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Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
The study's aim was to examine the association of alcohol consumption with verbal and visuospatial memory impairment in older people.
Participants were 1,572, aged ≥60 years, in the hospital-based registry of the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS). Moderate drinking was defined as no more than seven drinks per week and three drinks per day. Memory impairment was defined as performance with more than 1 standard deviation below the mean value on the Seoul Verbal Learning Test and Rey Complex Figure Test.
Those who consumed alcohol moderately, compared with abstainers, had a lower odds of verbal memory impairment (Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.64; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.46–0.87), adjusting for covariates. Visuospatial memory, however, was not significantly associated with alcohol consumption.
Moderate alcohol drinking is associated with a reduced likelihood of verbal memory impairment among older people attending memory clinics.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
Nitrogen (N) and boron (B) codoped diamond-like carbon (DLC) films were prepared on silicon oxide substrates by RF magnetron sputtering to optimize the electrical conductivity and hardness of DLC film. The electrical conductivity and hardness of the N–B codoped DLC films were controlled simultaneously by varying N2 flow rate with fixed B target power and varying B target power with fixed N2flow rate. The electrical resistivity of the B-doped DLC films showed a cup-shaped relationship with B target power and a U-shaped relationship with the N–B codoped DLC film. However, hardness of the B-doped DLC films showed a decreasing behavior but it was maintained almost constant for the N–B codoped DLC film. These particular electrical and hardness behaviors of the N–B codoped DLC films could be explained by a neutralization effect of N and B codoping.
The authors regret that they incorrectly cited the source of financial support in the original publication. The acknowledgment should have read: This study was supported by the Health Promotion Fund, Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (08-23) and a grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare & Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (A050079).
Background: An increasing body of evidence suggests that health behaviors may protect against cognitive impairment and dementia. The purpose of this study was to summarize the current evidence on health behavioral factors predicting cognitive health through a systematic review of the published literature.
Methods: PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched for studies on community representative samples aged 65 and older, with prospective cohort design and multivariate analysis. The outcome – cognitive health – was defined as a continuum of cognitive function ranging from cognitive decline to impairment and dementia, and health behaviors included physical activity, smoking, alcohol drinking, body mass index, and diet and nutrition.
Results: Of 12,105 abstracts identified, 690 relevant full-texts were reviewed. The final yield amounted to 115 articles of which 37 studies were chosen that met the highest standards of quality. Leisure time physical activity, even of moderate level, showed protective effects against dementia, whereas smoking elevated the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Moderate alcohol consumption tended to be protective against cognitive decline and dementia, but nondrinkers and frequent drinkers exhibited a higher risk for dementia and cognitive impairment. Midlife obesity had an adverse effect on cognitive function in later life. Analysis showed vegetable and fish consumption to be of benefit, whereas, persons consuming a diet high in saturated fat had an increased dementia risk.
Conclusion: The review demonstrates accumulating evidence supporting health behavioral effects in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Results indicate potential benefits of healthy lifestyles in protecting cognitive health in later life.
A novel route to organic-inorganic composites was described based on biomineralization of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogels. The 3-dimensional hydrogels were synthesized by radical crosslinking polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol fumarate) (PEGF) in the presence of ethylene glycol methacrylate phosphate (EGMP) as an apatite-nuclating monomer, acrylamide (AAm) as a composition-modulating comonomer, and potassium persulfate (PPS) as a radical initiator. We used the urea-mediated solution precipitation technique for biomineralization of hydrogels. The apatite grown on the surface and interior of the hydrogel was similar to biological apatites in the composition and crystalline structure. Powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that the calcium phosphate crystalline platelets on hydrogels are preferentially aligned along the crystallographic c-axis direction. Inductively-coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) analysis showed that the Ca/P molar ratio of apatites grown on the hydrogel template was found to be 1.60, which is identical to that of natural bones. In vitro cell experiments showed that the cell adhesion/proliferation on the mineralized hydrogel was more pronounced than on the pure polymer hydrogel.
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