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Impaired working memory is a core feature of schizophrenia and is linked with altered engagement the lateral prefrontal cortex. Although altered PFC activation has been reported in people with increased risk of psychosis, at present it is not clear if this neurofunctional alteration differs between familial and clinical risk states and/or increases in line with the level of psychosis risk. We addressed this issue by using functional MRI and a working memory paradigm to study familial and clinical high-risk groups. We recruited 17 subjects at ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis, 10 non-affected siblings of patients with schizophrenia (familial high risk [FHR]) and 15 healthy controls. Subjects were scanned while performing the N-back working memory task. There was a relationship between the level of task-related deactivation in the medial PFC and precuneus and the level of psychosis risk, with deactivation weakest in the UHR group, greatest in healthy controls, and at an intermediate level in the FHR group. In the high-risk groups, activation in the precuneus was associated with the level of negative symptoms. These data suggest that increased vulnerability to psychosis is associated with a failure to deactivate in the medial PFC and precuneus during a working memory task, and appears to be most evident in subjects at clinical, as opposed to familial high risk.
A Last affiliation changed 3 to 4 against MS. Please check and confirm if it is fine. small number of the sample of 184 carbon stars in the Magellanic Clouds show signs that they are in the act of evolving off of the asymptotic giant branch. Most carbon stars grow progressively redder in all infrared colors and develop stronger pulsation amplitudes as their circumstellar dust shells become optically thicker. The reddest sources, however, have unexpectedly low pulsation amplitudes, and some even show blue excesses that could point to deviations from spherical symmetry as they eject the last of their envelopes. Previously, all dusty carbon-rich AGB stars have been labeled “extreme,” but that term should be reserved for the truly extreme carbon stars. These objects may well hold the clues needed to disentangle what actually happens when a star ejects the last of its envelope and evolves off of the AGB.
Cognitive remediation (CR) training has emerged as a promising approach to improving cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and related psychosis. The limited availability of psychological services for psychosis is a major barrier to accessing this intervention however. This study investigated the effectiveness of a low support, remotely accessible, computerised working memory (WM) training programme in patients with psychosis.
Ninety patients were enrolled into a single blind randomised controlled trial of CR. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in terms of neuropsychological performance, social and occupational function, and functional MRI 2 weeks post-intervention, with neuropsychological and social function again assessed 3–6 months post-treatment.
Patients who completed the intervention showed significant gains in both neuropsychological function (measured using both untrained WM and episodic task performance, and a measure of performance IQ), and social function at both 2-week follow-up and 3–6-month follow-up timepoints. Furthermore, patients who completed MRI scanning showed improved resting state functional connectivity relative to patients in the placebo condition.
CR training has already been shown to improve cognitive and social function in patient with psychosis. This study demonstrates that, at least for some chronic but stable outpatients, a low support treatment was associated with gains that were comparable with those reported for CR delivered entirely on a 1:1 basis. We conclude that CR has potential to be delivered even in services in which psychological supports for patients with psychosis are limited.
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.
To evaluate and compare the opinions of key stakeholders involved in the involuntary admission and treatment of patients under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2001 regarding their views towards the operation of the legislation.
We employed a descriptive survey design. A questionnaire was distributed to stakeholders involved in the operation of the MHA 2001 (except service users, whose views were explored in a separate qualitative study) via paper or online versions evaluating their opinions regarding the operation of the MHA 2001 in relation to assessment, care, rights, transfer and information available.
Stakeholders agreed that in their opinion that patients generally benefit from the care they receive (79%) and that the MHA 2001 ensures an independent and fair review of the person’s detention (65%). However, only 23% of stakeholders were satisfied with the process of transferring patients to hospital and with the clinical assessment procedures therein (37%), with the greatest levels of dissatisfaction amongst Gardai (Police), general practitioners (GPs) and family members.
While the introduction of the MHA 2001 has assisted delivery of care to patients with improved adherence to international human rights frameworks applicable at the time of its enactment, substantial dissatisfaction with the implementation of the MHA 2001 in practice is experienced by stakeholders particularly at the distressing phase of clinical assessment and transfer to hospital.
We analyze the dust emission features seen in Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) spectra of red supergiant (RSG) and oxygen-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud and Small Magellanic Cloud galaxies and in various Milky Way globular clusters. The spectra come from the Spitzer Legacy program SAGE-Spectroscopy (PI: F. Kemper), the Spitzer program SMC-Spec (PI: G. Sloan), and other archival Spitzer-IRS programs. The broad 10 and 20 micron emission features attributed to amorphous dust of silicate composition seen in the spectra show evidence for systematic differences in the centroid of both emission features between O-rich AGB and RSG populations. Radiative transfer modeling using the GRAMS grid of models of AGB and RSG stars suggests that the centroid differences are due to differences in dust properties. We investigate differences in dust composition, size, shape, etc that might be responsible for these spectral differences. We explore how these differences may arise from the different circumstellar environments around RSG and O-rich AGB stars and assess effects of varying metallicity (LMC versus SMC versus Milky Way globular cluster) and other properties (mass-loss rate, luminosity, etc.) on the dust originating from these stars. BAS acknowledges funding from NASA ADAP grant NNX13AD54G.
The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of radiographer led verification of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images for patients with solitary lung tumours treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment (SBRT).
Material and methods
CBCT setup images of 20 patients from the first fraction of each patient were retrospectively registered by therapeutic radiographers. The displacements recorded were compared with the clinical oncologist’s original online match. The time taken by radiographers to verify the CBCT images was also recorded.
Overall agreement for all radiographers when compared with the clinical oncologist match was 91%. Interobserver variations between radiographers were X plane 0·87 (0·76–0·94); Y plane 0·74 (0·51–0·88); and Z plane 0·88 (0·78–0·95) intraclass correlation coefficient and 95% confidence interval. The average time taken for verification was 128 seconds.
Therapeutic radiographers are able to verify CBCT images for thorax SBRT with results comparable to the ‘gold standard’ clinical oncologists’ match, however additional training will be provided for online verification. The time taken was within acceptable limits.
Dense retinotopy data sets were obtained by microelectrode visual receptive field mapping in dorsal and lateral visual cortex of anesthetized owl monkeys. The cortex was then physically flatmounted and stained for myelin or cytochrome oxidase. Retinotopic mapping data were digitized, interpolated to a uniform grid, analyzed using the visual field sign technique—which locally distinguishes mirror image from nonmirror image visual field representations—and correlated with the myelin or cytochrome oxidase patterns. The region between V2 (nonmirror) and MT (nonmirror) contains three areas—DLp (mirror), DLi (nonmirror), and DLa/MTc (mirror). DM (mirror) was thin anteroposteriorly, and its reduced upper field bent somewhat anteriorly away from V2. DI (nonmirror) directly adjoined V2 (nonmirror) and contained only an upper field representation that also adjoined upper field DM (mirror). Retinotopy was used to define area VPP (nonmirror), which adjoins DM anteriorly, area FSTd (mirror), which adjoins MT ventrolaterally, and TP (mirror), which adjoins MT and DLa/MTc dorsoanteriorly. There was additional retinotopic and architectonic evidence for five more subdivisions of dorsal and lateral extrastriate cortex—TA (nonmirror), MSTd (mirror), MSTv (nonmirror), FSTv (nonmirror), and PP (mirror). Our data appear quite similar to data from marmosets, though our field sign-based areal subdivisions are slightly different. The region immediately anterior to the superiorly located central lower visual field V2 varied substantially between individuals, but always contained upper fields immediately touching lower visual field V2. This region appears to vary even more between species. Though we provide a summary diagram, given within- and between-species variation, it should be regarded as a guide to parsing complex retinotopy rather than a literal representation of any individual, or as the only way to agglomerate the complex mosaic of partial upper and lower field, mirror- and nonmirror-image patches into areas.
Psychotic disorders continue to be among the most disabling and scientifically challenging of all mental illnesses. Accumulating research findings suggest that the etiologic processes underlying the development of these disorders are more complex than had previously been assumed. At the same time, this complexity has revealed a wider range of potential options for preventive intervention, both psychosocial and biological. In part, these opportunities result from our increased understanding of the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the neurodevelopmental mechanisms involved in the disease process, as well as the evidence that many of these entail processes that are malleable. In this article, we review the burgeoning research literature on the prodrome to psychosis, based on studies of individuals who meet clinical high risk criteria. This literature has examined a range of factors, including cognitive, genetic, psychosocial, and neurobiological. We then turn to a discussion of some contemporary models of the etiology of psychosis that emphasize the prodromal period. These models encompass the origins of vulnerability in fetal development, as well as postnatal stress, the immune response, and neuromaturational processes in adolescent brain development that appear to go awry during the prodrome to psychosis. Then, informed by these neurodevelopmental models of etiology, we turn to the application of new research paradigms that will address critical issues in future investigations. It is expected that these studies will play a major role in setting the stage for clinical trials aimed at preventive intervention.
Globular clusters (GC) are powerful tools to analyse the Halo environment: spread throughout the Halo at distances of 2– 122 kpc, moving with space velocities of ∼200 km s−1, they provide unique tracers of local Halo conditions. Each cluster enriches the Halo with several M⊙ Myr−1 through stellar winds. The interaction of these winds with the Halo can be used as a probe of the local Halo environment.
Using spectral energy distributions of 6875 stars in the GC ω Cen, we quantify the cluster’s total mass loss. Comparing this to observed limits on intra-cluster material (ICM), we find the ICM is being cleared from these clusters on timescales of <105 yr. We also present new 21 cm observations of the high velocity H i cloud near ω Cen in the context of recent Spitzer observations, discussing its structure and likely associations.
To determine the feasibility of using electronic laboratory and admission-discharge-transfer data from BioSense, a national automated surveillance system, to apply new modified Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) surveillance definitions and calculate overall and facility-specific rates of disease.
Retrospective, multicenter cohort study.
Thirty-four hospitals sending inpatient, emergency department, and /or outpatient data to BioSense.
Laboratory codes and text-parsing methods were used to extract C. difficile-positive toxin assay results from laboratory data sent to BioSense during the period from January 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008; these were merged with administrative records to determine whether cases were community associated or healthcare onset, as well as patient-day data for rate calculations. A patient was classified as having hospital-onset CDI if he or she had a C. difficile toxin-positive result on a stool sample collected 3 or more days after admission and community-onset CDI if the specimen was collected less than 3 days after admission or the patient was not hospitalized.
A total of 4,585 patients from 34 hospitals in 12 states had C. difficile-positive assay results. More than half (53.0%) of the cases were community-onset, and 30.8% of these occurred in patients who were recently hospitalized. The overall rate of healthcare-onset CDI was 7.8 cases per 10,000 patient-days, with a range among facilities of 1.5-27.8 cases per 10,000 patient-days.
Electronic laboratory data sent to the BioSense surveillance system were successfully used to produce disease rates of CDI comparable to those of other studies, which shows the feasibility of using electronic laboratory data to track a disease of public health importance.
On 27 January 2010 a small eruption of basaltic lava occurred 75 km NE of Quetta, Pakistan. This was highly unusual – no eruptions from this magmatically inactive area have ever been reported. Two petrographically distinct basalts types were indentified in the vesicular eruptive products. One basalt type consists of completely fresh, light brown glass with a few (<1 vol.%) partially resorbed quartz-rich xenoliths, whereas the other type is non-glassy and the lava is completely devitrified. These types also have slightly different geochemical signatures that can be partially explained by crustal assimilation. Re-melting of local basaltic rocks by short circuiting of a ruptured high-tension electrical cable is considered unlikely. Mantle melt modelling suggests that the lavas have been largely derived from a source in the garnet-spinel transition zone, i.e. well within the lithosphere. It is proposed that localized asthenospheric melting resulted in relatively depleted melts which were substantially contaminated by fusible lithospheric mantle en route to the surface. Further small-scale eruptions cannot be ruled out.
Morphometric endophenotypes which have been proposed for psychotic disorders include lateral ventricular enlargement and hippocampal volume reductions. Genetic epidemiological studies support an overlap between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and COMT, BDNF, 5-HTT, NRG1 and DTNBP1 genes have been implicated in the aetiology of both these disorders. This study examined associations between these candidate genes and morphometric endophenotypes for psychosis.
A total of 383 subjects (128 patients with psychosis, 194 of their unaffected relatives and 61 healthy controls) from the Maudsley Family Psychosis Study underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging and genotyping. The effect of candidate genes on brain morphometry was examined using linear regression models adjusting for clinical group, age, sex and correlations between members of the same family.
The results showed no evidence of association between variation in COMT genotype and lateral ventricular, and left or right hippocampal volumes. Neither was there any effect of the BDNF, 5-HTTLPR, NRG1 and DTNBP1 genotypes on these regional brain volumes.
Abnormal hippocampal and lateral ventricular volumes are among the most replicated endophenotypes for psychosis; however, the influences of COMT, BDNF, 5-HTT, NRG1 and DTNBP1 genes on these key brain regions must be very subtle if at all present.
In investigating the impact of discharges from the nuclear industry on non-human biota, much attention has been given to biota in marine and terrestrial environments. Relatively little attention to date has been given to the exposure of biota to groundwater containing man-made radionuclides. This area of interest is growing especially in the field of nuclear waste repositories. A scoping assessment has been performed to determine the impacts due to radiological contamination on organisms living within or coming into contact with groundwater at the Sellafield site, UK. for time periods up to 2120, modelling of contaminant release from in-ground inventories and transport in groundwater was carried out using a relatively simple assessment methodology with the MONDRIAN modelling suite. Calculated equivalent dose rates to freshwater and marine biota were significantly higher at groundwater sites within the Sellafield boundary than at locations offsite. In general, the total weighted absorbed dose rates calculated in this scoping assessment were of no radiological significance in relation to the England and Wales Environment Agency freshwater ecosystem trigger level (40 µGy h-1). The one exception to this was for bacteria, although the calculated exposure rate is believed to be inconsequential due to the very small size of bacteria.
An allometric scaling approach has been used to calculate biological half-lives of elimination (TB1/2) and concentration factors (CF) for radionuclides in marine biota. Power functions of organism mass are fitted to a biokinetic database for plankton, seaweed, fish, crustaceans and molluscs, using data generated by us, in combination with reviewed data. Scaling of the CF to M-0.26 ± 0.09 is observed, compatible at ±1σ with metabolic theory predictions that metabolism scales to M0.75. We also observe scaling of TB1/2 to M+0.16 ± 0.03, within the previously reported range +0.15 to +0.30 for biota from various environments and, at < ± 3σ, slightly outside turnover rate scaling predictions to M-0.25. The elements for which the CF scales better allometrically are particle seeking, mainly lanthanides and actinides. Association of the independent term of the allometric power function a with the sediment-water partition coefficient Kd is strongest for these elements, possibly through binding to biological/organic matter. The findings from this study are relevant to extend the range of applicability of our biota dose assessment methodologies where data gaps in transfer exist.
The properties of Ta2O5 thin films with respect to different underlayer stack have been investigated. At first, a set of samples were produced at various conditions as an underlayer of Ta2O5 film deposition. Then, Ta2O5 films were grown using a MOCVD method with Ta(OC2H5)5 pre-curser at 440 °C. The Process parameters for Ta2O5 films were remained same through the preparation of the sample set. The results were analyzed using various methods including thickness measurement, SEM, stress measurement, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and electrical property measurements. Different grain structures and growth rates were observed with respect to the different underlayer preparation condition mainly as a function of deposition temperature. The deposition rate varied from 0.6 Åsec to 1.8Åsec depend on different underlayer. Crystalline Ta2O5 films with large-grain-size were obtained on Aluminum/TiN underlayer stack. Films with crystalline structure show better leakage current characteristics than the amorphous one.