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Lewy body dementia, consisting of both dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), is considerably under-recognised clinically compared with its frequency in autopsy series.
This study investigated the clinical diagnostic pathways of patients with Lewy body dementia to assess if difficulties in diagnosis may be contributing to these differences.
We reviewed the medical notes of 74 people with DLB and 72 with non-DLB dementia matched for age, gender and cognitive performance, together with 38 people with PDD and 35 with Parkinson's disease, matched for age and gender, from two geographically distinct UK regions.
The cases of individuals with DLB took longer to reach a final diagnosis (1.2 v. 0.6 years, P = 0.017), underwent more scans (1.7 v. 1.2, P = 0.002) and had more alternative prior diagnoses (0.8 v. 0.4, P = 0.002), than the cases of those with non-DLB dementia. Individuals diagnosed in one region of the UK had significantly more core features (2.1 v. 1.5, P = 0.007) than those in the other region, and were less likely to have dopamine transporter imaging (P < 0.001). For patients with PDD, more than 1.4 years prior to receiving a dementia diagnosis: 46% (12 of 26) had documented impaired activities of daily living because of cognitive impairment, 57% (16 of 28) had cognitive impairment in multiple domains, with 38% (6 of 16) having both, and 39% (9 of 23) already receiving anti-dementia drugs.
Our results show the pathway to diagnosis of DLB is longer and more complex than for non-DLB dementia. There were also marked differences between regions in the thresholds clinicians adopt for diagnosing DLB and also in the use of dopamine transporter imaging. For PDD, a diagnosis of dementia was delayed well beyond symptom onset and even treatment.
A 43-year-old female presents to the emergency department (ED) after she woke up with the sensation that the room was spinning and vomited three times at home. She continues to have significant vertigo when she presents to the ED 4 hours later. Her symptoms are worsened by head movement. She has noticed some unsteadiness but is able to walk unaided. When you examine her, she has left-beating horizontal nystagmus with a slight rotatory component to the left.
Schizophrenia is associated with altered neural development. We assessed neurological soft signs (NSS) and dermatoglyphic anomalies (total a–b ridge count (TABRC) and total finger ridge count) in 15 pairs of twins concordant and discordant for schizophrenia. Within-pair differences in both NSS and TABRC scores were significantly greater in discordant compared to concordant monozygotic pairs. There was no significant difference in NSS and TABRC scores between subjects with schizophrenia and their co-twins without the illness. However, monozygotic discordant twins with schizophrenia had higher ABRCs on their right hands compared to their co-twins without the illness. These findings suggest that an unidentified environmental event acting between weeks 6 and 15 of gestation affects the development of monozygotic twins who go on to develop schizophrenia but does not have a corresponding effect on their co-twins who do not develop the illness. The effect of such an event on dermatoglyphic profiles appears lateralised to the right hand in affected twins.
The COVID-19 pandemic requires an effort to coordinate the actions of government and society in a way unmatched in recent history. Individual citizens need to voluntarily sacrifice economic and social activity for an indefinite period of time to protect others. At the same time, we know that public opinion tends to become polarized on highly salient issues, except when political elites are in consensus (Berinsky, 2009; Zaller, 1992). Avoiding elite and public polarization is thus essential for an effective societal response to the pandemic. In the United States, there appears to be elite and public polarization on the severity of the pandemic (Gadarian et al., 2020). Other evidence suggests that polarization is undermining compliance with social distancing (Cornelson and Miloucheva, 2020). Using a multimethod approach, we show that Canadian political elites and the public are in a unique period of cross-partisan consensus on important questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as its seriousness and the necessity of social distancing.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019, and it quickly spread to many countries. By March 2020, the virus had triggered a global pandemic (World Health Organization, 2020). In response to this crisis, governments have implemented unprecedented public health measures. The success of these policies will largely depend on the public's willingness to comply with new rules. A key factor in citizens’ willingness to comply is their understanding of the data that motivate government action. In this study, we examine how different ways of presenting these data visually can affect citizen's perceptions, attitudes and support for public policy.
In the Philippines, morbidity control of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections is done through mass drug administration (MDA) of anthelmintics to school-age children (SAC). In 2013, the Philippines was devastated by the deadliest cyclone ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan. The study aimed to understand the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on the MDA of anthelmintics to SAC in the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo in the Philippines from the perspectives of local health and education officials.
The study was conducted in the municipalities of Panay and Pilar in Capiz and the municipalities of Estancia and Sara in Iloilo, areas that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Qualitative, semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with 16 total participants, which included officials of the Department of Health, Department of Education, and concerned local government units. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded in an open, iterative manner. Codes were reviewed to identify patterns and themes.
Participants described the following themes: (1) their perception that the typhoon had no effect on the MDA program or on resources necessary to complete the program; (2) the program’s simple design allowed for 1-time administration to a pre-assembled population; (3) the program allowed a sense of community cohesiveness; (4) the program served as a vehicle for altruism, particularly regarding helping needy children, in this time of calamity.
Our informants perceived that the MDA program in Region VI was not affected by Typhoon Haiyan. They attributed the resilience to the program’s simple procedure, attitudes of altruism, program importance, and community cohesiveness. Despite Typhoon Haiyan’s mass destruction of infrastructure and livelihood leading to incredible challenges, mobilization of the community allowed for the continuation and successful implementation of the MDA program. The experience of Region VI may serve as a model for other low- and middle-income countries prone to natural disasters.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Exposure to glucocorticoid levels higher than appropriate for current developmental stages induces offspring metabolic dysfunction. Overfed/obese (OB) ewes and their fetuses display elevated blood cortisol, while fetal Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) remains unchanged. We hypothesized that OB pregnancies would show increased placental 11β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11β-HSD2) that converts maternal cortisol to fetal cortisone as it crosses the placenta and increased 11β-HSD system components responsible for peripheral tissue cortisol production, providing a mechanism for ACTH-independent increase in circulating fetal cortisol. Control ewes ate 100% National Research Council recommendations (CON) and OB ewes ate 150% CON diet from 60 days before conception until necropsy at day 135 gestation. At necropsy, maternal jugular and umbilical venous blood, fetal liver, perirenal fat, and cotyledonary tissues were harvested. Maternal plasma cortisol and fetal cortisol and cortisone were measured. Fetal liver, perirenal fat, cotyledonary 11β-HSD1, hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PD), and 11β-HSD2 protein abundance were determined by Western blot. Maternal plasma cortisol, fetal plasma cortisol, and cortisone were higher in OB vs. CON (p < 0.01). 11β-HSD2 protein was greater (p < 0.05) in OB cotyledonary tissue than CON. 11β-HSD1 abundance increased (p < 0.05) in OB vs. CON fetal liver and perirenal fat. Fetal H6PD, an 11β-HSD1 cofactor, also increased (p < 0.05) in OB vs. CON perirenal fat and tended to be elevated in OB liver (p < 0.10). Our data provide evidence for increased 11β-HSD system components responsible for peripheral tissue cortisol production in fetal liver and adipose tissue, thereby providing a mechanism for an ACTH-independent increase in circulating fetal cortisol in OB fetuses.
This paper presents the results of the work of the new field initiative launched by the British Museum at the Darband-i Rania pass in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The pass is located at the northeastern corner of Lake Dokan, where, though now subsumed into the lake, the Lower Zab flows from the Peshdar into the Rania Plain. It is a strategic location on a major route from Mesopotamia into Iran, and control of both the road and the river must always have been important. The aim of the work, which commenced in autumn of 2016, is to explore a cluster of sites that commanded the pass, with a particular focus on the first millennium b.c. Excavation is being carried out principally at two sites: Qalatga Darband, a large fortified site at the western end of the pass, and Usu Aska, a fort inside the pass itself. The occupations of these two sites are predominantly Parthian and Assyrian respectively. Smaller operations have also been carried out at Murad Rasu, a multi-period site situated on a headland across the waters on the southern shore of Lake Dokan. The results have included the discovery at Qalatga Darband of a monumental complex built of stone and roofed with terracotta roof tiles containing the smashed remains of Hellenistic statuary. Other features indicative of Hellenistic material culture are Mediterranean-type oil-presses and Corinthian column bases and capitals. At Usu Aska remains are being uncovered of an Assyrian fortification of massive proportions.
Brine beneath Taylor Glacier has been proposed to enter the proglacial west lobe of Lake Bonney (WLB) as well as from Blood Falls, a surface discharge point at the Taylor Glacier terminus. The brine strongly influences the geochemistry of the water column of WLB. Year-round measurements from this study are the first to definitively identify brine intrusions from a subglacial entry point into WLB. Furthermore, we excluded input from Blood Falls by focusing on winter dynamics when the absence of an open water moat prevents surface brine entry. Due to the extremely high salinities below the chemocline in WLB, density stratification is dominated by salinity, and temperature can be used as a passive tracer. Cold brine intrusions enter WLB at the glacier face and intrude into the water column at the depth of neutral buoyancy, where they can be identified by anomalously cold temperatures at that depth. High-resolution measurements also reveal under-ice internal waves associated with katabatic wind events, a novel finding that challenges long-held assumptions about the stability of the WLB water column.
To tackle the problem of soil erosion and moisture stress, the government of Ethiopia introduced a yearly mass campaign where communities get together and implement various soil and water conservation (SWC) and water harvesting (WH) practices. Although the interventions are believed to have reduced soil erosion/sediment yield and enhanced surface and ground water, quantitative information on the impacts of various options at different scales is scarce. The objective of this study was to assess the impacts different land uses, SWC and WH interventions on water and suspended sediment yield (SSY) at plot and watershed scales in the central highlands of Ethiopia. Standard erosion plot experiments and hydrological stations were used to monitor the daily water and SSY during 2014 to 2017. The results show differences between treatments both at plot and watershed scales. Runoff and soil loss were reduced by an average 27 and 37%, respectively due to SWC practices at the plot level. Overall, SWC practices implemented at the watershed level reduced sediment yield by about 74% (in the year 2014), although the magnitude of sediment reduction due to the SWC interventions reduced over time. At both scales it was observed that as the number of years since SWC measures have been in place increased, their effectiveness declined due to the lack of maintenance. This study also revealed that extrapolating of plot data to watershed scale causes over or under estimation of net erosion.
The ‘Monumental Myopia’ project uses multiscalar remote-sensing techniques to identify potential prehistoric nomadic settlements in the Siberian landscape. Eschewing the monumental burial mounds, the project aims to explore the everyday life of pastoral societies in the first millennium BC.
Late-life depression (LLD) is associated with poor social functioning. However, previous research uses bias-prone self-report scales to measure social functioning and a more objective measure is lacking. We tested a novel wearable device to measure speech that participants encounter as an indicator of social interaction.
Twenty nine participants with LLD and 29 age-matched controls wore a wrist-worn device continuously for seven days, which recorded their acoustic environment. Acoustic data were automatically analysed using deep learning models that had been developed and validated on an independent speech dataset. Total speech activity and the proportion of speech produced by the device wearer were both detected whilst maintaining participants' privacy. Participants underwent a neuropsychological test battery and clinical and self-report scales to measure severity of depression, general and social functioning.
Compared to controls, participants with LLD showed poorer self-reported social and general functioning. Total speech activity was much lower for participants with LLD than controls, with no overlap between groups. The proportion of speech produced by the participants was smaller for LLD than controls. In LLD, both speech measures correlated with attention and psychomotor speed performance but not with depression severity or self-reported social functioning.
Using this device, LLD was associated with lower levels of speech than controls and speech activity was related to psychomotor retardation. We have demonstrated that speech activity measured by wearable technology differentiated LLD from controls with high precision and, in this study, provided an objective measure of an aspect of real-world social functioning in LLD.
A consensus workshop on low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) was held in November 2018 where seventeen experts (the panel) discussed three themes identified as key to the science and policy of LCS: (1) weight management and glucose control; (2) consumption, safety and perception; (3) nutrition policy. The aims were to identify the reliable facts on LCS, suggest research gaps and propose future actions. The panel agreed that the safety of LCS is demonstrated by a substantial body of evidence reviewed by regulatory experts and current levels of consumption, even for high users, are within agreed safety margins. However, better risk communication is needed. More emphasis is required on the role of LCS in helping individuals reduce their sugar and energy intake, which is a public health priority. Based on reviews of clinical evidence to date, the panel concluded that LCS can be beneficial for weight management when they are used to replace sugar in products consumed in the diet (without energy substitution). The available evidence suggests no grounds for concerns about adverse effects of LCS on sweet preference, appetite or glucose control; indeed, LCS may improve diabetic control and dietary compliance. Regarding effects on the human gut microbiota, data are limited and do not provide adequate evidence that LCS affect gut health at doses relevant to human use. The panel identified research priorities, including collation of the totality of evidence on LCS and body weight control, monitoring and modelling of LCS intakes, impacts on sugar reduction and diet quality and developing effective communication strategies to foster informed choice. There is also a need to reconcile policy discrepancies between organisations and reduce regulatory hurdles that impede low-energy product development and reformulation.
Nanoindentation and microcrystal deformation are two methods that allow probing size effects in crystal plasticity. In many cases of microcrystal deformation, scale-free and potentially universal intermittency of event sizes during plastic flow has been revealed, whereas nanoindentation has been mainly used to assess the stress statistics of the first pop-in. Here, we show that both methods of deformation exhibit fundamentally different event-size statistics obtained from plastic instabilities. Nanoindentation results in scale-dependent intermittent microplasticity best described by Weibull statistics (stress and magnitude of the first pop-in) and lognormal statistics (magnitude of higher-order pop-ins). In contrast, finite-volume microcrystal deformation of the same material exhibits microplastic event-size intermittency of truncated power-law type even when the same plastic volume as in nanoindentation is probed. Furthermore, we successfully test a previously proposed extreme-value statistics model that relates the average first critical stress to the shape and scale parameter of the underlying Weibull distribution.
Intracranial pressure (ICP) can be measured by a monitor placed into one of the lateral ventricles; in the subarachnoid, subdural, or epidural spaces; or in the brain parenchyma.
ICP monitors should be placed in a patient’s nondominant hemisphere (e.g. right hemisphere in a right-handed person).
Kocher’s point is the external skin landmark most commonly used for insertion; at this point, the catheter trajectory to the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle avoids bridging veins, the superior sagittal sinus, and the motor strip. Kocher’s point is located 2 cm anterior to the coronal suture at the mid-pupillary line (2–3 cm lateral to midline). The coronal suture is approximately 11–12 cm from the base of the nose.
Alternative sites for placement include Keen’s point, which is located 2.5 cm posterior and superior to the top of the ear (posterior-parietal), a Frazier burr hole (occipital-parietal), and Dandy’s point (occipital).