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Because of inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between sleep quality and cognitive function in people with age-related memory complaints, we examined how self-reports of sleep quality were related to multiple domains of both objective and subjective cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.
A cross-sectional study involving analysis of baseline data, collected as part of a clinical trial.
Two hundred and three participants (mean age = 60.4 [6.5] years, 69.0% female) with mild memory complaints were asked to rate their sleep quality using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and their memory performance using the Memory Functioning Questionnaire (MFQ), which measures self-awareness of memory ability. Neurocognitive performance was evaluated using the Continuous Performance Test (CPT), Trail Making Test, Buschke Selective Reminding Test, and the Brief Visuospatial Test – Revised (BVMT-R).
Total PSQI scores were significantly associated with objective measures of sustained attention (CPT hit reaction time by block and standard error by block) and subjective memory loss (MFQ frequency and seriousness of forgetting). The PSQI components of (poorer) sleep quality and (greater) sleep disturbance were related to (worse) sustained attention scores while increased sleep latency and daytime sleepiness were associated with greater frequency and seriousness of forgetting.
Sleep quality is related to both objective measures of sustained attention and self-awareness of memory decline. These findings suggest that interventions for improving sleep quality may contribute not only to improving the ability to focus on a particular task but also in reducing memory complaints in middle-aged and older adults.
This article is in two parts. The first part, in Italian, by Giuseppe Schinco, is a study of the typology and technical characteristics of a group of 225 lead slingshots found rather more than twenty years ago by a private metal detectorist on the hill of Botromagno near Gravina in Puglia. The second part, in English, by Alastair Small, is a review of the archaeological evidence for a possible siege of the site within the time frame suggested by the typological study of the slingshots. Since the site, which can be identified with the ancient Silvium, can be shown to have been abandoned around the end of the first quarter of the first century BC within that time frame, we conclude that the siege most probably took place during the slave war of 73–70 BC associated with Spartacus.
Early detection and intervention strategies in patients at clinical high-risk (CHR) for syndromal psychosis have the potential to contain the morbidity of schizophrenia and similar conditions. However, research criteria that have relied on severity and number of positive symptoms are limited in their specificity and risk high false-positive rates. Our objective was to examine the degree to which measures of recency of onset or intensification of positive symptoms [a.k.a., new or worsening (NOW) symptoms] contribute to predictive capacity.
We recruited 109 help-seeking individuals whose symptoms met criteria for the Progression Subtype of the Attenuated Positive Symptom Psychosis-Risk Syndrome defined by the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes and followed every three months for two years or onset of syndromal psychosis.
Forty-one (40.6%) of 101 participants meeting CHR criteria developed a syndromal psychotic disorder [mostly (80.5%) schizophrenia] with half converting within 142 days (interquartile range: 69–410 days). Patients with more NOW symptoms were more likely to convert (converters: 3.63 ± 0.89; non-converters: 2.90 ± 1.27; p = 0.001). Patients with stable attenuated positive symptoms were less likely to convert than those with NOW symptoms. New, but not worsening, symptoms, in isolation, also predicted conversion.
Results suggest that the severity and number of attenuated positive symptoms are less predictive of conversion to syndromal psychosis than the timing of their emergence and intensification. These findings also suggest that the earliest phase of psychotic illness involves a rapid, dynamic process, beginning before the syndromal first episode, with potentially substantial implications for CHR research and understanding the neurobiology of psychosis.
TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
We compared the fluorescent gel removal rate using fewer high-touch surfaces (HTSs) and rooms and determined the optimum number of HTSs and rooms needed to ensure accuracy using 2,942 HTSs in 228 rooms on 13 units. Randomly selecting 3 HTS in 2 rooms predicted the optimal removal rate.
Collaborative care can support the treatment of depression in people with long-term conditions, but long-term benefits and costs are unknown.
To explore the long-term (24-month) effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of collaborative care in people with mental-physical multimorbidity.
A cluster randomised trial compared collaborative care (integrated physical and mental healthcare) with usual care for depression alongside diabetes and/or coronary heart disease. Depression symptoms were measured by the symptom checklist-depression scale (SCL-D13). The economic evaluation was from the perspective of the English National Health Service.
191 participants were allocated to collaborative care and 196 to usual care. At 24 months, the mean SCL-D13 score was 0.27 (95% CI, −0.48 to −0.06) lower in the collaborative care group alongside a gain of 0.14 (95% CI, 0.06-0.21) quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). The cost per QALY gained was £13 069.
In the long term, collaborative care reduces depression and is potentially cost-effective at internationally accepted willingness-to-pay thresholds.
Direct ink writing of silicone elastomers enables printing with precise control of porosity and mechanical properties of ordered cellular solids, suitable for shock absorption and stress mitigation applications. With the ability to manipulate structure and feedstock stiffness, the design space becomes challenging to parse to obtain a solution producing a desired mechanical response. Here, we derive an analytical design approach for a specific architecture. Results from finite element simulations and quasi-static mechanical tests of two different parallel strand architectures were analyzed to understand the structure-property relationships under uniaxial compression. Combining effective stiffness-density scaling with least squares optimization of the stress responses yielded general response curves parameterized by resin modulus and strand spacing. An analytical expression of these curves serves as a reduced order model, which, when optimized, provides a rapid design capability for filament-based 3D printed structures. As a demonstration, the optimal design of a face-centered tetragonal architecture is computed that satisfies prescribed minimum and maximum load constraints.
Using the case of Ebola Virus Disease as an example, this paper shows why patients at high risk for death have a defensible moral claim to access unregistered medical interventions (UMI), without having to enrol in randomized placebo controlled trials.
A number of jurisdictions permit and facilitate such access under emergency circumstances. One controversial question is whether patients should only be permitted access to UMI after trials investigating the interventions are fully recruited. It is argued that regulatory regimes should not prioritise trial recruitment over patient access, even if this results in drug research and development delays.
We describe how the moral duty to rescue impacts on others' duties to oblige patients seeking emergency access to unregistered medical interventions. The view that eligible patients are owed the provision of access to UMI regardless of their willingness to enrol in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) is defended.
Introduced plants threaten biodiversity and ecosystem processes, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles, but little is known about the threshold at which such effects occur. We examined the impact of the invasive shrub Amur honeysuckle on soil organic carbon (SOC) and N density at study sites that varied in invasion history. In plots with and without honeysuckle, we measured honeysuckle abundance and size (basal area) and extracted soil cores. SOC and N densities were highest at the site with the longest invasion history and highest invasion intensity (i.e., greatest abundance and basal area of honeysuckle). Basal area of honeysuckle positively affected SOC and N densities likely because of increased litter decomposition and altered microbial communities. Because honeysuckle increases forest net primary productivity (NPP) and SOC, it also may play a role in C sequestration. Our results demonstrate the need to consider the influence of invasion history and intensity when evaluating the potential impact of invasive species.
This mixed-methods study evaluated the effect of a community-engaged arts program on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of seniors. Weekly workshops were offered over a three-year period at community centers where artists worked with four groups of seniors to produce a collective art piece or performance for public presentation. Participants completed pre- and post- questionnaires, and group interviews were conducted at the program’s end. Paired t-test analyses indicated that seniors experienced improvement in perceived overall health, experience of pain, and sense of community. Interpretive descriptive analysis of the group interviews revealed six themes that informed understanding : (1) providing structure and discipline; (2) facilitating coping; (3) requiring hard work and effort; (4) bringing out one’s artistic side; (5) promoting social involvement; and (6) making a contribution. These results are consistent with previous research and contribute to further understanding of how community-engaged arts can benefit the well-being of older people.
The Sahel in West Africa is a major wintering area for many western Palearctic migrants. The breeding populations of many of these have declined over the past 50 years. However, there have been few intensive field studies on migrant ecology in the Sahel and these were generally within a very restricted area. Consequently our knowledge of the distribution of species within this extensive area and the habitat associations of these species is limited. Understanding these habitat associations is essential for the effective conservation management of populations. We brought together a group of experts and consulted a wider group by email to assess the main Sahelian habitat types used by 68 African-Eurasian migrant bird species. Those species that showed strongest declines during 1970–1990 were associated with more open habitats than those newly declining during 1990–2000, when declining species were associated with habitats with more shrubs and trees. Populations of species that winter in the Sahel are generally stable or increasing now as rainfall has increased and is now near the long-term average for the Sahel. Those which use the Sahel only as a staging area are, in many cases, in rapid decline at present.
Impending malignant spinal cord compression (IMSCC) may be defined as compression of the thecal sac, without any visible pressure on the spinal cord itself. Although there is a perception that IMSCC patients have a better prognosis and less severe clinical symptoms than true malignant spinal cord compression (MSCC) patients, these factors have never been documented in the literature.
To record the characteristics, management and functional outcome of a group of patients with IMSCC, who were treated with radiotherapy in our institution, and compare these parameters with similar data on MSCC patients.
Materials and methods
Data (gender, age, primary oncological diagnosis, pain, performance status and neurological status) were prospectively collected for 28 patients. Patients were then followed up post treatment to document their response to treatment and treatment-related toxicity.
The median survival of our group of IMSCC patients is similar to that of an MSCC patient. In addition, the IMSCC group exhibits significant clinical symptoms including neurological deficit.
Although further studies are necessary, we have found that IMSCC patients in this study share similar prognosis and clinical symptoms with MSCC patients. Clinicians should be aware of this when communicating with IMSCC patients and their families, and short-course radiotherapy should be considered.
Background: Previous research has shown that healthy behaviors, such as regular physical exercise, a nutritious diet, and not smoking, are associated with a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. However, less is known about the potential link between healthy behaviors and mild memory symptoms that may precede dementia in different age groups.
Methods: A daily telephone survey (Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index) of US residents yielded a random sample of 18,552 respondents ranging in age from 18 to 99 years, including 4,423 younger (age 18–39 years), 6,356 middle-aged (40–59 years), and 7,773 older (60–99 years) adults. The questionnaire included demographic information and the Healthy Behavior Index (questions on smoking, eating habits, and frequency of exercise). General linear models and logistic regressions were used in the analysis.
Results: Older adults were more likely to report healthy behaviors than were middle-aged and younger adults. Reports of memory problems increased with age (14% of younger, 22% of middle-aged, and 26% of older adults) and were inversely related to the Healthy Behavior Index. Reports of healthy eating were associated with better memory self-reports regardless of age, while not smoking was associated with better memory reports in the younger and middle-aged and reported regular exercise with better memory in the middle-aged and older groups.
Conclusions: These findings indicate a relationship between reports of healthy behaviors and better self-perceived memory abilities throughout adult life, suggesting that lifestyle behavior habits may protect brain health and possibly delay the onset of memory symptoms as people age.