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To complete missing information on the influence of spiritual and religious advisors as informal providers for mental health problems in Europe.
Recourse to religious practice or belief when coping with mental health problems was evaluated using data from the ESEMED survey. This was a stratified, multistage, clustered-area probability sample survey of mental health carried out in six European countries which included 8796 subjects. Between countries differences in sociodemographic characteristics, religious affiliation, and prevalence of mental disorders and management of mental disorders were evaluated.
Religion appears to play a limited role in coping with mental health problems in Europe. Only 7.9% of individuals seeking help for such problems turned to a religious advisor. This proportion differed between countries from 13% in Italy, 12.5% in Germany, 10.5% in the Netherlands, 5.8% in France, 4.7% in Belgium to 4% in Spain. In addition, seeking help exclusively from religion was reported by only 1.3% of subjects. Practicing religion at least once a week and considering religion as important in daily life were predictors of using religion versus conventional health care only. Use of religion was not influenced by gender and age. Non-Christian respondents and individuals with alcohol disorders were more likely to use religion. In Spain, the use of religion is much lower than average.
Unlike the situation in the United States, organised religion does not provide alternative informal mental health care in Europe. At best, it could be considered as an adjunct to conventional care.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, with lifetime prevalence in the United States of 17%. Here we present the results of the first prospective, large-scale, patient- and rater-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluating the clinical importance of achieving congruence between combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing and medication selection for MDD.
1,167 outpatients diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medications were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) arm or PGx-guided care arm. Combinatorial PGx testing categorized medications in three groups based on the level of gene-drug interactions: use as directed, use with caution, or use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring. Patient assessments were performed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, 12 and 24. Patients, site raters, and central raters were blinded in both arms until after week 8. In the guided-care arm, physicians had access to the combinatorial PGx test result to guide medication selection. Primary outcomes utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) and included symptom improvement (percent change in HAM-D17 from baseline), response (50% decrease in HAM-D17 from baseline), and remission (HAM-D17<7) at the fully blinded week 8 time point. The durability of patient outcomes was assessed at week 24. Medications were considered congruent with PGx test results if they were in the ‘use as directed’ or ‘use with caution’ report categories while medications in the ‘use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring’ were considered incongruent. Patients who started on incongruent medications were analyzed separately according to whether they changed to congruent medications by week8.
At week 8, symptom improvement for individuals in the guided-care arm was not significantly different than TAU (27.2% versus 24.4%, p=0.11). However, individuals in the guided-care arm were more likely than those in TAU to achieve remission (15% versus 10%; p<0.01) and response (26% versus 20%; p=0.01). Remission rates, response rates, and symptom reductions continued to improve in the guided-treatment arm until the 24week time point. Congruent prescribing increased to 91% in the guided-care arm by week 8. Among patients who were taking one or more incongruent medication at baseline, those who changed to congruent medications by week 8 demonstrated significantly greater symptom improvement (p<0.01), response (p=0.04), and remission rates (p<0.01) compared to those who persisted on incongruent medications.
Combinatorial PGx testing improves short- and long-term response and remission rates for MDD compared to standard of care. In addition, prescribing congruency with PGx-guided medication recommendations is important for achieving symptom improvement, response, and remission for MDD patients.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Assurex Health, Inc.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Self-criticism is a ubiquitous feature of psychopathology and can be
combatted by increasing levels of self-compassion. However, some patients
are resistant to self-compassion.
To investigate whether the effects of self-identification with virtual
bodies within immersive virtual reality could be exploited to increase
self-compassion in patients with depression.
We developed an 8-minute scenario in which 15 patients practised
delivering compassion in one virtual body and then experienced receiving
it from themselves in another virtual body.
In an open trial, three repetitions of this scenario led to significant
reductions in depression severity and self-criticism, as well as to a
significant increase in self-compassion, from baseline to 4-week
follow-up. Four patients showed clinically significant improvement.
The results indicate that interventions using immersive virtual reality
may have considerable clinical potential and that further development of
these methods preparatory to a controlled trial is now warranted.
The chromosphere is a complex region that acts as an intermediary between the magnetic flux emergence in the photosphere and the magnetic features seen in the corona. Large eruptions in the chromosphere of flares and filaments are often accompanied by ejections of coronal mass off the sun. Several studies have observed fast-moving progressive trains of compact bright points (called Sequential Chromospheric Brightenings or SCBs) streaming away from chromospheric flares that also produce a coronal mass ejection (CME). In this work, we review studies of SCBs and search for commonalties between them. We place these findings into a larger context with contemporary chromospheric and coronal observations. SCBs are fleeting indicators of the solar atmospheric environment as it existed before their associated eruption. Since they appear at the very outset of a flare eruption, SCBs are good early indication of a CME measured in the chromosphere.
The epidemiology of laboratory-confirmed respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in young children has not recently been described in England, and is an essential step in identifying optimal target groups for future licensed RSV vaccines. We used two laboratory surveillance systems to examine the total number and number of positive RSV tests in children aged <5 years in England from 2010 to 2014. We derived odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing children by birth month, using multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for age, season and sex. Forty-seven percent of RSV tests (29 851/63 827) and 57% (7405/13 034) of positive results in children aged <5 years were in infants aged <6 months. Moreover, 38% (4982/13 034) of positive results were in infants aged <3 months. Infants born in September, October and November had the highest odds of a positive RSV test during their first year of life compared to infants born in January (OR 2·1, 95% CI 1·7–2·7; OR 2·4, 95% CI 2·1–2·8; and OR 2·4, 95% CI 2·1–2·7, respectively). Our results highlight the importance of young age and birth month near the beginning of the RSV season to the risk of laboratory-confirmed RSV infection. Future control measures should consider protection for these groups.
Ticks are vectors of pathogens which are important both with respect to human health and economically. They have a complex life cycle requiring several blood meals throughout their life. These blood meals take place on different individual hosts and potentially on different host species. Their life cycle is also dependent on environmental conditions such as the temperature and habitat type. Mathematical models have been used for the more than 30 years to help us understand how tick dynamics are dependent on these environmental factors and host availability. In this paper, we review models of tick dynamics and summarize the main results. This summary is split into two parts, one which looks at tick dynamics and one which looks at tick-borne pathogens. In general, the models of tick dynamics are used to determine when the peak in tick densities is likely to occur in the year and how that changes with environmental conditions. The models of tick-borne pathogens focus more on the conditions under which the pathogen can persist and how host population densities might be manipulated to control these pathogens. In the final section of the paper, we identify gaps in the current knowledge and future modelling approaches. These include spatial models linked to environmental information and Geographic Information System maps, and development of new modelling techniques which model tick densities per host more explicitly.
Sodalite (Na8[AlSiO4]6Cl2), a naturally occurring Cl-containing mineral, has long been regarded as a potential immobilization matrix for the chloride salt wastes arising from pyrochemical reprocessing operations, as it allows for the conditioning of the waste salt as a whole without the need for any pre-treatment. Here the consolidation and densification of Sm-doped sodalite (as an analogue for AnCl3) has been investigated with the aim of producing fully dense (i.e. > 95 % t.d.) ceramic monoliths via conventional cold-press-and-sinter techniques at temperatures of < 1000 °C. Microstructural analysis of pressed and sintered sodalite powders under these conditions is shown to produce poorly sintered, porous, inhomogeneous pellets. However, by the addition of a sodium aluminophosphate glass sintering aid, fully dense Sm-sodalite ceramic monoliths can successfully be produced by sintering at temperatures as low as 800 °C.
Apatites are often seen as good potential candidates for the immobilization of halide-rich wastes. In particular, phosphate apatites have received much attention in recent years, however, their synthesis often produces complicated multi-phase systems, with a number of secondary phases forming [1.2]. Calcium vanadinite (Ca5(VO4)3Cl) demonstrates a much simpler phase system, with only a single Ca2V2O7 secondary phase which can easily be retarded by the addition of excess CaCl2. However, when doping with SmCl3 (as an inactive analogue for AnCl3) the Sm forms a wakefieldite (SmVO4) phase rather than being immobilized within the vanadinite, a result of having to form an energetically unfavourable Ca vacancy in order for the lattice to remain neutral overall. It has been postulated that charge-balancing the lattice via co-substitution of a monovalent cation will be less disfavoured and therefore help stabilise formation of a (Ca5-2xSmxAx)(VO4)3Cl solid solution (A = monovalent cation). This has been investigated using a combined modelling and experimental approach. Static lattice calculations performed using Li+, Na+ and K+ as charge-balancing species have shown the energy cost to be less than half that of charge-balancing via formation of a Ca vacancy. As a result, solid state synthesis of (Ca5-2xSmxLix)(VO4)3Cl, (Ca5−2xSmxNax)(VO4)3Cl and (Ca5-2xSmxKx)(VO4)3Cl solid solutions have been trialled, and analysis of the resulting products has shown a significant reduction in both the SmVO4 and Ca2V2O7 secondary phases across all dopant levels.
Calcium chlorosilicate (Ca3(SiO4)Cl2) is seen as a potential host phase for the immobilization of Cl-rich wastes arising from pyrochemical reprocessing, a waste stream often containing a mix of both di- and trivalent cations. Substitution of trivalent cations into the lattice requires some form of charge compensation to ensure the lattice remains charge neutral overall. Whilst previous work has only examined this through the formation of Ca vacancies, this study investigates the feasibility of charge-balancing via the substitution of a monovalent cation onto the Ca sites of the lattice. To that end, a series of static lattice calculations were performed to determine the site selectivity of monovalent cations of differing size when substituted onto the Ca sites of the calcium chlorosilicate lattice and the solution energies for the overall substitution processes compared with those for charge compensation via vacancy formation. In all cases the monovalent charge-balancing species shows a clear preference for substitution onto the Ca1 site in the calcium chlorosilicate lattice. The solution energy of the substitution process increases with the increasing ionic radii of both the mono- and trivalent species as the steric stresses associated with substitution of larger cations than the Ca2+ host increase. As such, only charge-balancing using Li+, Na+ or K+ is more favourable than via formation of a Ca vacancy.
The quiet Sun observed in polarized light exhibits a rich and complex magnetic structuring which is still not fully resolved nor understood. The present work is intended to contribute to the debate about the origin of the quiet sun magnetic fields, in relation or not to the global solar dynamo. We present analysis of center-to-limb polarization measurements obtained with the SOT/SP spectropolarimeter onboard the Hinode satellite outside active regions, in 2007 and 2013, i.e. at a minimum and a maximum of the solar cycle, respectively. We compare the spatial fluctuation Fourier spectra of unsigned circular and linear polarization images after corrections for polarization bias and focus variations between the two data sets. The decay of active regions is clearly a source of magnetic fields in the quiet Sun. It leads to a global increase of the polarization fluctuation power spectrum in 2013 in the network. In the internetwork, we observe no variation of the polarization fluctuation power at mesogranular and granular scales, whereas it increases at sub-granular scales. We interpret these results in the following way. At the mesogranular and granular scales very efficient mechanisms of magnetic field removal are operating in the internetwork, that leads to a dissipation or a concentration of magnetic fields on smaller scales. So the cycle-invariant magnetic signal that we detect at mesogranular and granular scales must be continuously created by a dynamo mechanism which is independent of the solar cycle.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
Improvement of feed efficiency in pigs has been achieved essentially by increasing lean growth rate, which resulted in lower feed intake (FI). The objective was to evaluate the impact of strategies for improving feed efficiency on the dynamics of FI and growth in growing pigs to revisit nutrient recommendations and strategies for feed efficiency improvement. In 2010, three BWs, at 35±2, 63±9 and 107±7 kg, and daily FI during this period were recorded in three French test stations on 379 Large White and 327 French Landrace from maternal pig populations and 215 Large White from a sire population. Individual growth and FI model parameters were obtained with the InraPorc® software and individual nutrient requirements were computed. The model parameters were explored according to feed efficiency as measured by residual feed intake (RFI) or feed conversion ratio (FCR). Animals were separated in groups of better feed efficiency (RFI− or FCR−), medium feed efficiency and poor feed efficiency. Second, genetic relationships between feed efficiency and model parameters were estimated. Despite similar average daily gains (ADG) during the test for all RFI groups, RFI− pigs had a lower initial growth rate and a higher final growth rate compared with other pigs. The same initial growth rate was found for all FCR groups, but FCR− pigs had significantly higher final growth rates than other pigs, resulting in significantly different ADG. Dynamic of FI also differed between RFI or FCR groups. The calculated digestible lysine requirements, expressed in g/MJ net energy (NE), showed the same trends for RFI or FCR groups: the average requirements for the 25% most efficient animals were 13% higher than that of the 25% least efficient animals during the whole test, reaching 0.90 to 0.95 g/MJ NE at the beginning of the test, which is slightly greater than usual feed recommendations for growing pigs. Model parameters were moderately heritable (0.30±0.13 to 0.56±0.13), except for the precocity of growth (0.06±0.08). The parameter representing the quantity of feed at 50 kg BW showed a relatively high genetic correlation with RFI (0.49±0.14), and average protein deposition between 35 and 110 kg had the highest correlation with FCR (−0.76±0.08). Thus, growth and FI dynamics may be envisaged as breeding tools to improve feed efficiency. Furthermore, improvement of feed efficiency should be envisaged jointly with new feeding strategies.
Insight into dynamic electrochemical processes can be obtained with in situ electrochemical-scanning/transmission electron microscopy (ec-S/TEM), a technique that utilizes microfluidic electrochemical cells to characterize electrochemical processes with S/TEM imaging, diffraction, or spectroscopy. The microfluidic electrochemical cell is composed of microfabricated devices with glassy carbon and platinum microband electrodes in a three-electrode cell configuration. To establish the validity of this method for quantitative in situ electrochemistry research, cyclic voltammetry (CV), choronoamperometry (CA), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were performed using a standard one electron transfer redox couple [Fe(CN)6]3−/4−-based electrolyte. Established relationships of the electrode geometry and microfluidic conditions were fitted with CV and chronoamperometic measurements of analyte diffusion coefficients and were found to agree with well-accepted values that are on the order of 10−5 cm2/s. Influence of the electron beam on electrochemical measurements was found to be negligible during CV scans where the current profile varied only within a few nA with the electron beam on and off, which is well within the hysteresis between multiple CV scans. The combination of experimental results provides a validation that quantitative electrochemistry experiments can be performed with these small-scale microfluidic electrochemical cells provided that accurate geometrical electrode configurations, diffusion boundary layers, and microfluidic conditions are accounted for.
Apatites are often seen as good potential candidates for the immobilization of halide-rich wastes and, in particular, chlorapatite (Ca5(PO4)3Cl) has received much attention in recent years. However, synthesis of chlorapatite waste-forms can produce a complicated multi-phase system, with a number of secondary phases forming, including β-TCP (Ca3(PO4)2), spodiosite (Ca2(PO4)Cl) and pyrophosphate (Ca2P2O7), many of which require elevated temperatures and extended calcinations times to reduce. Calcium vanadinite (Ca5(VO4)3Cl) demonstrates a much simpler phase system, with calcination at 750 °C yielding Ca5(VO4)3Cl together a small quantity of a Ca2V2O7 secondary phase, the formation of which can be retarded by the addition of excess CaCl2. Characterization of compositions doped with SmCl3 as an inactive analogue for AnCl3 show the Cl to be immobilized in the vanadinite whilst the Sm forms a wakefieldite (SmVO4) phase.
Zirconolite (CaZrTi2O7), a durable and compositionally flexible titanate ceramic for the immobilization of separated actinides, is currently the UK’s preferred candidate phase for the immobilization of plutonium dioxide arising from aqueous reprocessing. Here, its suitability as a waste-form for actinide chlorides arising from pyrochemical reprocessing is investigated through synthesis via a molten salt mediated reaction using a number of different salt eutectics (MgCl2:NaCl, CaCl2:NaCl and KCl:NaCl). It is found that the effectiveness of the molten salt synthesis of zirconolite is governed by the solubility of ZrO2 in the salt medium used; the synthesis proceeding via the formation of a perovskite (CaTiO3) intermediate which then reacts with ZrO2 to form zirconolite via a solution-diffusion mechanism. Most notably, in the KCl:NaCl eutectic different zirconolite polytypes are formed at different synthesis temperatures, with zirconolite-3T forming at 900 °C, giving way to zirconolite-2M at 1200 °C.
Prospective memory (PM) is dependent on executive processes known to be impaired in Huntington's disease (HD); however, no study to the authors’ knowledge has investigated PM in this group. We examined performance-based, semi-naturalistic, and self-reported PM in 20 individuals diagnosed with mild–moderate HD and 20 demographically similar controls. Relative to controls, HD participants demonstrated significantly lower scores in time-based PM, event-based PM (at a trend level), and the semi-naturalistic PM trial, all of which were marked by omission errors. HD participants demonstrated comparable recognition memory for the PM intentions relative to controls. HD and control participants also showed comparable scores in self-reported PM complaints. The results suggest that HD is associated with deficits in the strategic aspects of PM. HD-associated PM deficits also are evident in real-world situations, which may relate to an apparent meta-memory deficit for PM functioning as indicated by HD participants’ overestimation of their PM performance on self-report. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–8)