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Functional impairment is a defining feature of psychotic disorders. A range of factors has been shown to influence functioning, including negative symptoms, cognitive performance and cognitive reserve (CR). However, it is not clear how these variables may affect functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients. This 2-year follow-up study aimed to explore the possible mediating effects of CR on the relationship between cognitive performance or specific clinical symptoms and functional outcome.
A prospective study of non-affective FEP patients was performed (211 at baseline and 139 at follow-up). CR was entered in a path analysis model as potential mediators between cognitive domains or clinical symptoms and functioning.
At baseline, the relationship between clinical variables or cognitive performance and functioning was not mediated by CR. At follow-up, the effect of attention (p = 0.003) and negative symptoms (p = 0.012) assessed at baseline on functioning was partially mediated by CR (p = 0.032 and 0.016), whereas the relationship between verbal memory (p = 0.057) and functioning was mediated by CR (p = 0.014). Verbal memory and positive and total subscales of PANSS assessed at follow-up were partially mediated by CR and the effect of working memory on functioning was totally mediated by CR.
Our results showed the influence of CR in mediating the relationship between cognitive domains or clinical symptoms and functioning in FEP. In particular, CR partially mediated the relationship between some cognitive domains or clinical symptoms and functioning at follow-up. Therefore, CR could improve our understanding of the long-term functioning of patients with a non-affective FEP.
We investigate the spatial organization and temporal dynamics of large-scale, coherent structures in turbulent Rayleigh–Bénard convection via direct numerical simulation of a 6.3 aspect-ratio cylinder with Rayleigh and Prandtl numbers of
, respectively. Fourier modal decomposition is performed to investigate the structural organization of the coherent turbulent motions by analysing the length scales, time scales and the underlying dynamical processes that are ultimately responsible for the large-scale structure formation and evolution. We observe a high level of rotational symmetry in the large-scale structure in this study and that the structure is well described by the first four azimuthal Fourier modes. Two different large-scale organizations are observed during the duration of the simulation and these patterns are dominated spatially and energetically by azimuthal Fourier modes with frequencies of 2 and 3. Studies of the transition between these two large-scale patterns, radial and vertical variations in the azimuthal energy spectra, as well as the spatial and modal variations in the system's correlation time are conducted. Rotational dynamics are observed for individual Fourier modes and the global structure with strong similarities to the dynamics that have been reported for unit aspect-ratio domains in prior works. It is shown that the large-scale structures have very long correlation time scales, on the order of hundreds to thousands of free-fall time units, and that they are the primary source for a horizontal inhomogeneity within the system that can be observed during a finite, but a very long-time simulation or experiment.
Echinoderms make up a substantial component of Ordovician marine invertebrates, yet their speciation and dispersal history as inferred within a rigorous phylogenetic and statistical framework is lacking. We use biogeographic stochastic mapping (BSM; implemented in the R package BioGeoBEARS) to infer ancestral area relationships and the number and type of dispersal events through the Ordovician for diploporan blastozoans and related species. The BSM analysis was divided into three time slices to analyze how dispersal paths changed before and during the great Ordovician biodiversification event (GOBE) and within the Late Ordovician mass extinction intervals. The best-fit biogeographic model incorporated jump dispersal, indicating this was an important speciation strategy. Reconstructed areas within the phylogeny indicate the first diploporan blastozoans likely originated within Baltica or Gondwana. Dispersal, jump dispersal, and sympatry dominated the BSM inference through the Ordovician, while dispersal paths varied in time. Long-distance dispersal events in the Early Ordovician indicate distance was not a significant predictor of dispersal, whereas increased dispersal events between Baltica and Laurentia are apparent during the GOBE, indicating these areas were important to blastozoan speciation. During the Late Ordovician, there is an increase in dispersal events among all paleocontinents. The drivers of dispersal are attributed to oceanic and epicontinental currents. Speciation events plotted against geochemical data indicate that blastozoans may not have responded to climate cooling events and other geochemical perturbations, but additional data will continue to shed light on the drivers of early Paleozoic blastozoan speciation and dispersal patterns.
Recent investigations now suggest that cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) is impaired in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may underpin part of the disease’s neurovascular component. However, our understanding of the relationship between the magnitude of CVR, the speed of cerebrovascular response, and the progression of AD is still limited. This is especially true in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is recognized as an intermediate stage between normal aging and dementia. The purpose of this study was to investigate AD and MCI patients by mapping repeatable and accurate measures of cerebrovascular function, namely the magnitude and speed of cerebrovascular response (τ) to a vasoactive stimulus in key predilection sites for vascular dysfunction in AD.
Thirty-three subjects (age range: 52–83 years, 20 males) were prospectively recruited. CVR and τ were assessed using blood oxygen level-dependent MRI during a standardized carbon dioxide stimulus. Temporal and parietal cortical regions of interest (ROIs) were generated from anatomical images using the FreeSurfer image analysis suite.
Of 33 subjects recruited, 3 individuals were excluded, leaving 30 subjects for analysis, consisting of 6 individuals with early AD, 11 individuals with MCI, and 13 older healthy controls (HCs). τ was found to be significantly higher in the AD group compared to the HC group in both the temporal (p = 0.03) and parietal cortex (p = 0.01) following a one-way ANCOVA correcting for age and microangiopathy scoring and a Bonferroni post-hoc correction.
The study findings suggest that AD is associated with a slowing of the cerebrovascular response in the temporal and parietal cortices.
This paper aims to synthesise the literature on machine learning (ML) and big data applications for mental health, highlighting current research and applications in practice.
We employed a scoping review methodology to rapidly map the field of ML in mental health. Eight health and information technology research databases were searched for papers covering this domain. Articles were assessed by two reviewers, and data were extracted on the article's mental health application, ML technique, data type, and study results. Articles were then synthesised via narrative review.
Three hundred papers focusing on the application of ML to mental health were identified. Four main application domains emerged in the literature, including: (i) detection and diagnosis; (ii) prognosis, treatment and support; (iii) public health, and; (iv) research and clinical administration. The most common mental health conditions addressed included depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. ML techniques used included support vector machines, decision trees, neural networks, latent Dirichlet allocation, and clustering.
Overall, the application of ML to mental health has demonstrated a range of benefits across the areas of diagnosis, treatment and support, research, and clinical administration. With the majority of studies identified focusing on the detection and diagnosis of mental health conditions, it is evident that there is significant room for the application of ML to other areas of psychology and mental health. The challenges of using ML techniques are discussed, as well as opportunities to improve and advance the field.
We present a highly detailed study of calving dynamics at Tunabreen, a tidewater glacier in Svalbard. A time-lapse camera was trained on the terminus and programmed to capture images every 3 seconds over a 28-hour period in August 2015, producing a highly detailed record of 34 117 images from which 358 individual calving events were distinguished. Calving activity is characterised by frequent events (12.8 events h−1) that are small relative to the spectrum of calving events observed, demonstrating the prevalence of small-scale calving mechanisms. Five calving styles were observed, with a high proportion of calving events (82%) originating at, or above, the waterline. The tidal cycle plays a key role in the timing of calving events, with 68% occurring on the falling limb of the tide. Calving activity is concentrated where meltwater plumes surface at the glacier front, and a ~ 5 m undercut at the base of the glacier suggests that meltwater plumes encourage melt-under-cutting. We conclude that frontal ablation at Tunabreen may be paced by submarine melt rates, as suggested from similar observations at glaciers in Svalbard and Alaska. Using submarine melt rate to calculate frontal ablation would greatly simplify estimations of tidewater glacier losses in prognostic models.
Soldier operational performance is determined by their fitness, nutritional status, quality of rest/recovery, and remaining injury/illness free. Understanding large fluctuations in nutritional status during operations is critical to safeguarding health and well-being. There are limited data world-wide describing the effect of extreme climate change on nutrient profiles. This study investigated the effect of hot-dry deployments on vitamin D status (assessed from 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration) of young, male, military volunteers. Two data sets are presented (pilot study, n 37; main study, n 98), examining serum 25(OH)D concentrations before and during 6-month summer operational deployments to Afghanistan (March to October/November). Body mass, percentage of body fat, dietary intake and serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured. In addition, parathyroid hormone (PTH), adjusted Ca and albumin concentrations were measured in the main study to better understand 25(OH)D fluctuations. Body mass and fat mass (FM) losses were greater for early (pre- to mid-) deployment compared with late (mid- to post-) deployment (P<0·05). Dietary intake was well-maintained despite high rates of energy expenditure. A pronounced increase in 25(OH)D was observed between pre- (March) and mid-deployment (June) (pilot study: 51 (sd 20) v. 212 (sd 85) nmol/l, P<0·05; main study: 55 (sd 22) v. 167 (sd 71) nmol/l, P<0·05) and remained elevated post-deployment (October/November). In contrast, PTH was highest pre-deployment, decreasing thereafter (main study: 4·45 (sd 2·20) v. 3·79 (sd 1·50) pmol/l, P<0·05). The typical seasonal cycling of vitamin D appeared exaggerated in this active male population undertaking an arduous summer deployment. Further research is warranted, where such large seasonal vitamin D fluctuations may be detrimental to bone health in the longer-term.
Fluorescence turn-on aptamers, in vitro evolved RNA molecules that bind conditional fluorophores and activate their fluorescence, have emerged as RNA counterparts of the fluorescent proteins. Turn-on aptamers have been selected to bind diverse fluorophores, and they achieve varying degrees of specificity and affinity. These RNA–fluorophore complexes, many of which exceed the brightness of green fluorescent protein and their variants, can be used as tags for visualizing RNA localization and transport in live cells. Structure determination of several fluorescent RNAs revealed that they have diverse, unrelated overall architectures. As most of these RNAs activate the fluorescence of their ligands by restraining their photoexcited states into a planar conformation, their fluorophore binding sites have in common a planar arrangement of several nucleobases, most commonly a G-quartet. Nonetheless, each turn-on aptamer has developed idiosyncratic structural solutions to achieve specificity and efficient fluorescence turn-on. The combined structural diversity of fluorophores and turn-on RNA aptamers has already produced combinations that cover the visual spectrum. Further molecular evolution and structure-guided engineering is likely to produce fluorescent tags custom-tailored to specific applications.
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) threatens nearly 20% of the world's population and has handicapped one-third of the 120 million people currently infected. Current control and elimination programs for LF rely on mass drug administration of albendazole plus diethylcarbamazine (DEC) or ivermectin. Only the mechanism of action of albendazole is well understood. To gain a better insight into antifilarial drug action in vivo, we treated gerbils harbouring patent Brugia malayi infections with 6 mg kg−1 DEC, 0.15 mg kg−1 ivermectin or 1 mg kg−1 albendazole. Treatments had no effect on the numbers of worms present in the peritoneal cavity of treated animals, so effects on gene expression were a direct result of the drug and not complicated by dying parasites. Adults and microfilariae were collected 1 and 7 days post-treatment and RNA isolated for transcriptomic analysis. The experiment was repeated three times. Ivermectin treatment produced the most differentially expressed genes (DEGs), 113. DEC treatment yielded 61 DEGs. Albendazole treatment resulted in little change in gene expression, with only 6 genes affected. In total, nearly 200 DEGs were identified with little overlap between treatment groups, suggesting that these drugs may interfere in different ways with processes important for parasite survival, development, and reproduction.
SNP in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is associated with risk of lower respiratory infections. The influence of genetic variation in the vitamin D pathway resulting in susceptibility to upper respiratory infections (URI) has not been investigated. We evaluated the influence of thirty-three SNP in eleven vitamin D pathway genes (DBP, DHCR7, RXRA, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP3A4, CYP27A1, LRP2, CUBN and VDR) resulting in URI risk in 725 adults in London, UK, using an additive model with adjustment for potential confounders and correction for multiple comparisons. Significant associations in this cohort were investigated in a validation cohort of 737 children in Manchester, UK. In all, three SNP in VDR (rs4334089, rs11568820 and rs7970314) and one SNP in CYP3A4 (rs2740574) were associated with risk of URI in the discovery cohort after adjusting for potential confounders and correcting for multiple comparisons (adjusted incidence rate ratio per additional minor allele ≥1·15, Pfor trend ≤0·030). This association was replicated for rs4334089 in the validation cohort (Pfor trend=0·048) but not for rs11568820, rs7970314 or rs2740574. Carriage of the minor allele of the rs4334089 SNP in VDR was associated with increased susceptibility to URI in children and adult cohorts in the United Kingdom.
While studies suggest that nutritional supplementation may reduce aggressive behavior in children, few have examined their effects on specific forms of aggression. This study tests the primary hypothesis that omega-3 (ω-3), both alone and in conjunction with social skills training, will have particular post-treatment efficacy for reducing childhood reactive aggression relative to baseline.
In this randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled, factorial trial, a clinical sample of 282 children with externalizing behavior aged 7–16 years was randomized into ω-3 only, social skills only, ω-3 + social skills, and placebo control groups. Treatment duration was 6 months. The primary outcome measure was reactive aggression collected at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, with antisocial behavior as a secondary outcome.
Children in the ω-3-only group showed a short-term reduction (at 3 and 6 months) in self-report reactive aggression, and also a short-term reduction in overall antisocial behavior. Sensitivity analyses and a robustness check replicated significant interaction effects. Effect sizes (d) were small, ranging from 0.17 to 0.31.
Findings provide some initial support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing reactive aggression over and above standard care (medication and parent training), but yield only preliminary and limited support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing overall externalizing behavior in children. Future studies could test further whether ω-3 shows promise in reducing more reactive, impulsive forms of aggression.
We evaluate the variability in basal friction for Kronebreen, Svalbard, a fast-flowing tidewater glacier. We invert 3 years (2013–15) of surface velocities at high temporal resolution (generally 11 days), to estimate the changing basal properties of the glacier. Our results suggest that sliding behaviour of Kronebreen within a year is primarily influenced by changes in water input patterns during the meltwater season and basal friction is highly variable from a year to another. At present, models usually employ parameterisations to encompass the complex physics of glacier sliding by mathematically simulate their net effect. For such ice masses with strong seasonal variations of surface melt, the spatio-temporal patterns of basal friction imply that it is neither possible nor appropriate to use a parameterisation for bed friction that is fixed in space and/or time, at least in a timescale of a few years. Basal sliding may not only be governed by local processes such as basal topography or summer melt, but also be mediated by factors that vary over a larger distance and over a longer time period such as subglacial hydrology organisation, ice-thickness changes or calving front geometry.
Dietary indices have been related to risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D) predominantly in white populations. The present study evaluated this association in the ethnically diverse Multiethnic Cohort and examined four diet quality indices in relation to T2D risk, homoeostatic model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and biomarkers of dyslipidaemia, inflammation and adipokines. The T2D analysis included 166 550 white, African American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese American and Latino participants (9200 incident T2D cases). Dietary intake was assessed at baseline using a quantitative FFQ and T2D status was based on three self-reports and confirmed by administrative data. Biomarkers were assessed about 10 years later in a biomarker subcohort (n 10 060). Sex- and ethnicity-specific hazard ratios were calculated for the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010), the alternative HEI-2010 (AHEI-2010), the alternate Mediterranean diet score (aMED) and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). Multivariable-adjusted means of biomarkers were compared across dietary index tertiles in the biomarker subcohort. The AHEI-2010, aMED (in men only) and DASH scores were related to a 10–20 % lower T2D risk, with the strongest associations in whites and the direction of the relationships mostly consistent across ethnic groups. Higher scores on the four indices were related to lower HOMA-IR, TAG and C-reactive protein concentrations, not related to leptin, and the DASH score was directly associated with adiponectin. The AHEI-2010 and DASH were directly related to HDL-cholesterol in women. Potential underlying biological mechanisms linking diet quality and T2D risk are an improved lipid profile and reduced systemic inflammation and, with regards to DASH alone, an improved adiponectin profile.
The simple calving laws currently used in ice-sheet models do not adequately reflect the complexity and diversity of calving processes. To be effective, calving laws must be grounded in a sound understanding of how calving actually works. Here, we develop a new strategy for formulating calving laws, using (a) the Helsinki Discrete Element Model (HiDEM) to explicitly model fracture and calving processes, and (b) the continuum model Elmer/Ice to identify critical stress states associated with HiDEM calving events. A range of observed calving processes emerges spontaneously from HiDEM in response to variations in ice-front buoyancy and the size of subaqueous undercuts. Calving driven by buoyancy and melt under-cutting is under-predicted by existing calving laws, but we show that the location and magnitude of HiDEM calving events can be predicted in Elmer/Ice from characteristic stress patterns. Our results open the way to developing calving laws that properly reflect the diversity of calving processes, and provide a framework for a unified theory of the calving process continuum.
Prevention of heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis in domestic dogs and cats relies on a single drug class, the macrocyclic lactones (MLs). Recently, it has been demonstrated that ML-resistant D. immitis are circulating in the Mississippi Delta region of the USA, but the prevalence and impact of these resistant parasites remains unknown. We review published studies that demonstrated resistance in D.immitis, along with our current understanding of its mechanisms. Efforts to develop in vitro tests for resistance have not yet yielded a suitable assay, so testing infected animals for microfilariae that persist in the face of ML treatment may be the best current option. Since the vast majority of D. immitis populations continue to be drug-sensitive, protected dogs are likely to be infected with only a few parasites and experience relatively mild disease. In cats, infection with small numbers of worms can cause severe disease and so the clinical consequences of drug resistance may be more severe. Since melarsomine dihydrochloride, the drug used to remove adult worms, is not an ML, the ML-resistance should have no impact on our ability to treat diseased animals. A large refugium of heartworms that are not exposed to drugs exists in unprotected dogs and in wild canids, which may limit the development and spread of resistance alleles.
Understanding the nutritional demands on serving military personnel is critical to inform training schedules and dietary provision. Troops deployed to Afghanistan face austere living and working environments. Observations from the military and those reported in the British and US media indicated possible physical degradation of personnel deployed to Afghanistan. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the changes in body composition and nutritional status of military personnel deployed to Afghanistan and how these were related to physical fitness. In a cohort of British Royal Marines (n 249) deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months, body size and body composition were estimated from body mass, height, girth and skinfold measurements. Energy intake (EI) was estimated from food diaries and energy expenditure measured using the doubly labelled water method in a representative subgroup. Strength and aerobic fitness were assessed. The mean body mass of volunteers decreased over the first half of the deployment ( − 4·6 (sd 3·7) %), predominately reflecting fat loss. Body mass partially recovered (mean +2·2 (sd 2·9) %) between the mid- and post-deployment periods (P< 0·05). Daily EI (mean 10 590 (sd 3339) kJ) was significantly lower than the estimated daily energy expenditure (mean 15 167 (sd 1883) kJ) measured in a subgroup of volunteers. However, despite the body mass loss, aerobic fitness and strength were well maintained. Nutritional provision for British military personnel in Afghanistan appeared sufficient to maintain physical capability and micronutrient status, but providing appropriate nutrition in harsh operational environments must remain a priority.