Multidetector computed tomography angiography (CTA) provides information on plaque extent and stenosis in the coronary wall. More accurate lesion assessment may be feasible with CTA as compared to invasive coronary angiography (ICA). Accordingly, lesion length assessment was compared between ICA and CTA in patients referred for CTA who underwent subsequent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). 89 patients clinically referred for CTA were subsequently referred for ICA and PCI. On CTA, lesion length was measured from the proximal to the distal shoulder of the plaque. Quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) was performed to analyze lesion length. Stent length was recorded for each lesion. In total, 119 lesions were retrospectively identified. Mean lesion length on CTA was 21.4 ± 8.4 mm and on QCA 12.6 ± 6.1 mm. Mean stent length deployed was 17.4 ± 5.3 mm. Lesion length on CTA was significantly longer than on QCA (difference 8.8 ± 6.7 mm, P < 0.001). Moreover, lesion length visualized on CTA was also significantly longer than mean stent length (CTA lesion length-stent length was 4.2 ± 8.7 mm, P < 0.001). Lesion length assessed by CTA is longer than that assessed by ICA. Possibly, CTA provides more accurate lesion length assessment than ICA and may facilitate improved guidance of percutaneous treatment of coronary lesions.
Coronary artery disease; Multidetector computed tomography; Quantitative coronary angiography
The purpose of the study was to systematically compare calcification patterns in plaques on computed tomography angiography (CTA) with plaque characteristics on intravascular ultrasound with radiofrequency backscatter analysis (IVUS-VH).
Methods and Results
In total, 108 patients underwent CTA and IVUS-VH. On CTA, calcification patterns in plaques were classified as non-calcified, spotty or dense calcifications. Plaques with spotty calcifications were differentiated into small spotty (<1 mm), intermediate spotty (1-3 mm) and large spotty calcifications (≥3 mm). Plaque characteristics deemed more high-risk on IVUS-VH were defined by % necrotic core (NC) and presence of thin cap fibroatheroma (TCFA). Overall, 300 plaques were identified both on CTA and IVUS-VH. % NC core was significantly higher in plaques with small spotty calcifications as compared to non-calcified plaques (20% vs 13%, P = .006). In addition, there was a trend for a higher % NC in plaques with small spotty calcifications than in plaques with intermediate spotty calcifications (20% vs 14%, P = .053). Plaques with small spotty calcifications had the highest % TCFA as compared to large spotty and dense calcifications (31% vs 9% and 31% vs 6%, P < .05).
Plaques with small spotty calcifications on CTA were related to plaque characteristics deemed more high-risk on IVUS-VH. Therefore, CTA may be valuable in the assessment of the vulnerable plaque.
Atherosclerosis; computed tomography (CT); vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque
The aim of this study is to present a new approach for making quantitative single-voxel T2 measurements from an arbitrarily shaped region of interest (ROI), where the advantage of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) per unit time of the single-voxel approach over conventional imaging approach can be achieved.
Materials and methods
Two-dimensional (2D) spatially selective radiofrequency (RF) pulses are proposed in this work for T2 measurements based on using interleaved spiral trajectories in excitation k-space (pinwheel excitation pulses), combined with a summed Carr—Purcell Meiboom—Gill (CPMG) echo acquisition. The technique is described and compared to standard multi-echo imaging methods, on a two-compartment water phantom and an excised brain tissue.
The studies show good agreement between imaging and our method. The measured improvement factors of SNR per unit time of our single-voxel approach over imaging approach are close to the predicted values.
Measuring T2 relaxation times from a selected ROI of arbitrary shape using a single-voxel rather than an imaging approach can increase the SNR per unit time, which is critical for dynamic T2 or multi-component T2 measurements.
T2 measurement; Arbitrary shape localization; Interleaved spiral trajectory in k-space; CPMG
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is widely used in experimental brain research to manipulate brain activity in humans. Next to the intended neural effects, every TMS pulse produces a distinct clicking sound and sensation on the head which can also influence task performance. This necessitates careful consideration of control conditions in order to ensure that behavioral effects of interest can be attributed to the neural consequences of TMS and not to non-neural effects of a TMS pulse. Surprisingly, even though these non-neural effects of TMS are largely unknown, they are often assumed to be unspecific, i.e. not dependent on TMS parameters. This assumption is inherent to many control strategies in TMS research but has recently been challenged on empirical grounds. Here, we further develop the empirical basis of control strategies in TMS research. We investigated the time-dependence and task-dependence of the non-neural effects of TMS and compared real and sham TMS over vertex. Critically, we show that non-neural TMS effects depend on a complex interplay of these factors. Although TMS had no direct neural effects, both pre- and post-stimulus TMS time windows modulated task performance on both a sensory detection task and a cognitive angle judgment task. For the most part, these effects were quantitatively similar across tasks but effect sizes were clearly different. Moreover, the effects of real and sham TMS were almost identical with interesting exceptions that shed light on the relative contribution of auditory and somato-sensory aspects of a TMS pulse. Knowledge of such effects is of critical importance for the interpretation of TMS experiments and helps deciding what constitutes an appropriate control condition. Our results broaden the empirical basis of control strategies in TMS research and point at potential pitfalls that should be avoided.
Proton MR spectroscopic imaging of the human brain at ultra high field (≥7T) is challenging due to increased RF power deposition, increased magnetic field B0 inhomogeneity and increased RF magnetic field inhomogeneity. And, especially for multi-slice sequences, these effects directly inhibit the potential gains of higher magnetic field and can even cause a reduction in data quality. However, recent developments in dynamic B0 magnetic field shimming and dynamic multi-transmit RF control allow for new acquisition strategies. Therefore, in this work slice-by-slice B0 and B1 shimming was developed to optimize both B0 magnetic field homogeneity and nutation angle over a large portion of the brain. Together with a low-power water and lipid suppression sequence and pulse-acquire spectroscopic imaging, a multi-slice MRSI sequence is shown to be feasible at 7T. This now allows for multi-slice metabolic imaging of the human brain with high sensitivity and high chemical shift resolution at ultra high field.
Each year, influenza viruses cause epidemics by evading pre-existing humoral immunity through mutations in the major glycoproteins: the haemagglutinin (HA) and the neuraminidase (NA). In 2004, the antigenic evolution of HA of human influenza A (H3N2) viruses was mapped (Smith et al., Science
305, 371–376, 2004) from its introduction in humans in 1968 until 2003. The current study focused on the genetic evolution of NA and compared it with HA using the dataset of Smith and colleagues, updated to the epidemic of the 2009/2010 season. Phylogenetic trees and genetic maps were constructed to visualize the genetic evolution of NA and HA. The results revealed multiple reassortment events over the years. Overall rates of evolutionary change were lower for NA than for HA1 at the nucleotide level. Selection pressures were estimated, revealing an abundance of negatively selected sites and sparse positively selected sites. The differences found between the evolution of NA and HA1 warrant further analysis of the evolution of NA at the phenotypic level, as has been done previously for HA.
Cross-national variance in smoking prevalence is relatively well documented. The aim of this study is to estimate levels of smoking persistence across 21 countries with a hypothesized inverse relationship between country income level and smoking persistence.
Data from the World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Initiative were used to estimate cross-national differences in smoking persistence–the proportion of adults who started to smoke and persisted in smoking by the date of the survey.
There is large variation in smoking persistence from 25% (Nigeria) to 85% (China), with a random-effects meta-analytic summary estimate of 55% with considerable cross-national variation. (Cochran's heterogeneity Q statistic=6,845; p<0.001). Meta-regressions indicated observed differences are not attributable to differences in country income level, age distribution of smokers, or how recent the onset of smoking began within each country.
While smoking should remain an important public health issue in any country where smokers are present, this report identifies several countries with higher levels of smoking persistence (namely, China and India).
Since the last decade, unusually high honey bee colony losses have been reported mainly in North-America and Europe. Here, we report on a comprehensive bee pathogen screening in Belgium covering 363 bee colonies that were screened for 18 known disease-causing pathogens and correlate their incidence in summer with subsequent winter mortality. Our analyses demonstrate that, in addition to Varroa destructor, the presence of the trypanosomatid parasite Crithidia mellificae and the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae in summer are also predictive markers of winter mortality, with a negative synergy being observed between the two in terms of their effects on colony mortality. Furthermore, we document the first occurrence of a parasitizing phorid fly in Europe, identify a new fourth strain of Lake Sinai Virus (LSV), and confirm the presence of other little reported pathogens such as Apicystis bombi, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus (ALPV), Spiroplasma apis, Spiroplasma melliferum and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus (VdMLV). Finally, we provide evidence that ALPV and VdMLV replicate in honey bees and show that viruses of the LSV complex and Black Queen Cell Virus tend to non-randomly co-occur together. We also noticed a significant correlation between the number of pathogen species and colony losses. Overall, our results contribute significantly to our understanding of honey bee diseases and the likely causes of their current decline in Europe.
Life course theory considers events in study and work as potential turning points in deviance, including illicit drug use. This qualitative study explores the role of occupational life in cannabis use and dependence in young adults. Two and three years after the initial structured interview, 47 at baseline frequent cannabis users were interviewed in-depth about the dynamics underlying changes in their cannabis use and dependence. Overall, cannabis use and dependence declined, including interviewees who quit using cannabis completely, in particular with students, both during their study and after they got employed. Life course theory appeared to be a useful framework to explore how and why occupational life is related to cannabis use and dependence over time. Our study showed that life events in this realm are rather common in young adults and can have a strong impact on cannabis use. While sometimes changes in use are temporary, turning points can evolve from changes in educational and employment situations; an effect that seems to be related to the consequences of these changes in terms of amount of leisure time and agency (i.e., feelings of being in control).
frequent cannabis use; cannabis dependence; young adults; qualitative research; life course approach; longitudinal study; education; employment
Better information on the human capital costs of early-onset mental disorders could increase sensitivity of policy-makers to the value of expanding initiatives for early detection-treatment. Data are presented on one important aspect of these costs: the associations of early-onset mental disorders with adult household income.
Data come from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys in eleven high income, five upper-middle income, and six low/lower-middle income countries. Information about 15 lifetime DSM-IV mental disorders as of age of completing education, retrospectively assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview, was used to predict current household income among respondents ages 18-64 (n = 37,741) controlling for level of education. Gross associations were decomposed to evaluate mediating effects through major components of household income.
Early-onset mental disorders are associated with significantly reduced household income in high and upper-middle income countries but not low/lower-middle income countries, with associations consistently stronger among women than men. Total associations are largely due to low personal earnings (increased unemployment, decreased earnings among the employed) and spouse earnings (decreased probabilities of marriage and, if married, spouse employment and low earnings of employed spouses). Individual-level effect sizes are equivalent to 16-33% of median within-country household income, while population-level effect sizes are in the range 1.0-1.4% of Gross Household Income.
Early mental disorders are associated with substantial decrements in income net of education at both individual and societal levels. Policy-makers should take these associations into consideration in making healthcare research and treatment resource allocation decisions.
epidemiology; mental disorders; early-onset; income; cross-national; WHO World Mental Health (WMH)
Smelt Osmerus eperlanus has two different life history strategies in the Netherlands. The migrating population inhabits the Wadden Sea and spawns in freshwater areas. After the closure of the Afsluitdijk in 1932, part of the smelt population became landlocked. The fresh water smelt population has been in severe decline since 1990, and has strongly negatively impacted the numbers of piscivorous water birds relying on smelt as their main prey. The lakes that were formed after the dike closure, IJsselmeer and Markermeer have been assigned as Natura 2000 sites, based on their importance for (among others) piscivorous water birds. Because of the declining fresh water smelt population, the question arose whether this population is still supported by the diadromous population. Opportunities for exchange between fresh water and the sea are however limited to discharge sluices. The relationship between the diadromous and landlocked smelt population was analysed by means of otolith microchemistry. Our interpretation of otolith strontium (88Sr) patterns from smelt specimens collected in the fresh water area of Lake IJsselmeer and Markermeer, compared to those collected in the nearby marine environment, is that there is currently no evidence for a substantial contribution from the diadromous population to the spawning stock of the landlocked population.
Extracting quantitative information about absolute concentrations from high-resolution 1H NMR spectra of complex mixtures such as brain extracts remains challenging. Partial overlap of resonances complicates integration, whereas simple line fitting algorithms cannot accommodate the spectral complexity of coupled spin-systems. Here it is shown that high-resolution 1H NMR spectra of rat brain extracts from 11 distinct brain regions can be reproducibly quantified using a basis set of 29 compounds. The basis set is simulated with the density matrix formalism using complete prior knowledge of chemical shifts and scalar couplings. A crucial aspect to obtain reproducible results was the inclusion of a line shape distortion common among all 73 resonances of the 29 compounds. All metabolites could be quantified with <10% and <3% inter- and intrasubject variation, respectively.
rat brain extract; spectral fitting; 1H NMR
Interferons (IFN) play a pivotal role in innate immunity, orchestrating a cell-intrinsic anti-pathogenic state and stimulating adaptive immune responses. The complex interplay between the primary response to IFNs and its modulation by positive and negative feedback loops is incompletely understood. Here, we implement the combination of high-resolution gene-expression profiling of nascent RNA with translational inhibition of secondary feedback by cycloheximide. Unexpectedly, this approach revealed a prominent role of negative feedback mechanisms during the immediate (≤60 min) IFNα response. In contrast, a more complex picture involving both negative and positive feedback loops was observed on IFNγ treatment. IFNγ-induced repression of genes associated with regulation of gene expression, cellular development, apoptosis and cell growth resulted from cycloheximide-resistant primary IFNγ signalling. In silico promoter analysis revealed significant overrepresentation of SP1/SP3-binding sites and/or GC-rich stretches. Although signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1)-binding sites were not overrepresented, repression was lost in absence of STAT1. Interestingly, basal expression of the majority of these IFNγ-repressed genes was dependent on STAT1 in IFN-naïve fibroblasts. Finally, IFNγ-mediated repression was also found to be evident in primary murine macrophages. IFN-repressed genes include negative regulators of innate and stress response, and their decrease may thus aid the establishment of a signalling perceptive milieu.
Anti-Hu antibody–associated paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (Hu-PNSs) are severe and often precede the detection of a malignancy, usually small-cell lung cancer. In Hu-PNS, it is hypothesized that neuronal cells are destroyed by T cells targeted against HuD, a protein expressed by small-cell lung cancer cells and neurons. There is only limited evidence for the existence of HuD-specific T cells. To detect these T cells in the blood of Hu-PNS patients, we employed 3 highly sensitive assays that included T cell stimulation with dendritic cells (DCs) to specifically expand the number of any HuD-specific T cells. A total of 17 Hu-PNS patients were tested with 1 or more of the following 3 assays: (1) tetramer staining after stimulation of T cells with conventionally generated DCs (n = 9), (2) interleukin (IL)-13 enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot; n = 3), IL-4 and IL-5 and interferon (IFN)–γ multiplex cytokine bead array (n = 2) to assay cytokine production by T cells after stimulation with conventionally generated DCs, and (iii) IFN-γ ELISpot and tetramer staining after T cell stimulation with accelerated co-cultured DCs (n = 11). No circulating HuD-specific T cells were found. We suggest that either autoaggressive T cells in Hu-PNS are not targeted against HuD or that their numbers in the blood are too low for detection by highly sensitive techniques.
anti-Hu; CD8+ T cell; HuD-specific T cell; immune response; paraneoplastic neurological syndrome
Carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy in combination with 13C-labeled substrate infusion is a powerful technique to measure a large number of metabolic fluxes non-invasively in vivo. It has been used to quantify glycogen synthesis rates, establish quantitative relationships between energy metabolism and neurotransmission and evaluate the importance of different substrates. All measurements can, in principle, be performed through direct 13C NMR detection or via indirect 1H-[13C] NMR detection of the protons attached to 13C nuclei. The choice for detection scheme and pulse sequence depends on the magnetic field strength, whereas substrate selection depends on the metabolic pathways that are studied. 13C NMR spectroscopy remains a challenging technique that requires several non-standard hardware modifications, infusion of 13C-labeled substrates and sophisticated processing and metabolic modeling. Here the various aspects of direct 13C and indirect 1H-[13C] NMR are reviewed with the aim of providing a practical guide.
NMR spectroscopy; direct 13C detection; indirect 1H-[13C] detection; broadband decoupling; RF power deposition; metabolism; metabolic modeling
Previous research showed inconsistent results regarding the relationship between the age of patients and preference statements regarding GP care. This study investigates whether elderly patients have different preference scores and ranking orders concerning 58 preference statements for GP care than younger patients. Moreover, this study examines whether patient characteristics and practice location may confound the relationship between age and the categorisation of a preference score as very important.
Data of the Consumer Quality Index GP Care were used, which were collected in 32 general practices in the Netherlands. The rank order and preference score were calculated for 58 preference statements for four age groups (0–30, 31–50, 51–74, 75 years and older). Using chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses, it was investigated whether a significant relationship between age and preference score was confounded by patient characteristics and practice location.
Elderly patients did not have a significant different ranking order for the preference statements than the other three age groups (r = 0.0193; p = 0.41). However, in 53% of the statements significant differences were found in preference score between the four age groups. Elderly patients categorized significantly less preference statements as ‘very important’. In most cases, the significant relationships were not confounded by gender, education, perceived health, the number of GP contacts and location of the GP practice.
The preferences of elderly patients for GP care concern the same items as younger patients. However, their preferences are less strong, which cannot be ascribed to gender, education, perceived health, the number of GP contacts and practice location.
Preferences; Elderly; GP care
Haemagglutinin is a determinant of many viral properties, and successful adaptation to a human-like form is thought to be an important step toward pandemic influenza emergence. The availability of structurally distinct sialic acid linked receptors in the sites of human and avian influenza infection are generally held to account for the differences observed, but the relevance of other selection pressures has not been elucidated. There is evidence for genetic and structural constraints of haemagglutinin playing a role in restricting haemagglutinin adaptation, and also for differences in the selection pressure to alter binding, specifically when considering virus replication within host compared to transmission between hosts. Understanding which characteristics underlie such adaptations in humans is now possible in greater detail by using glycan arrays. However, results from these assays must also interpreted in context of an as yet still to be determined detailed knowledge of the structural diversity of sialic acids in the human respiratory tract. A clearer understanding of the evolutionary benefits conveyed by different haemagglutinin properties would have substantial impact and would affect the risk we allocate to viral propagation in different species, such as swine and poultry. Relevant to the H5N1 threat, current evidence also suggests that mortality associated with any emergent pandemic from current strains may be reduced if haemagglutinin specificity changes, further emphasising the importance of understanding how and if selection pressures in the human will cause such an alteration.
The link between physical conditions and mental health is poorly understood. Functional disability could explain the association of physical conditions with major depressive episode (MDE) as an intermediary factor.
Data was analyzed from a subsample (N=8,796) of the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD), a cross-sectional general population survey. MDE during the last 12 months was assessed using a revision of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0). Lifetime chronic physical conditions were assessed by self-report. Functional disability was measured using a version of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS). The associations of physical conditions with MDE and explanation by functional disability were quantified using logistic regression.
All physical conditions were significantly associated with MDE. The increases in risk of MDE ranged from 30% for allergy to amply 100% for arthritis and heart disease. When adjusted for physical comorbidity, associations decreased and were no longer statistically significant for allergy and diabetes. Functional disability explained between 17 and 64% of these associations, most substantially for stomach or duodenum ulcer, arthritis and heart disease.
Due to the cross-sectional nature of the study the temporal relationship of the variables could not be assessed and the amount of explanation can not simply be interpreted as the amount of mediation.
Our findings suggest that the association of chronic physical conditions with MDE is partly explained by functional disability. Such explanation is more pronounced for pain causing conditions and heart disease. Health professionals should be particularly aware of the increased risk of depressive disorder when patients experience disability from these conditions.
Major depressive episode; chronic physical conditions; disability
While the adverse effect of Major Depressive Episode on role functioning is well established, the exact pathways remain unclear.
Data from The European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders, a cross-sectional survey including 21 425 adults from six European countries, were used to assess 12-month depression (Composite International Diagnostic Interview), activity limitations and role functioning in the past 30 days (Disability Assessment Schedule). An a priori model based on the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health was designed and a structural equation model for categorical and ordinal data was used (MPlus) to estimate the extent to which six limitations mediated the association between depression and role functioning.
The unadjusted association between depression and role functioning was strong (0.43; SE = 0.04). In the best-fitting model, only concentration and attention problems and embarrassment mediated a significant amount of association (direct effect dropped to 0.17; SE = 0.10, which was no longer significant).
Targeting cognition and embarrassment in treatment could help reduce depression-associated role disfunctioning.
depression; functional limitations; general population; role functioning
In the last 25 years 13C MRS has been established as the only non invasive method for measuring glutamate neurotransmission and cell specific neuroenergetics. Although technically and experimentally challenging 13C MRS has already provided important new information on the relationship between neuroenergetics and neuronal function, energy cost of brain function, the high neuronal activity in the resting brain state, and how neuroenergetics and neurotransmitter cycling are altered in neurological and psychiatric disease. In this paper the current state of 13C MRS as it is applied to study neuroenergetics and neurotransmitter cycling in humans is reviewed. The focus is predominantly on recent findings in humans regarding metabolic pathways, applications to clinical research, and the technical status of the method. Results from in vivo
13C MRS studies in animals are discussed from the standpoint of validation of MRS measurements of neuroenergetics and neurotransmitter cycling and where they have helped identify key questions to address in human research. Controversies concerning the relation of neuroenergetics and neurotransmitter cycling and factors impacting accurate determination of fluxes through mathematical modeling are addressed. We further touch upon different 13C labeled substrates used to study brain metabolism, before reviewing a number of human brain diseases studied using 13C MRS. Future technological developments are discussed that will help to overcome limitations of 13C MRS with special attention on recent developments in hyperpolarized 13C MRS.
The coronary calcium score (CCS) predicts significant coronary artery disease (CAD) in the general population. While moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with high CCS, the use of CCS to predict significant CAD in these patients is unknown.
A total of 704 patients underwent computed tomography coronary angiography for the assessment of CCS and CAD. Sixty-nine (10 %) patients had moderate CKD, defined by an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) between 30 and 59 mL/min/1.73m2, and the remaining patients were considered to be without significant CKD (eGFR ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73m2).
Patients with moderate CKD were older, had a higher CCS, and a higher prevalence of obstructive CAD than patients without significant CKD. Receiver-operator curve analysis showed that CCS predicted the presence of obstructive CAD in both patients with moderate CKD and those without significant CKD. In patients with moderate CKD, the optimal cut-off value of CCS to diagnose obstructive CAD was 140 (sensitivity 73 % and specificity of 70 %), and is 2.8 fold higher than in patients without significant CKD (cut-off value = 50; sensitivity 75 % and specificity 75 %).
The present results demonstrate that CCS can predict obstructive CAD in patients with moderate CKD, although the optimal cut-off value is higher than in patients without significant CKD.
Coronary calcification; Chronic kidney disease; Coronary artery disease
Associations between specific parent and offspring mental disorders are likely to have been overestimated in studies that have failed to control for parent comorbidity.
To examine the associations of parent with respondent disorders.
Data come from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Surveys (n = 51 507). Respondent disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and parent disorders with informant-based Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria interviews.
Although virtually all parent disorders examined (major depressive, generalised anxiety, panic, substance and antisocial behaviour disorders and suicidality) were significantly associated with offspring disorders in multivariate analyses, little specificity was found. Comorbid parent disorders had significant sub-additive associations with offspring disorders. Population-attributable risk proportions for parent disorders were 12.4% across all offspring disorders, generally higher in high- and upper-middle- than low-/lower-middle-income countries, and consistently higher for behaviour (11.0-19.9%) than other (7.1-14.0%) disorders.
Parent psychopathology is a robust non-specific predictor associated with a substantial proportion of offspring disorders.
Oscillations are an important aspect of neuronal activity. Interestingly, oscillatory patterns are also observed in behaviour, such as in visual performance measures after the presentation of a brief sensory event in the visual or another modality. These oscillations in visual performance cycle at the typical frequencies of brain rhythms, suggesting that perception may be closely linked to brain oscillations. We here investigated this link for a prominent rhythm of the visual system (the alpha-rhythm, 8–12 Hz) by applying rhythmic visual stimulation at alpha-frequency (10.6 Hz), known to lead to a resonance response in visual areas, and testing its effects on subsequent visual target discrimination. Our data show that rhythmic visual stimulation at 10.6 Hz: 1) has specific behavioral consequences, relative to stimulation at control frequencies (3.9 Hz, 7.1 Hz, 14.2 Hz), and 2) leads to alpha-band oscillations in visual performance measures, that 3) correlate in precise frequency across individuals with resting alpha-rhythms recorded over parieto-occipital areas. The most parsimonious explanation for these three findings is entrainment (phase-locking) of ongoing perceptually relevant alpha-band brain oscillations by rhythmic sensory events. These findings are in line with occipital alpha-oscillations underlying periodicity in visual performance, and suggest that rhythmic stimulation at frequencies of intrinsic brain-rhythms can be used to reveal influences of these rhythms on task performance to study their functional roles.
This report describes a set of scientific procedures used to assess the impact of foods and food ingredients on the expression of appetite (psychological and behavioural). An overarching priority has been to enable potential evaluators of health claims about foods to identify justified claims, and to exclude claims that are not supported by scientific evidence for the effect cited. This priority follows precisely from the principles set down in the PASSCLAIM report. (4)
The report allows the evaluation of the strength of health claims, about the effects of foods on appetite, which can be sustained on the basis of the commonly used scientific designs and experimental procedures. The report includes different designs for assessing effects on satiation as opposed to satiety,detailed coverage of the extent to which a change in hunger can stand-alone as a measure of appetite control, and an extensive discussion of the statistical procedures appropriate for handling data in this field of research.
Since research in this area is continually evolving, new improved methodologies may emerge over time and will need to be incorporated into the framework. One main objective of the report has been to produce guidance on good practice in carrying out appetite research, and not to set down a series of commandments that must be followed.
appetite; satiety; satiation; hunger; subjective scales