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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.
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.
Introduction: We implemented a pharmacist-led antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) service for patients discharged from the pediatric emergency department (PED). This service, supported by a collaborative practice agreement, allows pharmacists to follow up with patients and independently stop, start, or adjust antimicrobial agents based on culture results. The primary objective of our study was to evaluate the impact of this service on the rate of return visits to the PED within 96 hours. The secondary objective was to evaluate the appropriateness of the prescribed antimicrobial agent at follow up. Methods: This study was completed as a retrospective chart review 6 months pre-implementation (January 1st, 2016 to June 31st, 2016) and 6 months post-implementation (February 1st, 2017 to July 31st, 2017) of a pharmacist-led AMS service. A research assistant extracted data from electronic medical records using a standardized data collection form. All patients discharged from the PED with a suspected infection whose cultures fell within the parameters of the collaborative practice agreement were included in this study. Data were reported descriptively and compared using a two-sided chi-square test. Results: This study included 1070 patient encounters pre-implementation and 1040 patient encounters post-implementation of the AMS service. The most commonly reviewed culture was urine (38% pre-implementation and 41% post-implementation). The rate of return visits to the PED within 96 hours was 12.0% (129/1070) pre-implementation vs 10.0% (100/1049) post-implementation phase (p = 0.07). A significantly higher percentage of inappropriate antimicrobial therapy was identified at the time of follow up in the pre-implementation phase (7.0%, 68/975) compared to the post-implementation phase (5.0%, 46/952), p = 0.047. Conclusion: Although this pharmacist-led AMS service did not affect the rate of return visits within 96 hours, it may have led to more judicious use of antimicrobial agents.
The epidemic of prescription and non-prescription opioid misuse is of particular importance in pregnancy. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada currently recommends opioid replacement therapy with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid-dependent women during pregnancy. This vulnerable segment of the population has been shown to be at increased risk of blood-borne infectious diseases, nutritional insecurity and stress. The objective of this study was to describe an urban cohort of pregnant women on opioid replacement therapy and to evaluate potential effects on the fetus. A retrospective chart review of all women on opioid replacement therapy and their infants who delivered at The Ottawa Hospital General and Civic campuses between January 1, 2013 and March 24, 2017 was conducted. Data were collected on maternal characteristics, pregnancy outcomes, neonatal outcomes and corresponding placental pathology. Maternal comorbidities identified included high rates of infection, tobacco use and illicit substance use, as well as increased rates of placental abruption compared with national averages. Compared with national baseline averages, the mean neonatal birth weight was low, and the incidence of small for gestational age infants and congenital anomalies was high. The incidence of NAS was comparable with estimates from other studies of similar cohorts. Findings support existing literature that calls for a comprehensive interdisciplinary risk reduction approach including dietary, social, domestic, psychological and other supports to care for opioid-dependent women in pregnancy.
The World Alzheimer Report 2016 estimated that 47 million people are living with dementia worldwide (Alzheimer's Disease International, 2016). In the inaugural World Health Organization Ministerial Conference on Global Action against Dementia, six of the top ten research priorities were focused on prevention, identification, and reduction of dementia risk, and on delivery and quality of care for people with dementia and their carers (Shah et al., 2016). While the Lancet Neurology Commission has suggested that even minor advances to delay progression or ameliorate symptoms might have substantial financial and societal benefits (Winblad et al., 2016), advances have been slow.
The Yellow Chat Epthianura crocea is comprised of three disjunct subspecies. Subspecies E. c. macgregori (Capricorn Yellow Chat) is listed as Critically Endangered under the EPBC Act and has a distribution that also appears to be disjunct, with a limited geographic area of less than 7,000 ha. Some populations are threatened by rapid industrial development, and it is important for conservation of the subspecies to determine the extent to which the putative populations are connected. We used 14 microsatellite markers to measure genetic diversity and to determine the extent of gene flow between two disjunct populations at the northern and southern extremes of the subspecies’ range. No significant differences in genetic diversity (number of alleles and heterozygosity) were observed, but clear population structuring was apparent, with obvious differentiation between the northern and southern populations. The most likely explanation for reduced gene flow between the two populations is either the development of a geographic barrier as a consequence of shrinkage of the marine plains associated with the rise in sea levels following the last glacial maxima, or reduced connectivity across the largely unsuitable pasture and forest habitat that now separates the two populations, exacerbated by declining population size and fewer potential emigrants. Regardless of the mechanism, restricted gene flow between these two populations has important consequences for their ongoing conservation. The relative isolation of the smaller southern groups (the Fitzroy River delta and Curtis Island) from the much larger northern group (both sides of the Broad Sound) makes the southern population more vulnerable to local extinction. Conservation efforts should focus on nature refuge agreements with land owners agreeing to maintain favourable grazing management practices in perpetuity, particularly in the northern area where most chats occur. Supplemental exchanges of individuals from northern and southern populations should be explored as a way of increasing genetic diversity and reducing inbreeding.
The aim of this analysis was to test if changes in insomnia symptoms and global sleep quality are associated with coinciding changes in depressed mood among older adults. We report on results yielded from secondary analysis of longitudinal data from a clinical trial of older adults (N = 49) aged 55 to 80 years who reported at least moderate levels of sleep problems. All measures were collected at baseline and after the trial ten weeks later. We computed change scores for two separate measures of disturbed sleep, the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and tested their association with change in depressed mood (Beck Depression Inventory-II; BDI-II) in two separate linear regression models adjusted for biological covariates related to sleep (sex, age, body mass index, and NF-κB as a biological marker previously correlated with insomnia and depression). Change in AIS scores was associated with change in BDI-II scores (β = 0.38, p < 0.01). Change in PSQI scores was not significantly associated with change in BDI-II scores (β = 0.17, p = 0.26). Our findings suggest that improvements over ten weeks in insomnia symptoms rather than global sleep quality coincide with improvement in depressed mood among older adults.
Body image disturbance (BID) is a core symptom of anorexia nervosa (AN), but as yet distinctive features of BID are unknown. The present study aimed at disentangling perceptual and attitudinal components of BID in AN.
We investigated n = 24 women with AN and n = 24 controls. Based on a three-dimensional (3D) body scan, we created realistic virtual 3D bodies (avatars) for each participant that were varied through a range of ±20% of the participants’ weights. Avatars were presented in a virtual reality mirror scenario. Using different psychophysical tasks, participants identified and adjusted their actual and their desired body weight. To test for general perceptual biases in estimating body weight, a second experiment investigated perception of weight and shape matched avatars with another identity.
Women with AN and controls underestimated their weight, with a trend that women with AN underestimated more. The average desired body of controls had normal weight while the average desired weight of women with AN corresponded to extreme AN (DSM-5). Correlation analyses revealed that desired body weight, but not accuracy of weight estimation, was associated with eating disorder symptoms. In the second experiment, both groups estimated accurately while the most attractive body was similar to Experiment 1.
Our results contradict the widespread assumption that patients with AN overestimate their body weight due to visual distortions. Rather, they illustrate that BID might be driven by distorted attitudes with regard to the desired body. Clinical interventions should aim at helping patients with AN to change their desired weight.
New onset of mood and behavioral changes in middle-aged patients are frequently the first manifestations of an unrecognized neurocognitive disorder. Impairment of social cognition, the cognitive ability to process social information coming from others, such as emotions, to attribute mental states to others, and to respond appropriately to them, is often at the origin of behavioral manifestations in neurodegenerative disorders.
This paper reviews the current literature on social cognition impairment in neurocognitive disorders, particularly in prodromal stages of behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD), and Lewy body dementia (LBD). The concepts of social cognition will be reviewed, including its impairment and neural basis, its clinical assessment, and the different therapeutic interventions available clinically.
Socially inappropriate behaviors, such as loss of empathy, inappropriateness of affect, and disinhibition are frequently reported in prodromal bvFTD and in prodromal AD. Lack of self-control, reduced perception of social cues, such as recognition of facial emotions and sarcastic speech, and impaired Theory of Mind all contribute to the neuropsychiatric symptoms and are secondary to neurodegeneration in specific brain regions. In contrasts to bvFTD and AD, deficits in social cognition in IPD occur later in the course of the disease and are often multifactorial in origin.
Through various manifestations, social inappropriateness is frequently the first clinical sign of a neurodegenerative process, especially in AD and bvFTD, years before noticeable impairment on classical neuropsychological assessment and brain atrophy on imaging.
Far-UV photons (FUV, E < 13.6 eV) from hot massive stars regulate, or at least influence, the heating, ionization, and chemistry of most of the neutral interstellar medium (H i and H2 clouds). Investigating the interaction between FUV radiation and interstellar matter (molecules, atoms and grains) thus plays an important role in astrochemistry.
The Orion Bar, an interface region between the Orion A molecular cloud and the H ii region around the Trapezium cluster, is a textbook example of a strongly illuminated dense PDR (photodissociation region). The Bar is illuminated by a FUV field of a few 104 times the mean interstellar radiation field. Because of its proximity and nearly edge-on orientation, it provides a very good template to investigate the chemical content, structure, and dynamics of a strongly irradiated molecular cloud edge. We have used ALMA to mosaic a small field of the Bar where the critical transition from atomic to molecular gas takes place. These observations provide an unprecedented sharp view of this transition layer (≲ 1″ resolution or ≲ 414 AU). The resulting images (so far in the rotational emission of CO, HCO+, H13CO+, SO+, SO, and reactive ions SH+ and HOC+) show the small-scale structure in gas density and temperature, and the steep abundance gradients. The images reveal a pattern of high-density substructures, photo-ablative gas flows and instabilities at the edge of the molecular cloud. These first ALMA images thus show a more complex morphology than the classical clump/interclump static model of a PDR.
In order to quantify the chemical content in strongly FUV-irradiated gas, we have also used the IRAM-30 m telescope to carry out a complete line-survey of the illuminated edge of the Bar in the millimeter domain. Our observations reveal the presence of complex organic molecules (and precursors) that were not expected in such a harsh environment. In particular, we have reported the first detection of the unstable cis conformer of formic acid (HCOOH) in the ISM. The energy barrier to internal rotation (the conversion from trans to cis) is approximately 4827 cm−1 (≈7000 K). Hence, this detection is surprising. The low inferred trans-to-cis abundance ratio of 2.8±1.0 supports a photoswitching mechanism: a given conformer absorbs a FUV stellar photon that radiatively excites the molecule to electronic states above the interconversion barrier. Subsequent fluorescent decay leaves the molecule in a different conformer form. This mechanism, which we have specifically studied with ab initio quantum calculations, was not considered so far in astrochemistry although it can affect the structure of a variety of molecules in PDRs.
Because individuals develop dementia as a manifestation of neurodegenerative or neurovascular disorder, there is a need to develop reliable approaches to their identification. We are undertaking an observational study (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative [ONDRI]) that includes genomics, neuroimaging, and assessments of cognition as well as language, speech, gait, retinal imaging, and eye tracking. Disorders studied include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular cognitive impairment. Data from ONDRI will be collected into the Brain-CODE database to facilitate correlative analysis. ONDRI will provide a repertoire of endophenotyped individuals that will be a unique, publicly available resource.
Virkisjökull is a rapidly retreating outlet glacier draining the western flanks of Öræfajökull in SE Iceland. Since 2011 there have been continuous measurements of flow in the proglacial meltwater channel and regular campaigns to sample stable isotopes δ2H and δ18O from the river, ice, moraine springs and groundwater. The stable isotopes provide reliable end members for glacial ice and shallow groundwater. Analysis of data from 2011 to 2014 indicates that although ice and snowmelt dominate summer riverflow (mean 5.3–7.9 m3 s−1), significant flow is also observed in winter (mean 1.6–2.4 m3 s−1) due primarily to ongoing glacier icemelt. The stable isotope data demonstrate that the influence of groundwater discharge from moraines and the sandur aquifer increases during winter and forms a small (15–20%) consistent source of baseflow to the river. The similarity of hydrological response across seasons reflects a highly efficient glacial drainage system, which makes use of a series of permanent englacial channels within active and buried ice throughout the year. The study has shown that the development of an efficient year round drainage network within the lower part of the glacier has been coincident with the stagnation and subsequent rapid retreat of the glacier.
Evidence associating serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and cardiometabolic risk factors is inconsistent and studies have largely been conducted in adult populations. We examined the prospective associations between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and cardiometabolic risk factors from adolescence to young adulthood in the West Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations, BMI, homoeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), TAG, HDL-cholesterol and systolic blood pressure (SBP) were measured at the 17-year (n 1015) and 20-year (n 1117) follow-ups. Hierarchical linear mixed models with maximum likelihood estimation were used to investigate associations between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and cardiometabolic risk factors, accounting for potential confounders. In males and females, respectively, mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 73·6 (sd 28·2) and 75·4 (sd 25·9) nmol/l at 17 years and 70·0 (sd 24·2) and 74·3 (sd 26·2) nmol/l at 20 years. Deseasonalised serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations were inversely associated with BMI (coefficient −0·01; 95 % CI −0·03, −0·003; P=0·014). No change over time was detected in the association for males; for females, the inverse association was stronger at 20 years compared with 17 years. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were inversely associated with log-HOMA-IR (coefficient −0·002; 95 % CI −0·003, −0·001; P<0·001) and positively associated with log-TAG in females (coefficient 0·002; 95 % CI 0·0008, 0·004; P=0·003). These associations did not vary over time. There were no significant associations between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and HDL-cholesterol or SBP. Clinical trials in those with insufficient vitamin D status may be warranted to determine any beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation on insulin resistance, while monitoring for any deleterious effect on TAG.
Dementia is a common neurological condition affecting many older individuals that leads to a loss of independence, diminished quality of life, premature mortality, caregiver burden and high levels of healthcare utilization and cost. This is an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the worldwide prevalence and incidence of dementia.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for relevant studies published between 2000 (1985 for Canadian papers) and July of 2012. Papers selected for full-text review were included in the systematic review if they provided an original population-based estimate for the incidence and/or prevalence of dementia. The reference lists of included articles were also searched for additional studies. Two individuals independently performed abstract and full-text review, data extraction, and quality assessment of the papers. Random-effects models and/or meta-regression were used to generate pooled estimates by age, sex, setting (i.e., community, institution, both), diagnostic criteria utilized, location (i.e., continent) and year of data collection.
Of 16,066 abstracts screened, 707 articles were selected for full-text review. A total of 160 studies met the inclusion criteria. Among individuals 60 and over residing in the community, the pooled point and annual period prevalence estimates of dementia were 48.62 (CI95%: 41.98-56.32) and 69.07 (CI95%: 52.36-91.11) per 1000 persons, respectively. The respective pooled incidence rate (same age and setting) was 17.18 (CI95%: 13.90-21.23) per 1000 person-years, while the annual incidence proportion was 52.85 (CI95%: 33.08-84.42) per 1,000 persons. Increasing participant age was associated with a higher dementia prevalence and incidence. Annual period prevalence was higher in North America than in South America, Europe and Asia (in order of decreasing period prevalence) and higher in institutional compared to community and combined settings. Sex, diagnostic criteria (except for incidence proportion) and year of data collection were not associated with statistically significant different estimates of prevalence or incidence, though estimates were consistently higher for females than males.
Dementia is a common neurological condition in older individuals. Significant gaps in knowledge about its epidemiology were identified, particularly with regard to the incidence of dementia in low- and middle-income countries. Accurate estimates of prevalence and incidence of dementia are needed to plan for the health and social services that will be required to deal with an aging population.
According to diathesis–stress models, personality traits, such as negative emotionality (NE) and positive emotionality (PE), may moderate the effects of stressors on the development of depression. However, relatively little empirical research has directly examined whether NE and PE act as diatheses in the presence of stressful life events, and no research has examined whether they moderate the effect of disaster exposure on depressive symptoms. Hurricane Sandy, the second costliest hurricane in US history, offers a unique opportunity to address these gaps.
A total of 318 women completed measures of NE and PE 5 years prior to Hurricane Sandy. They were also assessed for lifetime depressive disorders on two occasions, the latter occurring an average of 1 year before the hurricane. Approximately 8 weeks after the disaster (mean = 8.40, s.d. = 1.48 weeks), participants completed a hurricane stress exposure questionnaire and a measure of current depressive symptoms.
Adjusting for lifetime history of depressive disorders, higher levels of stress from Hurricane Sandy predicted elevated levels of depressive symptoms, but only in participants with high levels of NE or low levels of PE.
These findings support the role of personality in the development of depression and suggest that personality traits can be useful in identifying those most vulnerable to major stressors, including natural disasters.
To examine the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and dietary patterns in adolescents.
Food choice was assessed using the validated New Zealand Adolescent FFQ. Principal components analysis was used to determine dietary patterns. Trained research assistants measured participants’ height and body mass. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed in a subset of participants using the multistage 20 m shuttle run. The level and stage were recorded, and the corresponding VO2max was calculated. Differences in mean VO2max according to sex and BMI were assessed using t tests, while associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and dietary patterns were examined using linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, school attended, socio-economic deprivation and BMI.
Secondary schools in Otago, New Zealand.
Students (n 279) aged 14–18 years who completed an online lifestyle survey during a class period.
Principal components analysis produced three dietary patterns: ‘Treat Foods’, ‘Fruits and Vegetables’ and ‘Basic Foods’. The 279 participants who provided questionnaire data and completed cardiorespiratory fitness testing had a mean age of 15·7 (sd 0·9) years. Mean VO2max was 45·8 (sd 6·9) ml/kg per min. The ‘Fruits and Vegetables’ pattern was positively associated with VO2max in the total sample (β=0·04; 95 %CI 0·02, 0·07), girls (β=0·06; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·10) and boys (β=0·03; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·05).
These results indicate that increase in cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with a healthier dietary pattern, suggesting both should be targeted as part of a global lifestyle approach. Longitudinal studies are needed to confirm this association in relation to health outcomes in New Zealand adolescents.
To describe the development and application of the School Food Environment Assessment Tools and a novel scoring system to assess the integration of healthy and environmentally sustainable food initiatives in elementary and secondary schools.
The cross-sectional study included direct observations of physical food environments and interviews with key school personnel regarding food-related programmes and policies. A five-point scoring system was then developed to assess actions across six domains: (i) food gardens; (ii) composting systems; (iii) food preparation activities; (iv) food-related teaching and learning activities; and availability of (v) healthy food; and (vi) environmentally sustainable food.
A purposive sample of public schools (n 33) from all six sectors of the Vancouver Board of Education.
Schools scored highest in the areas of food garden and compost system development and use. Regular integration of food-related teaching and learning activities and hands-on food preparation experiences were also commonly reported. Most schools demonstrated rudimentary efforts to make healthy and environmentally sustainable food choices available, but in general scored lowest on these two domains. Moreover, no schools reported widespread initiatives fully supporting availability or integration of healthy or environmentally sustainable foods across campus.
More work is needed in all areas to fully integrate programmes and policies that support healthy, environmentally sustainable food systems in Vancouver schools. The assessment tools and proposed indicators offer a practical approach for researchers, policy makers and school stakeholders to assess school food system environments, identify priority areas for intervention and track relevant changes over time.