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Identifying risk factors of individuals in a clinical-high-risk state for psychosis are vital to prevention and early intervention efforts. Among prodromal abnormalities, cognitive functioning has shown intermediate levels of impairment in CHR relative to first-episode psychosis and healthy controls, highlighting a potential role as a risk factor for transition to psychosis and other negative clinical outcomes. The current study used the AX-CPT, a brief 15-min computerized task, to determine whether cognitive control impairments in CHR at baseline could predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up.
Baseline AX-CPT data were obtained from 117 CHR individuals participating in two studies, the Early Detection, Intervention, and Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) and the Understanding Early Psychosis Programs (EP) and used to predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up. At 12 months, 19 individuals converted to a first episode of psychosis (CHR-C), 52 remitted (CHR-R), and 46 had persistent sub-threshold symptoms (CHR-P). Binary logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression were used to test prediction models.
Baseline AX-CPT performance (d-prime context) was less impaired in CHR-R compared to CHR-P and CHR-C patient groups. AX-CPT predictive validity was robust (0.723) for discriminating converters v. non-converters, and even greater (0.771) when predicting CHR three subgroups.
These longitudinal outcome data indicate that cognitive control deficits as measured by AX-CPT d-prime context are a strong predictor of clinical outcome in CHR individuals. The AX-CPT is brief, easily implemented and cost-effective measure that may be valuable for large-scale prediction efforts.
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of institutional policies and practices for the prevention of and response to gender inequities as experienced by female faculty working in the health sciences at a US research university.
Data from the institution's Faculty Campus Climate Survey (n = 260 female faculty) were coupled with qualitative interviews (n = 14) of females in leadership positions, exploring campus climate, and institutional policies and practices aimed at advancing women.
Two-thirds (59%) of the female faculty respondents indicated witnessing sexual harassment and 28% reported experiencing sexual harassment. Several organizational themes emerged to address this problem: culture, including cultural change, transparency, and accountability.
The findings reveal the ways in which university culture mimics the larger societal context. At the same time, the distinct culture of higher education processes for recruitment, career advancement – specifically tenure and promotion – are identified as important factors that require modifications in support of reductions in gender inequalities.
Ovine reproduction efficiency in herds at high altitude (ha) is lower than that at low altitude (la). In ewes, ha effects are due to hypoxia and oxidative stress. Our aim was to establish the effect of antioxidant vitamin supplementation on semen traits and antioxidant status of rams exposed to short or long time ha. A total of 32 rams native to la (~500 m) were used, 16 were kept at la and the other 16 were brought to ha (~3600 m), where they were placed in the same flock as the ha native rams (n=16). Half of the animals in each group were supplemented daily with vitamins C 600 mg and E 450 IU per os, during the entire experimental period, starting the 4th day after animal’s arrival at ha (day 0). At days 0, 30 and 60 of treatment, blood and semen samples were collected for evaluation of antioxidant status and semen standard characteristics. Data were compared within each experimental time by analysis of variance using a general linear model. Elevated concentrations of oxidative stress biomarkers were present in blood from animals maintained at ha. Ejaculates from ha exposed rams showed decreased sperm concentration, progressive motility and viability, in addition to decreased antioxidant status in seminal fluid. A total of 30 days of oral supplementation with vitamins C and E prevented some ha negative effects on semen characteristics, mainly in recently ha exposed rams. It is concluded that exposure of rams to ha negatively affects semen quality, where oxidative stress plays a predominant role. These effects are mainly prevented by oral supplementation of vitamins C and E, which constitutes a simple and cheap alternative to improve semen quality of rams when they are moved to ha.
This cross-sectional, population-based study aimed to estimate the prevalence of dietary mineral inadequacies among residents in urban areas of Sao Paulo, to identify foods contributing to mineral intake and to verify possible associations between socio-demographic and lifestyle factors and mineral intake. Data were obtained from the 2008 Health Survey of Sao Paulo (n 1511; mean age 43·6 (sd 23·2), range 14–97 years). Dietary intake of minerals was measured using two 24-h dietary recalls. Socio-demographic and lifestyle data were collected. The prevalence of inadequate intake was estimated according to Dietary Reference Intakes methods. Associations between mineral intake and baseline factors were determined using multiple linear regression. Na, Ca and Mg showed the highest dietary inadequacies. Some age/sex groups had lower intakes of P, Zn, Cu and Se. Rice, beans and bread were the main foods contributing towards mineral intake. Female sex was negatively associated with K, Na, P, Mg, Zn and Mn intakes. All age groups were positively associated with the intakes of K, P, Mg and Mn. Family income above one minimum wage was positively associated with Se intake. Living in a household whose head completed ≥10 years of education was positively associated with Ca and negatively associated with Na intake. Former smoker status was negatively associated with Ca intake. Current smoker status was inversely associated with K, Ca, P and Cu intakes. Sufficient physical activity was positively associated with K, Ca and Mg intakes. Overall, the intakes of all major minerals were inadequate and were influenced by socio-demographic and lifestyle factors.
Organic pollutants are present in drinking waters due to inefficient detection and removal treatments. For this reason, zebrafish is proposed as a complementary indicator in conventional potabilization treatments. Based on the most sensitive parameters detected in our previous work, in this study we attempted to examine the possible cumulative effect between generations of environmental pollutants likely present in drinking waters, when specimens were cultured in the same water and/or the possible reversibility of these effects when cultured in control water. To this end, embryos with the chorion intact were cultured in three drinking waters from different sources and in one control water for up to 5 months in 20 l glass tanks. Four replicates were performed in all water groups. Results in water group C (tap water from a city also located in a region with intensive agricultural activity, but from the hydrological basin of the river Xúquer) revealed a non-reversible effect on fertility rate. Also in water C there was an alteration of sex ratio towards females, although in this case the alteration was reversible. A transgenerational alteration in the germ-line via an epigenetic mechanism from the previous generation is proposed as the most plausible explanation of this effect.
The reminiscence functions scale (RFS) is a 43-item self-report instrument designed to assess the use of reminiscence for different functions. This study aims, on one hand, to analyze the factorial structure and the psychometric properties of the RFS and, on the other, to examine the relationship between the functions of reminiscence and mental health.
RFS scale and measures of depressive symptomology, despair, and life satisfaction were administered to a sample of persons over the age of sixty (n = 364).
After eliminating three conflictive items from the original scale, the confirmatory factor analysis results present a factorial structure comprising eight traditional factors and adequate reliability scores (from 0.73 to 0.87). Using structural equation modeling, we find that these reminiscence factors are organized in three second-order factors (self-positive, self-negative, and prosocial). Results show that the self-positive factor relates negatively and the self-negative factor relates positively with symptoms of mental health problems.
These results, on one hand, confirm that the RFS scale is a useful instrument to assess reminiscence functions in a sample of Spanish older adults and, on the other, that the three-factor model of reminiscence is a better predictor of mental health than the alternative four-factor model.
Catatonia is a neuropsychiatric syndrome that appears in medical, neurological or psychiatric conditions. There are presentation variants: “malignant catatonia” (MC) subtype shares many characteristics with the neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), possibly reflecting common pathophysiology.
We present a clinical vignette and review the literature available on online databases about MC/NMS.
We present a man, 41-years-old, black ethnicity, with no relevant medical history. He had two previous episodes compatible with brief psychosis, the last one in 2013, and a history of adverse reactions to low doses of antipsychotics. Since the last episode he was asymptomatic on olanzapine 2.5 mg id. He acutely presented to the Emergency Room with mutism, negativism, immobility and delusional speech, similar to the previous episodes mentioned and was admitted to a psychiatric infirmary, where his clinical condition worsened, showing muscle rigidity, hemodynamic instability, leukocytosis, rhabdomyolysis and fever. Supportive care was provided, olanzapine was suspended and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was initiated. After two months, he was discharged with no psychotic symptoms. He is still under ECT and no antipsychotic medication was reintroduced.
Many studies suggest that clinical or laboratory tests do not distinguish MC from NMS and that they are the same entity. These two conditions are life-threatening and key to treatment is a high suspicion level. There is no specific treatment; supportive care and stopping involved medications are the most widely used measures. ECT is a useful alternative to medication.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The lack of preventive policy legislation and the low removal rate of organic pollutants in conventional potabilization treatments lead to some of them being present in drinking water. The problem arises because some of these substances have detrimental effects on human reproduction health, via females, via males or even both. In this work, we established the zebrafish as a bioindicator of these types of substances with the goal of discriminating the effects through three different pathways: male, female or water where the fertilization took place.
For this purpose, four parameters were analysed: fertility rate, hatching rate and survival and abnormalities rates. So, for each parameter two groups were formed, according to whether adult males or females were reared in bottled spring water (Z) or tap water (B) and if the in vitro fertilization took place in water Z or B.
Results revealed a decline in the fertility and hatching rate in water B, due to a water effect. The most plausible explanation could be the presence of substances which affect the micropyle and chorion. Moreover, a decrease in the fertility rate due to an effect over the female was also observed, but in this case by an alteration of the oocyte quality.
Brazilian environmental law imposes more restrictions on land-use change by private landowners in riparian forests than in non-riparian forest areas, reflecting recognition of their importance for the conservation of biodiversity and key ecosystem services. A 22-year time series of classified Landsat images was used to evaluate deforestation and forest regeneration in riparian permanent preservation areas over the past two decades, focusing on the municipality of Paragominas in the state of Pará in eastern Amazonia. There was no evidence that riparian forests had been more effectively protected than non-riparian forests. Instead, deforestation was found to be comparatively higher inside riparian permanent preservation areas as recently as 2010, indicating a widespread failure of private property owners to comply with environmental legislation. There was no evidence for higher levels of regeneration in riparian zones, although property owners are obliged by law to restore such areas. A number of factors limit improvements in the protection and restoration of riparian forests. These include limited awareness of environmental compliance requirements, the need for improved technical capacity in mapping the distribution and extent of riparian forests and the boundaries of private properties, and improved access to the financial resources and technical capacity needed to support restoration projects.
Autobiographical memory (ABM), personal semantic memory (PSM), and autonoetic consciousness are affected in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but their relationship with Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers are unclear.
Forty-five participants (healthy controls (HC) = 31, MCI = 14) completed the Episodic ABM Interview and a battery of memory tests. Thirty-one (HC = 22, MCI = 9) underwent β-amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Fourteen participants (HC = 9, MCI = 5) underwent one imaging modality.
Unlike PSM, ABM differentiated between diagnostic categories but did not relate to AD biomarkers. Personal semantic memory was related to neocortical β-amyloid burden after adjusting for age and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4. Autonoetic consciousness was not associated with AD biomarkers, and was not impaired in MCI.
Autobiographical memory was impaired in MCI participants but was not related to neocortical amyloid burden, suggesting that personal memory systems are impacted by differing disease mechanisms, rather than being uniformly underpinned by β-amyloid. Episodic and semantic ABM impairment represent an important AD prodrome.
Emerging organic contaminants have been monitored in stream waters, raw and finished waters and wastewater effluents. Most of these contaminants, such as epigenetic substances, have been detected at very low levels. Unfortunately, their complete monitoring and/or removal are very difficult, given the increasing presence of new contaminants and due to analytical and economic considerations. For this reason, bioindicators are used as an alternative to monitor their presence. To this end, zebrafish is being used to assess certain contaminants in water quality studies.
As our long-term aim is to determine if zebrafish (Danio rerio) can be used to detect environmental epigenetic factors in drinking waters with effects on human reproduction, an initial question is whether the chorion could interfere with the possible action of epigenetic factors in two reproductive events: genital ridge formation and migration of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) to these genital ridges.
In the first experiment, we attempted to partially degrade the chorion of mid blastula transition (MBT) embryos with pronase, with acceptable survival rates at 5 days post fertilisation (dpf), with the group exposed for 15 min giving the best survival results. As denuded early embryos require a specific culture medium, in the next experiment embryo survival was evaluated when they were cultured up to 5 dpf in drinking waters from six different sources. Results showed a negative effect on embryo survival at 5 dpf from several waters but not in others, thus distorting the survival outcomes. These results suggest using embryos with the chorion intact from the outset when drinking waters from different sources are to be tested.
The prognostic value of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in the diagnosis of dementia of the Alzheimer's type is unclear. While some studies have found an association between SMCs and cognitive decline, many have found a stronger association with depression, which raises questions about their diagnostic utility.
We examined the cross-sectional association between SMC severity (as measured using the MAC-Q, a brief SMC questionnaire) and affect, memory, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers (β-amyloid deposition and the apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOEε4) allele) in healthy elderly controls (HC; M = 78.74 years, SD = 6.7) and individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; M = 72.74 years, SD = 8.8). We analyzed a subset of individuals drawn from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study of Aging.
SMCs were more severe in MCI patients than in HCs. SMC severity was related to affective variables and the interaction between age and group membership (HC/MCI). Within the HC group, SMC severity was related to affective variables only, while severity correlated only with age in the MCI group. SMCs were not related to cognitive variables or AD biomarkers.
SMCs were related to solely by poorer mood (greater depressive and anxious symptomatology) in the cognitively healthy elderly however mean levels were subclinical. This finding argues for the assessment of affective symptomatology in conjunction with cognitive assessment in elderly memory complainers. Future AIBL research will focus on assessing other AD biomarkers, such as brain atrophy and Aβ plasma markers, in relation to complaint severity. Once our 36-month follow-up data are collected, we propose to assess whether SMCs can predict future cognitive decline.
Genetic studies on taste sensitivity, and bitter taste receptors (T2R) in particular, are an essential tool to understand ingestive behavior and its relation to variations of nutritional status occurring in ruminants. In the present study, we conducted a data-mining search to identify T2R candidates in sheep by comparison with the described T2R in cattle and using recently available ovine genome. In sheep, we identified eight orthologs of cattle genes: T2R16, T2R10B, T2R12, T2R3, T2R4, T2R67, T2R13 and T2R5. The in silico predicted genes were then confirmed by PCR and DNA sequencing. The sequencing results showed a 99% to 100% similarity with the in silico predicted sequence. Moreover, we address the chromosomal distribution and compare, in homology and phylogenetic terms, the obtained genes with the known T2R in human, mouse, dog, cattle, horse and pig. The eight novel genes identified map either to ovine chromosome 3 or 4. The phylogenetic data suggest a clustering by receptor type rather than by species for some of the receptors. From the species analyzed, we observed a clear proximity between the two ruminant species, sheep and cattle, in contrast with lower similarities obtained for the comparison of sheep with other mammals. Although further studies are needed to identify the complete T2R repertoire in domestic sheep, our data represent a first step for genetic studies on this field.
This paper examined the hypothesis that males with first-episode psychosis (FEP) experience lower pre-morbid adjustment, greater social disability and more self-perceived needs at illness onset than females (by controlling for duration of untreated psychosis, diagnosis, age and symptoms at onset). Results disconfirming this hypothesis were thought to suggest the potentially mediating role of social context in determining the impact of symptoms and disability on the everyday lives of male patients in the early phase of psychosis.
A large epidemiologically representative cohort of FEP patients (n=517) was assessed within the Psychosis Incident Cohort Outcome Study (PICOS) framework – a multi-site research project examining incident cases of psychosis in Italy's Veneto region.
Despite poorer pre-morbid functioning and higher social disability at illness onset, males reported fewer unmet needs in the functioning domain than females did. An analysis of help provided by informal caregivers showed that males received more help from their families than females did. This finding led us to disconfirm the second part of the hypothesis and suggest that the impact of poorer social performance and unmet needs on everyday life observed in male patients might be hampered by higher tolerance and more support within the family context.
These findings shed new light on rarely investigated sociocultural and contextual factors that may account for the observed discrepancy between social disability and needs for care in FEP patients. They also point to a need for further research on gender differences, with the ultimate aim of delivering gender-sensitive effective mental health care.
Peanuts and peanut butter are commonly consumed as a snack, meal component and ingredient in various commercial products. Their consumption is associated with reduced CVD risk and they pose little threat to positive energy balance. However, questions have arisen as to whether product form (e.g. whole nut v. butter) and processing properties (e.g. roasting and adding flavours) may compromise their positive health effects. The present study investigated the effects of peanut form and processing on two CVD risk factors: fasting plasma lipids and body weight. One hundred and eighteen adults (forty-seven males and seventy-one females; age 29·2 (sd 8·4) years; BMI 30·0 (sd 4·5) kg/m2) from Brazil, Ghana and the United States were randomised to consume 56 g of raw unsalted (n 23), roasted unsalted (n 24), roasted salted (n 23) or honey roasted (n 24) peanuts, or peanut butter (n 24) daily for 4 weeks. Peanut form and processing did not differentially affect body weight or fasting plasma lipid responses in the total sample. However, HDL-cholesterol increased significantly at the group level, and total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and TAG concentrations decreased significantly in individuals classified as having elevated fasting plasma lipids compared with those with normal fasting plasma lipids. These observations suggest that the processing attributes assessed in this trial do not compromise the lipid-lowering effects of peanuts, and do not negatively impact body weight. Further studies are warranted to determine the effects of form and processing on other health risk factors.
The spectroscopic properties of a sample of nine Seyfert 1, six NLS1, 26 Seyfert 2, and three starburst galaxies have been studied at mid-infrared wavelengths in order to determine if the frequency of detection of the brightest emission lines and the continuum shape are correlated with the degree of activity. The raw data were obtained from the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) archive and reduced with the pipeline (version 17.2). The spectra of the galaxies were grouped by type of activity. We conclude through this study that in general the continuum shape of the active galactic nuclei (AGN) is flat between 5 μm and 12 μm, and strong variations are found at longer wavelengths in this sample.