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To explore the relationship between cannabis use and self-report dimensions of psychosis in a population of university students presenting for any reason to primary care.
One thousand and forty-nine students attending the Student Health Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway, completed self-report questionnaires on alcohol and substance misuse, non-clinical dimensions of psychosis (Community Assessmemnt of Psychic Experiences), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Association of cannabis use with psychiatric symptoms was explored whilst controlling for confounds.
More frequent cannabis use was independently associated with greater intensity of positive, negative and depressive psychotic symptoms. The earlier the age of onset of cannabis use, the more positive psychotic symptoms were reported.
These findings support the hypothesis that cannabis use increases the risk of developing psychotic symptoms and that this risk is further increased in those individuals who use cannabis more heavily and commence it at a younger age.
Caregivers and other family members of loved ones suffering from co-occurring mental health and substance use problems (concurrent disorders) have traditionally been ignored and excluded when their ill loved one becomes involved in the formal treatment system. Although the evidence indicates that family involvement is an important determinant of positive client outcomes, family members continue to identify support / education as unmet needs.
To demonstrate that family internet interventions have the potential to overcome barriers to service delivery, such as transportation, distance, critical mass for group participation, anonymity, and other restrictions that limit access to hospital services.
This presentation will describe a research program that aimed to support families affected by current disorders. It will focus on an original project that used virtual space available through internet technologies to offer facilitated peer support groups to families affected by concurrent disorders. The goal of this pilot study was to test the effectiveness of delivering an online version of a previously evaluated face-to-face family CD support group. Participants will learn about an innovative mixed-methods research initiative that invited family members to participate in an online support / educational group, based on the manual ‘A Family Guide to Concurrent Disorders”.
The author employed an innovative mixed method research design to evaluate several variables related to the recovery process of family members affected by concurrent disorders.
The integrated quantitative and qualitative results demonstrated the effectiveness of the online family group on both subjective and objective variables.
A primary barrier to translation of clinical research discoveries into care delivery and population health is the lack of sustainable infrastructure bringing researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and communities together to reduce silos in knowledge and action. As National Institutes of Healthʼs (NIH) mechanism to advance translational research, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) awardees are uniquely positioned to bridge this gap. Delivering on this promise requires sustained collaboration and alignment between research institutions and public health and healthcare programs and services. We describe the collaboration of seven CTSA hubs with city, county, and state healthcare and public health organizations striving to realize this vision together. Partnership representatives convened monthly to identify key components, common and unique themes, and barriers in academic–public collaborations. All partnerships aligned the activities of the CTSA programs with the needs of the city/county/state partners, by sharing resources, responding to real-time policy questions and training needs, promoting best practices, and advancing community-engaged research, and dissemination and implementation science to narrow the knowledge-to-practice gap. Barriers included competing priorities, differing timelines, bureaucratic hurdles, and unstable funding. Academic–public health/health system partnerships represent a unique and underutilized model with potential to enhance community and population health.
Radiocarbon (14C) can be used to build absolute chronologies and reconstruct ocean ventilation over the last 40 ka. Sample size requirements have restricted 14C measurements in marine cores with low foraminifer content, impeding 14C-based studies focused on abrupt climate events. Recent developments have demonstrated that small-sized foraminifer samples can now be dated using a gas introduction system at the cost of a small decrease in precision. We explore the potential of gas measurements on benthic and planktonic foraminifers from core SU90-08 (43°03′1″N, 30°02′5″W, 3080 m). Gas measurements are accurate, reproducible within 2σ uncertainty and comparable to graphite measurements. Both techniques yield negative 14C benthic-planktonic (B-P) age-offsets after Heinrich event 1. We argue that negative B-P ages result from bioturbation and changes in foraminifer abundances, with the chance of negative B-P especially increased when the 14C age gradient between the deep and surface waters is decreased. Small-sized 14C measurements seem to capture the variance of the foraminifera age distribution, revealing the active mixing in those archives. Sediment deposition and mixing effects possibly pose a greater obstacle for past 14C-based dating and ocean ventilation reconstructions than the measurement precision itself, particularly in relatively low sedimentation rate settings.
Incorporation of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) in polymer matrix has been used to enhance and control dissolution and release of drugs, for targeted drug delivery, as antimicrobial agents, localized heat sources, and for unique optoelectronic applications. Gold NPs in particular exhibit a plasmonic response that has been utilized for photothermal energy conversion. Because plasmonic nanoparticles typically exhibit a plasmon resonance frequency similar to the visible light spectrum, they present as good candidates for direct photothermal conversion with enhanced solar thermal efficiency in these wavelengths. In our work, we have incorporated ∼3-nm-diameter colloidal gold (Auc) NPs into electrospun polyethylene glycol (PEG) fibers to utilize the nanoparticle plasmonic response for localized heating and melting of the polymer to release medical treatment. Auc and Auc in PEG (PEG+Auc) both exhibited a minimum reflectivity at 522 nm or approximately green wavelengths of light under ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy. PEG+Auc ES fibers revealed a blue shift in minimum reflectivity at 504 nm. UV-Vis spectra were used to calculate the theoretical efficiency enhancement of PEG+Auc versus PEG alone, finding an approximate increase of 10 % under broad spectrum white light interrogation, and ∼14 % when illuminated with green light. Auc enhanced polymers were ES directly onto resistance temperature detectors and interrogated with green laser light so that temperature change could be recorded. Results showed a maximum increase of 8.9 °C. To further understand how gold nanomaterials effect the complex optical properties of our materials, spectroscopic ellipsometry was used. Using spectroscopic ellipsometry and modeling with CompleteEASE® software, the complex optical constants of our materials were determined. The complex optical constant n (index of refraction) provided us with optical density properties related to light wavelength divided by velocity, and k (extinction coefficient) was used to show the absorptive properties of the materials.
Supercapacitors have the potential to complement or replace batteries in many current and emerging applications. As inexpensive and environmentally benign capacitive materials, manganese oxides are promising electrode materials. Nanostructured oxides have high energy storage capacities owing to their increased surface-area-to-volume ratios as compared to bulk materials. By electrospinning precursor-containing polymer fibers and subsequently calcining, nanostructured MnOx fibers can be prepared with relative ease. Controlling calcination pressure and time provides a route for variable capacitance via modifying surface roughness and oxide phase. At moderate pressures and short calcination times, mixed-phase Mn2O3/Mn3O4 fibers with high surface roughness exhibit enhanced electrochemical specific capacitance.
Melt electrospinning is a facile fabrication technique that can be utilized in the creation of microfibers without the use of solvent and with good control over feature placement. The available thermal energy of the melt electrospinning technique is often only utilized in the formation of the polymer melt but can also be used to thermodynamically drive chemical reactions. In this study, hybrid perovskite microcrystallites are synthesized in the polymer melt and electrospun to form composite microfibers. Unique hybrid perovskite microstructures were studied, elucidating mechanisms of formation at work in the polymer melt.
Smartphones are increasingly used to access clinical decision support, and many medical applications provide antimicrobial prescribing guidance. However, these applications do not account for local antibiotic resistance patterns and formularies. We implemented an institution-specific antimicrobial stewardship smartphone application and studied patterns of use over a 1-year period.
Reservoir age offsets are widely used to correct marine and speleothem radiocarbon age measurements for various calibration purposes. They also serve as a powerful tracer for carbon cycle dynamics. However, a clear terminology regarding reservoir age offsets is lacking, sometimes leading to miscalculations. This note seeks to provide consistent conventions for reporting reservoir 14C disequilibria useful to a broad range of environmental sciences. This contribution introduces the F14R and δ14R metrics to express the relative 14C disequilibrium between two contemporaneous reservoirs and the R metric as the associated reservoir age offset.
A new radiocarbon preparation facility was set up in 2010 at the Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research, at the University of Cambridge. Samples are graphitized via hydrogen reduction on an iron powder catalyst before being sent to the Chrono Centre, Belfast, or the Australian National University for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) analysis. The experimental setup and procedure have recently been developed to investigate the potential for running small samples of foraminiferal carbonate. By analyzing background values of samples ranging from 0.04 to 0.6 mg C along with similar sized secondary standards, the setup and experimental procedures were optimized for small samples. “Background” modern 14C contamination has been minimized through careful selection of iron powder, and graphitization has been optimized through the use of “small volume” reactors, allowing samples containing as little as 0.08 mg C to be graphitized and accurately dated. Graphitization efficiency/fractionation is found not to be the main limitation on the analysis of samples smaller than 0.07 mg C, which rather depends primarily on AMS ion beam optics, suggesting further improvements in small sample analysis might yet be achieved with our methodology.
Better performance due to repeated testing can bias long-term trajectories of cognitive aging and correlates of change. We examined whether retest effects differ as a function of individual differences pertinent to cognitive aging: race/ethnicity, age, sex, language, years of education, literacy, and dementia risk factors including apolipoprotein E ε4 status, baseline cognitive performance, and cardiovascular risk. We used data from the Washington Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project, a community-based cohort of older adults (n=4073). We modeled cognitive change and retest effects in summary factors for general cognitive performance, memory, executive functioning, and language using multilevel models. Retest effects were parameterized in two ways, as improvement between the first and subsequent testings, and as the square root of the number of prior testings. We evaluated whether the retest effect differed by individual characteristics. The mean retest effect for general cognitive performance was 0.60 standard deviations (95% confidence interval [0.46, 0.74]), and was similar for memory, executive functioning, and language. Retest effects were greater for participants in the lowest quartile of cognitive performance (many of whom met criteria for dementia based on a study algorithm), consistent with regression to the mean. Retest did not differ by other characteristics. Retest effects are large in this community-based sample, but do not vary by demographic or dementia-related characteristics. Differential retest effects may not limit the generalizability of inferences across different groups in longitudinal research. (JINS, 2015, 21, 506–518)
The geographic and chronological distribution of eyed bone needles in North American Paleoindian sites led Osborn (2014) to propose that these distinctive artifacts date primarily to the Terminal Pleistocene Younger Dryas Cold Event and were essential to making close-fitting clothes needed to survive frigid winter conditions. Our study of a museum collection from Tule Lake Rock Shelter (CA-SIS-218A) in the high Klamath Basin area supports Osborn’s argument. We present nine high-precision accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon assays from a 2.5 m deep cultural sequence, demonstrating that Paleoindians occupied the site primarily during the Younger Dryas. Although only about .5 m3 of the Paleoindian deposits at CA-SIS-218A were excavated, fragments of four small bone needles were recovered, three of which contain whole or partial eyes. Two fragments of large mammal cortical bone from the same levels contain remnants of “groove and snap” fractures that may be related to the production of needle blanks. The bone needles from Tule Lake Rock Shelter extend the geographic range of these distinctive Paleoindian artifacts into the high desert region of Northern California.
Teflon amorphous fluoropolymer (TAF) multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) suspensions have the potential for creating conductive coatings on insulating films for numerous applications. However, there are few studies on polymer MWCNT suspension properties and even fewer that use Teflon. To define mechanical and electrical property relationships, bilayer films of TAF-MWCNT were created with differing concentrations of MWCNTs. Nanoindentation revealed that addition of 8 wt% MWCNTs to TAF increased the elastic modulus by about 25% and hardness by about 15%. Conducting indentation showed 8 wt% MWCNT films exhibit uniform stable conductance once indentation depth exceeds several hundred nanometers. Films with lower concentrations of CNTs were insulating. The two techniques provide a unique description of structure property relationships in this suspension film system.
In the elderly, immunosenescence and malnourishment can contribute to increased risk and severity of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Gold kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis ‘Hort16A’) contains nutrients important for immune function and mitigation of symptoms of infection, including vitamins C and E, folate, polyphenols and carotenoids. The objective of the present study was to evaluate whether regular consumption of gold kiwifruit reduces symptoms of URTI in older people, and determine the effect it has on plasma antioxidants, and markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and immune function. A total of thirty-two community-dwelling people ( ≥ 65 years) participated in a randomised crossover study, consuming the equivalent of four kiwifruit or two bananas daily for 4 weeks, with treatments separated by a 4-week washout period. Participants completed the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 daily, and blood samples were collected at baseline and at the end of each treatment and washout period. Gold kiwifruit did not significantly reduce the overall incidence of URTI compared with banana, but significantly reduced the severity and duration of head congestion, and the duration of sore throat. Gold kiwifruit significantly increased plasma vitamin C, α-tocopherol and lutein/zeaxanthin concentrations, and erythrocyte folate concentrations, and significantly reduced plasma lipid peroxidation. No changes to innate immune function (natural killer cell activity, phagocytosis) or inflammation markers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, homocysteine) were detected. Consumption of gold kiwifruit enhanced the concentrations of several dietary plasma analytes, which may contribute to reduced duration and severity of selected URTI symptoms, offering a novel tool for reducing the burden of URTI in older individuals.
This study examined barriers to physical activity reported individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) and the degree to which these barriers differed across varying degrees of independence. Participants were 65 individuals recruited from the Western Australian Spinal Cord Injury database. Data on physical activity participation and perceived barriers to physical activity participation were collected using a cross-sectional survey and analysed using independent samples t-tests. We found that, regardless of level of ambulation or ability to transfer, few participants reported being physically active. While there were no significant differences in the amount of barriers reported by individuals with different levels of independence, the type of barriers reported varied across groups.
Kiwifruit is a good source of several vitamins and minerals and dietary fibre, and contains a number of phytochemicals; so kiwifruit potentially provides health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Consumption of green kiwifruit can have positive effects on cardiovascular health through antioxidant activity, inhibition of platelet aggregation and lowered TAG levels, and gut health through improving laxation, aiding digestion and promoting a healthy gut microflora. The importance of nutrition on immune function is well recognised, with deficiencies in vitamins A, C, E, B6 and B12, folic acid, Zn, Cu, Fe and Se being associated with impaired immune function and increased susceptibility to diseases. Evidence is growing that kiwifruit enhances immunity, with several small murine studies showing enhancement of innate and adaptive immune function. Few studies have examined the effect of kiwifruit on immune function in human subjects, but a recent study has revealed that kiwifruit up-regulates several ‘immune’ and ‘DNA and repair’-related gene sets, and down-regulates one gene set related to Ig secretion. Taken together, the evidence from the literature provides supporting data for designing a human intervention trial to validate the ability of kiwifruit to support immune function in healthy and immunocompromised populations.