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The objective of this study was to analyse the dynamics of spatial dispersion of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Brazil by correlating them to socioeconomic indicators. This is an ecological study of COVID-19 cases and deaths between 26 February and 31 July 2020. All Brazilian counties were used as units of analysis. The incidence, mortality, Bayesian incidence and mortality rates, global and local Moran indices were calculated. A geographic weighted regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationship between incidence and mortality due to COVID-19 and socioeconomic indicators (independent variables). There were confirmed 2 662 485 cases of COVID-19 reported in Brazil from February to July 2020 with higher rates of incidence in the north and northeast. The Moran global index of incidence rate (0.50, P = 0.01) and mortality (0.45 with P = 0.01) indicate a positive spatial autocorrelation with high standards in the north, northeast and in the largest urban centres between cities in the southeast region. In the same period, there were 92 475 deaths from COVID-19, with higher mortality rates in the northern states of Brazil, mainly Amazonas, Pará and Amapá. The results show that there is a geospatial correlation of COVID-19 in large urban centres and regions with the lowest human development index in the country. In the geographic weighted regression, it was possible to identify that the percentage of people living in residences with density higher than 2 per dormitory, the municipality human development index (MHDI) and the social vulnerability index were the indicators that most contributed to explaining incidence, social development index and the municipality human development index contributed the most to the mortality model. We hope that the findings will contribute to reorienting public health responses to combat COVID-19 in Brazil, the new epicentre of the disease in South America, as well as in other countries that have similar epidemiological and health characteristics to those in Brazil.
Babies born small-for-gestational age (SGA) have an increased risk of mortality, morbidity and adverse functional consequences. Studies suggest that pre-pregnancy maternal diet may influence newborns’ size. This study aimed to determine whether maternal pre-pregnancy dietary patterns (DP) are associated with delivering SGA newborns in the ProcriAr Cohort Study, Sao Paulo-Brazil. Pre-pregnancy DP of 299 women were investigated using factor analysis with principal component’s estimation, based on intake reported on a validated 110-item FFQ. Newborns were classified as SGA if their weight and/or length, adjusted by gestational age and sex, were below the 10th percentile of the INTERGROWTH-21st standards. Multivariate Poisson regression modelling with robust error variance was performed to examine associations between the different DP (in quintiles) and SGA. In a model adjusted by maternal sociodemographic and health behaviours, women who scored in the highest quintile of the DP ‘Snacks, sandwiches, sweets and soft drinks’ (in relation to the women who scored in the lowest quintile) were significantly more likely to deliver SGA babies (relative risk 1·92; 95 % CI 1·08, 3·39). This study verified that women’s pre-pregnancy dietary behaviour characterised by an energy-dense nutrient-poor food intake was a risk factor for delivering SGA newborns. Investments in education and improved access to healthful food and nutritional information before pregnancy should be prioritised due to their potential positive impact on child health. However, further studies are warranted to identify specific metabolic pathways that may be underlying these associations.
The farrowing process is one of the most energy-demanding activities for the modern hyperprolific sow. This study evaluated the effects of supply of energy on the expected date of farrowing on the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance during the first 24 h after birth. A total of 80 sows were used. The sows and their respective litters were considered as the experimental unit. On the expected day of farrowing, the sows were allocated to one of the following groups: sows that did not have access to feed from farrowing induction until the end of the farrowing process (CON, n = 40); sows fed 500 g of energetic supplement, which consisted of 250 g of the basal lactation diet plus 250 g of cane sugar, 18 h after farrowing induction (SUP, n = 40). The farrowing duration, farrowing assistance, birth interval, number of total born, stillborn and mummified piglets were recorded for each sow. Piglets were weighed individually at birth and 24 h later. The interval from birth to first suckle was evaluated individually for each piglet in 16 randomly selected litters (eight litters per treatment group). Blood glucose concentrations of six sows were measured shortly after expulsion of the first piglet. Farrowing duration, farrowing assistance and stillborn rate tended to be greater (P = 0.06, P = 0.09 and P = 0.07, respectively) in sows from the CON group compared to sows from the SUP group. However, there was no difference (P > 0.05) between the groups for birth interval. Colostrum intake was greater (P < 0.05) for piglets from the SUP group compared to piglets from the CON group. Additionally, BW gain of the piglets suckling the SUP group was greater (P < 0.05) than those suckling the CON group at 24 h after birth. The blood glucose concentrations during the expulsive stage of farrowing were greater (P < 0.05) in the SUP group than for sows from the CON group. In conclusion, supplying modern hyperprolific sows energy on the expected day of farrowing is a valuable nutritional intervention to improve the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance in early life.
The giant gypsum crystals of Naica cave have fascinated scientists since their discovery in 2000. Human activity has changed the microclimate inside the cave, making scientists wonder about the potential environmental impact on the crystals. Over the last 9 years, we have studied approximately 70 samples. This paper reports on the detailed chemical–structural characterization of the impurities present at the surface of these crystals and the experimental simulations of their potential deterioration patterns. Selected samples were studied by petrography, optical and electronic microscopy, and laboratory X-ray diffraction. 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray μ-fluorescence, and X-ray μ-absorption near-edge structure were used to identify the impurities and their associated phases. These impurities were deposited during the latest stage of the gypsum crystal formation and have afterward evolved with the natural high humidity. The simulations of the behavior of the crystals in microclimatic chambers produced crystal dissolution by 1–4% weight fraction under high CO2 concentration and permanent fog, and gypsum phase dehydration under air and CO2 gaseous environment. Our work suggests that most surface impurities are of natural origin; the most significant anthropogenic damage on the crystals is the extraction of water from the caves.
Brain volume abnormalities and oxidative cell damage have been reported to be pathological characteristics of schizophrenia patients. This study aims to assess a potential relationship between these two characteristics in child and adolescent patients with first-episode psychosis.
26 child and adolescent patients with first-episode early-onset schizophrenia, and 78 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were assessed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were used for volumetric measurements of five cerebral regions: gray matter of the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes, sulcal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and lateral ventricles. Oxidative cell damage was traced by means of a systemic increase in lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH).
Lateral ventricle volumes were significantly higher in schizophrenia patients than in controls. In schizophrenia patients, a significant positive relationship was found between oxidative cell damage (LOOH levels) and the abnormal enlargement of the lateral ventricles, after controlling for total intracranial volume, age, gender, daily smoking status, intelligence quotient (IQ), psychopathology, and time since onset of psychotic symptoms. No association was found between brain volumes and oxidative cell damage in control subjects.
Our results suggest that, in patients with first-episode early-onset schizophrenia, enlargement of the lateral ventricles is associated with chronic oxidative cell damage.
Early-onset psychosis (EOP) are a heterogeneous group, with high diagnostic stability for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in contrast to the lack of diagnostic stability of other EOP.
We recruited 24 adolescents consecutively admitted, who presented a first psychotic episode, in the adolescent psychiatric unit of the Gregorio Marañón General Hospital in Madrid, between May 2002 and May 2003, for a two year follow-up. Only one was lost at the two-year assessment.
Diagnosis of the psychotic disorders was assessed using the Kiddie-Sads-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL).
The agreement between the baseline and the one-year follow-up diagnoses was 54.2%. Positive Predictive Value (PPV) was 100% for schizophrenia and depression with psychotic features, and 71.4% for bipolar disorder, while only 50.0% for schizo-affective disorder and 16.7% for psychosis NOS. From the one-year to the two-year follow-up, only one patient changed the diagnosis, so the agreement was 95.7%.
Eight patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia at the follow-up, but only four of them had received this diagnosis at the baseline assessment. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder was given at the follow-up to eight patients, from whom only four subjects received this diagnosis at baseline.
The results of the our longitudinal study on diagnostic stability support the Kraepelinean distinction between dementia praecox and manic-depressive psychosis.
Psychosis with onset prior to 18 years of age, or early-onset psychosis (EOP), have a poorer prognosis than adult-onset psychosis. Further, a worse functional outcome of patients with EOP has been related to diagnosis of schizophrenia, severity of negative symptoms, behavioral problems, premorbid functioning, childhood onset, and insidious onset. We aim to examine the functional outcome of patients with EOP over a two-year follow-up.
A total of 24 patients with first episode psychosis were enrolled. Subjects underwent a cross-sectional evaluation at the baseline visit that consisted of collecting sociodemographic data, including parental socioeconomic status as measured by the Hollingshead-Redlich Scale. Psychotic symptoms were assessed using the Spanish version of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Social disability was measured with the Global Assessment of Functioning disability scale (GAF). Patients were assessed at a two-year follow-up. A linear regression analysis was used to predict the level of functioning (based on GAF scores) over the two-year follow-up. Variables entered into this equation were: GAF at two-year follow-up (as dependent variable), and gender, age at first onset, parental socioeconomic status, diagnosis, positive symptoms at baseline, and negative symptoms at baseline (as independent variables).
Negative symptoms at baseline were the only significant variable that predict the functional outcome at the two-year follow-up (p= 0.010).
Functional prognosis of early-onset psychosis depends on the severity of negative symptoms, independently of diagnosis.
Currently, there are many drugs to treat Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity. in addition, what has prover to be complimentary to drug therapy is behavioral training for parents and teachers as well as training on social skills and behavioral modification. Current studies using nir-HEG (blood activity), which, significantly differentiate ADHD children in the control group and the combined and inattentive subtype for the variable Fp1, associated with executive control. the instrument nir-HEG instrument allows the training of cortical activation favoring the increase of the latter. in 2000, Toomim et al performed a treatment study with a group of 26 subjects. Most (14) had been diagnosed with ADHD and each participant was submited to an evaluation of 10 sessions (in three areas of the prefrontal cortex). Participants in the experimental group showed a gain of nearly one standard deviation in TOVA. in this study, a five-subject design case was employed and ten sessions of HEG were administered. However we show another results contrasting nirHEG measures (ratio, attention index) with another attention measure. Data showed positive gain indicating success when increasing the biofeedback signal. for example children trained with HEG, gain a significant improvement in terms of selective and sustained attention. However, the gain of the experimental group at the end of training is important and can amount to 31.5%. the results open a scope of great interest to be more precise in the intervention from the behavioral and pharmacological point of view.
Nutrient requirements in cattle are dependent on physiological stage, breed and environmental conditions. In Holstein × Gyr crossbred dairy heifers, the lack of data remains a limiting factor for estimating energy and protein requirements. Thus, we aimed to estimate the energy and protein requirements of Holstein × Gyr crossbred heifers raised under tropical conditions. Twenty-two crossbred (½ Holstein × ½ Gyr) heifers with an average initial BW of 102.2 ± 3.4 kg and 3 to 4 months of age were used. To estimate requirements, the comparative slaughter technique was used: four animals were assigned to the reference group, slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment to estimate the initial empty BW (EBW) and composition of the animals that remained in the experiment. The remaining animals were randomized into three treatments based on targeted rates of BW gain: high (1.0 kg/day), low (0.5 kg/day) and close to maintenance (0.1 kg/day). At the end of the experiment, all animals were slaughtered to determine EBW, empty body gain (EBG) and body energy and protein contents. The linear regression parameters were estimated using PROC MIXED of SAS (version 9.4). Estimates of the parameters of non-linear regressions were adjusted through PROC NLIN of SAS using the Gauss–Newton method for parameter fit. The net requirements of energy for maintenance (NEm) and metabolizable energy for maintenance (MEm) were 0.303 and 0.469 MJ/EBW0.75 per day, respectively. The efficiency of use of MEm was 64.5%. The estimated equation to predict the net energy requirement for gain (NEg) was: NEg (MJ/day) = 0.299 × EBW0.75 × EBG0.601. The efficiency of use of ME for gain (kg) was 30.7%. The requirement of metabolizable protein for maintenance was 3.52 g/EBW0.75 per day. The equation to predict net protein requirement for gain (NPg) was: NPg (g/day) = 243.65 × EBW−0.091 × EBG. The efficiency of use of metabolizable protein for gain (k) was 50.8%. We observed noteworthy differences when comparing to ME and protein requirements of Holstein × Gyr crossbred heifers with other systems. In addition, we also observed differences in estimates for NEm, NEg, NPg, kg and k. Therefore, we propose that the equations generated in the present study should be used to estimate energy and protein requirements for Holstein × Gyr crossbred dairy heifers raised in tropical conditions in the post-weaning phase up to 185 kg of BW.
Comorbidity between alcoholism and depression has long been acknowledged, and the possibility that similar brain mechanisms, involving both serotonergic (5-HT) and noradrenergic systems (NE), underlie both pathologies has been suggested. Thus, inhibitors of NE and 5HT uptake have been proposed for the treatment of alcoholism, as they have shown to reduce alcohol intake in various animal models. However, most of the studies mentioned were carried out acutely and there is a lack of knowledge of the possible long-term effects. Clinical studies report an overall low efficacy of antidepressant treatment on alcohol consumption, or even a worsened prognosis. In addition, several cases of alcohol dependence following antidepressant treatment have been reported in the literature.
We aimed at comparing the acute and chronic effects of the treatment with the antidepressant drug reboxetine on alcohol consumption.
We used a rat model of alcohol self-administration, and two different schedules of reboxetine administration (acute and chronic).
Our results confirm the acute suppressant effects of reboxetine on alcohol consumption but indicate that, when this drug is administered chronically in a period of abstinence from alcohol, it can significantly increase the rate of alcohol self-administration.
These results are important for the understanding of the clinical reports describing cases of increased alcohol consumption after antidepressant treatment, and suggest that much more research is needed to fully understand the long term effects of antidepressants, which remain the most widely prescribed class of drugs.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Modern lifestyle increases the prevalence of obesity and its co-morbidities in the young population. High-salt (HS) diets are associated with hypertension and cardiac remodelling. The present study evaluated the potential effects of cardiometabolic programming induced by HS intake during puberty in lean and obese rats. Additionally, we investigated whether HS could exacerbate the impairment of cardiovascular parameters in adult life due to postnatal early overnutrition (PO). At postnatal day 3 (PN3), twenty-four litters of Wistar rats were divided into two groups: normal litter (NL, nine pups/dam) and small litter (SL, three pups/dam) throughout the lactation period; weaning was at PN21. At PN30, the pups were subdivided into two more groups: NL plus HS (NLHS) and SL plus HS (SLHS). HS intake was from PN30 until PN60. Cardiovascular parameters were evaluated at PN120. SL rats became overweight at adulthood due to persistent hyperphagia; however, HS exposure during puberty reduced the weight gain and food intake of NLHS and SLHS. Both HS and obesity raised the blood pressure, impaired baro- and chemoreflex sensitivity and induced cardiac remodelling but no worsening was observed in the association of these factors, except a little reduction in the angiotensin type-2 receptor in the hearts from SLHS animals. Our results suggest that the response of newborn offspring to PO and juveniles to a HS diet leads to significant changes in cardiovascular parameters in adult rats. This damage may be accompanied by impairment of both angiotensin signalling and antioxidant defence in the heart.
Culturally linked family influences during adolescence are important predictors of health and well-being for Latino youth, yet few studies have examined whether these familial influences are associated with indicators of typical physiological stress processes. Following a cultural neurobiology framework, we examined the role of family in the everyday lives of Latino adolescents (N = 209; Mage = 18.10; 85.1% Mexican descent; 64.4% female) by investigating familism values and perceptions of parent support as well as daily family assistance behaviors in relation to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis diurnal patterns, indexed by salivary cortisol five times a day for 3 weekdays. Three-level growth curve analyses revealed that perceptions of parental support were associated with greater cortisol awakening responses, whereas familism values were not associated with diurnal cortisol patterns. In day-to-day analyses, assisting family during the day (compared to not assisting family) was associated with lower waking cortisol levels and flatter diurnal slopes the next day. Our findings highlight the dynamic associations and multiple time courses between cultural values and behaviors, daily experiences, and physiological stress processes for Latino adolescents. Further, we identified important cultural risk and promotive factors associated with physiological regulation in daily life and potential pathways toward health outcomes in adulthood.
Previous reviews suggest there is minimal evidence for an association between duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and neurocognition. This is based on tallied findings of studies with small samples and neurocognition viewed as a single construct. We aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the association between DUP and individual neurocognitive domains and tests in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
MOOSE and PRISMA guidelines were followed. Forty-three studies involving 4647 FEP patients were included. For studies providing correlations between DUP and neurocognition, 12 separate meta-analyses were performed based on neurocognitive domains/indices. The influence of demographic/clinical variables was tested using weighted linear meta-regression analyses.
The relationship between DUP and most neurocognitive domains/indices was not significant. Longer DUP was associated with a larger cognitive deterioration index, i.e. current minus premorbid intellectual functioning (N = 4; mean ES −0.213, 95% confidence interval (CI) (−0.344 to −0.074), p = 0.003). Findings were homogeneous, with no evidence of publication bias or significant influence from moderators. For studies providing mean and standard deviations for neurocognitive measures and DUP, 20 meta-regressions were performed on individual neurocognitive tests. One significant finding emerged showing that longer DUP was associated with fewer Wisconsin Card Sorting Test-perseverative errors (mean ES −0.031, 95% CI (−0.048 to −0.013), p < 0.001). Exploratory meta-regressions in studies with mean DUP <360 days showed longer DUP was significantly associated with poorer performance on Trail Making Test A and B and higher Full-Scale IQ.
There may not be a generalised association between DUP and neurocognition, however, specific cognitive functions may be associated with longer DUP or delayed help-seeking.
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.
Cognitive deficits are predictors of functional outcome in patients with psychosis. While conventional antipsychotics are relatively effective on positive symptoms, their impact on negative and cognitive symptoms is limited. Recent studies have established a link between oxidative stress and neurocognitive deficits in psychosis. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutathione precursor with glutamatergic properties, has shown efficacy on negative symptoms and functioning in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, respectively. However, there are few evidence-based approaches for managing cognitive impairment in psychosis. The present study aims to examine the cognitive effects of adjunctive NAC treatment in a pooled subgroup of participants with psychosis who completed neuropsychological assessment in two trials of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
A sample of 58 participants were randomized in a double fashion to receive 2 g/day of NAC (n = 27) or placebo (n = 31) for 24 weeks. Attention, working memory and executive function domains were assessed. Differences between cognitive performance at baseline and end point were examined using Wilcoxon's test. The Mann–Whitney test was used to examine the differences between the NAC and placebo groups at the end point.
Participants treated with NAC had significantly higher working memory performance at week 24 compared with placebo (U = 98.5, p = 0.027).
NAC may have an impact on cognitive performance in psychosis, as a significant improvement in working memory was observed in the NAC-treated group compared with placebo; however, these preliminary data require replication. Glutamatergic compounds such as NAC may constitute a step towards the development of useful therapies for cognitive impairment in psychosis.
Strongyloides venezuelensis is a parasitic nematode of rodents that is frequently used to obtain heterologous antigens for immunological diagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. The aim of this study was to identify antigens from filariform larvae of S. venezuelensis for immunodiagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. Soluble and membrane fractions from filariform larvae of S. venezuelensis were obtained in phosphate saline (SS and SM) and in Tris–HCl buffer (TS and TM), and were analysed by Western blotting. Different antigenic components were recognized by IgG antibodies from the sera of strongyloidiasis patients. Highest recognition was observed for a 30–40 kDa mass range present in all antigenic fractions. The band encompassing this mass range was then excised and subjected to mass spectrometry for protein identification. Immunoreactive proteins identified in the soluble fractions corresponded to metabolic enzymes, whereas cytoskeletal proteins and galectins were more abundant in the membrane fractions. These results represent the first approach towards identification of S. venezuelensis antigens for use in immunodiagnostic assays for human strongyloidiasis.
Among the solar proxies, κ1 Cet, stands out as potentially having a mass very close to solar and a young age. We report magnetic field measurements and planetary habitability consequences around this star, a proxy of the young Sun when life arose on Earth. Magnetic strength was determined from spectropolarimetric observations and we reconstruct the large-scale surface magnetic field to derive the magnetic environment, stellar winds, and particle flux permeating the interplanetary medium around κ1 Cet. Our results show a closer magnetosphere and mass-loss rate 50 times larger than the current solar wind mass-loss rate when Life arose on Earth, resulting in a larger interaction via space weather disturbances between the stellar wind and a hypothetical young-Earth analogue, potentially affecting the habitability. Interaction of the wind from the young Sun with the planetary ancient magnetic field may have affected the young Earth and its life conditions.
Thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair has been employed to treat late complications after aortic coarctation correction. However, its use in children has seldomly been reported.
We present the case of a 15-year-old child who presented with a ruptured aneurysm of the descending aorta complicated later by an aortic-oesophageal fistula following aortic coarctation stenting that was managed with multiple bridging endovascular interventions until a definitive repair was performed.
Thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair may be used successfully as a bridging intervention to a definitive repair in children with life-threatening aortic complications following aortic coarctation repair.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.