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Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene. This Science & Society article focuses on pharmacological strategies that attack RTT treatment from multiple angles, including drug repurposing and de novo discovery efforts, and discusses the impacts of preclinical study design and translationally relevant outcome measures.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
For more than a century, research on psychopathology has focused on categorical diagnoses. Although this work has produced major discoveries, growing evidence points to the superiority of a dimensional approach to the science of mental illness. Here we outline one such dimensional system-the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP)-that is based on empirical patterns of co-occurrence among psychological symptoms. We highlight key ways in which this framework can advance mental-health research, and we provide some heuristics for using HiTOP to test theories of psychopathology. We then review emerging evidence that supports the value of a hierarchical, dimensional model of mental illness across diverse research areas in psychological science. These new data suggest that the HiTOP system has the potential to accelerate and improve research on mental-health problems as well as efforts to more effectively assess, prevent, and treat mental illness.
There is growing concern that the physician-scientist is endangered due to a leaky training pipeline and prolonged time to scientific independence (1). The NIH Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group has concluded that as many as 1,000 individuals will need to enter the pipeline each year to sustain the workforce (2). Moreover, surveys of postgraduate training programs document considerable variability in disposition and infrastructure (3). Programs can be broadly grouped into two classes: physician-scientist training programs (PSTPs) that span residency and fellowship training, and research-in-residency programs (RiRs), which are limited to residency but trainees are able to match into PSTPs upon transitioning to fellowship (Figure 1). Funding sources for RiRs and PSTPs are varied and include NIH KL2 and T32 awards, charitable foundations, philanthropy, and institutional support. Furthermore, standards for research training and tools for evaluating programmatic success are lacking. Here, we share consensus generated from iterative workshops hosted by the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) and the student-led American Physician Scientists Association (APSA).
The science of meditation has grown tremendously in the last two decades. Most studies have focused on evaluating the clinical effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions, neural and other physiological correlates of meditation, and individual cognitive and emotional aspects of meditation. Far less research has been conducted on more challenging domains to measure, such as group and relational, transpersonal and mystical, and difficult aspects of meditation; anomalous or extraordinary phenomena related to meditation; and post-conventional stages of development associated with meditation. However, these components of meditation may be crucial to people's psychological and spiritual development, could represent important mediators and/or mechanisms by which meditation confers benefits, and could themselves be important outcomes of meditation practices. In addition, since large numbers of novices are being introduced to meditation, it is helpful to investigate experiences they may encounter that are not well understood. Over the last four years, a task force of meditation researchers and teachers met regularly to develop recommendations for expanding the current meditation research field to include these important yet often neglected topics. These meetings led to a cross-sectional online survey to investigate the prevalence of a wide range of experiences in 1120 meditators. Results show that the majority of respondents report having had many of these anomalous and extraordinary experiences. While some of the topics are potentially controversial, they can be subjected to rigorous scientific investigation. These arenas represent largely uncharted scientific terrain and provide excellent opportunities for both new and experienced researchers. We provide suggestions for future directions, with accompanying online materials to encourage such research.
PURPOSE - The purpose of this study is to identify barriers, facilitators, and consequences of obtaining sufficient sleep in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.
METHODS - Semistructured interviews were conducted with 25 adolescents (52% female, mean age = 15.6 years) and 25 caregivers. Interviews were transcribed and coded using Atlas.ti. A thematic analytic approach was used to identify and organize significant patterns of meaning (themes) and interpret themes across the data.
RESULTS - Several barriers were identified, with the most common being the use of electronics before bed and sleep disturbances related to diabetes management. Caregivers described strategies for helping adolescents achieve sufficient sleep, such as enforcing bedtimes and limiting distractions, but many adolescents could not identify facilitators of sleep. Weekday/weekend discrepancies in sleep timing were commonly disclosed.
CONCLUSIONS - This study is the first to examine the perceptions of barriers and facilitators to obtaining sufficient sleep in adolescents with T1D and their caregivers. Results have the potential to inform providers' recommendations regarding sleep, including possible interventions to promote sleep in this high-risk population.
This project examines the connections between community psychology and faith-based community development. We investigate whether and how 4 major principles of community psychology-neighboring, sense of community, empowerment, and citizen participation-are found in the theory and philosophy of practice of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), a national faith-based community development network. We employ content analysis of four official CCDA publications to identify whether and how these four principles are embedded in the organization's espoused principles of practice. Our findings are as follows: (a) All four principles are found within CCDA theory and philosophy of practice, with the greatest emphasis on neighboring and sense of community and a less robust application of empowerment and citizen participation; (b) CCDA primarily focuses on the individual-level impact of these principles; and (c) CCDA Bases their application of these principles in Christian scripture and tradition. Our results indicate that the field could be strengthened by examining religious approaches to these principles and considering how organizations engage these concepts in both the theory and the practice. Additionally, faith-based organizations may foster a more effective application of these concepts in their social change efforts by partnering with community researchers and practitioners.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Although the study of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) in early childhood has received considerable attention, there is emerging interest in RAD that presents in school age children and adolescents. We examined the course of RAD signs from early childhood to early adolescence using both variable-centered (linear mixed modeling) and person-centered (growth mixture modeling) approaches. One-hundred twenty-four children with a history of institutional care from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a randomized controlled trial of foster care as an alternative to institutional care, as well as 69 community comparison children were included in the study. While foster care was associated with steep reductions in RAD signs across development, person-centered approaches indicated that later age of placement into families and greater percent time in institutional care were each associated with prolonged elevated RAD signs. Findings suggest the course of RAD is variable but substantially influenced by early experiences.