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The criteria for objective memory impairment in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are vaguely defined. Aggregating the number of abnormal memory scores (NAMS) is one way to operationalise memory impairment, which we hypothesised would predict progression to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia.
As part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing, 896 older adults who did not have dementia were administered a psychometric battery including three neuropsychological tests of memory, yielding 10 indices of memory. We calculated the number of memory scores corresponding to z ≤ −1.5 (i.e., NAMS) for each participant. Incident diagnosis of AD dementia was established by consensus of an expert panel after 3 years.
Of the 722 (80.6%) participants who were followed up, 54 (7.5%) developed AD dementia. There was a strong correlation between NAMS and probability of developing AD dementia (r = .91, p = .0003). Each abnormal memory score conferred an additional 9.8% risk of progressing to AD dementia. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for NAMS was 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI) .81–.93, p < .01]. The odds ratio for NAMS was 1.67 (95% CI 1.40–2.01, p < .01) after correcting for age, sex, education, estimated intelligence quotient, subjective memory complaint, Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score and apolipoprotein E ϵ4 status.
Aggregation of abnormal memory scores may be a useful way of operationalising objective memory impairment, predicting incident AD dementia and providing prognostic stratification for individuals with MCI.
The calibration hardware system of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is designed to measure two quantities: a telescope’s instrumental response and atmospheric transmission, both as a function of wavelength. First of all, a “collimated beam projector” is designed to measure the instrumental response function by projecting monochromatic light through a mask and a collimating optic onto the telescope. During the measurement, the light level is monitored with a NIST-traceable photodiode. This method does not suffer from stray light effects or the reflections (known as ghosting) present when using a flat-field screen illumination, which has a systematic source of uncertainty from uncontrolled reflections. It allows for an independent measurement of the throughput of the telescope’s optical train as well as each filter’s transmission as a function of position on the primary mirror. Second, CALSPEC stars can be used as calibrated light sources to illuminate the atmosphere and measure its transmission. To measure the atmosphere’s transfer function, we use the telescope’s imager with a Ronchi grating in place of a filter to configure it as a low resolution slitless spectrograph. In this paper, we describe this calibration strategy, focusing on results from a prototype system at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) 0.9 meter telescope. We compare the instrumental throughput measurements to nominal values measured using a laboratory spectrophotometer, and we describe measurements of the atmosphere made via CALSPEC standard stars during the same run.
In this study, we used an online survey to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to environmental cleaning and other infection prevention strategies among environmental services workers (ESWs) at 5 hospitals. Our findings suggest that ESWs could benefit from additional education and feedback as well as new strategies to address workflow challenges.
It has been previously demonstrated that a cognitive bias against disconfirmatory evidence (BADE) is associated with delusions. However, small samples of delusional patients, reliance on difference scores and choice of comparison groups may have hampered the reliability of these results. In the present study we aimed to improve on this methodology with a recent version of the BADE task, and compare larger groups of schizophrenia patients with/without delusions to obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients, a population with persistent and possibly bizarre beliefs without psychosis.
A component analysis was used to identify cognitive operations underlying the BADE task, and how they differ across four groups of participants: (1) high-delusional schizophrenia, (2) low-delusional schizophrenia, (3) OCD patients and (4) non-psychiatric controls.
As in past studies, two components emerged and were labelled ‘evidence integration’ (the degree to which disambiguating information has been integrated) and ‘conservatism’ (reduced willingness to provide high plausibility ratings when justified), and only evidence integration differed between severely delusional patients and the other groups, reflecting delusional subjects giving higher ratings for disconfirmed interpretations and lower ratings for confirmed interpretations.
These data support the finding that a reduced willingness to adjust beliefs when confronted with disconfirming evidence may be a cognitive underpinning of delusions specifically, rather than obsessive beliefs or other aspects of psychosis such as hallucinations, and illustrates a cognitive process that may underlie maintenance of delusions in the face of counter-evidence. This supports the possibility of the BADE operation being a useful target in cognitive-based therapies for delusions.
We report on the preparation and characterization of crystalline bismuth oxide thin films via Biased Target Ion Beam Deposition method. A focused blue laser (405nm) is used to write an array of dots in the bismuth oxide thin film and demonstrate clear and circular recording marks in form of “bubbles” or “little volcanos” (FWHM ∼500nm). Results indicate excellent static recording characteristics, writing sensitivity and contrast. The recording mechanism is investigated and is believed to be related to laser-induced morphology change.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
We show that quasimap Floer cohomology for varying symplectic quotients resolves several puzzles regarding displaceability of toric moment fibers. For example, we present a compact Hamiltonian torus action containing an open subset of non-displaceable orbits and a codimension four singular set, partly answering a question of McDuff, and we determine displaceability for most of the moment fibers of a symplectic ellipsoid.
V- and I-band observations were taken over 9 months to study the RR Lyrae population in the metal-poor diffuse globular cluster NGC 6101. We identify one new variable, which is either a potential long-period red giant variable or eclipsing binary, and recover all previously identified RR Lyraes. One previously studied RR Lyrae is reclassified as an RRc type, while two period estimations have been significantly refined. We confirm that NGC6101 is Oosterhoff type II with a high ratio of n(c)/n(ab + c) = 0.833 with a very long mean RRab period of 0.86 d. By using theoretical RRLyrae period-luminosity-metallicity relations, we use our V- and I-band RR Lyrae data to gain an independent estimate of the reddening towards this cluster of E(B − V) = 0.15 ± 0.04 and derive a distance of 12.8 ± 0.8 kpc. The majority of the work in this study was undertaken by upper secondary school students involved in the Space to Grow astronomy education project in Australia.
Salmonella is the second most commonly reported human foodborne pathogen in England and Wales, and antimicrobial-resistant strains of Salmonella are an increasing problem in both human and veterinary medicine. In this work we used a generalized linear spatial model to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella Typhimurium in England and Wales. Of the antimicrobials considered we found a common peak in the probability that an S. Typhimurium incident will show resistance to a given antimicrobial in late spring and in mid to late autumn; however, for one of the antimicrobials (streptomycin) there was a sharp drop, over the last 18 months of the period of investigation, in the probability of resistance. We also found a higher probability of resistance in North Wales which is consistent across the antimicrobials considered. This information contributes to our understanding of the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella.
We present Spitzer spectroscopy of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi obtained on several occasions between 2006 and 2009. The spectra show variability in the silicate dust features at 9.7 μm and 18 μm, which form in the wind of the red giant in the system. We fit the spectra with Dusty models and find changes in the dust temperature, due to changes in the luminosity of the central source. The mass-loss rate of the secondary is a few 10−7M⊙yr−1, typical of a red giant of its type.
Although antipsychotic medication still represents the treatment of choice for schizophrenia, its objective impact on symptoms is only in the medium-effect size range and at least 50% of patients discontinue medication in the course of treatment. Hence, clinical researchers are intensively looking for complementary therapeutic options. Metacognitive training for schizophrenia patients (MCT) is a group intervention that seeks to sharpen the awareness of schizophrenia patients on cognitive biases (e.g. jumping to conclusions) that seem to underlie delusion formation and maintenance. The present trial combined group MCT with an individualized cognitive-behavioural therapy-oriented approach entitled individualized metacognitive therapy for psychosis (MCT+) and compared it against an active control.
A total of 48 patients fulfilling criteria of schizophrenia were randomly allocated to either MCT+ or cognitive remediation (clinical trial NCT01029067). Blind to intervention, both groups were assessed at baseline and 4 weeks later. Psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS). Jumping to conclusions was measured using a variant of the beads task.
PANSS delusion severity declined significantly in the combined MCT treatment compared with the control condition. PSYRATS delusion conviction as well as jumping to conclusions showed significantly greater improvement in the MCT group. In line with prior studies, treatment adherence and subjective efficacy was excellent for the MCT.
The results suggest that the combination of a cognition-oriented and a symptom-oriented approach ameliorate psychotic symptoms and cognitive biases and represents a promising complementary treatment for schizophrenia.
We report site-selective studies of the Zeeman splittings that are observed for magnetic fields up to 6.6T for different Eu incorporation sites in GaN. Utilizing resonant excitation with visible light, we are able to distinguish the site and find for one center (Eu1) a splitting into five components as expected for C3v symmetry. The corresponding g-values are 1.66 and 1.90. The two lines of another center Eu2 each split into two levels corresponding to g-values of 1.9 and 2.84. Most surprisingly a third center, for which only one line is clearly identified, a g-value of 6.16 is found which is larger than can be explained for a 7F2 purely ionic Eu state.
In-situ doped Eu ions in GaN grown by Organometallic Vapor-phase Epitaxy (OMVPE) at different pressures were investigated under different excitation methods and through the use of the following experimental techniques: (1) resonant site-selective laser irradiation (2) electron beam excitation, and (3) a dual excitation using a combination of electron beam and laser irradiation. With these means, we have examined the difference in the excitation pathways that result from resonant laser and electron hole (e-h) pair excitation of Eu ions for two different distinct incorporation sites, which are responsible for most of the luminescence. We have obtained clear evidence that e-h pairs do not have the ability to excite all of the ions and that there is excitation trapping by defects involved in the Eu excitation.
The effect of applied magnetic fields on the deformation of a biocompatible hydrophobic ferrofluid drop suspended in a viscous medium is investigated numerically and compared with experimental data. A numerical formulation for the time-dependent simulation of magnetohydrodynamics of two immiscible non-conducting fluids is used with a volume-of-fluid scheme for fully deformable interfaces. Analytical formulae for ellipsoidal drops and near-spheroidal drops are reviewed and developed for code validation. At low magnetic fields, both the experimental and numerical results follow the asymptotic small deformation theory. The value of interfacial tension is deduced from an optimal fit of a numerically simulated shape with the experimentally obtained drop shape, and appears to be a constant for low applied magnetic fields. At high magnetic fields, on the other hand, experimental measurements deviate from numerical results if a constant interfacial tension is implemented. The difference can be represented as a dependence of apparent interfacial tension on the magnetic field. This idea is investigated computationally by varying the interfacial tension as a function of the applied magnetic field and by comparing the drop shapes with experimental data until a perfect match is found. This estimation method provides a consistent correlation for the variation in interfacial tension at high magnetic fields. A conclusion section provides a discussion of physical effects which may influence the microstructure and contribute to the reported observations.
Background: The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) flagship study of aging aimed to recruit 1000 individuals aged over 60 to assist with prospective research into Alzheimer's disease (AD). This paper describes the recruitment of the cohort and gives information about the study methodology, baseline demography, diagnoses, medical comorbidities, medication use, and cognitive function of the participants.
Methods: Volunteers underwent a screening interview, had comprehensive cognitive testing, gave 80 ml of blood, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. One quarter of the sample also underwent amyloid PET brain imaging with Pittsburgh compound B (PiB PET) and MRI brain imaging, and a subgroup of 10% had ActiGraph activity monitoring and body composition scanning.
Results: A total of 1166 volunteers were recruited, 54 of whom were excluded from further study due to comorbid disorders which could affect cognition or because of withdrawal of consent. Participants with AD (211) had neuropsychological profiles which were consistent with AD, and were more impaired than participants with mild cognitive impairment (133) or healthy controls (768), who performed within expected norms for age on neuropsychological testing. PiB PET scans were performed on 287 participants, 100 had DEXA scans and 91 participated in ActiGraph monitoring.
Conclusion: The participants comprising the AIBL cohort represent a group of highly motivated and well-characterized individuals who represent a unique resource for the study of AD. They will be reassessed at 18-month intervals in order to determine the predictive utility of various biomarkers, cognitive parameters and lifestyle factors as indicators of AD, and as predictors of future cognitive decline.
The two methods for measuring the haemagglutinin content of an influenza virus suspension are the haemagglutinating (HA) and chick cell agglutinating (CCA) techniques and both measure the same biological activity. With the establishment of an international reference preparation for influenza virus haemagglutinin (type A), however, it seems logical to express the haemagglutinin content of influenza vaccines in international units. Accordingly a collaborative study was arranged in order to obtain agreement on the number of units to be assigned to a British reference preparation for influenza haemagglutinin. It was agreed that the preparation contains 190 i.u. per ampoule and 1 i.u. is contained in 0·0622 mg. of the dried material.