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While declarative learning is dependent on the hippocampus, procedural learning and repetition priming can operate independently from the hippocampus, making them potential targets for behavioral interventions that utilize non-declarative memory systems to compensate for the declarative learning deficits associated with hippocampal insult. Few studies have assessed procedural learning and repetition priming in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).
This study offers an overview across declarative, conceptual repetition priming, and procedural learning tasks by providing between-group effect sizes and Bayes Factors (BFs) comparing individuals with aMCI and controls. Seventy-six individuals with aMCI and 83 cognitively unimpaired controls were assessed. We hypothesized to see the largest differences between individuals with aMCI and controls on declarative learning, followed by conceptual repetition priming, with the smallest differences on procedural learning.
Consistent with our hypotheses, we found large differences between groups with supporting BFs on declarative learning. For conceptual repetition priming, we found a small-to-moderate between-group effect size and a non-conclusive BF somewhat in favor of a difference between groups. We found more variable but overall trivial differences on procedural learning tasks, with inconclusive BFs, in line with expectations.
The current results suggest that conceptual repetition priming does not remain intact in individuals with aMCI while procedural learning may remain intact. While additional studies are needed, our results contribute to the evidence-base that suggests that procedural learning may remain spared in aMCI and helps inform behavioral interventions that aim to utilize procedural learning in this population.
In May 2021, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) published a risk assessment on lower carbohydrate diets for adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D)(1). The purpose of the report was to review the evidence on ‘low’-carbohydrate diets compared with the current UK government advice on carbohydrate intake for adults with T2D. However, since there is no agreed and widely utilised definition of a ‘low’-carbohydrate diet, comparisons in the report were between lower and higher carbohydrate diets. SACN’s remit is to assess the risks and benefits of nutrients, dietary patterns, food or food components for health by evaluating scientific evidence and to make dietary recommendations for the UK based on its assessment(2). SACN has a public health focus and only considers evidence in healthy populations unless specifically requested to do otherwise. Since the Committee does not usually make recommendations relating to clinical conditions, a joint working group (WG) was established in 2017 to consider this issue. The WG comprised members of SACN and members nominated by Diabetes UK, the British Dietetic Association, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of General Practitioners. Representatives from NHS England and NHS Health Improvement, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and devolved health departments were also invited to observe the WG. The WG was jointly chaired by SACN and Diabetes UK.
To investigate the relative contributions of cerebral cortex and basal ganglia to movement stopping, we tested the optimum combination Stop Signal Reaction Time (ocSSRT) and median visual reaction time (RT) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) and compared values with data from healthy controls.
Thirty-five PD patients, 22 AD patients, and 29 healthy controls were recruited to this study. RT and ocSSRT were measured using a hand-held battery-operated electronic box through a stop signal paradigm.
The mean ocSSRT was found to be 309 ms, 368 ms, and 265 ms in AD, PD, and healthy controls, respectively, and significantly prolonged in PD compared to healthy controls (p = 0.001). The ocSSRT but not RT could separate AD from PD patients (p = 0.022).
Our data suggest that subcortical networks encompassing dopaminergic pathways in the basal ganglia play a more important role than cortical networks in movement-stopping. Combining ocSSRT with other putative indices or biomarkers of AD (and other dementias) could increase the accuracy of early diagnosis.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Type 2 diabetes results mainly from weight gain in adult life and affects one in twelve people worldwide. In the Diabetes REmission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), the primary care-led Counterweight-Plus weight management program achieved remission of type 2 diabetes (for up to six years) for forty-six percent of patients after one year and thirty-six percent after two years. The objective of this study was to estimate the implementation costs of the program, as well as its two-year within-trial cost effectiveness and lifetime cost effectiveness.
Within-trial cost effectiveness included the Counterweight-Plus costs (including training, practitioner appointments, and low-energy diet), medications, and all routine healthcare contacts, combined with achieved remission rates. Lifetime cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) was estimated according to projected durations of remissions, assuming continued relapse rates as seen in year two of DiRECT and the consequent life expectancy, quality of life and healthcare costs.
The two-year intervention cost was EUR 1,580 per participant, with over eighty percent of the costs incurred in year one. Compared with the control group, medication savings were EUR 259 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 166–352) for anti-diabetes drugs and EUR 29 (95% CI: 12–47) for anti-hypertensive medications. The intervention was modeled with a lifetime horizon to achieve a mean 0.06 (95% CI: 0.04–0.09) gain in QALYs for the DiRECT population and a mean total lifetime cost saving per participant of EUR 1,497 (95% CI: 755–2,331), with the intervention becoming cost-saving within six years.
The intensive weight loss and maintenance program reduced the cost of anti-diabetes drugs through improved metabolic control, achieved diabetes remission in over one-third of participants, and reduced total healthcare contacts and costs over two years. A substantial lifetime healthcare cost saving is anticipated from periods of diabetes remission and delaying complications. Healthcare resources could be shifted cost effectively to establish diabetes remission services, using the existing DiRECT intervention, even if remissions are only maintained for limited durations. However, more research investment is needed to further improve weight-loss maintenance and extend remissions.
Few studies have focussed on the health and immunity of triploid Atlantic salmon and therefore much is still unknown about their response to commercially significant pathogens. This is important if triploid stocks are to be considered for full-scale commercial production. This study aimed to investigate and compare the response of triploid and diploid Atlantic salmon to an experimental challenge with Neoparamoeba perurans, causative agent of amoebic gill disease (AGD). This disease is economically significant for the aquaculture industry. The results indicated that ploidy had no significant effect on gross gill score or gill filaments affected, while infection and time had significant effects. Ploidy, infection and time did not affect complement or anti-protease activities. Ploidy had a significant effect on lysozyme activity at 21 days post-infection (while infection and time did not), although activity was within the ranges previously recorded for salmonids. Stock did not significantly affect any of the parameters measured. Based on the study results, it can be suggested that ploidy does not affect the manifestation or severity of AGD pathology or the serum innate immune response. Additionally, the serum immune response of diploid and triploid Atlantic salmon may not be significantly affected by amoebic gill disease.
The question of the conditions that must prevail before fundamentalist religion can play a significant part in politics has loomed large in recent years with the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East. Protestant fundamentalism has drawn somewhat less attention, except for the case of the new Christian right in America. Nowhere in the contemporary world are the politics of conservative Protestantism more clearly visible than in Northern Ireland. Therefore, in this essay we seek to explain why Protestant fundamentalism has achieved such prominence and success in Ulster in recent years. First, we present a comparative analysis of conservative Protestant politics in the English-speaking world. Second, we offer an historically informed analysis of the rise of Ulster's most successful fundamentalist politician, the Reverend Ian Paisley.
It is estimated that of 50000 persons in Scotland (1% of the county's population), infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), around 90% injected drugs. This paper reviews data on the prevalence and incidence of HCV, and the methods used to generate such information, among injecting drug users (IDUs), in Scotland. The prevalence estimate for HCV among IDUs in Scotland as a whole (44% in 2000), is comparable with those observed in many European countries. Incidence rates ranged from 11·9 to 28·4/100 person-years. The data have shaped policy to prevent infection among IDUs and have informed predictions of the number of HCV-infected IDUs who will likely progress to, and require treatment and care for, severe HCV-related liver disease. Although harm reduction interventions, in particular needle and syringe exchanges and methadone maintenance therapy, reduced the transmission of HCV among IDUs during the early to mid-1990s, incidence in many parts of the country remains high. The prevention of HCV among IDUs continues to be one of Scotland's major public health challenges.
The global population of the Critically Endangered Raso Lark Alauda razae was estimated in January 2003 at 93–103 birds and in November 2003 at 76–87 birds. Of these, only 25–35% were females. Counts were based on observations of individually colour-ringed and measured birds. Birds were not breeding during the January visit, and were concentrated in two small areas at opposite ends of the island of Raso. This distribution differed substantially from that recorded previously during the breeding season. Three different feeding strategies were apparent: flocking, aggregating around key resources and feeding singly or in pairs. Birds moving to new feeding areas immediately adopted the feeding strategy of other birds present. Birds were seen drinking seawater on several occasions. In November 2003, birds were breeding but nest survival was extremely low due to high rates of egg predation. No evidence was detected of introduced predators on Raso. However, a population of feral cats was found on nearby Santa Luzia, prohibiting natural colonization or deliberate introduction of Raso Lark to the island, despite much apparently suitable habitat there. Faecal analyses showed that these cats feed largely on skinks. Increased tourism development on neighbouring islands is identified as a potential threat to the species.
Between April and September 2000, 60 injecting drug users in Scotland died or were hospitalized with severe illness. Laboratory investigations suggested that Clostridium novyi and other bacteria were important aetiological agents. To determine associated environmental/behavioural factors a case-control study was undertaken with 19 ‘definite’ and 32 ‘probable’ cases in Glasgow, Scotland. For every deceased case (n=19), up to three proxy individuals were interviewed. Three controls were identified for each case. Multivariate logistic regression analyses compared (i) all cases and controls; (ii) definite cases and matched controls; (iii) probable cases and matched controls. In all three analyses injecting into muscle or skin and injecting most of the time with a filter used by someone else were the variables most strongly associated with illness. Comparing only muscle-injecting cases and controls, cases were significantly more likely to have injected larger amounts of heroin per average injection than were controls. The findings make an important epidemiological contribution to the understanding of the public health and clinical implications of the contamination of illicit drugs by histotoxic clostridia.
In October 2001, the world population of Raso Lark Alauda razae, confined to the uninhabited, arid islet of Raso in the Cape Verde Islands, was estimated at between 128 and 138 birds, of which 61–66% were males. The biased sex ratio was confirmed by standardized observations of randomly selected birds. The male-dominated sex ratio may result from differences in bill morphology and feeding methods. The males spent much time digging for the bulbs of the nutsedge Cyperus bulbosus, whereas females were seen to dig far less frequently. These differences may have been due to significant sexual differences in bill size. Both sexes also took a range of invertebrate prey, particularly lepidopteran larvae. Unpaired males showed differences in behaviour to paired males, particularly with respect to song flight length. Measurement of museum skins suggested significant seasonal changes in bill size, possibly related to changes in diet or feeding methods. Bill sizes in both sexes were highly variable, but significantly more variable in males. Nest predation, almost certainly by a near-endemic gecko, was extremely high, Mayfield estimates suggesting a nest survival rate of less than 5% between the onset of laying and the end of incubation. Cats and dogs were thought to be absent, although analysis of droppings shows that both have been present in the recent past. Analysis of historical data shows a strong correlation between population size and rainfall, and numbers of birds have fallen to extremely low levels during droughts. The conservation of the species is discussed in the light of these findings.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) among injecting drug users (IDUs) is one of the European Union's (EU) major public health problems. This review examines the current state of knowledge regarding HCV among IDUs in EU countries. Studies published between January 1990 and December 2000, were identified through a computerized search (MEDLINE and EMBASE). Ninety-eight studies have reported prevalence for HCV among groups of IDUs in all EU countries except Luxembourg. The prevalence of anti-HCV ranged from 30 to 98%. Incidence rates ranged from 6·2 to 39·3 per 100 person years. This review provides a comprehensive examination of HCV infection among IDUs in the countries of the EU, and quite clearly demonstrates that the quality and epidemiological relevance of the studies published varies widely. Thus, the reported data may not reflect accurately the current or recent past prevalence of HCV among IDUs in the EU. A strategic approach to the surveillance of HCV among IDUs in the EU, utilizing robust and consistent methods, is required urgently.
We have deposited cubic BN films on silicon (100) using a novel ion-assisted RF-sputtering process. Our efforts over the past several years have enabled us to significantly reduce the ionenergy needed to form the cubic phase, with values now substantially less than 100 eV. Through a better understanding of the growth process we have been able to make improvements in film crystallinity and orientation, with an associated reduction of the high film stress which has severely limited film thickness in the past. The combination of low-energy nitrogen ions and high temperature growth has enabled us to deposit cubic BN films as thick as 1.9 μm. A nucleation study, performed using scanning force microscopy, shows that the cubic BN is nucleating as triangular crystallites, indicative of (111) growth. More specifically, the cubic BN appears to be nucleating on the edges of perpendicularly oriented hexagonal planes such that the cubic BN [ 111] is normal to the hexagonal BN  (c-axis). The results suggest a pathway to “compliant” oriented growth on a variety of substrates.
This work describes an elegant way to control suicide integrity and the quality of the silicide/polySi or amorphous (α) Si interface by a multilayered deposition process. Structurally superior polySi/or-Si layer resulting from this process allows one to reduce the stack height of the polySi/α-Si layer without compromising suicide integrity and silicide/Si interfacial qualities.
Impact of layering during polySi/α-Si deposition on the suicided structure were evaluated from XRD, RBS, cross-sectional TEM, sheet resistance, and SIMS analysis.