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Prehospital delays are a major obstacle to timely reperfusion therapy in acute ischemic stroke. Stroke sign recognition, however, remains poor in the community. We present an analysis of repeated surveys to assess the impact of Face, Arm, Speech, Time (FAST) public awareness campaigns on stroke knowledge.
Four cross-sectional surveys were conducted between July 2016 and January 2019 in the province of Quebec, Canada (n = 2,451). Knowledge of FAST stroke signs (face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulties) was assessed with open-ended questions. A bilingual English/French FAST public awareness campaign preceded survey waves 1–3 and two campaigns preceded wave 4. We used multivariable ordinal regression models weighted for age and sex to assess FAST stroke sign knowledge.
We observed an overall significant improvement of 26% in FAST stroke sign knowledge between survey waves 1 and 4 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.55; p = 0.035). After the last campaign, however, 30.5% (95% CI: 27.5, 33.6) of people were still unable to name a single FAST sign. Factors associated with worse performance were male sex (OR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.53, 0.86; p = 0.002) and retirement (OR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.83; p = 0.005). People with lower household income and education had a tendency towards worse stroke sign knowledge and were significantly less aware of the FAST campaigns.
Knowledge of FAST stroke signs in the general population improved after multiple public awareness campaigns, although it remained low overall. Future FAST campaigns should especially target men, retired people and individuals with a lower socioeconomic status.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal trajectory of self- and informant-subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), and to determine if SCC predict longitudinal changes in objective measures (OM) of cognitive function. Methods: The study included healthy and cognitively normal late middle-aged adults enriched with a family history of AD who were evaluated at up to three visits over a 4-year period. At each visit (Visit 1–3), self- and informant-SCC and OM were evaluated. Linear mixed models were used to determine if the longitudinal rate of change of self- and informant-SCC were associated with demographic variables, depressive symptoms, family history (FH), and apolipoprotein epsilon 4 (APOE4) status. The same modeling approach was used to examine the effect of Visit 1 SCC on longitudinal cognitive change after controlling for the same variables. Results: At Visit 1, more self-SCC were associated with fewer years of education and more depressive symptoms. SCC were also associated with poorer performance on cognitive measures, such that more self-SCC at Visit 1 were associated with poorer performance on memory and executive functioning measures at Visit 1, while more informant-SCC were associated with faster rate of longitudinal decline on a measure of episodic learning and memory. FH and APOE4 status were not associated with SCC. Discussion: Self- and informant-SCC showed an association with OM, albeit over different time frames in our late middle-aged sample. Additional longitudinal follow-up will likely assist in further clarifying these relationships as our sample ages and more pronounced cognitive changes eventually emerge. (JINS, 2017, 23, 617–626)
Objectives: Intraindividual cognitive variability (IICV) has been shown to differentiate between groups with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. This study examined whether baseline IICV predicted subsequent mild to moderate cognitive impairment in a cognitively normal baseline sample. Methods: Participants with 4 waves of cognitive assessment were drawn from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP; n=684; 53.6(6.6) baseline age; 9.1(1.0) years follow-up; 70% female; 74.6% parental history of Alzheimer’s disease). The primary outcome was Wave 4 cognitive status (“cognitively normal” vs. “impaired”) determined by consensus conference; “impaired” included early MCI (n=109), clinical MCI (n=11), or dementia (n=1). Primary predictors included two IICV variables, each based on the standard deviation of a set of scores: “6 Factor IICV” and “4 Test IICV”. Each IICV variable was tested in a series of logistic regression models to determine whether IICV predicted cognitive status. In exploratory analyses, distribution-based cutoffs incorporating memory, executive function, and IICV patterns were used to create and test an MCI risk variable. Results: Results were similar for the IICV variables: higher IICV was associated with greater risk of subsequent impairment after covariate adjustment. After adjusting for memory and executive functioning scores contributing to IICV, IICV was not significant. The MCI risk variable also predicted risk of impairment. Conclusions: While IICV in middle-age predicts subsequent impairment, it is a weaker risk indicator than the memory and executive function scores contributing to its calculation. Exploratory analyses suggest potential to incorporate IICV patterns into risk assessment in clinical settings. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1016–1025)
Given the importance of identifying dementia prodromes for future treatment efforts, we examined two methods of diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determined whether empirically-derived MCI subtypes of these diagnostic methods were consistent with one another as well as with conventional MCI subtypes (i.e., amnestic, non-amnestic, single-domain, multi-domain). Participants were diagnosed with MCI using either conventional Petersen/Winblad criteria (n = 134; >1.5 SDs below normal on one test within a cognitive domain) or comprehensive neuropsychological criteria developed by Jak et al. (2009) (n = 80; >1 SD below normal on two tests within a domain), and the resulting samples were examined via hierarchical cluster and discriminant function analyses. Results showed that neuropsychological profiles varied depending on the criteria used to define MCI. Both criteria revealed an Amnestic subtype, consistent with prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD), and a Mixed subtype that may capture individuals in advanced stages of MCI. The comprehensive criteria uniquely yielded Dysexecutive and Visuospatial subtypes, whereas the conventional criteria produced a subtype that performed within normal limits, suggesting its susceptibility to false positive diagnostic errors. Whether these empirically-derived MCI subtypes correspond to dissociable neuropathologic substrates and represent reliable prodromes of dementia will require additional follow-up. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–11)
Decline in executive function has been noted in the prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may presage more global cognitive declines. In this prospective longitudinal study, five measures of executive function were used to predict subsequent global cognitive decline in initially nondemented older adults. Of 71 participants, 15 demonstrated significant decline over a 1-year period on the Dementia Rating Scale (Mattis, 1988) and the remaining participants remained stable. In the year before decline, the decline group performed significantly worse than the no-decline group on two measures of executive function: the Color-Word Interference Test (CWIT; inhibition/switching condition) and Verbal Fluency (VF; switching condition). In contrast, decliners and non-decliners performed similarly on measures of spatial fluency (Design Fluency switching condition), spatial planning (Tower Test), and number-letter switching (Trail Making Test switching condition). Furthermore, the CWIT inhibition-switching measure significantly improved the prediction of decline and no-decline group classification beyond that of learning and memory measures. These findings suggest that some executive function measures requiring inhibition and switching provide predictive utility of subsequent global cognitive decline independent of episodic memory and may further facilitate early detection of dementia. (JINS, 2012, 18, 118–127)
Gyps vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent collapsed in the 1990s and continue to decline. Repeated population surveys showed that the rate of decline was so rapid that elevated mortality of adult birds must be a key demographic mechanism. Post mortem examination showed that the majority of dead vultures had visceral gout, due to kidney damage. The realisation that diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug potentially nephrotoxic to birds, had become a widely used veterinary medicine led to the identification of diclofenac poisoning as the cause of the decline. Surveys of diclofenac contamination of domestic ungulate carcasses, combined with vulture population modelling, show that the level of contamination is sufficient for it to be the sole cause of the decline. Testing on vultures of meloxicam, an alternative NSAID for livestock treatment, showed that it did not harm them at concentrations likely to be encountered by wild birds and would be a safe replacement for diclofenac. The manufacture of diclofenac for veterinary use has been banned, but its sale has not. Consequently, it may be some years before diclofenac is removed from the vultures' food supply. In the meantime, captive populations of three vulture species have been established to provide sources of birds for future reintroduction programmes.
Drugs of dependence cause dopamine release in the rat striatum. Human neuroimaging studies have shown an increase in dopamine in the equivalent region in response to stimulants and other drugs
We tested whether opioids provoke dopamine release and its relationship to the subjective experience
In two combined studies 14 heroin addicts on methadone maintenance treatment underwent two positron emission tomography brain scans of the dopamine system using [11C]-raclopride following an injection of placebo and either 50 mg intravenous diamorphine or 10 mg subcutaneous hydromorphone in a double-blind, random order design
Both opioids produced marked subjective and physiological effects, but no measurable change in [11C]-raclopride binding
The absence of a dopamine response to opioid agonists contrasts with that found with stimulant drugs and suggests dopamine may not play the same role in addiction to opioids. This questions the role of dopamine in the subjective experience of heroin in opioid addicts
Although opioid receptor function in humans is clearly reduced during opioid dependence, what happens to the receptor in early abstinence is not understood.
This study sought to examine changes in opioid receptor availability in early abstinence from opioid dependence.
Ten people with opioid dependence who had completed inpatient detoxification and 20 healthy controls underwent [11C]-diprenorphine positron emission tomography. Clinical variables were assessed with structured questionnaires. Opioid receptor binding was characterised as the volume of distribution of [11C]-diprenorphine using a template of predefined brain volumes and an exploratory voxel-by-voxel analysis.
Compared with controls, participants with opioid dependence had increased [11C]-diprenorphine binding in the whole brain and in 15 of the 21 a priori regions studied.
This study suggests that opioid receptor binding is increased throughout the brain in early abstinence from dependent opioid use. These data complement the findings in cocaine and alcohol dependence.
Establishing a clinical diagnosis of infection in residents of long-term–care facilities (LTCFs) is difficult. As a result, deciding when to initiate antibiotics can be particularly challenging. This article describes the establishment of minimum criteria for the initiation of antibiotics in residents of LTCFs. Experts in this area were invited to participate in a consensus conference. Using a modified delphi approach, a questionnaire and selected relevant articles were sent to participants who were asked to rank individual signs and symptoms with respect to their relative importance. Using the results of the weighting by participants, a modification of the nominal group process was used to achieve consensus. Criteria for initiating antibiotics for skin and soft-tissue infections, respiratory infections, urinary infections, and fever where the focus of infection is unknown were developed.
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