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The giant gypsum crystals of Naica cave have fascinated scientists since their discovery in 2000. Human activity has changed the microclimate inside the cave, making scientists wonder about the potential environmental impact on the crystals. Over the last 9 years, we have studied approximately 70 samples. This paper reports on the detailed chemical–structural characterization of the impurities present at the surface of these crystals and the experimental simulations of their potential deterioration patterns. Selected samples were studied by petrography, optical and electronic microscopy, and laboratory X-ray diffraction. 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray μ-fluorescence, and X-ray μ-absorption near-edge structure were used to identify the impurities and their associated phases. These impurities were deposited during the latest stage of the gypsum crystal formation and have afterward evolved with the natural high humidity. The simulations of the behavior of the crystals in microclimatic chambers produced crystal dissolution by 1–4% weight fraction under high CO2 concentration and permanent fog, and gypsum phase dehydration under air and CO2 gaseous environment. Our work suggests that most surface impurities are of natural origin; the most significant anthropogenic damage on the crystals is the extraction of water from the caves.
To evaluate the long-term tolerability and effectiveness of aripiprazole adjunctive to lithium or valproate in bipolar mania.
Completers of a 6-week double-blind comparison of adjunctive aripiprazole versus placebo in bipolar mania partially responsive to monotherapy were followed up over 46-weeks on open-label aripiprazole plus lithium (ARI+LI) or valproate (ARI+VAL).
283 (ARI+LI n=108; ARI+VAL n=175) patients entered and 146 (ARI+LI n=55; ARI+VAL n=91) completed the 46-week extension. Safety results for both combinations were consistent with the known tolerability profile of aripiprazole, lithium and valproate. No clinically significant changes in lipids or glucose were observed with either ARI+LI or ARI+VAL. Mean (SE) weight change from double-blind endpoint to Week 46 (LOCF) was 2.3 (0.6) kg with ARI+LI and 2.0 (0.4) kg with ARI+VAL. Temporal analysis of the time of first onset of adverse events showed that akathisia and insomnia tended to occur early in treatment, with few new cases in patients previously treated with aripiprazole during the 6-week study.
Significant improvements from baseline in YMRS total score and MADRS total score were sustained over the 52 weeks with both ARI+LI and ARI+VAL treatment.
Mean reduction from baseline at Week 52 LOCF[95%CI], p value vs baseline
YMRS total score
-16.5 [-18.1; -14.8], p<0.001
-17.6 [-18.9; -16.3] p<0.001
MADRS total score
-1.7 [-3.3; -0.1] p<0.05
-2.7 [-4.0; -1.4] p<0.001
Long-term aripiprazole adjunctive to lithium/valproate in bipolar mania was safe and well-tolerated. Improvements in manic and depressive symptoms observed during the first 6 weeks of treatment were maintained.
Processing speed and executive functioning are among the more impaired cognitive domains in schizophrenia, do not improve despite antipsychotic medication, and are associated with poor long-term functioning and quality of life. Cognitive remediation therapy for psychosis (REHACOP) try to improve cognitive deficits by teaching information processing strategies through guided mental exercises. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of cognitive remediation therapy (REHACOP), compared to other treatments, on processing speed and executive functioning difficulties.
Material and methods
Fifty-seven patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and 29 with first-episode psychosis were randomly allocated into one of two groups: Cognitive rehabilitation group (REHACOP) or occupational therapy group. The REHACOP group received 3 months structured group rehabilitation sessions (3 per week) focused on tasks requiring attention, language, memory, speed, executive functioning and activities of daily living. All subjects underwent a neuropsychological assessment pre- and post treatment, which included tests for processing speed (Trail-Making Test-A, Digit Symbol, and Stroop-Color) and executive functioning (Stroop Word-Color part and interference)
Repeated measures of MANOVA showed that the interaction term groupXtime was significant for the executive functioning (F = 9.88, p < 0.01) and processing speed (F = 5.92, p < 0.05) measures, suggesting that the REHACOP experimental group improved significantly when compared to the control group's performance on both domains.
Results suggest that REHACOP is effective to improve executive dysfunction and processing speed deficits in first-episode psychosis and schizophrenia compared to occupational therapy.
To find out the frequency of medical conditions presented by a population of institutionalized chronic schizophrenic patients.
The target population is a total of 220 schizophrenic patients, 48 men and 172 women, diagnosed following the ICD-10 criteria, institutionalized at least during 5 years in a 76,8% of the patients. The average age was of 64,64 years.
Specific survey applied by the group of investigators aiming to collect socio-demographical data and the medical conditions, using the following psychometric scales: Cumulative Index of Illnesses (CII), Global Assessment Scale (GAS), and Clinical Global Impression (CGI).
Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS v 15.0, including descriptive statistics and correlation analysis.
Diabetes was found in 15% of cases, obesity in 31,7%, overweight in 39%, high blood pressure in 24,5%, high cholesterol serum levels in 21%, high triglyceride serum levels in 8,7%. A 26% of the patients were smokers.
The average number of categories at the CII scale was 4,84 and the average total score was 11,96.
Our patients predominantly are of an advanced age, female sex, and long-term inpatients. The presence of comorbid physical illness is high. The relatively low number of smokers could be explained by the demographic characteristics of our sample.
Cocaine consumption can induce transient psychotic symptoms, expressed as paranoia or hallucinations. Cocaine induced psychosis (CIP) is common but not developed in all cases.
To describe the Risk Factors for developing cocaine-induced psychosis in cocaine dependent patients, according DSM-IV-TR criteria.
This is the first European study about the relationship of CIP with consumption pattern variables and personality disorders, we evaluated 220 cocaine dependents over 18 years, 80'5% males, mean age 33.9 years (SD = 7.6). Patients were recluted from an outpatient clinic department and subsequently systematically evaluated using SCID I and SCID II interviews for comorbidity disorders, and a clinical-based systematic psychotic symptoms form.
A high proportion of cocaine dependent patients reported psychotic symptoms (51.8%) under influence of cocaine. The most frequent reported psychotic symptoms were paranoid beliefs and suspiciousness (42.4%). After a logistic regression analysis we found that a model consisted of high cocaine consumption (mean of 12.01 grams per week), cannabis dependence history and to use intranasal or smoked rout of administration had a sensitivity of 63.2% and a specificity of 70.2%.
We conclude that is relevant to evaluate CIP in patients consuming high amounts of cocaine, with cannabis dependence history and who do not use intranasal rout. It could be useful for preventing consequences or risks of psychotic states for themselves or others.
Serotonin Syndrome (SS) is an adverse drug reaction that drives mental-status changes, autonomic hyperactivity and neuromuscular abnormalities.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) is an idiopathic reaction to dopamine-antagonist that consists of extra-pyramidal symptoms, autonomic dysfunction, hyperthermia, diaphoresis and fluctuating consciousness.
Differential diagnosis is sometimes difficult for their overlapping clinical features. Potentially lethal, both require heightened clinical awareness for prevention, recognition and prompt treatment.
Caucasian 59 years-old woman with Catatonic profile (Scored: severity-17points/ 5 screening in Bush-Francis Catatonia-Rating-Scale).
Past Medical History
- Bipolar Disorder type-2 (25 years of evolution)
15 days before hospitalization, anafranil and fluoxetine treatment was replaced by Trazodone 200 mg/day and venlafaxine 150mg/day. She was also on valpromida and lorazepam 15 mg/day.
Mutism, negativism. No reaction to painful stimuli, stuporous. Diaphoresis, pallor, tremor, axial rigidity without pyramidalism (>lower limbs), high fever (40°C), tachycardia (>100lpm), rhabdomyolysis (CPK reached 17.000, 48 hours after the admission), leukocytosis, upper transaminasas, hiponatremia with hiperpotasemia.
-NMS: Intensity, duration and high CPK are suggestive (Sternbach). This syndrome has been described due to Venlafaxine.
-SS: Combination of Venlafaxine and Trazodone favors but she doesn't have acatisia, hiperreflexia, diarrhea and it wasn't resolved after 96 hours.
Drugs were removed and Lorazepam on high doses (5mg/day) was prescribed. One month later the patient was totally recovered of the episode.
If unsure diagnoses it's priority to remove the causing drugs and supportive care. Afterwards, it can be used benzodiacepines, also dantroleno in SNM.
The goal of this study is to test the efficacy of the Memory Module of the REHACOP (Cognitive Training Program for Psychosis, Ojeda, Peña, 2006), in the improvement of cognition in patients with chronic schizophrenia (CS). Chronic patients present a moderate to severe cognitive performance on verbal memory and the severity of the illness and variables associated to the course of the diagnosis prevent them from improving cognition with traditional treatments.
57 patients with CS (illness duration, 10.17±7.22) were allocated randomly into either REHACOP (N=27) or control group (N=30). The REHACOP group received memory training with structured sessions 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Control group attended occupational therapy with the same frequency and timetables. Verbal Learning and Memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test; HVLT) and Working Memory (Digits Backwards from WAIS-III) were assessed at baseline and after the intervention.
Repeated measures of MANOVA showed that the interaction term groupXtime was significant for all the memory measures, suggesting REHACOP group improved significantly when compared to controls. Specifically, the interaction term F value was significant for HVLT learning (F=6.78, p < 0.01), HVLT Long-term memory (F=7.02, p < 0.01) and working memory (Digits Backward (F=10.04, p < 0.01), and Sum (F=11.39, p < 0.01).
Patients with CS improved significantly in all memory impairments when compared to those receiving other treatment. This study supports the efficacy of the REHACOP in the intervention of memory impairments in patients with schizophrenia, in spite of the severity.
One of the most important prognostic factors in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia is the number of hospitalizations they need during their life. In this work we describe risk factors which determinate psychotic relapse.
Retrospective review of the clinical histories of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who needed hospitalization during the year 2008 using Hospital Ramon Cajal's history software. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software 15.0 version.
- Socio-demographic: We collected a total of 57 patients, 60% were men and 77,2% were single who lived with their families. 52,8% only had Primary education and 14% had been to University. 38,6% were pensioner and 12,3% workers.
- Risk factors: 54,4% had abandoned their medication, 7% had had recent modifications in their medication, and 35,1% received long acting antipsychotic. 42,1% were identified as substance users.
- 40,4% had been diagnosed with schizophrenia more than three years ago; 57,9% had had less than 3 previous hospitalizations, and 54,4% need hospitalization the previous year.
Male under 30 years old have more risk of needing more hospitalizations. The main risk factor for suffering new psychotic episodes is the medication nonadherence, modifying medication only causes new episodes in few patients. Patients receiving long-acting antipsychotic agents suffer less psychotic relapse. Substance abuse among schizophrenia patients is a major complicating factor since almost half of the hospitalizations are related to it.
Course and outcome in schizophrenia are heterogeneous. Numerous studies have shown an association between the presence of negative symptoms and psychosocial and occupational functioning of patients.
To analyse the prevalence of negative symptoms in the course of illness in first episode psychosis and chronic schizophrenia and to establish its relation with the functional outcome.
43 patients with a first-episode psychosis (FEP) from our area were compared with 43 chronic schizophrenic patients and 43 normal controls from a parallel area. They were matched one on one for age, gender and years of education. All subjects were compared regarding psychopathology and functional outcome terms. Patients were examined with Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for clinical symptom. Longitudinal functionality was prospectively assessed with the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) rating scales.
We found significant differences between FEP and chronic patients in negative symptom severity (t = -4.97, p< 0.001) and global assessment of functioning (t = 7.58, p< 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in PANSS positive and general components or Clinical Global Impression. Negative symptom severity was associated with poorer GAF ratings in first episode psychosis and chronic schizophrenia.
Negative symptoms appear to be persistent. In our study negative symptom severity was associated with social and functional impairment, defined as Global Assessment of Functioning Scale score of less than or equal to 60.
Verbal fluency deficits have been pointed out as a possible endophenotype in schizophrenia (Szöke et al., 2008). However, whether these deficits are specific or linked to semantic-verbal inability remains unclear. Additionally, this cognitive domain is already affected in early psychosis and do not improve despite early clinical interventions.
Authors tested the efficiency of a cognitive intervention specifically developed for improving fluency in psychosis.
Material and methods
Ninety patients with first-episode psychosis were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Cognitive rehabilitation group (REHACOP) or occupational therapy. Patients at the REHACOP group received one month structured group rehabilitation sessions (3 per week) to improve fluency. Repeated assessments of semantic fluency and phonological fluency were conducted before and after the treatment.
Compared to occupational therapy, the experimental group produced significant additional improvements in phonological fluency (F = 6.87, p < 0.01), but not in semantic fluency (F = 0.61, n.s). The composite verbal fluency score was also significant (F = 4.65, p < 0.05). The improvement remained 3 months after the treatment end.
The cognitive treatment using REHACOP has proven to be effective in treating phonological fluency deficits in first-episode psychosis, whereas socialization or communication in group therapy by itself do not. The differential pattern showed by semantic fluency is consistent with the proposal of Szöke et al 2008, who suggest that semantic fluency is a putative endophenotype for schizophrenia with links to genetic basis compared to phonological fluency.