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Serial position scores on verbal memory tests are sensitive to early Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related neuropathological changes that occur in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. The current study examines longitudinal change in serial position scores as markers of subtle cognitive decline in older adults who may be in preclinical or at-risk states for AD.
This study uses longitudinal data from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Participants (n = 141) were included if they did not have dementia at enrollment, completed follow-up assessments, and died and were classified as Braak stage I or II. Memory tests were used to calculate serial position (primacy, recency), total recall, and episodic memory composite scores. A neuropathological evaluation quantified AD, vascular, and Lewy body pathologies. Mixed effects models were used to examine change in memory scores. Neuropathologies and covariates (age, sex, education, APOE e4) were examined as moderators.
Primacy scores declined (β = −.032, p < .001), whereas recency scores increased (β = .021, p = .012). No change was observed in standard memory measures. Greater neurofibrillary tangle density and atherosclerosis explained 10.4% of the variance in primacy decline. Neuropathologies were not associated with recency change.
In older adults with hippocampal neuropathologies, primacy score decline may be a sensitive marker of early AD-related changes. Tangle density and atherosclerosis had additive effects on decline. Recency improvement may reflect a compensatory mechanism. Monitoring for changes in serial position scores may be a useful in vivo method of tracking incipient AD.
Wild oat (Avena fatua L.) and false cleavers (Galium spurium L.) are currently a challenge to manage in less competitive crops such as flax (Linum usitatissimum L.). Increasing the functional diversity in crop rotations can be an option to improve weed management. Nonetheless, this strategy had not been tested in flax in western Canada. A 5-yr (2015 to 2019) crop rotation study was carried at three locations in western Canada to determine the effect of diverse flax-based crop rotations with differences in crop species, crop life cycles, harvesting time, and reduced herbicides on managing A. fatua and G. spurium. The perennial rotation (flax–alfalfa [Medicago sativa L.]–alfalfa–alfalfa–flax) under reduced herbicide use was found to be the most consistent cropping system, providing A. fatua and G. spurium control similar to the conventional annual flax crop rotation (flax–barley [Hordeum vulgare L.]–flax–oat [Avena sativa L.]–flax) with standard herbicides. At Carman, this alfalfa rotation provided even better weed control (80% A. fatua, 75% G. spurium) than the conventional rotation. Furthermore, greater A. fatua control was identified compared with a conventional rotation in which two consecutive winter cereal crops were grown successfully in rotation (flax–barley–winter triticale [×Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus (Secale × Triticum)]–winter wheat [Triticum aestivum L.]–flax). Incorporation of silage oat crops did not show consistent management benefits compared with the perennial alfalfa rotation but was generally similar to the conventional rotation with standard herbicides. The results showed that perennial alfalfa in the rotation minimized G. spurium and A. fatua in flax-cropping systems, followed by rotations with two consecutive winter cereal crops.
Underrepresentation of Black biomedical researchers demonstrates continued racial inequity and lack of diversity in the field. The Black Voices in Research curriculum was designed to provide effective instructional materials that showcase inclusive excellence, facilitate the dialog about diversity and inclusion in biomedical research, enhance critical thinking and reflection, integrate diverse visions and worldviews, and ignite action. Instructional materials consist of short videos and discussion prompts featuring Black biomedical research faculty and professionals. Pilot evaluation of instructional content showed that individual stories promoted information relevance, increased knowledge, and created behavioral intention to promote diversity and inclusive excellence in biomedical research.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
The objectives of this study were to develop and refine EMPOWER (Enhancing and Mobilizing the POtential for Wellness and Resilience), a brief manualized cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based intervention for surrogate decision-makers of critically ill patients and to evaluate its preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and promise in improving surrogates’ mental health and patient outcomes.
Part 1 involved obtaining qualitative stakeholder feedback from 5 bereaved surrogates and 10 critical care and mental health clinicians. Stakeholders were provided with the manual and prompted for feedback on its content, format, and language. Feedback was organized and incorporated into the manual, which was then re-circulated until consensus. In Part 2, surrogates of critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) reporting moderate anxiety or close attachment were enrolled in an open trial of EMPOWER. Surrogates completed six, 15–20 min modules, totaling 1.5–2 h. Surrogates were administered measures of peritraumatic distress, experiential avoidance, prolonged grief, distress tolerance, anxiety, and depression at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at 1-month and 3-month follow-up assessments.
Part 1 resulted in changes to the EMPOWER manual, including reducing jargon, improving navigability, making EMPOWER applicable for a range of illness scenarios, rearranging the modules, and adding further instructions and psychoeducation. Part 2 findings suggested that EMPOWER is feasible, with 100% of participants completing all modules. The acceptability of EMPOWER appeared strong, with high ratings of effectiveness and helpfulness (M = 8/10). Results showed immediate post-intervention improvements in anxiety (d = −0.41), peritraumatic distress (d = −0.24), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.23). At the 3-month follow-up assessments, surrogates exhibited improvements in prolonged grief symptoms (d = −0.94), depression (d = −0.23), anxiety (d = −0.29), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.30).
Significance of results
Preliminary data suggest that EMPOWER is feasible, acceptable, and associated with notable improvements in psychological symptoms among surrogates. Future research should examine EMPOWER with a larger sample in a randomized controlled trial.
Ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs) are critical to the epidemiology and control of antibiotic-resistant organisms. During an infection prevention intervention to control carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), we conducted a qualitative study to characterize vSNF healthcare personnel beliefs and experiences regarding infection control measures.
A qualitative study involving semistructured interviews.
One vSNF in the Chicago, Illinois, metropolitan region.
The study included 17 healthcare personnel representing management, nursing, and nursing assistants.
We used face-to-face, semistructured interviews to measure healthcare personnel experiences with infection control measures at the midpoint of a 2-year quality improvement project.
Healthcare personnel characterized their facility as a home-like environment, yet they recognized that it is a setting where germs were ‘invisible’ and potentially ‘threatening.’ Healthcare personnel described elaborate self-protection measures to avoid acquisition or transfer of germs to their own household. Healthcare personnel were motivated to implement infection control measures to protect residents, but many identified structural barriers such as understaffing and time constraints, and some reported persistent preference for soap and water.
Healthcare personnel in vSNFs, from management to frontline staff, understood germ theory and the significance of multidrug-resistant organism transmission. However, their ability to implement infection control measures was hampered by resource limitations and mixed beliefs regarding the effectiveness of infection control measures. Self-protection from acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms was a strong motivator for healthcare personnel both outside and inside the workplace, and it could explain variation in adherence to infection control measures such as a higher hand hygiene adherence after resident care than before resident care.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
Fundamental knowledge about the processes that control the functioning of the biophysical workings of ecosystems has expanded exponentially since the late 1960s. Scientists, then, had only primitive knowledge about C, N, P, S, and H2O cycles; plant, animal, and soil microbial interactions and dynamics; and land, atmosphere, and water interactions. With the advent of systems ecology paradigm (SEP) and the explosion of technologies supporting field and laboratory research, scientists throughout the world were able to assemble the knowledge base known today as ecosystem science. This chapter describes, through the eyes of scientists associated with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) at Colorado State University (CSU), the evolution of the SEP in discovering how biophysical systems at small scales (ecological sites, landscapes) function as systems. The NREL and CSU are epicenters of the development of ecosystem science. Later, that knowledge, including humans as components of ecosystems, has been applied to small regions, regions, and the globe. Many research results that have formed the foundation for ecosystem science and management of natural resources, terrestrial environments, and its waters are described in this chapter. Throughout are direct and implicit references to the vital collaborations with the global network of ecosystem scientists.
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
Prenatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure is associated with increased risk of hormonally mediated cancers and other medical conditions. We evaluated the association between DES and risk of pancreatic cancer and pancreatic disorders, type 2 diabetes, and gallbladder disease, which may be involved with this malignancy. Our analyses used follow-up data from the US National Cancer Institute DES Combined Cohort Study. Cox proportional hazards models estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for age, sex, cohort, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol for the association between prenatal DES exposure and type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease (mainly cholelithiasis), pancreatic disorders (mainly pancreatitis), and pancreatic cancer among 5667 exposed and 3315 unexposed individuals followed from 1990 to 2017. Standardized incidence rate (SIR) ratios for pancreatic cancer were based on age-, race-, and calendar year-specific general population cancer incidence rates. In women and men combined, the hazards for total pancreatic disorders and pancreatitis were greater in the prenatally DES exposed than the unexposed (HR = 11, 95% CI 2.6–51 and HR = 7.0, 95% CI 1.5–33, respectively). DES was not associated overall with gallbladder disease (HR = 1.2, 95% CI 0.88–1.5) or diabetes (HR = 1.1, 95% CI 0.9–1.2). In women, but not in men, DES exposure was associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with the unexposed (HR: 4.1, 95% CI 0.84–20) or general population (SIR: 1.9, 95% CI 1.0–3.2). Prenatal DES exposure may increase the risk of pancreatic disorders, including pancreatitis in women and men. The data suggested elevated pancreatic cancer risk in DES-exposed women, but not in exposed men.
We analyse United States presidential appointee positions subject to Senate confirmation without a confirmed appointee in office. These “vacant” positions are byproducts of American constitutional design, shaped by the interplay of institutional politics. Using a novel dataset, we analyse appointee vacancies across executive branch departments and single-headed agencies from 1989 to 2013. We develop a theoretical model that uncovers the dynamics of vacancy onset and length. We then specify an empirical model and report results highlighting both position and principal–agent relations as critical to the politics of appointee vacancies. Conditional on high status positions reducing the frequency and duration of vacancies, we find important principal–agent considerations from a separation of powers perspective. Appointee positions in agencies ideologically divergent from the relevant Senate committee chair are vacant for less time than in ideologically proximal agencies. Importantly, this relationship strengthens as agency ideology diverges away from the chair and towards the chair’s party extreme.
Cyclonic storms (often called hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones) often cause population declines in vulnerable bird species, and the intensity of these storms appears to be increasing due to climate change. Prior studies have reported short-term impacts of hurricanes on avifauna, but few have examined long-term impacts. Over two decades (1993–2018), we periodically surveyed a subspecies of West Indian Woodpecker Melanerpes superciliaris nyeanus on San Salvador, a small island in The Bahamas, to determine its distribution on the island, habitat use, and effects of hurricanes on abundance and population size. We conducted passive and playback surveys, supplemented with mist-netting. Woodpeckers were found only in the northern part of San Salvador, despite extensive surveys throughout other accessible areas of the island. Birds occupied areas with taller coppice adjacent to sabal palm Sabal palmetto groves, which were used for nesting. After hurricanes with >160 kph winds passed over San Salvador, woodpecker densities declined to 35–40% of pre-hurricane densities, but generally recovered back to pre-hurricane densities within 2–3 years. Based on an estimated density of woodpeckers within a ~1,400 ha occupied area, we calculated a population size of approximately 240 individuals (CI = 68-408). However, the population declined to far lower numbers immediately following hurricanes. Under IUCN Red List criteria, M. s. nyeanus classifies as ‘Critically Endangered’, and could be especially sensitive to future hurricanes if they occur at a high enough frequency or intensity to prevent the population from rebounding. Given the small size, isolation, and vulnerability of this population, we recommend preservation of the core habitat, continued monitoring, and further research. Our study shows that small, threatened bird populations can be resilient to the effects of hurricanes, but increased intensity of hurricanes, in combination with other threats, may limit this resilience in the future.
Prolonged survival of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on environmental surfaces and personal protective equipment may lead to these surfaces transmitting this pathogen to others. We sought to determine the effectiveness of a pulsed-xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) disinfection system in reducing the load of SARS-CoV-2 on hard surfaces and N95 respirators.
Chamber slides and N95 respirator material were directly inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 and were exposed to different durations of PX-UV.
For hard surfaces, disinfection for 1, 2, and 5 minutes resulted in 3.53 log10, >4.54 log10, and >4.12 log10 reductions in viral load, respectively. For N95 respirators, disinfection for 5 minutes resulted in >4.79 log10 reduction in viral load. PX-UV significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 on hard surfaces and N95 respirators.
With the potential to rapidly disinfectant environmental surfaces and N95 respirators, PX-UV devices are a promising technology to reduce environmental and personal protective equipment bioburden and to enhance both healthcare worker and patient safety by reducing the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
Lumateperone (lumateperone tosylate, ITI-007) is an investigational drug for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar depression, and other disorders. Lumateperone has a unique mechanism of action that simultaneously modulates serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmission. This may provide advantages in the treatment of the broad symptoms associated with schizophrenia, including negative and depression symptoms. In 2 previous placebo-controlled trials in patients with acute schizophrenia, lumateperone 42mg (ITI-007 60mg) demonstrated statistically significant improvement in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) Total score compared with placebo. In these studies, lumateperone was well tolerated with a safety profile similar to placebo. This open-label long-term study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of lumateperone 42mg in patients with schizophrenia and stable symptoms.
Patients with stable schizophrenia were treated for up to 1 year with lumateperone 42mg. Safety assessments included adverse events (AEs), body weight, laboratory parameters, and extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS)/motor symptom assessments. Efficacy analyses included evaluation of changes in PANSS Total score and in depression symptoms, as measured by the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS).
In the 1-year open-label study, 602 patients received at least 1 dose of lumateperone 42mg; at the time of this interim analysis, 107 patients had completed 1 year of treatment. Only 4 TEAEs occurred in ≥5% of patients (weight decrease, dry mouth, headache and diarrhea); the majority of AEs were mild or moderate in intensity. Most metabolic parameters and mean prolactin levels decreased from SOC baseline, as did mean body weight and BMI. Based on AE reporting and EPS/motor symptom scales, lumateperone treatment was associated with minimal EPS risk. Lumateperone 42mg treatment was associated with significant reductions in PANSS Total score from baseline, with continuing PANSS improvement throughout the study. In patients with moderate-to-severe depression symptoms at baseline (CDSS>5), mean CDSS scores decreased from 7.4 (baseline) to 3.1 (Day 300); 60% of patients met CDSS response criteria (50% improvement from baseline) by Day 75 and this response rate was maintained through day 300. Similar magnitude of CDSS improvement was seen regardless of concurrent antidepressant therapy.
In long-term treatment, lumateperone was associated with minimal metabolic, EPS, and cardiovascular safety issues relative to current SOC antipsychotic therapy. Lumateperone improved schizophrenia symptoms with continued long-term treatment. In patients with moderate-to-severe depression symptoms at baseline, lumateperone treatment was associated with marked improvement in CDSS scores. These data are consistent with and extend data previously reported in placebo-controlled studies in patients with acute schizophrenia treated with lumateperone.
Supported by funding from Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc.
Lumateperone (ITI-007) is in late-phase clinical development for schizophrenia. Lumateperone has a unique mechanism of action that modulates serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmission. This pooled analysis of lumateperone in 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies was conducted to evaluate the safety and tolerability of lumateperone 42mg (ITI-007 60mg).
Data were pooled from the 3 controlled late-phase studies of lumateperone 42mg in patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia. Safety assessments of all patients who received at least one dose of any treatment included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), changes in laboratory parameters, extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), and vital signs.
The safety population comprised 1,073 patients (placebo [n=412], lumateperone 42mg [n=406], risperidone [n=255]). TEAEs that occurred in the lumateperone 42mg group at a rate of ≥5% and twice placebo were somnolence/sedation (24.1% vs 10.0%) and dry mouth (5.9% vs 2.2%). Rates of discontinuation due to TEAEs with lumateperone 42mg (0.5%) were similar to placebo (0.5%) and lower than risperidone (4.7%). Mean change in weight and rates of EPS-related TEAEs were less for lumateperone 42mg and placebo patients than risperidone patients. Mean change from baseline in metabolic parameters were similar or smaller for lumateperone 42mg vs placebo. Mean changes were notably higher in risperidone patients vs lumateperone 42mg and placebo for glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and prolactin.
In this pooled analysis, lumateperone 42mg showed good tolerability with potential benefits over risperidone for metabolic, prolactin, and EPS risks. The only TEAE that occurred in >10% of lumateperone patients was somnolence/sedation, which was impacted by morning administration; in subsequent studies that administered lumateperone in the evening, somnolence/sedation rates were markedly reduced. These results suggest that lumateperone 42mg may be a promising new treatment for schizophrenia.
Supported by funding from Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc.