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The increased use of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) to investigate cognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia fostered interest in its sensitivity in the context of family studies. As various measures of the same cognitive domains may have different power to distinguish between unaffected relatives of patients and controls, the relative sensitivity of MCCB tests for relative–control differences has to be established. We compared MCCB scores of 852 outpatients with schizophrenia (SCZ) with those of 342 unaffected relatives (REL) and a normative Italian sample of 774 healthy subjects (HCS). We examined familial aggregation of cognitive impairment by investigating within-family prediction of MCCB scores based on probands’ scores.
Multivariate analysis of variance was used to analyze group differences in adjusted MCCB scores. Weighted least-squares analysis was used to investigate whether probands’ MCCB scores predicted REL neurocognitive performance.
SCZ were significantly impaired on all MCCB domains. REL had intermediate scores between SCZ and HCS, showing a similar pattern of impairment, except for social cognition. Proband's scores significantly predicted REL MCCB scores on all domains except for visual learning.
In a large sample of stable patients with schizophrenia, living in the community, and in their unaffected relatives, MCCB demonstrated sensitivity to cognitive deficits in both groups. Our findings of significant within-family prediction of MCCB scores might reflect disease-related genetic or environmental factors.
Some of the high luminosity stars in our Galaxy are surrounded by planetary-like nebulae formed by material ejected from the central star. The most interesting case is that of the ring nebula PK 289-0° 1 around the P Cygni star AG Car. Long slit spectroscopy shows that nitrogen is overabundant and oxygen underabundant in the nebula. The Hα/[NII] ratio is lower in the nebula with respect to the surrounding H II region, possibly as a result of the N overabundance in the stellar wind. The emission line peak separation confirms a model of a distorted spherical shell expanding at 66 km s−1. The scattered star's spectrum is observable near the star, suggesting the presence of circumstellar dust grains. A nebular mass of at least 2.7 M⊙ is derived. While the nebula in the Hα imagery reveals the ring-like shape with many structures, in the blue it is much fainter and smoother. No nebular emission was detected in the JHK bands, suggesting a low dust temperature.
If the grains in pre-collapsing clouds are due to the contribution of winds from previous generations of stars and supernovae ejecta, they already contain a fraction if not all, of the heavy elements. The far infrared spectrum of Bok globules, which are at relatively early contraction stages, has been attributed to dusty material.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Hypervelocity stars (HVSs) are characterized by a total velocity in excess of the Galactic escape speed, and with trajectories consistent with coming from the Galactic Centre. We apply a novel data mining routine, an artificial neural network, to discover HVSs in the TGAS subset of the first data release of the Gaia satellite, using only the astrometry of the stars. We find 80 stars with a predicted probability >90% of being HVSs, and we retrieved radial velocities for 47 of those. We discover 14 objects with a total velocity in the Galactic rest frame >400 km s−1, and 5 of these have a probability >50% of being unbound from the Milky Way. Tracing back orbits in different Galactic potentials, we discover 1 HVS candidate, 5 bound HVS candidates, and 5 runaway star candidates with remarkably high velocities, between 400 and 780 km s−1. We wait for future Gaia releases to confirm the goodness of our sample and to increase the number of HVS candidates.
Stellar occultations are a unique technique to access physical characteristics of distant solar system objects from the ground. They allow the measure of the size and the shape at kilometric level, the detection of tenuous atmospheres (few nanobars), and the investigation of close vicinity (satellites, rings) of Transneptunian objects and Centaurs. This technique is made successful thanks to accurate predictions of occultations. Accuracy of the predictions depends on the uncertainty in the position of the occulted star and the object's orbit. The Gaia stellar catalogue (Gaia Collaboration (2017)) now allows to get accurate astrometric stellar positions (to the mas level). The main uncertainty remains on the orbit. In this context, we now take advantage of the NIMA method (Desmars et al.(2015)) for the orbit determination and of the Gaia DR1 catalogue for the astrometry. In this document, we show how the orbit determination is improved by reducing current and some past observations with Gaia DR1. Moreover, we also use more than 45 past positive occultations observed in the 2009-2017 period to derive very accurate astrometric positions only depending on the position of the occulted stars (about few mas with Gaia DR1). We use the case of (10199) Chariklo as an illustration. The main limitation lies in the imprecision of the proper motions which is going to be solved by the Gaia DR2 release.
In the last few years various departments of the University Hospital “A. Gemelli” have been engaged in dealing with disasters of different kinds: the earthquakes of Belice, Friuli and Irpinia, the fire of the Todi antique exhibition, and various terrorist attacks. In these events the organization of the care of the survivors took the following four aspects into account: 1) Type and kind of lesions related to the nature of the event. 2) Criteria and collection areas of the injured, casualty clearing and treatments. 3) Distance of the disaster from the treatment center. 4) New structures to be set up for improving efficiency in the future.
1) The most frequent clinical problems encountered burns and crushing injuries, and those affecting the musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and neuro-muscular systems. In a second phase, together with the possible lack of water, food, clothing, shelter and toilet facilities, infectious diseases of the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract appear, particularly in old people and children. The treatment of the injured in the emergency phase requires a series of interventions at a very high technological level. In the subsequent phase, which may last for months, the treatment needed comes under normal preventive and clinical care.
2) In the emergency period, which in our experience does not generally last longer than ten days, the medical and surgical departments of our hospital mostly concerned were the intensive care units (18 beds), the orthopedics and traumatology sections (122 beds), the surgical wards (309 beds), the transfusion center and the hemodialysis service.
The need to arrange the assistance beforehand and therefore prepare for the prevention of damage to people and property that may result from accidents or events of considerable magnitude occurring inside the University Hospital, “A. Gemelli,” has led to several laws of the Constitution of the Italian Republic (Article 35), the Criminal Code (Articles 437 and 451), and the Civil Code (Article 2087): The law of Feb 12, 1955, #51 (Official Gazette 54, March 7, 1955); Decree 547 of April 27, 1955 “Regulations for the prevention of industrial accidents” and Decree 302 of March 19, 1956.
The study of these assistance procedures has led to the formulation of an emergency plan divided into two basic parts: prevention of accidents, and rescue operations.
By prevention we mean: a) The training of all staff and Managing Bodies of our Faculty/Staff to take effective action in the case of an intra-hospital accident, b) The need for detailed information on the various procedures to be used depending on the gravity of the event, c) Awareness of the civil and criminal responsibilities relating to the various management and non-management levels in case of emergency.
The training plan for the whole staff, approved by the management administrative, technical and medical bodies, consists of theoretical and practical courses. These courses, which started in June 1983 are “modular.” The staff will take part in them as homogeneous groups, for a period of time which will vary, in regard to the number of hours and kind of instruction, and in relation to what each group has to learn about work safety, fire prevention and emergency measures.
To determine whether demographic characteristics or balance examination findings can predict the adherence of older people with instability to a vestibular rehabilitation programme.
A prospective case–control study was conducted of 120 patients aged 65 years or more (mean age, 77.3 ± 6.33 years). Two groups were classified according to patients’ adherence with the follow-up post-rehabilitation protocol. Analysed variables included: age, sex, body mass index, Timed Up and Go test findings, computerised dynamic posturography, Dizziness Handicap Inventory scores and Short Falls Efficacy Scale – International questionnaire results, number of falls, and type of vestibular rehabilitation.
Two groups were established: adherents (99 individuals) and non-adherents (21 individuals). There were differences between the groups regarding: sex (female-to-male ratio of 4.8:1 in adherents and 1.63:1 in non-adherents), age (higher in non-adherents) and voluntary movement posturographic test results (non-adherents had poorer scores).
The patients most likely to abandon a vestibular rehabilitation programme are very elderly males with low scores for centre of gravity balancing and limits of stability.
The study aimed to subtype patients with schizophrenia on the basis of social cognition (SC), and to identify cut-offs that best discriminate among subtypes in 809 out-patients recruited in the context of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses.
A two-step cluster analysis of The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), the Facial Emotion Identification Test and Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test scores was performed. Classification and regression tree analysis was used to identify the cut-offs of variables that best discriminated among clusters.
We identified three clusters, characterized by unimpaired (42%), impaired (50.4%) and very impaired (7.5%) SC. Three theory-of-mind domains were more important for the cluster definition as compared with emotion perception and emotional intelligence. Patients more able to understand simple sarcasm (⩾14 for TASIT-SS) were very likely to belong to the unimpaired SC cluster. Compared with patients in the impaired SC cluster, those in the very impaired SC cluster performed significantly worse in lie scenes (TASIT-LI <10), but not in simple sarcasm. Moreover, functioning, neurocognition, disorganization and SC had a linear relationship across the three clusters, while positive symptoms were significantly lower in patients with unimpaired SC as compared with patients with impaired and very impaired SC. On the other hand, negative symptoms were highest in patients with impaired levels of SC.
If replicated, the identification of such subtypes in clinical practice may help in tailoring rehabilitation efforts to the person's strengths to gain more benefit to the person.
We discuss the non-linear evolution of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in Herbig-Haro jets performing numerical simulations by means of a PPM hydro-code modified as to include non-equilibrium, optically thin, radiation losses and heating. In this paper we discuss in particular the effects of different functional dependences of heating on density. The results obtained show a weak dependency of the instability evolution on the different forms of the heating function, that is largely unknown, therefore the simple assumption of constant heating, adopted in previous papers on this matter, does not lead to severe limitations on the general applicability of the results to the astrophysical jets and, in particular, to the origin of the emission knots.
One of the key processes governing the structure and evolution of astrophysical jets is their interaction with the surrounding medium. A jet can deposit momentum and energy in the ambient medium, and entrain external material. The main physical process responsible for mixing between a jet flow and the ambient medium is the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability. We have previously analysed the 2D evolution of the axisymmetric modes of a cylindrical jet (Bodo et al 1994) and of the antisymmetric modes of a planar slab jet (Bodo et al 1995). These last are thought to give indications of the 3D evolution of the helical modes of a cylinder, since the linear behavior is very similar. In this contribution we present some preliminary results of fully 3D simulations comparing them with the mentioned 2D results.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Preadmission skin antisepsis, while controversial, has gained acceptance as a strategy for reducing the risk of SSI. In this study, we analyze the benefit of an electronic alert system for enhancing compliance to preadmission application of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Following informed consent, 100 healthy volunteers in an academic, tertiary care medical center were randomized to 5 chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin application groups: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive applications. Participants were further randomized into 2 subgroups: with or without electronic alert. Skin surface concentrations of CHG (μg/mL) were analyzed using a colorimetric assay at 5 separate anatomic sites.
Preadmission application of chlorhexidine gluconate, 2%
Mean composite skin surface CHG concentrations in volunteer participants receiving EA following 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 applications were 1,040.5, 1,334.4, 1,278.2, 1,643.9, and 1,803.1 µg/mL, respectively, while composite skin surface concentrations in the no-EA group were 913.8, 1,240.0, 1,249.8, 1,194.4, and 1,364.2 µg/mL, respectively (ANOVA, P<.001). Composite ratios (CHG concentration/minimum inhibitory concentration required to inhibit the growth of 90% of organisms [MIC90]) for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 applications using the 2% CHG cloth were 208.1, 266.8, 255.6, 328.8, and 360.6, respectively, representing CHG skin concentrations effective against staphylococcal surgical pathogens. The use of an electronic alert system resulted in significant increase in skin concentrations of CHG in the 4- and 5-application groups (P<.04 and P<.007, respectively).
The findings of this study suggest an evidence-based standardized process that includes use of an Internet-based electronic alert system to improve patient compliance while maximizing skin surface concentrations effective against MRSA and other staphylococcal surgical pathogens.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):254–259
The diffusion process of helium was studied in evolutionary star models. A typical horizontal-branch (HB) star (M=0.53 M⊙, Y=0.3, Z=0.001) was evolved up to the beginning of the asymptotic giant-branch phase. Helium was shown to diffuse inwards in the atmosphere and subatmosphere in a rather short interval of time. Therefore the suggested efficiency of diffusion in explaining the helium deficiency in old B- and HB-stars in globular clusters received a significant support. In models where the surface convection is not efficient enough to restore the original helium content in the outermost stellar layers, stars in subsequent evolutionary stages (such as blue and white dwarfs) should still be deficient of helium.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
The conservation of species listed in the Bern Convention and European Directive 1992/43/EEC (so-called policy species) is mandatory for European Union (EU) countries. We assessed the conservation status of Italian policy species, based on the IUCN categories and criteria, to evaluate the effectiveness of existing protection measures at the national level. Among the 203 vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens evaluated, 41.9% are categorized as threatened, and one is already extinct, indicating that the protection measures for policy species are inadequate. Our results for the Italian policy species are consistent with those of an assessment at the EU level. Conservation priorities should be established at both the national and regional scales. An effective conservation strategy is needed, and in situ and ex situ actions focused on threatened species should be promoted.
Recent U.S. evidence suggests that the response of labor share to a productivity shock is characterized by countercyclicality and overshooting. These findings cannot be reconciled easily with existing business cycle models. We extend the Diamond–Mortensen–Pissarides model of search in the labor market by considering strategic interactions among an endogenous number of producers, which leads to countercyclical price markups. Although Nash bargaining delivers a countercyclical labor share, we show that countercyclical markups are fundamental to address the overshooting. On the contrary, we find that real wage rigidity does not seem to play a crucial role in the dynamics of the labor share of income.