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Birth weight and early growth have been associated with later blood pressure. However, not all studies consistently find a significant reduction in blood pressure with an increase in birth weight. In addition, the relative importance of birth weight and of other lifestyle and environmental factors is often overlooked and the association is rarely studied in adolescents. We investigated early life predictors, including birth weight, of adolescent blood pressure in the Gateshead Millennium Study (GMS). The GMS is a cohort of 1029 individuals born in 1999–2000 in Gateshead in Northern England. Throughout infancy and early childhood, detailed information were collected, including birth weight and measures of height and weight. Assessments of 491 returning participants at age 12 years included measures of body mass and blood pressure. Linear regression and path analysis were used to determine predictors and their relative importance on blood pressure. Birth weight was not directly associated with blood pressure at the age of 12. However, after adjustment for contemporaneous body mass index (BMI), an inverse association of standardized birth weight on systolic blood pressure was significant. The relative importance of birth weight on later systolic blood pressure was smaller than other contemporaneous body measures (height and BMI). There was no independent association of birth weight on blood pressure seen in this adolescent population. Contemporaneous body measures have an important role to play. Lifestyle factors that influence body mass or size, such as diet and physical activity, where interventions are directed at early prevention of hypertension should be targeted.
Research reviews highlight methodological limitations and gaps in the evidence base for the arts in dementia care. In response, we developed a 12-week visual art program and evaluated the impact on people living with dementia through a mixed-methods longitudinal investigation.
One hundred and twenty-five people living with mild to severe dementia were recruited across three research settings in England and Wales (residential care homes, a county hospital, and community venues). Quantitative and qualitative data on quality of life (QoL), communication and perceptions of the program were obtained through interviews and self-reports with participants and their carers. Eight domains of well-being were measured using a standardized observation tool, and data compared to an alternative activity with no art.
Across all sites, scores for the well-being domains of interest, attention, pleasure, self-esteem, negative affect, and sadness were significantly better in the art program than the alternative condition. Proxy-reported QoL significantly improved between baseline and 3-month follow-up, but no improvements in QoL were reported by the participants with dementia. This was contrasted by their qualitative accounts, which described a stimulating experience important for social connectedness, well-being, and inner-strength. Communication deteriorated between baseline and follow-up in the hospital setting, but improved in the residential care setting.
The findings highlight the potential for creative aging within dementia care, the benefits of art activities and the influence of the environment. We encourage dementia care providers and arts and cultural services to work toward embedding art activities within routine care provision.
Helicobacter pylori infection is a major cause of peptic ulcer and is also associated with chronic gastritis, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, and adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Guidelines have been developed in the United States and Europe (areas with low prevalence) for the diagnosis and management of this infection, including the recommendation to ‘test and treat’ those with dyspepsia. A group of international experts performed a targeted literature review and formulated an expert opinion for evidenced-based benefits and harms for screening and treatment of H. pylori in high-prevalence countries. They concluded that in Arctic countries where H. pylori prevalence exceeds 60%, treatment of persons with H. pylori infection should be limited only to instances where there is strong evidence of direct benefit in reduction of morbidity and mortality, associated peptic ulcer disease and MALT lymphoma and that the test-and-treat strategy may not be beneficial for those with dyspepsia.
We performed a study to determine rates of reinfection in three groups followed for 2 years after successful treatment: American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons living in urban (group 1) and rural (group 2) communities, and urban Alaska non-Native persons (group 3). We enrolled adults diagnosed with H. pylori infection based on a positive urea breath test (13C-UBT). After successful treatment was documented at 2 months, we tested each patient by 13C-UBT at 4, 6, 12 and 24 months. At each visit, participants were asked about medication use, illnesses and risk factors for reinfection. We followed 229 persons for 2 years or until they became reinfected. H. pylori reinfection occurred in 36 persons; cumulative reinfection rates were 14·5%, 22·1%, and 12·0% for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Study participants who became reinfected were more likely to have peptic ulcer disease (P = 0·02), low education level (P = 0·04), or have a higher proportion of household members infected with H. pylori compared to participants who did not become reinfected (P = 0·03). Among all three groups, reinfection occurred at rates higher than those reported for other US populations (<5% at 2 years); rural AI/AN individuals appear to be at highest risk for reinfection.
Neutrinos are one of the major puzzles in modern physics. Despite measurements of mass differences, the Standard Model of particle physics describes them as exactly massless. Additionally, recent measurements from both particle physics experiments and cosmology indicate the existence of more than the three Standard Model species. Here, we review the cosmological evidence and its possible interpretations.
A heuristic greedy algorithm is developed for efficiently tiling spatially dense redshift surveys. In its first application to the Galaxy and MassAssembly (GAMA) redshift survey we find it rapidly improves the spatial uniformity of our data, and naturally corrects for any spatial bias introduced by the 2dF multi-object spectrograph. We make conservative predictions for the final state of the GAMA redshift survey after our final allocation of time, and can be confident that even if worse than typical weather affects our observations, all of our main survey requirements will be met.
The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi satellite is the first γ-ray instrument to discover pulsars directly via their γ-ray emission. Roughly one third of the 117 γ-ray pulsars detected by the LAT in its first three years were discovered in blind searches of γ-ray data and most of these are undetectable with current radio telescopes. I review some of the key LAT results and highlight the specific challenges faced in γ-ray (compared to radio) searches, most of which stem from the long, sparse data sets and the broad, energy-dependent point-spread function (PSF) of the LAT. I discuss some ongoing LAT searches for γ-ray millisecond pulsars (MSPs) and γ-ray pulsars around the Galactic Center. Finally, I outline the prospects for future γ-ray pulsar discoveries as the LAT enters its extended mission phase, including advantages of a possible modification of the LAT observing profile.
Stigma and discrimination related to mental-health problems impacts negatively on people's quality of life, help seeking behaviour and recovery trajectories. To date, the experience of discrimination by people with mental-health problems has not been systematically explored in the Republic of Ireland. This study aimed to explore the experience impact of discrimination as a consequence of being identified with a mental-health problem.
Transcripts of semi-structured interviews with 30 people about their experience of discrimination were subject to thematic analysis and presented in summary form.
People volunteered accounts of discrimination which clustered around employment, personal relationships, business and finance, and health care. Common experiences included being discounted or discredited, being mocked or shunned and being inhibited or constrained by oneself and others.
Qualitative research of this type may serve to illustrate the complexity of discrimination and the processes whereby stigma is internalised and may shape behaviour. Such an understanding may assist health practitioners reduce stigma, and identify and remediate the impact of discrimination.
We report the observation of an ultrafast (~ 430 fs) charge transfer process
at the interface between a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) wrapped by a
semi-conducting polymer, poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), creating free
polarons on both materials. The addition of excess P3HT as a surrounding
network allows these free polarons to be long-lived at room temperature. Our
results suggest that SWNT-P3HT blends incorporating only 1% fractions of
SWNTs can achieve a charge separation efficiency comparable to a
conventional 60:40 P3HT-fullerene blend, provided small-diameter tubes are
embedded in an excess P3HT matrix.
Exospheric atomic hydrogen escaping from the planet HD 209458b provides the largest observational signature ever detected for an extrasolar planet atmosphere. We present observations of this transiting planet's extended exosphere with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope. From the two transit light curves obtained at Lyman α, we find an in-transit absorption of (8.0±5.7)%, in good agreement with previous studies. These new constraints on the size of the exosphere strengthens the evaporation scenario. Full details are provided in Ehrenreich et al. (2008).
Living systems exert exquisite control on all aspects of biomineral production and organic components, including proteins, are essential to this biological control. The protein-rich extrapallial (EP) fluid of bivalve molluscs is a strong candidate for the source of such proteins. Differences in calcium carbonate polymorphs between Modiolus modiolus and Mytilus edulis are concurrent with differences in EP fluid protein profiles. In conjunction with this biological control is the environmental influence which is interpreted using proxies such as δ18O to determine the history of ambient seawater temperature. In the horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus, the difference in oxygen isotope fractionation in the nacreous aragonite and the prismatic aragonite layer results in respective δ18O values of 2.1±0.2% and 2.5±0.2%. These δ18O values result in estimates of ambient seawater of 12.1±0.6°C and 10.2±0.6°C for nacreous and prismatic aragonite, respectively. Electron backscatter diffraction is used here to determine the crystallographic orientation at high spatial resolution, allowing the measurements of stable isotopes to be accurately mapped in terms of shell architecture. These preliminary data suggest that it is essential to account for both polymorph and crystal habit when deciphering ambient seawater temperature using δ18O as a proxy.
With their long geological history and stable low-Mg calcite shells, Rhynchonelliform brachiopods are attractive sources of environmental data such as past seawater temperature (Buening and Spero, 1996; Auclair et al., 2003; Brand et al., 2003; Parkinson et al., 2005). Concerns about the influence of vital effects on the stable isotope composition of brachiopod shells (Popp et al., 1986), led to isotope analyses of different parts of brachiopod shells in order to identify those parts of the shell that are influenced by any vital effect and those parts that may be suitable recorders of seawater temperature via stable oxygen isotope composition (Carpenter and Lohmann, 1995; Parkinson et al., 2005). Such detailed studies demonstrated that the outer primary layer of acicularcalcite is isotopically light in both δ18O and δ13C while the secondary layer, composed of calcite fibres, is in oxygen-isotope equilibrium with ambient seawater(Fig. 1) (Parkinson et al., 2005).
Magic-angle-spinning NMR has been used to establish the structural roles of various cations added to the borosilicate glass which is used for the vitrification of high-level nuclear waste (HLW). Representative surrogate oxides with nominal valencies of +1, +2 and +3 have been studied which span the range of oxides from modifier to intermediate and conditional glassformer. NMR has been carried out on those nuclei which are accessible and the species observed have been correlated with the physical and chemical behaviour. The controlling factor is the manner in which the alkali cations partition between the various network groups, changing the distribution of silicon Qn species and the boron N4 ratio. Identifiable superstructural units are also present in these glasses. The aqueous corrosion rate increases with Q3 content, as does the weight loss due to evaporation from the melt. The activation energy for DC conduction scales with N4. Values of N4 obtained for these glasses deviate significantly from those predicted by the currently accepted model (Dell and Bray) and are strongly affected by the modifier or intermediate nature of the surrogate oxide and also by its effect on the distribution of nonbridging oxygens between the silicate and borate polyhedra.
Twenty-three chronic nonfluent aphasia patients with moderate or
severe word-finding impairments and 11 with profound word-finding
impairments received two novel picture-naming treatments. The intention
treatment initiated picture-naming trials with a complex left-hand
movement and was designed to enhance right frontal participation during
word retrieval. The attention treatment required patients to view visual
stimuli for picture-naming trials in their left hemispace and was designed
to enhance right posterior perisylvian participation during word
retrieval. Because the intention treatment addressed action mechanisms and
nonfluent aphasia reflects difficulty initiating or maintaining action
(i.e., language output), it was hypothesized that intention component of
the treatment would enhance re-acquisition of picture naming more than the
attention component. Patients with moderate and severe word-finding
impairment showed gains with both treatments but greater incremental
improvement from one treatment phase to the next with the intention than
the attention treatment. Thus, the hypothesis that intention component
would be a more active constituent than the attention component was
confirmed for these patients. Patients with profound word-finding
impairment showed some improvement with both treatments but no
differential effects for the intention treatment. Almost all patients who
showed treatment gains on either treatment also demonstrated
generalization from trained to untrained items. (JINS, 2007,