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To date, Ireland has been a leading light in the provision of youth mental health services. However, cognisant of the efforts of governmental and non-governmental agencies working in youth mental health, there is much to be done. Barriers into care as well as discontinuity of care across the spectrum of services remain key challenges. This editorial provides guidance for the next stage of development in youth mental care and support that will require significant national engagement and resource investment.
The unique phenotypic and genetic aspects of obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS) are not well characterized. Here, we examine symptom patterns and heritability of OCD and ADHD in TS families.
OCD and ADHD symptom patterns were examined in TS patients and their family members (N = 3494) using exploratory factor analyses (EFA) for OCD and ADHD symptoms separately, followed by latent class analyses (LCA) of the resulting OCD and ADHD factor sum scores jointly; heritability and clinical relevance of the resulting factors and classes were assessed.
EFA yielded a 2-factor model for ADHD and an 8-factor model for OCD. Both ADHD factors (inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms) were genetically related to TS, ADHD, and OCD. The doubts, contamination, need for sameness, and superstitions factors were genetically related to OCD, but not ADHD or TS; symmetry/exactness and fear-of-harm were associated with TS and OCD while hoarding was associated with ADHD and OCD. In contrast, aggressive urges were genetically associated with TS, OCD, and ADHD. LCA revealed a three-class solution: few OCD/ADHD symptoms (LC1), OCD & ADHD symptoms (LC2), and symmetry/exactness, hoarding, and ADHD symptoms (LC3). LC2 had the highest psychiatric comorbidity rates (⩾50% for all disorders).
Symmetry/exactness, aggressive urges, fear-of-harm, and hoarding show complex genetic relationships with TS, OCD, and ADHD, and, rather than being specific subtypes of OCD, transcend traditional diagnostic boundaries, perhaps representing an underlying vulnerability (e.g. failure of top-down cognitive control) common to all three disorders.
Identifying failure paths and potentially hazardous scenarios resulting from component faults and interactions is a challenge in the early design process. The inherent complexity present in large engineered systems leads to nonobvious emergent behavior, which may result in unforeseen hazards. Current hazard analysis techniques focus on single hazards (fault trees), single faults (event trees), or lists of known hazards in the domain (hazard identification). Early in the design of a complex system, engineers may represent their system as a functional model. A function failure reasoning tool can then exhaustively simulate qualitative failure scenarios. Some scenarios can be identified as hazardous by hazard rules specified by the engineer, but the goal is to identify scenarios representing unknown hazards. The incidences of specific subgraphs in graph representations of known hazardous scenarios are used to train a classifier to distinguish hazard from nonhazard. The algorithm identifies the scenario most likely to be hazardous, and presents it to the engineer. After viewing the scenario and judging its safety, the engineer may have insight to produce additional hazard rules. The collaborative process of strategic presentation of scenarios by the computer and human judgment will identify previously unknown hazards. The feasibility of this methodology has been tested on a relatively simple functional model of an electrical power system with positive results. Related work applying function failure reasoning to a team of robotic rovers will provide data from a more complex system.
Many medications administered to patients with schizophrenia possess anticholinergic properties. When aggregated, pharmacological treatments may result in a considerable anticholinergic burden. The extent to which anticholinergic burden has a deleterious effect on cognition and impairs ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatments is unknown.
Seventy patients were followed for approximately 3 years. The MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB) was administered at baseline. Anticholinergic burden was measured with the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale. Ability to benefit from psychosocial programmes was measured using the DUNDRUM-3 Programme Completion Scale (D-3) at baseline and follow-up. Psychiatric symptoms were measured using the PANSS. Total antipsychotic dose was measured using chlorpromazine equivalents. Functioning was measured using the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
Mediation analysis found that the influence of anticholinergic burden on ability to participate and benefit from psychosocial programmes was completely mediated by the MCCB. For every 1-unit increase on the ACB scale, change scores for DUNDRUM-3 decreased by −0.27 points. This relationship appears specific to anticholinergic burden and not total antipsychotic dose. Moreover, mediation appears to be specific to cognition and not psychopathology. Baseline functioning also acted as mediator but only when MCCB was not controlled for.
Anticholinergic burden has a significant impact on patients’ ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatment programmes. Physicians need to be mindful of the cumulative effect that medications can have on patient cognition, functional capacity and ability to benefit from psychosocial treatments.
Aberrant emotional biases have been reported in bipolar disorder (BD), but results are inconsistent. Despite the clinical relevance of chronic mood variability in BD, there is no previous research investigating how the extent of symptom fluctuations in bipolar disorder might relate to emotional biases. This exploratory study investigated, in a large cohort of bipolar patients, whether instability in weekly mood episode symptoms and other clinical and demographic factors were related to emotional bias as measured in a simple laboratory task.
Participants (N = 271, BDI = 206, BDII = 121) completed an ‘emotional categorization and memory’ task. Weekly self-reported symptoms of depression and mania were collected prospectively. In linear regression analyses, associations between cognitive bias and mood variability were explored together with the influence of demographic and clinical factors, including current medication.
Greater accuracy in the classification of negative words relative to positive words was associated with greater instability in depressive symptoms. Furthermore, greater negative bias in free recall was associated with higher instability in manic symptoms. Participants diagnosed with BDII, compared with BDI, showed overall better word recognition and recall. Current antipsychotic use was associated with reduced instability in manic symptoms but this did not impact on emotional processing performance.
Emotional processing biases in bipolar disorder are related to instability in mood. These findings prompt further investigation into the underpinnings as well as clinical significance of mood instability.
The multi-object spectroscopic facility FOCAP at the Anglo-Australian Telescope has been used to obtain spectra centred at the Ca II IR triplet of 14 stars in the field of the Sextans dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy. This satellite of our own Galaxy was recently discovered by Irwin et al. (1990) from APM measures of UK Schmidt Telescope photographic plates.
The first QSO with a redshift z > 4 was found using a combination of UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) plates and the APM automatic plate measuring machine (Warren et al. 1987a). By continuing to make use of UKST survey plates plus the APM facility we have added substantially to the number of known QSOs with z > 4. A brief description of the general survey technique is presented together with a preliminary discussion of some of the results obtained so far.
Helicobacter pylori infection is a major cause of peptic ulcer and is also associated with chronic gastritis, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, and adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Guidelines have been developed in the United States and Europe (areas with low prevalence) for the diagnosis and management of this infection, including the recommendation to ‘test and treat’ those with dyspepsia. A group of international experts performed a targeted literature review and formulated an expert opinion for evidenced-based benefits and harms for screening and treatment of H. pylori in high-prevalence countries. They concluded that in Arctic countries where H. pylori prevalence exceeds 60%, treatment of persons with H. pylori infection should be limited only to instances where there is strong evidence of direct benefit in reduction of morbidity and mortality, associated peptic ulcer disease and MALT lymphoma and that the test-and-treat strategy may not be beneficial for those with dyspepsia.
We performed a study to determine rates of reinfection in three groups followed for 2 years after successful treatment: American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons living in urban (group 1) and rural (group 2) communities, and urban Alaska non-Native persons (group 3). We enrolled adults diagnosed with H. pylori infection based on a positive urea breath test (13C-UBT). After successful treatment was documented at 2 months, we tested each patient by 13C-UBT at 4, 6, 12 and 24 months. At each visit, participants were asked about medication use, illnesses and risk factors for reinfection. We followed 229 persons for 2 years or until they became reinfected. H. pylori reinfection occurred in 36 persons; cumulative reinfection rates were 14·5%, 22·1%, and 12·0% for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Study participants who became reinfected were more likely to have peptic ulcer disease (P = 0·02), low education level (P = 0·04), or have a higher proportion of household members infected with H. pylori compared to participants who did not become reinfected (P = 0·03). Among all three groups, reinfection occurred at rates higher than those reported for other US populations (<5% at 2 years); rural AI/AN individuals appear to be at highest risk for reinfection.
The development of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is under strong genetic control and there is great interest in the genetic variants that confer increased risk. The Alzheimer's disease risk gene, growth factor receptor bound protein 2-associated protein (GAB2), has been shown to provide a 1.27–1.51 increased odds of developing LOAD for rs7101429 major allele carriers, in case-control analysis. GAB2 is expressed across the brain throughout life, and its role in LOAD pathology is well understood. Recent studies have begun to examine the effect of genetic variation in the GAB2 gene on differences in the brain. However, the effect of GAB2 on the young adult brain has yet to be considered. Here we found a significant association between the GAB2 gene and morphological brain differences in 755 young adult twins (469 females) (M = 23.1, SD = 3.1 years), using a gene-based test with principal components regression (PCReg). Detectable differences in brain morphology are therefore associated with variation in the GAB2 gene, even in young adults, long before the typical age of onset of Alzheimer's disease.
This study explored how meta-worry and intolerance of uncertainty relate to pathological worry, generalised anxiety, obsessive–compulsive disorder, social phobia, and depression. University students (n = 253) completed a questionnaire battery. A series of regression analyses were conducted. The results indicated that meta-worry was associated with GAD, social phobia, obsessive–compulsive, and depressive symptoms. Intolerance of uncertainty was related to GAD, social phobia, and obsessive–compulsive symptoms, but not depressive symptoms. The importance of meta-worry and intolerance of uncertainty as predictors of pathological worry, GAD, social phobia, obsessive–compulsive and depressive symptoms was also examined. Even though both factors significantly predicted the aforementioned symptoms, meta-worry emerged as a stronger predictor of GAD and obsessive compulsive symptoms than did intolerance of uncertainty. Intolerance of uncertainty, compared with meta-worry, appeared as a stronger predictor of social phobia symptoms. Findings emphasise the importance of addressing meta-worry and/or intolerance of uncertainty not only for the assessment and treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), but also obsessive–compulsive disorder, social phobia, and depression.