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New experimental results on turbulent boundary layers (TBLs) with wall suction show that it is possible to experimentally realise a turbulent asymptotic suction boundary layer (TASBL), i.e. a boundary layer which becomes independent of the streamwise location and with the suction rate as the only control parameter. Turbulent asymptotic suction boundary layers show a mean-velocity profile with a large logarithmic region and without a clear wake region. If outer-scaling is adopted, using the free stream velocity and the boundary layer thickness as characteristic velocity and length scale, respectively, a single log-law describes the logarithmic region of all the measured TASBLs independently from the suction rate. Streamwise velocity profiles were measured with different hot-wire probe sizes, in order to account for and correct for probe-filtering effects. It emerges that wall suction is responsible for strong damping of the velocity fluctuations, with a decrease of the near-wall peak of the velocity-variance profile ranging from $50\,\%$ to $65\,\%$ when compared with a canonical zero-pressure gradient TBL at comparable Reynolds number. The analysis of the power spectral density maps suggests that the decrease in the turbulent activity can be explained by increased stability of the near-wall streaks.
Although language deficits have often been reported in schizophrenia, the specific relevance of single linguistic levels of processing is still under debate. Moreover, little is known about language disturbances in bipolar disorder.
The aims of this study were to:
1) investigate micro-linguistic (lexicon, morphology, syntax) and macro-linguistic (discourse coherence, pragmatics) dimensions of speech production and
2) evaluate syntactic comprehension skills in both schizophrenia and, for the first time, bipolar disorder.
A story telling task and a computer-based test of syntactic comprehension were administered to 30 Italian speaking DSM-IV patients suffering from schizophrenia, 30 participants with bipolar disorder and 30 healthy controls, comparable for age and educational level (p>0.05). Analysis of variance with post-hoc correction was performed to compare linguistic performance between groups.
In comparison to healthy participants, patients with schizophrenia had significantly impaired productivity, syntactic complexity and local/global discourse coherence and bipolar disorder subjects showed deficits in mean length of utterance (p< 0.05). Also, both groups of patients collected more grammatical errors than controls (p< 0.05), but they differed in regard to the grammatical type of construction they missed (passive-affirmative and active-negative, respectively).
Our results showed the presence of both micro and macro-linguistic deficits in linguistic production in schizophrenia, but not in bipolar disorder, suggesting that these abnormalities are specific for schizophrenia. On the contrary, syntactic construction comprehension was altered in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, potentially representing the target of innovative rehabilitation strategies.
Depressive symptoms (DS) in the elderly have been implicated in cognitive decline, and are more frequent in patients with white matter changes (WMC). Our aim was to ascertain if DS influence cognition in an elderly population with WMC.
The LADIS (Leukoaraiosis and Disability) is a prospective European study that evaluates the impact of WMC on the transition of independent elderly subjects into disability. Subjects were enrolled due to minor complaints without impact in daily-living activities, and presence of WMC. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and yearly during 3 years with a comprehensive clinical and functional protocol. DS were recorded with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Major depression was classified according to the DSM-IV criteria. Dementia and cognitive decline not dementia were diagnosed according to usual clinical criteria. MRI was performed at entry and at the end of the study. WMC severity was rated according to the Fazeka's scale.
639 subjects were included (74.1 ± 5 years old, 55% women, 9.6±3.8 years of schooling). 89% (568), 78.4% (501), and 75% (480) of the patients from the initial sample were followed-up in clinical visit at year 1, 2 and 3. At the end of the study 90 patients were demented and 147 patients had cognitive impairment not dementia. Using survival Cox regression we found that depressive symptoms were independent predictors of cognitive impairment independently of age, education, gender, WMC severity and temporal atrophy.
Depressive symptoms are independent predictor of cognitive decline in an independent elderly population with WMC.
Language disturbances, such as impoverishment, disorganization and dysregulation, are a prominent feature of schizophrenia. Several neuroimaging studies have suggested the superior temporal gyrus (STG) as a likely anatomical substrate of language deficits in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to verify a correlation between structural measures of STG and Heschl's gyrus (HG) and language dimensions.
An extensive language examination battery, which included narrative and conversational expressive tasks, and syntactic and pragmatic comprehension tests, was administered to 23 schizophrenia patients (mean age±SD= 40.30±11.60) and 21 normal controls (mean age±SD= 42.19±11.05). All subjects also underwent a 1.5T MRI session, and STG and HG were manually traced and volumes were obtained, bilaterally, using Brains2.
Specific language deficits were shown in subjects with schizophrenia compared to healthy individuals (p<0.001), particularly in verbal fluency, syntactic complexity, lexical diversity and metaphor/idiom comprehension. Interestingly, speech fluency significantly directly associated with left STG gray matter volumes in controls (r=0.46, p=0.03) but not in patients (r=-0.27, p=0.21). In contrast, complex syntax and word diversity significantly correlated, respectively, with left and right HG volumes in schizophrenia patients (r=0.45, p=0.02; r=-0.47, p=0.02), but not in controls (p>0.05).
This study confirmed a widespread impairment of language in schizophrenia. Interestingly, distinct language dimensions differently correlated with STG-HG volumes in patients with schizophrenia and controls, particularly with regard to verbal fluency and syntactic measures.
The aim of our study was to evaluate relationships between alexithymia and suicidal ideation a sample of adult outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A sample of 86 adult outpatients with OCD (44 females and 42 males), was evaluated with a series of rating scales such as the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) and Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). the score of item #11 on the Y-BOCS was considered as a measure of insight.
Alexithymics showed a more early onset, a longer duration of illness and were more suitable to have a chronic course than nonalexithymics; they also reported higher MADRS and SSI scores. Alexithymics without insight (n=21) reported higher SSI scores than alexithymics with insight, nonalexythimics without insight and nonalexithymics with insight. A linear regression showed that chronic OCD course together with DIF dimension of TAS-20 and higher MADRS scores were significantly associated with higher suicide risk.
Alexithymia and depressive symptoms were highly correlated in OCD patients and were significantly associated with higher suicide risk. DIF dimension of TAS-20 seems to be significantly associated with presence of suicidal ideation as well as chronic course of disorder. However, further longitudinal studies on larger samples are needed to definitely clarify this topic.
Psychosis spectrum disorder has a complex pathoetiology characterised by interacting environmental and genetic vulnerabilities. The present study aims to investigate the role of gene–environment interaction using aggregate scores of genetic (polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-SCZ)) and environment liability for schizophrenia (exposome score for schizophrenia (ES-SCZ)) across the psychosis continuum.
The sample consisted of 1699 patients, 1753 unaffected siblings, and 1542 healthy comparison participants. The Structured Interview for Schizotypy-Revised (SIS-R) was administered to analyse scores of total, positive, and negative schizotypy in siblings and healthy comparison participants. The PRS-SCZ was trained using the Psychiatric Genomics Consortiums results and the ES-SCZ was calculated guided by the approach validated in a previous report in the current data set. Regression models were applied to test the independent and joint effects of PRS-SCZ and ES-SCZ (adjusted for age, sex, and ancestry using 10 principal components).
Both genetic and environmental vulnerability were associated with case-control status. Furthermore, there was evidence for additive interaction between binary modes of PRS-SCZ and ES-SCZ (above 75% of the control distribution) increasing the odds for schizophrenia spectrum diagnosis (relative excess risk due to interaction = 6.79, [95% confidential interval (CI) 3.32, 10.26], p < 0.001). Sensitivity analyses using continuous PRS-SCZ and ES-SCZ confirmed gene–environment interaction (relative excess risk due to interaction = 1.80 [95% CI 1.01, 3.32], p = 0.004). In siblings and healthy comparison participants, PRS-SCZ and ES-SCZ were associated with all SIS-R dimensions and evidence was found for an interaction between PRS-SCZ and ES-SCZ on the total (B = 0.006 [95% CI 0.003, 0.009], p < 0.001), positive (B = 0.006 [95% CI, 0.002, 0.009], p = 0.002), and negative (B = 0.006, [95% CI 0.004, 0.009], p < 0.001) schizotypy dimensions.
The interplay between exposome load and schizophrenia genetic liability contributing to psychosis across the spectrum of expression provide further empirical support to the notion of aetiological continuity underlying an extended psychosis phenotype.
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) survivors have higher rates of shyness, a risk factor for poorer outcomes across the life span. Due to advances in fetal and neonatal medicine, the first generation of ELBW survivors have survived to adulthood and become parents. However, no studies have investigated the transmission of their stress vulnerability to their offspring. We explored this phenomenon using a population-based cohort of ELBW survivors and normal birth weight (NBW) controls. Using data from three generations, we examined whether the shyness and parenting stress of ELBW and NBW participants (Generation 2) mediated the relation between the parenting style of their parents (Generation 1) and shyness in their offspring (Generation 3), and the extent to which exposure to perinatal adversity (Generation 2) moderated this mediating effect. We found that among ELBW survivors, parenting stress (in Generation 2) mediated the relation between overprotective parenting style in Generation 1 (grandparents) and child shyness in Generation 3. These findings suggest that perinatal adversity and stress may be transmitted to the next generation in humans, as reflected in their perceptions of their children as shy and socially anxious, a personality phenotype that may subsequently place their children at risk of later mental and physical health problems.
Few topics of international law speak to the imagination as much as international immunities. Questions pertaining to immunity from jurisdiction or execution under international law surface on a frequent basis before national courts, including at the highest levels of the judicial branch and before international courts or tribunals. Nevertheless, international immunity law is and remains a challenging field for practitioners and scholars alike. Challenges stem in part from the uncertainty pertaining to the customary content of some immunity regimes said to be in a 'state of flux', the divergent – and at times directly conflicting - approaches to immunity in different national and international jurisdictions, or the increasing intolerance towards impunity that has accompanied the advance of international criminal law and human rights law. Composed of thirty-four expertly written contributions, the present volume uniquely provides a comprehensive tour d'horizon of international immunity law, traversing a wealth of national and international practice.