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Two randomized, controlled trials of L-methylfolate augmentation of SSRIs for major depressive disorder (MDD) were conducted using a novel study design (sequential parallel comparison design- SPCD).
To evaluate the efficacy of L-methylfolate augmentation using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
In study one (TRD-1), 148 outpatients with SSRI-resistant MDD were enrolled in a 60-day, SPCD study, divided into two 30-day periods (phases 1 and 2). Patients were randomized 2:3:3 to receive L-methylfolate (7.5mg/d in phase 1, 15mg/d in phase 2), placebo in phase 1 followed by L-methylfolate 7.5mg/d in phase 2, or placebo for both phases. Study two (TRD-2) involved 75 patients and was identical in design to TRD-1 except for the dose of L-methylfolate (15mg only).
In the TRD-1 Study, L-methylfolate 7.5 mg/d was not found to be more effective than placebo. In phase 1 of the TRD-2 Study, 37% of patients on L-methylfolate 15mg/d responded and 18% of placebo patients responded, while in phase 2 among placebo non-responders, the response rates were 28% on L-methylfolate 15mg/d and 9.5% on placebo. When phases 1 and 2 were pooled according to the SPCD model, the difference in response rates was statistically significant in favor of L-methylfolate (p = 0.0399). The rates of spontaneously reported AEs and rates of study discontinuation appear r comparable between L-methylfolate and placebo in both studies. Rates of study discontinuation were also comparable
These studies suggest that L-methylfolate 15 mg/d may be a safe and effective augmentation strategy for inadequate response to SSRIs.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
In this study, we examine how the Guri catfish Genidens genidens uses estuarine and freshwater habitats along the largest South American coastal lagoon, through the chemical analysis of otoliths and microscopic analysis of gonads. Chemical composition (Sr:Ca) of otolith edges allowed distinguishing between individuals who used the estuarine or freshwater compartments of the lagoon. The analysis of core-to-edge chemical profiles of each individual otolith revealed that the population may present two different patterns of habitat use along the lagoon. The ‘type 1’ pattern (89.5%) includes fish who appear to have been born in estuarine waters, whereas ‘type 2’ (9.5%) includes those fish born in fresh water. Nevertheless, juveniles from both patterns appear to migrate to estuarine waters. The gonad analysis shows G. genidens may reproduce in fresh water, as nearly 57% of all sampled fish were found to spawn in the freshwater portion of the lagoon. Also, the otolith core of many adult fish presented freshwater signatures, thus suggesting consistent fresh water use during early life. Our findings based on otolith and gonadal analyses challenge the previous classification of G. genidens as an estuarine resident. Rather, our results allow the suggestion that this species should be placed in the ‘estuarine and fresh water’ guild, which includes both fish completing their life cycles within the estuary and fish who consistently use freshwater habitats.
Introduction: Cardioactive steroid poisoning occurs worldwide with the use of pharmaceutical digoxin and botanical cardiac glycosides. The wholesale price of the antidote, digoxin immune fab, has increased over 300% from 2010 to 2015. Our objective was to identify gaps in the existing literature with respect to the use of digoxin immune fab in cardioactive steroid toxicity in acute care settings. Methods: We used scoping study methodology, as described by Arksey and O'Malley, to assess the range and scope of empiric research and will report: 1) sources of cardioactive steroid toxicity in acute settings; 2) doses of digoxin immune fab used in treatment; and, 3) intervention outcomes of acute cardioactive steroid toxicity following the administration of digoxin immune fab as first or second-line therapy. We collaborated with a library scientist to devise search strategies for PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, CENTRAL and Toxnet. We sought unpublished literature through the Canadian Electronic Library, Proquest, and Scopus and searched reference lists of included studies. We hand searched relevant conference proceedings and applicable guidelines. Two reviewers independently reviewed titles and abstracts using predetermined criteria. Using a structured data abstraction form, two reviewers independently extracted data. All discrepancies were resolved through consensus. Results: Our search strategy yielded 3458 results. After screening titles and abstracts 384 underwent full text screening. We included 147 studies and are currently extracting data from 12 French studies and 135 English studies. To date we have extracted data from 90 case reports and case series. Conclusion: Given concerns over rising costs, our findings will shed light on the extent of the evidence for use of digoxin immune fab in acute care settings.
The majority of paediatric Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) are community-associated (CA), but few data exist regarding associated risk factors. We conducted a case–control study to evaluate CA-CDI risk factors in young children. Participants were enrolled from eight US sites during October 2014–February 2016. Case-patients were defined as children aged 1–5 years with a positive C. difficile specimen collected as an outpatient or ⩽3 days of hospital admission, who had no healthcare facility admission in the prior 12 weeks and no history of CDI. Each case-patient was matched to one control. Caregivers were interviewed regarding relevant exposures. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was performed. Of 68 pairs, 44.1% were female. More case-patients than controls had a comorbidity (33.3% vs. 12.1%; P = 0.01); recent higher-risk outpatient exposures (34.9% vs. 17.7%; P = 0.03); recent antibiotic use (54.4% vs. 19.4%; P < 0.0001); or recent exposure to a household member with diarrhoea (41.3% vs. 21.5%; P = 0.04). In multivariable analysis, antibiotic exposure in the preceding 12 weeks was significantly associated with CA-CDI (adjusted matched odds ratio, 6.25; 95% CI 2.18–17.96). Improved antibiotic prescribing might reduce CA-CDI in this population. Further evaluation of the potential role of outpatient healthcare and household exposures in C. difficile transmission is needed.
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
To identify potential participants for clinical trials, electronic health records (EHRs) are searched at potential sites. As an alternative, we investigated using medical devices used for real-time diagnostic decisions for trial enrollment.
To project cohorts for a trial in acute coronary syndromes (ACS), we used electrocardiograph-based algorithms that identify ACS or ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) that prompt clinicians to offer patients trial enrollment. We searched six hospitals’ electrocardiograph systems for electrocardiograms (ECGs) meeting the planned trial’s enrollment criterion: ECGs with STEMI or > 75% probability of ACS by the acute cardiac ischemia time-insensitive predictive instrument (ACI-TIPI). We revised the ACI-TIPI regression to require only data directly from the electrocardiograph, the e-ACI-TIPI using the same data used for the original ACI-TIPI (development set n = 3,453; test set n = 2,315). We also tested both on data from emergency department electrocardiographs from across the US (n = 8,556). We then used ACI-TIPI and e-ACI-TIPI to identify potential cohorts for the ACS trial and compared performance to cohorts from EHR data at the hospitals.
Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve areas on the test set were excellent, 0.89 for ACI-TIPI and 0.84 for the e-ACI-TIPI, as was calibration. On the national electrocardiographic database, ROC areas were 0.78 and 0.69, respectively, and with very good calibration. When tested for detection of patients with > 75% ACS probability, both electrocardiograph-based methods identified eligible patients well, and better than did EHRs.
Using data from medical devices such as electrocardiographs may provide accurate projections of available cohorts for clinical trials.
To evaluate whole-genome sequencing (WGS) as a molecular typing tool for MRSA outbreak investigation.
Investigation of MRSA colonization/infection in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over 3 years (2014–2017).
Single-center level IV NICU.
NICU infants and healthcare workers (HCWs).
Infants were screened for MRSA using a swab of the anterior nares, axilla, and groin, initially by targeted (ring) screening, and later by universal weekly screening. Clinical cultures were collected as indicated. HCWs were screened once using swabs of the anterior nares. MRSA isolates were typed using WGS with core-genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Colonized and infected infants and HCWs were decolonized. Control strategies included reinforcement of hand hygiene, use of contact precautions, cohorting, enhanced environmental cleaning, and remodeling of the NICU.
We identified 64 MRSA-positive infants: 53 (83%) by screening and 11 (17%) by clinical cultures. Of 85 screened HCWs, 5 (6%) were MRSA positive. WGS of MRSA isolates identified 2 large clusters (WGS groups 1 and 2), 1 small cluster (WGS group 3), and 8 unrelated isolates. PFGE failed to distinguish WGS group 2 and 3 isolates. WGS groups 1 and 2 were codistributed over time. HCW MRSA isolates were primarily in WGS group 1. New infant MRSA cases declined after implementation of the control interventions.
We identified 2 contemporaneous MRSA outbreaks alongside sporadic cases in a NICU. WGS was used to determine strain relatedness at a higher resolution than PFGE and was useful in guiding efforts to control MRSA transmission.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Evolutionary economics sees the economy as always in motion with change being driven largely by continuing innovation. This approach to economics, heavily influenced by the work of Joseph Schumpeter, saw a revival as an alternative way of thinking about economic advancement as a result of Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter's seminal book, An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, first published in 1982. In this long-awaited follow-up, Nelson is joined by leading figures in the field of evolutionary economics, reviewing in detail how this perspective has been manifest in various areas of economic inquiry where evolutionary economists have been active. Providing the perfect overview for interested economists and social scientists, readers will learn how in each of the diverse fields featured, evolutionary economics has enabled an improved understanding of how and why economic progress occurs.
J. E. Colwell, University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida, USA,
J. Blum, Technische Universität Braunschweig Braunschweig, GERMANY,
R. N. Clark, Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Arizona, USA,
S. Kempf, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado, USA,
R. M. Nelson, Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Arizona, USA
The surface area of Saturn's rings is greater than that of any of the planets in the solar system, yet, aside from dust, we have never observed or sampled an individual ring particle. Rings are unique in the solar system in that they are a complex dynamical system whose individual constituents interact not only with the light that we use to sense them remotely, but also with each other through gravitational and contact forces. These dynamical interactions play as large a role in determining the appearance of the ring system as do the optical properties of the individual ring particles. In this chapter we review the experimental work that has been done to help us understand both aspects of planetary rings: their collective dynamical behavior and their optical properties.
We have a wealth of data on the behavior of ensembles of particles, both dynamically and their optical properties. Laboratory measurements of the behavior of various likely ring particle analogs are a critical link in connecting these bulk observations with the nature of individual ring particles, and understanding the properties of individual ring particles should provide clues to the outstanding unanswered questions about the age and origin of rings.
Images of Saturn's rings and optical depth profiles from occultations show features at a variety of spatial scales, from the resolution limit of tens of meters for occultations up to thousands of kilometers, and including most scales in between (Colwell et al., 2009; Chapter 3). A frustratingly small fraction of these structures is well understood. Many that remain puzzling, such as the large optical depth fluctuations in Saturn's central B ring, the complex structure in the B ring and the inner A ring, the long-wavelength low-amplitude undulations in optical depth in the C ring, and the plateaus in the C ring, are likely linked to either the collective behavior of the ring particles governed in part by their collisional properties (see e.g. Schmidt et al., 2009, for a review) or by ballistic transport of material due to extrinsic micrometeoroid bombardment (Chapter 9). The mechanical properties of individual ring particles are critical in both types of process.
Simulation models are used widely in pharmacology, epidemiology and health economics (HEs). However, there have been no attempts to incorporate models from these disciplines into a single integrated model. Accordingly, we explored this linkage to evaluate the epidemiological and economic impact of oseltamivir dose optimisation in supporting pandemic influenza planning in the USA. An HE decision analytic model was linked to a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) – dynamic transmission model simulating the impact of pandemic influenza with low virulence and low transmissibility and, high virulence and high transmissibility. The cost-utility analysis was from the payer and societal perspectives, comparing oseltamivir 75 and 150 mg twice daily (BID) to no treatment over a 1-year time horizon. Model parameters were derived from published studies. Outcomes were measured as cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Sensitivity analyses were performed to examine the integrated model's robustness. Under both pandemic scenarios, compared to no treatment, the use of oseltamivir 75 or 150 mg BID led to a significant reduction of influenza episodes and influenza-related deaths, translating to substantial savings of QALYs. Overall drug costs were offset by the reduction of both direct and indirect costs, making these two interventions cost-saving from both perspectives. The results were sensitive to the proportion of inpatient presentation at the emergency visit and patients’ quality of life. Integrating PK/PD–EPI/HE models is achievable. Whilst further refinement of this novel linkage model to more closely mimic the reality is needed, the current study has generated useful insights to support influenza pandemic planning.
An adolescent male with a recent history of streptococcal pharyngitis presented with severe substernal chest pain, troponin leak, and ST-segment elevation, which are suggestive of acute inferolateral myocardial infarction. The coronary angiogram was normal. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with non-rheumatic streptococcal myocarditis. He was treated with amoxicillin and had excellent recovery. Non-rheumatic streptococcal myocarditis is an important mimic of acute myocardial infarction in young adults.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Not only is depression associated with increased inflammation but inflammation is a risk factor for the genesis of depression. Many of the environmental risk factors for depression are transduced through inflammatory signaling. Anti-inflammatory agents show promise for the management of depression in preclinical, epidemiological, and early clinical studies. This opens the door to the potential for anti-inflammatory agents to treat and prevent depression. There are no evidence-based pharmacotherapies for depression prevention.
ASPREE-D, aspirin in the prevention of depression in the elderly, is a sub study of ASPREE, which explores the potential of aspirin to prevent a range of inflammation related disorders in the elderly. With a sample size of 19,114, and a duration of 5 years, this placebo controlled study will be one of the largest randomized controlled trials in psychiatry and will provide definitive evidence on the ability of aspirin to prevent depression.
This paper presents the rationale for the study and presents a summary of the study design.
ASPREE-D may not only define novel therapy but will provide mechanistic proof of concept of the role of inflammation in depression.