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Brain health diplomacy aims to influence the global policy environment for brain health (i.e. dementia, depression, and other mind/brain disorders) and bridges the disciplines of global brain health, international affairs, management, law, and economics. Determinants of brain health include educational attainment, diet, access to health care, physical activity, social support, and environmental exposures, as well as chronic brain disorders and treatment. Global challenges associated with these determinants include large-scale conflicts and consequent mass migration, chemical contaminants, air quality, socioeconomic status, climate change, and global population aging. Given the rapidly advancing technological innovations impacting brain health, it is paramount to optimize the benefits and mitigate the drawbacks of such technologies.
We propose a working model of Brain health INnovation Diplomacy (BIND).
We prepared a selective review using literature searches of studies pertaining to brain health technological innovation and diplomacy.
BIND aims to improve global brain health outcomes by leveraging technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and innovation diplomacy. It acknowledges the key role that technology, entrepreneurship, and digitization play and will increasingly play in the future of brain health for individuals and societies alike. It strengthens the positive role of novel solutions, recognizes and works to manage both real and potential risks of digital platforms. It is recognition of the political, ethical, cultural, and economic influences that brain health technological innovation and entrepreneurship can have.
By creating a framework for BIND, we can use this to ensure a systematic model for the use of technology to optimize brain health.
To evaluate sleep disturbances and to verify the accuracy of three screening tests to detect them in patients at the end-of-life admitted in a hospital palliative care unit.
The level of sleep disturbances was evaluated through the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) in 150 palliative patients. This questionnaire was the criterion variable for testing the three screening tests used: Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS-Sleep subscale); the single question “How much do you worry about your sleep problems?” which is answered on a scale of 0–10 (Sleep-Worry-Q) and another single question: “Do you think you have sleep problems?” with two response categories, Yes/No (Sleep-Problem-Q).
According to the PSQI (cut-off point: 8), 87% of patients presented sleep disturbances. The ESAS-Sleep (cut-off point: 3) showed a sensitivity of 0.87, a specificity of 0.58, and an AUC of 0.729; the Sleep-Worry-Q (cut-off point: 4) showed a sensitivity of 0.95, a specificity of 0.68, and an AUC of 0.854; the Sleep-Problem-Q obtained a sensitivity of 0.92 and a specificity of 0.65.
Significance of results
Patients at the end-of-life, near the time of death, have high levels of sleep disturbances that can be detected early, with better diagnostic accuracy, with the Sleep-Worry-Q. Although from a clinical point of view, the application of the Sleep-Problem-Q may be more advantageous, as it presents good diagnostic accuracy, greater simplicity, and brevity.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
The indications for expanded endoscopic transnasal approaches continue to increase, with more complex skull base defects needing to be repaired. This study reviews the management of large anterior skull base defects with opening of the sellar diaphragm.
A prospective analysis of endonasal endoscopic surgery carried out at Son Espases University Hospital between January 2013 and December 2018 was performed. The analysis included only the cases with a significative intra-operative cerebrospinal fluid leak. In all cases, reconstruction was performed by combining the gasket seal technique with a pedicled mucosal endonasal flap.
Twenty-eight patients were included. The mucoperiosteal nasoseptal flap, the lateral wall flap and the middle turbinate flap were used in 13, 8 and 7 patients, respectively, combined with the gasket seal technique. One case of post-operative cerebrospinal fluid leak was observed (3.57 per cent).
The combination of a gasket seal with an endonasal mucosal flap is an excellent technique for repairing large anterior skull base defects.
The case of a non-oncological patient at the end of his life, admitted to a Palliative Care Unit (PCU), is presented. After a failed attempt to place a central venous catheter (CVC) and another placement of a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), the patient exhibited high anxiety regarding a midline catheter (MC) and refused its placement, even though this was necessary for the administration of intravenous drugs to control dyspnea and other complex symptoms that he presented.
An intervention through clinical hypnosis for successful MC placement and symptom control is described.
Through clinical hypnosis and interdisciplinary teamwork, it was possible to place a MC, necessary for symptomatic control of a complex patient.
Significance of result
This case exemplifies hypnosis as a simple procedure that is easy to apply, accepted by the patient, and effective in the implementation of invasive procedures and symptom control in PCUs.
Vaccination coverage (VC) against pertussis can increase when management practices and policies at primary care centres (PCCs) are reinforced. From 2011 to 2015, we performed a case–control study to evaluate VC among pertussis patients treated at PCCs in Barcelona, Spain. We recorded pertussis in patients from 8- to 16-year-olds at 52 PCCs. Pertussis cases had laboratory diagnostic and controls were healthy outpatients visiting the same facility for reasons other than cough. DTaP/dTap VC was recorded as either proper vaccination status (five doses recorded) or improper vaccination status (<5 doses recorded). We used a logistic regression model to estimate OR and 95% CI. We included 229 cases and 576 controls. VC was higher in cases (mean 5.01, s.e.: 0.57) than in controls (4.89, s.e.: 0.73). Around 69% of the cases had received DTaP primary immunisation after 2–5 years and 31.4% of cases had the dTap booster immunisation after 7–10 years. The 87% of children 5–9 years were properly vaccinated. We found no protection from becoming ill among properly vaccinated children (OR 1.87; 95% CI 1.22–2.85). The highest VC was observed in patients with confirmed pertussis, which was likely due to a more exhaustive follow-up of the VC in these patients. Being properly vaccinated against pertussis will probably not increase VC.
Before weaning, breast milk is the physiological form of neonatal nutrition, providing pups with all nutrient requirements. Maternal low-protein diet (LPD) during pregnancy and lactation induces adverse changes in key maternal organs, which have negative effects on pup development. We studied the effects of maternal LPD on liver weight, mammary gland (MG) cell differentiation, milk composition and production and pup development throughout lactation. We fed rats with control (C) or LPD (R) during pregnancy and lactation. At 7 d early, 14 d mid and 21 d late lactation stages, maternal biochemical parameters, body, liver and MG weights were analysed. MG cell differentiation was analysed by haematoxylin and eosin staining; milk nutrient composition and production were studied; pup body, liver and brain weights, hippocampal arachidonic acid (AA) and DHA were quantified. Results showed lower body and liver weights, minor MG cell differentiation and lower serum insulin and TAG in R compared with C. R milk contained less protein and higher AA at early and mid stages compared with C. R pup milk and fat intake were lower at all stages. R protein intake at early and mid stages and DHA intake at mid and late stages were lower compared with C. In R pups, lower body, liver and brain weights were associated with decreased hippocampal AA and DHA. We conclude that maternal LPD impairs liver and MG function and induces significant changes in maternal milk composition, pup milk intake and organ development.
The aim of this research was to analyse variation in body image perception and satisfaction by age, sex and nutritional status in an adult sample from the Basque Country, Spain. A case-control study was performed for 227 women and 178 men aged 18–70 years. Stunkard’s silhouettes were used to evaluate Current Body Image (CBI) and Ideal Body Image (IBI), as well as dissatisfaction and inconsistency scores. Nutritional status was assessed following the WHO criteria for BMI in an adult population. The sample was divided into four groups based on sex and age (early adulthood <45 years, and middle/older adulthood ≥45 years). The Mann–Whitney U test was employed to evaluate sex and age differences, and the Gamma coefficient to assess the association between body image variables and nutritional status. Significant age differences in CBI (p<0.05) and sex differences in IBI (p<0.001) were detected. Both variables showed a positive association with BMI (p<0.01), which indicates that BMI is a biological characteristic related to body image satisfaction and influences participants’ perception of themselves. Dissatisfaction scores showed that both sex and age differences (p<0.05) were negatively associated with BMI (p<0.001). Only participants ≥45 years presented sex differences in inconsistency scores (p<0.05); this variable was associated with BMI in women (p<0.01). Preferences in body image showed sexual dimorphism, with women preferring thinner bodies than men – a pattern observed in many Western populations – linked in part to sociocultural pressures. Women were more dissatisfied with their bodies than men; a higher dissatisfaction was observed in older relative to younger participants. The results confirm the association between nutritional status and body size perception and satisfaction, but also the relationship between nutritional status and the reliability with which women can classify themselves; in men, this relationship was not as clear.
The Iberian pig is one of the pig breeds that has the highest meat quality. Traditionally, producers have bred one of the available varieties, exclusively, and have not used crosses between them, which has contrasted sharply with other populations of commercial pigs for which crossbreeding has been a standard procedure. The objective of this study was to perform an experiment under full diallel design among three contemporary commercial varieties of Iberian pig and estimate the additive genetic variation and the crossbreeding effects (direct, maternal and heterosis) for prolificacy. The data set comprised 18 193 records for total number born and number born alive from 3800 sows of three varieties of the Iberian breed (Retinto, Torbiscal and Entrepelado) and their reciprocal crosses (Retinto × Torbiscal, Torbiscal × Retinto, Retinto × Entrepelado, Entrepelado × Retinto, Torbiscal × Entrepelado and Entrepelado × Torbiscal), and a pedigree of 4609 individuals. The analysis was based on a multiple population repeatability model, and we developed a model comparison test that indicated the presence of direct line, maternal and heterosis effects. The results indicated the superiorities of the direct line effect of the Retinto and the maternal effect of the Entrepelado populations. All of the potential crosses produced significant heterosis, and additive genetic variation was higher in the Entrepelado than it was in the other two populations. The recommended cross for the highest yield in prolificacy is a Retinto father and an Entrepelado mother to generate a hybrid commercial sow.
The research reported in this Research Communication evaluates the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of Licor de Oro (or Gold Liqueur; LO), a traditional alcoholic beverage produced in Chiloé island, Chile, which is made by mixing milk acidified with lemon juice and alcohol at a ratio of 1.0:1.0, along with sugar and other spices. The mixture is stored for a couple of weeks and then filtered to obtain a product with a yellowish-transparent appearance, sweetness and acidic taste, milky and alcoholic notes. The lack of information regarding LO processing, mainly in the amount of acid added to the mixture, leads to products of highly variable quality. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of LO. Raw milk was acidified using citric acid to six different pH values: 6.7 (control), 6.0, 5.3, 4.6, 3.9 and 3.2. These milk treatments were then used to make LO. A decrease of milk pH led to LO with higher levels of sensorial and titratable acidity. LO obtained at pH 6.7 and 6.0 had higher levels of total protein than other treatments, leading to excessive turbidity. In contrast, treatments made at pH ≤5.3 had a typical transparent appearance of LO. These results suggest that a minimum level of milk acidification is required to obtain LO with desired appearance and composition.
A previously undocumented type of wetland is described from the Atacama Desert in northern Chile (3000 m above sea level), sustained exclusively by direct precipitation and perched above the regional water table. Geomorphological mapping, pedostratigraphy, geochemistry, and analysis of contemporary vegetation is used to understand wetland formation and dynamics during historical and present time periods. The paleowetland deposits overlie a Miocene tuff that acts as an impermeable barrier to water transfer and creates conditions for local shallow ground water. These deposits include several paleosols that were formed during periods when precipitation increased regionally at 7755–7300, 1270, 545, and 400–300 cal yr BP. The similarity in timing with other palaeohydrological records for the Atacama implies that paleosols from this wetland are proxies for reconstructing past changes in local and regional hydrological cycle. Archaeological investigations have revealed the presence of two small farms from the Late Intermediate period, i.e., during the earliest wetter phase represented by the paleosols. Both farms are located near the paleowetland deposits, which suggests that local inhabitants exploited these water sources during late pre-Hispanic times. Results of this study improve knowledge of settlement patterns during this and earlier cultural periods.
Chagas disease, whose aetiological agent is the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, mainly occurs in Latin America. In order to know the epidemiology and the geographical distribution of this disease in Mexico, the present work analyses the national surveillance data (10 years) for Chagas disease issued by the General Directorate of Epidemiology (GDE). An ecological analysis of Chagas disease (2007–2016) was performed in the annual reports issued by the GDE in Mexico. The cases and incidence were classified by year, state, age group, gender and seasons. A national distribution map showing Chagas disease incidence was generated. An increase of new cases was identified throughout the country (rates from 0.37 to 0.81 per 100 000 inhabitants). Of the total cases accumulated (7388), the major cases were attributed to the states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, Morelos and Yucatán. The analysis per age groups and gender revealed that, in most age groups, the incidence was higher in the male population. The most number of cases was identified in spring and summer; a direct relationship between the environmental temperature increase and the number of new cases was identified. The analysis showed that the rate of Chagas disease increased presumably due to state programmes; the search for new cases has expanded and we speculate that the disease is associated with occupational activities. These results summarise and recall how important it is to implement the monitoring of Chagas disease mainly in south states of the Mexican Republic in order to implement strategies to control this disease.