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Several hypotheses may explain the association between substance use, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. However, few studies have utilized a large multisite dataset to understand this complex relationship. Our study assessed the relationship between alcohol and cannabis use trajectories and PTSD and depression symptoms across 3 months in recently trauma-exposed civilians.
In total, 1618 (1037 female) participants provided self-report data on past 30-day alcohol and cannabis use and PTSD and depression symptoms during their emergency department (baseline) visit. We reassessed participant's substance use and clinical symptoms 2, 8, and 12 weeks posttrauma. Latent class mixture modeling determined alcohol and cannabis use trajectories in the sample. Changes in PTSD and depression symptoms were assessed across alcohol and cannabis use trajectories via a mixed-model repeated-measures analysis of variance.
Three trajectory classes (low, high, increasing use) provided the best model fit for alcohol and cannabis use. The low alcohol use class exhibited lower PTSD symptoms at baseline than the high use class; the low cannabis use class exhibited lower PTSD and depression symptoms at baseline than the high and increasing use classes; these symptoms greatly increased at week 8 and declined at week 12. Participants who already use alcohol and cannabis exhibited greater PTSD and depression symptoms at baseline that increased at week 8 with a decrease in symptoms at week 12.
Our findings suggest that alcohol and cannabis use trajectories are associated with the intensity of posttrauma psychopathology. These findings could potentially inform the timing of therapeutic strategies.
Peer victimization is a developmentally salient stressor that elevates adolescents’ risk for anxiety disorders. However, modifiable mechanisms that explain this link and can be targeted via therapeutic interventions remain poorly understood. Drawing from psychobiological models implicating aberrant threat sensitivity in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, the current study investigated sensitivity to peer-related social threats as a mechanism underlying the association between peer victimization and anxiety. A sample of 197 dyads of early adolescents (Mage = 12.02; 46% female) and parents/guardians (Mage = 41.46; 90% female) completed online surveys assessing peer victimization, sensitivity to potential (i.e., ambiguous) social threats, and anxiety. Controlling for potentially confounding demographic and psychosocial factors, both self- and parent-reported peer victimization were positively associated with adolescent anxiety symptoms. Additionally, there were significant indirect effects from self- and parent-reported peer victimization to anxiety via social threat sensitivity. Supplemental analyses indicated unique effects of covert, but not overt, peer victimization on social threat sensitivity and anxiety. The findings provide initial evidence that peer victimization experiences lower adolescents’ threshold for interpreting threats in ambiguous social situations, which contributes to heightened anxiety. These results implicate social threat sensitivity as a potential therapeutic target for interrupting links from peer victimization to psychological distress.
This study was endeavoured to contribute in furthering our understanding of the molecular epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by sequencing and analysing the first full-length genome sequences obtained from 48 coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients in five districts in Western Serbia in the period April 2020–July 2020. SARS-CoV-2 sequences in Western Serbia distinguished from the Wuhan sequence in 128 SNPs in total. The phylogenetic structure of local SARS-CoV-2 isolates suggested the existence of at least four distinct groups of SARS-CoV-2 strains in Western Serbia. The first group is the most similar to the strain from Italy. These isolates included two 20A sequences and 15−30 20B sequences that displayed a newly occurring set of four conjoined mutations. The second group is the most similar to the strain from France, carrying two mutations and belonged to 20A clade. The third group is the most similar to the strain from Switzerland carrying four co-occurring mutations and belonging to 20B clade. The fourth group is the most similar to another strain from France, displaying one mutation that gave rise to a single local isolate that belonged to 20A clade.
Early life adversity (ELA) has been linked with increased arousal responses to threat, including increased amygdala reactivity. Effects of ELA on brain function are well recognized, and emerging evidence suggests that caregivers may influence how environmental stressors impact children’s brain function. We investigated the hypothesis that positive interaction between mother and child can buffer against ELA effects on children’s neural responses to threat, and related symptoms. N = 53 mother–child pairs (children ages 8–14 years) were recruited from an urban population at high risk for violence exposure. Maternal caregiving was measured using the Parenting Questionnaire and in a cooperation challenge task. Children viewed fearful and neutral face stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Children who experienced greater violence at home showed amygdala sensitization, whereas children experiencing more school and community violence showed amygdala habituation. Sensitization was in turn linked with externalizing symptoms. However, maternal warmth was associated with a normalization of amygdala sensitization in children, and fewer externalizing behaviors prospectively up to 1 year later. Findings suggested that the effects of violence exposure on threat-related neural circuitry depend on trauma context (inside or outside the home) and that primary caregivers can increase resilience.
Anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD) and phobias (including social phobia and agoraphobia), are the most common (1) and most economically costly psychiatric conditions (2). All anxiety disorders are characterized by pathological fear reactions and/or anxiety (3) in response to stimuli specific to each disorder in the absence of danger (4). Impairments in the ability to extinguish learned fear in response to specific stimuli and to learn safety behaviours are also cardinal characteristics of anxiety disorders (4). Because anxiety disorders are highly comorbid with other psychiatric conditions and adverse physical health conditions that increase mortality, including cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes (1,5), biomedical research has focused on defining the mechanisms underlying anxiety disorders.
One in every hundred Romani youth enters higher education in Europe. To justify this educational dearth, policymakers, scholars and practitioners have often reproduced the same racecraft about Roma: they form part of an inferior culture that does not value education. This racist ideology has not only fed a false moral justification but also buried any potential sense of concern and urgency among policymakers regarding the dramatic underrepresentation of Roma in higher education. In this chapter, we argue that public education has historically been an institution designed for gadje (non-Roma) (although less so for gadjo girls and the poor), while Romani children and youth, seen as ‘inferior and nomadic others’, have had no functional option for quality education and even less for higher education. We explore patterns of exclusion, fear, racism and racialised poverty. We show that schools and universities today remain highly unwelcoming for Romani children and youth, failing in large measure to address pervasive structural racism or to advance inclusion and equity. We conclude that education reform needs to start by dismantling the racecraft of ‘inferiority’ from ideology, policies and practice.
Quantifying resilience allows for several testable hypotheses, such as that resilience is equal to the number of mental health problems given a known quantity of stressor load. The proposed model lends itself well to prospective studies with data collection pre- and post-adversity; however, prestressor assessments are not always available. Challenges remain for adapting quantifying resilience to animal research, even if the idea of its translation value is significant.
Caprine and bovine milks have a similar overall gross composition, but vary considerably in the ratios of their casein components. These differences in colloidal casein micelles could affect directly or indirectly the heat stability of caprine and bovine milks at their natural pH. In the present work, the differences in colloidal stability of caprine and bovine milk have been studied by analysing the effect of heat treatment and skimming on precipitation of proteins. Raw and heated milk samples (70 °C/5 min, 80°C/5 min and 90°C/5 min) were centrifuged at 600, 2000, and 4500 g. The amount of precipitate formed after skimming was measured and the protein composition of both precipitates and supernatants analysed using the SDS-PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) and densitometry. In caprine milk, the heat treatment prior to skimming had a statistically significant effect on protein precipitation. Centrifugal force had a statistically significant effect on amount of precipitate for both milks, but the amount was 2 to 4 times higher for caprine milk. When defatting the milk for electrophoresis, a centrifugal force of 600 g appeared to be the most appropriate, in order to avoid protein loss and a possible error in the interpretation of results. Results of this study could also serve as the basis for further investigations on adjusting the skimming conditions for caprine milk in industrial dairy processing environment.
The ability to effectively regulate emotions and a secure attachment style are critical for maintaining mental health across the life span. The experience of childhood maltreatment interferes with normal development of emotional regulation and dramatically increases risk for a wide range of psychiatric disorders in adulthood. The central nervous system oxytocin systems are critically involved in mediating social attachment and buffering psychophysiological responses to stress. We therefore investigated the impact of childhood maltreatment and an oxytocin receptor (OXTR) single nucleotide polymorphism (rs53576) and their interaction on emotional dysregulation and attachment style in adulthood in a sample of low-income, African American men and women recruited from primary care clinics of an urban, public hospital. Consistent with prior research, we found that the severity of childhood maltreatment was associated with increased levels of emotional dysregulation in adulthood. Childhood maltreatment was also positively associated with ratings of disorganized/unresolved adult attachment style and negatively associated with ratings of secure adult attachment style. There was no direct association between rs53576 and emotional dysregulation or ratings of adult attachment style. However, there were significant interactions between rs53576 and childhood maltreatment in predicting level of adult emotional dysregulation and attachment style. Specifically, G/G genotype carriers were at risk for increased emotional dysregulation when exposed to three or more categories of childhood abuse. In addition, G/G genotype carriers exhibited enhanced disorganized adult attachment style when exposed to severe childhood abuse compared to A/A and A/G carriers. Our findings suggest that A allele carriers of OXTR rs53576 are resilient against the effects of severe childhood adversity, by protection against emotional dysregulation and disorganized attachment.
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