153 research outputs found

    Support at Home: Interventions to Enhance Life in Dementia (SHIELD) – evidence, development and evaluation of complex interventions

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    Background: Dementia is a national priority and this research addresses the Prime Minister’s commitment to dementia research as demonstrated by his 2020 challenge and the new UK Dementia Research Institute. In the UK > 800,000 older people have dementia. It has a major impact on the lives of people with dementia themselves, on the lives of their family carers and on services, and costs the nation £26B per year. Pharmacological cures for dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease are not expected before 2025. If no cure can be found, the ageing demographic will result in 2 million people living with dementia by 2050. People with dementia lose much more than just their memory and their daily living skills; they can also lose their independence, their dignity and status, their confidence and morale, and their roles both within the family and beyond. They can be seen as a burden by society, by their families and even by themselves, and may feel unable to contribute to society. This programme of research aims to find useful interventions to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers, and to better understand how people with dementia can be supported at home and avoid being admitted to hospital. Objectives: (1) To develop and evaluate the maintenance cognitive stimulation therapy (MCST) for people with dementia; (2) to develop the Carer Supporter Programme (CSP), and to evaluate the CSP and Remembering Yesterday, Caring Today (RYCT) for people with dementia both separately and together in comparison with usual care; and (3) to develop a home treatment package (HTP) for dementia, to field test the HTP in practice and to conduct an exploratory trial. Methods: (1) The MCST programme was developed for people with dementia based on evidence and qualitative work. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) [with a pilot study of MCST plus acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs)] compared MCST with cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) only. The MCST implementation study conducted a trial of outreach compared with usual care, and assessed implementation in practice. (2) The CSP was developed based on existing evidence and the engagement of carers of people with dementia. The RCT (with internal pilot) compared the CSP and reminiscence (RYCT), both separately and in combination, with usual care. (3) A HTP for dementia, including the most promising interventions and components, was developed by systematically reviewing the literature and qualitative studies including consensus approaches. The HTP for dementia was evaluated in practice by conducting in-depth field testing. Results: (1) Continuing MCST improved quality of life and improved cognition for those taking AChEIs. It was also cost-effective. The CST implementation studies indicated that many staff will run CST groups following a 1-day training course, but that outreach support helps staff go on to run maintenance groups and may also improve staff sense of competence in dementia care. The study of CST in practice found no change in cognition or quality of life at 8-month follow-up. (2) The CSP/RYCT study found no benefits for family carers but improved quality of life for people with dementia. RYCT appeared beneficial for the quality of life of people with dementia but at an excessively high cost. (3) Case management for people with dementia reduces admissions to long-term care and reduces behavioural problems. In terms of managing crises, staff suggested more costly interventions, carers liked education and support, and people with dementia wanted family support, home adaptations and technology. The easy-to-use home treatment manual was feasible in practice to help staff working in crisis teams to prevent hospital admissions for people with dementia. Limitations: Given constraints on time and funding, we were unable to compete the exploratory trial of the HTP package or to conduct an economic evaluation. Future research: To improve the care of people with dementia experiencing crises, a large-scale clinical trial of the home treatment manual is needed. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for effective psychosocial interventions for dementia. MCST improved quality of life and was cost-effective, with benefits to cognition for those on AChEIs. MCST was feasible in practice. Both CSP and RYCT improved the quality of life of people with dementia, but the overall costs may be too high. The HTP was useful in practice but requires evaluation in a full trial. Dementia care research may improve the lives of millions of people across the world. Trial registrations: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN26286067 (MCST), ISRCTN28793457 (MCST implementation) and ISRCTN37956201 (CSP/RYCT). Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research programme and will be published in full in Programme Grants for Applied Research; Vol. 5, No. 5. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information

    High-Resolution Near-Infrared Polarimetry of a Circumstellar Disk around UX Tau A

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    We present H-band polarimetric imagery of UX Tau A taken with HiCIAO/AO188 on the Subaru Telescope. UX Tau A has been classified as a pre-transitional disk object, with a gap structure separating its inner and outer disks. Our imagery taken with the 0.15 (21 AU) radius coronagraphic mask has revealed a strongly polarized circumstellar disk surrounding UX Tau A which extends to 120 AU, at a spatial resolution of 0.1 (14 AU). It is inclined by 46 \pm 2 degree as the west side is nearest. Although SED modeling and sub-millimeter imagery suggested the presence of a gap in the disk, with the inner edge of the outer disk estimated to be located at 25 - 30 AU, we detect no evidence of a gap at the limit of our inner working angle (23 AU) at the near-infrared wavelength. We attribute the observed strong polarization (up to 66 %) to light scattering by dust grains in the disk. However, neither polarization models of the circumstellar disk based on Rayleigh scattering nor Mie scattering approximations were consistent with the observed azimuthal profile of the polarization degrees of the disk. Instead, a geometric optics model of the disk with nonspherical grains with the radii of 30 micron meter is consistent with the observed profile. We suggest that the dust grains have experienced frequent collisional coagulations and have grown in the circumstellar disk of UX Tau A.Comment: 20 pages, 8 figures, and 1 table. accepted to PAS

    Discovery of Small-Scale Spiral Structures in the Disk of SAO 206462 (HD 135344B): Implications for the Physical State of the Disk from Spiral Density Wave Theory

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    We present high-resolution, H-band, imaging observations, collected with Subaru/HiCIAO, of the scattered light from the transitional disk around SAO 206462 (HD 135344B). Although previous sub-mm imagery suggested the existence of the dust-depleted cavity at r~46AU, our observations reveal the presence of scattered light components as close as 0.2" (~28AU) from the star. Moreover, we have discovered two small-scale spiral structures lying within 0.5" (~70AU). We present models for the spiral structures using the spiral density wave theory, and derive a disk aspect ratio of h~0.1, which is consistent with previous sub-mm observations. This model can potentially give estimates of the temperature and rotation profiles of the disk based on dynamical processes, independently from sub-mm observations. It also predicts the evolution of the spiral structures, which can be observable on timescales of 10-20 years, providing conclusive tests of the model. While we cannot uniquely identify the origin of these spirals, planets embedded in the disk may be capable of exciting the observed morphology. Assuming that this is the case, we can make predictions on the locations and, possibly, the masses of the unseen planets. Such planets may be detected by future multi-wavelengths observations.Comment: 8 pages, 5 figures, ApJL in press, typo correcte

    Galaxy Clustering in Early SDSS Redshift Data

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    We present the first measurements of clustering in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) galaxy redshift survey. Our sample consists of 29,300 galaxies with redshifts 5,700 km/s < cz < 39,000 km/s, distributed in several long but narrow (2.5-5 degree) segments, covering 690 square degrees. For the full, flux-limited sample, the redshift-space correlation length is approximately 8 Mpc/h. The two-dimensional correlation function \xi(r_p,\pi) shows clear signatures of both the small-scale, ``fingers-of-God'' distortion caused by velocity dispersions in collapsed objects and the large-scale compression caused by coherent flows, though the latter cannot be measured with high precision in the present sample. The inferred real-space correlation function is well described by a power law, \xi(r)=(r/6.1+/-0.2 Mpc/h)^{-1.75+/-0.03}, for 0.1 Mpc/h < r < 16 Mpc/h. The galaxy pairwise velocity dispersion is \sigma_{12} ~ 600+/-100 km/s for projected separations 0.15 Mpc/h < r_p < 5 Mpc/h. When we divide the sample by color, the red galaxies exhibit a stronger and steeper real-space correlation function and a higher pairwise velocity dispersion than do the blue galaxies. The relative behavior of subsamples defined by high/low profile concentration or high/low surface brightness is qualitatively similar to that of the red/blue subsamples. Our most striking result is a clear measurement of scale-independent luminosity bias at r < 10 Mpc/h: subsamples with absolute magnitude ranges centered on M_*-1.5, M_*, and M_*+1.5 have real-space correlation functions that are parallel power laws of slope ~ -1.8 with correlation lengths of approximately 7.4 Mpc/h, 6.3 Mpc/h, and 4.7 Mpc/h, respectively.Comment: 51 pages, 18 figures. Replaced to match accepted ApJ versio

    The impact of individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) on cognition, quality of life, caregiver health, and family relationships in dementia: a randomized controlled trial

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    Background: Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a well-established group psychosocial intervention for people with dementia. There is evidence that homebased programmes of cognitive stimulation delivered by family caregivers may benefit both the person and the caregiver. However, no previous studies have evaluated caregiver-delivered CST. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based, caregiver-led individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) program in (i) improving cognition and quality of life (QoL) for the person with dementia and (ii) mental and physical health (wellbeing) for the caregiver. Methods and Findings: A single-blind, pragmatic randomized trial (RCT) at eight study sites across the UK. The intervention and blinded assessment of outcomes were conducted in participants’ homes. 356 people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers recruited from memory services, and community mental health teams. Participants were randomly assigned to iCST (75, 30 minute sessions) or treatment as usual (TAU) control over 25 weeks. iCST sessions consisted of themed activities designed to be mentally stimulating and enjoyable. Caregivers delivering iCST received training and support from an unblind researcher. Primary outcomes were cognition (Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale cognitive [ADAS-Cog]) and self-reported quality of life (QoL) (Quality of Life Alzheimer’s Disease [QoL-AD]) for the person with dementia, and general health status (Short Form-12 [SF-12]) for the caregiver. Secondary outcomes included: quality of the caregiving relationship from the perspectives of the person and of the caregiver (Quality of the Carer Patient Relationships Scale), and health-related QoL (EQ5D) for the caregiver. Intention to treat (ITT) analyses were conducted. At the post-test (26 weeks), there were no differences between the iCST and TAU groups in the outcomes of cognition (MD = -0·55, 95% CI -2·00 to 0·90; p=0·45), and self-reported quality of life (QoL) (MD = -0·02, 95% CI -1·22 to 0·82; p= 0·97) for people with dementia, or caregivers’ general health status (MD=0·13, 95% CI -1·65 to 1·91; p=0·89). However, people with dementia receiving iCST rated the relationship with their caregiver more positively (MD = 1·77, 95% CI 0·26 to 3·28; p=0·02) and iCST improved QoL for caregivers (EQ-5D, MD = 0·06, 95% CI 0·02 to 0·10; p=0·01). Forty percent (72/180) of dyads allocated to iCST completed at least two sessions per week, with 22% (39/180) completing no sessions at all. Study limitations include low adherence to the intervention. Conclusions: There was no evidence that iCST has an effect on cognition or QoL for people with dementia. However, participating in iCST appeared to enhance the quality of the caregiving relationship and caregivers’ QoL

    The Ninth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: First Spectroscopic Data from the SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey

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    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) presents the first spectroscopic data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). This ninth data release (DR9) of the SDSS project includes 535,995 new galaxy spectra (median z=0.52), 102,100 new quasar spectra (median z=2.32), and 90,897 new stellar spectra, along with the data presented in previous data releases. These spectra were obtained with the new BOSS spectrograph and were taken between 2009 December and 2011 July. In addition, the stellar parameters pipeline, which determines radial velocities, surface temperatures, surface gravities, and metallicities of stars, has been updated and refined with improvements in temperature estimates for stars with T_eff<5000 K and in metallicity estimates for stars with [Fe/H]>-0.5. DR9 includes new stellar parameters for all stars presented in DR8, including stars from SDSS-I and II, as well as those observed as part of the SDSS-III Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration-2 (SEGUE-2). The astrometry error introduced in the DR8 imaging catalogs has been corrected in the DR9 data products. The next data release for SDSS-III will be in Summer 2013, which will present the first data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) along with another year of data from BOSS, followed by the final SDSS-III data release in December 2014.Comment: 9 figures; 2 tables. Submitted to ApJS. DR9 is available at http://www.sdss3.org/dr

    Bile Acid Sequestrants for Lipid and Glucose Control

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    Bile acids are generated in the liver and are traditionally recognized for their regulatory role in multiple metabolic processes including bile acid homeostasis, nutrient absorption, and cholesterol homeostasis. Recently, bile acids emerged as signaling molecules that, as ligands for the bile acid receptors farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and TGR5, activate and integrate multiple complex signaling pathways involved in lipid and glucose metabolism. Bile acid sequestrants are pharmacologic molecules that bind to bile acids in the intestine resulting in the interruption of bile acid homeostasis and, consequently, reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemia. Bile acid sequestrants also reduce glucose levels and improve glycemic control in persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This article examines the mechanisms by which bile acid–mediated activation of FXR and TGR5 signaling pathways regulate lipid and glucose metabolism and the potential implications for bile acid sequestrant–mediated regulation of lipid and glucose levels in T2DM
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