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In recent years, more evidence is emerging in favor of a new form of depression, aka “Modern-Type Depression” (MTD). It has also been theorized that MTD may have multiple relationships with other psychiatric disorders, including techno-addictions.
Our study aims at clinically characterizing subjects with MTD in a sample of individuals affected with Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD).
1,157 subjects were recruited from a sample of Italian young people (aged 18-35), and selected only if they declared to be video game players (48.6%, n=542). Video game players filled out the 22-item Tarumi’s Modern-Type Depression Trait Scale (TACS-22), Motives for Online Gaming Questionnaire (MOGQ), Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short-Form (IGDS9-SF), Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire (POGQ), Multidimensional State Boredom Scale (MSBS), Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90). Subjects were classified as IGD+/IGD- and MTD+/MTD-. Descriptive analysis, Mann-Whitney’s U-test for independent data and Chi-square tests were carried out.
60.5% (n=328) of the sample were male. 21.7% (n=118) were positive to MTD. MTD subjects reported significantly higher scores at IGDS9-SF (p<0.001), POGQ (p<0.001), MOGQ (p=0.003), MSBS (p<0.001). Significant higher scores were found at the MOGQ subscales “reality avoidance” (p<0.001), “coping” (p=0.001), and “fantasy” (p<0.001) and at the SCL-90 subscales “interpersonal sensitivity” (p<0.001), “phobic anxiety” (p<0.001), and “psychoticism” (p<0.001).
MTD displayed a strong association with technopathies, particularly IGD. Therefore, further studies should evaluate whether MTD could represent a predictor to IGD onset and/or maintenance and adequately address this aspect from a preventive and treatment perspective.
International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11) has inserted complex post-traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD) as a clinically distinct disorder, different from PTSD. The diagnosis of cPTSD has the same requirements for the one of PTSD, in addition to disturbances of self-organization (DSO – e.g., disturbances in relationships, affect dysregulation, and negative self-concept).
This study aimed to explore suicidality in PTSD and cPTSD. We examined also the association between clinical dimensions of hopelessness (feelings, loss of motivation, future expectations) and other symptomatologic variables.
The sample, recruited at the Fondazione Policlinico Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, consisted of 189 subjects, 132 diagnosed with PTSD, and 57 with cPTSD, according to the ICD-11 criteria. Participants underwent the following clinical assessments: Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90), Dissociative Experience Scale (DES), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS).
cPTSD showed significantly higher BHS-total (p = 0.01) and BHS-loss of motivation subscale (p <0.001) scores than PTSD. Besides, cPTSD showed significantly higher scores in all clinical variables except for the IES-intrusive subscale. By controlling for the confounding factor “depression”, suicidality in cPTSD (and in particular the BHS-total) appears to be correlated with IES-total score (p = 0.042) and with DES-Absorption (p = 0.02). Differently, no such correlations are found in PTSD.
Our study shows significant symptomatologic differences between PTSD and cPTSD, including suicidality. Indeed, suicidality in cPTSD appears to be correlated with the “loss of motivation” dimension, which fits well within the ICD-11 criteria of DSO.
Cognitive function is impaired in depressive disorders. Among several factors implicated in regulation of the cognitive function, metabolic syndrome has been showed have a pivotal role cognitive functioning in healthy controls. However, the role of metabolic syndrome in regulating the cognitive functioning of subjects affected by depressive disorders is little studied.
To investigate the effect of metabolic syndrome in regulation of cognition in unipolar and bipolar depression.
One-hundred-sixty-five people affected by a depressive disorder (unipolar depression, UP; bipolar depression, BP) were enrolled at the Psychiatric and Clinic Psychology Unit of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. A group of healthy controls (HC) matched for agender and age was enrolled. The cognitive functions were evaluated with a computerized tool, THINC-it.
UP and BP had lower performances in THINC-it cognitive domains than HC. Metabolic syndrome is a negative, independent predictor of low performance in the THINC-it cognitive domains of people with depressive disorders.
Our findings confirm that metabolic syndrome has a prominent role in determining the cognitive efficiency in depressive disorders, independently by the presence of a unipolar or bipolar depressive disorder. Metabolic syndrome has to be considered a major factor that should be considered in the treatment strategies of cognitive functioning improvement of people affected by depressive disorders.
Amongst different subtypes of Conversion Disorder (CD), DSM-V lists the Psychogenic Non-epileptic seizures (PNES). PNES are defined as episodes that visually resemble epileptic seizures but, etiologically, they are not due to electrical discharges in the brain.
Our study aims to explore the differences between PNES and other CDs. In particular, we studied the suicidality and its correlations with dissociation and alexithymia.
Patients, recruited from the Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology Unit of the Fondazione Policlinico Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, were diagnosed with PNES (n=22) and CD (n=16) using the DSM-5 criteria. Patients underwent the following clinical assessments: HAM-D, BDI, DES, BHS, TAS, CTQ.
PNES showed significantly higher scores than CD in all assessments, except for BDI-somatic (p=0.39), BHS-feeling (p=0.86), and the presence of childhood trauma. PNES also showed significantly higher suicidality (p = 0.003). By controlling for the confounding factor “depression”, in PNES suicidality (and in particular the BHS-loss of motivation) appears to be correlated with DES-total score (p = 0.008), DES-amnesia (p = 0.002) and DES -derealization-depersonalization (p = 0.003). On the other hand, in CDs, the BHS-total score shows a correlation with the TAS-total score (p = 0.03) and BHS-Feelings with TAS-Externally-Oriented Thinking (p = 0.035), while only the BHS-Loss of motivation appears correlated with DES-Absorption (p = 0.011).
Our study shows significant differences between PNES and CD, in several symptomatologic dimensions, including suicidality. Indeed, in PNES suicidality appears to be related to dissociation, while in CDs it appears mainly to be correlated with alexithymia.
The deficiency of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and an alteration between the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 PUFAs may contribute to the pathogenesis of depressive disorders.
To investigate the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 in red cell membranes (mPUFAs) and plasma (pPUFAs) of patients with treatment-resistant (TRD) and non-treatment resistant depression (non-TRD).
TRD and non-TRD consisted of 75 patients enrolled at the Psychiatric and Clinic Psychology Unit of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, and met the DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD). A group of healthy controls (HC) matched for agender and age was enrolled. All blood samples were performed in conditions of an empty stomach between 07:00 am and 09:00 am. For each subject were obtained 5 ml of whole blood with the use of tubes for plasma with EDTA as an anticoagulant. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for omega-3 and arachidonic acid (AA) for omega-6 were measured.
Levels of pPUFAs did not differ between the three groups. The mPUFAs were altered in the MDD. TRD and non-TRD had lower EPA and AA values respect to the HC. DHA in red cell membranes was lower in TRD than non-TRD and HC.
Changes in levels of PUFAs in red cell membranes, but not in plasma, may be an important factor to evaluate the resistance to the pharmacological treatment.
Patients with sleep disorders have a significant increase in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, at the assessment and lifetime (Goodwin et al, 2008; Chellappa et al, 2007; Wojnar et al, 2009; Li et al, 2010).
To evaluate the relationship between sleep disorders and suicidal behavior.
To study factors associated with a diagnosis of insomnia in patients admitted to the Emergency Department.
Participants were 843 patients consecutively admitted to the Emergency Department of the Sant’Andrea University Hospital in Rome, Italy, between January and December 2010. All patients admitted were referred to a psychiatrist. A clinical interview based on the MINI and a semi structured interview were performed. Patients were asked about “ongoing” suicidal ideation or plans for suicide. Clinical diagnoses were assigned according to ICD-10 criteria.
48% received a diagnosis of a mood disorders (BD and MDD) or anxiety disorders, 17.1% Schizophrenia or other non-affective psychosis. Patients with insomnia had more frequently a diagnosis of BD (23.9% vs. 12.4%) or MDD (13.3% vs. 9.5%; P< 0.001). Patients with insomnia less frequently had attempted suicide in the past 24 hours (5.3% vs. 9.5%; P< 0.05) than other patients, but suicide attempters with insomnia more frequently used violent methods (64.3% vs. 23.6%; P< 0.01) than suicide attempters without insomnia.
Our results support a relationship between sleep disorders and suicidal behavior. Clinicians should pay attention to sleep disorders when assessing suicide attempters; in fact, such conditions may have important clinical implications.
Phase separation of InxGa1−xN into Ga-rich and In-rich regions has been studied by electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a monochromated, aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). We analyze the full spectral information contained in EELS of InGaN, combining for the first time studies of high-energy and low-energy ionization edges, plasmon, and valence losses. Elemental maps of the N K, In M4,5 and Ga L2,3 edges recorded by spectrum imaging at 100 kV reveal sub-nm fluctuations of the local indium content. The low energetic edges of Ga M4,5 and In N4,5 partially overlap with the plasmon peaks. Both have been fitted iteratively to a linear superimposition of reference spectra for GaN, InN, and InGaN, providing a direct measurement of phase separation at the nm-scale. Bandgap measurements are limited in real space by scattering delocalization rather than the electron beam size to ∼10 nm for small bandgaps, and their energetic accuracy by the method of fitting the onset of the joint density of states rather than energy resolution. For an In0.62Ga0.38N thin film we show that phase separation occurs on several length scales.
In the modern galaxy surveys photometric redshifts play a central role in a broad range of studies, from gravitational lensing and dark matter distribution to galaxy evolution. Using a dataset of ~ 25,000 galaxies from the second data release of the Kilo Degree Survey (KiDS) we obtain photometric redshifts with five different methods: (i) Random forest, (ii) Multi Layer Perceptron with Quasi Newton Algorithm, (iii) Multi Layer Perceptron with an optimization network based on the Levenberg-Marquardt learning rule, (iv) the Bayesian Photometric Redshift model (or BPZ) and (v) a classical SED template fitting procedure (Le Phare). We show how SED fitting techniques could provide useful information on the galaxy spectral type which can be used to improve the capability of machine learning methods constraining systematic errors and reduce the occurrence of catastrophic outliers. We use such classification to train specialized regression estimators, by demonstrating that such hybrid approach, involving SED fitting and machine learning in a single collaborative framework, is capable to improve the overall prediction accuracy of photometric redshifts.
We present METAPHOR (Machine-learning Estimation Tool for Accurate PHOtometric Redshifts), a method able to provide a reliable PDF for photometric galaxy redshifts estimated through empirical techniques. METAPHOR is a modular workflow, mainly based on the MLPQNA neural network as internal engine to derive photometric galaxy redshifts, but giving the possibility to easily replace MLPQNA with any other method to predict photo-z’s and their PDF. We present here the results about a validation test of the workflow on the galaxies from SDSS-DR9, showing also the universality of the method by replacing MLPQNA with KNN and Random Forest models. The validation test include also a comparison with the PDF’s derived from a traditional SED template fitting method (Le Phare).
The reaction pathway for shallow arsenic doping of silicon by methylarsenic acid molecules directly grafted on oxide-free, H-terminated Si(111) surfaces is unraveled combining Infrared absorption spectroscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Low Energy Ion Scattering and ab initio Molecular Dynamics simulations. The overall driving force is identified as a thermodynamic instability of As+5 in contact with silicon, which initiates a self-decomposition of chemisorbed methylarsenic molecules at ∼600 K. As the temperature is increased, the As-C bond breaks -- the weakest link of the adsorbed molecule -- with release of the organic ligand and a rearrangement from a monodentate to a bidentate bonding configuration. In this process, oxygen atoms evolve by partial desorption as H2O and partial incorporation into the surface Si atom backbonds. At ∼1050 K, diffusion of As into the sub-surface region of silicon is observed. There is no evidence for As desorption and no remaining C contamination.
We report the installation and performance evaluation of a probe aberration-corrected high-resolution JEOL JEM-ARM200F transmission electron microscope (TEM). We provide details on construction of the room that enables us to obtain scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) data without any evident distortions/noise from the external environment. The microscope routinely delivers expected performance. We show that the highest STEM spatial resolution and energy resolution achieved with this microscope are 0.078 nm and 0.34 eV, respectively. We report a direct comparative evaluation of the performance of this microscope with a Schottky thermal field-emission gun versus a cold field-emission gun. Cold field-emission illumination improves spatial resolution of the high current probe for analytical spectroscopy, the TEM information limit, and the electron energy resolution compared to the Schottky thermal field-emission source.
Using first-principles calculations, we investigate lithium vacancy and interstitial defects in lithium phosphate (γ-Li3PO4) and in its interface with metallic Li. We find that γ-Li3PO4 is good electronic insulator with a wide band gap of 6 eV. The calculated formation energies of Li vacancies are higher than those of Li interstitials, which indicate that the ionic conductivity is determined by the migration of Li interstitial defects in bulk electrolyte. The Li vacancy-interstitial pair defect formation energy in the Li/γ-Li3PO4 interface is comparable to the sum of Li vacancy defect at the electrode and Li ion interstitial defect in the electrolyte. Our calculation indicates that the low ionic conductivity of Li/electrolyte interface is associated with the high Li ion defect formation energy. Our study provides some useful insights on Li defect formation and migration mechanisms at the electrode-electrolyte interface and, hence, a research direction for designing future Li-ion batteries.
Zn7Sb2O12 is known to adopt an inverse spinel crystal structure, in which Zn2+ occupies the eight tetrahedral positions and Sb5+ and Zn2+ randomly occupy the 16 octahedral positions. Samples of Zn7−xNixSb2O12 (x=0, 1, 2, 3, and 4) were synthesized using a modified polymeric precursor method, known as the Pechini method. The crystal structure of the powders was characterized by Rietveld refinement with X-ray diffraction data. The results show that for x=0, 1, and 2 Ni substitutes for Zn2+ in the octahedral sites, and that for x=3 and 4 it is assumed that Ni2+ replaces Zn2+ ions in both the octahedral and tetrahedral positions. It is also observed for x=3 and 4 the formation of two spinel phases.
Ruminal fermentation produces methane (CH4), which represents a loss of feed energy and a significant source of greenhouse gas. Researches have been searching for ways of inhibiting ruminal CH4 yield and promising results have been achieved in in vitro assays (Hu et al., 2005). The in vitro gas production technique can predict the in vivo enteric CH4 production from ruminants. Our research focused on the effect of 2-Bromoethanesulfonic acid (BES) on gas and CH4 production and microbial variation of Lucerne and Tifton-85 hays fermented in vitro.
Researches worldwide have been studying ruminal methane production in vitro and the in vitro gas production technique has demonstrated an ability to predict the in vivo enteric methane production from ruminants (Getachew et al., 2005; Tavendale et al., 2005). Studies of rumen microbial ecology in animals fed with tannin rich plants have demonstrated that tannins can affect rumen ecology. The objective of this study was to measure methane (CH4) production of Brazilian tannin rich plants incubated in vitro.
Brazil has arid regions where livestock production is limited by forage source. However, some native herbaceous browses have a dry tolerance and have been used as animal feeds. Some of those plants have anti nutritional compounds such as tannins that can interfere on intake and digestibility. Tannins have a high affinity to proteins and could make these molecules unavailable for animal. Compounds as polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been used on tannin studies, because it has more affinity with tannins than proteins. Based on that, it is possible to evaluate the nutritive potential of tanniniferous plants, using PEG in gas based techniques for assessing anti nutritional factors in tanniniferous plants for ruminants. The aim of this work was to investigate the biological activity of tannins using the in vitro gas method with the addition of polyethylene glycol (PEG).