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In their response to our paper on the problems of using on-farm trials in efforts to scale-out new crop production technologies and practices among smallholder farmers, Wall et al. (2019) focus on our descriptions of on-farm trials in just one of the three case studies of Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) projects that were presented. They argue we did not understand the projects’ philosophy and that the biases in farmer and site selection we discussed, do not exist in the southern Africa case study.
We present 12-month follow-up results for a randomised controlled trial of prolonged exposure and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in 85 (78.8%) participants with psychotic disorder and comorbid post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Positive effects on clinician-rated PTSD, self-rated PTSD, depression, paranoid-referential thinking and remission from schizophrenia were maintained up to 12-month follow-up. Negative post-traumatic cognitions declined in prolonged exposure and were stable in EMDR. A significant decline in social functioning was found, whereas reductions in interference of PTSD symptoms with social functioning were maintained. These results support that current PTSD guidelines apply to individuals with psychosis.
Declaration of interest
M.v.d.G. and D.v.d.B. receive income for published books on psychotic disorders and for the training of postdoctoral professionals in the treatment of psychotic disorders. A.d.J. receives income for published books on EMDR therapy and for the training of postdoctoral professionals in this method. A.v.M. receives income for published book chapters on PTSD and for the training of postdoctoral professionals in prolonged exposure. C.d.R. receives income for the training of postdoctoral professionals in EMDR therapy.
The effect of the ingestion of diets containing either myo-inositol or exogenous phytase on plasma metabolites was examined using 29 kg barrows. The diets were: control (maize, soya, rapeseed, rice bran), control plus 2 g/kg myo-inositol, control plus 1000 phytase units (FYT)/kg or 3000 FYT/kg exogenous phytase. Pigs were housed in a PigTurn device and blood was collected, from jugular catheters, via an automated system at −30, (30 min before feeding), 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 240, 300 and 360 min post-feeding. The addition of 2 g/kg myo-inositol to the basal diet resulted in an increase in plasma myo-inositol concentration that was evident 45–60 min after diet introduction and persisted to 360 min post-feeding. Similarly, supplementation of the basal diet with either 1000 or 3000 FYT/kg exogenous phytase resulted in an increase in plasma myo-inositol concentration that was still rising 360 min post-feeding. Plasma P concentration was increased over time by the addition of 1000 and 3000 FYT/kg phytase, but not by the addition of myo-inositol. Other plasma metabolites examined were not affected by dietary treatment. It can be concluded that oral delivery of myo-inositol results in rapid increase in plasma myo-inositol concentrations that peak approximately 45–60 min after feeding. Use of supplemental phytase achieves similar increases in myo-inositol concentration in plasma but the appearance is more gradual. Furthermore, supplementation of pig diets with exogenous phytase results in rapid appearance of P in plasma that may be sustained over time relative to diets with no added phytase.
Changes in donor priorities have meant that agronomists working in the tropics find themselves in a fundamentally new operational space, one that demands rapid improvements in farmers' livelihoods resulting from the large-scale adoption of new technologies and crop management practices. As a result, on-farm trials in contemporary Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) are increasingly implemented both to collect data and to spur farmer adoption. We examine the different interpretations and organisational practices of AR4D organisations in this new operational space, and reflect on the usefulness of on-farm trials for agricultural technology scaling. Three case studies are presented to address these questions – two in sub-Saharan Africa and one in South Asia. Each study is considered in light of Science and Technology Studies theory and locates science as a politically situated practice, recognising the tension that scientists face between providing evidence and persuading selected audiences. The case studies show that this tension results in the introduction of several biases that limit the scalability of the technologies under investigation. These include biases at the level of the trial location, host-farmer selection, trial design, management and evaluation. We conclude by discussing how the contemporary political and institutional environment of AR4D produces project beneficiaries and research outcomes on selected farms, but not necessarily impacts at scale.
We previously found that guar gum (GG) and chickpea flour (CPF) added to flatbread wheat flour lowered postprandial blood glucose (PPG) and insulin responses dose dependently. However, rates of glucose influx cannot be determined from PPG, which integrates rates of influx, tissue disposal and hepatic glucose production. The objective was to quantify rates of glucose influx and related fluxes as contributors to changes in PPG with GG and CPF additions to wheat-based flatbreads. In a randomised cross-over design, twelve healthy males consumed each of three different 13C-enriched meals: control flatbreads (C), or C incorporating 15 % CPF with either 2 % (GG2) or 4 % (GG4) GG. A dual isotope technique was used to determine the time to reach 50 % absorption of exogenous glucose (T50 %abs, primary objective), rate of appearance of exogenous glucose (RaE), rate of appearance of total glucose (RaT), endogenous glucose production (EGP) and rate of disappearance of total glucose (RdT). Additional exploratory outcomes included PPG, insulin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide and glucagon-like peptide 1, which were additionally measured over 4 h. Compared with C, GG2 and GG4 had no significant effect on T50 %abs. However, GG4 significantly reduced 4-h AUC values for RaE, RaT, RdT and EGP, by 11, 14, 14 and 64 %, respectively, whereas GG2 showed minor effects. Effect sizes over 2 and 4 h were similar except for significantly greater reduction in EGP for GG4 at 2 h. In conclusion, a soluble fibre mix added to flatbreads only slightly reduced rates of glucose influx, but more substantially affected rates of postprandial disposal and hepatic glucose production.
There is accumulating evidence for the role of fronto-striatal and associated circuits in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) but limited and conflicting data on alterations in cortical thickness.
To investigate alterations in cortical thickness and subcortical volume in OCD.
In total, 412 patients with OCD and 368 healthy adults underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans. Between-group analysis of covariance of cortical thickness and subcortical volumes was performed and regression analyses undertaken.
Significantly decreased cortical thickness was found in the OCD group compared with controls in the superior and inferior frontal, precentral, posterior cingulate, middle temporal, inferior parietal and precuneus gyri. There was also a group x age interaction in the parietal cortex, with increased thinning with age in the OCD group relative to controls.
Our findings are partially consistent with earlier work, suggesting that group differences in grey matter volume and cortical thickness could relate to the same underlying pathology of OCD. They partially support a frontostriatal model of OCD, but also suggest that limbic, temporal and parietal regions play a role in the pathophysiology of the disorder. The group x age interaction effects may be the result of altered neuroplasticity.
This study presents secondary analyses of a recently published trial in which post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients with psychosis (n = 108) underwent 8 sessions of trauma-focused treatment, either prolonged exposure (PE) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. 24.1% fulfilled the criteria for the dissociative subtype, a newly introduced PTSD subtype in DSM-5. Treatment outcome was compared for patients with and without the dissociative subtype of PTSD. Patients with the dissociative subtype of PTSD showed large reductions in clinician-administered PTSD scale (CAPS) score, comparable with patients without the dissociative subtype of PTSD. It is concluded that even in a population with severe mental illness, patients with the dissociative subtype of PTSD do benefit from trauma-focused treatments without a pre-phase of emotion regulation skill training and should not be excluded from these treatments.
In patients with psychotic disorders, the effects of psychological post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment on symptoms of psychosis, depression and social functioning are largely unknown
In a single-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) 155 outpatients in treatment for psychosis (61.3% schizophrenic disorder, 29% schizoaffective disorder) were randomized to eight sessions prolonged exposure (PE; n = 53) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) (n = 55), or a waiting-list condition (WL, n = 47) for treatment of their co-morbid PTSD. Measures were performed on (1) psychosis: severity of delusions (PSYRATS-DRS), paranoid thoughts (GPTS), auditory verbal hallucinations (PSYRATS-AHRS), and remission from psychotic disorder (SCI-SR-PANSS); (2) depression (BDI-II); (3) social functioning (PSP). Outcomes were compared at baseline, post-treatment, 6-month follow-up and over all data points.
Both PE and EMDR were significantly associated with less severe paranoid thoughts post-treatment and at 6-month follow-up, and with more patients remitting from schizophrenia, at post-treatment (PE and EMDR) and over time (PE). Moreover, PE was significantly associated with a greater reduction of depression at post-treatment and at 6-month follow-up. Auditory verbal hallucinations and social functioning remained unchanged.
In patients with chronic psychotic disorders PE and EMDR not only reduced PTSD symptoms, but also paranoid thoughts. Importantly, in PE and EMDR more patients accomplished the status of their psychotic disorder in remission. Clinically, these effects are highly relevant and provide empirical support to the notion that delivering PTSD treatment to patients with psychotic disorders and PTSD deserves increasing recognition and acceptance among clinicians.
The radiative decay of massive relic 30eV neutrinos could explain several observational puzzles including the missing dark matter in the universe and the anomalous degree of ionization of interstellar matter in the Galaxy. We note that various non-standard particle physics models with extended scalar sector or minimal supersymmetry have sufficient freedom to accommodate such neutrinos. We discuss observational constraints in the immediate Solar neighborhood, in nearby regions of low interstellar absorption, in the Galactic halo, in clusters of galaxies, and in extragalactic space. Although some observations have been interpreted as ruling out this picture, we note that this is true only for models in which extreme concentrations of neutrinos occur in clusters of galaxies. An instrument is under development to measure the cosmic diffuse EUV background in the local Solar neighborhood, for flight on the Spanish Minisat satellite platform. This instrument will have the capability of providing a definitive test of the radiative neutrino decay hypothesis.
Objectives: Visuospatial processing deficits have been reported in Huntington’s disease (HD). To date, no study has examined associations between visuospatial cognition and posterior brain findings in HD. Methods: We compared 119 premanifest (55> and 64<10.8 years to expected disease onset) and 104 early symptomatic (59 stage-1 and 45 stage-2) gene carriers, with 110 controls on visual search and mental rotation performance at baseline and 12 months. In the disease groups, we also examined associations between task performance and disease severity, functional capacity and structural brain measures. Results: Cross-sectionally, there were strong differences between all disease groups and controls on visual search, and between diagnosed groups and controls on mental rotation accuracy. Only the premanifest participants close to onset took longer than controls to respond correctly to mental rotation. Visual search negatively correlated with disease burden and motor symptoms in diagnosed individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Mental rotation (“same”) was negatively correlated with motor symptoms in stage-2 individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Visual search and mental rotation were associated with parieto-occipital (pre-/cuneus, calcarine, lingual) and temporal (posterior fusiform) volume and cortical thickness. Longitudinally, visual search deteriorated over 12 months in stage-2 individuals, with no evidence of declines in mental rotation. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence linking early visuospatial deficits to functioning and posterior cortical dysfunction in HD. The findings are important since large research efforts have focused on fronto-striatal mediated cognitive changes, with little attention given to aspects of cognition outside of these areas. (JINS, 2016, 22, 595–608)
Delirium may be more prevalent in elderly outpatients than has long been assumed. However, it may be easily missed due to overlap with dementia. Our aim was to study delirium symptoms and underlying somatic disorders in psycho-geriatric outpatients.
We performed a case-control study among outpatients that were referred to a psychiatric institution between January 1st and July 1st 2010 for cognitive evaluation. We compared 44 cases with DSM-IV delirium (24 with and 20 without dementia) to 44 controls with dementia only. All participants were aged 70 years or older. We extracted from the medical files (1) referral characteristics including demographics, medical history, medication use, and referral reasons, (2) delirium symptoms, scored with the Delirium Rating Scale-Revised-98, and (3) underlying disorders categorized as: drugs/intoxication, infection, metabolic/endocrine disturbances, cardiovascular disorders, central nervous system disorders, and other health problems.
At referral, delirium patients had significantly higher numbers of chronic diseases and medications, and more often a history of delirium and a recent hospital admission than controls. Most study participants, including those with delirium, were referred for evaluation of (suspected) dementia. The symptoms that occurred more frequently in cases were: sleep disturbances, perceptual abnormalities, delusions, affect lability, agitation, attention deficits, acute onset, and fluctuations. Drug related (68%), infectious (61%), and metabolic-endocrine (50%) disturbances were often involved.
Detection of delirium and distinction from dementia in older outpatients was feasible but required detailed caregiver information about the presence, onset, and course of symptoms. Most underlying disorders could be managed at home.
As scholars have rushed to either prove or refute cultural group selection (CGS), the debate lacks sufficient consideration of CGS's potential moderators. We argue that pressures for CGS are particularly strong when groups face ecological and human-made threat. Field, experimental, computational, and genetic evidence are presented to substantiate this claim.
Early-life adversity is a risk for obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD),
but the impact at the neural level is less clear.
To investigate the association between brain volumes and early-life
adversity in individuals with a diagnosis of OCD only.
The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ-28) was used to assess early-life
adversity in 21 participants with OCD and 25 matched healthy controls.
The relationship between global and regional brain volume and early-life
adversity was measured using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). All data were
corrected for multiple comparisons using family-wise error (FWE) at
In the OCD group, correlations with total CTQ scores were positively
associated with a larger right orbitofrontal cortex volume. Physical
neglect was higher in the OCD group than in controls and was positively
associated with larger right cerebellum volume in the OCD group only.
Larger brain volumes may reflect underlying developmental neuropathology
in adults with OCD who also have experience of childhood trauma.
An efficient and robust method to measure vitamin D (25-hydroxy vitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) and 25-hydroxy vitamin D2 in dried blood spots (DBS) has been developed and applied in the pan-European multi-centre, internet-based, personalised nutrition intervention study Food4Me. The method includes calibration with blood containing endogenous 25(OH)D3, spotted as DBS and corrected for haematocrit content. The methodology was validated following international standards. The performance characteristics did not reach those of the current gold standard liquid chromatography-MS/MS in plasma for all parameters, but were found to be very suitable for status-level determination under field conditions. DBS sample quality was very high, and 3778 measurements of 25(OH)D3 were obtained from 1465 participants. The study centre and the season within the study centre were very good predictors of 25(OH)D3 levels (P<0·001 for each case). Seasonal effects were modelled by fitting a sine function with a minimum 25(OH)D3 level on 20 January and a maximum on 21 July. The seasonal amplitude varied from centre to centre. The largest difference between winter and summer levels was found in Germany and the smallest in Poland. The model was cross-validated to determine the consistency of the predictions and the performance of the DBS method. The Pearson’s correlation between the measured values and the predicted values was r 0·65, and the sd of their differences was 21·2 nmol/l. This includes the analytical variation and the biological variation within subjects. Overall, DBS obtained by unsupervised sampling of the participants at home was a viable methodology for obtaining vitamin D status information in a large nutritional study.
Initial infection with the sentinel respiratory pathogen in children with cystic fibrosis (CF), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa), is generally with environmental strains of this ubiquitous organism. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations between meteorological and geographical factors and risk of initial Pa acquisition in young children with CF. Using the U.S. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry from 2003 to 2009, 3463 patients met inclusion criteria, of which 48% (n = 1659) acquired Pa during follow-up. From multivariable Weibull regression, increased risk of Pa acquisition was associated with increasing temperature [hazard ratio (HR) per 1 °C: 1·13; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·08–1·13], dew point (HR per 1 °C: 1·10, 95% CI 1·07–1·13), rainfall (HR per cm: 1·10, 95% CI 1·07–1·12), latitude (HR per 1 °C northing: 1·15, 95% CI 1·11–1·20), longitude (HR per 1 °C easting: 1·01, 95% CI 1·01–1·02) and elevation (HR per 100 m: 1·05, 95% CI 1·03–1·07). These results suggest that environmental factors may play a previously unrecognized role in the aetiology of initial Pa acquisition.
To determine longitudinal changes in psychopathology in a cohort of patients 30–43 years after their first cardiac surgery for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in childhood, to compare outcomes of the 30- to 43-year follow-up with normative data, and to identify medical predictors for psychopathology.
This study is the third follow-up of this cohort. The first and second follow-ups of this same cohort were conducted in 1990 and 2001, respectively. At all three follow-ups, psychopathology was assessed with standardised, parallel questionnaires. In 2011, subjective health status was assessed by the Short Form-36. Medical predictor variables were derived from medical examinations and medical records.
In this third follow-up, a total of 252 patients participated. Of these, 152 patients participated in all three follow-ups. Over a 30-year period, proportions of patients showing psychopathology decreased significantly.
At the 30- to 43-year follow-up, overall outcomes on psychopathology for the CHD sample were similar or even better compared with normative groups. Subjective health status was also better compared with normative data.
No differences were found between cardiac diagnostic groups. Medical variables that predicted the course of psychopathology over time were as follows: the scar, as judged by the patient, results of the first cardiac surgery, and the number of hospitalisations.
Over a 30-year period, psychopathology decreased in patients with CHD. Levels of psychopathology in these patients, who are now aged between 30 and 54 years, were comparable or even better than normative data.
Neuroimaging studies have indicated that prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with alterations in the structure of specific brain regions in children. However, the temporal and regional specificity of such changes and their behavioural consequences are less known. Here we explore the integrity of regional white matter microstructure in infants with in utero exposure to alcohol, shortly after birth.
Twenty-eight alcohol-exposed and 28 healthy unexposed infants were imaged using diffusion tensor imaging sequences to evaluate white matter integrity using validated tract-based spatial statistics analysis methods. Second, diffusion values were extracted for group comparisons by regions of interest. Differences in fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity were compared between groups and associations with measures from the Dubowitz neonatal neurobehavioural assessment were examined.
Lower AD values (p<0.05) were observed in alcohol-exposed infants in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus compared with non-exposed infants. Altered FA and MD values in alcohol-exposed neonates in the right inferior cerebellar were associated with abnormal neonatal neurobehaviour.
These exploratory data suggest that prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with reduced white matter microstructural integrity even early in the neonatal period. The association with clinical measures reinforces the likely clinical significance of this finding. The location of the findings is remarkably consistent with previously reported studies of white matter structural deficits in older children with a diagnosis of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is highly prevalent in patients with a psychotic disorder. Because a PTSD diagnosis is often missed in patients with psychosis in routine care, a valid screening instrument could be helpful.
To determine the validity of the Trauma Screening Questionnaire (TSQ) as a screening tool for PTSD among individuals with psychotic disorders.
Among 2608 patients with a psychotic disorder, the rate of trauma exposure was determined and the TSQ was administered to screen for PTSD. PTSD status was verified in 455 patients using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (trial registration: ISRCTN 79584912).
Trauma exposure was reported by 78.2% of the 2608 patients. PTSD prevalence was estimated at 16% (95% CI 14.6–17.4%) compared with 0.5% reported in the patients' clinical charts. A TSQ cut-off score of six predicted PTSD with 78.8% sensitivity, 75.6% specificity, 44.5% correct positives and 93.6% correct negatives.
The TSQ seems to be a valid screening tool for PTSD in patients with a psychotic disorder.