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The consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) has been linked to an increased risk of cancer in western populations, particularly for breast cancer (BC). Although the consumption of UPF is increasing rapidly in Latin American (LA) populations too, there has been no evaluation of its association with BC among LA women, where 20% of the BC cases present at ages younger than 45 years. We therefore evaluated the role of UPF intake on BC risk in young women participating in the Latin American PRECAMA study.
The PRECAMA study is an ongoing study coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and involves scientific teams in four LA countries (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico); 406 incident BC cases and population based controls aged 20–45 years are recruited. Trained nurses administered a lifestyle and food frequency questionnaires (FFQ), conducted anthropometric measurements and collected biological samples. Tumour receptor status are determined in a centralized laboratory. UPF consumption was estimated by applying the NOVA classification to the dietary consumption data obtained via the FFQs. The association of the consumption of UPF and BC was determined using conditional logistic regression analysis adjusting for potential confounding factors.
The median age at recruitment was 40 years. The median percentage of calories from UPF was 24% (10th to 90th percentile: 9 to 43%). UPF intake was positively associated with BC risk (OR for tertiles 2 and 3 in comparison with tertile 1 were 1.84 (95% CI 1.21 -2.81) and 1.69 (95% CI 0.99 -2.89) respectively). Among the UPF most strongly associated with BC, we identified the intake of industrial bread, packaged sweet and savoury snacks, breakfast cereals, cakes and desserts, and ready-eat/fast food. Comparing the 3rd with the 1st tertile of energy intake from the UPF group “fast food” the OR for BC risk was 1.93 (95% CI 1.23–3.04).
Our results show positive associations between the consumption of UPF and BC risk in young women in LA. Therefore, global actions to decrease UPF intakes are urgently needed to address the cancer burden. In addition, further studies are needed to disentangle mechanisms relating UPF intake and carcinogenic processes in the breast. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, a large-scale cohort including ~500,000 participants and 18,814 BC cases will be used to unravel the mechanistic pathways underlying these positive associations between the consumption of UPF and BC risk.
The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus was once an abundant species in the Cabo Verde Islands. Since the 1960s though, and especially during the 1980–1990s, it consistently declined to near extinction. Evidence collected indicates a remnant population of about a dozen pairs or less, scattered through the desert rangelands of only three islands. Extensive enquiry work revealed that this likely resulted from the concomitant effects of the rise in unnatural mortality due to the formerly widespread and long-lasting use of dangerous pesticides and the (still on-going) poisoning of stray dogs and other nuisance animals, and a decrease in food resources associated with factors linked with development, such as urbanisation, rural abandonment and better sanitation. Avoiding imminent extinction calls for emergency action against current threats to the remaining vultures, such as poisoning and electrocution, but also potential causes of impaired fecundity such as hazardous pesticides and shortage of food resources.
Cystic echinococcosis is a zoonotic disease of difficult diagnosis and treatment. The use of protoscolicidal agents in procedures is of utmost importance for treatment success. This study was aimed at analysing the in vitro and ex vivo activity of Melaleuca alternifolia oil (tea tree oil – TTO), its nanoemulsion formulation (NE-TTO) and its major component (terpinen-4-ol) against Echinococcus ortleppi protoscoleces obtained from cattle. Concentrations of 2·5, 5 and 10 mg mL−1 of TTO, 10 mg mL−1 of NE-TTO and 1, 1·5 and 2 mg mL−1 of terpinen-4-ol were evaluated in vitro against protoscoleces at 5, 10, 15 and 30 min. TTO was also injected directly into hydatid cysts (ex vivo analysis, n = 20) and the viability of protoscoleces was evaluated at 5, 15 and 30 min. The results indicated protoscolicidal effect at all tested formulations and concentrations. Terpinen-4-ol (2 mg mL−1) activity was superior when compared with the highest concentration of TTO. NE-TTO reached a gradual protoscolicidal effect. TTO at 20 mg mL−1 showed 90% protoscolicidal action in hydatid cysts at 5 min. The results showed that TTO affects the viability of E. ortleppi protoscoleces, suggesting a new protoscolicidal option to the treatment of cystic equinococcosis.
In the present study, we aimed to validate the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) for routine nutritional screening in the radiation oncology setting, thus enabling timely and adequate referrals of patients at risk for individualised or advanced intervention. Towards this objective, we conducted a prospective cross-sectional study in 450 non-selected cancer patients (18–95 years) referred for radiotherapy. The following were the nutritional parameters: BMI (categorised by WHO's age/sex criteria), weight loss >5 % in the previous 3–6 months, Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA – validated/specific for oncology) and nutritional risk by MUST. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and concordance were calculated to validate MUST v. PG-SGA and compare single parameters v. PG-SGA/MUST. BMI v. PG-SGA showed a negligible capacity to detect undernutrition: 0·27 sensitivity, 0·23 specificity, 0·35 positive predictive value and 0·31 negative predictive value. Conversely, percentage weight loss v. PG-SGA was highly effective: 0·76 sensitivity, 0·85 specificity, 0·79 positive predictive value and 0·85 negative predictive value. MUST v. PG-SGA successfully detected patients at risk: 0·80 sensitivity, 0·89 specificity, 0·87 positive predictive value and 1·0 negative predictive value; percentage weight loss v. MUST proved able to identify patients likely to be at risk: 0·85 sensitivity, 0·91 specificity, 0·90 positive predictive value and 1·0 negative predictive value. This is the first study in the radiation oncology setting to validate MUST: a simple and quick method applicable by any health professional, with a high validity for early screening, ideally to antedate a comprehensive nutritional assessment and guide for intervention. In this study, percentage weight loss in the previous 3–6 months does seem valid to predict nutritional risk, and may be the minimum in a busy routine.
Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD; Finkel et al., 1998) are receiving increased attention in the medical and scientific literature. These symptoms are a principal cause of distress and disability among patients with dementia and their caregivers. Numerous therapeutic studies examining the treatment of these symptoms are being conducted.
The Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD) was specifically designed to assess behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) that would be remediable to both psychologic and pharmacologic intervention. Furthermore, the BEHAVE-AD was designed to assess categories of symptoms that would respond in a cohesive (syndrome) manner in dementia patients, independently of effects of interventions on cognition and functioning. Current data indicate that the BEHAVE-AD does indeed assess a cohesive, cognition- and function independent syndrome in AD and in related dementias that is responsive to psychologic and appropriate pharmacologic intervention. Evidence is also increasing for differential responsiveness of this BPSD syndrome to select pharmacologic agents compared with nonspecific psychologic (placebo) intervention. This article reviews the evidence for this BPSD syndrome in dementia patients, as assessed with the BEHAVE-AD.
A clinician should not rely entirely upon a caregiver's report regarding behavioral pathology when planning a treatment strategy. Direct observational evaluation instruments as well as caregiver-based assessments are necessary. A new scale for the empirical (observational) evaluation of behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias, the Empirical Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (E-BEHAVEAD) was developed. Interrater reliability of this new assessment instrument was examined. Additionally, the relationship between the observed occurrence of behavioral symptomatology on this new rating instrument was compared with the occurrence using a similarly designed, caregiver-based instrument. The interrater reliability study consisted of two raters who simultaneously evaluated 20 dementia patients. The comparative study employed a cross-sectional design (N = 49). Individuals were evaluated in an outpatient clinic setting. The study population consisted of cognitively normal individuals and dementia patients. Evaluations included the new, observationally based behavioral assessment (the E-BEHAVE-AD), a caregiver-based behavioral assessment (the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale; BEHAVE-AD), a clinical global measure (the Global Deterioration Scale), and a mental status assessment (the Mini-Mental State Examination). The interrater reliability study revealed an intraclass correlation coefficient of .97 (p < .01) for total scores on the new E-BEHAVE-AD rating scale. The correlation coefficient for the amount of agreement on the presence of symptoms in six symptomatic categories between caregiver-based information about the patient's behavioral pathology assessed on the BEHAVE-AD and the clinician's observations assessed with the new E-BEHAVE-AD rating instrument was .51 (p < .01). The New E-BEHAVE-AD rating instrument showed excellent interrater reliability. Furthermore, there was a statistically significant relationship between clinician observation of the occurrence of behavioral pathology assessed using the E-BEHAVE-AD and caregive-reported pathology assessed with the BEHAVE-AD. However the magnitude of the correlation between these measures indicated that the majority of variance was independent and nonoverlapping. Consequently, these data support theoretical models suggesting that the assessment of behavioral pathology in dementia might ideally encompass both direct observational and caregiver-report approaches, using measures such as the E-BEHAVE-AD as well as measures such as the BEHAVE-AD.
Before the development of the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease (BEHAVE-AD) rating scale in 1987 by Reisberg and colleagues and its predecessor scale, the Symptoms of Psychosis in Alzheimer's Disease (SPAD) rating scale, in 1985 by Reisberg and Ferris, other scales were available for measuring behavioral disturbances and psychiatric disorders in patients with Alzheimer's disease. However, these scales generally mixed together cognitive disturbances with behavioral symptoms and sometimes included functional impairments as well. These predecessor scales also were not specifically designed to assess the types of behavioral problems seen in Alzheimer's disease. If a scale did address behavioral disturbances of dementia, it tended to be seriously underspecified in terms of the nature of behavioral disturbances.
Research on the nature of clinical symptomatology in AD indicates that two fundamentally different types of symptoms are identifiable. Symptoms within each of these two domains have common characteristics. The first symptomatic domain has been termed the “cognitive domain” and the second the “noncognitive behavioral domain.” Symptoms and losses in the cognitive domain occur invariably and progressively with the advance of AD over time. Symptoms in the behavioral domain do not invariably occur in AD and do not progress monotonically with the advance in AD over time. However, characteristic behavioral domain symptoms can be described over the course of AD.
The two symptomatic domains are likely to differ not only in nature and progression in AD, but also in underlying pathophysiology and in terms of possible treatment modalities. They also pose fundamentally different issues of assessment in AD. These distinct factors necessitate the separate assessment of the two Symptomatic domains in AD treatment trials. Judgments of efficacy and utility in remediating either symptomatic domain in AD should take into consideration the effects of treatment on both cognitive domain and behavioral domain symptoms separately and interactively. Appropriate assessment procedures are discussed.
To address the issue of mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer's disease (AD), it is necessary to initially establish some agreement on terminology. In recent decades, these terms have frequently been defined using screening instrument scores with measures such as the Mini-Menal State Examination (MMSE). There are many problems with this approach, perhaps the most salient of which is that it has contributed to the total and tragic neglect of patients with severe AD. An alternative approach to the classification of AD severity is staging. This approach has advanced to the point where moderately severe and severe AD can be described in detail. Procedures for describing this previously neglected latter portion of AD have recently been extensively validated. Staging is also uniquely useful at the other end of the severity spectrum, in differentiating early aging brain/behavior changes, incipient AD, and mild AD. Temporally, with staging procedures, it is possible to track the course of AD approximately three times more accurately than with the MMSE. The net result of the advances in AD delineation is that issues such as prophylaxis, modification of course, treatment of behavioral distrubances, loss of ambulation, progressive rigidity, and the development of contractures in AD patients can now be addressed in a scientifically meaningful way that will hopefully bestow much benefit in AD patients and those who care for them.
Behavioral disturbances in dementia are some of the most burdensome features with which the caregivers must cope. These symptoms are particularly important because they are likely to be responsive to both pharmacological and nonpharmacological intervention strategies. Before the 1980s, rating scales for patients suffering from dementia did not separate cognitive features from noncognitive behavioral symptoms. This was a major problem because the evolution and course of behavioral symptoms in dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease, is different from the evolution and course of cognitive and cognition-related symptomatology. Before appropriate rating scales could be developed for the assessment of behavioral disturbances in dementia, the specific nature of these disturbances had to be described in the medical literature. Publications in the late 1980s described the specific behavioral diturbances occurring in dementia patients in detail for the first time. The rating scales that have been developed from these studies are as reliable as cognitive assessment measures. Instruments are now available that are based on information provided by the caregiver or that are based on observation of the patient made by the clinician. Construct validity, reliability, and the differences in methodology of these scales are compared in this overview. Using these scales will enable clinicians to assess pharmacological and nonpharmacological intervention strategies for behavioral symptoms in dementia with enhanced sensitivity.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is asociated with an increased mortality in comparison with aged control populations. The relationship between the clinical and the temporal course of AD has not been well studied over significant intervals. Community residing patients with probable AD (N = 103, 42 men, mean age = 70.2 ± 8.0 years) were studied at baseline on demographic and clinical variables, including measures of global deterioration (Global Deterioration Scale; GDS), mental status and cognition (e.g., Mini-Mental State Examination; MMSE), and functional impairment (Functional Assessment Staging; FAST). Baseline characteristics included a GDS range of Stage 4, 5, or 6 (38.8%, 39.8%, and 21.4% respectively) and a mean MMSE score of 15.4 ± 5.6. The mean follow-up interval was 4.6 ± 1.4 year. Follow-ups were done blind to baseline measures and when necessary were conducted in residential and nursing home settings. Of locatable subjects (n = 95, 92%), 30 (31.6%) were deceased. Survivors (n = 65) had a mean GDS stage of 6.2 ± 0.9 and a mean MMSE score of 5.1 ± 6.9; 51% had MMSE scores of 0. Increased age and male gender, but not baseline clinical dementia variables, increased the risk of death (ps < .01). Change in clinical variables correlated significantly with time elapsed (r = .32, p < .05, for MMSE change, to r = .48, p < .001, for GDS change). Significant variance in temporal change (i.e., time elapsed) was accounted for by change in two of the five clinical measures studied (i.e., GDS and FAST; multiple r = .53). The results support previous estimates of mean duration of the GDS and FAST stages. For subjects with probable AD followed over approximately 5 years, clinical variables changed significantly over time in survivors. However, the majority of temporal variance in the course of AD remains unexplained.
Behavioral symptoms of dementia are stressful not only for patients but also for their caregivers. These symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, activity disturbances, aggressiveness, sleep disturbances, affective disturbances, and anxieties and phobias. Despite the burden of coping with behavioral problems, little information is available about effective treatments for behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's disease and related dementing disorders.
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