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The psychedelic research renaissance is gaining traction. Preliminary clinical studies of the hallucinogenic fungi, psilocybin, with psychological support, have indicated improvements in mood, anxiety and quality of life. A seminal, open-label study demonstrated marked reductions in depression symptoms in participants with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The associated neurobiological processes involve alterations in brain connectivity, together with altered amygdala and default mode network activity. At the cellular level, psychedelics promote synaptogenesis and neural plasticity. Prompted by the promising preliminary studies, a randomized, double-blind trial has recently been launched across Europe and North America to investigate the efficacy of psilocybin in TRD. One of these centres is based in Ireland – CHO Area 7 and Tallaght University Hospital. The outcome of this trial will determine whether psilocybin with psychological support will successfully translate into the psychiatric clinic for the benefit of patients.
Families with neurodevelopmental disorders engage in varied types of therapies to address behavioural, communication and cognitive challenges. Research suggests that consistent therapy adherence predicts positive therapy outcomes. The present study examined therapy adherence in 55 parent-child dyads where all children had been diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, and/or ID. Parents completed questionnaires assessing demographics, therapy type, adherence to child treatment, parental stress, and challenging child behaviour. The researchers proposed a new scale, the Child Therapy Adherence Scale (CTAS), which initial testing supported as a reliable measure of therapy adherence. Significant relationships were found between parental stress, annual household income and therapy adherence, with parental stress being a notably strong predictor of therapy adherence. No significant relationships were observed between child challenging behaviour, single parent status and therapy adherence. These findings have implications for practitioners, in that parent levels of stress and demographic influences may impact capacity to adhere to recommended home practice and interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Objective: Detection of cognitive impairment suggestive of risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression is crucial to the prevention of incipient dementia. This study was performed to determine if performance on a novel object discrimination task improved identification of earlier deficits in older adults at risk for AD. Method: In total, 135 participants from the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center [cognitively normal (CN), Pre-mild cognitive impairment (PreMCI), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and dementia] completed a test of object discrimination and traditional memory measures in the context of a larger neuropsychological and clinical evaluation. Results: The Object Recognition and Discrimination Task (ORDT) revealed significant differences between the PreMCI, aMCI, and dementia groups versus CN individuals. Moreover, relative risk of being classified as PreMCI rather than CN increased as an inverse function of ORDT score. Discussion: Overall, the obtained results suggest that a novel object discrimination task improves the detection of very early AD-related cognitive impairment, increasing the window for therapeutic intervention. (JINS, 2019, 25, 688–698)
Antibiotics are overprescribed for acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs). Guidelines provide criteria to determine which patients should receive antibiotics. We assessed congruence between documentation of ARI diagnostic and treatment practices with guideline recommendations, treatment appropriateness, and outcomes.
A multicenter quality improvement evaluation was conducted in 28 Veterans Affairs facilities. We included visits for pharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infections (URI-NOS) that occurred during the 2015–2016 winter season. A manual record review identified complicated cases, which were excluded. Data were extracted for visits meeting criteria, followed by analysis of practice patterns, guideline congruence, and outcomes.
Of 5,740 visits, 4,305 met our inclusion criteria: pharyngitis (n = 558), rhinosinusitis (n = 715), bronchitis (n = 1,155), URI-NOS (n = 1,475), or mixed diagnoses (>1 ARI diagnosis) (n = 402). Antibiotics were prescribed in 68% of visits: pharyngitis (69%), rhinosinusitis (89%), bronchitis (86%), URI-NOS (37%), and mixed diagnosis (86%). Streptococcal diagnostic testing was performed in 33% of pharyngitis visits; group A Streptococcus was identified in 3% of visits. Streptococcal tests were ordered less frequently for patients who received antibiotics (28%) than those who did not receive antibiotics 44%; P < .01). Although 68% of visits for rhinosinusitis had documentation of symptoms, only 32% met diagnostic criteria for antibiotics. Overall, 39% of patients with uncomplicated ARIs received appropriate antibiotic management. The proportion of 30-day return visits for ARI care was similar for appropriate (11%) or inappropriate (10%) antibiotic management (P = .22).
Antibiotics were prescribed in most uncomplicated ARI visits, indicating substantial overuse. Practice was frequently discordant with guideline diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
Chemical separation techniques with their roots in classical analysis have been highly developed since the turn of the century. During the last two decades, X-ray spectrography has proven to be a very acceptable method of analysis because of the relative ease and rapidity of measurement of the intensity of characteristic wavelengths, the ready knowledge of the precision of the measurement, the facility of automating the analysis, and the nondestructive nature of the method. When chemical separation techniques are combined with X-ray spectrography, the problem of matrix effects is eliminated and the element being analyzed is substantially concentrated, which affords a means of performing trace element analyses. Published examples of preconcentration followed by X-ray measurement both outside and in the field of metallurgy are cited.
We report here for the first time the presence of Ophelimus mediterraneus sp. n. in Mediterranean Europe. This species appears to be closely related to Ophelimus maskelli, a well-known invasive pest of Eucalyptus. Based on molecular (cytochrome oxidase I, 28S), morphological (multivariate ratio analysis) and bio-ecological investigations, our study gives unambiguous relevant criteria that allow the discrimination between these two species. A full description of O. mediterraneus sp. n. is also provided. The geographic distribution of O. mediterraneus sp. n. as well as its impact on Eucalyptus species needs to be more widely assessed since its presence may have been confused with O. maskelli in their sympatric introduced areas. Further investigations of potential parasitoids in the native area may thus be welcomed to evaluate classical biological control achievability.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Habitat fragmentation creates habitat edges, and ecological edge effects can cause major changes in the ecology and distribution of many taxa. However, these ecological changes may in turn influence animal movements and lead to molecular edge effects and edge-related genetic structure, matters that are largely unexplored. This study aims to infer molecular edge effects and to test three possible underlying mechanisms in the Endangered golden-brown mouse lemur Microcebus ravelobensis, a nocturnal species in the dry deciduous forest of the Ankarafantsika National Park in north-western Madagascar. Mouse lemurs were sampled in one edge and two interior habitats in close proximity to each other (500–1,400 m) in a continuous forest. A total of 41 mouse lemur samples were genotyped with seven nuclear microsatellites, and a fragment of the mitochondrial control region was sequenced for all samples. The overall genetic diversity (allelic richness, heterozygosity, haplotype richness, nucleotide diversity) was lower in the edge habitat compared to the two interior sites and all subpopulations showed signals of relatively low genetic exchange and significant genetic differentiation between them despite the short geographical distances, supporting the local preference model. These findings can be interpreted as preliminary signals of a molecular edge effect and suggest the potential for local adaptation. They are highly relevant for the conservation of fragmented populations, because a further subdivision of already small populations may increase their vulnerability to stochastic demographic changes and collapse.
To develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithm which can automatically detect food items from images acquired by an egocentric wearable camera for dietary assessment.
To study human diet and lifestyle, large sets of egocentric images were acquired using a wearable device, called eButton, from free-living individuals. Three thousand nine hundred images containing real-world activities, which formed eButton data set 1, were manually selected from thirty subjects. eButton data set 2 contained 29 515 images acquired from a research participant in a week-long unrestricted recording. They included both food- and non-food-related real-life activities, such as dining at both home and restaurants, cooking, shopping, gardening, housekeeping chores, taking classes, gym exercise, etc. All images in these data sets were classified as food/non-food images based on their tags generated by a convolutional neural network.
A cross data-set test was conducted on eButton data set 1. The overall accuracy of food detection was 91·5 and 86·4 %, respectively, when one-half of data set 1 was used for training and the other half for testing. For eButton data set 2, 74·0 % sensitivity and 87·0 % specificity were obtained if both ‘food’ and ‘drink’ were considered as food images. Alternatively, if only ‘food’ items were considered, the sensitivity and specificity reached 85·0 and 85·8 %, respectively.
The AI technology can automatically detect foods from low-quality, wearable camera-acquired real-world egocentric images with reasonable accuracy, reducing both the burden of data processing and privacy concerns.
The Nepal earthquake of 2015 was a major disaster that exacted an enormous toll on human lives and caused extensive damage to the infrastructure of the region. Similar to other developing countries, Nepal has a network of community health workers (CHWs; known as female community health volunteers [FCHVs]) that was in place prior to the earthquake and continues to function to improve maternal and child health. These FCHVs and other community members were responsible, by default, for providing the first wave of assistance after the earthquake.
Community health workers such as FCHVs could be used to provide formal relief services in the event of an emergency, but there is a paucity of evidence-based literature on how to best utilize them in disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and response. Data are needed to further characterize the roles that this cadre has played in past disasters and what strategies can be implemented to better incorporate them into future emergency management.
In March 2016, key-informant interviews, FCHV interviews, and focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in Nepali health facilities using semi-structured guides. The audio-recorded data were obtained with the assistance of a translator (Nepali-English), transcribed verbatim in English, and coded by two independent researchers (manually and with NVivo 11 Pro software [QSR International; Melbourne, Australia]).
Across seven different regions, 14 interviews with FCHVs, two FGDs with community women, and three key-informant interviews were conducted. Four major themes emerged around the topic of FCHVs and the 2015 earthquake: (1) community care and rapport between FCHVs and local residents; (2) emergency response of FCHVs in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake; (3) training requested to improve the FCHVs’ ability to manage disasters; and (4) interaction with relief organizations and how to create collaborations that provide aid relief more effectively.
The FCHVs in Nepal provided multiple services to their communities in the aftermath of the earthquake, largely without any specific training or instruction. Proper preparation, in addition to improved collaboration with aid agencies, could increase the capacity of FCHVs to respond in the event of a future disaster. The information gained from this study of the FCHV experience in the Nepal earthquake could be used to inform risk reduction and emergency management policies for CHWs in various settings worldwide.
FredricksK, DinhH, KusiM, YogalC, KarmacharyaBM, BurkeTF, NelsonBD. Community Health Workers and Disasters: Lessons Learned from the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(6):604–609.
Magnetic fields play a major role in the general dynamics of astronomical phenomena and particularly in the process of star formation. The magnetic field strength in galactic molecular clouds is of the order of few tens of μG. On a smaller scale, OH masers exhibit fields of the order of mG and these can probably be taken as representative of the magnetic field in the dense regions surrounding protostars. The OH molecule has been shown to emit highly circular and linearly polarized radiation. That it was indeed the action of the magnetic field that would give rise to the highly polarized spectrum of OH has been shown by the VLBI observations of Zeeman pairs of the 1720 and 6035 MHz by Lo et. al. and Moran et. al. VLBI observations of W3 (OH) revealed that the OH emission was coming from numerous discrete locations and that all spots fell within the continuum contours of the compact HII region. The most detailed VLBI aperture synthesis experiment of the 1665 MHz emission from W3 (OH) was carried out by Reid et. al. who found several Zeeman pairs and a characteristic maser clump size of 30 mas. In this work, we report the results of a 5 station VLBI aperture synthesis experiment of the 1665 MHz OH emission from W3 (OH) with full polarization information. We produced VLBI synthesis maps of all Stokes parameters of 16 spectral features that showed elliptical polarization. The magnitude and direction of the magnetic field have been obtained by the detection of 7 Zeeman pairs. The three dimensional orientation of the magnetic field can be obtained, following the theoretical arguments of Goldreich et. al., from the observation of π and σ components.
The binary galaxies NGC 4038/39 have extended filamentary arms generated by tidal interactions (Toomre and Toomre, Ap. J. 178; 623, (1972)(TT)). The velocity field was determined by HI observations taken with the VLA (a facility operated by the NRAO under contract with the NSF), and the combined velocity and morphological information was used to constrain the allowed orbital parameters, halo characteristics, and dynamical friction. TT-type calculations were carried out with central masses and rings of test particles, and the calculated results compared with the data. Using disk orientations derived from optical data (Rubin et al., (1970) Ap. J. 160 81), and solving for the six remaining orbital parameters, central potential softening constant (representing the halo), and frictional relaxation time, a good fit between the model and the radio data was found. The best model is shown in Figure 1, and is superimposed on an HI column density map in Figure 2. The orbit is well-determined, and must be nearly parabolic; the pair are interacting for the first time, and if the galaxies have extensive massive halos much larger than their discs, then their tidal arms would be shorter and stubbier than observed. More limited halos are allowed; each galaxy could have up to 80% of its total mass in a halo, but the halos cannot be much larger than the discs. A halo several times larger than the disc, with 10 to 20 times the disc mass, is not permitted by the data.
On June 1, 1984 we conducted a seven station 18-cm VLBI observation of the 2016+112 gravitational lens system. Preliminary brightness distributions for A and B have been obtained via model fitting. Weak correlated flux density was detected in the C component region.
An antenna in geostationary orbit was used for VLBI observations at 2.3 GHz, in combination with ground antennas in Australia and Japan. 23 of the 25 observed sources were detected on orbiter-ground baselines, with baseline lengths as large as 2.15 earth diameters. Brightness temperatures between 1012 K and 4 × 1012 K were measured for 10 sources.
Given the reach and influence of social media, the National Children’s Study Vanguard Study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and cost of using social media to support participant retention.
We describe a social media experiment designed to assess the impact of social media on participant retention, discuss several key considerations for integrating social media into longitudinal research, and review factors that may influence engagement in research-related social media.
User participation varied but was most active when at launch. During the short life of the private online community, a total of 39 participants joined. General enthusiasm about the prospect of the online community was indicated. There were many lessons learned throughout the process in areas such as privacy, security, and Institutional Review Board clearance. These are described in detail.
The opportunity to engage participants in longitudinal research using online social networks is enticing; however, more research is needed to consider the feasibility of their use in an ongoing manner. Recommendations are presented for future research seeking to use social media to improve retention in longitudinal research.