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Depression is known to be associated with low serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and elevated levels of cortisol. Yoga has been shown to be associated with significant antidepressant effect as well as increase in serum BDNF levels and reduction in serum cortisol levels in these patients.
Aims and Objectives
We examined the association between serum cortisol and BDNF levels in patients with depression who were on treatment with antidepressants, yoga therapy, and both in combination.
Fifty-one consenting drug-naive outpatients (29 males) aged between 18-55 years, diagnosed with Major Depression received antidepressant medication alone (n=15), yoga therapy with (n=18), or without (n=18) concurrent antidepressants. Subjects in the yoga groups practiced a specific Yoga module for three months. Depression was assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Serum BDNF & cortisol levels were obtained before and after three months using sandwich ELISA method. The group differences were analyzed using one-way ANOVA. Correlations between Serum BDNF & cortisol levels were analyzed using Pearson's correlation.
Significant negative correlations were observed between baseline BDNF & cortisol levels in the Yoga+Medication group (r=0.569*; P=0.01), and between change in BDNF and cortisol level in the Yoga alone group (r=0.582*; P=0.01). No other significant correlations were found.
There is a significant association between serum cortisol and BDNF levels in patients with depression who underwent Yoga with or without antidepressants. This suggests that Yoga may have stress reduction and neuroplastic effects alone or in combination with medications in depressed patients.
In this study, we estimate the burden of foodborne illness (FBI) caused by five major pathogens among nondeployed US Army service members. The US Army is a unique population that is globally distributed, has its own food procurement system and a food protection system dedicated to the prevention of both unintentional and intentional contamination of food. To our knowledge, the burden of FBI caused by specific pathogens among the US Army population has not been determined. We used data from a 2015 US Army population survey, a 2015 US Army laboratory survey and data from FoodNet to create inputs for two model structures. Model type 1 scaled up case counts of Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica non-typhoidal and STEC non-O157 ascertained from the Disease Reporting System internet database from 2010 to 2015. Model type 2 scaled down cases of self-reported acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) to estimate the annual burden of Norovirus illness. We estimate that these five pathogens caused 45 600 (5%–95% range, 30 300–64 000) annual illnesses among nondeployed active duty US Army Service members. Of these pathogens, Norovirus, Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella enterica non-typhoidal were responsible for the most illness. There is a tremendous burden of AGI and FBI caused by five major pathogens among US Army Soldiers, which can have a tremendous impact on readiness of the force. The US Army has a robust food protection program in place, but without a specific active FBI surveillance system across the Department of Defence, we will never have the ability to measure the effectiveness of modern, targeted, interventions aimed at the reduction of specific foodborne pathogens.
Throughout history, acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) has been a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among US service members. We estimated the magnitude, distribution, risk factors and care seeking behaviour of AGI among the active duty US Army service members using a web-based survey. The survey asked about sociodemographic characteristics, dining and food procurement history and any experience of diarrhoea in the past 30 days. If respondents reported diarrhoea, additional questions about concurrent symptoms, duration of illness, medical care seeking and stool sample submission were asked. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to identify the factors associated with AGI and factors associated with seeking care and submitting a stool sample. The 30-day prevalence of AGI was 18.5% (95% CI 16.66–20.25), the incidence rate was 2.24 AGI episodes per person-year (95% CI 2.04–2.49). Risk factors included a region of residence, eating at the dining facility and eating at other on-post establishments. Individuals with AGI missed 2.7–3.7 days of work, which costs approximately $ 847 451 629 in paid wages. Results indicate there are more than 1 million cases of AGI per year among US Army Soldiers, which can have a major impact on readiness. We found that care-seeking behaviours for AGI are different among US Army Service Members than the general population. Army Service Members with AGI report seeking care and having a stool sample submitted less often, especially for severe (bloody) diarrhoea. Factors associated with seeking care included rank, experiencing respiratory symptoms (sore throat, cough), experiencing vomiting and missing work for their illness. Factors associated with submitting a stool sample including experiencing more than five loose stools in 24 h and not experiencing respiratory symptoms. US Army laboratory-based surveillance under-estimates service members with both bloody and non-bloody diarrhoea. To our knowledge, this is the first study to estimate the magnitude, distribution, risk factors and care-seeking behaviour of AGI among Army members. We determined Army service members care-seeking behaviours, AGI risk factors and stool sample submission rates are different than the general population, so when estimating burden of AGI caused by specific foodborne pathogens using methods like Scallan et al. (2011), unique multipliers must be used for this subset of the population. The study legitimises not only the importance of AGI in the active duty Army population but also highlights opportunities for public health leaders to engage in simple strategies to better capture AGI impact so more modern intervention strategies can be implemented to reduce burden and indirectly improve operational readiness across the Enterprise.
While SrTiO3 exhibits promising electronic transport properties, its high thermal conductivity (κ) is detrimental for its use as a thermoelectric material. Here, we investigate the influence of oxygen non-stoichiometry on κ in bulk SrTiO3 ceramics. A significant reduction in κ was achieved in oxygen deficient SrTiO3−δ, owing to the presence of oxygen vacancies that act as phonon scattering centers. Upon oxidation of SrTiO3−δ, the κ of pristine SrTiO3 was recovered, suggesting that oxygen vacancies were indeed responsible for the reduction in κ. Raman spectroscopy was used as an independent tool to confirm the reduction of oxygen vacancies in SrTiO3−δ upon oxidation.
This study was conducted to characterize new plant type (NPT) traits among 650 genetically diverse rice genotypes of tropical japonica and indica and to establish an initial core set for NPT traits. Analysis of variance revealed highly significant differences among the genotypes for all the traits assessed except flag length and width and leaf angles. Dendrogram categorized the genotypes into five distinct duration groups. Genotypes viz., Pumphamah, IRGC5097, IRGC37015, IRGC43741, IRGC50448, IRGC53089, IRGC39111, IRGC18021, Haorei Machang, IRGC44069, IRGC8269, Thangmoi, IRGC33130 and IRGC29772 were identified as possessing strong culm. Long panicles with a length of more than 35 cm were found in IRGC8269, IRGC9147, IRGC14694, IRGC19642, IRGC27435, IRGC39111, IRGC31051, IRGC26011and IRGC25892. Ideal leaf angle of NPT genotypes of 5°, 10° and 20° of flag leaf, 1st and 2nd leaves was not found in any genotype but with a combination of 5°, 10° and 10° was observed in IRGC63102 and IRGC66644. NPT flag leaf length and width of 50 and 2 cm, respectively, was seen in ‘Kemenya Kepeu’ and ‘IRGC29772’. High grain number of more than 350 was observed in IRGC53089, IRGC31063 and Azhoghi. A total of 72 genotypes were found with a combination of one or more ideal plant type traits of which, hierarchical cluster analysis based on genetic distances selected 32 as NPT core set. This core set will serve as an ideal genetic resource for breeding programs aimed at NPT development.
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the most important food legume for human consumption. Drought stress is the major abiotic stress limitation of bean yields in smallholder farming systems worldwide. The current work aimed to determine the role of enhanced photosynthate mobilization to improve adaptation to intermittent and terminal drought stress and to identify a few key adaptive traits that can be used for developing drought-resistant genotypes. Field studies were conducted over three seasons at Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, Palmira, Colombia to determine genotypic differences in adaptation to intermittent (two seasons) and terminal (one season) drought stress compared with irrigated conditions. A set of 36 genotypes, including 33 common bean, two wild bean and one cowpea were evaluated using a 6 × 6 lattice design under irrigated and rainfed field conditions. Three common bean elite lines (NCB 226, SEN 56, SER 125) were identified with superior levels of adaptation to both intermittent and terminal drought stress conditions. The greater performance of these lines under drought stress was associated with their ability to remobilize photosynthate to increase grain yield based on higher values of harvest index, pod harvest index, leaf area index and canopy biomass. Two wild bean germplasm accessions (G 19902, G 24390) showed very poor adaptation to both types of drought stress. One small-seeded black line (NCB 226) was superior in combining greater values of canopy biomass with greater ability to mobilize photosynthates to grain under both types of drought stress. Two small-seeded red lines (SER 78, SER 125) seem to combine the desirable traits of enhanced mobilization of photosynthates to seed with effective use of water through canopy cooling under terminal drought stress. Pod harvest index showed significant positive association with grain yield under both types of drought stress and this trait can be used by breeders as an additional selection method to grain yield in evaluation of breeding populations for both types of drought stress.
Fast photometric observations of a nova-like variable KR Aurigae and the intermediate polar BG CMi (3A0729+103) were made in the B and U bands during 1984–89 to study pulsations in them. The light curves of KR Aur show large amplitude quasi-periodic pulsations with periods in the range 500–800s which can be ascribed to inhomogeneities in the accretion disc. The light curves of the X-ray emitting intermediate polar BG CMi show variable amplitude pulsations with 913s period. From the times of maxima of the pulsations obtained from observations over the period 1984–1989, the pulsation period is derived to be 0.010572966 ± 8 days and the spin-up rate to be (−5.7 ± 0.5) × 10−11 ss−1. The spin-up rate is consistent with the pulsating source being a white dwarf and not a neutron star.
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)
Objectives: One of the most prominent features of schizophrenia is relatively lower general cognitive ability (GCA). An emerging approach to understanding the roots of variation in GCA relies on network properties of the brain. In this multi-center study, we determined global characteristics of brain networks using graph theory and related these to GCA in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: Participants (N=116 controls, 80 patients with schizophrenia) were recruited from four sites. GCA was represented by the first principal component of a large battery of neurocognitive tests. Graph metrics were derived from diffusion-weighted imaging. Results: The global metrics of longer characteristic path length and reduced overall connectivity predicted lower GCA across groups, and group differences were noted for both variables. Measures of clustering, efficiency, and modularity did not differ across groups or predict GCA. Follow-up analyses investigated three topological types of connectivity—connections among high degree “rich club” nodes, “feeder” connections to these rich club nodes, and “local” connections not involving the rich club. Rich club and local connectivity predicted performance across groups. In a subsample (N=101 controls, 56 patients), a genetic measure reflecting mutation load, based on rare copy number deletions, was associated with longer characteristic path length. Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of characteristic path lengths and rich club connectivity for GCA and provide no evidence for group differences in the relationships between graph metrics and GCA. (JINS, 2016, 22, 240–249)
Aerobic exercise training has been shown to attenuate cognitive decline and reduce brain atrophy with advancing age. The extent to which resistance exercise training improves cognition and prevents brain atrophy is less known, and few studies include long-term follow-up cognitive and neuroimaging assessments. We report data from a randomized controlled trial of 155 older women, who engaged in 52 weeks of resistance training (either once- or twice-weekly) or balance-and-toning (twice-weekly). Executive functioning and memory were assessed at baseline, 1-year follow-up (i.e., immediately post-intervention), and 2-year follow-up. A subset underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging scans at those time points. At 2-year follow-up, both frequencies of resistance training promoted executive function compared to balance-and-toning (standardized difference [d]=.31–.48). Additionally, twice-weekly resistance training promoted memory (d=.45), reduced cortical white matter atrophy (d=.45), and increased peak muscle power (d=.27) at 2-year follow-up relative to balance-and-toning. These effects were independent of one another. These findings suggest resistance training may have a long-term impact on cognition and white matter volume in older women. (JINS, 2015, 21, 745–756)
Cortical atrophy is a biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that correlates with clinical symptoms. This study examined changes in cortical thickness from before to after an exercise intervention in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy elders. Thirty physically inactive older adults (14 MCI, 16 healthy controls) underwent MRI before and after participating in a 12-week moderate intensity walking intervention. Participants were between the ages of 61 and 88. Change in cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed using residualized scores of the peak rate of oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak) from pre- to post-intervention. Structural magnetic resonance images were processed using FreeSurfer v5.1.0. V̇O2peak increased an average of 8.49%, which was comparable between MCI and healthy elders. Overall, cortical thickness was stable except for a significant decrease in the right fusiform gyrus in both groups. However, improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness due to the intervention (V̇O2peak) was positively correlated with cortical thickness change in the bilateral insula, precentral gyri, precuneus, posterior cingulate, and inferior and superior frontal cortices. Moreover, MCI participants exhibited stronger positive correlations compared to healthy elders in the left insula and superior temporal gyrus. A 12-week moderate intensity walking intervention led to significantly improved fitness in both MCI and healthy elders. Improved V̇O2peak was associated with widespread increased cortical thickness, which was similar between MCI and healthy elders. Thus, regular exercise may be an especially beneficial intervention to counteract cortical atrophy in all risk groups, and may provide protection against future cognitive decline in both healthy elders and MCI. (JINS, 2015, 21, 757–767)
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
To assess trends in nutrient intakes and nutritional status of rural adult women (≥18–60 years) and the association of sociodemographic characteristics with overweight/obesity.
Community-based cross-sectional studies carried out during 1975–79 to 2011–12 by the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) were used. Anthropometric measurements such as height, weight and waist circumference, carried out during the surveys, were used. Association and logistic regression analyses between sociodemographic characteristics and overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity were conducted using a complex samples procedure.
Ten NNMB states of India.
Non-pregnant and non-lactating rural women aged ≥18–60 years covered during the above periods from ten states in India.
The prevalence of chronic energy deficiency has declined from 52 % during 1975–79 to 34 % during 2011–12, while that of overweight/obesity has increased from 7 % to 24 % during the same period. Median intakes of most of the nutrients have increased over the same period, although they were below recommended levels. The chance of overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity was significantly (P<0·01) higher among women aged 40–60 years, those belonging to Christian religion and other backward communities, women living in pucca houses, literate women, women engaged in service and business, and those having higher per capita income.
Prevalence of chronic energy deficiency has declined significantly; however, overweight/obesity has increased during the same period. This increase in overweight/obesity may be attributed to increased consumption of fatty foods, sedentary lifestyle and improved socio-economic status. There is a need to educate the community about regular physical exercise, low intakes of fats and oils, and a balanced diet.