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How do the media depict the leadership abilities of government leaders, and in what ways are these depictions gendered? Does the focus of leadership evaluations change over time, reflecting the increased presence of women in top leadership roles? To answer these questions, we examined news coverage of 22 subnational government leaders in Australia and Canada, countries in which a significant number of women have achieved the premiership at the state or provincial level since 2007. Analysis demonstrates that newly elected women and men leaders receive approximately the same number of leadership evaluations. Women are assessed based on the same criteria as men. All subnational political leaders are expected to be competent, intelligent, and levelheaded. That journalists prioritize experience and strength while downplaying honesty and compassion indicates a continued emphasis on “masculine” leadership norms in politics. Yet evaluations of new premiers have emphasized the traditionally “feminine” trait of collaboration as key to effective leadership and, over time, have given more attention to likability and emotions when covering male premiers. As our analysis reveals, media conceptualizations of political leadership competencies are slowly expanding in ways that make it easier for women to be seen as effective political leaders.
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.
To assess the differences in comorbid lifetime substance use (tobacco, alcohol and drug use) between eating disorder (ED) patients and healthy controls.
Participants were a consecutive series of 779 ED cases, who had been referred to specialised ED units in five European countries. The ED cases were compared to a balanced control group of 785 healthy individuals. Assessment: Participants completed the Substance Use Subscale of the Cross Cultural Questionnaire (CCQ), a measure of lifetime tobacco, alcohol and drug use. In the control group, also the GHQ-28, the SCID-I interview and the EAT-26 were used.
ED patients had higher lifetime consumption of tobacco and drugs (p <0.01). The only insignificant result was obtained for alcohol (OR= 1.29; δ =0.157; N.S.) and cannabis use (OR= 1.21; δ = 0.037, N.S.). Significant differences across ED sub diagnoses also emerged for all of the assessed variables (p<0.01), with the BN and AN-BP patients generally presenting the highest prevalence rates. The only exception was detected for alcohol consumption where EDNOS patients demonstrated the highest values (p=0.008). Only a few cultural differences between countries emerged (p<0.05).
Lifetime tobacco and drug use but not alcohol consumption are more prevalent in ED patients than healthy controls. While alcohol appears to be more common in EDNOS, smoking and drug use are more frequent in patients with bulimic symptomatology. The differential risk observed in patients with bulimic features might be related to differences in temperament or might be the result of increased sensitivity to reward.
To examine whether there is an association between individual and family eating patterns during childhood and early adolescence and the likelihood of developing an eating disorder (ED) later in life.
Participants were a consecutive series of 879 ED cases from five different European countries. The ED cases were compared to a control group of 785 healthy individuals. Assessment: Participants completed the Early Eating Environmental Subscale of the Cross-Cultural (Environmental) Questionnaire (CCQ), a retrospective measure, which has been developed to detect dimensions associated with EDs in different countries. In the control group, also the GHQ-28, the SCID-I interview and the EAT-26 were used.
Five individual CatPCA procedures revealed five predetermined dimensions which were labeled: 1.) food as individualization; 2.) control and rules about food; 3.) food as social glue; 4.) healthy eating and 5.) food neglect. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the domains with the strongest effects were: food used as individualization (p=0.001; OR=1.76) and control and rules about food (p=0.001; OR=1.76). Conversely, healthy eating was negatively related to a later ED (p=0.001; OR=0.629). The pattern of associated ED factors was found to very between countries. There was very little difference in early eating behavior on the subtypes of the ED.
The fragmentation of meals within the family and control and rules about food appears to be linked to the development of a subsequent ED. On the other hand mantaining a structured and balanced diet during infancy seems to protect from a later ED.
In the efficacy evaluation of antidepressant treatments the total score of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) is still regarded as the’gold standard’. Studies suggest that unidimensional subscales of the HAMD, which capture the core depressive symptoms, outperform the full HAMD regarding the detection of antidepressant treatment effects. the present study compared several unidimensional subscales of the HAMD and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) regarding their sensitivity to changes in depression symptoms in a sample of patients with minor depression (MIND). Biweekly IDS-C28 and HAMD17 data from 287 patients of a 10-week randomised, placebo-controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of sertraline and cognitive-behavioural group therapy in patients with MIND were converted to subscale scores and analysed during the antidepressant treatment course. We investigated sensitivity to depressive change for all scales from assessment-to-assessment, in relation to depression severity level and placebo-verum differences.
The subscales performed similarly during the treatment course, with slight advantages for some subscales in detecting treatment effects depending on the treatment modality and on the items included. Most changes in depressive symptomatology were detected by the IDS short scale, but regarding effect sizes it performed worse than most subscales. Unidimensional subscales are a time- and cost-saving option in judging drug therapy outcomes, especially in antidepressant treatment efficacy studies. However, subscales do not cover all facets of depression, which might be important for comprehensively understanding the nature of the disease depression. Therefore, the cost-to-benefit ratio must be carefully assessed in the decision for using unidimensional subscales.
Over the last decade, the study of functional connectivity networks has dramatically expanded across diverse research fields as functional MRI connectivity (fcMRI) or EEG connectivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate functional connectivity in the course of the day using two different imaging methods.
27 healthy subjects (male and female students in the age-range between 18-30 years) underwent 6 repeated fcMRI measurements over 12 hours in a 3T Philips Achieva MR scanner. The subjects were instructed to close their eyes and not to think on anything in particular. Resting State EEG was recorded outside the MR scanner with eyes closed and eyes open using a Brain MR Amplifier with 32 channels. Sleep deprivation was kept constant across subjects and the subjects were restricted to low-calorie food. EEG was analysed for coherence and EEG-phase between all EEg channels in sensor and source space.
The time course of 20 functional MRI networks were extracted and previous described functional networks were found. Eyes closed and eyes open EEG showed similar and distinct spatial correspondence. We found a good overlap for the Default Mode Network and the Frontal-parietal network. Day of time influenced the EEG measurements partly.
The findings of fcMRI and EEG connectivity are unique with high spatial resolution for fcMRI and high temporal resolution for EEG. Both measurements methods contribute further to our understanding of complex functional connectivity networks.
Gene × environment (G × E) interactions in eating pathology have been increasingly investigated, however studies have been limited by sample size due to the difficulty of obtaining genetic data.
To synthesize existing G × E research in the eating disorders (ED) field and provide a clear picture of the current state of knowledge with analyses of larger samples.
Complete data from seven studies investigating community (n = 1750, 64.5% female) and clinical (n = 426, 100% female) populations, identified via systematic review, were included. Data were combined to perform five analyses: 5-HTTLPR × Traumatic Life Events (0–17 events) to predict ED status (n = 909), 5-HTTLPR × Sexual and Physical Abuse (n = 1097) to predict bulimic symptoms, 5-HTLPR × Depression to predict bulimic symptoms (n = 1256), and 5-HTTLPR × Impulsivity to predict disordered eating (n = 1149).
The low function (s) allele of 5-HTTLPR interacted with number of traumatic life events (P < .01) and sexual and physical abuse (P < .05) to predict increased likelihood of an ED in females but not males (Fig. 1). No other G × E interactions were significant, possibly due to the medium to low compatibility between datasets (Fig. 1).
Early promising results suggest that increased knowledge of G × E interactions could be achieved if studies increased uniformity of measuring ED and environmental variables, allowing for continued collaboration to overcome the restrictions of obtaining genetic samples.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Experimental studies indicate that lithium may facilitate neurotrophic/protective responses in the brain. Epidemiological and imaging studies in bipolar disorder, in addition to a few trials in Alzheimer's disease support the clinical translation of these findings. Nonetheless, there is limited controlled data about potential use of lithium to treat or prevent dementia.
To determine the benefits of lithium treatment in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a clinical condition associated with high risk for Alzheimer's disease.
A total of 61 community-dwelling, physically healthy, older adults with MCI were randomised to receive lithium or placebo (1:1) for 2 years (double-blind phase), and followed-up for an additional 24 months (single-blinded phase) (trial registration at clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01055392). Lithium carbonate was prescribed to yield subtherapeutic concentrations (0.25–0.5 mEq/L). Primary outcome variables were the cognitive (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale – cognitive subscale) and functional (Clinical Dementia Rating – Sum of Boxes) parameters obtained at baseline and after 12 and 24 months. Secondary outcomes were neuropsychological test scores; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of Alzheimer's disease-related biomarkers determined at 0, 12 and 36 months; conversion rate from MCI to dementia (0–48 months).
Participants in the placebo group displayed cognitive and functional decline, whereas lithium-treated patients remained stable over 2 years. Lithium treatment was associated with better performance on memory and attention tests after 24 months, and with a significant increase in CSF amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ1−42) after 36 months.
Long-term lithium attenuates cognitive and functional decline in amnestic MCI, and modifies Alzheimer's disease-related CSF biomarkers. The present data reinforces the disease-modifying properties of lithium in the MCI–Alzheimer's disease continuum.
There is limited information on the presentation and characteristics of psychotic illness experienced by people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
To describe autistic and psychotic phenomenology in a group of individuals with comorbid ASD and psychosis (ASD–P) and compare this group with populations affected by either, alone.
We studied 116 individuals with ASD–P. We compared features of their ASD with people with ASD and no comorbid psychosis (ASD–NP), and clinical characteristics of psychosis in ASD–P with people with psychosis only.
Individuals with ASD–P had more diagnoses of atypical psychosis and fewer of schizophrenia compared with individuals with psychosis only. People with ASD–P had fewer stereotyped interests/behaviours compared with those with ASD–NP.
Our data show there may be a specific subtype of ASD linked to comorbid psychosis. The results support findings that psychosis in people with ASD is often atypical, particularly regarding affective disturbance.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
We compared the relevance of ibuprofen, vitamins C and E to control oxidative/nitrosative stress and heart disease in mice infected by Trypanosoma cruzi. Swiss mice were randomized into five groups: control, uninfected; infected without treatment; and infected treated with vitamins C, E or ibuprofen. Animals were inoculated with 2000 trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi. After 20 days, infected mice presented reduced vitamin C and E tissue levels, high cytokines (interferon gamma, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin 10 and chemokine ligand 2), prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) and nitric oxide (NO) cardiac production, intense myocarditis and reactive tissue damage, which was directly correlated with the intensity of the inflammatory infiltrate and the degree of pathological cardiac remodelling. Vitamins C and E supplementation were irrelevant to counteract reactive tissue damage and myocarditis in infected animals. Conversely, ibuprofen reduced tissue levels of cytokines, PGF2α and NO, as well as lipid and protein oxidation, antioxidant enzyme activity and the cardiac damage, without interfering with heart parasitism. Our results do not support the applicability of vitamin C and E supplementation in the management of acute Chagas cardiomyopathy. By controlling the inflammatory infiltrate, anti-inflammatory-based therapy proved to be a more rational strategy than a direct antioxidant therapy in attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress and cardiac damage.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
We report on the temporal contrast performance of the PHELIX facility in view of the requirements imposed by solid-target interaction experiments. The requirement analysis for the nanosecond and picosecond temporal contrast is derived from empirical data and simple theoretical modeling, while the realization shows that using an ultrafast optical parametric amplifier and plasma mirrors enables meeting this specification.
Using the example of the PHELIX high-energy short pulse laser we discuss the technical preconditions to investigate ion acceleration with submicrometer thick targets. We show how the temporal contrast of this system was improved to prevent pre-ionization of such targets on the nanosecond timescale. Furthermore the influence of typical fluctuations or uncertainties of the on-target intensity on ion acceleration experiments is discussed. We report how these uncertainties were reduced by improving the assessment and control of the on-shot intensity and by optimizing the positioning of the target into the focal plane. Finally we report on experimental results showing maximum proton energies in excess of 85 MeV for ion acceleration via the target normal sheath acceleration mechanism using target thicknesses on the order of one micrometer.
Feedback provided by relativistic jets may be effective in shaping the galaxy luminosity function. The quenching mode (quasar mode) at redshifts ~2-3 potentially disperses gas in star-forming galaxies. The maintenance mode (radio mode) heats the gas in galaxy clusters counteracting cooling flows. A number of authors have examined the effect of relativistic jets in dispersing clouds in the kpc-scale inhomogeneous interstellar medium of evolving galaxies. We have also investigated a particular case of maintenance-mode feedback in our simulation of the iconic radio galaxy / cooling flow cluster Hydra A. Modelling of the knots produced by the jets in the inner 10 kpc provides an estimate of 0.8 – 0.9 c for the velocities of the jets in agreement with other velocity estimates for FR1 jets. The addition of jet precession provides realistic simulations of the morphology of the Hydra A radio source and raises interesting questions as to the role of black hole and disk precession, in general, in galaxy formation.
We consider the shock structures that can arise in blazar jets as a consequence of variations in the jet flow velocity. There are two possible cases: (1) a double shock system consisting of both a forward and reverse shock, and (2) a single shock (either forward or reverse) together with a rarefaction wave. These possibilities depend upon the relative velocity of the two different sections of jet. Using previously calculated spherical models for estimates of the magnetic field and electron number density of the emission region in the TeV blazar Mkn 501, we show that this region is in the form of a thin disk in the plasma rest frame. It is possible to reconcile spectral and pair opacity constraints for Mkn 501 for Doppler factors in the range of 10–20. This is easiest if the corrections for TeV absorption by the infrared background are not as large as implied by recent models.
Young people with self-experienced cognitive thought and perception deficits (basic symptoms) may present with an early initial prodromal state (EIPS) of psychosis in which most of the disability and neurobiological deficits of schizophrenia have not yet occurred.
To investigate the effects of an integrated psychological intervention (IPI), combining individual cognitive–behavioural therapy, group skills training, cognitive remediation and multifamily psychoeducation, on the prevention of psychosis in the EIPS.
A randomised controlled, multicentre, parallel group trial of 12 months of IPI v. supportive counselling (trial registration number: NCT00204087). Primary outcome was progression to psychosis at 12- and 24-month follow-up.
A total of 128 help-seeking out-patients in an EIPS were randomised. Integrated psychological intervention was superior to supportive counselling in preventing progression to psychosis at 12-month follow-up (3.2% v. 16.9%; P = 0.008) and at 24-month follow-up (6.3% v. 20.0%; P = 0.019).
Integrated psychological intervention appears effective in delaying the onset of psychosis over a 24-month time period in people in an EIPS.