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Persistent psychological distress associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been well documented. This study aimed to identify pre-COVID brain functional connectome that predicts pandemic-related distress symptoms among young adults.
Baseline neuroimaging studies and assessment of general distress using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale were performed with 100 healthy individuals prior to wide recognition of the health risks associated with the emergence of COVID-19. They were recontacted for the Impact of Event Scale-Revised and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist in the period of community-level outbreaks, and for follow-up distress evaluation again 1 year later. We employed the network-based statistic approach to identify connectome that predicted the increase of distress based on 136-region-parcellation with assigned network membership. Predictive performance of connectome features and causal relations were examined by cross-validation and mediation analyses.
The connectome features that predicted emergence of distress after COVID contained 70 neural connections. Most within-network connections were located in the default mode network (DMN), and affective network-DMN and dorsal attention network-DMN links largely constituted between-network pairs. The hippocampus emerged as the most critical hub region. Predictive models of the connectome remained robust in cross-validation. Mediation analyses demonstrated that COVID-related posttraumatic stress partially explained the correlation of connectome to the development of general distress.
Brain functional connectome may fingerprint individuals with vulnerability to psychological distress associated with the COVID pandemic. Individuals with brain neuromarkers may benefit from the corresponding interventions to reduce the risk or severity of distress related to fear of COVID-related challenges.
We report systematic measurements of the lifetime of the 1.54 μm transition of erbium implanted at different energies in SiO2 films coated with titanium or chromium. The lifetime shows a strong reduction up to a factor of 20 with decreasing distance between the erbium and the metal coating. Our experiments combined with rigorous theoretical modeling demonstrate that a high degree of control over the radiative properties of erbium can be achieved in erbium-implanted materials.
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