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Behav. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Protective Activity of Erythropoyetine in the Cognition of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050051
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
Introduction: Treatment strategies in Parkinson’s disease (PD) can improve a patient’s quality of life but cannot stop the progression of PD. We are looking for different alternatives that modify the natural course of the disease and recent research has demonstrated the neuroprotective properties
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Introduction: Treatment strategies in Parkinson’s disease (PD) can improve a patient’s quality of life but cannot stop the progression of PD. We are looking for different alternatives that modify the natural course of the disease and recent research has demonstrated the neuroprotective properties of erythropoietin. In Cuba, the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM) is a cutting edge scientific center where the recombinant form (EPOrh) and recombinant human erythropoietin with low sialic acid (NeuroEPO) are produced. We performed two clinical trials to evaluate the safety and tolerability of these two drugs in PD patients. In this paper we want to show the positive results of the additional cognitive tests employed, as part of the comprehensive assessment. Materials and method: Two studies were conducted in PD patients from the outpatient clinic of CIREN, including n = 10 and n = 26 patients between 60 and 66 years of age, in stages 1 to 2 of the Hoehn and Yahr Scale. The first study employed recombinant human (rhEPO) and the second an intranasal formulation of neuroEPO. All patients were evaluated with a battery of neuropsychological scales composed to evaluate global cognitive functioning, executive function, and memory. Results: The general results in both studies showed a positive response to the cognitive functions in PD patients, who were undergoing pharmacological treatment with respect to the evaluation (p < 0.05) before the intervention. Conclusions: Erythropoietin has a discrete positive effect on the cognitive functions of patients with Parkinson’s disease, which could be interpreted as an effect of the neuroprotective properties of this molecules. To confirm the results another clinical trial phase III with neuroEPO is in progress, also designed to discard any influence of a placebo effect on cognition. Full article
Open AccessArticle Income and Self-Rated Mental Health: Diminished Returns for High Income Black Americans
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050050
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 13 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: The minorities’ diminished return theory suggests that socioeconomic position (SEP) generates smaller health gains for racial/ethnic minorities compared to Whites. The current study was a Black–White comparison of the association between household income and self-rated mental health (SRMH). Methods: This cross-sectional study
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Background: The minorities’ diminished return theory suggests that socioeconomic position (SEP) generates smaller health gains for racial/ethnic minorities compared to Whites. The current study was a Black–White comparison of the association between household income and self-rated mental health (SRMH). Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the 2017 State of the State Survey (SOSS). With representative sampling, the SOSS generates results that are generalizable to the state of Michigan. This study included 881 adults, (n = 92) Black and (n = 782) White. The independent variable was household income. The dependent variable was SRMH, measured using a single item. Age, gender, and participation in the labor force were covariates. Race/ethnicity was the focal moderator. Logistic regression models were used for data analysis. Results: Overall, higher household income was associated with better SRMH, net of covariates. An interaction was found between race/ethnicity and household income on SRMH, suggesting a smaller, or nonexistent, protective effect for Blacks compared to Whites. In race/ethnicity-stratified models, higher household income was associated with better SRMH for Whites but not Blacks. Conclusion: Supporting the minorities’ diminished return theory, our study documents differential effects for income on SRHM for Blacks and Whites, where Whites but not Blacks appear to benefit from their income. Given this, researchers and policy makers are cautioned against making assumptions that racial groups benefit equally from similar economic resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Levels of Nature and Stress Response
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050049
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
A growing number of studies have shown that visiting green spaces and being exposed to natural environments can reduce psychological stress. A number of questions concerning the effects of natural environments on levels of stress remain including, “Are activities engaged in natural environments
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A growing number of studies have shown that visiting green spaces and being exposed to natural environments can reduce psychological stress. A number of questions concerning the effects of natural environments on levels of stress remain including, “Are activities engaged in natural environments more or less beneficial at reducing stress when compared to those done in more urban settings?” This study examined this question from the perspective of “levels of nature”. That is, data on levels of stress were collected from three sites, one site having wilderness-like characteristics, a second site representing a municipal-type park, and a third site representing a built environment (indoor exercise facility) within a city. Data were generated using biophysical markers (cortisol and amylase) and a psychological measure within a pre- and post-visit format. Findings suggest that visiting natural environments can be beneficial in reducing both physical and psychological stress levels, with visitors to a natural environment reporting significantly lower levels of stress than their counterparts visiting a more urbanized outdoor setting or indoor exercise facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Natural Environments on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Association between Actual and Perceived Obesity Weaker among Black than White Children
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050048
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
Although actual obesity is expected to be associated with perceived overweight, some recent studies in adults have suggested that this link may be smaller for Blacks than Whites. It is unknown, however, whether the same trend holds for children or not. This study
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Although actual obesity is expected to be associated with perceived overweight, some recent studies in adults have suggested that this link may be smaller for Blacks than Whites. It is unknown, however, whether the same trend holds for children or not. This study explored the heterogeneity of the association between actual and perceived obesity in a national sample of American children by race, gender, and their intersection. Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC), 2009–2010, is a national study of children 17 years or less in the United States. This analysis included a total number of 8860 children, including 6581 (74.28%) White and 2279 (25.72%) Black children. Actual obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 95% of the age- and gender-percentile, was the independent variable. Perceived overweight was the main outcome. We ran linear regression models with and without interaction terms between race, gender, and actual obesity. We also ran race- and gender-specific linear regression models. In the pooled sample, actual obesity was positively associated with perceived overweight. We found an interaction between race and obesity, suggesting stronger association between actual obesity and perceived overweight for White than Black children. Gender or intersection of race and gender did not alter the association between actual obesity and perceived overweight. The link between actual obesity and perceived overweight depends on race of the child. Inaccurately perceived weight may be one of many mechanisms behind the disproportionately higher rate of obesity burden among Black children in the United States. As perceived overweight plays a salient role for weight control behaviors, Black children with obesity may need some help to perceive themselves as obese. Training programs should target Blacks to increase the accuracy of their weight and body size evaluation and perception as an essential step for reducing the burden of obesity among Black children. Full article
Open AccessConference Report Neuroimmunology Research. A Report from the Cuban Network of Neuroimmunology
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050047
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Neuroimmunology can be traced back to the XIX century through the descriptions of some of the disease’s models (e.g., multiple sclerosis and Guillain Barret syndrome, amongst others). The diagnostic tools are based in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis developed by Quincke or in
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Neuroimmunology can be traced back to the XIX century through the descriptions of some of the disease’s models (e.g., multiple sclerosis and Guillain Barret syndrome, amongst others). The diagnostic tools are based in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis developed by Quincke or in the development of neuroimmunotherapy with the earlier expression in Pasteur’s vaccine for rabies. Nevertheless, this field, which began to become delineated as an independent research area in the 1940s, has evolved as an innovative and integrative field at the shared edges of neurosciences, immunology, and related clinical and research areas, which are currently becoming a major concern for neuroscience and indeed for all of the scientific community linked to it. The workshop focused on several topics: (1) the molecular mechanisms of immunoregulation in health and neurological diseases, (like multiple sclerosis, autism, ataxias, epilepsy, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease); (2) the use of animal models for neurodegenerative diseases (ataxia, fronto-temporal dementia/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ataxia-telangiectasia); (3) the results of new interventional technologies in neurology, with a special interest in the implementation of surgical techniques and the management of drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy; (4) the use of non-invasive brain stimulation in neurodevelopmental disorders; as well as (5) the efficacy of neuroprotective molecules in neurodegenerative diseases. This paper summarizes the highlights of the symposium. Full article
Open AccessArticle Secular and Religious Social Support Better Protect Blacks than Whites against Depressive Symptoms
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050046
Received: 4 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
Purpose: Although the protective effect of social support against depression is well known, limited information exists on racial differences in this association. The current study examined Black-White differences in the effects of religious and secular emotional social support on depressive symptoms in a
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Purpose: Although the protective effect of social support against depression is well known, limited information exists on racial differences in this association. The current study examined Black-White differences in the effects of religious and secular emotional social support on depressive symptoms in a national sample of older adults in the United States. Methods: With a longitudinal prospective design, the Religion, Aging and Health Survey, 2001–2004, followed 1493 Black (n = 734) and White (n = 759) elderly individuals (age 66 and older) for three years. Race, demographics (age and gender), socio-economics (education and marital status) and frequency of church attendance were measured at baseline in 2001. Secular social support, religious social support, chronic medical conditions and depressive symptoms [8- item Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale (CES-D)] were measured in 2004. Multiple linear regression models were used for data analysis. Results: In the pooled sample, secular and religious social support were both protective against depressive symptoms, net of all covariates. Race interacted with secular (β = −0.62 for interaction) and religious (β = −0.21 for interaction) social support on baseline depressive symptoms (p < 0.05 for both interactions), suggesting larger protections for Blacks compared to Whites. In race-specific models, the regression weight for the effect of secular social support on depressive symptoms was larger for Blacks (β = −0.64) than Whites (β = −0.16). Conclusion: We found Black—White differences in the protective effects of secular and religious social support against depressive symptoms. Blacks seem to benefit more from the same level of emotional social support, regardless of its source, compared to Whites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Older Adult Resilience from a Life-course Perspective)
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Open AccessArticle A New Layered Model on Emotional Intelligence
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050045
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been an important and controversial topic during the last few decades. Its significance and its correlation with many domains of life has made it the subject of expert study. EI is the rudder for feeling, thinking, learning, problem-solving, and
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Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been an important and controversial topic during the last few decades. Its significance and its correlation with many domains of life has made it the subject of expert study. EI is the rudder for feeling, thinking, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. In this article, we present an emotional–cognitive based approach to the process of gaining emotional intelligence and thus, we suggest a nine-layer pyramid of emotional intelligence and the gradual development to reach the top of EI. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perceived Discrimination among Black Youth: An 18-Year Longitudinal Study
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050044
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: Recent research has suggested vulnerability to perceived racial discrimination (PRD) as a mechanism behind high levels of depression seen in high socioeconomic status (SES) Black males. To better understand the effects of gender and SES on shaping experiences of PRD among
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Background: Recent research has suggested vulnerability to perceived racial discrimination (PRD) as a mechanism behind high levels of depression seen in high socioeconomic status (SES) Black males. To better understand the effects of gender and SES on shaping experiences of PRD among Black youth in the United States, we used data from the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS) to explore the trajectory of PRD in Black youth by gender, SES, and place. Methods: Data came from FACHS, 1997–2017, which followed 889 children aged 10–12 years old at Wave 1 (n = 478; 53.8% females and n = 411; 46.2% males) for up to 18 years. Data were collected in seven waves. The main predictors of interest were gender, SES (parent education and annual family income), age, and place of residence. Main outcomes of interest were baseline and slope of PRD. Latent growth curve modeling (LGCM) was used for data analysis. Results: Gender, SES, place, and age were correlated with baseline and change in PRD over time. Male, high family income, and younger Black youth reported lower PRD at baseline but a larger increase in PRD over time. Youth who lived in Iowa (in a predominantly White area) reported higher PRD at baseline and also an increase in PRD over time. High parental education was not associated with baseline or change in PRD. Conclusion: In the United States, Black youth who are male, high income, and live in predominantly White areas experience an increase in PRD over time. Future research is needed on the interactions between gender, SES, and place on exposure and vulnerability of Black youth to PRD. Such research may explain the increased risk of depression in high SES Black males. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Pet Therapy and Artist Interactions on Quality of Life in Brain Tumor Patients: A Cross-Section of Art and Medicine in Dialog
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050043
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
With the evolution of modern medical treatment strategies, there also comes the realization that many times we reach a point where traditional goals of medical care, such as overall survival or disease-free survival, are not realistic goals for many patients facing devastating illnesses.
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With the evolution of modern medical treatment strategies, there also comes the realization that many times we reach a point where traditional goals of medical care, such as overall survival or disease-free survival, are not realistic goals for many patients facing devastating illnesses. One such disease is malignant primary brain tumors, known as malignant glioma (MG). With median survival of only 20.9 months following best available standard of care treatment strategies, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and tumor treating fields, MG is one of the deadliest malignancies of the modern era. Along the course of treating patients with MG, clinicians often realize that traditional treatment therapies can at best provide incremental benefit of symptom management without any survival benefit. However, even in these difficult situations, it is possible to make significant positive changes in patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using creative, non-traditional interventions. In this paper, we describe the initial findings from our project that takes a unique approach to studying the intersections of clinical care and art by using pet therapy and art-making as interventions for patients diagnosed with brain tumors. Our preliminary findings suggest that pet therapy and the ability to reflect as well as speak about their journey through a life-altering disease significantly increases patients’ overall feeling of wellbeing and reduces anxiety about future uncertainty. Full article
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Open AccessReview Ethics of End of Life Decisions in Pediatrics: A Narrative Review of the Roles of Caregivers, Shared Decision-Making, and Patient Centered Values
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050042
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: This manuscript reviews unique aspects of end of life decision-making in pediatrics. Methods: A narrative literature review of pediatric end of life issues was performed in the English language. Results: While a paternalistic approach is typically applied to children with life-limiting medical
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Background: This manuscript reviews unique aspects of end of life decision-making in pediatrics. Methods: A narrative literature review of pediatric end of life issues was performed in the English language. Results: While a paternalistic approach is typically applied to children with life-limiting medical prognoses, the cognitive, language, and physical variability in this patient population is wide and worthy of review. In end of life discussions in pediatrics, the consideration of a child’s input is often not reviewed in depth, although a shared decision-making model is ideal for use, even for children with presumed limitations due to age. This narrative review of end of life decision-making in pediatric care explores nomenclature, the introduction of the concept of death, relevant historical studies, limitations to the shared decision-making model, the current state of end of life autonomy in pediatrics, and future directions and needs. Although progress is being made toward a more uniform and standardized approach to care, few non-institutional protocols exist. Complicating factors in the lack of guidelines include the unique facets of pediatric end of life care, including physical age, paternalism, the cognitive and language capacity of patients, subconscious influencers of parents, and normative values of death in pediatrics. Conclusions: Although there have been strides in end of life decision-making in pediatrics, further investigation and research is needed in this field. Full article
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