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To determine the relationship between falls and deficits in specific cognitive domains in older adults.
An analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) cohort.
United Kingdom community-based.
5197 community-dwelling older adults recruited to a prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Data on the occurrence of falls and number of falls, which occurred during a 12-month follow-up period, were assessed against the specific cognitive domains of memory, numeracy skills, and executive function. Binomial logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between each cognitive domain and the dichotomous outcome of falls in the preceding 12 months using unadjusted and adjusted models.
Of the 5197 participants included in the analysis, 1308 (25%) reported a fall in the preceding 12 months. There was no significant association between the occurrence of a fall and specific forms of cognitive dysfunction after adjusting for self-reported hearing, self-reported eyesight, and functional performance. After adjustment, only orientation (odds ratio [OR]: 0.80; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.65–0.98, p = 0.03) and verbal fluency (adjusted OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96–1.00; p = 0.05) remained significant for predicting recurrent falls.
The cognitive phenotype rather than cognitive impairment per se may predict future falls in those presenting with more than one fall.
Although food from grazed animals is increasingly sought by consumers because of perceived animal welfare advantages, grazing systems provide the farmer and the animal with unique challenges. The system is dependent almost daily on the climate for feed supply, with the importation of large amounts of feed from off farm, and associated labour and mechanisation costs, sometimes reducing economic viability. Furthermore, the cow may have to walk long distances and be able to harvest feed efficiently in a highly competitive environment because of the need for high levels of pasture utilisation. She must, also, be: (1) highly fertile, with a requirement for pregnancy within ~80 days post-calving; (2) ‘easy care’, because of the need for the management of large herds with limited labour; (3) able to walk long distances; and (4) robust to changes in feed supply and quality, so that short-term nutritional insults do not unduly influence her production and reproduction cycles. These are very different and are in addition to demands placed on cows in housed systems offered pre-made mixed rations. Furthermore, additional demands in environmental sustainability and animal welfare, in conjunction with the need for greater system-level biological efficiency (i.e. ‘sustainable intensification’), will add to the ‘robustness’ requirements of cows in the future. Increasingly, there is evidence that certain genotypes of cows perform better or worse in grazing systems, indicating a genotype×environment interaction. This has led to the development of tailored breeding objectives within countries for important heritable traits to maximise the profitability and sustainability of their production system. To date, these breeding objectives have focussed on the more easily measured traits and those of highest relative economic importance. In the future, there will be greater emphasis on more difficult to measure traits that are important to the quality of life of the animal in each production system and to reduce the system’s environmental footprint.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
People with pancreatic cancer have poor survival, and management is challenging. Pancreatic cancer patients' perceptions of their care coordination and its association with their outcomes have not been well-studied. Our objective was to determine if perception of care coordination is associated with patient-reported outcomes or survival.
People with pancreatic cancer who were 1–8 months postdiagnosis (52 with completed resection and 58 with no resection) completed a patient-reported questionnaire that assessed their perceptions of care coordination, quality of life, anxiety, and depression using validated instruments. Mean scores for 15 care-coordination items were calculated and then ranked from highest (best experience) to lowest (worst experience). Associations between care-coordination scores (including communication and navigation domains) and patient-reported outcomes and survival were investigated using general linear regression and Cox regression, respectively. All analyses were stratified by whether or not the tumor had been resected.
In both groups, the highest-ranked care-coordination items were: knowing who was responsible for coordinating care, health professionals being informed about their history, and waiting times. The worst-ranked items related to: how often patients were asked about visits with other health professionals and how well they and their family were coping, knowing the symptoms they should monitor, having sufficient emotional help from staff, and access to additional specialist services. For people who had a resection, better communication and navigation scores were significantly associated with higher quality of life and less anxiety and depression. However, these associations were not statistically significant for those with no resection. Perception of cancer care coordination was not associated with survival in either group.
Significance of results:
Our results suggest that, while many core clinical aspects of care are perceived to be done well for pancreatic cancer patients, improvements in emotional support, referral to specialist services, and self-management education may improve patient-reported outcomes.
We present new M and L-dwarfs confirmed through follow-up of 2MASS color-selected objects with the CorMASS near-infrared spectrograph (R ˜ 300) on the Palomar 60-inch telescope as part of a continuing follow-up survey. Most of the objects are bright (Ks < 13).
To investigate relationships between mortality and circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3) and 25-hydroxyergocalciferol (25(OH)D2).
Case–cohort study within the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS). We measured 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 in archived dried blood spots by LC–MS/MS. Cox regression was used to estimate mortality hazard ratios (HR), with adjustment for confounders.
The MCCS included 29 206 participants, who at recruitment in 1990–1994 were aged 40–69 years, had dried blood spots collected and no history of cancer. For the present study we selected participants who died by 31 December 2007 (n 2410) and a random sample (sub-cohort, n 2996).
The HR per 25 nmol/l increment in concentration of 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 were 0·86 (95 % CI 0·78, 0·96; P=0·007) and 0·85 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·95; P=0·003), respectively. Of 5108 participants, sixty-three (1·2 %) had detectable 25(OH)D2; their mean 25(OH)D concentration was 11·9 (95 % CI 7·3, 16·6) nmol/l higher (P<0·001). The HR for detectable 25(OH)D2 was 1·80 (95 % CI 1·09, 2·97; P=0·023); for those with detectable 25(OH)D2, the HR per 25 nmol/l increment in 25(OH)D was 1·06 (95 % CI 0·87, 1·29; P interaction=0·02). HR were similar for participants who reported being in good, very good or excellent health four years after recruitment.
Total 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 concentrations were inversely associated with mortality. The finding that the inverse association for 25(OH)D was restricted to those with no detectable 25(OH)D2 requires confirmation in populations with higher exposure to ergocalciferol.
C band backscatter parameters contain information about the upper snowpack/firn in the dry snow zone. The wide incidence angle diversity of the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) gives unprecedented characterisation of backscatter anisotropy, revealing the backscatter response to climatic forcing. The A (isotropic component) and M2 (bi-sinusoidal azimuth anisotropy) parameters are investigated here, in conjunction with data from atmospheric and snowpack models, to identify the backscatter response to surface forcing parameters (wind speed and persistence, precipitation, surface temperature, density and grain size). The long-term mean A parameter is successfully recreated with a regression using these drivers, indicating strong links between the A parameter and precipitation on long timescales. While the ASCAT time series is too short to determine which factors drive observed trends, factors influencing the seasonal and short timescale variability are revealed. On these timescales, A strongly responds to the propagation of surface temperature cycles/anomalies downward through the firn, via direct modulation of the dielectric constant. The influence of precipitation on A is small at shorter timescales. The M2 parameter is controlled by wind speed and persistence, through modification of monodirectionally-aligned surface roughness. This variability indicates that throughout much of coastal Antarctica, a microwave ‘snapshot’ is generally not representative of longer-term conditions.
Animal experiments and cross-sectional or prospective longitudinal research in human subjects suggest a role for nutrition in cognitive ageing. However, data from randomised controlled trials (RCT) that seek causal evidence for the impact of nutrients on cognitive ageing in humans often produce null results. Given that RCT test hypotheses in a rigorous fashion, one conclusion could be that the positive effects of nutrition on the aged brain observed in other study designs are spurious. On the other hand, it may be that the design of many clinical trials conducted thus far has been less than optimal. In the present review, we offer a blueprint for a more targeted approach to the design of RCT in nutrition, cognition and brain health in ageing that focuses on three key areas. First, the role of nutrition is more suited for the maintenance of health rather than the treatment of disease. Second, given that cognitive functions and brain regions vary in their susceptibility to ageing, those that especially deteriorate in senescence should be focal points in evaluating the efficacy of an intervention. Third, the outcome measures that assess change due to nutrition, especially in the cognitive domain, should not necessarily be the same neuropsychological tests used to assess gross brain damage or major pathological conditions. By addressing these three areas, we expect that clinical trials of nutrition, cognition and brain health in ageing will align more closely with other research in this field, and aid in revealing the true nature of nutrition’s impact on the aged brain.
Observational studies have suggested that 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels are associated with inflammatory markers. Most trials reporting significant associations between vitamin D intake and inflammatory markers used specific patient groups. Thus, we aimed to determine the effect of supplementary vitamin D using secondary data from a population-based, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (Pilot D-Health trial 2010/0423). Participants were 60- to 84-year-old residents of one of the four eastern states of Australia. They were randomly selected from the electoral roll and were randomised to one of three trial arms: placebo (n 214), 750 μg (n 215) or 1500 μg (n 215) vitamin D3, each taken once per month for 12 months. Post-intervention blood samples for the analysis of C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, IL-10, leptin and adiponectin levels were available for 613 participants. Associations between intervention group and biomarker levels were evaluated using quantile regression. There were no statistically significant differences in distributions of CRP, leptin, adiponectin, leptin:adiponectin ratio or IL-10 levels between the placebo group and either supplemented group. The 75th percentile IL-6 level was 2·8 pg/ml higher (95 % CI 0·4, 5·8 pg/ml) in the 1500 μg group than in the placebo group (75th percentiles:11·0 v. 8·2 pg/ml), with a somewhat smaller, non-significant difference in 75th percentiles between the 750 μg and placebo groups. Despite large differences in serum 25(OH)D levels between the three groups after 12 months of supplementation, we found little evidence of an effect of vitamin D supplementation on cytokine or adipokine levels, with the possible exception of IL-6.
Mixed anxiety–depression (MAD) has been under scrutiny to determine its potential place in psychiatric nosology. The current study sought to investigate its prevalence, clinical characteristics, course and potential validators.
Restricted latent-class analyses were fit to 12-month self-reports of depression and anxiety symptom criteria in a large population-based sample of twins. Classes were examined across an array of relevant indicators (demographics, co-morbidity, adverse life events, clinical significance and twin concordance). Longitudinal analyses investigated the stability of, and transitions between, these classes for two time periods approximately 1.5 years apart.
In all analyses, a class exhibiting levels of MAD symptomatology distinctly above the unaffected subjects yet having low prevalence of either major depression (MD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was identified. A restricted four-class model, constraining two classes to have no prior disorder history to distinguish residual or recurrent symptoms from new onsets in the last year, provided an interpretable classification: two groups with no prior history that were unaffected or had MAD and two with prior history having relatively low or high symptom levels. Prevalence of MAD was substantial (9–11%), and subjects with MAD differed quantitatively but not qualitatively from those with lifetime MD or GAD across the clinical validators examined.
Our findings suggest that MAD is a commonly occurring, identifiable syndromal subtype that warrants further study and consideration for inclusion in future nosologic systems.
The effects of adding various chemical surfactants to the prepolymer syrup on the electro-optical switching properties of Bragg gratings recorded in polymer dispersed liquid crystals (PDLC's) have been studied. The gratings were holographically recorded in prepolymer recipes substituting hexanoic, heptanoic, propylpentanoic and octanoic acids as surfactants in the recipe. A small percentage of monomer containing an attached long chain alkyl group (vinyl neononanoate) was also used instead of a surfactant. The addition of surfactants resulted in lowering the required switching field from 17 V/μm with no surfactant to 1.5 to 8 V/μm at a concentration of about 6.7% by weight, depending on the surfactant. Field on response times for electrical switching decreased with the addition of surfactant, and off times increased.
Understanding the genetic and environmental contributions to measures of brain structure such as surface area and cortical thickness is important for a better understanding of the nature of brain-behavior relationships and changes due to development or disease. Continuous spatial maps of genetic influences on these structural features can contribute to our understanding of regional patterns of heritability, since it remains to be seen whether genetic contributions to brain structure respect the boundaries of any traditional parcellation approaches. Using data from magnetic resonance imaging scans collected on a large sample of monozygotic and dizygotic twins in the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging, we created maps of the heritability of areal expansion (a vertex-based area measure) and cortical thickness and examined the degree to which these maps were affected by adjustment for total surface area and mean cortical thickness. We also compared the approach of estimating regional heritability based on the average heritability of vertices within the region to the more traditional region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. The results suggested high heritability across the cortex for areal expansion and, to a slightly lesser degree, for cortical thickness. There was a great deal of genetic overlap between global and regional measures for surface area, so maps of region-specific genetic influences on surface area revealed more modest heritabilities. There was greater inter-regional variability in heritabilities when calculated using the traditional ROI-based approach compared to summarizing vertex-by-vertex heritabilities within regions. Discrepancies between the approaches were greatest in small regions and tended to be larger for surface area than for cortical thickness measures. Implications regarding brain phenotypes for future genetic association studies are discussed.