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Literature highlights that interpersonal sensitivity represents an important development and maintaining factor for Eating Disorder (ED). Mentalizing and empathy are two psychological constructs that play a crucial role in social functioning. However, the role of mentalizing and empathy in the socio-emotional processing deficits of ED patients has been under investigated.
We aimed to assess the complex interactions between the sub-components of mentalizing and empathy and ED symptoms through a network analysis approach.
Seventy-seven women with EDs were included in our study. Eating disorder and affective symptomatology were investigated with self-report questionnaires. All patients underwent two computerized tasks: Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC), assessing emotional and non-emotional mental state inferences; Empathic Accuracy Task-Revised (EAT-R), measuring accuracy in identifying and sharing others’ emotions. A partial correlation network and bridge function analyses were computed.
In the partial correlation network inference of cognitive mental states and shape concern were the nodes with the highest strength centrality. Inference of emotional mental states was the node with the highest bridge strength in the cluster of social cognition functions. Empathic and mentalizing abilities were directly connected with each other and with ED symptoms.
This is the first network analysis study which integrates self-reported symptoms and objective socio-cognitive performance in people with Eds. Our results provide evidence of the complex interactions between mentalizing, empathy and psychopathological symptoms in people with EDs. Therefore, confirm that the ability to infer others’ mental state may represent a useful target for clinical intervention in EDs.
Perinatal depression is a severe and disabling condition, which affects negatively both mothers’ and children’s mental health and well-being. About 12.8% of pregnant women report depressive symptoms in the perinatal period.
The aims of the present study are to: 1) identify factors (socio-demographic and clinical) associated with an increased risk of developing PD; 2) promote a screening program on PD.
All pregnant women were assessed at each trimester of pregnancy, three days after the childbirth and after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months, with the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). Women scoring ≥10 on the EPDS were invited to receive a full psychiatric evaluation to confirm the diagnosis.
420 women were recruited. 52.9%, 27.6% and 31.6% of participants presented an EPDS≥ 10 score at The I, II and III trimester of pregnancy, respectively. The percentage of patients with and EPS score ≥19 is 16.6%, 6.8%, 6.8%, 11.3% and 7.8% in 3 days following the childbirth and after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, respectively. Higher EPDS scores are predicted by the presence of anxiety symptoms before pregnancy and of depressive and anxiety symptoms in previous pregnancies (p<0.05). Women with family conflicts and with anxiety symptoms in the partner are more likely to report higher EPDS scores (p<0.001).
Our results confirm that perinatal depression is a highly prevalent condition. An early identification of depressive symptoms during this period is crucial in order to reduce the long-term negative impact on the mothers, the newborn and other family members.
Vitamin D modulates the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors, thus influencing mood and its alterations. Decreased blood levels of Vitamin D are involved in many psychiatric disorders, in particular, affective disorders. As regards bipolar disorder (BD), an association between vitamin D deficiency and severity of illness has been found.
In this observational study, we assessed calcium homeostasis imbalance in a sample of patients with BD; in particular, we explored whether serum levels of PTH, Vitamin D and calcium influence the clinical presentation of BD and its symptom severity.
All patients were administered with validated assessment instruments to assess psychopathology, affective temperaments and global functioning. Vitamin D and PTH levels were assessed in all patients. An-ad hoc schedule was administered for socio-demographic and clinical characteristics.
The total sample consisted of 199 patients (females: 51%; mean age: 47.1 ± 13.2 years). Levels of serum PTH were directly correlated with the total number of hospitalizations (p< 0.01), and of depressive (p< 0.0001), manic (p< 0.001) and hypomanic episodes (p< 0.01). Serum levels of Vitamin D were positively associated with age at first psychiatric contact and were inversely correlated with the total number of depressive episodes (p< 0.05) and cyclothymic temperament (p< 0.05).
Increased levels of PTH and Vit D correlate with a worse clinical outcome of patients with BD. Our results highlight the importance to routinely assess PTH, Vit D and calcium levels in BD patients. Moreover, vitamin D may represent a valid add-on treatment for these patients.
This project compares the degree of tracheal collapse determined by rigid and flexible bronchoscopy in paediatric patients with tracheomalacia.
A total of nine patients with tracheomalacia underwent both rigid and flexible video bronchoscopy. All patients were breathing spontaneously. Cross-sectional images of the airway were processed using the ImageJ program and analysed via colour histogram mode technique in order to delineate the luminal area. Paired t-tests (conducted using Stata software version 13.0) quantified differences between rigid and flexible bronchoscopes regarding the ratios of luminal pixels at maximum airway collapse to expansion. Correlation between both techniques in terms of airway collapse to expansion ratios was determined by calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient (R).
The difference in ratios of maximum collapse to expansion between rigid and flexible bronchoscopy was not statistically significant (p = 0.4656) and was positively correlated (R = 0.523).
The ratios suggest that rigid and flexible bronchoscopy are equally efficacious in assessing tracheomalacia severity, and may be used interchangeably in a clinical setting.
A method is suggested for improving the switching characteristics of the metal-hydride mirror by enhancing hydrogen transport in the active film. Nano-pillars of palladium, which has a high diffusion coefficient for hydrogen, are introduced into the active layer and should serve as a “highway” for the rapid introduction of hydrogen. A palladium nano-pillar array is made by electrodeposition in the pores of a polycarbonate membrane. The membrane is dissolved and the active layer (an yttrium-magnesium alloy) is evaporated on the palladium nanostructures. Improved kinetics has not been shown conclusively and is still the subject of research.
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