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This slideshow requires JavaScript.For many years, Kaiser Family Foundation has been tracking public opinion on the idea of a national health plan (including language referring to Medicare-for-all since buy astelin with prescription 2017). Historically, our polls have shown support for the federal government doing more to help provide health insurance for more Americans, though support among Republicans has decreased over time (Figure 1). But this never translated into majority support for a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan until 2016 buy astelin with prescription (Figure 2).

A hallmark of Senator Sanders’ primary campaign for President in 2016 was a national “Medicare-for-all” plan and since then, a slight majority of Americans say they favor such a plan (Figure 3). Overall, large shares of Democrats and independents buy astelin with prescription favor a national Medicare-for-all plan while most Republicans oppose (Figure 4). Yet, how politicians discuss different proposals does affect public support (Figure 5 and Figure 6).

In addition, when asked why they support or oppose a national health plan, the public echoes the dominant messages in the buy astelin with prescription current political climate (Figure 7). A common theme among supporters, regardless of how we ask the question, is the desire for universal coverage (Figure 8).As Medicare-for-all becomes a staple in national conversations around health care and people become aware of the details of any plan or hear arguments on either side, it is unclear how attitudes towards such a proposal may shift. KFF polling finds public support for Medicare-for-all buy astelin with prescription shifts significantly when people hear arguments about potential tax increases or delays in medical tests and treatment (Figure 9).

KFF polling found that when such a plan is described in terms of the trade-offs (higher taxes but lower out-of-pocket costs), the public is almost equally split in their support (Figure 10). KFF polling also shows many people falsely assume they would be able to keep their current health insurance under a single-payer plan, suggesting another potential area for decreased support especially since most supporters (67 percent) of such a proposal think they would be able to keep their current health insurance coverage (Figure 11).KFF polling finds more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents would prefer voting for a candidate who wants to build buy astelin with prescription on the ACA in order to expand coverage and reduce costs rather than replace the ACA with a national Medicare-for-all plan (Figure 12). Additionally, KFF polling has found broader public support for more incremental changes to expand the public health insurance program in this country including proposals that expand the role of public programs like Medicare and Medicaid (Figure 13).

And while partisans are divided on a Medicare-for-all national health plan, there is buy astelin with prescription robust support among Democrats, and even support among four in ten Republicans, for a government-run health plan, sometimes called a public option (Figure 14). Notably, the public does not perceive major differences in how a public option or a Medicare-for-all plan would impact taxes and personal health care costs. However, there are some differences in perceptions of how the proposals would impact buy astelin with prescription those with private health insurance coverage (Figure 15).

KFF polling in October 2020 finds about half of Americans support both a Medicare-for-all plan and a public option (Figure 16). So while the general idea of a national health plan (whether accomplished through an expansion of Medicare or some other way) may enjoy fairly broad support in the abstract, buy astelin with prescription it remains unclear how this issue will play out in the 2020 election and beyond.Medicare Part D is a voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare, provided through private plans approved by the federal government. Beneficiaries can choose to enroll in either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) to supplement traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan (MA-PD), mainly HMOs and PPOs, that cover all Medicare benefits including drugs.

In 2020, 46 million of the more buy astelin with prescription than 60 million people covered by Medicare are enrolled in Part D plans. This fact sheet provides an overview of the Medicare Part D program, plan availability, enrollment, and spending and financing, based on data from the Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services (CMS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and other sources.Medicare Prescription Drug buy astelin with prescription Plan Availability in 2021In 2021, 996 PDPs will be offered across the 34 PDP regions nationwide (excluding the territories).

This represents an increase of 48 PDPs from 2020 (a 5% increase) and an increase of 250 plans (a 34% increase) since 2017 (Figure 1).Figure 1. A Total of 996 Medicare Part D Stand-Alone Prescription Drug Plans Will Be Offered in 2021, a 5% Increase From 2020 and a 33% Increase buy astelin with prescription Since 2017The relatively large increase in the number of PDPs in recent years is likely due to the elimination by CMS of the “meaningful difference” requirement for enhanced benefit PDPs offered by the same organization in the same region. Plans with enhanced benefits can offer a lower deductible, reduced cost sharing, or a higher initial coverage limit.

Previously, PDP sponsors were required to demonstrate that their enhanced PDPs were meaningfully different in terms of enrollee out-of-pocket costs in order to ensure that plan offerings were more distinct. Between 2018 and 2021, the number of enhanced PDPs has increased by nearly 50%, from 421 to 618, largely due to this policy change.Beneficiaries in each state will have buy astelin with prescription a choice of multiple stand-alone PDPs in 2021, ranging from 25 PDPs in Alaska to 35 PDPs in Texas (see map). In addition, beneficiaries will be able to choose from among multiple MA-PDs offered at the local level for coverage of their Medicare benefits.

New for 2021, beneficiaries in each state will have the option to enroll in a Part D plan participating in the Trump Administration’s new buy astelin with prescription Innovation Center model in which enhanced drug plans cover insulin products at a monthly copayment of $35 in the deductible, initial coverage, and coverage gap phases of the Part D benefit. Participating plans do not have to cover all insulin products at the $35 monthly copayment amount, just one of each dosage form (vial, pen) and insulin type (rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting). In 2021, a buy astelin with prescription total of 1,635 Part D plans will participate in this model, which represents just over 30% of both PDPs (310 plans) and MA-PDs (1,325 plans) available in 2021, including plans in the territories.

Between 8 and 10 PDPs in each region are participating in the model, in addition to multiple MA-PDs (see map). Low-Income Subsidy Plan Availability in 2021Beneficiaries with low incomes and modest assets are eligible for buy astelin with prescription assistance with Part D plan premiums and cost sharing. Through the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program, additional premium and cost-sharing assistance is available for Part D enrollees with low incomes (less than 150% of poverty, or $19,140 for individuals/$25,860 for married couples in 2020) and modest assets (less than $14,610 for individuals/$29,160 for couples in 2020).In 2021, 259 plans will be available for enrollment of LIS beneficiaries for no premium, 15 more than in 2020 (a 6% increase), and the second year with an increase in the number of benchmark plans since 2018 (Figure 2).

Just over one-fourth of PDPs in 2021 (26%) buy astelin with prescription are benchmark plans. Some enrollees have fewer benchmark plan options than others, since benchmark plan availability varies at the Part D region level. The number of premium-free PDPs in 2021 ranges across states from 5 to 10 plans (see buy astelin with prescription map).

LIS enrollees can select any plan offered in their area, but if they are enrolled in a non-benchmark plan, they may be required to pay some portion of their plan’s monthly premium Figure 2. In 2021, 259 Part D Stand-Alone Drug Plans Will Be Available Without a Premium to Enrollees Receiving the Low-Income Subsidy (“Benchmark” Plans)Part D Plan Premiums and Benefits buy astelin with prescription in 2021PremiumsThe 2021 Part D base beneficiary premium – which is based on bids submitted by both PDPs and MA-PDs and is not weighted by enrollment – is $33.06, a modest (1%) increase from 2020. But actual premiums paid by Part D enrollees vary considerably.

For 2021, PDP monthly premiums range from a low of $5.70 for a PDP in Hawaii to a high of buy astelin with prescription $205.30 for a PDP in South Carolina (unweighted by plan enrollment). Even within a state, PDP premiums can vary. For example, in Florida, monthly premiums buy astelin with prescription range from $7.30 to $172.

In addition to the monthly premium, Part D enrollees with higher incomes ($87,000/individual. $174,000/couple) pay an income-related premium surcharge, ranging buy astelin with prescription from $12.32 to $77.14 per month in 2021 (depending on income).BenefitsThe Part D defined standard benefit has several phases, including a deductible, an initial coverage phase, a coverage gap phase, and catastrophic coverage. Between 2020 and 2021, the parameters of the standard benefit are rising, which means Part D enrollees will face higher out-of-pocket costs for the deductible and in the initial coverage phase, as they have in prior years, and will have to pay more out-of-pocket before qualifying for catastrophic coverage (Figure 3).The standard deductible is increasing from $435 in 2020 to $445 in 2021The initial coverage limit is increasing from $4,020 to $4,130, andThe out-of-pocket spending threshold is increasing from $6,350 to $6,550 (equivalent to $10,048 in total drug spending in 2021, up from $9,719 in 2020).The standard benefit amounts are indexed to change annually based on the rate of Part D per capita spending growth, and, with the exception of 2014, have increased each year since 2006.Figure 3.

Medicare Part D Standard Benefit Parameters Will Increase in 2021For costs in the coverage gap phase, beneficiaries buy astelin with prescription pay 25% for both brand-name and generic drugs, with manufacturers providing a 70% discount on brands and plans paying the remaining 5% of brand drug costs, and plans paying the remaining 75% of generic drug costs. For total drug costs above the catastrophic threshold, Medicare pays 80%, plans pay 15%, and enrollees pay either 5% of total drug costs or $3.70/$9.20 for each generic and brand-name drug, respectively.Part D plans must offer either the defined standard benefit or an alternative equal in value (“actuarially equivalent”) and can also provide enhanced benefits. Both basic and enhanced benefit plans vary in terms of their specific benefit design, coverage, and costs, including buy astelin with prescription deductibles, cost-sharing amounts, utilization management tools (i.e., prior authorization, quantity limits, and step therapy), and formularies (i.e., covered drugs).

Plan formularies must include drug classes covering all disease states, and a minimum of two chemically distinct drugs in each class. Part D plans are required to cover all drugs in six so-called “protected” classes. Immunosuppressants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals, and antineoplastics.Part D and Low-Income Subsidy EnrollmentEnrollment in Medicare Part D plans is voluntary, with the exception of beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and certain other low-income beneficiaries who are automatically enrolled in a PDP if they do buy astelin with prescription not choose a plan on their own.

Unless beneficiaries have drug coverage from another source that is at least as good as standard Part D coverage (“creditable coverage”), they face a penalty equal to 1% of the national average premium for each month they delay enrollment.In 2020, 46.5 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, including employer-only group plans. Of the buy astelin with prescription total, just over half (53%) are enrolled in stand-alone PDPs and nearly half (47%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage drug plans (Figure 4). Another 1.3 million beneficiaries are estimated to have drug coverage through employer-sponsored retiree plans where the employer receives a subsidy from the federal government equal to 28% of drug expenses between $445 and $9,200 per retiree (in 2021).

Several million beneficiaries are estimated to have other sources of buy astelin with prescription drug coverage, including employer plans for active workers, FEHBP, TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs (VA). Another 12% of people with Medicare are estimated to lack creditable drug coverage.Figure 4. Medicare Part D Enrollment buy astelin with prescription in Stand-Alone Drug Plans Has Declined Recently But Has Increased Steadily in Medicare Advantage Drug PlansAn estimated 13 million Part D enrollees receive the Low-Income Subsidy in 2020.

Beneficiaries who are dually eligible, QMBs, SLMBs, QIs, and SSI-onlys automatically qualify for the additional assistance, and Medicare automatically enrolls them into PDPs with premiums at or below the regional average (the Low-Income Subsidy benchmark) if they do not choose a plan on their own. Other beneficiaries are subject to both an income and asset test and need to apply for the Low-Income Subsidy through either the Social Security buy astelin with prescription Administration or Medicaid.Part D Spending and FinancingPart D SpendingThe Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that spending on Part D benefits will total $96 billion in 2021, representing 13% of net Medicare outlays (net of offsetting receipts from premiums and state transfers). Part D spending depends on several factors, including the total number of Part D enrollees, their health status and drug use, the number of high-cost enrollees (those with drug spending above the catastrophic threshold), the number of enrollees receiving the Low-Income Subsidy, and plans’ ability to negotiate discounts (rebates) with drug companies and preferred pricing arrangements with pharmacies, and manage use (e.g., promoting use of generic drugs, prior authorization, step therapy, quantity limits, and mail order).

Federal law currently prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from interfering in drug price negotiations between Part D plan sponsors and drug manufacturers.Part D FinancingFinancing for Part D comes buy astelin with prescription from general revenues (71%), beneficiary premiums (16%), and state contributions (12%). The monthly premium paid by enrollees is set to cover 25.5% of the cost of standard drug coverage. Medicare subsidizes the remaining 74.5%, based on bids submitted by plans for their expected benefit buy astelin with prescription payments.

Higher-income Part D enrollees pay a larger share of standard Part D costs, ranging from 35% to 85%, depending on income.Payments to PlansFor 2021, Medicare’s actuaries estimate that Part D plans will receive direct subsidy payments averaging $216 per enrollee overall, $2,639 for enrollees receiving the LIS, and $1,026 in reinsurance payments for very high-cost enrollees. Employers are expected to buy astelin with prescription receive, on average, $575 for retirees in employer-subsidy plans. Part D plans also receive additional risk-adjusted payments based on the health status of their enrollees, and plans’ potential total losses or gains are limited by risk-sharing arrangements with the federal government (“risk corridors”).Under reinsurance, Medicare subsidizes 80% of total drug spending incurred by Part D enrollees with relatively high drug spending above the catastrophic coverage threshold.

In the aggregate, Medicare’s reinsurance payments to Part buy astelin with prescription D plans now account for close to half of total Part D spending (45%), up from 14% in 2006 (increasing from $6 billion in 2006 to $46 billion in 2019) (Figure 5). Higher benefit spending above the catastrophic threshold is a result of several factors, including an increase in the number of high-cost drugs, prescription drug price increases, and a change made by the ACA to count the manufacturer discount on the price of brand-name drugs in the coverage gap towards the out-of-pocket threshold for catastrophic coverage. This change has buy astelin with prescription led to more Part D enrollees with spending above the catastrophic threshold over time.Figure 5.

Spending for Catastrophic Coverage (“Reinsurance”) Now Accounts for Close to Half (45%) of Total Medicare Part D Spending, up from 14% in 2006Issues for the FutureThe Medicare drug benefit has helped to reduce out-of-pocket drug spending for enrollees, which is especially important to those with modest incomes or very high drug costs. But with drug costs on the rise, more plans charging coinsurance rather than flat copayments for covered brand-name drugs, and annual increases in the out-of-pocket spending threshold, many Part D enrollees buy astelin with prescription are likely to face higher out-of-pocket costs for their medications.In light of ongoing attention to prescription drug spending and rising drug costs, policymakers have issued several proposals to control drug spending by Medicare and beneficiaries. Several of these proposals address concerns about the lack of a hard cap on out-of-pocket spending for Part D enrollees, the significant increase in Medicare spending for enrollees with high drug costs, and the relatively weak financial incentives faced by Part D plan sponsors to control high drug costs.

Such proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs, restructuring the Part D benefit to add a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug spending, requiring manufacturers to pay a rebate to the federal government if their drug prices increase faster than inflation, using drug prices in other countries in determining pricing for drugs in the U.S., allowing for drug importation, and shifting more of the responsibility for catastrophic coverage costs to Part D plans and drug manufacturers.Understanding how well Part D continues to meet the needs of people on Medicare will be informed by ongoing monitoring of the Part D plan marketplace, examining formulary coverage and costs for new and existing medications, assessing the impact of the new insulin model, and keeping tabs on Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug spending..

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How to get astelin cite this article:Singh O P. Aftermath of celebrity suicide – Media coverage and role of psychiatrists. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:337-8Celebrity suicide is one of the highly publicized events get astelin in our country.

Indians got a glimpse of this following an unfortunate incident where a popular Hindi film actor died of suicide. As expected, the media went into get astelin a frenzy as newspapers, news channels, and social media were full of stories providing minute details of the suicidal act. Some even going as far as highlighting the color of the cloth used in the suicide as well as showing the lifeless body of the actor.

All kinds of personal details were dug up, and speculations and hypotheses became the order of the day in the next few days that followed. In the process, reputations of many people associated with the actor were besmirched and their private and personal details were freely and blatantly broadcast and get astelin discussed on electronic, print, and social media. We understand that media houses have their own need and duty to report and sensationalize news for increasing their visibility (aka TRP), but such reporting has huge impacts on the mental health of the vulnerable population.The impact of this was soon realized when many incidents of copycat suicide were reported from all over the country within a few days of the incident.

Psychiatrists suddenly get astelin started getting distress calls from their patients in despair with increased suicidal ideation. This has become a major area of concern for the psychiatry community.The Indian Psychiatric Society has been consistently trying to engage with media to promote ethical reporting of suicide. Section 24 (1) of get astelin Mental Health Care Act, 2017, forbids publication of photograph of mentally ill person without his consent.[1] The Press Council of India has adopted the guidelines of World Health Organization report on Preventing Suicide.

A resource for media professionals, which came out with an advisory to be followed by media in reporting cases of suicide. It includes points forbidding them from putting stories in prominent positions and unduly repeating them, explicitly describing the method used, providing details about the site/location, using sensational headlines, or using photographs and video footage of the incident.[2] Unfortunately, the advisory seems to have little effect in the aftermath of celebrity suicides. Channels were full of speculations get astelin about the person's mental condition and illness and also his relationships and finances.

Many fictional accounts of his symptoms and illness were touted, which is not only against the ethics but is also contrary to MHCA, 2017.[1]It went to the extent that the name of his psychiatrist was mentioned and quotes were attributed to him without taking any account from him. The Indian Psychiatric Society has written to the Press Council of India underlining this concern and asking for measures to ensure ethics in reporting suicide.While there is a need for engagement with media to make them aware of the grave impact of negative suicide reporting on the lives get astelin of many vulnerable persons, there is even a more urgent need for training of psychiatrists regarding the proper way of interaction with media. This has been amply brought out in the aftermath of this incident.

Many psychiatrists and mental health professionals were get astelin called by media houses to comment on the episode. Many psychiatrists were quoted, or “misquoted,” or “quoted out of context,” commenting on the life of a person whom they had never examined and had no “professional authority” to do so. There were even stories with byline of a psychiatrist where the content provided was not only unscientific but also way beyond the expertise of a psychiatrist.

These types of viewpoints perpetuate stigma, myths, and “misleading concepts” about psychiatry and are detrimental to the image of psychiatry get astelin in addition to doing harm and injustice to our patients. Hence, the need to formulate a guideline for interaction of psychiatrists with the media is imperative.In the infamous Goldwater episode, 12,356 psychiatrists were asked to cast opinion about the fitness of Barry Goldwater for presidential candidature. Out of 2417 respondents, 1189 psychiatrists reported him to be mentally unfit while none had actually examined him.[3] This led to the formulation of “The Goldwater Rule” by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973,[4] but we have witnessed the get astelin same phenomenon at the time of presidential candidature of Donald Trump.Psychiatrists should be encouraged to interact with media to provide scientific information about mental illnesses and reduction of stigma, but “statements to the media” can be a double-edged sword, and we should know about the rules of engagements and boundaries of interactions.

Methods and principles of interaction with media should form a part of our training curriculum. Many professional societies have get astelin guidelines and resource books for interacting with media, and psychiatrists should familiarize themselves with these documents. The Press Council guideline is likely to prompt reporters to seek psychiatrists for their expert opinion.

It is useful for them to have a template ready with suicide rates, emphasizing multicausality of suicide, role of mental disorders, as well as help available.[5]It is about time that the Indian Psychiatric Society formulated its own guidelines laying down the broad principles and boundaries governing the interaction of Indian psychiatrists with the media. Till then, it is desirable to be guided by the following broad principles:It should be assumed that no statement goes “off the record” as the media person is most likely recording the interview, and we should also record any such conversation from our endIt should be clarified in which capacity comments are being made – professional, personal, or as a representative of an organizationOne should not comment on any person whom he has not examinedPsychiatrists should take any such opportunity to educate the public about mental health issuesThe comments should be justified and limited by the boundaries of scientific knowledge available get astelin at the moment. References Correspondence Address:Dr.

O P get astelin SinghAA 304, Ashabari Apartments, O/31, Baishnabghata, Patuli Township, Kolkata - 700 094, West Bengal IndiaSource of Support. None, Conflict of Interest. NoneDOI.

10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_816_20Abstract Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective modality of treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. However, it has always been accused of being a coercive, unethical, and dangerous modality of treatment. The dangerousness of ECT has been mainly attributed to its claimed ability to cause brain damage.

This narrative review aims to provide an update of the evidence with regard to whether the practice of ECT is associated with damage to the brain. An accepted definition of brain damage remains elusive. There are also ethical and technical problems in designing studies that look at this question specifically.

Thus, even though there are newer technological tools and innovations, any review attempting to answer this question would have to take recourse to indirect methods. These include structural, functional, and metabolic neuroimaging. Body fluid biochemical marker studies.

And follow-up studies of cognitive impairment and incidence of dementia in people who have received ECT among others. The review of literature and present evidence suggests that ECT has a demonstrable impact on the structure and function of the brain. However, there is a lack of evidence at present to suggest that ECT causes brain damage.Keywords.

Adverse effect, brain damage, electroconvulsive therapyHow to cite this article:Jolly AJ, Singh SM. Does electroconvulsive therapy cause brain damage. An update.

Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:339-53 Introduction Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a modality of treatment for psychiatric disorders has existed at least since 1938.[1] ECT is an effective modality of treatment for various psychiatric disorders. However, from the very beginning, the practice of ECT has also faced resistance from various groups who claim that it is coercive and harmful.[2] While the ethical aspects of the practice of ECT have been dealt with elsewhere, the question of harmfulness or brain damage consequent upon the passage of electric current needs to be examined afresh in light of technological advances and new knowledge.[3]The question whether ECT causes brain damage was reviewed in a holistic fashion by Devanand et al. In the mid-1990s.[4],[5] The authors had attempted to answer this question by reviewing the effect of ECT on the brain in various areas – cognitive side effects, structural neuroimaging studies, neuropathologic studies of patients who had received ECT, autopsy studies of epileptic patients, and finally animal ECS studies.

The authors had concluded that ECT does not produce brain damage.This narrative review aims to update the evidence with regard to whether ECT causes brain damage by reviewing relevant literature from 1994 to the present time. Framing the Question The Oxford Dictionary defines damage as physical harm that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of something.[6] Among medical dictionaries, the Peter Collins Dictionary defines damage as harm done to things (noun) or to harm something (verb).[7] Brain damage is defined by the British Medical Association Medical Dictionary as degeneration or death of nerve cells and tracts within the brain that may be localized to a particular area of the brain or diffuse.[8] Going by such a definition, brain damage in the context of ECT should refer to death or degeneration of brain tissue, which results in the impairment of functioning of the brain. The importance of precisely defining brain damage shall become evident subsequently in this review.There are now many more tools available to investigate the structure and function of brain in health and illness.

However, there are obvious ethical issues in designing human studies that are designed to answer this specific question. Therefore, one must necessarily take recourse to indirect evidences available through studies that have been designed to answer other research questions. These studies have employed the following methods:Structural neuroimaging studiesFunctional neuroimaging studiesMetabolic neuroimaging studiesBody fluid biochemical marker studiesCognitive impairment studies.While the early studies tended to focus more on establishing the safety of ECT and finding out whether ECT causes gross microscopic brain damage, the later studies especially since the advent of advanced neuroimaging techniques have been focusing more on a mechanistic understanding of ECT.

Hence, the primary objective of the later neuroimaging studies has been to look for structural and functional brain changes which might explain how ECT acts rather than evidence of gross structural damage per se. However, put together, all these studies would enable us to answer our titular question to some satisfaction. [Table 1] and [Table 2] provide an overview of the evidence base in this area.

Structural and Functional Neuroimaging Studies Devanand et al. Reviewed 16 structural neuroimaging studies on the effect of ECT on the brain.[4] Of these, two were pneumoencephalography studies, nine were computed tomography (CT) scan studies, and five were magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. However, most of these studies were retrospective in design, with neuroimaging being done in patients who had received ECT in the past.

In the absence of baseline neuroimaging, it would be very difficult to attribute any structural brain changes to ECT. In addition, pneumoencephalography, CT scan, and even early 0.3 T MRI provided images with much lower spatial resolution than what is available today. The authors concluded that there was no evidence to show that ECT caused any structural damage to the brain.[4] Since then, at least twenty more MRI-based structural neuroimaging studies have studied the effect of ECT on the brain.

The earliest MRI studies in the early 1990s focused on detecting structural damage following ECT. All of these studies were prospective in design, with the first MRI scan done at baseline and a second MRI scan performed post ECT.[9],[11],[12],[13],[41] While most of the studies imaged the patient once around 24 h after receiving ECT, some studies performed multiple post ECT neuroimaging in the first 24 h after ECT to better capture the acute changes. A single study by Coffey et al.

Followed up the patients for a duration of 6 months and repeated neuroimaging again at 6 months in order to capture any long-term changes following ECT.[10]The most important conclusion which emerged from this early series of studies was that there was no evidence of cortical atrophy, change in ventricle size, or increase in white matter hyperintensities.[4] The next major conclusion was that there appeared to be an increase in the T1 and T2 relaxation time immediately following ECT, which returned to normal within 24 h. This supported the theory that immediately following ECT, there appears to be a temporary breakdown of the blood–brain barrier, leading to water influx into the brain tissue.[11] The last significant observation by Coffey et al. In 1991 was that there was no significant temporal changes in the total volumes of the frontal lobes, temporal lobes, or amygdala–hippocampal complex.[10] This was, however, something which would later be refuted by high-resolution MRI studies.

Nonetheless, one inescapable conclusion of these early studies was that there was no evidence of any gross structural brain changes following administration of ECT. Much later in 2007, Szabo et al. Used diffusion-weighted MRI to image patients in the immediate post ECT period and failed to observe any obvious brain tissue changes following ECT.[17]The next major breakthrough came in 2010 when Nordanskog et al.

Demonstrated that there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus bilaterally following a course of ECT in a cohort of patients with depressive illness.[18] This contradicted the earlier observations by Coffey et al. That there was no volume increase in any part of the brain following ECT.[10] This was quite an exciting finding and was followed by several similar studies. However, the perspective of these studies was quite different from the early studies.

In contrast to the early studies looking for the evidence of ECT-related brain damage, the newer studies were focused more on elucidating the mechanism of action of ECT. Further on in 2014, Nordanskog et al. In a follow-up study showed that though there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus 1 week after a course of ECT, the hippocampal volume returned to the baseline after 6 months.[19] Two other studies in 2013 showed that in addition to the hippocampus, the amygdala also showed significant volume increase following ECT.[20],[21] A series of structural neuroimaging studies after that have expanded on these findings and as of now, gray matter volume increase following ECT has been demonstrated in the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior temporal pole, subgenual cortex,[21] right caudate nucleus, and the whole of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) consisting of the hippocampus, amygdala, insula, and the posterosuperior temporal cortex,[24] para hippocampi, right subgenual anterior cingulate gyrus, and right anterior cingulate gyrus,[25] left cerebellar area VIIa crus I,[29] putamen, caudate nucleus, and nucleus acumbens [31] and clusters of increased cortical thickness involving the temporal pole, middle and superior temporal cortex, insula, and inferior temporal cortex.[27] However, the most consistently reported and replicated finding has been the bilateral increase in the volume of the hippocampus and amygdala.

In light of these findings, it has been tentatively suggested that ECT acts by inducing neuronal regeneration in the hippocampus – amygdala complex.[42],[43] However, there are certain inconsistencies to this hypothesis. Till date, only one study – Nordanskog et al., 2014 – has followed study patients for a long term – 6 months in their case. And significantly, the authors found out that after increasing immediately following ECT, the hippocampal volume returns back to baseline by 6 months.[19] This, however, was not associated with the relapse of depressive symptoms.

Another area of significant confusion has been the correlation of hippocampal volume increase with improvement of depressive symptoms. Though almost all studies demonstrate a significant increase in hippocampal volume following ECT, a majority of studies failed to demonstrate a correlation between symptom improvement and hippocampal volume increase.[19],[20],[22],[24],[28] However, a significant minority of volumetric studies have demonstrated correlation between increase in hippocampal and/or amygdala volume and improvement of symptoms.[21],[25],[30]Another set of studies have used diffusion tensor imaging, functional MRI (fMRI), anatomical connectome, and structural network analysis to study the effect of ECT on the brain. The first of these studies by Abbott et al.

In 2014 demonstrated that on fMRI, the connectivity between right and left hippocampus was significantly reduced in patients with severe depression. It was also shown that the connectivity was normalized following ECT, and symptom improvement was correlated with an increase in connectivity.[22] In a first of its kind DTI study, Lyden et al. In 2014 demonstrated that fractional anisotropy which is a measure of white matter tract or fiber density is increased post ECT in patients with severe depression in the anterior cingulum, forceps minor, and the dorsal aspect of the left superior longitudinal fasciculus.

The authors suggested that ECT acts to normalize major depressive disorder-related abnormalities in the structural connectivity of the dorsal fronto-limbic pathways.[23] Another DTI study in 2015 constructed large-scale anatomical networks of the human brain – connectomes, based on white matter fiber tractography. The authors found significant reorganization in the anatomical connections involving the limbic structure, temporal lobe, and frontal lobe. It was also found that connection changes between amygdala and para hippocampus correlated with reduction in depressive symptoms.[26] In 2016, Wolf et al.

Used a source-based morphometry approach to study the structural networks in patients with depression and schizophrenia and the effect of ECT on the same. It was found that the medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex (ACC/MPFC) network, MTL network, bilateral thalamus, and left cerebellar regions/precuneus exhibited significant difference between healthy controls and the patient population. It was also demonstrated that administration of ECT leads to significant increase in the network strength of the ACC/MPFC network and the MTL network though the increase in network strength and symptom amelioration were not correlated.[32]Building on these studies, a recently published meta-analysis has attempted a quantitative synthesis of brain volume changes – focusing on hippocampal volume increase following ECT in patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

The authors initially selected 32 original articles from which six articles met the criteria for quantitative synthesis. The results showed significant increase in the volume of the right and left hippocampus following ECT. For the rest of the brain regions, the heterogeneity in protocols and imaging techniques did not permit a quantitative analysis, and the authors have resorted to a narrative review similar to the present one with similar conclusions.[44] Focusing exclusively on hippocampal volume change in ECT, Oltedal et al.

In 2018 conducted a mega-analysis of 281 patients with major depressive disorder treated with ECT enrolled at ten different global sites of the Global ECT-MRI Research Collaboration.[45] Similar to previous studies, there was a significant increase in hippocampal volume bilaterally with a dose–response relationship with the number of ECTs administered. Furthermore, bilateral (B/L) ECT was associated with an equal increase in volume in both right and left hippocampus, whereas right unilateral ECT was associated with greater volume increase in the right hippocampus. Finally, contrary to expectation, clinical improvement was found to be negatively correlated with hippocampal volume.Thus, a review of the current evidence amply demonstrates that from looking for ECT-related brain damage – and finding none, we have now moved ahead to looking for a mechanistic understanding of the effect of ECT.

In this regard, it has been found that ECT does induce structural changes in the brain – a fact which has been seized upon by some to claim that ECT causes brain damage.[46] Such statements should, however, be weighed against the definition of damage as understood by the scientific medical community and patient population. Neuroanatomical changes associated with effective ECT can be better described as ECT-induced brain neuroplasticity or ECT-induced brain neuromodulation rather than ECT-induced brain damage. Metabolic Neuroimaging Studies.

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) uses a phase-encoding procedure to map the spatial distribution of magnetic resonance (MR) signals of different molecules. The crucial difference, however, is that while MRI maps the MR signals of water molecules, MRSI maps the MR signals generated by different metabolites – such as N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and choline-containing compounds. However, the concentration of these metabolites is at least 10,000 times lower than water molecules and hence the signal strength generated would also be correspondingly lower.

However, MRSI offers us the unique advantage of studying in vivo the change in the concentration of brain metabolites, which has been of great significance in fields such as psychiatry, neurology, and basic neuroscience research.[47]MRSI studies on ECT in patients with depression have focused largely on four metabolites in the human brain – NAA, choline-containing compounds (Cho) which include majorly cell membrane compounds such as glycerophosphocholine, phosphocholine and a miniscule contribution from acetylcholine, creatinine (Cr) and glutamine and glutamate together (Glx). NAA is located exclusively in the neurons, and is suggested to be a marker of neuronal viability and functionality.[48] Choline-containing compounds (Cho) mainly include the membrane compounds, and an increase in Cho would be suggestive of increased membrane turnover. Cr serves as a marker of cellular energy metabolism, and its levels are usually expected to remain stable.

The regions which have been most widely studied in MRSI studies include the bilateral hippocampus and amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and ACC.Till date, five MRSI studies have measured NAA concentration in the hippocampus before and after ECT. Of these, three studies showed that there is no significant change in the NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[33],[38],[49] On the other hand, two recent studies have demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[39],[40] The implications of these results are of significant interest to us in answering our titular question. A normal level of NAA following ECT could signify that there is no significant neuronal death or damage following ECT, while a reduction would signal the opposite.

However, a direct comparison between these studies is complicated chiefly due to the different ECT protocols, which has been used in these studies. It must, however, be acknowledged that the three older studies used 1.5 T MRI, whereas the two newer studies used a higher 3 T MRI which offers betters signal-to-noise ratio and hence lesser risk of errors in the measurement of metabolite concentrations. The authors of a study by Njau et al.[39] argue that a change in NAA levels might reflect reversible changes in neural metabolism rather than a permanent change in the number or density of neurons and also that reduced NAA might point to a change in the ratio of mature to immature neurons, which, in fact, might reflect enhanced adult neurogenesis.

Thus, the authors warn that to conclude whether a reduction in NAA concentration is beneficial or harmful would take a simultaneous measurement of cognitive functioning, which was lacking in their study. In 2017, Cano et al. Also demonstrated a significant reduction in NAA/Cr ratio in the hippocampus post ECT.

More significantly, the authors also showed a significant increase in Glx levels in the hippocampus following ECT, which was also associated with an increase in hippocampal volume.[40] To explain these three findings, the authors proposed that ECT produces a neuroinflammatory response in the hippocampus – likely mediated by Glx, which has been known to cause inflammation at higher concentrations, thereby accounting for the increase in hippocampal volume with a reduction in NAA concentration. The cause for the volume increase remains unclear – with the authors speculating that it might be due to neuronal swelling or due to angiogenesis. However, the same study and multiple other past studies [21],[25],[30] have demonstrated that hippocampal volume increase was correlated with clinical improvement following ECT.

Thus, we are led to the hypothesis that the same mechanism which drives clinical improvement with ECT is also responsible for the cognitive impairment following ECT. Whether this is a purely neuroinflammatory response or a neuroplastic response or a neuroinflammatory response leading to some form of neuroplasticity is a critical question, which remains to be answered.[40]Studies which have analyzed NAA concentration change in other brain areas have also produced conflicting results. The ACC is another area which has been studied in some detail utilizing the MRSI technique.

In 2003, Pfleiderer et al. Demonstrated that there was no significant change in the NAA and Cho levels in the ACC following ECT. This would seem to suggest that there was no neurogenesis or membrane turnover in the ACC post ECT.[36] However, this finding was contested by Merkl et al.

In 2011, who demonstrated that NAA levels were significantly reduced in the left ACC in patients with depression and that these levels were significantly elevated following ECT.[37] This again is contested by Njau et al. Who showed that NAA levels are significantly reduced following ECT in the left dorsal ACC.[39] A direct comparison of these three studies is complicated by the different ECT and imaging parameters used and hence, no firm conclusion can be made on this point at this stage. In addition to this, one study had demonstrated increased NAA levels in the amygdala following administration of ECT,[34] with a trend level increase in Cho levels, which again is suggestive of neurogenesis and/or neuroplasticity.

A review of studies on the DLPFC reveals a similarly confusing picture with one study, each showing no change, reduction, and elevation of concentration of NAA following ECT.[35],[37],[39] Here, again, a direct comparison of the three studies is made difficult by the heterogeneous imaging and ECT protocols followed by them.A total of five studies have analyzed the concentration of choline-containing compounds (Cho) in patients undergoing ECT. Conceptually, an increase in Cho signals is indicative of increased membrane turnover, which is postulated to be associated with synaptogenesis, neurogenesis, and maturation of neurons.[31] Of these, two studies measured Cho concentration in the B/L hippocampus, with contrasting results. Ende et al.

In 2000 demonstrated a significant elevation in Cho levels in B/L hippocampus after ECT, while Jorgensen et al. In 2015 failed to replicate the same finding.[33],[38] Cho levels have also been studied in the amygdala, ACC, and the DLPFC. However, none of these studies showed a significant increase or decrease in Cho levels before and after ECT in the respective brain regions studied.

In addition, no significant difference was seen in the pre-ECT Cho levels of patients compared to healthy controls.[34],[36],[37]In review, we must admit that MRSI studies are still at a preliminary stage with significant heterogeneity in ECT protocols, patient population, and regions of the brain studied. At this stage, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions except to acknowledge the fact that the more recent studies – Njau et al., 2017, Cano, 2017, and Jorgensen et al., 2015 – have shown decrease in NAA concentration and no increase in Cho levels [38],[39],[40] – as opposed to the earlier studies by Ende et al.[33] The view offered by the more recent studies is one of a neuroinflammatory models of action of ECT, probably driving neuroplasticity in the hippocampus. This would offer a mechanistic understanding of both clinical response and the phenomenon of cognitive impairment associated with ECT.

However, this conclusion is based on conjecture, and more work needs to be done in this area. Body Fluid Biochemical Marker Studies Another line of evidence for analyzing the effect of ECT on the human brain is the study of concentration of neurotrophins in the plasma or serum. Neurotrophins are small protein molecules which mediate neuronal survival and development.

The most prominent among these is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which plays an important role in neuronal survival, plasticity, and migration.[50] A neurotrophic theory of mood disorders was suggested which hypothesized that depressive disorders are associated with a decreased expression of BDNF in the limbic structures, resulting in the atrophy of these structures.[51] It was also postulated that antidepressant treatment has a neurotrophic effect which reverses the neuronal cell loss, thereby producing a therapeutic effect. It has been well established that BDNF is decreased in mood disorders.[52] It has also been shown that clinical improvement of depression is associated with increase in BDNF levels.[53] Thus, serum BDNF levels have been tentatively proposed as a biomarker for treatment response in depression. Recent meta-analytic evidence has shown that ECT is associated with significant increase in serum BDNF levels in patients with major depressive disorder.[54] Considering that BDNF is a potent stimulator of neurogenesis, the elevation of serum BDNF levels following ECT lends further credence to the theory that ECT leads to neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other limbic structures, which, in turn, mediates the therapeutic action of ECT.

Cognitive Impairment Studies Cognitive impairment has always been the single-most important side effect associated with ECT.[55] Concerns regarding long-term cognitive impairment surfaced soon after the introduction of ECT and since then has grown to become one of the most controversial aspects of ECT.[56] Anti-ECT groups have frequently pointed out to cognitive impairment following ECT as evidence of ECT causing brain damage.[56] A meta-analysis by Semkovska and McLoughlin in 2010 is one of the most detailed studies which had attempted to settle this long-standing debate.[57] The authors reviewed 84 studies (2981 participants), which had used a combined total of 22 standardized neuropsychological tests assessing various cognitive functions before and after ECT in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The different cognitive domains reviewed included processing speed, attention/working memory, verbal episodic memory, visual episodic memory, spatial problem-solving, executive functioning, and intellectual ability. The authors concluded that administration of ECT for depression is associated with significant cognitive impairment in the first few days after ECT administration.

However, it was also seen that impairment in cognitive functioning resolved within a span of 2 weeks and thereafter, a majority of cognitive domains even showed mild improvement compared to the baseline performance. It was also demonstrated that not a single cognitive domain showed persistence of impairment beyond 15 days after ECT.Memory impairment following ECT can be analyzed broadly under two conceptual schemes – one that classifies memory impairment as objective memory impairment and subjective memory impairment and the other that classifies it as impairment in anterograde memory versus impairment in retrograde memory. Objective memory can be roughly defined as the ability to retrieve stored information and can be measured by various standardized neuropsychological tests.

Subjective memory or meta-memory, on the other hand, refers to the ability to make judgments about one's ability to retrieve stored information.[58] As described previously, it has been conclusively demonstrated that anterograde memory impairment does not persist beyond 2 weeks after ECT.[57] However, one of the major limitations of this meta-analysis was the lack of evidence on retrograde amnesia following ECT. This is particularly unfortunate considering that it is memory impairment – particularly retrograde amnesia which has received the most attention.[59] In addition, reports of catastrophic retrograde amnesia have been repeatedly held up as sensational evidence of the lasting brain damage produced by ECT.[59] Admittedly, studies on retrograde amnesia are fewer and less conclusive than on anterograde amnesia.[60],[61] At present, the results are conflicting, with some studies finding some impairment in retrograde memory – particularly autobiographical retrograde memory up to 6 months after ECT.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, more recent studies have failed to support this finding.[66],[67] While they do demonstrate an impairment in retrograde memory immediately after ECT, it was seen that this deficit returned to pre-ECT levels within a span of 1–2 months and improved beyond baseline performance at 6 months post ECT.[66] Adding to the confusion are numerous factors which confound the assessment of retrograde amnesia. It has been shown that depressive symptoms can produce significant impairment of retrograde memory.[68],[69] It has also been demonstrated that sine-wave ECT produces significantly more impairment of retrograde memory as compared to brief-pulse ECT.[70] However, from the 1990s onward, sine-wave ECT has been completely replaced by brief-pulse ECT, and it is unclear as to the implications of cognitive impairment from the sine-wave era in contemporary ECT practice.Another area of concern are reports of subjective memory impairment following ECT.

One of the pioneers of research into subjective memory impairment were Squire and Chace who published a series of studies in the 1970s demonstrating the adverse effect of bilateral ECT on subjective assessment of memory.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, most of the studies conducted post 1980 – from when sine-wave ECT was replaced by brief-pulse ECT report a general improvement in subjective memory assessments following ECT.[71] In addition, most of the recent studies have failed to find a significant association between measures of subjective and objective memory.[63],[66],[70],[72],[73],[74] It has also been shown that subjective memory impairment is strongly associated with the severity of depressive symptoms.[75] In light of these facts, the validity and value of measures of subjective memory impairment as a marker of cognitive impairment and brain damage following ECT have been questioned. However, concerns regarding subjective memory impairment and catastrophic retrograde amnesia continue to persist, with significant dissonance between the findings of different research groups and patient self-reports in various media.[57]Some studies reported the possibility of ECT being associated with the development of subsequent dementia.[76],[77] However, a recent large, well-controlled prospective Danish study found that the use of ECT was not associated with elevated incidence of dementia.[78] Conclusion Our titular question is whether ECT leads to brain damage, where damage indicates destruction or degeneration of nerves or nerve tracts in the brain, which leads to loss of function. This issue was last addressed by Devanand et al.

In 1994 since which time our understanding of ECT has grown substantially, helped particularly by the advent of modern-day neuroimaging techniques which we have reviewed in detail. And, what these studies reveal is rather than damaging the brain, ECT has a neuromodulatory effect on the brain. The various lines of evidence – structural neuroimaging studies, functional neuroimaging studies, neurochemical and metabolic studies, and serum BDNF studies all point toward this.

These neuromodulatory changes have been localized to the hippocampus, amygdala, and certain other parts of the limbic system. How exactly these changes mediate the improvement of depressive symptoms is a question that remains unanswered. However, there is little by way of evidence from neuroimaging studies which indicates that ECT causes destruction or degeneration of neurons.

Though cognitive impairment studies do show that there is objective impairment of certain functions – particularly memory immediately after ECT, these impairments are transient with full recovery within a span of 2 weeks. Perhaps, the single-most important unaddressed concern is retrograde amnesia, which has been shown to persist for up to 2 months post ECT. In this regard, the recent neurometabolic studies have offered a tentative mechanism of action of ECT, producing a transient inflammation in the limbic cortex, which, in turn, drives neurogenesis, thereby exerting a neuromodulatory effect.

This hypothesis would explain both the cognitive adverse effects of ECT – due to the transient inflammation – and the long-term improvement in mood – neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Although unproven at present, such a hypothesis would imply that cognitive impairment is tied in with the mechanism of action of ECT and not an indicator of damage to the brain produced by ECT.The review of literature suggests that ECT does cause at least structural and functional changes in the brain, and these are in all probability related to the effects of the ECT. However, these cannot be construed as brain damage as is usually understood.

Due to the relative scarcity of data that directly examines the question of whether ECT causes brain damage, it is not possible to conclusively answer this question. However, in light of enduring ECT survivor accounts, there is a need to design studies that specifically answer this question.Financial support and sponsorshipNil.Conflicts of interestThere are no conflicts of interest. References 1.Payne NA, Prudic J.

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Efficacy and cognitive effects of right unilateral electroconvulsive therapy. J ECT 2000;16:370-9. 75.Coleman EA, Sackeim HA, Prudic J, Devanand DP, McElhiney MC, Moody BJ.

Subjective memory complaints prior to and following electroconvulsive therapy. Biol Psychiatry 1996;39:346-56. 76.Berggren Š, Gustafson L, Höglund P, Johanson A.

A long-term longitudinal follow-up of depressed patients treated with ECT with special focus on development of dementia. J Affect Disord 2016;200:15-24. 77.Brodaty H, Hickie I, Mason C, Prenter L.

A prospective follow-up study of ECT outcome in older depressed patients. J Affect Disord 2000;60:101-11. 78.Osler M, Rozing MP, Christensen GT, Andersen PK, Jørgensen MB.

Electroconvulsive therapy and risk of dementia in patients with affective disorders. A cohort study. Lancet Psychiatry 2018;5:348-56.

Correspondence Address:Dr. Shubh Mohan SinghDepartment of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh IndiaSource of Support. None, Conflict of Interest.

NoneDOI. 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_239_19 Tables [Table 1], [Table 2].

How to cite this article:Singh buy astelin with prescription O P. Aftermath of celebrity suicide – Media coverage and role of psychiatrists. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:337-8Celebrity suicide is one of the highly publicized events buy astelin with prescription in our country. Indians got a glimpse of this following an unfortunate incident where a popular Hindi film actor died of suicide. As expected, the media went into a frenzy as newspapers, news channels, and social media were full of stories providing minute buy astelin with prescription details of the suicidal act.

Some even going as far as highlighting the color of the cloth used in the suicide as well as showing the lifeless body of the actor. All kinds of personal details were dug up, and speculations and hypotheses became the order of the day in the next few days that followed. In the process, reputations of many people associated with the actor were besmirched and their buy astelin with prescription private and personal details were freely and blatantly broadcast and discussed on electronic, print, and social media. We understand that media houses have their own need and duty to report and sensationalize news for increasing their visibility (aka TRP), but such reporting has huge impacts on the mental health of the vulnerable population.The impact of this was soon realized when many incidents of copycat suicide were reported from all over the country within a few days of the incident. Psychiatrists suddenly started getting distress calls from buy astelin with prescription their patients in despair with increased suicidal ideation.

This has become a major area of concern for the psychiatry community.The Indian Psychiatric Society has been consistently trying to engage with media to promote ethical reporting of suicide. Section 24 (1) of Mental Health Care Act, 2017, forbids publication of photograph of mentally ill person without his consent.[1] buy astelin with prescription The Press Council of India has adopted the guidelines of World Health Organization report on Preventing Suicide. A resource for media professionals, which came out with an advisory to be followed by media in reporting cases of suicide. It includes points forbidding them from putting stories in prominent positions and unduly repeating them, explicitly describing the method used, providing details about the site/location, using sensational headlines, or using photographs and video footage of the incident.[2] Unfortunately, the advisory seems to have little effect in the aftermath of celebrity suicides. Channels were full of speculations about the buy astelin with prescription person's mental condition and illness and also his relationships and finances.

Many fictional accounts of his symptoms and illness were touted, which is not only against the ethics but is also contrary to MHCA, 2017.[1]It went to the extent that the name of his psychiatrist was mentioned and quotes were attributed to him without taking any account from him. The Indian Psychiatric Society has written to the Press Council of India underlining this concern and asking for measures to ensure ethics in reporting suicide.While there is a need for engagement with media to make them aware of the grave impact of negative suicide reporting on the lives of many vulnerable persons, there is even a more urgent need for buy astelin with prescription training of psychiatrists regarding the proper way of interaction with media. This has been amply brought out in the aftermath of this incident. Many psychiatrists and mental health professionals were called by media houses to comment on the episode buy astelin with prescription. Many psychiatrists were quoted, or “misquoted,” or “quoted out of context,” commenting on the life of a person whom they had never examined and had no “professional authority” to do so.

There were even stories with byline of a psychiatrist where the content provided was not only unscientific but also way beyond the expertise of a psychiatrist. These types of viewpoints perpetuate stigma, myths, and “misleading concepts” about psychiatry and are detrimental to the image of buy astelin with prescription psychiatry in addition to doing harm and injustice to our patients. Hence, the need to formulate a guideline for interaction of psychiatrists with the media is imperative.In the infamous Goldwater episode, 12,356 psychiatrists were asked to cast opinion about the fitness of Barry Goldwater for presidential candidature. Out of 2417 respondents, 1189 psychiatrists reported him to be mentally unfit while none had actually examined him.[3] This led to the formulation of “The Goldwater Rule” by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973,[4] but we have witnessed the same phenomenon at the time of presidential candidature of Donald Trump.Psychiatrists should be encouraged to interact with media to provide scientific information about mental illnesses and reduction of stigma, but “statements to the media” can be a double-edged sword, and we should know about the rules of engagements and buy astelin with prescription boundaries of interactions. Methods and principles of interaction with media should form a part of our training curriculum.

Many professional buy astelin with prescription societies have guidelines and resource books for interacting with media, and psychiatrists should familiarize themselves with these documents. The Press Council guideline is likely to prompt reporters to seek psychiatrists for their expert opinion. It is useful for them to have a template ready with suicide rates, emphasizing multicausality of suicide, role of mental disorders, as well as help available.[5]It is about time that the Indian Psychiatric Society formulated its own guidelines laying down the broad principles and boundaries governing the interaction of Indian psychiatrists with the media. Till then, it is desirable to be guided by the following broad principles:It should be assumed that no statement goes “off the record” as the media person is most likely recording the interview, and we should also record any such conversation from our endIt should be clarified in which capacity comments are being made – professional, personal, or as a representative of an organizationOne should not comment on any person whom he has not examinedPsychiatrists should take any such opportunity to educate the public about mental health issuesThe comments buy astelin with prescription should be justified and limited by the boundaries of scientific knowledge available at the moment. References Correspondence Address:Dr.

O P SinghAA 304, Ashabari Apartments, O/31, Baishnabghata, Patuli Township, Kolkata - 700 094, West Bengal IndiaSource of buy astelin with prescription Support. None, Conflict of Interest. NoneDOI. 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_816_20Abstract Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective modality of treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. However, it has always been accused of being a coercive, unethical, and dangerous modality of treatment.

The dangerousness of ECT has been mainly attributed to its claimed ability to cause brain damage. This narrative review aims to provide an update of the evidence with regard to whether the practice of ECT is associated with damage to the brain. An accepted definition of brain damage remains elusive. There are also ethical and technical problems in designing studies that look at this question specifically. Thus, even though there are newer technological tools and innovations, any review attempting to answer this question would have to take recourse to indirect methods.

These include structural, functional, and metabolic neuroimaging. Body fluid biochemical marker studies. And follow-up studies of cognitive impairment and incidence of dementia in people who have received ECT among others. The review of literature and present evidence suggests that ECT has a demonstrable impact on the structure and function of the brain. However, there is a lack of evidence at present to suggest that ECT causes brain damage.Keywords.

Adverse effect, brain damage, electroconvulsive therapyHow to cite this article:Jolly AJ, Singh SM. Does electroconvulsive therapy cause brain damage. An update. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:339-53 Introduction Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a modality of treatment for psychiatric disorders has existed at least since 1938.[1] ECT is an effective modality of treatment for various psychiatric disorders. However, from the very beginning, the practice of ECT has also faced resistance from various groups who claim that it is coercive and harmful.[2] While the ethical aspects of the practice of ECT have been dealt with elsewhere, the question of harmfulness or brain damage consequent upon the passage of electric current needs to be examined afresh in light of technological advances and new knowledge.[3]The question whether ECT causes brain damage was reviewed in a holistic fashion by Devanand et al.

In the mid-1990s.[4],[5] The authors had attempted to answer this question by reviewing the effect of ECT on the brain in various areas – cognitive side effects, structural neuroimaging studies, neuropathologic studies of patients who had received ECT, autopsy studies of epileptic patients, and finally animal ECS studies. The authors had concluded that ECT does not produce brain damage.This narrative review aims to update the evidence with regard to whether ECT causes brain damage by reviewing relevant literature from 1994 to the present time. Framing the Question The Oxford Dictionary defines damage as physical harm that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of something.[6] Among medical dictionaries, the Peter Collins Dictionary defines damage as harm done to things (noun) or to harm something (verb).[7] Brain damage is defined by the British Medical Association Medical Dictionary as degeneration or death of nerve cells and tracts within the brain that may be localized to a particular area of the brain or diffuse.[8] Going by such a definition, brain damage in the context of ECT should refer to death or degeneration of brain tissue, which results in the impairment of functioning of the brain. The importance of precisely defining brain damage shall become evident subsequently in this review.There are now many more tools available to investigate the structure and function of brain in health and illness. However, there are obvious ethical issues in designing human studies that are designed to answer this specific question.

Therefore, one must necessarily take recourse to indirect evidences available through studies that have been designed to answer other research questions. These studies have employed the following methods:Structural neuroimaging studiesFunctional neuroimaging studiesMetabolic neuroimaging studiesBody fluid biochemical marker studiesCognitive impairment studies.While the early studies tended to focus more on establishing the safety of ECT and finding out whether ECT causes gross microscopic brain damage, the later studies especially since the advent of advanced neuroimaging techniques have been focusing more on a mechanistic understanding of ECT. Hence, the primary objective of the later neuroimaging studies has been to look for structural and functional brain changes which might explain how ECT acts rather than evidence of gross structural damage per se. However, put together, all these studies would enable us to answer our titular question to some satisfaction. [Table 1] and [Table 2] provide an overview of the evidence base in this area.

Structural and Functional Neuroimaging Studies Devanand et al. Reviewed 16 structural neuroimaging studies on the effect of ECT on the brain.[4] Of these, two were pneumoencephalography studies, nine were computed tomography (CT) scan studies, and five were magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. However, most of these studies were retrospective in design, with neuroimaging being done in patients who had received ECT in the past. In the absence of baseline neuroimaging, it would be very difficult to attribute any structural brain changes to ECT. In addition, pneumoencephalography, CT scan, and even early 0.3 T MRI provided images with much lower spatial resolution than what is available today.

The authors concluded that there was no evidence to show that ECT caused any structural damage to the brain.[4] Since then, at least twenty more MRI-based structural neuroimaging studies have studied the effect of ECT on the brain. The earliest MRI studies in the early 1990s focused on detecting structural damage following ECT. All of these studies were prospective in design, with the first MRI scan done at baseline and a second MRI scan performed post ECT.[9],[11],[12],[13],[41] While most of the studies imaged the patient once around 24 h after receiving ECT, some studies performed multiple post ECT neuroimaging in the first 24 h after ECT to better capture the acute changes. A single study by Coffey et al. Followed up the patients for a duration of 6 months and repeated neuroimaging again at 6 months in order to capture any long-term changes following ECT.[10]The most important conclusion which emerged from this early series of studies was that there was no evidence of cortical atrophy, change in ventricle size, or increase in white matter hyperintensities.[4] The next major conclusion was that there appeared to be an increase in the T1 and T2 relaxation time immediately following ECT, which returned to normal within 24 h.

This supported the theory that immediately following ECT, there appears to be a temporary breakdown of the blood–brain barrier, leading to water influx into the brain tissue.[11] The last significant observation by Coffey et al. In 1991 was that there was no significant temporal changes in the total volumes of the frontal lobes, temporal lobes, or amygdala–hippocampal complex.[10] This was, however, something which would later be refuted by high-resolution MRI studies. Nonetheless, one inescapable conclusion of these early studies was that there was no evidence of any gross structural brain changes following administration of ECT. Much later in 2007, Szabo et al. Used diffusion-weighted MRI to image patients in the immediate post ECT period and failed to observe any obvious brain tissue changes following ECT.[17]The next major breakthrough came in 2010 when Nordanskog et al.

Demonstrated that there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus bilaterally following a course of ECT in a cohort of patients with depressive illness.[18] This contradicted the earlier observations by Coffey et al. That there was no volume increase in any part of the brain following ECT.[10] This was quite an exciting finding and was followed by several similar studies. However, the perspective of these studies was quite different from the early studies. In contrast to the early studies looking for the evidence of ECT-related brain damage, the newer studies were focused more on elucidating the mechanism of action of ECT. Further on in 2014, Nordanskog et al.

In a follow-up study showed that though there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus 1 week after a course of ECT, the hippocampal volume returned to the baseline after 6 months.[19] Two other studies in 2013 showed that in addition to the hippocampus, the amygdala also showed significant volume increase following ECT.[20],[21] A series of structural neuroimaging studies after that have expanded on these findings and as of now, gray matter volume increase following ECT has been demonstrated in the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior temporal pole, subgenual cortex,[21] right caudate nucleus, and the whole of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) consisting of the hippocampus, amygdala, insula, and the posterosuperior temporal cortex,[24] para hippocampi, right subgenual anterior cingulate gyrus, and right anterior cingulate gyrus,[25] left cerebellar area VIIa crus I,[29] putamen, caudate nucleus, and nucleus acumbens [31] and clusters of increased cortical thickness involving the temporal pole, middle and superior temporal cortex, insula, and inferior temporal cortex.[27] However, the most consistently reported and replicated finding has been the bilateral increase in the volume of the hippocampus and amygdala. In light of these findings, it has been tentatively suggested that ECT acts by inducing neuronal regeneration in the hippocampus – amygdala complex.[42],[43] However, there are certain inconsistencies to this hypothesis. Till date, only one study – Nordanskog et al., 2014 – has followed study patients for a long term – 6 months in their case. And significantly, the authors found out that after increasing immediately following ECT, the hippocampal volume returns back to baseline by 6 months.[19] This, however, was not associated with the relapse of depressive symptoms. Another area of significant confusion has been the correlation of hippocampal volume increase with improvement of depressive symptoms.

Though almost all studies demonstrate a significant increase in hippocampal volume following ECT, a majority of studies failed to demonstrate a correlation between symptom improvement and hippocampal volume increase.[19],[20],[22],[24],[28] However, a significant minority of volumetric studies have demonstrated correlation between increase in hippocampal and/or amygdala volume and improvement of symptoms.[21],[25],[30]Another set of studies have used diffusion tensor imaging, functional MRI (fMRI), anatomical connectome, and structural network analysis to study the effect of ECT on the brain. The first of these studies by Abbott et al. In 2014 demonstrated that on fMRI, the connectivity between right and left hippocampus was significantly reduced in patients with severe depression. It was also shown that the connectivity was normalized following ECT, and symptom improvement was correlated with an increase in connectivity.[22] In a first of its kind DTI study, Lyden et al. In 2014 demonstrated that fractional anisotropy which is a measure of white matter tract or fiber density is increased post ECT in patients with severe depression in the anterior cingulum, forceps minor, and the dorsal aspect of the left superior longitudinal fasciculus.

The authors suggested that ECT acts to normalize major depressive disorder-related abnormalities in the structural connectivity of the dorsal fronto-limbic pathways.[23] Another DTI study in 2015 constructed large-scale anatomical networks of the human brain – connectomes, based on white matter fiber tractography. The authors found significant reorganization in the anatomical connections involving the limbic structure, temporal lobe, and frontal lobe. It was also found that connection changes between amygdala and para hippocampus correlated with reduction in depressive symptoms.[26] In 2016, Wolf et al. Used a source-based morphometry approach to study the structural networks in patients with depression and schizophrenia and the effect of ECT on the same. It was found that the medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex (ACC/MPFC) network, MTL network, bilateral thalamus, and left cerebellar regions/precuneus exhibited significant difference between healthy controls and the patient population.

It was also demonstrated that administration of ECT leads to significant increase in the network strength of the ACC/MPFC network and the MTL network though the increase in network strength and symptom amelioration were not correlated.[32]Building on these studies, a recently published meta-analysis has attempted a quantitative synthesis of brain volume changes – focusing on hippocampal volume increase following ECT in patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. The authors initially selected 32 original articles from which six articles met the criteria for quantitative synthesis. The results showed significant increase in the volume of the right and left hippocampus following ECT. For the rest of the brain regions, the heterogeneity in protocols and imaging techniques did not permit a quantitative analysis, and the authors have resorted to a narrative review similar to the present one with similar conclusions.[44] Focusing exclusively on hippocampal volume change in ECT, Oltedal et al. In 2018 conducted a mega-analysis of 281 patients with major depressive disorder treated with ECT enrolled at ten different global sites of the Global ECT-MRI Research Collaboration.[45] Similar to previous studies, there was a significant increase in hippocampal volume bilaterally with a dose–response relationship with the number of ECTs administered.

Furthermore, bilateral (B/L) ECT was associated with an equal increase in volume in both right and left hippocampus, whereas right unilateral ECT was associated with greater volume increase in the right hippocampus. Finally, contrary to expectation, clinical improvement was found to be negatively correlated with hippocampal volume.Thus, a review of the current evidence amply demonstrates that from looking for ECT-related brain damage – and finding none, we have now moved ahead to looking for a mechanistic understanding of the effect of ECT. In this regard, it has been found that ECT does induce structural changes in the brain – a fact which has been seized upon by some to claim that ECT causes brain damage.[46] Such statements should, however, be weighed against the definition of damage as understood by the scientific medical community and patient population. Neuroanatomical changes associated with effective ECT can be better described as ECT-induced brain neuroplasticity or ECT-induced brain neuromodulation rather than ECT-induced brain damage. Metabolic Neuroimaging Studies.

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) uses a phase-encoding procedure to map the spatial distribution of magnetic resonance (MR) signals of different molecules. The crucial difference, however, is that while MRI maps the MR signals of water molecules, MRSI maps the MR signals generated by different metabolites – such as N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and choline-containing compounds. However, the concentration of these metabolites is at least 10,000 times lower than water molecules and hence the signal strength generated would also be correspondingly lower. However, MRSI offers us the unique advantage of studying in vivo the change in the concentration of brain metabolites, which has been of great significance in fields such as psychiatry, neurology, and basic neuroscience research.[47]MRSI studies on ECT in patients with depression have focused largely on four metabolites in the human brain – NAA, choline-containing compounds (Cho) which include majorly cell membrane compounds such as glycerophosphocholine, phosphocholine and a miniscule contribution from acetylcholine, creatinine (Cr) and glutamine and glutamate together (Glx). NAA is located exclusively in the neurons, and is suggested to be a marker of neuronal viability and functionality.[48] Choline-containing compounds (Cho) mainly include the membrane compounds, and an increase in Cho would be suggestive of increased membrane turnover.

Cr serves as a marker of cellular energy metabolism, and its levels are usually expected to remain stable. The regions which have been most widely studied in MRSI studies include the bilateral hippocampus and amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and ACC.Till date, five MRSI studies have measured NAA concentration in the hippocampus before and after ECT. Of these, three studies showed that there is no significant change in the NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[33],[38],[49] On the other hand, two recent studies have demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[39],[40] The implications of these results are of significant interest to us in answering our titular question. A normal level of NAA following ECT could signify that there is no significant neuronal death or damage following ECT, while a reduction would signal the opposite. However, a direct comparison between these studies is complicated chiefly due to the different ECT protocols, which has been used in these studies.

It must, however, be acknowledged that the three older studies used 1.5 T MRI, whereas the two newer studies used a higher 3 T MRI which offers betters signal-to-noise ratio and hence lesser risk of errors in the measurement of metabolite concentrations. The authors of a study by Njau et al.[39] argue that a change in NAA levels might reflect reversible changes in neural metabolism rather than a permanent change in the number or density of neurons and also that reduced NAA might point to a change in the ratio of mature to immature neurons, which, in fact, might reflect enhanced adult neurogenesis. Thus, the authors warn that to conclude whether a reduction in NAA concentration is beneficial or harmful would take a simultaneous measurement of cognitive functioning, which was lacking in their study. In 2017, Cano et al. Also demonstrated a significant reduction in NAA/Cr ratio in the hippocampus post ECT.

More significantly, the authors also showed a significant increase in Glx levels in the hippocampus following ECT, which was also associated with an increase in hippocampal volume.[40] To explain these three findings, the authors proposed that ECT produces a neuroinflammatory response in the hippocampus – likely mediated by Glx, which has been known to cause inflammation at higher concentrations, thereby accounting for the increase in hippocampal volume with a reduction in NAA concentration. The cause for the volume increase remains unclear – with the authors speculating that it might be due to neuronal swelling or due to angiogenesis. However, the same study and multiple other past studies [21],[25],[30] have demonstrated that hippocampal volume increase was correlated with clinical improvement following ECT. Thus, we are led to the hypothesis that the same mechanism which drives clinical improvement with ECT is also responsible for the cognitive impairment following ECT. Whether this is a purely neuroinflammatory response or a neuroplastic response or a neuroinflammatory response leading to some form of neuroplasticity is a critical question, which remains to be answered.[40]Studies which have analyzed NAA concentration change in other brain areas have also produced conflicting results.

The ACC is another area which has been studied in some detail utilizing the MRSI technique. In 2003, Pfleiderer et al. Demonstrated that there was no significant change in the NAA and Cho levels in the ACC following ECT. This would seem to suggest that there was no neurogenesis or membrane turnover in the ACC post ECT.[36] However, this finding was contested by Merkl et al. In 2011, who demonstrated that NAA levels were significantly reduced in the left ACC in patients with depression and that these levels were significantly elevated following ECT.[37] This again is contested by Njau et al.

Who showed that NAA levels are significantly reduced following ECT in the left dorsal ACC.[39] A direct comparison of these three studies is complicated by the different ECT and imaging parameters used and hence, no firm conclusion can be made on this point at this stage. In addition to this, one study had demonstrated increased NAA levels in the amygdala following administration of ECT,[34] with a trend level increase in Cho levels, which again is suggestive of neurogenesis and/or neuroplasticity. A review of studies on the DLPFC reveals a similarly confusing picture with one study, each showing no change, reduction, and elevation of concentration of NAA following ECT.[35],[37],[39] Here, again, a direct comparison of the three studies is made difficult by the heterogeneous imaging and ECT protocols followed by them.A total of five studies have analyzed the concentration of choline-containing compounds (Cho) in patients undergoing ECT. Conceptually, an increase in Cho signals is indicative of increased membrane turnover, which is postulated to be associated with synaptogenesis, neurogenesis, and maturation of neurons.[31] Of these, two studies measured Cho concentration in the B/L hippocampus, with contrasting results. Ende et al.

In 2000 demonstrated a significant elevation in Cho levels in B/L hippocampus after ECT, while Jorgensen et al. In 2015 failed to replicate the same finding.[33],[38] Cho levels have also been studied in the amygdala, ACC, and the DLPFC. However, none of these studies showed a significant increase or decrease in Cho levels before and after ECT in the respective brain regions studied. In addition, no significant difference was seen in the pre-ECT Cho levels of patients compared to healthy controls.[34],[36],[37]In review, we must admit that MRSI studies are still at a preliminary stage with significant heterogeneity in ECT protocols, patient population, and regions of the brain studied. At this stage, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions except to acknowledge the fact that the more recent studies – Njau et al., 2017, Cano, 2017, and Jorgensen et al., 2015 – have shown decrease in NAA concentration and no increase in Cho levels [38],[39],[40] – as opposed to the earlier studies by Ende et al.[33] The view offered by the more recent studies is one of a neuroinflammatory models of action of ECT, probably driving neuroplasticity in the hippocampus.

This would offer a mechanistic understanding of both clinical response and the phenomenon of cognitive impairment associated with ECT. However, this conclusion is based on conjecture, and more work needs to be done in this area. Body Fluid Biochemical Marker Studies Another line of evidence for analyzing the effect of ECT on the human brain is the study of concentration of neurotrophins in the plasma or serum. Neurotrophins are small protein molecules which mediate neuronal survival and development. The most prominent among these is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which plays an important role in neuronal survival, plasticity, and migration.[50] A neurotrophic theory of mood disorders was suggested which hypothesized that depressive disorders are associated with a decreased expression of BDNF in the limbic structures, resulting in the atrophy of these structures.[51] It was also postulated that antidepressant treatment has a neurotrophic effect which reverses the neuronal cell loss, thereby producing a therapeutic effect.

It has been well established that BDNF is decreased in mood disorders.[52] It has also been shown that clinical improvement of depression is associated with increase in BDNF levels.[53] Thus, serum BDNF levels have been tentatively proposed as a biomarker for treatment response in depression. Recent meta-analytic evidence has shown that ECT is associated with significant increase in serum BDNF levels in patients with major depressive disorder.[54] Considering that BDNF is a potent stimulator of neurogenesis, the elevation of serum BDNF levels following ECT lends further credence to the theory that ECT leads to neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other limbic structures, which, in turn, mediates the therapeutic action of ECT. Cognitive Impairment Studies Cognitive impairment has always been the single-most important side effect associated with ECT.[55] Concerns regarding long-term cognitive impairment surfaced soon after the introduction of ECT and since then has grown to become one of the most controversial aspects of ECT.[56] Anti-ECT groups have frequently pointed out to cognitive impairment following ECT as evidence of ECT causing brain damage.[56] A meta-analysis by Semkovska and McLoughlin in 2010 is one of the most detailed studies which had attempted to settle this long-standing debate.[57] The authors reviewed 84 studies (2981 participants), which had used a combined total of 22 standardized neuropsychological tests assessing various cognitive functions before and after ECT in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The different cognitive domains reviewed included processing speed, attention/working memory, verbal episodic memory, visual episodic memory, spatial problem-solving, executive functioning, and intellectual ability. The authors concluded that administration of ECT for depression is associated with significant cognitive impairment in the first few days after ECT administration.

However, it was also seen that impairment in cognitive functioning resolved within a span of 2 weeks and thereafter, a majority of cognitive domains even showed mild improvement compared to the baseline performance. It was also demonstrated that not a single cognitive domain showed persistence of impairment beyond 15 days after ECT.Memory impairment following ECT can be analyzed broadly under two conceptual schemes – one that classifies memory impairment as objective memory impairment and subjective memory impairment and the other that classifies it as impairment in anterograde memory versus impairment in retrograde memory. Objective memory can be roughly defined as the ability to retrieve stored information and can be measured by various standardized neuropsychological tests. Subjective memory or meta-memory, on the other hand, refers to the ability to make judgments about one's ability to retrieve stored information.[58] As described previously, it has been conclusively demonstrated that anterograde memory impairment does not persist beyond 2 weeks after ECT.[57] However, one of the major limitations of this meta-analysis was the lack of evidence on retrograde amnesia following ECT. This is particularly unfortunate considering that it is memory impairment – particularly retrograde amnesia which has received the most attention.[59] In addition, reports of catastrophic retrograde amnesia have been repeatedly held up as sensational evidence of the lasting brain damage produced by ECT.[59] Admittedly, studies on retrograde amnesia are fewer and less conclusive than on anterograde amnesia.[60],[61] At present, the results are conflicting, with some studies finding some impairment in retrograde memory – particularly autobiographical retrograde memory up to 6 months after ECT.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, more recent studies have failed to support this finding.[66],[67] While they do demonstrate an impairment in retrograde memory immediately after ECT, it was seen that this deficit returned to pre-ECT levels within a span of 1–2 months and improved beyond baseline performance at 6 months post ECT.[66] Adding to the confusion are numerous factors which confound the assessment of retrograde amnesia.

It has been shown that depressive symptoms can produce significant impairment of retrograde memory.[68],[69] It has also been demonstrated that sine-wave ECT produces significantly more impairment of retrograde memory as compared to brief-pulse ECT.[70] However, from the 1990s onward, sine-wave ECT has been completely replaced by brief-pulse ECT, and it is unclear as to the implications of cognitive impairment from the sine-wave era in contemporary ECT practice.Another area of concern are reports of subjective memory impairment following ECT. One of the pioneers of research into subjective memory impairment were Squire and Chace who published a series of studies in the 1970s demonstrating the adverse effect of bilateral ECT on subjective assessment of memory.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, most of the studies conducted post 1980 – from when sine-wave ECT was replaced by brief-pulse ECT report a general improvement in subjective memory assessments following ECT.[71] In addition, most of the recent studies have failed to find a significant association between measures of subjective and objective memory.[63],[66],[70],[72],[73],[74] It has also been shown that subjective memory impairment is strongly associated with the severity of depressive symptoms.[75] In light of these facts, the validity and value of measures of subjective memory impairment as a marker of cognitive impairment and brain damage following ECT have been questioned. However, concerns regarding subjective memory impairment and catastrophic retrograde amnesia continue to persist, with significant dissonance between the findings of different research groups and patient self-reports in various media.[57]Some studies reported the possibility of ECT being associated with the development of subsequent dementia.[76],[77] However, a recent large, well-controlled prospective Danish study found that the use of ECT was not associated with elevated incidence of dementia.[78] Conclusion Our titular question is whether ECT leads to brain damage, where damage indicates destruction or degeneration of nerves or nerve tracts in the brain, which leads to loss of function. This issue was last addressed by Devanand et al. In 1994 since which time our understanding of ECT has grown substantially, helped particularly by the advent of modern-day neuroimaging techniques which we have reviewed in detail.

And, what these studies reveal is rather than damaging the brain, ECT has a neuromodulatory effect on the brain. The various lines of evidence – structural neuroimaging studies, functional neuroimaging studies, neurochemical and metabolic studies, and serum BDNF studies all point toward this. These neuromodulatory changes have been localized to the hippocampus, amygdala, and certain other parts of the limbic system. How exactly these changes mediate the improvement of depressive symptoms is a question that remains unanswered. However, there is little by way of evidence from neuroimaging studies which indicates that ECT causes destruction or degeneration of neurons.

Though cognitive impairment studies do show that there is objective impairment of certain functions – particularly memory immediately after ECT, these impairments are transient with full recovery within a span of 2 weeks. Perhaps, the single-most important unaddressed concern is retrograde amnesia, which has been shown to persist for up to 2 months post ECT. In this regard, the recent neurometabolic studies have offered a tentative mechanism of action of ECT, producing a transient inflammation in the limbic cortex, which, in turn, drives neurogenesis, thereby exerting a neuromodulatory effect. This hypothesis would explain both the cognitive adverse effects of ECT – due to the transient inflammation – and the long-term improvement in mood – neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Although unproven at present, such a hypothesis would imply that cognitive impairment is tied in with the mechanism of action of ECT and not an indicator of damage to the brain produced by ECT.The review of literature suggests that ECT does cause at least structural and functional changes in the brain, and these are in all probability related to the effects of the ECT.

However, these cannot be construed as brain damage as is usually understood. Due to the relative scarcity of data that directly examines the question of whether ECT causes brain damage, it is not possible to conclusively answer this question. However, in light of enduring ECT survivor accounts, there is a need to design studies that specifically answer this question.Financial support and sponsorshipNil.Conflicts of interestThere are no conflicts of interest. References 1.Payne NA, Prudic J. Electroconvulsive therapy.

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Subjective memory complaints prior to and following electroconvulsive therapy. Biol Psychiatry 1996;39:346-56. 76.Berggren Š, Gustafson L, Höglund P, Johanson A. A long-term longitudinal follow-up of depressed patients treated with ECT with special focus on development of dementia. J Affect Disord 2016;200:15-24.

77.Brodaty H, Hickie I, Mason C, Prenter L. A prospective follow-up study of ECT outcome in older depressed patients. J Affect Disord 2000;60:101-11. 78.Osler M, Rozing MP, Christensen GT, Andersen PK, Jørgensen MB. Electroconvulsive therapy and risk of dementia in patients with affective disorders.

A cohort study. Lancet Psychiatry 2018;5:348-56. Correspondence Address:Dr. Shubh Mohan SinghDepartment of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh IndiaSource of Support. None, Conflict of Interest.

NoneDOI. 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_239_19 Tables [Table 1], [Table 2].

What do you need to buy astelin

Oct. 22, 2020 -- Being sick with COVID-19 for more than four weeks, so-called "long COVID," affects older people, women and those with a wide range of symptoms in the first week of their illness most, British researchers report. About 5% of those with COVID-19 will have symptoms for eight weeks or more, according to the preprint analysis of data, CNN reported Wednesday. The researchers identified two groups of long COVID sufferers. One had mostly respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and shortness of breath, plus fatigue and headaches.

The other group had symptoms in many parts of the body, such as heart palpitations, gut issues, pins and needles or numbness, and brain fog. "It's important we use the knowledge we have gained from the first wave in the pandemic to reduce the long-term impact of the second. This should pave the way for trials of early interventions to reduce the long-term effects," researcher Dr. Claire Steves, a clinical academic at King's College London, said in a statement. Long COVID sufferers were twice as likely to have a relapse after they recovered, compared with those who had short COVID (16% versus 8%).

About 22% of adults older than 70 with COVID-19 developed long COVID, compared with about 1 in 10 of those aged 18 to 49, the study found. Women were also more likely to suffer from long COVID than men -- 15% versus 10%. But that only applied to younger patients, CNN reported. Also, those who developed long COVID were slightly heavier than those with short COVID and those with asthma were more likely to develop long COVID, but there were no clear links to other health conditions, the researchers added. ----- WebMD News from HealthDay Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay.

All rights reserved.By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic mothers-to-be in the southern United States are almost twice as likely to have COVID-19 as non-Hispanic women, a new study finds. The researchers also found that those with government health insurance were more likely to test positive for the coronavirus than women with private insurance. For the study, pregnant women were routinely tested for COVID-19 as they went to a Houston hospital for delivery, said researcher Dr. Beth Pineles.

"It's important to test everyone because if you only test people who are symptomatic, you'll get a lot more people who test positive," explained Pineles, a maternal-fetal medicine fellow with McGovern Medical School at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health). "Universal testing allows you to get an unbiased estimate of who is being infected, and our study found that Hispanic women were much more likely to have the virus," Pineles said in a UT Health news release. The researchers collected data on more than 900 Hispanic, Black, Asian and white patients. Among Hispanic women, nearly 11% tested positive for COVID-19, compared with 5.5% of non-Hispanic patients, the findings showed. "Although this study didn't dive into the why behind Hispanic patients being more likely to contract COVID-19, research seems to point to more social and cultural reasons versus any type of genetic disposition," Pineles said.

"It's too early in the pandemic to know for sure, but some studies have looked at factors like neighborhood crowding, number of people living in the household, and having essential jobs instead of being able to stay home and social distance," Pineles added. As for insurance, 9.5% of patients with public insurance (such as Medicaid) had COVID-19, versus 2.5% of patients with private insurance, the researchers found. Dr. Jacqueline Parchem is an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the medical school. "One strength of our study is that the obstetric population in Houston is incredibly diverse, so we were able to examine outcomes for groups that are often underrepresented," she said.By Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct.

22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If you've got type 2 diabetes and love drinking green tea or coffee, new research suggests you may be reducing your odds of a premature death. But you need to really love these drinks. The study found that having four or more cups of green tea along with two cups of coffee daily was linked to a 63% lower risk of death during the average five-year follow-up. On their own, a single cup of coffee or green tea daily might lower your risk of early death by 12% to 15%, respectively. "Familiar beverages such as green tea and coffee may have health-promoting effects.

We have shown that higher consumption of green tea and coffee was associated with reduced all-cause mortality, and their combined effect appeared to be additive in people with type 2 diabetes," said lead author Dr. Yuji Komorita, an assistant professor at Kyushu University's Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Fukuoka, Japan. Komorita said it's unknown how either drink may aid health. Both contain nutrients that may reduce inflammation, among other healthful benefits. Since coffee and green tea together were linked to an even lower risk of early death, Komorita suggested that each may have different beneficial substances that act on different diseases.

But Komorita added an important caveat. This study was not designed to prove cause and effect. As an observational study, it can only find an association. Komorita also pointed out that researchers didn't have a lot of information about participants that could affect the findings, such as their education, income and family history. The study included almost 5,000 Japanese adults (average age.

66) with type 2 diabetes. Almost 2,800 were men. Their health was followed for about 5 years. Participants completed a lengthy food and drink questionnaire that asked how much green tea and coffee they had daily. They were also asked lifestyle questions, such as how much exercise they did, alcohol and smoking habits, and how much sleep they typically got.

Only about 600 participants didn't drink green tea. About 1,000 didn't drink coffee. Continued Of those who sipped green tea, more than 1,100 drank up to a cup a day, almost 1,400 had two to three and nearly 1,800 drank four or more cups each day, the findings showed. For coffee drinkers, 1,300 had up to a single cup daily, more than 960 had one cup and 1,660 had two or more a day. During the follow-up period, just over 300 participants died.

Compared to people who didn't drink either beverage, participants who had green tea or coffee were less likely to die during the study, the researchers found. Those who drank both had the largest reductions in death risk. And, the more you drank, the lower your odds of dying, the study found. Folks who had more than four cups of green tea daily had a 40% lower risk -- the same as those who had two or more cups of coffee. Those who had just one of these beverages daily had a 15% or lower odds of early death.

Dr. Minisha Sood, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, wasn't involved in the study, but is familiar with the findings. "The positive effects of green tea are not specific to people with diabetes," she said. "It has been shown in multiple population studies that people in Japan who consume significant amounts of green tea experience a lower mortality rate from all causes and cardiovascular disease." While the researchers found a similar link for people in Japan with type 2 diabetes, Sood said the findings may not apply to the U.S. Population.

The quality of the green tea in Japan is likely different, as is the population, she explained. "It is also important to be cautious when interpreting the findings of this study because this group of patients was, on average, non-obese patients with controlled blood pressure," she said. Registered dietician Pat Talio also suspected that the quality of the green tea may be different in Japan. She's the clinical nutrition outpatient program coordinator at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Continued Even more important, she noted, the amount the Japanese are drinking may be different and they're not necessarily adding cream and sugar.

"Green tea and coffee may provide a benefit for everyone because they're made from plants, and all plants -- like fruits and vegetables -- come along with beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals that may reduce inflammation," she said. Still, Talio added when it comes to hydration, "water is our best bet. If you do drink coffee or tea, think about how you're drinking it." If you're sweetening it and adding milk or cream, you may be reducing its health benefits, she said. The findings were published online Oct. 21 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care.

WebMD News from HealthDay Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Here's good news for public health officials who've been hammering home the need to wear face masks. Your messages have been getting through. A new HealthDay/Harris Poll shows that more Americans than ever are donning face masks to protect against COVID-19 infection.

More than nine in 10 U.S. Adults (93%) said they sometimes, often or always wear a mask or face covering when they leave their home and are unable to socially distance, including more than seven in 10 (72%) who said they always do so, the poll revealed. "Compared to when we first asked this question in late August, our latest survey with HealthDay finds that more Americans are now consistently wearing a mask or face covering outside the home," said Kathy Steinberg, vice president of research for public release at The Harris Poll. Back in August, just 61% of U.S. Adults said they always wear a mask, while 90% said they sometimes, often or always wear one.

"While differences in usage do persist -- for example, women, older adults and Democrats are more likely than their respective counterparts to wear a mask more frequently -- it's promising to see that the proportion who said they 'always' wear a mask has increased since August across the board," Steinberg said. For example, Democrats are most likely to always wear a mask, with 82% reporting that level of use in October compared to 66% of Republicans and 69% of Independents. But the percentage who reported always wearing a mask in October has increased for all political persuasions since August. Democrat (82% versus 69%), Republican (66% versus 53%) and Independent (69% versus 64%). Women (77%) are more likely than men (67%) to say "always," while men are more likely to say "often" (16% versus 10%) or "sometimes" (10% versus 6%), the survey found.

But again, more men and women now wear a mask always than in August -- 67% versus 55% for men, and 77% versus 67% for women. The percentage of folks who report always wearing a mask increases with age. Continued 61% of 18- to 34-year-olds now say they always wear a mask, versus 50% in August. 83% of people aged 65 and older always don a mask, versus 73% in August. The increased embrace of masking comes in the midst of a resurgence of the new coronavirus in the United States, with the nation averaging 59,000 new cases a day.

There have been more than 8.3 million reported infections, and more than 220,000 U.S. Deaths caused by COVID-19. This acceptance of mask wearing probably has been fueled by studies showing that masks can prevent COVID-19 infection, as well as constant messages from trusted health officials, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. "I think more and more evidence that wasn't present at the beginning of the pandemic has amounted in favor of mask and face covering use by the general public," Adalja said.

"It is becoming a societal norm and perhaps increasingly viewed as one way to more safely go about one's daily activities." The online poll of 2,021 U.S. Adults was conducted by The Harris Poll between Oct. 8 and 12. WebMD News from HealthDay Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.“We shouldn’t be lulled into complacency that this is only an old person disease,” Fauci said.

The best way to achieve herd immunity is through a vaccine, he said. Otherwise, a large number of people will die by simply allowing everyone to become infected with the coronavirus. A “profound degree” of herd immunity won’t likely happen until the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022, he said, which is why he predicts public health measures such as face masks and social distancing will continue until then. Those public health measures are particularly important now as coronavirus cases continue to increase across the country, especially in the Midwest, CDC officials said Wednesday. €œUnfortunately, we’re seeing a distressing trend here in the United States, with COVID-19 cases increasing in nearly 75% of the country,” Jay Butler, MD, the deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC, said at a media briefing at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, according to CNBC.

€œSmaller, more intimate gatherings of family, friends, and neighbors may be driving transmission as well, especially as they move indoors,” he said. Butler said COVID-19 cases are growing “really in all parts of the country,” and although people are growing tired of the safety precautions, they’re still important. €œWe’re tired of wearing masks, but it continues to be as important as it has ever been, and I would say even more important than ever as we move into the fall season,” he said. The U.S. Is now reporting about 60,000 new daily cases, according to a CNBC analysis, which is up about 17% compared to a week ago.

The country has now reported more than 8.3 million cases and more than 222,000 deaths as of Thursday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Butler said that a safe and effective vaccine would be ready “very soon” and that he is “cautiously optimistic” that one will be available in limited numbers by the end of the year. Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, said two companies making vaccines -- Pfizer and Moderna -- are “very close, if not fully enrolled in their trials.”.

Oct. 22, 2020 -- Being sick with COVID-19 for more than four weeks, so-called "long COVID," affects older people, women and those with a wide range of symptoms in the first week of their illness most, British researchers report. About 5% of those with COVID-19 will have symptoms for eight weeks or more, according to the preprint analysis of data, CNN reported Wednesday.

The researchers identified two groups of long COVID sufferers. One had mostly respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and shortness of breath, plus fatigue and headaches. The other group had symptoms in many parts of the body, such as heart palpitations, gut issues, pins and needles or numbness, and brain fog.

"It's important we use the knowledge we have gained from the first wave in the pandemic to reduce the long-term impact of the second. This should pave the way for trials of early interventions to reduce the long-term effects," researcher Dr. Claire Steves, a clinical academic at King's College London, said in a statement.

Long COVID sufferers were twice as likely to have a relapse after they recovered, compared with those who had short COVID (16% versus 8%). About 22% of adults older than 70 with COVID-19 developed long COVID, compared with about 1 in 10 of those aged 18 to 49, the study found. Women were also more likely to suffer from long COVID than men -- 15% versus 10%.

But that only applied to younger patients, CNN reported. Also, those who developed long COVID were slightly heavier than those with short COVID and those with asthma were more likely to develop long COVID, but there were no clear links to other health conditions, the researchers added. ----- WebMD News from HealthDay Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay.

All rights reserved.By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic mothers-to-be in the southern United States are almost twice as likely to have COVID-19 as non-Hispanic women, a new study finds. The researchers also found that those with government health insurance were more likely to test positive for the coronavirus than women with private insurance.

For the study, pregnant women were routinely tested for COVID-19 as they went to a Houston hospital for delivery, said researcher Dr. Beth Pineles. "It's important to test everyone because if you only test people who are symptomatic, you'll get a lot more people who test positive," explained Pineles, a maternal-fetal medicine fellow with McGovern Medical School at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health).

"Universal testing allows you to get an unbiased estimate of who is being infected, and our study found that Hispanic women were much more likely to have the virus," Pineles said in a UT Health news release. The researchers collected data on more than 900 Hispanic, Black, Asian and white patients. Among Hispanic women, nearly 11% tested positive for COVID-19, compared with 5.5% of non-Hispanic patients, the findings showed.

"Although this study didn't dive into the why behind Hispanic patients being more likely to contract COVID-19, research seems to point to more social and cultural reasons versus any type of genetic disposition," Pineles said. "It's too early in the pandemic to know for sure, but some studies have looked at factors like neighborhood crowding, number of people living in the household, and having essential jobs instead of being able to stay home and social distance," Pineles added. As for insurance, 9.5% of patients with public insurance (such as Medicaid) had COVID-19, versus 2.5% of patients with private insurance, the researchers found.

Dr. Jacqueline Parchem is an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the medical school. "One strength of our study is that the obstetric population in Houston is incredibly diverse, so we were able to examine outcomes for groups that are often underrepresented," she said.By Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct.

22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If you've got type 2 diabetes and love drinking green tea or coffee, new research suggests you may be reducing your odds of a premature death. But you need to really love these drinks. The study found that having four or more cups of green tea along with two cups of coffee daily was linked to a 63% lower risk of death during the average five-year follow-up.

On their own, a single cup of coffee or green tea daily might lower your risk of early death by 12% to 15%, respectively. "Familiar beverages such as green tea and coffee may have health-promoting effects. We have shown that higher consumption of green tea and coffee was associated with reduced all-cause mortality, and their combined effect appeared to be additive in people with type 2 diabetes," said lead author Dr.

Yuji Komorita, an assistant professor at Kyushu University's Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Fukuoka, Japan. Komorita said it's unknown how either drink may aid health. Both contain nutrients that may reduce inflammation, among other healthful benefits.

Since coffee and green tea together were linked to an even lower risk of early death, Komorita suggested that each may have different beneficial substances that act on different diseases. But Komorita added an important caveat. This study was not designed to prove cause and effect.

As an observational study, it can only find an association. Komorita also pointed out that researchers didn't have a lot of information about participants that could affect the findings, such as their education, income and family history. The study included almost 5,000 Japanese adults (average age.

66) with type 2 diabetes. Almost 2,800 were men. Their health was followed for about 5 years.

Participants completed a lengthy food and drink questionnaire that asked how much green tea and coffee they had daily. They were also asked lifestyle questions, such as how much exercise they did, alcohol and smoking habits, and how much sleep they typically got. Only about 600 participants didn't drink green tea.

About 1,000 didn't drink coffee. Continued Of those who sipped green tea, more than 1,100 drank up to a cup a day, almost 1,400 had two to three and nearly 1,800 drank four or more cups each day, the findings showed. For coffee drinkers, 1,300 had up to a single cup daily, more than 960 had one cup and 1,660 had two or more a day.

During the follow-up period, just over 300 participants died. Compared to people who didn't drink either beverage, participants who had green tea or coffee were less likely to die during the study, the researchers found. Those who drank both had the largest reductions in death risk.

And, the more you drank, the lower your odds of dying, the study found. Folks who had more than four cups of green tea daily had a 40% lower risk -- the same as those who had two or more cups of coffee. Those who had just one of these beverages daily had a 15% or lower odds of early death.

Dr. Minisha Sood, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, wasn't involved in the study, but is familiar with the findings. "The positive effects of green tea are not specific to people with diabetes," she said.

"It has been shown in multiple population studies that people in Japan who consume significant amounts of green tea experience a lower mortality rate from all causes and cardiovascular disease." While the researchers found a similar link for people in Japan with type 2 diabetes, Sood said the findings may not apply to the U.S. Population. The quality of the green tea in Japan is likely different, as is the population, she explained.

"It is also important to be cautious when interpreting the findings of this study because this group of patients was, on average, non-obese patients with controlled blood pressure," she said. Registered dietician Pat Talio also suspected that the quality of the green tea may be different in Japan. She's the clinical nutrition outpatient program coordinator at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Continued Even more important, she noted, the amount the Japanese are drinking may be different and they're not necessarily adding cream and sugar. "Green tea and coffee may provide a benefit for everyone because they're made from plants, and all plants -- like fruits and vegetables -- come along with beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals that may reduce inflammation," she said. Still, Talio added when it comes to hydration, "water is our best bet.

If you do drink coffee or tea, think about how you're drinking it." If you're sweetening it and adding milk or cream, you may be reducing its health benefits, she said. The findings were published online Oct. 21 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care.

WebMD News from HealthDay Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Here's good news for public health officials who've been hammering home the need to wear face masks.

Your messages have been getting through. A new HealthDay/Harris Poll shows that more Americans than ever are donning face masks to protect against COVID-19 infection. More than nine in 10 U.S.

Adults (93%) said they sometimes, often or always wear a mask or face covering when they leave their home and are unable to socially distance, including more than seven in 10 (72%) who said they always do so, the poll revealed. "Compared to when we first asked this question in late August, our latest survey with HealthDay finds that more Americans are now consistently wearing a mask or face covering outside the home," said Kathy Steinberg, vice president of research for public release at The Harris Poll. Back in August, just 61% of U.S.

Adults said they always wear a mask, while 90% said they sometimes, often or always wear one. "While differences in usage do persist -- for example, women, older adults and Democrats are more likely than their respective counterparts to wear a mask more frequently -- it's promising to see that the proportion who said they 'always' wear a mask has increased since August across the board," Steinberg said. For example, Democrats are most likely to always wear a mask, with 82% reporting that level of use in October compared to 66% of Republicans and 69% of Independents.

But the percentage who reported always wearing a mask in October has increased for all political persuasions since August. Democrat (82% versus 69%), Republican (66% versus 53%) and Independent (69% versus 64%). Women (77%) are more likely than men (67%) to say "always," while men are more likely to say "often" (16% versus 10%) or "sometimes" (10% versus 6%), the survey found.

But again, more men and women now wear a mask always than in August -- 67% versus 55% for men, and 77% versus 67% for women. The percentage of folks who report always wearing a mask increases with age. Continued 61% of 18- to 34-year-olds now say they always wear a mask, versus 50% in August.

83% of people aged 65 and older always don a mask, versus 73% in August. The increased embrace of masking comes in the midst of a resurgence of the new coronavirus in the United States, with the nation averaging 59,000 new cases a day. There have been more than 8.3 million reported infections, and more than 220,000 U.S.

Deaths caused by COVID-19. This acceptance of mask wearing probably has been fueled by studies showing that masks can prevent COVID-19 infection, as well as constant messages from trusted health officials, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore.

"I think more and more evidence that wasn't present at the beginning of the pandemic has amounted in favor of mask and face covering use by the general public," Adalja said. "It is becoming a societal norm and perhaps increasingly viewed as one way to more safely go about one's daily activities." The online poll of 2,021 U.S. Adults was conducted by The Harris Poll between Oct.

8 and 12. WebMD News from HealthDay Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.“We shouldn’t be lulled into complacency that this is only an old person disease,” Fauci said.

The best way to achieve herd immunity is through a vaccine, he said. Otherwise, a large number of people will die by simply allowing everyone to become infected with the coronavirus. A “profound degree” of herd immunity won’t likely happen until the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022, he said, which is why he predicts public health measures such as face masks and social distancing will continue until then.

Those public health measures are particularly important now as coronavirus cases continue to increase across the country, especially in the Midwest, CDC officials said Wednesday. €œUnfortunately, we’re seeing a distressing trend here in the United States, with COVID-19 cases increasing in nearly 75% of the country,” Jay Butler, MD, the deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC, said at a media briefing at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, according to CNBC. €œSmaller, more intimate gatherings of family, friends, and neighbors may be driving transmission as well, especially as they move indoors,” he said.

Butler said COVID-19 cases are growing “really in all parts of the country,” and although people are growing tired of the safety precautions, they’re still important. €œWe’re tired of wearing masks, but it continues to be as important as it has ever been, and I would say even more important than ever as we move into the fall season,” he said. The U.S.

Is now reporting about 60,000 new daily cases, according to a CNBC analysis, which is up about 17% compared to a week ago. The country has now reported more than 8.3 million cases and more than 222,000 deaths as of Thursday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Butler said that a safe and effective vaccine would be ready “very soon” and that he is “cautiously optimistic” that one will be available in limited numbers by the end of the year.

Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, said two companies making vaccines -- Pfizer and Moderna -- are “very close, if not fully enrolled in their trials.”.

Astelin nose spray dosage

GREAT FALLS, astelin nose spray dosage Mont. €” For months, the jail in central Montana’s Cascade County was free of the coronavirus, which seemed as distant a threat as it did in much of the nation’s rural Mountain West.Then a few people who had the virus were arrested. By the time Paul Krogue, the jail’s medical director, realized there was a astelin nose spray dosage problem, nearly 50 inmates were infected in the jail, where some had been sleeping on mats on an overcrowded floor. After several weeks, Mr.

Krogue got a call that infections were spreading to a astelin nose spray dosage side of the jail that had been virus-free.He hung up the phone and put his head in his hands.“I just kind of lost it, like, ‘My God, I don’t know how much longer I can do this,’” Mr. Krogue, a nurse practitioner, recalled. €œI was just scared that I’m not going to be able to see it through, that I’m going to get sick — you just feel so exhausted and it’s just a lot.”The Mountain West, which for months avoided the worst of the pandemic, has rapidly devolved into one of the most alarming hot spots in a country that recorded its eight millionth confirmed case on Thursday, a day when more than 65,000 cases were announced nationwide, the most in a single day since July.Seventeen states, including many in the Mountain West, have added more cases in the past week than any other week of the pandemic. And the spread through sparsely populated areas of rural America has created problems in small towns that lack critical resources — including doctors — even in ordinary times.Wyoming, astelin nose spray dosage which did not have 1,000 total cases until June, recently added more than 1,000 in a single week.

Reports of new infections have recently reached record levels in Alaska, Colorado and Idaho. And Montana, where more than half of the state’s cases have been announced since August, is averaging more than 500 cases per day.In Cascade County, more than 300 inmates and staff members have been infected in a facility meant to hold 365 people, the county’s first astelin nose spray dosage major outbreak in a region where the virus is suddenly surging.The county seat, Great Falls, is seeing its worst case numbers yet. The local hospital and its 27-bed Covid-19 unit is at capacity. The county health department is racing to hire new contact tracers.

And Mr astelin nose spray dosage. Krogue, who also teaches nursing at Montana State University’s Great Falls campus, has seen attendance in his classes dwindle as students fall ill or quarantine.“I was just scared that I’m not going to be able to see it through, that I’m going to get sick,” said Paul Krogue, the jail’s medical director.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesOne place where the infections have spread has been local jails, which are confined, often crowded spaces. Jails are staples of local communities and tend to have people coming and going more quickly than prisons astelin nose spray dosage. Jails can hold everyone from people awaiting criminal trials for months to those picked up for a suspended driver’s license for a few hours.

With so many people filtering in and out, jails pose extra risks for the virus’s spread — not only inside facilities but in potentially feeding outbreaks in the rest of the community.Nationally, jails and prisons have seen astelin nose spray dosage disproportionate rates of infection and death, with a mortality rate twice as high as in the general population and an infection rate more than four times as high, according to recent data.A New York Times database has tracked clusters of at least 50 coronavirus cases in a dozen rural jails in Montana, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico during the pandemic. Among them. The Purgatory Correctional Center in Hurricane, Utah, with 166 infections. The jail in Twin Falls, Idaho, with astelin nose spray dosage 279.

And, in New Mexico, the Cibola County Correctional Center, which has reported 357 cases.In Cascade County, infections at the jail make up about a quarter of all known virus cases in the county. Health authorities astelin nose spray dosage say that the jail’s outbreak, which began in mid-August, was not believed to be the main cause of the community’s recent surge, but that it had led to some cases. In the past two months, Mr. Krogue said, the jail released 29 people who were considered actively infected.Infections at the jail make up about a quarter of Cascade County’s known virus cases.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesGreat Falls, home to about 58,000 residents, is in the less mountainous part of Montana, with the Missouri River flowing through and a large oil refinery on its banks.

The Cascade County Detention Center sits along a highway at the edge of town astelin nose spray dosage. Drive five miles in any direction and you are surrounded by wide-open plains.Montana requires that masks be worn inside businesses and indoor public spaces, and many people in Great Falls wear them when walking around downtown’s Central Avenue, where shops and cafes are still recovering from shutting down in the spring. Others go without masks, citing the open astelin nose spray dosage space and lack of crowds.Bob Kelly, the mayor, said people had not been overly worried about how the jail outbreak might affect the rest of town when it started.“I think that by the very definition of a jail, hopefully, the disease will be incarcerated, as well as the patients,” he said. €œIs there concern?.

Sure, there’s astelin nose spray dosage concern. But is there overreaction?. No.”The mayor of Great Falls said that residents had considered the jail’s outbreak a distant concern at first.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesSome residents’ nonchalance about the risks of the virus, said Mr. Krogue, the jail’s medical director, can be traced to a spring and early summer when almost no one in Cascade County knew anyone who astelin nose spray dosage had been sickened.“We benefited from that early on,” he said.

€œBut in some ways, I think it did us a disservice, too, because it also created a certain level of complacency.”That has quickly shifted now, he said, as cases have spiked.The number of active cases known to county officials on any given day has risen sharply to about 600, according to Trisha Gardner, Cascade County’s health officer. The county has seen 1,261 cases and six deaths during the pandemic, a Times astelin nose spray dosage database shows. Some of the cases have been tied to the jail outbreak, she said, and others have been connected to bars and restaurants. Even figuring out what has led to some cases has been complex, she said, as residents have been reluctant to cooperate with contact tracers.“Our hospitals are at capacity, our public health system is at capacity,” she said.

€œIt’s not sustainable at this rate.”When the outbreak astelin nose spray dosage at the jail began, social distancing was impossible, the authorities said. Three inmates shared cells designed for two. At night, astelin nose spray dosage men slept on thin blue pads in every available space. On the floor in the day room, in shower stalls, in stairwells, in hallways outside of cells.Inmates did not receive masks until August, and jail officials said many have refused to wear them.In interviews with more than a dozen inmates and their family members, inmates described the jail during the outbreak as chaotic and unsanitary.

They said their pleas for help often went unanswered by nurses and guards.Newly arriving inmates were not always quarantined from one another before their test results were known because of a lack of space, inmates and jail officials said.Owen Hawley, 30, said every inmate in his living area of 38 men had tested positive for the virus. He said he had been unable to eat for three days, had intensive body aches and suffered from a headache so powerful it felt astelin nose spray dosage as if it was “behind my eyes.”“After the fourth day of like, not eating and stuff, I just shut off, you know?. € he said.A jail area set aside for quarantining new inmates.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesAt one point, Mr. Hawley said, he astelin nose spray dosage and other prisoners protested the way the virus was being handled by refusing to leave their living areas and by blocking new inmates from entering.

Everyone was ultimately tested, Mr. Hawley said, and each prisoner was given a disposable mask.Sierra Jasmine Wells, 25, another inmate, said women in her dormitory had grown ill, one after the next.“Everyone around me was getting sick and astelin nose spray dosage it was tough on me,” she said. €œBy then, I had already accepted the fact that I was going to get sick.”When she became infected, she said, she was given cough syrup and Tylenol.“I kind of was just left alone to deal with it,” she said.Jesse Slaughter, the county sheriff who oversees the jail, said that the jail’s medical staff was doing everything it could, and that he had been seeking health care assistance from other counties. Officials defended their handling of the outbreak, noting that all inmates received standard medications including Tylenol twice a day and were taken to area hospitals when they needed added care.

Seven inmates, as well astelin nose spray dosage as some staff members, were hospitalized. No one from the jail has died from the virus, officials said.Sheriff Jesse Slaughter, who oversees the jail, said he had been seeking health care assistance from other counties.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesMr. Krogue said that since the start of the outbreak he had astelin nose spray dosage been working up to 16 hours each day and sleeping in his basement, away from his wife and children. He remains healthy but says he fears bringing the virus home.

The virus has slowed some in the jail, and officials have moved some inmates to other facilities, but other prisons and jails in the state are now seeing outbreaks.“You can start to see what some of these other places experienced much earlier on, and we just didn’t have that experience, but it’s certainly happening now,” Mr. Krogue said astelin nose spray dosage. €œIt’s just real in a way that it wasn’t.”Lucy Tompkins reported from Great Falls, Maura Turcotte from Chicago and Libby Seline from Lincoln, Neb. Reporting was contributed by Izzy Colón from Columbia, Mo., Brendon Derr from Phoenix, Rebecca Griesbach from Tuscaloosa, astelin nose spray dosage Ala., Danya Issawi and Timothy Williams from New York, Ann Hinga Klein from Des Moines, K.B.

Mensah from Silver Spring, Md., and Mitch Smith from Chicago.Start Preamble Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. Notice of astelin nose spray dosage funding opportunity. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency Start Printed Page 63654has had a significant impact on transit operations. During a series of FTA listening sessions held over the last three months, transit agencies asked FTA to support research to identify solutions to address the operational challenges that they are facing as a result of COVID-19.

In response, astelin nose spray dosage FTA makes available through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) funding to support research demonstration grants to public transit agencies to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Demonstration grants under this NOFO are authorized under FTA's Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312). Eligible projects will demonstrate innovative solutions to improve the operational efficiencies of transit systems and enhance mobility for their communities in four major areas.

(1) Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection. (2) exposure mitigation measures. (3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures that strengthen public confidence in transit services.

The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $10,000,000. FTA may supplement this amount if additional funding becomes available. Applicants must submit completed proposals for funding opportunity FTA-2020-015-TRI through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 2, 2020.

Prospective applicants should register as soon as possible on the GRANTS.GOV website to ensure they can complete the application process before the submission deadline. Application instructions are available on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/​howtoapply and in the “FIND” module of GRANTS.GOV. FTA will not accept mail and fax submissions. Start Further Info Please send any questions on this notice to Jamel El-Hamri email.

Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone. 2020-366-8985. A Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 1-800-877-8339. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Table of Contents A.

Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information E.

Application Review Information F. Federal Award Administration Information G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact Information A. Program Description The Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program is funded through the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C.

5312), with the goal to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Eligible projects will propose to develop and deploy innovative solutions in four major areas. (1) Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection. (2) exposure mitigation measures.

(3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. As required by 49 U.S.C. 5312(e)(4), projects funded under this NOFO must participate in an evaluation by an independent outside entity that will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of the projects funded under this subsection and any plan for broad-based implementation of the innovation promoted by successful projects.

B. Federal Award Information FTA makes available $10,000,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 funds under the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312) to finance the Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program. FTA may supplement the total funds available if additional funding becomes available at the time project selections are made.

FTA will grant pre-award authority starting on the date of the project award announcement for selected projects and should be completed within 24 months from the date of award. Funds are available only for eligible expenses incurred after the announcement of project selections. C. Eligibility Information (1) Eligible Applicants Eligible applicants include State and local governmental authorities, direct recipients of Urbanized Area (49 U.S.C.

5307) and Rural Area (49 U.S.C. 5311) formula funds, and Indian tribes. Eligible applicants are limited to FTA grantees or subrecipients who would be the primary beneficiaries of the innovative products and services that are developed—typically public transit agencies. Except for projects proposed by Indian tribes, proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated State proposal.

States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. The submission of the Statewide application will not preclude the submission and consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an urbanized area in a State. Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients. Eligible subrecipients include public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and private providers engaged in public transportation.

Eligible applicants may submit consolidated proposals for projects. (2) Cost Sharing or Matching The maximum Federal share of project costs is 100 percent. FTA may give additional consideration to applicants that propose a local share and may view these applicants as more competitive. The applicant must document the source(s) of the local match, if any, in the grant application.

For any applicants proposing match, eligible local match sources include the following. Cash from non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public transportation services. Revenues derived from the sale of advertising and concessions. Revenues generated from value capture financing mechanisms.

Funds from an undistributed cash surplus. Replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve. New capital. Or in-kind contributions.

(3) Eligible Projects Eligible projects will propose innovative solutions to improve operational efficiencies of transit agencies and enhance the mobility of transit users, through projects that demonstrate innovative solutions for. Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection. Exposure mitigation measures such a real-time notification of rail and bus passenger loads. New multi-modal payment innovative mobility systems such as contactless payments.

And measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. Each applicant may only submit one proposal.Start Printed Page 63655 D. Application and Submission Information (1) Address and Form of Application Submission Applications must be submitted through GRANTS.GOV. Applicants can find general information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV at www.fta.dot.gov/​howtoapply, along with specific instructions for the forms and attachments required for submission.

Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. (2) Content and Form of Application Submission a. Proposal Submission A complete proposal submission consists of at least two forms. 1.

The SF-424 Mandatory Form (downloadable from GRANTS.GOV) and 2. The supplemental form for the FY 2020 COVID-19 Demonstration Program (downloadable from GRANTS.GOV), which is available on FTA's website at (placeholder for FTA COVID-19 Demonstration Program). The application must include responses to all sections of the SF-424 mandatory form and the supplemental form unless a section is indicated as optional. FTA will use the information on the supplemental form to determine applicant and project eligibility for the program and to evaluate the proposal against the selection criteria described in part E of this notice.

FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF-424 submission. FTA encourages applicants to consider submitting a single supplemental form that includes multiple activities to be evaluated as a consolidated proposal. Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the SF-424 submission, including but not limited to letters of support, project budgets, or excerpts from relevant planning documents. Supporting documentation must be described and referenced by file name in the appropriate response section of the supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed.

Information such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, local match amount, description of areas served, etc., may be requested in varying degrees of detail on both the SF-424 form and supplemental form. Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms. If applicants copy information into the supplemental form from another source, they should verify that the supplemental form has fully captured pasted text and that it has not truncated the text due to character limits built into the form. Applicants should use both the “Check Package for Errors” and the “Validate Form” validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields.

Applicants should also ensure that the Federal and local amounts specified are consistent. Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage. Consistent with the R.O.U.T.E.S. Initiative, the Department encourages applicants to consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas.

B. Application Content The SF-424 Mandatory Form and the supplemental form will prompt applicants for the required information, including. I. Applicant Name ii.

Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number iii. Key contact information (contact name, address, email address, and phone number) iv. Congressional district(s) where project will take place v. Project Information (title, executive summary, and type) vi.

A detailed description of the need for the project vii. A detailed description of how the project will support the Program objectives viii. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost shares ix. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the applicant x.

A detailed project budget xi. Details on the local matching funds xii. A detailed project timeline xiii. Whether the project impacts an Opportunity Zone (3) Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) Each applicant is required to.

(1) Be registered in SAM before submitting an application. (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application. And (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which the applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FTA. These requirements do not apply if the applicant.

(1) Is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c). Or (2) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 25.110(d). FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

All applicants must provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. Registration in SAM may take as little as 3-5 business days, but there can be unexpected steps or delays. For example, the applicant may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number. FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, to complete all steps.

For additional information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit www.sam.gov. (4) Submission Dates and Times Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on November 2, 2020. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.

FTA urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to correct any problems that may have caused either GRANTS.GOV or FTA systems to reject the submission. Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances not within the applicant's control. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV website.

Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV. (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV. And (2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV. If the applicant does not receive confirmation of successful validation or receives a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials, the applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline.

If making a resubmission for any reason, applicants must include all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission. Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of registration on the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. Registration is Start Printed Page 63656a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to complete before an application can be submitted. Registered applicants may still be required to update their registration before submitting an application.

Registration in SAM is renewed annually and persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. (5) Funding Restrictions Funds may be used for post-award expenditures only. Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse projects for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to the date of project award announcements. (6) Other Submission Requirements FTA encourages applicants to identify scaled funding options in case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full requested amount.

If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the program and meets all relevant program requirements. The applicant must provide a clear explanation of how a reduced award would affect the project budget and scope. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not the applicant provides a scalable option. E.

Application Review Information (1) Project Evaluation Criteria Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage. Consistent with the R.O.U.T.E.S. Initiative, the Department will consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas. In addition, the Department will review and consider applications for funding pursuant to this Notice in accordance with the President's September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities, consistent with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and the Attorney General and with all applicable laws.

FTA will evaluate proposals submitted according to the following criteria. (a) Project Innovation and Impact. (b) Project Approach. (c) National Applicability.

(d) Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer. And (e) Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity. FTA encourages each applicant to demonstrate how a project supports all criteria with the most relevant information the applicant can provide, regardless of whether such information has been specifically requested or identified in this notice. A.

Project Innovation and Impact i. Effectiveness of the project in achieving and demonstrating the specific objectives of this program. Ii. Demonstration of benefits in addressing the needs of the transit agency and industry and impacts to infrastructure, equipment, transit workforce, and riders.

Iii. Degree of improvement over current and existing technologies, designs, and/or practices applicable to the transit industry. B. Project Approach i.

Quality of the project approach such as existing partnerships, collaboration strategies and level of commitment of the project partners. Ii. Proposal is realistic in its approach to fulfill the milestones/deliverables, schedule and goals. C.

National Applicability i. Degree to which the project could be replicated by other transit agencies regionally or nationally. Ii. Ability to evaluate technologies, designs and/or practices in a wide variety of conditions and locales.

Iii. Degree to which the technology, designs and/or practices can be replicated by other transportation modes. D. Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer i.

Demonstrates a realistic plan for moving the results of the project into the transit marketplace (patents, conferences, articles in trade magazines, webinar, site visits, etc.). Ii. How the project team plans to work with the industry on improving best practices, guidance and/or standards, if applicable. Iii.

Demonstrate a clear understanding and robust approach to data collection, access and management. E. Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity Capacity of the applicant and any partners to successfully execute the project effort. There should be no outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the applicant that would make this a high-risk project.

(2) Review and Selection Process An FTA technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the published project evaluation criteria. Members of the technical evaluation committee will rate the applications and may seek clarification about any statement in an application. The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection and amount of funding for each project after consideration of the findings of the technical evaluation committee. Geographic diversity, diversity of the project type, the amount of local match to be provided, and the applicant's receipt and management of other Federal transit funds may be considered in FTA's award decisions.

Prior fare payment innovation efforts may receive priority consideration. The FTA Administrator will consider the following key DOT objectives. A. Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing models to attract non-Federal sources of investment.

B. Whether the project is located in or supports public transportation service in a qualified opportunity zone designated pursuant to 26.U.S.C. 1400Z-1. And c.

The extent to which the project addresses challenges specific to the provision of rural public transportation. (3) FAPIIS Review Prior to making a grant award, FTA is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) accessible through SAM. An applicant may review and comment on information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. FTA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants.

F. Federal Award Administration Information (1) Federal Award Notices FTA will announce the final project selections on the FTA website. Project recipients should contact their FTA Regional Office for additional information regarding allocations for Start Printed Page 63657projects. At the time project selections are announced, FTA will extend pre-award authority for the selected projects.

There is no blanket pre-award authority for these projects before announcement. There is no minimum or maximum grant award amount, but FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible. FTA only will consider proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities. Due to funding limitations, projects selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested.

In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded. (2) Administrative and National Policy Requirements a. Pre-Award Authority FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award authority at the time of selection. FTA does not provide pre-award authority for competitive funds until projects are selected, and there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred.

For more information about FTA's policy on pre-award authority, see the FY 2020 Apportionments Notice published on June 3, 2020, at https://www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2020-06-03/​pdf/​2020-11946.pdf. b. Grant Requirements Selected applicants will submit a grant application through FTA's electronic grant management system and adhere to the customary FTA grant requirements for research project (insert Circular name). All competitive grants, regardless of award amount, will be subject to the Congressional notification and release process.

FTA emphasizes that third-party procurement applies to all funding awards, as described in FTA Circular 4220.1F, “Third Party Contracting Guidance.” However, FTA may approve applications that include a specifically identified partnering organization(s) (2 CFR 200.302(f)). When included, the application, budget, and budget narrative should provide a clear understanding of how the selection of these organizations is critical for the project and give sufficient detail about the costs involved. C. Planning FTA encourages applicants to engage the appropriate State Departments of Transportation, Regional Transportation Planning Organizations, or Metropolitan Planning Organizations in areas to be served by the project funds available under this program.

D. Standard Assurances The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may affect the implementation of the project.

The applicant agrees that the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not have current certifications on file. E. Free Speech and Religious Liberty In connection with any program or activity conducted with or benefiting from funds awarded under this notice, recipients of funds must comply with all applicable requirements of Federal law, including, without limitation, the Constitution of the United States.

Statutory, regulatory, and public policy requirements, including without limitation, those protecting free speech, religious liberty, public welfare, the environment, and prohibiting discrimination. The conditions of performance, non-discrimination requirements, and other assurances made applicable to the award of funds in accordance with regulations of the Department of Transportation. And applicable Federal financial assistance and contracting principles promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget. In complying with these requirements, recipients must ensure that no concession agreements are denied or other contracting decisions made on the basis of speech or other activities protected by the First Amendment.

If the Department determines that a recipient has failed to comply with applicable Federal requirements, the Department may terminate the award of funds and disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the recipient to reimburse any expended award funds. (3) Reporting The post-award reporting requirements include submission of the Federal Financial Report (FFR) and Milestone Progress Report in TrAMS. An evaluation of the grant will occur at various points in the demonstration process and at the end of the project. In addition, FTA is responsible for producing an Annual Report to Congress that compiles evaluation of selected projects, including an evaluation of the performance measures identified by the applicants.

All applicants must develop an evaluation plan to measure the success or failure of their projects and describe any plans for broad-based implementation of successful projects. FTA may request data and reports to support the evaluation and Annual Report. A. Independent Evaluation To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the impacts and implications of each proposed COVID-19 Research Demonstration Program, projects funded under this announcement will require the recipient to conduct a third party independent evaluation of their project.

Recipients will be required to contract with a third party independent evaluator to assist in developing an evaluation plan, and collecting, storing and managing data required to fulfill the evaluation requirement. No more than 10 percent of the Federal share of the project may be used to hire the third-party independent evaluator and the inclusion of a third-party independent evaluation should be described in the grant application. If the project duration is more than two years, an interim evaluation report would need to be submitted to FTA, otherwise the evaluation report should be included as part of the final project report. B.

COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program Evaluation Projects funded under this announcement will be required to establish a set of performance metrics set by the third-party independent evaluator and shared with FTA. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts Information For questions about applying, please contact Jamel El-Hamri email. Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone.

202-366-8985. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDDFIRS). To ensure that applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, applicants are encouraged to contact FTA directly with questions, rather than through intermediaries or third parties.Start Printed Page 63658 FTA staff also may conduct briefings on the competitive grants selection and award process upon request. Start Signature K.

Jane Williams, Deputy Administrator. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-22316 Filed 10-7-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4910-57-P.

GREAT FALLS, buy astelin with prescription Mont. €” For months, the jail in central Montana’s Cascade County was free of the coronavirus, which seemed as distant a threat as it did in much of the nation’s rural Mountain West.Then a few people who had the virus were arrested. By the time Paul Krogue, the jail’s medical director, realized there was a problem, nearly 50 inmates were infected in the jail, where some had been buy astelin with prescription sleeping on mats on an overcrowded floor. After several weeks, Mr. Krogue got a call that infections were spreading to buy astelin with prescription a side of the jail that had been virus-free.He hung up the phone and put his head in his hands.“I just kind of lost it, like, ‘My God, I don’t know how much longer I can do this,’” Mr.

Krogue, a nurse practitioner, recalled. €œI was just scared that I’m not going to be able to see it through, that I’m going to get sick — you just feel so exhausted and it’s just a lot.”The Mountain West, which for months avoided the worst of the pandemic, has rapidly devolved into one of the most alarming hot spots in a country that recorded its eight millionth confirmed case on Thursday, a day when more than 65,000 cases were announced nationwide, the most in a single day since July.Seventeen states, including many in the Mountain West, have added more cases in the past week than any other week of the pandemic. And the spread through sparsely populated areas of rural America has created problems in small towns that lack critical resources — including doctors — even in ordinary times.Wyoming, which did not have 1,000 total cases until buy astelin with prescription June, recently added more than 1,000 in a single week. Reports of new infections have recently reached record levels in Alaska, Colorado and Idaho. And Montana, where more than half of the state’s cases have been announced since August, is averaging more than buy astelin with prescription 500 cases per day.In Cascade County, more than 300 inmates and staff members have been infected in a facility meant to hold 365 people, the county’s first major outbreak in a region where the virus is suddenly surging.The county seat, Great Falls, is seeing its worst case numbers yet.

The local hospital and its 27-bed Covid-19 unit is at capacity. The county health department is racing to hire new contact tracers. And Mr buy astelin with prescription. Krogue, who also teaches nursing at Montana State University’s Great Falls campus, has seen attendance in his classes dwindle as students fall ill or quarantine.“I was just scared that I’m not going to be able to see it through, that I’m going to get sick,” said Paul Krogue, the jail’s medical director.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesOne place where the infections have spread has been local jails, which are confined, often crowded spaces. Jails are staples of local communities and tend to have people coming and going more buy astelin with prescription quickly than prisons.

Jails can hold everyone from people awaiting criminal trials for months to those picked up for a suspended driver’s license for a few hours. With so many people filtering in and out, jails pose extra risks for the virus’s spread — not only inside facilities buy astelin with prescription but in potentially feeding outbreaks in the rest of the community.Nationally, jails and prisons have seen disproportionate rates of infection and death, with a mortality rate twice as high as in the general population and an infection rate more than four times as high, according to recent data.A New York Times database has tracked clusters of at least 50 coronavirus cases in a dozen rural jails in Montana, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico during the pandemic. Among them. The Purgatory Correctional Center in Hurricane, Utah, with 166 infections. The jail in Twin Falls, Idaho, buy astelin with prescription with 279.

And, in New Mexico, the Cibola County Correctional Center, which has reported 357 cases.In Cascade County, infections at the jail make up about a quarter of all known virus cases in the county. Health authorities say that the jail’s outbreak, which began in mid-August, was not believed to be the main cause buy astelin with prescription of the community’s recent surge, but that it had led to some cases. In the past two months, Mr. Krogue said, the jail released 29 people who were considered actively infected.Infections at the jail make up about a quarter of Cascade County’s known virus cases.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesGreat Falls, home to about 58,000 residents, is in the less mountainous part of Montana, with the Missouri River flowing through and a large oil refinery on its banks. The Cascade County Detention Center sits along a highway at the buy astelin with prescription edge of town.

Drive five miles in any direction and you are surrounded by wide-open plains.Montana requires that masks be worn inside businesses and indoor public spaces, and many people in Great Falls wear them when walking around downtown’s Central Avenue, where shops and cafes are still recovering from shutting down in the spring. Others go without masks, citing the open space and lack of crowds.Bob Kelly, the mayor, said people had not been overly worried about how the jail outbreak might affect the rest of town when it started.“I think that by the very definition of a buy astelin with prescription jail, hopefully, the disease will be incarcerated, as well as the patients,” he said. €œIs there concern?. Sure, buy astelin with prescription there’s concern. But is there overreaction?.

No.”The mayor of Great Falls said that residents had considered the jail’s outbreak a distant concern at first.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesSome residents’ nonchalance about the risks of the virus, said Mr. Krogue, the jail’s medical director, can be traced to a spring and early summer when buy astelin with prescription almost no one in Cascade County knew anyone who had been sickened.“We benefited from that early on,” he said. €œBut in some ways, I think it did us a disservice, too, because it also created a certain level of complacency.”That has quickly shifted now, he said, as cases have spiked.The number of active cases known to county officials on any given day has risen sharply to about 600, according to Trisha Gardner, Cascade County’s health officer. The county has seen buy astelin with prescription 1,261 cases and six deaths during the pandemic, a Times database shows. Some of the cases have been tied to the jail outbreak, she said, and others have been connected to bars and restaurants.

Even figuring out what has led to some cases has been complex, she said, as residents have been reluctant to cooperate with contact tracers.“Our hospitals are at capacity, our public health system is at capacity,” she said. €œIt’s not sustainable at this rate.”When the outbreak buy astelin with prescription at the jail began, social distancing was impossible, the authorities said. Three inmates shared cells designed for two. At night, men slept on thin blue pads in every available space buy astelin with prescription. On the floor in the day room, in shower stalls, in stairwells, in hallways outside of cells.Inmates did not receive masks until August, and jail officials said many have refused to wear them.In interviews with more than a dozen inmates and their family members, inmates described the jail during the outbreak as chaotic and unsanitary.

They said their pleas for help often went unanswered by nurses and guards.Newly arriving inmates were not always quarantined from one another before their test results were known because of a lack of space, inmates and jail officials said.Owen Hawley, 30, said every inmate in his living area of 38 men had tested positive for the virus. He said he had been unable to eat for three buy astelin with prescription days, had intensive body aches and suffered from a headache so powerful it felt as if it was “behind my eyes.”“After the fourth day of like, not eating and stuff, I just shut off, you know?. € he said.A jail area set aside for quarantining new inmates.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesAt one point, Mr. Hawley said, he and other prisoners protested the way the buy astelin with prescription virus was being handled by refusing to leave their living areas and by blocking new inmates from entering. Everyone was ultimately tested, Mr.

Hawley said, and each prisoner was buy astelin with prescription given a disposable mask.Sierra Jasmine Wells, 25, another inmate, said women in her dormitory had grown ill, one after the next.“Everyone around me was getting sick and it was tough on me,” she said. €œBy then, I had already accepted the fact that I was going to get sick.”When she became infected, she said, she was given cough syrup and Tylenol.“I kind of was just left alone to deal with it,” she said.Jesse Slaughter, the county sheriff who oversees the jail, said that the jail’s medical staff was doing everything it could, and that he had been seeking health care assistance from other counties. Officials defended their handling of the outbreak, noting that all inmates received standard medications including Tylenol twice a day and were taken to area hospitals when they needed added care. Seven inmates, as buy astelin with prescription well as some staff members, were hospitalized. No one from the jail has died from the virus, officials said.Sheriff Jesse Slaughter, who oversees the jail, said he had been seeking health care assistance from other counties.Credit...Tailyr Irvine for The New York TimesMr.

Krogue said that since the start of the outbreak he had been working up to 16 hours each day and sleeping in his basement, away from buy astelin with prescription his wife and children. He remains healthy but says he fears bringing the virus home. The virus has slowed some in the jail, and officials have moved some inmates to other facilities, but other prisons and jails in the state are now seeing outbreaks.“You can start to see what some of these other places experienced much earlier on, and we just didn’t have that experience, but it’s certainly happening now,” Mr. Krogue said buy astelin with prescription. €œIt’s just real in a way that it wasn’t.”Lucy Tompkins reported from Great Falls, Maura Turcotte from Chicago and Libby Seline from Lincoln, Neb.

Reporting was contributed by Izzy Colón from Columbia, Mo., Brendon Derr from Phoenix, Rebecca Griesbach from Tuscaloosa, Ala., Danya Issawi and Timothy Williams from New York, Ann Hinga Klein from Des buy astelin with prescription Moines, K.B. Mensah from Silver Spring, Md., and Mitch Smith from Chicago.Start Preamble Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. Notice of funding buy astelin with prescription opportunity. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency Start Printed Page 63654has had a significant impact on transit operations. During a series of FTA listening sessions held over the last three months, transit agencies asked FTA to support research to identify solutions to address the operational challenges that they are facing as a result of COVID-19.

In response, FTA buy astelin with prescription makes available through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) funding to support research demonstration grants to public transit agencies to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Demonstration grants under this NOFO are authorized under FTA's Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312). Eligible projects will demonstrate innovative solutions to improve the operational efficiencies of transit systems and enhance mobility for their communities in four major areas. (1) Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection.

(2) exposure mitigation measures. (3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures that strengthen public confidence in transit services. The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $10,000,000. FTA may supplement this amount if additional funding becomes available.

Applicants must submit completed proposals for funding opportunity FTA-2020-015-TRI through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 2, 2020. Prospective applicants should register as soon as possible on the GRANTS.GOV website to ensure they can complete the application process before the submission deadline. Application instructions are available on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/​howtoapply and in the “FIND” module of GRANTS.GOV. FTA will not accept mail and fax submissions.

Start Further Info Please send any questions on this notice to Jamel El-Hamri email. Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone. 2020-366-8985. A Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 1-800-877-8339. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Table of Contents A.

Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information E. Application Review Information F.

Federal Award Administration Information G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact Information A. Program Description The Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program is funded through the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312), with the goal to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Eligible projects will propose to develop and deploy innovative solutions in four major areas.

(1) Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection. (2) exposure mitigation measures. (3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. As required by 49 U.S.C.

5312(e)(4), projects funded under this NOFO must participate in an evaluation by an independent outside entity that will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of the projects funded under this subsection and any plan for broad-based implementation of the innovation promoted by successful projects. B. Federal Award Information FTA makes available $10,000,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 funds under the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312) to finance the Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program. FTA may supplement the total funds available if additional funding becomes available at the time project selections are made.

FTA will grant pre-award authority starting on the date of the project award announcement for selected projects and should be completed within 24 months from the date of award. Funds are available only for eligible expenses incurred after the announcement of project selections. C. Eligibility Information (1) Eligible Applicants Eligible applicants include State and local governmental authorities, direct recipients of Urbanized Area (49 U.S.C. 5307) and Rural Area (49 U.S.C.

5311) formula funds, and Indian tribes. Eligible applicants are limited to FTA grantees or subrecipients who would be the primary beneficiaries of the innovative products and services that are developed—typically public transit agencies. Except for projects proposed by Indian tribes, proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated State proposal. States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. The submission of the Statewide application will not preclude the submission and consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an urbanized area in a State.

Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients. Eligible subrecipients include public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and private providers engaged in public transportation. Eligible applicants may submit consolidated proposals for projects. (2) Cost Sharing or Matching The maximum Federal share of project costs is 100 percent. FTA may give additional consideration to applicants that propose a local share and may view these applicants as more competitive.

The applicant must document the source(s) of the local match, if any, in the grant application. For any applicants proposing match, eligible local match sources include the following. Cash from non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public transportation services. Revenues derived from the sale of advertising and concessions. Revenues generated from value capture financing mechanisms.

Funds from an undistributed cash surplus. Replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve. New capital. Or in-kind contributions. (3) Eligible Projects Eligible projects will propose innovative solutions to improve operational efficiencies of transit agencies and enhance the mobility of transit users, through projects that demonstrate innovative solutions for.

Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection. Exposure mitigation measures such a real-time notification of rail and bus passenger loads. New multi-modal payment innovative mobility systems such as contactless payments. And measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. Each applicant may only submit one proposal.Start Printed Page 63655 D.

Application and Submission Information (1) Address and Form of Application Submission Applications must be submitted through GRANTS.GOV. Applicants can find general information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV at www.fta.dot.gov/​howtoapply, along with specific instructions for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. (2) Content and Form of Application Submission a. Proposal Submission A complete proposal submission consists of at least two forms.

1. The SF-424 Mandatory Form (downloadable from GRANTS.GOV) and 2. The supplemental form for the FY 2020 COVID-19 Demonstration Program (downloadable from GRANTS.GOV), which is available on FTA's website at (placeholder for FTA COVID-19 Demonstration Program). The application must include responses to all sections of the SF-424 mandatory form and the supplemental form unless a section is indicated as optional. FTA will use the information on the supplemental form to determine applicant and project eligibility for the program and to evaluate the proposal against the selection criteria described in part E of this notice.

FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF-424 submission. FTA encourages applicants to consider submitting a single supplemental form that includes multiple activities to be evaluated as a consolidated proposal. Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the SF-424 submission, including but not limited to letters of support, project budgets, or excerpts from relevant planning documents. Supporting documentation must be described and referenced by file name in the appropriate response section of the supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed. Information such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, local match amount, description of areas served, etc., may be requested in varying degrees of detail on both the SF-424 form and supplemental form.

Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms. If applicants copy information into the supplemental form from another source, they should verify that the supplemental form has fully captured pasted text and that it has not truncated the text due to character limits built into the form. Applicants should use both the “Check Package for Errors” and the “Validate Form” validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields. Applicants should also ensure that the Federal and local amounts specified are consistent. Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage.

Consistent with the R.O.U.T.E.S. Initiative, the Department encourages applicants to consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas. B. Application Content The SF-424 Mandatory Form and the supplemental form will prompt applicants for the required information, including. I.

Applicant Name ii. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number iii. Key contact information (contact name, address, email address, and phone number) iv. Congressional district(s) where project will take place v. Project Information (title, executive summary, and type) vi.

A detailed description of the need for the project vii. A detailed description of how the project will support the Program objectives viii. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost shares ix. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the applicant x. A detailed project budget xi.

Details on the local matching funds xii. A detailed project timeline xiii. Whether the project impacts an Opportunity Zone (3) Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) Each applicant is required to. (1) Be registered in SAM before submitting an application. (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application.

And (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which the applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FTA. These requirements do not apply if the applicant. (1) Is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c). Or (2) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 25.110(d). FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements.

If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. All applicants must provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. Registration in SAM may take as little as 3-5 business days, but there can be unexpected steps or delays. For example, the applicant may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number. FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, to complete all steps.

For additional information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit www.sam.gov. (4) Submission Dates and Times Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on November 2, 2020. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. FTA urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to correct any problems that may have caused either GRANTS.GOV or FTA systems to reject the submission.

Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances not within the applicant's control. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV website. Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV. (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV.

And (2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV. If the applicant does not receive confirmation of successful validation or receives a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials, the applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, applicants must include all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission. Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of registration on the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. Registration is Start Printed Page 63656a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to complete before an application can be submitted.

Registered applicants may still be required to update their registration before submitting an application. Registration in SAM is renewed annually and persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. (5) Funding Restrictions Funds may be used for post-award expenditures only. Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse projects for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to the date of project award announcements. (6) Other Submission Requirements FTA encourages applicants to identify scaled funding options in case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full requested amount.

If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the program and meets all relevant program requirements. The applicant must provide a clear explanation of how a reduced award would affect the project budget and scope. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not the applicant provides a scalable option. E. Application Review Information (1) Project Evaluation Criteria Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage.

Consistent with the R.O.U.T.E.S. Initiative, the Department will consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas. In addition, the Department will review and consider applications for funding pursuant to this Notice in accordance with the President's September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities, consistent with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and the Attorney General and with all applicable laws. FTA will evaluate proposals submitted according to the following criteria. (a) Project Innovation and Impact.

(b) Project Approach. (c) National Applicability. (d) Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer. And (e) Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity. FTA encourages each applicant to demonstrate how a project supports all criteria with the most relevant information the applicant can provide, regardless of whether such information has been specifically requested or identified in this notice.

A. Project Innovation and Impact i. Effectiveness of the project in achieving and demonstrating the specific objectives of this program. Ii. Demonstration of benefits in addressing the needs of the transit agency and industry and impacts to infrastructure, equipment, transit workforce, and riders.

Iii. Degree of improvement over current and existing technologies, designs, and/or practices applicable to the transit industry. B. Project Approach i. Quality of the project approach such as existing partnerships, collaboration strategies and level of commitment of the project partners.

Ii. Proposal is realistic in its approach to fulfill the milestones/deliverables, schedule and goals. C. National Applicability i. Degree to which the project could be replicated by other transit agencies regionally or nationally.

Ii. Ability to evaluate technologies, designs and/or practices in a wide variety of conditions and locales. Iii. Degree to which the technology, designs and/or practices can be replicated by other transportation modes. D.

Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer i. Demonstrates a realistic plan for moving the results of the project into the transit marketplace (patents, conferences, articles in trade magazines, webinar, site visits, etc.). Ii. How the project team plans to work with the industry on improving best practices, guidance and/or standards, if applicable. Iii.

Demonstrate a clear understanding and robust approach to data collection, access and management. E. Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity Capacity of the applicant and any partners to successfully execute the project effort. There should be no outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the applicant that would make this a high-risk project. (2) Review and Selection Process An FTA technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the published project evaluation criteria.

Members of the technical evaluation committee will rate the applications and may seek clarification about any statement in an application. The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection and amount of funding for each project after consideration of the findings of the technical evaluation committee. Geographic diversity, diversity of the project type, the amount of local match to be provided, and the applicant's receipt and management of other Federal transit funds may be considered in FTA's award decisions. Prior fare payment innovation efforts may receive priority consideration. The FTA Administrator will consider the following key DOT objectives.

A. Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing models to attract non-Federal sources of investment. B. Whether the project is located in or supports public transportation service in a qualified opportunity zone designated pursuant to 26.U.S.C. 1400Z-1.

And c. The extent to which the project addresses challenges specific to the provision of rural public transportation. (3) FAPIIS Review Prior to making a grant award, FTA is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) accessible through SAM. An applicant may review and comment on information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. FTA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants.

F. Federal Award Administration Information (1) Federal Award Notices FTA will announce the final project selections on the FTA website. Project recipients should contact their FTA Regional Office for additional information regarding allocations for Start Printed Page 63657projects. At the time project selections are announced, FTA will extend pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-award authority for these projects before announcement.

There is no minimum or maximum grant award amount, but FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible. FTA only will consider proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities. Due to funding limitations, projects selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded. (2) Administrative and National Policy Requirements a.

Pre-Award Authority FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award authority at the time of selection. FTA does not provide pre-award authority for competitive funds until projects are selected, and there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred. For more information about FTA's policy on pre-award authority, see the FY 2020 Apportionments Notice published on June 3, 2020, at https://www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2020-06-03/​pdf/​2020-11946.pdf. b. Grant Requirements Selected applicants will submit a grant application through FTA's electronic grant management system and adhere to the customary FTA grant requirements for research project (insert Circular name).

All competitive grants, regardless of award amount, will be subject to the Congressional notification and release process. FTA emphasizes that third-party procurement applies to all funding awards, as described in FTA Circular 4220.1F, “Third Party Contracting Guidance.” However, FTA may approve applications that include a specifically identified partnering organization(s) (2 CFR 200.302(f)). When included, the application, budget, and budget narrative should provide a clear understanding of how the selection of these organizations is critical for the project and give sufficient detail about the costs involved. C. Planning FTA encourages applicants to engage the appropriate State Departments of Transportation, Regional Transportation Planning Organizations, or Metropolitan Planning Organizations in areas to be served by the project funds available under this program.

D. Standard Assurances The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise.

The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not have current certifications on file. E. Free Speech and Religious Liberty In connection with any program or activity conducted with or benefiting from funds awarded under this notice, recipients of funds must comply with all applicable requirements of Federal law, including, without limitation, the Constitution of the United States. Statutory, regulatory, and public policy requirements, including without limitation, those protecting free speech, religious liberty, public welfare, the environment, and prohibiting discrimination. The conditions of performance, non-discrimination requirements, and other assurances made applicable to the award of funds in accordance with regulations of the Department of Transportation.

And applicable Federal financial assistance and contracting principles promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget. In complying with these requirements, recipients must ensure that no concession agreements are denied or other contracting decisions made on the basis of speech or other activities protected by the First Amendment. If the Department determines that a recipient has failed to comply with applicable Federal requirements, the Department may terminate the award of funds and disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the recipient to reimburse any expended award funds. (3) Reporting The post-award reporting requirements include submission of the Federal Financial Report (FFR) and Milestone Progress Report in TrAMS. An evaluation of the grant will occur at various points in the demonstration process and at the end of the project.

In addition, FTA is responsible for producing an Annual Report to Congress that compiles evaluation of selected projects, including an evaluation of the performance measures identified by the applicants. All applicants must develop an evaluation plan to measure the success or failure of their projects and describe any plans for broad-based implementation of successful projects. FTA may request data and reports to support the evaluation and Annual Report. A. Independent Evaluation To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the impacts and implications of each proposed COVID-19 Research Demonstration Program, projects funded under this announcement will require the recipient to conduct a third party independent evaluation of their project.

Recipients will be required to contract with a third party independent evaluator to assist in developing an evaluation plan, and collecting, storing and managing data required to fulfill the evaluation requirement. No more than 10 percent of the Federal share of the project may be used to hire the third-party independent evaluator and the inclusion of a third-party independent evaluation should be described in the grant application. If the project duration is more than two years, an interim evaluation report would need to be submitted to FTA, otherwise the evaluation report should be included as part of the final project report. B. COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program Evaluation Projects funded under this announcement will be required to establish a set of performance metrics set by the third-party independent evaluator and shared with FTA.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts Information For questions about applying, please contact Jamel El-Hamri email. Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone. 202-366-8985. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDDFIRS).

To ensure that applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, applicants are encouraged to contact FTA directly with questions, rather than through intermediaries or third parties.Start Printed Page 63658 FTA staff also may conduct briefings on the competitive grants selection and award process upon request. Start Signature K. Jane Williams, Deputy Administrator. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-22316 Filed 10-7-20.

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The Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, overseen by the World Health Organization (WHO), shows that medications Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, repurposed to treat new coronavirus infections, “appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course astelin over the counter equivalent of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients”, WHO said in a statement on Friday. The study, which began in March and spans more than 30 countries, looked at the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized individuals. Other uses of the drugs, for example in treatment of patients in the community or for prevention, would have to be examined using different trials, the WHO explained.

Associated blood pressure risks In a related announcement, astelin over the counter equivalent the UN health agency said that COVID-19 had also highlighted the increased vulnerability of people with high blood pressure to the coronavirus. The warning is based on data from more than 120 countries showing significant COVID-related disruption to treatment for people suffering from chronic health conditions, with findings showing these patients make up 50 to 60 per cent of all deaths from COVID. Dr.

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In addition, astelin over the counter equivalent two in five people are not aware that they even have hypertension. €œWhen it comes to COVID-19 and hypertension, the 122 countries that have reported tells us that in over 50 per cent of the countries their health care services is disrupted fully or partially…In addition, we see a high number of fatalities”, Dr. Mikkelsen told journalists in Geneva.

Noting that global figures have yet to be calculated, she added that for those astelin over the counter equivalent countries where data was available, “we see in the range of 50, 60 per cent of the people that are severely ill and die in hospitals from COVID have hypertension, diabetes”, and other non-communicable diseases. Pandemic resurgence Highlighting how the pandemic has made a resurgence in many countries across all continents after the easing of restrictions, and the additional health threat posed by the impending influenza season in the global north, the WHO official appealed to governments everywhere to address hypertension urgently. She also cited growing evidence that poor and salty diets along with rising inactivity, have contributed to worsening hypertension rates globally.

To coincide with World Hypertension Day on 16 October, Dr Mikkelsen unveiled a series of recommendations and products developed by the WHO to astelin over the counter equivalent promote action on hypertension “during and beyond the pandemic”. By doing so, health authorities can help people to keep their blood pressure under control and prevent stroke, heart attack, and kidney damage, the WHO believes. The new protocols are based on successful patient blood pressure management in 18 countries involving more three million people.

Today, only 20 per cent of the world’s nations are on track to reduce hypertension by 25 per cent by 2025, a global target set by the World Health astelin over the counter equivalent Assembly in 2013, according to the UN health agency.Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge said the tightening up of restrictions by governments is “absolutely necessary” as the disease continues to surge, with “exponential increases” in cases and deaths.

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Kluge explained that one reason for the astelin over the counter equivalent higher case rates is increased COVID-19 testing, including among younger people. This population also partly accounts for the decreased mortality rates. “These figures say that the epidemiological curve rebound is so far higher, but the slope is lower and less fatal for now.

But it has the realistic potential to worsen drastically if the disease spreads back into older age cohorts after more indoor astelin over the counter equivalent social contacts across generations,” he warned. Looking ahead, Dr. Kluge admitted that projections are “not optimistic”.

Reliable epidemiological models indicate that prolonged relaxing of policies could result in mortality levels four to five times higher than in astelin over the counter equivalent April, with results visible by January 2021. He stressed the importance of maintaining simple measures already in place, as the modelling shows how wearing masks, coupled with strict control of social gathering, may save up to 281,000 lives across the region by February. This assumes a 95 per cent rate for mask use, up from the current rate, which is less than 60 per cent.

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The pandemic won’t reverse its course on its own, but we will.” The astelin over the counter equivalent WHO bureau chief underlined the importance of targeted national responses to contain COVID-19 spread. €œMeasures are tightening up in many countries in Europe, and this is good because they are absolutely necessary,” he said. €œThey are appropriate and necessary responses to what the data is telling us.

Transmission and sources of contamination occur in homes and indoor public places, and within communities poorly complying with self-protection measures.”.

The Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, overseen by the World Health Organization (WHO), shows that medications Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, repurposed to treat new coronavirus infections, “appeared to have little or buy astelin with prescription no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients”, WHO said in a statement on Friday. The study, which began in March and spans more than 30 countries, looked at the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized individuals. Other uses of the drugs, for example in treatment of patients in the community or for prevention, would have to be examined using different trials, the WHO explained. Associated blood pressure risks In a related announcement, the UN health agency said that COVID-19 had also highlighted buy astelin with prescription the increased vulnerability of people with high blood pressure to the coronavirus. The warning is based on data from more than 120 countries showing significant COVID-related disruption to treatment for people suffering from chronic health conditions, with findings showing these patients make up 50 to 60 per cent of all deaths from COVID.

Dr. Bente Mikkelsen, Director of WHO’s Department of Noncommunicable Diseases, said that more than 1.13 billion people around the world suffer from buy astelin with prescription hypertension. Of this number, 745,800,000 live in low and middle-income countries and 80 per cent of these nations have fewer than 50 per cent of people on treatment. Many unaware they are sick On average, one in four men suffer from the condition, compared with one in five women, according to WHO data. In addition, buy astelin with prescription two in five people are not aware that they even have hypertension.

€œWhen it comes to COVID-19 and hypertension, the 122 countries that have reported tells us that in over 50 per cent of the countries their health care services is disrupted fully or partially…In addition, we see a high number of fatalities”, Dr. Mikkelsen told journalists in Geneva. Noting that global figures have yet to be calculated, she added that for those countries where data was available, “we see in the range of 50, 60 per cent of the people that are severely ill and die in hospitals from COVID buy astelin with prescription have hypertension, diabetes”, and other non-communicable diseases. Pandemic resurgence Highlighting how the pandemic has made a resurgence in many countries across all continents after the easing of restrictions, and the additional health threat posed by the impending influenza season in the global north, the WHO official appealed to governments everywhere to address hypertension urgently. She also cited growing evidence that poor and salty diets along with rising inactivity, have contributed to worsening hypertension rates globally.

To coincide with World Hypertension Day on 16 October, Dr Mikkelsen unveiled a series of recommendations and products developed by buy astelin with prescription the WHO to promote action on hypertension “during and beyond the pandemic”. By doing so, health authorities can help people to keep their blood pressure under control and prevent stroke, heart attack, and kidney damage, the WHO believes. The new protocols are based on successful patient blood pressure management in 18 countries involving more three million people. Today, only 20 per cent of the world’s nations are on track to reduce hypertension by 25 per cent by 2025, a global target set by the World Health Assembly in 2013, according to buy astelin with prescription the UN health agency.Dr. Hans Henri P.

Kluge said the tightening up of restrictions by governments is “absolutely necessary” as the disease continues to surge, with “exponential increases” in cases and deaths. €œThe evolving epidemiological situation in Europe raises buy astelin with prescription great concern. Daily numbers of cases are up, hospital admissions are up, COVID-19 is now the fifth leading cause of death and the bar of 1,000 deaths per day has now been reached,” he reported. Cases reach record highs Dr. Kluge said overall, Europe has buy astelin with prescription recorded more than seven million cases of COVID-19, with the jump from six million taking just 10 days.

This past weekend, daily case totals surpassed 120,000 for the first time, and on both Saturday and Sunday, reaching new records. However, he stressed that the region has not returned to the early days of the pandemic. €œAlthough we record two to three times more cases per day compared buy astelin with prescription to the April peak, we still observe five times fewer deaths. The doubling time in hospital admissions is still two to three times longer,” he said, adding “in the meantime, the virus has not changed. It has not become more nor less dangerous.” Potential worsening a reality Dr.

Kluge explained that buy astelin with prescription one reason for the higher case rates is increased COVID-19 testing, including among younger people. This population also partly accounts for the decreased mortality rates. “These figures say that the epidemiological curve rebound is so far higher, but the slope is lower and less fatal for now. But it has the realistic potential to worsen drastically if the disease spreads back into older age cohorts after more indoor social contacts across generations,” buy astelin with prescription he warned. Looking ahead, Dr.

Kluge admitted that projections are “not optimistic”. Reliable epidemiological models indicate that prolonged buy astelin with prescription relaxing of policies could result in mortality levels four to five times higher than in April, with results visible by January 2021. He stressed the importance of maintaining simple measures already in place, as the modelling shows how wearing masks, coupled with strict control of social gathering, may save up to 281,000 lives across the region by February. This assumes a 95 per cent rate for mask use, up from the current rate, which is less than 60 per cent. Restrictions ‘absolutely necessary’ “Under proportionately more stringent scenarios, the model is reliably much more optimistic, still with slightly higher levels of morbidity and mortality than in the first wave, but with a lower slope – as if we should rather expect a higher and longer swell instead of a sharp peak, giving buy astelin with prescription us more reaction time,” said Dr.

Kluge. “These projections do nothing but confirm what we always said. The pandemic won’t reverse its course on its own, but we buy astelin with prescription will.” The WHO bureau chief underlined the importance of targeted national responses to contain COVID-19 spread. €œMeasures are tightening up in many countries in Europe, and this is good because they are absolutely necessary,” he said. €œThey are appropriate and necessary responses to what the data is telling us.

Transmission and sources of contamination occur in homes and indoor public places, and within communities poorly complying with self-protection measures.”.