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This study aimed to explore the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and postponement of elective surgical procedures for profoundly deaf patients awaiting cochlear implantation.
Open-ended questionnaires were sent to all adult patients awaiting cochlear implantation surgery. Qualitative analysis was performed using a grounded theory approach.
Participants described a primarily negative impact on wellbeing from the surgery delay, expressing feelings of isolation or loneliness. Low mood, depression or hopelessness were commonly expressed by elderly participants; frustration and anxiety were described by young adults. Participants described a negative impact on their general daily life, describing difficulties communicating with facemasks and struggles with reliance on telephone communication because of social distancing. Despite these significant psychosocial challenges, only a minority described adaptive coping strategies.
Profoundly deaf patients may be at greater psychosocial risk because of unique challenges from their hearing disability. Our findings can be used to develop evidence-driven strategies to improve communication, wellbeing and quality of life.
In recent years there has been increasing interest in knowing the function of the microbiota, especially its role in the gut-brain axis. The microbiota is the set of millions of microorganisms that coexist in a symbiotic way in our body and are located in the digestive tract mainly. Numerous evidences show that the microbiota could modulate the information directed to the brain and therefore the pathogenic basis of numerous psychiatric and neurological disorders.
A better understanding of the microbiota and its interaction with the brain and mental health.
Review of recent literature about the implications of the gut microbiota in psychiatry.
The connection between the microbiota and the central nervous system (gut-brain axis) occurs through the vagus nerve, the systemic pathway (through the release of hormones, metabolites and neurotransmitters) and the immune system (through the action of cytokines). Changes in the microbiota are associated not only with gastrointestinal diseases, but also with disorders such as depression, anxiety, autism, anorexia, attention deficit and hyperactivity, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. As some research indicates, changes in diet and composition of the microbiota can reduce the risk of suffering these diseases or reduce their symptoms. Other therapeutic alternatives postulated are the use of probiotics or fecal microbiota transplantation.
Despite growing interest in the microbiota in the last few years, little is known about the mechanisms underlying this communication. More research is expected to contribute to the design of strategies that modulate the gut microbiota and its functions in order to improve mental health.
Suicidal behaviour and cognition: A systematic review with special focus on prefrontal deficits Introduction: Suicide is a major health concern worldwide, thus, identifying risk factors would enable a more comprehensive understanding and prevention of this behaviour. Neuropsychological alterations could lead to difficulties in interpreting and managing life events resulting in a higher risk of suicide.
Objective: Bibliographic review about the influence of neuropsychological deficits on suicidal behaviour.
Method: A systematic literature search from 2000 to 2020 was performed in Medline (Pubmed), Web of Science, SciELO Citation Index, PsycInfo, PsycArticles and Cochrane Library databases regarding studies comparing cognition of attempters versus non-attempters that share same psychiatric diagnosis. Results: 1.885 patients diagnosed with an Affective Disorder (n = 1512) and Schizophrenia/ Schizoaffective Disorder (n = 373) were included.
In general comparison, attention was found to be clearly dysfunctional. Regarding diagnosis, patients with Schizophrenia and previous history of suicidal behaviour showed a poorer performance in executive function. Patients with current symptoms of an Affective Disorder and a previous history of suicidal attempt had poorer performance in attention and executive function. Similarly, euthymic affective patients with history of suicidal behaviour had worse decision-making, attention and executive function performance compared to euthymic non-attempters.
Patients who have attempted suicide have a poorer neuropsychological functioning than non-attempters with a similar psychiatric disorder in attention and executive function. These alterations increase vulnerability for suicide.
Conflict of interest
Jessica Fernández-Sevillano is beneficiary of the Pre-PhD Training Programme of the Basque Government. Dr. Gonzalez-Pinto has received grants and served as consultant, advisor or CME speaker for the following entities: Almirall, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers
Persistent negative symptoms are associated with worse outcome in both first-episode and chronic subjects with schizophrenia. The identification of these symptoms in recent-onset subjects is still controversial as retrospective data are often unavailable. The prospective assessment of persistence of negative symptoms might represent a valid alternative but the length of the persistence is still to be established. The present study investigated the prevalence of negative symptoms of moderate severity, unconfounded by depression and extrapyramidal symptoms at baseline in a large cohort of patients in the early stage of a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, recruited to the OPTiMiSE trial. Persistent unconfounded negative symptoms were assessed at 4, 10 and 22 weeks of treatment. Symptomatic remission, attrition rate and psychosocial functioning was evaluated in subjects with short-term (4 weeks) persistent negative symptoms (PNS) and in those with negative symptoms that did not persist at follow-up and/or were confounded at baseline (N-PNS). Negative symptoms of moderate severity were observed in 59% of subjects at baseline and were associated to worse global functioning. PNS were observed in 7.9% of the cohort, unconfounded at both baseline and end of 4-week treatment. PNS subjects showed lower remission and higher attrition rates at the end of all treatment phases. Fifty-six percent of subjects completing phase 3 (clozapine treatment) had PNS, and 60% of them were non-remitters at the end of this phase. The presence of short-term PNS during the first phases of psychosis was associated with poor clinical outcome and resistance to antipsychotic treatment, including clozapine.
Prof Mucci has been a consultant and/or advisor to or has received honoraria from Gedeon Richter Bulgaria, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Pfizer and Pierre Fabre.
Depressed patients with early traumatic experiences may represent a clinically distinct subtype with worse clinical outcome. Since early traumatic experiences alter the development of systems that regulate the stress response, certain personality features may influence coping strategies, putting individuals with depression and a history of early traumatic experiences at greater risk of suicidal behaviour.
To determine whether impulsivity mediates the relationship between early traumatic experiences and suicidal behaviour in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
The sample included 190 patients [mean age (SD)=53.71 (10.37); females: 66.3%], with current MDD. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form (CTQ-SF), the List of Threatening Experiences (LTE), and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11) were used to assess childhood and adulthood adverse life events and impulsivity. We developed mediation models by bootstrap sampling methods.
81 (42.6%) patients had previous suicide attempts (SA). CTQ-SF-Total and BIS-11-Total scores were higher in MDD patients with previous SA. Correlation analyses revealed significant correlations between the CTQ-SF-Total and BIS-11-Total, CTQ-SF-Total and HDRS-Total, and BIS-11-Total and HDRS-Total scores. Regression models found that CTQ-SF-Total, BIS-11-Total, and HDRS-Total scores were associated with SA. Mediation analyses further revealed the association between CTQ-SF-Total and SA was mediated by the indirect effect of the BIS-11-Total score (b=0.007, 95% CI=0.001, 0.015), after controlling for sex, HDRS-Total, and LTE-Total.
Impulsivity could mediate the influence of childhood trauma on suicidal behaviour. This will help understand the role of risk factors in suicidal behaviour and aid in the development of prevention interventions focused on modifiable mediators when risk factors are non-modifiable.
Altered fear learning processes could be mechanistically linked to the development and/or maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). From a clinical perspective, the first-line psychological treatment for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is based on the principles of fear learning. However, no previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have evaluated the predictive capacity of regional brain activations during fear learning on CBT response in patients with OCD.
We aimed at exploring whether brain activation during fear learning in patients with OCD are associated with CBT outcome.
We assessed 18 patients with OCD and 18 healthy participants during a 2-day experimental protocol where brain activation and skin conductance responses (SCR) where assessed during fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction recall within the fMRI scanner. Following the protocol, patients with OCD received CBT.
We found non-significant between-group differences in SCR during fear learning. Patients with OCD showed significantly diminished activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the right insula during fear conditioning. Importantly, our analyses revealed a significant negative association between clinical improvement after CBT and activity at the right insula during fear conditioning (x = 39, y = 12, z = -11; t = 5.64; p<0.001; k = 928). This finding is displayed in Figure 1 below.
Patients with OCD may require less fear-conditioned brain responses to achieve the same level of psychophysiological fear conditioning as healthy participants. Interestingly, insula activations during fear-conditioned responses may represent a potential predictor biomarker of response to CBT for OCD.
Elasmobranchs in the Gulf of California have been found with malformations, probably originated during embryonic development or caused by environmental anomalies and pollution associated with intense mining activity in the region. Clasper malformations are reported for the first time in two specimens of Pseudobatos buthi, a species recently described from the Gulf of California. The function of the claspers was not affected by the size difference, because specimens presented the distinctive characteristics of an adult individual. The reproductive system did not show any malformation, with symmetrical testes. Histological analysis of the testes revealed a normal spermatogenic development. To elucidate the causes and to detect a possible effect of the morphological malformations due to high levels of heavy metals, trace concentration values (cadmium, copper, iron, manganese, silver, lead and zinc) were determined in muscle and liver. Cadmium and lead concentrations in the muscle of the two specimens were below the permissible limit for human consumption (<0.05 mg kg−1); however, iron and zinc presented high values (0.455, 4.024 mg kg−1 in muscle and 21.931, 3.694 mg kg−1 in liver respectively). Mining activity and heavy metal pollution in the sampling area may have caused the malformations, which might be attributed to the high values of iron and zinc discovered in the muscle and liver.
This study has two main objectives: to describe the prevalence of undetected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a clinical sample of smokers with severe mental illness (SMI), and to assess the value of the Tobacco Intensive Motivational Estimated Risk tool, which informs smokers of their respiratory risk and uses brief text messages to reinforce intervention.
A multicenter, randomized, open-label, and active-controlled clinical trial, with a 12-month follow-up. Outpatients with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder were randomized either to the experimental group—studied by spirometry and informed of their calculated lung age and degree of obstruction (if any)—or to the active control group, who followed the 5 A’s intervention.
The study sample consisted of 160 patients (71.9% SZ), 78.1% of whom completed the 12-month follow-up. Of the patients who completed the spirometry test, 23.9% showed evidence of COPD (77.8% in moderate or severe stages). TIMER was associated with a significant reduction in tobacco use at week 12 and in the long term, 21.9% of patients reduced consumption and 14.6% at least halved it. At week 48, six patients (7.3%) allocated to the experimental group achieved the seven-day smoking abstinence confirmed by CO (primary outcome in terms of efficacy), compared to three (3.8%) in the control group.
In this clinical pilot trial, one in four outpatients with an SMI who smoked had undiagnosed COPD. An intensive intervention tool favors the early detection of COPD and maintains its efficacy to quit smoking, compared with the standard 5 A’s intervention.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome characterized by heterogeneous clinical manifestations, and knowing this variability can help to develop tailored treatments. To understand better the heterogeneity of FM the present cross-sectional study analyzed the role of several physical symptoms (pain, fatigue and poor sleep quality) and cognitive-affective variables related to pain (pain catastrophizing, pain vigilance, self-efficacy in pain management, and pain acceptance) in the configuration of clinical profiles. A sample of 161 women with FM fulfilled an interview and several self-report measures to explore physical symptoms, cognitive-affective variables, disability and psychopathology. To establish FM groups a hierarchical cluster analysis was performed. The findings revealed three clusters that differed in the grouping variables, Wilks’ λ = .17, F(14, 304) = 31.50, p < .001, ηp2 = .59. Group 1 (n = 72) was characterized by high physical and psychological affectation, Group 2 (n = 19) by low physical affectation and high pain self-efficacy, and Group 3 (n = 70) by moderate physical affectation and low pain catastrophizing. The external validation of the clusters was confirmed, Wilks’ λ = .72, F(4, 314) = 14.09, p < .001, ηp2 = .15, showing Group 1 the highest levels of FM impact and psychopathological distress. Considering the distinctive clinical characteristics of each subgroup therapeutic strategies addressed to the specific needs of each group were suggested. Assessing FM profiles may be key for a better understanding and approach of this syndrome.
Understanding place-based contributors to health requires geographically and culturally diverse study populations, but sharing location data is a significant challenge to multisite studies. Here, we describe a standardized and reproducible method to perform geospatial analyses for multisite studies. Using census tract-level information, we created software for geocoding and geospatial data linkage that was distributed to a consortium of birth cohorts located throughout the USA. Individual sites performed geospatial linkages and returned tract-level information for 8810 children to a central site for analyses. Our generalizable approach demonstrates the feasibility of geospatial analyses across study sites to promote collaborative translational research.
To assess the association between pregestational BMI and offspring’s risk of overweight/obesity after accounting for the most important confounders, especially maternal smoking habit.
Prospective cohort study.
The Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) study is a prospective cohort of Spanish graduates with more than 22 000 participants nationwide. Recruitment started in 1999, and it is permanently open. Data on diet, lifestyle and clinical diagnoses are collected at baseline and every 2 years.
Women from the SUN cohort who reported at least one pregnancy during follow-up (n 3496) were invited to this study. Among them, 1527 agreed to participate and completed an additional more detailed online questionnaire on their pregnancy history and their offspring’s nutritional status.
After excluding 165 children, we analysed data of 2791 participants born to 1485 mothers and observed that each 5 kg/m2 increase in pregestational BMI was associated with a 0·22 (95 % CI 0·15, 0·29) higher z-score in offspring’s BMI and higher risk of overweight/obesity (multivariable-adjusted relative risk (RR) 1·57 (95 % CI 1·39, 1·77)) in childhood or adolescence. Furthermore, we observed stronger association in children born to smoker mothers (RR 1·91; 95 % CI 1·48, 2·46) than from non-smoker mothers (RR 1·51; 95 % CI 1·31, 1·73) (Pfor interaction = 0·02).
We found a synergistic interaction between pregestational BMI and maternal smoking habit on offspring’s z-score of the BMI and in their risk of overweight/obesity. Although further research is needed to analyse dose–response relationships, these findings reinforce the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles in pregnant women in order to prevent childhood obesity.
Spreading of pruning waste over the soil surface may increase soil organic carbon, thus improving soil physical properties and serving as a source of nutrients and energy for microbial populations. The aim of this study was to test the effect of the environmental conditions and the biochemical composition of pruning waste from avocado, cherimoya, mango and gardens on their decomposition process in a Mediterranean subtropical climate. Bagged pruning and garden waste were placed on the ground at a distance of 1 m around the trunk of the three trees from each crop. The concentrations in C, N, lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, other extracts and ash were determined at the beginning of the experiment (T0), after six (T6) and 24 (T24) months in the field. Initially, significant differences were detected for all types of waste, especially in lignin, hemicellulose, cellulose and other extracts. No significant differences were found in the N content and the C content in mango pruning waste was significantly lower than that in avocado. The greatest weight loss recorded at T24 (63.2%) was related to the lower content in lignin, cellulose and other extracts. Weight losses and C concentrations showed negative correlations with lignin content. Despite the intense decomposition of all the waste, between 55 and 36.8% of the original weights were recorded at the end of the experiment. Recalcitrant C could be the result of the lignin concentrating in the case of the garden waste applied to the different crops.