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The cortical metabolic patterns of 12 schizophrenics experiencing hallucinations and/or pseudo-hallucinations were investigated using positron tomography and 18F-fluoro-deoxy-glucose. Andreasen's scales were scored and the patients (all “mixed“) were classified in a “positive” or a “negative” group and compared to a group of 6 normal controls. The data were analyzed across groups for absolute metabolic rates, metabolic indices (cortical region/whole studied cortex), and specific indices exploring the sensory non-association/posterior parietal association and the prefrontal association/posterior parietal association dimensions. Whole-cortex metabolic rate in the negative group was found to be lower than both the control (P=0.02) and the positive group (P = 0.002) while the positive group did not differ significantly from the controls. We found “hypofrontality” to be without difference between the positive and the negative group (controls: 7±0.7, positive: 5.9±0.2, negative: 4.9±0.15, mean±SEM in mg/min/100 g). However, the prefrontal association/posterior parietal association ratio was increased in the negative group (P=0.02). A major finding was an increase in the posterior non-association/posterior parietal association ratio in the whole schizophrenic group as compared to the controls (P = 0.004), this being more marked in the negative (P=0.01) than in the positive group. Arguments are given to support the hypothesis that this particular increase could be related to the hallucinatory activity of the patients.
Previous studies reported that music therapy (MT) exerts a positive effect on many medical and neuropsychiatric disorders. The use of MT has been proposed also for patients with severe mental illnesse (SMI), altrough further studies are still needed. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects on a structured MT program on clinical and social functioning indices of patient with SMI, hospitalized in an psychiatric emergency ward.
The MT intervention followed the Benenzon model of MT and was delivered biweekly to 61 patients consecutively admittted to the psychiatric emergency ward. Subjects who did not complete the two-week MT intervention (N=45) were considered as the control group. all subjects were administred the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) to evaluate the general psychopatology, the Hospital Anxiety And Depression Scale (HADS) for affective symptomatology, the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI-S) for severity of symptoms and the Global Assestment of Functioning (GAF) for psychosocial functioning.
A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that patients who unerwent the MT intervention had a statistically significant reduction of general and affective psychopatology scores and of symptoms severity with respect to the control group, after observation period.
Our result are in line with previous studies confirming that MT may exert positive effects on psychopatology (in particular, on affective symptomatology) of patient with SMI, and extend this observation to an emergency setting, with short period of hospital stay.
QTc interval prolongation is considered a risk factor for fatal polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, which can result in sudden cardiac death. Most psychotropic drugs have a dose-dependent potential to prolong the QTc interval. However, other factors require appropriate consideration, including: age; gender; other medications; electrolyte abnormalities; severe comorbid conditions, such as co-occurring alcohol or substances abuse/dependence.
The objective was to study the potential mediating roles of alcohol/substances abuse on QTc prolongation.
The Italian research group STAR Network, in collaboration with the Young Italian Psychiatrists Association, aimed to evaluate the frequency of QTc interval prolongation in a sample of patients under treatment with psychotropic drugs through a cross-sectional national survey.
A sample of 2411 unselected patients were enrolled after performing an ECG during the recruitment period. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were collected from medical records. Collected data underwent statistical analysis.
A total of 11.2% of patients reported alcohol abuse, and only 8.9% psychotropic substances. According to the threshold, less than 20% of patients had a borderline value of QTc, and 1% a pathological value. Patients with co-occurring alcohol misuse and drug abuse were more likely to have longer QTc interval.
The present study describes the frequency of QTc prolongation in real-world clinical practice. Before prescribing a psychotropic drug, the physician should carefully assess its risks and benefits to avoid this type of adverse reaction, particularly when additional risk factors are present. The potential role of alcohol and substances on QTc length could be particularly useful in emergency settings.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A mixture of natural ingredients, namely, DHA, phosphatidylcholine, silymarin, choline, curcumin and d-α-tocopherol, was studied in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Primary endpoints were serum levels of hepatic enzymes, and other parameters of liver function, the metabolic syndrome and inflammation were the secondary endpoints. The coagulation–fibrinolysis balance was also thoroughly investigated, as NAFLD is associated with haemostatic alterations, which might contribute to increased cardiovascular risk of this condition. The present study involved a double-blind, randomised, multicentre controlled trial of two parallel groups. Subjects with NAFLD (18–80 years, either sex) received the active or control treatment for 3 months. All assays were performed on a total of 113 subjects before and at the end of supplementation. The hepatic enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase decreased from 23·2 to 3·7 % after treatment, only the AST levels reaching statistical significance. However, no differences were found between control and active groups. Metabolic and inflammatory variables were unchanged, except for a slight (less than 10 %) increase in cholesterol and glucose levels after the active treatment. Coagulation–fibrinolytic parameters were unaffected by either treatment. In conclusion, chronic supplementation with the mixture of dietary compounds was well tolerated and apparently safe in NAFLD subjects. The trial failed to demonstrate any efficacy on relevant physiopathological markers, but its protocol and results may be useful to design future studies with natural compounds.
A combination of intimate partner violence (IPV) and depression is a common feature of the perinatal period globally. Understanding this association can provide indications of how IPV can be addressed or prevented during pregnancy. This paper aims to determine the prevalence and correlates of IPV among pregnant low-income women with depressive symptoms in Khayelitsha, South Africa, and changes in IPV reports during the course of the perinatal period.
This study is a secondary analysis of data collected as part of a randomised controlled trial testing a psychosocial intervention for antenatal depression. IPV, socio-demographic measures, depression and other mental health measures were collected at recruitment (first antenatal visit), 8 months gestation, and 3 and 12 months postpartum. IPV was defined as a sexual or physical violence perpetrated by the participant's partner in the past 3 months. Descriptive statistics are reported.
Of 425 recruited depressed participants, 59 (13.9%) reported IPV at baseline, with physical IPV being the most frequently reported (69.5%). Reported IPV was associated with greater emotional distress, potentially higher food insecurity and higher rates of alcohol abuse. There were clear longitudinal trends in reported IPV with the majority of women no longer reporting IPV postpartum. However, some women reported IPV at later assessment points after not reporting IPV at baseline.
There is a strong association between IPV and depression in pregnancy. IPV reports remit over time for the women in this study, although the reason for this reduction is not clear and requires further investigation.
The current study compared beef production, quality and fatty acid (FA) profiles of yearling steers fed a control diet containing 70 : 30 red clover silage (RCS) : barley-based concentrate, a diet containing 11% sunflower seed (SS) substituted for barley, and diets containing SS with15% or 30% wheat dried distillers’ grain with solubles (DDGS). Additions of DDGS were balanced by reductions in RCS and SS to maintain crude fat levels in diets. A total of two pens of eight animals were fed per diet for an average period of 208 days. Relative to the control diet, feeding the SS diet increased (P<0.05) average daily gain, final live weight and proportions of total n-6 FA, non-conjugated 18:2 biohydrogenation products (i.e. atypical dienes) with the first double bond at carbon 8 or 9 from the carboxyl end, conjugated linoleic acid isomers with the first double bond from carbon 7 to 10 from the carboxyl end, t-18:1 isomers, and reduced (P<0.05) the proportions of total n-3 FA, conjugated linolenic acids, branched-chain FA, odd-chain FA and 16:0. Feeding DDGS-15 and DDGS-30 diets v. the SS diet further increased (P<0.05) average daily gains, final live weight, carcass weight, hot dressing percentage, fat thickness, rib-eye muscle area, and improved instrumental and sensory panel meat tenderness. However, in general feeding DGGS-15 or DDGS-30 diets did not change FA proportions relative to feeding the SS diet. Overall, adding SS to a RCS-based diet enhanced muscle proportions of 18:2n-6 biohydrogenation products, and further substitutions of DDGS in the diet improved beef production, and quality while maintaining proportions of potentially functional bioactive FA including vaccenic and rumenic acids.
Mentalizing deficits are a hallmark of the autism spectrum condition (ASC) and a potential endophenotype for atypical social cognition in ASC. Differences in performance and neural activation on the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ task (the Eyes task) have been identified in individuals with ASC in previous studies.
Performance on the Eyes task along with the associated neural activation was examined in adolescents with ASC (n = 50), their unaffected siblings (n = 40) and typically developing controls (n = 40). Based on prior literature that males and females with ASC display different cognitive and associated neural characteristics, analyses were stratified by sex. Three strategies were applied to test for endophenotypes at the level of neural activation: (1) identifying and locating conjunctions of ASC–control and sibling–control differences; (2) examining whether the sibling group is comparable to the ASC or intermediate between the ASC and control groups; and (3) examining spatial overlaps between ASC–control and sibling–control differences across multiple thresholds.
Impaired behavioural performance on the Eyes task was observed in males with ASC compared to controls, but only at trend level in females; and no difference in performance was identified between sibling and same-sex control groups in both sexes. Neural activation showed a substantial endophenotype effect in the female groups but this was only modest in the male groups.
Behavioural impairment on complex emotion recognition associated with mental state attribution is a phenotypic, rather than an endophenotypic, marker of ASC. However, the neural response during the Eyes task is a potential endophenotypic marker for ASC, particularly in females.
Axial heterostructure nanowires with Si and SiGe segments have been grown using Au metal seed as catalyst by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) via vapor-liquid-solid process (VLS). We report on the effect of growth intervention on the droplet stability which in turn modifies NW morphology and interfacial abruptness. Growth stop of 2 minutes on transition from one material to another have been demonstrated to suppress reservoir effect by Au catalyst. The two SiGe/Si and Si/SiGe heterointerfaces are found to be assymetric. The former being diffused while the latter one is sharp. Furthermore, geometric phase analysis reports elastic deformation at the heterointerface. Nanowire undergoes rotation in both clock and anticlockwise direction at their sidewalls with an angle of 2.5° in order to accommodate this strain.
CrB2 possess the hexagonal AlB2 structure which belongs to the spacegroup of P6/mmm. The compound exhibits para- to antiferro-magnetic transition at about 88 K. By using a macroscopic measurement technique, that is, a conventional resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS) with a millimeter size mono-crystal, significant elastic anomalies have been observed just above the magnetic transition temperature. On the other hand, elastic constants determined by a microscopic measurement technique, that is, an inelastic X-ray scattering method (BL35XU of SPring-8, Japan) do not show any elastic anomalies at around the transition temperature. In order to explain the discrepancy, we have introduced a kind of so called ΔE effect resulting from a multidomain structure. If crystal lattice is slightly deformed by a spontaneous magnetostriction in the antiferromagnetic state, the symmetry of crystal lattice is lowered from hexagonal to monoclinic when the symmetry of magnetic structure is taken into account. By the lowering of the symmetry, the crystal consists of six magnetic domains in the antiferro magnetic state. If magnetic domain boundaries move in response to externally applied stresses, the mechanical deformation is absorbed by nonelastic deformations induced by the movement of magnetic domain boundaries. This multidomain model well explains the experimental results obtained by both microscopic (X-ray) and macroscopic (ultrasound) measurements. The microscopic measurement technique is useful to obtain the true elastic properties of crystal lattice without effects coming from a multidomain structure.
Multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) has proven in
several studies to have a high diagnostic accuracy for the detection
or exclusion of coronary artery disease. A major concern with coronary
MSCT, however, is the associated radiation exposure of patients.
Recent studies suggest that use of a 64-slice scanner is associated
with a non-negligible lifetime attributable risk of cancer. Several
strategies can be used to reduce patient exposure in coronary MSCT.
The purpose of this multicenter study was to investigate the effects
of the adjustment of tube voltage and current on radiation dose
and image interpretability. MSCT with retrospective ECG gating was performed
in 315 patients. The dose-length product (DLP) in the patients enrolled
with the dose reduction protocol resulted in a 36% overall reduction
in the mean radiation dose (911 ± 289 mGy.cm) compared with the
standard protocol (1427 ± 226 mGy.cm, p < 0.001).
Nevertheless, image interpretability was maintained. This study
on coronary MSCT demonstrates that the radiation dose can be significantly reduced
by parameter optimization, with maintained image interpretability.
The current study was conducted to determine the effect of different α-tocopherol (vitamin E) inclusion levels on trans(t)-18:1 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) profiles in subcutaneous and intramuscular fat of steers fed a barley-based diet. Fifty-six feedlot steers were offered a barley-based finisher diet (73% steam rolled barley, 22% barley silage and 5% supplement as-fed basis) with four levels of supplementary dl-α-tocopheryl acetate (340, 690, 1040 or 1740 IU/steer per day) for 120 days. Adding vitamin E to the diet had little effect on the overall fatty acid composition of intramuscular fat. The proportion of individual and total t,t- and cis(c),t-CLA, n-3 fatty acids, total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), mono-unsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids to PUFA ratio in subcutaneous fat were not influenced (P > 0.05) by dietary vitamin E supplementation. Increasing levels of vitamin E led to linear reductions in t6-/t7-/t8-18:1 and t10-18:1 (P < 0.05), and linear increase in t11-/t10-18:1 ratio (P < 0.05) in subcutaneous fat. The content of 20:3n-6 and total n-6 in subcutaneous fat decreased (P < 0.05) linearly with increasing amounts of vitamin E. The subcutaneous fat n-6:n-3 ratio showed a quadratic (P < 0.05) response to vitamin E. In conclusion, although vitamin E supplementation has some potential to reduce t10-18:1 formation and increase t11-/t10-18:1 ratio in subcutaneous fat of cattle fed barley-based diets, the changes in the present study were limited and may not have been sufficient to impact on human health.
The authors present the technological routes used to build planar and vertical gate all-around (GAA) field-effect transistors (FETs) using both Si and SiGe nanowires (NWs) and the electrical performances of the as-obtained components. Planar FETs are characterized in back gate configuration and exhibit good behavior such as an ION/IOFF ratio up to 106. Hysteretic behavior and sub-threshold slope values with respect to surface and oxide interface trap densities are discussed. Vertical devices using Si NWs show good characteristics at the state of the art with ION/IOFF ratio close to 106 and sub-threshold slope around 125 mV/decade while vertical SiGe devices also obtained with the same technological processes, present an ION/IOFF ratio from 103 to 104but with poor dynamics which can be explained by the high interface traps density.
To evaluate meat quality of beef with different α-tocopherol tissue levels, 55 feedlot steers were fed a barley-based finisher diet with four vitamin E supplementation levels (0, 350, 700 and 1400 IU dl-α-tocopheryl acetate/animal per day) for 120 days. Although the increase in oxidation levels overtime was much smaller (P < 0.001) in the high-medium and high groups, α-tocopherol tissue levels did not affect (P > 0.05) pH, proximate analysis, drip and cooking losses, and shear force of steaks. No effect of α-tocopherol tissue levels was found in retail evaluation of steaks after a short ageing time of 6 days, but with 21 days of ageing, a delay in formation of metmyoglobin (P = 0.008) was observed in steaks with higher tissue levels of α-tocopherol. Similar results were found for ground beef (25% fat) prepared from 6-day aged meat. Thus, higher α-tocopherol tissue levels protect ground beef and long-aged steaks from discolouration and lipid oxidation.
The effects of hydrogen chloride (HCl) on the growth of silicon nanowires by Chemical Vapour Deposition are investigated. HCl is found to enable the growth of small diameter gold-catalyzed silicon nanowires while reducing the kink occurrence. Specific growth sequences are presented in order to obtain a one-to-one ratio of nanowire growth versus gold colloidal seed. Other growth sequences using HCl are illustrated but achieve mixed results concerning the nanowire structure and the surface state.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are immunomediated ailments affecting millions of individuals. Although diet is regarded as an important factor influencing IBD, there are no accepted dietary recommendations presently available. We administered 7·6 % lyophilised apples obtained from two cultivars (Golden Delicious and Marie Ménard, low and high in polyphenols, respectively) to HLA-B27 transgenic rats which develop spontaneous IBD. After 3 months feeding, rats fed Marie Ménard apples had reduced myeloperoxidase activity (3·6 (sem 0·3) v. 2·2 (sem 0·2) U/g tissue; P < 0·05) and reduced cyclo-oxygenase-2 (P < 0·05) and inducible NO synthase gene expression (P < 0·01) in the colon mucosa and significantly less diarrhoea (P < 0·05), compared with control rats. Cell proliferation in the colon mucosa was reduced significantly by feeding Golden Delicious apples, with a borderline effect of Marie Ménard apples. Gene expression profiling of the colon mucosa, analysed using the Whole Rat Genome 4 × 44 K Agilent Arrays, revealed a down-regulation of the pathways of PG synthesis, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling and TNFα–NF-κB in Marie Ménard-fed rats. In the stools of the animals of this group we also measured a significant reduction of bacteria of the Bacteriodes fragilis group. In conclusion, the administration of Marie Ménard apples, rich in polyphenols and used at present only in the manufacturing of cider, ameliorates colon inflammation in transgenic rats developing spontaneous intestinal inflammation, suggesting the possible use of these and other apple varieties to control inflammation in IBD patients.
The structural evolution with temperature of some V2O5 gels and thin films is presented, and the role of the hydrolysis conditions is investigated. Several techniques, i.e., x-ray diffraction, differential thermal analysis, infrared, and temperature-dependent Raman spectroscopy, have been used to follow the thermal behavior of the samples. When the bulk xerogels begin to change from a nanocrystalline phase to the orthorhombic α-V2O5, in the temperature range 280 to 300 °C, a growth of vanadium oxide nanotubes also occurs, while at higher temperatures the crystallization into the α phase prevails. A slightly different evolution is observed for heat treated thin films, which show a structure containing polyvanadate chains near room temperature. They also present a growth of nanotubes for intermediate temperatures and a complete crystallization into the α phase when the temperature is further increased.
During the last ten years, we have developed an efficient growth process of nitrides on silicon substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. In collaboration with partners AlGaN/GaN HEMTs on Si having promising performances have been fabricated. Focusing on the growth aspect and underlying some of the key issues, we present in this paper an overview of our contribution in the field of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs on Si substrates.
Heart development, especially the critical phase of cardiac looping,
is a complex and intricate process that has not yet been visualized
“live” over long periods of time. We have constructed and
established a new environmental incubator chamber that provides stable
conditions for embryonic development with regard to temperature, humidity,
and oxygen levels. We have integrated a video microscope in the chamber to
visualize the developing heart in real time and present the first
“live” recordings of a chick embryo in shell-less culture
acquired over a period of 2 days. The time-lapse images we show depict a
significant time window that covers the most critical and typical
morphogenetic events during normal cardiac looping. Our system is of
interest to researchers in the field of embryogenesis, as it can be
adapted to a variety of animal models for organogenesis studies including
heart and limb development.