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The nutrition environment, including food store type, may influence dietary choices, which in turn can affect risk of obesity and related chronic diseases such as CHD, diabetes and cancer. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the extent to which healthy foods are available and affordable in various rural food outlets. A subset of the nutrition environment was assessed using the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S). The NEMS-S instrument assessed the availability and price of healthy foods (e.g. low-fat/non-fat milk, lean meats and reduced-fat dinner entrées) compared with less healthy counterparts (e.g. whole milk, non-lean meats and regular dinner entrées). The NEMS-S also assessed the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables. Availability, prices and quality of healthy foods were compared between grocery stores (n 24) and convenience stores (n 67) in nine rural counties in Alabama. Mean availability subscale score (possible range 0 to 30; higher score indicates a greater number of healthier foods were available) for grocery stores was 22·6 (sd 8·1), compared with 6·6 (sd 5·2) in convenience stores (P < 0·0001); and mean price subscale score (possible range −9 to 18; higher score indicates that healthier options were less expensive than the less healthy options) for grocery stores was 2·4 (sd 2·7), compared with 0·7 (sd 1·2) in convenience stores (P = 0·0080). Mean total NEMS-S score (possible range −9 to 54) in grocery stores was 29·8 (sd 10·9) compared with 7·3 (sd 7·1) in convenience stores (P < 0·0001). Both grocery and convenience stores could be strategic points of intervention to improve the nutrition environment in the counties that were surveyed.
Commentary on the introduction of the Australian Curriculum (AC) has reflected a tension for educators of students with disabilities (SWD) between in-principle support for a curriculum that is inclusive of all students and the challenge of translating a general framework into relevant, individualised learning experiences appropriate for all SWD. In this paper, we report on findings from the second part of a national online survey in which we explored the perceptions and practices of 151 educators of SWD in specialist settings (special schools, disability units co-located at mainstream schools, special classes within mainstream schools) in relation to the AC. Specifically, these findings relate to the professional learning (PL) experiences and perceived needs of educators of SWD related to the AC and their advice to policymakers about the AC for SWD. Consistent with previous research, participants expressed a preference for PL experiences delivered on site, facilitated by content experts over extended periods, with opportunities for demonstration and targeted feedback, and in the context of collegial learning communities. In addition, participants raised concerns about the extent to which the AC is fully inclusive of all SWD. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.
Despite aspirations to be a world-class national curriculum, the Australian Curriculum (AC) has been criticised as ‘manifestly deficient’ (Australian Government Department of Education and Training, 2014 p. 5) as an inclusive curriculum, failing to meet the needs of all students with disabilities (SWD) and their teachers. There is a need for research into the daily attempts of educators to navigate the tension between a ‘top-down’ system-wide curriculum and a ‘bottom-up’ regard for individual student needs, with a view to informing both policy and practice. This article is the first of two research papers in which we report the findings from a national online Research in Special Education (RISE) Australian Curriculum Survey of special educators in special schools, classes, and units regarding their experience using the AC to plan for and teach SWD. Survey results indicated (a) inconsistent use of the AC as the primary basis for developing learning objectives and designing learning experiences, (b) infrequent use of the achievement standards to support assessment and reporting, and (c) considerable supplementation of the AC from other resources when educating SWD. Overall, participants expressed a lack of confidence in translating the AC framework into a meaningful curriculum for SWD. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.
Lameness is a significant problem leading to reduced dairy cow productivity and welfare. Housing and management factors are known to influence lameness levels in dairy cows (Haskell et al., 2006). Furthermore, lameness management strategies are also key factors affecting the incidence of lameness (e.g. early detection of lameness (Whay, 2002) and claw trimming (Manske et al., 2002)). It is likely that knowledge factors influence lameness management strategies (Mill and Ward, 1994). The current study aimed to gain a better understanding of the relationship between lameness knowledge levels and the incidence of lameness on-farm. This is part of a wider survey aimed at understanding how knowledge, attitude, perception, and management factors affect lameness levels on dairy farms.
Objectives: White matter (WM) integrity within the mesial temporal lobe (MTL) is important for episodic memory (EM) functioning. The current study investigated the ability of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in MTL WM tracts to predict 3-year changes in EM performance in healthy elders at disproportionately higher genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods: Fifty-one cognitively intact elders (52% with family history (FH) of dementia and 33% possessing an Apolipoprotein E ε4 allelle) were administered the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) at study entry and at 3-year follow-up. DTI scanning, conducted at study entry, examined fractional anisotropy and mean, radial and axial diffusion within three MTL WM tracts: uncinate fasciculus (UNC), cingulate-hippocampal (CHG), and fornix-stria terminalis (FxS). Correlations were performed between residualized change scores computed from RAVLT trials 1–5, immediate recall, and delayed recall scores and baseline DTI measures; MTL gray matter (GM) and WM volumes; demographics; and AD genetic and metabolic risk factors. Results: Higher MTL mean and axial diffusivity at baseline significantly predicted 3-year changes in EM, whereas baseline MTL GM and WM volumes, FH, and metabolic risk factors did not. Both ε4 status and DTI correlated with change in immediate recall. Conclusions: Longitudinal EM changes in cognitively intact, healthy elders can be predicted by disruption of the MTL WM microstructure. These results are derived from a sample with a disproportionately higher genetic risk for AD, suggesting that the observed WM disruption in MTL pathways may be related to early neuropathological changes associated with the preclinical stage of AD. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1005–1015)
The aim of this study was to examine cross-sectionally whether higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) might favorably modify amyloid-β (Aβ)-related decrements in cognition in a cohort of late-middle-aged adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty-nine enrollees in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention participated in this study. They completed a comprehensive neuropsychological exam, underwent 11C Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB)-PET imaging, and performed a graded treadmill exercise test to volitional exhaustion. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) during the exercise test was used as the index of CRF. Forty-five participants also underwent lumbar puncture for collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples, from which Aβ42 was immunoassayed. Covariate-adjusted regression analyses were used to test whether the association between Aβ and cognition was modified by CRF. There were significant VO2peak*PiB-PET interactions for Immediate Memory (p=.041) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p=.025). There were also significant VO2peak*CSF Aβ42 interactions for Immediate Memory (p<.001) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p<.001). Specifically, in the context of high Aβ burden, that is, increased PiB-PET binding or reduced CSF Aβ42, individuals with higher CRF exhibited significantly better cognition compared with individuals with lower CRF. In a late-middle-aged, at-risk cohort, higher CRF is associated with a diminution of Aβ-related effects on cognition. These findings suggest that exercise might play an important role in the prevention of AD. (JINS, 2015, 21, 841–850)
Aging is associated with performance reductions in executive function and episodic memory, although there is substantial individual variability in cognition among older adults. One factor that may be positively associated with cognition in aging is physical activity. To date, few studies have objectively assessed physical activity in young and older adults, and examined whether physical activity is differentially associated with cognition in aging. Young (n=29, age 18–31 years) and older adults (n=31, ages 55–82 years) completed standardized neuropsychological testing to assess executive function and episodic memory capacities. An experimental face-name relational memory task was administered to augment assessment of episodic memory. Physical activity (total step count and step rate) was objectively assessed using an accelerometer, and hierarchical regressions were used to evaluate relationships between cognition and physical activity. Older adults performed more poorly on tasks of executive function and episodic memory. Physical activity was positively associated with a composite measure of visual episodic memory and face-name memory accuracy in older adults. Physical activity associations with cognition were independent of sedentary behavior, which was negatively correlated with memory performance. Physical activity was not associated with cognitive performance in younger adults. Physical activity is positively associated with episodic memory performance in aging. The relationship appears to be strongest for face-name relational memory and visual episodic memory, likely attributable to the fact that these tasks make strong demands on the hippocampus. The results suggest that physical activity relates to cognition in older, but not younger adults. (JINS, 2015, 21, 780–790)
Our objective in the present study was to conduct the first empirical study of the effects of regular physical activity habits and their relationship with brain volume and cortical thickness in patients in the early phase of schizophrenia. Relationships between larger brain volumes and higher physical activity levels have been reported in samples of healthy and aging populations, but have never been explored in first-episode schizophrenia patients. Method: We collected MRI structural scans in 14 first-episode schizophrenia patients with either self-reported low or high physical activity levels. We found a reduction in total gray matter volume, prefrontal cortex (PFC), and hippocampal gray matter volumes in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. Cortical thickness in the dorsolateral and orbitofrontal PFC were also significantly reduced in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. In the combined sample, greater overall physical activity levels showed a non-significant tendency with better performance on tests of verbal memory and social cognition. Together these pilot study findings suggest that greater amounts of physical activity may have a positive influence on brain health and cognition in first-episode schizophrenia patients and support the implementation of physical exercise interventions in this patient population to improve brain plasticity and cognitive functioning. (JINS, 2015, 21, 868–879)
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
Cognitive impairment in heart failure (HF) is believed to in part stem from structural brain alterations, including shrinkage of subcortical regions. Fortunately, neurocognitive dysfunction in HF can be mitigated by physical activity (PA), though mechanisms for this phenomenon are unclear. PA is protective against age-related cognitive decline that may involve improved structural integrity to brain regions sensitive to aging (e.g., subcortical structures). Yet, no study has examined the benefits of PA on the brain in HF and we sought to do so and clarify related cognitive implications. Fifty older adults with HF completed a neuropsychological battery and wore an accelerometer for 7 days. All participants underwent brain MRI. This study targeted subcortical brain volume given subcortical alterations are often observed in HF and the sensitivity of PA to subcortical structures in other patient populations. Participants averaged 4348.49 (SD=2092.08) steps per day and greater daily steps predicted better attention/executive function, episodic memory, and language abilities, p’s<.05. Medical and demographically adjusted regression analyses revealed higher daily steps per day predicted greater subcortical volume, with specific effects for the thalamus and ventral diencephalon, p’s<.05. Greater subcortical volume was associated with better attention/executive function, p<.05. Higher daily PA was associated with increased subcortical brain volume and better cognition in older adults with HF. Longitudinal work is needed to clarify whether daily PA can attenuate brain atrophy in HF to reduce accelerated cognitive decline in this population. (JINS, 2015, 21, 851–860)
This retrospective, descriptive case-series reviews the clinical presentations and significant laboratory findings of patients diagnosed with and treated for injectional anthrax (IA) since December 2009 at Monklands Hospital in Central Scotland and represents the largest series of IA cases to be described from a single location. Twenty-one patients who fulfilled National Anthrax Control Team standardized case definitions of confirmed, probable or possible IA are reported. All cases survived and none required limb amputation in contrast to an overall mortality of 28% being experienced for this condition in Scotland. We document the spectrum of presentations of soft tissue infection ranging from mild cases which were managed predominantly with oral antibiotics to severe cases with significant oedema, organ failure and coagulopathy. We describe the surgical management, intensive care management and antibiotic management including the first description of daptomycin being used to treat human anthrax. It is noted that some people who had injected heroin infected with Bacillus anthracis did not develop evidence of IA. Also highlighted are biochemical and haematological parameters which proved useful in identifying deteriorating patients who required greater levels of support and surgical debridement.
The emergence of invasive fungal wound infections (IFIs) in combat casualties led to development of a combat trauma-specific IFI case definition and classification. Prospective data were collected from 1133 US military personnel injured in Afghanistan (June 2009–August 2011). The IFI rates ranged from 0·2% to 11·7% among ward and intensive care unit admissions, respectively (6·8% overall). Seventy-seven IFI cases were classified as proven/probable (n = 54) and possible/unclassifiable (n = 23) and compared in a case-case analysis. There was no difference in clinical characteristics between the proven/probable and possible/unclassifiable cases. Possible IFI cases had shorter time to diagnosis (P = 0·02) and initiation of antifungal therapy (P = 0·05) and fewer operative visits (P = 0·002) compared to proven/probable cases, but clinical outcomes were similar between the groups. Although the trauma-related IFI classification scheme did not provide prognostic information, it is an effective tool for clinical and epidemiological surveillance and research.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
Over the past decade, a growing number of deep imaging surveys have started to provide meaningful constraints on the population of extrasolar giant planets at large orbital separation. Primary targets for these surveys have been carefully selected based on their age, distance and spectral type, and often on their membership to young nearby associations where all stars share common kinematics, photometric and spectroscopic properties. The next step is a wider statistical analysis of the frequency and properties of low mass companions as a function of stellar mass and orbital separation. In late 2009, we initiated a coordinated European Large Program using angular differential imaging in the H band (1.66 μm) with NaCo at the VLT. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive and statistically significant study of the occurrence of extrasolar giant planets and brown dwarfs at large (5-500 AU) orbital separation around ~150 young, nearby stars, a large fraction of which have never been observed at very deep contrast. The survey has now been completed and we present the data analysis and detection limits for the observed sample, for which we reach the planetary-mass domain at separations of ≳50 AU on average. We also present the results of the statistical analysis that has been performed over the 75 targets newly observed at high-contrast. We discuss the details of the statistical analysis and the physical constraints that our survey provides for the frequency and formation scenario of planetary mass companions at large separation.
Previous studies suggest that task-activated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can predict future cognitive decline among healthy older adults. The present fMRI study examined the relative sensitivity of semantic memory (SM) versus episodic memory (EM) activation tasks for predicting cognitive decline. Seventy-eight cognitively intact elders underwent neuropsychological testing at entry and after an 18-month interval, with participants classified as cognitively “Stable” or “Declining” based on ≥1.0 SD decline in performance. Baseline fMRI scanning involved SM (famous name discrimination) and EM (name recognition) tasks. SM and EM fMRI activation, along with Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 status, served as predictors of cognitive outcome using a logistic regression analysis. Twenty-seven (34.6%) participants were classified as Declining and 51 (65.4%) as Stable. APOE ε4 status alone significantly predicted cognitive decline (R2 = .106; C index = .642). Addition of SM activation significantly improved prediction accuracy (R2 = .285; C index = .787), whereas the addition of EM did not (R2 = .212; C index = .711). In combination with APOE status, SM task activation predicts future cognitive decline better than EM activation. These results have implications for use of fMRI in prevention clinical trials involving the identification of persons at-risk for age-associated memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–11)