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To explore the use of fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy in thyroid tissues, and to investigate how different thyroid lesions affect fluorescence lifetime.
Fluorescence lifetime measurements were taken of fresh frozen thyroid surgical specimens stained with fluorescein isothiocyanate tagged anti-thyroglobulin monoclonal antibodies.
The mean fluorescence lifetime measurements in 12 patients – 3 with multinodular goitre, 4 with follicular adenoma, 4 with papillary thyroid carcinoma and 1 with follicular carcinoma – were 3.16 ns (range, 2.66–3.52 ns), 3.75 ns (range, 2.99–4.57 ns), 2.97 ns (range, 2.57–3.21 ns) and 3.61 ns, respectively. The fluorescence lifetime of follicular adenoma patients was higher than that of papillary thyroid carcinoma patients by 26 per cent (p = 0.058). The fluorescence lifetime in the follicular carcinoma patient was similar to the follicular adenoma group, but higher than in the papillary thyroid carcinoma group by 22 per cent (p = 0.01).
Fluorescence lifetime measurements varied in different thyroid pathologies, possibly because of tissue-scale structural influences.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Objective: White matter (WM) microstructural changes are
increasingly recognized as a mechanism of age-related cognitive differences.
This study examined the associations between patterns of WM microstructure and
cognitive performance on the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Brain Health Assessment (BHA) subtests of memory (Favorites), executive
functions and speed (Match), and visuospatial skills (Line Orientation) within a
sample of older adults. Method: Fractional anisotropy (FA) in WM
tracts and BHA performance were examined in 84 older adults diagnosed as
neurologically healthy (47), with mild cognitive impairment (19), or with
dementia (18). The relationships between FA and subtest performances were
evaluated using regression analyses. We then explored whether regional WM
predicted performance after accounting for variance explained by global FA.
Results: Memory performance was associated with FA of the
fornix and the superior cerebellar peduncle; and executive functions and speed,
with the body of the corpus callosum. The fornix–memory association and
the corpus callosum–executive association remained significant after
accounting for global FA. Neither tract-based nor global FA was associated with
visuospatial performance. Conclusions: Memory and executive
functions are associated with different patterns of WM diffusivity. Findings add
insight into WM alterations underlying age- and disease-related cognitive
Copy number variants (CNVs) are established risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders. To date the study of CNVs in psychiatric illness has focused on single disorder populations. The role of CNVs in individuals with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric comorbidities are less well characterised.
To determine the type and frequency of CNVs in adults with intellectual disabilities and comorbid psychiatric disorders.
A chromosomal microarray analysis of 599 adults recruited from intellectual disabilities psychiatry services at three European sites.
The yield of pathogenic CNVs was high – 13%. Focusing on established neurodevelopmental disorder risk loci we find a significantly higher frequency in individuals with intellectual disabilities and comorbid psychiatric disorder (10%) compared with healthy controls (1.2%, P<0.0001), schizophrenia (3.1%, P<0.0001) and intellectual disability/autism spectrum disorder (6.5%, P < 0.00084) populations.
In the largest sample of adults with intellectual disabilities and comorbid psychiatric disorders to date, we find a high rate of pathogenic CNVs. This has clinical implications for the use of genetic investigations in intellectual disability psychiatry.
Traumatic stressors during childhood and adolescence are associated with psychopathology, mostly studied in the context of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. We investigated broader associations of traumatic stress exposure with psychopathology and cognition in a youth community sample.
The Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (N = 9498) is an investigation of clinical and neurobehavioral phenotypes in a diverse (56% Caucasian, 33% African American, 11% other) US youth community population (aged 8–21). Participants were ascertained through children's hospital pediatric (not psychiatric) healthcare network in 2009–2011. Structured psychiatric evaluation included screening for lifetime exposure to traumatic stressors, and a neurocognitive battery was administered.
Exposure rate to traumatic stressful events was high (none, N = 5204; one, N = 2182; two, N = 1092; three or more, N = 830). Higher stress load was associated with increased psychopathology across all clinical domains evaluated: mood/anxiety (standardized β = .378); psychosis spectrum (β = .360); externalizing behaviors (β = .311); and fear (β = .256) (controlling for covariates, all p < 0.001). Associations remained significant controlling for lifetime PTSD and depression. Exposure to high-stress load was robustly associated with suicidal ideation and cannabis use (odds ratio compared with non-exposed 5.3 and 3.2, respectively, both p < 0.001). Among youths who experienced traumatic stress (N = 4104), history of assaultive trauma was associated with greater psychopathology and, in males, vulnerability to psychosis and externalizing symptoms. Stress load was negatively associated with performance on executive functioning, complex reasoning, and social cognition.
Traumatic stress exposure in community non-psychiatric help-seeking youth is substantial, and is associated with more severe psychopathology and neurocognitive deficits across domains, beyond PTSD and depression.
Current approaches to assess violence risk in secure hospitals are resource intensive, limited by accuracy and authorship bias and may have reached a performance ceiling. This study seeks to develop scalable predictive models for violent offending following discharge from secure psychiatric hospitals.
We identified all patients discharged from secure hospitals in Sweden between January 1, 1992 and December 31, 2013. Using multiple Cox regression, pre-specified criminal, sociodemographic, and clinical risk factors were included in a model that was tested for discrimination and calibration in the prediction of violent crime at 12 and 24 months post-discharge. Risk cut-offs were pre-specified at 5% (low vs. medium) and 20% (medium vs. high).
We identified 2248 patients with 2933 discharges into community settings. We developed a 12-item model with good measures of calibration and discrimination (area under the curve = 0.77 at 12 and 24 months). At 24 months post-discharge, using the 5% cut-off, sensitivity was 96% and specificity was 21%. Positive and negative predictive values were 19% and 97%, respectively. Using the 20% cut-off, sensitivity was 55%, specificity 83% and the positive and negative predictive values were 37% and 91%, respectively. The model was used to develop a free online tool (FoVOx).
We have developed a prediction score in a Swedish cohort of patients discharged from secure hospitals that can assist in clinical decision-making. Scalable predictive models for violence risk are possible in specific patient groups and can free up clinical time for treatment and management. Further evaluation in other countries is needed.
Wellcome Trust (202836/Z/16/Z) and the Swedish Research Council. The funding sources had no involvement in writing of the manuscript or decision to submit or in data collection, analysis or interpretation or any aspect pertinent to the study.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Data from the in-school sample of the PROSPER preventive intervention dissemination trial were used to investigate associations between alcohol dehydrogenase genes and alcohol use across adolescence, and whether substance misuse interventions in the 6th and 7th grades (targeting parenting, family functioning, social norms, youth decision making, and peer group affiliations) modified associations between these genes and adolescent use. Primary analyses were run on a sample of 1,885 individuals and included three steps. First, we estimated unconditional growth curve models with separate slopes for alcohol use from 6th to 9th grade and from 9th to 12th grade, as well as the intercept at Grade 9. Second, we used intervention condition and three alcohol dehydrogenase genes, 1B (ADH1B), 1C (ADH1C), and 4 (ADH4) to predict variance in slopes and intercept. Third, we examined whether genetic influences on model slopes and intercepts were moderated by intervention condition. The results indicated that the increase in alcohol use was greater in early adolescence than in middle adolescence; two of the genes, ADH1B and ADH1C, significantly predicted early adolescent slope and Grade 9 intercept, and associations between ADH1C and both early adolescent slope and intercept were significantly different across control and intervention conditions.
Eight continuous corings in the west-central Netherlands show a 15 to 25 m thick stacked sequence of sandy to gravelly channel-belt deposits of the Rhine-Meuse system. This succession of fluvial sediments was deposited under net subsiding conditions in the southern part of the North Sea Basin and documents the response of the Rhine-Meuse river system to climate and sea-level change and to the glaciation history. On the basis of grain size characteristics, sedimentological structures, nature and extent of bounding surfaces and palaeo-ecological data, the sequence was subdivided into five fluvial units, an estuarine and an aeolian unit. Optical dating of 34 quartz samples showed that the units have intra Saalian to Weichselian ages (Marine Isotope Stages 8 to 2). Coarse-grained fluvial sediments primarily deposited under cold climatic conditions, with low vegetation cover and continuous permafrost. Finer-grained sediments generally deposited during more temperate climatic conditions with continuous vegetation cover and/or periods of sea-level highstand. Most of the sedimentary units are bounded by unconformities that represent erosion during periods of climate instability, sea-level fall and/or glacio-isostatic uplift.
In order to obtain a better understanding of the infilling of the Saalian glacial basins during the Eemian, particularly following the recent research in the Amsterdam Basin (Terminal borehole), it was necessary to re-investigate the type locality of the Eemian at Amersfoort. Both published and unpublished data from various biota (diatoms, foraminifers, molluscs, ostracods, pollen) provide new information on the changing sedimentary environments during the Eemian. Although the organic and clastic sediments of the infilling represent nearly all the pollen zones, the sedimentary sequence at Amersfoort is discontinuous: four breaks at least are recognised at the type locality.
The successive sedimentary environments and the breaks in the record are linked with the transgression of the Eemian sea, the topographic position at the margin of an ice-pushed ridge, and the changes in hydrodynamic conditions. Local conditions, such as a sandy sea bed, shallow water and a reduced water exchange near the North Sea margin, influenced the salinity of the basin. Rib counts of Cerastoderma edule shells indicate a higher salinity at the end of the Taxus (E4b) and the beginning of the Carpinus (E5) zones than that present in the modern North Sea. Local conditions were responsible for the higher salinity following the climate optimum.
During the Abies phase (the later part of regional pollen zone E5), the sea level had already fallen. The change from eu-trophic peat growth (with Alnus and Salix) to an oligotrophic Ericaceae/Sphagnum community at the end of the Eemian resulted from the change from a marine to a fresh-water environment, probably coherent with a deterioration of the climate.
Objectives: This study assesses the use of routinely collected claims data for managed entry agreements (MEA) in the illustrative context of German statutory health insurance (SHI) funds.
Methods: Based on a nonsystematic literature review, the data needs of different MEA were identified. A value-based typology to classify MEA on the basis of these data needs was developed. The typology is oriented toward health outcomes and utilization and costs, key components of a new technology's value. For each MEA type, the suitability of claims data in establishing evidence of the novel technology's value in routine care was systematically assessed. Assessment criteria were data availability, completeness, timeliness, confidentiality, reliability, and validity.
Results: Claims data are better suited to MEA addressing uncertainty regarding the utilization and costs of a novel technology in routine care. In schemes where safety aspects or clinical effectiveness are assessed, the role of claims data is limited because clinical information is not included in sufficient detail.
Conclusions: The suitability of claims data depends on the source of uncertainty and, in consequence, the outcome measures chosen in the agreements. In all schemes, the validity of claims data should be judged with caution as data are collected for billing purposes. This framework may support manufacturers and payers in selecting the most suitable contract type and agreeing on contract conditions. More research is necessary to validate these results and to address remaining medical, economic, legal, and ethical questions of using claims data for MEA.