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The aim of the current study was to explore the effect of gender, age at onset, and duration on the long-term course of schizophrenia.
Twenty-nine centers from 25 countries representing all continents participated in the study that included 2358 patients aged 37.21 ± 11.87 years with a DSM-IV or DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia; the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale as well as relevant clinicodemographic data were gathered. Analysis of variance and analysis of covariance were used, and the methodology corrected for the presence of potentially confounding effects.
There was a 3-year later age at onset for females (P < .001) and lower rates of negative symptoms (P < .01) and higher depression/anxiety measures (P < .05) at some stages. The age at onset manifested a distribution with a single peak for both genders with a tendency of patients with younger onset having slower advancement through illness stages (P = .001). No significant effects were found concerning duration of illness.
Our results confirmed a later onset and a possibly more benign course and outcome in females. Age at onset manifested a single peak in both genders, and surprisingly, earlier onset was related to a slower progression of the illness. No effect of duration has been detected. These results are partially in accord with the literature, but they also differ as a consequence of the different starting point of our methodology (a novel staging model), which in our opinion precluded the impact of confounding effects. Future research should focus on the therapeutic policy and implications of these results in more representative samples.
In Cameroon, there is a national programme engaged in the control of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. In certain locations, the programme is transitioning from morbidity control towards local interruption of parasite transmission. The volcanic crater lake villages of Barombi Mbo and Barombi Kotto are well-known transmission foci and are excellent context-specific locations to assess appropriate disease control interventions. Most recently they have served as exemplars of expanded access to deworming medications and increased environmental surveillance. In this paper, we review infection dynamics through time, beginning with data from 1953, and comment on the short- and long-term success of disease control. We show how intensification of local control is needed to push towards elimination and that further environmental surveillance, with targeted snail control, is needed to consolidate gains in preventive chemotherapy as well as empower local communities to take ownership of interventions.
The current emphasis of schistosomiasis control is placed on preventive chemotherapy using praziquantel. However, reinfection may occur rapidly in the absence of complementary interventions. Recent studies from Senegal suggest that predatory prawns might feed on intermediate host snails and thus impact on schistosomiasis transmission. We designed a study with four repeated cross-sectional surveys pertaining to prawns and snails, coupled with a single cross-sectional parasitological survey among humans. We assessed for potential associations between the presence/density of prawns and snails and correlation with Schistosoma infection in a composite sample of school-aged children and adults. The study was carried out between October 2015 and December 2016 in 24 villages located near the Agnéby and Mé coastal river systems in south-eastern Côte d'Ivoire. At each site, snails and prawns were collected, and in each village, 150 individuals were subjected to stool and urine examination for the diagnosis of Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. We found peaks of relative abundance of intermediate host snails in the villages of the Agnéby River system, while predatory prawns were predominantly recorded in the Mé River system. A negative association was observed between intermediate host snail densities and riverine prawns; however, no pattern was found between this trend in the predator–prey relationship and the prevalence of human schistosomiasis.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
The Arizona Department of Health Services identified unusually high levels of influenza activity and severe complications during the 2015–2016 influenza season leading to concerns about potential increased disease severity compared with prior seasons. We estimated state-level burden and severity to compare across three seasons using multiple data sources for community-level illness, hospitalisation and death. Severity ratios were calculated as the number of hospitalisations or deaths per community case. Community influenza-like illness rates, hospitalisation rates and mortality rates in 2015–2016 were higher than the previous two seasons. However, ratios of severe disease to community illness were similar. Arizona experienced overall increased disease burden in 2015–2016, but not increased severity compared with prior seasons. Timely estimates of state-specific burden and severity are potentially feasible and may provide important information during seemingly unusual influenza seasons or pandemic situations.
Unidentified depression in primary care is a public health concern, globally. There is a need for brief, valid and easily administered tools in primary care.
To estimate reliability and validity of the newly developed Primary care Screening Questionnaire for Depression (PSQ4D), a four-item tool, with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ options.
PSQ4D was administered verbally (time required, <1 min) by primary care physicians to adult outpatients (n=827) in six primary care settings in Kerala, India. A psychiatrist evaluated each patient on the same day, using ICD-10 Diagnostic Criteria for Research, based on unstructured clinical interview.
The Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency reliability was 0.80; kappa coefficient for test-retest reliability was 0.9 and that for interrater reliability was 0.72. At a score ≥2, sensitivity was 0.96, specificity was 0.87, positive predictive value was 0.74, negative predictive value was 0.98, positive likelihood ratio was 7.4 and negative likelihood ratio was 0.05.
When physician administered, PSQ4D has good reliability. At a cut-off score of ≥2, it has high sensitivity and specificity to identify depressive disorder in primary care.
This experiment evaluated production and health parameters among cattle offered concentrates containing inorganic or organic complexed sources of supplemental Cu, Co, Mn and Zn during a 45-day preconditioning period. In total, 90 Angus×Hereford calves were weaned at 7 months (day −1), sorted by sex, weaning BW and age (261±2 kg; 224±2 days), and allocated to 18 drylot pens (one heifer and four steers per pen) on day 0; thus, all pens had equivalent initial BW and age. Pens were randomly assigned to receive a corn-based preconditioning concentrate containing: (1) Cu, Co, Mn and Zn sulfate sources (INR), (2) Cu, Mn, Co and Zn complexed organic source (AAC) or (3) no Cu, Co, Mn and Zn supplementation (CON). From day 0 to 45, cattle received concentrate treatments (2.7 kg/animal daily, as-fed basis) and had free-choice access to orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), long-stem hay and water. The INR and AAC treatments were formulated to provide the same daily amount of Co, Cu, Mn and Zn at a 50-, 16-, 8- and ninefold increase, respectively, compared with the CON treatment. On day 46, cattle were transported to a commercial feedlot, maintained as a single pen, and offered a free-choice receiving diet until day 103. Calf full BW was recorded on days −1 and 0, 45 and 46, and 102 and 103 for average daily gain (ADG) calculation. Liver biopsy was performed on days 0 (used as covariate), 22 and 45. Cattle were vaccinated against respiratory pathogens on days 15, 29 and 46. Blood samples were collected on days 15, 29, 45, 47, 49, 53 and 60. During preconditioning, mean liver concentrations of Co, Zn and Cu were greater (P⩽0.03) in AAC and INR compared with CON. No treatment effects were detected (P⩾0.17) for preconditioning feed intake, ADG or feed efficiency. No treatment effects were detected (P⩾0.48) for plasma concentrations of antibodies against Mannheimia haemolytica, bovine viral diarrhea types 1 and 2 viruses. Plasma haptoglobin concentrations were similar among treatments (P=0.98). Mean plasma cortisol concentration was greater (P⩽0.04) in CON compared with INR and AAC. No treatment effects were detected (P⩾0.37) for cattle ADG during feedlot receiving. Hence, INR and AAC increased liver concentrations of Co, Zn and Cu through preconditioning, but did not impact cattle performance and immunity responses during preconditioning and feedlot receiving.
Eta Carinae is one of the most massive observable binaries. Yet determination of its orbital and physical parameters is hampered by obscuring winds. However the effects of the strong, colliding winds changes with phase due to the high orbital eccentricity. We wanted to improve measures of the orbital parameters and to determine the mechanisms that produce the relatively brief, phase-locked minimum as detected throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. We conducted intense monitoring of the He ii λ4686 line in η Carinae for 10 months in the year 2014, gathering ~300 high S/N spectra with ground- and space-based telescopes. We also used published spectra at the FOS4 SE polar region of the Homunculus, which views the minimum from a different direction. We used a model in which the He ii λ4686 emission is produced by two mechanisms: a) one linked to the intensity of the wind-wind collision which occurs along the whole orbit and is proportional to the inverse square of the separation between the companion stars; and b) the other produced by the ‘bore hole’ effect which occurs at phases across the periastron passage. The opacity (computed from 3D SPH simulations) as convolved with the emission reproduces the behavior of equivalent widths both for direct and reflected light. Our main results are: a) a demonstration that the He ii λ4686 light curve is exquisitely repeatable from cycle to cycle, contrary to previous claims for large changes; b) an accurate determination of the longitude of periastron, indicating that the secondary star is ‘behind’ the primary at periastron, a dispute extended over the past decade; c) a determination of the time of periastron passage, at ~4 days after the onset of the deep light curve minimum; and d) show that the minimum is simultaneous for observers at different lines of sight, indicating that it is not caused by an eclipse of the secondary star, but rather by the immersion of the wind-wind collision interior to the inner wind of the primary.
Gamma Cassiopeiae is an enigmatic Be star with unusually hard, strong X-ray emission compared with normal main-sequence B stars. The origin has been debated for decades between two theories: mass accretion onto a hidden compact companion and a magnetic dynamo driven by the star-Be disk differential rotation. There has been no decisive signature found that supports either theory, such as a pulse in X-ray emission or the presence of large-scale magnetic field. In a ~100 ksec duration observation of the star with the Suzaku X-ray observatory in 2011, we detected six rapid X-ray spectral hardening events called “softness dips”. All the softness dip events show symmetric softness ratio variations, and some of them have flat bottoms apparently due to saturation. The softness dip spectra are best described by either ~40% or ~70% partial covering absorption to kT ~12 keV plasma emission by matter with a neutral hydrogen column density of ~2 − 8 × 1021cm−2, while the spectrum outside of these dips is almost free of absorption. This result suggests that two distinct X-ray emitting spots in the γ Cas system, perhaps on a white dwarf companion with dipole mass accretion, are occulted by blobs in the Be stellar wind, the Be disk, or rotating around the white dwarf companion. The formation of a Be star and white dwarf binary system requires mass transfer between two stars; γ Cas may have experienced such activity in the past.
Following implementation of automatic end dates for antimicrobial orders to facilitate antimicrobial stewardship at a large, academic children’s hospital, no differences were observed in patient mortality, length of stay, or readmission rates, even among patients with documented bacteremia.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
A low-cost differential image motion monitor (DIMM), consisting of an 11-inch Celestron, an SBIG ST-4 autoguiding CCD camera and a PC, is described. Two such systems were used during June–July and November–December 1993 to make near-simultaneous seeing measurements at Freeling Heights in the Northern Flinders Ranges and at Siding Spring Observatory. The results of these campaigns show that the seeing-distribution is generally similar at both sites, with the most common seeing value being ~l·2″. Siding Spring does, however, have slightly more bad seeing (>2″) than Freeling Heights. Weather records from Arkaroola Resort (15 km south of Freeling Heights) indicate that there is ~15% less cloud cover at Freeling Heights than at Siding Spring. Episodes of rapid seeing deterioration at Siding Spring in winter are shown to coincide with warm air masses crossing the mountain.
The addition of a CdMgTe (CMT) layer at the back of a CdTe solar cell should improve its performance by reflecting both photoelectrons and forward-current electrons away from the rear surface. Higher collection of photoelectrons will increase the cell’s current, and reduction of forward current will increase its voltage. To achieve electron reflection, conformal CMT layers were deposited at the back of CdTe cells, and a variety of measurements including performance curves, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy were performed. Oxidation of magnesium in the CMT layer was addressed by adding a CdTe capping layer. MgCl2 passivation was substituted for CdCl2 in some cases, but little difference was seen.
The potential of various quantitative lateral flow (LF) based assays utilizing up-converting phosphor (UCP) reporters for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis is reviewed including recent developments. Active infections are demonstrated by screening for the presence of regurgitated worm antigens (genus specific polysaccharides), whereas anti-Schistosoma antibodies may indicate ongoing as well as past infections. The circulating anodic antigen (CAA) in serum or urine (and potentially also saliva) is identified as the marker that may allow detection of single-worm infections. Quantitation of antigen levels is a reliable method to study effects of drug administration, worm burden and anti-fecundity mechanisms. Moreover, the ratio of CAA and circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) is postulated to facilitate identification of either Schistosoma mansoni or Schistosoma haematobium infections. The UCP-LF assays allow simultaneous detection of multiple targets on a single strip, a valuable feature for antibody detection assays. Although antibody detection in endemic regions is not a useful tool to diagnose active infections, it gains potential when the ratio of different classes of antibody specific for the parasite/disease can be determined. The UCP-LF antibody assay format allows this type of multiplexing, including testing a linear array of up to 20 different targets. Multiple test spots would allow detection of specific antibodies, e.g. against different Schistosoma species or other pathogens as soil-transmitted helminths. Concluding, the different UCP-LF based assays for diagnosis of schistosomiasis provide a collection of tests with relatively low complexity and high sensitivity, covering the full range of diagnostics needed in control programmes for mapping, screening and monitoring.
The diagnosis of parasitic worm (helminth) infections requires specialized laboratory settings, but most affected individuals reside in locations without access to such facilities. We tested two portable microscopic devices for the diagnosis of helminth infections in a cross-sectional survey in rural Côte d'Ivoire. We examined 164 stool samples under a light microscope and then re-examined with a commercial portable light microscope and an experimental mobile phone microscope for the diagnosis of Schistosoma mansoni and soil-transmitted helminths. Additionally, 180 filtered urine samples were examined by standard microscopy and compared with the portable light microscope for detection of Schistosoma haematobium eggs. Conventional microscopy was considered the diagnostic reference standard. For S. mansoni, S. haematobium and Trichuris trichiura, the portable light microscope showed sensitivities of 84·8%, 78·6% and 81·5%, respectively, and specificities of 85·7%, 91·0% and 93·0%, respectively. For S. mansoni and T. trichiura, we found sensitivities for the mobile phone microscope of 68·2% and 30·8%, respectively, and specificities of 64·3% and 71·0%, respectively. We conclude that the portable light microscope has sufficient diagnostic yield for Schistosoma and T. trichiura infections, while the mobile phone microscope has only modest sensitivity in its current experimental set-up. Development of portable diagnostic technologies that can be used at point-of-sample collection will enhance diagnostic coverage in clinical and epidemiological settings.
Fifteen years ago, the field of cell and organ printing began with a few research groups looking to take newly developed direct-write tools and apply them to living cells. Initial experiments demonstrated cell viability and functionality post-deposition. Recently, research has begun in earnest to create three-dimensional cellular constructs that mimic both the heterogeneous structure and function of natural tissue. Several companies are now marketing cell printers, expanding access to a wider group of scientists and accelerating the pace of development. This article describes the past decade and a half of research by showing examples of some of the most sophisticated work, comparing the approaches and tools used in the field, and predicting the products that will arrive in the not too distant future.