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Altered levels of phenylalanine and its metabolites in blood and cerebrospinal fluid have previously been reported in schizophrenia. This study attempted to examine whether phenylalanine kinetics is altered in schizophrenia using the 13C-phenylalanine breath test (13C-PBT).
Subjects were 20 patients with schizophrenia and the same number of controls. 13C-phenylalanine was administered and then 13CO2 concentration in breath was monitored for 120 minutes. The Δ 13CO2 at each collecting time, the maximal Δ 13CO2 (Cmax), the time to reach Cmax (Tmax), the area under the curve of time course of Δ13CO2 (AUC), the cumulative recovery rate (CRR) at each collecting time of the 13C-PBT were calculated for each subject.
Body weight (BW) and diagnostic status were significant predictors for Cmax. BW, age and diagnostic status were significant predictors for AUC and CRR at 120 minutes (CRR0-120). A repeated measures ANCOVA controlling for age and BW revealed a different pattern of change in CRR over time between the patients and controls and that Δ13CO2 in schizophrenia were lower than that in healthy control at all sampling point during 120 min, with an overall significant differences between healthy control and schizophrenia. The ANCOVA controlling for age and BW, showed that Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 were significantly lower in schizophrenics than in controls.
Our data indicate the different change of Δ13CO2 and CRR over time and the decreased Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 of 13C-PBT in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls, suggesting the altered phenylalanine kinetics in schizophrenia.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often presents as an impairing lifelong condition in adults, yet it is currently under-diagnosed and under-treated in many European countries.
To establish the characteristics of the European (EU) adult ADHD patient relative to adult patients outside the EU (OEU).
To compare the baseline characteristics of patients with ADHD in regions where adult ADHD is relatively well established (e.g., USA), with EU adult ADHD patients.
Baseline data was used from the open-label acute treatment period of a multicenter, randomized, withdrawal trial of atomoxetine in adult patients with ADHD (N = 2017; EU, n = 1217; OEU, n = 800). All enrolled patients were included in the baseline analyses.
The demographics for patients in the EU region and regions OEU were comparable. Patients in the EU region had a somewhat lower percentage of prior exposure to psychostimulants compared to the region OEU (32.7% versus 38.9%, p = .005). Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scale-Investigator Rated: Screening Version with adult ADHD prompts (18 item total, inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive subscales, and index) were comparable. The adult ADHD Quality of Life life outlook and life productivity domain scores were different between groups (p ≤ .0004). The EuroQol-5 Dimension UK and US population-based Index score, and health state score were comparable between groups.
There were some subtle differences between study groups; however, overall, the adult ADHD patients were not substantially different between the EU region and regions OEU, suggesting that baseline features of ADHD in adult EU patients manifest comparable to those in patients OEU.
The Keio Twin Research Center (KoTReC) was established in 2009 at Keio University to combine two longitudinal cohort projects — the Keio Twin Study (KTS) for adolescence and adulthood and the Tokyo Twin Cohort Project (ToTCoP) for infancy and childhood. KoTReC also conducted a two-time panel study of self-control and psychopathology in twin adolescence in 2012 and 2013 and three independent anonymous cross-sectional twin surveys (ToTcross) before 2012 — the ToTCross, the Junior and Senior High School Survey and the High School Survey. This article introduces the recent research designs of KoTReC and its publications.
We explored the factors promoting long-term mental health among adolescent survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. We examined the associations of their long-term mental health with disaster-related storytelling and school-based psychoeducation, and of school-based psychoeducation with disaster-related storytelling.
A secondary school-based cross-sectional survey was conducted 6 years after the disaster. Participants with traumatic experiences such as injury, loss, witnessing someone's death/injury and home destruction (N = 1028, mean age 15, standard deviation 1.38, male 51%) were eligible. Mental health/disaster education (MHE/DE) was defined as taking one or more lessons in MHE and/or DE at school since the earthquake. Experiences of storytelling about the disaster involved expressing distressing memories and feelings regarding the earthquake since the disaster happened, according to four groups: never expressed distressing memories and feelings, expressed them through writing/drawing, expressed them through talking to lay supporters and expressed them through talking to health professionals. Analysis of covariance was used to compare mean scores on five selected subscales of the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90), the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) and the Psychotic-Like Experiences (PLEs) scale among the four storytelling groups. Linear regression analysis was used to identify the relationships between MHE/DE and current mental health as measured by the SCL-90, AIS and PLEs. The relationship between education and storytelling was probed by χ2 test.
The talked-to-lay-supporters group showed better mental health on the SCL-90 (p ⩽ 0.001), AIS (p < 0.001) and PLEs (p = 0.004), while the consulted-health-professionals group showed worse mental health on the three dimensions of the SCL-90: depression (p = 0.05), anxiety (p = 0.02) and fear (p = 0.04), and on PLEs (p = 0.02) compared with the never-expressed group. MHE and DE were inversely associated with SCL-90, AIS and PLE scores. Participants who received these forms of education talked about their disaster experiences to lay supporters more than those who did not.
MHE and DE at school may promote adolescents’ mental health after a disaster. Experience of storytelling about the disaster to lay supporters may be helpful for long-term psychological recovery, and may be a potential mediating factor for school-based education and better mental health. Because of the cross-sectional nature of this study, causality cannot be inferred; therefore, further prospective intervention studies are needed to elucidate the effect of these factors on adolescent survivors’ mental health.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
It is thought that protoplanets formed in protoplanetary disks excite the orbital motion of the surrounding planetesimals, and the bow shocks caused by the highly excited planetesimals heat their icy component evaporating into gas. We have performed model calculations to study the evolution of molecular abundances of the evaporated icy component, which suggests sulfur-bearing molecules can be good tracers of icy planetesimal evaporation. Here we report the result of our ALMA observations of sulfur-bearing molecules towards protoplanetary disks. The lines were undetected but the obtained upper limits of the line fluxes and our model calculations give upper limits of the fractional abundances of x(H2S) < 10−11 and x(SO) < 10−10 in the outer disk. These results are consistent with the molecular abundances in comets in our Solar system.
To assess the diagnostic role of mean platelet volume in tonsillitis with and without peritonsillar abscess.
Mean platelet volume and other laboratory data were retrospectively investigated.
Mean platelet volume was significantly lower in the tonsillitis group (7.8 per cent ± 0.7 per cent) than in the control group (8.7 per cent ± 0.6 per cent; p < 0.0001), and it was significantly lower in the abscess group (7.5 per cent ± 0.6 per cent) than in the no abscess group (8.0 per cent ± 0.7 per cent; p = 0.0277). White blood cell counts and C-reactive protein levels were not significantly different between patients with an abscess and those without. The mean platelet volume cut-off values for the diagnosis of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess were 7.95 fl and 7.75 fl, respectively.
Our results suggest that a decreased mean platelet volume is associated with the development and severity of tonsillitis. This finding provides useful diagnostic information for physicians treating patients with tonsillitis.
Oxoammonium cation of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl (TEMPO) was used as an oxidizing dopant of triaryl amines to efficiently and almost quantitatively generate radical cations of the amines or a hole carrier. The doped-triaryl amines yielded an amorphous and homogeneous layer without any residual oxidant or neutral TEMPO molecule through its sublimination or warming the layer. The TEMPO cation-doped spiro-OMeTAD [tetrakis(dimethoxyphenylamine)spirobifluorene] produced a high hole mobility of 2 × 10−4 cm2/Vs. The perovskite solar cell fabricated with the TEMPO cation-doped or residual dopant-free spiro-OMeTAD as the hole-transporting layer displayed a photo-conversion efficiency of 20.1% with durability.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
We report on the first results from our pilot observation of nearby galaxies with Hyper Suprime-Cam. We have observed two galaxies with mass similar to that of the Milky Way Galaxy and measured the abundance of their satellite galaxies in order to address the missing satellite problem outside of the Local Group. We find that (1) the abundance of dwarf galaxies is smaller by a factor of two than the prediction from one of the current hydro-dynamical simulations and (2) there is a large halo to halo scatter. Our results highlight the importance of a statistical sample of nearby galaxies to address the missing satellite problem.
Here we discuss requirements for high performance and solution processable organic semiconductors, by presenting a systematic investigation of 7-alkyl-2-phenylbenzothieno[3,2-b]benzothiophenes (Ph-BTBT-Cn’s). We found that the solubility and thermal properties of Ph-BTBT-Cn’s depend systematically on the substituted alkyl-chain length n. The observed features are well understood in terms of the change of molecular packing motif with n: The compounds with n ≤ 4 do not form independent alkyl chain layers, whereas those with n ≥ 5 form isolated alkyl chain layers. The latter compounds afford a series of isomorphous bilayer-type crystal structures that form two-dimensional carrier transport layers within the crystals. We also show that the Ph-BTBT-C10 afford high performance single-crystalline field-effect transistors the mobility of which reaches as high as 15.9 cm2/Vs. These results demonstrate a crucial role of the substituted alkyl chain length for obtaining high performance organic semiconductors and field-effect transistors.
The mode of onset and the course of schizophrenia illness exhibit substantial individual variations. Previous studies have pointed out that the mode of onset affects the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical outcomes, such as cognitive and social functioning. This study attempted to clarify the association between the DUP and clinical features, taking the different modes of onset into consideration, in a prospective longitudinal study examining patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
This study was conducted in six areas of Japan. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia were followed for over 18 months. Cognitive function, psychopathology, and social functioning were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-up points.
We identified 168 patients and sufficient information was available to determine the DUP and the mode of onset for 156 patients (92.9%): 79 had an acute onset, and 77 had an insidious onset. The DUP was significantly associated with quality of life (QOL), social functioning, and cognitive function at most of the follow-up points in the insidious-onset group. The DUP and negative symptoms at baseline were significant predictors of cognitive function at the 18-month follow-up in the insidious-onset group.
The present results further support the hypothesis that the DUP affects QOL, social functioning, and cognitive function over the course of illness, especially in patients with an insidious onset. Effective strategies for detecting and caring for individuals with insidious onset early during the course of schizophrenia will be essential for achieving a full patient recovery.
The transport of relativistic electron beam in compressed cylindrical targets was studied from a numerical and experimental point of view. In the experiment, cylindrical targets were imploded using the Gekko XII laser facility of the Institute of Laser Engineering. Then the fast electron beam was created by shooting the LFEX laser beam. The penetration of fast electrons was studied by observing Kα emission from tracer layers in the target.
Heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced to Japan in 2010. We investigated the impact of PCV7 on childhood community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and pneumococcal pneumonia (PP). Children aged <5 years living in Chiba city, Japan, who were admitted to hospitals were enrolled to estimate the incidence of CAP based on the mid-year population. PP was determined by the presence of Streptococcus pneumoniae in cultured blood and/or sputum samples of CAP patients. The incidence of CAP and S. pneumoniae isolated from PP patients was compared before (April 2008–March 2009) and after (April 2012–March 2013) the introduction of PCV7 immunization. The annual incidence of CAP was reduced [incidence rate ratio 0·81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·73–0·90]. When comparing post-vaccine with pre-vaccine periods, the odds ratio for PP incidence was 0·60 (95% CI 0·39–0·93, P = 0·024). PCV7-covered serotypes markedly decreased (66·6% in pre-vaccine vs. 15·6% in post-vaccine, P < 0·01), and serotypes 6C, 15A, 15C and 19A increased. Multidrug-resistant international clones in the pre-vaccine period (Spain6B-2/ST90, Taiwan19F-14/ST236) decreased, while Sweden15A-25/ST63 was the dominant clone in the post-vaccine period. A significant reduction in the incidence of both CAP hospitalizations and culture-confirmed PP of vaccine serotypes was observed at 2 years after PCV7 vaccination.
A fully coherent free electron laser (FEL) seeded with a higher-order harmonic (HH) pulse from high-order harmonic generation (HHG) is successfully operated for a sufficiently prolonged time in pilot user experiments by using a timing drift feedback. For HHG-seeded FELs, the seeding laser pulses have to be synchronized with electron bunches. Despite seeded FELs being non-chaotic light sources in principle, external laser-seeded FELs are often unstable in practice because of a timing jitter and a drift between the seeding laser pulses and the accelerated electron bunches. Accordingly, we constructed a relative arrival-timing monitor based on non-invasive electro-optic sampling (EOS). The EOS monitor made uninterrupted shot-to-shot monitoring possible even during the seeded FEL operation. The EOS system was then used for arrival-timing feedback with an adjustability of 100 fs for continual operation of the HHG-seeded FEL. Using the EOS-based beam drift controlling system, the HHG-seeded FEL was operated over half a day with an effective hit rate of 20%–30%. The output pulse energy was
at the 61.2 nm wavelength. Towards seeded FELs in the water window region, we investigated our upgrade plan to seed high-power FELs with HH photon energy of 30–100 eV and lase at shorter wavelengths of up to 2 nm through high-gain harmonic generation (HGHG) at the energy-upgraded SPring-8 Compact SASE Source (SCSS) accelerator. We studied a benefit as well as the feasibility of the next HHG-seeded FEL machine with single-stage HGHG with tunability of a lasing wavelength.