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This study was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial examining the effects of β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate free acid (HMB-FA) supplementation on muscle protein breakdown, cortisol, testosterone and resting energy expenditure (REE) during acute fasting. Conditions consisted of supplementation with 3 g/d HMB-FA or placebo during a 3-d meat-free diet followed by a 24-h fast. Urine was collected before and during the 24-h fast for analysis of 3-methylhistidine:creatinine ratio (3MH:CR). Salivary cortisol, testosterone, their ratio (T:C), and the cortisol awakening response were assessed. ANOVA was used to analyse all dependent variables, and linear mixed models were used to confirm the absence of carryover effects. Eleven participants (six females, five males) completed the study. Urinary HMB concentrations confirmed compliance with supplementation. 3MH:CR was unaffected by fasting and supplementation, but the cortisol awakening response differed between conditions. In both conditions, cortisol increased from awakening to 30 min post-awakening (P=0·01). Cortisol was reduced from 30 to 45 min post-awakening with HMB-FA (−32 %, d=−1·0, P=0·04), but not placebo (PL) (−6 %, d=−0·2, P=0·14). In males, T:C increased from 0 to 24 h of fasting with HMB-FA (+162 %, d=3·0, P=0·001), but not placebo (+13 %, d=0·4, P=0·60), due to reductions in cortisol. REE was higher at 24 h of fasting than 16 h of fasting independent of supplementation (+4·0 %, d=0·3, P=0·04). In conclusion, HMB-FA may affect cortisol responses, but not myofibrillar proteolysis, during acute 24-h fasting.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
This paper highlights major developments over the past two to three decades in the neuropsychology of movement and its disorders. We focus on studies in healthy individuals and patients, which have identified cognitive contributions to movement control and animal work that has delineated the neural circuitry that makes these interactions possible. We cover advances in three major areas: (1) the neuroanatomical aspects of the “motor” system with an emphasis on multiple parallel circuits that include cortical, corticostriate, and corticocerebellar connections; (2) behavioral paradigms that have enabled an appreciation of the cognitive influences on the preparation and execution of movement; and (3) hemispheric differences (exemplified by limb praxis, motor sequencing, and motor learning). Finally, we discuss the clinical implications of this work, and make suggestions for future research in this area. (JINS, 2017, 23, 768–777)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with variable risk of suicide and prevalence of suicide attempt (SA). The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of SA and associated sociodemographic and clinical features in a large international sample of OCD patients.
A total of 425 OCD outpatients, recruited through the International College of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICOCS) network, were assessed and categorized in groups with or without a history of SA, and their sociodemographic and clinical features compared through Pearson’s chi-squared and t tests. Logistic regression was performed to assess the impact of the collected data on the SA variable.
14.6% of our sample reported at least one SA during their lifetime. Patients with an SA had significantly higher rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders (60 vs. 17%, p<0.001; particularly tic disorder), medical disorders (51 vs. 15%, p<0.001), and previous hospitalizations (62 vs. 11%, p<0.001) than patients with no history of SA. With respect to geographical differences, European and South African patients showed significantly higher rates of SA history (40 and 39%, respectively) compared to North American and Middle-Eastern individuals (13 and 8%, respectively) (χ2=11.4, p<0.001). The logistic regression did not show any statistically significant predictor of SA among selected independent variables.
Our international study found a history of SA prevalence of ~15% in OCD patients, with higher rates of psychiatric and medical comorbidities and previous hospitalizations in patients with a previous SA. Along with potential geographical influences, the presence of the abovementioned features should recommend additional caution in the assessment of suicide risk in OCD patients.
Trichotillomania is a relatively understudied psychiatric disorder. Even less is known about this disorder in the elderly. We describe an unusual case of an elderly woman presenting for the first time with trichotillomania at age 70 and highlight the treatment complexities we encountered.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A 16-year-old patient underwent successful ablation of ventricular arrhythmia originating from the aortic sinus of Valsalva following surgical unroofing of an anomalous right coronary artery. This case illustrates the complexity of decision making in the management of patients with anomalous coronary arteries and the importance of keeping an open mind when determining ventricular arrhythmia aetiology and origin.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Chorion type may significantly influence the prenatal environment of twins. This study explored the associations between chorion type and gestational age, birth weight, birth length, and the timing of emergence of the first primary tooth in two populations of twins, Australian and Dutch. Additionally, we investigated the relationship between chorion type and birth weight discordance (BWD) in order to determine whether a significant relationship existed between discordance in birth weight and discordance in the timing of emergence of the first primary tooth. The two study samples consisted of 409 Australian twin pairs and 301 Dutch twin pairs, all of European ancestry. Data were collected through a combination of questionnaires and recording charts administered to the parents and through linkage with biological databases. In the Australian sample, monozygotic monochorionic (MZMC) twins experienced the shortest mean gestation time (35 weeks), the lowest mean birth length (46 cm) and the lowest mean birth weight (2.3 kg) compared with other twin groups. For the same variables in the Dutch sample, these trends with MZMC twinning were not observed. Chorion type did not significantly affect the mean timing of emergence of the first primary tooth in either sample. Monochorionicity was found to be significantly associated with BWD in both samples, but there was a significant association between BWD in MZMC twin pairs and timing of emergence of the first primary tooth only in the Australian sample. Results from this study support previous findings that the timing of emergence of the first primary tooth is influenced strongly by genetic factors and is well protected from environmental disturbances.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Shorter telomere length (TL) has found to be associated with lower birth weight and with lower cognitive ability and psychiatric disorders. However, the direction of causation of these associations and the extent to which they are genetically or environmentally mediated are unclear. Within-pair comparisons of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins can throw light on these questions. We investigated correlations of within pair differences in telomere length, IQ, and anxiety/depression in an initial sample from Brisbane (242 MZ pairs, 245 DZ same sex (DZSS) pairs) and in replication samples from Amsterdam (514 MZ pairs, 233 DZSS pairs) and Melbourne (19 pairs selected for extreme high or low birth weight difference). Intra-pair differences of birth weight and telomere length were significantly correlated in MZ twins, but not in DZSS twins. Greater intra-pair differences of telomere length were observed in the 10% of MZ twins with the greatest difference in birth weight compared to the bottom 90% in both samples and also in the Melbourne sample. Intra-pair differences of telomere length and IQ, but not of TL and anxiety/depression, were correlated in MZ twins, and to a smaller extent in DZSS twins. Our findings suggest that the same prenatal effects that reduce birth weight also influence telomere length in MZ twins. The association between telomere length and IQ is partly driven by the same prenatal effects that decrease birth weight.
Insight, positive and negative symptoms, hope, depression and self-stigma are relevant variables in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. So far, research on their mutual influences has been patchy. This study simultaneously tests the associations between these variables.
A total of 284 people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were assessed using the Schedule for the Assessment of Insight, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Integrative Hope Scale, Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness scale. Path analysis was applied to test the hypothesized relationships between the variables.
Model support was excellent. Strong and mutual causal influences were confirmed between hope, depression and self-stigma. The model supported the assumption that insight diminishes hope and increases depression and self-stigma. While negative symptoms directly affected these three variables, reducing hope and increasing depression and self-stigma, positive symptoms did not. However, positive symptoms diminished self-stigma on a pathway via insight.
This study provides a comprehensive synopsis of the relationships between six variables relevant for schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Research implications include the need to investigate determinants of consequences of insight, and the sequence of influences exerted by positive and negative symptoms. Clinical implications include the importance of interventions against self-stigma and of taking a contextualized approach to insight.
Genome-wide association analysis on monozygotic twin-pairs offers a route to discovery of gene–environment interactions through testing for variability loci associated with sensitivity to individual environment/lifestyle. We present a genome-wide scan of loci associated with intra-pair differences in serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. We report data for 1,720 monozygotic female twin-pairs from GenomEUtwin project with 2.5 million SNPs, imputed or genotyped, and measured serum lipid fractions for both twins. We found one locus associated with intra-pair differences in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, rs2483058 in an intron of SRGAP2, where twins carrying the C allele are more sensitive to environmental factors (P = 3.98 × 10−8). We followed up the association in further genotyped monozygotic twins (N = 1,261), which showed a moderate association for the variant (P = 0.200, same direction of an effect). In addition, we report a new association on the level of apolipoprotein A-II (P = 4.03 × 10−8).
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.