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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by deficits in social interaction and behavioral impairments. Several studies have reported differences in white matter generalized Fractional Anisotropy (gFA) in ASD.
We studied white matter microstructural integrity in individuals with ASD.
We conducted the first DWI-based whole brain tractography study to compare gFA in 22 deep white matter tracts in first-degree relatives of individuals with ASD to controls and individuals with ASD. Futhermore, we replicated our significants results in an independant sample.
Fifty-one first-degree relatives of individuals with ASD, 29 controls and 14 individuals with ASD participated.
We performed q-ball imaging whole-brain tractography based on 1.5 T diffusion weighted MRI over 32 non-colinear directions. Then, we computed mean gFA along 22 main deep white matter tracts. A linear mixed model using group, gender, age and IQ as fixed effects and family as a random effect was used and Bonferroni correction applied. We also recruited a replication sample comprising 23 individuals with ASD and 32 controls.
We demonstrated a significantly reduced mean gFA along the left IFOF in first-degree relatives of individuals with ASD and individuals with ASD compared with controls and replicated this finding in an independant sample of patients. A decrease in mean gFA was also observed in the left CST when we compared first-degree relatives of individuals with ASD to controls (no such decrease was present in patients).
Our work suggests that structural fronto-occipital disconnectivity may be an endophenotype of ASD.
Although immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) are associated with multiple mental health conditions, there is a paucity of literature assessing personality disorders (PDs) in these populations. We aimed to estimate and compare the incidence of any PD in IMID and matched cohorts over time, and identify sociodemographic characteristics associated with the incidence of PD.
We used population-based administrative data from Manitoba, Canada to identify persons with incident inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using validated case definitions. Unaffected controls were matched 5:1 on sex, age and region of residence. PDs were identified using hospitalisation or physician claims. We used unadjusted and covariate-adjusted negative binomial regression to compare the incidence of PDs between the IMID and matched cohorts.
We identified 19 572 incident cases of IMID (IBD n = 6,119, MS n = 3,514, RA n = 10 206) and 97 727 matches overall. After covariate adjustment, the IMID cohort had an increased incidence of PDs (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.72; 95%CI: 1.47–2.01) as compared to the matched cohort, which remained consistent over time. The incidence of PDs was similarly elevated in IBD (IRR 2.19; 95%CI: 1.69–2.84), MS (IRR 1.79; 95%CI: 1.29–2.50) and RA (IRR 1.61; 95%CI: 1.29–1.99). Lower socioeconomic status and urban residence were associated with an increased incidence of PDs, whereas mid to older adulthood (age 45–64) was associated with overall decreased incidence. In a restricted sample with 5 years of data before and after IMID diagnosis, the incidence of PDs was also elevated before IMID diagnosis among all IMID groups relative to matched controls.
IMID are associated with an increased incidence of PDs both before and after an IMID diagnosis. These results support the relevance of shared risk factors in the co-occurrence of PDs and IMID conditions.
Viral pneumonia is an important cause of death and morbidity among infants worldwide. Transmission of non-influenza respiratory viruses in households can inform preventative interventions and has not been well-characterised in South Asia. From April 2011 to April 2012, household members of pregnant women enrolled in a randomised trial of influenza vaccine in rural Nepal were surveyed weekly for respiratory illness until 180 days after birth. Nasal swabs were tested by polymerase chain reaction for respiratory viruses in symptomatic individuals. A transmission event was defined as a secondary case of the same virus within 14 days of initial infection within a household. From 555 households, 825 initial viral illness episodes occurred, resulting in 79 transmission events. The overall incidence of transmission was 1.14 events per 100 person-weeks. Risk of transmission incidence was associated with an index case age 1–4 years (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.35; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40–3.96), coinfection as initial infection (IRR 1.94; 95% CI 1.05–3.61) and no electricity in household (IRR 2.70; 95% CI 1.41–5.00). Preventive interventions targeting preschool-age children in households in resource-limited settings may decrease the risk of transmission to vulnerable household members, such as young infants.
After the diagnosis of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is increased relative to the general population. We aimed to determine whether the incidence of psychiatric disorders is increased in the 5 years before the diagnosis of IMID as compared with the general population.
Using population-based administrative health data from the Canadian province of Manitoba, we identified all persons with incident IBD, MS and RA between 1989 and 2012, and cohorts from the general population matched 5 : 1 on year of birth, sex and region to each disease cohort. We identified members of these groups with at least 5 years of residency before and after the IMID diagnosis date. We applied validated algorithms for depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and any psychiatric disorder to determine the annual incidence of these conditions in the 5-year periods before and after the diagnosis year.
We identified 12 141 incident cases of IMID (3766 IBD, 2190 MS, 6350 RA) and 65 424 matched individuals. As early as 5 years before diagnosis, the incidence of depression [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.54; 95% CI 1.30–1.84) and anxiety disorders (IRR 1.30; 95% CI 1.12–1.51) were elevated in the IMID cohort as compared with the matched cohort. Similar results were obtained for each of the IBD, MS and RA cohorts. The incidence of bipolar disorder was elevated beginning 3 years before IMID diagnosis (IRR 1.63; 95% CI 1.10–2.40).
The incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is elevated in the IMID population as compared with a matched population as early as 5 years before diagnosis. Future studies should elucidate whether this reflects shared risk factors for psychiatric disorders and IMID, a shared final common inflammatory pathway or other aetiology.
To identify predictive factors and mortality of patients with influenza admitted to intensive care units (ICU) we carried out a prospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza in adult ICUs in a network of Canadian hospitals between 2006 and 2012. There were 626 influenza-positive patients admitted to ICUs over the six influenza seasons, representing 17·9% of hospitalized influenza patients, 3·1/10 000 hospital admissions. Variability occurred in admission rate and proportion of hospital influenza patients who were admitted to ICUs (proportion range by year: 11·7–29·4%; 21·3% in the 2009–2010 pandemic). In logistic regression models ICU patients were younger during the pandemic and post-pandemic period, and more likely to be obese than hospital non-ICU patients. Influenza B accounted for 14·2% of all ICU cases and had a similar ICU admission rate as influenza A. Influenza-related mortality was 17·8% in ICU patients compared to 2·0% in non-ICU patients.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of 11 September 2001 (9/11) is one of the most prevalent and persistent health conditions among both professional (e.g. police) and non-traditional (e.g. construction worker) WTC responders, even several years after 9/11. However, little is known about the dimensionality and natural course of WTC-related PTSD symptomatology in these populations.
Data were analysed from 10 835 WTC responders, including 4035 police and 6800 non-traditional responders who were evaluated as part of the WTC Health Program, a clinic network in the New York area established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were used to evaluate structural models of PTSD symptom dimensionality; and autoregressive cross-lagged (ARCL) panel regressions were used to examine the prospective interrelationships among PTSD symptom clusters at 3, 6 and 8 years after 9/11.
CFAs suggested that five stable symptom clusters best represent PTSD symptom dimensionality in both police and non-traditional WTC responders. This five-factor model was also invariant over time with respect to factor loadings and structural parameters, thereby demonstrating its longitudinal stability. ARCL panel regression analyses revealed that hyperarousal symptoms had a prominent role in predicting other symptom clusters of PTSD, with anxious arousal symptoms primarily driving re-experiencing symptoms, and dysphoric arousal symptoms primarily driving emotional numbing symptoms over time.
Results of this study suggest that disaster-related PTSD symptomatology in WTC responders is best represented by five symptom dimensions. Anxious arousal symptoms, which are characterized by hypervigilance and exaggerated startle, may primarily drive re-experiencing symptoms, while dysphoric arousal symptoms, which are characterized by sleep disturbance, irritability/anger and concentration difficulties, may primarily drive emotional numbing symptoms over time. These results underscore the importance of assessment, monitoring and early intervention of hyperarousal symptoms in WTC and other disaster responders.
Longitudinal symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often characterized by heterogeneous trajectories, which may have unique pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. To date, however, no study has evaluated the nature and determinants of predominant trajectories of PTSD symptoms in World Trade Center (WTC) responders.
A total of 10835 WTC responders, including 4035 professional police responders and 6800 non-traditional responders (e.g. construction workers) who participated in the WTC Health Program (WTC-HP), were evaluated an average of 3, 6 and 8 years after the WTC attacks.
Among police responders, longitudinal PTSD symptoms were best characterized by four classes, with the majority (77.8%) in a resistant/resilient trajectory and the remainder exhibiting chronic (5.3%), recovering (8.4%) or delayed-onset (8.5%) symptom trajectories. Among non-traditional responders, a six-class solution was optimal, with fewer responders in a resistant/resilient trajectory (58.0%) and the remainder exhibiting recovering (12.3%), severe chronic (9.5%), subsyndromal increasing (7.3%), delayed-onset (6.7%) and moderate chronic (6.2%) trajectories. Prior psychiatric history, Hispanic ethnicity, severity of WTC exposure and WTC-related medical conditions were most strongly associated with symptomatic trajectories of PTSD symptoms in both groups of responders, whereas greater education and family and work support while working at the WTC site were protective against several of these trajectories.
Trajectories of PTSD symptoms in WTC responders are heterogeneous and associated uniquely with pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. Police responders were more likely than non-traditional responders to exhibit a resistant/resilient trajectory. These results underscore the importance of prevention, screening and treatment efforts that target high-risk disaster responders, particularly those with prior psychiatric history, high levels of trauma exposure and work-related medical morbidities.
Vitamin A plays an important role in fetal renal and cardiovascular development, yet there has been little research on its effects on cardiovascular risk factors later in childhood. To examine this question, we followed the children of women who had been participants in a cluster-randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of weekly supplementation with 7000 μg retinol equivalents of preformed vitamin A or 42 mg of β-carotene from 1994 to 1997 in rural Nepal. Women received their assigned supplements before, during and after pregnancy. Over a study period of 3 years, 17,531 infants were born to women enrolled in the trial. In 2006–2008, we revisited and assessed 13,118 children aged 9–13 years to examine the impact of maternal supplementation on early biomarkers of chronic disease. Blood pressure was measured in the entire sample of children. In a subsample of 1390 children, venous blood was collected for plasma glucose, Hb1Ac and lipids and a morning urine specimen was collected to measure the ratio of microalbumin/creatinine. Detailed anthropometry was also conducted in the subsample. The mean ± s.d. systolic and diastolic blood pressure was 97.2 ± 8.2 and 64.6 ± 8.5 mm Hg, respectively, and about 5.0% had high-blood pressure (⩾120/80 mm Hg). The prevalence of microalbuminuria (⩾30 mg/g creatinine) was also low at 4.8%. There were no differences in blood pressure or the risk of microalbuminuria between supplement groups. There were also no group differences in fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, triglycerides or cholesterol. Maternal supplementation with vitamin A or β-carotene had no overall impact on cardiovascular risk factors in this population at pre-adolescent age in rural Nepal.
We have chosen the name of GYES, one of the mythological giants with one hundred arms,
offspring of Gaia and Uranus, for our instrument study of a multifibre spectrograph for
the prime focus of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Such an instrument could provide an
excellent ground-based complement for the Gaia mission and a northern complement to the
HERMES project on the AAT. The CFHT is well known for providing a stable prime focus
environment, with a large field of view, which has hosted several imaging instruments, but
has never hosted a multifibre spectrograph. Building upon the experience gained at GÉPI
with FLAMES-Giraffe and X-Shooter, we are investigating the feasibility of a high
multiplex spectrograph (about 500 fibres) over a field of view one degree in diameter. We
are investigating an instrument with resolution in the range 15 000 to 30 000, which
should provide accurate chemical abundances for stars down to 16th magnitude and radial
velocities, accurate to 1 km s-1 for fainter stars. The study is led by
GÉPI-Observatoire de Paris with a contribution from Oxford for the study of the
positioner. The financing for the study comes from INSU CSAA and Observatoire de Paris.
The conceptual study will be delivered to CFHT for review by October 1st 2010.
During the five years of the mission, the Gaia spectrograph, the Radial Velocity
Spectrometer (RVS) will repeatedly survey the celestial sphere down to magnitude
V ~ 17–18. This talk presents: (i) the system which is currently developed within
the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) to reduce and calibrate the
spectra and to derive the radial and rotational velocities, (ii) the RVS expected
performances and (iii) scientific returns.
The calibration of the Radial Velocity Zero-Point (RVZP) of the Radial Velocity
Spectrometer (RVS) will be performed with the help of Radial Velocity (RV) standard stars
and asteroids. A full-sky list of RV standard stars candidates has been built for this
purpose within the Development Unit (DU) 640 of the Gaia DPAC Consortium. A ground-based
campaign of RV observations has been initiated to eliminate unsuitable candidates.
Simulations have also been performed in order to estimate in advance the number of RV
standard stars and asteroids crossing the RVS field of view. These standard stars and
asteroids will also be very helpful for controlling any harmful effect (especially the CCD
radiation damage) on calibration and RVZP during the lifetime of the Gaia project.
Kinematic RV are expected to be published at the end of the project for the brightest
stars, taking into account gravitational redshift and convective shifts for the lines
present in the RVS spectral wavelength range.
Dietary carotenoids are associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Raw food diets are predominantly plant-based diets that are practised with the intention of preventing chronic diseases by virtue of their high content of beneficial nutritive substances such as carotenoids. However, the benefit of a long-term adherence to these diets is controversial since little is known about their adequacy. Therefore, we investigated vitamin A and carotenoid status and related food sources in raw food diet adherents in Germany. Dietary vitamin A, carotenoid intake, plasma retinol and plasma carotenoids were determined in 198 (ninety-two male and 106 female) strict raw food diet adherents in a cross-sectional study. Raw food diet adherents consumed on average 95 weight% of their total food intake as raw food (approximately 1800 g/d), mainly fruits. Raw food diet adherents had an intake of 1301 retinol activity equivalents/d and 16·7 mg/d carotenoids. Plasma vitamin A status was normal in 82 % of the subjects ( ≥ 1·05 μmol/l) and 63 % had β-carotene concentrations associated with chronic disease prevention ( ≥ 0·88 μmol/l). In 77 % of subjects the lycopene status was below the reference values for average healthy populations ( < 0·45 μmol/l). Fat contained in fruits, vegetables and nuts and oil consumption was a significant dietary determinant of plasma carotenoid concentrations (β-carotene r 0·284; P < 0·05; lycopene r 0·168; P = 0·024). Long-term raw food diet adherents showed normal vitamin A status and achieve favourable plasma β-carotene concentrations as recommended for chronic disease prevention, but showed low plasma lycopene levels. Plasma carotenoids in raw food adherents are predicted mainly by fat intake.