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Neurocognitive and functional neuroimaging studies point to frontal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenia. Molecular and behavioural genetic studies suggest that the frontal lobe is under significant genetic influence. We carried out structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the frontal lobe in monozygotic (MZ) twins concordant or discordant for schizophrenia and healthy MZ control twins.
The sample comprised 21 concordant pairs, 17 discordant affected and 18 discordant unaffected twins from 19 discordant pairs, and 27 control pairs. Groups were matched on sociodemographic variables. Patient groups (concordant, discordant affected) did not differ on clinical variables. Volumes of superior, middle, inferior and orbital frontal gyri were calculated using the Cavalieri principle on the basis of manual tracing of anatomic boundaries. Group differences were investigated covarying for whole-brain volume, gender and age.
Results for superior frontal gyrus showed that twins with schizophrenia (i.e. concordant twins and discordant affected twins) had reduced volume compared to twins without schizophrenia (i.e. discordant unaffected and control twins), indicating an effect of illness. For middle and orbital frontal gyrus, concordant (but not discordant affected) twins differed from non-schizophrenic twins. There were no group differences in inferior frontal gyrus volume.
These findings suggest that volume reductions in the superior frontal gyrus are associated with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (in the presence or absence of a co-twin with schizophrenia). On the other hand, volume reductions in middle and orbital frontal gyri are seen only in concordant pairs, perhaps reflecting the increased genetic vulnerability in this group.
Some psychiatric diagnoses are stigmatizing. In August of 2002, the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology decided to change the name of schizophrenia in Japanese from seishinbunretsu-byo (‘split mind disease’) to togoshitcho-sho (‘loss of coordination disorder’). The objective of the present study was to investigate whether there was the same movement internationally or not, and how the experts in different countries thought about the term ‘schizophrenia’.
To attempt to gain insight into the thinking concerning this point among international psychiatric authorities, we conducted a survey in 2010. This questionnaire was sent to members of the Section on Schizophrenia of the World Psychiatric Association, the European Psychiatric Association and schizophrenia experts of the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations via email. The mean years of the respondents' experiences as psychiatrists was 18.6 years (SD; 10.1).
65% of respondents said that the term “schizophrenia” was not an appropriate term, and 89% replied that it denoted stigma. In addition, 67% replied that “schizophrenia” should be renamed to another term and 59% replied that the new name should convey acceptable scientific concept about the disorder.
The results of this survey were obtained from only 46 experts, although they were from throughout the world. However, we believe that now is the time to think whether the term “schizophrenia” should be changed or not, considering that the release dates of the ICD-11 and DSM-5 are approaching.
The ICD is being revised for its 11th revision, and empirical efforts are being made to assess the use of the ICD-10 and how it can be improved.
Our aim was to investigate the use of the ICD-10 in Japan, which is to be presented in comparison to its use at a global level.
1) We investigated the frequency of use and the perceived importance of every diagnostic category in the ICD-10. 2) We asked about more specific issues that were being debated at that time, e.g. incorporation of disability component, approaches to the high rate of NOS and co-morbidity.
1) 80 university-based hospitals and 147 councilors of the Japanese Society for Psychiatric Diagnosis (JSPD) were contacted for participation, of which 49 (61%) and 53 (36%) responded respectively. 2) 452 members of the JSPD and 80 chief professors from every department of psychiatry were contacted and 245 individuals in total responded (46%).
1) “Unspecified” and “other” items were generally neither used frequently nor considered as important. Other trends pertaining to more specific diagnostic categories were also observed. 2) Overall psychiatrists in Japan appeared to be conservative about radical changes, and they tended to accept NOS and co-morbidity cases as a necessary condition for operational diagnosis instead of a flaw of the classification system itself.
The results presented here come from Japan only, but they can be informative in further investigating issues related to diagnosis and classification elsewhere as well as globally.
Transnasal inferior meatal antrostomy is increasingly used for the treatment of post-Caldwell–Luc mucoceles in maxillary sinus. This study aimed to report the outcomes after inferior meatal antrostomy with a mucosal flap for recurrent mucoceles.
The records of patients who had undergone transnasal inferior meatal antrostomy with or without a mucosal flap were reviewed.
Transnasal endoscopic inferior meatal antrostomy with or without a mucosal flap was performed in 21 and 49 patients, respectively. No complications were observed. A closing of the antrostomy was found in 9 (18.4 per cent) of the 49 patients who underwent antrostomy without a mucosal flap. No closings were observed in the 21 patients who underwent antrostomy with a mucosal flap. There was a significant difference in the rate of closing for surgery with and without the mucosal flap.
Transnasal endoscopic inferior meatal antrostomy with a mucosal flap is a safe method for the treatment of post-Caldwell–Luc maxillary mucoceles that effectively prevents recurrence.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
An epitaxial NdFeAs(O,F) thin film of 90 nm thickness grown by molecular beam epitaxy on MgO single crystal with Tc = 44.2 K has been investigated regarding a possible vortex glass–liquid transition. The voltage–current characteristics show excellent scalability according to the vortex-glass model with a static critical exponent ν of around 1.35 and a temperature-dependent dynamic exponent z increasing from 7.8 to 9.0 for the investigated temperature range. The large and non-constant z values are discussed in the frame of 3D vortex glass, thermally activated flux motion, and inhomogeneity broadening.
We initiated a long-term and highly frequent monitoring project toward 442 methanol masers at 6.7 GHz (Dec >−30 deg) using the Hitachi 32-m radio telescope in December 2012. The observations have been carried out daily, monitoring a spectrum of each source with intervals of 9–10 days. In September 2015, the number of the target sources and intervals were redesigned into 143 and 4–5 days, respectively. This monitoring provides us complete information on how many sources show periodic flux variations in high-mass star-forming regions, which have been detected in 20 sources with periods of 29.5–668 days so far (e.g., Goedhart et al. 2004). We have already obtained new detections of periodic flux variations in 31 methanol sources with periods of 22–409 days. These periodic flux variations must be a unique tool to investigate high-mass protostars themselves and their circumstellar structure on a very tiny spatial scale of 0.1–1 au.
Experimental Echinococcus multilocularis infection and deworming was repeated three or five times in nine dogs at various re-infection schedules. The mean number of worms decreased more than 91% in dogs with repeated infection, compared to first infection controls (n= 6). The copro-antigen assay and the egg count in the faeces suggested that the worm burden gradually decreased each time the dogs were re-infected. To examine whether such worm exclusion was a non-specific response, five dogs were sequentially infected with the parasite four times and subsequently fed freely for 6 months. Even after the 6-month interval, the five dogs that were infected five times with the parasite were still able largely to exclude the adult worms. The results suggested that the ability of worm exclusion in dogs that developed a resistance did not become rapidly extinct. Observation of the condition of faeces and the excretion of hooks in the faeces of repeatedly infected dogs revealed that the exclusion of worms started at the first week after the re-infection, and it continued during the patent period. Serum antibodies specific to the parasite antigen increased gradually until the third infection and significantly decreased during the 6-month interval. There was little enhancement of serum antibodies after the fifth infection in most dogs, although no clear correlation was observed between the antibody response and the worm burden. These findings suggested the possibility of developing a vaccine.
The mode of onset and the course of schizophrenia illness exhibit substantial individual variations. Previous studies have pointed out that the mode of onset affects the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical outcomes, such as cognitive and social functioning. This study attempted to clarify the association between the DUP and clinical features, taking the different modes of onset into consideration, in a prospective longitudinal study examining patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
This study was conducted in six areas of Japan. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia were followed for over 18 months. Cognitive function, psychopathology, and social functioning were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-up points.
We identified 168 patients and sufficient information was available to determine the DUP and the mode of onset for 156 patients (92.9%): 79 had an acute onset, and 77 had an insidious onset. The DUP was significantly associated with quality of life (QOL), social functioning, and cognitive function at most of the follow-up points in the insidious-onset group. The DUP and negative symptoms at baseline were significant predictors of cognitive function at the 18-month follow-up in the insidious-onset group.
The present results further support the hypothesis that the DUP affects QOL, social functioning, and cognitive function over the course of illness, especially in patients with an insidious onset. Effective strategies for detecting and caring for individuals with insidious onset early during the course of schizophrenia will be essential for achieving a full patient recovery.
The superbubble (SB) 30 Dor C with the strong non-thermal X-ray emission is one of the best targets for study of the cosmic-ray (CR) acceleration. We investigated X-ray spectral properties of the SB with a high spatial resolution of ~10 pc. Consequently, the spectra in the east regions can be described with a combination of absorbed thermal and non-thermal models while the spectra in the west regions can be fitted with an absorbed non-thermal model. We found that the observed photon index and intensity in 2-10 keV show variations of 2.0-3.5 and (0.6-8.0) × 10−7 erg s−1 cm−2 str−1, respectively. The results are possibly caused by the spatial variation of the CR acceleration efficiency and/or the circumstellar environment.
To investigate the characteristic physical properties of the oscillating system in the intact middle ear using a high-speed camera.
We analysed the oscillation of the guinea pig stapes using a high-speed camera. The specimens were prepared so that the middle-ear structures were intact. Tones of various frequencies were delivered into the external auditory canal.
We found that the stapes showed a damped oscillation after the sound stimulation had stopped. The damped oscillation after the sound stimulation showed a specimen-specific frequency that was independent of the frequency of the stimulating sound. An injury to the bony labyrinth, which removed most of the mass from the oscillating system, attenuated the damped oscillation. Therefore, this damped oscillation is likely a passive motion, rather than a reverberation of the stimulating sound.
Analysing the passive damped oscillation may reveal the characteristic physical properties of the oscillating system in the near-intact middle ear. Further refinement of this simple and straightforward system may enhance basic and clinical research on the middle ear in a more intuitive way.
We investigated the ossicular movement in the near-intact middle ear in response to acoustic stimulation using a high-speed video camera and video analysis software program.
We have designed a good visual access to the middle ear of the guinea pig by opening the ventral wall of the otic capsule, without injuring the sound-conducting structures, from the external auditory canal to the oval window. The high-speed video camera could record analysable ossicular motion up to 4000 frames per second.
The stapes showed reciprocal movement in the same frequency as the stimulating tone, and with an amplitude proportional to the stimulating sound intensity. Injury to the tympanic membrane attenuated the stapedial motion, which was recovered to that of the control level by patch repair of the perforation.
Our experimental set-up was capable of evaluating the conductive hearing, regardless of the status of the animal's sensorineural hearing or even life. Such a video analysis may provide a powerful tool to investigate the physiology of the middle ear.
Recently, the detection of non-bulk superconductivity with unexpectedly high onset-Tcs up to 49 K in Pr-doped CaFe2As2 [(Ca,Pr)122] single crystals and the report of a Tc up to 65 K in one-unit-cell (1UC) FeSe epi-films, offer an unusual opportunity to seek an answer to the question posed in the title. Through systematic compositional, structural, resistive, and magnetic investigations on (Ca,Pr)122 single crystals, we have observed a doping-level-independent Tc, the simultaneous appearance of superparamagnetism and superconductivity, large magnetic anisotropy, and the existence of mesoscopic-2D structures in these crystals, thus providing clear evidence consistent with the proposed interface-enhanced Tc in these naturally occurring rareearth-doped Fe-based superconductors, (Ca,R)122. Similar resistive and magnetic measurements were also made on the 3–4UC FeSe ultrathin epi-films. We have detected weak links in the Meissner state below 20 K, weakly coupled small superconducting patches between 20–45 K, and collective excitations of spin and/or superconducting nature between 45–80 K. The unusual frequency dependences of the diamagnetic moment observed in the films in different temperature ranges will be presented and their implications discussed.