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One of the most perplexing and characteristic symptoms of the schizophrenia (SZ) patients is hallucination. The occurrence of hallucinations to be associated with altered activity in the auditory and visual cortex but is not well understood from the brain functional network dynamics in SZ.
To explore the brain abnormal basis of hallucinations in SZ with the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC).
Using magnetic resonance imaging for 83 SZ patients and 83 matched healthy controls and independent component analysis, 52 independent components (ICs) were identified as nodes and assigned into eight intrinsic connectivity networks (Figure 1A). Subsequently, we established dFC matrices and clustered them into four discrete states (Figure 1B) and three state transition metrics were obtained. To further explore the changes in the centrality of each component, eigenvector centrality (EC) was calculated and its time-varying was evaluated.
Compared to controls with FDR correction, we found that patients had more mean dwell times and fractional time in state 1 (P=0.0081 and P=0.0018), mainly with hypoconnectivity between auditory and visual network and other networks and hyperconnectivity between language and default-mode network (DMN). While, patients had less dwell times and fractional time in state 3 (P=0.0018 and P=0.0009), and decreased FC between visual network and executive control network (ECN) and increased FC between ECN and DMN than controls (Figure 2).
EC statistics showed that SZs displayed increased temporal dynamics in visual-related regions (Figure 3).
SZ was mainly manifested as altered dFC and temporal variability of nodal centrality in auditory and visual networks.
Though schizophrenia (SZ) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are conceptualized as distinct clinical entities, they do have notable symptom overlap and a tight association. Graph-theoretical analysis of the brain connectome provides more indicators to describe the functional organization of the brain, which may help us understand the shared and disorder-specific neural basis of the two disorders.
To explore the static and dynamic topological organization of OCD and SZ as well as the relationship between topological metrics and clinical variables.
Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 31 OCD patients, 49 SZ patients, and 45 healthy controls (HC) were involved in this study (Table 1). Using independent component analysis to obtain independent components (ICs) (Figure 1), which were defined as nodes for static and dynamic topological analysis.
Static analysis showed the global efficiency of SZ was higher than HC. For nodal degree centrality, OCD exhibited decreased degree centrality in IC59 (located in visiual network) (P = 0.03) and increased degree centrality in IC38 (located in salience network) (P = 0.002) compared with HC. Dynamic analysis showed OCD exhibited decreased dynamics of degree centrality in IC38 (P = 0.003) compared with HC, which showed a negative correlation with clinical scores in OCD. While SZ showed decreased dynamics of degree centrality in IC76 (located in sensory motor network) compared with OCD (P=0.009), which showed a positive correlation with clinical scores in SZ (Figure 2).
These changes are suggestive of disorder-specific alternation of static and dynamic brain topological organization in OCD and SZ.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia (SZ) are both severe psychiatric disorders. Though these two disorders have distinct typical symptoms, there are partial polygenic overlap and comorbidity between the two disorders. However, few studies have explored the shared and disorder-specific brain function underlying the neural pathophysiology of the two disorders, especially in the aspect of dynamics.
To explore the abnormal characteristics of the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) in OCD and SZ as well as the association between dFC metrics and symptom severity.
The resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 31 patients with OCD, 49 patients with SZ, and 45 healthy controls were analyzed using independent component analysis to obtain independent components (ICs) and assigned them into eight brain networks (Figure 1), then used the sliding-window approach to generate dFC matrices. Using k-means clustering, we obtained three reoccurring dFC states (Figure 2), and state transition metrics were obtained
In a sparsely connected state (state 1), SZ showed both increased fractional time and mean dwell time than controls (P=0.047 and P=0.033) and OCD (P=0.001 and P=0.003). In a state characterized by negative FC between networks (state 2), OCD showed both increased fractional time and mean dwell time than controls (P=0.032 and P=0.013) and SZ (P=0.005 and P=0.003). Moreover, the fractional time of state 2 was positively correlated with anxiety scores in OCD (r=0.535, P=0.021, FDR corrected) (Figure 3).
OCD and SZ patients showed distinct alternations of brain functional dynamics.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to mental health. Herein, we assessed the impact of COVID-19 on subthreshold depressive symptoms and identified potential mitigating factors.
Participants were from Depression Cohort in China (ChiCTR registry number 1900022145). Adults (n = 1722) with subthreshold depressive symptoms were enrolled between March and October 2019 in a 6-month, community-based interventional study that aimed to prevent clinical depression using psychoeducation. A total of 1506 participants completed the study in Shenzhen, China: 726 participants, who completed the study between March 2019 and January 2020 (i.e. before COVID-19), comprised the ‘wave 1’ group; 780 participants, who were enrolled before COVID-19 and completed the 6-month endpoint assessment during COVID-19, comprised ‘wave 2’. Symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia were assessed at baseline and endpoint (i.e. 6-month follow-up) using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), respectively. Measures of resilience and regular exercise were assessed at baseline. We compared the mental health outcomes between wave 1 and wave 2 groups. We additionally investigated how mental health outcomes changed across disparate stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, i.e. peak (7–13 February), post-peak (14–27 February), remission plateau (28 February−present).
COVID-19 increased the risk for three mental outcomes: (1) depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.62); (2) anxiety (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.16–1.88) and (3) insomnia (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.07–1.77). The highest proportion of probable depression and anxiety was observed post-peak, with 52.9% and 41.4%, respectively. Greater baseline resilience scores had a protective effect on the three main outcomes (depression: OR = 0.26, 95% CI: 0.19–0.37; anxiety: OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.14–0.33 and insomnia: OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.11–0.28). Furthermore, regular physical activity mitigated the risk for depression (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.79–0.99).
The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a highly significant and negative impact on symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Mental health outcomes fluctuated as a function of the duration of the pandemic and were alleviated to some extent with the observed decline in community-based transmission. Augmenting resiliency and regular exercise provide an opportunity to mitigate the risk for mental health symptoms during this severe public health crisis.
White matter abnormalities have been repeatedly reported in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD) diseases from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies respectively, while the empirical evidences about the diagnostic specificity of white matter abnormalities in these disorders are still limited.
25 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and 18 patients with bipolar mania were recruited from the in-patient unit of the Mental Health Centre, West China Hospital, China.
Patients were diagnosed according to the criteria of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Version IV (DSM- IV). 30 healthy controls were recruited from the community by means of leaflets distributed throughout Chengdu city.
This study sought to investigate the alterations in fractional anisotropy (FA) in white matter throughout the entire brain of patients from Chengdu, China with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania.
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to assess white matter integrity in patients with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania, as well as in normal controls. The differences in FA were measured by use of voxel-based analysis.
Reduced FA was found in the left posterior corona radiate (PCR) in patients with bipolar mania and paranoid schizophrenia compared to the controls. Patients with bipolar mania also showed a significant reduction in FA in right posterior corona radiate and in right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR).
Common abnormalities in the left PCR might imply an overlap in white matter pathology of both diseases and might be related to the shared risk factors for both disorders.
Although the deviations of brain volume deficits in sporadic and familial first-episode schizophrenia patients (FEP) had been presented, the difference of brain asymmetries remained unidentified.
To assess the potential differences of volumetric asymmetries of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) between groups.
To find out the different injury alteration of sporadic FEP and familial FEP.
42 sporadic and 30 familiar drug-naïve FEP with and 72 matched normal controls (NC) were recruited. Participants were assessed with neuropsychological tests and scanned by a 3.0T MRI to obtain T1-weighted and DTI images. Lateralization distribution maps of GM and WM volume were generated by employing optimized voxel-based morphometry. The asymmetries were analyzed by comparing calculating Laterality Index (LI) voxel by voxel.
All three groups showed similar overall brain torque. Familiar FEP have more regional extensive GM asymmetry brain lesions compared to sporadic FEP. There was no shared regional lesion between two groups. LIGM and LIWM in right superior temporal were negatively correlated. Significant negative correlations were also found between LIGM of left superior parietal lobule and LIWM of right superior parietal lobule, and between LIGM of right inferior parietal lobule and LIWM of left inferior parietal lobule. The asymmetry in distinct brain regions were related to cognitive deficits especially in the domains of language and memory.
The two patient groups had different alteration in injuries of brain asymmetry. Familiar FEP has more GM extensive asymmetry brain region, which may correlate with their high genetic burdens.
Despite strong evidence that the pathophysiology of tic disorders (TD) involves structural and functional disturbances of the basal ganglia, inconsistent findings from several TD imaging studies have supported contradictory conclusions.
To find brain structural differences between children with of TD and the health children and verify the pathogenesis hypothesis of that basal ganglia play an important role in this disorder.
The right handedness, first-episode TD children were chosen. Yale global tic severity scale (YGTSS) was used to assess the tic severity. MRI scan was performed on TD children and the controls. The volumes of caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus and total intracranial volume were measured on high resolution MR images. We compared the volumes, relative volumes and asymmetry index, AI between groups.
Totally 11 patients finished this study with two excluded for the unclear image caused by tic and 18 subjects (9 TD patients and 9 controls) were finally analyzed. The right globus pallidus is significantly larger in TD patients. The volumes of left caudate increased significantly in both TD patients and controls. There was no significant difference in asymmetry index between two groups, relative volumes did not correlate significantly with the severity of tic and the course of disease.
The right globus pallidus may be the primary pathological change of TD. Asymmetry indexes between the two groups are not significantly different. The relative volume of any structure of basal ganglia has no significant correlation with the severity of tic and the course of disease.
The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is related to dopamine degradation and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, how this gene affects brain function properties in MDD is still unclear.
Fifty patients with MDD and 35 cognitively normal participants underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. A voxelwise and data-drive global functional connectivity density (gFCD) analysis was used to investigate the main effects and the interactions of disease states and COMT rs4680 gene polymorphism on brain function.
We found significant group differences of the gFCD in bilateral fusiform area (FFA), post-central and pre-central cortex, left superior temporal gyrus (STG), rectal and superior temporal gyrus and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC); abnormal gFCDs in left STG were positively correlated with severity of depression in MDD group. Significant disease × COMT interaction effects were found in the bilateral calcarine gyrus, right vlPFC, hippocampus and thalamus, and left SFG and FFA. Further post-hoc tests showed a nonlinear modulation effect of COMT on gFCD in the development of MDD. Interestingly, an inverted U-shaped modulation was found in the prefrontal cortex (control system) but U-shaped modulations were found in the hippocampus, thalamus and occipital cortex (processing system).
Our study demonstrated nonlinear modulation of the interaction between COMT and depression on brain function. These findings expand our understanding of the COMT effect underlying the pathophysiology of MDD.
Previous studies using resting-state functional neuroimaging have revealed alterations in whole-brain images, connectome-wide functional connectivity and graph-based metrics in groups of patients with schizophrenia relative to groups of healthy controls. However, it is unclear which of these measures best captures the neural correlates of this disorder at the level of the individual patient.
Here we investigated the relative diagnostic value of these measures. A total of 295 patients with schizophrenia and 452 healthy controls were investigated using resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging at five research centres. Connectome-wide functional networks were constructed by thresholding correlation matrices of 90 brain regions, and their topological properties were analyzed using graph theory-based methods. Single-subject classification was performed using three machine learning (ML) approaches associated with varying degrees of complexity and abstraction, namely logistic regression, support vector machine and deep learning technology.
Connectome-wide functional connectivity allowed single-subject classification of patients and controls with higher accuracy (average: 81%) than both whole-brain images (average: 53%) and graph-based metrics (average: 69%). Classification based on connectome-wide functional connectivity was driven by a distributed bilateral network including the thalamus and temporal regions.
These results were replicated across the three employed ML approaches. Connectome-wide functional connectivity permits differentiation of patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls at single-subject level with greater accuracy; this pattern of results is consistent with the ‘dysconnectivity hypothesis’ of schizophrenia, which states that the neural basis of the disorder is best understood in terms of system-level functional connectivity alterations.
Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have been used to investigate the interaction between a laser pulse and a foil exposed to an external strong longitudinal magnetic field. Compared with that in the absence of the external magnetic field, the divergence of proton with the magnetic field in radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) regimes has improved remarkably due to the restriction of the electron transverse expansion. During the RPA process, the foil develops into a typical bubble-like shape resulting from the combined action of transversal ponderomotive force and instabilities. However, the foil prefers to be in a cone-like shape by using the magnetic field. The dependence of proton divergence on the strength of magnetic field has been studied, and an optimal magnetic field of nearly 60 kT is achieved in these simulations.
Hepatitis E is an important zoonosis that is prevalent in China. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a pathogen that affects humans and animals and endangers public health in China. In this study, the detection of HEV epidemics in swine in Sichuan Province, China, was carried out by nested real-time PCR. A total of 174 stool samples and 160 bile samples from swine in Sichuan Province were examined. In addition, software was used to analyse the biological evolution of HEV. The results showed that within 2 years of swine HEV (SHEV) infection in China, SHEV was first detected in Sichuan Province. HEV was endemic in Sichuan; the positive rate for pig farms was 11.1%, and the total positive sample rate was 10.5%. The age of swine with the highest positive rate (17.9%) was 5–9 weeks. The examined swine species in order of highest to lowest HEV infection rates were Chenghua pig, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and Hampshire. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis showed that the HEV epidemic in swine in Sichuan Province was related to genotype IV, which had the highest homology to HEV in Beijing. Sichuan strains have greater variation than Chinese representative strains, which may indicate the presence of new HEV strains.
To evaluate the therapeutic effect that the titanium partial ossicular reconstruction prosthesis and autologous ossicles have on hearing loss after reconstruction of a damaged ossicular chain.
Forty-two medical records of treatments carried out from 2013 to 2015 for ossicular chain damage with facial nerve paralysis due to temporal bone fractures were reviewed. The study assessed: causes of damage, pre-operative pure tone audiometry findings, types of intra-operative ossicular chain damage, intra-operative ossicular chain repair methods (titanium partial ossicular reconstruction prosthesis or autologous ossicles) and post-operative pure tone audiometry results.
The titanium partial ossicular reconstruction prosthesis was used in 26 cases; the average air–bone gap was 32.3 ± 5.3 dB pre-operatively and 12.8 ± 5.3 dB post-operatively. Autologous ossicles were used in 16 cases; the average air–bone gap was 33.4 ± 4.5 dB pre-operatively and 17.8 ± 7.8 dB post-operatively.
Ossicular chain reconstruction is an effective way of improving hearing in patients with ossicular chain damage. The results suggest that repair with either the titanium partial ossicular reconstruction prosthesis or autologous ossicles can improve hearing following ossicular chain injury with facial nerve paralysis caused by a temporal bone fracture.
To investigate the morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique computed tomography images.
The computed tomography temporal bone scans of 112 patients were retrospectively evaluated. Midpoint and opercular measurements were performed using axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images. Morphometric analyses were also conducted. The vestibular aqueduct sizes on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images were compared.
At the midpoint, the mean (± standard deviation) vestibular aqueduct measured 0.61 ± 0.23 mm, 0.74 ± 0.27 mm and 0.82 ± 0.38 mm on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the vestibular aqueduct measured 0.91 ± 0.30 mm, 1.11 ± 0.45 mm and 1.66 ± 1.07 mm on the respective images. The co-efficients of variation of the vestibular aqueduct measured at the midpoint were 37.4 per cent, 36.5 per cent and 47.5 per cent on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the measurements were 33.0 per cent, 40.5 per cent and 64.5 per cent. Regarding morphology, the vestibular aqueduct was fissured (33.5 per cent), tubular (64.3 per cent) or invisible (2.2 per cent).
The morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct were highly variable among axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images.
In this work, we proposed a possible mechanism for the formation S-type planet in close binaries (0.5 au < aB < 3 au). Numerical simulations showed that the maximum capture probability is ∼ 10%, which can be comparable to the tidal capture probability of hot Jupiters in single star systems. The capture probability is related to binary configurations. Furthermore, we find that S-type planets with retrograde orbits can be naturally produced via capture process. These planets on retrograde orbits can help us distinguish in situ formation and post-capture origin for S-type planet in close binaries. The forthcoming missions (PLATO or TESS) will provide the opportunity and feasibility to detect such planets.
The objectives of this study were to determine the effect and mode of action of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (YST2) on enteric methane (CH4) mitigation in pigs. A total of 12 Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire male finisher pigs (60±1 kg), housed individually in open-circuit respiration chambers, were randomly assigned to two dietary groups: a basal diet (control); and a basal diet supplemented with 3 g/YST2 (1.8×1010 live cells/g) per kg diet. At the end of 32-day experiment, pigs were sacrificed and redox potential (Eh), pH, volatile fatty acid concentration, densities of methanogens and acetogens, and expression of methyl coenzyme-M reductase subunit A gene were determined in digesta contents from the cecum, colon and rectum. Results showed that S. cerevisiae YST2 decreased (P<0.05) the average daily enteric CH4 production by 25.3%, lowered the pH value from 6.99 to 6.69 in the rectum, and increased the Eh value in cecum and colon by up to −55 mV (P<0.05). Fermentation patterns were also altered by supplementation of YST2 as reflected by the lower acetate, and higher propionate molar proportion in the cecum and colon (P<0.05), resulting in lower acetate : propionate ratio (P<0.05). Moreover, there was a 61% decrease in Methanobrevibacter species in the upper colon (P<0.05) and a 19% increase in the acetogen community in the cecum (P<0.05) of treated pigs. Results of our study concluded that supplementation of S. cerevisiae YST2 at 3 g/kg substantially decreased enteric CH4 production in pigs.
Biomimetic motions are helpful to underwater vehicles and new conception airplanes design. The lattice Boltzmann method with an immersed boundary method technique is used to reveal the propulsion and lift enhancement mechanism of biomimetic motions. The flow past a sphere and an ellipsoidal flapping wing were validated respectively by comparing with other numerical methods. Then a single flapping wing and three flapping wings in a tandem arrangement are accomplished respectively. It founds that the mean thrust coefficient of three plate wings is bigger than the one of the single plate wing. Three ellipsoidal wings and single ellipsoidal wing are compared. It shows that the single ellipsoidal wing has larger thrust coefficients than the three ellipsoidal wings. Ellipsoidal flapping wing and plate wing were further compared to investigate the influence of wing shape. It indicates the mean thrust coefficient of the ellipsoidal wing is bigger than the plate wing.