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Peripheral gene expression of several molecular pathways has been studied in major depressive disorder (MDD) with promising results. We sought to investigate some of these genes in a treatment-free Latino sample of Mexican descent.
Material and Methods:
The sample consisted of 50 MDD treatment-free cases and 50 sex and age-matched controls. Gene expression of candidate genes of neuroplasticity (BDNF, p11, and VGF), inflammation (IL1A, IL1B, IL4, IL6, IL7, IL8, IL10, MIF, and TNFA), the canonical Wnt signaling pathway (TCF7L2, APC, and GSK3B), and mTOR, was compared in cases and controls. RNA was obtained from blood samples. We used bivariate analyses to compare subjects versus control mean mRNA quantification of target genes and lineal regression modelling to test for effects of age and body mass index on gene expression.
Most subjects were female (66%) with a mean age of 26.7 (SD 7.9) years. Only GSK3B was differentially expressed between cases and controls at a statistically significant level (p = 0.048). TCF7L-2 showed the highest number of correlations with MDD-related traits, yet these were modest in size.
GSK3B encodes a moderator of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. It has a role in neuroplasticity, neuroprotection, depression, and other psychiatric phenotypes. We found that adding population diversity has the potential to elicit distinct peripheral gene expression markers in MDD and MDD-related traits. However, our results should only be considered as hypothesis-generating research that merits further replication in larger cohorts of similar ancestry.
The random encounter model, a method for estimating animal density using camera traps without the need for individual recognition, has been developed over the past decade. A key assumption of this model is that cameras are placed randomly in relation to animal movements, requiring that cameras are not set only at sites thought to have high animal traffic. The aim of this study was to define a correction factor that allows the random encounter model to be applied in photo-trapping surveys in which cameras are placed along tracks to maximize capture probability. Our hypothesis was that applying such a correction factor would compensate for the different rates at which lynxes use tracks and the surrounding area, and should thus improve the estimates obtained with the random encounter model. We tested this using data from a well-known Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus population. Firstly, we estimated Iberian lynx densities using a traditional camera-trapping design followed by spatially explicit capture–recapture analyses. We estimated the differential use rate for tracks vs the surrounding area using data from a lynx equipped with a GPS collar, and subsequently calculated the correction factor. As expected, the random encounter model overestimated densities by 378%. However, the application of the correction factor improved the estimate and reduced the error to 16%. Although there are limitations to the application of the correction factor, the corrected random encounter model shows potential for density estimation of species for which individual identification is not possible.
Long-acting injectable antipsychotic therapies may offer benefits over oral antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia. However, there is still a lack of real-world studies assessing the effectiveness of these therapies.
This study aimed to explore the safety, tolerability, and treatment response of aripiprazole monohydrate (AOM) once monthly in non-acute but symptomatic adult patients switched from previous therapy with frequently used oral or injectable atypical antipsychotics.
This was a post hoc analysis of a prospective, interventional, single-arm, open-label, 6-month study.
The patients (N=54) were switched to aripiprazole monohydrate once-monthly (AOM) from daily oral treatment or monthly injectable treatment with either aripiprazole (n=25), olanzapine (n=7), paliperidone extended-release (PP1M) (n=10), quetiapine (n=4), or risperidone (n=8). In all groups, mean Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total (p=0.0001) and Clinical Global Impression-Severity scores improved significantly (p=0.0001). A reduction of ≥50% reduction of BPRS total-score and a CGI severity-score ≤4 in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total score were observed in 16.7% (aripiprazole), 21.2% (olanzapine), 35.1% (PP1M), 27.3% (quetiapine), and 37.2% (risperidone) of patients. The patients showed significant improvements involving safety features as they experienced significant overall weight loss (p=0.0001) and prolactine decrease (risperidone p=0.0001, paliperidone extended-release p=0.0001). AOM once-monthly was well tolerated, presenting no new safety signals. Patient also reported an overall significant improvement on their quality of life measured with the Quality of Life Rating Scale (QLS) (p=0.0004) as well as in sexual functioning PRSexDQ-SALSEX (p=0.0001). In addition, the all cause treatment discontinuation rate after6-month follow-up was small (n=3; 5,55%)
These data illustrate that stable, non-acute but symptomatic patients either on oral antipsychotic therapy or under monthly antipsychotic treatment may show clinically meaningful improvement of psychotic symptoms, tolerability involving relevant side effects and quality of life perception. The findings are limited by the naturalistic study design; thus, further studies are required to confirm the current findings.
This meta-analytic review is the first to synthesise findings from prospective research on the long-term course of borderline personality disorder in adult clinical populations.
Systematic searches were conducted in Medline, PsycINFO, PsycArticles, PubMed and Scopus within the period 1990-2017. Inclusion criteria were: (1) adult BPD sample diagnosed by a validated, semi-structured interview; (2) at least two prospective assessments of outcomes; and (3) follow-up period ≥ 5 years. Quality of evidence was rated with the Systematic Assessment of Quality in Observational Research (SAQOR). Four outcomes were meta-analysed using mixed-effect methods: remission from BPD diagnosis, completed suicide, depressive symptoms, and functioning. Potential moderators regarding the natural course and the initial treatment received were studied.
Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria, with 837 participants from nine countries being followed. Between 50% and 70% of the BPD patients achieved remission in the long-term. Significant reductions in depression and functional impairment were also found. Mean suicide rate ranged from 2% to 5%. Younger age was associated with higher likelihood for remission. Being female was correlated with lower functional improvement. Despite some positive trends, there were no significant associations between treatment moderators and the long-term outcome.
Findings suggest that the course of BPD is characterised by symptomatic amelioration and a slight functional improvement in the long-term. Age and gender modulate the long-term prognosis and should be considered to adapt treatment resources. Further research is required to draw robust conclusions on the long-term effects of psychotherapeutic interventions.
To compare the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and mortality of patients with bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) versus ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) and to examine the differences in clinical characteristics and outcome between BSIs caused by isolates with CTX-M versus other ESBL genotypes
As part of the INCREMENT project, 33 tertiary hospitals in 12 countries retrospectively collected data on adult patients diagnosed with ESBL-EC BSI or ESBL-KP BSI between 2004 and 2013. Risk factors for ESBL-EC versus ESBL-KP BSI and for 30-day mortality were examined by bivariate analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression.
The study included 909 patients: 687 with ESBL-EC BSI and 222 with ESBL-KP BSI. ESBL genotype by polymerase chain reaction amplification of 286 isolates was available. ESBL-KP BSI was associated with intensive care unit admission, cardiovascular and neurological comorbidities, length of stay to bacteremia >14 days from admission, and a nonurinary source. Overall, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with ESBL-KP BSI than ESBL-EC BSI (33.7% vs 17.4%; odds ratio, 1.64; P=.016). CTX-M was the most prevalent ESBL subtype identified (218 of 286 polymerase chain reaction-tested isolates, 76%). No differences in clinical characteristics or in mortality between CTX-M and non–CTX-M ESBLs were detected.
Clinical characteristics and risk of mortality differ significantly between ESBL-EC and ESBL-KP BSI. Therefore, all ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae should not be considered a homogeneous group. No differences in outcomes between genotypes were detected.
Ti6Al4V alloy samples with large pores suitable for bone implants are fabricated by pressing and sintering. Ti6Al4V powder is mixed with different volume fractions of salt particles. The sintering behavior up to 1260 °C is studied by dilatometry and pore features are observed by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microtomography. Sintered materials with a relative density between 0.26 and 0.97 are obtained. 3D image analysis proves that large pores form a connected network when the amount of salt is 20% and above. The Young’s modulus and the yield stress of sintered materials deduced from compression tests span over wide ranges of values, which are consistent with real bone data. A simple analytical model is proposed to estimate the relative density as a function of the fraction of salt. This model combined with classical Gibson and Ashby’s power equations for mechanical properties can predict the fraction of salt required to obtain prescribed properties.
This paper presents an experimental articulatory characterisation of lateral /l/ and nasal /n/ in Basque, using MRI midsagittal images. In order to assess previous observations of retroflexion or velarisation in these consonants in Basque, a battery of articulatory parameters is used which can be directly measured on the images. This set of parameters, focused on the description of the tongue shape and position, permits a fine-grained characterisation of the articulation of the two consonants under study, indicating the possible existence of a double articulation pattern in /l/ and, less clearly, in /n/. The results help to compensate for the lack of experimental descriptions on the articulation of Basque.
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).
The diet and habitat of Leptomeryx sp. from the Late Uintan Yolomécatl Formation of NW Oaxaca, SE Mexico were inferred using dental enamel carbon and oxygen isotopic relationships, and compared with those of congeneric species from temperate North America. Results show that Leptomeryx sp. fed on C3 plants and lived in open forest or forest/savanna ecotone. The palynoflora and co-occurrence of perissodactyls and artiodactyls that live in an environment like that of Leptomeryx support this interpretation. Further, both records disclose that in NW Oaxaca (southern North America) tropical conditions prevailed at that time, unlike that of temperate North America.
Here we present a new site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain): Galería de las Estatuas (GE), which provides new information about Mousterian occupations in the Iberian Plateau. The GE was an ancient entrance to the cave system, which is currently closed and sealed by a stalagmitic crust, below which a detritic sedimentary sequence of more than 2 m is found. This has been divided into five litostratigraphic units with a rich assemblage of faunal and lithic remains of clear Mousterian affinity. Radiocarbon dates provide minimum ages and suggest occupations older than 45 14C ka BP. The palynological analysis detected a landscape change to increased tree coverage, which suggests that the sequence recorded a warming episode. The macromammal assemblage is composed of both ungulates (mainly red deer and equids) and carnivores. Taphonomic analysis reveals both anthropic, and to a lesser extent, carnivore activities. The GE was occupied by Neanderthals and also sporadically by carnivores. This new site broadens the information available regarding different human occupations at the Sierra de Atapuerca, which emphasizes the importance of this site-complex for understanding human evolution in Western Europe.
To determine the effects of lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) on children’s Hb, linear growth and development, compared with supplementation with micronutrient powder (MNP).
The study was a two-arm parallel-group randomized controlled trial, where participants received either LNS or MNP for daily consumption during 6 months. Supplements were delivered by staff at government-run health centres. Hb, anthropometric, motor development, language development and problem-solving indicators were measured by trained research assistants when children were 12 months of age.
The study was conducted in five rural districts in the Province of Ambo in the Department of Huánuco, Peru.
We enrolled 6-month-old children (n 422) at nineteen health centres.
Children who received LNS had a higher mean Hb concentration and lower odds of anaemia than those who received MNP. No significant differences in height-for-age, weight-for-height or weight-for-age Z-score, or stunting and underweight prevalence, were observed. Provision of LNS was associated with a higher pre-verbal language (gestures) score, but such effect lost significance after adjustment for covariates. Children in the LNS group had higher problem-solving task scores and increased odds of achieving this cognitive task than children in the MNP group. No significant differences were observed on receptive language or gross motor development.
LNS between 6 and 12 months of age increased Hb concentration, reduced anaemia and improved cognitive development in children, but showed no effects on anthropometric indicators, motor or language development.
A high incidence of burnout has been reported in health professionals working in palliative care units. Our present study aims to determine whether there are differences in the secretion of salivary cortisol between palliative care unit health professionals with and without burnout, and to elucidate whether there is a relationship between burnout syndrome and perceived stress and psychopathological status in this population.
A total of 69 health professionals who met the inclusion criteria participated in our study, including physicians, nurses, and nursing assistants. Some 58 were women (M = 29.65 years, SD = 8.64) and 11 men (M = 35.67 years, SD = 11.90). The level of daily cortisol was registered in six measurements taken over the course of a workday. Burnout syndrome was evaluated with the Maslach Burnout Inventory–Human Services Survey (MBI–HSS), the level of perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale, and psychopathological status was gauged using the SCL–90–R Symptoms Inventory.
There were statistically significant differences in secretion of cortisol in professionals with high scores on a single subscale of the MBI–HSS [F(3.5) = 2.48, p < 0.03]. This effect was observed 15–30 minutes after waking up (p < 0.01) and at bedtime (p < 0.06). Moreover, the professionals with burnout showed higher scores on the psychopathology and stress subscales than professionals without it.
Significance of results:
A higher score in any dimension of the burnout syndrome in palliative care unit health professionals seems to be related to several physiological and psychological parameters. These findings may be relevant for further development of our understanding of the relationship between levels of burnout and cortisol secretion in the health workers in these units.
Obesity may be considered a social stigma. In addition, people with obesity are frequently aware of stigma directed at others who have a similar weight and come to think stigmatized thoughts about themselves. Our study focused specifically on how blatant and subtle discrimination and weight self-stigma are related to depression and anxiety in people with obesity. The sample comprised 170 participants from the Clinical Nutrition Unit of the “Hospital de Valme” (Seville, Spain). The Weight Self-Stigma Questionnaire, the Multidimensional Perceived Discrimination Scale, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were used. It was found that blatant and subtle discrimination and weight self-stigma were positively related to depression (.31, .38, and .45 respectively) and anxiety (.30, .36, and .49 respectively; all ps < .01). The path analysis conducted showed that there was a mediational effect of weight self-stigma between blatant (β = .36) and subtle discrimination (β = .40) and depression (β = .24) and anxiety (β = .49; all ps < .01). According to these results, it can be said that weight self-stigma was a full mediator in the model found because the relationships between the independent and the dependent variables were non-significant. Finally, results are discussed in the frame of the obesity stigma literature, and some clinical implications of the results of the study are suggested.
Since work organizations became the subject of scientific research, how to operationalize and measure dimensions of work design has been an issue, mainly due to concerns about internal consistency and factor structure. In response, Morgeson and Humphrey (2006) built the Work Design Questionnaire –WDQ–, an instrument that identifies and measures these dimensions in different work and organizational contexts. This paper presents the instruent’s adaptation into Spanish using reliability and validity analysis and drawing on a sample of 1035 Spanish workers who hold various jobs in an array of occupational categories. The total instrument’s internal consistency was Cronbach’s alpha of .92 and the various scales’ reliability ranged from .70 to .96, except for three dimensions. There was initially a difference in the comparative fit of the two versions’ factor structures, but the model with 21 work characteristics (motivational -task and knowledge-, social, and work context) showed the highest goodness of fit of the various models tested, confirming previous results from the U.S. version as well as adaptations into other languages and contexts. CFA results indicated goodness of fit of factor configurations corresponding to each of the four major categories of work characteristics, with CFI and TLI around .90, as well as SRMR and RMSEA below .08. Thus it brings to the table a reliable, valid measure of work design with clear potential applications in research as well as professional practice, applications that could improve working conditions, boost productivity, and generate more personal and professional development opportunities for workers.
The aim of this research is to ameliorate the dispersion of pristine and functionalized Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) into polystyrene with hydroxyl end groups (PSOH) matrices using low magnetic fields. The Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) were synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using benzene as carbon source; to produce CNTs with and without functional groups two catalysts were used (stainless steel and ferrocene). The obtained nanotubes contained iron nanoparticles inside. PSOH were synthesized using styrene as monomer, azobisisobutyronitrile as initiator and 2-MeOH as chain transfer agent. The MWCNTs-PSOH matrices were formed using 1.6 wt % of carbon nanotubes into PSOH and ultrasonic mixing for 30 min. The mixing materials were poured into containers and dry at room temperature. While the material was drying, constant magnetic fields of 0.24 T were being applied for 50 min. The MWCNTs-PSOH composites were analysed by SEM, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. SEM micrographs showed that MWCNTs without functional groups were incorporated in the middle of PSOH. The MWCNTs functionalized perform differently; a better dispersion through the entire polymer matrix was achieved, because the polymer embedded the CNTs. FTIR and Raman spectroscopy showed chemical interaction between PSOH and MWCNTs functionalized. The CNTs dispersion into PSOH was ameliorated through the use of low magnetic fields and functionalization.
Early awareness and alert systems (EAAS) try to anticipate the impact of new technologies in the healthcare systems. Spain, which has a decentralized health system with public provision and universal health coverage, has been a pioneer in establishing EAAS activities. From 2006 a network of regional agencies coordinated EAAS activities. Taking into account the individual agencies scarce resources and in order to improve efficiency, this collaboration decided to distribute tasks when identifying and early assessment of new and emerging health technologies. The aim was to inform the common benefit package of the Spanish public health system.
Four out of eight Spanish Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies had EAAS in Spain (AETS-Carlos III Institute; AETSA-Andalusia; Avalia-t-Galicia; Osteba-Basque Country). Each agency has taken care of different sources for the identification of new and emerging non-drug health technologies: industry and innovator contacts, health expert networks, mass media and EAAS databases. Members of the network used the same filtration criteria to reach the final list. The system will run in parallel to a biannual identification process in major databases.
In 2016, the network identified and filtered sixty-three technologies: ten by mass media; five by health experts; thirty-five other EAAS and thirteen by direct contact with industry and innovators. Main represented specialties were: endocrinology (seven); gynecology and obstetrics (six); cardiology and cardiac surgery (five); emergency medicine (four); dermatology (three) and pneumology (three). Technologies were grouped by specialty in order to inform the different commissions that discuss inclusion in the Spanish Benefit Package. Specialty monographs will be published to inform stakeholders.
The approach is feasible, and increases the capacity of individual agencies to address the needs of the national and regional systems by improving their efficiency. There is a need to previously define the methods and the criteria that will be used for the identification and filtration.
The susceptibility to glyphosate and genetic diversity based on intersimple sequence repeat markers were characterized for 17 tropical sprangletop populations collected from two separate regions mainly in Persian lime groves in Veracruz, Mexico. The whole-plant dose response together with shikimic acid assays indicated different levels of glyphosate resistance in those populations. Genetic diversity values (h) estimated using POPGENE ranged from 0.119 to 0.198 and 0.117 to 0.214 within susceptible and resistant populations, respectively. The average genetic diversity (HS) within the susceptible populations was 0.157, and the total genetic diversity (HT) was 0.218. The HS of the resistant populations was 0.144, and the HT was 0.186. The analysis of molecular variance based on the response to glyphosate indicated that most of the genetic variation was found within groups of susceptible and resistant populations (90% of the genetic variation), whereas 10% or less was among groups. The high level of genetic diversity between glyphosate-resistant tropical sprangletop populations from distant and adjacent locations is likely due to both short- and long-distance seed dispersal and independent evolutionary events in tropical sprangletop populations among Persian lime groves in Veracruz.
With the growing demand of freight transport by means of container vessels as well as the important competition among terminals, managers and stakeholders seek to improve the exploitation of the container terminal resources efficiently. In this context, arises the Berth Allocation Problem, which aims to allocate and schedule incoming vessels along the quay. Its appropriate solution plays a relevant role in enhancing the terminal productivity. Thus, for addressing this problem, we propose a cooperative search, where the individuals are organized into groups and each member shares information with its group partners. This grouping strategy allows to diversify as well as intensify the search in some regions by means of information shared among the individuals of each group. The computational experiments for this problem reveal that our approach reports high-quality solutions and identifies promising regions within the search space in short computational times.