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As current vehicle development processes in the automotive industry are highly distributed, the interaction between design teams is limited. In this paper we use a simulation in order to investigate how the rate of design team interaction affects the solution quality and development cost. Results show, that in case of no limiting constraints, a low rate of interaction yields the best results regarding solution quality and development cost. If design activities are affected by constraints, however, the rate of interaction is subject to a conflict between solution quality and development cost.
Maximizing the number of shared components does not always produce cost-optimal product families. Shared components can yield economies of scale due to reuse of components, but also increases material cost due to over dimensioning. In this paper, we present an approach to identify a cost-optimal design for product families. It consists of two steps: (1) identifying a scheme to share components in the product family and (2) finding the cost optimal design for the product family.
A Digital Twin as a virtual representation of a physical system is becoming a key technology. While potential benefits are evident, there is no approach in literature or practice comprehensively supporting its introduction. In an industrial case study, a generic procedure model for the conception and implementation of a Digital Twin was developed. The relations between use cases, usage data, and virtual models resulted in a target concept as well as requirements for the implementation. Thereby, companies can access the potentials of a Digital Twin taking into account their specific situation.
Over the last two decades, a concept called Digital Twin has evolved rapidly. Yet, there is no unified definition of the term. Based on a literature study and an industrial case study, an overarching definition of Digital twins is presented. Three characteristics were identified – representation of a physical system, bidirectional data exchange, and the connection along the entire lifecycle. Further, three sub-concepts are presented, namely: Engineering Twin, Production Twin, and Operation Twin. The presented paper thus formulates a consistent and detailed definition of Digital Twins.
Despite significant advances, early detection and intervention regarding psychosis still face major obstacles. The Basel FePsy-study tries to contribute to optimising the methods for assessment of risk for psychosis, by describing individuals in an At Risk Mental State (ARMS) with and without later transition to psychosis as compared to healthy (HC) and depressive controls (DC) and by using a multidomain approach including not only psychopathology and clinical risk factors, but also neuropsychology, neurophysiology and neuroimaging.
60 ARMS subjects, 51 HC and 34 DC were investigated. 53 ARMS individuals could be followed up for up to 7 years.
21 ARMS individuals made the transition to psychosis (transition rate 34%). As compared to HC, they showed significant deficits in executive functions and working memory. Predictors of transition were certain attenuated psychotic and negative symptoms and certain cognitive deficits. In an integrated model for prediction of transition using these variables, the overall predictive accuracy was 80.9%, with a sensitivity of 83.3% and a specificity of 79.3%. Specificity of prediction could be further improved by EEG analysis. Furthermore, MRI showed specific differences between ARMS with and without later transition to psychosis.
Individuals at risk for psychosis do not only show psychopathological prodromes and social decline, but also neuropsychological impairments and EEG- as well as MRI-abnormalities. Hopefully in the near future, a clinical staging of individuals according to their risk for psychosis will be possible with corresponding stepwise early interventions.
Albumin is a protein which serves as a transporter for a variety of metabolites and as a storage for a lot of substances. Although albumin cannot pass the blood-brain-barrier and thus influence the CNS directly, a negative relation between cognitive impairment and serum albumin level has been observed in studies of normal and pathological aging.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between albumin and social cognition in ADHD.
20 adult patients with ADHD and 20 healthy controls participated in a double-blind within subjects crossover study. Participants completed the Moral-Judgment-Test, Tuebingen Affect Battery, the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) and Cambridge Behaviour Scale (EQ). In addition, ADHD symptoms were assessed by the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS-K) and ADHD Self Rating Scale. Serum albumin levels were determined after blood withdrawal.
In the patient group serum albumin levels were negatively associated with ADHD pathology measured by WURS-K. In addition, a low level of albumin was related with poorer performance in theory of mind, moral judgment competence and affective prosody tasks.
The results suggest that albumin is related to social cognition in younger patients with ADHD. This is, to the knowledge of the authors, the first investigation, in which the association between albumin and cognition has been investigated in ADHD. Thus the findings of the present study need replication and the neural mechanisms have to be explored in future studies. Further studies are needed to exclude a possible medication effect.
This study assessed the underexplored factors associated with significant improvement in mothers’ mental health during postpartum inpatient psychiatric care.
This study analyzed clinical improvement in a prospective cohort of 869 women jointly admitted with their infant to 13 psychiatric Mother-Baby Units (MBUs) in France between 2001 and 2007. Predictive variables tested were: maternal mental illness (ICD-10), sociodemographic characteristics, mental illness and childhood abuse history, acute or chronic disorder, pregnancy and birth data, characteristics and mental health of the mother's partner, and MBU characteristics.
Two thirds of the women improved significantly by discharge. Admission for 25% was for a first acute episode very early after childbirth. Independent factors associated with marked improvement at discharge were bipolar or depressive disorder, a first acute episode or relapse of such an episode. Schizophrenia, a personality disorder, and poor social integration (as measured by occupational status) were all related to poor clinical outcomes.
Most women improved significantly while under care in MBUs. Our results emphasize the importance of the type of disease but also its chronicity and the social integration when providing postpartum psychiatric care.
Attention deficit disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder, which is characterized by deficits of executive functions (EF) and impulsivity. Whereas a variety of studies on the involvement of the dopaminergic system in ADHD exists, the impact of the serotonergic system to EF in ADHD in adults is underinvestigated.
To ascertain the effects of rapid tryptophan depletion (RTD) and the resultant reduction of the central nervous levels of serotonin on the EF of male adult patients with ADHD.
20 ADHD patients and 20 healthy controls completed the RTD test on one day and a placebo on another day in a double-blind within subject crossover design.- In addition, the subtest alertness of the TAP and a modified Version of the Continuous performance test (AX-CPT) with three stimulus conditions (AX, AY, BX) were administered.
Statistical analysis revealed significant shorter reaction times, more errors and more omission errors in the ADHD group in the AX-CPT. The omissions error rate increased in both groups in the RTD condition but not in the placebo condition. Statistical analyses did not yield any significant differences between groups in the subtest alertness and no significant interaction of group and effect of the RTD condition could be observed.
In addition to higher impulsivity of patients with ADHD as reflected by shorter reaction times and higher error rates, the results of the present study imply an involvement of the serotonergic system as reflected by RTD in sustained and selective attention.
Numerous results from investigations including children with ADHD show associations between a diminished serotonin synthesis and memory impairments as well as higher aggression scores. The aim of the present study was the investigation of the association between a diminished serotonin synthesis, logical memory and impulsive aggression in male adult patients with ADHD.
Twenty male adult patients with ADHD and twenty healthy controls were recruited for this double-blind within subjects crossover study. Subjects completed the Rapid Tryptophan Depletion (RTD) Test or a placebo condition (balanced amino acid load) on either one of two examination days. Clinical variables and general intellectual functioning were assessed. The neuropsychological test battery included the subtest logical memory from the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-R), self-assessment of aggression as well as the Point Subtraction Aggression Game (PSAG).
Statistical analysis revealed significant memory impairments of ADHD patients, which were associated with severity of symptoms in early childhood as well as subjective aggression scores. Effects of the tryptophan depletion were not found, neither for the logical memory subtest nor performance in the PSAG.
In contrast to previous studies, these findings suggest that the serotonergic system as reflected by the RTD Test has no effect on memory performance or impulsive aggression. However, these results may be due to possible interactions of other catecholamine systems with the serotonergic system that were not controlled in this study. Therefore an additional study is needed to further explore the catecholamine systems and their effects on memory and impulsive aggression.
Previous attempts to identify predictors for the treatment response in alcoholism have mainly concentrated on social and personality variables. Project MATCH was such an attempt which finally failed. The same holds true for similar attempts in pharmacotherapy. Therefore, we set out for a large oligocentre trial “Project PREDICT”. 432 patients are randomly assigned to treatment with acamprosate, naltrexone or placebo. At baseline patients are assessed with a battery of interviews, questionnaires and biological examinations (e.g. genetics). Specific emphasis is put on patients' individual pathways into relapse. It is determined whether relapse drinking respresented a positive reinforcer (“reward craving”) or a negative reinforcer (“relief craving”). This is assessed with questionnaires, the startle reflex and fMRI. We hypothesize, that patients who are a priori identified as “positive reinforcers” better respond to naltrexone. Negative reinforcers should benefit most from acamprosate.
All patients have been included by now. Preliminary analyses suggest that it seems indeed possible to distinguish between the two craving types. The equivalent of positive reinforcement in the startle reflex correlates with fMRI responses to cues with a positive valence of about 0.7. These methods might offer a platform for a targeted pharmacotherapy in alcoholism.
Affective disorders are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which, at least partly, appears to be independent of psychopharmacological treatments used to manage these disorders. Reduced heart rate variability (SDNN) and a low Omega-3 Index have been shown to be associated with increased risk for death after myocardial infarction. Therefore, we set out to investigate heart rate variability and the Omega-3 Index in euthymic patients with bipolar disorders.
We assessed heart rate variability (SDNN) and the Omega-3 Index in 90 euthymic, mostly medicated patients with bipolar disorders (Bipolar-I, Bipolar-II) on stable psychotropic medication, free of significant medical comorbidity and in 62 healthy controls. Heart rate variability was measured from electrocardiography under a standardized 30 minutes resting state condition. Age, sex, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption and caffeine consumption as potential confounders were also assessed.
Heart rate variability (SDNN) was significantly lower in patients with bipolar disorders compared to healthy controls (35.4 msec versus 60.7 msec; P < 0.0001), whereas the Omega-3 Index did not differ significantly between the groups (5.2% versus 5.3%). In a linear regression model, only group membership (patients with bipolar disorders versus healthy controls) and age significantly predicted heart rate variability (SDNN).
Heart rate variability (SDNN) may provide a useful tool to study the impact of interventions aimed at reducing the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in euthymic patients with bipolar disorders. The difference in SDNN between cases and controls cannot be explained by a difference in the Omega-3 Index.
Since 2015, the number of hepatitis B virus (HBV) cases increased substantially in Germany. In 2015, a more sensitive HBV case definition was introduced. This coincided with an asylum seeker influx with differing screening strategies. Information on the asylum seeker status has been collected since 09/2015. We investigated this increase to interpret HBV notification data in Germany. We compared HBV surveillance data from 2010–2013 (baseline) with 2015–2016, excluding 2014 due to beginning of asylum seeker influx. We estimated the excess above the mean case number (baseline) using Poisson regression and compared asylum seeker cases and the excess of cases with the unknown asylum seeker status. HBV cases increased from 1855 (mean baseline) to 3873 (2015) and 3466 (2016) with 1903 asylum seeker cases and 1099 excess-cases with the unknown asylum seeker status in 2015–2016. Cases only fulfilling the changed case definition increased from 60% (1119) in baseline to 81% (P < 0.01) in 2015–2016; 69% of asylum seeker cases and 61% of excess-cases were males <40 years compared to 27% (baseline) (P < 0.01). Changed case definition increased the number of cases in official statistics substantially. Demographic and geographical distributions suggest that screening of asylum seekers increased the case numbers even to a higher extent than surveillance data indicates.
Zn status may affect fatty acid (FA) metabolism because it acts as a cofactor in FA desaturase and elongase enzymes. Zn supplementation affects the FA desaturases of Zn-deficient rats, but whether this occurs in humans is unclear. We evaluated the associations between baseline plasma Zn (PZn) concentration and plasma total phospholipid FA composition, as well as the effect of daily consumption of Zn-fortified water on FA status in Beninese children. A 20-week, double-blind randomised controlled trial was conducted in 186 school age children. The children were randomly assigned to receive a daily portion of Zn-fortified, filtered water delivering on average 2·8 mg Zn/d or non-fortified filtered water. Plasma total phospholipid FA composition was determined using capillary GLC and PZn concentrations by atomic absorption spectrometry. At baseline, PZn correlated positively with dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA, r 0·182; P=0·024) and the DGLA:linoleic acid (LA) ratio (r 0·293; P<0·000), and negatively with LA (r −0·211; P=0·009) and the arachidonic acid:DGLA ratio (r −0·170; P=0·036). With the intervention, Zn fortification increased nervonic acid (B: 0·109; 95 % CI 0·001, 0·218) in all children (n 186) and more so in children who were Zn-deficient (n 60) at baseline (B: 0·230; 95 % CI 0·023, 0·488). In conclusion, in this study, Zn-fortified filtered water prevented the reduction of nervonic acid composition in the plasma total phospholipids of children, and this effect was stronger in Zn-deficient children. Thus, Zn status may play an important role in FA desaturation and/or elongation.
Two austenitic stainless steels of strongly different stacking fault energies (SFEs) and correspondingly different stabilities of the austenite phase were studied with respect to their very high cycle fatigue (VHCF) behavior. The metastable austenitic stainless steel 304L shows a very pronounced transient behavior and a fatigue limit in the VHCF regime. The higher SFE of the 316L steel results in a less pronounced transient cyclic deformation behavior. The plastic shear is more localized, and the formation of deep intrusions leads to microcrack initiation. However, the propagation of such microcracks is impeded by α′-martensite formed very localized within the shear bands. A comprehensive description of the microstructural changes governing the cyclic deformation including the transient resonant behavior was developed and transferred into a mechanism-based model. Simulation results were correlated with the observed deformation evolution and the change of the resonant behavior of specimens during VHCF loading providing a profound understanding of the VHCF-specific deformation behavior.
Fe fortification of centrally manufactured and frequently consumed condiments such as bouillon cubes could help prevent Fe deficiency in developing countries. However, Fe compounds that do not cause sensory changes in the fortified product, such as ferric pyrophosphate (FePP), exhibit low absorption in humans. Tetra sodium pyrophosphate (NaPP) can form soluble complexes with Fe, which could increase Fe bioavailability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate Fe bioavailability from bouillon cubes fortified with either FePP only, FePP+NaPP, ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) only, or FeSO4+NaPP. We first conducted in vitro studies using a protocol of simulated digestion to assess the dialysable and ionic Fe, and the cellular ferritin response in a Caco-2 cell model. Second, Fe absorption from bouillon prepared from intrinsically labelled cubes (2·5 mg stable Fe isotopes/cube) was assessed in twenty-four Fe-deficient women, by measuring Fe incorporation into erythrocytes 2 weeks after consumption. Fe bioavailability in humans increased by 46 % (P<0·005) when comparing bouillons fortified with FePP only (4·4 %) and bouillons fortified with FePP+NaPP (6·4 %). Fe absorption from bouillons fortified with FeSO4 only and with FeSO4+NaPP was 33·8 and 27·8 %, respectively (NS). The outcome from the human study is in agreement with the dialysable Fe from the in vitro experiments. Our findings suggest that the addition of NaPP could be a promising strategy to increase Fe absorption from FePP-fortified bouillon cubes, and if confirmed by further research, for other fortified foods with complex food matrices as well.
Provision and need for mental health services among military personnel are a major concern across nations. Two recent comparisons suggest higher rates of mental disorders in US and UK military personnel compared with civilians. However, these findings may not apply to other nations. Previous studies have focused on the overall effects of military service rather than the separate effects of military service and deployment. This study compared German military personnel with and without a history of deployment to sociodemographically matched civilians regarding prevalence and severity of 12-month DSM-IV mental disorders.
1439 deployed soldiers (DS), 779 never deployed soldiers (NS) and 1023 civilians were assessed with an adapted version of the Munich Composite International Diagnostic interview across the same timeframe. Data were weighted using propensity score methodology to assure comparability of the three samples.
Compared with adjusted civilians, the prevalence of any 12-month disorder was lower in NS (OR: 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5–0.99) and did not differ in DS. Significant differences between military personnel and civilians regarding prevalence and severity of individual diagnoses were only apparent for alcohol (DS: OR: 0.3, 95% CI: 0.1–0.6; NS: OR: 0.2, 95% CI: 0.1–0.6) and nicotine dependence (DS: OR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3–0.6; NS: OR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3–0.7) with lower values in both military samples. Elevated rates of panic/agoraphobia (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4–5.3) and posttraumatic stress disorder (OR: 3.2, 95% CI: 1.3–8.0) were observed in DS with high combat exposure compared with civilians.
Rates and severity of mental disorders in the German military are comparable with civilians for internalising and lower for substance use disorders. A higher risk of some disorders is reduced to DS with high combat exposure. This finding has implications for mental health service provision and the need for targeted interventions. Differences to previous US and UK studies that suggest an overall higher prevalence in military personnel might result from divergent study methods, deployment characteristics, military structures and occupational factors. Some of these factors might yield valuable targets to improve military mental health.