The salience network (SN) plays a central role in cognitive control by integrating sensory input to guide attention, attend to motivationally salient stimuli and recruit appropriate functional brain-behavior networks to modulate behavior. Mounting evidence suggests that disturbances in SN function underlie abnormalities in cognitive control and may be a common etiology underlying many psychiatric disorders. Such functional and anatomical abnormalities have been recently apparent in studies and meta-analyses of psychiatric illness using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Of particular importance, abnormal structure and function in major cortical nodes of the SN, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula (AI), have been observed as a common neurobiological substrate across a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders. In addition to cortical nodes of the SN, the network’s associated subcortical structures, including the dorsal striatum, mediodorsal thalamus and dopaminergic brainstem nuclei, comprise a discrete regulatory loop circuit. The SN’s cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical loop increasingly appears to be central to mechanisms of cognitive control, as well as to a broad spectrum of psychiatric illnesses and their available treatments. Functional imbalances within the SN loop appear to impair cognitive control, and specifically may impair self-regulation of cognition, behavior and emotion, thereby leading to symptoms of psychiatric illness. Furthermore, treating such psychiatric illnesses using invasive or non-invasive brain stimulation techniques appears to modulate SN cortical-subcortical loop integrity, and these effects may be central to the therapeutic mechanisms of brain stimulation treatments in many psychiatric illnesses. Here, we review clinical and experimental evidence for abnormalities in SN cortico-striatal-thalamic loop circuits in major depression, substance use disorders (SUD), anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and eating disorders (ED). We also review emergent therapeutic evidence that novel invasive and non-invasive brain stimulation treatments may exert therapeutic effects by normalizing abnormalities in the SN loop, thereby restoring the capacity for cognitive control. Finally, we consider a series of promising directions for future investigations on the role of SN cortico-striatal-thalamic loop circuits in the pathophysiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
As the evidence base for the study of mental health problems develops, there is a need for increasingly rigorous and systematic research methodologies. Complex questions require complex methodological approaches. Recognising this, the MRC guidelines for developing and testing complex interventions place qualitative methods as integral to each stage of intervention development and implementation. However, mental health research has lagged behind many other healthcare specialities in using qualitative methods within its evidence base. Rigour in qualitative research raises many similar issues to quantitative research and also some additional challenges. This article examines the role of qualitative methods within mental heath research, describes key methodological and analytical approaches and offers guidance on how to differentiate between poor and good quality qualitative research.
Current management of COFP is ineffective and unsatisfactory for patients and practitioners, which impacts on their relationship. Fundamental barriers to accessing and implementing psychological interventions for COFP arise from ineffective communication between physicians and patients, and between medical and dental practitioners. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? COFP is characterized by persistent pain in the face, mouth, or jaws that are not the result of organic disease or physical trauma. Patients with COFP present to both medical and dental services and receive sub-optimal care. No studies have examined the experiences of managing this problem from the perspectives of dentists, general practitioners and patients. What does this study add? Patients, dentists, and GPs recognize the role that psychological factors have in maintaining and addressing facial pain symptoms, yet principally manage it through biomedical interventions. Challenges exist over arriving at a diagnosis and managing the problem, and challenges are exacerbated by poor communication between doctors and medical services. Improvements are needed in liaison between medical and dental services and further training to support primary care clinicians to facilitate a stepped care approach to managing COFP.
BackgroundPeople living in deprived areas are more likely to be overweight or obese, have poorer health outcomes, and tend to benefit less from interventions than those from more affluent backgrounds. One approach to address such health inequalities is to tailor existing interventions to low socio-economic populations, yet there is limited evidence to inform their design. This study aims to identify how best to tailor lifestyle interventions to low socio-economic populations to improve outcomes.MethodsFollowing direct observations of community-run weight loss groups, we interviewed 11 group facilitators and 14 service users from a health improvement service in a low socio-economic area in the North West of England. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.ResultsWe identified two overarching themes within the data. The first theme, managing diversity, included challenges faced in delivering a generic intervention to a diverse population in terms of knowledge, language and literacy skills, and cultural diversity. The second theme incorporated all issues relating to the environment, such as cost, access and availability of food and leisure facilities, and ‘life gets in the way’.ConclusionsTailoring interventions for this population is necessary, and more attention is needed to develop ways to ensure service providers and users engage with behaviour change techniques such as goal setting, rather than focusing on information provision alone. Interventions should also be mindful of cost, cultural diversity, and language and literacy barriers, as well as potential for disengaging this hard to reach population.
Several collocated semicontinuous instruments measuring particulate matter with particle sizes Յ2.5 m (PM 2 Results of the intercomparisons of the semicontinuous measurements are presented, as are results of the comparisons between the semicontinuous and timeintegrated filter-based measurements. The comparisons at both sites, in most cases, indicated similar performance characteristics. In addition, charge balance calculations, based on major soluble ionic components of atmospheric aerosol from the PILS-IC and the filter measurements, indicated slightly acidic aerosol at both locations..
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