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Perception of Suicide Risk in Mental Health Professionals. - PloS one
This study employed an independent-groups design (4 conditions) to investigate possible biases in the suicide risk perception of mental health professionals. Four hundred participants comprising doctors, nurses and social workers viewed a vignette describing a fictitious patient with a long-term mental illness. The case was presented as being drawn from a sample of twenty similar clinical case reports, of which 10 were associated with an outcome of suicide. The participant tasks were (i) to decide whether the presented vignette was one of those cases or not, and (ii) to provide an assessment of confidence in that decision. The 4 conditions were used to investigate whether the presence of an associated face, and the nature of the emotional state expressed by that face, affected the response profile. In fact, there were no significant differences between conditions, but there was a significant bias across all conditions towards associating the vignette with suicide, despite the base rate being pre-determined at 50%. The bias was more pronounced in doctors and in male respondents. Moreover, many participants indicated substantial confidence in their decisions. The results are discussed in terms of availability bias and over-confidence bias.
Massively parallel sequencing of forensic STRs: Considerations of the DNA commission of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) on minimal nomenclature requirements. - Forensic science international. Genetics
The DNA Commission of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) is reviewing factors that need to be considered ahead of the adoption by the forensic community of short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping by massively parallel sequencing (MPS) technologies. MPS produces sequence data that provide a precise description of the repeat allele structure of a STR marker and variants that may reside in the flanking areas of the repeat region. When a STR contains a complex arrangement of repeat motifs, the level of genetic polymorphism revealed by the sequence data can increase substantially. As repeat structures can be complex and include substitutions, insertions, deletions, variable tandem repeat arrangements of multiple nucleotide motifs, and flanking region SNPs, established capillary electrophoresis (CE) allele descriptions must be supplemented by a new system of STR allele nomenclature, which retains backward compatibility with the CE data that currently populate national DNA databases and that will continue to be produced for the coming years. Thus, there is a pressing need to produce a standardized framework for describing complex sequences that enable comparison with currently used repeat allele nomenclature derived from conventional CE systems. It is important to discern three levels of information in hierarchical order (i) the sequence, (ii) the alignment, and (iii) the nomenclature of STR sequence data. We propose a sequence (text) string format the minimal requirement of data storage that laboratories should follow when adopting MPS of STRs. We further discuss the variant annotation and sequence comparison framework necessary to maintain compatibility among established and future data. This system must be easy to use and interpret by the DNA specialist, based on a universally accessible genome assembly, and in place before the uptake of MPS by the general forensic community starts to generate sequence data on a large scale. While the established nomenclature for CE-based STR analysis will remain unchanged in the future, the nomenclature of sequence-based STR genotypes will need to follow updated rules and be generated by expert systems that translate MPS sequences to match CE conventions in order to guarantee compatibility between the different generations of STR data.Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Exploring the unknown: electrophysiological and behavioural measures of visuospatial learning. - The European journal of neuroscience
Visuospatial memory describes our ability to temporarily store and manipulate visual and spatial information and is employed for a wide variety of complex cognitive tasks. Here, a visuospatial learning task requiring fine motor control is employed to investigate visuospatial learning in a group of typically developing adults. Electrophysiological and behavioural data are collected during a target location task under two experimental conditions: Target Learning and Target Cued. Movement times (MTs) are employed as a behavioural metric of performance, while dynamic P3b amplitudes and power in the alpha band (approximately 10Â Hz) are explored as electrophysiological metrics during visuospatial learning. Results demonstrate that task performance, as measured by MT, is highly correlated with P3b amplitude and alpha power at a consecutive trial level (trials 1-30). The current set of results, in conjunction with the existing literature, suggests that changes in P3b amplitude and alpha power could correspond to different aspects of the learning process. Here it is hypothesized that changes in P3b correspond to a diminishing inter-stimulus interval and reduced stimulus relevance, while the corresponding changes in alpha power represent an automation of response as habituation occurs in participants. The novel analysis presented in the current study demonstrates how gradual electrophysiological changes can be tracked during the visuospatial learning process under the current paradigm.Â© 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Duty, Honor, Country, Disparity: Race/Ethnic Differences in Health and Disability among Male Veterans. - Population research and policy review
Given their unique occupational hazards and sizable population, military veterans are an important population for the study of health. Yet veterans are by no means homogeneous, and there are unanswered questions regarding the extent of, and explanations for, racial and ethnic differences in veterans' health. Using the 2010 National Survey of Veterans, we first documented race/ethnic differences in self-rated health and limitations in Activities of Daily Living among male veterans aged 30-84. Second, we examined potential explanations for the disparities, including socioeconomic and behavioral differences, as well as differences in specific military experiences. We found that Black, Hispanic, and other/multiple race veterans reported much worse health than White veterans. Using progressively adjusted regression models, we uncovered that the poorer self-rated health and higher levels of activity limitations among minority veterans compared to Whites was partially explained by differences in their socioeconomic status and by their military experiences. Minority veterans are a vulnerable population for poor health; future research and policy efforts should attempt to better understand and ameliorate their health disadvantages relative to White veterans.
The neural dynamics of somatosensory processing and adaptation across childhood: a high-density electrical mapping study. - Journal of neurophysiology
Young children are often hyperreactive to somatosensory inputs hardly noticed by adults, as exemplified by irritation to seams or labels in clothing. The neurodevelopmental mechanisms underlying changes in sensory reactivity are not well understood. Based on the idea that neurodevelopmental changes in somatosensory processing and/or changes in sensory adaptation might underlie developmental differences in somatosensory reactivity, high-density electroencephalography was used to examine how the nervous system responds and adapts to repeated vibrotactile stimulation over childhood. Participants aged 6-18 yr old were presented with 50-ms vibrotactile stimuli to the right wrist over the median nerve at 5 blocked interstimulus intervals (ranging from âˆ¼7 to âˆ¼1 stimulus per second). Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) revealed three major phases of activation within the first 200 ms, with scalp topographies suggestive of neural generators in contralateral somatosensory cortex. Although overall SEPs were highly similar for younger, middle, and older age groups (6.1-9.8, 10.0-12.9, and 13.0-17.8 yr old), there were significant age-related amplitude differences in initial and later phases of the SEP. In contrast, robust adaptation effects for fast vs. slow presentation rates were observed that did not differ as a function of age. A greater amplitude response in the later portion of the SEP was observed for the youngest group and may be related to developmental changes in responsivity to somatosensory stimuli. These data suggest the protracted development of the somatosensory system over childhood, whereas adaptation, as assayed in this study, is largely in place by âˆ¼7 yr of age.Copyright Â© 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Progress in the use of swine in developmental immunology of B and T lymphocytes. - Developmental and comparative immunology
The adaptive immune system of higher vertebrates is believed to have evolved to counter the ability of pathogens to avoid expulsion because their high rate of germline mutations. Vertebrates developed this adaptive immune response through the evolution of lymphocytes capable of somatic generation of a diverse repertoire of their antigenic receptors without the need to increase the frequency of germline mutation. The focus of our research and this article is on the ontogenetic development of the lymphocytes, and the repertoires they generate in swine. Several features are discussed including (a) the "closed" porcine placenta means that de novo fetal development can be studied for 114 days without passive influence from the mother, (b) newborn piglets are precocial permitting them to be reared without their mothers in germ-free isolators, (c) swine are members of the Î³Î´-high group of mammals and thus provides a greater opportunity to characterize the role of Î³Î´ T cells and (d) because swine have a simplified variable heavy and light chain genome they offer a convenient system to study antibody repertoire development.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Age-Related Sexual Dimorphism in Temporal Discrimination and in Adult-Onset Dystonia Suggests GABAergic Mechanisms. - Frontiers in neurology
Adult-onset isolated focal dystonia (AOIFD) presenting in early adult life is more frequent in men, whereas in middle age it is female predominant. Temporal discrimination, an endophenotype of adult-onset idiopathic isolated focal dystonia, shows evidence of sexual dimorphism in healthy participants.We assessed the distinctive features of age-related sexual dimorphism of (i) sex ratios in dystonia phenotypes and (ii) sexual dimorphism in temporal discrimination in unaffected relatives of cervical dystonia patients.We performed (i) a meta-regression analysis of the proportion of men in published cohorts of phenotypes of adult-onset dystonia in relation to their mean age of onset and (ii) an analysis of temporal discrimination thresholds in 220 unaffected first-degree relatives (125 women) of cervical dystonia patients.In 53 studies of dystonia phenotypes, the proportion of men showed a highly significant negative association with mean age of onset (pâ€‰<â€‰0.0001, pseudo-R (2)â€‰=â€‰59.6%), with increasing female predominance from 40â€‰years of age. Age of onset and phenotype together explained 92.8% of the variance in proportion of men. Temporal discrimination in relatives under the age of 35â€‰years is faster in women than men but the age-related rate of deterioration in women is twice that of men; after 45â€‰years of age, men have faster temporal discrimination than women.Temporal discrimination in unaffected relatives of cervical dystonia patients and sex ratios in adult-onset dystonia phenotypes show similar patterns of age-related sexual dimorphism. Such age-related sexual dimorphism in temporal discrimination and adult-onset focal dystonia may reflect common underlying mechanisms. Cerebral GABA levels have been reported to show similar age-related sexual dimorphism in healthy participants and may be the mechanism underlying the observed age-related sexual dimorphism in temporal discrimination and the sex ratios in AOIFD.
The Effect of Achieving Patient-Reported Outcome Measures on Satisfaction. - Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM
To determine how frequently patients with advanced imaging for back or abdominal pain achieve outcomes that are identified by patients as important and whether those achieving those outcomes are more satisfied.Cross-sectional analysis of survey responses from patients of an 800-physician multi-specialty group in Minnesota in 2013. A total of 201 patients with abdominal pain and 167 patients with back pain 1 year earlier that was serious enough for a computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scan (67% of those contacted). The main outcomes were the frequency of occurrence of 19 outcomes previously identified by patients as important, plus satisfaction with the results of care.The majority of patients surveyed had achieved most of the desired outcomes. For abdominal pain, 17 of 19 of the desired outcomes were achieved by >50% of patients, while 11 of 19 desired outcomes were achieved by >50% of patients with back pain. Seven of the desired outcomes were significantly associated with satisfaction.Achieving outcomes important to patients is associated with greater patient satisfaction. Such measures are potentially valuable measures of quality.Â© Copyright 2015 by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Congruent Visual Speech Enhances Cortical Entrainment to Continuous Auditory Speech in Noise-Free Conditions. - The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Congruent audiovisual speech enhances our ability to comprehend a speaker, even in noise-free conditions. When incongruent auditory and visual information is presented concurrently, it can hinder a listener's perception and even cause him or her to perceive information that was not presented in either modality. Efforts to investigate the neural basis of these effects have often focused on the special case of discrete audiovisual syllables that are spatially and temporally congruent, with less work done on the case of natural, continuous speech. Recent electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that cortical response measures to continuous auditory speech can be easily obtained using multivariate analysis methods. Here, we apply such methods to the case of audiovisual speech and, importantly, present a novel framework for indexing multisensory integration in the context of continuous speech. Specifically, we examine how the temporal and contextual congruency of ongoing audiovisual speech affects the cortical encoding of the speech envelope in humans using electroencephalography. We demonstrate that the cortical representation of the speech envelope is enhanced by the presentation of congruent audiovisual speech in noise-free conditions. Furthermore, we show that this is likely attributable to the contribution of neural generators that are not particularly active during unimodal stimulation and that it is most prominent at the temporal scale corresponding to syllabic rate (2-6 Hz). Finally, our data suggest that neural entrainment to the speech envelope is inhibited when the auditory and visual streams are incongruent both temporally and contextually.Seeing a speaker's face as he or she talks can greatly help in understanding what the speaker is saying. This is because the speaker's facial movements relay information about what the speaker is saying, but also, importantly, when the speaker is saying it. Studying how the brain uses this timing relationship to combine information from continuous auditory and visual speech has traditionally been methodologically difficult. Here we introduce a new approach for doing this using relatively inexpensive and noninvasive scalp recordings. Specifically, we show that the brain's representation of auditory speech is enhanced when the accompanying visual speech signal shares the same timing. Furthermore, we show that this enhancement is most pronounced at a time scale that corresponds to mean syllable length.Copyright Â© 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3514195-10$15.00/0.
Audiovisual Processing is Abnormal in Parkinson's Disease and Correlates with Freezing of Gait and Disease Duration. - Journal of Parkinson's disease
Sensory and perceptual disturbances progress with disease duration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and probably contribute to motor deficits such as bradykinesia and gait disturbances, including freezing of gait (FOG). Simple reaction time tests are ideal to explore sensory processing, as they require little cognitive processing. Multisensory integration is the ability of the brain to integrate sensory information from multiple modalities into a single coherent percept, which is crucial for complex motor tasks such as gait.The aims of this study were to: 1. Assess differences in unisensory (auditory and visual) and multisensory processing speed in people with PD and age-matched healthy controls. 2. Compare relative differences in unisensory processing in people with PD with disease duration and freezing of gait status taking into account the motor delays, which are invariably present in PD. 3. Compare relative differences in multisensory (audiovisual) processing between the PD cohort and age-matched controls.39 people with PD (23 with FOG) and 17 age-matched healthy controls performed a reaction time task in response to unisensory (auditory-alone, visual-alone) and multisensory (audiovisual) stimuli.The PD group were significantly slower than controls for all conditions compared with healthy controls but auditory reaction times were significantly faster than visual for the PD group only. These relative unisensory differences are correlated with disease duration and divide the PD group by FOG status, but these factors are co-dependent. Although multisensory facilitation occurs in PD, it is significantly less enhanced than in healthy controls.There are significant unisensory and multisensory processing abnormalities in PD. The relative differences in unisensory processing are specific to PD progression, providing a link between these sensory abnormalities and a motor feature of PD. Sensory disturbances have previously been postulated to be central to FOG but this is the first study to predict audiovisual processing abnormalities using FOG status. The multisensory processing abnormalities are independent of disease duration and FOG status and may be a potential biomarker for the disease.
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9547 Lakeview Drive Minocqua, WI 54548