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An inflammation-induced imbalance in the kynurenine pathway (KP) has been reported in major depressive disorder but the utility of these metabolites as predictive or therapeutic biomarkers of behavioral activation (BA) therapy is unknown.
Serum samples were provided by 56 depressed individuals before BA therapy and 29 of these individuals also provided samples after 10 weeks of therapy to measure cytokines and KP metabolites. The PROMIS Depression Scale (PROMIS-D) and the Sheehan Disability Scale were administered weekly and the Beck depression inventory was administered pre- and post-therapy. Data were analyzed with linear mixed-effect, general linear, and logistic regression models. The primary outcome for the biomarker analyses was the ratio of kynurenic acid to quinolinic acid (KynA/QA).
BA decreased depression and disability scores (p's < 0.001, Cohen's d's > 0.5). KynA/QA significantly increased at post-therapy relative to baseline (p < 0.001, d = 2.2), an effect driven by a decrease in QA post-therapy (p < 0.001, uncorrected, d = 3.39). A trend towards a decrease in the ratio of kynurenine to tryptophan (KYN/TRP) was also observed (p = 0.054, uncorrected, d = 0.78). The change in KynA/QA was nominally associated with the magnitude of change in PROMIS-D scores (p = 0.074, Cohen's f2 = 0.054). Baseline KynA/QA did not predict response to BA therapy.
The current findings together with previous research show that electronconvulsive therapy, escitalopram, and ketamine decrease concentrations of the neurotoxin, QA, raise the possibility that a common therapeutic mechanism underlies diverse forms of anti-depressant treatment but future controlled studies are needed to test this hypothesis.
Development of treatments for dementia is beset by special problems in defining the diagnosis, establishing efficacy criteria, and specifying the necessary duration of study. There is need for agreement among clinicians and scientists on diagnostic subgroups of dementia. Similarly, there is a need for harmonization of the regulatory guidelines in Europe, Japan, and the United States regarding the decision set of variables on which to base efficacy claims. The duration of trials must be based upon the intended claim: transient symptomatic benefit, maintained symptomatic benefit, or a therapeutic effect on disease progression. Claims other than transient benefit require long-term trials, suggested to be of at least six months in duration. Problems with long-term studies include slow patient accrual, high dropout rates, changing milieu, low return on investment, and lack of unanimity regarding regulatory requirements. Regulatory authorities must come to some accord, consonant with current clinical/scientific wisdom and consensus, regarding diagnosis, efficacy criteria, and feasible study duration, in order to attract continued sponsor investment in the development of antidementia treatments.
Evidence from observational studies indicates that seaweed consumption may reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and obesity. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and animal studies suggest seaweed have antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may in part be attributed to the high content of soluble dietary fibre in seaweeds. The viscosity of seaweed fibres is suggested to mediate antihyperlipdiemic effects via the alteration of lipid/bile acid absorption kinetics to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). Thus, there is a need to evaluate the efficacy of seaweed derived dietary fibre in the management of dyslipidemia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of a fibre rich extract from Palmaria palmata on the lipid profile as well as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy adults. A total of 60 healthy participants (30 male and 30 female) aged 20 to 58 years, were assigned to consume the Palmaria palmata fibre extract (5g/day), Synergy-1 and the placebo (maltodextrin) for a duration of 4 weeks with a minimum 4 week washout between each treatment in a double blind, randomised crossover study conducted over 5 months. Fasting concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) were analysed and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and LDL: HDL ratio was calculated. C-reactive protein (CRP) and Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) were analysed as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, respectively. Supplementation for 4 weeks with Palmaria palmata resulted in favourable changes to lipid profiles with a reduced LDL:HDL ratio; however intention-to-treat univariate ANCOVA identified no significant difference between the treatment groups over time on any of the lipid profile markers. A non-significant increase in CRP and triglyceride concentration along with lower FRAP was also observed with Palmaria palmata supplementation. Evidence from this study suggests that Palmaria palmata may have effects on lipid metabolism and appears to mobilise triglycerides. More research is needed in individuals with dyslipidaemia to fully elucidate these effects.
Sleep disturbance is a symptom of and a well-known risk factor for depression. Further, atypical functioning of the HPA axis has been linked to the pathogenesis of depression. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of adolescent HPA axis functioning in the link between adolescent sleep problems and later depressive symptoms. Methods: A sample of 157 17–18 year old adolescents (61.8% female) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI) and provided salivary cortisol samples throughout the day for three consecutive days. Two years later, adolescents reported their depressive symptoms via the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: Individuals (age 17–18) with greater sleep disturbance reported greater depressive symptoms two years later (age 19–20). This association occurred through the indirect effect of sleep disturbance on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) (indirect effect = 0.14, 95%CI [.02 -.39]). Conclusions: One pathway through which sleep problems may lead to depressive symptoms is by up-regulating components of the body’s physiological stress response system that can be measured through the cortisol awakening response. Behavioral interventions that target sleep disturbance in adolescents may mitigate this neurobiological pathway to depression during this high-risk developmental phase.
To examine the relationship between knowledge and beverage consumption habits among children.
Cross-sectional analysis. Linear regression was used to identify sociodemographic, dietary and behavioural determinants of beverage consumption and knowledge, and to describe the relationships between children’s knowledge and water and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption.
Seventeen elementary schools in London, Ontario, Canada.
A total of 1049 children aged 8–14 years.
Knowledge scores were low overall. Children with higher knowledge scores consumed significantly fewer SSB (β = −0·33; 95 % CI −0·49, −0·18; P < 0·0001) and significantly more water (β = 0·34; 95 % CI 0·16, 0·52; P = 0·0002). More frequent refillable water bottle use, lower junk food consumption, lower fruit and vegetable consumption, female sex, higher parental education, two-parent households and not participating in a milk programme were associated with a higher water consumption. Male sex, higher junk food consumption, single-parent households, lower parental education, participating in a milk programme, less frequent refillable water bottle use and permission to leave school grounds at lunchtime were associated with a higher SSB consumption. Water was the most frequently consumed beverage; however, 79 % of respondents reported consuming an SSB at least once daily and 50 % reported consuming an SSB three or more times daily.
Elementary-school children have relatively low nutrition and water knowledge and consume high proportions of SSB. Higher knowledge is associated with increased water consumption and reduced SSB consumption. Interventions to increase knowledge may be effective at improving children’s beverage consumption habits.
Implementation of a novel experimental approach using a bright source of narrowband x-ray emission has enabled the production of a photoionized argon plasma of relevance to astrophysical modelling codes such as Cloudy. We present results showing that the photoionization parameter ζ = 4πF/ne generated using the VULCAN laser was ≈ 50 erg cm s−1, higher than those obtained previously with more powerful facilities. Comparison of our argon emission-line spectra in the 4.15 - 4.25 Å range at varying initial gas pressures with predictions from the Cloudy code and a simple time-dependent code are also presented. Finally we briefly discuss how this proof-of-principle experiment may be scaled to larger facilities such as ORION to produce the closest laboratory analogue to a photoionized plasma.
Objectives: People living with HIV (PLWH) are more likely to report sleep difficulties and cognitive deficits. While cognitive impairment associated with sleep problems have been found in healthy and medical populations, less is known about the effects of poor sleep health (SH) on cognition among PLWH. This study examined differences in cognitive performance among participants classified based upon their HIV status and reported SH. Methods: One hundred sixteen (N=116) adults recruited from the Greater Los Angeles community were administered a comprehensive cognitive test battery and completed a questionnaire about SH. Participants were classified into the following HIV/SH groups: [HIV+/good sleep health (SH+; n=34); HIV−/SH+ (n=32); HIV−/poor sleep health (SH−; n=18) and HIV+/SH− (n=32)]. Results: For both HIV+ and HIV− individuals, poor SH was associated with lower cognitive performance, with the domains of learning and memory driving the overall relationship. The HIV+/SH− group had poorer scores in domains of learning and memory compared to the SH+ groups. Additionally, the HIV−/SH− group demonstrated poorer learning compared to the HIV−/SH+ group. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that sleep problems within medical populations are relevant to cognitive functioning, highlighting the clinical and scientific importance of monitoring sleep health and cognition to help identify individuals at greatest risk of poor health outcomes. Longitudinal investigations using both objective and subjective measures of sleep are needed to determine the robustness of the current findings and the enduring effects of poor SH in the context of chronic disease. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1038–1046)
Psychosocial stress during childhood and adolescence is associated with alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and with heightened inflammation, both of which are implicated in poor health; however, factors that may protect against these effects relatively early in life are not well understood. Thus, we examined whether psychosocial resources protect against stress-related alterations in the HPA axis and heightened inflammation in a sample of 91 late adolescents. Participants completed measures of various stressors (major life events, daily interpersonal stress, early adversity), and psychosocial resources (mastery, optimism, self-esteem, and positive reappraisal). They also completed the Trier Social Stress Test and provided saliva and blood samples for the assessment of cortisol and interleukin-6 reactivity. Each of the stressors was associated with lower cortisol reactivity. Additionally, associations with major life events and daily stress were moderated by psychological resources, such that more life events and daily stress were associated with decreased HPA reactivity among adolescents with lower levels of psychological resources, but not among those with higher levels of psychological resources. This pattern of findings was observed only for cortisol reactivity and not for interleukin-6 reactivity. Findings suggest that psychological resources may counteract the effects of certain adversity-related decreases in cortisol reactivity.
Depression can impair the immunogenicity of vaccine administration in adults. Whereas many vaccinations are administered in childhood, it is not known whether adolescent or adult onset depression is associated with impairments in the maintenance of protection of childhood vaccines. This study tested the hypothesis that individuals with adolescent or adult onset mood disorders would display compromised immunity to measles, a target of childhood vaccination.
IgG antibodies to measles were quantified using a solid phase immunoassay in volunteers with bipolar disorder (BD, n = 64, mean age of onset = 16.6 ± 5.6), currently depressed individuals with major depressive disorder (cMDD, n = 85, mean age of onset = 17.9 ± 7.0), remitted individuals with a history of MDD (rMDD, n = 82, mean age of onset = 19.2 ± 8.6), and non-depressed comparison controls (HC, n = 202), all born after the introduction of the measles vaccine in the USA in 1963.
Relative to HC, both the cMDD group (p = 0.021, adjusted odds ratios (OR) = 0.47, confidence interval (CI) = 0.24–0.90), and the rMDD group (p = 0.038, adjusted OR = 0.50, CI = 0.26–0.97) were less likely to test seropositive for measles. Compared with unmedicated MDD participants, currently medicated MDD participants had a longer lifetime duration of illness and were less likely to test seropositive for measles.
Individuals with adolescent or adult onset MDD are less likely to test seropositive for measles. Because lower IgG titers are associated with increased risk of measles infection, MDD may increase the risk and severity of infection possibly because of impaired maintenance of vaccine-related protection from measles.
The aim of this analysis was to test if changes in insomnia symptoms and global sleep quality are associated with coinciding changes in depressed mood among older adults. We report on results yielded from secondary analysis of longitudinal data from a clinical trial of older adults (N = 49) aged 55 to 80 years who reported at least moderate levels of sleep problems. All measures were collected at baseline and after the trial ten weeks later. We computed change scores for two separate measures of disturbed sleep, the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and tested their association with change in depressed mood (Beck Depression Inventory-II; BDI-II) in two separate linear regression models adjusted for biological covariates related to sleep (sex, age, body mass index, and NF-κB as a biological marker previously correlated with insomnia and depression). Change in AIS scores was associated with change in BDI-II scores (β = 0.38, p < 0.01). Change in PSQI scores was not significantly associated with change in BDI-II scores (β = 0.17, p = 0.26). Our findings suggest that improvements over ten weeks in insomnia symptoms rather than global sleep quality coincide with improvement in depressed mood among older adults.
4MOST is a new wide-field, high-multiplex spectroscopic survey facility for the VISTA telescope of ESO. Starting in 2022, 4MOST will deploy 2400 fibres in a 4.1 square degree field-of-view using a positioner based on the tilting spine principle. In this contribution we give an outline of the major science goals we wish to achieve with 4MOST in the area of Galactic Archeology. The 4MOST Galactic Archeology surveys have been designed to address long-standing and far-reaching problems in Galactic science. They are focused on four major themes: 1) Near-field cosmology tests, 2) Chemo-dynamical characterisation of the major Milky Way stellar components, 3) The Galactic Halo and beyond, and 4) Discovery and characterisation of extremely metal-poor stars. In addition to a top-level description of the Galactic surveys we provide information about how the community will be able to join 4MOST via a call for Public Spectroscopic Surveys that ESO will launch.
Shammas (1994) documented the expansion of women's wealth holding across the nineteenth-century United States, explaining it as the result of the married women's property acts (MWPAs) passed in most of states starting circa 1840. We look at the timing of the expansion of women's wealth holding, drawing on archival and published evidence from probate records. Starting with Richmond, Virginia, and its agricultural hinterland, we consider a variety of places, urban and rural, in the South and North, to suggest a general view of the eastern United States. In rough outline, while colonial women were at most one-tenth of probated wealth holders, antebellum women were at least one-fifth. Levels of women's wealth holding increased even more. The substantial narrowing of the gender wealth gap cannot be attributed to the MWPAs that followed. Perhaps those acts will explain the further narrowing of the gender wealth gap in the later nineteenth century, but that narrowing might better be understood as a continuation of previous trends. Our results remind that some legal reforms can better be understood as reflections than causes of social change.
Background: Post concussion syndrome (PCS) can affect up to 30% of patients with concussion. Biomarkers of this condition would be beneficial for diagnosis and management. We hypothesized that eye tracking parameters would correlate with microstructural changes of white matter integrity, as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), in patients with PCS. Methods: Sixty patients with PCS and at least 2 concussions participated in our prospective study. Attention and executive function were tested using Visual Attention Scanning Technology (VAST). In a matching task, the normalized number of visits to master image before making the first selection is used as a surrogate of working memory. We related performance on VAST to white matter integrity using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics of diffusion tensor imaging data. Results: 60 participants (mean age 34.3 years, SD 13.8) had a mean of 4 concussions. There were negative correlations between fractional anisotropy (FA) of the genu, body, and splenium of the corpus callosum and normalized number of visits to master image before first selection (r=-0.432, p=0.001; r=-0.504, p<0.001; and r=-0.388, p=0.002; respectively). A negative correlation was also seen between right cingulum FA and the global processing index (r=-0.349, p=0.006). Conclusions: Impaired performance on eye tracking measures of attention and executive function may reflect alterations in white matter tracts.
The multi-object spectroscopic facility FOCAP at the Anglo-Australian Telescope has been used to obtain spectra centred at the Ca II IR triplet of 14 stars in the field of the Sextans dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy. This satellite of our own Galaxy was recently discovered by Irwin et al. (1990) from APM measures of UK Schmidt Telescope photographic plates.
The first QSO with a redshift z > 4 was found using a combination of UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) plates and the APM automatic plate measuring machine (Warren et al. 1987a). By continuing to make use of UKST survey plates plus the APM facility we have added substantially to the number of known QSOs with z > 4. A brief description of the general survey technique is presented together with a preliminary discussion of some of the results obtained so far.
Field stars provide important constraints for the late stages of stars' angular momentum evolution. We measured rotation periods ranging from 0.1 to 150 days for approximately 450 mid-to-late M dwarfs using photometry from the MEarth transiting planet survey. We use parallaxes, proper motions, and radial velocities to calculate galactic kinematics for these solar neighborhood M dwarfs. The velocity dispersions increase towards longer rotation periods, indicating that there is a relationship between rotation and age for these stars.