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To develop and validate the Discrepancy-based Evidence for Loss of Thinking Abilities (DELTA) score. The DELTA score characterizes the strength of evidence for cognitive decline on a continuous spectrum using well-established psychometric principles for improving detection of cognitive changes.
DELTA score development used neuropsychological test scores from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) cohort (two tests each from Memory, Executive Function, and Language domains). We derived regression-based normative reference scores using age, gender, years of education, and word-reading ability from robust cognitively normal ADNI participants. Discrepancies between predicted and observed scores were used for calculating the DELTA score (range 0–15). We validated DELTA scores primarily against longitudinal Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) scores (baseline assessment through Year 3) using linear mixed models and secondarily against cross-sectional Alzheimer’s biomarkers.
There were 1359 ADNI participants with calculable baseline DELTA scores (age 73.7 ± 7.1 years, 55.4% female, 100% white/Caucasian). Higher baseline DELTA scores (stronger evidence of cognitive decline) predicted higher baseline CDR-SOB (ΔR2 = .318) and faster rates of CDR-SOB increase over time (ΔR2 = .209). Longitudinal changes in DELTA scores tracked closely and in the same direction as CDR-SOB scores (fixed and random effects of mean + mean-centered DELTA, ΔR2 > .7). Results were similar for FAQ scores. High DELTA scores predicted higher PET-Aβ SUVr (ρ = 324), higher CSF-pTau/CSF-Aβ ratio (ρ = .460), and demonstrated PPV > .9 for positive Alzheimer’s disease biomarker classification.
Data support initial development and validation of the DELTA score through its associations with longitudinal functional changes and Alzheimer’s biomarkers. We provide several considerations for future research and include an automated scoring program for clinical use.
In 2010, South Africa (SA) hosted the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup (soccer). Emergency Medical Services (EMS) used the SA mass gathering medicine (MGM) resource model to predict resource allocation. This study analyzed data from the World Cup and compared them with the resource allocation predicted by the SA mass gathering model.
Prospectively, data were collected from patient contacts at 9 venues across the Western Cape province of South Africa. Required resources were based on the number of patients seeking basic life support (BLS), intermediate life support (ILS), and advanced life support (ALS). Overall patient presentation rates (PPRs) and transport to hospital rates (TTHRs) were also calculated.
BLS services were required for 78.4% (n = 1279) of patients and were consistently overestimated using the SA mass gathering model. ILS services were required for 14.0% (n = 228), and ALS services were required for 3.1% (n = 51) of patients. Both ILS and ALS services, and TTHR were underestimated at smaller venues.
The MGM predictive model overestimated BLS requirements and inconsistently predicted ILS and ALS requirements. MGM resource models, which are heavily based on predicted attendance levels, have inherent limitations, which may be improved by using research-based outcomes.
Quantum dots (QDs) are increasingly employed in biologic imaging applications; however, anecdotal reports suggest difficulties in QD bioconjugation. Further, the stability of commercial QDs during bioconjugation has not been systematically evaluated. Thus, we examined fluorescence losses resulting from aggregation and declining photoluminescence quantum yield (QY) for commercial CdSe/ZnS QD products from four different vendors. QDs were most stable in the aqueous media in which they were supplied. The largest QY declines were observed during centrifugal filtration, whereas the largest declines in colloidal stability occurred in 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid (MES) buffer. These results enable optimization of bioconjugation protocols.
Deriving ecological and evolutionary descriptions of, and implications from, faunal assemblage patterns is commonly addressed by observation and a variety of exploratory techniques (scaling and clustering), along with qualitative evaluations of species occurrences and relative abundances. We argue that interpretations of faunal patterns, especially those documented by the fossil record, should be based upon the composition and structure of entire communities to provide strong conclusions and replicable results.
As an example, we use benthic foraminiferal data at high resolution (1–2 cm, corresponding to 300–1400 yr) over a section corresponding to about 20 kyr across the beginning of the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum (PETM). The PETM was an episode of rapid global warming about 55.5 Ma, associated with ocean acidification and lowered open oceanic productivity and deoxygenation and marked by severe turnover in benthic foraminiferal assemblages. Here we provide a stand-alone approach applicable to any dynamic faunal system, perturbation detection analysis (PDA), to recognize and identify community disruption evidenced as either positive growth or negative decline, and we use this methodical approach to obtain new information on foraminiferal communities before, during, and after the initiation of the PETM.
We conclude that the late Paleocene benthic foraminiferal community (FCOM1) was in a growth stage of positive increasing diversity, suggestive of favorable environmental conditions. This stage continued through the initial changes at the onset of the PETM, when disruption through environmental stress led to this community's termination. A second community (FCOM2) formed with declining diversity and high variability, showing a lack of adaptation to changing conditions. Knowledge of total assemblage status under both adverse and advantageous conditions is necessary, but not recognized by methods that rely upon analysis of single samples only: individual samples cannot be used to recognize disruptive changes in a community's structure, but these are easily identified using PDA.
To assess variability in antimicrobial use and associations with infection testing in pediatric ventilator-associated events (VAEs).
Descriptive retrospective cohort with nested case-control study.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), cardiac intensive care units (CICUs), and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 6 US hospitals.
Children≤18 years ventilated for≥1 calendar day.
We identified patients with pediatric ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), pediatric VACs with antimicrobial use for≥4 days (AVACs), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP, defined as pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test) according to previously proposed criteria.
Among 9,025 ventilated children, we identified 192 VAC cases, 43 in CICUs, 70 in PICUs, and 79 in NICUs. AVAC criteria were met in 79 VAC cases (41%) (58% CICU; 51% PICU; and 23% NICU), and varied by hospital (CICU, 20–67%; PICU, 0–70%; and NICU, 0–43%). Type and duration of AVAC antimicrobials varied by ICU type. AVAC cases in CICUs and PICUs received broad-spectrum antimicrobials more often than those in NICUs. Among AVAC cases, 39% had respiratory infection diagnostic testing performed; PVAP was identified in 15 VAC cases. Also, among AVAC cases, 73% had no associated positive respiratory or nonrespiratory diagnostic test.
Antimicrobial use is common in pediatric VAC, with variability in spectrum and duration of antimicrobials within hospitals and across ICU types, while PVAP is uncommon. Prolonged antimicrobial use despite low rates of PVAP or positive laboratory testing for infection suggests that AVAC may provide a lever for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve utilization.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
Two burials excavated at Izapa in 1963 have special green obsidian artifacts made at Teotihuacan. We describe the contexts and contents of these burials and consider the significance of their contents in light of Spence's (1996) model of Teotihuacan exchange of obsidian objects. We interpret the Izapa artifacts as gifted objects indicative of the political independence of Izapa in Middle Classic times.
Resonant soft x-ray scattering (RSoXS) leverages chemical specificity to characterize thin films but is limited near the nitrogen edge. The challenge is that commercially available x-ray transparent substrates are composed of Si3N4 and thereby absorb incident x-rays and generate incoherent fluorescence. To overcome this challenge, we designed and fabricated Al2O3 free-standing films for use as RSoXS windows. Al2O3 films offer higher x-ray transmittance and minimal fluorescence near the nitrogen edge. As an example, Al2O3 windows allow for nitrogen RSoXS of conjugated block copolymer thin films that reveal domain spacings, which are not apparent with commercially available Si3N4 substrates.
The ferroelectricity in fluorite-structure oxides such as hafnia and zirconia has attracted increasing interest since 2011. They have various advantages such as Si-based complementary metal oxide semiconductor-compatibility, matured deposition techniques, a low dielectric constant and the resulting decreased depolarization field, and stronger resistance to hydrogen annealing. However, the wake-up effect, imprint, and insufficient endurance are remaining reliability issues. Therefore, this paper reviews two major aspects: the advantages of fluorite-structure ferroelectrics for memory applications are reviewed from a material's point of view, and the critical issues of wake-up effect and insufficient endurance are examined, and potential solutions are subsequently discussed.
A controversy at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress on the topic of closing domestic ivory markets (the 007, or so-called James Bond, motion) has given rise to a debate on IUCN's value proposition. A cross-section of authors who are engaged in IUCN but not employed by the organization, and with diverse perspectives and opinions, here argue for the importance of safeguarding and strengthening the unique technical and convening roles of IUCN, providing examples of what has and has not worked. Recommendations for protecting and enhancing IUCN's contribution to global conservation debates and policy formulation are given.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
While normative data on neuropsychological performance provide baseline metrics for the assessment and diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, a lack of comparative normative data in non-Caucasian populations makes it difficult to conduct similar evaluations and studies in individuals from diverse backgrounds. The current paper aims to provide normative data on a range of cognitive measures in a Korean general population sample and investigate various demographic and health variables associated with cognitive performance in this representative population.
The study population was 1,528 stroke and dementia-free individuals who participated in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology study (KoGES) (mean age 60.43 ± 7.30, 52.42% female). All participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery that included verbal and visual memory, language, attention, and executive function measures. A health examination and a questionnaire-based interview were also administered.
The majority of cognitive test results were associated with age, education, and gender. In general, higher education and younger age was associated with better cognitive performance. Explained variance increased modestly in models that included measures of general health and depressive symptoms.
Normative data of cognitive performance in a community based Korean population are presented. These norms provide reference values in a non-Caucasian middle to older aged sample.
Behavioral disturbances are common but serious symptoms in patients with dementia. Currently, there are no FDA approved drugs for this purpose. There have been case reports and small case series of the use of buspirone. In this retrospective study, we review 179 patients prescribed buspirone for treatment of behavioral disturbance in dementia to better characterize the efficacy and potential side effects. All patients prescribed buspirone for behavioral disturbance due to dementia from a geropsychiatric outreach program were reviewed. Data was collected and analyzed using SPSS. One hundred-seventy-nine patients met criteria for the study with a mean age of 83.8 + 7. Alzheimer's dementia was the most common dementia (n = 61; 34.1%) followed by mixed dementia (n = 50, 27.9%) then vascular type (n = 31; 17.3%). Behavioral disturbances were mainly verbal aggression (n = 125; 69.8%), and physical aggression (n = 116; 64.8%). Using the Clinical Global Impression scale, 68.6% of patients responded to buspirone, with 41.8% being moderately to markedly improved. The mean dose of buspirone was 25.7 mg ± 12.50. Buspirone appears to be effective in treating behavioral disturbances in dementia. Future prospective and double blinded studies are needed.
Adult ventilator-associated event (VAE) definitions include ventilator-associated conditions (VAC) and subcategories for infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVAC) and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP). We explored these definitions for children.
Pediatric, cardiac, or neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in 6 US hospitals
Patients ≤18 years old ventilated for ≥1 day
We identified patients with pediatric VAC based on previously proposed criteria. We applied adult temperature, white blood cell count, antibiotic, and culture criteria for IVAC and PVAP to these patients. We matched pediatric VAC patients with controls and evaluated associations with adverse outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models.
In total, 233 pediatric VACs (12,167 ventilation episodes) were identified. In the cardiac ICU (CICU), 62.5% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; in the pediatric ICU (PICU), 54.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; and in the neonatal ICU (NICU), 20.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria. Most patients had abnormal white blood cell counts and temperatures; we therefore recommend simplifying surveillance by focusing on “pediatric VAC with antimicrobial use” (pediatric AVAC). Pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test (“pediatric PVAP”) occurred in 8.9% of VACs in the CICU, 13.3% of VACs in the PICU, and 4.3% of VACs in the NICU. Hospital mortality was increased, and hospital and ICU length of stay and duration of ventilation were prolonged among all pediatric VAE subsets compared with controls.
We propose pediatric AVAC for surveillance related to antimicrobial use, with pediatric PVAP as a subset of AVAC. Studies on generalizability and responsiveness of these metrics to quality improvement initiatives are needed, as are studies to determine whether lower pediatric VAE rates are associated with improvements in other outcomes.