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The relationship between epilepsy and the presence of visceral larva migrans caused by Toxocara canis in Mexican children remains uncertain; however, this relationship needs to be elucidated because these parasite larvae can invade the human central nervous system. Accordingly, this study aimed to determine the frequency and specificity of anti-T. canis antibodies in the sera of children with epilepsy to determine the relationship between this parasite and epilepsy. The sera samples of 214 children were examined: 111 children diagnosed with epilepsy and 103 clinically healthy children without neurological disorders. In the sera of each group, the presence and specificity of anti-T. canis and anti-Ascaris lumbricoides antibodies, as well as the cross-reactivity between them, were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting analysis. Among the children with epilepsy, 25.2% exhibited seropositivity to T. canis. Cross-reactivity against the A. lumbricoides antigen was present in 46.8% of the children with epilepsy, whereas 11.7% of the children with epilepsy and anti-T. canis antibodies did not exhibit cross-reactivity against this antigen. The Western blotting analysis of the sera from the children with epilepsy demonstrated the presence of T. canis proteins, with molecular weights of 24, 35, 55, 70, 120 and 210 kDa, and A lumbricoides proteins with molecular weights of 70, 80 and 110 kDa. Our results revealed the presence of anti-T. canis antibodies in the children with epilepsy; furthermore, cross-reactivity tests with A. lumbricoides showed the importance of the presence of anti-T. canis antibodies in revealing the relationship between this parasite and epilepsy in children.
Predation by Engytatus varians (Distant) adults on different development stages of the prey species Bactericera cockerelli (Sulcer) (egg, second, and third nymphal instars), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (egg, first, and second larval instars) was evaluated using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) leaflets or plants. These insects are the primary pest of several agriculturally important crops. The influence of E. varians age on the predation capacity was also analysed. Engytatus varians females consumed significantly more B. cockerelli eggs and nymphs than males. Additionally, female predators consumed significantly more second than third instar prey at two predator ages, while males consumed significantly more the second instar than third instar prey at all predator ages. In most of the cases, females also consumed significantly more S. exigua and S. frugiperda eggs than males; however, in terms of larvae consumption, this difference was observed only in some predator ages. Females consumed more the first than second instar S. exigua than males, whereas this behaviour was only observed in males when the predators were 15 and 17 days old. No significant differences were observed in the consumption of first and second instar of S. frugiperda for both sexes of the predators. Predator age did not cause any systematic effects on the predation rates of any prey species. Based on these results, we confirmed that E. varians has potential as a biological control agent for B. cockerelli and also for the Spodoptera species bioassayed.
This study examined (1) the association of dietary energy density from solid (EDS) and solid plus liquids (EDSL) with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (CRF) in children with overweight and obesity, (2) the effect of under-reporting on the mentioned associations and (3) whether the association between ED and body composition and CRF is influenced by levels of physical activity. In a cross-sectional design, 208 overweight and obese children (8–12-year-old; 111 boys) completed two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. ED was calculated using two different approaches: EDS and EDSL. Under-reporters were determined with the Goldberg method. Body composition, anthropometry and fasting blood sample measurements were performed. Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was registered with accelerometers (7-d-register). Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the association of ED with the previously mentioned variables. Neither EDS nor EDSL were associated with body composition or CRF. However, when under-reporters were excluded, EDS was positively associated with BMI (P=0·019), body fat percentage (P=0·005), abdominal fat (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·018), while EDSL was positively associated with body fat percentage (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·026). When stratifying the group according to physical activity recommendations, the aforementioned associations were only maintained for non-compliers. Cluster analysis showed that the low-ED and high-MVPA group presented the healthiest profile for all adiposity and CRF. These findings could partly explain inconsistencies in literature, as we found that different ED calculations entail distinct results. Physical activity levels and excluding under-reporters greatly influence the associations between ED and adiposity in children with overweight and obesity.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
The anthropogenic modification of natural landscapes, and the consequent changes in the environmental conditions and resources availability at multiple spatial scales can affect complex species interactions involving key-stone species such as bat–parasite interactions. In this study, we aimed to identify the drivers potentially influencing host–bat fly interactions at different spatial scales (at the host, vegetation stand and landscape level), in a tropical anthropogenic landscape. For this purpose, we mist-netted phyllostomid and moormopid bats and collected the bat flies (streblids) parasitizing them in 10 sites representing secondary and old growth forest. In general, the variation in fly communities largely mirrored the variation in bat communities as a result of the high level of specialization characterizing host–bat fly interaction networks. Nevertheless, we observed that: (1) bats roosting dynamics can shape bat–streblid interactions, modulating parasite prevalence and the intensity of infestation; (2) a degraded matrix could favor crowding and consequently the exchange of ectoparasites among bat species, lessening the level of specialization of the interaction networks and promoting novel interactions; and (3) bat–fly interaction can also be shaped by the dilution effect, as a decrease in bat diversity could be associated with a potential increase in the dissemination and prevalence of streblids.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Goat dairy products are an important source of animal protein in the tropics. During the dry season, pasture scarcity leads animals to lose up to 40% of their body weight, a condition known as Seasonal Weight Loss (SWL) that is one of the major constraints in ruminant production. Breeds with high tolerance to SWL are relevant to understand the physiological responses to pasture scarcity so they could be used in programs for animal breeding. In the Canary Islands there are two dairy goat breeds with different levels of tolerance to SWL: the Palmera, susceptible to SWL; and the Majorera, tolerant to SWL. Fat is one of the milk components most affected by environmental and physiological conditions. This study hypothesises that feed-restriction affects Majorera and Palmera breeds differently, leading to different fatty acid profiles in the mammary gland and milk. An interaction between breed and feed-restriction was observed in the mammary gland. Feed-restriction was associated with an increase in oleic acid and a decrease in palmitic acid percentage in the Palmera breed whereas no differences were observed in the Majorera breed. Palmitic and oleic acids together constituted around 60% of the total fatty acids identified, which suggests that Palmera breed is more susceptible to SWL. In milk, feed-restriction affected both breeds similarly. Regarding the interaction of the breed with the treatment, we also observed similar responses in both breeds, but this influence affects only around 2% of the total fatty acids. In general, Majorera breed is more tolerant to feed-restriction.
Background: Epilepsy surgery remains one of the most underused of all current medical interventions. It is estimated that less than 1% of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are referred to specialized centers. The average delay from onset of seizures to surgical procedures is between 10 to 20 years Methods: In this study we describe the waiting times from the diagnosis of epilepsy to the assessment and epilepsy surgery at the epilepsy center of the University of Saskatchewan (SEP) Results: We included 70 patients assessed in the epilepy program between 2007 and 2015. Mean age of patients was 42.2+13. The time from the diagnosis of epilepsy to the referral was 16 years. The times for the for assesment and testing were the following: to the first consult with the epileptologist was 208 months, to the neuropsychological test was 201 months, to the video-EEG telemetry 219 months, to the first consult to neurosurgery 227 months and finally to the epilepsy surgery was 238 months. Conclusions: This study shows that patients with complex epilepsy in Canada are waiting significant time to be properly diagnosed and treated. Our study shows similar waiting times to otehrdeveloped countries suggesting a global problem in the reference of patients to epilepsy programs.
Daytime restricted feeding (2 h of food access from 12.00 to 14.00 hours for 3 weeks) is an experimental protocol that modifies the relationship between metabolic networks and the circadian molecular clock. The precise anatomical locus that controls the biochemical and physiological adaptations to optimise nutrient use is unknown. We explored the changes in liver oxidative lipid handling, such as β-oxidation and its regulation, as well as adaptations in the lipoprotein profile. It was found that daytime restricted feeding promoted an elevation of circulating ketone bodies before mealtime, an altered hepatic daily rhythmicity of 14CO2 production from radioactive palmitic acid, and an up-regulation of the fatty acid oxidation activators, the α-subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the deacetylase silent mating type information regulation homolog 1, and the transcriptional factor PPARγ-1α coactivator. An increased localisation of phosphorylated α-subunit of AMPK in the periportal hepatocytes was also observed. Liver hepatic lipase C, important for lipoprotein transformation, showed a change of daily phase with a peak at the time of food access. In serum, there was an increase of LDL, which was responsible for a net elevation of circulating cholesterol. We conclude that our results indicate an enhanced fasting response in the liver during daily synchronisation to food access, which involves altered metabolic and cellular control of fatty acid oxidation as well a significant elevation of serum LDL. These adaptations could be part of the metabolic input that underlies the expression of the food-entrained oscillator.
Aims were to assess the efficacy of metacognitive training (MCT) in people with a recent onset of psychosis in terms of symptoms as a primary outcome and metacognitive variables as a secondary outcome.
A multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial was performed. A total of 126 patients were randomized to an MCT or a psycho-educational intervention with cognitive-behavioral elements. The sample was composed of people with a recent onset of psychosis, recruited from nine public centers in Spain. The treatment consisted of eight weekly sessions for both groups. Patients were assessed at three time-points: baseline, post-treatment, and at 6 months follow-up. The evaluator was blinded to the condition of the patient. Symptoms were assessed with the PANSS and metacognition was assessed with a battery of questionnaires of cognitive biases and social cognition.
Both MCT and psycho-educational groups had improved symptoms post-treatment and at follow-up, with greater improvements in the MCT group. The MCT group was superior to the psycho-educational group on the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS) total (p = 0.026) and self-certainty (p = 0.035) and dependence self-subscale of irrational beliefs, comparing baseline and post-treatment. Moreover, comparing baseline and follow-up, the MCT group was better than the psycho-educational group in self-reflectiveness on the BCIS (p = 0.047), total BCIS (p = 0.045), and intolerance to frustration (p = 0.014). Jumping to Conclusions (JTC) improved more in the MCT group than the psycho-educational group (p = 0.021). Regarding the comparison within each group, Theory of Mind (ToM), Personalizing Bias, and other subscales of irrational beliefs improved in the MCT group but not the psycho-educational group (p < 0.001–0.032).
MCT could be an effective psychological intervention for people with recent onset of psychosis in order to improve cognitive insight, JTC, and tolerance to frustration. It seems that MCT could be useful to improve symptoms, ToM, and personalizing bias.
Dense, controlled-impedance, superconducting cables with small cross-sections are desirable, especially for quantum computing applications. In this study, superconductivity properties, rf microwave response and mechanical reliability performance of embedded Nb dc cables and Nb microstrip transmission line resonators with different thicknesses of polyimide PI-2611 encapsulation layers (0, 4 and 8 μm) have been investigated. Critical temperature (Tc) and critical current (Ic) of embedded Nb dc cables are ∼ 8.2 K and ∼ 0.2 A, respectively. Embedded Nb resonators yield high loaded quality factor (QL), with values as high as 14481 at ∼ 1.2 K and at a fundamental resonance of ∼ 2 GHz. From mechanical fatigue testing, we have observed that a polyimide encapsulation layer can effectively enhance the mechanical reliability of superconducting Nb flexible cables.
We present results from an ongoing survey of the ionized gas kinematics in Virgo cluster spiral galaxies using Fabry-Perot (FP) interferometry. Our goal is to study the environmental effects on galaxy evolution in the Virgo cluster. We report here on the Hα distribution map and velocity field of NGC 4438, an interacting galaxy near the centre of the cluster.
The δ Scuti stars are pulsating variables located in the lower part of the Cepheid instability strip with spectral types from A2 to F0 on the main sequence, and from A3 to F5 at luminosity class III. These variables show short periods (< 0.3day) and luminosity amplitudes ranging from a few thousandths of a magnitude to several tenths. Over the last few years, significant progress has been made in the detection of pulsating modes in the framework of the multisite campaigns, e.g. STACC (Frandsen et al. 1996), DSN (Breger et al. 1998), STEPHI (Michel et al. 2000). For the 1998 STEPHI IX photometry campaign, the δ Scuti star V534 Tau of the Pleiades cluster (see Table 1) was monitored during a three week, three continent run. Preliminary results are reported here.
Some results of the photometry multi-site observations of two δ Scuti stars, V624 Tau and HD 23194, are presented. The observations were carried out in the framework of a STEPHI network in 1999. We collected 343 hours of useful data and detected seven frequencies in V624 Tau and two frequencies in HD 23194.