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To construct and test the validity of a new psychometric questionnaire to assess psychological impact of facial lipoatrophy (ABCD-F), that is the most stigmatizing feature of HIV-related lipodystrophy.
Construction: The development went through Focus groups and Content Validity, Item reduction and Exploratory Factor Analysis.
Validation: ABCD-F questionnaire was administered together with ABCD and MOS HIV questionnaires. The Cronbach's Alfa was used to test internal consistency, while convergent validity and divergent validity were analyzed by the correlations with MOS, ABCD items and BMI and CD4 counts respectively.
42 HIV+ people participated to focus groups. In the EFA the 17 Items were aggregated around psychological distress and role functioning domains.
ABCD-F showed high internal consistency (Chronbach's alpha = 0.95). Both convergent and divergent validity were confirmed. ABCD-F scores were highly correlated to Physical Health Summary (B 0.59; 95% [CI] 0.35; 0.84; p< 0.0001), Mental Health Summary (B-1.54; 95% [CI] 1.15; 1.93; p< 0.0001), and weakly correlated to CD4 count (B-0.02; 95% [CI] -0.01; 0.06; p=0.54) and HIV viral load (B-0.004; 95% [CI] -2.69; 2.69; p=1.00).
ABCD-F is a valid and reliable questionnaire to assess psychological impact of facial lipoatrophy (FLA).
ABCD-F may result as a useful tool both in clinical and research settings: it's able to identify people experiencing greater psychological impact due to FLA. It may become an objective instrument to evaluate priority and efficacy of plastic surgery to treat lipodystrophy. In research setting may be used to compare different populations or different treatments of FLA.
Empathy is the human ability to understand and share other people's feelings through knowledge, observation and memory. Lower levels of empathy lead to poor social functioning, like in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Schizophrenia and Autism. Until today, very few studies have focused on empathic deficits in depressed patients.
Our aim was to evaluate whether MDD causes variations in empathy levels.
We wanted to assess cognitive and affective components of Empathy in a sample of women with MDD, and relate them to clinical issues. We compared these results to a control sample.
Our sample included 20 female patients with MDD and a control group, homogeneous for age and gender. We used the Hamilton scale for depression (HAM- D) to evaluate depression severity, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) to evaluate cognitive and affective empathy, the Faux pas test to assess cognitive empathy; Pearson and Mann tests for statistic analysis.
In general, patients showed mild depression levels (HAM- D: 14, 41± 6, 07). Severity of symptoms and empathy levels were inversely related with Faux Pas and IRI results (R: −0, 5805; R: −0, 5145), with patients being worse than the control group. Patients showed deficits in personal distress and perspective taking IRI subscales.
Our study shows that in depressed patients both components of Empathy are modified; in particular, personal distress increases, while perspective taking decreases. Additional studies and higher numbers of patients will be necessary to further investigate whether empathic deficits are trait- or state-depending MDD characteristics.
Obesity has been associated with cognitive impairment. However, it is not clear whether cognitive impairment may depend on concomitant psychopathology, since several psychiatric conditions, e.g. schizophrenia, include cognitive deficits among their manifestations.
To assess cognitive performances and psychopathology in obese patients, and to compare cognitive alterations in obese patients with those in schizophrenics and controls.
To compare cognitive performances in obese patients to normal percentiles. To provide an analysis of correlation with specific psychopathological domains. To evaluate whether cognitive performances in very obese patients were different from those in schizophrenia patients and non-affected controls.
88 obese patients were included. Exclusion criteria were: axis I and II diagnosis; severe medical, neurological, or endocrinology conditions. Patients underwent an extensive battery of cognitive tests and completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). In the second part of the study, very obese patients (BMI>40; n=16) were compared for cognitive performances to schizophrenia patients (n=16) and non-affected controls (n=17).
Obese patients performed at low percentiles (<15) on the Problem Solving and the Social Cognition tasks. Mean scores on psychopathology rating scales did not reach abnormal values. No correlation was found with psychopathology. When compared to schizophrenics, no significant differences were found in performances on spatial working memory.
Obese patients show cognitive alterations even in the absence of abnormal psychopathology. Very obese patients share cognitive alterations with schizophrenia patients, which may imply common neurobiological basis.
The internalized stigma of mental illness leads to negative outcomes (low self-esteem, demoralization, lower compliance to the treatment, unemployment). Previous studies have shown that the prevalence in psychotic patients is about 64%; furthermore, patients with non-psychotic disorders exhibit high prevalence, as well.
Our aim is to study internalized stigma, insight and social functioning in psychotic patients.
Through the investigation of low insight patients, we sought to verify the insight paradox theory and the impact stigma has on social functioning. We also investigated ISMI subscales (alienation, discrimination, stigma resistance, stereotype endorsement, social withdrawal) and the correlation between those elements.
Our sample included 19 psychotic patients: 11 with bipolar disorder; 3 with schizoaffective disorder; 5 with NOS psychosis. Patients were assessed with the following tests: SAI to evaluate insight; PANSS for clinical and psychopathological evaluation; GAF for social functioning; ISMI for the assessment of internalized stigma.
13 patients with mild or complete lack of insight reported low stigma, confirming the Insight Paradox theory. There is a positive correlation, measured with the Pearson correlation analysis, between insight and social functioning (R=0,752*) and between stigma and insight (R=0,024) while stigma and social functioning correlate negatively (R= -0,491*).
Results showed that lower levels of insight are related to higher stigma resistance and higher stigma leads to poorer functioning in social contexts. Higher sample numbers are necessary for further investigations on the subject.
During weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI), the sows are usually fed with high feed level to improve the reproductive performance. However, the WEI has been reduced over the years which may reduce the impact of feed level on performance in the modern genetic lines. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two feeding levels (moderate feeding level (MFL): 2.7 kg/day and high feeding level (HFL): 4.3 kg/day) and two diet types (gestation: 13.67 MJ/kg of metabolizable energy (ME) and 0.62% of standard ileal digestible lysine (SID Lys) and lactation: 14.34 MJ ME/kg and 1.20% of SID Lys) offered during the WEI on reproductive performance. In total, 19.0% of sows were excluded from the analysis due to feed intake below 75% (9.6% and 28.5% in MFL and HFL groups, respectively), remaining 254 primiparous and 806 multiparous sows. Follicular size and change in BW were measured in subsamples of 180 and 227 females, respectively. Data were analyzed considering the sow as the experimental unit. Feeding level, diet type, parity and their interactions were included as fixed effects, whereas the day of weaning was considered as a random effect. The feed intake of MFL and HFL groups averaged 2.5 ± 0.02 and 3.8 ± 0.02 kg/day, respectively. There was an interaction between feeding level and parity for daily feed intake. Within HFL, multiparous sows consumed 181 g/day more than primiparous sows (P < 0.01), but no difference was observed within MFL (P > 0.05). Both primiparous and multiparous sows lost proportionally less weight when fed HFL than MFL gestation diet during WEI. The percentage of weight loss was lower in HFL than in the MFL group in multiparous sows fed the lactation diet. The WEI was not affected by feeding level, diet type or its interaction (P > 0.05), but it was longer in primiparous than in multiparous sows (P = 0.001). There was no effect of feeding level, diet type, parity or their interactions on anestrus and farrowing rates. Multiparous sows showed greater follicular size, and greater numbers of total born and born alive piglets in the subsequent cycle than primiparous sows (P < 0.05). In conclusion, feeding weaned primiparous and multiparous sows with 4.3 kg/day of a gestation (58.78 MJ ME and 26.66 g SID Lys) or a lactation diet (61.66 MJ ME and 51.60 g SID Lys) does not improve follicular size and reproductive performance in the subsequent cycle.
Aggression and violence are common phenomena, potentially experienced by everyone.
To demonstrate that coping patterns to face aggression and violence may exhibit differential group features.
To find differences in coping styles during moments of high aggression in psychiatric patients compared to non-affected controls.
We evaluated 34 outpatients from the section of psychiatry of university Federico II of Naples by two psychometric scales: AQ to evaluate aggression levels and Brief-COPE for coping patterns. Outcomes were compared with that of 34 non-affected controls, recruited from the university student population. Pearson's correlation was used to find relationships between aggression levels and coping skills in these two groups.
We found significant differences between groups in multiple scale items and in the correlation measures, e.g. the use of expression was completely reversed in this two samples according to aggression levels.
These results show that aggression is experienced differentially and with different coping styles by psychiatric patients compared to non-affected controls.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The VISCACHA (VIsible Soar photometry of star Clusters in tApii and Coxi HuguA†) Survey is an ongoing project based on deep and spatially resolved photometric observations of Magellanic Cloud star clusters, collected using the SOuthern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope together with the SOAR Adaptive Module Imager. So far we have used >300h of telescope time to observe ∼150 star clusters, mostly with low mass (M < 104M⊙) on the outskirts of the LMC and SMC. With this high-quality data set, we homogeneously determine physical properties using deep colour-magnitude diagrams (ages, metallicities, reddening, distances, mass, luminosity and mass functions) and structural parameters (radial density profiles, sizes) for these clusters which are used as a proxy to investigate the interplay between the Magellanic Clouds and their evolution. We present the VISCACHA survey and its initial results, based on our first two papers. The project’s long term goals and expected legacy to the community are also addressed.
After five positive randomized controlled trials showed benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke with emergent large-vessel occlusion, a multi-society meeting was organized during the 17th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in October 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. This multi-society meeting was dedicated to establish standards of practice in acute ischemic stroke intervention aiming for a consensus on the minimum requirements for centers providing such treatment. In an ideal situation, all patients would be treated at a center offering a full spectrum of neuroendovascular care (a level 1 center). However, for geographical reasons, some patients are unable to reach such a center in a reasonable period of time. With this in mind, the group paid special attention to define recommendations on the prerequisites of organizing stroke centers providing medical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but not for other neurovascular diseases (level 2 centers). Finally, some centers will have a stroke unit and offer intravenous thrombolysis, but not any endovascular stroke therapy (level 3 centers). Together, these level 1, 2, and 3 centers form a complete stroke system of care. The multi-society group provides recommendations and a framework for the development of medical thrombectomy services worldwide.
Sepsis – syndrome of infection complicated by organ dysfunction – is responsible for over 750 000 hospitalisations and 200 000 deaths in the USA annually. Despite potential nutritional benefits, the association of diet and sepsis is unknown. Therefore, we sought to determine the association between adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet (Med-style diet) and long-term risk of sepsis in the REasons for Geographic Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort. We analysed data from REGARDS, a population-based cohort of 30 239 community-dwelling adults age ≥45 years. We determined dietary patterns from a baseline FFQ. We defined Med-style diet as a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, cereal and low consumption of meat, dairy products, fat and alcohol categorising participants into Med-style diet tertiles (low: 0–3, moderate: 4–5, high: 6–9). We defined sepsis events as hospital admission for serious infection and at least two systematic inflammatory response syndrome criteria. We used Cox proportional hazard models to determine the association between Med-style diet tertiles and first sepsis events, adjusting for socio-demographics, lifestyle factors, and co-morbidities. We included 21 256 participants with complete dietary data. Dietary patterns were: low Med-style diet 32·0 %, moderate Med-style diet 42·1 % and high Med-style diet 26·0 %. There were 1109 (5·2 %) first sepsis events. High Med-style diet was independently associated with sepsis risk; low Med-style diet referent, moderate Med-style diet adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0·93 (95 % CI 0·81, 1·08), high Med-style diet adjusted HR=0·74 (95 % CI 0·61, 0·88). High Med-style diet adherence is associated with lower risk of sepsis. Dietary modification may potentially provide an option for reducing sepsis risk.
The presence of potentially toxic elements (PTE) was determined in different tissues of five selected marine organisms. The As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb and Zn concentrations were measured in the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, the green alga Cladophora echinus, the red alga Gelidiella lubrica, the marine topshell Phorcus turbinatus and the littoral crab Carcinus aestuarii, as well as in seawater from Makirina Bay. The levels of As, Cd, Cu, Mn and Zn in the biota were found to exceed those in previously analysed sediments, indicating the bioaccumulation of these PTE. The biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) and concentration factor (CF) varied among different organisms. As regards the five selected species, C. nodosa, C. echinus and G. lubrica proved to be the strongest accumulators of Mn, while P. turbinatus and C. aestuarii showed a high capacity to accumulate As, Cd, Cu and Zn. These species can be considered as good ecological indicators in the assessment of PTE pollution in marine littoral environments.
Supernova remnants (SNRs) are diffuse extended sources characterized by a complex morphology and a non-uniform distribution of ejecta. Such a morphology reflects pristine structures and features of the progenitor supernova (SN) and the early interaction of the SN blast wave with the inhomogeneous circumstellar medium (CSM). Deciphering the observations of SNRs might open the possibility to investigate the physical properties of both the interacting ejecta and the shocked CSM. This requires accurate numerical models which describe the evolution from the SN explosion to the remnant development and which connect the emission properties of the remnants to the progenitor SNe. Here we show how multi-dimensional SN-SNR hydrodynamic models have been very effective in deciphering observations of SNR Cassiopeia A and SN 1987A, thus unveiling the structure of ejecta in the immediate aftermath of the SN explosion and constraining the 3D pre-supernova structure and geometry of the environment surrounding the progenitor SN.
Acceleration times of particles responsible for the gamma-rays in supernova remnants (SNRs) are comparable with SNR age. If the number of particles starting acceleration was varying during early times after the supernova explosion then this variation should be reflected in the shape of the gamma-ray spectrum. In order to analyse this effect, we consider the time variation of the radio spectral index in SN1987A and solution of the non-stationary equation for particle acceleration. We reconstruct evolution of the particle injection in SN1987A, apply it to derive the particle momentum distribution in IC443 and model its gamma-ray spectrum. We show that: i) observed break in the proton spectrum around 50 GeV in IC443 is a consequence of the variation of the cosmic ray injection; ii) shape of the hadronic gamma-ray spectrum in SNRs critically depends on the temporal variation of the cosmic ray injection in the immediate post explosion phases.
The goal of the present study was to improve the CERES-wheat model simulation of grain protein concentration (GPC) for winter durum wheat and to use the model as a basis for the development of a GPC Simplified Forecasting Index (SFIpro). The performances of CERES-wheat, which is one of the most widespread crop simulation models, with (i) its standard GPC routine and (ii) a novel equation developed to improve the model GPC simulation for durum wheat, were assessed through comparison with field data. Subsequently, CERES-wheat was run for a 56-year period in order to identify the most important status and forcing variables affecting GPC simulation. The number of dry days during the early growth stages and the leaf area index (LAI; green leaf area per unit ground surface area) at heading stage (LAI5) were identified as the main variables positively correlated with CERES-wheat predicted GPC, and so included in the SFIpro. At validation against observed data SFIpro was found to perform differently on the basis of observed plant LAI. In fact, SFIpro was able to forecast GPC variability for intermediate values of LAI5 ranging from 1 to 2, while it totally failed when LAI5 was outside this range (LAI5 < 1 or LAI5 > 2). The results suggest that the relationship between LAI and GPC is not linear and that the model assumptions for GPC simulation in CERES-wheat are only partially confirmed, being valid for an intermediate range of LAI.
Reproductive aspects of the sea cucumber Athyonidium chilensis were studied over a year in Valdivia, Chile, through gonad index (GI) analysis, macro- and microscopic analysis of the gonads, fecundity and size at first sexual maturity estimations. We also explored the reliability of live size estimators for their use in fisheries. Athyonidium chilensis showed continuous gametogenesis and spawning individuals could be found throughout the year. However, spring was the main reproductive time, where an important GI decrease coincided with enhanced spawning activity evidenced through histology. GIs recovered in summer, and new signs of enhanced spawning activity were observed towards autumn (April 2008). GI peaks were observed in August 2007 and March 2008 for females (22.8 and 24.4% respectively) and September 2007 and March 2008 for males (31.9 and 25.9% respectively). Low mean GIs occurred in May and December 2007 for females (15.2 and 11.6% respectively) and May and October 2007 for males (12.7 and 14.1% respectively). Males reached sexual maturity at a smaller size than females (males: 21.2 g, females: 43.7 g eviscerated weight), and mature females showed a high mean absolute fecundity for a species with lecithotrophic larval development (6.31 × 105 ± 1.97 × 105 SD). For fisheries, we recommend a minimum catch size over 237.89 g drained weight to ensure that caught individuals are sexually mature. This study provides relevant information for the conservation and fishery management of A. chilensis. Continuous gametogenesis and high fecundity make this species particularly suitable for aquaculture in southern Chile.
The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological profile of HPV oropharyngeal infections in HIV-infected men who have sex with men. A total of 135 subjects were enrolled at the L. Sacco University Hospital (Milan, Italy) to evaluate their HPV oropharyngeal infection status at baseline and at a follow-up visit at least 12 months later. HPV DNA was detected from oropharyngeal swabs using an in-house nested PCR that amplifies a segment of the L1 gene. The PCR products were then sequenced and genotyped. A greater percentage of high-risk genotypes was identified compared to low-risk genotypes (13·7% vs. 6·9%, P < 0·05), and two uncommon alpha-HPV genotypes were detected, i.e. HPV-102 and HPV-114. HPV infection prevalence was 24·4% and the cumulative incidence was 24·1%. During the follow-up period, one case of HPV infection (HPV-33) persisted, while the overall rate of infection clearance was 58·3%. HPV oropharyngeal infection was widespread in the cohort examined, and most of the infections were transient and cleared within 12 months. These results may help to clarify the role of HPV in the oropharynx and may also improve our understanding of the need to implement preventive strategies in at-risk populations.
We previously demonstrated that TiOx/Al2O3 nanolaminates (TAO NL) exhibit abnormally high-dielectric constant k (800–1000), due to Maxwell–Wagner polarization, via charge accumulation at insulating Al2O3/semiconducting TiOx interfaces. Here, we report TAO NL dielectric properties related to TiOx phase change in TiOx (0.9 nm)/Al2O3 (0.1 nm) NL. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy shows amorphous TiOx phase change to crystalline anatase TiO2 due to free-energy minimization. The phase change induce reduction in leakage current and dielectric loss (J = 10−2 to 10−4 A/cm2, tan δ = 10 to 10−1), still with k ~ 600 up to MHz, compared to amorphous TAO NLs.
Transparent conducting cadmium tin oxide (CTO) thin films were obtained from a mixture of CdO and SnO2 precursor solutions by the dip-coating sol-gel technique. The thin films studied in this work were made with 7 coats (∼200 nm) on corning glass and quartz substrates. Each coating was deposited at a withdrawal speed of 2 cm/min, dried at 100°C for 1 hour and then sintered at 550°C for 1 hour in air. In order to decrease the resistivity values of the films, these were annealed in a vacuum atmosphere and another set of films were annealed in an Ar/CdS atmosphere. The annealing temperatures (Ta) were 450°C, 500°C and 550°C, as well as 600°C and 650°C, when corning glass and quartz substrates were used, respectively. X-Ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of the films annealed in a vacuum showed that there is only the presence of CTO crystals for 450°C≤ Ta ≤ 600°C and CTO+SnO2 crystals for Ta=650°C. The films annealed in Ar/CdS atmosphere were only constituted of CTO crystals independent of the Ta. The minimum resistivity value obtained was ∼4 x 10-4 Ωcm (Rsheet= 20 Ω/□) for the films deposited on quartz and annealed at Ta=600°C under an Ar/CdS atmosphere. The films deposited on quartz showed the higher optical transmission (∼90%) with respect to the films deposited on corning glass substrates (∼85%) in the Uv-vis region. For their optical and electrical characteristics, these films are good candidates as transparent electrodes in solar cells.