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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.
Cognition heavily relies on social determinants and genetic background. Latin America comprises approximately 8% of the global population and faces unique challenges, many derived from specific demographic and socioeconomic variables, such as violence and inequality. While such factors have been described to influence mental health outcomes, no large-scale studies with Latin American population have been carried out. Therefore, we aim to describe the cognitive performance of a representative sample of Latin American individuals with schizophrenia and its relationship to clinical factors. Additionally, we aim to investigate how socioeconomic status (SES) relates to cognitive performance in patients and controls.
We included 1175 participants from five Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico): 864 individuals with schizophrenia and 311 unaffected subjects. All participants were part of projects that included cognitive evaluation with MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery and clinical assessments.
Patients showed worse cognitive performance than controls across all domains. Age and diagnosis were independent predictors, indicating similar trajectories of cognitive aging for both patients and controls. The SES factors of education, parental education, and income were more related to cognition in patients than in controls. Cognition was also influenced by symptomatology.
Patients did not show evidence of accelerated cognitive aging; however, they were most impacted by a lower SES suggestive of deprived environment than controls. These findings highlight the vulnerability of cognitive capacity in individuals with psychosis in face of demographic and socioeconomic factors in low- and middle-income countries.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
The financial crisis has literally tested − and still does test − the stress of the EU: it has laid bare many fundamental issues and conundrums of the EU and the EU legal system that had been waiting to be seriously addressed for quite a number of years.
In May 2015, the University of Bayreuth and AIPDIRI organised an international conference of academics and practitioners in Madrid which provided a unique opportunity to discuss the direct and indirect consequences of the financial crisis from various angles, focusing in particular on the position of Germany and Spain. The papers presented at this conference have been revised, expanded and compiled to form this book.
Generally, the financial crisis is first associated with the massive rescue measures undertaken by the ECB, the EU and Member States. Hence, it seems only logical to look at these first in Part I of this volume. Antonio Pastor Palomar thoroughly analyses the various Eurozone rescue mechanisms and in particular the interplay between EU law and international law in setting them up (pp. 5–23). Then Markus Roth takes a look at the consequences on monetary policy and pensions (pp. 25–29).
Part II is devoted to the area which has probably been affected hardest and in the most visible way by the financial crisis: the banking sector and capital markets. The contribution by Jessica Schmidt provides an overview of the most important reform measures in European company and capital markets law in the aftermath of the financial crisis and analyses their practical and conceptual ramifications (pp. 33–46). Against the background of the general goal of reducing systemic risk, Henrik Gildehaus then examines whether CoCo bonds may be a means to achieve this and their role within the new regulatory system (pp. 47–63). Finally, Matthias Lehmann investigates whether EU financial law has become overly complex (pp. 65–68).
A rather interesting, though oft en overlooked, issue is the interaction between the financial crisis and tax law; this is brought into focus in Part III. Agustín J. Menéndez's contribution addresses the financial crisis as a tax crisis (pp. 71–95). Subsequently, André Meyer explores whether we need a common European tax policy (pp. 97–106).
The financial crisis has literally stress tested the European Union and indeed continues to do so. It has already laid bare many fundamental issues and conundrums of the European Union and the European Union's legal system that had been waiting to be seriously addressed for quite a number of years.This book examines the consequences of the financial crisis for European Union law not only with respect to various specific areas of the law, namely contract law, company law, capital markets law, banking law, competition law, tax law, insolvency law, but also with respect to fundamental issues regarding the role and function of the European Union and European law.
The Solar Orbiter is the next solar physics mission of the European Space Agency, ESA, in collaboration with NASA, with a launch planned in 2018. The spacecraft is designed to approach the Sun to within 0.28 AU at perihelion of a highly eccentric orbit. The proximity with the Sun will also allow its observation at uniformly high resolution at EUV and visible wavelengths. Such observations are central for learning more about the magnetic coupling of the solar atmosphere. At a later phase in the mission the spacecraft will leave the ecliptic and study the enigmatic poles of the Sun from a heliographic latitude of up to 33○.
A central instrument of Solar Orbiter} is the Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager, SO/PHI. It will do full Stokes imaging in the Landé g = 2.5 Fe I 617.3 nm line. It is composed of two telescopes, a full-disk telescope and a high-resolution telescope, that will allow observations at a resolution as high as 200 km on the solar surface. SO/PHI will also be the first solar polarimeter to leave the Sun-Earth line, opening up new possibilities, such as stereoscopic polarimetry (besides stereoscopic imaging of the photosphere and stereoscopic helioseismology). Finally, SO/PHI will have a unique view of the solar poles, allowing not just more precise and exact measurements of the polar field than possible so far, but also enabling us to follow the dynamics of individual magnetic features at high latitudes and to determine solar surface and sub-surface flows right up to the poles.
In this paper an introduction to the science goals and the capabilities of SO/PHI will be given, as well as a brief overview of the instrument and of the current status of its development.