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  #106  
Old 08-09-08, 07:55 PM
Technojunkie Technojunkie is offline
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

I think this fits me. I did ADHD testing a few years ago. The results were deemed inconclusive and confusing, but I didn't know what ADHD-PI was back then and I'm not certain that the doctoral fellow was looking for it either (yes, I went with the cheap route). Two things stand out: my processing speed score was 96 while my other three factors were 124-138, and two of the tests that normally correlate, one
difficult and one easy, didn't. I did well on the difficult one and badly on the easy one. That looks like a common pattern in this thread.

Technical reading is tough. I might start off strong on a new topic but I burn out quickly, get frustrated, and go do something else. Distractions? BIG problem.

Any intellectual task that requires sustained effort tends to be troublesome.

I'm a great writer and a lousy speaker.

I get lost easily. All my senses are stronger than normal but processing that signal input can be overwhelming. Accents can drive me nuts, especially over the phone.

I'm less physically sluggish than I used to be. Forcing myself to take walks and now bike rides has helped. Forcing myself to do intelluctual tasks is usually ineffective but good cardio workouts seem to help. In junior high I was last picked for sports, first picked for Trivial Pursuit.

I was doing great academically until high school. Things fell apart in 10th grade, which was also the first year I didn't have to take gym and didn't get much exercise at all (computer nerd). Things got worse in college. My job performance has been poor and the only thing that got me through grad school was an insane amount of grade inflation.

I do great on standardized tests and math up through algebra. This might be a beneficial effect of high-functioning Asperger's (never officially diagnosed, I thought I'd adapted by the time I found out about it). Still, by the time I took the GMAT my quantitative skills had slipped badly.

I have the broken digestive system that goes along with Asperger's. That also led to persistent hyperammonaemia, which is like a never-ending hangover of varying intensity. Cleaning up my diet, taking digestive enzymes, probiotics and calcium butyrate (Butyrex) fixed all that and has allowed me to maintain more muscle tone. I was scrawny until I stopped growing, so-so afterwards, halfway decent now.

Shy? Introverted? Yup. Less bad than I used to be, but I still have the hide-from-the-world instinct. Getting in shape has helped.

Cleaning up my diet and exercising more have helped. Petrochemicals are Bad and that's what artificial colors, flavors and many preservatives are. The Lancet has more about that and they used unrealistically low doses in their study. Britain is way ahead of us here. Sodium benzoate is suspected of affecting arachidonic acid metabolism and since AA is the inflamatory omega-6 EFA that would be Bad. I suspect that my former 1-2 liter/day soft drink habit I picked up in college did damage, especially when I switched to diet, since it's loaded with artificials and usually preserved with sodium benzoate. I suspect that the rise in artificials and soft drink consumption is aggravating underlying genetic issues to the point where many more people notice them, ditto the rise in inflammatory omega-6 and drop in anti-inflammatory EFAs in the overly processed food supply.

I mention inflammation because for nearly two weeks after LASIK my head was clear. I doubt the one Valium pill had any effect but I bet the prednisolone acetate eyedrops (prednisone breaks down into that, powerful anti-inflammatory) did. Anyone have any idea why?

Playing video games for too long can really mess up my head. My eyes dry out easily (blepharitis). Not being stingey with eye drops helps.

A high-protein, low-sugar diet seems to help a bit.

I seem to be immune to nitrous oxide.

I've read that sleep disorders can aggravate ADHD. Some days when I wake up way too early I can think clearly, until sleep deprivation catches up to me. Usually I really, really don't want to get out of bed.

There's a very obvious behavior pattern along one side of my family. It's just worse in my generation.

I think I've done as much as I can without meds and my mind is still broken. I need to find a doctor who isn't on a Say No To Drugs kick.

That's enough of a brain dump for now. Am I at least right about ADHD-PI, if not SCT?
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  #107  
Old 08-09-08, 09:51 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by Technojunkie View Post
  • Accents can drive me nuts, especially over the phone.
  • In junior high I was last picked for sports, first picked for Trivial Pursuit.
  • This might be a beneficial effect of high-functioning Asperger's
  • Shy? Introverted? Yup. Less bad than I used to be, but I still have the hide-from-the-world instinct.



Am I at least right about ADHD-PI, if not SCT?
There is an overlap of symptoms for various disorders. If someone is diagnosed with more than one disorder, it is good practice to focus on the most serious disorder - the one that impairs us the most.

Asperger Syndrome also causes difficulties in focus and attention that are similar to those experienced by people with AD/HD. Some AD/HD medications also help people with Asperger Syndrome. Asperger Syndrome creates more impairment for an individual than AD/HD would and the availability of supportive funding will back this up.

*Just because someone is having problems with attention does not mean they have AD/HD.

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  #108  
Old 08-09-08, 10:36 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Asperger's was never more than an annoyance, assuming that I have it at all (I'm going by the description of high-functioning Asperger's in The Geek Syndrome where it ceases to be a problem by around 30), and up until high school I had excellent focus. Asperger's gets easier with age so the late presentation of focus difficulties doesn't fit?

My brother is having more serious trouble that I think is consistent with ADHD-PI and he definitely doesn't have Asperger's.

The only reason I mentioned Asperger's at all is as a potential explanation of why my mathematical ability is still pretty decent.
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  #109  
Old 08-10-08, 01:02 AM
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If it doesn't fit in the box - make it {geez}

Just call me the hyperactive anal retentive that crashed the SCT party -

Some interesting presentations and subsequent wtf moments


Quote:
Any intellectual task that requires sustained effort tends to be troublesome.

I'm a great writer and a lousy speaker.
Umm pardon me if I am mistaken - does not writing require more of a sustained attention than speaking even for the non-dyslexic. If we are talking sluggish motor movement and inability to engage in in activities that require energy is seems like both activities would be effected with writing being more of a drain.

shynessand introversion are not one in the same thing. The behaviors may outwardly present simular however the reason for the expressed behaviors would be drastically different even according to dictionary dot com. Some one who is shy doesn't have to be an introvert.



Quote:
Cleaning up my diet and exercising more have helped. Petrochemicals are Bad and that's what artificial colors, flavors and many preservatives are. The Lancet has more about that and they used unrealistically low doses in their study
The Lancet doesn't back up STC at all - read the opening title of your link to the Lancet

here it is again

{quote}Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial{End Quote}

Sorry but I read this study more than once during a debate with the feingold lady a couple of months back. . . they weren't looking at sluggish any thing they are looking at hyperactivity/implusivity even irritability which is another kind of ADD all together apparently - your second hyperlink deal with allergy type symptoms again not saying any thing about sluggish any thing


How many of those in this discussion have been evaluated for auditory processing problems, sensory issues or learning disorders all of which like to keep our ADD company just to make life umm interesting

Being distracted by your internal thoughts - not being able to filter them out to attend a necessary activity by simply willing your self to do so is indicative of ADD - your damn filtering value snapped shut and now your brain can't escape it's own mind - and ????? wouldn't this be a selective attention problem - a kin to the one I have except my stimuli value gets stuck in the open position and my brain gets bombarded by every thing constantly. . . . .
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  #110  
Old 08-10-08, 04:29 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

What I have found in my own research on Asperger's (I suspect I have it myself) is that food chemicals/artificials/preservatives do not cause it, but may worsen symptoms. If you eliminate these from your diet, the theory runs--if you cure the digestive problems going on--more "mental space" is freed up and that makes some tasks easier, including socializing.

But outside of the more extreme curebie camp, I've not found a great deal of support to suggest these problematic food chemicals cause ASD.

And personally, I don't buy it, anyway.
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  #111  
Old 08-10-08, 08:50 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Ditto what Batmat55 said. In my case getting rid of petrochemicals made me more even tempered and I think my decision making is better, but as to sluggishness... not much. I think it's important to get that "noise" out of one's system. I wouldn't be surprised if it effectively "cures" some people (knocks symptoms back to a manageable level) but definitely not me.

I think better on paper (or word processor). Writing lets me take my time to gather my thoughts, not lose my place, go back and add words my mind skipped over, fix careless mistakes (I make a lot of those), I can take breaks and go back to it later, etc. I still have to want to do it but it beats my clumsy speaking. Tougher tasks, like writing a program instead of English, aren't going so well anymore. Boring "why did I get assigned this waste of my time?!" writing tasks don't go well at all, rarely finished if they get started.

Shy, definitely. Introverted... hmm, maybe not, at least not anymore.

Sensory/learning disorders... no evaluation, but wouldn't those have shown up well before high school, or not be relevant to the problem at hand because I was academically strong before then (and especially before college)?

I get distracted easily, period. External distractions, my mind wandering, or just flat out refusing to focus on what I'm supposed to be doing even though it's not all THAT difficult. I can stare at a page for hours, just trying to read the bleepin' thing, and not get anywhere. Once in a while I have a "good day" and can plow through chapters with ease. Less technical material tends to go much easier. New subjects tend to go easier, even well, until the novelty wears off.

Can you manage physical sluggishness with exercise but still be mentally sluggish? I can force myself to move but I can't force myself to think. Getting in shape has helped and cleaning up my diet helped me get in shape.
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  #112  
Old 08-13-08, 11:49 PM
Technojunkie Technojunkie is offline
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
If ya'll want a good chemical that helps with the "fog" effect, try some ALCAR (acetyl-L-Carnitine). Stack it with a good choline source such as bitartrate or citrate, a B-complex, and some ALA (alpha lipoic acid). Last maybe some potassium.

This stack really seems to make everything more clear for me. Especially when you first start taking ALA, your vision is clearer, which only adds to the good "clear" feeling this stack gives you.

It's not a solution to the sluggishness/motivation difficulties. That's best solved with meds + therapy. Nor does it help with processing speed, per se. When I'm on it, my thoughts and task accomplishment are still slower than the average person, but everything "clicks" more, and you're just a little closer to "normal."

If you have no idea what any of that stuff is, just google "nootropics" and immerse yourself in a brave new world of brain chemicals.
What dosage do you use or recommend for those supplements? I see that I can get all of those from the combination of Jigsaw Complete and Brain Support from jigsawhealth.com: 175mg of choline bitartrate, 100mg of ALA, 100mg of acetyl-L-Carnitine, and a pretty hefty B complex. I suspect that everything except the B complex is too low and doubling up on Brain Support would be awfully expensive? I've had good luck with their products though. I see that GLA might help make ALA more effective and I get that from an omega 3-6-9 blend (2 tablespoons/day, attempting to fix what I think is EFA deficiency). Someone mentioned L-Theanine being good too?

Nootropics, great, ANOTHER thing to research...

I figured out what my psych did wrong with my ADHD testing: he was using children's guidelines, not adult's. The "ADHD in Adulthood" book recommended in another thread says that that's going to cause most adults to get the "inconclusive" verdict that I was given.

The good news is that my family doc (who recommended ADHD testing in the first place but not the cheap route I took) is willing to work with me on figuring this out. He's started me on 10mg of Adderall, which we'll bump up 10mg at a time every 10 days until we either hit the right dose or something goes wrong. I took my first pill this morning to no significant effect, as I expected from reading this thread. That's OK, I'm on the path.

The drugstore gave me generic dextroamphetamine. I assume that's OK? But... they're blue. Adding petrochemical coloring to meds, especially when you're trying to fix neurology... geeze. I'll use them anyhow. Little blue nerd pills. I should sic the Feingold ladies on the manufacturer.
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  #113  
Old 08-14-08, 02:23 PM
d3xter404 d3xter404 is offline
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Is anyone else aware of the research by Susanne Jäggi on working memory training? (See http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-boost-iq.html )


She uses a 'game' that challenges (and trains?) working memory by requiring you to recall information, constantly keeping the difficulty set to the limits of your abilities. I've been playing an implementation of it online. So far it really seems to have an effect. I haven't been doing it daily, so I haven't experienced anything life altering yet. But after a few days of routine use, I do feel a little more collected and clear.

I'm curious if anyone else has tried this more consistently and what their experience was. I'm specifically interested in the impact on SCT type symptoms.
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  #114  
Old 08-25-08, 04:43 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by d3xter404 View Post
Is anyone else aware of the research by Susanne Jäggi on working memory training? (See http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-boost-iq.html )


She uses a 'game' that challenges (and trains?) working memory by requiring you to recall information, constantly keeping the difficulty set to the limits of your abilities. I've been playing an implementation of it online. So far it really seems to have an effect. I haven't been doing it daily, so I haven't experienced anything life altering yet. But after a few days of routine use, I do feel a little more collected and clear.

I'm curious if anyone else has tried this more consistently and what their experience was. I'm specifically interested in the impact on SCT type symptoms.
Cool, any little thing will help me. thanks
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  #115  
Old 08-26-08, 05:56 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Somebody wrote that they handled math well up until algebra I... that's pretty much the same thing happened to me, but I am not sure why it happened. To me, I had a good command of visualization up until around that time, that's what I attributed to my downfall in school in general.

Anyone else have this loss of visual imagination as well?
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  #116  
Old 08-26-08, 06:26 AM
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Re: If it doesn't fit in the box - make it {geez}

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Originally Posted by meadd823 View Post
Umm pardon me if I am mistaken - does not writing require more of a sustained attention than speaking even for the non-dyslexic.
I suppose they both require sustained attention.

My idea about the main difficulty with processing verbal information (for me, both speaking and listening mainly when there is some explaining involved that requires selecting and categorising information is seated in the working memory) is that there is not enough 'buffer space' to manipulate the concepts in my head, which results in jamming.

Next to that, there is still the more general ADD problem of 'being distracted by my inner thoughts'.

Writing does not suffer (that much) from a lack of buffer space, since there is no time pressure .. plus, there is the paper of computer screen as 'external buffer' to temporarily park ideas and concepts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by meadd823 View Post
If we are talking sluggish motor movement and inability to engage in in activities that require energy is seems like both activities would be effected with writing being more of a drain.
I experience that having to speak or listen costs way much more energy than writing. Trying to juggle those words by lack of buffer space is exhausting.
The motor movement involved with writing is quite minimal; besides, I never really felt that it is a physical thing. Well, I generally do move slower than others because my body follows my mind .. but it is not a physical handicap.

Of course, writing *certain things* can also be very difficult, in the general ADD sense again of not being interested and hence distracted.
There are a couple of bills in front of me right now that need to be payed. It's not that I do not have the money to pay them ... I can simply log into my bank website and *do it* and get it over with, but I have been postponing that for four days now. And not because it is physically too strenuous to do .. I am writing this, here, now. And this does not cost me at all. Because I like to write here .. it is interesting, and stimulating.
I mean, a couple of months ago I was writing all these nonsense word definitions in that topic that we have here. I loved it, and even if I say so myself, I think I got quite good at it for a non-native speaker.
If you really like something it's easy for an ADD person.

But I do think the "auditory processing thing" is of a different order, and poses an additional problem.
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  #117  
Old 08-26-08, 07:57 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by purerealm View Post
Anyone else have this loss of visual imagination as well?
I have never been very "visual". Visual imagination comes erratic and unpredictable.
I am, however, very "tactile". I can imagine "feeling" things, structures - even complex ones, and even texture, temperature and smells - or the general 'feeling' of a place .. for instance, a forest.

If I am asked "imagine a blue triangle" - I can't see it, no matter how hard I try.
But if I am asked "imagine holding a cool glass ball, covered in dew drops" - it is almost as real as anything.

I have been doing a lot of meditations lately. They are of the "guided meditation" type, and involve imagining myself in specific places and situations. At first, I was almost entirely "blind", but I did have some other form of awareness of my surroundings. There were, however, erratic "flashes" of a more visual nature, and the oddest thing of all is that I discovered at a given moment that I am able to "see" my own arms and hands very well in my imagination when i hold them before me.

So then I discovered that I could somehow include my body into this imaginal world, and I use that as a bridge between feeling and seeing. I notice a marked increase in how vivid and 'visual' my imagination is. I sometimes use my (imaginal) hands to "see" - and I can run, and, as I discovered, swim; and it all adds to a more complete image / experience.

Just to make sure .. no, there are no drugs involved (besides the usual dex)

Until now I had no other purpose for this meditation than as a purely spiritual exploration, but now I think about what you say, it may very well be that this might help in other areas as well.
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  #118  
Old 08-26-08, 08:23 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Ive just read the wiki link in the first post and its very interesting to me indeed.

I got significant benefit from ritalin at low dose, initialy anywah, then after a gap i was put on dexedrine, wich also worked but not till i got to quite high dose, now ritalin doesnt seem to work at the low dose and higher doses have stoped working too.

the wiki article mentions low dose of ritalin relases norepinephrine.

this may indicate that I need dexedrine rather than higher dose of ritalin.
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  #119  
Old 09-01-08, 11:05 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

my first day of college coming up and i dont want to leave my auditory processing problem through college. it will kill me especially in math class
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Old 09-03-08, 08:47 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Well, to add to the growing database, here is my experience/story:

initial situation:
55 db hearing loss, mayb from birth, more likely due to overdose of antibiotics during "toddlerhood".

subsequent iq testing provided a result of 133, worst partial test result in memorizing.

it was believed that this iq in combination with hearing aid would allow for ordinary schooling despite the hearing problem.

curriculum vitae:
in short - not at all. even though most iq tests i took later scored in the same range and a little above (there might be a training bias) i did not do exceptionally well in math or natural sciences. i never did any homework (too, arduous - considered that "cool" at the time, later realized i was completely incapable of doing it) and was largely absent during lectures. the only kind of learning i did was in a last minute frenzy before exams.

my average day consisted of 12+ hours of computer gaming. either thrill seeking, playing shooters or semi absent, playing strategy games (almost meditative, certainly not goal oriented or good play).

this behavior carried on deep into university life (computer science) and did only break down after aquiring my bachelor degree. understanding of the subject matter of course is required for a master thesis and for the different kind of exams (oral) a computer science diploma in germany requires. even though the grades i got as a bachelor were good, i would have been quite unable to explain the contents of my subjects to anybody who would have asked. the way i "learned" was a kind of reference learning - i knew where things were written down, and since books were allowed during exams, i could return to the pages in question and solve the given problem by analogy. there were surprisingly many assignments to be solved that way and even though my understanding was severely limited, i scored within the upper 10% of quite a number of exams, high level abstraction tends to completely blow my mind though.

the latter is due to defective working memory i think. memory retrieval often tends to be poor, short term memory is abysmal but the inability to deal with several (more than one is a problem already) lines of formulae at once is a killer.

symptoms:
i can relate closely to the accent problem discussed here earlier, wether this is due to hearing loss or auditory processing i dont know. for other languages or accent heavy speech on tv i generally use subtitles.

looking somebody in the eye can be a real problem for me. the sensation that occurs then is best described as "cognitive overload". it has adverse effects on my own thought process and often interrupts my line of thought/speech. i tend to be oversensitive to social situations in general though.

concentration on a given task is very hard for me. i tend to do multiple things in parallel which, given the defective working memory, of course tends to not save me any time any time whatsoever.

i often have a feeling of "nothing stays" i.e. reading does not increase my knowledge base. i know that this is partly caused by inadequate learning behavior but there seems to be more to it. i can read volumes without digesting. the focus feel no larger than a single sentence.

most typical inattentive symptom: following written words with the eyes while having the mind on a completly different topic. forces me to reread paragraphs indefinitely. same holds true for audio books or conversations.

sometimes i feel very dizzy. "consciousness" then seems to concentrate in the forehead, without access to memory (neither motoric/procedural nor wisdom/deklarative) or combinatorial facilities in my brain. horrible state of mind. intense feeling of helplessness, almost dementia.

parents: my mother is described as a typical ADHD-C type during childhood, still has inattention problems. doesnt belive in psychologic/medical treatment and avoids the issue during discussion.
no higher education, low qualification job. my father was a social maverick, had the same "no eye contact" tic. studied endlessy (16 years), achieved doctoral degree in biology later on.

confronting the situation:
methylphenidate hasnt helped at all, rather seemed to introduce more dizzyness and agressive behavior.
atomoxetin is being tried now.

sports help against sluggishness. not doing sport for over a decade hasnt helped motric skill development. sticking to the same sport for 2 years has improved the situation though distractability is present in the midst of a sportive situation as well.

and on a personal note:
i feel great disgust for the "anti drugs" opinion as i think it is some peoples personal dogma (a beloved pet theory if you like) that seriously hampers the treatment of those in need. i accept skepticism since medical treatment involves other immediate dangers, but nontreatment should also be seen as a more salient danger in itself. it directly causes people to be less than they could possibly have been and furthers lifestyles that are neither benefical to society nor to the afflicted individual.
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