76 research outputs found

    Compound Analytical Model Dedicated to the Prediction of the Features of Fractional-Slot PMSMs

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    The paper is aimed at a simple analytical approach to predict the no- and on-load features of fractional-slot permanent magnet synchronous machines (FSPMSMs). The proposed approach is based on the combination of: (i) a formulation of the no-load air gap flux density based on the resolution of the Maxwell equations, and (ii) the magnetic equivalent circuit- (MEC) of the stator. The resulting compound analytical model is iteratively solved using a Newton-Raphson algorithm where the stator MEC incorporates position-dependent magneto-motive force (MMF) sources yielded by the no-load air gap flux density-formulation along with those due to the armature magnetic reaction. Prior to do so, a comparison, based on the tradeoff accuracy/CPU time, of three stator MEC networks is carried out. Following the MEC selection, the proposed approach- is applied to three case studies which differ by their slot per pole and per phase number and by the permanent magnet arrangement, leading to the prediction of their no- and on-load features. The obtained analytical results are validated by finite element analysis

    Intervention Based on Psychomotor Rehabilitation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD: Effect on Postural Control and Sensory Integration

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    Postural stability and control are essential motor skills for successfully performing various activities of daily living. However, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit significant sensorimotor impairments. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of psychomotricity training on postural control (PC) of children with ASD. We recruited thirty children (age = 8.01 ± 1.2; weight = 31.66 ± 8.1 kg; height = 129.7 ± 10.8 cm) diagnosed with ASD (intellectual quotient > 50) to participate in this study. They were divided into two groups: the experimental group (n = 16) and control group (n = 14). Children in the experimental group were trained with psychomotor activities two times a week for nine weeks. Statistic postural balance was assessed before and after intervention and on different vision conditions. The results showed that the psychomotor training significantly improved PC in standing position under different conditions when compared to the control group, in all parameters (CoPA; CoPLX; CoPLy) (p < 0.01). Our preliminary findings suggest the usefulness of the psychomotor training in children with ASD on static PC

    Characterization of Cell Death Induced by Imine Analogs of Trans-Resveratrol: Induction of Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Overproduction of Reactive Oxygen Species Leading to, or Not, Apoptosis without the Increase in the S-Phase of the Cell Cycle

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    Trans-resveratrol (RSV) is a non-flavonoid polyphenol (stilbene) with numerous biological activities, such as anti-tumor activities. However, RSV is rapidly metabolized, which limits its therapeutic use. The availability of RSV analogues with similar activities for use in vivo is therefore a major challenge. For this purpose, several isomeric analogues of RSV, aza-stilbenes (AZA-ST 1a–g), were synthesized, and their toxicities were characterized and compared to those of RSV on murine N2a neuronal cells using especially flow cytometric methods. All AZA-ST 1a–g have an inhibitory concentration 50 (IC50) between 11.3 and 25 µM when determined by the crystal violet assay, while that of RSV is 14.5 µM. This led to the characterization of AZA-ST 1a–g—induced cell death, compared to RSV, using three concentrations encompassing the IC50s (6.25, 12.5 and 25 µM). For AZA-ST 1a–g and RSV, an increase in plasma membrane permeability to propidium iodide was observed, and the proportion of cells with depolarized mitochondria measured with DiOC6(3) was increased. An overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was also observed on whole cells and at the mitochondrial level using dihydroethidium and MitoSox Red, respectively. However, only RSV induced a mode of cell death by apoptosis associated with a marked increase in the proportion of cells with condensed and/or fragmented nuclei (12.5 µM: 22 ± 9%; 25 µM: 80 ± 10%) identified after staining with Hoechst 33342 and which are characteristic of apoptotic cells. With AZA-ST, a slight but significant increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells was only detected with AZA-ST 1b (25 µM: 17 ± 1%) and AZA-ST 1d (25 µM: 26 ± 4%). Furthermore, only RSV induced significant cell cycle modifications associated with an increase in the percentage of cells in the S phase. Thus, AZA-ST 1a–g—induced cell death is characterized by an alteration of the plasma membrane, an induction of mitochondrial depolarization (loss of ΔΨm), and an overproduction of ROS, which may or may not result in a weak induction of apoptosis without modification of the distribution of the cells in the different phases of the cell cycle

    Short-term effects of various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on Danio rerio embryos

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    Due to the widespread use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) without a medical prescription and their frequent prevalence in aquatic habitats, there are major health and environmental issues. NSAIDs have been found in surface water and wastewater in concentrations ranging from ng/L to μg/L all over the world. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between NSAIDs (diclofenac, ketoprofen, paracetamol and ibuprofen) exposure and associated adverse effects in the assessment of indirect human health risks posed by Danio rerio (zebrafish) and Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) of these NSAIDs in aquatic environments. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to (i) reveal abnormality endpoints of early developmental stages, after exposure of zebrafish and (ii) perform an ecological risk assessment of aquatic organisms upon exposure to NSAIDs detected in surface waters based on the risk quotients (RQs) method. According to the toxicity data collected, all of the malformations appeared after diclofenac exposure at all concentrations. The most notable malformations were the lack of pigmentation and an increase in yolk sac volume, with EC50 values of 0.6 and 1.03 mg/L, respectively. The results obtained for the ERA revealed RQs higher than 1 for all the four NSAIDs chosen, posing ecotoxicological pressure in aquatic environments. Overall, our findings provide a critical contribution to the formulation of high-priority actions, sustainable strategies and strict regulations that minimize the negative effects of NSAIDs on the aquatic ecosystem. • To determine the LC50, lethal conditions such as coagulation, absence of heartbeat and blood flow, absence of tail separation and development of somites were taken into account. • The EC50 was calculated using sublethal parameters such as blood coagulation, pericardial edema, yolk sac edema or hypertrophy. • The 4 compounds present a high risk individually and in mixture with a RQ >> 1

    The evolving SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Africa: Insights from rapidly expanding genomic surveillance

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    INTRODUCTION Investment in Africa over the past year with regard to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) sequencing has led to a massive increase in the number of sequences, which, to date, exceeds 100,000 sequences generated to track the pandemic on the continent. These sequences have profoundly affected how public health officials in Africa have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. RATIONALE We demonstrate how the first 100,000 SARS-CoV-2 sequences from Africa have helped monitor the epidemic on the continent, how genomic surveillance expanded over the course of the pandemic, and how we adapted our sequencing methods to deal with an evolving virus. Finally, we also examine how viral lineages have spread across the continent in a phylogeographic framework to gain insights into the underlying temporal and spatial transmission dynamics for several variants of concern (VOCs). RESULTS Our results indicate that the number of countries in Africa that can sequence the virus within their own borders is growing and that this is coupled with a shorter turnaround time from the time of sampling to sequence submission. Ongoing evolution necessitated the continual updating of primer sets, and, as a result, eight primer sets were designed in tandem with viral evolution and used to ensure effective sequencing of the virus. The pandemic unfolded through multiple waves of infection that were each driven by distinct genetic lineages, with B.1-like ancestral strains associated with the first pandemic wave of infections in 2020. Successive waves on the continent were fueled by different VOCs, with Alpha and Beta cocirculating in distinct spatial patterns during the second wave and Delta and Omicron affecting the whole continent during the third and fourth waves, respectively. Phylogeographic reconstruction points toward distinct differences in viral importation and exportation patterns associated with the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants and subvariants, when considering both Africa versus the rest of the world and viral dissemination within the continent. Our epidemiological and phylogenetic inferences therefore underscore the heterogeneous nature of the pandemic on the continent and highlight key insights and challenges, for instance, recognizing the limitations of low testing proportions. We also highlight the early warning capacity that genomic surveillance in Africa has had for the rest of the world with the detection of new lineages and variants, the most recent being the characterization of various Omicron subvariants. CONCLUSION Sustained investment for diagnostics and genomic surveillance in Africa is needed as the virus continues to evolve. This is important not only to help combat SARS-CoV-2 on the continent but also because it can be used as a platform to help address the many emerging and reemerging infectious disease threats in Africa. In particular, capacity building for local sequencing within countries or within the continent should be prioritized because this is generally associated with shorter turnaround times, providing the most benefit to local public health authorities tasked with pandemic response and mitigation and allowing for the fastest reaction to localized outbreaks. These investments are crucial for pandemic preparedness and response and will serve the health of the continent well into the 21st century

    Saffron (<i>Crocus sativus</i> L.): A Source of Nutrients for Health and for the Treatment of Neuropsychiatric and Age-Related Diseases

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    Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is a medicinal plant, originally cultivated in the East and Middle East, and later in some Mediterranean countries. Saffron is obtained from the stigmas of the plant. Currently, the use of saffron is undergoing a revival. The medicinal virtues of saffron, its culinary use and its high added value have led to the clarification of its phytochemical profile and its biological and therapeutic characteristics. Saffron is rich in carotenoids and terpenes. The major products of saffron are crocins and crocetin (carotenoids) deriving from zeaxanthin, pirocrocin and safranal, which give it its taste and aroma, respectively. Saffron and its major compounds have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo. Anti-tumor properties have also been described. The goal of this review is to present the beneficial effects of saffron and its main constituent molecules on neuropsychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety and schizophrenia) as well as on the most frequent age-related diseases (cardiovascular, ocular and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as sarcopenia). Overall, the phytochemical profile of saffron confers many beneficial virtues on human health and, in particular, on the prevention of age-related diseases, which is a major asset reinforcing the interest for this medicinal plant

    Whole and Purified Aqueous Extracts of <i>Nigella sativa</i> L. Seeds Attenuate Apoptosis and the Overproduction of Reactive Oxygen Species Triggered by p53 Over-Expression in the Yeast <i>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</i>

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    Plants are an important source of pharmacologically active compounds. In the present work, we characterize the impact of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) aqueous extracts on a yeast model of p53-dependent apoptosis. To this end, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae recombinant strain over-expressing p53 was used. The over-expression of p53 triggers the expression of apoptotic markers: the externalization of phosphatidylserine, mitochondrial defect associated with cytochrome-c release and the induction of DNA strand breaks. These different effects were attenuated by Nigella sativa L. aqueous extracts, whereas these extracts have no effect on the level of p53 expression. Thus, we focus on the anti-apoptotic molecules present in the aqueous extract of Nigella sativa L. These extracts were purified and characterized by complementary chromatographic methods. Specific fluorescent probes were used to determine the effect of the extracts on yeast apoptosis. Yeast cells over-expressing p53 decrease in relative size and have lower mitochondrial content. The decrease in cell size was proportional to the decrease in mitochondrial content and of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). These effects were prevented by the purified aqueous fraction obtained by fractionation with different columns, named C4 fraction. Yeast cell death was also characterized by reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction. In the presence of the C4 fraction, ROS overproduction was strongly reduced. We also noted that the C4 fraction promotes the cell growth of control yeast cells, which do not express p53, supporting the fact that this purified extract acts on cellular mediators activating cell proliferation independently of p53. Altogether, our data obtained on yeast cells over-expressing p53 demonstrate that anti-apoptotic molecules targeting p53-induced apoptosis associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS overproduction are present in the aqueous extracts of Nigella seeds and in the purified aqueous C4 fraction

    Ramadan Observance Exacerbated the Negative Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Sleep and Training Behaviors: A International Survey on 1,681 Muslim Athletes

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    Methods From an international sample of athletes (n = 3,911), 1,681 Muslim athletes (from 44 countries; 25.1 ± 8.7 years, 38% females, 41% elite, 51% team sport athletes) answered a retrospective, cross-sectional questionnaire relating to their behavioral habits pre- and during- COVID-19 lockdown, including: (i) Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI); (ii) insomnia severity index (ISI); (iii) bespoke questions about training, napping, and eating behaviors, and (iv) questions related to training and sleep behaviors during-lockdown and Ramadan compared to lockdown outside of Ramadan. The lockdown reduced sleep quality and increased insomnia severity (both p 0.05). Muslim athletes reported longer (p < 0.001; d = 0.29) and later (p < 0.001; d = 0.14) daytime naps, and an increase in late-night meals (p < 0.001; d = 0.49) during- compared to pre-lockdown, associated with lower sleep quality (all p < 0.001). Both sleep quality (χ2 = 222.6; p < 0.001) and training volume (χ2 = 342.4; p < 0.001) were lower during-lockdown and Ramadan compared to lockdown outside of Ramadan in the Muslims athletes. Conclusion Muslim athletes reported lower sleep quality and higher insomnia severity during- compared to pre-lockdown, and this was exacerbated by Ramadan observance. Therefore, further attention to Muslim athletes is warranted when a circadian disrupter (e.g., lockdown) occurs during Ramadan

    Fregoli syndrome in schizophrenia: about a case report

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    A Fregoli syndrome, just like Capgras Syndrome, Double Subjective Syndrome, and Inter metamorphosis Syndrome, belongs to the group of delusion misidentification syndromes. It is a rare neuropsychiatric pathology that could affect the brain with repercussions on behavior. It is the belief that a familiar person is disguised as a strange person by taking a different physical appearance but remains the same person psychologically. This entity has heterogonous etiologies, occurring mainly in the setting of organic diseases, affective disorders, or schizophrenia. In this article, we proposed to expose a case of a schizophrenic patient who developed Fregoli syndrome

    The role of cognitive distraction in sexual dysfunction in female medical resident doctors

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    Introduction: Studies have shown a high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in Medical residents. Psychological, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors play an important role in sexual vulnerability. In addition, distraction or interference in the cognitive process of the erotic stimulus plays an important role in the development of sexual dysfunction.&nbsp;The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunctions among a sample of married female medical resident doctors and to explore its relation with cognitive distraction during sex.Subjects and methods: This was a cross-sectional study, which was carried out in October 2017 with 70 married female medical resident doctors. We used the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) for sexual functioning assessment and the cognitive distraction during sex scale.&nbsp;Results: The mean age of women was 30.52 years. They had been married for 6.04 years on the mean. The majority (74%) had children. According to the FSFI, 40% of resident doctors had sexual dysfunction. The mean cognitive distraction during sex score was 4.37.In our study, women with female sexual dysfunction reported significantly lower sexual desire score = 3.2 vs. 4.1 and p = 0.03) and arousal (score = 3.&egrave; vs. 4.7 and p = 10-3), decreased lubrication (score = 3.8 vs. 5.1; p = 10-3), less sexual satisfaction (score = 3.9 vs. 5.8; p = 10-3)and higher orgasm difficulties (score = 3.4 vs. 5.1; p = 10-3). Yet, our results highlighted that women with female sexual dysfunction presented significantly more cognitive distraction during sex (score = 3.9 vs. 4.6; p = 0.03).&nbsp;Conclusion: According to our study, it appears that the prevalence of FSD in medical resident doctors is considerable. Besides, intrusive thoughts and cognitive distraction during sexual intercourse are importantly associated with sexual functioning. Therefore, several measures should be implemented in this population to prevent or act on these factors
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