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Measurements of a variety of physical properties of muscle tissue have been proposed as objective tests for meat tenderness. We have attempted to single out a specific physical factor, namely tensile stress, and to determine its effect on the ultrastructure of raw and cooked muscle tissue. Extension of this approach to the other physical factors involved in mastication will hopefully establish the structural factors important to meat tenderness.
The bovine semitendenosus muscle (eye round) was obtained either commercially or excised from a carcass aged under controlled conditions for 10 days. Small strips (¼” x ¼” x 1-½”), raw and cooked at 90°C, were subjected to tensile stress and then fixed in glutaraldehyde. A motorized minitensile stage (Fig. 1), designed to be small enough to operate within the SEM, stressed the muscle samples while viewed by a stereomicroscope and simultaneously monitored with a closed circuit TV system. Identical areas of samples subjected to tensile stress could be observed in both the light and scanning electron microscopes (Fig. 2).
The dendrite morphologies of the cast nickel-based superalloy CMSX-4® (CMSX-4® is registered trademarks of the Cannon-Muskegon Corporation) and the austenitic stainless steel HP microalloy have been obtained via an automated serial-sectioning process which allows three-dimensional (3D) microstructural characterization. The dendrite arm spacing, volume fraction of segregation, and fraction of porosity have been determined. This technique not only increases the depth, scope, and level of detailed microstructural characterization but also delivers microstructural data for modeling and simulation.
The capacity of building services in many hospitals exceeds the requirements by significant amounts. Oversizing of building services has a direct impact on building efficiency and operational costs, ultimately impacting upon patient care, by diverting much needed funding. A key factor leading to the oversizing is the excessive and uncoordinated application of design margins across various project stages. Based on a hospital case study, this paper analyses the reasons for the overdesign of a replacement cooling system and raises the importance of managing margins activity to avoid overdesign.
First episode psychosis (FEP) patients who use cannabis experience more frequent psychotic and euphoric intoxication experiences compared to controls. It is not clear whether this is consequent to patients being more vulnerable to the effects of cannabis use or to their heavier pattern of use. We aimed to determine whether extent of use predicted psychotic-like and euphoric intoxication experiences in patients and controls and whether this differs between groups.
We analysed data on patients who had ever used cannabis (n = 655) and controls who had ever used cannabis (n = 654) across 15 sites from six countries in the EU-GEI study (2010–2015). We used multiple regression to model predictors of cannabis-induced experiences and to determine if there was an interaction between caseness and extent of use.
Caseness, frequency of cannabis use and money spent on cannabis predicted psychotic-like and euphoric experiences (p ⩽ 0.001). For psychotic-like experiences (PEs) there was a significant interaction for caseness × frequency of use (p < 0.001) and caseness × money spent on cannabis (p = 0.001) such that FEP patients had increased experiences at increased levels of use compared to controls. There was no significant interaction for euphoric experiences (p > 0.5).
FEP patients are particularly sensitive to increased psychotic-like, but not euphoric experiences, at higher levels of cannabis use compared to controls. This suggests a specific psychotomimetic response in FEP patients related to heavy cannabis use. Clinicians should enquire regarding cannabis related PEs and advise that lower levels of cannabis use are associated with less frequent PEs.
Follow-up studies of schizophrenia have reported divergent rates of outcomes. In addition to definition and measurement challenges, one reason for divergence may be due to sampling biases. Our aim was to report clinical and social outcomes of schizophrenia in the longitudinal, unselected, population-based Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, and describe associated factors.
Subjects with DSM-III-R schizophrenia (N=109) were followed prospectively from mid-pregnancy up to age 35 years. Used outcome measures were positive and negative symptoms, global clinical impression, use of antipsychotics, psychiatric hospitalisations, social and occupational functioning. Several definitions of good and poor outcomes were explored, and predictors of outcomes were analysed.
In a subsample of 59 cases with complete information of outcomes, good clinical outcome varied from 10% to 59%, and good social outcome 15-46%, depending on definition of outcomes. Poor clinical outcome varied 41-77% and poor social 37-54%. Two subjects recovered fully using the most stringent definition of outcome. Lack of friends in childhood, father's high social class, lower school performance and earlier age of illness onset predicted poor outcomes. When the whole sample was considered, early infant development around the age of 1 year was associated with worse course of illness.
Outcomes were heterogeneous and relatively poor in this sample of relatively young schizophrenia subjects. The results were influenced by the definitions and measurements of outcomes. Persons having a sub-optimal developmental trajectory with poor social contacts, poor school performance, and early age of illness onset seem to have the worst outcome.
To describe symptom expression and functional outcome in psychotic disorders in relation with temperament traits assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) in a population-based sample.
As part of the 31-year follow-up survey of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, TCI temperament items were filled in by 4349 members of the cohort. In individuals with psychotic disorders, also positive and negative symptoms and outcome variables were assessed in a 35-year follow-up. Information of TCI and outcomes were available for altogether 41 individuals with psychosis.
Reward dependence (RD) (rho = −0.45) and Persistence (P) (rho = −0.52) were significantly correlated with Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) negative symptoms. Higher P scores predicted higher social and occupational functioning (as measured by Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale [SOFAS]), and higher Harm avoidance (HA) predicted a higher likelihood of being on a disability pension.
Results indicate that understanding of personality dimensions support better understanding of outcome and symptom expressions in psychotic disorders.
The proposed distinction between familial and sporadic schizophrenia has proved a useful tool for research into the aetiology of the disorder although evidence for the proposed association between large cerebral ventricles and the sporadic form has been contradictory. We have reviewed the literature and found evidence that in the context of brain structure, the familial — sporadic distinction may apply to men but not women with schizophrenia. This may explain some of the observed sex differences in schizophrenia and some of the confusion in the literature. Based upon this review, we examined our own data on 138 schizophrenic subjects with no family history (sporadic) and 24 with such a history (familial). As predicted, cerebral ventricle size was largest in men with sporadic schizophrenia, there being no effect in women. We propose a meta-analysis of existing data in order to pursue this phenomenon further.
Tests of both structure and function of the corpus callosum have revealed abnormalities in schizophrenic patients. One such functional test employed lateralised Stroop stimuli presented tachistoscopically, to measure the transfer of interference and facilitation between the cerebral hemispheres. An attempt was made to relate indices of callosal transfer to clinical and demographic variables, including family history, as well as to indices of brain morphology. The latter included ventricle: brain ratio (VBR) measured by computed tomography (CT) scanning on 31 DSMIII schizophrenics, and the cross-sectional area of the corpus callosum from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), obtained from 20 of these patients. VBR did not relate to functional measures; however, anterior callosal area correlated with indices of callosal connectivity. Patients with auditory hallucinations had smaller anterior callosal areas and tended to show less connectivity. The results show links between functional and structural measures of the corpus callosum, but their precise nature remains unclear.
To investigate the feasibility, and patient/psychiatrist acceptability, of an SMS text messaging system reminding patients receiving quetiapine to take their medication.
8-12(mean:9.4) week, non-interventional, psychiatrist assessed, pilot study of 27 outpatients receiving quetiapine (mean age[range]: 35.3[19-57] years). Patients were asked to reply to SMS messages sent twice daily to their cellular phone to remind them to take their medication (morning) and enquire about their well-being (evening). Patients' response (morning-yes/no; evening-positive/negative/neutral) was monitored by psychiatrists (n=7) via a website, and subsequently used to assess technical feasibility. Psychiatrists rated acceptability and feasibility of the system by completing case report forms (CRFs). Data are from the LOCF population.
Patients responded to 77% (compliance) of the 5,000 SMS messages sent (84% correctly, 13% inaccurately, 3% responded late [eg, day after]). 7/27 patients withdrew prematurely. The most common benefits expressed by patients were that they felt cared for (n=11/21) and were reminded to take their medication (n=7/21). Psychiatrists' ratings of the system improved over time, with SMS compliance and increased patient contact seen as the most valuable aspects. At study end, CRF data showed psychiatrists felt the system was valuable to 19/22 patients, 16/24 patients remained compliant with the system and 16/22 patients felt the frequency of SMS messages was acceptable. There was a strong correlation between patients giving positive well-being responses and SMS compliance (R Pearson=0.72, p<0.001).
The high levels of SMS compliance and benefits expressed by patients and psychiatrists support a larger-scale assessment of this system.
There are limited amount of studies comparing time trends of incidence and risk factors of psychosis.
To compare time trends of incidence of psychosis in two population samples.
To study 1) onset age and cumulative incidence of psychoses in two Northern Finland Birth Cohorts (NFBC), 2) changes in type of diagnosis and risk factors.
The NFBC 1966 (N=12,058) and NFBC 1986 (N=9,432) are prospective cohorts of the two provinces of Finland with the live born children followed since pregnancy. The data for psychosis and risk factors were collected from variety of nationwide registers and earlier collected data of the NFBCs. The follow-up time was in both cohorts in average 26.5 years.
Proportion of all psychoses was higher in NFBC 1986 than in the NFBC 1966 (1.81% vs 1.0%). There were more affective psychoses in NFBC 1986 (0.5% vs 0.1%), but incidence of schizophrenia was the same (0.4%) in both cohorts. The age of onset was lower in NFBC 1986 than in NFBC 1966 and majority of this cases were females. Only parental psychosis was a significant risk factor predicting psychosis (Hazard Ratios >3.0) in both cohorts.
In conclusion, two birth cohorts within 20 years covering altogether about 40 years showed changes in terms of incidence, age of onset, and type of psychosis.
Long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) has been associated to brain morphological changes in schizophrenia in cross sectional analyses. It is unclear DUP relates to brain volume change over time.
Our aim was to analyze the association between length of DUP and total brain volume change in schizophrenia in a general population based sample.
All members of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort (NFBC1966) known to have had psychotic illness were invited for a field study at the age 34-years (in average 10 year after onset of psychosis) and follow up nine years later at the age 43-years. DUP was assessed from medical records. The total brain volume scan interval change and the DUP information were available for 32 subjects with DSM III R schizophrenia. We analysed the correlation between length of DUP and the mean annual whole brain reduction, adjusted for age of illness onset and sex.
The mean annual whole brain volume reduction was 0.66%. The reduction was 0.76% among those with shortest DUP, 0.58% among those with median DUP, and 0.63% among those with longest DUP. There was no statistically significant correlation between DUP and annual brain volume change when adjusted for onset age and/or sex.
We did not find an association between long DUP and brain volume decrease in schizophrenia in 9 years follow up. Although long DUP has been associated with differences in brain volume in cross sectional analyses, the significance of DUP on brain morphology in long term is unclear.