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Smoking prevalence is higher amongst individuals with schizophrenia and depression compared with the general population. Mendelian randomisation (MR) can examine whether this association is causal using genetic variants identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
We conducted two-sample MR to explore the bi-directional effects of smoking on schizophrenia and depression. For smoking behaviour, we used (1) smoking initiation GWAS from the GSCAN consortium and (2) we conducted our own GWAS of lifetime smoking behaviour (which captures smoking duration, heaviness and cessation) in a sample of 462690 individuals from the UK Biobank. We validated this instrument using positive control outcomes (e.g. lung cancer). For schizophrenia and depression we used GWAS from the PGC consortium.
There was strong evidence to suggest smoking is a risk factor for both schizophrenia (odds ratio (OR) 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67–3.08, p < 0.001) and depression (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.71–2.32, p < 0.001). Results were consistent across both lifetime smoking and smoking initiation. We found some evidence that genetic liability to depression increases smoking (β = 0.091, 95% CI 0.027–0.155, p = 0.005) but evidence was mixed for schizophrenia (β = 0.022, 95% CI 0.005–0.038, p = 0.009) with very weak evidence for an effect on smoking initiation.
These findings suggest that the association between smoking, schizophrenia and depression is due, at least in part, to a causal effect of smoking, providing further evidence for the detrimental consequences of smoking on mental health.
There is increasing evidence that smoking is a risk factor for severe mental illness, including bipolar disorder. Conversely, patients with bipolar disorder might smoke more (often) as a result of the psychiatric disorder.
We conducted a bidirectional Mendelian randomisation (MR) study to investigate the direction and evidence for a causal nature of the relationship between smoking and bipolar disorder.
We used publicly available summary statistics from genome-wide association studies on bipolar disorder, smoking initiation, smoking heaviness, smoking cessation and lifetime smoking (i.e. a compound measure of heaviness, duration and cessation). We applied analytical methods with different, orthogonal assumptions to triangulate results, including inverse-variance weighted (IVW), MR-Egger, MR-Egger SIMEX, weighted-median, weighted-mode and Steiger-filtered analyses.
Across different methods of MR, consistent evidence was found for a positive effect of smoking on the odds of bipolar disorder (smoking initiation ORIVW = 1.46, 95% CI 1.28–1.66, P = 1.44 × 10−8, lifetime smoking ORIVW = 1.72, 95% CI 1.29–2.28, P = 1.8 × 10−4). The MR analyses of the effect of liability to bipolar disorder on smoking provided no clear evidence of a strong causal effect (smoking heaviness betaIVW = 0.028, 95% CI 0.003–0.053, P = 2.9 × 10−2).
These findings suggest that smoking initiation and lifetime smoking are likely to be a causal risk factor for developing bipolar disorder. We found some evidence that liability to bipolar disorder increased smoking heaviness. Given that smoking is a modifiable risk factor, these findings further support investment into smoking prevention and treatment in order to reduce mental health problems in future generations.
Declaration of interest
W.v.d.B received fees in the past 3 years from Indivior, C&A Pharma, Opiant and Angelini. G.M.G. is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Emeritus Senior Investigator, holds shares in P1vital and has served as consultant, advisor or CME speaker in the past 3 years for Allergan, Angelini, Compass Pathways, MSD, Lundbeck (/Otsuka and /Takeda), Medscape, Minervra, P1Vital, Pfizer, Sage, Servier, Shire and Sun Pharma.
The present review evaluated the effectiveness of environmental-based interventions aimed at improving the dietary and physical activity behaviours and body composition indices of adults in institutions.
A systematic review was conducted. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, ProQuest Dissertation and Theses, Scopus and Athena) were searched for relevant articles published between database inception and October 2017. Searching, selecting and reporting were undertaken according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement.
Military establishments and maritime workplaces.
Adults in institutions, aged 18–45 years.
A total of 27842 articles were screened for eligibility, nine studies (reported in eleven articles) were included in the review. Five studies used multilevel strategies and four used environmental strategies only. Duration of follow-up ranged from 3 weeks to 10 years. Eight of the studies reported significant positive effects on dietary behaviours, but effect sizes varied. The study that targeted physical activity had no effect on activity levels but did have a significant positive effect on physical fitness. No evidence was identified that the studies resulted in improvements in body composition indices.
The evidence base appears to be in favour of implementing environmental interventions in institutions to improve the dietary behaviours of adults. However, due to the small number of studies included in the review, and the variable methodological quality of the studies and intervention reporting, further well-designed evaluation studies are required.
Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common and chronic mental health condition. Given the significant prevalence and impairment caused by SAD, it is important to investigate novel ways to improve the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for SAD. One approach may be to provide CBT in an accelerated fashion, which involves multiple sessions per week. Such accelerated treatments have been shown to be effective in other anxiety disorders, but in SAD this accelerated treatment has only been studied in a group treatment format. Aims: The aim of this study was to provide a preliminary investigation of the efficacy of individual accelerated CBT (aCBT) in the treatment of SAD. Method: The studied utilized an open trial design. Seventeen participants commenced the treatment, which consisted of 12 sessions delivered over 4 weeks. Results: The results indicated that participants obtained moderate to large effect sizes on measures of SAD at post-treatment (range d = 0.76–0.92) and 3-month follow-up (range d = 1.31–1.79). In addition, at post-treatment, 59% of participants no longer met criteria for SAD, and this number increased to 71% at 3-month follow-up. Conclusions: The results provide preliminary evidence to suggest that individual aCBT may be an important treatment option for individuals with SAD.
Behavioral traits generally show moderate to strong genetic influence, with heritability estimates of around 50%. Some recent research has suggested that trust may be an exception because it is more strongly influenced by social interactions. In a sample of over 7,000 adolescent twins from the United Kingdom's Twins Early Development Study, we found broad sense heritability estimates of 57% for generalized trust and 51% for trust in friends. Genomic-relatedness-matrix restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) estimates in the same sample indicate that 21% of the narrow sense genetic variance can be explained by common single nucleotide polymorphisms for generalized trust and 43% for trust in friends. As expected, this implies a large amount of unexplained heritability, although power is low for estimating DNA-based heritability. The missing heritability may be accounted for by interactions between DNA and the social environment during development or via gene–environment correlations with rare variants. How these genes and environments correlate seem especially important for the development of trust.
Increased temporal and frontal slow-wave delta (1–4 Hz) and theta (4–7
Hz) activities are the most consistent resting-state neural abnormalities
reported in schizophrenia. The frontal lobe is associated with negative
symptoms and cognitive abilities such as attention, with negative
symptoms and impaired attention associated with poor functional
To establish whether frontal dysfunction, as indexed by slowing, would be
associated with functional impairments.
Eyes-closed magnetoencephalography data were collected in 41 participants
with schizophrenia and 37 healthy controls, and frequency-domain source
imaging localised delta and theta activity.
Elevated delta and theta activity in right frontal and right
temporoparietal regions was observed in the schizophrenia
v. control group. In schizophrenia, right-frontal
delta activity was uniquely associated with negative but not positive
symptoms. In the full sample, increased right-frontal delta activity
predicted poorer attention and functional capacity.
Our findings suggest that treatment-associated decreases in slow-wave
activity could be accompanied by improved functional outcome and thus
Meningitis with a negative cerebrospinal fluid Gram stain (CSF-GS) poses a diagnostic challenge as more than 50% of patients remain without an aetiology. The introduction of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and arboviral serologies have increased diagnostic capabilities, yet large scale epidemiological studies evaluating their use in clinical practice are lacking. We conducted a prospective observational study in New Orleans between November 1999 and September 2008 (early era) when PCR was not widely available, and in Houston between November 2008 and June 2013 (modern era), when PCR was commonly used. Patients presenting with meningitis and negative CSF-GS were followed for 4 weeks. All investigations, PCR used, and results were recorded as they became available. In 323 patients enrolled, PCR provided the highest diagnostic yield (24·2%) but was ordered for 128 (39·6%) patients; followed by serology for arboviruses (15%) that was ordered for 100 (31%) of all patients. The yield of blood cultures was (10·3%) and that of CSF cultures was 4%; the yield for all other tests was <10%. Overall, 65% of the patients remained without a diagnosis at 4 weeks: 72·1% in early era vs. 53·4% (P < 0·01) in modern era; this change was attributed to diagnosing more viral pathogens, 8·3% and 26·3% (P < 0·01), respectively. The introduction of PCR and arboviral serologies has improved the yield of diagnosing patients with meningitis and a negative CSF-GS, but both tests are being under-utilized.
Pseudodiaptomus marinus was described from eastern Asian waters and has subsequently been spread in the Indo-Pacific region, but has only been found in European waters since 2007. The presence of the species in inshore waters of the Southern Bight of the North Sea, in Calais Harbour and off Gravelines was noted in 2010 and 2011. The present records from the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey extend the known distribution northwards and across the Southern Bight between The Netherlands and British coasts. Net hauls for biological monitoring in the German exclusive economic zone add a location further north and east in the German Bight. Spread of the species to inshore waters of the eastern North Sea and to the Baltic is predicted.
This study describes phenotypic and genotypic variations in the planktonic copepod, Centropages typicus (Copepoda: Calanoida) that indicate differentiation between geographical samples. We found consistent differences in the morphology of the chela of the sexually modified fifth pereiopod (P5) of male C. typicus between samples from the Mediterranean, western North Atlantic and eastern North Atlantic. A 560 base pairs (bp) region of the C. typicus mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and a 462 bp fragment of the nuclear rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) tandem array were analysed to determine whether these morphological variations reflect population genetic differentiation. Mitochondrial haplotype diversity was found to be high with 100 unique COI haplotypes among 116 individuals. Analysis of mtCOI variation suggested differentiation between the Mediterranean and Atlantic populations but no separation was detected within the Atlantic. Intragenomic variation in the ITS array suggested genetic differentiation between samples from the western North Atlantic and those from the eastern North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Breeding experiments would be required to elucidate the extent of genetic isolation between C. typicus from the different population centres.
Concerns about the over-prescription of peri-operative fluids, particularly normal saline, culminated in the recent publication of UK national guidelines on fluid prescription during and after surgery. A working group comprising members of the nutrition support team, surgeons, anaesthetists and pharmacists therefore sought to reduce the overall levels of fluid prescription and to limit normal saline usage in our large Teaching Hospital by producing written local fluid prescribing guidelines and holding a series of fluid prescription education sessions for consultants and junior staff. Ideally, the success of such measures would have been determined by studies on fluid balance, body weight and/or measured body water in large numbers of individual patients in a large cluster-randomised controlled trial. However, this would have proved logistically difficult and very costly especially as it is notoriously difficult to rely on the accuracy of daily fluid balance charts in large numbers of patients on busy post-operative surgical wards. We therefore undertook a pragmatic study, comparing historical data on fluid type/volume prescribed (from both individual and ward level pharmacy records), oedema status and clinical outcomes from 2002 with two prospective audits of similar data carried out during 2008 and 2009. Our data showed that in the comparable, elective surgical patients within each audit, there was a decline in total intravenous fluids prescribed over the first 5 post-operative days from 21·1 litres per patient in 2002 to 14·2 litres per patient in 2009 (P<0·05), while pharmacy records showed that the proportion of 0·9% saline supplied declined from 60% to 35% of all fluids supplied to the surgical wards involved, with a concomitant increase in the use of 4%/0·18% dextrose-saline and Hartmann's solution. Alongside these changes in fluid prescribing, the number of patients with clinically apparent oedema declined from 53% in 2002 to 36% in 2009; gut function returned more quickly (6 d in 2002 v. 4 d in 2009, P<0·05) and the length of stay improved from 13 d in 2002 to 10 d in 2009, P<0·05). Although we accept that other factors might have contributed to the observed changes in these clinical parameters, we believe that the measures to reduce fluid and saline administration were the major contributors to these improved clinical outcomes.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is an important mental health problem. The Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing estimates the 12-month prevalence of OCD is 1.9% (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007). Individuals with OCD experience considerable impairment in daily functioning. Cognitive and behavioural therapy for OCD has been shown to be effective, however, accessibility to evidence based treatments is limited in Australia, especially for those living in rural and remote communities. Treatment delivered in a remote fashion may improve accessibility to such treatments. The present review aimed to evaluate the current status of evidence based treatments for OCD delivered remotely.