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News and training opportunities
Cool websites and reports on hot topics
Interesting journal articles
News and training opportunities
Center for Public Health Continuing Education (CPHCE): Nationally known for its distance learning training, including the award-winning Public Health Live (T2B2) webcast series and numerous interactive, self-paced online courses. CPHCE offers a variety of free and affordable webinars, podcasts, broadcasts and in-person trainings. Nursing, CME and Certified Health Education Specialist continuing education credits are available for many of its programs: http://www.albany.edu/sph/cphce/index.shtml
Diabetes and the Expanding Roles of Health Educators: November 19, 2013, 12:00-1:00 PM EST. This webinar will provide information about Diabetes and how various factors affect why this epidemic is growing. https://sophe.webex.com/mw0307l/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=sophe&service=6&rnd=0.5504537608492873&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsophe.webex.com%2Fec0606l%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26confViewID%3D1004117832%26%26%26%26siteurl%3Dsophe
The Ohio State University Center for Public Health Practice provides free online learning on a variety of public health topics: http://cph.osu.edu/practice/free-online-learning
The Public Health Grand Rounds (PHGR) is the continuing education program of the West Virginia University School of Public Health. The PHGR is a free continuing education program for the public health workforce that provides CME/CE credits for physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and other health professionals. The monthly sessions are webcast (live simulcast and archived) for all who would like to view at a later date. The lectures of this continuing education program have been viewed live and from archives regionally, nationally, and internationally: http://publichealth.hsc.wvu.edu/pages/Academics/Continuing-Education-Program
Cool websites and reports on hot topics
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month Learn more about the disease, current research, and ways to donate: http://ww5.komen.org/
Health Insurance Marketplace: Communication Toolkit for Health Agencies: The US Department of Health and Human Services has launched the Health Insurance Marketplace to make it easier for citizens to compare health coverage options and find plans that meet their needs and fit their budgets. http://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/Products/health_toolkit.html
It’s also Health Literacy Month. Find a wealth of resources on this topic from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine: http://nnlm.gov/outreach/consumer/hlthlit.html
Healthy People 2020 Evidence-Based Resources Tool: Searchable database to find information and evidence-based resources for Healthy People 2020 topic areas. http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/implement/EBR.aspx
Leading the Workplace Wellness Movement: Public Health Departments' Role: Worksite wellness is of growing interest among state and territorial health departments as part of a larger trend among employers to foster an environment where healthy choices become easy choices for employees - beyond the traditional role of providing healthcare insurance coverage. http://www.rwjf.org/en/blogs/new-public-health/2013/09/leading_the_workplac.html?cid=xrs_rss-pr
NIH program explores the use of genomic sequencing in newborn healthcare: Can sequencing of newborns’ genomes provide useful medical information beyond what current newborn screening already provides? http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2013/nhgri-04.htm
Smartphone Microscope Detects Nanoparticles and Viruses: A lightweight microscope that attaches to a cell phone can detect single nanoparticles and viruses. It might one day be used for diagnostic tests in the field. http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/september2013/09302013smartphone.htm
Vaccine Clears Away Monkey AIDS Virus: An experimental vaccine given to monkeys triggered an immune attack that wiped out all traces of an AIDS-causing virus after a year or more. http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/september2013/09232013SIV.htm
Interesting journal articles
Anguera JA, Boccanfuso J, Rintoul JL, et al. Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults. Nature. 2013;501(7465):97-101.
Cognitive control is defined by a set of neural processes that allow us to interact with our complex environment in a goal-directed manner. Humans regularly challenge these control processes when attempting to simultaneously accomplish multiple goals (multitasking), generating interference as the result of fundamental information processing limitations. It is clear that multitasking behaviour has become ubiquitous in today's technologically dense world, and substantial evidence has accrued regarding multitasking difficulties and cognitive control deficits in our ageing population. Here we show that multitasking performance, as assessed with a custom-designed three-dimensional video game (NeuroRacer), exhibits a linear age-related decline from 20 to 79 years of age. By playing an adaptive version of NeuroRacer in multitasking training mode, older adults (60 to 85 years old) reduced multitasking costs compared to both an active control group and a no-contact control group, attaining levels beyond those achieved by untrained 20-year-old participants, with gains persisting for 6 months. Furthermore, age-related deficits in neural signatures of cognitive control, as measured with electroencephalography, were remediated by multitasking training (enhanced midline frontal theta power and frontal-posterior theta coherence). Critically, this training resulted in performance benefits that extended to untrained cognitive control abilities (enhanced sustained attention and working memory), with an increase in midline frontal theta power predicting the training-induced boost in sustained attention and preservation of multitasking improvement 6 months later. These findings highlight the robust plasticity of the prefrontal cognitive control system in the ageing brain, and provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of how a custom-designed video game can be used to assess cognitive abilities across the lifespan, evaluate underlying neural mechanisms, and serve as a powerful tool for cognitive enhancement.
Gefen T, Wieneke C, Martersteck A, et al. Naming vs knowing faces in primary progressive aphasia: A tale of 2 hemispheres. Neurology. 2013 Aug 13;81(7):658-64.
OBJECTIVES: This study examines the anatomical correlates of naming vs recognizing faces using a novel measure that utilizes culturally relevant and age-appropriate items, the Northwestern University Famous Faces (NUFFACE) Test, in primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a syndrome characterized by progressive language deficits and associated with cortical atrophy in areas important for word and object representations. METHODS: NUFFACE Test performance of 27 controls (mean age 62.3 years) was compared with that of 30 patients with PPA (mean age 62 years). Associations between NUFFACE Test performance and cortical thickness measures were quantified within the PPA group. RESULTS: Patients with PPA displayed significant impairment on the NUFFACE Test, demonstrating that it is a useful measure of famous-face identification for individuals with relatively young-onset dementias. Despite widespread distribution of atrophy in the PPA group, face naming impairments were correlated with atrophy of the left anterior temporal lobe while face recognition impairments were correlated with bitemporal atrophy. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to their clinical relevance for highlighting the distinction between face naming and recognition impairments in individuals with young-onset dementia, these findings add new insights into the dissociable clinico-anatomical substrates of lexical retrieval and object knowledge.
Le-Niculescu H, Levey DF, Ayalew M, et al. Discovery and validation of blood biomarkers for suicidality. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Aug 20 Epub ahead of print.
Suicides are a leading cause of death in psychiatric patients, and in society at large. Developing more quantitative and objective ways (biomarkers) for predicting and tracking suicidal states would have immediate practical applications and positive societal implications. We undertook such an endeavor. First, building on our previous blood biomarker work in mood disorders and psychosis, we decided to identify blood gene expression biomarkers for suicidality, looking at differential expression of genes in the blood of subjects with a major mood disorder (bipolar disorder), a high-risk population prone to suicidality. We compared no suicidal ideation (SI) states and high SI states using a powerful intrasubject design, as well as an intersubject case-case design, to generate a list of differentially expressed genes. Second, we used a comprehensive Convergent Functional Genomics (CFG) approach to identify and prioritize from the list of differentially expressed gene biomarkers of relevance to suicidality. CFG integrates multiple independent lines of evidence-genetic and functional genomic data-as a Bayesian strategy for identifying and prioritizing findings, reducing the false-positives and false-negatives inherent in each individual approach. Third, we examined whether expression levels of the blood biomarkers identified by us in the live bipolar subject cohort are actually altered in the blood in an age-matched cohort of suicide completers collected from the coroner's office, and report that 13 out of the 41 top CFG scoring biomarkers (32%) show step-wise significant change from no SI to high SI states, and then to the suicide completers group. Six out of them (15%) remained significant after strict Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Fourth, we show that the blood levels of SAT1 (spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase 1), the top biomarker identified by us, at the time of testing for this study, differentiated future as well as past hospitalizations with suicidality, in a live cohort of bipolar disorder subjects, and exhibited a similar but weaker pattern in a live cohort of psychosis (schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder) subjects. Three other (phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), myristoylated alanine-rich protein kinase C substrate (MARCKS), and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 3 (MAP3K3)) of the six biomarkers that survived Bonferroni correction showed similar but weaker effects. Taken together, the prospective and retrospective hospitalization data suggests SAT1, PTEN, MARCKS and MAP3K3 might be not only state biomarkers but trait biomarkers as well. Fifth, we show how a multi-dimensional approach using SAT1 blood expression levels and two simple visual-analog scales for anxiety and mood enhances predictions of future hospitalizations for suicidality in the bipolar cohort (receiver-operating characteristic curve with area under the curve of 0.813). Of note, this simple approach does not directly ask about SI, which some individuals may deny or choose not to share with clinicians. Lastly, we conducted bioinformatic analyses to identify biological pathways, mechanisms and medication targets. Overall, suicidality may be underlined, at least in part, by biological mechanisms related to stress, inflammation and apoptosis.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 20 August 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.95.
Malow BA, Adkins KW, Reynolds A, et al. Parent-Based Sleep Education for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Jun 11 Epub ahead of print.
This study provided sleep education to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to determine whether an individual or group format was more effective in improving sleep and aspects of daytime behavior and family functioning. Eighty children, ages 2-10 years, with ASD and sleep onset delay completed the study. Actigraphy and parent questionnaires were collected at baseline and 1 month after treatment. Mode of education did not affect outcomes. Sleep latency, insomnia subscales on the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire, and other outcomes related to child and family functioning improved with treatment. Parent-based sleep education, delivered in relatively few sessions, was associated with improved sleep onset delay in children with ASD. Group versus individualized education did not affect outcome.
Ong YT, Wong TY, Klein R, et al. Hypertensive retinopathy and risk of stroke. Hypertension. 2013;62(4):706-11.
Although assessment of hypertensive retinopathy signs has been recommended for determining end-organ damage and stratifying vascular risk in persons with hypertension, its value remains unclear. In this study, we examine whether hypertensive retinopathy predicts the long-term risk of stroke in those with hypertension. A total of 2907 participants with hypertension aged 50 to 73 years at the 1993 to 1995 examination, who had gradable retinal photographs, no history of diabetes mellitus, stroke, and coronary heart disease at baseline and data on incident stroke, were included from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Retinal photographs were assessed for hypertensive retinopathy signs and classified as none, mild, and moderate/severe. Incident events of any stroke, cerebral infarction, and hemorrhagic stroke were identified and validated. After a mean follow-up period of 13.0 years, 165 persons developed incident stroke (146 cerebral infarctions and 15 hemorrhagic strokes). After adjusting for age, sex, blood pressure, and other risk factors, persons with moderate hypertensive retinopathy were more likely to have stroke (moderate versus no retinopathy: multivariable hazard ratios, 2.37 [95% confidence interval, 1.39-4.02]). In participants with hypertension on medication with good control of blood pressure, hypertensive retinopathy was related to an increased risk of cerebral infarction (mild retinopathy: hazard ratio, 1.96 [95% confidence interval, 1.09-3.55]; and moderate retinopathy: hazard ratio, 2.98 [95% confidence interval, 1.01-8.83]). Hypertensive retinopathy predicts the long-term risk of stroke, independent of blood pressure, even in treated patients with hypertension with good hypertension control. Retinal photographic assessment of hypertensive retinopathy signs may be useful for assessment of stroke risk.
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Core Measurement Needs for Better Care, Better Health, and Lower Costs: Counting What Counts: Workshop Summary (2013).
Health care quality and its affordability have become very pressing issues in the United States. All sectors of the country are attempting to push forward initiatives that will improve the health care system as well as the health of the American population in general. Despite the economical dedication to health care, about 1/5, the system remains uneven and fragmented, patient harm is quite common, care is often uncoordinated, and many more mishaps occur. There exists many obstacles to improve the nation's health care system; these include the capacity to reliably and consistently measure progress. In 2006 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) established the Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care which has since accelerated the development of a learning health system- one in which science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned to create a continuous learning loop. This learning loop would thus help make the health care system better.
Crisis: Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response (2012). http://click.newsletters.nas.edu/?qs=f732e71fb50dbe55367113699ea686dcb4f8f2e1a64cfa521f4f039baf60093522d264de600647ab
Crisis Standards of Care provides a framework for a systems approach to the development and implementation of CSC plans, and addresses the legal issues and the ethical, palliative care, and mental health issues that agencies and organizations at each level of a disaster response should address. Please note: this report is not intended to be a detailed guide to emergency preparedness or disaster response. What is described in this report is an extrapolation of existing incident management practices and principles.
Improving the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Young Adults: Workshop Summary (2013). http://click.newsletters.nas.edu/?qs=af313bc9ed941af2892d5c08937d2066e177ceb8a788d3d035a38583e1bcb21c9aa05dc7713587b2
Improving the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Young Adults is the summary of a workshop hosted by the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) in May, 2013. More than 250 researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and young adults presented and discussed research on the development, health, safety, and well-being of young adults. This report focuses on the developmental characteristics and attributes of this age group and its placement in the life course; how well young adults function across relevant sectors, including, for example, health and mental health, education, labor, justice, military, and foster care; and how the various sectors that intersect with young adults influence their health and well-being. Improving the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Young Adults provides an overview of existing research and identifies research gaps and issues that deserve more intensive study. It also is meant to start a conversation aimed at a larger IOM/NRC effort to guide research, practices, and policies affecting young adults.
New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research (2013). http://click.newsletters.nas.edu/?qs=3ed48541cfdd174d6ddc556f2e841e68b8b3a05168b22d666c4574a41e22e4bb6b24570afea0b4c4
New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research recommends an actionable framework to guide and support future child abuse and neglect research. This report calls for a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to child abuse and neglect research that examines factors related to both children and adults across physical, mental, and behavioral health domains--including those in child welfare, economic support, criminal justice, education, and health care systems--and assesses the needs of a variety of subpopulations. It should also clarify the causal pathways related to child abuse and neglect and, more importantly, assess efforts to interrupt these pathways. New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research identifies four areas to look to in developing a coordinated research enterprise: a national strategic plan, a national surveillance system, a new generation of researchers, and changes in the federal and state programmatic and policy response
Toward Quality Measures for Population Health and the Leading Health Indicators (2013). http://click.newsletters.nas.edu/?qs=e1a2d787b77992f0b0c1c37f3f4844707f7e44056873e8215f73bcbdb2b11f5d6515384ee07e184c
The scope of work for this project is to use the nine aims for improvement of quality in public health (population-centered, equitable, proactive, health promoting, risk reducing, vigilant, transparent, effective, and efficient) as a framework to identify quality measures for the Healthy People Leading Health Indicators (LHIs). The committee reviewed existing literature on the 12 LHI topics and the 26 Leading Health Indicators. Quality measures for the LHIs that are aligned with the nine aims for improvement of quality in public health will be identified. When appropriate, alignments with the six Priority Areas for Improvement of Quality in Public Health will be noted in the Committee's report. Toward Quality Measures for Population Health and the Leading Health Indicators also address data reporting and analytical capacities that must be available to capture the measures and for demonstrating the value of the measures to improving population health.
An Update on Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings: Workshop Summary (2013). http://click.newsletters.nas.edu/?qs=af313bc9ed941af2c513a5147292f28182533244894cf373e08aad29a529e873b77fff1d2620fb1b
More than 30 years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) convened a committee to determine methodologies and research needed to evaluate childbirth settings in the United States. The committee members reported their findings and recommendations in a consensus report, Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings (IOM and NRC, 1982). An Update on Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings is the summary of a workshop convened in March, 2013, to review updates to the 1982 report. Health care providers, researchers, government officials, and other experts from midwifery, nursing, obstetric medicine, neonatal medicine, public health, social science, and related fields presented and discussed research findings that advance our understanding of the effects of maternal care services in different birth settings on labor, clinical and other birth procedures, and birth outcomes. These settings include conventional hospital labor and delivery wards, birth centers, and home births. This report identifies datasets and relevant research literature that may inform a future ad hoc consensus study to address these concerns.
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