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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.
During two cruises in 1998 and 1999, we examined drift and ridging characteristics of sea ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Mean ice thickness in the western Ross Sea in autumn was 0.5 m, while higher level-ice thicknesses, greater areal coverages of ridges and higher sails were found in the central and eastern Ross Sea in summer. Near the continent, ice drifted westward near the coast and turned eastward further north. We use a regional sea-ice−mixed-layer−pycnocline model to initiate backward trajectories at the time and location of field observations and examine the dynamic and thermodynamic processes that determine ice thickness along these trajectories. Model results agree with previously published field data to indicate that thermodynamic and dynamic thickening and snow-ice formation each contribute significantly to the ice mass of the summer ice field in the central and eastern Ross Sea. For first-year ice in the western Ross Sea, model results and field data both indicate that thermodynamic thickening is the dominant process that determines ice thickness, with dynamic thickening also contributing 20% to the net ice-thickening rate. However, model results fail to reproduce the prevalence of snow- ice formation that was seen in field data.
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.
Although beta-amyloid, anxiety and depression have been linked cross-sectionally to reduced memory function in healthy older adults without dementia, prospective data evaluating these associations are lacking. Using data from an observational cohort study of 178 healthy older adults without dementia followed for 3 years, we found that anxiety symptoms significantly moderated the relationship between beta-amyloid level and decline in verbal (Cohen's d = 0.65) and episodic (Cohen's d = 0.38) memory. Anxiety symptoms were additionally linked to greater decline in executive function, irrespective of beta-amyloid and other risk factors. These findings suggest that interventions to mitigate anxiety symptoms may help delay memory decline in otherwise healthy older adults with elevated beta-amyloid.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
To date evidence of the relationship between cognition and Aβ amyloid during the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) has been inconsistent. This study aimed to describe the nature and magnitude of the relationship between Aβ amyloid and cognitive performance of individuals without dementia.
Composite cognitive measures were developed from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle study neuropsychological test battery using data from 768 healthy older adults and 133 adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A subgroup of this sample (174 healthy, 53 MCI) underwent neuroimaging for Aβ amyloid.
Within the MCI group individuals with high Aβ amyloid showed selective impairment for memory compared with those with low Aβ amyloid; however, this difference was not evident in the healthy group.
The current findings provide further evidence of the relationship between Aβ amyloid and cognition, with memory impairment being the primary symptom of the underlying disease during the prodromal phases of AD.