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1.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ; 84(8-B):No Pagination Specified, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-20244707

ABSTRACT

Objective: Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a common, chronically relapsing condition with substantial health and economic costs. United States federal agencies have put out calls in the last decade to expand the scientific evidence base for broad biopsychosocial recovery from AUD and other substance use disorders (SUD). The present study examined the role of physical activity and exercise in early recovery from AUD, with specific attention to changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a marker of neuroplasticity and a potential mechanism for instantiation of recovery-aligned behaviors. Method: Individuals in the first year of recovery from AUD were recruited into a 12-week study with exercise sessions and pre/post-exercise blood sample collection performed in a laboratory setting at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks. Data analyses included BDNF enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to establish pre/post-exercise BDNF concentrations, estimation of the magnitude of the effect of exercise on BDNF, and prospective associations of exercise-induced BDNF change with coping, craving, consumption and mood outcome measures. Results: 26 participants were screened, 22 were eligible, 7 had entered the study, and 6 had provided at least one set of pre/post-exercise blood samples when student research ceased on March 23rd, 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions. Participants with at least one set of pre/post-exercise blood samples demonstrated a statistically significant (p=.014) increase from baseline in BDNF levels after exercise, with a large effect size (Cohen's d=1.519;Hedges' g=1.019 ). The impact of this increase from baseline on subsequent measures of coping, craving, mood, and substance use is unclear due to lack of statistical power. Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate that individuals recovering from AUD can increase serum levels of BDNF from baseline levels via sessions of physical exercise. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

2.
Journal of the Intensive Care Society ; 24(1 Supplement):86-87, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-20240643

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic an estimated 5000 surgical and 12000 percutaneous tracheostomies were completed in the UK each year.1 A UK study looking at COVID-19 tracheostomy outcomes found 1605 tracheostomy cases from 126 hospital, median time from intubation to tracheostomy was 15 days while 285 (18%) patients died following the procedure.2 COVID-19 patients also typically spend longer in critical care with prolonged time receiving organ support when compared to patients diagnosed with other viral pneumonias.3 Incidence of laryngeal pathologies are also higher in COVID-19 patients post tracheostomy.4 Objectives: The aim of this observational study was to review the outcomes of patients post tracheostomy insertion during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to non-COVID patients. Method(s): A service evaluation was completed including all patients requiring a tracheostomy since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 within University Hospital Wales, Cardiff. Data was captured from local tracheostomy databases. Patients were grouped into either COVID or non-COVID based on their clinical history. The key outcomes evaluated were number of tracheostomies, average time to cuff deflation and decannulation, critical care and hospital length of stay, occurrence of adverse events and time from critical care admission to tracheostomy insertion. Data was evaluated using descriptive statistics using Microsoft ExcelTM. Result(s): During the review period 58 patients with COVID-19 and 158 without required a tracheostomy. In the COVID-19 group cuff deflation occurred at a median of 10 days post insertion compared to 7 days. Decannulation occurred at a median of 16 days in patients with COVID-19 compared to 18 days. The rate of decannulation was also higher in the COVID-19 group at 74.1% compared to 67.1%. Critical care length of stay was 37 days in the COVID-19 compared to 25 days. Time from intubation to tracheostomy was comparable between groups at a median of 16 days for our COVID-19 cohort compared to 15 days. The incidence of clinical incidents was higher in the non-COVID-19 group at 10.1% compared to 5.2%. Conclusion(s): This internal service evaluation has shown that COVID-19 patients typically spend longer in critical care but their time to decannulation was shorter and their rate of decannulation was higher in our cohort then in the comparison group. This could be due to the tertiary neuroscience and major trauma specialities within our Health Board. Both with groups of patients that, due to the nature of their injuries may require prolonged periods of tracheostomy insertion even after critical care discharge.

3.
Pensando Psicologia ; 18(1):23-37, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-20230641

ABSTRACT

Objective: We develop a theoretical discussion from our perspective of the situated educational neuroscience, based on the relational anthropology point of view, to generate ambits of discussion in which the educational neuroscience can contribute into the context of COVID-19 pandemic and pospandemic. Subject: The context of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it possible to put in tension issues that were pending on the global agenda. Among these issues, the importance of the human being as part of the ecosystem with which they maintain co-construction relationships is not minor. Situated educational neuroscience is a tool that can bring valuable contributions to the discussion to collaborate in addressing this tension. Development: We organize de argumentation in four sections: 1. The opportunity the anthropause posts to the humankind and its relations with their environment, 2. The role that studies on behaviour and evolution have on this opportunity, 3. The contribution of a situated educational neuroscience as a framework and transdiscipline which works on translational research in this context of pandemics and anthropause, and 4. The succinct presentation of two examples where we argue that a situated educational neuroscience has tools to contribute. Conclusions: We propose conclusions open to discussion where we return to the idea of a situated educational neuroscience which is committed with its context. As an approach or as a transdiscipline with translational research functions, we consider that a situated educational neuroscience contains tools that can contribute to the conversation with other sciences and disciplines and with the empirical knowledge of communities, in order to join efforts to overcome social injustices and move forward as humankind from this current pandemic situa- tion, having acquired strategies of resilience that can serve to deal with other persistent and future situations.

4.
iScience ; 26(6): 106954, 2023 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2328125

ABSTRACT

Neurological complications that occur in SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as olfactory dysfunction, brain inflammation, malaise, and depressive symptoms, are thought to contribute to long COVID. However, in autopsies of patients who have died from COVID-19, there is normally no direct evidence that central nervous system damage is due to proliferation of SARS-CoV-2. For this reason, many aspects of the pathogenesis mechanisms of such symptoms remain unknown. Expressing SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein in the nasal cavity of mice was associated with increased apoptosis of the olfactory system and decreased intracerebral acetylcholine production. The decrease in acetylcholine production was associated with brain inflammation, malaise, depressive clinical signs, and decreased expression of the cytokine degrading factor ZFP36. Administering the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil to the mice improved brain inflammation, malaise and depressive clinical signs. These findings could contribute to the elucidation of the pathogenesis mechanisms of neurological complications associated with COVID-19 and long COVID.

5.
The Chemical and Biological Nonproliferation Regime after the Covid-19 Pandemic: Dealing with the Scientific Revolution in the Life Sciences ; : 1-125, 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2322627

ABSTRACT

This book offers an analysis of how the Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) regime has responded in the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has highlighted the need to better protect modern societies from natural, accidental and deliberate disease affecting humans, animals and plants. Within that context preventing the deliberate hostile use of biological and chemical agents will be of increasing importance. Dando asks to what extent there has been a significant strengthening to the CBW non-proliferation regime in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic using an analysis focused on two proposals to strengthen the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention which aim to constrain advances in science and technology developments that could be misused. On this basis he concludes that it would be hard to argue that to date there has been a significant strengthening of the CBW regime. © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023. All rights reserved.

6.
AIMS Neurosci ; 10(2): 75-86, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324905

ABSTRACT

Treating neurological patients during the pandemic period has become extremely challenging. At the same time, responding properly to these challenges has been diverse around the world, with varying levels of readiness, discipline, and approach. Additionally, there are significant differences in healthcare resources and processes between nations, and even within a nation, and these have significantly influenced the treatment procedure throughout the pandemic. However, neurologists have been called to care for patients with neurological symptoms who have COVID-19, and to continue managing COVID-19-affected neurological comorbidities in patients as before. This study highlights how the treatment procedures for neurological diseases are rapidly changing due to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It also focuses on the challenges healthcare professionals are facing while providing proper treatment to neurological patients during the pandemic situation. Lastly, it offers some useful recommendations regarding the effective management of neurological diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

7.
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage ; 31(5):705-706, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2317302

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Disability in knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is known to be largely due to pain, the mechanism of which is complex and multidimensional with alterations in nociceptive processing in the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) leading to persistent pain. Current clinical practice guidelines for KOA provide strong recommendations for education and exercise including land-based or mind-body approaches. However, individually these strategies are only moderately effective. One potential reason for this is a lack of understanding of their underlying mechanisms and how their combination might impact nervous system modulation. Neuromuscular exercise is known to improve lower extremity strength. Mind-body approaches as well as pain neuroscience education (PNE) are uniquely positioned to potentially reverse CNS adaptations by inducing positive neuroplastic changes and improving descending modulation of pain resulting in decreased pain. To our knowledge, neuromuscular exercise, mind-body techniques, and PNE have not been studied in combination. We therefore aimed to establish the feasibility of an intervention consisting of these three elements referred to as Pain Informed Movement (PIM). The results of this study will inform necessary modifications for a two-arm pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT). Method(s): This study was a single-arm feasibility trial with a nested qualitative component and the primary feasibility outcome of complete follow up. Inclusion criteria: age >= 40 years, KOA clinical diagnosis or people fulfilling the NICE diagnostic criteria, and average pain intensity >=3/10 on the numeric pain rating scale. PIM consisted of twice weekly in-person exercise sessions and a third home exercise session for 8 weeks. In addition, PNE, provided as online videos, covered the following topics: purpose of pain, neurophysiological changes associated with pain, movement guidelines when pain persists, mind-body techniques to impact neurophysiology and support moving with ease that included breath awareness and regulation, muscle tension regulation, awareness of pain related thoughts and emotions, and relaxation. The mind-body techniques and the PNE topics were implemented during the group exercise sessions that included evidence-based neuromuscular exercises aimed at improving sensorimotor control and functionality of the knee joint. Participants completed questionnaires and in-person assessments at baseline and at program completion. Assessments included weight and height, chair stands as a measure of functional leg strength, and conditioned pain modulation to assess efficiency of the descending modulatory pathways. Participants also had their blood drawn to monitor changes in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a marker of neuroplasticity. Questionnaires included the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score - function and pain subscales, Chronic Pain Self Efficacy scale, pain intensity rated in the past 24 hours, the past week, and worst pain in the past 24 hours. Secondary feasibility outcomes included acceptability of the intervention, burden of assessments, recruitment rate, compliance rate, adherence rate, and self-reported adverse events. Feasibility findings were evaluated against a-priori success criteria. In the qualitative component, participants were invited to an online focus group and were asked about their experience and perceptions of the program. Interview recordings were analyzed using thematic content analysis to identify suggestions for program modification. Result(s): In total, 19 participants (mean age 63.3 years (SD 10.5), 73% female) were enrolled, with a complete follow up rate of 74% (n=14) for our primary objective, indicating that modifications would be needed to proceed. Of the 5 dropouts, only one was study related. We will be adding additional inclusion criteria of: ability to get up and down from the floor independently, and no use of mobility aids. Adherence to in-person treatment sessions was 91%, hich indicates proceeding with the protocol for the next phase (i.e., pilot RCT). Some absences were due to unmodifiable factors (e.g., COVID-19). We will make protocol amendments for the purpose of improving the adherence rate to include 'no planned absences'. All other success criteria were met: recruitment rate, compliance to exercise sessions, program acceptability, duration, frequency, and delivery, likelihood of recommending the program to others and taking the program again, burden, and adverse events (Table 1). Analysis of the focus groups revealed that the video content pertaining to the mind-body techniques would benefit from on screen demonstrations by the instructor to assist with participants' execution of breath and muscle tension regulation. The majority of participants improved in most of the physical assessment outcomes and questionnaires (Table 2). Conclusion(s): The PIM program is feasible, acceptable, not burdensome, does not cause adverse events, and had an excellent compliance rate. Minor modifications are needed to optimize enrolment and adherence rates. Although improvements in pain, function, and psychological measures were observed, the feasibility nature of this study precludes any conclusions regarding efficacy. A pilot two-arm RCT will be conducted to establish the feasibility and explore potential effects of PIM when compared to conventional neuromuscular exercise and standard OA education. [Formula presented] [Formula presented]Copyright © 2023

8.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ; 84(7-B):No Pagination Specified, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2295580

ABSTRACT

Early in the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, frontline clinicians provided anecdotal observations there was an increase in the number of individuals presenting with a stroke who did not have traditional stroke factors. Current tools to evaluate stroke risks are based on decades of research-all conducted prior to COVID-19 pandemic and before the SARS-CoV-2 was in existence or circulating widely. Accurate stroke assessment is predicated on accurate identification of stroke risk factors. Little attention has been paid to re-examining stroke risk tools to consider the influence of COVID-19. This Quality Improvement (QI) project aimed to answer the question: Do established stroke tools capture factors that increase stroke risk during COVID and post-COVID illness? First, a review of literature was conducted to identify stroke risk assessment tools. Second, emerging risk factors for stroke related to COVID-19 were extracted from a literature search. Third, a survey, which included traditional and non-traditional risk factors found in the literature review, was developed and administered to 35 front-line clinical experts;this survey aimed to understand the reliability and content validity of stroke risk factors as they occur within the context of COVID-19. The clinical experts identified 23 traditional and 29 non-traditional risk factors as being highly associated with increased odds of stroke. The top traditional risk factors were atrial fibrillation, smoking (current or history), 2nd TIA in less than seven days, age > 74, hypertension (> 140/90 mmHg or SBP > 140 or DBP > 90). Non-traditional risk factors were metabolic syndrome, ipsilateral > 50% carotid stenosis of the internal carotid artery and/or major cerebral artery, active COVID-19 infection that has lasted more than eight days, D-dimer > 920 ng/m, and C-reactive protein > 10.0 mg/L. This project provides a foundation for future QI projects and research with the goal of reducing risk for stroke within the context of COVID-19. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

9.
Neuropsychoanalysis ; : 1-20, 2023.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-2295105

ABSTRACT

The 21st Congress of the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after two years of waiting because of the lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Congress used a hybrid format for the first time to include people who were not able to travel to San Juan. The theme of the Congress was "Neuropsychoanalysis: Implications for Clinical Technique.” The audience had the opportunity of listening to presentations that covered various topics such as memory and learning, transference, the brain explained for the psychodynamically-minded and vice-versa, psychopathology and psychotherapy, modifications to the technique based on neuroscientific findings, clinical praxis and supervision, developmental perspectives, using affective neuroscience in the clinical setting, perspectives on brain injury, emerging psychoanalytic perspectives, research enriching neuropsychoanalytic models, and case presentations. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Neuropsychoanalysis is the property of Taylor & Francis Ltd and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

10.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology ; 103:1-13, 2022.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2276998

ABSTRACT

The accurate and swift decoding of emotional expressions from faces is fundamental for social communication. Yet, emotion perception is prone to error. For example, the ease with which emotions are perceived is affected by stereotypes (Bijlstra, Holland, & Wigboldus, 2010). Moreover, the introduction of face masks mandates in response to the Covid-19 pandemic additionally impedes accurate emotion perception by introducing ambiguity to the emotion perception process. Predictive coding frameworks of visual perception predict that in such situations of increased ambiguity of the sensory input (i.e., faces with masks), people increasingly rely on their prior beliefs (i.e., their stereotypes). Using specification curve analysis, we tested this prediction across two experiments, featuring different social categories (Study 1: Gender;Study 2: Ethnicity) and corresponding emotion stereotypes. We found no evidence that face masks increase reliance on prior stereotypes. In contrast, in Study 1 (but not in Study 2), we found preliminary evidence that face masks decrease reliance on prior stereotypes. We discuss these findings in relation to predictive coding frameworks and dual process models and emphasize the need for up-to-date analytic methods in social cognition research. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

11.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ; 84(4-B):No Pagination Specified, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2276795

ABSTRACT

The neuroimmune system is a specialized immune system in the brain crucial for both responding to illness and injury as well as regulating normal neural function and behavior. As such, it is perhaps not surprising that activation of the neuroimmune system results in significant impairments in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory mechanisms. In fact, neuroimmune dysregulation has been implicated in memory- and cognitive-related disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, and most recently long-COVID, a series of long-lasting cognitive impairments caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. There are known sex differences in the neuroimmune response to various pathogens, and because the neuroimmune system is at the convergence of pathological and normal function, the immune cells and signaling mechanisms involved are well-poised to modulate memory processes differently in males and females which may contribute to sex differences in the prevalence or severity of memory-related disorders. Here, we aimed to investigate the interaction of neuroimmune and memory processes in both males and females using central administration of a viral mimic, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), in C57BL/6N mice. Poly I:C is synthetic, double-stranded RNA that stimulates several cell types involved in mounting an immune response in the brain including astrocytes, microglia, and neurons, making it an excellent tool for studying broad-based neuroinflammation. Poly I:C treatment induced significant inflammation in the hippocampus of both sexes. Males had a greater magnitude of response than females for cytokines IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-10, IFNalpha, TNFalpha, CCL2, and CXCL10. Additionally, while both males and females showed increased expression of the anti-viral Type I interferon beta, only males showed increased anti-viral Type I interferon alpha, highlighting a potentially important sex difference in the anti-viral response to poly I:C. We used a T-maze task and a contextual fear-based memory task to determine the effects of neuroinflammation on learning and memory mechanisms. Pre-training poly I:C did not impair learning in the T-maze task. In contrast, pre-training poly I:C disrupted learning of contextual fear conditioning in both males and females, and analysis of cFos levels revealed significant sex differences in hippocampal activation during context fear conditioning training with poly I:C on board. Together, these findings suggest that a similar behavioral deficit induced by poly I:C in males and females involve sex-specific molecular and signaling mechanisms of learning and memory. To further investigate this, we targeted Type I interferon signaling because of the sex difference in Type I interferon induction we found previously and the capacity for Type I interferons to modulate synaptic plasticity mechanisms. We found that inhibiting Type I interferon receptors prior to treatment with poly I:C attenuated the poly I:C-induced learning deficits in males, and we did not find the same effect in females. This suggests that Type I interferons play a more important role in modulating learning in males compared with females, and Type I interferon signaling is a potential target for understanding sex differences in biological mechanisms of memory impairment induced by neuroimmune activation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

12.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences ; 84(4-A):No Pagination Specified, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2276691

ABSTRACT

Background: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neuroinflammatory demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that disproportionately affects people in North America. Although the etiology and cure remain unknown, interactions among genetic, environmental (e.g., latitude), and behavioral (e.g., smoking) influences are considered contributing factors. The Social Safety Theory offers a pathway from stress to disease through the physiological responses of the inflammation cascade. Through this cascade, childhood stressors have been implicated in the development of many physical health conditions including heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, diabetes, and numerous autoimmune diseases. Childhood stressors are also linked with behavioral and mental health outcomes including perceived stress in adulthood and substance use. Adult stress has been associated with MS onset and relapses. Although traumatic stressors have been associated with the development of autoimmune diseases, remarkably few studies (n=5) have investigated the relationship between childhood stressors and MS disease features. Of these studies, none accounted for adult stressors, and few accounted for MS specific covariates.Purpose: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate relationships among childhood adversity, adult stressors, and features of MS while accounting for MS specific confounders. Guided by the Social Safety Theory, this work posits that child and adult stressors are social threats which elicit neuroinflammatory responses contributing to MS symptoms.Methods: An electronic invitation was sent to the National MS Society listserv of 80,000 people with MS, and 924 participants successfully completed the survey. The aims of this dissertation include to examine the associations between: 1) cumulative child stressor characteristics (e.g., severity, duration), and cumulative adult stressor characteristics with individual MS disease outcome features;2) child stressor types, grouped by emotional, physical, and environmental, and MS disease features;and 3) individual lifetime stressor type characteristics (e.g., physical danger severity) and MS disease features. Hierarchical block modeling was used for aims 1 and 2 to assess the shared contribution of similar stressors, while multiple regression was used for aim 3.Results: For aim 1, hierarchical block modeling was used to sequentially assess childhood cumulative and adult cumulative stressors in relation to the six MS outcomes. Both child and adult stressors were associated with three outcomes, pain interference, disability, and mental health comorbidity. Only child stressors were associated with fatigue, while only adult stressors were associated with relapse burden changes since Covid-19. The age at symptom onset was not significantly associated with any stressors. For aim 2, hierarchical block modeling was used to sequentially assess childhood stressors, grouped by emotional, physical, and environmental stressors. At least two types of childhood stressors were significantly associated with all MS feature outcomes, except the relapse burden change since Covid-19 which was unaffected by stressors. For aim 3, multiple regression was used to assess cumulative stressors across the lifespan, grouped into five core social-psychological types, and the same six MS features. Stressors were significantly associated with four features, fatigue, pain interference, age at symptom onset, and mental health comorbidity. Stressors did not impact disability or relapse burden change.Conclusions: Findings across all aims fill gaps and advance knowledge in this field. This dissertation supports relationships between stressors experienced across the lifespan and common clinical features of MS. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

13.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ; 84(1-B):No Pagination Specified, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2275067

ABSTRACT

The devastating personal and economic upheaval caused by the financial crises in 2007/2008 and more recently, the spread of Covid-19 from Feb 2020 till date (June 2021) strongly highlighted the need for effective time-series processing models that can provide useful insights and accurate forecasts in a timely manner to inform critical decision-making that affects lives and livelihoods. Thus, this research is focused on identifying an effective and suitable time-series approach that harnesses advantages of the current state-of-the-art forecasting models whilst mitigating their challenges. A critical review of existing state-of-the-art methods revealed the following two key attributes are required for effective time-series processing: a robust yet flexible memory mechanism and minimal computational complexity for modelling complex dynamic time-series. The Multi-recurrent Neural Network (MRN) was identified as the preferred model and subject to critical examination and enhancement due to its unique and powerful sluggish state-based memory mechanism that has largely gone unnoticed since its first introduction by Claudia Ulbricht from the University of Austria in 1994This thesis subsequently makes the following four meaningful contributions to the research field: a) the MRN was applied to different real-world temporal problems (where it had not previously been applied) (of varying complexity). It was then compared to current state-of-the-art forecasting methods, where it demonstrated superior performance. It was critically assessed to identify limitations and points of extension;b) the MRN's hidden layer was endowed with periodically attentive units to tackle two well-known issues affecting artificial neural networks;vanishing gradient problem and catastrophic interference. This innovation applied to the hidden layer encouraged the network to organise features according to different units of time. Therefore, reducing the information processing load placed on individual hidden units. Thus, alleviating the issue of catastrophic interference. In addition, the network was able to hold information for longer periods of time, as the unit partitions only responded at specific time intervals. This provided a means to mitigating the vanishing gradient problem, which in most instances led to better performance;c) the MRN was endowed with an innovative self-learning mechanism, to reduce user input and identify architectural hyper-parameters. This extension enabled the MRN to inform and enhance its internal memory composition (and thus quality) through incorporating Ratio Control Units to learn the layer-link ratios. This technique provided a new outlook on algorithm development, in particular pointing to the abilities of recurrent neural networks, and in particular, the MRN, to innately learn the importance of historical context rather than relying on hyper-parameters manually set by the user and d) a framework incorporating one of the proposed MRN innovations together with a one-shot pruning algorithm (based on the learnt ratio similarity) was proposed. The framework specifically provided a means of obtaining 'good' models by eliminating the need to train numerous models to exhaustively explore the search space for the optimum memory bank configuration. The new innovation simply requires one large over-parameterised MRN to be trained.More specifically, the pruning algorithm will automatically identify the optimum memory bank configuration in a robust manner which minimises the coupling of memory banks whilst maximising, or at least retaining, strong generalisation ability. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

14.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ; 83(3-B):No Pagination Specified, 2022.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2267750

ABSTRACT

As classic psychedelics are increasingly legalized and reintroduced into the psychotherapeutic frame, a deeper understanding of their effect on personality and overall wellbeing - as well as their clinical contraindications and potential pitfalls - will prove essential. As a result, this study represents a preliminary investigation into the effect of psilocybin exposure on a range of personality constructs.Methods: Data was collected through a collaboration with The Psychedelic Society, an organization that legally administers psilocybin in the Netherlands to self-selecting retreat attendees who have been screened for mental health disorders in accordance with Johnson et al.'s (2008) widely accepted safety guidelines. Participants completed the following measures via online questionnaire the day before psilocybin exposure, two days after psilocybin exposure, and at a one-month follow-up: Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R), Mentalization Scale (MentS), Inventory of Personality Organization (IPO), Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI), Pro-Environmental Behavior (PEB) and the Ryff Scale of Psychological Well-Being (Ryff). As rigorous double-blind clinical studies have linked psychedelic-occasioned mystical experiences to sustained improvement in personality-related domains (Maclean et al., 2011;Griffiths et al., 2006;Griffiths et al., 2008, Griffiths et al., 2011), the Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ) was also administered. Lastly, participants provided self-report responses to open-ended questions regarding subjective experiences following psilocybin exposure. Results: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, data collection was prematurely cut short, and only preliminary conclusions can be drawn. Those provisional conclusions include significantly improved overall symptomatology (BSI GSI), identity diffusion (IPO-ID) and reality testing (IPO-RT) following psilocybin exposure. Significant interactions were also identified for primitive defenses (IPO-PD) and narcissistic grandiosity (PNI-G), with the non-mystical experience group trending toward improvement, and the mystical-experience group remaining largely unchanged over time. Due to methodological constraints encountered, these findings remain preliminary. Nevertheless, the presence of multiple significant findings (however nascent) within the context of so few participants suggests the possibility of more robust findings in the context of a larger sample size. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

15.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences ; 84(5-A):No Pagination Specified, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2265912

ABSTRACT

Our experience of the world is defined not only by what surrounds us, but also by what we pay attention to. Because goal-directed attention is essential for so many aspects of cognition, from perception to learning to decision-making, impairments of attention in the context of mental illness can be severely debilitating. Despite this impact, we know relatively little from human neuroscience about the specific attention impairments that comprise "concentration difficulties," a symptom and diagnostic criterion of mood and anxiety disorders that is often not alleviated with current first-line treatments. In this dissertation, I aim to better understand mechanisms of goal-directed attention in healthy adults and characterize various forms of attention impairment in individuals with depression and anxiety using multimodal human neuroscience methods.First, I review the state of the field regarding attention impairments in depression and anxiety (Chapter 1). I highlight both the key advances in cognitive neuroscience regarding the neural correlates of subtypes of attention and the ways in which these findings might inform precision psychiatry. Next, I investigate a potential neural correlate of selective attention in a sample of healthy adults using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) (Chapter 2). Using statistical analysis tools to disentangle ongoing neural activity from stimulus-driven activity, I demonstrate that stimulus-independent neural signals are associated with the sharing of attended visual information across the cortex. Leveraging these findings, I then characterize selective attention impairments in adults with Major Depressive Disorder using fMRI and electro-encephalography (EEG) (Chapter 3). I find that feature-based selective attention impairments are severe in a subset of depressed individuals and are specifically associated with fronto-parietal hypo-connectivity and decreased posterior alpha oscillations, consistent with my prior observations of selective attention correlates in healthy adults.I then develop a machine-learning algorithm that can successfully predict changes in selective attention with antidepressant pharmacotherapy and show that stressors occurring in childhood are associated with poorer selective attention in depressed adults (Chapter 4). In a study of individuals with a range of mood and anxiety symptoms, I develop novel behavioral paradigms to assess transdiagnostic sub-domains of attention impairment (Chapter 5). These data reveal that spatial attention impairments partially mediate the association between early life stress and anxiety and are associated with increased anxiety and concentration problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, I put forward a theoretical model for how attention may become impaired in depression and anxiety and detail important directions for future research (Chapter 6).Together, these findings provide insight into the neural mechanisms underlying different subdomains of attention, clarify our understanding of attention impairments as a trans-diagnostic symptom dimension, and identify neural targets for the development of more personalized treatment, setting the stage for future studies in both basic and clinical neuroscience. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

16.
The brain-friendly museum: Using psychology and neuroscience to improve the visitor experience ; : 105-117, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2288199

ABSTRACT

This chapter describes the Parallel Worlds event series from conception to delivery. Included are the neuroscientific and artistic phenomena explored throughout the project and the bridges between them, the roles of the presenters, the formats of the events, and the dynamic exchanges with the attendees. While originally slated to be experienced live in the galleries and studios of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), the chapter will illustrate the various adaptations employed to rework the project for the virtual environment necessitated by COVID-19 restrictions. While the advantages of experiencing the fine arts and education live cannot be disputed, the virtual format of Parallel Worlds presented several advantages, which will be discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

17.
Statistics in Biopharmaceutical Research ; 15(1):94-111, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2285177

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the conduct of clinical trials globally. Complications may arise from pandemic-related operational challenges such as site closures, travel limitations and interruptions to the supply chain for the investigational product, or from health-related challenges such as COVID-19 infections. Some of these complications lead to unforeseen intercurrent events in the sense that they affect either the interpretation or the existence of the measurements associated with the clinical question of interest. In this article, we demonstrate how the ICH E9(R1) Addendum on estimands and sensitivity analyses provides a rigorous basis to discuss potential pandemic-related trial disruptions and to embed these disruptions in the context of study objectives and design elements. We introduce several hypothetical estimand strategies and review various causal inference and missing data methods, as well as a statistical method that combines unbiased and possibly biased estimators for estimation. To illustrate, we describe the features of a stylized trial, and how it may have been impacted by the pandemic. This stylized trial will then be revisited by discussing the changes to the estimand and the estimator to account for pandemic disruptions. Finally, we outline considerations for designing future trials in the context of unforeseen disruptions.Copyright © 2022 American Statistical Association.

18.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ; 83(12-B):No Pagination Specified, 2022.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2284605

ABSTRACT

Cognitive enhancement (CE) is the pursuit of enhancing and increasing the core mental capacity above the normal level. With the advancement of science and technology, many different approaches to carry out enhancement are available. The use of psychostimulants as the choice of cognitive enhancer is rapidly growing. Although anecdotal and subjective evidences claim that these drugs work however, empirical evidences from studies in healthy adults show inconclusive evidences. One reason could be that these studies did not consider sleep as an important factor mediating the effect of stimulants on brain activities. My study 1 investigates the role of sleep in stimulant mediated CE. Along with sleep, there are other factors which are important when investigating the stimulants' effect of CE such as dosage, type of cognitive tasks, individual variability and bias of stimulant drugs toward certain cognitive domain. My study 2 investigates the evidences of bias by stimulants towards specific cognitive domain/s. Stimulants are addictive and comes with many side effects that may cause long term health issues. In my study 3, I investigated CE through targeted memory reactivation (TMR) which exploits the natural process of memory formation and strengthening during sleep with sensory stimulation to manipulate the memory strength. Specifically, in study 3 I developed a homebased- TMR protocol to selectively bias the weak and strong memories. This protocol was designed to carry out the study amidst the COVID pandemic lockdown. I developed a brand-new spatial memory cognitive task for remote online participation. The TMR intervention protocol is suitable for real world and naturalist setting without the participants having to come to the lab. This new homebased-TMR protocol shows some promising results. With future improvement and refinement, it could be turned into fully automated unsupervised TMR system. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

19.
2nd International Symposium on Biomedical and Computational Biology, BECB 2022 ; 13637 LNBI:320-331, 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2283769

ABSTRACT

The need to indicate the significant adverse effects of COVID-19 and the behaviour desired from the population to address this offer an excellent context to consider the varied approaches to providing such information. More specifically, it offers the opportunity to consider the potential utility of neuroscience and what could be usefully added when thinking about the design and presentation of warnings and information. With the understandable wish to neutralise the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have been displaying miscellaneous messages against the spread of SARS-CoV-2, perhaps some with untested assumptions that those messages would be effective. Despite this, there seems to be highly variable effectiveness in conveying protective messages. Primary causes of poor compliance with various preventive messages might involve a lack of clear vision and direction if the aim is to change citizens' responsibility for their behaviour, consistency of such changes, and people having confidence in the information they are presented with. It would seem beneficial, in terms of effectiveness, for information presentation to be tailored to target community groups and for this to come from the governments or authorities after determining achievable practical interventions, understanding the citizen's perceptions of the messages and how science, and particularly neuroscience, shows that the words in language alter behaviour. Last and not least, this allows suitable stylistic consistency to be applied to aid with messaging efficiency and recognisability. © 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

20.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ; 84(4-B):No Pagination Specified, 2023.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-2281826

ABSTRACT

Intracranial infection with the JHM strain of the mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV), a member of the Betacoronavirus family, causes acute encephalomyelitis resulting in immune-mediated demyelination. JHMV infection is an excellent model to study both viral-induced neurologic disease and the immunologic mechanisms contributing to demyelination and is a well-accepted model for the human demyelinating disease multiple sclerosis (MS). Following JHVM infection of the CNS, the innate immune system is rabidly mobilized and secretion of the ELR+ family of chemokines, including CXCL1, which contribute to multiple cell processes including migration, differentiation, and maturation. Using a transgenic mouse in which the neutrophil chemoattractant CXCL1 can be induced to be overexpressed from astrocytes, we previously showed that sustained neutrophil infiltration exacerbates demyelination and clinical severity in the JHMV model. Subsequently, we wanted to replicate these findings in the prototypic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model and also to elucidate the mechanisms by which neutrophils are augmenting white matter damage in the JHMV mouse model of demyelination. In the EAE model we found that sustained infiltration of neutrophils into the CNS increased severity of demyelination and worsened clinical score without affecting the infiltration of other immune cell populations. Additionally, blocking neutrophil over accumulation with anti-CXCR2 antibody ameliorated these negative effects. We also found in the JHMV model that sustained neutrophil infiltration exacerbated demyelination through both direct and indirect effects. Neutrophils in the spinal cord were found to have a more mature phenotype associated with increased granularity and proinflammatory protein production and also polarized other infiltrating immune cells to a more inflammatory phenotype.The CXCR2/CXCL1 signaling pathway is also important for proper myelination of the CNS, specifically in the positional migration and proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) in the developing mouse brain. In addition, CXCR2 signaling has been implicated in regulating remyelination in several pre-clinical models of demyelination. In order to determine the role of CXCR2 signaling on OPCs we developed a mouse model in which Cxcr2 was conditionally ablated following tamoxifen treatment in adult mice. We found using the JHMV model that Cxcr2 silencing on OPCs did not affect clinical disease, infiltrating immune cells, or demyelination. It also had no effect on the structural myelin composition of noninfected transgenic mice. However, we did find that Cxr2 ablation resulted in more mature oligodendroglia and more remyelination at later time points following JHMV infection. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

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