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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.
Outbreaks of cutaneous infectious disease in amphibians are increasingly being attributed to an overlooked group of fungal-like pathogens, the Dermocystids. During the last 10 years on the Isle of Rum, Scotland, palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) have been reportedly afflicted by unusual skin lesions. Here we present pathological and molecular findings confirming that the pathogen associated with these lesions is a novel organism of the order Dermocystida, and represents the first formally reported, and potentially lethal, case of amphibian Dermocystid infection in the UK. Whilst the gross pathology and the parasite cyst morphology were synonymous to those described in a study from infected L. helveticus in France, we observed a more extreme clinical outcome on Rum involving severe subcutaneous oedema. Phylogenetic topologies supported synonymy between Dermocystid sequences from Rum and France and as well as their distinction from Amphibiocystidium spp. Phylogenetic analysis also suggested that the amphibian-infecting Dermocystids are not monophyletic. We conclude that the L. helveticus-infecting pathogen represents a single, novel species; Amphibiothecum meredithae.
Charcoal is the result of natural and anthropogenic burning events, when biomass is exposed to elevated temperatures under conditions of restricted oxygen. This process produces a range of materials, collectively known as pyrogenic carbon, the most inert fraction of which is known as black carbon (BC). BC degrades extremely slowly and is resistant to diagenetic alteration involving the addition of exogenous carbon, making it a useful target substance for radiocarbon dating particularly of more ancient samples, where contamination issues are critical. We present results of tests using a new method for the quantification and isolation of BC, known as hydropyrolysis (hypy). Results show controlled reductive removal of non-BC organic components in charcoal samples, including lignocellulosic and humic material. The process is reproducible and rapid, making hypy a promising new approach not only for isolation of purified BC for 14C measurement but also in quantification of different labile and resistant sample C fractions.
The Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) co-ordinates the activities of the six Australian research institutions and a group of industrial partners in the Australia-US Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics (AUSIAPV) to develop the next generations of photovoltaic device technology and to provide a pipeline of opportunities for performance increase and cost reduction. AUSIAPV links ACAP with US-based partners. These national and international research collaborations provide a pathway for highly visible, structured photovoltaic research collaboration between Australian and US researchers, institutes and agencies with significant joint programs based on the clear synergies between the participating organizations. The research program is organized in five collaborative Program Packages (PPs). PP1 deals with silicon wafer-based cells, focusing on three main areas: cells from solar grade silicon, rear contact and silicon-based tandem cells. PP2 involves research into a range of organic solar cells, organic/inorganic hybrid cells, "earth abundant" thin-film materials and "third generation" approaches. PP3 is concerned with optics and characterization. PP4 will deliver a substantiated methodology for assessing manufacturing costs of the different technologies and PP5 involves education, training and outreach. The main research topics, results and plans for the future are presented.
Dancers in the Brazilian folk celebration Bumba-meu-boi once performed in simple, repetitive, and predominantly circular movements. This structure promotes multigenerational participation, increases community interaction, and maintains a semi-intact historical legacy. Nevertheless, many groups are currently adopting choreographic steps and patterns familiar from popular entertainment culture and urban Carnival celebrations. This evolution is uneven, with many of the nearly 300 groups that perform in the federal state of Maranhão maintaining the older practices. Nevertheless, for groups embracing modern entertainment values, greater appeal to tourists and general audiences comes at the cost of the traditional form and content of the celebration described by field researchers only two or three decades ago. Gender presentations have been particularly affected, with the increased use of elaborate and skimpy costumes, younger and more athletic performers (mostly young women), and professionalized musical support. These changes are part of the modernization and urbanization of the festival, and they create an ambivalent dialectic in which women appear increasingly as leaders and major performing figures, but also as chorus line bodies with minimal narrative function. Our research includes visual documentation from several years of field research in Sao Luis (Maranhão), Brazil, available online at http://simoneferro.com. Albums of still photography are available at http://meredithwwatts.com.
Fibre has been shown to exert a number of benefits on gastrointestinal (GI) health, yet its intake is low. Addition of novel fibres to food products may increase fibre intake and improve gut health. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the influence of three novel fibres on GI outcomes in healthy human subjects. A total of twenty healthy participants (ten men and ten women) with normal BMI (23 (sem 2) kg/m2) participated in the present randomised, double-blind, cross-over study with five treatment periods. Participants consumed a maltodextrin control or 20–25 g/d fibre from soluble maize fibre (SCF) or resistant starch (RS), alone or in combination with pullulan (SCF+P and RS+P). The treatment periods were 7 d with a 3-week washout between the periods. Stool samples were collected on day 7 of each period, and GI tolerance was assessed via a questionnaire on days 1 and 6. There were no treatment differences in stool weight or consistency. SCF significantly reduced stool pH and increased total SCFA production compared with RS and control. RS+P significantly increased the percentage of butyrate compared with all the other treatments. Overall, GI symptoms were minimal. SCF+P led to the highest GI score on day 1, while RS+P had the highest score on day 6. Both SCF treatments caused a significant shift in the gut microbial community. These functional fibres are generally well tolerated, have minimal effects on laxation and may lead to beneficial changes in SCFA production in healthy adults.
Technologic advances now make it possible to collect large amounts of genetic, epigenetic, metabolomic and gut microbiome data. These data have the potential to transform approaches towards nutrition counselling by allowing us to recognise and embrace the metabolic, physiologic and genetic differences among individuals. The ultimate goal is to be able to integrate these multi-dimensional data so as to characterise the health status and disease risk of an individual and to provide personalised recommendations to maximise health. To this end, accurate and predictive systems-based measures of health are needed that incorporate molecular signatures of genes, transcripts, proteins, metabolites and microbes. Although we are making progress within each of these omics arenas, we have yet to integrate effectively multiple sources of biologic data so as to provide comprehensive phenotypic profiles. Observational studies have provided some insights into associative interactions between genetic or phenotypic variation and diet and their impact on health; however, very few human experimental studies have addressed these relationships. Dietary interventions that test prescribed diets in well-characterised study populations and that monitor system-wide responses (ideally using several omics platforms) are needed to make correlation–causation connections and to characterise phenotypes under controlled conditions. Given the growth in our knowledge, there is the potential to develop personalised dietary recommendations. However, developing these recommendations assumes that an improved understanding of the phenotypic complexities of individuals and their responses to the complexities of their diets will lead to a sustainable, effective approach to promote health and prevent disease – therein lies our challenge.
The degree of transport and retention of 14CH4 in soil is being investigated in a series of laboratory experiments in preparation for field scale trials at the University of Nottingham. The experimental programme focusses on the behaviour and fate of 14CH4 injected into subsoil and its subsequent incorporation into vegetation under field conditions. Due to restrictions on the use of radioactive tracers in the field, 13CH4 is being used as a surrogate gas which can be handled conveniently in the laboratory and field and which can be measured with high precision using gas chromatography with isotope ratio mass spectrometry. The laboratory data indicate significant differences between the diffusion and oxidation rates of 13CH4 in re-packed and undisturbed soil columns, with both rates appearing to be significantly lower in undisturbed soils. Data from both laboratory and field experiments will be used to inform the development of a model of 14CH4 migration and its fate in the biosphere above a geological disposal facility.
In many cases objects lacking specific provenience are deemed inappropriate for archaeological or art historical studies. The application of analytical techniques such as thermoluminescence or carbon-14 dating have been used in conjunction with stylistic information to strengthen arguments for provenience. In the case of late-Formative figurines from West Mexico, careful study of the dark patina using morphological and chemical criteria provides a means of assessing provenience of the figurine. Comparison of modern patinas to provenienced patinas has been carried out at several levels -- visual/stylistic, morphological and chemical.
We discuss our rational approach to incorporate optically nonlinear molecules into polymeric and cross-linked materials through the use of isocyanate-hydroxy coupling chemistry. Thin film fabrication, optical loss, poling, second harmonic generation, and electro-optic properties are discussed.
Glucosinolates, phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables, are metabolised to bioactive isothiocyanates (ITC) by certain bacteria in the human gut. Substantial individual variation in urinary ITC excretion has been observed in previous cruciferous vegetable-feeding studies. We hypothesised that individual differences in gut microbial community contribute to the observed variation in glucosinolate metabolism, i.e. gut microbiota composition between high- and low-ITC excreters differs. We recruited twenty-three healthy individuals and fed them a standardised meal containing 200 g of cooked broccoli. After the meal, 24 h urinary ITC excretion was measured. Study participants with the highest (n 5) and lowest (n 5) ITC excretion provided faecal samples for ex vivo bacterial cultivation with 50 μm-glucoraphanin, the major glucosinolate found in broccoli. When grown ex vivo, faecal bacteria from the selected high-ITC excreters were able to degrade more glucoraphanin than those from the low-ITC excreters (P = 0·05). However, bacterial fingerprints of faecal and ex vivo culture microbiota revealed no statistically significant differences between the high- and low-ITC excreters in terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene. In conclusion, glucosinolate degradation by faecal bacteria ex vivo may be associated with in vivo bacterial glucosinolate metabolism capacity, but no direct link to specific bacterial species could be established, possibly due to the complexity and functional redundancy of the gut microbiota.