Rates of biodiversity loss are higher in freshwater ecosystems than in most terrestrial or marine ecosystems, making freshwater conservation a priority. However, prioritization methods are impeded by insufficient knowledge on the distribution and conservation status of freshwater taxa, particularly invertebrates. We evaluated the extinction risk of the world's 590 freshwater crayfish species using the IUCN Categories and Criteria and found 32% of all species are threatened with extinction. The level of extinction risk differed between families, with proportionally more threatened species in the Parastacidae and Astacidae than in the Cambaridae. Four described species were Extinct and 21% were assessed as Data Deficient. There was geographical variation in the dominant threats affecting the main centres of crayfish diversity. The majority of threatened US and Mexican species face threats associated with urban development, pollution, damming and water management. Conversely, the majority of Australian threatened species are affected by climate change, harvesting, agriculture and invasive species. Only a small proportion of crayfish are found within the boundaries of protected areas, suggesting that alternative means of long-term protection will be required. Our study highlights many of the significant challenges yet to come for freshwater biodiversity unless conservation planning shifts from a reactive to proactive approach.
extinction risk; crayfish; IUCN Red List; threatened; freshwater biodiversity
Age at onset of diagnostic motor manifestations in Huntington disease (HD) is strongly correlated with an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat. The length of the normal CAG repeat allele has been reported also to influence age at onset, in interaction with the expanded allele. Due to profound implications for disease mechanism and modification, we tested whether the normal allele, interaction between the expanded and normal alleles, or presence of a second expanded allele affects age at onset of HD motor signs.
We modeled natural log-transformed age at onset as a function of CAG repeat lengths of expanded and normal alleles and their interaction by linear regression.
An apparently significant effect of interaction on age at motor onset among 4,068 subjects was dependent on a single outlier data point. A rigorous statistical analysis with a well-behaved dataset that conformed to the fundamental assumptions of linear regression (e.g., constant variance and normally distributed error) revealed significance only for the expanded CAG repeat, with no effect of the normal CAG repeat. Ten subjects with 2 expanded alleles showed an age at motor onset consistent with the length of the larger expanded allele.
Normal allele CAG length, interaction between expanded and normal alleles, and presence of a second expanded allele do not influence age at onset of motor manifestations, indicating that the rate of HD pathogenesis leading to motor diagnosis is determined by a completely dominant action of the longest expanded allele and as yet unidentified genetic or environmental factors. Neurology® 2012;78:690–695
Plasma proteomic experiments performed rapidly and economically using several of the latest high-resolution mass spectrometers were compared. Four quantitative hyperfractionated plasma proteomics experiments were analyzed in replicates by two AB SCIEX TripleTOF 5600 and three Thermo Scientific Orbitrap (Elite/LTQ-Orbitrap Velos/Q Exactive) instruments. Each experiment compared two iTRAQ isobaric-labeled immunodepleted plasma proteomes, provided as 30 labeled peptide fractions. 480 LC-MS/MS runs delivered >250 GB of data in two months. Several analysis algorithms were compared. At 1 % false discovery rate, the relative comparative findings concluded that the Thermo Scientific Q Exactive Mass Spectrometer resulted in the highest number of identified proteins and unique sequences with iTRAQ quantitation. The confidence of iTRAQ fold-change for each protein is dependent on the overall ion statistics (Mascot Protein Score) attainable by each instrument. The benchmarking also suggested how to further improve the mass spectrometry parameters and HPLC conditions. Our findings highlight the special challenges presented by the low abundance peptide ions of iTRAQ plasma proteome because the dynamic range of plasma protein abundance is uniquely high compared with cell lysates, necessitating high instrument sensitivity.
immunodepletion; Seppro; IgY14; iTRAQ; EMMOL normalization; TripleTOF; Orbitrap; Q Exactive
People with Multiple Sclerosis are known to have a relatively high prevalence of both anxiety and depression. Studies of the relationship between physical disability and mental health in people with MS have reported mixed results, showing the need for further work.
Between May 2011 and April 2012, 4516 people completed the MSIS-29 (v.1) and HADS scales via the dedicated internet site of the UK MS Register within a 7 day time window. These responses were linked with basic demographic and descriptive data and analysed in SPSS (v.20).
The proportions of people experiencing anxiety or depression increased with physical disability such that 38.0% of respondents with low, and 66.7% with high disability reported at least mild anxiety, and 17.1% of people with low, and 71.7% with high disability experienced at least mild depression. The multiple regression model explained 18.4% of the variance in anxiety with MSIS-29-PHYS score being the strongest predictor of anxiety. The model for depression explained 37.8% of the variance with MSIS-29-PHYS score being the strongest predictor. Some of the other variables included showed negative associations with anxiety and depression, indicating that the influence of physical disability on mental wellbeing could be underestimated.
This study indicates that there is a positive relationship between physical disability and anxiety and depression, that physical disability impacts on anxiety and depression to differing extents, and that the effects vary with gender, age, disease course and disease duration. We have shown that physical disability is a predictor of anxiety and depression, and that other factors may mask the extent of this effect. Whether the causes of anxiety and depression are reactive, organic or a combination, it is essential that mental wellbeing is given due attention in caring for people with MS so that all their health needs can be met.
The EQ-5D is a widely-used, standardised, quality of life measure producing health profiles, indices and states. The aims of this study were to assess the role of various factors in how people with Multiple Sclerosis rate their quality of life, based on responses to the EQ-5D received via the web portal of the UK MS Register.
The 4516 responses to the EQ-5D (between May 2011 and April 2012) were collated with basic demographic and descriptive MS data and the resulting dataset was analysed in SPSS (v.20).
The mean health state for people with MS was 59.73 (SD 22.4, median 61), compared to the UK population mean of 82.48 (which is approximately 1SD above the cohort mean). The characteristics of respondents with high health states (at or above +1SD) were: better health profiles (most predictive dimension: Usual Activities), higher health indices, younger age, shorter durations of MS, female gender, relapsing-remitting MS, higher educational attainment and being in paid employment (all p-values<0.001). Conversely, the characteristics of respondents with low health states (at or below -1SD) were: poorer health profiles (most predictive dimension: Mobility), lower health indices, older age, longer durations of MS, male gender, progressive MS, lower educational attainment and having an employment status of sick/disabled (p = 0.0014 for age, all other p-values<0.001). Particular living arrangements were not associated with either the high or low health status groups.
This large-scale study has enabled in-depth analyses on how people with MS rate their quality of life, and it provides new knowledge on the various factors that contribute to their self-assessed health status. These findings demonstrate the impact of MS on quality of life, and they can be used to inform care provision and further research, to work towards enhancing the quality of life of people with MS.
Fungal pathogens elicit cytokine responses downstream of immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM)-coupled or hemiITAM-containing receptors and TLRs. The Linker for Activation of B cells/Non-T cell Activating Linker (LAB/NTAL) encoded by Lat2, is a known regulator of ITAM-coupled receptors and TLR-associated cytokine responses. Here we demonstrate that LAB is involved in anti-fungal immunity. We show that Lat2−/− mice are more susceptible to C. albicans infection than wild type (WT) mice. Dendritic cells (DCs) express LAB and we show that it is basally phosphorylated by the growth factor M-CSF or following engagement of Dectin-2, but not Dectin-1. Our data revealed a unique mechanism whereby LAB controls basal and fungal/pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP)-induced nuclear β-catenin levels. This in turn is important for controlling fungal/PAMP-induced cytokine production in DCs. C. albicans- and LPS-induced IL-12 and IL-23 production was blunted in Lat2−/− DCs. Accordingly, Lat2−/− DCs directed reduced Th1 polarization in vitro and Lat2−/− mice displayed reduced Natural Killer (NK) and T cell-mediated IFN-γ production in vivo/ex vivo. Thus our data define a novel link between LAB and β-catenin nuclear accumulation in DCs that facilitates IFN-γ responses during anti-fungal immunity. In addition, these findings are likely to be relevant to other infectious diseases that require IL-12 family cytokines and an IFN-γ response for pathogen clearance.
Fungal infections are a major healthcare problem and the incidence of fungal infections has increased significantly in recent years. Mortality rates are high even with treatment, highlighting the need for a better understanding of anti-fungal immunity in order to develop improved therapies. Adaptive T-helper 1 and T-helper 17 (Th1 and Th17) responses are important mediators of anti-fungal immunity. Dendritic cells express Dectin-1, Dectin-2 and Toll-like receptors, which interact with fungal pathogens to induce these adaptive immune responses. Here we identify LAB as an important facilitator of IFN-γ production by regulating β-catenin activation. Susceptibility to fungal infections is increased in the absence of LAB, in association with reduced IFN-γ production. β-catenin activation in dendritic cells inhibits the IL-12 production required for IFN-γ production. Thus targeting β-catenin therapeutically could help to promote efficient IFN-γ production in patients suffering from fungal infections. These findings are important for fungal infections and potentially for other diseases where IFN-γ production is important for disease outcome.
Managing natural resources often depends on influencing people's behaviour, however effectively targeting interventions to discourage environmentally harmful behaviours is challenging because those involved may be unwilling to identify themselves. Non-sensitive indicators of sensitive behaviours are therefore needed. Previous studies have investigated people's attitudes, assuming attitudes reflect behaviour. There has also been interest in using people's estimates of the proportion of their peers involved in sensitive behaviours to identify those involved, since people tend to assume that others behave like themselves. However, there has been little attempt to test the potential of such indicators. We use the randomized response technique (RRT), designed for investigating sensitive behaviours, to estimate the proportion of farmers in north-eastern South Africa killing carnivores, and use a modified logistic regression model to explore relationships between our best estimates of true behaviour (from RRT) and our proposed non-sensitive indicators (including farmers' attitudes, and estimates of peer-behaviour). Farmers' attitudes towards carnivores, question sensitivity and estimates of peers' behaviour, predict the likelihood of farmers killing carnivores. Attitude and estimates of peer-behaviour are useful indicators of involvement in illicit behaviours and may be used to identify groups of people to engage in interventions aimed at changing behaviour.
leopard; randomized response technique; attitude; brown hyaena; illegal; false consensus effect
The MSIS-29 was developed to assess the physical and psychological impact of MS. The aims of this study were to use the responses to the MSIS-29 via the web portal of the UK MS Register to: examine the internal properties of the scale delivered via the internet, profile the cohort, and assess how well the scale measures impact of disability on the potential workforce.
Between May 2011 and April 2012, 4558 people with MS completed the MSIS-29(v.1). The responses were collated with basic demographic and descriptive MS data and the resulting dataset was analysed in SPSS(v.20).
Internal consistency was high (Cronbach's alpha 0.97 MSIS-29-PHYS, 0.92 MSIS-29-PSYCH). The mean MSIS-29-PHYS score was 60.5 (50.6%) with a median of 62 and the mean MSIS-29-PSYCH score was 24.8 (43.8%) with a median of 24. Physical scores increased with age and disease duration (p<0.001, p<0.001), but there was a weak negative relationship between psychological scores and age (p<0.001). The odds of people having an employment status of sick/disabled were 7.2 (CI 5.5, 9.4, p<0.001) for people with a moderate physical score, and 22.3 (CI 17.0, 29.3, p<0.001) for people with a high physical score (relative to having a low physical score).
This largest known study of its kind has demonstrated how the MSIS-29 can be administered via the internet to characterise a cohort, and to predict the likely impact of disability on taking an active part in the workforce, as a reasonable proxy for the effects of MS on general activities. The findings examining MSIS-29-PHYS and MSIS-29-PSYCH scores against age support the use of two sub-scales, not a combined score. These results underline the importance of using a scale such as this to monitor disability levels regularly in guiding MS care to enable people to be as active as possible.
Strains from a collection of Drosophila GFP protein trap lines express GFP in the normal tissues where the endogenous protein is present. This collection can be used to screen for proteins distributed in the nucleus in a non-uniform pattern.
We analyzed four lines that show peripheral or punctate nuclear staining. One of these lines affects an uncharacterized gene named CG11138. The CG11138 protein shows a punctate distribution in the nuclear periphery similar to that of Drosophila insulator proteins but does not co-localize with known insulators. Interestingly, mutations in Lamin proteins result in alterations in CG11138 localization, suggesting that this protein may be a novel component of the nuclear lamina. A second line affects the Decondensation factor 31 (Df31) gene, which encodes a protein with a unique nuclear distribution that appears to segment the nucleus into four different compartments. The X-chromosome of males is confined to one of these compartments. We also find that Drosophila Nucleoplasmin (dNlp) is present in regions of active transcription. Heat shock leads to loss of dNlp from previously transcribed regions of polytene chromosome without redistribution to the heat shock genes. Analysis of Stonewall (Stwl), a protein previously found to be necessary for the maintenance of germline stem cells, shows that Stwl is present in a punctate pattern in the nucleus that partially overlaps with that of known insulator proteins. Finally we show that Stwl, dNlp, and Df31 form part of a highly interactive network. The properties of other components of this network may help understand the role of these proteins in nuclear biology.
These results establish screening of GFP protein trap alleles as a strategy to identify factors with novel cellular functions. Information gained from the analysis of CG11138 Stwl, dNlp, and Df31 sets the stage for future studies of these proteins.
Studies have found that people with Multiple Sclerosis experience relatively high rates of anxiety and depression. Although methodologically robust, many of these studies had access to only modest sample sizes (N<200). The aims of this study were to use responses gained via the web portal of the UK MS Register (N>4000) to: describe the depression and anxiety profiles of people with MS; to determine if anxiety and depression are related to age or disease duration; and to assess whether the levels of anxiety and depression differ between genders and types of MS.
From its launch in May 2011 to the end of December 2011, 7786 adults with MS enrolled to take part in the UK MS Register via the web portal. The responses to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were collated with basic demographic and descriptive MS data provided at registration and the resulting dataset was analysed in SPSS (v.16).
The mean HADS score among the 4178 respondents was 15.7 (SE 0.117, SD 7.55) with a median of 15.0 (IQR 11). Anxiety and depression rates were notably high, with over half (54.1%) scoring ≥8 for anxiety and 46.9% scoring ≥8 for depression. Women with relapsing-remitting MS were more anxious than men with this type (p<0.001), and than women with other types of MS (p = 0.017). Within each gender, men and women with secondary progressive MS were more depressed than men or women with other types of MS (p<0.001, p<0.001).
This largest known study of its kind has shown that anxiety and depression are highly prevalent in people with MS, indicating that their mental health needs could be better addressed. These findings support service planning and further research to provide the best care for people with MS to help alleviate these debilitating conditions.
Understanding the evolution of cultivated barley is important for two reasons. First, the evolutionary relationships between different landraces might provide information on the spread and subsequent development of barley cultivation, including the adaptation of the crop to new environments and its response to human selection. Second, evolutionary information would enable landraces with similar traits but different genetic backgrounds to be identified, providing alternative strategies for the introduction of these traits into modern germplasm.
The evolutionary relationships between 651 barley landraces were inferred from the genotypes for 24 microsatellites. The landraces could be divided into nine populations, each with a different geographical distribution. Comparisons with ear row number, caryopsis structure, seasonal growth habit and flowering time revealed a degree of association between population structure and phenotype, and analysis of climate variables indicated that the landraces are adapted, at least to some extent, to their environment. Human selection and/or environmental adaptation may therefore have played a role in the origin and/or maintenance of one or more of the barley landrace populations. There was also evidence that at least some of the population structure derived from geographical partitioning set up during the initial spread of barley cultivation into Europe, or reflected the later introduction of novel varieties. In particular, three closely-related populations were made up almost entirely of plants with the daylength nonresponsive version of the photoperiod response gene PPD-H1, conferring adaptation to the long annual growth season of northern Europe. These three populations probably originated in the eastern Fertile Crescent and entered Europe after the initial spread of agriculture.
The discovery of population structure, combined with knowledge of associated phenotypes and environmental adaptations, enables a rational approach to identification of landraces that might be used as sources of germplasm for breeding programs. The population structure also enables hypotheses concerning the prehistoric spread and development of agriculture to be addressed.
HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) are important in controlling HIV replication, but the magnitude of the CTL response does not predict clinical outcome. In four donors with delayed disease progression we identified Vβ13.2 T cell receptors (TCRs) with very similar and unusually long β-chain complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) regions in CTL specific for the immunodominant human histocompatibility leukocyte antigens (HLA)-B8–restricted human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) nef epitope, FLKEKGGL (FL8). CTL expressing Vβ13.2 TCRs tolerate naturally arising viral variants in the FL8 epitope that escape recognition by other CTL. In addition, they expand efficiently in vitro and are resistant to apoptosis, in contrast to FL8–specific CTL using other TCRs. Selection of Vβ13.2 TCRs by some patients early in the FL8-specific CTL response may be linked with better clinical outcome.
HIV; cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL); T cell receptor; cross-reactivity; apoptosis
Heroin abuse is a significant public health issue and is on the rise because of the unintended consequences of strengthening controls for nonmedical use of prescription pain killers. Included in this trend is an increase in opiate exposed newborns that are particularly vulnerable to a number of negative health outcomes.
After presenting a fully validated liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometric method for codeine, morphine, 6-monoacetylmorphine, and meconin, a metabolite of the heroin contaminant noscapine, we compared the outcome of 46 authentic umbilical specimens with the results generated using a previous less sensitive method that did not include meconin. Additionally, we provided a summary of opiate finding from a year-long survey of specimens received into a commercial reference laboratory.
The limits of detection for all 4 compounds were 0.1 ng/g, the limit of quantitation was 0.2 ng/g, and the assay was linear from 0.2 to 10.0 ng/g. Of the 46 comparative specimens, this method improved the identification of heroin exposure from 2 to 5, and the year-long survey identified 86 heroin-exposed newborns with 11 of them identified by the sole identification of meconin.
This study demonstrated that a more sensitive analytical platform and the inclusion of meconin in the opiates assay improved the ability to distinguish between in utero heroin exposure and maternal administration of codeine or morphine.
heroin; diacetylmorphine; 6-monoacetylmorphine; meconin; umbilical cord
A considerable amount of research has been published about genetic hearing impairment. Fifty to sixty percent of hearing loss is thought to have a genetic cause. Genes may also play a significant role in acquired hearing loss due to aging, noise exposure, or ototoxic medications. Between 1995 and 2012, over 100 causative genes have been identified for syndromic and nonsyndromic forms of hereditary hearing loss (see Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage http://hereditaryhearingloss.org). Mouse models have been extremely valuable in facilitating the discovery of hearing loss genes, and in understanding inner ear pathology due to genetic mutations or elucidating fundamental mechanisms of inner ear development.
Whereas much is being learned about hereditary hearing loss and the genetics of cochlear disorders, relatively little is known about the role genes may play in peripheral vestibular impairment. Here we review the literature with regard to genetics of vestibular dysfunction and discuss what we have learned from studies using mutant mouse models and direct measures of peripheral vestibular neural function.
Several genes are considered that when mutated lead to varying degrees of inner ear vestibular dysfunction due to deficits in otoconia, stereocilia, hair cells, or neurons. Behavior often does not reveal the inner ear deficit. Many of the examples presented are also known to cause human disorders.
Knowledge regarding the roles of particular genes in the operation of the vestibular sensory apparatus is growing and it is clear that gene products co-expressed in the cochlea and vestibule may play different roles in the respective end organs. The discovery of new genes mediating critical inner ear vestibular function carries the promise of new strategies in diagnosing, treating and managing patients as well as predicting the course and level of morbidity in human vestibular disease.
Genetics; vestibular; vestibular evoked potentials; mutant mouse models; hereditary vestibular disorders
The differential diagnosis for ischemic central nervous system infarcts in young patients includes paradoxic emboli through cardiac shunts, vasculitis, and vascular trauma. We report a young woman who developed headache, vomiting, diplopia, dizziness, and ataxia following neck manipulation by her chiropractor. A computed tomography scan of the head revealed an infarct in the inferior half of the left cerebellar hemisphere and compression of the fourth ventricle causing moderate acute obstructive hydrocephalus. Magnetic resonance angiography revealed severe narrowing and low flow in the intracranial segment of the left distal vertebral artery. The patient was treated with mannitol and a ventriculostomy and had an excellent functional recovery. This report illustrates the potential hazards associated with neck trauma, including chiropractic manipulation. The vertebral arteries are at risk for aneurysm formation and/or dissection, which can cause acute stroke.
The categorization of intraductal proliferative lesions of the breast based on routine light microscopic examination of histopathologic sections is in many cases challenging, even for experienced pathologists. The development of computational tools to aid pathologists in the characterization of these lesions would have great diagnostic and clinical value. As a first step to address this issue, we evaluated the ability of computational image analysis to accurately classify DCIS and UDH and to stratify nuclear grade within DCIS. Using 116 breast biopsies diagnosed as DCIS or UDH from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), we developed a computational method to extract 392 features corresponding to the mean and standard deviation in nuclear size and shape, intensity, and texture across 8 color channels. We used L1-regularized logistic regression to build classification models to discriminate DCIS from UDH. The top-performing model contained 22 active features and achieved an AUC of 0.95 in cross-validation on the MGH data-set. We applied this model to an external validation set of 51 breast biopsies diagnosed as DCIS or UDH from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the model achieved an AUC of 0.86. The top-performing model contained active features from all color-spaces and from the three classes of features (morphology, intensity, and texture), suggesting the value of each for prediction. We built models to stratify grade within DCIS and obtained strong performance for stratifying low nuclear grade vs. high nuclear grade DCIS (AUC = 0.98 in cross-validation) with only moderate performance for discriminating low nuclear grade vs. intermediate nuclear grade and intermediate nuclear grade vs. high nuclear grade DCIS (AUC = 0.83 and 0.69, respectively). These data show that computational pathology models can robustly discriminate benign from malignant intraductal proliferative lesions of the breast and may aid pathologists in the diagnosis and classification of these lesions.
FSHD2 is a rare form of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) characterized by the absence of a contraction in the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat region on chromosome 4q35 that is the hallmark of FSHD1. However, hypomethylation of this region is common to both subtypes. Recently, mutations in SMCHD1 combined with a permissive 4q35 allele were reported to cause FSHD2. We identified a novel p.Lys275del SMCHD1 mutation in a family affected with FSHD2 using whole-exome sequencing and linkage analysis. This mutation alters a highly conserved amino acid in the ATPase domain of SMCHD1. Subject III-11 is a male who developed asymmetrical muscle weakness characteristic of FSHD at 13 years. Physical examination revealed marked bilateral atrophy at biceps brachii, bilateral scapular winging, some asymmetrical weakness at tibialis anterior and peroneal muscles, and mild lower facial weakness. Biopsy of biceps brachii in subject II-5, the father of III-11, demonstrated lobulated fibers and dystrophic changes. Endomysial and perivascular inflammation was found, which has been reported in FSHD1 but not FSHD2. Given the previous report of SMCHD1 mutations in FSHD2 and the clinical presentations consistent with the FSHD phenotype, we conclude that the SMCHD1 mutation is the likely cause of the disease in this family.
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is linked to epigenetic dysregulation of the chromosome 4q35 D4Z4 macrosatellite. However, this does not account for the tissue specificity of FSHD pathology, which requires stable expression of an alternative full-length mRNA splice form of DUX4 (DUX4-fl) from the D4Z4 array in skeletal muscle. Here, we describe the identification of two enhancers, DUX4 myogenic enhancer 1 (DME1) and DME2 which activate DUX4-fl expression in skeletal myocytes but not fibroblasts. Analysis of the chromatin revealed histone modifications and RNA polymerase II occupancy consistent with DME1 and DME2 being functional enhancers. Chromosome conformation capture analysis confirmed association of DME1 and DME2 with the DUX4 promoter in vivo. The strong interaction between DME2 and the DUX4 promoter in both FSHD and unaffected primary myocytes was greatly reduced in fibroblasts, suggesting a muscle-specific interaction. Nucleosome occupancy and methylome sequencing analysis indicated that in most FSHD myocytes, both enhancers are associated with nucleosomes but have hypomethylated DNA, consistent with a permissive transcriptional state, sporadic occupancy, and the observed DUX4 expression in rare myonuclei. Our data support a model in which these myogenic enhancers associate with the DUX4 promoter in skeletal myocytes and activate transcription when epigenetically derepressed in FSHD, resulting in the pathological misexpression of DUX4-fl.
Individuals with a mental health disorder appear to be at increased risk of medical illness.
To examine rates of medical illnesses in patients with bipolar disorder (n = 1720) and to examine the clinical course of the bipolar illness according to lifetime medical illness burden.
Participants recruited within the UK were asked about the lifetime occurrence of 20 medical illnesses, interviewed using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) and diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria.
We found significantly increased rates of several medical illnesses in our bipolar sample. A high medical illness burden was associated with a history of anxiety disorder, rapid cycling mood episodes, suicide attempts and mood episodes with a typically acute onset.
Bipolar disorder is associated with high rates of medical illness. This comorbidity needs to be taken into account by services in order to improve outcomes for patients with bipolar disorder and also in research investigating the aetiology of affective disorder where shared biological pathways may play a role.
Enabling people with dementia and carers to ‘live well’ with the condition is a key United Kingdom policy objective. The aim of this project is to identify what helps people to live well or makes it difficult to live well in the context of having dementia or caring for a person with dementia, and to understand what ‘living well’ means from the perspective of people with dementia and carers.
Over a two-year period, 1500 people with early-stage dementia throughout Great Britain will be recruited to the study, together with a carer wherever possible. All the participants will be visited at home initially and again 12 months and 24 months later. This will provide information about the way in which well-being, life satisfaction and quality of life are affected by social capitals, assets and resources, the challenges posed by dementia, and the ways in which people adjust to and cope with these challenges. A smaller group will be interviewed in more depth.
The findings will lead to recommendations about what can be done by individuals, communities, health and social care practitioners, care providers and policy-makers to improve the likelihood of living well with dementia.
Quality of life; Life satisfaction; Well-being; Person with dementia; Carer; Alzheimer’s disease; Vascular dementia; Fronto-temporal dementia; Parkinson’s disease dementia; Lewy body dementia
Myriapods (e.g., centipedes and millipedes) display a simple homonomous body plan relative to other arthropods. All members of the class are terrestrial, but they attained terrestriality independently of insects. Myriapoda is the only arthropod class not represented by a sequenced genome. We present an analysis of the genome of the centipede Strigamia maritima. It retains a compact genome that has undergone less gene loss and shuffling than previously sequenced arthropods, and many orthologues of genes conserved from the bilaterian ancestor that have been lost in insects. Our analysis locates many genes in conserved macro-synteny contexts, and many small-scale examples of gene clustering. We describe several examples where S. maritima shows different solutions from insects to similar problems. The insect olfactory receptor gene family is absent from S. maritima, and olfaction in air is likely effected by expansion of other receptor gene families. For some genes S. maritima has evolved paralogues to generate coding sequence diversity, where insects use alternate splicing. This is most striking for the Dscam gene, which in Drosophila generates more than 100,000 alternate splice forms, but in S. maritima is encoded by over 100 paralogues. We see an intriguing linkage between the absence of any known photosensory proteins in a blind organism and the additional absence of canonical circadian clock genes. The phylogenetic position of myriapods allows us to identify where in arthropod phylogeny several particular molecular mechanisms and traits emerged. For example, we conclude that juvenile hormone signalling evolved with the emergence of the exoskeleton in the arthropods and that RR-1 containing cuticle proteins evolved in the lineage leading to Mandibulata. We also identify when various gene expansions and losses occurred. The genome of S. maritima offers us a unique glimpse into the ancestral arthropod genome, while also displaying many adaptations to its specific life history.
Arthropods are the most abundant animals on earth. Among them, insects clearly dominate on land, whereas crustaceans hold the title for the most diverse invertebrates in the oceans. Much is known about the biology of these groups, not least because of genomic studies of the fruit fly Drosophila, the water flea Daphnia, and other species used in research. Here we report the first genome sequence from a species belonging to a lineage that has previously received very little attention—the myriapods. Myriapods were among the first arthropods to invade the land over 400 million years ago, and survive today as the herbivorous millipedes and venomous centipedes, one of which—Strigamia maritima—we have sequenced here. We find that the genome of this centipede retains more characteristics of the presumed arthropod ancestor than other sequenced insect genomes. The genome provides access to many aspects of myriapod biology that have not been studied before, suggesting, for example, that they have diversified receptors for smell that are quite different from those used by insects. In addition, it shows specific consequences of the largely subterranean life of this particular species, which seems to have lost the genes for all known light-sensing molecules, even though it still avoids light.
Food allergy is an important public health problem that affects children and adults and may be increasing in prevalence. Despite the risk of severe allergic reactions and even death, there is no current treatment for food allergy: the disease can only be managed by allergen avoidance or treatment of symptoms. The diagnosis and management of food allergy also may vary from one clinical practice setting to another. Finally, because patients frequently confuse nonallergic food reactions, such as food intolerance, with food allergies, there is an unfounded belief among the public that food allergy prevalence is higher than it truly is. In response to these concerns, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, working with 34 professional organizations, federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups, led the development of clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy. These Guidelines are intended for use by a wide variety of health care professionals, including family practice physicians, clinical specialists, and nurse practitioners. The Guidelines include a consensus definition for food allergy, discuss comorbid conditions often associated with food allergy, and focus on both IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated reactions to food. Topics addressed include the epidemiology, natural history, diagnosis, and management of food allergy, as well as the management of severe symptoms and anaphylaxis. These Guidelines provide 43 concise clinical recommendations and additional guidance on points of current controversy in patient management. They also identify gaps in the current scientific knowledge to be addressed through future research.
food; allergy; anaphylaxis; diagnosis; disease management; guidelines