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Early-life environmental and nutritional exposures are considered to contribute to the differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden. Among sub-Saharan African populations, the association between markers of early-life exposures such as leg length and sitting height and CVD risk is yet to be investigated. This study assessed the association between leg length, sitting height, and estimated 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk among Ghanaian-born populations in Europe and Ghana. We constructed sex-specific quintiles for sitting height and leg length for 3250 participants aged 40–70 years (mean age 52 years; men 39.6%; women 60.4%) in the cross-sectional multicenter Research on Diabetes and Obesity among African Migrants study. Ten-year risk of ASCVD was estimated using the Pooled Cohort Equations; risk ≥7.5% was defined as “elevated” CVD risk. Prevalence ratios (PR) were estimated to determine the associations between sitting height, leg length, and estimated 10-year ASCVD risk. For both men and women, mean sitting height and leg length were highest in Europe and lowest in rural Ghana. Sitting height was inversely associated with 10-year ASCVD risk among all women (PR for 1 standard deviation increase of sitting height: 0.75; 95% confidence interval: 0.67, 0.85). Among men, an inverse association between sitting height and 10-year ASCVD risk was significant on adjustment for study site, adult, and parental education but attenuated when further adjusted for height. No association was found between leg length and estimated 10-year ASCVD risk. Early-life and childhood exposures that influence sitting height could be the important determinants of ASCVD risk in this adult population.
Notwithstanding the appeal of the “one size fits all” approach that Baumeister et al. propose, we argue that there is no panacea for improving group performance. The concept of “differentiation of selves” constitutes an umbrella term for similar seeming but actually different constructs. Even the same type of “differentiation of selves” can be beneficial for some and harmful for other tasks.
Primary school years seem to represent a critical period for the development of overweight and obesity. However, only a few studies have analysed the prospective relationship between dietary patterns and weight status in children. The aims of the present study were to identify dietary patterns at the beginning of and during the primary school period and to examine their relevance to the development of body composition. Nutritional and anthropometric data from 371 participants of the Dortmund Nutritional and Longitudinally Designed (DONALD) Study at the beginning (ages 6 and 7 years) and end (ages 10 and 11 years) of the primary school period were used. Principal component analyses (PCA) were conducted to identify dietary patterns, which were regressed on changes in BMI and fat mass index (FMI) between ages 6 and 7 years and ages 10 and 11 years. Reduced rank regression (RRR) was used to directly extract patterns explaining variation in changes in BMI and FMI between ages 6 and 7 years and ages 10 and 11 years. PCA yielded interpretable patterns of dietary changes at the beginning of and during the primary school period, which were not related to changes in body composition. Conversely, RRR allowed identifying predictive patterns: higher baseline intakes of white bread and lower baseline intakes of whole-grain products as well as increases in the consumption of savoury snacks, sausages and cheese during primary school years independently predicted increases in BMI and FMI during the primary school period. In conclusion, selection of unfavourable carbohydrate sources at the beginning of the primary school period and increases in the consumption of processed savoury foods during primary school years may adversely affect the development of body composition during the course of primary school.
Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a novel central acting neuropeptide that modulates several brain functions. NPS has shown strong anxiolytic-like effects and interactions with other central transmitter systems, including serotonin and glutamate. A coding variation (Asn107Ile) of the NPS receptor gene (NPSR1) was associated with panic disorder and schizophrenia. Based on these encouraging findings, the present study aimed at exploring a potential role of NPSR1 in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). A sample of 232 OCD patients was successfully genotyped for the NPSR1 Asn107Ile variant (rs324981). Age at onset was taken into account to address the heterogeneity of the OCD phenotype. The NPSR1 genotype significantly affected age at onset of the OCD patients, with a mean age at onset approximately 4 yr earlier in homozygous carriers of the low-functioning Asn107 variant compared to patients with at least one Ile107 variant (p = 0.032). Case–control analyses with 308 healthy control subjects reveal a highly significant association of the Asn107 variant with early onset OCD (odds ratio = 2.36, p = 0.0004) while late onset OCD or the OCD group as a whole were unrelated to the NPSR1 genotype. Based on our association finding relating NPSR1 genotype to early onset OCD, we suggest a differential role of the NPS system in OCD. In particular, the early onset OCD subtype seems to be characterized by a genetically driven low NPS tone, which might affect other OCD-related transmitter systems, including the serotonin and glutamate systems. In agreement with preclinical research, we suggest that NPS may be a promising pharmacological candidate with anti-obsessional properties.
Recently, the neuropeptide S (NPS) neurotransmitter system has been identified as a promising psychopharmacological drug target given that NPS has shown anxiolytic-like and stress-reducing properties and memory-enhancing effects in rodent models. NPS binds to the G-protein-coupled receptor encoded by the neuropeptide S receptor gene (NPSR1). A functional variant within this gene leads to an amino-acid exchange (rs324981, Asn107Ile) resulting in a gain-of-function in the Ile107 variant which was recently associated with panic disorder in two independent studies. A potential psychopharmacological effect of NPS on schizophrenia psychopathology was demonstrated by showing that NPS can block NMDA antagonist-induced deficits in prepulse inhibition. We therefore explored a potential role of the NPSR1 Asn107Ile variation in schizophrenia. A case-control sample of 778 schizophrenia patients and 713 healthy control subjects was successfully genotyped for NPSR1 Asn107Ile. Verbal declarative memory and acoustic startle response were measured in subsamples of the schizophrenia patients. The case-control comparison revealed that the low-functioning NPSR1 Asn107 variant was significantly associated with schizophrenia (OR 1.19, p=0.017). Moreover, specifically decreased verbal memory consolidation was found in homozygous Asn107 carriers while memory acquisition was unaffected by NPSR1 genotype. The schizophrenia patients carrying the Ile107 variant demonstrated significantly reduced startle amplitudes but unaffected prepulse inhibition and habituation. The present study confirms findings from rodent models demonstrating an effect of NPS on memory consolidation and startle response in schizophrenia patients. Based on these findings, we consider NPS as a promising target for antipsychotic drug development.
This work reports the first results of a new generation plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) reactor manufactured by Roth and Rau. This large area parallel plate reactor has been especially designed for the manufacturing of silicon heterojunction solar cells which are made of very thin amorphous silicon films over monocrystalline silicon substrates. Layer thickness uniformity below ± 3 % is reported for both intrinsic and doped layer over a 400 × 400 mm2 area. Moreover, it is shown that the passivation quality is excellent with life-times up to 4.15 ms on n-type FZ silicon substrates. A ± 0.6 % uniformity in open circuit voltage (mean value of 701.4 mV) is achieved over 32 devices having a 4 cm2 area and an average conversion efficiency of 19.5 %.
The current study describes from an attachment-theoretical viewpoint how intergenerational support in adult child-parent relationships is associated with wellbeing in both generations. The attachment perspective and its focus on affective relationship characteristics is considered as an important theoretical framework for the investigation of special relationships across the life span. Data from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (N=1,456 dyads) were analysed to investigate if relationship quality moderated the association between providing intergenerational support to parents and wellbeing in adult children, on the one hand, and receiving intergenerational support from children and wellbeing of older parents on the other hand. The perspectives of both relationship partners were taken into account to allow for dependence within dyads. Intergenerational support, in terms of instrumental help provision, was negatively associated with the child's and parent's wellbeing. Being the stronger and wiser partner in adult-child parent relationships, as reflected by giving advice and being the initiator within the relationship, was beneficial for the wellbeing of both generations. Additionally, relationship quality was the strongest predictor of wellbeing in both generations. Parental wellbeing was benefited by filial support in high quality relationships. If an intergenerational relationships was of high quality, the challenges of intergenerational support provision and receipt were easier to deal with for both generations, parents and children.
The formation and evolution of hydrogen- and vacancy-related donor and acceptor states were studied in helium-implanted and subsequently hydrogen plasma-treated n-type Float-Zone (FZ) silicon wafers by means of two-point-probe Spreading Resistance (SR) measurements. He+-implantation was executed at 3.75 MeV and 11 MeV at fluences of 1×1014 cm−2. Post-implantation 13.56-MHz RF-plasma hydrogenations were carried out at 150 W either for 15 min or 1 hour, applying substrate temperatures between 350 °C and 500 °C. Enhanced donor concentrations as well as acceptor-like states were observed in the subsurface layers of the treated FZ Si samples after 15-min post-implantation H-plasma exposures. Under appropriate process conditions, the latter ones compensated for the n-type doping, so that even buried p-type layers were created. The experimental results indicated that oxygen played a central role in the formation of the acceptor-like states.
The structural dynamics of short-pulse laser irradiated surfaces and nano-structures has been studied with nm spatial and ultrafast temporal resolution by means of single-shot coherent XUV-scattering techniques. The experiments allowed us to time-resolve the formation of laser-induced periodic surface structures, and to follow the expansion and disintegration of nano-objects during laser ablation.
This study examines the characteristics of parent-child relationships after childhood from a theoretical attachment perspective. It describes how relationships between adult children and their parents vary by age group of the child on three dimensions that were derived from attachment theory: direction, penetration and quality. Data from 4,589 respondents to the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study were analysed to describe relationships between adult-children and their parents. Analyses of covariance were used to specify differences by age group. The results showed that age had notable effects on relationships between adult children and parents, especially their direction and penetration or centrality. The direction was reversed for parents of children in the two oldest age groups. The level of penetration was lower for the older age groups, and quality was higher in the younger age groups, but the effect size was small. The age effects on the dimensions were qualified by the personal circumstances of the adult children. Having one's own children was associated with different patterns of attachment at different ages. Adult children may be an important source of support for their elderly parents and may even become ‘attachment figures’. Given the current increases in longevity, there could be increasing pressure on adult children to support their parents. Attachment theory is a useful framework for studying the characteristics of inter-generational relationships, also after childhood.
By means of two-point-probe Spreading Resistance (SR) analyses, the formation and evolution of hydrogen-related and vacancy-related donor and acceptor states were studied in helium implanted and subsequently hydrogen plasma-treated n-type Float-Zone (FZ) silicon wafers. He-implantation was carried out at 3.75 MeV, applying fluences of 1×1014 cm-2 and 2×1013 cm-2. After 15-min post-implantation H-plasma exposures at substrate temperatures between 350 °C and 500 °C, distinct surplus doping profiles were observed in the subsurface layers of the treated FZ Si samples down to about 20 μm depth. Enhanced donor concentrations could be observed as well acceptor-like states, at least partially compensating for the initial n-type doping, so that even buried p-type layers can be created under appropriate process conditions. The nature of the defect complexes that were responsible for the observed doping profiles in the subsurface layer of the studied samples will be discussed.
The Early Detection and Intervention Programme of the German Research Network on Schizophrenia (GRNS) investigates the initial prodromal phase of psychosis in a multidimensional approach. Two intervention strategies are being studied by two large-scale multicentre projects.
To present the concept of the intervention studies, and to provide an interim report of the recruitment procedure.
Comprehensive cognitive-behavioural therapy has been developed for patients in the ‘early initial prodromal state’. For patients in the ‘late initial prodromal state’ the atypical neuroleptic amisulpride is explored. Both interventions are evaluated in randomised controlled trials using clinical management as the control condition.
Between January 2001 and March 2003, 1212 individuals seeking help for mental health problems were screened for putative prodromal symptoms at four university centres. More than 388 individuals fulfilled criteria for both interventions and 188 (48. 5%) gave informed consent to participate in the trials.
The screening procedure appears to be feasible and trial participation seems to be acceptable to a relevant proportion of people at increased risk of developing psychosis.
Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cells have been fabricated on different metal foil substrates. Preferred foils with regard to costs and physical properties were stainless steel, titanium and Kovar® (Fe/Ni/Co alloy). SiOx films prepared by PECVD and sol/gel methods were deposited as barrier layers on these metal foil substrates. Both film types showed good suitability as diffusion barriers for substrate elements. In the SiOx:Na (sol/gel) barrier sodium could be incorporated to provide the Na-supply to the CIGS absorber. With relatively low sodium concentrations in these films (6% Na2O) large amounts of Na in the absorber have been found. Using a combination of SiOx (PECVD) and SiOx:Na (sol/gel) layers AM 1.5 cell efficiencies of 13.1% on titanium foil substrates have been achieved. With a newly implemented insulation test based on electrolysis measurements pinholes in the barrier layers could be localized and conclusions on their origin could be drawn.
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