To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Psychotic disorders are associated with metabolic abnormalities including alterations in glucose and lipid metabolism. A major challenge in the treatment of psychosis is to identify patients with vulnerable metabolic profiles who may be at risk of developing cardiometabolic co-morbidities. It is established that both central and peripheral metabolic organs use lipids to control energy balance and regulate peripheral insulin sensitivity. The endocannabinoid system, implicated in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, has been shown to be dysregulated in psychosis. It is currently unclear how these endocannabinoid abnormalities relate to metabolic changes in psychosis. Here we review recent research in the field of metabolic co-morbidities in psychotic disorders as well as the methods to study them and potential links to the endocannabinoid system. We also describe the bioinformatics platforms developed in the EU project METSY for the investigations of the biological etiology in patients at risk of psychosis and in first episode psychosis patients. The METSY project was established with the aim to identify and evaluate multi-modal peripheral and neuroimaging markers that may be able to predict the onset and prognosis of psychiatric and metabolic symptoms in patients at risk of developing psychosis and first episode psychosis patients. Given the intrinsic complexity and widespread role of lipid metabolism, a systems biology approach which combines molecular, structural and functional neuroimaging methods with detailed metabolic characterisation and multi-variate network analysis is essential in order to identify how lipid dysregulation may contribute to psychotic disorders. A decision support system, integrating clinical, neuropsychological and neuroimaging data, was also developed in order to aid clinical decision making in psychosis. Knowledge of common and specific mechanisms may aid the etiopathogenic understanding of psychotic and metabolic disorders, facilitate early disease detection, aid treatment selection and elucidate new targets for pharmacological treatments.
Physical activity (PA) may be therapeutic for people with severe mental illness (SMI) who generally have low PA and experience numerous life style-related medical complications. We conducted a meta-review of PA interventions and their impact on health outcomes for people with SMI, including schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder. We searched major electronic databases until January 2018 for systematic reviews with/without meta-analysis that investigated PA for any SMI. We rated the quality of studies with the AMSTAR tool, grading the quality of evidence, and identifying gaps, future research needs and clinical practice recommendations. For MDD, consistent evidence indicated that PA can improve depressive symptoms versus control conditions, with effects comparable to those of antidepressants and psychotherapy. PA can also improve cardiorespiratory fitness and quality of life in people with MDD, although the impact on physical health outcomes was limited. There were no differences in adverse events versus control conditions. For MDD, larger effect sizes were seen when PA was delivered at moderate-vigorous intensity and supervised by an exercise specialist. For schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, evidence indicates that aerobic PA can reduce psychiatric symptoms, improves cognition and various subdomains, cardiorespiratory fitness, whilst evidence for the impact on anthropometric measures was inconsistent. There was a paucity of studies investigating PA in bipolar disorder, precluding any definitive recommendations. No cost effectiveness analyses in any SMI condition were identified. We make multiple recommendations to fill existing research gaps and increase the use of PA in routine clinical care aimed at improving psychiatric and medical outcomes.
Background: Based on the vulnerability model, several studies indicate that low self-esteem seems to contribute to depressive symptoms. Aims: The aim of this study was to treat depressive symptoms in a cognitive behavioural group therapy, focusing on the enhancement of self-esteem, and to explore co-variation in depressive symptoms and the level of self-esteem. Method: The Multidimensional Self-esteem Scale (MSWS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered to 147 psychiatric in-patients with current depressive symptoms due to an affective disorder (major depression, bipolar I, dysthymia). Self-esteem was measured pre-treatment (t0) and post-treatment (t4, after 5 weeks of eight group sessions); the BDI was applied weekly. A linear mixed growth analysis was conducted to estimate the change in depressive symptoms including interactions with self-esteem. Results: Within the 5 weeks of group therapy, depressive symptoms showed a linear decline, which was stronger for patients with higher gains in self-esteem between t0 and t4. Self-esteem at t0 was unrelated to the change in depression but predicted self-esteem at t4. Conclusions: Treating depressive symptoms in a cognitive behavioural group therapy in a naturalistic setting might have a positive effect on the process of recovery. Moreover, depressive symptoms and level of self-esteem seemed to co-vary.
A study on locally available composts in Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland was conducted to investigate the potential of these non-chemical based tools to increase soil health in orchards afflicted by apple replant disease (ARD). A total of 26 different composts (six to seven per country) were chosen for the study. Composts were divided into ten types according to the waste materials used as substrates in the composting process. Growth reduction is the main symptom associated with replant disease; therefore compost performance was evaluated based on the growth responses of apple rootstock plantlets in compost-amended soils in pots. These greenhouse trials were performed in one research station per country, located in an intensive apple-growing area, and soil was taken from an apple orchard affected by replanting disease. Plant growth response was measured as shoot elongation at the end of each greenhouse trial, and results showed increases in growth compared with the respective controls of 2–26% in 20 out of 26 composts evaluated. The heterogeneous nature of the composts most likely attributed to the finding that similar compost types originating from the different countries had varying effects on plant growth. Overall, no significant changes in chemical and biological properties were observed in amended soils as compared with non-amended controls. The high soil resilience was in part expected given the good organic matter content in the original soils (>2%). The bacterial communities of the composts were investigated using the COMPOCHIP microarray, and analyses showed that differences in plant growth response were mainly attributed to the microbial changes introduced into the soil through composts rather than to changes in soil chemical and biological parameters. However, the bacterial communities of composts appeared to be more influenced by geographical origin than by compost type. The results have shown that soil amendment with composts generated from locally produced wastes have the potential to reduce the effects of ARD, although the effects appear to be both compost and soil specific.
Using a qualitative case study design, a demonstration farm approach implemented in northern Patagonia, Argentina, was assessed to examine differences in perceptions between participating stakeholder groups regarding their roles and how these affect the collaboration process. Moreover, differences in stakeholder perceptions regarding positive impacts and constraints of the implemented innovation (supplemental feeding of small ruminants) were assessed, as one exemplary innovation to improve low-external-input pastoral livestock systems. Three cases of demonstration farm projects were selected and a total of 31 semi-structured and narrative interviews were carried out with participating livestock keepers, extension workers and scientists. Together with information gained by employing visual tools and participant observation, data was analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results reveal that major decisions regarding the collaboration process were taken by scientists in advance, hence, livestock keepers' participation was used to meet predetermined objectives, which is characteristic to the concept of functional participation. While scientists seemed to transfer the control principles of on-station research to the on-farm situation, extension workers recognised the need for replacing teaching by the aim of creating learning opportunities. Here, incongruences in role understanding indicate an overall lack of joint role definition and the need of balancing power differences. Livestock keepers' perceptions of the supplemental feeding strategy highlight substantial management constraints for implementation, which were not recognised by scientists and extension workers, nor were they captured by the monitoring system implemented. We recommend furnishing the demonstration farm approach with principles, methods and tools of collaborative learning, to create a change in actors' understanding of roles and to induce a shift towards increased transdisciplinarity.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
This paper provides nationally representative data on how current and past mental disorders are related to functional disability and health-related quality of life (QoL).
Results are based on a nationally representative sample (DEGS1-MH; n = 4483 aged 18–79). Respondents were examined by clinical interviewers with the DSM-IV Composite International Diagnostic Interview (DIA-X/M-CIDI). Functional disability, i.e. number of disability days in the past 4 weeks, and QoL, i.e. mental (MCS) and physical (PCS) component scale of the SF-36V2, were examined in subjects with 12-month mental disorders (= active cases [AC]) and compared to (a) subjects who never met diagnostic criteria (= unaffected individuals [UAI]), and (b) those with a history of mental disorders but not meeting the diagnostic criteria in the past 12 months (= non-active cases [NAC]; partially or fully remitted).
In comparison to UAI (mean: 1.9), AC reveals a 2–3 fold disability days/month (5.4, P < .001) and a substantially reduced MCS (UAI: 52.1; AC: 43.3, P < .001). NAC had a similar number of disability days as UAI, but significantly reduced MCS scores (49.9; P < .001). Disability days and QoL decrements were highest in internalizing disorders including somatoform disorders and most pronounced in comorbid cases.
By and large, findings of a previous study were confirmed and extended for this nationally representative German sample. 12-month mental disorders, particularly internalizing, including somatoform disorders, are associated with high levels of disability and increased health-related QoL decrements. Partial or complete remission of the mental disorders is associated with a normalization of the numbers of disability days.
Crystalline Au nanoparticles embedded in epitaxially grown SrTiO3 layers were prepared by an annealing and coating procedure of Au seed layers on SrTiO3 (STO) substrates. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy measurements were performed to investigate the size, shape, and deformation of the particles and their crystal orientation. The shape and size of the crystalline Au nanoparticles can be tuned by controlling the Au seed layer thickness and single crystalline elliptically shaped Au nanoparticles have been generated. Furthermore, the orientation of the surrounding SrTiO3 matrix changes significantly from homoepitaxially grown (001) to secondary (111) and (011) orientations for Au seed layers that are thicker than 4 nm. This is of great interest for modifying the electrical properties of SrTiO3 layers, whereas the anisotropically shaped crystalline particles are relevant for optical applications, due to localized surface plasmon resonances.
The reliability of InAlGaN multiple quantum well LEDs emitting around 308 nm has been investigated. The UV-B LEDs were stressed at constant current and current density, while the heat sink temperature was varied between 15°C and 80°C. The results reveal two different modes of the decrease of the optical power during aging. First, a fast reduction of the optical power within the first 100 h (mode 1) can be observed, followed by a slower degradation for operation times >100 h (mode 2). Mode 1 can be described as an initial degradation activation process which saturates after a certain time, whereas the second degradation mode can be described by a square-root time dependence of the optical power, suggesting a diffusion process to be involved. Both degradation modes are accompanied by changes of the I-V characteristic, particularly the reverse-bias leakage current and the drive voltage. Furthermore, the degradation behavior is strongly influenced by the temperature. Both, the maximum reduction of the optical power and the increase of the leakage current become stronger at higher temperatures.
An overview about the German cluster project Cool Silicon aiming at increasing the energy efficiency for semiconductors, communications, sensors and software is presented. Examples for achievements are: 1000 times reduced gate leakage in transistors using high-fc (HKMG) materials compared to conventional poly-gate (SiON) devices at the same technology node; 700 V transistors integrated in standard 0.35 μm CMOS; solar cell efficiencies above 19% at < 200 W/m2 irradiation; 0.99 power factor, 87% efficiency and 0.088 distortion factor for dc supplies; 1 ns synchronization resolution via Ethernet; database accelerators allowing 85% energy savings for servers; adaptive software yielding energy reduction of 73% for e-Commerce applications; processors and corresponding data links with 40% and 70% energy savings, respectively, by adaption of clock frequency and supply voltage in less than 20 ns; clock generator chip with tunable frequency from 83-666 MHz and 0.62-1.6 mW dc power; 90 Gb/s on-chip link over 6 mm and efficiency of 174 fJ/mm; dynamic biasing system doubling efficiency in power amplifiers; 60 GHz BiCMOS frontends with dc power to bandwidth ratio of 0.17 mW/MHz; driver assistance systems reducing energy consumption by 10% in cars
In order to understand the fundamental charge transport in a-B4-5C:H/Si heterostructure devices, we have utilized x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to determine the valence band offset at interfaces formed by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition of a-B4-5C:H on (100) Si. For such interfaces, we observed relatively small valence band offset values of ± 0.25 eV.
This paper analyzes the loss allocation to first, second, and third loss positions in European collateralized debt obligation transactions. The quality of the underlying asset pool plays a predominant role for the loss allocation. A lower asset pool quality induces the originator to take a higher first loss position, but, in a synthetic transaction, a smaller third loss position. The share of expected default losses, borne by the first loss position, is largely independent of asset pool quality but lower in securitizations of corporate loans than in those of corporate bonds. Originators with a good rating and low Tobin’s Q prefer synthetic transactions.
The continuously growing and wide-spread utilization of blends of organic electron and hole conducting materials comprises ambipolar field-effect transistors as well as organic photovoltaic cells. Structural, optical and electrical properties are investigated in blends and neat films of the electron donor material Cu-phthalocyanine (CuPc) together with fullerene C60 and Cu-hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F16CuPc) as electron acceptor materials, respectively. The difference in molecular structure of the spherical C60 and the planar molecule CuPc leads to nanophase separation in the blend, causing charge carrier transport which is limited by the successful formation of percolation paths. In contrast, blends of the similar shaped CuPc and F16CuPc molecules entail mixed crystals, as can be clearly seen by X-ray diffraction measurements. We discuss differences of both systems with respect to their microstructure as well as their electrical transport properties.
Patients with first-episode schizophrenia appear to respond to lower doses of neuroleptics, and to be more sensitive to developing extrapyramidal side-effects. The authors therefore compared in such patients the efficacy and extrapyramidal tolerability of comparatively low dosages of the atypical neuroleptic risperidone and of the conventional neuroleptic haloperidol. Risperidone was hypothesized to have better extrapyramidal tolerability and efficacy in treating negative symptoms. Patients were randomly assigned under double-blind conditions to receive risperidone (n=143) or haloperidol (n=146) for 8 wk. The primary efficacy criterion was the estimated difference in the mean change in the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS) negative score between treatment groups; secondary efficacy criteria were changes on the PANSS total score and other PANSS subscores, and several other measures of psychopathology and general functioning. The primary tolerability criterion was the difference in baseline-adjusted occurrence rates of extrapyramidal side-effects measured with the Simpson–Angus Scale (SAS) compared between treatment groups. The main hypothesis was that risperidone would be superior in terms of improving negative symptoms and lowering the risk of extrapyramidal symptoms. Secondary tolerability criteria were the other extrapyramidal symptoms, measured with the Hillside Akathisia Scale (HAS) and the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS). The average mean daily doses were 3.8 mg (s.d.=1.5) for risperidone and 3.7 mg (s.d.=1.5) for haloperidol. There were similar, significant improvements in both treatment groups in the primary and secondary efficacy criteria. At week 8 nearly all scores of extrapyramidal side-effects indicated a significantly higher prevalence of extrapyramidal side-effects with haloperidol than with risperidone [SAS: risperidone 36.5% of patients; haloperidol 51.5% of patients; likelihood ratio test, χ2(1)=7.8, p=0.005]. There were significantly fewer drop-outs [risperidone n=55, drop-out rate=38.5%; haloperidol n=79, drop-out rate=54.1%, χ2(1)=7.1, p=0.009] and a longer non-discontinuation time [risperidone: average of 50.8 d to drop-out; haloperidol: average of 44.0 d to drop-out; log rank test, χ2(1)=6.4, p=0.011] in the risperidone group. Risperidone and haloperidol appear to be equally effective in treating negative and other symptoms of first-episode schizophrenia. Risperidone has better extrapyramidal tolerability and treatment retention rate than the equivalent dose of haloperidol in these patients.
Markus Amann, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),
Janusz Cofala, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),
Wolfgang Schöpp, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),
Frank Dentener, Joint Research Centre
‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future’ (Niels Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics). For instance, forecasters in Victorian London foresaw their city knee-deep in horse manure, one of the most pertinent urban environmental problems in cities at that time. A hundred years later, this prediction has not materialized and the situation has changed drastically. While traffic itself is still considered a major cause of urban air pollution, the contribution from horses has entirely disappeared and motorized vehicles are now the major source of deteriorated air quality in most modern cities.
Given the failure of simple extrapolations of present trends into the future, what can we say about air pollution in the coming decades?
To begin with, we know that population will further increase in urban areas, and we know that all societies aim to further strengthen their economic wealth. For a long time, air pollution from anthropogenic (non-natural) activities has been considered an unavoidable concomitant of economic development. Over long historic periods, we have seen air pollution levels increasing together with economic growth. Countermeasures to control air pollution have often been considered too costly to put into effect without compromising economic wealth.
Following this logic, the envisaged continued growth in global population, together with the universal target of improving prosperity, would lead to drastically worsened air quality around the globe, especially in many developing countries.
A calibration procedure for the detection efficiency of energy
dispersive X-ray spectrometers (EDS) used in combination with scanning
electron microscopy (SEM) for standardless electron probe microanalysis
(EPMA) is presented. The procedure is based on the comparison of X-ray
spectra from a reference material (RM) measured with the EDS to be
calibrated and a reference EDS. The RM is certified by the line
intensities in the X-ray spectrum recorded with a reference EDS and by its
composition. The calibration of the reference EDS is performed using
synchrotron radiation at the radiometry laboratory of the
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt. Measurement of RM spectra and
comparison of the specified line intensities enables a rapid efficiency
calibration on most SEMs. The article reports on studies to prepare such a
RM and on EDS calibration and proposes a methodology that could be
implemented in current spectrometer software to enable the calibration
with a minimum of operator assistance.
An amorphous silicon photoconductor to detect wavelengths between 180 nm to 550 nm without scintillator is presented. The photoconductor is based on a coplanar configuration of the electrodes, similar to measurement structures to determine material characteristics of amorphous layers, e.g. for the Constant Photocurrent Method (CPM). After passing through a thin transparent passivation layer, the incident radiation is directly absorbed in the intrinsic a-Si:H material. The carrier collecting electrical field is applied perpendicular to the incoming light. Test structures have been fabricated with 80 nm thick sputtered chromium contacts on top of a 60 nm carbonized hydrogenated i-layer and a SixNx passivation layer with a thickness of about 36 nm. The spacing between the Schottky contacts is varied between 3 μm and 100 μm. They are deposited on top or below the a-SiC:H layer. First experiments with this simple coplanar design show that with an increasing voltage a shift towards UV wavelengths can be observed. The new UV detector is applicable in the field of TFA image sensors (Thin Film on ASIC) and in the new Lab-on-a-Chip concept presently under development at the institute for microsystem technologies.