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Previous literature has demonstrated a strong association between cigarette smoking, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. This association has not previously been examined in a causal inference framework and could have important implications for suicide prevention strategies.
We aimed to examine the evidence for an association between smoking behaviours (initiation, smoking status, heaviness, lifetime smoking) and suicidal thoughts or attempts by triangulating across observational and Mendelian randomisation analyses.
First, in the UK Biobank, we calculated observed associations between smoking behaviours and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Second, we used Mendelian randomisation to explore the relationship between smoking and suicide attempts and ideation, using genetic variants as instruments to reduce bias from residual confounding and reverse causation.
Our observational analysis showed a relationship between smoking behaviour, suicidal ideation and attempts, particularly between smoking initiation and suicide attempts (odds ratio, 2.07; 95% CI 1.91–2.26; P < 0.001). The Mendelian randomisation analysis and single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis, however, did not support this (odds ratio for lifetime smoking on suicidal ideation, 0.050; 95% CI −0.027 to 0.127; odds ratio on suicide attempts, 0.053; 95% CI, −0.003 to 0.110). Despite past literature showing a positive dose-response relationship, our results showed no clear evidence for a causal effect of smoking on suicidal ideation or attempts.
This was the first Mendelian randomisation study to explore the effect of smoking on suicidal ideation and attempts. Our results suggest that, despite observed associations, there is no clear evidence for a causal effect.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with later depression and there is considerable genetic overlap between them. This study investigated if ADHD and ADHD genetic liability are causally related to depression using two different methods.
First, a longitudinal population cohort design was used to assess the association between childhood ADHD (age 7 years) and recurrent depression in young-adulthood (age 18–25 years) in N = 8310 individuals in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Second, two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses examined relationships between genetic liability for ADHD and depression utilising published Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) data.
Childhood ADHD was associated with an increased risk of recurrent depression in young-adulthood (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.05–1.73). MR analyses suggested a causal effect of ADHD genetic liability on major depression (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.12–1.31). MR findings using a broader definition of depression differed, showing a weak influence on depression (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.02–1.13).
Our findings suggest that ADHD increases the risk of depression later in life and are consistent with a causal effect of ADHD genetic liability on subsequent major depression. However, findings were different for more broadly defined depression.
There is a wealth of literature on the observed association between childhood trauma and psychotic illness. However, the relationship between childhood trauma and psychosis is complex and could be explained, in part, by gene–environment correlation.
The association between schizophrenia polygenic scores (PGS) and experiencing childhood trauma was investigated using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Schizophrenia PGS were derived in each cohort for children, mothers, and fathers where genetic data were available. Measures of trauma exposure were derived based on data collected throughout childhood and adolescence (0–17 years; ALSPAC) and at age 8 years (MoBa).
Within ALSPAC, we found a positive association between schizophrenia PGS and exposure to trauma across childhood and adolescence; effect sizes were consistent for both child or maternal PGS. We found evidence of an association between the schizophrenia PGS and the majority of trauma subtypes investigated, with the exception of bullying. These results were comparable with those of MoBa. Within ALSPAC, genetic liability to a range of additional psychiatric traits was also associated with a greater trauma exposure.
Results from two international birth cohorts indicate that genetic liability for a range of psychiatric traits is associated with experiencing childhood trauma. Genome-wide association study of psychiatric phenotypes may also reflect risk factors for these phenotypes. Our findings also suggest that youth at higher genetic risk might require greater resources/support to ensure they grow-up in a healthy environment.
Smoking prevalence is higher amongst individuals with schizophrenia and depression compared with the general population. Mendelian randomisation (MR) can examine whether this association is causal using genetic variants identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
We conducted two-sample MR to explore the bi-directional effects of smoking on schizophrenia and depression. For smoking behaviour, we used (1) smoking initiation GWAS from the GSCAN consortium and (2) we conducted our own GWAS of lifetime smoking behaviour (which captures smoking duration, heaviness and cessation) in a sample of 462690 individuals from the UK Biobank. We validated this instrument using positive control outcomes (e.g. lung cancer). For schizophrenia and depression we used GWAS from the PGC consortium.
There was strong evidence to suggest smoking is a risk factor for both schizophrenia (odds ratio (OR) 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67–3.08, p < 0.001) and depression (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.71–2.32, p < 0.001). Results were consistent across both lifetime smoking and smoking initiation. We found some evidence that genetic liability to depression increases smoking (β = 0.091, 95% CI 0.027–0.155, p = 0.005) but evidence was mixed for schizophrenia (β = 0.022, 95% CI 0.005–0.038, p = 0.009) with very weak evidence for an effect on smoking initiation.
These findings suggest that the association between smoking, schizophrenia and depression is due, at least in part, to a causal effect of smoking, providing further evidence for the detrimental consequences of smoking on mental health.
Data preservation, reuse, and synthesis are important goals in contemporary archaeological research that have been addressed by the recent collaboration of the Eastern Archaic Faunal Working Group (EAFWG). We used the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) to preserve 60 significant legacy faunal databases from 23 Archaic period archaeological sites located in several contiguous subregions of the interior North American Eastern Woodlands. In order to resolve the problem of synthesizing non-standardized databases, we used the ontology and integration tools available in tDAR to explore comparability and combine datasets so that our research questions about aquatic resource use during the Archaic could be addressed at multiple scales. The challenges of making digital databases accessible for reuse, including the addition of metadata, and of linking disparate data in queryable datasets are significant but worth the effort. Our experience provides one example of how collaborative research may productively resolve problems in making legacy data accessible and usable for synthetic archaeological research.
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) remains a significant public health concern, resulting in excess morbidity, mortality, and costs. Additional insight into the burden of CDI in adults aged <65 years is needed.
A 6-year retrospective cohort study was conducted using data extracted from United States Veterans Health Administration electronic medical records.
Patients aged 18–64 years on January 1, 2011, were followed until incident CDI, death, loss-to-follow-up, or December 31, 2016. CDI was identified by a diagnosis code accompanied by metronidazole, vancomycin, or fidaxomicin therapy, or positive laboratory test. The clinical setting of CDI onset was defined according to 2017 SHEA-IDSA guidelines.
Of 1,073,900 patients, 10,534 had a CDI during follow-up. The overall incidence rate was 177 CDIs per 100,000 person years, rising steadily from 164 per 100,000 person years in 2011 to 189 per 100,000 person years in 2016. Those with a CDI were slightly older (55 vs 51 years) and sicker, with a higher baseline Charlson comorbidity index score (1.4 vs 0.5) than those without an infection. Nearly half (48%) of all incident CDIs were community associated, and this proportion rose from 41% in 2011 to 56% in 2016.
The findings from this large retrospective study indicate that CDI incidence, driven primarily by increasing community-associated infection, is rising among young and middle-aged adult Veterans with high service-related disability. The increasing burden of community associated CDI in this vulnerable population warrants attention. Future studies quantifying the economic and societal burden of CDI will inform decisions surrounding prevention strategies.
Jadeite artefacts at Maya sites are normally associated with ritual and ceremonial locations, with high-quality jadeite reserved for elite objects. The discovery of a jadeite gouge with a wooden handle at a Classic Maya salt-working site submerged by sea-level rise—Ek Way Nal, Belize—is therefore unexpected and provides new information about the utilitarian use of this stone. The extremely high quality of this jadeite tool is particularly surprising, offering new insight into the Classic Maya exchange systems and the role of salt makers such as those based at Ek Way Nal.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: People with metabolically abnormal obesity (MAO), defined as those with insulin resistance and high intrahepatic triglyceride, are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Weight loss through reduced energy intake and increased physical activity has profound impacts on improving cardiometabolic function. However, the specific additional effects of exercise training with diet-induced weight loss on metabolic function are equivocal. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: A comparative trial is ongoing in MAO adults undergoing 8-10% weight loss induced by a very-low fat plant-based (PB) diet with structured exercise training (n=8) compared to the same weight loss induced by the PB diet alone (n=3). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Preliminary results indicate that, PB diet with or without exercise training results in significant weight loss concomitant with enhanced insulin sensitivity, reduced intrahepatic triglyceride, reduced 24-hour postprandial glucose response, reduced fat mass, and reduced diastolic blood pressure. Those undergoing PB diet with exercise training had greater improvements in muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness than those undergoing PB diet alone. Differences between intervention groups for other cardiometabolic measures are not yet known. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Each of the interventions resulted in improved cardiometabolic measures; however the extent of the differences between the interventions is not yet clear. It is hypothesized that compared with weight loss induced by a PB diet, the same weight loss induced by a PB diet and structured exercise training will i) cause greater improvement in skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, ii) will attenuate the usual decline in muscle mass while increasing strength, and iii) result in greater increases in left ventricular diastolic function. The long-term objective of this proposal is to provide a foundation for future studies evaluating mechanisms for the effects of exercise in cardiometabolic disease prevention and therapy.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with risk of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by varying degrees of cognitive impairment, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. However, the effects of many individual CNVs in carriers without neurodevelopmental disorders are not yet fully understood, and little is known about the effects of reciprocal copy number changes of known pathogenic loci.
We aimed to analyse the effect of CNV carrier status on cognitive performance and measures of occupational and social outcomes in unaffected individuals from the UK Biobank.
We called CNVs in the full UK Biobank sample and analysed data from 420 247 individuals who passed CNV quality control, reported White British or Irish ancestry and were not diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. We analysed 33 pathogenic CNVs, including their reciprocal deletions/duplications, for association with seven cognitive tests and four general measures of functioning: academic qualifications, occupation, household income and Townsend Deprivation Index.
Most CNVs (24 out of 33) were associated with reduced performance on at least one cognitive test or measure of functioning. The changes on the cognitive tests were modest (average reduction of 0.13 s.d.) but varied markedly between CNVs. All 12 schizophrenia-associated CNVs were associated with significant impairments on measures of functioning.
CNVs implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, are associated with cognitive deficits, even among unaffected individuals. These deficits may be subtle but CNV carriers have significant disadvantages in educational attainment and ability to earn income in adult life.
High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.
Despite the well-documented association between smoking and personality traits such as neuroticism and extraversion, little is known about the potential causal nature of these findings. If it were possible to unpick the association between personality and smoking, it may be possible to develop tailored smoking interventions that could lead to both improved uptake and efficacy.
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified variants robustly associated with both smoking phenotypes and personality traits. Here we use publicly available GWAS summary statistics in addition to individual-level data from UK Biobank to investigate the link between smoking and personality. We first estimate genetic overlap between traits using LD score regression and then use bidirectional Mendelian randomisation methods to unpick the nature of this relationship.
We found clear evidence of a modest genetic correlation between smoking behaviours and both neuroticism and extraversion. We found some evidence that personality traits are causally linked to certain smoking phenotypes: among current smokers each additional neuroticism risk allele was associated with smoking an additional 0.07 cigarettes per day (95% CI 0.02–0.12, p = 0.009), and each additional extraversion effect allele was associated with an elevated odds of smoking initiation (OR 1.015, 95% CI 1.01–1.02, p = 9.6 × 10−7).
We found some evidence for specific causal pathways from personality to smoking phenotypes, and weaker evidence of an association from smoking initiation to personality. These findings could be used to inform future smoking interventions or to tailor existing schemes.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Identifying prenatal environmental factors that have genuinely causal effects on psychopathology is an important research priority, but it is crucial to select an appropriate research design. In this review we explain why and what sorts of designs are preferable and focus on genetically informed/sensitive designs. In the field of developmental psychopathology, causal inferences about prenatal risks have not always been based on evidence generated from appropriate designs. We focus on reported links between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or conduct problems. Undertaking a systematic review of findings from genetically informed designs and “triangulating” evidence from studies with different patterns of bias, we conclude that at present findings suggest it is unlikely that there is a substantial causal effect of maternal smoking in pregnancy on either attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or conduct problems. In contrast, for offspring birth weight (which serves as a positive control) findings strongly support a negative causal effect of maternal smoking in pregnancy. For maternal pregnancy stress, too few studies use genetically sensitive designs to draw firm conclusions, but continuity with postnatal stress seems important. We highlight the importance of moving beyond observational designs, for systematic evaluation of the breadth of available evidence and choosing innovative designs. We conclude that a broader set of prenatal risk factors should be examined, including those relevant in low- and middle-income contexts. Future directions include a greater use of molecular genetically informed designs such as Mendelian randomization to test causal hypotheses about prenatal exposure and offspring outcome.
Psychoses, especially schizophrenia, are often preceded by cognitive deficits and psychosis risk states. Altered metabolic profiles have been found in schizophrenia. However, the associations between metabolic profiles and poorer cognitive performance and psychosis risk in the population remain to be determined.
Detailed molecular profiles were measured for up to 8976 individuals from two general population-based prospective birth cohorts: the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC 1986) and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). A high-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy platform was used to quantify 70 metabolic measures at age 15–16 years in the NFBC 1986 and at ages 15 and 17 years in ALSPAC. Psychosis risk was assessed using the PROD-screen questionnaire at age 15–16 years in the NFBC 1986 or the psychotic-like symptoms assessment at age 17 years in ALSPAC. Cognitive measures included academic performance at age 16 years in both cohorts and general intelligence and executive function in ALSPAC. Logistic regression measured cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between metabolic measures and psychosis risk and cognitive performance, controlling for important covariates.
Seven metabolic measures, primarily fatty acid (FA) measures, showed cross-sectional associations with general cognitive performance, four across both cohorts (low density lipoprotein diameter, monounsaturated FA ratio, omega-3 ratio and docosahexaenoic acid ratio), even after controlling for important mental and physical health covariates. Psychosis risk showed minimal metabolic associations.
FA ratios may be important in marking risk for cognitive deficits in adolescence. Further research is needed to clarify whether these biomarkers could be causal and thereby possible targets for intervention.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
Caring for persons with dementia (PWD) can create “caregiver burden,” which is associated with negative outcomes for caregivers and PWD. The ZBI (Zarit Burden Interview) is a widely used unitary measure of caregiver burden. However, recent research has found caregiver burden to be multi-dimensional. The purpose of this study was to explore the factor structure of the ZBI within a sample of UK caregivers. A secondary aim was to identify variables that predicted burden dimensions found.
A total of 110 unpaid community caregivers of PWD completed the ZBI. They also completed the EACQ (Experiential Avoidance in Caregiving Questionnaire), DEX (Dysexecutive Questionnaire), PACS (Positive Aspects of Caregiving Scale), and a demographic questionnaire. ZBI data were analyzed via exploratory factor analysis (principal axis factoring). Relationships between burden factors and other variables were studied using Pearson correlations and multiple regression.
Analysis identified three burden factors, namely direct impact of caregiving, uncertainty around the future, and frustration/embarrassment. A direct impact of caregiving and frustration/embarrassment has been found previously. Uncertainty over the future is a new factor, which was predicted by adult-child caregiver role, highlighting that spouses and adult children are likely to have different burden experiences. Additionally, uncertainty over the future and frustration/embarrassment were inversely predicted by PACS, suggesting that being mindful of positive aspects of caregiving may function as a protective factor for burden.
This study found caregiver burden to be multi-dimensional and uncovered a novel factor in uncertainty over the future, which warrants further exploration. Burden factors were associated with a range of modifiable variables that could be targeted within health and social care interventions to improve outcomes for caregivers and PWD.
There is strong evidence that people born in winter and in spring have a small increased risk of schizophrenia. As this ‘season of birth’ effect underpins some of the most influential hypotheses concerning potentially modifiable risk exposures, it is important to exclude other possible explanations for the phenomenon.
Here we sought to determine whether the season of birth effect reflects gene-environment confounding rather than a pathogenic process indexing environmental exposure. We directly measured, in 136 538 participants from the UK Biobank (UKBB), the burdens of common schizophrenia risk alleles and of copy number variants known to increase the risk for the disorder, and tested whether these were correlated with a season of birth.
Neither genetic measure was associated with season or month of birth within the UKBB sample.
As our study was highly powered to detect small effects, we conclude that the season of birth effect in schizophrenia reflects a true pathogenic effect of environmental exposure.