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Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
Objective: Post-stroke cognitive impairment is common, but mechanisms and risk factors are poorly understood. Frailty may be an important risk factor for cognitive impairment after stroke. We investigated the association between pre-stroke frailty and acute post-stoke cognition. Methods: We studied consecutively admitted acute stroke patients in a single urban teaching hospital during three recruitment waves between May 2016 and December 2017. Cognition was assessed using the Mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment (min=0; max=12). A Frailty Index was used to generate frailty scores for each patient (min=0; max=100). Clinical and demographic information were collected, including pre-stroke cognition, delirium, and stroke-severity. We conducted univariate and multiple-linear regression analyses with covariates forced in (covariates included were: age, sex, stroke severity, stroke-type, pre-stroke cognitive impairment, delirium, previous stroke/transient ischemic attack) to investigate the association between pre-stroke frailty and post-stroke cognition. Results: Complete data were available for 154 stroke patients. Mean age was 68 years (SD=11; range=32–97); 93 (60%) were male. Median mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment score was 8 (IQR=4–12). Mean Frailty Index score was 18 (SD=11). Pre-stroke cognitive impairment was apparent in 13/154 (8%) patients. Pre-stroke frailty was significantly associated with lower post-stroke cognition (Standardized-Beta=−0.40; p<0.001) and this association was independent of covariates (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.005). Additional significant variables in the multiple regression model were age (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.002), delirium (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.81; p<0.001), pre-stroke cognitive impairment (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.28; p=0.001), and stroke-severity (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.20; p<0.001). Conclusions: Pre-stroke frailty may be a moderator of post-stroke cognition, independent of other well-established post-stroke cognitive impairment risk factors. (JINS, 2019, 25, 501–506)
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Depression is a common post-stroke complication. Pre-stroke depression may be an important contributor, however the epidemiology of pre-stroke depression is poorly understood. Using systematic review and meta-analysis, we described the prevalence of pre-stroke depression and its association with post-stroke depression.
We searched multiple cross-disciplinary databases from inception to July 2017 and extracted data on the prevalence of pre-stroke depression and its association with post-stroke depression. We assessed the risk of bias (RoB) using validated tools. We described summary estimates of prevalence and summary odds ratio (OR) for association with post-stroke depression, using random-effects models. We performed subgroup analysis describing the effect of depression assessment method. We used a funnel plot to describe potential publication bias. The strength of evidence presented in this review was summarised via ‘GRADE’.
Of 11 884 studies identified, 29 were included (total participants n = 164 993). Pre-stroke depression pooled prevalence was 11.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 9.2–14.7]; range: 0.4–24% (I2 95.8). Prevalence of pre-stroke depression varied by assessment method (p = 0.02) with clinical interview suggesting greater pre-stroke depression prevalence (~17%) than case-note review (9%) or self-report (11%). Pre-stroke depression was associated with increased odds of post-stroke depression; summary OR 3.0 (95% CI 2.3–4.0). All studies were judged to be at RoB: 59% of included studies had an uncertain RoB in stroke assessment; 83% had high or uncertain RoB for pre-stroke depression assessment. Funnel plot indicated no risk of publication bias. The strength of evidence based on GRADE was ‘very low’.
One in six stroke patients have had pre-stroke depression. Reported rates may be routinely underestimated due to limitations around assessment. Pre-stroke depression significantly increases odds of post-stroke depression.
Medusaceratops lokii Ryan, Russell, and Hartman, 2010 is an enigmatic taxon of ceratopsid represented by partial parietals from the Mansfield bonebed in the Campanian Judith River Formation, Montana. Originally, all ceratopsid material collected from this bonebed was referred to the centrosaurine ceratopsid Albertaceratops, but subsequently two parietals were designated the types of the chasmosaurine, M. lokii, in part, because they were interpreted to have three epiparietals bilaterally. Here we describe new material from the bonebed that allows a systematic revision of the taxon. A revised reconstruction of the frill, informed by newly discovered parietals, reveals that M. lokii had a broad midline ramus and at least five epiparietals (ep) around the margin of the frill, both traits that are characteristic of Centrosaurinae. From medial to lateral, the epiparietal ornamentation consists of a small, variably procurving epiparietal (ep 1), an anterolaterally curving pachyostotic hook (ep 2), a smaller pachyostoic process (ep 3), and two small triangular epiparietals (ep 4 and 5). A phylogenetic analysis of ceratopsids, which is the first to include Medusaceratops, indicates that M. lokii is a unique, early centrosaurine ceratopsid taxon that is more closely related to Centrosaurini and Pachyrhinosaurini than Nasutoceratopsini. No unequivocal chasmosaurine bones or diagnostic material from any other ceratopsid could be identified from the Mansfield bonebed, suggesting that it represents one of the oldest occurrences of a monodominant accumulation of a centrosaurine ceratopsid on record.
A detailed study of a proglacial bedrock site and a subglacial cavity of an outlet of Øksfjordjøkelen, Norway, is presented together with observations from the foreland of Konowbreen, Spitsbergen. Striation directions and subglacial observations indicate that local ice-flow paths were highly variable, deviating at angles of approximately 90° from the main ice-flow direction. Stepped bedrock topography appears conducive to the production of highly variable ice-flow paths, because the high bed roughness creates a locally variable stress regime within the ice, including low-pressure, lee-side areas into which ice can flow. If ice flow is sustained along a specific path and the ice contains debris, then abrasion should produce an erosional bedform. Models are proposed whereby locally variable ice-flow patterns could produce erosional bedforms, which would be described as p-forms, purely through mechanical abrasion.
The visual surface brightness relation is applied to the determination of parallaxes of white dwarfs on the assumption, borne out by previous studies of white dwarfs of known parallax, that these show only a small range of linear diameters.
The Southern Ocean is the largest of the high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) regions of the world ocean. Phytoplankton production fails to utilise completely the pool of inorganic nutrients in the euphotic zone, giving rise to low phytoplankton bio-mass and leaving relatively high summer nutrient concentrations. This enigma is of considerable significance for our understanding of the role of the oceans in the global carbon cycle. Various limiting factors have been considered: low light, low temperature, absence of necessary trace elements, grazing pressure and other means of biomass removal.
The dynamics of nitrogen uptake by phytoplankton are of particular importance. Classically, nitrate mixed into the surface layer during winter provides the nitrogen pool for growth in the spring bloom. Some organic material is exported to depth, whilst the remainder is recycled, providing ammonium and other reduced species as nitrogenous substrates for growth during the remainder of the season. The oxidation state of the inorganic nitrogen supply thus identifies new and recycled carbon fixation. Whilst this is convenient “shorthand” for the nitrogen nutrition of carbon export in much of the ocean, it is an inappropriate model for the Southern Ocean. Here, nitrate and ammonium use are simultaneous, and nitrate is never exhausted by the annual phytoplankton production.
We speculate that a range of environmental factors combine to make the large pool of nitrate partially inaccessible to phytoplankton. in addition to the documented effects of low iron availability and high ammonium concentrations, the low temperatures characteristic of the Southern Ocean may decrease nitrate availability because of the increased energetic overheads in its uptake and reduction. This in turn makes ammonium an important nitrogenous substrate, and its production by zooplankton and heterotrophic microorganisms is an important component of the plankton nitrogen cycle. There is some evidence that ammonium production by large grazing animals may stimulate phytoplankton growth. Microbial removal of nitrogen from sedimenting phytoplankton cells may result in local decoupling between the carbon and nitrogen cycles, allowing some reduced nitrogen to remain in the euphotic zone whilst carbon is exported to depth.
One of the enduring puzzles to Stephen Jay Gould about life on Earth was the cause or causes of the fantastic diversity of animals that exploded in the fossil record starting around 530 Ma–the Cambrian explosion. In this contribution, we first review recent phylogenetic and molecular clock studies that estimate dates for high-level metazoan diversifications, in particular the origin of the major lineages of the bilaterally-symmetrical animals (Bilateria) including cnidarians. We next review possible “internal” triggers for the Cambrian explosion, and argue that pattern formation, those processes that delay the specification of cells and thereby allow for growth, was one major innovation that allowed for the evolution of distinct macroscopic body plans by the end of the Precambrian. Of potential “external” triggers there is no lack of candidates, including snowball earth episodes and a general increase in the oxygenation state of the world's oceans; the former could affect animal evolution by a mass extinction followed by ecological recovery, whereas the latter could affect the evolution of benthic animals through the transfer of reduced carbon from the pelagos to the benthos via fecal pellets. We argue that the most likely cause of the Cambrian explosion was the evolution of macrophagy, which resulted in the evolution of larger body sizes and eventually skeletons in response to increased benthic predation pressures. Benthic predation pressures also resulted in the evolution of mesozooplankton, which irrevocably linked the pelagos with the benthos, effectively establishing the Phanerozoic ocean. Hence, we suggest that the Cambrian explosion was the inevitable outcome of the evolution of macrophagy near the end of the Marinoan glacial interval.
The transition to the diverse and complex biosphere of the Ediacaran and early Paleozoic is the culmination of a complex history of tectonic, climate, and geochemical development. Although much of this rise occurred in the middle and late intervals of the Neoproterozoic Era (1000–541 million years ago [Ma]), the foundation for many of these developments was laid much earlier, during the latest Mesoproterozic Stenian Period (1200–1000 Ma) and early Neoproterozoic Tonian Period (1000–720 Ma). Concurrent with the development of complex ecosystems, changes in the composition, configuration, and tectonic interaction between continental plates have been proposed as major shapers of both climate and biogeochemical cycling, but there is little support in the geologic record for overriding tectonic controls. Biogeochemical evidence, however, suggests that an expansion of marine oxygen concentrations may have stabilized nutrient cycles and created more stable environmental conditions under which complex, eukaryotic life could gain a foothold and flourish. The interaction of tectonic, biogeochemical, and climate processes, as described in this paper, resulted in the establishment of habitable environments that fostered the Ediacaran and early Phanerozoic radiations of animal life and the emergence of complex, modern-style ecosystems.