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The direct carbonate procedure for accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating of submilligram samples of biogenic carbonate without graphitization is becoming widely used in a variety of studies. We compare the results of 153 paired direct carbonate and standard graphite 14C determinations on single specimens of an assortment of biogenic carbonates. A reduced major axis regression shows a strong relationship between direct carbonate and graphite percent Modern Carbon (pMC) values (m = 0.996; 95% CI [0.991–1.001]). An analysis of differences and a 95% confidence interval on pMC values reveals that there is no significant difference between direct carbonate and graphite pMC values for 76% of analyzed specimens, although variation in direct carbonate pMC is underestimated. The difference between the two methods is typically within 2 pMC, with 61% of direct carbonate pMC measurements being higher than their paired graphite counterpart. Of the 36 specimens that did yield significant differences, all but three missed the 95% significance threshold by 1.2 pMC or less. These results show that direct carbonate 14C dating of biogenic carbonates is a cost-effective and efficient complement to standard graphite 14C dating.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Sleep quantity and quality are associated with executive function (EF) in experimental studies, and in individuals with sleep disorders. With advancing age, sleep quantity and quality decline, as does the ability to perform EF tasks, suggesting that sleep disruption may contribute to age-related EF declines. This cross-sectional cohort study tested the hypothesis that poorer sleep quality (i.e., the frequency and duration of awakenings) and/or quantity may partly account for age-related EF deficits.
Community-dwelling older adults (N = 184) completed actigraphic sleep monitoring then a range of EF tasks. Two EF factors were extracted using exploratory structural equation modeling. Sleep variables did not mediate the relationship between age and EF factors. Post hoc moderated mediation analyses were conducted to test whether cognitive reserve compensates for sleep-related EF deficits, using years of education as a proxy measure of cognitive reserve.
We found a significant interaction between cognitive reserve and the number and frequency of awakenings, explaining a small (approximately 3%), but significant amount of variance in EF. Specifically, in individuals with fewer than 11 years of education, greater sleep disturbance was associated with poorer EF, but sleep did not impact EF in those with more education. There was no association between age and sleep quantity.
This study highlights the role of cognitive reserve in the sleep–EF relationship, suggesting individuals with greater cognitive reserve may be able to counter the impact of disturbed sleep on EF. Therefore, improving sleep may confer some protection against EF deficits in vulnerable older adults.
With human influences driving populations of apex predators into decline, more information is required on how factors affect species at national and global scales. However, camera-trap studies are seldom executed at a broad spatial scale. We demonstrate how uniting fine-scale studies and utilizing camera-trap data of non-target species is an effective approach for broadscale assessments through a case study of the brown hyaena Parahyaena brunnea. We collated camera-trap data from 25 protected and unprotected sites across South Africa into the largest detection/non-detection dataset collected on the brown hyaena, and investigated the influence of biological and anthropogenic factors on brown hyaena occupancy. Spatial autocorrelation had a significant effect on the data, and was corrected using a Bayesian Gibbs sampler. We show that brown hyaena occupancy is driven by specific co-occurring apex predator species and human disturbance. The relative abundance of spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta and people on foot had a negative effect on brown hyaena occupancy, whereas the relative abundance of leopards Panthera pardus and vehicles had a positive influence. We estimated that brown hyaenas occur across 66% of the surveyed camera-trap station sites. Occupancy varied geographically, with lower estimates in eastern and southern South Africa. Our findings suggest that brown hyaena conservation is dependent upon a multi-species approach focussed on implementing conservation policies that better facilitate coexistence between people and hyaenas. We also validate the conservation value of pooling fine-scale datasets and utilizing bycatch data to examine species trends at broad spatial scales.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is recommended in treatment guidelines as an efficacious therapy for treatment-resistant depression. However, it has been associated with loss of autobiographical memory and short-term reduction in new learning.
To provide clinically useful guidelines to aid clinicians in informing patients regarding the cognitive side-effects of ECT and in monitoring these during a course of ECT, using complex data.
A Committee of clinical and academic experts from Australia and New Zealand met to the discuss the key issues pertaining to ECT and cognitive side-effects. Evidence regarding cognitive side-effects was reviewed, as was the limited evidence regarding how to monitor them. Both issues were supplemented by the clinical experience of the authors.
Meta-analyses suggest that new learning is impaired immediately following ECT but that group mean scores return at least to baseline by 14 days after ECT. Other cognitive functions are generally unaffected. However, the finding of a mean score that is not reduced from baseline cannot be taken to indicate that impairment, particularly of new learning, cannot occur in individuals, particularly those who are at greater risk. Therefore, monitoring is still important. Evidence suggests that ECT does cause deficits in autobiographical memory. The evidence for schedules of testing to monitor cognitive side-effects is currently limited. We therefore make practical recommendations based on clinical experience.
Despite modern ECT techniques, cognitive side-effects remain an important issue, although their nature and degree remains to be clarified fully. In these circumstances it is useful for clinicians to have guidance regarding what to tell patients and how to monitor these side-effects clinically.
Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are at an elevated risk of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. Although atypical antipsychotics are effective in treating psychotic symptoms, the risk of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation may differ across these agents. We conducted an analysis on reported rates of suicide-related events associated with the use of atypicals.
Proportional reporting rates (PRR) of suicide attempts from the World Health Organization (WHO) database (through June, 2006) were compared across atypical antipsychotics. Using additional information from FDA's AERS (Adverse Event Reporting System; through March, 2006), similar comparisons were made for suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and completed suicides.
From the WHO database, the PRR for suicide attempts was lowest for clozapine (1.3) followed by aripiprazole (1.5), risperidone (3.3), quetiapine (4.2), ziprasidone (4.7), and olanzapine (5.2). For AERS, the respective PRRs for suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and completed suicides were: 1.1, 3.3, and 1.9 for clozapine; 3.2, 4.3, and 2.7 for risperidone; 5.6, 2.9, and 5.4 for aripiprazole; 6.9, 4.4, and 6.4 for ziprasidone; 4.3, 4.5, and 7.2 for olanzapine; and 5.6, 4.2, and 9.3 for quetiapine.
AE reporting systems suffer limitations, which include having a problematic denominator and biased reporting. However, AE reporting is a primary tool used to identify a signal through pharmacovigilance. In the data analyzed, variability across atypical antipsychotics seemed evident, and inconsistencies between data were observed. The reasons for these findings are unclear, but these results warrant further investigation in controlled studies.
Major depression is a significant problem for people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its treatment remains difficult. A promising approach to treat depression is Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), a relatively new therapeutic approach rooted in mindfulness based stress-reduction (MBSR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We conducted this study to examine the effectiveness of MBCT in reducing depression symptoms among people who have a TBI.
Twenty individuals diagnosed with major depression were recruited from a rehabilitation clinic and completed the 8-week MBCT intervention. Instruments used to measure depression symptoms included: BDI-II, PHQ-9, HADS, SF-36 (Mental Health subscale), and SCL-90 (Depression subscale). They were completed at baseline and post-intervention.
All instruments indicated a statistically significant reduction in depression symptoms post-intervention (p < .05). For example, the total mean score on the BDI-II decreased from 25.2 (9.8) at baseline to 18.2 (11.7) post-intervention (p=.001). Using a PHQ threshold of 10, the proportion of participants with a diagnosis of major depression was reduced by 59% at follow-up (p=.012).
Most participants reported reductions in depression symptoms after the intervention such that many would not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of major depression. This intervention may provide an opportunity to address a debilitating aspect of TBI and could be implemented concurrently with more traditional forms of treatment, possibly enhancing their success. The next step will involve the execution of multi-site, randomized controlled trials to fully demonstrate the value of the intervention.
Compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital in the United Kingdom (UK) is governed by the Mental Health Act (MHA). There have been concerns that the application of this legislation may be discriminatory, and that there is a trend towards increasing use of coercion.
Aims and objectives:
To evaluate data on MHA assessments in order to determine overall outcomes; and whether there is evidence for a difference in outcomes based on variables such as age, gender, or ethnic group.
A database including around 99% of all such assessments was compiled from information recorded routinely at the time of the assessments by senior social workers who lead the assessments. This was analysed using SPSS statistical software.
There were clear statistical correlations with a number of variables including marital status, living alone and age. There was a slight but significant bias towards using shorter detention periods of up to 28 days for women, rather than longer up to six-month periods. However, despite this there was no overall evidence of gender bias.
This is the largest such study in the published literature and provides clear evidence of outcomes and trends in the use of coercive powers under the Mental Health Act in Norfolk, United Kingdom.
With one in ten young people being affected by ill mental health and stigma regularly cited as a factor affecting access to early intervention services, focussing resources on school based stigma reduction strategies seems prudent. ‘Headucate’, a student society, designed a 50 minute workshop which aims to increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma.
Repeated, cross sectional surveys were carried out at three time points; 1) immediately before (n=77), 2) Immediately after (n=81) and 3) three months post workshop (n=73). The surveys were paper based versions of the Reported Intended Behaviours Score (RIBS) and Mental Health Knowledge Scale (MAKS) utilising a social distance scale.
Four year 10 classed (pupils aged 14-15) were recruited. Post hoc t-tests were carried out when one-way ANOVAS were significant.
Disorder knowledge (from MAKS) and intended contact (from RIBS) significantly increased between time points one and two (p<0.01 and <0.004 respectively) but then decreased.
Analysis of the question pertaining to knowing where to access help showed a statistically significant increase (p<0.001) between time points one and two and then a decrease at time three, albeit to a higher value than at time point one (3.45 compared to 3.13, P=0.088).
Headucate workshops offer a low resource option which is well accepted by students. Like other school based stigma reduction strategies, a dramatic increase was seen between immediately before and after indicating that the workshop resonates with the pupils, but there was little sustained change in attitudes.
Against a backdrop of poor mental health education in UK schools a group of students from Norwich Medical School have formed a student society called ‘Headucate’ in order to create, deliver and evaluate an educational intervention for adolescents, initially to be delivered in Norfolk schools.
To create an educational intervention that:
Is the length of a standard lesson
Is age appropriate and acceptable
Contains appropriate signposting
Contains content that challenges common myths and replaces them with knowledge
Contains content that encourages empathy and understanding towards those with mental illnesses
Is easily delivered in the same way each time so that its effectiveness can be evaluated
To create an intervention effective at tackling stigma and empowering adolescents to recognise signs of poor mental health and access services appropriately.
Lesson plan created after consultation with psychiatrists, a psychologist, a GP, a university outreach professional, a teacher and secondary school age children, then trialled and revised.
Interactive workshop produced with 5 sections.
1) Myth vs Fact activity that dispels prevalent myths
2) Scenario based activity to demonstrate that mental health is a spectrum
3) An interactive presentation covering the most common mental illnesses and their symptoms
4) An activity focusing on talking to those with mental illnesses, furthering the scenario from the previous activity
5) A question and answer session. Every student leaves with a leaflet containing appropriate signposting.
We have created an educational intervention ready to be delivered and evaluated.
Mental health education is not compulsory in the UK therefore adolescents have very varied experiences despite half of people with mental health illnesses reporting having experienced symptoms by 14 years old. University students are ideal for delivering a relaxed, educational intervention aimed at this age group, providing an opportunity to for them to learn necessary tools for recognising signs of poor mental health and tackle associated stigma.
To expand Headucate's membership, including other disciplines within the University of East Anglia (UEA) and provide core training enabling members to deliver a school-based educational intervention
Recruitment of members has been a multifaceted approach utilising social media sites such as Facebook and the Headucate website, and oncampus events and ‘awareness campaigns’ including several successful evening talks and lectures.
Three training sessions, which include ‘Introduction to Mental Health’, ‘Workshop run-through’ and ‘Child Protection’, have been developed for all members wishing to partake in the delivery of workshops.
We have recruited approximately 300 members since summer 2012; 70 fully paid members in 2012/13 academic year and currently 45 paid members for 2013/14.
A total of 18 members are fully trained and ready to deliver workshops within schools and 17 other members have just one training session remaining.
We are looking forward to delivering our first workshops in October and building on a successful first year. We are confident we can provide workshops for approximately 600 children per year.
Antidepressants are amongst the most commonly prescribed classes of drugs and their use continues to grow. Adverse outcomes are part of the landscape in prescribing medications and therefore management of safety issues need to be an integral part of practice.
We have developed consensus guidelines for safety monitoring with antidepressant treatments.
To present an overview of screening and safety considerations for pharmacotherapy of clinical depressive disorders and make recommendations for safety monitoring.
Data were sourced by a literature search using Medline and a manual search of scientific journals to identify relevant articles. Draft guidelines were prepared and serially revised in an iterative manner until all co-authors gave final approval of content.
A guidelines document was produced after approval by all 19 co-authors. The final document gives guidance on; the decision to treat, baseline screening prior to commencement of treatment, and ongoing monitoring during antidepressant treatment. The guidelines state or reference screening protocols that may detect medical causes of depression as well as screening and monitoring protocols to investigate specific adverse effects associated with antidepressant treatments that may be reduced or identified earlier by baseline screening and agent-specific monitoring after commencing treatment.
The implementation of safety monitoring guidelines for treatment of clinical depression may significantly improve outcome, by improving a patient's overall physical health status.
The symptoms of many mental illnesses often begin during high school. Interventions to improve mental health awareness amongst adolescents may lead to improved outcomes. in the UK unfortunately many schools do not fulfil this need and mental health education is not a compulsory part of the curriculum.
To develop and measure the effectiveness of and educational intervention designed to raise awareness and empower adolescents to recognise signs of poor mental health and access services appropriately.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention through baseline and follow up surveys.
Students at Norwich Medical School collaborated with teachers, psychiatrists and general practitioners to design an educational intervention that aims to tackle stigma and raise awareness of mental health conditions among 13-14 year olds in the hope that they can access services when needed, support those around them and look after their mental health. To evaluate effectiveness of the intervention, a knowledge, attitudes and practices survey that utilises a social distance scale that has been adapted for this age group and will be used to gather baseline and follow up data after six months.
We have developed a one-hour educational intervention delivered by medical students, that uses a variety of teaching techniques to raise awareness of mental health issues. We will start implementation in January 2013 so will have baseline effectiveness results shortly after.
Headucate has the potential to fill an important gap in effectively raising awareness of mental health issues in schools.
Community care units (CCUs) are a model of residential psychiatric rehabilitation aiming to improve the independence and community functioning of people with severe and persistent mental illness. This study examined factors predicting improvement in outcomes among CCU consumers.
Hierarchical regression using data from a retrospective cohort (N = 501) of all consumers admitted to five CCUs in Queensland, Australia between 2005 and 2014. The primary outcome was changed in mental health and social functioning (Health of the Nation Outcome Scale). Secondary outcomes were disability (Life Skills Profile-16), service use, accommodation instability, and involuntary treatment. Potential predictors covered service, consumer, and treatment characteristics. Group-level and individualised change were assessed between the year pre-admission and post-discharge. Where relevant and available, the reliable and clinically significant (RCS) change was assessed by comparison with a normative sample.
Group-level analyses showed statistically significant improvements in mental health and social functioning, and reductions in psychiatry-related bed-days, emergency department (ED) presentations and involuntary treatment. There were no significant changes in disability or accommodation instability. A total of 54.7% of consumers demonstrated reliable improvement in mental health and social functioning, and 43.0% showed RCS improvement. The majority (60.6%) showed a reliable improvement in psychiatry-related bed-use; a minority demonstrated reliable improvement in ED presentations (12.5%). Significant predictors of improvement included variables related to the CCU care (e.g. episode duration), consumer characteristics (e.g. primary diagnosis) and treatment variables (e.g. psychiatry-related bed-days pre-admission). Higher baseline impairment in mental health and social functioning (β = 1.12) and longer episodes of CCU care (β = 1.03) increased the likelihood of RCS improvement in mental health and social functioning.
CCU care was followed by reliable improvements in relevant outcomes for many consumers. Consumers with poorer mental health and social functioning, and a longer episode of CCU care were more likely to make RCS improvements in mental health and social functioning.
We developed a random, stratified, vertical longline survey in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, to compare the local age and size composition, diet and reproductive status of Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) with those observed from a vessel-based survey of the southern Ross Sea shelf that includes a McMurdo Sound stratum. Results indicated that southern McMurdo Sound toothfish were larger and older than those a short distance away in northern McMurdo Sound. These data, in addition to recoveries of tagged fish, suggest that the large toothfish in McMurdo Sound may have limited mixing with the rest of the population. The potential effects of climate change and fishing in northern areas on toothfish abundance in McMurdo Sound will depend on the mechanism of toothfish recruitment to McMurdo Sound. Understanding the ecological relationships between McMurdo Sound toothfish and the larger population is required to predict these impacts. Furthermore, because toothfish predators (type C killer whales Orcinus orca, Weddell seals Leptonychotes weddellii) are abundant in the south-west margins of the Ross Sea, it is important to monitor toothfish in McMurdo Sound as part of the monitoring programme for the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area.
The construct of self-concept lies at the core of the positive psychology revolution. Historically, as one of the cornerstone constructs in the social sciences, the approach to self-concept has been adapted to focus on how healthy individuals can thrive in life. In this chapter we differentiate between the historical unidimensional perspective of self-concept (centered on self-esteem) and the evolving multifaceted models discriminating between different aspects of self (such as specific academic, social, physical, and emotional components).
the definition of self-concept and the reason it is so important;
historical and evolving perspectives of self-concept;
general and domain-specific theoretical models with associated empirical research regarding self-concept, motivation, and performance;
the way different self-concept domains vary as a function of gender and age;
the impact of specific psychological and social traits on self-concept development;
the differentiation between multidimensional perspectives of personality and self-concept;
theoretical models of academic self-concept formation and its relation to achievement;
frame of reference effects in self-concept formation;
a construct-validity approach to self-concept enhancement interventions; and directions for further research.
We previously demonstrated that electrode architectures comprising nanoscale birnessite-like MnOx affixed to three-dimensional carbon nanofoam (CNF) scaffolds offer performance advantages when used as cathodes in rechargeable zinc-ion cells. To discern chemical and physical changes at the MnOx@CNF electrode upon deep charge/discharge in aqueous Zn2+-containing electrolytes, we deploy electroanalytical methods and ex situ characterization by microscopy, elemental analysis, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and x-ray pair distribution function analyses. Our findings verify that redox processes at the MnOx are accompanied by reversible precipitation/dissolution of crystalline zinc hydroxide sulfate (Zn4(OH)6(SO4)·xH2O), mediated by the more uniformly reactive electrode structure inherent to the CNF scaffold.
Among the many scholarly attempts to reckon with the causes and consequences of Donald Trump’s rise, few have attracted popular attention on the scale of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die. Seldom do books by political scientists make it onto the New York Times best sellers list, but this one has, a testament to its broad influence. Levitsky and Ziblatt situate Trumpism within a broader comparative and historical context in order to assess its similarities to and differences from democratic breakdowns elsewhere, particularly in Europe and Latin America. Their broad argument is that modern slides into authoritarianism are not the result of revolutions or military coups, but rather the consequence of a steady erosion of political norms and the assault on such fundamental democratic institutions as an independent judiciary and a free press. In short, contemporary democracies die not as a result of men with guns attacking from outside the system, but rather because elected leaders from inside that system slowly undermine them. Judged from this standpoint, the authors argue that American democracy is now in real danger, and they offer a range of suggestions for saving it. How convincing is Levitsky and Ziblatt’s analysis of democratic breakdown, and how well does it apply to the American case? How useful are the solutions that they offer for rescuing American democracy? We have asked a range of prominent scholars from across the discipline to consider these questions in the present symposium.