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Neurocognitive and social cognitive impairments represent important treatment targets in schizophrenia, as they are significant predictors of functional outcome. Different rehabilitative interventions have recently been developed, addressing both cognitive and psychosocial domains. Although promising, results are still heterogeneous and predictors of treatment outcome are not yet identified. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of two newly developed social cognitive interventions, respectively based on the use of videotaped material and comic strips, combined with domain-specific Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT). We also analysed possible predictors of training outcome, including basal neurocognitive performance, the degree of cognitive improvement after CRT and psychopathological variables.
Seventy-five patients with schizophrenia treated with CRT, were randomly assigned to: social cognitive training (SCT) group, Theory of Mind Intervention (ToMI) group, and active control group (ACG).
ANOVAs showed that SCT and ToMI groups improved significantly in ToM measures, whereas the ACG did not. We reported no influences of neuropsychological measures and improvement after CRT on changes in ToM. Both paranoid and non-paranoid subjects improved significantly after ToMI and SCT, without differences between groups, despite the better performance in basal ToM found among paranoid patients. In the ACG only non-paranoid patients showed an improvement in non-verbal ToM.
Results showed that both ToMI and SCT are effective in improving ToM in schizophrenia with no influence of neuropsychological domains. Our data also suggest that paranoid symptoms may discriminate between different types of ToM difficulties in schizophrenia.
In the present contribution a new hole transporting molecule belonging to the triphenyldiamine family (N,N'-diphenyl-N,N'-bis(4-metylphenyl)- 1, 1'-biphenyl-4,4'- diamine) in a polycarbonate matrix is studied as the hole transport layer in a two layer device with Alq3 as emitting layer. The dependence of the electrical and emitting behaviour on the doping level is studied and compared with the vacuum deposited diamine layer also interfaced with Alq3
A correlation between dietary lipids and cellular enzyme activities is a problem that has only been partially addressed by nutritionists. Therefore, changes in the fatty acid composition and the activities of some key metabolic enzymes (ubiquinol-2-cytochrome c reductase (EC 184.108.40.206), cytochrome oxidase (EC 220.127.116.11) and ATPase (EC 18.104.22.168)) in the mitochondria of liver, heart and brain of rats fed on diets differing extensively in their polyunsaturated fatty acid compositions have been investigated. The results showed that fatty acid compositional changes brought about by the dietary differences were associated with extensive changes in the activities of these key enzymes in the mitochondria. The extent of the influence differed considerably with the period over which the diets were fed. The role of dietary lipids to effect changes through the preservation of membrane structural integrity is discussed.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids(PUFA) are vitally important for normal neonatal development. As well as providing a source of energy they are intrinsically involved in the establishment and maintenance of cell membrane structure and function. High PUFA levels, however, are subject to peroxidation and consequently require to be protected against free radical attack via an adequate antioxidant supply. The avian embryo was used as a model system as it is particularly dependent on PUFA and poor hatchability has recently been linked to inadequate PUFA metabolism. The micronutrient elements Se, Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn are involved in the antioxidant complex through their presence in the enzymes glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX), superoxide dismutases (SOD) and catalase. The concentrations of these elements were measured in eggs and in chick embryonic and post hatch brains at different stages of development in order to elucidate their roles in the maintenance of PUFA metabolism.
Egg yolk is an obvious source of fat in our daily diet. The trend towards a reduction in fat consumption and concern over the quality of any fat that is consumed have caused a significant erosion of the previously accepted dietary image of the egg. In spite of the extensive and continuing controversy over the quality of dietary fat and the incidence of coronary heart disease, it is now widely recommended that the consumption of animal fats does not predispose to health. Parameters describing what is a healthy dietary fat have been established. Egg fat is examined with regard to these parameters and the justification for its present poor image is scrutinized. So firmly entrenched are the present views on animal fat consumption, that to rehabilitate the egg with the consumer will require a change of approach, away from the complacency of the past to a more positive approach based on attempts to change lipid parameters to align with present consumer perceptions and requirements.
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