Vol 4-3 Mini Review Article

Review of Study of Novel Treatment of Gulf War Illness

Donald F. Graves1*, Gayle S. Morse1,4, Kathleen Kerr2, David O. Carpenter3,4

1Psychology Department, Russell Sage College, Troy, NY, USA

2Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

3School of Public Health, University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA

4Institute for Health & the Environment, University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA

Gulf War Illess (GWI) is a serious health concern for 30% of veterans who were deployed during the first Gulf War. Symptoms include reduced physical, psychological, and neuropsychological wellness and function. Research indicates that these symptoms can be linked to environmental toxins that veterans were exposed to during their time in theater. Some data suggest that continued internal exposure may be maintaining the illness, thus a detoxification procedure could be of assistance to those experiencing GWI. Reviewed here is a novel detoxification procedure applied as a treatment for GWI and the positive outcomes associated with this procedure. Presented here is a brief logic for the detoxification method, a simple summary of the method, and the encouraging outcomes of the method. Awareness of this and similar detoxification methods’ impacts on GWI symptoms should highlight the need for more research on this and related topics.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1204 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-3 Review Article

Addressing the Emotional Distress of Healthcare Workers: Creating a Cohesive Resiliency Program Response to COVID-19

K Gilrain*, P Fizur, R Allen, E Campbell, P Watson, S Jordan, E Kupersmith, A Rostain

Division of Behavioral Medicine, Cooper University Hospital, USA

Background: Promoting resilience in healthcare workers is a well-studied area that has taken on new significance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Extant literature suggests a need to expand resiliency efforts, with a recommended focus on multimodal approaches.

Purpose: The present account describes the unique challenges faced by one urban, northeastern academic medical center during the COVID-19 crisis in promoting resiliency in their healthcare workers at all levels, with the related aim of examining feasibility and acceptability of doing so.

Methods: A review of existing procedures targeting wellness and resiliency at this hospital was completed. A literature review was conducted with regard to promoting resiliency and preventing burnout, with emphasis placed on case studies from other institutions during the pandemic. Post-intervention surveys were conducted to assess feasibility and acceptability.

Results: A multi-component approach was created based on a review of the literature and all available information. The current report focuses on the first five weeks of that effort, the results of which suggest sufficient feasibility and high acceptability among those surveyed. Common themes raised in support sessions are also identified and discussed.

Conclusions: The challenges raised by COVID-19 are significant, with a high probability of impact on the wellbeing of health care workers. Targeting resiliency now may be a key factor in preventing pathological responses later. The current approach appears feasible and acceptable with regard to targeting key resiliency areas. Future studies should focus on the longer term outcomes of these efforts.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1210 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-3 Commentary

Commentary: Prevalence, Predictors, and Treatment of Imposter Syndrome: A Systematic Review

Dena M. Bravata1,2*, Divya K. Madhusudhan2, Michael Boroff2, Kevin O. Cokley3

1Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

2Crossover Health, San Clemente, CA

3University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1207 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-4 Review Article

Careful Prescribing of Benzodiazepines during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review

Ruchita Agrawal1,2*

1Seven Counties Services, Louisville KY, USA (Formerly, Centerstone)

2Department of Psychiatry, University of Louisville, Louisville KY, USA

Benzodiazepines have been commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia in the last few decades. There has been a rising concern regarding safety of benzodiazepines due to overdose related deaths, addictions, and cognitive side effects. COVID- 19 pandemic is expected to cause a mental health crisis. Several studies have shown an increase in anxiety and insomnia. This could mean that prescriptions of benzodiazepine could increase due to increase in anxiety and insomnia. We caution health care providers to use best practices and treat patients with psychotherapy as the first line of treatment and not pharmacotherapy. Prescription Drug Monitoring programs (PDMPs) were started due to this concern of overdose deaths, diversion related to opioids and benzodiazepines. PDMPs are mandatory in most states in the United States of America now.We recommend all health care providers to look at their benzodiazepine prescribing practice, monitor PDMP data and make policies to implement changes in order to avoid the next crisis of benzodiazepines after opioids.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/4.1214 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-3 Research Article

Languishing but Not Giving Up: Suggesting A Surrender-Struggle Continuum as the Missing Piece of The Mental Health Puzzle

Per Eisele*

Associate professor, Department of Psychology, Mid Sweden University, Sweden

Background: The mental health continuum was created for the purpose of measuring mental health with several different wellbeing items.

Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate the mental health continuum together with a new struggle continuum scale. With languishing and flourishing at the ends of a vertical scale and surrendering and struggling at the ends of a horizontal scale a quadratic model is suggested. Four factors can be distinguished at the corners of the square, depressed, anxious, content and joyful.

Methods: The sample (N=294) consisted of 174 women with a mean age of 40.48 and 124 men with a mean age of 37.27 year. The mental health continuum scale was used together with a new scale measuring struggling, the tendency to give up easily or keep on fighting.

Results: The model was tested on a normal population and was confirmed. Result of chi-square, correlation and t-test analyses show that the two scales could detect depressed, anxious, content and joyful participants.

Conclusions: The result has implications for the choice between mindfulness and activity-based interventions. Discussion about the result are provided.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1211 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-4 Original Research Article

Health-Related Quality Of Life and Rearing Behavior on Migrant Children: A Before-and-After Study

Haiyan XING1*, Wei YU2#

1Department of Nursing, School of Medicine, Shaoxing University, Zhejiang Province, China

2Institute of Epidemiology, Shaoxing Keqiao District Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhejiang Province, China

The purpose of this study is to examine the change of Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and rearing behavior among migrant children as well as their correlations in the city of Shaoxing, China. By cluster sampling, 149 migrant children had completed the questionnaires in 2014 and 2015. Spearman’s correlation was performed to clarify the relationship between change of HRQOL and rearing behavior in migrant children. Multiple linear stepwise regression analytical methods were used to identify the variables that were associated with change of HRQOL. The results showed that total score, physical health, psychosocial health, emotional functional and social functional of HRQOL among migrant children had increased and overprotection of parents was declined. There were negative correlation between change of quality of life (total score) and change of parents rejection or mother overprotection. There were also negative correlation between change of psychosocial health and change of parents rejection and overprotection. The change of quality of life was mostly reflected by change of mother rejection. These data show that HRQOL and negative rearing behavior among migrant children had improved. The change of quality of life was most affected by the negative rearing behavior of parents, especially mothers.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/4.1215 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-4 Original Research Article

Prefrontal Cortex Response to Threat: Race by Age Variation in 9-10 Year Old Children

Shervin Assari1,2*, Golnoush Akhlaghipour3, Mohammed Saqib4, Shanika Boyce5, Mohsen Bazargan1

1Department of Family Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2Department of Urban Public Health, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA

3Department of Neurology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

4Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

5Department of Pediatrics, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Background: Considerable research has suggested that race and age are two major determinants of brain development, including but not limited to development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs), however, suggests that race (as a proxy of racism) may interact with various determinants of human and brain development. Minimal knowledge, however, exists on whether age and race also interact on shaping PFC response to threat among American children.

Purpose: Using data from a task-based functional brain imaging study and considering race as a sociological rather than a biological construct, we investigated combined effects of race and age on prefrontal cortical (PFC) response to threat. We explored racial heterogeneities in the association between age and PFC response to threat by comparing Black and White children.

Methods: This study used the task-based functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data from the Adolescents Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a national, landmark, multi-center brain imaging investigation of 9-10 years old children in the US. The primary outcomes were mean beta weights of n-back runs measuring PFC response to threating versus neutral face contrast in the following regions of interest (ROIs): left hemisphere-lateral orbito-frontal, left hemisphere -superior-frontal, right hemisphere -caudal middle frontal, and right hemisphere -superior frontal cortex. The independent variable was age. Covariates were sex, ethnicity, family socioeconomic status, and neighborhood socioeconomic status. Race was the focal moderator. To analyze the data, we used linear regression models without and with interactions and SES as covariates.

Results: We included 5,066 9-10 years old children. Age and race did not show direct effects on PFC response to threatening relative to neutral faces. While ethnicity, sex, and socioeconomic status were controlled, age and race showed a systematic interaction on PFC response to threatening relative to neutral faces.

Conclusions: For American children, race and age do not have direct effects but multiplicative effects on PFC response to threat. The results may be reflective of social inequalities in how Black and White children are socialized and developed. The results are important given the role of the PFC in regulating the limbic system response to threat. Coordinated work of the limbic system and PFC is a core element of children’s behavioral and emotional development. Future research is needed on how social stratification and racism shape emotion processing and regulation of American children in response to threat.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/4.1209 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-4 Original Research Article

Mothers’ Global Psychological Health and Sex-specific Expression in Newborns

Stefanie R. Pilkay1*, Terri Combs-Orme2, Frances Tylavsky3, Nicole Bush4, Alicia K. Smith5

1Falk College, School of Social Work, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

2College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

3Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Tennesse Health and Science Center, e, Memphis, Tennessee

4Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California

5Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

Summary: The prenatal environment can influence gene expression involved in the development, possibly contributing to generational patterns of psychological health. Moreover, sex-specific developmental differences in-utero may result in gene expression differences associated with the prenatal environment. However, it is not clear if maternal overall psychological symptoms will associate with newborn’s gene expression, or if such patterns are consistent between sexes. This study explored the relationships between maternal psychological health (PsyH) and newborn’s gene expression patterns. We assessed PsyH with the Brief Symptom Inventory and newborn gene expression in umbilical cord blood. We conducted combined and sex-stratified analyses of genes expressed in umbilical cord blood.

Findings: PsyH associated with differential expression of 157 genes in males. The 157 differentially expressed genes are more likely to function in metabolic processes. There were no significant differences in gene expression in females.

Application: The sex-specific nature of these findings suggests males may be more vulnerable than females to mothers’ psychological functioning during pregnancy. It is possible that the male-specific results are due in part to female newborns developing under different neuroendocrine conditions. Future research examining prenatal exposures should consider sex differences.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/4.1216 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-4 Review Article

Young, Alone, and Young Alone During a COVID-19 Lockdown

Tiffany Field1,2*, Shantay Mines2, Samantha Poling2, Miguel Diego1, Debra Bendell2, Connie Veazey2

1University of Miami/Miller School of Medicine, USA

2Fielding Graduate University, USA

The effects of age (young versus old) and living status (alone versus with others) during the COVID-19 lockdown were assessed via a Survey Monkey questionnaire on 260 individuals (18-82 years). Both age and living status and their interaction effects were explored via ANOVAs on scales for health, media use, mood states including anxiety and depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms, fatigue and sleep disturbances. ANOVAs were conducted via a median split on age as well as on a group comparison of young (20-40 years) versus old (60-80 years) individuals. The results of these two types of data analyses were consistent on most variables, suggesting that the young versus the old experienced more stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms as well as greater fatigue and sleep disturbances. And, they reported fewer health activities. Significant effects were also noted for the alone versus living with others’ groups including less engagement in exercise and work at home by the alone individuals as well as more stress, depression, fatigue, and PTSD symptoms. A significant age by living condition interaction effect suggested that the young living alone had the highest depression scores. The experiences that were common to the young, the living alone, and the young living alone were being lonely, depressed and fatigued. These results highlight the importance of prevention/intervention for the young, the alone and the young alone during lockdowns like COVID-19.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/4.1219 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-3 Mini Review Article

Pain Eliminativism

Tudor M. Baetu*

Department of Philosophy and Arts, University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres, Canada

The philosophical thesis of pain eliminativism can be understood in several ways. As a claim about the inadequacy and replacement of folk explanatory pain constructs and concepts, it is congruent with scientific findings. Eliminativism is controversial in as much as it demands a more or less radical recharacterization of the phenomenon of pain in order to ensure compatibility with physicalism and an identity model of reductive explanation. In this respect, eliminativism is at odds with experimental and explanatory paradigms at work in biomedical research. The latter is concerned with reproducible phenomena, controlled experiments generating evidence for causation and causal-mechanistic explanations. Since nothing here supports conclusive inferences about the identity or non-identity of pain, or aspects of it, with biological activity, it is not clear what, if anything at all needs to be eliminated.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/3.1206 View / Download Pdf