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We present a software package for single-dish data processing of spacecraft signals observed with VLBI-equipped radio telescopes. The Spacecraft Doppler tracking (SDtracker) software allows one to obtain topocentric frequency detections with a sub-Hz precision and reconstructed and residual phases of the carrier signal of any spacecraft or landing vehicle at any location in the Solar System. These data products are estimated using the ground-based telescope’s highly stable oscillator as a reference, without requiring an a priori model of the spacecraft dynamics nor the downlink transmission carrier frequency. The software has been extensively validated in multiple observing campaigns of various deep space missions and is compatible with the raw sample data acquired by any standard VLBI radio telescope worldwide. In this paper, we report the numerical methodology of SDtracker, the technical operations for deployment and usage, and a summary of use cases and scientific results produced since its initial release.
Despite a wide range of proposed risk factors and theoretical models, prediction of eating disorder (ED) onset remains poor. This study undertook the first comparison of two machine learning (ML) approaches [penalised logistic regression (LASSO), and prediction rule ensembles (PREs)] to conventional logistic regression (LR) models to enhance prediction of ED onset and differential ED diagnoses from a range of putative risk factors.
Data were part of a European Project and comprised 1402 participants, 642 ED patients [52% with anorexia nervosa (AN) and 40% with bulimia nervosa (BN)] and 760 controls. The Cross-Cultural Risk Factor Questionnaire, which assesses retrospectively a range of sociocultural and psychological ED risk factors occurring before the age of 12 years (46 predictors in total), was used.
All three statistical approaches had satisfactory model accuracy, with an average area under the curve (AUC) of 86% for predicting ED onset and 70% for predicting AN v. BN. Predictive performance was greatest for the two regression methods (LR and LASSO), although the PRE technique relied on fewer predictors with comparable accuracy. The individual risk factors differed depending on the outcome classification (EDs v. non-EDs and AN v. BN).
Even though the conventional LR performed comparably to the ML approaches in terms of predictive accuracy, the ML methods produced more parsimonious predictive models. ML approaches offer a viable way to modify screening practices for ED risk that balance accuracy against participant burden.
The role of interpersonal relationship functioning in trauma recovery is well-established. However, much of this research has been done with cross-sectional samples, often years after trauma exposure, using self-report methodology only, and is focused on intimate relationship adjustment.
The current study investigated the longitudinal associations between interpersonal (intimate and non-intimate) relationship functioning and clinician- and self-reported posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in 151 recently (within the past 6 months) traumatized individuals. Participants were assessed at four time points over 1 year.
Approximately 53% of the sample was diagnosed with PTSD at initial assessment, with declining rates of diagnostic status over time to 16%. Latent difference score (LDS) modeling revealed nonlinear declines in both clinician-assessed and self-reported PTSD symptom severity, with faster declines in earlier periods. Likewise, LDS models revealed nonlinear declines in negative (conflict) aspects of interpersonal relationship functioning, but linear declines in positive (support, depth) aspects. The relationship between PTSD and relationship functioning differed for clinician- and self-reported PTSD. Bivariate LDS modeling revealed significant cross-lagged effects from relationship conflict to clinician-assessed PTSD, and significant cross-lagged effects from self-reported PTSD to relationship conflict over time.
These results highlight that the variability in prior results may be related to the method of assessing PTSD symptomatology and different relational constructs. Implications for theory and early intervention are discussed.
Guided self-help interventions are effective in treating symptoms of various mental disorders, including depressive, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorders. Research also suggests that these interventions may be effective for refugee populations. However, proportion of drop-out and non-response are substantial, especially in this highly vulnerable group of patients. Tailoring treatments to the individual patient may be an important step towards improving patient-treatment fit and may help to increase success rates. While tailoring can be easily realized in face-to-face treatments, it becomes more complex in Internet-based treatments where treatment sequences are usually defined in advance. In this talk, we will present our theoretical considerations and decisions regarding the tailoring process in a randomized-controlled comparison of transdiagnostic CBT for refugee patients in an online versus face-to-face format. The trial will include N=320 Arabic speaking patients suffering from an emotional disorder. The transdiagnostic treatment includes modules for symptoms of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, aggression, and suicidal ideation. Modules are tailored to the specific patient. We will discuss who or what should inform the tailoring decision (patient, therapist, questionnaire data, diagnostic interview) and when tailoring decisions should be made (prior and/or early and/or later in treatment). We will present options of how tailoring decisions can be standardized and be kept comparable in different treatment formats. We will present our first experiences with tailoring treatment modules to severely impaired and highly comorbid patients.
The sexual behaviour of the blister beetle Epicauta atomaria (Germar) (Meloidae: Meloinae: Epicautini), a pest that affects diverse crops of economic importance in South America, was evaluated for the first time under laboratory conditions. Twelve pairs of E. atomaria adults were collected from low-lying roadsides adjacent to grazed areas in Diamante, Entre Ríos, Argentina. To describe the sexual behaviour of this species, the number of events and their duration within different courtship phases in E. atomaria males were compared. An ethogram was built, showing that males perform three different behaviours during courtship phases: the quiescent period, antennal rubbing, and mounting. Our results showed that, during courtship, the number of events and the time of the mounting were low and significantly lower compared to behaviours undertaken during the quiescent period and antennal rubbing. In conclusion, the courtship of E. atomaria was clearly dominated by the quiescent period and antennal rubbing. To date, this is the first study to investigate sexual behaviour in E. atomaria, providing a foundation for future phylogenetic studies.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG) are characterised by tau-immunopositive neuronal and/or astrocytic inclusions, with overlapping cortical involvement and astrocytic inclusion morphology. This study determined the prevalence of CTE and cortical ARTAG in a European community-based population (n=310) and explored overlap of both pathological entities. Frontal, parietal and temporal cortices were assessed. No case fulfilling CTE criteria was found. However, isolated astroglial or neuronal tau pathologies were recognized in sulcal depths (<2%). One case without history of traumatic brain injury showed combined tau-immunoreactive features confined to frontal sulci without perivascular accumulation. Another 24 cases had single tau pathologies in cortical sulci. ARTAG was identified in 117 cases (38%), with a similar regional prevalence. Grey matter ARTAG was the most common followed by subpial, white matter and perivascular. The presence of any type of ARTAG was associated with having another type of ARTAG in the same region (P<0.05). In summary, cortical ARTAG in this population is common and contrasts the high prevalence of CTE in individuals with repeated mild traumatic brain injury.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
Classify tau-immunopositive astrocytic inclusions characteristic of ARTAG
1. Describe neuropathological components of CTE
2. Identify CTE and cortical ARTAG in a case series
Despite mutual taboos against exogamy, memoirs and similar materials written by Jews from Yemen contain a number of anecdotes describing love affairs and sexual encounters between Muslims and Jews prior to the mass migration of the vast majority of Yemen's Jews to Israel in 1949–50. These stories associate these liaisons with vulnerability, poverty, and marginalization. In them, sex and conversion to Islam are intrinsically connected, yet this interreligious intimacy leads not to resolution but to ongoing identity crises that persist beyond the community's realignment with a majority-Jewish society. The staging of the anecdotes in rural areas where shariʿa norms held only nominal sway, in watering places and hostels where strangers might interact, and at dusk, when identity is difficult to discern, heightened their ambiguity.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
In Victorian fiction, orphans embody vulnerability, while dramatising personal growth within a changing social panorama. They express social and cultural anxieties in an age of increasing mobility and uncertainty, define a need for good homes and families by exemplifying the effects of their absence, and in becoming adopted into unusual households, they question conventional domestic arrangements. The literary orphan's mystery of origins becomes channelled into investigations of early memories, child development and campaigns for the protection of children. Dickens's Oliver Twist (1838) influentially transforms traditional foundling tales into an account of child rescue, and yet Oliver's incorruptibility remains an incongruity in the text's social criticism. The complex narrative situation of Dickens's Bleak House (1853) self-consciously engages with the resulting epistemological impasse, addressing the orphan's shifting meaning in Victorian culture, while externalising the simultaneity of the Bildungsroman and the social panorama in the nineteenth-century novel. Esther Summerson describes herself as an unwanted child, ‘orphaned and degraded from the first of these evil anniversaries [her birthdays]’ (Bleak House 26), in juxtaposition with the omniscient narrator's metaphors of orphanhood to describe a society of disconnected individuals. ‘No Thoroughfare’ (1867), co-written by Dickens and Wilkie Collins, hinges on mysteries of origins in a convoluted plot of mistaken identities and sensationalised doubles, and yet it is also one of the notably few narratives that feature the Foundling Hospital centrally in the text and one of the first to describe the difficulties of adoption before its legalisation.
Whereas Dinah Craik's thesis novel about adoption, King Arthur (1886), becomes oddly fissured by the sustained narrative power of the orphan's mysterious origins, late-Victorian sensation novels challenge this plot device in order to dismantle readers’ expectations. Thus, in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's The Fatal Three (1888), the secret of an adopted child's parentage destroys families across generations. Yet with a direct intertextual reference to Bleak House, Braddon also critically reworks the orphan's role as a potential threat in sensation fiction. The ambiguities of the vulnerable, yet often mysterious, Victorian orphan still determine persistent clichés surrounding both the Victorians and orphans in literature.
Purposeful qualitative modelling of embodiment function relations is a challenge in embodiment design. This contribution investigates the applicability and usefulness of the Contact and Channel Approach as a qualitative modelling approach in a survey study. From 23 development and research projects, advantages and challenges regarding applicability and usefulness are identified. A further result is that many different models are used additionally to the Contact and Channel Approach. Based on the findings, research potential for optimization and development of links to other models emerges.
Mean BDNF serum concentration is lower in patients with major depression (MD) as compared to healthy controls. BDNF increases during the course of antidepressant treatment. This increase has been associated with symptom amelioration. The aim of this study was to analyse the relation between early and late BDNF changes during antidepressant treatment.
Forty-six patients with MD according to DSM-IV were included for this study. Patients were treated as clinically indicated. Depression severity was assessed by HAMD-17 by trained raters from baseline to week 6 in weekly intervals. Serum at each visit (baseline, V1-V6) was obtained from whole blood after centrifugation with 1.000 × g for 15 minutes. Aliquots were frozen at −80°C until analysis. BDNF serum concentration was determined with ELISA (R&D Systems). We analysed correlations between early changes of BDNF level (baseline to weeks 1 and 2) with BDNF changes in the later course of treatment (change from baseline to weeks 4, 5 and 6). Further, the association between early and late BDNF changes was calculated by means of linear regression analysis.
There was a high correlation between BDNF changes in the early course of treatment and final BDNF changes (p< 0.05 for each analysis). Early BDNF changes accounted for a high percentage of the variance of late BDNF changes (p< 0.05 for each analysis).
These results suggest that an early change of BDNF serum level is predictive for BDNF change in the later course of antidepressant treatment in patients with Major Depression.
In patients with major depression (MD), mean BDNF serum concentration increases during antidepressant treatment. This increase has been associated with symptom amelioration. In a previous analysis of the time course of BDNF serum concentration, we could show a high association between early and final changes of BDNF levels during antidepressant treatment. The aim of this study was to analyse the predictive value of early BDNF changes for BDNF changes after 4 to 6 weeks of antidepressant treatment in individual patients with MD.
Forty-six patients with MD according to DSM-IV were included in this study. All patients were treated as clinically indicated. Depression severity was assessed by HAMD-17 by trained raters from baseline to week 6 in weekly intervals. Serum at each visit (baseline, V1-V6) was obtained from whole blood after centrifugation with 1.000 × g for 10 minutes. Aliquots were frozen at -80°C until analysis. BDNF serum concentration was determined with ELISA (R&D Systems). We determined sensitivity and specificity of early changes (from baseline to weeks 1 and 2) of BDNF serum concentration to BDNF changes in the later course (from baseline to weeks 4 to 6) of treatment.
BDNF increase from BL to week 2 predicted BDNF increase from baseline to week 5 with high sensitivity (81%) and specificity (73%). Further analyses revealed comparable results (data not shown).
These results suggest that early BDNF increase is predictive for final BDNF increase in individual patients with MD during antidepressant treatment.
Agitation is a common symptom in schizophrenia and bipolar mania, causing marked distress and posing considerable risks for patients. Intramuscular formulations of psychotropic medication can provide a fast acting treatment of severe agitation in patients with acute episodes of schizophrenia or mania. As effective as these treatments are, particular antipsychotics can be associated with a heightened risk of dystonia and related Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS). Patients presenting to emergency care settings are also likely to have coexisting intoxications and medical conditions that may contribute to this risk.
The aim of this observational prospective study was to document the safety and effectiveness of all IM psychotropic drugs during the 24 hours following an initial injection in acutely agitated patients suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder under naturalistic conditions.
Two-hundred-thirty-two (232) participating investigator sites (12 European countries) observed 1940 patients (mean age: 39 y, 42% female, 66% schizophrenia diagnosis). The primary endpoint was the occurrence of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), further endpoints were clinical severity measured by PANSS-EC and CGI-S. A total of 1311 (68%) patients received a monotherapy injection at baseline. Within 24 hours after the first injection, 190 (10%) of all 1940 patients experienced EPS. All intramuscular psychotropic drugs were shown to be effective in reducing measures of acute agitation.
This study provides favourable results on EPS related adverse events and effectiveness of intramuscular psychotropic medication for the management of acute agitation in patients within a naturalistic setting during the first 24 hours of treatment.
Neuropsychological deficits are considered endophenotypes for schizophrenia, because they are not only found in patients but also in many of their unaffected relatives, albeit in attenuated form. It is not yet clear which of these deficits in relatives are related to genetic or to environmental causes. We tested effects of inferred genetic liability for schizophrenia on neurocognitive variables to address this problem.
Twenty-eight patients with schizophrenia, 129 non-affected biological parents and 143 matched controls were assessed with an extensive neuropsychological test battery including tests of attention, memory, executive functioning and motor soft signs. Twenty-two parents had an ancestral history of schizophrenia and therefore were hypothesized to be more likely than their spouses without such a history (n = 17) to carry a genetic risk for schizophrenia.
Unaffected parents of schizophrenic patients showed significant deficits in a wide array of neuropsychological tasks and task domains. However, comparison of more likely and less likely carriers of illness-related genes showed specifically attentional and executive functioning, but not memory, to vary with degree of inferred genetic loading.
Attentional and executive (frontal) impairments vary with genetic loading for schizophrenia and can be considered true endophenotypes for this disorder. Consequently, these functions are particularly suited to evaluate the functional impact of candidate genes for schizophrenia in future studies.
Disturbances of the oculomotor system are promising endophenotypes for schizophrenia. In two separate studies, we examined antisaccade task performance, a measure of inhibitory control, in first degree relatives of schizophrenic patients (genetic risk without manifest disorder) and in clinical high risk subjects with symptoms suggestive of a prodromal phase of schizophrenia.
In the first study, 41 parents of schizophrenia patients and 22 controls were tested with with a prosaccade task and an antisaccade task. Parents were grouped into more likely, less likely, and indeterminate risk carriers. The second study involved 160 subjects clinically at risk for schizophrenia, 32 first episode schizophrenic patients, and 76 healthy controls.
In study 1 we found an increase of antisaccade latencies and error rates in parents of schizophrenics which varied with inferred genetic load, more likely gene carriers performing worst. In study 2, antisaccade performance varied with symptom load: subjects at risk with basic symptoms only were unimpaired, while at-risk subjects who had experienced brief psychotic episodes (BLIPS) showed deficits similar to first episode patients.
Reduced inhibitory control of oculomotor performance is associated with genetic loading for schizophrenia, and also with symptoms placing subjects at imminent risk of psychosis.
Major depression can be regarded as a systemic neurobehavioral disorder resulting from dysfunction of the limbic-cortical networks. The cingulum bundle represents a major association fiber tract of those networks. The aim of our study was to determine the association of brain structural tissue markers of the cingulum bundle and cognitive function in patients with major depression.
Region-of-interest-based analyses of the middle-anterior and middle-posterior cingulum bundle fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) using color-coded diffusion-tensor imaging and neuropsychological assessment in 14 patients with major depression.
FA of the middle-anterior and middle-posterior cingulum bundle was significantly correlated to the performance in a planning and divided attention task. Furthermore, MD of the middle-posterior cingulum bundle was significantly correlated to a planning task. There was no significant correlation between FA and MD of the cingulum bundle and selective attention or memory.
Brain structural tissue markers of the middle-anterior and middle-posterior cingulum bundle were found to be associated with executive functioning and divided attention in patients with major depression. Disconnection within the limbic-cortical networks may underlay cognitive dysfunction in major depression.
Depression rating scales play a decisive role in the assessment of the severity of depression and the evaluation of the efficacy of antidepressant treatments. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) is regarded as the ‘gold standard’; nevertheless, studies suggest that the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) is more sensitive to detect symptom changes. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the IDS is more sensitive in detecting changes in depression symptoms in patients with mild major, minor or subsyndromal depression (MIND).
Biweekly IDS-C28 and HAMD17 data from 340 patients of a 10-week randomized, placebo-controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of sertraline and cognitive-behavioural therapy in patients with MIND were analysed. We investigated sensitivity to change for both scales
1) from assessment-to-assessment,
2) in relation to depression severity level, and
3) in relation to DSM-IV depression criterion symptoms.
The IDS-C28 was more sensitive in detecting changes in depression symptomatology over the treatment course as well as for different severity levels, especially in patients with a low depression severity. It assesses the DSM-IV criteria more thoroughly, is better able to track the change of cognitive symptoms and to identify residual symptoms.
Both scales are well able to assess depressive symptomatology. However, the IDS-C28 surpasses the HAMD17 in detecting small changes especially in the core symptoms of depression. This is important for an optimal treatment by capturing early improvements, enabling prompt reactions and detecting residual symptoms.