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Late-life depression (LLD) is associated with a decline in physical activity. Typically this is assessed by self-report questionnaires and, more recently, with actigraphy. We sought to explore the utility of a bespoke activity monitor to characterize activity profiles in LLD more precisely.
The activity monitor was worn for 7 days by 29 adults with LLD and 30 healthy controls. Subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment and quality of life (QoL) (36-item Short-Form Health Survey) and activities of daily living (ADL) scales (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale) were administered.
Physical activity was significantly reduced in LLD compared with controls (t = 3.63, p < 0.001), primarily in the morning. LLD subjects showed slower fine motor movements (t = 3.49, p < 0.001). In LLD patients, activity reductions were related to reduced ADL (r = 0.61, p < 0.001), lower QoL (r = 0.65, p < 0.001), associative learning (r = 0.40, p = 0.036), and higher Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale score (r = −0.37, p < 0.05).
Patients with LLD had a significant reduction in general physical activity compared with healthy controls. Assessment of specific activity parameters further revealed the correlates of impairments associated with LLD. Our study suggests that novel wearable technology has the potential to provide an objective way of monitoring real-world function.
Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) are commonly used as sugar substitutes in the diet to provide a desired sweet taste without increased energy intake. The number of LCS available on the market has increased considerably over the years and despite extensive evaluation of their safety prior to approval, debate continues around the effects of consumption on health. In Europe, Member States are obligated to monitor exposure to LCS and methods currently used tend to rely on self-reported dietary intake data alongside LCS concentrations in products. However, the acquisition of accurate data can be costly in terms of resources and time and are inherently imprecise. Although LCS are intensely sweet, they are chemically diverse and a limitation of many studies investigating the health effects of consumption is that they often fail to discern intakes of individual LCS. An approach which objectively assesses intakes of individual LCS would therefore allow robust investigations of their possible effects on health. Biomarker approaches have been utilised for the objective investigation of intakes of a range of dietary components and the feasibility of any such approach depends upon its validity as well as its applicability within the target population. This review aims to provide an overview of current understanding of LCS intake and explore the possibility of implementing a biomarker approach to enhance such understanding. Several commonly used LCS, once absorbed into the body, are excreted via the kidneys; therefore a urinary biomarker approach may be possible for the investigation of short-term exposure to these compounds.
The main question that Firestone & Scholl (F&S) pose is whether “what and how we see is functionally independent from what and how we think, know, desire, act, and so forth” (sect. 2, para. 1). We synthesize a collection of concerns from an interdisciplinary set of coauthors regarding F&S's assumptions and appeals to intuition, resulting in their treatment of visual perception as context-free.
The aim of this study was to examine cross-sectionally whether higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) might favorably modify amyloid-β (Aβ)-related decrements in cognition in a cohort of late-middle-aged adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty-nine enrollees in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention participated in this study. They completed a comprehensive neuropsychological exam, underwent 11C Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB)-PET imaging, and performed a graded treadmill exercise test to volitional exhaustion. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) during the exercise test was used as the index of CRF. Forty-five participants also underwent lumbar puncture for collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples, from which Aβ42 was immunoassayed. Covariate-adjusted regression analyses were used to test whether the association between Aβ and cognition was modified by CRF. There were significant VO2peak*PiB-PET interactions for Immediate Memory (p=.041) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p=.025). There were also significant VO2peak*CSF Aβ42 interactions for Immediate Memory (p<.001) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p<.001). Specifically, in the context of high Aβ burden, that is, increased PiB-PET binding or reduced CSF Aβ42, individuals with higher CRF exhibited significantly better cognition compared with individuals with lower CRF. In a late-middle-aged, at-risk cohort, higher CRF is associated with a diminution of Aβ-related effects on cognition. These findings suggest that exercise might play an important role in the prevention of AD. (JINS, 2015, 21, 841–850)
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
Personalised nutrition (PN) has the potential to reduce disease risk and optimise health and performance. Although previous research has shown good acceptance of the concept of PN in the UK, preferences regarding the delivery of a PN service (e.g. online v. face-to-face) are not fully understood. It is anticipated that the presence of a free at point of delivery healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS), in the UK may have an impact on end-user preferences for deliverances. To determine this, supplementary analysis of qualitative data obtained from focus group discussions on PN service delivery, collected as part of the Food4Me project in the UK and Ireland, was undertaken. Irish data provided comparative analysis of a healthcare system that is not provided free of charge at the point of delivery to the entire population. Analyses were conducted using the ‘framework approach’ described by Rabiee (Focus-group interview and data analysis. Proc Nutr Soc 63, 655-660). There was a preference for services to be led by the government and delivered face-to-face, which was perceived to increase trust and transparency, and add value. Both countries associated paying for nutritional advice with increased commitment and motivation to follow guidelines. Contrary to Ireland, however, and despite the perceived benefit of paying, UK discussants still expected PN services to be delivered free of charge by the NHS. Consideration of this unique challenge of free healthcare that is embedded in the NHS culture will be crucial when introducing PN to the UK.
Dietary pattern (DP) analysis allows examination of the combined effects of nutrients and foods on the markers of CVD. Very few studies have examined these relationships during adolescence or young adulthood. Traditional CVD risk biomarkers were analysed in 12–15-year-olds (n 487; Young Hearts (YH)1) and again in the same individuals at 20–25 years of age (n 487; YH3). Based on 7 d diet histories, in the present study, DP analysis was performed using a posteriori principal component analysis for the YH3 cohort and the a priori Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) was calculated for both YH1 and YH3 cohorts. In the a posteriori DP analysis, YH3 participants adhering most closely to the ‘healthy’ DP were found to have lower pulse wave velocity (PWV) and homocysteine concentrations, the ‘sweet tooth’ DP were found to have increased LDL concentrations, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure and decreased HDL concentrations, the ‘drinker/social’ DP were found to have lower LDL and homocysteine concentrations, but exhibited a trend towards a higher TAG concentration, and finally the ‘Western’ DP were found to have elevated homocysteine and HDL concentrations. In the a priori dietary score analysis, YH3 participants adhering most closely to the Mediterranean diet were found to exhibit a trend towards a lower PWV. MDS did not track between YH1 and YH3, and nor was there a longitudinal relationship between the change in the MDS and the change in CVD risk biomarkers. In conclusion, cross-sectional analysis revealed that some associations between DP and CVD risk biomarkers were already evident in the young adult population, namely the association between the healthy DP (and the MDS) and PWV; however, no longitudinal associations were observed between these relatively short time periods.
Previous studies of neurocognitive performance in bipolar disorder (BD) have demonstrated impairments in visuo-spatial memory. The aim of the present study was to use an object-location memory (OLM) paradigm to assess specific, dissociable processes in visuo-spatial memory and examine their relationship with broader neurocognitive performance.
Fifty participants (25 patients with BD in a current depressive episode and 25 matched healthy controls) completed the OLM paradigm which assessed three different aspects of visuo-spatial memory: positional memory, object-location binding, and a combined process. Secondary neurocognitive measures of visuo-spatial memory, verbal memory, attention and executive function were also administered.
BD patients were significantly impaired on all three OLM processes, with the largest effect in exact positional memory (d = 1.18, p < 0.0001). General deficits were also found across the secondary neurocognitive measures. Using hierarchical regression, verbal learning was found to explain significant variance on the OLM measures where object-identity was present (the object-location binding and combined processes) and accounted for the group difference. The group difference in precise positional memory remained intact.
This study demonstrates that patients with bipolar depression manifest deficits in visuo-spatial memory, with substantial impairment in fine-grain, positional memory. The differential profile of processes underpinning the visuo-spatial memory impairment suggests a form of ‘cognitive scaffolding’, whereby performance on some measures can be supported by verbal memory. These results have important implications for our understanding of the functional cognitive architecture of mood disorder.
Two new integral field units (IFUs) were installed recently on the WIYN Observatory's 3.5-meter telescope at Kitt Peak. These unique IFUs contain fibers of different sizes in the same head. This design allows smaller fibers to sample regions of higher surface brightness, providing higher spatial resolution while maintaining adequate signal-to-noise (S/N). Conversely, larger fibers maintain S/N at the expense of spatial resolution in the lower surface brightness regions of galaxies. The new IFUs were built with funds from NSF award ATI-0804576.
We sought to determine whether the introduction of a health screening and promotion clinic might serve as a useful addition to existing services for patients prescribed antipsychotic medication. In particular, we wished to assess whether such a clinic might improve adherence to best practice guidelines. We also wished to determine the level of patient interest in such a clinic and how readily this service might be provided within the constraints of existing clinical resources.
We conducted an audit of outpatient records before and following the introduction of a health screening and promotion clinic.
Of the eligible patients, 73% attended the clinic. The proportion of patients who had fasting blood tests within the previous 12 months increased from 45% at baseline to 85% at follow-up (χ2 = 14.1, p < 0.001). The proportion of patients with appropriate physical observations completed increased from 5% at baseline to 80% at follow-up (χ2 = 46.0, p < 0.001).
We found that the introduction of a health screening and promotion clinic improved adherence to best practice guidelines. This service was well received and readily provided within the constraints of existing resources. Ultimately, the structure of services to screen and advise patients prescribed antipsychotic medication will be determined by local resource considerations and configuration of services.
We report three cases of lateral outfracture of the inferior turbinate, which demonstrate a range of changes in the size, position and shape of the inferior turbinate.
During a study of the validity of computer modelling of nasal airflow, computed tomography scans of the noses of patients who had undergone lateral outfracture of the inferior turbinate were collected. The pre-operative scan was compared with the post-operative scan six weeks later.
In one patient, there was only a small lateral displacement of the inferior turbinate. In the other two cases, appreciable reduction in the volume of one inferior turbinate was noted, in addition to minor changes in the shape.
Lateral outfracture of the inferior turbinate produces varied and inconsistent changes in morphology which may affect the shape, size and position of the turbinate.
SXP 1062 is an exceptional case of a young neutron star in a wind-fed high-mass X-ray binary associated with a supernova remnant. A unique combination of measured spin period, its derivative, luminosity and young age makes this source a key probe for the physics of accretion and neutron star evolution. Theoretical models proposed to explain the properties of SXP 1062 shall be tested with new data.
Studies of individual nutrients or foods have revealed much about dietary influences on bone. Multiple food or nutrient approaches, such as dietary pattern analysis, could offer further insight but research is limited and largely confined to older adults. We examined the relationship between dietary patterns, obtained by a posteriori and a priori methods, and bone mineral status (BMS; collective term for bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD)) in young adults (20–25 years; n 489). Diet was assessed by 7 d diet history and BMD and BMC were determined at the lumbar spine and femoral neck (FN). A posteriori dietary patterns were derived using principal component analysis (PCA) and three a priori dietary quality scores were applied (dietary diversity score (DDS), nutritional risk score and Mediterranean diet score). For the PCA-derived dietary patterns, women in the top compared to the bottom fifth of the ‘Nuts and Meat’ pattern had greater FN BMD by 0·074 g/cm2 (P = 0·049) and FN BMC by 0·40 g (P = 0·034) after adjustment for confounders. Similarly, men in the top compared to the bottom fifth of the ‘Refined’ pattern had lower FN BMC by 0·41 g (P = 0·049). For the a priori DDS, women in the top compared to the bottom third had lower FN BMD by 0·05 g/cm2 after adjustments (P = 0·052), but no other relationships with BMS were identified. In conclusion, adherence to a ‘Nuts and Meat’ dietary pattern may be associated with greater BMS in young women and a ‘Refined’ dietary pattern may be detrimental for bone health in young men.