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Experimental studies indicate that lithium may facilitate neurotrophic/protective responses in the brain. Epidemiological and imaging studies in bipolar disorder, in addition to a few trials in Alzheimer's disease support the clinical translation of these findings. Nonetheless, there is limited controlled data about potential use of lithium to treat or prevent dementia.
To determine the benefits of lithium treatment in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a clinical condition associated with high risk for Alzheimer's disease.
A total of 61 community-dwelling, physically healthy, older adults with MCI were randomised to receive lithium or placebo (1:1) for 2 years (double-blind phase), and followed-up for an additional 24 months (single-blinded phase) (trial registration at clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01055392). Lithium carbonate was prescribed to yield subtherapeutic concentrations (0.25–0.5 mEq/L). Primary outcome variables were the cognitive (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale – cognitive subscale) and functional (Clinical Dementia Rating – Sum of Boxes) parameters obtained at baseline and after 12 and 24 months. Secondary outcomes were neuropsychological test scores; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of Alzheimer's disease-related biomarkers determined at 0, 12 and 36 months; conversion rate from MCI to dementia (0–48 months).
Participants in the placebo group displayed cognitive and functional decline, whereas lithium-treated patients remained stable over 2 years. Lithium treatment was associated with better performance on memory and attention tests after 24 months, and with a significant increase in CSF amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ1−42) after 36 months.
Long-term lithium attenuates cognitive and functional decline in amnestic MCI, and modifies Alzheimer's disease-related CSF biomarkers. The present data reinforces the disease-modifying properties of lithium in the MCI–Alzheimer's disease continuum.
A curved, one-dimensional position-sensitive detector has been designed and constructed for the measurement of the scattering patterns from non-crystalline materials. The chamber is a one-dimensional, pressurized, gas-filled detector with delay line readout for position encoding. It covers an angular range of 45° in 2θ, and its quantum efficiency is 80% and 50% for 17.5 and 60 KeV x-rays, respectively, when using a Xe-20%CO2 gas mixture at 7 atm.
A ϕ-ψ diffractometer has been designed and constructed to evaluate residual stresses in polycrystalline samples by x-ray diffraction. It permits rotations of the x-ray diffraction apparatus, consisting of an x-ray tube and a position-sensitive proportional counter, about two axes ϕ and ψ. The ϕ-rotation from 0° to 360° is carried out about the normal to the surface of the stationary sample, whereas the ψ-motion consists of a rotation from -45° to +45° about an axis lying in the sample surface and the diffraction plane, but perpendicular to the diffraction vector. This ϕ-ψ diffractometer permits the application of the ϕ- and ψ-differential and integral methods for the evaluation of the strain tensor and its gradient averaged over the depth of x-ray penetration into the sample. Assuming that isotropic elasticity theory is applicable, the stress tensor can then be evaluated from the measured strain tensor.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
There is limited information on the presentation and characteristics of psychotic illness experienced by people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
To describe autistic and psychotic phenomenology in a group of individuals with comorbid ASD and psychosis (ASD–P) and compare this group with populations affected by either, alone.
We studied 116 individuals with ASD–P. We compared features of their ASD with people with ASD and no comorbid psychosis (ASD–NP), and clinical characteristics of psychosis in ASD–P with people with psychosis only.
Individuals with ASD–P had more diagnoses of atypical psychosis and fewer of schizophrenia compared with individuals with psychosis only. People with ASD–P had fewer stereotyped interests/behaviours compared with those with ASD–NP.
Our data show there may be a specific subtype of ASD linked to comorbid psychosis. The results support findings that psychosis in people with ASD is often atypical, particularly regarding affective disturbance.
We compared the relevance of ibuprofen, vitamins C and E to control oxidative/nitrosative stress and heart disease in mice infected by Trypanosoma cruzi. Swiss mice were randomized into five groups: control, uninfected; infected without treatment; and infected treated with vitamins C, E or ibuprofen. Animals were inoculated with 2000 trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi. After 20 days, infected mice presented reduced vitamin C and E tissue levels, high cytokines (interferon gamma, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin 10 and chemokine ligand 2), prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) and nitric oxide (NO) cardiac production, intense myocarditis and reactive tissue damage, which was directly correlated with the intensity of the inflammatory infiltrate and the degree of pathological cardiac remodelling. Vitamins C and E supplementation were irrelevant to counteract reactive tissue damage and myocarditis in infected animals. Conversely, ibuprofen reduced tissue levels of cytokines, PGF2α and NO, as well as lipid and protein oxidation, antioxidant enzyme activity and the cardiac damage, without interfering with heart parasitism. Our results do not support the applicability of vitamin C and E supplementation in the management of acute Chagas cardiomyopathy. By controlling the inflammatory infiltrate, anti-inflammatory-based therapy proved to be a more rational strategy than a direct antioxidant therapy in attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress and cardiac damage.
Using the example of the PHELIX high-energy short pulse laser we discuss the technical preconditions to investigate ion acceleration with submicrometer thick targets. We show how the temporal contrast of this system was improved to prevent pre-ionization of such targets on the nanosecond timescale. Furthermore the influence of typical fluctuations or uncertainties of the on-target intensity on ion acceleration experiments is discussed. We report how these uncertainties were reduced by improving the assessment and control of the on-shot intensity and by optimizing the positioning of the target into the focal plane. Finally we report on experimental results showing maximum proton energies in excess of 85 MeV for ion acceleration via the target normal sheath acceleration mechanism using target thicknesses on the order of one micrometer.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
We report on the temporal contrast performance of the PHELIX facility in view of the requirements imposed by solid-target interaction experiments. The requirement analysis for the nanosecond and picosecond temporal contrast is derived from empirical data and simple theoretical modeling, while the realization shows that using an ultrafast optical parametric amplifier and plasma mirrors enables meeting this specification.
We present ground-based data of the BL Lac object PKS 2155-305 obtained during a large international campaign spanning the electro–magnetic spectrum from the radio waves to X-rays in November 1991. For the complete description of the observations and data analysis we refer to the paper by Courvoisier et al. 1993, and references therein. The ground-based data include radio, infrared JHKL and UBVRI fluxes as well as optical and near IR polarimetry.
The broad-band optical and near IR data from U to I exhibit the same behaviour in all bands: the flux nearly doubled over the well-covered period of 23 days. The cross-correlation function does not reveal any significant changes in the light-curves. Though significant variations in 24 hours have been recorded, the cumulated Fourier power spectrum drops to the noise level for periods shorter than 2.5 days. The spectral index remained constant.
The polarised flux varied by a larger factor than the total flux and did not follow the same pattern. The degree of polarisation and polarisation angle are nearly independent of the wavelength and are strongly correlated in all filters.
In the radio domain the spectral index increased from −0.1 on November 5 to +0.02 on 25-th.
The absence of the lag between the optical and infrared bands and the polarisation variations are consistent with a model in which the variability is caused by micro-lensing of the source (Stickel, Fried and Kühr 1988). One would, however, expect in this model that the variation in the polarisation and the total flux are tightly correlated contrary to what is observed.
The constant shape of the continuum spectral energy suggests that only the number of electrons whose emission is beamed towards the observer changes, rather than the arrival of fresh electrons that are being accelerated.
The variability of the polarisation may be explained by changes in the geometry of the magnetic field (dominant direction). This is consistent with the observed variations of the polarisation angle.
We present the lightcurve of 3C 345 (1641+399, z = 0.595) in Johnson R. The data until summer 1992 are analysed and discussed in detail in Schramm et al. (A&A, Nov. 1993). The more recent lightcurve is almost flat (R ≃ 16.9), giving new constraints on variability models, see Camenzind, this proceedings.
The final Tycho Catalogue (ESA 1997b) has been derived from 37 months of observations with the star mapper of the astrometric satellite Hipparcos. The Hipparcos Catalogue (ESA 1997a) with about 120,000 stars is the result of the main Hipparcos mission and has, e.g., been described by Kovalevsky et al. (1995). Both catalogues will be published in 1997.
Feedback provided by relativistic jets may be effective in shaping the galaxy luminosity function. The quenching mode (quasar mode) at redshifts ~2-3 potentially disperses gas in star-forming galaxies. The maintenance mode (radio mode) heats the gas in galaxy clusters counteracting cooling flows. A number of authors have examined the effect of relativistic jets in dispersing clouds in the kpc-scale inhomogeneous interstellar medium of evolving galaxies. We have also investigated a particular case of maintenance-mode feedback in our simulation of the iconic radio galaxy / cooling flow cluster Hydra A. Modelling of the knots produced by the jets in the inner 10 kpc provides an estimate of 0.8 – 0.9 c for the velocities of the jets in agreement with other velocity estimates for FR1 jets. The addition of jet precession provides realistic simulations of the morphology of the Hydra A radio source and raises interesting questions as to the role of black hole and disk precession, in general, in galaxy formation.
We report ongoing experiments on the growth of GaN by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE), using a newly designed Aixtron horizontal reactor. Growth was carried out on c-plane Al2O3 substrates on which a thin GaN layer had been predeposited by MOVPE and patterned using a dielectric mask. The mask pattern was designed to give information on the growth rate and morphology along different directions, and contained both a star-shaped pattern and arrays of parallel stripes of various widths and orientations. All growths were performed at atmospheric pressure and ~1050°C deposition temperature. For the range of experimental conditions investigated the maximum ratios of lateral to vertical growth velocities of around 2 and coalescence of the layer after approximately 10 μm of growth were observed for stripes oriented along the <100> direction.
The dependence of the In-incorporation efficiency and the optical properties of MOVPE-grown GaInN/GaN-heterostructures on various growth parameters has been investigated. A significant improvement of the In-incorporation rate could be obtained by increasing the growth rate and reducing the H2-partial pressure in the MOVPE reactor. However, GaInN layers with a high In-content typically show an additional low energy photoluminescence peak, whose distance to the band-edge increases with increasing In-content. For GaInN/GaN quantum wells with an In-content of approximately 12%, an increase of the well thickness is accompanied by a significant line broadening and a large increase of the Stokes shift between the emission peak and the band edge determined by photothermal deflection spectroscopy. With a further increase of the thickness of the GaInN layer, a second GaInN-correlated emission peak emerges. To elucidate the nature of these optical transitions, power-dependent as well as time-resolved photoluminescence measurements have been performed and compared to the results of scanning transmission electron microscopy.
We consider the shock structures that can arise in blazar jets as a consequence of variations in the jet flow velocity. There are two possible cases: (1) a double shock system consisting of both a forward and reverse shock, and (2) a single shock (either forward or reverse) together with a rarefaction wave. These possibilities depend upon the relative velocity of the two different sections of jet. Using previously calculated spherical models for estimates of the magnetic field and electron number density of the emission region in the TeV blazar Mkn 501, we show that this region is in the form of a thin disk in the plasma rest frame. It is possible to reconcile spectral and pair opacity constraints for Mkn 501 for Doppler factors in the range of 10–20. This is easiest if the corrections for TeV absorption by the infrared background are not as large as implied by recent models.
Investigations describing the utilization pattern and comparing the outcome from emergency and mass casualty situations are limited by the lack of a reliable and valid patient classification system. In this study we briefly describe the use of APACHE (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation), a physiologically based classification system for measuring severity of illness in groups of critically ill patients, as a tool in comparing outcomes of 1437 ICU admissions from eight European and five American hospitals. Because of the successful results from this pilot effort, we believe that APACHE could be used to compare the performance of hospitals in an emergency or mass casualty situation.
Young people with self-experienced cognitive thought and perception deficits (basic symptoms) may present with an early initial prodromal state (EIPS) of psychosis in which most of the disability and neurobiological deficits of schizophrenia have not yet occurred.
To investigate the effects of an integrated psychological intervention (IPI), combining individual cognitive–behavioural therapy, group skills training, cognitive remediation and multifamily psychoeducation, on the prevention of psychosis in the EIPS.
A randomised controlled, multicentre, parallel group trial of 12 months of IPI v. supportive counselling (trial registration number: NCT00204087). Primary outcome was progression to psychosis at 12- and 24-month follow-up.
A total of 128 help-seeking out-patients in an EIPS were randomised. Integrated psychological intervention was superior to supportive counselling in preventing progression to psychosis at 12-month follow-up (3.2% v. 16.9%; P = 0.008) and at 24-month follow-up (6.3% v. 20.0%; P = 0.019).
Integrated psychological intervention appears effective in delaying the onset of psychosis over a 24-month time period in people in an EIPS.