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Neuropsychological tests are important instruments to determine a cognitive profile, giving insight into the etiology of dementia; however, these tests cannot readily be used in culturally diverse, low-educated populations, due to their dependence upon (Western) culture, education, and literacy. In this review we aim to give an overview of studies investigating domain-specific cognitive tests used to assess dementia in non-Western, low-educated populations. The second aim was to examine the quality of these studies and of the adaptations for culturally, linguistically, and educationally diverse populations.
A systematic review was performed using six databases, without restrictions on the year or language of publication.
Forty-four studies were included, stemming mainly from Brazil, Hong Kong, Korea, and considering Hispanics/Latinos residing in the USA. Most studies focused on Alzheimer’s disease (n = 17) or unspecified dementia (n = 16). Memory (n = 18) was studied most often, using 14 different tests. The traditional Western tests in the domains of attention (n = 8) and construction (n = 15), were unsuitable for low-educated patients. There was little variety in instruments measuring executive functioning (two tests, n = 13), and language (n = 12, of which 10 were naming tests). Many studies did not report a thorough adaptation procedure (n = 39) or blinding procedures (n = 29).
Various formats of memory tests seem suitable for low-educated, non-Western populations. Promising tasks in other cognitive domains are the Stick Design Test, Five Digit Test, and verbal fluency test. Further research is needed regarding cross-cultural instruments measuring executive functioning and language in low-educated people.
Care of archaeological materials should begin when recovered in the field. Care and stabilization of objects in the field will greatly increase their research and exhibit potential. Identifying problems and understanding basic solutions to object care and stabilization is an important part of training for all potential object handlers. Proper care and stabilization of objects can and should be a priority for all object users—excavators, lab analysts, museum staff, and researchers. Constant dialogue and communication between repository specialists and archaeologists can be the most useful source for care of all archaeological objects.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
In vitro maintenance of helminth parasites enables a variety of molecular, pharmaceutical and immunological analyses. Currently, the nutritional and environmental in vitro requirements of the equine ascarid parasite, Parascaris spp., have not been determined. Additionally, an objective method for assessing viability of Parascaris spp. intestinal stages does not exist. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the in vitro requirements of intestinal stages of Parascaris spp., and to develop a viability assessment method. A total of 1045 worms were maintained in a total of 212 cultures. Worms obtained from naturally infected foals at necropsy were immediately placed in culture flasks containing 200 mL of culture media. A variety of media types, nutrient supplementation and environmental conditions were examined. A motility-based scoring system was used to assess worm viability. Worms maintained in Roswell Park Memorial Institute-1640 had significantly better viability than any other media (P < 0.0001) and all media types supplemented with any of the nutrients examined (P < 0.0001). The use of a platform rocker also significantly improved viability (P = 0.0305). This is the first study to examine the requirements for maintaining Parascaris spp. intestinal stages in vitro and to evaluate their viability based on movement using an objective scoring system.
A wealth of clinical studies have identified objective biomarkers, which separate schizophrenia patients from healthy controls on a group level, but current diagnostic systems solely include clinical symptoms. In this study, we investigate if machine learning algorithms on multimodal data can serve as a framework for clinical translation.
Forty-six antipsychotic-naïve, first-episode schizophrenia patients and 58 controls underwent neurocognitive tests, electrophysiology, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients underwent clinical assessments before and after 6 weeks of antipsychotic monotherapy with amisulpride. Nine configurations of different supervised machine learning algorithms were applied to first estimate the unimodal diagnostic accuracy, and next to estimate the multimodal diagnostic accuracy. Finally, we explored the predictability of symptom remission.
Cognitive data significantly classified patients from controls (accuracies = 60–69%; p values = 0.0001–0.009). Accuracies of electrophysiology, structural MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging did not exceed chance level. Multimodal analyses with cognition plus any combination of one or more of the remaining three modalities did not outperform cognition alone. None of the modalities predicted symptom remission.
In this multivariate and multimodal study in antipsychotic-naïve patients, only cognition significantly discriminated patients from controls, and no modality appeared to predict short-term symptom remission. Overall, these findings add to the increasing call for cognition to be included in the definition of schizophrenia. To bring about the full potential of machine learning algorithms in first-episode, antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients, careful a priori variable selection based on independent data as well as inclusion of other modalities may be required.
The chemical enrichment of the Universe is considerably affected by the contribution of cool evolved stars. We studied the O-rich star R Peg and the C-rich star V Oph, using respectively the VLTI/GRAVITY and VLTI/MIDI instruments. We interpret the data using grids of 1-D and 3-D dynamic model atmospheres.
Significant increases in excess all-cause mortality, particularly in the elderly, were observed during the winter of 2014/15 in England. With influenza A(H3N2) the dominant circulating influenza A subtype, this paper determines the contribution of influenza to this excess controlling for weather. A standardised multivariable Poisson regression model was employed with weekly all-cause deaths the dependent variable for the period 2008–2015. Adjusting for extreme temperature, a total of 26 542 (95% CI 25 301–27 804) deaths in 65+ and 1942 (95% CI 1834–2052) in 15–64-year-olds were associated with influenza from week 40, 2014 to week 20, 2015. This is compatible with the circulation of influenza A(H3N2). It is the largest estimated number of influenza-related deaths in England since prior to 2008/09. The findings highlight the potential health impact of influenza and the important role of the annual influenza vaccination programme that is required to protect the population including the elderly, who are vulnerable to a severe outcome.
Fluid–structure interactions are ubiquitous in nature and technology. However, the systems are often so complex that numerical simulations or ad hoc assumptions must be used to gain insight into the details of the complex interactions between the fluid and solid mechanics. In this paper, we present experiments and theory on viscous flow in a simple bioinspired soft valve which illustrate essential features of interactions between hydrodynamic and elastic forces at low Reynolds numbers. The set-up comprises a sphere connected to a spring located inside a tapering cylindrical channel. The spring is aligned with the central axis of the channel and a pressure drop is applied across the sphere, thus forcing the liquid through the narrow gap between the sphere and the channel walls. The sphere’s equilibrium position is determined by a balance between spring and hydrodynamic forces. Since the gap thickness changes with the sphere’s position, the system has a pressure-dependent hydraulic resistance. This leads to a nonlinear relation between applied pressure and flow rate: flow initially increases with pressure, but decreases when the pressure exceeds a certain critical value as the gap closes. To rationalize these observations, we propose a mathematical model that reduced the complexity of the flow to a two-dimensional lubrication approximation. A closed-form expression for the pressure drop/flow rate is obtained which reveals that the flow rate
depends on the pressure drop
, sphere radius
, gap thickness
, and viscosity
, where the critical pressure
scales with the spring constant
. These predictions compared favourably to the results of our experiments with no free parameters.
The surveillance of Clostridium difficile (CD) in Denmark consists of laboratory based data from Departments of Clinical Microbiology (DCMs) sent to the National Registry of Enteric Pathogens (NREP). We validated a new surveillance system for CD based on the Danish Microbiology Database (MiBa). MiBa automatically collects microbiological test results from all Danish DCMs. We built an algorithm to identify positive test results for CD recorded in MiBa. A CD case was defined as a person with a positive culture for CD or PCR detection of toxin A and/or B and/or binary toxin. We compared CD cases identified through the MiBa-based surveillance with those reported to NREP and locally in five DCMs representing different Danish regions. During 2010–2014, NREP reported 13 896 CD cases, and the MiBa-based surveillance 21 252 CD cases. There was a 99·9% concordance between the local datasets and the MiBa-based surveillance. Surveillance based on MiBa was superior to the current surveillance system, and the findings show that the number of CD cases in Denmark hitherto has been under-reported. There were only minor differences between local data and the MiBa-based surveillance, showing the completeness and validity of CD data in MiBa. This nationwide electronic system can greatly strengthen surveillance and research in various applications.
Adverse psychosocial working environments characterized by job strain (the combination of high demands and low control at work) are associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms among employees, but evidence on clinically diagnosed depression is scarce. We examined job strain as a risk factor for clinical depression.
We identified published cohort studies from a systematic literature search in PubMed and PsycNET and obtained 14 cohort studies with unpublished individual-level data from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium. Summary estimates of the association were obtained using random-effects models. Individual-level data analyses were based on a pre-published study protocol.
We included six published studies with a total of 27 461 individuals and 914 incident cases of clinical depression. From unpublished datasets we included 120 221 individuals and 982 first episodes of hospital-treated clinical depression. Job strain was associated with an increased risk of clinical depression in both published [relative risk (RR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.47–2.13] and unpublished datasets (RR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.04–1.55). Further individual participant analyses showed a similar association across sociodemographic subgroups and after excluding individuals with baseline somatic disease. The association was unchanged when excluding individuals with baseline depressive symptoms (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 0.94–1.65), but attenuated on adjustment for a continuous depressive symptoms score (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.81–1.32).
Job strain may precipitate clinical depression among employees. Future intervention studies should test whether job strain is a modifiable risk factor for depression.
Dietary long-chain n-3 PUFA (n-3 LCPUFA) in infancy may have long-term effects on lifestyle disease risk. The present follow-up study investigated whether maternal fish oil (FO) supplementation during lactation affected growth and blood pressure in adolescents and whether the effects differed between boys and girls. Mother–infant pairs (n 103) completed a randomised controlled trial with FO (1·5 g/d n-3 LCPUFA) or olive oil (OO) supplements during the first 4 months of lactation; forty-seven mother–infant pairs with high fish intake were followed-up for 4 months as the reference group. We also followed-up 100 children with assessment of growth, blood pressure, diet by FFQ and physical activity by 7-d accelerometry at 13·5 (sd 0·4) years of age. Dried whole-blood fatty acid composition was analysed in a subgroup (n 49). At 13 years of age, whole-blood n-3 LCPUFA, diet, physical activity and body composition did not differ between the three groups. The children from the FO group were 3·4 (95 % CI 0·2, 6·6) cm shorter (P=0·035) than those from the OO group, and tended to have less advanced puberty (P=0·068), which explained the difference in height. There was a sex-specific effect on diastolic blood pressure (Psex×group=0·020), which was driven by a 3·9 (95 % CI 0·2, 7·5) mmHg higher diastolic blood pressure in the FO compared with the OO group among boys only (P=0·041). Our results indicate that early n-3 LCPUFA intake may reduce height in early adolescence due to a delay in pubertal maturation and increase blood pressure specifically in boys, thereby tending to counteract existing sex differences.
Psychosocial therapy after deliberate self-harm might be associated with reduced risk of specific causes of death.
In this matched cohort study, we included patients, who after an episode of deliberate self-harm received psychosocial therapy at a Suicide Prevention Clinic in Denmark between 1992 and 2010. We used propensity score matching in a 1:3 ratio to select a comparison group from 59 046 individuals who received standard care. National Danish registers supplied data on specific causes of death over a 20-year follow-up period.
At the end of follow-up, 391 (6.9%) of 5678 patients in the psychosocial therapy group had died, compared with 1736 (10.2%) of 17 034 patients in the matched comparison group. Lower odds ratios of dying by mental or behavioural disorders [0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.37–0.79], alcohol-related causes (0.63, 95% CI 0.50–0.80) and other diseases and medical conditions (0.61, 95% CI 0.49–0.77) were noted in the psychosocial therapy group. Also, we found a reduced risk of dying by suicide as well as other external causes, however, not by neoplasms and circulatory system diseases. Numbers needed to treat were 212.9 (95% CI 139.5–448.4) for mental or behavioural disorders as a cause of death, 111.1 (95% CI 79.2–210.5) for alcohol-related causes and 96.8 (95% CI 69.1–161.8) for other diseases and medical conditions.
Our findings indicate that psychosocial therapy after deliberate self-harm might reduce long-term risk of death from select medical conditions and external causes. These promising results should be tested in a randomized design.
Mutants of Bacillus subtilis can be developed to overproduce Val in vitro. It was hypothesized that addition of Bacillus subtilis mutants to pig diets can be a strategy to supply the animal with Val. The objective was to investigate the effect of Bacillus subtilis mutants on growth performance and blood amino acid (AA) concentrations when fed to piglets. Experiment 1 included 18 pigs (15.0±1.1 kg) fed one of three diets containing either 0.63 or 0.69 standardized ileal digestible (SID) Val : Lys, or 0.63 SID Val : Lys supplemented with a Bacillus subtilis mutant (mutant 1). Blood samples were obtained 0.5 h before feeding and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h after feeding and analyzed for AAs. In Experiment 2, 80 piglets (9.1±1.1 kg) were fed one of four diets containing 0.63 or 0.67 SID Val : Lys, or 0.63 SID Val : Lys supplemented with another Bacillus subtilis mutant (mutant 2) or its parent wild type. Average daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio were measured on days 7, 14 and 21. On day 17, blood samples were taken and analyzed for AAs. On days 24 to 26, six pigs from each dietary treatment were fitted with a permanent jugular vein catheter, and blood samples were taken for AA analysis 0.5 h before feeding and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h after feeding. In experiment 1, Bacillus subtilis mutant 1 tended (P<0.10) to increase the plasma levels of Val at 2 and 3 h post-feeding, but this was not confirmed in Experiment 2. In Experiment 2, Bacillus subtilis mutant 2 and the wild type did not result in a growth performance different from the negative and positive controls. In conclusion, results obtained with the mutant strains of Bacillus subtilis were not better than results obtained with the wild-type strain, and for both strains, the results were not different than the negative control.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Rotavirus (RV) infections affect young children, but can also occur in adults. We sought to identify risk factors for RV infections in adults aged ⩾18 years in Denmark, and to describe illness and genotyping characteristics. From March 2005 to February 2009, we recruited consecutive cases of laboratory-confirmed RV infection and compared them with healthy controls matched by age, gender and municipality of residence. We collected information on illness characteristics and exposures using postal questionnaires. We calculated univariable and multivariable matched odds ratios (mOR) with conditional logistic regression. The study comprised 65 cases and 246 controls. Illness exceeded 10 days in 31% of cases; 22% were hospitalized. Cases were more likely than controls to suffer serious underlying health conditions [mOR 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·7–18], and to report having had close contact with persons with gastrointestinal symptoms (mOR 9·4, 95% CI 3·6–24), in particular young children aged <3 years and adults aged >18 years. Close contact with young children or adults with gastrointestinal symptoms is the main risk factor for RV infection in adults in Denmark. RV vaccination assessments should consider that RV vaccination in children may indirectly reduce the burden of disease in adults.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Prenatal nicotine exposure (PNE) is a risk factor for developing an addiction to nicotine at a later stage in life. Understanding the neurobiological changes in reward related circuitry induced by exposure to nicotine prenatally is vital if we are to combat the heightened addiction liability in these vulnerable individuals. The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT), which is comprised of cholinergic, GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, is importantly involved in reward mediation via demonstrated excitatory projections to dopamine-containing ventral tegmental neurons. PNE could lead to alterations in LDT neurons that would be expected to alter responses to later-life nicotine exposure. To examine this issue, we monitored nicotine-induced responses of LDT neurons in brain slices of PNE and drug naive mice using calcium imaging and whole-cell patch clamping. Nicotine was found to induce rises in calcium in a smaller proportion of LDT cells in PNE mice aged 7–15 days and smaller rises in calcium in PNE animals from postnatal ages 11–21 days when compared with age-matched control animals. While inward currents induced by nicotine were not found to be different, nicotine did induce larger amplitude excitatory postsynaptic currents in PNE animals in the oldest age group when compared with amplitudes induced in similar-aged control animals. Immunohistochemically identified cholinergic LDT cells from PNE animals exhibited slower spike rise and decay slopes, which likely contributed to the wider action potential observed. Further, PNE was associated with a more negative action potential afterhyperpolarization in cholinergic cells. Interestingly, the changes found in these parameters in animals exposed prenatally to nicotine were age related, in that they were not apparent in animals from the oldest age group examined. Taken together, our data suggest that PNE induces changes in cholinergic LDT cells that would be expected to alter cellular excitability. As the changes are age related, these PNE-associated alterations could contribute differentially across ontogeny to nicotine-mediated reward and may contribute to the particular susceptibility of in utero nicotine exposed individuals to addict to nicotine upon nicotine exposure in the juvenile period.