The mean BDI score fell from 34 ± 7 at the beginning to 26.5 ± 6.6 after four weeks and 13.5 ± 5.7 at demission. The longer the overall duration of the depressive illness, the higher the number of leukocytes at admission (P < 0.0001). The lower the depression score at demission, the lower the final number of leukocytes (P < 0.001). During the antidepressant treatment the BDI depression score improved significantly (P < 0.0001). The number of CD146+ cells showed a significant decrease (P < 0.006). We did not find any significant changes of circulating CD34+, CD105+, or CD133+ cells during the antidepressant treatment.
The leukocyte results suggest an activation of the immune system in major depression and a deactivation due to antidepressant treatment.
The Ross procedure involves using the native pulmonary valve for aortic valve replacement then replacing the pulmonary valve with an allograft or xenograft. We aimed to compare our age-matched experience with the bovine jugular vein conduit and the pulmonary homograft for pulmonary valve replacement during the Ross procedure in children.
Between 1998 and 2016, 15 patients <18 years of age underwent a Ross procedure using the bovine jugular vein conduit (Ross-Bovine Jugular Vein Conduit) at our institution. These patients were age-matched with 15 patients who had the Ross operation with a standard pulmonary homograft for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction (Ross-Pulmonary Homograft). Paper and electronic medical records were retrospectively reviewed.
The median age of the Ross-Bovine Jugular Vein Conduit and Ross-Pulmonary Homograft patients were 4.8 years (interquartile range 1.1–6.6) and 3.3 years (interquartile 1.2–7.6), respectively (p = 0.6). The median follow-up time for the Ross-Bovine Jugular Vein Conduit and Ross-Pulmonary Homograft groups were 1.7 years (interquartile range 0.5–4.9) and 6.8 years (interquartile range 1.9–13.4), respectively (p = 0.03). Overall, 5-year survival, freedom from redo aortic valve replacement, and freedom from pulmonary valve replacement were similar between groups.
The bovine jugular vein conduit and pulmonary homograft have favourable mid-term durability when used for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction for the Ross operation. The bovine jugular vein conduit may be a suitable replacement for appropriately sized patients undergoing a Ross aortic valve replacement, though longer follow-up is needed.
Previous research showed that automatic emotion regulation is associated with activation of subcortical areas and subsequent feedforward processes to cortical areas. In contrast, cognitive awareness of emotions is mediated by negative feedback from cortical to subcortical areas. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) is essential in the modulation of both affect and alexithymia. We considered the interplay between these two mechanisms in the pgACC and their relationship with alexithymia.
In 68 healthy participants (30 women, age = 26.15 ± 4.22) we tested associations of emotion processing and alexithymia with excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance represented as glutamate (Glu)/GABA in the pgACC measured via magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 7 T.
Alexithymia was positively correlated with the Glu/GABA ratio (N = 41, p = 0.0393). Further, cognitive self-awareness showed an association with Glu/GABA (N = 52, p = 0.003), which was driven by a correlation with GABA. In contrast, emotion regulation was only correlated with glutamate levels in the pgACC (N = 49, p = 0.008).
Our results corroborate the importance of the pgACC as a mediating region of alexithymia, reflected in an altered E/I balance. Furthermore, we could specify that this altered balance is linked to a GABA-related modulation of cognitive self-awareness of emotions.
Geophysical survey and excavations from 2010–2016 at Lawrenz Gun Club (11CS4), a late pre-Columbian village located in the central Illinois River valley in Illinois, identified 10 mounds, a central plaza, and dozens of structures enclosed within a stout 10 hectare bastioned palisade. Nineteen radiocarbon (14C) measurements were taken from single entities of wood charcoal, short-lived plants, and animal bones. A site chronology has been constructed using a Bayesian approach that considers the stratigraphic contexts and feature formation processes. The village was host to hundreds of years of continuous human activity during the Mississippi Period. Mississippian activity at the site is estimated to have begun in cal AD 990–1165 (95% probability), ended in cal AD 1295–1450 (95% probability), and lasted 150–420 yr (95% probability) in the primary Bayesian model with similar results obtained in two alternative models. The palisade is estimated to have been constructed in cal AD 1150–1230 (95% probability) and was continuously repaired and rebuilt for 15–125 yr (95% probability), probably for 40–85 yr (68% probability). Comparison to other studies demonstrates that the bastioned palisade at Lawrenz was one of the earliest constructed in the midcontinental United States.
Panic disorder (PD) patients are constantly concerned about future panic attacks and exhibit general hypersensitivity to unpredictable threat. We aimed to reveal phasic and sustained brain responses and functional connectivity of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) during threat anticipation in PD.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated 17 PD patients and 19 healthy controls (HC) during anticipation of temporally unpredictable aversive and neutral sounds. We used a phasic and sustained analysis model to disentangle temporally dissociable brain activations.
PD patients compared with HC showed phasic amygdala and sustained BNST responses during anticipation of aversive v. neutral stimuli. Furthermore, increased phasic activation was observed in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Insula and PFC also showed sustained activation. Functional connectivity analyses revealed partly distinct phasic and sustained networks.
We demonstrate a role for the BNST during unpredictable threat anticipation in PD and provide first evidence for dissociation between phasic amygdala and sustained BNST activation and their functional connectivity. In line with a hypersensitivity to uncertainty in PD, our results suggest time-dependent involvement of brain regions related to fear and anxiety.
Field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2010 to determine crop tolerance and weed control efficacy of the POST herbicides bentazon, flumioxazin, and oxyfluorfen applied to direct-seeded dry bulb onions on organic soil. Postemergence application of oxyfluorfen at 0.071 kg ai ha−1 resulted in less than 20% onion injury when applied at the 2 and 4 onion leaf stages and provided good control of ladysthumb and common lambsquarters. Oxyfluorfen EC caused slightly higher visual injury than oxyfluorfen SC, but there was no difference in onion yield among the treatments. Application of flumioxazin at 0.036 of 0.072 kg ai ha−1 alone or in combination with pendimethalin ACS resulted in minimal onion injury and no yield reduction. Combining flumioxazin in a tank mix with pendimethalin EC, dimethenamid-P EC, or S-metolachlor EC resulted in significant onion injury and yield reduction. Flumioxazin plus S-metolachlor, dimethenamid-P, or pendimethalin improved ladysthumb control in one of two years. Bentazon applied at 0.56 kg ai ha−1 produced moderate onion injury and did not control yellow nutsedge adequately. Bentazon applied at 1.12 kg ai ha−1 provided good control of yellow nutsedge but caused serious onion injury and yield loss.
Phenological development and its variation during reproductive growth have important effects on the yield and quality of forage grasses. In perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) genetic variation in heading date is well recognized, but there are no reliable studies about the variability in the length of the stem elongation phase. To determine the variation in phenological traits of single plants of perennial ryegrass genotypes, a field trial was conducted over three growing seasons (2011–2013) using plant material from eight different ecotype populations, sampled from old permanent grassland swards in Northern Germany. In addition to the phenological stages of jointing, heading and flowering, the critical phase of stem elongation was considered as a new phenological trait. It was hypothesized that the length of the critical phase between jointing and heading differs significantly among genotypes and thus offers a new tool for selecting for specific purposes, e.g. adaption to changing climatic conditions, cutting or grazing as well as yield and quality. The study revealed significant genotypic variation in the observed traits, which was highest for the critical phase (GCV = 0·21). Moderate heritability in jointing (h2 = 0·72) revealed a large environmental impact. In contrast, high heritability (h2 > 0·86) in heading, flowering and the critical phase imply a strong genetic effect. Moderate to high genotypic and phenotypic coefficients of correlation revealed a substantial linkage among the phenological traits. Results are discussed in the context of providing different approaches and strategies in forage crop production, especially with regard to regional weather conditions and future climate change. Significant differences among the tested ecotype populations indicate that existing diversity in permanent grassland can provide source material for further progress in grass breeding.
Lack of diversity is a major factor contributing to inadequate nutrient intakes among children during the complementary feeding period in many rural areas in developing countries. This has been attributed to inadequate feeding practices and nutrition knowledge among their caregivers. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of an educational intervention on children’s dietary diversity and nutrition knowledge of caregivers.
Cluster randomization was applied and twenty matched village pairs were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. The nutrition education intervention consisted of four sessions comprising of group trainings and cooking demonstrations that were conducted over a period of 5 months.
Households in rural communities in Bondo and Teso South sub-counties, western Kenya.
Caregivers with children aged 6–17 months receiving nutrition education.
The children’s dietary diversity scores (CDDS) and nutrition knowledge scores of the caregivers improved significantly in the intervention group at endline. The treatment effect on CDDS was positive and significant (P=0·001). The CDDS rate of the children in the intervention group was 27 % larger than it would have been without the treatment effect. The intervention also had a significant effect on the caregivers’ nutrition knowledge scores (incidence rate ratio=2·05; P<0·001). However, the nutrition knowledge of the caregivers did not have a significant effect on CDDS (P=0·731).
The nutrition education intervention led to improvements in children’s dietary diversity and nutrition knowledge of the caregivers.
Our investigations with silane-modified TiO2 have revealed a beneficial effect of functionalization on the photoelectrochemical performance on spin-coated electrodes. However, in order to produce large area photoelectrodes, a more scalable manufacturing technology is required. Inkjet printing can fulfil this role and furthermore allow a finer control over coating morphologies. In this work, inkjet-printed photoelectrodes were prepared with silane-functionalized TiO2 nanoparticles, and investigated as electrodes for photoactivated water splitting. The catalyst layers, having thickness around 700 nm, were printed on FTO-coated glass supports, from cellulose stabilized dispersions. For comparison, electrodes of similar thicknesses were also prepared by spin-coating. After removing the stabilizer at 300 °C under air atmosphere, the electrodes were characterized in photoelectrochemical cells containing 0.5 M H2SO4 as electrolyte and a platinum ring as counter electrode. Under simulated sunlight, the best photocurrent densities for the oxygen evolution reaction were obtained for the inkjet-printed electrodes prepared with functionalized particles (up to 0.26 mA cm-2 at 1.2 V against the standard hydrogen electrode (SHE), compared to 0.18 mA cm-2 for spin coated). Microscopy of the printed electrodes shows structurally homogenous coatings with evenly distributed roughness. Under continuous illumination at 0.7 V (SHE), the electrodes showed no significant drop in photocurrent within five hours.
A study of incompressible two-dimensional (2D) Richtmyer–Meshkov instability (RMI) by means of high-order perturbation theory and numerical simulations is reported. Nonlinear corrections to Richtmyer’s impulsive formula for the RMI bubble and spike growth rates have been calculated for arbitrary Atwood number and an explicit formula has been obtained for it in the Boussinesq limit. Conditions for early-time acceleration and deceleration of the bubble and the spike have been elucidated. Theoretical time histories of the interface curvature at the bubble and spike tip and the profiles of vertical and horizontal velocities have been calculated and favourably compared to simulation results. In our simulations we have solved 2D unsteady Navier–Stokes equations for immiscible incompressible fluids using the finite volume fractional step flow solver NGA developed by Desjardins et al. (J. Comput. Phys., vol. 227, 2008, pp. 7125–7159) coupled to the level set based interface solver LIT (Herrmann, J. Comput. Phys., vol. 227, 2008, pp. 2674–2706). We study the impact of small amounts of viscosity on the flow dynamics and compare simulation results to theory to discuss the influence of the theory’s ideal inviscid flow assumption.
A considerable expansion of biogas production in Germany, paralleled by a strong increase in maize acreage, has caused growing concern that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during crop substrate production might counteract the GHG emission saving potential. Based on a 2-year field trial, a GHG balance was conducted to evaluate the mitigation potential of regionally adapted cropping systems (continuous maize, maize-wheat-Italian ryegrass, perennial ryegrass ley), depending on nitrogen (N) level and N type. Considering the whole production chain, all cropping systems investigated contributed to the mitigation of GHG emissions (6·7–13·3 t CO2 eq/ha), with continuous maize revealing a carbon dioxide (CO2) saving potential of 55–61% compared with a fossil energy mix reference system. The current sustainability thresholds in terms of CO2 savings set by the EU Renewable Energy Directive could be met by all cropping systems (48–76%). Emissions from crop production had the largest impact on the mitigation effect (⩾50%) unless the biogas residue storage was not covered. The comparison of N fertilizer types showed less pronounced differences in GHG mitigation potential, whereas considerable site effects were observed.
As part of a larger evaluation of school nutrition programmes (SNP), the present study examined programme coordinators’ perceptions of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) regarding their SNP and public health professionals’ support.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with twenty-two of eighty-one programme coordinators who had completed a programme evaluation survey. Interviews followed a SWOT framework to evaluate programmes and assessed coordinators’ perceptions regarding current and future partnerships with public health professionals.
The study was conducted in a large, urban region within Ontario.
The twenty-two coordinators who participated represented a cross-section of elementary, secondary, Public and Catholic schools.
SNP varied enormously in foods/services offered, how they offered them and perceived needs. Major strengths included universality, the ability to reach needy students and the provision of social opportunities. Major weaknesses included challenges in forming funding partnerships, lack of volunteers, scheduling and timing issues, and coordinator workload. Common threats to effective SNP delivery included lack of sustainable funding, complexity in tracking programme use and food distribution, unreliable help from school staff, and conflicts with school administration. Opportunities for increased public health professionals’ assistance included menu planning, nutrition education, expansion of programme food offerings, and help identifying community partners and sustainable funding.
The present research identified opportunities for improving SNP and strategies for building on strengths. Since programmes were so diverse, tailored strategies are needed. Public health professionals can play a major role through supporting menu planning, food safety training, access to healthy foods, curriculum planning and by building community partnerships.
Late-life depression is a common and heterogeneous illness, associated with structural abnormalities in both grey and white matter.
To examine the relationship between age at onset and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of grey and white matter to establish whether they support particular hypotheses regarding the anatomy and aetiology of network disruption in late-life depression.
We studied 36 participants with late-life depression. Grey matter was examined using T1-weighted MRI and analysed using voxel-based morphometry. The hippocampus was automatically segmented and volume and shape analysis performed. White matter was examined using diffusion tensor imaging and analysed using tract-based spatial statistics.
Later age at onset was significantly associated with reduced fractional anisotropy of widespread tracts, in particular the anterior thalamic radiation and superior longitudinal fasciculus. Earlier age at onset was associated with reduced hippocampal volume normalised to whole brain size bilaterally. However, no significant correlations were detected using hippocampal shape analysis or voxel-based morphometry.
Overall, the results were compatible with the vascular hypothesis, and provided some support for the glucocorticoid cascade hypothesis.