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Neurocognitive disorders are the only psychiatric disorders which underlying pathogeny can potentially be determined. This has important implications, for it makes possible the use of biomarkers in order to gain better diagnosis, and opens a door to more accurate treatments. Nonetheless, as biomarkers are not exclusive of a single disorder, the lengths of its utility are still unknown.
Objectives and aims
To understand the values and limitations of biomarkers in differential diagnosis of dementias.
We present three cases followed in the Neurology ward of our hospital, in which they were admitted for diagnosis and treatment of a subacute form of dementia. Medical history, core symptoms, screening tests for cognitive impairment, MRI, EEG and biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid were used for diagnosis.
Two cases had consistent clinical features and complementary explorations, and they were respectively diagnosed as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Lewy Body Dementia; however, the last case showed contradictory results between clinic and complementary explorations, particularly 14-3-3 protein, which was positive and led to the initial diagnosis as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which was proven wrong once necropsy was practiced.
Although complementary explorations, and biomarkers in particular, are of invaluable utility in the accurate diagnosis of multiple psychiatric diseases, they must always be considered within a context given by biography and clinical features, because, when failing to do so, they can lead to misdiagnosis and delay of correct treatment.
The application of clay minerals in therapeutics is becoming important due to their structural and surface physicochemical properties. 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is a very common pharmaceutical drug and is used worldwide. The interactions between the 5-ASA molecule and both the aluminol and siloxane surfaces of kaolinite are studied by means of atomistic calculations using force fields based on empirical interatomic potentials and quantum mechanics calculations based on density functional theory. A conformational analysis of 5-ASA has been performed and the anion of 5-ASA was also studied. The calculated adsorption energy values indicate that 5-ASA is likely to be adsorbed on the kaolinite surfaces with greater affinity to the aluminol surface. Hence, kaolinite may be considered as a promising pharmaceutical carrier of 5-ASA.
Due to their excellent properties, aerogel has attracted the attention of the scientific community to use it in the biomedical area as a drug delivery system. This work reports on the synthesis and characterization of ZrO2 aerogels and cryogels obtained by the sol-gel method. The influence of different cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and the type of drying on structural, morphological and texture properties of ZrO2 aerogels and cryogels was investigated. SEM images reveal that a porous interconnected three-dimensional network was formed into aerogels due to supercritical drying. Zirconia aerogel sample has a specific surface area (SBET) larger than zirconia cryogels. Therefore, our results indicate that zirconia aerogel is an adequate material for applications in drug delivery systems.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
This work explores the combination of µ-Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) for the study of the glazes in 15th–16th century Hispano-Moresque architectural tiles. These are high lead glazes that can be tin-opacified or transparent, and present five colors: tin-white, cobalt-blue, copper-green, iron-amber, and manganese-brown. They are generally homogenous and mineral inclusions are mostly concentrated in the glaze-ceramic interface. Through SEM-EDS, these inclusions were observed and chemically analyzed, whereas µ-Raman allowed their identification on a molecular level. K-feldspars, wollastonite and diopside were the most common compounds, as well as cassiterite agglomerates that render the glaze opaque. Malayaite was identified in green glazes, and andradite and magnesioferrite in amber glazes. Co–Ni–ferrites were identified in blue glazes, as well as Ni–Fe–olivines. Manganese-brown is the color where most compounds were identified: bustamite, jacobsite, hausmannite, braunite, and kentrolite. Through the µ-Raman analysis of different areas in large inclusions previously observed by SEM, it was possible to identify intermediate phases that illustrate the reaction process that occurs between the color-conferring compounds and the surrounding lead glaze. Furthermore, the obtained results allowed inference of the raw materials and firing temperatures used on the manufacture of these tiles.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
The mid-infrared range contains many spectral features associated with large molecules and dust grains such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and silicates. These are usually very strong compared to fine-structure gas lines, and thus valuable in studying the spectral properties of faint distant galaxies. In this paper, we evaluate the capability of low-resolution mid-infrared spectroscopic surveys of galaxies that could be performed by SPICA. The surveys are designed to address the question how star formation and black hole accretion activities evolved over cosmic time through spectral diagnostics of the physical conditions of the interstellar/circumnuclear media in galaxies. On the basis of results obtained with Herschel far-infrared photometric surveys of distant galaxies and Spitzer and AKARI near- to mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of nearby galaxies, we estimate the numbers of the galaxies at redshift z > 0.5, which are expected to be detected in the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon features or dust continuum by a wide (10 deg2) or deep (1 deg2) blind survey, both for a given observation time of 600 h. As by-products of the wide blind survey, we also expect to detect debris disks, through the mid-infrared excess above the photospheric emission of nearby main-sequence stars, and we estimate their number. We demonstrate that the SPICA mid-infrared surveys will efficiently provide us with unprecedentedly large spectral samples, which can be studied further in the far-infrared with SPICA.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.
The physical processes driving the chemical evolution of galaxies in the last ~ 11Gyr cannot be understood without directly probing the dust-obscured phase of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This phase, hidden to optical tracers, represents the bulk of the star formation and black hole accretion activity in galaxies at 1 < z < 3. Spectroscopic observations with a cryogenic infrared observatory like SPICA, will be sensitive enough to peer through the dust-obscured regions of galaxies and access the rest-frame mid- to far-infrared range in galaxies at high-z. This wavelength range contains a unique suite of spectral lines and dust features that serve as proxies for the abundances of heavy elements and the dust composition, providing tracers with a feeble response to both extinction and temperature. In this work, we investigate how SPICA observations could be exploited to understand key aspects in the chemical evolution of galaxies: the assembly of nearby galaxies based on the spatial distribution of heavy element abundances, the global content of metals in galaxies reaching the knee of the luminosity function up to z ~ 3, and the dust composition of galaxies at high-z. Possible synergies with facilities available in the late 2020s are also discussed.
A far-infrared observatory such as the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, with its unprecedented spectroscopic sensitivity, would unveil the role of feedback in galaxy evolution during the last ~10 Gyr of the Universe (z = 1.5–2), through the use of far- and mid-infrared molecular and ionic fine structure lines that trace outflowing and infalling gas. Outflowing gas is identified in the far-infrared through P-Cygni line shapes and absorption blueshifted wings in molecular lines with high dipolar moments, and through emission line wings of fine-structure lines of ionised gas. We quantify the detectability of galaxy-scale massive molecular and ionised outflows as a function of redshift in AGN-dominated, starburst-dominated, and main-sequence galaxies, explore the detectability of metal-rich inflows in the local Universe, and describe the most significant synergies with other current and future observatories that will measure feedback in galaxies via complementary tracers at other wavelengths.
This study aims to analyze implicit and explicit memory performance as a function of cognitive reserve (CR) in a healthy control group (N = 39) and a mild cognitive impairment (MCI) group (N = 37). Both groups were subdivided into high and low cognitive reserve, and were asked to complete an explicit and implicit associative recognition tasks. The results showed that the control group was able to learn both tasks (η2 = .19, p < .0001), and the high CR group fared better (η2 = .06, p < .05). The MCI sample, conversely, was unable to learn the implicit relationship, and showed very little learning on the explicit association task. Participants diagnosed with MCI showed little plasticity in learning associations regardless of CR (η2 = .12, p < .01).
Previous research suggests that social comparisons affect decision making under uncertainty. However, the role of the length of the social interaction for this relationship remains unknown. This experiment tests the effect of social comparisons on financial risk taking and how this effect is modulated by whether social encounters are sporadic or repeated. Participants carried out a computer task consisting of a series of binary choices between lotteries of varying profitability and risk, with real monetary stakes. After each decision, participants could compare their own payoff to that of a counterpart who made the same decision at the same time and whose choices/earnings did not affect the participants’ earnings. The design comprised three between-subjects treatments which differed in the nature of the social interaction: participants were informed that they would be matched with either (a) a different participant in each trial, (b) the same participant across all trials, or (c) a “virtual participant”, i.e., a computer algorithm. Compared to the non-social condition (c), subjects in both social conditions (a and b) chose lotteries with lower expected value (z = –3.10, p < .01) and higher outcome variance (z = 2.13, p = .03). However, no differences were found between the two social conditions (z = 1.15, p = .25 and z = 0.35, p = .73, respectively). These results indicate that social comparison information per se leads to poorer and riskier financial decisions, irrespective of whether or not the referent other is encountered repeatedly.
The present study determined the mineralogy and thermal properties of kaolin from Acoculco (Puebla), at the eastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and compared it with the nearby deposits of Agua Blanca (Hidalgo) and Huayacocotla (Veracruz). The mineralogy of the kaolins was determined by X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Thermal behaviour was studied by differential thermal analysis, dilatometry and hot-stage microscopy. The Acoculco deposit is composed mainly of kaolinite and SiO2 minerals. In the case of Agua Blanca and Huayacocotla, alunite is abundant in places and minor anatase is also present locally. The Acoculco kaolins are Fe-poor and relatively rich in some potentially toxic elements (Zr, Sb, Pb). They undergo a relatively small amount of shrinkage (∼3–4 vol.%), during firing at 20–1300°C and cooling down to 20°C, except when >10 wt.% alunite is present. These kaolins are a suitable raw material for the ceramics industry. Other applications (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics) would require an enrichment process to eliminate impurities such as Fe oxides.