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Enns and Koch question the validity of the Berry, Ringquist, Fording, and Hanson measure of state policy mood and defend the validity of the Enns and Koch measure on two grounds. First, they claim policy mood has become more conservative in the South over time; we present empirical evidence to the contrary: policy mood became more liberal in the South between 1980 and 2010. Second, Enns and Koch argue that an indicator’s lack of face validity in cross-sectional comparisons is irrelevant when judging the measure’s suitability in the most common form of pooled cross-sectional time-series analysis. We show their argument is logically flawed, except under highly improbable circumstances. We also demonstrate, by replicating several published studies, that statistical results about the effect of state policy mood can vary dramatically depending on which of the two mood measures is used, making clear that a researcher’s measurement choice can be highly consequential.
Masturbation is a common sexual practice in men, and saliva is often used as a lubricant during masturbation by men who have sex with men. However, the role of saliva use during masturbation in the transmission of chlamydia is still unclear. We developed population-level, susceptible-infected-susceptible compartmental models to explore the role of saliva use during masturbation on the transmission of chlamydia at multiple anatomical sites. In this study, we simulated both solo masturbation and mutual masturbation. Our baseline model did not include masturbation but included transmission routes (anal sex, oral-penile sex, rimming, kissing and sequential sexual practices) we have previously validated (model 1). We added masturbation to model 1 to develop the second model (model 2). We calibrated the model to five clinical datasets separately to assess the effects of masturbation on the prevalence of site-specific infection. The inclusion of masturbation (model 2) significantly worsened the ability of the models to replicate the prevalence of C. trachomatis. Using model 2 and the five data sets, we estimated that saliva use during masturbation was responsible for between 3.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0–6.8] and 6.2% (95% CI 3.8–10.5) of incident chlamydia cases at all sites. Our models suggest that saliva use during masturbation is unlikely to play a major role in chlamydia transmission between men, and even if it does have a role, about one in seven cases of urethral chlamydia might arise from masturbation.
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.
The state of California, in the United States of America, has a population of nearly 40 million people and is the 5th largest economy in the world. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020-2021, the state experienced a medical surge that stressed its sophisticated health-care and public health system. During this period, ventilators, oxygen, and other equipment necessary for providing ventilatory support became a scarce resource in many health-care settings. When demand overwhelms supply, creative solutions are required at all levels of disaster management and health care. This study describes the disaster response by the state of California to mitigate the emergency demands for oxygen delivery resources.
Retrospective self-report is typically used for diagnosing previous pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). A new semi-structured interview instrument (New Mexico Assessment of Pediatric TBI; NewMAP TBI) investigated test–retest reliability for TBI characteristics in both the TBI that qualified for study inclusion and for lifetime history of TBI.
One-hundred and eight-four mTBI (aged 8–18), 156 matched healthy controls (HC), and their parents completed the NewMAP TBI within 11 days (subacute; SA) and 4 months (early chronic; EC) of injury, with a subset returning at 1 year (late chronic; LC).
The test–retest reliability of common TBI characteristics [loss of consciousness (LOC), post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), retrograde amnesia, confusion/disorientation] and post-concussion symptoms (PCS) were examined across study visits. Aside from PTA, binary reporting (present/absent) for all TBI characteristics exhibited acceptable (≥0.60) test–retest reliability for both Qualifying and Remote TBIs across all three visits. In contrast, reliability for continuous data (exact duration) was generally unacceptable, with LOC and PCS meeting acceptable criteria at only half of the assessments. Transforming continuous self-report ratings into discrete categories based on injury severity resulted in acceptable reliability. Reliability was not strongly affected by the parent completing the NewMAP TBI.
Categorical reporting of TBI characteristics in children and adolescents can aid clinicians in retrospectively obtaining reliable estimates of TBI severity up to a year post-injury. However, test–retest reliability is strongly impacted by the initial data distribution, selected statistical methods, and potentially by patient difficulty in distinguishing among conceptually similar medical concepts (i.e., PTA vs. confusion).
The objective of this study was to investigate changes in serum biomarkers of acute brain injury, including white matter and astrocyte injury during chronic foetal hypoxaemia. We have previously shown histopathological changes in myelination and neuronal density in fetuses with chronic foetal hypoxaemia at a level consistent with CHD.
Mid-gestation foetal sheep (110 ± 3 days gestation) were cannulated and attached to a pumpless, low-resistance oxygenator circuit, and incubated in a sterile fluid environment mimicking the intrauterine environment. Fetuses were maintained with an oxygen delivery of 20–25 ml/kg/min (normoxemia) or 14–16 ml/kg/min (hypoxaemia). Myelin Basic Protein and Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein serum levels in the two groups were assessed by ELISA at baseline and at 7, 14, and 21 days of support.
Based on overlapping 95% confidence intervals, there were no statistically significant differences in either Myelin Basic Protein or Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein serum levels between the normoxemic and hypoxemic groups, at any time point. No statistically significant correlations were observed between oxygen delivery and levels of Myelin Basic Protein and Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein.
Chronic foetal hypoxaemia during mid-gestation is not associated with elevated serum levels of acute white matter (Myelin Basic Protein) or astrocyte injury (Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein), in this model. In conjunction with our previously reported findings, our data support the hypothesis that the brain dysmaturity with impaired myelination found in fetuses with chronic hypoxaemia is caused by disruption of normal developmental pathways rather than by direct cellular injury.