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Dopaminergic imaging is an established biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies, but its diagnostic accuracy at the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage remains uncertain.
To provide robust prospective evidence of the diagnostic accuracy of dopaminergic imaging at the MCI stage to either support or refute its inclusion as a biomarker for the diagnosis of MCI with Lewy bodies.
We conducted a prospective diagnostic accuracy study of baseline dopaminergic imaging with [123I]N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane single-photon emission computerised tomography (123I-FP-CIT SPECT) in 144 patients with MCI. Images were rated as normal or abnormal by a panel of experts with access to striatal binding ratio results. Follow-up consensus diagnosis based on the presence of core features of Lewy body disease was used as the reference standard.
At latest assessment (mean 2 years) 61 patients had probable MCI with Lewy bodies, 26 possible MCI with Lewy bodies and 57 MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. The sensitivity of baseline FP-CIT visual rating for probable MCI with Lewy bodies was 66% (95% CI 52–77%), specificity 88% (76–95%) and accuracy 76% (68–84%), with positive likelihood ratio 5.3.
It is over five times as likely for an abnormal scan to be found in probable MCI with Lewy bodies than MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. Dopaminergic imaging appears to be useful at the MCI stage in cases where Lewy body disease is suspected clinically.
Health apps are software programs that are designed to prevent, diagnose, monitor, or manage conditions. Inconsistent terminology for apps is used in research literature and bibliographic database subject headings. It can therefore be challenging to retrieve evidence about them in literature searches. Information specialists at the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have developed novel validated search filters to retrieve evidence about apps from MEDLINE and Embase (Ovid).
A selection of medical informatics journals was hand searched to identify a “gold standard” (GS) set of references about apps. The GS set was divided into a development and validation set. The filters’ search terms were derived from and tested against the development set. An external development set containing app references from published NICE products was also used to inform the development of the filters. The filters were then validated using the validation set. Target recall was >90 percent. The filters’ overall recall, specificity, and precision were calculated using all the references identified from the hand search.
Both filters achieved 98.6 percent recall against their validation sets. Overall, the MEDLINE filter had 98.8 percent recall, 71.3 percent specificity, and 22.6 percent precision. The Embase filter had 98.6 percent recall, 74.9 percent specificity, and 24.5 percent precision.
The NICE health apps search filters retrieve evidence about apps from MEDLINE and Embase with high recall. They can be applied to literature searches to retrieve evidence about the interventions by information professionals, researchers, and clinicians.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may gradually worsen to dementia, but often remains stable for extended periods of time. Little is known about the predictors of decline to help explain this variation. We aimed to explore whether this heterogeneous course of MCI may be predicted by the presence of Lewy body (LB) symptoms in a prospectively-recruited longitudinal cohort of MCI with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) and Alzheimer's disease (MCI-AD).
A prospective cohort (n = 76) aged ⩾60 years underwent detailed assessment after recent MCI diagnosis, and were followed up annually with repeated neuropsychological testing and clinical review of cognitive status and LB symptoms. Latent class mixture modelling identified data-driven sub-groups with distinct trajectories of global cognitive function.
Three distinct trajectories were identified in the full cohort: slow/stable progression (46%), intermediate progressive decline (41%) and a small group with a much faster decline (13%). The presence of LB symptomology, and visual hallucinations in particular, predicted decline v. a stable cognitive trajectory. With time zeroed on study end (death, dementia or withdrawal) where available (n = 39), the same subgroups were identified. Adjustment for baseline functioning obscured the presence of any latent classes, suggesting that baseline function is an important parameter in prospective decline.
These results highlight some potential signals for impending decline in MCI; poorer baseline function and the presence of probable LB symptoms – particularly visual hallucinations. Identifying people with a rapid decline is important but our findings are preliminary given the modest cohort size.
In the first part of this paper we study approximations of trajectories of piecewise deterministic processes (PDPs) when the flow is not given explicitly by the thinning method. We also establish a strong error estimate for PDPs as well as a weak error expansion for piecewise deterministic Markov processes (PDMPs). These estimates are the building blocks of the multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) method, which we study in the second part. The coupling required by the MLMC is based on the thinning procedure. In the third part we apply these results to a two-dimensional Morris–Lecar model with stochastic ion channels. In the range of our simulations the MLMC estimator outperforms classical Monte Carlo.
Trend analyses based on dietary records suggest decreases in the intakes of total sugar (TS), added and free sugar since 2005 among children and adolescents in Germany. In terms of age trends, TS intake decreased with increasing age. However, self-reported sugar intake in epidemiological studies is criticised, as it may be prone to bias due to selective underreporting. Furthermore, adolescents are more susceptible to underreporting than children. We thus analysed time and age trends in urinary fructose excretion (FE), sucrose excretion (SE) and the sum of both (FE + SE) as biomarkers for sugar intake among 8·5–16·5-year-old adolescents. Urinary sugar excretion was measured by UPLC-MS/MS in 997 24-h urine samples collected from 239 boys and 253 girls participating in the Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed (DONALD) study cohort between 1990 and 2016. Time and age trends of log-transformed FE, SE and FE + SE were analysed using polynomial mixed-effects regression models. Between 1990 and 2016, FE as well as FE + SE decreased (linear time trend: P = 0·0272 and P < 0·0001, respectively). A minor increase in excretion during adolescence was confined to FE (linear age trend: P = 0·0017). The present 24-h excretion measurements support a previously reported dietary record-based decline in sugar intake since 2005. However, the previously seen dietary record-based decrease in TS from childhood to late adolescence was not confirmed by our biomarker analysis, suggesting a constant sugar intake for the period of adolescence.
Standardization of solver input languages has been a main driver for the growth of several areas within knowledge representation and reasoning, fostering the exploitation in actual applications. In this document, we present the ASP-CORE-2 standard input language for Answer Set Programming, which has been adopted in ASP Competition events since 2013.
A decade ago, archaeologists discovered the site of a Bronze Age battlefield in the Tollense Valley in north-eastern Germany. Dated to the early thirteenth century BC, the remains of over 140 individuals have been documented, along with many associated bronze objects. Here, the authors present a new assemblage of 31 objects from the site, including three bronze cylinders that may be the fastenings of an organic container. The objects are similar to those found in Bronze Age burials of southern Central Europe, and may represent the personal equipment of a warrior from that region who died on the battlefield in Northern Europe.
This chapter addresses a special category of cases in which an asserted patent is, or has been declared to be, essential to the implementation of a collaboratively developed voluntary consensus standard, and the holder of that patent has agreed to license it to implementers of the standard on terms that are fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND).This chapter explores how the existence of such a FRAND commitment may affect a patent holder’s entitlement to monetary damages and injunctive relief. In addition to issues of patent law, remedies law, and contracts law, we consider the effect of competition law on this issue.
Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the leading cause of spinal cord impairment. In a public healthcare system, wait times to see spine specialists and eventually access surgical treatment for CSM can be substantial. The goals of this study were to determine consultation wait times (CWT) and surgical wait times (SWT), and identify predictors of wait time length. Methods: Consecutive patients enrolled in the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network (CSORN) prospective and observational CSM study from March 2015 to July 2017 were included. A data-splitting technique was used to develop and internally validate multivariable models of potential predictors. Results: A CSORN query returned 264 CSM patients for CWT. The median was 46 days. There were 31% mild, 35% moderate, and 33% severe CSM. There was a statistically significant difference in median CWT between moderate and severe groups; 207 patients underwent surgical treatment. Median SWT was 42 days. There was a statistically significant difference in SWT between mild/moderate and severe groups. Short symptom duration, less pain, lower BMI, and lower physical component score of SF-12 were predictive of shorter CWT. Only baseline pain and medication duration were predictive of SWT. Both CWT and SWT were shorter compared to a concurrent cohort of lumbar stenosis patients (p <0.001). Conclusions: Patients with shorter duration (either symptoms or medication) and less neck pain waited less to see a spine specialist in Canada and to undergo surgical treatment. This study highlights some of the obstacles to overcome in expedited care for this patient population.
To Investigate the peripheral inflammatory profile in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from three subgroups – probable Lewy body disease (probable MCI-LB), possible Lewy body disease, and probable Alzheimer’s disease (probable MCI-AD) – as well as associations with clinical features.
Memory clinics and dementia services.
Patients were classified based on clinical symptoms as probable MCI-LB (n = 38), possible MCI-LB (n = 18), and probable MCI-AD (n = 21). Healthy comparison subjects were recruited (n = 20).
Ten cytokines were analyzed from plasma samples: interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. C-reactive protein levels were investigated.
There was a higher level of IL-10, IL-1beta, IL-2, and IL-4 in MCI groups compared to the healthy comparison group (p < 0.0085). In exploratory analyses to understand these findings, the MC-AD group lower IL-1beta (p = 0.04), IL-2 (p = 0.009), and IL-4 (p = 0.012) were associated with increasing duration of memory symptoms, and in the probable MCI-LB group, lower levels of IL-1beta were associated with worsening motor severity (p = 0.002). In the possible MCI-LB, longer duration of memory symptoms was associated with lower levels of IL-1beta (p = 0.003) and IL-4 (p = 0.026).
There is increased peripheral inflammation in patients with MCI compared to healthy comparison subjects regardless of the MCI subtype. These possible associations with clinical features are consistent with other work showing that inflammation is increased in early disease but require replication. Such findings have importance for timing of putative therapeutic strategies aimed at lowering inflammation.
Over 400,000 people live in care home settings in the UK. One way of understanding and improving the quality of care provided is by measuring and understanding the quality of life (QoL) of those living in care homes. This review aimed to identify and examine the psychometric properties including feasibility of use of dementia-specific QoL measures developed or validated for use in care settings.
Instruments were identified using four electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and CINAHL) and lateral search techniques. Searches were conducted in January 2017. Studies which reported on the development and/or validation of dementia specific QoL instruments for use in care settings written in English were eligible for inclusion. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the COSMIN checklist. Feasibility was assessed using a checklist developed specifically for the review.
Six hundred and sixteen articles were identified in the initial search. After de-duplication, screening and further lateral searches were performed, 25 studies reporting on 9 dementia-specific QoL instruments for use in care home settings were included in the review. Limited evidence was available on the psychometric properties of many instruments identified. Higher-quality instruments were not easily accessible or had low feasibility of use.
Few high-quality instruments of QoL validated for use in care home settings are readily or freely available. This review highlights the need to develop a well-validated measure of QoL for use within care homes that is also feasible and accessible.
To advance understanding of the discrete nature of the communication processes and social interactions occurring in nurse practitioner consultations.
Preceding qualitative investigations of nurse practitioner consultations have, when conducting interviews with participants, often exclusively sampled either nurse practitioners or patients. Furthermore, previous qualitative studies of the nature of nurse practitioner consultations have not typically also sampled carers attending with patients for nurse practitioner consultations. Accordingly this study was developed, in part, to address this exclusivity of sampling in qualitative research of nurse practitioner consultations by developing an inclusive sample of patient, carer and nurse practitioner participants of nurse practitioner consultations, so as to conjointly develop an understanding of the multiple perceptions of those participants of communication processes occurring in nurse practitioner consultations.
Qualitative component of a larger mixed methods case study of communication processes and social interactions in nurse practitioner consultations, utilising individual semi-structured interviews with the patient (n = 9), carer (n = 2) and nurse practitioner (n = 3) participants of video-recorded consultations derived from a nurse practitioner-led general practice clinic. Interview transcripts were initially analysed via an emergent thematic analysis, followed up by computer-assisted qualitative data analysis with NVivo 9.
The participants’ perceptions of nurse practitioner consultation communication processes and social interactions were represented through six themes: Consulting style of nurse practitioners; Nurse practitioner – GP comparisons; Lifeworld content or lifeworld style; Nurse practitioner role ambiguity; Creating the impression of time and Expectations for safety netting. The findings identify a need for policy makers to address a perceived ambiguity of the nature of the nurse practitioner role amongst patients and carers. The benefits of nurse practitioners using personable, everyday lifeworld styles of communication for optimising interactions, sharing clinical reasoning and conveying a sense of having time for patients and carers in consultations are also identified.
Research has not yet fully investigated links to consultation duration, patient expectations, satisfaction, and enablement in nurse practitioner consultations. This study was developed to address some of these research gaps in nurse practitioner consultations, particularly with a focus on expectations, satisfaction, and enablement.
To explore the influence of pre-consultation expectations, and consultation time length durations on patient satisfaction and enablement in nurse practitioner consultations in primary health care.
Survey component of a larger convergent parallel mixed methods case study designed to conjointly investigate the communication processes, social interactions, and measured outcomes of nurse practitioner consultations. The survey element of the case study focusses on investigating patients’ pre-consultation expectations and post-consultation patient satisfaction and enablement.
A questionnaire measuring pre-consultation expectations, and post-consultation satisfaction and enablement, completed by a convenience sample of 71 adults consulting with nurse practitioners at a general practice clinic. Initial fieldwork took place in September 2011 to November 2012, with subsequent follow-up fieldwork in October 2016.
Respondents were highly satisfied with their consultations and expressed significantly higher levels of enablement than have been seen in previous studies of enablement with other types of clinicians (P=0.003). A significant, small to moderate, positive correlation of 0.427 (P=0.005) between general satisfaction and enablement was noted. No significant correlation was seen between consultation time lengths and satisfaction or enablement.
Higher levels of patient enablement and satisfaction are not necessarily determined by the time lengths of consultations, and how consultations are conducted may be more important than their time lengths for optimising patient satisfaction and enablement.
To determine the discrete nature of social interactions occurring in nurse practitioner consultations and investigate the relationship between consultation social interaction styles (biomedical and patient-centred) and the outcomes of patient satisfaction, patient enablement, and consultation time lengths.
A case study-based observational interaction analysis of verbal social interactions, arising from 30 primary health care nurse practitioner consultations, linked with questionnaire measures of patient satisfaction and enablement.
A significant majority of observed social interactions used patient-centred communication styles (P=0.005), with neither nurse practitioners nor patients or carers being significantly more verbally dominant. Nurse practitioners guided the sequence of consultation interaction sequences, but patients actively participated through interactions such as asking questions. Usage of either patient-centred or biomedical interaction styles were not significantly associated with increased levels of patient satisfaction or patient enablement. The median consultation time length of 10.1 min (quartiles 8.2, 13.7) was not significantly extended by high levels of patient-centred interactions being used in the observed consultations.
High usage levels of patient-centred interaction styles are not necessarily contingent upon having longer consultation times available, and clinicians can encourage patients to use participatory interactions, whilst still then retaining overall guidance of the phased sequences of consultations, and not concurrently extending consultation time lengths. This study adds to the body of nurse practitioner consultation communication research by providing a more detailed understanding of the nature of social interactions occurring in nurse practitioner consultations, linked to the outcomes of patient satisfaction and enablement.
Help-seeking is important to access appropriate care and improve mental health. However, individuals often delay or avoid seeking help for mental health problems. Interventions to improve help-seeking have been developed, but their effectiveness is unclear. A systematic review and meta-analysis were therefore conducted to examine the effectiveness of mental health related help-seeking interventions. Nine databases in English, German and Chinese were searched for randomised and non-randomised controlled trials. Effect sizes were calculated for attitudes, intentions and behaviours to seek formal, informal and self-help. Ninety-eight studies with 69 208 participants were included. Interventions yielded significant short-term benefits in terms of formal help-seeking, self-help, as well as mental health literacy and personal stigma. There were also positive long-term effects on formal help-seeking behaviours. The most common intervention types were strategies to increase mental health literacy, destigmatisation (both had positive short-term effects on formal help-seeking behaviours) as well as motivational enhancement (with positive long-term effects on formal help-seeking behaviours). Interventions improved formal help-seeking behaviours if delivered to people with or at risk of mental health problems, but not among children, adolescents or the general public. There was no evidence that interventions increased the use of informal help. Few studies were conducted in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of help-seeking interventions in terms of improving attitudes, intentions and behaviours to seek formal help for mental health problems among adults. Future research should develop effective interventions to improve informal help-seeking, for specific target groups and in LMICs settings.