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Motor abnormalities (MAs) are the primary manifestations of schizophrenia. However, the extent to which MAs are related to alterations of subcortical structures remains understudied.
We aimed to investigate the associations of MAs and basal ganglia abnormalities in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and healthy controls. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 48 right-handed FEP and 23 age-, gender-, handedness-, and educational attainment-matched controls, to obtain basal ganglia shape analysis, diffusion tensor imaging techniques (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity), and relaxometry (R2*) to estimate iron load. A comprehensive motor battery was applied including the assessment of parkinsonism, catatonic signs, and neurological soft signs (NSS). A fully automated model-based segmentation algorithm on 1.5T MRI anatomical images and accurate corregistration of diffusion and T2* volumes and R2* was used.
FEP patients showed significant local atrophic changes in left globus pallidus nucleus regarding controls. Hypertrophic changes in left-side caudate were associated with higher scores in sensory integration, and in right accumbens with tremor subscale. FEP patients showed lower fractional anisotropy measures than controls but no significant differences regarding mean diffusivity and iron load of basal ganglia. However, iron load in left basal ganglia and right accumbens correlated significantly with higher extrapyramidal and motor coordination signs in FEP patients.
Taken together, iron load in left basal ganglia may have a role in the emergence of extrapyramidal signs and NSS of FEP patients and in consequence in the pathophysiology of psychosis.
Cognitive behavioural models of hypochondriasis assume that dysfunctional illness-related beliefs are involved in the genesis and maintenance of the disorder. The role that other more general dysfunctional beliefs about thoughts play in this disorder has also been highlighted. Internal triggers such as illness-related intrusive thoughts could activate these beliefs.
The present paper examines whether general dysfunctional beliefs about distressing thoughts, such as intolerance of uncertainty, over-estimation of threat, and thought-action fusion-likelihood, mediate between illness-related intrusive thoughts and health anxiety symptoms.
A group of participants composed of individuals with hypochondriasis (n = 31; 51.5% women; mean age = 32.74 years, SD = 9.96) and community individuals (n = 219; 54.3% women; mean age = 39.56 years, SD = 15.20) completed a series of questionnaires to assess illness-related intrusive thoughts (INPIE), dysfunctional beliefs about thoughts (OBSI-R), and health anxiety symptoms (SHAI).
Results from a multiple parallel mediation analysis indicate that over-estimation of threat partially mediated the relationship between illness-related intrusive thoughts and health anxiety symptoms.
The results support the importance of the tendency to over-estimate the threat in the relationship between intrusive thoughts related to illness contents and health anxiety. Conceptual and clinical implications of these results are discussed.
First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
The Emerald project's focus is on how to strengthen mental health systems in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda). This was done by generating evidence and capacity to enhance health system performance in delivering mental healthcare.
A common problem in scaling-up interventions and strengthening mental health programmes in LMICs is how to transfer research evidence, such as the data collected in the Emerald project, into practice.
To describe how core elements of Emerald were implemented and aligned with the ultimate goal of strengthening mental health systems, as well as their short-term impact on practices, policies and programmes in the six partner countries.
We focused on the involvement of policy planners, managers, patients and carers.
Over 5 years of collaboration, the Emerald consortium has provided evidence and tools for the improvement of mental healthcare in the six LMICs involved in the project. We found that the knowledge transfer efforts had an impact on mental health service delivery and policy planning at the sites and countries involved in the project.
This approach may be valid beyond the mental health context, and may be effective for any initiative that aims at implementing evidence-based health policies for health system strengthening.
Ceramic–metal composites are an important group of materials that have gained interest recently because of their peculiar properties. There have been numerous studies on the reinforcement of alumina through the incorporation of various ductile metals in it. However, these studies have been limited to determining the effect of the addition of metals on the mechanical properties of ceramics, without determining the effect of these metal additions on other physical properties of the resulting composite. In this way, in agreement with the obtained results, we have that because of the conductive nature of metals, there is a considerable decrease in the electrical resistivity of alumina, mainly when copper is added to it. However, in terms of optical performance, alumina matrix composites showed significant changes in absorbance in the visible spectra. The addition of iron, titanium, and yttrium enhanced the absorbance of alumina, whereas manganese addition significantly decreased the optical absorption.
Earlier activities on health technology assessment (HTA) started in Spain around 1984, with the creation of a National Advisory Board on HTA, and the development of national and regional HTA organizations in the early 1990s. In 2012, the Spanish Health Ministry established the Spanish Network for Health Technology Assessment of the National Health System (RedETS); funded at national level and including all public HTA organizations at national and regional levels. RedETSis focused on the assessment of nondrug health technologies to inform the revision (approval and funding or disinvestment) of the Benefit Portfolio of the Spanish NHS. In parallel with European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA), RedETS has been setting-up and sharing common procedures and methodological guidelines to ensure effective cooperation and mutual recognition of the scientific and technical production in HTA. The output of RedETS is fifty to sixty annual reports, including the production of full HTA reports, Clinical Practice Guidelines, methodological guidance reports, relative effectiveness assessments, tools to support shared decision making between patients and healthcare professionals, and monitoring studies. The HTA assessments requested by the Regional Health Authorities are the biggest component of the annual RedETS working plan. These assessment needs are identified according to a yearly process and prioritized by a Commission composed of representatives from all Spanish regions with the aid of the PRITEC tool. The objectives of this study are to report and update the normative and organizational state of HTA in Spain; describing noteworthy advances witnessed over the past 10 years, as well as discussing existing challenges.
In recent years, modified graphene has been used in various biomedical applications due to its excellent properties that allow the development of devices capable of detecting macromolecules within the human organism, also for biomolecular analysis, discovery of biomarkers, bioimaging and target delivery. These applications involve interactions between enzymes, proteins, peptides, DNA, RNA, etc. and modified graphene, therefore the study and the theoretical and experimental investigation of these interactions is essential for the development of nanobio-technology. For example, many applications based on using modified graphene to detect macromolecules require studying the changes in the properties of doped graphene when interacting with macromolecules. In this work, DFT and molecular dynamics methods were used to obtain results of the changes in energy density of states of graphene doped with iron when it is made to interact with coenzyme A. Besides, we presented a study of molecular dynamics in order to determine the quantum factors that guide the interaction graphene-coenzyme A. The system was studied in aqueous medium which it was simulated by the dielectric constant of water. The results confirm that the methodology presented in this work can be used to theoretically detect various macromolecules.
During the INDEMARES/CHICA 0610, 0211 and 0412 expeditions, carried out in the northern Spanish sector of the Gulf of Cádiz (Spain), samples were collected with a box-corer in 11 mud volcanoes and their adjacent bottoms. Chemoautotrophic communities were found in nine mud volcanoes. Among Decapoda, a rare eucalliacid, belonging to the genus Calliax and related to the Mediterranean infralittoral species C. lobata (de Gaillande and Lagardère 1966), was present in three of them. Data on its morphology, biogeographic distribution, vertical distribution within the burrows, sediment composition, pH and redox potential values (each in 5 cm intervals) are given; information on the chemoautotrophic communities associated with this species are also provided.
In this work, the degradation of methyl orange (MO) was analyzed by direct light with visible radiation (λ > 450 nm) of a dye solution in the presence of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) or silicon nanowires with copper nanoparticles (SiNWs-CuNPs). The SiNWs were synthesized by metal assisted etching from monocrystalline silicon wafers in aqueous HF / AgNO3 solution, and the CuNPs were deposited on the SiNWs via electroless. Discoloration with visible irradiation of aqueous methyl orange solution (C14H14N3NaOS) in the presence of SiNWs showed an efficiency of 71% after 120 min of illumination. The deposition of copper nanoparticles on the nanowires improves the efficiency of the photocatalytic reaction achieving 89% discoloration after 120 min exposure to visible light. The MO photocatalytic degradation with visible radiation in aqueous solution shows to be efficient in discoloration reaching up to 92% in a time of 150 min in the presence of SiNWs-CuNPs.
The aim of this study is to provide an overview of the development of premature children, including attachment, child psychological adjustment and parental variables. 130 children < 1,500 g or < 32 weeks at birth from two public hospitals, assessed at two years corrected age, together with their parents. Parental socio-demographic data was collected. Infant development, attachment and child psychological adjustment were evaluated, as was parental stress. The percentage of preterm children with developmental delays ranged from 5% to 21%. Girls tend to show higher levels of development than boys with effect sizes ranging from small, η2p = .02, to medium, η2p = .07. Secure attachment was the most frequent pattern in the sample. No significant differences, p < .05, between preterm children and the normative population were found on children´s behavioral problems and maternal stress levels. Despite the fact prematurity is considered to be a risk factor for a child´s development, a significant proportion of these children do not show problems in terms of developmental levels, attachment pattern and maternal stress. However, socio-emotional and affective domains, as well as psychological support programs for parenthood, should be followed up from a multidisciplinary perspective.
The Recorrido Arqueológico de Coixtlahuaca (RAC) presents period-by-period settlement pattern maps for the valley of Coixtlahuaca in the northern Mixteca Alta. The RAC project made improvements in full-coverage survey methods. We identify limitations and suggest that similar projects in the future need to resolve several management and budget problems. The survey revealed two periods of heavy occupation, 700–300 BC and AD 1200–1520, separated by a long period of lower population. Archaeological and historical data indicate that during the AD 1200–1520 period, and probably earlier, small landholders organized in strong communities managed an intensive agroecosystem, investing in landesque capital. Urbanization was impressive, yet cities were aggregations of communities and barrios. Today local citizens pose questions about how the large prehispanic population could have organized and sustained itself; these questions coincide with anthropological interest in collective agency, property, landesque capital, and collapse.
The Spanish National Network (REDETS) is a group of eight agencies, units and services, depending on National and Regional Governments that coordinate their work within a common methodological framework, guided by the principles of mutual recognition and cooperation. The necessity of considering a Quality Management System has been detected and, consequently, a common tool for all the members needs to be developed. We describe in this study the process to achieve that goal.
Based on both a review of previous literature and the proposal for a self-evaluating tool, a group of experts from each agency through consensus have developed a tool for self-evaluation in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies. Through the structure described in the handbook of the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality (ACSA), each standard should have a statement or proposal that needs to also include evidence or good practices, and the corresponding evaluation questions. In separate workgroups, the definition of these proposals, evidence and evaluation questions were developed. One face-to-face meeting and two meetings via teleconference were necessary to achieve a final document with all the quality standards.
From a proposed structure of sixty-six standards, the titles, definitions, statements and evidence as well as good practices and evaluation questions were established in workgroups with consensus among all of the members (1 - 3). The final version of the self-assessment tool was composed of sixty-eight standards, grouped in twelve quality criteria structured in four dimensions: I Responsibility, II Clients and Stakeholders, III Production Process, and IV Resources.
Quality management requires an evaluation tool and this version, based on a systematic review and consensus, is a useful and practical instrument for developing a handbook by each member of REDETS. An online version of the tool is in process of development.
Chitin nanowhiskers were obtained with the purpose to be used as astaxanthin protectors against the photo and thermal degradation. These nanostructures were generated by a freezing/thawing procedure using two stirring methods: mechanical and sonication, which were named as FTM and FTS respectively. Morphological and spectroscopic studies were carried out on chitin nanowhiskers by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Through a SEM analysis, chitin fibers were found uniformly spaced and oriented with the width ranged from of 20-40 nm. Furthermore, the nanowhiskers obtained by FTM showed long and flattened structures and bundles of homogeneous sizes, which have the capacity of being sites of stress concentration. In contrast, by FTS, the nanowhiskers showed coarse fibers exhibiting numerous peaks. By comparing the two methods is appreciated that FTS method provides more surface area, giving more sites for functionalization. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) allowed the determination of free movement of functional groups on the surface of samples obtained by FTM and FTS methods. Significant differences of signals in the spectra indicate that there were more unassociated amides in the nanowhiskers obtained by FTS than by FTM.
The aim of this study is to compare the corrosion rate of aluminum alloys for ornamental pieces. Three Fe/Cu relationships were tested in order to improve hardness and brightness in aluminum pieces since these alloys are used in the making of ornamental pieces. The variation on Fe/Cu content could result in modification on corrosion rate, since a metallographic characterization must be carried out identifying the presence of intermetallic phases. The presence of these elements could result in increasing corrosion rate, or even in modification of corrosion morphology, so localized corrosion could be expected.
The assessment of corrosion rate was carried out in saline media, since chlorides are ions that promote localized corrosion. Electrochemical techniques (polarization curves and Tafel plots) were used in order to evaluate the attack in aluminum pieces; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was also employed with voltage amplitude of 10 mV rms, and a frequency range from 10,000 Hz to 0.01 Hz. A typical three electrodes cell was used, exposing an area of one cm2. Before polarization, open circuit potential was monitored for an hour looking for a steady state. All conditions were tested for triplicate.
The behavior of open circuit potential vs. time, and polarization curves was analyzed; a corrosion mechanism is proposed according to the electrochemical control. Polarization rate was calculated by using Tafel plots and, an electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis by using equivalent electric circuits is shown. Electrochemical impedance will yield information about corrosion morphology that is backed with microscopic inspection.
The objective of this study is to compare the corrosion rate of aluminum alloys for ornamental pieces in order to determine the effect of the relationship Fe/Cu on the corrosion mechanism in aluminum parts for ornamental pieces.
When high strength and high ductility are required, the Twinning Induced Plasticity steels are an excellent choice. Their mechanical advantages are perfectly known in the automotive industry. Then, they are currently deeply studied. During the deformation at high temperature, TWIP steel experiences dynamic recrystallization. This mechanism results from dislocation interactions, and it depends of temperature, stress, strain, and strain rate. Experimental data give the maximum stress reached by the material, but the critical stress which determinates the DRX onset must be calculated from the strain hardening rate. Both stress and strain change simultaneously, and this variation gives the analytic data to determine σc, which is located at the inflection point of θ-σ plot. The main purpose of this paper was to study how the chemical composition and the experimental parameters (temperature and strain rate) affect the DRX, by the calculation and analysis of the σc values. Hot compression tests were applied to a pair of TWIP steels to compare the DRX onset and its relationship with the vanadium addition. The experimental variables were temperature and strain rate. The true stress–true strain plots were used to calculate σc by cutting data up to a previous point before the σp value, then, a polynomial fit and derivation were applied. The Zener-Hollomon parameter (Z) versus the stresses (peak and critical) plots show how the micro-alloying element vanadium improves the strain hardening in the analyzed TWIP steels.
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are a class of materials that can be manipulated under the influence of an external magnetic field. Thanks to the ability of the MNPs to be guided by an external magnetic field that is like "action at a distance", combined with their low cytotoxicity and the intrinsic penetrability of magnetic fields into human tissue, opens up many applications involving the transport and/or immobilization of biological entities [1, 2].
This work is focused on the synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles by varied methods, their functionalization with nickel tetrasulfonated phthalocyanine, and the corresponding physicochemical characterization and colloidal stability studies in biologically compatible media. The in vitro production of singlet oxygen by these nanoparticles through photochemical stimulation in ultraviolet and visible region was evaluated, resulting in 4.5 and 4 µM respectly to magnetite synthetized in the group. The increase reactive oxygen species concentration in the cellular environment can result in modification and damage of cellular components, and potentially, cell death and necrosis. Therefore, these materials offer the promise of revolutionary tools for photodynamic therapy and hyperthermia, which are attractive strategies for cancer therapy without systemic toxicity.
The aim of this work was to assess the corrosion and degradation effects of a biofuel on metallic materials tested in an experimental internal combustion engine (ICE). Biodiesel is considered as an alternative fuel for diesel, for industrial applications ranging from boilers to ICE. The experimental vehicle motor, fitted with carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloys and magnesium alloys was operated with local biodiesel. The corrosion performance was evaluated by gravimetric, chemical and electrochemical techniques, following the practices recommended in ASTM and NACE standards for corrosion testing. This work is the result of an international cooperation between the Institute of Engineering, Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico and the Corrosion Research Center, Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, Israel. The characteristics and conditions of the ICE operated with biodiesel, and the results of the corrosion essays are presented, analyzed and discussed.
Aluminum titanium oxynitride (TiAlNO) coatings were deposited on 316 steel substrates by the sputtering technique, varying the nitrogen flow from 2.5, 5, 7.5 to 10 sccm, and maintaining constant at 12 sccm the flow argon gas. We used targets of titanium and alumina with 99.995% purity. The hardness and tribological analyses were determined by Vickers microhardness and tribology (tribometer pin-disc), respectively. The results show that the coating with a nitrogen flow of 10 sccm had the lowest volumetric wear (2.047738693 mm3) and the maximum value of hardness (11.2 GPa). Analysis of X-ray diffraction evidenced the presence of three crystalline phases: Ti2N, Al2O3 and TiO2. It can be observed that by increasing the nitrogen flow, the portion of semi-Ti2N phase increases, Al2O3 decreases and TiO2 remains almost constant, and also producing a change in crystallographic orientation with reference to the Ti2N phase. Crystal grain sizes were estimated by X-ray diffraction Fourier line profile analysis using Warren–Averbach method. This analysis showed a grain size between 5 and 15 nm. Raman spectroscopy results show the presence of the TiO2 phase which corroborated the X-ray diffraction results.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) from diethyl ether, butanol, hexane and ethyl acetate. A quartz tube with a stainless steel tube catalyst core with 0.019 m diameter and 0.6 m large formed the reactor. To avoid combustion, argon was used as the carrier gas. Time process ranged 30 to 60 min. The range of CNTs synthesis temperature was 680-850 °C for different precursors. Scanning Electron Microscopy micrographs have demonstrated tangled CNTs growth in all samples, thus presenting difficult length measurement. The CNTs diameters from diethyl ether are 45-200 nm, butanol diameter range from 55-230 nm, hexane diameter range is 50-130 nm and ethyl acetate range from 100 to 300 nm. Carbon content for all samples was higher than 93 %, CNTs from butanol showed carbon concentration up to 99%. FTIR, Raman and X-Ray Spectroscopies spectra for all samples demonstrated the characteristics signals present in carbon nanotubes. This research proposes a simple, effective and innovative method to synthesize CNTs by CVD on iron stainless steel catalyst in combination with diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, butanol and hexane as precursors by applying the principles of green chemistry, sustainability and its ease to be scaled.
Chitosan is biocompatible polymer has a great commercial interest because it can be processed in a sort of devices varying in shape and size, such as membranes, gels and nanoparticles. Mostly, the cell’s attachment and proliferation are very positive on nanostructurated materials with a three-dimensional formation. An irreversible network can be produced by covalently binding the polymer to the cross-linker molecules. Chitosan nanoparticles were prepared using glutaraldehyde as cross-linker. This crosss-liker mostly reacts with chitosan amino groups. In order to control and understand the physical characteristics of chitosan nanoparticle, in this work is showed the molecular behavior of chitosan/glutaraldehyde from the viewpoint of molecular interactions base in a series of molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulation. The results indicated the conformations of both molecules, which had a significant influence on the molecular association. The chitosan chains were uniformly distributed presenting a high flexibility and preference for the relaxed two-fold helix. This was due to the various associations such as intramolecular chitosan interactions –O-H···O-C-. While the chitosan-glutaraldehyde associations were due to the positive net charge density of hydrogens in the chitosan plus - H2N···C=O associations. In solid state chitosan nano and microparticles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). According to the micrographs results, the nanoparticles presented a monomorphism with piles of particles arranged in linear order which was consistent with the conformations determined by simulation.