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To Investigate the peripheral inflammatory profile in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from three subgroups – probable Lewy body disease (probable MCI-LB), possible Lewy body disease, and probable Alzheimer’s disease (probable MCI-AD) – as well as associations with clinical features.
Memory clinics and dementia services.
Patients were classified based on clinical symptoms as probable MCI-LB (n = 38), possible MCI-LB (n = 18), and probable MCI-AD (n = 21). Healthy comparison subjects were recruited (n = 20).
Ten cytokines were analyzed from plasma samples: interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. C-reactive protein levels were investigated.
There was a higher level of IL-10, IL-1beta, IL-2, and IL-4 in MCI groups compared to the healthy comparison group (p < 0.0085). In exploratory analyses to understand these findings, the MC-AD group lower IL-1beta (p = 0.04), IL-2 (p = 0.009), and IL-4 (p = 0.012) were associated with increasing duration of memory symptoms, and in the probable MCI-LB group, lower levels of IL-1beta were associated with worsening motor severity (p = 0.002). In the possible MCI-LB, longer duration of memory symptoms was associated with lower levels of IL-1beta (p = 0.003) and IL-4 (p = 0.026).
There is increased peripheral inflammation in patients with MCI compared to healthy comparison subjects regardless of the MCI subtype. These possible associations with clinical features are consistent with other work showing that inflammation is increased in early disease but require replication. Such findings have importance for timing of putative therapeutic strategies aimed at lowering inflammation.
Composites from carbon nanotubes and polymers have been synthesized and studied. The composites were obtained joining carbon nanotubes with polymethyl methacrylate, nylon-6 and polystyrene. The materials were observed through scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the carbon nanotubes dispersion in the polymeric matrices. FTIR and Raman spectroscopies were used to analyze the interactions among functionalized and non-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes and polymers, demonstrating affinity and peculiar spectra behaviors for each composite with different carbon nanotubes loads.
PA6 and PMMA polymers with different MWCNTs addition (5, 7 and 9 wt %) were synthetized through casting solution, resulting in improvement properties in contrast to pristine polymers. SEM images showed the MWCNTs embedded into polymeric matrices. D, G and G´ bands of MWCNTs were confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and functional groups observed in both nanocomposites by FTIR demonstrated a strong interaction. A significant increasing in electrical conductivity and microhardness was observed in all the nanocomposites. Major microhardness values were obtained in MWCNTs/PA6 (50 HV) however the MWCNTs/PMMA nanocomposites showed the highest electrical conductivity value (6.4×10-4 S/cm).
Although resilience varies depending on the specific type of adverse situation faced by the individual, to date resilience questionnaires do not consider its situational character. This study aims to develop and validate the Situated Subjective Resilience Questionnaire for Adults (SSRQA), which assesses resilience in five different adverse contexts. A total of 584 Spanish adults (including general population and clinical samples individuals) completed the SSRQA and other measures of resilience, optimism, and self-efficacy. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the SSRQA structure fitted the situational model better (χ2/df = 1.90; CFI = .96; TLI = .95; RMSEA = .07) than the non-situational version (χ2/df = 4.99; CFI = .79; TLI = .76; RMSEA = .15). The SSRQA was shown to be reliable (α = .90) and to be significantly and positively correlated with other resilience measures (p < .001) and, to a lower degree, with optimism and self-efficacy (p < .001). Degree of exposure to each adverse situation was negatively correlated with resilience in the face of that situation (p < .05), supporting a vulnerability to stress model. The SSRQA has been demonstrated to be a reliable and valid situated measure for resilience towards different adverse contexts.
To compare the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and mortality of patients with bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) versus ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) and to examine the differences in clinical characteristics and outcome between BSIs caused by isolates with CTX-M versus other ESBL genotypes
As part of the INCREMENT project, 33 tertiary hospitals in 12 countries retrospectively collected data on adult patients diagnosed with ESBL-EC BSI or ESBL-KP BSI between 2004 and 2013. Risk factors for ESBL-EC versus ESBL-KP BSI and for 30-day mortality were examined by bivariate analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression.
The study included 909 patients: 687 with ESBL-EC BSI and 222 with ESBL-KP BSI. ESBL genotype by polymerase chain reaction amplification of 286 isolates was available. ESBL-KP BSI was associated with intensive care unit admission, cardiovascular and neurological comorbidities, length of stay to bacteremia >14 days from admission, and a nonurinary source. Overall, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with ESBL-KP BSI than ESBL-EC BSI (33.7% vs 17.4%; odds ratio, 1.64; P=.016). CTX-M was the most prevalent ESBL subtype identified (218 of 286 polymerase chain reaction-tested isolates, 76%). No differences in clinical characteristics or in mortality between CTX-M and non–CTX-M ESBLs were detected.
Clinical characteristics and risk of mortality differ significantly between ESBL-EC and ESBL-KP BSI. Therefore, all ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae should not be considered a homogeneous group. No differences in outcomes between genotypes were detected.
The aim of this research is to ameliorate the dispersion of pristine and functionalized Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) into polystyrene with hydroxyl end groups (PSOH) matrices using low magnetic fields. The Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) were synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using benzene as carbon source; to produce CNTs with and without functional groups two catalysts were used (stainless steel and ferrocene). The obtained nanotubes contained iron nanoparticles inside. PSOH were synthesized using styrene as monomer, azobisisobutyronitrile as initiator and 2-MeOH as chain transfer agent. The MWCNTs-PSOH matrices were formed using 1.6 wt % of carbon nanotubes into PSOH and ultrasonic mixing for 30 min. The mixing materials were poured into containers and dry at room temperature. While the material was drying, constant magnetic fields of 0.24 T were being applied for 50 min. The MWCNTs-PSOH composites were analysed by SEM, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. SEM micrographs showed that MWCNTs without functional groups were incorporated in the middle of PSOH. The MWCNTs functionalized perform differently; a better dispersion through the entire polymer matrix was achieved, because the polymer embedded the CNTs. FTIR and Raman spectroscopy showed chemical interaction between PSOH and MWCNTs functionalized. The CNTs dispersion into PSOH was ameliorated through the use of low magnetic fields and functionalization.
In the current socioeconomic situation, the need to improve employability of potential workers is especially relevant. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention program focusing on improving employability of university students. To do this, a two-group study was designed: one group undertook the intervention program and the other group were used for comparison. Two measurements were taken at different times (pre-intervention and post-intervention). The sample consisted of 271 university students. The results show that the group that underwent the intervention program improved their perceived employability F(1, 269) = 17.49, p < .001; η2 = .06, openness to learning F(1, 269) = 4.24, p < .05; η2 = .02, self-efficacy for labor market insertion F(1, 269) = 75.70, p < .001; η2 = .22 and for teamwork F(1, 269) = 39.43, p < .001; η2 = .13, and their knowledge of employment resources F(1, 269) = 512.89, p < .001; η2 = .66 compared to the group that did not. Furthermore, there was a high level of satisfaction of participants with the intervention program.
Only one prospective study has analysed the relationship between the inflammatory properties of diet and risk of depression thus far. The aim of this study was to assess the association between the dietary inflammatory index (DII) and the incidence of depression. In a cohort study of 15 093 university graduates, participants completed a validated FFQ at baseline and after 10 years of follow-up. The DII was calculated based on the FFQ. Each of the twenty-eight nutrients or foods received a score based on findings from the peer-reviewed literature reporting on the relationships between diet and inflammatory biomarkers (IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α and C-reactive protein). Participants were classified as having depression if they reported a new clinical diagnosis of depression by a physician, antidepressant drugs, or both. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) of depression according to quintiles of the DII. After a median 8·5 years of follow-up, we observed 1051 incident cases of depression. The HR for participants in the highest quintile of DII (strongly pro-inflammatory) was 1·47 (95 % CI 1·17, 1·85) compared with those in the bottom quintile, with a significant dose–response relationship (Ptrend=0·01). In the subgroup analyses, the association between DII and depression was stronger among participants >55 years and among those with cardiometabolic comorbidities (HR 2·70; 95 % CI 1·22, 5·97 and HR 1·80; 95 % CI 1·27, 2·57, respectively). A pro-inflammatory diet was associated with a significantly higher risk of depression in a Mediterranean population. This association was stronger among older subjects and subjects with cardiometabolic diseases.
The question of whether heated fats in the diet may be detrimental to health is nowadays of the upmost concern, but finding an answer is not easy and requires careful consideration of different aspects of lipid oxidation. This review is divided into two sections. The first part deals with the nature of the new compounds formed at high temperature in the frying process as well as their occurrence in the diet while the second part focuses on their possible nutritional and physiological effects. Oxidation products present in abused frying fats and oils are the compounds most suspected of impairing the nutritional properties of the oils or involving adverse physiological effects. The recent studies on their health implications include those related to their fate and those focused on their effects in metabolic pathways and the most prevalent diseases.
This study evaluated the perceptual priming in fourth grade primary school children using a word-fragment completion task. The children were classified into two categories according to their reading speed: high and low. Using several sub-scales of the WISC-IV, their working memory was measured, and their total IQ was estimated, in order to control for their effects on priming. The statistical analyses showed that children with high reading speed were significantly better at word-fragment completion and showed greater priming (p < .01); in other words, the prior processing of the words from which the fragments came produced a greater benefit in the performance of the word-fragment completion task. A regression model was developed to explain reading speed based on the following variables: perceptual priming, working memory and percentage of completed fragments belonging to words not previously processed (adjusted R2 = 0.64).
The challenge of devising a set of biomarkers capable of measuring the ageing rate in human subjects was articulated long ago. In recent years, progress in the basic biology of ageing suggests the realistic possibility of preventive or restaurative interventions that may extend healthy lifespan in mammals including human subjects. Specifically, frailty is being increasingly recognised as a clinically relevant syndrome that may be therapeutically addressed. This greatly enhances the need for sensitive and specific biomarkers of healthy ageing that are validated in both experimental animals and, importantly, in human subjects over the whole age range. Here, we will discuss the present challenges and requirements for biomarker validation in human subjects. We propose the central requirements for a validated biomarker of healthy ageing as: (i) better predictive power than chronological age for multiple dimensions of ageing; (ii) identification of the age range in which the marker is informative; (iii) establishment of sensitivity/specificity as indicators of its predictive power at the level of the individual; (iv) minimisation of methodological variation between laboratories.
Many experiments were carried out in order to evaluate the survival capacity of extremotolerant lichens when facing harsh conditions, including those of outer space or of simulated Martian environment. For further progress, a deeper study on the physiological mechanisms is needed that confer the unexpected levels of resistance detected on these symbiotic organisms. In this work, the response of the lichenized green algae Trebouxia sp. (a predominant lichen photobiont) to increasing doses of UV-C radiation is studied. UV-C (one of the most lethal factors to be found in space together with vacuum and cosmic-ionizing radiation with high atomic number and energy (HZE) particles) has been applied in the present experiments up to a maximum dose analogue to 67 days in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). For that purpose we selected two extremotolerant and space-tested lichen species in which Trebouxia sp. is the photosynthetic partner: the crustose lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum and the fruticose lichen Circinaria gyrosa. In order to evaluate the effect of the physiological state of the lichen thallus (active when wet and dormant when dry) and of protective structures (cortex and photoprotective pigments) on the resistance of the photobiont to UV-C, four different experimental conditions were tested: (1) dry intact samples, (2) wet intact samples, (3) dry samples without cortex/acetone-rinsed and (4) wet samples without cortex/acetone-rinsed. After irradiation and a 72 hours period of recovery, the influence of UV-C on the two lichen's photobiont under each experimental approach was assessed by two complimentary methods: (1) By determining the photosystem II (PSII) activity in three successive 24 hours intervals (Mini-PAM fluorometer) to investigate the overall state of the photosynthetic process and the resilience of Trebouxia sp. (2) By performing high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-quantification of four essential photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, β-carotene and lutein) of one sample of each species and dose. Results indicate that the physiological state of the thallus is the most important factor impairing the tolerance of Trebouxia sp. to UV-C radiation in both lichen species. Desiccated thalli were demonstrated to be more resistant to UV-C. No clear influence of UV-C radiation on the carotenoid content was detected. Comparing the respective doses applied, the individuals of R. geographicum are more sensitive than C. gyrosa.
Efficient charge transport is key to the operation of the various devices based on organic semiconductors, such as OLEDs, OPVs and OFETs. Both academia and industry are investing heavily in the development of new organic materials and processing techniques to improve device performance. An important parameter to tweak is the mobility of charge carriers. Triggered by an experimental result, here we investigate whether this parameter can be probed indirectly using UV-VIS spectroscopy. This would simplify the process of characterization and optimization of the mobility in amorphous molecular films, for example.
The objective of this study is to develop and validate a scale of subjective resilience for students 12–17 years old. Items covered adverse situations due to parents’, peers’ and teachers’ actions. The validation process included the analysis on the generalizability of the factor structure and of relationships of resilience scores with different kinds of protective and vulnerability factors -goal orientations and learning-oriented classroom motivational climate (CMC)-. A total of 471 students answered four questionnaires. Confirmatory factor analyses, reliability analysis and correlation and regression analyses were carried out. Results showed: (a) that factor structure was well defined; (b) that resilience scale had good reliability; (c) that scores correlated as expected with protective-vulnerability factors such as goal orientations and CMC defined by teachers’ teaching-patterns, and (d) that students’ attribution of perceived change in resilience to teachers’ work depended on the degree in which CMC was learning oriented. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
In this research we have introduced a new test (H-test) for analyzing scale invariance in between group designs, and considering uncertainty in individual responses, in order to study the adequacy of disparate rating and visual scales for measuring abstract concepts. The H-test is easy to compute and, as a nonparametric test, does not require any a priori distribution of the data nor conditions on the variances of the distributions to be tested. We apply this test to measure perceived service quality of consumers of a sports services. Results show that, without considering uncertainty, the 1-7 scale is invariant, in line with the related works regarding this topic. However, de 1-5 scale and the 1-7 scale are invariant when adding uncertainty to the analysis. Therefore, adding uncertainty importantly change the conclusions regarding invariance analysis. Both types of visual scales are not invariant in the uncertainty scenario. Implications for the use of rating scales are discussed.
In Amazonian fisheries, the silver arowana, Osteoglossum
bicirrhosum (Cuvier 1829) is heavily exploited for human
consumption as an adult, and for the aquarium trade as a small juvenile
(yolk sac juvenile mainly). The periodicity of annuli formation
on otoliths and growth variability of the silver arowana were studied in
different river river-basins of the Peruvian Amazon between 2006
and 2009. Transverse stained sections of 606 individual otoliths
were analysed from four different river-basins, the Amazonas, Ucayali,
Napo and Putumayo, of which 554 could be interpreted. These belonged
to 274 females ranging from 15 to 91 cm (standard length) and 280
males ranging from 30 to 91 cm. In addition, yolk sac juveniles
of known age were collected to improve growth modelling. Monthly
proportions of stained otolith edges validated the formation of
a single annulus per year in two different river-basins with lagged
hydrological cycles: the Amazonas-Ucayali and the Putumayo. Stained
growth mark counts resulted in a longevity estimate of at least
16 years for the silver arowana in the Peruvian Amazon. This fish
grew quickly during the first two years, and asymptotic growth was
reached after four to five years, except in the Putumayo where it
was reached slightly earlier. Results showed no significant growth
dimorphism between sexes within basins, but indicated significant
growth differences among river basins. Silver arowanas measured,
on average, between 38 and 40 cm at the end of their first year.
Length-at-age differences among river basins increased with age
to reach over 14 cm (and >3 kg) after 7 years between the faster
and slower growing populations (Amazonas and Putumayo, respectively).
The growth differences observed emphasize the need for further investigation
on the population structure of this species as, although these differences
might merely be phenotypic responses to contrasted environmental
conditions, they could alternatively reflect the existence of several
populations with distinct genetic and life history characteristics.
The consequences of such differences would be very important for
the management and conservation of this fragile and extensively
To review the evidence on the association between fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption and risk of chronic disease, and to assess trends in the prevalence of low F&V consumption.
Systematic review and cross-sectional analyses of a Mediterranean cohort.
The Seguimiento University of Navarra (SUN) project (Spanish dynamic cohort of graduates).
A systematic review of prospective studies aimed to assess the relationship between fruit and/or vegetables consumption and chronic disease incidence was conducted. We also assessed 18 457 university graduates (59·4 % women; mean age = 39 (sd 12) years) enrolled in a dynamic cohort with permanently open recruitment. Baseline data were collected between 1999 and 2010 using a validated 136-item FFQ. Four definitions for low F&V consumption were used (<400 g/d, <200 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) per d, ≤2 servings/d and ≤1 serving/d). Multivariate-adjusted cross-sectional associations between the prevalence of low F&V consumption and the year of recruitment were estimated.
The systematic review found that a high F&V consumption is inversely associated with CVD incidence and mortality. This association is not so clear for cancer. Inconsistent findings have been reported for diabetes. In all, 13 % of participants in the SUN cohort did not meet the goal of consuming at least 400 g/d of F&V and 2·1 % of them did not reach >1 serving/d. Between 1999 and 2010 the consumption of F&V significantly increased.
Even among health-conscious university graduates, low F&V consumption is fairly prevalent. Although the temporal trends suggest an improvement, preventive strategies addressed to increase F&V consumption are needed.
The aim of this paper was to develop an instrument to assess levels of stress experienced by Latin-American immigrants in their acculturative process in Spain. A sample of 692 immigrants from Latin America, aged 20 to 63 years, took part on this study (54.9% males and 45.1% females). A 24-item questionnaire with high reliability (.92) was elaborated. Six factors related to acculturative stress were found: 1) discrimination and rejection; 2) differences with the out-group (native Spaniards); 3) citizenship problems and legality; 4) problems concerning social relationships with other immigrants; 5) nostalgia and longing; and 6) family break-up. Our findings show that participants have a high level of stress related to nostalgia and longing, family break-up, and the perception of discrimination and rejection by natives. The usefulness of the instrument and its applications and restrictions are discussed.
To evaluate the reproducibility of a semi-quantitative FFQ used in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) project.
The data that were analysed were collected from an FFQ answered twice by a 326-participant subsample of the SUN project (115 men, 35·3 %; 211 women, 64·7 %), with either less than 1 year or more than 1 year between responses. The questionnaire included 136 items. Pearson correlation coefficients (r) were calculated to evaluate the magnitude of the association between both measures after energy adjustment and correcting for within-person variability. We also evaluated misclassification by quintiles distribution.
The highest corrected correlations among participants who answered before 1 year were found for PUFA (r = 0·99). Among participants who answered after 1 year between both questionnaires, olive oil had the highest corrected correlation (r = 0·99). The highest percentage of gross misclassification, lowest quintile in FFQ1 and highest quintile in FFQ2 or highest quintile in FFQ1 and lowest quintile in FFQ2 was for cereals, fish or seafood, and n-3 fatty acids (7·6 %). Alcoholic drinks had the highest percentage of reasonable classification, same or adjacent quintile, in FFQ1 and FFQ2 (86·4 %).
Our study suggests that FFQ reproducibility is acceptable for participants who answered the same questionnaire twice less than 1 year apart. Participants who answered FFQ more than 1 year apart showed worse values on reproducibility. We consider this Spanish FFQ as an important, valid and reproducible tool in nutritional epidemiology.