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The European conquest and colonization of the Caribbean precipitated massive changes in indigenous cultures and societies of the region. One of the earliest changes was the introduction of new plant and animal foods and culinary traditions. This study presents the first archaeological reconstruction of indigenous diets and foodways in the Caribbean spanning the historical divide of 1492. We use multiple isotope datasets to reconstruct these diets and investigate the potential relationships between dietary and mobility patterns at multiple scales. Dietary patterns are assessed by isotope analyses of different skeletal elements from the archaeological skeletal population of El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba. This approach integrates carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses of bone and dentine collagen with carbon and oxygen isotope analyses of bone and enamel apatite. The isotope results document extreme intrapopulation dietary heterogeneity but few systematic differences in diet between demographic/social groups. Comparisons with published isotope data from other precolonial and colonial period populations in the Caribbean indicate distinct dietary and subsistence practices at El Chorro de Maíta. The majority of the local population consumed more animal protein resources than other indigenous populations in the Caribbean, and their overall dietary patterns are more similar to colonial period enslaved populations than to indigenous ones.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be associated with lower heart rate variability (HRV), a condition associated with increased mortality risk. We aimed to investigate the association between TCAs, SSRIs and HRV in a population-based study.
In the prospective Rotterdam Study cohort, up to five electrocardiograms (ECGs) per participant were recorded (1991–2012). Two HRV variables were studied based on 10-s ECG recordings: standard deviation of normal-to-normal RR intervals (SDNN) and root mean square of successive RR interval differences (RMSSD). We compared the HRV on ECGs recorded during use of antidepressants with the HRV on ECGs recorded during non-use of any antidepressant. Additionally, we analysed the change in HRV on consecutive ECGs. Those who started or stopped using antidepressants before the second ECG were compared with non-users on two ECGs.
We included 23 647 ECGs from 11 729 participants (59% women, mean age 64.6 years at baseline). Compared to ECGs recorded during non-use of antidepressants (n = 22 971), SDNN and RMSSD were lower in ECGs recorded during use of TCAs (n = 296) and SSRIs (n = 380). Participants who started using TCAs before the second ECG had a decrease in HRV and those who stopped had an increase in HRV compared to consistent non-users (p < 0.001). Starting or stopping SSRIs was not associated with HRV changes.
TCAs were associated with a lower HRV in all analyses, indicating a real drug effect. For SSRIs the results are mixed, indicating a weaker association, possibly due to other factors.
Suboptimal maternal dietary intake during pregnancy might lead to fetal cardiovascular adaptations and higher blood pressure in the offspring. The aim of the present study was to investigate the associations of maternal first-trimester dietary intake with blood pressure in children at the age of 6 years. We assessed first-trimester maternal daily dietary intake by a FFQ and measured folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 concentrations in the blood, in a population-based prospective cohort study among 2863 mothers and children. Childhood systolic and diastolic blood pressure was measured using a validated automatic sphygmomanometer. First-trimester maternal daily intake of energy, fat, protein and carbohydrate was not associated with childhood blood pressure. Furthermore, maternal intake of micronutrients was not associated with childhood blood pressure. Also, higher maternal vitamin B12 concentrations were associated with a higher diastolic blood pressure (0·31 mmHg per standard deviation increase in vitamin B12 (95 % CI 0·06, 0·56)). After taking into account multiple testing, none of the associations was statistically significant. Maternal first-trimester folate and homocysteine concentrations were not associated with childhood blood pressure. The results from the present study suggest that maternal Fe intake and vitamin B12 concentrations during the first trimester of pregnancy might affect childhood blood pressure, although the effect estimates were small and were not significant after correction for multiple testing. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings, to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and to assess whether these differences in blood pressure persist in later life.
Two pregnancy cohorts were used to investigate the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes within the insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-axis and antenatal and postnatal growth from birth to adolescence. Longitudinal analyses were conducted in the Raine pregnancy cohort (n = 1162) using repeated measures of fetal head circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC) and femur length (FL) from 18 to 38 weeks gestation and eight measures of postnatal height and weight (1–17 years). Replications of significant associations up to birth were undertaken in the Generation R Study (n = 2642). Of the SNPs within the IGF-axis genes, 40% (n = 58) were associated with measures of antenatal growth (P ⩽ 0.05). The majority of these SNPs were in receptors; IGF-1R (23%; n = 34) and IGF-2R (13%; n = 9). Fifteen SNPs were associated with antenatal growth (either AC or HC or FL) in Raine (P ⩽ 0.005): five of which remained significant after adjusting for multiple testing. Four of these replicated in Generation R. Associations were identified between 38% (n = 55) of the IGF-axis SNPs and postnatal height and weight; 21% in IGF-1R (n = 31) and 9% in IGF-2R (n = 13). Twenty-six SNPs were significantly associated with both antenatal and postnatal growth; 17 with discordant effects and nine with concordant effects. Genetic variants in the IGF-axis appear to play a significant role in antenatal and postnatal growth. Further replication and new analytic methods are required in order to better understand this key metabolic pathway integrating biologic knowledge about the interaction between IGF-axis components.
Fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene variants are associated with childhood and adult obesity; however, the influence of FTO polymorphisms on foetal growth is unknown. Associations between the FTO variant rs9939609 and the foetal growth trajectories, maternal pregnancy weight gain, anthropometric measures at birth and body mass index (BMI) at age 14 years were assessed in 1079 singleton-birth Australian Caucasians. Analyses were repeated in 3512 singleton-birth Dutch Caucasians. The rs9939609 obesity-risk AA genotype was associated with symmetrical intrauterine growth restriction; an effect reversed in mothers who smoked during pregnancy. The effect increased over time and was modified by maternal smoking for head circumference (P = 0.007), abdominal circumference (P = 0.007), femur length (P = 0.02) and estimated foetal weight (P = 0.001). The modification of the association between the AA genotype and birth anthropometrics by maternal smoking was consistent across birth weight (P = 0.01) and birth length (P = 0.04) and neonatal day 2 anthropometry. Consistent associations were replicated in the Generation R cohort. Maternal pregnancy weight gain matched the pattern of birth weight and was independent of placental weight. In adolescents, the AA genotype was associated with increased BMI-adjusted-for-age in males (P = 0.00009), but no effect was detected in females. A variant in the FTO gene influences foetal growth trajectories in the third trimester, early postnatal growth and adiposity in adolescence. Maternal smoking during pregnancy reversed the direction of association of rs9939609 on foetal growth, which was probably mediated by maternal energy intake. The detection of genetic variants associated with foetal growth has the potential to identify novel molecular mechanisms underlying growth and targeted early life intervention.
Rosai–Dorfman disease is a rare, idiopathic, histiocytic proliferative disorder with a distinctive microscopic appearance, which was formerly thought to be a disease process limited to lymph nodes. However, extranodal involvement has been documented in less than half of the reported patients, but rarely without associated lymphadenopathy.
We report the case of a 43-year-old Senegalese woman who presented with a polypoid, intranasal mass caused by Rosai–Dorfman disease. A diagnosis of a granulomatous process, including rhinoscleroma, was initially discussed. The correct diagnosis was made histologically by demonstrating aggregates of histiocytes with large amounts of cytoplasm, emperipolesis and protein S100 antigen expression. Despite using ancillary methods (molecular biology and electron microscopy), we failed to demonstrate any associated pathogen.
Diagnosis of Rosai–Dorfman disease can be very difficult, in particular in adults from Africa with pure, isolated, intranasal localisation, in whom clinical and radiological features may mimic other infectious or neoplastic disorders. The diagnosis is made based on the histological presence of large histiocytes with lymphophagocytosis. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis of these histiocytes using anti-protein S100 antibody shows strong positivity.
Over the past 15 to 20 years, David Barker and colleagues at the Southampton Epidemiology Unit have made a sequence of landmark epidemiological observations linking reduction in birthweight with increasing risk of diseases in late adult life that included type 2 diabetes mellitus, syndrome X, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease and chronic bronchitis (Barker et al. 1989a, 1989b, 1993, Hales et al. 1991, Hales and Baker 1992, Robinson et al. 1992, Martyn et al. 1996). These observations were possible due to the meticulous neonatal and infancy records kept across several places in England, including Hertfordshire and Preston from 1911 onwards. These initial studies led Barker to propose the fetal origins of adult disease hypothesis (also known as the Barker hypothesis). This hypothesis proposes that the origins of adult disease begin in utero. The observations made by the Southampton Epidemiology Unit linking reduction in birthweight with disordered glucose metabolism in adult life have been confirmed by other research groups across ethnicities and countries including the Netherlands, USA, Sweden and India (Valdez et al. 1994, Curhan et al. 1996, Lithell et al. 1996, McCance et al. 1996, Ravelli et al. 1998). Arguably, the most important of these studies was conducted on adult survivors of the Second World War Dutch famine, in whom 2-hour plasma glucose values following an oral glucose tolerance test were higher than in those born before or conceived after the famine (Ravelli et al. 1998).
To investigate neurophysiological parameters which possibly distinguish subtypes I and II of patients with a bipolar disorder, and contrast the findings with observations from a group of schizophrenic patients and a group of healthy controls.
Sixty-six volunteers underwent a MRI scan to determine the number and location of white matter lesions (WSL). A electrophysiological registration was made while all volunteers performed a auditory ‘oddball’ task, and the amplitude of the resulting P300 wave was compared.
Earlier reports of higher numbers of WSL in bipolar disorder were not replicated in this study. Subtypes I and II showed a different P300 amplitude and subtype I resembled the results of the schizophrenia group.
Bipolar patients in remission have a functional brain disorder that is expressed by a change in physiological response to external stimuli.