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Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
To identify, in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia, factors associated with subjective (personal, physical, emotional, and social) and objective (informal caregiver time and costs) caregiver burden.
Prospective longitudinal European observational study: post-hoc analysis.
Community-dwelling patients in France and Germany aged ≥ 55 years (n = 969) with probable AD and their informal caregivers.
Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study—Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL), 12-item Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI-12), Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), informal caregiver basic and instrumental ADL hours (Resource Utilization in Dementia instrument), and informal caregiver costs. Mixed-effect models of repeated measures (MMRM) were run, including baseline and time-dependent covariates (change from baseline [CFB] to 18 months in MMSE, ADCS-ADL, and NPI-12 scores) associated with CFB in ZBI score/informal caregiver time over 36 months (analyzed using linear regression models) and informal caregiver costs over 36 months (analyzed using generalized linear models).
Greater decline in patient function (ADCS-ADL) over 18 months was associated with increased subjective caregiver burden (ZBI), hours, and costs over 36 months. Increased behavioral problems (NPI-12) over 18 months also negatively impacted ZBI. Cognitive decline (MMSE) over 18 months did not affect change in caregiver burden.
Long-term informal caregiver burden was driven by worsening functional abilities and behavioral symptoms but not cognitive decline, over 18 months in community-dwelling patients with AD dementia. Identifying the drivers of caregiver burden could highlight areas in which interventions may benefit both caregivers and patients.
Antineuronal antibodies are associated with psychosis, although their clinical significance in first episode of psychosis (FEP) is undetermined.
To examine all patients admitted for treatment of FEP for antineuronal antibodies and describe clinical presentations and treatment outcomes in those who were antibody positive.
Individuals admitted for FEP to six mental health units in Queensland, Australia, were prospectively tested for serum antineuronal antibodies. Antibody-positive patients were referred for neurological and immunological assessment and therapy.
Of 113 consenting participants, six had antineuronal antibodies (anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibodies [n = 4], voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies [n = 1] and antibodies against uncharacterised antigen [n = 1]). Five received immunotherapy, which prompted resolution of psychosis in four.
A small subgroup of patients admitted to hospital with FEP have antineuronal antibodies detectable in serum and are responsive to immunotherapy. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to optimise recovery.
Research was conducted from 2011 to 2014 to determine weed population
dynamics and frequency of glyphosate-resistant (GR) Palmer amaranth with
herbicide programs consisting of glyphosate, dicamba, and residual
herbicides in dicamba-tolerant cotton. Five treatments were maintained in
the same plots over the duration of the experiment: three sequential POST
applications of glyphosate with or without pendimethalin plus diuron PRE;
three sequential POST applications of glyphosate plus dicamba with and
without the PRE herbicides; and a POST application of glyphosate plus
dicamba plus acetochlor followed by one or two POST applications of
glyphosate plus dicamba without PRE herbicides. Additional treatments
included alternating years with three sequential POST applications of
glyphosate only and glyphosate plus dicamba POST with and without PRE
herbicides. The greatest population of Palmer amaranth was observed when
glyphosate was the only POST herbicide throughout the experiment. Although
diuron plus pendimethalin PRE in a program with only glyphosate POST
improved control during the first 2 yr, these herbicides were ineffective by
the final 2 yr on the basis of weed counts from soil cores. The lowest
population of Palmer amaranth was observed when glyphosate plus dicamba were
applied regardless of PRE herbicides or inclusion of acetochlor POST.
Frequency of GR Palmer amaranth was 8% or less when the experiment was
initiated. Frequency of GR Palmer amaranth varied by herbicide program
during 2012 but was similar among all herbicide programs in 2013 and 2014.
Similar frequency of GR Palmer amaranth across all treatments at the end of
the experiment most likely resulted from pollen movement from Palmer
amaranth treated with glyphosate only to any surviving female plants
regardless of PRE or POST treatment. These data suggest that GR Palmer
amaranth can be controlled by dicamba and that dicamba is an effective
alternative mode of action to glyphosate in fields where GR Palmer amaranth
We aimed to obtain a better understanding of how different aspects of patient functioning affect key cost and caregiver outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Baseline data from a prospective observational study of community-living AD patients (GERAS) were used. Functioning was assessed using the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study – Activities of Daily Living Scale. Generalized linear models were conducted to analyze the relationship between scores for total activities of daily living (ADL), basic ADL (BADL), instrumental ADL (IADL), ADL subdomains (confirmed through factor analysis) and individual ADL questions, and total societal costs, patient healthcare and social care costs, total and supervision caregiver time, and caregiver burden.
Four distinct ADL subdomains were confirmed: basic activities, domestic/household activities, communication, and outside activities. Higher total societal costs were associated with impairments in all aspects of ADL, including all subdomains; patient costs were associated with total ADL and BADL, and basic activities subdomain scores. Both total and supervision caregiver hours were associated with total ADL and IADL scores, and domestic/household and outside activities subdomain scores (greater hours associated with greater functional impairments). There was no association between caregiver burden and BADL or basic activities subdomain scores. The relationship between total ADL, IADL, and the outside activities subdomain and outcomes differed between patients with mild and moderate-to-severe AD.
Identification of ADL subdomains may lead to a better understanding of the association between patient function and costs and caregiver outcomes at different stages of AD, in particular the outside activities subdomain within mild AD.
Estimates of the excess length of stay (LOS) attributable to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in which total LOS of patients with and without HAIs are biased because of failure to account for the timing of infection. Alternate methods that appropriately treat HAI as a time-varying exposure are multistate models and cohort studies, which match regarding the time of infection. We examined the magnitude of this time-dependent bias in published studies that compared different methodological approaches.
We conducted a systematic review of the published literature to identify studies that report attributable LOS estimates using both total LOS (time-fixed) methods and either multistate models or matching patients with and without HAIs using the timing of infection.
Of the 7 studies that compared time-fixed methods to multistate models, conventional methods resulted in estimates of the LOS to HAIs that were, on average, 9.4 days longer or 238% greater than those generated using multistate models. Of the 5 studies that compared time-fixed methods to matching on timing of infection, conventional methods resulted in estimates of the LOS to HAIs that were, on average, 12.6 days longer or 139% greater than those generated by matching on timing of infection.
Our results suggest that estimates of the attributable LOS due to HAIs depend heavily on the methods used to generate those estimates. Overestimation of this effect can lead to incorrect assumptions of the likely cost savings from HAI prevention measures.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):1089–1094
Adherence engineering applies human factors principles to examine non-adherence within a specific task and to guide the development of materials or equipment to increase protocol adherence and reduce human error. Central line maintenance (CLM) for intensive care unit (ICU) patients is a task through which error or non-adherence to protocols can cause central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). We conducted an economic analysis of an adherence engineering CLM kit designed to improve the CLM task and reduce the risk of CLABSI.
We constructed a Markov model to compare the cost-effectiveness of the CLM kit, which contains each of the 27 items necessary for performing the CLM procedure, compared with the standard care procedure for CLM, in which each item for dressing maintenance is gathered separately. We estimated the model using the cost of CLABSI overall ($45,685) as well as the excess LOS (6.9 excess ICU days, 3.5 excess general ward days).
Assuming the CLM kit reduces the risk of CLABSI by 100% and 50%, this strategy was less costly (cost savings between $306 and $860) and more effective (between 0.05 and 0.13 more quality-adjusted life-years) compared with not using the pre-packaged kit. We identified threshold values for the effectiveness of the kit in reducing CLABSI for which the kit strategy was no longer less costly.
An adherence engineering–based intervention to streamline the CLM process can improve patient outcomes and lower costs. Patient safety can be improved by adopting new approaches that are based on human factors principles.
We must begin with names. ‘Tony Edwards’ is the person to whom this volume is dedicated, but it is not a name that everyone will immediately recognize, particularly those who know him only from his published work, for he has made himself known in public, from the first, as A. S. G. Edwards. When he began his career, this was the manner in which most scholars, most men at least, named themselves. Fashions have changed, and given names, one, two, or more, are now almost universal. But Tony has held on tenaciously to his initials, perhaps because he has three of them. We do not believe that he did so in any spirit of emulation of or desire to align himself with ‘Edwards A. S. G.’, the Edwards Active Strain Gauge well known to Google, an advanced form of technical engineering equipment which guarantees the vacuum conditions needed for the manufacture of certain precision instruments, such as aircraft engine turbine blades. It seems strangely apt as an analogous form of ‘A. S. G.’, whether one thinks of the ‘active strain’ involved as what he exerts upon himself or upon other people. The analogy fails, of course, when one comes to the creation of vacuum, where it works back to front, for Tony's work has essentially been to fill the vacuum that once existed in the study of manuscript history.