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Alcohol consumption, smoking and mood disorders are leading contributors to the global burden of disease and are highly comorbid. Yet, their interrelationships have remained elusive. The aim of this study was to examine the multi-cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between (change in) smoking and alcohol use and (change in) number of depressive symptoms.
In this prospective, longitudinal study, 6646 adults from the general population were included with follow-up measurements after 3 and 6 years. Linear mixed-effects models were used to test multi-cross-sectional and longitudinal associations, with smoking behaviour, alcohol use and genetic risk scores for smoking and alcohol use as independent variables and depressive symptoms as dependent variables.
In the multi-cross-sectional analysis, smoking status and number of cigarettes per day were positively associated with depressive symptoms (p < 0.001). Moderate drinking was associated with less symptoms of depression compared to non-use (p = 0.011). Longitudinally, decreases in the numbers of cigarettes per day and alcoholic drinks per week as well as alcohol cessation were associated with a reduction of depressive symptoms (p = 0.001–0.028). Results of genetic risk score analyses aligned with these findings.
While cross-sectionally smoking and moderate alcohol use show opposing associations with depressive symptoms, decreases in smoking behaviour as well as alcohol consumption are associated with improvements in depressive symptoms over time. Although we cannot infer causality, these results open avenues to further investigate interventions targeting smoking and alcohol behaviours in people suffering from depressive symptoms.
Clinicians routinely use impressions of speech as an element of mental status examination. In schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, descriptions of speech are used to assess the severity of psychotic symptoms. In the current study, we assessed the diagnostic value of acoustic speech parameters in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, as well as its value in recognizing positive and negative symptoms.
Speech was obtained from 142 patients with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder and 142 matched controls during a semi-structured interview on neutral topics. Patients were categorized as having predominantly positive or negative symptoms using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Acoustic parameters were extracted with OpenSMILE, employing the extended Geneva Acoustic Minimalistic Parameter Set, which includes standardized analyses of pitch (F0), speech quality and pauses. Speech parameters were fed into a random forest algorithm with leave-ten-out cross-validation to assess their value for a schizophrenia-spectrum diagnosis, and PANSS subtype recognition.
The machine-learning speech classifier attained an accuracy of 86.2% in classifying patients with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder and controls on speech parameters alone. Patients with predominantly positive v. negative symptoms could be classified with an accuracy of 74.2%.
Our results show that automatically extracted speech parameters can be used to accurately classify patients with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder and healthy controls, as well as differentiate between patients with predominantly positive v. negatives symptoms. Thus, the field of speech technology has provided a standardized, powerful tool that has high potential for clinical applications in diagnosis and differentiation, given its ease of comparison and replication across samples.
Frowning expresses negative emotions like anger, fear, and sadness. According to the facial feedback hypothesis, suppression of frowning will also diminish the corresponding negative emotions. Hence, mood improvement has been observed in patients who underwent treatment of glabellar frown lines with botulinum neurotoxin. This observation suggests the possibility that the intervention may be employed for the management of psychiatric disorders associated with negative emotions. Preliminary data from an open case series indicate that the intervention might improve the symptoms of depression.
Aims & objectives
To test whether an onabotulinumtoxinA injection into the glabellar region is benefical as an adjunctive treatment of major depression within a clinical trial.
We used a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study design (n = 30; ClinicalTrials.gov, number, NCT00934687).
We show that a single onabotulinumtoxinA treatment shortly leads to a strong and sustained improvement in partly chronic major depression that did not respond sufficiently to previous treatment. As for the primary end-point, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) six weeks after treatment compared to baseline, scores of onabotulinumtoxinA recipients showed 37.9% (8.34 points) more improvement than those of placebo-treated participants (F = 12.30, p = 0.002, η2 = 0.31, d = 1.28).
Our findings support the concept that the facial musculature not only expresses, but also regulates, mood states. As it stands, treatment of glabellar frown lines with botulinum neurotoxin can be considered for depressed patients with the objective of inducing mood-lifting effects.
Studies investigating the underlying mechanisms of hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia suggest that an imbalance in top-down expectations v. bottom-up processing underlies these errors in perception. This study evaluates this hypothesis by testing if individuals drawn from the general population who have had auditory hallucinations (AH) have more misperceptions in auditory language perception than those who have never hallucinated.
We used an online survey to determine the presence of hallucinations. Participants filled out the Questionnaire for Psychotic Experiences and participated in an auditory verbal recognition task to assess both correct perceptions (hits) and misperceptions (false alarms). A hearing test was performed to screen for hearing problems.
A total of 5115 individuals from the general Dutch population participated in this study. Participants who reported AH in the week preceding the test had a higher false alarm rate in their auditory perception compared with those without such (recent) experiences. The more recent the AH were experienced, the more mistakes participants made. While the presence of verbal AH (AVH) was predictive for false alarm rate in auditory language perception, the presence of non-verbal or visual hallucinations were not.
The presence of AVH predicted false alarm rate in auditory language perception, whereas the presence of non-verbal auditory or visual hallucinations was not, suggesting that enhanced top-down processing does not transfer across modalities. More false alarms were observed in participants who reported more recent AVHs. This is in line with models of enhanced influence of top-down expectations in persons who hallucinate.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
The aim of the present paper is to summarise current and future applications of dietary assessment technologies in nutrition surveys in developed countries. It includes the discussion of key points and highlights of subsequent developments from a panel discussion to address strengths and weaknesses of traditional dietary assessment methods (food records, FFQ, 24 h recalls, diet history with interviewer-assisted data collection) v. new technology-based dietary assessment methods (web-based and mobile device applications). The panel discussion ‘Traditional methods v. new technologies: dilemmas for dietary assessment in population surveys’, was held at the 9th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM9), Brisbane, September 2015. Despite respondent and researcher burden, traditional methods have been most commonly used in nutrition surveys. However, dietary assessment technologies offer potential advantages including faster data processing and better data quality. This is a fast-moving field and there is evidence of increasing demand for the use of new technologies amongst the general public and researchers. There is a need for research and investment to support efforts being made to facilitate the inclusion of new technologies for rapid, accurate and representative data.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
In the European Rosetta project three separate, previously developed, ICT systems were improved and integrated to create one modular system that helps community-dwelling people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia in different stages of the disease. The system aims to support them in daily functioning, monitor (deviations from) patterns in daily behaviour and to automatically detect emergency situations. The study aimed to inventory the end users’ needs and wishes regarding the development and design of the new integrated Rosetta system, and to describe the to be developed Rosetta system.
Qualitative user-participatory design with in total 50 persons: 14 people with dementia, 13 informal carers, 6 professional carers, 9 dementia experts, 7 care partners within the project, and 1 volunteer. In the Netherlands user focus group sessions were performed and in Germany individual interviews. Dementia experts were consulted by means of a questionnaire, an expert meeting session, and interviews.
Persons with dementia and informal carers appreciated the following functionalities most: help in cases of emergencies, navigation support and the calendar function. Dementia experts rated various behaviours relevant to monitor in order to detect timely changes in functioning, e.g. eating, drinking, going to the toilet, taking medicine adequately, performance of activities and sleep patterns. No ethical issues regarding the use of sensors and cameras were mentioned.
The user participatory design resulted in valuable input from persons with dementia, informal carers and professional carers/dementia experts, based on which a first prototype Rosetta system was built.
Multilocus sequence types (STs) were determined for 232 and 737 Campylobacter jejuni/coli isolates from Dutch travellers and domestically acquired cases, respectively. Putative risk factors for travel-related campylobacteriosis, and for domestically acquired campylobacteriosis caused by exotic STs (putatively carried by returning travellers), were investigated. Travelling to Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southern Europe significantly increased the risk of acquiring campylobacteriosis compared to travelling within Western Europe. Besides eating chicken, using antacids, and having chronic enteropathies, we identified eating vegetable salad outside Europe, drinking bottled water in high-risk destinations, and handling/eating undercooked pork as possible risk factors for travel-related campylobacteriosis. Factors associated with domestically acquired campylobacteriosis caused by exotic STs involved predominantly person-to-person contacts around popular holiday periods. We concluded that putative determinants of travel-related campylobacteriosis differ from those of domestically acquired infections and that returning travellers may carry several exotic strains that might subsequently spread to domestic populations even through limited person-to-person transmission.
Abrasive blade dicing is the most common technique for die separation. In this work an alternative dry and non-abrasive die separation method, which is known as "Stealth dicing", is assessed for surface-sensitive MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) wafers. The dicing performance and capability of the system is investigated on 200mm full thickness wafers with and without MEMS structures. The diced wafers are analyzed with respect to the silicon cutting quality, possible particle contamination, the condition of functional structures and their mechanical and electrical functionality. In addition the performance and limitations of two different Stealth Dicing Engine (SDE) types, SDE01 and SDE03, are compared to each other with respect to their performance on MEMS wafer dicing.
From this work design rules and proper dimensions of the scribe line can be determined. Process integration solutions, describing steps before and after the Stealth dicing process, including the contact-less dicing tape application to the wafer back side and the final die separation method by tape stretching, are presented. It was also found that the SDE03 laser with its outstanding performance in terms of process speed and separation quality can bring a breakthrough for applying this technology for MEMS wafers.
The aetiology of depressive disorder remains unknown, although genetic susceptibility and exposure to neurotoxins are currently being discussed as possible contributors to this disorder. In normal circumstances, the brain is protected against bloodborne toxic influences by the blood–brain barrier, which includes the molecular efflux pump P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the vessel wall of brain capillaries. We hypothesized that P-gp function in the blood–brain barrier is changed in patients with major depression. Positron emission tomography was used to measure brain uptake of [11C]verapamil, which is normally expelled from the brain by P-gp. Cerebral volume of distribution (VT) of [11C]verapamil was used as a measure of P-gp function. Both region-of-interest (ROI) analysis and voxel analysis using statistical parametric mapping (SPM2) were performed to assess regional brain P-gp function. We found that patients with a major depressive episode, using antidepressants, compared to healthy controls showed a significant decrease of [11C]verapamil uptake in different areas throughout the brain, in particular in frontal and temporal regions. The decreased [11C]verapamil uptake correlates with an increased function of the P-gp protein and may be related to chronic use of psychotropic drugs. Our results may explain why treatment-resistant depression can develop.
Background and aim: The neuromuscular effects of a bolus dose of rocuronium 0.6 mg kg−1 under propofol anaesthesia in renal failure patients are prolonged compared to healthy patients. The present study aims to describe the neuromuscular effects of 0.3 mg kg−1 rocuronium under propofol anaesthesia in patients with renal failure and to compare these effects with healthy control patients. Methods: With institutional approval and informed consent, 18 healthy patients and 18 patients with renal failure took part in this prospective open label study. The renal failure patients were undergoing either renal transplantation or insertion of a shunt. Rocuronium 0.3 mg kg−1 was given intravenously after induction of anaesthesia with propofol 1–2 mg kg−1 and fentanyl 2 μg kg−1. Propofol 6–12 mg kg−1 h−1 was used for maintenance of anaesthesia. Four acceleromyographic responses of the thumb after supramaximal stimulation of the ulnar nerve using surface electrodes at 2 Hz every 15 s were measured and recorded. The onset time, the time to recovery of the first twitch to 25% recovery and the time to a train-of-four ratio of 0.7 were all recorded. Wilcoxon rank sum testing was used to compare the pharmacodynamics and to see if medication, gender or electrolytes influenced the duration of the block. P < 0.05 was significant. Results: No statistical differences were seen in the neuromuscular blocking effects of rocuronium between the two groups but there was a significant difference (P < 0.00001) in the variability of the total duration of the block. Conclusions: Rocuronium 0.3 mg kg−1 is suitable for use in patients with renal failure when endotracheal intubation and neuromuscular block for a short period of time are needed. Tracheal intubation is facilitated within 4 min and the block can be antagonized within 20 min.
The distribution of antibody levels to Legionella (L.) pneumophila (serotypes 1–7) was compared between subjects who worked near the source of a large outbreak of Legionnaires' disease (n=668) and a population sample of comparable age (n=480). In a previous analysis of these data, it was estimated that 80% of those working near the source were infected with L. pneumophila. However, the estimation procedure implicitly assumes that the probability of infection does not depend on the antibody level of a person before exposure. This is questionable, as antibodies could protect against infection. We have now estimated the minimum value consistent with the data on the number of infected persons. We observed that a minimum of 40% [95% confidence interval (CI) 32–48] of those working near the source and 13% (95% CI 8–18) of those working further away were infected with L. pneumophila. Implications of these findings for design options in future research are discussed.
Transient enhanced diffusion (TED) and electrical activation (EA) of ion-implanted boron during rapid thermal annealing has been investigated using three types of boron doped p-type Si (100) substrates: (a) Cz 20 Ωcm, (b) 3 μm thick 20 Ωcm epitaxial Si layer (epi-layer) grown on a 20 Ωcm Cz substrate, and (c) 3 μm thick 20 Ωcm epi-layer grown on a 5 mΩcin Fz substrate. The level of oxygen is known to decrease from material type (a) to (c). The samples were implanted with 20 keV, 5×1013 cm−2 boron and subjected to rapid thermal annealing (RTA) at various temperatures and times. The EA and TED were studied using spreading resistance profiling (SRP) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), respectively. Although the amount of TED is almost identical for the three substrates, the EA is found to be significantly higher in the epi-layers compared to Cz substrates. It is speculated that the trapping of vacancies by oxygen in the ion-damaged region leads to an increase in the interstitial supersaturation during annealing, which then results in enhanced boron clustering and reduced electrical activation in the peak of the implanted profile.
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