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A recent paper, “Parkinson's disease mild cognitive impairment classifications and neurobehavioral symptoms” (McDermott et al., 2017), provides an interesting comparison of the influence of different criteria for Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI) on progression to dementia (PDD). Unfortunately, McDermott et al. (2017) incorrectly stated that “only 21% of PD-MCI participants (identified with a 1.5 SD cut-off) converted to PDD within four years” (p.6) in our study (Wood et al., 2016). However, the important point made by Wood et al. (2016) was that the proportion of conversions to PDD was 51% when the PD-MCI diagnosis required a minimum of two 1.5 SD impairments within any single cognitive domain, whereas additional PD-MCI patients classified with one impairment at 1.5 SD in each of the two domains (but never two impairments in the same domain) had a non-significant risk of dementia relative to non-MCI patients (11% vs. 6% converted, respectively). Our PDD conversion rate was 38% when combining both 1.5 SD criteria (21/56 PD-MCI patients vs. 4/65 non-MCI patients converted); McDermott et al. (2017) found a 42% conversion rate over three years for similarly described PD-MCI patients (10/24 PD-MCI patients vs. 0/27 non-MCI patients converted). Our study was also part of a multinational study (n = 467) showing that PD-MCI has predictive validity beyond known demographic and PD-specific factors of influence (Hoogland et al., 2017). All three studies found that multiple cognitive domain impairments are common in PD-MCI. Nonetheless, the research community needs to clarify the association between PD-MCI subtypes and, especially, the optimal cognitive markers for dementia risk in PD patients.
My first duty is to express my cordial thanks to the Council and Fellows of this Society for electing me as President in succession to the late Professor Geikie. I have accepted the honour with great reluctance, for I am conscious of the fact that others have far stronger claims, and have waived their claims under very exceptional circumstances. But I may take this opportunity of assuring the Fellows that since they have been pleased to confirm the recommendation of the Council, I shall take an active interest in the affairs of the Society and do my best to promote its welfare.
The list of papers read during the past session shows that important contributions relating to different branches of science have been made to the Society. Notwithstanding the strain caused by the war, the output of original work is noteworthy. In this connection reference may be made to some researches having a direct bearing on the war. Last session the Council appointed a Committee, composed of leading scientists, to conduct investigations in connection with submarines, aeroplanes, asphyxiating gas, and high explosives.
At the opening of another session the attention of the Fellows ought to be directed to certain points concerning the administration of the affairs of this Society. One gratifying feature is the completion of the card catalogue of the volumes in the Society's library. After the removal to our present quarters in 1909 it became apparent that the old catalogue in three large volumes was unsatisfactory. The original entries were not up to modern requirements, and, in view of a new catalogue being prepared, the new marks caused by the altered arrangement of rooms and shelves had been imperfectly registered. The library staff realised that nothing short of a card catalogue prepared from the volumes as they stand on the shelves would meet existing requirements. This was an arduous undertaking, involving considerable outlay. Dr Knott has estimated that the library at present contains forty-six thousand volumes, the greater part of which consists of scientific serials. To accomplish the task of cataloguing this large collection it was necessary to obtain outside expert assistance.
At the opening of another session it seems to me not inappropriate to refer to the question of the relation of science to industries and to education. Not much that is new can be said on this theme. The neglect of science by the Government and the people and the persistent indifference to scientific training and methods have been exposed by prominent scientists for many years. Repeated appeals and warnings have had little or no effect. But this world war has, at last, aroused the Government and the practical Briton to realise that success in war and prosperity in peace under modern conditions depend upon the application of scientific methods, and the development of research in relation to the industries.
Imidazoles present a tunable, versatile and economical platform for the development of novel liquid solvents and polymer membranes for CO2 capture. An overview of our studies in this area is presented, with emphasis on characterization of structure-property relationships in imidazole-based materials through both experimental and computational studies. To this end, a growing library of systematically varied imidazole compounds has been synthesized using only commercial available starting materials and straightforward reactions. Using this library of compounds, we have sought to understand and develop predictive models for thermophysical properties relating to process design, including: density, viscosity, vapor pressure, pKa and CO2 absorption capacity. Furthermore, we have discovered that imidazoles are stable in the presence of SO2 and can form reversible 1:1 adducts, which can be beneficial as SO2 is typically present at ppm levels alongside CO2 in flue gas from coal-fired power plants.
The trypanosomes cause two neglected tropical diseases, Chagas disease in the Americas and African trypanosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. Over recent years a raft of molecular tools have been developed enabling the genetic dissection of many aspects of trypanosome biology, including the mechanisms underlying resistance to some of the current clinical and veterinary drugs. This has led to the identification and characterization of key resistance determinants, including transporters for the anti-Trypanosoma brucei drugs, melarsoprol, pentamidine and eflornithine, and the activator of nifurtimox-benznidazole, the anti-Trypanosoma cruzi drugs. More recently, advances in sequencing technology, combined with the development of RNA interference libraries in the clinically relevant bloodstream form of T. brucei have led to an exponential increase in the number of proteins known to interact either directly or indirectly with the anti-trypanosomal drugs. In this review, we discuss these findings and the technological developments that are set to further revolutionise our understanding of drug-trypanosome interactions. The new knowledge gained should inform the development of novel interventions against the devastating diseases caused by these parasites.