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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene variants may potentially influence behaviour. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated the relationship between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and aggressive behaviour in a population of schizophrenic patients. Our results showed that increased number of BDNF Met alleles was associated with increased aggressive behaviour.
Recent literature suggests that over 70% of cases of antibody-mediated encephalitis present to psychiatry services with features of psychosis predominantly.
To investigate the seroprevalence of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor antibodies (NMDAr-Ab) in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP)
Following ethical approval, all cases meeting entry criteria were invited to participate. Participants were interviewed with SCID to obtain a DSM diagnosis. NMDAr-Ab were identified in serum by cell based assay using co-transfected Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK)cells. Positive cases were reviewed by clinical neurology. Decision to treat with immunotherapy was made on a case by case basis.
85/115 (72%) of patients with FEP entered the study. 49 (58%) participants were male, mean age (SD) 37 (15.7) years. 42 (52%) were outpatients at the time of assessment. Four cases (5%) were serum NMDAr-Ab positive. 3 of these cases were male, age 48 (16.3) years. All four were admitted as inpatients with normal brain MRI imaging. One case (female, 55) was confirmed as NMDAr-Ab encephalitis based on case presentation, EEG demonstrating bilateral cerebral dysfunction and NMDAr-Ab in CSF. Immunotherapy treatment lead to clinical improvement. In remaining cases, EEG was normal and CSF negative. All 3 of these cases showed clinical improvement following psychiatric treatment as usual.
Our findings support the current estimates as to NMDAr-Ab prevalence in FEP. Increased awareness has lead to rapid treatment of florid cases of NMDAr-Ab encephalitis in our service. Additional seropositive cases are being followed with neuro-cognitive testing for any evidence of decline.
There is an urgent need to identify and develop cross-sectoral policies which promote and support a healthy, safe and sustainable food system. To help shape the political agenda, a critical first step is a shared definition of such a system among policy makers across relevant sectors. The aim of the present study was to determine how Australian policy actors define, and contribute to, a healthy, safe and sustainable food system.
A Delphi survey, consisting of two rounds, was conducted. Participants were asked how they define, and contribute to, a healthy, safe and sustainable food system (Round 1) and indicate their level of agreement with summary statements (Round 2).
This was an online Delphi survey conducted in Australia.
Twenty-nine and fourteen multisectoral and multilevel policy makers completed Round 1 and Round 2, respectively.
The definition included food processing regulation, environmentally friendly food production and access to nutritious food. All agreed that it was important for them to improve access and supply of healthy food and ensure healthy planning principles are applied.
There were cross-sectoral differences in definitions and contributions; however, critical consensus was achieved. The study contributes to the definition of key elements of a cross-sectoral food and nutrition policy to meet today’s environmental, health, social and economic challenges; however, further research using a more representative multisectoral sample is warranted.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
Exercise has potential to mitigate morbidity in knee osteoarthritis (OA). Participants with knee OA were randomized to a Square-stepping Exercise (SSE) group (2x/week for 24 weeks) or a control group. We assessed the feasibility of SSE and its effectiveness on symptoms (WOMAC), balance (Fullerton), mobility, and walking speed at 12 and 24 weeks. The SSE group had a 49.3% attendance rate and trended toward improvement in the 30-second chair stand at 12 (F = 1.8, p = .12, ηp2 = 0.16), and 24 weeks, (F = 3.4, p = .09, ηp2 = 0.18), and walking speed at 24 weeks, compared to controls. There were no differences in symptoms or balance. The low attendance and recruitment demonstrated limited feasibility of SSE in adults with knee OA. Trends suggest the potential for SSE to improve lower extremity functional fitness and walking speed. SSE should be further studied for effectiveness on symptoms and balance, in addition to improving feasibility.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
A nonparaxial investigation for propagation characteristics of q-Gaussian laser beam in rippled density plasma is studied by considering the relativistic nonlinearity. The field distribution in the medium is expressed in terms of q parameter and beam width parameter f. Nonlinear parabolic partial differential equation governing the evolution of complex envelope in slowly varying approximation is solved in a modulated density profile. Analytical theory of self-focusing including higher order terms in the expansion of dielectric function up to fourth order is developed and the variation of beam width parameter f with the distance of propagation for different parameters is studied. One may note that increased value of density ripple, laser intensity and depth of modulation, increases self-focusing whereas a lower value of q shows strong self-focusing. A comparative study between paraxial and nonparaxial study has also conducted. This study is useful for research in high energy density physics.
The pulsar’s signal passes through the interstellar medium (ISM) which leads to both chromatic dispersive delays and multipath pulse broadening. These effects have a strong frequency dependence (f−2 and f−4 respectively). Pulse profiles of pulsars are also frequency-dependent leading to some degeneracy with the ISM imprint. Furthermore, many pulsars show a turnover of their spectrum around ~100 MHz. For all these reasons, the frequency band below 100 MHz contains a lot of information about both the pulsar emission and the ISM. Our study is based on a LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) monitoring campaign using the international station FR606. Firstly, we demonstrate the importance of a monitoring campaign. Secondly, we calculate median spectra and locate the turnover frequency for 3 pulsars (B0809+74, B1133+16, B1508+55).
Since the discovery of the first pulsar in 1967, over 2500 pulsars have been discovered. Pulsars enable a broad range of studies: from the study of the properties of the interstellar medium and of pulsar magnetospheres to tests of gravity in the strong-field regime and the characterisation of the cosmological gravitation wave background. These reasons are the main drive for searching for more pulsars. A blind pulsar survey, named SPAN512, was initiated with the Nançay Radio Telescope in 2012. Conducted at 1.4 GHz with a sampling time of 64μs and 500-kHz frequency channels, SPAN512 was designed to search for fast and distant pulsars in the Galactic plane. Here we describe the current status of the survey and present the latest discovery, PSR J2055+3829, a 2.08-ms pulsar in a black widow system.
International LOFAR stations, equipped with powerful backends, can be used as individual telescopes, and provide data sets complementary to those obtained with the LOFAR Core. Such “local mode” observations are particularly adapted to monitoring observations, where the advantage of having a high observing cadence (one observation per week) outweighs the reduced sensitivity of a single station when compared to the full array. With such observations, it is possible to monitor the temporal evolution of the pulsars’ behaviour via its dispersion, scattering, intensity, and profile shape. We present recent studies performed in the LOFAR low band (10-90 MHz).
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.
To compare the microbiological efficacy, turnaround time, cost, convenience, and patient and user tolerance of Tristel Trio Wipes, PeraSafe solution and Cidex OPA solution for the high-level disinfection of flexible nasendoscopes.
Flexible nasendoscopes were used in routine clinical encounters. They were then disinfected with one of the three disinfectant methods. Surveillance cultures were taken before and after each disinfection process. Data relating to each of the study parameters were recorded.
Positive bacterial cultures were discovered on nasendoscopes disinfected with PeraSafe and Cidex OPA. Tristel Trio Wipes have no capital outlay cost, the lowest running cost, the greatest convenience and the fastest turnaround time. PeraSafe had a faster turnaround time than Cidex OPA, and lower running costs.
Tristel Trio Wipes are equal to PeraSafe and Cidex OPA in terms of microbiological efficacy. Turnaround time and cost are dramatically reduced when using Tristel Trio Wipes compared to the other disinfectant methods.
The relative contribution of demographic, lifestyle and medication factors to the association between affective disorders and cardiometabolic diseases is poorly understood.
To assess the relationship between cardiometabolic disease and features of depresion and bipolar disorder within a large population sample.
Cross-sectional study of 145 991 UK Biobank participants: multivariate analyses of associations between features of depression or bipolar disorder and five cardiometabolic outcomes, adjusting for confounding factors.
There were significant associations between mood disorder features and ‘any cardiovascular disease’ (depression odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, 95% CI 1.12–1.19; bipolar OR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.14–1.43) and with hypertension (depression OR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.13–1.18; bipolar OR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.12–1.42). Individuals with features of mood disorder taking psychotropic medication were significantly more likely than controls not on psychotropics to report myocardial infarction (depression OR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.24–1.73; bipolar OR = 2.23, 95% CI 1.53–3.57) and stroke (depression OR = 2.46, 95% CI 2.10–2.80; bipolar OR = 2.31, 95% CI 1.39–3.85).
Associations between features of depression or bipolar disorder and cardiovascular disease outcomes were statistically independent of demographic, lifestyle and medication confounders. Psychotropic medication may also be a risk factor for cardiometabolic disease in individuals without a clear history of mood disorder.