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Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
Van Lange et al. propose that climate affects violence via its effects on life history. That much is reasonable (and not novel), but their theory lacks causal specificity. Their foundational claim of an association between heat and violence is not well documented, and several findings that the authors themselves cite seem inconsistent with their model, rather than supportive.
With the UK population ageing, deciding upon a satisfactory and sustainable system for the funding of people’s long-term care (LTC) needs has long been a topic of political debate. Phase 1 of the Care Act 2014 (“the Act”) brought in some of the reforms recommended by the Dilnot Commission in 2011. However, the Government announced during 2015 that Phase 2 of “the Act” such as the introduction of a £72,000 cap on Local Authority care costs and a change in the means testing thresholds1 would be deferred until 2020. In addition to this delay, the “freedom and choice” agenda for pensions has come into force. It is therefore timely that the potential market responses to help people pay for their care within the new pensions environment should be considered. In this paper, we analyse whether the proposed reforms meet the policy intention of protecting people from catastrophic care costs, whilst facilitating individual understanding of their potential care funding requirements. In particular, we review a number of financial products and ascertain the extent to which such products might help individuals to fund the LTC costs for which they would be responsible for meeting. We also produce case studies to demonstrate the complexities of the care funding system. Finally, we review the potential impact on incentives for individuals to save for care costs under the proposed new means testing thresholds and compare these with the current thresholds. We conclude that:
∙Although it is still too early to understand exactly how individuals will respond to the pensions freedom and choice agenda, there are a number of financial products that might complement the new flexibilities and help people make provision for care costs.
∙The new care funding system is complex making it difficult for people to understand their potential care costs.
∙The current means testing system causes a disincentive to save. The new means testing thresholds provide a greater level of reward for savers than the existing thresholds and therefore may increase the level of saving for care; however, the new thresholds could still act as a barrier since disincentives still exist.
For the first time, we estimated the population sizes of two swan species and four goose species from observations during the non-breeding period in East Asia. Based on combined counts from South Korea, Japan and China, we estimated the total abundance of these species as follows: 42,000–47,000 Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus; 99,000–141,000 Tundra Swans C. columbianus bewickii; 56,000–98,000 Swan Geese Anser cygnoides; 157,000–194,000 Bean Geese A. fabalis; 231,000–283,000 Greater White-fronted Geese A. albifrons; and 14,000–19,000 Lesser White-fronted Geese A. erythropus. While the count data from Korea and Japan provide a good reflection of numbers present, there remain gaps in the coverage in China, which particularly affect the precision of the estimates for Bean, Greater and Lesser White-fronted Geese as well as Tundra Swans. Lack of subspecies distinction of Bean Geese in China until recently also limits our ability to determine the true status of A. f. middendorffii there, but all indications suggest this population numbers around 18,000 individuals and is in need of urgent attention. The small, highly concentrated and declining numbers of Lesser White-fronted Geese give concern for this species, as do the major declines in Greater White-fronted Geese in China (in contrast to numbers in Japan and Korea, considered to be a separate flyway). In the absence of any demographic data, it is impossible to interpret the causes of these changes in abundance. Improved monitoring, including demographic and tracking studies are required to provide the necessary information to retain populations in favourable conservation status.
The purpose of this paper has been to identify and describe the demographic, social and clinical characteristics of persons admitted to an Irish district lunatic asylum in the late 19th century as exemplified by the records of the Sligo District Lunatic Asylum. Some 21st century comparisons and epidemiological considerations from the same catchment area have been attempted.
The register entries and case books of a series of consecutive admissions to Sligo District Asylum during the decade 1892–1901 were surveyed in the Irish National Archive.
Most admitted patients were of lower socio-economic status, the majority male, poorly literate, unmarried and described as suffering from mania or melancholia. Most were first admissions. The predominant (62.5%) reason given for admission was for assault or threat of assault. These admissions were by order of the Lord Lieutenant as ‘dangerous lunatics’. Although it may be maintained that this admission process was a device of social convenience to maintain the peace and integrity of local communities and the convenience of families, clinical information indicates that the majority of admissions had symptoms of mental disorder recognisable in terms of 21st century psychiatric diagnostics.
In the United States alone, ∼14,000 children are hospitalised annually with acute heart failure. The science and art of caring for these patients continues to evolve. The International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was held on February 4 and 5, 2015. The 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was funded through the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program Endowment, a philanthropic collaboration between All Children’s Hospital and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). Sponsored by All Children’s Hospital Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, the International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit assembled leaders in clinical and scientific disciplines related to paediatric heart failure and created a multi-disciplinary “think-tank”. The purpose of this manuscript is to summarise the lessons from the 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, to describe the “state of the art” of the treatment of paediatric cardiac failure, and to discuss future directions for research in the domain of paediatric cardiac failure.
The mechanical properties of ultrafine-grained aluminum produced by equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) are strongly influenced by strain rate. In this work, an experimental investigation of local strain rate sensitivity as it relates to microstructure was performed using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and digital image correlation. Uniaxial tension tests were carried out at 200 °C and strain rates alternating between 2.5 × 10−5 s−1 and 3.0 × 10−3 s−1. The results demonstrate that the heterogeneous microstructure generated by ECAP has a strong effect on the microstructure scale strain rate sensitivity. Deformation centered at grain boundaries separating regions of banded microstructure exhibits the greatest strain rate sensitivity. Strain rate sensitivity is limited in deformation occurring in regions of microstructure composed of ultrafine grains separated by low-angle grain boundaries. The tensile specimens all failed by shear bands at 200 °C and at room temperature they failed by necking with little plastic deformation apparent outside of the neck.
A combined approach of scanning electron microscopy and digital image correlation was used to examine microstructure-scale strain localization and active deformation mechanisms in ultrafine-grained (UFG) high purity (99.99%) aluminum processed by equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP). The results from tensile tests demonstrate a strong relationship between the heterogeneous microstructure and strain localization. The localized deformation was investigated in areas that contain significantly different microstructural features typical of ECAP processed aluminum. It was found that areas of the UFG microstructure containing primarily low angle grain boundaries deformed by dislocation slip and behaved similarly to a coarse-grained material. The greatest strain localization occurred at high angle grain boundaries (HAGBs) separating distinct microstructure regions and with median surface trace angles of approximately 26.6°. In areas of banded microstructure, shear strain localization as high as 30% and shear displacements of up to 500 nm occurred at the HAGBs separating bands, suggesting grain boundary sliding.
Increasing evidence suggests that autism is associated with abnormal white-matter (WM) anatomy and impaired brain ‘connectivity’. While myelin plays a critical role in synchronized brain communication, its aetiological role in autistic symptoms has only been indirectly addressed by WM volumetric, relaxometry and diffusion tensor imaging studies. A potentially more specific measure of myelin content, termed myelin water fraction (MWF), could provide improved sensitivity to myelin alteration in autism.
We performed a cross-sectional imaging study that compared 14 individuals with autism and 14 age- and IQ-matched controls. T1 relaxation times (T1), T2 relaxation times (T2) and MWF values were compared between autistic subjects, diagnosed using the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R), with current symptoms assessed using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and typical healthy controls. Correlations between T1, T2 and MWF values with clinical measures [ADI-R, ADOS, and the Autism Quotient (AQ)] were also assessed.
Individuals with autism showed widespread WM T1 and MWF differences compared to typical controls. Within autistic individuals, worse current social interaction skill as measured by the ADOS was related to reduced MWF although not T1. No significant differences or correlations with symptoms were observed with respect to T2.
Autistic individuals have significantly lower global MWF and higher T1, suggesting widespread alteration in tissue microstructure and biochemistry. Areas of difference, including thalamic projections, cerebellum and cingulum, have previously been implicated in the disorder; however, this is the first study to specifically indicate myelin alteration in these regions.