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A cumulative environmental exposure score for schizophrenia (exposome score for schizophrenia [ES-SCZ]) may provide potential utility for risk stratification and outcome prediction. Here, we investigated whether ES-SCZ was associated with functioning in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, unaffected siblings, and healthy controls.
This cross-sectional sample consisted of 1,261 patients, 1,282 unaffected siblings, and 1,525 healthy controls. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale was used to assess functioning. ES-SCZ was calculated based on our previously validated method. The association between ES-SCZ and the GAF dimensions (symptom and disability) was analyzed by applying regression models in each group (patients, siblings, and controls). Additional models included polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-SCZ) as a covariate.
ES-SCZ was associated with the GAF dimensions in patients (symptom: B = −1.53, p-value = 0.001; disability: B = −1.44, p-value = 0.001), siblings (symptom: B = −3.07, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −2.52, p-value < 0.001), and healthy controls (symptom: B = −1.50, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −1.31, p-value < 0.001). The results remained the same after adjusting for PRS-SCZ. The degree of associations of ES-SCZ with both symptom and disability dimensions were higher in unaffected siblings than in patients and controls. By analyzing an independent dataset (the Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis study), we replicated the results observed in the patient group.
Our findings suggest that ES-SCZ shows promise for enhancing risk prediction and stratification in research practice. From a clinical perspective, ES-SCZ may aid in efforts of clinical characterization, operationalizing transdiagnostic clinical staging models, and personalizing clinical management.
There is evidence that environmental and genetic risk factors for schizophrenia spectrum disorders are transdiagnostic and mediated in part through a generic pathway of affective dysregulation.
We analysed to what degree the impact of schizophrenia polygenic risk (PRS-SZ) and childhood adversity (CA) on psychosis outcomes was contingent on co-presence of affective dysregulation, defined as significant depressive symptoms, in (i) NEMESIS-2 (n = 6646), a representative general population sample, interviewed four times over nine years and (ii) EUGEI (n = 4068) a sample of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, the siblings of these patients and controls.
The impact of PRS-SZ on psychosis showed significant dependence on co-presence of affective dysregulation in NEMESIS-2 [relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI): 1.01, p = 0.037] and in EUGEI (RERI = 3.39, p = 0.048). This was particularly evident for delusional ideation (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 1.74, p = 0.003; EUGEI: RERI = 4.16, p = 0.019) and not for hallucinatory experiences (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 0.65, p = 0.284; EUGEI: −0.37, p = 0.547). A similar and stronger pattern of results was evident for CA (RERI delusions and hallucinations: NEMESIS-2: 3.02, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 6.44, p < 0.001; RERI delusional ideation: NEMESIS-2: 3.79, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 5.43, p = 0.001; RERI hallucinatory experiences: NEMESIS-2: 2.46, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 0.54, p = 0.465).
The results, and internal replication, suggest that the effects of known genetic and non-genetic risk factors for psychosis are mediated in part through an affective pathway, from which early states of delusional meaning may arise.
This study attempted to replicate whether a bias in probabilistic reasoning, or ‘jumping to conclusions’(JTC) bias is associated with being a sibling of a patient with schizophrenia spectrum disorder; and if so, whether this association is contingent on subthreshold delusional ideation.
Data were derived from the EUGEI project, a 25-centre, 15-country effort to study psychosis spectrum disorder. The current analyses included 1261 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 1282 siblings of patients and 1525 healthy comparison subjects, recruited in Spain (five centres), Turkey (three centres) and Serbia (one centre). The beads task was used to assess JTC bias. Lifetime experience of delusional ideation and hallucinatory experiences was assessed using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. General cognitive abilities were taken into account in the analyses.
JTC bias was positively associated not only with patient status but also with sibling status [adjusted relative risk (aRR) ratio : 4.23 CI 95% 3.46–5.17 for siblings and aRR: 5.07 CI 95% 4.13–6.23 for patients]. The association between JTC bias and sibling status was stronger in those with higher levels of delusional ideation (aRR interaction in siblings: 3.77 CI 95% 1.67–8.51, and in patients: 2.15 CI 95% 0.94–4.92). The association between JTC bias and sibling status was not stronger in those with higher levels of hallucinatory experiences.
These findings replicate earlier findings that JTC bias is associated with familial liability for psychosis and that this is contingent on the degree of delusional ideation but not hallucinations.
Four new actinospore types belonging to the sphaeractinomyxon collective group (Cnidaria, Myxosporea) are described from the coelomic cavity of a marine Baltidrilus sp. (Oligochaeta, Naididae) inhabiting a northern Portuguese estuary. Host identification supports the usage of marine oligochaetes, namely of the family Naididae Ehrenberg, 1828, as definitive hosts for myxosporeans inhabiting estuarine/marine environments. The absence of mixed infections in the host specimens analysed is suggested to reflect the influence of host-, parasite- and environmental-related factors regulating myxosporean–annelid interactions. Molecular analyses matched the SSU rDNA sequences of three of the four new types with those of mugiliform-infecting Myxobolus spp., namely Myxobolus mugiliensis and a Myxobolus sp. from flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus, and Myxobolus labrosus from thicklip grey mullet Chelon labrosus. These results directly link, for the first time, the sphaeractinomyxon collective group to a myxospore counterpart, further confirming their previously hypothesized specific involvement in the life cycle of myxobolids that infect mullets. Acknowledging this life cycle relationship, the functionality of the sphaeractinomyxon morphotype is suggested to have been decisive for the evolutionary hyperdiversification of the genus Myxobolus in mullets. Unlike other actinospore morphotypes, sphaeractinomyxon lack valvular processes, which implies a limited capability for buoyancy. Considering the benthic-feeding nature of mullets, this feature is most likely crucial in promoting successful transmission to the vertebrate host.
Complementary feeding (CF) and overweight relationships during early childhood are inconsistent in the literature. We described the association of CF during the first year of life with risk of overweight at 24 months of age in the population-based 2004 and 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohorts (2004c and 2015c). CF introduction was evaluated at the 3 and 12 months’ follow-ups by asking mothers using a list of foods. Risk of overweight at 24 months of age was BMI-for-age z-score above +1sd from the median of the WHO 2006 growth standards. Our analyses included 3823 (2004c) and 3689 (2015c) children. Early introduction CF (before 6 months of age) prevalence in 2004c was 93·3 (95 % CI 92·5, 94·1) % and in 2015c was 87·2 (95 % CI 86·1, 88·2) %. Tea was the item introduced earlier in both 2004c (68·8 %) and 2015c (55·7 %). At 6 months of age, vegetable mash was the most introduced food in 2004c (33·5 %) and 2015c (47·9 %). Between 2004c and 2015c, the introduction of fresh milk decreased 82·1 to 60·5 % and yogurt from 94·4 to 78·1 % during the first year. Risk of overweight prevalence at 24 months was 33·0 (95 % CI 31·6, 34·5) % in 2004c and 32·0 (95 % CI 30·5, 33·5) % in 2015c. In 2015c, the adjusted odds of risk of overweight at 24 months were increased 1·66 and 1·50 times with the early introduction of fresh/powdered milk: plus water, tea or juice, and plus semi-solid/solid food groups, respectively. It is essential to reinforce the adherence to global recommendations on timely feeding introduction and encourage exclusive breast-feeding until 6 months of age to prevent child overweight.
To test the reliability and validity of the DIGS in Spanish population.
Inter-rater and test-retest reliability of the Spanish version of DIGS was tested in 95 inpatients and outpatients. The resultant diagnoses were compared with diagnoses obtained by the LEAD (Longitudinal Expert All Data) procedure as “gold standard”. The kappa statistic was used to measure concordance between blind inter-raters and between the diagnoses obtained by LEAD procedure and through the DIGS.
Overall kappa coefficient for inter-rater reliability was 0.956. The kappa value for individual diagnosis varied from major depression = 0.877 to schizophrenia = 1. Test-retest reliability was 0.926. Kappa for all individual target diagnoses ranged from 0.776 (major depression) to 1. Kappa between LEAD procedure and DIGS ranged from 0.704 (major depression) to 0.825 (bipolar I disorder).
Most of the DSM-IV major psychiatric disorders can be assessed with acceptable to excellent reliability with the Spanish version of the DIGS interview. The Spanish version of DIGS showed an acceptable to excellent concurrent validity. Giving the good reliability and validity of Spanish version of DIGS it should be considered to identify psychiatric phenotypes for genetics studies.
The prediction of seed longevity (P50) is traditionally performed by the use of the Probit model. However, due to the fact that the survival data are of binary origin (0,1), the fit of the model can be compromised by the non-normality of the residues. Consequently, this leads to prediction losses, despite the data being partially smoothed by Probit and Logit models. A possibility to reduce the effect of non-normality of the data would be to apply the principles of the central limit theorem, which states that non-normal residues tend to be normal as the n sample is increased. The Logit and Probit models differ in their normal and logistic distribution. Therefore, we developed a new estimation procedure by using a small increase of the n sample and tested it in the Probit and Logit functions to improve the prediction of P50. The results showed that the calculation of P50 by increasing the n samples from 4 to 6 replicates improved the index of correctness of the prediction. The Logit model presented better performance when compared with the Probit model, indicating that the estimation of P50 is more adequate when the adjustment of the data is performed by the Logit function.
Sodium smectite clays were enriched with ferric ions (Argel-Fe and Volclay-Fe) to convert the surface charge of the clays from negative to positive and to use the clays in the discolouration of a synthetic effluent composed of seven anionic dyes (mixed from tartrazine, Brilliant Blue FCF and amaranth). The iron content increased from 5.99% to 11.02% for Argel-Fe and from 5.39% to 10.54% for Volclay-Fe. The efficiency of the discolouration of the anion dye mixture was evaluated by measuring the absorbance of the mixture at 562 nm, where the band with the greatest intensity was found. The contact time required for the system to reach equilibrium was ~5 min for both adsorbents. The kinetic adsorption data supported a pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The experimental data support the dual-site Langmuir–Freundlich isotherm model. The maximum adsorption capacities were 88.68 mg g–1 for Argel-Fe and 392.21 mg g–1 for Volclay-Fe. The enrichment of clays with Fe(III) added functionality to the clays and generated adsorbents with rapid adsorption abilities and high discolouration capacities.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
Direct polycondensation of L-lactic acid with a comonomer allows tailoring the properties of the product from the very first step. The viscous L-lactic acid co-oligomers with star-shaped architectures obtained were modified with three different acrylate monomers. Regardless the functionalization agent, UV curing was fast and all materials were cell compatible and promoted cell adhesion. The physical properties of the three star-shaped films exhibited a consistent trend as swelling capacity, hydrolytic instability, and gel content decreased simultaneously. A higher network density increased crosslinking degree and gel content among the films with an isocyanate group. The methacrylic end group functionalized material, lowest molecular weight, consistently exhibited the higher hydrolytic instability. Comparison of physical properties of these films with the corresponding linear materials reported previously confirmed the influence of precursor molecular architecture on the final material. The methodology developed herein is prone to scale-up and lead to the industrial production of new bioadhesives.
Empirical data on the use of services due to mental health problems in older adults in Europe is lacking. The objective of this study is to identify factors associated with service utilization in the elderly.
As part of the MentDis_ICF65+ study, N = 3,142 people aged 65–84 living in the community in six European and associated countries were interviewed. Based on Andersen's behavioral model predisposing, enabling, and need factors were analyzed with logistic regression analyses.
Overall, 7% of elderly and 11% of those with a mental disorder had used a service due to mental health problems in the last 12 months. Factors significantly associated with underuse were male sex, lower education, living in the London catchment area, higher functional impairment and more comorbid mental disorders. The most frequently reported barrier to service use was personal beliefs, e.g. “I can deal with my problem on my own” (90%).
Underutilization of mental health services among older people in the European community is common and interventions are needed to achieve an adequate use of services.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
Known life cycles of myxosporean parasites have two hosts, but very few life cycles have been disclosed, especially in the marine environment. Sphaerospora dicentrarchi Sitjà-Bobadilla and Álvarez-Pellitero, 1992 is a systemic parasite from the European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax (Linnaeus, 1758), a highly valuable commercial fish. It affects its health, leading to aquaculture production losses. During 2013 and 2014, an actinospore survey was conducted in a total of 5942 annelids collected from a fish farm in Algarve and from the Aveiro Estuary, in Portugal. A new tetractinomyxon actinospore was found in a capitellid polychaete, belonging to the genera Capitella collected at the fish farm. The tetractinomyxons were pyriform measuring 11·1 ± 0·7 µm in length and 7·2 ± 0·4 µm in width, and presented three rounded polar capsules measuring 2·4 ± 0·3 µm in diameter. The molecular analysis of the 18S rRNA gene sequences from the tetractinomyxons revealed a similarity of 100% with the DNA sequences deposited in the GenBank from S. dicentrarchi myxospores collected from the European seabass and the spotted seabass in the same fish farm and 99·9% similarity with the DNA sequence obtained from the myxospores found infecting the European seabass in the Aveiro Estuary. Therefore, the new tetractinomyxons are inferred to represent the actinospore phase of the S. dicentrarchi life cycle.
Findings of brain structural changes in major depressive disorder are still inconsistent, partly because some crucial clinical variables have not been taken into account.
To investigate the effect of major depressive disorder on grey matter volumes.
Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare 66 patients with depression at different illness stages (22 each with first-episode, remitted-recurrent and treatment resistant/chronic depression) with 32 healthy controls. Brain volumes were correlated with clinical variables.
Voxel-based morphometry showed a significant group effect in right superior frontal gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus and left cingulate gyrus (P<0.05, family wise error-corrected). Patients whose condition was treatment resistant/chronic exhibited the smallest volumes in frontotemporal areas. Longer illness duration was negatively correlated with decreases in right medial frontal cortex and left insula.
Frontotemporolimbic areas are smaller in the patients with severe depression and are associated with duration of illness, but not with medication patterns, suggesting negative effects of long-lasting major depressive disorder on grey matter.
Behavioural activation holds promise to reduce the global burden of
depression as a treatment approach that is effective, easy to teach,
scalable and acceptable to providers and patients across settings and
cultures. This editorial reviews the history of behavioural activation, what
it is, current evidence for its use and future directions.