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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.
There is evidence for the cost-effectiveness of health visitor (HV) training to assess postnatal depression (PND) and deliver psychological approaches to women at risk of depression. Whether this approach is cost-effective for lower-risk women is unknown. There is a need to know the cost of HV-delivered universal provision, and how much it might cost to improve health-related quality of life for postnatal women. A sub-study of a cluster-randomised controlled trial in the former Trent region (England) previously investigated the effectiveness of PoNDER HV training in mothers at lower risk of PND. We conducted a parallel cost-effectiveness analysis at 6-months postnatal for all mothers with lower-risk status attributed to an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score <12 at 6-weeks postnatal.
Intervention HVs were trained in assessment and cognitive behavioural or person-centred psychological support techniques to prevent depression. Outcomes examined: quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gains over the period between 6 weeks and 6 months derived from SF-6D (from SF-36); risk-of-depression at 6 months (dichotomising 6-month EPDS scores into lower risk (<12) and at-risk (⩾12).
In lower-risk women, 1474 intervention (63 clusters) and 767 control participants (37 clusters) had valid 6-week and 6-month EPDS scores. Costs and outcomes data were available for 1459 participants. 6-month adjusted costs were £82 lower in intervention than control groups, with 0.002 additional QALY gained. The probability of cost-effectiveness at £20 000 was very high (99%).
PoNDER HV training was highly cost-effective in preventing symptoms of PND in a population of lower-risk women and cost-reducing over 6 months.
Evidence in support of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis has reached the level where it can appropriately be used to inform practice. DOHaD informed interventions supporting primary noncommunicable disease risk reduction should target the pre- and periconceptional periods, pregnancy, lactation, childhood and adolescence. Such interventions are dependent on a health workforce (including dietitians, nurses, midwives, doctors, and nutrition teachers), that has a deep understanding of DOHaD concepts. This study assessed development of awareness of DOHaD concepts during undergraduate health professional training programs. Using a cross-sectional design, a standardized questionnaire was completed by Year 1–4 undergraduate students studying nutrition in Japan (n=309) and Year 1–3 nursing students in New Zealand (n=151). On entry to undergraduate study, most students had no awareness of the terms ‘DOHaD’ or ‘First 1000 Days’. While awareness reached 60% by Year 3 in courses that included DOHaD-related teaching, this remains inadequate. More than 95% of Year 1 undergraduates in both countries demonstrated an appreciation of associations between maternal nutrition and fetal health. However, awareness of associations between parental health status and/or nutritional environment and later-life health was low. While levels of awareness increased across program years, overall awareness was less than optimal. These results indicate evidence of some focus on DOHaD-related content in curricula. We argue that DOHaD principles should be one pillar around which health training curricula are built. This study indicates a need for the DOHaD community to engage with faculties in curriculum development.
Rib bone biopsy samples are often used to estimate changes in skeletal mineral reserves in cattle but differences in sampling procedures and the bone measurements reported often make interpretation and comparisons among experiments difficult. ‘Full-core’ rib bone biopsy samples, which included the external cortical bone, internal cortical bone and trabecular bone (CBext, CBint and Trab, respectively), were obtained from cattle known to be in phosphorus (P) adequate (Padeq) or severely P-deficient (Pdefic) status. Experiments 1 and 2 examined growing steers and Experiment 3 mature breeder cows. The thickness of cortical bone, specific gravity (SG), and the amount and concentration of ash and P per unit fresh bone volume, differed among CBext, CBint and Trab bone. P concentration (mg/cc) was closely correlated with both SG and ash concentrations (pooled data, r=0.99). Thickness of external cortical bone (CBText) was correlated with full-core P concentration (FC-Pconc) (pooled data, r=0.87). However, an index, the amount of P in CBext per unit surface area of CBext (PSACB; mg P/mm2), was more closely correlated with the FC-Pconc (pooled data, FC-Pconc=37.0+146×PSACB; n=42, r=0.94, RSD=7.7). Results for measured or estimated FC-Pconc in 10 published studies with cattle in various physiological states and expected to be Padeq or in various degrees of Pdefic status were collated and the ranges of FC-Pconc indicative of P adequacy and P deficiency for various classes of cattle were evaluated. FC-Pconc was generally in the range 130 to 170 and 100 to 120 mg/cc fresh bone in Padeq mature cows and young growing cattle, respectively. In conclusion, the FC-Pconc could be estimated accurately from biopsy samples of CBext. This allows comparisons between studies where full-core or only CBext biopsy samples of rib bone have been obtained to estimate changes in the skeletal P status of cattle and facilitates evaluation of the P status of cattle.
Lymphatic filariasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by roundworm parasites such as Brugia malayi that spread via a mosquito vector. In vitro culture of these parasites provides controlled conditions to understand parasite biology and provides a cheaper way to screen potential micro- and macrofilaricides. Published studies have used a wide array of approaches and metrics regarding in vitro cultures of B. malayi; as a result, drawing comparisons and identifying the reasons why inability to reproduce outcomes are difficult. This study sought to determine conditions that ensure reproducible outcomes and used evaluation metrics that are easily measured and can be automated to ensure objectivity. We found culturing B. malayi third-stage larvae (L3) in endothelial basal media supplemented with 20% fetal bovine serum and 75 µm ascorbic acid in a temperature- and humidity-controlled incubator produced better survival and molting rates as well as longer and more motile parasites than previously reported. The benefit of ascorbic acid seemed to be unique to L3 parasites, as the addition of ascorbic acid to adult parasites had no significant impact on survival or motility. The methods reported in this study will help in designing experiments for both parasite behaviour studies and drug screening applications for disease eradication.
Concerns over pollution from intensive animal production has lead to developments in enzyme technology to improve the utilisation of minerals such as phosphorous (P) from the diet, and to reduce levels of added inorganic minerals. BASF Natuphos® (registered trademark of Gist-brocades) is a formulation of microbial phytase which improves digestibility of P from plant origin. The aim of this study was to determine whether reducing levels of inorganic P (Dicalcium Phosphate-18%P) and including quantities of Natuphos® would effect have any effect on growth performance and bone strength.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
We present highly resolved, annually dated, calibrated proxies for atmospheric circulation from several Antarctic ice cores (ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition), Siple Dome, Law Dome) that reveal decadal-scale associations with a South Pole ice-core 10Be proxy for solar variability over the last 600 years and annual-scale associations with solar variability since AD 1720. We show that increased (decreased) solar irradiance is associated with increased (decreased) zonal wind strength near the edge of the Antarctic polar vortex. The association is particularly strong in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and as such may contribute to understanding climate forcing that controls drought in Australia and other Southern Hemisphere climate events. We also include evidence suggestive of solar forcing of atmospheric circulation near the edge of the Arctic polar vortex based on ice-core records from Mount Logan, Yukon Territory, Canada, and both central and south Greenland as enticement for future investigations. Our identification of solar forcing of the polar atmosphere and its impact on lower latitudes offers a mechanism for better understanding modern climate variability and potentially the initiation of abrupt climate-change events that operate on decadal and faster scales.