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We have found a class of circular radio objects in the Evolutionary Map of the Universe Pilot Survey, using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The objects appear in radio images as circular edge-brightened discs, about one arcmin diameter, that are unlike other objects previously reported in the literature. We explore several possible mechanisms that might cause these objects, but none seems to be a compelling explanation.
Helminth infections in wood mice (n = 483), trapped over a period of 26 years in the woods surrounding Malham Tarn in North Yorkshire, were analysed. Although 10 species of helminths were identified, the overall mean species richness was 1.01 species/mouse indicating that the helminth community was relatively depauperate in this wood mouse population. The dominant species was Heligmosomoides polygyrus, the prevalence (64.6%) and abundance (10.4 worms/mouse) of which declined significantly over the study period. Because of the dominance of this species, analyses of higher taxa (combined helminths and combined nematodes) also revealed significantly declining values for prevalence, although not abundance. Helminth species richness (HSR) and Brillouin's index of diversity (BID) did not show covariance with year, neither did those remaining species whose overall prevalence exceeded 5% (Syphacia stroma, Aonchotheca murissylvatici and Plagiorchis muris). Significant age effects were detected for the prevalence and abundance of all higher taxa, H. polygyrus and P. muris, and for HSR and BID, reflecting the accumulation of helminths with increasing host age. Only two cases of sex bias were found; male bias in abundance of P. muris and combined Digenea. We discuss the significance of these results and hypothesize about the underlying causes.
Optical tracking systems typically trade off between astrometric precision and field of view. In this work, we showcase a networked approach to optical tracking using very wide field-of-view imagers that have relatively low astrometric precision on the scheduled OSIRIS-REx slingshot manoeuvre around Earth on 22 Sep 2017. As part of a trajectory designed to get OSIRIS-REx to NEO 101955 Bennu, this flyby event was viewed from 13 remote sensors spread across Australia and New Zealand to promote triangulatable observations. Each observatory in this portable network was constructed to be as lightweight and portable as possible, with hardware based off the successful design of the Desert Fireball Network. Over a 4-h collection window, we gathered 15 439 images of the night sky in the predicted direction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Using a specially developed streak detection and orbit determination data pipeline, we detected 2 090 line-of-sight observations. Our fitted orbit was determined to be within about 10 km of orbital telemetry along the observed 109 262 km length of OSIRIS-REx trajectory, and thus demonstrating the impressive capability of a networked approach to Space Surveillance and Tracking.
Animal-derived dietary protein ingestion and physical activity stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in older adults. We determined whether a non-animal-derived diet can support daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates to the same extent as an omnivorous diet. Nineteen healthy older adults (aged 66 (sem 1) years; BMI 24 (sem 1) kg/m2; twelve males, seven females) participated in a randomised, parallel-group, controlled trial during which they consumed a 3-d isoenergetic high-protein (1·8 g/kg body mass per d) diet, where the protein was provided from predominantly (71 %) animal (OMNI; n 9; six males, three females) or exclusively vegan (VEG; n 10; six males, four females; mycoprotein providing 57 % of daily protein intake) sources. During the dietary control period, participants conducted a daily bout of unilateral resistance-type leg extension exercise. Before the dietary control period, participants ingested 400 ml of deuterated water, with 50-ml doses consumed daily thereafter. Saliva samples were collected throughout to determine body water 2H enrichments, and muscle samples were collected from rested and exercised muscle to determine daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates. Deuterated water dosing resulted in body water 2H enrichments of approximately 0·78 (sem 0·03) %. Daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates were 13 (sem 8) (P = 0·169) and 12 (sem 4) % (P = 0·016) greater in the exercised compared with rested leg (1·59 (sem 0·12) v. 1·77 (sem 0·12) and 1·76 (sem 0·14) v. 1·93 (sem 0·12) %/d) in OMNI and VEG groups, respectively. Daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates did not differ between OMNI and VEG in either rested or exercised muscle (P > 0·05). Over the course of a 3-d intervention, omnivorous- or vegan-derived dietary protein sources can support equivalent rested and exercised daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in healthy older adults consuming a high-protein diet.
Molecular weight (Mw) effects in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) influence both processability and combustion behavior in energetic Al–PVDF filaments. Results show decreased viscosity in unloaded and fuel-lean (i.e., 15 wt% Al) filaments. In highly loaded filaments (i.e., 30 wt% Al), reduced viscosity is minimal due to higher electrostatic interaction between Al particles and low Mw chains as confirmed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Thermal and combustion analysis further corroborates this story as exothermic activity decreases in PVDF with smaller Mw chains. Differential scanning calorimetry and Thermogravimetric analysis show reduced reaction enthalpy and lower char yield in low Mw PVDF. Enthalpy reduction trends continued in nonequilibrium burn rate studies, which confirm that burn rate decreases in the presence of low Mw PVDF. Furthermore, powder X-ray patterns of post-burn products suggest that low Mw PVDF decomposition creates a diffusion barrier near the Al particle surface resulting in negligible AlF3 formation in fuel-rich filaments.
Perinatal stroke occurs around the time of birth and leads to lifelong neurological disabilities including hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revolutionized our understanding of developmental neuroplasticity following early injury, quantifying volumetric, structural, functional, and metabolic compensatory changes after perinatal stroke. Such techniques can also be used to investigate how the brain responds to treatment (interventional neuroplasticity). Here, we review the current state of knowledge of how established and emerging neuroimaging modalities are informing neuroplasticity models in children with perinatal stroke. Specifically, we review structural imaging characterizing lesion characteristics and volumetrics, diffusion tensor imaging investigating white matter tracts and networks, task-based functional MRI for localizing function, resting state functional imaging for characterizing functional connectomes, and spectroscopy examining neurometabolic changes. Key challenges and exciting avenues for future investigations are also considered.
Early Intervention (EI) services aim to reduce progression to chronic illness for patients with schizophrenia. The Lambeth Early Onset study (2002) demonstrated reduced hospitalisation at 18 months for patients exposed to EI services. This study assesses the durability of these benefits at 5 years.
Hospital use in the LEO cohort was assessed by case note review.
There was no statistically significant difference in terms of ever being admitted at 5 years (OR 1.42; 95% CI 0.550 - 3.68; p=0.468)). Although the mean number of admissions was lower in the EI group: 1.65 (SD = 0.86) versus 1.83 (SD= 0.92), this difference was not significant (coefficient = 0.096; 95% CI -0.550 - 0.742; p=0.770). At 5 years patients assigned to EI used 42.25 days (SD 112.8 days) versus 51.41 days (SD 125 days); coefficient = 6.344; 95% CI -46 - 58.7; p= 0.810. The primary outcome was robust to potentially extreme admission rates for missing subjects on sensitivity analysis.
There is no evidence from these data that EI services statistically significantly reduce hospital use at 5 years follow-up (vis a vis care as usual) despite some interim benefits at 18 months. We only considered a limited number of outcomes and more work needs to be done in this area.
Around a quarter of people suffering from psychotic conditions, like schizophrenia, continue to experience auditory hallucinations despite adequate drug treatment. In addition to medication, some help is also provided by psychological interventions, particularly cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp). AVATAR therapy is based on computer technology which enables each patient to create an avatar of the entity (human or non-human) that they believe is talking to them. The therapist promotes a dialogue between the patient and the avatar in which the avatar progressively comes under the patient's control. These sessions are audio recorded and provided to the patient on an MP3 player for continued use at home. In an initial pilot study, a maximum of 7 sessions lasting 30 minutes resulted in highly significant reductions in the patients’ hallucinations and the associated distress, enhancing the quality of their life (Leff et al., 2013). Our objective is to replicate the findings of this pilot study of the AVATAR therapy. We will carry out a randomised controlled evaluation of computer assisted voice therapy compared to supportive counselling to determine preliminary estimates of both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. The study aims to recruit 142 people who have suffered from auditory hallucinations for at least 12 months despite taking medication regularly. Participants will complete a number of selfcompleted and interview based measures (on four assessment points: pre-treatment, post treatment, and then at 12 and 24 weeks follow-up) to assess the impact of interventions on outcomes and to explore potential mediators and modifiers of therapy.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 20–30% of adults with intellectual disability. This group are vulnerable to challenging behaviour and mental health problems.
To explore the extent to which ASD affects challenging behaviour among specialist mental health service users with intellectual disability.
To identify predictors of challenging behaviour among adults who have intellectual disability.
A cross-sectional study of 92 participants from a specialist mental health service for adults with intellectual disability in the UK. The presence/absence of ASD was confirmed using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Challenging behaviour was assessed using the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (DBC).
Participants with ASD (N=48) had higher total DBC scores than those without ASD (N=44; mean=54.2 vs. 29.2). ASD, severity of intellectual disability, age, presence of psychiatric disorder and total number of needs were entered as independent variables into a linear regression. The model accounted for 51% of the variance and was statistically significant (F(5,91)=18.1, p<0.001). Presence of ASD and total number of needs were the only significant predictors of challenging behaviour. Presence of ASD had the highest standardised coefficient (β=0.56).
Participants with ASD had significantly higher levels of challenging behaviour than those without ASD. Challenging behaviour was also independently associated with total number of needs. Understanding which service users with intellectual disability have higher levels of challenging behaviour than others despite receiving psychiatric treatment, and the extent to which having ASD is a contributing factor, should inform the development of more effective services and lead to improved outcomes.
Social psychiatry starts from the position that as social animals, the cause, course and response to treatment of mental health problems are powerfully determined by the social environment. For example, childhood trauma within the home and bullying at school is associated with both internalizing and externalizing disorders and exerts its influence through life-long impacts on the individual's ability to form supportive relationships with others, their self-esteem and their resilience in the face of future adversity. Difficulties forming and sustaining personal relationships are intensified by the emergence of illness, consequent social exclusion and discrimination that in turn intensifies damaging beliefs of low self-worth and rejection. In contrast, we have considerable evidence for the “therapeutic” value of good relationships, notably the role of family and social support in the remarkable resilience shown by those who have come through the most appalling environmental and personal crises. It is therefore surprising that the balance of psychiatric therapeutic effort is stubbornly focused on the individual patient as the problem with less attention paid to developing and implementing social interventions targeted at the family and wider social network to prevent and alleviate mental illness. In this presentation I will argue that psychiatrists should be more active in developing and leading interventions that focus on the social and interpersonal networks of their patients with illustrations from past and ongoing efforts to this end.
Disclosure of interest
The author has not supplied his declaration of competing interest.
On 30 January 2020, WHO declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global public health emergency. As of 12 March 2020, 125 048 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 118 countries had been reported. On 12 March 2020, the first case in the Pacific islands was reported in French Polynesia; no other Pacific island country or territory has reported cases. The purpose of our analysis is to show how travellers may introduce COVID-19 into the Pacific islands and discuss the role robust health systems play in protecting health and reducing transmission risk. We analyse travel and Global Health Security Index data using a scoring tool to produce quantitative estimates of COVID-19 importation risk, by departing and arriving country. Our analysis indicates that, as of 12 March 2020, the highest risk air routes by which COVID-19 may be imported into the Pacific islands are from east Asian countries (specifically, China, Korea and Japan) to north Pacific airports (likely Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or, to a less extent, Palau); or from China, Japan, Singapore, the United States of America or France to south Pacific ports (likely, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia or New Caledonia). Other importation routes include from other east Asian countries to Guam, and from Australia, New Zealand and other European countries to the south Pacific. The tool provides a useful method for assessing COVID-19 importation risk and may be useful in other settings.
After describing common conceptions of the evolution of the human family as a unit, this chapter examines several problems with this conception and presents an alternative conception of the human family as a mechanism of tradition transmission instead of as a unit. It concludes with a discussion of some of the directions for future research generated by this reconception of the evolution of the human family.
The common conception of the family as a unit sees the evolution of the human family as a chain, in which each link in the chain is a successive form of family unit. Descriptions of this chain typically start with a hypothesized prehuman family unit that is largely based on comparisons with other primates and the fossil record, and end with the forms of family units found in the ethnographic record.
Daily use of high-potency cannabis has been reported to carry a high risk for developing a psychotic disorder. However, the evidence is mixed on whether any pattern of cannabis use is associated with a particular symptomatology in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients.
We analysed data from 901 FEP patients and 1235 controls recruited across six countries, as part of the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. We used item response modelling to estimate two bifactor models, which included general and specific dimensions of psychotic symptoms in patients and psychotic experiences in controls. The associations between these dimensions and cannabis use were evaluated using linear mixed-effects models analyses.
In patients, there was a linear relationship between the positive symptom dimension and the extent of lifetime exposure to cannabis, with daily users of high-potency cannabis having the highest score (B = 0.35; 95% CI 0.14–0.56). Moreover, negative symptoms were more common among patients who never used cannabis compared with those with any pattern of use (B = −0.22; 95% CI −0.37 to −0.07). In controls, psychotic experiences were associated with current use of cannabis but not with the extent of lifetime use. Neither patients nor controls presented differences in depressive dimension related to cannabis use.
Our findings provide the first large-scale evidence that FEP patients with a history of daily use of high-potency cannabis present with more positive and less negative symptoms, compared with those who never used cannabis or used low-potency types.
Rheumatic fever, an immune sequela of untreated streptococcal infections, is an important contributor to global cardiovascular disease. The goal of this study was to describe trends, characteristics, and cost burden of children discharged from hospitals with a diagnosis of RF from 2000 to 2012 within the United States.
Using the Kids’ Inpatient Database, we examined characteristics of children discharged from hospitals with the diagnosis of rheumatic fever over time including: overall hospitalisation rates, age, gender, race/ethnicity, regional differences, payer type, length of stay, and charges.
The estimated national cumulative incidence of rheumatic fever in the United States between 2000 and 2012 was 0.61 cases per 100,000 children. The median age was 10 years, with hospitalisations significantly more common among children aged 6–11 years. Rheumatic fever hospitalisations among Asian/Pacific Islanders were significantly over-represented. The proportion of rheumatic fever hospitalisations was greater in the Northeast and less in the South, although the highest number of rheumatic fever admissions occurred in the South. Expected payer type was more likely to be private insurance, and the median total hospital charges (adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars) were $16,000 (interquartile range: $8900–31,200). Median length of stay was 3 days, and the case fatality ratio for RF in the United States was 0.4%.
Rheumatic fever persists in the United States with an overall downwards trend between 2003 and 2012. Rheumatic fever admissions varied considerably based on age group, region, and origin.
Impairment in financial capacity is an early sign of cognitive decline and functional impairment in late life. Cognitive impairments such as executive dysfunction are well documented in late-life major depression; however, little progress has been made in assessing associations of these impairments with financial incapacity.
Participants included 95 clinically depressed and 41 nondepressed older adults without dementia. Financial capacity (assessed with the Managing Money scale of the Independent Living Scale), cognitive functioning (comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation), and depression severity (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale – 24) were assessed. T tests were used to assess group differences. Linear regression was used to analyze data.
Depressed participants performed significantly lower on financial capacity (t = 2.98, p < .01). Among depressed participants, executive functioning (B = .24, p < .05) was associated with reduced financial capacity, controlling for age, gender, education, depression severity, and other cognitive domains.
Our results underscore the importance of assessing financial capacity in older depressed adults as they are likely vulnerable to financial abuse even in the absence of dementia. It will be valuable to assess whether treatment for depression is an effective intervention to improve outcomes.
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.
Use latent class analysis (LCA) to identify patterns of cognitive functioning in a sample of older adults with clinical depression and without dementia and assess demographic, psychiatric, and neurobiological predictors of class membership.
Neuropsychological assessment data from 121 participants in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative-Depression project (ADNI-D) were analyzed, including measures of executive functioning, verbal and visual memory, visuospatial and language functioning, and processing speed. These data were analyzed using LCA, with predictors of class membership such as depression severity, depression and treatment history, amyloid burden, and APOE e4 allele also assessed.
A two-class model of cognitive functioning best fit the data, with the Lower Cognitive Class (46.1% of the sample) performing approximately one standard deviation below the Higher Cognitive Class (53.9%) on most tests. When predictors of class membership were assessed, carrying an APOE e4 allele was significantly associated with membership in the Lower Cognitive Class. Demographic characteristics, age of depression onset, depression severity, history of psychopharmacological treatment for depression, and amyloid positivity did not predict class membership.
LCA allows for identification of subgroups of cognitive functioning in a mostly cognitively intact late life depression (LLD) population. One subgroup, the Lower Cognitive Class, more likely to carry an APOE e4 allele, may be at a greater risk for subsequent cognitive decline, even though current performance on neuropsychological testing is within normal limits. These findings have implications for early identification of those at greatest risk, risk factors, and avenues for preventive intervention.