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The species–area relationship (SAR) has been described as one of the few general patterns in ecology. Although there are many types of SAR, here we are concerned solely with the so-called species accumulation curve (SAC). The theoretical basis of this relationship is not well established. Here, we suggest that extreme value theory, also known as the statistics of extremes, provides a theoretical foundation for, as well as functions to fit, empirical species accumulation curves. Among the several procedures in extreme value theory, the appropriate way to deal with the species accumulation curve is the so-called block minima procedure. We first provide a brief description of this approach and the relevant formulas. We then illustrate the application of the block minima approach using data on tree species from a 50 ha plot in Barro Colorado Island, Panama. We conclude by discussing the extent to which the assumptions under which the extreme types theorem occurs are confirmed by the data. Although we recognize limitations to the present application of extreme value theory, we predict that it will provide fertile ground for future work on the theory of SARs and its application in the fields of ecology, biogeography and conservation.
Mucositis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal mucosa resulting from high doses of radio/chemotherapy treatment and may lead to interruption of antineoplasic therapy. Soluble fibres, like pectin, increase SCFA production, which play a role in gut homoeostasis and inflammation suppression. Due to the properties of pectin, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a high-fibre (HF) diet on chemotherapy-induced mucositis in a murine model. C57/BL6 mice received control (AIN93M), HF, low/zero fibre (LF) diets for 10 d prior to mucositis challenging with irinotecan (75 mg/kg), or they were treated with acetate added to drinking water 5 d prior to and during the mucositis induction. Mice that received the HF diet showed decreased immune cells influx and improved histopathological parameters in the intestine, compared with mice that received the normal diet. Furthermore, the HF diet decreased intestinal permeability induced in the mucositis model when compared with the control group. This effect was not observed for acetate alone, which did not improve gut permeability. For instance, mice that received the LF diet had worsened gut permeability, compared with mice that received the normal diet and mucositis. The effects of the HF and LF diets were shown to modulate the intestinal microbiota, in which the LF diet increased the levels of Enterobacteriaceae, a group associated with gut inflammation, whereas the HF diet decreased this group and increased Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (SCFA producers) levels. In conclusion, the results demonstrated the importance of dietary fibre intake in the modulation of gut microbiota composition and homoeostasis maintenance during mucositis in this model.
To study the short-term effect of treatment with quetiapine on prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits of the startle reflex in schizophrenia patients.
Subjects and methods
Using PPI, we studied a group of 21 schizophrenia patients and 16 controls. Seventeen of the patients were re-tested with PPI after 21 days of treatment with quetiapine.
At baseline, an almost significant decrease in PPI was found in the patients as compared to the controls. PPI measurements did not change in the patients after 21 days of treatment with quetiapine, despite their clinical improvement.
Our results suggest that short-term quetiapine treatment may not modify PPI measures in schizophrenia patients.
The changing epidemiological profile of population in recent decades is related to the socio-economic conditions of contemporaneity. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is positioned in the chronic non-communicable diseases spectrum as one of the most prevalent being responsible for high rates of morbidity and mortality. Therapeutic adhere is of crucial importance because there are high risks associated with non-adherence and it impacts on quality of life.
Identifying therapeutic adherence predictors in type 2 diabetes (DM2).
188 patients attending diabetology consultations at the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, at Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra and at Associação Protetora dos Diabéticos de Portugal participated in the study. Participants completed the following set of self-report instruments: Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Diabetes Health Profile (DHP), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem (RSE), and the social relations dimension of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL). Therapeutic adherence was established base on HbA1C clinical criteria.
Multiple regression analyses revealed that the full model was statistically significant [c 2 (4, n = 188) = 20.79, p >0.001] explaining between 20% and 29.6% of total variance and 76.3% of the cases were correctly classified. The four variables significantly contributed to the model, especially the BDI and the RSE, registering an odds ratio of 1.104 and 1.203, respectively.
In DM2 predictors of non-adherence were depression and diabetes patient health profile while self-esteem and quality of life in social relations, emerged as predictors of adherence.
Depression is very common among institutionalized elders. Because of the increased risk of cognitive impairment/dementia, and mortality we want to describe the evolution of depression and analyze predictive factors.
In the Aging Trajectories Study (Instituto Superior Miguel Torga - Coimbra), we followed up a sample of 83 nondemented persons (M ± SD baseline age = 79.51 ± 6.58; men: 17; women: 66). In a 2-year prospective cohort analysis (2010-2011, and 2013), we assessed depression using the Geriatric Depressive Scale/GDS as screening tool and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview to diagnose depression. We also used the UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory/GAI, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale/PANAS. Sociodemographics, and health were control variables. We performed a multinomial logistic regression to identify predicitive factors.
Fifty participants had depression at baseline, nine developed, 49 maintained, nine remitted, and 16 maintained without depression.
Having depression was associated with worse scores in UCLA, GAI, and PANAS. Not having depression was correlated with higher positive affect.
Baseline higher GAI and UCLA, and lower positive affect and satisfaction predicted recurrent depression.
Improvement in GDS, GAI, and positive affect predicted depression remission.
Results show that depression is a concern issue for professionals working with institutionalized elderly. Anxiety, loneliness, low positive affect and satisfaction constitute a risk factor for maintaing depression in institutionalized elderly and low anxiety and depressive symptoms are a protective factors for depression. These results could be used in depression prevention programs.
Cognitive rehabilitation techniques, reminiscence therapy, and reality orientation therapy, have shown an impact on cognition, life satisfaction, mood, and on the progression of cognitive decline in elderly.
To test the effectiveness of a NRGP on the cognitive and emotional functioning of institutionalized elderly.
single blind randomized controlled study with paired groups.
Coimbra institutionalized elderly, aged between 64-92 (N = 88) with cognitive impairment no dementia, mostly women (75.0%).
randomization of participants to the rehabilitation group/RG (n = 41) and to the comparison/waiting-list group/CG (n = 23). NRGP involved groups of five elders, and took 90 min. per day, once a week, for 10 weeks.
Mini-Mental State Examination/MMSE, Frontal Evaluation Battery/FAB, Geriatric Depression Scale/GDS.
We used general linear model with repeated measures analysis of variance.
RG improved significantly on cognitive, and executive function (p < 0.001), and CG worsened on cognitive, executive function, and mood (p < 0.01). There was a significant effect on the MMSE, FAB, and GDS scores, after excluding pre-rehabilitation scores as covariates [F (1, 81) = 43.98, p < 0.001; η2 = 0.35; F(1, 80) = 28.37, p < 0.001; η2 = 0.26; F(1, 79) = 19.66, p < 0.001; η2 = 0.20].
A NRGP including cognitive rehabilitation, reminiscence therapy, and reality orientation proved to be effective on cognitive and executive functioning, and on depressive symptoms of institutionalized elders with cognitive impairment no dementia.
Erotomania, or De Clerambault's Syndrome, was first described in 1921. However, cases of Insane Love were long known before. Presently, this condition is classified as a delusional disorder typically affecting women. However, in forensic samples, most of these reports relate to men with violent behaviour, associated to harassing or stalking of a woman.
To present the case of a man, diagnosed with Erotomania and literature review of similar cases.
To bring awareness to the infrequent diagnosis of this condition in males and the legal implications this condition may have.
Consultation of the patient's clinical process and published articles focusing on Erotomania in men.
A 50-year-old man was referred from Court for persistently stalking a woman on the past few years. He revealed erotomanic and persecutory delusions, believing these accusations were all part of a scheme to restrain his alleged relationship.
There was a clinical improvement during hospitalization and treatment with antipsychotics. Due to the legal process in court, a forensic examination was also performed.
On the follow-up, the patient remained stabilized. He would not verbalize any delusional content, and calmly deny any inadequate behaviour. However, some of his stalking attitude remains. As many of these patients, we believe his delusion is still present, although his behaviour is more controlled with treatment. Recognizing the characteristics and course of this disorder in our patients, grants a better chance of intervention and attentiveness towards the legal implications that may arise.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Perinatal mental illness is one of the most frequent complications of pregnancy and the postpartum period. During the puerperium, the risk of developing a mental disease, such as a psychotic episode, is higher than in any other time in a woman's life.
The two main objectives are to describe a case series of 4 patients diagnosed with pospartum psychosis, and to synthesize the most important facets of this mental illness based on a literature review.
The aim is to provide an overview of the clinical and epidemiological aspects of postpartum psychosis.
The four clinical cases are presented by describing the similar as opposed to the differential aspects between all patients, using the information obtained through successive clinical interviews and the case file. Research was accomplished through Clinical Key and PubMed (2005-2015) using the keywords: postpartum psychosis.
In all four cases, the patients developed symptoms of sleep disturbance, mood fluctuation, altered thinking process with delusions or obsessions, and bizarre behaviours. This occurred within the first four weeks after labour, which was in all cases an obstrutced labour. The data suggests that postpartum psychosis is a presentation of bipolar disorder. Clinical aspects and risk factors related to this perinatal complication all coincide with the cases presented.
Postpartum psychosis is a rare presentation of perinatal mental illness. However, it presents itself, as a psychiatric emergency, and the early and correct assessment are crucial to reset the development of the mother–child bond.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The Mangalitza pig breed has suffered strong population reductions due to competition with more productive cosmopolitan breeds. In the current work, we aimed to investigate the effects of this sustained demographic recession on the genomic diversity of Mangalitza pigs. By using the Porcine Single Nucleotid Polymorphism BeadChip, we have characterized the genome-wide diversity of 350 individuals including 45 Red Mangalitza (number of samples; n=20 from Hungary and n=25 from Romania), 37 Blond Mangalitza, 26 Swallow-belly Mangalitza, 48 Blond Mangalitza × Duroc crossbreds, 5 Bazna swine, 143 pigs from the Hampshire, Duroc, Landrace, Large White and Pietrain breeds and 46 wild boars from Romania (n=18) and Hungary (n=28). Performance of a multidimensional scaling plot showed that Landrace, Large White and Pietrain pigs clustered independently from Mangalitza pigs and Romanian and Hungarian wild boars. The number and total length of ROH (runs of homozygosity), as well as FROH coefficients (proportion of the autosomal genome covered ROH) did not show major differences between Mangalitza pigs and other wild and domestic pig populations. However, Romanian and Hungarian Red Mangalitza pigs displayed an increased frequency of very long ROH (>30 Mb) when compared with other porcine breeds. These results indicate that Red Mangalitza pigs underwent recent and strong inbreeding probably as a consequence of severe reductions in census size.
The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), which is the total radiation arriving at Earth's atmosphere from the Sun, is one of the most important forcing of the Earths climate. Measurements of the TSI have been made employing instruments on board several space-based platforms during the last four solar cycles. However, combining these measurements is still challenging due to the degradation of the sensor elements and the long-term stability of the electronics. Here we describe the preliminary efforts to design an absolute radiometer based on the principle of electrical substitution that is under development at Brazilian's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
Oil palm plantations are rapidly expanding in tropical areas, although the nature of the impacts on the functional roles of the different species in the ecosystem is poorly understood. The present study is the first assessment of how oil palm affects the functional diversity of birds in the Brazilian Amazon and tests the hypothesis that converting forest to oil palm decreases functional diversity of bird communities, selecting species more tolerant to environmental disturbances. We conducted point counts to survey bird communities in 16 plots in the eastern Amazon. We sampled 32 points in riparian forest, 128 in oil palm and 160 in forested habitats. To test whether the conversion of forest into oil palm plantations affects functional diversity of birds we calculated the FD (Functional Diversity) and FRic (Functional Richness) indices. To examine whether oil palm plantations select species functionally more similar than expected by chance we used a null model (SES.FD). FD was significantly higher in the forest plots in comparison with riparian forests and oil palm, and lower in oil palm when compared with riparian forests. FRic, in turn, was greater in forest plots than in oil palm and in riparian forest. These results show that the conversion of forested areas to oil palm represents a great loss of functional strategies. The SES values indicate that in forested habitats bird communities tend to be functionally clustered while in the oil palm they are functionally overdispersed. The functional traits most affected by oil palm were those associated with diet and foraging stratum. In short, oil palm plantations reduced functional diversity of birds, although the presence of riparian forests within the plantations and the fragments of forest adjacent are extremely important for the maintenance of ecosystem services.
This paper reports an unusual green pigment, brochantite (Cu4(SO4)(OH)6), on 16th-century Portuguese-Flemish paintings, attributed to the Master Frei Carlos workshop. This green mineral is usually identified as an impurity or alteration product in the green pigments verdigris (Cu(CH3COO)2nCu(OH)2) or malachite (CuCO3 Cu(OH)2). However, after thorough investigation with a broad range of analytical techniques, it became clear that, in this case, brochantite was applied as a pigment. The abundance, pigment granulometry, and pigment morphology suggest intentional use by this Portuguese-Flemish Master as a natural pigment rather than its accidental use as an alteration product. This seems to be a distinguishable feature to other painters (Flemish and Portuguese) working in Portugal at the beginning of the 16th century.
The multi-analytical study of these easel paintings was first performed by physical imaging techniques and material characterization was carried out by optical microscopy, micro-Fourier-transform infrared-spectroscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry, and micro-X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD).
This paper analyses the population dynamics, growth and feeding ecology of Dicentrarchus labrax in order to gain a better understanding of its present role in the western Dutch Wadden Sea ecosystem. Otolith analysis showed that the population is mostly comprised of individuals aged 3–5 years old and between 20 and 45 cm in length. In autumn, 0-group juveniles are also an important part of the population. Both juveniles and adults use the area as a feeding ground exhibiting an opportunistic feeding strategy that relies on available prey, especially the brown shrimp Crangon crangon. Stomach content analysis and nitrogen stable isotope analysis showed an ontogenetic shift towards piscivory and a general decrease in the dominance of invertebrates with increasing size. Over the last 50 years, large between-year fluctuations in D. labrax abundance have been observed with an underlying increasing trend from about 1990 until 2007 followed by a subsequent decline. Spring abundance showed significant relationships with temperature and salinity while autumn abundance was only related to temperature. Spring and autumn D. labrax abundance were also strongly related to abundance of brown shrimp C. crangon prey. Long-term trends in temperature and salinity in the area suggest that environmental conditions for juvenile growth have become optimal, resulting in increased abundance since the mid-1980s. Continued monitoring of the dynamics of this species in the Dutch Wadden Sea is important to understand and anticipate the effects of climate change on the D. labrax population and its role in the local food web.
The dual risk model assumes that the surplus of a company decreases at a constant rate over time and grows by means of upward jumps, which occur at random times and sizes. It is said to have applications to companies with economical activities involved in research and development. This model is dual to the well-known Cramér-Lundberg risk model with applications to insurance. Most existing results on the study of the dual model assume that the random waiting times between consecutive gains follow an exponential distribution, as in the classical Cramér-Lundberg risk model. We generalize to other compound renewal risk models where such waiting times are Erlang(n) distributed. Using the roots of the fundamental and the generalized Lundberg's equations, we get expressions for the ruin probability and the Laplace transform of the time of ruin for an arbitrary single gain distribution. Furthermore, we compute expected discounted dividends, as well as higher moments, when the individual common gains follow a Phase-Type, PH(m), distribution. We also perform illustrations working some examples for some particular gain distributions and obtain numerical results.
Glutamine may be a precursor for NO synthesis, which may play a crucial role in bacterial translocation (BT). The goal of the present study was to investigate the potential effects of glutamine on BT and the immunological response in an experimental model of NO synthase inhibition by NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME). Mice were randomly assigned to four groups: sham; intestinal obstruction (IO); IO+500 mg/kg per d glutamine (GLN); IO+GLN plus 10 mg/kg per d l-NAME (GLN/LN). The groups were pretreated for 7 d. BT was induced by ileal ligation and was assessed 18 h later by measuring the radioactivity of 99mTc-Escherichiacoli in the blood and organs. Mucosal damage was determined using a histological analysis. Intestinal permeability (IP) was assessed by measuring the levels of 99mTc-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid in the blood at 4, 8 and 18 h after surgery. IgA and cytokine concentrations were determined by ELISA in the intestinal fluid and plasma, respectively. BT was increased in the GLN/LN and IO groups than in the GLN and sham groups. IP and intestinal mucosa structure of the sham, GLN and GLN/LN groups were similar. The GLN group had the highest levels of interferon-γ, while IL-10 and secretory IgA levels were higher than those of the IO group but similar to those of the GLN/LN group. The present results suggest that effects of the glutamine pathway on BT were mediated by NO. The latter also interferes with the pro-inflammatory systemic immunological response. On the other hand, IP integrity preserved by the use of glutamine is independent of NO.
Tributyrin (TBT) is a TAG composed of three butyric acids that has beneficial effects on ulcerative colitis due to its trophic, anti-inflammatory, pro-apoptotic and anti-carcinogenic properties. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and mechanisms of action of TBT supplementation in the prevention of mucosal damage in experimental colitis. Mice received either a control diet or a TBT-supplemented diet for 15 d. Colitis was induced by dextran sodium sulphate administration during the last 7 d. Mucosal damage and the activation of immune cells and cytokines were determined by histological score, flow cytometry and ELISA. Leucocyte rolling and adhesion were assessed by intravital microscopy. Oxidative stress was determined by monitoring hydroperoxide concentration and evaluating superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activities. Intestinal permeability was analysed using diethylenetriaminepentaacetate acid (99mTcDTPA). Compared with the colitis group, the animals in the colitis+TBT group had reduced mucosal damage and neutrophil and eosinophil mucosal infiltration, which were associated with a higher percentage of regulatory T cells (Treg) and higher levels of transforming growth factor β and IL-10 in the lamina propria. The level of in vivo leucocyte adhesion in the colon microvasculature was reduced after TBT supplementation. A lower level of hydroperoxide and higher levels of SOD and catalase activities were associated with TBT supplementation. TBT-supplemented mice showed reduced intestinal permeability to the levels intermediate between the control and colitis groups. In conclusion, the present results show that TBT has positive effects on colonic restructuring in experimental colitis. Additionally, TBT supplementation changes the immune response by controlling inflammation and regulating the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines and Treg.
Genetic parameters for test-day milk flow (TDMF) of 2175 first lactations of Holstein cows were estimated using multiple-trait and repeatability models. The models included the direct additive genetic effect as a random effect and contemporary group (defined as the year and month of test) and age of cow at calving (linear and quadratic effect) as fixed effects. For the repeatability model, in addition to the effects cited, the permanent environmental effect of the animal was also included as a random effect. Variance components were estimated using the restricted maximum likelihood method in single- and multiple-trait and repeatability analyses. The heritability estimates for TDMF ranged from 0.23 (TDMF 6) to 0.32 (TDMF 2 and TDMF 4) in single-trait analysis and from 0.28 (TDMF 7 and TDMF 10) to 0.37 (TDMF 4) in multiple-trait analysis. In general, higher heritabilities were observed at the beginning of lactation until the fourth month. Heritability estimated with the repeatability model was 0.27 and the coefficient of repeatability for first lactation TDMF was 0.66. The genetic correlations were positive and ranged from 0.72 (TDMF 1 and 10) to 0.97 (TDMF 4 and 5). The results indicate that milk flow should respond satisfactorily to selection, promoting rapid genetic gains because the estimated heritabilities were moderate to high. Higher genetic gains might be obtained if selection was performed in the TDMF 4. Both the repeatability model and the multiple-trait model are adequate for the genetic evaluation of animals in terms of milk flow, but the latter provides more accurate estimates of breeding values.