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Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
Studies have examined associations between depressive symptoms and dietary patterns, however few studies have focussed in older adults. This study examines associations between current and past dietary patterns and depression in a community dwelling adult population aged 55 years and over. Adults (n=4082) were recruited into the Wellbeing, Eating and Exercise for a Long Life study in Victoria, Australia. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires in 2010 and 2014 including a 111-item food frequency questionnaire, the RAND-36 item survey of health-related quality of life and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale in 2014. Current (2014) and past (2010) dietary patterns were determined using principal component analysis. Associations between dietary patterns and depressive symptoms were assessed using a mixed model analysis with adjustment for covariates. Two similar dietary patterns were identified in men and women (n=2142). In women, a healthy dietary pattern (characterised by frequent intake of vegetables, fruit and fish) was associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms (current diet: β = -0.260 95% CI: -0.451, -0.070; past diet: β = -0.201 CI: -0.390, -0.013). A current unhealthy dietary pattern in women (characterised by frequent intake of red and processed meat, potatoes, hot chips, cakes, deserts and ice cream) was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms (β = 1.367 CI: 0.679, 2.056). No associations were identified in men. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to understand why differences may occur by sex.
To provide cross-national data for selected countries of the Americas on service utilization for psychiatric and substance use disorders, the distribution of these services among treatment sectors, treatment adequacy and factors associated with mental health treatment and adequacy of treatment.
Data come from data collected from 6710 adults with 12 month mental disorder surveys across seven surveys in six countries in North (USA), Central (Mexico) and South (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru) America who were interviewed 2001–2015 as part of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys. DSM-IV diagnoses were made with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Interviews also assessed service utilization by the treatment sector, adequacy of treatment received and socio-demographic correlates of treatment.
Little over one in four of respondents with any 12 month DSM-IV/CIDI disorder received any treatment. Although the vast majority (87.1%) of this treatment was minimally adequate, only 35.3% of cases received treatment that met acceptable quality guidelines. Indicators of social-advantage (high education and income) were associated with higher rates of service use and adequacy, but a number of other correlates varied across survey sites.
These results shed light on an enormous public health problem involving under-treatment of common mental disorders, although the problem is most extreme among people with social disadvantage. Promoting services that are more accessible, especially for those with few resources, is urgently needed.
The Rio Branco is a river with unique biogeographic and ecological features, threatened by the Brazilian Government’s plan to build a major hydroelectric dam and associated hydroway along its course. The river crosses one of Amazonia’s largest rainfall gradients and a major geomorphological boundary along a savanna/forest ecotone, marked by the Bem Querer rapids. Above the rapids, the upper Rio Branco runs through the Boa Vista sedimentary formation and crosses the crystalline rocks of the Guiana Shield, and its margins are flanked by gallery forests. Downriver, it runs through a low-lying sedimentary basin, with Amazonian floodplain forests along its margins. Here, we present the results of ∼ 15 years of ornithological research on the Branco and its major tributaries, providing baseline data and evaluating potential threats to the riverine avifauna. Our surveys included opportunistic observations and standardized surveys along the entire length of the river in 16 systematically distributed localities. We catalogued 439 bird species, 87% of which are documented by physical evidence (specimens, recordings, photographs). Forty-six percent are restricted to single habitats, suggesting a high degree of habitat specialisation. A third of the species are widely distributed along the river, whereas 45% are restricted to either the upper or the lower Rio Branco, including 40 and 30 Indicator Species, respectively. Twenty-five species are threatened at global or national levels, including two ‘Critically Endangered’, nine ‘Vulnerable’, and 14 ‘Near Threatened’. We present a list of 50 bird species that are candidates for monitoring studies. Threats to the avifauna from dam construction include permanent flooding above the dam, eliminating gallery forests, river islands, and sandy beaches, and the disruption of the flood pulse along the river, affecting river island and floodplain forest specialists, many of which are globally threatened with extinction. If built, the Bem Querer dam will wipe out the ecotone region and affect dramatically the river’s avifauna.
Residual feed intake (RFI) is an alternative measure of feed efficiency (FE) and is calculated as the difference between actual and expected feed intake. The biological mechanisms underlying animal-to-animal variation in FE are not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the digestive ability of beef cows selected for RFI divergence as heifers, using two contrasted diets. Fifteen 4-year-old beef cows were selected from a total of 69 heifers based on their RFI following the feedlot test. The selected heifers were ranked into high-RFI (+ 1.02 ± 0.28, n = 8) and low-RFI (−0.73 ± 0.28, n = 7), and a digestibility trial was performed after their first lactation. Both RFI groups were offered two different diets: 100% hay or a fattening diet which consisted of a DM basis of 67% whole-plant maize silage and 33% high starch concentrates over four experimental periods (two per diet). A diet effect was observed on feed intake and apparent digestibility, whereas no diet × RFI interaction was detected (P > 0.05). Intake and apparent digestibility were higher in cows fed the fattening diet than in those fed the hay diet (P < 0.0001). DM intake (DMI) and organic matter apparent digestibility (OMd) were repeatable and positively correlated between the two subsequent periods of measurements. For the hay and fattening diets, the repeatability between periods was r = 0.71 and r = 0.73 for DMI and r = 0.87 and r = 0.48 for OMd, respectively. Moreover, both intake (r = 0.55) and OMd (r = 0.54) were positively correlated (P < 0.05) between the hay and fattening diets. Significant differences between beef cows selected for divergence in RFI as heifers were observed for digestive traits (P < 0.05), DM and organic matter (OM) apparent digestibility being higher for low-RFI cows. Overall, this study showed that apparent digestibility contributes to between-animal variation in FE in beef cows.
Crossbreeding represents an important technique to improve growth, beef quality and adaptability in beef production systems in tropical countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate sire and dam breed effects on performance and carcass traits of crossbred cattle produced in a tropical environment. Heifers and steers were evaluated during the pre-weaning, the post-weaning (n = 173) and the finishing phase (n = 123). Animals were produced by mating Nellore (N_N), Angus × Nellore (A_N) and Caracu × Nellore (C_N) dams with Braford, Charbray and Caracu sires. After weaning, animals were raised grazing on Marandu grass for 12 months; thereafter they were housed in individual pens and finished in a feedlot, receiving a total mixed ration. Ultrasound carcass evaluations were performed to determine ribeye area (R_A), backfat thickness (B_T) and rump fat thickness (R_T). A_N progeny were heavier at birth than N_N (P < 0.05), and Braford progeny had greater birth BW than Caracu (P < 0.05). Greater weaning BW was observed in the A_N and C_N offspring compared to N_N (P < 0.01). Greater average daily gain during the post-weaning period was verified in the N_N progeny compared to C_N (P < 0.05). No dam or sire breed effects were observed for BW at the end of the post-weaning period (P > 0.05). Progeny of N_N cows had greater B_T (P < 0.05) and R_T (P < 0.01) at the end of the post-weaning period in relation to C_N. Greater R_A was observed in the Caracu progeny than in the Braford (P < 0.05), which showed greater R_T than the Charbray progeny at the end of the post-weaning period (P < 0.05). No dam or sire breed effects were verified for final BW at the feedlot or for feed efficiency traits (P > 0.05). A_N progeny were superior in final B_T compared to C_N (P < 0.01), and Braford progeny had greater R_T at the end of finishing than Charbray (P = 0.05). The use of crossbred dams allows an increase in productivity until weaning, but this is not maintained in the post-weaning and finishing periods. The use of Braford sires produces similar growth performance in the different stages of the production system to those seen with Charbray and Caracu sires but generates animals with higher fat thickness at the end of finishing, which may improve carcass quality and commercial value.
In this study, the microstructural characterization of a superplastic Zn-Al-Ag alloy (72, 24, and 4 in % wt. respectively) by using spectroscopy analysis techniques was obtained. The X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) techniques were used. The main objective of this alloy development is to improve its super-plasticity property and increases its corrosion resistance in acid rain environments. The effect of small grain microstructure of the alloy obtained at the end of the fabrication process improved the super-plasticity behavior. The result of the fabrication process was observed by the characterization of crystallographic phases (morphology, size and distribution) and the chemical composition. The obtained results by XRF shown that Zn was the higher proportion element, in addition the Ag (4% wt.) addition to Zn-Al base alloy improves the grain refinement, as was observed by the SEM characterization. The Ag3Al and AgZn3 intermetallic compounds homogeneously dispersed were observed in the microstructure of the Zn-Al solid solution phase. The size grain observed after the rolling process was less than 10 µm, and it was associated to one of the main characteristics of super-plasticity properties. The XRD analysis results corroborated the present phases in the alloy, as was identified with the SEM and EDS characterization.
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).
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
The aim of the present work was to address experimentally the possible impact of exposure to air pollution during gestation on the differentiation and function of the gonads of the offspring using a rabbit model. Rabbits were exposed daily to diluted diesel exhaust gas or filtered air from the 3rd until the 27th day of gestation, during which time germ cells migrate in genital ridges and divide, and fetal sex is determined. Offspring gonads were collected shortly before birth (28th day of gestation) or after puberty (7.5 months after birth). The structure of the gonads was analyzed by histological and immunohistological methods. Serum concentrations of testosterone and anti-Müllerian hormone were determined using ELISA. The morphology and the endocrine function of the gonads collected just at the arrest of the exposure were similar in polluted and control animals in both sexes. No differences were observed as well in gonads collected after puberty. Sperm was collected at the head of the epididymis in adults. Sperm motility and DNA fragmentation were measured. Among all parameters analyzed, only the sperm DNA fragmentation rate was increased three-fold in exposed males. Mechanisms responsible for these modifications and their physiological consequences are to be further clarified.
Previous studies have shown that the interaction between limiting vitamin A (VA) and an alcohol dehydrogenase 1 C (ADH1C) variant in beef cattle results in increased intramuscular fat in the longissimus thoracis muscle in one genotype when fed low dietary VA. Although quality grade is important for increased profitability and improving taste characteristics of beef products, limiting VA too drastically can impair animal welfare. The objectives of this study were to determine if this marker-assisted management strategy would be effective, and whether any impairment in immune function would occur in a feedlot setting. Mixed breed beef steers (n=2000) were sorted into 40 feedlot pens so that all combinations of ADH1C genotype (TT or CT), VA level (50% or 100% of recommended) and hormonal implant status (implanted (IMP) or non-implanted (NI)) were equally represented within the population. The VA×ADH1C interaction was not observed. An implant status × ADH1C interaction was observed with average daily gain (ADG; P=0.03). Steers that were IMP and CT had higher ADG than IMP TT (CT=1.69 and TT=1.62 kg/day), whereas both genotypes in the NI steers were lower (CT=1.29 and TT=1.32 kg/day). Implant status was shown to affect dry matter intake (DMI; IMP=8.55 and NI=7.87 kg; P<0.01), total days-on-feed (IMP=164.4 and NI 210.5 days; P<0.01), USDA yield grade (YIELD; IMP=2.40 and NI=2.77; P<0.01), marbling score (MARB; IMP=392 and NI=455; P<0.01), longissimus thoracis area (LTA; IMP=85.0 and NI=80.7 cm2; P=0.01) and backfat thickness (FAT; IMP=8.0 and NI 10.0 mm; P<0.01). Overall, IMP animals finished on fewer total days-on-feed with higher ADG, DMI, larger LTA, and lower YIELD, MARB and FAT. To investigate immune function parameters, crossbred steers (n=18) were selected from a prior feeding trial so that all combinations of ADH1C (TT, CT and CC) and VA (25% or 75%) were equally represented. Blood cell count analysis and peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation and stimulation assays were conducted. None of these immune parameters were affected by VA level. Treatment and mortality records were examined in the 2000 steer population, where no correlations with ADH1C, implant status or VA level were observed. Due to no VA × ADH1C interaction, this nutrigenetic marker-assisted management strategy is not effective at this time in commercial beef cattle feedlots, however, supplementing VA at a level as low as 25% of recommended in finishing rations would likely not result in signs of immune dysfunction.