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We recently demonstrated that decline in fluid intelligence is a substantial contributor to frontal deficits. For some classical ‘executive’ tasks, such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Verbal Fluency, frontal deficits were entirely explained by fluid intelligence. However, on a second set of frontal tasks, deficits remained even after statistically controlling for this factor. These tasks included tests of theory of mind and multitasking. As frontal dysfunction is the most frequent cognitive deficit observed in early Parkinson's disease (PD), the present study aimed to determine the role of fluid intelligence in such deficits.
We assessed patients with PD (n=32) and control subjects (n=22) with the aforementioned frontal tests and with a test of fluid intelligence. Group performance was compared and fluid intelligence was introduced as a covariate to determine its role in frontal deficits shown by PD patients.
In line with our previous results, scores on the WCST and Verbal Fluency were closely linked to fluid intelligence. Significant patient–control differences were eliminated or at least substantially reduced once fluid intelligence was introduced as a covariate. However, for tasks of theory of mind and multitasking, deficits remained even after fluid intelligence was statistically controlled.
The present results suggest that clinical assessment of neuropsychological deficits in PD should include tests of fluid intelligence, together with one or more specific tasks that allow for the assessment of residual frontal deficits associated with theory of mind and multitasking.
Organized nanostructures are formed after irradiation of layers of randomly aligned single-wall carbon nanotube (SWNT)-polymer composites by a Ti:Sapphire 775 nm laser with a 150 fs pulse at fluences near 0.1 J/cm2. At varying peak fluences morphology is seen where the tubes are ejected from the substrate or formed into long, parallel structures of SWNT’s. These structures have been created on both glass substrates and carbon grids. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) investigation of the structures reveal that they are composed of bundled nanotubes typically 400 nm – 1 micron long. Large-area laser patterning of the film allows for structuring of the film without detrimental decreases in conductivity.
The main aim of this study was to compare a large population of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) types I and II strictly defined as euthymic with healthy controls on measures of decision making. An additional aim was to compare performance on a decision-making task between patients with and without a history of suicide attempt.
Eighty-five euthymic patients with BD-I or BD-II and 34 healthy controls were included. All subjects completed tests to assess verbal memory, attention and executive functions, and a decision-making paradigm (the Iowa Gambling Task, IGT).
Both groups of patients had worse performance than healthy controls on measures of verbal memory, attention and executive function. No significant differences were found between BD-I, BD-II and healthy controls on measures of decision making. By contrast, patients with a history of suicide attempt had lower performance in the IGT than patients without a history of suicide attempt.
Patients with euthymic BD-I and BD-II had intact decision-making abilities, suggesting that this does not represent a reliable trait marker of the disorder. In addition, our results provide further evidence of an association between impairments in decision making and vulnerability to suicidal behavior.
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