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A late Pleistocene glaciolacustrine record was studied at Fagnano Lake (54°35´S, 67°20´W), central Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, southernmost South America. Two profiles from the Río Valdéz outcrop were collected for isotopic, geochemical, sedimentological, and geophysical analyses. The sedimentological characteristics, such as rhythmites, presence of dropstones, absence of fossil record, and scarce presence of organic matter, suggest deposition in an ice-contact lake, possibly dammed by the Fagnano paleoglacier. Organic matter of C3 plant origin suggests certain cold and wet conditions. A chronology of the late Pleistocene outcrop was obtained from five 14C ages resulting in an age-depth model. The time span covered 49.01 cal ka BP to 32.14 cal ka BP. Based on the thickness of the deposit and the calculated average sedimentation rate, the glacial environment could have been present in the study area prior to the last glacial maximum, in agreement with the Inútil-San Sebastián paleoglacier. Both glaciers flowed from the same mountain ice sheet in the Darwin Cordillera, which makes it possible to infer a different behavior of this ice cap from those of the Patagonian Andes, perhaps forced by different atmospheric dynamics and proximity to the wet and cold subantarctic air masses.
The inhibitory effect of positional syllable frequency is a well-known phenomenon in visual word recognition: words with high-frequency syllables require extra time for deactivating the lexical syllabic neighbors. The inhibitory effect implies that a connection exists between graphemes, phonemes, the first syllable, and the phonological lexicon. However, experimental results of the first developmental stages of occurrence are scarce and inconclusive. A second- and fourth-grade sample of typical school readers participated in a lexical decision task containing high/low frequency words and high/low syllable frequency words. Our primary hypothesis was that the inhibitory effect would be found on both school grade groups. We did not predict significant differences in magnitude of effect between second- and fourth-grade participants. A general inhibitory effect was found, and separate analyses by school grade groups also indicated significant inhibitory effects. Furthermore, second- and fourth-grade children showed small sizes of the inhibitory effect, resembling the sizes found in adult normal readers. Our results suggest that Spanish readers reach a functional connection between syllables and words at an early stage. The straightforward theoretical implication is that the inhibitory effect relies heavily on the structural properties of the lexical access system that are acquired at an early age.
The ability to manage emotions is an important social-cognitive domain impaired in schizophrenia and linked to functional outcome. The goal of our study was to examine the impact of cognitive enhancement therapy (CET) on the ability to manage emotions and brain functional connectivity in early-course schizophrenia.
Participants were randomly assigned to CET (n = 55) or an enriched supportive therapy (EST) control group (n = 45). The resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans and measures of emotion management performances were collected at baseline, 9, and 18 months follow-up. The final sample consisted of 37 CET and 25 EST participants, including 19 CET and 12 EST participants with imaging data. Linear mixed-effects models investigated the impact of treatment on emotion management and functional connectivity from the amygdala to ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC).
The CET group showed significant improvement over time in emotion management compared to EST. Neither functional connectivity changes nor main group differences were observed following treatment. However, a significant between-group interaction showed that improved emotion management ability was associated with increased functional connectivity between the left amygdala and the left dlPFC in the CET group exclusively.
Our results replicate the previous work demonstrating that CET is effective at improving some aspects of social cognition in schizophrenia. We found evidence that improvement in emotion management may be associated with a change in amygdala-dlPFC connectivity. This fronto-limbic circuit may provide a mechanistic link between the biology of emotion management processes that can be enhanced in individuals with schizophrenia.
Through diversity of composition, sequence, and interfacial structure, hybrid materials greatly expand the palette of materials available to access novel functionality. The NSF Division of Materials Research recently supported a workshop (October 17–18, 2019) aiming to (1) identify fundamental questions and potential solutions common to multiple disciplines within the hybrid materials community; (2) initiate interfield collaborations between hybrid materials researchers; and (3) raise awareness in the wider community about experimental toolsets, simulation capabilities, and shared facilities that can accelerate this research. This article reports on the outcomes of the workshop as a basis for cross-community discussion. The interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities are presented, and followed with a discussion of current areas of progress in subdisciplines including hybrid synthesis, functional surfaces, and functional interfaces.
Psychosocial stress in childhood and adolescence is linked to stress system dysregulation, although few studies have examined the relative impacts of parental harshness and parental disengagement. This study prospectively tested whether parental harshness and disengagement show differential associations with overall cortisol output in adolescence. Associations between overall cortisol output and adolescent mental health problems were tested concurrently. Adolescents from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) provided hair samples for cortisol assay at 15 years (N = 171). Caregivers reported on parental harshness and disengagement experiences at 1, 3, 5, 9, and 15 years, and adolescents reported at 15 years. Both parent and adolescent reported depressive and anxiety symptoms and antisocial behaviors at 15. Greater parental harshness from 1–15 years, and harshness reported at 15 years in particular, was associated with higher overall cortisol output at 15. Greater parental disengagement from 1–15 years, and disengagement at 1 year specifically, was associated with lower cortisol output. There were no significant associations between cortisol output and depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, or antisocial behaviors. These results suggest that the unique variances of parental harshness and disengagement may have opposing associations with cortisol output at 15 years, with unclear implications for adolescent mental health.
This study attempted to replicate whether a bias in probabilistic reasoning, or ‘jumping to conclusions’(JTC) bias is associated with being a sibling of a patient with schizophrenia spectrum disorder; and if so, whether this association is contingent on subthreshold delusional ideation.
Data were derived from the EUGEI project, a 25-centre, 15-country effort to study psychosis spectrum disorder. The current analyses included 1261 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 1282 siblings of patients and 1525 healthy comparison subjects, recruited in Spain (five centres), Turkey (three centres) and Serbia (one centre). The beads task was used to assess JTC bias. Lifetime experience of delusional ideation and hallucinatory experiences was assessed using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. General cognitive abilities were taken into account in the analyses.
JTC bias was positively associated not only with patient status but also with sibling status [adjusted relative risk (aRR) ratio : 4.23 CI 95% 3.46–5.17 for siblings and aRR: 5.07 CI 95% 4.13–6.23 for patients]. The association between JTC bias and sibling status was stronger in those with higher levels of delusional ideation (aRR interaction in siblings: 3.77 CI 95% 1.67–8.51, and in patients: 2.15 CI 95% 0.94–4.92). The association between JTC bias and sibling status was not stronger in those with higher levels of hallucinatory experiences.
These findings replicate earlier findings that JTC bias is associated with familial liability for psychosis and that this is contingent on the degree of delusional ideation but not hallucinations.
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) tend to lack insight, which is linked to poor outcomes. The effect size of previous treatments on insight changes in SSD has been small. Metacognitive interventions may improve insight in SSD, although this remains unproved.
We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to examine the effects of metacognitive interventions designed for SSD, namely Metacognitive Training (MCT) and Metacognitive Reflection and Insight Therapy (MERIT), on changes in cognitive and clinical insight at post-treatment and at follow-up.
Twelve RCTs, including 10 MCT RCTs (n = 717 participants) and two MERIT trials (n = 90), were selected, totalling N = 807 participants. Regarding cognitive insight six RCTs (n = 443) highlighted a medium effect of MCT on self-reflectiveness at post-treatment, d = 0.46, p < 0.01, and at follow-up, d = 0.30, p < 0.01. There was a small effect of MCT on self-certainty at post-treatment, d = −0.23, p = 0.03, but not at follow-up. MCT was superior to controls on an overall Composite Index of cognitive insight at post-treatment, d = 1.11, p < 0.01, and at follow-up, d = 0.86, p = 0.03, although we found evidence of heterogeneity. Of five MCT trials on clinical insight (n = 244 participants), which could not be meta-analysed, four of them favoured MCT compared v. control. The two MERIT trials reported conflicting results.
Metacognitive interventions, particularly Metacognitive Training, appear to improve insight in patients with SSD, especially cognitive insight shortly after treatment. Further long-term RCTs are needed to establish whether these metacognitive interventions-related insight changes are sustained over a longer time period and result in better outcomes.
Social and environmental factors such as poverty or violence modulate the risk and course of schizophrenia. However, how they affect the brain in patients with psychosis remains unclear.
We studied how environmental factors are related to brain structure in patients with schizophrenia and controls in Latin America, where these factors are large and unequally distributed.
This is a multicentre study of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with schizophrenia and controls from six Latin American cities. Total and voxel-level grey matter volumes, and their relationship with neighbourhood characteristics such as average income and homicide rates, were analysed with a general linear model.
A total of 334 patients with schizophrenia and 262 controls were included. Income was differentially related to total grey matter volume in both groups (P = 0.006). Controls showed a positive correlation between total grey matter volume and income (R = 0.14, P = 0.02). Surprisingly, this relationship was not present in patients with schizophrenia (R = −0.076, P = 0.17). Voxel-level analysis confirmed that this interaction was widespread across the cortex. After adjusting for global brain changes, income was positively related to prefrontal cortex volumes only in controls. Conversely, the hippocampus in patients with schizophrenia, but not in controls, was relatively larger in affluent environments. There was no significant correlation between environmental violence and brain structure.
Our results highlight the interplay between environment, particularly poverty, and individual characteristics in psychosis. This is particularly important for harsh environments such as low- and middle-income countries, where potentially less brain vulnerability (less grey matter loss) is sufficient to become unwell in adverse (poor) environments.
Based on technologies capable of data collection between the millimeter and nanometer scales, correlative imaging has been transforming how researchers obtain molecular and spatial information from specimens. Attempts to combine multidimensional data are often met with the challenge of overcoming suboptimal sample conditions such as reduced fluorescence signal, poor specimen preservation, anisotropic specimen deformation, and low specimen contrast. These issues motivated the development and use of enhanced sample preparation procedures, as well as specialized imaging software to overcome such challenges. In this work we present three simple methods to correlate optical and scanning electron microscopy images.
The majority of available US-published reports present populations with community spread in urban areas. The objective of this report is to describe a rural healthcare system's utilisation of therapeutic options available to treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and subsequent patient outcomes. A total of 150 patients were treated for COVID-19 at three hospitals in the Dakotas from 21 March 2020 to 30 April 2020. The most common pharmacological treatment regimens administered were zinc, hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin and convalescent plasma. Adjunctive treatments included therapeutic anticoagulation, tocilizumab and corticosteroids. As of 1 June 2020, 127 patients have survived to hospital discharge, 12 patients remain hospitalised and 11 patients have expired. The efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin use has yet to be determined but was not without risks of corrected QT interval prolongation and arrhythmias in our cohort. We did not appreciate any adverse effects that appeared related to tocilizumab or convalescent plasma administration in those patient subsets. These findings may provide insight into disease severity and treatment options in the rural setting with limited resources to participate in clinical trials and encourage larger comparative studies evaluating treatment efficacy.
One hypothesis proposed to underlie formal thought disorder (FTD), the incoherent speech is seen in some patients with schizophrenia, is that it reflects impairment in frontal/executive function. While this proposal has received support in neuropsychological studies, it has been relatively little tested using functional imaging. This study aimed to examine brain activations associated with FTD, and its two main factor-analytically derived subsyndromes, during the performance of a working memory task.
Seventy patients with schizophrenia showing a full range of FTD scores and 70 matched healthy controls underwent fMRI during the performance of the 2-back version of the n-back task. Whole-brain corrected, voxel-based correlations with FTD scores were examined in the patient group.
During 2-back performance the patients showed clusters of significant inverse correlation with FTD scores in the inferior frontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex bilaterally, the left temporal cortex and subcortically in the basal ganglia and thalamus. Further analysis revealed that these correlations reflected an association only with ‘alogia’ (poverty of speech, poverty of content of speech and perseveration) and not with the ‘fluent disorganization’ component of FTD.
This study provides functional imaging support for the view that FTD in schizophrenia may involve impaired executive/frontal function. However, the relationship appears to be exclusively with alogia and not with the variables contributing to fluent disorganization.
Schizophrenia is a chronic disease. Several etiopathogenic aetiologies have been posed, among them the existence of cerebral inflammation. S100B is a calcium-binding protein, mainly produced and secreted by astrocytes, that mediates the interaction among glial cells and between glial cells and neurons. Serum S100B levels have been proposed as a peripheral marker of brain inflammation.
The aim of this research is to study if the serum level of the protein S100B has relationship with positive psychopathology.
31 paranoid schizophrenic inpatients (22 male and 9 female, 36.7±10.3 years) meeting DSM-IV criteria participated in the study. Blood was sampled by venipuncture at 12:00 and 24:00 hours. Blood extractions were carried out during the first 48 hours after hospital admission. Psychopathology was assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Serum S100B levels were measured by sandwich ELISA techniques.
Correlations between serum levels of S100B protein and PANSS positive scores are shown in the following table. The first figure corresponds to the Pearson's correlation coefficient, while the figure in brackets corresponds to its statistical significance.
Total Positive Score
Serum levels of S100B protein may be used as a biological marker of positive psychopathology in paranoid schizophrenia.Acknowledgement
Until now, no reliable biological markers of risk and relapse in substance-dependent patients have been identified. The yawn-inducing test with apomorphine has been proposed as a marker of the functional status of the dopaminergic system and therefore a predictor of suffering an addiction or predisposition to relapse.
Studying the safety and efficacy of apomorphine test as a predictor of relapse in intranasal cocaine dependent, diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR.
We performed the test of apomorphine at the beginning (day 1) and end (day 11/12) of a detoxification program in 33 patients (29 men). The majority of patients relapsed after 22 weeks of follow up (87% relapse). The average yawns in the sample were 10.9 ± 9.3 in the initial test (Apo 1) and 10.2 ± 10.2 in the final test (Apo 2). The 42% of patients relapsed early (before 4 weeks) and 45% late (afther 4 weeks). 58% of the sample (N = 19), which did not fall belatedly filled an average of 8.0 yawns in Apo1 and 8.1 on Apo2 and 42% who did so early (N = 14), 14,8 in Apo1 and 14.6 in Apo2. Therefore there are an increased number of yawns in patients with early relapse. No important side effects were reported.
Patients with early relapse have a higher number of yawns that those falling late or abstainers The apomorphine test is a safe test and it is a readily applicable tool in clinical practice and may be a biological marker of risk.
Addictive disorders are frequent in schizophrenia and dual diagnose is the norm rather than the exception. Dopamine transmission is implicated both in addictive disorders as in psychotic diseases. The objective is to know if addiction is one independent dimension in schizophrenia or if it can be included in to the positive, negative or affective syndromes.
We conduct one cross-sectional study on 60 schizophrenia out-patients (43 male; average age: 38.9 years, SD 9.4). The diagnosis were: paranoid schizophrenia 26.7%, schizoaffective disorder 25.0%, residual schizophrenia 21.7%, other schizophrenia subtypes 26.6%. It was applied the PANSS and one addiction composite score (ACS) that reflects the life use of drugs and addiction: tobacco, coffee, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, hallucinogens, opiates and gambling. For every substance and gambling were scored: first use, frequency, length of use, last time use and harmful consequences. All the scores were transformed in to Z values. Factor analysis using principal components (Varimax rotation) was performed introducing in the model: PANSS positive and negative items, depression item an the ACS.
Five factors were defined, that explains for 78.4 of the variance: negative (N1, N2, N3, N4, N6), disorganized (P2, P4, N5, N7), positive and depressive (P1, P3, G6), hostility (P5, P6, P7) and addictive (ACS).
Addiction is one independent dimension in schizophrenia, differentiated from positive, negative, disorganized and hostility syndromes. We propose the systematic study of addiction as one intrinsic dimension of schizophrenia due to its independence of other dimensions, its high prevalence and its clinical relevance.
We present the case of a schizophrenic patient with severe insomnia that had a partial response to high doses of benzodiazepines and sedating antipsychotics. Treatment with agomelatine allowed to suspend benzodiazepine treatment and restore quality of sleep.
Mr. Y is a 36 year old male patient diagnosed with simple schizophrenia that has complained of insomnia since the age of sixteen. During the last three years the treatment that the patient was following was stable and consisted of 100 mg of diazepam, 300 mg of levomepromazine and 120 mg of clotiapine every night. During the last year 60 mg of duloxetine were added to treat a moderate depression. His mood improved with the prescribed treatment, but eleven months later it worsened. In an attempt to simultaneously treat the mood and the sleep disorder, during a period of 4 days, a dosis of 12.5 mg of aglomelatin at dinner was introduced while the morning dose of duloxetine was reduced to 30mg. On the fifth day, agomelatine was increased to 25 mg at dinner while duloxetine was suspended. The antipsychotic treatment was kept stable while the patient was instructed to reduce 10 mg of diazepam every week until next appointment one month later. In the next appointment the patient had completely suspended diazepam one week before the appointment. The patient referred improved sleep quality and no rebound insomnia.
Agomelatine may be a valid treatment of insomnia in schizophrenia.
To estimate the prevalence and severity of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia in nursing homes, assessing their association with certain factors that may promote or prevent its occurrence.
A cross-sectional study was carried out. We included all elderly diagnosed with degenerative, vascular, or mixed dementia, stage 4 to 7 of the GDS, and residents in 6 nursing homes in the province of Ourense (Spain). The assessment of symptoms was performed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory - Nursing Home (NPI-NH) test. A sample size of 120 individuals was determined to be necessary.
We included 212 cases, with an average age of 85.7 (SD = 6.7) years. The prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms was 84.4%. The most common symptom was apathy, followed by agitation and delirium, the least frequent were euphoria and hallucinations. The symptom that produced most occupational disruption was agitation. Multivariate analysis showed that a higher score on the NPI-NH was associated with the use of neuroleptics, both typical and atypical, and with a higher score on the Reisberg Scale. Negative association was demonstrated with the number of days of institutionalization and the diagnosis of vascular dementia.
Patients with dementia in nursing homes in our area have a high frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms that are associated with neuroleptic use and decreases as the patient remains institutionalized for longer. Patients diagnosed with vascular dementia have lower scores on the NPI-NH test.
Stress and trauma have been reported as leading contributing factors in schizophrenia. And certainly child abuse (neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse among others) has a lasting negative impact, which is well established in literature.
To consider the presence of infant trauma and its relationship with psychopathology in paranoid schizophrenics.Methods. 37 patients (mean age 29±6.3; years from onset 9.20±4.7), meeting DSM IV paranoid schizophrenia criteria, undergoing treatment in a university hospital are studied. The PANSS is administered in order to rate psychopathology.
27 patients had infant trauma (55.8%). Main traumas are: sexual abuse (12.8%), child abuse (7.7%), both sexual and child abuse (5.18%), parental separation (7.7%), extra-rigid parents (2.6%), alcoholic parents (18.2%), child abuse and mother's death in childhood (2.6%). Infant trauma and psychopathology showed a significant relationship concerning Hostility (No 1.75±1.209, Yes 2.26±1.759), Unnatural Movements and Posture (No 1.55±0.945, Yes 1.16±0.545), Depression (No 1.25±0.550, Yes 1.74±1.284) and Preoccupation (No 2.75±1.410, Yes 3.26±1.996).
Infant trauma is common in paranoid schizophrenia and our findings give some evidence to a relationship with psychopathology, especially with dimensions as Hostility, Unnatural Movements and Posture, Depression and Preoccupation. Despite sample size, a high proportion (55.8%) of the patients presented infant trauma and future research is needed in order to open new avenues in this field, particularly studies concerning infant trauma and symptomatology specificity will be greatly appreciated as well as the plausible link to personality traits and personality disorders.
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.
Drug substance abuse has been related with chronic insomnia and other sleep disorders that are thought to interfere in detoxification treatment and relapse induction. These disorders can persist after drug detoxification.
To describe sleep disorders refered by drug dependents patients in an inpatient detoxification unit.
We prospectively studied drug dependents patients admitted to our Detoxification Unit from January 2005 to March 2009. The first night, patients were asked to complete an 11-item questionnaire measure designed to assess the relationship between sleep disorders and drug use. Responses ranged from 1 to 7. The questionnaire measured the following:
a) insomnia before hospitalization;
b) patients’ beliefs about the relationship between insomnia and drug use;
c) insomnia in previous detoxifications;
d) patients’ worry about insomnia;
e) treatment of sleep disorder with benzodiazepines.
The study sample included 150 patients (75.3% men). 39% of the patients suffered from alcohol abuse, 34.67% from cocaine abuse, 22.67% from opiod abuse, 21% from cannabis abuse, 18% from benzodiazepine abuse, and 12.67% of patients were polydrug users.Lifetime prevalence of sleep disorders was 68.1%. 64% had suffered insomnia the months previous to detoxification. 80.1% of patients’ refered sleep disorders in relationship with substance abuse. 69.4% were worried about insomnia during detoxification. 75.4% of patients took benzodiazepines without prescription.
Sleep disorders in patients with drug abuse are frequent. A high prevalence of patients having worries about insomnia during the detoxification treatment and believing in a relationship between their sleep disorders and the drug abuse was found.