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Non-resolving inflammation is characteristic of tuberculosis (TB). Given their inflammation-resolving properties, omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) may support TB treatment. This research aimed to investigate the effects of n-3 LCPUFA on clinical and inflammatory outcomes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-infected C3HeB/FeJ mice with either normal or low n-3 PUFA status before infection. Using a two-by-two design, uninfected mice were conditioned on either an n-3 PUFA-sufficient (n-3FAS) or -deficient (n3FAD) diet for six weeks. One week post-infection, mice were randomised to either n-3 LCPUFA supplemented (n-3FAS/n-3+ and n3FAD/n3+) or continued on n-3FAS or n3FAD diets for three weeks. Mice were euthanised and fatty acid status, lung bacterial load and pathology, cytokine, lipid mediator, and immune cell phenotype analysed. n-3 LCPUFA supplementation in n-3FAS mice lowered lung bacterial loads (P=0·003), T cells (P=0·019), CD4+ T cells (P=0·014), IFN-γ (P<0·001) and promoted a pro-resolving lung lipid mediator profile. Compared with n-3FAS mice, the n-3FAD group had lower bacterial loads (P=0·037), significantly higher immune cell recruitment and a more pro-inflammatory lipid mediator profile, however, significantly lower lung IFN-γ, IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-17, and supplementation in the n-3FAD group provided no beneficial effect on lung bacterial load or inflammation. Our study provides the first evidence that n-3 LCPUFA supplementation has antibacterial and inflammation-resolving benefits in TB when provided one week after infection in the context of a sufficient n-3 PUFA status. Whilst a low n-3 PUFA status may promote better bacterial control and lower lung inflammation not benefiting from n-3 LCPUFA supplementation.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures are likely to have a marked effect on mental health. It is important to use longitudinal data to improve inferences.
To quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, to identify groups at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic.
Data were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) index generation (n = 2850, mean age 28 years) and parent generation (n = 3720, mean age 59 years), and Generation Scotland (n = 4233, mean age 59 years). Depression was measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in ALSPAC and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Generation Scotland. Anxiety and mental well-being were measured with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment-7 and the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Depression during the pandemic was similar to pre-pandemic levels in the ALSPAC index generation, but those experiencing anxiety had almost doubled, at 24% (95% CI 23–26%) compared with a pre-pandemic level of 13% (95% CI 12–14%). In both studies, anxiety and depression during the pandemic was greater in younger members, women, those with pre-existing mental/physical health conditions and individuals in socioeconomic adversity, even when controlling for pre-pandemic anxiety and depression.
These results provide evidence for increased anxiety in young people that is coincident with the pandemic. Specific groups are at elevated risk of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important for planning current mental health provisions and for long-term impact beyond this pandemic.
Neuroanatomical abnormalities in first-episode psychosis (FEP) tend to be subtle and widespread. The vast majority of previous studies have used small samples, and therefore may have been underpowered. In addition, most studies have examined participants at a single research site, and therefore the results may be specific to the local sample investigated. Consequently, the findings reported in the existing literature are highly heterogeneous. This study aimed to overcome these issues by testing for neuroanatomical abnormalities in individuals with FEP that are expressed consistently across several independent samples.
Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were acquired from a total of 572 FEP and 502 age and gender comparable healthy controls at five sites. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate differences in grey matter volume (GMV) between the two groups. Statistical inferences were made at p < 0.05 after family-wise error correction for multiple comparisons.
FEP showed a widespread pattern of decreased GMV in fronto-temporal, insular and occipital regions bilaterally; these decreases were not dependent on anti-psychotic medication. The region with the most pronounced decrease – gyrus rectus – was negatively correlated with the severity of positive and negative symptoms.
This study identified a consistent pattern of fronto-temporal, insular and occipital abnormalities in five independent FEP samples; furthermore, the extent of these alterations is dependent on the severity of symptoms and duration of illness. This provides evidence for reliable neuroanatomical alternations in FEP, expressed above and beyond site-related differences in anti-psychotic medication, scanning parameters and recruitment criteria.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Extra-care housing (ECH) has been hailed as a potential solution to some of the problems associated with traditional forms of social care, since it allows older people to live independently, while also having access to care and support if required. However, little longitudinal research has focused on the experiences of residents living in ECH, particularly in recent years. This paper reports on a longitudinal study of four ECH schemes in the United Kingdom. Older residents living in ECH were interviewed four times over a two-year period to examine how changes in their care needs were encountered and negotiated by care workers, managers and residents themselves. This paper focuses on how residents managed their own changing care needs within the context of ECH. Drawing upon theories of the third and fourth age, the paper makes two arguments. First, that transitions across the boundary between the third and fourth age are not always straightforward or irreversible and, moreover, can sometimes be resisted, planned-for and managed by older people. Second, that operational practices within ECH schemes can function to facilitate or impede residents’ attempts to manage this boundary.
The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) are the most frequently used observer-rated and self-report scales of depression, respectively. It is important to know what a given total score or a change score from baseline on one scale means in relation to the other scale.
We obtained individual participant data from the randomised controlled trials of psychological and pharmacological treatments for major depressive disorders. We then identified corresponding scores of the HAMD and the BDI (369 patients from seven trials) or the BDI-II (683 patients from another seven trials) using the equipercentile linking method.
The HAMD total scores of 10, 20 and 30 corresponded approximately with the BDI scores of 10, 27 and 42 or with the BDI-II scores of 13, 32 and 50. The HAMD change scores of −20 and −10 with the BDI of −29 and −15 and with the BDI-II of −35 and −16.
The results can help clinicians interpret the HAMD or BDI scores of their patients in a more versatile manner and also help clinicians and researchers evaluate such scores reported in the literature or the database, when scores on only one of these scales are provided. We present a conversion table for future research.
This volume provides a review of novel conceptual and practical approaches to achieving transformation, with an emphasis on times of political transition. This concluding chapter seeks to provide some personal reflections on these contributions, and articulate some common threads that run through these ‘transformative’ approaches. The aim is to ask some broader questions as to how transformative justice is framed and use these as a springboard to draw up an agenda for future research. An effort is made to discuss what normative framework could underpin a practice that is rooted in the local and the everyday, with the suggestion that hybrid approaches, rooted in the normativities of communities in struggle have to provide the basis for such a framework. This could include the affective, a politics founded on the social practice that drives transformation, and an acknowledgment that external intervention must be understood as based on power relations that can import both external politics and agendas into such a practice.
Chapter 1 argues that while transitional justice has become a globally dominant lens through which to approach states addressing legacies of a violent past the performance and impact of transitional justice mechanisms has been at best ambiguous and at times disappointing. The chapter proposes a new agenda for theory and practice, one that offers a concept of justice that is more ‘transformative’ than ‘transitional.’ The chapter starts by setting out the limitations of transitional justice, and recent responses to these limitations in transitional justice scholarship and practice. A definition of transformative justice draws on this discussion as well as insights from related fields such as peacebuilding and conflict transformation. A final section of the chapter, on tools for transformative justice, provides practical guidance on how to implement a more transformative transitional justice.
Transitional justice has become the principle lens used by countries emerging from conflict and authoritarian rule to address the legacies of violence and serious human rights abuses. However, as transitional justice practice becomes more institutionalized with support from NGOs and funding from Western donors, questions have been raised about the long-term effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms. Core elements of the paradigm have been subjected to sustained critique, yet there is much less commentary that goes beyond critique to set out, in a comprehensive fashion, what an alternative approach might look like. This volume discusses one such alternative, transformative justice, and positions this quest in the wider context of ongoing fall-out from the 2008 global economic and political crisis, as well as the failure of social justice advocates to respond with imagination and ambition. Drawing on diverse perspectives, contributors illustrate the wide-ranging purchase of transformative justice at both conceptual and empirical levels.
The internet has the potential to overcome geographic limitations for smoking cessation interventions, but further telehealth-based studies of utility are required.
To investigate the efficacy of an internet-based version of a quit smoking approach using a personalised video to create a simulated teachable moment.
Smokers within Australia were recruited through a dedicated website. After consent, eligible subjects, aged ≥30 years with a non-smoking partner, uploaded pictures of themselves, their partner and family, to be inserted into a video depicting the subject having a heart attack due to smoking, with consequences to them and their family. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) began prior to the quit attempt. The video was shown during two videoconference counselling sessions, with follow-up phone calls and text messaging support. Smoking status at 6 months by self-report (primary endpoint) was verified by partner/proxy and salivary cotinine (NicAlert™).
Seventy seven smokers were screened, of whom 50 were eligible, and 17 of these (34%) were enrolled; 11 men and 6 women, aged 41.5 ± 6.9 years, daily cigarette consumption 20.8 ± 8.9, Heaviness of Smoking Index score 3.7 ± 1.7. Participants reported feeling personally involved with the video (5.9 ± 1.1), which felt real (5.8 ± 1.1) and emotionally moving (5.6 ± 1.5) [7-point Likert Scale]. A similar video response was reported by the four participants (24%), who due to bandwidth limitations, watched the video after the counselling session instead of during it. Non-smoking rates at 6 months were 65% (11/17) by self-report with proxy confirmation, and 47% (8/17) by self-report with biologic confirmation. Three non-smokers by self-report could not provide a valid NicAlert™ result due to current NRT use. One participant who by self-report smoked once in the prior 14-days was assessed as a non-smoker by both proxy and NicAlert™.
This pilot study demonstrates efficacy for an internet-based version of a quit smoking program based on creating a simulated teachable moment. The findings provide support for further research into this technique, with the internet enabling greater reach than face-to-face.
Cambodia supports populations of three Critically Endangered vulture species that are believed to have become isolated from the rest of the species’ global range. Until recently Cambodia’s vulture populations had remained stable. However a recent spike in the number of reports of the use of poisons in hunting practices suggests the need to re-evaluate the conservation situation in Cambodia. Population trend analysis showed that since 2010 populations of the White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus have declined, while the Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris may also have started to decline since 2013. These trends are supported by evidence of reduced nesting success. A survey of veterinary drug availability revealed that diclofenac, the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug responsible for vulture declines in South Asia was not available for sale in any of the 74 pharmacies surveyed. However, a poisoned Slender-billed Vulture tested positive for carbofuran in toxicology tests. This provides the first evidence of a vulture mortality resulting from carbofuran in Cambodia. The findings suggest the urgent need to tackle use of carbamate pesticides in hunting. Proposed conservation actions are: a) prevention of poisoning through national bans on harmful carbamate pesticides and diclofenac and education campaigns to reduce demand and use; b) training of personnel in priority protected areas in detection and response to poisoning incidents; c) maintenance of a safe and reliable food source through vulture restaurants to ensure short-term survival, and d) protection and restoration of large areas of deciduous dipterocarp forests to enable long-term species recovery.