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We sought to investigate the risk of incident major depressive disorder (MDD) attributable to a range of sleep disorders in the Danish population. Data were obtained by linking longitudinal Danish population-based registers. A total of 65,739 individuals who had first onset of depression between 1995 and 2013 were selected as cases. For each case, a set of 20 controls of the same sex, birth month and year and who had not had depression by the date that the case was diagnosed were selected at random form the population (N = 1,307,580 in total). We examined whether there was an increased rate of prior sleep disorders in MDD cases compared to controls using conditional logistic regression. An increased risk of incident depression in cases was found for all sleep disorders analyzed. Highest incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were found for circadian rhythm disorders (IRR = 7.06 [2.78–17.91]) and insomnia of inorganic origin (IRR = 6.76 [4.37–10.46]). The lowest estimated IRR was for narcolepsy (IRR = 2.00 [1.26–3.17]). Those diagnosed with a sleep disorder in the last 6 months were at highest risk of developing depression compared to those with at least 1 year since diagnosis (3.10 vs. 2.36). Our results suggest that having any sleep disorder is a risk factor for incident depression. Depression screening should be considered for patients with sleep disorders, and where possible, long-term follow-up for mental health problems is advisable.
Age at sexual debut is known to have implications for future sexual behaviours and health outcomes, including HIV infection, early pregnancy and maternal mortality, but may also influence educational outcomes. Longitudinal data on schooling and sexual behaviour from a demographic surveillance site in Karonga district, northern Malawi, were analysed for 3153 respondents between the ages of 12 and 25 years to examine the association between sexual debut and primary school dropout, and the role of prior school performance. Time to dropout was modelled using the Fine and Gray survival model to account for the competing event of primary school completion. To deal with the time-varying nature of age at sexual debut and school performance, models were fitted using landmark analyses. Sexual debut was found to be associated with a five-fold increase in rate of subsequent dropout for girls and a two-fold increase in dropout rate for boys (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] of 5.27, CI 4.22–6.57, and 2.19, CI 1.77–2.7, respectively). For girls who were sexually active by age 16, only 16% ultimately completed primary schooling, compared with 70% aged 18 or older at sexual debut. Prior to sexual debut, girls had primary completion levels similar to those of boys. The association between sexual debut and school dropout could not be explained by prior poor school performance: the effect of sexual debut on dropout was as strong among those who were not behind in school as among those who were overage for their school grade. Girls who were sexually active were more likely to repeat a grade, with no effect being seen for boys. Pathways to dropout are complex and may differ for boys and girls. Interventions are needed to improve school progression so children complete primary school before sexual debut, and to improve sex education and contraception provision.
Sherlock Holmes is the most famous fictional detective in history, with a popularity that has never waned since catching the imagination of his late-Victorian readership. This Companion explores Holmes' popularity and his complex relationship to the late-Victorian and modernist periods; on one hand bearing the imprint of a range of Victorian anxieties and preoccupations, while on the other shaping popular conceptions of criminality, deviance, and the powers of the detective. This collection explores these questions in three parts. 'Contexts' explores late-Victorian culture, from the emergence of detective fiction to ideas of evolution, gender, and Englishness. 'Case Studies' reads selected Holmes adventures in the context of empire, visual culture, and the gothic. Finally, 'Holmesian Afterlives' investigates the relationship between Holmes and literary theory, film and theatre adaptations, new Holmesian novels, and the fandom that now surrounds him.
Neuropsychological dysfunction is a well-established finding in individuals with bipolar disorder type I (BP-I), even during euthymic periods; however, it is less clear whether this also pertains to bipolar disorder type II (BP-II) or those with subthreshold states (SBP; subthreshold bipolar disorder), such as bipolar not otherwise specified (BP-NOS). Herein, we compare the literature regarding neuropsychological performance in BP-II vs BP-I to determine the extent of relative impairment, and we present and review all related studies on cognition in SBP. After systematically searching PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, and The Cochrane Library, we found 17 papers that comprise all the published studies relevant for this review. The areas that are consistently found to be impaired in BP are executive function, verbal memory, visual spatial working memory, and attention. More studies than not show no significant difference between BP-I and BP-II, particularly in euthymic samples. Preliminary evidence suggests that patients experiencing major depressive episodes who also meet criteria for SBP show similar profiles to BP-II; however, these results pertain only to a depressed sample. SBP were found to perform significantly better than both MDD and healthy controls in a euthymic sample. A consensus on mood state, patient selection, and neuropsychological testing needs to be agreed on for future research. Furthermore, no studies have used the most recent DSM-5 criteria for SBP; future studies should address this. Finally, the underlying bases of cognitive dysfunction in these diagnostic groups need to be further investigated. We suggest recommendations on all of the above current research challenges.
A third of patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) experience treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Relatively few pharmacological agents have established efficacy for TRD. Therefore, the evaluation of novel treatments for TRD is a pressing priority. Statins are pleiotropic agents and preclinical studies as well as preliminary clinical trials have suggested that these drugs may have antidepressant properties.
To report on a protocol for a 12-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of add-on treatment with simvastatin for patients meeting DSM-5 criteria for MDD who have failed to respond to at least two adequate trials with approved antidepressants. The trial has been registered with Clinicaltrials.gov in (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03435744).
After screening and randomisation to the two parallel arms of the trial, 75 patients will receive simvastatin and 75 patients will receive placebo as adjuncts to treatment as usual. The primary outcome is change in Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale scores from baseline to week 12 and secondary outcomes include changes in scores on the 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the Clinical Global Impression scale, the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale and change in body mass index from baseline to week 12. Assessments will take place at screening, baseline, and weeks 2, 4, 8 and 12. Checklists for adverse effects will be undertaken at each visit. Simvastatin (20 mg) will be given once daily. Other secondary outcomes include C-reactive protein and plasma lipids measured at baseline and week 12.
This trial will assess simvastatin's efficacy and tolerability as an add-on treatment option for patients with TRD and provide insights into its putative mechanisms of action.
As the first trial investigating the use of simvastatin as an augmentation strategy in patients with TRD, if the results indicate that adjuvant simvastatin is efficacious in reducing depressive symptoms, it will deliver immediate clinical benefit.
Declaration of interest
I.B.C. and N.H. have given lectures and advice to Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb, Lundbeck, Astra Zeneca and Janssen pharmaceuticals for which they or their employing institution have been reimbursed. R.R. and M.M.H. have received educational grants and support for academic meetings from Pfizer, Roche, Novartis and Nabiqasim. A.H.Y. has been commissioned to provide lectures and advice to all major pharmaceutical companies with drugs used in affective and related disorders. A.H.Y. has undertaken investigator-initiated studies from Astra Zeneca, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck and Wyeth. None of the companies have a financial interest in this research.