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Many studies demonstrate that marriage protects against risky alcohol use and moderates genetic influences on alcohol outcomes; however, previous work has not considered these effects from a developmental perspective or in high-risk individuals. These represent important gaps, as it cannot be assumed that marriage has uniform effects across development or in high-risk samples. We took a longitudinal developmental approach to examine whether marital status was associated with heavy episodic drinking (HED), and whether marital status moderated polygenic influences on HED. Our sample included 937 individuals (53.25% female) from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism who reported their HED and marital status biennially between the ages of 21 and 25. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were derived from a genome-wide association study of alcohol consumption. Marital status was not associated with HED; however, we observed pathogenic gene-by-environment effects that changed across young adulthood. Among those who married young (age 21), individuals with higher PRS reported more HED; however, these effects decayed over time. The same pattern was found in supplementary analyses using parental history of alcohol use disorder as the index of genetic liability. Our findings indicate that early marriage may exacerbate risk for those with higher polygenic load.
Aging is associated with numerous stressors that negatively impact older adults’ well-being. Resilience improves ability to cope with stressors and can be enhanced in older adults. Senior housing communities are promising settings to deliver positive psychiatry interventions due to rising resident populations and potential impact of delivering interventions directly in the community. However, few intervention studies have been conducted in these communities. We present a pragmatic stepped-wedge trial of a novel psychological group intervention intended to improve resilience among older adults in senior housing communities.
A pragmatic modified stepped-wedge trial design.
Five senior housing communities in three states in the US.
Eighty-nine adults over age 60 years residing in independent living sector of senior housing communities.
Raise Your Resilience, a manualized 1-month group intervention that incorporated savoring, gratitude, and engagement in value-based activities, administered by unlicensed residential staff trained by researchers. There was a 1-month control period and a 3-month post-intervention follow-up.
Validated self-report measures of resilience, perceived stress, well-being, and wisdom collected at months 0 (baseline), 1 (pre-intervention), 2 (post-intervention), and 5 (follow-up).
Treatment adherence and satisfaction were high. Compared to the control period, perceived stress and wisdom improved from pre-intervention to post-intervention, while resilience improved from pre-intervention to follow-up. Effect sizes were small in this sample, which had relatively high baseline resilience. Physical and mental well-being did not improve significantly, and no significant moderators of change in resilience were identified.
This study demonstrates feasibility of conducting pragmatic intervention trials in senior housing communities. The intervention resulted in significant improvement in several measures despite ceiling effects. The study included several features that suggest high potential for its implementation and dissemination across similar communities nationally. Future studies are warranted, particularly in samples with lower baseline resilience or in assisted living facilities.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Early-onset conduct problems (CP) are a key predictor of adult criminality and poor mental health. While previous studies suggest that both genetic and environmental risks play an important role in the development of early-onset CP, little is known about potential biological processes underlying these associations. In this study, we examined prospective associations between DNA methylation (cord blood at birth) and trajectories of CP (4–13 years), using data drawn from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Methylomic variation at seven loci across the genome (false discovery rate < 0.05) differentiated children who go on to develop early-onset (n = 174) versus low (n = 86) CP, including sites in the vicinity of the monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) gene (involved in endocannabinoid signaling and pain perception). Subthreshold associations in the vicinity of three candidate genes for CP (monoamine oxidase A [MAOA], brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], and FK506 binding protein 5 [FKBP5]) were also identified. Within the early-onset CP group, methylation levels of the identified sites did not distinguish children who will go on to persist versus desist in CP behavior over time. Overall, we found that several of the identified sites correlated with prenatal exposures, and none were linked to known genetic methylation quantitative trait loci. Findings contribute to a better understanding of epigenetic patterns associated with early-onset CP.
The objective of this study was to determine the economic value of obtaining timely and more accurate clinical mastitis (CM) test results for optimal treatment of cows. Typically CM is first identified when the farmer observes recognisable outward signs. Further information of whether the pathogen causing CM is Gram-positive, Gram-negative or other (including no growth) can be determined by using on-farm culture methods. The most detailed level of information for mastitis diagnostics is obtainable by sending milk samples for culture to an external laboratory. Knowing the exact pathogen permits the treatment method to be specifically targeted to the causation pathogen, resulting in less discarded milk. The disadvantages are the additional waiting time to receive test results, which delays treating cows, and the cost of the culture test. Net returns per year (NR) for various levels of information were estimated using a dynamic programming model. The Value of Information (VOI) was then calculated as the difference in NR using a specific level of information as compared to more detailed information on the CM causative agent. The highest VOI was observed where the farmer assumed the pathogen causing CM was the one with the highest incidence in the herd and no pathogen specific CM information was obtained. The VOI of pathogen specific information, compared with non-optimal treatment of Staphylococcus aureus where recurrence and spread occurred due to lack of treatment efficacy, was $20.43 when the same incorrect treatment was applied to recurrent cases, and $30.52 when recurrent cases were assumed to be the next highest incidence pathogen and treated accordingly. This indicates that negative consequences associated with choosing the wrong CM treatment can make additional information cost-effective if pathogen identification is assessed at the generic information level and if the pathogen can spread to other cows if not treated appropriately.
The aim of this study was to examine cross-sectionally whether higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) might favorably modify amyloid-β (Aβ)-related decrements in cognition in a cohort of late-middle-aged adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty-nine enrollees in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention participated in this study. They completed a comprehensive neuropsychological exam, underwent 11C Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB)-PET imaging, and performed a graded treadmill exercise test to volitional exhaustion. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) during the exercise test was used as the index of CRF. Forty-five participants also underwent lumbar puncture for collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples, from which Aβ42 was immunoassayed. Covariate-adjusted regression analyses were used to test whether the association between Aβ and cognition was modified by CRF. There were significant VO2peak*PiB-PET interactions for Immediate Memory (p=.041) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p=.025). There were also significant VO2peak*CSF Aβ42 interactions for Immediate Memory (p<.001) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p<.001). Specifically, in the context of high Aβ burden, that is, increased PiB-PET binding or reduced CSF Aβ42, individuals with higher CRF exhibited significantly better cognition compared with individuals with lower CRF. In a late-middle-aged, at-risk cohort, higher CRF is associated with a diminution of Aβ-related effects on cognition. These findings suggest that exercise might play an important role in the prevention of AD. (JINS, 2015, 21, 841–850)
Whole pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils) elicit low postprandial blood glucose (BG) responses in adults; however, their consumption in North America is low. One potential strategy to increase the dietary intake of pulses is the utilisation of commercial pulse powders in food products; however, it is unclear whether they retain the biological benefits observed with whole pulses. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of commercially prepared pulse powders on BG response before and after a subsequent meal in healthy young men. Overall, three randomised, within-subject experiments were conducted. In each experiment, participants received whole, puréed and powdered pulses (navy beans in Expt 1; lentils in Expt 2; chickpeas in Expt 3) and whole-wheat flour as the control. All treatments were controlled for available carbohydrate content. A fixed-energy pizza meal (50·2 kJ/kg body weight) was provided at 120 min. BG concentration was measured before (0–120 min) and after (140–200 min) the pizza meal. BG concentration peaked at 30 min in all experiments, and pulse forms did not predict their effect on BG response. Compared with the whole-wheat flour control, navy bean treatments lowered peak BG concentrations (Expt 1, P< 0·05), but not the mean BG concentration over 120 min. The mean BG concentration was lower for all lentil (Expt 2, P= 0·008) and chickpea (Expt 3, P= 0·002) treatments over 120 min. Processing pulses to powdered form does not eliminate the benefits of whole pulses on BG response, lending support to the use of pulse powders as value-added food ingredients to moderate postprandial glycaemic response.
Pulses are low-glycaemic foods rich in protein (20–25 %), resistant starch and fibre that suppress appetite and glycaemia. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the component(s) of yellow peas responsible for these benefits and assess their efficacy as value-added food ingredients. We investigated the effects of 10 or 20 g of isolated yellow pea protein (P10 and P20) or fibre (F10 and F20) on food intake (FI) at an ad libitum pizza meal served at 30 min (Expt 1, n 19) or 120 min (Expt 2, n 20) and blood glucose (BG) and appetite in young, healthy males (20–30 years). In Expt 1, P20 led to lower FI than control (4937 (sem 502) v. 5632 (sem 464) kJ (1180 (sem 120) v. 1346 (sem 111) kcal)) and all other treatments (P < 0·01) and lower cumulative FI (pizza meal kcal+treatment kcal; CFI) compared to F10 (5460 (sem 498) v. 6084 (sem 452) kJ (1305 (sem 119) v. 1454 (sem 108) kcal); P = 0·033). Both protein treatments suppressed mean pre-meal (0–30 min) BG compared to control (P < 0·05), whereas only P20 suppressed mean post-meal (50–120 min) BG (P < 0·01). There was no effect of treatment on pre-meal or post-meal appetite. In Expt 2, there was no effect of treatment on FI, CFI, or pre- or post-meal BG or appetite. In conclusion, protein is the component responsible for the short-term effects of yellow peas in the regulation of glycaemia and FI, but its second-meal effects disappear by 2 h post-consumption.
To establish the prevalence of, and risk factors for, psychiatric symptoms in Ground Zero ironworkers. Questionnaires commonly used to screen for psychiatric symptoms were completed by 124 workers.
We have established the prevalence of screening positive for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, generalised anxiety, depression and alcohol misuse. Among the risk factors were alcohol misuse, injury to or death of a family member, friend or co-worker at Ground Zero and one or more adverse life events since 9/11.
Ironworkers at Ground Zero tend to have significant psychiatric symptoms likely to be associated with the traumatic experience of working there during the clean-up operation. Risk factors for psychiatric symptoms were established.
Rebecca P. Smith, Assistant Clinical Professor World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Mental Health Screening, Monitoring and Interventions Programs,
Craig L. Katz, Assistant Clinical Professor Psychiatry Mount Sinai School of Medicine,
Dennis S. Charney, Professor Psychiatry Mount Sinai School of Medicine,
Steven M. Southwick, Professor Section of Child Study Center Yale University
This chapter reviews the findings of human and animal studies which have characterized normal function in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and then briefly describes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-associated abnormalities seen in each system. Neurobiological models of the structure, function and neurochemistry of the brain have evolved significantly as a result of recent input from findings of neuroimaging studies. In recent years several neurochemicals have been associated with resilience. In humans, neuroimaging studies of PTSD have primarily focused on the amygdala, the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex. Multidisciplinary studies that use neurochemical, neuroimaging, genetic, and psychosocial approaches may in the future clarify the complex relationships between genotype, phenotype, and psychobiological responses to stress. Pharmacological intervention aimed at treating early severe symptoms which are known to be predictive of later PTSD, such as excessive arousal, is one possible avenue of study.