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Microencapsulation of functioning cells for transplantation therapies is particularly promising, but the cells must retain their proper physiology and viability after being encapsulated. K-562 cells are multipotential and exhibit erythroid, megakaryocytic, or granulocytic properties that can be exploited by using an array of physiologically differentiating factors. The potential for cell differentiation makes it attractive the use of K-562 cells as functional model to the assessment of the effects of encapsulation on cell viability and physiology. Thus, alginate and hybrid alginate matrices were produced by extrusion technique for K-562 cell encapsulation. The produced systems were composed of bare alginate (1–3 wt%) and alginate in combination with chitosan or silica. The resulting materials were characterized by dynamic laser scattering, zeta potential measurements, small-angle X-ray scattering, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. To assess viability, the encapsulated cells were subjected to the Trypan blue exclusion technique and NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductase (MTT) assays; hemin-induced erythroid differentiation capacity was also evaluated. The encapsulated alginate-based systems were shown to be monomodal and bimodal, depending on the nature of the capsule, with mean sizes in the range between 414 and 4.129 nm. Encapsulated cells exhibited viability ratios compatible with their use for prolonged cell cultures. Erythroid differentiation occurred in the range between 39 and 44%. The present results allow the consideration of the viability of therapeutic cells encapsulated in both bare alginate and in hybrid matrices.
The goal of this study was to analyse the spatial pattern of tuberculosis (TB) mortality using different approaches, namely: mortality rates (MR), spatial relative risks (RR) and Bayesian rates (Global and Local) and their association with human development index (HDI), Global and its three dimensions: education, longevity and income. An ecological study was developed in Curitiba, Brazil based on data from Mortality Information System (2008–2014). Spatial scan statistics were used to compute RR and identify high-risk clusters. Bivariate Local Indicator of Spatial Associations was used to assess associations. MR ranged between 0 and 25.24/100.000 with a mean (standard deviation) of 1.07 (2.66). Corresponding values for spatial RR were 0–27.46, 1.2 (2.99) and for Bayesian rates (Global and Local) were 0.49–1.66, 0.90 (0.19) and 0–6.59, 0.98 (0.80). High-risk clusters were identified for all variables, except for HDI-income and Global Bayesian rate. Significant negative spatial relations were found between MR and income; between RR and HDI global, longevity and income; and Bayesian rates with all variables. Some areas presented different patterns: low social development/low risk and high risk/high development. These results demonstrate that social development variables should be considered, in mortality due TB.
Background: MRI criteria are used to support multiple sclerosis diagnosis and evolution. However, normal age-related lesions (ARLs) can be cofounded with MS white matter lesion (MSL). Methods: Two Multiparametric 7T MRI scans 4 motnhs apart from 5 relapsing MS (RMS) patients were analyzed and compared to 5 matched healthy controls (HC) aiming to differentiate MSLs from ARLs. Six-echo GRE, FLAIR and MPRAGE sequences were acquired. Results: Average size of ARLs was 51 mm3 and of MSLs was 69 mm3 (p=0.27). Both have the same general appearance on FLAIR and MPRAGE contrasts, but different contrast on the R2* and QS maps. Inter-visit variation on MPRAGE was significantly higher in MSLs. Inter-visit signal change in the other contrasts (QSM, R2* and FLAIR) was not significant. Conclusions: R2*, QS maps and inter-visit variation using MPRAGE allowed differentiating MSLs from ARLs in 5 RMS with mean long term disease duration. This could improve correct early diagnosis and accurate lesion load accumulation evolution.
Peritonsillar abscess is the most common deep infection of the head and neck in young adults. It is considered a purulent complication of acute tonsillitis, but other mechanisms have been proposed. There is no consensus as to whether seasonality affects peritonsillar abscess incidence.
This observational, descriptive, retrospective study explored the epidemiology of peritonsillar abscess and its relationship with seasonality. The cases were selected from the emergency otolaryngology service of a tertiary hospital.
The sample comprised 528 patients (42.61 per cent males, mean age = 26.63 years). A moderate positive correlation was found between peritonsillar abscess incidence and monthly average temperature. No associations were found with insolation, precipitation or humidity.
In this sample, peritonsillar abscess was more likely to occur in warmer months. The findings corroborate the theory that peritonsillar abscess is not a direct complication of acute tonsillitis and may improve understanding of peritonsillar abscess aetiology.
Gender differences in bipolar disorder are becoming apparent, but have been less studied compared with major depression. The presentation, clinical features, course and evolution of bipolar disorder differ between men and women. Research data on these differences will help determine whether gender is important in influencing illness variables.
Determine whether men and women with bipolar disorder have statistical significant differences in socio-demographic and clinical data.
Charts of all patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder admitted in the Coimbra Hospital and Universitary Center over a three-year period (between 2013 and 2015) were reviewed to gather data on socio-demographic, clinical and psychopathological variables to assess differences across genders. Statistical analysis of data with “SPSS21”.
During a three-year period, 189 patients were admitted with bipolar disorder, the majority were female patients, with ages between 21 and 84 years old. The authors will analyse if there is any statistical significant difference between gender in the rate of bipolar I or II diagnoses, age at onset, symptom presentation, delay in diagnoses, number of depressive, or manic episodes, hospitalisations, involuntarily admissions, number of suicide attempts, co-morbidity rates, negative life events, family history and treatment options. Sociodemograpic characteristics will also be analysed.
Gender differences in bipolar disorder is a controversial issue in the literature. The importance of gender on the course and outcome in bipolar disorder has been widely acknowledged. The limited data suggest that the prevalence is similar between sexes but that the course of illness may be different.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Bipolar disorder has the highest rates of comorbid substance use disorders. Approximately 60% of patients with bipolar I disorder have a lifetime diagnosis of a substance use disorder (SUD). Excluding tobacco, alcohol is the substance most often abused, followed by cannabis, amphetamines and cocaine.
Determine the prevalence and compare sociodemographic and clinical variables in patients with SUD comorbid diagnoses and patients without this comorbidity.
Charts of all patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder admitted in the Coimbra Hospital and Universitary Center over a three-year period (2013–2015) were reviewed to gather data on sociodemographic and clinical data.
During a three-year period, 189 patients were admitted with bipolar disorder, almost half of patients (47,6%) had a SUD comorbid diagnostic. Comorbidity of BD and SUD is characterized by a complicated course with multiple recurrences of bipolar episodes and increased hospitalizations. The risk of suicide attempt is significantly higher when associated with SUD. In addition, BD is associated with pervasive social, family, and employment dysfunction. Poor treatment adherence in this population is also a serious clinical challenge that significantly impacts treatment response and outcome. The authors will analyze all this variables in the population admitted.
According to the most recent literature on SUD and BD, these two problems occur together so frequently that all patients with a bipolar diagnosis should also be assessed for drug and alcohol problems. BD complicated by SUD represents a serious public health problem and a major challenge to treatment providers.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. On a worldwide scale, it is estimated that about 86,000 incident cases occur annually. The aim of this report is to investigate the experience among multiple myeloma caregivers, assessing the mental adjustment to cancer diagnosis and the most prevalent psychopathology in the caregivers. This paper also attempts to establish the influence of the symptoms has in the caregiving experience.
All eligible caregivers will be approached during a regularly scheduled patient clinic visit and informed consent will be obtained prior to study participation. Data will be collected using the Mental Adjustment Scale to the Cancer Scale Partner (EAMC-F), Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale – Short Form, and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21).
According to the literature caring for patients with MM can be different comparing with another form of cancer. It is an incurable form of cancer, although treatments improve life expectancy and quality of life. The authors are expecting to find high rates of depression, anxiety, unmet needs, and burden of care. The symptoms of the patients will probably influence the caregiving experience.
MM accounts for about 14% of all newly diagnosed hematological cancer, and it is estimated that its incidence will rise. The importance of psychiatric intervention in the multidimensional approach is becoming a recognized reality. This is essential in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, to improve prognosis and quality of life but also to reduce side effects of treatments and symptoms related to cancer.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The Vibrant Soundbridge is an active middle-ear implant for hearing rehabilitation that is usually placed in the long process of the incus or round window. This study reports on the unusual implant attachment to the short process of the incus in a patient with ear malformation, and describes their audiological and clinical outcomes.
Case report and literature review.
Audiological evaluation with the Vibrant Soundbridge implant showed a pure tone average of 31 dB. The speech test, at 65 dB HL, revealed correct recognition of 92 per cent of disyllabic words. The Glasgow Hearing Aid Benefit Profile showed high levels of satisfaction, hearing aid use and benefit.
Fixation of the Vibrant Soundbridge implant on the short process of the incus is a feasible option, with good clinical and audiological outcomes. Coupling the floating mass transducer to the short process of the incus is a good surgical option, especially when the long process and the oval or round window are inaccessible.
The transport of relativistic electron beam in compressed cylindrical targets was studied from a numerical and experimental point of view. In the experiment, cylindrical targets were imploded using the Gekko XII laser facility of the Institute of Laser Engineering. Then the fast electron beam was created by shooting the LFEX laser beam. The penetration of fast electrons was studied by observing Kα emission from tracer layers in the target.
What determines inter-individual variability to impairments in behavioural control that may underlie road-traffic accidents, and impulsive and violent behaviours occurring under the influence of cannabis, the most widely used illicit drug worldwide?
Employing a double-blind, repeated-measures design, we investigated the genetic and neural basis of variable sensitivity to cannabis-induced behavioural dyscontrol in healthy occasional cannabis users. Acute oral challenge with placebo or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging, while participants performed a response inhibition task that involved inhibiting a pre-potent motor response. They were genotyped for rs1130233 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the protein kinase B (AKT1) gene.
Errors of inhibition were significantly (p = 0.008) increased following administration of THC in carriers of the A allele, but not in G allele homozygotes of the AKT1 rs1130233 SNP. The A allele carriers also displayed attenuation of left inferior frontal response with THC evident in the sample as a whole, while there was a modest enhancement of inferior frontal activation in the G homozygotes. There was a direct relationship (r = − 0.327, p = 0.045) between the behavioural effect of THC and its physiological effect in the inferior frontal gyrus, where AKT1 genotype modulated the effect of THC.
These results require independent replication and show that differing vulnerability to acute psychomotor impairments induced by cannabis depends on variation in a gene that influences dopamine function, and is mediated through modulation of the effect of cannabis on the inferior frontal cortex, that is rich in dopaminergic innervation and critical for psychomotor control.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT). NAFLD is associated with insulin resistance and hepatic inflammation. Similarly, patients with depression exhibit insulin resistance and increased inflammatory markers. However, no study has shown a clear association between elevated ALT and the development of depression. The aim of the study was to test whether elevated ALT, a surrogate marker for NAFLD, predicts the development of depression.
The present prospective cohort study investigated 12 180 employed adults referred for health examinations that included fasting blood tests and anthropometric measurements between 2003 and 2010. Exclusion criteria were: baseline minor/major depression, excessive alcohol consumption and other causes for ALT elevation. Depression was evaluated by the eight-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) score.
The final cohort included 5984 subjects [69.4% men, aged 45.0 (s.d. = 10.24) years]. The incidence rate of minor and major depression was 3.8% and 1.4%, respectively. Elevated ALT was a significant independent predictor for the occurrence of minor [odds ratio (OR) 2.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40–2.92] and major (OR 3.132, 95% CI 1.81–5.40) depression after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, education level, serum levels of lipids, glucose, smoking and physical activity. Adding subjective health and affective state parameters (sleep disturbances, self-rated health, anxiety and burnout) as potential mediators only slightly ameliorated the association. Persistently elevated ALT was associated with the greatest risk for minor or major depression as compared with elevation only at baseline or follow-up (p for trend < 0.001).
Elevated ALT was associated with developing depressive symptoms, thus suggesting that NAFLD may represent an independent modifiable risk factor for depression.
Nanocomposites of polysaccharide matrices, chitosan-starch and carboxymethyl cellulose-starch reinforced with graphene oxide and graphene grafted with keratin were developed. Composites films had been prepared for the casting/solvent evaporation method. The nanocomposites of chitosan/starch matrix improved substantially their mechanical properties with respect to the film without reinforcing, obtaining an increase of 929 % in the storage modulus (E’ 35°C) with only 0.5 wt% of graphene oxide and outstanding increments in E’ at 150°C and 200°C when keratin grafted graphene oxide is incorporated (0.1 wt%). In contrast, the graphene oxide incorporated into the carboxymethyl cellulose-starch matrix tends to decrease the stiffness of the film behaving in opposite way to nanocomposite of chitosan/starch matrix.
Cannabis can induce transient psychotic symptoms, but not all users experience these adverse effects. We compared the neural response to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in healthy volunteers in whom the drug did or did not induce acute psychotic symptoms.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, pseudorandomized design, 21 healthy men with minimal experience of cannabis were given either 10 mg THC or placebo, orally. Behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging measures were then recorded whilst they performed a go/no-go task.
The sample was subdivided on the basis of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale positive score following administration of THC into transiently psychotic (TP; n = 11) and non-psychotic (NP; n = 10) groups. During the THC condition, TP subjects made more frequent inhibition errors than the NP group and showed differential activation relative to the NP group in the left parahippocampal gyrus, the left and right middle temporal gyri and in the right cerebellum. In these regions, THC had opposite effects on activation relative to placebo in the two groups. The TP group also showed less activation than the NP group in the right middle temporal gyrus and cerebellum, independent of the effects of THC.
In this first demonstration of inter-subject variability in sensitivity to the psychotogenic effects of THC, we found that the presence of acute psychotic symptoms was associated with a differential effect of THC on activation in the ventral and medial temporal cortex and cerebellum, suggesting that these regions mediate the effects of the drug on psychotic symptoms.
Previous epidemiological studies clearly demonstrated gender differences in the patterns of mental illness. as a matter of fact, female suffer more from depressive and anxiety disorders, while male suffer more from addictive behaviour and psychotic disorders.
The present study was elaborated by the Psychiatric Department Quality Commission of the Coimbra University Hospital in order to identify gender differences in socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of patients that were hospitalized from January to June 2011.
We analyzed 417 clinical files and gathered socio-demographic information (gender, age, marital status and job) and clinical information (diagnosis and hospitalization's length).
Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS program, using the chi-square's and Mann-Whitney's tests.
53% of the inpatients were women.
It was also observed that women were older (p = 0.021), more frequently married and widowed (p < 0.001), were less associated with compulsory admission (p < 0.001), had shorter hospitalizations (p = 0.024) and were more often diagnosed with adjustment reaction and bipolar disorder (p < 0.001), while men were younger (p < 0.001), more frequently single (p < 0.001), more frequently unemployed (p < 0.001), were more subject to compulsory admission (p < 0.001) and were more often diagnosed with addictive disorders and schizophrenia.
These results are consistent with the existing literature and enable us to organize the services’conditions according to the needs of our psychiatric inpatient population.
The paleoclimatic record of Juréia Paleolagoon, coastal southeastern Brazil, includes cyclic and gradual changes with different intensities and frequencies through geological time, and it is controlled by astronomical, geophysical, and geological phenomena. These variations are not due to one single cause, but they result from the interaction of several factors, which act at different temporal and spatial scales. Here, we describe paleoenvironmental evidence regarding climatic and sea level changes from the last 9400 cal yr BP at the Juréia Paleolagoon – one of the main groups of protected South Atlantic ecosystems. Geochemical evidences were used to identify anomalies from multi-proxy analyses of a paleolagoon sediment core. The anomalies of centennial scale were correlated to climate and transgression–regression cycles from the Holocene period. Decadal scale anomalous oscillations in the Quaternary paleolagoon sediments occur between 9400 and 7500 cal yr BP, correlated with long- and short-term natural events, which generated high sedimentation rates, mainly between 8385 and 8375 cal yr BP (10 cm/yr). Our results suggest that a modern-day short-duration North Atlantic climatic event, such as the 8.2 ka event, could affect the environmental equilibrium in South America and intensify the South American Summer Monsoon.
Invasive infections caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae in vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals have been reported increasingly. In this study we used multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to study genetic relationships between six invasive strains of this bacterium isolated solely in the urban area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during a 10-year period. Of note, all the strains rendered negative results in PCR reactions for the tox gene, and four strains presented an atypical sucrose-fermenting ability. Five strains represented new sequence types. MLST results did not support the hypothesis that invasive (sucrose-positive) strains of C. diphtheriae are part of a single clonal complex. Instead, one of the main findings of the study was that such strains can be normally found in clonal complexes with strains related to non-invasive disease. Comparative analyses with C. diphtheriae isolated in different countries provided further information on the geographical circulation of some sequence types.
Recently, Elias et al. (Science 323, 610 (2009).) reported the experimental realization of the formation of graphane from hydrogenation of graphene membranes under cold plasma exposure. In graphane, the carbon-carbon bonds are in sp3 configuration, as opposed to the sp2 hybridization of graphene, and the C–H bonds exhibit an alternating pattern (up and down with relation to the plane defined by the carbon atoms). In this work we have investigated, using reactive molecular dynamics simulations, the role of H frustration (breaking the H atoms up and down alternating pattern) in graphane-like structures. Our results show that a significant percentage of uncorrelated H frustrated domains are formed in the early stages of the hydrogenation process, leading to membrane shrinkage and extensive membrane corrugations. This might explain the significant broad distribution of values of lattice parameter experimentally observed. For comparison purposes we have also analyzed fluorinated graphane-like structures. Our results show that similarly to H, F atoms also create significant uncorrelated frustrated domains on graphene membranes.
This work shows the relationship between the morphology (studied by AFM) of an active bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) layer composed by MEH-PPV (poly(2-methoxy-5-(2-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene) and PCBM ([6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester) and the respective photovoltaic figures of merit. It is observed that the most relevant parameter (influencing the efficiency) is the fill-factor (FF), as both the open circuit voltage and short circuit current are not significantly affected by the microscopic morphology. Different local conformation of the active films can change the FF from near 25% to more than 65%, having a strong impact in the efficiency. These results were modulated by an equivalent circuit. Serial and parallel resistances were related with the physical behavior of the organic cells. These were observed to have a direct relationship with the achieved morphology.