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Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) frequently co-occur, and large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified significant genetic correlations between these disorders.
We used the largest published GWAS for AUD (total cases = 77 822) and SCZ (total cases = 46 827) to identify genetic variants that influence both disorders (with either the same or opposite direction of effect) and those that are disorder specific.
We identified 55 independent genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms with the same direction of effect on AUD and SCZ, 8 with robust effects in opposite directions, and 98 with disorder-specific effects. We also found evidence for 12 genes whose pleiotropic associations with AUD and SCZ are consistent with mediation via gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic covariance between AUD and SCZ was concentrated in genomic regions functional in brain tissues (p = 0.001).
Our findings provide further evidence that SCZ shares meaningful genetic overlap with AUD.
The state of Maryland identified its first case of COVID-19 on March 5, 2020. The Baltimore Convention Center (BCCFH) quickly became a selected location to set up a 250-bed inpatient Field Hospital and Alternate Care Site. In contrast to other field hospitals throughout the United States, the BCCFH remained open throughout the pandemic and took on additional COVID-19 missions, including community SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing, monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19 outpatients, and community COVID-19 vaccinations. At the time of publication, the BCCFH had cared for 1,478 COVID-19 inpatients, performed 108,155 COVID-19 tests, infused 2,166 COVID-19 patients, and administered 115,169 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
To prevent the spread of pathogens during operations, infection prevention and control guidelines were essential to ensure the safety of staff and patients. Through multi-agency collaboration, utilization of infection prevention best practices, and answering what we describe as “PPE-ESP”, an operational framework was established to reduce infection risks for those providing or receiving care at the BCCFH during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pharmacogenomic testing has emerged to aid medication selection for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) by identifying potential gene-drug interactions (GDI). Many pharmacogenomic tests are available with varying levels of supporting evidence, including direct-to-consumer and physician-ordered tests. We retrospectively evaluated the safety of using a physician-ordered combinatorial pharmacogenomic test (GeneSight) to guide medication selection for patients with MDD in a large, randomized, controlled trial (GUIDED).
Materials and Methods
Patients diagnosed with MDD who had an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medication were randomized to treatment as usual (TAU) or combinatorial pharmacogenomic test-guided care (guided-care). All received combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing and medications were categorized by predicted GDI (no, moderate, or significant GDI). Patients and raters were blinded to study arm, and physicians were blinded to test results for patients in TAU, through week 8. Measures included adverse events (AEs, present/absent), worsening suicidal ideation (increase of ≥1 on the corresponding HAM-D17 question), or symptom worsening (HAM-D17 increase of ≥1). These measures were evaluated based on medication changes [add only, drop only, switch (add and drop), any, and none] and study arm, as well as baseline medication GDI.
Most patients had a medication change between baseline and week 8 (938/1,166; 80.5%), including 269 (23.1%) who added only, 80 (6.9%) who dropped only, and 589 (50.5%) who switched medications. In the full cohort, changing medications resulted in an increased relative risk (RR) of experiencing AEs at both week 4 and 8 [RR 2.00 (95% CI 1.41–2.83) and RR 2.25 (95% CI 1.39–3.65), respectively]. This was true regardless of arm, with no significant difference observed between guided-care and TAU, though the RRs for guided-care were lower than for TAU. Medication change was not associated with increased suicidal ideation or symptom worsening, regardless of study arm or type of medication change. Special attention was focused on patients who entered the study taking medications identified by pharmacogenomic testing as likely having significant GDI; those who were only taking medications subject to no or moderate GDI at week 8 were significantly less likely to experience AEs than those who were still taking at least one medication subject to significant GDI (RR 0.39, 95% CI 0.15–0.99, p=0.048). No other significant differences in risk were observed at week 8.
These data indicate that patient safety in the combinatorial pharmacogenomic test-guided care arm was no worse than TAU in the GUIDED trial. Moreover, combinatorial pharmacogenomic-guided medication selection may reduce some safety concerns. Collectively, these data demonstrate that combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing can be adopted safely into clinical practice without risking symptom degradation among patients.
The logarithmic helicospiral has been the most widely accepted model of regularly coiled molluscan form since it was proposed by Moseley and popularized by Thompson and Raup. It is based on an explicit assumption that shells are isometric and grow exponentially, and an implicit assumption that the external form of the shell follows the internal shape, which implies that the parameters of the spiral could be reconstructed from the external whorl profile. In this contribution, we show that these assumptions fail on all 25 gastropod species we examine. Using a dataset of 176 fossil and modern gastropod shells, we construct an empirical morphospace of coiling using the parameters of whorl expansion rate, translation rate, and rate of increasing distance from coiling axis, plus rate of aperture shape change, from their best-fit models. We present a case study of change in shell form through geologic time in the austral family Struthiolariidae to demonstrate the utility of our approach for evolutionary paleobiology. We fit various functions to the shell-coiling parameters to demonstrate that the best morphological model is not the same for each parameter. We present a set of R routines that will calculate helicospiral parameters from sagittal sections through coiled shells and allow workers to compare models and choose appropriate sets of parameters for their own datasets. Shell-form parameters in the Struthiolariidae highlight a hitherto neglected hypothesis of relationship between Antarctic Perissodonta and the enigmatic Australian genus Tylospira that fits the biogeographic and stratigraphic distribution of both genera.
In April 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released its recovery plan for the jaguar Panthera onca after several decades of discussion, litigation and controversy about the status of the species in the USA. The USFWS estimated that potential habitat, south of the Interstate-10 highway in Arizona and New Mexico, had a carrying capacity of c. six jaguars, and so focused its recovery programme on areas south of the USA–Mexico border. Here we present a systematic review of the modelling and assessment efforts over the last 25 years, with a focus on areas north of Interstate-10 in Arizona and New Mexico, outside the recovery unit considered by the USFWS. Despite differences in data inputs, methods, and analytical extent, the nine previous studies found support for potential suitable jaguar habitat in the central mountain ranges of Arizona and New Mexico. Applying slightly modified versions of the USFWS model and recalculating an Arizona-focused model over both states provided additional confirmation. Extending the area of consideration also substantially raised the carrying capacity of habitats in Arizona and New Mexico, from six to 90 or 151 adult jaguars, using the modified USFWS models. This review demonstrates the crucial ways in which choosing the extent of analysis influences the conclusions of a conservation plan. More importantly, it opens a new opportunity for jaguar conservation in North America that could help address threats from habitat losses, climate change and border infrastructure.
Coronary artery aneurysms in children were observed as a rare complication associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This case report describes the severe end of the spectrum of the new multisystem inflammatory syndrome in a 12-year-old child with coronary aneurysms, myocardial dysfunction, and shock, managed successfully with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support and immunomodulation therapy. This report also highlights the additional benefits of cardiac CT in the diagnosis and follow-up of coronary aneurysms.
Data from multiple sources point to the desire for revenge in response to grievances or perceived injustices as a root cause of violence, including firearm violence. Neuroscience and behavioral studies are beginning to reveal that the desire for revenge in response to grievances activates the same neural reward-processing circuitry as that of substance addiction, suggesting that grievances trigger powerful cravings for revenge in anticipation of experiencing pleasure. Based on this evidence, the authors argue that a behavioral addiction framework may be appropriate for understanding and addressing violent behavior. Such an approach could yield significant benefits by leveraging scientific and public health-oriented drug abuse prevention and treatment strategies that target drug cravings to spur development of scientific and public-health-oriented “gun abuse” prevention and treatment strategies targeting the revenge cravings that lead to violence. An example of one such “motive control” strategy is discussed. Approaching revenge-seeking, violence, and gun abuse from the perspective of compulsion and addiction would have the added benefit of avoiding the stigmatization as violent of individuals with mental illness while also acknowledging the systemic, social, and cultural factors contributing to grievances that lead to violent acts.
Individuals with schizophrenia are at higher risk of physical illnesses, which are a major contributor to their 20-year reduced life expectancy. It is currently unknown what causes the increased risk of physical illness in schizophrenia.
To link genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia to anonymised National Health Service (NHS) records. To assess (a) rates of physical illness in those with schizophrenia, and (b) whether physical illness in schizophrenia is associated with genetic liability.
We linked genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia (Cardiff Cognition in Schizophrenia participants, n = 896) to anonymised NHS records held in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank. Physical illnesses were defined from the General Practice Database and Patient Episode Database for Wales. Genetic liability for schizophrenia was indexed by (a) rare copy number variants (CNVs), and (b) polygenic risk scores.
Individuals with schizophrenia in SAIL had increased rates of epilepsy (standardised rate ratio (SRR) = 5.34), intellectual disability (SRR = 3.11), type 2 diabetes (SRR = 2.45), congenital disorders (SRR = 1.77), ischaemic heart disease (SRR = 1.57) and smoking (SRR = 1.44) in comparison with the general SAIL population. In those with schizophrenia, carrier status for schizophrenia-associated CNVs and neurodevelopmental disorder-associated CNVs was associated with height (P = 0.015–0.017), with carriers being 7.5–7.7 cm shorter than non-carriers. We did not find evidence that the increased rates of poor physical health outcomes in schizophrenia were associated with genetic liability for the disorder.
This study demonstrates the value of and potential for linking genetic data from clinically ascertained research studies to anonymised health records. The increased risk for physical illness in schizophrenia is not caused by genetic liability for the disorder.
Hydrogen lithography has been used to template phosphine-based surface chemistry to fabricate atomic-scale devices, a process we abbreviate as atomic precision advanced manufacturing (APAM). Here, we use mid-infrared variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (IR-VASE) to characterize single-nanometer thickness phosphorus dopant layers (δ-layers) in silicon made using APAM compatible processes. A large Drude response is directly attributable to the δ-layer and can be used for nondestructive monitoring of the condition of the APAM layer when integrating additional processing steps. The carrier density and mobility extracted from our room temperature IR-VASE measurements are consistent with cryogenic magneto-transport measurements, showing that APAM δ-layers function at room temperature. Finally, the permittivity extracted from these measurements shows that the doping in the APAM δ-layers is so large that their low-frequency in-plane response is reminiscent of a silicide. However, there is no indication of a plasma resonance, likely due to reduced dimensionality and/or low scattering lifetime.
It is not clear to what extent associations between schizophrenia, cannabis use and cigarette use are due to a shared genetic etiology. We, therefore, examined whether schizophrenia genetic risk associates with longitudinal patterns of cigarette and cannabis use in adolescence and mediating pathways for any association to inform potential reduction strategies.
Associations between schizophrenia polygenic scores and longitudinal latent classes of cigarette and cannabis use from ages 14 to 19 years were investigated in up to 3925 individuals in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Mediation models were estimated to assess the potential mediating effects of a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral phenotypes.
The schizophrenia polygenic score, based on single nucleotide polymorphisms meeting a training-set p threshold of 0.05, was associated with late-onset cannabis use (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.08,1.41), but not with cigarette or early-onset cannabis use classes. This association was not mediated through lower IQ, victimization, emotional difficulties, antisocial behavior, impulsivity, or poorer social relationships during childhood. Sensitivity analyses adjusting for genetic liability to cannabis or cigarette use, using polygenic scores excluding the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster, or basing scores on a 0.5 training-set p threshold, provided results consistent with our main analyses.
Our study provides evidence that genetic risk for schizophrenia is associated with patterns of cannabis use during adolescence. Investigation of pathways other than the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral phenotypes examined here is required to identify modifiable targets to reduce the public health burden of cannabis use in the population.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
The Genomics Used to Improve DEpresssion Decisions (GUIDED) trial assessed outcomes associated with combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Analyses used the 17-item Hamilton Depression (HAM-D17) rating scale; however, studies demonstrate that the abbreviated, core depression symptom-focused, HAM-D6 rating scale may have greater sensitivity toward detecting differences between treatment and placebo. However, the sensitivity of HAM-D6 has not been tested for two active treatment arms. Here, we evaluated the sensitivity of the HAM-D6 scale, relative to the HAM-D17 scale, when assessing outcomes for actively treated patients in the GUIDED trial.
Outpatients (N=1,298) diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate treatment response to >1 psychotropic medication were randomized into treatment as usual (TAU) or combinatorial PGx-guided (guided-care) arms. Combinatorial PGx testing was performed on all patients, though test reports were only available to the guided-care arm. All patients and raters were blinded to study arm until after week 8. Medications on the combinatorial PGx test report were categorized based on the level of predicted gene-drug interactions: ‘use as directed’, ‘moderate gene-drug interactions’, or ‘significant gene-drug interactions.’ Patient outcomes were assessed by arm at week 8 using HAM-D6 and HAM-D17 rating scales, including symptom improvement (percent change in scale), response (≥50% decrease in scale), and remission (HAM-D6 ≤4 and HAM-D17 ≤7).
At week 8, the guided-care arm demonstrated statistically significant symptom improvement over TAU using HAM-D6 scale (Δ=4.4%, p=0.023), but not using the HAM-D17 scale (Δ=3.2%, p=0.069). The response rate increased significantly for guided-care compared with TAU using both HAM-D6 (Δ=7.0%, p=0.004) and HAM-D17 (Δ=6.3%, p=0.007). Remission rates were also significantly greater for guided-care versus TAU using both scales (HAM-D6 Δ=4.6%, p=0.031; HAM-D17 Δ=5.5%, p=0.005). Patients taking medication(s) predicted to have gene-drug interactions at baseline showed further increased benefit over TAU at week 8 using HAM-D6 for symptom improvement (Δ=7.3%, p=0.004) response (Δ=10.0%, p=0.001) and remission (Δ=7.9%, p=0.005). Comparatively, the magnitude of the differences in outcomes between arms at week 8 was lower using HAM-D17 (symptom improvement Δ=5.0%, p=0.029; response Δ=8.0%, p=0.008; remission Δ=7.5%, p=0.003).
Combinatorial PGx-guided care achieved significantly better patient outcomes compared with TAU when assessed using the HAM-D6 scale. These findings suggest that the HAM-D6 scale is better suited than is the HAM-D17 for evaluating change in randomized, controlled trials comparing active treatment arms.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
Objectives: To describe multivariate base rates (MBRs) of low scores and reliable change (decline) scores on Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) in college athletes at baseline, as well as to assess MBR differences among demographic and medical history subpopulations. Methods: Data were reported on 15,909 participants (46.5% female) from the NCAA/DoD CARE Consortium. MBRs of ImPACT composite scores were derived using published CARE normative data and reliability metrics. MBRs of sex-corrected low scores were reported at <25th percentile (Low Average), <10th percentile (Borderline), and ≤2nd percentile (Impaired). MBRs of reliable decline scores were reported at the 75%, 90%, 95%, and 99% confidence intervals. We analyzed subgroups by sex, race, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and/or learning disability (ADHD/LD), anxiety/depression, and concussion history using chi-square analyses. Results: Base rates of low scores and reliable decline scores on individual composites approximated the normative distribution. Athletes obtained ≥1 low score with frequencies of 63.4% (Low Average), 32.0% (Borderline), and 9.1% (Impaired). Athletes obtained ≥1 reliable decline score with frequencies of 66.8%, 32.2%, 18%, and 3.8%, respectively. Comparatively few athletes had low scores or reliable decline on ≥2 composite scores. Black/African American athletes and athletes with ADHD/LD had higher rates of low scores, while greater concussion history was associated with lower MBRs (p < .01). MBRs of reliable decline were not associated with demographic or medical factors. Conclusions: Clinical interpretation of low scores and reliable decline on ImPACT depends on the strictness of the low score cutoff, the reliable change criterion, and the number of scores exceeding these cutoffs. Race and ADHD influence the frequency of low scores at all cutoffs cross-sectionally.
Immune system markers may predict affective disorder treatment response, but whether an overall immune system marker predicts bipolar disorder treatment effect is unclear.
Bipolar CHOICE (N = 482) and LiTMUS (N = 283) were similar comparative effectiveness trials treating patients with bipolar disorder for 24 weeks with four different treatment arms (standard-dose lithium, quetiapine, moderate-dose lithium plus optimised personalised treatment (OPT) and OPT without lithium). We performed secondary mixed effects linear regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, smoking and body mass index to investigate relationships between pre-treatment white blood cell (WBC) levels and clinical global impression scale (CGI) response.
Compared to participants with WBC counts of 4.5–10 × 109/l, participants with WBC < 4.5 or WBC ≥ 10 showed similar improvement within each specific treatment arm and in gender-stratified analyses.
An overall immune system marker did not predict differential treatment response to four different treatment approaches for bipolar disorder all lasting 24 weeks.
Opioid overdose deaths in the United States are increasing. Time to restoration of ventilation is critical. Rapid bystander administration of opioid antidote (naloxone) is an effective interim response but is historically constrained by legal restrictions.
To review and contextualize development of legislation facilitating layperson administration of naloxone across the United States.
Publicly accessible databases (1,2) were searched for legislation relevant to naloxone administration between January 2001 and July 2017.
All 51 jurisdictions implemented naloxone access laws between 2001 and 2017; 45 of these between 2012 and 2017. Nationwide mortality from opioid overdose increased from 3.3 per 100,000 population in 2001 to 13.3 in 2016, 42, and 35 jurisdictions enacted laws giving prescribers immunity from criminal prosecution, civil liability, and professional sanctions, respectively. 36, 41, and 35 jurisdictions implemented laws allowing dispensers immunity in the same domains. 38 and 46 jurisdictions gave laypeople administering naloxone immunity from criminal and civil liability. Forty-seven jurisdictions implemented laws allowing prescription of naloxone to third parties. All jurisdictions except Nebraska allowed pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a patient-specific prescription. Fifteen jurisdictions removed criminal liability for possession of non-prescribed naloxone. The 10 states with highest average rates of opioid overdose-related mortality had not legislated in a higher number of domains compared to the 10 lowest states and the average of all jurisdictions (3.4 vs 2.9 vs 2.7, respectively).
Effective involvement of bystanders in early recognition and reversal of opioid overdose requires removal of legal deterrents to prescription, dispensing, distribution, and administration of naloxone. Jurisdictions have varied in degree and speed of creating this legal environment. Understanding the integration of legislation into epidemic response may inform the response to this and future public health crises.
Human Stampedes (HS) occur at religious mass gatherings. Religious events have a higher rate of morbidity and mortality than other events that experience HS. This study is a subset analysis of religious event HS data regarding the physics principles involved in HS, and the associated event morbidity and mortality.
To analyze reports of religious HS to determine the initiating physics principles and associated morbidity and mortality.
Thirty-four reports of religious HS were analyzed to find shared variables. Thirty-three (97.1%) were written media reports with photographic, drawn, or video documentation. 29 (85.3%) cited footage/photographs and 1 (2.9%) was not associated with visual evidence. Descriptive phrases associated with physics principles contributing to the onset of HS and morbidity data were extracted and analyzed to evaluate frequency before, during, and after events.
34 (39.1%) reports of HS found in the literature review were associated with religious HS. Of these, 83% were found to take place in an open space, and 82.3% were associated with population density changes. 82.3% of events were associated with architectural nozzles (small streets, alleys, etc). 100% were found to have loss of XY-axis motion and 89% reached an average velocity of zero. 100% had loss of proxemics and 91% had associated Z-axis displacement (falls). Minimum reported attendance for a religious HS was 3000. 100% of religious HS had reported mortality at the event and 56% with further associated morbidity.
HS are deadly events at religious mass gatherings. Religious events are often recurring, planned gatherings in specific geographic locations. They are frequently associated with an increase in population density, loss of proxemics and velocity, followed by Z-axis displacements, leading to injury and death. This is frequently due to architectural nozzles, which those organizing religious mass gatherings can predict and utilize to mitigate future events.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, with lifetime prevalence in the United States of 17%. Here we present the results of the first prospective, large-scale, patient- and rater-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluating the clinical importance of achieving congruence between combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing and medication selection for MDD.
1,167 outpatients diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medications were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) arm or PGx-guided care arm. Combinatorial PGx testing categorized medications in three groups based on the level of gene-drug interactions: use as directed, use with caution, or use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring. Patient assessments were performed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, 12 and 24. Patients, site raters, and central raters were blinded in both arms until after week 8. In the guided-care arm, physicians had access to the combinatorial PGx test result to guide medication selection. Primary outcomes utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) and included symptom improvement (percent change in HAM-D17 from baseline), response (50% decrease in HAM-D17 from baseline), and remission (HAM-D17<7) at the fully blinded week 8 time point. The durability of patient outcomes was assessed at week 24. Medications were considered congruent with PGx test results if they were in the ‘use as directed’ or ‘use with caution’ report categories while medications in the ‘use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring’ were considered incongruent. Patients who started on incongruent medications were analyzed separately according to whether they changed to congruent medications by week8.
At week 8, symptom improvement for individuals in the guided-care arm was not significantly different than TAU (27.2% versus 24.4%, p=0.11). However, individuals in the guided-care arm were more likely than those in TAU to achieve remission (15% versus 10%; p<0.01) and response (26% versus 20%; p=0.01). Remission rates, response rates, and symptom reductions continued to improve in the guided-treatment arm until the 24week time point. Congruent prescribing increased to 91% in the guided-care arm by week 8. Among patients who were taking one or more incongruent medication at baseline, those who changed to congruent medications by week 8 demonstrated significantly greater symptom improvement (p<0.01), response (p=0.04), and remission rates (p<0.01) compared to those who persisted on incongruent medications.
Combinatorial PGx testing improves short- and long-term response and remission rates for MDD compared to standard of care. In addition, prescribing congruency with PGx-guided medication recommendations is important for achieving symptom improvement, response, and remission for MDD patients.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Assurex Health, Inc.