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The Eurasian beaver has returned to Britain, presenting fundamental challenges and opportunities for all involved. Beavers will inevitably expand throughout British freshwater systems and provide significant benefits. Unofficial releases have presented challenges in terms of sourcing and genetics, health status and disease risks, the risk of introducing the non-native North American beaver species, and the lack of engagement with communities and resulting conflict. Agreed approaches require development using multi-stakeholder approaches to recognise and promote benefits whilst sensitively managing beavers’ impacts on people’s livelihoods.
Child maltreatment (CM) and migrant status are independently associated with psychosis. We examined prevalence of CM by migrant status and tested whether migrant status moderated the association between CM and first-episode psychosis (FEP). We further explored whether differences in CM exposure contributed to variations in the incidence rates of FEP by migrant status.
We included FEP patients aged 18–64 years in 14 European sites and recruited controls representative of the local populations. Migrant status was operationalized according to generation (first/further) and region of origin (Western/non-Western countries). The reference population was composed by individuals of host country's ethnicity. CM was assessed with Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Prevalence ratios of CM were estimated using Poisson regression. We examined the moderation effect of migrant status on the odds of FEP by CM fitting adjusted logistic regressions with interaction terms. Finally, we calculated the population attributable fractions (PAFs) for CM by migrant status.
We examined 849 FEP cases and 1142 controls. CM prevalence was higher among migrants, their descendants and migrants of non-Western heritage. Migrant status, classified by generation (likelihood test ratio:χ2 = 11.3, p = 0.004) or by region of origin (likelihood test ratio:χ2 = 11.4, p = 0.003), attenuated the association between CM and FEP. PAFs for CM were higher among all migrant groups compared with the reference populations.
The higher exposure to CM, despite a smaller effect on the odds of FEP, accounted for a greater proportion of incident FEP cases among migrants. Policies aimed at reducing CM should consider the increased vulnerability of specific subpopulations.
Gene x environment (G×E) interactions, i.e. genetic modulation of the sensitivity to environmental factors and/or environmental control of the gene expression, have not been reliably established regarding aetiology of psychotic disorders. Moreover, recent studies have shown associations between the polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia (PRS-SZ) and some risk factors of psychotic disorders, challenging the traditional gene v. environment dichotomy. In the present article, we studied the role of GxE interaction between psychosocial stressors (childhood trauma, stressful life-events, self-reported discrimination experiences and low social capital) and the PRS-SZ on subclinical psychosis in a population-based sample.
Data were drawn from the EUropean network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study, in which subjects without psychotic disorders were included in six countries. The sample was restricted to European descendant subjects (n = 706). Subclinical dimensions of psychosis (positive, negative, and depressive) were measured by the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) scale. Associations between the PRS-SZ and the psychosocial stressors were tested. For each dimension, the interactions between genes and environment were assessed using linear models and comparing explained variances of ‘Genetic’ models (solely fitted with PRS-SZ), ‘Environmental’ models (solely fitted with each environmental stressor), ‘Independent’ models (with PRS-SZ and each environmental factor), and ‘Interaction’ models (Independent models plus an interaction term between the PRS-SZ and each environmental factor). Likelihood ration tests (LRT) compared the fit of the different models.
There were no genes-environment associations. PRS-SZ was associated with positive dimensions (β = 0.092, R2 = 7.50%), and most psychosocial stressors were associated with all three subclinical psychotic dimensions (except social capital and positive dimension). Concerning the positive dimension, Independent models fitted better than Environmental and Genetic models. No significant GxE interaction was observed for any dimension.
This study in subjects without psychotic disorders suggests that (i) the aetiological continuum hypothesis could concern particularly the positive dimension of subclinical psychosis, (ii) genetic and environmental factors have independent effects on the level of this positive dimension, (iii) and that interactions between genetic and individual environmental factors could not be identified in this sample.
Deficits in visuospatial attention, known as neglect, are common following brain injury, but underdiagnosed and poorly treated, resulting in long-term cognitive disability. In clinical settings, neglect is often assessed using simple pen-and-paper tests. While convenient, these cannot characterise the full spectrum of neglect. This protocol reports a research programme that compares traditional neglect assessments with a novel virtual reality attention assessment platform: The Attention Atlas (AA).
The AA was codesigned by researchers and clinicians to meet the clinical need for improved neglect assessment. The AA uses a visual search paradigm to map the attended space in three dimensions and seeks to identify the optimal parameters that best distinguish neglect from non-neglect, and the spectrum of neglect, by providing near-time feedback to clinicians on system-level behavioural performance. A series of experiments will address procedural, scientific, patient, and clinical feasibility domains.
Analyses focuses on descriptive measures of reaction time, accuracy data for target localisation, and histogram-based raycast attentional mapping analysis; which measures the individual’s orientation in space, and inter- and intra-individual variation of visuospatial attention. We will compare neglect and control data using parametric between-subjects analyses. We present example individual-level results produced in near-time during visual search.
The development and validation of the AA is part of a new generation of translational neuroscience that exploits the latest advances in technology and brain science, including technology repurposed from the consumer gaming market. This approach to rehabilitation has the potential for highly accurate, highly engaging, personalised care.
This chapter examines the dangers of utopian hope and strategies to limit them. It builds on the idea, emphasized throughout this study, that ideal theory shares overlooked features with apocalyptic thought. One long-standing worry with apocalyptic thought is that it promotes violence. Notably, both apocalyptic thought and ideal theory can fall victim to false confidence regarding their ability to identify and achieve utopia. Purported knowledge of the path to utopia has justified all kinds of bloodshed and cruelty throughout history, yet the ideal never comes. Partly in response to the explosive potential of apocalyptic belief, strands of Jewish and Christian thought stress the radical nature of human ignorance regarding what the ideal society looks like, how to bring it about, and when it might come. By pairing utopian hope with epistemic humility, the apocalyptic tradition – at least parts of it – suggests an approach that ideal theory would be wise to imitate.
This chapter explores Engels’s engagement with apocalyptic thought. Some reduce Marxism to a secularized version of Christian eschatology, a claim that functions as a rhetorical weapon against Marxism’s originality. I reject this simplistic view but take seriously the textual evidence showing Engels’s interest in the apocalyptic figure Thomas Müntzer and the book of Revelation. He praises Müntzer, going so far as to argue that the coming kingdom of God preached by Müntzer was actually a Marxist ideal marked by radical equality. Though Engels rejects Christian apocalyptic doctrines, he shares with them the belief that things must worsen and reach a crisis before a utopian future is possible. Whereas Machiavelli rejects apocalyptic hope and Hobbes tempers it, Engels embraces it.
This chapter explores what apocalyptic thought shares with ideal theory, with a focus on our grounds for believing any proposed account of the ideal society. As John Rawls understands it, ideal theory is based on plausible reasons that others should accept, whereas religious belief is unsuitable to collectively guide society. Some, though, have questioned Rawls’s confidence in ideal theory, and this chapter draws on social science research to place these criticisms on firmer ground. It outlines an argument for why future uncertainty makes it impossible to offer a plausible defense of ideal theory. As a result, ideal theory, like religious belief, ultimately must rest on faith. Though ideal theory must abandon aspirations of outlining an ideal to collectively guide society, there is still a potential role for it as a source of utopian hope.
This chapter examines pitfalls in current methodological approaches to studying secular apocalyptic thought and proposes an alternative. Over a half-century ago, Judith Shklar and Hans Blumenberg argued that secular apocalyptic thought is an unhelpful and vague concept, which too often functions as a rhetorical weapon. Their critiques largely have been neglected. I make the case for taking these critiques seriously and suggest a strategy to address them: the study of secular apocalyptic thought should focus on examples where secular thinkers explicitly reference religious apocalyptic texts, figures, and concepts so as to avoid making spurious connections and reading into texts influences that are not there.
The close of the book offers a brief overview of its arguments and revisits the parable that opens the study. It also considers a parable from the apocalyptic tradition, the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31–46, and offers an interpretation to highlight its potential wisdom for ideal theory. On this interpretation, the parable serves as a subtle reminder of the virtue found in pairing utopian hope with epistemic humility.
The book opens with a parable to introduce three central figures in the chapters to come – Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Engels – and their approaches to apocalyptic thought. It then defines key concepts and gives an overview of the three main arguments advanced in Apocalypse without God. The first argument is methodological: the study of secular apocalyptic thought would place itself on firmer ground by focusing on cases where secular thinkers explicitly reference religious apocalyptic texts, figures, and concepts. The second argument is interpretive: apocalyptic thought’s political appeal partly lies in offering resources to navigate persistent challenges that arise in ideal theory, which tries to imagine the best and most just society. And the third argument is normative: ideal theory and apocalyptic thought both rest on faith and are best suited to be sources of utopian hope, but not guides for collective action by a society.