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The current status of the DRIFT (Directional Recoil Identification From Tracks)
experiment at Boulby Mine is presented, including the latest limits on the WIMP
spin-dependent cross-section from 1.5 kg days of running with a mixture of CS2
and CF4. Planned upgrades to DRIFT IId are detailed, along with ongoing work
towards DRIFT III, which aims to be the world’s first 10 m3-scale directional
Dark Matter detector.
The birth distribution of 399 cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) identified in the region of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean (Québec) was compared with that of: (a) the population currently living in the area; and (b) the population born during the same period in the area. AD cases have been recruited since 1986 by the IMAGE Project. Cases and controls were grouped according to the month of birth and according to the day of birth using density estimation. Analyses showed a significant deficit of births in the month of May. We believe these preliminary results deserve further attention and we suggest two possible explanations that could lead to a deficit of AD births at specific periods during the year.
Genetic linkage analysis requires the identification and documentation of large families with many affected members present, preferably in more than one generation. The IMAGE Project has been establishing a population- based Alzheimer disease (AD) registry in the Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean region of the Province of Quebec. The population of this region has a well-documented ancestry, with reliable genealogical records (since 1842) computerized by SORER We have recently begun to investigate the pedigrees of selected probands (definite, probable and possible) from the IMAGE registry in order to identify informative pedigrees for genetic linkage analysis. Interviews were carried out with close relatives of the probands (at least one informant per sibship) to identify secondary AD cases. The questionnaires used pertain to the accuracy of genealogical records, to family medical history and to a retrospective diagnosis of AD for people with cognitive deficits. By these means, we have documented a large extended pedigree in which a total of 15 individuals with cognitive deficits were ascertained over three generations. Of these cases, 7 are still living and there is autopsy confirmation in another one. Computer simulations using the program SIMLINK revealed that this is a potentially informative family for linkage analysis. Horizontal extension of the pedigree to second cousins of the proband is now being carried out. This will render the family IMAGE/1 even more informative in genetic linkage analysis studies.
Parental age at the time of birth of 133 clinically diagnosed Alzheimer patients from the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean area (Quebec, Canada) were compared with those of 6 control groups formed out a population registry. The birth order of the Alzheimer patients was also analyzed. The results did not show any parental age or birth order effect, which is in agreement with previous reports. The importance of control selection in such studies is stressed.
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