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This work presents a study about synthesis of polypyrrole films electrochemically doped with iodine by luminescent discharge plasma in aqueous sodium sulfate solution, and its structural, morphological and electrical characterization. The synthesis is carried out at atmospheric pressure with square pulse from -1.06 to 1.16 V for 120 minutes. Doping times of the films are 10, 30 and 50 minutes. The films have thicknesses of 6, 12.7, 20.32 and 25.4 μm, and linear growth trend according to the time exposure of their synthesis. The main chemical groups exhibited in the films are C-H, N-H and CH2I, which are characteristics of film doped with Iodine. The electrical conductivity calculated of polypyrrole films is in the range 10-5-10-3 S/cm, and its activation energy is between 0.052 and 1.77 eV.
Investigating whether high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) types tend to become grouped in a particular way and whether factors are associated with such grouping is important for measuring the real impact of vaccination. In total, 219 women proving positive for HPV as detected by real-time PCR were included in the study. Each sample was analysed for detecting and quantifying six viral types and the hydroxymethylbilane synthase gene. Multiple correspondence analysis led to determining grouping patterns for six HR-HPV types and simultaneous association with multiple variables and whether viral load was related to the coexistence of other viral types. Two grouping profiles were identified: the first included HPV-16 and HPV-45 and the second profile was represented by HPV-31, HPV-33 and HPV-58. Variables such as origin, contraceptive method, births and pregnancies, educational level, healthcare affiliation regime, atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance and viral load were associated with these grouping profiles. Different socio-demographic characteristics were found when coinfection occurred by phylogenetically related HPV types and when coinfection was due to non-related types. Biological characteristics, the number of viral copies, temporality regarding acquiring infection and competition between viral types could influence the configuration of grouping patterns. Characteristics related to women and HPV, influence such interactions between coexisting HPV types reflecting the importance of their evaluation.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
Influenza vaccination has been shown to be the most effective preventive strategy to reduce influenza-related morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups. Despite healthcare personnel (HCP) being considered part of such high-risk groups, their vaccination coverage is low in Europe. In January 2012, we distributed an 18-question survey regarding influenza vaccination to HCP at Gregorio Marañon Paediatric Hospital, in Madrid, Spain. After we documented that only ~30% of HCP were vaccinated an educational programme was implemented in October 2012 before the next influenza season. In January 2013, the same survey delivered again to all HCP documented a significant increase in vaccination rates (from 30% to 40%, P = 0·007) mainly among physicians and for patients' protection. In summary we found that a simple and inexpensive educational programme significantly improved the uptake of influenza vaccination in HCP in our centre. Nevertheless, vaccination rates remained low, and broader and updated campaigns are needed to overcome perception barriers.
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity of a series of imidazole-containing phthalazine derivatives 1–4 was tested on Leishmania infantum, Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania donovani parasites, and their cytotoxicity on J774·2 macrophage cells was also measured. All compounds tested showed selectivity indexes higher than that of the reference drug glucantime for the three Leishmania species, and the less bulky monoalkylamino substituted derivatives 2 and 4 were clearly more effective than their bisalkylamino substituted counterparts 1 and 3. Both infection rate measures and ultrastructural alterations studies confirmed that 2 and 4 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications to the excretion products of parasites treated with 2 and 4 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasmic alterations. On the other hand, the most active compounds 2 and 4 were potent inhibitors of iron superoxide dismutase enzyme (Fe-SOD) in the three species considered, whereas their impact on human CuZn-SOD was low. Molecular modelling suggests that 2 and 4 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the antioxidant features of the enzyme.
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity and cytotoxicity of pyrazole-containing macrocyclic polyamines 1–4 was assayed on Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis species. Compounds 1–4 were more active and less toxic than glucantime and both infection rates and ultrastructural alterations confirmed that 1 and 2 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications in the excretion products of parasites treated with 1–3 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasm alterations. Compound 2 was highlighted as a potent inhibitor of Fe-SOD in both species, whereas its effect on human CuZn-SOD was poor. Molecular modelling suggested that 2 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the enzyme`s antioxidant features.
Speleothem growth requires humid climates sufficiently warm to stimulate soil CO2 production by plants. We compile 283 U/Th dates on 21 stalagmites from six cave systems in the NW coast of Spain to evaluate if there are patterns in stalagmite growth that are evidence of climatic forcing. In the oldest stalagmites, from marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 7–5, growth persists through the glacial period. Hiatuses and major reductions in growth rate occur during extreme minima in summer insolation. Stalagmites active during the last interglaciation cease growth at the MIS 5–4 boundary (74 ka), when regional sea-surface temperature cooled significantly. During MIS 3, only two stalagmites grew; rates were highest between 50 and 60 ka during the maximum in summer insolation. One stalagmite grew briefly at 41 ka, 36.5 and 28.6 ka, all during warm phases of the Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles. A pronounced Holocene optimum in stalagmite growth occurs from 9 to 6 ka. The cessation of most growth by 4.1 ka, coincident with broad increases in aridity over the Mediterranean and areas influenced by the North African Monsoon, suggest that regions such as NW Spain, with dominant Atlantic moisture sources, also experienced increased aridity at this time.
The different incidence rates of, and risk factors for, depression in different countries argue for the need to have a specific risk algorithm for each country or a supranational risk algorithm. We aimed to develop and validate a predictD-Spain risk algorithm (PSRA) for the onset of major depression and to compare the performance of the PSRA with the predictD-Europe risk algorithm (PERA) in Spanish primary care.
A prospective cohort study with evaluations at baseline, 6 and 12 months. We measured 39 known risk factors and used multi-level logistic regression and inverse probability weighting to build the PSRA. In Spain (4574), Chile (2133) and another five European countries (5184), 11 891 non-depressed adult primary care attendees formed our at-risk population. The main outcome was DSM-IV major depression (CIDI).
Six variables were patient characteristics or past events (sex, age, sex×age interaction, education, physical child abuse, and lifetime depression) and six were current status [Short Form 12 (SF-12) physical score, SF-12 mental score, dissatisfaction with unpaid work, number of serious problems in very close persons, dissatisfaction with living together at home, and taking medication for stress, anxiety or depression]. The C-index of the PSRA was 0.82 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.84]. The Integrated Discrimination Improvement (IDI) was 0.0558 [standard error (s.e.)=0.0071, Zexp=7.88, p<0.0001] mainly due to the increase in sensitivity. Both the IDI and calibration plots showed that the PSRA functioned better than the PERA in Spain.
The PSRA included new variables and afforded an improved performance over the PERA for predicting the onset of major depression in Spain. However, the PERA is still the best option in other European countries.
Aluminum-based composites prepared from pure Al powder and previously Cu metallized graphite are fabricated by a solid state route and are characterized by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy in order to follow their microstructural evolution. Composites are processed using powder metallurgy technique in order to obtain cylindrical samples to carry out mechanical testing. Microstructural and mechanical characterizations reveal that, by milling, a homogeneous dispersion of insoluble particles into the Al matrix is obtained; this produces an important improvement in hardness and strength with respect to an un-milled sample. Milling intensity and particle concentration have an important effect on the mechanical properties of the synthesized composites.
There is evidence that bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with significant neurocognitive deficits and this occurs in individuals with BD type I (BD I) and with BD type II (BD II). Only a few studies have focused on cognitive impairment in BD II. The aim of this study was to describe the pattern of cognitive impairment in patients with BD II, in order to identify specific cognitive deficits that distinguish BD II from BD I patients as well as from healthy subjects.
We performed a systematic review of the literature of neuropsychological studies of BD II published between 1980 and July 2009. Fourteen articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in this review.
Main cognitive deficits found in BD II include working memory and some measures of executive functions (inhibitory control) and approximately half of the studies also detected verbal memory impairment.
There are subtle differences between the two subtypes regarding cognition. This may suggest neurobiological differences between the two subgroups which will be helpful in order to determine cognitive endophenotypes in BD subtypes.
Onions are excellent sources of bioactive compounds including fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and polyphenols. An onion by-product was characterised in order to be developed as a potentially bioactive food ingredient. Our main aim was to investigate whether the potential health and safety effects of this onion by-product were shared by either of two derived fractions, an extract containing the onion FOS and polyphenols and a residue fraction containing mainly cell wall materials. We report here on the effects of feeding these products on markers of potential toxicity, protective enzymes and gut environment in healthy rats. Rats were fed during 4 weeks with a diet containing the products or a control feed balanced in carbohydrate. The onion by-product and the extract caused anaemia as expected in rodents for Allium products. No other toxicity was observed, including genotoxicity. Glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx1) activities in erythrocytes increased when rats were fed with the onion extract. Hepatic gene expression of Gr, Gpx1, catalase, 5-aminolevulinate synthase and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase was not altered in any group of the onion fed rats. By contrast, γ-glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit gene expression was upregulated but only in rats given the onion residue. The onion by-products as well as the soluble and insoluble fractions had prebiotic effects as evidenced by decreased pH, increased butyrate production and altered gut microbiota enzyme activities. In conclusion, the onion by-products have no in vivo genotoxicity, may support in vivo antioxidative defence and alter the functionality of the rat gut microbiota.
The objective of the present study was to determine the dietary patterns of a Mediterranean cohort and relate them to the observed patterns of beverage consumption.
Prospective cohort study. Dietary habits were assessed with a semi-quantitative FFQ validated in Spain. A principal components factor analysis was used to identify dietary patterns and to classify subjects according to their adherence to these patterns. The association between adherence to each dietary pattern and beverage consumption was assessed cross-sectionally. In a longitudinal analysis (2-year follow-up), the relationship between adherence to the baseline dietary patterns and the likelihood of changing alcohol consumption was ascertained.
The SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) study is conducted in Spain.
In total, 15 073 university graduates were included in the analyses.
Two major dietary patterns were identified. We labelled them as ‘Western dietary pattern’ (WDP) and ‘Mediterranean dietary pattern’ (MDP). Higher adherence to the WDP was associated with higher consumption of carbonated beverages and whole-fat milk (P for trend <0·001), while higher adherence to the MDP was associated with higher consumption of decaffeinated coffee, orange juice, other natural juices, diet carbonated drinks, low-fat milk and bottled water (P for trend <0·001). Participants with higher adherence to the WDP were less likely to decrease their alcohol consumption during follow-up (OR between extreme quintiles = 0·68; 95 % CI 0·56, 0·84). By contrast, participants with higher adherence to the MDP were less likely to increase their alcohol consumption (OR = 0·66, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·95).
In this cohort of university graduates, a healthier dietary pattern was associated with a healthier pattern of beverage consumption.
The long-term efficacy of psychological interventions for bipolar
disorders has not been tested.
This study assessed the efficacy of group psychoeducation to prevent
recurrences and to reduce time spent ill for people with bipolar
A randomised controlled trial with masked outcome assessment comparing
group psychoeducation and non-structured group intervention during 5-year
follow-up. One hundred and twenty people with bipolar disorders were
included in the study and 99 completed 5-year follow-up. Time to any
recurrence, number of recurrences, total number of days spent ill,
frequency and length of hospitalisations were the main outcome
At the 5-year follow-up, time to any recurrence was longer for the
psychoeducation group (log rank=9.953, P<0.002). The
psychoeducation group had fewer recurrences (3.86 v.
8.37, F=23.6, P<0.0001) of any type
and they spent less time acutely ill (154 v. 586 days,
F=31.66, P=0.0001). The median
number of days of hospitalisation per hospitalised participant was also
lower for the psychoeducation group (45 v. 30,
Six-month group psychoeducation has long-lasting prophylactic effects in
individuals with bipolar disorders. Group psychoeducation is the first
psychological intervention showing such a long-term maintained efficacy
in people with bipolar disorders.
The aim of the present study was to assess the association between previous suicide attempts and functional impairment among euthymic patients with bipolar disorder (BD).
Seventy-one Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV) patients with BD and 61 healthy volunteers were recruited from the Bipolar Disorder Program at the Clinic Hospital of Barcelona. Patients with (n = 36, 50.7%) and without (n = 35, 49.3%) previous suicide attempts were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID-P). Previous suicide attempts were carefully investigated by means of patient and caregiver interview and by a standard structured interview from the protocol of our BD Program. The Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) was employed to assess functional impairment.
Euthymic patients with previous suicide attempts showed functional impairment, particularly in occupational (F = 30.39; p = 0.001) and cognitive functioning (F = 18.43; p = 0.001). In addition, family history of psychiatric illness (χ2: 6.49; degrees of freedom (df) = 2;132; p = 0.010), family history of affective disorders (χ2 = 5.57; p = 0.017), psychotic symptoms (χ2 = 5.88; p = 0.014) and axis II comorbidity were associated with previous suicide attempts (χ2 = 5.16; p = 0.021).
Bipolar patients with previous suicide attempts had lower overall functioning than patients who did not attempt suicide. Previous suicide attempts were particularly associated with the occupational and cognitive domains of functioning.
More than 20% of bipolar patients may present with seasonal pattern (SP). Seasonality can alter the course of bipolar disorder. However, to date, long-term follow-up studies of bipolar patients presenting with SP are scarce. We present a 10-year follow-up study comparing clinical and demographic features of bipolar patients with and without SP.
Three hundred and twenty-five bipolar I and II patients were followed up for at least 10 years. SP was defined according to DSM-IV criteria. Clinical variables were obtained from structured interviews with the patients and their relatives. Patients with and without SP were compared regarding clinical and sociodemographic variables and a stepwise logistic regression was performed.
Seventy-seven patients (25·5%) were classified as presenting with SP, while 225 (74·5%) were considered as presenting with no significant seasonal variation. Twenty-three patients (7%) were excluded from the study because it was unclear whether they had seasonality or not. There were no differences between groups regarding demographic variables. Patients with SP predominantly presented with bipolar II disorder, depressive onset, and depressive predominant polarity. The greater burden of depression did not correlate with indirect indicators of severity, such as suicidality, hospitalizations or psychotic symptoms.
Our study links the presence of SP with both bipolar II disorder and predominant depressive component. However, we could not find any difference regarding functionality or hospitalization rates. Modifications in the criteria to define SP are suggested for a better understanding of bipolar disorder.
Two superoxide dismutases (SODI and SODII) have been purified by differential centrifugation, fractionation with ammonium sulphate followed by chromatographic separation (ionic exchange and affinity), from a plant trypanosomatid isolated from Euphorbia characias, and then characterized for several biochemical properties. Both enzymes were insensitive to cyanide but sensitive to hydrogen peroxide, properties characteristic of iron-containing superoxide dismutase. SODI had a molecular mass of approximately 66 kDa, whereas the molecular mass of SODII was approximately 22 kDa, both enzymes showing single bands. The isoelectric points of SODI and SODII were 6·8 and 3·6, respectively. The enzymatic stability persisted at least for 6 months when the sample was lyophilized and preserved at −80 °C. Digitonin titration and subcellular fractionation showed that both enzymes were in the cytoplasmic fraction, although part of SODII isoenzyme was also associated with glycosomes. We assayed these activities (SOD) in 18 trypanosomatid isolates on isoelectric focusing gels, and have demonstrated that the SOD is a biochemical marker sufficient to identify a trypanosomatid isolated from a plant as belonging to the genus Phytomonas and to distinguish between a true Phytomonas and other trypanosomatids that are capable of causing transient infections in plants.