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Research is needed to explore whether cognitive flexibility may account for potential gender differences after mindfulness-based interventions.
To compare the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) versus a Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation (MER) intervention on cognitive flexibility according to gender.
This study was carried out in a Mental Health Unit in Spain (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid). Firstly, 80 adult patients with anxiety disorders were randomized according to the score on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (blocking factor), of whom, 64 patients decided to participate (mean age = 40.66, S.D. = 11.43; 40 females). Each intervention was weekly, during 8 weeks, guided by two Clinical Psychology residents. A 2x2x2 mixed ANOVA (pre-post change x intervention type x gender) was conducted, with Sidak-correction post hoc tests. The dependent variable was the score on TMT-B.
A natural logarithmic transformation was conducted to correct violation of normality and homoscedasticity assumptions. No statistically significant differences were observed on age or gender between interventions. No statistically significant interaction effect was observed between pre-post change x intervention x gender [F(1, 52) = .014, p = .907]. An interaction effect was observed between pre-post change x intervention [F(1, 52) = 4.180, p = .046; statistical power observed = 52%]: while TMT-B improved after ACT (p = .001; Cohen’s d = 0.607), there were no changes after MER (p = .367; Cohen’s d = 0.097).
These medium effect-size results confirm previous findings of our research team indicating cognitive flexibility improves after ACT but not after MER.
Results about the effects of mindfulness training on the executive function of inhibition are mixed. Research about interventions in anxiety disorders is needed to exam the differential efficacy among men and women, and the factors involved in those potential gender differences.
To compare the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) versus a Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation (MER) intervention on inhibitory control according to gender.
This study was carried out in a Mental Health Unit in Spain (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid). Firstly, 80 adult patients with anxiety disorders were randomized according to the score on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (blocking factor), of whom, 64 patients decided to participate (mean age = 40.66, S.D. = 11.43; 40 females). Each intervention was weekly, during 8 weeks, guided by two Clinical Psychology residents. A 2x2x2 mixed ANOVA (pre-post change x intervention type x gender) was conducted, with Sidak-correction post-hoc tests. The dependent variable was the Interference score of the Stroop test.
Normality and homoscedasticity assumptions were met. No statistically significant differences were observed on age or gender between interventions. A statistically significant interaction effect was observed between pre-post change x intervention x gender on Interference [F(1, 52) = 5.004, p = .030; statistical power observed = 59.3%]. Improvement in interference was larger for women after ACT (p = .000) and for men after MER (p = .002).
These preliminary results show improvements in inhibition after the two interventions examined. However, each treatment maximizes improvement in different ways according to gender. Further research is required.
Mycobacterium kansasii is a nontuberculous mycobacterium that causes infection associated with past or current tuberculosis disease. Clinical syndromes and radiological findings are mostly indistinguishable from that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, thus requiring microbiological confirmation.
We report a case of a 44-year-old man diagnosed with schizophrenia and Mycobacterium kansasii infection.
Case report and non-systematic narrative review from PubMed.
Case report: Patient with schizophrenia who was admitted at the inpatient unit presenting psychotic exacerbation with high levels of excitement. Risperidone 6 mg/day and valproate 500 mg/day were initiated. He was also diagnosed with a M. kansasii lung infection, with radiological findings of past tuberculosis disease. Before the microbiological confirmation, it was necessary to start rifampicin, requiring an increase in doses of both psychotropic drugs. Review: (1)Comorbidity of mycobacterial infections and schizophrenia. Several studies have shown that people with severe mental illness have higher rates of tuberculosis compared with the general population. Although the relationship between tuberculosis and M. Kansasii infection is known, few literature is available with regard to the association of M. Kansasii and schizophrenia. (2)Interactions between antipsychotics and mood stabilizers with rifampicin. Rifampicin is mainly metabolized by CYP3A4 and transported by P-glycoprotein. Add-on with rifampicin have been reported to reduce clozapine and olanzapine plasma levels (despite both are metabolized by CYP1A2), reduce haloperidol and risperidone levels (possible role of P-glycoprotein in this interaction), as well as for valproate.
Treatment of comorbid infections in people with schizophrenia remains a challenge. Antibiotics used to treat mycobacterial infections can modify the pharmacokinetic of psychotropic drugs.
There are no studies which address the relationship between mindfulness and cognitive flexibility in interventions carried out online. This is the first study to examine the effect of two online mindfulness-based interventions on this cognitive function.
To assess changes on cognitive flexibility after two online mindfulness-based group interventions in adult patients with anxiety disorders.
This study was carried out in a Mental Health Unit in Spain (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid). Thirteen adult patients (age mean = 51.69 years, ranging from 33 to 69 years, S.D. = 11.56) with anxiety disorders completed the interventions. The group treatments were Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and a Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation intervention, during 8 weeks, guided by two Clinical Psychology residents. Both interventions were carried out online. The dependent variable was the score on the TMT-B (seconds). A comparison of paired-means was conducted. Statistical significance was set at p < .05.
The normality assumption was met. Statistical power observed = 70.0%. The paired t-test showed statistically significant change between pre-treatment and post-treatment (p = 0.019; Cohen’s d = 0.75), indicating improvement on cognitive flexibility.
These results show a statistically significant and medium/large effect-size change in cognitive flexibility after the two online interventions based on mindfulness. A larger sample size is required to confirm these results. Moreover, other studies need to examine the reliable change on this neuropsychological outcome.
The relationship between attentional functioning and mindfulness is an intensive field of study, mainly in face-to-face interventions. However, no neuropsychological study addressed the effect of online mindfulness-based interventions on this cognitive function.
To assess changes on attentional functioning after two online mindfulness-based group interventions in adult patients with anxiety disorders.
This study was carried out in a Mental Health Unit in Spain (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid). Thirteen adult patients (age mean = 51.69 years, ranging from 33 to 69 years, S.D. = 11.56) with anxiety disorders completed the interventions. The group treatments were Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and a Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation intervention, during 8 weeks, guided by two Clinical Psychology residents. Both interventions were carried out online. The dependent variables were the scores on the TMT-A (seconds), Digit span forward and Longest digit span forward (WAIS-IV). A comparison of paired-means was conducted. Statistical significance was set at p < .05.
The normality assumption was met except for Longest digit span forward. The paired t-test showed statistically significant change between pre-treatment and post-treatment on TMT-A [t(12)= 3.81; p = 0.002; Cohen’s d = 1.056; statistical power observed = 94.0%], but not on Digit span forward (p = .45). Wilcoxon signed ranks test showed no statistically significant change on Longest digit span forward (p = .56).
These results show a large improvement on visual attention and speed of visuomotor tracking, but not on auditive attention, after both online mindfulness-based group interventions.
There is paucity of empirical studies which compare various mindfulness-based interventions on speed of visuomotor tracking and also analyse the differential effect of gender.
To compare the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) versus a Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation (MER) intervention on speed of visuomotor tracking according to gender.
This study was carried out in a Mental Health Unit in Spain (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid). Firstly, 80 adult patients with anxiety disorders were randomized according to the score on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (blocking factor), of whom, 64 patients decided to participate (mean age = 40.66, S.D. = 11.43; 40 females). Each intervention was weekly, during 8 weeks, guided by two Clinical Psychology residents. A 2x2x2 mixed ANOVA (pre-post change x intervention type x gender) was conducted, with Sidak-correction post-hoc tests. The dependent variable was the score on TMT-A.
Normality and homoscedasticity assumptions were met. No statistically significant differences were observed on age or gender between interventions. No statistically significant interaction effect was observed between pre-post change x intervention x gender on TMT-A [F(1, 52) = 2.867, p = .096, statistical power observed = 38.3%]. However, simple effects were statistically significant: while males improved on TMT-A after MER (p = .000; Cohen’s d = 1.092), females did so after ACT (p = .000; Cohen’s d = 1.506).
These results show that gender moderates the improvement of the two mindfulness-based interventions examined on the speed of visuomotor tracking. More research is needed to confirm these findings.
Darwin's frogs Rhinoderma darwinii and Rhinoderma rufum are the only known species of amphibians in which males brood their offspring in their vocal sacs. We propose these frogs as flagship species for the conservation of the Austral temperate forests of Chile and Argentina. This recommendation forms part of the vision of the Binational Conservation Strategy for Darwin's Frogs, which was launched in 2018. The strategy is a conservation initiative led by the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, which in 2017 convened 30 governmental, non-profit and private organizations from Chile, Argentina and elsewhere. Darwin's frogs are iconic examples of the global amphibian conservation crisis: R. rufum is categorized as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) on the IUCN Red List, and R. darwinii as Endangered. Here we articulate the conservation planning process that led to the development of the conservation strategy for these species and present its main findings and recommendations. Using an evidence-based approach, the Binational Conservation Strategy for Darwin's Frogs contains a comprehensive status review of Rhinoderma spp., including critical threat analyses, and proposes 39 prioritized conservation actions. Its goal is that by 2028, key information gaps on Rhinoderma spp. will be filled, the main threats to these species will be reduced, and financial, legal and societal support will have been achieved. The strategy is a multi-disciplinary, transnational endeavour aimed at ensuring the long-term viability of these unique frogs and their particular habitat.
Brain imaging studies have shown altered amygdala activity during emotion processing in children and adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) compared to typically developing children and adolescents (TD). Here we aimed to assess whether aggression-related subtypes (reactive and proactive aggression) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits predicted variation in amygdala activity and skin conductance (SC) response during emotion processing.
We included 177 participants (n = 108 cases with disruptive behaviour and/or ODD/CD and n = 69 TD), aged 8–18 years, across nine sites in Europe, as part of the EU Aggressotype and MATRICS projects. All participants performed an emotional face-matching functional magnetic resonance imaging task.
Differences between cases and TD in affective processing, as well as specificity of activation patterns for aggression subtypes and CU traits, were assessed. Simultaneous SC recordings were acquired in a subsample (n = 63). Cases compared to TDs showed higher amygdala activity in response to negative faces (fearful and angry) v. shapes. Subtyping cases according to aggression-related subtypes did not significantly influence on amygdala activity; while stratification based on CU traits was more sensitive and revealed decreased amygdala activity in the high CU group. SC responses were significantly lower in cases and negatively correlated with CU traits, reactive and proactive aggression.
Our results showed differences in amygdala activity and SC responses to emotional faces between cases with ODD/CD and TD, while CU traits moderate both central (amygdala) and peripheral (SC) responses. Our insights regarding subtypes and trait-specific aggression could be used for improved diagnostics and personalized treatment.
Traumatic or stressful life events have long been hypothesized to play a role in causing or precipitating obsessive-compulsive symptoms but the impact of these environmental factors has rarely been investigated using genetically informative designs. We tested whether a wide range of retrospectively-reported stressful life events (SLEs) influence the lifetime presence and severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) in a large Swedish population-based cohort of 22,084 twins. Multiple regression models examined whether differences in SLEs within twin pairs were significantly associated with differences in OCS. In the entire sample (i.e., both monozygotic [MZ] and dizygotic twin pairs), two SLEs factors, “abuse and family disruption” and “sexual abuse”, were significantly associated with the severity of OCS even after controlling for depressive symptoms. Other SLEs factors were either not associated with OCS (“loss”, “non-sexual assault”) or were no longer associated with OCS after controlling for depression (“illness/injury”). Within MZ pair analyses, which effectively control for genetic and shared environmental effects, showed that only the “abuse and family disruption” factor remained independently related to within-pair differences in OCS severity, even after controlling for depressive symptoms. Despite being statistically significant, the magnitude of the associations was small; “abuse and family disruption” explained approximately 3% of the variance in OCS severity. We conclude that OCS are selectively associated with certain types of stressful life events. In particular, a history of interpersonal abuse, neglect and family disruption may make a modest but significant contribution to the severity of OCS. Further replication in longitudinal cohorts is essential before causality can be firmly established.
The use of valid and practical screening scales might ease the burden for greatly needed universal testing for mental health, substance use and dual disorders, but do they work well with all populations? Do they miss correct identification of certain groups?
To understand discrepancies in diagnostic prediction using the AC-OK screen in conjunction with other standardized assessment scales.
Two hundred and twenty-six Latino participants were recruited from primary care and community clinics in Madrid, Barcelona and Boston and assessed with standardized mental health and substance abuse measures including the AC-OK screen and with a Computerized adaptive test for mental health (CAT-MH). A measure of frequency of discrepancies and an adjusted and unadjusted comparison of results and demographic characteristics or respondents were made for mental health, substance abuse or for discrepancies in both categories.
35.4% of cases were discrepant in mental health (AC-OK-Mental Health vs. Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 or PTSD Checklist) and 14.2% in substance abuse (AC-OK-substance abuse vs. drug abuse screening test or Alcohol use disorders identification test). When CAT-MH scale was incorporated, discrepant results were found in 24.3% and 14.2%, respectively. No association was found between substance abuse discrepancies and patient demographics. In logit regressions being from Barcelona, of younger age and male were significant predictors of discrepancies.
Discrepancies were observed in the diagnostic prediction, with differences detected for site and sociodemographic characteristics of participants suggesting the importance of testing screeners for site and population differences. Evidence for the misclassification of young males is discussed. Caution is warranted in the implementation of screeners for at risk populations.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Kinetoplastid parasites are responsible for serious diseases in humans and livestock such as Chagas disease and sleeping sickness (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei, respectively), and the different forms of cutaneous, mucocutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis (produced by Leishmania spp). The limited number of antiparasitic drugs available together with the emergence of resistance underscores the need for new therapeutic agents with novel mechanisms of action. The use of agents binding to surface glycans has been recently suggested as a new approach to antitrypanosomal design and a series of peptidic and non-peptidic carbohydrate-binding agents have been identified as antiparasitics showing efficacy in animal models of sleeping sickness. Here we provide an overview of the nature of surface glycans in three kinetoplastid parasites, T. cruzi, T. brucei and Leishmania. Their role in virulence and host cell invasion is highlighted with the aim of identifying specific glycan–lectin interactions and carbohydrate functions that may be the target of novel carbohydrate-binding agents with therapeutic applications.
Starburst galaxies at z ∼ 2 – 4 are among the most intensely star-forming galaxies in the universe. The way they accrete their gas to form stars at such high rates is still a controversial issue. ALMA has detected the CH+ (J = 1-0) line in emission and/or absorption in all the gravitationally lensed starburst galaxies targeted so far at z ∼ 3. Its unique spectroscopic and chemical properties enable CH+ to highlight the sites of most intense dissipation of mechanical energy. The absorption lines reveal highly turbulent, massive reservoirs of low-density molecular gas. The broad emission lines, arising in myriad UV-irradiated molecular shocks, reveal powerful galactic winds. The CH+ lines therefore probe the fate of prodigious energy releases, due to infall and/or outflows, and primarily stored in turbulence before being radiated by cool molecular gas. The turbulent reservoirs act as mass and energy buffers over the duration of the starburst phase.
The degradation of organic molecules in an aqueous medium using heterogeneous photocatalysis depends on the chemical composition and concentration of the organic compound, the crystalline and morphological nature of the photocatalyst, the pH of the dye dilution, and the reaction temperature. Since photocatalytic degradation is a process that occurs on the surface of the catalytic material, it is desirable to induce maximum adsorption of the organic compound. One strategy to achieve this is to functionalize the surface of the catalyst to retain the molecule of interest. In this work, we studied the interaction of acid orange 7 (AO7) with commercial TiO2-anatase powder catalyst, and with a catalyst synthesized in house using titanium tetrachloride and ethanolamine (TiO2-et). Our results indicate that there is no adsorption of the AO7 dye on the TiO2-et particles. The infrared spectrum of the TiO2-et particles is presented.
Intensive farming may involve the use of diets, environments or management practices that impose physiological and psychological stressors on the animals. In particular, early weaning is nowadays a common practice to increase the productive yield of pig farms. Still, it is considered one of the most critical periods in swine production, where piglet performance can be seriously affected and where they are predisposed to the overgrowth of opportunistic pathogens. Pig producers nowadays face the challenge to overcome this situation in a context of increasing restrictions on the use of antibiotics in animal production. Great efforts are being made to find strategies to help piglets overcome the challenges of early weaning. Among them, a nutritional strategy that has received increasing attention in the last few years is the use of probiotics. It has been extensively documented that probiotics can reduce digestive disorders and improve productive parameters. Still, research in probiotics so far has also been characterized as being inconsistent and with low reproducibility from farm to farm. Scientific literature related to probiotic effects against gastrointestinal pathogens will be critically examined in this review. Moreover, the actual practical approach when using probiotics in these animals, and potential strategies to increase consistency in probiotic effects, will be discussed. Thus, considering the boost in probiotic research observed in recent years, this paper aims to provide a much-needed, in-depth review of the scientific data published to-date. Furthermore, it aims to be useful to swine nutritionists, researchers and the additive industry to critically consider their approach when developing or using probiotic strategies in weaning piglets.
There has been increasing evidence that chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with mood disorders. However, the findings have been inconsistent because of heterogeneity across studies and methodological limitations. Our aim is to prospectively evaluate the bi-directional associations between inflammatory markers including interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) with mood disorders.
The sample consisted of 3118 participants (53.7% women; mean age: 51.0, s.d. 8.8 years), randomly selected from the general population, who underwent comprehensive somatic and psychiatric evaluations at baseline and follow-up (mean follow-up duration = 5.5 years, s.d. 0.6). Current and remitted mood disorders including bipolar and major depressive disorders (MDD) and its subtypes (atypical, melancholic, combined atypical and melancholic, and unspecified) were based on semi-structured diagnostic interviews. Inflammatory biomarkers were analyzed in fasting blood samples. Associations were tested by multiple linear and logistic regression models.
Current combined MDD [β = 0.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03–0.55] and current atypical MDD (β = 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–0.55) at baseline were associated with increased levels of hsCRP at follow-up. There was little evidence for inflammation markers at baseline predicting mood disorders at follow-up.
The prospective unidirectional association between current MDD subtype with atypical features and hsCRP levels at follow-up suggests that inflammation may be a consequence of this condition. The role of inflammation, particularly hsCRP that is critically involved in cardiovascular diseases, warrants further study. Future research that examines potential influences of medications on inflammatory processes is indicated.
Outstanding problems concerning mass-loss from evolved stars include initial wind acceleration and what determines the clumping scale. Reconstructing physical conditions from maser data has been highly uncertain due to the exponential amplification. ALMA and e-MERLIN now provide image cubes for five H2O maser transitions around VY CMa, at spatial resolutions comparable to the size of individual clouds or better, covering excitation states from 204 to 2360 K. We use the model of Gray et al. 2016, to constrain variations of number density and temperature on scales of a few au, an order of magnitude finer than is possible with thermal lines, comparable to individual cloud sizes or locally almost homogeneous regions. We compare results with the models of Decin et al. 2006 and Matsuura et al. 2014 for the circumstellar envelope of VY CMa; in later work this will be extended to other maser sources.
Schizotypal traits are considered a phenotypic-indicator of schizotypy, a latent personality organization reflecting a putative liability for psychosis. To date, no previous study has examined the comparability of factorial structures across samples originating from different countries and cultures. The main goal was to evaluate the factorial structure and reliability of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) scores by amalgamating data from studies conducted in 12 countries and across 21 sites.
The overall sample consisted of 27 001 participants (37.5% males, n = 4251 drawn from the general population). The mean age was 22.12 years (s.d. = 6.28, range 16–55 years). The SPQ was used. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Multilevel CFA (ML-CFA) were used to evaluate the factor structure underlying the SPQ scores.
At the SPQ item level, the nine factor and second-order factor models showed adequate goodness-of-fit. At the SPQ subscale level, three- and four-factor models displayed better goodness-of-fit indices than other CFA models. ML-CFA showed that the intraclass correlation coefficients values were lower than 0.106. The three-factor model showed adequate goodness of fit indices in multilevel analysis. The ordinal α coefficients were high, ranging from 0.73 to 0.94 across individual samples, and from 0.84 to 0.91 for the combined sample.
The results are consistent with the conceptual notion that schizotypal personality is a multifaceted construct and support the validity and utility of SPQ in cross-cultural research. We discuss theoretical and clinical implications of our results for diagnostic systems, psychosis models and cross-national mental health strategies.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.