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To examine (1) the association between purpose in life and multiple domains of cognitive function and informant-rated cognitive decline, affect, and activities; (2) whether these associations are moderated by sociodemographic factors, cognitive impairment, or depression; (3) whether the associations are independent of other aspects of well-being and depressive symptoms.
As part of the 2016 Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol from the Health and Retirement Study, participants completed a battery of cognitive tests and nominated a knowledgeable informant to rate their cognitive decline, affect, and activities. Participants with information available on their purpose in life from the 2014/2016 Leave Behind Questionnaire were included in the analytic sample (N = 2,812).
Purpose in life was associated with better performance in every cognitive domain examined (episodic memory, speed-attention, visuospatial skills, language, numeric reasoning; median β =.10, p <.001; median d =.53). Purpose was likewise associated with informant-rated cognitive decline and informant-rated affective and activity profiles beneficial for cognitive health (median β =.18, p < .001; median d =.55). There was little evidence of moderation by sociodemographic or other factors (e.g., depression). Life satisfaction, optimism, positive affect, and mastery were generally associated with cognition. When tested simultaneously with each other and depressive symptoms, most dimensions were reduced to non-significance; purpose remained a significant predictor.
Purpose in life is associated with better performance across numerous domains of cognition and with emotional and behavioral patterns beneficial for cognitive health that are observable by knowledgeable others. These associations largely generalize across demographic and clinical groups and are independent of other aspects of well-being.
This study examined the association between loneliness and risk of incident all-cause dementia and whether the association extends to specific causes of dementia.
Participants were from the UK Biobank (N = 492,322).
Loneliness was measured with a standard item. The diagnosis of dementia was derived from health and death records, which included all-cause dementia and the specific diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), vascular dementia (VD), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), over 15 years of follow-up.
Feeling lonely was associated with a nearly 60% increased risk of all-cause dementia (HR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.51–1.65; n = 7,475 incident all-cause). In cause-specific analyses, loneliness was a stronger predictor of VD (HR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.62–2.03; n = 1,691 incident VD) than AD (HR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.28–1.53; n = 3135 incident AD) and was, surprisingly, a strong predictor of FTD (HR = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.22–2.20; n = 252 incident FTD). The associations were robust to sensitivity analyses and were attenuated but remained significant accounting for clinical (e.g. diabetes) and behavioral (e.g. physical activity) risk factors, depression, social isolation, and genetic risk. The association between loneliness and all-cause and AD risk was moderated by APOE ϵ4 risk status such that the increased risk was apparent in both groups but stronger among non-carriers than carriers of the risk allele.
Loneliness is associated with increased risk of multiple types of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are promising tools to help identify the underlying pathology of neurocognitive disorders. In this manuscript, we report our experience with AD CSF biomarkers in 262 consecutive patients in a tertiary care memory clinic.
We retrospectively reviewed 262 consecutive patients who underwent lumbar puncture (LP) and CSF measurement of AD biomarkers (Aβ1–42, total tau or t-tau, and p-tau181). We studied the safety of the procedure and its impact on patient’s diagnosis and management.
The LP allowed to identify underlying AD pathology in 72 of the 121 patients (59%) with early onset amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) with a high probability of progression to AD; to distinguish the behavioral/dysexecutive variant of AD from the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) in 25 of the 45 patients (55%) with an atypical neurobehavioral profile; to identify AD as the underlying pathology in 15 of the 27 patients (55%) with atypical or unclassifiable primary progressive aphasia (PPA); and to distinguish AD from other disorders in 9 of the 29 patients (31%) with psychiatric differential diagnoses and 19 of the 40 patients (47%) with lesional differential diagnoses (normal pressure hydrocephalus, encephalitis, prion disease, etc.). No major complications occurred following the LP.
Our results suggest that CSF analysis is a safe and effective diagnostic tool in select patients with neurocognitive disorders. We advocate for a wider use of this biomarker in tertiary care memory clinics in Canada.
Models of personality and health suggest that personality contributes to health outcomes across adulthood. Personality traits, such as neuroticism and conscientiousness, have long-term predictive power for cognitive impairment in older adulthood, a critical health outcome. Less is known about whether personality measured earlier in life is also associated with cognition across adulthood prior to dementia.
Using data from the British Cohort Study 1970 (N = 4218; 58% female), the current research examined the relation between self-reported and mother-rated personality at age 16 and cognitive function concurrently at age 16 and cognitive function measured 30 years later at age 46, and whether these traits mediate the relation between childhood social class and midlife cognition.
Self-reported and mother-rated conscientiousness at age 16 were each associated with every cognitive measure at age 16 and most measures at age 46. Self-reported openness was likewise associated with better cognitive performance on all tasks at age 16 and prospectively predicted age 46 performance (mothers did not rate openness). Mother-rated agreeableness, but not self-reported, was associated with better cognitive performance at both time points. Adolescent personality mediated the relation between childhood social class and midlife cognitive function.
The current study advances personality and cognition by showing that (1) adolescent personality predicts midlife cognition 30 years later, (2) both self-reports and mother-ratings are important sources of information on personality associated with midlife cognition, and (3) adolescent personality may be one pathway through which the early life socioeconomic environment is associated with midlife cognition.
Feelings of purpose and meaning in life are protective against consequential cognitive outcomes, including reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Purpose and meaning are likely to also be associated with cognitive functions on the pathway to dementia. The objective of the current research was to test whether both purpose in life and meaning in life are associated with higher verbal fluency and better episodic memory and whether these associations varied by sociodemographic characteristics or economic characteristics of the country.
Prospective meta-analysis of cross-sectional associations based on individual participant data.
Established cohort studies with measures of either purpose in life or meaning in life and verbal fluency and episodic memory.
Across the cohorts, there were over 140,000 participants from 32 countries from North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
The meta-analysis indicated that purpose and meaning were associated with better performance on both the verbal fluency (meta-analytic partial r = .098, 95% confidence interval [CI] = .080, .116, p < .001) and episodic memory (r = .117, 95% CI = .100, .135, p < .001) task and that these associations were similar across measures of purpose in life and meaning in life. There was modest evidence that these associations were slightly stronger in relatively lower-income countries, and there was less consistent evidence that they varied by age, gender, or education.
These findings indicate a robust association between purpose/meaning and both verbal fluency and episodic memory across demographic groups and cultural context. Purpose/meaning may be a useful target of intervention for healthier cognitive aging.
Euclid is a Europe-led cosmology space mission dedicated to a visible and near infrared survey of the entire extra-galactic sky. Its purpose is to deepen our knowledge of the dark content of our Universe. After an overview of the Euclid mission and science, this contribution describes how the community is getting organized to face the data analysis challenges, both in software development and in operational data processing matters. It ends with a more specific account of some of the main contributions of the Swiss Science Data Center (SDC-CH).
According to the Planning Act of 28th June 2006, Andra is in charge of ensuring the sustainable management of all radioactive waste generated in France, especially the high-level and long-lived vitrified waste produced from spent fuel recycling.
Since 2006, all the studies and research related to the components of HLW cells have been incorporated into a broader R&D program which aims at characterizing and modeling (i) the glass matrix dissolution, (ii) the corrosion of the overpack and the lining, and (iii) the claystone evolution in the near field, considering all the interactions between these surrounding materials. This program, coordinated by Andra, has involved up to eighteen laboratories.
After closure of disposal cells and overpack failure, glass alteration is expected to begin in partially saturated conditions due to hydrogen production resulting from carbon steel corrosion in anoxic conditions. Therefore, the glass should at least partially be hydrated by water vapor during thousands of years until complete saturation. A part of the studies aimed to determine the glass behavior in such conditions, the influence of the main parameters (temperature, relative humidity) and consequences of vapor hydration on subsequent radionuclides release by water leaching.
In addition, the major part of the work focused on the influence of the environment on glass alteration. The effect of clay pore water on glass alteration rates (initial rate, rate drop and residual rate) was determined and particularly that of pH and magnesium. The nature of steel corrosion products and their interactions with glass alteration were also investigated. All these studies relied on experiments in surface laboratories, in Andra’s underground laboratory, together with natural or archeological analogs and modeling studies.
A series of physical characterization methods (UV fluorescence microscopy, X-ray
microdiffraction, backscattered electron imaging and X-ray absorption spectroscopy) were
applied to Polynesian pearls collected after different cultivation periods, varying from
three weeks to eighteen months. Through this rigorous time-based sampling, 120 pearls
produced by 20 different donor oysters were compared. Results show that the structure of
the pearl layer can be understood as a sequence of distinct secretion processes whose
progressive occurrence through time may lead to variously arranged and sometimes aberrant
mineralized structures. By making comparisons with the structure and growth mode of the
Pinctada margaritifera shell, this study shows that the currently
accepted theory that views the pearl-bed as a “reversed shell” cannot account for the
diversity of the microstructural patterns and mineralogical properties observed in the
pearl layers. From a practical and economic view point, it appears that development of
these pre-nacreous materials superposed onto a perfectly round-shaped nucleus is the main
cause of shape irregularities in pearls and the consequent decrease in their value.