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The purpose of this chronoepidemiologic study was to investigate the time-relationships between the yearly variations in occurrence of violent suicide in Belgium and the yearly variations in various biochemical, metabolic and immune variables in the Belgian population. The weekly mean number of deaths due to violent suicide for all of Belgium for the period 1979–1987 was computed. Twenty-six normal volunteers had monthly blood samplings during one calendar year for assays of plasma L-tryptophan (L-TRP), competing amino acids (CAA), and melatonin levels, maximal [3H]paroxetine binding to platelets, serum total cholesterol, calcium, magnesium, and soluble interleukin-2 receptor concentrations, and number of CD4+ T, CD8+ T and CD20+ B lymphocytes. The annual rhythm in violent suicide rate is highly significantly synchronized with the annual rhythms in L-TRP, [3H]paroxetine binding, cholesterol, calcium, magnesium, CD20+ B cells, and CD4+/CD8+ ratio; the mean peak (violent suicide, [3H]paroxetine binding) or nadir (all other variables) occurs around 3 May. There were significant inverse time-relationships between the time series of violent suicide rate and L-TRP, L-TRP/CAA ratio, total cholesterol, calcium and magnesium, CD4+/CD8+ T cell ratio and number of CD20+ B cells. Maximal [3H]paroxetine binding to platelets was significantly and positively related to the time series of violent suicide. An important part (56.4%) of the variance in mean weekly number of violent suicide rate was explained by the time series of L-TRP, cholesterol and melatonin.
Investigation into the family burden (FB) of schizophrenic patients has recently risen sharply. Nevertheless, to date there has been little consensus as to what factors influence the FB. The purpose of this study is to acquire a greater insight into the variables that influence the FB.
The FB was measured with the interview for the family burden (Kluiter H, Kramer JJAM, Wiersma D, et al. Interview voor de belasting van de familie 1997 [Interview for the burden on the family]. Department Sociale Psychiatrie. Groningen: Rijksuniversiteit). One hundred and fifty family members (parents/partners) of schizophrenic patients participated in the study.
The results of our study show (1) that family members experience burden both on a practical and an emotional level, (2) a highly significant correlation between the amount of symptomatic behaviour of the patient and FB, (3) that parents had taken on more tasks, had contributed more financially and had experienced a tenser atmosphere at home than partners did and (4) that family members of patients who have been treated for less than 1 year worry more about the other members of their family than family members of patients who have been receiving treatment for more than 1 year.
Family members of schizophrenic patients experience burden on a practical, financial and emotional level and the extent of the burden is closely linked to the amount of symptomatic behaviour of the patient.
Little is known about how daily life mood reactivity to minor stressors (stress reactivity) might change following major depressive disorder (MDD) treatment. We investigate whether (i) mood states and appraisals of daily stressors change after treatment; (ii) stress reactivity to event, activity, or social stress differs; (iii) stress reactivity depends on severity of residual depressive symptoms; and (iv) stress reactivity in individuals with remitted or non-remitted depression differ from that of never-depressed individuals.
Thirty depressed individuals participated in an experience sampling study before and after a treatment period of 18 months; 39 healthy individuals formed a comparison group. Reactivity of positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) to daily stressors were measured.
More residual symptoms were associated with larger NA responses to stress. Compared to healthy controls, participants with non-remitted MDD showed higher NA-reactivity to all stressors. In contrast, stress reactivity to event and activity stressors was normalized in remitted patients. However, they still showed heightened NA-reactivity to social stress.
Greater stress reactivity to event and activity stress appears to be state-dependent. The heightened social stress reactivity in remitted patients suggests that sensitivity to social stress may reflect an underlying vulnerability in MDD.
It is unclear what session frequency is most effective in cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for depression.
Compare the effects of once weekly and twice weekly sessions of CBT and IPT for depression.
We conducted a multicentre randomised trial from November 2014 through December 2017. We recruited 200 adults with depression across nine specialised mental health centres in the Netherlands. This study used a 2 × 2 factorial design, randomising patients to once or twice weekly sessions of CBT or IPT over 16–24 weeks, up to a maximum of 20 sessions. Main outcome measures were depression severity, measured with the Beck Depression Inventory-II at baseline, before session 1, and 2 weeks, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 months after start of the intervention. Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted.
Compared with patients who received weekly sessions, patients who received twice weekly sessions showed a statistically significant decrease in depressive symptoms (estimated mean difference between weekly and twice weekly sessions at month 6: 3.85 points, difference in effect size d = 0.55), lower attrition rates (n = 16 compared with n = 32) and an increased rate of response (hazard ratio 1.48, 95% CI 1.00–2.18).
In clinical practice settings, delivery of twice weekly sessions of CBT and IPT for depression is a way to improve depression treatment outcomes.
Automated manufacturing of thermoplastic composites has found increased interest in aerospace applications over the past three decades because of its great potential in low-cost, high rate, repeatable production of high performance composite structures. Experimental validation is a key element in the development of structures made using this emerging technology. In this work, a
mm variable-stiffness unitised integrated-stiffener out-of-autoclave thermoplastic composite wingbox is tested for a combined shear-bending-torsion induced buckling load. The wingbox is manufactured by in-situ consolidation using a laser-assisted automated tape placement technique. It is made and tested as a demonstrator section located at 85% of the wing semi-span of a B-737/A320 sized aircraft. A bespoke in-house test rig and two aluminium dummy wingboxes are also designed and manufactured for testing the wingbox assembly which spans more than 3m. Prior to testing, the wingbox assembly and the test rig were analysed using a high fidelity finite element method to minimise the failure risk due to the applied load case. The experimental test results of the wingbox are also compared with the predictions made by a numerical study performed by nonlinear finite element analysis showing less than 5% difference in load-displacement behaviour and buckling load and full agreement in predicting the buckling mode shape.
Psychotherapies for depression are equally effective on average, but individual responses vary widely. Outcomes can be improved by optimizing treatment selection using multivariate prediction models. A promising approach is the Personalized Advantage Index (PAI) that predicts the optimal treatment for a given individual and the magnitude of the advantage. The current study aimed to extend the PAI to long-term depression outcomes after acute-phase psychotherapy.
Data come from a randomized trial comparing cognitive therapy (CT, n = 76) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT, n = 75) for major depressive disorder (MDD). Primary outcome was depression severity, as assessed by the BDI-II, during 17-month follow-up. First, predictors and moderators were selected from 38 pre-treatment variables using a two-step machine learning approach. Second, predictors and moderators were combined into a final model, from which PAI predictions were computed with cross-validation. Long-term PAI predictions were then compared to actual follow-up outcomes and post-treatment PAI predictions.
One predictor (parental alcohol abuse) and two moderators (recent life events; childhood maltreatment) were identified. Individuals assigned to their PAI-indicated treatment had lower follow-up depression severity compared to those assigned to their PAI-non-indicated treatment. This difference was significant in two subsets of the overall sample: those whose PAI score was in the upper 60%, and those whose PAI indicated CT, irrespective of magnitude. Long-term predictions did not overlap substantially with predictions for acute benefit.
If replicated, long-term PAI predictions could enhance precision medicine by selecting the optimal treatment for a given depressed individual over the long term.
Higher-educated people often have healthier diets, but it is unclear whether specific dietary patterns exist within educational groups. We therefore aimed to derive dietary patterns in the total population and by educational level and to investigate whether these patterns differed in their composition and associations with the incidence of fatal and non-fatal CHD and stroke. Patterns were derived using principal components analysis in 36 418 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Netherlands cohort. Self-reported educational level was used to create three educational groups. Dietary intake was estimated using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. Hazard ratios were estimated using Cox Proportional Hazard analysis after a mean follow-up of 16 years. In the three educational groups, similar ‘Western’, ‘prudent’ and ‘traditional’ patterns were derived as in the total population. However, with higher educational level a lower population-derived score for the ‘Western’ and ‘traditional’ patterns and a higher score on the ‘prudent’ pattern were observed. These differences in distribution of the factor scores illustrate the association between education and food consumption. After adjustments, no differences in associations between population-derived dietary patterns and the incidence of CHD or stroke were found between the educational groups (Pinteraction between 0·21 and 0·98). In conclusion, although in general population and educational groups-derived dietary patterns did not differ, small differences between educational groups existed in the consumption of food groups in participants considered adherent to the population-derived patterns (Q4). This did not result in different associations with incident CHD or stroke between educational groups.
Migration has been reported to be associated with higher prevalence of mental disorders and suicidal behaviour.
To examine the prevalence of emotional and behavioural difficulties, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among migrant adolescents and their non-migrant peers.
A school-based survey was completed by 11 057 European adolescents as part of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study.
A previous suicide attempt was reported by 386 (3.6%) adolescents. Compared with non-migrants, first-generation migrants had an elevated prevalence of suicide attempts (odds ratio (OR) 2.08; 95% CI 1.32–3.26; P=0.001 for European migrants and OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.06–3.27; P=0.031 for non-European migrants) and significantly higher levels of peer difficulties. Highest levels of conduct and hyperactivity problems were found among migrants of non-European origin.
Appropriate mental health services and school-based supports are required to meet the complex needs of migrant adolescents.
We have developed high affinity Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) for neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline and caffeine. These polymer particles are mixed within the bulk of screen-printed ink allowing masss-producible bulk modified MIP Screen-Printed Electrodes (MIP-SPEs) to be realised. We have explored different SPE supporting surfaces, such as polyester, tracing paper and household-printing paper. The performance of those MIP-SPEs is studied using the Heat-Transfer Method (HTM), a patented thermal method. With the combination of screen-printing techniques and thermal detection, it is possible to develop a portable sensor platform that is capable of low-cost and straightforward detection of biomolecules on-site. In the future, this unique sensor architecture holds great promise for the use in biomedical devices.
Several studies on the effect of physical exercise on activities of daily living (ADL) for people with dementia exist; yet, data concerning the specific context of acute psychiatric hospitals remain scant. This study measured the effect of a physical exercise program on ADL scores in patients with moderate to severe dementia hospitalized in an acute psychiatric ward.
A multicenter clinical trial was conducted in five Swiss and Belgian psychiatric hospitals. Participants were randomly allocated to either an experimental group (EG) or a control group (CG). Members of the EG received 20 physical exercise sessions (strengthening, balance, and walking) over a four-week period while members of the CG participated in social interaction sessions of equivalent duration and frequency, but without physical exercise. The effect of exercise on ADL was measured by comparing scores of the Barthel Index and the Functional Independence Measure in the EG and CG before and after the intervention, and two weeks later.
Hundred and sixty patients completed the program. Characteristics of participants of both groups were similar at the inception of the study. The mean ADL score of EG decreased slightly over time, whereas that of the CG significantly decreased compared to initial scores. Overall differences between groups were not significant; however, significant differences were found for mobility-related items.
ADL scores in elderly with moderate to severe dementia deteriorate during acute psychiatric hospitalization. An exercise program delays the loss of mobility but does not have a significant impact on overall ADL scores.
Heated or cooled fluids at supercritical pressure show large variations in thermophysical properties, such as the density, dynamic viscosity and molecular Prandtl number, which strongly influence turbulence characteristics. To investigate this, direct numerical simulations were performed of a turbulent flow at supercritical pressure (CO
at 8 MPa) in an annulus with a hot inner wall and a cold outer wall. The pseudo-critical temperature lies close to the inner wall, which results in strong thermophysical property variations in that region. The turbulent shear stress and the turbulent intensities significantly decrease near the hot inner wall, but increase near the cold outer wall, which can be partially attributed to the mean dynamic viscosity and density stratification. This leads to decreased production of turbulent kinetic energy near the inner wall and vice versa near the outer wall. However, by analysing a transport equation for the coherent streak flank strength, it was found that thermophysical property fluctuations significantly affect streak evolution. Near the hot wall, thermal expansion and buoyancy tend to decrease streak coherence, while the viscosity gradient that exists across the streaks interacts with mean shear to act as either a source or a sink in the evolution equation for the coherent streak flank strength. The formation of streamwise vortices on the other hand is hindered by the torque that is the result of the kinetic energy and density gradients. Near the cold wall, the results are reversed, i.e. the coherent streak flank strength and the streamwise vortices are enhanced due to the variable density and dynamic viscosity. The results show that not only the mean stratification but also the large instantaneous thermophysical property variations that occur in heated or cooled fluids at supercritical pressure have a significant effect on turbulent structures that are responsible for the self-regeneration process in near-wall turbulence. Thus, instantaneous density and dynamic viscosity fluctuations are responsible for decreased (or increased) turbulent motions in heated (or cooled) fluids at supercritical pressure.
Altered dopaminergic neurotransmission in the mesocorticolimbic (MCL) system may mediate psychotic symptoms. In addition, pharmacological dopaminergic manipulation may coincide with altered functional connectivity (fc) ‘in rest’. We set out to test whether MCL-fc is conditional on (familial risk for) psychotic disorder and/or interactions with environmental exposures.
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained from 63 patients with psychotic disorder, 73 non-psychotic siblings of patients with psychotic disorder and 59 healthy controls. With the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) as seed region, fc within the MCL system was estimated. Regression analyses adjusting for a priori hypothesized confounders were used to assess group differences in MCL connectivity as well as gene (group) × environmental exposure interactions (G × E) (i.e. to cannabis, developmental trauma and urbanicity).
Compared with controls, patients and siblings had decreased fc between the right NAcc seed and the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) as well as the left middle cingulate cortex (MCC). Siblings showed decreased connectivity between the NAcc seed and lentiform nucleus compared with patients and controls. In addition, patients had decreased left NAcc connectivity compared with siblings in the left middle frontal gyrus. There was no evidence for a significant interaction between group and the three environmental exposures in the model of MCL-fc.
Reduced NAcc–OFC/MCC connectivity was seen in patients and siblings, suggesting that altered OFC connectivity and MCC connectivity are vulnerability markers for psychotic disorder. Differential exposure to environmental risk factors did not make an impact on the association between familial risk and MCL connectivity.
The split-operator technique for wave packet propagation in quantum systems is expanded here to the case of propagatingwave functions describing Schrödinger particles, namely, charge carriers in semiconductor nanostructures within the effective mass approximation, in the presence of Zeeman effect, as well as of Rashba and Dresselhaus spin-orbit interactions. We also demonstrate that simple modifications to the expanded technique allow us to calculate the time evolution of wave packets describing Dirac particles, which are relevant for the study of transport properties in graphene.
Although both cognitive therapy (CT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) have been shown to be effective treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD), it is not clear yet whether one therapy outperforms the other with regard to severity and course of the disorder. This study examined the clinical effectiveness of CT v. IPT in a large sample of depressed patients seeking treatment in a Dutch outpatient mental health clinic. We tested whether one of the treatments was superior to the other at post-treatment and at 5 months follow-up. Furthermore, we tested whether active treatment was superior to no treatment. We also assessed whether initial depression severity moderated the effect of time and condition and tested for therapist differences.
Depressed adults (n = 182) were randomized to either CT (n = 76), IPT (n = 75) or a 2-month waiting list control (WLC) condition (n = 31). Main outcome was depression severity, measured with the Beck Depression Inventory – II (BDI-II), assessed at baseline, 2, 3, and 7 months (treatment phase) and monthly up to 5 months follow-up (8–12 months).
No differential effects between CT and IPT were found. Both treatments exceeded response in the WLC condition, and led to considerable improvement in depression severity that was sustained up to 1 year. Baseline depression severity did not moderate the effect of time and condition.
Within our power and time ranges, CT and IPT appeared not to differ in the treatment of depression in the acute phase and beyond.
It is unclear whether there is a direct link between economic crises and changes in suicide rates.
The Lopez-Ibor Foundation launched an initiative to study the possible impact of the economic crisis on European suicide rates.
Data was gathered and analysed from 29 European countries and included the number of deaths by suicide in men and women, the unemployment rate, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the annual economic growth rate and inflation.
There was a strong correlation between suicide rates and all economic indices except GPD per capita in men but only a correlation with unemployment in women. However, the increase in suicide rates occurred several months before the economic crisis emerged.
Overall, this study confirms a general relationship between the economic environment and suicide rates; however, it does not support there being a clear causal relationship between the current economic crisis and an increase in the suicide rate.
Health-beneficial effects of adhering to a healthy Nordic diet index have been suggested. However, it has not been examined to what extent the included dietary components are exclusively related to the Nordic countries or if they are part of other European diets as well, suggesting a broader preventive potential. The present study describes the intake of seven a priori defined healthy food items (apples/pears, berries, cabbages, dark bread, shellfish, fish and root vegetables) across ten countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and examines their consumption across Europe.
Cross-sectional study. A 24 h dietary recall was administered through a software program containing country-specific recipes. Sex-specific mean food intake was calculated for each centre/country, as well as percentage of overall food groups consumed as healthy Nordic food items. All analyses were weighted by day and season of data collection.
Multi-centre, European study.
Persons (n 36 970) aged 35–74 years, constituting a random sample of 519 978 EPIC participants.
The highest intakes of the included diet components were: cabbages and berries in Central Europe; apples/pears in Southern Europe; dark bread in Norway, Denmark and Greece; fish in Southern and Northern countries; shellfish in Spain; and root vegetables in Northern and Central Europe. Large inter-centre variation, however, existed in some countries.
Dark bread, root vegetables and fish are strongly related to a Nordic dietary tradition. Apples/pears, berries, cabbages, fish, shellfish and root vegetables are broadly consumed in Europe, and may thus be included in regional public health campaigns.
To examine the association between adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet created by the Dutch Health Council in 2006 and overall and smoking-related cancer incidence.
Prospective cohort study.
Adherence to the guidelines, which includes one recommendation on physical activity and nine on diet, was measured using an adapted version of the Dutch Healthy Diet (DHD) index. The score ranged from 0 to 90 with a higher score indicating greater adherence to the guidelines. We estimated the hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals for the association between the DHD index (in tertiles and per 20-point increment) at baseline and cancer incidence at follow-up.
We studied 35 608 men and women aged 20–70 years recruited into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study during 1993–1997.
After an average follow-up of 12·7 years, 3027 cancer cases were documented. We found no significant association between the DHD index (tertile 3 v. tertile 1) and overall (HR = 0·97; 95 % CI 0·88, 1·07) and smoking-related cancer incidence (HR = 0·89; 95 % CI 0·76, 1·06) after adjustment for relevant confounders. Excluding the components physical activity or alcohol from the score did not change the results. None of the individual components of the DHD index was significantly associated with cancer incidence.
In the present study, participants with a high adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet were not at lower risk of overall or smoking-related cancer. This does not exclude that other components not included in the DHD index may be associated with overall cancer risk.
Subthreshold psychotic and bipolar experiences are common in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, it is unknown if effectiveness of psychotherapy is altered in depressed patients who display such features compared with those without. The current paper aimed to investigate the impact of the co-presence of subclinical psychotic experiences and subclinical bipolar symptoms on the effectiveness of psychological treatment, alone or in combination with pharmacotherapy.
In a naturalistic study, patients with MDD (n = 116) received psychological treatment (cognitive behavioural therapy or interpersonal psychotherapy) alone or in combination with pharmacotherapy. Depression and functioning were assessed six times over 2 years. Lifetime psychotic experiences and bipolar symptoms were assessed at the second time point.
Subclinical psychotic experiences predicted more depression over time (β = 0.20, p < 0.002), non-remission [odds ratio (OR) 7.51, p < 0.016] and relapse (OR 3.85, p < 0.034). Subthreshold bipolar symptoms predicted relapse (OR 1.16, p < 0.037).
In general, subclinical psychotic experiences have a negative impact on the course and outcome of psychotherapy in MDD. Effects of subclinical bipolar experiences were less prominent.