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Schizophrenia is associated with robust hippocampal volume deficits but subregion volume deficits, their associations with cognition, and contributing genes remain to be determined.
Hippocampal formation (HF) subregion volumes were obtained using FreeSurfer 6.0 from individuals with schizophrenia (n = 176, mean age ± s.d. = 39.0 ± 11.5, 132 males) and healthy volunteers (n = 173, mean age ± s.d. = 37.6 ± 11.3, 123 males) with similar mean age, gender, handedness, and race distributions. Relationships between the HF subregion volume with the largest between group difference, neuropsychological performance, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms were assessed.
This study found a significant group by region interaction on hippocampal subregion volumes. Compared to healthy volunteers, individuals with schizophrenia had significantly smaller dentate gyrus (DG) (Cohen's d = −0.57), Cornu Ammonis (CA) 4, molecular layer of the hippocampus, hippocampal tail, and CA 1 volumes, when statistically controlling for intracranial volume; DG (d = −0.43) and CA 4 volumes remained significantly smaller when statistically controlling for mean hippocampal volume. DG volume showed the largest between group difference and significant positive associations with visual memory and speed of processing in the overall sample. Genome-wide association analysis with DG volume as the quantitative phenotype identified rs56055643 (β = 10.8, p < 5 × 10−8, 95% CI 7.0–14.5) on chromosome 3 in high linkage disequilibrium with MOBP. Gene-based analyses identified associations between SLC25A38 and RPSA and DG volume.
This study suggests that DG dysfunction is fundamentally involved in schizophrenia pathophysiology, that it may contribute to cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia, and that underlying biological mechanisms may involve contributions from MOBP, SLC25A38, and RPSA.
Perceptions of social-contextual food environments and associated factors that influence food purchases are understudied in American Indian (AI) communities. The purpose of the present study was to: (i) understand the perceived local food environment; (ii) investigate social-contextual factors that influence family food-purchasing choices; and (iii) identify diet intervention strategies.
This qualitative study consisted of focus groups with primary household shoppers and key-informant interviews with food retailers, local government food assistance programme directors and a dietitian. An inductive, constant comparison approach was used to identify major themes.
A large AI reservation community in the north-central USA.
Four focus groups (n 31) and seven key-informant interviews were conducted in February and May 2016.
Perceptions of both the higher cost of healthy foods and limited access to these foods influenced the types of foods participants purchased. Dependence on government assistance programmes and the timing of benefits also contributed to the types of foods purchased. Participants described purchasing foods based on the dietary needs and preferences of their children. Suggestions for improving the purchase and consumption of healthy foods included: culturally relevant and family-centred cooking classes and workshops focused on monthly food budgeting. Participants also emphasized the importance of involving the entire community in healthy eating initiatives.
Cost and access were the major perceived barriers to healthy eating in this large rural AI community. Recommended interventions included: (i) family-friendly and culturally relevant cooking classes; (ii) healthy food-budgeting skills training; and (iii) approaches that engage the entire community.
Precision technologies and data have had relatively modest impacts in grass-based livestock ruminant production systems compared with other agricultural sectors such as arable. Precision technologies promise increased efficiency, reduced environmental impact, improved animal health, welfare and product quality. The benefits of precision technologies have, however, been relatively slow to be realised on pasture based farms. Though there is significant overlap with indoor systems, implementing technology in grass-based dairying brings unique opportunities and challenges. The large areas animals roam and graze in pasture based systems and the associated connectivity challenges may, in part at least, explain the comparatively lower adoption of such technologies in pasture based systems. With the exception of sensor and Bluetooth-enabled plate metres, there are thus few technologies designed specifically to increase pasture utilisation. Terrestrial and satellite-based spectral analysis of pasture biomass and quality is still in the development phase. One of the key drivers of efficiency in pasture based systems has thus only been marginally impacted by precision technologies. In contrast, technological development in the area of fertility and heat detection has been significant and offers significant potential value to dairy farmers, including those in pasture based systems. A past review of sensors in health management for dairy farms concluded that although the collection of accurate data was generally achieved, the processing, integration and presentation of the resulting information and decision-support applications were inadequate. These technologies’ value to farming systems is thus unclear. As a result, it is not certain that farm management is being sufficiently improved to justify widespread adoption of precision technologies currently. We argue for a user need-driven development of technologies and for a focus on how outputs arising from precision technologies and associated decision support applications are delivered to users to maximise their value. Further cost/benefit analysis is required to determine the efficacy of investing in specific precision technologies, potentially taking account of several yet to ascertained farm specific variables.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder associated with disrupted connectivity within the thalamic-cortico-cerebellar network. Resting-state functional connectivity studies have reported thalamic hypoconnectivity with the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex as well as thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory cortical regions in SZ patients compared with healthy comparison participants (HCs). However, fundamental questions remain regarding the clinical significance of these connectivity abnormalities.
Resting state seed-based functional connectivity was used to investigate thalamus to whole brain connectivity using multi-site data including 183 SZ patients and 178 matched HCs. Statistical significance was based on a voxel-level FWE-corrected height threshold of p < 0.001. The relationships between positive and negative symptoms of SZ and regions of the brain demonstrating group differences in thalamic connectivity were examined.
HC and SZ participants both demonstrated widespread positive connectivity between the thalamus and cortical regions. Compared with HCs, SZ patients had reduced thalamic connectivity with bilateral cerebellum and anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, SZ patients had greater thalamic connectivity with multiple sensory-motor regions, including bilateral pre- and post-central gyrus, middle/inferior occipital gyrus, and middle/superior temporal gyrus. Thalamus to middle temporal gyrus connectivity was positively correlated with hallucinations and delusions, while thalamus to cerebellar connectivity was negatively correlated with delusions and bizarre behavior.
Thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory regions and hypoconnectivity with cerebellar regions in combination with their relationship to clinical features of SZ suggest that thalamic dysconnectivity may be a core neurobiological feature of SZ that underpins positive symptoms.
Objectives: The extended face network contains clusters of neurons that perform distinct functions on facial stimuli. Regions in the posterior ventral visual stream appear to perform basic perceptual functions on faces, while more anterior regions, such as the ventral anterior temporal lobe and amygdala, function to link mnemonic and affective information to faces. Anterior and posterior regions are interconnected by a long-range white matter tracts; however, it is not known if variation in connectivity of these pathways explains cognitive performance. Methods: Here, we used diffusion imaging and deterministic tractography in a cohort of 28 neurologically normal adults ages 18–28 to examine microstructural properties of visual fiber pathways and their relationship to certain mnemonic and affective functions involved in face processing. We investigated how inter-individual variability in two tracts, the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), related to performance on tests of facial emotion recognition and face memory. Results: Results revealed that microstructure of both tracts predicted variability in behavioral performance indexed by both tasks, suggesting that the ILF and IFOF play a role in facilitating our ability to discriminate emotional expressions in faces, as well as to remember unique faces. Variation in a control tract, the uncinate fasciculus, did not predict performance on these tasks. Conclusions: These results corroborate and extend the findings of previous neuropsychology studies investigating the effects of damage to the ILF and IFOF, and demonstrate that differences in face processing abilities are related to white matter microstructure, even in healthy individuals. (JINS, 2016, 22, 180–190)
The Durban Diabetes Study (DDS) is a population-based cross-sectional survey of an urban black population in the eThekwini Municipality (city of Durban) in South Africa. The survey combines health, lifestyle and socioeconomic questionnaire data with standardised biophysical measurements, biomarkers for non-communicable and infectious diseases, and genetic data. Data collection for the study is currently underway and the target sample size is 10 000 participants. The DDS has an established infrastructure for survey fieldwork, data collection and management, sample processing and storage, managed data sharing and consent for re-approaching participants, which can be utilised for further research studies. As such, the DDS represents a rich platform for investigating the distribution, interrelation and aetiology of chronic diseases and their risk factors, which is critical for developing health care policies for disease management and prevention. For data access enquiries please contact the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research (APCDR) at email@example.com or the corresponding author.
Historically, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have suffered excess morbidity and mortality from influenza. We investigated the risk factors for death from 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) in persons residing in five states with substantial AI/AN populations. We conducted a case-control investigation using pandemic influenza fatalities from 2009 in Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Controls were outpatients with influenza. We reviewed medical records and interviewed case proxies and controls. We used multiple imputation to predict missing data and multivariable conditional logistic regression to determine risk factors. We included 145 fatal cases and 236 controls; 22% of cases were AI/AN. Risk factors (P < 0·05) included: older age [adjusted matched odds ratio (mOR) 3·2, for >45 years vs. <18 years], pre-existing medical conditions (mOR 7·1), smoking (mOR 3·0), delayed receipt of antivirals (mOR 6·5), and barriers to healthcare access (mOR 5·3). AI/AN race was not significantly associated with death. The increased influenza mortality in AI/AN individuals was due to factors other than racial status. Prevention of influenza deaths should focus on modifiable factors (smoking, early antiviral use, access to care) and identifying high-risk persons for immunization and prompt medical attention.
Hospitalizations for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infection (ABSSSI) are common. Optimizing antibiotic use for ABSSSIs requires an understanding of current management. The objective of this study was to evaluate antibiotic prescribing practices and factors affecting prescribing in a diverse group of hospitals
Multicenter, retrospective cohort study.
Seven community and academic hospitals.
Children and adults hospitalized between June 2010 and May 2012 for cellulitis, wound infection, or cutaneous abscess were eligible. The primary endpoint was a composite of 2 prescribing practices representing potentially avoidable antibiotic exposure: (1) use of antibiotics with a broad spectrum of activity against gram-negative bacteria or (2) treatment duration greater than 10 days.
A total of 533 cases were included: 320 with nonpurulent cellulitis, 44 with wound infection or purulent cellulitis, and 169 with abscess. Of 492 cases with complete prescribing data, the primary endpoint occurred in 394 (80%) cases and varied significantly across hospitals (64%–97%; P < .001). By logistic regression, independent predictors of the primary endpoint included wound infection or purulent cellulitis (odds ratio [OR], 5.12 [95% confidence interval (CI)], 1.46–17.88), head or neck involvement (OR, 2.83 [95% CI, 1.17–6.82]), adult cases (OR, 2.20 [95% CI, 1.18–4.11]), and admission to a community hospital (OR, 1.90 [95% CI, 1.05–3.44]).
Among patients hospitalized for ABSSSI, use of antibiotics with broad gram-negative activity or treatment courses longer than 10 days were common. There may be substantial opportunity to reduce antibiotic exposure through shorter courses of therapy targeting gram-positive bacteria.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(10):1241–1250
We have performed an analysis on three hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) based solar cells. In order to determine the impact that impurities play in shaping the material properties, the XRD and Raman spectra corresponding to all three samples were measured. The XRD results, which displayed a number of crystalline silicon-based peaks, were used in order to approximate the mean crystallite sizes through Scherrer's equation. Through a peak decomposition process, the Raman results were used to estimate the corresponding crystalline volume fraction. It was noted that small crystallite sizes appear to favor larger crystalline volume fractions. This dependence seems to be related to the oxygen impurity concentration level within the intrinsic nc-Si:H layers.
Using longitudinal and prospective measures of psychotic experiences during adolescence, we assessed the risk of developing psychosis in three groups showing low, increasing and elevated psychotic experiences associated with bullying by peers and cannabis use in a UK sample of adolescents.
Data were collected by self-report from 1098 adolescents (mean age 13.6 years; 60.9% boys) at five separate time points, equally separated by 6 months, across a 24-month period. General growth mixture modelling identified three distinct trajectories of adolescents reporting psychotic experiences: elevated, increasing and low.
Controlling for cannabis use, bullying by peers significantly predicted change in psychotic experiences between Time 2 and Time 5 in adolescents belonging to the increasing group. No effect was found for the elevated or low groups. Controlling for bullying, an earlier age of cannabis use and cannabis use more than twice significantly predicted change in psychotic experiences in adolescents belonging to the increasing group. Cannabis use at any age was significantly associated with subsequent change in psychotic experiences in the low group. Reverse causal associations were examined and there was no evidence for psychotic experiences at Time 1 predicting a subsequent change in cannabis use between Times 2 and 5 in any trajectory group.
Bullying by peers and cannabis use are associated with adolescents' reports of increasing psychotic experiences over time. Further research into the longitudinal development of psychosis in adolescence and the associated risk factors would allow for early intervention programmes to be targeted more precisely.
Within the framework of a grand partition function formalism, we examine the occupancy of the dangling bond dislocation defect sites and the VGa-ON dislocation defect sites within uncompensated n-type gallium nitride. The sensitivity of these results to variations in the unoccupied dislocation defect energy level is examined. We find that the VGa-ON dislocation defect sites’ greater capacity to store charge plays a large role in influencing the results, i.e., greater free electron and bulk donor concentrations are required in order to fully saturate the threading dislocation lines with charge.
In December 2006 an outbreak of Campylobacter infection occurred in Forth Valley, Scotland, affecting 48 people over a 3-week period. All cases dined at restaurant A. We conducted a cohort study in a party of 30 who ate lunch at restaurant A on 21 December to identify the vehicle of infection. Of 29 respondents, the attack rate in those who ate chicken liver pâté was 86% (6/7) compared to 0% (0/22) for those who did not. Between 1 December and 1.30 p.m. on 21 December the restaurant had used a different method of cooking the pâté. No cases reported dining at the restaurant after this time. The outbreak's duration suggested a continuous source. This is the first continuous source outbreak of Campylobacter documented in Scotland. Chicken liver pâté was the most likely vehicle of infection. This outbreak illustrates the hazards associated with undercooking Campylobacter-contaminated food.