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People living in precarious housing or homelessness have higher than expected rates of psychotic disorders, persistent psychotic symptoms, and premature mortality. Psychotic symptoms can be modeled as a complex dynamic system, allowing assessment of roles for risk factors in symptom development, persistence, and contribution to premature mortality.
The severity of delusions, conceptual disorganization, hallucinations, suspiciousness, and unusual thought content was rated monthly over 5 years in a community sample of precariously housed/homeless adults (n = 375) in Vancouver, Canada. Multilevel vector auto-regression analysis was used to construct temporal, contemporaneous, and between-person symptom networks. Network measures were compared between participants with (n = 219) or without (n = 156) history of psychotic disorder using bootstrap and permutation analyses. Relationships between network connectivity and risk factors including homelessness, trauma, and substance dependence were estimated by multiple linear regression. The contribution of network measures to premature mortality was estimated by Cox proportional hazard models.
Delusions and unusual thought content were central symptoms in the multilevel network. Each psychotic symptom was positively reinforcing over time, an effect most pronounced in participants with a history of psychotic disorder. Global connectivity was similar between those with and without such a history. Greater connectivity between symptoms was associated with methamphetamine dependence and past trauma exposure. Auto-regressive connectivity was associated with premature mortality in participants under age 55.
Past and current experiences contribute to the severity and dynamic relationships between psychotic symptoms. Interrupting the self-perpetuating severity of psychotic symptoms in a vulnerable group of people could contribute to reducing premature mortality.
Clinical intuition suggests that personality disorders hinder the treatment of depression, but research findings are mixed. One reason for this might be the way in which current assessment measures conflate general aspects of personality disorders, such as overall severity, with specific aspects, such as stylistic tendencies. The goal of this study was to clarify the unique contributions of the general and specific aspects of personality disorders to depression outcomes.
Patients admitted to the Menninger Clinic, Houston, between 2012 and 2015 (N = 2352) were followed over a 6–8-week course of multimodal inpatient treatment. Personality disorder symptoms were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition Axis II Personality Screening Questionnaire at admission, and depression severity was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 every fortnight. General and specific personality disorder factors estimated with a confirmatory bifactor model were used to predict latent growth curves of depression scores in a structural equation model.
The general factor predicted higher initial depression scores but not different rates of change. By contrast, the specific borderline factor predicted slower rates of decline in depression scores, while the specific antisocial factor predicted a U shaped pattern of change.
Personality disorder symptoms are best represented by a general factor that reflects overall personality disorder severity, and specific factors that reflect unique personality styles. The general factor predicts overall depression severity while specific factors predict poorer prognosis which may be masked in prior studies that do not separate the two.
In this chapter, we examine the theoretical underpinnings of bullying behavior and link bullying to related but distinct forms of aggression. Bullying prevention and intervention strategies are reviewed and the connection between school climate and bullying is reinforced. Prevention and intervention programs that address improving the school climate are necessary but insufficient to effectively reduce bullying. Given that bullying and targeted violence are typically seen as distinct behaviors, the authors suggest that promoting a holistic violence prevention model should replace the individual and often independent approaches for dealing with various forms of aggression and violence. Instead, a comprehensive and coordinated system of assessment, prevention, and intervention will lead to reductions in bullying and other forms of targeted violence. This will require students, teachers, parents, and community stakeholders (i.e., law enforcement, community leaders, politicians) to work together for the holistic health of schools and communities.
Impaired working memory is a core feature of schizophrenia and is linked with altered engagement the lateral prefrontal cortex. Although altered PFC activation has been reported in people with increased risk of psychosis, at present it is not clear if this neurofunctional alteration differs between familial and clinical risk states and/or increases in line with the level of psychosis risk. We addressed this issue by using functional MRI and a working memory paradigm to study familial and clinical high-risk groups. We recruited 17 subjects at ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis, 10 non-affected siblings of patients with schizophrenia (familial high risk [FHR]) and 15 healthy controls. Subjects were scanned while performing the N-back working memory task. There was a relationship between the level of task-related deactivation in the medial PFC and precuneus and the level of psychosis risk, with deactivation weakest in the UHR group, greatest in healthy controls, and at an intermediate level in the FHR group. In the high-risk groups, activation in the precuneus was associated with the level of negative symptoms. These data suggest that increased vulnerability to psychosis is associated with a failure to deactivate in the medial PFC and precuneus during a working memory task, and appears to be most evident in subjects at clinical, as opposed to familial high risk.
Basic Self disturbances (BSD), including changes of the 'pre-reflexive' sense of self and the loss first-person perspective, are characteristic of the schizophrenic spectrum disorders and highly prevalent in subjects at 'ultra high risk' for psychosis (UHR). The current literature indicates that cortical midline structures (CMS) may be implicated in the neurobiological substrates of the 'basic self' in healthy controls.
Neuroanatomical investigation of BSD in a UHR sample
To test the hypotheses :(i) UHR subjects have higher 'Examination of Anomalous Self Experience, EASE' scores as compared to controls, (ii) UHR subjects have neuroanatomical alterations as compared to controls in CMS, (iii) within UHR subjects, EASE scores are directly related to structural CMS alterations.
32 HR subjects (27 antipsychotics-naïve) and 17 healthy controls (HC) were assessed with the 57-items semi-structured EASE interview. Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) was conducted in the same subjects, with a-priori Region of Interests (ROIs) defined in the CMS (anterior/posterior cingulate and medial-prefrontal cortex).
Despite high variability in the HR group, the overall EASE score was higher (t-test >0.01, Cohen's d =2.91) in HR (mean=30.15, SD=16.46) as compared to HC group (mean=1.79, SD=2.83). UHR subjects had gray matter reduction in CMS as compared to HC (p>0.05 FWE-corrected). Across the whole sample, lower gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate was correlated with higher EASE scores (p>0.05).
This study provides preliminary evidence that gray matter reductions in the CMS are correlated with BSD in UHR people.
Homeless and precariously housed individuals experience a high burden of comorbid illnesses, and excess mortality. Cross-sectional studies report a high rate of cognitive impairment. Long-term trajectories have not been well investigated in this group.
To longitudinally assess risks for premature and/or accelerated cognitive ageing, and the relationship with early mortality in homeless and precariously housed people.
This is a 9-year community-based study of 375 homeless and precariously housed individuals from Vancouver, Canada. Annual cognitive testing assessed verbal learning and memory, and inhibitory control. Linear mixed-effects models examined associations between clinical risk factors (traumatic brain injury, psychotic disorders, viral exposure, alcohol dependence) and cognitive change over 9 years. Cox regression models examined the association between cognition and mortality.
Traumatic brain injury and alcohol dependence were associated with decline in verbal memory. Inhibitory control declined, independent of risk factors and to a greater extent in those who died during the study. Better inhibitory control was associated with a 6.6% lower risk of mortality at study entry, with a 0.3% greater effect for each year of life. For each one-point increase in the Charlson Comorbidity Index score at study entry, the risk of mortality was 9.9% higher, and was consistent across age. Adjusting for comorbidities, inhibitory control remained a significant predictor of mortality.
Findings raise the possibility of a premature onset, and accelerated trajectory, of cognitive ageing in this group of homeless and precariously housed people. Traumatic brain injury, alcohol dependence and cognition could be treatment priorities.
Novel tools for early diagnosis and monitoring of schistosomiasis are urgently needed. This study aimed to validate parasite-derived miRNAs as potential novel biomarkers for the detection of human Schistosoma japonicum infection. A total of 21 miRNAs were initially validated by real-time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using serum samples of S. japonicum-infected BALB/c mice. Of these, 6 miRNAs were further validated with a human cohort of individuals from a schistosomiasis-endemic area of the Philippines. RT-PCR analysis showed that two parasite-derived miRNAs (sja-miR-2b-5p and sja-miR-2c-5p) could detect infected individuals with low infection intensity with moderate sensitivity/specificity values of 66%/68% and 55%/80%, respectively. Analysis of the combined data for the two parasite miRNAs revealed a specificity of 77.4% and a sensitivity of 60.0% with an area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.6906 (P = 0.0069); however, a duplex RT-PCR targeting both sja-miR-2b-5p and sja-miR-2c-5p did not result in an increased diagnostic performance compared with the singleplex assays. Furthermore, the serum level of sja-miR-2c-5p correlated significantly with faecal egg counts, whereas the other five miRNAs did not. Targeting S. japonicum-derived miRNAs in serum resulted in a moderate diagnostic performance when applied to a low schistosome infection intensity setting.
Additional crystallographic data are given for the recently reported mineral middlebackite, which has been described for discoveries at Iron Knob in South Australia and Passo di San Lugano near Trento, Italy. The material examined in the present study was from a third finding of the mineral, viz. from a quartz outcrop at Mooloo Downs Station in Western Australia within which it was co-located with the chemically- and structurally-related mineral moolooite, CuIIC2O4·nH2O, reported by Clarke and Williams (1986). In this study, the crystal structure was elucidated independently of the other studies using a combination of the a priori charge flipping and simulated annealing methods with synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) powder data. The principal crystal data for the Mooloo Downs material are: space group P21/c with lattice parameters a = 7.2659(18) Å, b = 5.7460(11) Å, c = 5.6806(11) Å, β = 104.588(3)°; Vc = 229.46(18) Å3; empirical formula CuII2C2O4(OH)2 with 2 formula units per unit cell; and calculated density = 3.605 g cm−3. The lattice parameters agree approximately with values given for the other studies, but not within the reported error estimates. The atom coordinates, interatomic distances, and angles for the Mooloo Downs material are compared with those from the other studies using single crystal data, with the values from all three studies agreeing approximately, but again not within the reported uncertainties. The crystal chemistry found for middlebackite received strong confirmation through the synthesis for the first time of di-copper oxalate di-hydroxide. Laboratory X-ray diffraction powder data for the synthetic form of the mineral from this study agree closely with the SRD data for the natural mineral.
Metacognition is the capacity to evaluate and control one’s own cognitive processes. Metacognition operates over a range of cognitive domains, such as perception and memory, but the neurocognitive architecture supporting this ability remains controversial. Is metacognition enabled by a common, domain-general resource that is recruited to evaluate performance on a variety of tasks? Or is metacognition reliant on domain-specific modules? This article reviews recent literature on the domain-generality of human metacognition, drawing on evidence from individual differences and neuroimaging. A meta-analysis of behavioral studies found that perceptual metacognitive ability was correlated across different sensory modalities, but found no correlation between metacognition of perception and memory. However, evidence for domain-generality from behavioral data may suffer from a lack of power to identify correlations across model parameters indexing metacognitive efficiency. Neuroimaging data provide a complementary perspective on the domain-generality of metacognition, revealing co-existence of neural signatures that are common and distinct across tasks. We suggest that such an architecture may be appropriate for “tagging” generic feelings of confidence with domain-specific information, in turn forming the basis for priors about self-ability and modulation of higher-order behavioral control.
The development of laser wakefield accelerators (LWFA) over the past several years has led to an interest in very compact sources of X-ray radiation – such as “table-top” free electron lasers. However, the use of conventional undulators using permanent magnets also implies system sizes which are large. In this work, we assess the possibilities for the use of novel mini-undulators in conjunction with a LWFA so that the dimensions of the undulator become comparable with the acceleration distances for LWFA experiments (i.e., centimeters). The use of a prototype undulator using laser machining of permanent magnets for this application is described and the emission characteristics and limitations of such a system are determined. Preliminary electron propagation and X-ray emission measurements are taken with a LWFA electron beam at the University of Michigan.
Credibility and trustworthiness are the bedrock upon which any science is built. The strength of these foundations has been increasingly questioned across the sciences as instances of research misconduct and mounting concerns over the prevalence of detrimental research practices have been identified. Consequently, the purpose of this article is to encourage our scientific community to positively and proactively engage in efforts that foster a healthy and robust industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology. We begin by advancing six defining principles that we believe reflect the values of robust science and offer criteria for evaluating proposed efforts to change scientific practices. Recognizing that the contemporary scientific enterprise is a complex and diverse network of actors and institutions, we then conclude by identifying 12 stakeholders who play important roles in achieving a culture of robust science in I-O psychology and offer recommendations for actions we can take as members of these groups to strengthen our science.
Prior research has typically found a negative relationship between chronic pain and memory, and we examined whether cognitive control processes (e.g. reflection and rumination) moderated this relationship in individuals with Chiari malformation Type I (CM). CM is a neurological condition in which the cerebellar tonsils descend into the medullary and upper cervical spine regions potentially resulting in severe headaches and neck pain.
CM patients who had (n = 341) and had not (n = 297) undergone decompression surgery completed the McGill Pain Questionnaire-Short Form-Revised (SF-MPQ-2), the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), and the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire (RRQ). Immediate recall scores were compared to those of 102 healthy controls, and delayed recall performance was compared across other variables within the CM group.
CM patients performed more poorly on immediate recall than did controls. Within CM patients, we observed main effects for reflection and age, and a pain x reflection x surgical status (surgery v. no surgery) interaction in which non-decompressed individuals with low levels of pain and high levels of reflection showed superior delayed recall relative to non-decompressed individuals with higher pain and all decompressed individuals.
CM patients show an immediate recall deficit relative to controls, regardless of surgical status. High levels of reflection were associated with better delayed recall performance in non-decompressed CM patients with lower pain levels. High levels of chronic pain may overwhelm increased focused attention abilities, but higher levels of reflection partially overcome the distracting effects of pain and this may represent a type of resilience.
Background: A diagnosis of SCD in childhood confers a 200-fold increase in the risk of arterial ischemic stroke. Blood flow velocity measures provide better identification of ischemic risk compared to angiography. This indicates that steno-occlusive arteriopathy is not the singular causative factor. Cerebrovascular reactivity allows for augmentation of cerebral blood flow when needed. Kosinski et al in 2016 demonstrated a direct correlation between CVR and hematocrit levels in SCD. We report a case where CVR persistently normalized in an SCD patient following bone marrow transplant therapy (BMT). Methods: A nine-month-old SCD patient presented with right AIS. Angiography revealed a bilateral Moya-Moya like arteriopathy. A TCD study was normal while a CVR-MRI study revealed markedly impaired reactivity in the entire anterior circulation. Haemaglobin-S at that time was 20.2 %. BMT was performed at age four due to frequent sickle cell crises. Results: One year post-transplant, CVR had dramatically improved in areas previously shown to have impairment (haemoglobin-S 0%). Neuroimaging five years post-transplant showed no further arteriopathy and persistently normalized CVR. Conclusions: BMT therapy resulted in the arrest of progressive intracranial arteriopathy and persistently restored vascular reserve. SCD might not only produce global hematological effects but also triggers local processes such as endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation that impair cerebrovascular function.
In autumn 2014, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) cases presenting with severe respiratory or neurological disease were described in countries worldwide. To describe the epidemiology and virological characteristics of EV-D68 in England, we collected clinical information on laboratory-confirmed EV-D68 cases detected in secondary care (hospitals), between September 2014 and January 2015. In primary care (general practitioners), respiratory swabs collected (September 2013–January 2015) from patients presenting with influenza-like illness were tested for EV-D68. In secondary care 55 EV-D68 cases were detected. Among those, 45 cases had clinical information available and 89% (40/45) presented with severe respiratory symptoms. Detection of EV-D68 among patients in primary care increased from 0.4% (4/1074; 95% CI 0.1–1.0) (September 2013–January 2014) to 0.8% (11/1359; 95% CI 0.4–1.5) (September 2014–January 2015). Characterization of EV-D68 strains circulating in England since 2012 and up to winter 2014/2015 indicated that those strains were genetically similar to those detected in 2014 in USA. We recommend reinforcing enterovirus surveillance through screening respiratory samples of suspected cases.
Bartonellae are blood- and vector-borne Gram-negative bacteria, recognized as emerging pathogens. Whole-blood samples were collected from 58 free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) in South Africa and 17 cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) from Namibia. Blood samples were also collected from 11 cheetahs (more than once for some of them) at the San Diego Wildlife Safari Park. Bacteria were isolated from the blood of three (5%) lions, one (6%) Namibian cheetah and eight (73%) cheetahs from California. The lion Bartonella isolates were identified as B. henselae (two isolates) and B. koehlerae subsp. koehlerae. The Namibian cheetah strain was close but distinct from isolates from North American wild felids and clustered between B. henselae and B. koehlerae. It should be considered as a new subspecies of B. koehlerae. All the Californian semi-captive cheetah isolates were different from B. henselae or B. koehlerae subsp. koehlerae and from the Namibian cheetah isolate. They were also distinct from the strains isolated from Californian mountain lions (Felis concolor) and clustered with strains of B. koehlerae subsp. bothieri isolated from free-ranging bobcats (Lynx rufus) in California. Therefore, it is likely that these captive cheetahs became infected by an indigenous strain for which bobcats are the natural reservoir.
Background: Epileptic encephalopathy (EE) is a severe condition in which epileptic activity itself may contribute to severe cognitive and behavioural impairments above and beyond what might be expected from the underlying pathology alone. Next generation sequencing technologies such as whole exome sequencing (WES) can detect underlying genetic causes of in EE. Methods: This report describes genotype-phenotype correlation of 29 subjects with unexplained epileptic encephalopathy, in whom WES, targeting a list of 557 epilepsy-associated genes was performed. Epilepsy phenotyping was done according to current ILAE recommendations. Results: Median age at seizure onset was 14 months (range 1-48). Electroclinical syndromes were applicable for 16/29, 8/16 had a definite/likely diagnosis. 6/8 subjects with West syndrome had variants in ALG13, STXBP1, PAFAH1B1, SLC35A2, CDKL5 and ADSL. 2 patients with Dravet syndrome had variants in SCN1A and PCDH19 respectively. 4/29 had unspecified EE and definite/likely diagnosis due to STXBP1, POLG, and KCNQ2 (2) variants. 4/29 had a possible diagnosis involving GABRB3, ARHGEF9, PCDH19 and SCN3A variants. Conclusions: The high diagnostic yield (definite/likely diagnosis in 11/29 = 38%), involving a broad variety of epilepsy-associated genes in different electroclinical syndromes justifies the diagnostic approach of early onset EE by next generation sequencing.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
The observations in this paper were carried out as part of a program co-ordinated by the Occultation Section of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand.
On 6 August 1989 minor planet (9) Metis occulted the magnitude 8.7 star SAO 190531. The occultation was observed by two visual observers in Tasmania, and at one photoelectric and two visual sites in New Zealand. From the five chords obtained we have deduced an average cross-sectional diameter for this minor planet of 173.5 km at the time of the occultation. This is in good agreement with previous radiometric and polarimetric results.