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Smoking rates in schizotypic individuals are shown to be elevated, as in patients with schizophrenia, although findings on the association of smoking with different symptomatology of schizotypy have been mixed. Moreover, possible moderating effects of schizotypy on the relationship between smoking and cognition have not been well documented.
Subjects and methods
The Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) and the full version of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) were administered to 501 healthy adults. Subjects were divided into smokers (n = 85) and non-smokers (n = 416) based on the presence/absence of current smoking.
The analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) on the three factor scores as well as the total score of the SPQ, controlling for age and gender, revealed that cognitive-perceptual factor was significantly associated with an increased rate of smoking (P = 0.048). The ANCOVA on the WMS-R indices, with smoking group as a fixed factor and age, gender and total SPQ score as covariates, revealed that the schizotypy-by-smoking interaction was significant for attention/working memory (P = 0.029).
Discussion and conclusion
Positive schizotypy may be associated with more smoking. Schizotypy and smoking could interact with each other to negatively affect attention/working memory.
Altered levels of phenylalanine and its metabolites in blood and cerebrospinal fluid have previously been reported in schizophrenia. This study attempted to examine whether phenylalanine kinetics is altered in schizophrenia using the 13C-phenylalanine breath test (13C-PBT).
Subjects were 20 patients with schizophrenia and the same number of controls. 13C-phenylalanine was administered and then 13CO2 concentration in breath was monitored for 120 minutes. The Δ 13CO2 at each collecting time, the maximal Δ 13CO2 (Cmax), the time to reach Cmax (Tmax), the area under the curve of time course of Δ13CO2 (AUC), the cumulative recovery rate (CRR) at each collecting time of the 13C-PBT were calculated for each subject.
Body weight (BW) and diagnostic status were significant predictors for Cmax. BW, age and diagnostic status were significant predictors for AUC and CRR at 120 minutes (CRR0-120). A repeated measures ANCOVA controlling for age and BW revealed a different pattern of change in CRR over time between the patients and controls and that Δ13CO2 in schizophrenia were lower than that in healthy control at all sampling point during 120 min, with an overall significant differences between healthy control and schizophrenia. The ANCOVA controlling for age and BW, showed that Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 were significantly lower in schizophrenics than in controls.
Our data indicate the different change of Δ13CO2 and CRR over time and the decreased Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 of 13C-PBT in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls, suggesting the altered phenylalanine kinetics in schizophrenia.
It has been reported that cognitive functioning in major depressive disorder (MDD) can be affected by various factors, such as symptom severity, personality dimensions and stress hormone activity. However, the relative role of each is largely unknown.
Seventy-six non-remitted patients with MDD were recruited. Symptomatology was assessed by the 21-item version of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL). Personality was assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Neurocognitive functions, including verbal and visual memory, delayed recall and attention/working memory were measured by the full version of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Neuroendocrine function was determined by the reactivity of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS) to the combined dexamethasone/corticotropin releasing hormone test. To quantify cognitive impairments in patients, age-, sex- and education- matched 187 healthy controls were also recruited and administered the same neuropsychological test.
MDD patients performed significantly worse than controls on visual memory and delayed recall. A stepwise multiple regression analysis predicting performance of each cognitive domain from five HSCL dimensions, seven TCI dimensions and hormonal variables, controlling for age, gender and education, revealed that higher cooperativeness was the only significant predictor towards better verbal memory, that less somatization symptoms and lower self-directedness were significant predictors towards better visual memory, and that lower age, less anxiety symptoms and lower DHEAS levels after dexamethasone administration were significant predictors towards better delayed recall.
Besides symptomatology, some personality dimensions and neuroendocrine function may, at least partly independently, contribute to memory impairment in MDD.
Recent studies have shown that it is important to understand the brain mechanism specifically by focusing on the common and unique functional connectivity in each disorder including depression.
To specify the biomarker of major depressive disorder (MDD), we applied the sparse machine learning algorithm to classify several types of affective disorders using the resting state fMRI data collected in multiple sites, and this study shows the results of depression as a part of those results.
The aim of this study is to understand some specific pattern of functional connectivity in MDD, which would support diagnosis of depression and development of focused and personalized treatments in the future.
The neuroimaging data from patients with major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 100) and healthy control adults (HC: n = 100) from multiple sites were used for the training dataset. A completely separate dataset (n = 16) was kept aside for testing. After all preprocessing of fMRI data, based on one hundred and forty anatomical region of interests (ROIs), 9730 functional connectivities during resting states were prepared as the input of the sparse machine-learning algorithm.
As results, 20 functional connectivities were selected with the classification performance of Accuracy: 83.0% (Sensitivity: 81.0%, Specificity: 85.0%). The test data, which was completely separate from the training data, showed the performance accuracy of 83.3%.
The selected functional connectivities based on the sparse machine learning algorithm included the brain regions which have been associated with depression.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
We present ALMA detection of the [O iii] 88 μm line and 850 μm dust continuum emission in a Y-dropout Lyman break galaxy, MACS0416_Y1. The [O iii] detection confirms the object with a spectroscopic redshift to be z = 8.3118±0.0003. The 850 μm continuum intensity (0.14 mJy) implies a large dust mass on the order of 4×106M⊙. The ultraviolet-to-far infrared spectral energy distribution modeling, where the [O iii] emissivity model is incorporated, suggests the presence of a young (τage ≍ 4 Myr), star-forming (SFR ≍ 60M⊙yr−1), and moderately metal-polluted (Z ≍ 0.2Z⊙) stellar component with a stellar mass of 3 × 108M⊙. An analytic dust mass evolution model with a single episode of star formation does not reproduce the metallicity and dust mass in ≍ 4 Myr, suggesting an underlying evolved stellar component as the origin of the dust mass.
We present a 4.7σ detection of the [OIII] 88 μm line in a gravitationally-lensed Lyman break galaxy, RXC J2248-ID3, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). We did not detect [CII] 158 μm and rest-frame 90 μm dust continuum emission, suggesting that the bulk of the interstellar medium (ISM) is ionized. Our two-component SED model combining the previous Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data and new photometry obtained from Very Large Telescope (VLT), Spitzer and ALMA suggests the presence of young (∼2 Myr) and mature (∼600 Myr) stellar components with the metallicity of Z = 0.2Z⊙. Our findings are in contrast with previous results claiming a very young, metal-poor stellar component.
In the collapsing phase of a molecular cloud, the molecular gas temperature is a key to understand the evolutionary process from a dense molecular cloud to stars. In order to know this, mapping observations in NH3 lines are required. Therefore, we made them based on the FUGIN (FOREST Unbiased Galactic plane Imaging survey with Nobeyama 45m telescope). The 6 maps were observed in NH3 (J,K) = (1,1), (2,2), (3,3) and H2O maser lines and obtained temperature maps; some show temperature gradient in a cloud. Additionally 72 cores were observed. These candidates were called as KAGONMA or KAG objects as abbreviation of KAgoshima Galactic Object survey with Nobeyama 45-M telescope in Ammonia lines. We show the results of two regions in W33 and discuss their astrophysical properties.
Using a newly developed rapid test, an outbreak of human metapneumovirus (HMPV) infection in a long-term care facility was detected within only 2 days after the onset of symptoms in a putative index case. The outbreak was almost under control within 8 days mainly by zoning patients, with the exception of two cases of HMPV that were diagnosed 16 and 17 days after the onset of the outbreak. According to an immunological diagnosis as well as the rapid test, it was eventually proven that 18 patients had HMPV infections. We suspected that even asymptomatic residents, who had not been completely separated from the facility population, were a source of infection. That suggested that all asymptomatic residents should be tested and that the separation of the infected patients should be absolute, if an outbreak of HMPV infection is suspected in such a facility.
This study aimed to investigate the function of tissue plasminogen activator in the olfactory epithelium of mice following neural injury.
Transmission electron microscopy was used to study the changes in the morphology of the olfactory epithelium 1–7 days after surgical ablation of the olfactory bulb (bulbectomy).
Prior to bulbectomy, a uniformly fine material was observed within some regions of the olfactory epithelium of mice deficient in tissue plasminogen activator. At 2–3 days after bulbectomy, there were degenerative changes in the olfactory epithelium. At 5–7 days after bulbectomy, we noted drastic differences in olfactory epithelium morphology between mice deficient in tissue plasminogen activator and wild-type mice (comparisons were made using findings from a previous study). The microvilli seemed to be normal and olfactory vesicles and receptor neuron dendrites were largely intact in the olfactory epithelium of mice deficient in tissue plasminogen activator.
The tissue plasminogen activator plasmin system may inhibit the regeneration of the olfactory epithelium in the early stages following neural injury.
Phase equilibria among γ-Fe, ε-Fe2Nb Laves and δ-Ni3Nb phases in Fe-Ni-Nb ternary system at 1473 K and 1373 K were experimentally examined, and also assessed by calculation in order to calculate the phase equilibria among these phases at 973 K. A ternary compound with hP24 structure with its limited composition range of Fe-21.5Nb- (56.8-59.8) Ni exists between Fe2Nb and Ni3Nb phase regions at both temperatures. Including the hP24 phase, the calculated isotherms at both temperatures are in good agreement with experimental ones. By using the optimized interaction parameters among the three elements in each phase, the isothermal section calculated at 973 K revealed a γ-Fe+ Fe2Nb + Ni3Nb three-phase coexisting region extended to Fe-rich composition of 80 at. % Fe. This suggests a possibility to develop austenitic heatresistant steels strengthened by both intermetallics phases.
The creep behavior of a new type of austenitic heat-resistant steel Fe-20Cr-30Ni-2Nb (at.%), strengthened by intermetallic Fe2Nb Laves phase, has been examined. Particular attention has been given to the role of grain boundary Laves phase in the strengthening mechanism during long-term creep. The creep resistance increases with increasing area fraction (ρ) of grain boundary Laves phase according to equation ε/ε = (1−ρ), where ε0 is the creep rate at ρ = 0. In addition, the creep rupture life is also extended with increasing ρ without ductility loss, which can yield up to 77% of elongation even at ρ = 89%. Microstructure analysis revealed local deformation and well-developed subgrains formation near the grain boundary free from precipitates, while dislocation pile-ups were observed near the grain boundary Laves phase. Thus, the grain boundary Laves phase is effective in suppressing the local deformation by preventing dislocation motion, and thereby increases the long-term creep rupture strength. This novel creep strengthening mechanism was proposed as “grain boundary precipitation strengthening mechanism” (GBPS).
The number of pertussis cases in Japan has decreased dramatically following the nationwide use of an acellular pertussis vaccine combined with diphtheria-tetanus toxoids (DTaP vaccines) which began in 1981. However, the effectiveness of the DTaP vaccine has not been systematically evaluated using appropriate epidemiological methods during a non-epidemic period in Japan. We evaluated the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the Kaketsuken DTaP vaccine which contains two-component pertussis antigens in Japanese children from 1999 to 2001 using a matched case-control design and data from the Basic Resident Registration and Maternal and Child Health Handbooks. The DTaP vaccination history of 15 children with pertussis and 59 controls was obtained. The VE of 3 or 4 pertussis vaccinations compared with non-vaccination (baseline) was 96·9% for coughing attacks that lasted ⩾7 days, 96·4% for those lasting ⩾14 days, and 95·9% for those lasting ⩾21 days. These findings suggest that DTaP vaccination effectively prevented pertussis during a non-epidemic period in Japan.
In this study, we focus on effect of diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating on scaffold for tissue engineering. DLC film was deposited on segmented polyurethane (SPU) scaffold sheet which consists of micro SUP fibers. Structural and compositional effects of the DLC film coating were investigated on cell growth as an investigation of biological response. The surface composition, morphology, structures, and wettability of the DLC film coating was estimated by using X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Ar-laser Raman spectrophotometer (Raman), and contact angle measurement. And then, human umbilical vein endothelial (HUV-EC-C) cells were grown on the DLC coated scaffold sheet. The results presented here suggest that DLC film coating is promising approach to improve biological for tissue engineering.
We successfully prepared (Cu1-XAgx)InSe2 solid solution with 0 ¡Ü x ¡Ü 1.0 by a mechanochemical process without any additional heating. The obtained fine powder was suitable for screen-printing. Particulate precursors were deposited in a thin layer by a screen-printing technique and then the porous precursor layer was sintered into a dense polycrystalline film by atmospheric-pressure firing. The crystal structures of the powder and the film were analyzed by x-ray diffraction and the microstructure of the film was observed in an SEM. For the (Cu1-XAgx)InSe2 films with x ¡Ü 0.2, the (Cu,Ag)InSe2 films had a good microstructure for the solar cell absorbers.
Ornithodoros moubata ticks were fed on blood infected with Babesia equi. However, the parasites were quickly cleared as evidenced by the disappearance of B. equi-specific ribosomal RNA from the ticks. We hypothesized that if the Babesia parasite can escape midgut-associated barriers a non-vector tick can become infected with Babesia. To test this hypothesis, B. equi parasite-infected blood from in vitro culture was injected into the haemocoel of ticks. B. equi-specific rRNA was surprisingly detected 45 days after injection even in the eggs. Babesia-free dogs were infested with O. moubata ticks that were infected by inoculation with B. gibsoni-infected red blood cells. Parasitaemia and antibody production against Bg-TRAP of B. gibsoni increased gradually. These results indicate that O. moubata may be a useful vector model for Babesia parasites and also a very important tool for studies on tick immunity against Babesia parasites and tick-Babesia interactions.
Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE) is a joint project between Japan and Chile for installing and operating a 10 m high precision telescope in the Atacama Desert in order to explore the southern sky through the submillimeter wavelength. We have achieved an accuracy of 19 μm (rms) for the main reflector surface and a stable radio pointing accuracy of about 2 arcsec (rms). A 350 GHz cartridge type SIS mixer receiver achieves good performance with a typical system noise temperature of 150 ~ 250 K in DSB and a main beam efficiency of 0.6 ~ 0.7 during winter nights.
A large scale CO(3-2) imaging survey of nearby galaxies using ASTE is now in progress. One of our goals is to compare our wide area CO(3-2) images with existing CO(1-0) data as well as distributions of massive star formation tracers (i.e., Hα and radio continuum emission) in order to understand the physical mechanism which controls the global star formation properties such as star formation efficiency. Initial CO(3-2) maps of some sample galaxies (M 83, NGC 604 in M 33, NGC 1672, & NGC 7130) are reported.
CYP2C19 polymorphisms and smoking influence the efficacy of H. pylori eradication therapy, but interaction between the two have hitherto not been examined. A total of 142 H. pylori-positive patients who received triple drug therapy with lansoprazole, amoxicillin and clarithromycin were categorized into three groups with regard to diplotypes of CYP2C19: homozygous extensive metabolizer (homEM), heterozygous EM (hetEM), and poor metabolizer (PM). The overall success rate was 61·3%. Smoking was an independent risk factor of eradication failure (OR 2·81, 95% CI 1·14–6·91), whereas CYP2C19 polymorphisms were less influential. Among non-smokers, the homEM and hetEM groups showed worse eradication rates (58·5 and 67·3%) relative to PM (76·2%) as expected; however, an opposite trend was observed among smokers (homEM 50·0%, hetEM 46·7%, PM 20·0%), indicating possible interactions with CYP2C19 polymorphisms. Smoking has a greater influence on H. pylori eradication than the CYP2C19 genotype. Interaction between smoking and CYP2C19 should be examined in the future.
We evaluated the growth inhibitory efficacy of the imidazole derivatives, clotrimazole (CLT) and ketoconazole (KC), and the herbicide clodinafop-propargyl (CP), in in vitro cultures of Babesia bovis and B. bigemina. Clotrimazole was effective in a dose range of 15 to 60 μM (IC50: 11 and 23·5 μM), followed by KC (50 to 100 μM; IC50: 50 and 32 μM) and CP (500 μM; IC50: 265 and 390 μM). In transmission electron microscopy, extensive damage was observed in the cytoplasm of drug-treated parasites. Combinations of CLT/KC, CLT/CP and CLT/KC/CP acted synergistically in both parasites. In contrast, the combination of KC/CP was exclusively effective in B. bovis, but not in B. bigemina.