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Schizophrenia (SZ) is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder associated with disrupted connectivity within the thalamic-cortico-cerebellar network. Resting-state functional connectivity studies have reported thalamic hypoconnectivity with the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex as well as thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory cortical regions in SZ patients compared with healthy comparison participants (HCs). However, fundamental questions remain regarding the clinical significance of these connectivity abnormalities.
Resting state seed-based functional connectivity was used to investigate thalamus to whole brain connectivity using multi-site data including 183 SZ patients and 178 matched HCs. Statistical significance was based on a voxel-level FWE-corrected height threshold of p < 0.001. The relationships between positive and negative symptoms of SZ and regions of the brain demonstrating group differences in thalamic connectivity were examined.
HC and SZ participants both demonstrated widespread positive connectivity between the thalamus and cortical regions. Compared with HCs, SZ patients had reduced thalamic connectivity with bilateral cerebellum and anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, SZ patients had greater thalamic connectivity with multiple sensory-motor regions, including bilateral pre- and post-central gyrus, middle/inferior occipital gyrus, and middle/superior temporal gyrus. Thalamus to middle temporal gyrus connectivity was positively correlated with hallucinations and delusions, while thalamus to cerebellar connectivity was negatively correlated with delusions and bizarre behavior.
Thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory regions and hypoconnectivity with cerebellar regions in combination with their relationship to clinical features of SZ suggest that thalamic dysconnectivity may be a core neurobiological feature of SZ that underpins positive symptoms.
Identification of priority populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) is important in surveillance systems to monitor trends of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We explored using routinely collected non-behavioural data as a means to establish MSM status in surveillance by assessing anorectal swab as a marker of male-to-male sexual exposure. We used chlamydia testing data from a sexual health clinic, 2007–2012. Men reporting any male sexual partner(s) in the previous 12 months were considered MSM. The dataset was split into development and validation samples to develop a univariate predictive model and assess the model fit. The dataset included 30 358 individual men and 48 554 episodes of STI testing; 45% were among reported MSM and an anorectal swab was performed in 40% of testing episodes. Anorectal swabbing had good diagnostic performance as a marker for MSM status (sensitivity = 87%, specificity = 99%, positive predictive value = 98·6%, negative predictive value = 90·3%). The model showed good fit against the internal validation sample (area under the curve = 0·93). Anorectal swabs are a valid marker of MSM behaviour in surveillance data from sexual health clinics, and they are likely to be particularly useful for monitoring STI trends among MSM with higher risk behaviour.
Traumatic events are common globally; however, comprehensive population-based cross-national data on the epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the paradigmatic trauma-related mental disorder, are lacking.
Data were analyzed from 26 population surveys in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. A total of 71 083 respondents ages 18+ participated. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed exposure to traumatic events as well as 30-day, 12-month, and lifetime PTSD. Respondents were also assessed for treatment in the 12 months preceding the survey. Age of onset distributions were examined by country income level. Associations of PTSD were examined with country income, world region, and respondent demographics.
The cross-national lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 3.9% in the total sample and 5.6% among the trauma exposed. Half of respondents with PTSD reported persistent symptoms. Treatment seeking in high-income countries (53.5%) was roughly double that in low-lower middle income (22.8%) and upper-middle income (28.7%) countries. Social disadvantage, including younger age, female sex, being unmarried, being less educated, having lower household income, and being unemployed, was associated with increased risk of lifetime PTSD among the trauma exposed.
PTSD is prevalent cross-nationally, with half of all global cases being persistent. Only half of those with severe PTSD report receiving any treatment and only a minority receive specialty mental health care. Striking disparities in PTSD treatment exist by country income level. Increasing access to effective treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries, remains critical for reducing the population burden of PTSD.
Although specific phobia is highly prevalent, associated with impairment, and an important risk factor for the development of other mental disorders, cross-national epidemiological data are scarce, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents epidemiological data from 22 low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Data came from 25 representative population-based surveys conducted in 22 countries (2001–2011) as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative (n = 124 902). The presence of specific phobia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition was evaluated using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The cross-national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of specific phobia were, respectively, 7.4% and 5.5%, being higher in females (9.8 and 7.7%) than in males (4.9% and 3.3%) and higher in high- and higher-middle-income countries than in low-/lower-middle-income countries. The median age of onset was young (8 years). Of the 12-month patients, 18.7% reported severe role impairment (13.3–21.9% across income groups) and 23.1% reported any treatment (9.6–30.1% across income groups). Lifetime co-morbidity was observed in 60.5% of those with lifetime specific phobia, with the onset of specific phobia preceding the other disorder in most cases (72.6%). Interestingly, rates of impairment, treatment use and co-morbidity increased with the number of fear subtypes.
Specific phobia is common and associated with impairment in a considerable percentage of cases. Importantly, specific phobia often precedes the onset of other mental disorders, making it a possible early-life indicator of psychopathology vulnerability.
Although there is robust evidence linking childhood adversities (CAs) and an increased risk for psychotic experiences (PEs), little is known about whether these associations vary across the life-course and whether mental disorders that emerge prior to PEs explain these associations.
We assessed CAs, PEs and DSM-IV mental disorders in 23 998 adults in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Discrete-time survival analysis was used to investigate the associations between CAs and PEs, and the influence of mental disorders on these associations using multivariate logistic models.
Exposure to CAs was common, and those who experienced any CAs had increased odds of later PEs [odds ratio (OR) 2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9–2.6]. CAs reflecting maladaptive family functioning (MFF), including abuse, neglect, and parent maladjustment, exhibited the strongest associations with PE onset in all life-course stages. Sexual abuse exhibited a strong association with PE onset during childhood (OR 8.5, 95% CI 3.6–20.2), whereas Other CA types were associated with PE onset in adolescence. Associations of other CAs with PEs disappeared in adolescence after adjustment for prior-onset mental disorders. The population attributable risk proportion (PARP) for PEs associated with all CAs was 31% (24% for MFF).
Exposure to CAs is associated with PE onset throughout the life-course, although sexual abuse is most strongly associated with childhood-onset PEs. The presence of mental disorders prior to the onset of PEs does not fully explain these associations. The large PARPs suggest that preventing CAs could lead to a meaningful reduction in PEs in the population.
This is the first cross-national study of intermittent explosive disorder (IED).
A total of 17 face-to-face cross-sectional household surveys of adults were conducted in 16 countries (n = 88 063) as part of the World Mental Health Surveys initiative. The World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0) assessed DSM-IV IED, using a conservative definition.
Lifetime prevalence of IED ranged across countries from 0.1 to 2.7% with a weighted average of 0.8%; 0.4 and 0.3% met criteria for 12-month and 30-day prevalence, respectively. Sociodemographic correlates of lifetime risk of IED were being male, young, unemployed, divorced or separated, and having less education. The median age of onset of IED was 17 years with an interquartile range across countries of 13–23 years. The vast majority (81.7%) of those with lifetime IED met criteria for at least one other lifetime disorder; co-morbidity was highest with alcohol abuse and depression. Of those with 12-month IED, 39% reported severe impairment in at least one domain, most commonly social or relationship functioning. Prior traumatic experiences involving physical (non-combat) or sexual violence were associated with increased risk of IED onset.
Conservatively defined, IED is a low prevalence disorder but this belies the true societal costs of IED in terms of the effects of explosive anger attacks on families and relationships. IED is more common among males, the young, the socially disadvantaged and among those with prior exposure to violence, especially in childhood.
Toxoplasmosis affects a third of the global population and is of particular concern for immunologically compromised individuals. Toxoplasmosis induces host physiological events ranging from immunological to metabolic responses across multiple biological compartments. To understand the sequence of host responses during acute and chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection, eight male BALB/c mice were infected with 2000 T. gondii ME49 tachyzoites with a further eight uninfected mice used as controls. Plasma cytokines status, urinary metabolic profiling and fecal microbial profiles were characterized to monitor temporal variation related to T. gondii infection. The results showed elevated serum interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-12p40 and necrosis factor-α during acute phase of infection with concomitant perturbation in host energy metabolism and host-gut microbiome co-metabolism of phenolics and a shift in microbial composition. However, the differences were less pronounced during the putative chronic phase of infection with elevated IFN-γ, differences in urinary N-acetyls and O-acetyls of glycoproteins with no shift in gut microbial composition. Structural equation modelling on the current data showed host immune responses as the main driver for changes observed in urinary metabolites and gut microbial composition. Such an approach can be applied to other models of infectious diseases to aid understanding of host–pathogen interactions and potential biomarker discovery.
Introduction: In order to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients requiring resuscitation (PRRs) in the emergency department (ED), health care providers (HCPs) must provide an efficient, multi-disciplinary and coordinated response. A quality improvement (QI) project was undertaken to improve HCP response to PRRs at two tertiary care hospital EDs in Toronto. Methods: We conducted a before-and-after mixed-method survey to evaluate the perception of the adequacy of HCP response and clarity of HCP role when responding to PRRs. The results were compared using the Chi-square test. Qualitative responses to the first survey were also used to inform the development of the QI project. Through interviews of key stakeholders and with continuous input from front-line ED HCPs, a multi-disciplinary team modified the ED resuscitation protocol. This included standardized pre-hospital communication form with paramedics, ED-wide overhead announcement of ‘Code Resus’, dedicated HCPs assigned to respond to PRRs, and specific duties assigned to each responder. Change initiatives were reinforced through education and posters in the ED. Six months after implementation, a second survey was conducted to evaluate the sustained effects of the intervention. Results: Baseline measures indicated that 16 of 52 (30.8%) nurses surveyed believed their role was often or always apparent to themselves and others when they attended to a PRR (on a 5-point rating scale). This proportion increased to 35 of 55 (63.6%) nurses in the post-implementation survey (p < 0.001). Regarding adequacy of the number of HCPs responding to PRRs, 17 of 39 (43.6%) physicians and 23 of 53 (43.4%) nurses surveyed thought the appropriate number of HCPs responded to PRRs; the remainder thought that there were too few or too many HCPs. In the post-implementation survey, 34 of 41 (82.9%) physicians (p < 0.001) and 36 of 56 (64.3%) nurses (p = 0.029) surveyed felt that the appropriate number of HCPs attended to PRRs. Conclusion: Using a quality improvement approach, we identified and quantified perceived deficiencies in HCP response to PRRs in the ED. Through feedback-based modifications of the ED resuscitation protocol and by engaging HCP stakeholders, change initiatives were implemented to improve HCP response. As a result, this project achieved significant and sustained improvements in HCPs’ perceived response to PRRs.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
Previous research suggests prevalent vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women residing in South Australia and the Eastern Seaboard, however recent data from Perth, Western Australia (WA) is lacking. This cross-sectional study of n=209 pregnant women (36–40 weeks of gestation, 84% white Caucasian) reports on the vitamin D (25[OH]D) status of a contemporary population of pregnant women in Perth, WA, with a focus on the relative contributions of supplemental vitamin D and ambient ultraviolet (UV) radiation to 25(OH)D levels. Mean (SD) season-adjusted 25(OH)D levels were 77.7 (24.6) nmol/l. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25[OH]D<50 nmol/l) was 13.9%. Ambient UV radiation levels in the 90 days preceding blood draw were significantly correlated with serum 25(OH)D levels (unstandardized coefficient 2.82; 95% CI 1.77, 3.86, P<0.001). Vitamin D supplementation expressed as dose per kg of body weight was also positively correlated with serum 25(OH)D levels (unstandardized coefficient 0.744; 95% CI 0.395, 1.092, P<0.001). In conclusion, this study finds that vitamin D deficiency in a predominantly white Caucasian cohort of pregnant women is less prevalent than has been reported in other studies, providing useful information relating to supplementation and screening in this, and similar, populations.
Over the last decade, we have observed an escalating trend in the number of laryngeal biopsies performed, despite the incidence of laryngeal cancer remaining constant. This study aimed to quantify the rate of laryngeal biopsies and record the indications.
A retrospective analysis of laryngeal biopsies performed in North Glasgow, Scotland, UK, between 2001 and 2010, was conducted.
From 2001 to 2010, 3902 laryngeal biopsies were carried out in North Glasgow. Histopathological results indicated the following diagnoses: squamous cell carcinoma, in 889 cases (23 per cent); dysplasia, in 986 cases (25 per cent); ‘no tumour’, in 913 cases (23 per cent); and benign pathology, in the remaining 1084 cases (28 per cent). There has been a significant increase in the number of biopsies performed after 2004, with the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma and benign disease remaining relatively static.
It is hypothesised that organ preservation strategies, endoscopic resection in early stage laryngeal cancer and chemoradiotherapy in advanced head and neck cancer are responsible for the increase in laryngeal biopsies.
A recent outbreak of Q fever was linked to an intensive goat and sheep dairy farm in Victoria, Australia, 2012-2014. Seventeen employees and one family member were confirmed with Q fever over a 28-month period, including two culture-positive cases. The outbreak investigation and management involved a One Health approach with representation from human, animal, environmental and public health. Seroprevalence in non-pregnant milking goats was 15% [95% confidence interval (CI) 7–27]; active infection was confirmed by positive quantitative PCR on several animal specimens. Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii DNA obtained from goat and human specimens was identical by two typing methods. A number of farming practices probably contributed to the outbreak, with similar precipitating factors to the Netherlands outbreak, 2007-2012. Compared to workers in a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filtered factory, administrative staff in an unfiltered adjoining office and those regularly handling goats and kids had 5·49 (95% CI 1·29–23·4) and 5·65 (95% CI 1·09–29·3) times the risk of infection, respectively; suggesting factory workers were protected from windborne spread of organisms. Reduction in the incidence of human cases was achieved through an intensive human vaccination programme plus environmental and biosecurity interventions. Subsequent non-occupational acquisition of Q fever in the spouse of an employee, indicates that infection remains endemic in the goat herd, and remains a challenge to manage without source control.
Coxsackievirus A6 (CV-A6), coxsackievirus A16 (CV-A16) and enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) were the major enteroviruses causing nationwide hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) epidemics in Singapore in the last decade. We estimated the basic reproduction number (R0) of these enteroviruses to obtain a better understanding of their transmission dynamics. We merged records of cases from HFMD outbreaks reported between 2007 and 2012 with laboratory results from virological surveillance. R0 was estimated based on the cumulative number of reported cases in the initial growth phase of each outbreak associated with the particular enterovirus type. A total of 33 HFMD outbreaks were selected based on the inclusion criteria specified for our study, of which five were associated with CV-A6, 13 with CV-A16, and 15 with EV-A71. The median R0 was estimated to be 5·04 [interquartile range (IQR) 3·57–5·16] for CV-A6, 2·42 (IQR 1·85–3·36) for CV-A16, and 3·50 (IQR 2·36–4·53) for EV-A71. R0 was not significantly associated with number of infected children (P = 0·86), number of exposed children (P = 0·94), and duration of the outbreak (P = 0·05). These enterovirus-specific R0 estimates will be helpful in providing insights into the potential growth of future HFMD epidemics and outbreaks for timely implementation of disease control measures, together with disease dynamics such as severity of the cases.
Metabarcoding, the coupling of DNA-based species identification and high-throughput sequencing, offers enormous promise for arthropod biodiversity studies but factors such as cost, speed and ease-of-use of bioinformatic pipelines, crucial for making the leapt from demonstration studies to a real-world application, have not yet been adequately addressed. Here, four published and one newly designed primer sets were tested across a diverse set of 80 arthropod species, representing 11 orders, to establish optimal protocols for Illumina-based metabarcoding of tropical Malaise trap samples. Two primer sets which showed the highest amplification success with individual specimen polymerase chain reaction (PCR, 98%) were used for bulk PCR and Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The sequencing outputs were subjected to both manual and simple metagenomics quality control and filtering pipelines. We obtained acceptable detection rates after bulk PCR and high-throughput sequencing (80–90% of input species) but analyses were complicated by putative heteroplasmic sequences and contamination. The manual pipeline produced similar or better outputs to the simple metagenomics pipeline (1.4 compared with 0.5 expected:unexpected Operational Taxonomic Units). Our study suggests that metabarcoding is slowly becoming as cheap, fast and easy as conventional DNA barcoding, and that Malaise trap metabarcoding may soon fulfill its potential, providing a thermometer for biodiversity.
1. The period of survival in distilled water is shortest with post-moult crabs, longer with pre-moult, and longest with inter-moult.
2. Further, a relatively constant percentage of salts is lost, irrespective of size; hence one of the determining factors in survival is the rate of loss of these salts. The other factor is the rate of osmosis of water, causing œdema.
3. With regard to the moult cycle, the concentration of the blood and the structure of the membranes are seemingly little altered, but the amount of calcium in the latter varies with moult-age, being least in post-moult and most in inter-moult membranes.
4. It is concluded, that the higher the percentage of calcium, the less permeable are the membranes and the longer is the duration of survival.
5. Œdema and loss of salts naturally disturb the tonicity equilibrium of the body fluid, and thus cause death.
Alcohol consumption is a possible co-factor of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) persistence, a major step in cervical carcinogenesis, but the association between alcohol and continuous HPV infection remains unclear. This prospective study identified the association between alcohol consumption and HR-HPV persistence. Overall, 9230 women who underwent screening during 2002–2011 at the National Cancer Center, Korea were analysed in multivariate logistic regression. Current drinkers [odds ratio (OR) 2·49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–4·71] and drinkers for ⩾5 years (OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·17–4·63) had a higher risk of 2-year HR-HPV persistence (HPV positivity for 3 consecutive years) than non-drinkers and drinkers for <5 years, respectively (vs. HPV negativity for 3 consecutive years). A high drinking frequency (⩾twice/week) and a high beer intake (⩾3 glasses/occasion) had higher risks of 1-year (OR 1·80, 95% CI 1·01–3·36) HPV positivity for 2 consecutive years) and 2-year HR-HPV persistence (OR 3·62, 95% CI 1·35–9·75) than non-drinkers. Of the HPV-positive subjects enrolled, drinking habit (OR 2·68, 95% CI 1·10–6·51) and high consumption of beer or soju (⩾2 glasses/occasion; OR 2·90, 95% CI 1·06–7·98) increased the risk of 2-year consecutive or alternate HR-HPV positivity (vs. consecutive HPV negativity). These findings suggest that alcohol consumption might increase the risk of cervical HR-HPV persistence in Korean women.