Σάββατο, 30 Ιουνίου 2018

Olfactory navigation versus olfactory activation: a controversy revisited

Abstract

In the early 1970s, Floriano Papi and colleagues proposed the olfactory-navigation hypothesis, which explains the homing ability of pigeons by the existence of an odor-based map acquired through learning. This notion, although supported by some observations, has also generated considerable controversy since its inception. As an alternative, Paulo Jorge and colleagues formulated in 2009 the olfactory-activation hypothesis, which states that atmospheric odorants do not provide navigational information but, instead, activate a non-olfactory path integration system. However, this hypothesis is challenged by an investigation authored by Anna Gagliardo and colleagues and published in the current issue of the Journal of Comparative Physiology A. In this editorial, the significance of the findings of this study is assessed in the broader context of the role of olfaction in avian navigation and homing, and experiments are suggested that might help to finally resolve the olfactory-navigation versus olfactory-activation controversy.



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When Fathers are Perceived to Share in the Maternal Decision to Breastfeed: Outcomes from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II

Abstract

Objectives The present study investigates the influence of joint feeding preferences of both the mother and father on initiation and duration of breastfeeding. Methods Data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II was analyzed. Female participants in a national consumer opinion panel were followed from pregnancy through 1 year postpartum, and were asked about infant feeding practices. We examined the association between maternal prenatal perception of the expectant father's breastfeeding preferences and breastfeeding outcomes (initiation, duration of exclusive breastfeeding and any breastfeeding) and whether concordance between the parents' infant feeding preferences influenced breastfeeding. Results Mothers who perceived that the father preferred exclusive breastfeeding (vs. no preference) were more likely to initiate breastfeeding [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.9; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.0–3.7], and they had a lower hazard of stopping exclusive and any breastfeeding at any given time [exclusive breastfeeding: adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 0.8; 95% CI 0.6–0.9; any breastfeeding: aHR = 0.6; 95% CI 0.5–0.7]. When both the mother and the father preferred exclusive breastfeeding, the hazard of breastfeeding cessation at any given time was lowest (exclusive breastfeeding: aHR = 0.4; 95% CI 0.3–0.5; any breastfeeding: aHR = 0.4; 95% CI 0.3–0.5). The risk of breastfeeding cessation remained lower even when only the father preferred exclusive breastfeeding. Conclusions for Practice Mothers tend to breastfeed for a longer duration when they perceive that the expectant father prefers exclusive breastfeeding and, even more so, when both parental preferences for exclusive breastfeeding concur. Efforts are needed to involve expectant fathers in breastfeeding decision-making and education to achieve breastfeeding success.



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Social Competence Treatment after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial of Interactive Group Treatment versus Non-Interactive Treatment

Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018
Source:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Author(s): Cynthia Harrison-Felix, Jody K. Newman, Lenore Hawley, Clare Morey, Jessica M. Ketchum, William C. Walker, Kathleen R. Bell, Scott R. Millis, Cynthia Braden, James Malec, Flora M. Hammond, C.B. Eagye, Laura Howe
ObjectiveTo evaluate the effectiveness of a replicable group treatment program for improving social competence after traumatic brain injury (TBI).DesignMulticenter randomized controlled trial comparing two methods of conducting a social competency skills program, an interactive group format versus a classroom lecture.SettingCommunity and Veteran rehabilitation centers.Participants179 civilian, military, and veteran adults with TBI and social competence difficulties, at least 6 months post-injury.Experimental InterventionThirteen weekly group interactive sessions (1.5 hours) with structured and facilitated group interactions to improve social competence.Alternative (Control) InterventionThirteen traditional classroom sessions using the same curriculum with brief supplemental individual sessions but without structured group interaction.Primary Outcome MeasureProfile of Pragmatic Impairment in Communication (PPIC), an objective behavioral rating of social communication impairments following TBI.Secondary OutcomesLaTrobe Communication Questionnaire (LCQ), Goal Attainment Scale (GAS), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist – (PCL-C), Brief Symptom Inventory 18 (BSI-18), Scale of Perceived Social Self Efficacy (PSSE).ResultsSocial competence goals (GAS) were achieved and maintained for most participants regardless of treatment method. Significant improvements in the primary outcome (PPIC) and two of the secondary outcomes (LCQ and BSI) were seen immediately post-treatment and at 3 months post-treatment in the AT arm only, however these improvements were not significantly different between the GIST and AT arms. Similar trends were observed for PSSE and PCL-C.ConclusionsSocial competence skills improved for persons with TBI in both treatment conditions. The group interactive format was not found to be a superior method of treatment delivery in this study.



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A systematic critical appraisal of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the rehabilitation of children with moderate or severe acquired brain injury

Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018
Source:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Author(s): Sarah Knight, Michael Takagi, Elizabeth Fisher, Vicki Anderson, Natasha A. Lannin, Emma Tavender, Adam Scheinberg
ObjectiveThe aim of this review was to critically appraise the quality of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the rehabilitation of children with moderate or severe acquired brain injury (ABI).Data SourcesA systematic search of MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library was conducted and an extensive website search of prominent professional rehabilitation society websites.Study SelectionCPGs were eligible for inclusion if they incorporated recommendation statements for inpatient and/or community rehabilitation for children with ABI and they were based on a systematic evidence search.Data ExtractionMethodological quality of eligible CPGs were appraised by three independent reviewers using the AGREE II instrument. Characteristics of eligible CPGs and strength of supporting evidence for included recommendations were extracted.Data Synthesis Of the nine included guidelines, two covered all ABIs, five focused specifically on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and two on stroke. Five of the CPGs were classified as High quality and four were of Average quality. In general, CPGs scored better for scope and purpose, rigor of development, and clarity of presentation. They scored most poorly in applicability, involvement of target users, and procedures for updating the guidelines. Inter-rater reliability for the AGREE II was generally high across domains. Very few of the 445 recommendations included across the nine CPGs were evidence-based.ConclusionsDespite variability in quality of the guideline development process, the included CPGs generally provided clear descriptions of their overall objectives, scope and purpose, employed systematic methods for searching, selecting and appraising research evidence, and produced unambiguous, clearly identifiable recommendations for children with ABI. Overall, existing CPGs focusing on rehabilitation for children with ABI are based on low quality evidence or expert consensus. Future work should focus on addressing the limitations of most of the current CPGs, particularly related to supporting implementation and integrating stakeholder involvement.



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Understanding health-related quality of life in caregivers of civilians and service members/veterans with traumatic brain injury: Reliability and validity data for the TBI-CareQOL measurement system

Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018
Source:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Author(s): Noelle E. Carlozzi, Rael T. Lange, Louis M. French, Angelle M. Sander, Phillip A. Ianni, David S. Tulsky, Jennifer A. Miner, Michael A. Kallen, Tracey A. Brickell
ObjectivesTo establish the reliability and validity of the newly developed TBI-CareQOL patient reported outcomes measures in caregivers of civilians and service members/veterans (SMVs) with traumatic brain injury (TBI) so that they can be used with confidence in clinical research and practice.DesignComputer-based surveys delivered through an on-line data capture platform.Setting: Three TBI Model Systems rehabilitation hospitals, an academic medical center, and a military medical treatment facility.ParticipantsFive hundred and sixty caregivers of individuals with TBI; this included two different study samples: 344 caregivers of civilians with TBI and 216 caregivers of SMVs with TBI.InterventionNot ApplicableMain Outcome Measures5 TBI-CareQOL item banksResultsReliabilities for the TBI-CareQOL measures were excellent (all Cronbach's α > .88); three-week test-retest reliability ranged from .75 to .90 across the two samples. Convergent validity was supported by moderate to high associations among the TBI-CareQOL measures and moderate correlations between the TBI-CareQOL measures and other measures of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and caregiver burden. Discriminant validity was supported by low correlations between the TBI-CareQOL measures and less-related constructs (e.g., caregiver satisfaction). Known groups validity was supported: caregivers of individuals that were low functioning had worse HRQOL than caregivers of high functioning individuals.ConclusionsResults provide psychometric support for the new TBI-CareQOL item banks. As such, these measures fill a significant gap in the caregiver literature where sensitive patient-reported outcomes (PRO) measures that capture changes in HRQOL are needed to detect improvements for interventions designed to assist family caregivers.



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Diagnostic and clinical utility of the GAD-2 for screening anxiety symptoms in individuals with multiple sclerosis

Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018
Source:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Author(s): Abbey J. Hughes, Katherine M. Dunn, Trisha Chaffee, Jagriti (Jackie) Bhattarai, Meghan Beier
ObjectiveTo assess the diagnostic and clinical utility of the two-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-2) for screening anxiety symptoms in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS).DesignCross-sectional.SettingUniversity-affiliated MS neurology and rehabilitation center.ParticipantsThe sample was comprised of 99 adults (ages 19 to 72; M = 46.2; SD = 13.0; 75% female) with a physician-confirmed MS diagnosis who were receiving care in a university-affiliated MS center. Disease durations ranged from 1 to 37 years (M = 10.7; SD = 8.4).InterventionsNot applicable.Main Outcome MeasuresParticipants completed the GAD-7 and GAD-2. Internal consistency was calculated for both measures. Area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), the 95% confidence interval for the AUC, and Youden's J were calculated to determine the optimal GAD-2 cut-off score for identifying clinically significant anxiety symptoms, as defined by the previously validated GAD-7 cut-off score of ≥ 8.ResultsInternal consistency was excellent for the GAD-7 (Cronbach α = .91) and acceptable for the GAD-2 (α = .77), and the measures were highly correlated (r = .94). The GAD-2 had excellent overall accuracy for identifying clinically significant anxiety symptoms (AUC = 0.97, 95% CI 0.94 – 1.00). A GAD-2 cut-off score of ≥ 3 provided an optimal balance of good sensitivity (0.87) and excellent specificity (0.92) for detecting clinically significant anxiety symptoms. Alternatively, a cut-off score of ≥ 2 provided excellent sensitivity (1.00) and fair specificity (0.76).ConclusionsThe GAD-2 is a clinically useful and psychometrically valid tool for screening anxiety symptoms in MS rehabilitation and neurology care settings. Importantly, this tool has the potential to identify individuals with MS who are at risk for anxiety disorders and who may benefit from rehabilitation psychology interventions to ultimately improve functioning and quality of life.



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Cumulative Stress and Trauma from the Migration Process as Barriers to HIV Testing: A Qualitative Study of Latino Immigrants

Abstract

Immigrants are at increased risk for late HIV testing; however, there is limited understanding of how migration to the United States shapes HIV testing behaviors. This study examined the relationship between the migration process and HIV testing among Latino immigrants. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted in March and April 2017 with 34 Latino immigrants in New York City. Grounded theory guided analysis of the qualitative data. Results indicated that Latino immigrants experienced cumulative stress and trauma throughout the migration process that contributed to significant emotional and psychological consequences. Stress and trauma accumulated from the migration process posed barriers to HIV testing as Latino immigrants sought to avoid activities perceived as stressful, including learning one's HIV status. Targeted interventions that ameliorate the stressful effects of migration may facilitate preventive health behaviors among Latino immigrants.



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An assessment of the effectiveness of UK building regulations for new homes in Radon Affected Areas

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Publication date: December 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 192
Author(s): Antony R. Denman, Robin G.M. Crockett, Christopher J. Groves-Kirkby
Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas generated underground by radioactive decay of nuclides contained in certain types of rocks, can concentrate inside buildings, where it poses the second-largest risk factor for lung cancer, after smoking. The highest concentrations of domestic radon in the UK occur in the south-western counties of Devon and Cornwall, but certain areas in Northamptonshire and surrounding counties in the English Midlands also have high levels. It has been shown that it is possible both to reduce the radon concentrations in existing houses and to build new homes with appropriate protection. Since 1999, the UK's Building Regulations have specified that all new homes should be built with a combined radon-proof/damp-proof membrane plus, in Radon Affected Areas, a sump under the building. However, the building regulations do not require that the radon level is measured once the house is built and so there is little information on the effectiveness of these measures. Builders generally do not mention radon, and when asked, just confirm that their houses are built to current standards.To better understand the efficacy or otherwise of the currently mandated radon-protection measures, a cross-sectional investigation was carried out in 26 new housing developments in high-radon areas in Northamptonshire. In a targeted mail-shot, 1056 householders were invited to apply for a free radon test; 124 replied (11.7%). In total, 94 pairs of detectors were returned (70.1% of responders), of which two were spoiled, giving a total of 92 results.Following processing and seasonal correction, the arithmetic mean radon concentration in the target houses was 45% of the arithmetic mean radon concentration in existing houses in the postcode sectors where the houses were built and were approximately log-normally distributed. No results exceeded the UK Action Level of 200 Bq. m−3 but three were above the Target Level of 100 Bq. m−3.The results suggest that the radon-proof membranes in general ensure that radon concentrations in new homes constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations in Radon Affected Areas (RAAs) are satisfactorily low. However, there is a very small statistical probability that levels in a small number of homes will be close to or above the Action Level, particularly in areas of high radon potential. As a result, the Public Health England (PHE) recommendation for testing in the first year of occupation should be adopted as a legal requirement.



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Six-year monitoring of the vertical distribution of radiocesium in three forest soils after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

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Publication date: December 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 192
Author(s): Junko Takahashi, Yuichi Onda, Daichi Hihara, Kenji Tamura
After the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident on March 2011, several studies showed that the downward migration of 137Cs from litter to mineral soil is more rapid in forests in Fukushima than in forests affected by the Chernobyl accident. Therefore, the downward migration within mineral soil layers is more important for predicting long-term dynamics of 137Cs in forest ecosystems in Fukushima. In the present study, we monitored the detailed vertical distribution of 137Cs in litter and soil layers for 6 y (2011–2017) following the previous study (2011–2012), and found that temporal changes in those distributions were different among mixed forest (MF), mature cedar (MC) and young cedar (YC) forests. The 137Cs concentrations and inventories in the litter layer exponentially decreased with time for all sites, with more than 80–95% of the deposited 137Cs on the forest floor distributed in mineral soil layers by 2017. The percentage of 137Cs inventory in the litter layer to the total 137Cs inventory in litter and mineral soil layers was well fitted by a single exponential equation with decreasing rate of 0.22–0.44 y−1. The slower migration was observed in the YC site, probably because of higher initial interception of 137Cs fallout by dense canopy. As the downward migration from litter to mineral soil progressed, the 137Cs concentration in the first few cm of mineral soil surface gradually increased and became higher than the 137Cs concentration in the litter within 2–3 y of the accident. The 137Cs concentration in mineral soil layers exponentially decreased with depth throughout survey period, and an exponential equation fitted well. The relaxation depth of 137Cs concentration in mineral soil layers estimated by the exponential equation were constantly increasing in the MC and YC sites with 0.08 cm y−1. In contrast, there was no temporal increase in the relaxation depth in the MF site, indicating little migration to subsurface soil layer from not only litter layer but also surface soil layer. Further studies are necessary to identify the forests prone to the downward migration of 137Cs and its factors regarding both forest and soil characteristics.



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Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements during silkworm domestication

Abstract

Although there are some documented examples on population dynamics of transposable elements (TEs) in model organisms, the evolutionary dynamics of TEs in domesticated species has not been systematically investigated. The objective of this study is to understand population dynamics of TEs during silkworm domestication. In this work, using transposon-display we examined the polymorphism of seven TE families [they represent about 59% of silkworm (Bombyx mori) total TE content] in four domesticated silkworm populations and one wild silkworm population. Maximum likelihood (ML) was used to estimate selection pressure. Population differentiation and structure were performed by using AMOVA analysis and program DISTRUCT, respectively. The results of transposon-display showed that significant differentiation occurred between the domesticated silkworm and wild silkworm. These TEs have experienced expansions and fixation in the domesticated silkworm but not in wild silkworm. Furthermore, the ML results indicated that purifying selection of TEs in the domesticated silkworm were significantly weaker than that in the wild silkworm. Interestingly, an adaptation insertion induced by BmMITE-2 was found, and this insertion can reduce the polymorphism of the flanking regions of its neighboring COQ7 gene. Our results suggested that TEs expanded and were fixed in the domesticated silkworm might result from demographic effects and artificial selection during domestication. We concluded that the data presented in this study have general implication in animal and crop improvements as well as in domestication of new species.



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Oral Health Challenges in Refugees from the Middle East and Africa: A Comparative Study

Abstract

The aim was to explore and compare oral health and need for dental treatment in newly arrived refugees from the Middle East and Africa to Norway. Oral examination and structured interviews were performed with attending interpreters. Associations between origin and measures for oral health were studied with multiple linear regression. Half of the refugees (n = 132) reported oral impacts on daily performances (OIDP) and mean number of decayed teeth (DT) was 4.3 (SD 3.5). Refugees from the Middle East had more DT (1.38, p = 0.044), higher sum of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) (3.93, p = 0.001) and lower OIDP-score (− 3.72, p = 0.026) than refugees from Africa. Refugee oral health is generally poor, with more extensive challenges in refugees from the Middle East. However, few missing teeth, and manageable caries-gradient at the time of registration indicate that most refugees have the prerequisites for a good dentition, provided they get the necessary treatment.



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