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The quality of intimate relationships has been found to be a strong negative predictor for individuals’ mental and physical health problems. A significant predictor of relationship quality is adult attachment insecurity, but the mechanism by which attachment insecurity affects relationship quality needs further investigation. This study investigated whether self-compassion and compassion for one's partner mediated this association. Three hundred and forty-two individuals participated in an online survey assessing attachment anxiety and avoidance, compassionate and uncompassionate attitudes towards self and one's partner, as well as relationship quality and relationship satisfaction. The results showed that low self-compassionate attitude mediated the association between attachment anxiety and poor relationship quality. Further, low compassionate and high uncompassionate attitude towards one's partner mediated the association between attachment avoidance and poor relationship quality. No mediating effect was found for relationship satisfaction. Implications for interventions are discussed.
India has the second largest number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) globally. Epidemiological evidence indicates that consumption of white rice is positively associated with T2D risk, while intake of brown rice is inversely associated. Thus, we explored the effect of substituting brown rice for white rice on T2D risk factors among adults in urban South India. A total of 166 overweight (BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2) adults aged 25–65 years were enrolled in a randomised cross-over trial in Chennai, India. Interventions were a parboiled brown rice or white rice regimen providing two ad libitum meals/d, 6 d/week for 3 months with a 2-week washout period. Primary outcomes were blood glucose, insulin, glycosylated Hb (HbA1c), insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and lipids. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was a secondary outcome. We did not observe significant between-group differences for primary outcomes among all participants. However, a significant reduction in HbA1c was observed in the brown rice group among participants with the metabolic syndrome (−0·18 (se 0·08) %) relative to those without the metabolic syndrome (0·05 (se 0·05) %) (P-for-heterogeneity = 0·02). Improvements in HbA1c, total and LDL-cholesterol were observed in the brown rice group among participants with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 compared with those with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (P-for-heterogeneity < 0·05). We observed a smaller increase in hs-CRP in the brown (0·03 (sd 2·12) mg/l) compared with white rice group (0·63 (sd 2·35) mg/l) (P = 0·04). In conclusion, substituting brown rice for white rice showed a potential benefit on HbA1c among participants with the metabolic syndrome and an elevated BMI. A small benefit on inflammation was also observed.
X-ray microscopy is a field that has developed rapidly in recent years. Two different approaches have been used. Zone plates have been employed to produce focussed beams with sizes as low as 0.07 pm for x-ray energies below 1 keV. Images of biological materials and elemental maps for major and minor low Z have been produced using above and below absorption edge differences. At higher energies collimators and focussing mirrors have been used to make small diameter beams for excitation of characteristic K— or L-x rays of all elements in the periodic
We present early results from the first near-IR imaging of the weak X-ray sources discovered in the recent Chandra/ACIS-I survey towards the Galactic Centre (GC) (Wang et al. 2002). These ~800 discrete sources, which contribute significantly to the GC X-ray emission, represent an important and previously unknown population within the Galaxy. From our VLT observations we will identify likely IR counterparts to a sample of the hardest sources, which are most likely X-ray binaries. With these data we can place constraints on the nature of the discrete weak X-ray source population of the GC. Once the data analysis is complete we will discuss our results in the context of binary population synthesis models.
To understand increasing rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Tennessee, we conducted testing, risk factor analysis and a nested case–control study among persons who use drugs. During June–October 2016, HCV testing with risk factor assessment was conducted in sexually transmitted disease clinics, family planning clinics and an addiction treatment facility in eastern Tennessee; data were analysed by using multivariable logistic regression. A nested case–control study was conducted to assess drug-using risks and behaviours among persons who reported intranasal or injection drug use (IDU). Of 4753 persons tested, 397 (8.4%) were HCV-antibody positive. HCV infection was significantly associated with a history of both intranasal and IDU (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 35.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 24.1–51.9), IDU alone (aOR 52.7, CI 25.3–109.9), intranasal drug use alone (aOR 2.6, CI 1.8–3.9) and incarceration (aOR 2.7, CI 2.0–3.8). By 4 October 2016, 574 persons with a reported history of drug use; 63 (11%) were interviewed further. Of 31 persons who used both intranasal and injection drugs, 26 (84%) reported previous intranasal drug use, occurring 1–18 years (median 5.5 years) before their first IDU. Our findings provide evidence that reported IDU, intranasal drug use and incarceration are independent indicators of risk for past or present HCV infection in the study population.
The longstanding association between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and schizophrenia (SZ) risk has recently been accounted for, partially, by structural variation at the complement component 4 (C4) gene. This structural variation generates varying levels of C4 RNA expression, and genetic information from the MHC region can now be used to predict C4 RNA expression in the brain. Increased predicted C4A RNA expression is associated with the risk of SZ, and C4 is reported to influence synaptic pruning in animal models.
Based on our previous studies associating MHC SZ risk variants with poorer memory performance, we tested whether increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with reduced memory function in a large (n = 1238) dataset of psychosis cases and healthy participants, and with altered task-dependent cortical activation in a subset of these samples.
We observed that increased predicted C4A RNA expression predicted poorer performance on measures of memory recall (p = 0.016, corrected). Furthermore, in healthy participants, we found that increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with a pattern of reduced cortical activity in middle temporal cortex during a measure of visual processing (p < 0.05, corrected).
These data suggest that the effects of C4 on cognition were observable at both a cortical and behavioural level, and may represent one mechanism by which illness risk is mediated. As such, deficits in learning and memory may represent a therapeutic target for new molecular developments aimed at altering C4’s developmental role.
A cognitive behavioral model predicts that coping responses mediate the relationship between falls related psychological concerns and falls incidence, in community-dwelling older people. If empirical support could be found for this pathway then interventions could be developed to reduce falls risk by targeting coping strategies. Therefore, this study aimed to begin the process of testing whether coping responses mediate the association between falls self-efficacy (a principal element of falls related psychological concerns) and falls incidence, in community-dwelling older people.
In a cross-sectional design, 160 community-dwelling older people (31 male, 129 female; mean age 83.47 years) completed the Falls Efficacy Scale–International, the Revised-Ways of Coping Questionnaire, the Turning to Religion subscale of the COPE, and a falls questionnaire. Data were analyzed via mediation analysis using a bootstrapping approach.
Lower falls self-efficacy was associated with higher falls incidence, and more self-controlling coping was found to be a partial mediator of this association, with a confidence interval for the indirect effect of (0.003, 0.021) and an effect size of κ2
= 0.035. The association was not mediated by the other measured coping responses; namely, turning to religion, distancing, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, escape-avoidance, planful problem-solving, and positive reappraisal.
Self-controlling coping may mediate the association between falls self-efficacy and falling. If longitudinal studies confirm this finding then coping could be targeted in interventions to reduce falls.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
The immune system not only provides protection against infectious disease but also contributes to the etiology of neoplastic, atopic, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Prenatal and postnatal nutritional and microbial environments have lasting effects on multiple aspects of immunity, indicating that immune processes may play important roles in the developmental origins of disease. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between birth weight and the distribution of leukocyte (white blood cell) subsets in peripheral blood in young adulthood. Postnatal microbial exposures were also considered as predictors of leukocyte distribution. Participants (n=486; mean age=20.9 years) were drawn from a prospective birth cohort study in the Philippines, and analyses focused on the following cell types: CD4 T lymphocytes, CD8 T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, natural killer cells, monocytes, granulocytes. Higher birth weight was a strong predictor of higher proportion of CD4 T lymphocytes (B=0.12, s.e.=0.041, P=0.003), lower proportion of CD8 T lymphocytes (B=−0.874, s.e.=0.364, P=0.016), higher CD4:CD8 ratio (B=1.964, s.e.=0.658, P=0.003), and higher B lymphocytes (B=0.062, s.e.=0.031, P=0.047). Measures of microbial exposure in infancy were negatively associated with proportions of B lymphocytes and granulocytes, and lower CD4:CD8 ratio. Leukocytes are the key regulators and effectors of innate and specific immunity, but the origins of variation in the distribution of cell type across individuals are not known. Our findings point toward nutritional and microbial exposures in infancy as potentially important determinants of immune-phenotypes in adulthood, and they suggest that leukocyte distribution is a plausible mechanism through which developmental environments have lasting effects on disease risk in adulthood.
The analysis of the X-ray emission from a sample of 55 bright early-type galaxies shows that hot gaseous coronae are a common and perhaps ubiquitous feature of such systems. The X-ray emission can be explained most naturally as thermal bremsstrahlung from hot gas (kT ≈ 0.5–1.5 keV) which may be accumulated from mass loss during normal stellar evolution. The presence of these coronae shows that matter (109−1010 M⊙) previously thought to be expelled in a galactic wind is instead stored in a hot galactic corona which may be heated and powered by supernova explosions. Perhaps the single most important feature of these coronae is that they provide a unique tracer of the gravitational potential in the outer regions of bright early-type galaxies. In this paper we describe the X-ray properties of these coronae (gas mass, temperature, and extent) and discuss their implications for the presence of massive dark halos around individual early-type galaxies. We find total masses of early-type galaxies up to 5 × 1012 M⊙. We estimate mass-to-light ratios for early-type galaxies and find values up to ∼100 (in solar units), similar to those found for the larger dynamical systems of groups and clusters.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
In the 1998-99 flight, BOOMERanG has produced maps of ∼4% of the sky at high Galactic latitudes, at frequencies of 90, 150, 240 and 410 GHz, with resolution ≳ 10'. The faint structure of the Cosmic Microwave Background at horizon and sub-horizon scales is evident in these maps. These maps compare well to the maps recently obtained at lower frequencies by the WMAP experiment. Here we compare the amplitude and morphology of the structures observed in the two sets of maps. We also outline the polarization sensitive version of BOOMERanG, which was flown early this year to measure the linear polarization of the microwave sky at 150, 240 and 350 GHz.
Marine upwelling along coastal Peru can be intense and variable, making radiocarbon dating marine and coastal systems complex. Historical and proxy records of upwelling along coastal Peru are few, and long-lived species such as corals do not grow in the cold coastal waters. Mollusk shell carbonate, however, can record both the magnitude of the local marine reservoir correction, ΔR, and of seasonal oscillations in the ventilation age of coastal waters. If large, these seasonal oscillations would complicate radiocarbon dating of marine organisms. To examine this possibility, we sampled for δ13C, δ18O, and 14C content a set of pre-bomb Argopecten purpuratus shells collected from coastal Peru during 1908 and 1926. Intrashell variations of up to 216 14C yr were noted, but these were not consistently correlated with seasonal changes in δ18O or δ13C. Only an 11 yr difference was observed in the weighted average ΔR of Callao Bay shells collected during normal (1908) and El Niño (1926) years. Despite the intrashell 14C variation noted, weighted average ΔR values from all 3 sample sites and from normal and El Niño years all overlap at 1 σ. We report ΔR values of 183 ± 18 and 194 ± 23 yr from Callao Bay (12°4′S), 165 ± 24 yr from Salaverry (8°14′S), and 189 ± 23 yr from Sechura Bay (5°45′S).
Mollusk shells provide brief (<5 yr per shell) records of past marine conditions, including marine radiocarbon reservoir age (R) and upwelling. We report 21 14C ages and R calculations on small (∼2 mg) samples from 2 Mesodesma donacium (surf clam) shells. These shells were excavated from a semi-subterranean house floor stratum 14C dated to 7625 ± 35 BP at site QJ-280, Quebrada Jaguay, southern Peru. The ranges in marine 14C ages (and thus R) from the 2 shells are 530 and 170 14C yr; R from individual aragonite samples spans 130 ± 60 to 730 ± 170 14C yr. This intrashell 14C variability suggests that 14C dating of small (time-slice much less than 1 yr) marine samples from a variable-R (i.e. variable-upwelling) environment may introduce centuries of chronometric uncertainty.
Many older adults consider driving as essential to maintaining their quality of life and independence, and this may be particularly true for individuals residing in more rural areas where transportation options may be limited. Although it is normative for individuals to eventually stop driving as they age, very few plan ahead for their driving retirement (Curl et al., 2014). The process of driving cessation has been associated with a host of negative consequences for physical and mental well-being, including increased depressive symptoms, reduced network of friends, lower activity levels, and accelerated health decline (Mezuk & Rebok, 2008; Edwards et al., 2009; Curl et al., 2014). Previous studies have found that, at all ages, women are more likely to stop driving in later life than men, and often stop driving prematurely, and that various factors such as education and marital status influence the likelihood of cessation differently for women and men (Ross et al., 2009; Choi et al., 2012). Thus, factors associated with driving cessation and its consequences for older women are important to understand, particularly factors that might help buffer the negative effects of giving up driving and that might serve as early targets for preventive interventions.
Adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) demonstrate increased susceptibility to interfering effects of anxiety on cognitive control; although under certain conditions adults with MDD are able to compensate for these effects. The brain mechanisms that may facilitate the ability to compensate for anxiety either via the recruitment of additional cognitive resources or via the regulation of interference from anxiety remain largely unknown. To clarify these mechanisms, we examined the effects of anxiety on brain activity and amygdala–prefrontal functional connectivity in adults diagnosed with MDD.
A total of 22 unmedicated adults with MDD and 18 healthy controls (HCs) performed the Tower of London task under conditions designed to induce anxiety, while undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging assessment.
During the easy condition, the MDD group demonstrated equivalent planning accuracy, longer planning times, elevated amygdala activity and left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) hyperactivity relative to HCs. Anxiety mediated observed group differences in planning times, as well as differences in amygdala activation, which subsequently mediated observed differences in RLPFC activation. During the easy condition, the MDD group also demonstrated increased negative amygdala–dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) connectivity which correlated with improved planning accuracy. During the hard condition, HCs demonstrated greater DLPFC activation and stronger negative amygdala–DLPFC connectivity, which was unrelated to planning accuracy.
Our results suggest that persons with MDD compensate for anxiety-related limbic activation during low-load cognitive tasks by recruiting additional RLPFC activation and through increased inhibitory amygdala–DLPFC communication. Targeting these neural mechanisms directly may improve cognitive functioning in MDD.
The emerging statistical properties from the first 50 extrasolar planets are startlingly different from the picture that was imagined prior to 1995. About 0.75% of nearby solar type stars harbor jovian planets in 3 to 5 day circular orbits. Another ∽7% of stars have jupiter–mass companions orbiting in eccentric orbits within 3.5 AU. The mass distribution of substellar companions rises abruptly near 5 MJup and continues increasing down to the detection limit near 1 MJup-Orbital eccentricities correlate positively with semimajor axes, even for planets beyond the tidal circularization zone within 0.1 AU, distinguishing planets from binary stars. The planet bearing stars are metal–rich relative to both nearby stars and to the Sun. Analogs of Solar System planets have not been detected to date as they require precision of 3 m s−1 maintained for more than a decade.