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Metabolic syndrome induced by atypical antipsychotics is more prevalence in schizophrenic patients. Much less is known regarding paliperidone ER. The objective of this study was to compare matched paliperidone-ER- and olanzapine-treated schizophrenic patients on measures of glucose and lipid metabolism. Eighty hospitalized patients with schizophrenia (DSM-) were randomly assigned to treatment with paliperidone ER or olanzapine for 12 weeks. At baseline and every 4 weeks, we assessed weight, subcutaneous fat, waist and hip circumferences, fasting glucose, insulin, glycohemoglobin A1, cholesterol, triglycerides, high density level (HDL) cholesterol, low density level (LDL) cholesterol and prolactin. And we also evaluate the body mass index (BMI), homeostasis insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and homeostasis β-cell function (HOMA-B). 33 patients randomly assigned to paliperidone ER and 23 patients randomly assigned to olanzapine completed the entire 12-week treatment. Within-group overall analysis showed that the fasting measures were increased in weight, BMI, waist circumferences, hip circumferences, subcutaneous fat, cholesterol, triglyceride and prolactin for two groups, and fasting glucose, LDL and HOMA-B were increased for olanzapine group. There was significantly difference in serum prolactin between paliperidone ER and olanzapine group. And there was a trend for HOMA-B to increase in olanzapine group over 12 weeks compared to paliperidone ER group. However, there were no overall differential drug effects over 12 weeks on the fasting measures of BMI, glucose, glycohemoglobin A1, insulin, HDL, LDL, cholesterol, triglyceride and HOMA-IR. The study further reinforces the necessity of regular monitoring the metabolic parameters in schizophrenic patients with atypical antipsychotics including paliperidone ER.
Recent imaging studies have shown that brain morphology and neural activity during sexual arousal differ between homosexual and heterosexual men. Whether the structural and task-related functional differences also exist in the resting state is unknown. The purpose of the study is to characterize the association of homosexual preference with measures of regional homogeneity and functional connectivity in the resting state. Participants were 26 homosexual men and 26 age-matched heterosexual men. The sexual orientation of every participant was evaluated using the Kinsey Scale. We first assessed group differences in regional homogeneity and then, taking the identified differences as seed regions, we compared groups in measures of functional connectivity from those seeds. The behavioral significances of the differences in regional homogeneity and functional connectivity were assessed by examining their associations with scores on the Kinsey Scale. Homosexual participants showed significantly reduced regional homogeneity in the left inferior occipital gyrus, right middle occipital gyrus, right superior occipital gyrus, left cuneus, right precuneus, and increased regional homogeneity in the rectal gyrus, bilateral midbrain, and left temporal lobe. Regional homogeneity correlated positively with Kinsey scores in the left inferior occipital gyrus. The homosexual group also showed reduced functional connectivity in left middle temporal gyrus, left supra-marginal gyrus and right cuneus. In addition, the connection between the left inferior occipital gyrus and right thalamus in the homosexual group was correlated positively with Kinsey scores. This differences in homogeneity and fucntional connectivity may contribute to a better understanding of the neural basis of male sexual orientation.
The Empire of Aksum was one of Africa's most influential ancient civilisations. Traditionally, most archaeological fieldwork has focused on the capital city of Aksum, but recent research at the site of Beta Samati has investigated a contemporaneous trade and religious centre located between Aksum and the Red Sea. The authors outline the discovery of the site and present important finds from the initial excavations, including an early basilica, inscriptions and a gold intaglio ring. From daily life and ritual praxis to international trade, this work illuminates the role of Beta Samati as an administrative centre and its significance within the wider Aksumite world.
Molecular biological techniques have revolutionized the field of geomicrobiology by providing researchers with robust techniques for identifying microorganisms and characterizing microbial communities in a wide variety of environments. These techniques have freed researchers from the constraints of classical culture-based microbiology and allowed the discovery of previously unknown phylogenetic diversity of microorganisms. In this chapter, we discuss the theory, methods, and workflow for applying molecular techniques to identify and characterize microbial populations. Our chapter focuses on SSU rRNA gene-based approaches, guiding the reader from sample collection and gene amplification through bioinformatics and statistical analysis. The workflow presented has been successfully used to identify microbial populations and community dynamics in a wide variety of habitats to understand the interactions between microbes and their environment.
Roles for pharmacists in general practice are developing in Australia. It is known that pharmacists can provide effective smoking cessation services in other settings but evidence in general practice is lacking.
To determine whether a pharmacist can provide effective smoking cessation services within general practice.
Data from smoking cessation consultations were obtained for 66 consecutive patients seen by one practice pharmacist. The pharmacist tailored interventions to the individual. Medication was offered in collaboration with community pharmacists and general practitioners. Quit coaching, based on motivational interviewing, was conducted. Smoking status was ascertained at least 6 months after the intended quit date and verified by a carbon monoxide breath test where possible.
The patients’ median age was 43 years (range 19–74 years); 42 were females (64%). At baseline, the median (i) number of pack years smoked was 20 (range: 1–75); (ii) Fagerstrom Test of dependence score was 6 (1–10); and (iii) number of previous quit attempts was 3 (0–10). Follow-up after at least 6 months determined a self-reported point prevalence abstinence rate of 30% (20/66). Of all patients who reported to be abstinent, 65% (13/20) were tested for carbon monoxide breath levels and were all below 7 ppm. The biochemically verified smoking abstinence rate was therefore 20% overall (13/66). Successful quit attempts were associated with varenicline recommendation (69% v 25%), increased median number of practice pharmacist consultations (4 v 2 per patient) and mental health diagnosis (85% v 51%).
Our observed abstinence rate was comparable or better than those obtained by practice nurses, community pharmacists and outpatient pharmacists, indicating the general practice pharmacist provided an effective smoking cessation intervention. A larger randomised trial is warranted.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) incidence in the USA has quadrupled since 2000. Health departments must detect LD outbreaks quickly to identify and remediate sources. We tested the performance of a system to prospectively detect simulated LD outbreaks in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA. We generated three simulated LD outbreaks based on published outbreaks. After verifying no significant clusters existed in surveillance data during 2014–2016, we embedded simulated outbreak-associated cases into 2016, assigning simulated residences and report dates. We mimicked daily analyses in 2016 using the prospective space-time permutation scan statistic to detect clusters of ⩽30 and ⩽180 days using 365-day and 730-day baseline periods, respectively. We used recurrence interval (RI) thresholds of ⩾20, ⩾100 and ⩾365 days to define significant signals. We calculated sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for daily analyses, separately for each embedded outbreak. Two large, simulated cooling tower-associated outbreaks were detected. As the RI threshold was increased, sensitivity and negative predictive value decreased, while positive predictive value and specificity increased. A small, simulated potable water-associated outbreak was not detected. Use of a RI threshold of ⩾100 days minimised time-to-detection while maximizing positive predictive value. Health departments should consider using this system to detect community-acquired LD outbreaks.
Previous studies have demonstrated that several major psychiatric disorders are influenced by shared genetic factors. This shared liability may influence clinical features of a given disorder (e.g. severity, age at onset). However, findings have largely been limited to European samples; little is known about the consistency of shared genetic liability across ethnicities.
The relationship between polygenic risk for several major psychiatric diagnoses and major depressive disorder (MDD) was examined in a sample of unrelated Han Chinese women. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) were generated using European discovery samples and tested in the China, Oxford, and VCU Experimental Research on Genetic Epidemiology [CONVERGE (maximum N = 10 502)], a sample ascertained for recurrent MDD. Genetic correlations between discovery phenotypes and MDD were also assessed. In addition, within-case characteristics were examined.
European-based polygenic risk for several major psychiatric disorder phenotypes was significantly associated with the MDD case status in CONVERGE. Risk for clinically significant indicators (neuroticism and subjective well-being) was also associated with case–control status. The variance accounted for by PRS for both psychopathology and for well-being was similar to estimates reported for within-ethnicity comparisons in European samples. However, European-based PRS were largely unassociated with CONVERGE family history, clinical characteristics, or comorbidity.
The shared genetic liability across severe forms of psychopathology is largely consistent across European and Han Chinese ethnicities, with little attenuation of genetic signal relative to within-ethnicity analyses. The overall absence of associations between PRS for other disorders and within-MDD variation suggests that clinical characteristics of MDD may arise due to contributions from ethnicity-specific factors and/or pathoplasticity.
Antigenic variation in malaria was discovered in Plasmodium knowlesi studies involving longitudinal infections of rhesus macaques (M. mulatta). The variant proteins, known as the P. knowlesi Schizont Infected Cell Agglutination (SICA) antigens and the P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens, expressed by the SICAvar and var multigene families, respectively, have been studied for over 30 years. Expression of the SICA antigens in P. knowlesi requires a splenic component, and specific antibodies are necessary for variant antigen switch events in vivo. Outstanding questions revolve around the role of the spleen and the mechanisms by which the expression of these variant antigen families are regulated. Importantly, the longitudinal dynamics and molecular mechanisms that govern variant antigen expression can be studied with P. knowlesi infection of its mammalian and vector hosts. Synchronous infections can be initiated with established clones and studied at multi-omic levels, with the benefit of computational tools from systems biology that permit the integration of datasets and the design of explanatory, predictive mathematical models. Here we provide an historical account of this topic, while highlighting the potential for maximizing the use of P. knowlesi – macaque model systems and summarizing exciting new progress in this area of research.
Snowpit samples collected at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide location in January 2013 were analysed to investigate the levels and variations of perchlorate concentrations in Antarctic snow. During 2008–12, the perchlorate concentration in WAIS Divide snow ranged between 6–180 ng l–1 and followed a seasonal cycle. The highest concentrations appeared in the autumn, and the lowest in winter and spring. No apparent correlation was observed between perchlorate and nitrate or chloride concentrations in snow. Since perchlorate is believed to form in the atmosphere when chlorine species are oxidized in reactions involving ozone, perchlorate concentrations were hypothesized to be high during the spring, based on the assumption that stratospheric ozone depletion enhances tropospheric perchlorate production. The data show that perchlorate concentrations in snow were sharply reduced during stratospheric ozone depletion events; the evidence, therefore, does not support the hypothesis. Instead, the results suggest a stratospheric origin of perchlorate in Antarctic snow.
The foetal mammary gland is sensitive to maternal weight and nutrition during gestation, which could affect offspring milk production. It has previously been shown that ewes born to dams offered maintenance nutrition during pregnancy (day 21 to 140 of gestation) produced greater milk, lactose and CP yields in their first lactation when compared with ewes born to dams offered ad libitum nutrition. In addition, ewes born to heavier dams produced greater milk and lactose yields when compared with ewes born to lighter dams. The objective of this study was to analyse and compare the 5-year lactation performance of the previously mentioned ewes, born to heavy or light dams that were offered maintenance or ad libitum pregnancy nutrition. Ewes were milked once per week, for the first 6 weeks of their lactation, for 5 years. Using milk yield and composition data, accumulated yields were calculated over a 42-day period for each year for milk, milk fat, CP, true protein, casein and lactose using a Legendre orthogonal polynomial model. Over the 5-year period, ewes born to heavy dams produced greater average milk (P=0.04), lactose (P=0.01) and CP (P=0.04) yields than offspring born to light dams. In contrast, over the 5-year period dam nutrition during pregnancy did not affect average (P>0.05) offspring milk yields or composition, but did increase milk and lactose accumulated yield (P=0.03 and 0.01, respectively) in the first lactation. These results indicate that maternal gestational nutrition appears to only affect the first lactational performance of ewe offspring. Neither dam nutrition nor size affected grand-offspring live weight gain to, or live weight at weaning (P>0.05). Combined these data indicate that under the conditions of the present study, manipulating dam weight or nutrition in pregnancy can have some effects of offspring lactational performance, however, these effects are not large enough to alter grand-offspring growth to weaning. Therefore, such manipulations are not a viable management tool for farmers to influence lamb growth to weaning.
Nursing home residents are at risk for acquiring and transmitting MDROs. A serial point-prevalence study of 605 residents in 3 facilities using random sampling found MDRO colonization in 45% of residents: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, 26%); extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL, 17%); vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE, 16%); carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE, 1%). MDRO colonization was associated with history of MDRO, care needs, incontinence, and catheters.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
We used the winter of 2009–2010, which had minimal influenza circulation due to the earlier 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, to test the accuracy of ecological trend methods used to estimate influenza-related deaths and hospitalizations. We aggregated weekly counts of person-time, all-cause deaths, and hospitalizations for pneumonia/influenza and respiratory/circulatory conditions from seven healthcare systems. We predicted the incidence of the outcomes during the winter of 2009–2010 using three different methods: a cyclic (Serfling) regression model, a cyclic regression model with viral circulation data (virological regression), and an autoregressive, integrated moving average model with viral circulation data (ARIMAX). We compared predicted non-influenza incidence with actual winter incidence. All three models generally displayed high accuracy, with prediction errors for death ranging from −5% to −2%. For hospitalizations, errors ranged from −10% to −2% for pneumonia/influenza and from −3% to 0% for respiratory/circulatory. The Serfling and virological models consistently outperformed the ARIMAX model. The three methods tested could predict incidence of non-influenza deaths and hospitalizations during a winter with negligible influenza circulation. However, meaningful mis-estimation of the burden of influenza can still result with outcomes for which the contribution of influenza is low, such as all-cause mortality.
To evaluate whether an ecologic inverse association exists between methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) prevalence and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) prevalence in nursing homes.
We conducted a secondary analysis of a prospective cross-sectional study of S. aureus prevalence in 26 nursing homes across Orange County, California, from 2008–2011. Admission prevalence was assessed using bilateral nares swabs collected from all new residents within 3 days of admission until 100 swabs were obtained. Point prevalence was assessed from a representative sample of 100 residents. Swab samples were plated on 5% sheep blood agar and Spectra MRSA chromogenic agar. If MRSA was detected, no further tests were performed. If MRSA was not detected, blood agar was evaluated for MSSA growth. We evaluated the association between MRSA and MSSA admission and point prevalence using correlation and linear regression testing.
We collected 3,806 total swabs. MRSA and MSSA admission prevalence were not correlated (r = −0.40, P = .09). However, MRSA and MSSA point prevalence were negatively correlated regardless of whether MSSA prevalence was measured among all residents sampled (r = −0.67, P = .0002) or among those who did not harbor MRSA (r = −0.41, P = .04). This effect persisted in regression models adjusted for the percentage of residents with diabetes (β = −0.73, P = .04), skin lesions (β = −1.17, P = .002), or invasive devices (β = −1.4, P = .0006).
The inverse association between MRSA and MSSA point prevalence and minimal association on admission prevalence suggest MSSA carriage may protect against MRSA acquisition in nursing homes. The minimal association on admission prevalence further suggests competition may occur during nursing home stays.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(10):1257–1262
Beaches and dunes of the open coast form one of the globe’s longest ecological interfaces, linking the oceans with the land. These systems are of great importance to society as prime sites for housing and recreation, buffers against storms, and providers of fisheries and mineral resources. By contrast, their unique ecological attributes and biodiversity are much less recognized. In this chapter, we provide a synthesis of the key ecological features and functions of beaches and dunes, outline the main elements of their faunal biodiversity, examine human threats and their biological consequences, and sketch some salient issues in management to achieve conservation of these unique ecosystems. It is apparent that the range of ecosystem goods and services is broad, but nutrient cycling, water filtration, and the provision of habitat and prey for a diverse range of animals are often the key ecological traits. Contrary to common perceptions, beaches and dunes contain a diverse and unique set of species, many of which are found nowhere else. In addition to the complement of highly adapted invertebrates, many wildlife species (e.g. birds, turtles, fishes) are dependent on beaches and dunes for nesting and feeding, and they use these habitats extensively. Human pressures on sandy shorelines and their biodiversity are numerous. Coastal squeeze is, however, the most pervasive, trapping beaches and their biota between the pressures of development from the terrestrial side and the consequences of climate change from the marine side. Beaches are also naturally malleable habitats whose interlinkages, including the exchange of organisms, with the abutting dunes and surf zones are essential to their functioning. Unfortunately, human actions intended to arrest the dynamics of beach habitats, such as seawalls and dune stabilizations, run counter to these natural dynamics and generally produce negative environmental outcomes. These present a set of formidable management challenges when the primary goal is to conserve intact ecosystems and biodiversity, calling for more systematic approaches in conservation design and implementation for beach and dune ecosystems.