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Objectives: Stroke could lead to deficits in organization of visual search. Cancellation tests are frequently used in standard neuropsychological assessment and appear suitable to measure search organization. The current aim was to evaluate which cognitive functions are associated with cancellation organization measures after stroke. Methods: Stroke patients admitted to inpatient rehabilitation were included in this retrospective study. We performed exploratory factor analyses to explore cognitive domains. A digital shape cancellation test (SC) was administered, and measures of search organization (intersections rate and best r) were computed. The following cognitive functions were measured by neuropsychological testing: neglect (SC, line bisection; LB, Catherine Bergego Scale; CBS, and Balloons Test), visuospatial perception and construction (Rey Complex Figure Test, RCFT), psychomotor speed (Trail Making Test; TMT-A), executive functioning/working memory (TMT-B), spatial planning (Tower Test), rule learning (Brixton Test), short-term auditory memory (Digit Span Forward; DSF), and verbal working memory (Digit Span Backward; DSB). Results: In total, 439 stroke patients were included in our analyses. Four clusters were separated: “Executive functioning” (TMT-A, TMT-B, Brixton Test, and Tower Test), “Verbal memory” (DSF and DSB), “Search organization” (intersections rate and best r), and “Neglect” (CBS, RCFT copy, Balloons Test, SC, and LB). Conclusions: Search organization during cancellation, as measured with intersections rate and best r, seems a distinct cognitive construct compared to existing cognitive domains that are tested during neuropsychological assessment. Administering cancellation tests and analyzing measures of search organization could provide useful additional insights into the visuospatial processes of stroke patients. (JINS, 2018, 24, 424–436)
The loss of natural habitats is a major threat to biodiversity, and protected area designation is one of the standard responses to this threat. However, greater understanding of the drivers of habitat loss and of the circumstances under which protected areas succeed or fail is still needed. We use visual assessment of satellite images to quantify land-cover change over periods of up to 30 years in and around a matched sample of protected and unprotected Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in Africa. We modelled the annual survival of forests and other natural land covers as a function of a range of environmental and anthropic predictors of plausible drivers. The best-supported model indicated that survival rates of natural land cover were highest in steeper areas, at higher altitudes, in areas with lower human population densities and in areas where the cover of natural habitats was already higher at the start of the period. Survival rates of natural land cover in protected areas were, on average, around twice those in unprotected areas, but the differences between them varied along different environmental gradients. The overall survival rates of both protected and unprotected forests were significantly lower than those of other natural land-cover types, but the net benefit of protection, in terms of the absolute difference in rates of loss between protected and unprotected sites, was higher in forests. Interaction terms indicated that as slope and altitude increased, the natural protection offered by topography increasingly nullified the additional benefits of legislative protection. Furthermore, protected area designation offered reduced additional benefits to the survival of natural land cover in areas where rates of conversion were higher at the start of the observation period. Variation in the impacts of protected area status along different environmental gradients indicates that targets to improve the world's protected area network, such as Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, need to look beyond simple area-based metrics. Our methods and results contribute to the development of a protocol for prioritizing places where protection is likely to have the greatest effect.
Endothelial dysfunction (ED) and low-grade inflammation (LGI) have a role in the development of CVD. The two studies reported here explored the effects of dietary proteins and carbohydrates on markers of ED and LGI in overweight/obese individuals with untreated elevated blood pressure. In the first study, fifty-two participants consumed a protein mix or maltodextrin (3×20 g/d) for 4 weeks. Fasting levels and 12 h postprandial responses of markers of ED (soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM), soluble endothelial selectin and von Willebrand factor) and markers of LGI (serum amyloid A, C-reactive protein and sICAM) were evaluated before and after intervention. Biomarkers were also combined into mean Z-scores of ED and LGI. The second study compared 4 h postprandial responses of ED and LGI markers in forty-eight participants after ingestion of 0·6 g/kg pea protein, milk protein and egg-white protein. In addition, postprandial responses after maltodextrin intake were compared with a protein mix and sucrose. The first study showed significantly lower fasting ED Z-scores and sICAM after 4 weeks on the high-protein diet (P≤0·02). The postprandial studies found no clear differences of ED and LGI between test meals. However, postprandial sVCAM decreased more after the protein mix compared with maltodextrin in both studies (P≤0·04). In conclusion, dietary protein is beneficial for fasting ED, but not for fasting LGI, after 4 weeks of supplementation. On the basis of Z-scores, postprandial ED and LGI were not differentially affected by protein sources or carbohydrates.
Diet composition may affect blood pressure (BP), but the mechanisms are unclear. The aim of the present study was to compare postprandial BP-related responses to the ingestion of pea protein, milk protein and egg-white protein. In addition, postprandial BP-related responses to the ingestion of maltodextrin were compared with those to the ingestion of sucrose and a protein mix. We hypothesised that lower postprandial total peripheral resistance (TPR) and BP levels would be accompanied by higher plasma concentrations of nitric oxide, insulin, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucagon. On separate occasions, six meals were tested in a randomised order in forty-eight overweight or obese adults with untreated elevated BP. Postprandial responses of TPR, BP and plasma concentrations of insulin, glucagon, GLP-1 and nitrite, nitroso compounds (RXNO) and S-nitrosothiols (NOx) were measured for 4 h. No differences were observed in TPR responses. Postprandial BP levels were higher after the ingestion of the egg-white-protein meal than after that of meals containing the other two proteins (P≤ 0·01). The ingestion of the pea-protein meal induced the highest NOx response (P≤ 0·006). Insulin and glucagon concentrations were lowest after the ingestion of the egg-white-protein meal (P≤ 0·009). Postprandial BP levels were lower after the ingestion of the maltodextrin meal than after that of the protein mix and sucrose meals (P≤ 0·004), while postprandial insulin concentrations were higher after the ingestion of the maltodextrin meal than after that of the sucrose and protein mix meals after 1–2 h (P≤ 0·0001). Postprandial NOx, GLP-1 and glucagon concentrations were lower after the ingestion of the maltodextrin meal than after that of the protein mix meal (P≤ 0·008). In conclusion, different protein and carbohydrate sources induce different postprandial BP-related responses, which may be important for BP management. Lower postprandial BP levels are not necessarily accompanied by higher NOx, insulin, glucagon or GLP-1 responses.
Lead-containing (Pb-B-X)-2H apatites encompass a number of [AF]4[AT]6[(BO4)6]X2 compounds used for waste stabilization, environmental catalysis and ion conduction, but the influence of the stereochemically active lone-pair electrons of Pb2+ on crystal chemistry and functionality is poorly understood. This article presents a compilation of existing structural data for Pb apatites that demonstrate paired electrons of Pb2+ at both the AF and AT results in substantial adjustments to the PbFO6 metaprism twist angle, φ. New structure refinements are presented for several natural varieties as a function of temperature by single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD) of vanadinite-2H (ideally Pb10(VO4)6Cl2), pyromorphite-2H (Pb10(PO4)6Cl2), mimetite-2H/M (Pb10(As5+O4)6Cl2) and finnemanite-2H (Pb10(As3+O3)6Cl2). A supercell for mimetite is confirmed using synchrotron single-crystal XRD. It is suggested the superstructure is necessary to accommodate displacement of the stereochemically active 6s2 lone-pair electrons on the Pb2+ that occupy a volume similar to an O2− anion. We propose that depending on the temperature and concentration of minor substitutional ions, the mimetite superstructure is a structural adaptation common to all Pb-containing apatites and by extension apatite electrolytes, where oxide ion interstitials are found at similar positions to the lonepair electrons. It is also shown that plumbous apatite framework flexes substantially through adjustments of the PbFO6 metaprism twist-angles (φ) as the temperature changes. Finally, crystalchemical  zoning observed at submicron scales will probably impact on the treatment of diffraction data and may account for certain inconsistencies in reported structures.
Little is known about the effect of stimulant use (amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy) on cognitive functioning in schizophrenia patients. The current study examined (1) whether recency and frequency of stimulant use is associated with cognitive functioning and (2) whether these associations differ between psychotic patients, their unaffected siblings and controls.
Participants completed a comprehensive cognitive test battery. Stimulant use was assessed by urinalysis and by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Using random effects regression models, the main effects of Stimulant Use and the interaction with Diagnostic Status on cognitive functioning were assessed.
The interaction term between Stimulant Use and Diagnostic Status was not significant for any of the cognitive outcome variables, indicating similar effects of stimulant use in all three groups. Recent stimulant users showed more errors deficit in verbal learning in comparison to never users (Cohen's d = −0.60, p < 0.005). Lifetime frequent stimulant use was significantly associated with worse immediate and delayed verbal recall, working memory and acquired knowledge (Cohen's d = −0.22 to −0.29, p < 0.005). Lifetime infrequent stimulant use was not associated with significant cognitive alterations in comparison to never use.
The presence of cognitive deficits associated with lifetime stimulant use is dependent on the frequency of use, with no observed deficits in infrequent users and modest negative effects in frequent users.
The inability to inhibit certain behaviors is a key feature of impulsivity, which is often present in people with a substance use disorder. However, the findings on impulsivity in people with alcohol dependence (AD) are inconsistent, possibly because of the frequent co-occurrence of depression/anxiety (D/A) and its influence on impulsivity. In the current study, we aimed to distinguish response inhibition impairments in AD from possible response inhibition effects associated with D/A.
AD patients (n = 31) with high D/A co-morbidity were compared to patients with D/A only (n = 18) and healthy controls (HCs; n = 16) using the Stop Signal Task (SST) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Correlation analyses were performed between activated brain areas, behavioral data and addiction and D/A characteristics.
The three groups did not differ on response inhibition performance. However, AD severity, but not D/A severity, was positively associated with decreased response inhibition. During the SST, AD patients showed hyperactivity in the putamen and thalamus compared with D/A patients and HCs. Thalamus activation was negatively associated with AD duration. In addition, AD patients showed hypoactivity in the supplementary motor area (SMA) compared with HCs. SMA activity within HCs was negatively correlated with depressive symptom severity.
In general, AD patients were not more impulsive than D/A patients or HCs but they did reveal inhibition impairments with increasing AD severity. A shift from cortical to subcortical engagement in AD patients during response inhibition may represent an alternative strategy, which decreased with longer drinking history, suggesting the presence of an AD-specific endophenotype.
In the present controlled, randomised, multiple cross-over dietary intervention study, we aimed to identify potential biomarkers for dietary protein from dairy products, meat and grain, which could be useful to estimate intake of these protein types in epidemiological studies. After 9 d run-in, thirty men and seventeen women (22 (sd 4) years) received three high-protein diets (aimed at approximately 18 % of energy (en%)) in random order for 1 week each, with approximately 14 en% originating from either meat, dairy products or grain. We used a two-step approach to identify biomarkers in urine and plasma. With principal component discriminant analysis, we identified amino acids (AA) from the plasma or urinary AA profile that were distinctive between diets. Subsequently, after pooling total study data, we applied mixed models to estimate the predictive value of those AA for intake of protein types. A very good prediction could be made for the intake of meat protein by a regression model that included urinary carnosine, 1-methylhistidine and 3-methylhistidine (98 % of variation in intake explained). Furthermore, for dietary grain protein, a model that included seven AA (plasma lysine, valine, threonine, α-aminobutyric acid, proline, ornithine and arginine) made a good prediction (75 % of variation explained). We could not identify biomarkers for dairy protein intake. In conclusion, specific combinations of urinary and plasma AA may be potentially useful biomarkers for meat and grain protein intake, respectively. These findings need to be cross-validated in other dietary intervention studies.
In randomized clinical trials of aphasia treatment, a functional outcome measure like the Amsterdam-Nijmegen Everyday Language Test (ANELT), administered by speech-language therapists, is often used. However, the agreement between this expert rating and the judgment of the proxy about the quality of the daily life communication of the person with aphasia is largely unknown. We examined the association between ANELT scores by speech-language therapists and proxy judgments on the Partner Communication Questionnaire both at 3 and 6 months in 39 people with aphasia after stroke. We also determined which factors affected the level of agreement between expert and proxy judgment of the communicative ability at 6 months in 53 people with aphasia. We found moderate agreement (at 3 months r = .662; p = < .0001 and at 6 months r = .565; p = .0001), with proxies rating slightly higher than experts. Less severe aphasia, measured with the Aphasia Severity Rating Scale, was associated with better agreement. In conclusion, although proxies were slightly more positive than experts, we found moderate agreement between expert and proxy rating of verbal communicative ability of people with aphasia after stroke, especially in milder cases. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1064–1070)
A family history (FH) of alcohol dependence (AD) not only increases the risk for AD, but is also associated with an increased risk for mood and anxiety disorders. However, it is unknown how a FH of AD affects neural substrates in patients with mood and anxiety disorders. In this study we examined the effects of an alcoholic FH on cognitive and emotional functions in these patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
In a sample of non-alcoholic patients with depressive and/or anxiety disorders from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) neuroimaging study, patients with a first-degree FH of AD (FH + ; n = 31) were compared with patients without a FH (FH–; n = 77) on performance and brain activation during visuospatial planning and emotional word encoding. Results were compared with those of healthy controls (HCs) without a FH of AD (n = 31).
FH+ patients performed slower during planning with increasing task load, coupled with stronger blood oxygen level-dependent responses in dorsal prefrontal areas compared with FH− patients and HCs. FH was not associated with performance differences during word encoding, but right insula activation during positive word encoding was present in FH+ patients, comparable with HCs, but absent in FH− patients.
This study demonstrates subtle impairments during planning in FH+ compared with FH− patients and HCs, whereas activation during mood-incongruent stimuli in FH+ patients was similar to HCs but not FH− patients, suggesting that the presence of a FH of AD is a useful marker for the neurophysiological profile in mood/anxiety disorders and possible predictor for treatment success.
Much is still unclear about the role of personality in the structure of common psychiatric disorders such as depressive/anxiety disorders and alcohol dependence. This study will therefore examine whether various traits of negative emotionality and impulsivity showed shared or specific associations with these disorders.
Cross-sectional data were used from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA), including individuals with no DSM-IV psychiatric disorder (n = 460), depressive/anxiety disorder only (i.e. depressive and/or anxiety disorder; n = 1398), alcohol dependence only (n = 32) and co-morbid depressive/anxiety disorder plus alcohol dependence (n = 358). Aspects of negative emotionality were neuroticism, hopelessness, rumination, worry and anxiety sensitivity, whereas aspects of impulsivity included disinhibition, thrill/adventure seeking, experience seeking and boredom susceptibility.
Aspects of negative emotionality formed a homogeneous dimension, which was unrelated to the more heterogeneous construct of impulsivity. Although all aspects of negative emotionality were associated with alcohol dependence only, associations were much stronger for depressive/anxiety disorder only and co-morbid depressive/anxiety disorder with alcohol dependence. The results for impulsivity traits were less profound and more variable, with disinhibition and boredom susceptibility showing modest associations with both depressive/anxiety disorder and alcohol dependence, whereas low thrill/adventure seeking and high disinhibition were more strongly related with the first and the latter, respectively.
Our results suggest that depressive/anxiety disorder and alcohol dependence result from shared as well as specific aetiological pathways as they showed the same associations with all aspects of negative emotionality, disinhibition and boredom susceptibility as well as specific associations with thrill/adventure seeking and disinhibition.
Hypertension is highly prevalent among renal transplant recipients (RTR) and a risk factor for graft failure and cardiovascular events. Protein intake has been claimed to affect blood pressure (BP) in the general population and may affect renal function. We examined the association of dietary protein with BP and renal function in RTR. We included 625 RTR (age 53 (sd 13) years; 57 % male). Protein intake was assessed with a FFQ, differentiating between animal and plant protein. BP was measured according to a strict protocol. Creatinine clearance and albuminuria were measured as renal parameters. Protein intake was 83 (sd 12) g/d, of which 63 % derived from animal sources. BP was 136 (sd 17) mmHg systolic (SBP) and 83 (sd 11) mmHg diastolic (DBP). Creatinine clearance was 66 (sd 26) ml/min; albuminuria 41 (10–178) mg/24 h. An inverse, though statistically insignificant, association was found between the total protein intake and both SBP (β = − 2·22 mmHg per sd, P= 0·07) and DBP (β = − 0·48 mmHg per sd, P= 0·5). Protein intake was not associated with creatinine clearance. Although albuminuria was slightly higher in the highest tertile of animal protein intake compared with the lowest tertile (66 v. 33 mg/d, respectively, P= 0·03), linear regression analyses did not reveal significant associations between dietary protein and albuminuria. Protein intake exceeded the current recommendations. Nevertheless, within the range of protein intake in our RTR population, we found no evidence for an association of dietary protein with BP and renal function. Intervention studies focusing on different protein types are warranted to clarify their effect on BP and renal function in RTR.
Merging systems at low redshift provide the unique opportunity to study the processes related to star formation in a variety of environments that presumably resemble those seen at higher redshifts. Previous studies of distant starbursting galaxies suggest that stars are born in turbulent gas, with a higher efficiency than in MW-like spirals. We have investigated in detail the turbulent-driven regime of star-formation in nearby colliding galaxies combining high resolution VLA B array Hi maps and UV GALEX observations. With these data, we could check predictions of our state-of-the-art simulations of mergers, such as the global sharp increase of the fraction of dense gas, as traced by the SFR, with respect to the diffuse gas traced by Hi during the merging stage, following the increased velocity dispersion of the gas. We present here initial results obtained studying the SFR-Hi relation at 4.5 kpc resolution. We determined SFR/Hi mass ratios that are higher in the external regions of mergers than in the outskirts of isolated spirals, though both environments are Hi dominated. SFR/Hi increases towards the central regions following the decrease of the atomic gas fraction and possibly the increased star–formation efficiency. These results need to be checked with a larger sample of systems and on smaller spatial scales. This is the goal of the on-going Chaotic THINGS project that ultimately will allow us to determine why starbursting galaxies deviate from the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation between SFR density and gas surface density.
Inconsistent findings have been reported on the role of comorbid alcohol
use disorders as risk factors for a persistent course of depressive and
To determine whether the course of depressive and/or anxiety disorders is
conditional on the type (abuse or dependence) or severity of comorbid
alcohol use disorders.
In a large sample of participants with current depression and/or anxiety
(n = 1369) we examined whether the presence and
severity of DSM-IV alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence predicted the
2-year course of depressive and/or anxiety disorders.
The persistence of depressive and/or anxiety disorders at the 2-year
follow-up was significantly higher in those with remitted or current
alcohol dependence (persistence 62% and 67% respectively), but not in
those with remitted or current alcohol abuse (persistence 51% and 46%
respectively), compared with no lifetime alcohol use disorder
(persistence 53%). Severe (meeting six or seven diagnostic criteria) but
not moderate (meeting three to five criteria) current dependence was a
significant predictor as 95% of those in the former group still had a
depressive and/or anxiety disorder at follow-up. This association
remained significant after adjustment for severity of depression and
anxiety, psychosocial factors and treatment factors.
Alcohol dependence, especially severe current dependence, is a risk
factor for an unfavourable course of depressive and/or anxiety disorders,
whereas alcohol abuse is not.
We investigate the radial column density distribution in a sample of 9 galaxies taken from the THINGS survey. The HI data have been used to probe the extent of the neutral (atomic) gas disks down to column densities of less than 0.1 ℳ⊙ pc−2. The size of the disks might be set simply by the amount of available gas that has contributed to the formation of the galaxy or truncated by ionisation by the extragalactic radiation field once the HI column density has dropped below a certain threshold.
We present an analysis of the properties of H i holes detected in 20 galaxies that are part of “The H i Nearby Galaxy Survey”. We detected more than 1000 holes in total in the sampled galaxies. The holes are found throughout the disks of the galaxies, out to the edge of the H i disk. We find that shear limits the age of holes in spirals. Shear is less important in dwarf galaxies which explains why H i holes in dwarfs are rounder, on average than in spirals. Shear is particularly strong in the inner part of spiral galaxies, limiting the lifespan of holes there and explaining why we find that holes outside R25 are larger and older. We proceed to derive the surface and volume porosity and find that this correlates with the type of the host galaxy: later Hubble types tend to be more porous. The size distribution of the holes in our sample follows a power law with a slope of aν ~ −2.9. Assuming that the holes are the result of massive star formation, we derive values for the supernova rate (SNR) and star formation rate (SFR) which scales with the SFR derived based on other tracers. If we extrapolate the observed number of holes to include those that fall below our resolution limit, down to holes created by a single supernova, we find that our results are compatible with the hypothesis that H i holes result from star formation.
We are carrying out a multifrequency survey of late type galaxies in nearby clusters with the aim to investigate the effects exerted by both the very local and the global cluster environments. We report new VLA-HI images of galaxies in Abell 1367 and study the evolution of their gaseous component. In Abell 85 we perform a deep NIR imaging survey of the brightest spirals projected up to 1.0 Abell radius with the aim of unveiling possible gravitational effects on their stellar disks. Here we show preliminary results of these projects, mainly focused on infalling compact groups of galaxies moving towards their respective cluster centers.