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Recent studies point to overlap between neuropsychiatric disorders in symptomatology and genetic aetiology.
To systematically investigate genomics overlap between childhood and adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and major depressive disorder (MDD).
Analysis of whole-genome blood gene expression and genetic risk scores of 318 individuals. Participants included individuals affected with adult ADHD (n = 93), childhood ADHD (n = 17), MDD (n = 63), ASD (n = 51), childhood dual diagnosis of ADHD–ASD (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 78).
Weighted gene co-expression analysis results reveal disorder-specific signatures for childhood ADHD and MDD, and also highlight two immune-related gene co-expression modules correlating inversely with MDD and adult ADHD disease status. We find no significant relationship between polygenic risk scores and gene expression signatures.
Our results reveal disorder overlap and specificity at the genetic and gene expression level. They suggest new pathways contributing to distinct pathophysiology in psychiatric disorders and shed light on potential shared genomic risk factors.
Although substance misuse is a key risk factor in suicide, relatively
little is known about the relationship between lifetime misuse and misuse
at the time of suicide.
To examine the relationship between substance misuse and subsequent
Linkage of coroners' reports to primary care records for 403 suicides
occurring over 2 years.
With alcohol misuse, 67% of the cohort had previously sought help for
alcohol problems and 39% were intoxicated at the time of suicide.
Regarding misuse of other substances, 54% of the cohort was tested.
Almost one in four (38%) tested positive, defined as an excess of drugs
over the prescribed therapeutic dosage and/or detection of illicit
substances. Those tested were more likely to be young and have a history
of drug misuse.
A deeper understanding of the relationship between substance misuse and
suicide could contribute to prevention initiatives. Furthermore,
standardised toxicology screening processes would avoid diminishing the
importance of psychosocial factors involved in suicide as a ‘cause of
We previously reported an association between 5HTTLPR genotype and
outcome following cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) in child anxiety
(Cohort 1). Children homozygous for the low-expression short-allele
showed more positive outcomes. Other similar studies have produced mixed
results, with most reporting no association between genotype and CBT
To replicate the association between 5HTTLPR and CBT outcome in child
anxiety from the Genes for Treatment study (GxT Cohort 2,
n = 829).
Logistic and linear mixed effects models were used to examine the
relationship between 5HTTLPR and CBT outcomes. Mega-analyses using both
cohorts were performed.
There was no significant effect of 5HTTLPR on CBT outcomes in Cohort 2.
Mega-analyses identified a significant association between 5HTTLPR and
remission from all anxiety disorders at follow-up (odds ratio 0.45,
P = 0.014), but not primary anxiety disorder
The association between 5HTTLPR genotype and CBT outcome did not
replicate. Short-allele homozygotes showed more positive treatment
outcomes, but with small, non-significant effects. Future studies would
benefit from utilising whole genome approaches and large, homogenous
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness …” recognizes the importance of family members in this setting. In practice, family meetings account for a significant amount of the weekly workload in a specialist inpatient palliative care unit. Despite this, there is little empirical evidence to support the benefits of family meetings from the perspective of family members.
A prospective study over 6 months, invited a designated family member to complete a self-report instrument (SRI) and the Family Inventory of Needs (FIN) questionnaire prior to, immediately following, and 48 hours after a planned family meeting attended by several members of the multidisciplinary team.
Thirty-one designated family members completed the study. The SRIs completed prior to a family meeting identified particular areas of concern and worry for family members, and also helped to generate an agenda based on the family's particular needs. The pre-meeting FIN identified areas of patient care of greatest importance to each family member, and asked them to rate whether particular care needs were presently met or unmet, in their opinion, by the healthcare team caring for the patient. Following the family meeting, repeat SRIs showed an overall reduction in concerns and increased confidence in dealing with those issues raised. Post-family meeting FIN scores confirmed a greater number of met care needs compared with pre-meeting scores, all of which were sustained over time.
Significance of results:
This study confirms the value of planned multidisciplinary family meetings for patients in specialist inpatient palliative care units. It identifies the often unmet needs of family members and the sustained benefits associated with formal family meetings.
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