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  • Author: Tatjana Muravska x
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Abstract

The European Union (EU) signed Association Agreements on 27 June 2014 with Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. The Association Agreement (AA) is the EU’s main instrument to bring the countries in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) closer to EU standards and norms. For the citizens of the EaP countries to benefit from these agreements, a more in-depth knowledge of the EU and the EU Member States is required to be reflected in a comparative approach to European Union studies. We examine these implications on the need to expand and adapt, the content and approach to research and teaching European Union studies, with the transdisciplinary approach becoming increasingly dominant, becoming a modern tool for research in social sciences. This contribution aims to offer insight into the implementation of transdisciplinarity in the methodology of education and research as it is determined by current increasing global challenges. This approach should serve as a means of integrating a number of main goals as part of learning, teaching and research processes: strengthening employability of young people and preparing them for citizenship. We discuss the need for modernizing European studies in the EU Member States that could serve as an example for the EU Eastern Partnership countries. We conclude that the theoretical approach to European and related studies of other disciplines and their practical implications should always be transdisciplinary in nature and benefit from direct in-situ exposure and should be fully integrated in university curricula

Abstract

The presented research aims to contribute to the conceptualisation of the nation-brand of Latvia with the purpose of stimulation of national export performance. The subject of the research is three aspects presumably challenging the branding of Latvia with reference to national export development. The investigated challenges are the barriers and opportunities for green-branding of Latvia; the absence of the generally accepted indication of the geographical identity of the Baltic region; and the contradictable popular image of Latvia as a cheap country. The research poses two research questions inquiring into the issues of nation-branding of Latvia currently being faced in the context of exports and possible measures to overcome them. The applied research methods are theoretical analysis of scientific literature and empirical analysis of the representation of Latvia on the official website of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and its comparison with the official websites of respective institutions in Lithuania and Estonia. The research observes the interconnection between the defined challenges, offers the perspective for the possible transformation of the challenges into nation-branding opportunities, and estimates the green brand of the country as a gateway for feasible solution for the defined challenges and for the stimulation of national exports. In addition, the research identifies further challenges the nation-branding of Latvia is currently facing for further discussion.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore clinical-epidemiological characteristics of migraine in Latvia and the disability of migraine patients, to determine the optimal options for care of these patients. Patients selected from three headache centres were asked 40 questions by phone. Among 116 patients, the dominant age group was 25-34 (41.4%) and most patients were women (87.9%). 52.6% of patients were highly educated, and 53.4% had a job involving communication with people. In 56.9% of cases headaches started at the age of 15-24. About 25% migraine attacks lasted for 25-48 hours. The diagnosis “Migraine with aura” was confirmed in 50% of the patients. Headaches were quite frequent: 4-8 times a month or more in 22.4% of patients and 2-4 times a month in 29.3%. As medication, 50.9% used selective serotonin 5-HT (5- hydroxytryptamine) receptor agonists for migraine attacks treatment, 35.3% - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and 30.2% - acetaminophen-containing medicines. The average quality of life estimated by migraine disability assessment questionnaire (MIDAS) was 13.0, which equates to moderate disability. According to our study clinical characteristics of migraine in Latvia do not differ significantly from that of other European countries. Most of the patients are educated, working women of childbearing age. Migraine diagnosis and treatment seems to be appropriate, but nevertheless, too many sufferers have frequent and persistent headache attacks that require further investigation.

Abstract

This contribution articulates the synergies and divergences of the various formats of cooperation between China and the European countries. The EU and China have a strong interest in each other’s flagship initiatives, namely the Investment Plan for Europe, and the One Belt, One Road Initiative (Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road). The authors argue that there are certain synergies between these initiatives. Furthermore, the new initiative EU-China Connectivity Platform is aimed to explore these synergies. The authors explore the recent developments in the EU-China investments, trade cooperation and the challenges of the ever-growing CEEC-China partnership in different formats, including the new platform of 16+1. The authors examine these implications in relation to the need to expand and adapt the content and approach of the EU-China Bilateral Investment agreement. The article concludes that the CEEC-China relation does not go against the EU; moreover, neither the CEE countries nor China have any motivation to try to weaken the EU.

Abstract

Variable platelet response to aspirin and clopidogrel is a well-known phenomenon in patients with coronary artery disease and ischemic cerebral stroke. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the frequency and possible risk factors of antiplatelet resistance in patients with cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases. The VerifyNow system was used to evaluate adenosine-5-diphosphate and platelet P2YI2 receptor function in patients with cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease, who received dual antiplatelet therapy. Aspirin resistance was defined as aspirin reaction units (ARU) ≥ 550. Clopidogrel resistance was defined as Platelet Reaction Units (PRU) > 230. In the group of cerebrovascular diseases there were 13.2% (n = 27) patients with aspirin and 24.5% (n = 50) with clopidogrel resistance. However, in the cardiovascular group there were 20% (n = 9) aspirin and 11.1% (n = 5) clopidogrel resistant patients. In the cerebrovascular group, aspirin resistant patients had a lower triglyceride level (p = 0.001, r = 0.26) than aspirin sensitive patients. Clopidogrel resistant patients had a significantly higher level of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) (p = 0.016, r = 023), triglycerides (p = 0.033, r = 0.16) and lower level of high-density lipoproteins (p = 0.027, r = 0.16) than clopidogrel sensitive patients. In the cardiovascular group, patients who were resistant to aspirin had a significantly higher high-density lipoprotein level (p = 0.038, r = 0.31). No other factors differed significantly between the aspirin or clopidogrel resistant and sensitive patients in the cardiovascular group. Aspirin resistance was more common in patients with cardiovascular disease, and clopidogrel resistance in patients with cerebrovascular disease, although the difference was not significant. Our findings indicate that diabetes mellitus and an elevated level of lipoproteins could be risk factors for aspirin or clopidogrel resistance in patients with cerebrovascular diseases. Further studies should be conducted using larger patient cohorts with balanced groups of patients to investigate clinical aspects of antiplatelet resistance.