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Although the tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) is the most cultivated native fish species in Brazil, estimated breeding values for growth traits are rarely used for selection of superior individuals in commercial fingerling production. This study aimed to estimate the (co)variance components of growth traits. Body weight, length and width of 2500 tambaqui were determined at tagging and at 6 and 12 months after tagging in a commercial breeding programme in Brazil. Heritability estimates were low for traits measured at tagging (0.10 to 0.19) and moderate to high for traits measured at 6 and 12 months (0.23 to 0.81). Common full-sib effects were high at tagging (>73%), low at 6 months and negligible at 12 months. Positive genetic correlations were found among growth traits at 12 months (0.84 to 0.99) and between growth traits at 6 and 12 months (0.80 to 0.92). These results show that animal selection can be performed at 6 months after tagging. Expected genetic gains for growth traits ranged from 8% to 31%. A simulation of the sex ratio was performed, as individuals did not reach sexual maturity during the experimental period. Because of the sexual dimorphism, more accurate heritability estimates were obtained when considering the female proportion to be 90% in the high-weight group. The findings indicate that it is possible to obtain considerable genetic gains in growth by selecting for growth traits. The development of a tool to determine the sex of animals at early stages can improve the response to selection in tambaqui.
Daily use of high-potency cannabis has been reported to carry a high risk for developing a psychotic disorder. However, the evidence is mixed on whether any pattern of cannabis use is associated with a particular symptomatology in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients.
We analysed data from 901 FEP patients and 1235 controls recruited across six countries, as part of the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. We used item response modelling to estimate two bifactor models, which included general and specific dimensions of psychotic symptoms in patients and psychotic experiences in controls. The associations between these dimensions and cannabis use were evaluated using linear mixed-effects models analyses.
In patients, there was a linear relationship between the positive symptom dimension and the extent of lifetime exposure to cannabis, with daily users of high-potency cannabis having the highest score (B = 0.35; 95% CI 0.14–0.56). Moreover, negative symptoms were more common among patients who never used cannabis compared with those with any pattern of use (B = −0.22; 95% CI −0.37 to −0.07). In controls, psychotic experiences were associated with current use of cannabis but not with the extent of lifetime use. Neither patients nor controls presented differences in depressive dimension related to cannabis use.
Our findings provide the first large-scale evidence that FEP patients with a history of daily use of high-potency cannabis present with more positive and less negative symptoms, compared with those who never used cannabis or used low-potency types.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
The value of the nosological distinction between non-affective and affective psychosis has frequently been challenged. We aimed to investigate the transdiagnostic dimensional structure and associated characteristics of psychopathology at First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Regardless of diagnostic categories, we expected that positive symptoms occurred more frequently in ethnic minority groups and in more densely populated environments, and that negative symptoms were associated with indices of neurodevelopmental impairment.
This study included 2182 FEP individuals recruited across six countries, as part of the EUropean network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene–Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. Symptom ratings were analysed using multidimensional item response modelling in Mplus to estimate five theory-based models of psychosis. We used multiple regression models to examine demographic and context factors associated with symptom dimensions.
A bifactor model, composed of one general factor and five specific dimensions of positive, negative, disorganization, manic and depressive symptoms, best-represented associations among ratings of psychotic symptoms. Positive symptoms were more common in ethnic minority groups. Urbanicity was associated with a higher score on the general factor. Men presented with more negative and less depressive symptoms than women. Early age-at-first-contact with psychiatric services was associated with higher scores on negative, disorganized, and manic symptom dimensions.
Our results suggest that the bifactor model of psychopathology holds across diagnostic categories of non-affective and affective psychosis at FEP, and demographic and context determinants map onto general and specific symptom dimensions. These findings have implications for tailoring symptom-specific treatments and inform research into the mood-psychosis spectrum.
Piglets can often suffer impaired antioxidant status and poor immune response during post-weaning, especially when chronic inflammation takes place, leading to lower growth rates than expected. Oral administration of dietary antioxidant compounds during this period could be a feasible way to balance oxidation processes and increase health and growth performance. The aim of the trial was to study the effects of an antioxidant feed supplement (melon pulp concentrate) that contains high concentration of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) on inflammation, antioxidant status and growth performance of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenged weaned piglets. In total, 48 weaned piglets were individually allocated to four experimental groups in a 2×2 factorial design for 29 days. Two different dietary treatments were adopted: (a) control (CTR), fed a basal diet, (b) treatment (MPC), fed the basal diet plus 30 g/ton of melon pulp concentrate. On days 19, 21, 23 and 25 half of the animals within CTR and MPC groups were subjected to a challenge with intramuscular injections of an increasing dosage of LPS from Escherichia coli (serotype 0.55:B5) (+) or were injected with an equal amount of PBS solution (−). Blood samples were collected at the beginning of the trial and under the challenge period for interleukin 1β, interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor α, haptoglobin, plasma SOD activity, total antioxidant capacity, reactive oxygen species, red blood cells and plasma resistance to haemolysis, and 8-oxo-7, 8-dihydro-2’-deoxyguanosine. Growth performance was evaluated weekly. A positive effect of melon pulp concentrate was evidenced on total antioxidant capacity, half-haemolysis time of red blood cells, average daily gain (ADG) and feed intake, while LPS challenge increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and haptoglobin serum concentrations, with a reduced feed intake and gain : feed (G : F). The obtained results show that oral SOD supplementation with melon pulp concentrate ameliorates the total antioxidant capacity and the half-haemolysis time in red blood cell of post-weaning piglets, with positive results on growing performance.
The increased use of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) to investigate cognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia fostered interest in its sensitivity in the context of family studies. As various measures of the same cognitive domains may have different power to distinguish between unaffected relatives of patients and controls, the relative sensitivity of MCCB tests for relative–control differences has to be established. We compared MCCB scores of 852 outpatients with schizophrenia (SCZ) with those of 342 unaffected relatives (REL) and a normative Italian sample of 774 healthy subjects (HCS). We examined familial aggregation of cognitive impairment by investigating within-family prediction of MCCB scores based on probands’ scores.
Multivariate analysis of variance was used to analyze group differences in adjusted MCCB scores. Weighted least-squares analysis was used to investigate whether probands’ MCCB scores predicted REL neurocognitive performance.
SCZ were significantly impaired on all MCCB domains. REL had intermediate scores between SCZ and HCS, showing a similar pattern of impairment, except for social cognition. Proband's scores significantly predicted REL MCCB scores on all domains except for visual learning.
In a large sample of stable patients with schizophrenia, living in the community, and in their unaffected relatives, MCCB demonstrated sensitivity to cognitive deficits in both groups. Our findings of significant within-family prediction of MCCB scores might reflect disease-related genetic or environmental factors.
Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) are a promising candidate for cardiac regeneration, and the interaction between CPCs and their microenvironment can influence their regenerative response. Notch signaling plays a key role in cell fate decisions in the developing and adult heart. Here, we investigated the effect of three-dimensional (3D) spheroid culture, as a model of the 3D microenvironment, on Notch in fetal and adult human CPCs, under room air (20%) and physiological (5%) oxygen tension. Notch signaling is enhanced in 3D spheroids; spheroid culture under 5% O2 further increases Notch signaling enhancement, and might ultimately improve the regenerative potential of CPCs.
New oral treatments are needed for all forms of leishmaniasis. Here, the improved oral efficacy of quercetin (Qc) and its penta-acetylated derivative (PQc) was evaluated in cutaneous leishmaniasis after encapsulation in lipid-core nanocapsules (LNCs) of poly(ε-caprolactone). Leishmania amazonensis-infected BALB/c mice were given 51 daily oral doses of free drugs (16 mg kg−1) or LNC-loaded drugs (0·4 mg kg−1). While treatment with free Qc reduced the lesion sizes and parasite loads by 38 and 71%, respectively, LNC-Qc produced 64 and 91% reduction, respectively. The antileishmanial efficacy of PQc was similar but not as potently improved by encapsulation as Qc. None of the treatments increased aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase or creatinine serum levels. These findings indicate that when encapsulated in LNC, Qc and, to a lesser extent, PQc can safely produce an enhanced antileishmanial effect even at a 40-fold lower dose, with implications for the development of a new oral drug for cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
The screen for cognitive impairment in psychiatry (SCIP) is a brief, accessible scale designed for detecting cognitive deficits in psychiatric disorders.
The objective of this study is to test the SCIP's validity as a cognitive test by comparison with standard neuropsychological scale using the Pearson's correlation.
Aims Test the convergent and discriminant validity of the SCIP within the Italian SCIP validation project.
Patients between 18 and 65 years who are in a stable phase of the disease, diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar I disorder were enrolled in this study, from the community mental health department of Ferrara.
The tests were administered to 110 patients (mean age: 45 ± 11,4) and to 86 controls (mean age: 35 ± 12,6) of both sex. SCIP presents high correlation with the R-BANS total score (P < 0.01) and the subscales (verbal learning test-immediate, working memory, verbal fluency test, verbal learning test-delayed, processing speed test, P < 0.01). There are significant differences (P < 0.01) in all SCIP dimensions between patient and control group (Table 1).
Our analysis confirm the results of the English, French and Spanish version of the SCIP regarding convergent and discriminant validity. The SCIP represents a valid, simple and brief screening tool for the cognitive evaluation of patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Substance use disorders (SUD) with psychiatric co-morbidity (dual diagnosis) represent a challenge for both mental health and addiction networks. Dual patients present greater disorder severity and worse prognosis than those with SUD or psychiatric disorders alone. There is a lack of consensus regarding which treatment model (sequential, parallel or integrated) is the most appropriate for them. Despite integrated treatment is seen as the model of excellence, it is a standard difficult to achieve.
To describe the presence of dual diagnosis and treatment model received in a sample recruited from a drug abuse community center in Barcelona (CAS Barceloneta).
Cross-sectional descriptive analysis of an outpatient center for SUD clinical sample regarding psychiatric co-morbidity (DSM-IV-TR criteria), social-demographic characteristics and treatment model received.
In the moment of this study, a total of 574 SUD patients are attended at CAS Barceloneta. Of them, 300 (52%) present a dual diagnosis, 64% men, mean age = 48 (SD = 11.29). Thirteen percent (n = 40) of dual patients have psychotic disorder (PsyD) diagnosis and their SUD comorbidities are: alcohol-UD (12.5%, n = 5), cocaine-UD (7.5%, n = 3), cannabis-UD (15%, n = 6), opioids-UD (17.5%, n = 7) and multiple SUD (47.5%, n = 19). Half of dual patients with PsyD (n = 20) are attended in parallel in community mental health centers.
Our results suggest there is an important percentage of SUD patients that present psychiatric co-morbidity treated in drug abuse community centers. Parallel treatment is mainly for PsyD patients and sometimes they get lost in the gaps. We would need to develop specific dual programs to give these patients an integrated assistance.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The study aimed to subtype patients with schizophrenia on the basis of social cognition (SC), and to identify cut-offs that best discriminate among subtypes in 809 out-patients recruited in the context of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses.
A two-step cluster analysis of The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), the Facial Emotion Identification Test and Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test scores was performed. Classification and regression tree analysis was used to identify the cut-offs of variables that best discriminated among clusters.
We identified three clusters, characterized by unimpaired (42%), impaired (50.4%) and very impaired (7.5%) SC. Three theory-of-mind domains were more important for the cluster definition as compared with emotion perception and emotional intelligence. Patients more able to understand simple sarcasm (⩾14 for TASIT-SS) were very likely to belong to the unimpaired SC cluster. Compared with patients in the impaired SC cluster, those in the very impaired SC cluster performed significantly worse in lie scenes (TASIT-LI <10), but not in simple sarcasm. Moreover, functioning, neurocognition, disorganization and SC had a linear relationship across the three clusters, while positive symptoms were significantly lower in patients with unimpaired SC as compared with patients with impaired and very impaired SC. On the other hand, negative symptoms were highest in patients with impaired levels of SC.
If replicated, the identification of such subtypes in clinical practice may help in tailoring rehabilitation efforts to the person's strengths to gain more benefit to the person.
Dual diagnosis (DD) is the coexistence of a Psychiatric Disorder (PD), and Substance Use Disorder (SUD). The increase of DD observed in recent years has caused serious problems to both public and private services organization.
Our aim is to assess the prevalence and features (including clinical and sociodemographic ones) of DD over a decade, comparing the period 2003–2004 and 2013–2014.
We performed a retrospective study retrieving the medical records of DD patients at their first admission to the Psychiatry Ward AOU “Maggiore della Carità”, Novara, Italy. Sociodemographic and clinical features were recorded. The two groups of patients (2003–2004 vs. 2013–2014) were compared.
In both periods DD patients are usually Italian male, aged 19–40, single. They have usually attended middle school, live with parents, have two or more brothers and/or sisters but no kids. DD patients in 2003–2004 and 2013–2014 showed differences as far as employment and diagnosis are concerned. The first were more frequently employed than the latter: moreover the 2003–2004 patients were more frequently diagnosed with a personality disorder while the 2013–2014 patients had mixed diagnoses. We have found differences in the possible predictors of substance abuse in the two periods, as well.
The identification of changes in the prevalence of first admission DD patients and their clinical and sociodemographic features may help to highlight an evolving pattern of substance use and to identify possible risk factors which may be the target of prevention and treatment approaches.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The prompt availability of reliable epidemiological information on emerging pandemics is crucial for public health policy-makers. Early in 2013, a possible new H1N1 epidemic notified by an intensive care unit (ICU) to GiViTI, the Italian ICU network, prompted the re-activation of the real-time monitoring system developed during the 2009–2010 pandemic. Based on data from 216 ICUs, we were able to detect and monitor an outbreak of severe H1N1 infection, and to compare the situation with previous years. The timely and correct assessment of the severity of an epidemic can be obtained by investigating ICU admissions, especially when historical comparisons can be made.
Controlled amounts of colloidal Au nanoparticles (NPs), electrochemically pre-synthesized, were directly deposited on MWCNTs sensor devices by electrophoresis. Pristine and Au-functionalized MWCNT networked films were tested as active layers in resistive gas sensors for detection of pollutant gases. Au-modified CNT-chemiresistor demonstrated higher sensitivity to NO2 detecting up to sub-ppm level compared to pristine one. The investigation of the cross-sensitivity towards other pollutant gases revealed the decrease of the sensitivity to NO2 with the increase of Au content, and, on the other side, the increase of that to H2S; therefore the fine tune of the metal loading on CNTs has allowed to control not only the gas sensitivity but also the selectivity towards a specific gaseous analyte. Finally, the sensing properties of Au-decorated CNT sensor seem to be promising in environmental and automotive gas sensing applications, based on low power consumption and moderate operating temperature.
Recent studies have shown that a low birth weight is a risk factor for increased systemic blood pressure (BP) in adulthood. Further, systemic BP and arterial stiffness (AS) are reported to be increased in adolescents born prematurely. The purpose of this study was to characterize systemic BP and AS in young adults born preterm. Systemic BP was measured using an automated oscillometric device. AS was assessed by measuring the right carotid–radial pulse wave velocity (PWV) using a validated non-invasive automated method. Systemic BP, pulse pressure, and PWV [mean (confidence intervals)] were compared between 16 adults (age 21 years) born preterm (age at birth 32 weeks of gestation) with a birth weight (1710 g) appropriate for their gestational age and 15 adults (21 years) born at term (40 weeks of gestation) with a birth weight (3430 g) appropriate for their gestational age. Adults born preterm had a significantly higher systolic BP [122 mmHg (114–144) v. 112 (106–127)], mean BP [89 mmHg (86–98) v. 84 (81–91)], diastolic BP [69 mmHg (66–76) v. 65 (62–78)], pulse pressure [54 mmHg (47–72) v. 47 (42–60)], and PWV [7 m/s (6.3–8.6) v. 6.4 (5.8–8)] than did those born at term. Our findings suggest that young adults with a low birth weight due to preterm birth have increased systemic BP and AS. Accordingly, preterm birth may predispose individuals to cardiovascular diseases in adulthood due to increased AS.