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Impaired olfaction may be a biomarker for early Lewy body disease, but its value in mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) is unknown. We compared olfaction in MCI-LB with MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease (MCI-AD) and healthy older adults. We hypothesized that olfactory function would be worse in probable MCI-LB than in both MCI-AD and healthy comparison subjects (HC).
Cross-sectional study assessing olfaction using Sniffin’ Sticks 16 (SS-16) in MCI-LB, MCI-AD, and HC with longitudinal follow-up. Differences were adjusted for age, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used for discriminating MCI-LB from MCI-AD and HC.
Participants were recruited from Memory Services in the North East of England.
Thirty-eight probable MCI-LB, 33 MCI-AD, 19 possible MCI-LB, and 32HC.
Olfaction was assessed using SS-16 and a questionnaire.
Participants with probable MCI-LB had worse olfaction than both MCI-AD (age-adjusted mean difference (B) = 2.05, 95% CI: 0.62–3.49, p = 0.005) and HC (B = 3.96, 95% CI: 2.51–5.40, p < 0.001). The previously identified cutoff score for the SS-16 of ≤ 10 had 84% sensitivity for probable MCI-LB (95% CI: 69–94%), but 30% specificity versus MCI-AD. ROC analysis found a lower cutoff of ≤ 7 was better (63% sensitivity for MCI-LB, with 73% specificity vs MCI-AD and 97% vs HC). Asking about olfactory impairments was not useful in identifying them.
MCI-LB had worse olfaction than MCI-AD and normal aging. A lower cutoff score of ≤ 7 is required when using SS-16 in such patients. Olfactory testing may have value in identifying early LB disease in memory services.
The present study aimed to clarify the neuropsychological profile of the emergent diagnostic category of Mild Cognitive Impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) and determine whether domain-specific impairments such as in memory were related to deficits in domain-general cognitive processes (executive function or processing speed).
Patients (n = 83) and healthy age- and sex-matched controls (n = 34) underwent clinical and imaging assessments. Probable MCI-LB (n = 44) and MCI-Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (n = 39) were diagnosed following National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) consortium criteria. Neuropsychological measures included cognitive and psychomotor speed, executive function, working memory, and verbal and visuospatial recall.
MCI-LB scored significantly lower than MCI-AD on processing speed [Trail Making Test B: p = .03, g = .45; Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST): p = .04, g = .47; DSST Error Check: p < .001, g = .68] and executive function [Trail Making Test Ratio (A/B): p = .04, g = .52] tasks. MCI-AD performed worse than MCI-LB on memory tasks, specifically visuospatial (Modified Taylor Complex Figure: p = .01, g = .46) and verbal (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test: p = .04, g = .42) delayed recall measures. Stepwise discriminant analysis correctly classified the subtype in 65.1% of MCI patients (72.7% specificity, 56.4% sensitivity). Processing speed accounted for more group-associated variance in visuospatial and verbal memory in both MCI subtypes than executive function, while no significant relationships between measures were observed in controls (all ps > .05)
MCI-LB was characterized by executive dysfunction and slowed processing speed but did not show the visuospatial dysfunction expected, while MCI-AD displayed an amnestic profile. However, there was considerable neuropsychological profile overlap and processing speed mediated performance in both MCI subtypes.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is classically defined according to the number of suboptimal antidepressant responses experienced, but multidimensional assessments of TRD are emerging and may confer some advantages. Patient characteristics have been identified as risk factors for TRD but may also be associated with TRD severity. The identification of individuals at risk of severe TRD would support appropriate prioritisation of intensive and specialist treatments.
To determine whether TRD risk factors are associated with TRD severity when assessed multidimensionally using the Maudsley Staging Method (MSM), and univariately as the number of antidepressant non-responses, across three cohorts of individuals with depression.
Three cohorts of individuals without significant TRD, with established TRD and with severe TRD, were assessed (n = 528). Preselected characteristics were included in linear regressions to determine their association with each outcome.
Participants with more severe TRD according to the MSM had a lower age at onset, fewer depressive episodes and more physical comorbidities. These associations were not consistent across cohorts. The number of episodes was associated with the number of antidepressant treatment failures, but the direction of association varied across the cohorts studied.
Several risk factors for TRD were associated with the severity of resistance according to the MSM. Fewer were associated with the raw number of inadequate antidepressant responses. Multidimensional definitions may be more useful for identifying patients at risk of severe TRD. The inconsistency of associations across cohorts has potential implications for the characterisation of TRD.
Electroencephalographic (EEG) abnormalities are greater in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) than in MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease (MCI-AD) and may anticipate the onset of dementia. We aimed to assess whether quantitative EEG (qEEG) slowing would predict a higher annual hazard of dementia in MCI across these etiologies. MCI patients (n = 92) and healthy comparators (n = 31) provided qEEG recording and underwent longitudinal clinical and cognitive follow-up. Associations between qEEG slowing, measured by increased theta/alpha ratio, and clinical progression from MCI to dementia were estimated with a multistate transition model to account for death as a competing risk, while controlling for age, cognitive function, and etiology classified by an expert consensus panel.
Over a mean follow-up of 1.5 years (SD = 0.5), 14 cases of incident dementia and 5 deaths were observed. Increased theta/alpha ratio on qEEG was associated with increased annual hazard of dementia (hazard ratio = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.01–3.35). This extends previous findings that MCI-LB features early functional changes, showing that qEEG slowing may anticipate the onset of dementia in prospectively identified MCI.
Individuals with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) experience a high burden of illness. Current guidelines recommend a stepped care approach for treating depression, but the extent to which best-practice care pathways are adhered to is unclear.
To explore the extent and nature of ‘treatment gaps’ (non-adherence to stepped care pathways) experienced by a sample of patients with established TRD (non-response to two or more adequate treatments in the current depressive episode) across three cities in the UK.
Five treatment gaps were considered and compared with guidelines, in a cross-sectional retrospective analysis: delay to receiving treatment, lack of access to psychological therapies, delays to medication changes, delays to adjunctive (pharmacological augmentation) treatment and lack of access to secondary care. We additionally explored participant characteristics associated with the extent of treatment gaps experienced.
Of 178 patients with TRD, 47% had been in the current depressive episode for >1 year before initiating antidepressants; 53% had received adequate psychological therapy. A total of 47 and 51% had remained on an unsuccessful first and second antidepressant trial respectively for >16 weeks, and 24 and 27% for >1 year before medication switch, respectively. Further, 54% had tried three or more antidepressant medications within their episode, and only 11% had received adjunctive treatment.
There appears to be a considerable difference between treatment guidelines for depression and the reality of care received by people with TRD. Future research examining representative samples of patients could determine recommendations for optimising care pathways, and ultimately outcomes, for individuals with this illness.
Dopaminergic imaging is an established biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies, but its diagnostic accuracy at the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage remains uncertain.
To provide robust prospective evidence of the diagnostic accuracy of dopaminergic imaging at the MCI stage to either support or refute its inclusion as a biomarker for the diagnosis of MCI with Lewy bodies.
We conducted a prospective diagnostic accuracy study of baseline dopaminergic imaging with [123I]N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane single-photon emission computerised tomography (123I-FP-CIT SPECT) in 144 patients with MCI. Images were rated as normal or abnormal by a panel of experts with access to striatal binding ratio results. Follow-up consensus diagnosis based on the presence of core features of Lewy body disease was used as the reference standard.
At latest assessment (mean 2 years) 61 patients had probable MCI with Lewy bodies, 26 possible MCI with Lewy bodies and 57 MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. The sensitivity of baseline FP-CIT visual rating for probable MCI with Lewy bodies was 66% (95% CI 52–77%), specificity 88% (76–95%) and accuracy 76% (68–84%), with positive likelihood ratio 5.3.
It is over five times as likely for an abnormal scan to be found in probable MCI with Lewy bodies than MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. Dopaminergic imaging appears to be useful at the MCI stage in cases where Lewy body disease is suspected clinically.
Recently published diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) include five neuropsychiatric supportive features (non-visual hallucinations, systematised delusions, apathy, anxiety and depression). We have previously demonstrated that the presence of two or more of these symptoms differentiates MCI-LB from MCI due to Alzheimer's disease (MCI-AD) with a likelihood ratio >4. The aim of this study was to replicate the findings in an independent cohort.
Participants ⩾60 years old with MCI were recruited. Each participant had a detailed clinical, cognitive and imaging assessment including FP-CIT SPECT and cardiac MIBG. The presence of neuropsychiatric supportive symptoms was determined using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Participants were classified as MCI-AD, possible MCI-LB and probable MCI-LB based on current diagnostic criteria. Participants with possible MCI-LB were excluded from further analysis.
Probable MCI-LB (n = 28) had higher NPI total and distress scores than MCI-AD (n = 30). In total, 59% of MCI-LB had two or more neuropsychiatric supportive symptoms compared with 9% of MCI-AD (likelihood ratio 6.5, p < 0.001). MCI-LB participants also had a significantly greater delayed recall and a lower Trails A:Trails B ratio than MCI-AD.
MCI-LB is associated with significantly greater neuropsychiatric symptoms than MCI-AD. The presence of two or more neuropsychiatric supportive symptoms as defined by MCI-LB diagnostic criteria is highly specific and moderately sensitive for a diagnosis of MCI-LB. The cognitive profile of MCI-LB differs from MCI-AD, with greater executive and lesser memory impairment, but these differences are not sufficient to differentiate MCI-LB from MCI-AD.
Lewy body dementia, consisting of both dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), is considerably under-recognised clinically compared with its frequency in autopsy series.
This study investigated the clinical diagnostic pathways of patients with Lewy body dementia to assess if difficulties in diagnosis may be contributing to these differences.
We reviewed the medical notes of 74 people with DLB and 72 with non-DLB dementia matched for age, gender and cognitive performance, together with 38 people with PDD and 35 with Parkinson's disease, matched for age and gender, from two geographically distinct UK regions.
The cases of individuals with DLB took longer to reach a final diagnosis (1.2 v. 0.6 years, P = 0.017), underwent more scans (1.7 v. 1.2, P = 0.002) and had more alternative prior diagnoses (0.8 v. 0.4, P = 0.002), than the cases of those with non-DLB dementia. Individuals diagnosed in one region of the UK had significantly more core features (2.1 v. 1.5, P = 0.007) than those in the other region, and were less likely to have dopamine transporter imaging (P < 0.001). For patients with PDD, more than 1.4 years prior to receiving a dementia diagnosis: 46% (12 of 26) had documented impaired activities of daily living because of cognitive impairment, 57% (16 of 28) had cognitive impairment in multiple domains, with 38% (6 of 16) having both, and 39% (9 of 23) already receiving anti-dementia drugs.
Our results show the pathway to diagnosis of DLB is longer and more complex than for non-DLB dementia. There were also marked differences between regions in the thresholds clinicians adopt for diagnosing DLB and also in the use of dopamine transporter imaging. For PDD, a diagnosis of dementia was delayed well beyond symptom onset and even treatment.
After five positive randomized controlled trials showed benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke with emergent large-vessel occlusion, a multi-society meeting was organized during the 17th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in October 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. This multi-society meeting was dedicated to establish standards of practice in acute ischemic stroke intervention aiming for a consensus on the minimum requirements for centers providing such treatment. In an ideal situation, all patients would be treated at a center offering a full spectrum of neuroendovascular care (a level 1 center). However, for geographical reasons, some patients are unable to reach such a center in a reasonable period of time. With this in mind, the group paid special attention to define recommendations on the prerequisites of organizing stroke centers providing medical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but not for other neurovascular diseases (level 2 centers). Finally, some centers will have a stroke unit and offer intravenous thrombolysis, but not any endovascular stroke therapy (level 3 centers). Together, these level 1, 2, and 3 centers form a complete stroke system of care. The multi-society group provides recommendations and a framework for the development of medical thrombectomy services worldwide.
Depression is considered to have the highest disability burden of all conditions. Although treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a key contributor to that burden, there is little understanding of the best treatment approaches for it and specifically the effectiveness of available augmentation approaches.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to search and quantify the evidence of psychological and pharmacological augmentation interventions for TRD.
Participants with TRD (defined as insufficient response to at least two antidepressants) were randomised to at least one augmentation treatment in the trial. Pre-post analysis assessed treatment effectiveness, providing an effect size (ES) independent of comparator interventions.
Of 28 trials, 3 investigated psychological treatments and 25 examined pharmacological interventions. Pre-post analyses demonstrated N-methyl-d-aspartate-targeting drugs to have the highest ES (ES = 1.48, 95% CI 1.25–1.71). Other than aripiprazole (four studies, ES = 1.33, 95% CI 1.23–1.44) and lithium (three studies, ES = 1.00, 95% CI 0.81–1.20), treatments were each investigated in less than three studies. Overall, pharmacological (ES = 1.19, 95% CI 1.08–1.30) and psychological (ES = 1.43, 95% CI 0.50–2.36) therapies yielded higher ESs than pill placebo (ES = 0.78, 95% CI 0.66–0.91) and psychological control (ES = 0.94, 95% CI 0.36–1.52).
Despite being used widely in clinical practice, the evidence for augmentation treatments in TRD is sparse. Although pre-post meta-analyses are limited by the absence of direct comparison, this work finds promising evidence across treatment modalities.
Declaration of interest
In the past 3 years, A.H.Y. received honoraria for speaking from AstraZeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly and Sunovion; honoraria for consulting from Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck, Sunovion and Janssen; and research grant support from Janssen. In the past 3 years, A.J.C. received honoraria for speaking from AstraZeneca and Lundbeck; honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Janssen, Livanova, Lundbeck and Sandoz; support for conference attendance from Janssen; and research grant support from Lundbeck. B.B. has recently been (soon to be) on the speakers/advisory board for Hexal, Lilly, Lundbeck, Mundipharma, Pfizer, and Servier. No other conflicts of interest.
Lewy body dementia (consisting of dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's disease dementia) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterised by visual hallucinations, fluctuating attention, motor disturbances, falls, and sensitivity to antipsychotics. This combination of features presents challenges for pharmacological management. Given this, we sought to review evidence for non-pharmacological interventions with patients with Lewy body dementia and their carers. Bibliographic databases were searched using a wide range of search terms and no restrictions were placed on study design, language, or clinical setting. Two reviewers independently assessed papers for inclusion, rated study quality, and extracted data. The search identified 21 studies including two randomised controlled trials with available subgroup data, seven case series, and 12 case studies. Most studies reported beneficial effects of the interventions used, though the only sizeable study was on dysphagia, showing a benefit of honey-thickened liquids. Given the heterogeneity of interventions and poor quality of the studies overall, no quantitative synthesis was possible. Overall, identified studies suggested possible benefits of non-pharmacological interventions in Lewy body dementia, but the small sample sizes and low quality of studies mean no definite recommendations can be offered. Our findings underscore the clear and urgent need for future research on this topic.
Allan Fels, The Australia and New Zealand School of Government, Parkville, Victoria, Australia,
Sharon Henrick, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia,
Martyn Taylor, Gilbert + Tobin, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) contains the primary rules for the regulation of mergers which may have detrimental effects on competition in Australia. Australia also has rules which apply to mergers in specific industries, such as the media industry and the banking sector, as well as foreign investment rules.
Sections 50 and 50A of the Trade Practices Act regulate acquisitions of shares and/or assets. Section 50 is the key section. It prohibits mergers or acquisitions that would have the effect, or be likely to have the effect, of substantially lessening competition in a market in Australia.
The Trade Practices Act does not contain a mandatory pre-merger notiication process. In practice, however, virtually all mergers that affect, or could conceivably affect, competition in Australia are voluntarily notiied in advance of their completion to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (‘the Commission’ or ACCC). If the Commission considers a merger would be likely to substantially lessen competition then it may apply to the Federal Court of Australia to obtain orders to prevent the merger from completing.
Notiications to the Commission are made using either a formal or an informal merger clearance procedure. However, the formal merger clearance procedure has not yet been used and the Commission has expressed a clear preference for applicants to use the informal clearance procedure.
Recently, there has been considerable interest in the calculation of decay rates for models that can be viewed as quasi-birth-and-death (QBD) processes with infinitely many phases. In this paper we make a contribution to this endeavour by considering some classes of models in which the transition function is not homogeneous in the phase direction. We characterize the range of decay rates that are compatible with the dynamics of the process away from the boundary. In many cases, these rates can be attained by changing the transition structure of the QBD process at level 0. Our approach, which relies on the use of orthogonal polynomials, is an extension of that in Motyer and Taylor (2006) for the case where the generator has homogeneous blocks.
This Supplement identifies proposed amendments to the existing “informal clearance” procedure used by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for merger review in Australia. This Supplement adopts the defined terms used in the original Australia chapter of Merger Control Worldwide and is intended to replace section 3.1.3 and Figure 1 of the original Australia chapter.
Relevantly, the Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005 (the “Dawson Bill”) referred to in section 1.1 of the original chapter was defeated in the Australian Senate in October 2005 and so has not been enacted into law. The Dawson Bill was intended to introduce a new formal merger clearance procedure that would operate in parallel with the existing informal clearance procedure in Australia. A political impasse is delaying the reintroduction of the merger reform provisions of the Dawson Bill into the Australian Parliament although it is likely to be reintroduced during 2006 or 2007.
The third option is to seek informal clearance from the Commission for the merger on a confidential or non-confidential basis. If the Commission grants informal clearance to a merger, the parties to the merger obtain a “comfort letter”, which usually states that the Commission will not oppose the merger but reserves the right to do so should new information come to light. While a comfort letter is not binding on the Commission, it is rare for the Commission to grant informal clearance and subsequently oppose the merger.
We consider the class of level-independent quasi-birth-and-death (QBD) processes that have countably many phases and generator matrices with tridiagonal blocks that are themselves tridiagonal and phase independent. We derive simple conditions for possible decay rates of the stationary distribution of the ‘level’ process. It may be possible to obtain decay rates satisfying these conditions by varying only the transition structure at level 0. Our results generalize those of Kroese, Scheinhardt, and Taylor, who studied in detail a particular example, the tandem Jackson network, from the class of QBD processes studied here. The conditions derived here are applied to three practical examples.
In 1998 a circle of timber posts within the intertidal zone on the north Norfolk coast was brought to the attention of the Norfolk County Council Archaeological Service. A subsequent programme of archaeological recording and dating revealed that the structure was constructed in the spring or early summer of 2049 BC, during the Early Bronze Age. Because of the perceived threat of damage and erosion from the sea a rescue excavation was undertaken during the summer months of 1999. The structure was entirely excavated, involving the removal of the timbers and a programme of stratigraphic recording and environmental analysis. A survey was also undertaken within the environs of the site which has identified further timber structures dating from the Bronze Age. Detailed examination of the timber from the circle has produced a wealth of unexpected information which has added greatly to our understanding of Early Bronze Age woodworking, organisation of labour and the layout and construction of timber ritual monuments.
Duftite, PbCu(AsO4)(OH) is orthorhombic, space group P212121 with a = 7.768(1), b = 9. 211(1), c = 5.999(1) Å, Z = 4; the structure has been refined to R = 4.6% and Rw = 6.5% using 640 observed reflections [F> 2σ(F)]. The structure consists of chains of edge-sharing CuO6 ‘octahedra’, parallel to c; which are linked via AsO4 tetrahedra and Pb atoms in distorted square antiprismatic co-ordination to form a three dimensional network. The CuO6 ‘octahedra’ show Jahn-Teller distortion with the elongation running approximately along <627>. The hydrogen bonding network in the structure was characterized using bond valence calculations. ‘β-duftite’ is an intermediate in the duftite-conichalcite series, which has a modulated structure based on the intergrowth of the two structures in domains of approximately 50 Å. The origin of the modulation is thought to be associated with displacements in the oxygen lattice and is related to the orientation of the Jahn-Teller distortion of CuO6 ‘octahedra’. Approximately half of the strips show an elongation parallel to <627> while the other strips are elongated parallel to . This ordering results in an increase in the b cell repeat compared to duftite and conichalcite.