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Haier R.J.,University of California at Irvine | Schroeder D.H.,Johnson OConnor Research Foundation | Tang C.,The New School | Head K.,University of California at Irvine | Colom R.,University Autanoma Of Madrid
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2010

Background. Individual differences in cognitive abilities provide information that is valuable for vocational guidance, but there is an ongoing debate about the role of ability factors, including general intelligence (g), compared to individual tests. Neuroimaging can help identify brain parameters that may account for individual differences in both factors and tests. Here we investigate how eight tests used in vocational guidance correlate to regional gray matter. We compare brain networks identified by using scores for ability factors (general and specific) to those identified by using individual tests to determine whether these relatively broad and narrow approaches yield similar results. Findings. Using MRI and voxel-based morphometry (VBM), we correlated gray matter with independent ability factors (general intelligence, speed of reasoning, numerical, spatial, memory) and individual test scores from a battery of cognitive tests completed by 40 individuals seeking vocational guidance. Patterns of gray matter correlations differed between group ability factors and individual tests. Moreover, tests within the same factor showed qualitatively different brain correlates to some degree. Conclusions. The psychometric factor structure of cognitive tests can help identify brain networks related to cognitive abilities beyond a general intelligence factor (g). Correlates of individual ability tests with gray matter, however, appear to have some differences from the correlates for group factors. © 2010 Haier et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Rejas J.,Pfizer | Ruiz M.A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Pardo A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Soto J.,Pfizer
BMC Medical Research Methodology | Year: 2011

Background: A previous study has documented the reliability and validity of the Treatment Satisfaction with Medicines Questionnaire (SATMED-Q) in exploring patient satisfaction with medicines for chronic health conditions in routine medical practice, but the minimally important difference (MID) of this tool is as yet unknown. The objective of this research was to estimate the MID for the SATMED-Q total score and six constituent domains. Methods. The sample of patients (456 subjects, mean age 59 years, 53% male) used for testing psychometric properties was also used to assess MID. Item #14 of the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM) was used as an anchor reference since it directly explores satisfaction with medicine on a 7-point ordinal scale (from extremely satisfied to extremely dissatisfied, with a neutral category). Patients were classified into four categories according to responses to this item (extremely satisfied/dissatisfied, very satisfied/dissatisfied, satisfied/dissatisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (neutral), and calculations were made for the total score and each domain of the SATMED-Q using standardised scores. The mean absolute differences in total score (and domains) between the neutral category and the satisfied/dissatisfied category were considered to be the MID. Effect sizes (ES) were also computed. Results: The MID for the total score was 13.4 (ES = 0.91), while the domain values ranged from 10.3 (medical care domain, ES = 0.43) to 20.6 (impact on daily living, ES = 0.85). Mean differences in satisfaction (as measured by the total SATMED-Q score and domain scores) using the levels of satisfaction established by item #14 were significantly different, with F values ranging from 12.2 to 88.8 (p < 0.001 in all cases). Conclusion: The SATMED-Q was demonstrated to be responsive to different levels of patient satisfaction with therapy in chronically ill subjects. The MID obtained was 13.4 points for the overall normalised scoring scale, and between 10.3 and 20.6 points for domains. © 2011 Rejas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Rodriguez-Artalejo F.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Rodriguez-Artalejo F.,Astrazeneca | Guallar E.,Welch Center for Prevention | Guallar E.,National Center for Cardiovascular Research | And 10 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2010

Background. The EURIKA study aims to assess the status of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) across Europe. Specifically, it will determine the degree of control of cardiovascular risk factors in current clinical practice in relation to the European guidelines on cardiovascular prevention. It will also assess physicians' knowledge and attitudes about CVD prevention as well as the barriers impeding effective risk factor management in clinical practice. Methods/Design. Cross-sectional study conducted simultaneously in 12 countries across Europe. The study has two components: firstly at the physician level, assessing eight hundred and nine primary care and specialist physicians with a daily practice in CVD prevention. A physician specific questionnaire captures information regarding physician demographics, practice settings, cardiovascular prevention beliefs and management. Secondly at the patient level, including 7641 patients aged 50 years or older, free of clinical CVD and with at least one classical risk factor, enrolled by the participating physicians. A patient-specific questionnaire captures information from clinical records and patient interview regarding sociodemographic data, CVD risk factors, and current medications. Finally, each patient provides a fasting blood sample, which is sent to a central laboratory for measuring serum lipids, apolipoproteins, hemoglobin-A1c, and inflammatory biomarkers. Discussion. Primary prevention of CVD is an extremely important clinical issue, with preventable circulatory diseases remaining the leading cause of major disease burden. The EURIKA study will provide key information to assess effectiveness of and attitudes toward primary prevention of CVD in Europe. A transnational study creates opportunities for benchmarking good clinical practice across countries and improving outcomes. © 2010 Rodríguez-Artalejo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Gavilan M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Ascasibar Y.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Molla M.,CIEMAT | Diaz A.I.,University Autanoma Of Madrid
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

We argue that isolated gas-rich dwarf galaxies - in particular, dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies - do not necessarily undergo significant gas loss. Our aim is to investigate whether the observed properties of isolated, gas-rich dwarf galaxies, not affected by external environmental processes, can be reproduced by self-consistent chemophotometric infall models with continuous star formation histories and no mass or metal loss. Themodel is characterized by the total mass of primordial gas available to the object, its characteristic collapse time-scale, and a constant star formation efficiency. A grid of 144 such models has been computed by varying these parameters, and their predictions (elemental abundances, stellar and gas masses, photometric colours) have been compared with a set of observations of dIrr galaxies obtained from the literature. It is found that the models with moderate to low efficiency are able to reproduce most of the observational data, including the relative abundances of nitrogen and oxygen. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Ramirez C.A.,Laboratorio Of Parasitologia Molecular | Ramirez C.A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Requena J.M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Puerta C.J.,Laboratorio Of Parasitologia Molecular
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2011

Background: The heat stress suffered by Leishmania sp during its digenetic life-cycle is a key trigger for its stage differentiation. In Leishmania subgenera two classes of HSP70 genes differing in their 3' UTR were described. Although the presence of HSP70-I genes was previously suggested in Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, HSP70-II genes had been reluctant to be uncovered. Results: Here, we report the existence of two types of HSP70 genes in L. braziliensis and the genomic organization of the HSP70 locus. RT-PCR experiments were used to map the untranslated regions (UTR) of both types of genes. The 3' UTR-II has a low sequence identity (55-57%) when compared with this region in other Leishmania species. In contrast, the 5' UTR, common to both types of genes, and the 3' UTR-I were found to be highly conserved among all Leishmania species (77-81%). Southern blot assays suggested that L. braziliensis HSP70 gene cluster may contain around 6 tandemly-repeated HSP70-I genes followed by one HSP70-II gene, located at chromosome 28. Northern blot analysis indicated that levels of both types of mRNAs are not affected by heat shock. Conclusions: This study has led to establishing the composition and structure of the HSP70 locus of L. braziliensis, complementing the information available in the GeneDB genome database for this species. L. braziliensis HSP70 gene regulation does not seem to operate by mRNA stabilization as occurs in other Leishmania species. © 2011 Ramírez et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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