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We have found a class of circular radio objects in the Evolutionary Map of the Universe Pilot Survey, using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The objects appear in radio images as circular edge-brightened discs, about one arcmin diameter, that are unlike other objects previously reported in the literature. We explore several possible mechanisms that might cause these objects, but none seems to be a compelling explanation.
The goal of this randomly-assigned placebo-controlled double-blind study was to determine if the addition of buspirone, a widely available 5-HT1A partial agonist, would enhance cognitive function, in subjects with schizophrenia treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAPDs). Seventy-three patients with schizophrenia, who had been treated with an AAPD for at least three months, were randomly assigned to receive either buspirone, 30 mg/day, or matching placebo. All other medications remained unchanged. Attention, verbal fluency, verbal learning and memory, verbal working memory, and executive function, as well as psychopathology, were assessed at baseline, and 6 weeks, and 3 and 6 months after baseline. A significant Time x Group interaction effect was noted on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test, a measure of attention/speeded motor performance, due to better performance of the buspirone group compared to the placebo group at 3 months. No significant interaction effects were noted for other domains of cognition. Scores on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (Total, Positive) were improved during treatment with buspirone but not placebo, but the effects did not reach statistical significance.
The results of this study showed a possible benefit of buspirone augmentation of AAPDs to enhance attention. However, we did not replicate the results of the previous study with tandospirone that improved executive function and verbal learning and memory, which may be due to the differences between tandospirone and buspirone, between typical antipsychotics and AAPDs, or a combination of the above. Further study to determine the usefulness of 5-HT1A agonist treatment in schizophrenia is indicated.
Stigma and social exclusion related to mental health are of substantial public health importance for Europe. As part of ROAMER (ROAdmap for MEntal health Research in Europe), we used systematic mapping techniques to describe the current state of research on stigma and social exclusion across Europe. Findings demonstrate growing interest in this field between 2007 and 2012. Most studies were descriptive (60%), focused on adults of working age (60%) and were performed in Northwest Europe—primarily in the UK (32%), Finland (8%), Sweden (8%) and Germany (7%). In terms of mental health characteristics, the largest proportion of studies investigated general mental health (20%), common mental disorders (16%), schizophrenia (16%) or depression (14%). There is a paucity of research looking at mechanisms to reduce stigma and promote social inclusion, or at factors that might promote resilience or protect against stigma/social exclusion across the life course. Evidence is also limited in relation to evaluations of interventions. Increasing incentives for cross-country research collaborations, especially with new EU Member States and collaboration across European professional organizations and disciplines, could improve understanding of the range of underpinning social and cultural factors which promote inclusion or contribute toward lower levels of stigma, especially during times of hardship.
To investigate the association between parity and the risk of incident dementia in women.
We pooled baseline and follow-up data for community-dwelling women aged 60 or older from six population-based, prospective cohort studies from four European and two Asian countries. We investigated the association between parity and incident dementia using Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for age, educational level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cohort, with additional analysis by dementia subtype (Alzheimer dementia (AD) and non-Alzheimer dementia (NAD)).
Of 9756 women dementia-free at baseline, 7010 completed one or more follow-up assessments. The mean follow-up duration was 5.4 ± 3.1 years and dementia developed in 550 participants. The number of parities was associated with the risk of incident dementia (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02–1.13). Grand multiparity (five or more parities) increased the risk of dementia by 30% compared to 1–4 parities (HR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.02–1.67). The risk of NAD increased by 12% for every parity (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02–1.23) and by 60% for grand multiparity (HR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.00–2.55), but the risk of AD was not significantly associated with parity.
Grand multiparity is a significant risk factor for dementia in women. This may have particularly important implications for women in low and middle-income countries where the fertility rate and prevalence of grand multiparity are high.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
In-spiraling supermassive black holes should emit gravitational waves, which would produce characteristic distortions in the time of arrival residuals from millisecond pulsars. Multiple national and regional consortia have constructed pulsar timing arrays by precise timing of different sets of millisecond pulsars. An essential aspect of precision timing is the transfer of the times of arrival to a (quasi-)inertial frame, conventionally the solar system barycenter. The barycenter is determined from the knowledge of the planetary masses and orbits, which has been refined over the past 50 years by multiple spacecraft. Within the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), uncertainties on the solar system barycenter are emerging as an important element of the NANOGrav noise budget. We describe what is known about the solar system barycenter, touch upon how uncertainties in it affect gravitational wave studies with pulsar timing arrays, and consider future trends in spacecraft navigation.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
In the fields of engineering, nanoscience, and biomechanics, thin structural members, such as beams, plates, and shells, that are supported by an elastic medium are used in several applications. There is a possibility that these thin structures might buckle under severe loading conditions; higher-order, complicated elastic buckling modes can be found owing to the balance of rigidities between the thin members and elastic supports. In this study, we have shown a new and simple ‘power law’ relation between the critical buckling strain (or loads) and rigidity parameters in structural members supported by an elastic medium, which can be modelled as a Winkler foundation. The following structural members have been considered in this paper: i) a slender beam held by an outer elastic support under axial loading, ii) cylindrical shells supported by an inner elastic core under hydrostatic pressure (plane strain condition), and iii) complete spherical shells that are filled with an inner elastic medium.
Sparganosis is one of the top three tissue-dwelling heterologous helminthic diseases, along with cysticercosis and paragonimiasis, in Korea. Due to a lack of effective early diagnosis and treatment methods, this parasitic disease is regarded as a public health threat. This study evaluated reactivity, against sparganum extracts, of sera from inhabitants of Cheorwon-gun, Goseong-gun and Ongjin-gun in Korea. The sera from 836 subjects were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblot analysis. The sera from 18 (5.8%) and 15 (5.1%) inhabitants in Cheorwon-gun (n = 312) and Goseong-gun (n = 294), respectively, exhibited highly positive reactions to the sparganum antigen, whereas only two (0.9%) inhabitants in Ongjin-gun (n = 230) showed positivity. We sought antigenic proteins for serodiagnosis of positive sera by immunoproteomic approaches. Total sparganum lysates were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis and then subjected to immunoblot analysis with mixed sparganosis-positive sera. We found seven antigenic spots and identified paramyosin as an antigenic protein by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. By two-dimensional (2D)-based mass analysis and immunoblotting against sparganosis-positive sera, paramyosin was identified as a candidate antigen for serodiagnosis of sparganosis.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
To investigate the rate of occult neck disease in patients with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma to the parotid gland following parotidectomy and neck dissection.
A consecutive series of patients treated between 2000 and 2014 for metastatic squamous cell carcinoma to the parotid were analysed. Patients were included if they had no clinical or radiological evidence of neck disease. Pathology of parotidectomy and neck dissection specimens was reviewed. Other variables analysed included patient immune status, surgery type, complications, use of positron emission tomography scanning and treatment with radiotherapy.
Sixty-five patients had no clinical or radiological evidence of neck disease initially. Forty-six patients (70.8 per cent) underwent neck dissection. Occult neck disease was only found in 8 of the 46 patients (17.3 per cent). Occult neck disease was found more often in those with immunocompromise (5.7 vs 38.5 per cent, p = 0.003). Patients who were immunocompromised had a significantly worse disease-specific survival rate at five years (0 vs 92 per cent, p = 0.0001).
Occult neck disease was seen in 17.3 per cent of patients and immunosuppression was a significant predictor for this.
This study evaluated whether primary tumour characteristics are associated with specific features of metastatic lymph nodes in papillary thyroid carcinoma patients.
A retrospective review of 411 patients with pathologically diagnosed cervical lymph node metastasis was conducted.
A metastatic lymph node focus size of at least 2 mm was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 1.962) and with male sex (hazard ratio 1.947). A number of at least five lymph node metastases was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 2.863), extrathyroidal extension (hazard ratio 1.737) and male sex (hazard ratio 1.689). Extranodal extension was independently associated with a primary tumour size of at least 1 cm (hazard ratio 2.288), extrathyroidal extension (2.201) and male sex (hazard ratio 1.733).
Primary papillary thyroid carcinoma characteristics are related to the pathological features of lymph node metastases.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with abnormal cognitive and emotional functions and these dysfunctions may be dependent on the disruption of dynamic interactions within neuronal circuits associated with emotion regulation. Although several studies have shown the aberrant cognitive–affective processing in OCD patients, little is known about how to characterize effective connectivity of the disrupted neural interactions. In the present study, we applied effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling to explore the disturbed neural interactions in OCD patients.
A total of 20 patients and 21 matched healthy controls performed a delayed-response working memory task under emotional or non-emotional distraction while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging.
During the delay interval under negative emotional distraction, both groups showed similar patterns of activations in the amygdala. However, under negative emotional distraction, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) exhibited significant differences between groups. Bayesian model averaging indicated that the connection from the DLPFC to the OFC was negatively modulated by negative emotional distraction in patients, when compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected).
Exaggerated recruitment of the DLPFC may induce the reduction of top-down prefrontal control input over the OFC, leading to abnormal cortico-cortical interaction. This disrupted cortico-cortical interaction under negative emotional distraction may be responsible for dysfunctions of cognitive and emotional processing in OCD patients and may be a component of the pathophysiology associated with OCD.
The non-recurrent laryngeal nerve is subject to potential injury during thyroid surgery. Intra-operative identification and preservation of this nerve can be challenging. Its presence is associated with an aberrant subclavian artery and the developmental absence of the brachiocephalic trunk. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of non-recurrent laryngeal nerves and present a new classification system for the course of these nerves.
Non-recurrent laryngeal nerves were identified on the right side in 15 patients who underwent thyroidectomy. The incidence of non-recurrent laryngeal nerves (during thyroidectomy) and aberrant subclavian arteries (using neck computed tomography) was evaluated, and the course of the nerves was classified according to their travelling patterns.
The overall incidence of non-recurrent laryngeal nerves was 0.68 per cent. The travelling patterns of the nerves could be classified as: descending (33 per cent), vertical (27 per cent), ascending (20 per cent) or V-shaped (20 per cent).
Clinicians need to be aware of these variations to avoid non-recurrent laryngeal nerve damage. A retroesophageal subclavian artery (on neck computed tomography) virtually assures a non-recurrent laryngeal nerve. This information is important for preventing vocal fold paralysis. Following a review of non-recurrent laryngeal nerve travelling patterns, a new classification was devised.