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Depression is one of the most common and debilitating non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). The neurocognitive mechanisms underlying depression in PD are unclear and treatment is often suboptimal.
We investigated the role of striatal dopamine in reversal learning from reward and punishment by combining a controlled medication withdrawal procedure with functional magnetic resonance imaging in 22 non-depressed PD patients and 19 PD patients with past or present depression.
PD patients with a depression (history) exhibited impaired reward v. punishment reversal learning as well as reduced reward v. punishment-related BOLD signal in the striatum (putamen) compared with non-depressed PD patients. No effects of dopaminergic medication were observed.
The present findings demonstrate that impairments in reversal learning from reward v. punishment and associated striatal signalling depend on the presence of (a history of) depression in PD.
The physical environment is presumed to have an effect on aggression and also on the use of seclusion on psychiatric wards. Multicentre studies that include a broad variety of design features found on psychiatric wards and that control for patient, staff and general ward characteristics are scarce.
To explore the effect of design features on the risk of being secluded, the number of seclusion incidents and the time in seclusion, for patients admitted to locked wards for intensive psychiatric care.
Data on the building quality and safety of psychiatric as well as forensic wards (n = 199) were combined with data on the frequency and type of coercive measures per admission (n = 23 868 admissions of n = 14 834 patients) on these wards, over a 12-month period. We used non-linear principal components analysis (CATPCA) to reduce the observed design features into a smaller number of uncorrelated principal components. Two-level multilevel (logistic) regression analyses were used to explore the relationship with seclusion. Admission was the first level in the analyses and ward was the second level.
Overall, 14 design features had a significant effect on the risk of being secluded during admission. The ‘presence of an outdoor space’, 'special safety measures' and a large ‘number of patients in the building’ increased the risk of being secluded. Design features such as more ‘total private space per patient’, a higher ‘level of comfort’ and greater ‘visibility on the ward’, decreased the risk of being secluded.
A number of design features had an effect on the use of seclusion and restraint. The study highlighted the need for a greater focus on the impact of the physical environment on patients, as, along with other interventions, this can reduce the need for seclusion and restraint.
LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is an innovative radio telescope optimized for the frequency range 30–240 MHz. The telescope is realized as a phased aperture array without any moving parts. Digital beam forming allows the telescope to point to any part of the sky within a second. Transient buffering makes retrospective imaging of explosive short-term events possible. The scientific focus of LOFAR will initially be on four key science projects (KSPs): (i) Detection of the formation of the very first stars and galaxies in the universe during the so-called epoch of reionization by measuring the power spectrum of the neutral hydrogen 21-cm line (Shaver et al. 1999) on the ∼ 5′ scale; (ii) Low-frequency surveys of the sky with of order 108 expected new sources; (iii) All-sky monitoring and detection of transient radio sources such as γ-ray bursts, X-ray binaries, and exo-planets (Farrell et al. 2004); and (iv) Radio detection of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos (Falcke & Gorham 2003) allowing for the first time access to particles beyond 1021 eV (Scholten et al. 2006). Apart from the KSPs open access for smaller projects is also planned. Here we give a brief description of the telescope.
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