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Treatment of medical catatonia sometimes requires management of presenting psychiatric syndrome as well as treatment of causative medical illnesses. Treatment response to these approaches may, however, differ even in the same patient suffering a relapse of a similar clinical picture, and this presents a therapeutic challenge for physicians. We therefore report a case of medical catatonia due to Graves’ disease which responded to antithyroid therapy in the first episode but required electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) when relapsed, then discuss the possible mechanism which caused different treatment response.
We describe the clinical course with the laboratory findings of recurrent catatonic episodes of a patient with Graves’ disease.
A 25-year-old woman manifested stupor, catalepsy and echolalia accompanying goiter, proptosis and tachycardia. Laboratory findings on thyroid function were consistent with Graves’ disease. Treated with thyamazole (TMZ), her psychiatric and physical symptoms gradually subsided. She had remained euthyroid and symptom free for 10 years on TMZ 5 mg every other day. However, at age 35, she exhibited stupor with mannerism and stereotypy. Laboratory findings revealed mild exercerbation of thyroid function. Though antithyroid therapy regained euthyroid, her psychiatric symptoms persisted. Further treatment with neuroleptics did not ameliorate her symptoms. She was thus administered bitemporal ECT and recovered after 7th trial.
Aggravation of thyroid function associated with catatonic symptoms when relapsed was milder compared to the first episode. This suggested that dysregulation of thyroid homeostasis in the central nervous system might have persisted despite the peripheral euthyroid and could affect the treatment response.
The authors evaluated cerebral blood flow response in schizophrenia patients during face perception to test the hypothesis of diminished limbic activation related to emotional relevance of facial stimuli.
Thirteen patients with schizophrenia and 17 comparison subjects viewed facial displays of happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, fear, and disgust as well as neutral faces using the Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expressions of Emotion and Neutral Faces (Matsumoto and Ekman, 1988). Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal changes as the subjects alternated between tasks of discriminating sex with an interleaved reference condition.
The groups did not differ in performance on the task. Healthy participants showed activation in the bilateral fusiform gyrus, medial temporal structures, occipital lobe, and inferior frontal cortex relative to the baseline condition. The increase was greater these regions in the right hemisphere than those in the left hemisphere. In the patients with schizophrenia, minimal focal response in the right fusiform gyrus, medial temporal structures, and occipital lobe was observed for the facial perception task relative to the baseline condition. Contrasting patients and comparison subjects revealed voxels in the left medial temporal structures, occipital lobe in which the healthy comparison subjects had significantly greater activation.
Impaired activation was seen in patients with schizophrenia for detection of facial attributes such as sex. Impairment in the medial temporal structure such as amygdale may lead to misunderstanding of social communication and may underlie difficulties in social adjustment experienced by people with schizophrenia.
In general, recent cognitive training has received increasing interest as a solution to age-related cognitive decline. Although the general public's interest in cognitive or brain training is increasing, the generalizing or transfer effect of such training remains unclear. We previously introduced a new cognitive intervention program for senile dementia, named learning therapy. The principle of learning therapy is to activate the prefrontal cortex by solving simple mathematical and language problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the beneficial effects of a new cognitive intervention program designed for normal aged people, the concepts of which are is derived from learning therapy.
We applied a similar daily cognitive training program to community-dwelling seniors to determine the effects of training on cognitive functions, particularly on the function of the prefrontal cortex, by a single-blind randomized controlled trial and a large scale cohort study. In these studies, neuropsychological measures were determined prior to and after six months of the intervention (post-test) by mini-mental state examination (MMSE), frontal assessment battery at bed side (FAB), and a digit-symbol substitution test (DST) of WAIS-R.
The results indicate that the transfer effect of cognitive intervention by reading and solving arithmetic problems on non-targeted cognitive functions was demonstrated in both studies, and are convincing evidence that cognitive training has the beneficial effects of maintaining and improving cognitive functions.
The psychological stimulations made possible by expertise and technology in brain science can improve the higher cognitive functions of seniors.
Although longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown that various brain regions undergo progressive tissue loss during the early phases of schizophrenia, regional pattern of these changes remain unclear.
Longitudinal MRI data were obtained from 18 (12 males and 6 females) patients with first-episode schizophrenia and 20 (11 males and 9 females) healthy controls and at baseline and follow-up with mean scan interval of 2.7 years. To compare gray matter changes over time between patients and controls were evaluated with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) using SPM8 following the longitudinal DARTEL protocol.
In both groups of patient and control longitudinal gray mater reduction was observed in various brain regions including lateral and medial frontal regions and superior temporal region. Excessive decrease in gray matter was found in patients as compared to healthy controls in the left superior temporal region and right inferior frontal region.
Our findings suggest that there are differing longitudinal gray matter changes in patients with schizophrenia during the early phases of the illness as compared to healthy individuals.
Idiopathic basal ganglia calcification (IBGC) is a neuropathological finding known to manifest motor disturbance, cognitive impairment and psychiatric symptoms. Pathophysiology of psychiatric symptoms, however, remains controversial. Previous biochemical study suggests that dopaminergic impairment is involved in IBGC. We therefore performed positron emission tomography (PET) to elucidate the pre- and postsynaptic dopaminergic function and glucose metabolism in two IBGC patients.
Case 1 is a 44 years old woman presented with disorganized thought, echolalia, verbigeration and parkinsonism. She was administered bitemporal electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). Case 2 is a 35 years old woman with persecutory delusion. Computed tomography showed bilateral symmetric calcification of striatum, globus pallidus and dentate nucei. Other causes of intracranial calcification were excluded. PET scans were obtained using [11C]-labeled 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-flurophenyl)-tropane, [11C]-labeled raclopride and [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose.
The decreased binding potential was severe in bilateral head of caudate nuclei and anterior putamen. In case 1, the decline was also found in posterior putamen. There were widespread decreases of glucose uptake in frontal, temporal and parietal cortices bilaterally in case 1. Significant hypometabolism was observed in the right frontal, temporal and parietal cortices. After the ECT session, the previous areas of significant hypometabolism in the right hemisphere had improved. In case 2, there was no significant change of glucose metabolism in cerebral cortex.
The difference in affected region within basal ganglia might be associated with the diverse clinical pictures in IBGC. Particularly, in the psychiatric manifestation, dopaminergic dysfunction in caudate nucleus and anterior putamen could be participated.
N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were investigated. In addition, plasma levels of homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) were compared between the two groups.
Eighteen patients (nine males, nine females; age range: 13–52 years) were enrolled in the study, and 18 volunteers (nine males, nine females; age range: 15–49 years) with no current or past psychiatric history were also studied by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) as sex- and age-matched controls.
Levels of NAA/Cr in the left basal ganglia (p = 0.0065) and parieto-occipital lobe (p = 0.00498), but not in the frontal lobe, were significantly lower in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis than in control subjects. No difference was observed between the serum BDNF levels of patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and control subjects. In regard to the plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, plasma MHPG, but not HVA, was significantly lower in the patients with first-episode psychosis than in control subjects. In addition, a significantly positive correlation was observed between the levels of NAA/Cr of the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG in all subjects.
These results suggest that brain NAA levels in the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG levels were significantly reduced at the first episode of schizophrenia psychosis, indicating that neurodegeneration via noradrenergic neurons might be associated with the initial progression of the disease.
Impaired self-awareness has been noted as a core feature of schizophrenia. Recent neuroimaging studies examining self-referential process in schizophrenia have yielded inconsistent results. We aimed to examine the self-referential neural network using the self- and other-evaluation tasks in schizophrenia.
Fifteen schizophrenia patients and fifteen age-, sex- and parental education-matched healthy subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects were required to make a decision whether the sentence described their own personal trait (self-evaluation) and that of their close friends (other-evaluation).
Both patients and healthy groups showed significant activation in multiple brain regions including the medial- and lateral-prefrontal, temporal and parietal cortices during self- and other-evaluation tasks. The control subjects showed higher activations in left posterior cingulate and parahippocampal gyri during self-evaluation than other-evaluation, whereas there was no difference in activated regions between self- and other-conditions in the patients. As compared with the controls, the patients showed higher activations in the right superior frontal and right supramarginal gyri during self-evaluation.
These findings provide evidence for neural basis for deficits in self-awareness in schizophrenia and may underlie core clinical symptomatology of schizophrenia.
Transnasal inferior meatal antrostomy is increasingly used for the treatment of post-Caldwell–Luc mucoceles in maxillary sinus. This study aimed to report the outcomes after inferior meatal antrostomy with a mucosal flap for recurrent mucoceles.
The records of patients who had undergone transnasal inferior meatal antrostomy with or without a mucosal flap were reviewed.
Transnasal endoscopic inferior meatal antrostomy with or without a mucosal flap was performed in 21 and 49 patients, respectively. No complications were observed. A closing of the antrostomy was found in 9 (18.4 per cent) of the 49 patients who underwent antrostomy without a mucosal flap. No closings were observed in the 21 patients who underwent antrostomy with a mucosal flap. There was a significant difference in the rate of closing for surgery with and without the mucosal flap.
Transnasal endoscopic inferior meatal antrostomy with a mucosal flap is a safe method for the treatment of post-Caldwell–Luc maxillary mucoceles that effectively prevents recurrence.
The tachinid fly Drino inconspicuoides (Diptera: Tachinidae) is an ovolarviparous endoparasitoid whose larvae develop in the host haemocoel and avoids the host immune system. In this study, we investigated the immune evasion mechanisms of this species during infestation in the host Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). We discovered a unique ‘cloak’ that surrounded D. inconspicuoides larvae that penetrated into the host and determined through genomic polymerase chain reaction analysis that this structure originated from the host rather than the tachinid. The ‘cloak’ contained both haemocytes and fat body cells from the host, with the haemocytes assembling around the larvae first and the fat body cells then covering the haemocyte layer, following which the two mixed. Living D. inconspicuoides larvae that were wrapped in the ‘cloak’ were not melanized whereas encapsulated dead larvae were melanized, suggesting that this structure contributes to the avoidance of host immune reactions.
Section 1 of the FM14 focus on bridging the astronomy research and outreach communities - recent highlights, emerging collaborations, best practices and support structures. This paper also contains supplementary materials that point to contributed talks and poster presentations that can be found online.
An outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 occurred in multiple prefectures of Japan in November 2009. We conducted two case–control studies with trace-back and trace-forward investigations to determine the source. The case definition was met by 21 individuals; 14 (66.7%) were hospitalised, but no haemolytic uraemic syndrome, acute encephalopathy or deaths occurred. Median age was 23 (range 12–48) years and 14 cases were male (66.7%). No significant associations with food were found in a case–control study by local public health centres, but our matched case–control study using Internet surveys found that beef hanging tender (or hanger steak), derived from the diaphragm of the cattle, was significantly associated with illness (odds ratio = 15.77; 95% confidence interval, 2.00–124.11). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis of isolates from patients and the suspected food showed five different patterns: two in faecal and food samples, and another three in patient faecal samples only, although there were epidemiological links to the meat consumed at the restaurants. Trace-back investigation implicated a common food processing company from outside Japan. Examination of the logistics of the meat processing company suggested that contamination did not occur in Japan. We concluded that the source of the outbreak was imported hanging tender. This investigation revealed that Internet surveys could be useful for outbreak investigations.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
The costs and benefits of polyandry are still not well understood. We studied the effects of multiple mating on the reproductive performance of female Brontispa longissima (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), one of the most serious pests of the coconut palm, by using three experimental treatments: (1) singly-mated females (single treatment); (2) females that mated 10 times with the same male (repetition treatment); and (3) females that mated once with each of 10 different males (polyandry treatment). Both multiple mating treatments resulted in significantly greater total egg production and the proportion of eggs that successfully hatched (hatching success) than with the single mating treatment. Furthermore, the polyandry treatment resulted in greater total egg production and hatching success than with the repetition treatment. Thus, mate diversity may affect the direct and indirect benefits of multiple mating. Female longevity, the length of the preoviposition period, the length of the period from emergence to termination of oviposition, and the length of the ovipositing period did not differ among treatments. The pronounced fecundity and fertility benefits that females gain from multiple mating, coupled with a lack of longevity costs, apparently explain the extreme polyandry in B. longissima.
Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections usually cause haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) equally in male and female children. This study investigated the localization of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in human brain and kidney tissues removed from forensic autopsy cases in Japan. A fatal case was used as a positive control in an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease caused by STEC O157:H7 in a kindergarten in Urawa in 1990. Positive immunodetection of Gb3 was significantly more frequent in female than in male distal and collecting renal tubules. To correlate this finding with a clinical outcome, a retrospective analysis of the predictors of renal failure in the 162 patients of two outbreaks in Japan was performed: one in Tochigi in 2002 and the other in Kagawa Prefecture in 2005. This study concludes renal failure, including HUS, was significantly associated with female sex, and the odds ratio was 4·06 compared to male patients in the two outbreaks. From 2006 to 2009 in Japan, the risk factor of HUS associated with STEC infection was analysed. The number of males and females and the proportion of females who developed HUS were calculated by age and year from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, 2007 and 2009 in adults aged >20 years, adult women were significantly more at risk of developing HUS in Japan.