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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have increased susceptibility to anxiety disorders. Variation in a common ASD symptom, insistence on sameness behaviour, may predict future anxiety symptoms.
To describe the joint heterogeneous longitudinal trajectories of insistence on sameness and anxiety in children with ASD and to characterise subgroups at higher risk for anxiety.
In a longitudinal ASD cohort (n = 421), insistence on sameness behaviour was measured using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised at approximately ages 3, 6 and 11 years. Anxiety was quantified at 8 time points between ages 3 and 11 years using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (parent report). Clusters of participants following similar trajectories were identified using group-based and joint trajectory modelling.
Three insistence on sameness trajectories were identified: (a) ‘low-stable’ (41.7% of participants), (b) ‘moderate-increasing’ (52.0%) and (c) ‘high-peaking’ (i.e. increasing then stabilising/decreasing behaviour) (6.3%). Four anxiety trajectories were identified: (a) ‘low-increasing’ (51.0%), (b) ‘moderate-decreasing’ (16.2%), (c) ‘moderate-increasing’ (19.6%) and (d) ‘high-stable’ (13.1%). Of those assigned to the ‘high-peaking’ insistence on sameness trajectory, 95% jointly followed an anxiety trajectory that surpassed the threshold for clinical concern (T-score >65) by middle childhood (anxiety trajectories 3 or 4). Insistence on sameness and anxiety trajectories were similar in severity and direction for 64% of the sample; for 36%, incongruous patterns were seen (e.g. decreasing anxiety and increasing insistence on sameness).
The concurrent assessment of insistence on sameness behaviour and anxiety in ASD may help in understanding current symptom profiles and anticipating future trajectories. High preschool insistence on sameness in particular may be associated with elevated current or future anxiety symptoms.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
In recent years the plethora of ‘weird wonders,’ the vernacular for the apparently extinct major body plans documented in many of the Cambrian Lagerstätten, has been dramatically trimmed. This is because various taxa have been either assigned to known phyla or accommodated in larger monophyletic assemblages. Nevertheless, a number of Cambrian taxa retain their enigmatic status. To this intriguing roster we add Dakorhachis thambus n. gen. n. sp. from the Miaolingian (Guzhangian) Weeks Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte of Utah. Specimens consist of an elongate body that lacks appendages but is apparently segmented. A prominent feeding apparatus consists of a circlet of triangular teeth, while posteriorly there are three distinct skeletal components. D. thambus is interpreted as an ambush predator and may have been partially infaunal. The wider affinities of this new taxon remain conjectural, but it is suggested that it may represent a stem-group member of the Gnathifera, today represented by the gnathostomulids, micrognathozoans, and rotifers and possibly with links to the chaetognaths.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Lifestyle choices play an important role in the aetiology of cancer with up to 4 in 10 cases potentially preventable. Interventions delivered by healthcare professionals (HCPs) that incorporate risk information have the potential to promote behaviour change. Our aim was to develop a very brief intervention incorporating cancer risk, which could be implemented within primary care.
Guided by normalisation process theory (NPT), we developed a prototype intervention using literature reviews, consultation with patient and public representatives and pilot work with patients and HCPs. We conducted focus groups and interviews with 65 HCPs involved in delivering prevention activities. Findings were used to refine the intervention before 22 HCPs completed an online usability test and provided further feedback via a questionnaire incorporating a modified version of the NoMAD checklist.
The intervention included a website where individuals could provide information on lifestyle risk factors view their estimated 10-year risk of developing one or more of the five most common preventable cancers and access lifestyle advice incorporating behaviour change techniques. Changes incorporated from feedback from the focus groups and interviews included signposting to local services and websites, simplified wording and labelling of risk information. In the usability testing, all participants felt it would be easy to collect the risk information. Ninety-one percent felt the intervention would enable discussion about cancer risk and believed it had potential to be easily integrated into National Health Service (NHS) Health Checks. However, only 36% agreed it could be delivered within 5 min.
With the use of NPT, we developed a very brief intervention that is acceptable to HCPs in primary care and could be potentially integrated into NHS Health Checks. However, further work is needed to assess its feasibility and potential effectiveness.
Households in the USA spend about $70 billion annually on pets. Dogs, the most common pet, can be found in nearly half of American households. An important shadow price in the analysis of policies affecting human mortality is the value of statistical life (VSL), which is imputed from how people make decisions involving tradeoffs between small mortality risks and other goods. The value of statistical dog life (VSDL) is also an important, but until now unavailable, shadow price for use in regulation of such goods as pet foods and environmental toxins. Additionally, an estimate of the VSDL would have uses outside the regulatory process in valuing programs involving zooeyia, in setting tort awards for wrongful dog death, and in property divisions in divorce settlements where joint custody of dogs is not feasible. In order to estimate the VSDL, we conducted a contingent valuation of a national sample of dog owners that elicited willingness-to-pay for changes in mortality risk for pet dogs. Specifically, respondents were asked about willingness-to-pay for a vaccine that would reduce the risk of canine influenza. The design included both quantity (different magnitudes of risk reduction from the offered vaccine) and quality (differences in nature of death from the influenza) treatments as scope tests. It also included treatments involving spillover effects to other dogs and a priming question about disposable income. Based on the analysis and consideration of its assumptions, we recommend $10,000 as the VSDL.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Extra-care housing (ECH) has been hailed as a potential solution to some of the problems associated with traditional forms of social care, since it allows older people to live independently, while also having access to care and support if required. However, little longitudinal research has focused on the experiences of residents living in ECH, particularly in recent years. This paper reports on a longitudinal study of four ECH schemes in the United Kingdom. Older residents living in ECH were interviewed four times over a two-year period to examine how changes in their care needs were encountered and negotiated by care workers, managers and residents themselves. This paper focuses on how residents managed their own changing care needs within the context of ECH. Drawing upon theories of the third and fourth age, the paper makes two arguments. First, that transitions across the boundary between the third and fourth age are not always straightforward or irreversible and, moreover, can sometimes be resisted, planned-for and managed by older people. Second, that operational practices within ECH schemes can function to facilitate or impede residents’ attempts to manage this boundary.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
To describe the body size and weight, and the nutrition and activity behaviours of sexual and gender minority (SGM) students and compare them with those of exclusively opposite-sex-attracted cisgender students. Male and female SGM students were also compared.
Data were from a nationally representative health survey.
Secondary schools in New Zealand, 2012.
A total of 7769 students, 9 % were SGM individuals.
Overall, weight-control behaviours, poor nutrition and inactivity were common and, in many cases, more so for SGM students. Specifically, male SGM students (adjusted OR; 95 % CI) were significantly more likely to have tried to lose weight (1·95; 1·47, 2·59), engage in unhealthy weight control (2·17; 1·48, 3·19), consume fast food/takeaways (2·89; 2·01, 4·15) and be physically inactive (2·54; 1·65, 3·92), and were less likely to participate in a school sports team (0·57; 0·44, 0·75), compared with other males. Female SGM students (adjusted OR; 95 % CI) were significantly more likely to engage in unhealthy weight control (1·58; 1·20, 2·08), be overweight or obese (1·24; 1·01, 1·53) and consume fast food/takeaways (2·19; 1·59, 3·03), and were less likely to participate in a school sports team (0·62; 0·50, 0·76), compared with other females. Generally, female SGM students were more negatively affected than comparable males, except they were less likely to consume fast food/takeaways frequently (adjusted OR; 95 % CI: 0·62; 0·40, 0·96).
SGM students reported increased weight-control behaviours, poor nutrition and inactivity. Professionals, including public health nutritionists, must recognize and help to address the challenges facing sexual and gender minorities.
The kinetoplastid parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes African trypanosomiasis in both humans and animals. Infections place a significant health and economic burden on developing nations in sub-Saharan Africa, but few effective anti-parasitic treatments are currently available. Hence, there is an urgent need to identify new leads for drug development. The T. brucei neutral sphingomyelinase (TbnSMase) was previously established as essential to parasite survival, consequently being identified as a potential drug target. This enzyme may catalyse the single route to sphingolipid catabolism outside the T. brucei lysosome. To obtain new insight into parasite sphingolipid catabolism, the substrate specificity of TbnSMase was investigated using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Recombinant TbnSMase was shown to degrade sphingomyelin, inositol-phosphoceramide and ethanolamine-phosphoceramide sphingolipid substrates, consistent with the sphingolipid complement of the parasites. TbnSMase also catabolized ceramide-1-phosphate, but was inactive towards sphingosine-1-phosphate. The broad-range specificity of this enzyme towards sphingolipid species is a unique feature of TbnSMase. Additionally, ESI-MS/MS analysis revealed previously uncharacterized activity towards lyso-phosphatidylcholine despite the enzyme's inability to degrade phosphatidylcholine. Collectively, these data underline the enzyme's importance in choline homoeostasis and the turnover of sphingolipids in T. brucei.
This study investigated the characteristics of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) and their association with current and future cognitive functions.
A cohort of 209 community-dwelling individuals without dementia aged 47–90 years old was recruited for this 3-year study. Participants underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments annually. Participants were divided into SMCs and non-memory complainers (NMCs) using a single question at baseline and a memory complaints questionnaire following baseline, to evaluate differential patterns of complaints. In addition, comprehensive assessment of memory complaints was undertaken to evaluate whether severity and consistency of complaints differentially predicted cognitive function.
SMC and NMC individuals were significantly different on various features of SMCs. Greater overall severity (but not consistency) of complaints was significantly associated with current and future cognitive functioning.
SMC individuals present distinctive features of memory complaints as compared to NMCs. Further, the severity of complaints was a significant predictor of future cognition. However, SMC did not significantly predict change over time in this sample. These findings warrant further research into the specific features of SMCs that may portend subsequent neuropathological and cognitive changes when screening individuals at increased future risk of dementia.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Caring for persons with dementia (PWD) can create “caregiver burden,” which is associated with negative outcomes for caregivers and PWD. The ZBI (Zarit Burden Interview) is a widely used unitary measure of caregiver burden. However, recent research has found caregiver burden to be multi-dimensional. The purpose of this study was to explore the factor structure of the ZBI within a sample of UK caregivers. A secondary aim was to identify variables that predicted burden dimensions found.
A total of 110 unpaid community caregivers of PWD completed the ZBI. They also completed the EACQ (Experiential Avoidance in Caregiving Questionnaire), DEX (Dysexecutive Questionnaire), PACS (Positive Aspects of Caregiving Scale), and a demographic questionnaire. ZBI data were analyzed via exploratory factor analysis (principal axis factoring). Relationships between burden factors and other variables were studied using Pearson correlations and multiple regression.
Analysis identified three burden factors, namely direct impact of caregiving, uncertainty around the future, and frustration/embarrassment. A direct impact of caregiving and frustration/embarrassment has been found previously. Uncertainty over the future is a new factor, which was predicted by adult-child caregiver role, highlighting that spouses and adult children are likely to have different burden experiences. Additionally, uncertainty over the future and frustration/embarrassment were inversely predicted by PACS, suggesting that being mindful of positive aspects of caregiving may function as a protective factor for burden.
This study found caregiver burden to be multi-dimensional and uncovered a novel factor in uncertainty over the future, which warrants further exploration. Burden factors were associated with a range of modifiable variables that could be targeted within health and social care interventions to improve outcomes for caregivers and PWD.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.