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Hybrid seed production often relies on managed pollinators whose use in isolation cages can pose challenges. Here, we evaluated the pollination ability of the novel managed pollinator Eristalinus aeneus (Diptera: Syrphidae) in hybrid celery and fennel seed crops. During trials performed in 2019–2020 in Cordoba, Spain, we compared seed production with hoverflies released at high and low densities (40–20 ind./m2), and without released pollinators. In celery, we included a treatment with Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae), a blowfly used for seed production (375 ind./m2). The production of celery seeds when E. aeneus were released at high density was significantly higher (+49%) than without released pollinators, for both sterile and fertile plant genotypes; no significant differences were found between the two hoverfly densities and the blowfly treatments. In fennel, seed yield of fertile plants with high density of hoverflies was higher than with low density (+149%), or without released pollinators (+168%); whereas for sterile plants no differences were found between treatments. In both crops and plant genotypes, the highest pollen adhesion to stigmas (number of pollen grains and proportion of flowers with pollen adhered in two stigmas) was obtained with hoverflies at high density. In celery, pollen adhesion was higher with high density of hoverflies than with blowflies for both plant genotypes, despite the considerably lower numbers of released hoverflies. Our results suggest that E. aeneus is a more efficient pollinator of celery than L. sericata, and that it has the potential to effectively pollinate other hybrid Apiaceae seed crops like fennel.
Background: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by progressive structural and functional loss of specific neuronal populations, protein aggregation, insidious adult onset, and chronic progression. Modeling these diseases in animal models is useful for studying the relationship between neuronal dysfunction and abnormal behaviours and for screening therapies. Methods: We conducted a comprehensive descriptive review of the numerous animal models currently available to study these three diseases with a focus on their utilities and limitations. Results: A vast range of genetic and toxin-induced models have been generated. Our review outlines how these models differ with regards to the genetic manipulation or toxin used and the brain regions lesioned, describes the extent to which they mimic the neuropathological and behavioral deficits seen in the human conditions, and discusses the advantages and drawbacks of each model. Conclusions: We recommend the adoption of a conservative approach when extrapolating findings based on a single animal model and the validation of findings using multiple models. Investing in additional preclinical studies before embarking on more expensive human trials will improve our understanding of the neuropathology underlying neuronal demise and enhance the chances of identifying effective therapies.
One of the issues that has increasingly become relevant to medical practice is the ability to communicate well with patients. Better communication results in better care for the patient, as well as greater satisfaction for the physician. For this reason, the aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a communication skills training program for medical residents (MR).
Eighty-six MR underwent a 6-month training program in three phases: a 12-h theory and practice workshop, a period of real practice, and a 4-h workshop in which the most challenging scenarios were role played with an actress. In each phase (T0, T1, and T2), participants’ beliefs about their competence in caring for patients’ psychosocial aspects and their self-confidence in communication skills were assessed.
No differences were found between T0 and T1 in participants’ beliefs of self-competence in psychosocial care. However, this competence significantly improved after completion of the entire program. Only 7 of the 12 areas explored in communication skills significantly improved between T0 and T1. However, after T2 completion, significant improvements were observed in all 12 areas.
Significance of results
The research results highlight the usefulness and importance of training young doctors to foster their psychosocial approach to patient care and improve their confidence in their own communication skills. The results also show the appropriateness of the structure of the training: the key features of the programme were the follow-up of the participants in three phases over 6 months, and a focus on the needs of the residents and the resolution of difficult clinical cases, with the support of an actress. Therefore, the training presented in this study may become a guide for other trainings in other contexts with similar objectives.
It´s been proved that cognitive stimulation (CS) has direct effects over the improvement of general cognitive functions in people with cognitive impairment (PCI). The restrictions in daily life associated to COVID-19 pandemic had an impact in the quality of life of PCI and it might have affected the efficacy of the CS programs targeting this population.
To analyse if there was a moderating effect of the pandemic on the efficacy of CS programs.
Participants were enrolled in a public memory clinic; 213 PCI were assigned to two groups: 173 received CS treatment before the pandemic (PRECOVID) and 40 received CS during the pandemic (COVID). Pre and post assessments were carried out with the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), the clock-test and the brief Geriatric Depression Scale. The treatment consisted of 32 sessions of CS held twice a week during 4 months. No significant differences (p<.05) were found between groups at baseline in age (74.46±7.80 years), cognitive function (MMSE=23.43±3.30), gender (58% women) and the remaining variables.
Preliminary results of the ongoing study:
After treatment, both samples improved in depression (t = 4.56, p < .05), the COVID group improved in MMSE (t = -3.40, p < .05) and clock-test (t= -3.78, p < .05), the rest of the changes were not significant. Between group effect sizes favoured the COVID group intervention for MMSE (dc = 0.74) and the clock test (dc = 0.48). No between group differences were found for depression (dc = -0.48).
Older people participating of CS during the pandemic benefited more from the treatment than those participating before the pandemic. This apparently contradictory result might be explained by the context of lack of social, emotional and cognitive stimulation associated to the restrictions inherent to social confinement. The continuity of CS care to PCI is essential in the context of generalised restrictions in daily life associated to COVID-19 pandemic and might play an important role in preventing cognitive loss and associated disabilities.
Cases of psychosis are being reported in people infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The relationship between psychosis and corticosteroids treatment is well known. However, there are relatively limited data so far correlating psychosis and SARS-CoV-2.
To describe a case of manic psychosis in a 55-year-old woman treated with corticosteroids for COVID-19 infection. Discuss the etiopathogenic factors involved in psychosis in patients infected by COVID-19.
We present the case of a 55-year-old woman, without previous psychiatric history, who was admitted to psychiatry due to a psychotic episode with maniac symptoms. Three weeks earlier, the patient had been admitted to Internal Medicine for bilateral SArs-CoV2 pneumonia, under treatment with high doses of corticosteroids. The patient presents a verbose and salty speech, euphoric mood with hyperergia, subjective increase of capacities, insomnia and delusional ideation with mystical-spiritual content with delusional interpretations and auditory hallucinations. The patient comes from Ukraine and she has been living in Spain for 20 years. She works as a household assistant. The patient relates various psychosocial stressors throughout her life.
Complementary diagnostic tests were without alterations. Low-dose antipsychotic treatment is prescribed, with a rapid recovery within a week. Finally, the patient showed complete insight of the episode and was discharged from the hospital being asymptomatic.
It would be interesting to publish the reported cases of psychosis and infection by COVID-19 as well as to investigate the etiopathogenic factors that may be contributing to the development of psychosis in patients infected by the virus.
Worse sleep quality and increased inflammatory markers in women with schizophrenia (Sch) have been reported (Lee et al. 2019). However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the interplay between sleep and the inflammatory pathways are not yet well understood (Fang et al. 2016).
Analyze the relationship between Neutrophil/Lymphocyte (NLR), Monocyte/Lymphocyte (MLR) and Platelet/Lymphocyte (PLR) ratios, and insomnia in Sch stratified by sex.
Final sample included 176 Sch patients (ICD-10 criteria) [mean age: 38.9±13.39; males: 111(63.1%)]. Assessment: PANSS, Calgary Depression Scale (CDSS), and Oviedo Sleep Questionnaire (OSQ) to identify a comorbid diagnosis of insomnia based on ICD-10. Fasting counting blood cell were performed to calculate ratios. Statistics: U Mann-Whitney, logistic regression.
Insomnia as comorbid diagnosis was present in 22 Sch (12.5%) with no differences between sex [14 males (12.6%), 8 females (12.3%)], neither in their age. Female patients with insomnia showed increased NLR [2.44±0.69 vs. 1.88±0.80, U=122.00 (p=0.034)]. However, no differences in PLR and MLR were found, neither in any ratio in males. Regression models using insomnia as dependent variable and covariates (age, PANSS-positive, PANSS-negative, CDSS) were estimated. Females: presence of insomnia was associated with NLR [OR=3.564 (p=0.032)], PANSS-positive [OR=1.263 (p=0.013)] and CDSS [OR=1.198 (p=0.092)]. Males: only PANSS-positive [OR=1.123 (p=0.027)] and CDSS scores [OR=1.220 (p=0.005)] were associated with insomnia.
NLR represent an inflammatory marker of insomnia in Sch but only in female patients. Improving sleep quality in these patients could help to decrease their inflammatory response.
COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown have provoked a considerable psychological impact in Spain. Some studies have reported greater psychological impact in the younger population. To date, no previous study has focused on depressive disorder (DD) patients based on their age.
To describe the psychological impact on DD according to age.
Cross-sectional study of an online survey available from 19 to 26 March 2020. Out of a total of 21207 respondents, 608 (2.9%) reported suffering from DD (mean age ±SD = 41.2 years±14.07 [18-82], 80.6% women). The subsample (608) was divided according to age, “youngsters” <45 (57.4%)/ “elders” ≥45. DASS-21 and IES scales were employed. Statistical analyses: Chi-square, t-Student test.
Both groups did not differ (p>0.05) in sex, having COVID-19 symptoms, having family/friends infected, or income changes. While youngsters were single more frequently (68.8% vs 14.3%, χ² = 179.7, p<0.001), elders had somatic illness more frequently (64.8% vs 39.7% χ² =30.401, p<0.001). Youngsters obtained higher scores in depression (4.69 vs 4.1, T=5.413, p<0.001), anxiety (2.86 vs 1.97, T=5.249, p<0.001) and stress (4.48 vs 3.17, T=6.355, p<0.001) DASS-21 subscales, as in intrusive (3.42 vs 3.05, T=1.984, p=0.048) and avoidant (4.64 vs 4.11, T=3.056, p=0.002) IES scores.
Despite the group of elders with depression being more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease and presenting more frequently somatic comorbidities, younger depressive patients suffered more from depressive, anxiety, stress and avoidant symptoms and intrusive thoughts, in line with previous reports in the general population.