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The global spread of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) may be due to HIV/AIDS and other environmental factors. The symptoms of NTM and tuberculosis (TB) disease are indistinguishable, but their treatments are different. Lack of research on the epidemiology of NTM infections has led to underestimation of its prevalence within TB endemic countries. This study was designed to determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of pulmonary NTM in Bamako. A cross-sectional study which include 439 suspected cases of pulmonary TB. From 2006 to 2013 a total of 332 (76%) were confirmed to have sputum culture positive for mycobacteria. The prevalence of NTM infection was 9.3% of our study population and 12.3% of culture positive patients. The seroprevalence of HIV in NTM group was 17.1%. Patients who weighed <55 kg and had TB symptoms other than cough were also significantly more likely to have disease due to NTM as compared to those with TB disease who were significantly more likely to have cough and weigh more than 55 kg (OR 0.05 (CI 0.02–0.13) and OR 0.32 (CI 0.11–0.93) respectively). NTM disease burden in Bamako was substantial and diagnostic algorithms for pulmonary disease in TB endemic countries should consider the impact of NTM.
Subjectively assessed health is related to mortality. Various subjective indicators of health have been studied, but it is unclear whether perceived physical functioning or mental health best accounts for the relation with mortality.
We studied the relation of subjective measures of health with all-cause mortality in 5538 participants of age 55 to 96 years at baseline from the Rotterdam Study. Various instruments of subjectively assessed health were used, that included basic activities of daily living (BADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), quality of life (QoL), positive affect, somatic symptoms and negative affect. All participants completed questionnaires for each subjective measure of health and were followed for mortality for a mean of 12.2 (s.e. = 0.09) years. Cox regression analysis was conducted in the total sample.
In this cohort, 2021 persons died during 48 534 person-years of follow-up. All measures of subjective health were related to mortality after adjusting for age, gender, education, cognition, prevalent chronic diseases and cardiovascular risk [BADL hazard ratio (HR, calculated per Z-score) = 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29–1.41; IADL HR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.22–1.32; QoL HR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.81–0.89; positive affect HR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.88–0.96; somatic symptoms HR = 1.11, 95% CI 1.06–1.16; and negative affect HR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.10]. In the mutually adjusted model, only BADL (HR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.16–1.32) and IADL (HR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.04–1.17) remained independently associated with mortality.
Measures of subjectively assessed health are important indicators of mortality. Our study shows that of the different measures of subjective health, perceived physical health predicts mortality over and above mental health. Conversely, the association between mental health and mortality may partly be explained by poor perceived physical health.
Impairments in the attribution of salience are thought to be fundamental to the development of psychotic symptoms and the onset of psychotic disorders. The aim of the present study was to explore longitudinal alterations in salience processing in ultra-high-risk subjects for psychosis.
A total of 23 ultra-high-risk subjects and 13 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at two time points (mean interval of 17 months) while performing the Salience Attribution Test to assess neural responses to task-relevant (adaptive salience) and task-irrelevant (aberrant salience) stimulus features.
At presentation, high-risk subjects were less likely than controls to attribute salience to relevant features, and more likely to attribute salience to irrelevant stimulus features. These behavioural differences were no longer evident at follow-up. When attributing salience to relevant cue features, ultra-high-risk subjects showed less activation than controls in the ventral striatum at both baseline and follow-up. Within the high-risk sample, amelioration of abnormal beliefs over the follow-up period was correlated with an increase in right ventral striatum activation during the attribution of salience to relevant cue features.
These findings confirm that salience processing is perturbed in ultra-high-risk subjects for psychosis, that this is linked to alterations in ventral striatum function, and that clinical outcomes are related to longitudinal changes in ventral striatum function during salience processing.
The TORPEX basic plasma physics device at the Center for Plasma Physics Research (CRPP) in Lausanne, Switzerland is described. In TORPEX, simple magnetized toroidal configurations, a paradigm for the tokamak scrape-off layer (SOL), as well as more complex magnetic geometries of direct relevance for fusion are produced. Plasmas of different gases are created and sustained by microwaves in the electron-cyclotron (EC) frequency range. Full diagnostic access allows for a complete characterization of plasma fluctuations and wave fields throughout the entire plasma volume, opening new avenues to validate numerical codes. We detail recent advances in the understanding of basic aspects of plasma turbulence, including its development from linearly unstable electrostatic modes, the formation of filamentary structures, or blobs, and its influence on the transport of energy, plasma bulk and suprathermal ions. We present a methodology for the validation of plasma turbulence codes, which focuses on quantitative assessment of the agreement between numerical simulations and TORPEX experimental data.
Several psychosocial risk factors for complicated grief have been described. However, the association of complicated grief with cognitive and biological risk factors is unclear. The present study examined whether complicated grief and normal grief are related to cognitive performance or structural brain volumes in a large population-based study.
The present research comprised cross-sectional analyses embedded in the Rotterdam Study. The study included 5501 non-demented persons. Participants were classified as experiencing no grief (n = 4731), normal grief (n = 615) or complicated grief (n = 155) as assessed with the Inventory of Complicated Grief. All persons underwent cognitive testing (Mini-Mental State Examination, Letter–Digit Substitution Test, Stroop Test, Word Fluency Task, word learning test – immediate and delayed recall), and magnetic resonance imaging to measure general brain parameters (white matter, gray matter), and white matter lesions. Total brain volume was defined as the sum of gray matter plus normal white matter and white matter lesion volume. Persons with depressive disorders were excluded and analyses were adjusted for depressive symptoms.
Compared with no-grief participants, participants with complicated grief had lower scores for the Letter–Digit Substitution Test [Z-score −0.16 v. 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.36 to −0.04, p = 0.01] and Word Fluency Task (Z-score −0.15 v. 0.03, 95% CI −0.35 to −0.02, p = 0.02) and smaller total volumes of brain matter (933.53 ml v. 952.42 ml, 95% CI −37.6 to −0.10, p = 0.04).
Participants with complicated grief performed poorly in cognitive tests and had a smaller total brain volume. Although the effect sizes were small, these findings suggest that there may be a neurological correlate of complicated grief, but not of normal grief, in the general population.
Recent randomized controlled trials suggest some efficacy for focused interventions in subjects at high risk (HR) for psychosis. However, treating HR subjects within the real-world setting of prodromal services is hindered by several practical problems that can significantly make an impact on the effect of focused interventions.
All subjects referred to Outreach and Support in South London (OASIS) and diagnosed with a HR state in the period 2001–2012 were included (n = 258). Exposure to focused interventions was correlated with sociodemographic and clinical characteristics at baseline. Their association with longitudinal clinical and functional outcomes was addressed at follow-up.
In a mean follow-up time of 6 years (s.d. = 2.5 years) a transition risk of 18% was observed. Of the sample, 33% were treated with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) only; 17% of subjects received antipsychotics (APs) in addition to CBT sessions. Another 17% of subjects were prescribed with antidepressants (ADs) in addition to CBT. Of the sample, 20% were exposed to a combination of interventions. Focused interventions had a significant relationship with transition to psychosis. The CBT + AD intervention was associated with a reduced risk of transition to psychosis, as compared with the CBT + AP intervention (hazards ratio = 0.129, 95% confidence interval 0.030–0.565, p = 0.007).
There were differential associations with transition outcome for AD v. AP interventions in addition to CBT in HR subjects. These effects were not secondary to baseline differences in symptom severity.
The majority of people at ultra high risk (UHR) of psychosis also present with co-morbid affective disorders such as depression or anxiety. The neuroanatomical and clinical impact of UHR co-morbidity is unknown.
We investigated group differences in grey matter volume using baseline magnetic resonance images from 121 participants in four groups: UHR with depressive or anxiety co-morbidity; UHR alone; major depressive disorder; and healthy controls. The impact of grey matter volume on baseline and longitudinal clinical/functional data was assessed with regression analyses.
The UHR-co-morbidity group had lower grey matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex than the UHR-alone group, with an intermediate effect between controls and patients with major depressive disorder. In the UHR-co-morbidity group, baseline anterior cingulate volume was negatively correlated with baseline suicidality/self-harm and obsessive–compulsive disorder symptoms.
Co-morbid depression and anxiety disorders contributed distinctive grey matter volume reductions of the anterior cingulate cortex in people at UHR of psychosis. These volumetric deficits were correlated with baseline measures of depression and anxiety, suggesting that co-morbid depressive and anxiety diagnoses should be carefully considered in future clinical and imaging studies of the psychosis high-risk state.
New experimental data are reported on high-pressure polymorphism of CaCO3. The CaCO3-III phase was stabilized using a large-volume press device and high-resolution X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) patterns were collected from a few mm3 of powder sample. The interpretation of XRPD indicates that CaCO3-III and CaCO3-IIIb structures are present simultaneously and are in similar proportions. The lack of any unindexed peaks demonstrates that these two polymorphs are the only phases in this experiment, indicating that CaCO3-III and CaCO3-IIIb are the structures most likely to occur above 2.5 GPa. Relevant co-axial crystallographic matrix transformations from lower-pressure polymorphs to both CaCO3-III and CaCO3-IIIb are discussed to illustrate a further possible occurrence of co-existing and interspersed stable polymorphs in carbonate systems.
Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of developing a psychotic disorder but the temporal relationship between cannabis use and onset of illness is unclear. The objective of this study was to assess prospectively the influence of cannabis use on transition to psychosis in people at ultra-high risk (UHR) for the disorder.
Lifetime and continued cannabis use was assessed in a consecutively ascertained sample of 182 people (104 male, 78 female) at UHR for psychosis. Individuals were then followed clinically for 2 years to determine their clinical outcomes.
Lifetime cannabis use was reported by 134 individuals (73.6%). However, most of these individuals had stopped using cannabis before clinical presentation (n = 98, 73.1%), usually because of adverse effects. Among lifetime users, frequent use, early-onset use and continued use after presentation were all associated with an increase in transition to psychosis. Transition to psychosis was highest among those who started using cannabis before the age of 15 years and went on to use frequently (frequent early-onset use: 25%; infrequent or late-onset use: 5%; χ21 = 10.971, p = 0.001). However, within the whole sample, cannabis users were no more likely to develop psychosis than those who had never used cannabis (cannabis use: 12.7%; no use: 18.8%; χ21 = 1.061, p = 0.303).
In people at UHR for psychosis, lifetime cannabis use was common but not related to outcome. Among cannabis users, frequent use, early-onset use and continued use after clinical presentation were associated with transition to psychosis.
The current research was carried out to evaluate the use of crude protein and fibre components in faeces for estimating intake and digestibility in sheep fed with pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke). The equations were developed from four trials in metabolism cages with 16 sheep in each trial. Each animal received a different quantity of millet leaves in the diet: 0·015, 0·020 and 0·025 dry matter (DM) as a proportion of live weight (LW) and ad libitum with at least 0·2 of daily feed refusals. Organic matter intake (OMI, g/day) was measured, through the difference between offer and refusals; total faeces were collected for 5 days, which was used to determine faecal crude protein (CPf, g/day and g/kg of organic matter (OM)), faecal neutral detergent fibre (NDFf, g/day and g/kg OM), faecal acid detergent fibre (ADFf, g/day and g/kg OM) and OM digestibility (OMD). Linear regression equations were calculated to determine the relationship between OMI and CPf (P<0·001, R2=0·90, relative prediction error (RPE=14·02%). A multiple linear equation was generated for OMI including CPf and NDFf (P<0·001, R2=0·94; RPE=9·25%). Hyperbolic (single and multiple) and exponential models were tested to estimate OMD, where the hyperbolic multiple model including CPf and NDFf showed lower RPE (3·90%). These equations for estimating OMI and OMD were evaluated on sheep grazing P. americanum fertilized with increasing levels of nitrogen (N) (50, 100, 200 and 400 kg N/ha), comparing measured and estimated OMI. The intake estimated by multiple regression (CP and NDFf) showed a higher R2 (0·98) and lower RPE (5·25%) than the simple (CPf only) linear equation (R2=0·94; RPE=20·45%). The results demonstrated the feasibility of using the faecal index generated in metabolism cages for estimating intake and digestibility in sheep grazing P. americanum.
According to human research, the location of fat accumulation seems to play an important role in the induction of obesity-related inflammatory complications. To evaluate whether an inflammatory response to obesity depends on adipose tissue location, adipokine gene expression, presence of immune cells and adipocyte cell size of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) were compared between lean and obese cats. Additionally, the present study proposes the cat as a model for human obesity and highlights the importance of animal models for human research. A total of ten chronically obese and ten lean control cats were included in the present study. Body weight, body condition score and body composition were determined. T-lymphocyte, B-lymphocyte, macrophage concentrations and adipocyte cell size were measured in adipose tissue at different locations. Serum leptin concentration and the mRNA expression of leptin and adiponectin, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, chemoligand-5, IL-8, TNF-α, interferon-γ, IL-6 and IL-10 were measured in blood and adipose tissues (abdominal and inguinal SAT, and omental, bladder and renal VAT). Feline obesity was characterised by increased adipocyte cell size and altered adipokine gene expression, in favour of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Consequently, concentration of T-lymphocytes was increased in the adipose tissue of obese cats. Alteration of adipose tissue was location dependent in both lean and obese cats. Moreover, the observed changes were more prominent in SAT compared with VAT.
Cannabis can induce transient psychotic symptoms, but not all users experience these adverse effects. We compared the neural response to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in healthy volunteers in whom the drug did or did not induce acute psychotic symptoms.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, pseudorandomized design, 21 healthy men with minimal experience of cannabis were given either 10 mg THC or placebo, orally. Behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging measures were then recorded whilst they performed a go/no-go task.
The sample was subdivided on the basis of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale positive score following administration of THC into transiently psychotic (TP; n = 11) and non-psychotic (NP; n = 10) groups. During the THC condition, TP subjects made more frequent inhibition errors than the NP group and showed differential activation relative to the NP group in the left parahippocampal gyrus, the left and right middle temporal gyri and in the right cerebellum. In these regions, THC had opposite effects on activation relative to placebo in the two groups. The TP group also showed less activation than the NP group in the right middle temporal gyrus and cerebellum, independent of the effects of THC.
In this first demonstration of inter-subject variability in sensitivity to the psychotogenic effects of THC, we found that the presence of acute psychotic symptoms was associated with a differential effect of THC on activation in the ventral and medial temporal cortex and cerebellum, suggesting that these regions mediate the effects of the drug on psychotic symptoms.
Interpersonal sensitivity is a personality trait described as excessive awareness of both the behaviour and feelings of others. Although interpersonal sensitivity has been found to be one of the vulnerability factors to depression, there has been little interest in its relationship with the prodromal phase of psychosis. The aims of this study were to examine the level of interpersonal sensitivity in a sample of individuals with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) for psychosis and its relationship with other psychopathological features.
Method. Sixty-two individuals with an ARMS for psychosis and 39 control participants completed a series of self-report questionnaires, including the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM), the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ), the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ) and the Depression and Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS).
Individuals with an ARMS reported higher interpersonal sensitivity compared to controls. Associations between interpersonal sensitivity, positive psychotic symptoms (i.e. paranoid ideation), avoidant coping and symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress were also found.
This study suggests that being ‘hypersensitive’ to interpersonal interactions is a psychological feature of the putatively prodromal phase of psychosis. The relationship between interpersonal sensitivity, attenuated positive psychotic symptoms, avoidant coping and negative emotional states may contribute to long-term deficits in social functioning. We illustrate the importance, when assessing a young client with a possible ARMS, of examining more subtle and subjective symptoms in addition to attenuated positive symptoms.
In the last decades the conservation and protection of historical buildings, after theincreased atmospheric pollution, became a priority in all industrial countries. The natural stones exposed to a dramatically increased aggressive environment show their durability limits. The necessity to study new protective systems specifically projected to defend the materials according to the peculiar characteristics of each stone substrate. The complex heterogeneity of stone substrates demands an adaptable and efficient shielding strategy in order to satisfy the different protection requirements such as water repellency, permeability, photochemical and thermal stability and transparency. These characteristics, obviously, have to be maintained as long as possible. Such modulated multi-response behaviors can only be attempted with materials based on multifunctional copolymers. Different polymeric materials have been employed as coatings for building materials but these products were always transferred from industrial applications to the conservation of Cultural Heritage without a deep knowledge of their properties and without a real optimization of structures for stone protection.
In order to discern the source of the third order nonlinear optical (NLO) phenomenon both morphological and electronic considerations are required. A series of styrene copolymers with varying amounts of p-aminostyrene or p-chloromethylstyrene were prepared as anchoring sites for chemically reactive electrophilic and nucleophilic dyes. For comparison, the same dyes were incorporated into composites of polycarbonate. Preliminary degenerate four wave mixing results for all materials indicate that the copolymeric support allowed incorporation of greater amounts of electroactive units, versus composites, and hence allowed high third order nonlinear responses (X(3)/α of approximately 10−13 esu cm). Third order NLO responses were absent in some composite systems due to limited solubility and/or phase separation difficulties.
Recent activity in the development of nonlinear optical (NLO) materials with high second order susceptibilities has prompted the development of a wide variety of pendant polymers which possess desirable properties for device development, including high Tg minimal relaxation of the poled matrix, and high laser damage threshold. Ideal candidates for such systems are asymmetrically substituted oligomers of polyacetylenes such as dimethylaminonitrostilbene (DANS) and corresponding higher order oligomers. We report here a preliminary study of the synthesis of asymmetrically substituted donor/acceptor diphenyl-capped polyenes and thienylene vinylene oligomers attached as pendant moieties on polyvinylphenol (PVP) for second harmonic generation.
Mesoporous silica powders have been synthesized starting from aqueous solutions of Si(OCH2CH3)4 (TEOS) under acidic conditions, using non-ionic alkyl poly(ethylene oxide) oligomer (Brij76) as a structure-directing agent. Template removal was performed by thermal treatment in air as well as by ethanol extraction. The annealing process (400 - 600°C) resulted in more efficient elimination of the organic molecules, thus yielding hexagonal (p6mm) mesopor-ous materials with pore volume and specific surface area ranging between 0.58 – 0.41 cm3/g and 900 – 700 m2/g, respectively. The systems were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), N2 BET adsorption, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). Particular attention was focused on the evolution of the system mesostructural and porous features as a function of the template removal procedure. The obtained mesoporous networks are suitable as matrices for the development of nanocomposite systems in which the dispersion or the growth of various guest species (clusters, molecules…) can be addressed into the host mesopores.
A quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of wool traits from experimental half-sib data of Merino sheep is presented. A total of 617 animals distributed in 10 families were genotyped for 36 microsatellite markers on four ovine chromosomes OAR1, OAR3, OAR4 and OAR11. The markers covering OAR3 and OAR11 were densely spaced, at an average distance of 2.8 and 1.2 cM, respectively. Body weight and wool traits were measured at first and second shearing. Analyses were conducted under three hypotheses: (i) a single QTL controlling a single trait (for multimarker regression models); (ii) two linked QTLs controlling a single trait (using maximum likelihood techniques) and (iii) a single QTL controlling more than one trait (also using maximum likelihood techniques). One QTL was identified for several wool traits on OAR1 (average curvature of fibre at first and second shearing, and clean wool yield measured at second shearing) and on OAR11 (weight and staple strength at first shearing, and coefficient of variation of fibre diameter at second shearing). In addition, one QTL was detected on OAR4 affecting weight measured at second shearing. The results of the single trait method and the two-QTL hypotheses showed an additional QTL segregating on OAR11 (for greasy fleece weight at first shearing and clean wool yield trait at second shearing). Pleiotropic QTLs (controlling more than one trait) were found on OAR1 (clean wool yield, average curvature of fibre, clean and greasy fleece weightand staple length, all measured at second shearing).