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Recent work suggests that antihypertensive medications may be useful as repurposed treatments for mood disorders. Using large-scale linked healthcare data we investigated whether certain classes of antihypertensive, such as angiotensin antagonists (AAs) and calcium channel blockers, were associated with reduced risk of new-onset major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD).
Two cohorts of patients treated with antihypertensives were identified from Scottish prescribing (2009–2016) and hospital admission (1981–2016) records. Eligibility for cohort membership was determined by a receipt of a minimum of four prescriptions for antihypertensives within a 12-month window. One treatment cohort (n = 538 730) included patients with no previous history of mood disorder, whereas the other (n = 262 278) included those who did. Both cohorts were matched by age, sex and area deprivation to untreated comparators. Associations between antihypertensive treatment and new-onset MDD or bipolar episodes were investigated using Cox regression.
For patients without a history of mood disorder, antihypertensives were associated with increased risk of new-onset MDD. For AA monotherapy, the hazard ratio (HR) for new-onset MDD was 1.17 (95% CI 1.04–1.31). Beta blockers' association was stronger (HR 2.68; 95% CI 2.45–2.92), possibly indicating pre-existing anxiety. Some classes of antihypertensive were associated with protection against BD, particularly AAs (HR 0.46; 95% CI 0.30–0.70). For patients with a past history of mood disorders, all classes of antihypertensives were associated with increased risk of future episodes of MDD.
There was no evidence that antihypertensive medications prevented new episodes of MDD but AAs may represent a novel treatment avenue for BD.
Poor physical health in severe mental illness (SMI) remains a major issue for clinical practice.
To use electronic health records of routinely collected clinical data to determine levels of screening for cardiometabolic disease and adverse health outcomes in a large sample (n = 7718) of patients with SMI, predominantly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
We linked data from the Glasgow Psychosis Clinical Information System (PsyCIS) to morbidity records, routine blood results and prescribing data.
There was no record of routine blood monitoring during the preceding 2 years for 16.9% of the cohort. However, monitoring was poorer for male patients, younger patients aged 16–44, those with schizophrenia, and for tests of cholesterol, triglyceride and glycosylated haemoglobin. We estimated that 8.0% of participants had diabetes and that lipids levels, and use of lipid-lowering medication, was generally high.
Electronic record linkage identified poor health screening and adverse health outcomes in this vulnerable patient group. This approach can inform the design of future interventions and health policy.
Physical health has been demonstrated to mediate the mental health and mortality risk association. The current study examines an alternative hypothesis that mental health mediates the effect of physical health on mortality risk.
Participants (N = 14,019; women = 91%), including eventual decedents (n = 3,752), were aged 70 years and older, and drawn from the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project. Participants were observed on two to four occasions, over a 10-year period. Mediation analysis compared the converse mediation of physical and mental health on mortality risk.
For men, neither physical nor mental health was associated with mortality risk. For women, poor mental health reported only a small effect on mortality risk (Hazard Risk (HR) = 1.01; p < 0.001); more substantive was the risk of low physical health (HR = 1.04; p < 0.001). No mediation effects were observed.
Mental health effects on mortality were fully attenuated by physical health in men, and partially so in women. Neither mental nor physical health mediated the effect of each other on mortality risk for either gender. We conclude that physical health is a stronger predictor of mortality risk than mental health.
The ‘ethnic density hypothesis' is a proposition that members of ethnic minority groups may have better mental health when they live in areas with higher proportions of people of the same ethnicity. Investigations into this hypothesis have resulted in a complex and sometimes disparate literature.
To systematically identify relevant studies, summarise their findings and discuss potential explanations of the associations found between ethnic density and mental disorders.
A narrative review of studies published up to January 2011, identified through a systematic search strategy. Studies included have a defined ethnic minority sample; some measure of ethnic density defined at a geographical scale smaller than a nation or a US state; and a measure ascertaining mental health or disorder.
A total of 34 papers from 29 data-sets were identified. Protective associations between ethnic density and diagnosis of mental disorders were most consistent in older US ecological studies of admission rates. Among more recent multilevel studies, there was some evidence of ethnic density being protective against depression and anxiety for African American people and Hispanic adults in the USA. However, Hispanic, Asian–American and Canadian ‘visible minority’ adolescents have higher levels of depression at higher ethnic densities. Studies in the UK showed mixed results, with evidence for protective associations most consistent for psychoses.
The most consistent associations with ethnic density are found for psychoses. Ethnic density may also protect against other mental disorders, but presently, as most studies of ethnic density have limited statistical power, and given the heterogeneity of their study designs, our conclusions can only be tentative.
The Working Group FITS (WG-FITS) is the international control authority for the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) data format. The WG-FITS was formed in 1988 by a formal resolution of the IAU XX General Assembly in Baltimore (MD, USA), 1988, to maintain the existing FITS standards and to approve future extensions to FITS.
The business meeting began with a brief review of the current rules and procedures of the WG, which are documented on the WG web page. Four regional FITS committees have been established by the WG, covering North American, Europe, Japan, and Australian/New Zealand, to provide advice to the WG on pending proposals. While it is recognized that this committee structure might need to be revised to provide representation to other regions, the current system is working well, and there were no motions to make any changes at this time.
The study of the formation and evolution of planetary nebulae (PNs) has been a subject of active investigation for several decades. In the past 15 years the relationship between nebular morphology and nebular/stellar evolution has been investigated in some detail. Although important insights have been gained, the connection between PN formation and even basic morphological features of the evolving nebula is far from clear. One of the most vexing problems to overcome is the difficulty of obtaining, at least for Galactic PNs where statistical distances must be adopted, reliable dimensions, ages, luminosities, and other physical quantities that are essential for understanding the evolutionary state of individual nebulae. Our emphasis of late has been to obtain high-resolution images of a large sample of PNs in the Magellanic Clouds, where uncertainties in the distances are minimal and selection effects due to, e. g., dust absorption in the Galactic plane do not apply.
Selected isolates of Phytophthora infestans from around England and Wales were fingerprinted using both RG57, a multi-locus RFLP probe, and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLPs). The larger number of polymorphisms detectable with the AFLP method allowed resolution of several similar AFLP genotypes among isolates with identical RG57 fingerprints. However, some isolates with the same RG57 genotype had remarkably dissimilar AFLP genotypes, suggesting that there has been convergent evolution of some RG57 fingerprints. Also, some isolates with dissimilar RG57 fingerprints had similar or identical AFLP fingerprints. Both techniques distinguished isolates of mitochondrial DNA haplotype Ia from those of haplotype IIa. However, with AFLPs only, most of the isolates of A2 mating type were very similar and were distinguished from those of A1 mating type, suggesting that gene flow between A1 and A2 genotypes is limited and that sexual recombination is rare.
It is difficult to increase protein stability by
adding hydrogen bonds or burying nonpolar surface. The
results described here show that reversing the charge on
a side chain on the surface of a protein is a useful way
of increasing stability. Ribonuclease T1 is an acidic protein
with a pI ≈ 3.5 and a net charge of ≈−6 at
pH 7. The side chain of Asp49 is hyperexposed, not hydrogen
bonded, and 8 Å from the nearest charged group. The
stability of Asp49Ala is 0.5 kcal/mol greater than wild-type
at pH 7 and 0.4 kcal/mol less at pH 2.5. The stability
of Asp49His is 1.1 kcal/mol greater than wild-type at pH
6, where the histidine 49 side chain (pKa
= 7.2) is positively charged. Similar results were obtained
with ribonuclease Sa where Asp25Lys is 0.9 kcal/mol and
Glu74Lys is 1.1 kcal/mol more stable than the wild-type
enzyme. These results suggest that protein stability can
be increased by improving the coulombic interactions among
charged groups on the protein surface. In addition, the
stability of RNase T1 decreases as more hydrophobic aromatic
residues are substituted for Ala49, indicating a reverse
The present study examined responses on the Fear Questionnaire (FQ) of 68 patients suffering panic disorder with agoraphobia, 50 social phobics, 75 subjects with ‘non-clinical’ panic attacks, and 188 non-panicking controls. The FQ agoraphobia and social subscales had satisfactory internal consistency and were accurate (82%) in correctly differentiating the patients. In general, the patient and control groups differed as expected. The highest level of social fear was reported by social phobics and the highest level of agoraphobic fear was reported by patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Five items from these two subscales significantly differentiated social phobia from panic disorder with agoraphobia. The results support the reliability and validity of the FQ.
The reaction of SiO2 with basic magnesium compounds, in the presence of excess ethylene glycol, provides access to the hexacoordinate silicate complex, MgSi(OCH2CH2O)3. Alkali metal hydroxides provide access to pentacoordinate silicates of the type M2Si2(OCH2CH2O)5, where M = Li, Na, K, and Cs. Alumina also reacts with alkali metal hydroxides and ethylene glycol to give compounds of the type MAI(OCH2CH2O)2. HCl neutralization of the alkali metal silicates and aluminates provides the neutral metal glycolates of Si and Al. Stoichiometrically correct mixtures of these complexes form homogeneous, cordierite precursor solutions that are potentially useful for forming films, fibers and membranes of cordierite. These polymer-like materials can be heated directly in air to generate first α-cordierite and then µ-cordierite. Hydrolysis and condensation reactions, which occur in sol-gel processing, are not required. The phase transformations and chemical changes that occur during pyrolytic transformation of the preceramic materials to their target ceramic products were characterized. Methods developed during the course of these studies led to the development of heating schedules wherein well crystallized g.-cordierite could be formed at 850 °C.
Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) is a new computer fabrication technique that does not require any part specific tooling. The starting material can be either solid, liquid or gaseous. The part can be made from metallic, ceramic, polymeric or a composite material. The concept is to use a solid modeling system to define the part of interest and to reduce the model to a set of toggle point data that totally define the geometry. In Selective Laser Sintering the sectioned component is then combined with a rastered laser system that impinges on the precursor powder materials in a layered reconstruction of the three dimensional CAD designed part. The part is then formed in this manner. This approach to producing the part involves a great deal of understanding of the laser materials interactions, the appropriate choice of materials specific to this processing and how the total process integrates. Application to ceramic powders will be described. An alternative approach to SFF is Selective Area Laser Deposition where the three dimensional part is made from the gas phase. The initial gas deposition studies involving deposition of carbon from hydrocarbons will be discussed. For both of the above SFF approaches the laser beam powder and gas phase interactions and the microstructure of the resulting three dimensional forms as a function of system parameters will be described.
Bimetallic glycolato silicates of the form M2 Si2(OCH2CH2O)5 where M is an alkali metal, can be synthesized directly from SiO2, ethylene glycol and MOH. Further reaction with HO(CH2CH2O)4H, PEG4, transforms these compounds into rheologically useful polymers. These polymers offer considerable potential for processing novel silicate glass shapes, e.g. thin films, fibers and membranes, from relatively inexpensive precursors materials. In this paper, we describe pyrolysis studies on the model compound Li2 Si2(OCH2CH2O)5 as a prelude to determing the utility of the polymeric precursors. These studies delineate the effects of temperature on the decomposition processes whereby the glycolato silicate transforms into almost phase pure, crystalline Li2O-2SiO2. This work is contrasted with previous pyrolysis studies on K2 Si2(OCH2CH2O)5.
Two of the tryptophan pools in the body and their associated fluxes, as defined by multicompartmental analysis, were studied in patients with unipolar affective disorder, bipolar patients (manic) and control subjects. The 2 pools were tentatively associated with extra- and intracellular compartments. The investigations were performed fasting and may have been mildly stressful. Under these conditions the concentration of tryptophan in plasma and perhaps amounts in the extracellular space were reduced in unipolar depression, with intermediate values after recovery. Some model parameters were lower in females than males. The results in unipolar affective disorder were interpreted in terms of a previously presented hypothesis that this illness may result in an idiosyncratic response to stress in which patients are unable to maintain normal amounts of tryptophan in the body. In manic patients extracellular levels of tryptophan were unchanged but intracellular and total quantities of ‘freely available’ tryptophan may have been reduced.