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Individuals with schizophrenia have deficits in social cognition that are associated with poor functional outcome. Unfortunately, current treatments result in only modest improvement in social cognition. Oxytocin, a neuropeptide with pro-social effects, has significant benefits for social cognition in the general population. However, studies examining the efficacy of oxytocin in schizophrenia have yielded inconsistent results. One reason for inconsistency may be that oxytocin has typically not been combined with psychosocial interventions. It may be necessary for individuals with schizophrenia to receive concurrent psychosocial treatment while taking oxytocin to have the context needed to make gains in social cognitive skills.
The current study tested this hypothesis in a 24-week (48 session) double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that combined oxytocin and Cognitive-Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST), which included elements from Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT). Participants included 62 outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia (placebo n = 31; oxytocin n = 31) who received 36 IU BID, with supervised administration 45 min prior to sessions on CBSST group therapy days. Participants completed a battery of measures administered at 0, 12, and 24 weeks that assessed social cognition.
CBSST generally failed to enhance social cognition from baseline to end of study, and there was no additive benefit of oxytocin beyond the effects of CBSST alone.
Findings suggest that combined CBSST and oxytocin had minimal benefit for social cognition, adding to the growing literature indicating null effects of oxytocin in multi-dose trials. Methodological and biological factors may contribute to inconsistent results across studies.
Increasing prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been reported in Canada. We report the results of a prospective surveillance of MRSA infections in Alberta over a consecutive 3-year period. A total of 8910 unique clinical MRSA isolates was analysed from July 2005 to June 2008. The incidence of MRSA infection increased over the study period and was highest in males, age group ⩾85 years, and the Calgary Area. CMRSA10 (USA300) and CMRSA2 (USA100/800) were the most common PFGE strain types, representing 53·0% and 27·9% of all isolates, respectively. Significant differences were noted between MRSA strains in the source of infection and antimicrobial susceptibility. The incidence of MRSA infection in Alberta has nearly doubled in the last 3 years; this is attributed to the emergence of CMRSA10 as the predominant strain.
This study examines a cohort of persons quarantined during the 2003 SARS outbreak in Canada and describes their understanding of, difficulties and compliance with, and the psychological impact of the quarantine experience. A mailed questionnaire was administered to 1912 eligible adults and included the Impact of Events Scale – Revised (IES-R) to assess symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Self-reported compliance with all required quarantine measures was low (15·8±2·3%), although significantly higher when the rationale for quarantine was understood (P=0·018). Health-care workers (HCW) experienced greater psychological distress, including symptoms of PTSD (P<0·001). Increasing perceived difficulty with compliance, HCW, longer quarantine and compliance with quarantine requirements were significant contributors to higher IES-R scores. The low compliance with quarantine requirements introduces concerns about the effectiveness of quarantine as a public health measure. Improvements in compliance and reduced psychological distress may be possible by minimizing duration, revising requirements, and providing enhanced education and support.
Submucous diathermy of the inferior turbinates is a widely practised procedure. Three cases are presented in which surgery was complicated by avascular necrosis of the turbinate bone. Each patient required a debridement procedure before healing and recovery of normal mucociliary function could take place.
Levels of vasopressin, somatostatin, neurotensin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, corticotrophin-releasing factor and adrenocorticotrophin in CSF were determined in lithium-treated and unmedicated euthymic bipolar patients and controls, in a search for a trait marker in affective disorder. No group differences in levels of these peptides were found. Highly significant positive correlations were found among these peptides (with the exception of neurotensin), suggesting that their presence in CSF is functionally significant, as opposed to the result of random diffusion from the interstitial space of the brain.
An investigation was undertaken of the creep of columnar-grained ice under constant compressive stresses of 98 and 59 kPa in order to extend the observed relationship between strain-rate and stress further into the low-stress region. Stress was applied perpendicular to the long direction of the grains. Observations were made for temperatures between -5 and -40°C. The steady-state creep rate for secondary creep was not yet attained for strain of 1.4% and stress of 98 kPa. An initial yield was observed at that stress in the strain range of 0.2 to 0.3%, similar to that seen at higher stress. The observations showed that the strain-rate tended to a linear dependence on stress below 49 kPa and that more than one dislocation process with different values for the stress exponent may contribute to the strain at higher stresses. An activation energy of 63 kJ mol−1 was consistent with the observed temperature dependence of the strain-rate. Straining ice to a given strain under a stress of about 0.3 MPa and then reducing the load may be a convenient way to study the stress, strain and temperature dependence of the strain-rate at low stress.
The principal engineering problems requiring knowledge concerning the properties of ice are prediction of the maximum force that ice might exert on a structure and determination of the load that can be placed safely on an ice cover. The properties of ice relevant to these problems are discussed. Particular attention is given to the dependence of Young's modulus on the frequency of the stress, strain-rate dependence of the yield and fracture strengths, and the ductile to brittle transition. It is shown that the strain-rate dependence of these properties is consistent with information on the stress dependence of dislocation velocity on the basal plane. The tensile and compressive strengths are also shown to be consistent with current theories of crack initiation and propagation.
The findings of clinical and experimental studies conducted over the past 25 years provide extensive evidence that in both laboratory animals and man memory can be modified by treatments which affect the central nervous system. Patients with head injuries may suffer from retrograde amnesia, a loss of memory for experiences which occur just prior to the onset of the injury. Findings of laboratory studies using animal subjects indicate that retrograde amnesia can be produced by a wide variety of experimental treatments.
An unusual humped formation of floating ice, about 10 m. high, 100 m. wide and 1,200 m. long. was observed on the Ottawa River, Canada. Some characteristics of this formation are described. The cause of the humps was found to be frazil ice deposited in a trench about 90 m. wide, 90 m. deep and 1,200 m. long. The frazil ice was formed in rapids up-stream from the humps.
Observations were carried out on each significant layer of the snow cover at Ottawa (lat. 45° 24′ N., long. 75° 43′ W.) on the thickness of the layer, and the density, grain size distribution and degree of bonding of the snow in each layer. A logarithmic dependence on time was found for the layer thickness, and the density and grain size distribution. The product of layer thickness times the corresponding snow density was found to be constant when no melting occurred.
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