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Early diagnosis and treatment, delay of progression, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are all interrelated and are targets for pharmaceutical and behavioral interventions. Depending on their mechanisms, medications directed at treatment or aimed at slowing the progression of disease may be candidates for disease prevention as well. As we have learned more about AD over the past two decades, experienced clinicians have become increasingly skilled at diagnosing AD earlier in the course of this disease and on the basis of milder symptoms. An isolated symptom of memory loss, termed mild cognitive impairment (MCI), appears to be one of the most common initial presentations of AD. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, neuroimaging, and blood biomarkers hold promise for improving diagnostic certainty even in cases with mild cognitive symptoms. Researchers worldwide are seeking to identify treatments or changes in lifestyle (e.g., diet, exercise, and mental activity) that would decrease the risk of developing AD.
To evaluate associations of demographic and socio-economic factors with diet quality among population subgroups in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H).
A cross-sectional analysis of 2017 B&H dietary survey data. Diet quality was assessed by the Prime Diet Quality Score (PDQS) utilizing data from two non-consecutive 24 h diet recalls. Socio-economic variables were extracted from the 2015 B&H Household Budget Survey. Homogeneity of means across population subgroups was evaluated using multivariable regression.
B&H population survey.
A population-based sample of 853 adults.
The mean PDQS was 15·8 (range 7–28 out of a possible 42 points). In general, Bosnian adults had low PDQS due to high intakes of refined grains, high-fat dairy and processed meats, and low intakes of whole grains, nuts and fish. The PDQS was significantly higher (P < 0·0001) among older individuals (17·0) compared with those in the youngest group (14·5), among individuals living in the central and northern regions (16·5) compared with those living in the south (15·1; P < 0·0001), and among people who are married/cohabitating (16·1) v. single (14·8; P = 0·02). In energy-adjusted models, socio-economic status (P = 0·04) and tertiles of household spending (P = 0·002) were inversely associated with the PDQS.
Diet quality in this population was low. Young and middle-aged individuals, singles and those living in the south had significantly lower quality diets compared with other subgroups. Public health action is needed to promote higher consumption of whole grains, nuts and fish, and a higher variety of fruits and vegetables.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Loneliness and social networks have been extensively studied in relation to cognitive impairments, but how they interact with each other in relation to cognition is still unclear. This study aimed at exploring the interaction of loneliness and various types of social networks in relation to cognition in older adults.
a cross-sectional study.
497 older adults with normal global cognition were interviewed.
Loneliness was assessed with Chinese 6-item De Jong Gierverg’s Loneliness Scale. Confiding network was defined as people who could share inner feelings with, whereas non-confiding network was computed by subtracting the confiding network from the total network size. Cognitive performance was expressed as a global composite z-score of Cantonese version of mini mental state examination (CMMSE), Categorical verbal fluency test (CVFT) and delayed recall. Linear regression was used to test the main effects of loneliness and the size of various networks, and their interaction on cognitive performance with the adjustment of sociodemographic, physical and psychological confounders.
Significant interaction was found between loneliness and non-confiding network on cognitive performance (B = .002, β = .092, t = 2.099, p = .036). Further analysis showed a significant interaction between loneliness and the number of family members in non-confiding network on cognition (B = .021, β = .119, t = 2.775, p = .006).
Results suggested that a non-confiding relationship with family members might put lonely older adults at risk of cognitive impairment. Our study might have implications on designing psychosocial intervention for those who are vulnerable to loneliness as an early prevention of neurocognitive impairments.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
To identify predominant dietary patterns in four African populations and examine their association with obesity.
We used data from the Africa/Harvard School of Public Health Partnership for Cohort Research and Training (PaCT) pilot study established to investigate the feasibility of a multi-country longitudinal study of non-communicable chronic disease in sub-Saharan Africa. We applied principal component analysis to dietary intake data collected from an FFQ developed for PaCT to ascertain dietary patterns in Tanzania, South Africa, and peri-urban and rural Uganda. The sample consisted of 444 women and 294 men.
We identified two dietary patterns: the Mixed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fresh fish, but also cold cuts and refined grains; and the Processed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of salad dressing, cold cuts and sweets. Women in the highest tertile of the Processed Diet pattern score were 3·00 times more likely to be overweight (95 % CI 1·66, 5·45; prevalence=74 %) and 4·24 times more likely to be obese (95 % CI 2·23, 8·05; prevalence=44 %) than women in this pattern’s lowest tertile (both P<0·0001; prevalence=47 and 14 %, respectively). We found similarly strong associations in men. There was no association between the Mixed Diet pattern and overweight or obesity.
We identified two major dietary patterns in several African populations, a Mixed Diet pattern and a Processed Diet pattern. The Processed Diet pattern was associated with obesity.
Introduction: For cancer patients undergoing active treatment, emergency department (ED) visits may be an indicator of a breakdown in continuity and quality of care. Palliative care (PC) may be an important resource for patients in need of symptom management even during treatment with curative intent. This study aims to describe ED utilization by cancer patients and determine if PC consults impact ED use. Methods: Patient data from the Tom Baker Cancer Center (TBCC) was linked to PC and ED data as a retrospective cohort study. ED data was obtained from two administrative databases and PC data was obtained from four administrative databases and restricted to the first four hundred days following diagnosis. Univariate and Multivariate analyses were used. Results: Three actively treated cancer patient cohorts were identified based on first presentation following intake at the TBCC: 1) Used ED first (n=1637), 2) Used PC first (n=539), and 3) Only used services at the TBCC (n=2153). Using Multivariate analysis, patients living alone or who had a diagnosis of prostate or breast cancer were more likely to access the ED first or to only use services at the TBCC rather than access PC first. Patients who were divorced, on income support, or diagnosed with a lung or GI cancer, were more likely to access PC first rather than access the ED or only use services at the TBCC. A subgroup analysis was performed on those who accessed the ED at some point during their care, consisting of three groups: 1) ED Only Users (n=1091), 2) ED First Users, who also accessed PC (n=546), and 3) PC First Users, who also accessed the ED. There was a significant difference in rates of ED visits between the three groups: ED Only Users went to the ED at a rate of 3.8 per 1000 patient days; ED First Users, who also accessed PC, went to the ED at a rate of 7.7 per 1000 patient days; and PC First Users, who also accessed the ED, went to the ED at a rate of 9.2 per 1000 patient days (p< 0.001). Conclusion: In a tertiary cancer centre, patients who were divorced, on income support, or diagnosed with lung or GI cancer were more likely to access PC. Amongst those patients who presented to the ED, those who accessed PC first had higher rates of ED use. Further explorations of presenting complaints, utilization patterns, and symptom burdens will be analyzed to determine if early PC consults can influence or decrease ED utilization.
The glycaemic and insulin indices assess postprandial glycaemic and insulin response to foods, respectively, which may not reflect the long-term effects of diet on insulin response. We developed and evaluated the validity of four empirical indices to assess the insulinaemic potential of usual diets and lifestyles, using dietary, lifestyle and biomarker data from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS, n 5812 for hyperinsulinaemia, n 3929 for insulin resistance). The four indices were as follows: the empirical dietary index for hyperinsulinaemia (EDIH) and the empirical lifestyle index for hyperinsulinaemia (ELIH); the empirical dietary index for insulin resistance (EDIR) and the empirical lifestyle index for insulin resistance (ELIR). We entered thirty-nine FFQ-derived food groups in stepwise linear regression models, and defined indices as patterns most predictive of fasting plasma C-peptide, for the hyperinsulinaemia pathway (EDIH and ELIH), and of theTAG:HDL-cholesterol ratio, for the insulin-resistance pathway (EDIR and ELIR). We evaluated the validity of indices in two independent samples from NHS-II and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) using multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses to calculate relative concentrations of biomarkers. The EDIH is comprised of eighteen food groups; thirteen were positively associated with C-peptide and five were inversely associated. The EDIR is comprised of eighteen food groups; ten were positively associated with TAG:HDL-cholesterol and eight were inversely associated. Lifestyle indices had fewer dietary components, and included BMI and physical activity as components. In the validation samples, all indices significantly predicted biomarker concentrations – for example, the relative concentrations of the corresponding biomarkers comparing extreme index quintiles in the HPFS were EDIH, 1·29 (95 % CI 1·22, 1·37); ELIH, 1·78 (95 % CI 1·68, 1·88); EDIR, 1·44 (95 % CI 1·34, 1·55); and ELIR, 2·03 (95 % CI 1·89, 2·19); all Ptrend<0·0001. The robust associations of these novel hypothesis-driven indices with insulin response biomarker concentrations suggest their usefulness in assessing the ability of whole diets and lifestyles to stimulate and/or sustain insulin secretion.
Dietary patterns derived by statistical procedures is a way to identify overall dietary habits in specific populations. The aim of this study was to identify and characterise dietary patterns in Swedish adults using data from the national dietary survey Riksmaten adults 2010–11 (952 women, 788 men). Principal component analyses were used and two patterns were identified in both sexes: a healthy pattern loading positively on vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, and vegetable oils, and negatively on refined bread and fast food, and a Swedish traditional pattern loading positively on potatoes, meat and processed meat, full-fat milk products, sweet bakery products, sweet condiments and margarine. In addition, a light-meal pattern was identified in women with positive loadings on fibre-rich bread, cheese, rice, pasta and food grain dishes, substitute products for meat and dairy products, candies and tea. The healthy pattern was positively correlated to dietary fibre (r 0·51–0·58) and n-3 (r 0·25–0·31) (all P<0·0001), and had a higher nutrient density of folate, vitamin D and Se. The Swedish traditional and the light-meal pattern were positively correlated to added sugar (r 0·20–0·25) and the Swedish traditional also to SFA (r 0·13–0·21) (all P<0·0001); both patterns were in general negatively correlated to micronutrients. Dietary pattern scores were associated with, for example, age, physical activity, education and income. In conclusion, we identified three major dietary patterns among Swedish adults. The patterns can be further used for examining the association between whole diet and health outcomes.
Intra-individual variability (IIV) and the change of attentional functions have been reported to be susceptible to both healthy ageing and pathological ageing. The current study aimed to evaluate the IIV of attention and the age-related effect on alerting, orienting, and executive control in cognitively healthy older adults.
We evaluated 145 Chinese older adults (age range of 65–80 years, mean age of 72.41 years) with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and the Attention network test (ANT). A two-step strategy of analytical methods was used: Firstly, the IIV of older adults was evaluated by the intraindividual coefficient of variation of reaction time (ICV-RT). The correlation between ICV-RT and age was used to evaluate the necessity of subgrouping. Further, the comparisons of ANT performance among three age groups were performed with processing speed adjusted.
Person's correlation revealed significant positive correlations between age and IIV (r = 0.185, p = 0.032), age and executive control (r = 0.253, p = 0.003). Furthermore, one-way ANOVA comparisons among three age groups revealed a significant age-related disturbance on executive control (F = 4.55, p = 0.01), in which oldest group (group with age >75 years) showed less efficient executive control than young-old (group with age 65–70 years) (Conventional score, p = 0.012; Ratio score, p = 0.020).
Advancing age has an effect on both IIV and executive attention in cognitively healthy older adults, suggesting that the disturbance of executive attention is a sensitive indicator to reflect healthy ageing. Its significance to predict further deterioration should be carefully evaluated with prospective studies.
With the proportion of older adults in Hong Kong projected to double in size in the next 30 years, it is important to develop measures for detecting individuals in the earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD, 0.5 in Clinical Dementia Rating, CDR). We tested the utility of a non-verbal prospective memory task (PM, ability to remember what one has to do when a specific event occurs in the future) as an early marker for AD in Hong Kong Chinese.
A large community dwelling sample of older adults who are healthy controls (CDR 0, N = 125), in the earliest stage of AD (CDR 0.5, N = 125), or with mild AD (CDR 1, N = 30) participated in this study. Their reaction time/accuracy data were analyzed by mixed-factor analyses of variance to compare the performance of the three CDR groups. Logistic regression analyses were performed to test the discriminative power of these measures for CDR 0 versus 0.5 participants.
Prospective memory performance declined as a function of AD severity: CDR 0 > CDR 0.5 > CDR 1, suggesting the effects of early-stage AD and AD progression on PM. After partialling out the variance explained by psychometric measures (e.g., ADAS-Cog), reaction time/accuracy measures that reflected the PM still significantly discriminated between CDR 0 versus 0.5 participants in most of the cases.
The effectiveness of PM measures in discriminating individuals in the earliest stage of AD from healthy older adults suggests that these measures should be further developed as tools for early-stage AD discrimination.
We aimed to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of contact endoscopy in evaluating oral and oropharyngeal mucosal lesions.
Between January 2010 and December 2011, 34 patients with lesions of the oral and oropharyngeal mucosa were enrolled in the study. Comparison between initial contact endoscopy results and ‘gold standard’ tissue biopsy was undertaken.
Nine patients had histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma, 2 had carcinoma in situ, 3 had dysplastic lesions and 20 patients had various benign lesions. Contact endoscopy demonstrated sensitivity and specificity of 89 and 100 per cent respectively in the evaluation of malignant lesions. Benign lesions were correctly categorised in 50 per cent of cases (10/20). The video images from contact endoscopy could not be interpreted in six cases.
Contact endoscopy demonstrates high sensitivity and specificity in the imaging of malignant lesions with reduced reliability in the evaluation of benign lesions. Significant shortcomings also exist in the design of current technology that we believe represent a significant barrier to the reliable collection of useful video data.
To compare the image quality provided by rigid laryngoscopes versus flexible distal-chip laryngoscopes when documenting the same laryngeal pathology.
This paper reports a prospective single-blind study. Ten early stage glottic cancer cases were selected. Photographs of the pathologies were taken using both rigid and flexible distal-chip laryngoscopes (a total of 20 photographs). Nineteen clinicians were asked to review the laryngoscopic photographs; the clinicians were provided with a worksheet, which included questions regarding the clinical description, photograph quality and overall satisfaction with the images obtained. Clinicians' responses to the worksheet questions were then analysed.
The overall accuracy rate for lesion sidedness, anatomical sub-site involvement, anterior commissure involvement and tumour staging were 94.7 per cent, 46.6 per cent, 53.7 per cent and 47.1 per cent respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in terms of the accuracy rates, photograph quality or overall satisfaction with the photographs obtained by either modality.
There were no statistically significant differences demonstrated in overall clinical accuracy or perceived image quality between the use of the rigid or flexible endoscopes when interpreting images of early glottic cancer.
Background: This study evaluates which cognitive measure is best for predicting incident dementia in a population-based random sample of Chinese older adults without dementia over a five-year period.
Methods: A total of 787 community-dwelling Chinese older adults without dementia in Hong Kong were assessed at baseline (T0), at two years (T1), and at five years (T2).
Results: The annual conversion rate to dementia was 1.6% and 6.3% for baseline normal participants and baseline mild cognitive impairment (MCI) participants, respectively. The Cantonese version of Mini-mental State Examination (CMMSE) scores declined significantly over time. In participants who progressed to dementia, Category Verbal Fluency Test (CVFT) scores dropped significantly from T0 to T1. A 1-SD drop of either CMMSE or CVFT in two years predicted dementia at five years with 91.5% sensitivity and 62.0% specificity. A stable CMMSE and CVFT at two years predicted a 91% chance of not progressing to clinical dementia at five years.
Conclusion: In this community sample of Chinese older adults, a decline in cognitive screening tests in short term (two years) offered useful information in predicting dementia conversion over a longer period.
Over the past decade, the PV industry has witnessed tremendous growth in manufacturing scale and technology advancement, with PV generated electricity cost ever approaching grid parity. Among them, Si based thin film technology has made substantial progress in demonstrating its inherent advantages in lower material cost, ease of manufacturing and higher energy yield, etc. More recently, reduced product prices and competing technologies from crystalline silicon and other thin film technologies have made amorphous and microcrystalline silicon based thin film technology very challenging, and requires further increase in module efficiency and decrease in manufacturing cost. As one of the few companies in the world with significant manufacturing capacity for tandem thin film Si PV products, Chint Solar (Astronergy) has been at the forefront of technology development for the mass production of large-scale (Gen. 5, 1.43m2) Si thin film solar modules in the last 5 years. We will review major technology advancements which have been mass production proven and led to the mass produced tandem silicon thin film module with 10.0% plus stabilized efficiency, along with the field performance of those modules.
Background: This study aimed to assess if decisional capacity and the four decision-making abilities related to decisions concerning medication management were impaired among community-dwelling Chinese older persons in Hong Kong with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), as compared with cognitively normal older adults.
Methods: Two hundred and ninety-one Chinese community-dwelling older adults were recruited. The four decision-making abilities and decisional capacity were assessed by using the Chinese version of the Assessment of Capacity for Everyday Decision-Making (ACED) and independent clinician ratings based on the definition in the UK Mental Capacity Act 2005, respectively.
Results: Ninety-nine participants (34%) were diagnosed with MCI and ninety-five (33%) with mild AD. Although almost all (96%) of the participants in the MCI group were found to be mentally competent to make decisions on medication management in clinician ratings, their decision-making abilities as measured by the ACED were significantly lower than those of the cognitively normal controls.
Conclusions: Results from this study suggest that abilities related to decisions on medication management are impaired before the clinical diagnosis of dementia is made. Use of specific and structured assessment of the relevant decisional abilities may enhance clinical judgment.
To examine mothers’ experience of support received from fathers for breast-feeding.
We conducted in-depth in-person interviews with women with recent breast-feeding experience. Interview transcripts were analysed by qualitative content analysis. Interviews were designed to explore the mothers’ perception of role of fathers in breast-feeding, education on breast-feeding that fathers received and their perception of the fathers’ view on breast-feeding.
Urban and suburban community.
Nineteen women from a metropolitan area in the north-eastern USA.
Ten themes emerged, these involved practical and emotional support provided by fathers, especially during times of unexpected breast-feeding challenges. In addition, mothers perceived fathers may benefit from more peer and professional support, lactation consultant service and breast-feeding education.
Mothers appreciated the support from fathers for breast-feeding continuation, including encouragement and understanding. These results may be useful for health-care practitioners to promote breast-feeding continuation by supporting fathers in their role in the breast-feeding process.
(1) To investigate the efficacy of a computer-generated three-dimensional laryngeal model for laryngeal anatomy teaching; (2) to explore the relationship between students' spatial ability and acquisition of anatomical knowledge; and (3) to assess participants' opinion of the computerised model.
Subjects and methods:
Forty junior doctors were randomised to undertake laryngeal anatomy study supplemented by either a three-dimensional computer model or two-dimensional images. Outcome measurements comprised a laryngeal anatomy test, the modified Vandenberg and Kuse mental rotation test, and an opinion survey.
Mean scores ± standard deviations for the anatomy test were 15.7 ± 2.0 for the ‘three dimensions’ group and 15.5 ± 2.3 for the ‘standard’ group (p = 0.7222). Pearson's correlation between the rotation test scores and the scores for the spatial ability questions in the anatomy test was 0.4791 (p = 0.086, n = 29). Opinion survey answers revealed significant differences in respondents' perceptions of the clarity and ‘user friendliness’ of, and their preferences for, the three-dimensional model as regards anatomical study.
The three-dimensional computer model was equivalent to standard two-dimensional images, for the purpose of laryngeal anatomy teaching. There was no association between students' spatial ability and functional anatomy learning. However, students preferred to use the three-dimensional model.
Background: This study investigated whether brief exposure to information has any effect on stigmatizing attitudes towards older people with dementia, and how people responded to this medical diagnosis.
Methods: 494 adults were randomly assigned to three groups differentiated by experimental conditions. Group A (control) responded to questions on stigma directly. Group B (symptom) read two vignettes that described the symptoms of two fictitious individuals with dementia, before answering questions on stigma. Group C (label) read the same vignettes which ended with a statement that the person was recently diagnosed with dementia by a physician. Data were analyzed with ANOVA, together with other pre-existing between-subjects factors.
Results: Brief exposure to information about dementia led to a statistically significant reduction in stigma (Groups B, C < A), regardless of whether the diagnostic label of “dementia” was included or not. Moreover, lower stigma was reported by persons who knew a relative or friend with dementia, who were younger and more educated, and who thought dementia was treatable.
Conclusions: As stigmatizing attitudes toward dementia are still a hindrance to early help-seeking in Asian communities, the findings suggest that community education may play a useful role in alleviating this barrier to early detection and intervention.
The previous monolithic active grating bender design met some basic design requirements. However, after a real grating (BM-AGM) had been fabricated and installed for testing, the results showed that the usable length is a mere 60 mm because of the higher-order term error in the surface profile. A method was thus derived to eliminate the higher-order term error by modifying the width of the bender substrate through finite-element method simulation, reducing the residual error from about 100 nm to 6 nm. Owing to the closure of the grating department of Zeiss, ruling the monolithic bender is no longer available and the design has to be modified to a composite-type bender with Si substrate. A prototype was fabricated and assembled to examine all the design situations. The surface roughness of the width-modified Si substrate is around 30 nm before assembly. The residual error after assembly and bending is less than 10 nm. It proves that the design is feasible. However, due to the manufacturing capacity of the vendor, a short-length substrate is required and the design has to be modified. The detailed design modification and testing results are presented in this paper.