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The Apolipoprotein (APOE) ε4 allele increases the risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, but not all carriers develop MCI/dementia. The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine if early and subtle preclinical signs of cognitive dysfunction and medial temporal lobe atrophy are observed in cognitively intact ε4 carriers who subsequently develop MCI.
Twenty-nine healthy, cognitively intact ε4 carriers (ε3/ε4 heterozygotes; ages 65–85) underwent neuropsychological testing and MRI-based measurements of medial temporal volumes over a 5-year follow-up interval; data were converted to z-scores based on a non-carrier group consisting of 17 ε3/ε3 homozygotes.
At follow-up, 11 ε4 carriers (38%) converted to a diagnosis of MCI. At study entry, the MCI converters had significantly lower scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) Trials 1–5, and RAVLT Immediate Recall compared to non-converters. MCI converters also had smaller MRI volumes in the left subiculum than non-converters. Follow-up logistic regressions revealed that left subiculum volumes and RAVLT Trials 1–5 scores were significant predictors of MCI conversion.
Results from this exploratory study suggest that ε4 carriers who convert to MCI exhibit subtle cognitive and volumetric differences years prior to diagnosis.
Despite knowing for many decades that depressive psychopathology is common in first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders (FES), there is limited knowledge regarding the extent and nature of such psychopathology (degree of comorbidity, caseness, severity) and its demographic, clinical, functional and treatment correlates. This study aimed to determine the pooled prevalence of depressive disorder and caseness, and the pooled mean severity of depressive symptoms, as well as the demographic, illness, functional and treatment correlates of depressive psychopathology in FES.
This systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression was prospectively registered (CRD42018084856) and conducted in accordance with PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines.
Forty studies comprising 4041 participants were included. The pooled prevalence of depressive disorder and caseness was 26.0% (seven samples, N = 855, 95% CI 22.1–30.3) and 43.9% (11 samples, N = 1312, 95% CI 30.3–58.4), respectively. The pooled mean percentage of maximum depressive symptom severity was 25.1 (38 samples, N = 3180, 95% CI 21.49–28.68). Correlates of depressive psychopathology were also found.
At least one-quarter of individuals with FES will experience, and therefore require treatment for, a full-threshold depressive disorder. Nearly half will experience levels of depressive symptoms that are severe enough to warrant diagnostic investigation and therefore clinical intervention – regardless of whether they actually fulfil diagnostic criteria for a depressive disorder. Depressive psychopathology is prominent in FES, manifesting not only as superimposed comorbidity, but also as an inextricable symptom domain.
This essay assesses the challenge of digital culture to the representation and reproduction of Chaucer’s work, arguing that scholarly projects associated with the emergence of ‘digital humanities’ have in the main replicated the humanist goals of traditional literary scholarship. With the rapidly changing nature of digital textualities, the essay concludes by suggesting that a proper reckoning between Chaucer’s works and digital culture has yet to take place.
To detail the activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative and evaluate outcomes of the program.
The VHA is a large integrated healthcare system serving approximately 6 million individuals annually at more than 140 medical facilities.
Utilization of nationally developed resources, proportional distribution of antibiotics, changes in stewardship practices and patient safety measures were reported. In addition, inpatient antimicrobial use was evaluated before and after implementation of national stewardship activities.
Nationally developed stewardship resources were well utilized, and many stewardship practices significantly increased, including development of written stewardship policies at 92% of facilities by 2015 (P<.05). While the proportional distribution of antibiotics did not change, inpatient antibiotic use significantly decreased after VHA Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative activities began (P<.0001). A 12% decrease in antibiotic use was noted overall. The VHA has also noted significantly declining use of antimicrobials prescribed for resistant Gram-negative organisms, including carbapenems, as well as declining hospital readmission and mortality rates. Concurrently, the VHA reported decreasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection.
The VHA National Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative includes continuing education, disease-specific guidelines, and development of example policies in addition to other highly utilized resources. While no specific ideal level of antimicrobial utilization has been established, the VHA has shown that improving antimicrobial usage in a large healthcare system may be achieved through national guidance and resources with local implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
The macular carotenoids lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ) accumulate at the macula, where they are collectively referred to as macular pigment (MP). Augmentation of this pigment, typically achieved through diet and supplementation, enhances visual function and protects against progression of age-related macular degeneration. However, it is known that eggs are a rich dietary source of L and Z, in a highly bioavailable matrix. In this single-blind placebo-controlled study, L- and MZ-enriched eggs and control non-enriched eggs were fed to human subjects (mean age 41 and 35 years, respectively) over an 8-week period, and outcome measures included MP, visual function and serum concentrations of carotenoids and cholesterol. Serum carotenoid concentrations increased significantly in control and enriched egg groups, but to a significantly greater extent in the enriched egg group (P<0·001 for L, Z and MZ). There was no significant increase in MP in either study group post intervention, and we saw no significant improvement in visual performance in either group. Total cholesterol increased significantly in each group, but it did not exceed the upper limit of the normative range (6·5 mmol/l). Therefore, carotenoid-enriched eggs may represent an effective dietary source of L, Z and MZ, reflected in significantly raised serum concentrations of these carotenoids, and consequentially improved bioavailability for capture by target tissues. However, benefits in terms of MP augmentation and /or improved visual performance were not realised over the 8-week study period, and a study of greater duration will be required to address these questions.
This paper examines how the education of children as literate subjects in schools and community settings is implicated in the politics of securing civil society. Foucault's concept of biopolitics is used to consider how young people are produced as securitised subjects. The emergence of the concept of human security as a technology for measuring human development is problematised using Bacchi's methodology. The analysis uses the Northern Territory intervention to question representations of young people as subjects of danger and as potentially dangerous subjects. This paper argues that the use of literacy by the apparatus of state and non-state governmentalities functions as a technology of risk mitigation and biopolitical government: a way of contingently positioning the freedoms of children as subjects to forms of rule. The paper concludes by suggesting that literacy has been deployed as a techne of an authoritarian form of liberalism in which the power to delimit entangles children in biopolitical strategies and sovereign intervention.
A nationwide initiative was implemented in February 2014 to decrease Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in Veterans Affairs (VA) long-term care facilities. We report a baseline of national CDI data collected during the 2 years before the Initiative.
Personnel at each of 122 reporting sites entered monthly retrospective CDI case data from February 2012 through January 2014 into a national database using case definitions similar to those used in the National Healthcare Safety Network Multidrug-Resistant Organism/CDI module. The data were evaluated using Poisson regression models to examine infection occurrences over time while accounting for admission prevalence and type of diagnostic test.
During the 24-month analysis period, there were 100,800 admissions, 6,976,121 resident days, and 1,558 CDI cases. The pooled CDI admission prevalence rate (including recurrent cases) was 0.38 per 100 admissions, and the pooled nonduplicate/nonrecurrent community-onset rate was 0.17 per 100 admissions. The pooled long-term care facility–onset rate and the clinically confirmed (ie, diarrhea or evidence of pseudomembranous colitis) long-term care facility–onset rate were 1.98 and 1.78 per 10,000 resident days, respectively. Accounting for diagnostic test type, the long-term care facility–onset rate declined significantly (P=.05), but the clinically confirmed long-term care facility–onset rate did not.
VA long-term care facility CDI rates were comparable to those in recent reports from other long-term care facilities. The significant decline in the long-term care facility-onset rate but not in the clinically confirmed long-term care facility–onset rate may have been due to less testing of asymptomatic patients. Efforts to decrease CDI rates in long-term care facilities are necessary as part of a coordinated approach to decrease healthcare-associated infections.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):295–300
Aging is associated with performance reductions in executive function and episodic memory, although there is substantial individual variability in cognition among older adults. One factor that may be positively associated with cognition in aging is physical activity. To date, few studies have objectively assessed physical activity in young and older adults, and examined whether physical activity is differentially associated with cognition in aging. Young (n=29, age 18–31 years) and older adults (n=31, ages 55–82 years) completed standardized neuropsychological testing to assess executive function and episodic memory capacities. An experimental face-name relational memory task was administered to augment assessment of episodic memory. Physical activity (total step count and step rate) was objectively assessed using an accelerometer, and hierarchical regressions were used to evaluate relationships between cognition and physical activity. Older adults performed more poorly on tasks of executive function and episodic memory. Physical activity was positively associated with a composite measure of visual episodic memory and face-name memory accuracy in older adults. Physical activity associations with cognition were independent of sedentary behavior, which was negatively correlated with memory performance. Physical activity was not associated with cognitive performance in younger adults. Physical activity is positively associated with episodic memory performance in aging. The relationship appears to be strongest for face-name relational memory and visual episodic memory, likely attributable to the fact that these tasks make strong demands on the hippocampus. The results suggest that physical activity relates to cognition in older, but not younger adults. (JINS, 2015, 21, 780–790)
In 1969, Robert E. Gregg collected five species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in three Subarctic localities near the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, which he documented in a 1972 publication in The Canadian Entomologist. To determine whether there have been any additions to the local fauna – as might be predicted to occur in response to a warming climate and increased traffic to the Port of Churchill in the intervening 40 years – we re-collected ants from the same localities in 2012. We identified the ants we collected from Gregg’s sampling sites using both traditional morphological preparations and DNA barcoding. In addition, we examined specimens from Gregg’s initial collection that are accessioned at the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, Illinois, United States of America). Using this integrative approach we report seven species present at the same sites Gregg sampled 40 years earlier. We conclude that the apparent increase is likely not due to any arrivals from more southerly distributed ants, but to the increased resolution provided by DNA barcodes to resident species complexes with a complicated history. We provide a brief synopsis of these results and their taxonomic context.
The challenges of treating malignant disease in the elderly population have gained greater prominence over the last 5–10 years. Developed nations all have ageing populations, and cancer in older people is an increasing physical and financial burden on both healthcare systems and populations.
When assessing oncology patients, oncologists have traditionally used the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group or Karnofsky performance status. However, it has been shown that sometimes this does not detect potential problems in older patients, and that a comprehensive geriatric assessment may be a better tool. However good surgeons and oncologists are at adapting their services for older patients, there is little value if they are inappropriately referred or filtered out by either primary or secondary care.
Surgery forms the basis of most curative treatment options. The elderly have more peri-operative risk factors including multiple co-morbidities, poly-pharmacy, malnutrition, frailty, cognitive dysfunction and an increased anaesthetic risk, which can create obstacles.
Treating older patients with systemic cytotoxic therapy often relies on extrapolating evidence from younger patients. In previous decades, the majority of trials had upper age limits of 65 or 70 years. More recent trials normally include patients of all ages, and entry is based on performance status. Radiotherapy may be chosen as a potentially curative option in patients with an operable tumour, who are unfit. However, oncologists should not underestimate the burden that multiple frequent visits to hospital for treatment may have on an elderly patient population.
This article looks at the assessment of elderly oncology patients, referral patterns, surgery, systemic therapies, radiotherapy, supportive therapies and long-term side-effects from treatment.