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In the current work, we compared the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using plant extracts, a promising methodology against the use of chemical reducers, such as oleic acid and oleylamine. The advantages of green synthesis are one-step method, economic and ecological while the advantages of classic synthesis methods are high nanoparticle performance, homogeneity in size and smaller average sizes. With this work we want to demonstrate that plant extracts with specific mixtures of chemical compounds can obtain smaller average sizes with greater homogeneity in nanoparticles compared to the use of classical synthesis. Myrtillocactus geometrizans was used as a polar plant extract, which was selected by the chemical components contained in the extract. Phytosterols, oleic acid and betalains contained in Myrtillocactus geometrizans are biomolecules responsible for the reduction and stability of AgNP below 5 nm. TEM analysis of the green synthesis of nanoparticles revealed the formation of spherical particles with an average diameter of 5 nm and with preferential crystallographic directions of the silver plane .
The brown hairy dwarf porcupine Coendou vestitus is a poorly studied Andean species endemic to Colombia. Its current Red List category is contradictory: globally it is categorized as Data Deficient but in Colombia it is categorized as Vulnerable. This contradiction has limited the implementation of conservation programmes. We evaluate the level of rarity of the species and provide consolidated information for a new assessment of its Red List status. We reviewed literature, photographs, and voucher specimens in natural history collections. Using the confirmed records, we estimated the extent of occurrence (EOO) based on the minimum convex polygon and the area of occupancy (AOO) summing the area of grid squares occupied by the species. We found that C. vestitus is very rare, with a small range, low estimated population density, occurrence in only one habitat type and small body size. The species has an EOO of 3,323 km2 and an AOO of 24 km2, based on six confirmed localities, all on the western slopes of the Eastern Cordillera, in the central Andean region of Colombia. Based on the species' rarity, restricted distribution, and threats to its natural habitat, we recommend its categorization as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. This will help delineate research and conservation efforts for this porcupine, which has a highly restricted range and inhabits the threatened Andean forest.
One of the great challenges in the use of nanomaterials is their production at low costs and high yields. In this work aluminum nanoparticles, from aluminum powder, were produced by wet mechanical milling through a combination of different attrition milling conditions such as ball-powder ratio (BPR) and the amount of solvent used. It was observed that at 600 rpm with a BPR of 500/30 g for 12 h, it was possible to produce nanoparticles with a size close to 20 nm, while at 750 rpm with a BPR of 380/12.6 g for 12 h, nanoparticles of approximately 10 nm were obtained. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy confirmed that the milling product is an agglomeration of nanoparticles with different sizes. These results show the feasibility of obtaining aluminum nanoparticles by mechanical milling using only ethanol as solvent, avoiding hazardous by-products obtained from chemical routes, and the use of complicated methods such as laser ablation and arc discharge.
In this work, low-Pt content nanocatalysts (≈ 5 wt. %) supported on Hollow Carbon Spheres (HCS) were synthesized by two routes: i) colloidal conventional polyol, and ii) surfactant-free Bromide Anion Exchange (BAE). The nanocatalysts were labelled as Pt/HCS-P and Pt/HCS-B for polyol and BAE, respectively. The physicochemical characterization of the nanocatalysts showed that by following both methods, a good control of chemical composition was achieved, obtaining in addition well dispersed nanoparticles of less than 3 nm TEM average particle size (d) on the HCS. Pt/HCS-B contained more Pt0 species than Pt/HCS-P, an effect of the synthesis method. In addition, the structure of the HCS remains more ordered after BAE synthesis, compared to polyol. Regarding the catalytic activity for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) in 0.5 M KOH, Pt/HCS-P and Pt/HCS-B showed a similar performance in terms of current density (j) at 0.9 V vs. RHE than the benchmark commercial 20 wt. % Pt/C. However, Pt/HCS-P and Pt/HCS-B demonstrated a 6 and 5-fold increase in mass catalytic activity compared to Pt/C, respectively. A positive effect of the high specific surface area of the HCS and its interactions with metal nanoparticles and electrolyte, which promoted the mass transfer, increased the performance of Pt/HCS-P and Pt/HCS-B. The high catalytic activity showed by Pt/HCS-B and Pt/HCS-P for the ORR, even with a low-Pt content, make them promising cathode nanocatalysts for Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (AEMFC).
Acute respiratory infection is one of the main causes of morbidity in children. Some studies have suggested that pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease with haemodynamic repercussion increase the severity of respiratory infections, but there are few publications in developing countries.
This was a prospective cohort study evaluating the impact of pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease (CHD) with haemodynamic repercussion as predictors of severity in children under 5 years of age hospitalised for acute respiratory infection.
Altogether, 217 children hospitalised for a respiratory infection who underwent an echocardiogram were evaluated; 62 children were diagnosed with CHD with haemodynamic repercussion or pulmonary hypertension. Independent predictors of admission to intensive care included: pulmonary hypertension (RR 2.14; 95% CI 1.06–4.35, p = 0.034), respiratory syncytial virus (RR 2.52; 95% CI 1.29–4.92, p = 0.006), and bacterial pneumonia (RR 3.09; 95% CI 1.65–5.81, p = 0.000). A significant difference was found in average length of hospital stay in children with the cardiovascular conditions studied (p = 0.000).
Pulmonary hypertension and CHD with haemodynamic repercussion as well as respiratory syncytial virus and bacterial pneumonia were predictors of severity in children with respiratory infections in this study. Early recognition of cardiovascular risks in paediatric populations is necessary to lessen the impact on respiratory infections.
Prior theory and research has implicated disgust as relevant to some, but not all phobias.
The current study examined whether anxiety sensitivity is more relevant to certain specific phobias and whether disgust sensitivity is more relevant to other specific phobias.
Participants (n = 201) completed measures of anxiety sensitivity, disgust sensitivity and measures of aversive reactions in the presence of two fear-relevant stimuli (i.e. heights and small, enclosed spaces) and two disgust-relevant stimuli (i.e. spiders and blood/injury).
Results of multiple linear regression analyses revealed that disgust sensitivity showed significant associations with aversive reactions in all four stimulus domains after controlling for anxiety sensitivity. After controlling for disgust sensitivity, anxiety sensitivity showed associations with the two fear-relevant phobias but not with the two disgust-relevant phobias included in this study. Anxiety sensitivity also showed an association with variance specific to one of the two fear-relevant specific phobias included in the study. Disgust sensitivity also showed associations with variance specific to both of the disgust-relevant phobias included in the study but not with variance specific to either of the fear-relevant specific phobias.
These results provide evidence that the distinction between fear-relevant and disgust-relevant specific phobias is meaningful and also implicate disgust sensitivity as relevant to aversive reactions to all stimuli included in this study.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with social cognition (SC) impairments even during remission periods although a large heterogeneity has been described. Our aim was to explore the existence of different profiles on SC in euthymic patients with BD, and further explore the potential impact of distinct variables on SC.
Hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted using three SC domains [Theory of Mind (ToM), Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Attributional Bias (AB)]. The sample comprised of 131 individuals, 71 patients with BD and 60 healthy control subjects who were compared in terms of SC performance, demographic, clinical, and neurocognitive variables. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the effect of SC-associated risk factors.
A two-cluster solution was identified with an adjusted-performance group (N = 48, 67.6%) and a low-performance group (N = 23, 32.4%) with mild deficits in ToM and AB domains and with moderate difficulties in EI. Patients with low SC performance were mostly males, showed lower estimated IQ, higher subthreshold depressive symptoms, longer illness duration, and poorer visual memory and attention. Low estimated IQ (OR 0.920, 95% CI 0.863–0.981), male gender (OR 5.661, 95% CI 1.473–21.762), and longer illness duration (OR 1.085, 95% CI 1.006–1.171) contributed the most to the patients clustering. The model explained up to 35% of the variance in SC performance.
Our results confirmed the existence of two discrete profiles of SC among BD. Nearly two-thirds of patients exhibited adjusted social cognitive abilities. Longer illness duration, male gender, and lower estimated IQ were associated with low SC performance.
Improving functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) is one of the main objectives in clinical practice. Of the few psychosocial interventions that have been specifically developed to enhance the psychosocial outcome in BD, functional remediation (FR) is one which has demonstrated efficacy. The aim of this study was to examine which variables could predict improved functional outcome following the FR intervention in a sample of euthymic or subsyndromal patients with BD.
A total of 92 euthymic outpatients were included in this longitudinal study, with 62 completers. Partial correlations controlling for the functional outcome at baseline were calculated between demographic, clinical and neurocognitive variables, and functional outcome at endpoint was assessed by means of the Functioning Assessment Short Test scale. Next, a multiple regression analysis was run in order to identify potential predictors of functional outcome at 2-year follow-up, using the variables found to be statistically significant in the correlation analysis and other variables related to functioning as identified in the previous scientific literature.
The regression model revealed that only two independent variables significantly contributed to the model (F(6,53): 4.003; p = 0.002), namely verbal memory and inhibitory control. The model accounted for 31.2% of the variance. No other demographic or clinical variable contributed to the model.
Results suggest that patients with better cognitive performance at baseline, especially in terms of verbal memory and executive functions, may present better functional outcomes at long term follow-up after receiving functional remediation.
Impairments in social cognition contribute significantly to disability in schizophrenia patients (SzP). Perception of facial expressions is critical for social cognition. Intact perception requires an individual to visually scan a complex dynamic social scene for transiently moving facial expressions that may be relevant for understanding the scene. The relationship of visual scanning for these facial expressions and social cognition remains unknown.
In 39 SzP and 27 healthy controls (HC), we used eye-tracking to examine the relationship between performance on The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), which tests social cognition using naturalistic video clips of social situations, and visual scanning, measuring each individual's relative to the mean of HC. We then examined the relationship of visual scanning to the specific visual features (motion, contrast, luminance, faces) within the video clips.
TASIT performance was significantly impaired in SzP for trials involving sarcasm (p < 10−5). Visual scanning was significantly more variable in SzP than HC (p < 10−6), and predicted TASIT performance in HC (p = 0.02) but not SzP (p = 0.91), differing significantly between groups (p = 0.04). During the visual scanning, SzP were less likely to be viewing faces (p = 0.0001) and less likely to saccade to facial motion in peripheral vision (p = 0.008).
SzP show highly significant deficits in the use of visual scanning of naturalistic social scenes to inform social cognition. Alterations in visual scanning patterns may originate from impaired processing of facial motion within peripheral vision. Overall, these results highlight the utility of naturalistic stimuli in the study of social cognition deficits in schizophrenia.
Shared psychotic disorder (DSM-IV-TR) or induced delusional disorder (ICD-10) is a condition involving the appearance of delusions to two or more subjects who generally live in close proximity. We compare three cases and their management described in Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid.
The first case involves a mother and daughter shared delusion of injury with respect to the neighborhood. In the second case involves two sisters living together, with delusion of persecution and prejudice and without psychiatric history. The third one was admitted to our unit after a suicide attempts. It was a middle-aged man who shared with four members of his family the perception of supernatural entities in his home.
At the first and second cases it was necessary mechanical and pharmacological restraint. One of the therapeutic indications is the separation of subjects and It generated significant moments of tension and resources of the emergency department. In the third case was not accurate mechanical and pharmacological restraint. The most effective in this case was the regulation of sleep-wake cycle and separation of the individual during a time of home and family. In all three cases the perception of illness worked individually and kept contact with the therapists to plan responsible for monitoring the treatment plan and management in the future.
We must be prepared before the arrival of an event of this kind to the emergency of the hospital.It's necessary to elaborate an effective joint therapeutic strategy both during their hospital stay or as outpatients.
“Rite of passage” is an etnographic concept developed by VanGennep that defines the vital transition of an individual between two different status. It is divided in three stages: separation, liminal/threshold and aggregation. Turner described the liminal phase, and the terms of “communitas” and “liminoid” (structure of a rite without religious/spiritual elements). One widely-known Rite of Passage is the initiation of the shamans.
Study the elements of a rite of passage present in Psychiatric Trainning.
• Field study (observational, descriptive, non-experimental).
• Preliminary Sample=10trainees (5man+5women); last year of Psychiatric Trainning.
• “ad hoc” semi-structured interview (21items subdivided in open questions). 10interviews (average duration=75mins). Permanent register:digital recorder.
• Summary and analysis of the answers. Review of the literature.
- Psychiatric Trainning shared the elements and tri-phasic structure of VanGennep's “rite of passage” concept
- Trainees saw themselves as more empathic(7/10) and humanistic(8/10) than other specialties colleagues. Stigma towards mental illness(8/10) and fear of suicide(9/10) were also considered as their distinctives.
- The collective behaved as a communitas(10/10)
- No spiritual elements(0/10): liminoid process
- Resemblances of the ancestral shamans' Initiation: Despite bloody practices were over, suffering was also present(7/10), but was seen as necessary(6/10) and well tolerated(7/10).
- Trainees felt that they grew spiritual and mentally(7/10) during the trainning years
Results suggest that Psychiatric Trainning has stable phenomena that:
• are compatible with the Rite of Passage schema
• Are considered exclusive of Psychiatry by trainees
• Have not been systematically studied as a whole, which could help to improve the training.
To determine the association between functional impairment, as reported in a lay-administered structured interview (CIDI), and severity of depression, depressive symptoms and risk factors for depression.
We undertook a cross-sectional study of 5442 consecutive attendees at general practices in seven Spanish provinces participating in the PredictD-Spain study on predictors of depression. Participants were administered the depression section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WHO-CIDI 2.1), allowing diagnoses by the ICD-10 and DSM-IV classifications for depressive episodes. Impairment was measured using the CIDI question about whether symptoms seriously interfered with important areas of functioning, such as work or looking after the house and family. We measured a set of 39 known risk factors for depression.
Firstly, the 6-month prevalence of a depressive episode according to ICD-10 was 28.7% (1563) and of major depression according to DSM-IV it was 13.6% (742). Secondly, out of the 1563 patients with a depressive episode according to ICD-10, nearly half (47.9%; n=749) had no impairment in important areas of functioning.
As the ICD-10 criteria for depressive diagnoses do not include the criteria that symptoms cause impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning, a large number of false positive cases are included in reported prevalence rates; and secondly, the measurement of functional impairment, at least operationalized using a lay-administered structured interview such as CIDI, is not enough, in epidemiological research studies, to assess the clinical importance of depressive symptoms.
Describe the prevalence and characteristics of psychotic symptoms in the context of cocaine injection use in a harm reduction program.
To find associations between intravenous cocaine use and other drug use in cocaine dependent patients suffering from cocaine induced psychosis (CIP). Cannabis was found to be a risk factor for developing CIP in non-intravenous cocaine dependence.
During a period of 6 months professionals from our Outpatient Drug Clinic completed a confidential questionnaire to describe the adverse clinical effects following cocaine injection. It included age, gender, ethnic group, daily consumption rate and other drugs used in the last 30 days.
Survey was achieved with a sample of 75 Caucasians patients, 69 men and 6 women with an average age of 32 years old. Seventeen percent (13/75) had psychotic symptoms, of which 84% (11/13) had hallucinations (visuals 4/11, auditive 7/11 and kinaesthetic 2/11), 15% (2/13) illusions.
Eighteen percent (14/75) had stereotypy movements and 3% (2/75) had aggressive behaviour. Drugs used by CIP patients, the previous 30 days were: 61% (8/13) cannabis, 31% (4/13) opiates and 15% (2/13) alcohol.
Intravenous cocaine use produced acute psychotic symptoms in 17% of our patients, of which 61% used cannabis. Despite the ethical and practical implications of this type of study, it is necessary to do more observational studies with bigger surveys to conclude these results with statistically significance.
Fiction films offer unexplored opportunities of rehabilitation for schizophrenia and other psychoses. Schizophrenia produces deficits y distortions in the perception and comprehension of reality, also expressed in the perception and comprehension of films. After a year of an “ad hoc” experience, the following technique was developed:
1) Selecting a fiction film for its narrative, affective, cognitive and social cognitive content
2) Briefly presenting of the film to a group of 8-16 patients with diverse psychosis.
3) Screening of the film to the patients and the therapeutic team.
4) Summarizing of the plot by a patient. Group correcting of distortions and deficits caused by problems of attention and working memory, as well as positive, negative, affective and social cognitive symptoms (emotional perception, theory of mind, attributive style)
5) Selecting 1-2 sequences by each patient, and group commenting using the same technique.
6) Field recording of all the commentaries obtained.
7) Second screening of the film two days after, repeating points 2 to 6.
8) Comparing both field records.
An experimental study using this technique is presented. 8 patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses watched 4 fiction films (“The 39 Steps”, “Charade”, “M”, “The General”). The differences founded in both viewings by two external evaluators (using CGI and analogical scales of the main variables) are presented and commented. An evaluation of the perceived usefulness and satisfaction of the participants was included.
Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed since the 1960, when they replaced barbiturics. Although there is no doubt about their efficacy in treating anxiety, insomnia or other psychiatric disorders, we should also take into account the fact that these drugs are easily misused.
In this work we analyze the intake of benzodiazepines among patients hospitalized due to medical problems.
Retrospective review of clinical histories of patients attended by the Drug Unit of the Psychiatry Service in the last twelve months. Bibliographical review of the theme. Data analyzed using the SPSS software 15.0 version.
45 patients were subjected to our survey, 41 of them male. 66% were HIV Positive patients, and the most frequent cause of hospitalization was pneumonia (51’1%). Most of the patients attended were drug abusers (see the graphic below). When the benzodiazepines abusers were asked how they obtained them, 40’6% recognized the got them without prescription, 25% said they got them legally, and 34’4 answered that they got them legally but also without prescription. 62’5% of the patients usually took alprazolam.
Benzodiazepine abuse, in particular alprazolam, is quiet common among the patients we see.
In half of the cases the use of benzodiazepines could have worsen the prognosis of the patients.
To evaluate risperidone long-acting injectable (RLAI) versus placebo in prevention of mood episodes in adults with bipolar I disorder.
A 12-week open-label period with RLAI (N=585) was followed by an 18-month randomized, double-blind period with RLAI (25, 37.5 or 50 mg/2 weeks; N=137) or placebo (N=140); a third group (N=138) was randomized to olanzapine for reference and exploratory comparisons. Primary efficacy endpoint: time to relapse of any mood episode for risperidone LAI vs. placebo in the double-blind period (Kaplan-Meier analysis). Relapse was defined by criteria including DSM diagnosis, further treatment, hospitalisation, or Clinical Global Impression score ≥4 combined with YMRS or MADRS >12.
Dosing was fixed during the double-blind period at patients’ final open-label dose (25 mg, 66%; 37.5 mg, 31%; 50 mg, 4%). Time to recurrence (any mood episode) was longer with RLAI versus placebo (log-rank test stratified by region and patient type, p=0.062; stratified by region only, p=0.032); the difference was significant for time to recurrence of elevated mood episodes (p=0.005) but not depressive episodes (p=0.587). Discontinuations due to adverse events (AEs) occurred in 2% of patients in the open-label period, and 4% and 1% in the RLAI and placebo groups, respectively, in the double-blind period. The most frequently reported AE in the open-label period was insomnia (15%). During double-blind treatment, the most frequently reported AEs with RLAI were weight increased (24%; placebo, 9%) and insomnia (16%; placebo, 17%).
Type of recurrence
Type of episode, n (%)
Risperidone LAI (N=135)
All mood episodes
Elevated mood episode
RLAI significantly delayed time to relapse of elevated mood episodes and was well tolerated.
Dementia is an acquired syndrome of organic nature, characterized by permanent impairment of memory and other intellectual functions, often associated with psychological and behavioral symptoms without impairment of consciousness. There are psychopathological manifestations.There are different subtypes of dementia. To determine a mild cognitive impairment, the average score of Minimental scale test must be between 21 and 26.
It has been shown that patients with cognitive impairment have a decreased activity of acetylcholine and increased activity of glutamate. Therefore there is a decline in cognitive ability with significant memory impairment and increased aurousal. There is an impairment of cognitive function to perceive, process and use information, which contributes, along with the intelligence, plan and solve problems, learn from the experience, plan tasks and predict results.
For this postulate two fundamental ways in the treatment by use of cholinesterase inhibitors using memantine that blocks NMDA receptors.
However in mild cognitive impairment there is no evidence that these treatments improve patient outcome. Therefore we start treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors when Minimental score between 14 and 24. We'll use cholinesterase inhibitors in combination with memantine when the Minimental score between 10 and 14. We will use only memantine when the score between 3-14. It has been shown that only 30% of mild cognitive impairment progress to dementia. It is important to consider the use of these treatments because it is'nt shown a clear benefit in mild cognitive impairment and have side effects.
The aim is to investigate the association between apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and panic disorder (PD). Genotyping 92 PD patients [Diagnostic Statistic Manual IV (DSM IV) criteria] and 174 controls no differences were found between both groups. Variation in the ApoE-gene was not associated with the development of PD.
To examine the effectiveness of an Internet Based Therapy (IBT) for Bulimia Nervosa (BN), when compared to a brief psychoeducational group therapy (PET) or a waiting list (WL).
93 female BN patients, diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. An experimental group (31 IBT patients) was compared to two groups (31 PET and 31 WL). PET and WL were matched to the IBT group in terms of age, disorder duration, previous treatments and severity. All patients completed assesment, prior and after treatment.
Considering IBT, mean scores were lower at the end of treatment for some EDI scales and BITE symptoms scale, while the mean BMI was higher at post-therapy. Main predictors of good IBT outcome were higher scores in EDI perfectionism and higher scores on reward dependence. Drop-out was related to higher SCL-obsessive/compulsive (p=0.045) and novelty seeking (p=0.044) scores and lower reward dependence (p=0.018). At the end of the treatment bingeing and vomiting abstinence rates (22.6% for IBT, 33.3% for PET, and 0.0% for WL; p=0.003) and drop-out rates (35.5% IBT, 12.9% PET and 0% WL; p= 0.001) differed significantly between groups. While the concrete comparison between the two treatments (IBT and PET) did not evidence significant differences for success proportions (p=0.375), statistical differences for drop-out rates (p=0.038) were obtained.
The results of this study suggest that an online self-help approach appears to be a valid treatment option for BN, especially for people who present lower severity of their eating disorder (ED) symptomatology and some specific personality traits.
Up to 45% of individuals who commit suicide contact their Primary Care physician (PCP) the month before. The objective is to study clinical characteristics of patients presenting death and/or suicidal ideation (SI) in Primary Care.
195 patients attending their PCP were evaluated using systematic sampling in three Primary Care Centres. Patients completed the PHQ and a Life Changes Checklist. Demographic data, both psychiatric and medical conditions and treatments, visits to their PCP, and days out of work (last year) were also collected.
24 patients had death or suicidal ideation for the previous two weeks (12,4%; IC95% 8,3-18,8%). Most of them (87,5%) had a mental disease, major depressive disorder (62,5%) and general anxiety disorder (50%). Patients with SI had more somatic symptoms (p<0,001), a greater number and score of recent life changes (p<0,001) and days out of work (last year) ((p=0,028) than the rest of the sample.
Compared to patients with any psychiatric disorder, patients with SI had more depressive symptoms (p<0,001) and a higher score in life changes in the 6-12 month period (p=0,044).
14 (58,3%) patients with SI had no previous psychiatric diagnosis and only 8 (33%) were receiving treatment.
In spite of a greater severity in depressive and other clinical characteristics of patients with SI most of them are not correctly detected and treated. Improving the rate of detection and treatment by the PCP of such patients would probably play a key role in the prevention of suicide.