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The co-infection between visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased in several countries in the world. The current serological tests are not suitable since they present low sensitivity to detect the most of VL/HIV cases, and a more precise diagnosis should be performed. In this context, in the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed using Leishmania infantum antigenic extracts and VL, HIV and VL/HIV patients sera, besides healthy subjects samples; aiming to identify antigenic markers for these clinical conditions. Results showed that 43 spots were recognized by antibodies in VL and VL/HIV sera, and 26 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Between them, β-tubulin was expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments as a proof of concept for validation of our immunoproteomics findings and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values to detect VL and VL/HIV patients. In conclusion, the identified proteins in the present work could be considered as candidates for future studies aiming to improvement of the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV co-infection.
The objectives of this study were to obtain patient evaluations of the content, structure, and delivery modality of Meaning-Centered Pain Coping Skills Training (MCPC), a novel psychosocial intervention for patients with advanced cancer and pain. MCPC aims to help patients connect with valued sources of meaning in their lives (e.g., family relationships), while providing training in evidence-based cognitive and behavioral skills (e.g., guided imagery) to reduce pain.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 patients with stage IV solid tumor cancers and persistent pain. Transcripts were analyzed using methods from applied thematic analysis.
When evaluating MCPC's educational information and skills training descriptions, participants described ways in which this content resonated with their experience. Many coped with their pain and poor prognosis by relying on frameworks that provided them with a sense of meaning, often involving their personally held religious or spiritual beliefs. They also expressed a need for learning ways to cope with pain in addition to taking medication. A few participants offered helpful suggestions for refining MCPC's content, such as addressing common co-occurring symptoms of sleep disturbance and fatigue. Concerning MCPC's structure and delivery modality, most participants preferred that sessions include their family caregiver and described remote delivery (i.e., telephone or videoconference) as being more feasible than attending in-person sessions.
Significance of results
Participants were interested in an intervention that concurrently focuses on learning pain coping skills and enhancing a sense of meaning. Using remote delivery modalities may reduce access barriers (e.g., travel) that would otherwise prevent many patients from utilizing psychosocial services.
The rumen contains a great diversity of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms that allow the ruminant to utilize ligno-cellulose material and to convert non-protein nitrogen into microbial protein to obtain energy and amino acids. However, rumen fermentation also has potential deleterious consequences associated with the emissions of greenhouse gases, excessive nitrogen excreted in manure and may also adversely influence the nutritional value of ruminant products. While several strategies for optimizing the energy and nitrogen use by ruminants have been suggested, a better understanding of the key microorganisms involved and their activities is essential to manipulate rumen processes successfully. Diet is the most obvious factor influencing the rumen microbiome and fermentation. Among dietary interventions, the ban of antimicrobial growth promoters in animal production systems has led to an increasing interest in the use of plant extracts to manipulate the rumen. Plant extracts (e.g. saponins, polyphenol compounds, essential oils) have shown potential to decrease methane emissions and improve the efficiency of nitrogen utilization; however, there are limitations such as inconsistency, transient and adverse effects for their use as feed additives for ruminants. It has been proved that the host animal may also influence the rumen microbial population both as a heritable trait and through the effect of early-life nutrition on microbial population structure and function in adult ruminants. Recent developments have allowed phylogenetic information to be upscaled to metabolic information; however, research effort on cultivation of microorganisms for an in-depth study and characterization is needed. The introduction and integration of metagenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques is offering the greatest potential of reaching a truly systems-level understanding of the rumen; studies have been focused on the prokaryotic population and a broader approach needs to be considered.
Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can sometimes cause severe symptoms and lead to hospitalisation, but they often go unnoticed in the Emergency Department (ED). The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to describe the profile of patients hospitalised by TBDs; and (ii) to evaluate the data collected in the medical records from the ED in order to analyse their potential clinical consequences. A total of 84 cases that included all TBD diagnoses registered in the ED records were identified and analysed. These corresponded to all the hospitalisations by TBDs in the last 10 years (2009–2019) in two tertiary hospitals in Granada, Spain. Statistical analyses were made using RStudio. Coinciding with the absence of patient's report of exposure to ticks, 64.3% of TBDs were not suspected in the ED. Intensive care unit admission was required in 8.3% of cases, and the mortality rate was 2.4%. Non-suspected cases showed longer hospital stay (P < 0.001), treatment duration (P = 0.02) and delay in the initiation of antibiotic treatment (P < 0.001). Our findings indicate that symptoms associated with TBDs are highly non-specific. In the absence of explicit information related to potential tick exposure, TBDs are not initially suspected. As a consequence, elective treatment administration is delayed and hospitalisation time is prolonged. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of addressing potential exposure to ticks during the ED contact with patients presenting with febrile syndrome.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
Frailty is associated with cognitive decline in older adults. However, the mechanisms explaining this relationship are poorly understood. We hypothesized that sleep quality may mediate the relationship between frailty and cognition.
154 participants aged between 50-90 years (mean = 69.1 years, SD = 9.2 years) from the McKnight Brain Registry were included.
Participants underwent a full neuropsychological evaluation, frailty and subjective sleep quality assessments. Direct relationships between frailty and cognitive function were assessed using linear regression models. Statistical mediation of these relationships by sleep quality was assessed using nonparametric bootstrapping procedures.
Frailty severity predicted weaker executive function (B = −2.77, β = −0.30, 95% CI = −4.05 – −1.29) and processing speed (B = −1.57, β = −0.17, 95% CI = −3.10 – −0.16). Poor sleep quality predicted poorer executive function (B = −0.47, β = −0.21, 95% CI = −0.79 – −0.08), processing speed (B = −0.64, β = −0.28, 95% CI = −0.98 – −0.31), learning (B = −0.42, β = −0.19, 95% CI = −0.76 – −0.05) and delayed recall (B = −0.41, β = −0.16, 95% CI = −0.80 – −0.31). Poor sleep quality mediated the relationships between frailty severity and executive function (B = −0.66, β = −0.07, 95% CI = −1.48 – −0.39), learning (B = −0.85, β = −0.07, 95% CI = −1.85 – −0.12), delayed recall (B = −0.47, β = −0.08, 95% CI = −2.12 – −0.39) and processing speed (B = −0.90, β = −0.09, 95% CI = −1.85 – −0.20).
Relationships between frailty severity and several cognitive outcomes were significantly mediated by poor sleep quality. Interventions to improve sleep quality may be promising avenues to prevent cognitive decline in frail older adults.
The present work is aimed to study a comparison among synthesized graphene films, deposited on copper substrates and commercial graphene films; both decorated with Eu2O3 particles, with the purpose of promoting photoluminescence. The decoration procedure was achieved using the radio frequency sputtering (R.F. Sputtering) technique for the deposition of Eu2O3 on synthesized or commercial graphene films. The SEM obtained images, show differences in morphology when commercial and synthesized graphene films are compared. Our results indicate that the type of surface is the main factor that accounts for the europium oxide spatial distribution that ultimately leads to luminescence enhancing. The x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses, showed the trivalent oxidation state of europium and the atomic content of Europium for both; the commercial graphene film and synthesized one, where the first one presented the higher europium concentration. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy reveals that graphene films become disordered after the decoration is achieved. The main Raman bands of the commercial graphene films undergo a remarkable red shift, as a consequence of the presence of europium oxide It was observed that the interaction of Eu2O3 with the sp2 levels of graphene, improves the red photoluminescence of the samples grown on both, commercial and prepared graphene films.
The present work describes a simple method to produce zinc oxide nanoparticles supported in nitrogen-doped reduced graphene oxide, ZnO/N-rGO. The rGO structures were nitrogen-doped using hydrazine as nitrogen source (N-rGO) with the purpose of enhancing the rGO capability to promote the electrons transport along their surface. Thus, ZnO/N-rGO catalytic systems were tested as photocatalyst to degrade methylene blue and lignin molecules under ultraviolet (UV) and visible (Vis) light irradiation. N-doping of rGO was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Photocatalytic degradation studies confirm better performance of the ZnO/N-rGO in comparison to ZnO. The percentage of lignin degradation for the ZnO/N-rGO compound under UV was 59%, while using visible energy it was achieved 46%, in a time of 70 min.
The aim of this study was to compare different concentrations of soy lecithin (LEC0.01%, LEC0.05% and LEC0.1%) with egg yolk (Control) in cooling extenders during the storage of semen at 5ºC for 5 days. Twelve dogs (n = 12) were selected, and semen was cooled and assessed after 2, 24, 48, 72, 96 or 120 h. At each time point, sperm were analyzed for kinetic patterns (using computer-assisted sperm analysis), mitochondrial activity (3′3- diaminobenzidine assay), lipid peroxidation (TBARS assay), DNA fragmentation (SCSA®) and plasma and acrosome membrane integrity (eosin/nigrosin and fast green/rose Bengal stains, respectively). The Control group (1814.4 ± 197.2) presented the highest rates of lipid peroxidation at 120 h. Conversely, progressive motility (42.8 ± 4%), linearity (45.4 ± 1%), and VAP (88 ± 3%) were higher in the Control group. In addition, there was lower mitochondrial activity in the Control group at 72 h. Therefore, our data show that lecithin used at these concentrations was not able to maintain sperm viability at as high qualities as would egg yolk. Moreover, the decrease in high mitochondrial activity and the persistence of sperm motility may indicate a compensatory mechanism in canine spermatozoa (i.e., glycolytic pathway). Furthermore, these higher lipid peroxidation indexes could indicate the necessity for future therapy using extenders and antioxidants over a long cooling time for dog sperm.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.