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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
Claims that colonial political institutions fundamentally affected the probability for democratic governance in the post-colonial period are probably among some of the most contested in institutional analysis. The current paper revisits this literature using a previously unused source of empirical information – the Statesman's Yearbook – on a large number of non-sovereign countries in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Our analysis shows that neither the size of the European population nor the existence of institutions of higher education appear to be important for the subsequent democratisation of countries decolonised during the latter half of the 20th century, while the existence of representative political bodies during the late colonial period clearly predicts the existence and stability of democracy in recent decades. Successful transplants of democracy to former colonies thus seem to crucially depend on whether recipients had time available to experiment around and adjust the imported institutions to local practices.
The chapter deals with a crucial transition within Hegel’s Encyclopedia: the transition from its first part – the “science of logic” – to its second part – the “philosophy of nature” (§§244–51). My overall argument will be organized in three, consecutive steps. First I present a rational reconstruction of §244. Secondly I attempt to shed light on Hegel’s characterization of nature as presented in the first paragraphs of the Philosophy of Nature. My aim is to motivate and defend his claim that we can know a priori that nature must be a material space-time system. In the third part I address the question of what it might reasonably mean to claim, as Hegel does, that concepts or universals are “immanent” in nature. I argue that it is crucial, in this context, to take seriously his remark that “the concept” does not as such occur in nature, but only as “internal” (innerlich) or “immersed” (versenkt).
In his introductions to the encyclopaedic Philosophy of Nature and to the Lectures on the Philosophy of Nature, Hegel distinguishes between three ‘attitudes’ (Verhaltensweisen, Einstellungen) towards nature—the theoretical, the practical and the philosophical attitude. According to him there is a certain ‘contradiction’ or tension between our theoretical attitude towards nature, which makes it an object of scientific inquiry, and the practical attitude that we assume as living rational beings who intervene in nature and shape it according to our purposes. This article focuses on how exactly to pinpoint that tension and on how it is resolved in what Hegel calls the ‘philosophical’ or ‘comprehending’ attitude towards nature.
This is a qualitative single case study of a geographically distributed student team that experienced a quite different graduate course, compared to previous year's. This was due to the restrictions placed upon them following coronavirus lockdowns. With already ongoing research, and continuous development of the course, the authors had documented individual reflections and identified patterns and behaviours that seemingly determined the quality of the end result, as well as the students expectations and experiences. Semi-structured interviews, surveys and the author's individual reflection notes were already in place as part of the larger research scope and when the student team during the covid-19 year showed unexpected performance and results, the authors decided to pause the larger research scope and focus on this unique single case and capture those learnings. Not knowing how the Covid-19 situation evolves and leaning on insights from previous years, as well as this unique year, the aim with this paper is to describe the unique Covid-19 year amd share knowledge that can help improve and evolve the development of this longlived collaborative graduate student course, and other similar distributed team contexts.
We developed a wearable experimental sensor setup featuring multimodal EEG+fNIRS neuroimaging applicable for in situ experiments of human behavior in interaction with technology. A low-cost electroencephalography (EEG) was integrated with a wearable functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) system, which we present in two parts. Paper A provide an exhaustive description of setup infrastructure, data synchronization process, a procedure for usage, including sensor application, and ensuring high signal quality. This paper (Paper B) demonstrate the setup';s usability in three distinct use cases: a conventional human-computer interaction experiment, an in situ driving experiment where participants drive a car in the city and on the highway, and an ashtanga vinyasa yoga practice in situ. Data on cognitive load from highly ecologically valid experimental setups are presented, and we discuss lessons learned. These include acceptable and unacceptable artefacts, data quality, and constructs possible to investigate with the setup.
We developed a wearable experimental sensor setup featuring multimodal EEG+fNIRS neuroimaging data capture applicable for in situ experiments at a lower financial threshold. Consistent application of a good protocol and procedure for sensor application and signal quality control is crucial for researchers to obtain valid data. This paper provides an exhaustive description of the sensor setup, the data synchronization process, procedure for sensor application, and signal quality control. Potential design cognition experiments with the proposed EEG+fNIRS are also described. In summary, the setup is mobile and provides multimodal neuroimaging data of high quality. We encourage the design community to take advantage of the setup and adapt it to new experimental setups in situ.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has emerged as an unprecedented global crisis challenging health systems. This paper aims to assess and characterise SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to identify groups at greatest risk, to establish early measures to curb transmission. We analysed all mandatory notified (i.e. laboratory-confirmed) coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks with more than two cases in Baden-Wuerttemberg from calendar weeks 18–49 (from 27 April to 6 December 2020). We used the following classification for settings: asylum and refugee accommodation, care homes, care facilities, day care child centres, hobby-related, hospitality, hospitals, households, other, residence halls, schools, supported housing, training schools, transportation, treatment facilities and workplace (occupational). We used R program version 3.6.3 for analysis. In our analysis, 3219 outbreaks with 22 238 individuals were included. About 48% were in household and hobby-related settings. Care homes accounted for 9.5% of outbreaks and 21.6% of cases. The median age across all settings was 43 (interquartile range (IQR) 24–63). The median age of cases in care homes was 81 (IQR 56–88). Of all reported cases in care homes, 72.1% were women. Over 30% (466/1511) of hospitalisations were among cases in care homes compared to 17.7% (268/1511) in households. Overall, 70% (500/715) of all deceased persons in outbreaks in the study period were in care homes compared to 4.2% in household settings (30/715). We observed an exponential increase in the number of notified outbreaks starting around the 41st week with N = 291 outbreaks reported in week 49. The median number of cases in outbreaks in care homes and care facilities after the 40th week was 14 (IQR 5–29) and 11 (IQR 5–20), respectively, compared to 3 (IQR 3–5) in households. We observed an increase in hospitalisations, and mortality associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes after the 40th week. We found the care home demographic to be at greatest risk after the 40th week, based on the exponential increase in outbreaks, the number of cases, hospitalisations and mortality trends. Our analysis highlights the necessity of targeted, setting-specific approaches to control transmission in this vulnerable population. Regular screening of staff members and visitors' using rapid antigen point-of-care-tests could be a game-changer in curbing transmission in this setting.
Hyperammonaemia (HA) is observed in decompensated liver disease. The picture of hyperammonemic encephalopathy in non-cirrhotic patients was reported mostly associated with valproic acid. There are few reports of hyperammonemia in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) and they are associated with other comorbidities and few with antiretrovirals (HAART), but not as adverse drug reactions associated with psychotropic drugs associated with the virus.
Report of cases of PLHIV in HARRT with hyperammonemia, its clinical impact and ammonium levels.
Materials and Methods
We report 67 PLHIV in treatment with HAART, negative viral loads, psychopharmacological treatment with valproic acid (n=45) or carbamazepine (n=22). Exclusion criteria were = HCV, HBV and alcohol consumption disorder (current or recent history) and decompensated liver pathology. We apply scales to evaluate side effects (UKU), subjective adherence (DAI), daily life activities (Barthel Index), liver severity (Child-Pugh Classification) and degrees of hepatic encephalopathy (West Haven Scale). The ethical-legal requirements were met. Results: 26.86% presented hyperammonemia, among which 38.88% was symptomatic. The clinical presentation was heterogeneous with a higher prevalence of gastrointestinal and cognitive alterations; the most severe cases presented alterations of the sensorium and 1 case of convulsions. We recorded a greater symptomatic severity with carbamazepine (average ammonia =104.4 pmol/L), but a higher prevalence of non-symptomatic hyperammonemia with valproic acid (62.3 pmol/L). The time of onset of symptoms was lower with carbamazepine, but the time until its decrease was higher with valproic acid.
We observed a higher prevalence of hyperammonemia and associated symptomatology in PLHIV with HAART medicated with carbamazepine. The significant percentage of this adverse drug reaction suggests a biochemical, perhaps preventive, control.
In this paper, we derive and analyse mean-field models for the dynamics of groups of individuals undergoing a random walk. The random motion of individuals is only influenced by the perceived densities of the different groups present as well as the available space. All individuals have the tendency to stay within their own group and avoid the others. These interactions lead to the formation of aggregates in case of a single species and to segregation in the case of multiple species. We derive two different mean-field models, which are based on these interactions and weigh local and non-local effects differently. We discuss existence and stability properties of solutions for both models and illustrate the rich dynamics with numerical simulations.
In 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered several important judgments in the field of fundamental and human rights law. The purpose of the present contribution is to provide a concise overview of this jurisprudence. It considers judgments in fields such as the rule of law, asylum law, the right to liberty, passive suffrage, equal treatment and the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Following a brief summary of each case discussed, this contribution analyses selected aspects concerning the protection of fundamental rights in the European Union. The contribution concludes that the jurisprudence likewise shows consolidation and novelties. Generally, it may be concluded that the rule of law serves as an overarching theme.
In 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered several important judgments in the field of human rights. Due to their constitutional significance, some of them may be described as ‘instant classics’ of European Union (EU, the Union) fundamental rights law. Other rulings are also noteworthy inasmuch as they show new trends or developments in the case law of the Court. The purpose of the present contribution is to provide a concise overview of this jurisprudence.
A total of nine judgments that the authors consider to be of importance in 2019 will be discussed. The contribution attempts to find a fair balance between different fields, such as the rule of law, asylum law, the right to liberty, passive suffrage, equal treatment and the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR). The rulings, all of which were delivered by the European Court of Justice (ECJ, the Court), include eight preliminary reference procedures and one infringement procedure. All of them were Grand Chamber judgments. However, it goes without saying that this list is by no means exhaustive. Rather, the present contribution is based on a subjective selection of cases, trying to provide an insight into the activities of the CJEU in the field of fundamental rights protection for the given period.
Trematode prevalence and abundance in hosts are known to be affected by biotic drivers as well as by abiotic drivers. In this study, we used the unique salinity gradient found in the south-western Baltic Sea to: (i) investigate patterns of trematode infections in the first intermediate host, the periwinkle Littorina littorea and in the downstream host, the mussel Mytilus edulis, along a regional salinity gradient (from 13 to 22) and (ii) evaluate the effects of first intermediate host (periwinkle) density, host size and salinity on trematode infections in mussels. Two species dominated the trematode community, Renicola roscovita and Himasthla elongata. Salinity, mussel size and density of infected periwinkles were significantly correlated with R. roscovita, and salinity and density correlated with H. elongata abundance. These results suggest that salinity, first intermediate host density and host size play an important role in determining infection levels in mussels, with salinity being the main major driver. Under expected global change scenarios, the predicted freshening of the Baltic Sea might lead to reduced trematode transmission, which may be further enhanced by a potential decrease in periwinkle density and mussel size.
The 2007–19 glaciological mass-balance series of Mera Glacier in the Everest Region, East Nepal, is reanalysed using the geodetic mass balance assessed by differencing two DEMs obtained from Pléiades stereo-images acquired in November 2012 and in October 2018. The glaciological glacier-wide annual mass balance of Mera Glacier has to be systematically decreased by 0.11 m w.e. a−1 to match the geodetic mass balance. We attribute part of the positive bias of the glaciological mass balance to an over-estimation of the accumulation above 5520 m a.s.l., likely due to a measurement network unable to capture its spatial variability. Over the period 2007–19, Mera Glacier has lost mass at a rate of −0.41 ± 0.20 m w.e. a−1, in general agreement with regional averages for the central Himalaya. We observe a succession of negative mass-balance years since 2013.
People with young-onset dementia (YOD) living in nursing homes may experience poor quality of life (QoL) due to advanced dementia, high prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms and psychotropic drug use. However, the course of QoL in institutionalized people with YOD and factors that predict this course are unclear. This knowledge could help health professionals identify appropriate interventions to improve QoL in YOD.
To explore the course of QoL in institutionalized people with YOD and resident-related predictors of that course.
Secondary analyses were conducted with longitudinal data from the Behavior and Evolution in Young-ONset Dementia (BEYOND)-II study. A total of 278 people with YOD were recruited from 13 YOD special care units in the Netherlands. QoL was measured by the proxy assessment of Quality of Life in Dementia (QUALIDEM) questionnaire at four assessments over 18 months. Independent variables included age, gender, dementia subtype, length of stay, dementia severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms and psychotropic drug use at baseline. Multilevel modeling adjusted for correlation within nursing homes and residents was used to determine the course and predictors of QoL.
The total QUALIDEM score (range: 0–111) decreased over 18 months with a statistically significant decline of 0.73 points per six months. A significant increase of QoL over time was seen in the subscales “Care relationship”, “Positive self-image”, and “Feeling at home”. However, a significant decline was observed in the subscales “Positive affect”, “Social relations”, and “Something to do”. Residents’ course of QoL was positively associated with the baseline scores of the QoL, age and longer duration of stay; however, being male, having advanced dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and high rates of neuropsychiatric symptoms at baseline were negatively associated with the course of QoL
Longitudinal changes in QoL in residents with YOD were small over 18 months and QUALIDEM subscales showed multidirectional changes. The largest QoL decline in the subscale “Positive affect” suggests that interventions should be targeted to improve positive emotions, in particular for male residents with neuropsychiatric symptoms and advanced dementia.
Casein glycomacropeptide (CGMP) is a bioactive milk-derived peptide with potential anti-inflammatory effects. Animal studies suggest that CGMP may work by altering gut microbiota composition and enhancing butyrate production. Its effects on intestinal homoeostasis, microbiota and metabolites in humans are unknown. The aim of the present study was to assess both the intestinal and systemic immunomodulatory effects of orally ingested CGMP. We hypothesised that daily oral CGMP intake would reduce high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in healthy adults. In a single-centre limited but randomised, double-blinded, reference-controlled study, we compared the effects of a 4-week intervention of either 25 g of oral powder-based chocolate-flavoured CGMP or a reference drink. We included twenty-four healthy adults who all completed the study. CGMP had no systemic or intestinal immunomodulatory effects compared with a reference drink, with regard to either hsCRP or faecal calprotectin level, faecal microbiota composition or faecal SCFA content. CGMP ingestion did not affect satiety or body weight, and it caused no severe adverse events. The palatability of CGMP was acceptable, and adherence was high. CGMP did not induce or change gastrointestinal symptoms. In conclusion, we found no immunomodulatory effects of CGMP in healthy adults. In a minor group of healthy adults, oral ingestion of 25 g of CGMP during 4 weeks was safe, well tolerated, had acceptable palatability and was without any effects on body weight.
The pressures exerted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic pose an unprecedented demand on healthcare services. Hospitals become rapidly overwhelmed when patients requiring life-saving support outpace available capacities.
We describe methods used by a university hospital to forecast case loads and time to peak incidence.
We developed a set of models to forecast incidence among the hospital catchment population and to describe the COVID-19 patient hospital-care pathway. The first forecast utilized data from antecedent allopatric epidemics and parameterized the care-pathway model according to expert opinion (ie, the static model). Once sufficient local data were available, trends for the time-dependent effective reproduction number were fitted, and the care pathway was reparameterized using hazards for real patient admission, referrals, and discharge (ie, the dynamic model).
The static model, deployed before the epidemic, exaggerated the bed occupancy for general wards (116 forecasted vs 66 observed), ICUs (47 forecasted vs 34 observed), and predicted the peak too late: general ward forecast April 9 and observed April 8 and ICU forecast April 19 and observed April 8. After April 5, the dynamic model could be run daily, and its precision improved with increasing availability of empirical local data.
The models provided data-based guidance for the preparation and allocation of critical resources of a university hospital well in advance of the epidemic surge, despite overestimating the service demand. Overestimates should resolve when the population contact pattern before and during restrictions can be taken into account, but for now they may provide an acceptable safety margin for preparing during times of uncertainty.
Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.