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There is ongoing debate regarding the relationship between clinical symptoms and cognition in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). The present study aimed to explore the potential relationships between symptoms, with an emphasis on negative symptoms, and social and non-social cognition.
Hierarchical cluster analysis with k-means optimisation was conducted to characterise clinical subgroups using the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms in n = 130 SSD participants. Emergent clusters were compared on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, which measures non-social cognition and emotion management as well as demographic and clinical variables. Spearman’s correlations were then used to investigate potential relationships between specific negative symptoms and emotion management and non-social cognition.
Four distinct clinical subgroups were identified: 1. high hallucinations, 2. mixed symptoms, 3. high negative symptoms, and 4. relatively asymptomatic. The high negative symptom subgroup was found to have significantly poorer emotion management than the high hallucination and relatively asymptomatic subgroups. No further differences between subgroups were observed. Correlation analyses revealed avolition-apathy and anhedonia-asociality were negatively correlated with emotion management, but not non-social cognition. Affective flattening and alogia were not associated with either emotion management or non-social cognition.
The present study identified associations between negative symptoms and emotion management within social cognition, but no domains of non-social cognition. This relationship may be specific to motivation, anhedonia and apathy, but not expressive deficits. This suggests that targeted interventions for social cognition may also result in parallel improvement in some specific negative symptoms.
Nature has developed myriad ways for organisms to interact with their environment using light and electronic signals. Optical and electronic properties can be observed macroscopically by measuring light emission or electrical current, but are conferred at the molecular level by the arrangement of small biological molecules, specifically proteins. Here, we present a brief overview of the current uses of proteins for applications in optical and electronic materials. We provide the natural context for a range of light-emitting, light-receiving, and electronically conductive proteins, as well as demonstrate uses in biomaterials. Examples of how genetic engineering has been used to expand the range of functional properties of naturally occurring proteins are provided. We touch on how approaches to patterning and scaffolding optical and electronic proteins can be achieved using proteins with this inherent capability. While much research is still required to bring their use into the mainstream, optical and electronic proteins have the potential to create biomaterials with properties unmatched using conventional chemical synthesis.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Natural living conductive biofilms transport electrons between electrodes and cells, as well as among cells fixed within the film, catalyzing an array of reactions from acetate oxidation to CO2 reduction. Synthetic biology offers tools to modify or improve electron transport through biofilms, creating a new class of engineered living conductive materials. Engineered living conductive materials could be used in a range of applications for which traditional conducting polymers are not appropriate, including improved catalytic coatings for microbial fuel-cell electrodes, self-powered sensors for austere environments, and next-generation living components of bioelectronic devices that interact with the human microbiome.
Cellphones can be used to support treatment and disseminate health information. Literature has shown an unmet need for information for people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) and others affected by the epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the incorporation of cellphones as a tool to support HIV adherence and information dissemination. We sought to assess rates of utilization of health information provided through the Call for Life Uganda (CFLU) platform among HIV-positive individuals.
CFLU uses the Mobile Technology for Community Health (MoTeCH) software Call for Life™ developed by Janssen and adapted to the Uganda setting in collaboration with Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). It offers daily pill reminder calls/sms, health info tips; symptom reporting and clinic appointment reminders. CFLU was used in a randomized control trial (RCT) undertaken to improve outcomes in HIV patients providing information categorized into Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and adherence, positive living, general health, pregnancy, breast-feeding, and sexuality. We used data from the RCT between August 2016 to June 2018 to generate frequency distributions and gender differences regarding utilization of health information.
From a total of 300 respondents receiving the CFLU intervention, a majority were: females (70%), aged 16 to 35 years (62%), married (74.7%), had attained secondary and higher education (57.3%); and employed (67.7%). Overall, 255/300 (85%) utilized at least one of the health-tips categories. Participants utilized mostly general health information 211/300 (70%); followed ARTs and adherence 173/300 (57.7%); pregnancy and breast-feeding 137/300 (45.7%), sexuality 113/300 (37.7%), and positive living 98/300 (32.7%). Gender differences were noted regarding ARTs and adherence utilization with higher percentage of females to males (61% vs 50%) and for sexuality, a higher percentage of males to females (41.6% vs 33.3%, p < 0.05).
The findings indicate that when availed with platforms for health-related information, PLHIV populations will utilize them mostly for adherence. We recommend increased incorporation of such technologies to disseminate information in this key population.
For over a century, scholars have traced higher levels of serious crime in minority compared to White neighborhoods to stark socioeconomic inequality. Yet, this research is largely cross-sectional and does not assess how ethnoracial differences in crime patterns evolve over time in response to shifting structural conditions. The new century witnessed substantial changes to the circumstances that undergird the ethnoracial divide in neighborhood crime as well as a national crime decline. How are the changing dynamics of urban inequality reinforcing or diminishing racial and ethnic disparities in neighborhood crime in the context of the “Great American Crime Decline”? We address this question by first identifying distinct paths of violent and property crime change between 1999 and 2013 for almost 2700 neighborhoods across eighteen cities. We then assess how initial and changing levels of disadvantage, housing instability, and demographics explain divergent crime trajectories within neighborhoods. We find that most neighborhoods have lower levels of homicide and burglary than fifteen years ago. However, homicide and burglary increased in some neighborhoods, and this trend is largely limited to Black neighborhoods. Disadvantage and the housing crisis are critical in accounting for the heightened risk of neighborhoods having increasing rather than decreasing crime trends. In contrast, immigration is linked with declining and stable trends in violent and property crime. Overall, results indicate a widening of the racial-spatial divide for the most marginalized communities in the United States.
Little is known about potential harmful effects as a consequence of self-guided internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT), such as symptom deterioration rates. Thus, safety concerns remain and hamper the implementation of self-guided iCBT into clinical practice. We aimed to conduct an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis to determine the prevalence of clinically significant deterioration (symptom worsening) in adults with depressive symptoms who received self-guided iCBT compared with control conditions. Several socio-demographic, clinical and study-level variables were tested as potential moderators of deterioration.
Randomised controlled trials that reported results of self-guided iCBT compared with control conditions in adults with symptoms of depression were selected. Mixed effects models with participants nested within studies were used to examine possible clinically significant deterioration rates.
Thirteen out of 16 eligible trials were included in the present IPD meta-analysis. Of the 3805 participants analysed, 7.2% showed clinically significant deterioration (5.8% and 9.1% of participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively). Participants in self-guided iCBT were less likely to deteriorate (OR 0.62, p < 0.001) compared with control conditions. None of the examined participant- and study-level moderators were significantly associated with deterioration rates.
Self-guided iCBT has a lower rate of negative outcomes on symptoms than control conditions and could be a first step treatment approach for adult depression as well as an alternative to watchful waiting in general practice.
Palliative care for nursing home residents with advanced dementia is often sub-optimal due to poor communication and limited care planning. In a cluster randomized controlled trial, registered nurses (RNs) from 10 nursing homes were trained and funded to work as Palliative Care Planning Coordinators (PCPCs) to organize family case conferences and mentor staff. This qualitative sub-study aimed to explore PCPC and health professional perceptions of the benefits of facilitated case conferencing and identify factors influencing implementation.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the RNs in the PCPC role, other members of nursing home staff, and physicians who participated in case conferences. Analysis was conducted by two researchers using a thematic framework approach.
Interviews were conducted with 11 PCPCs, 18 other nurses, eight allied health workers, and three physicians. Perceived benefits of facilitated case conferencing included better communication between staff and families, greater multi-disciplinary involvement in case conferences and care planning, and improved staff attitudes and capabilities for dementia palliative care. Key factors influencing implementation included: staffing levels and time; support from management, staff and physicians; and positive family feedback.
The facilitated approach explored in this study addressed known barriers to case conferencing. However, current business models in the sector make it difficult for case conferencing to receive the required levels of nursing qualification, training, and time. A collaborative nursing home culture and ongoing relationships with health professionals are also prerequisites for success. Further studies should document resident and family perceptions to harness consumer advocacy.
LEGAL TEXTS ARE increasingly proving to be valuable sources for the study of the material culture of the medieval Middle East and the Islamicate world more broadly. Innovative monographs (such as Leor Halevi's Muhammad's Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society) and articles (such as Tziona Grossmark's study of glass within Jewish law and Ruba Kana’an's use of Islamic legal sources in the interpretation of medieval metalwork production) exemplify the new perspectives that emerge from the dialogue between legal texts and material things. As Don Davis proposes in this issue, we can see the “story of law” as “the formation of endless practical legal arrangements, the creation of rules and categories to tame them, and the subsequent mutual development of (and tension between) both as an ongoing encounter.” Hence, the objects of material culture offer us a new opportunity to explore the encounter between the theory and the praxis of law. Nevertheless, the slow pace at which legal corpora are being integrated into the study of material culture is a symptom of the complexity of these sources and the fundamentally interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of such an enterprise.
This article focuses on a set of legal questions about ṣīnī vessels (literally, “Chi-nese” vessels) sent from the Jewish community in Aden to Fustat (Old Cairo) in the mid-1130s CE. These questions survive in a memorandum subsequently deposited in the so-called Cairo Geniza, a document which eventually made its way to Cambridge University Library (see Figure 5).
While ṣīnī vessels are listed in various Geniza inventories and wills, this is the only known discussion of the materiality of ṣīnī to occur in any Geniza document, and also the earliest dated and localized query about these vessels’ status with respect to Jewish law of vessels used for food consumption. Although opaque at first reading, our analysis of these queries will suggest that their phrasing and tim-ing can be linked to the contemporaneous appearance, in the Yemen, of a new type of Chinese ceramic material: in effect, an early true “porcelain.” Although various types of Chinese ceramic had been entering the Middle East since the first half of the ninth century, sometimes in huge quantities, this particular ceramic fabric presented Jewish scholars and householders at the port of Aden with a perplexing problem, since its properties confounded their expectations of how a ceramic fabric should look, feel, and behave.
Born and bred in Keighley, Carole Rawcliffe is a proud Yorkshirewoman and when minded to do so can express herself in broad Yorkshire. She studied History at Sheffield University and graduated with a first-class degree. This outstanding achievement would not cause much comment now. In 1967, however, she was one of only five History graduates there to have been awarded such a degree since 1952. She stayed at Sheffield to undertake research for her PhD under the supervision of Dr Robin Jeffs on the subject of the Stafford earls of Stafford and dukes of Buckingham, but left in 1971 to join the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. The Historical Manuscripts Commission, as it is usually known, had been established in 1869 with the remit of surveying and reporting on those records, both public and private, that were not legally categorised as ‘Public Records’, and on the repositories where they were held. The Commission was then situated in Quality Court, off Chancery Lane, just 300 yards north of the Public Record Office, and when Carole arrived it was presided over as Secretary by Roger Ellis, a gentleman scholar with a distinguished war record and a delightful manner.
In many ways the HMC proved an excellent training ground, providing Carole with valuable opportunities to broaden her experience. The material in the Commission's published reports was exceptionally diverse both in content and in chronological range, and much of the work undertaken by its staff focused on the National Register of Archives, which had been established within the HMC in 1945 and contained many thousands of published and unpublished lists and catalogues of archival collections relating to all aspects of British history. These provided details of documents held in local authority, business and private archives across Great Britain and in repositories throughout the world. Relatively little medieval material was listed in the NRA catalogues, but the range and interest of the post-medieval material was very wide indeed, covering political, literary, scientific, diplomatic and ecclesiastical history as well as the records of commerce and industry and great family and estate collections.
Sleep disturbances are a common issue for those who provide informal care to someone with a life-limiting condition. The negative consequences of poor sleep are well documented. The purpose of the present study was to determine the sleep patterns of caregivers of patients with advanced cancer.
An extensive systematic review of studies reporting empirical sleep data was undertaken in 2015 in accordance with the PRISMA Statement. A total of eight electronic databases were searched, with no date restrictions imposed. Additionally, a search of the bibliographies of the studies identified during the electronic search was conducted. Search terms included: “sleep,” “insomnia,” “sleep disturbance,” “circadian rhythm,” “caregiver,” “carer,” “advanced cancer,” “palliative cancer,” and MESH suggestions. The inclusion criteria required studies to be in English and to report primary qualitative and/or quantitative research that examined sleep in caregivers of patients with advanced cancer. Unpublished studies, conference papers, and dissertations were excluded.
Overall, 10 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Two major findings emerged from the data synthesis. First, at least 72% of caregivers reported moderate to severe sleep disturbance as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Second, objective measurement of caregivers' sleep identified that some caregivers experienced up to a 44% reduction in their total sleep time compared to the recommended eight hours.
Significance of Results:
Reduction in total sleep time appears to be the biggest issue facing caregivers' sleep. Future studies need to explore the specific factors that cause these sleep disturbances and thus help to identify interventions to optimize sleep.
Interest in political theology has surged in recent years, and this accessible volume provides a focused overview of the field. Many are asking serious questions about religious faith in secular societies, the origin and function of democratic polities, worldwide economic challenges, the shift of Christianity's center of gravity to the global south, and anxieties related to bold and even violent assertions of theologically determined political ideas. In fourteen original essays, authors examine Christian political theology in order to clarify the contemporary discourse and some of its most important themes and issues. These include up-to-date, critical engagements with historical figures like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Immanuel Kant; discussions of how the Bible functions theopolitically; and introductions to key movements such as liberation theology, Catholic social teaching, and radical orthodoxy. An invaluable resource for students and scholars in theology, the Companion will also be beneficial to those in history, philosophy, and politics.