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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.
Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an important human disease-causing parasite. In the USA, T. gondii infects >10% of the population, accrues economic losses of US$3.6 billion/year, and ranks as the second leading culprit of foodborne illness-related fatalities. We assessed toxoplasmosis risk among the Old Order Amish, a mostly homogenous population with a high prevalence of T. gondii seropositivity, using a questionnaire focusing on food consumption/preparation behaviours and environmental risk factors. Analyses were conducted using multiple logistic regression. Consuming raw meat, rare meat, or unpasteurised cow or goat milk products was associated with increased odds of seropositivity (unadjusted Odds Ratios: 2.192, 1.613, and 1.718 , respectively). In separate models by sex, consuming raw meat, or consuming unpasteurised cow or goat milk products, was associated with increased odds of seropositivity among women; washing hands after touching meat with decreased odds of seropositivity among women (adjusted OR (AOR): 0.462); and cleaning cat litterbox with increased odds of seropositivity among men (AOR: 5.241). This is the first study to assess associations between behavioural and environmental risk factors and T. gondii seropositivity in a US population with high seroprevalence for T. gondii. Our study emphasises the importance of proper food safety behaviours to avoid the risk of infection.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a familial psychiatric disorder associated with frontotemporal and subcortical brain abnormalities. It is unclear whether such abnormalities are present in relatives without BD, and little is known about structural brain trajectories in those at risk.
Neuroimaging was conducted at baseline and at 2-year follow-up interval in 90 high-risk individuals with a first-degree BD relative (HR), and 56 participants with no family history of mental illness who could have non-BD diagnoses. All 146 subjects were aged 12–30 years at baseline. We examined longitudinal change in gray and white matter volume, cortical thickness, and surface area in the frontotemporal cortex and subcortical regions.
Compared to controls, HR participants showed accelerated cortical thinning and volume reduction in right lateralised frontal regions, including the inferior frontal gyrus, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, frontal pole and rostral middle frontal gyrus. Independent of time, the HR group had greater cortical thickness in the left caudal anterior cingulate cortex, larger volume in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex and greater area of right accumbens, compared to controls. This pattern was evident even in those without the new onset of psychopathology during the inter-scan interval.
This study suggests that differences previously observed in BD are developing prior to the onset of the disorder. The pattern of pathological acceleration of cortical thinning is likely consistent with a disturbance of molecular mechanisms responsible for normal cortical thinning. We also demonstrate that neuroanatomical differences in HR individuals may be progressive in some regions and stable in others.
This project will work closely with existing service partners involved in street level services and focus on testing and evaluating three approaches for street level interventions for youth who are homeless and who have severe or moderate mentally illness. Youth will be asked to choose their preferred service approach:
Housing First related initiatives focused on interventions designed to move youth to appropriate and available housing and ongoing housing supports.
Treatment First initiatives to provide Mental Health/Addiction supports and treatment solutions, and; Simultaneous attention to both Housing and Treatment Together
Our primary objective is to understand the service delivery preferences of homeless youth and understand the outcomes of these choices. Our research questions include:
1. Which approaches to service are chosen by youth?
2. What are the differences and similarities between groups choosing each approach?
3. What are the critical ingredients needed to effectively implement services for homeless youth from the perspectives of youth, families and service providers?
Focus groups with staff and family members will occur to assist in understanding the nature of each of service approach, changes that evolve within services, & facilitators and barriers to service delivery. This work will be important in determining which approach is chosen by youth and why. Evaluating the outcomes with each choice will provide valuable information about outcomes for the service options chosen by youth. This assist in better identifying weaknesses in the services offered and inform further development of treatment options that youth will accept.
− Agency is one of five core analytical problems in the Earth System Governance (ESG) Project’s research framework, which offers a unique approach to the study of environmental governance. − Agency in Earth System Governance draws lessons from ESG–Agency research through a systematic review of 322 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2008 and 2016 and contained in the ESG–Agency Harvesting Database.− ESG–Agency research draws on diverse disciplinary perspectives with distinct clusters of scholars rooted in the fields of global environmental politics, policy studies, and socio-ecological systems. − Collectively, the chapters in Agency in Earth System Governance provide an accessible synthesis of some of the field’s major questions and debates and a state-of-the-art understanding of how diverse actors engage with and exercise authority in environmental governance.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Despite the magnitude and protracted nature of the Rohingya refugee situation, there is limited information on the culture, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of this group. This paper, drawing on a report commissioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aims to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the literature on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees, including an examination of associated cultural factors. The ultimate objective is to assist humanitarian actors and agencies in providing culturally relevant Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for Rohingya refugees displaced to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.
We conducted a systematic search across multiple sources of information with reference to the contextual, social, economic, cultural, mental health and health-related factors amongst Rohingya refugees living in the Asia-Pacific and other regions. The search covered online databases of diverse disciplines (e.g. medicine, psychology, anthropology), grey literature, as well as unpublished reports from non-profit organisations and United Nations agencies published until 2018.
The legacy of prolonged exposure to conflict and persecution compounded by protracted conditions of deprivations and displacement is likely to increase the refugees' vulnerability to wide array of mental health problems including posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. High rates of sexual and gender-based violence, lack of privacy and safe spaces and limited access to integrated psychosocial and mental health support remain issues of concern within the emergency operation in Bangladesh. Another challenge is the limited understanding amongst the MHPSS personnel in Bangladesh and elsewhere of the language, culture and help-seeking behaviour of Rohingya refugees. While the Rohingya language has a considerable vocabulary for emotional and behavioural problems, there is limited correspondence between these Rohingya terms and western concepts of mental disorders. This hampers the provision of culturally sensitive and contextually relevant MHPSS services to these refugees.
The knowledge about the culture, context, migration history, idioms of distress, help-seeking behaviour and traditional healing methods, obtained from diverse sources can be applied in the design and delivery of culturally appropriate interventions. Attention to past exposure to traumatic events and losses need to be paired with attention for ongoing stressors and issues related to worries about the future. It is important to design MHPSS interventions in ways that mobilise the individual and collective strengths of Rohingya refugees and build on their resilience.
The current generation of experiments aiming to detect the neutral hydrogen signal from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is likely to be limited by systematic effects associated with removing foreground sources from target fields. In this paper, we develop a model for the compact foreground sources in one of the target fields of the MWA’s EoR key science experiment: the ‘EoR1’ field. The model is based on both the MWA’s GLEAM survey and GMRT 150 MHz data from the TGSS survey, the latter providing higher angular resolution and better astrometric accuracy for compact sources than is available from the MWA alone. The model contains 5 049 sources, some of which have complicated morphology in MWA data, Fornax A being the most complex. The higher resolution data show that 13% of sources that appear point-like to the MWA have complicated morphology such as double and quad structure, with a typical separation of 33 arcsec. We derive an analytic expression for the error introduced into the EoR two-dimensional power spectrum due to peeling close double sources as single point sources and show that for the measured source properties, the error in the power spectrum is confined to high k⊥ modes that do not affect the overall result for the large-scale cosmological signal of interest. The brightest 10 mis-modelled sources in the field contribute 90% of the power bias in the data, suggesting that it is most critical to improve the models of the brightest sources. With this hybrid model, we reprocess data from the EoR1 field and show a maximum of 8% improved calibration accuracy and a factor of two reduction in residual power in k-space from peeling these sources. Implications for future EoR experiments including the SKA are discussed in relation to the improvements obtained.
Despite the known heightened risk and burden of various somatic diseases in people with depression, very little is known about physical health multimorbidity (i.e. two or more physical health co-morbidities) in individuals with depression. This study explored physical health multimorbidity in people with clinical depression, subsyndromal depression and brief depressive episode across 43 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Cross-sectional, community-based data on 190 593 individuals from 43 LMICs recruited via the World Health Survey were analysed. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was done to assess the association between depression and physical multimorbidity.
Overall, two, three and four or more physical health conditions were present in 7.4, 2.4 and 0.9% of non-depressive individuals compared with 17.7, 9.1 and 4.9% among people with any depressive episode, respectively. Compared with those with no depression, subsyndromal depression, brief depressive episode and depressive episode were significantly associated with 2.62, 2.14 and 3.44 times higher odds for multimorbidity, respectively. A significant positive association between multimorbidity and any depression was observed across 42 of the 43 countries, with particularly high odds ratios (ORs) in China (OR 8.84), Laos (OR 5.08), Ethiopia (OR 4.99), the Philippines (OR 4.81) and Malaysia (OR 4.58). The pooled OR for multimorbidity and depression estimated by meta-analysis across 43 countries was 3.26 (95% confident interval 2.98–3.57).
Our large multinational study demonstrates that physical health multimorbidity is increased across the depression spectrum. Public health interventions are required to address this global health problem.
Subjective reports of insomnia and hypersomnia are common in bipolar disorder (BD). It is unclear to what extent these relate to underlying circadian rhythm disturbance (CRD). In this study we aimed to objectively assess sleep and circadian rhythm in a cohort of patients with BD compared to matched controls.
Forty-six patients with BD and 42 controls had comprehensive sleep/circadian rhythm assessment with respiratory sleep studies, prolonged accelerometry over 3 weeks, sleep questionnaires and diaries, melatonin levels, alongside mood, psychosocial functioning and quality of life (QoL) questionnaires.
Twenty-three (50%) patients with BD had abnormal sleep, of whom 12 (52%) had CRD and 29% had obstructive sleep apnoea. Patients with abnormal sleep had lower 24-h melatonin secretion compared to controls and patients with normal sleep. Abnormal sleep/CRD in BD was associated with impaired functioning and worse QoL.
BD is associated with high rates of abnormal sleep and CRD. The association between these disorders, mood and functioning, and the direction of causality, warrants further investigation.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
White matter (WM) impairments have been reported in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and those at high familial risk of developing BD. However, the distribution of these impairments has not been well characterized. Few studies have examined WM integrity in young people early in the course of illness and in individuals at familial risk who have not yet passed the peak age of onset.
WM integrity was examined in 63 BD subjects, 150 high-risk (HR) individuals and 111 participants with no family history of mental illness (CON). All subjects were aged 12 to 30 years.
This young BD group had significantly lower fractional anisotropy within the genu of the corpus callosum (CC) compared with the CON and HR groups. Moreover, the abnormality in the genu of the CC was also present in HR participants with recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) (n = 16) compared with CON participants.
Our findings provide important validation of interhemispheric abnormalities in BD patients. The novel finding in HR subjects with recurrent MDD – a group at particular risk of future hypo/manic episodes – suggests that this may potentially represent a trait marker for BD, though this will need to be confirmed in longitudinal follow-up studies.
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with elevated risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, the direction of this association is not yet established, as most prior studies employed cross-sectional designs. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate bidirectional associations between PTSD and MetS using a longitudinal design.
A total of 1355 male and female veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan underwent PTSD diagnostic assessments and their biometric profiles pertaining to MetS were extracted from the electronic medical record at two time points (spanning ~2.5 years, n = 971 at time 2).
The prevalence of MetS among veterans with PTSD was just under 40% at both time points and was significantly greater than that for veterans without PTSD; the prevalence of MetS among those with PTSD was also elevated relative to age-matched population estimates. Cross-lagged panel models revealed that PTSD severity predicted subsequent increases in MetS severity (β = 0.08, p = 0.002), after controlling for initial MetS severity, but MetS did not predict later PTSD symptoms. Logistic regression results suggested that for every 10 PTSD symptoms endorsed at time 1, the odds of a subsequent MetS diagnosis increased by 56%.
Results highlight the substantial cardiometabolic concerns of young veterans with PTSD and raise the possibility that PTSD may predispose individuals to accelerated aging, in part, manifested clinically as MetS. This demonstrates the need to identify those with PTSD at greatest risk for MetS and to develop interventions that improve both conditions.
Fronto-limbic structural brain abnormalities have been reported in patients with bipolar disorder (BD), but findings in individuals at increased genetic risk of developing BD have been inconsistent. We conducted a study in adolescents and young adults (12–30 years) comparing measures of fronto-limbic cortical and subcortical brain structure between individuals at increased familial risk of BD (at risk; AR), subjects with BD and controls (CON). We separately examined cortical volume, thickness and surface area as these have distinct neurodevelopmental origins and thus may reflect differential effects of genetic risk.
We compared fronto-limbic measures of grey and white matter volume, cortical thickness and surface area in 72 unaffected-risk individuals with at least one first-degree relative with bipolar disorder (AR), 38 BD subjects and 72 participants with no family history of mental illness (CON).
The AR group had significantly reduced cortical thickness in the left pars orbitalis of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) compared with the CON group, and significantly increased left parahippocampal gyral volume compared with those with BD.
The finding of reduced cortical thickness of the left pars orbitalis in AR subjects is consistent with other evidence supporting the IFG as a key region associated with genetic liability for BD. The greater volume of the left parahippocampal gyrus in those at high risk is in line with some prior reports of regional increases in grey matter volume in at-risk subjects. Assessing multiple complementary morphometric measures may assist in the better understanding of abnormal developmental processes in BD.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
Impairments in key neuropsychological domains (e.g. working memory, attention) and social cognitive deficits have been implicated as intermediate (endo) phenotypes for bipolar disorder (BD), and should therefore be evident in unaffected relatives.
Neurocognitive and social cognitive ability was examined in 99 young people (age range 16–30 years) with a biological parent or sibling diagnosed with the disorder [thus deemed to be at risk (AR) of developing BD], compared with 78 healthy control (HC) subjects, and 52 people with a confirmed diagnosis of BD.
Only verbal intelligence and affective response inhibition were significantly impaired in AR relative to HC participants; the BD participants showed significant deficits in attention tasks compared with HCs. Neither AR nor BD patients showed impairments in general intellectual ability, working memory, visuospatial or language ability, relative to HC participants. Analysis of BD-I and BD-II cases separately revealed deficits in attention and immediate memory in BD-I patients (only), relative to HCs. Only the BD (but not AR) participants showed impaired emotion recognition, relative to HCs.
Selective cognitive deficits in the capacity to inhibit negative affective information, and general verbal ability may be intermediate markers of risk for BD; however, the extent and severity of impairment in this sample was less pronounced than has been reported in previous studies of older family members and BD cases. These findings highlight distinctions in the cognitive profiles of AR and BD participants, and provide limited support for progressive cognitive decline in association with illness development in BD.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
In the United States alone, ∼14,000 children are hospitalised annually with acute heart failure. The science and art of caring for these patients continues to evolve. The International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was held on February 4 and 5, 2015. The 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was funded through the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program Endowment, a philanthropic collaboration between All Children’s Hospital and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). Sponsored by All Children’s Hospital Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, the International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit assembled leaders in clinical and scientific disciplines related to paediatric heart failure and created a multi-disciplinary “think-tank”. The purpose of this manuscript is to summarise the lessons from the 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, to describe the “state of the art” of the treatment of paediatric cardiac failure, and to discuss future directions for research in the domain of paediatric cardiac failure.