157 research outputs found

    The influence of exposure approaches to in vitro lung epithelial barrier models to assess engineered nanomaterial hazard

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    Exposure to engineered nanomaterials (ENM) poses a potential health risk to humans through long-term, repetitive low-dose exposures. Currently, this is not commonplace within in vitro lung cell cultures. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to consider the optimal exposure approach toward determining the stability, sensitivity and validity of using in vitro lung cell mono- and co-cultures to determine ENM hazard. A range of exposure scenarios were conducted with DQ12 (previously established as a positive particle control) (historic and re-activated), TiO2 (JRC NM–105) and BaSO4 (JRC NM–220) on both monocultures of A549 cells as well as co-cultures of A549 cells and differentiated T HP-1 cells. Cell cultures were exposed to either a single, or a repeated exposure over 24, 48- or 72-hours at in vivo extrapolated concentrations of 0–5.2 ÎŒg/cm2, 0-6 ÎŒg/cm2 and 0-1ÎŒg/cm2. The focus of this study was the pro-inflammatory, cytotoxic and genotoxic response elicited by these ENMs. Exposure to DQ12 caused pro-inflammatory responses after 48 hours repeat exposures, as well as increases in micronucleus frequency. Neither TiO2 nor BaSO4 elicited a pro-inflammatory response at this time point. However, there was induction of IL-6 after 24 hours TiO2 exposure. In conclusion, it is important to consider the appropriateness of the positive control implemented, the cell culture model, the time of exposure as well as the type of exposure (bolus or fractionated) before establishing if an in vitro model is appropriate to determine the level of response to the specific ENM of interest

    Chemical weathering and provenance evolution of Holocene–Recent sediments from the Western Indus Shelf, Northern Arabian Sea inferred from physical and mineralogical properties

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    We present a multi-proxy mineral record based on X-ray diffraction and diffuse reflectance spectrophotometry analysis for two cores from the western Indus Shelf in order to reconstruct changing weathering intensities, sediment transport, and provenance variations since 13 ka. Core Indus-10 is located northwest of the Indus Canyon and exhibits fluctuations in smectite/(illite + chlorite) ratios that correlate with monsoon intensity. Higher smectite/(illite + chlorite) and lower illite crystallinity, normally associated with stronger weathering, peaked during the Early–Mid Holocene, the period of maximum summer monsoon. Hematite/goethite and magnetic susceptibility do not show clear co-variation, although they both increase at Indus-10 after 10 ka, as the monsoon weakened. At Indus-23, located on a clinoform just west of the canyon, hematite/goethite increased during a period of monsoon strengthening from 10 to 8 ka, consistent with increased seasonality and/or reworking of sediment deposited prior to or during the glacial maximum. After 2 ka terrigenous sediment accumulation rates in both cores increased together with redness and hematite/goethite, which we attribute to widespread cultivation of the floodplain triggering reworking, especially after 200 years ago. Over Holocene timescales sediment composition and mineralogy in two localities on the high-energy shelf were controlled by varying degrees of reworking, as well as climatically modulated chemical weathering

    Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community singing on the mental health related quality of life of the older population: a randomized controlled trial

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    Background: As the population ages, older people account for a greater proportion of the health and social care budget. While some research has been conducted on the use of music therapy for specific clinical populations, little rigorous research has been conducted looking at the value of community singing on the mental health-related quality of life of older people. Aims: To evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community group singing for a population of older people in England. Method: A pilot pragmatic individual randomized controlled trial comparing group singing versus usual activities in those aged 60 years or more. Results: 258 participants were recruited across 5 centres in East Kent. At 6 months post-randomisation significant differences were observed in terms of mental health related quality of life measured using the SF12, mean difference 2.35 (95% CI 0.06 to 4.76) in favour of group singing. In addition the intervention was found to be marginally more cost-effective than usual activities. At 3 months significant differences were observed in terms of mental health components of quality of life (4.77; 2.53 to 7.01) anxiety (-1.78; -2.5; -1.06) and depression (-1.52; -2.13 to -0.92). Conclusions: Community group singing appears to have a significant effect on mental health related quality of life, anxiety and depression and may be a useful intervention to maintain and enhance the mental health of the older population

    The need for robust critique of arts and health research: Dance‐movement therapy, girls, and depression

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    We examine a highly cited randomized controlled trial on dance-movement therapy with adolescent girls with mild depression and examine its treatment in 14 evidence reviews and meta-analyses of dance research. We demonstrate substantial limitations in the trial which seriously undermine the conclusions reached regarding the effectiveness of dance movement therapy in reducing depression. We also show that the dance research reviews vary substantially in their treatment of the study. Some reviews provide a positive assessment of the study and take its findings at face value without critical commentary. Others are critical of the study, identifying significant limitations, but showing marked differences in Cochrane Risk of Bias assessments. Drawing on recent criticisms of systematic reviewing and meta-analysis, we consider how reviews can be so variable and discuss what is needed to improve the quality of primary studies, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses in the field of creative arts and health

    Chemically Programmed Vaccines: Iron Catalysis in Nanoparticles Enhances Combination Immunotherapy and Immunotherapy-Promoted Tumor Ferroptosis

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    Immunotherapy has yielded impressive results, but only for a minority of patients with cancer. Therefore, new approaches that potentiate immunotherapy are a pressing medical need. Ferroptosis is a newly described type of programmed cell death driven by iron-dependent phospholipid peroxidation via Fenton chemistry. Here, we developed iron oxide-loaded nanovaccines (IONVs), which, chemically programmed to integrate iron catalysis, drug delivery, and tracking exploiting the characteristics of the tumor microenvironment (TME), improves immunotherapy and activation of ferroptosis. The IONVs trigger danger signals and use molecular disassembly and reversible covalent bonds for targeted antigen delivery and improved immunostimulatory capacity and catalytic iron for targeting tumor cell ferroptosis. IONV- and antibody-mediated TME modulation interfaced with imaging was important toward achieving complete eradication of aggressive and established tumors, eliciting long-lived protective antitumor immunity with no toxicities. This work establishes the feasibility of using nanoparticle iron catalytic activity as a versatile and effective feature for enhancing immunotherapy

    The need for robust critique of arts and health research: young people, art therapy and mental health

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    We describe work in progress to conduct a systematic review of research on effects of arts-based programs for mental health in young people. We are at the stage of searching for relevant studies through major databases and screening extant systematic reviews for additional research which meet our inclusion criteria. At this stage, however, concerns have arisen regarding both the quality of existing primary studies and of recently published systematic reviews in this area of arts and health. As a case in point, in this paper we focus on one research report on art therapy with adolescent girls and its inclusion in three systematic reviews. We demonstrate that the reviews fail to undertake a robust critique of the Bazargan and Pakdaman paper and that the paper and reviews are flawed. Drawing on recent criticisms of systematic reviewing, we consider the value of proceeding with our systematic review as initially planned. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2022 Grebosz-Haring, Thun-Hohenstein, Schuchter-Wiegand, Irons, Bathke, Phillips and Clift.

    Singing for Health in Morecambe: 2019

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    The International Centre for Community Music (ICCM) was invited to respond to an existing brief that sought to understand how two new singing groups were developing. This was part of a pilot project established to connect with older people experiencing isolation, and, young people who were connected with the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). These singing groups were set up in partnership with a local GP practice and a local CAHMS team to explore possible arts partnerships as a way to challenge health inequalities relating to mental health experiences in Morecambe

    Singing and COPD: a pilot randomized controlled trial of wellbeing and respiratory outcomes

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    Aims/objectives To test whether a ten-week regular weekly group singing programme, with guided home practice, leads to improvement in COPD-specific health status, as assessed by the COPD Assessment Test (CAT, primary outcome). To test whether the programme results in changes to health-related quality of life, mental health, breathlessness, lung function, functional exercise performance and breathing patterns (secondary outcomes). Rationale A number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) exist which suggest that there are potential benefits to health and wellbeing of regular singing for people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). However, most rely on small samples, and findings across the different outcome measures are inconsistent, while interview studies tend to report consistent positive physical and psychological outcomes. Further research is therefore needed. Approach A single-blind, randomized controlled trial compared a structured, weekly group singing programme plus home practice between sessions over ten weeks, with a usual COPD treatment control. The sample was drawn from a local NHS population of people with COPD. Following baseline assessments, participants were allocated to a 10-week singing programme or a control. Findings Twenty-four individuals completed to follow-up. Measures at 12 weeks showed no significant differences between singing and control groups except for one item on the health status questionnaire (SF-36) which suggested the singers were less limited in their activities of daily living post-singing. Final follow-up, planned for 6 months post intervention, was aborted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion and conclusion The study failed to recruit to target. There remains a recruitment problem in RCTs of singing for COPD, resulting in inconclusive findings, which conflict with the positive qualitative evidence. A wide variety of research methods, as well as RCTs, are suggested to enable a better understanding of the impact of singing on COPD
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