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The determinants of quality of life (QoL) in schizophrenia are largely debated, mainly due to methodological discrepancies and divergence about the concepts concerned. As most studies have investigated bi- or tri-variate models, a multivariate model accounting for simultaneous potential mediations is necessary to have a comprehensive view of the determinants of QOL. We sought to estimate the associations between cognitive reserve, cognition, functioning, insight, depression, schizophrenic symptoms, and QoL in schizophrenia and their potential mediation relationships.
We used structural equation modeling with mediation analyses to test a model based on existing literature in a sample of 776 patients with schizophrenia from the FondaMental Foundation FACE-SZ cohort.
Our model showed a good fit to the data. We found better functioning to be positively associated with a better QoL, whereas better cognition, better insight, higher levels of depression, and schizophrenic symptoms were associated with a lower QoL in our sample. Cognitive reserve is not directly linked to QoL, but indirectly in a negative manner via cognition. We confirm the negative relationship between cognition and subjective QoL which was previously evidenced by other studies; moreover, this relationship seems to be robust as it survived in our multivariate model. It was not explained by insight as some suggested, thus the mechanism at stake remains to be explained.
The pathways to subjective QoL in schizophrenia are complex and the determinants largely influence each other. Longitudinal studies are warranted to confirm these cross-sectional findings.
Antarctica's ice shelves modulate the grounded ice flow, and weakening of ice shelves due to climate forcing will decrease their ‘buttressing’ effect, causing a response in the grounded ice. While the processes governing ice-shelf weakening are complex, uncertainties in the response of the grounded ice sheet are also difficult to assess. The Antarctic BUttressing Model Intercomparison Project (ABUMIP) compares ice-sheet model responses to decrease in buttressing by investigating the ‘end-member’ scenario of total and sustained loss of ice shelves. Although unrealistic, this scenario enables gauging the sensitivity of an ensemble of 15 ice-sheet models to a total loss of buttressing, hence exhibiting the full potential of marine ice-sheet instability. All models predict that this scenario leads to multi-metre (1–12 m) sea-level rise over 500 years from present day. West Antarctic ice sheet collapse alone leads to a 1.91–5.08 m sea-level rise due to the marine ice-sheet instability. Mass loss rates are a strong function of the sliding/friction law, with plastic laws cause a further destabilization of the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, East Antarctica. Improvements to marine ice-sheet models have greatly reduced variability between modelled ice-sheet responses to extreme ice-shelf loss, e.g. compared to the SeaRISE assessments.
To investigate whether measurement of plasma levels can predict tolerance to oxcarbazepine (OXC).
We reviewed medical records to identify all inpatients consecutively treated by OXC at the University Department of Psychiatry in Bordeaux. Adverse effects were rated before treatment onset, at day 3, then every week and at discharge or at discontinuation. Residual hydroxy-OXC concentrations were measured on blood samples at the same periods.
OXC was prescribed to 20 patients with bipolar (n = 18) or schizoaffective bipolar-type disorder (n = 2). Reported side effects were transient and occurred mostly at the beginning of the treatment. Three patients stopped OXC because of severe cutaneous side effects. Residual hydroxy-OXC plasma levels were similar in patients with or without occurrence of side effects at all times of assessment.
Our data suggest that the occurrence of severe side-effects is relatively high with OXC. Measurement of plasma OXC levels does not appear to be of interest in clinical practice since plasma concentrations are not predictive of the occurrence of side effects.
Objectives: To evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of psychiatrists and psychiatry residents regarding neurosurgical procedures for treating psychiatric disorders and to identify potential barriers to patient referral. Methods: A survey consisting of 25 questions was created using SurveyMonkey and was distributed to psychiatrists and psychiatry residents in Quebec. The study was approved by the McGill University Health Center’s Research Ethics Board. Descriptive statistics and Friedman’s test were performed using SPSS software. Results: A total of 99 participants, including 64 residents and 35 psychiatrists, completed more than 75% of the survey and were included in data analysis. Overall, participants were significantly (p < 0.0005) more comfortable in referring patients suffering from treatment-resistant obsessive–compulsive disorder than from treatment-resistant major depressive disorder and preferred to refer patients for deep brain stimulation (DBS) rather than for anterior cingulotomy/capsulotomy (AC). Only 11.43% of psychiatrists had ever referred a patient for AC or DBS, and 34.69% of respondents felt that these procedures were dangerous. Lack of knowledge (82.83%) was viewed as the principal limiting factor, and 57.58% of respondents identified ≥6 different barriers to patient referral. The majority of participants (69.39%) were interested in improving their knowledge on psychiatric neurosurgery, and 82.65% felt that this subject should be included in the psychiatry residency curriculum. Conclusion: Overall, participants acknowledged having many limitations to referring patients for neurosurgical interventions. While informative conferences discussing neuromodulation/neuroablation could easily address many barriers, further studies are required to assess how these could change attitudes and patterns of referral.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is underdiagnosed and undertreated in schizophrenia, and has been strongly associated with impaired quality of life.
To determine the prevalence and associated factors of MDD and unremitted MDD in schizophrenia, to compare treated and non-treated MDD.
Participants were included in the FondaMental Expert Centers for Schizophrenia and received a thorough clinical assessment. MDD was defined by a Calgary score ≥6. Non-remitted MDD was defined by current antidepressant treatment (unchanged for >8 weeks) and current Calgary score ≥6.
613 patients were included and 175 (28.5%) were identified with current MDD. MDD has been significantly associated with respectively paranoid delusion (odds ratio 1.8; P = 0.01), avolition (odds ratio 1.8; P = 0.02), blunted affect (odds ratio 1.7; P = 0.04) and benzodiazepine consumption (odds ratio 1.8; P = 0.02). Antidepressants were associated with lower depressive symptoms score (5.4 v. 9.5; P < 0.0001); however, 44.1% of treated patients remained in non-remittance MDD. Nonremitters were found to have more paranoid delusion (odds ratio 2.3; P = 0.009) and more current alcohol misuse disorder (odds ratio 4.8; P = 0.04). No antidepressant class or specific antipsychotic were associated with higher or lower response to antidepressant treatment. MDD was associated with Metabolic syndrome (31.4 v. 20.2%; P = 0.006) but not with increased C-reactive protein.
Antidepressant administration is associated with lower depressive symptom level in patients with schizophrenia and MDD. Paranoid delusions and alcohol misuse disorder should be specifically explored and treated in cases of non-remission under treatment. MetS may play a role in MDD onset and/or maintenance in patients with schizophrenia.
Background: In the past two decades, there has been increasing evidence to suggest that trigeminal neuralgia (TN) may be linked to a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The aim of the present study was to formally test this hypothesis by comparing the reactivity of the ANS to experimental pain in a population of TN patients and healthy controls. Methods: Twelve patients diagnosed with classical TN and 12 healthy controls participated in the study. Cardiac activity was assessed while participants were instructed to rest and again during a cold pressor test (CPT). Heart rate variability analyses were performed off-line to obtain parasympathetic (high-frequency) and sympathetic (low-frequency) indices. Results: At baseline, ANS measures did not differ between healthy controls and TN patients, and both groups showed a similar increase in heart rate during the CPT (all p values >0.05). However, TN patients showed a greater increase in cardiac sympathetic activity and a greater decrease in cardiac parasympathetic activity during CPT compared with healthy controls (all p values <0.05). Importantly, changes in sympathetic reactivity, from baseline to CPT, were negatively associated with the number of pain paroxysms experienced each day by TN patients in the preceding week (r=−.58, p<0.05). Conclusions: These results suggest that TN, like many other short-lasting, unilateral facial pain conditions, is linked to ANS alterations. Future studies are required to determine if the altered ANS response observed in TN patients is a cause or a consequence of TN pain
Knowing the symmetries of a polyhedron can be very useful for the analysis of its structure as well as for practical polyhedral computations. In this note, we study symmetry groups preserving the linear, projective and combinatorial structure of a polyhedron. In each case we give algorithmic methods to compute the corresponding group and discuss some practical experiences. For practical purposes the linear symmetry group is the most important, as its computation can be directly translated into a graph automorphism problem. We indicate how to compute integral subgroups of the linear symmetry group that are used, for instance, in integer linear programming.
Selective laser sintering (SLS) is a rapidly developing additive manufacturing technique, with advantages in flexibility and low material waste. Many parameters used in a SLS process are determined by powder type: blended powders have limitations due to wetting and diffusion, while prealloyed powders require processing in a small temperature range dictated by the alloy composition. As an alternative to these, a coated powder was fabricated by electrochemical means. This tin–copper composite powder was compared with a blend of tin and copper powders, using metallographic, crystallographic, and thermal analysis techniques as well as SLS. It was found that, because of the uniform distribution of liquid and increased contact between phases in the composite powder, sintering took place in the composite powder but not in the blend. After a homogenization treatment, mechanical testing of the sintered samples showed that the strength and ductility were comparable to high-porosity materials produced using other techniques.
The mean weight of a cycle in an edge-weighted graph is the sum of the cycle's edge weights divided by the cycle's length. We study the minimum mean-weight cycle on the complete graph on n vertices, with random i.i.d. edge weights drawn from an exponential distribution with mean 1. We show that the probability of the min mean weight being at most c/n tends to a limiting function of c which is analytic for c ≤ 1/e, discontinuous at c = 1/e, and equal to 1 for c > 1/e. We further show that if the min mean weight is ≤ 1/(en), then the length of the relevant cycle is Θp(1) (i.e., it has a limiting probability distribution which does not scale with n), but that if the min mean weight is > 1/(en), then the relevant cycle almost always has mean weight (1 + o(1))/(en) and length at least (2/π2 − o (1)) log2n log log n.
Ten ice-sheet models are used to study sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to prescribed changes of surface mass balance, sub-ice-shelf melting and basal sliding. Results exhibit a large range in projected contributions to sea-level change. In most cases, the ice volume above flotation lost is linearly dependent on the strength of the forcing. Combinations of forcings can be closely approximated by linearly summing the contributions from single forcing experiments, suggesting that nonlinear feedbacks are modest. Our models indicate that Greenland is more sensitive than Antarctica to likely atmospheric changes in temperature and precipitation, while Antarctica is more sensitive to increased ice-shelf basal melting. An experiment approximating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s RCP8.5 scenario produces additional first-century contributions to sea level of 22.3 and 8.1 cm from Greenland and Antarctica, respectively, with a range among models of 62 and 14 cm, respectively. By 200 years, projections increase to 53.2 and 26.7 cm, respectively, with ranges of 79 and 43 cm. Linear interpolation of the sensitivity results closely approximates these projections, revealing the relative contributions of the individual forcings on the combined volume change and suggesting that total ice-sheet response to complicated forcings over 200 years can be linearized.
Predictions of marine ice-sheet behaviour require models able to simulate grounding-line migration. We present results of an intercomparison experiment for plan-view marine ice-sheet models. Verification is effected by comparison with approximate analytical solutions for flux across the grounding line using simplified geometrical configurations (no lateral variations, no buttressing effects from lateral drag). Perturbation experiments specifying spatial variation in basal sliding parameters permitted the evolution of curved grounding lines, generating buttressing effects. The experiments showed regions of compression and extensional flow across the grounding line, thereby invalidating the boundary layer theory. Steady-state grounding-line positions were found to be dependent on the level of physical model approximation. Resolving grounding lines requires inclusion of membrane stresses, a sufficiently small grid size (<500 m), or subgrid interpolation of the grounding line. The latter still requires nominal grid sizes of <5 km. For larger grid spacings, appropriate parameterizations for ice flux may be imposed at the grounding line, but the short-time transient behaviour is then incorrect and different from models that do not incorporate grounding-line parameterizations. The numerical error associated with predicting grounding-line motion can be reduced significantly below the errors associated with parameter ignorance and uncertainties in future scenarios.
The impact of malignant glioma resection on survival is still a matter of controversy. The lack of well-designed prospective studies as well as control of all factors in retrospective studies plays an important role in this debate. Amongst some of these uncontrolled factors, are the inclusion of different histological grades, the lack of objective methods to estimate the extent of resection and unspecified delays in post-operative imaging.
We retrospectively reviewed 126 consecutive patients with glioblastoma, operated on by the senior authors at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke, who met the following criteria: >18 years of age, newly diagnosed glioblastoma, pre-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within 2 weeks prior to surgery, and a post-operative MRI within 72 hours after surgery. Extent of tumour resection was calculated using pre and post-operative tumour delimitation on gadolinium-enhanced T1 MRI in a volumetric analysis.
Applying stringent specific inclusion criteria, 126 patients were retained in the analysis. The median overall survival was 271 days and the median extent of resection was 65%. Patients with more than 90% of tumour resection had a significantly better outcome, improving median survival from 225 to 519 days (P=0.006). Other factors that significantly improved survival were the use of radiotherapy, the number of regimens and type of chemotherapy used.
A more aggressive approach combining maximal safe resection and use of salvage chemotherapy seems to confer a survival advantage for glioblastoma patients.
L’arbre. Les arbres du genre Carapa (Meliaceae) sont
présents dans toutes les forêts d’Afrique tropicale au niveau de l’équateur, du rift
d’Albertine jusqu’au Sénégal et au Mali pour sa distribution la plus septentrionale. En
Afrique comme en Amérique tropicale, le carapa est une source importante de Produits
Forestiers ligneux (bois) et Non-Ligneux (PFNL). Le fruit et les graines. Le
fruit typique de carapa est une capsule à quatre ou cinq valves qui renferment chacune
deux à cinq graines, soit un total de huit à vingt graines par fruit. L’extraction
de l’huile. Les villageois ramassent les graines tombées au sol avant qu’elles ne
soient parasitées ou germées, ce qui est défavorable à la production d’une huile de
qualité. L’extraction de l’huile se fait par ébouillantage des graines. L’huile extraite,
polyvalente, est la substance issue de la plante qui est la plus utilisée devant les
extraits de feuilles, d’écorce et de racines. Le marché. En Afrique, le
commerce de l’huile de carapa est essentiellement local et reste une activité très
marginale. Une demande accrue émane toutefois de l’utilisation de cette huile comme
insecticide naturel dans la culture du coton biologique. Discussion. Compte
tenu du potentiel économique de l’huile de carapa, sa commercialisation devrait respecter
une rétribution équitable des paysannes afin de mieux rentabiliser la production. Des
mesures de protection des arbres de carapa et de leur habitat doivent également être
prises pour permettre une gestion de la production d’huile à long terme. La plantation
semble être une option durable en vue de la conservation des peuplements naturels de
The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a self-administered questionnaire to measure the health-related quality of life (QOL) of patients with brain cancer. We wanted to assess both core and disease-specific concerns in a single, easy-to-use instrument, thus promoting concision and clinical utility. The questionnaire departs from its predecessors in that it was designed for- and validated among French speaking Canadians.
A focus group of health professionals was used to develop items for the questionnaire, which was later validated with 105 patients suffering from brain cancer. The underlying structure of the questionnaire was investigated using principal component analysis and confirmed using a principal factor analysis.
The final version of the questionnaire contains 30 items. Seven multi-item scales, tapping into distinct dimensions of QOL, were uncovered (i.e., functional well-being, symptom severity/fear of death, social support/acceptance of disease, autonomy in personal care, digestive symptomatology, neurocognitive function, and pain). Assessment of reliability revealed elevated internal consistency for each of the seven scales (Cronbach coefficient alpha ≥≥.65), whereas known-groups validity (anchor-based approach) revealed that the different dimensions uniquely discriminated between patients with different functional levels (Karnofsky Performance Scores) and clinical status (exposure to neurosurgery, radiotherapy, and use of chemotherapy and anticonvulsants).
Our QOL questionnaire, the Sherbrooke Neuro-Oncology Assessment Scale, or SNAS, taps into both core and disease-specific issues relevant to neuro-oncology patients. It has good validity and reliability, and clearly reflects the multidimensional nature of QOL. Depending on the research focus, it may be used in clinical trials to track the impact of disease and/or treatment on satisfaction, functional status, and general well-being.