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Advanced imaging techniques are enhancing research capacity focussed on the developmental origins of adult health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, and consequently increasing awareness of future health risks across various subareas of DOHaD research themes. Understanding how these advanced imaging techniques in animal models and human population studies can be both additively and synergistically used alongside traditional techniques in DOHaD-focussed laboratories is therefore of great interest. Global experts in advanced imaging techniques congregated at the advanced imaging workshop at the 2019 DOHaD World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. This review summarizes the presentations of new imaging modalities and novel applications to DOHaD research and discussions had by DOHaD researchers that are currently utilizing advanced imaging techniques including MRI, hyperpolarized MRI, ultrasound, and synchrotron-based techniques to aid their DOHaD research focus.
The aim of the current study was to explore the changing interrelationships among clinical variables through the stages of schizophrenia in order to assemble a comprehensive and meaningful disease model.
Twenty-nine centers from 25 countries participated and included 2358 patients aged 37.21 ± 11.87 years with schizophrenia. Multiple linear regression analysis and visual inspection of plots were performed.
The results suggest that with progression stages, there are changing correlations among Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale factors at each stage and each factor correlates with all the others in that particular stage, in which this factor is dominant. This internal structure further supports the validity of an already proposed four stages model, with positive symptoms dominating the first stage, excitement/hostility the second, depression the third, and neurocognitive decline the last stage.
The current study investigated the mental organization and functioning in patients with schizophrenia in relation to different stages of illness progression. It revealed two distinct “cores” of schizophrenia, the “Positive” and the “Negative,” while neurocognitive decline escalates during the later stages. Future research should focus on the therapeutic implications of such a model. Stopping the progress of the illness could demand to stop the succession of stages. This could be achieved not only by both halting the triggering effect of positive and negative symptoms, but also by stopping the sensitization effect on the neural pathways responsible for the development of hostility, excitement, anxiety, and depression as well as the deleterious effect on neural networks responsible for neurocognition.
Studies investigating the relationship between n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels and psychiatric disorders have thus far focused mainly on analyzing gray matter, rather than white matter, in the postmortem brain. In this study, we investigated whether PUFA levels showed abnormalities in the corpus callosum, the largest area of white matter, in the postmortem brain tissue of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder.
Fatty acids in the phospholipids of the postmortem corpus callosum were evaluated by thin-layer chromatography and gas chromatography. Specimens were evaluated for patients with schizophrenia (n = 15), bipolar disorder (n = 15), or major depressive disorder (n = 15) and compared with unaffected controls (n = 15).
In contrast to some previous studies, no significant differences were found in the levels of PUFAs or other fatty acids in the corpus callosum between patients and controls. A subanalysis by sex gave the same results. No significant differences were found in any PUFAs between suicide completers and non-suicide cases regardless of psychiatric disorder diagnosis.
Patients with psychiatric disorders did not exhibit n-3 PUFAs deficits in the postmortem corpus callosum relative to the unaffected controls, and the corpus callosum might not be involved in abnormalities of PUFA metabolism. This area of research is still at an early stage and requires further investigation.
Evidence suggests that dietary intake of UK children is currently suboptimal. It is therefore imperative to identify effective and sustainable methods of improving dietary habits and knowledge in this population, whilst also promoting the value of healthiness of food products beyond price. Schools are ideally placed to influence children's knowledge and health, and Project Daire, in partnership with schools, food industry partners and stakeholders, aims to improve children's knowledge of, and interest in, food to improve health, wellbeing and educational attainment.
Daire is a randomised-controlled, factorial design trial evaluating two interventions. In total, n = 880 Key Stage (KS) 1 and 2 pupils have been recruited from 18 primary schools in the North West of Northern Ireland and will be randomised to one of four 6-month intervention arms: i) ‘Engage’, ii) ‘Nourish’, iii) ‘Engage’ and ‘Nourish’ and iv) Delayed. ‘Engage’ is an age-appropriate, cross-curricular educational intervention on food, agriculture, science and careers linked to the current curriculum. ‘Nourish’ is an intervention aiming to alter schools’ food environments and increase exposure to local foods. Study outcomes include food knowledge, attitudes, trust, diet, behaviour, health and wellbeing and will be collected at baseline and six months. Qualitative data on teacher/pupil opinions will also be collected. The intervention phase is currently ongoing. We present baseline results from our involvement and food attitudes measure from all participating schools. Results were compared by Key Stage and sex using Pearson Chi-Squared test.
Baseline results from our food involvement and attitudes measure are presented for n = 880 KS1 (n = 454) and KS2 (n = 426) pupils. KS1 pupils were more likely to always or sometimes help with food shopping (89.0%) whilst KS2 pupils were more likely to always or sometimes help with food preparation (69.0%). A higher proportion of KS1 pupils reported liking to try new foods (66.1%) and that it was important that food looked (64.5%), tasted (71.1%) and smelled good (60.6%) compared with KS2 children (P < 0.01). Girls were more likely to always or sometimes help with food shopping (96.2%) and preparation (73%) when compared with boys; whilst a higher proportion of girls reported they liked to try new foods (48.2%) and that it was important that food looked (68%) smelled (50.5%) and tasted (71.8%) good compared with boys (P < 0.01).
Results suggest that involvement in food preparation and shopping, willingness to try new foods and attitudes towards food presentation varied by KS and sex in this cohort.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a pathogenic nematode and the cause of neuroangiostrongyliasis, an eosinophilic meningitis more commonly known as rat lungworm disease. Transmission is thought to be primarily due to ingestion of infective third stage larvae (L3) in gastropods, on produce, or in contaminated water. The gold standard to determine the effects of physical and chemical treatments on the infectivity of A. cantonensis L3 larvae is to infect rodents with treated L3 larvae and monitor for infection, but animal studies are laborious and expensive and also raise ethical concerns. This study demonstrates propidium iodide (PI) to be a reliable marker of parasite death and loss of infective potential without adversely affecting the development and future reproduction of live A. cantonensis larvae. PI staining allows evaluation of the efficacy of test substances in vitro, an improvement upon the use of lack of motility as an indicator of death. Some potential applications of this assay include determining the effectiveness of various anthelmintics, vegetable washes, electromagnetic radiation and other treatments intended to kill larvae in the prevention and treatment of neuroangiostrongyliasis.
Perceptual dimensions underlying timbre and sound-source identification have received considerable scientific attention. While these scholarly insights help us in understanding the nature of sound within a multidimensional timbral space, they carry little meaning for the majority of musicians. To help address this, we conducted two experiments to establish listeners’ perceptual thresholds (PT) for changes in sound using a staircase-procedure. Unlike most timbre perception research, these changes were sonic manipulations that are common in synthesisers, audio processors and instruments familiar to musicians and producers, and occurred within continuous sounds (rather than between discrete pairs of sounds). In experiment 1, two sounds (variants of a sawtooth oscillation) both with the same fundamental frequency (F1: 80 Hz, 240 Hz or 600 Hz) were played with no intervening gap. In each trial, the two sounds’ partials differed in amplitudes or frequencies to produce a timbre change. The sonic manipulations were varied in size to detect thresholds for the perceived timbre change – listeners were instructed to indicate whether or not they perceived a change within the sound. In experiment 2, we modified stimulus presentation to introduce the factor of transition time (TT). Rather than occurring instantaneously (as in experiment 1), the timbre manipulations were introduced gradually over the course of a 100 ms or a 1000 ms TT. Results revealed that PTs were significantly affected by the manipulations in experiment 1, and additionally by TT in experiment 2. Importantly, the data revealed an interaction between the F1 and the timbre manipulations, such that there were differential effects of timbre changes on the perceptual system depending on pitch height. Musicians (n=11) showed significantly smaller PTs compared to non-musicians (n=10). However, PTs for musicians and non-musicians were highly correlated (r=.83) across different sonic manipulations, indicating similar perceptual patterns in both. We hope that by establishing PTs for commonly used timbre manipulations, we can provide musicians with a general perceptual unit, for each manipulation, that can guide music composition and assessment.
Benefit-cost analyses of education policies in low- and middle-income countries have historically used the effect of education on future wages to estimate benefits. Strong evidence also points to female education reducing both the under-five mortality rates of their children and adult mortality rates. A more complete analysis would thus add the value of mortality risk reduction to wage increases. This paper estimates how net benefits and benefit-cost ratios respond to the values used to estimate education’s mortality-reducing impact including variation in these estimates. We utilize a ‘standardized sensitivity analysis’ to generate a range of valuations of education’s impact on mortality risks. We include alternative ways of adjusting these values for income and age differences. Our analysis is for one additional year of schooling in lower-middle-income countries, incremental to the current mean. Our analysis shows a range of benefit-cost ratios ranging from 3.2 to 6.7, and net benefits ranging from $2,800 to $7,300 per student. Benefits from mortality risk reductions account for 40% to 70% of the overall benefits depending on the scenario. Thus, accounting for changes in mortality risks in addition to wage increases noticeably enhances the value of already attractive education investments.
Investing in global health and development requires making difficult choices about what policies to pursue and what level of resources to devote to different initiatives. Methods of economic evaluation are well established and widely used to quantify and compare the impacts of alternative investments. However, if not well conducted and clearly reported, these evaluations can lead to erroneous conclusions. Differences in analytic methods and assumptions can obscure important differences in impacts. To increase the comparability of these evaluations, improve their quality, and expand their use, this special issue includes a series of papers developed to support reference case guidance for benefit-cost analysis. In this introductory article, we discuss the background and context for this work, summarize the process we are following, describe the overall framework, and introduce the articles that follow.
There is strong interest in both developing and developed countries toward expanding health insurance coverage. How should the benefits, and costs, of expanded coverage be measured? While the value of reducing the financial risks that result from insurance coverage have long been recognized, there has been less attention in how best to measure such benefits. In this paper, we first provide a framework for assessing the financial value from health insurance. We focus on three distinct potential benefits: Pooling the risk of unexpected medical expenditures between healthy and sick households, redistributing resources from high- to low-income recipients and smoothing consumption over time. We then use this theoretical framework and an illustrative example to provide practical guidelines for benefit-cost analysis in capturing the full benefits (and costs) of expanding health insurance coverage. We conclude by considering other potential financial effects of broad insurance coverage, such as the ability to consolidate purchases and thus lower input prices.
In this study, we used an online survey to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to environmental cleaning and other infection prevention strategies among environmental services workers (ESWs) at 5 hospitals. Our findings suggest that ESWs could benefit from additional education and feedback as well as new strategies to address workflow challenges.
Childhood maltreatment and a family history of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) are each associated with social-emotional dysfunction in childhood. Both are also strong risk factors for adult SSDs, and social-emotional dysfunction in childhood may be an antecedent of these disorders. We used data from a large Australian population cohort to determine the independent and moderating effects of maltreatment and parental SSDs on early childhood social-emotional functioning.
The New South Wales Child Development Study combines intergenerational multi-agency data using record linkage methods. Multiple measures of social-emotional functioning (social competency, prosocial/helping behaviour, anxious/fearful behaviour; aggressive behaviour, and hyperactivity/inattention) on 69 116 kindergarten children (age ~5 years) were linked with government records of child maltreatment and parental presentations to health services for SSD. Multivariable analyses investigated the association between maltreatment and social-emotional functioning, adjusting for demographic variables and parental SSD history, in the population sample and in sub-cohorts exposed and not exposed to parental SSD history. We also examined the association of parental SSD history and social-emotional functioning, adjusting for demographic variables and maltreatment.
Medium-sized associations were identified between maltreatment and poor social competency, aggressive behaviour and hyperactivity/inattention; small associations were revealed between maltreatment and poor prosocial/helping and anxious/fearful behaviours. These associations did not differ greatly when adjusted for parental SSD, and were greater in magnitude among children with no history of parental SSD. Small associations between parental SSD and poor social-emotional functioning remained after adjusting for demographic variables and maltreatment.
Childhood maltreatment and history of parental SSD are associated independently with poor early childhood social-emotional functioning, with the impact of exposure to maltreatment on social-emotional functioning in early childhood of greater magnitude than that observed for parental SSDs. The impact of maltreatment was reduced in the context of parental SSDs. The influence of parental SSDs on later outcomes of maltreated children may become more apparent during adolescence and young adulthood when overt symptoms of SSD are likely to emerge. Early intervention to strengthen childhood social-emotional functioning might mitigate the impact of maltreatment, and potentially also avert future psychopathology.
The study of the Bom Santo Cave (central Portugal), a Neolithic cemetery, indicates a complex social, palaeoeconomic, and population scenario. With isotope, aDNA, and provenance analyses of raw materials coupled with stylistic variability of material culture items and palaeogeographical data, light is shed on the territory and social organization of a population dated to 3800–3400 cal BC, i.e. the Middle Neolithic. Results indicate an itinerant farming, segmentary society, where exogamic practices were the norm. Its lifeway may be that of the earliest megalithic builders of the region, but further research is needed to correctly evaluate the degree of this community's participation in such a phenomenon.
Coping skills provide a resource for tackling stress in everyday situations, including those relating to parenting. The aim of this article is to establish whether parents who experienced a 10-hour universal social emotional parenting program — Families Coping (FC) — benefit through increased productive coping strategies, decreased nonproductive coping strategies, and increased parent wellbeing, within a positive parenting framework. It is also of interest to see whether gender and/or partner attendance makes a difference in program outcomes such as coping styles and wellbeing. The data set combined two groups of parents (N = 23) of preschool-aged children from an early learning centre in inner-metropolitan Melbourne in 2013 and 2014 who undertook the FC parenting program. A mixed methods design was employed, where parents completed pre- and post-program questionnaires on coping and wellbeing. Results were considered with respect to gender and partner attendance. A one-way repeated-measures multiple analysis of variance (RM-MANOVA) showed a significant increase in one productive parenting style (Dealing with the Problem), a significant decrease in nonproductive parent coping, and a significant increase in parent wellbeing. Comparison of results between gender and partner attendance groups showed minimal differences in program effectiveness. Qualitative data mostly confirmed the key findings.
Mesotrione, a 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase-inhibiting herbicide, is labeled for PRE and POST crabgrass control. It has enhanced efficacy on smooth and large crabgrass when applied in conjunction with soil-applied nitrogen (N). The objectives of this study, using crabgrass as the weed species, were to (1) determine the influence of N rate and tissue N concentration on mesotrione activity, (2) determine the influence of N source on mesotrione activity, and (3) determine the influence of N application timing on mesotrione activity. Large crabgrass plants that received 12 kg N ha−1 or more before mesotrione application had more bleached and necrotic leaves compared with plants that received 0 kg N ha−1 7 d after treatment (DAT) in the greenhouse. Although N application rates as high as 98 kg N ha−1 were tested, 90% leaf bleaching and necrosis were observed with rates of 8.9 or 10.1 kg N ha−1 in Tennessee and Indiana, respectively. Nitrogen concentration in large crabgrass leaf and stem tissue on the day of the mesotrione application was closely related to the bleaching and necrosis symptoms observed 7 DAT. Although N rate influenced mesotrione activity, N source did not. Nitrogen application timing was also important, with N applications 3, 1, and 0 d before a mesotrione application having the highest percentage of bleached and necrotic leaves in greenhouse experiments. Both greenhouse and field trials support the finding that N applications in proximity to the mesotrione application enhance herbicide activity. Thus, practitioners can pair N and POST mesotrione applications together or in proximity to enhance crabgrass control.
The link between psychotic disorders and violent offending is well established; knowledge about risk of post-illness-onset offending across the full spectrum of psychiatric disorders is lacking. We aimed to compare rates of any offending and violent offending committed after the onset of illness, according to diagnostic group, with population controls.
A 25% random sample of the Danish population (n = 521 340) was followed from their 15th birthday until offending occurred. Mental health status was considered as a time-varying exposure in a Poisson regression model used to examine the duration from service contact to the offence.
Males with any psychiatric contact had an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 2.91 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.80–3.02] for any offending; 4.18 (95% CI 3.99–4.38) for violent offending. Associations were stronger for women (IRR 4.17, 95% CI 3.95–4.40 for any offending; 8.02, 95% CI 7.20–8.94 for violent offending). Risk was similar across diagnostic groups for any offending in males, while variation between diagnostic groups was seen for male violent and female offending, both any and violent.
Risk of offending, particularly violent offending, was elevated across a range of mental disorders following first contact with mental health services. The extent of variation in strength of effect across diagnoses differed by gender.