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Webinar on Mixed Methods

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Leonard Jason presented a webinar for the Office of Disease Prevention NIH webinar on Mixed Methods in Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Research.

About the Webinar
Quantitative research methods have the most power to appeal to collaborators in funding and policy, while qualitative studies can enhance the validity or trustworthiness of inferences and assertions by providing mutual confirmation of findings. Mixing qualitative and quantitative research methods can provide deeper exploration of causal mechanisms, interpretation of variables, and contextual factors that may mediate or moderate the topic of study. Additionally, formative mixed methods can be instrumental in learning how to access and develop trusting relationships with different sectors of a community (Jason and Glenwick, 2012), and combining these methods can be most effective when undertaking community-based issues. In this webinar, participants will get an introduction to the different approaches used in conducting mixed-methods research, including the benefits and challenges.

 

qEEG with Patients with ME

This video discusses the qEEG research that the Zinn’s are conducting at our center.

The discussion is based on this article, and the abstract is below: Zinn, M.L., Zinn, M.A. & Jason, L.A. (2016). qEEG / LORETA in assessment of neurocognitive impairment in a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome: A case report. Clinical Research: Open Access. 2(1), 1-5. doi: doi.org/10.16966/2469-6714.110

Abstract

Importance: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a chronic disease resulting in considerable and widespread cognitive deficits. Accurate and accessible measurement of the extent and nature of these deficits can aid healthcare providers and researchers in the diagnosis of this condition, choosing interventions and tracking treatment effects. Here, we present a case of a middle-aged man diagnosed with CFS which began following a typical viral illness.

Observations: LORETA source density measures of surface EEG connectivity at baseline were performed on 3 minutes of eyes closed de-artifacted19-channel qEEG. The techniques used to analyze the data are described along with the hypothesized effects of the deregulation found in this data set. Nearly all (>90%) patients with CFS complain of cognitive deficits such as slow thinking, difficulty in reading comprehension, reduced learning and memory abilities and an overall feeling of being in a “fog.”Therefore, impairment may be seen in deregulated connections with other regions (functional connectivity); this functional impairment may serve as one cause of the cognitive decline in CFS. Here, the functional connectivity networks of this patient were sufficiently deregulated to cause the symptoms listed above.

Conclusions and significance: This case report increased our understanding of CFS from the perspective of brain functional networks by offering some possible explanations for cognitive deficits in patients with CFS. There are only a few reports of using source density analysis or qEEG connectivity analysis for cognitive deficits in CFS. While no absolute threshold exists to advise the physician as to when to conduct such analyses, the basis of his or her decision whether or not to use these tools should be a function of clinical judgment and experience. These analyses may potentially aid in clinical diagnosis, symptom management, treatment response and can alert the physician as to when intervention may be warranted.

For more information on our work, see this 2017 press release titled “Cognitive neuroscientists use systems level approach to search for cause of chronic fatigue syndrome: Researchers hope for new insights to explain the debilitating illness,” by Jordyn Holliday:

https://resources.depaul.edu/newsroom/news/press-releases/Pages/brain-CFS.aspx

Jason lectures at the Ethical Humanist Society

Leonard JasonTitle of Talk: Understanding Unexplained Illness: From Knowledge to Action

Learn from a leading community researcher about why diagnosis is so complicated, how applied research can inform public policy to improve services, and his commitment to reduce stigma, empower citizens, and reduce barriers to full participation in community life.

Jason’s talk is located at: https://youtu.be/CSFWTs2BbCs

For more information about the talk, click on the image.

Affordable solutions to a major health problem

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Click on image above to see Leonard Jason’s Oxford University Press Blog titled: Comprehensive affordable solutions to a major health problem. The first paragraph of the blog is below:

Alcohol and drug abuse costs Americans approximately $428 billion annually. Despite this enormous cost—which, we must remember, is just the economic face of a community, family, and individually life-shattering problem—the vast majority of those with an alcohol or substance use problem do not receive treatment, and even fewer are likely to achieve long-term sobriety. In short, the existing system is characterized by inadequate access, high recidivism, and recurring treatment—at best, an ineffective and expensive revolving door. It has become increasingly clear that detoxification and treatment programs are insufficient to ensure abstinence from drugs and alcohol; for most people with substance use disorders, continued longer-term support following treatment is necessary.

#MillionsMissing protest in Chicago

Click on the photo above to view Leonard Jason’s comments at the Millions Missing rally.

Here is the link to more information about this rally:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/09/27/dozens-rally-to-bring-attention-to-incurable-disease/#.V-sN4kSMCgc.facebook

Dozens Rally To Bring Attention To Incurable Disease

 

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it affects 17 million people worldwide.

“This particular illness is more functionally debilitating than chronic congestive heart disease and cancer. The quality of life is significantly less. There’s over a million people in this country with this illness, 25% are homebound or bedbound,” said Leonard Jason, DePaul University, who’s been studying the disease for 25 years.

“We are currently studying it to see where it develops. We are watching several thousand undergraduates who might develop mono and we’re following them over time. A lot of people indicate the virus that causes Mono triggers this.”

Jason says most people don’t even know they have it.

“Ninety percent of people have it non diagnosed. There are a lot of people that are sick, don’t know why they are sick and that’s what they have.”

Amy Moony’s 11 year old daughter was diagnosed two years ago.

“She got a random bug when she was 9 years old and it never went away. We never knew what it was. It was something that changed her systems and triggered her autoimmune and caused a spiralling condition.”

Moony says they’ve had to change their life because of it.

“We have to be quiet around the house all the time. We can’t go biking as a family, we can’t go to the movies anymore. Our lives revolve around my daughter’s disease.”

That’s why she says she’s leading Chicago’s day of action, where in front of the Thompson Center, dozens of pairs of shoes line the pavement.

“The shoes represent people who suffer from ME and are home-bound and couldn’t come to the protest,” said Moony.

She says ME is one of the least funded diseases so more needs to be done to help people like her daughter.

“She lives it every moment of the day. She has constant pain. She can only go to school for an hour before her head and body rejects. That’s her day, then she goes back into bed until evening.

Jason says increased funding is needed for research, clinical trials and medical education into the disease.

“We want basic research so we can help people with treatment and eventually cure this illness but it’s a long process that’s going to need money to make it happen,” he said.

“We are hoping that people become aware of the name and that when somebody walks into their doctor’s office they aren’t told they just need to rest because rest will not fix the problem. It’s something we need more medical personnel to research and acknowledge and verify that this isn’t a person’s psychological condition. We need our government to put money behind this disease.”

Symptoms of ME include headaches, muscle/joint pain, unrefreshing sleep, sensitivity to light, cognitive impairment and constant fatigue, where normal tasks are exhausting to near impossible.

The Chicago rally was part of an global day of action to bring attention to ME and the people who suffer every day.

 

 

S.O.S. for At-Risk Teens

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Click on the image above to check out our feature by DePaul

LaVome Robinson is proving the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” in her work with African-American adolescents in Chicago.

Backed by a  five-year grant of nearly $3 million from the National Institutes of Health, the professor of psychology is making a difference in the lives of at-risk teens through an intervention program—Success over Stress (S.O.S.)—which gives them skills in reducing stress, anxiety and aggression. S.O.S. includes 15 weekly group sessions during which the students learn to identify stress, understand its symptoms and causes, and manage it with a range of strategies.

“We give them strategies they can put in action—problem-solving strategies, relaxation strategies, thought-stopping strategies, and alternative-thinking strategies—so they can gain some control,” says Robinson.  “By the end of the sessions, the teens can monitor their stress levels day-to-day, put a strategy in place when they need to, and generally maintain their equilibrium.”

Robinson and her research partner, Leonard Jason, designed S.O.S. to work for these kids, in this place, at this time. “The life of an African-American child in Chicago is radically different from the life of a white child in Chicago and even of an African-American child in other cities” says Robinson. “Yes, like other kids they worry about their grades or about their social lives, but the biggest thing they worry about is their safety in the midst of potentially explosive situations. Generic stress reduction programs just won’t help.  So, we made sure that everything in the S.O.S. program—the identified sources of stress, the examples and case studies, the language used by the group facilitators—is relevant to these specific teens.”

Patients battle for justice blog

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Is it possible that a disease as impairing as Type II diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, multiple sclerosis, and end-stage renal disease could be repeatedly belittled and delegitimized by scientists and health care professionals? Tragically, this is the case for a devastating illness affecting over one million Americans, and these patients have been deprived of their basic rights to respect, appropriate diagnosis, and humane treatment.

In the beginning, patients with this illness had a credible name, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and diagnostic criteria that had been developed by the distinguished British physician, Dr. Melvin Ramsay. Yet, in 1988, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) renamed this illness chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Patients were unanimous in their disdain for this trivializing term, but they were no match for the supreme power and authority of the CDC. The new name placed patients around the world in a compromised position, as they were now forced to use a degrading and stigmatizing term in explaining their illness to family members, friends, work associates and medical personnel.

Click on the image above to read more on Leonard Jason’s blog for Oxford University Press.