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To explore different longitudinal patterns of social functioning before onset of psychotic illness and how they relate to clinical presentation, substance use and acute treatment response.
Inclusion criteria: Drug-naïve first-episode psychosis, 18-50 yo, criteria for Schizophrenia or Other Psychotic Disorders (DSM-IV), excluding Psychotic Disorder due to a General Medical Condition and Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder.
Mental Retardation, neurological disease, brain injury or drug dependence.
Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS), Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS).
Ward cluster analyses were carried out to differentiate three longitudinal patterns of social premorbid adjustment from childhood to late adolescence: stable good (N=75), stable bad (N=44) and deteriorating (N=35). Chi-square and ANOVA tests were used.
154 subjects (64.5% male, mean age 26.81, SD=6.98) participated in the study.
At baseline the socially stable good group had more positive symptoms, SAPS 13.85 (3.99), than the stable bad group, SAPS 11.82 (3.93) (p=0.023).
At six weeks post-treatment the socially deteriorating group had more negative symptoms, SANS 8 (4.89), than the stable good, SANS 3.85 (4.11), and the stable bad, SANS 5.23 (5.45) (p=0.000).
The stable good group had the highest rates of substance use, followed by the deteriorating group.
A good premorbid social life was related to higher substance use and more positive symptoms at presentation. A social deteriorating pattern was associated with more negative symptoms at baseline and six weeks post-treatment. These differences would argue for different pathogeneses of psychosis.
Ahe adult patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by an increased vulnerability to daily life stressors. Cortisol awakening response (CAR) can be used as an index of the adrenocortical activity that relates to chronic stress. Although gender differences in cortisol response have been explored in children with ADHD, there is a lack of gender studies in adults with this disorder.
The aim of the present study is to evaluate possible gender differences in CAR in adults with ADHD.
A total of 50 patients (22 female, age 37.00±8.62 years, and 28 male, age 33.86±9.57 years), with ADHD were recruited from the program for adults with ADHD in the Department of Psychiatry of the Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron. Patients fulfilled current DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Psychiatric and organic comorbid disorders were excluded and all the patients were naïve to psychostimulant treatment. Four salivary cortisol samples were collected at 0, 30, 45 and 60 minutes after awakening (work days).
Mean increase in CAR was 10.39±8.68 nmols/l for men and 10.29±9.13 nmols/l for women. T-test comparisons showed no significant gender differences in CAR in adults with ADHD (t= 0.033, z=0.974).
As reported in children, adults with ADHD show no differences in CAR. Albeit these results are still preliminary, they suggest some gender differences in CAR between adults with ADHD and cortisol response in general population.
The environmental problems caused by the persistence and improper disposal of single use plastics, have led the worldwide authorities to migrate into a sustainable production of bio-based materials, whose components need to be studied for proving their nature and to confirm their degradability. For this reason, the identification and monitoring degradation of five single use straws were assessed through FT-IR, TGA/DTA and SEM techniques which demonstrate that the straws tagged as biodegradable contain polymers of fossil origin in their formulation. Degradation of them was found to be influenced by polar groups, such as ester and glycosidic bonds of the biodegradable phase. The thermal stability decreased and the morphological characteristics as cracks and holes were detected after biodegradation.
Metronidazole (MNZ) is an antibiotic drug to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. The present work was focused on MNZ degradation using the Fenton process, in batch studies. Five initial concentrations of MNZ (0.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20 mg/L), three Fe (II) concentrations (2.94, 5.88 and 11.66 μM), 29.4 μM H2O2, and three pH (3.5, 5 and 7) were evaluated at a reaction time of 5 min. A statistical factorial design using the program Minitab 18® was used to study the MNZ degradation. The best experimental conditions to degrade MNZ at 100% was 2.94 μM Fe2+ and pH of 3.5. Three kinetic models were used to study the degradation profile of MNZ at 2.94 μM Fe2+ and 29.4 μM H2O2, such as the first-order, the second-order, and BMG kinetic model. The BMG kinetic model was the best model to describe the MNZ degradation by Fenton process. On other hand, the optimal pH for MNZ degradation was 3.5, independently of the molar ratio Fe2+/H2O2 evaluated. At pH 5, degradation efficiencies decreased significantly, while at pH 7 the lowest degradation of MNZ was observed. Finally, the Fenton process showed the potential to degrade metronidazole.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the reduction in nematode faecal egg count (FEC) in Pelibuey lambs segregated as resistant (RES), susceptible (SUS) and intermediate (INT) to gastrointestinal nematodes. Twenty-nine weaned Pelibuey lambs, aged five months old, free of nematode infection, were used. Nine lambs were RES, six were SUS and 14 were INT lambs. The study consisted of two phases: in Phase 1 the lambs were infected experimentally with Haemonchus contortus. In Phase 2, the lambs were naturally infected by grazing. Faecal and blood samples were taken every week. The packed cell volume and total protein were quantified. The FEC value (FECmax) per lamb was recorded together with a natural reduction in FEC in the two phases. The data were analysed with a model of measures repeated over time. During Phase 1, the RES lambs showed the lowest FEC (1061 ± 1053) compared to the other groups (INT: 2385 ± 1794 eggs per gram of faeces (EPG); and SUS: 3958 ± 3037 EPG). However, in Phase 2 no significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between the groups of lambs (RES: 275 ± 498 EPG; SUS: 504 ± 1036 EPG; and INT: 603 ± 1061 EPG). At the end of Phase 1, the FEC of RES lambs was naturally reduced by 75.5% in respect to FECmax (p < 0.05), and at the end of Phase 2 the reduction in FEC was 90% in respect to FECmax (p > 0.05); the same behaviour was observed in RES and SUS lambs. It is concluded that the artificial infection in the lambs induced a more rapid immune response in RES than SUS lambs, and all lambs developed high acquired resistance by continuous infection.
When people interact, aspects of their speech and language patterns often converge in interactions involving one or more languages. Most studies of speech convergence in conversations have examined monolingual interactions, whereas most studies of bilingual speech convergence have examined spoken responses to prompts. However, it is not uncommon in multilingual communities to converse in two languages, where each speaker primarily produces only one of the two languages. The present study examined complexity matching and lexical matching as two measures of speech convergence in conversations spoken in English, Spanish, or both languages. Complexity matching measured convergence in the hierarchical timing of speech, and lexical matching measured convergence in the frequency distributions of lemmas produced. Both types of matching were found equally in all three language conditions. Taken together, the results indicate that convergence is robust to monolingual and bilingual interactions because it stems from basic mechanisms of coordination and communication.
Although both obesity and ageing are risk factors for cognitive impairment, there is no evidence in Chile on how obesity levels are associated with cognitive function. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between adiposity levels and cognitive impairment in older Chilean adults. This cross-sectional study includes 1384 participants, over 60 years of age, from the Chilean National Health Survey 2009–2010. Cognitive impairment was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination. BMI and waist circumference (WC) were used as measures of adiposity. Compared with people with a normal BMI, the odds of cognitive impairment were higher in participants who were underweight (OR 4·44; 95 % CI 2·43, 6·45; P < 0·0001), overweight (OR 1·86; 95 % CI 1·06, 2·66; P = 0·031) and obese (OR 2·26; 95 % CI 1·31, 3·21; P = 0·003). The associations were robust after adjustment for confounding variables. Similar results were observed for WC. Low and high levels of adiposity are associated with an increased likelihood of cognitive impairment in older adults in Chile.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
Chagas Disease is a zoonosis caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Several high-resolution markers have subdivided T. cruzi taxon into at least seven lineages or Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) (TcI-TcVI and TcBat). Trypanosoma cruzi I is the most diverse and geographically widespread DTU. Recently a TcI genotype related to domestic cycles was proposed and named as TcIDOM. Herein, we combined traditional markers and housekeeping genes and applied a Multispecies Coalescent method to explore intra-TcI relationships, lineage boundaries and genetic diversity in a random set of isolates and DNA sequences retrieved from Genbank from different countries in the Americas. We found further evidence supporting TcIDOM as an independent and emerging genotype of TcI at least in Colombia and Venezuela. We also found evidence of high phylogenetic incongruence between parasite's gene trees (including introgression) and embedded species trees, and a lack of genetic structure among geography and hosts, illustrating the complex dynamics and epidemiology of TcI across the Americas. These findings provide novel insights into T. cruzi systematics and epidemiology and support the need to assess parasite diversity and lineage boundaries through hypothesis testing using different approaches to those traditionally employed, including the Bayesian Multispecies coalescent method.
At a global level, dairy cow production systems (DCPS) are important sources of nourishment and profits, but they generate environmental impacts such as overexploitation of different resources including water, lands and fossil energy. Quantification of water and carbon footprint to define mitigation strategies and a more rational use of natural resources, is a reiterated claim. The aim of this study was to perform an economic evaluation of the environmental impact of the DCPS from the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico (24°N, 102°W, 220 mm, hot-semiarid climate) We contrasted the economic value (EV) generated by the DCPS with respect to the economic costs (EC) due to the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and the water footprint (WFP) of this DCPS. While quantifications of GHGE considered those proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the WFP involved the use of blue, gray and green water by the DCPS and related activities. Quantification of the EC of WFP considered an international average price of water. In the year 2017, the Comarca Lagunera registered a dairy cow inventory of 493 144 heads, with 227 142 lactating cows, which produced 2386 million liters of milk per year with an annual average EV of €525.3 million. The EC (€, millions) generated by the GHGE and WFP were €311.8 and €11 980.7, respectively, with a total EC of € 12 292.5 million. When the EV of milk production and the total environmental EC are compared, the contrast demonstrates not only the noteworthy environmental impact but also the significant and senseless biological and EC. In addition, having a large dairy cow concentration creates pollution concerns and the DCPS transfers both nutrients and water resources from an ecologically vulnerable arid region. Therefore, some mitigation strategies such as, better cow genotype, feed and manure management combined with the production of forages and grains in a different geographical region are suggested to promote an optimum use of water in order to uphold the social, economic and biologic sustainability of the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico.
Chagas disease, whose aetiological agent is the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, mainly occurs in Latin America. In order to know the epidemiology and the geographical distribution of this disease in Mexico, the present work analyses the national surveillance data (10 years) for Chagas disease issued by the General Directorate of Epidemiology (GDE). An ecological analysis of Chagas disease (2007–2016) was performed in the annual reports issued by the GDE in Mexico. The cases and incidence were classified by year, state, age group, gender and seasons. A national distribution map showing Chagas disease incidence was generated. An increase of new cases was identified throughout the country (rates from 0.37 to 0.81 per 100 000 inhabitants). Of the total cases accumulated (7388), the major cases were attributed to the states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, Morelos and Yucatán. The analysis per age groups and gender revealed that, in most age groups, the incidence was higher in the male population. The most number of cases was identified in spring and summer; a direct relationship between the environmental temperature increase and the number of new cases was identified. The analysis showed that the rate of Chagas disease increased presumably due to state programmes; the search for new cases has expanded and we speculate that the disease is associated with occupational activities. These results summarise and recall how important it is to implement the monitoring of Chagas disease mainly in south states of the Mexican Republic in order to implement strategies to control this disease.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Large efforts have been deployed in developing methods to estimate methane emissions from cattle. For large scale applications, accurate and inexpensive methane predictors are required. Within a livestock precision farming context, the objective of this work was to integrate real-time data on animal feeding behaviour with an in silico model for predicting the individual dynamic pattern of methane emission in cattle. The integration of real-time data with a mathematical model to predict variables that are not directly measured constitutes a software sensor. We developed a dynamic parsimonious grey-box model that uses as predictor variables either dry matter intake (DMI) or the intake time (IT). The model is described by ordinary differential equations.
Model building was supported by experimental data of methane emissions from respiration chambers. The data set comes from a study with finishing beef steers (cross-bred Charolais and purebred Luing finishing). Dry matter intake and IT were recorded using feed bins. For research purposes, in this work, our software sensor operated off-line. That is, the predictor variables (DMI, IT) were extracted from the recorded data (rather than from an on-line sensor). A total of 37 individual dynamic patterns of methane production were analyzed. Model performance was assessed by concordance analysis between the predicted methane output and the methane measured in respiration chambers. The model predictors DMI and IT performed similarly with a Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) of 0.78 on average. When predicting the daily methane production, the CCC was 0.99 for both DMI and IT predictors. Consequently, on the basis of concordance analysis, our model performs very well compared with reported literature results for methane proxies and predictive models. As IT measurements are easier to obtain than DMI measurements, this study suggests that a software sensor that integrates our in silico model with a real-time sensor providing accurate IT measurements is a viable solution for predicting methane output in a large scale context.