University of Barcelona
  • Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Recent publications
This study investigated how much practice is necessary for learners to attain durable second language (L2) grammar knowledge. Using digital flashcards, 119 participants practiced translating 12 sentences into an artificial language, followed by feedback, until they had typed all sentences correctly. Participants repeated this activity in one, two, three, or four relearning sessions on consecutive days. After a 14-day delay, all groups scored highly on a receptive test. However, scores on a productive test were substantially higher for groups with three or four relearning sessions. Accuracy tended to peak on the 3rd day of training. An analysis by individual training performance revealed that participants attained durable productive knowledge if they completed two sessions without errors, regardless of how many sessions they had performed in total. The findings provide a timeframe for processes described in skill retention theory (Kim et al., 2013) and suggest a performance benchmark to indicate when learners have gained procedural L2 grammar knowledge.
Juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM) is a chronic widespread pain condition that primarily affects adolescent girls. Previous studies have found increased sensitivity to noxious pressure in adolescents with JFM. However, the underlying changes in brain systems remain unclear. The aim of this study was to characterize pain-evoked brain responses and identify brain mediators of pain hypersensitivity in adolescent girls with JFM. Thirty-three adolescent girls with JFM and 33 healthy adolescent girls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scans involving noxious pressure applied to the left thumbnail at an intensity of 2.5 or 4 kg/cm2 and rated pain intensity and unpleasantness on a computerized Visual Analogue Scale. We conducted standard general linear model analyses and exploratory whole-brain mediation analyses. The JFM group reported significantly greater pain intensity and unpleasantness than the control group in response to noxious pressure stimuli at both intensities (P < 0.05). The JFM group showed augmented right primary somatosensory cortex (S1) activation to 4 kg/cm2 (Z > 3.1, cluster-corrected P < 0.05), and the peak S1 activation magnitudes significantly correlated with the scores on the Widespread Pain Index (r = 0.35, P = 0.048) with higher activation associated with more widespread pain. We also found that greater primary sensorimotor cortex activation in response to 4 kg/cm2 mediated the between-group differences in pain intensity ratings (P < 0.001). In conclusion, we found heightened sensitivity to noxious pressure stimuli and augmented pain-evoked sensorimotor cortex responses in adolescent girls with JFM, which could reflect central sensitization or amplified nociceptive input.
Background and objectives Alemtuzumab demonstrated superior efficacy versus subcutaneous interferon (IFN) beta-1a in participants with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in the 2-year CARE-MS I and II trials. Efficacy was maintained in the 4-year CARE-MS extension, during which alemtuzumab-treated participants (‘alemtuzumab-only’) could receive additional courses upon disease activity, and IFN-treated participants switched to alemtuzumab (‘IFN-alemtuzumab’). Participants who completed the CARE-MS extension could enroll in the open-label TOPAZ study which assessed safety and efficacy for 5–7 years (11–13 years after alemtuzumab/IFN initiation). Methods Participants received additional alemtuzumab courses as needed. Assessments included adverse events (AEs; primary outcome), annualized relapse rate (ARR), 6-month confirmed disability worsening [CDW; ⩾1.0-point Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score increase or ⩾1.5 if baseline EDSS = 0], and 6-month confirmed disease improvement [CDI; >1.0-point EDSS decrease (baseline score ⩾2.0)]. Results 43.5% of alemtuzumab-only participants from CARE-MS II and 54.2% from CARE-MS I received no additional alemtuzumab courses; 30.0% and 20.9%, respectively, received one additional course (the median). Incidences of AEs, including thyroid AEs and infections, declined over time. The safety profile of alemtuzumab was similar for participants who received zero, one, or two additional courses. For CARE-MS II participants, who had inadequate response to previous treatment, ARR remained low during Years 3–13 for the alemtuzumab-only [0.17; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15–0.20] and IFN-alemtuzumab (0.14; 0.11–0.17) groups. At Year 11, the proportions of participants who were either free from CDW or who had CDI were higher in the alemtuzumab-only group (58% and 49%, respectively) than in the IFN-alemtuzumab group (51% and 37%). For CARE-MS I participants, who were previously treatment-naïve, clinical outcomes remained improved, and no between-group differences were apparent. Conclusion Safety risks associated with alemtuzumab treatment declined over time. Clinical benefits were maintained up to 11–13 years, and most participants did not require more than one additional course. identifiers NCT00530348; NCT00548405; NCT00930553; NCT02255656
Leposternon microcephalum is a species belonging to the Amphisbaenia, a group of burrowing reptiles. Amphisbaenia present various morphological and physiological adaptations that allow them to penetrate the ground and live underground, through a system of galleries and permanent chambers that they build themselves. Among the morphological adaptations in this group, those of the skull stand out as it serves as the main excavation tool. Four basic skull shapes are recognized: rounded, keeled, shovel‐shaped, and spade‐shaped. The skull of L. microcephalum belongs to this last type, which is considered the most specialized. The species inhabits soils that are highly compacted and difficult to penetrate. Among the species of Leposternon present in South America, L. microcephalum has the widest distribution, being found in all Brazilian biomes and neighboring countries such as Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The analysis of the skull of this species was carried out using three‐dimensional geometric morphometrics (3D‐GMM), a technique that allows comparative analysis, through robust statistical methods, of shape and its variations, using Cartesian coordinate data from a configuration of homologous landmarks. The technique allows the size and shape components of a structure to be analyzed separately. From an ontogenetic point of view, this methodology had also been used to investigate variations in Cynisca leucura , a member of the Amphisbaenidae with a rounded head. Our hypothesis is that the patterns of morphological differentiation in the skull, mainly in the intermediate and occipital regions, are similar in different Amphisbaenia species. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze cranial morphological variations in an ontogenetic series of L. microcephalum using 3D‐GMM. Computed Tomographic scans of 13 specimens were analyzed: juveniles ( N = 8) and adults ( N = 5), based on 20 landmarks that characterize the skull. Principal components and regression analyses between shape (dependent variable) and size (independent variable) showed a clear difference between the cranial morphological pattern of juvenile individuals and that of adults. For instance, young specimens tend to have a dorsoventrally tall neurocranium, with the tip of the snout more anteriorly oriented and its dorsal border subtly curved. Dorsally, the parietal region is thicker and smoothly dome‐shaped in juveniles. As in C. leucura , the variation was strongly correlated with the size change from juvenile to adult, indicating a dominant role for ontogenetic allometry in determining skull shape.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes are becoming a global sociobiomedical burden. Beige adipocytes are emerging as key inducible actors and putative relevant therapeutic targets for improving metabolic health. However, in vitro models of human beige adipose tissue are currently lacking and hinder research into this cell type and biotherapy development. Unlike traditional bottom‐up engineering approaches that aim to generate building blocks, here a scalable system is proposed to generate pre‐vascularized and functional human beige adipose tissue organoids using the human stromal vascular fraction of white adipose tissue as a source of adipose and endothelial progenitors. This engineered method uses a defined biomechanical and chemical environment using tumor growth factor β (TGFβ) pathway inhibition and specific gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) embedding parameters to promote the self‐organization of spheroids in GelMA hydrogel, facilitating beige adipogenesis and vascularization. The resulting vascularized organoids display key features of native beige adipose tissue including inducible Uncoupling Protein‐1 (UCP1) expression, increased uncoupled mitochondrial respiration, and batokines secretion. The controlled assembly of spheroids allows to translate organoid morphogenesis to a macroscopic scale, generating vascularized centimeter‐scale beige adipose micro‐tissues. This approach represents a significant advancement in developing in vitro human beige adipose tissue models and facilitates broad applications ranging from basic research to biotherapies.
Background and importance The rates of hidden infection and late diagnosis of HIV still remain high in Western countries. Missed diagnostic opportunities represent the key point in changing the course of the epidemic. Objective To evaluate the feasibility and results of implementation of a selective strategy to test for HIV in the emergency department (ED) in patients with six pre-defined medical situations: sexually transmitted infections, herpes zoster, community-acquired pneumonia, mononucleosis syndrome, practice of chemsex (CS) or request of post-exposure prophylaxis. Design This quasi-experimental longitudinal study evaluated the pre- and post-implementation results of HIV testing in the six aforementioned clinical scenarios. Settings and participants Patients attended 34 Spanish EDs. Intervention or exposure The intervention was an intensive educational program and pathways to facilitate and track orders and results were designed. We collected and compared pre- and post-implementation ED census and diagnoses, and HIV tests requested and results. Outcome measures and analysis The main outcome was adherence to the recommendations. Secondary outcomes were to evaluate the effectiveness of the program by the rate of positive test and the new HIV diagnoses. Differences between first and second periods were assessed. The magnitude of changes (absolute and relative) was expressed with the 95% confidence interval (CI). Main results HIV tests increasing from 7080 (0.42% of ED visits) to 13 436 (relative increase of 75%, 95% CI from 70 to 80%). The six conditions were diagnosed in 15 879 and 16 618 patients, and HIV testing was ordered in 3393 (21%) and 7002 (42%) patients (increase: 97%; 95% CI: 90–104%). HIV testing significantly increased for all conditions except for CS. The positive HIV test rates increased from 0.92 to 1.67%. Detection of persons with undiagnosed HIV increased from 65 to 224, which implied a 220% (95% CI: 143–322%) increase of HIV diagnosis among all ED comers and a 71% (95% CI: 30–125%) increase of positive HIV tests. Conclusion Implementation of a strategy to test for HIV in selective clinical situations in the ED is feasible and may lead to a substantial increase in HIV testing and diagnoses.
Human diseases may be modeled in animals to allow preclinical assessment of putative new clinical interventions. Recent, highly publicized failures of large clinical trials called into question the rigor, design, and value of preclinical assessment. We established the Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN) to design and implement a randomized, controlled, blinded, multi-laboratory trial for the rigorous assessment of candidate stroke treatments combined with intravascular thrombectomy. Efficacy and futility boundaries in a multi-arm multi-stage statistical design aimed to exclude from further study highly effective or futile interventions after each of four sequential stages. Six independent research laboratories performed a standard focal cerebral ischemic insult in five animal models that included equal numbers of males and females: young mice, young rats, aging mice, mice with diet-induced obesity, and spontaneously hypertensive rats. The laboratories adhered to a common protocol and efficiently enrolled 2615 animals with full data completion and comprehensive animal tracking. SPAN successfully implemented treatment masking, randomization, prerandomization inclusion and exclusion criteria, and blinded assessment of outcomes. The SPAN design and infrastructure provide an effective approach that could be used in similar preclinical, multi-laboratory studies in other disease areas and should help improve reproducibility in translational science.
Paternal postpartum depression (PD) is considered an affective disorder that affects fathers during the months following childbirth. Interestingly, it has been observed that during these months the chances of a male parent suffering from depression are double that for a non-parent male counterpart. We present the case of a 34-year-old man with no relevant medical history in who, overlapping her daughter’s birth, several depressive symptoms emerged, such as fatigue, lack of concentration, sleeping disturbances and abandonment of care of the newborn. Prior to consultation, patient refused to eat and open his eyes, and his speech became progressively more parsimonious until reaching mutism. The patient was diagnosed with a severe depressive disorder with catatonia. Given the lack of improvement with pharmacological treatment and due to the evidence of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)’s effectiveness on patients with catatonia, acute ECT treatment was indicated and started. It should be noted that PD is an important entity to consider in our differential diagnosis of young parents who present a depressive episode. Few cases of relatively young patients presenting with such clinical presentation have been described and, although this case presents some of the characteristics described in the epidemiology of PD, other clinical aspects are not typical of this entity. Informed consent was obtained from the patient for the purpose of publication.
Psychiatric comorbidity is common in cancer patients, emphasizing the need for comprehensive care. While depressive symptoms in pancreatic cancer have been studied, there is limited attention given to manic symptoms. This case report aims to contribute to the knowledge of pancreatic cancer psychiatric comorbidities by describing a case of a patient with stage IV pancreatic cancer who presented a sudden onset manic episode. The patient, a 61-year-old male with stage IV pancreatic cancer, presented at the Emergency Room with abrupt behavioural changes suggestive of a manic episode of 2 weeks of evolution. The patient had been undergoing chemotherapy and short 3-day cycles of corticosteroids for the past 9 months but had been off this treatment for 20 days when the episode began. Acute organic causes were ruled out. The patient was admitted to the psychiatric unit, where organic screening was expanded and treatment with antipsychotics and a mood stabiliser was initiated with subsequent remission of symptoms after 2 weeks. This case shows a manic episode as a rare psychiatric complication in pancreatic cancer. In the literature reviewed, four other similar cases have been observed. Further research is needed to elucidate the underlying pathophysiology and explore possible treatment strategies.
This article considers the ways in which empathy for patients and related solidarity with communities may be trained out of medical students during medical school. The article focuses especially on the pre-clinical years of medical school, those that begin with orientation and initiation events such as the White Coat Ceremony. The ethnographic data for the article come from field notes and recordings from my own medical training as well as hundreds of hours of observant participation and interviews with medical students over the past several years. Exploring the framework of language socialization, I argue that learning the verbal, textual and bodily language of medical practice contributes to the increasing experience of separation between physicians and patients. Further considering the ethnographic data, I argue that we also learn a form of empathy limited to performance that short circuits clinical care and the possibility for solidarity for health equity. The article concludes with implications for medical education and the medical social sciences and humanities.
Abstract Background Styloid process (SP) is a cylindrical bony projection that originates from the inferior part of the petrous temporal bone just anteriorly to the stylomastoid foramen. Several nerves, muscles, and ligaments are related closely to the (SP). It is considered elongated when the measurement exceeds 30 mm. The overall prevalence of the styloid process is between 3.3% to 84.4%. The elongation of the styloid process (ESP) is associated with the manifestation of Eagle’s Syndrome (ES) which is characterized by various types of pain in the head and neck region such as headache, tinnitus, otalgia, and trigeminal neuralgia. Eagle’s syndrome occurs in 4–10.3% of individuals with an elongated styloid process (ESP). The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence of (ESP) in the patients who were treated in the Dental Hospital University of Barcelona (HOUB), to review the literature to spot the light on the different demographic data worldwide. Methods The archived panoramic image in the University of Barcelona dental Hospital were consecutively retrieved to investigate the prevalence of (ESP). Of all digital panoramic radiographs (OPG), 400 met the inclusion criteria and were furtherly analyzed. The results are correlated with the participant’s gender, age, and occurrence. Age is subcategorized into three groups. A chi-square test is used to measure the significant differences and the P-value is set at
Objective To determine the overall and procedure-specific incidence of surgical site infections (SSI) caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) as well as risk factors for such across all surgical disciplines in Europe. Methods This is a retrospective cohort of patients with surgical procedures performed at 14 European centres in 2016, with a nested case–control analysis. S. aureus SSI were identified by a semi-automated crossmatching bacteriological and electronic health record data. Within each surgical procedure, cases and controls were matched using optimal propensity score matching. Results A total of 764 of 178 902 patients had S. aureus SSI (0.4%), with 86.0% of these caused by methicillin susceptible and 14% by resistant pathogens. Mean S. aureus SSI incidence was similar for all surgical specialties, while varying by procedure. Conclusions This large procedure-independent study of S. aureus SSI proves a low overall infection rate of 0.4% in this cohort. It provides proof of principle for a semi-automated approach to utilize big data in epidemiological studies of healthcare-associated infections. Trials registration The study was registered at under NCT03353532 (11/2017).
Background Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) etiology is poorly understood, and carcinogenic chemicals in drinking and recreational water are candidates. Objective To evaluate the association between drinking-water exposure to trihalomethanes (THMs) and nitrate as well as lifetime swimming pool attendance and CLL. Methods During 2010–2013, hospital-based CLL cases and population-based controls were recruited in Spain, providing information on residential histories, type of water consumed and swimming pool attendance. Average THMs and nitrate levels in drinking water were linked to lifetime water consumption. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using mixed models. Results Final samples for residential tap water analyses and swimming pool attendance analyses were 144 cases/1230 controls and 157 cases/1240 controls, respectively. Mean (SD) values for average lifetime residential brominated THMs and chloroform in tap water (μg/L), and ingested nitrate (mg/day) were 48.1 (35.6), 18.5 (6.7) and 13.7 (9.6) respectively in controls; and 72.9 (40.7), 17.9 (5.4), and 14.1 (8.8) in CLL cases. For each 10 μg/L increase of brominated THMs and chloroform lifetime-average levels, the ORs (95% CI) were 1.22 (1.14, 1.31) and 0.54 (0.34, 0.87), respectively. For each 5 mg/day increase of ingested nitrate, the OR of CLL was 0.91 (0.80, 1.04). The OR of lifetime pool users (vs. non-users) was 2.38 (1.61, 3.52). Upon performing annual frequency of attending pools analysis through categorization, the second and third categories showed an ORs of 2.36 (1.49, 3.72) and 2.40 (1.51, 3.83), respectively, and P-trend of 0.001. Impact statement This study identifies an association of long-term exposure to THMs in drinking water, at concentrations below the regulatory thresholds and WHO guidelines, and swimming pool attendance, with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). These unprecedented findings are highly relevant since CLL is an incurable cancer with still unknown etiology and because the widespread exposure to chlorination by-products that remain in drinking and recreational water worldwide. Despite the demonstrated carcinogenicity in animals of several chlorination by-products, little is known about their potential risks on human health. This study makes a significant contribution to the search for environmental factors involved in the etiology of CLL and to the evidence of the health impact of these high prevalent water contaminants.
Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder associated with a reduced fertility and decreased life expectancy, yet common predisposing variation substantially contributes to the onset of the disorder, which poses an evolutionary paradox. Previous research has suggested balanced selection, a mechanism by which schizophrenia risk alleles could also provide advantages under certain environments, as a reliable explanation. However, recent studies have shown strong evidence against a positive selection of predisposing loci. Furthermore, evolutionary pressures on schizophrenia risk alleles could have changed throughout human history as new environments emerged. Here in this study, we used 1000 Genomes Project data to explore the relationship between schizophrenia predisposing loci and recent natural selection (RNS) signatures after the human diaspora out of Africa around 100,000 years ago on a genome-wide scale. We found evidence for significant enrichment of RNS markers in derived alleles arisen during human evolution conferring protection to schizophrenia. Moreover, both partitioned heritability and gene set enrichment analyses of mapped genes from schizophrenia predisposing loci subject to RNS revealed a lower involvement in brain and neuronal related functions compared to those not subject to RNS. Taken together, our results suggest non-antagonistic pleiotropy as a likely mechanism behind RNS that could explain the persistence of schizophrenia common predisposing variation in human populations due to its association to other non-psychiatric phenotypes.
La recerca se centra en els esforços per part de l’Ajuntament de Vic de dur a terme el plànol geomètric del nucli urbà seguint una reial ordre de 1846 del Govern espanyol, que molt pocs ajuntaments van complir. A més d’aixecar el plànol, calia dibuixar les propostes d’alineacions de carrers, així com l’obertura de noves vies. En el cas de Vic, s’hi exposen les tensions sorgides entre professionals per realitzar aquests tipus de projectes, ja que, tot i que l’Ajuntament atorgà la realització del mapa al prestigiós arquitecte barceloní Josep Casademunt, hi apareix la figura d’un agrimensor, Tomàs Sanmartí, rebutjat pels arquitectes. En tot cas, van haver de passar sis anys i dues exposicions públiques, plenes d’al·legacions, perquè el mapa fos aprovat l’any 1852. És un exemple de les dificultats que es van haver d’afrontar en els inicis de la cartografia urbana municipal a la Catalunya i a l’Espanya contemporànies.
IntroductionHypertension (HT) remains the leading cause of death worldwide. In Brazil it is estimated that 35% of the adult population has HT and that about 20% of these have blood pressure values within the targets recommended for the reduction of cardiovascular risk. There are some data that point to different control rates in patients treated by cardiologists in public and private referral center and this is an important point to be investigated and discussed.Objective To compare sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index (BMI), antihypertensive (AH) drugs, blood pressure (BP) and control rate in public (PURC) and private (PRRC) referral centers.MethodologyA cross-sectional multicenter study that analyzed data from hypertensive patients assisted by the PURC (one in Midwest Region and other in Northeast region) and PRRC (same distribution). Variables analyzed: sex, age, BMI, classes, number of AH used and mean values of systolic and diastolic BP by office measurement and home blood pressure measurement (HBPM). Uncontrolled hypertension (HT) phenotypes and BP control rates were assessed. Descriptive statistics and χ2 tests or unpaired t-tests were performed. A significance level of p < 0.05 was considered.ResultsA predominantly female (58.9%) sample of 2.956 patients and a higher prevalence of obesity in PURC (p < 0.001) and overweight in PRRC (p < 0.001). The mean AH used was 2.9 ± 1.5 for PURC and 1.4 ± 0.7 for PRRC (p < 0.001). Mean systolic and diastolic BP values were higher in PURC as were rates of uncontrolled HT of 67.8% and 47.6% (p < 0.001) by office measurement and 60.4% and 35.3% (p < 0.001) by HBPM in PURC and PRRC, respectively.Conclusion Patients with HT had a higher prevalence of obesity in the PURC and used almost twice as many AH drugs. BP control rates are worse in the PURC, on average 15.3 mmHg and 12.1 mmHg higher than in the PRRC by office measurement.
Institution pages aggregate content on ResearchGate related to an institution. The members listed on this page have self-identified as being affiliated with this institution. Publications listed on this page were identified by our algorithms as relating to this institution. This page was not created or approved by the institution. If you represent an institution and have questions about these pages or wish to report inaccurate content, you can contact us here.
16,364 members
Miguel Garces
  • Geomodels Research Institute
Amparo Cortés
  • Department of Natural Products, Plant Biology and Soil Science
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585, 08007, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Head of institution
Dr. Joan Elias García
34 934 021 100