• Vitamin B12 insufficiency induces cholesterol biosynthesis by limiting s-adenosylmethionine and modulating the methylation of SREBF1 and LDLR genes

      Adaikalakoteswari, A; Finer, S; Voyias, P.D; McCarthy, C.M; Vatish, M; Moore, J; Smart-Halajko, M; Bawazeer, N; Al-Daghri, N.M; McTernan, P.G; et al. (BMC, 27/02/2015)
      The dietary supply of methyl donors such as folate, vitamin B12, betaine, methionine, and choline is essential for normal growth, development, and physiological functions through the life course. Both human and animal studies have shown that vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with altered lipid profile and play an important role in the prediction of metabolic risk, however, as of yet, no direct mechanism has been investigated to confirm this.
    • Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with adverse lipid profile in Europeans and Indians with type 2 diabetes.

      Adaikalakoteswari, A; Jayashri, R; Sukumar, N; Venkataraman, H; Pradeepa, R; Gokulakrishnan, K; Anjana, R.M; McTernan, P.G; Tripathi, G; Patel, V; et al. (BMC, 26/09/2014)
      Metformin, a standard therapy in type 2 diabetes, reduces vitamin B12 levels. Studies linking low vitamin B12 levels and cardiovascular disease are equivocal and suggest improving B12 levels may help in primary prevention. The role of vitamin B12 deficiency on cardiovascular risk factors, especially in type 2 diabetes has not been explored. The aim of this study is to investigate whether vitamin B12 deficiency in type 2 diabetes patients is associated with cardiovascular risk factors in two different ethnic groups in UK and India. Type 2 diabetes patients from two secondary care diabetic centres (Europeans - UK and Indians - India) were studied. Serum vitamin B12, folate and biochemical parameters were measured. The prevalence rates of vitamin B12 deficiency (<191 ng/L) were 27% and 12% in Europeans and Indians, respectively and higher in metformin treated type 2 diabetes patients. In linear regression analysis, after adjusting for all likely confounding factors, vitamin B12 independently associated with triglycerides in both the populations and cholesterol/HDL ratio in Indians. Logistic regression showed type 2 diabetes patients with vitamin B12 deficiency were at significantly higher odds of having coexisting coronary artery disease (CAD) in Europeans with similar but non-significant trend in Indians, after adjusting for all likely confounding factors. The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency is common in type 2 diabetes patients and is associated with adverse lipid parameters. Type 2 diabetes management guidelines should include the recommendation for regular testing for B12 levels, especially for those on metformin.
    • PWE-254 Is the macroscopically normal mucosa (MNM) around colorectal cancer really ‘normal’?

      Patel, A; Fang, Y; Moore, J; Williams, N; Tripathi, G; Arasaradnam, R; University of Westminster (BMJ, 22/06/2015)
      Field cancerisation refers to the process whereby cells acquire pro-tumourigenic mutations that predispose to malignant transformation but do not produce morphological change.1Previous colorectal cancer studies have assumed that the macroscopically normal mucosa (MNM) adjacent to a cancer is biologically unaltered. The aim of this study was to determine if the genetic expression profile of the MNM around a cancer or adenoma is different to that found in healthy controls. 15 patients undergoing colonoscopy were recruited over 12 months; 5 healthy controls, 5 with colorectal adenomas and 5 with adenocarcinoma. Two mucosal pinch biopsies were taken in the rectum, right colon and adjacent to polyp or cancer. mRNA was extracted and gene expression was assessed using standard whole genome micro-array analysis. Differentially expressed genes were identified using three methods of analysis: LIMMA (fold change ratio >1.5 and p value <0.05), Robust Regression (RR) (adjusted p value <0.05) and genes that ‘overlap’ when LIMMA (p value <0.001) and RR (adjusted p value <0.1) are used. Functional analysis was performed using DAVID2software to identify important biological processes that were dysregulated. A large number of genes were dysregulated in the MNM adjacent to cancer or adenoma compared with controls (Table 1). Interestingly, the greatest differences were seen between MNM adjacent to cancer and polyp in chromatin organisation, nucleosome processing, nuclear transport and histone assembly. The most significantly upregulated genes consisted of FUT2, CTSA, MUC2 and SDS and downregulated genes consisted of GREM1, SFRP, HIST1H, IL17B and TFF1.
    • Habitual physical activity is associated with circulating irisin in healthy controls but not in subjects with diabetes mellitus type 2

      Al‐Daghri, N.M; Alokail, M.S; Rahman, S; Amer, O.E; Al‐Attas, O.S; Alfawaz, H; Tripathi, G; Sabico, S.; Chrousos, G.P; McTernan, P.G; et al. (Wiley, 22/05/2015)
      Irisin, a novel myokine, has been shown to increase following vigorous exercise, with studies suggesting that it mediates some of the beneficial effects of exercise. Irisin might play a role in ‘browning’ of white adipocytes, thus increasing energy expenditure. The role of irisin in exercise and energy expenditure in subjects with diabetes mellitus type 2 (DMT2) remains largely unknown. We aimed to investigate the association between circulating irisin and habitual physical activity in subjects with and without DMT2. In this cross‐sectional study, 164 Saudi adults: 81 non‐DMT2 controls [age: (mean ± SD) 51·6 ± 10·9; BMI: 29·6 ± 4·3 kg/m2] and 83 DMT2 subjects [age: 54·3 ± 10·3 year; BMI: 29·4 ± 4·7 kg/m2] were studied. Anthropometric and fasting serum biochemical data were collected. Circulating irisin was measured using an enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Frequency intensity time (FIT) index was used to assess the level of habitual physical activity. We observed significantly higher levels of irisin in DMT2 subjects than in controls (P < 0·001). FIT index was positively associated (r = 0·20, P = 0·03) with circulating irisin in controls only. Additionally, irisin levels were significantly higher in tertile 3 (0·75 ± 0·07 μg/mL) than tertile 1 (0·49 ± 0·06 μg/mL) of the FIT index in healthy controls, whilst no such relation with physical activity was observed in DMT2 subjects. This cross‐sectional study has shown a weak association of irisin with physical activity levels in healthy controls but not in DMT2 subjects, suggesting the possibility of discordant regulation in the condition of DMT2.
    • Telmisartan reverses antiretroviral-induced adipocyte toxicity and insulin resistance in vitro

      Pushpakom, S.P; Adaikalakoteswari, A; Owen, A; Back, D.J; Tripathi, G; Kumar, S; McTernan, P; Pirmohamed, M; University of Warwick (Sage, 21/02/2018)
      Antiretroviral therapy in HIV-positive patients leads to insulin resistance which is central to the pathogenesis of various metabolic abnormalities and cardiovascular disease seen in this patient group. We have investigated the dose–response relationship of telmisartan, an antihypertensive, on adipocytes in vitro in order to determine whether it may have metabolic beneficial effects. Using in vitro chronic toxicity models (3T3-F442A murine and primary human adipocytes), we evaluated the effects of different concentrations of telmisartan on adipocyte differentiation and adipogenic gene expression using lipid accumulation assays and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Adipokine secretion and expression of insulin signalling mediators were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Telmisartan partially reversed the deleterious effects of antiretrovirals on adipocyte lipid accumulation, expression of adipogenic regulators (peroxisome proliferator receptor-gamma and lipin 1), adipokine secretion and expression of the insulin signalling mediator pAktSer473. The metabolic effects of telmisartan followed a non-monotonic response with the maximal effect observed at 5 µM in the primary human adipocyte model. Telmisartan has beneficial metabolic effects in adipocytes in vitro, but its potential to reduce antiretroviral-induced cardiometabolic disease in HIV-infected individuals needs to be evaluated in a well-designed adequately powered clinical trial.
    • The physiological impact of masking is insignificant and should not preclude routine use during daily activities, exercise, and rehabilitation

      Haraf, Rebecca H.; Faghy, Mark; Carlin, Brian; Josephson, Richard A.; University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio; Healthy Living for Pandemic Event Protection (HL-PIVOT) Network, Chicago, Illinois; University of Derby; Sleep Medicine and Lung Health Consultants, Pittsburgh Critical Care Associates, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2021-01)
      Masking has been employed as a strategy for reducing transmission of a variety of communicable diseases. With the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, many countries have implemented mandatory public masking. However, the perceived impact of mask use on pulmonary function has been a deterrent to public compliance with recommendations. COVID-19 has shed light on the impact that comorbid cardiac and pulmonary conditions may have on disease severity. This knowledge has led to increased primary and secondary prevention efforts for which exercise and rehabilitation are central. The importance of safe methods of exercise while mitigating risk of viral transmission is paramount to global recovery from the pandemic and prevention of future outbreaks. We constructed a focused literature review of the impact of various masks on pulmonary function at rest and with exercise. This was then incorporated into recommendations for the integration of masks with exercise and rehabilitation in the COVID-19 era. While there is a paucity of evidence, we identified the physiological effects of masking at rest and during exercise to be negligible. The perceived impact appears to be far greater than the measured impact, and increased frequency of mask use leads to a physiological and psychological adaptive response. Masking during daily activities, exercise, and rehabilitation is safe in both healthy individuals and those with underlying cardiopulmonary disease. Rehabilitation participants should be reassured that the benefits of masking during COVID-19 far outweigh the risks, and increased frequency of mask use invokes adaptive responses that make long-term masking tolerable.
    • Technology used to recognize activities of daily living in community-dwelling older adults

      Camp, Nicola; Lewis, Martin; Hunter, Kirsty; Johnston, Julie; Zecca, Massimiliano; Di Nuovo, Alessandro; Magistro, Daniele; Lewis, Martin G.C.; Nottingham Trent University; University of Derby; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-12-28)
      The use of technology has been suggested as a means of allowing continued autonomous living for older adults, while reducing the burden on caregivers and aiding decision-making relating to healthcare. However, more clarity is needed relating to the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) recognised, and the types of technology included within current monitoring approaches. This review aims to identify these differences and highlight the current gaps in these systems. A scoping review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA-ScR, drawing on PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Articles and commercially available systems were selected if they focused on ADL recognition of older adults within their home environment. Thirty-nine ADL recognition systems were identified, nine of which were commercially available. One system incorporated environmental and wearable technology, two used only wearable technology, and 34 used only environmental technologies. Overall, 14 ADL were identified but there was variation in the specific ADL recognised by each system. Although the use of technology to monitor ADL of older adults is becoming more prevalent, there is a large variation in the ADL recognised, how ADL are defined, and the types of technology used within monitoring systems. Key stakeholders, such as older adults and healthcare workers, should be consulted in future work to ensure that future developments are functional and useable.
    • Compassion: From its evolution to a psychotherapy

      Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby (Frontiers Media SA, 2020-12-09)
      The concept, benefits and recommendations for the cultivation of compassion have been recognized in the contemplative traditions for thousands of years. In the last 30 years or so, the study of compassion has revealed it to have major physiological and psychological effects influencing well-being, addressing mental health difficulties, and promoting prosocial behavior. This paper outlines an evolution informed biopsychosocial, multicomponent model to caring behavior and its derivative “compassion” that underpins newer approaches to psychotherapy. The paper explores the origins of caring motives and the nature and biopsychosocial functions of caring-attachment behavior. These include providing a secure base (sources of protection, validation, encouragement and guidance) and safe haven (source of soothing and comfort) for offspring along with physiological regulating functions, which are also central for compassion focused therapy. Second, it suggests that it is the way recent human cognitive competencies give rise to different types of “mind awareness” and “knowing intentionality” that transform basic caring motives into potentials for compassion. While we can care for our gardens and treasured objects, the concept of compassion is only used for sentient beings who can “suffer.” As psychotherapy addresses mental suffering, cultivating the motives and competencies of compassion to self and others can be a central focus for psychotherapy.
    • A qualitative study of men’s behavioural changes during weight loss maintenance

      Lozano-Sufrategui, Lorena; Pringle, Andy; Carless, David; Drew, Kevin; Leeds Beckett University; University of Derby; University of Edinburgh (Sage, 2020-11-22)
      This study aims to understand the behaviour changes men who attended a weight loss programme engage in during weight maintenance. Understanding the needs of men in the context of weight loss maintenance is important, as they are underrepresented in this body of literature. Given its focus on personal experience, this study adopted a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews supported by participant-generated photo-elicitation techniques to explore the behavioural changes 12 men engaged in 6 months after attending a men-only weight loss programme. Data analysis was undertaken through thematic analysis and Gleeson’s polytextual thematic analysis. This study suggests that the key behaviours men engaged in to maintain weight loss can be classified into four categories: (1) ‘Small’ changes, (2) Informed decisions, (3) Monitoring of behaviours, and (4) Dealing with ambivalence. This study makes an original contribution to knowledge and can have important implications for practice in the area of men’s health, particularly with regard to the long-term impact of weight loss interventions.
    • Task-efficacy predicts perceived enjoyment and subsequently barrier-efficacy: Investigation of a psychological process underpinning schoolchildren’s physical activity

      Zhang, Shuge; Wang, Jingjing; Pitkethly, Amanda; University of Derby; China Institute of Sport Science, Beijing; Edinburgh Napier University (Taylor & Francis, 2020-11-20)
      Self-efficacy and perceived enjoyment have been recognized as important psychological correlates of children’s physical activity (PA). However, research investigating the psychological process underpinning self-efficacy and perceived enjoyment has generated “contradictory” findings – with some regarding self-efficacy as an antecedent of enjoyment while the others arguing for the reverse. To mitigate this confusion, we have embraced the largely overlooked distinction between task- and barrier-efficacy in PA research and have examined the proposal that task-efficacy enhances perceived enjoyment and, subsequently, increases barrier-efficacy and PA. In a sample of 331 eight-to-ten years old schoolchildren (169 boys), task-efficacy manifested an indirect effect on accelerometer-based measures of MVPA and total PA via perceived enjoyment and subsequently barrier-efficacy. Perceived enjoyment served as a mediator of task-efficacy on MVPA but not total PA. Barrier-efficacy appeared to be a consistent mediator underlying schoolchildren’s PA regardless of PA intensity. The findings suggest that 1) the distinction between task- and barrier-efficacy warrants consideration in children’s PA promotion and 2) the psychological drivers of more vigorous types of PA differ compared to lower intensity PA. Future research would do well to explore the key psychological factors underpinning less vigorous types of PA to inform the development of effective PA interventions for those who have difficulties engaging in MVPA.
    • Investigating the environmental, behavioural, and sociodemographic determinants of attendance at a city-wide public health physical activity intervention: longitudinal evidence over one year from 185,245 visits

      Hobbs, Matthew; Wicks, Claire; Pringle, Andy; Griffiths, Claire; Radley, Duncan; Zwolinsky, Stephen; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Essex; University of Derby; Leeds Beckett University; et al. (Elsiever, 2020-11-20)
      Understanding the determinants of attendance at public health interventions is critical for effective policy development. Most research focuses on individual-level determinants of attendance, while less is known about environmental-level determinants. Data were obtained from the Leeds Let’s Get Active (LLGA) public health intervention in Leeds, England. Longitudinal data (April 2015 – March 2016) on attendance were obtained for 25,745 individuals (185,245 visits) with baseline data on sociodemographic determinants (e.g. age), lifestyle practices (e.g. smoking) obtained for 3,621 individuals. This resulted in a total of 744,468 days of attendance and non-attendance for analysis. Random forests were used to explore relative importance of the determinants of attendance while generalised linear models were applied to examine specific associations. The probability that a person will go more than once, the number of return visits, and the probability that a person will go on a particular day were investigated. Distance to leisure centre from home was the most influential determinant in predicting whether a person who went to the leisure centre once, returned. Age group was the most substantial determinant for the number of return visits. While distance to leisure centre was less important for predicting the number of return visits, the difference between the estimates for 300m and 10,000m was 7-10 visits per year. Finally, month was the most important determinant of daily attendance. This longitudinal study highlights the importance of both individual and environmental determinants in predicting various aspects of attendance. It has implications for strategies aiming to increase attendance at public health interventions.
    • Fundamental movement skills and accelerometer-measured physical activity levels during early childhood: a systematic review

      Dobell, Alexandra; Pringle, Andy; Faghy, Mark; Roscoe, Clare M. P.; University of Derby (MDPI AG, 2020-11-11)
      Early childhood is a key period for children to begin developing and practicing fundamental movement skills (FMS), while aiming to perform sufficient physical activity (PA). This study reviews the current evidence for the levels of achievement in FMS and PA measured using accelerometers among 4–5-year-old children and examines differences by gender. This review was conducted using the PRISMA framework. Keyword searches were conducted in Pubmed, Medline, Google Scholar and SPORTDiscus. Inclusion criteria included age: 4–5 years old; FMS measurement: Test of Gross Motor Development 2 and 3; PA measurement: objective methods; balance measurement: static single limb; study design: cross-sectional observational/descriptive, randomised control trials, intervention studies; language: English. Twenty-eight articles from twenty-one countries met the inclusion criteria and were split into either FMS and PA articles (n = 10) or balance articles (n = 18). Three articles showed children achieving 60 min of moderate to vigorous PA per day, two articles demonstrated significant differences between girls’ and boys’ performance of locomotor skills and five reported locomotor skills to be more proficient than object control skills at this age for both genders. Balance was measured in time (n = 12), points score (n = 3) or biomechanical variables (n = 3), displaying heterogeneity of not only measurement but also outcomes within these data, with static single limb balance held between 6.67 to 87.6 s within the articles. Four articles reported girls to have better balance than boys. There is little conclusive evidence of the current levels for FMS, PA and balance achievement in young children 4–5 years of age. The academic literature consistently reports low levels of FMS competence and mixed evidence for PA levels. Inconsistencies lie in balance measurement methodology, with broad-ranging outcomes of both low and high achievement at 4–5 years old. Further research is required to focus on increasing practice opportunities for children to improve their FMS, increase PA levels and establish sufficient balance ability. Consistent and comparable outcomes during early childhood through more homogenous methodologies are warranted.
    • Integrating sport and exercise medicine clinics into the National Health Service: a qualitative study

      Vishnubala, Dane; Mariono, Katherine, Rose; Pratten, Margaret, Kathryn; Pringle, Andy; Griffin, Steffan, Arthur; Finn, Gabrielle; Bazira, Peter; Edwards, Kimberley; Hull York Medical School, York; University of Leeds; et al. (BMJ, 2020-11-03)
      Objectives To explore the services National Health Service (NHS)-based sport and exercise medicine (SEM) clinics can offer, and the barriers to creating and integrating SEM services into the NHS. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken to collect data from identified ‘stakeholders’. Stakeholders were identified as individuals who had experience and knowledge of the speciality of SEM and the NHS. An inductive thematic analysis approach was taken to analyse the data. N=15 stakeholder interviews. The management of musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries (both acute and chronic) and concussion were highlighted as the two key services that SEM clinics can offer that would most benefit the NHS. MSK ultrasound was also mentioned by all stakeholders as a critical service that SEM clinics should provide. While exercise medicine is an integral part of SEM, SEM clinics should perhaps not have a heavy exercise medicine focus. The key barriers to setting up SEM clinics were stated to be convincing NHS management, conflict with other specialities and a lack of awareness of the speciality. The management of acute MSK injuries and concussion should be the cornerstone of SEM services, ideally with the ability to provide MSK ultrasound. Education of others on the speciality of SEM, confirming consistent ‘unique selling points’ of SEM clinics and promoting how SEM can add value to the NHS is vital. If the successful integration of SEM into the NHS is not widely achieved, we risk the NHS not receiving all the benefits that SEM can provide to the healthcare system.
    • Being limitless: A discursive analysis of online accounts of modafinil use

      Hall, Matthew; Forshaw, Mark; Montgomery, Catharine; Arden University; University of Derby; Liverpool John Moores University (Palgrave Macmillan/ Springer, 2020-10-31)
      Modafinil is a prescription-only substance in the UK for the treatment of disorders such as narcolepsy. Soldiers have also used this substance as an alternative to amphetamines in situations where they face long periods of sleep deprivation. More recently, the substance has become increasingly popular for enhancing cognitive performance e.g. students taking exams. Modafinil is widely available on the Internet and is reported to carry a wide range of health risks and side effects if not taken with medical supervision. Given the tension between health risk and enhanced cognitive performance, how people talk about modafinil use becomes an important question. Drawing on discourse analysis we focus in particular on how respondents work up accounts of their modafinil use as credible, authentic, and legitimate; a community of practice. Our analysis has clear implications for engaging (mis)use in health promotion interventions.
    • Chemically modified minds: Substance use for cognitive enhancement

      Hall, Matthew; Forshaw, Mark; Montgomery, Catharine; Arden University; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillan/ Springer, 2020-10-31)
      This innovative edited collection brings together leading international academics to explore, from a psychosocial perspective, the use of various non-prescription and prescription substances showing the complex reasons behind their adoption, and the ways in which they are misused, and links between use and cognitive enhancement. While studies on drug use to date have examined drug use in the context of sporting performance, addiction and recreational use there has been little work which explores their wider misuse to improve cognitive enhancement. With medical sociology and social psychology at its core, this important volume shows the complex reasons behind the misuse of various substances, how these are connected to contemporary desire for increased mental performance, and why the potential health risks and possibly harmful side effects do not act as deterrents.
    • Targeting complement cascade: an alternative strategy for COVID-19

      Ram Kumar Pandian, Sureshbabu; Arunachalam, Sankarganesh; Deepak, Venkataraman; Kunjiappan, Selvaraj; Sundar, Krishnan; Kalasalingam Academy of Research and Education, Krishnankoil, Tamilnadu, India; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-10-19)
      The complement system is a stakeholder of the innate and adaptive immune system and has evolved as a crucial player of defense with multifaceted biological effects. Activation of three complement pathways leads to consecutive enzyme reactions resulting in complement components (C3 and C5), activation of mast cells and neutrophils by anaphylatoxins (C3a and C5a), the formation of membrane attack complex (MAC) and end up with opsonization. However, the dysregulation of complement cascade leads to unsolicited cytokine storm, inflammation, deterioration of alveolar lining cells, culminating in acquired respiratory destructive syndrome (ARDS). Similar pathogenesis is observed with the middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acquired respiratory syndrome (SARS), and SARS-CoV-2. Activation of the lectin pathway via mannose-binding lectin associated serine protease 2 (MASP2) is witnessed under discrete viral infections including COVID-19. Consequently, the spontaneous activation and deposits of complement components were traced in animal models and autopsy of COVID-19 patients. Pre-clinical and clinical studies evidence that the inhibition of complement components results in reduced complement deposits on target and non-target tissues, and aid in recovery from the pathological conditions of ARDS. Complement inhibitors (monoclonal antibody, protein, peptide, small molecules, etc.) exhibit great promise in blocking the activity of complement components and its downstream effects under various pathological conditions including SARS-CoV. Therefore, we hypothesize that targeting the potential complement inhibitors and complement cascade to counteract lung inflammation would be a better strategy to treat COVID-19.
    • Effects of vegetation on bacterial communities, carbon and nitrogen in dryland soil surfaces: implications for shrub encroachment in the southwest Kalahari

      Thomas, Andrew D.; Tooth, Stephen; Wu, Li; Elliott, David R.; Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth; Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan; Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2020-10-09)
      Shrub encroachment is occurring in many of the world's drylands, but its impacts on ecosystem structure and function are still poorly understood. In particular, it remains unclear how shrub encroachment affects dryland soil surfaces, including biological soil crust (biocrust) communities. In this study, soil surfaces (0–1 cm depth) were sampled from areas of Grewia flava shrubs and Eragrostis lehmanniana and Schmidtia kalahariensis grasses in the southwest Kalahari during two different seasons (March and November). Our hypothesis is that the presence of different vegetation cover types (shrubs versus grasses) alters the microbial composition of soil surfaces owing to their contrasting microenvironments. The results showed that more significant differences in microclimate (light, soil surface temperatures) and soil surface microbial communities were observed between shrubs and grasses than between sampling seasons. Based on high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing, our findings showed that approximately one third (33.5%) of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) occurred exclusively in soil surfaces beneath shrubs. Soil surfaces with biocrusts in grass areas were dominated by the cyanobacteria Microcoleus steenstrupii, whereas the soil surfaces beneath shrubs were dominated by the proteobacteria Microvirga flocculans. Soil surfaces beneath shrubs are associated with reduced cyanobacterial abundance but have higher total carbon and total nitrogen contents compared to biocrusts in grass areas. These findings infer changes in the relative contributions from different sources of carbon and nitrogen (e.g. cyanobacterial and non-cyanobacterial fixation, plant litter, animal activity). The distinctive microbial composition and higher carbon and nitrogen contents in soil surfaces beneath shrubs may provide a positive feedback mechanism promoting shrub encroachment, which helps to explain why the phenomenon is commonly observed to be irreversible.
    • Examining the relationship of personality functioning and treatment completion in substance misuse treatment

      Papamalis, Fivos E.; University of Derby UK, Thessaloniki, Greece. (SAGE Publications, 2020-10-06)
      Treatment retention is a major factor contributing to favourable outcome in the treatment of substance misuse, but the literature remains very limited. Despite evidence of the association of personality with drug use experimentation and relapse, surprisingly little is known about its role in the treatment process. Clients’ personality functioning as measured by malleable and context sensitive characteristic adaptations in treatment are of concern. This study examines whether, and to what extent, personality functioning contributes to or hinders treatment completion. This paper examined the extent to which service users’ characteristic adaptations may be potential determinants of treatment completion. A longitudinal multi-site design was utilised, examining the therapy process in a naturalistic setting in five inpatient treatment units. The study examined whether service users’ characteristic adaptations (SIPP-118) predict completion, while controlling psychosocial, motivational and treatment engagement indicators involving n = 340 participants from 5 inpatient centres. Multivariate regression analyses were applied to examine the predictive role of characteristic adaptations on treatment completion. Findings indicated that certain dysfunctional characteristic adaptations emerged as strong predictors of treatment completion. Dysfunctional levels on Self-control and Social concordance were significant predictors of drop out from treatment. Individuals with low capacity to tolerate, use and control one’s own emotions and impulses were almost three times more likely to drop-out compared to those without [OR] = 2.73, Wald = 6.09, P = .014, 95% CI [1.2, 6.0]. Individuals with dysfunctional levels on the ability to value someone’s identity, withhold aggressive impulses towards others and work together with others were 2.21 more times more likely to complete treatment [OR] = 2.21, Wald = 4.12, P = .042, 95% CI [1.0, 4.7]. The analysis at the facet level provided additional insight. Individuals with higher adaptive levels on Effortful Control were 46% more times likely to complete treatment than the group [OR] = 4.67, Wald = 10.231, P = .001, 95% CI [1.81, 12.04], 47% more likely on Aggression regulation [OR] = 4.76, Wald = 16.68, P < .001, 95% CI [2.1, 10.3], and 26% more likely on Stable self-image [OR] = 2.62, Wald = 6.75, P < .009, 95% CI [0.9, 3.0]. These findings extend our knowledge of the predictive role of characteristic adaptations in treatment completion and highlight the clinical utility of capturing these individual differences early on. Delineating the role of characteristic adaptations in treatment may provide the basis for enhancing treatment effectiveness through individualized interventions that are scientifically driven and may open new avenues for the scientific enquiry of personality and treatment.
    • A flow resistive inspiratory muscle training mask worn during high-intensity interval training does not improve 5 km running time-trial performance

      Brown, Peter I.; Faghy, Mark; Davis, Nichola; Mayes, JP; Maden-Wilkinson, Tom; University of Derby; University of Bath; Sheffield Hallam University (Springer, 2020-10-01)
      There is little evidence of the ergogenic effect of flow-resistive masks worn during exercise. We compared a flow-resistive face mask (MASK) worn during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) against pressure threshold loading inspiratory muscle training (IMT). 23 participants (13 males) completed a 5 km time trial and six weeks of HIIT (3 sessions weekly). HIIT (n = 8) consisted of repeated work (2 min) at the speed equivalent to 95% V˙O2 peak with equal rest. Repetitions were incremental (six in weeks 1, 2 and 6, eight in weeks 3 and 4 and ten in week 5). Participants were allocated to one of three training groups. MASK (n = 8) wore a flow-resistive mask during all sessions. The IMT group (n = 8) completed 2 × 30 breaths daily at 50% maximum inspiratory pressure (PImax). A control group (CON, n = 7) completed HIIT only. Following HIIT, participants completed two 5 km time trials, the first matched identically to pre-intervention trial (ISO time), and a self-paced effort. Time trial performance was improved in all groups (MASK 3.1 ± 1.7%, IMT, 5.7 ± 1.5% and CON 2.6 ± 1.0%, p < 0.05). IMT improved greater than MASK and CON (p = 0.004). Post intervention, PImax and diaphragm thickness were improved in IMT only (32% and 9.5%, respectively, p = 0.003 and 0.024). A flow-resistive mask worn during HIIT provides no benefit to 5 km performance when compared to HIIT only. Supplementing HIIT with IMT improves respiratory muscle strength, morphology and performance greater than HIIT alone.
    • A biopsychosocial framework for recovery from COVID-19

      Stuart, Kaz; Faghy, Mark; Bidmead, Elaine; Browning, Ruth; Roberts, Catriona; Grimwood, Sam; Winn-Reed, Thea; University of Cumbria; University of Derby (Emerald, 2020-09-23)
      This paper proposes a biopsychosocial (BPS) analysis of COVID-19 experiences which enhances understanding of complex and interrelated factors and leads to the proposition of a BPS recovery framework. Online narrative research was used to explore people's experiences of COVID-19 and was conducted over a four-month period. The call was distributed via a short open-ended qualitative online survey advertised on social media platforms and 305 responses came from across England. The findings illustrate people with a narrow range of BPS characteristics experienced over a wide range of BPS impacts which are nuanced, complex and dynamic. Left unaddressed these may create future adverse BPS characteristics. An integrated BPS framework for recovery is proposed to avoid such further negative outcomes from the pandemic. The sample contained a bias in age, gender and living arrangements. The paper offers a clear framework to enable integrated holistic recovery/regrowth planning. Using the framework would reduce social and health inequities which have been recently deepened by COVID-19 in the long-term.