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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
The inaugural data from the first systematic program of sea-ice observations in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska, in 2018 coincided with the first winter in living memory when the Sound was not choked with ice. The following winter of 2018–19 was even warmer and characterized by even less ice. Here we discuss the mass balance of landfast ice near Kotzebue (Qikiqtaġruk) during these two anomalously warm winters. We use in situ observations and a 1-D thermodynamic model to address three research questions developed in partnership with an Indigenous Advisory Council. In doing so, we improve our understanding of connections between landfast ice mass balance, marine mammals and subsistence hunting. Specifically, we show: (i) ice growth stopped unusually early due to strong vertical ocean heat flux, which also likely contributed to early start to bearded seal hunting; (ii) unusually thin ice contributed to widespread surface flooding. The associated snow ice formation partly offset the reduced ice growth, but the flooding likely had a negative impact on ringed seal habitat; (iii) sea ice near Kotzebue during the winters of 2017–18 and 2018–19 was likely the thinnest since at least 1945, driven by a combination of warm air temperatures and a persistent ocean heat flux.
Brain research in Europe is a rapidly evolving field, and increasingly at the forefront of science. Although considerable amounts of knowledge and innovative approaches have been generated, the translation into new health interventions is hindered by excessive fragmentation. Effective and efficient collaboration and cooperation among the various initiatives are often identified as a key success factor to achieve brain research full impact. EBRA fully responds to these needs by bringing together the various stakeholders and major brain research initiatives, at European level and beyond. EBRA creates the conditions for real and effective cross fertilisation, dialogue, building consensus and exploiting research potential. On the operational level, EBRA facilitates the emergence of research projects in specific areas in active clusters. A cluster is understood as a research community that can be directed towards basic research, clinical research and/or methodological approaches under a common topic and disease area within brain research. EBRA support clusters to: 1. Consolidate or expand further the research community expand their community, 2. Engage with policy makers and other relevant stakeholders, 3. Build consensus on various issues (research priorities, research roadmap, data sharing, etc.), 4. Promote links with existing research infrastructures, 5. Increase the visibility of the research community through communication and dissemination activities, 6. Coordinate the development of position/consensus papers, white papers, guidelines, meeting reports and/or other cluster outcomes. EBRA currently has 6 existing clusters: EPICLUSTER, Prevention of Severe Mental Disorders (PSMD)-cluster, TRISOMY21-cluster, BRAINFOOD-cluster., PREMOS-cluster and ECIB-cluster.
Brain research in Europe is a rapidly evolving field, and increasingly at the forefront of science. Although considerable amounts of knowledge and innovative approaches have been generated, the translation into new health interventions is hindered by excessive fragmentation. Effective and efficient collaboration and cooperation among the various initiatives are often identified as a key success factor to achieve brain research full impact. EBRA fully responds to these needs by bringing together the various stakeholders and major brain research initiatives, at European level and beyond. EBRA creates the conditions for real and effective cross fertilisation, dialogue, building consensus and exploiting research potential. At the strategic level, EBRA acts by fostering alignment and better coordination of research strategies across European and global brain initiatives. Therefore, an overview of the scale and scope of brain research activities funded in the EU framework programme and the funding initiatives of JPND, NEURON and HBP has been created. The results of the mapping exercise then underpinned the development of a Shared European Brain Research Agenda (SEBRA). The SEBRA focuses on research opportunities and research gaps to be addressed in the field, and priorities for action in the short- and long-term. It integrates pre-existing documents as well as expert (i.e., researchers, neurologists/psychiatrists, patient representatives) input that has been collected through surveys and in a dedicated expert workshop. The SEBRA will be used to provide recommendations on future areas for excellent, innovative, and translational research comprising those for maximized cooperation, reduced overlap, and fragmentation.
MRI-derived cortical folding measures are an indicator of largely genetically driven early developmental processes. However, the effects of genetic risk for major mental disorders on early brain development are not well understood.
We extracted cortical complexity values from structural MRI data of 580 healthy participants using the CAT12 toolbox. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and cross-disorder (incorporating cumulative genetic risk for depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) were computed and used in separate general linear models with cortical complexity as the regressand. In brain regions that showed a significant association between polygenic risk for mental disorders and cortical complexity, volume of interest (VOI)/region of interest (ROI) analyses were conducted to investigate additional changes in their volume and cortical thickness.
The PRS for depression was associated with cortical complexity in the right orbitofrontal cortex (right hemisphere: p = 0.006). A subsequent VOI/ROI analysis showed no association between polygenic risk for depression and either grey matter volume or cortical thickness. We found no associations between cortical complexity and polygenic risk for either schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychiatric cross-disorder when correcting for multiple testing.
Changes in cortical complexity associated with polygenic risk for depression might facilitate well-established volume changes in orbitofrontal cortices in depression. Despite the absence of psychopathology, changed cortical complexity that parallels polygenic risk for depression might also change reward systems, which are also structurally affected in patients with depressive syndrome.
Maternal psychopathology during pregnancy is associated with negative outcomes in offspring. Increased placental transfer of maternal cortisol may contribute to mediate this association. Hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) appear to be a good biomarker of long-term prenatal stress exposure. Little is known about the associations between severe maternal psychopathology and perinatal infant HCCs.
We assessed HCCs in the perinatal period in mother–infant dyads with and without severe psychiatric disorders.
We examined group differences in HCCs of mother–infant dyads (n = 18) subjected to severe maternal psychiatric disorders versus healthy control dyads (n = 27). We assessed the correlation of HCCs between mother and infant within both groups, and the association between current maternal symptoms and HCCs in patient dyads.
Median (interquartile range) and distribution of HCC differed in patients compared with control mothers (U = 468.5, P = 0.03). HCCs in infants of patients did not differ from control infants (U = 250.0, P = 0.67). Subsequently, we found that HCCs within healthy control dyads were correlated (n = 27, r 0.55 (0.14), P = 0.003), but were not within patient dyads (n = 18, r 0.082 (0.13), P = 0.746). HCCs in infants of patients showed a positive correlation with maternal symptoms (n = 16, r = 0.63 (0.06), P = 0.008).
These preliminary findings suggest that infant HCC reflect perinatal stress exposure. In infants, these early differences could influence lifetime hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis functioning, which might be associated with increased susceptibility to later disease.
Schizotypy is a putative risk phenotype for psychosis liability, but the overlap of its genetic architecture with schizophrenia is poorly understood.
We tested the hypothesis that dimensions of schizotypy (assessed with the SPQ-B) are associated with a polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia in a sample of 623 psychiatrically healthy, non-clinical subjects from the FOR2107 multi-centre study and a second sample of 1133 blood donors.
We did not find correlations of schizophrenia PRS with either overall SPQ or specific dimension scores, nor with adjusted schizotypy scores derived from the SPQ (addressing inter-scale variance). Also, PRS for affective disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression) were not significantly associated with schizotypy.
This important negative finding demonstrates that despite the hypothesised continuum of schizotypy and schizophrenia, schizotypy might share less genetic risk with schizophrenia than previously assumed (and possibly less compared to psychotic-like experiences).
To determine the Final ICU Need in the 24 hours prior to ICU discharge for children with cardiac disease by utilising a single-centre survey.
A cross-sectional survey was utilised to determine Final ICU Need, which was categorised as “Cardiovascular”, “Respiratory”, “Feeding”, “Sedation”, “Systems Issue”, or “Other” for each encounter. Survey responses were obtained from attending physicians who discharged children (≤18 years of age with ICU length of stay >24 hours) from the Cardiac ICU between April 2016 and July 2018.
Measurements and results:
Survey response rate was 99% (n = 1073), with 667 encounters eligible for analysis. “Cardiovascular” (61%) and “Respiratory” (26%) were the most frequently chosen Final ICU Needs. From a multivariable mixed effects logistic regression model fitted to “Cardiovascular” and “Respiratory”, operations with significantly reduced odds of having “Cardiovascular” Final ICU Need included Glenn palliation (p = 0.003), total anomalous pulmonary venous connection repair (p = 0.024), truncus arteriosus repair (p = 0.044), and vascular ring repair (p < 0.001). Short lengths of stay (<7.9 days) had significantly higher odds of “Cardiovascular” Final ICU Need (p < 0.001). “Cardiovascular” and “Respiratory” Final ICU Needs were also associated with provider and ICU discharge season.
Final ICU Need is a novel metric to identify variations in Cardiac ICU utilisation and clinical trajectories. Final ICU Need was significantly influenced by benchmark operation, length of stay, provider, and season. Future applications of Final ICU Need include targeting quality and research initiatives, calibrating provider and family expectations, and identifying provider-level variability in care processes and mental models.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Many museums and art spaces conduct programming intended to improve health outcomes, but arts professionals’ perceptions of these programs are not well known. This study describes arts professionals’ experiences with museum and art-space interventions intended to improve health. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: A 14-item digital Qualtrics survey was administered to museums and arts organizations selected using snowball sampling. The survey was sent to a range of arts and cultural organizations and professional membership bodies in the US and UK. Survey questions assessed the range of audiences involved in health programs, what types of activities museums and arts organizations are offering to support health outcomes, and how programs are evaluated. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: From 10/30/19-11/19/19, 151 surveys were completed; 66 respondents (44%) have a museum/arts in health program. Common target populations include individuals with mental health concerns (33, 22%) and older adults (26, 17%). Improving wellbeing (56, 37%) and social isolation (50, 33%) were the most common intended outcomes. Respondents reported using a variety of program evaluation methods including formal (23, 15%), informal (31, 21%), and anecdotal (37, 25%). Interviews are planned with a purposive sample of respondents conducting, or interested in conducting, a program for individuals with chronic pain and those formally evaluating their programs. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Interim survey responses indicate many cultural organizations engage in programming intended to improve health outcomes. Understanding the cultural sector’s current efforts to improve health represents an initial step in translating these efforts into effective intersectoral research partnerships.
Smoking-behaviour is influenced by environmental and genetic risk factors. Established epidemiological risk factors include early age at onset (AaO), depression, positive family history (FH+) of depression/alcohol-dependence, low education, older birth cohort, and male gender. Genomewide-association-studies (GWAS) have identified genetic risk variants for smoking-behaviour. In the present study we investigated correlations between these epidemiological and genetic risk factors and smoking-behaviour in a large population-based German sample. Genetic risk was defined in terms of a polygenic score – the accumulated effect of seven independent genetic risk markers for smoking-behaviour identified through GWAS.
The sample comprised 1736 individuals (815 males, 921 females). Dependent variables were: smoking-duration, nicotine-dependence, cigarettes–per-day, ever-smoking, and smoking-cessation. The effect of the epidemiological risk factors, the polygenic risk score, and their combined effect on the smoking-behaviours was tested via linear or logistic regression analyses.
The following associations were detected: AaO and birth cohort with smoking-duration (p=0.004; p<0.001); AaO, education and FH+ depression with nicotine-dependence (p=0.002; p=0.092); sex and AaO with cigarettes–per-day (p=0.020; p<0.001); FH+ alcohol dependence with eversmoking (p=0.049); and birth cohort and education with smoking-cessation (p=0.001; p=0.029). The polygenic risk score showed a trend towards association with nicotine-dependence (p=0.113) and cigarettes–per-day (p=0.109). In the combined analyses, the polygenic risk score improved the regression model for nicotine-dependence, cigarettes–per-day, and smoking-cessation.
The addition of GWAS information concerning genetic risk factors explained an increased fraction of the smoking behaviours nicotine dependence, CPD, and smoking cessation. Future studies are warranted to elucidate the biological correlates of these genetic risk factors.
The history of maize (Zea mays L.) in the eastern Woodlands remains an important study topic. As currently understood, these histories appear to vary regionally and include scenarios positing an early introduction and an increase in use over hundreds of, if not a thousand, years. In this article, we address the history of maize in the American Bottom region of Illinois and its importance in the development of regional Mississippian societies, specifically in the Cahokian polity located in the central Mississippi River valley. We present new lines of evidence that confirm subsistence-level maize use at Cahokia was introduced rather abruptly at about AD 900 and increased rapidly over the following centuries. Directly dated archaeobotanical maize remains, human and dog skeletal carbon isotope values, and a revised interpretation of the archaeological record support this interpretation. Our results suggest that population increases and the nucleation associated with Cahokia were facilitated by the newly introduced practices of maize cultivation and consumption. Maize should be recognized as having had a key role in providing subsistence security that—combined with social, political, and religious changes—fueled the emergence of Cahokia in AD 1050.
Pathological gambling is a behavioural addiction with negative economic, social, and psychological consequences. Identification of contributing genes and pathways may improve understanding of aetiology and facilitate therapy and prevention. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study of pathological gambling. Our aims were to identify pathways involved in pathological gambling, and examine whether there is a genetic overlap between pathological gambling and alcohol dependence.
Four hundred and forty-five individuals with a diagnosis of pathological gambling according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders were recruited in Germany, and 986 controls were drawn from a German general population sample. A genome-wide association study of pathological gambling comprising single marker, gene-based, and pathway analyses, was performed. Polygenic risk scores were generated using data from a German genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence.
No genome-wide significant association with pathological gambling was found for single markers or genes. Pathways for Huntington's disease (P-value = 6.63 × 10−3); 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase signalling (P-value = 9.57 × 10−3); and apoptosis (P-value = 1.75 × 10−2) were significant. Polygenic risk score analysis of the alcohol dependence dataset yielded a one-sided nominal significant P-value in subjects with pathological gambling, irrespective of comorbid alcohol dependence status.
The present results accord with previous quantitative formal genetic studies which showed genetic overlap between non-substance- and substance-related addictions. Furthermore, pathway analysis suggests shared pathology between Huntington's disease and pathological gambling. This finding is consistent with previous imaging studies.
The association between schizophrenia and decreased vitamin D levels is well documented. Low maternal and postnatal vitamin D levels suggest a possible etiological mechanism. Alternatively, vitamin D deficiency in patients with schizophrenia is presumably (also) the result of disease-related factors or demographic risk factors such as urbanicity.
In a study population of 347 patients with psychotic disorder and 282 controls, group differences in vitamin D concentration were examined. Within the patient group, associations between vitamin D, symptom levels and clinical variables were analyzed. Group × urbanicity interactions in the model of vitamin D concentration were examined. Both current urbanicity and urbanicity at birth were assessed.
Vitamin D concentrations were significantly lower in patients (B = −8.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) −13.68 to −2.42; p = 0.005). In patients, higher vitamin D concentration was associated with lower positive (B = −0.02; 95% CI −0.04 to 0.00; p = 0.049) and negative symptom levels (B = −0.03; 95% CI −0.05 to −0.01; p = 0.008). Group differences were moderated by urbanicity at birth (χ2 = 6.76 and p = 0.001), but not by current urbanicity (χ2 = 1.50 and p = 0.224). Urbanicity at birth was negatively associated with vitamin D concentration in patients (B = −5.11; 95% CI −9.41 to −0.81; p = 0.020), but not in controls (B = 0.72; 95% CI −4.02 to 5.46; p = 0.765).
Lower vitamin D levels in patients with psychotic disorder may in part reflect the effect of psychosis risk mediated by early environmental adversity. The data also suggest that lower vitamin D and psychopathology may be related through direct or indirect mechanisms.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) exhibit long-lasting consequences on later life and are considered as a major public health problem. ACEs can be divided into household dysfunctions, which affect the child indirectly, and direct maltreatment. As a high correlation between ACEs in general is known, we assessed the risk for child maltreatment associated with the occurrence of household dysfunctions. To provide a better understanding for the mechanisms leading to the deleterious sequelae of ACEs, we furthermore assessed whether the long-term consequences of household dysfunction are mediated by child maltreatment and thereby might be targeted by effective child protection programs.
A representative sample of the German population above the age of 14 (N = 2531) was assessed in a cross-sectional observational population-based survey.
The data reveal that mental illness of a household member was associated with significantly increased risks for all child maltreatment subtypes (ORs 4.95–5.55), just as household substance abuse (ORs 5.32–6.98), violence against the mother (ORs 4.43–10.26), incarceration of a household member (ORs 6.11–14.93) and parental separation (OR 3.37–4.87). Child maltreatment partially mediated the association of household mental illness, substance abuse and parental separation with later depression, anxiety, life satisfaction and subjective general health status and completely mediated the associations of intimate partner violence (IPV) and incarceration of a household member with anxiety, depression and subjective health status in adulthood.
ACEs linked to household dysfunction are associated with an increased risk for all subtypes of child maltreatment. The assessed widespread consequences of household dysfunction are mediated by child maltreatment. This underlines the role of prevention of child maltreatment in families with household dysfunction and implies child protection as a priority in any interventions.
Orbital-free density functional theory (OFDFT) is both grounded in quantum physics and suitable for direct simulation of thousands of atoms. This article describes the application of OFDFT for materials research over roughly the past two decades, highlighting computational studies that would have been impractical (or impossible) to perform with other techniques. In particular, we review the growing body of simulations of solids and liquids that have been conducted with planewave-pseudopotential (or related) techniques. We also provide an updated account of the fundamentals of OFDFT, emphasizing aspects—such as nonlocal density functionals for computing the kinetic energy of noninteracting electrons—that enabled much of the application work. The article concludes with a discussion of the OFDFT frontier, which contains brief descriptions of other topics at the forefront of OFDFT research.
This paper presents latest thinking from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Model Risk Working Party and follows on from their Phase I work, Model Risk: Daring to Open the Black Box. This is a more practical paper and presents the contributors’ experiences of model risk gained from a wide range of financial and non-financial organisations with suggestions for good practice and proven methods to reduce model risk. After a recap of the Phase I work, examples of model risk communication are given covering communication: to the Board; to the regulator; and to external stakeholders. We present a practical framework for model risk management and quantification with examples of the key actors, processes and cultural challenge. Lessons learned are then presented from other industries that make extensive use of models and include the weather forecasting, software and aerospace industries. Finally, a series of case studies in practical model risk management and mitigation are presented from the contributors’ own experiences covering primarily financial services.
Children and adolescents are a vulnerable group to develop post-traumatic stress symptoms after natural or man-made disasters. In the light of increasing numbers of refugees under the age of 18 years worldwide, there is a significant need for effective treatments. This meta-analytic review investigates specific psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents after man-made and natural disasters. In a systematic literature search using MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO, as well as hand-searching existing reviews and contacting professional associations, 36 studies were identified. Random- and mixed-effects models were applied to test for average effect sizes and moderating variables. Overall, treatments showed high effect sizes in pre–post comparisons (Hedges' g = 1.34) and medium effect sizes as compared with control conditions (Hedges' g = 0.43). Treatments investigated by at least two studies were cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), narrative exposure therapy for children (KIDNET) and classroom-based interventions, which showed similar effect sizes. However, studies were very heterogenic with regard to their outcomes. Effects were moderated by type of profession (higher level of training leading to higher effect sizes). A number of effective psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent survivors of disasters exist. CBT, EMDR, KIDNET and classroom-based interventions can be equally recommended. Although disasters require immediate reactions and improvisation, future studies with larger sample sizes and rigorous methodology are needed.