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Sleep quantity and quality are associated with executive function (EF) in experimental studies, and in individuals with sleep disorders. With advancing age, sleep quantity and quality decline, as does the ability to perform EF tasks, suggesting that sleep disruption may contribute to age-related EF declines. This cross-sectional cohort study tested the hypothesis that poorer sleep quality (i.e., the frequency and duration of awakenings) and/or quantity may partly account for age-related EF deficits.
Community-dwelling older adults (N = 184) completed actigraphic sleep monitoring then a range of EF tasks. Two EF factors were extracted using exploratory structural equation modeling. Sleep variables did not mediate the relationship between age and EF factors. Post hoc moderated mediation analyses were conducted to test whether cognitive reserve compensates for sleep-related EF deficits, using years of education as a proxy measure of cognitive reserve.
We found a significant interaction between cognitive reserve and the number and frequency of awakenings, explaining a small (approximately 3%), but significant amount of variance in EF. Specifically, in individuals with fewer than 11 years of education, greater sleep disturbance was associated with poorer EF, but sleep did not impact EF in those with more education. There was no association between age and sleep quantity.
This study highlights the role of cognitive reserve in the sleep–EF relationship, suggesting individuals with greater cognitive reserve may be able to counter the impact of disturbed sleep on EF. Therefore, improving sleep may confer some protection against EF deficits in vulnerable older adults.
The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is a mandatory initiative delivered in England to children in Reception and Year 6. To date, no research has explored the methods used to deliver the NCMP by Local Government Authorities (LGA) across England.
An online survey was administered between February 2018 and May 2018 to explore the delivery of the NCMP across the 152 LGA in England and disseminated using non-probability convenience sampling.
LGA received an anonymous link to the survey.
A total of 92 LGA participated in the survey.
Most LGA who responded provide result feedback (86 %), a proactive follow-up (71 %) and referrals to services (80 %). Additionally, 65 % of the authorities tailor Public Health England specimen result letters to suit their needs, and 84 % provide attachments alongside. Out of 71 % of LGA who provide proactive follow-up, 19 (29 %) provide the proactive follow-up only to upper weight categories and only 4 (6 %) include Healthy Weight category with other categories in proactive follow-up. Regarding the service availability for children, out of 80 % of LGA who indicated that services are available, 32 (43 %) targeted solely upper weight categories, while the other 42 (57 %) offered services across all weight categories. Finally, most LGA (88 %) commission providers to manage various parts of the NCMP.
The results show that LGA in England localise the NCMP. Further guidance regarding standards of best practice would help LGA to find the most suitable localisation out of various options that exist across other LGA.
The criteria for objective memory impairment in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are vaguely defined. Aggregating the number of abnormal memory scores (NAMS) is one way to operationalise memory impairment, which we hypothesised would predict progression to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia.
As part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing, 896 older adults who did not have dementia were administered a psychometric battery including three neuropsychological tests of memory, yielding 10 indices of memory. We calculated the number of memory scores corresponding to z ≤ −1.5 (i.e., NAMS) for each participant. Incident diagnosis of AD dementia was established by consensus of an expert panel after 3 years.
Of the 722 (80.6%) participants who were followed up, 54 (7.5%) developed AD dementia. There was a strong correlation between NAMS and probability of developing AD dementia (r = .91, p = .0003). Each abnormal memory score conferred an additional 9.8% risk of progressing to AD dementia. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for NAMS was 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI) .81–.93, p < .01]. The odds ratio for NAMS was 1.67 (95% CI 1.40–2.01, p < .01) after correcting for age, sex, education, estimated intelligence quotient, subjective memory complaint, Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score and apolipoprotein E ϵ4 status.
Aggregation of abnormal memory scores may be a useful way of operationalising objective memory impairment, predicting incident AD dementia and providing prognostic stratification for individuals with MCI.
Dementia guidelines propose the use of nonpharmacological interventions for sleep disturbances for older people. Based on available reviews, it seems most likely that multicomponent interventions have the strongest potential to be effective in improving sleep. However, a detailed description of multicomponent interventions is missing. This systematic review aims to identify, describe, and summarize multicomponent, nonpharmacological interventions to reduce or avoid sleep disturbances in nursing home residents.
This review followed established methodological frameworks for systematic evidence syntheses. A computerized search was conducted in December 2018, using the databases PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, and Cochrane Library. Two independent reviewers assessed all search results to identify eligible studies and assessed studies’ methodological quality following the Cochrane Risk of Bias methodology for randomized controlled trials and the CASP Appraisal Checklist for controlled trials.
Evaluation studies of any design investigating multicomponent interventions were included, except case studies. Components of included intervention programs were analyzed applying the TIDieR and CReDECI 2 criteria.
A total of 2056 studies were identified through the database search; ten publications about nine interventions met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The identified interventions can be summarized assigned to the categories “daytime activities,” “nighttime activities,” “staff training,” and “light exposure.” The approaches showed similarities and differences in procedures, materials, modes of delivery, intervention provider, and intervention period. None of the studies described any intended interactions between components or considered context characteristics in intervention modeling as well as internal and external facilitators or barriers influencing delivery of intervention. We identified positive or mixed positive effects for sleep-related outcomes for the mentioned categories.
The analysis of included interventions demonstrates somehow promising results, although findings are difficult to interpret as interventions were not well described, and the challenges of developing and evaluating complex interventions were not sufficiently acknowledged.
This study investigated the characteristics of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) and their association with current and future cognitive functions.
A cohort of 209 community-dwelling individuals without dementia aged 47–90 years old was recruited for this 3-year study. Participants underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments annually. Participants were divided into SMCs and non-memory complainers (NMCs) using a single question at baseline and a memory complaints questionnaire following baseline, to evaluate differential patterns of complaints. In addition, comprehensive assessment of memory complaints was undertaken to evaluate whether severity and consistency of complaints differentially predicted cognitive function.
SMC and NMC individuals were significantly different on various features of SMCs. Greater overall severity (but not consistency) of complaints was significantly associated with current and future cognitive functioning.
SMC individuals present distinctive features of memory complaints as compared to NMCs. Further, the severity of complaints was a significant predictor of future cognition. However, SMC did not significantly predict change over time in this sample. These findings warrant further research into the specific features of SMCs that may portend subsequent neuropathological and cognitive changes when screening individuals at increased future risk of dementia.
Thermodynamic data for the arsenates of various metals are necessary to calculate their solubilities and to evaluate their potential as arsenic storage media. If some of the less common arsenate minerals have been shown to be less soluble than the currently used options for arsenic disposal (especially scorodite and arsenical iron oxides), they should be further investigated as promising storage media. Furthermore, the health risk associated with arsenic minerals is a function of their solubility and bioavailability, not merely their presence. For all these purposes, solubilities of such minerals need to be known. In this work, a complete set of thermodynamic data has been determined for mansfieldite, AlAsO4·2H2O; angelellite, Fe4(AsO4)2O3; and kamarizaite, Fe3(AsO4)2(OH)3·3H2O, using a combination of high-temperature oxide-melt calorimetry, relaxation calorimetry, solubility measurements, and estimates where possible and appropriate. Several choices for the reference compounds for As for the high-temperature oxide-melt calorimetry were assessed. Scorodite was selected as the best one. The calculated Gibbs free energy of formation (all data in kJ·mol–1) is –1733.4 ± 3.5 for mansfieldite, –2319.2 ± 7.9 for angelellite and –3056.8 ± 8.5 for kamarizaite. The solubility products for the dissolution reactions are –21.4 ± 0.5 for mansfieldite, –43.4 ± 1.5 for angelellite and –50.8 ± 1.6 for kamarizaite. Available, but limited, chemical data for the natural scorodite–mansfieldite solid-solution series hint at a miscibility gap; hence the non-ideal nature of the series. However, no mixing parameters were derived because more data are needed. The solubility of mansfieldite is several orders of magnitude higher than that of scorodite. The solubility of kamarizaite, on the other hand, is comparable to that of scorodite, and kamarizaite even has a small stability field in a pH-pε diagram. It is predicted to form under mildly acidic conditions in acid drainage systems that are not subject to rapid neutralization and sudden strong supersaturation. The solubility of angelellite is high, and the mineral is obviously restricted to unusual environments, such as fumaroles. Its crystallization may be enhanced via its epitaxial relationship with the much more common hematite. The use of the scorodite–mansfieldite solid solution for arsenic disposal, whether the solid solution is ideal or not, is not practical. The difference in solubility products of the two end-members (scorodite and mansfieldite) is so large that almost any system will drive the precipitation of essentially pure scorodite, leaving the aluminium in the aqueous phase.
Recent evidence suggests that exercise plays a role in cognition and that the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) can be divided into dorsal and ventral subregions based on distinct connectivity patterns.
To examine the effect of physical activity and division of the PCC on brain functional connectivity measures in subjective memory complainers (SMC) carrying the epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE 4) allele.
Participants were 22 SMC carrying the APOE ɛ4 allele (ɛ4+; mean age 72.18 years) and 58 SMC non-carriers (ɛ4–; mean age 72.79 years). Connectivity of four dorsal and ventral seeds was examined. Relationships between PCC connectivity and physical activity measures were explored.
ɛ4+ individuals showed increased connectivity between the dorsal PCC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the ventral PCC and supplementary motor area (SMA). Greater levels of physical activity correlated with the magnitude of ventral PCC–SMA connectivity.
The results provide the first evidence that ɛ4+ individuals at increased risk of cognitive decline show distinct alterations in dorsal and ventral PCC functional connectivity.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism Met allele exacerbates amyloid (Aβ) related decline in episodic memory (EM) and hippocampal volume (HV) over 36–54 months in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the extent to which Aβ+ and BDNF Val66Met is related to circulating markers of BDNF (e.g. serum) is unknown. We aimed to determine the effect of Aβ and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on levels of serum mBDNF, EM, and HV at baseline and over 18-months.
Non-demented older adults (n = 446) underwent Aβ neuroimaging and BDNF Val66Met genotyping. EM and HV were assessed at baseline and 18 months later. Fasted blood samples were obtained from each participant at baseline and at 18-month follow-up. Aβ PET neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ– or Aβ+.
At baseline, Aβ+ adults showed worse EM impairment and lower serum mBDNF levels relative to Aβ- adults. BDNF Val66Met polymorphism did not affect serum mBDNF, EM, or HV at baseline. When considered over 18-months, compared to Aβ– Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Val homozygotes showed significant decline in EM and HV but not serum mBDNF. Similarly, compared to Aβ+ Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Met carriers showed significant decline in EM and HV over 18-months but showed no change in serum mBDNF.
While allelic variation in BDNF Val66Met may influence Aβ+ related neurodegeneration and memory loss over the short term, this is not related to serum mBDNF. Longer follow-up intervals may be required to further determine any relationships between serum mBDNF, EM, and HV in preclinical AD.
Elastic strain is an effective and thus widely used parameter to control and modify the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of crystalline solid-state materials. It has a large impact on device performance and enables adjusting the materials functionality. Here, we promote a micromechanical strain enhancement technology to achieve ultra-high strain in semiconductors. The here presented suspended membranes enable the accurate control of the strain on a wafer-scale by standard top-down fabrication methods making it attractive for both device applications and also, thanks to the simplicity of the method, for fundamental research. This review aims at discussing the process of strain enhancement and its usage as an investigation platform for strain-related physical properties. Furthermore, we present design rules and a detailed analysis of fracture effects limiting the strain enhancement.
Curcumin therapy in animals has produced positive cognitive and behavioural outcomes; results of human trials, however, have been inconsistent. In this study, we report the results of a 12-month, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study that investigated the ability of a curcumin formulation to prevent cognitive decline in a population of community-dwelling older adults. Individuals (n 96) ingested either placebo or 1500 mg/d BiocurcumaxTM for 12 months. A battery of clinical and cognitive measures was administered at baseline and at the 6-month and 12-month follow-up assessments. A significant time×treatment group interaction was observed for the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (repeated-measures analysis; time×treatment; F=3·85, P<0·05). Subsequent analysis revealed that this association was driven by a decline in function of the placebo group at 6 months that was not observed in the curcumin treatment group. No differences were observed between the groups for all other clinical and cognitive measures. Our findings suggest that further longitudinal assessment is required to investigate changes in cognitive outcome measures, ideally in conjunction with biological markers of neurodegeneration.
Blood parasites are considered some of the most significant pathogens for the conservation of penguins, due to the considerable morbidity and mortality they have been shown to produce in captive and wild populations of these birds. Parasites known to occur in the blood of penguins include haemosporidian protozoans (Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus), piroplamid protozoans (Babesia), kinetoplastid protozoans (Trypanosoma), spirochete bacteria (Borrelia) and nematode microfilariae. This review provides a critical and comprehensive assessment of the current knowledge on these parasites, providing an overview of their biology, host and geographic distribution, epidemiology, pathology and implications for public health and conservation.
Our aim was to evaluate the frequency and treatment of psychiatric symptoms in patients at palliative care units (PCUs).
Patients admitted to one of five participating PCUs in Austria were included. The short version of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ–D) was used to evaluate their mental health status. Pain intensity was rated on a numeric rating scale (NRS) from 0 to 10 by patients and physicians. Patients with a previously diagnosed psychiatric disorder were compared to those without or with newly diagnosed psychiatric symptoms, based on PHQ–D results. Pain and psychopharmacological medication were assessed. Opioid doses were converted into oral morphine equivalents (OMEs).
Some 68 patients were included. Previously undetected psychiatric symptoms were identified in 38% (26 of 68), preexisting psychiatric comorbidities were evident in 25% (17), and no psychiatric symptoms were observed in 37% (25). Patients with a preexisting psychiatric comorbidity received antidepressants and benzodiazepines significantly more often than patients without or with previously undetected psychiatric symptoms (p < 0.001). Patient and physician median NRS ratings of pain intensity correlated significantly (p = 0.001). Median NRS rating showed no significant difference between patients with preexisting, previously undetected, or without psychiatric symptoms. OMEs did not differ significantly between preexisting, without, or previously undetected psychiatric symptoms. Patients with undetected and preexisting psychiatric comorbidities had a greater impairment in their activities of daily living than patients without psychiatric symptoms (p = 0.003).
Significance of Results:
Undetected psychiatric comorbidities are common in patients receiving palliative care. Screening for psychiatric symptoms should be integrated into standard palliative care to optimize treatment and reduce the psychosocial burden of the disease.
FFQ are commonly used to examine the association between diet and disease. They are the most practical method for usual dietary data collection as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to administer. In Australia, the Cancer Council of Victoria FFQ (CCVFFQ) version 2 and the online Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation FFQ (CSIROFFQ) are used. The aim of our study was to establish the level of agreement between nutrient intakes captured using the online CSIROFFQ and the paper-based CCVFFQ. The CCVFFQ and the online CSIROFFQ were completed by 136 healthy participants. FFQ responses were analysed to give g per d intake of a range of nutrients. Agreement between twenty-six nutrient intakes common to both FFQ was measured by a variety of methods. Nutrient intake levels that were significantly correlated between the two FFQ were carbohydrates, total fat, Na and MUFA. When assessing ranking of nutrients into quintiles, on average, 56 % of the participants (for all nutrients) were classified into the same or adjacent quintiles in both FFQ, with the highest percentage agreement for sugar. On average, 21 % of participants were grossly misclassified by three or four quintiles, with the highest percentage misclassification for fibre and Fe. Quintile agreement was similar to that reported by other studies, and we concluded that both FFQ are suitable tools for dividing participants’ nutrient intake levels into high- and low-consumption groups. Use of either FFQ was not appropriate for obtaining accurate estimates of absolute nutrient intakes.
Radio-loud AGN play an important rôle in galaxy evolution. We need to understand their properties, and the processes that affect their behaviour in order to model galaxy formation and development. We here present preliminary results of an investigation into the cluster environments of radio galaxies. We have found evidence of a strong correlation between radio luminosity and environment richness for low excitation radio galaxies, and no evidence of evolution of the environment with redshift. Conversely, for high excitation radio galaxies, we found no correlation with environment richness, and tentative evidence of evolution of the cluster environment.
Autobiographical memory (ABM), personal semantic memory (PSM), and autonoetic consciousness are affected in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but their relationship with Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers are unclear.
Forty-five participants (healthy controls (HC) = 31, MCI = 14) completed the Episodic ABM Interview and a battery of memory tests. Thirty-one (HC = 22, MCI = 9) underwent β-amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Fourteen participants (HC = 9, MCI = 5) underwent one imaging modality.
Unlike PSM, ABM differentiated between diagnostic categories but did not relate to AD biomarkers. Personal semantic memory was related to neocortical β-amyloid burden after adjusting for age and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4. Autonoetic consciousness was not associated with AD biomarkers, and was not impaired in MCI.
Autobiographical memory was impaired in MCI participants but was not related to neocortical amyloid burden, suggesting that personal memory systems are impacted by differing disease mechanisms, rather than being uniformly underpinned by β-amyloid. Episodic and semantic ABM impairment represent an important AD prodrome.