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The brain functional correlates of delusions have been relatively little studied. However, a virtual reality paradigm simulating travel on the London Underground has been found to evoke referential ideation in both healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia, making brain activations in response to such experiences potentially identifiable.
Ninety patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder and 28 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while they viewed virtual reality versions of full and empty Barcelona Metro carriages.
Compared to the empty condition, viewing the full carriage was associated with activations in the visual cortex, the cuneus and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex, the inferior parietal cortex, the angular gyrus and parts of the middle and superior temporal cortex including the temporoparietal junction bilaterally. There were no significant differences in activation between groups. Nor were there activations associated with referentiality or presence of delusions generally in the patient group. However, patients with persecutory delusions showed a cluster of reduced activation compared to those without delusions in a region in the right temporal/occipital cortex.
Performance of the metro task is associated with a widespread pattern of activations, which does not distinguish schizophrenic patients and controls, or show an association with referentiality or delusions in general. However, the finding of a cluster of reduced activation close to the right temporoparietal junction in patients with persecutory delusions specifically is of potential interest, as this region is believed to play a role in social cognition.
The way people with psychosis psychologically adapt and manage the diagnosis of such a mental disorder has been considered a key factor that contributes to the emergence and aggravation of emotional problems. These beliefs about illness can be very important due to their possible association with stigma and its implications in terms of loss of roles and social status. Given the importance of these personal beliefs about the specific diagnosis of psychosis, the Personal Beliefs about Illness Questionnaire (PBIQ) and PBIQ-R have been developed.
The present study aims to explore the psychometric characteristics of the Spanish version of the PBIQ-R in a sample of patients with a diagnosis of psychosis-related disorders.
Participants were 155 patients (54.8% male) of the Public Health Service in Andalusia (Spain). Those who consented to participate filled in the PBIQ-R, the Social Comparison Scale, and the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 to measure emotional symptoms.
All dimensions showed adequate internal consistency values: Cronbach’s alpha extends between .81 and .88; and McDonald’s omega ranges between .87 and .92. The temporal reliability for an interval of 3–4 weeks was high. The correlations between the PBIQ-R dimensions and the other variables included in the study were significant and in the expected direction. The factor analysis of the principal components of the PBIQ-R dimensions revealed a single factor in each of the dimensions that explained 64–74%.
The results support the reliability and validity of the Spanish version of the PBIQ-R.
2020 was to be a landmark year for setting targets to stop biodiversity loss and prevent dangerous climate change. However, COVID-19 has caused delays to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the 26th COP of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Negotiations on the Global Biodiversity Framework and the second submission of Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement were due to take place at these COPs. There is uncertainty as to how the COVID-19 disruption will affect the negotiations, whether parties will pursue more ambitious actions or take a weaker stance on issues. Our policy analysis shows there are broad opportunities for climate and biodiversity frameworks to better respond to COVID-19, by viewing future pandemics, biodiversity loss, and climate change as interconnected problems. Importantly, there needs to be greater focus on agriculture and food systems in discussions, establishing safeguards for carbon markets, and implementing nature-based solutions in meeting the Paris Agreement goals. We can no longer delay action to address the biodiversity and climate emergencies, and accelerating sustainable recovery plans through virtual spaces may help keep discussions and momentum before the resumption of in-person negotiations.
High ambition needed at UN biodiversity and climate conferences to address pandemics, biodiversity, climate change, and health.
Standard external beam radiotherapy is a treatment option for patients with localised prostate cancer and is used in patients with low-, intermediate- and high-risk disease with androgen deprivation according to the risk of the disease. In the last few years, hypofractionated radiotherapy has been demonstrated to be as safe as standard radiotherapy if given over a shorter time than standard radiotherapy with larger doses per fraction. External radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer typically delivers 37–42 fractions of 1·8–2·0 Gy per fraction given 5 days per week over 7·5–8·5 weeks. Hypofractionated radiotherapy delivers 20–28 fractions of 2·5–2·6 Gy per fraction given 5 days per week over 4–5·6 weeks.
A retrospective analysis of assessment of 30 patients was undertaken from 2016 to 2018. The aim of this study was to evaluate the 2-year outcomes of 30 patients with prostate cancer treated with hypofractionated radiotherapy 70 Gy in 28 fractions.
Biochemical failure with hypofractionated radiotherapy was found in a total of 20% of patients. In the classification by risk groups, there were no biochemical failures in low-risk patients; in the low intermediate course, 3·3% of patients; in the high intermediate group, 3·3% patients; and in the high-risk group, the largest documented biochemical failure was in 13·3% of patients. For acute urinary toxicity, grade I was 56·6%; grade II, 6·6%. For acute rectal toxicity, grade I was 46·6%; grade II, 3·3%.
This is one of the first studies of hypofractionated radiotherapy in prostate cancer in Latin America, and the results of this study demonstrated that the outcomes were similar to the standard regimen in all risk groups.
Objectives: Children with acquired brain injury (ABI) can present with disruptive behavior, which is often a consequence of injury and parent factors. Parent factors are associated with child disruptive behavior. Furthermore, disinhibition in the child also leads to disruptive behavior. However, it is unclear how these factors interact. We investigated whether parental factors influence child disruptive behavior following ABI and how these factors interact. Methods: Parents of 77 children with ABI participated in the study. Parent factors (executive dysfunction, trait-anxiety), potential intervention targets (dysfunctional parenting practices, parental stress, child disinhibition), and child disruptive behavior were assessed. A hypothetical model based on the literature was tested using mediation and path analysis. Results: Mediation analysis revealed that child disinhibition and dysfunctional parenting practices mediated the association of parent factors and child disruptive behavior. Parents’ executive dysfunction mediated the association of dysfunctional parenting practices, parental stress and parent trait-anxiety. Parenting practices mediated the association of executive dysfunction and child disruptive behavior. Path analysis indices indicated good model adjustment. Comparative and Tucker-Lewis Index were >0.95, and the root mean square error of approximation was 0.059, with a chi-square of 0.25. Conclusions: A low level of parental trait-anxiety may be required to reduce dysfunctional parenting practices and child disinhibition. Impairments in child disinhibition can be exacerbated when parents present with high trait-anxiety. Child disinhibition is the major contributor of disruptive behavior reported by parents and teachers. The current study provides evidence of parent anxiety and child disinhibition as possible modifiable intervention targets for reducing child disruptive behavior. (JINS, 2019, 25, 237–248)
In 2015 Dhruv Raina published Needham's Indian Network: The Search for a Home for the History of Science in India (1950–1970), bringing to light the long-range networks that institutionalized the disciplinary history of science in post-colonial India, and demonstrating the intellectual and infrastructural contributions of Joseph Needham (1900–1995) in this endeavour. This paper takes a different approach and turns to the way that Needham perceived Indian vis-à-vis Chinese civilization, and the role India played in Needham's historiography of science. It turns out that Needham's most sustained engagement with India could be found in his histories of medicine, bodily practices and alchemical traditions. In the first section of the paper, I outline the key concepts of ‘Grand Titration’ and ‘oecumenical science’ that animated Needham's historiography, which clarifies why Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, occupies a privileged status. The second section elaborates on Needham's scholarship and vision of acupuncture, involving the verification of acupuncture's reality and efficacy via Western biomedicine. He thought acupuncture would be China's unique contribution to a new ‘universal medicine’ in the modern age, but by contrast Needham saw little worth refurbishing in Indian medicine, arguing via an investigation in yoga that Indian practices were generally less ‘materialist’ and less ‘proto-scientific’. In the third section, I turn my attention to Needham's preoccupation with the history of alchemy around the world, and discuss his theorization on transmission and circulation of scientific knowledge. I comment on Needham's commitment to the thesis that European alchemy was a melting pot of Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arabic, Greek, Egyptian and Roman ideas and practices. While Needham reserved his ‘deepest love’ and ‘profoundest desire’ for Chinese civilization, India on the other hand often occupied a secondary status in his historical accounts, and in the conclusion I move from a critique of Needham's preconceptions to reflect on the writing of the history of non-Western science.
Diatoms are the most abundant resource of biosilica on Earth. These microalgae are encased in a 3-D amorphous silica “shell” called frustule whose size and morphology is strictly dependent on the diatom species. Naturally nanostructured biosilica from diatoms exhibit unique adsorption and confinement properties useful for delivery of molecules of pharmacological interest.In this work fossil biosilica was used as a carrier for Ophiobolin A (a fungal macrolide with anticancer and antiparasitic properties), with the aim to develop a model system of Ophiobolin A loading / delivery. Ophiobolin A delivery properties of fossil diatoms were investigated by spectophotometric analyses.
In-hospital transmission of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) among neonates remains enigmatic. We describe the epidemiology of MSSA colonization and infection in a 30-bed neonatal ward.
Multimodal outbreak investigation
A public 800-bed tertiary care university hospital in Switzerland
Investigations in 2012–2013, triggered by a MSSA infection cluster, included prospective MSSA infection surveillance, microbiologic screening of neonates and environment, onsite observations, and a prospective cohort study. MSSA isolates were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and selected isolates were examined for multilocus sequence type (MLST) and virulence factors.
Among 726 in 2012, 30 (4.1%) patients suffered from MSSA infections including 8 (1.1%) with bacteremia. Among 655 admissions in 2013, 13 (2.0%) suffered from MSSA infections including 2 (0.3%) with bacteremia. Among 177 neonates screened for S. aureus carriage, overall 77 (44%) tested positive. A predominant PFGE-1-ST30 strain was identified in 6 of 30 infected neonates (20%) and 30 of 77 colonized neonates (39%). This persistent clone was pvl-negative, tst-positive and belonged to agr group III. We found no environmental point source. MSSA carriage was associated with central vascular catheter use but not with a particular midwife, nurse, physician, or isolette. Observed healthcare worker behavior may have propagated transmission via hands and fomites. Despite multimodal interventions, clonal transmission and colonization continued and another clone, PFGE-6-ST5, became predominant.
Hospital-acquired MSSA clones represent a high proportion of MSSA colonization but not MSSA infections in neonate inpatients. In contrast to persisting MSSA, transmission infection rates decreased concurrently with interventions. It remains to be established whether eradication of hospital-acquired MSSA strains would reduce infection rates further.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1305–1312
Four issues are discussed: (1) differences between cognition and emotion; (2) affect, emotion, and motivation differentials, including a neuropsychological model of motivation; (3) mental attention (working memory) as a resource neither affective nor cognitive, but applicable to both; and (4) explication of neuropsychological scheme units, which have neuronal circuits as functional infrastructure, thus helping to clarify the semantics of functional connectivity.
We question memory reconsolidation and emotional arousal as sufficient determinants of therapeutic change. Generating new feelings and meanings must be contrasted with activating and stabilizing the evolving memories that reflect those novel experiences. Some therapeutic changes are not attributable to a memory model alone. “Emotional processing” is also needed and is often an undeclared form of complex executive problem solving.
A multidisciplinary study from a number of drilled cores in the Guadalquivir estuary has made possible to identify as many as three extreme wave events and their facies in the 4th millennium BP (A: ~ 4000 cal yr BP, B: ~ 3550 cal yr BP, and C: ~ 3150 cal yr BP). These events, which caused strong erosion in the Guadalquivir sandy barrier and in the neighboring aeolian systems of El Abalario, brought about significant paleogeographical changes that may have affected human settlements established in the area during the Neolithic and Copper Age periods and during the Middle Bronze Age. The three events can be spatially correlated and their facies differentiated from more proximal to more distal from the coastline. The most proximal facies is characterized by a massive accumulation of shells, a sandy or sandy–muddy matrix, an erosive base, a highly diverse mixture of species (marine and estuarine), and lithoclasts. The most distal facies presents a muddy–sandy matrix, dominance of estuarine fauna, shell accumulation, presence of terrestrial species, mudpebbles, pebbles in a clayey matrix, and bioturbation. The evidence presented will further advance scientific knowledge about the impact of extreme wave events on coastal areas in SW Iberia and NW Africa.
To provide questionnaires for clinical assessment with scales adapted for adolescents would benefit clinical practice as well as research. The aim of this paper is to report normative data for adolescents on the SCL-90-R using a probability sample from the community. The participants were 1,663 adolescents, 845 girls and 818 boys, with an average age of 14.26 (SD = 1.36). They were selected through stratified cluster sampling with groups randomly selected from schools. Sampling error was estimated at 4% with a 95.5% confidence level. Cohen´s d effect sizes are reported for age-group. We found significant differences across participants according to gender and age on SCL-90-R Global Scores and Symptom Dimensions. Thus, we provide normative data, divided according to age and gender.
This paper describes the fluctuations of temporal criteria dynamics in the context of professional sport. Specifically, we try to verify the underlying deterministic patterns in the outcomes of professional basketball players. We use a longitudinal approach based on the analysis of the outcomes of 94 basketball players over ten years, covering practically players' entire career development. Time series were analyzed with techniques derived from nonlinear dynamical systems theory. These techniques analyze the underlying patterns in outcomes without previous shape assumptions (linear or nonlinear). These techniques are capable of detecting an intermediate situation between randomness and determinism, called chaos. So they are very useful for the study of dynamic criteria in organizations. We have found most players (88.30%) have a deterministic pattern in their outcomes, and most cases are chaotic (81.92%). Players with chaotic patterns have higher outcomes than players with linear patterns. Moreover, players with power forward and center positions achieve better results than other players. The high number of chaotic patterns found suggests caution when appraising individual outcomes, when coaches try to find the appropriate combination of players to design a competitive team, and other personnel decisions. Management efforts must be made to assume this uncertainty.