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Smartphones have the potential for capturing subtle changes in cognition that characterize preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in older adults. The Ambulatory Research in Cognition (ARC) smartphone application is based on principles from ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and administers brief tests of associative memory, processing speed, and working memory up to 4 times per day over 7 consecutive days. ARC was designed to be administered unsupervised using participants’ personal devices in their everyday environments.
We evaluated the reliability and validity of ARC in a sample of 268 cognitively normal older adults (ages 65–97 years) and 22 individuals with very mild dementia (ages 61–88 years). Participants completed at least one 7-day cycle of ARC testing and conventional cognitive assessments; most also completed cerebrospinal fluid, amyloid and tau positron emission tomography, and structural magnetic resonance imaging studies.
First, ARC tasks were reliable as between-person reliability across the 7-day cycle and test-retest reliabilities at 6-month and 1-year follow-ups all exceeded 0.85. Second, ARC demonstrated construct validity as evidenced by correlations with conventional cognitive measures (r = 0.53 between composite scores). Third, ARC measures correlated with AD biomarker burden at baseline to a similar degree as conventional cognitive measures. Finally, the intensive 7-day cycle indicated that ARC was feasible (86.50% approached chose to enroll), well tolerated (80.42% adherence, 4.83% dropout), and was rated favorably by older adult participants.
Overall, the results suggest that ARC is reliable and valid and represents a feasible tool for assessing cognitive changes associated with the earliest stages of AD.
There is a growing consensus that patient-centered care is more effective in treating patients than a strictly biomedical model, where there are known challenges to involving the patient in assessments, treatment goals, and determining preferred outcomes.
The current study seeks to integrate patient values and perspectives by exploring how people diagnosed with a life-limiting disease define healing in their own words.
As a part of a larger study that included cognitive interviewing, we asked the question “what does the word healing mean to you?” Data were collected during face-to-face interviews with patients from three metropolitan healthcare facilities.
Thirty participants responded to the question “what does healing mean to you?” Seven themes were identified through the data analysis. These themes include acceptance, feeling better, pain, social support, process, religion/spirituality, and make whole. The feeling better, pain, and process themes have subthemes.
Significance of results
Probing to understand patient perspectives and how to provide a holistic approach to care is essential to patient treatment. Patients defined healing in a broader way than how it is typically defined in literature. The patients’ definitions provide greater insight into perceptions and expectations regarding the healing process.
Negative emotionality (NE) was evaluated as a candidate mechanism linking prenatal maternal affective symptoms and offspring internalizing problems during the preschool/early school age period. The participants were 335 mother–infant dyads from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment project. A Confirmatory Bifactor Analysis (CFA) based on self-report measures of prenatal depression and pregnancy-specific anxiety generated a general factor representing overlapping symptoms of prenatal maternal psychopathology and four distinct symptom factors representing pregnancy-specific anxiety, negative affect, anhedonia and somatization. NE was rated by the mother at 18 and 36 months. CFA based on measures of father, mother, child-rated measures and a semistructured interview generated a general internalizing factor representing overlapping symptoms of child internalizing psychopathology accounting for the unique contribution of each informant. Path analyses revealed significant relationships among the general maternal affective psychopathology, the pregnancy- specific anxiety, and the child internalizing factors. Child NE mediated only the relationship between pregnancy-specific anxiety and the child internalizing factors. We highlighted the conditions in which prenatal maternal affective symptoms predicts child internalizing problems emerging early in development, including consideration of different mechanistic pathways for different maternal prenatal symptom presentations and child temperament.
The Trial Innovation Network has established an infrastructure for single IRB review in response to federal policies. The Network’s single IRB (sIRBs) have successfully supported over 70 multisite studies via more than 800 reliance arrangements. This has generated several lessons learned that can benefit the national clinical research enterprise, as we work to improve the conduct of clinical trials. These lessons include distinguishing the roles of the single IRB from institutional Human Research Protections programs, establishing a consistent sIRB review model, standardizing collection of local context and supplemental, study-specific information, and educating and empowering lead study teams to support their sites.
New radiocarbon (14C) dates suggest a simultaneous appearance of two technologically and geographically distinct axe production practices in Neolithic Britain; igneous open-air quarries in Great Langdale, Cumbria, and from flint mines in southern England at ~4000–3700 cal BC. In light of the recent evidence that farming was introduced at this time by large-scale immigration from northwest Europe, and that expansion within Britain was extremely rapid, we argue that this synchronicity supports this speed of colonization and reflects a knowledge of complex extraction processes and associated exchange networks already possessed by the immigrant groups; long-range connections developed as colonization rapidly expanded. Although we can model the start of these new extraction activities, it remains difficult to estimate how long significant production activity lasted at these key sites given the nature of the record from which samples could be obtained.
Radiocarbon (14C) wiggle-match dating is a technique with a substantial potential to improve the precision of dating timbers in situations where dendrochronology is not tenable. However, one of the key reasons why obtaining a dendrochronological determination might be difficult is the short-lived nature of timbers on a range of archaeological sites, something that also affects the efficiency of the wiggle-match dating technique. Combined with the potential for high expense that the technique presents, it is paramount that wiggle-match dating research design has a good empirical basis. To this end we dated 50 consecutive, individual rings from a timber that grew during the Hallstatt radiocarbon calibration plateau (ca. 750–400 cal BC) in southwest Scotland. The results indicate that (1) the precision and accuracy of wiggle-match dates carried out on short-lived sequences during the Hallstatt plateau may suffer due to insufficient resolution of the calibration data, (2) sampling time-frames roughly equivalent to the underpinning calibration data are recommended (for the period in question this means decadal blocks), and (3) short-lived sequences are at risk of losing accuracy if the actual past trend of radiocarbon diverges from the mean of the radiocarbon calibration curve.
Surveys were conducted across the northern Great Plains of Canada in 1996 and 1997 to determine the nature and occurrence of herbicide-resistant (HR) biotypes of wild oat (Avena fatua). The surveys indicated that resistance to acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitors (Group 1) occurred most frequently relative to other herbicide groups. Group 1-HR wild oat occurred in over one-half of fields surveyed in each of the three prairie provinces. Of particular concern was the relatively high incidence of multiple-group resistance in wild oat in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In Saskatchewan, 18% of Group 1-HR populations were also resistant to acetolactate synthase inhibitors (imidazolinones), even though these herbicides were not frequently used. In Manitoba, 27% of fields surveyed had wild oat resistant to herbicides from more than one group. Four populations were resistant to all herbicides registered for use in wheat (Triticum aestivum). Depending on the nature of resistance in wild oat, alternative herbicides available for their control may substantially increase costs to the grower. The cost to growers of managing HR wild oat in Saskatchewan and Manitoba using alternative herbicides is estimated at over $4 million annually. For some HR biotypes, alternative herbicides either are not available or all have the same site of action, which restricts crop or herbicide rotation options and threatens the future sustainability of small-grain annual cropping systems where these infestations occur.
In Saskatchewan, a field survey was conducted in 1996 and a grain elevator survey in 1997 to determine the nature and occurrence of herbicide-resistant (HR) biotypes of green foxtail (Setaria viridis). Based on results of the field survey, one in every 20 fields (1 million ha) in Saskatchewan is estimated to have acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitor (Group 1)-HR green foxtail. Of the samples received from 30 grain elevators, 83% had Group 1 resistance. Similar to the field survey, incidence of aryloxyphenoxy propionate (AOPP) resistance was much higher than cyclohexanedione (CHD) resistance. Both surveys indicated relatively low incidence of dinitroaniline (Group 3) resistance or cross-resistance (Groups 1 and 3). Most alternative herbicides to control Group 1-HR green foxtail in broadleaf crops and cross-HR biotypes in cereal and broadleaf crops increase costs to the grower.
Objectives: This study examined whether children with distinct brain disorders show different profiles of strengths and weaknesses in executive functions, and differ from children without brain disorder. Methods: Participants were children with traumatic brain injury (N=82; 8–13 years of age), arterial ischemic stroke (N=36; 6–16 years of age), and brain tumor (N=74; 9–18 years of age), each with a corresponding matched comparison group consisting of children with orthopedic injury (N=61), asthma (N=15), and classmates without medical illness (N=68), respectively. Shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed, respectively, using three Test of Everyday Attention: Children’s Version (TEA-Ch) subtests: Creature Counting, Walk-Don’t-Walk, and Code Transmission. Comparison groups did not differ in TEA-Ch performance and were merged into a single control group. Profile analysis was used to examine group differences in TEA-Ch subtest scaled scores after controlling for maternal education and age. Results: As a whole, children with brain disorder performed more poorly than controls on measures of executive function. Relative to controls, the three brain injury groups showed significantly different profiles of executive functions. Importantly, post hoc tests revealed that performance on TEA-Ch subtests differed among the brain disorder groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that different childhood brain disorders result in distinct patterns of executive function deficits that differ from children without brain disorder. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. (JINS, 2017, 23, 529–538)
A survey conducted across agricultural ecoregions of Saskatchewan in 1996 revealed that wild oat (Avena fatua) populations resistant to acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitors were present in approximately 10% of Saskatchewan fields (2.4 million ha). In the Aspen Parkland and Boreal Transition ecoregions, this increased to 17%. The objective of this study was to determine if agronomic practices promoted or delayed resistance and to assess producer awareness of herbicide resistance. Weed resistance and management questionnaire data from the 1996 resistance survey and management questionnaire data from the 1995 Saskatchewan weed survey were submitted to multiway frequency analysis. The frequency of occurrence of herbicide-resistant wild oat was related directly to ACCase inhibitor use. Resistance to cyclohexanedione (CHD) herbicides was not related to CHD use but to frequency of ACCase inhibitor use (i.e., CHD + aryloxyphenoxypropanoate [AOPP]), suggesting that the pressure imposed by AOPPs contributed to the selection of CHD resistance in wild oat. ACCase inhibitor use was more extensive in the Aspen Parkland and Boreal Transition ecoregions than in the Mixed and Moist Mixed Grassland ecoregions. Crop rotations were not conducive to rotation of herbicides with different sites of action. Frequency of ACCase inhibitor use increased with frequency of annual crops, in spite of the inclusion of cereal and dicot crops in the rotation. Producers utilizing conservation tillage practices in the Grassland ecoregions used proportionally more ACCase inhibitors than those using conventional tillage practices. This increase in ACCase use in conservation tillage systems did not result in an increased incidence of wild oat populations resistant to ACCase inhibitors. Producers reporting troublesome wild oat populations tended to have proportionally more ACCase-resistant wild oat. Producers who reported practicing weed sanitation were less likely to have resistant wild oat than those who were less careful. Increased awareness and implementation of management practices that will reduce the dependency on ACCase herbicides are required to better enable producers to prevent, delay, or manage herbicide-resistant wild oat populations.
Production systems based on reduced-tillage practices account for over 60% of the cropped land on the Canadian Prairies. Concerns have been expressed regarding potential shifts in weed communities as a result of changing tillage practices. Study objectives were to (1) determine the feasibility of combining and analyzing weed abundance data from 10 medium- to long-term studies on the Canadian Prairies that compared conventional-, reduced-, and zero-tillage systems, (2) identify species that are associated with specific tillage systems, and (3) place species into plant response groups according to the similarity of their tillage system response. Conventional-tillage systems were defined as including both a fall and spring sweep-plow operation before seeding spring crops, whereas reduced tillage consisted of only one sweep-plow operation shortly before seeding. Crops within zero-tillage systems were planted directly into the previous crop's stubble. The association between weed species and tillage systems was investigated using indicator species analysis. Species were assigned to tillage response groups on the basis of the results of the analysis and the expertise of the project scientists. Perennial species such as Canada thistle and perennial sowthistle were associated with reduced- and zero-tillage systems, but annual species were associated with a range of tillage systems. Field pennycress was placed in the conventional-tillage response group, Russian thistle in the zero-tillage group, and wild buckwheat and common lambsquarters were equally abundant in all tillage systems. The goal of classifying weed species based on common functional traits in relation to responses to tillage systems was not realized, in part, because the required information on species biology and ecology was either unavailable or not applicable to local conditions.
Prenatal maternal depression and a multilocus genetic profile of two susceptibility genes implicated in the stress response were examined in an interaction model predicting negative emotionality in the first 3 years. In 179 mother–infant dyads from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability, and Neurodevelopment cohort, prenatal depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depressions Scale) was assessed at 24 to 36 weeks. The multilocus genetic profile score consisted of the number of susceptibility alleles from the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region gene (5-HTTLPR): no long-rs25531(A) (LA: short/short, short/long-rs25531(G) [LG], or LG/LG] vs. any LA) and the dopamine receptor D4 gene (six to eight repeats vs. two to five repeats). Negative emotionality was extracted from the Infant Behaviour Questionnaire—Revised at 3 and 6 months and the Early Child Behavior Questionnaire at 18 and 36 months. Mixed and confirmatory regression analyses indicated that prenatal depression and the multilocus genetic profile interacted to predict negative emotionality from 3 to 36 months. The results were characterized by a differential susceptibility model at 3 and 6 months and by a diathesis–stress model at 36 months.
Disorganized attachment is an important early risk factor for socioemotional problems throughout childhood and into adulthood. Prevailing models of the etiology of disorganized attachment emphasize the role of highly dysfunctional parenting, to the exclusion of complex models examining the interplay of child and parental factors. Decades of research have established that extreme child birth weight may have long-term effects on developmental processes. These effects are typically negative, but this is not always the case. Recent studies have also identified the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) as a moderator of childrearing effects on the development of disorganized attachment. However, there are inconsistent findings concerning which variant of the polymorphism (seven-repeat long-form allele or non–seven-repeat short-form allele) is most likely to interact with caregiving in predicting disorganized versus organized attachment. In this study, we examined possible two- and three-way interactions and child DRD4 polymorphisms and birth weight and maternal caregiving at age 6 months in longitudinally predicting attachment disorganization at 36 months. Our sample is from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment project, a sample of 650 mother–child dyads. Birth weight was cross-referenced with normative data to calculate birth weight percentile. Infant DRD4 was obtained with buccal swabs and categorized according to the presence of the putative allele seven repeat. Macroanalytic and microanalytic measures of maternal behavior were extracted from a videotaped session of 20 min of nonfeeding interaction followed by a 10-min divided attention maternal task at 6 months. Attachment was assessed at 36 months using the Strange Situation procedure, and categorized into disorganized attachment and others. The results indicated that a main effect for DRD4 and a two-way interaction of birth weight and 6-month maternal attention (frequency of maternal looking away behavior) and sensitivity predicted disorganized attachment in robust logistic regression models adjusted for social demographic covariates. Specifically, children in the midrange of birth weight were more likely to develop a disorganized attachment when exposed to less attentive maternal care. However, the association reversed with extreme birth weight (low and high). The DRD4 seven-repeat allele was associated with less disorganized attachment (protective), while non–seven-repeat children were more likely to be classified as disorganized attachment. The implications for understanding inconsistencies in the literature about which DRD4 genotype is the risk direction are also considered. Suggestions for intervention with families with infants at different levels of biological risk and caregiving risk are also discussed.
Individuals with a mental health disorder appear to be at increased risk of medical illness.
To examine rates of medical illnesses in patients with bipolar disorder (n = 1720) and to examine the clinical course of the bipolar illness according to lifetime medical illness burden.
Participants recruited within the UK were asked about the lifetime occurrence of 20 medical illnesses, interviewed using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) and diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria.
We found significantly increased rates of several medical illnesses in our bipolar sample. A high medical illness burden was associated with a history of anxiety disorder, rapid cycling mood episodes, suicide attempts and mood episodes with a typically acute onset.
Bipolar disorder is associated with high rates of medical illness. This comorbidity needs to be taken into account by services in order to improve outcomes for patients with bipolar disorder and also in research investigating the aetiology of affective disorder where shared biological pathways may play a role.
To study stimulation-related facial electromyographic (FEMG) activity in intensive care unit (ICU) patients, develop an algorithm for quantifying the FEMG activity, and to optimize the algorithm for monitoring the sedation state of ICU patients.
First, the characteristics of FEMG response patterns related to vocal stimulation of 17 ICU patients were studied. Second, we collected continuous FEMG data from 30 ICU patients. Based on these data, we developed the Responsiveness Index (RI) algorithm that quantifies FEMG responses. Third, we compared the RI values with clinical sedation level assessments and adjusted algorithm parameters for best performance.
In patients who produced a clinically observed response to the vocal stimulus, the poststimulus FEMG power was 0.33 µV higher than the prestimulus power. In nonresponding patients, there was no difference. The sensitivity and specificity of the developed RI for detecting deep sedation in the subgroup with low probability of encephalopathy were 0.90 and 0.79, respectively.
Consistent FEMG patterns were found related to standard stimulation of ICU patients. A simple and robust algorithm was developed and good correlation with clinical sedation scores achieved in the development data.