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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
We analyzed clinical microbiology laboratory practices for detection of multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in US short-stay acute-care hospitals using data from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Annual Facility Survey. Half of hospitals reported testing for carbapenemases, and 1% performed routine polymyxin susceptibility testing using reference broth microdilution.
The early and effective detection of neurocognitive disorders poses a key diagnostic challenge. We examined performance on common cognitive bedside tests according to differing delirium syndromal status and clinical (motor) subtypes in hospitalized elderly medical inpatients.
A battery of nine bedside cognitive tests was performed on elderly medical inpatients with DSM-IV delirium, subsyndromal delirium (SSD), and no delirium (ND). Patients with delirium were compared according to clinical (motor) subtypes.
A total of 198 patients (mean age 79.14 ± 8.26) were assessed with full syndromal delirium (FSD: n = 110), SSD (n = 45), and ND (n = 43). Delirium status was not associated with differences in terms of gender distribution, age, or overall medication use. Dementia burden increased with greater delirium status. Overall, the ability to meaningfully engage with the tests varied from 59% for the Vigilance B test to 85% for Spatial Span Forward test and was lowest in patients with FSD, where engagement ranged from 32% for the Vigilance B test to 77% for the Spatial Span Forwards test. The ND group was distinguished from SSD group for the Months of the year backwards, Vigilance B, global VSP, Clock Drawing test, and Interlocking Pentagons test. The SSD group was distinguished from the FSD group by Vigilance A, Spatial Span Forward, and Spatial Span Backwards. Regarding differences among motor subtypes in terms of percentage engagement and performance, the No subtype group had higher ratings across all tests. Delirious patients with no subtype had significantly lower scores on the DRS-R98 than for the other three subtype categories.
Simple bedside tests of attention, vigilance, and visuospatial ability are useful in distinguishing neurocognitive disorders, including SSD from other presentations.
Little is known about the association of cortical Aβ with depression and anxiety among cognitively normal (CN) elderly persons.
We conducted a cross-sectional study derived from the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota; involving CN persons aged ≥ 60 years that underwent PiB-PET scans and completed Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Cognitive diagnosis was made by an expert consensus panel. Participants were classified as having abnormal (≥1.4; PiB+) or normal PiB-PET (<1.4; PiB−) using a global cortical to cerebellar ratio. Multi-variable logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) after adjusting for age and sex.
Of 1,038 CN participants (53.1% males), 379 were PiB+. Each one point symptom increase in the BDI (OR = 1.03; 1.00–1.06) and BAI (OR = 1.04; 1.01–1.08) was associated with increased odds of PiB-PET+. The number of participants with BDI > 13 (clinical depression) was greater in the PiB-PET+ than PiB-PET- group but the difference was not significant (OR = 1.42; 0.83–2.43). Similarly, the number of participants with BAI > 10 (clinical anxiety) was greater in the PiB-PET+ than PiB-PET− group but the difference was not significant (OR = 1.77; 0.97–3.22).
As expected, depression and anxiety levels were low in this community-dwelling sample, which likely reduced our statistical power. However, we observed an informative albeit weak association between increased BDI and BAI scores and elevated cortical amyloid deposition. This observation needs to be tested in a longitudinal cohort study.
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are associated with increased mortality relative to the general population. There is an international emphasis on decreasing this excess mortality.
To determine whether the mortality gap between individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and the general population has decreased.
A nationally representative cohort study using primary care electronic health records from 2000 to 2014, comparing all patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and the general population. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality.
Individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia had elevated mortality (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.79, 95% CI 1.67–1.88 and 2.08, 95% CI 1.98–2.19 respectively). Adjusted HRs for bipolar disorder increased by 0.14/year (95% CI 0.10–0.19) from 2006 to 2014. The adjusted HRs for schizophrenia increased gradually from 2004 to 2010 (0.11/year, 95% CI 0.04–0.17) and rapidly after 2010 (0.34/year, 95% CI 0.18–0.49).
The mortality gap between individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and the general population is widening.
Targeted surveillance has focused on device-associated infections and surgical site infections (SSIs) and is often limited to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in high-risk areas. Longitudinal trends in all HAIs, including other types of HAIs, and HAIs outside of intensive care units (ICUs) remain unclear. We examined the incidences of all HAIs using comprehensive hospital-wide surveillance over a 12-year period (2001–2012).
This retrospective observational study was conducted at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals, a tertiary care academic facility. All HAIs, including 5 major infections with 14 specific infection sites as defined using CDC criteria, were ascertained through comprehensive hospital-wide surveillance. Generalized linear models were used to examine the incidence rate difference by infection type over time.
A total of 16,579 HAIs included 6,397 cases in ICUs and 10,182 cases outside ICUs. The incidence of overall HAIs decreased significantly hospital-wide (−3.4 infections per 1,000 patient days), in ICUs (−8.4 infections per 1,000 patient days), and in non-ICU settings (−1.9 infections per 1,000 patient days). The incidences of bloodstream infection, urinary tract infection, and pneumonia in hospital-wide settings decreased significantly, but the incidences of SSI and lower respiratory tract infection remained unchanged. The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) increased remarkably. The outcomes were estimated to include 700 overall HAIs prevented, 40 lives saved, and cost savings in excess of $10 million.
We demonstrated success in reducing overall HAIs over a 12-year period. Our data underscore the necessity for surveillance and infection prevention interventions outside of the ICUs, for non–device-associated HAIs, and for CDI.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;36(10):1139–1147
Providing optimal healthcare for increasingly elderly hospital populations who have high rates of cognitive disorder is a great challenge. Using delirium as an example, we describe how improved management of acute cognitive problems through a multifaceted hospital-wide programme can promote cognitive-friendly hospital environments. A specific plan of action is described that spans interventions in day-to-day clinical care of individual patients all the way to wider organisational practices.
•Understand the concept of cognitive friendliness and how addressing the problem of delirium can contribute to this in our healthcare system.
•Become more aware of specific aspects of a cognitive-friendly programme and how these can be implemented in practice.
•Explore the key outstanding issues for research that can further enhance our awareness of cognitive-friendly practices.
We studied the effect of a cross-conjugated bridging group (χC) on charge-transfer in a push-pull chromophore system. The hyperpolarizability of such molecules was found to be comparable to that of a fully π-conjugated molecule (πC) with the same donor and acceptor. The cross-conjugated moiety was then applied as a pendant to a fully π-conjugated chromophore containing a tricyanopyrroline acceptor (TCP). The addition of a χC moiety did not alter the intrinsic hyperpolarizability and provides an avenue for extending and aiding πC systems. The molecules were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), hyper-Raleigh scattering (HRS) and UV-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy. Experimental results were compared with the predictions of density functional theory (DFT). Cross-conjugated molecules have comparable β values, relative to πC molecules, due to reduced spatial overlap between the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO). Thus, the χC architecture could facilitate independent modification of donor and acceptor strengths while minimizing unfavorable effects on electronic transitions and dipole moments.
We sought to estimate the incidence of long-term care (LTC) placement and to identify resident- and facility-level predictors of placement among older residents of designated assisted living (AL) facilities in Alberta, Canada. Included were 1,086 AL residents from 59 facilities. Research nurses completed interRAI-AL resident assessments and interviewed family caregivers and administrators. Predictors of placement were identified with multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. The cumulative incidence of LTC admission was 18.3 per cent by 12 months. Significantly increased risk for placement was evident for older residents and those with poor social relationships, little involvement in activities, cognitive and/or functional impairment, health instability, recent falls and hospitalizations/emergency department visits, and severe bladder incontinence. Residents from larger facilities, with an LPN and/or RN on-site 24/7 and with an affiliated primary care physician, showed lower risk of placement. Our findings highlight clinical and policy areas where targeted interventions may delay LTC admissions.