2,537 research outputs found

    Use of personal call alarms among community-dwelling older people.

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    Having a fall and then lying on the floor for an hour or more is known as a ‘long lie’, which are associated with serious injury and an elevated risk of admission to hospital, long-term care, and death. Personal call alarms are designed to prevent long lies, although little is known about their use. Using cross-sectional data from the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing, this study investigated the proportion of self-reported users of personal call alarms among 3091 community-dwelling adults aged 65+ who reported difficulties of mobility or activities of daily living. The characteristics of users were then explored through logistic regressions comparing those living alone with those living with others. One hundred and eighty people self-reported using a personal call alarm (6%). Multivariate regression found the following to significantly predict personal call alarm use among both those living alone and with others: greater difficulty with activities / instrumental activities of daily living, older age, and for those living with others only: lower score on the quality of life subscale for control. Personal call alarm use may be markedly lower than the 30 per cent annual incidence of falls among community-dwelling older people. Better understanding is needed of the reasons for low usage, even amongst those at highest falls risk for whom such alarms are most likely to be beneficial

    Elevated glutamatergic compounds in pregenual anterior cingulate in pediatric autism spectrum disorder demonstrated by 1H MRS and 1H MRSI.

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    Recent research in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has aroused interest in anterior cingulate cortex and in the neurometabolite glutamate. We report two studies of pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) in pediatric ASD. First, we acquired in vivo single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) in 8 children with ASD and 10 typically developing controls who were well matched for age, but with fewer males and higher IQ. In the ASD group in midline pACC, we found mean 17.7% elevation of glutamate + glutamine (Glx) (p<0.05) and 21.2% (p<0.001) decrement in creatine + phosphocreatine (Cr). We then performed a larger (26 subjects with ASD, 16 controls) follow-up study in samples now matched for age, gender, and IQ using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging ((1)H MRSI). Higher spatial resolution enabled bilateral pACC acquisition. Significant effects were restricted to right pACC where Glx (9.5%, p<0.05), Cr (6.7%, p<0.05), and N-acetyl-aspartate + N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (10.2%, p<0.01) in the ASD sample were elevated above control. These two independent studies suggest hyperglutamatergia and other neurometabolic abnormalities in pACC in ASD, with possible right-lateralization. The hyperglutamatergic state may reflect an imbalance of excitation over inhibition in the brain as proposed in recent neurodevelopmental models of ASD

    Living well with dementia: An exploratory matched analysis of minority ethnic and white people with dementia and carers participating in the IDEAL programme

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    Objectives: The increasing heterogeneity of the population of older people is reflected in an increasing number of people with dementia and carers drawn from minority ethnic groups. Data from the IDEAL study are used to compare indices of ‘living well’ among people with dementia and carers from ethnic minority groups with matched white peers. Methods: We used an exploratory cross-sectional case-control design to compare ‘living well’ for people with dementia and carers from minority ethnic and white groups. Measures for both groups were quality of life, life satisfaction, wellbeing, loneliness, and social isolation and, for carers, stress, relationship quality, role captivity and caring competence. Results: The sample of people with dementia consisted of 20 minority ethnic and 60 white participants and for carers 15 and 45 respectively. People with dementia from minority ethnic groups had poorer quality of life (−4.74, 95% CI: −7.98 to −1.50) and higher loneliness (1.72, 95% CI: 0.78–2.66) whilst minority ethnic carers had higher stress (8.17, 95% CI: 1.72–14.63) and role captivity (2.00, 95% CI: 0.43–3.57) and lower relationship quality (−9.86, 95% CI: −14.24 to −5.48) than their white peers. Conclusion: Our exploratory study suggests that people with dementia from minority ethnic groups experience lower quality of life and carers experience higher stress and role captivity and lower relationship quality than their white peers. Confirmatory research with larger samples is required to facilitate analysis of the experiences of specific minority ethnic groups and examine the factors contributing to these disadvantages

    Quantitative Chemically-Specific Coherent Diffractive Imaging of Buried Interfaces using a Tabletop EUV Nanoscope

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    Characterizing buried layers and interfaces is critical for a host of applications in nanoscience and nano-manufacturing. Here we demonstrate non-invasive, non-destructive imaging of buried interfaces using a tabletop, extreme ultraviolet (EUV), coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) nanoscope. Copper nanostructures inlaid in SiO2 are coated with 100 nm of aluminum, which is opaque to visible light and thick enough that neither optical microscopy nor atomic force microscopy can image the buried interfaces. Short wavelength (29 nm) high harmonic light can penetrate the aluminum layer, yielding high-contrast images of the buried structures. Moreover, differences in the absolute reflectivity of the interfaces before and after coating reveal the formation of interstitial diffusion and oxidation layers at the Al-Cu and Al-SiO2 boundaries. Finally, we show that EUV CDI provides a unique capability for quantitative, chemically-specific imaging of buried structures, and the material evolution that occurs at these buried interfaces, compared with all other approaches.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figure

    Does owning a pet protect older people against loneliness?

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    This article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.Pet ownership is thought to make a positive contribution to health, health behaviours and the general well-being of older people. More specifically pet ownership is often proposed as a solution to the problem of loneliness in later life and specific 'pet based' interventions have been developed to combat loneliness. However the evidence to support this relationship is slim and it is assumed that pet ownership is a protection against loneliness rather than a response to loneliness. The aim of this paper is to examine the association between pet ownership and loneliness by exploring if pet ownership is a response to, or protection against, loneliness using Waves 0-5 from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

    Initiation of Psychotropic Medication after Partner Bereavement: A Matched Cohort Study

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    Background Recent changes to diagnostic criteria for depression in DSM-5 remove the bereavement exclusion, allowing earlier diagnosis following bereavement. Evaluation of the potential effect of this change requires an understanding of existing psychotropic medication prescribing by non-specialists after bereavement. Aims To describe initiation of psychotropic medication in the first year after partner bereavement. Methods In a UK primary care database, we identified 21,122 individuals aged 60 and over with partner bereavement and no psychotropic drug use in the previous year. Prescribing (anxiolytic/hypnotic, antidepressant, antipsychotic) after bereavement was compared to age, sex and practice matched controls. Results The risks of receiving a new psychotropic prescription within two and twelve months of bereavement were 9.5% (95% CI 9.1 to 9.9%) and 17.9% (17.3 to 18.4%) respectively; an excess risk of initiation in the first year of 12.4% compared to non-bereaved controls. Anxiolytic/hypnotic and antidepressant initiation rates were highest in the first two months. In this period, the hazard ratio for initiation of anxiolytics/hypnotics was 16.7 (95% CI 14.7 to 18.9) and for antidepressants was 5.6 (4.7 to 6.7) compared to non-bereaved controls. 13.3% of those started on anxiolytics/hypnotics within two months continued to receive this drug class at one year. The marked variation in background family practice prescribing of anxiolytics/hypnotics was the strongest determinant of their initiation in the first two months after bereavement. Conclusion Almost one in five older people received a new psychotropic drug prescription in the year after bereavement. The early increase and trend in antidepressant use after bereavement suggests some clinicians did not adhere to the bereavement exclusion, with implications for its recent removal in DSM-5. Family practice variation in use of anxiolytics/hypnotics suggests uncertainty over their role in bereavement with the potential for inappropriate long term use

    Association Between Unprotected Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure and Recurrence of Ocular Herpes Simplex Virus

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    Studies have suggested that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light may increase risk of herpes simplex virus (HSV) recurrence. Between 1993 and 1997, the Herpetic Eye Disease Study (HEDS) randomized 703 participants with ocular HSV to receipt of acyclovir or placebo for prevention of ocular HSV recurrence. Of these, 308 HEDS participants (48% female and 85% white; median age, 49 years) were included in a nested study of exposures thought to cause recurrence and were followed for up to 15 months. We matched weekly UV index values from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to each participant's study center and used marginal structural Cox models to account for time-varying psychological stress and contact lens use and selection bias from dropout. There were 44 recurrences of ocular HSV, yielding an incidence of 4.3 events per 1,000 person-weeks. Weighted hazard ratios comparing persons with ≥8 hours of time outdoors to those with less exposure were 0.84 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.27, 2.63) and 3.10 (95% CI: 1.14, 8.48) for weeks with a UV index of <4 and ≥4, respectively (ratio of hazard ratios = 3.68, 95% CI: 0.43, 31.4). Though results were imprecise, when the UV index was higher (i.e., ≥4), spending 8 or more hours per week outdoors was associated with increased risk of ocular HSV recurrence

    Are profiles of social, cultural, and economic capital related to living well with dementia? Longitudinal findings from the IDEAL programme

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    Rationale: Research exploring social, cultural, and economic capital among people with dementia is scarce. Objective: We describe levels of social, cultural, and economic capital in people with dementia at baseline and levels of social and cultural capital 12 and 24 months later. We identify groups of people with dementia having different combinations of capital and explore whether the identified groups differ in personal characteristics at baseline and in quality of life (QoL), satisfaction with life (SwL), and well-being over time. Method: Baseline, 12-months, and 24-months data from 1537 people with dementia (age, mean = 76.4 years; SD = 8.5; Alzheimer's Disease = 55.4%) enrolled in the IDEAL cohort were analyzed. Social (interactions with friends, civic participation, social participation, neighborhood trust, social network), cultural (education, cultural participation) and economic (annual income) capital, QoL, SwL, well-being, and personal characteristics were assessed. Results: Compared to people their age, people with dementia reported slightly lower frequency of interactions with friends, social networks and social support, civic and cultural participation, education, and annual income. However, social engagement, cultural participation, and annual income are low among British older adults. Latent profile analysis identified four groups that, based on their levels of social, cultural, and economic capital were named socially and economically privileged (18.0% of participants); financially secure (21.0% of participants); low capital (36.9% of participants); and very low capital (24.1% of participants). Latent growth curve models showed that over time QoL, SwL, and well-being remained largely stable for all groups. Compared to the low capital group, the socially and economically privileged and financially secure groups had higher QoL and well-being whereas the group with very low capital had poorer QoL, SwL, and well-being. Conclusions: New policies and efforts from the government, philanthropic foundations, the voluntary and primary care sectors are needed to address social, cultural, and economic disadvantage among people with dementia

    Spectroscopic Hα and Hγ survey of field Be stars: 2004-2009

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    Massive O- and B-type stars are cosmic engines in the Universe and can be the dominant source of luminosity in a galaxy. The class of Be stars are rapidly rotating B-type stars that lose mass in an equatorial, circumstellar disk (Porter & Rivinius 2003) and cause Balmer and other line emission. Currently, we are unsure as to why these stars rotate so quickly but three scenarios are possible: they may have been born as rapid rotators, spun up by binary mass transfer, or spun up during the main-sequence evolution of B stars. In order to investigate these scenarios for this population of massive stars, we have been spectroscopically observing a set of 115 field Be stars with the Kitt Peak Coudè Feed telescope in both the Hα and Hγ wavelength regimes since 2004. This time baseline allows for examination of variability properties of the circumstellar disks as well as determine candidates for closer examination for binarity. We find that 90% of the observed stars show some variability with 8% showing significant variability over the 5-year baseline. Such values may be compared with the significant variability seen in some clusters such as NGC 3766 (McSwain 2008). Also, while ~20% of the sample consists of known binaries, we find that another 15-30% of the sample shows indications of binarity. © International Astronomical Union 2011