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Acanthamoeba spp. are widely distributed in the environment and cause serious infections in humans. Treatment of Acanthamoeba infections is very challenging and not always effective which requires the development of more efficient drugs against Acanthamoeba spp. The purpose of the present study was to test medicinal plants that may be useful in the treatment of Acanthamoeba spp. Here we evaluated the trophozoital and cysticidal activity of 13 flavonoid glycosides isolated from Delphinium gracile, D. staphisagria, Consolida oliveriana and from Aconitum napellus subsp. Lusitanicum against the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. AlamarBlue Assay Reagent® was used to determine the activity against trophozoites of A. castellanii, and cytotoxic using Vero cells. Cysticidal activity was assessed on treated cysts by light microscopy using a Neubauer chamber to quantify cysts and trophozoites. Flavonoids 1, 2, 3 and 4 showed higher trophozoital activity and selectivity indexes than the reference drug chlorhexidine digluconate. In addition, flavonoid 2 showed 100% cysticidal activity at a concentration of 50 μm, lower than those of the reference drug and flavonoid 3 (100 μm). These results suggest that flavonoids 2 and 3 might be used for the development of novel therapeutic approaches against Acanthamoeba infections after satisfactory in vivo evaluations.
There is mixed evidence on increasing rates of psychiatric disorders and symptoms during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. We evaluated pandemic-related psychopathology and psychiatry diagnoses and their determinants in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Health (ELSA-Brasil) São Paulo Research Center.
Between pre-pandemic ELSA-Brasil assessments in 2008–2010 (wave-1), 2012–2014 (wave-2), 2016–2018 (wave-3) and three pandemic assessments in 2020 (COVID-19 waves in May–July, July–September, and October–December), rates of common psychiatric symptoms, and depressive, anxiety, and common mental disorders (CMDs) were compared using the Clinical Interview Scheduled-Revised (CIS-R) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Multivariable generalized linear models, adjusted by age, gender, educational level, and ethnicity identified variables associated with an elevated risk for mental disorders.
In 2117 participants (mean age 62.3 years, 58.2% females), rates of CMDs and depressive disorders did not significantly change over time, oscillating from 23.5% to 21.1%, and 3.3% to 2.8%, respectively; whereas rate of anxiety disorders significantly decreased (2008–2010: 13.8%; 2016–2018: 9.8%; 2020: 8%). There was a decrease along three wave-COVID assessments for depression [β = −0.37, 99.5% confidence interval (CI) −0.50 to −0.23], anxiety (β = −0.37, 99.5% CI −0.48 to −0.26), and stress (β = −0.48, 99.5% CI −0.64 to −0.33) symptoms (all ps < 0.001). Younger age, female sex, lower educational level, non-white ethnicity, and previous psychiatric disorders were associated with increased odds for psychiatric disorders, whereas self-evaluated good health and good quality of relationships with decreased risk.
No consistent evidence of pandemic-related worsening psychopathology in our cohort was found. Indeed, psychiatric symptoms slightly decreased along 2020. Risk factors representing socioeconomic disadvantages were associated with increased odds of psychiatric disorders.
Bipolar disorder (BD) represents one of the most therapeutically complex psychiatric disorders. The development of a feasible comprehensive psychological approach to complement pharmacotherapy to improve its clinical management is required. The main objective of the present randomized controlled trial (RCT) was to test the efficacy of a novel adjunctive treatment entitled integrative approach in patients with BD, including: psychoeducation, mindfulness training, and functional remediation.
This is a parallel two-armed, rater-blind RCT of an integrative approach plus treatment as usual (TAU), v. TAU alone. Participants were recruited at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona and randomized to one of the two conditions. They were assessed at baseline and after finishing the intervention. The main outcome variable included changes in psychosocial functioning assessed through the Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST).
After finishing the treatment, the repeated-measures analyses revealed a significant group × time interaction in favor of the patients who received the integrative approach (n = 28) compared to the TAU group (n = 37) (Pillai's trace = 0.10; F(1,57) = 6.9; p = 0.01), improving the functional outcome. Significant effects were also found in two out of the six domains of the FAST, including the cognitive domain (Pillai's trace = 0.25; F(1,57) = 19.1; p < 0.001) and leisure time (Pillai's trace = 0.11; F(1,57) = 7.15; p = 0.01). Regarding the secondary outcomes, a significant group × time interaction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale changes was detected (Pillai's trace = 0.08; F(1,62) = 5.6; p = 0.02).
This preliminary study suggests that the integrative approach represents a promising cost-effective therapy to improve psychosocial functioning and residual depressive symptoms in patients suffering from BD.
Old age constitutes a vulnerable stage for developing gambling-related problems. The aims of the study were to identify patterns of gambling habits in elderly participants from the general population, and to assess socio-demographic and clinical variables related to the severity of the gambling behaviours. The sample included N = 361 participants aged in the 50–90 years range. A broad assessment included socio-demographic variables, gambling profile and psychopathological state. The percentage of participants who reported an absence of gambling activities was 35.5 per cent, while 46.0 per cent reported only non-strategic gambling, 2.2 per cent only strategic gambling and 16.3 per cent both non-strategic plus strategic gambling. Gambling form with highest prevalence was lotteries (60.4%), followed by pools (13.9%) and bingo (11.9%). The prevalence of gambling disorder was 1.4 per cent, and 8.0 per cent of participants were at a problematic gambling level. Onset of gambling activities was younger for men, and male participants also reached a higher mean for the bets per gambling-episode and the number of total gambling activities. Risk factors for gambling severity in the sample were not being born in Spain and a higher number of cumulative lifetime life events, and gambling severity was associated with a higher prevalence of tobacco and alcohol abuse and with worse psychopathological state. Results are particularly useful for the development of reliable screening tools and for the design of effective prevention programmes.
One of the major problems in the world nowadays is the lack of access to financing for the lower classes, and in developing countries this issue also affects a big part of the middle class. In this chapter, we will analyze innovations that have been implemented in Latin America to help solve the problem of lack of financing in the population of scarce resources, and the companies or organizations behind these innovations. We study companies that are innovative not only in their business model, their group lending work, but also in their social commitment and their integral way of attacking the problem with education and other elements. Additionally, technology has played an important role in the innovation of microfinance institution mainly for the MOP. This chapter analyzes some of the most recent and innovative strategies that microfinancial organizations, dedicated mainly to the MOP population, have created to increase access to their services, and therefore, to improve the financial inclusion of this segment of the population.
The Monitoring Studies (MS) program, the approach developed by RedETS to generate postlaunch real-world evidence (RWE), is intended to complement and enhance the conventional health technology assessment process to support health policy decision making in Spain, besides informing other interested stakeholders, including clinicians and patients. The MS program is focused on specific uncertainties about the real effect, safety, costs, and routine use of new and insufficiently assessed relevant medical devices carefully selected to ensure the value of the additional research needed, by means of structured, controlled, participative, and transparent procedures. However, despite a clear political commitment and economic support from national and regional health authorities, several difficulties were identified along the development and implementation of the first wave of MS, delaying its execution and final reporting. Resolution of these difficulties at the regional and national levels and a greater collaborative impulse in the European Union, given the availability of an appropriate methodological framework already provided by EUnetHTA, might provide a faster and more efficient comparative RWE of improved quality and reliability at the national and international levels.
There is evidence that patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders present higher mortality in comparison with the general population. The aim of this study was to analyse the causes of mortality and sociodemographic factors associated with mortality, standardised mortality ratios (SMRs), life expectancy and potential years of life lost (YLL) in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in Spain.
The study included a cohort of patients from the Malaga Schizophrenia Case Register (1418 patients; 907 males; average age 42.31 years) who were followed up for a minimum of 10 years (median = 13.43). The factors associated with mortality were analysed with a survival analysis using Cox's proportional hazards regression model.
The main causes of mortality in the cohort were circulatory disease (21.45%), cancer (17.09%) and suicide (13.09%). The SMR of the cohort was more than threefold that of the population of Malaga (3.19). The life expectancy at birth was 67.11 years old, which is more than 13 years shorter than that of the population of Malaga. The YLL was 20.74. The variables associated with a higher risk of mortality were age [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 1.069, p < 0.001], male gender (AHR = 1.751, p < 0.001) and type of area of residence (p = 0.028; deprived urban zone v. non-deprived urban area, AHR = 1.460, p = 0.028). In addition, receiving welfare benefit status in comparison with employed status (AHR = 1.940, p = 0.008) was associated with increased mortality.
There is excess mortality in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and also an association with age, gender, socioeconomic inequalities and receiving welfare benefits. Efforts directed towards improved living conditions could have a positive effect on reducing mortality.
Older subjects are susceptible to develop gambling problems, and researchers have attempted to assess the mechanisms underlying the gambling profile in later life. The objective of this study was to identify the main stressful life events (SLE) across the lifespan which have discriminative capacity for detecting the presence of gambling disorder (GD) in older adults. Data from two independent samples of individuals aged 50+ were analysed: N = 47 patients seeking treatment at a Pathological Gambling Outpatient Unit and N = 361 participants recruited from the general population. Sexual problems (p < 0.001), exposure to domestic violent behaviour (p < 0.001), severe financial problems (p = 0.002), alcohol or drug-related problems (p = 0.004) and extramarital sex (p < 0.001) were related to a higher risk of GD, while getting married (p = 0.005), moving to a new home (p = 0.003) and moving to a new city (p = 0.006) decreased the likelihood of disordered gambling. The accumulated number of SLE was not a predictor of the presence of GD (p = 0.732), but patients who met clinical criteria for GD reported higher concurrence of SLE in time than control individuals (p < 0.001). Empirical research highlights the need to include older age groups in evidence-based policies for gambling prevention, because these individuals are at high risk of onset and/or progression of behavioural addiction-related problems such as GD. The results of this study may be useful for developing reliable screening/diagnostic tools and for planning effective early intervention programmes aimed to reduce the harm related to the onset and evolution of problem gambling in older adults.
The aim of this study was to assess body shape trajectories in childhood and midlife in relation to subsequent risk of breast cancer (BC) in a Mediterranean cohort.
The ‘Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra’ (SUN) Project is a dynamic prospective cohort study of university graduates initiated in 1999. With a group-based modelling approach, we assessed body shape trajectories from age 5 to 40 years. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for BC after the age of 40 years according to the body shape trajectory.
City of Pamplona, in the North of Spain.
6498 women with a mean age of 40 years (sd 9).
We identified four distinct body shape trajectories (‘childhood lean-midlife increase’ (19·9 %), ‘childhood medium-midlife stable’ (53 %), ‘childhood heavy-midlife stable’ (21 %) and ‘childhood heavy-midlife increase’ (6·1 %)). Among 54 978 women-years of follow-up, we confirmed eighty-two incident cases of BC. Women in the ‘childhood lean-midlife increase’ group showed a higher risk of BC (HR = 1·84, 95 % CI 1·11, 3·04) compared with women in the ‘childhood medium-midlife stable’ category. This association was stronger for postmenopausal BC (HR = 2·42, 95 % CI 1·07, 5·48).
Our results suggest a role for lifetime adiposity in breast carcinogenesis.
Despite the robust body of work on cognitive aspects of bipolar disorder (BD), a clear profile of associated impairments in impulsivity, decision-making and risk-taking from studies that use behavioural measures has yet to be established. A systematic review, across four electronic databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE/PubMed, ScienceDirect and Scopus), of literature published between January 1999 and December 2018 was carried out in accordance with the PRISMA statement. The protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42018114684). A fixed-effect and random-effects meta-analysis using the Hedges' g (ES) estimate was performed. The analysis revealed significant impairment in BD individuals with medium effect sizes in various aspects of impulsivity – response inhibition (ES = 0.49; p < 0.0001), delay of gratification (ES = 0.54; p < 0.0001) and inattention (ES = 0.49; p < 0.0001) – and in decision-making (ES = 0.61, p = 0.0002), but no significant impairment in risk-taking behaviour (ES = 0.41; p = 0.0598). Furthermore, we found significant heterogeneity between studies for decision-making and risk-taking behaviour but not for impulsivity. Impaired risk-taking behaviour was significant in a subgroup of BD-I and euthymic individuals (ES = 0.92; p < 0.0001) with no significant heterogeneity. A stratification analysis revealed comparable results in euthymic and non-euthymic individuals for impulsivity. Our findings suggest that behaviour impulsivity is elevated in all phases of BD, representing a core and clinically relevant feature that persists beyond mood symptoms. More studies about decision-making and risk-taking are necessary to establish if they are impaired in BD and to analyze the role of mood state.
The objective of this study was to identify attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among students from public and private universities in Peru. This research was inspired by similar studies, realized in Sweden, which used the same instrument adapting it to our reality. The process consisted of a survey of the Peruvian student population by targeting it in different regions of Peru. The sample consisted of 1237 students from different academic areas. The findings show that 92% of the students believe in the existence of life outside our planet, with differences between the subgroups surveyed.
Previous literature supports antipsychotics’ (AP) efficacy in acute first-episode psychosis (FEP) in terms of symptomatology and functioning but also a cognitive detrimental effect. However, regarding functional recovery in stabilised patients, these effects are not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to investigate dopaminergic/anticholinergic burden of (AP) on psychosocial functioning in FEP. We also examined whether cognitive impairment may mediate these effects on functioning.
A total of 157 FEP participants were assessed at study entry, and at 2 months and 2 years after remission of the acute episode. The primary outcomes were social functioning as measured by the functioning assessment short test (FAST). Cognitive domains were assessed as potential mediators. Dopaminergic and anticholinergic AP burden on 2-year psychosocial functioning [measured with chlorpromazine (CPZ) and drug burden index] were independent variables. Secondary outcomes were clinical and socio-demographic variables.
Mediation analysis found a statistical but not meaningful contribution of dopaminergic receptor blockade burden to worse functioning mediated by cognition (for every 600 CPZ equivalent points, 2-year FAST score increased 1.38 points). Regarding verbal memory and attention, there was an indirect effect of CPZ burden on FAST (b = 0.0045, 95% CI 0.0011–0.0091) and (b = 0.0026, 95% CI 0.0001–0.0006) respectively. However, only verbal memory post hoc analyses showed a significant indirect effect (b = 0.009, 95% CI 0.033–0.0151) adding premorbid IQ as covariate. We did not find significant results for anticholinergic burden.
CPZ dose effect over functioning is mediated by verbal memory but this association appears barely relevant.
This article compares in a systematic way the team's intervention choices of professionals across seven European countries: France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain towards problems and needs of patients with schizophrenia and relates this to the diversity of psychiatric systems.
The clinical and social status of 433 patients was assessed by means of the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) and the Needs for Care Assessment instrument (NFCAS) which was used to determine teams' intervention choices toward the NFCAS problems.
There is no, or little, consensus across Europe on teams' intervention choices towards either the clinical or the social problems and needs of patients suffering from schizophrenic disorders. These comparisons outlined the cultural differences concerning the interventions that were proposed and should be taken into account when interpreting the number of needs and the need status since the need status relies heavily on the interventions proposed. The differences were not connected with the availability of resources; most of the comparisons show differences between centers as well as differences between groups of relatively similar resource countries.
– To describe the utilization, geographical variations and adaptation of ECT in the Spanish context.
– A cross-sectional study, involving a questionnaire delivered to all hospitals with a Psychiatry Unit (PU) in Spain included in the National Hospitals Catalogue (N = 233). A descriptive analysis was made of the answers to the different questions, using an adequate denominator in each case: all PUs (n = 233), those units that prescribe and apply ECT (n = 174), or only those that apply the technology (n = 108).
– All PUs completed the questionnaire. Fifty-nine units (25.3%) neither prescribed nor applied ECT, while 108 (46.4%) prescribed and applied the technology, and 66 PUs (28.3%) only prescribed ECT. Those units with training responsibilities for psychiatry residents or pregraduate students, and those with a larger number of beds, were more inclined to apply ECT. The estimated ECT applied in the preceding 12 months totaled 2435 with an annual rate per 10,000 inhabitants of 0.61, and a range per Spanish Autonomous Community of 0.28–16.59.
– We now know a reliable rate and characteristics of the use of ECT in Spain, and the attitudes and opinion of PUs Spanish psychiatrists about it. We found a very important variability in ECT application rates among Autonomous Communities.
This paper analyses the role of Mompox in New Granada's interregional trade during the late colonial period. It focuses on the value, structure and destination of exports of domestic goods from Mompox to markets on the Atlantic and the Andes. By unearthing unexplored sources, this paper provides evidence that will help to understand, indirectly, some issues such as the nature and timing of economic growth, the degree of regional specialisation and, above all, the role of inland ports in the economic geography of the viceroyalty. The paper contends, first, that the region experienced a boom–bust cycle during the late colonial period. The export of domestic goods doubled between 1770 and 1800 but subsequently collapsed during the 1802-1809 years. Second, evidence suggests that the region experienced a process of market deepening and widening. Trade flows, then, played a larger role in shaping the economic history of the region than previously thought.
Motor abnormalities (MAs) are the primary manifestations of schizophrenia. However, the extent to which MAs are related to alterations of subcortical structures remains understudied.
We aimed to investigate the associations of MAs and basal ganglia abnormalities in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and healthy controls. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 48 right-handed FEP and 23 age-, gender-, handedness-, and educational attainment-matched controls, to obtain basal ganglia shape analysis, diffusion tensor imaging techniques (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity), and relaxometry (R2*) to estimate iron load. A comprehensive motor battery was applied including the assessment of parkinsonism, catatonic signs, and neurological soft signs (NSS). A fully automated model-based segmentation algorithm on 1.5T MRI anatomical images and accurate corregistration of diffusion and T2* volumes and R2* was used.
FEP patients showed significant local atrophic changes in left globus pallidus nucleus regarding controls. Hypertrophic changes in left-side caudate were associated with higher scores in sensory integration, and in right accumbens with tremor subscale. FEP patients showed lower fractional anisotropy measures than controls but no significant differences regarding mean diffusivity and iron load of basal ganglia. However, iron load in left basal ganglia and right accumbens correlated significantly with higher extrapyramidal and motor coordination signs in FEP patients.
Taken together, iron load in left basal ganglia may have a role in the emergence of extrapyramidal signs and NSS of FEP patients and in consequence in the pathophysiology of psychosis.
This study focuses on the dolphins populating the water between Gibraltar and Algeciras in the south Iberian Peninsula, an area subjected to pressure due to high human activity. The area is considered an important feeding and breeding ground for common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Due to the degree of residence of some specimens, and the large gap in knowledge about the evolution of wounds in D. delphis specimens with lacerations, this work sought to perform the following analyses: identify lacerated individuals; characterize sequences of ‘before – during – after’ with respect to the occurrence of lacerations; and associate the type of injury with its severity. This work will inform future studies by expanding a database on injured individuals and contribute to periodical monitoring of specimens that frequent these geographic areas. Between 2013 and 2017, we were able to track the healing process of five injured individuals of common dolphins from a whale-watching platform thanks to photo identification. The animals exhibited fresh external wounds from different sources. In the majority of individuals, the wound-healing processes lasted 3–21 weeks. The frequency with which sightings are made and knowledge about the local population will help track injured animals, follow their wound evolution, and document their survival rates. The documented injuries inflicted by human interactions described in this paper may include fishing interactions and propeller strikes, probably as a consequence of the high intensity of recreational fishing and whale-watching activities in the area.
The PA6G blue is a polymeric material for great versatility of engineering applications that required good mechanical and tribological properties such as gears. The focus of this study was to investigate the mechanical properties as well as the friction and wear resistance of a commercial PA6G blue under biodegradable external lubrication, to evaluate its potential use for gear applications. Firstly, the PA6G blue was characterized by FTIR analysis in order to identify the characteristic chemical groups of this polymer. The mechanical characterization was performed by tension and hardness tests according to the standards ASTM D638 and ASTM E10, respectively. Subsequently, friction tests were carried out on a tribometer with pin-on-disk configuration based on the ASTM G99 standard, in dry and lubricated conditions. Natural castor and canola oils were employed as bio-lubricants, as well as their mixture at 50% by volume. The results exhibited that the PA6G blue exhibit good mechanical performance as that required by gear fabrications. Besides, the friction performance showed a low friction coefficient of 0.11 in the dry condition that decreased about 50% in lubricated tests, obtaining a friction coefficient value of 0.054.
DSM-5 proposed a new operational system by using the number of fulfilled criteria as an indicator of gambling disorder severity. This method has proven to be controversial among researchers and clinicians alike, due to the lack of studies indicating whether severity, as measured by these criteria, is clinically relevant in terms of treatment outcome. Additionally, numerous studies have highlighted the associations between gambling disorder and impulsivity, though few have examined the impact of impulsivity on long-term treatment outcomes.
In this study, we aimed to assess the predictive value of DSM-5 severity levels on response to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in a sample of male adults seeking treatment for gambling disorder (n = 398). Furthermore, we explored longitudinal predictors of CBT treatment response at a follow-up, considering UPPS-P impulsivity traits.
Our study failed to identify differences in treatment outcomes between patients categorized by DSM-5 severity levels. Higher baseline scores in negative urgency predicted relapse during CBT treatment, and higher levels of sensation seeking were predictive of drop-out from short-term treatment, as well as of drop-out at 24-months.
These noteworthy findings raise questions regarding the clinical utility of DSM-5 severity categories and lend support to the implementation of dimensional approaches for gambling disorder.