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Causal inference

Nathaniel Narra, Shinya Abe, Vassil Dimitrov, Riku Nikander, Reijo Kouhia, Harri Sievänen, Jari Hyttinen
The causal relationship between habitual loading and adaptive response in bone morphology is commonly explored by analysing the spatial distribution of mechanically relevant features. In this study, 3D distribution of features in the proximal femur of 91 female athletes (5 exercise loading groups representing habitual loading) is contrasted with 20 controls. A femur specific Ricci-flow based conformal mapping procedure was developed for establishing correspondence among the periosteal surfaces. The procedure leverages the invariance of the conformal mapping method to isometric shape differences to align surfaces in the 2D parametric domain, to produce dense correspondences across an isotopological set of surfaces...
March 19, 2018: Scientific Reports
Chong Liao, Song Wu, Yue-Jia Luo, Qing Guan, Fang Cui
Social decision-making engages traditional decision-making processes (e.g. valuation), as well as social cognition processes (e.g. inferring the affective and mental states of another person). Neuroimaging and neuro-stimulation studies have suggested the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in a variety of social decision-making tasks. Yet no study has investigated the effect of the cortical excitability of mPFC in the decision-making of costly helping behavior. Here, we used tDCS to demonstrate the causal relationship between the cortical excitability of mPFC and costly helping decision-making...
March 14, 2018: Neuroscience Letters
Dipender Gill, Christopher F Brewer, Fabiola Del Greco M, Prasanthi Sivakumaran, Jack Bowden, Nuala A Sheehan, Cosetta Minelli
BACKGROUND: Pubertal timing has psychological and physical sequelae. While observational studies have demonstrated an association between age at menarche and adult body mass index (BMI), confounding makes it difficult to infer causality. METHODS: The Mendelian randomization (MR) technique is not limited by traditional confounding and was used to investigate the presence of a causal effect of age at menarche on adult BMI. MR uses genetic variants as instruments under the assumption that they act on BMI only through age at menarche (no pleiotropy)...
February 26, 2018: International Journal of Obesity: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity
F S Borges, E L Lameu, K C Iarosz, P R Protachevicz, I L Caldas, R L Viana, E E N Macau, A M Batista, M S Baptista
The characterization of neuronal connectivity is one of the most important matters in neuroscience. In this work, we show that a recently proposed informational quantity, the causal mutual information, employed with an appropriate methodology, can be used not only to correctly infer the direction of the underlying physical synapses, but also to identify their excitatory or inhibitory nature, considering easy to handle and measure bivariate time series. The success of our approach relies on a surprising property found in neuronal networks by which nonadjacent neurons do "understand" each other (positive mutual information), however, this exchange of information is not capable of causing effect (zero transfer entropy)...
February 2018: Physical Review. E
Jian Zhang
Transfer entropy from non-uniform embedding is a popular tool for the inference of causal relationships among dynamical subsystems. In this study we present an approach that makes use of low-dimensional conditional mutual information quantities to decompose the original high-dimensional conditional mutual information in the searching procedure of non-uniform embedding for significant variables at different lags. We perform a series of simulation experiments to assess the sensitivity and specificity of our proposed method to demonstrate its advantage compared to previous algorithms...
2018: PloS One
Kaitlin H Wade, Rebecca C Richmond, George Davey Smith
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 15, 2018: British Journal of Sports Medicine
Albert Boada, Mariona Pons-Vigués, Jordi Real, Elisabet Grezner, Bonventura Bolíbar, Carl Llor
INTRODUCTION: Commensal flora of healthy people is becoming an important reservoir of resistant bacteria. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the relationship of previous antibiotic-dispensed and resistance pattern of strains of Staphylococcus aureus in primary care patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in seven primary care centres in Catalonia, Spain, from October 2010 to May 2011, as part of the APRES (The appropriateness of prescribing antibiotics in primary care in Europe concerning antibiotic resistance) study...
December 2018: European Journal of General Practice
Bethany C Bray, John J Dziak, Megan E Patrick, Stephanie T Lanza
Latent class analysis (LCA) has proven to be a useful tool for identifying qualitatively different population subgroups who may be at varying levels of risk for negative outcomes. Recent methodological work has improved techniques for linking latent class membership to distal outcomes; however, these techniques do not adjust for potential confounding variables that may provide alternative explanations for observed relations. Inverse propensity score weighting provides a way to account for many confounders simultaneously, thereby strengthening causal inference of the effects of predictors on outcomes...
March 15, 2018: Prevention Science: the Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research
Petri Kemppainen, Arild Husby
Genome wide association studies have contributed immensely to our understanding of the genetic basis of complex traits. One major conclusion arising from these studies is that most traits are controlled by many loci of small effect, confirming the infinitesimal model of quantitative genetics. A popular approach to test for polygenic architecture involves so called 'chromosome partitioning' where phenotypic variance explained by each chromosome is regressed on the size of the chromosome. First developed for humans, this has now been repeatedly used in other species, but there has been no evaluation of the suitability of this method in species that can differ in their genome characteristics such as number and size of chromosomes...
March 14, 2018: Molecular Ecology Resources
Tom Dudding, Mattias Johansson, Steven J Thomas, Paul Brennan, Richard M Martin, Nicholas J Timpson
Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) is an appealing potential intervention for cancer risk and has been associated with oral and oropharyngeal cancer risk but evidence is inconsistent. The availability of genetic variants, uncorrelated with known confounders, but predictive of 25OHD and genetic data in a large oral and oropharyngeal cancer collaboration aids causal inference when assessing this association. 5,133 oral and oropharyngeal cancer cases and 5,984 controls with genetic data were included in the study...
March 14, 2018: International Journal of Cancer. Journal International du Cancer
Wei Li, Zhichao Jiang, Zhi Geng, Xiao-Hua Zhou
In this paper, we discuss the identifiability and estimation of causal effects of a continuous treatment on a binary response when the treatment is measured with errors and there exists a latent categorical confounder associated with both treatment and response. Under some widely used parametric models, we first discuss the identifiability of the causal effects and then propose an approach for estimation and inference. Our approach can eliminate the biases induced by latent confounding and measurement errors by using only a single instrumental variable...
March 13, 2018: Biometrical Journal. Biometrische Zeitschrift
Cristina Ardura-Garcia, Paul Garner, Philip J Cooper
Introduction: High asthma prevalence in Latin-American cities is thought to be caused by poor hygiene and infections. This contradicts the widely accepted 'hygiene hypothesis' for asthma aetiology. Methods: Systematic review of observational studies evaluating the association between poor hygiene exposures or infections and asthma/wheeze among Latin-American children aged 4-16 years. MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS and CINAHL electronic databases were searched following a predefined strategy to 18 December 2017...
2018: BMJ Open Respiratory Research
Linden Disney-Hogg, Amit Sud, Philip J Law, Alex J Cornish, Ben Kinnersley, Quinn T Ostrom, Karim Labreche, Jeanette E Eckel-Passow, Georgina N Armstrong, Elizabeth B Claus, Dora Il'yasova, Joellen Schildkraut, Jill S Barnholtz-Sloan, Sara H Olson, Jonine L Bernstein, Rose K Lai, Anthony J Swerdlow, Matthias Simon, Per Hoffmann, Markus M Nöthen, Karl-Heinz Jöckel, Stephen Chanock, Preetha Rajaraman, Christoffer Johansen, Robert B Jenkins, Beatrice S Melin, Margaret R Wrensch, Marc Sanson, Melissa L Bondy, Richard S Houlston
BACKGROUND: Obesity and related factors have been implicated as possible aetiological factors for the development of glioma in epidemiological observation studies. We used genetic markers in a Mendelian randomisation framework to examine whether obesity-related traits influence glioma risk. This methodology reduces bias from confounding and is not affected by reverse causation. METHODS: Genetic instruments were identified for 10 key obesity-related risk factors, and their association with glioma risk was evaluated using data from a genome-wide association study of 12,488 glioma patients and 18,169 controls...
March 13, 2018: British Journal of Cancer
Sanne Verkooijen, Nelleke de Vos, Betty J W Bakker-Camu, Susan J T Branje, René S Kahn, Roel A Ophoff, Carolien M Plevier, Marco P M Boks
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of adolescent sleep disturbances and their relation with psychosocial difficulties and health risk behaviours we analysed data of a province-wide health survey (n=16,781). METHODS: Psychosocial difficulties were measured with the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. Additional assessments included self-reported sleep disturbances, suicidality and health risk behaviours including current use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, physical inactivity and compulsive use of multimedia...
March 9, 2018: Academic Pediatrics
Hal S Stern, Daniel Blower, Michael L Cohen, Charles A Czeisler, David F Dinges, Joel B Greenhouse, Feng Guo, Richard J Hanowski, Natalie P Hartenbaum, Gerald P Krueger, Melissa M Mallis, Richard F Pain, Matthew Rizzo, Esha Sinha, Dylan S Small, Elizabeth A Stuart, David H Wegman
This article summarizes the recommendations on data and methodology issues for studying commercial motor vehicle driver fatigue of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study. A framework is provided that identifies the various factors affecting driver fatigue and relating driver fatigue to crash risk and long-term driver health. The relevant factors include characteristics of the driver, vehicle, carrier and environment. Limitations of existing data are considered and potential sources of additional data described...
March 9, 2018: Accident; Analysis and Prevention
John William McKenna, Michael Solis, Frederick Brigham, Reesha Adamson
The majority of students receiving special education services for emotional disturbance (ED) receive a significant amount of instruction in general education classrooms, which emphasizes curriculums based on college and career readiness standards. In turn, those teachers who provide instruction to students with ED in inclusive settings are responsible for using evidence-based practices (EBPs) for those teaching situations in which they exist to meet free appropriate public education (FAPE) mandates. However, the identification of EBPs is a necessary pre-condition to eventual school adoption and teacher use of such practices...
March 1, 2018: Behavior Modification
Wei Yu, Shikha Satendra Singh, Shawna Calhoun, Hui Zhang, Xiahong Zhao, Fengchi Yang
INTRODUCTION: Limited published research has quantified the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) prevalence and its burden in China. This study aimed to fill in the knowledge gap and to evaluate the burden of GAD among adults in urban China. METHODS: This study utilized existing data from the China National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) 2012-2013. Prevalence of self-reported diagnosed and undiagnosed GAD was estimated. Diagnosed and undiagnosed GAD respondents were compared with non-anxious respondents in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), resource utilization, and work productivity and activity impairment using multivariate generalized linear models...
February 21, 2018: Journal of Affective Disorders
Marta Novelo, Armin von Gunten, Gabriel Behr Gomes Jardim, Lucas Spanemberg, Irani Iracema de Lima Argimon, Eduardo L Nogueira
Childhood maltreatment is a risk factor for depression in nonelderly individuals. We investigated the effect of childhood abuse and neglect on the development of geriatric depression and its severity in socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals. A cross-sectional study investigated 449 individuals aged 60-103 years sorted by data using the enrollment list health coverage from the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. The fifteen-item Geriatric Depression Scale was used to assess depression. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire was used to identify emotional and physical neglect, in addition to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse...
March 6, 2018: Child Abuse & Neglect
Bob Rehder
Although many theories of causal cognition are based on causal graphical models, a key property of such models-the independence relations stipulated by the Markov condition-is routinely violated by human reasoners. This article presents three new accounts of those independence violations, accounts that share the assumption that people's understanding of the correlational structure of data generated from a causal graph differs from that stipulated by causal graphical model framework. To distinguish these models, experiments assessed how people reason with causal graphs that are larger than those tested in previous studies...
March 6, 2018: Cognitive Psychology
F Nicole Dijk, Chengjian Xu, Erik Melén, Anne-Elie Carsin, Asish Kumar, Ilja M Nolte, Olena Gruzieva, Goran Pershagen, Neomi S Grotenboer, Olga E M Savenije, Josep Maria Antó, Iris Lavi, Carlota Dobaño, Jean Bousquet, Pieter van der Vlies, Ralf J P van der Valk, Johan C de Jongste, Martijn C Nawijn, Stefano Guerra, Dirkje S Postma, Gerard H Koppelman
Interleukin-1 receptor-like 1 ( IL1RL1 ) is an important asthma gene. (Epi)genetic regulation of IL1RL1 protein expression has not been established. We assessed the association between IL1RL1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), IL1RL1 methylation and serum IL1RL1-a protein levels, and aimed to identify causal pathways in asthma.Associations of IL1RL1 SNPs with asthma were determined in the Dutch Asthma Genome-wide Association Study cohort and three European birth cohorts, BAMSE (Children/Barn, Allergy, Milieu, Stockholm, an Epidemiological survey), INMA (Infancia y Medio Ambiente) and PIAMA (Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy), participating in the Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy study...
March 2018: European Respiratory Journal: Official Journal of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology
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