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Objectives: To adequately monitor the course of cognitive functioning in persons with moderate to severe dementia, relevant cognitive tests for the advanced dementia stages are needed. We examined the ability of a test developed for the advanced dementia stages, the Severe Impairment Battery Short version (SIB-S), to measure cognitive change over time. Second, we examined type of memory impairment measured with the SIB-S in different dementia stages. Methods: Participants were institutionalized persons with moderate to severe dementia (N = 217). The SIB-S was administered at 6-month intervals during a 2-year period. Dementia severity at baseline was classified according to Global Deterioration Scale criteria. We used mixed models to evaluate the course of SIB-S total and domain scores, and whether dementia stage at baseline affected these courses. Results: SIB-S total scores declined significantly over time, and the course of decline differed significantly between dementia stages at baseline. Persons with moderately severe dementia declined faster in mean SIB-S total scores than persons with moderate or severe dementia. Between persons with moderate and moderately severe dementia, there was only a difference in the rate of decline of semantic items, but not episodic and non-semantic items. Conclusions: Although modest floor and slight ceiling effects were noted in severe and milder cases, respectively, the SIB-S proved to be one of few available adequate measures of cognitive change in institutionalized persons with moderate to severe dementia. (JINS, 2019, 25, 204–214)
Malformed data-structures can lead to runtime errors such as arbitrary memory access or corruption. Despite this, reasoning over data-structure properties for low-level heap manipulating programs remains challenging. In this paper we present a constraint-based program analysis that checks data-structure integrity, w.r.t. given target data-structure properties, as the heap is manipulated by the program. Our approach is to automatically generate a solver for properties using the type definitions from the target program. The generated solver is implemented using a Constraint Handling Rules (CHR) extension of built-in heap, integer and equality solvers. A key property of our program analysis is that the target data-structure properties are shape neutral, i.e., the analysis does not check for properties relating to a given data-structure graph shape, such as doubly-linked-lists versus trees. Nevertheless, the analysis can detect errors in a wide range of data-structure manipulating programs, including those that use lists, trees, DAGs, graphs, etc. We present an implementation that uses the Satisfiability Modulo Constraint Handling Rules (SMCHR) system. Experimental results show that our approach works well for real-world C programs.
The episodic memory system allows us to experience the emotions of past, counterfactual, and prospective events. We outline how this phenomenological experience can convey motivational incentives for farsighted decisions. In this way, we challenge important arguments for Mahr & Csibra's (M&C's) conclusion that future-oriented mental time travel is unlikely to be a central function of episodic memory.
Radiocarbon (14C) activity in groundwater can be used to determine subsurface residence time up to ∼40 kyr, providing crucial information on dynamic properties of groundwater and on paleoclimate. However, commonly applied sampling methods for dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC-14C) are prone to low level of modern atmospheric contamination, resulting in underestimation of groundwater ages that cluster around 30–40 kyr. We extract CO2 gas from groundwater using a device originally developed for studies of noble gas radionuclides. Carbon is collected in the gas phase, eliminating the possibility of fostering microbial activities and aqueous chemical reactions during sample storage. This method collects CO2-14C and radiokrypton (81Kr and 85Kr) samples simultaneously. The presence of any shorter-lived 85Kr is used to evaluate the degree of atmospheric contamination during sampling or mixing of young groundwater. Most groundwater samples showed lower CO2-14C activities than those of DIC-14C, presumably due to the absence of atmospheric contamination. Samples with 81Kr age exceeding 150 kyr have no detectable CO2-14C except where mixing sources of young groundwater is suspected. These field data serve as confirmations for the reliability of the newly presented sample collection and CO2-14C method, and for the outstanding roles of radiokrypton isotopes in characterizing old groundwater.
Since its development, the Qualidem has had items that were considered unsuited for people with very severe dementia. This study attempted to investigate the applicability of all Qualidem items in people with all stages of dementia severity.
Four data sets that contained Qualidem observations on people with dementia were combined. Dementia severity was categorized based on the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), with a dichotomization of very severe dementia (GDS 7) and others (GDS 1–6). Unidimensional latent-trait models (Mokken scaling) were estimated to fit the Qualidem responses in the overall sample and the dichotomized groups. Scalability was assessed using coefficients of homogeneity (Loevinger's H), while reliability was assessed with Cronbach's α and ρ.
Combining the four databases resulted in 4,354 Qualidem measurements. The scalability of all scales was considered acceptable in the overall sample, as well is in the subgroups (all H > 0.3). Additionally, the reliability was good–excellent in the scales: “positive affect,” “positive self-image,” “care relationship,” and “negative affect.” Reliability was questionable–acceptable for “feeling at home,” “social relations,” “social isolation,” and “restless tense behavior.” Reliability was poor for “having something to do.”
Statistical considerations allow using all Qualidem items in all dementia stages. Future research should determine balance of statistical- versus conceptual-based reasoning in this academic debate.
A recent theoretical literature highlights the role of endogenous firm entry as an internal amplification mechanism of business cycle fluctuations. The amplification mechanism works through the competition effect (CE) and the variety effect (VE). This paper tests the significance of this amplification mechanism, quantifies its importance, and disentangles the CE and VE. To this end, we estimate a medium-scale real business cycle model with firm entry for the U.S. economy. The CE and VE are estimated to be statistically significant. Together, they amplify the volatility of output by 8.5% relative to a model in which both effects are switched off. The CE accounts for most amplification, whereas the VE only plays a minor role.
Forest carbon sequestration plays an important role in reducing the build-up of greenhouse gases that are known to contribute to global climate change. However, private landowners will supply less carbon sequestration than would be socially desirable if they are unable to capture the economic value of sequestration. We examine the viability of offering landowners property tax subsidies for forest carbon sequestration (referred to as a ‘tax-based subsidy approach’). Waiving property taxes on forestland provides incentives for landowners to afforest non-forested land and/or sustain forests that are at risk of deforestation. We focus on 17 Tennessee counties and one Kentucky county, constituting one of 179 Bureau of Economic Analysis areas in the United States, as a case study. Higher forestland net return from waiving property taxes increases the share of forestland in the 18 counties, which in turn increases the accumulation of carbon in the forest ecosystem, suggesting that this is a viable approach. The annualized county-level cost of supplying forest carbon sequestration using a tax-based subsidy ranges between US$15.56 and US$563.58 per carbon tonne across the 18 counties. Relevant government agencies can use these estimates to target selected counties for more cost-effective adoption of the county-level tax-based subsidy approach.
Here, we investigate the effect of divalent metal (Zn2+, Cd2+ and Hg2+) on the structural and optoelectronic properties of methylammonium lead iodide perovskite materials prepared by the two-step deposition process. The incorporation of Cd2+ significantly improved the grain size, crystallinity, and charge carrier lifetime of CH3NH3PbI3. The inclusion of Hg2+ and Zn2+ improved the grain size compare to the control sample but adversely affected the optoelectronic properties of perovskite films. The Hg- and Zn-based impurities were formed on the surface of the films, which increased the charge trap density and lead to high non-radiative recombination rate. Time resolved photoluminescence measurements indicated that the Cd and Zn point defects do not create deep-level trap states, but the Zn-modified film showed a low lifetime due to morphology changes in the film and particle segregation on the surface.
Most patients born with CHD nowadays reach adulthood, and thus quality of life, life situation, and state of medical care aspects are gaining importance in the current era. The present study aimed to investigate whether patients’ assessment depends on their means of occupation. The findings are expected to be helpful in optimising care and for developing individual treatment plans.
The present study was based on an online survey conducted in cooperation with patient organisations. Participants were recruited from the database of the German National Register for Congenital Heart Defects. In total, 1828 individuals (777 males, 1051 females) took part. Participants were asked to rate aspects such their state of health on a six-tier scale (1=worst specification). Response behaviour was measured against the background of occupational details.
Training for or pursuing a profession was found to be significantly associated with participants’ rating of five of the six examined aspects (p<0.05). Sex seemed to play an important part in four of the six aspects.
An optimal treatment plan for adults with CHD should always consider aspects such as sex and employment status. To work out such an optimal and individual treatment plan for each adult CHD patient, an objective tool to measure patients’ actual CHD-specific knowledge precluding socially accepted response bias would be very useful.
This sequential nonrandomized intervention study investigated the role of preemptive isolation precautions plus ultrarapid polymerase chain reaction screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Compared with no prophylactic isolation plus conventional microbiology MRSA screening, nosocomial MRSA colonization and total MRSA incidence per 10,000 patient days significantly decreased.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
The environment within the inner few hundred parsecs of the Milky Way, known as the “Central Molecular Zone” (CMZ), harbours densities and pressures orders of magnitude higher than the Galactic Disc; akin to that at the peak of cosmic star formation (Kruijssen & Longmore 2013). Previous studies have shown that current theoretical star-formation models under-predict the observed level of star-formation (SF) in the CMZ by an order of magnitude given the large reservoir of dense gas it contains. Here we explore potential reasons for this apparent dearth of star formation activity.
Over the past 15 years, the molecular complex Sgr C has been repeatedly observed with both XMM-Newton and Chandra. These observations reveal new features indicating that the region might be more complex than previously thought. We find that its strong iron line emission at 6.4 keV varies significantly over time, which supports the X-ray reflection scenario.
We present NH3 and H64α+H63α VLA observations of the Radio Arc region, including the M0.20 – 0.033 and G0.10 – 0.08 molecular clouds. These observations suggest the two velocity components of M0.20 – 0.033 are physically connected in the south. Additional ATCA observations suggest this connection is due to an expanding shell in the molecular gas, with the centroid located near the Quintuplet cluster. The G0.10 – 0.08 molecular cloud has little radio continuum, strong molecular emission, and abundant CH3OH masers, similar to a nearby molecular cloud with no star formation: M0.25+0.01. These features detected in G0.10 – 0.08 suggest dense molecular gas with no signs of current star formation.
The inner few hundred parsecs of the Milky Way, the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), is our closest laboratory for understanding star formation in the extreme environments (hot, dense, turbulent gas) that once dominated the universe. We present an update on the first large-area survey to expose the sites of star formation across the CMZ at high-resolution in submillimeter wavelengths: the CMZoom survey with the Submillimeter Array (SMA). We identify the locations of dense cores and search for signatures of embedded star formation. CMZoom is a three-year survey in its final year and is mapping out the highest column density regions of the CMZ in dust continuum and a variety of spectral lines around 1.3 mm. CMZoom combines SMA compact and subcompact configurations with single-dish data from BGPS and the APEX telescope, achieving an angular resolution of about 4″ (0.2 pc) and good image fidelity up to large spatial scales.
Star formation in the Galactic disc is primarily controlled by gravity, turbulence, and magnetic fields. It is not clear that this also applies to star formation near the Galactic Centre. Here we determine the turbulence and star formation in the CMZ cloud G0.253+0.016. Using maps of 3 mm dust emission and HNCO intensity-weighted velocity obtained with ALMA, we measure the volume-density variance σρ /ρ 0=1.3±0.5 and turbulent Mach number
= 11±3. Combining these with turbulence simulations to constrain the plasma β = 0.34±0.35, we reconstruct the turbulence driving parameter b=0.22±0.12 in G0.253+0.016. This low value of b indicates solenoidal (divergence-free) driving of the turbulence in G0.253+0.016. By contrast, typical clouds in the Milky Way disc and spiral arms have a significant compressive (curl-free) driving component (b > 0.4). We speculate that shear causes the solenoidal driving in G0.253+0.016 and show that this may reduce the star formation rate by a factor of 7 compared to nearby clouds.
The compact radio and near-infrared (NIR) source Sagittarius A* has been observed in the context of two NIR triggered global VLT and VLBA campaigns at 43 GHz (7 mm) on May 16-18 2012 and October 4 2014. While on October 4 2014 Sgr A* remained in a quiescent state, a NIR flare on May 17 2012 is accompanied by an increase in flux density of 0.22 Jy at 7 mm delayed by 4.5±0.5 h. Additionally, Sgr A* seems to develop a weak secondary radio off-core component of 0.02 Jy at a position angle of 140° and an angular distance of 1.5 mas shortly before the peak of the flare. This spatial extension and the time delay are in the range of expected values for events casually connected by adiabatic expansion.
This study explores the appropriateness of psychotropic drug (PD) use for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in nursing home patients with dementia.
A cross-sectional study on 559 patients with dementia residing on dementia special care units in Dutch nursing homes was conducted. Appropriateness of PD use was assessed using the Appropriate Psychotropic drug use In Dementia (APID) index. The APID index score is calculated using information about individual PDs from patients’ medical records. The index encompasses seven (different) domains of appropriateness, i.e. indication, evaluation, dosage, drug-drug interactions, drug-disease interactions, duplications, and therapy duration.
A total of 578 PDs were used for NPS by 60% of the nursing home patients. Indication, evaluation, and therapy duration contributed the most to inappropriate use. Ten per cent of the PDs scored fully appropriate according to the APID index sum score, 36% scored fully appropriate for indication, 46% scored fully appropriate for evaluation, and 58% scored fully appropriate for therapy duration. Antidepressants were used the most appropriately, and antiepileptics the most inappropriately.
The minority of the PD use was fully appropriate. The results imply that PD use for NPS in dementia can be improved; the appropriateness should be optimized with a clinical focus on the appropriate indications, evaluations, and therapy duration.