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Depression and coronary heart disease (CHD) are highly comorbid conditions. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in cardiovascular processes. Depressed patients typically show decreased BDNF concentrations. We analysed the relationship between BDNF and depression in a sample of patients with CHD and additionally distinguished between cognitive-affective and somatic depression symptoms. We also investigated whether BDNF was associated with somatic comorbidity burden, acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or congestive heart failure (CHF).
The following variables were assessed for 225 hospitalised patients with CHD: BDNF concentrations, depression [Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)], somatic comorbidity (Charlson Comorbidity Index), CHF, ACS, platelet count, smoking status and antidepressant treatment.
Regression models revealed that BDNF was not associated with severity of depression. Although depressed patients (PHQ-9 score >7) had significantly lower BDNF concentrations compared to non-depressed patients (p = 0.04), this was not statistically significant after controlling for confounders (p = 0.15). Cognitive-affective symptoms and somatic comorbidity burden each closely missed a statistically significant association with BDNF concentrations (p = 0.08, p = 0.06, respectively). BDNF was reduced in patients with CHF (p = 0.02). There was no covariate-adjusted, significant association between BDNF and ACS.
Serum BDNF concentrations are associated with cardiovascular dysfunction. Somatic comorbidities should be considered when investigating the relationship between depression and BDNF.
Schizotypy is a putative risk phenotype for psychosis liability, but the overlap of its genetic architecture with schizophrenia is poorly understood.
We tested the hypothesis that dimensions of schizotypy (assessed with the SPQ-B) are associated with a polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia in a sample of 623 psychiatrically healthy, non-clinical subjects from the FOR2107 multi-centre study and a second sample of 1133 blood donors.
We did not find correlations of schizophrenia PRS with either overall SPQ or specific dimension scores, nor with adjusted schizotypy scores derived from the SPQ (addressing inter-scale variance). Also, PRS for affective disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression) were not significantly associated with schizotypy.
This important negative finding demonstrates that despite the hypothesised continuum of schizotypy and schizophrenia, schizotypy might share less genetic risk with schizophrenia than previously assumed (and possibly less compared to psychotic-like experiences).
Our research at the large LBK settlement site of Vráble, southwest Slovakia, revealed dynamics of social integration and antagonisms unfolding in an agglomerated, early farming community. During its lifespan from 5250 to 4950 bc, it constantly grew until around 5050 bc it was inhabited by about 70 contemporaneous longhouses. We found that Vráble consisted of markedly autonomous farmstead units that were held together by village-wide social institutions including sharing and communality. Nevertheless, from the beginning, a contradiction between particular farmstead and collective village and neighbourhood interests existed and rose. Towards the end of the village's existence, around 5075 bc an elaborate enclosure was constructed around one of the three neigbourhoods, actively blocking contact with the others. Along this enclosure, human bodies were deposited, showing a social categorization that we interpret as relating to social inequality. This rising level of conflict and emerging social inequality was, we argue, not sustainable under the conditions of early farming societies and led to the village's abandonment at 4950 bc.
The paper discusses a new method for the propagation of risk levels. This discretization takes place by considering the phase space of the state and its subdivision into boxes. In each time step, the method computes the probability of the state being in one box. We start with a variety of technical and physical problems by showing how discrete modeling under uncertainties is technically meaningful and often even problem inherent. Then we select the technical problem of contaminant spread in water grids, to which we apply the method of risk-level propagation in depth. Extensions of the method such as modeling of contaminant mixing at junctions in the discretized phase space and the applicability of conservation laws arise naturally along these lines and are discussed in the context of the general theory.
The potential of electrospray deposition, for the controlled preparation of particles for imaging in electron microscopes, is evaluated on various materials: from mono-modal suspensions of spherical particles to multimodal suspensions and to real-world industrial materials. It is shown that agglomeration is reduced substantially on the sample carrier, compared with conventional sample preparation techniques. For the first time, it is possible to assess the number concentration of a tri-modal polystyrene suspension by electron microscopy, due to the high deposition efficiency of the electrospray. We discovered that some suspension stabilizing surfactants form artifact particles during electrospraying. These can be avoided by optimizing the sprayed suspension.