Aging baby boomers are expected to provide a large reservoir for the nonprofit sector. We find evidence which while broadly supportive of this idea also suggest limitations as to what can realistically be expected. Using data from the third (2017) wave of the Norwegian life-course, aging, and generation study (n = 2,993, age 53-71), we find that a sizable proportion is already engaged (65-68% in the past year) and around half of non-volunteers (from 58% among the youngest to 43% among the oldest) express interest in volunteering. However, most volunteering is sporadic and less than half of volunteers participate on a weekly basis. Furthermore, most of the non-volunteers who express interest seem unlikely to realize their interest as they simultaneously report important motivational and ability-related barriers to volunteering. A further challenge is that few boomers are willing to make a major commitment to volunteering. Findings suggest that to mobilize boomers, nonprofit organizations need to accommodate more self-interested and ?exible forms of involvement.
Several lines of evidence support the theory of schizophrenia (SZ) being a neurodevelopmental disorder. The structural, cytoarchitectural and functional brain abnormalities reported in patients with SZ, might be due to aberrant neuronal migration, since the final position of neurons affects neuronal function, morphology, and formation of synaptic connections. We have investigated the putative association between SZ and gene variants engaged in the neuronal migration process, by performing an association study on 839 cases and 1,473 controls of Scandinavian origin. Using a gene-wide approach, tagSNPs in 18 candidate genes have been genotyped, with gene products involved in the neuron-to-glial cell adhesion, interactions with the DISC1 protein and/or rearrangements of the cytoskeleton. Of the 289 markers tested, 19 markers located in genes MDGA1, RELN, ITGA3, DLX1, SPARCL1, and ASTN1, attained nominal significant P-values (P
The phosphodiesterase 4B (PDE4B), which is involved in cognitive function in animal models, is a candidate susceptibility gene for schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BP). Variations in PDE4B have previously been associated with SZ, with a suggested gender-specific effect. We have genotyped and analyzed 40 and 72 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) in SZ and BP multicenter samples, respectively, from the Scandinavian Collaboration on Psychiatric Etiology (SCOPE), involving 837 SZ cases and 1,473 controls plus 594 BP cases and 1,421 partly overlapping controls. Six and 16 tagSNPs were nominally associated (0.0005
Protein encoding genes have long been the major targets for research in schizophrenia genetics. However, with the identification of regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) as important in brain development and function, miRNAs genes have emerged as candidates for schizophrenia-associated genetic factors. Indeed, the growing understanding of the regulatory properties and pleiotropic effects that miRNA have on molecular and cellular mechanisms, suggests that alterations in the interactions between miRNAs and their mRNA targets may contribute to phenotypic variation.
We have studied the association between schizophrenia and genetic variants of miRNA genes associated with brain-expression using a case-control study design on three Scandinavian samples. Eighteen known SNPs within or near brain-expressed miRNAs in three samples (Danish, Swedish and Norwegian: 420/163/257 schizophrenia patients and 1006/177/293 control subjects), were analyzed. Subsequently, joint analysis of the three samples was performed on SNPs showing marginal association. Two SNPs rs17578796 and rs1700 in hsa-mir-206 (mir-206) and hsa-mit-198 (mir-198) showed nominal significant allelic association to schizophrenia in the Danish and Norwegian sample respectively (P = 0.0021 & p = 0.038), of which only rs17578796 was significant in the joint sample. In-silico analysis revealed that 8 of the 15 genes predicted to be regulated by both mir-206 and mir-198, are transcriptional targets or interaction partners of the JUN, ATF2 and TAF1 connected in a tight network. JUN and two of the miRNA targets (CCND2 and PTPN1) in the network have previously been associated with schizophrenia.
We found nominal association between brain-expressed miRNAs and schizophrenia for rs17578796 and rs1700 located in mir-206 and mir-198 respectively. These two miRNAs have a surprising large number (15) of targets in common, eight of which are also connected by the same transcription factors.
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The main objective of the study was to find combinations of genetic variants significantly associated with bipolar disorder. In a previous study of bipolar disorder, combinations of three single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes taken from 803 SNPs were analyzed, and four clusters of combinations were found to be significantly associated with bipolar disorder. In the present study, combinations of four SNP genotypes taken from the same 803 SNPs were analyzed, and one cluster of combinations was found to be significantly associated with bipolar disorder. Combinations from the new cluster and from the four previous clusters were identified in the genomes of 209 of the 607 patients in the study whereas none of the 1355 control participants had any of these combinations in their genome.
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Communication about contraception and specific knowledge of oral contraceptives (OCs) were examined in a sample (n = 4,650) of Norwegian high school students. Data were collected through a 44-item questionnaire especially developed for the study. The response rate was 73% and data from a total of 1,714 girls and 1,389 boys were eligible for analyses. More females (83%) than males (54%) discussed contraception at least monthly. Discussions were predominantly held with peers and not adults. Females were far more knowledgeable about OCs than males. Respondents knew more about side effects and the pill's relative efficacy than about risks of cancer and tromboembolism. The most significant predictors of high knowledge scores were gender and OC use (females). Also predictive of high knowledge scores were frequent discussions about contraception with peers. Talks about contraception with health workers were unrelated to knowledge scores.
In two recent studies 10 copy number variants (CNV) were found to be overrepresented either among patients suffering from affective disorders in an Amish family or in the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium study. Here, we investigate if these variants are associated with affective disorders in a combined analysis of three case-control samples from Denmark, Norway and Iceland. A total of 1897 cases (n=1223 unipolar and n=463 bipolar) and 11 231 controls were analyzed for CNVs at the 10 genomic loci, but we found no combined association between these CNVs and affective disorders.
Research has long demonstrated that loneliness is a key risk factor for poor health. However, less is known about the development and predictors of loneliness across later adulthood. We examined these questions using two-wave data obtained 5 years apart in the population-based Norwegian NorLAG study (N = 5,555; age 40-80 years; 51% women). We considered direct measures of loneliness (asking directly about feeling lonely) and indirect measures (avoiding the term loneliness) and linked them to self-report data on personality and contact with friends, and to register data on socioeconomic (education, income, unemployment), physical health (sick leave, lifetime history of disability), and social factors (children, marriage/cohabitation, lifetime history of divorce and widowhood). Results indicated that levels of loneliness increased steadily for women, whereas men's levels followed a U-shaped curve, with highest loneliness at ages 40 and 80. At age 40, loneliness declined between the two data waves, but with increasing age the decrease abated and turned into increases when loneliness was measured indirectly. Disability, no spouse/cohabiting partner, widowhood, and little contact with friends were each associated with more loneliness. Similarly, people high in emotional stability and extraversion reported less loneliness and experienced steeper loneliness declines on one or both loneliness measures. We take our results to illustrate the utility of combining self-report and register data and conclude that the development of loneliness across the second half of life is associated with both individual difference characteristics and aspects of social embedding. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying our findings and consider practical implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
We compared the rate of fatal accidents among Danes with multiple sclerosis (MS) with that of the general population. The study was based on linkage of the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry to the Cause of Death Registry and covered all 10174 persons in whom MS was diagnosed during the period 1953-1996. The end of follow-up was 1 January 1999. We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for various types of fatal accidents. A total of 76 persons (48 men and 28 women) died from accidents, whereas the expected number of fatalities from such causes was 55.7 (31.4 men and 24.3 women). Thus, the risk for death from accidents among persons with MS was 37% higher than that of the general population (SMR = 1.37). We found no significant excess risk for fatal road accidents (SMR = 0.80). The risk for falls was elevated (SMR = 1.29) but not statistically significantly so. The risks were particularly high for deaths from burns (SMR = 8.90) and suffocation (SMR = 5.57). We conclude that persons with MS are more prone to fatal accidents than the general population. The excess risk is due not to traffic accidents but to burns and suffocation.
Despite its estimated high heritability, the genetic architecture leading to differences in cognitive performance remains poorly understood. Different cortical regions play important roles in normal cognitive functioning and impairment. Recently, we reported on sets of regionally enriched genes in three different cortical areas (frontomedial, temporal and occipital cortices) of the adult rat brain. It has been suggested that genes preferentially, or specifically, expressed in one region or organ reflect functional specialisation. Employing a gene-based approach to the analysis, we used the regionally enriched cortical genes to mine a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the Norwegian Cognitive NeuroGenetics (NCNG) sample of healthy adults for association to nine psychometric tests measures. In addition, we explored GWAS data sets for the serious psychiatric disorders schizophrenia (SCZ) (n = 3 samples) and bipolar affective disorder (BP) (n = 3 samples), to which cognitive impairment is linked.
At the single gene level, the temporal cortex enriched gene RAR-related orphan receptor B (RORB) showed the strongest overall association, namely to a test of verbal intelligence (Vocabulary, P = 7.7E-04). We also applied gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) to test the candidate genes, as gene sets, for enrichment of association signal in the NCNG GWAS and in GWASs of BP and of SCZ. We found that genes differentially expressed in the temporal cortex showed a significant enrichment of association signal in a test measure of non-verbal intelligence (Reasoning) in the NCNG sample.
Our gene-based approach suggests that RORB could be involved in verbal intelligence differences, while the genes enriched in the temporal cortex might be important to intellectual functions as measured by a test of reasoning in the healthy population. These findings warrant further replication in independent samples on cognitive traits.