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Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with reduced life expectancy in patients with affective disorders, however, whether MetS also plays a role before the onset of affective disorder is unknown. We aimed to investigate whether MetS, inflammatory markers or oxidative stress act as risk factors for affective disorders, and whether MetS is associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress.
We conducted a high-risk study including 204 monozygotic (MZ) twins with unipolar or bipolar disorder in remission or partial remission (affected), their unaffected co-twins (high-risk) and twins with no personal or family history of affective disorder (low-risk). Metabolic Syndrome was ascertained according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Inflammatory markers and markers of oxidative stress were analyzed from fasting blood and urine samples, respectively.
The affected and the high-risk group had a significantly higher prevalence of MetS compared to the low-risk group (20% v. 15% v. 2.5%, p = 0.0006), even after adjusting for sex, age, smoking and alcohol consumption. No differences in inflammatory and oxidative markers were seen between the three groups. Further, MetS was associated with alterations in inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress was modestly correlated with inflammation.
Metabolic syndrome is associated with low-grade inflammation and may act as a risk factor and a trait marker for affective disorders. If confirmed in longitudinal studies, this suggests the importance of early intervention and preventive approaches targeted towards unhealthy lifestyle factors that may contribute to later psychopathology.
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is one of the most common disorders among professional musicians, nevertheless, little is known about the disease. With this systematic review, prevalence, risk factors and treatment procedures for MPA were assessed, and for the first time, quality assessments were carried out for all studies using standardized assessment tools. A systematic literature search was conducted via search algorithms in the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycArticles, PsycInfo and ERIC. Included were case reports, case–control, cohort, cross-sectional and intervention studies examining professional musicians with MPA. For quality assessment, adapted tools of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute were used. A total of 43 studies were included (10 case reports, 21 intervention, 11 cross-sectional, one cohort study). Quality ratings ranged from −11 to 6 out of a maximum of 15/16 points for cross-sectional/cohort studies and −4 to 11 out of 18 points for intervention studies. The prevalence of MPA was between 16.5% and 60%. More women than men were affected and musicians older than 45–50 years reported less MPA than younger musicians. Regarding treatment cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and β-blockers were most often researched with beneficial results for CBT. However, studies with adequate control groups for CBT interventions are needed to clarify its efficacy. Studies showed methodological weaknesses, especially in the selection of participants, recording of influencing factors, blinding of interventions, randomization of participants and analysis of comorbidity. Recommendations for further research are made.
We present the second data release (DR2) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using six optical filters: u, v, g, r, i, z. DR2 is the first release to go beyond the
) limit of the Shallow Survey released in the first data release (DR1), and includes portions of the sky at full survey depth that reach
mag in g and r filters. The DR2 photometry has a precision as measured by internal reproducibility of 1% in u and v, and 0.7% in griz. More than 21 000
have data in some filters (at either Shallow or Main Survey depth) and over 7 000
have deep Main Survey coverage in all six filters. Finally, about 18 000
have Main Survey data in i and z filters, albeit not yet at full depth. The release contains over 120 000 images, as well as catalogues with over 500 million unique astrophysical objects and nearly 5 billion individual detections. It also contains cross-matches with a range of external catalogues such as Gaia DR2, Pan-STARRS1 DR1, GALEX GUVcat, 2MASS, and AllWISE, as well as spectroscopic surveys such as 2MRS, GALAH, 6dFGS, and 2dFLenS.
Intake of the plant-derived n-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid (ALA) has been associated with anti-atherosclerotic properties. However, information on the association between ALA intake and development of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is lacking. In this follow-up study, we investigated the association between dietary intake of ALA and the rate of PAD among middle-aged Danish men and women enrolled into the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort between 1993 and 1997. Incident PAD cases were identified through the Danish National Patient Register. Intake of ALA was assessed using a validated FFQ. Statistical analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazard regression allowing for separate baseline hazards among sexes and adjusted for established risk factors for PAD. During a median of 13·6 years of follow-up, we identified 950 valid cases of PAD with complete information on covariates. The median energy-adjusted ALA intake within the cohort was 1·76 g/d (95 % central range: 0·94–3·28). In multivariable analyses, we found no statistically significant association between intake of ALA and the rate of PAD (P = 0·339). Also, no statistically significant associations were observed in analyses including additional adjustment for co-morbidities and in sex-specific analyses. In supplemental analyses with additional adjustment for potential dietary risk factors, we found a weak inverse association of PAD with ALA intake above the median, but the association was not statistically significant (P = 0·314). In conclusion, dietary intake of ALA was not consistently associated with decreased risk of PAD.
In Central America, population and food demands are rising rapidly, while yields of staple crops, maize and beans, remain low. To identify the main factors limiting production, field trials were established in six maize- and bean-producing regions in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, representing about three-quarters of the maize-producing area. Potential yield-limiting factors were evaluated in 2017 and included: water stress, nutrient deficiency, pest and disease pressure, and/or inter-plant competition. When considering all sites, improved fertilization and pest and disease control significantly improved yields in maize by 11 and 16%, respectively but did not have a significant effect in beans. Irrigation had no effect due to good rainfall distribution over the growing season. Optimized planting arrangement resulted in an average 18% increase in maize yield, making it the most promising factor evaluated. The treatment and site combinations that increased both crop productivity and net profit included management changes that improved resource use efficiency. However, the contribution of each limiting factor to yield gaps varied across sites and no treatment was effective at increasing yield consistently across sites. Production constraints are highly dependent on local management practices and agroecological location. Therefore, public and private development efforts that seek to increase production should conduct multi-year, participatory experiments to identify limitations pertinent to the area in question. The next step is then to evaluate sustainable and profitable practices, to address those limitations and provide sound recommendations to farmers while decreasing the environmental and economic costs.
n-3 PUFA may exert favourable effects on several processes that may inhibit the atherosclerotic process. However, the role of n-3 PUFA in lowering the risk of atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) has been fiercely debated. In the present paper, we summarise the main findings from previous follow-up studies of intake and studies using adipose tissue as an objective biomarker to investigate exposure to n-3 PUFA in relation to ASCVD risk and discuss some perspectives for further research. The majority of previous studies investigating intake of marine- and plant-based n-3 PUFA have focused on CHD while other ASCVD such as ischaemic stroke and peripheral artery disease have been less studied. However, recent data from Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort suggest that marine n-3 PUFA may be inversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and peripheral arterial disease caused by atherosclerosis. The effect of the plant-derived n-3 PUFA α-linolenic acid on ASCVD is less clear and several gaps in the literature remain to be explored.
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.