Jadran dd from Crikvenica, a tourist company that owns 8 hotels, 2 campsites and a tourist resort on the Crikvenica Riviera, was visited by representatives of 15 largest Russian tourist agencies, which is their first visit to Crikvenica, which they discover as a destination.The visit of Russian travel agents was arranged at the workshops of the Croatian Tourist Board held this year in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Dino Manestar, President of the Management Board of Jadran dd and Marko Mikašinović, Director of Sales and Marketing of Jadran dd, hosted their Russian colleagues in Crikvenica “I am pleased to confirm the great interest of Russian travel agents who visited us and who we hosted in our Crikvenica. When we take into account that a Russian tourist spends about 100 euros per day of stay, which puts him in second place in the ranking of consumption, just behind the guest from the UK, we can conclude that this is a significant market and a great opportunity for Crikvenica. Of the 15 representatives, only four had visited Croatia before, and no one had even heard of Crikvenica”, said Dino Manestar, President of the Management Board of Jadran ddBy the way, Russian tourists spend an average of 100 Euros a day, of course if they have a place to spend money. The arrival of Russian tourists is a great opportunity, not only for Crikvenica but for the entire region. The only question is how much content and what quality will be offered to Russian tourists. Also, it is important to praise the proactivity of the Management Board of Jadran dd, which is proof that this is the only way you can succeed in the market. Regardless of the fact that Jadran dd is in majority state ownership, it is always up to the people and always will be. How the visits of Russian tourists can benefit not only hoteliers, but also all those who are engaged in tourism in any way, confirmed the representatives of the agencies themselves. “Don’t complain, but so far you haven’t been interesting to us as a destination, and the Russian market has hardly heard of Crikvenica. Now, when Jadran has raised the categorization of the Omorika and Katarina hotels to four stars and announces further investments in raising quality, you have certainly become a factor in the market and these investments are being talked about. This is a great chance for Crikvenica and I am glad that my colleagues from the Adriatic recognized it”, said Zoran Carapic, owner of an agency specializing in guests from the countries of the former USSR, Atlantis Travel.Representatives of Russian agencies led by Manestra visited the hotel Omoriku, which recently received a fourth star, Hotel Kastel, which is also the most important historical building in Crikvenica, and then traveled by boat “Camellia” to Selce where they visited the hotel Slaven, which also built its categorization immediately after the end of the bankruptcy of Jadran, and Hotel Katarina, until recently Hotel Varaždin, which is currently being renovated and should soon also receive four stars. “It is a market with a potential of 180 million people, and in 2014, 17 million of them traveled outside Russia. Now, when we have both direct airlines and the offer of four-star facilities, we can significantly plan actions on the Russian market “, said Marko Mikašinović, director of Jadran’s sales.In the Adriatic, they invested a lot of effort in their reception, and the fact that the representatives of Russian travel agencies had something interesting to see and find out is shown by the fact that they skipped a tour of Opatija, stayed longer than planned in Crikvenica and then went directly to Zagreb.
LinkedIn Email Share on Twitter Share Pinterest Share on Facebook A new blood test may more accurately identify blood signatures, or biomarkers, for Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a new study published in the journal Movement Disorders. The study, conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai and funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, applies a new approach to looking for blood biomarkers for both patients with and without a known genetic risk factor for PD. This paper is the fourth in a series that report new computational techniques to improve the identification of reliable blood biomarkers.While biomarkers–such as bad cholesterol level in the case of heart disease–hasten diagnoses by offering accurate measures of disease progression, there are currently no fully validated biomarkers for PD.The Mount Sinai study analyzed the blood of four groups of mice with genetic material (e.g. ribonucleic acids or RNA) predicted by researchers to form part of a PD signature. Researchers also examined the blood of a group of Ashkenazi Jewish patients living with PD, as well as a separate group of healthy controls. About half of the human subjects–both symptomatic PD patients and healthy controls–have small changes in their DNA code called mutations, in a gene known to increase the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s: leucine-rich repeat kinase 2, or LRRK2. Just one to two percent of Parkinson’s patients carry this gene mutation, and many LRRK2 mutation carriers are from the Ashkenazi Jewish population. The other samples studied came from individuals without the mutation, half of whom had clinical PD. After comparing the mouse and human blood samples, researchers identified RNA signatures that can be measured in blood samples that correlate with the disease-causing mutations in the LRRK2 gene in PD patients.While LRRK2 mutations contribute to PD risk in a small percentage of patients, researchers believe related pathways also play a role in much more common, non-inherited cases of PD. Studying it may speed progress toward treatments that would benefit everyone with the disease, not just those with genetic mutations.“This is the first time we’ve studied animal models and clinical samples, and used them to look at RNA expression patterns of biomarkers in PD,” said Stuart Sealfon, MD, Chairman and Glickenhaus Professor, Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai Health System and lead author of the study. “Our other goal is to use this approach to identify subtypes of the disease so that treatment can be targeted more accurately and in addition, incorporated with clinical trials that facilitate the ability to identify new therapeutic and disease modifying agents.”Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder affecting nearly one million people in the U.S. PD involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally. The cause of PD is unknown and there is presently no cure.“The goal of this research is to improve early disease detection, especially in people who are carrying a predisposing genetic mutation,” said Dr. Sealfon. “If you can improve your ability to diagnose the disease more specifically and identify new subtypes, this can help overcome the hurdle in developing new treatments for Parkinson’s and other brain diseases. The next step is to replicate this approach in a larger sample, where we track patients longitudinally and see how profiles are changing over time.”
Pinterest Share on Facebook LinkedIn Email Share Share on Twitter A study by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has shown that mood instability occurs in a wide range of mental disorders and is not exclusive to affective conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder.The research, published today in BMJ Open, also found that mood instability was associated with poorer clinical outcomes.Taken together, these findings suggest that clinicians should screen for mood instability across all common mental health disorders. Targeted interventions for mood instability may also be useful in patients who do not have a formal affective disorder. This study is the first to use an automated information extraction method to acquire data on mood instability from electronic health records. The sample included almost 28,000 adults who presented to the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM) between April 2006 and March 2013 with a psychotic, affective or personality disorder.The presence of mood instability within one month of presentation was identified using natural language processing (NLP). Outcome measures included the number of days spent in hospital, frequency of hospital admission, compulsory hospital admission and prescription of antipsychotics or non-antipsychotic mood stabilisers over a five year follow-up period.Mood instability was documented in 12 per cent of people presenting to mental healthcare services. It was most frequently documented in people with bipolar disorder (23 per cent), but was also common in people with personality disorder (18 per cent) and schizophrenia (16 per cent). Mood instability was also associated with a greater number of days spent in hospital, higher frequency of hospitalisation, greater likelihood of compulsory admission and an increased likelihood of prescription of antipsychotics or non-antipsychotic mood stabilisers.Rashmi Patel, Department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, said: ‘Mood instability can affect people with a wide range of mental disorders but the symptoms are not always recognised. We have developed an innovative text mining tool to identify the presence of mood instability in almost 28,000 people receiving mental healthcare in South London. We found that mood instability affects people with a wide range of common mental health disorders and is associated with worse clinical outcomes. Our findings highlight the importance of screening for mood instability and the need to develop better strategies to treat these symptoms.’
Share Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twitter Email “As well, health care providers can target more aggressive therapies to those at high risk.”Canada and the U.S. are the world’s highest consumers of prescription opioids which are common drugs for pain management. At least one study says one in six Canadians using prescription opioids. But these medications are also highly addicting and liable for abuse. Methadone maintenance treatment is the most common intervention for those with drug addiction, but relapse is common, with 46% of patients continuing to use illicit opioids during or after the methadone treatment.“Since opioid disorder is chronic, remitting and relapsing, we wanted to find those factors that led to longer abstinence from illicit opioids,” said Leen Naji, a student of McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and first author of the paper. “There has been little research on this issue of how long a patient can go without the illicit opioid use.”Samaan and her team looked at 250 adults who had been on a methadone treatment for an average of four years at 13 clinical sites in Ontario.They found that:Those who injected drugs were more than twice as likely to relapse by using opioids while on treatment, than those who did not inject drugs;For every year increase in age of starting to abuse opioids there is a 10% increase in relapse;For every day of benzodiazepine use in the previous month there is a 7% increase in relapse; while current age carries 7% reduction in risk of relapse (the older the person, the less likely of relapse). People with drug addictions who started opioid abuse later in life use injections for their drugs, or increased their use of downers before starting drug treatment, are more likely to relapse from treatment than others, says a new study from McMaster University.But, the older the person with drug abuse issues, the more likely they will not relapse from treatment.“We can improve our tailoring of treatment to each patient if we know who among patients taking methadone treatment is at high risk for opioid relapse,” said Dr. Zena Samaan, principal author of the study and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences of McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Share on Facebook
Drinking water has been demonstrated to improve adult cognitive functions in a variety of situations. The effect on children is far less studied, even though they tend to be at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated. Pediatric research has detected benefits in attention and working memory as a result of drinking water, but the relationship has not been examined under multiple circumstances.A study published in the academic journal Appetite expands upon these findings by taking the hydration status of children into account, and revealing that the cognitive benefits of drinking water can be diminished by existing dehydration.The experiment, performed by Clinton S. Perry III and colleagues, included 52 children between the ages of 9 and 12 years old. Each child took part in two separate trials in which they started their day by consuming a standard breakfast and 200ml of water. In one session no water was given following the initial meal (the control condition), while the other required them to drink an additional 750 ml of water over a 2-hour period (the treatment condition). In both trials, hydration was measured at several points using urine sample analysis, and a trio of cognitive tests were administered after breakfast as well as later in the day. Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter All participants became less dehydrated as each day progressed, and the change was significantly larger on the day extra water was consumed. Cognitive benefits were only visible on the treatment day, which corresponds with extant research. Results from this day were examined further by splitting the children into two groups: low hydration change and high hydration change (based on comparisons to the median score). Small changes are theorized to represent existing dehydration, as the extra water is used up by the body instead of being excreted. As expected, children who displayed small changes had better cognitive performances later in the treatment day but not the control day, while those exhibiting more change had their best results following extra water consumption.The results of this study suggest that not all children will benefit cognitively from drinking water. Existing dehydration may prevent such gains by necessitating that the water be used elsewhere in the body, instead of where it would benefit cognition the most (presumably within the brain). The evidence also hints that water intake may actually impair cognition in children who are significantly dehydrated, possibly by initiating restorative processes that divert even more resources from the brain. These findings should lead to many additional explorations that address such possibilities, leading to a better understanding of how dehydration affects cognition in children. LinkedIn Email Pinterest
Share “Our results represent the strongest evidence to date of a clinical benefit from psilocybin therapy, with the potential to transform care for patients with cancer-related psychological distress,” says study lead investigator Stephen Ross, MD, director of substance abuse services in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.“If larger clinical trials prove successful, then we could ultimately have available a safe, effective, and inexpensive medication — dispensed under strict control — to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients,” says Ross, also an associate professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.Study co-investigator Jeffrey Guss, MD, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone, notes that psilocybin has been studied for decades and has an established safety profile. Study participants, he says, experienced no serious negative effects, such as hospitalization or more serious mental health conditions.Although the neurological benefits of psilocybin are not completely understood, it has been proven to activate parts of the brain also impacted by the signaling chemical serotonin, which is known to control mood and anxiety. Serotonin imbalances have also been linked to depression.For the study, half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive a 0.3 milligrams per kilogram dose of psilocybin while the rest received a vitamin placebo (250 milligrams of niacin) known to produce a “rush” that mimics a hallucinogenic drug experience.Approximately half way through the study’s monitoring period (after seven weeks), all participants switched treatments. Those who initially received psilocybin took a single dose of placebo, and those who first took niacin, then received psilocybin. Neither patients nor researchers knew who had first received psilocybin or placebo. Guss says, “The randomization, placebo control, and double-blind procedures maximized the validity of the study results.”One of the key findings was that improvements in clinical evaluation scores for anxiety and depression lasted for the remainder of the study’s extended monitoring period — specifically, eight months for those who took psilocybin first.All patients in the study — mostly women age 22 to 75 who are or were patients at the Perlmutter Cancer Center of NYU Langone — had either advanced breast, gastrointestinal, or blood cancers and had been diagnosed as suffering from serious psychological distress related to their disease. All patients, who volunteered to be part of the study, were provided with tailored counseling from a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse or social worker, and were monitored for side effects and improvements in their mental state.Co-investigator Anthony Bossis, PhD, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone, says patients also reported post-psilocybin improvements in their quality of life: going out more, greater energy, getting along better with family members, and doing well at work. Several also reported variations of spirituality, unusual peacefulness, and increased feelings of altruism.“Our study showed that psilocybin facilitated experiences that drove reductions in psychological distress,” says Bossis. “And if it’s true for cancer care, then it could apply to other stressful medical conditions.”Bossis cautions that patients should not consume psilocybin on their own or without supervision by a physician and a trained counselor. He also says “Psilocybin therapy may not work for everyone, and some groups, such as people with schizophrenia, as well as adolescents, should not be treated with it.” Email Share on Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn When combined with psychological counseling, a single dose of a mind-altering compound contained in psychedelic mushrooms significantly lessens mental anguish in distressed cancer patients for months at a time, according to results of a clinical trial led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center.Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology online Dec.1, the study showed that one-time treatment with the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin — whose use required federal waivers because it is a banned substance — quickly brought relief from distress that then lasted for more than six months in 80 percent of the 29 study subjects monitored, based on clinical evaluation scores for anxiety and depression.The NYU Langone-led study was published side by side with a similar study from Johns Hopkins. Study results were also endorsed in 11 accompanying editorials from leading experts in psychiatry, addiction, and palliative care. Share on Twitter
PsyPost interviewed the study’s corresponding author, Matthew J. Hornsey of the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Read his responses below:PsyPost: Why were you interested in this topic?Hornsey: I’ve had a long-held interest in apologies, but more from the receiver’s point of view: when and why do apologies promote forgiveness? Then I became interested in a question that’s less examined but probably more important: what leads people to apologize in the first place? And my thinking on that had been influenced by casual observation of politics – it just seemed that people on the left-side of politics would issue public apologies more than conservatives. It became particularly obvious during the last election campaign in the US, when Hillary Clinton apologized for 5 different things in 8 months, at the same time as Trump was boasting that he never apologized. More than that, there was an emerging trend for conservatives to embrace a “no apologies” attitude as a source of pride. So my study was designed to test whether this is something that played out in ordinary people’s lives too.What should the average person take away from your study?The headline finding is that conservatives are less likely to apologize than liberals. They’re also less influenced by apologies when deciding whether to forgive someone. This is something that we see all around the world; not just America.Are there any major caveats? What questions still need to be addressed?Because there’s a temptation to simplify and magnify differences between liberals and conservatives, we want to put on the record that our findings do not show that conservatives are anti-apology. The majority of our participants showed a willingness to apologize, regardless of political orientation. People like to apologize when they’ve done something wrong. But the data showed that this tendency to apologize was less strong for participants who were more politically conservative.In terms of questions that still need to addressed: I think more work could be done on explaining why conservatives are relatively unwilling to apologize. The mechanism we show in the paper is that conservatives are more hierarchical than liberals; they’re more likely to think power differences are normal, natural and desirable. There are a number of theories of apology that speak of it as a way of reducing power differences between transgressor and victim, and that provided the theoretical basis to make the case that conservatives’ comfort with dominance is why they’re less likely to apologize. But personally I think there’s more to the story than that. I’d like to do more research examining whether conservatives attach a different meaning to apologies than liberals: perhaps they ae more likely to see an apology as an act of weakness than liberals. I also wonder if conservatives have a higher threshold for what they see to be offensive; so the same act might be seen as warranting an apology among liberals but not among conservatives.The study, “Conservatives Are More Reluctant to Give and Receive Apologies Than Liberals“, was also co-authored by Karina Schumann, Paul G. Bain, Sheyla Blumen, Sylvia X. Chen, A´ngel Gomez, Roberto Gonza´lez, Yanjun Guan, Emiko Kashima, Nadezhda Lebedeva, and Michael J. A. Wohl. Email New research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science has found a person’s political orientation is related to their propensity to apologize.In the study, a survey of 2,130 individuals from Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Peru, Russia, and the United States found that respondents who were more politically conservative also tended to express more reluctance to apologize. Conservative respondents also reported being less influenced by apologies than their more liberal counterparts.In a follow-up experiment, the researchers had 38 Indian individuals and 27 Americans imagine they had committed a transgression against a neighbor by not watering the neighbor’s plants as frequently as promised. The participants were asked to write down what they would say to the neighbor. The researchers found that more conservative individuals were less apologetic in their open-ended responses. Share Pinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn Share on Facebook
Most brain imaging studies in autism focus on the cerebrum, which is larger than the cerebellum despite having fewer neurons. That’s partly a function of the unique, irregular shape of the cerebellum, which is difficult to analyze with conventional imaging techniques. “Imagine looking at only 20 percent of the brain’s neurons and attempting to paint a comprehensive picture of atypical development in humans based on such limited knowledge,” says Kristina Denisova, PhD, senior author of the study and assistant professor of clinical neurobiology (in psychiatry) at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.To examine this structurally complex brain region, the researchers applied high-resolution 3D fractal analysis to MRI data to estimate fractal dimension–a measure of structural complexity–of the outer layer of the cerebellum in 20 boys with autism ages 6 to 12 years and 18 age-matched controls with similar verbal skills and cerebellar volume.They found that the boys with autism had significantly lower fractal dimension–indicating a flatter surface structure–in the right cerebellar cortex compared with the controls. Because the right side of the cerebellum supports language processing in typically developing individuals, this finding suggests that having a flatter cerebellar surface may be related to communication difficulties in those with autism.In previous studies, atypical features in the cerebellum were associated with autism, but the findings were inconsistent. “Our brain imaging study is the first to look at the structure of the cerebellum while controlling for volume and other potentially confounding variables,” says Guihu Zhao, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and first author of the paper.The researchers also found that fractal dimension was linked to differences in the children’s cognitive abilities and communication–areas that are often affected by autism. In general, boys with autism who had better social communication skills had a more normal cerebellar structure, as did those with greater nonverbal skills relative to verbal skills.“Our findings suggest we may need to rethink the role of cerebellar function and structure in young individuals at risk for atypical brain development,” says Dr. Denisova. “Early life differences in perception, including timing (i.e., concerning atypical detection of pauses in conversation or atypical coordination of inputs from different modalities), could shape cerebellar development and account for the current structural findings in boys with autism.”Dr. Denisova also notes, “one interpretation of the findings is that increased structural complexity of the cerebellum may enhance implicit learning in atypically developing boys.” The researchers are currently pursuing this question in studies of infants and toddlers who are at risk for developing autism later in life. Share on Twitter Structural differences in the cerebellum may be linked to some aspects of autism spectrum disorder, according to a neuroimaging study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).The findings were published online today in PLOS ONE.The cerebellum–which means ‘little brain’ in Latin–constitutes only 10 percent of the brain’s total volume, though it contains 80 percent of all neurons in the human brain. It was once thought that this irregularly shaped structure of the brain primarily governed motor function, but recent studies suggest that it also plays an important role in implicit learning (extracting the underlying rules without explicit instruction) as well as sensory and cognitive function. Pinterest LinkedIn Email Share Share on Facebook
People who engage in more physical aggression are more likely to have overconnectivity between the brain’s default network and attentional networks, according to a new study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. The findings shed some new light on the relationship between brain architecture and emotional health.“There has been quite a bit of work looking at patterns of brain activity that may be associated with cognitive ability, and many studies have examined how differences in factors like reading ability, IQ, or attention might be encoded in the brain,” explained Jeff Anderson, the corresponding author of the study and a professor of radiology and imaging sciences at the University of Utah.“But there is very little information on how differences in our brains might translate into behaviors associated with emotional health and well-being. We took advantage of a large public dataset to look for associations between differences in functional brain architecture across this population and whether this might predict emotional health.” Share on Facebook The researchers analyzed data from 1,003 subjects in the Human Connectome Project, an initiative of the National Institutes of Health that collected high-quality neuroimaging and behavioral data from healthy young adults.The data set includes information about brain connectivity in each individual, using two distinct magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) approaches.One, called resting-state functional connectivity, is based on spontaneous fluctuations in functional MRI signals that occur in a complex pattern in space and time throughout the gray matter of the brain. Another, called diffusion imaging, provides information about the long-distance “wiring” — the anatomical pathways traversing the brain’s white matter.The Human Connectome Project also collected a number of other measurements, including but not limited to the subjects’ ages, IQs, and emotional health.Based on this data, the researchers found evidence that a particular pattern of functional connectivity was associated with physical aggressiveness.“Many factors related to emotional health and well-being are complex and do not map onto specific differences in the brain. But we did find that attitudes of anger and aggression were associated with crosstalk between two networks in the brain,” Anderson told PsyPost.“One of these networks, the default network, is active when we are thinking to ourselves or reflecting on our inner feelings. The other is active when we’re paying attention to the outside world.”“When these two networks are too closely connected, it can lead to intrusive stimuli interrupting our thoughts, or not being able to shut off the voice in our head when we’re trying to pay attention to something outside of ourselves. Our results suggest that this configuration may be more associated with attitudes relating to anger,” Anderson said.The study examined correlational data, preventing the researchers from making inferences about the direction of causality. How the increased connectivity between the two regions translates into behavior is still unclear.“We don’t know if the differences in brain connectivity cause heightened feelings of anger and aggression, or if these differences in the brain are a reflection of experience and training throughout life. We also don’t know yet whether this pattern of connections in the brain may be a marker for people trying to improve feelings of anger or aggression in their lives,” Anderson said.“Could it be that mental exercises like mindfulness that focus on sustaining activity in the default network or attention network might help to mitigate unwanted feelings of anger through this mechanism? These are important future ideas to test.”Despite the limitations, the ongoing advances in mapping the functional connections of the brain are producing more and more insights into the underlying mechanisms of our emotions.“It is exciting after so many years studying brain health and function using imaging that we are now getting to the point where deeply meaningful questions about emotional health may finally be studied,” Anderson remarked.“There are now powerful techniques that can resolve very subtle differences in the brain and begin to understand why we wrestle with different emotional challenges, and how we might be able to manage them most effectively.”The study, “Functional connectivity of emotional well-being: Overconnectivity between default and attentional networks is associated with attitudes of anger and aggression“, was authored by Fiona L. Weathersby, Jace B. King, J. Chancelor Fox, Amy Loret, and Jeffrey S. Anderson. Share on Twitter Pinterest Email Share LinkedIn
Share This new study wanted to examine the relationship between exposure to social media during the pandemic and mental health issues. Researchers focused on the two common disorders of anxiety and depression.A total of 4,872 adults from 31 different regions of China completed questionnaires between January 31 to February 2, 2020. The surveys assessed social media exposure by asking participants how often they had been exposed to news or information related to COVID-19 through social media in the last week. The WHO-Five Well-Being Index was used to measure positive feeling in participants, with a score below 13 indicating depression. Anxiety was also measured using the generalized anxiety disorder scale.Results showed that 82% of respondents reported being frequently exposed to information about the pandemic through social media. Nearly half of respondents (48%) made the cut off for depression and nearly a quarter (23%) met criteria for anxiety. Around 19% of respondents met criteria for both disorders. The authors point out that these rates are much higher than the latest national sample which shows prevalence rates for depression at around 7% and anxiety at around 8%.Exposure to social media was associated with greater odds for anxiety as well as a greater likelihood for a combination of anxiety and depression. No relationship was found between social media exposure and odds for depression on its own.Regional differences were also apparent. Despite showing social media exposure rates that were similar to other regions, those in the Hubei province had increased rates of anxiety. Researchers explain this is not surprising, given that the Hubei province was the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak and the area with the most severe lockdown measures in place.The researchers conclude that their findings offer meaningful insight into the serious mental health consequences of COVID-19, demonstrating that social media exposure during the pandemic is intensifying anxiety in the Chinese population. They suggest an important step is to address the infodemic by “monitoring and filtering out false information and promoting accurate information”.The study, “Mental health problems and social media exposure during COVID-19 outbreak”, was authored by Junling Gao, Pinpin Zheng, Yingnan Jia, Hao Chen, Yimeng Mao, Suhong Chen, Yi Wang, Hua Fu, and Junming Dai. Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitter Email LinkedIn Exposure to information about COVID-19 through social media is associated with increased symptoms of anxiety, according to a recent Chinese study. The report was published in PLOS One.The rapid spread of new virus COVID-19 throughout China, and its quick transmission to many other countries was unprecedented and extraordinary. Numerous studies have reported that the mental health implications of the pandemic are real and at times severe, both on medical workers and the public.As the study authors point out, past research provides compelling evidence that exposure to media during a public crisis is partly responsible for the rise in mental health problems. Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the rapid development of news around the globe, social media users are bombarded with information on an almost constant basis. The World Health Organization calls this an ‘infodemic’ and stresses the important task of dispelling rumors and misinformation.