To save 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 saving content to .
To save 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 saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved 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.
Young people can receive mental health care from many sources, from formal and informal sectors. Caregiver characteristics/experiences/beliefs may influence whether young people get help and the type of care or support used by their child. We investigate facilitators/barriers to receiving formal and/or informal care, particularly those related to the caregiver’s profile.
We interviewed 1,400 Brazilian primary caregivers of young people (aged 10–19), participants of a high-risk cohort. Caregivers reported on young people’s formal/informal mental health care utilization, and associated barriers and facilitators to care. Data were also collected on youth mental health and its impact on everyday life; and caregiver characteristics—education, socioeconomics, ethnicity, mental health, and stigma. Logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between caregiver and young people characteristics with formal/informal care utilization.
Persistence and greater impact of youth mental health conditions were associated with a higher likelihood of care, more clearly for formal care. Caregiver characteristics, however, also played a key role in whether young people received any care: lower parental stigma was associated with greater formal service use, and lower socioeconomic class showed higher odds of informal care (mainly from religious leaders).
This study highlights the key role of the caregivers as gatekeepers to child treatment access, particularly parental stigma influencing whether young people received any mental health care, even in a low resource setting. These results help to map barriers for treatment access and delivery for young people, aiming to improve intervention efforts and mental health support.
Several mechanisms have been proposed for the beneficial effect of nuts on health. However, Brazil and cashew nuts remain the least studied. We aim to evaluate the effect of these nuts within an energy-restricted diet on body weight, body composition, cardiometabolic markers and endothelial function in cardiometabolic risk women. Brazilian nuts study is a randomised controlled parallel 8-week dietary intervention trial. Forty women were randomly allocated to (1) control group: energy-restricted diet without nuts, n 19 or (2) Brazil and cashew nuts group (BN-Group): energy-restricted diet containing daily 45 g of nuts (15 g of Brazil nuts + 30 g of cashew nuts), n 21. At the beginning and final intervention, anthropometry, body composition and blood pressure were measured. Fasting blood sampling was obtained to evaluate lipid profile, glucose homeostasis and endothelial function markers. After 8-week, plasma Se concentration increased in BN-group (Δ = + 31·5 (sem 7·8) μg/l; P = 0·001). Brazil and cashew nuts intake reduced total body fat (–1·3 (sem 0·4) %) parallel to improvement of lean mass percentage in BN-group compared with the control. Besides, the soluble adhesion molecule VCAM-1 decreased (24·03 (sem 15·7) pg/ml v. −22·2 (sem 10·3) pg/ml; P = 0·019) after Brazil and cashew nuts intake compared with the control. However, lipid and glucose profile markers, apolipoproteins and blood pressure remained unchanged after the intervention. Thus, the addition of Brazil and cashew nuts to an energy-restricted diet can be a healthy strategy to improve body composition, Se status and endothelial inflammation in cardiometabolic risk women.
This study aimed to evaluate the association between legume intake and blood pressure, as well as the mediating role of cardiometabolic risk factors in patients in secondary cardiovascular prevention. Socio-demographic, anthropometric, clinical and food intake data were collected from the baseline of the multicentre study Brazilian Cardioprotective Nutritional Program Trial – BALANCE (RCT: NCT01620398). The relationships between variables were explored through path analysis. In total, 2247 individuals with a median age of 63·0 (45–91) years, 58·8 % (n 1321) male and 96·5 % (n 2168) with diagnosis of hypertension were included. Negative associations were observed between histidine intake and systolic blood pressure (SBP) (standardised coefficient (SC) = −0·057; P = 0·012) and between legume intake and BMI (SC = −0·061; P = 0·006). BMI was positively associated with triglycerides–glucose (TyG) index (SC = 0·173; P < 0·001), SBP (SC = 0·144; P < 0·001) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (SC = 0·177; P < 0·001), and TyG index was positively associated with DBP (SC = 0·079; P = 0·001). A negative indirect effect was observed between the intake of legumes, SBP and DBP, mediated by BMI (SC = −0·009; P = 0·011; SC = −0·011; P = 0·010, respectively). In addition, an indirect negative effect was found between the intake of legumes and the DBP, mediated simultaneously by BMI and TyG index (SC = −0·001; P = 0·037). In conclusion, legume intake presented a negative indirect association with blood pressure, mediated by insulin resistance (TyG) and adiposity (BMI) in individuals of secondary care in cardiology.
The 2019 coronavirus epidemic (CoViD-19) in Italy originated in Lombardy, on February 21, 2020. The Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo di Pavia has been involved in the management of the outbreak since its beginning. ED’ psychiatric population is considered fragile, at risk of under triage.
We evaluated all the population who went to the ED for mental disorder to assess the severity of cases evaluated as exit code and rate of hospitalization.
We evaluated all patients accessing our ED for mental disorder from February 22 to May 1, 2020 and during the same period of the previous year.
We enrolled 345 patients. There was a severe reduction in the total number of accesses for mental disorder: 142 in the CoViD period and 203 in 2019. The vital parameters, age (mean about 40 years) and sex were overlapping without statistically significant differences. The priority codes for the medical examination were not different. CoViD pandemic patients have higher discharge severity codes (yellow and red) more frequently than in the reference period (9.9% vs 5.9%) and more frequently need hospitalization (25.3% vs 18.6%).
The epidemic has led to a reduction of accesses for mental disorder. Patients had more frequent hospitalization needs and more severe exit codes. the data may be due to the fact that during the pandemic only the most serious patients access the E.D., but also to the fact that a pandemic has contributed to destabilizing this class of fragile patients.
During the 1st wave of CoViD-19 pandemic there was a drastic reduction in total number of accesses, with more serious cases and a exorbitant increase in crowding, due to access block.
evaluate population who went to ED for (1) mental disorders requesting a psychiatric visit and for (2) intossication and substance abuse, between the first and second wave of the coronavirus pandemic
We enrolled all patients who went at our ED from May 1 to October 20, 2020 and during the same period of 2019. We analized: vital parameters, age, sex, exit severity codes, hospitalization rate, Crowding input factors (number of access, waiting time, priority time to doc), Crowding throughput factors (LOS: Length Of ED Stay), Crowding output factors (percentage of access block; Total Access Block Time).
The results are shown in table 1
May1- October 20,2019
May1- October 20, 2019
number of ED access
higher (yellow and red) priority time to doc (%)
worse exit severity codes (%)
rate of hospitalization (%)
average waiting times (min)
LOS lenght of stay (min)
access block (%)
Total Access Block Time: examination rooms (min)
Total Access Block Time: holding area (min)
We would like to thank all employees of the IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation for their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic.
The 2019 coronavirus epidemic (CoViD-19) in Italy originated in Lombardy, on February 21, 2020. Crowding has been defined as a worldwide problem as cause of reduced quality of care and patient satisfaction. It is due and identified by three orders of factors: those at the access (input); those related to the patient’s process (throughput); and those at the exit from the ED (output).
We evaluated all the population who went to ED for intossication and substance abuse. Due to the high level of care needed by these, an excessive duration of LOS (length of Stay) can be counterproductive.
We evaluated all patients accessing our ED for intossication and substance abuse from February 22 to May 1, 2020 and during the same period of the previous year.
We enrolled 142 patients. The Crowding input factors are lower in the pandemic period: reduced attenders (41 vs 101) and reduced average waiting times (59 min vs 86 min). The Crowding throughput factors have instead worsened: LOS for both the visit rooms (810 vs 544 min) and the holding area (1205 min vs 947 min). The Crowding output factors also worsened: the percentage of access block is higher during the pandemic (10% vs 5%). The Total Access Block Time is significantly higher in the CoViD period for the holding area (1053 vs 930 min).
The pandemic period presented a worsened crowding for these patients due to the Access Block.
The 2019 coronavirus epidemic (CoViD-19) in Italy originated in Lombardy, on February 21, 2020. Crowding has been defined as a worldwide problem and causes reduced quality of care. It is due and identified by three orders of factors: those at the access (input); those related to the patient’s process (throughput); and those at the exit from the ED (output).
We evaluated all the population who went to ED for mental disorder. Due to the high level of care needed and the simultaneous exposure to risk factors, an excessive duration of ED process can be counterproductive.
We evaluated all patients accessing our ED for mental disorder from February 22 to May 1, 2020 and during the same period of the previous year.
We enrolled 345 patients. The Crowding input factors are lower in the pandemic period: reduced attenders (142 vs 203) and reduced average waiting times (40 min vs 54 min). The Crowding throughput factors have instead worsened: LOS (length of stay) for both visit rooms (383 vs 271 min) and holding area (1735 min vs 797 min). The Crowding output factors also worsened: the percentage of access block is higher during the pandemic (100% vs 20%). The Total Access Block Time is significantly higher in the CoViD period for both the visit rooms (3.239 vs 649 min) and the holding area (590 vs 185 min).
The pandemic period presented a worsened crowding for these patients due to the Access Block.
The 2019 coronavirus epidemic (CoViD-19) in Italy originated in Lombardy, on February 21, 2020. The Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo di Pavia has been involved in the management of the outbreak since its beginning
We evaluated all the population who went to the ED for intossication and substance abuse to assess the severity of cases evaluated as exit code and rate of hospitalization.
We enrolled all patients accessing our ED for intossication and substance abuse form February 22 to May 1, 2020 and during the same period of the previous year.
We enrolled 142 patients. 41 in the CoViD period and 101 in 2019. The vital parameters, and sex were overlapping. patients during the pandemic were younger (38 vs 46) The priority codes for the medical examination were not different. CoViD pandemic patients have higher codes (yellow and red) for the medical examination (66% vs 59%); discharge severity codes (red) more frequently than in the reference period (2.4% vs 0.9%) and more frequently need hospitalization (26.8% vs 16.8%).
The epidemic has led to a reduction of accesses for intossication and substance abuse. Patients had more frequent hospitalization needs and more severe exit codes. the data may be due to the fact that during the pandemic only the most serious patients access the E.D., but also to the fact that a pandemic has contributed to destabilizing this class of fragile patients.
Cognition heavily relies on social determinants and genetic background. Latin America comprises approximately 8% of the global population and faces unique challenges, many derived from specific demographic and socioeconomic variables, such as violence and inequality. While such factors have been described to influence mental health outcomes, no large-scale studies with Latin American population have been carried out. Therefore, we aim to describe the cognitive performance of a representative sample of Latin American individuals with schizophrenia and its relationship to clinical factors. Additionally, we aim to investigate how socioeconomic status (SES) relates to cognitive performance in patients and controls.
We included 1175 participants from five Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico): 864 individuals with schizophrenia and 311 unaffected subjects. All participants were part of projects that included cognitive evaluation with MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery and clinical assessments.
Patients showed worse cognitive performance than controls across all domains. Age and diagnosis were independent predictors, indicating similar trajectories of cognitive aging for both patients and controls. The SES factors of education, parental education, and income were more related to cognition in patients than in controls. Cognition was also influenced by symptomatology.
Patients did not show evidence of accelerated cognitive aging; however, they were most impacted by a lower SES suggestive of deprived environment than controls. These findings highlight the vulnerability of cognitive capacity in individuals with psychosis in face of demographic and socioeconomic factors in low- and middle-income countries.
Mental health problems early in life can negatively impact educational attainment, which in turn have negative long-term effects on health, social and economic opportunities. Our aims were to: (i) estimate the impacts of different types of psychiatric conditions on educational outcomes and (ii) to estimate the proportion of adverse educational outcomes which can be attributed to psychiatric conditions.
Participants (N = 2511) were from a school-based community cohort of Brazilian children and adolescents aged 6–14 years enriched for high family risk of psychiatric conditions. We examined the impact of fear- (panic, separation and social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, agoraphobia and anxiety conditions not otherwise specified), distress- (generalised anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder and depressive disorder not otherwise specified, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, tic, eating and post-traumatic stress disorder) and externalising-related conditions (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, conduct and oppositional-defiant conditions) on grade repetition, dropout, age-grade distortion, literacy performance and bullying perpetration, 3 years later. Psychiatric conditions were ascertained by psychiatrists, using the Development and Well-Being Behaviour Assessment. Propensity score and inverse probability weighting were used to adjust for potential confounders, including comorbidity, and sample attrition. We calculated the population attributable risk percentages to estimate the proportion of adverse educational outcomes in the population which could be attributed to psychiatric conditions. Analyses were conducted separately for males and females.
Fear and distress conditions in males were associated with school dropout (odds ratio (OR) = 2.76; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.06, 7.22; p < 0.05) and grade repetition (OR = 2.76; 95% CI = 1.32, 5.78; p < 0.01), respectively. Externalising conditions were associated with grade repetition in males (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.05, 2.64; p < 0.05) and females (OR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.15, 3.58; p < 0.05), as well as age-grade distortion in males (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.05, 2.62; p < 0.05) and females (OR = 2.88; 95% CI = 1.61, 5.14; p < 0.001). Externalising conditions were also associated with lower literacy levels (β = −0.23; 95% CI = −0.34, −0.12; p < 0.001) and bullying perpetration (OR = 3.12; 95% CI = 1.50, 6.51; p < 0.001) in females. If all externalising conditions were prevented or treated, we estimate that 5.0 and 4.8% of grade repetition would not have occurred in females and males, respectively, as well as 10.2 (females) and 5.3% (males) of age-grade distortion cases and 11.4% of female bullying perpetration.
The study provides evidence of the negative impact of psychiatric conditions on educational outcomes in a large Brazilian cohort. Externalising conditions had the broadest and most robust negative impacts on education and these were particularly harmful to females which are likely to limit future socio-economic opportunities.
To evaluate the association of dietary inflammatory index (DII®) with the occurrence of cardiovascular events, cardiometabolic risk factors and with the consumption of processed, ultra-processed, unprocessed or minimally processed foods and culinary ingredients.
This was a cross-sectional study that analysed the baseline data from 2359 cardiac patients. Data on socio-demographic, anthropometric, clinical and food consumption were collected. Energy-adjusted food intake data were used to calculate DII, and the foods were classified according to the NOVA classification. Furthermore, the patients were grouped according to the number (1, 2 or ≥ 3) of manifested cardiovascular events. The data were analysed using linear and multinomial logistic regression.
Multicentre study from Brazil.
Patients with established cardiovascular events from the Brazilian Cardioprotective Nutritional Program Trial evaluated at baseline.
Most of the patients were male (58·8 %), older adults (64·2 %) and were overweight (68·8 %). Patients in the third tertile of DII (DII > 0·91) had were more likely to have 2 (OR 1·27, 95 % CI: 1·01–1·61) and ≥ 3 (OR 1·39, 95 % CI: 1·07–1·79) cardiovascular events, with poor cardiometabolic profile. They also were more likely to consume a higher percentage of processed, ultra-processed and culinary ingredients foods consumption compared with the patients in the first DII tertile (DII ≤ 0·91).
A more pro-inflammatory diet is associated with a greater chance of having 2 and ≥ 3 cardiovascular events and cardiometabolic risk factors and were more likely to consume processed, ultra-processed and culinary ingredients compared to those with a more anti-inflammatory diet.
Psychosis is associated with a reasoning bias, which manifests as a tendency to ‘jump to conclusions’. We examined this bias in people at clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR) and investigated its relationship with their clinical outcomes.
In total, 303 CHR subjects and 57 healthy controls (HC) were included. Both groups were assessed at baseline, and after 1 and 2 years. A ‘beads’ task was used to assess reasoning bias. Symptoms and level of functioning were assessed using the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States scale (CAARMS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), respectively. During follow up, 58 (16.1%) of the CHR group developed psychosis (CHR-T), and 245 did not (CHR-NT). Logistic regressions, multilevel mixed models, and Cox regression were used to analyse the relationship between reasoning bias and transition to psychosis and level of functioning, at each time point.
There was no association between reasoning bias at baseline and the subsequent onset of psychosis. However, when assessed after the transition to psychosis, CHR-T participants showed a greater tendency to jump to conclusions than CHR-NT and HC participants (55, 17, 17%; χ2 = 8.13, p = 0.012). There was a significant association between jumping to conclusions (JTC) at baseline and a reduced level of functioning at 2-year follow-up in the CHR group after adjusting for transition, gender, ethnicity, age, and IQ.
In CHR participants, JTC at baseline was associated with adverse functioning at the follow-up. Interventions designed to improve JTC could be beneficial in the CHR population.
Social and environmental factors such as poverty or violence modulate the risk and course of schizophrenia. However, how they affect the brain in patients with psychosis remains unclear.
We studied how environmental factors are related to brain structure in patients with schizophrenia and controls in Latin America, where these factors are large and unequally distributed.
This is a multicentre study of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with schizophrenia and controls from six Latin American cities. Total and voxel-level grey matter volumes, and their relationship with neighbourhood characteristics such as average income and homicide rates, were analysed with a general linear model.
A total of 334 patients with schizophrenia and 262 controls were included. Income was differentially related to total grey matter volume in both groups (P = 0.006). Controls showed a positive correlation between total grey matter volume and income (R = 0.14, P = 0.02). Surprisingly, this relationship was not present in patients with schizophrenia (R = −0.076, P = 0.17). Voxel-level analysis confirmed that this interaction was widespread across the cortex. After adjusting for global brain changes, income was positively related to prefrontal cortex volumes only in controls. Conversely, the hippocampus in patients with schizophrenia, but not in controls, was relatively larger in affluent environments. There was no significant correlation between environmental violence and brain structure.
Our results highlight the interplay between environment, particularly poverty, and individual characteristics in psychosis. This is particularly important for harsh environments such as low- and middle-income countries, where potentially less brain vulnerability (less grey matter loss) is sufficient to become unwell in adverse (poor) environments.
Resistance to antipsychotic treatment affects up to 30% of patients with schizophrenia. Although the time course of development of treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) varies from patient to patient, the reasons for these variations remain unknown. Growing evidence suggests brain dysconnectivity as a significant feature of schizophrenia. In this study, we compared fractional anisotropy (FA) of brain white matter between TRS and non–treatment-resistant schizophrenia (non-TRS) patients. Our central hypothesis was that TRS is associated with reduced FA values.
TRS was defined as the persistence of moderate to severe symptoms after adequate treatment with at least two antipsychotics from different classes. Diffusion-tensor brain MRI obtained images from 34 TRS participants and 51 non-TRS. Whole-brain analysis of FA and axial, radial, and mean diffusivity were performed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) and FMRIB’s Software Library (FSL), yielding a contrast between TRS and non-TRS patients, corrected for multiple comparisons using family-wise error (FWE) < 0.05.
We found a significant reduction in FA in the splenium of corpus callosum (CC) in TRS when compared to non-TRS. The antipsychotic dose did not relate to the splenium CC.
Our results suggest that the focal abnormality of CC may be a potential biomarker of TRS.
To analyse the association between food consumption according to the degree of processing and incidence of hypertension in CUME project participants.
Longitudinal study in which food consumption was evaluated according to the percentage contribution of daily energetic intake (%/d) of each NOVA classification group (unprocessed/minimally processed foods and culinary preparations (U/MPF&CP); processed foods and ultra-processed foods (UPF)). Hypertension was defined according to American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) criteria. Adjusted relative risks (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95 % CI) were estimated by Poisson regression models with robust variances.
1221 graduates classified as non-hypertensive at baseline and monitored for 2 years.
Daily energetic percentage from each group according to degree of processing was 64·3 (sd 12) % for U/MPF&CP; 9·9 (sd 5·8) % for processed foods and 25·8 (sd 11) % for UPF. Incidence of hypertension was high (152/1000 person-years; n 113, 193/1000 person-years in males and n 257, 138/1000 person-years in females). After adjusting for potential confounders, participants in the upper quintile of daily energetic intake of U/MPF&CP presented a reduced risk of hypertension (RR: 0·72; 95 % CI 0·52, 0·98), while those in the upper quintile of daily energetic intake of UPF presented an increased risk of the outcome (RR: 1·35; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·81).
In this prospective cohort of Brazilian middle-aged adult university graduates, the highest consumptions of U/MPF&CP and UPF were associated with, respectively, reduced and increased risk of hypertension. Additional longitudinal studies are needed to confirm our results.
Two new isocrinids are described from the Lower Cretaceous Agrio Formation of the Neuquén Basin, west-central Argentina. Isocrinus (Chladocrinus) covuncoensis new species is based on several beautifully preserved specimens from Valanginian beds of the Pilmatué Member. It is characterized by a small size, multiramose crown with six arm divisions, 240 arm tips, mostly isotomous branching, seven (or rarely eight) secundibrachials, smooth and stout column, short noditaxis, and pentalobate columnals. The species occurs in a 30 m thick interval of cross-bedded sandstones and mixed clastic-carbonate sediments that represent the migration of large, tidally influenced, subaqueous dunes developed in the offshore. Sudden burial of crinoids that dwelled on the dune toes and interdunes, possibly by the acceleration of the lee face migration, provided the exceptional preservation of specimens and thus this finding can be considered as a local crinoid Konservat Lagerstätte. Isocrinus (Chladocrinus) pehuenchensis new species is described from a single articulated specimen preserved in a silty calcareous concretion collected from a late Hauterivian concretion level of the Agua de la Mula Member. It is characterized by isotomous branching, eight or nine secundibrachials (IIBr), slender column ornamented with medial ridge of fine tubercles, interradius acuminated with fine tubercles on its tip, short noditaxis, and pentastellate columnals. It is associated with low-energy fall-out deposits in the offshore. The excellent state of preservation was due to an early cementation process by carbonate that enhanced lithification around the specimen.
The diagnostic boundaries of social anxiety disorder (SAD) are still controversial and recent evidence suggests that the condition could be better understood as a continuum of severity, rather than a strictly circumscribed entity. Current neuroanatomical theories on SAD support the involvement of limbic structures in its pathophysiology, with an emphasis on the amygdala. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the hypothesis of volumetric alterations in the amygdala of subjects in different points of the social anxiety spectrum.
The sample consisted of patients with generalized SAD (n=17), subthreshold SAD (increased social anxiety without avoidance; n=13), and healthy controls (n=15). Participants underwent structural magnetic resonance scans and the volume of the bilateral amygdala was manually determined.
Significantly greater volumes of bilateral amygdala were found in socially anxious individuals. Amygdala volumes of subthreshold SAD participants fell between the values found for generalized SAD and healthy controls.
Individuals suffering from SAD have greater amygdala volumes compared to controls and this difference seems to be in agreement with the theoretical conception of SAD as a severity continuum and not as a circumscribed nosological entity.
Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a complex and severe chronic mental disease presenting deficits in an operational measure of sensorimotor gating and cognitive impairments. The history of delayed developmental milestones and the presence of minor physical abnormalities may represent indirect evidences of abnormal prenatal development. Premorbid cognitive, personality and social functioning deficits in patients severely affected are also reported. Among the several candidate risk genes potentially associated with SCZ via pleiotropic mechanisms and/or other genes specific to susceptibility for SCZ, the Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 gene (DISC1) is the most studied. Interestingly, the main binding partner and effector of DISC1 protein is the Nuclear-distribution gene E homolog like-1 (Ndel1), which is an oligopeptidase capable to degrade small peptides such as bradykinin (BK) and neurotensin (NT). Both neuropeptides were implicated in SCZ, and NT was also suggested to be an endogenous antipsychotic. DISC1 binding inhibits the Ndel1 enzyme activity competing with the peptide substrates, and the described translocation of DISC1 gene cosegregated with SCZ suggest a DISC1 and Ndel1 complex formation impairment with potential deregulation of the Ndel1 total activity. Other oligopeptidase, as Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme (ACE), is also able to cleave these peptides. Therefore, our group is focused on measuring the oligopeptidase activity not only in clinical samples to allow the comparison between patients and health controls (HCs), but we have also performed the same measurements in plasma and different brain regions of animal models aiming to have insights into what may be occurring in the human brain based on peripheral tissues measurements. A significant lower Ndel1 oligopeptidase activity (Gadelha et al., J Psych Res 2013) and significant higher ACE activity (Gadelha and Vendramine et al., submitted 2014) in the plasma of SCZ patients compared to HCs were observed. Moreover, a potential association of the ACE oligopeptidase activity with the cognitive/disorganization symptoms was observed in both SCZ patients and animal models. The evaluation of the activity of these oligopeptidases in patients and animal models treated with the same antipsychotics are currently ongoing in our laboratory. The results presented here support the potential involvement of Ndel1 and ACE in SCZ, and they may contribute to the discovery of molecular biomarkers for diagnosis and/or treatment follow-up of a severe chronic mental disease as SCZ, aiming to contribute to foster the translation of basic neurobiological and behavioral research to an improved integrative understanding of psychopathology for the development of a new and/or optimized treatments.
Sex differences in cognitive functioning have long been recognized in schizophrenia patients and healthy controls (HC). However, few studies have focused on patients with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) for psychosis. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate sex differences in neurocognitive performance in ARMS patients compared with HC.
The data analyzed in this study were collected within the multicenter European Gene–Environment Interactions study (11 centers). A total of 343 ARMS patients (158 women) and 67 HC subjects (33 women) were included. All participants completed a comprehensive neurocognitive battery. Linear mixed effects models were used to explore whether sex differences in cognitive functioning were present in the total group (main effect of sex) and whether sex differences were different for HC and ARMS (interaction between sex and group).
Women performed better in social cognition, speed of processing, and verbal learning than men regardless of whether they were ARMS or HC. However, only differences in speed of processing and verbal learning remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Additionally, ARMS patients displayed alterations in attention, current IQ, speed of processing, verbal learning, and working memory compared with HC.
Findings indicate that sex differences in cognitive functioning in ARMS are similar to those seen between healthy men and women. Thus, it appears that sex differences in cognitive performance may not be specific for ARMS, a finding resembling that in patients with schizophrenic psychoses.