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Brexit has been at the centre of the last two British elections and the past legislative term. The UK's exit from the European Union was characterized by a series of parliamentary setbacks, with several government defeats, continuous rebellions and cross-party agreements made to secure control of the agenda. In the research reported in this article, we analyse the parliamentary Brexit process through careful examination of the 12 indicative votes held in Westminster in 2019 to find an alternative solution to Theresa May's exit agreement. We map the choices of each MP along two relevant dimensions, connecting them to the socioeconomic structure of their constituencies as well as to the preferences expressed in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Moreover, we associate these parliamentary behaviours – and thus MPs' attitudes towards compromise and responsiveness – to the gains and losses experienced during the subsequent 2019 general election.
Heterotaxy syndrome, being right atrial isomerism (RAI) or left atrial isomerism (LAI), often presents with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). Intestinal abnormalities, including malrotation are common. We assessed the spectrum of gut abnormalities and their impact on medium-term outcome in a cohort of patients with fetal and postnatal diagnoses of heterotaxy syndrome.
We reviewed the cardiology records of heterotaxy syndrome patients from two centres, regarding the presence of CHD, time for cardiac intervention, presence of gastrointestinal abnormalities, and type/time of surgery. A questionnaire about gastrointestinal status was sent to patients <18 years old. Kaplan–Meier curves were derived for survival data and freedom from intervention.
Data were included for 182 patients (49 RAI and 133 LAI) of 247 identified. Questionnaires were sent to 77 families and 47 replied. CHD was present in all RAI and 61.7% of LAI cases. Thirty-eight patients had abdominal surgery (20.9%), similar for RAI and LAI (20.4% versus 21%, p> 0.99): Ladd procedure in 17 (44.7%), non-Ladd in 12 (31.5%), and both procedures in 9 (23.7%). Ten-year freedom from Ladd procedure for all was 86% for the whole cohort (RAI = 87%; LAI = 85%, p = 0.98). Freedom from any gastrointestinal surgery at 10 years was 79% for the whole cohort (RAI = 77%; LAI = 80%, p = 0.54). Ten-year freedom from cardiac surgery was 31% for the whole cohort (RAI = 6%; LAI = 43%, p < 0.0001).
In our cohort, one in five patients required abdominal surgery, mostly in their first year of life, similar for RAI and LAI. Between 1 and 10 years of follow-up, the impact of gastrointestinal abnormalities on outcome was minimal. Medium term survival was related to CHD.
Despite innovative treatments, the impairment in real-life functioning in subjects with schizophrenia (SCZ) remains an unmet need in the care of these patients. Recently, real-life functioning in SCZ was associated with abnormalities in different electrophysiological indices. It is still not clear whether this relationship is mediated by other variables, and how the combination of different EEG abnormalities influences the complex outcome of schizophrenia.
The purpose of the study was to find EEG patterns which can predict the outcome of schizophrenia and identify recovered patients.
Illness-related and functioning-related variables were measured in 61 SCZ at baseline and after four-years follow-up. EEGs were recorded at the baseline in resting-state condition and during two auditory tasks. We performed Sparse Partial Least Square (SPLS) Regression, using EEG features, age and illness duration to predict clinical and functional features at baseline and follow up. Through a Linear Support Vector Machine (Linear SVM) we used electrophysiological and clinical scores derived from SPLS regression, in order to classify recovered patients at follow-up.
We found one significant latent variable (p<0.01) capturing correlations between independent and dependent variables at follow-up (RHO=0.56). Among individual predictors, age and illness-duration showed the highest scores; however, the score for the combination of the EEG features was higher than all other predictors. Within dependent variables, negative symptoms showed the strongest correlation with predictors. Scores resulting from SPLS Regression classified recovered patients with 90.1% of accuracy.
A combination of electrophysiological markers, age and illness-duration might predict clinical and functional outcome of schizophrenia after 4 years of follow-up.
Different electrophysiological indices have been investigated to identify diagnostic and prognostic markers of schizophrenia (SCZ). However, these indices have limited use in clinical practice, since both specificity and association with illness outcome remain unclear. In recent years, machine learning techniques, through the combination of multidimensional data, have been used to better characterize SCZ and to predict illness course.
The aim of the present study is to identify multimodal electrophysiological biomarkers that could be used in clinical practice in order to improve precision in diagnosis and prognosis of SCZ.
Illness-related and functioning-related variables were measured at baseline in 113 subjects with SCZ and 57 healthy controls (HC), and after four-year follow-up in 61 SCZ. EEGs were recorded at baseline in resting-state condition and during two auditory tasks (MMN-P3a and N100-P3b). Through a Linear Support Vector Machine, using EEG data as predictors, four models were generated in order to classify SCZ and HC. Then, we combined unimodal classifiers’ scores through a stacking procedure. Pearson’s correlations between classifiers score with illness-related and functioning-related variables, at baseline and follow-up, were performed.
Each EEG model produced significant classification (p < 0.05). Global classifier discriminated SCZ from HC with accuracy of 75.4% (p < 0.01). A significant correlation (r=0.40, p=0.002) between the global classifier scores with negative symptoms at follow-up was found. Within negative symptoms, blunted affect showed the strongest correlation.
Abnormalities in electrophysiological indices might be considered trait markers of schizophrenia. Our results suggest that multimodal electrophysiological markers might have prognostic value for negative symptoms.
The Brexit process has shattered the foundations of British politics, with prime ministerial resignations, government defeats, continuous rebellions and floor-crossings. These phenomena seem at odds with the usual decisiveness of Westminster systems. However, the aforementioned departures from the British tradition could be interpreted as compatible with the typical distance of any empirical reality from theoretical models, as exceptions to the rule due to the specificity of the European issue, or as the surfacing of some deeper social, economic and cultural tensions. Data alone are insufficient to confirm any of the alternative interpretations, although they seem to confirm the existence of long-term dynamics rather than some short-term exceptionalism. Within this scenario, the article suggests that a series of institutional innovations introduced since the late 1990s have facilitated the political consolidation of those tensions, contributed to the partisan dealignment, and made room for a potential departure from a Westminster model of democracy.
The present paper aims to provide a comprehensive yet critical overview of current Brazilian legislation on money-laundering prevention and control. Given that stripping criminals of their illegal profits has for a long time been considered one of the most important measures in the fight against international and organized crime, a part of this paper explores the legal mechanisms that allow for this to take place as a consequence of crime and, especially, in connection with money laundering in the context of the Brazilian criminal justice system.
In vitro diagnostic tests for SARS-COV-2, also known as serological tests, have rapidly spread. However, to date, mostly single-center technical and diagnostic performance's assessments have been carried out without an intralaboratory validation process and a health technology assessment (HTA) systematic approach. Therefore, the rapid HTA for evaluating antibody tests for SARS-COV-2 was applied.
The use of rapid HTA is an opportunity to test innovative technology. Unlike traditional HTA (which evaluates the benefits of new technologies after being tested in clinical trials or have been applied in practice for some time), the rapid HTA is performed during the early stages of developing new technology. A multidisciplinary team conducted the rapid HTA following the HTA Core Model® (version 3.0) developed by the European Network for Health Technology Assessment.
The three methodological and analytical steps used in the HTA applied to the evaluation of antibody tests for SARS-COV-2 are reported: the selection of the tests to be evaluated; the research and collection of information to support the adoption and appropriateness of the technology; and the preparation of the final reports and their dissemination. Finally, the rapid HTA of serological tests for SARS-CoV-2 is summarized in a report that allows its dissemination and communication.
The rapid-HTA evaluation method, in addition to highlighting the characteristics that differentiate the tests from each other, guarantees a timely and appropriate evaluation, becoming a tool to create a direct link between science and health management.
The Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Working Group has updated its treatment optimization recommendations (TORs) on the optimal use of disease-modifying therapies for patients with all forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Recommendations provide guidance on initiating effective treatment early in the course of disease, monitoring response to therapy, and modifying or switching therapies to optimize disease control. The current TORs also address the treatment of pediatric MS, progressive MS and the identification and treatment of aggressive forms of the disease. Newer therapies offer improved efficacy, but also have potential safety concerns that must be adequately balanced, notably when treatment sequencing is considered. There are added discussions regarding the management of pregnancy, the future potential of biomarkers and consideration as to when it may be prudent to stop therapy. These TORs are meant to be used and interpreted by all neurologists with a special interest in the management of MS.
Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a highly debilitating psychiatric disorder. The underlying molecular mechanisms of BPD remain largely unknown. Studies targeting postmortem brain tissues of BPD patients have identified very few consistently replicated differences in the expression levels of protein-coding RNAs across different areas of the brain. Since differential expression of the human genome produces a wide spectrum of protein-coding and noncoding RNAs, we hypothesized that major molecular deficits associated with BPD could reflect dysregulation of multiple classes of RNA. To test this hypothesis, we obtained postmortem human medial frontal gyrus tissue from BPD patients and healthy controls (n = 16). To survey the implication of both protein-coding and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in BPD, we then performed RNA sequencing, PCR validation and replication experiments adopting a case-control design. Thirty-six genes and fifteen lncRNA transcripts not previously implicated in BPD were detected as differentially expressed (FDR < 0.1). Functional analyses identified enrichments of angiogenesis, vascular system development and histone H3-K4 demethylation. In addition, we report extensive alternative splicing defects in the brains of BPD subjects compared to controls. Finally, we describe for the first time a large reservoir of circular RNAs (circRNAs) that populate the medial frontal gyrus and report significantly altered levels of two circular transcripts (cNEBL and cEPHA3) from the NEBL and EPHA3 loci in BPD. Our findings may not only contribute to gain insight into the pathophysiology of BPD but may be tested in the near future as potential biomarkers for diagnostics.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Clinically, OC-checkers often report staring compulsions and “lack of action completion” sensations, which have been linked to self-agency alterations. Belayachi and Van der Linden (2009) theoretically proposed that “abnormal” checkers self-agency could be due to an over-reliability on environmental cues and to a tendency to specify actions in a procedural and inflexible way, conceiving them as “low-level” agents. Currently, no studies have experimentally address this issue.
To investigate self-agency in OC-checkers subtype, measuring gaze agency (the ability to understand that we can cause events through our eye movements) and taking into account both agency beliefs and agency feelings.
13 OC-checkers and 13 healthy controls underwent two tasks. “Discovery” task, a completely novel task used to examine causal learning abilities. Subjects watched bouncing balls on a computer screen with the aim of discovering the cause of concurrently presented acoustical beeps. “Detection” task, a two-alternative forced choice task that required subjects to tell whether or not the beeps were generated by their own eye movements.
– lower performance scores and confidence ratings when they have to self-attribute the beep cause, but not eye behavioral differences, during discovery task;
– lower confidence ratings, but a level of accuracy similar to that of controls, during detection task.
Checkers do not show an altered self-agency per se, but what we have called a “doubtful” self-agency: indeed, we argue that agency beliefs alterations found during Discovery task can be due to pathological doubt, rather than to altered agency feelings.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Italy is prone to major earthquakes and has experienced several devastating earthquakes in the far and recent past. The objectives of this study were to assess the level of Italian households’ preparedness for earthquakes and to measure the public’s perception of the risk and its impact on preparedness behavior.
Italian households’ preparedness for earthquakes is insufficient and is influenced by different threat perception components that were assessed.
A cross-sectional study, using an online questionnaire, was conducted in early 2018. The sample included 1,093 responders from a diverse sociodemographic background. The primary outcome was the Preparedness Index (PI), a score indicating the number of preparedness actions complied-with out of 10.
The PI’s mean was 5.26 (SD = 2.17). The recommendation most complied-with was keeping a flashlight at home (87.7%) and the least was securing the kitchen cupboards (15.1%). The PI was positively correlated with a higher sense of preparedness (r = 0.426; P <.001). The PI was higher for responders residing in high-seismic-risk areas and those who experienced a major earthquake before. The predictors of PI were: gender, age, prior experience, sense of preparedness, searching for information, and threat intrusiveness (negatively).
The findings demonstrate a medium-level of preparedness; however, this might be circumstantial. Italians perceive major earthquakes to be unlikely, yet severe if and when they do occur. A validated tool in Italian now exists and can be used in future studies.
Bodas M, Giuliani F, Ripoll-Gallardo A, Caviglia M, Dell’Aringa MF, Linty M, Della Corte F, Ragazzoni L. Threat perception and public preparedness for earthquakes in Italy. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):114–124
In cosmic environments, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) strongly interact with vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photons emitted by young stars. Trapped PAH cations ranging in size from 30 to 48 carbon atoms were irradiated by tunable synchrotron light (DESIRS beamline at SOLEIL). Their ionization and dissociation cross sections were determined and compared with TD-DFT computed photoabsorption cross sections. Evidence for radiative cooling is reported.
This article investigates the role, reception, and socio-cultural, political relevance of mondo movies in the context of late 1950s–early 1980s film and documentary. The mondo genre debuted with reportage films about sexuality in Europe and reached its pinnacle with Gualtiero Jacopetti’s assemblage films. The historical context in which this genre evolved, and white masculinity was rearticulated and positioned at the centre of the national imagined community, is mapped focusing both on gender and race constructions and on the gaze identifying, encoding and decoding the sensationalist presentation of postcolonial/ decolonising Otherness. A brief review of some of the author’s published work on 1962–1971 mondo movies introduces Cannibal Holocaust (1979) and director Ruggero Deodato’s controversial reflection on the white, capitalist, sexist, Western and neo-colonial anthropological gaze.
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate “Proactive-Adjustment hypothesis” (PA) during the Stop Signal Task (SST). The PA is implied in the highly inconsistent literature, and it deals with the role of response inhibition (RI) in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This hypothesis assumed that participants would balance stopping and going by adjusting the response threshold (RT) in the go task. We verified whether the PA strategy was also implemented in our clinical group. Methods: To reach this goal, we analyzed SST performances in a group of 36 patients with OCD and 36 healthy controls (HCs). To identify different participants’ behaviors during the task, without preconceived notions regarding the diagnosis, we performed a cluster analysis. Furthermore, we analyzed the influence of drug therapy and we investigated whether the rule and reversal acquisition investigated with the Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift, differed in the two clusters. Results: We did not find any difference relative to the number of patients with OCD and HCs included in the two clusters. Furthermore, we found that only Not Proactive participants performed the task as fast as possible, while Proactive participants consistently slowed down their RTs and showed a lower number of Direction Errors, higher Stop Signal Delay, and worse cognitive flexibility. Conclusions: Our results show that among patients with OCD the use of PA is changeable and does not differ from HCs. This finding supports the idea that the RI heterogeneity concerning patients with OCD could be related to PA. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1–12)
The Italian 2013 election ended the period of bipolarism that characterized the so-called ‘Second Republic’, and paved the way for new parties such as the Five Star Movement. We investigate that election, which took place after the technocratic government led by Mario Monti, through the analytical lenses of the retrospective theory of economic voting applied at the provincial level. Local unemployment rates shape the electoral performances of those parties that were more supportive and sympathetic to the caretaker executive, thus confirming a distinction between incumbent and non-incumbent even in that critical and politically undecided election. We further contribute to the literature on retrospective voting by relaxing the locally untenable assumption of independence among the units. Making use of spatial regression models, we demonstrate the relevance of both the internal and contiguous economies, and their relative impact due to the different size of the provinces.
Work on thermal pools at Poggetti Vecchi in Grosseto, Italy, exposed an up to 3-meter-thick succession of seven sedimentary units. Unit 2 in the lower portion of the succession contained vertebrate bones, mostly of the straight-tusked elephant, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, commingled with stone, bone, and wooden tools. Thermal carbonates overlying Unit 2 are radiometrically dated to the latter part of the middle Pleistocene. This time span indicates that early Neanderthals produced the human artifacts from Poggetti Vecchi. The elephant bones belong to seven individuals of different ages. Sedimentary facies analysis and paleoecological evidence suggest a narrow lacustrine-palustrine embayment affected by water-level fluctuations and, at times, by hydrothermal water. Cyclic lake-level variations were predominantly forced by the rapid climatic fluctuations that occurred at Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6–7 transition and throughout the MIS 6. Possibly an abrupt, intense, and protracted cold episode during the onset of MIS 6 led to the sudden death of the elephants, which formed an unexpected food resource for the humans of the area. The Poggetti Vecchi site adds new information on the behavioral plasticity and food procurement strategies that early Neanderthals were able to develop in Italy during the middle to the late Pleistocene transition.
In the framework of the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) Early Science Program, we obtained single-dish high-resolution imaging of the Supernova Remnants IC443 and W44 at 7 GHz. By coupling them with SRT 1.5 GHz maps, we provided spatially-resolved spectral measurements that are highlighting a spread in spectral slope distribution. The observed features range from flat or slightly inverted spectra corresponding to bright radio limbs and filaments, to relatively steep spectra in fainter radio regions. Different theoretical possibilities explaining the above challenging findings are discussed. In particular, we exclude that the observed region-dependent wide spread in spectral slope distribution could be related to absorption processes. Our high-frequency results can be directly related to distinct electron populations in the SNRs including secondary hadronic electrons and resulting from different shocks conditions and/or undergoing different cooling processes. Integrated fluxes associated with the whole SNRs obtained by SRT in comparison with previous results in the literature support the evidence for a slight spectral steepening above 1 GHz for both sources, which could be related to primary electrons or more likely secondary hadronic electrons cut-offs.