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Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
Multicentre research databases can provide insights into healthcare processes to improve outcomes and make practice recommendations for novel approaches. Effective audits can establish a framework for reporting research efforts, ensuring accurate reporting, and spearheading quality improvement. Although a variety of data auditing models and standards exist, barriers to effective auditing including costs, regulatory requirements, travel, and design complexity must be considered.
Materials and methods:
The Congenital Cardiac Research Collaborative conducted a virtual data training initiative and remote source data verification audit on a retrospective multicentre dataset. CCRC investigators across nine institutions were trained to extract and enter data into a robust dataset on patients with tetralogy of Fallot who required neonatal intervention. Centres provided de-identified source files for a randomised 10% patient sample audit. Key auditing variables, discrepancy types, and severity levels were analysed across two study groups, primary repair and staged repair.
Of the total 572 study patients, data from 58 patients (31 staged repairs and 27 primary repairs) were source data verified. Amongst the 1790 variables audited, 45 discrepancies were discovered, resulting in an overall accuracy rate of 97.5%. High accuracy rates were consistent across all CCRC institutions ranging from 94.6% to 99.4% and were reported for both minor (1.5%) and major discrepancies type classifications (1.1%).
Findings indicate that implementing a virtual multicentre training initiative and remote source data verification audit can identify data quality concerns and produce a reliable, high-quality dataset. Remote auditing capacity is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Superior caval vein stenosis is a known complication following paediatric heart transplantation. Herein, we sought to assess the incidence of superior caval vein stenosis and need for intervention in a single centre paediatric heart transplantation programme. A retrospective review was performed to identify variables associated with superior caval vein stenosis and need for intervention. Patients were identified based on angiographic and echocardiographic signs of superior caval vein stenosis. Of 204 paediatric heart transplantation recipients, 49 (24.0%) had evidence of superior caval vein stenosis with no need for catheter intervention and 12 (5.9%) had superior caval vein stenosis requiring catheter intervention. Overall, patients with superior caval vein stenosis with and without intervention had more cavopulmonary anastomosis (41.7%; 20.4%), pre-transplant superior caval vein procedures (41.7%; 28.6%), and bicaval approach (100.0%; 98.0%), compared to the group with no stenosis (11.9% and p = 0.015, 12.6% and p = 0.004, 73.4% and p < 0.001, respectively). Smaller recipients and donors were more likely to need intervention. Intervention was also seen more frequently in recipients who were younger at diagnosis (4.7 years) compared to non-intervention (13.3 years; p = 0.040). Re-intervention was required in 16.7% patients (n = 2) and was not associated with any complications.
Clarifying the relationship between depression symptoms and cardiometabolic and related health could clarify risk factors and treatment targets. The objective of this study was to assess whether depression symptoms in midlife are associated with the subsequent onset of cardiometabolic health problems.
The study sample comprised 787 male twin veterans with polygenic risk score data who participated in the Harvard Twin Study of Substance Abuse (‘baseline’) and the longitudinal Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (‘follow-up’). Depression symptoms were assessed at baseline [mean age 41.42 years (s.d. = 2.34)] using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, Version III, Revised. The onset of eight cardiometabolic conditions (atrial fibrillation, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, sleep apnea, and stroke) was assessed via self-reported doctor diagnosis at follow-up [mean age 67.59 years (s.d. = 2.41)].
Total depression symptoms were longitudinally associated with incident diabetes (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.07–1.57), erectile dysfunction (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.10–1.59), hypercholesterolemia (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04–1.53), and sleep apnea (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.13–1.74) over 27 years after controlling for age, alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index, C-reactive protein, and polygenic risk for specific health conditions. In sensitivity analyses that excluded somatic depression symptoms, only the association with sleep apnea remained significant (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.09–1.60).
A history of depression symptoms by early midlife is associated with an elevated risk for subsequent development of several self-reported health conditions. When isolated, non-somatic depression symptoms are associated with incident self-reported sleep apnea. Depression symptom history may be a predictor or marker of cardiometabolic risk over decades.
An intermediate-depth (1751 m) ice core was drilled at the South Pole between 2014 and 2016 using the newly designed US Intermediate Depth Drill. The South Pole ice core is the highest-resolution interior East Antarctic ice core record that extends into the glacial period. The methods used at the South Pole to handle and log the drilled ice, the procedures used to safely retrograde the ice back to the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF), and the methods used to process and sample the ice at the NSF-ICF are described. The South Pole ice core exhibited minimal brittle ice, which was likely due to site characteristics and, to a lesser extent, to drill technology and core handling procedures.
Fungal endocarditis classically involves dense heterogenous vegetations. However, several patients with fungal infections were noted to have myocardial changes ranging from focal brightening to nodular thickening of chordae or papillary muscles. This study evaluates whether these findings are associated with fungal infections.
In a retrospective case–control study, paediatric inpatients with fungal infections (positive blood, urine, or catheter tip culture) in a 5-year period were matched 1:1 to inpatients without positive fungal cultures. Echocardiograms were scored on a 5-point scale by two independent readers for presence of myocardial brightenings, nodular thickenings, and vegetations. Clinical data were compared.
Of 67 fungal cases, positive culture sites included blood (n = 44), vascular catheter tip (n = 7), and urine (n = 29); several had multiple positive sites. “Positive” echo findings (score ≥ 2+) were more frequent in the Fungal Group (33 versus 18%, p = 0.04). Fungal Group patients with “positive” versus “negative” echo findings had similar proportion of bacterial infections. Among fungal cases, those with “positive” echo findings had longer hospital length of stay than cases with “negative” echos (median 58 versus 40 days, p = 0.03) but no difference in intensive care unit admission, extracorporeal membranous oxygenation support, or mortality.
Myocardial and papillary muscle brightening with nodular thickening on echocardiogram appear to be associated with fungal infections. There may be prognostic implications of these findings as patients with “positive” echo have longer length of stay. Further studies are needed to better understand the mechanism and temporal progression of these changes and determine the prognostic value of this scoring system.
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
Identifying developmental endophenotypes on the pathway between genetics and behavior is critical to uncovering the mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental conditions. In this proof-of-principle study, we explored whether early disruptions in visual attention are a unique or shared candidate endophenotype of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We calculated the duration of the longest look (i.e., peak look) to faces in an array-based eye-tracking task for 335 14-month-old infants with and without first-degree relatives with ASD and/or ADHD. We leveraged parent-report and genotype data available for a proportion of these infants to evaluate the relation of looking behavior to familial (n = 285) and genetic liability (using polygenic scores, n = 185) as well as ASD and ADHD-relevant temperament traits at 2 years of age (shyness and inhibitory control, respectively, n = 272) and ASD and ADHD clinical traits at 6 years of age (n = 94).
Results showed that longer peak looks at the face were associated with elevated polygenic scores for ADHD (β = 0.078, p = .023), but not ASD (β = 0.002, p = .944), and with elevated ADHD traits in mid-childhood (F(1,88) = 6.401, p = .013, $\eta _p^2$=0.068; ASD: F (1,88) = 3.218, p = .076), but not in toddlerhood (ps > 0.2). This pattern of results did not emerge when considering mean peak look duration across face and nonface stimuli. Thus, alterations in attention to faces during spontaneous visual exploration may be more consistent with a developmental endophenotype of ADHD than ASD. Our work shows that dissecting paths to neurodevelopmental conditions requires longitudinal data incorporating polygenic contribution, early neurocognitive function, and clinical phenotypic variation.
In 2019, a 42-year-old African man who works as an Ebola virus disease (EVD) researcher traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near an ongoing EVD epidemic, to Philadelphia and presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Department with altered mental status, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. He was classified as a “wet” person under investigation for EVD, and his arrival activated our hospital emergency management command center and bioresponse teams. He was found to be in septic shock with multisystem organ dysfunction, including circulatory dysfunction, encephalopathy, metabolic lactic acidosis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, and diffuse intravascular coagulation. Critical care was delivered within high-risk pathogen isolation in the ED and in our Special Treatment Unit until a diagnosis of severe cerebral malaria was confirmed and EVD was definitively excluded.
This report discusses our experience activating a longitudinal preparedness program designed for rare, resource-intensive events at hospitals physically remote from any active epidemic but serving a high-volume international air travel port-of-entry.
This article provides practical guidance for researchers who wish to enroll and collect data from pediatric research participants through online and mobile platforms, with a focus on the involvement of both children and their parents in the decision to participate.
Mobile devices with health apps, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, crowd-sourced information, and other data sources have enabled research by new classes of researchers. Independent researchers, citizen scientists, patient-directed researchers, self-experimenters, and others are not covered by federal research regulations because they are not recipients of federal financial assistance or conducting research in anticipation of a submission to the FDA for approval of a new drug or medical device. This article addresses the difficult policy challenge of promoting the welfare and interests of research participants, as well as the public, in the absence of regulatory requirements and without discouraging independent, innovative scientific inquiry. The article recommends a series of measures, including education, consultation, transparency, self-governance, and regulation to strike the appropriate balance.
The individual right of access to one’s own data is a crucial privacy protection long recognized in U.S. federal privacy laws. Mobile health devices and research software used in citizen science often fall outside the HIPAA Privacy Rule, leaving participants without HIPAA’s right of access to one’s own data. Absent state laws requiring access, the law of contract, as reflected in end-user agreements and terms of service, governs individuals’ ability to find out how much data is being stored and how it might be shared with third parties. Efforts to address this problem by establishing norms of individual access to data from mobile health research unfortunately can run afoul of the FDA’s investigational device exemption requirements.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Hypertension prevalence is on the rise in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) like South Africa, and migration and its concomitant urbanization are often considered to be associated with this rise. However, relatively little is known about the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and internal migration – a highly prevalent population process in LMICs. This study employed data for a group of 194 adult men and women from an original pilot dataset drawn from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System in north-east South Africa conducted in 2012. Migrants in the sample were identified, tracked and interviewed. The relationship between BP and migration distance and the number of months an individual spent away from his/her home village was estimated using robust OLS regression, controlling for a series of socioeconomic, health and behavioural characteristics. It was found that migrants who moved a longer distance and for longer durations had significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures compared with shorter-term migrants and those who remained nearby or in their home village. These associations remained robust and statistically significant when adjusting for measures of socioeconomic conditions, as well as body mass index and the number of meals consumed per day. Migration, both in terms of distance and time away, explained significant variation in the blood pressure of migrants in this typical South African context. The findings suggest the need for further studies of the nutritional and psycho-social factors associated with geographic mobility that may be important to understand rising hypertension levels in LMICs.
This study tested whether the association between interparental conflict and adolescent externalizing symptoms was moderated by a polygenic composite indexing low dopamine activity (i.e., 7-repeat allele of DRD4; Val alleles of COMT; 10-repeat variants of DAT1) in a sample of seventh-grade adolescents (Mean age = 13.0 years) and their parents. Using a longitudinal, autoregressive design, observational assessments of interparental conflict at Wave 1 predicted increases in a multi-informant measurement of youth externalizing symptoms 2 years later at Wave 3 only for children who were high on the hypodopaminergic composite. Moderation was expressed in a “for better” or “for worse” form hypothesized by differential susceptibility theory. Thus, children high on the dopaminergic composite experienced more externalizing problems than their peers when faced with more destructive conflicts but also fewer externalizing problems when exposed to more constructive interparental conflicts. Mediated moderation findings indicated that adolescent reports of their emotional insecurity in the interparental relationship partially explained the greater genetic susceptibility experienced by these children. More specifically, the dopamine composite moderated the association between Wave 1 interparental conflict and emotional insecurity 1 year later at Wave 2 in the same “for better” or “for worse” pattern as externalizing symptoms. Adolescent insecurity at Wave 2, in turn, predicted their greater externalizing symptoms 1 year later at Wave 3. Post hoc analyses further revealed that the 7-repeat allele of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene was the primary source of plasticity in the polygenic composite. Results are discussed as to how they advance process-oriented Gene x Environment models of emotion regulation.
A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communal, aesthetic, and scientific values. The Fort Apache workshop integrated four generally partitioned domains of CPC expertise: (1) theories of perpetrators’ motivations and methods; (2) recommended practice in sustaining public and community opposition to CPC; (3) tactics and strategies for documenting, investigating, and prosecuting CPC; and (4) forensic sedimentology—uses of biophysical sciences to link sediments from implicated persons and objects to crime scenes. Forensic sedimentology served as the touchstone for dialogues among experts in criminology, archaeological sciences, law enforcement, and heritage stewardship. Field visits to CPC crime scenes and workshop deliberations identified pathways toward integrating CPC theory and practice with forensic sedimentology’s potent battery of analytic methods.
This study examined the interplay between a polygenic composite and cortisol activity as moderators of the mediational pathway among family adversity, youth negative emotional reactivity to family conflict, and their psychological problems. The longitudinal design contained three annual measurement occasions with 279 adolescents (Mean age = 13.0 years) and their parents. Latent difference score analyses indicated that observational ratings of adversity in interparental and parent–child interactions at Wave 1 predicted increases in a multimethod, multi-informant assessment of youth negative emotional reactivity to family conflict from Waves 1 to 2. Changes in youth negative emotional reactivity, in turn, predicted increases in a multi-informant (i.e., parents, adolescent, and teacher) assessment of psychological problems from Waves 1 to 3. Consistent with differential susceptibility theory, the association between family adversity and negative emotional reactivity was stronger for adolescents who carried more sensitivity alleles in a polygenic composite consisting of 5-HTTLPR, DRD4 VNTR, and BDNF polymorphisms. Analyses of adolescent cortisol in the period surrounding a family disagreement task at Wave 1 revealed that overall cortisol output, rather than cortisol reactivity, served as an endophenotype of the polygenic composite. Overall cortisol output was specifically associated with polygenic plasticity and moderated the association between family adversity and youth negative emotional reactivity in the same for better or for worse manner as the genetic composite. Finally, moderator-mediated-moderation analyses indicated that the moderating role of the polygenic plasticity composite was mediated by the moderating role of adolescent cortisol output in the association between family adversity and their emotional reactivity.