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Although being highly consensual that antipsychotic adherence is an important outcome predictor in psychosis, existing reviews have found mean rates of adherence around 40–60%. Several aspects, such as patient-related, medication-related, environmental-related variables have been described as important predictors.
This study aim is to develop, administer and present preliminary psychometric properties of a new scale for antipsychotic medication adherence that includes different types of predictors (clinical, psychosocial, and practical among others).
The “AMAS” was developed by a multidisciplinary team and was based on recent research on factors influencing antipsychotic adherence. The scale evolved from multiple drafts and experts were contacted in order to improve the final version. Over 50 patients with a diagnosis of a psychotic-spectrum disorder taking antipsychotic medication will be assessed with the “AMAS” and the Medication Adherence Rating Scale. Additionally, each patient's psychiatrist will fill in a form with demographic and clinical variables (such as type of symptoms, previous adherence problems, current adherence, insight and other relevant variables).
This is an ongoing study and the sample is still being collected (scheduled finish date: February/2016). Our statistical analysis’ plan includes: reliability analysis (Chronbach's alpha, alpha if item deleted, inter item correlations and covariances and item-total correlations); validity (convergent validity); factorial analysis.
It is hypothesized that the “AMAS” will be a practical, reliable and valid unidimentional instrument with clinical utility assessing adherence to antipsychotics. The “AMAS” can be also useful in assessing intervention targets (e.g. psychoterapeutical, psychoeducational) to enhance adherence.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
We investigated the efficiency of the autoregressive repeatability model (AR) for genetic evaluation of longitudinal reproductive traits in Portuguese Holstein cattle and compared the results with those from the conventional repeatability model (REP). The data set comprised records taken during the first four calving orders, corresponding to a total of 416, 766, 872 and 766 thousand records for interval between calving to first service, days open, calving interval and daughter pregnancy rate, respectively. Both models included fixed (month and age classes associated to each calving order) and random (herd-year-season, animal and permanent environmental) effects. For AR model, a first-order autoregressive (co)variance structure was fitted for the herd-year-season and permanent environmental effects. The AR outperformed the REP model, with lower Akaike Information Criteria, lower Mean Square Error and Akaike Weights close to unity. Rank correlations between estimated breeding values (EBV) with AR and REP models ranged from 0.95 to 0.97 for all studied reproductive traits, when the total bulls were considered. When considering only the top-100 selected bulls, the rank correlation ranged from 0.72 to 0.88. These results indicate that the re-ranking observed at the top level will provide more opportunities for selecting the best bulls. The EBV reliabilities provided by AR model was larger for all traits, but the magnitudes of the annual genetic progress were similar between two models. Overall, the proposed AR model was suitable for genetic evaluations of longitudinal reproductive traits in dairy cattle, outperforming the REP model.
Modern lifestyle increases the prevalence of obesity and its co-morbidities in the young population. High-salt (HS) diets are associated with hypertension and cardiac remodelling. The present study evaluated the potential effects of cardiometabolic programming induced by HS intake during puberty in lean and obese rats. Additionally, we investigated whether HS could exacerbate the impairment of cardiovascular parameters in adult life due to postnatal early overnutrition (PO). At postnatal day 3 (PN3), twenty-four litters of Wistar rats were divided into two groups: normal litter (NL, nine pups/dam) and small litter (SL, three pups/dam) throughout the lactation period; weaning was at PN21. At PN30, the pups were subdivided into two more groups: NL plus HS (NLHS) and SL plus HS (SLHS). HS intake was from PN30 until PN60. Cardiovascular parameters were evaluated at PN120. SL rats became overweight at adulthood due to persistent hyperphagia; however, HS exposure during puberty reduced the weight gain and food intake of NLHS and SLHS. Both HS and obesity raised the blood pressure, impaired baro- and chemoreflex sensitivity and induced cardiac remodelling but no worsening was observed in the association of these factors, except a little reduction in the angiotensin type-2 receptor in the hearts from SLHS animals. Our results suggest that the response of newborn offspring to PO and juveniles to a HS diet leads to significant changes in cardiovascular parameters in adult rats. This damage may be accompanied by impairment of both angiotensin signalling and antioxidant defence in the heart.
The dietary inclusion of feed additives to improve the carcass characteristics of the final product is of great importance for the pork production chain. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of the association of ractopamine (RAC) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the performance traits of finishing pigs during the last 26 days prior to slaughter. In total, 810 commercial hybrid barrows were used. Animals were distributed among treatments according to a randomised block design in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, with three RAC levels (0, 5 or 10 ppm) and three CLA levels (0, 0.3 or 0.6%). Pigs fed the diet with 5 ppm RAC had higher average daily feed intake (ADFI) (2.83 kg; P < 0.05) when compared with those fed 10 ppm RAC and the control diet (2.75 and 2.74 kg, respectively). Lower ADFI values (P < 0.01) were observed with the diets containing CLA compared with the control diet with no CLA (2.73 and 2.75 v. 2.85 kg/day, respectively). The average daily weight gain of pigs fed 5 and 10 ppm RAC was +148 and +173 g/dayhigher (P < 0.001), respectively, than those fed the control diet. Dietary RAC levels influenced (P < 0.001) feed conversion ratio (FCR), which was reduced as RAC levels increased, with the pigs fed 10, 5 and 0 ppm RAC presenting FCR values of 2.57, 2.71 and 3.05, respectively. FCR also improved (P < 0.05) with the inclusion of 0.6% CLA relative to the control diet (2.70 v. 2.84, respectively). There was a significant interaction between CLA × RAC levels (P < 0.01) for final BW, loin eye area (LEA) (P < 0.05) and backfat thickness (BT) (P < 0.05). The treatments containing 10 ppm RAC + 0.6% or 0.3% CLA increased LEA and reduced BT. In conclusion, the level of 10 ppm inclusion of RAC increased the overall performance parameters of pigs and therefore improved production efficiency. The combined use of RAC and CLA promoted a lower feed conversion ratio as well as better quantitative carcass traits, as demonstrated by the higher LEA and lower BT. The dietary inclusion of CLA at 0.3% improved feed efficiency, however, without affecting LEA or BT yields.
Animal evidence has suggested that maternal emotional and nutritional stress during pregnancy is associated with behavioral outcomes in offspring. The nature of the stresses applied may differ, but it is often assumed that the mother’s hippocampus–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HHPA) axis response releases higher levels of glucocorticoid hormones. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is in a pivotal position to regulate the HHPA axis and the stress response, and it has been implicated in anxiety behavior. In the current study, to search whether BNST structural changes and neurochemical alterations are associated with anxiety-related behavior in adult gestational protein-restricted offspring relative to an age-matched normal protein diet (NP) rats, we conduct behavioral tests and, BNST dendritic tree analysis by Sholl analysis, associated to immunoblotting–protein quantification [11β-HSD2, GR, MR, AT1R, 5HT1A and 5HT2A, corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRH) and CRH1]. Dams were maintained either on isocaloric standard rodent chow [with NP content, 17% casein or low protein content (LP), 6% casein] chow throughout their entire pregnancy. Here, in rats subjected to gestational protein restriction, we found: (a) a significant reduction in dendritic length and impoverished dendritic arborization in BNST neurons; (b) an elevated plasmatic corticosterone levels; and (c) associated with enhanced anxiety-like behavior when compared with age-matched NP offspring. Moreover, altered protein (11β-HSD2, GR, MR and type 1 CRH receptors) expressions may underlie the increase in anxiety-like behavior in LP offspring. This work represents the first demonstration that BNST developmental plasticity by maternal protein restriction, resulting in fine structural changes and neurochemical alterations that are associated with modified behavioral states.
The production of pork with moderate amounts of intramuscular fat (IMF) without an increase in subcutaneous fat is highly desirable for the meat industry. Several studies indicate that dietary protein reduction during the growing–finishing period of pigs enhances IMF content, but its consequence on carcass fat deposition is still contradictory. In this study, we hypothesized that the effects of reduced protein diets (RPD), corrected or not with the limiting amino acid lysine, on subcutaneous fat deposition from pigs with distinct genotypes are mediated by adipose membranes biophysical properties. In total, 36 crossbred (Large White×Landrace×Pietrain – a lean genotype) and purebred (Alentejana breed – a fatty genotype) male pigs were randomly assigned to the control group, the RPD group or the reduced protein diet equilibrated for lysine (RPDL) group, allowing a 2×3 factorial arrangement (n=6). Backfat thickness and total fatty acid content were higher in Alentejana relative to crossbred pigs. Although dietary treatments did not change backfat thickness, RPD and RPDL increased total fatty acids content of subcutaneous fat. In order to understand this effect, adipose tissue membranes isolated from pig’s subcutaneous fat were assayed for glycerol permeability and fluidity, using 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) and 1-(4-(trimethylamino)-phenyl)-6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (TMA-DPH) probes. The glycerol transport across adipose membranes was not mediated by aquaglyceroporins and remained unchanged across dietary groups. Regardless of lysine correction, RPD increased membrane fluidity at the hydrocarbon region (lower DPH fluorescence anisotropy) in both genotypes of pigs. This result was associated with a lower ratio between oleic acid and linoleic acid on membrane’s fatty acid composition. Adipose membrane’s cholesterol content was independent from genotype and diet. Taken together, the present study shows that dietary protein reduction is successful in maintaining backfat thickness, although a negative side effect was observed on total fatty acids in subcutaneous fat, which may be due to changes in the fluidity of adipose membranes.
The Radiocarbon Laboratory of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Brazil, has been successfully applying the zinc reduction method for graphitization of carbon samples since the development of its early protocols in 2009. Successive methodological research aiming to improve and, ultimately, optimize the precision and accuracy of our results indicates that graphitization temperatures as low as 460°C promote erratic 13C isotopic fractionation, but an approximately constant fractionation of about –5‰ is achieved at 520°C. In this work, we present isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) δ13C results for 14C reference materials graphitized at 550°C with variable amounts of zinc. Based on the results obtained from the addition of 20, 35, and 50 mg of zinc, we conclude that a slightly lower variation in 13C isotope fractionation during graphitization is obtained with less zinc. Moreover, the average isotopic fractionation is not altered by increasing the graphitization temperature from 520°C to 550°C.
This study aimed to evaluate the systemic and renal renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) at birth in male and female offspring and in mothers fed a high sodium diet (HSD) before and during gestation. Female Wistar rats were fed a HSD (8.0% NaCl) or a normal sodium diet (1.3% NaCl) from 8 weeks of age until delivery of their first litter. Maternal body weight, tail blood pressure, and food and water intake were evaluated. The litter sizes were assessed, and the body and kidney weights of the offspring were measured. Both mothers and offspring were euthanized immediately following the birth of the pups to evaluate plasma renin activity (PRA), renal renin content (RRC), renal angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity, renal angiotensin (Ang) II content, serum aldosterone (ALDO) levels, and renal cortical and medullary renin messenger RNA expression. In mothers in the HSD group, water intake and kidney mass were higher, whereas renal ACE activity, Ang II, PRA, ALDO and RRC were decreased. In the offspring of HSD-fed dams, the body and kidney mass were lower in both genders, renal ACE activity was lower in females and renal Ang II was lower in males. PRA, RRC, renin gene expression and ALDO levels did not differ between the groups of offspring. The data presented herein showed that a maternal HSD during pregnancy induces low birth weight and a sex-specific response in the RAAS in offspring.
The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic features of two isolates of this parasite, considering the importance of these hosts in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples from 108 free-range chickens were obtained from ten different districts, and submitted to the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies, and brain and heart tissue samples from infected chickens were processed for mouse bioassay. An overall seroprevalence of 71·3% was found and antibody titres ranged from 16 to 4096. After confirmation of seropositivity by mouse bioassay, the determination of the T. gondii genotypes of two isolates was performed by PCR–RFLP, using primers for the following markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22–8, c29–2, L358, PK1, new SAG2, Apico and CS3. These T. gondii isolates, designated TgChBrUD1and TgChBrUD2, were obtained from heart samples of free-range chickens. The TgChBrUD1 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 11 and the TgChBrUD2 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 6. Both isolates demonstrated high virulence in a rodent model, with the TgChBrUD1 isolate able to induce brain cysts, in accord with its pattern of multiplication rates in human fibroblast culture. Taken together, these results reveal high prevalence of T. gondii infection in free-range chickens throughout Uberlândia, indicating an important degree of oocyst environmental contamination and the existence of considerable risk for T. gondii transmission to humans by consumption of free-range chicken as a food source.
Copper activation was used to characterize high-energy proton beam acceleration from near-critical density plasma targets. An enhancement was observed when decreasing the target density, which is indicative for an increased laser-accelerated hot electron density at the rear target-vacuum boundary. This is due to channel formation and collimation of the hot electrons inside the target. Particle-in-cell simulations support the experimental observations and show the correlation between channel depth and longitudinal electric field strength is directly correlated with the proton acceleration.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (ST) supplemented with diphenyl diselenide and sodium selenite in experimental toxoplasmosis, on oxidant/antioxidant biomarkers and cytokine levels. Eighty-four BALB/c mice were divided in seven groups: group A (negative control), and groups B to G (infected). Blood and liver samples were collected on days 4 and 20 post infection (p.i.). Levels of thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive substances and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) were assessed in liver samples. Both biomarkers were significantly increased in infected groups on day 4 p.i., while they were reduced on day 20 p.i., compared with group A. Glutathione reductase (GR) activity significantly (P<0·01) increased on day 4 p.i., in group G, compared with group A. INF-γ was significantly increased (P<0·001) in both periods, day 4 (groups B, C, F and G) and 20 p.i. (groups C, F and G). IL-10 significantly reduced (P<0·001) on day 4 p.i. in group B; however, in the same period, it was increased (P<0·001) in groups C and G, compared with group A. On day 20 p.i., IL-10 increased (P<0·001) in groups F and G. Therefore, our results highlighted that these forms of selenium, associated with the chemotherapy, were able to reduce lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, providing a beneficial immunological balance between the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature and different levels of available phosphorus (aP) on the expression of nine genes encoding electron transport chain proteins in the Longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of pigs. Two trials were carried out using 48 high-lean growth pigs from two different growth phases: from 15 to 30 kg (phase 1) and from 30 to 60 kg (phase 2). Pigs from growth phase 1 were fed with three different levels of dietary aP (0.107%, 0.321% or 0.535%) and submitted either to a thermoneutral (24°C and RH at 76%) or to a heat stress (34°C and RH at 70%) environment. Pigs from growth phase 2 were fed with three different levels of dietary aP (0.116%, 0.306% or 0.496%) and submitted either to a thermoneutral (22ºC and RH at 77%) or to a heat stress (32ºC and RH at 73%) environment. Heat stress decreased (P<0.001) average daily feed intake at both growth phases. At 24°C, pigs in phase 1 fed the 0.321% aP diet had greater average daily gain and feed conversion (P<0.05) than those fed the 0.107% or 0.535% while, at 34°C pigs fed the 0.535% aP had the best performance (P<0.05). Pigs from phase 2 fed the 0.306% aP had best performance in both thermal environments. Gene expression profile was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Irrespective of growing phase, the expression of six genes was lower (P<0.05) at high temperature than at thermoneutrality. The lower expression of these genes under high temperatures evidences the effects of heat stress by decreasing oxidative metabolism, through adaptive physiological mechanisms in order to reduce heat production. In pigs from phase 1, six genes were differentially expressed across aP levels (P<0.05) in the thermoneutral and one gene in the heat stress. In pigs from phase 2, two genes were differentially expressed across aP levels (P<0.05) in both thermal environments. These data revealed strong evidence that phosphorus and thermal environments are key factors to regulate oxidative phosphorylation with direct implications on animal performance.
The Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO's VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, and Ks), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main part of the survey, which is focused on the variability in the Ks-band, is currently underway, with bulge fields observed between 34 and 73 times, and disk fields between 34 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage in the near-IR. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data.
This paper reports the effects of BnSP-7 toxin, a catalytically inactive phospholipase A2 from Bothrops pauloensis snake venom, on Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis. BnSP-7 presented activity against promastigote parasite forms both in the MTT assay, with IC50 of 58·7 μg mL−1 of toxin, and a growth curve, inhibiting parasite proliferation 60–70% at concentrations of 50–200 μg mL−1 of toxin 96 h after treatment. Also, the toxin presented effects on amastigotes, reducing parasite viability by 50% at 28·1 μg mL−1 and delaying the amastigote–promastigote differentiation process. Ultrastructural studies showed that BnSP-7 caused severe morphological changes in promastigotes such as mitochondrial swelling, nuclear alteration, vacuolization, acidocalcisomes, multiflagellar aspects and a blebbing effect in the plasma membrane. Finally, BnSP-7 interfered with the infective capacity of promastigotes in murine peritoneal macrophages, causing statistically significant infectivity-index reductions (P < 0·05) of 20–35%. These data suggest that the BnSP-7 toxin is an important tool for the discovery of new parasite targets that can be exploited to develop new drugs for treating leishmaniasis.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-trypanosomal effect of treatment with 3′-deoxyadenosine (cordycepin) combined with deoxycoformycin (pentostatin: inhibitor of the enzyme adenosine deaminase) in vitro by using mice experimentally infected with Trypanosoma evansi. In vitro, a dose-dependent trypanocidal effect of cordycepin was observed against the parasite. In the in vivo trials, the two drugs were used individually and in combination of different doses. The drugs when used individually had no curative effect on infected mice. However, the combination of cordycepin (2 mg kg−1) and pentostatin (2 mg kg−1) was 100% effective in the T. evansi-infected groups. There was an increase in levels of some biochemical parameters, especially on liver enzymes, which were accompanied by histological lesions in the liver and kidneys. Based on these results we conclude that treatment using the combination of 3′-deoxyadenosine with deoxycoformycin has a curative effect on mice infected with T. evansi. However, the therapeutic protocol tested led to liver and kidney damage, manifested by hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.
Noise and electrical conductivity measurements were made at temperatures ranging from approximately 270°K to 320°K on devices fabricated on as grown Boron doped p-type a-Si:H films. The room temperature 1/f noise was found to be proportional to the bias voltage and inversely proportional to the square root of the device area. As a result, the 1/f noise can be described by Hooge’s empirical expression . The 1/f noise was found to be independent of temperature in the range investigated even though the device conductivity changed by a factor of approximately 4 over this range. Conductivity temperature measurements exhibit a T-0.25 dependence, indicative of conduction via localized states in the valence band tail [2,3]. In addition, multiple authors have analyzed hole mobility in a-Si:H and find that the hole mobility depends on the scattering of mobile holes by localized states in the valence band tail [4-7]. We conclude that the a-Si:H carrier concentration does not change appreciably with temperature, and thus, the resistance change in this temperature range is due to the temperature dependence of the hole mobility. Our results are applicable to a basic understanding of noise and conductivity requirements for a-Si:H materials used for microbolometer ambient temperature infrared detection.
In this study, we employed Multiple Internal Reflection Infrared Spectroscopy (MIR-IR) to characterize chemical bonding structures of boron doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H(B)). This technique has been shown to provide over a hundred fold increase of detection sensitivity when compared with conventional FTIR. Our MIR-IR analyses reveal an interesting counter-balance relationship between boron-doping and hydrogen-dilution growth parameters in PECVD-grown a-Si:H. Specifically, an increase in the hydrogen dilution ratio (H2/SiH4) was found to cause the increase in the Si-H bonding and a decrease in the B-H and SiH2 bonding, as evidenced by the changes in corresponding IR absorption peaks. In addition, although a higher boron dopant gas concentration was seen to increase the BH and SiH2 bonding, it also resulted in the decrease of the most stable SiH bonding configuration. The new chemical bonding information of a-Si:H thin film was correlated with the various boron doping mechanisms proposed by theoretical calculations.
The physiological condition of Solea solea and Solea senegalensis, caught in the natural environment and in aquaculture fish farms respectively, was determined by analyzing the histological changes occurred in the gills of the animals. These two species were used because both occupy the same ecological niche but only Solea senegalensis is reared in Portuguese aquaculture farms. The analysis was performed using 19 specimens in total from both environments collected between January and March of 2011 in two different locations of the Portuguese coast (Leixões and Aveiro, Portugal). The lesions found in the gills samples corresponded to four types of fusions: basal fusion corresponding to fusions at the base of the secondary lamella; medium fusion corresponding to fusions up to half of the secondary lamella; total fusion corresponding to fusions in the total length of the lamella; apical fusion corresponding to the complete fusion of the entire lamella. Another form of lesion found were lamellar edema which consisted of two different type: apical edema corresponding to a swelling at the apex of the secondary lamella; lamellar edema corresponding to a swelling in the full length of the tissue of the secondary lamella. The last physiological modification found was the alteration of the quantity of mucous cells found and also of mucous released in the primary and secondary lamellae of the gills. The results revealed that the most commonly type of lesions found were: basal fusion (Fig. 1. C); medium fusion (Figure 1 B); apical fusion (Figure 1 A); total fusion (Figure 1 D); lamellar edema (Figure 1 E); apical edema (Figure 1 F) and mucous cells disorganization in the gills (Figure 1 G). These data are very similar to other previously reported results in histopathologic studies, and are most likely to result from: contamination with heavy metals; organic or pesticides contamination; contamination by hydrocarbons (oils, fuels; rapid changes in the temperature of the water; the time of recovery of the fishing nets in the case of Solea solea; contamination of the ice used in the storage process of Solea solea. The histological analyses are very useful to evaluate the physiological condition of the fish. The histological analyses are a very important tool which enables the rapid development of processes and supports sound ecological management decisions in order to protect and/or recover habitats and ecosystems in which these animals live, therefore, improving their physiological condition with obvious benefits as to the human consumer is concerned. The novelty in this study was the use of bottom duelling fish and the comparison established between wild specimens and aquaculture reared specimens. The final conclusion is that several types of contamination occurred both in the natural environment as in the aquaculture fish farms, resulting in the different types of lesions and physiological changes observed during our experiment.