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The COVID-19 outbreak and the related containment measures led to the emergence of psychological distress in youth populations, possibly due to concern for their families, social isolation, increased time spent on the Internet and social media, and anxiety about the future.
The study aims to evaluate differences in the access of children, adolescents, and young adults to a psychiatric emergency setting before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data concerning the psychiatric consultations carried out at the Emergency Department of the University Hospital of Perugia was collected. Socio-demographic and clinical information, including diagnostic and treatment features, was entered into an electronic database. We considered two different time spans, one before (01.06.2017-31.12.2018) and one after (01.06.2020-31.12.2021) the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The characteristics of consultations carried out before and after the pandemic outbreak were compared by means of bivariate analyses (p<0.05).
2,457 psychiatric consultations were carried out in the index periods. 1,319 (53.7%) were requested before, while 1,138 (46.3%) after the COVID-19 outbreak. As for the latter, these were more frequently requested for female subjects (64.2% vs 54.5%, p=0.0042), while institutionalized people underwent psychiatric consultations less frequently in the post-COVID-19 period (5.6% vs 18.2% p<0.001). A significant difference in the prevalence of anxiety disorders (9.7% post-COVID-19 vs 18.8% pre-COVID-19, p=0.009) and adjustment disorders was found (7.1% vs 1.5%, p=0.009). Substance-related disorders were significantly reduced (8.0% vs 15.8%, p=0.016) after the COVID-19 outbreak. About psychopharmacological treatment, there was an increase in people who had received treatment in the past but were no longer on treatment (52.3% vs 30.8%, p<0.001). The prescription of antipsychotics also increased (29.3% vs 18.5%, p=0.012). At discharge, subjects were more frequently hospitalized in the Psychiatric Inpatient Unit in the post-COVID-19 period (22.2% vs 12.8%, p=0.012).
Our data confirms the vulnerability of youth populations during the pandemic. The consequences of health emergencies on the psychological well-being of this population must not be underestimated and tailored treatment strategies should be implemented.
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults (AYA) (Czyz EK, King CA. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol.2015;44(1):181-19), and psychiatric disorders are a major contributing factor (WHO Global Health Estimates 2000-2019). Studies focusing on suicidality in Italian inpatients samples are scant.
The present cross-sectional study aimed to define clinical variables associated with suicidality related phenomena in a sample of young inpatients. The main objectives were to assess the prevalence of suicidal ideation and deliberate self-harm in inpatients aged 16–24 years and to determine the relationship between suicidal behaviours and psychiatric disorders.
This retrospective study was conducted in a naturalistic setting, at the Psychiatric Inpatient Unit, Perugia Hospital/Local Mental Health Unit 1, from January 2018 to December 2019. Sociodemographic information, clinical history, diagnostic and treatment features were collected. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed (p<0,05).
Among 120 patients (14,2% of the overall 850 hospitalizations in the index period) admitted for suicidality-related phenomena, 21 (17,5%) were AYA. Admission was due to deliberate self-harm in 85,7% (n=18) and to suicidal ideation in 14,3% (n=3) cases. Personality disorders (p=0.006), were significantly more prevalent among AYA, while mood disorders were more frequent among adults (p=0.0018) (Tab.1).Tab.1.
Differences in diagnostic features between AYA and adult population.
Borderline personality disorder
Personality is under construction among youths, and affective symptoms may have unusual characteristics (Lack CW, Green AL. J Pediatr Nurs. 2009;24(1):13-25), as demonstrated by the fact that irritable rather than depressed mood is a core diagnostic mood symptom for adolescents (Rice F, et al. J Affect Disord. 2019;243:175-181). We hypothesized that symptoms of irritability, emotional dysregulation, and impulsivity could be linked to suicidality (Ghanem M, et al. Arch Suicide Res. 2013;17(3):262-274). Further investigations are needed for the characterization of AYA inpatients who experience suicidal thoughts or self-injurious behaviours, in order to redefine preventive tools and reduce suicide mortality rates.
Circadian rhythms, defined as endogenous oscillations that regulate metabolism, physiology and behaviour, may be frequently disrupted in mood disorders, influencing their clinical presentation and course (Srinivasan V. et al. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2006;7(3):138-151).
To characterise circadian rhythm disruptions in a population of patients with mood disorders, analysing clinical and course differences in subjects with and without clinically significant circadian rhythm alterations
Patients selected for this cross-sectional study were assessed with CGI-BP, HAM-D, MRS, and PANSS. Circadian rhythm disturbances were evaluated with BRIAN. Patients with clinically relevant circadian rhythm disturbances were defined as BRIAN > 36 (Mondin TC et al. J Psychiatr Res. 2017;84:98-104). Bivariate analyses were subsequently performed to compare subgroups of patients.
In our study, 61 subjects with DD or DB were enrolled. The overall mean BRIAN test score was 40.08 ± 10.26. When comparing the BRIAN test scores, both total and subscales, between subjects with DB and DD, social rhythms were significantly more altered in subjects with DB (8.63 ± 2.90 VS 6.80 ± 2.11, p=0.034). Subjects with disruption of circadian rhythms displayed greater severity of depressive symptoms (mean total HAM-D test score 16.06±8.61 VS 8.94±5.85; p<0.003, mean CGI-BP severity of depression test score 3.14±1.68 VS 1.88±1.11; p<0.010) and with a longer duration of untreated illness (6.14±8.64 VS 2.53±6.28; p= 0.040).
Alterations in circadian rhythms should be routinely investigated in all individuals with mood disorders, especially BD, and may represent a transdiagnostic psychopathological construct that defines a more severe disease phenotype.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the resulting containment measures, such as “lockdown” and “social distancing”, have had important consequences on people’s mental and physical health.
We aimed to study the effect of social isolation and subsequent re- exposure and eventual changes in general and ED-specific psychopathology in people with Eating Disorders (EDs).
Three-hundred twelve Italian people with EDs (179 Anorexia Nervosa, 83 Bulimia Nervosa, 48 Binge Eating Disorder and 22 Other Specific Feeding Eating Disorder) were asked to fill-in an online survey to explore several dimensions such as: anxiety, depression, panic, insomnia, suicide ideation, stress, post-traumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Differences in ED specific and general symptoms among the 3 investigated time periods (before, during and after the end of lockdown) were assessed with a one-way ANOVA with repeated measures. Subsequently, ED diagnosis was introduced as covariate in the analysis in order to investigate the possible contribution on psychopathological changes.
ED core symptoms increased during the lockdown but most of them returned to pre-COVID19 levels at re-opening. The severity of general psychopathology also increased during the lockdown and persisted high in the following phase, except for depression and suicide ideation. None of this symptoms was affected by ED diagnosis, participants’age and illness duration.
People with EDs showed worsening of both general and specific psychopathology; moreover, changes in general psychopathology persisted in the re-opening period suggesting a higher stress vulnerability in this kind of patients.
Global warming and the associated glacier retreat recently revealed the entrance to an ice–rock tunnel, at an altitude of ~3600 m a.s.l., in the uppermost portion of the Forni Glacier in the Central Italian Alps. The tunnel served as an entrance to an Austro-Hungarian cableway station excavated in the rocks during the Great War just behind the frontline. A comprehensive geophysical survey, based on seismic and ground-penetrating radar profiling, was then undertaken to map other possible World War I (WWI) remains still embedded in the ice. The ice–rock interface was reconstructed over the entire saddle and in the uppermost portion of the glacier. A prominent linear reflector was surprisingly similar to the common response of buried pipes. The reflector orientation, almost longitudinal to the slope, does not seem to be compatible with a glacial conduit or with other natural features. Numerical simulations of a series of possible targets constrained interpretation to a partly water-filled rounded shape cavity. The presence of a preserved WWI tunnel connecting Mount Vioz and Punta Linke could be considered a realistic hypothesis. The Forni glacier could be still considered polythermal and comprised of cold ice without basal sliding in its top portion.
Probably, the long-term monitoring of the solar atmosphere started in Italy with the first telescopic observations of the Sun made by Galileo Galilei in the early 17th century. His recorded observations and science results, as well as the work carried out by other following outstanding Italian astronomers inspired the start of institutional programs of regular solar observations at the Arcetri, Catania, and Rome Observatories.
These programs have accumulated daily images of the solar photosphere and chromosphere taken at various spectral bands over a time span larger than 80 years. In the last two decades, regular solar observations were continued with digital cameras only at the Catania and Rome Observatories, which are now part of the INAF National Institute for Astrophysics. At the two sites, daily solar images are taken at the photospheric G-band, Blue (λ = 409.4 nm), and Red (λ = 606.9 nm) continua spectral ranges and at the chromospheric Ca II K and Hα lines, with a 2″ spatial resolution.
Solar observation in Italy, which benefits from over 2500 hours of yearly sunshine, currently aims at the operational monitoring of solar activity and long-term variability and at the continuation of the historical series as well. Existing instruments will be soon enriched by the SAMM double channel telescope equipped with magneto-optical filters that will enable the tomography of the solar atmosphere with simultaneous observations at the K I 769.9 nm and Na I D 589.0 nm lines. In this contribution, we present the available observations and outline their scientific relevance.
The nature of the intermetallic layer which forms on the steel surface during immersion
in typical galvanizing baths for galvannealed (GA) sheets production has been investigated
on two commercial Titanium-stabilized Interstitial-Free (Ti-IF) steel substrates
galvanized in baths with different Al contents. Results from this study show that in both
cases the inhibition layer is biphasic and composed of a very thin Al-rich phase layer,
identified as Fe2Al5Znx, and a thicker Zn-rich phase layer
on top of it, identified as δ. Experimental results also show that the
Fe2Al5Znx phase layer becomes discontinuous
when decreasing the bath Al content. Discussions about the mechanisms of formation and the
final microstructure of this inhibiting layer are also tackled in this paper by means of
the Al-Fe-Zn ternary phase diagram at 460 °C and assumptions to justify any deviation from
thermodynamic equilibrium are as well proposed.
Movies of magnetograms of sunspots often show small-size magnetic patches that move radially away and seem to be expelled from the field of the spot. These patches are named Moving Magnetic Features (MMFs). They have been mostly observed around spots and have been interpreted as manifestations of penumbral filaments. Nevertheless, few observations of MMFS streaming out from spots without penumbra have been reported. He we investigate the physical properties of MMFs observed around the field of a pore derived by the analyses of high spectral, spatial and temporal resolution data acquired at the Dunn Solar Telescope with IBIS. We find that the main properties of the investigated features agree with those reported for MMFs observed around regular spots. These results indicate that an improvement of current numerical simulations is required to understand the generation of MMFs in the lack of penumbrae.
We tackle the problems of correctness and efficiency of paralled implementations of functional languages. We present a compilation technique described in terms of program transformations in the functional framework. The original functional expression is transformed into a functional term, which can be seen as traditional machine code. The main feature of the parallel implementation is the use of continuations. We introduce a parallel abstract machine describing lazy task creation in terms of exportation of continuations. The advantages of the approach are twofold: (1)correetness proofs are made simpler and (2) the implementation is efficient because the use of continuations reduces the task management overhead.
The aim of the study was to measure the positive predictive value (PPV) and sensitivity of operational case definitions of 13 syndromes in a surveillance system based on the Emergency online database of the Lazio region. The PPVs were calculated using electronic emergency department (ED) medical records and subsequent hospitalizations to ascertain the cases. Sensitivity was calculated using a modified capture–recapture method. The number of cases that fulfilled the case definition criteria in the 2004 database ranged from 27 320 for gastroenteritis to three for haemorrhagic diarrhoea. The PPVs ranged from 99·3 to 20; sepsis, meningitis-like and coma were below 50%. The estimated sensitivity ranged from 90% for coma to 22% for haemorrhagic diarrhoea. Syndromes such as gastroenteritis, where the signs, symptoms, and exposure history provide immediate diagnostic implications fit this surveillance system better than others such as haemorrhagic diarrhoea, where symptoms are not evident and a more precise diagnosis is needed.
We present here the first large-scale genetic characterization of grape cultivars from Transcaucasia and Anatolia. These regions where wild grapes still grow in nature have been cultivating wine and table grapes for thousands of years and are considered the cradles of viticulture. Using 12 nuclear microsatellite markers, we genotyped 116 accessions of traditional grape cultivars from Armenia, Georgia and Turkey and we detected 17 identical genotypes and six homonymy cases, mainly within each national germplasm. Neighbour-joining analysis of genetic distance showed that each germplasm could have multiple origins and although they are now separated, they might have some common ancestors. In addition, four varieties from Western Europe included as outgroups turned out to be more related to Georgian cultivars than other germplasms, suggesting a possible ancient origin in Georgia. This work represents a first step towards germplasm management of this rich ampelographic heritage.
In the summer of 1999 a cluster of 18 cases of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) occurred in a University Hospital in Rome, Italy. The cases presented with mild clinical and radiological signs, and none died. Seventy-two per cent had a birth weight of >2500 g, 66·7% had a gestational age of >37 weeks, 30% presented with respiratory diseases and/or hypoglycaemia. All cases occurred within 10 days of birth and between 5 and 7 days after two clusters of diarrhoea (14 cases). The NEC outbreak had two phases; most cases in the first phase occurred in the at-risk unit, whereas those in the second phase occurred in the full-term unit. In the multivariate analysis, invasive therapeutic procedures, pathological conditions and formula feeding were associated with NEC. Although no predominant common bacteria were isolated, we suggest an infective origin of this outbreak.
Amorphous silicon–nitrogen (a–Si1−xNx:H) alloys, thin films, and multilayers deposited by ultrahigh-vacuum plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition were studied and modeled by x-ray reflectivity (XRR) measurements. The analysis of XRR data obtained from the single-layer samples allowed us to calculate the density, thickness, and interface roughness of each layer. To check the deposition parameters, the deviation (tnom – texp)/(tnom) of the measured thickness texp from the nominal thickness tnom was evaluated. Based on these results, a simulation of a multilayer film, obtained by deposition alternating stoichiometric and substoichimetric layers was carried out. It is shown that the best fitting is obtained by introducing into the XRR calculation a thickness distribution with a standard deviation related to the deviation (tnom – texp)/(tnom) estimated for the single layers.
In this work we mainly report on the analyses of polycrystalline silicon carbide films grown by Electron Cyclotron Resonance Chemical Vapor Deposition (ECR-CVD) on Si (100) and Si (111) substrates. Structural properties of the films have been analyzed by X-ray diffractometry, transmission electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy. Samples deposited with optimized deposition conditions, show a polycrystalline columnar structure with lateral crystal dimensions ranging from 300 up to 1400 Å and an orientation close to that of the Si substrates.
Amorphous silicon-carbon a-Sil-xCx:H films with x in the range 0.3-1 have been deposited by PECVD of SiH4+CH4 and SiH4+C2H2 gas mixtures. Photoluminescence characterizations have been performed, together with optical measurements. The dependence of radiative recombination properties as a function of x and as a function of damage introduced by H+-ion irradiation has been presented and correlated with the changes in the absorption spectra.
Hydrogenated amorphous silicon-carbon alloys are prepared using electron-cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Hydrogen is introduced into the source resonance cavity as an excitation gas. Silane is introduced in the main chamber in the vicinity of the plasma stream, whereas the carbon source gases, methane or ethylene, are introduced either with the silane or with the hydrogen as excitation gases. The effect of the type of carbon-source gas, excitation gas mixture and silane-to-carbon source gas flow ratio on the deposition rate, bandgap, subgap density of states, spin density and hydrogen evolution are studied.
Complex Sol-Gel Process (CSGP) was applied to the preparation of LiNi0.5Co0.5O2. Starting sol-solutions were prepared in two different ways: I, in which aqueous ammonia was added to a starting solution of Li+-Ni2+-Co2+ acetate-ascorbate, and II in which LiOH was added to a solution of Ni2+- Co2+ and NH4+ acetate-ascorbate. It was found that in the absence of ascorbic acid, or at its lower content (≤0.2 M on 1M σ Li+- Ni2+- Co2+) precipitation of Ni hydroxides occurred. Regular sols were concentrated ∼3 times, gelled and dried at 140°C. Intensive foaming was observed for samples during further heating. Consequently for scaling up to 200g in a run a preliminary long drying procedure followed by self-ignition step (∼400°C) was introduced. Thermal transformation of the gel to solid was studied by TG, DTA, XRD and IR. The main feature of this step is carbonate formation. The final structure LiNi0.5Co0.5O2 is observed after heating for Ih at 800°C. For larger scale production the extension of firing time was necessary. Electrochemical properties of the LiNi0.5Co0.5O2 compound, prepared by the CSGP were evaluated and considered satisfactory.
High room temperature photoluminescence efficiency (PLE) was observed for the first time in a-SixN1-x:H based nanometric multilayers deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). The structure consists of alternate stoichiometric a-Si3N4:H barrier layers (E04=5.0 eV) and well layers in which E04 is varied between 2.11 eV and 2.64 eV. The peak of PL spectra and the absorption coefficient edge exhibits a blue shift up to 0.5–0.6 eV by decreasing the well thickness from 30 Å down to 5–10 Å. A strong increase in the PLE of multilayers, with well thickness around 5–10 Å, with respect to the PLE of bulk material was obtained.
A p-i-n light emitting device (LED) with a multilayered structure as i-layer, having well layers with E04=2.64 eV and thickness 10 Å, is presented. The LED under forward bias shows an emission visible with the naked eye, with limited degradation after 8 hours of continuous operation.
A study of the electroluminescence degradation of a-SiC:H based light emitting devices (LED) is presented for the first time. The best initial peak brightness obtained is 4.2 cd/m2. All LEDs reported in this paper emit a red light which, when operated under continuous bias in a not fully darkened room, is visible for several minutes, depending on degradation rate. The time dependence of LED degradation, which is reversible upon annealing, can be explained if self-annealing is taken into account. There is evidence of an improved LED performance for lower temperature operation. Pulsed operation, with respect to dc operation, produces a markedly lower defect production rate, associated to a higher brightness after degradation. The possibility of some optimization of the operation parameters (peak current, duty cycle) is discussed.
Microcrystalline silicon films deposited by plasma methods have an optical absorption for photon energies above 2.0 eV lower than a-Si:H films and can be efficiently doped with boron or phosphorus. The most widely used deposition technique is the 13.56 MHz PECVD. However quite recently µc-Si:H films were grown at high deposition rates by the 70 MHz PECVD. In this work the authors report on a comparison between µc-Si:H films deposited by both 70 MHz and 13.56 MHz techniques. Particular attention has been devoted to differences and similarities between structural, compositional and electrical properties of the films deposited with the two systems.