Month: November 2020

November 20, 2020

The season is approaching, make sure you have all the minimum conditions in your apartment

first_imgDo you know how you can have a prescribed board in red, green and yellow? Do you know how in every apartment up to 60m2 you have to have five fire extinguishers? Did you know that you have to have a welcome message written in five foreign languages ​​on the front door?We are joking, of course, that the above is not an obligation, but ask yourself: Do I have all the minimum conditions in my apartment?The tourist season is slowly but surely coming to the big door, and as you will not have time later, we recommend that you check if you have all the minimum conditions in your apartment, in accordance with the rules on classification and categorization. Before the hustle and bustle and while you still have time, prepare well because you know how the folk proverb says: Good preparation is half the battle.Below is a link to the official newspaper in which all the minimum conditions are stated: RULEBOOK ON CLASSIFICATION AND CATEGORIZATION OF FACILITIES IN WHICH HOUSEHOLD CATERING SERVICES ARE PROVIDED Annex 1: CONDITIONS FOR ROOM AND STUDIO APARTMENT CATEGORIESMinistry of Tourism: CATEGORIZATIONStudy the regulations, laws and your obligations carefully, and if you have any questions or are not sure if you meet certain conditions, call your local tourist board for help or contact the Ministry of Tourism directly Quality Management Sector (categorization)tel. 01/6459 280; 01/6459 285; fax. 01/6459 289.Extinguish the fire until a fire breaks out, ie check and prepare before the start of the season, rather than later paying high fines for inertia or the classic Croatian phenomenon of “I don’t like it”.last_img read more

November 20, 2020

Foreign agents specializing in health tourism reside in Kvarner

first_imgFor the second time, Kvarner is hosting a thematic business workshop on health tourism called BUY CROATIA, which is being held from 10 to 14 May, organized by the Kvarner Tourist Board and the Croatian Tourist Board, in cooperation with and with the support of Mali Lošinj, Crikvenica and Opatija. .This workshop, which is an integral part of the Kvarner Tourist Board project called Kvarner Health & Wellbeing, aims to educate foreign agents and partners through a four-day study trip around Kvarner, which results in a business workshop at Opatija’s Remisens Premium Hotel Ambasador on Friday, May 13. 2016.Participants from Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Denmark and Finland, specialized agents for health tourism, representatives of travel agencies, as well as the Association of Patients and Rehabilitation Centers will get acquainted with the offer, tradition and diversity of health tourism in Kvarner and Croatia. “It is a great success and we are very pleased to host the Buy Croatia workshop for health tourism for the second time, and that Kvarner will have the opportunity to show foreign partners the best in the field of health tourism. Almost 20 entities from Croatia, including hoteliers, travel agencies, health care institutions, clinics, spas, will offer foreign participants packages of tourist and health services, which will once again highlight health tourism as one of the most important segments of the offer for extending the tourist season. as one of the most important backbones of further development of tourism. ”The director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Irena Peršić Živadinov, points out.Participants visit health institutions and clinics in the area of ​​Opatija, Rijeka, Crikvenica and the island of Lošinj and meet with directors, specialist doctors and managers of these institutions. Thus, on the spot they have the opportunity to see the quality of medical infrastructure and services, but also the beauty of Kvarner as a tourist destination.Kvarner is a region with the longest tradition in health tourism, which has more than 170 years of organized activity. To this day, health tourism has remained a comparative advantage of Kvarner and thus contributes to the quality of the overall offer in Kvarner and the extension of the season, “said director Irena Peršić Živadinov.last_img read more

November 20, 2020

The largest gathering of “Nobel laureates” ever outside Sweden this year in Dubrovnik

first_imgMinister of Tourism Gary Cappelli and prof. Dr. Dragan Primorac, President of ISABS and Chairman of the Committee on International Relations of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences today in Zagreb announced the holding of “The Tenth ISABS Conference on Forensic and Anthropological Genetics and Mayo Clinic Lectures in Individualized Medicine” dedicated to advances in medicine, forensics and anthropological genetics.Konferencija će se održavati od 19. do 24. lipnja u Dubrovniku, a na njoj se očekuje preko 500 sudionika iz 40-tak država. U samoj najavi održavanja ove konferencije, sudjelovao je i direktor Glavnog ureda Hrvatske turističke zajednice, Ratomir Ivičić, koji je s organizatorima potpisao ugovor o suradnji u organizaciji ovog za Republiku Hrvatsku iznimnog  znanstvenog događaja.On this occasion, prof. Dr. Dragan Primorac presented the program of the conference, which is organized not only by the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS), but also by the leading American health institution Klinika Mayo, and the partner of the institutions is the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. It is the world’s leading forensic organization in which 7.500 of the most influential experts in the field of forensic sciences participate.U sklopu održavanja konferencije, osim predavanja vodećih svjetskih stručnjaka iz područja kliničke i molekularne medicine te iz područja forenzičke i antropološke genetike, predavanja će održati i petero dobitnika Nobelove nagrade iz područja kemije i medicine, što je najveći skup „Nobelovaca“ ikad izvan Švedske. Na temu značaja ove konferencije za Hrvatsku osvrnuo se ministar Cappelli te istaknuo: „This conference is one of the most important world scientific events during 2017 and that is why I am especially glad that it will be held in Croatia, in Dubrovnik. Croatia has the potential to become one of the recognizable destinations of business tourism, and gathering such a large number of experts from around the world certainly contributes to strengthening this recognition. We will soon open a congress office within the Croatian National Tourist Board and I believe that in the future we will witness many such world events that will make Croatia an even more competitive tourist destination.. ” Prof. dr. Primorac, u ime organizatora (ISABS) te direktor Ivičić, u ime Hrvatske turističke zajednice, potpisali su ugovor o suradnji u organizaciji ovog za Republiku Hrvatsku iznimno značajnog znanstvenog događaja koji će okupiti znanstvenike sa svih kontinenata. Prof. Primorac ovom je prilikom istaknuo kako pozicioniranje Hrvatske kao države znanja na ovakav način nema cijenu te kako je ovogodišnji kongres golem iskorak za Hrvatsku. „It is the largest gathering of Nobel laureates in Europe in 2017. who will send a message from Dubrovnik where the medicine of the 22nd century is going”, Stressed Prof. Primorac.We remind you that in December 2016, an action plan for the development of congress tourism was presented, where guidelines for the development of this segment of the tourist offer important for extending the tourist season, increasing revenues generated in tourism and increasing the overall competitiveness of Croatian tourism were presented. The action plan for the development of congress tourism was created on the basis of the Tourism Development Strategy until 2020, in which the product of business meetings was highlighted as one of the potentially important tourist products of Croatia. “Croatia is recognized in the tourist market, but it is time to start talking about the tourist year, and not just about the tourist season. We will present ourselves to the world not only with top service, but also with top knowledge”, Said Minister Cappelli.last_img read more

November 19, 2020

People more likely to cheat as they become more economically dependent on their spouses

first_imgLinkedIn Share Email Share on Facebook Share on Twittercenter_img Both men and women are more likely to cheat on their spouses the more economically dependent they are on them, according to a new study.“You would think that people would not want to ‘bite the hand that feeds them’ so to speak, but that is not what my research shows,” said study author Christin L. Munsch, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. “Instead, the findings indicate people like feeling relatively equal in their relationships. People don’t like to feel dependent on another person.”According to Munsch, in an average year, there is about a 5 percent chance that women who are completely economically dependent on their husbands will cheat, whereas there is about a 15 percent chance that men who are entirely economically dependent on their wives will have an affair. Although Munsch found that economic dependency increases the likelihood of engaging in infidelity for both men and women, there appears to be something that makes men who are not primary breadwinners even more prone to cheating compared to women who are not primary breadwinners.“Extramarital sex allows men undergoing a masculinity threat — that is not being primary breadwinners, as is culturally expected — to engage in behavior culturally associated with masculinity,” Munsch said. “For men, especially young men, the dominant definition of masculinity is scripted in terms of sexual virility and conquest, particularly with respect to multiple sex partners. Thus, engaging in infidelity may be a way of reestablishing threatened masculinity. Simultaneously, infidelity allows threatened men to distance themselves from, and perhaps punish, their higher earning spouses.”Titled, “Her Support, His Support: Money, Masculinity, and Marital Infidelity,” the study, which appears in the June issue of the American Sociological Review, relies on data from the 2001 through 2011 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and considers more than 2,750 married people who range in age from 18 to 32-years-old.While Munsch found similarities in the way that men and women respond to being economically dependent, she discovered that men and women who are primary breadwinners in their marriages behave very differently. For women, the more they “breadwin” — that is, the larger their percentage of the combined marital income — the less likely they are to cheat.“Women who out earn their husbands challenge the status quo,” said Munsch, who noted that women are least likely to engage in infidelity when they make 100 percent of a couples’ total income. “Previous research finds that women who are primary breadwinners are acutely aware of the ways in which they deviate from the cultural expectation that equates men with breadwinning. Consequently, previous research finds these women suffer from increased anxiety and insomnia and engage in what sociologists call ‘deviance neutralization behaviors.’”For example, she said women who are the primary breadwinners in their marriages often minimize their achievements, defer to their spouses, and increase their housework. “This emotional and physical work is designed to decrease interpersonal conflict and shore up their husbands’ masculinity,” Munsch said. “It is also aimed at keeping potentially strained relationships intact.”Among men, those who are completely economically dependent on their spouses are the most likely to cheat. As the money men make relative to their spouses increases, their odds of committing adultery decrease until their total contribution to the pooled income reaches 70 percent. Men are least likely to cheat when they bring home 70 percent of a couples’ total income. After 70 percent, however, men become increasingly more likely to stray.“These men are aware that their wives are truly dependent and may think that, as a result, their wives will not leave them even if they cheat,” Munsch said. “They also might be cheating in search of a partner who will contribute more economically to the relationship. A husband who earns significantly more than his wife and has an affair — think celebrities, athletes, and politicians — is the type of infidelity that regularly makes front-page news, so I wasn’t surprised to find that men who make a lot more than their wives are more likely to cheat than men in equal-earning relationships or relationships where they make a little bit more than their wives.“What is surprising, though, is that this increase in the likelihood of men engaging in infidelity that occurs as they make significantly more than their wives is relatively small compared to the increase in the likelihood of cheating that takes place among men as they become more economically dependent. But, the affairs of economically dependent men simply don’t garner media attention, so we hear about this kind of infidelity far less often.” Pinterestlast_img read more

November 19, 2020

New study identifies four distinct types of millennial news consumers

first_imgLinkedIn Pinterest Share on Twitter Share A new study explores the news habits of Millennials and identifies four distinct groups of news consumers. The study, a deeper analysis of a survey conducted earlier in 2015 by the Media Insight Project, finds that as it relates to their information use and the way they consume information about different topics, adults age 18 to 34 are not a monolithic group.The survey results identify the following groups of Millennials who share certain characteristics in their information consumption: the Unattached, the Explorers, the Distracted, and the Activists. The Media Insight Project is a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.“This study identifies truly distinct characteristics that typify each group of news consumers and identifies challenges and opportunities for news publishers attempting to reach the Millennial audience,” said Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center. “Clearly they are not a single group.”center_img Email Share on Facebook Some of the key characteristics of each group include:The Unattached: Younger, age 18-24, bump into news, rather than seeking it out. Most have not yet started families or established careers. They primarily go online for social or entertainment activities, and few follow current events. Most do not pay for news, but many still keep up generally with what is going on in the world and are open to differing opinions.The Explorers: Younger, also age 18-24, actively seek out news and information; many demographic similarities to the Unattached, but slightly more men than women. They tend to follow a variety of current events and news-you-can-use topics. Many believe in the social and civic benefits of following news.The Distracted: Older, age 25-34, many have families and are part of the middle class. They tend to not use news for civic or social purposes. They do not actively seek news out and tend to mainly follow lifestyle and news-you-can use topics with direct relevance to their daily lives.The Activists: Older, age 25-34, actively seek out news and information. They tend to have already established families, careers, and a connection to their community. They are racially and ethnically diverse and experienced enough in the world to care about certain issues, and they have enough stability in life to spend energy on those issues. A majority of these Millennials personally pay for a digital or print news subscription.“The study provides key insights as well as concrete recommendations for publishers wishing to reach Millennials,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute. “The opportunity lies in recognizing that the Millennial generation is as nuanced as any other and that content creators need to reach different types of Millennials in different ways, and reach them where they are already consuming information.”last_img read more

November 19, 2020

Online dating has become a hobby — one that is often not even that fun

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Email Share on Twitter Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn The scene described in Nancy Jo Sales’s huge Tinder report published in Vanity Fair magazine featured groups of twenty-something friends and colleagues in a Manhattan bar relaxing after work. But rather than socialising with each other they were engrossed in the more private world of their mobile phones, seeking something completely personal: a sexual partner (albeit not necessarily just for sex).The group of friends were, in Sherry Turkle’s words “alone together” – with moments of togetherness erupting when a particularly ridiculous response or attractive photo just had to be shared among the group.A much commented-upon new development sees people going out in groups yet – once they’ve got their Mojitos – retreating into the private, disembodied social worlds of their phones. More striking still than this curious spectacle of millennials passing time on dating apps is the new emotional climate that they’ve created. It is one of boredom and amusement-seeking, and a lifestyle in which date-seeking, but not necessarily dating itself, serves as a casual hobby rather than an awkward, laborious, money- and time-intensive effort it might take to meet a soulmate when serendipity has failed. The social hobbification of online dating has certainly arisen in contrast to its origins. Mediated dating, particularly by computer technology, used to be an embarrassing and profoundly lonely pursuit. Rendered secretive and personal, it seemed to invite addictive or compulsive behaviour – something to brush even further under the carpet than the new that you were using it at all.Kate Bush captured both the allure and the sorrow of the emotional surrogacy of computers in her song Deeper Understanding (1989):As the people here grow colderI turn to my computerAnd spend my evenings with itLike a friend … well I’ve never felt such pleasureI was lonely, I was lost without my little black box.Whether people took out small ads, used professional matchmakers, employed computer dating company Dateline, or tried television or phone dating, most people kept their technology-mediated dating to themselves. I’ve found that this reticence and embarrassment is something that surrounds pre-internet dating. Millions of people used such services, but it’s hard to find them, and when you do most say it never occurred to them to share their experiences.Kate Bush’s powerful image of the lonely heart drinking in the computer’s artificial intimacy conjures up these feelings of shame – a feeling perhaps compounded by the idea that using technology to help meet people ironically deepened your social alienation. The perception was that you must be lacking in some way to require it; the “natural” system of mutual chemistry couldn’t work because something was wrong with you.But then social media came along and blurred the lines between the personal and the social, the celebratory and the embarrassing. The assumption (though hardly rock-solid) that mediated dating signified failure was reversed. This unconsciously built upon 1980s matchmakers’ marketing spiel that desirable people were single not because of a lack of appeal, but because of a lack of time. Tinder has taken this a step further by making casual dating a perfectly acceptable thing to do whether you’re short of time or not – dating to kill time.Internet-based dating has also got a lot better. So where former customers hankered for, but lacked control and convenience, today’s finely-tuned geographic (Happn, for example) and social sensors make tech-dating more instantaneously gratifying. Some sites like eHarmony, claim to be exploring the use of DNA, virtual reality and the latest behavioural psychology, excitedly predicting “full-sensory virtual dating” by 2040.In other words the online dating industry is keenly interested in using the latest technology to, or at least appear to, solve the quandary of chemistry. And they’re not keeping quiet about it: if advertisers and editors continue to lap up such claims then would-be daters are less likely to consider it embarrassing. Online dating is just too useful to be ashamed of these days.Finally, the rise of the dating app – which depends largely for its initial success on your digital social network, not your sexual power – has shifted feelings about mediated dating. Those twenty-somethings in the bar became habituated to online dating apps on their phones in part because they just couldn’t be bothered to answer all those questionnaires, nor care enough to pay for a fully-fledged dating website. Tinder culture is cool and casual, where paid-for online dating and its predecessors were or at least could easily be perceived to be a bit intense and heavy-breathing, and rank with the odour of sadness and failure.In other words, a realm of private pursuit threatened by social and personal humiliation and disappointment:Mr Peter Simper, a 34-year-old salesman from London, paid £125 for his life membership last July. He received no dates.—The Guardian, May 23, 1982Without making assumptions about the very real emotional experiences that can follow the use of Tinder and others like it, using mediated dating has moved beyond the odd and into the everyday and the insouciant. As such it has become a bit like smoking weed – good if you like smoking weed, but not so much if you hate the red eyes, fatigue, apathy and blurred vision that goes with it.By Zoe Strimpel, Doctoral researcher, University of SussexThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

November 19, 2020

How disbelief in free will can corrupt cooperation

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Email LinkedIn Sharecenter_img Arriving home from work to find your partner toiling away in the kitchen, odds are you’ll jump in and help. That’s human nature. But if you’re flat out ordered to help? That’s a different story.Remove the perception of choice and you’re in fact more likely to recoil from cooperation and go a different direction altogether. Maybe you suddenly have other plans for dinner.The intricacies of free will — and how a belief in the notion, or lack thereof, impacts our behavior — are examined in a new study by UC Santa Barbara psychologists John Protzko and Jonathan Schooler. Their findings appear in the journal Cognition. Share on Facebook The results show that while people are intuitively cooperative, challenging their belief in free will corrupts this behavior and leads to impulsive selfishness. However, when given time to think, participants are able to override the inclination toward self-interest.“Challenging a person’s belief in free will corrupts the more automatic and intuitive mental processes,” said corresponding author Protzko, a postdoctoral scholar in Schooler’s META (Memory, Emotion, Thought, Awareness) Lab in UCSB’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. “Our study suggests that a challenge to an individual’s belief in free will can shift this default mechanism — at least temporarily — to become intuitively uncooperative and cause an individual to act in their own self-interest.”To test why discounting the existence of free will increases the likelihood of uncooperative behavior, Protzko and Schooler recruited 144 people to play an economic contribution game called Public Goods. Subjects chose how much of their own “money” to put into a public pot. Their contributions were doubled and the communal pot was evenly divided among the players. They were also able to keep the money they didn’t pool.In one of two manipulations used to determine why behavior changes when free will is challenged, the investigators placed time constraints around participant contributions to the public pot. This, in essence, influenced the players’ sense of free will. Some subjects were told they must read instructions and decide how much to donate within 10 seconds; others were told to wait 10 seconds before making their decision.A separate manipulation was presented in the guise of an unrelated pilot study to see if reading certain passages alters mood. The passage argued that neuroscience had recently proved that our decisions, or what we perceive as decisions, are made by complex brain interactions before we have conscious access to them. Control participants read an article on whether nuclear energy is environmentally friendly.The researchers then assessed the degree of belief participants had in free will by asking them to rate, on a 1-100 scale, their agreement with the statement, “I have free will.” Those who read the neuroscience article agreed significantly less (75.6) than those who read the control passage (86.6).“Challenging a person’s belief in free will did not seem to provide them with a conscious justification for uncooperative behavior,” Protzko said. “If it did, we should have observed fewer contributions when people were given adequate time to think about their decision on the amount to contribute.“It’s very damaging to hear that we don’t have free will,” said Protzko. “Discounting free will changes the way we see things. Yet given time, we recover and go about our lives as though nothing were different.”last_img read more

November 19, 2020

Study finds link between vivid thoughts of death and authenticity

first_imgLinkedIn Email Share Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Being able to vividly recall experiences related to your own mortality may cause you to be more fully engaged in life, according to research published in the journal Motivation and Emotion.The research, which included 457 participants, found a link between authenticity and the vividness of experiences that made them think about mortality. People who were better able to vividly recall death-related experiences tended to also be more authentic, meaning they were more likely to feel true to themselves and less likely to be influenced by the opinions of others.PsyPost interviewed the study’s corresponding author, Elizabeth Seto of Texas A&M University. Read her responses below: Share on Facebook PsyPost: Why were you interested in this topic?Seto: In society, there is a pervasive idea that being your true, authentic self is the key to leading a happy, meaningful life. However, we do not know too much about the experiences that help us feel in touch with our true selves. Interestingly, existential philosophers, such as Martin Heidegger, suggest that an important antecedent to authenticity may be rooted in the ways we contemplate death. I wanted to examine this notion empirically, so I conducted several studies asking participants to think about their experiences with death, and interestingly, those who were able to recall these experiences more vividly, perceived being more authentic.What should the average person take away from your study?Different types of death reflection can give rise to feelings of authenticity. In my studies, I found that the subjective vividness of mortality-related memories — for example, being able to recall a close encounter with death with a lot of visual and perceptual detail — predicted greater feelings of authenticity and behavioral expressions of authenticity such as the pursuit of important goals and intrinsic aspirations. I believe that contemplations about death may seem debilitating at times, but how we think about death can be related to positive psychological outcomes.Are there any major caveats? What questions still need to be addressed?One important caveat to consider is that the possibility that these highly vivid memories may not entirely be accurate. Sometimes, people fill in details of memories or memories can be modified to fit into a person’s life narrative. Regardless, the robust relationship between the perceived vividness of the mortality-evoking memory and authenticity is still intriguing.A major question that still needs to be addressed is why do we see a relationship between the vividness of morality-evoking memories and authenticity. It is important to note that our research does not clarify a mechanism underlying this relationship, although my colleagues and I propose that an experience with mortality may be a significant event in a person’s life story serving to propel a movement towards authenticity (based on perspectives from the narrative identity literature). There is also the possibility that the vividness of the memory serves as an availability heuristic such that when an encounter with death comes to mind in vivid detail, it can profoundly affect one’s goals and aspirations.Is there anything else you would like to add?The ways we contemplating death can have both positive and negative relationships with authenticity. In my research, I identified a key component of mortality-evoking memories—subjective vividness—that is associated with positive consequences of death reflection. However, in exploratory analyses, I found that death rumination is negatively related to authenticity. That is, pervasive thoughts about death are associated with feeling less authentic. This research suggests that Martin Heidegger and other existential philosophers’ beliefs are generally supported, but not without the occasional exception.The study, “The association between vivid thoughts of death and authenticity“, was also co-authored by Joshua A. Hicks, Matthew Vess and Lisa Geraci.last_img read more

November 19, 2020

Low frequency brain stimulation improves cognition in Parkinson’s disease

first_imgShare on Twitter Pinterest Share on Facebook Email LinkedIncenter_img A multidisciplinary neuroscience study using rare, intraoperative brain recordings suggests that low frequency stimulation of a deep brain region may be able to improve cognitive function in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The study findings, published Nov. 28 online in the journal Brain, also hint at the broader potential of brain stimulation for treating other cognitive diseases.The new work by neurologists and neurosurgeons with the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa provides the first direct evidence of a connection in the human brain between the thinking region of the brain (the frontal cortex) and a deeper structure called the subthalamic nucleus (STN) that is involved in controlling movement. The study also shows that stimulation of the STN at low frequencies improves the performance of PD patients on a simple cognitive task that is usually disrupted by PD.“It’s not very often that you identify a new connection in the human brain,” says Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, PhD, UI assistant professor of neurology in the UI Carver College of Medicine and senior study author. “The existence of this hyperdirect pathway from the prefrontal cortex to the STN has been bandied about for around a decade, but this is the first time we’ve experimentally shown that it exists and functions in people. Share “We were also able to show that if we stimulate the STN, we change the frontal cortical activity and we think it’s by this pathway,” he adds. “And if we stimulate the STN and change cortical activity, we can actually change behavior in a beneficial way, improving the patients’ cognitive performance.”Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that affects about one million people in the United States. Deep brain stimulation of the STN at high frequencies is already approved to treat movement problems in some patients with PD. In addition to causing movement problems, however, PD also affects thinking. The new findings raise the possibility that STN deep brain stimulation at a different (low) frequency might also improve cognitive symptoms in PD, and possibly even in other neurologic and psychiatric diseases.Listening in on the brainThe team was able to map the STN-cortex connection by “listening in” on brain activity during surgeries to implant deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in patients with PD.UI neurosurgeon Jeremy Greenlee, MD, conducts more than 30 such surgeries every year and his expertise was vital to the mapping experiment. Using specialized recording electrodes placed inside the patients’ brains, Greenlee listens in on brain activity in order to accurately place the DBS device. Those electrodes also allow direct recording of brain activity for experimental purposes in patients who are awake during the procedure without adding any risk. This kind of intraoperative recordings is not very common, but Greenlee and his UI colleagues have a long history of expertise in the technique.During the surgery, the patients did a simple cognitive task as a way of stimulating one part of the brain while recording electrical activity from other parts that are connected. Listening to the neural activity during the task allowed the team to map the connection.“We were able to evoke a response to show the functional connection,” Greenlee explains. “The very fast response suggests a single, direct synaptic connection – that is what hyperdirect means.”Stimulation improves cognitive performanceHaving established the existence of the hyperdirect connection, the researchers next investigated the effect of low frequency STN stimulation on cognitive abilities. Narayanan’s team uses a very simple thinking task–accurately estimating the passage of a short interval of time–to study cognitive impairment in PD patients and animal models of PD.During post-surgery follow up visits, the researchers had the patients do the interval timing task with the DBS stimulator set to one of three settings: high frequency (normal for controlling movement), no stimulation, or a low frequency setting of 4 Hz. Only the 4 Hz stimulation improved the patients’ performance on the timing test.Previous research from Narayanan’s labs has shown that people with PD and rodent models of the disease are missing a specific brain wave known as the delta wave in their frontal cortex while they are doing the timing task. The delta wave cycles at a frequency of about 4 Hz.“When we stimulate the STN at 4 Hz, the delta wave is restored in the mid frontal cortex,” Narayanan says. “By stimulating the STN we can rescue cortical activity (which is disrupted in PD) and we can improve cognitive behavior.”The researchers think that the frequencies are like communication channels between networks. If two networks are working together at the same frequency, that might be a unique way that the networks interact and information is transmitted.“The fact that we are able to test a lot of our ideas (that come from the rodent studies) about how the neural networks work in awake behaving humans, is something I never dreamed I’d be able to do, but it enables us to ask questions that might actually help a lot of people,” Narayanan says.“It is exciting to potentially have a way to improve cognition that could be life changing for patients,” Greenlee adds.last_img read more

November 18, 2020

NEWS SCAN: Egg farm findings, dengue in France, vaccine-autism case, anthrax in Bangladesh, flu in India, mandatory flu shots

first_img First indigenous dengue case reported in FranceA man in Nice recently had the first non-imported case of dengue fever reported in mainland France, according to news stories quoting the French health ministry. The ministry said the case was an isolated one and the man had fully recovered, according to The Connexion, an English-language newspaper in France. The story said about 800 dengue cases have been reported in France this year, but until now all were in travelers who caught the disease abroad. The case has prompted authorities to urge residents of the French Riviera to take precautions against mosquitoes. “The risk of an epidemic is deemed limited but cannot be excluded, because of the significant numbers of tiger mosquitoes [which can spread the disease] in the area,” the health ministry said in a statement quoted in an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report yesterday. The news stories said the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean have had dengue epidemics this year; AFP said Martinique has had 32,600 cases since February, with 13 deaths. Dengue is found in tropical and subtropical areas around the world and is endemic in more than 100 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).Sep 14 Connexion reportSep 13 AFP story AAP releases position on mandatory flu shots for health workersThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) yesterday released the full version its new position statement calling for mandatory influenza vaccination for healthcare personnel (HCP). The AAP, which announced the position in a brief online statement last week, joins the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) in endorsing a flu immunization requirement. “HCP fail to lead by example if they recommend universal immunization, including influenza, to their patients but do not require it of themselves,” says the statement, published online by Pediatrics. But whereas the IDSA and SHEA call for exempting employees from the requirement for medical reasons only, the AAP allows for religious exemptions as well. “Medical and religious exemptions can be granted on an individual basis, so mandating influenza immunization for HCP is ethically justified,” the statement says.Sep 13 AAP statementAug 31 CIDRAP News story on SHEA position Sep 14, 2010 Congressional panel says egg firm had history of Salmonella findingsThe US House Energy and Commerce Committee said today that it has obtained records showing that Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa, found Salmonella in 426 environmental samples in the past 2 years, before the farm was linked to a nationwide surge in Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) infections. The committee released a letter addressed to Austin DeCoster, owner of the company, saying that the 426 positive samples included 73 “that were potentially positive for Salmonella Enteritidis, the same strain that has sickened 1,519 people.” The committee did not say how or where it obtained the test results. The letter says the panel had asked the company on Aug 23 to provide information on any Salmonella findings but that a response on Sep 11 did not include information on the 73 potential SE findings. The letter asks DeCoster to come prepared to discuss the reasons for the findings and the company’s response to them when the committee holds a hearing on the outbreak on Sep 21. An Associated Press story published this afternoon said a company official did not immediately response to a request for comment on the letter.Sep 14 House Energy and Commerce Committee letter Anthrax cases top 500 in BangladeshOfficials in Bangladesh said more than 500 people have been sickened with the cutaneous form of anthrax across the country’s dairy region, AFP reported today. That represents an increase of about 100 cases from the number reported a week ago. However, Mahmudur Rahman, Bangladesh’s health ministry director, said the rate of new infections was slowing down, presumably because a vaccination program for cattle is having an effect. So far no human deaths have been reported, though the disease has killed hundreds of cows. The disease can be transmitted to humans from handling diseased animals or eating contaminated meat.Sep 14 AFP story India reports more H1N1 cases and deathsAn update from India’s health ministry says the country confirmed 1,011 new 2009 H1N1 infections, including 75 deaths, in the surveillance week ending Sep 12. The hardest hit areas for fatalities were Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh states. The WHO, in a Sep 10 update, said India was one of the countries still reporting active flu transmission, with a substantial number of flu fatalities still occurring in several states. Yesterday health officials in India’s Bihar state reported their first death from the 2009 H1N1 virus, in a 45-year-old woman who had been hospitalized for a week before she died, the Times of India reported. Bihar is in northeastern India at the border with Nepal.Indian health ministry flu updateSep 13 Times of India story Court of Claims awards millions in vaccine-autism caseThe US Court of Federal Claims has awarded millions of dollars in compensation to the family of an Athens, Ga., girl who as a toddler fell ill with an autism-like condition after she was vaccinated against nine diseases on the same day, according to CBS News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The government settled her parents’ claim in 2007, but it took more than 2 years for the sides to agree on the compensation. The family is receiving $1.5 million immediately to cover care in the first year after the settlement, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering. In addition, the family will get $140,000 to cover past expenses and an annuity contract worth at least $500,000 a year to care for and educate the girl, Hannah Poling, throughout her life, the AJC reported. Federal officials concluded in 2008 that the vaccines Poling received did not directly cause her autism symptoms, but rather aggravated a rare mitochondrial disorder, which in turn led to her condition, according to the news reports. “It’s critical to remember that the federal government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines,” Martin Kramer, a spokesman for the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), told the AJC. HRSA administers the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The AJC noted that more than 5,000 families have filed complaints of vaccine-related autism with the program since 1999, and of about 700 claims adjudicated so far, all but the Poling claim have been turned down. Numerous studies have failed to find a link between vaccines and autism.last_img read more