60 research outputs found

    Human Trafficking and Foreign Policy: An Introduction

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    [Excerpt] Human trafficking (also known as trafficking in persons) refers to the subjection of men, women, or children to exploitative conditions that may be tantamount to modern-day slavery. From a foreign policy perspective, human trafficking can be viewed as a human rights problem, a manifestation of transnational organized crime, and a violation of core international labor standards. Human trafficking also raises economic development, international migration, and global governance and security issues, and disproportionately victimizes vulnerable populations. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA, Division A of P.L. 106-386; 22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.) defined “severe forms of trafficking in persons” to include sex trafficking induced by force, fraud, or coercion, child sex trafficking (under 18 years of age), and forced labor trafficking. The latter involves the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person—induced by force, fraud, or coercion—for the purpose of subjecting that person, including a child, to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery

    Rare coding variants in PLCG2, ABI3, and TREM2 implicate microglial-mediated innate immunity in Alzheimer's disease

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    We identified rare coding variants associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in a 3-stage case-control study of 85,133 subjects. In stage 1, 34,174 samples were genotyped using a whole-exome microarray. In stage 2, we tested associated variants (P<1×10-4) in 35,962 independent samples using de novo genotyping and imputed genotypes. In stage 3, an additional 14,997 samples were used to test the most significant stage 2 associations (P<5×10-8) using imputed genotypes. We observed 3 novel genome-wide significant (GWS) AD associated non-synonymous variants; a protective variant in PLCG2 (rs72824905/p.P522R, P=5.38×10-10, OR=0.68, MAFcases=0.0059, MAFcontrols=0.0093), a risk variant in ABI3 (rs616338/p.S209F, P=4.56×10-10, OR=1.43, MAFcases=0.011, MAFcontrols=0.008), and a novel GWS variant in TREM2 (rs143332484/p.R62H, P=1.55×10-14, OR=1.67, MAFcases=0.0143, MAFcontrols=0.0089), a known AD susceptibility gene. These protein-coding changes are in genes highly expressed in microglia and highlight an immune-related protein-protein interaction network enriched for previously identified AD risk genes. These genetic findings provide additional evidence that the microglia-mediated innate immune response contributes directly to AD development

    The genetic architecture of the human cerebral cortex

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    The cerebral cortex underlies our complex cognitive capabilities, yet little is known about the specific genetic loci that influence human cortical structure. To identify genetic variants that affect cortical structure, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of brain magnetic resonance imaging data from 51,665 individuals. We analyzed the surface area and average thickness of the whole cortex and 34 regions with known functional specializations. We identified 199 significant loci and found significant enrichment for loci influencing total surface area within regulatory elements that are active during prenatal cortical development, supporting the radial unit hypothesis. Loci that affect regional surface area cluster near genes in Wnt signaling pathways, which influence progenitor expansion and areal identity. Variation in cortical structure is genetically correlated with cognitive function, Parkinson's disease, insomnia, depression, neuroticism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Quantitative 18F-AV1451 Brain Tau PET Imaging in Cognitively Normal Older Adults, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer's Disease Patients

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    Recent developments of tau Positron Emission Tomography (PET) allows assessment of regional neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) deposition in human brain. Among the tau PET molecular probes, 18F-AV1451 is characterized by high selectivity for pathologic tau aggregates over amyloid plaques, limited non-specific binding in white and gray matter, and confined off-target binding. The objectives of the study are (1) to quantitatively characterize regional brain tau deposition measured by 18F-AV1451 PET in cognitively normal older adults (CN), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and AD participants; (2) to evaluate the correlations between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers or Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and 18F-AV1451 PET standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR); and (3) to evaluate the partial volume effects on 18F-AV1451 brain uptake.Methods: The study included total 115 participants (CN = 49, MCI = 58, and AD = 8) from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Preprocessed 18F-AV1451 PET images, structural MRIs, and demographic and clinical assessments were downloaded from the ADNI database. A reblurred Van Cittertiteration method was used for voxelwise partial volume correction (PVC) on PET images. Structural MRIs were used for PET spatial normalization and region of interest (ROI) definition in standard space. The parametric images of 18F-AV1451 SUVR relative to cerebellum were calculated. The ROI SUVR measurements from PVC and non-PVC SUVR images were compared. The correlation between ROI 18F-AV1451 SUVR and the measurements of MMSE, CSF total tau (t-tau), and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) were also assessed.Results:18F-AV1451 prominently specific binding was found in the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, parahippocampus, fusiform, posterior cingulate, temporal, parietal, and frontal brain regions. Most regional SUVRs showed significantly higher uptake of 18F-AV1451 in AD than MCI and CN participants. SUVRs of small regions like amygdala, entorhinal cortex and parahippocampus were statistically improved by PVC in all groups (p &lt; 0.01). Although there was an increasing tendency of 18F-AV-1451 SUVRs in MCI group compared with CN group, no significant difference of 18F-AV1451 deposition was found between CN and MCI brains with or without PVC (p &gt; 0.05). Declined MMSE score was observed with increasing 18F-AV1451 binding in amygdala, entorhinal cortex, parahippocampus, and fusiform. CSF p-tau was positively correlated with 18F-AV1451 deposition. PVC improved the results of 18F-AV-1451 tau deposition and correlation studies in small brain regions.Conclusion: The typical deposition of 18F-AV1451 tau PET imaging in AD brain was found in amygdala, entorhinal cortex, fusiform and parahippocampus, and these regions were strongly associated with cognitive impairment and CSF biomarkers. Although more deposition was observed in MCI group, the 18F-AV-1451 PET imaging could not differentiate the MCI patients from CN population. More tau deposition related to decreased MMSE score and increased level of CSF p-tau, especially in ROIs of amygdala, entorhinal cortex and parahippocampus. PVC did improve the results of tau deposition and correlation studies in small brain regions and suggest to be routinely used in 18F-AV1451 tau PET quantification