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P300 wave anomalies correlate with genetic risk for schizophrenia and constitute a plausible endophenotype for the disease. The COMT gene is thought to influence cognitive performance and to be a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Unlike two previous studies, we found no significant influence of the COMT gene on P300 amplitude or latency in 189 individuals examined. The well-supported role of the COMT gene both in dopamine catabolism as well as in prefrontal cognition makes a strong theoretical case for the influence of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on P300 endophenotypes. However, the available neurophysiologic evidence suggests that any such association, if present, must be very subtle.
This paper, a report by the Clinical Governance and Audit Committee of the Scottish Otolaryngological Society, presents a consensus view of the minimal requirements for ENT clinics in National Health Service hospitals.
Results and conclusion:
The provision of adequate equipment and staff has gained increasing importance as the vast majority of ENT procedures can be safely performed in the out-patient or office setting.
Personal finance is a challenging topic which can benefit from a scientific approach to individual financial planning. This paper presents an individual asset liability management (iALM) model for life cycle planning which uses the methodology of dynamic stochastic optimisation and incorporates ideas from both classical and behavioural finance. Its implementation is in the form of a decision support tool for use by financial advisers or wealth managers. The investment universe is given by a set of indices for major asset classes and their returns are simulated forward over the lifetime of a household. On the liability side the foreseen cash flows of incomes and outgoings are simulated and punctuated by life events such as illness and death. The household's utility function is constructed for each time period over a range of monetary values in terms of household financial goals and preferences. Taxes and pension savings are treated using the tax shielded saving accounts specific to a national jurisdiction in terms of constraints in the optimisation sub-models. The paper goes on to present an analysis of iALM model recommendations for a representative UK household, together with an evaluation of the sensitivity of the financial plan generated to changes in market environments such as the 2007–9 crisis. The promise of this new technology is to bring modern decision support tools to individual investors in order to facilitate custom designed consumption, savings and investment policies.
Morphometric endophenotypes which have been proposed for psychotic disorders include lateral ventricular enlargement and hippocampal volume reductions. Genetic epidemiological studies support an overlap between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and COMT, BDNF, 5-HTT, NRG1 and DTNBP1 genes have been implicated in the aetiology of both these disorders. This study examined associations between these candidate genes and morphometric endophenotypes for psychosis.
A total of 383 subjects (128 patients with psychosis, 194 of their unaffected relatives and 61 healthy controls) from the Maudsley Family Psychosis Study underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging and genotyping. The effect of candidate genes on brain morphometry was examined using linear regression models adjusting for clinical group, age, sex and correlations between members of the same family.
The results showed no evidence of association between variation in COMT genotype and lateral ventricular, and left or right hippocampal volumes. Neither was there any effect of the BDNF, 5-HTTLPR, NRG1 and DTNBP1 genotypes on these regional brain volumes.
Abnormal hippocampal and lateral ventricular volumes are among the most replicated endophenotypes for psychosis; however, the influences of COMT, BDNF, 5-HTT, NRG1 and DTNBP1 genes on these key brain regions must be very subtle if at all present.
In August 1988 an increase was noted in the number of cases of cryptosporidiosis identified by the microbiology laboratory at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. By 31 October, 67 cases had been reported. Preliminary investigations implicated the use of one of two swimming pools at a local sports centre and oocysts were identified in the pool water. Inspection of the pool revealed significant plumbing defects which had allowed ingress of sewage from the main sewer into the circulating pool water. Epidemiological investigation confirmed an association between head immersion and illness. The pools were closed when oocysts were identified in the water and extensive cleaning and repair work was undertaken. The pool water was retested for cryptosporidial oocysts and found to be negative before the pool re-opened.
Las anomalías de la onda P300 correlacionan con el riesgo genético de esquizofrenia y constituyen un enfofenotipo plausible para la enfermedad. Se piensa que el gen de la COMT influye en la ejecución cognitiva y es un gen de susceptibilidad para la esquizofrenia. A diferencia de dos estudios anteriores, no encontramos influencia significativa del gen de la COMT en la amplitud o la latencia de la onda P300 en 189 individuos examinados. El papel bien respaldado del gen de la COMT tanto en el catabolismo de la dopamina como en la cognición prefrontal constituye un fuerte argumento teórico para la influencia del polimorfismo Val158Met de la COMT en los endofenotipos de la onda P300. Sin embargo, los datos neurofisiológicos disponibles indican que cualquier asociación de esta índole, si está presente, debe ser muy sutil.
Dynamic financial analysis (DFA) is a technique which uses Monte Carlo simulation to investigate the evolution over time of financial models of funds, complex liabilities and entire firms. Although of increasing popularity, the drawback of DFA is the dearth of systematic methods for optimising model parameters for strategic financial planning. This paper introduces strategic DFA which employs the only recently mature technology of dynamic stochastic optimisation to fill this gap. The new approach is described in terms of an illustrative case study of a joint university/industry project to create a decision support system for strategic asset liability management involving global asset classes and defined contribution pension plans. Although the application of the system described in the paper is to fund design and risk management, the approach and techniques described here are much more broadly applicable to strategic financial planning problems; for example, to insurance and reinsurance firms, to risk capital allocation in financial institutions and trading firms and to corporate investment and business development involving real options. As well as describing the mathematical and statistical models used in the case study, the paper treats econometric estimation, asset return and liability scenario generation, model specification and optimisation, system evaluation and historical backtesting. Throughout the system visualisation plays an important role.
Early Proterozoic rapakivi intrusions in S Greenland occur as thick sheets which have ramp–flat geometry and were intruded along the median planes of active ductile extensional shear zones. These shear zones and their intrusions were linked via transfer zones in a major three-dimensional framework. At high structural levels (c. 6 km) the rapakivi intrusions developed thermal aureoles which overprint the regional assemblages, whereas at deeper levels in the regional structure they are contemporaneous with regional metamorphism. Thermobarometry on the regional and contact assemblages indicates low pressure granulite facies conditions (200–400 MPa, 650°-800°C) suggesting very high thermal gradients. The rapakivi suite and associated norites have low initial 87Sr/86Sr together with positive εNd values, indicating the involvement of predominantly young crust and/or mantle component in the generation of the igneous suite. It is considered that the voluminous norites are closely related to the mafic melts which underplated the juvenile crust to trigger the generation of the monzonitic rapakivi suite. Taken together, the data are consistent with a model of Proterozoic lithospheric extension, thinning of relatively juvenile continental crust and compression of mantle isotherms, resulting in high crustal heat flow, mafic underplating, and crustal melting with emplacement of magmas along a linked network of extensional shear zones.
Palaeomagnetic data define a polar wander path for the Dalradian tectonic block of the Scottish Highlands but resolve no relative motion between the Dalradian and Midland Valley blocks from early Ordo vician onwards. The history of structural episodes (D1 to D4) is traced for the Dalradian rocks of the Southern Highlands, and peak metamorphic temperatures are closely associated with D3 in the 520–490 Ma (early Ordovician) time period, whilst retrograde events are mostly associated with D4. Throughout the structural history, the influence of a lineament or lineaments parallel to the Highland Border is seen and is particularly demonstrated by the formation of the major Highland Border downbend (D4) structure. This monoform is interpreted as lying structurally above a major step in the basement and is associated with uplift of the Dalradian flat belt in the period 460–440 Ma (late Ordovician).
The mechanism of emplacement of the slivers of Highland Border Complex (HBC) rocks adjacent to the Dalradian Supergroup along the Highland Boundary fault zone is considered given that structural and palaeontological evidence indicates the emplacement to be post- D3 in the Dalradian rocks. The steep attitude of rocks along the Highland Boundary fault zone is probably due to vertical movements but either thrust or strike-slip movements are also indicated. Thrust emplacement prior to downbend formation (D4 in the Dalradian rocks) would also precede uplift and have to take place at considerable depth (10–20 km). Thrust emplacement subsequent to downbend formation is difficult to reconcile with the existing structural relations, whilst strike-slip motion offers a straightforward mechanism of placement.