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While the burden of dementia is increasing in low- and middle-income countries, there is a low rate of diagnosis and paucity of research in these regions. A major challenge to study dementia is the limited availability of standardised diagnostic tools for use in populations with linguistic and educational diversity. The objectives of the study were to develop a standardised and comprehensive neurocognitive test battery to diagnose dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to varied etiologies, across different languages and educational levels in India, to facilitate research efforts in diverse settings.
A multidisciplinary expert group formed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) collaborated towards adapting and validating a neurocognitive test battery, that is, the ICMR Neurocognitive Tool Box (ICMR-NCTB) in five Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam), for illiterates and literates, to standardise diagnosis of dementia and MCI in India.
Following a review of existing international and national efforts at standardising dementia diagnosis, the ICMR-NCTB was developed and adapted to the Indian setting of sociolinguistic diversity. The battery consisted of tests of cognition, behaviour, and functional activities. A uniform protocol for diagnosis of normal cognition, MCI, and dementia due to neurodegenerative diseases and stroke was followed in six centres. A systematic plan for validating the ICMR-NCTB and establishing cut-off values in a diverse multicentric cohort was developed.
A key outcome was the development of a comprehensive diagnostic tool for diagnosis of dementia and MCI due to varied etiologies, in the diverse socio-demographic setting of India.
A novel series of nanocrystalline AlCuCrFeMnWx (x = 0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5) high-entropy alloys (HEAs) were synthesized by mechanical alloying followed by spark plasma sintering. The phase evolution of the current HEAs was studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy, and selected area electron diffraction. The XRD of the AlCuCrFeMn sintered HEA shows evolution of ordered B2 phase (AlFe type), sigma phase (Cr rich), and FeMn phase. AlCuCrFeMnWx (x = 0.05, 0.1, 0.5 mol) shows formation of ordered B2 phases, sigma phases, FeMn phases, and BCC phases. Micro-hardness of the AlCuCrFeMnWx samples was measured by Vickers microindentation and the maximum value observed is 780 ± 12 HV. As the tungsten content increases, the fracture strength under compression increases from 1010 to 1510 MPa. Thermodynamic parameters of present alloys confirm the crystalline phase formation, and finally structure–property relationship was proposed by conventional strengthening mechanisms.
The changes in DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for dementia (Major neurocognitive disorder (NCD)) and mild cognitive impairment (mild NCD) mandate a re-evaluation of screening instruments. This study attempted to validate screening instruments, identify optimum threshold, and describe their indices of efficacy.
Consecutive people above the age of 65 years attending the outpatient department of a general hospital were recruited. They were assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Vellore Screening Instruments for Dementia and were evaluated against the DSM-5 standard. Bivariate and multivariate statistics were obtained. Receiver-operating-characteristic curves were drawn, optimum thresholds obtained, sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values calculated.
One hundred and thirty four older people were recruited. The majority were women, married, with low levels of education, not employed, living with family, and had medical co-morbidity. A minority satisfied DSM-5 criteria for major (1.5%) and mild NCD (36.5%). The factors associated with NCD were older age, fewer years of education, and lower socio-economic status. MMSE, VSID patient, and VSID informant scores were significantly associated with NCD. The indices of efficacy for the MMSE and VSID patient version were modest for identifying Mild NCD. However, their performance in identifying major NCD was better. Nevertheless, optimal thresholds for recognition differed markedly from their originally recommended cut-offs.
The DSM-5 standards, with new and different cognitive domains, mandate a revaluation and recalibration of existing screening instruments. Ideally, new screening instruments, which match the cognitive domains and DSM-5 standard should be developed.
The solar active region (AR) 12192 was one of the most flare productive region of solar cycle 24, which produced many X-class flares; the most energetic being an X3.1 flare on October 24, 2014 at 21:10 UT. Customarily, such events are believed to be triggered by magnetic reconnection in coronal magnetic fields. Here we use the vector magnetograms from solar photosphere, obtained from Heliospheric Magnetic Imager (HMI) to investigate the magnetic field topology prior to the X3.1 event, and ascertain the conditions that might have caused the flare. To infer the coronal magnetic field, a novel non-force-free field (NFFF) extrapolation technique of the photospheric field is used, which suitably mimics the Lorentz forces present in the photospheric plasma. We also highlight the presence of magnetic null points and quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs) in the magnetic field topology, which are preferred sites for magnetic reconnections and discuss the probable reconnection scenarios.
The daily time series Flare Index (FI) data of Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere and Total Disk for Solar Cycle 21- 23 and 24 up to Dec. 2014 has been pre-processed using a 2nd order exponential smoothing algorithm to remove orthogonal noise. The smoothed data in each case is processed for scaling analysis using Rescaled-Range Analysis as well as Finite Variance Scaling Method in order to search for the Hurst exponent. As the value of H obtained from our analysis lies in between 0 and 1, so it can be said that the signal may behave like Fractional Brownian Motion. Also, it is observed that H is less than 0.5 which indicates the data is anti-persistent in nature and it has a strong negative correlation within the signal. The value of H also indicates the oscillating features of the signal which might have some fundamental periodicities in the Suns atmosphere.
Magnetic reconnections (MRs) for various magnetic field line (MFL) topologies are believed to be the initiators of solar eruptive events like flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Consequently, important is a thorough understanding and quantification of the MFL topology and their evolution which leads to MRs. Contemporary standard is to extrapolate the coronal MFLs using equilibrium models where the Lorentz force on the coronal plasma is zero everywhere. In tandem, a non-force-free-field (NFFF) extrapolation scheme has evolved and allows for a Lorentz force which is non-zero only at the photosphere but asymptotically vanishes with height. The paper reports magnetohydrodynamic (MHD)- simulations initiated by NFFF extrapolation of the coronal MFLs for a flare producing active region NOAA 11158. Interestingly, quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs) which facilitate MRs are detected in the extrapolated MFLs and, here the paper makes an attempt to asses the role of QSLs in the flare onsets.
Artificial Neural Network based Nonlinear Autoregressive Model is designed to reconstruct and predict Forbush Decrease (FD) Data obtained from Izmiran, Russia. Result indicates that the model seems adequate for short term prediction of the FD data.
The burden of dengue virus infections increased globally during recent years. Though India is considered as dengue hyper-endemic country, limited data are available on disease epidemiology. The present study includes molecular characterization of dengue virus strains occurred in Hyderabad, India, during the year 2014. A total of 120 febrile cases were recruited for this study, which includes only children and 41 were serologically confirmed for dengue positive infections using non-structural (NS1) and/or IgG/IgM ELISA tests. RT-PCR, nucleotide sequencing and evolutionary analyses were carried out to identify the circulating serotypes/genotypes. The data indicated a high percent of severe dengue (63%) in primary infections. Simultaneous circulation of all four serotypes and co-infections were observed for the first time in Hyderabad, India. In total, 15 patients were co-infected with more than one dengue serotype and 12 (80%) of them had severe dengue. One of the striking findings of the present study is the identification of serotype Den-1 as the first report from this region and this strain showed close relatedness to the Thailand 1980 strains but not to any of the strains reported from India until now. Phylogenetically, all four strains of the present study showed close relatedness to the strains, which are reported to be high virulent.
Castor is an industrially important oilseed crop. Vascular wilt caused by the soil borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ricini is a serious disease of castor. Use of resistant cultivars is the only viable option for management of wilt disease problem in castor production. Excellent sources of resistance to wilt have been found in castor germplasm. In this study, a set of four castor inbred lines (48–1, CI-1, AP42 and AP48) was characterized for inheritance of resistance to wilt by studying segregating populations generated by crossing these inbred lines with eight different susceptible genotypes. An artificial screening method (sick pot) with a new scoring system (days to wilt) was used for evaluation of plant progenies for reaction to the pathogen infection. The reaction of F1s indicated that the nature of resistance in 48–1, CI-1 and AP48 is recessive whereas it was dominant in AP42. Inheritance results from eight F2 populations showed that resistance to wilt is conferred by a single locus in one population and at least two loci, which interact in complementary way, in other seven populations. Different modes of inheritance were also observed when the same resistant source was crossed with different susceptible parents, indicating the possible role of genetic backgrounds in determining resistance. Overall, the results suggested that Mendelian resistance to wilt is predominant in the castor genotypes, which can be exploited for breeding cultivars. Particularly, AP42 with dominant nature of resistance will be of great interest to hybrid breeding.