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The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders are at elevated risk for a range of behavioral and emotional problems. However, as the usual reporter of psychopathology in children is the parent, reports of early problems in children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders may be biased by the parents' own experience of mental illness and their mental state.
Independent observers rated psychopathology using the Test Observation Form in 378 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 24 (mean = 11.01, s.d. = 4.40) who had a parent with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or no history of mood and psychotic disorders.
Observed attentional problems were elevated in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (effect sizes ranging between 0.31 and 0.56). Oppositional behavior and language/thought problems showed variable degrees of elevation (effect sizes 0.17 to 0.57) across the three high-risk groups, with the greatest difficulties observed in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Observed anxiety was increased in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (effect sizes 0.19 and 0.25 respectively) but not in offspring of parents with schizophrenia.
Our results suggest that externalizing problems and cognitive and language difficulties may represent a general manifestation of familial risk for mood and psychotic disorders, while anxiety may be a specific marker of liability for mood disorders. Observer assessment may improve early identification of risk and selection of youth who may benefit from targeted prevention.
Background Survival estimates are integral to care for patients diagnosed with dementia. Few Canadian studies have carried out long-term follow-up of well-described cohorts, analyzing survival related to multiple risk factors. Methods Survival analysis of an inception cohort enrolled at a British Columbia (BC) tertiary dementia referral clinic between 1997 and 1999 was undertaken. Vital status was completed for 168 patients diagnosed with dementia. An evaluation of the effects of demographics, vascular risk factors, cognitive and functional ratings, apolipoprotein 4-status, and cholinesterase use on survival was performed using a log-rank test and time-dependent Cox regression. Survival of this dementia cohort was compared with the age-matched life expectancy of persons in BC. Results In all, 158/168 (94.0%) subjects died over 16.6 years, with a median survival of 7.08 years. Risk factors associated with shorter survival in dementia groups included age of onset ≥80 (hazard ratio [HR] 1.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-2.32); greater functional disability (Disability Assessment for Dementia<55% [HR 1.47, 95% CI 1.04-2.08]); and cumulative medical illness severity (Cumulative Illness Rating Scale≥7 [HR 1.51, 95% CI 1.08-2.12)]. Compared with the BC population, years of potential life lost for dementia subjects aged <65 was 15.36 years, and for dementia subjects aged ≥80 it was 1.82 years. Conclusions Survival in dementia subjects is shorter than population life expectancies for each age strata, with greatest impact on younger patients. For people diagnosed with dementia, age ≥80 years, cumulative medical illness severity, and functional disabilities are the most significant survival predictors and can be used to guide prognosis.
The impact of underlying parental psychological vulnerability on the future mental health of offspring is not fully understood. Using a prospective cohort design, we investigated the association between dysfunctional parental personality traits and risks of offspring self-harm, depression and anxiety.
The association between dysfunctional parental personality traits (monotony avoidance, impulsivity, anger, suspicion, and detachment), measured in both mothers and fathers when offspring were age 9 years, and risk of offspring depression, anxiety and self-harm at age 18 years, was investigated in a population-based cohort (ALSPAC) from over 8000 parents and children.
Higher levels of dysfunctional maternal, but not paternal, personality traits were associated with an increased risk of self-harm, depression, and anxiety in offspring. Maternal associations were best explained by the accumulation of dysfunctional traits. Associations were strongest for offspring depression: Offspring of mothers with three or more dysfunctional personality traits were 2.27 (1.45–3.54, p < 0.001) times as likely to be depressed, compared with offspring of mothers with no dysfunctional personality traits, independently of maternal depression and other variables.
The accumulation of dysfunctional maternal personality traits is associated with the risk of self-harm, depression, anxiety in offspring independently of maternal depression and other confounding variables. The absence of associations for equivalent paternal traits makes a genetic explanation for the findings unlikely. Further research is required to elucidate the underlying mechanism. Mothers with high levels of dysfunctional personality traits may benefit from additional support to reduce the risk of adverse psychological outcomes occurring in their offspring.
There is currently some debate as to whether hippocampus mediates contextual cueing. In the present study, we examined contextual cueing in patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy older adults, with the main goal of investigating the role of hippocampus in this form of learning. Amnestic MCI (aMCI) patients and healthy controls completed the contextual cueing task, in which they were asked to search for a target (a horizontal T) in an array of distractors (rotated L’s). Unbeknownst to them, the spatial arrangement of elements on some displays was repeated thus making the configuration a contextual cue to the location of the target. In contrast, the configuration for novel displays was generated randomly on each trial. The difference in response times between repeated and novel configurations served as a measure of contextual learning. aMCI patients, as a group, were able to learn spatial contextual cues as well as healthy older adults. However, better learning on this task was associated with higher hippocampal volume, particularly in right hemisphere. Furthermore, contextual cueing performance was significantly associated with hippocampal volume, even after controlling for age and MCI status. These findings support the role of the hippocampus in learning of spatial contexts, and also suggest that the contextual cueing paradigm can be useful in detecting neuropathological changes associated with the hippocampus. (JINS, 2015, 21, 285–296)
The US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires nursing homes and long-term-care facilities to document residents' vaccination status on the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI). Vaccinating residents can prevent costly hospital admissions and deaths. CMS and public health officials use RAI data to measure vaccination rates in long-term-care residents and assess the quality of care in nursing homes. We assessed the accuracy of RAI data against medical records in 39 nursing homes in Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin. We randomly sampled residents in each home during the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 influenza seasons. We collected data on receipt of influenza vaccination from charts and RAI data. Our final sample included 840 medical charts with matched RAI records. The agreement rate was 0·86. Using the chart as a gold standard, the sensitivity of the RAI with respect to influenza vaccination was 85% and the specificity was 77%. Agreement rates varied within facilities from 55% to 100%. Monitoring vaccination rates in the population is important for gauging the impact of programmes and policies to promote adherence to vaccination recommendations. Use of data from RAIs is a reasonable approach for gauging influenza vaccination rates in nursing-home residents.
The Anglezarke/Rivington uplands of central Lancashire have, in recent years, suffered severe erosion. In response a programme of field survey was undertaken during 1983 and 1985, supplemented by palynological investigation, modern vegetation survey, and sample excavation. Two sites were investigated in detail, a cairn of likely Bronze Age date and a flint scatter of earlier Mesolithic type. The field survey demonstrated human activity on the upland throughout the prehistoric period and emphasised the heavy post-medieval exploitation of the moorland. Sample excavation confirmed the prehistoric activity and, in the case of the Mesolithic site at Rushy Brow, demonstrated the possibility of recognising and reconstructing periods of prehistoric activity of very short duration — perhaps only a few hours.