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First-episode psychosis (FEP) is a major life event and can have an adverse impact on the diagnosed individual and their families. The importance of intervening early and providing optimal treatments is widely acknowledged. In comparison to patient groups, literature is scarce on identifying treatment predictors and moderators of caregiver outcomes. This study aimed to identify pre-treatment characteristics predicting and/or moderating carer outcomes, based on data from a multi-element psychosocial intervention to FEP patients and carers (GET-UP PIANO trial).
Carer demography, type of family relationship, patient contact hours, pre-treatment carer burden, patient perceptions of parental caregiving and expressed emotion (EE) were selected, a priori, as potential predictors/moderators of carer burden and emotional distress at 9 months post treatment. Outcomes were analysed separately in mixed-effects random regression models.
Analyses were performed on 260 carers. Only patient perceptions of early maternal criticism predicted reports of lower carer burden at follow-up. However, multiple imputation analysis failed to confirm this result. For treatment moderators: higher levels of carer burden at baseline yielded greater reductions in carer emotional distress at follow-up in the experimental group compared with treatment as usual (TAU). Higher levels of perceived EE moderated greater reductions in carer reports of tension in experimental group, compared with TAU, at follow-up. In younger caregivers (<51 years old), there were greater reductions in levels of worry during the baseline to follow-up period, within the experimental group compared with TAU.
The study failed to identify significant treatment predictors of FEP carer outcomes. However, our preliminary findings suggest that optimal treatment outcomes for carers at first episode might be moderated by younger carer age, and carers reporting higher baseline levels of burden, and where patients perceive higher levels of negative effect from caregivers.
The complex life cycle of Trichinella spiralis includes the migration of newborn larvae through the bloodstream to their encystment in muscle. The parasite establishes an intimate contact with the erythrocytes of the host both during the migration of the newborn larvae and when encysting, as this parasite causes intense vascularization in the muscle cell. The goal of this work was to study the effects of various concentrations of T. spiralis muscle larvae (ML) on erythrocyte membranes. The treatment was performed by incubating human erythrocytes with equal volume of different concentrations of ML for 30 minutes, with controlled agitation (37°C). The control erythrocytes (with no contact with the larvae) were incubated in the same way with an equal volume of physiological solution. To evaluate the alterations to the erythrocytes by the action of the larvae and in the respective controls, an Erythrocyte Rheometer and a Digital Image Analysis technique were used. The results indicated that when the larval concentration was higher, the aggregation and erythrocyte membrane alterations were also higher. Also, the erythrocyte deformability index and the erythrocyte elasticity increased. The values of isolated cell coefficient varied from 0.51 in the treatment with 100 larvae/ml to 0.91 in the incubation with 1000 larvae/ml. This experiment shows that T. spiralis muscle larvae affect significantly the red blood cell aggregation and the erythrocyte viscoelastic properties.
The diffusion properties of a Ni-Zr metallic glass formed at the interface of a bulk diffusion couple have been studied in conditions far from a fully relaxed state. The growth kinetics of the interface film have been enhanced by both plastic deformation and high energy electron irradiation. Different results have been obtained in the two cases, since in the first case the film grows exponentially with time, while in the second case the usual square root dependence on time is observed. This behaviour has been interpreted as a consequence of the annihilation kinetics of the excess free volume introduced in the glass by the above methods. Two different mechanisms of free volume annihilation , namely exchange with a crystal vacancy at the glass-crystal interface and structural relaxation in the bulk glassy phase have been considered to be operative so that the nature of the growth kinetics has been found to depend on the mechanism predominant in each experimental condition.
We present the results of a recently developed approach where the interplay between the itinerant and localized character of electrons in narrow band materials is described by adding on-site correlation effects to a realistic band calculation: the single particle band states are treated as mean field solutions of a multi-orbital Hubbard Hamiltonian and the many-body term associated with localized e-e interaction is described in a configuration-interaction scheme. Quasi-particle states of nickel and CuGe03 have been calculated and compared with spectroscopical results.
We derive abundances of Fe, Na, O, α and s-elements from GIRAFFE@VLT spectra for more than 200 red giant stars in the Milky Way satellite ω Centauri. Our preliminary results are that: (i) we confirm that ω Centauri exhibits large star-to-star metallicity variation (~1.4 dex); (ii) the metallicity distribution reveals the presence of at least five stellar populations with different [Fe/H]; (iii) a distinct Na-O anticorrelation is clearly observed for the metal-poor and metal-intermediate stellar populations while apparently the anticorrelation disappears for the most metal rich populations. Interestingly the Na level grows with iron.
We report a case of a 58-year-old man suffering from stiff-person syndrome and recurrent peripheral vertigo.
A case report and a review of the recent literature on stiff-person syndrome are presented.
The patient presented with recurrent episodes of vertigo with a pure peripheral pattern and with concomitant episodes of burning muscle pain, muscle twitching, weight gain and fatigue, worsening with tension or stress that also occurred in periods without vertigo. Cochlear examinations only showed presbyacusis-like hearing loss. The diagnosis of stiff-person syndrome was made with electromyographic examination and from findings in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of high titres of anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) autoantibodies. In a two-year follow-up period, therapy for stiff-person syndrome abolished episodes of both stiffness and vertigo.
As far as we know, no other clinical case of acute vestibular damage with a possible correlation with anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies has been described. Peripheral vertigo possibly related to a lack of gamma aminobutyric acid underlines a possible role of gamma aminobutyric acid as a neurotransmitter in the peripheral vestibular system.
To assess rubella and measles susceptibility among women of childbearing age we conducted a cross-sectional seroprevalence study in four cities and one rural area in Argentina. A convenience sample of women aged 15–49 years seeking care in public health-care institutions was selected (n=2804). Serum specimens were tested for rubella and measles IgG antibody titres. The overall susceptibility to rubella and measles was 8·8 and 12·5% respectively. Seroprevalence differences were found for both rubella (P<0·001) and measles (P=0·002) across sites. Rubella seroprevalence was higher in women aged [ges ]40 years than in younger women (P=0·04). Measles seroprevalence tended to increase with age (P<0·001). Approximately 15% of women aged 15–29 years were not immune to measles. No risk factors were associated with rubella seronegativity; however, age (P<0·001) and having less than four pregnancies (P<0·001) were factors associated with measles seronegativity. Our findings support the introduction of supplemental immunization activities targeting adolescents and young adults to prevent congenital rubella syndrome and measles outbreaks over time.
There is evidence that stressors may trigger the onset of a depressive episode in vulnerable women. A new UK interview measure, the Contextual Assessment of the Maternity Experience (CAME), was designed to assess major risk factors for emotional disturbances, especially depression, during pregnancy and post-partum.
Within the context of a cros-scultural study, to establish the use fulness of the CAME, and to test expected associations of the measure with characteristics of the social context and with major or minor depression.
The CAME was administered antenatally and postnatally in ten study sites, respectively to 296 and 249 women. Affective disorder throughout pregnancy and upto 6 month spostnatally was assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV Axis I Disorders.
Adversity, poor relationship with either a partner or a confidant, and negative feelings about the pregnancy all predicted onset of depression during the perinatal period.
The CAME was able to assess major domains relevant to the psychosocial context of the maternity experience in different cultures. Overall, the instrument showed acceptable psychometric properties in its first use in different cultural settings.
Strong ionization of the gas medium has significant effects
in the process of medium-order harmonic generation. The combined
effect of neutral atom depletion and defocusing of the pump
beam due to the intensity-dependent density of free electrons,
significantly modifies the conversion characteristics and
efficiency. For moderate harmonic orders, the yield is optimized
for well-defined values of the pump laser intensity that do
not depend on the order or on the focusing geometry, but only
on the ionization potential of the gas. In particular focusing
conditions, the ionization-induced defocusing can effectively
guide the pump beam along channels of optimum intensity, thus
enhancing the overall conversion efficiency. We demonstrate
that a very simple model is able to reproduce all our experimental
results in a surprisingly good way.
In this paper, we present and compare the two different
XUV interferometric techniques using high-order harmonics
that have been developed so far. The first scheme is based
on the interference between two spatially separated phase-locked
harmonic sources while the second uses two temporally separated
harmonic sources. These techniques have been applied to plasma
diagnostics in feasibility experiments where electron densities up
to a few 1020 e−/cm3 have
been measured with a temporal resolution of 200 fs. We present the
main characteristics of each technique and discuss their respective
potentials and limitations.
We report the results of measurements aimed to check
the phase lock of time-delayed, collinear, harmonic pulses
and to verify the possibility of performing Ramsey-like
spectroscopy in the XUV. We demonstrate that for harmonics
of medium order and for the peak intensities available
with our laser system, the generation of collinear phase-locked
harmonic pulses is indeed possible and that such pulses
can be used to achieve high-resolution spectroscopy in
the short-wavelength region.
We present two interferometry schemes in the extreme
ultraviolet, based on either the wave-front division of
a unique harmonic beam (1st scheme) or two spatially
separated, phase-locked harmonic sources (2nd
scheme). In the first scheme using a Fresnel bimirror interferometer,
we measure the degree of spatial coherence of the 13th
harmonic generated in xenon, as a function of different
parameters. A high degree of coherence, larger than 0.5,
is found for the best conditions in almost the full section
of the beam. Then, we demonstrate that the second scheme
can be used for interferometry measurements with an ultrahigh
time resolution. The 11th harmonic is used to
study the spatial variation of the electron density of
a laser-produced plasma. Electronic densities higher than
2.1020 cm−3 are measured.