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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
Implicit memories like consumption habits and conditioned reactions to drug-related stimuli are operational in addiction and relapse. The affective startle paradigm is an attractive tool for the measurement of the incentive salience of drug-related cues. We tested whether the stronger appetitive valence of drug cues, shown in two recent startle studies in smokers, does persist after prolonged abstinence, and may thus contribute to relapse.
We examined the auditory startle reflex magnitude of mildly deprived (4-6 hours) heavy smokers (n = 24), former smokers (n = 16, mean abstinence interval 18 months), and non-smokers (n = 24) while they viewed smoking-related scenes or standardized unpleasant, neutral and pleasant control scenes from the International Affective Picture System.
As expected, non-smokers showed no appetitive reactions toward smoking-cues. In smokers, smoking-cues had both appetitive implicit (startle suppression) and explicit (ratings for valence and craving) motivational effects, resembling those of pleasant scenes and differing from neutral and unpleasant scenes. This effect was more pronounced in smokers who later relapsed after a smoking cessation program, and in smokers consuming less than 20 cigarettes per day. Former smokers, despite reporting no craving and negative reactions to smoking cues, still showed evidence of implicit appetitive valence of these cues.
Nicotine addiction results in automatic appetitive reactions to drug-cues, which does not vanish after prolonged abstinence and which may thus contribute to relapses. Heavy smoking may result in a progressive internalization of smoking habits and a decline in reactivity towards external smoking-associated cues.
To assess the differences in comorbid lifetime substance use (tobacco, alcohol and drug use) between eating disorder (ED) patients and healthy controls.
Participants were a consecutive series of 779 ED cases, who had been referred to specialised ED units in five European countries. The ED cases were compared to a balanced control group of 785 healthy individuals. Assessment: Participants completed the Substance Use Subscale of the Cross Cultural Questionnaire (CCQ), a measure of lifetime tobacco, alcohol and drug use. In the control group, also the GHQ-28, the SCID-I interview and the EAT-26 were used.
ED patients had higher lifetime consumption of tobacco and drugs (p <0.01). The only insignificant result was obtained for alcohol (OR= 1.29; δ =0.157; N.S.) and cannabis use (OR= 1.21; δ = 0.037, N.S.). Significant differences across ED sub diagnoses also emerged for all of the assessed variables (p<0.01), with the BN and AN-BP patients generally presenting the highest prevalence rates. The only exception was detected for alcohol consumption where EDNOS patients demonstrated the highest values (p=0.008). Only a few cultural differences between countries emerged (p<0.05).
Lifetime tobacco and drug use but not alcohol consumption are more prevalent in ED patients than healthy controls. While alcohol appears to be more common in EDNOS, smoking and drug use are more frequent in patients with bulimic symptomatology. The differential risk observed in patients with bulimic features might be related to differences in temperament or might be the result of increased sensitivity to reward.
To examine whether there is an association between individual and family eating patterns during childhood and early adolescence and the likelihood of developing an eating disorder (ED) later in life.
Participants were a consecutive series of 879 ED cases from five different European countries. The ED cases were compared to a control group of 785 healthy individuals. Assessment: Participants completed the Early Eating Environmental Subscale of the Cross-Cultural (Environmental) Questionnaire (CCQ), a retrospective measure, which has been developed to detect dimensions associated with EDs in different countries. In the control group, also the GHQ-28, the SCID-I interview and the EAT-26 were used.
Five individual CatPCA procedures revealed five predetermined dimensions which were labeled: 1.) food as individualization; 2.) control and rules about food; 3.) food as social glue; 4.) healthy eating and 5.) food neglect. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the domains with the strongest effects were: food used as individualization (p=0.001; OR=1.76) and control and rules about food (p=0.001; OR=1.76). Conversely, healthy eating was negatively related to a later ED (p=0.001; OR=0.629). The pattern of associated ED factors was found to very between countries. There was very little difference in early eating behavior on the subtypes of the ED.
The fragmentation of meals within the family and control and rules about food appears to be linked to the development of a subsequent ED. On the other hand mantaining a structured and balanced diet during infancy seems to protect from a later ED.
Despite continuing political, legal and moral debate on the subject, assisted suicide is permitted in only a few countries worldwide. However, few studies have examined the impact that witnessing assisted suicide has on the mental health of family members or close friends.
A cross-sectional survey of 85 family members or close friends who were present at an assisted suicide was conducted in December 2007. Full or partial Post-Traumatic Distress Disorder (PTSD; Impact of Event Scale–Revised), depression and anxiety symptoms (Brief Symptom Inventory) and complicated grief (Inventory of Complicated Grief) were assessed at 14 to 24 months post-loss.
Of the 85 participants, 13% met the criteria for full PTSD (cut-off≥35), 6.5% met the criteria for subthreshold PTSD (cut-off≥25), and 4.9% met the criteria for complicated grief. The prevalence of depression was 16%; the prevalence of anxiety was 6%.
A higher prevalence of PTSD and depression was found in the present sample than has been reported for the Swiss population in general. However, the prevalence of complicated grief in the sample was comparable to that reported for the general Swiss population. Therefore, although there seemed to be no complications in the grief process, about 20% of respondents experienced full or subthreshold PTSD related to the loss of a close person through assisted suicide.
The aim of this study was to detect longitudinal differences in white matter brain structures in adults with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls.
Twenty adult patients with multi-episode schizophrenia under stable antipsychotic medication and twenty-two age- and sex-matched healthy subjects were included in the study. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) was applied at baseline (t1), after 6weeks (t2) and after 3months (t3) and data processing was done with tract-based spatial statistics (p<0.05, corrected). Two subjects in the schizophrenic sample dropped out at t2 and one healthy subject at t3. Clinical and neuropsychological variables were measured and correlated with the most significant DTI findings.
Compared with healthy age- and sex-matched controls schizophrenic patients showed widespread decreases in mean fractional anisotropy values (p<0.05, corrected). The most obvious FA decrease in the long-term was found in the anterior part of the corpus callosum (p<0.005, corrected), the left temporal lobe (p<0.004, corr.) and the mid-cingulate gyrus bilateral (p<0.004, corr.). Correlations to demographic variables, clinical rating scales (PANSS, CGI and GAF), verbal learning and memory and working memory will be presented.
Magnetic resonance imaging was able to detect altered structural connectivity in patients with multi-episode schizophrenia in a longitudinal design.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is currently investigated for the treatmentof various neuropsychiatric disorders. Neuroplastic effects may be achieved by prolonged neuronal depolarization/hyperpolarization.
Schizophrenia studies revealed a neuroplasticity deficit of cortical areas. Promising results of anodal/cathodal tDCS for acute and chronic symptoms were shown in one randomized clinical trial and several case reports.
To improve negative symptoms, anodal tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and cathodal tDCS above the supraorbital region was used. Clinical scores were assessed with Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) and Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS).
20 patients with predominant negative symptoms and stable medication (>3 weeks) were randomized to active or sham group. Anode was placed over the left DLPFC, cathode over right orbit. 2 mA tDCS was delivered 10 times within weeks 1 and 2. Concomitant medication was continued. Functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) was performed before and after tDCS.
Post-hoc test (least significant difference, factor ‘group’) showed significant PANSS amelioration in the active group (p = 0.014) for the follow-up, two weeks after the end of stimulation. SANS revealed significant improvement in the active group in week 1 (p = 0.047), week 2 (p = 0.005), and follow-up (p = 0.011). In the active group, fcMRI showed a significant deactivated cluster (corrected p< 0.05) in the anatomical regions of ncl. accumbens, subgenual cortex and striatum.
tDCS is a promising tool to improve various schizophrenic symptoms that are otherwise often difficult to treat.
Over the last decade, the study of functional connectivity networks has dramatically expanded across diverse research fields as functional MRI connectivity (fcMRI) or EEG connectivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate functional connectivity in the course of the day using two different imaging methods.
27 healthy subjects (male and female students in the age-range between 18-30 years) underwent 6 repeated fcMRI measurements over 12 hours in a 3T Philips Achieva MR scanner. The subjects were instructed to close their eyes and not to think on anything in particular. Resting State EEG was recorded outside the MR scanner with eyes closed and eyes open using a Brain MR Amplifier with 32 channels. Sleep deprivation was kept constant across subjects and the subjects were restricted to low-calorie food. EEG was analysed for coherence and EEG-phase between all EEg channels in sensor and source space.
The time course of 20 functional MRI networks were extracted and previous described functional networks were found. Eyes closed and eyes open EEG showed similar and distinct spatial correspondence. We found a good overlap for the Default Mode Network and the Frontal-parietal network. Day of time influenced the EEG measurements partly.
The findings of fcMRI and EEG connectivity are unique with high spatial resolution for fcMRI and high temporal resolution for EEG. Both measurements methods contribute further to our understanding of complex functional connectivity networks.
Vertigo and anxiety are frequent symptoms in both psychiatric and vertigo patients, especially in those with phobic postural vertigo (PPV). The aim of this study was the investigation of anxiety-associated functional responses in PPV patients compared to healthy controls. For that purpose cholecystokinin tetrapeptide (CCK-4), a valid model to experimentally induce anxiety symptoms, was used.
15 PPV patients and 15 matched healthy controls underwent challenges with CCK-4. During the paradigm, participants did not know the exact time point of the injection in order to separate the anticipatory and CCK-4 induced anxiety. The panic symptom scale score was assessed before and after the injection.
During anticipatory anxiety healthy controls showed functional responses mainly in fronto-temporal regions. Patients suffering from PPV showed pronounced BOLD responses in the (ventral) anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex and precuneus. In healthy subjects, CCK-4 induced anxiety was accompanied by activations in the medial and inferior frontal cortex. In PPV, the CCK-4 injection led to increased activities particularly in the ACC, the cuneus, the cerebellum, the amygdala and fronto-temporal regions.
Given the fact of increased neuronal responses in emotion-related brain areas in patients with anxiety disorders these findings could provide evidence for common aspects of phobic postural vertigo and anxiety disorders.
One of the biggest challenges for in situ heating transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is the ability to measure the local temperature of the specimen accurately. Despite technological improvements in the construction of TEM/STEM heating holders, the problem of being able to measure the real sample temperature is still the subject of considerable discussion. In this study, we review the present literature on methodologies for temperature calibration. We analyze calibration methods that require the use of a thermometric material in addition to the specimen under study, as well as methods that can be performed directly on the specimen of interest without the need for a previous calibration. Finally, an overview of the most important characteristics of all the treated techniques, including temperature ranges and uncertainties, is provided in order to provide an accessory database to consult before an in situ TEM/STEM temperature calibration experiment.
We study stimulated generation – the transfer of energy from balanced flows to existing internal waves – using an asymptotic model that couples barotropic quasi-geostrophic flow and near-inertial waves with
vertical structure, where
is the vertical wavenumber and
is the vertical coordinate. A detailed description of the conservation laws of this vertical-plane-wave model illuminates the mechanism of stimulated generation associated with vertical vorticity and lateral strain. There are two sources of wave potential energy, and corresponding sinks of balanced kinetic energy: the refractive convergence of wave action density into anti-cyclones (and divergence from cyclones); and the enhancement of wave-field gradients by geostrophic straining. We quantify these energy transfers and describe the phenomenology of stimulated generation using numerical solutions of an initially uniform inertial oscillation interacting with mature freely evolving two-dimensional turbulence. In all solutions, stimulated generation co-exists with a transfer of balanced kinetic energy to large scales via vortex merging. Also, geostrophic straining accounts for most of the generation of wave potential energy, representing a sink of 10 %–20 % of the initial balanced kinetic energy. However, refraction is fundamental because it creates the initial eddy-scale lateral gradients in the near-inertial field that are then enhanced by advection. In these quasi-inviscid solutions, wave dispersion is the only mechanism that upsets stimulated generation: with a barotropic balanced flow, lateral straining enhances the wave group velocity, so that waves accelerate and rapidly escape from straining regions. This wave escape prevents wave energy from cascading to dissipative scales.
Identifying the transmission sources and reservoirs of Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) is a long-standing question for pneumococcal epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and vaccine policy. Here we use serotype to identify SP transmission and examine acquisitions (in the same household, local community, and county, or of unidentified origin) in a longitudinal cohort of children and adults from the Navajo Nation and the White Mountain Apache American Indian Tribes. We found that adults acquire SP relatively more in the household than other age groups, and children 2–8 years old typically acquire in their own or surrounding communities. Age-specific transmission probability matrices show that transmissions within household were mostly seen from older to younger siblings. Outside the household, children most often transmit to other children in the same age group, showing age-assortative mixing behavior. We find toddlers and older children to be most involved in SP transmission and acquisition, indicating their role as key drivers of SP epidemiology. Although infants have high carriage prevalence, they do not play a central role in transmission of SP compared with toddlers and older children. Our results are relevant to inform alternative pneumococcal conjugate vaccine dosing strategies and analytic efforts to inform optimization of vaccine programs, as well as assessing the transmission dynamics of pathogens transmitted by close contact in general.
When using bifunctional core@shell catalysts, the stability of both the shell and core–shell interface is crucial for catalytic applications. In the present study, we elucidate the stability of a CuO/ZnO/Al2O3@ZSM-5 core@shell material, used for one-stage synthesis of dimethyl ether from synthesis gas. The catalyst stability was studied in a hierarchical manner by complementary environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and in situ hard X-ray ptychography with a specially designed in situ cell. Both reductive activation and reoxidation were applied. The core–shell interface was found to be stable during reducing and oxidizing treatment at 250°C as observed by ETEM and in situ X-ray ptychography, although strong changes occurred in the core on a 10 nm scale due to the reduction of copper oxide to metallic copper particles. At 350°C, in situ X-ray ptychography indicated the occurrence of structural changes also on the µm scale, i.e. the core material and parts of the shell undergo restructuring. Nevertheless, the crucial core–shell interface required for full bifunctionality appeared to remain stable. This study demonstrates the potential of these correlative in situ microscopy techniques for hierarchically designed catalysts.
There is limited information on the presentation and characteristics of psychotic illness experienced by people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
To describe autistic and psychotic phenomenology in a group of individuals with comorbid ASD and psychosis (ASD–P) and compare this group with populations affected by either, alone.
We studied 116 individuals with ASD–P. We compared features of their ASD with people with ASD and no comorbid psychosis (ASD–NP), and clinical characteristics of psychosis in ASD–P with people with psychosis only.
Individuals with ASD–P had more diagnoses of atypical psychosis and fewer of schizophrenia compared with individuals with psychosis only. People with ASD–P had fewer stereotyped interests/behaviours compared with those with ASD–NP.
Our data show there may be a specific subtype of ASD linked to comorbid psychosis. The results support findings that psychosis in people with ASD is often atypical, particularly regarding affective disturbance.