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Both transposition of the great arteries (TGA) previously submitted to a Senning/Mustard procedure and congenitally corrected TGA (cc-TGA) have the systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle, thereby rendering these patients to heart failure events risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters for stratifying the risk of heart failure events in TGA patients.
Retrospective evaluation of adult TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle submitted to cardiopulmonary exercise test in a tertiary centre. Patients were followed up for at least 1 year for the primary endpoint of cardiac death or heart failure hospitalisation. Several cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters were analysed as potential predictors of the combined endpoint and their predictive power were compared (area under the curve).
Cardiopulmonary exercise test was performed in 44 TGA patients (8 cc-TGA), with a mean age of 35.1 ± 8.4 years. The primary endpoint was reached by 10 (22.7%) patients, with a mean follow-up of 36.7 ± 26.8 months. Heart rate at anaerobic threshold had the highest area under the curve value (0.864), followed by peak oxygen consumption (pVO2) (0.838). Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm and pVO2 ≤20 ml/kg/min had a sensitivity of 87.5 and 80.0% and a specificity of 82.4 and 76.5%, respectively, for the primary outcome.
Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm had the highest predictive power of all cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters analysed for heart failure events in TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle.
Three sizes of beads 1, 2 and 3 mm of chitosan and poly (vinyl alcohol) were generated and crosslinked with ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether. The modification was carried out using a glass reactor, in which the beads were exposed to the glow discharge plasma (GDP). The adsorption experiments were carried out in triplicate at 30 °C, 200 rpm, 72 h at different pH values in the range between 2 and 7. The concentrations of the dye in the supernatants were determined by UV-vis spectrophotometry. The 1 mm beads with and without modification, as well as those adsorbed and without adsorbing were characterized by FTIR and SEM. A higher and constant adsorption capacity was observed using modified beads (814, 857 and 1509 mg/g for the 3, 2 and 1 mm beads, respectively). For unmodified beads the adsorption capacity decreased when the initial pH value was increased. This makes the beads modified by GDP a robust material with respect to pH variation and a good candidate to be used in the removal of synthetic dyes.
We conducted a study to describe food profile, health status and stroke risk factors in the population of the Aeolian Islands.
Self-administrated questionnaires regarding eating habits, health status and stroke risk factors were obtained from a sample of the general Aeolian population. We analysed the difference from common healthy eating habits indicated by the Italian Institute of Nutrition.
Current evidence finds the Mediterranean diet is a protective factor for cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases. The Aeolian Islands are an interesting study setting because of their peculiarity in the epidemiology of cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Individuals (n 586; age range 15–93 years; mean 52 (sd 18) years) living in the Aeolian Islands.
We found low fish consumption in 13·3% and vitamin intake deficiency in 5·8% of participants. A marked excess of saturated fats was observed in 71·0% of participants. Sodium excess was reported almost in half of participants (49·0%). Eating habits were characterized by high consumption of fruits and vegetables, consistent use of olive oil and scanty use of cured meat. Health status as evaluated by the General Health Questionnaire was characterized by ‘normal distress’ level in the majority of participants.
Study findings show the eating habits and health status of the Aeolian people in an interesting setting of low incidence of cerebrovascular disease. This nutrition regimen has been proved to be protective against cerebrovascular disease. Nutrition is likely to contribute to the low incidence of stroke in this population.
The Padua Inventory (PI) of obsessions and compulsions is one of the most usually applied tests to assess obsessive-compulsive symptomatology in research contexts as well as for clinical and screening purposes. A reliability generalization meta-analysis was accomplished to estimate the average reliability of the PI scores and to search for characteristics of the samples and studies that can explain the variability among reliability estimates. An exhaustive literature search enabled us to select 39 studies (53 independent samples) that reported alpha and/or test-retest coefficients with the data at hand for the PI total score and subscales. An excellent average coefficient alpha was found for the PI total score (M = .935; 95%CI = .922–.949) and for Impaired Mental Control subscale (M = .911; 95%CI = .897–.924), being good for Contamination (M = .861; 95%CI = .841–.882) and Checking (M = .880; 95%CI = .856–.903), and fair for Urges and Worries (M = .783; 95%CI = .745–.822). The average test-retest reliability for PI total score was also satisfactory (M = .835; 95%CI = .782–.877). Moderator analyses showed larger coefficients alpha for larger standard deviation of the PI total scores (p = .0005; R2 = .46), for adapted versions of the test (p = .002; R2 = .32), and for samples composed of clinical participants (p = .066; R2 = .10). The practical implications of these results are discussed as well as the need for researchers to report reliability estimates with the data at hand.
The synthesis of Fe3O4-Ag bimetallic nanoparticles by chemical reduction was carried out. Fe nanoparticles were obtained using Fe (III) Chloride hexahydrate (FeCl3•6H2O) as precursor and sodium borohydride (NaBH4) as reducing agent, subsequently, a solution of silver nitrate (AgNO3) was added to the reaction. The synthesis methodology employed in this case, is a modification of chemical reduction method. Through this procedure has been possible simplify the synthesis route used to obtain bimetallic systems such as Fe3O4-Ag. Particles with semi-spherical morphology were observed. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HREM), ultraviolet visible spectroscopy (UV-is) and quasi-elastic light scattering (QELS) techniques were employed for the structural characterization of Fe3O4-Ag nanostructures. Some models presented describe and prove the formation of the Fe3O4-Ag alloy type structures.
Analysis of dental calculus is increasingly important in archaeology, although the focus has hitherto been on dietary reconstruction. Non-edible material has, however, recently been extracted from the dental calculus of a Neanderthal population from the 49 000-year-old site of El Sidrón, Spain, in the form of fibre and chemical compounds that indicate conifer wood. Associated dental wear confirms that the teeth were being used for non-dietary activities. These results highlight the importance of dental calculus as a source of wider biographical information, and demonstrate the need to include associated data within research, in particular tooth wear, to maximise this valuable resource.
We detected the general level of knowledge about the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and subsequent care in general practitioners (GPs) from Southern Italy. We explored also the GP perception about their knowledge and training on diagnosis and management of AD.
On a sample of 131 GPs, we administered two questionnaires: the GP-Knowledge, evaluating GPs’ expertise about AD epidemiology, differential diagnosis, and available treatments, and the GP-QUestionnaire on Awareness of Dementia (GP-QUAD), assessing the GPs’ attitudes, awareness, and practice regarding early diagnosis of dementia.
Specific screening tests or protocols to diagnose and manage dementia were not used by 53% of our GPs. The training on the recognition of early AD signs and symptoms was considered inadequate by 55% of the participants. Females were more likely to consider their training insufficient (58%) compared to males (53%). Female GPs were less likely to prescribe antipsychotic drugs to control neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) and suggest specialist advice in late stage of cognitive impairment. Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) performed only on GP-QUAD suggested two dimensions explaining 26.1% (“GP attitude”) and 20.1% (“GP knowledge”) of the inertia for a total of 46.2%,
In our survey on GP clinical practice, several problems in properly recognizing early AD symptoms and subsequently screening patients to be referred to secondary/tertiary care centers for diagnosis confirmation have emerged. In the future, specific training programs and educational projects for GPs should be implemented also in Italy to improve detection rates and management of dementia in primary care.
Objective: To longitudinally analyze the course of cognitive dimensions in schizophrenic women over a period of 31 years. Method: Accidental sampling. Developmental longitudinal design. Diagnosis according to the ICD-10. Thirty institutionalized women were evaluated using the WAIS on three separate occasions (in 1981, 1997, and 2012). The data were analyzed using a repeated measures split-plot method. Results: Patients scored one to two standard deviations below the average on the WAIS. At all three evaluation times, they scored consistently, significantly worse on Performance IQ scales than on Verbal IQ in the following sequence: Processing Speed (PS) < Perceptual Organization (PO) < Working Memory (WM) < Verbal Comprehension (VC). Longitudinally, there was a significant, linear average trend that was stable between the first and second assessments, with a significant drop in scores at the third evaluation on Performance IQ (η2 = .586) and Verbal IQ scales (η2 = .299). The same trend was observed in PS (η2 = .655) and WM (η2 = .438), while PO decreased across the three evaluations (η2 = .509) and no difference in VC was found (η2 = .126). Conclusion: Patients with schizophrenia presented with a low cognitive level. Longitudinally, they had a stable, differential profile of WAIS factors until late life, when performance dropped significantly.
Studying eating habits can aid in the design of specific measures that reduce the negative effects of an unhealthy diet on health. In this context, the aim of the present study was to examine the eating habits and food preferences of students and their level of satisfaction with the catering services of the university.
Survey conducted during 2011 using a questionnaire that asked participants abut their sex, age and frequency of use of catering services placed on campus. Participants were also asked about their level of satisfaction with five aspects (hygiene, quality, taste of food, price and convenience of facilities) of the university catering services, what their preferred dishes were and whether they followed a special diet.
Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.
Nine hundred and sixty-four students (381 males; 583 females).
The students used the university food service 2·3 (sd 1·3) times/week. With respect to satisfaction level, 44·1 % gave an average score (3) to the combination of surveyed aspects (hygiene, quality, taste of food, price and comfort of the dining rooms). Regarding food choices, 61·0 % of students preferred pasta dishes, followed by meat (59·1 %) and salads (32·5 %). The least popular dishes were vegetables (16·8 %), fruits (13·6 %), milk products (12·2 %) and legumes (9·8 %). Of the students, 20·1 % followed special diets.
The degree of satisfaction with the university meal service was low and the most common choices of dishes and foods among students were far from the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet. It is necessary to extend policies related to diet to this sector of the population and also to the management and food offer of university canteens.
Megalithic art is a well-known feature of the Neolithic chambered tombs of Atlantic Europe. The surviving evidence consists largely of carved motifs, and, until recently, painted megalithic art was thought to be restricted to western Iberia. Recent discoveries have expanded that distribution, assisted by new methods of detection, recording and analysis. The discovery of painted motifs at Barnenez in Brittany, reported here, marks a breakthrough and raises the possibility that many megalithic tombs in north-west Europe were once coloured as well as carved. Similarities in motifs and techniques also point to the likelihood of direct connections with Iberia.
There is little information on the population status of the ocelot Leopardus pardalis in Mexico. In the Sierra Abra-Tanchipa Biosphere Reserve, in San Luis Potosí, ocelots are affected by habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of increased agricultural development. We used photographic identification in camera-trapping capture–recapture surveys to determine population abundance and density during the dry season and subsequent early and late humid seasons during April 2011–March 2012. We recorded 80 photographs of 15 individuals (10 males, one female, and four of undetermined sex) in 7,786 camera-days. Abundance was estimated using a closed capture heterogeneity model, yielding an estimated population of 9 ± SE 3 in the dry season and 21 ± SE 8 and 15 ± SE 5 during the subsequent early and late humid seasons, respectively. Spatially explicit density estimates were 0.04 and 0.03–0.18 individuals per km2 for the dry and humid seasons, respectively, and were similar (P > 0.612) among seasons. Peaks in ocelot activity occurred during 20.00–04.00. We conclude that the ocelots of the Sierra Abra-Tanchipa Reserve have a low population density and may face geographical and biological isolation as a result of habitat conversion. Continued monitoring and improved understanding of the movements and habitat preferences of ocelots are necessary to ensure their continued persistence, and connectivity between this population and others in north-east Mexico.
Catatonic features are observed in several psychiatric illnesses but can also be found following substance misuse. Loperamide is an anti-diarrhoeal medication that acts on opioid receptors in the intestine, reducing peristalsis. It is normally unable to pass through the intestinal wall or the blood–brain barrier; however, high dosages can in fact induce the effects on the central nervous system.
We describe the case of a 20-year-old man who presented with severe catatonia following excessive intake of loperamide, fully remitted with lorazepam.
We speculate on a possible increase of loperamide's bioavailability after overdose owing to reduced expression and functioning of P-glycoprotein.
This paper addresses the task of automatic extraction of definitions by thoroughly exploring an approach that solely relies on machine learning techniques, and by focusing on the issue of the imbalance of relevant datasets. We obtained a breakthrough in terms of the automatic extraction of definitions, by extensively and systematically experimenting with different sampling techniques and their combination, as well as a range of different types of classifiers. Performance consistently scored in the range of 0.95–0.99 of area under the receiver operating characteristics, with a notorious improvement between 17 and 22 percentage points regarding the baseline of 0.73–0.77, for datasets with different rates of imbalance. Thus, the present paper also represents a contribution to the seminal work in natural language processing that points toward the importance of exploring the research path of applying sampling techniques to mitigate the bias induced by highly imbalanced datasets, and thus greatly improving the performance of a large range of tools that rely on them.
Nanocrystalline anatase was synthesized, using both domestic and laboratory microwave ovens, from different precursors. Nanoparticulate anatase was obtained after microwave irradiation of tetra-butyl orthotitanate solution in benzyl alcohol. As-synthesized samples have orange color due to the presence of organics that were eliminated after annealing at 500 °C, whereas the size of small anatase nanocrystals (around 8 nm) was preserved. Other nanocrystalline anatase samples were obtained from hexafluorotitanate-organic salt ionic liquid-like precursors. In this case, use of a domestic microwave oven and very short processing times (1–3 min irradiation time) were involved. Good specific capacity values and capacity retention at high C rates for insertion/deinsertion of Li+were recorded when testing such nanoparticles as electrode material in lithium cells. The electrochemical performances were found be strongly dependent on the phase composition, which in turn could be tuned through the synthetic procedure.
The majority of biochemical studies in corals has been focused on the lipidic composition and little attention has been given to the amino acid profile of these invertebrates. The objectives of this work were to investigate, for the first time, the temporal variations in the total amino acid (AA) composition of an octocoral, namely the sea pen Veretillum cynomorium, and to evaluate possible interspecific differences in AA profile between this octocoral and hexacorals. The quantitatively most important AAs in V. cynomorium colonies were: glutamic acid, varying from 3.92 to 5.94% dry weight (dw) and representing around 14–15% of total AA content; aspartic acid (3.34–4.99% dw; 11–12%); and glycine (2.87–4.57% dw; 9–12%). On the other hand, the minor AAs were methionine (0.41–0.73% dw; 1–2%) and histidine (0.54–0.76% dw; 2%). Almost all AAs showed the same significant seasonal variations, with the highest values in February, second highest in October and the lowest in June. Some AAs, namely lysine, phenylalanine and methionine did not follow this trend and showed the major peak in October. Most of the AA variations seemed to be linked to changes in food availability and/or gametogenesis. Principal component analysis clearly separated the octocoral from the group of hexacorals, mainly due to the higher percentages of arginine, tyrosine and glycine in V. cynomorium, and valine, serine, histidine, isoleucine and alanine in hexacorallia species. We speculate that this differentiation possibly derived from physiological differences related to phylogeny, and was not affected by reproductive or environmental seasonality.
The plutonium α decay leads to the formation of numerous point defects in the metal structure. The multi-scale modeling of self-irradiation effects in plutonium alloys needs a quantitative knowledge of defects population properties. In this work, we initiated a parametric study of molecular dynamics displacement cascade simulations to get properties of defects microstructure such as number of point defects, number and size of clusters, spatial repartition and spatial expansion of the cascade. These data constitute some of the input parameters for the mesoscopic scale simulations. First results obtained for two 2 keV energy cascades simulations are presented and discussed.
Gd-doped ceria (Ce0.80Gd0.20O1.90) obtained by several nanopowder synthesis processes are compared structurally, morphologically and electrochemically. The powders have been sintered into pellets and investigated by ac-impedance measurements. The electrochemical properties of the electrolytes have been correlated to the structural morphology of the sintered pellets. When the intergrain region exhibits an elevated interdiffusion, the observation of the grain boundaries becomes difficult while the electrochemical properties are improved. Acrylamide polymerization and oxalic co-precipitation techniques showed the best properties.
An Al58Cu25Fe17 alloy composition was produced by conventional casting technique. In order to take advantage from the hydrogen-environmental embrittlement reaction, which affects these alloys, this research was carried out subjecting prealloyed powders to wet-ball milling. Through these experiments it has been possible to evaluate the particle size reduction as consequence of hydrogen fracture and milling energy. The morphological and structural characteristics of the samples were performed using x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental results indicate that the samples with higher contents of humidity have a good particle size reduction. With the increment of milling time, the particle size was diminished even more reaching nanometer size scale.
In the present work, an electrochemically driven ceramic oxygen generator (ECOG) device is investigated. The present device is based on an electrode supported architecture. Structural and electrochemical characterizations of the electrochemical cell have been carried out. The O2 production rate has been measured showing a performance four times higher than the generally accepted targets for practical applications. The high performance obtained with this device, indicates that there are good perspectives to decrease the O2 production costs significantly decreased as well as small and light weight devices for portable uses are envisaged.
We have prepared organic-inorganic hybrid materials (OIHM), incorporating an organic phase in the inorganic precursor sol, using high power ultrasound for assistance with agitation. A sono-ormosil results after gelation. Colloidal silica particles have been added to these hybrids to enable network porous volume and pore radius to be tailored to specific requirements. Finally, in vitro bioactivity of this material has been promoted by adding calcium to the initial sol. The structure and bioactivity of these materials have been subjected to preliminary study, including their mechanical behaviour. These materials have a very fine structure especially after colloidal silica particles have been included. When immersed in a solution simulating blood plasma, they are bioactive, and the sample with colloid particles presents a better behaviour in vitro