Medicine & Health

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  • (2008) Meiser, Bettina; Kasparian, Nadine; Mitchell, Penny; Strong, Kathryn; Simpson, John; Tabassum, Laila; Mireskandari, Shab; Schofield, Peter
    Journal Article
    Objectives: This study assesses interest in genetic testing for gene variations associated with bipolar disorder and associated information needs. Methods: Two hundred individuals (95 unaffected and 105 affected with either bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder-manic type, or recurrent major depression) from families with multiple cases of bipolar disorder were assessed, using mailed, self-administered questionnaires. Results: The percentage of participants reporting interest in genetic testing was associated with the degree of certainty with which any test would indicate the development of bipolar disorder. Interest in genetic testing, given a 25% lifetime risk scenario, was lowest (with 77% of participants indicating interest), and highest for the 100% lifetime risk scenario (92%). Eighty percent of participants indicated interest in genetic testing of their own children; of these 30% reported wanting their children tested at birth, and 33% in early childhood. Forty-one percent of participants reported that they would be interested in preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and 54% in prenatal testing. Limitations: The possibility of ascertainment bias cannot be ruled out. Interest in hypothetical genetic testing for bipolar disorder may not necessarily translate into actual utilization. Conclusions: These results indicate that uptake of genetic testing for genotyping for low-risk alleles related to bipolar disorder is likely to be lower than for testing for high-penetrance gene mutations that follow Mendelian inheritance. The discrepancy between the desired age of testing children and the accepted current practice may be a source of distress and conflict for parents and health professionals alike.

  • (2008) Power, M; Marlon, J; Ortiz, N; Bartlein, P; Harrison, Simon; Mayle, F; Ballouche, A; Bradshaw, R; Carcaillet, C; Cordova, C; Mooney, Scott; Moreno, P; Prentice, I; Thonicke, K; Tinner, W; Whitlock, C; Zhang, Yanling; Zhao, Yong; Ali, Amna; Anderson, Richard; Beer, R; Behling, H; Briles, C; Brown, Katherine; Brunelle, A; Bush, M; Camill, P; Chu, G; Clark, J; Colombaroli, D; Connor, Stuart; Daniau, A; Daniels, M; Dodson, John; Doughty, E; Edwards, Meredith; Finsinger, W; Foster, Douglas; Frechette, J; Gaillard, M; Gavin, D; Gobet, E; Haberle, Simon; Hallett, D; Higuera, P; Hope, G; Horn, S; Inoue, J; Kaltenrieder, P; Kennedy, Liz; Kong, Z; Larsen, C; Long, C; Lynch, Jodi; Lynch, E; McGlone, M; Meeks, S; Mensing, S; Meyer, G; Minckley, T; Mohr, J; Nelson, D; New, J; Newnham, R; Noti, R; Oswald, W; Pierce, J; Richard, P; Rowe, C; Goni, M; Shuman, B; Takahara, H; Toney, J; Turney, C; Urrego-Sanchez, D; Umbanhowar, C; Vandergoes, M; Vanniere, B; Vescovi, E
    Journal Article
    Fire activity has varied globally and continuously since the last glacial maximum (LGM) in response to long-term changes in global climate and shorter-term regional changes in climate, vegetation, and human land use. We have synthesized sedimentary charcoal records of biomass burning since the LGM and present global maps showing changes in fire activity for time slices during the past 21,000 years (as differences in charcoal accumulation values compared to pre-industrial). There is strong broad-scale coherence in fire activity after the LGM, but spatial heterogeneity in the signals increases thereafter. In North America, Europe and southern South America, charcoal records indicate less-than-present fire activity during the deglacial period, from 21,000 to ∼11,000 cal yr BP. In contrast, the tropical latitudes of South America and Africa show greater-than-present fire activity from ∼19,000 to ∼17,000 cal yr BP and most sites from Indochina and Australia show greater-than-present fire activity from 16,000 to ∼13,000 cal yr BP. Many sites indicate greater-than-present or near-present activity during the Holocene with the exception of eastern North America and eastern Asia from 8,000 to ∼3,000 cal yr BP, Indonesia and Australia from 11,000 to 4,000 cal yr BP, and southern South America from 6,000 to 3,000 cal yr BP where fire activity was less than present. Regional coherence in the patterns of change in fire activity was evident throughout the post-glacial period. These complex patterns can largely be explained in terms of large-scale climate controls modulated by local changes in vegetation and fuel load.