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Cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) has a complex relationship with disease progression and neurodegeneration. The aim of this study was to shed light on the importance of early detection of cognitive impairment in MS patients.
The study comprised two groups of definite MS patients, relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), each with 25 patients. Physical disability was assessed using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), while the risk of secondary progression was assessed using the Bayesian Risk Estimate for Multiple Sclerosis (BREMS). Cognitive functions were assessed using the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS) and Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT). Assessment of neurodegeneration was done using optical coherence tomography (OCT) via quantification of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL).
MS patients with higher RNFL thickness demonstrated a larger learning effect size than patients who had lower values in RNFL thickness regardless of MS type. RRMS patients showed significant improvement in delayed recall after giving cues than SPMS. The symbol digit modalities test was the only neuropsychological test that showed a significant negative correlation with EDSS (P = 0.009). There was a statistically significant negative correlation between BREMS scores and performance in all neuropsychological tests.
Inclusion of neurocognitive evaluation in the periodic assessment of MS patients is mandatory to detect patients at increased risk of secondary progression. The thickness of RNFL is suggested as a method to estimate the expected benefit of cognitive rehabilitation, regardless of MS type.
To evaluate the effects of oral steroids alone or followed by intranasal steroids versus watchful waiting on the resolution of otitis media with effusion in children aged 2–11 years.
A total of 290 children with bilateral otitis media with effusion were assigned to 3 groups: group A was treated with oral steroids followed by intranasal steroids, group B was treated with oral steroids alone and group C was managed with watchful waiting. Patients were evaluated with audiometry and tympanometry.
The complete resolution rates of otitis media with effusion were higher in groups A and B than in group C at six weeks. There were no significant differences in otitis media with effusion resolution rates between the groups at three, six and nine months.
Oral steroids lead only to a quick resolution of otitis media with effusion, with no long-term benefits. There was no benefit of using intranasal steroids in the management of otitis media with effusion.
The effect on performance of adding calcium (Ca)-butyrate and Oleobiotec (a flavouring agent) additives to dairy calf starter diet was investigated. Thirty-two newborn Holstein calves (16 males and 16 females) were used in a completely randomized design with four treatments as: (1) diet with no additives, (2) diet containing Ca-butyrate, (3) diet containing Oleobiotec and (4) diet containing Ca-butyrate plus Oleobiotec. Milk of calves was supplemented with additives in the first 20 days of the study and then additives were top-dressed into the starter. Calcium-butyrate had no effect on starter and alfalfa intake during pre-weaning, post-weaning and over the whole trial period but it significantly increased the average daily gain and feed efficiency of calves during post-weaning and the whole trial period. Adding Oleobiotec did not change calf performance significantly. Furthermore, no synergistic effect of experimental additives on calf performance was observed.
Major marker genes are believed to confer not only adaptability to the tropical climate, but also resistance to diseases. During the last two decades, many investigations have observed that naked neck and frizzle genes have favourable effects on immunocompetence in chickens raised under high ambient temperatures. As a result, several tropical countries have introduced these genes in breeding programs to improve both the productive performance and survival rate of chickens.
High ambient temperatures in tropical and subtropical regions adversely affect
the growth and egg productive performance of both broiler and laying chickens.
Relative humidity and ventilation rate influences bird's performance,
particularly when they are reared in open sided poultry houses. Genetic
approaches that aid in reducing or altering the extent of plumage cover has, as
a result, been adopted in many hot regions. Fortunately, there are some major
and marker genes can reduce the deleterious effects of heat stress, naked neck
(Na) and frizzle (F) genes being the most notable ones. The
bulk of relevant literature has shown that their favourable effects on growth
and laying performance are well established. Therefore, the naked neck and
frizzle genes can be a viable alternative for broiler and layer production
particularly, in the tropical countries where summer temperatures are very
We observed Hydroxyl, water, ammonia, carbon monoxide and neutral carbon towards the +50 km s−1 cloud (M−0.02−0.07), the circumnuclear disk (CND) and the +20 km s−1 (M−0.13−0.08) cloud in the Sgr A complex with the VLA, Odin and SEST. Strong OH absorption, H2O emission and absorption lines were seen at all three positions. Strong C18O emissions were seen towards the +50 and +20 km s−1 clouds. The CND is rich in H2O and OH, and these abundances are considerably higher than in the surrounding clouds, indicating that shocks, star formation and clump collisions prevail in those objects. A comparison with the literature reveals that it is likely that PDR chemistry including grain surface reactions, and perhaps also the influences of shocks has led to the observed abundances of the observed molecular species studied here. In the redward high-velocity line wings of both the +50 and +20 km s−1 clouds and the CND, the very high H2O abundances are suggested to be caused by the combined action of shock desorption from icy grain mantles and high-temperature, gas-phase shock chemistry. Only three of the molecules are briefly discussed here. For OH and H2O three of the nine observed positions are shown, while a map of the C18O emission is provided. An extensive paper was recently published with Open Access (Karlsson et al. 2013, A&A 554, A141).
The main goal of this paper is the design of 4PUS+1PS parallel manipulator, using an optimization problem that takes into accounts the characteristics of the workspace and dexterity. The optimization problem is formulated considering constraints on actuated and passive joint limits. A comparison between quantum particle swarm Optimization (QPSO) and PSO is developed. Two numerical examples are presented, which reveal the advantages of QPSO to PSO. Moreover, it is shown that by introducing the dexterity index as a quality measure throughout the workspace, the parallel manipulator is improved at the cost of a minor reduction in its workspace.
A mechanistic lactation model, based on a theory of mammary cell proliferation and cell death, was studied and compared to the equation of Wood (1967). Lactation curves of British Holstein Friesian cows (176 curves), Spanish Churra sheep (40 curves) and Spanish Murciano–Granadina goats (30 curves) were used for model evaluation. Both models were fitted in their original form using non-linear least squares estimation. The parameters were compared among species and among parity groups within species.
In general, both models provided highly significant fits to lactation data and described the data accurately. The mechanistic model performed well against Wood's 1967 equation (hereafter referred to as Wood's equation), resulting in smaller residual mean square values in more than two-thirds of the datasets investigated, and producing parameter estimates that allowed appropriate comparisons and noticeable trends attributed to shape. Using Akaike or Bayesian information criteria, goodness-of-fit with the mechanistic model was superior to that with Wood's equation for the cow lactation curves, with no significant differences between models when fitted to goat or sheep lactation curves. The rate parameters of the mechanistic model, representing specific proliferation rate of mammary secretory cells at parturition, decay associated with reduction in cell proliferation capacity with time and specific death rate of mammary secretory cells, were smaller for primiparous than for multiparous cows. Greater lactation persistency of cows compared to goats and sheep, and decrease in persistency with parity, were shown to be represented by different values of the specific secretory cell death rate parameter in the mechanistic model. The plausible biological interpretation and fitting properties of the mechanistic model enable it to be used in complex models of whole-cow digestion and metabolism and as a tool in selection programmes and by dairy producers for management decisions.
The prevalence of antibodies to human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) was determined in high-risk groups and normal adults in Egypt. Among 647 individuals tested, 6 (0·9%) were confirmed positive by western blot analysis. These included 2 (0·7%) of 279 drug addicts, 1 (3·3%) of 30 patients with sexually transmitted diseases, and 3 (2·2%) of 133 healthy individuals. Antibody was not detected in 47 blood recipients or 158 prostitutes. There was no correlation between sex or geographical location and HTLV-I infection. Fifty-three of the 647 sera (8%) were initially reactive by ELISA, but only 12 sera were repeatedly reactive. Since only 4 of these repeatedly reactive sera were confirmed by the western blot, the frequency of false positives using the DuPont screening ELISA was 1·2% (8/643). Two additional sera, confirmed positive by western blot, had been reactive, but not repeatedly, by ELISA. In comparison to the prevalence of HTLV-I antibody among risk groups in many parts of the world, the prevalence in Egypt was low.
In situ incubation of feeds in the rumen serves as a basic procedure in many feed evaluation systems. The formulation of hypotheses concerning underlying biological concepts of ruminal degradability has led to development of different mathematical models describing the resultant time course disappearance curves of feed fractions. The use of models allows comparison of parameter estimates (or combinations thereof), which ideally reflect these biological concepts, between feeds or feeding systems. Among different factors affecting the experimental measurements of in situ ruminal disappearance of feeds, less attention has been paid to choice of mathematical model to fit the curves and the goodness-of-fit of the model. The objective of the present work, therefore, was to evaluate the ability of a zero-order mathematical model to describe in situ disappearance curves obtained with whole soybean, and to give adequate estimates of the parameters needed to determine extent of ruminal degradation.
Indigenous poultry breeds are of a major importance to supply the rural population with eggs and meat in many developing countries of the world (Esmaelkhanian et al., 2004). A successful animal breeding plan is a continuous process of elimination and searching in a way that breeder could be able to manipulate genetic variation for changing a population to optimise desired phenotypes (Williams et al., 2002). As highlighted by Chambers (1990) animal’s body weight, which could be easily measured, is probably the most frequently used indicator of growth at a specific age. In practical animal breeding programmes, the breeding objective is usually genetic improvement of production and reproduction traits for a population under consideration. Knowledge of genetic parameters is of crucial importance to be implemented for predicting breeding value of candidate animals. The main objective of this study was to estimate heritability of body weight at week 8 for Iranian indigenous chickens through Bayesian statistical approach using an animal model.
There are several different models for describing the nutrient ruminal degradation of feeds. The use of a particular model in fitting a given degradability data set and estimating the degradability parameters implies the holistic examination of model goodness-of-fit, otherwise the validity of estimated parameters may be controvertible. One of the criteria for evaluating goodness-of-fit is model behaviour analysis. In the present work, the behaviour of a first-order model when fitting whole soybean ruminal degradability data was investigated.
Descriptions of entire lactations were investigated using six mathematical equations, comprising the differentials of four growth functions (logistic, Gompertz, Schumacher and Morgan) and two other equations (Wood and Dijkstra). The data contained monthly milk yield records from 70 first, 70 second and 75 third parity Iranian Holstein cows. Indicators of fit were model behaviour, statistical evaluation and biologically meaningful parameter estimates and lactation features. Analysis of variance with equation, parity and their interaction as factors and with cows as replicates was performed to compare goodness of fit of the equations. The interaction of equation and parity was not significant for any statistics, which showed that there was no tendency for one equation to fit a given parity better than other equations. Although model behaviour analysis showed better performance of growth functions than the Wood and Dijkstra equations in fitting the individual lactation curves, statistical evaluation revealed that there was no significant difference between the goodness of fit of the different equations. Evaluation of lactation features showed that the Dijkstra equation was able to estimate the initial milk yield and peak yield more accurately than the other equations. Overall evaluation of the different equations demonstrated the potential of the differentials of simple empirical growth functions used in the current study as equations for fitting monthly milk records of Holstein dairy cattle.
The current study evaluated responses of early lactation Iranian Holstein cows to feeding roasted whole soybeans (SB) plus cottonseed meal (CSM), raw SB plus CSM and soybean meal (SBM) plus cottonseed (CS) in diets with lucerne hay and maize silage as the primary forage source. Treatments consisted of a total mixed ration that included 387 g forage/kg, supplemented with: (1) 120 g roasted SB/kg and 82 g CSM/kg, (2) 120 g raw SB/kg and 82 g CSM/kg, or (3) 120 g SBM/kg and 82 g CS/kg on a dry matter (DM) basis. Diets were offered to 14 multiparous Holstein cows (body weight=617·0 kg, days in milk=16·9) that were assigned randomly to one of three experimental diets for a 45-day trial. Dry matter intake (DMI) was significantly higher for the roasted SB plus CSM diet than for the raw SB plus CSM diet but the difference between the SB plus CSM diets and SBM plus CS was not significant. Yields of milk and 35 g fat-corrected milk (FCM)/kg and milk fat were significantly higher for the roasted SB plus CSM diet than for raw SB plus CSM and also for the SB plus CSM diets than for SBM plus CS. Milk protein concentration was significantly increased by about 2·0 g/kg by the SBM plus CS diet, but milk protein yield was the same for cows fed SBM plus CS, roasted SB plus CSM and raw SB plus CSM diets. Rumen ammonia N, plasma urea N (PUN) and milk urea N (MUN) concentrations were lower when the roasted SB plus CSM diet was fed. Ruminal pH and plasma glucose and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were not affected by dietary treatments. Plasma concentrations of essential amino acids (EAA), except Leu and Phe, were higher in cows fed the roasted SB plus CSM diet than in those fed raw SB plus CSM. The cows fed the SBM plus CS diet had the same concentrations of EAA, except Phe, as cows fed SB plus CSM diets. For diets based on lucerne hay and maize silage as the primary forage source, roasting of SB provides additional benefits over raw SB.
Whole soybean (SB) is used as a high energy-protein supplement for dairy cows, but the protein is highly degradable by rumen microbes. Various chemical and physical processing has been suggested to decrease ruminal protein degradability, that heat processing is the most commonly used physical method. Modern systems for protein evaluations in ruminants are moving in the direction of predicting absorption of amino acids from the small intestine, so the determination of intestinal digestibility of amino acids is of special importance particularly in heat-treated feedstuffs. The objective of this research was to elucidate the effects of roasting and steep-roasting on ruminal and post-ruminal disappearance of essential and non-essential amino acids (EAA and NEAA) of Iranian SB.
Maize is the principal energy source in most poultry diet in developing countries. As the cultivating of maize is limited in Iran, annually a large amount of maize is imported. Broken rice (BR) is a major cereal by-product for animal feeding in rice-growing countries. The annual production of rice paddy in Iran is about 2 million tonnes. After milling of paddy, broken rice is available for utilization in animal diet. BR consists of 40 to 80 g/kg of rice paddy. It contains good sources of protein (100-110 g/kg), fat (60-110 g/kg), carbohydrate, fibre (20-50 g/kg). Due to mixing with bran and hull the chemical composition of BR varies in different samples. In some part of the country the price of this ingredient is lower than maize. The objective of the present experiment was to evaluate the effect diets containing different levels of BR on performance of broiler chicks from 1 to 8 weeks of age.
Whole soybean has 19 percent ether extract and 42 percent CP and is used as a high energy-protein supplement for early lactation dairy cows, but the protein is highly degradable, so small amounts of amino acids can reach the small intestine to meet high amino acid requirements in early lactation. Therefore, various chemical and physical treatments have been suggested to decrease ruminal protein degradability. The practical use and application of any one method to lower ruminal feed degradability is dependent not only on its efficacy but also on its cost effectiveness, safety and ease of application. For these reasons, heat treatment is the most commonly used physical method. Energy expenditure and fixed costs are lower for roasting than for oven treatment, thereby warranting further research on this type of heat treatment (Plegge et al., 1985). The purpose of this study was to determine how roasting of soybeans affect Met and Lys plasma levels (as the first limiting amino acids in milk yield) in early lactation cows.
In this work we present a comparative study of porous silicon (PS) photoluminescence for samples stain etched and electrochemically etched. The etching parameters for both types of samples have been adjusted to obtain similar porous structures. The photoluminescence spectra have been obtained varying the excitation energy between 2.48 and 3.54 eV. The variation of the excitation energy produces differences in the evolution of the emission energy maximum between both types of PS. This behaviour is attributable to the differences in oxidation level in the porous structure. Also it has been established a higher concentration of luminescent centers for stain etched PS.
In this work we present the first experimental study of photocarrier lifetimes in p-type and n-type Si substrates in which stain etched porous silicon (PS) has been formed on the surface. The lifetime values have been obtained before and after the surface passivation of the samples. The surface pasivation has been produced by two different techniques: (i) hydrogen passivation by immersion of the samples in a HF solution; and (ii) deposition of SiNx in a plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition system. The results show a degradation of the photocarrier lifetime when the porous layers are not adequately passivated. This lifetime degradation is mainly associated to a large concentration of rapid recombination centres located at the Si/PS interface. We have also detected a weak influence of the PS outermost dangling bonds to the photocarrier lifetimes.