Month: November 2020

Hotel Bellevue was named the best hotel in Croatia

first_imgHotel Bellevue from Mali Lošinj was proclaimed the best Croatian hotel in the categories of hotels and luxury hotels in Croatia according to the choice of the passenger Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards.Also, Bellevue in addition to the highest awards included in the categories the best Croatian hotel for romance and in the category hotels with the best quality of service in Croatia.   The Travelers’ Choice awards is the highest recognition it can award TripAdvisor and is extremely valuable because it is based on reviews and ratings from the guests themselves.Since its opening in July 2014, the Bellevue Hotel in Malološinj has aimed to satisfy the tastes of even the most demanding guests with its design and top service, and the above-mentioned recognitions of the guests themselves show that they succeeded in that. The offer of the Bellevue Hotel is rounded off with the SPA Clinic, where guests have the opportunity to enjoy the unique concept of a temple for body and soul, which, in addition to numerous hotel guests, was recognized by Spafinder Wellness, awarding SPA Clinic the prestigious title of best new spa in the world . “Every award we receive from the profession and relevant institutions is an important recognition for the work and effort we invest every day to maintain excellence at the highest level in all segments of our offer. Still, a reward TripAdvisor it makes us especially happy and very valuable to us because it comes from the guests themselves. Our primary purpose and goal is to meet the specific needs and desires of our guests and we are very pleased to confirm that we have succeeded.˝, pointed out Goran Filipović, a member of the Management Board of the Jadranka Group.Also, Hotel Bellevue is widely known and recognized for the top level of service that results from the continuous education, improvement and development of all staff, nurturing in practice the principle that man is the key to success. The hotel is located in one of the most beautiful and most intimate bays of Lošinj – Čikat – known for its beautiful nature, crystal clear sea and centuries-old tradition of luxury vacations. After a comprehensive refurbishment, the new hotel opened its doors in July 2014.last_img read more

Cappelli: Family accommodation is synonymous with the authenticity of a tourist experience

first_imgYesterday, the Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli participated in the 5th Forum of Lošinj landlords called “Innovative private!” In Veli Lošinj. At the Forum, private renters were presented with novelties in the tourist offer, capital investments on Lošinj, legal regulations, marketing of private accommodation and other information with the aim of applying new ideas, services and products in improving the quality of private accommodation.”Family accommodation is synonymous with the authenticity of the tourist experience with its homely atmosphere and it is through it that we have a great opportunity and potential to show our guests that we really have a lot to offer. The combination of quality accommodation, interesting and innovative tourist products and indigenous offerings, with our kindness as the host, are a winning combination for achieving complete success and a way to a satisfied guest who will always return.”, Said Minister Cappelli and added that family accommodation is extremely important for achieving the ultimate goal, ie the transformation of the tourist system in which on the one hand will connect stakeholders in tourism in the desire to create a complete tourist destination, and on the other hand take into account product individuality. and their opportunities and potentials to attract different market segments and thus better branding.Out of a total of 2.203.155 overnight stays on Lošinj in 2016, as much as 29,7% were realized in private accommodation (household facilities and other types of accommodation). The town of Mali Lošinj has 970 taxpayers in its area, providers of household accommodation services in 14 tourist places. In 2.006 accommodation units, the capacity of basic beds is 5.861, while with extra beds that number reaches 6.670 beds. At the level of the whole of Croatia in 2016, 30,4 million overnight stays were realized in household facilities, which also represents a share of 33 percent in relation to the total overnight stays realized in all types of accommodation facilities. At the same time, according to the latest data from eVisitor, a total of 81 household facilities with a total number of beds of 495 were registered in Croatia.One of the main goals of the Tourism Development Strategy until 2020 is the positioning of family accommodation in the Republic of Croatia as an internationally recognizable and desirable tourist product that is fully compliant with the principles of “green” tourism and is mostly intended for targeted market niches for most of the year. With maximum commitment to the culture of quality and meeting the wishes and needs of its guests, family accommodation in the Republic of Croatia is set as a prerequisite for hospitality, homely atmosphere and authentic tourist experience.last_img read more

Can autism be measured in a sniff? The link between olfaction and autism spectrum disorder

first_imgEmail Imagine the way you might smell a rose. You’d take a nice big sniff to breathe in the sweet but subtle floral scent. Upon walking into a public restroom, you’d likely do just the opposite–abruptly limiting the flow of air through your nose. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on July 2 have found that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) don’t make this natural adjustment like other people do. Autistic children go right on sniffing in the same way, no matter how pleasant or awful the scent.The findings suggest that non-verbal tests related to smell might serve as useful early indicators of ASD, the researchers say.“The difference in sniffing pattern between the typically developing children and children with autism was simply overwhelming,” says Noam Sobel of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Earlier evidence had indicated that people with autism have impairments in “internal action models,” the brain templates we rely on to seamlessly coordinate our senses and actions. It wasn’t clear if this impairment would show up in a test of the sniff response, however.To find out, Sobel, along with Liron Rozenkrantz and their colleagues, presented 18 children with ASD and 18 normally developing children (17 boys and 1 girl in each group) with pleasant and unpleasant odors and measured their sniff responses. The average age of children in the study was 7. While typical children adjusted their sniffing within 305 milliseconds of smelling an odor, the researchers report, children on the autism spectrum showed no such response.An image depicting the measurement of nasal airflow while a child is presented with pleasant and unpleasant odors. Throughout the 10-minute study the children were seated comfortably in front of a computer monitor while viewing a cartoon. The nasal airflow measurement and the presentation of odorants were done using a modified pediatric nasal cannula and a custom built olfactometer.That difference in sniff response between the two groups of kids was enough to correctly classify them as children with or without a diagnosis of ASD 81% of the time. Moreover, the researchers report that increasingly aberrant sniffing was associated with increasingly severe autism symptoms, based on social but not motor impairments.The findings suggest that a sniff test could be quite useful in the clinic, although the researchers emphasize that their test is in no way ready for that yet.“We can identify autism and its severity with meaningful accuracy within less than 10 minutes using a test that is completely non-verbal and entails no task to follow,” Sobel says. “This raises the hope that these findings could form the base for development of a diagnostic tool that can be applied very early on, such as in toddlers only a few months old. Such early diagnosis would allow for more effective intervention.”The researchers now plan to test whether the sniff-response pattern they’ve observed is specific to autism or whether it might show up also in people with other neurodevelopmental conditions. They also want to find out how early in life such a test might be used. But the most immediate question for Sobel is “whether an olfactory impairment is at the heart of the social impairment in autism.” Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Sharelast_img read more

Couples that split childcare duties have higher quality relationships and sex lives

first_imgPinterest Share on Facebook Heterosexual couples that split childcare duties have higher quality relationships and sex lives than those who don’t, according to new research that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).The study by Daniel L. Carlson, an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University (GSU), and GSU graduate students Sarah Hanson and Andrea Fitzroy, used data from 487 heterosexual couples in the 2006 Marital and Relationship Survey (MARS). The GSU researchers grouped the couples, all of whom had children, into three childcare categories — relationships in which women did most or all (at least 60 percent) of the childcare, relationships in which men did most or all (at least 60 percent) of the childcare, and relationships in which men and women split the childcare (each partner did somewhere between 40 and 60 percent). They also looked at each couple’s relationship quality — as indicated by relationship satisfaction and relationship conflict — sexual frequency, and quality of sex life.Carlson, Hanson, and Fitzroy found that when women were responsible for most or all of the childcare, men and women reported lower quality relationships and sex lives compared to couples that split childcare responsibilities. “One of the most important findings is that the only childcare arrangement that appears really problematic for the quality of both a couple’s relationship and sex life is when the woman does most or all of the childcare,” Carlson said.Unlike mothers, fathers in a heterosexual relationship could take on most or all of the childcare responsibilities without negative effects on the quality of the couple’s relationship. In addition, couples in which men did most or all of the childcare had just as much sex as couples with egalitarian arrangements, and were just as satisfied with the amount of sex they were having.Interestingly, however, Carlson said that men who did most or all of the childcare reported having the lowest quality sex lives of men in the study, but their female partners reported having the highest quality sex lives of women in the study.According to Carlson, the research was limited in some respects, including the fact that no same-sex couples were studied. Although the researchers examined four different kinds of tasks across three dimensions of childcare, the measures of childcare were fairly narrow, Carlson said, especially when it came to physical childcare tasks.The three dimensions of childcare were physical/emotional childcare, interactive childcare, and passive childcare, which includes supervising and monitoring. The four tasks that the researchers looked at were who was responsible for making the rules for the children, who enforced the rules or punished the children when they broke them, who praised the children for their accomplishments, and who played with the children.“We only had one physical task, and that task revolved primarily around playing with the children, including sports and games, but nothing about who feeds or bathes them,” Carlson said.In future research, Carlson wants to learn more about the mechanisms behind why couples with more egalitarian childcare arrangements reported higher quality relationships and sex lives.“We are trying to understand what is it about sharing that couples view so positively,” he said. LinkedIncenter_img Share on Twitter Email Sharelast_img read more

Children’s self-esteem already established by age 5, new study finds

first_imgShare LinkedIn Share on Twitter Email “We found that as young as 5 years of age self-esteem is established strongly enough to be measured,” said Cvencek, “and we can measure it using sensitive techniques.”The new findings, published in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, used a newly developed test to assess implicit self-esteem in more than 200 5-year-old children — the youngest age yet to be measured.“Some scientists consider preschoolers too young to have developed a positive or negative sense about themselves. Our findings suggest that self-esteem, feeling good or bad about yourself, is fundamental,” said co-author, Andrew Meltzoff, co-director of I-LABS. “It is a social mindset children bring to school with them, not something they develop in school.”Meltzoff continued: “What aspects of parent-child interaction promote and nurture preschool self-esteem? That’s the essential question. We hope we can find out by studying even younger children.”Until now no measurement tool has been able to detect self-esteem in preschool-aged children. This is because existing self-esteem tests require the cognitive or verbal sophistication to talk about a concept like “self” when asked probing questions by adult experimenters.“Preschoolers can give verbal reports of what they’re good at as long as it is about a narrow, concrete skill, such as ‘I’m good at running’ or ‘I’m good with letters,’ but they have difficulties providing reliable verbal answers to questions about whether they are a good or bad person,” Cvencek said.To try a different approach, Cvencek, Meltzoff and co-author Anthony Greenwald created a self-esteem task for preschoolers. Called the Preschool Implicit Association Test (PSIAT), it measures how strongly children feel positively about themselves.Adult versions of the IAT, which was first developed by Greenwald, can reveal attitudes and beliefs that people don’t know they have, such as biases related to race, gender, age and other topics.“Previously we understood that preschoolers knew about some of their specific good features. We now understand that, in addition, they have a global, overall knowledge of their goodness as a person,” said Greenwald.The task for adults works by measuring how quickly people respond to words in different categories. For instance, the adult implicit self-esteem task measures associations between words like “self” and “pleasant” or “other” and “unpleasant.”To make the task appropriate for preschoolers who can’t read, the researchers replaced words related to the self (“me,” “not me”) with objects. They used small unfamiliar flags, and the children were told which of the flags were “yours” and “not yours.”The 5-year-olds in the experiment–which included an even mix of 234 boys and girls from the Seattle area–first learned to distinguish their set of flags (“me”) from another set of flags (“not me”).Using buttons on a computer, they responded to a series of “me” and “not me” flags and to a series of “good” words from a loudspeaker (fun, happy, good, nice) and “bad” words (bad, mad, mean, yucky). Then, to measure self-esteem, the children had to combine the words and press the buttons to indicate whether the “good” words were associated more with the “me” flags or not.The results showed that the 5-year-olds associated themselves more with “good” than with “bad,” and this was equally pronounced in both girls and boys.The researchers also did two more implicit tests to probe different aspects of the self. A gender identity task assessed the children’s sense of whether they are a boy or a girl, and a gender attitude task measured the children’s preference for other children of their own gender, called a “gender in-group preference.”Children who had high self-esteem and strong own-gender identity also showed stronger preferences for members of their own gender.Taken together, the findings show that self-esteem is not only unexpectedly strong in children this young, but is also systematically related to other fundamental parts of children’s personality, such as in-group preferences and gender identity.“Self-esteem appears to play a critical role in how children form various social identities. Our findings underscore the importance of the first five years as a foundation for life,” Cvencek said.The researchers are following up with the children in the study to examine whether self-esteem measured in preschool can predict outcomes later in childhood, such as health and success in school. They are also interested in the malleability of children’s self-esteem and how it changes with experience.center_img Share on Facebook Pinterest By age 5 children have a sense of self-esteem comparable in strength to that of adults, according to a new study by University of Washington researchers.Because self-esteem tends to remain relatively stable across one’s lifespan, the study suggests that this important personality trait is already in place before children begin kindergarten.“Our work provides the earliest glimpse to date of how preschoolers sense their selves,” said lead author Dario Cvencek, a research scientist at the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS).last_img read more

Psychodynamic therapy – there’s more to it than lying on a couch talking about your childhood

first_imgQuick fixSince 2008, thousands of new cognitive behavioural therapists have been trained to provide treatment to hundreds of thousands of people. These services are now usually the first port of call for anyone who goes to their doctor complaining of psychological problems.There are said to be more than 500 different types of talking therapy which might suit different people at different times for different reasons. There is an argument that having put CBT on a pedestal, patient choice is much diminished.CBT tends to be provided in six to 12 week doses and is offered either face-to-face, by telephone or through a computer program. This reminds me of “gourmet night” at Fawlty Towers when there were only three options on the menu: duck with orange, duck with cherries or “duck surprise”. Basil Fawlty famously pointed out: “If you don’t like duck, you’re rather stuck!”Some services have now expanded their menu to include other quick-fix therapies. This includes a brief version of psychodynamic psychotherapy called dynamic interpersonal therapy which involves 16 one-to-one sessions to treat mood disorders, such as depression. But when people have very complex problems, they probably need a form of therapy which takes a lot longer.Not good enough for NICEPsychodynamic psychotherapy is available on the NHS at the Tavistock Clinic in London where patients can be seen for a year or sometimes longer. In other areas, availability is relatively sparse and waiting lists tend to be long.The reason why this and other types of talking therapy have not been considered to work as well as CBT is because, although there has been research, it has been the wrong type of research for NICE (the agency responsible for deciding whether new drugs and treatments should be funded by the NHS).NICE prioritises research in the form of randomised controlled trials which compare how well one type of therapy works compared with a current standard treatment. However, research which compares therapies with each other or examines one type of therapy over time is not valued by NICE, even though this hierarchical approach to evaluating research has its critics both inside and outside the field of psychotherapy.A gold-standard studyThe new research is the first randomised controlled trial of psychodynamic psychotherapy in the NHS (partly funded by the Tavistock Clinic Charitable Foundation) for adults with severe long-lasting depression.The 129 patients who agreed to take part in the study had already found antidepressants – and in some cases CBT – unhelpful. This type of depression is sometimes called “treatment resistant”.The patients were randomly assigned to receive psychodynamic psychotherapy or treatment-as-usual. The patients were treated for 18 months and then followed up for two years.The results showed that when therapy ended after 18 months, patients were no more likely to have improved in the treatment group than the control group. Two years later, however, significantly more people had improved in the treatment group than in the control group.Most psychotherapy research fails to follow patients for this long. A recent randomised controlled trial of CBT for treatment resistant depression also found CBT to be helpful for this type of depression. However, the CBT in this trial was unusually long (18 sessions), the depression severity was slightly lower than in the psychodynamic psychotherapy study, and patients were followed up for one year only.Because treatment resistant depression is a long-term – sometimes life-long – condition which is likely to return, longer term follow-up periods in trials are critical to understand what impact different therapies have, not just while the patient is in therapy but in the years that follow.Psychodynamic psychotherapy is not a quick fix. It can take time after therapy finishes for the patient to put into practice what they have learned, so we might expect to see patients’ lives improving gradually, after therapy ends. If psychodynamic psychotherapy leads to improvements two years after the end of therapy instead of during therapy as the results of the new study suggest, then its potential as a therapy which might deliver long lasting as opposed to transient change should be of interest to patients seeking help.End the caricatureA recent review which examined all relevant research on psychodynamic psychotherapy also supports the idea that this type of therapy could help people with a range of psychological difficulties including depression, anxiety and eating disorders.This does not mean psychodynamic psychotherapy should now be offered to everyone. Because it’s a longer and more complex treatment, it may never fit into the mainstream NHS model which is based on providing brief therapies for the mass market which are delivered by therapists whose training and therefore time costs much less than a psychodynamic psychotherapist. But it does mean that some of the traditional caricatures of psychodynamic psychotherapy need to be reconsidered, especially the idea that it does not work.It is important that patients are offered a real choice of therapy at the right time, particularly for people whose difficulties are long standing, complex and severe and where a quick fix approach is less likely to work and may even put people off seeking help.By Susan McPherson, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, University of EssexThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Share Share on Twitter LinkedIn Some people think psychodynamic psychotherapy is mumbo jumbo. The therapy, which grew out of the Freudian school of psychoanalysis, is often portrayed as elitist, expensive, old-fashioned and ineffective. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), by contrast, is portrayed as modern, evidence-based, quick and affordable.Plenty of research shows that CBT can help people with mild or moderate depression or anxiety. As a result, CBT has become a bit like paracetamol for psychological problems.However, when it comes to more deep-seated psychological problems, new research suggests that psychodynamic psychotherapy – in which the therapist and patient form a therapeutic relationship where the patient can begin to think about and understand their past and present relationships with others and consider new ways to relate to people – can be effective. Mumbo jumbo it isn’t.center_img Pinterest Share on Facebook Emaillast_img read more

Combining meditation and aerobic exercise reduces depression

first_imgAlderman, assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science, and Tracey Shors, professor in the Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, both in the School of Arts and Sciences, discovered that a combination of mental and physical training (MAP) enabled students with major depressive disorder not to let problems or negative thoughts overwhelm them.“Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression,” says Shors. “But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement in depressive symptoms along with increases in synchronized brain activity.”The men and women in the Rutgers study who completed the eight-week program – 22 suffering with depression and 30 mentally healthy students – reported fewer depressive symptoms and said they did not spend as much time worrying about negative situations taking place in their lives as they did before the study began.This group also provided MAP training to young mothers who had been homeless but were living at a residential treatment facility when they began the study. The women involved in the research exhibited severe depressive symptoms and elevated anxiety levels at the beginning. But at the end of the eight weeks, they too, reported that their depression and anxiety had eased, they felt more motivated, and they were able to focus more positively on their lives.Depression – a debilitating disorder that affects nearly one in five Americans sometime in their life – often occurs in adolescence or young adulthood. Until recently, Rutgers scientists say, the most common treatment for depression has been psychotropic medications that influence brain chemicals and regulate emotions and thought patterns along with talk therapy that can work but takes considerable time and commitment on the part of the patient.Rutgers researchers say those who participated in the study began with 30 minutes of focused attention meditation followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. They were told that if their thoughts drifted to the past or the future they should refocus on their breathing – enabling those with depression to accept moment-to-moment changes in attention.Shors, who studies the production of new brain cells in the hippocampus – the portion of the brain known to be necessary for some types of new learning–says even though neurogenesis cannot be monitored in humans, scientists have shown in animal models that aerobic exercise increases the number of new neurons and effortful learning keeps a significant number of those cells alive.The idea for the human intervention came from her laboratory studies, she says, with the main goal of helping individuals acquire new skills so that they can learn to recover from stressful life events. By learning to focus their attention and exercise, people who are fighting depression can acquire new cognitive skills that can help them process information and reduce the overwhelming recollection of memories from the past, Shors says.“We know these therapies can be practiced over a lifetime and that they will be effective in improving mental and cognitive health,” says Alderman. “The good news is that this intervention can be practiced by anyone at any time and at no cost.” Email Share on Twitter Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share Meditation and aerobic exercise done together helps reduce depression, according to a new Rutgers study.The study, published in Translational Psychiatry this month, found that this mind and body combination – done twice a week for only two months – reduced the symptoms for a group of students by 40 percent.“We are excited by the findings because we saw such a meaningful improvement in both clinically depressed and non-depressed students,” says Brandon Alderman, lead author of the research study. “It is the first time that both of these two behavioral therapies have been looked at together for dealing with depression.” Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Discovery may lead to a treatment to slow Parkinson’s disease

first_imgUsing a robust model for Parkinson’s disease, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers and colleagues have discovered an interaction in neurons that contributes to Parkinson’s disease, and they have shown that drugs now under development may block the process.The research team has shown that the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease — a mutant LRRK2 kinase enzyme — contributes to the formation of inclusions in neurons, resembling one of the hallmark pathologies seen in Parkinson’s disease. These inclusions are made up of aggregated alpha synuclein protein, which — the research also shows — can be prevented from forming by using two LRRK2 kinase inhibitor drugs now being developed for clinical use.The interaction between mutant LRRK2 kinase and alpha-synuclein “may uncover new mechanisms and targets for neuroprotection,” the researchers write in a recent Journal of Neuroscience paper. “These results demonstrate that alpha-synuclein inclusion formation in neurons can be blocked and that novel therapeutic compounds targeting this process by inhibiting LRRK2 kinase activity may slow progression of Parkinson’s disease-associated pathology.” Pinterest Share on Twitter Share LinkedIncenter_img Email Share on Facebook The potential clinical applications for novel neuroprotection strategies in LRRK2-linked Parkinson’s need to be tested in other preclinical models of Parkinson’s disease, say the researchers, led by corresponding author Laura A. Volpicelli-Daley, Ph.D., and senior author Andrew B. West, Ph.D., Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics, UAB Department of Neurology.“These data give us hope for the clinical potential of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors as effective therapies for Parkinson’s disease,” Volpicelli-Daley said. “The LRRK2 kinase inhibitors may inhibit the spread of pathologic alpha-synuclein, not only in patients with LRRK2 mutations, but in all Parkinson’s disease patients. Future studies to validate the safety and efficacy of the LRRK2 inhibitors will be necessary before testing the inhibitors in human clinical trials.”Besides Parkinson’s disease, alpha-synuclein also plays a central role in development of dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy, and it is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.Research DetailsThe Parkinson’s disease model developed by Volpicelli-Daley applies very low concentrations of pre-formed fibrils of alpha-synuclein to in vitro or in vivo neurons. This causes formation of modified alpha-synuclein inclusions that share morphology with those found in the Parkinson’s disease brain after death.They used this model to test the effects of neuron expression of the mutant LRRK2 (“lark two”) kinase, G2019S-LRRK2, on the formation of the inclusion pathology.They found that:G2019S-LRRK2 enhanced alpha-synuclein inclusions in primary hippocampal neurons from the hippocampus region of the brain, 18 days after fibril exposure, as compared with neurons that over-expressed normal LRRK2.The effects of G2019S-LRRK2 expression in the fibril-exposed neurons were lessened by very low concentrations of potent and selective preclinical drugs that inhibit LRRK2 kinase. This suggested that the kinase activity of G2019S-LRRK2, which adds a phosphate onto target proteins, underlies the faster formation of pathologic alpha-synuclein inclusions.G2019S-LRRK2 expression enhanced alpha-synuclein inclusion formation in dopamine neurons from the region of the brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta. The substantia nigra pars compacta is the area of the brain that dies in Parkinson’s disease, so this experiment further supports a link between the G2019S-LRRK2 mutation and Parkinson’s pathogenesis.As a control, they used anti-sense oligonucleotides to knock down the expression endogenous alpha-synuclein in neurons that expressed G2019S-LRRK2, and this prevented formation of inclusions.In fluorescence-recovery-after-photobleaching experiments, they found there was a larger pool of mobile alpha-synuclein, as opposed to membrane-bound alpha-synuclein, in neurons that expressed G2019S-LRRK2. Recent work by others has shown that mobile alpha-synuclein is prone to misfolding and aggregation, so the researchers hypothesize that the G2019S-LRRK2 mutation may contribute to Parkinson’s susceptibility by boosting the amounts of mobile alpha-synuclein in neurons.last_img read more

New study sheds light on the role of self-efficacy in women’s sexual outcomes

first_imgLinkedIn Pinterest Email Scientists are beginning to examine how self-efficacy, or confidence in one’s abilities, is related to sexual outcomes in women. A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that it could play an important role in experiencing orgasms.“I am very interested in women’s sexual health. I think there has traditionally been a lot of focus on ‘risk’ in the context of sexual health research. This is important, but somewhat limiting as reducing risk is only one component of a healthy sex life,” explained study author Julia C. Bond, a doctoral candidate at Boston University.“My hope with this work was to combine some of the great research that’s been happening in psychology about the development of healthy sexual self-expression with some of the risk-based outcomes that are more familiar to public health. There is a lot of work that has gone into designing interventions to reduce the risk of negative outcomes related to sexual health that sometimes don’t consider individuals’ perceptions of their own sexuality.” Share on Twittercenter_img Share on Facebook Share Bond and her colleagues were particularly interested in a scientific survey, called the Female Sexual Subjectivity Inventory, that is used to measure women’s sexual body esteem, entitlement to sexual pleasure from self, entitlement to sexual pleasure from partner, self-efficacy in achieving sexual pleasure, and sexual self-reflection.The survey was completed by 209 female college students, who also completed questionnaires to gather information about their demographics, general sexual behaviors, and orgasm frequency. The participants also indicated if they had acquired an STI, had an unwanted pregnancy, or used emergency contraception in the previous year.The researchers found that women with higher sexual body esteem, entitlement to sexual pleasure from both self and their partner, and self-efficacy in achieving sexual pleasure tended to report a higher likelihood of orgasming frequently compared to infrequently.In other words, the participants tended to experience more orgasms when they agreed with statements such as “I am confident that others will find me sexually desirable”, “It is okay for me to meet my own sexual needs through self-masturbation”, “I think it is important for a sexual partner to consider my sexual pleasure”, and “I am able to ask a partner to provide the sexual stimulation I need.”Reflecting on one’s sex life, however, was not associated with orgasm frequency.“Our study was very small, so I think it’s best to consider this as a preliminary research step. In my mind, the take home point is that sexual self-efficacy may influence sexual health outcomes. To me this suggests that when we think about educating young people about their sexual health, we should consider how to empower them to understand and express their own sexual wants and desires,” Bond told PsyPost.The researchers also found that a large proportion of the participants had a “discordant” pattern, in which they reported a high entitlement to pleasure from partner but low self-efficacy in achieving sexual pleasure. These women were significantly less likely to report frequent orgasms from partnered sexual activity.“Our results suggest that a sense of entitlement to pleasure alone may not enable women to achieve consistent orgasms with a partner. Rather, women may also need to be equipped with the tools to effectively communicate what they desire,” the researchers wrote in their study.The Female Sexual Subjectivity Inventory was not related to acquiring an STI, having an unwanted pregnancy, or using emergency contraception. However, only a few participants reported experiencing one of these events, which limited the study’s statistical power.“The primary caveat is the small size of the study. I think this line of research (specifically the relationship between more psychological elements of sexual health and sexual health outcomes) is worth exploring with larger samples and in more diverse populations,” Bond said.“It’s definitely an exciting challenge to try to combine work that’s been happening across disciplines. I think there is a lot of space for productive collaborations between researchers in psychology, social work, and public health, and I hope to continue to be able to be a part of collaborative research teams. ”The study, “Sexual Self-Efficacy and Entitlement to Pleasure: The Association of the Female Sexual Subjectivity Inventory with Sexual Risk Taking and Experience of Orgasm“, was authored by Julia C. Bond, Diane M. Morrison, and Stephen E. Hawes.last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Stalk-specific pH1N1 antibodies, broad-spectrum flu vaccines, hospital norovirus factors, polio efforts in Pakistan

first_imgJan 31, 2012Stalk-specific pH1N1 antibodies may have snuffed out seasonal H1N1 fluInfection with 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza (pH1N1) boosted antibodies specific to the hemagglutinin (HA) stalk rather than its head, a phenomenon that may have contributed to the disappearance of seasonal H1N1 influenza strains circulating at the time, US researchers reported in a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team created chimeric hemagglutinin (cHA) proteins and viruses expressing those chimeric proteins that allowed them to detect stalk-specific antibodies in preparations that also included head-specific antibodies. (The HA of flu viruses is shaped like a mushroom, with a head and a stalk.) They found relatively high titers of stalk-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies in the blood of pH1N1-infected patients compared with those who weren’t infected. By using cHA engineered with heads of viruses not seen in humans, the researchers showed the antibodies were reacting with the stalk and not the head. They also showed that the antibodies reduced virus replication. They write, “We believe that the sudden boost in antistalk titer that occurred with pH1N1 virus infection may have generated herd immunity against the seasonal virus, ultimately resulting in its disappearance.”Jan 30 Proc Natl Acad Sci abstractInovio reports positive antigen response to H3N2, flu B vaccines in animalsInovio Pharmaceuticals of Blue Bell, Pa., announced today that its synthetic vaccines for influenza A H3N2 and influenza B achieved protective antibody responses in immunized animals against multiple unmatched strains. The company had previously reported that its H5N1 synthetic vaccine achieved HA inhibition titers against six unmatched H5N1 strains in a phase I study in people. “We have in animals provided protection against all of the circulating influenza strains of the last 10 years,” said Inovio’s President and CEO, J. Joseph Kim, PhD. “We expect additional H5N1 human data by the end of the first quarter and look forward to human data from our combined H5N1 + H1N1 vaccine in the second quarter of 2012. We expect that data from these studies, coupled with this positive data for H3N2 and Type B, will enable us to launch a clinical study of a comprehensive universal influenza vaccine in 2013.”Jan 31 Inovio press releaseStudy: Nosocomial norovirus outbreaks more often tied to symptomatic illnessDutch researchers found that symptomatic patients were much more likely to spread hospital-associated norovirus infection than were asymptomatic carriers, according to a study yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Investigators analyzed data from 37 norovirus-infected patients, 9 of whom were asymptomatic, and 48 infected healthcare workers (HCWs), 37 of whom were asymptomatic. They then estimated the onset of infection on the basis of shedding kinetics. Their Monte Carlo analysis yielded a reproduction number of 0.85 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-1.05) for asymptomatic patients and HCWs and 1.64 (95% CI, 1.56-1.70) for symptomatic patients and HCWs. They also found that asymptomatic HCWs were rarely involved in nosocomial outbreaks.Jan 30 Clin Infect Dis abstractPakistan aims to vaccinate 33 million kids against polioPakistan has launched its first polio vaccination drive of the year with a 3-day campaign aimed at vaccinating 33.4 million children, the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported yesterday. The effort involves 76,587 trained door-to-door vaccination teams and 9,723 teams at vaccination sites. “All of us should take the responsibility to play our due role to ensure every child is vaccinated during the upcoming campaign and no single child misses the vaccination,” said Altaf Bosan, MD, the country’s head of polio eradication.Jan 30 APP reportlast_img read more