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Iron deficiency is common in pregnant and lactating women and is associated with reduced cognitive development of the offspring. Since iron affects lipid metabolism, the availability of fatty acids, particularly the polyunsaturated fatty acids required for early neural development, was investigated in the offspring of female rats fed iron-deficient diets during gestation and lactation. Subsequent to the dams giving birth, one group of iron-deficient dams was recuperated by feeding an iron-replete diet. Dams and neonates were killed on postnatal days 1, 3 and 10, and the fatty acid composition of brain and stomach contents was assessed by gas chromatography. Changes in the fatty acid profile on day 3 became more pronounced on day 10 with a decrease in the proportion of saturated fatty acids and a compensatory increase in monounsaturated fatty acids. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the n-6 family were reduced, but there was no change in the n-3 family. The fatty acid profiles of neonatal brain and stomach contents were similar, suggesting that the change in milk composition may be related to the changes in the neonatal brain. When the dams were fed an iron-sufficient diet at birth, the effects of iron deficiency on the fatty acid composition of lipids in both dam’s milk and neonates’ brains were reduced. This study showed an interaction between maternal iron status and fatty acid composition of the offspring’s brain and suggests that these effects can be reduced by iron repletion of the dam’s diet at birth.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with risk of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by varying degrees of cognitive impairment, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. However, the effects of many individual CNVs in carriers without neurodevelopmental disorders are not yet fully understood, and little is known about the effects of reciprocal copy number changes of known pathogenic loci.
We aimed to analyse the effect of CNV carrier status on cognitive performance and measures of occupational and social outcomes in unaffected individuals from the UK Biobank.
We called CNVs in the full UK Biobank sample and analysed data from 420 247 individuals who passed CNV quality control, reported White British or Irish ancestry and were not diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. We analysed 33 pathogenic CNVs, including their reciprocal deletions/duplications, for association with seven cognitive tests and four general measures of functioning: academic qualifications, occupation, household income and Townsend Deprivation Index.
Most CNVs (24 out of 33) were associated with reduced performance on at least one cognitive test or measure of functioning. The changes on the cognitive tests were modest (average reduction of 0.13 s.d.) but varied markedly between CNVs. All 12 schizophrenia-associated CNVs were associated with significant impairments on measures of functioning.
CNVs implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, are associated with cognitive deficits, even among unaffected individuals. These deficits may be subtle but CNV carriers have significant disadvantages in educational attainment and ability to earn income in adult life.
The north-west European population of Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii declined by 38% between 1995 and 2010 and is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the European Red List of birds. Here, we combined information on food resources within the landscape with long-term data on swan numbers, habitat use, behaviour and two complementary measures of body condition, to examine whether changes in food type and availability have influenced the Bewick’s Swan’s use of their main wintering site in the UK, the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens. Maximum number of Bewick’s Swans rose from 620 in winter 1958/59 to a high of 7,491 in winter 2004/05, before falling to 1,073 birds in winter 2013/14. Between winters 1958/59 and 2014/15 the Ouse Washes supported between 0.5 and 37.9 % of the total population wintering in north-west Europe (mean ± 95 % CI = 18.1 ± 2.4 %). Swans fed on agricultural crops, shifting from post-harvest remains of root crops (e.g. sugar beet and potatoes) in November and December to winter-sown cereals (e.g. wheat) in January and February. Inter-annual variation in the area cultivated for these crops did not result in changes in the peak numbers of swans occurring on the Ouse Washes. Behavioural and body condition data indicated that food supplies on the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens remain adequate to allow the birds to gain and maintain good body condition throughout winter with no increase in foraging effort. Our findings suggest that the recent decline in numbers of Bewick’s Swans at this internationally important site was not linked to inadequate food resources.
Current policy emphasises the importance of ‘living well’ with dementia, but there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the factors related to quality of life (QoL), subjective well-being or life satisfaction in people with dementia. We examined the available evidence in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched electronic databases until 7 January 2016 for observational studies investigating factors associated with QoL, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia. Articles had to provide quantitative data and include ⩾75% people with dementia of any type or severity. We included 198 QoL studies taken from 272 articles in the meta-analysis. The analysis focused on 43 factors with sufficient data, relating to 37639 people with dementia. Generally, these factors were significantly associated with QoL, but effect sizes were often small (0.1–0.29) or negligible (<0.09). Factors reflecting relationships, social engagement and functional ability were associated with better QoL. Factors indicative of poorer physical and mental health (including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) and poorer carer well-being were associated with poorer QoL. Longitudinal evidence about predictors of QoL was limited. There was a considerable between-study heterogeneity. The pattern of numerous predominantly small associations with QoL suggests a need to reconsider approaches to understanding and assessing living well with dementia.
The aim of the present study was to determine if the enzyme Aspergillus niger prolyl endoprotease (ANPEP), which degrades the immunogenic proline-rich residues in gluten peptides, can be used in the development of new wheat products, suitable for gluten-sensitive (GS) individuals. We have carried out a double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial with two groups of adults; subjects, self-reporting benefits of adopting a gluten-free or low-gluten diet (GS, n 16) and a control non-GS group (n 12). For the trial, volunteers consumed four wheat breads: normal bread, bread treated with 0·8 or 1 % ANPEP and low-protein bread made from biscuit flour. Compared with controls, GS subjects had a favourable cardiovascular lipid profile – lower LDL (4·0 (sem 0·3) v. 2·8 (sem 0·2) mmol/l; P=0·008) and LDL:HDL ratio (3·2 (sem 0·4) v. 1·8 (sem 0·2); P=0·005) and modified haematological profile. The majority of the GS subjects followed a low-gluten lifestyle, which helps to reduce the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms severity. The low-gluten lifestyle does not have any effect on the quality of life, fatigue or mental state of this population. Consumption of normal wheat bread increased GI symptoms in GS subjects compared with their habitual diet. ANPEP lowered the immunogenic gluten in the treated bread by approximately 40 %. However, when compared with the control bread for inducing GI symptoms, no treatment effects were apparent. ANPEP can be applied in the production of bread with taste, texture and appearance comparable with standard bread.
Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert) is the preferred first-line test for all persons with tuberculosis (TB) symptoms in South Africa in line with a diagnostic algorithm. This study evaluates pre- and post-implementation trends in diagnostic practices for drug-sensitive, pulmonary TB in adults in an operational setting, following the introduction of the Xpert-based algorithm. We retrospectively analysed data from the national TB database for Greater Tzaneen sub-district, Limpopo Province. Trends in a number of cases, diagnosis and outcome and characteristics associated with death are reported. A total of 8407 cases were treated from 2008 until 2015, with annual cases registered decreasing by 31·7% over that time period (from 1251 to 855 per year). After implementation of Xpert, 69·9% of cases were diagnosed by Xpert, 29·4% clinically, 0·6% by smear microscopy and 0·1% by culture. Cases with a recorded microbiological test increased from 76·2% to 96·4%. Cases started on treatment without confirmation, but with a negative microbiological test increased from 7·1% to 25·7%. Case fatality decreased from 15·0% to 9·8%, remaining consistently higher in empirically treated groups, regardless of HIV status. Implementation of the algorithm coincided with a reduced number of TB cases treated and improved coverage of microbiological testing; however, a substantial proportion of cases continued to start treatment empirically.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and resulting changes in adiposity have been observed in the offspring of animals fed a high fat (HF) diet. As iron is an important component of the mitochondria, we have studied the offspring of female rats fed complete (Con) or iron-deficient (FeD) rations for the duration of gestation to test for similar effects. The FeD offspring were ~12% smaller at weaning and remained so because of a persistent reduction in lean tissue mass. The offspring were fed a complete (stock) diet until 52 weeks of age after which some animals from each litter were fed a HF diet for a further 12 weeks. The HF diet increased body fat when compared with animals fed the stock diet, however, prenatal iron deficiency did not change the ratio of fat:lean in either the stock or HF diet groups. The HF diet caused triglyceride to accumulate in the liver, however, there was no effect of prenatal iron deficiency. The activity of the mitochondrial electron transport complexes was similar in all groups including those challenged with a HF diet. HF feeding increased the number of copies of mitochondrial DNA and the prevalence of the D-loop mutation, however, neither parameter was affected by prenatal iron deficiency. This study shows that the effects of prenatal iron deficiency differ from other models in that there is no persistent effect on hepatic mitochondria in aged animals exposed to an increased metabolic load.
A survey of about 100 lines of sight was made using the coudé auxiliary telescope and the coudé spectrograph of the Shane 3m telescope of the Lick Observatory. the data acquisition required 7 observing seasons. the spectra were recorded photographically at 17Ao/mm using a Varo tube intensifier. Each plate was separately calibrated for intensity and wavelength. the plates were measured using the PDS microdensitometer of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceux, and that data reduced on STARLINK using procedures developed by D.W.T. Baines. Care was taken to treat all photographic material in a consistent manner throughout the duration of the survey. the reduced data may therefore be considered self-consistent. the emulsion types used were (principally) Kodak IIIaF and (more rarely) 103aD.
If primordial fluctuations were isothermal their amplitude at recombination would be non-linear on scales Mo ≃ 106÷9 M⊙. Since the Jeans mass after recombination is MJo ≃ 8 × 105 Ω−1/2 M⊙ the clouds of mass Mo would be able to form the first generation of compact objects, the so-called Population III. These clouds would acquire angular momentum via tidal interactions with their neighbours. The importance of rotation can be conveniently characterised by the spin parameter λ = Vrotation/Vfree-fall and tidal interactions lead to a spin λo = 0.07 ± 0.03. As the cloud collapses λ increases as r−1/2. Any fragment forming in a rotating cloud would have the same spin λ as the whole cloud. It could therefore collapse only by ≃ λo2 in radius before centrifugal forces intervened, thus leaving a large geometrical cross-section for coalescence to be important. At radii r ≲ λo8/5 (Mo/MJo)2/15 ro the coalescence time is shorter than the free-fall time and no fragmentation is possible below this radius. In the primordial clouds two major factors prevent fragmentation at larger radii. First, the background radiation is still ‘hot’ and the trapping of it would prevent fragmentation until the whole cloud has collapsed to a radius 10−2 x−2/3 ro. Here x = 10−2(M/107 M⊙)1/3 is the ionization fraction given by the balance between gravitational contraction and recombination cooling. Furthermore, any small density fluctuation would lead to fragmentation only after the paternal cloud had collapsed by a factor (δ/5)2/3 in radius. For these reasons fragmentation is unlikely until centrifugal forces halt the collapse and a disk forms. The disk will be initially at T ≃ 104K but after a small fraction of H2 forms it will cool to T3 ≃ T/103K ≃ 1 and the final fragments mass could be as low as ≃ 0.2(λo/0.07)4 T32(MJo/Mo)1/3 M⊙.
Background: The evidence regarding whether co-morbid obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is associated with treatment outcomes in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is mixed, with some research indicating that OCPD is associated with poorer response, and some showing that it is associated with improved response. Aims: We sought to explore the role of OCPD diagnosis and the personality domain of conscientiousness on treatment outcomes for exposure and response prevention for OCD. Method: The impact of co-morbid OCPD and conscientiousness on treatment outcomes was examined in a clinical sample of 46 participants with OCD. Results: OCPD diagnosis and scores on conscientiousness were not associated with poorer post-treatment OCD severity, as indexed by Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) scores, although the relative sample size of OCPD was small and thus generalizability is limited. Conclusion: This study found no evidence that OCPD or conscientiousness were associated with treatment outcomes for OCD. Further research with larger clinical samples is required.
The physics of spherically symmetrical accretion onto a compact object is briefly reviewed. Neither neutron stars nor stellar-mass black holes are likely to be readily detectable if they are isolated and accreting from the interstellar medium. Supermassive black holes in intergalactic space may however be detectable. The effects of accretion onto compact objects in binary systems are then discussed, with reference to the phenomena observed in variable X-ray sources.
The continuum emission from the Crab Nebula may be radiation from relativistic electrons moving in the electromagnetic wave field radiated by the rotating magnetic dipole of the pulsar. This radiation, called Synchro-Compton radiation, would show ordering over the whole nebula, as is observed in measurements of polarisation. The properties of this radiation are described in an Appendix.
Euclid is a Europe-led cosmology space mission dedicated to a visible and near infrared survey of the entire extra-galactic sky. Its purpose is to deepen our knowledge of the dark content of our Universe. After an overview of the Euclid mission and science, this contribution describes how the community is getting organized to face the data analysis challenges, both in software development and in operational data processing matters. It ends with a more specific account of some of the main contributions of the Swiss Science Data Center (SDC-CH).
Little is known about the mental health of partners of survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict countries.
We studied 677 spouse dyads (n = 1354) drawn from a community survey (response 82.4%) in post-conflict Timor-Leste. We used culturally adapted measures of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological distress, explosive anger and grief.
Latent class analysis identified three classes of couples: class 1, comprising women with higher trauma events (TEs), men with intermediate TEs (19%); class 2, including men with higher TEs, women with lower TEs (23%); and class 3, comprising couples in which men and women had lower TE exposure (58%) (the reference group). Men and women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (classes 1 and 2) had increased symptoms of explosive anger and grief compared with the reference class (class 3). Women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (class 2) had a 20-fold increased rate of PTSD symptoms compared with the reference class, a pattern that was not evident for men living with women exposed to higher levels of trauma (class 1).
Men and women living with survivors of higher levels of trauma showed an increase in symptoms of grief and explosive anger. The manifold higher rate of PTSD symptoms amongst women living with men exposed to high levels of trauma requires replication. It is important to assess the mental health of partners when treating survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict settings.