Campbell Grant, Evan H
Detecting declines in populations at broad spatial scales takes enormous effort, and long-term data are often more sparse than is desired for estimating trends, identifying drivers for population changes, framing conservation decisions, or taking management actions. Museum records and historic data can be available at large scales across multiple decades, and are therefore an attractive source of information on the comparative status of populations. However, changes in populations may be real (e.g. in response to environmental covariates) or resulting from variation in our ability to observe the true population response (also possibly related to environmental covariates). This is a (statistical) nuisance in understanding the true status of a population. Evaluating statistical hypotheses alongside more interesting ecological ones is important in the appropriate use of museum data. Two statistical considerations are generally applicable to use of museum records: first without initial random sampling, comparison with contemporary results cannot provide inference to the entire range of a species, and second the availability of only some individuals in a population may respond to environmental changes. Changes in the availability of individuals may reduce the proportion of the population that is present and able to be counted on a given survey event, resulting in an apparent decline even when population size is stable. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
From 1950 to 1970, daily newspaper household penetration (DNHP) levels dropped from 1.24 to 0.99 in the United States. This paper describes some of the variables involved in this decline and outlines a market-by-market statistical analysis of the relationship between the penetration levels of daily newspapers and other forms of mass media. From…
Smith Andrew D
Full Text Available Abstract Background It is becoming increasingly important for researchers to be able to scan through large genomic regions for transcription factor binding sites or clusters of binding sites forming cis-regulatory modules. Correspondingly, there has been a push to develop algorithms for the rapid detection and assessment of cis-regulatory modules. While various algorithms for this purpose have been introduced, most are not well suited for rapid, genome scale scanning. Results We introduce methods designed for the detection and statistical evaluation of cis-regulatory modules, modeled as either clusters of individual binding sites or as combinations of sites with constrained organization. In order to determine the statistical significance of module sites, we first need a method to determine the statistical significance of single transcription factor binding site matches. We introduce a straightforward method of estimating the statistical significance of single site matches using a database of known promoters to produce data structures that can be used to estimate p-values for binding site matches. We next introduce a technique to calculate the statistical significance of the arrangement of binding sites within a module using a max-gap model. If the module scanned for has defined organizational parameters, the probability of the module is corrected to account for organizational constraints. The statistical significance of single site matches and the architecture of sites within the module can be combined to provide an overall estimation of statistical significance of cis-regulatory module sites. Conclusion The methods introduced in this paper allow for the detection and statistical evaluation of single transcription factor binding sites and cis-regulatory modules. The features described are implemented in the Search Tool for Occurrences of Regulatory Motifs (STORM and MODSTORM software.
Jakobsen, Janus Christian; Gluud, Christian; Winkel, Per
BACKGROUND: Thresholds for statistical significance are insufficiently demonstrated by 95% confidence intervals or P-values when assessing results from randomised clinical trials. First, a P-value only shows the probability of getting a result assuming that the null hypothesis is true and does...... not reflect the probability of getting a result assuming an alternative hypothesis to the null hypothesis is true. Second, a confidence interval or a P-value showing significance may be caused by multiplicity. Third, statistical significance does not necessarily result in clinical significance. Therefore...... of the probability that a given trial result is compatible with a 'null' effect (corresponding to the P-value) divided by the probability that the trial result is compatible with the intervention effect hypothesised in the sample size calculation; (3) adjust the confidence intervals and the statistical significance...
Johnson, Douglas H.
Despite their use in scientific journals such as The Journal of Wildlife Management, statistical hypothesis tests add very little value to the products of research. Indeed, they frequently confuse the interpretation of data. This paper describes how statistical hypothesis tests are often viewed, and then contrasts that interpretation with the correct one. I discuss the arbitrariness of P-values, conclusions that the null hypothesis is true, power analysis, and distinctions between statistical and biological significance. Statistical hypothesis testing, in which the null hypothesis about the properties of a population is almost always known a priori to be false, is contrasted with scientific hypothesis testing, which examines a credible null hypothesis about phenomena in nature. More meaningful alternatives are briefly outlined, including estimation and confidence intervals for determining the importance of factors, decision theory for guiding actions in the face of uncertainty, and Bayesian approaches to hypothesis testing and other statistical practices.
Shi, Jianxin; Levinson, Douglas F; Whittemore, Alice S
When testing large numbers of null hypotheses, one needs to assess the evidence against the global null hypothesis that none of the hypotheses is false. Such evidence typically is based on the test statistic of the largest magnitude, whose statistical significance is evaluated by permuting the sample units to simulate its null distribution. Efron (2007) has noted that correlation among the test statistics can induce substantial interstudy variation in the shapes of their histograms, which may cause misleading tail counts. Here, we show that permutation-based estimates of the overall significance level also can be misleading when the test statistics are correlated. We propose that such estimates be conditioned on a simple measure of the spread of the observed histogram, and we provide a method for obtaining conditional significance levels. We justify this conditioning using the conditionality principle described by Cox and Hinkley (1974). Application of the method to gene expression data illustrates the circumstances when conditional significance levels are needed.
Schneider, Jesper Wiborg
controversial and numerous criticisms have been leveled against their use. Based on examples from articles by proponents of the use statistical significance tests in research assessments, we address some of the numerous problems with such tests. The issues specifically discussed are the ritual practice......This article raises concerns about the advantages of using statistical significance tests in research assessments as has recently been suggested in the debate about proper normalization procedures for citation indicators by Opthof and Leydesdorff (2010). Statistical significance tests are highly...... argue that applying statistical significance tests and mechanically adhering to their results are highly problematic and detrimental to critical thinking. We claim that the use of such tests do not provide any advantages in relation to deciding whether differences between citation indicators...
Berry, Jonathan W.; Leung, Vitus Joseph; Phillips, Cynthia Ann; Pinar, Ali; Robinson, David Gerald; Berger-Wolf, Tanya; Bhowmick, Sanjukta; Casleton, Emily; Kaiser, Mark; Nordman, Daniel J.; Wilson, Alyson G.
This report summarizes the work performed under the project (3z(BStatitically significant relational data mining.(3y (BThe goal of the project was to add more statistical rigor to the fairly ad hoc area of data mining on graphs. Our goal was to develop better algorithms and better ways to evaluate algorithm quality. We concetrated on algorithms for community detection, approximate pattern matching, and graph similarity measures. Approximate pattern matching involves finding an instance of a relatively small pattern, expressed with tolerance, in a large graph of data observed with uncertainty. This report gathers the abstracts and references for the eight refereed publications that have appeared as part of this work. We then archive three pieces of research that have not yet been published. The first is theoretical and experimental evidence that a popular statistical measure for comparison of community assignments favors over-resolved communities over approximations to a ground truth. The second are statistically motivated methods for measuring the quality of an approximate match of a small pattern in a large graph. The third is a new probabilistic random graph model. Statisticians favor these models for graph analysis. The new local structure graph model overcomes some of the issues with popular models such as exponential random graph models and latent variable models.
Full Text Available In the second part of a series on pitfalls in statistical analysis, we look at various ways in which a statistically significant study result can be expressed. We debunk some of the myths regarding the ′P′ value, explain the importance of ′confidence intervals′ and clarify the importance of including both values in a paper
Atassi, Nazem; Cudkowicz, Merit E; Schoenfeld, David A
A few studies suggest that non-invasive ventilation (1) and gastric tube (G-tube) may have a positive impact on survival but the effect on functional decline is unclear. Confounding by indication may have produced biased estimates of the benefit seen in some of these retrospective studies. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of G-tube and NIV on survival and functional decline using advanced statistical models that adjust for confounding by indications. A database of 331 subjects enrolled in previous clinical trials in ALS was available for analysis. Marginal structural models (MSM) were used to compare the mortality hazards and ALSFRS-R slopes between treatment and non-treatment groups, after adjusting for confounding by indication. Results showed that the placement of a G-tube was associated with an additional 1.42 units/month decline in the ALSFRS-R slope (p NIV had no significant effect on ALSFRS-R decline or mortality. In conclusion, marginal structural models can be used to adjust for confounding by indication in retrospective ALS studies. G-tube placement could be followed by a faster rate of functional decline and increased mortality. Our results may suffer from some of the limitations of retrospective analyses.
The declining performance of Canadian students on international math assessments should worry Canadians and their provincial governments. Strong mathematics knowledge is required for success in the workforce, and early achievement in math is one of the best predictors of later academic success and future career options. Between 2003 and 2012, all but two Canadian provinces showed statistically significant declines in math scores on international exams administered by the Organization for Econ...
Consonni, Dario; Bertazzi, Pier Alberto
The P-value is widely used as a summary statistics of scientific results. Unfortunately, there is a widespread tendency to dichotomize its value in "P0.05" ("statistically not significant"), with the former implying a "positive" result and the latter a "negative" one. To show the unsuitability of such an approach when evaluating the effects of environmental and occupational risk factors. We provide examples of distorted use of P-value and of the negative consequences for science and public health of such a black-and-white vision. The rigid interpretation of P-value as a dichotomy favors the confusion between health relevance and statistical significance, discourages thoughtful thinking, and distorts attention from what really matters, the health significance. A much better way to express and communicate scientific results involves reporting effect estimates (e.g., risks, risks ratios or risk differences) and their confidence intervals (CI), which summarize and convey both health significance and statistical uncertainty. Unfortunately, many researchers do not usually consider the whole interval of CI but only examine if it includes the null-value, therefore degrading this procedure to the same P-value dichotomy (statistical significance or not). In reporting statistical results of scientific research present effects estimates with their confidence intervals and do not qualify the P-value as "significant" or "not significant".
de la Motte Rouge, Thibault; Pautier, Patricia; Genestie, Catherine; Rey, Annie; Gouy, Sébastien; Leary, Alexandra; Haie-Meder, Christine; Kerbrat, Pierre; Culine, Stéphane; Fizazi, Karim; Lhommé, Catherine
The ovarian yolk sac tumor (OYST) is a very rare malignancy arising in young women. Our objective was to determine whether an early decline in serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) during chemotherapy has a prognostic impact. This retrospective study is based on prospectively recorded OYST cases at Gustave Roussy (Cancer Treatment Center). Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The serum AFP decline was calculated with the formula previously developed and validated in male patients with poor prognosis non-seminomatous germ cell tumors. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using the log-rank test and logistic regression, respectively. Data on AFP were available to calculate an early AFP decline in 57 patients. All patients had undergone surgery followed by chemotherapy. The 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates were 86% (95% CI: 74%-93%) and 84% (95% CI: 73%-91%), respectively. The disease stage, presence of ascites at presentation, use of the BEP regimen, serum AFP half-life and an early AFP decline were significantly predictive factors for OS and EFS in the univariate analysis. The OS rate was 100% and 49% (95% CI: 26%-72%) in patients with a favorable AFP decline and in those with an unfavorable decline, respectively (p<0.001). In the multivariate analysis, only the presence of ascites at diagnosis (RR=7.3, p=0.03) and an unfavorable early AFP decline (RR=16.9, p<0.01) were significant negative predictive factors for OS. An early AFP decline during chemotherapy is an independent prognostic factor in patients with OYSTs. No conflict of interest. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Ranganathan, Priya; Pramesh, C. S.; Buyse, Marc
In the second part of a series on pitfalls in statistical analysis, we look at various ways in which a statistically significant study result can be expressed. We debunk some of the myths regarding the ‘P’ value, explain the importance of ‘confidence intervals’ and clarify the importance of including both values in a paper PMID:25878958
Shirooka, Hidehiko; Nishiguchi, Shu; Fukutani, Naoto; Tashiro, Yuto; Nozaki, Yuma; Aoyama, Tomoki
The association between subjective cognitive decline and falls has not been clearly determined. Our aim was to explore the effect of subjective cognitive decline on falls in community-dwelling older adults with or without objective cognitive decline. We included 470 older adults (mean age 73.6 ± 5.2; 329 women) living in the community and obtained data on fall history directly from the participants. Subjective cognitive decline was assessed using a self-administered question. Objective cognitive function was measured using the Mini-Mental State Examination. Statistical analyses were carried out separately for participants with objective cognitive decline and those without. A multiple logistic regression analysis showed that, among participants without objective cognitive decline, subjective cognitive decline was positively associated with falls [OR 1.91; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17-3.12; p = 0.01). Conversely, among participants with objective cognitive decline, subjective cognitive decline was negatively associated with falls (OR 0.07; 95% CI 0.01-0.85, p = 0.04). The result suggests that the objective-subjective disparity may affect falls in community-dwelling older adults. The presence of subjective cognitive decline was significantly positively associated with falls among cognitively intact older adults. However, among their cognitively impaired peers, the absence of subjective cognitive decline was positively associated with falls.
Breunig, Nancy A.
Despite the increasing criticism of statistical significance testing by researchers, particularly in the publication of the 1994 American Psychological Association's style manual, statistical significance test results are still popular in journal articles. For this reason, it remains important to understand the logic of inferential statistics. A…
Thomas H. Stevens; Thomas A. More; Marla. Markowski-Lindsay
Visitation to the major nature-based national parks has been declining. This paper specifies an econometric model that estimates the relative impact of consumer incomes, travel costs, entry fees and other factors on per capita attendance from 1993 to 2010. Results suggest that entrance fees have had a statistically significant but small impact on per capita attendance...
This article presents and discusses the 2007 statistics for solar power in Switzerland. A significant number of new installations is noted as is the high production figures from newer installations. The basics behind the compilation of the Swiss solar power statistics are briefly reviewed and an overview for the period 1989 to 2007 is presented which includes figures on the number of photovoltaic plant in service and installed peak power. Typical production figures in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per installed kilowatt-peak power (kWp) are presented and discussed for installations of various sizes. Increased production after inverter replacement in older installations is noted. Finally, the general political situation in Switzerland as far as solar power is concerned are briefly discussed as are international developments.
Metz, C.E.; Kronman, H.B.
A test for the statistical significance of observed differences between two measured Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves has been designed and evaluated. The set of observer response data for each ROC curve is assumed to be independent and to arise from a ROC curve having a form which, in the absence of statistical fluctuations in the response data, graphs as a straight line on double normal-deviate axes. To test the significance of an apparent difference between two measured ROC curves, maximum likelihood estimates of the two parameters of each curve and the associated parameter variances and covariance are calculated from the corresponding set of observer response data. An approximate Chi-square statistic with two degrees of freedom is then constructed from the differences between the parameters estimated for each ROC curve and from the variances and covariances of these estimates. This statistic is known to be truly Chi-square distributed only in the limit of large numbers of trials in the observer performance experiments. Performance of the statistic for data arising from a limited number of experimental trials was evaluated. Independent sets of rating scale data arising from the same underlying ROC curve were paired, and the fraction of differences found (falsely) significant was compared to the significance level, α, used with the test. Although test performance was found to be somewhat dependent on both the number of trials in the data and the position of the underlying ROC curve in the ROC space, the results for various significance levels showed the test to be reliable under practical experimental conditions
O'Byrne, Paul M; Pedersen, Søren; Lamm, Carl Johan
RATIONALE: To evaluate the association between asthma exacerbations and the decline in lung function, as well as the potential effects of an inhaled corticosteroid, budesonide, on exacerbation-related decline in patients with asthma. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether severe asthma exacerbations...... with low-dose inhaled budesonide prevents severe asthma-related events (exacerbations requiring hospitalization or emergency treatment) and decline in lung function. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: There were 315 patients who experienced at least one severe asthma exacerbation, of which 305 were analyzable...... of reduction afforded by budesonide, in patients who experienced at least one severe asthma-related event compared with those who did not, was statistically significant (P = 0.042). CONCLUSIONS: Severe asthma exacerbations are associated with a more rapid decline in lung function. Treatment with low doses...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Many of the available methods for detecting Genomic Islands (GIs in prokaryotic genomes use markers such as transposons, proximal tRNAs, flanking repeats etc., or they use other supervised techniques requiring training datasets. Most of these methods are primarily based on the biases in GC content or codon and amino acid usage of the islands. However, these methods either do not use any formal statistical test of significance or use statistical tests for which the critical values and the P-values are not adequately justified. We propose a method, which is unsupervised in nature and uses Monte-Carlo statistical tests based on randomly selected segments of a chromosome. Such tests are supported by precise statistical distribution theory, and consequently, the resulting P-values are quite reliable for making the decision. Results Our algorithm (named Design-Island, an acronym for Detection of Statistically Significant Genomic Island runs in two phases. Some 'putative GIs' are identified in the first phase, and those are refined into smaller segments containing horizontally acquired genes in the refinement phase. This method is applied to Salmonella typhi CT18 genome leading to the discovery of several new pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance and metabolic islands that were missed by earlier methods. Many of these islands contain mobile genetic elements like phage-mediated genes, transposons, integrase and IS elements confirming their horizontal acquirement. Conclusion The proposed method is based on statistical tests supported by precise distribution theory and reliable P-values along with a technique for visualizing statistically significant islands. The performance of our method is better than many other well known methods in terms of their sensitivity and accuracy, and in terms of specificity, it is comparable to other methods.
Jungnitsch, Bastian; Niekamp, Sönke; Kleinmann, Matthias; Gühne, Otfried; Lu, He; Gao, Wei-Bo; Chen, Yu-Ao; Chen, Zeng-Bing; Pan, Jian-Wei
Entanglement is often verified by a violation of an inequality like a Bell inequality or an entanglement witness. Considerable effort has been devoted to the optimization of such inequalities in order to obtain a high violation. We demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that such an optimization does not necessarily lead to a better entanglement test, if the statistical error is taken into account. Theoretically, we show for different error models that reducing the violation of an inequality can improve the significance. Experimentally, we observe this phenomenon in a four-photon experiment, testing the Mermin and Ardehali inequality for different levels of noise. Furthermore, we provide a way to develop entanglement tests with high statistical significance.
Gwet, Kilem L.
This article addresses the problem of testing the difference between two correlated agreement coefficients for statistical significance. A number of authors have proposed methods for testing the difference between two correlated kappa coefficients, which require either the use of resampling methods or the use of advanced statistical modeling…
Gray, Clark L; Bozigar, Matthew; Bilsborrow, Richard E
Wild product harvesting by forest-dwelling peoples, including hunting, fishing, forest product collection and timber harvesting, is believed to be a major threat to the biodiversity of tropical forests worldwide. Despite this threat, few studies have attempted to quantify these activities across time or across large spatial scales. We use a unique longitudinal household survey (n = 480) to describe changes in these activities over time in 32 indigenous communities from five ethnicities in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon. To provide insight into the drivers of these changes, we also estimate multilevel statistical models of these activities as a function of household and community characteristics. These analyses reveal that participation in hunting, fishing, and forest product collection is high but declining across time and across ethnicities, with no evidence for a parallel decline in resource quality. However, participation in timber harvesting did not significantly decline and there is evidence of a decline in resource quality. Multilevel statistical models additionally reveal that household and community characteristics such as ethnicity, demographic characteristics, wealth, livelihood diversification, access to forest, participation in conservation programs and exposure to external markets are significant predictors of wild product harvesting. These characteristics have changed over time but cannot account for declining participation in resource harvesting. This finding suggests that participation is declining due to changes in the regional-scale social and economic context, including urbanization and the expansion of government infrastructure and services. The lesson for conservationists is that macro-scale social and economic conditions can drive reductions in wild product harvesting even in the absence of successful conservation interventions.
Koivunen, Jaana; Karrasch, Mira; Scheinin, Noora M
Background/Aims: The relationship between baseline (11)C-Pittsburgh compound B ((11)C-PIB) uptake and cognitive decline during a 2-year follow-up was studied in 9 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who converted to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 7 who remained with MCI. Methods: (11)C......: At baseline, there were statistically significant differences in (11)C-PIB uptake, but not in cognitive test performances between the converters and nonconverters. Memory and executive function declined only in the converters during follow-up. In the converters, lower baseline frontal (11)C-PIB uptake...... was associated with faster decline in verbal learning. Higher baseline uptake in the caudate nucleus was related to faster decline in memory consolidation, and higher temporal uptake was associated with decline in executive function. Conclusion: Higher (11)C-PIB uptake in the caudate nucleus and temporal lobe...
Kimes, Patrick K.; Liu, Yufeng; Hayes, D. Neil; Marron, J. S.
Summary Cluster analysis has proved to be an invaluable tool for the exploratory and unsupervised analysis of high dimensional datasets. Among methods for clustering, hierarchical approaches have enjoyed substantial popularity in genomics and other fields for their ability to simultaneously uncover multiple layers of clustering structure. A critical and challenging question in cluster analysis is whether the identified clusters represent important underlying structure or are artifacts of natural sampling variation. Few approaches have been proposed for addressing this problem in the context of hierarchical clustering, for which the problem is further complicated by the natural tree structure of the partition, and the multiplicity of tests required to parse the layers of nested clusters. In this paper, we propose a Monte Carlo based approach for testing statistical significance in hierarchical clustering which addresses these issues. The approach is implemented as a sequential testing procedure guaranteeing control of the family-wise error rate. Theoretical justification is provided for our approach, and its power to detect true clustering structure is illustrated through several simulation studies and applications to two cancer gene expression datasets. PMID:28099990
Trends in monthly heavy precipitation, defined by a return period of one year, are assessed for statistical significance in observations and Global Climate Model (GCM) simulations over the contiguous United States using Monte Carlo non-parametric and parametric bootstrapping techniques. The results from the two Monte Carlo approaches are found to be similar to each other, and also to the traditional non-parametric Kendall\\'s τ test, implying the robustness of the approach. Two different observational data-sets are employed to test for trends in monthly heavy precipitation and are found to exhibit consistent results. Both data-sets demonstrate upward trends, one of which is found to be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. Upward trends similar to observations are observed in some climate model simulations of the twentieth century, but their statistical significance is marginal. For projections of the twenty-first century, a statistically significant upwards trend is observed in most of the climate models analyzed. The change in the simulated precipitation variance appears to be more important in the twenty-first century projections than changes in the mean precipitation. Stochastic fluctuations of the climate-system are found to be dominate monthly heavy precipitation as some GCM simulations show a downwards trend even in the twenty-first century projections when the greenhouse gas forcings are strong. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
Kramer, Karen L; Veile, Amanda; Otárola-Castillo, Erik
Early childhood growth has many downstream effects on future health and reproduction and is an important measure of offspring quality. While a tradeoff between family size and child growth outcomes is theoretically predicted in high-fertility societies, empirical evidence is mixed. This is often attributed to phenotypic variation in parental condition. However, inconsistent study results may also arise because family size confounds the potentially differential effects that older and younger siblings can have on young children's growth. Additionally, inconsistent results might reflect that the biological significance associated with different growth trajectories is poorly understood. This paper addresses these concerns by tracking children's monthly gains in height and weight from weaning to age five in a high fertility Maya community. We predict that: 1) as an aggregate measure family size will not have a major impact on child growth during the post weaning period; 2) competition from young siblings will negatively impact child growth during the post weaning period; 3) however because of their economic value, older siblings will have a negligible effect on young children's growth. Accounting for parental condition, we use linear mixed models to evaluate the effects that family size, younger and older siblings have on children's growth. Congruent with our expectations, it is younger siblings who have the most detrimental effect on children's growth. While we find statistical evidence of a quantity/quality tradeoff effect, the biological significance of these results is negligible in early childhood. Our findings help to resolve why quantity/quality studies have had inconsistent results by showing that sibling competition varies with sibling age composition, not just family size, and that biological significance is distinct from statistical significance.
Karen L Kramer
Full Text Available Early childhood growth has many downstream effects on future health and reproduction and is an important measure of offspring quality. While a tradeoff between family size and child growth outcomes is theoretically predicted in high-fertility societies, empirical evidence is mixed. This is often attributed to phenotypic variation in parental condition. However, inconsistent study results may also arise because family size confounds the potentially differential effects that older and younger siblings can have on young children's growth. Additionally, inconsistent results might reflect that the biological significance associated with different growth trajectories is poorly understood. This paper addresses these concerns by tracking children's monthly gains in height and weight from weaning to age five in a high fertility Maya community. We predict that: 1 as an aggregate measure family size will not have a major impact on child growth during the post weaning period; 2 competition from young siblings will negatively impact child growth during the post weaning period; 3 however because of their economic value, older siblings will have a negligible effect on young children's growth. Accounting for parental condition, we use linear mixed models to evaluate the effects that family size, younger and older siblings have on children's growth. Congruent with our expectations, it is younger siblings who have the most detrimental effect on children's growth. While we find statistical evidence of a quantity/quality tradeoff effect, the biological significance of these results is negligible in early childhood. Our findings help to resolve why quantity/quality studies have had inconsistent results by showing that sibling competition varies with sibling age composition, not just family size, and that biological significance is distinct from statistical significance.
Jungnitsch, Bastian; Niekamp, Soenke; Kleinmann, Matthias; Guehne, Otfried [Institut fuer Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation, Innsbruck (Austria); Lu, He; Gao, Wei-Bo; Chen, Zeng-Bing [Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China); Chen, Yu-Ao; Pan, Jian-Wei [Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China); Physikalisches Institut, Universitaet Heidelberg (Germany)
Entanglement is often verified by a violation of an inequality like a Bell inequality or an entanglement witness. Considerable effort has been devoted to the optimization of such inequalities in order to obtain a high violation. We demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that such an optimization does not necessarily lead to a better entanglement test, if the statistical error is taken into account. Theoretically, we show for different error models that reducing the violation of an inequality can improve the significance. We show this to be the case for an error model in which the variance of an observable is interpreted as its error and for the standard error model in photonic experiments. Specifically, we demonstrate that the Mermin inequality yields a Bell test which is statistically more significant than the Ardehali inequality in the case of a photonic four-qubit state that is close to a GHZ state. Experimentally, we observe this phenomenon in a four-photon experiment, testing the above inequalities for different levels of noise.
The purpose of the article is to review the statistical significance reporting practices in reading instruction studies and to provide guidelines for when to calculate and report effect sizes in educational research. A review of six readily accessible (online) and accredited journals publishing research on reading instruction ...
Applied researchers have employed chi-square tests for more than one hundred years. This paper addresses the question of how one should follow a statistically significant chi-square test result in order to determine the source of that result. Four approaches were evaluated: calculating residuals, comparing cells, ransacking, and partitioning. Data…
Full Text Available The performance of adult stem cells is crucial for tissue homeostasis but their regenerative capacity declines with age, leading to failure of multiple organs. In skeletal muscle this failure is manifested by the loss of functional tissue, the accumulation of fibrosis, and reduced satellite cell-mediated myogenesis in response to injury. While recent studies have shown that changes in the composition of the satellite cell niche are at least in part responsible for the impaired function observed with aging, little is known about the effects of aging on the intrinsic properties of satellite cells. For instance, their ability to repair DNA damage and the effects of a potential accumulation of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs on their regenerative performance remain unclear. This work demonstrates that old muscle stem cells display no significant accumulation of DNA DSBs when compared to those of young, as assayed after cell isolation and in tissue sections, either in uninjured muscle or at multiple time points after injury. Additionally, there is no significant difference in the expression of DNA DSB repair proteins or globally assayed DNA damage response genes, suggesting that not only DNA DSBs, but also other types of DNA damage, do not significantly mark aged muscle stem cells. Satellite cells from DNA DSB-repair-deficient SCID mice do have an unsurprisingly higher level of innate DNA DSBs and a weakened recovery from gamma-radiation-induced DNA damage. Interestingly, they are as myogenic in vitro and in vivo as satellite cells from young wild type mice, suggesting that the inefficiency in DNA DSB repair does not directly correlate with the ability to regenerate muscle after injury. Overall, our findings suggest that a DNA DSB-repair deficiency is unlikely to be a key factor in the decline in muscle regeneration observed upon aging.
Al Adas, Ziad; Shepard, Alexander D; Nypaver, Timothy J; Weaver, Mitchell R; Maatman, Thomas; Yessayan, Lenar T; Balraj, Praveen; Kabbani, Loay S
regression model to look at GFR decline during several years, there was a greater decline in GFR in the EVAR group. This became significant starting at postoperative year 4. AKI and preoperative renal dysfunction were independent risk factors for long-term decline in renal function. Although AKI is less likely to occur after EVAR, patients undergoing EVAR experience a significant but delayed decline in GFR over time compared with OR. This became apparent after postoperative year 4. Studies comparing EVAR and OR may need longer follow-up to detect clinically significant differences in renal function. Copyright © 2018 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reichelt, G.; Kollert, R.
Is more serious damage of forest observed in the vicinity of nuclear reactors. How are those decline patterns to be explained. Does the combined effect of radioactivity and different air pollutants (such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, oxidants etc.) have an influence in the decline of the forest. In what way do synergisms, i.e. mutually enhanced effects, participate. How does natural and artificial radioactivity affect the chemistry of air in the polluted atmosphere. What does this mean for the extension of nuclear energy, especially for the reprocessing plant planned. Damage in the forests near nuclear and industrial plants was mapped and the resulting hypotheses on possible emittors were statistically verified. Quantitative calculations as to the connection between nuclear energy and forest decline were carried through: they demand action. (orig./HP) [de
Full Text Available A statistically significant result, and a non-significant result may differ little, although significance status may tempt an interpretation of difference. Two studies are reported that compared interpretation of such results presented using null hypothesis significance testing (NHST, or confidence intervals (CIs. Authors of articles published in psychology, behavioural neuroscience, and medical journals were asked, via email, to interpret two fictitious studies that found similar results, one statistically significant, and the other non-significant. Responses from 330 authors varied greatly, but interpretation was generally poor, whether results were presented as CIs or using NHST. However, when interpreting CIs respondents who mentioned NHST were 60% likely to conclude, unjustifiably, the two results conflicted, whereas those who interpreted CIs without reference to NHST were 95% likely to conclude, justifiably, the two results were consistent. Findings were generally similar for all three disciplines. An email survey of academic psychologists confirmed that CIs elicit better interpretations if NHST is not invoked. Improved statistical inference can result from encouragement of meta-analytic thinking and use of CIs but, for full benefit, such highly desirable statistical reform requires also that researchers interpret CIs without recourse to NHST.
Leunissen Jack AM
Full Text Available Abstract Background In the past years the Smith-Waterman sequence comparison algorithm has gained popularity due to improved implementations and rapidly increasing computing power. However, the quality and sensitivity of a database search is not only determined by the algorithm but also by the statistical significance testing for an alignment. The e-value is the most commonly used statistical validation method for sequence database searching. The CluSTr database and the Protein World database have been created using an alternative statistical significance test: a Z-score based on Monte-Carlo statistics. Several papers have described the superiority of the Z-score as compared to the e-value, using simulated data. We were interested if this could be validated when applied to existing, evolutionary related protein sequences. Results All experiments are performed on the ASTRAL SCOP database. The Smith-Waterman sequence comparison algorithm with both e-value and Z-score statistics is evaluated, using ROC, CVE and AP measures. The BLAST and FASTA algorithms are used as reference. We find that two out of three Smith-Waterman implementations with e-value are better at predicting structural similarities between proteins than the Smith-Waterman implementation with Z-score. SSEARCH especially has very high scores. Conclusion The compute intensive Z-score does not have a clear advantage over the e-value. The Smith-Waterman implementations give generally better results than their heuristic counterparts. We recommend using the SSEARCH algorithm combined with e-values for pairwise sequence comparisons.
Abildstrom, Steen Z; Rasmussen, Søren; Madsen, Mette
OBJECTIVE: We evaluated trends in in-hospital case fatality after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in Denmark and analysed changes in the hospitalization rate for AMI. DESIGN: National population-based registries were used to identify patients (> or =30 years) who were admitted for their first AMI...... from 1994 to 2001. RESULTS: The annual relative decline in case-fatality rate was constant at 10.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 9.5-11.5%). The decline was similar for both genders at all ages. The hospitalization rate decreased from 1994 to 1999 at an annual average of 4.3% (95% CI 3.......4-5.1%). In 2000 and 2001 the average annual increase was 7-8%. CONCLUSION: The case-fatality rate after AMI declined significantly in Denmark, similar to other Western countries, but the level is still higher than that of the USA. The increasing hospitalization rate coincided with changes in risk factors...
van Rijn, Marieke H C; Bech, Anneke; Bouyer, Jean; van den Brand, Jan A J G
In March this year, the American Statistical Association (ASA) posted a statement on the correct use of P-values, in response to a growing concern that the P-value is commonly misused and misinterpreted. We aim to translate these warnings given by the ASA into a language more easily understood by clinicians and researchers without a deep background in statistics. Moreover, we intend to illustrate the limitations of P-values, even when used and interpreted correctly, and bring more attention to the clinical relevance of study findings using two recently reported studies as examples. We argue that P-values are often misinterpreted. A common mistake is saying that P < 0.05 means that the null hypothesis is false, and P ≥0.05 means that the null hypothesis is true. The correct interpretation of a P-value of 0.05 is that if the null hypothesis were indeed true, a similar or more extreme result would occur 5% of the times upon repeating the study in a similar sample. In other words, the P-value informs about the likelihood of the data given the null hypothesis and not the other way around. A possible alternative related to the P-value is the confidence interval (CI). It provides more information on the magnitude of an effect and the imprecision with which that effect was estimated. However, there is no magic bullet to replace P-values and stop erroneous interpretation of scientific results. Scientists and readers alike should make themselves familiar with the correct, nuanced interpretation of statistical tests, P-values and CIs. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.
In stochastic damages, the numbers of events, e.g. the persons who are affected by or have died of cancer, and thus the relative frequencies (incidence or mortality) are binomially distributed random variables. Their statistical fluctuations can be characterized by confidence intervals. For epidemiologic questions, especially for the analysis of stochastic damages in the low dose range, the following issues are interesting: - Is a sample (a group of persons) with a definite observed damage frequency part of the whole population? - Is an observed frequency difference between two groups of persons random or statistically significant? - Is an observed increase or decrease of the frequencies with increasing dose random or statistically significant and how large is the regression coefficient (= risk coefficient) in this case? These problems can be solved by sttistical tests. So-called distribution-free tests and tests which are not bound to the supposition of normal distribution are of particular interest, such as: - χ 2 -independence test (test in contingency tables); - Fisher-Yates-test; - trend test according to Cochran; - rank correlation test given by Spearman. These tests are explained in terms of selected epidemiologic data, e.g. of leukaemia clusters, of the cancer mortality of the Japanese A-bomb survivors especially in the low dose range as well as on the sample of the cancer mortality in the high background area in Yangjiang (China). (orig.) [de
Kirti AREKAR; Rinku JAIN
The stock market volatility is depends on three major features, complete volatility, volatility fluctuations, and volatility attention and they are calculate by the statistical techniques. Comparative analysis of market volatility for two major index i.e. banking & IT sector in Bombay stock exchange (BSE) by using average decline model. The average degeneration process in volatility has being used after very high and low stock returns. The results of this study explain significant decline in...
This paper suggests that statistical significance testing and effect size are two sides of the same coin; they complement each other, but do not substitute for one another. Good research practice requires that both should be taken into consideration to make sound quantitative decisions. A Monte Carlo simulation experiment was conducted, and a…
Rajendra P. Sishodia
New hydrological insights for the region: Contrary to common perception of widespread groundwater declines only 22–36% of the wells showed statistically significant declines. The use of well depth during dry well periods may slightly underestimate the number of declining wells (by 1% and rate of decline. Increase in groundwater irrigated area combined with rainfall and power subsidy policy, were the main causative factors for the decline. Groundwater decline after implementation of free-electricity policy in 2004 confirmed the nexus between power subsidy and groundwater. These declines are likely to worsen due to future well drillings. Trends in other regions with similar hydro-geologic conditions need to be analyzed to verify groundwater declines and its linkages with power subsidy. Once established, reforms in power subsidy and well permit policy along with conversion to efficient micro–irrigation may be needed to maintain or enhance groundwater availability in the crystalline aquifer region of India (240 million ha.
Papageorgiou, Spyridon N; Kloukos, Dimitrios; Petridis, Haralampos; Pandis, Nikolaos
To assess the hypothesis that there is excessive reporting of statistically significant studies published in prosthodontic and implantology journals, which could indicate selective publication. The last 30 issues of 9 journals in prosthodontics and implant dentistry were hand-searched for articles with statistical analyses. The percentages of significant and non-significant results were tabulated by parameter of interest. Univariable/multivariable logistic regression analyses were applied to identify possible predictors of reporting statistically significance findings. The results of this study were compared with similar studies in dentistry with random-effects meta-analyses. From the 2323 included studies 71% of them reported statistically significant results, with the significant results ranging from 47% to 86%. Multivariable modeling identified that geographical area and involvement of statistician were predictors of statistically significant results. Compared to interventional studies, the odds that in vitro and observational studies would report statistically significant results was increased by 1.20 times (OR: 2.20, 95% CI: 1.66-2.92) and 0.35 times (OR: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.05-1.73), respectively. The probability of statistically significant results from randomized controlled trials was significantly lower compared to various study designs (difference: 30%, 95% CI: 11-49%). Likewise the probability of statistically significant results in prosthodontics and implant dentistry was lower compared to other dental specialties, but this result did not reach statistical significant (P>0.05). The majority of studies identified in the fields of prosthodontics and implant dentistry presented statistically significant results. The same trend existed in publications of other specialties in dentistry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This paper examines the pedagogical and organisational changes three lead teachers made to their statistics teaching and learning programs. The lead teachers posed the research question: What would the effect of contextually integrating statistical investigations and literacies into other curriculum areas be on student achievement? By finding the…
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Aim – Understand if functional and cognitive decline is accentuated during hospitalization in elderly patients. Method – It was design a descriptive and correlational study. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE were used. Results – Were evaluated at admission and discharge 51 elderly (75.53 ± 7.16 years, 53% women, admitted in an internal medicine unit with a length of stay of 14.27±6.45 days. For FIM and MMSE were found statistically significant differences with lower scores from admission to discharge. Negative correlations between age and length of stay and the scores of all measures were found. Except for the Cognitive FIM at admission, all elderly residents at home fared better than the institutionalized in all measures. Conclusions – The hospitalization contributes to a greater weakness/frailty of the elderly and is considered high risk for decline in physical fitness and cognitive function.
Fernandes, Arnold; Rollinson, Christine R.; Kearney, William S.; Dietze, Michael C.; Fagherazzi, Sergio
The Mid-Atlantic coastal forests in Virginia are stressed by episodic disturbance from hurricanes and nor'easters. Using annual tree ring data, we adopt a dendroclimatic and statistical modeling approach to understand the response and resilience of a coastal pine forest to extreme storm events, over the past few decades. Results indicate that radial growth of trees in the study area is influenced by age, regional climate trends, and individual tree effects but dominated periodically by growth disturbance due to storms. We evaluated seven local extreme storm events to understand the effect of nor'easters and hurricanes on radial growth. A general decline in radial growth was observed in the year of the extreme storm and 3 years following it, after which the radial growth started recovering. The decline in radial growth showed a statistically significant correlation with the magnitude of the extreme storm (storm surge height and wind speed). This study contributes to understanding declining tree growth response and resilience of coastal forests to past disturbances. Given the potential increase in hurricanes and storm surge severity in the region, this can help predict vegetation response patterns to similar disturbances in the future.
Full Text Available Declining vineyards are assessed by a multi-year decrease in vine productivity and/or its sudden premature or gradual death, based on multiple factors. Since 2015, the French wine sector has been working on an original study to identify new research avenues while launching an innovative action plan to combat vineyard decline. First, a statistical analysis enabled to estimate research efforts in the different countries. 70 factors susceptible to contribute to vineyard decline were then identified by analyzing more than 500 publications. These factors are biological, physical or linked to growing practices. While the role of pathogens is fairly well-known, the impact of the land plot or the soil on decline is less understood. Secondly, a prospective methodology was used to better identify viticulture system factors and levers affecting vines. It was thus demonstrated that yield and longevity are strongly linked to agronomy, economic variables and plant matter, plant physiology, disease, etc... These are the key issues and leverage actions to combat more strongly vineyard decline. The matrix analysis was then complemented by interviews and statistical data to imagine leverage actions. The strategic action plan is focused on four objectives: promoting training of good practices, improving plant production organization, developing vineyard observation networks, implementing an innovative research plan.
Shahrestani, Parvin; Tran, Xuan; Mueller, Laurence D
For a period of 6-15 days prior to death, the fecundity and virility of Drosophila melanogaster fall significantly below those of same-aged flies that are not near death. It is likely that other aspects of physiology may decline during this period. This study attempts to document changes in two physiological characteristics prior to death: desiccation resistance and time-in-motion. Using individual fecundity estimates and previously described models, it is possible to accurately predict which flies in a population are near death at any given age; these flies are said to be in the "death spiral". In this study of approximately 7,600 females, we used cohort mortality data and individual fecundity estimates to dichotomize each of five replicate populations of same-aged D. melanogaster into "death spiral" and "non-spiral" groups. We then compared these groups for two physiological characteristics that decline during aging. We describe the statistical properties of a new multivariate test statistic that allows us to compare the desiccation resistance and time-in-motion for two populations chosen on the basis of their fecundity. This multivariate representation of the desiccation resistance and time-in-motion of spiral and non-spiral females was shown to be significantly different with the spiral females characterized by lower desiccation resistance and time spent in motion. Our results suggest that D. melanogaster may be used as a model organism to study physiological changes that occur when death is imminent.
The present paper aims to review two motivations to conduct "what if" analyses using Excel and "R" to understand the statistical significance tests through the sample size context. "What if" analyses can be used to teach students what statistical significance tests really do and in applied research either prospectively to estimate what sample size…
I comment on the controversy between McCloskey & Ziliak and Hoover & Siegler on statistical versus economic significance, in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Economic Methodology. I argue that while McCloskey & Ziliak are right in emphasizing 'real error', i.e. non-sampling error that cannot...... be eliminated through specification testing, they fail to acknowledge those areas in economics, e.g. rational expectations macroeconomics and asset pricing, where researchers clearly distinguish between statistical and economic significance and where statistical testing plays a relatively minor role in model...
Decisions about support for predictions of theories in light of data are made using statistical inference. The dominant approach in sport and exercise science is the Neyman-Pearson (N-P) significance-testing approach. When applied correctly it provides a reliable procedure for making dichotomous decisions for accepting or rejecting zero-effect null hypotheses with known and controlled long-run error rates. Type I and type II error rates must be specified in advance and the latter controlled by conducting an a priori sample size calculation. The N-P approach does not provide the probability of hypotheses or indicate the strength of support for hypotheses in light of data, yet many scientists believe it does. Outcomes of analyses allow conclusions only about the existence of non-zero effects, and provide no information about the likely size of true effects or their practical/clinical value. Bayesian inference can show how much support data provide for different hypotheses, and how personal convictions should be altered in light of data, but the approach is complicated by formulating probability distributions about prior subjective estimates of population effects. A pragmatic solution is magnitude-based inference, which allows scientists to estimate the true magnitude of population effects and how likely they are to exceed an effect magnitude of practical/clinical importance, thereby integrating elements of subjective Bayesian-style thinking. While this approach is gaining acceptance, progress might be hastened if scientists appreciate the shortcomings of traditional N-P null hypothesis significance testing.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic mutation, selective pressure for translational efficiency and accuracy, level of gene expression, and protein function through natural selection are all believed to lead to codon usage bias (CUB. Therefore, informative measurement of CUB is of fundamental importance to making inferences regarding gene function and genome evolution. However, extant measures of CUB have not fully accounted for the quantitative effect of background nucleotide composition and have not statistically evaluated the significance of CUB in sequence analysis. Results Here we propose a novel measure--Codon Deviation Coefficient (CDC--that provides an informative measurement of CUB and its statistical significance without requiring any prior knowledge. Unlike previous measures, CDC estimates CUB by accounting for background nucleotide compositions tailored to codon positions and adopts the bootstrapping to assess the statistical significance of CUB for any given sequence. We evaluate CDC by examining its effectiveness on simulated sequences and empirical data and show that CDC outperforms extant measures by achieving a more informative estimation of CUB and its statistical significance. Conclusions As validated by both simulated and empirical data, CDC provides a highly informative quantification of CUB and its statistical significance, useful for determining comparative magnitudes and patterns of biased codon usage for genes or genomes with diverse sequence compositions.
Farrell, Mary Beth
This article is the second part of a continuing education series reviewing basic statistics that nuclear medicine and molecular imaging technologists should understand. In this article, the statistics for evaluating interpretation accuracy, significance, and variance are discussed. Throughout the article, actual statistics are pulled from the published literature. We begin by explaining 2 methods for quantifying interpretive accuracy: interreader and intrareader reliability. Agreement among readers can be expressed simply as a percentage. However, the Cohen κ-statistic is a more robust measure of agreement that accounts for chance. The higher the κ-statistic is, the higher is the agreement between readers. When 3 or more readers are being compared, the Fleiss κ-statistic is used. Significance testing determines whether the difference between 2 conditions or interventions is meaningful. Statistical significance is usually expressed using a number called a probability ( P ) value. Calculation of P value is beyond the scope of this review. However, knowing how to interpret P values is important for understanding the scientific literature. Generally, a P value of less than 0.05 is considered significant and indicates that the results of the experiment are due to more than just chance. Variance, standard deviation (SD), confidence interval, and standard error (SE) explain the dispersion of data around a mean of a sample drawn from a population. SD is commonly reported in the literature. A small SD indicates that there is not much variation in the sample data. Many biologic measurements fall into what is referred to as a normal distribution taking the shape of a bell curve. In a normal distribution, 68% of the data will fall within 1 SD, 95% will fall within 2 SDs, and 99.7% will fall within 3 SDs. Confidence interval defines the range of possible values within which the population parameter is likely to lie and gives an idea of the precision of the statistic being
Krisciunas, Kevin; Marion, G. H.; Suntzeff, Nicholas B.
We obtained optical photometry of SN 2003gs on 49 nights, from 2 to 494 days after T(B max ). We also obtained near-IR photometry on 21 nights. SN 2003gs was the first fast declining Type Ia SN that has been well observed since SN 1999by. While it was subluminous in optical bands compared to more slowly declining Type Ia SNe, it was not subluminous at maximum light in the near-IR bands. There appears to be a bimodal distribution in the near-IR absolute magnitudes of Type Ia SNe at maximum light. Those that peak in the near-IR after T(B max ) are subluminous in the all bands. Those that peak in the near-IR prior to T(B max ), such as SN 2003gs, have effectively the same near-IR absolute magnitudes at maximum light regardless of the decline rate Δm 15 (B). Near-IR spectral evidence suggests that opacities in the outer layers of SN 2003gs are reduced much earlier than for normal Type Ia SNe. That may allow γ rays that power the luminosity to escape more rapidly and accelerate the decline rate. This conclusion is consistent with the photometric behavior of SN 2003gs in the IR, which indicates a faster than normal decline from approximately normal peak brightness.
Imberger, Georgina; Gluud, Christian; Boylan, John
statistically significant meta-analyses of anesthesiologic interventions, we used TSA to estimate power and imprecision in the context of sparse data and repeated updates. METHODS: We conducted a search to identify all systematic reviews with meta-analyses that investigated an intervention that may......: From 11,870 titles, we found 682 systematic reviews that investigated anesthesiologic interventions. In the 50 sampled meta-analyses, the median number of trials included was 8 (interquartile range [IQR], 5-14), the median number of participants was 964 (IQR, 523-1736), and the median number...
A new method is proposed to compare statistical differences between summary histograms, which are the histograms summed over a large ensemble of individual histograms. It consists of choosing a distance statistic for measuring the difference between summary histograms and using a bootstrap procedure to calculate the statistical significance level. Bootstrapping is an approach to statistical inference that makes few assumptions about the underlying probability distribution that describes the data. Three distance statistics are compared in this study. They are the Euclidean distance, the Jeffries-Matusita distance and the Kuiper distance. The data used in testing the bootstrap method are satellite measurements of cloud systems called cloud objects. Each cloud object is defined as a contiguous region/patch composed of individual footprints or fields of view. A histogram of measured values over footprints is generated for each parameter of each cloud object and then summary histograms are accumulated over all individual histograms in a given cloud-object size category. The results of statistical hypothesis tests using all three distances as test statistics are generally similar, indicating the validity of the proposed method. The Euclidean distance is determined to be most suitable after comparing the statistical tests of several parameters with distinct probability distributions among three cloud-object size categories. Impacts on the statistical significance levels resulting from differences in the total lengths of satellite footprint data between two size categories are also discussed.
While it's not the intention of the founders of significance testing and hypothesis testing to have the two ideas intertwined as if they are complementary, the inconvenient marriage of the two practices into one coherent, convenient, incontrovertible and misinterpreted practice has dotted our standard statistics textbooks and ...
Background: Genetic mutation, selective pressure for translational efficiency and accuracy, level of gene expression, and protein function through natural selection are all believed to lead to codon usage bias (CUB). Therefore, informative measurement of CUB is of fundamental importance to making inferences regarding gene function and genome evolution. However, extant measures of CUB have not fully accounted for the quantitative effect of background nucleotide composition and have not statistically evaluated the significance of CUB in sequence analysis.Results: Here we propose a novel measure--Codon Deviation Coefficient (CDC)--that provides an informative measurement of CUB and its statistical significance without requiring any prior knowledge. Unlike previous measures, CDC estimates CUB by accounting for background nucleotide compositions tailored to codon positions and adopts the bootstrapping to assess the statistical significance of CUB for any given sequence. We evaluate CDC by examining its effectiveness on simulated sequences and empirical data and show that CDC outperforms extant measures by achieving a more informative estimation of CUB and its statistical significance.Conclusions: As validated by both simulated and empirical data, CDC provides a highly informative quantification of CUB and its statistical significance, useful for determining comparative magnitudes and patterns of biased codon usage for genes or genomes with diverse sequence compositions. 2012 Zhang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Glaum, Paul; Simao, Maria-Carolina; Vaidya, Chatura; Fitch, Gordon; Iulinao, Benjamin
Native bee populations are critical sources of pollination. Unfortunately, native bees are declining in abundance and diversity. Much of this decline comes from human land-use change. While the effects of large-scale agriculture on native bees are relatively well understood, the effects of urban development are less clear. Understanding urbanity's effect on native bees requires consideration of specific characteristics of both particular bee species and their urban landscape. We surveyed bumble-bee ( Bombus spp.) abundance and diversity in gardens across multiple urban centres in southeastern Michigan. There are significant declines in Bombus abundance and diversity associated with urban development when measured on scales in-line with Bombus flight ability. These declines are entirely driven by declines in females; males showed no response to urbanization. We hypothesize that this is owing to differing foraging strategies between the sexes, and it suggests reduced Bombus colony density in more urban areas. While urbanity reduced Bombus prevalence, results in Detroit imply that 'shrinking cities' potentially offer unique urban paradigms that must be considered when studying wild bee ecology. Results show previously unidentified differences in the effects of urbanity on female and male bumble-bee populations and suggest that urban landscapes can be managed to support native bee conservation.
Kieffer, Kevin M.; Thompson, Bruce
As the 1994 publication manual of the American Psychological Association emphasized, "p" values are affected by sample size. As a result, it can be helpful to interpret the results of statistical significant tests in a sample size context by conducting so-called "what if" analyses. However, these methods can be inaccurate…
Brouwer, D.; Meijer, R.R.; Zevalkink, D.J.
Several researchers have emphasized that item response theory (IRT)-based methods should be preferred over classical approaches in measuring change for individual patients. In the present study we discuss and evaluate the use of IRT-based statistics to measure statistical significant individual
Fidalgo, Angel M.; Alavi, Seyed Mohammad; Amirian, Seyed Mohammad Reza
This study examines three controversial aspects in differential item functioning (DIF) detection by logistic regression (LR) models: first, the relative effectiveness of different analytical strategies for detecting DIF; second, the suitability of the Wald statistic for determining the statistical significance of the parameters of interest; and…
Anderson, D. G.; Goodyear, A. C.; Stafford, T. W., Jr.; Kennett, J.; West, A.
There is ongoing debate about a possible human population decline or contraction at the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) at 12.9 ka. We used two methods to test whether the YD affected human population levels: (1) frequency analyses of Paleoindian projectile points, and (2) summed probability analyses of radiocarbon (14C) dates. The results suggest that a significant decline or reorganization of human populations occurred at 12.9 ka, continued through the initial centuries of the YD chronozone, then rebounded by the end of the YD. FREQUENCY ANALYSES: This method employed projectile point data from the Paleoindian Database of the Americas (PIDBA, http://pidba.utk.edu). We tallied diagnostic projectile points and obtained larger totals for Clovis points than for immediately post-Clovis points, which share an instrument-assisted fluting technique, typically using pressure or indirect percussion. Gainey, Vail, Debert, Redstone, and Cumberland point-styles utilized this method and are comparable to the Folsom style. For the SE U.S., the ratio of Clovis points (n=1993) to post-Clovis points (n=947) reveals a point decline of 52%. For the Great Plains, a comparison of Clovis and fluted points (n=4020) to Folsom points (n=2527) shows a point decline of 37%, which may translate into a population contraction of similar magnitude. In addition, eight major Clovis lithic quarry sites in the SE U.S. exhibit little to no evidence for immediate post-Clovis occupations, implying a major population decline. SUMMED PROBABILITIES: This method involved calibrating relevant 14C dates and combining the probabilities, after which major peaks and troughs in the trends are assumed to reflect changes in human demographics. Using 14C dates from Buchanan et al. (2008), we analyzed multiple regions, including the Southeast and Great Plains. Contrary to Buchanan et al., we found an abrupt, statistically significant decline at 12.9 ka, followed 200 to 900 years later by a rebound in the number of
Full Text Available The stock market volatility is depends on three major features, complete volatility, volatility fluctuations, and volatility attention and they are calculate by the statistical techniques. Comparative analysis of market volatility for two major index i.e. banking & IT sector in Bombay stock exchange (BSE by using average decline model. The average degeneration process in volatility has being used after very high and low stock returns. The results of this study explain significant decline in volatility fluctuations, attention, and level between epochs of pre and post particularly high stock returns.
Full Text Available Background:/Aims: Renal disease is a common cause of morbidity in patients with Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS, however the severity of kidney dysfunction is highly variable. To date, there is little information on the pathogenesis, the risk and predictor factors for poor renal outcome in this setting. The present study aims to analyze the spectrum of urinary proteins in BBS patients, in order to potentially identify 1 disease-specific proteomic profiles that may differentiate the patients from normal subjects; 2 urinary markers of renal dysfunction. Methods: Fourteen individuals (7 males and 7 females with a clinical diagnosis of BBS have been selected in this study. A pool of 10 aged-matched males and 10 aged-matched females have been used as controls for proteomic analysis. The glomerular filtration rate (eGFR has been estimated using the CKD-EPI formula. Variability of eGFR has been retrospectively assessed calculating average annual eGFR decline (ΔeGFR in a mean follow-up period of 4 years (3-7. Results: 42 proteins were significantly over- or under-represented in BBS patients compared with controls; the majority of these proteins are involved in fibrosis, cell adhesion and extracellular matrix organization. Statistic studies revealed a significant correlation between urine fibronectin (u-FN (r2=0.28; p<0.05, CD44 antigen (r2 =0.35; p<0.03 and lysosomal alfa glucosidase ( r20.27; p<0.05 abundance with the eGFR. In addition, u-FN (r2 =0.2389; p<0.05 was significantly correlated with ΔeGFR. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that urine proteome of BBS patients differs from that of normal subjects; in addition, kidney dysfunction correlated with urine abundance of known markers of renal fibrosis.
Julianne M Kowalski, PharmD
Full Text Available Objectives: To identify characteristics of patients who accepted or declined an appointment for a transition of care service provided by an independent community pharmacist and identify the most common reasons patients declined the service. Methods: A transition of care service was offered by a community pharmacy to patients discharged to home from the cardiac unit of a local hospital. The community pharmacist approached patients prior to discharge for recruitment into the service. Outcomes included service acceptance rate, LACE score at discharge, readmission risk category, age, gender, geographic home location, and reason for refusing the service. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to compare characteristics between those who accepted or declined the service. Reasons for decline were assessed using content analysis. Results: Of the 87 patients that were included in the analysis, 21 patients received the transitions of care service (24.1%. None of the characteristics were found to be statistically significant between patients who received or declined the service. Patients at a moderate risk for readmission seemed more likely to accept the pharmacist-run appointment than those at high risk (27.9% vs 15.3%; P = 0.29. Of the 66 patients who declined, 51 gave a reason (77.3%. Thirty-nine patients saw no benefit (76.5%, five patients had perceived barriers (10%, and seven patients gave reasons that fell into both categories (13.5%. Conclusions: This evaluation did not find a statistically significant difference in characteristics between those patients who accepted or declined participation in a pharmacist-run transition of care service. Patients may be less likely to accept pharmacist-run transition of care appointments primarily due to no perceived benefits. To increase participation, we need to understand the patient’s health beliefs, educate patients on pharmacy services, and implement changes to recruit potential
Jakobsen, Janus Christian; Wetterslev, Jorn; Winkel, Per
BACKGROUND: Thresholds for statistical significance when assessing meta-analysis results are being insufficiently demonstrated by traditional 95% confidence intervals and P-values. Assessment of intervention effects in systematic reviews with meta-analysis deserves greater rigour. METHODS......: Methodologies for assessing statistical and clinical significance of intervention effects in systematic reviews were considered. Balancing simplicity and comprehensiveness, an operational procedure was developed, based mainly on The Cochrane Collaboration methodology and the Grading of Recommendations...... Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) guidelines. RESULTS: We propose an eight-step procedure for better validation of meta-analytic results in systematic reviews (1) Obtain the 95% confidence intervals and the P-values from both fixed-effect and random-effects meta-analyses and report the most...
Blokker, Britt M; Weustink, Annick C; Hunink, M G Myriam; Oosterhuis, J Wolter
Although the autopsy still is a valuable tool in health statistics, health care quality control, medical education, and biomedical research, autopsy rates have been declining worldwide. The aim of this study was to examine trends of overall, clinical and forensic autopsy rates among adults in the Netherlands over the last four decades, and trends per sex, age (groups), and hospital type. We performed a retrospective study covering 35 years of Dutch national death counts (1977-2011), the number of in-hospital deceased patients, the number of deaths due to external causes, and the proportion of autopsies performed in these populations. The effects of sex, age and hospital category were analysed by linear and logistic regression and differences were evaluated by chi-square tests. Overall autopsy rates declined by 0.3% per calendar year, clinical autopsy rates by 0.7% per calendar year (from 31.4% to 7.7%), and forensic autopsy rates did not decline. Per calendar year the fraction of in-hospital deceased patients decreased by 0.2%. Autopsy rates were highest among men and younger patients; clinical autopsy rates were highest for patients dying in academic hospitals. In the Netherlands clinical autopsy rates have rapidly declined while at the same time the fraction of in-hospital deaths decreased, both contributing to the overall reduced absolute number of autopsies performed. It is important to improve awareness among both clinicians and general practitioners of the significance of the clinical autopsy.
Islam, M Mazharul
Consanguinity is a deep rooted cultural trait in Jordan. To examine the patterns and determinants of declining rates of consanguineous marriage in Jordan during 1990-2012 in the context of the changing pattern of socio-economic and demographic conditions. The data come from the 1990 and 2012 Jordan Population and Family Health Surveys (JPFHSs). A total of 6461 women in 1990 and 11,352 women in 2012 were successfully interviewed. Descriptive and multivariate statistical techniques were used for data analysis. Consanguinity was found to be widely practiced (35% in 2012) until recent times in Jordan. However, there has been a secular declining trend over the last few decades as the practice of consanguinity has declined from 56% in 1990 to 35% in 2012. Increasing age at marriage and female education, higher level of education of husbands, declining family size, increasing rate of urbanisation and female employment, exposure to mass media and higher economic status appeared as significant predictors of declining consanguinity in Jordan. The findings of this study support Goode's hypothesis of a decrease of consanguinity with modernisation. Although consanguinity is a deeply rooted cultural trend in Jordan, it is gradually losing ground due to modernisation and socio-demographic transition of the country.
Costa Storti, Cláudia; De Grauwe, Paul
This study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying the dramatic decline of the retail prices of major drugs like cocaine and heroin during the past two decades. It also aims at analysing the implications of this decline for drug policies. We use a theoretical model to identify the possible causes of this price decline. This allows us to formulate the hypothesis that the major driving force behind the price decline is a reduction of the intermediation margin (the difference between the retail and producer prices). We also develop the hypothesis that globalization has been an important factor behind the decline of the intermediation margin. We then analyse the statistical information to test these hypotheses. We find that the decline in the retail prices of drugs is related to the strong decline in the intermediation margin in the drug business, and that globalization is the main driving force behind this phenomenon. Globalization has done so by increasing the efficiency of the distribution of drugs, by reducing the risk premium involved in dealing with drugs, and by increasing the degree of competition in the drug markets. We conclude that the cocaine and heroin price declines were due to a sharp fall in the intermediation margin, which was probably influenced by globalization. This phenomenon might have a strong impact on the effectiveness of drug policies, increasing the relative effectiveness of policies aiming at reducing the demand of drugs.
Ottenbacher, Allison J; Snih, Soham Al; Bindawas, Saad M; Markides, Kyriakos S; Graham, James E; Samper-Ternent, Rafael; Raji, Mukaila; Ottenbacher, Kenneth J
The effect of physical activity on cognitive function in older adults from minority and disadvantaged populations is not well understood. This study examined the longitudinal association between physical activity and cognition in older Mexican Americans. The study methodology included a prospective cohort with longitudinal analysis of data from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly. General linear mixed models were used to assess the associations and interactions between physical activity and cognitive function over 14 years. Community-based assessments were performed in participants' homes. Physical activity was recorded for 1,669 older Mexican Americans using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly. Cognition was measured using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and separated into memory and nonmemory components. A statistically significant positive association was observed between levels of physical activity and cognitive function after adjusting for age, sex, marital status, education, and comorbid health conditions. There was a statistically significant difference in MMSE scores over time between participants in the third (β = 0.11, standard error (SE) = 0.05) and fourth (β = 0.10, SE = 0.2) quartiles of physical activity and those in the first. The protective effect of physical activity on cognitive decline was evident for the memory component of the MMSE but not the nonmemory component after adjusting for covariates. Greater physical activity at baseline was associated with less cognitive decline over 14 years in older Mexican Americans. The reduction in cognitive decline appeared to be related to the memory components of cognitive function. © 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.
Sinton, Jonathan E.
Many observers have raised doubts about the accuracy and reliability of China's energy statistics, which show an unprecedented decline in recent years, while reported economic growth has remained strong. This paper explores the internal consistency of China's energy statistics from 1990 to 2000, coverage and reporting issues, and the state of the statistical reporting system. Available information suggests that, while energy statistics were probably relatively good in the early 1990s, their quality has declined since the mid-1990s. China's energy statistics should be treated as a starting point for analysis, and explicit judgments regarding ranges of uncertainty should accompany any conclusions.
Roberto, Rolando; Fritz, Anto; Hagar, Yolanda; Boice, Braden; Skalsky, Andrew; Hwang, Hosun; Beckett, Laurel; McDonald, Craig; Gupta, Munish
Retrospective review of scoliosis progression, pulmonary and cardiac function in a series of patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). To determine whether operative treatment of scoliosis decreases the rate of pulmonary function loss in patients with DMD. It is generally accepted that surgical intervention should be undertaken in DMD scoliosis once curve sizes reach 35° to allow intervention before critical respiratory decline has occurred. There are conflicting reports, however, regarding the effect of scoliosis stabilization on the rate of pulmonary function decline when compared to nonoperative cohorts. We reviewed spinal radiographs, echocardiograms, and spirometry, hospital, and operative records of all patients seen at our tertiary referral center from July 1, 1992 to June 1, 2007. Data were recorded to Microsoft Excel (Microsoft, Redmond, WA) and analyzed with SAS (SAS Institute, Cary, NC) and R statistical processing software (www.r-project.org). The percent predicted forced vital capacity (PPFVC) decreased 5% per year before operation. The mean PPFVC was 54% (SD = 21%) before operation with a mean postoperative PPFVC of 43% (SD = 14%). Surgical treatment was associated with a 12% decline in PPFVC independent of other treatment variables. PPFVC after operation declined at a rate of 1% per year and while this rate was lower, it was not significantly different than the rate of decline present before operation (P = 0.18). Cardiac function as measured by left ventricular fractional shortening declined at a rate of 1% per year with most individuals exhibiting a left ventricular fractional shortening rate of more than 30 before operation. Operative treatment of scoliosis in DMD using the Luque Galveston method was associated with a reduction of forced vital capacity related to operation. The rate of pulmonary function decline after operation was not significantly reduced when compared with the rate of preoperative forced vital capacity decline.
Diedrich, Alice; Schlegl, Sandra; Greetfeld, Martin; Fumi, Markus; Voderholzer, Ulrich
This study examines the statistical and clinical significance of symptom changes during an intensive inpatient treatment program with a strong psychotherapeutic focus for individuals with severe bulimia nervosa. 295 consecutively admitted bulimic patients were administered the Structured Interview for Anorexic and Bulimic Syndromes-Self-Rating (SIAB-S), the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) at treatment intake and discharge. Results indicated statistically significant symptom reductions with large effect sizes regarding severity of binge eating and compensatory behavior (SIAB-S), overall eating disorder symptom severity (EDI-2), overall psychopathology (BSI), and depressive symptom severity (BDI-II) even when controlling for antidepressant medication. The majority of patients showed either reliable (EDI-2: 33.7%, BSI: 34.8%, BDI-II: 18.1%) or even clinically significant symptom changes (EDI-2: 43.2%, BSI: 33.9%, BDI-II: 56.9%). Patients with clinically significant improvement were less distressed at intake and less likely to suffer from a comorbid borderline personality disorder when compared with those who did not improve to a clinically significant extent. Findings indicate that intensive psychotherapeutic inpatient treatment may be effective in about 75% of severely affected bulimic patients. For the remaining non-responding patients, inpatient treatment might be improved through an even stronger focus on the reduction of comorbid borderline personality traits.
This paper summarizes the literature regarding statistical significant testing with an emphasis on recent literature in various discipline and literature exploring why researchers have demonstrably failed to be influenced by the American Psychological Association publication manual's encouragement to report effect sizes. Also considered are…
Brower, Lincoln; Taylor, Orley R.; Williams, Ernest H.; Slayback, Daniel; Zubieta, Raul R.; Ramirez, M. Isabel
1.During the 2009-2010 overwintering season and following a 15-year downward trend, the total area in Mexico occupied by the eastern North American population of overwintering monarch butterflies reached an all-time low. Despite an increase, it remained low in 2010-2011. 2. Although the data set is small, the decline in abundance is statistically significant using both linear and exponential regression models. 3. Three factors appear to have contributed to reduce monarch abundance: degradation of the forest in the overwintering areas; the loss of breeding habitat in the United States due to the expansion ofGM herbicide-resistant crops, with consequent loss of milkweed host plants, as well as continued land development; and severe weather. 4. This decline calls into question the long-term survival of the monarchs' migratory phenomenon
Screen, James A.; Simmonds, Ian [University of Melbourne, School of Earth Sciences, Melbourne, VIC (Australia)
Recent changes in the Arctic hydrological cycle are explored using in situ observations and an improved atmospheric reanalysis data set, ERA-Interim. We document a pronounced decline in summer snowfall over the Arctic Ocean and Canadian Archipelago. The snowfall decline is diagnosed as being almost entirely caused by changes in precipitation form (snow turning to rain) with very little influence of decreases in total precipitation. The proportion of precipitation falling as snow has decreased as a result of lower-atmospheric warming. Statistically, over 99% of the summer snowfall decline is linked to Arctic warming over the past two decades. Based on the reanalysis snowfall data over the ice-covered Arctic Ocean, we derive an estimate for the amount of snow-covered ice. It is estimated that the area of snow-covered ice, and the proportion of sea ice covered by snow, have decreased significantly. We perform a series of sensitivity experiments in which inter-annual changes in snow-covered ice are either unaccounted for, or are parameterized. In the parameterized case, the loss of snow-on-ice results in a substantial decrease in the surface albedo over the Arctic Ocean, that is of comparable magnitude to the decrease in albedo due to the decline in sea ice cover. Accordingly, the solar input to the Arctic Ocean is increased, causing additional surface ice melt. We conclude that the decline in summer snowfall has likely contributed to the thinning of sea ice over recent decades. The results presented provide support for the existence of a positive feedback in association with warming-induced reductions in summer snowfall. (orig.)
Full Text Available Abstract Background Time trends in infant mortality for the 20th century show a curvilinear pattern that most demographers have assumed to be approximately exponential. Virtually all cross-country comparisons and time series analyses of infant mortality have studied the logarithm of infant mortality to account for the curvilinear time trend. However, there is no evidence that the log transform is the best fit for infant mortality time trends. Methods We use maximum likelihood methods to determine the best transformation to fit time trends in infant mortality reduction in the 20th century and to assess the importance of the proper transformation in identifying the relationship between infant mortality and gross domestic product (GDP per capita. We apply the Box Cox transform to infant mortality rate (IMR time series from 18 countries to identify the best fitting value of lambda for each country and for the pooled sample. For each country, we test the value of λ against the null that λ = 0 (logarithmic model and against the null that λ = 1 (linear model. We then demonstrate the importance of selecting the proper transformation by comparing regressions of ln(IMR on same year GDP per capita against Box Cox transformed models. Results Based on chi-squared test statistics, infant mortality decline is best described as an exponential decline only for the United States. For the remaining 17 countries we study, IMR decline is neither best modelled as logarithmic nor as a linear process. Imposing a logarithmic transform on IMR can lead to bias in fitting the relationship between IMR and GDP per capita. Conclusion The assumption that IMR declines are exponential is enshrined in the Preston curve and in nearly all cross-country as well as time series analyses of IMR data since Preston's 1975 paper, but this assumption is seldom correct. Statistical analyses of IMR trends should assess the robustness of findings to transformations other than the log
Ji, Jun; Ling, Jeffrey; Jiang, Helen; Wen, Qiaojun; Whitin, John C; Tian, Lu; Cohen, Harvey J; Ling, Xuefeng B
Mass spectrometry (MS) has evolved to become the primary high throughput tool for proteomics based biomarker discovery. Until now, multiple challenges in protein MS data analysis remain: large-scale and complex data set management; MS peak identification, indexing; and high dimensional peak differential analysis with the concurrent statistical tests based false discovery rate (FDR). "Turnkey" solutions are needed for biomarker investigations to rapidly process MS data sets to identify statistically significant peaks for subsequent validation. Here we present an efficient and effective solution, which provides experimental biologists easy access to "cloud" computing capabilities to analyze MS data. The web portal can be accessed at http://transmed.stanford.edu/ssa/. Presented web application supplies large scale MS data online uploading and analysis with a simple user interface. This bioinformatic tool will facilitate the discovery of the potential protein biomarkers using MS.
Gaskin, Cadeyrn J; Happell, Brenda
improvement. Most importantly, researchers should abandon the misleading practice of interpreting the results from inferential tests based solely on whether they are statistically significant (or not) and, instead, focus on reporting and interpreting effect sizes, confidence intervals, and significance levels. Nursing researchers also need to conduct and report a priori power analyses, and to address the issue of Type I experiment-wise error inflation in their studies. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
B.M. Blokker (Britt); A.C. Weustink (Annick); M.G.M. Hunink (Myriam); Oosterhuis, J.W. (J. Wolter)
textabstractObjective: Although the autopsy still is a valuable tool in health statistics, health care quality control, medical education, and biomedical research, autopsy rates have been declining worldwide. The aim of this study was to examine trends of overall, clinical and forensic autopsy rates
Farmer\\'s lung incidence in Ireland was constant until 1996, even though hay making methods were revolutionised in late 1980\\'s. We undertook this study to find out the incidence of farmer\\'s lung in Ireland from 1982-2002 and its correlation with rainfall and the effect of changing farm practices. The primary cases of farmer\\'s lung were identified from Hospital in Patients Enquiry (HIPE) unit of the national Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) Dublin. Rainfall data were obtained from Met Eireann whereas population, hay production and silage production were obtained from the Central Statistics Office, Dublin. As the farming population is in decline, we used the annual working unit (AWU), which reflects the true population at risk. An AWU is the equivalent of 1800 hours per farm worker per year. The incidence rates were constant from 1982-1996, but from 1997-2002 a marked decline was observed. There was strong positive correlation with hay production (r = 0.81) and strong negative correlation with silage production (r = -0.82). This study indicates that the incidence of farmer\\'s lung is now in decline.
Van Aert, R.C.M.; Van Assen, M.A.L.M.
The unrealistically high rate of positive results within psychology has increased the attention to replication research. However, researchers who conduct a replication and want to statistically combine the results of their replication with a statistically significant original study encounter
Full Text Available There is increasing concern about the replicability of studies in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Hidden data dredging (also called p-hacking is a major contributor to this crisis because it substantially increases Type I error resulting in a much larger proportion of false positive findings than the usually expected 5%. In order to build better intuition to avoid, detect and criticise some typical problems, here I systematically illustrate the large impact of some easy to implement and so, perhaps frequent data dredging techniques on boosting false positive findings. I illustrate several forms of two special cases of data dredging. First, researchers may violate the data collection stopping rules of null hypothesis significance testing by repeatedly checking for statistical significance with various numbers of participants. Second, researchers may group participants post-hoc along potential but unplanned independent grouping variables. The first approach 'hacks' the number of participants in studies, the second approach ‘hacks’ the number of variables in the analysis. I demonstrate the high amount of false positive findings generated by these techniques with data from true null distributions. I also illustrate that it is extremely easy to introduce strong bias into data by very mild selection and re-testing. Similar, usually undocumented data dredging steps can easily lead to having 20-50%, or more false positives.
Ji, Ming; Xiong, Chengjie; Grundman, Michael
In this paper, we present a statistical hypothesis test for detecting a change point over the course of cognitive decline among Alzheimer's disease patients. The model under the null hypothesis assumes a constant rate of cognitive decline over time and the model under the alternative hypothesis is a general bilinear model with an unknown change point. When the change point is unknown, however, the null distribution of the test statistics is not analytically tractable and has to be simulated by parametric bootstrap. When the alternative hypothesis that a change point exists is accepted, we propose an estimate of its location based on the Akaike's Information Criterion. We applied our method to a data set from the Neuropsychological Database Initiative by implementing our hypothesis testing method to analyze Mini Mental Status Exam scores based on a random-slope and random-intercept model with a bilinear fixed effect. Our result shows that despite large amount of missing data, accelerated decline did occur for MMSE among AD patients. Our finding supports the clinical belief of the existence of a change point during cognitive decline among AD patients and suggests the use of change point models for the longitudinal modeling of cognitive decline in AD research.
Tsui, A O; Bogue, D J
This Bulletin examines the evidence that the world's fertility has declined in recent years, the factors that appear to have accounted for the decline, and the implications for fertility and population growth rates to the end of the century. On the basis of a compilation of estimates available for all nations of the world, the authors derive estimates which indicate that the world's total fertility rate dropped from 4.6 to 4.1 births per woman between 1968 and 1975, thanks largely to an earlier and more rapid and universal decline in the fertility of less developed countries (LDCs) than had been anticipated. Statistical analysis of available data suggests that the socioeconomic progress made by LDCs in this period was not great enough to account for more than a proportion of the fertility decline and that organized family planning programs were a major contributing factor. The authors' projections, which are compared to similar projections from the World Bank, the United Nations, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census, indicate that, by the year 2000, less than 1/5 of the world's population will be in the "red danger" circle of explosive population growth (2.1% or more annually); most LDCs will be in a phase of fertility decline; and many of them -- along with most now developed countries -- will be at or near replacement level of fertility. The authors warn that "our optimistic prediction is premised upon a big IF -- if (organized) family planning (in LDCs) continues. It remains imperative that all of the developed nations of the world continue their contribution to this program undiminished."
Ljung, Hanna; Nordlund, Arto; Strandberg, Maria; Bengzon, Johan; Källén, Kristina
To explore whether patients with refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy risk aggravated verbal memory loss from intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) recording with longitudinal hippocampal electrodes in the language-dominant hemisphere. A long-term neuropsychological follow-up (mean 61.5 months, range 22-111 months) was performed in 40 patients after ictal registration with left hippocampal depth electrodes (study group, n = 16) or no invasive EEG, only extracranial registration (reference group, n = 24). The groups were equal with respect to education, age at seizure onset, epilepsy duration, and prevalence of pharmacoresistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE; 75%) versus seizure freedom (25%). Retrospective neuropsychological data from preoperative surgical workup (T1) and prospective follow-up neuropsychological data (T2) were compared. A ≥1 SD intrapatient decline was considered as clinically relevant deterioration of verbal memory. Significant decline in verbal memory was seen in 56% of the patients in the study group compared to 21% in the reference group. At T1, there were no statistical between-group differences in memory performance. At T2, between-group comparison showed significantly greater verbal memory decline for the study group (Claeson Dahl Learning and Retention Test, Verbal Learning: p = 0.05; Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Total Learning: p = 0.04; Claeson Dahl Learning and Retention Test, Verbal Retention: p = 0.04). An odds ratio (OR) of 7.1 (90% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-37.7) for verbal memory decline was seen if right temporal lobe resection (R TLR) had been performed between T1 and T2. The difference between groups remained unchanged when patients who had undergone R TLR were excluded from the analysis, with a remaining aggravated significant decline in verbal memory performance for the study group compared to the reference group. Our results suggest a risk of verbal memory deterioration after the use of depth electrodes along
Slama, R.; Jensen, Tina Kold; Scheike, T.
BACKGROUND: Reports have suggested a decline in sperm concentration during the second half of the 20th century. The effect of this decline on fecundability (the monthly probability of pregnancy) could be detected in principle by a study of time to pregnancy. In practice, the amplitude of this exp......BACKGROUND: Reports have suggested a decline in sperm concentration during the second half of the 20th century. The effect of this decline on fecundability (the monthly probability of pregnancy) could be detected in principle by a study of time to pregnancy. In practice, the amplitude...... of this expected effect is not well known and the statistical power of time-to-pregnancy studies to detect it has not been explored. METHODS: We developed a nonparametric model to describe a temporal decline in sperm concentration using data on French semen donors. We then applied this model to 419 Danish couples...... planning a first pregnancy in 1992, to predict their time to pregnancy as if the pregnancy attempt had begun during earlier decades with higher sperm concentrations. Finally, we used bootstrap simulations to estimate the statistical power of prospective or retrospective studies that compared fecundability...
Stefansson, Vidar T N; Schei, Jørgen; Solbu, Marit D; Jenssen, Trond G; Melsom, Toralf; Eriksen, Bjørn O
Rapid age-related glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decline increases the risk of end-stage renal disease, and a low GFR increases the risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease. High body mass index and the metabolic syndrome are well-known risk factors for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, but their role in accelerating age-related GFR decline independent of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes is not adequately understood. We studied body mass index, waist circumference, waist-hip ratio and metabolic syndrome as risk factors for accelerated GFR decline in 1261 middle-aged people representative of the general population without diabetes, cardiovascular disease or kidney disease. GFR was measured as iohexol clearance at baseline and repeated after a median of 5.6 years. Metabolic syndrome was defined as fulfilling three out of five criteria, based on waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. The mean GFR decline rate was 0.95 ml/min/year. Neither the body mass index, waist circumference nor waist-hip ratio predicted statistically significant changes in age-related GFR decline, but individuals with baseline metabolic syndrome had a significant mean of 0.30 ml/min/year faster decline than individuals without metabolic syndrome in a multivariable adjusted linear regression model. This association was mainly driven by the triglyceride criterion of metabolic syndrome, which was associated with a significant 0.36 ml/min/year faster decline when analyzed separately. Results differed significantly when GFR was estimated using creatinine and/or cystatin C. Thus, metabolic syndrome, but not the body mass index, waist circumference or waist-hip ratio, is an independent risk factor for accelerated age-related GFR decline in the general population. Copyright © 2017 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Brian J Baker
Full Text Available While the number of reported tuberculosis (TB cases in the United States has declined over the past two decades, TB morbidity among foreign-born persons has remained persistently elevated. A recent unexpected decline in reported TB cases among foreign-born persons beginning in 2007 provided an opportunity to examine contributing factors and inform future TB control strategies. We investigated the relative influence of three factors on the decline: 1 changes in the size of the foreign-born population through immigration and emigration, 2 changes in distribution of country of origin among foreign-born persons, and 3 changes in the TB case rates among foreign-born subpopulations. Using data from the U.S. National Tuberculosis Surveillance System and the American Community Survey, we examined TB case counts, TB case rates, and population estimates, stratified by years since U.S. entry and country of origin. Regression modeling was used to assess statistically significant changes in trend. Among foreign-born recent entrants (<3 years since U.S. entry, we found a 39.5% decline (-1,013 cases beginning in 2007 (P<0.05 compared to 2000-2007 and ending in 2011 (P<0.05 compared to 2011-2014. Among recent entrants from Mexico, 80.7% of the decline was attributable to a decrease in population, while the declines among recent entrants from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China were almost exclusively (95.5%-100% the result of decreases in TB case rates. Among foreign-born non-recent entrants (≥3 years since U.S. entry, we found an 8.9% decline (-443 cases that resulted entirely (100% from a decrease in the TB case rate. Both recent and non-recent entrants contributed to the decline in TB cases; factors contributing to the decline among recent entrants varied by country of origin. Strategies that impact both recent and non-recent entrants (e.g., investment in overseas TB control as well as those that focus on non-recent entrants (e.g., expanded targeted
Gerhard K. Raile; W. Brad Smith
The fourth inventory of the timber resource of Michigan shows a 7% decline in commercial forest area and a 27% gain in growing-stock volume between 1966 and 1980. Highlights and statistics are presented on area, volume, growth, mortality, removals, utilization, and biomass.
Fischer, Joern; Zerger, Andre; Gibbons, Phil; Stott, Jenny; Law, Bradley S
Farmland biodiversity is greatly enhanced by the presence of trees. However, farmland trees are declining worldwide, including in North America, Central America, and parts of southern Europe. We show that tree decline and its likely consequences are particularly severe in Australia's temperate agricultural zone, which is a threatened ecoregion. Using field data on trees, remotely sensed imagery, and a demographic model for trees, we predict that by 2100, the number of trees on an average farm will contract to two-thirds of its present level. Statistical habitat models suggest that this tree decline will negatively affect many currently common animal species, with predicted declines in birds and bats of up to 50% by 2100. Declines were predicted for 24 of 32 bird species modeled and for all of six bat species modeled. Widespread declines in trees, birds, and bats may lead to a reduction in economically important ecosystem services such as shade provision for livestock and pest control. Moreover, many other species for which we have no empirical data also depend on trees, suggesting that fundamental changes in ecosystem functioning are likely. We conclude that Australia's temperate agricultural zone has crossed a threshold and no longer functions as a self-sustaining woodland ecosystem. A regime shift is occurring, with a woodland system deteriorating into a treeless pasture system. Management options exist to reverse tree decline, but new policy settings are required to encourage their widespread adoption.
Anstey, K J; Luszcz, M A; Sanchez, L
Recent cross-sectional research in cognitive aging has demonstrated a robust association between visual acuity, auditory thresholds and cognitive performance in old age. However, the nature of the association is still unclear, particularly with respect to whether sensory and cognitive function are causally related. This study aimed to determine whether marked declines in performance on screening measures of either visual acuity or auditory thresholds have an effect on cognitive decline over 2 years. The sample from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (n = 2,087) were assessed in 1992 and 1994 on measures of sensory and cognitive function as part of a larger clinical assessment. A quasi-experimental design involving comparison of extreme groups using repeated measures MANCOVA with age as a covariate was used. Group performance on measures of hearing, memory, verbal ability and processing speed declined significantly. Decline in visual acuity had a significant effect on memory decline, but not on decline in verbal ability or processing speed. Decline in hearing was not associated with decline in any cognitive domain. The common association between visual acuity, auditory thresholds and cognitive function observed in cross-sectional studies appears to be disassociated in longitudinal studies. Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel
A 1982 population census recorded China's fertility rate in 1982 at 2.6; recent statistics of China's State Statistics Bureau record China's 1984 birth rate at 17 per 1000 and the total fertility rate at 1.94. Wu Cangping asserts that this world-recognized rapid fertility decline is not due to any compulsory governmental restrictions on fertility, but to the people's willingness to control fertility voluntarily. He cites a number of socioeconomic factors contributing to this voluntary decline in China's birth rates: 1) change of family function; 2) decline of mortality, particularly infant mortality; 3) improvement in the educational level; 4) improvement in women's social status, especially increased employment; 5) better social security services for the elderly; 6) the preference for modern ways of production and life; and 7) the availability of information on population and birth control. He attributes these factors to the socialist system with its nationalized production, centralized planning of the national economy, and the even distribution system which prevents polarization of earning. In addition, reforms have been carried out in all aspects of social life and recent advances have been made in science and technology. All of these factors have resulted in a more rapid fertility transition in China as compared to that of developed countries in their past and that of developing countries at present.
Full Text Available Luciana Mascarenhas Fonseca,1 Melaine Cristina de Oliveira,2 Laura Maria de Figueiredo Ferreira Guilhoto,3,4 Esper Abrao Cavalheiro,3,4 Cássio MC Bottino1 1Old Age Research Group, Department of Psychiatry, 2Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of São Paulo, 3Association of Parents and Friends of People with Intellectual Disability of São Paulo, 4Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Background: Cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease often affect older adults with Down syndrome (DS much earlier than those in the general population. There is also growing evidence of the effects of negative life events on the mental health and behavior of individuals with intellectual disability. However, to our knowledge, this is the first study investigating objective cognitive decline following bereavement in aging individuals with DS.Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether cognitive decline correlates with bereavement following the recent loss of a caregiver or with behavioral changes in a sample of adult individuals with DS who do not meet the criteria for dementia or depression, using the longitudinal assessment of the Cambridge Cognitive Examination (CAMCOG, together with the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE.Methods: We evaluated 18 subjects at baseline and over a follow-up period of 14–22 months, attempting to determine whether cognitive decline correlates with bereavement following the recent loss of the main caregiver or with behavioral changes (as assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory.Results: The mean rate of change in CAMCOG was -1.83 (standard deviation 4.51. Behavioral changes had a significant direct influence on cognitive decline. When bereavement was accompanied by behavioral changes, the probability of cognitive decline was 87% (odds ratio 3.82. Conclusion: The occurrence of behavioral changes attributed to bereavement following the loss of
Collins, Cathy D; Holt, Robert D; Foster, Bryan L
Understanding local and global extinction is a fundamental objective of both basic and applied ecology. Island biogeography theory (IBT) and succession theory provide frameworks for understanding extinction in changing landscapes. We explore the relative contribution of fragment size vs. succession on species' declines by examining distributions of abundances for 18 plant species declining over time in an experimentally fragmented landscape in northeast Kansas, U.S.A. If patch size effects dominate, early-successional species should persist longer on large patches, but if successional processes dominate, the reverse should hold, because in our system woody plant colonization is accelerated on large patches. To compare the patterns in abundance among patch sizes, we characterize joint shifts in local abundance and occupancy with a new metric: rank occupancy-abundance profiles (ROAPs). As succession progressed, statistically significant patch size effects emerged for 11 of 18 species. More early-successional species persisted longer on large patches, despite the fact that woody encroachment (succession) progressed faster in these patches. Clonal perennial species persisted longer on large patches compared to small patches. All species that persisted longer on small patches were annuals that recruit from the seed bank each year. The degree to which species declined in occupancy vs. abundance varied dramatically among species: some species declined first in occupancy, others remained widespread or even expanded their distribution, even as they declined in local abundance. Consequently, species exhibited various types of rarity as succession progressed. Understanding the effect of fragmentation on extinction trajectories requires a species-by-species approach encompassing both occupancy and local abundance. We propose that ROAPs provide a useful tool for comparing the distribution of local abundances among landscape types, years, and species.
Jones, Allan; Sommerlund, Bo
The uses of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) and statistical power analysis within psychological research are critically discussed. The article looks at the problems of relying solely on NHST when dealing with small and large sample sizes. The use of power-analysis in estimating...... the potential error introduced by small and large samples is advocated. Power analysis is not recommended as a replacement to NHST but as an additional source of information about the phenomena under investigation. Moreover, the importance of conceptual analysis in relation to statistical analysis of hypothesis...
Morrell, Stephen; Page, Andrew N; Taylor, Richard J
Since the late 1990s there has been a sharp downward trend in Australian young male suicide. It is possible that a major government youth suicide prevention initiative, the National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NYSPS), implemented during 1995-1999 may have influenced the decline. In this article, we examine time trends in age- and means-specific male and female Australian suicide rates in relation to unemployment rates and the NYSPS. Based on Australian suicide data over the period 1966-2003, we assess secular changes in the 20-24 year male suicide to total (crude) male suicide rate ratio in relation to the NYSPS, using interrupted time series analysis (ARIMA), since this was previously found to be significantly associated with the 20-24 year male unemployment to total employment ratio. Results show that a dramatic reduction in Australian young male (aged 20-34 years) suicide has occurred since 1997-1998, declining from approximately 40 per 100,000 in 1997-1998 to approximately 20 per 100,000 in 2003. Most of the decline is due to a decrease in suicide by hanging and to a lesser extent from motor vehicle carbon monoxide and other gases. Further, the previously established strong secular association (lasting over 3 decades from 1966) between the rate ratio of 20-24 year male suicide to total (crude) male suicide, and the rate ratio of 20-24 year male unemployment to total unemployment, appears to have been disrupted. ARIMA modelling of the suicide ratio against the initiative indicates a highly significant statistical association between the NYSPS and the suicide ratio reduction but not between the NYSPS and the unemployment indicator trend, suggesting a break in the link between young male suicide and unemployment. The recent sudden turnaround in Australian young male suicide trends and its extent appears to preclude explanations centring on slow-moving social indices traditionally associated with suicide, or on possible cohort effects. This sudden decrease
Full Text Available In order to test the computing capabilities of GPUs with respect to traditional CPU cores a high-statistics toy Monte Carlo technique has been implemented both in ROOT/RooFit and GooFit frameworks with the purpose to estimate the statistical significance of the structure observed by CMS close to the kinematical boundary of the J/ψϕ invariant mass in the three-body decay B+ → J/ψϕK+. GooFit is a data analysis open tool under development that interfaces ROOT/RooFit to CUDA platform on nVidia GPU. The optimized GooFit application running on GPUs hosted by servers in the Bari Tier2 provides striking speed-up performances with respect to the RooFit application parallelised on multiple CPUs by means of PROOF-Lite tool. The considerable resulting speed-up, evident when comparing concurrent GooFit processes allowed by CUDA Multi Process Service and a RooFit/PROOF-Lite process with multiple CPU workers, is presented and discussed in detail. By means of GooFit it has also been possible to explore the behaviour of a likelihood ratio test statistic in different situations in which the Wilks Theorem may or may not apply because its regularity conditions are not satisfied.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the environmental and genetic risk factors of accelerated lung function decline in the general population is a first step in a prevention strategy against the worldwide increasing respiratory pathology of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD. Deficiency in antioxidative and detoxifying Glutathione S-transferase (GST gene has been associated with poorer lung function in children, smokers and patients with respiratory diseases. In the present study, we assessed whether low activity variants in GST genes are also associated with accelerated lung function decline in the general adult population. Methods We examined with multiple regression analysis the association of polymorphisms in GSTM1, GSTT1 and GSTP1 genes with annual decline in FEV1, FVC, and FEF25–75 during 11 years of follow-up in 4686 subjects of the prospective SAPALDIA cohort representative of the Swiss general population. Effect modification by smoking, gender, bronchial hyperresponisveness and age was studied. Results The associations of GST genotypes with FEV1, FVC, and FEF25–75 were comparable in direction, but most consistent for FEV1. GSTT1 homozygous gene deletion alone or in combination with GSTM1 homozygous gene deletion was associated with excess decline in FEV1 in men, but not women, irrespective of smoking status. The additional mean annual decline in FEV1 in men with GSTT1 and concurrent GSTM1 gene deletion was -8.3 ml/yr (95% confidence interval: -12.6 to -3.9 relative to men without these gene deletions. The GSTT1 effect on the FEV1 decline comparable to the observed difference in FEV1 decline between never and persistent smoking men. Effect modification by gender was statistically significant. Conclusion Our results suggest that genetic GSTT1 deficiency is a prevalent and strong determinant of accelerated lung function decline in the male general population.
Pertoldi, C.; Hansen, Michael Møller; Loeschcke, V.
alleles, suggested that a drastic long-term population decline has taken place, which could have started more than 2000 years ago, possibly due to ancient anthropogenic pressure. Finally, assignment tests and pairwise F-ST values suggested weak but statistically significant genetic differentiation between......The European otter (Lutra lutra) was common in Denmark until the 1960s, but its present distribution encompasses only a minor part of the country. The aim of this study was to assess whether the recent population decline has resulted in loss of genetic variability and to gain further insight...
Full Text Available To verify the probability of maintaining functional capacity in basic activities of daily living and identify the prognostic factors of functional decline in institutionalized older adults.A longitudinal study is presented herein, with 5 waves every 6 months, throughout 2 years (2013-2015, conducted with individuals ≥60 years old in 10 nursing homes in the city of Natal-RN (Brazil. Functional capacity was assessed by the items 'eating', 'personal hygiene', 'dressing', 'bathing', 'transferring', 'toileting' and 'walking', through a 5-item Likert scale. Sociodemographic, institution-related and health-related variables were considered to establish the baseline. Time dependent variables included continence decline, cognitive decline, increase in the number of medication, and incidences of falls, hospitalizations and fractures. The actuarial method, the log-rank test and Cox's regression were applied as statistical methods.The cumulative probability of functional maintenance was 78.2% (CI 95%: 72.8-82.7%, 65.1% (CI 95%: 58.9-70.5%, 53.5% (CI 95%: 47.2-59.5% and 44.0% (CI 95%: 37.7-50.2% at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, respectively. Predicting factors for functional decline were: severe cognitive impairment (HR = 1.96; p = 0.001, continence decline (HR = 1.85; p = 0.002 and incidence of hospitalizations (HR = 1.62; p = 0.020, adjusted by the incidence of depression, age, education level, presence of chronic diseases and low weight.The cumulative probability of maintaining functional capacity in institutionalized older adults was only 44% at the 2-year follow-up. Prognostic factors for functional decline included severe cognitive impairment, continence decline and incidence of hospitalizations.
Sierevelt, Inger N.; van Oldenrijk, Jakob; Poolman, Rudolf W.
In this paper we describe several issues that influence the reporting of statistical significance in relation to clinical importance, since misinterpretation of p values is a common issue in orthopaedic literature. Orthopaedic research is tormented by the risks of false-positive (type I error) and
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Declination is calculated using the current International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) model. Declination is calculated using the current World Magnetic Model...
Otto Mølby Henriksen
Full Text Available Although dementia is associated with both global and regional cerebral blood flow (CBF changes, little is known about cerebral perfusion in the early pre-clinical stages of cognitive decline preceding overt cognitive dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of early sub-clinical cognitive decline with CBF.The study participants were recruited from a cohort of Danish men born in 1953. Based on a regression model we selected men who performed better (Group A, n = 94 and poorer (Group B, n = 95 on cognitive testing at age 57 than expected from testing at age 20. Participants underwent supplementary cognitive testing, blood sampling and MRI including measurements of regional and global CBF.Regional CBF was lower in group B than in group A in the posterior cingulate gyrus and the precuneus. The associations were attenuated when corrected for global atrophy, but remained significant in regions of interest based analysis adjusting for regional gray matter volume and vascular risk factors. No influence of group on global CBF was observed.We conclude that early sub-clinical cognitive decline is associated with reduced perfusion in the precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus independently of regional atrophy and vascular risk factors, but cannot be statistically separated from an association with global atrophy.
China's family planning and population control policies, together with the move toward a more market-oriented economy since the 1980s, have led to significant change in people's reproductive values and behavior and a substantial decline in fertility. Traditional kinship in China, its terminology, and the impact of fertility decline on kinship in China and Chinese society are discussed. The decline in fertility is affecting or will affect China's kinship system, the corresponding pattern of terminology, and the social structure. In the more market-oriented economy which has been developing in China, the simplification of the kinship system will help change the structure of Chinese society and weaken the traditional patriarchal culture. A more individualized, contractualized social structure and relationships will result.
Detailed, complete, timely and reliable statistics are essential to monitor the energy situation at a country level as well as at an international level. Energy statistics on supply, trade, stocks, transformation and demand are indeed the basis for any sound energy policy decision. For instance, the market of oil -- which is the largest traded commodity worldwide -- needs to be closely monitored in order for all market players to know at any time what is produced, traded, stocked and consumed and by whom. In view of the role and importance of energy in world development, one would expect that basic energy information to be readily available and reliable. This is not always the case and one can even observe a decline in the quality, coverage and timeliness of energy statistics over the last few years.
DUDEK, J; SZPAK, B; FORNAL, B; PORQUET, M-G
In this and the follow-up article we briefly discuss what we believe represents one of the most serious problems in contemporary nuclear structure: the question of statistical significance of parametrizations of nuclear microscopic Hamiltonians and the implied predictive power of the underlying theories. In the present Part I, we introduce the main lines of reasoning of the so-called Inverse Problem Theory, an important sub-field in the contemporary Applied Mathematics, here illustrated on the example of the Nuclear Mean-Field Approach.
S. T. Lennartz
Full Text Available The Boknis Eck (BE time series station, initiated in 1957, is one of the longest-operated time series stations worldwide. We present the first statistical evaluation of a data set of nine physical, chemical and biological parameters in the period of 1957–2013. In the past three to five decades, all of the measured parameters underwent significant long-term changes. Most striking is an ongoing decline in bottom water oxygen concentration, despite a significant decrease of nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations. Temperature-enhanced oxygen consumption in the bottom water and a prolongation of the stratification period are discussed as possible reasons for the ongoing oxygen decline despite declining eutrophication. Observations at the BE station were compared with model output of the Kiel Baltic Sea Ice Ocean Model (BSIOM. Reproduced trends were in good agreement with observed trends for temperature and oxygen, but generally the oxygen concentration at the bottom has been overestimated.
Linting, Marielle; van Os, Bart Jan; Meulman, Jacqueline J.
In this paper, the statistical significance of the contribution of variables to the principal components in principal components analysis (PCA) is assessed nonparametrically by the use of permutation tests. We compare a new strategy to a strategy used in previous research consisting of permuting the columns (variables) of a data matrix…
Cibella, Fabio; Cuttitta, Giuseppina; Bellia, Vincenzo; Bucchieri, Salvatore; D'Anna, Silvestre; Guerrera, Daniela; Bonsignore, Giovanni
We evaluated the longitudinal changes in lung function and the factors associated with FEV(1) changes over time in a sample of asthmatic subjects. FEV(1) measures were recorded every 3 months over a 5-year follow-up period. To compare all subjects independently of body size, FEV(1) values were normalized for the subject's height at the third power. We evaluated the possible effect of age, baseline FEV(1), disease duration, and FEV(1) variability on the rate of change of FEV(1). We studied 142 subjects with asthma diagnosed on the basis of validated clinical and functional criteria. FEV(1) showed a linear decay with aging in each subject. For a subject 1.65 m in height, the median overall FEV(1) decay was 40.9 mL/yr. FEV(1) decay slopes were significantly influenced by age and sex, being steeper in younger male subjects. A significant interaction was found between age and baseline FEV(1): the FEV(1) decay was significantly higher among younger asthmatics with a poorer baseline functional condition. A longer disease duration was associated with a lower FEV(1) slope. FEV(1) variability was strongly associated with an increased rate of FEV(1) decline. FEV(1) decline in patients with bronchial asthma is significantly influenced by baseline FEV(1), disease duration, and FEV(1) variability. Moreover, the rate of FEV(1) decline seems to increase in younger subjects only when the baseline function is poorer.
Claus, J.J.; Walstra, G.J.M.; Hijdra, A.; Gool, W.A. van; Royen, E.A. van; Verbeeten, B. Jr.
We determined the relationship between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measured with single-photon emission tomography (SPET) and decline in cognitive function and survival in Alzheimer's disease. In a prospective follow-up study, 69 consecutively referred patients with early probable Alzheimer's disease (NINCDS/ADRDA criteria) underwent SPET performed at the time of initial diagnosis using technetium-99m-labelled hexamethylpropylene amine oxime. Neuropsychological function was assessed at baseline and after 6 months and survival data were available on all patients, extending to 5.5 years of follow-up. Lower left temporal (P<0.01) and lower left parietal (P<0.01) rCBF were statistically significantly related to decline in language function after 6 months. The association between left temporal rCBF and survival was also statistically significant (P<0.05) using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Performing analysis with quartiles of the distribution, we found a threshold effect for low left temporal rCBF (rCBF<73.7%, P<0.01) and high risk of mortality. In this lowest quartile, median survival time was 2.7 years (follow-up to 5.2 years), compared with 4.4 years in the other quartiles (follow-up to 5.5 years). Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed statistically significant (P<0.05, log rank test) survival curves for the lowest versus other quartiles of left temporal rCBF. All results were unaffected by adjustment for age, sex, dementia severity, duration of symptoms, education and ratings of local cortical atrophy. We conclude that left temporal rCBF predicts decline in language function and survival in patients with early probable Alzheimer's disease, with a threshold effect of low rCBF and high risk of mortality. (orig.)
Morris, Nathan; Elston, Robert
It is an obvious fact that the power of a test statistic is dependent upon the significance (alpha) level at which the test is performed. It is perhaps a less obvious fact that the relative performance of two statistics in terms of power is also a function of the alpha level. Through numerous personal discussions, we have noted that even some competent statisticians have the mistaken intuition that relative power comparisons at traditional levels such as α = 0.05 will be roughly similar to relative power comparisons at very low levels, such as the level α = 5 × 10 -8 , which is commonly used in genome-wide association studies. In this brief note, we demonstrate that this notion is in fact quite wrong, especially with respect to comparing tests with differing degrees of freedom. In fact, at very low alpha levels the cost of additional degrees of freedom is often comparatively low. Thus we recommend that statisticians exercise caution when interpreting the results of power comparison studies which use alpha levels that will not be used in practice.
Du Plessis, K [Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Sydney (Australia)
BHP Billion (BHPB) Cannington has experienced problems in regards to their traffic flow in the decline at the mine. The problems related to reports on near misses of vehicles moving towards each other in the decline. The decline is also to narrow for trucks to pass each other and the operators need to be aware of oncoming traffic in the decline to ensure they could take early evasive steps to ensure the rules of right of way in the decline are adhered to. BHPB Cannington requested CSC to conduct a problem analysis and to provide a solutions proposal to Cannington. The solution was put forward as an augmentation of their current safety procedures used with in the decline. During this phase of the project CSC developed a solutions architecture which involved the use of Active (Radio Frequency Identification) RFID tagging which will enable vehicle movement tracking on a real time basis after which the appropriate traffic movement can be relayed to the operators in the decline. The primary objective of the DTIS is to provide accurate information of traffic movement in the decline and present that information to the operators of the decline IN THE DECLINE upon which they would make their decisions. (orig.)
Full Text Available The author is trying to explain the contrasts existing between the expanding universe of anti-discrimination sanctions and the decline in legitimacy of democracy. The declining legitimacy affects both consolidated democracies, and newborn democracies. Inequality in the USA, but also at global level is illustrated with relevant statistics. The convergence between the crisis of democracy and the financial and economic global crisis is a major social and political threat. At the global level, after the Arab Spring, the third wave of democratization continued, while the quality of democracy substantially diminished. In the newborn Islamic democracies, discrimination against women, Christians, Jews, gay & lesbians, etc. continued, leading to arson, torture and killings.
Serviss, Jason T.; Gådin, Jesper R.; Eriksson, Per
, e.g. genes in a specific pathway, alone can separate samples into these established classes. Despite this, the evaluation of class separations is often subjective and performed via visualization. Here we present the ClusterSignificance package; a set of tools designed to assess the statistical...... significance of class separations downstream of dimensionality reduction algorithms. In addition, we demonstrate the design and utility of the ClusterSignificance package and utilize it to determine the importance of long non-coding RNA expression in the identity of multiple hematological malignancies....
van Tulder, M.W.; Malmivaara, A.; Hayden, J.; Koes, B.
STUDY DESIGN. Critical appraisal of the literature. OBJECIVES. The objective of this study was to assess if results of back pain trials are statistically significant and clinically important. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. There seems to be a discrepancy between conclusions reported by authors and
Claus, J.J.; Walstra, G.J.M.; Hijdra, A.; Gool, W.A. van [Department of Neurology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Royen, E.A. van [Department of Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands); Verbeeten, B. Jr. [Department of Radiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
We determined the relationship between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measured with single-photon emission tomography (SPET) and decline in cognitive function and survival in Alzheimer`s disease. In a prospective follow-up study, 69 consecutively referred patients with early probable Alzheimer`s disease (NINCDS/ADRDA criteria) underwent SPET performed at the time of initial diagnosis using technetium-99m-labelled hexamethylpropylene amine oxime. Neuropsychological function was assessed at baseline and after 6 months and survival data were available on all patients, extending to 5.5 years of follow-up. Lower left temporal (P<0.01) and lower left parietal (P<0.01) rCBF were statistically significantly related to decline in language function after 6 months. The association between left temporal rCBF and survival was also statistically significant (P<0.05) using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Performing analysis with quartiles of the distribution, we found a threshold effect for low left temporal rCBF (rCBF<73.7%, P<0.01) and high risk of mortality. In this lowest quartile, median survival time was 2.7 years (follow-up to 5.2 years), compared with 4.4 years in the other quartiles (follow-up to 5.5 years). Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed statistically significant (P<0.05, log rank test) survival curves for the lowest versus other quartiles of left temporal rCBF. All results were unaffected by adjustment for age, sex, dementia severity, duration of symptoms, education and ratings of local cortical atrophy. We conclude that left temporal rCBF predicts decline in language function and survival in patients with early probable Alzheimer`s disease, with a threshold effect of low rCBF and high risk of mortality. (orig.) With 3 figs., 3 tabs., 44 refs.
Siglin, Joshua; Kubicek, Gregory J.; Leiby, Benjamin; Valicenti, Richard K.
Purpose: Erectile dysfunction is one of the most concerning toxicities for patients in the treatment of prostate cancer. The inconsistent evaluation of sexual function (SF) and limited follow-up data have necessitated additional study to clarify the rate and timing of erectile dysfunction after external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for prostate cancer. Methods and Materials: A total of 143 men completed baseline data on SF before treatment and at the subsequent follow-up visits. A total of 1187 validated SF inventories were analyzed from the study participants. Multiple domains of SF (sex drive, erectile function, ejaculatory function, and overall satisfaction) were analyzed for ≤8 years of follow-up. Results: The median follow-up was 4.03 years. The strongest predictor of SF after EBRT was SF before treatment. For all domains of SF, the only statistically significant decrease in function occurred in the first 24 months after EBRT. SF stabilized 2 years after treatment completion, with no statistically significant change in any area of SF >2 years after the end of EBRT. Conclusion: These data suggest that SF does not have a continuous decline after EBRT. Instead, SF decreases maximally within the first 24 months after EBRT, with no significant changes thereafter.
random-slope and random-intercept mixed linear regression.Results: A total 175 participants were included. No significant postbronchodilator FEV1 decline was observed between the groups (-34.4±7.9 [group A]; -26.2±9.4 [group B]; -22.7±16.0 [group C]; and -24.0±8.7 mL/year [group D] (P=0.79. The group with less symptoms (-32.3±7.2 vs -25.0±6.5 mL/year (P=0.44 and the low risk group (-31.0±6.1 vs -23.6±7.7 mL/year (P=0.44 at baseline showed a more rapid decline in the postbronchodilator FEV1, but the trends were not statistically significant. However, GOLD stages classified by FEV1 were significantly related to the annual lung function decline.Conclusion: There was no significant difference in lung function decline rates according to the GOLD groups. Prior classification using postbronchodilator FEV1 predicts decline in lung function better than does the new classification.Keywords: annual lung function decline, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, GOLD 2014
Kongsgaard, M; Aagaard, P; Roikjaer, S; Olsen, D; Jensen, M; Langberg, H; Magnusson, S P
Recent studies have shown excellent clinical results using eccentric squat training on a 25 degrees decline board to treat patellar tendinopathy. It remains unknown why therapeutic management of patellar tendinopathy using decline eccentric squats offer superior clinical efficacy compared to standard horizontal eccentric squats. This study aimed to compare electromyography activity, patellar tendon strain and joint angle kinematics during standard and decline eccentric squats. Thirteen subjects performed unilateral eccentric squats on flat-and a 25 degrees decline surface. During the squats, electromyography activity was obtained in eight representative muscles. Also, ankle, knee and hip joint goniometry was obtained. Additionally, patellar tendon strain was measured in vivo using ultrasonography as subjects maintained a unilateral isometric 90 degrees knee angle squat position on either flat or 25 degrees decline surface. Patellar tendon strain was significantly greater (Psquat position on the decline surface compared to the standard surface. The stop angles of the ankle and hip joints were significantly smaller during the decline compared to the standard squats (Psquats (Psquats. The use of a 25 degrees decline board increases the load and the strain of the patellar tendon during unilateral eccentric squats. This finding likely explains previous reports of superior clinical efficacy of decline eccentric squats in the rehabilitative management of patellar tendinopathy.
Leiter, Jeffrey; Johnsen, Matthew C.
Presents a longitudinal analysis of school performance declines among neglected and abused children, using the maltreatment and school histories of 1,369 children in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Significant relationships between maltreatment and declines in performance were found in diverse school outcomes. (SLD)
Full Text Available The aim of this article is to review the association between diabetes mellitus, cognitive decline and dementia, including the effects of cognitive decline and dementia on self management of diabetes. This is a literature review of primary research articles. A number of contemporary research articles that met the inclusion criteria were selected for this review paper. These articles were selected using a number of search strategies and electronic databases, such as EBSCOhost Research and SwetsWise databases. The duration of diabetes, glycated haemoglobin levels and glycaemic fluctuations were associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Similarly, hypoglycaemia was significantly related to increased risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia. Furthermore, cognitive decline and dementia were associated with poorer diabetes management. There is evidence of the association between diabetes, cognitive decline and dementia including the shared pathogenesis between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the self management of diabetes is affected by dementia and cognitive decline. It could be suggested that the association between diabetes and dementia is bidirectional with the potential to proceed to a vicious cycle. Further studies are needed in order to fully establish the relationship between diabetes, cognitive decline and dementia. Patients who have diabetes and dementia could benefit from structured education strategies, which should involve empowerment programmes and lifestyle changes. The detection of cognitive decline should highlight the need for education strategies.
Bryan D James
Full Text Available Risk aversion and temporal discounting are preferences that are strongly linked to sub-optimal financial and health decision making ability. Prior studies have shown they differ by age and cognitive ability, but it remains unclear whether differences are due to age-related cognitive decline or lower cognitive abilities over the life span. We tested the hypothesis that cognitive decline is associated with higher risk aversion and temporal discounting in 455 older persons without dementia from the Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal cohort study of aging in Chicago. All underwent repeated annual cognitive evaluations using a detailed battery including 19 tests. Risk aversion was measured using standard behavioral economics questions: participants were asked to choose between a certain monetary payment versus a gamble in which they could gain more or nothing; potential gamble gains varied across questions. Temporal discounting: participants were asked to choose between an immediate, smaller payment and a delayed, larger one; two sets of questions addressed small and large stakes based on payment amount. Regression analyses were used to examine whether prior rate of cognitive decline predicted level of risk aversion and temporal discounting, controlling for age, sex, and education. Over an average of 5.5 (SD=2.9 years, cognition declined at an average of 0.016 units per year (SD=0.03. More rapid cognitive decline predicted higher levels of risk aversion (p=0.002 and temporal discounting (small stakes: p=0.01, high stakes: p=0.006. Further, associations between cognitive decline and risk aversion (p=0.015 and large stakes temporal discounting (p=0.026 persisted in analyses restricted to persons without any cognitive impairment (i.e., no dementia or mild cognitive impairment; the association of cognitive decline and small stakes temporal discounting was no longer statistically significant (p=0.078. These findings are consistent with the
James, Bryan D; Boyle, Patricia A; Yu, Lei; Han, S Duke; Bennett, David A
Risk aversion and temporal discounting are preferences that are strongly linked to sub-optimal financial and health decision making ability. Prior studies have shown they differ by age and cognitive ability, but it remains unclear whether differences are due to age-related cognitive decline or lower cognitive abilities over the life span. We tested the hypothesis that cognitive decline is associated with higher risk aversion and temporal discounting in 455 older persons without dementia from the Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal cohort study of aging in Chicago. All underwent repeated annual cognitive evaluations using a detailed battery including 19 tests. Risk aversion was measured using standard behavioral economics questions: participants were asked to choose between a certain monetary payment versus a gamble in which they could gain more or nothing; potential gamble gains varied across questions. Temporal discounting: participants were asked to choose between an immediate, smaller payment and a delayed, larger one; two sets of questions addressed small and large stakes based on payment amount. Regression analyses were used to examine whether prior rate of cognitive decline predicted level of risk aversion and temporal discounting, controlling for age, sex, and education. Over an average of 5.5 (SD=2.9) years, cognition declined at an average of 0.016 units per year (SD=0.03). More rapid cognitive decline predicted higher levels of risk aversion (p=0.002) and temporal discounting (small stakes: p=0.01, high stakes: p=0.006). Further, associations between cognitive decline and risk aversion (p=0.015) and large stakes temporal discounting (p=0.026) persisted in analyses restricted to persons without any cognitive impairment (i.e., no dementia or mild cognitive impairment); the association of cognitive decline and small stakes temporal discounting was no longer statistically significant (p=0.078). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that
Kendall, D.G.; Young, G.A.
Birch (1982, Nature, 298, 451) reported an apparent 'statistical asymmetry of the Universe'. The authors here develop 'indirectional analysis' as a technique for investigating statistical effects of this kind and conclude that the reported effect (whatever may be its origin) is strongly supported by the observations. The estimated pole of the asymmetry is at RA 13h 30m, Dec. -37deg. The angular error in its estimation is unlikely to exceed 20-30deg. (author)
The regional decline in vigor of some species of forest trees has become an important component in the ecological, aesthetic, and economic criteria by which the costs of anthropogenic pollution are weighed. Because declines are often complex and virtually never without significant natural environmental modifiers, determining the role of specific anthropogenic stresses in initiating or enhancing the rate and direction of change in forest condition represents a significant research challenge. Separation of primary mechanisms that point to principal causes from secondary responses that result from internal feedbacks and the milieu of modifying agents is a critical issue in diagnosing forest decline. Air pollutant stress may have its most significant effects on forest processes by accelerating or amplifying natural stresses. Studies of changes in forest metabolic processes have played an important role in evaluating the role of air pollution in four regional forest declines that are the focus of this paper. The decline of ponderosa pine in the San Bernardino Mountains of California, Norway spruce and silver fir in Europe, loblolly and shortleaf pine in the Southeastern United States, and red spruce in the Eastern Appalachian Mountains provide case studies in which physiological responses to air pollutants under field and laboratory conditions have provided important analytical tools for assessing likely causes. These tools are most effective when both mechanistic explanations and larger scale patterns of response are evaluated in an iterative feedback loop that examines plausible mechanisms and patterns of response at levels ranging from cell membranes to plant populations
Akechi, Tatsuo; Aiki, Sayo; Sugano, Koji; Uchida, Megumi; Yamada, Atsuro; Komatsu, Hirokazu; Ishida, Takashi; Kusumoto, Shigeru; Iida, Shinsuke; Okuyama, Toru
Cognitive decline is common among older adults with cancer. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of cognitive decline on health utility value in older adults suffering from cancer. Consecutive patients aged 65 years or older with a primary diagnosis of malignant lymphoma or multiple myeloma were recruited. Patients were asked to complete the EuroQoL-5 (EQ-5D) scale to measure health utility and the Mini-Mental State Examination to assess cognitive decline. The potential impact of cognitive decline was investigated with univariate analysis. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to control for potential confounding factors. Complete data were obtained from 87 patients, 29% of whom had cognitive decline. The mean ± SE EQ-5D score for patients with cognitive decline was significantly lower than that for those without cognitive decline (0.67 ± 0.04 vs 0.79 ± 0.03, t = 2.38, P = 0.02). However, multiple regression analysis showed that cognitive decline was not significantly associated with EQ-5D scores. Female sex and lower performance scores (worse physical condition) were significantly associated with EQ-5D scores. Cognitive decline may be involved in decreased health utility value in older adult patients with cancer. However, this effect does not seem to be independent, and the patient's physical condition may be a relevant confounding factor. © 2016 The Authors. Psychogeriatrics © 2016 Japanese Psychogeriatric Society.
Full Text Available Aims: Cognitive decline disproportionately affects older adult type 2 diabetes. We tested whether randomized intensive glucose-lowering reduces the rate(s of cognitive decline in adults with advanced type 2 diabetes (mean: age, 60 years; diabetes duration, 11 years from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial. Methods: A battery of neuropsychological tests (digit span, digit symbol substitution (DSym, and Trails-making Part B (TMT-B was administered at baseline in ~1700 participants and repeated at year 5. Thirty-six risk factors were evaluated as predictors of cognitive decline in multivariable regression analyses.Results: The mean age-adjusted, DSym or TMT-B declined significantly in all study participants (P < 0.001. Randomized intensive glucose-lowering did not significantly alter the rate of cognitive decline. The final model of risk factors associated with 5-year decline in age-adjusted TMT-B included as significant predictors: longer baseline diabetes duration (beta = -0.028; P = 0.0057, lower baseline diastolic blood pressure (beta = 0.028; P < 0.001, and baseline calcium channel blocker medication use (beta = -0.639; P < 0.001. Higher baseline pulse pressure was significantly associated with decline in age-adjusted TMT-B suggesting a role for both higher systolic and lower diastolic blood pressure. Baseline thiazide diuretic use (beta= -0.549; P =0.015 was an additional significant predictor of 5-year decline in age-adjusted digit symbol score. Post-baseline systolic blood pressure-lowering was significantly associated (P < 0.001 with decline in TMT-B performance. There was a significant inverse association between post-baseline plasma triglyceride- lowering (P = 0.045 and decline in digit symbol substitution task performance.Conclusions: A five-year period of randomized intensive glucose-lowering did not significantly reduce the rate of cognitive decline in older-aged adults with type 2 diabetes. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure as
Full Text Available Ageing often leads to decline in cognitive abilities. Significant cognitive impairment leads to functional impairment and need for care. Prevention of cognitive decline and delaying its progression would help to reduce the need for long-term care. Both genetic and environmental factors are important determinants of cognitive health in late life. A better cognitive reserve helps to prevent cognitive decline. Cognitive reserve is now considered as a functional reserve rather than a structural reserve. Cognitive reserve can be enhanced through experience. People with higher level of education tend to have higher cognitive reserve. Better cognitive reserve can act as a buffer. Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities may prevent cognitive decline in late life. Physical exercise also improves cognitive health. Aerobic exercises, which improve cardiorespiratory fitness, improve cognitive functions like motor functions, cognitive speed, and auditory and visual attention. Beneficial effects on executive functions are also reported. Healthy diet, especially adherence to Mediterranean diet (MeDi, is considered to be useful in preserving cognitive health. Engagement in social activities might also reduce cognitive decline. Encouraging adherence to a healthy lifestyle and continuing to be physically, socially, and cognitively active seems to be a promising strategy to prevent cognitive decline.
Mogi, Masaki; Li Jianmei; Tsukuda, Kana; Iwanami, Jun; Min, Li-Juan; Sakata, Akiko; Fujita, Teppei; Iwai, Masaru; Horiuchi, Masatsugu
Telmisartan is a unique angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) and partial agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ. Here, we investigated the preventive effect of telmisartan on cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease. In ddY mice, intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ 1-40 significantly attenuated their cognitive function evaluated by shuttle avoidance test. Pretreatment with a non-hypotensive dose of telmisartan significantly inhibited such cognitive decline. Interestingly, co-treatment with GW9662, a PPAR-γ antagonist, partially inhibited this improvement of cognitive decline. Another ARB, losartan, which has less PPAR-γ agonistic effect, also inhibited Aβ-injection-induced cognitive decline; however the effect was smaller than that of telmisartan and was not affected by GW9662. Immunohistochemical staining for Aβ showed the reduced Aβ deposition in telmisartan-treated mice. However, this reduction was not observed in mice co-administered GW9662. These findings suggest that ARB has a preventive effect on cognitive impairment in Alzheimer disease, and telmisartan, with PPAR-γ activation, could exert a stronger effect
Van Doren, D C; Spielman, A P
Despite continued significant increases in the nation's spending for health care, use of inpatient hospital services has declined. The authors use the product life cycle to analyze the market for inpatient hospital services and to examine competitive strategies for hospital marketing success. The product life cycle literature suggests at least four strategies for products in decline. The authors analyze the advantages and disadvantages of these strategies as they relate to the hospital market.
Wu, C; Jia, S
Coale has suggested that cultural factors exert a significant influence on fertility reduction; countries in the "Chinese cultural circle" would be the first to show fertility decline. In China, the view was that traditional Chinese culture contributed to increased population. This paper examines the nature of the relationship between Chinese culture and fertility. Attention was directed to a comparison of fertility rates of developing countries with strong Chinese cultural influence and of fertility within different regions of China. Discussion was followed by an explanation of the theoretical impact of Chinese culture on fertility and direct and indirect beliefs and practices that might either enhance or hinder fertility decline. Emigration to neighboring countries occurred after the Qing dynasty. Fertility after the 1950s declined markedly in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and mainland China: all countries within the Chinese cultural circle. Other countries within the Chinese circle which have higher fertility, yet lower fertility than other non-Chinese cultural countries, are Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Within China, regions with similar fertility patterns are identified as coastal regions, central plains, and mountainous and plateau regions. The Han ethnic group has lower fertility than that of ethnic minorities; regions with large Han populations have lower fertility. Overseas Chinese in East Asian countries also tend to have lower fertility than their host populations. Chinese culture consisted of the assimilation of other cultures over 5000 years. Fertility decline was dependent on the population's desire to limit reproduction, favorable social mechanisms, and availability of contraception: all factors related to economic development. Chinese culture affects fertility reduction by affecting reproductive views and social mechanisms directly, and indirectly through economics. Confucianism emphasizes collectivism, self
Alves, Gelio; Wang, Guanghui; Ogurtsov, Aleksey Y; Drake, Steven K; Gucek, Marjan; Sacks, David B; Yu, Yi-Kuo
Rapid and accurate identification and classification of microorganisms is of paramount importance to public health and safety. With the advance of mass spectrometry (MS) technology, the speed of identification can be greatly improved. However, the increasing number of microbes sequenced is complicating correct microbial identification even in a simple sample due to the large number of candidates present. To properly untwine candidate microbes in samples containing one or more microbes, one needs to go beyond apparent morphology or simple "fingerprinting"; to correctly prioritize the candidate microbes, one needs to have accurate statistical significance in microbial identification. We meet these challenges by using peptide-centric representations of microbes to better separate them and by augmenting our earlier analysis method that yields accurate statistical significance. Here, we present an updated analysis workflow that uses tandem MS (MS/MS) spectra for microbial identification or classification. We have demonstrated, using 226 MS/MS publicly available data files (each containing from 2500 to nearly 100,000 MS/MS spectra) and 4000 additional MS/MS data files, that the updated workflow can correctly identify multiple microbes at the genus and often the species level for samples containing more than one microbe. We have also shown that the proposed workflow computes accurate statistical significances, i.e., E values for identified peptides and unified E values for identified microbes. Our updated analysis workflow MiCId, a freely available software for Microorganism Classification and Identification, is available for download at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/CBBresearch/Yu/downloads.html . Graphical Abstract ᅟ.
Lee, Jooyeon; Torosyan, Nare; Silverman, Daniel H
Natural compounds in grapes such as resveratrol are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have shown a potential role for grapes or wine in slowing cognitive decline and other effects of aging. However, well-controlled experimental data obtained in human subjects are still in need of further development. Here we aimed to systematically assess effects of grapes on regional cerebral metabolism. Ten subjects with mild decline in cognition (mean, 72.2±4.7years; 50% female) were included in this analysis. Participants were randomized into an active grape formulation arm or a placebo arm which consumed a formulation free of polyphenols for six months. Cognitive performance was measured through neuropsychological assessments performed at baseline and 6months after initiation of therapy. Changes in brain metabolism occurring with each therapy regimen were assessed by brain PET scans with the radiotracer [F-18] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), obtained during initial evaluation and 6months later. Standardized volumes of interest (sVOI) and statistical parametric mapping (SPM) methods were applied to FDG-PET scans to identify significant regional cerebral metabolic changes. In contrast to participants taking the active grape formulation, who displayed no significant decline in metabolism, the placebo arm underwent significant metabolic decline in sVOI's of the right posterior cingulate cortex (p=0.01), and left superior posterolateral temporal cortex (p=0.04). SPM analyses also found significant declines in the placebo group, particularly in left prefrontal, cingulate, and left superior posterolateral temporal cortex (pbrain metabolism in the active formulation arm. No significant differences were seen in scores on the neuropsychological battery of tests between the two groups. However, metabolism in right superior parietal cortex and left inferior anterior temporal cortex was correlated with improvements in attention/working memory, as
Young-Hyman, Deborah; Morris, Kathryn; Kettel Khan, Laura; Dawkins-Lyn, Nicola; Dooyema, Carrie; Harris, Carole; Jernigan, Jan; Ottley, Phyllis; Kauh, Tina
Childhood obesity remains prevalent and is increasing in some disadvantaged populations. Numerous research, policy and community initiatives are undertaken to impact this pandemic. Understudied are natural experiments. The need to learn from these efforts is paramount. Resulting evidence may not be readily available to inform future research, community initiatives, and policy development/implementation. We discuss the implications of using an adaptation of the Systematic Screening and Assessment (SSA) method to evaluate the Childhood Obesity Declines (COBD) project. The project examined successful initiatives, programs and policies in four diverse communities which were concurrent with significant declines in child obesity. In the context of other research designs and evaluation schemas, rationale for use of SSA is presented. Evidence generated by this method is highlighted and guidance suggested for evaluation of future studies of community-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives. Support for the role of stakeholder collaboratives, in particular the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, as a synergistic vehicle to accelerate research on childhood obesity is discussed. SSA mapped active processes and provided contextual understanding of multi-level/component simultaneous efforts to reduce rates of childhood obesity in community settings. Initiatives, programs and policies were not necessarily coordinated. And although direct attribution of intervention/initiative/policy components could not be made, the what, by who, how, to whom was temporally associated with statistically significant reductions in childhood obesity. SSA provides evidence for context and processes which are not often evaluated in other data analytic methods. SSA provides an additional tool to layer with other evaluation approaches.
Kim, Sung-Min; Choi, Yosoon
To develop appropriate measures to prevent soil contamination in abandoned mining areas, an understanding of the spatial variation of the potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in the soil is necessary. For the purpose of effective soil sampling, this study uses hot spot analysis, which calculates a z -score based on the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic to identify a statistically significant hot spot sample. To constitute a statistically significant hot spot, a feature with a high value should also be surrounded by other features with high values. Using relatively cost- and time-effective portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysis, sufficient input data are acquired from the Busan abandoned mine and used for hot spot analysis. To calibrate the PXRF data, which have a relatively low accuracy, the PXRF analysis data are transformed using the inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) data. The transformed PXRF data of the Busan abandoned mine are classified into four groups according to their normalized content and z -scores: high content with a high z -score (HH), high content with a low z -score (HL), low content with a high z -score (LH), and low content with a low z -score (LL). The HL and LH cases may be due to measurement errors. Additional or complementary surveys are required for the areas surrounding these suspect samples or for significant hot spot areas. The soil sampling is conducted according to a four-phase procedure in which the hot spot analysis and proposed group classification method are employed to support the development of a sampling plan for the following phase. Overall, 30, 50, 80, and 100 samples are investigated and analyzed in phases 1-4, respectively. The method implemented in this case study may be utilized in the field for the assessment of statistically significant soil contamination and the identification of areas for which an additional survey is required.
Full Text Available To develop appropriate measures to prevent soil contamination in abandoned mining areas, an understanding of the spatial variation of the potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs in the soil is necessary. For the purpose of effective soil sampling, this study uses hot spot analysis, which calculates a z-score based on the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic to identify a statistically significant hot spot sample. To constitute a statistically significant hot spot, a feature with a high value should also be surrounded by other features with high values. Using relatively cost- and time-effective portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF analysis, sufficient input data are acquired from the Busan abandoned mine and used for hot spot analysis. To calibrate the PXRF data, which have a relatively low accuracy, the PXRF analysis data are transformed using the inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES data. The transformed PXRF data of the Busan abandoned mine are classified into four groups according to their normalized content and z-scores: high content with a high z-score (HH, high content with a low z-score (HL, low content with a high z-score (LH, and low content with a low z-score (LL. The HL and LH cases may be due to measurement errors. Additional or complementary surveys are required for the areas surrounding these suspect samples or for significant hot spot areas. The soil sampling is conducted according to a four-phase procedure in which the hot spot analysis and proposed group classification method are employed to support the development of a sampling plan for the following phase. Overall, 30, 50, 80, and 100 samples are investigated and analyzed in phases 1–4, respectively. The method implemented in this case study may be utilized in the field for the assessment of statistically significant soil contamination and the identification of areas for which an additional survey is required.
The world's oceans have seen significant declines in phytoplankton-the primary food source in the marine environment. This decline in primary producers is likely to impact the food chain and functions of most coastal and marine ecosystems. Despite being one of the most productive marine fishing grounds in the Western ...
G. J. Wang
Full Text Available The temporal variations of the low latitude nighttime spread F (SF observed by DPS-4 digisonde at low latitude Hainan station (geog. 19.5° N, 109.1° E, dip lat. 9.5° N during the declining solar cycle 23 from March 2002 to February 2008 are studied. The spread F measured by the digisonde were classified into four types, i.e., frequency SF (FSF, range SF (RSF, mixed SF (MSF, and strong range SF (SSF. The statistical results show that MSF and SSF are the outstanding irregularities in Hainan, MSF mainly occurs during summer and low solar activity years, whereas SSF mainly occurs during equinoxes and high solar activity years. The SSF has a diurnal peak before midnight and usually appears during 20:00–02:00 LT, whereas MSF peaks nearly or after midnight and occurs during 22:00–06:00 LT. The time of maximum occurrence of SSF is later in summer than in equinoxes and this time delay can be caused by the later reversal time of the E×B drift in summer. The SunSpot Number (SSN dependence of each type SF is different during different season. The FSF is independent of SSN during each season; RSF with SSN is positive relation during equinoxes and summer and is no relationship during the winter; MSF is significant dependence on SSN during the summer and winter, and does not relate to SSN during the equinoxes; SSF is clearly increasing with SSN during equinoxes and summer, while it is independent of SSN during the winter. The occurrence numbers of each type SF and total SF have the same trend, i.e., increasing as Kp increases from 0 to 1, and then decreasing as increasing Kp. The correlation with Kp is negative for RSF, MSF, SSF and total SF, but is vague for the FSF.
Full Text Available Background: The total fertility rate (TFR in Uruguay fell from 2.5 to 1.9 children per woman between 1996 and 2011. However, no study to date has examined the decline of the TFR by observing changes in fertility patterns by birth order. Objective: The main aim of this study is to analyze recent changes in fertility level and timing of childbearing by birth order in Uruguay. Methods: We estimate unconditional and conditional age- and birth-order-specific fertility rates for 1996-2011 using data from vital statistics, population census, and national population estimates. Additionally, three period summary measures of birth-order-specific fertility quantum are calculated: TFR, PATFR and TFRp*. Timing changes by birth order are examined with MAB and TMAB, focusing on MAB1 and its standard deviation and comparing their evolutions in Uruguay with those of selected countries. Results: Fertility decline fits a parity-specific stopping model with a moderate increase in the mean ages of first, second, and third births. The distribution of conditional fertility rates for first and second births depicts an asymmetric bimodal shape linked to the increasing heterogeneity of the timing of childbearing. Compared to countries with similar fertility trends, heterogeneity in the age at first birth in Uruguay is remarkably high. Conclusions: Previous studies suggest that heterogeneity in first and second birth timing is related to structural social inequalities, as women from lower social strata have not significantly changed the age at which they bear a first child, whereas women of middle to high social strata have started to postpone it. The new evidence reinforces the idea that postponement transition in Uruguay cannot be studied without considering this consolidation of social status polarization in fertility timing.
Full Text Available Trends in anthropogenically driven episodic acidification associated with extended winter snow melt/rain episodes between 1983 and 1998 were investigated for two streams in Nova Scotia, Canada. The anthropogenic contribution to Acid Neutralization Capacity (ANC was analysed using the Boreal Dilution Model (Bishop et al., 2000 modified by applying a sea-salt correction to all input hydrochemistry. The anthropogenic contribution to episodic ANC decline was statistically significant and strongly correlated with the decline in acid deposition, which decreased by approximately 50% during the period of record. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the BDM can be applied to surface waters with sea-salt contributions although the correction increases model uncertainty. Results of this study demonstrate the effectiveness of reduced emissions in North America in the last decades in decreasing the severity of episodic acidification in the Atlantic region of Canada. Keywords: episodic acidification, acidification recovery, Nova Scotia, snowmelt, winter
Detailed, complete, timely and reliable statistics are essential to monitor the energy situation at a country level as well as at an international level. Energy statistics on supply, trade, stocks, transformation and demand are indeed the basis for any sound energy policy decision. For instance, the market of oil -- which is the largest traded commodity worldwide -- needs to be closely monitored in order for all market players to know at any time what is produced, traded, stocked and consumed and by whom. In view of the role and importance of energy in world development, one would expect that basic energy information to be readily available and reliable. This is not always the case and one can even observe a decline in the quality, coverage and timeliness of energy statistics over the last few years.
Detailed, complete, timely and reliable statistics are essential to monitor the energy situation at a country level as well as at an international level. Energy statistics on supply, trade, stocks, transformation and demand are indeed the basis for any sound energy policy decision. For instance, the market of oil -- which is the largest traded commodity worldwide -- needs to be closely monitored in order for all market players to know at any time what is produced, traded, stocked and consumed and by whom. In view of the role and importance of energy in world development, one would expect that basic energy information to be readily available and reliable. This is not always the case and one can even observe a decline in the quality, coverage and timeliness of energy statistics over the last few years.
Middle Ordovician age Chickamauga Group carbonates crop out along the Birmingham and Murphrees Valley anticlines in central Alabama. The macrofossil contents on exposed surfaces of seven bioherms have been counted to determine their various paleontologic characteristics. Twelve groups of organisms are present in these bioherms. Dominant organisms include bryozoans, algae, brachiopods, sponges, pelmatozoans, stromatoporoids and corals. Minor accessory fauna include predators, scavengers and grazers such as gastropods, ostracods, trilobites, cephalopods and pelecypods. Vertical and horizontal niche zonation has been detected for some of the bioherm dwelling fauna. No one bioherm of those studied exhibits all 12 groups of organisms; rather, individual bioherms display various subsets of the total diversity. Statistical treatment (G-test) of the diversity data indicates a lack of statistical homogeneity of the bioherms, both within and between localities. Between-locality population heterogeneity can be ascribed to differences in biologic responses to such gross environmental factors as water depth and clarity, and energy levels. At any one locality, gross aspects of the paleoenvironments are assumed to have been more uniform. Significant differences among bioherms at any one locality may have resulted from patchy distribution of species populations, differential preservation and other factors.
Glaum, Paul; Simao, Maria-Carolina; Vaidya, Chatura; Fitch, Gordon; Iulinao, Benjamin
Native bee populations are critical sources of pollination. Unfortunately, native bees are declining in abundance and diversity. Much of this decline comes from human land-use change. While the effects of large-scale agriculture on native bees are relatively well understood, the effects of urban development are less clear. Understanding urbanity's effect on native bees requires consideration of specific characteristics of both particular bee species and their urban landscape. We surveyed bumb...
Systems, Statistics & Management Science, University of Alabama, USA. 1 DISTRIBUTION A: Distribution approved for public release. Contents 1 Summary 5...13 5 Application to Real Networks 18 5.1 2012 FBS Football Schedule Network... football schedule network. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 14 Stem plot of degree-ordered vertices versus the degree for college football
Longer data series (e.g. >10 a) of ground temperatures in alpine regions are helpful to improve the understanding regarding the effects of present climate change on distribution and thermal characteristics of seasonal frost- and permafrost-affected areas. Beginning in 2004 - and more intensively since 2006 - a permafrost and seasonal frost monitoring network was established in Central and Eastern Austria by the University of Graz. This network consists of c.60 ground temperature (surface and near-surface) monitoring sites which are located at 1922-3002 m a.s.l., at latitude 46°55'-47°22'N and at longitude 12°44'-14°41'E. These data allow conclusions about general ground thermal conditions, potential permafrost occurrence, trend during the observation period, and regional pattern of changes. Calculations and analyses of several different temperature-related parameters were accomplished. At an annual scale a region-wide statistical significant warming during the observation period was revealed by e.g. an increase in mean annual temperature values (mean, maximum) or the significant lowering of the surface frost number (F+). At a seasonal scale no significant trend of any temperature-related parameter was in most cases revealed for spring (MAM) and autumn (SON). Winter (DJF) shows only a weak warming. In contrast, the summer (JJA) season reveals in general a significant warming as confirmed by several different temperature-related parameters such as e.g. mean seasonal temperature, number of thawing degree days, number of freezing degree days, or days without night frost. On a monthly basis August shows the statistically most robust and strongest warming of all months, although regional differences occur. Despite the fact that the general ground temperature warming during the last decade is confirmed by the field data in the study region, complications in trend analyses arise by temperature anomalies (e.g. warm winter 2006/07) or substantial variations in the winter
Xie, Shan; Lan, Yifei; He, Lei; Jiao, Yang; Wu, Yong
ARPS decline curves is the most commonly used in oil and gas field due to its minimal data requirements and ease application. And prediction of production decline which is based on ARPS analysis rely on known decline type. However, when coefficient index are very approximate under different decline type, it is difficult to directly recognize decline trend of matched curves. Due to difficulties above, based on simulation results of multi-factor response experiments, a new dynamic decline prediction model is introduced with using multiple linear regression of influence factors. First of all, according to study of effect factors of production decline, interaction experimental schemes are designed. Based on simulated results, annual decline rate is predicted by decline model. Moreover, the new method is applied in A gas filed of Ordos Basin as example to illustrate reliability. The result commit that the new model can directly predict decline tendency without needing recognize decline style. From arithmetic aspect, it also take advantage of high veracity. Finally, the new method improves the evaluation method of gas well production decline in low permeability gas reservoir, which also provides technical support for further understanding of tight gas field development laws.
Otsuka, R; Kato, Y; Nishita, Y; Tange, C; Nakamoto, M; Tomida, M; Imai, T; Ando, F; Shimokata, H
If cognitive decline can be prevented through changes in daily diet with no medical intervention, it will be highly significant for dementia prevention. This longitudinal study examined the associations of different food intakes on cognitive decline among Japanese subjects. Prospective cohort study. The National Institute for Longevity Sciences - Longitudinal Study of Aging, a community-based study. Participants included 298 males and 272 females aged 60 to 81 years at baseline who participated in the follow-up study (third to seventh wave) at least one time. Cognitive function was assessed with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in all study waves. Nutritional intake was assessed using a 3-day dietary record in the second wave. Cumulative data among participants with an MMSE >27 in the second wave were analyzed using a generalized estimating equation. Multivariate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for an MMSE score ≤27 in each study wave according to a 1 standard deviation (SD) increase of each food intake at baseline were estimated, after adjusting for age, follow-up time, MMSE score at baseline, education, body mass index, annual household income, current smoking status, energy intake, and history of diseases. In men, after adjusting for age, and follow-up period, MMSE score at baseline, the adjusted OR for a decline in MMSE score was 1.20 (95% CI, 1.02-1.42; p=0.032) with a 1-SD increase in cereal intake. After adjusting for education and other confounding variables, the OR for a decrease in MMSE score did not reach statistical significance for this variable. In women, multivariate adjusted OR for MMSE decline was 1.43 (95% CI, 1.15-1.77; p=0.001) with a 1-SD increase in cereal intake and 0.80 (95% CI, 0.65-0.98; p=0.034) with a 1-SD increase in milk and dairy product intake. This study indicates that a 1-SD (108 g/day) decrease in cereal intake and a 1-SD (128 g/day) increase in milk and dairy product intake may have an
Thomsen, Laura H; Dirksen, Asger; Shaker, Saher B; Skovgaard, Lene T; Dahlbäck, Magnus; Pedersen, Jesper H
Progressive decline in lung function has been widely accepted as the hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); however, recent evidence indicates that the rate of decline measured as decline in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) is higher in mild to moderate COPD than in severe COPD. Usually changes in FEV1 are measured in ml that is "absolute"; however, changes can also be measured "relative" as a percentage of the actual FEV1. We hypothesize that relative measurements could be more appropriate than absolute measurements for describing changes in lung function. We analyzed data from 3,218 relatively healthy heavy smokers who participated in the Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial. The influences of age, sex, height, body mass index, smoking, and severity of airflow limitation on FEV1 were analyzed in mixed effects models. In absolute terms those with the best lung function consistently showed the steepest decline, whereas in relative terms most fast decliners are found among those with low lung function. Measuring changes in relative terms implied statistically significant acceleration of decline with advancing age, smoking (pack-years) and severity of airflow limitation. Relative measurements may lead to a better understanding of changes in lung function. Smoking and severity of airflow limitation speed up the loss of lung function, and this emphasizes the importance of abstaining from smoking the sooner the better. Measuring changes in relative terms could have important implications for the interpretation of results from clinical trials where FEV1 is the primary outcome. DLCST; www.ClinicalTrials.org , registration number: NCT00496977.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Our phase III clinical trial of pirfenidone for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF revealed the efficacy in reducing the decline of vital capacity (VC and increasing the progression-free survival (PFS time by pirfenidone. Recently, marginal decline in forced VC (FVC has been reported to be associated with poor outcome in IPF. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of pirfenidone from the aspects of 5% change in VC. Methods Improvement ratings based on 5% change in absolute VC, i.e., "improved (VC ≥ 5% increase", "stable (VC Results In the comparison of the improvement ratings, the statistically significant differences were clearly revealed at months 3, 6, 9, and 12 between pirfenidone and placebo groups. Risk reductions by pirfenidone to placebo were approximately 35% over the study period. In the comparison of the PFS times, statistically significant difference was also observed between pirfenidone and placebo groups. The positive/negative predictive values in placebo and pirfenidone groups were 86.1%/50.8% and 87.1%/71.7%, respectively. Further, the baseline characteristics of patients worsened at month 3 had generally severe impairment, and their clinical outcomes including mortality were also significantly worsened after 1 year. Conclusions The efficacy of pirfenidone in Japanese phase III trial was supported by the rating of 5% decline in VC, and the VC changes at month 3 may be used as a prognostic factor of IPF. Trial Registration This clinical trial was registered with the Japan Pharmaceutical Information Center (JAPIC on September 13th, 2005 (Registration Number: JAPICCTI-050121.
James A. Westfall; Scott A. Pugh; John W. Coulston
Many forest inventory and monitoring programs are based on a sample of ground plots from which estimates of forest resources are derived. In addition to evaluating metrics such as number of trees or amount of cubic wood volume, it is often desirable to make comparisons between resource attributes. To properly conduct statistical tests for differences, it is imperative...
Hessen, Erik; Nordlund, Arto; Stålhammar, Jacob; Eckerström, Marie; Bjerke, Maria; Eckerström, Carl; Göthlin, Mattias; Fladby, Tormod; Reinvang, Ivar; Wallin, Anders
There is a need to find very early markers for pre-clinical Alzheimer's disease as interventions early in the disease process are thought to be most effective. The present study aimed to address the potential relation between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers and reduced cognitive function in a relatively young cohort of memory clinic patients with subjective cognitive decline. 122 patients (mean age 63 years) with subjective cognitive decline were recruited from two university memory clinics and followed for two years. The main finding was that the subgroup with objective memory decline during the study period had significantly higher T-tau at baseline than the group with improved memory. Baseline CSF variables showed a trend toward more pathological values in the patients with memory decline compared to those who improved or remained stable. The baseline memory score of those who declined was significantly better than the baseline score of those who improved over two years. The general trend for the whole group was improved memory and executive test scores. There were no differences in cognitive scores based on CSF quartiles at baseline, nor were there differences in cognitive outcome for patients with early amnestic mild cognitive impairment versus average cognitive function at baseline. The main finding that T-tau rather than amyloid-β was associated with memory decline do not support the prevailing opinion about the chain of events assumed to take place in Alzheimer's disease. In addition, memory decline was not associated with poor baseline memory score. Thus, a memory cut-off indicating low baseline memory would not would have identified the declining group.
Gammans, Matthew; Mérel, Pierre; Ortiz-Bobea, Ariel
In several world regions, climate change is predicted to negatively affect crop productivity. The recent statistical yield literature emphasizes the importance of flexibly accounting for the distribution of growing-season temperature to better represent the effects of warming on crop yields. We estimate a flexible statistical yield model using a long panel from France to investigate the impacts of temperature and precipitation changes on wheat and barley yields. Winter varieties appear sensitive to extreme cold after planting. All yields respond negatively to an increase in spring-summer temperatures and are a decreasing function of precipitation about historical precipitation levels. Crop yields are predicted to be negatively affected by climate change under a wide range of climate models and emissions scenarios. Under warming scenario RCP8.5 and holding growing areas and technology constant, our model ensemble predicts a 21.0% decline in winter wheat yield, a 17.3% decline in winter barley yield, and a 33.6% decline in spring barley yield by the end of the century. Uncertainty from climate projections dominates uncertainty from the statistical model. Finally, our model predicts that continuing technology trends would counterbalance most of the effects of climate change.
Full Text Available Background: In Indonesia, approximately 35.5% of children under five years old were stunted. Stunting is related to shorter adult stature, poor cognition and educational performance, low adult wages, lost productivity, and higher risk of nutrition-related chronic disease. The aim of this study was to identify parental socio-demographic risk factors of declined linear growth in children younger than 2 years old.Methods: This was a cohort-prospective study between August 2012 and May 2014 at three primary community health care centers (Puskesmas in Jakarta, Indonesia, namely Puskesmas Jatinegara, Mampang, and Tebet. Subjects were healthy children under 2 years old, in which their weight and height were measured serially (at 6–11 weeks old and 18–24 months old. The length-for-age based on those data was used to determine stature status. The serial measurement was done to detect growth pattern. Parental socio-demographic data were obtained from questionnairesResults: From the total of 160 subjects, 14 (8.7% showed declined growth pattern from normal to stunted and 10 (6.2% to severely stunted. As many as 134 (83.8% subjects showed consistent normal growth pattern. Only 2 (1.2% showed improvement in the linear growth. Maternal education duration less than 9 years (RR=2.60, 95% CI=1.23–5.46; p=0.02 showed statistically significant association with declined linear growth in children.Conclusion: Mother with education duration less than 9 years was the determining socio-demographic risk factor that contributed to the declined linear growth in children less than 2 years of age.
Young, Anna M.; Wendel, Paul J.; Esson, Joan M.; Plank, Kathryn M.
Decline in student motivation is a concern for STEM education, especially for underrepresented groups in the sciences. Using the Science Motivation Questionnaire II, 41 foundational STEM courses were surveyed at the beginning and end of each semester in an academic year at a small primarily undergraduate university. Significant pre- to post-semester declines were observed in each of five measured motivational factors (Intrinsic motivation, Career motivation, Self determination, Self-efficacy, and Grade motivation), with effect sizes ranging from 0.21 to 0.41. However, in the second semester pre-survey, four motivational factors rebounded, including three returning to initial levels, suggesting that the observed motivational decline is not long-lasting. Analysis suggests that declines are not related to survey fatigue or student demographics, but rather to grades and, in the case of one motivational factor, to academic field. These findings suggest that a refocus on grading practices across STEM fields may influence student motivation and persistence in STEM.
Perneger, Thomas V; Combescure, Christophe
Published P-values provide a window into the global enterprise of medical research. The aim of this study was to use the distribution of published P-values to estimate the relative frequencies of null and alternative hypotheses and to seek irregularities suggestive of publication bias. This cross-sectional study included P-values published in 120 medical research articles in 2016 (30 each from the BMJ, JAMA, Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine). The observed distribution of P-values was compared with expected distributions under the null hypothesis (i.e., uniform between 0 and 1) and the alternative hypothesis (strictly decreasing from 0 to 1). P-values were categorized according to conventional levels of statistical significance and in one-percent intervals. Among 4,158 recorded P-values, 26.1% were highly significant (P values values equal to 1, and (3) about twice as many P-values less than 0.05 compared with those more than 0.05. The latter finding was seen in both randomized trials and observational studies, and in most types of analyses, excepting heterogeneity tests and interaction tests. Under plausible assumptions, we estimate that about half of the tested hypotheses were null and the other half were alternative. This analysis suggests that statistical tests published in medical journals are not a random sample of null and alternative hypotheses but that selective reporting is prevalent. In particular, significant results are about twice as likely to be reported as nonsignificant results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Regehr, Eric V.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Stern, Harry; Thiemann, Gregory W.; Wiig, Øystein
Loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range. We evaluated the potential response of polar bears to sea-ice declines by (i) calculating generation length (GL) for the species, which determines the timeframe for conservation assessments; (ii) developing a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat; and (iii) using statistical models and computer simulation to project changes in the global population under three approaches relating polar bear abundance to sea ice. Mean GL was 11.5 years. Ice-covered days declined in all subpopulation areas during 1979–2014 (median −1.26 days year−1). The estimated probabilities that reductions in the mean global population size of polar bears will be greater than 30%, 50% and 80% over three generations (35–41 years) were 0.71 (range 0.20–0.95), 0.07 (range 0–0.35) and less than 0.01 (range 0–0.02), respectively. According to IUCN Red List reduction thresholds, which provide a common measure of extinction risk across taxa, these results are consistent with listing the species as vulnerable. Our findings support the potential for large declines in polar bear numbers owing to sea-ice loss, and highlight near-term uncertainty in statistical projections as well as the sensitivity of projections to different plausible assumptions.
Regehr, Eric V; Laidre, Kristin L; Akçakaya, H Resit; Amstrup, Steven C; Atwood, Todd C; Lunn, Nicholas J; Obbard, Martyn; Stern, Harry; Thiemann, Gregory W; Wiig, Øystein
Loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range. We evaluated the potential response of polar bears to sea-ice declines by (i) calculating generation length (GL) for the species, which determines the timeframe for conservation assessments; (ii) developing a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat; and (iii) using statistical models and computer simulation to project changes in the global population under three approaches relating polar bear abundance to sea ice. Mean GL was 11.5 years. Ice-covered days declined in all subpopulation areas during 1979-2014 (median -1.26 days year -1 ). The estimated probabilities that reductions in the mean global population size of polar bears will be greater than 30%, 50% and 80% over three generations (35-41 years) were 0.71 (range 0.20-0.95), 0.07 (range 0-0.35) and less than 0.01 (range 0-0.02), respectively. According to IUCN Red List reduction thresholds, which provide a common measure of extinction risk across taxa, these results are consistent with listing the species as vulnerable. Our findings support the potential for large declines in polar bear numbers owing to sea-ice loss, and highlight near-term uncertainty in statistical projections as well as the sensitivity of projections to different plausible assumptions. © 2016 The Authors.
López-Carr, David; Pricope, Narcisa G.; Aukema, Juliann E.; Jankowska, Marta M.; Funk, Christopher C.; Husak, Gregory J.; Michaelsen, Joel C.
We present an integrative measure of exposure and sensitivity components of vulnerability to climatic and demographic change for the African continent in order to identify “hot spots” of high potential population vulnerability. Getis-Ord Gi* spatial clustering analyses reveal statistically significant locations of spatio-temporal precipitation decline coinciding with high population density and increase. Statistically significant areas are evident, particularly across central, southern, and eastern Africa. The highly populated Lake Victoria basin emerges as a particularly salient hot spot. People located in the regions highlighted in this analysis suffer exceptionally high exposure to negative climate change impacts (as populations increase on lands with decreasing rainfall). Results may help inform further hot spot mapping and related research on demographic vulnerabilities to climate change. Results may also inform more suitable geographical targeting of policy interventions across the continent.
Mensah, George A; Wei, Gina S; Sorlie, Paul D; Fine, Lawrence J; Rosenberg, Yves; Kaufmann, Peter G; Mussolino, Michael E; Hsu, Lucy L; Addou, Ebyan; Engelgau, Michael M; Gordon, David
If the control of infectious diseases was the public health success story of the first half of the 20th century, then the decline in mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke has been the success story of the century's past 4 decades. The early phase of this decline in coronary heart disease and stroke was unexpected and controversial when first reported in the mid-1970s, having followed 60 years of gradual increase as the US population aged. However, in 1978, the participants in a conference convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute concluded that a significant recent downtick in coronary heart disease and stroke mortality rates had definitely occurred, at least in the US Since 1978, a sharp decline in mortality rates from coronary heart disease and stroke has become unmistakable throughout the industrialized world, with age-adjusted mortality rates having declined to about one third of their 1960s baseline by 2000. Models have shown that this remarkable decline has been fueled by rapid progress in both prevention and treatment, including precipitous declines in cigarette smoking, improvements in hypertension treatment and control, widespread use of statins to lower circulating cholesterol levels, and the development and timely use of thrombolysis and stents in acute coronary syndrome to limit or prevent infarction. However, despite the huge growth in knowledge and advances in prevention and treatment, there remain many questions about this decline. In fact, there is evidence that the rate of decline may have abated and may even be showing early signs of reversal in some population groups. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, through a request for information, is soliciting input that could inform a follow-up conference on or near the 40th anniversary of the original landmark conference to further explore these trends in cardiovascular mortality in the context of what has come before and what may lie ahead. © 2017 American Heart
Ichimaru, Michito; Ueda, Shoichi; Blaisdell, R K
Earlier reports of progressive decline in leukocyte counts in Hiroshima from about 1948 to 1954 have been confirmed. A similar phenomenon has been observed in Nagasaki. Analysis indicates that this decline in white cell count with time is not related to exposure to the 1945 atomic bombs, to sex, to age, to commonly diagnosed diseases, or to the disproportionate influence of a subgroup. The principal white cells affected were neutrophils, lymphocytes and eosinophils. The precise etiologic factors accounting for the decline, and the biological significance of the present lower range of leukocyte values in Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain to be determined. 16 references, 5 figures, 5 tables.
Full Text Available Empirical decline curve analysis of oil production data gives reasonable answer in hyperbolic type curves situations; however the methodology has limitations in fitting real historical production data in present of unusual observations due to the effect of the treatment to the well in order to increase production capacity. The development ofrobust least squares offers new possibilities in better fitting production data using declinecurve analysis by down weighting the unusual observations. This paper proposes a robustleast squares fitting lmRobMM approach to estimate the decline rate of daily production data and compares the results with reservoir simulation results. For case study, we usethe oil production data at TBA Field West Java. The results demonstrated that theapproach is suitable for decline curve fitting and offers a new insight in decline curve analysis in the present of unusual observations.
Lötters, Stefan; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan F; Fisher, Matthew C; Rödder, Dennis
Amphibians are globally declining and approximately one-third of all species are threatened with extinction. Some of the most severe declines have occurred suddenly and for unknown reasons in apparently pristine habitats. It has been hypothesized that these "rapid enigmatic declines" are the result of a panzootic of the disease chytridiomycosis caused by globally emerging amphibian chytrid fungus. In a Species Distribution Model, we identified the potential distribution of this pathogen. Areas and species from which rapid enigmatic decline are known significantly overlap with those of highest environmental suitability to the chytrid fungus. We confirm the plausibility of a link between rapid enigmatic decline in worldwide amphibian species and epizootic chytridiomycosis.
Full Text Available In this paper we revisit the issue of aggregate output decline that took place in the early transition period. We propose an alternative explanation of output decline that is applicable to Central- and Eastern-European countries. In the first part of the paper we develop a simple dynamic general equilibrium model that builds on work by Gomulka and Lane (2001. In particular, we consider price liberalization, interpreted as elimination of distortionary taxation, as a trigger of the output decline. We show that price liberalization in interaction with heterogeneous adjustment costs and non-employment benefits lead to aggregate output decline and surge in wage inequality. While these patterns are consistent with actual dynamics in CEE countries, this model cannot generate output decline in all sectors. Instead sectors that were initially taxed even exhibit output growth. Thus, in the second part we consider an alternative general equilibrium model with only one production sector and two types of labor and distortion in a form of wage compression during the socialist era. The trigger for labor mobility and consequently output decline is wage liberalization. Assuming heterogeneity of workers in terms of adjustment costs and non-employment benefits can explain output decline in all industries.
Full Text Available This chapter provides a detailed description of the fertility changes in Bulgaria during recent decades and discusses possible reasons and consequences. It also gives an overview of the steps that the government has undertaken to offset the considerable decline in fertility. Before the fall of communism, fertility trends in Bulgaria were stable and characterized by a nearly universal entry into parenthood, dominance of a two-child family model, an early start and early end of childbearing, stable mean ages at entry into childbearing and marriage, and low percentages of non-marital births. During the 1990s and in the first years of the new century, we observe a marked, rapid change in fertility behaviour. Together with the severe decline in overall fertility rates, demographic data reveal a significant postponement of entry into motherhood and marriage, a decline of the two-child family model, and an emergence of new family forms. Most research attributes these changes to the particular political and social situation in Bulgaria since 1989.
Full Text Available The aim of this study is to explore the pattern of change in multiple measures of cognitive abilities in a sample of oldest-old adults, comparing two different time metrics (chronological age and time to death and therefore examining both underlying conceptual assumptions (age-related change and terminal decline. Moreover, the association with individual characteristics as sex, education, and dementia diagnosis was also examined. Measures of cognitive status (Mini-Mental State Examination and the Swedish Clock Test and tests of crystallized (knowledge and synonyms, memory (verbal memory, nonverbal long-term memory, recognition and correspondence, and short-term memory, and visuospatial ability were included. The sample consisted of 671 older Swedish adult participants of the OCTO Twin Study. Linear mixed models with random coefficients were used to analyse change patterns and BIC indexes were used to compare models. Results showed that the time to death model was the best option in analyses of change in all the cognitive measures considered (except for the Information Test. A significant cognitive decline over time was found for all variables. Individuals diagnosed with dementia had lower scores at the study entrance and a faster decline. More educated individuals performed better in all the measures of cognition at study entry than those with poorer education, but no differences were found in the rate of change. Differences were found in age, sex, or time to death at baseline across the different measures. These results support the terminal decline hypothesis when compared to models assuming that cognitive changes are driven by normative aging processes.
Ana Clara Guerreiro
Full Text Available ObjectiveTo evaluate the capacity of total anterior thigh thickness, quadriceps muscle thickness, and quadriceps contractile index, all measured by bedside ultrasound, to predict rehospitalization, functional decline, and death in elderly patients 3 months after hospital discharge. To evaluate intra and interobserver reproducibility of the dominant thigh evaluation method by point of care ultrasound.MethodsCohort study of patients aged 65 years or more admitted to a medium complexity unit in a teaching hospital in southern Brazil. Comprehensive geriatric assessment and ultrasound evaluation of the dominant thigh of each participant were performed. After 3 months of hospital discharge, telephone contact was made to evaluate the outcomes of rehospitalization or death and functional decline—assessed by the 100 points Barthel scale and defined as a decrease of five or more points.Results100 participants were included. There was no statistically significant difference between intraobserver measurements in the GEE method analysis (p > 0.05, and the mean bias obtained in Bland–Altman plots was close to zero in all four analyses performed, suggesting good intra and interobserver agreement. There was a significant correlation between the echographic measurements (quadriceps thickness and contractile index and gait speed, timed up and go, and handgrip tests. There was a significant association between contractile index (quadriceps thickness over total anterior thigh thickness multiplied by 100 lower than 60% and functional decline (relative risk 1.35; CI 95% 1.10–1.65; p = 0.003 as well as between the thickness of the quadriceps and rehospitalization or death, in both individuals with preserved walking capacity and in bedridden elders (relative risk 1.34; CI 95% 1.02–1.75; p = 0.04.ConclusionThe ultrasonographic method to evaluate thigh thickness was easily applicable and reproducible. The thickness of the quadriceps could
Full Text Available Purpose : Several prior studies have suggested that brachytherapy utilization has markedly decreased, coinciding with the recent increased utilization of intensity modulated radiation therapy, as well as an increase in urologist-owned centers. We sought to investigate the brachytherapy utilization in a large, hospital-based registry. Material and methods: Men with prostate cancer diagnosed between 2004-2012 and treated with either external beam radiation and/or prostate brachytherapy were abstracted from the National Cancer Database. In order to be included, men had to be clinically staged as T1c-T2aNx-0Mx-0, Gleason 6, PSA ≤ 10.0 ng/ml. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze brachytherapy utilization over time and were compared via χ2. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess for covariables associated with increased brachytherapy usage. Results : There were 89,413 men included in this study, of which 37,054 (41.6% received only external beam radiation, and 52,089 (58.4% received prostate brachytherapy. The use of brachytherapy declined over time from 62.9% in 2004 to 51.3% in 2012 (p < 0.001. This decline was noted in both academic facilities (60.8% in 2004 to 47.0% in 2012, p < 0.001 as well as in non-academic facilities (63.7% in 2004 to 53.0% in 2012, p < 0.001. The decline was more pronounced in patients who lived closer to treatment facilities than those who lived further. The use of intensity modulated radiation therapy increased during this same time period from 18.4% in 2004 to 38.2% in 2012 (p < 0.001. On multivariate analysis, treatment at an academic center, increasing age, decreasing distance from the treatment center, and years of diagnosis from 2006-2012 were significantly associated with reduced brachytherapy usage. Conclusions : In this hospital-based registry, prostate brachytherapy usage has declined for low risk prostate cancer as intensity modulated radiation therapy usage has increased. However, it still
Beglinger, Leigh J.; O'Rourke, Justin J.F.; Wang, Chiachi; Langbehn, Douglas R.; Duff, Kevin; Paulsen, Jane S.
We examined the gold standard for Huntington disease (HD) functional assessment, the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS), in a group of at-risk participants not yet diagnosed but who later phenoconverted to manifest HD. We also sought to determine which skill domains first weaken and the clinical correlates of declines. Using the UHDRS Total Functional Capacity (TFC) and Functional Assessment Scale (FAS), we examined participants from Huntington Study Group clinics who were not diagnosed at their baseline visit but were diagnosed at a later visit (N = 265). Occupational decline was the most common with 65.1% (TFC) and 55.6% (FAS) reporting some loss of ability to engage in their typical work. Inability to manage finances independently (TFC 49.2%, FAS 35.1%) and drive safely (FAS 33.5%) were also found. Functional decline was significantly predicted by motor, cognitive, and depressive symptoms. The UHDRS captured early functional losses in individuals with HD prior to formal diagnosis, however, fruitful areas for expanded assessment of early functional changes are performance at work, ability to manage finances, and driving. These are also important areas for clinical monitoring and treatment planning as up to 65% experienced loss in at least one area prior to diagnosis. PMID:20471695
Hopkins, David L; Holman, Benjamin W B; van de Ven, Remy J
Carcase pH and temperature decline rates influence lamb tenderness; therefore pH decline parameters are beneficial when modelling tenderness. These include pH at temperature 18 °C (pH@Temp18), temperature when pH is 6 (Temp@pH6), and pH at 24 h post-mortem (pH24). This study aimed to establish a relationship between shear force (SF) as a proxy for tenderness and carcase pH decline parameters estimated using both linear and spline estimation models for the m. longissimus lumborum (LL). The study also compared abattoirs regarding their achievement of ideal pH decline, indicative of optimal tenderness. Based on SF measurements of LL and m. semimembranosus collected as part of the Information Nucleus slaughter programme (CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation) this study found significant relationships between tenderness and pH24LL, consistent across the meat cuts and ageing periods examined. Achievement of ideal pH decline was shown not to have significantly differed across abattoirs, although rates of pH decline varied significantly across years within abattoirs.
Yeh, Jason S; Steward, Ryan G; Dude, Annie M; Shah, Anish A; Goldfarb, James M; Muasher, Suheil J
To use a large and recent national registry to provide an updated report on the effect of recipient age on the outcome of donor oocyte in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Retrospective cohort study. United States national registry for assisted reproductive technology. Recipients of donor oocyte treatment cycles between 2008 and 2010, with cycles segregated into five age cohorts: ≤34, 35 to 39, 40 to 44, 45 to 49, and ≥50 years. None. Implantation, clinical pregnancy, live-birth, and miscarriage rates. In donor oocyte IVF cycles, all age cohorts ≤39 years had similar rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth when compared with the 40- to 44-year-old reference group. Patients in the two oldest age groups (45 to 49, ≥50 years) experienced statistically significantly lower rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth compared with the reference group. Additionally, all outcomes in the ≥50-year-old group were statistically significantly worse than the 45- to 49-year-old group, demonstrating progressive decline with advancing age. Recent national registry data suggest that donor oocyte recipients have stable rates of pregnancy outcomes before age 45, after which there is a small but steady and significant decline. Copyright © 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bhaneja, P.; Earle, G. D.; Bullett, T. W.
A comprehensive statistical study of midlatitude spread F (MSF) is presented for five midlatitude stations in the North American sector. These stations include Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico (18.5°N, 67.1°W, -14° declination angle), Wallops Island, Virginia (37.95°N, 75.5°W, -11° declination angle), Dyess, Texas (32.4°N, 99.8°W, 6.9° declination angle), Boulder, Colorado (40°N, 105.3°W, 10° declination angle), and Vandenberg AFB, California (34.8°N, 120.5°W, 13° declination angle). Pattern recognition algorithms are used to determine the presence of both range and frequency spread F. Data from 1996 to 2011 are analyzed, covering all of Solar Cycle 23 and the beginning of Solar Cycle 24. Variations with respect to season and solar activity are presented, including the effects of the extended minimum between cycles 23 and 24.
Gorbach, Tetiana; Pudas, Sara; Lundquist, Anders; Orädd, Greger; Josefsson, Maria; Salami, Alireza; de Luna, Xavier; Nyberg, Lars
There is marked variability in both onset and rate of episodic-memory decline in aging. Structural magnetic resonance imaging studies have revealed that the extent of age-related brain changes varies markedly across individuals. Past studies of whether regional atrophy accounts for episodic-memory decline in aging have yielded inconclusive findings. Here we related 15-year changes in episodic memory to 4-year changes in cortical and subcortical gray matter volume and in white-matter connectivity and lesions. In addition, changes in word fluency, fluid IQ (Block Design), and processing speed were estimated and related to structural brain changes. Significant negative change over time was observed for all cognitive and brain measures. A robust brain-cognition change-change association was observed for episodic-memory decline and atrophy in the hippocampus. This association was significant for older (65-80 years) but not middle-aged (55-60 years) participants and not sensitive to the assumption of ignorable attrition. Thus, these longitudinal findings highlight medial-temporal lobe system integrity as particularly crucial for maintaining episodic-memory functioning in older age. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J; Venditti, Chris
Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.
Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J.
Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.
Østergaard, Christian Richter; Park, Eun Kyung
Most studies on regional clusters focus on identifying factors and processes that make clusters grow. However, sometimes technologies and market conditions suddenly shift, and clusters decline. This paper analyses the process of decline of the wireless communication cluster in Denmark. The longit...... but being quick to withdraw in times of crisis....
Agrochemical exposure is one of the factors that contributes to worldwide amphibian declines. Most studies that examine agrochemicals and amphibian declines focus on toxicity. However, declines are more likely caused by the sub-lethal effects of agrochemical exposure. Past emphases on the lethal effects of agrochemical exposure have overshadowed the contribution of decreased recruitment in amphibian declines. Additionally, studies that examine agrochemicals and reproductive function tend to f...
Wysocki, Michael; Luo, Xiaodong; Schmeidler, James; Dahlman, Karen; Lesser, Gerson T; Grossman, Hillel; Haroutunian, Vahram; Beeri, Michal Schnaider
Cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension (HTN) have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer disease. The current study investigated whether individuals with HTN are more susceptible to increased cognitive decline and whether the influence of HTN on cognitive decline varied as a function of dementia severity. A total of 224 nursing home and assisted living residents, with a mean age of 84.9 (±7.6) years, were assessed longitudinally with Mini Mental State Exams (MMSEs) and Clinical Dementia Ratings (CDR). Baseline dementia status was defined by the CDR score. As described in , MMSE scores in persons with HTN and questionable dementia (CDR = 0.5) declined significantly faster than nonhypertensive questionably demented persons. Hypertensive participants did not decline significantly faster than nonhypertensive participants in persons with intact cognition (CDR = 0) or frank dementia (CDR ≥ 1). These results suggest an increased risk of subsequent cognitive decline in hypertensive individuals who are especially vulnerable to developing dementia and raises the possibility that avoiding or controlling HTN might reduce the rate of cognitive decline in cognitively vulnerable individuals, potentially delaying their conversion to full-fledged dementia.
Reading, C. J.; Luiselli, L. M.; Akani, G. C.; Bonnet, X.; Amori, G.; Ballouard, J. M.; Filippi, E.; Naulleau, G.; Pearson, D.; Rugiero, L.
Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many ecosystems. Our results show that, of 17 snake populations (eight species) from the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, 11 have declined ...
Zubair, U.B.; Butt, B.
This study was conducted to determine the association between the subjective quality of sleep and cognitive decline among the patients of chronic kidney disease (CKD) undergoing haemodialysis. Methods: In this cross-sectional study 106 patients of chronic kidney disease (CKD) undergoing haemodialysis at a tertiary care hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan were included in the final analysis. Cognitive decline was measured by British Columbia Cognitive Complaints Inventory (BC-CCI). Sleep quality was measured by using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Relationship of age, gender, marital status, education, occupation, BMI, duration of dialysis, dialysis count per week, family income, tobacco smoking and use of naswar was assessed with the cognitive decline. Results: Out of 106 patients screened through BC-CCI and PSQI, 13.1% had no cognitive decline while 86.9% had significant cognitive decline. Relationship between quality of sleep and cognitive decline was significant on binary logistic regression. Conclusion: This study showed significant relationship between the sleep quality and cognitive decline among the patients of CKD undergoing haemodialysis. The findings of our study also call for a greater degree of understanding of the physical and psychological state of patients of CKD undergoing haemodialysis. (author)
Hashim, Muhammad Jawad
Post-hoc secondary data analysis with no prespecified hypotheses has been discouraged by textbook authors and journal editors alike. Unfortunately no single term describes this phenomenon succinctly. I would like to coin the term "sigsearch" to define this practice and bring it within the teaching lexicon of statistics courses. Sigsearch would include any unplanned, post-hoc search for statistical significance using multiple comparisons of subgroups. It would also include data analysis with outcomes other than the prespecified primary outcome measure of a study as well as secondary data analyses of earlier research.
Erik Lykke Mortensen
Full Text Available Certain personality traits are likely to be associated with stress and distress through the lifespan, and as a consequence these traits may influence the rate of age-related cognitive decline. The present study uses data from the Glostrup 1914 cohort to analyze potential effects of personality on decline in general intelligence over a 30-year period. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was administered at a 50-year baseline exam, and from this inventory the Obvious Depression Scale and an abbreviated version of the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale were derived. At the 50-year baseline and at the 60-, 70-, and 80-year followups the full version of Wechsler's Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS was administered to 673, 513, 136, and 184 participants. Mixed effects statistical models were used to evaluate both the effect of the personality scores on level of intelligence and the interaction between the personality scores and the time since followup. Analyses were adjusted for demographic background and a wide range of lifestyle factors. Both obvious depression and hostility were negatively associated with level of intelligence, but personality scores did not influence rate of decline in general intelligence.
Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Barefoot, John Calvin; Avlund, Kirsten
on decline in general intelligence over a 30-year period. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was administered at a 50-year baseline exam, and from this inventory the Obvious Depression Scale and an abbreviated version of the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale were derived. At the 50-year baseline...... and at the 60-, 70-, and 80-year followups the full version of Wechsler's Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was administered to 673, 513, 136, and 184 participants. Mixed effects statistical models were used to evaluate both the effect of the personality scores on level of intelligence and the interaction between...... the personality scores and the time since followup. Analyses were adjusted for demographic background and a wide range of lifestyle factors. Both obvious depression and hostility were negatively associated with level of intelligence, but personality scores did not influence rate of decline in general intelligence....
Vogel, Asmus; Salem, Lise Cronberg; Andersen, Birgitte Bo
influence reports of cognitive decline. METHODS: The Subjective Memory Complaints Scale (SMC) and The Memory Complaint Questionnaire (MAC-Q) were applied in 121 mixed memory clinic patients with mild cognitive symptoms (mean MMSE = 26.8, SD 2.7). The scales were applied independently and raters were blinded...... decline. Depression scores were significantly correlated to both scales measuring subjective decline. Linear regression models showed that age did not have a significant contribution to the variance in subjective memory beyond that of depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Measures for subjective cognitive...... decline are not interchangeable when used in memory clinics and the application of different scales in previous studies is an important factor as to why studies show variability in the association between subjective cognitive decline and background data and/or clinical results. Careful consideration...
Wang, Dai; Schultz, Tim; Novak, Gerald P; Baker, Susan; Bennett, David A; Narayan, Vaibhav A
Therapeutic research on Alzheimer's disease (AD) has moved to intercepting the disease at the preclinical phase. Most drugs in late development have focused on the amyloid hypothesis. To understand the magnitude of amyloid-related functional decline and to identify the functional domains sensitive to decline in a preclinical AD population. Data were from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Cognitive decline was measured by a modified version of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite. The trajectories of functional decline, as measured by the instrumental and basic activities of daily living, were longitudinally modeled in 484 participants without cognitive impairment at baseline and having both a final clinical and a postmortem neuropathology assessment of AD. Individuals with different final clinical diagnoses had different trajectories of cognitive and functional decline. Individuals with AD dementia, minor cognitive impairment, and no cognitive impairment had the most, intermediate, and least declines. While individuals with pathologic AD had significantly more cognitive decline over time than those without, the magnitude of difference in functional decline between these two groups was small. Functional domains such as handling finance and handling medications were more sensitive to decline. Demonstrating the functional benefit of an amyloid-targeting drug represents a significant challenge as elderly people experience functional decline due to a wide range of reasons with limited manifestation attributable to AD neuropathology. More sensitive functional scales focusing on the functional domains sensitive to decline in preclinical AD are needed.
E. A. Tatokchin
Full Text Available Development of the modern educational technologies caused by broad introduction of comput-er testing and development of distant forms of education does necessary revision of methods of an examination of pupils. In work it was shown, need transition to mathematical criteria, exami-nations of knowledge which are deprived of subjectivity. In article the review of the problems arising at realization of this task and are offered approaches for its decision. The greatest atten-tion is paid to discussion of a problem of objective transformation of rated estimates of the ex-pert on to the scale estimates of the student. In general, the discussion this question is was con-cluded that the solution to this problem lies in the creation of specialized intellectual systems. The basis for constructing intelligent system laid the mathematical model of self-organizing nonequilibrium dissipative system, which is a group of students. This article assumes that the dissipative system is provided by the constant influx of new test items of the expert and non-equilibrium – individual psychological characteristics of students in the group. As a result, the system must self-organize themselves into stable patterns. This patern will allow for, relying on large amounts of data, get a statistically significant assessment of student. To justify the pro-posed approach in the work presents the data of the statistical analysis of the results of testing a large sample of students (> 90. Conclusions from this statistical analysis allowed to develop intelligent system statistically significant examination of student performance. It is based on data clustering algorithm (k-mean for the three key parameters. It is shown that this approach allows you to create of the dynamics and objective expertise evaluation.
Hendrik P. Van Dalen
Full Text Available European countries are experiencing population decline and the tacit assumption in most analyses is that the decline may have detrimental welfare effects. In this paper we use a survey among the population in the Netherlands to discover whether population decline is always met with fear. A number of results stand out: population size preferences differ by geographic proximity: at a global level the majority of respondents favors a (global population decline, but closer to home one supports a stationary population. Population decline is clearly not always met with fear: 31 percent would like the population to decline at the national level and they generally perceive decline to be accompanied by immaterial welfare gains (improvement environment as well as material welfare losses (tax increases, economic stagnation. In addition to these driving forces it appears that the attitude towards immigrants is a very strong determinant at all geographical levels: immigrants seem to be a stronger fear factor than population decline.
Full Text Available When profiling hospital performance, quality inicators are commonly evaluated through hospital-specific adjusted means with confidence intervals. When identifying deviations from a norm, large hospitals can have statistically significant results even for clinically irrelevant deviations while important deviations in small hospitals can remain undiscovered. We have used data from the Swedish Stroke Register (Riksstroke to illustrate the properties of a benchmarking method that integrates considerations of both clinical relevance and level of statistical significance.The performance measure used was case-mix adjusted risk of death or dependency in activities of daily living within 3 months after stroke. A hospital was labeled as having outlying performance if its case-mix adjusted risk exceeded a benchmark value with a specified statistical confidence level. The benchmark was expressed relative to the population risk and should reflect the clinically relevant deviation that is to be detected. A simulation study based on Riksstroke patient data from 2008-2009 was performed to investigate the effect of the choice of the statistical confidence level and benchmark value on the diagnostic properties of the method.Simulations were based on 18,309 patients in 76 hospitals. The widely used setting, comparing 95% confidence intervals to the national average, resulted in low sensitivity (0.252 and high specificity (0.991. There were large variations in sensitivity and specificity for different requirements of statistical confidence. Lowering statistical confidence improved sensitivity with a relatively smaller loss of specificity. Variations due to different benchmark values were smaller, especially for sensitivity. This allows the choice of a clinically relevant benchmark to be driven by clinical factors without major concerns about sufficiently reliable evidence.The study emphasizes the importance of combining clinical relevance and level of statistical
Lindmark, Anita; van Rompaye, Bart; Goetghebeur, Els; Glader, Eva-Lotta; Eriksson, Marie
When profiling hospital performance, quality inicators are commonly evaluated through hospital-specific adjusted means with confidence intervals. When identifying deviations from a norm, large hospitals can have statistically significant results even for clinically irrelevant deviations while important deviations in small hospitals can remain undiscovered. We have used data from the Swedish Stroke Register (Riksstroke) to illustrate the properties of a benchmarking method that integrates considerations of both clinical relevance and level of statistical significance. The performance measure used was case-mix adjusted risk of death or dependency in activities of daily living within 3 months after stroke. A hospital was labeled as having outlying performance if its case-mix adjusted risk exceeded a benchmark value with a specified statistical confidence level. The benchmark was expressed relative to the population risk and should reflect the clinically relevant deviation that is to be detected. A simulation study based on Riksstroke patient data from 2008-2009 was performed to investigate the effect of the choice of the statistical confidence level and benchmark value on the diagnostic properties of the method. Simulations were based on 18,309 patients in 76 hospitals. The widely used setting, comparing 95% confidence intervals to the national average, resulted in low sensitivity (0.252) and high specificity (0.991). There were large variations in sensitivity and specificity for different requirements of statistical confidence. Lowering statistical confidence improved sensitivity with a relatively smaller loss of specificity. Variations due to different benchmark values were smaller, especially for sensitivity. This allows the choice of a clinically relevant benchmark to be driven by clinical factors without major concerns about sufficiently reliable evidence. The study emphasizes the importance of combining clinical relevance and level of statistical confidence when
Suzuki, Masaru; Makita, Hironi; Östling, Jörgen
, and single ELISAs were used to confirm the results. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Higher plasma adiponectin levels and a lower leptin/adiponectin ratio at enrollment were significantly associated with an annual decline in FEV1 even after controlling for age, sex, height, and body mass index in the Hokkaido...... COPD cohort study (P = 0.003, P = 0.004, respectively). A lower plasma leptin/adiponectin ratio was also significantly associated with an annual decline in FEV1 in subjects with airflow limitation in the CBQ study (P = 0.014), the patients of which had largely different clinical characteristics...... compared with the Hokkaido COPD cohort study. There were no significant associations between lung function decline and adipokine levels in subjects without airflow limitation. CONCLUSIONS: A lower leptin/adiponectin ratio was associated with lung function decline in patients with COPD in two independent...
Vogel, Asmus; Salem, Lise Cronberg; Andersen, Birgitte Bo; Waldemar, Gunhild
Cognitive complaints occur frequently in elderly people and may be a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline. Results from studies on subjective cognitive decline are difficult to compare due to variability in assessment methods, and little is known about how different methods influence reports of cognitive decline. The Subjective Memory Complaints Scale (SMC) and The Memory Complaint Questionnaire (MAC-Q) were applied in 121 mixed memory clinic patients with mild cognitive symptoms (mean MMSE = 26.8, SD 2.7). The scales were applied independently and raters were blinded to results from the other scale. Scales were not used for diagnostic classification. Cognitive performances and depressive symptoms were also rated. We studied the association between the two measures and investigated the scales' relation to depressive symptoms, age, and cognitive status. SMC and MAC-Q were significantly associated (r = 0.44, N = 121, p = 0.015) and both scales had a wide range of scores. In this mixed cohort of patients, younger age was associated with higher SMC scores. There were no significant correlations between cognitive test performances and scales measuring subjective decline. Depression scores were significantly correlated to both scales measuring subjective decline. Linear regression models showed that age did not have a significant contribution to the variance in subjective memory beyond that of depressive symptoms. Measures for subjective cognitive decline are not interchangeable when used in memory clinics and the application of different scales in previous studies is an important factor as to why studies show variability in the association between subjective cognitive decline and background data and/or clinical results. Careful consideration should be taken as to which questions are relevant and have validity when operationalizing subjective cognitive decline.
Hunter, Jaimie C; Handing, Elizabeth P; Casanova, Ramon; Kuchibhatla, Maragatha; Lutz, Michael W; Saldana, Santiago; Plassman, Brenda L; Hayden, Kathleen M
We evaluated the association between neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES) and sleep quality on cognitive decline in the Health and Retirement Study. Health and Retirement Study participants (n = 8090), aged 65+ with DNA and multiple biennial cognitive observations (abbreviated Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status), were included. Participants were grouped into quartiles of NSES and sleep quality scores. We adjusted for apolipoprotein E ε4, demographic, and cardiovascular risk factors. Random effects modeling evaluated cognitive change over time. NSES and sleep were significantly associated with cognitive decline, and there was a significant interaction between them (P = .02). Significant differences between high/low NSES and high/low sleep quality (P Sleep and NSES were associated with cognitive decline; the association between sleep and cognition appeared stronger among those with low NSES. The association between low NSES, poor sleep quality, and cognitive decline was roughly equivalent to the association between apolipoprotein E ε4 and cognitive decline. Copyright © 2017 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sadreyev Ruslan I
Full Text Available Abstract Background Profile-based analysis of multiple sequence alignments (MSA allows for accurate comparison of protein families. Here, we address the problems of detecting statistically confident dissimilarities between (1 MSA position and a set of predicted residue frequencies, and (2 between two MSA positions. These problems are important for (i evaluation and optimization of methods predicting residue occurrence at protein positions; (ii detection of potentially misaligned regions in automatically produced alignments and their further refinement; and (iii detection of sites that determine functional or structural specificity in two related families. Results For problems (1 and (2, we propose analytical estimates of P-value and apply them to the detection of significant positional dissimilarities in various experimental situations. (a We compare structure-based predictions of residue propensities at a protein position to the actual residue frequencies in the MSA of homologs. (b We evaluate our method by the ability to detect erroneous position matches produced by an automatic sequence aligner. (c We compare MSA positions that correspond to residues aligned by automatic structure aligners. (d We compare MSA positions that are aligned by high-quality manual superposition of structures. Detected dissimilarities reveal shortcomings of the automatic methods for residue frequency prediction and alignment construction. For the high-quality structural alignments, the dissimilarities suggest sites of potential functional or structural importance. Conclusion The proposed computational method is of significant potential value for the analysis of protein families.
Bang, Seong Ae; Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Park, Hyun Soo; Lee, Eun Ju; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Kim, Sang Sun
In this study, we investigated gender differences in age-related declines in regional cerebral glucose metabolism using FDG-PET in a large population sample with a broad age range. 230 healthy subjects (90 male; age: 34-80 y, 140 females; age: 33-82 y) participated. Correlation maps showing age related declines in glucose uptake were created separately for each gender in SPM2. Using population-based probabilistic volume of interests (VOIs), VOIs were defined for the regions showing significant decline with aging. Age related declines were separately assessed within each age range using analysis of covariate in SPSS 13.0. In the total population without gender effect, age-related negative correlation of glucose metabolism was found in the bilateral inferior frontal gyri, bilateral caudate, bilateral thalamus, left insula, left superior frontal gyrus, left uncus, right superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus, right anterior cingulate gyrus (P < 0.001 corrected, extent threshold k = 100). 14 VOIs values of brain regions were calculated based on this negative correlation results. The rate of decline across all defined VOIs assessed in the age category of 'more than 70' referenced to the category of '30- 39years' were 7.85% in the entire sample; 7.62% in male and 8.09% in female. Detailed analyses of declines in each age range showed separable patterns of declines across gender. In males, greater decline was observed after the age 60 (20.45%) than the ages of 30 and 50(7.98%). Whereas in females, greater declines were found in age 60s (20.15%) compared to 50s, and in 40(14.84%) compared to 30s. Age-related decline in cerebral glucose metabolism was found in both genders. We further observed that males show a relatively constant pattern of decline across a life span; whereas, females show a pattern of steep changes aging to 60s and to 40s, which may be related to changes in sex hormone levels after menopause
Bang, Seong Ae; Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Park, Hyun Soo; Lee, Eun Ju; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Kim, Sang Sun [Seoul National Univ. College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)
In this study, we investigated gender differences in age-related declines in regional cerebral glucose metabolism using FDG-PET in a large population sample with a broad age range. 230 healthy subjects (90 male; age: 34-80 y, 140 females; age: 33-82 y) participated. Correlation maps showing age related declines in glucose uptake were created separately for each gender in SPM2. Using population-based probabilistic volume of interests (VOIs), VOIs were defined for the regions showing significant decline with aging. Age related declines were separately assessed within each age range using analysis of covariate in SPSS 13.0. In the total population without gender effect, age-related negative correlation of glucose metabolism was found in the bilateral inferior frontal gyri, bilateral caudate, bilateral thalamus, left insula, left superior frontal gyrus, left uncus, right superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus, right anterior cingulate gyrus (P < 0.001 corrected, extent threshold k = 100). 14 VOIs values of brain regions were calculated based on this negative correlation results. The rate of decline across all defined VOIs assessed in the age category of 'more than 70' referenced to the category of '30- 39years' were 7.85% in the entire sample; 7.62% in male and 8.09% in female. Detailed analyses of declines in each age range showed separable patterns of declines across gender. In males, greater decline was observed after the age 60 (20.45%) than the ages of 30 and 50(7.98%). Whereas in females, greater declines were found in age 60s (20.15%) compared to 50s, and in 40(14.84%) compared to 30s. Age-related decline in cerebral glucose metabolism was found in both genders. We further observed that males show a relatively constant pattern of decline across a life span; whereas, females show a pattern of steep changes aging to 60s and to 40s, which may be related to changes in sex hormone levels after menopause.
Fang, Yongxiang; Wit, Ernst
Fisher’s combined probability test is the most commonly used method to test the overall significance of a set independent p-values. However, it is very obviously that Fisher’s statistic is more sensitive to smaller p-values than to larger p-value and a small p-value may overrule the other p-values
Reading, C J; Luiselli, L M; Akani, G C; Bonnet, X; Amori, G; Ballouard, J M; Filippi, E; Naulleau, G; Pearson, D; Rugiero, L
Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many ecosystems. Our results show that, of 17 snake populations (eight species) from the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, 11 have declined sharply over the same relatively short period of time with five remaining stable and one showing signs of a marginal increase. Although the causes of these declines are currently unknown, we suspect that they are multi-faceted (such as habitat quality deterioration, prey availability), and with a common cause, e.g. global climate change, at their root.
Graven, Michael; Allen, Peter; Smith, Ian; MacDonald, Noni E
Belize deployed a country-wide fully integrated patient centred health information system with eight embedded disease management algorithms and simple analytics in 2007 for $4 (Cad)/citizen. This study evaluated BHIS uptake by health care workers, and pre and post BHIS deployment mortality in selected areas and public health care expenditures. BHIS encounter data were compared to encounter data from required Ministry of Health reports from licensed health care entities. De-identified vital statistics death data for the eight BHIS protocol disease domains and three non-protocol domains were compared from 2005 to 2011. Belize population data came from the Statistical Institute of Belize (2005-2009) and from Belize census (2010) and estimate (2011). Public health system expenditures were compared by fiscal years (2000-2012). BHIS captured over 90% healthcare encounters by year one, 95% by year two. Mortality rates decreased in the eight BHIS protocol domains (each 2005 vs. 2011, all p<0.02) vs. an increase or little change in the three domains without protocols. Hypertension related deaths dropped from 1st cause of death in 2003 to 9th by 2010. Public expenditures on healthcare steadily rose until 2009 but then declined slightly for the next 3 years. For modest investment, BHIS was well accepted nationwide and following deployment, mortality in the eight BHIS disease management algorithm domains declined significantly and expenditures on public healthcare stabilized. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Purpose: Reports of business failure elicit various reactions, while research in this domain often appears to be limited by a lack of access to information about failure and by the negativity that surrounds it. Those who have experienced failure do not readily talk about it, or they disappear from the radar screen of researchers. Yet failure is preceded by decline which, when focused on strategically, can reduce eventual failures if early action is taken. The main purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual framework or typology of the drivers and moderators of business decline. Design/methodology/approach: After applying the "grounded theory" approach to the academic literature on decline and failure, a conceptual framework for the variables that drive and moderate business decline is proposed. Findings: The study proposes that decline has three core drivers, three peripheral drivers and four moderators. The core drivers identified are: resource munificence; leadership as origin; and causality (strategic versus operational origin of decline. The three peripheral drivers are: unique preconditions; continuous decisions impact; and extremes dichotomy. The study describes four moderators of the drivers: life cycle stage; stakeholder perspective; quantitative versus qualitative nature of signs and causes; and finally the age and size effects. Research limitations/implications: The proposed conceptual framework is based on literature only, although it has found support during discussions with practitioners. It is proposed to readers of this journal for scrutiny and validation. Practical implications: Strategists need to understand what drives decline in order to act timeously; practitioners who have an insight into the moderators with their impacts could make better decisions in response to decline in organisations and possibly avoid business failure. Originality/Value: Understanding business decline is still a huge theoretical challenge, which
Gonen, Tal; Sela, Gal; Yanakee, Ranin; Ram, Zvi; Grossman, Rachel
Despite selection process before awake-craniotomy, some patients experience an unexpected decline in language functions in the operating room (OR), compared with their baseline evaluation, which may impair their functional monitoring. To investigate this phenomenon we prospectively compared language function the day before surgery and on entrance to the OR. Data were collected prospectively from consecutive patients undergoing awake-craniotomy with intraoperative cortical mapping for resection of gliomas affecting language areas. Language functions of 79 patients were evaluated and compared 1-2 days before surgery and after entering the OR. Changes in functional linguistic performance were analyzed with respect to demographic, clinical, and pathologic characteristics. There was a significant decline in language function, beyond sedation effect, after entering the OR, (from median/interquartile range: 0.94/0.72-0.98 to median/interquartile range: 0.86/0.51-0.94; Z = -7.19, P awake-craniotomy may experience a substantial decline in language functioning after entering the OR. Tumor grade and the presence of preoperative language deficits were significant risk factors for this phenomenon, suggesting a possible relation between cognitive reserve, psychobehavioral coping abilities and histologic features of a tumor involving language areas. Capturing and identifying this unique population of patients who are prone to experience such language decline may improve our ability in the future to select patients eligible for awake-craniotomy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rantakokko, Merja; Mänty, Minna Regina; Rantanen, Taina
Mobility is important for community independence. With increasing age, underlying pathologies, genetic vulnerabilities, physiological and sensory impairments, and environmental barriers increase the risk for mobility decline. Understanding how mobility declines is paramount to finding ways...... to promote mobility in old age....
Lehrner, J; Coutinho, G; Mattos, P; Moser, D; Pflüger, M; Gleiss, A; Auff, E; Dal-Bianco, P; Pusswald, G; Stögmann, E
Semantic memory may be impaired in clinically recognized states of cognitive impairment. We investigated the relationship between semantic memory and depressive symptoms (DS) in patients with cognitive impairment. 323 cognitively healthy controls and 848 patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia were included. Semantic knowledge for famous faces, world capitals, and word vocabulary was investigated. Compared to healthy controls, we found a statistically significant difference of semantic knowledge in the MCI groups and the AD group, respectively. Results of the SCD group were mixed. However, two of the three semantic memory measures (world capitals and word vocabulary) showed a significant association with DS. We found a difference in semantic memory performance in MCI and AD as well as an association with DS. Results suggest that the difference in semantic memory is due to a storage loss rather than to a retrieval problem.
Tard, Céline; Demailly, Franck; Delval, Arnaud; Semah, Franck; Defebvre, Luc; Dujardin, Kathy; Moreau, Caroline
Brain metabolic profiles of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and cognitive impairment or dementia are now available. It would be useful if data on brain metabolism were also predictive of the risk of a pejorative cognitive evolution - especially in the multidisciplinary management of advanced PD patients. The primary objective was to determine whether a specific brain metabolic pattern is associated with cognitive decline in PD. Sixteen advanced PD patients were screened for the absence of cognitive impairment (according to the Mattis dementia rating scale, MDRS) and underwent [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography brain imaging in the "off drug" state. The MDRS was scored again about two years later, categorizing patients as having significant cognitive decline (decliners) or not (stables). The two groups were then compared in terms of their brain metabolism at inclusion. There were six decliners and ten stables. Significant hypometabolism in the two precunei (Brodmann area (BA) 31), the left middle temporal gyrus (BA21) and the left fusiform gyrus (BA37) was found in the decliner group compared withthe stables. In advanced PD, a particular metabolic pattern may be associated with the onset of significant cognitive decline.
Hamilton, Brady E; Miniño, Arialdi M; Martin, Joyce A; Kochanek, Kenneth D; Strobino, Donna M; Guyer, Bernard
The general fertility rate in 2005 was 66.7 births per 1000 women aged 15 to 44 years, the highest level since 1993. The birth rate for teen mothers (aged 15 to 19 years) declined by 2% between 2004 and 2005, falling to 40.4 births per 1000 women, the lowest ever recorded in the 65 years for which there are consistent data. The birth rates for women > or = 30 years of age rose in 2005 to levels not seen in almost 40 years. Childbearing by unmarried women also increased to historic record levels for the United States in 2005. The cesarean-delivery rate rose by 4% in 2005 to 30.2% of all births, another record high. The preterm birth rate continued to rise (to 12.7% in 2005), as did the rate for low birth weight births (8.2%). The infant mortality rate was 6.79 infant deaths per 1000 live births in 2004, not statistically different from the rate in 2003. Pronounced differences in infant mortality rates by race and Hispanic origin continue, with non-Hispanic black newborns more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic white and Hispanic infants to die within 1 year of birth. The expectation of life at birth reached a record high in 2004 of 77.8 years for all gender and race groups combined. Death rates in the United States continued to decline, with death rates decreasing for 9 of the 15 leading causes. The crude death rate for children aged 1 to 19 years did not decrease significantly between 2003 and 2004. Of the 10 leading causes of death for 2004 in this age group, only the rates for influenza and pneumonia showed a significant decrease. The death rates increased for intentional self-harm (suicide), whereas rates for other causes did not change significantly for children. A large proportion of childhood deaths continue to occur as a result of preventable injuries.
Curved steel bridges are commonly used at interchanges in transportation networks and more of these structures continue to be designed and built in the United States. Though the use of these bridges continues to increase in locations that experience high seismicity, the effects of curvature and other parameters on their seismic behaviors have been neglected in current risk assessment tools. These tools can evaluate the seismic vulnerability of a transportation network using fragility curves. One critical component of fragility curve development for curved steel bridges is the completion of sensitivity analyses that help identify influential parameters related to their seismic response. In this study, an accessible inventory of existing curved steel girder bridges located primarily in the Mid-Atlantic United States (MAUS) was used to establish statistical characteristics used as inputs for a seismic sensitivity study. Critical seismic response quantities were captured using 3D nonlinear finite element models. Influential parameters from these quantities were identified using statistical tools that incorporate experimental Plackett-Burman Design (PBD), which included Pareto optimal plots and prediction profiler techniques. The findings revealed that the potential variation in the influential parameters included number of spans, radius of curvature, maximum span length, girder spacing, and cross-frame spacing. These parameters showed varying levels of influence on the critical bridge response.
Bradford, M. J.; Irvine, J. R. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC (Canada)
Reasons for the decline in abundance of Pacific salmon population in the Thompson River watershed in British Columbia was investigated. Results suggests that the decline could be the result of a declining trend in productivity related to changes in ocean conditions, overfishing, and changes in the freshwater habitat. The abundance of salmon correlated with agricultural land use, road density, and qualitative changes in stream habitat status; logging appeared to have had no such effect. It was concluded that salmon populations will continue to decline unless limits on fishing are strictly enforced, and unless salmon producing watersheds are restored and ocean conditions are significantly improved . 12 refs., 2 figs.
Andre S. Gilburn
Full Text Available There has been widespread concern that neonicotinoid pesticides may be adversely impacting wild and managed bees for some years, but recently attention has shifted to examining broader effects they may be having on biodiversity. For example in the Netherlands, declines in insectivorous birds are positively associated with levels of neonicotinoid pollution in surface water. In England, the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009 despite both a doubling in conservation spending in the UK, and predictions that climate change should benefit most species. Here we build models of the UK population indices from 1985 to 2012 for 17 widespread butterfly species that commonly occur at farmland sites. Of the factors we tested, three correlated significantly with butterfly populations. Summer temperature and the index for a species the previous year are both positively associated with butterfly indices. By contrast, the number of hectares of farmland where neonicotinoid pesticides are used is negatively associated with butterfly indices. Indices for 15 of the 17 species show negative associations with neonicotinoid usage. The declines in butterflies have largely occurred in England, where neonicotinoid usage is at its highest. In Scotland, where neonicotinoid usage is comparatively low, butterfly numbers are stable. Further research is needed urgently to show whether there is a causal link between neonicotinoid usage and the decline of widespread butterflies or whether it simply represents a proxy for other environmental factors associated with intensive agriculture.
Ishimoto, Yasuko; Wada, Taizo; Kasahara, Yoriko; Kimura, Yumi; Fukutomi, Eriko; Chen, Wenling; Hirosaki, Mayumi; Nakatsuka, Masahiro; Fujisawa, Michiko; Sakamoto, Ryota; Ishine, Masayuki; Okumiya, Kiyohito; Otsuka, Kuniaki; Matsubayashi, Kozo
The 21-item Fall Risk Index (FRI-21) has been used to detect elderly persons at risk for falls. The aim of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the FRI-21 as a predictor of decline in basic activities of daily living (BADL) among Japanese community-dwelling elderly persons independent of fall risk. The study population consisted of 518 elderly participants aged 65 years and older who were BADL independent at baseline in Tosa, Japan. We examined risk factors for BADL decline from 2008 to 2009 by multiple logistic regression analysis on the FRI-21 and other functional status measures in all participants. We carried out the same analysis in selected participants who had no experience of falls to remove the effect of falls. A total of 45 of 518 participants showed decline in BADL within 1 year. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that age (odds ratio [OR] 1.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-1.20), FRI-21 ≥ 10 (OR 3.81, 95% CI 1.49-9.27), intellectual activity dependence (OR 3.25, 95% CI 1.42-7.44) and history of osteoarthropathy (OR 3.17, 95% CI 1.40-7.21) were significant independent risk factors for BADL decline within 1 year. FRI-21 ≥ 10 and intellectual activity dependence (≤ 3) remained significant predictors, even in selected non-fallers. FRI-21 ≥ 10 and intellectual activity dependence were significant predictive factors of BADL decline, regardless of fall experience, after adjustment for confounding variables. The FRI-21 is a brief, useful tool not only for predicting falls, but also future decline in functional ability in community-dwelling elderly persons. © 2012 Japan Geriatrics Society.
Daskin, Joshua H; Pringle, Robert M
Large-mammal populations are ecological linchpins, and their worldwide decline and extinction disrupts many ecosystem functions and services. Reversal of this trend will require an understanding of the determinants of population decline, to enable more accurate predictions of when and where collapses will occur and to guide the development of effective conservation and restoration policies. Many correlates of large-mammal declines are known, including low reproductive rates, overhunting, and habitat destruction. However, persistent uncertainty about the effects of one widespread factor-armed conflict-complicates conservation-planning and priority-setting efforts. Case studies have revealed that conflict can have either positive or negative local impacts on wildlife, but the direction and magnitude of its net effect over large spatiotemporal scales have not previously been quantified. Here we show that conflict frequency predicts the occurrence and severity of population declines among wild large herbivores in African protected areas from 1946 to 2010. Conflict was extensive during this period, occurring in 71% of protected areas, and conflict frequency was the single most important predictor of wildlife population trends among the variables that we analysed. Population trajectories were stable in peacetime, fell significantly below replacement with only slight increases in conflict frequency (one conflict-year per two-to-five decades), and were almost invariably negative in high-conflict sites, both in the full 65-year dataset and in an analysis restricted to recent decades (1989-2010). Yet total population collapse was infrequent, indicating that war-torn faunas can often recover. Human population density was also correlated (positively) with wildlife population trajectories in recent years; however, we found no significant effect, in either timespan, of species body mass, protected-area size, conflict intensity (human fatalities), drought frequency, presence of
Morris, Rosie; Lord, Sue; Lawson, Rachael A; Coleman, Shirley; Galna, Brook; Duncan, Gordon W; Khoo, Tien K; Yarnall, Alison J; Burn, David J; Rochester, Lynn
Dementia is significant in Parkinson's disease (PD) with personal and socioeconomic impact. Early identification of risk is of upmost importance to optimize management. Gait precedes and predicts cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. We aimed to evaluate gait characteristics as predictors of cognitive decline in newly diagnosed PD. One hundred and nineteen participants recruited at diagnosis were assessed at baseline, 18 and 36 months. Baseline gait was characterized by variables that mapped to five domains: pace, rhythm, variability, asymmetry, and postural control. Cognitive assessment included attention, fluctuating attention, executive function, visual memory, and visuospatial function. Mixed-effects models tested independent gait predictors of cognitive decline. Gait characteristics of pace, variability, and postural control predicted decline in fluctuating attention and visual memory, whereas baseline neuropsychological assessment performance did not predict decline. This provides novel evidence for gait as a clinical biomarker for PD cognitive decline in early disease. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.
Headley, Alison; De Leon-Benedetti, Andres; Dong, Chuanhui; Levin, Bonnie; Loewenstein, David; Camargo, Christian; Rundek, Tatjana; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Wright, Clinton B; Sun, Xiaoyan
To determine whether high CSF levels of neurogranin (Ng) predict longitudinal decline in memory and executive function during early-stage Alzheimer disease (AD). Baseline levels of CSF Ng were studied in relation to cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive performance over 8 years. Data were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, and participants with normal cognition (n = 111) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n = 193) were included. High levels of CSF Ng were associated with poor baseline memory scores (β = -0.21, p the rate of decline by tertiles was examined, CSF Ng was a level-dependent predictor of memory function, whereby the group with highest levels of Ng showed the fastest rates of decline in both memory and executive function. When examined separately, elevated Ng was associated with cognitive decline in participants with MCI but not in those with normal cognition. The levels of CSF Ng were not associated with cognitive measures when tau and amyloid 42 (Aβ 42 ) were controlled for in these analyses. High CSF Ng associates with poor memory scores in participants with MCI cross-sectionally and with poor memory and executive function longitudinally. The association of Ng with cognitive measures disappears when tau and Aβ 42 are included in the statistical models. Our findings suggest that CSF Ng may serve as a biomarker of cognition. Synaptic dysfunction contributes to cognitive impairment in early-stage AD. © 2018 American Academy of Neurology.
Pearce-Higgins, J W; Yalden, D W; Dougall, T W; Beale, C M
There is an urgent need to understand how climate change will impact on demographic parameters of vulnerable species. Migrants are regarded as particularly vulnerable to climate change; phenological mismatch has resulted in the local decline of one passerine, whilst variations in the survival of others have been related to African weather conditions. However, there have been few demographic studies on trans-Saharan non-passerine migrants, despite these showing stronger declines across Europe than passerines. We therefore analyse the effects of climate on the survival and productivity of common sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos, a declining non-passerine long-distant migrant using 28 years' data from the Peak District, England. Adult survival rates were significantly negatively correlated with winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), being lower when winters were warm and wet in western Europe and cool and dry in northwest Africa. Annual variation in the productivity of the population was positively correlated with June temperature, but not with an index of phenological mismatch. The 59% population decline appears largely to have been driven by reductions in adult survival, with local productivity poorly correlated with subsequent population change, suggesting a low degree of natal philopatry. Winter NAO was not significantly correlated with adult survival rates in a second, Scottish Borders population, studied for 12 years. Variation in climatic conditions alone does not therefore appear to be responsible for common sandpiper declines. Unlike some passerine migrants, there was no evidence for climate-driven reductions in productivity, although the apparent importance of immigration in determining local recruitment complicates the assessment of productivity effects. We suggest that further studies to diagnose common sandpiper declines should focus on changes in the condition of migratory stop-over or wintering locations. Where possible, these analyses should be repeated
Full Text Available In many iteroparous species individual fitness components, such as reproductive output, first increase with age and then decline during late-life. However, individuals differ greatly in reproductive lifespan, but reproductive declines may only occur in the period just before their death as a result of an age-independent decline in physiological condition. To fully understand reproductive senescence it is important to investigate to what extent declines in late-life reproduction can be explained by age, time until death, or both. However, the study of late-life fitness performance in natural populations is challenging as the exact birth and death dates of individuals are often not known, and most individuals succumb to extrinsic mortality before reaching old age. Here, we used an exceptional long-term longitudinal dataset of individuals from a natural, closed, and predator-free population of the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis to investigate reproductive output, both in relation to age and to the time until the death of an individual (reverse-age approach. We observed an initial age-dependent increase in reproductive output that was followed by a decline in old age. However, we found no significant decline in reproductive output in the years directly preceding death. Although post-peak reproductive output declined with age, this pattern differed between terminal and non-terminal reproductive attempts, and the age-dependence of the terminal breeding attempt explained much of the variation in age-specific reproductive output. In fact, terminal declines in reproductive output were steeper in very old individuals. These results indicate that not only age-dependent, but also age-independent factors, such as physiological condition, need to be considered to understand reproductive senescence in wild-living animals.
Ayabe, Tatsuhiro; Ohya, Rena; Kondo, Keiji; Ano, Yasuhisa
Dementia and cognitive decline have become worldwide public health problems, and it was recently reported that life-style related diseases and obesity are key risk factors in dementia. Iso-α-acids, hop-derived bitter components of beer, have been reported to have various physiological functions via activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ. In this report, we demonstrated that daily intake of iso-α-acids suppresses inflammations in the hippocampus and improves cognitive decline induced by high fat diet (HFD). Body weight, epididymal fat weight, and plasma triglyceride levels were increased in HFD-fed mice, and significantly decreased in iso-α-acids supplemented HFD-fed mice. HFD feeding enhances the production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, such as TNF-α, which was significantly suppressed by iso-α-acids administration. HFD-induced neuroinflammation caused lipid peroxidation, neuronal loss, and atrophy in hippocampus, and those were not observed in iso-α-acids-treated mice. Furthermore, iso-α-acids intake significantly improved cognitive decline induced by HFD-feeding. Iso-α-acids are food derived components that suppressing both lipid accumulation and brain inflammation, thus iso-α-acids might be beneficial for the risk of dementia increased by obesity and lifestyle-related diseases.
Taylor, Richard; Linhart, Christine; Hayes, Geoffrey; Homasi, Steven
Infant mortality rates (IMR) and under-five mortality rates (U5MR) in Tuvalu (2010 population 11,149) for 1990-2011 were evaluated to determine best estimates of levels and trends. Estimates were graphed over time to identify trends/inconsistencies, and censored for reliability/plausibility. Where possible, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and tests for linear trend were calculated. Ministry of Health (MoH) data indicates IMR and U5MR (per 1,000 live births) declined over 1990-2008: IMR 62 (95%CI 46-81) for 1991-93 (51 deaths) to 19 (95%CI 10-33) for 2006-08 (12 deaths); U5MR 67 (95%CI 50-87) for 1991-93 (55 deaths) to 19 (95%CI 10-33) for 2006-08 (12 deaths). The 2007 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) suggests recent trends are increasing: IMR 24 for 1998-2002 to 31 (95%CI 20-42) for 2003-07; U5MR 29 for 1998-2002 to 36 (95%CI 30-43) for 2003-07 (deaths not provided). Tests for linear trend and 95%CIs indicate MoH declines are statistically significant, but recent increased estimates from DHS are not, and could be affected by recall bias. Small populations provide challenges in interpretation of IMR/U5MR trends. To ensure the correct interpretation of rates, CIs (95%) and tests for trend should be calculated. Tuvalu has experienced steady decline in IMR/U5MR over the past 20 years. © 2014 Public Health Association of Australia.
Barthe, J.; Blanc, D.; Commanay, L.; Francois, H.; Portal, G.
Radiophotoluminescence decline in silver-activated metaphosphate glasses is altered by γ, α or n irradiation. A parameter T characterizing the aspect of the decline, not physically significant but especially stable, was defined and its variation plotted against the dose absorbed and the nature of the radiation. From 100 rads to about 50 rads a simple empirical law relates the dose D to the decline parameter T. Above 500 rads T is constant, meaning that the form of the decline no longer changes at high doses. The nature of the radiation (γ, n, α) seems not to affect parameter T, which is strongly influenced however by the chemical composition of the glass, Finally the problem of absorbed dose memorization by the glass for very weak irradiations (background for example) is discussed [fr
Full Text Available Abstract Background A reliable prediction of the Xaa-Pro peptide bond conformation would be a useful tool for many protein structure calculation methods. We have analyzed the Protein Data Bank and show that the combined use of sequential and structural information has a predictive value for the assessment of the cis versus trans peptide bond conformation of Xaa-Pro within proteins. For the analysis of the data sets different statistical methods such as the calculation of the Chou-Fasman parameters and occurrence matrices were used. Furthermore we analyzed the relationship between the relative solvent accessibility and the relative occurrence of prolines in the cis and in the trans conformation. Results One of the main results of the statistical investigations is the ranking of the secondary structure and sequence information with respect to the prediction of the Xaa-Pro peptide bond conformation. We observed a significant impact of secondary structure information on the occurrence of the Xaa-Pro peptide bond conformation, while the sequence information of amino acids neighboring proline is of little predictive value for the conformation of this bond. Conclusion In this work, we present an extensive analysis of the occurrence of the cis and trans proline conformation in proteins. Based on the data set, we derived patterns and rules for a possible prediction of the proline conformation. Upon adoption of the Chou-Fasman parameters, we are able to derive statistically relevant correlations between the secondary structure of amino acid fragments and the Xaa-Pro peptide bond conformation.
Fonseca, Luciana Mascarenhas; de Oliveira, Melaine Cristina; de Figueiredo Ferreira Guilhoto, Laura Maria; Cavalheiro, Esper Abrao; Bottino, Cássio Mc
Cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease often affect older adults with Down syndrome (DS) much earlier than those in the general population. There is also growing evidence of the effects of negative life events on the mental health and behavior of individuals with intellectual disability. However, to our knowledge, this is the first study investigating objective cognitive decline following bereavement in aging individuals with DS. The objective of this study was to determine whether cognitive decline correlates with bereavement following the recent loss of a caregiver or with behavioral changes in a sample of adult individuals with DS who do not meet the criteria for dementia or depression, using the longitudinal assessment of the Cambridge Cognitive Examination (CAMCOG), together with the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE). We evaluated 18 subjects at baseline and over a follow-up period of 14-22 months, attempting to determine whether cognitive decline correlates with bereavement following the recent loss of the main caregiver or with behavioral changes (as assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory). The mean rate of change in CAMCOG was -1.83 (standard deviation 4.51). Behavioral changes had a significant direct influence on cognitive decline. When bereavement was accompanied by behavioral changes, the probability of cognitive decline was 87% (odds ratio 3.82). The occurrence of behavioral changes attributed to bereavement following the loss of the primary caregiver significantly increases the probability of cognitive decline in individuals with DS. Longitudinal comparison of the CAMCOG and use of the IQCODE appear to enrich the analysis of cognitive decline in individuals with DS. Further studies involving larger samples are needed in order to corroborate and expand upon our findings, which can have implications for the clinical management of older adults with DS.
Jennifer Juzwik; Ji-Hyun. Park
A five year investigation of the cause of rapid crown decline and mortality of bitternut hickory was concluded in September 2011. Results of a series of related studies found that multiple cankers and xylem (the water conducting tissue) dysfunction caused by Ceratocystis smalleyi are correlated with rapid crown decline typical of a limited vascular...
Gerstorf, Denis; Hoppmann, Christiane A; Löckenhoff, Corinna E; Infurna, Frank J; Schupp, Jürgen; Wagner, Gert G; Ram, Nilam
Well-being development at the end of life is often characterized by steep deteriorations, but individual differences in these terminal declines are substantial and not yet well understood. This study moved beyond typical consideration of health predictors and explored the role of social orientation and engagement. To do so, we used social variables at the behavioral level (self-ratings of social participation) and the motivational level (valuing social and family goals), assessed 2 to 4 years before death. We applied single- and multiphase growth models to up to 27-year annual longitudinal data from 2,910 now deceased participants of the nation-wide German Socio-Economic Panel Study (Mage at death = 74 years; SD = 14; 48% women). Results revealed that leading a socially active life and prioritizing social goals in late life were independently associated with higher late-life well-being, less pronounced late-life decline, and a later onset of terminal decline. Significant interaction effects suggested that the combination of (reduced) social participation and (lowered) social goals magnifies the effects of each other. Findings also indicated that less decline in social participation was associated with less severe rates and a later onset of well-being decline. We found little evidence that valuing family goals is associated with late-life trajectories of well-being. Associations were independent of key correlates of well-being and mortality, including age at death, gender, education, disability, hospital stays, and goals in other life domains. We discuss possible pathways by which maintaining social orientation into late life may help mitigate terminal decline in well-being. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available Estimated parameters with confidence intervals and testing statistical assumptions used in statistical analysis to obtain conclusions on research from a sample extracted from the population. Paper to the case study presented aims to highlight the importance of volume of sample taken in the study and how this reflects on the results obtained when using confidence intervals and testing for pregnant. If statistical testing hypotheses not only give an answer "yes" or "no" to some questions of statistical estimation using statistical confidence intervals provides more information than a test statistic, show high degree of uncertainty arising from small samples and findings build in the "marginally significant" or "almost significant (p very close to 0.05.
Andrew J Lawrence
Full Text Available Cognitive impairment, predominantly affecting processing speed and executive function, is an important consequence of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD. To date, few longitudinal studies of cognition in SVD have been conducted. We determined the pattern and rate of cognitive decline in SVD and used the results to determine sample size calculations for clinical trials of interventions reducing cognitive decline.121 patients with MRI confirmed lacunar stroke and leukoaraiosis were enrolled into the prospective St George's Cognition And Neuroimaging in Stroke (SCANS study. Patients attended one baseline and three annual cognitive assessments providing 36 month follow-up data. Neuropsychological assessment comprised a battery of tests assessing working memory, long-term (episodic memory, processing speed and executive function. We calculated annualized change in cognition for the 98 patients who completed at least two time-points.Task performance was heterogeneous, but significant cognitive decline was found for the executive function index (p<0.007. Working memory and processing speed decreased numerically, but not significantly. The executive function composite score would require the smallest samples sizes for a treatment trial with an aim of halting decline, but this would still require over 2,000 patients per arm to detect a 30% difference with power of 0.8 over a three year follow-up.The pattern of cognitive decline seen in SVD over three years is consistent with the pattern of impairments at baseline. Rates of decline were slow and sample sizes would need to be large for clinical trials aimed at halting decline beyond initial diagnosis using cognitive scores as an outcome measure. This emphasizes the importance of more sensitive surrogate markers in this disease.
Hitchner, Elizabeth; Baughman, Brittanie D; Soman, Salil; Long, Becky; Rosen, Allyson; Zhou, Wei
Carotid interventions are important in helping to reduce the risk of stroke for patients with high-grade carotid artery stenosis; however, subclinical cerebral microemboli can occur during these procedures. Associations have been found between the incidence of microemboli and postoperative decline in memory. We therefore sought to determine whether this decline persisted long-term and to assess changes in other cognitive domains. Patients were prospectively recruited under an Institutional Review Board-approved protocol at a single academic center. Neuropsychological testing was administered preoperatively and at 1-month and 6-month intervals postoperatively. Cognitive domains that were evaluated included verbal memory, visual memory, psychomotor speed, dexterity, and executive function. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging sequencing was performed preoperatively and ≤48 hours postoperatively to identify procedure-related microemboli. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to identify relationships among microembolization, demographics, and cognition. Included were 80 male patients with an average age of 69 years. Forty patients underwent carotid artery stenting and 40 underwent carotid endarterectomy. Comorbidities included diabetes in 45%, coronary artery disease in 50%, and prior neurologic symptoms in 41%. New postoperative microemboli were found in 45 patients (56%). Microembolization was significantly more common in the carotid artery stenting cohort (P memory and Trail Making A measures. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that procedurally related embolization (odds ratio [OR], 2.8; P = .04) and preoperative symptomatic stenosis (OR, 3.2; P = .026) were independent predictors of decline for the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test Short Delay measure at 1 month. At 6 months, no significant relationship was found between emboli and decline on Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test Short Delay, but age (OR, 1.1, P = .005) and
Full Text Available Claudio Tantucci, Denise ModinaUnit of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, ItalyAbstract: The landmark study of Fletcher and Peto on the natural history of tobacco smoke-related chronic airflow obstruction suggested that decline in the forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1 in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD is slow at the beginning, becoming faster with more advanced disease. The present authors reviewed spirometric data of COPD patients included in the placebo arms of recent clinical trials to assess the lung function decline of each stage, defined according to the severity of airflow obstruction as proposed by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD guidelines. In large COPD populations the mean rate of FEV1 decline in GOLD stages II and III is between 47 and 79 mL/year and 56 and 59 mL/year, respectively, and lower than 35 mL/year in GOLD stage IV. Few data on FEV1 decline are available for GOLD stage I. Hence, the loss of lung function, assessed as expiratory airflow reduction, seems more accelerated and therefore more relevant in the initial phases of COPD. To have an impact on the natural history of COPD, it is logical to look at the effects of treatment in the earlier stages.Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, decline, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, FEV1
Edward A. Poole; Eric Heitzman; James M. Guldin
Oak decline is affecting the forests in the Interior Highlands of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. In 2002 and 2003, field plots were established throughout the region to evaluate the influence of topographic position and aspect on oak decline. Density and basal area of dead and dying oaks did not significantly differ by either topographic position or aspect. Lack of...
Jennifer A. Foley
Full Text Available Objective. Reduced verbal fluency is a strikingly uniform finding following deep brain stimulation (DBS for Parkinson’s disease (PD. The precise cognitive mechanism underlying this reduction remains unclear, but theories have suggested reduced motivation, linguistic skill, and/or executive function. It is of note, however, that previous reports have failed to consider the potential role of any changes in speed of processing. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine verbal fluency changes with a particular focus on the role of cognitive speed. Method. In this study, 28 patients with PD completed measures of verbal fluency, motivation, language, executive functioning, and speed of processing, before and after DBS. Results. As expected, there was a marked decline in verbal fluency but also in a timed test of executive functions and two measures of speed of processing. Verbal fluency decline was associated with markers of linguistic and executive functioning, but not after speed of processing was statistically controlled for. In contrast, greater decline in verbal fluency was associated with higher levels of apathy at baseline, which was not associated with changes in cognitive speed. Discussion. Reduced generativity and processing speed may account for the marked reduction in verbal fluency commonly observed following DBS.
Foltynie, Tom; Zrinzo, Ludvic; Hyam, Jonathan A.; Limousin, Patricia
Objective. Reduced verbal fluency is a strikingly uniform finding following deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease (PD). The precise cognitive mechanism underlying this reduction remains unclear, but theories have suggested reduced motivation, linguistic skill, and/or executive function. It is of note, however, that previous reports have failed to consider the potential role of any changes in speed of processing. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine verbal fluency changes with a particular focus on the role of cognitive speed. Method. In this study, 28 patients with PD completed measures of verbal fluency, motivation, language, executive functioning, and speed of processing, before and after DBS. Results. As expected, there was a marked decline in verbal fluency but also in a timed test of executive functions and two measures of speed of processing. Verbal fluency decline was associated with markers of linguistic and executive functioning, but not after speed of processing was statistically controlled for. In contrast, greater decline in verbal fluency was associated with higher levels of apathy at baseline, which was not associated with changes in cognitive speed. Discussion. Reduced generativity and processing speed may account for the marked reduction in verbal fluency commonly observed following DBS. PMID:28408788
Foley, Jennifer A; Foltynie, Tom; Zrinzo, Ludvic; Hyam, Jonathan A; Limousin, Patricia; Cipolotti, Lisa
Objective . Reduced verbal fluency is a strikingly uniform finding following deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease (PD). The precise cognitive mechanism underlying this reduction remains unclear, but theories have suggested reduced motivation, linguistic skill, and/or executive function. It is of note, however, that previous reports have failed to consider the potential role of any changes in speed of processing. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine verbal fluency changes with a particular focus on the role of cognitive speed. Method . In this study, 28 patients with PD completed measures of verbal fluency, motivation, language, executive functioning, and speed of processing, before and after DBS. Results . As expected, there was a marked decline in verbal fluency but also in a timed test of executive functions and two measures of speed of processing. Verbal fluency decline was associated with markers of linguistic and executive functioning, but not after speed of processing was statistically controlled for. In contrast, greater decline in verbal fluency was associated with higher levels of apathy at baseline, which was not associated with changes in cognitive speed. Discussion . Reduced generativity and processing speed may account for the marked reduction in verbal fluency commonly observed following DBS.
Gianino, Maria Michela; Lenzi, Jacopo; Fantini, Maria Pia; Ricciardi, Walter; Damiani, Gianfranco
Some studies have analyzed the association of health care systems variables, such as health service resources or expenditures, with amenable mortality, but the association of types of health care systems with the decline of amenable mortality has yet to be studied. The present study examines whether specific health care system types are associated with different time trend declines in amenable mortality from 2000 to 2014 in 22 European OECD countries. A time trend analysis was performed. Using Nolte and McKee's list, age-standardized amenable mortality rates (SDRs) were calculated as the annual number of deaths over the population aged 0-74 years per 100,000 inhabitants. We classified health care systems according to a deductively generated classification by Böhm. This classification identifies three dimensions that are not entirely independent of each other but follow a clear order: the regulation dimension is first, followed by the financing dimension and finally service provision. We performed a hierarchical semi-log polynomial regression analysis on the annual SDRs to determine whether specific health care systems were associated with different SDR trajectories over time. The results showed a clear decline in SDRs in all 22 health care systems between 2000 and 2014 although at different annual changes (slopes). Regression analysis showed that there was a significant difference among the slopes according to provision dimension. Health care systems with a private provision exhibited a slowdown in the decline of amenable mortality over time. It therefore seems that ownership is the most relevant dimension in determining a different pattern of decline in mortality. All countries experienced decreases in amenable mortality between 2000 and 2014; this decline seems to be partially a reflection of health care systems, especially when affected by the provision dimension. If the private ownership is maintained or promoted by health systems, these findings might be
Geyer, Jason; Insel, Philip; Farzin, Faraz; Sternberg, Daniel; Hardy, Joseph L; Scanlon, Michael; Mungas, Dan; Kramer, Joel; Mackin, R Scott; Weiner, Michael W
Lumosity's Memory Match (LMM) is an online game requiring visual working memory. Change in LMM scores may be associated with individual differences in age-related changes in working memory. Effects of age and time on LMM learning and forgetting rates were estimated using data from 1890 game sessions for users aged 40 to 79 years. There were significant effects of age on baseline LMM scores (β = -.31, standard error or SE = .02, P game performance. Online memory games have the potential to identify age-related decline in cognition and to identify subjects at risk for cognitive decline with smaller sample sizes and lower cost than traditional recruitment methods.
Methods and significance: This study is a single-blind randomized controlled trial. A target sample size of 75 participants is needed to obtain a statistical power of 95% with a significance level of 5%. Stroke survivors with mild cognitive decline will be stratified by Mini-Mental State Examination scores and then randomized 1:1:1 to sequential exercise-cognitive training, dual-task exercise-cognitive training or control groups. All groups will undergo training 60 min/day, 3 days/week, for a total of 12 weeks. The primary outcome is the resting-state functional connectivity and neural activation in the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes in functional magnetic resonance imaging. Secondary outcomes include physiological biomarkers, cognitive functions, physical function, daily functions and quality of life. This study may differentiate the effects of two hybridized trainings on cognitive function and health-related conditions and detect appropriate neurological and physiological indices to predict training effects. This study capitalizes on the groundwork for a non-pharmacological intervention of cognitive decline after stroke.
Thaon, Isabelle; Demange, Valérie; Herin, Fabrice; Touranchet, Annie; Paris, Christophe
There is no consensus at the present time about the effect of welding on lung function decline. This study compared lung function decline between blue-collar workers exposed and not exposed to welding fumes in a French longitudinal cohort of 21,238 subjects aged 37 to 52 years at inclusion. Medical data, occupation, sector of activity, and spirometry were recorded twice by occupational physicians in 1990 and 1995. A job-exposure matrix was used to identify 503 male blue-collar workers exposed to welding fumes and 709 control subjects and to define the weekly duration of exposure to welding fumes. Baseline lung function parameters were higher in workers exposed to welding fumes than in control subjects. After a 5-year follow-up, welding-fume exposure was associated with a nonsignificant decline in FVC (P = .06) and FEV(1) (P = .07) after adjustment for age, pack-years, BMI, and baseline value of the parameter. A significant accelerated decline in FEV(1) (P = .046) was also observed in never smokers exposed to welding fumes. An “exposure-response” relationship was observed between FEV(1) decline and weekly duration of exposure to welding fumes in nonsmokers but not in smokers. Blue-collar workers exposed to welding fumes showed accelerated decline in lung function, which, in nonsmokers, was related to weekly duration of exposure.
L. G. Eckhardt; J. P. Jones; Kier D. Klepzig
Freshly lifted seedlings and 21-year-old trees of loblolly pine were wound-inoculated with Leptographium species recovered from the soil and/or roots of trees with loblolly decline symptoms in central Alabama. Seedlings inoculated with L. procerum in the greenhouse produced significantly fewer root initials and a smaller root mass than control...
Guo, Zhengquan; Wang, Daojuan; Chen, Chong
In recent years, prices of coal and crude oil have fallen significantly. These declines have had a large impact on China’s energy-economy-environment system variables. This paper establishes a computable general equilibrium model to systematically analyse the impact of coal price changes alone...... or the decline of both coal and oil prices on the variables of China's energy-economy-environment system. The results of the analysis show that the decline of the coal price alone or of coal and crude oil prices together will lead to a significant increase in demand for either coal and total energy or coal...
This article employs two previously neglected indicators of racial prejudice from the British Social Attitudes surveys to examine the social distribution of prejudices against black and Asian Britons. Three hypotheses are proposed and tested: that racial prejudice is declining in Britain; that this decline is principally generational in nature; and that greater prejudice is shown towards more culturally distinct Asian minorities than black minorities. Strong evidence is found for the first two hypotheses, with evidence of an overall decline in prejudice and of a sharp decline in prejudices among generations who have grown up since mass black and Asian immigration began in the 1950s. Little evidence is found for the third hypothesis: British reactions towards black and Asian minorities are broadly similar suggesting racial differences may still be the main factor prompting white hostility to British minorities.
Full Text Available We reviewed the theory of conservation genetics, with special emphasis on the influence of haplodiploidy and other aspects of bee biology upon conservation genetic parameters. We then investigated the possibility that pollinator decline can be addressed in this way, using two meta-analytical approaches on genetic data from the Hymenoptera and the Lepidoptera. First, we compared levels of heterozygosity between the orders. As has been found previously, the haplodiploid Hymenoptera had markedly lower levels of genetic variation than the Lepidoptera. Bees had even lower levels, and bumble bees, in particular, often seemed almost monomorphic genetically. However, the statistically confounding effects of phylogeny render detailed interpretation of such data difficult. Second, we investigated patterns of gene flow among populations of these insects. Hymenoptera were far more likely to show genetic effects of population fragmentation than are Lepidoptera, even at similar geographic distances between populations. The reduced effective population sizes resulting from haplodiploidy probably contributed to this result. The proportion of species with low levels of gene flow did not vary among the different taxonomic groups within the Hymenoptera.
Pillai, Jagan A.; Hall, Charles B.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Buschke, Herman; Lipton, Richard B.; Verghese, Joe
Participation in cognitively stimulating leisure activities such as crossword puzzles may delay onset of the memory decline in the preclinical stages of dementia, possibly via its effect on improving cognitive reserve. We followed 488 initially cognitively intact community residing individuals with clinical and cognitive assessments every 12–18 months in the Bronx Aging Study. We assessed the influence of crossword puzzle participation on the onset of accelerated memory decline as measured by the Buschke Selective Reminding Test in 101 individuals who developed incident dementia using a change point model. Crossword puzzle participation at baseline delayed onset of accelerated memory decline by 2.54 years. Inclusion of education or participation in other cognitively stimulating activities did not significantly add to the fit of the model beyond the effect of puzzles. Our findings show that late life crossword puzzle participation, independent of education, was associated with delayed onset of memory decline in persons who developed dementia. Given the wide availability and accessibility of crossword puzzles, their role in preventing cognitive decline should be validated in future clinical trials. PMID:22040899
Meyrowitsch, Dan Wolf; Pedersen, Erling Møller; Alifrangis, Michael
) and between 2003 and 2009 (2nd period), mosquitoes were collected weekly in 50 households using CDC light traps. Data on rainfall were obtained from the nearby climate station and was used to analyze the association between monthly rainfall and malaria mosquito populations. RESULTS: The average number...... of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus per trap decreased by 76.8% and 55.3%, respectively over the 1st period, and by 99.7% and 99.8% over the 2nd period. During the last year of sampling (2009), the use of 2368 traps produced a total of only 14 Anopheline mosquitoes. With the exception of the decline...... in An. gambiae during the 1st period, the results did not reveal any statistical association between mean trend in monthly rainfall and declining malaria vector populations. CONCLUSION: A longitudinal decline in the density of malaria mosquito vectors was seen during both study periods despite...
Hirschfeld, Mareike; Blackburn, David C.; Doherty-Bone, Thomas M.; Gonwouo, LeGrand Nono; Ghose, Sonia; Rödel, Mark-Oliver
Amphibian populations are vanishing worldwide. Declines and extinctions of many populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease induced by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In Africa, however, changes in amphibian assemblages were typically attributed to habitat change. We conducted a retrospective study utilizing field surveys from 2004–2012 of the anuran faunas on two mountains in western Cameroon, a hotspot of African amphibian diversity. The number of species detected was negatively influenced by year, habitat degradation, and elevation, and we detected a decline of certain species. Because another study in this region revealed an emergence of Bd in 2008, we screened additional recent field-collected samples and also pre-decline preserved museum specimens for the presence of Bd supporting emergence before 2008. When comparing the years before and after Bd detection, we found significantly diminished frog species richness and abundance on both mountains after Bd emergence. Our analyses suggest that this may be the first disease-driven community-level decline in anuran biodiversity in Central Africa. The disappearance of several species known to tolerate habitat degradation, and a trend of stronger declines at higher elevations, are consistent with Bd-induced declines in other regions. Not all species decreased; populations of some species remained constant, and others increased after the emergence of Bd. This variation might be explained by species-specific differences in infection probability. Increased habitat protection and Bd-mitigation strategies are needed for sustaining diverse amphibian communities such as those on Mt. Manengouba, which contains nearly half of Cameroon’s frog diversity. PMID:27149624
Wang, Fen; Gordon, Brian A; Ryman, Davis C; Ma, Shengmei; Xiong, Chengjie; Hassenstab, Jason; Goate, Alison; Fagan, Anne M; Cairns, Nigel J; Marcus, Daniel S; McDade, Eric; Ringman, John M; Graff-Radford, Neill R; Ghetti, Bernardino; Farlow, Martin R; Sperling, Reisa; Salloway, Steve; Schofield, Peter R; Masters, Colin L; Martins, Ralph N; Rossor, Martin N; Jucker, Mathias; Danek, Adrian; Förster, Stefan; Lane, Christopher A S; Morris, John C; Benzinger, Tammie L S; Bateman, Randall J
To investigate the associations of cerebral amyloidosis with concurrent cognitive performance and with longitudinal cognitive decline in asymptomatic and symptomatic stages of autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease (ADAD). Two hundred sixty-three participants enrolled in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network observational study underwent neuropsychological evaluation as well as PET scans with Pittsburgh compound B. One hundred twenty-one participants completed at least 1 follow-up neuropsychological evaluation. Four composite cognitive measures representing global cognition, episodic memory, language, and working memory were generated using z scores from a battery of 13 standard neuropsychological tests. General linear mixed-effects models were used to investigate the relationship between baseline cerebral amyloidosis and baseline cognitive performance and whether baseline cerebral amyloidosis predicts cognitive change over time (mean follow-up 2.32 years ± 0.92, range 0.89-4.19) after controlling for estimated years from expected symptom onset, APOE ε4 allelic status, and education. In asymptomatic mutation carriers, amyloid burden was not associated with baseline cognitive functioning but was significantly predictive of longitudinal decline in episodic memory. In symptomatic mutation carriers, cerebral amyloidosis was correlated with worse baseline performance in multiple cognitive composites and predicted greater decline over time in global cognition, working memory, and Mini-Mental State Examination. Cerebral amyloidosis predicts longitudinal episodic memory decline in presymptomatic ADAD and multidomain cognitive decline in symptomatic ADAD. These findings imply that amyloidosis in the brain is an indicator of early cognitive decline and provides a useful outcome measure for early assessment and prevention treatment trials. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
Full Text Available Amphibian populations are vanishing worldwide. Declines and extinctions of many populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease induced by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. In Africa, however, changes in amphibian assemblages were typically attributed to habitat change. We conducted a retrospective study utilizing field surveys from 2004-2012 of the anuran faunas on two mountains in western Cameroon, a hotspot of African amphibian diversity. The number of species detected was negatively influenced by year, habitat degradation, and elevation, and we detected a decline of certain species. Because another study in this region revealed an emergence of Bd in 2008, we screened additional recent field-collected samples and also pre-decline preserved museum specimens for the presence of Bd supporting emergence before 2008. When comparing the years before and after Bd detection, we found significantly diminished frog species richness and abundance on both mountains after Bd emergence. Our analyses suggest that this may be the first disease-driven community-level decline in anuran biodiversity in Central Africa. The disappearance of several species known to tolerate habitat degradation, and a trend of stronger declines at higher elevations, are consistent with Bd-induced declines in other regions. Not all species decreased; populations of some species remained constant, and others increased after the emergence of Bd. This variation might be explained by species-specific differences in infection probability. Increased habitat protection and Bd-mitigation strategies are needed for sustaining diverse amphibian communities such as those on Mt. Manengouba, which contains nearly half of Cameroon's frog diversity.
Moran, Kenneth A
analysis was used to examine the direct and interaction effects between organizational decline, organizational rigidity response, organizational resilience response, and institutional effectiveness, controlling for age of institution and level of endowment. The study validated previous threat-rigidity response findings that organizational decline alone does not adversely impact institutional effectiveness. The direct effect of Goal-Directed Solution Seeking and Role Dependency organizational resilience factors had a positive, significant correlation with the Student Personal Development institutional effectiveness factor. The interactive effect of Goal-Directed Solution Seeking organizational resilience factor during organizational decline had a positive, significant correlation with the Professional Development and Quality of Faculty institutional effectiveness factor. The interactive effect of Avoidance during organizational decline had a positive, significant correlation with the Faculty and Administrator Employment Satisfaction institutional effectiveness factor. The interactive effect of Diminished Innovation, Morale, and Leader Credibility rigidity response factor and Avoidance organizational resilience factor during organizational decline had a positive, significant correlation with the Professional Development and Quality of Faculty institutional effectiveness factor. Lastly, the interactive effect of Increased Scapegoating of Leaders, Interest group Activities, and Conflict rigidity response factor and Avoidance organizational resilience factor during organizational decline had a positive, significant correlation with the Faculty and Administrator Employment Satisfaction institutional effectiveness factor. Factors of organizational resilience were found to have a positive effect among smaller, private non-profit higher educational institutions associated with this study toward sustaining institutional effectiveness during organizational decline. Specifically, the
Ostrand, William D.; Meyers, P.M.; Bissonette, J.A.; Conover, M.R.
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) population indices for the western United States have declined significantly since 1966. Based on data collected in 1951-1952, in Fillmore, Utah, we examined whether there had been a local decline in the dove population index since the original data were collected. We then determined whether habitat had been altered, identified which foraging habitats doves preferred, and assessed whether changes in land use could be responsible, in part, for a decline in the local population index. We found that dove population indices declined 72% and 82% from 1952-1992 and 1952-1993, respectively. The most dramatic change in habitat was an 82% decline in land devoted to dry land winter wheat production and a decline in livestock feed pens. Doves foraged primarily in harvested wheat fields, feed pens, and weedy patches. We hypothesize that a decrease in wheat availability during the spring and the consolidation of the livestock industry have contributed to a population decline of Mourning Doves in central Utah.
Le Brocque, Andrew F.; Kath, Jarrod; Reardon-Smith, Kathryn
Chronic groundwater decline is a concern in many of the world's major agricultural areas. However, a general lack of accurate long-term in situ measurement of groundwater depth and analysis of trends prevents understanding of the dynamics of these systems at landscape scales. This is particularly worrying in the context of future climate uncertainties. This study examines long-term groundwater responses to climate variability in a major agricultural production landscape in southern Queensland, Australia. Based on records for 381 groundwater bores, we used a modified Mann-Kendall non-parametric test and Sen's slope estimator to determine groundwater trends across a 26-year period (1989-2015) and in distinct wet and dry climatic phases. Comparison of trends between climatic phases showed groundwater level recovery during wet phases was insufficient to offset the decline in groundwater level from the previous dry phase. Across the entire 26-year sampling period, groundwater bore levels (all bores) showed an overall significant declining trend (p 0.05). Spatially, both declining and rising bores were highly clustered. We conclude that over 1989-2015 there is a significant net decline in groundwater levels driven by a smaller subset of highly responsive bores in high irrigation areas within the catchment. Despite a number of targeted policy interventions, chronic groundwater decline remains evident in the catchment. We argue that this is likely to continue and to occur more widely under potential climate change and that policy makers, groundwater users and managers need to engage in planning to ensure the sustainability of this vital resource.
Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R
The role of global climate change in the decline of biodiversity and the emergence of infectious diseases remains controversial, and the effect of climatic variability, in particular, has largely been ignored. For instance, it was recently revealed that the proposed link between climate change and widespread amphibian declines, putatively caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), was tenuous because it was based on a temporally confounded correlation. Here we provide temporally unconfounded evidence that global El Niño climatic events drive widespread amphibian losses in genus Atelopus via increased regional temperature variability, which can reduce amphibian defenses against pathogens. Of 26 climate variables tested, only factors associated with temperature variability could account for the spatiotemporal patterns of declines thought to be associated with Bd. Climatic predictors of declines became significant only after controlling for a pattern consistent with epidemic spread (by temporally detrending the data). This presumed spread accounted for 59% of the temporal variation in amphibian losses, whereas El Niño accounted for 59% of the remaining variation. Hence, we could account for 83% of the variation in declines with these two variables alone. Given that global climate change seems to increase temperature variability, extreme climatic events, and the strength of Central Pacific El Niño episodes, climate change might exacerbate worldwide enigmatic declines of amphibians, presumably by increasing susceptibility to disease. These results suggest that changes to temperature variability associated with climate change might be as significant to biodiversity losses and disease emergence as changes to mean temperature.
Hala I. Al-Daghistani
Conclusion: The differences in the occurrence of M. hominis were statistically insignificant among infertility and control groups, but it was significant for U. urealyticum (p=0.046. M. hominis occurs more frequently in the semen of infertile-varicose male and normal seminal fluid quality. It seems to have no adverse effects on sperm motility but it might decline the fertility potential in such cases. U. urealyticum on the other hand have no clear significant impacts on sperm motility. The mean values for sperm motility, concentrations, and viscosity were not affected by the presence of the two species. Despite the significant presence of Ureaplasma among infertility, further studies were needed to clarify their potential effect on semen quality and infertility status.
Østergaard, Christian Richter; Park, Eun Kyung
Most studies on regional clusters focus on identifying factors and processes that make clusters grow. However, sometimes technologies and market conditions suddenly shift, and clusters decline. This paper analyses the process of decline of the wireless communication cluster in Denmark, 1963......-2011. Our longitudinal study reveals that technological lock-in and exit of key firms have contributed to impairment of the cluster’s resilience in adapting to disruptions. Entrepreneurship has a positive effect on cluster resilience, while multinational companies have contradicting effects by bringing...... in new resources to the cluster but being quick to withdraw in times of crisis....
Stacey, David; Ciobanu, Liliana G; Baune, Bernhard T
Cognitive impairment, or decline, is not only a feature of Alzheimer׳s disease and other forms of dementia but also normal ageing. Abundant evidence from epidemiological studies points towards perturbed inflammatory mechanisms in aged individuals, though the cause-effect nature of this apparent relationship is difficult to establish. Genetic association studies focusing on polymorphism in and around inflammatory genes represent a viable approach to establish whether inflammatory mechanisms might play a causal role in cognitive decline, whilst also enabling the identification of specific genes potentially influencing specific cognitive facets. Thus, here we provide a review of published genetic association studies investigating inflammatory genes in the context of cognitive decline in elderly, non-demented, samples. Numerous candidate gene association studies have been performed to date, focusing almost exclusively on genes encoding major cytokines. Some of these studies report significant cognitive domain-specific associations implicating Interleukin 1β (IL1β) (rs16944), Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNFα) (rs1800629) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in various domains of cognitive function. However, the majority of these studies are lacking in statistical power and have other methodological limitations, suggesting some of them may have yielded false positive results. Genome-wide association studies have implicated less direct and less obvious regulators of inflammatory processes (i.e., PDE7A, HS3ST4, SPOCK3), indicating that a shift away from the major cytokine-encoding genes in future studies will be important. Furthermore, better cohesion across studies with regards to the cognitive test batteries administered to participants along with the continued application of longitudinal designs will be vital. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M
The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.
Rohr, Jason R; Palmer, Brent D
Climate change is believed to be causing declines of ectothermic vertebrates, but there is little evidence that climatic conditions associated with declines have exceeded critical (i.e., acutely lethal) maxima or minima, and most relevant studies are correlative, anecdotal, or short-term (hours). We conducted an 11-week factorial experiment to examine the effects of temperature (22 °C or 27 °C), moisture (wet or dry), and atrazine (an herbicide; 0, 4, 40, 400 μg/L exposure as embryos and larvae) on the survival, growth, behavior, and foraging rates of postmetamorphic streamside salamanders (Ambystoma barbouri), a species of conservation concern. The tested climatic conditions were between the critical maxima and minima of streamside salamanders; thus, this experiment quantified the long-term effects of climate change within the noncritical range of this species. Despite a suite of behavioral adaptations to warm and dry conditions (e.g., burrowing, refuge use, huddling with conspecifics, and a reduction in activity), streamside salamanders exhibited significant loss of mass and significant mortality in all but the cool and moist conditions, which were closest to the climatic conditions in which they are most active in nature. A temperature of 27 °C represented a greater mortality risk than dry conditions; death occurred rapidly at this temperature and more gradually under cool and dry conditions. Foraging decreased under dry conditions, which suggests there were opportunity costs to water conservation. Exposure to the herbicide atrazine additively decreased water-conserving behaviors, foraging efficiency, mass, and time to death. Hence, the hypothesis that moderate climate change can cause population declines is even more plausible under scenarios with multiple stressors. These results suggest that climate change within the noncritical range of species and pollution may reduce individual performance by altering metabolic demands, hydration, and foraging effort
Hantke, Nathan; Nielson, Kristy A; Woodard, John L; Breting, Leslie M Guidotti; Butts, Alissa; Seidenberg, Michael; Carson Smith, J; Durgerian, Sally; Lancaster, Melissa; Matthews, Monica; Sugarman, Michael A; Rao, Stephen M
Previous studies suggest that task-activated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can predict future cognitive decline among healthy older adults. The present fMRI study examined the relative sensitivity of semantic memory (SM) versus episodic memory (EM) activation tasks for predicting cognitive decline. Seventy-eight cognitively intact elders underwent neuropsychological testing at entry and after an 18-month interval, with participants classified as cognitively "Stable" or "Declining" based on ≥ 1.0 SD decline in performance. Baseline fMRI scanning involved SM (famous name discrimination) and EM (name recognition) tasks. SM and EM fMRI activation, along with Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 status, served as predictors of cognitive outcome using a logistic regression analysis. Twenty-seven (34.6%) participants were classified as Declining and 51 (65.4%) as Stable. APOE ε4 status alone significantly predicted cognitive decline (R(2) = .106; C index = .642). Addition of SM activation significantly improved prediction accuracy (R(2) = .285; C index = .787), whereas the addition of EM did not (R(2) = .212; C index = .711). In combination with APOE status, SM task activation predicts future cognitive decline better than EM activation. These results have implications for use of fMRI in prevention clinical trials involving the identification of persons at-risk for age-associated memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.
120 adults were given a task to determine whether performance on an oral perception task declines with increasing chronological age. Subjects in their 70's performed significantly worse than those in their 60's and younger. This loss of oral perceptual skills is considered relevant to the remediation and training of older individuals with difficulties in speech articulation.
Hack, Juliana; Eschbach, Daphne; Aigner, Rene; Oberkircher, Ludwig; Ruchholtz, Steffen; Bliemel, Christopher; Buecking, Benjamin
The aim of this study was to identify factors that are associated with cognitive decline in the long-term follow-up after hip fractures in previously nondemented patients. A consecutive series of 402 patients with hip fractures admitted to our university hospital were analyzed. After exclusion of all patients with preexisting dementia, 266 patients were included, of which 188 could be examined 6 months after surgery. Additional to several demographic data, cognitive ability was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Patients with 19 or less points on the MMSE were considered demented. Furthermore, geriatric scores were recorded, as well as perioperative medical complications. Mini-Mental State Examination was performed again 6 months after surgery. Of 188 previously nondemented patients, 12 (6.4%) patients showed a cognitive decline during the 6 months of follow-up. Multivariate regression analysis showed that age ( P = .040) and medical complications ( P = .048) were the only significant independent influencing factors for cognitive decline. In our patient population, the incidence of dementia exceeded the average age-appropriate cognitive decline. Significant independent influencing factors for cognitive decline were age and medical complications.
Full Text Available In present study I defined a new type of network, the statistic network. The statistic network is a weighted and non-deterministic network. In the statistic network, a connection value, i.e., connection weight, represents connection strength and connection likelihood between two nodes and its absolute value falls in the interval (0,1]. The connection value is expressed as a statistical measure such as correlation coefficient, association coefficient, or Jaccard coefficient, etc. In addition, all connections of the statistic network can be statistically tested for their validity. A connection is true if the connection value is statistically significant. If all connection values of a node are not statistically significant, it is an isolated node. An isolated node has not any connection to other nodes in the statistic network. Positive and negative connection values denote distinct connectiontypes (positive or negative association or interaction. In the statistic network, two nodes with the greater connection value will show more similar trend in the change of their states. At any time we can obtain a sample network of the statistic network. A sample network is a non-weighted and deterministic network. Thestatistic network, in particular the plant association network that constructed from field sampling, is mostly an information network. Most of the interspecific relationships in plant community are competition and cooperation. Therefore in comparison to animal networks, the methodology of statistic network is moresuitable to construct plant association networks. Some conclusions were drawn from this study: (1 in the plant association network, most connections are weak and positive interactions. The association network constructed from Spearman rank correlation has most connections and isolated taxa are fewer. From net linear correlation,linear correlation, to Spearman rank correlation, the practical number of connections and connectance in the
DeSantis, Carol; Siegel, Rebecca; Bandi, Priti; Jemal, Ahmedin
In this article, the American Cancer Society provides an overview of female breast cancer statistics in the United States, including trends in incidence, mortality, survival, and screening. Approximately 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 39,520 breast cancer deaths are expected to occur among US women in 2011. Breast cancer incidence rates were stable among all racial/ethnic groups from 2004 to 2008. Breast cancer death rates have been declining since the early 1990s for all women except American Indians/Alaska Natives, among whom rates have remained stable. Disparities in breast cancer death rates are evident by state, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity. While significant declines in mortality rates were observed for 36 states and the District of Columbia over the past 10 years, rates for 14 states remained level. Analyses by county-level poverty rates showed that the decrease in mortality rates began later and was slower among women residing in poor areas. As a result, the highest breast cancer death rates shifted from the affluent areas to the poor areas in the early 1990s. Screening rates continue to be lower in poor women compared with non-poor women, despite much progress in increasing mammography utilization. In 2008, 51.4% of poor women had undergone a screening mammogram in the past 2 years compared with 72.8% of non-poor women. Encouraging patients aged 40 years and older to have annual mammography and a clinical breast examination is the single most important step that clinicians can take to reduce suffering and death from breast cancer. Clinicians should also ensure that patients at high risk of breast cancer are identified and offered appropriate screening and follow-up. Continued progress in the control of breast cancer will require sustained and increased efforts to provide high-quality screening, diagnosis, and treatment to all segments of the population. Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society, Inc.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria was prevalent in Finland in the 18th century. It declined slowly without deliberate counter-measures and the last indigenous case was reported in 1954. In the present analysis of indigenous malaria in Finland, an effort was made to construct a data set on annual malaria cases of maximum temporal length to be able to evaluate the significance of different factors assumed to affect malaria trends. Methods To analyse the long-term trend malaria statistics were collected from 1750–2008. During that time, malaria frequency decreased from about 20,000 – 50,000 per 1,000,000 people to less than 1 per 1,000,000 people. To assess the cause of the decline, a correlation analysis was performed between malaria frequency per million people and temperature data, animal husbandry, consolidation of land by redistribution and household size. Results Anopheles messeae and Anopheles beklemishevi exist only as larvae in June and most of July. The females seek an overwintering place in August. Those that overwinter together with humans may act as vectors. They have to stay in their overwintering place from September to May because of the cold climate. The temperatures between June and July determine the number of malaria cases during the following transmission season. This did not, however, have an impact on the long-term trend of malaria. The change in animal husbandry and reclamation of wetlands may also be excluded as a possible cause for the decline of malaria. The long-term social changes, such as land consolidation and decreasing household size, showed a strong correlation with the decline of Plasmodium. Conclusion The indigenous malaria in Finland faded out evenly in the whole country during 200 years with limited or no counter-measures or medication. It appears that malaria in Finland was basically a social disease and that malaria trends were strongly linked to changes in human behaviour. Decreasing household size caused
Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B
Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes.
Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.
Wright, C K; Henebry, G M [Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence (GIScCE), South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD (United States); De Beurs, K M [Department of Geography, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA (United States); Akhmadieva, Z K [Kazakhstan Scientific Research Institute of Ecology and Climate, Ministry of Environment Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana (Kazakhstan); Groisman, P Y, E-mail: Geoffrey.Henebry@sdstate.ed [National Climatic Data Center, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Asheville, NC (United States)
We present time series analyses of recently compiled climate station data which allowed us to assess contemporary trends in growing season weather across Kazakhstan as drivers of a significant decline in growing season normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) recently observed by satellite remote sensing across much of Central Asia. We used a robust nonparametric time series analysis method, the seasonal Kendall trend test to analyze georeferenced time series of accumulated growing season precipitation (APPT) and accumulated growing degree-days (AGDD). Over the period 2000-2006 we found geographically extensive, statistically significant (p<0.05) decreasing trends in APPT and increasing trends in AGDD. The temperature trends were especially apparent during the warm season and coincided with precipitation decreases in northwest Kazakhstan, indicating that pervasive drought conditions and higher temperature excursions were the likely drivers of NDVI declines observed in Kazakhstan over the same period. We also compared the APPT and AGDD trends at individual stations with results from trend analysis of gridded monthly precipitation data from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) Full Data Reanalysis v4 and gridded daily near surface air temperature from the National Centers for Climate Prediction Reanalysis v2 (NCEP R2). We found substantial deviation between the station and the reanalysis trends, suggesting that GPCC and NCEP data substantially underestimate the geographic extent of recent drought in Kazakhstan. Although gridded climate products offer many advantages in ease of use and complete coverage, our findings for Kazakhstan should serve as a caveat against uncritical use of GPCC and NCEP reanalysis data and demonstrate the importance of compiling and standardizing daily climate data from data-sparse regions like Central Asia.
Wright, C K; Henebry, G M; De Beurs, K M; Akhmadieva, Z K; Groisman, P Y
We present time series analyses of recently compiled climate station data which allowed us to assess contemporary trends in growing season weather across Kazakhstan as drivers of a significant decline in growing season normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) recently observed by satellite remote sensing across much of Central Asia. We used a robust nonparametric time series analysis method, the seasonal Kendall trend test to analyze georeferenced time series of accumulated growing season precipitation (APPT) and accumulated growing degree-days (AGDD). Over the period 2000-2006 we found geographically extensive, statistically significant (p<0.05) decreasing trends in APPT and increasing trends in AGDD. The temperature trends were especially apparent during the warm season and coincided with precipitation decreases in northwest Kazakhstan, indicating that pervasive drought conditions and higher temperature excursions were the likely drivers of NDVI declines observed in Kazakhstan over the same period. We also compared the APPT and AGDD trends at individual stations with results from trend analysis of gridded monthly precipitation data from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) Full Data Reanalysis v4 and gridded daily near surface air temperature from the National Centers for Climate Prediction Reanalysis v2 (NCEP R2). We found substantial deviation between the station and the reanalysis trends, suggesting that GPCC and NCEP data substantially underestimate the geographic extent of recent drought in Kazakhstan. Although gridded climate products offer many advantages in ease of use and complete coverage, our findings for Kazakhstan should serve as a caveat against uncritical use of GPCC and NCEP reanalysis data and demonstrate the importance of compiling and standardizing daily climate data from data-sparse regions like Central Asia.
Singer, Meromit; Engström, Alexander; Schönhuth, Alexander; Pachter, Lior
Recent experimental and computational work confirms that CpGs can be unmethylated inside coding exons, thereby showing that codons may be subjected to both genomic and epigenomic constraint. It is therefore of interest to identify coding CpG islands (CCGIs) that are regions inside exons enriched for CpGs. The difficulty in identifying such islands is that coding exons exhibit sequence biases determined by codon usage and constraints that must be taken into account. We present a method for finding CCGIs that showcases a novel approach we have developed for identifying regions of interest that are significant (with respect to a Markov chain) for the counts of any pattern. Our method begins with the exact computation of tail probabilities for the number of CpGs in all regions contained in coding exons, and then applies a greedy algorithm for selecting islands from among the regions. We show that the greedy algorithm provably optimizes a biologically motivated criterion for selecting islands while controlling the false discovery rate. We applied this approach to the human genome (hg18) and annotated CpG islands in coding exons. The statistical criterion we apply to evaluating islands reduces the number of false positives in existing annotations, while our approach to defining islands reveals significant numbers of undiscovered CCGIs in coding exons. Many of these appear to be examples of functional epigenetic specialization in coding exons.
Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W
The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.
EL HAJ, Mohamad; Antoine, Pascal; Nandrino, Jean-Louis; Kapogiannis, Dimitrios
Autobiographical memory, or memory for personal experiences, allows individuals to define themselves and construct a meaningful life story. Decline of this ability, as observed in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), results in an impaired sense of self and identity. We present a critical review of theories and findings regarding cognitive and neuroanatomical underpinnings of autobiographical memory and its decline in AD and highlight studies on its clinical rehabilitation. We propose that autobiographical recall in AD is mainly characterized by loss of associated episodic information, which leads to de-contextualisation of autobiographical memories and a shift from reliving past events to a general sense of familiarity. This decline refers to retrograde, but also anterograde amnesia that affects newly acquired memories besides remote ones. One consequence of autobiographical memory decline in AD is decreased access to memories that shape self-consciousness, self-knowledge, and self-images, leading to a diminished sense of self and identity. The link between autobiographical decline and compromised sense of self in AD can also manifest itself as low correspondence and coherence between past memories and current goals and beliefs. By linking cognitive, neuroanatomical, and clinical aspects of autobiographical decline in AD, our review provides a theoretical foundation, which may lead to better rehabilitation strategies. PMID:26876367
Full Text Available Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV are recently identified lentiviruses that cause progressive immune decline and ultimately death in infected cats and humans. It is of great interest to understand how to prevent immune system collapse caused by these lentiviruses. We recently described that disease caused by a virulent FIV strain in cats can be attenuated if animals are first infected with a feline immunodeficiency virus derived from a wild cougar. The detailed temporal tracking of cat immunological parameters in response to two viral infections resulted in high-dimensional datasets containing variables that exhibit strong co-variation. Initial analyses of these complex data using univariate statistical techniques did not account for interactions among immunological response variables and therefore potentially obscured significant effects between infection state and immunological parameters.Here, we apply a suite of multivariate statistical tools, including Principal Component Analysis, MANOVA and Linear Discriminant Analysis, to temporal immunological data resulting from FIV superinfection in domestic cats. We investigated the co-variation among immunological responses, the differences in immune parameters among four groups of five cats each (uninfected, single and dual infected animals, and the "immune profiles" that discriminate among them over the first four weeks following superinfection. Dual infected cats mount an immune response by 24 days post superinfection that is characterized by elevated levels of CD8 and CD25 cells and increased expression of IL4 and IFNgamma, and FAS. This profile discriminates dual infected cats from cats infected with FIV alone, which show high IL-10 and lower numbers of CD8 and CD25 cells.Multivariate statistical analyses demonstrate both the dynamic nature of the immune response to FIV single and dual infection and the development of a unique immunological profile in dual
Ethen, Cheryl M; Feng, Xiao; Olsen, Timothy W; Ferrington, Deborah A
Biochemical analysis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at distinct stages of the disease will help further understanding of the molecular events associated with disease progression. This study was conducted to determine the ability of a new grading system for eye bank eyes, the Minnesota Grading System (MGS), to discern distinct stages of AMD so that retinal region-specific changes in rod photoreceptor protein expression from donors could be determined. Donor eyes were assigned to a specific level of AMD by using the MGS. Expression of the rod photoreceptor proteins rhodopsin and arrestin was evaluated by Western immunoblot analysis in the macular and peripheral regions of the neurosensory retina from donors at different stages of AMD. A significant linear decline in both arrestin and rhodopsin content correlated with progressive MGS levels in the macula. In contrast, the peripheral region showed no significant correlation between MGS level and the content of either protein. The statistically significant relationship between decreasing macular rod photoreceptor proteins and progressive MGS levels of AMD demonstrates the utility of the clinically based MGS to correspond with specific protein changes found at known, progressive stages of degeneration. Future biochemical analysis of clinically characterized donor eyes will further understanding of the pathobiochemistry of AMD.
About half of the almost 1 million US teenagers who become pregnant each year carry their pregnancies to term and give birth. However, after years of steady increases, teen birthrates in the US are lower and pregnancy rates have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years. Teenage sexual activity is also declining. Over the period 1991-96, the birthrate in the US among teens declined from the 20-year high of 62.1 births/1000 females aged 15-19 to 54.4/1000. This 12% decline comes after a 24% increase in the birthrate between 1986 and 1991. Declines in the teen birthrate were observed for the nation overall, as well as in each state, ranging from 6% in Alabama to 29% in Alaska. The teen birthrate among Blacks declined 21% to reach a record low of 91.4/1000 in 1996, while the rate for Hispanic teens barely changed during 1991-95, but eventually declined 5% during 1995-96 to 101.8/1000. The birthrate among non-Hispanic White teens declined 9% during the period to 48.1/1000, while the birthrate for teens aged 15-17 fell 13% during the period and 9% for 18-19 year olds. Pregnancy rates among women aged 15-19 years declined 14% between 1990 and 1995, to 101.1/1000, the lowest level since the mid-1970s. Although researchers are unsure why teen pregnancy and birthrates have fallen, recent survey data suggest that the declines have occurred because both fewer teens are having sex and more sexually active adolescents are using contraception.
Li, Binquan; Liang, Zhongmin; Zhang, Jianyun; Wang, Guoqing; Zhao, Weimin; Zhang, Hongyue; Wang, Jun; Hu, Yiming
Climate variability and human activities are two main contributing attributions for runoff changes in the Yellow River, China. In the loess hilly-gully regions of the middle Yellow River, water shortage has been a serious problem, and this results in large-scale constructions of soil and water conservation (SWC) measures in the past decades in order to retain water for agricultural irrigation and industrial production. This disturbed the natural runoff characteristics. In this paper, we focused on a typical loess hilly-gully region (Wudinghe and Luhe River basins) and investigated the effects of SWC measures and climate variability on runoff during the period of 1961-2013, while the SWC measures were the main representative of human activities in this region. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall test was used to analyze the changes of annual precipitation, air temperature, potential evapotranspiration (PET), and runoff. The analysis revealed the decrease in precipitation, significant rise in temperature, and remarkable runoff reduction with a rate of more than 0.4 mm per year. It was found that runoff capacity in this region also decreased. Using the change point detection methods, the abrupt change point of annual runoff series was found at 1970, and thus, the study period was divided into the baseline period (1961-1970) and changed period (1971-2013). A conceptual framework based on four statistical runoff methods was used for attribution analysis of runoff decline in the Wudinghe and Luhe River basins (-37.3 and -56.4%, respectively). Results showed that runoff reduction can be explained by 85.2-90.3% (83.3-85.7%) with the SWC measures in the Wudinghe (Luhe) River basin while the remaining proportions were caused by climate variability. The findings suggested that the large-scale SWC measures demonstrated a dominant influence on runoff decline, and the change of precipitation extreme was also a promoting factor of the upward trending of SWC measures' contribution to
Ballard, C; Patel, A; Oyebode, F; Wilcock, G
One hundred and twenty-four patients with DSM-III-R dementia were assessed with a standardized battery which included the Geriatric Mental State Schedule, the History and Aetiology Schedule, the Secondary Dementia Schedule and the CAMCOG. Patients with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and senile dementia of Lewy body type (SDLT) all had a similar degree of cognitive impairment at the time of the baseline interview. Patients with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia each experienced a mean decline of 27 points in patients with SDLT. Patients with SDLT had a significantly greater decline of verbal fluency than both the other groups. Women were significantly more impaired than men at the time of the baseline assessment but experienced a similar decline during the year of follow-up.
Bronte, Charles R.; Hoff, Michael H.; Gorman, Owen T.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Schneeberger, Philip J.; Todd, Thomas N.
Recent reviews have further documented the decline of the shortjaw cisco Coregonus zenithicus in Lake Superior. This fish was the most abundant deepwater cisco species in Lake Superior in the early 1920s but presently makes up less than 1% of all deepwater ciscoes (i.e., including shortjaw cisco, bloater C. hoyi, and kiyi C. kiyi) captured in biological surveys. Directed overfishing of deepwater cisco species during the 1930s and again during the mid-1960s and 1970s has been suggested as the cause of the shortjaw cisco's demise. In this paper, we re-examined the overfishing hypothesis by using historical and recent survey data to estimate the proportion of the historical commercial fishery landings that comprised shortjaw ciscoes. We developed time series of estimated harvest and relative abundance for all statistical districts in Michigan waters of Lake Superior during 1929–1996, for which aggregate catch and effort data were available but not previously examined. The spatial distribution of the fishery and the relationships of catch to fishing effort were examined for evidence of overfishing. Our analysis suggested that directed overfishing was probably not the cause of shortjaw cisco demise, as this species appeared to be declining in all statistical districts regardless of the intensity of the fishery. A count-based population viability analysis indicated that quasi-extinction of the shortjaw cisco is highly probable in the near future. We propose an alternative hypothesis based on the decline of Lake Superior's keystone predator, the lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, which resulted in an expansion of the population of its principal prey, the cisco C. artedi, due to release from predation pressure. Competitive or predation interactions between the cisco and shortjaw cisco may be more likely explanations for the demise of the latter species.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Epidemiologic surveillance of lung function is key to clinical care of individuals with cystic fibrosis, but lung function decline is nonlinear and often impacted by acute respiratory events known as pulmonary exacerbations. Statistical models are needed to simultaneously estimate lung function decline while providing risk estimates for the onset of pulmonary exacerbations, in order to identify relevant predictors of declining lung function and understand how these associations could be used to predict the onset of pulmonary exacerbations. Methods Using longitudinal lung function (FEV1 measurements and time-to-event data on pulmonary exacerbations from individuals in the United States Cystic Fibrosis Registry, we implemented a flexible semiparametric joint model consisting of a mixed-effects submodel with regression splines to fit repeated FEV1 measurements and a time-to-event submodel for possibly censored data on pulmonary exacerbations. We contrasted this approach with methods currently used in epidemiological studies and highlight clinical implications. Results The semiparametric joint model had the best fit of all models examined based on deviance information criterion. Higher starting FEV1 implied more rapid lung function decline in both separate and joint models; however, individualized risk estimates for pulmonary exacerbation differed depending upon model type. Based on shared parameter estimates from the joint model, which accounts for the nonlinear FEV1 trajectory, patients with more positive rates of change were less likely to experience a pulmonary exacerbation (HR per one standard deviation increase in FEV1 rate of change = 0.566, 95% CI 0.516–0.619, and having higher absolute FEV1 also corresponded to lower risk of having a pulmonary exacerbation (HR per one standard deviation increase in FEV1 = 0.856, 95% CI 0.781–0.937. At the population level, both submodels indicated significant effects of birth
Clarke, Robert; Birks, Jacqueline; Nexo, Ebba
remained significant. CONCLUSIONS: Low vitamin B-12 status was associated with more rapid cognitive decline. Randomized trials are required to determine the relevance of vitamin B-12 supplementation for prevention of dementia. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-Nov......BACKGROUND: Elevated total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations have been associated with cognitive impairment, but it is unclear whether low vitamin B-12 or folate status is responsible for cognitive decline. OBJECTIVE: We examined the associations of cognitive decline with vitamin B-12 and folate...... status in a longitudinal cohort study performed from 1993 to 2003 in Oxford, United Kingdom. DESIGN: Cognitive function was assessed with the Mini-Mental State Examination on >/=3 occasions during 10 y and related to serum concentrations of vitamin B-12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), tHcy, methylmalonic...
Laura B Zahodne
Full Text Available To investigate the temporal ordering of cognitive and functional declines separately in older adults with or without Alzheimer's disease (AD.A community-based longitudinal study of aging and dementia in Northern Manhattan (Washington Heights/Hamilton Heights Inwood Columbia Aging Project and a multicenter, clinic-based longitudinal study of prevalent AD at Columbia University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière in Paris, France (the Predictors Study.3,443 initially non-demented older adults (612 with eventual incident dementia and 517 patients with AD.Cognitive measures included the modified Mini-Mental State Exam and composite scores of memory and language derived from a standardized neuropsychological battery. Function was measured with the Blessed Dementia Rating Scale, completed by the participant (in the sample of non-demented older adults or an informant (in the sample of prevalent AD patients. Data were analyzed with autoregressive cross-lagged panel analysis.Cognitive scores more consistently predicted subsequent functional abilities than vice versa in non-demented older adults, participants with eventual incident dementia, and patients with prevalent AD.Cognitive declines appear to precede and cause functional declines prior to and following dementia diagnosis. Standardized neuropsychological tests are valid predictors of later functional changes in both non-demented and demented older adults.
Davis, J.M.; Pollock, J.R.
Almost every day, it seems, someone is mentioning Prudhoe Bay---its development activities, the direction of its oil production, and more recently its decline rate. Almost as frequently, someone is mentioning the number of companies abandoning exploration in Alaska. The state faces a double-edged dilemma: decline of its most important oil field and a diminished effort to find a replacement for the lost production. ARCO has seen the Prudhoe Bay decline coming for some time and has been planning for it. We have reduced staff, and ARCO and BP Exploration are finding cost-effective ways to work more closely together through such vehicles as shared services. At the same time, ARCO is continuing its high level of Alaskan exploration. This article will assess the future of Prudhoe Bay from a technical perspective, review ARCO's exploration plans for Alaska, and suggest what the state can do to encourage other companies to invest in this crucial producing region and exploratory frontier
Sandford, Andrew J; Malhotra, Deepti; Boezen, H Marike; Siedlinski, Mateusz; Postma, Dirkje S; Wong, Vivien; Akhabir, Loubna; He, Jian-Qing; Connett, John E; Anthonisen, Nicholas R; Paré, Peter D; Biswal, Shyam
An oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in the lung contributes to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that is caused by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental risk factors. Nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2 or NRF2) is a critical molecule in the lung's defense mechanism against oxidants. We investigated whether polymorphisms in the NFE2L2 pathway affected the rate of decline of lung function in smokers from the Lung Health Study (LHS)(n = 547) and in a replication set, the Vlagtwedde-Vlaardingen cohort (n = 533). We selected polymorphisms in NFE2L2 in genes that positively or negatively regulate NFE2L2 transcriptional activity and in genes that are regulated by NFE2L2. Polymorphisms in 11 genes were significantly associated with rate of lung function decline in the LHS. One of these polymorphisms, rs11085735 in the KEAP1 gene, was previously shown to be associated with the level of lung function in the Vlagtwedde-Vlaardingen cohort but not with decline of lung function. Of the 23 associated polymorphisms in the LHS, only rs634534 in the FOSL1 gene showed a significant association in the Vlagtwedde-Vlaardingen cohort with rate of lung function decline, but the direction of the association was not consistent with that in the LHS. In summary, despite finding several nominally significant polymorphisms in the LHS, none of these associations were replicated in the Vlagtwedde-Vlaardingen cohort, indicating lack of effect of polymorphisms in the NFE2L2 pathway on the rate of decline of lung function.
Xia, Li C; Ai, Dongmei; Cram, Jacob A; Liang, Xiaoyi; Fuhrman, Jed A; Sun, Fengzhu
Local trend (i.e. shape) analysis of time series data reveals co-changing patterns in dynamics of biological systems. However, slow permutation procedures to evaluate the statistical significance of local trend scores have limited its applications to high-throughput time series data analysis, e.g., data from the next generation sequencing technology based studies. By extending the theories for the tail probability of the range of sum of Markovian random variables, we propose formulae for approximating the statistical significance of local trend scores. Using simulations and real data, we show that the approximate p-value is close to that obtained using a large number of permutations (starting at time points >20 with no delay and >30 with delay of at most three time steps) in that the non-zero decimals of the p-values obtained by the approximation and the permutations are mostly the same when the approximate p-value is less than 0.05. In addition, the approximate p-value is slightly larger than that based on permutations making hypothesis testing based on the approximate p-value conservative. The approximation enables efficient calculation of p-values for pairwise local trend analysis, making large scale all-versus-all comparisons possible. We also propose a hybrid approach by integrating the approximation and permutations to obtain accurate p-values for significantly associated pairs. We further demonstrate its use with the analysis of the Polymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) microbial community time series from high-throughput sequencing data and found interesting organism co-occurrence dynamic patterns. The software tool is integrated into the eLSA software package that now provides accelerated local trend and similarity analysis pipelines for time series data. The package is freely available from the eLSA website: http://bitbucket.org/charade/elsa.
Fang, Yongxiang; Wit, Ernst
Fisher’s combined probability test is the most commonly used method to test the overall significance of a set independent p-values. However, it is very obviously that Fisher’s statistic is more sensitive to smaller p-values than to larger p-value and a small p-value may overrule the other p-values and decide the test result. This is, in some cases, viewed as a flaw. In order to overcome this flaw and improve the power of the test, the joint tail probability of a set p-values is proposed as a ...
Schimmelpfennig, Christian; Hollensen, Svend
Over the decades, the use of celebrities in advertising has increased. Research suggests that in western countries between 20% and 30% of all advertising used celebrities in the late 1990s. During the past 10 years, however, the use of celebrities in advertising has plunged. This paper discusses...... why advertisers are turning away from using major celebrities in their campaigns, and what alternative individuals may be used instead of the celebrities....
Pham, Hai Trieu; Pathirana, Pubudu N; Caelli, Terry
The measurement of the range of hand joint movement is an essential part of clinical practice and rehabilitation. Current methods use three finger joint declination angles of the metacarpophalangeal, proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints. In this paper we propose an alternate form of measurement for the finger movement. Using the notion of reachable space instead of declination angles has significant advantages. Firstly, it provides a visual and quantifiable method that therapists, insurance companies and patients can easily use to understand the functional capabilities of the hand. Secondly, it eliminates the redundant declination angle constraints. Finally, reachable space, defined by a set of reachable fingertip positions, can be measured and constructed by using a modern camera such as Creative Senz3D or built-in hand gesture sensors such as the Leap Motion Controller. Use of cameras or optical-type sensors for this purpose have considerable benefits such as eliminating and minimal involvement of therapist errors, non-contact measurement in addition to valuable time saving for the clinician. A comparison between using declination angles and reachable space were made based on Hume's experiment on functional range of movement to prove the efficiency of this new approach.
Cullen, Kathryn; Guimaraes, Angela; Wozniak, Jeffrey; Anjum, Afshan; Schulz, S Charles; White, Tonya
Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder. Patients with high levels of negative symptoms have been identified as a specific subtype, but little is known about how the neurodevelopmental course may differ in this group. This study aimed to characterize developmental trajectories of premorbid social withdrawal and cognitive decline between patients with high versus low levels of negative symptoms in youth with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. A standardized timeline was used to delineate the emergence of psychosis, social withdrawal, and cognitive decline in 52 subjects aged 8 to 19 with schizophrenia (n=36), schizophreniform (n=6), or schizoaffective disorder (n=10). The sample was divided into subgroups of high- (n=26) versus low- (n=26) negative symptoms, and developmental trajectories of premorbid symptoms were compared between groups. Mean ages for emergence of social withdrawal, cognitive decline, and psychosis were 11.1 years (SD=2.5), 11.9 (SD=4.4) and 13.2 years (SD=1.2), respectively. In the high-negative symptom group, the premorbid developmental trajectory for social withdrawal was more protracted. This group also had more severe cognitive decline at the onset of psychosis, but the premorbid trajectories for cognitive decline did not differ significantly between groups. This work documents a more severe and protracted trajectory of premorbid social withdrawal in patients with high levels of negative symptoms in comparison to those with low-negative symptoms. The findings reported here are supportive of the hypothesis that patients with illness characterized by high levels of negative symptoms may represent a subgroup with distinct neurodevelopmental abnormalities.
Rwegoshora Rwehumbiza T
Full Text Available Abstract Background In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA, malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum has historically been a major contributor to morbidity and mortality. Recent reports indicate a pronounced decline in infection and disease rates which are commonly ascribed to large-scale bed net programmes and improved case management. However, the decline has also occurred in areas with limited or no intervention. The present study assessed temporal changes in Anopheline populations in two highly malaria-endemic communities of NE Tanzania during the period 1998-2009. Methods Between 1998 and 2001 (1st period and between 2003 and 2009 (2nd period, mosquitoes were collected weekly in 50 households using CDC light traps. Data on rainfall were obtained from the nearby climate station and were used to analyze the association between monthly rainfall and malaria mosquito populations. Results The average number of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus per trap decreased by 76.8% and 55.3%, respectively over the 1st period, and by 99.7% and 99.8% over the 2nd period. During the last year of sampling (2009, the use of 2368 traps produced a total of only 14 Anopheline mosquitoes. With the exception of the decline in An. gambiae during the 1st period, the results did not reveal any statistical association between mean trend in monthly rainfall and declining malaria vector populations. Conclusion A longitudinal decline in the density of malaria mosquito vectors was seen during both study periods despite the absence of organized vector control. Part of the decline could be associated with changes in the pattern of monthly rainfall, but other factors may also contribute to the dramatic downward trend. A similar decline in malaria vector densities could contribute to the decrease in levels of malaria infection reported from many parts of SSA.
Douglas L. Schmucker
Full Text Available The elderly are characterized by mucosal immunosenescence and high rates of morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases of the intestinal tract. Little is known about how the differentiation of immunoglobulin A (IgA plasma cells in Peyer's patches (PPs and their subsequent homing to the small intestinal lamina propria (LP is affected by aging. Quantitative immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated a 2-fold increase in the number of IgA+ cells in the PPs, coupled with significant declines in the numbers of IgA+ and antibody-positive cells in the intestinal LP of senescent rats compared to young adult animals. These data suggest that aging diminishes the emigration of IgA immunoblasts from these lymphoid aggregates, as well as their migration to the intestinal LP. Flow cytometry and lymphocyte adoptive transfer studies showed 3- to 4-fold age-related declines in the homing of antibody-containing cells and mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes to the small intestines of rhesus macaques and rats, respectively. The number of peripheral blood IgA immunoblasts expressing the homing molecule α4β7 declined 30% in senescent rats. This was accompanied by a >17% decrease in the areal density of LP blood vessels staining positive for the cell adhesion molecule MAdCAM-1. Cumulatively, declines in expression of these homing molecules constitute a substantial age-related diminution of IgA immunoblast homing potential. In vitro antibody secretion by LP plasma cells, i.e. antibody secreted per antibody-positive cell, remains unchanged as a function of donor age. Intestinal mucosal immunosenescence is a consequence of reduced homing of IgA plasma cells to the intestinal LP as a result of declines in homing molecule expression.
Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J
Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines
Finlay, Jocelyn E; Fox, Ashley M
An unresolved debate in demography concerns the causal sequence between the supply of contraception and the demand for smaller families in fertility decline. Through a mixed-methods approach, we explored the effect of a sudden increase in access to legal abortion on subsequent fertility decline when Ghana's criminal code was amended in 1985. Using Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys, we constructed a panel of women aged 15-34 years and undertook a spline regression analysis to examine the effect of legal changes in 1985 and fertility decline controlling for social determinants of fertility. In addition, we conducted 17 key informant interviews (KIIs) to understand the reasons for the legal change and competing explanations for fertility decline. Multivariate results indicated that the timing of the liberalization of the abortion law coincided with the onset of Ghana's fertility decline. The KIIs indicated that the reasons for the liberalization of reproductive health laws were in response to famine and physician advocacy. While the timing of the abortion law liberalization coincided with the fertility decline in Ghana, we are unable to decouple the effect of the legal change from the effects of a severe famine that affected the region at the same time. Further research on documented and undocumented abortion in Ghana should be conducted to validate the contribution of legal abortion to fertility decline. © 2013.
Carpenter, Thomas P.; Kirk, Roger E.
Statistics is an important subject in psychology and social science education. However, inadequate mathematical skills can pose a barrier to learning statistics. Some educators have suggested that students' math skills are declining. The present research examined trends in the math skills of psychology undergraduates across 21 years. Students…
Full Text Available Abstract Background Nicotine may aid reaction time, learning and memory, but smoking increases cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular risk factors have been linked to increased risk of dementia. A previous meta-analysis found that current smokers were at higher risk of subsequent dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and cognitive decline. Methods In order to update and examine this further a systematic review and meta-analysis was carried out using different search and inclusion criteria, database selection and more recent publications. Both reviews were restricted to those aged 65 and over. Results The review reported here found a significantly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease with current smoking and a likely but not significantly increased risk of vascular dementia, dementia unspecified and cognitive decline. Neither review found clear relationships with former smoking. Conclusion Current smoking increases risk of Alzheimer's disease and may increase risk of other dementias. This reinforces need for smoking cessation, particularly aged 65 and over. Nicotine alone needs further investigation.
Dunford, Robert W.; Donoghue, Daniel N.M.; Burt, Tim P.
Evidence from a multi-date regional-scale analysis of both high-flow and annual-average water quality data from Galloway, south-west Scotland, demonstrates that forest land cover continues to exacerbate freshwater acidification. This is in spite of significant reductions in airborne pollutants. The relationship between freshwater sulphate and forest cover has decreased from 1996 to 2006 indicating a decrease in pollutant scavenging. The relationship between forest cover and freshwater acidity (pH) is, however, still present over the same period, and does not show conclusive signs of having declined. Furthermore, evidence for forest cover contributing to a chlorine bias in marine ion capture suggests that forest scavenging of sea-salts may mean that the forest acidification effect may continue in the absence of anthropogenic pollutant inputs, particularly in coastal areas. - Highlights: ► Forest cover and water chemistry remain linked despite decreased sulphate emissions. ► Forest cover has significant relationships SO 4 2− , Cl − , Na + , pH, ANC and Na:Cl ratio. ► Forest cover: pH relationships shows some evidence of decline 1996–2006. ► Forest cover: freshwater sulphate relationships show evidence of decline 1996–2006. ► Natural forest-mechanisms may exacerbate acidification, particularly sea-salt scavenging. - Relationships between forest land cover and freshwater pH continue to be evident despite declines in anthropogenic pollutant sulphate deposition; sea-salt scavenging may play a role.
Rajan, Kumar B; Rajan, Rekha S; Manning, Lydia K; Evans, Denis A
To examine if attendance in live performances was associated with change in cognition among African Americans (AAs) and European Americans (EAs). The study consisted of 5,567 older adults with at least follow-up interview and analyzed using a linear mixed effects regression model adjusting for demographic and health variables. We found that frequent performance attendance was associated with slower decline in composite cognitive function among older AAs and EAs. Attending 10 or more performances per year was associated with 23% slower cognitive decline among AAs and 31% slower cognitive decline among EAs compared with those who never attend any performance. However, this difference was not significant ( p = .56). Attending live performances was also associated with slower decline in individual tests of perceptual speed, episodic memory, and mini-mental state exam (MMSE). Our findings suggest that live performances form a valuable component of arts engagement and should be encouraged for potential cognitive benefits.
Trimbos, K.B.; Musters, C.J.M.; Verkuil, Y.I.; Kentie, R.; Piersma, T.; De Snoo, G.; Verkuil, Y.I.
With 40% of the European Black-tailed Godwit population breeding in The Netherlands, this country harbours internationally significant numbers of this species. However, ongoing agricultural intensification has resulted in the fragmentation of the population and drastic population declines since
Kerner Mallory M
Full Text Available Abstract Background Aging is marked by declines in levels of many sex hormones and growth factors, as well as in cognitive function. The P300 event-related potential has been established as a predictor of cognitive decline. We decided to determine if this measure, as well as 2 standard tests of memory and attention, may be correlated with serum levels of sex hormones and growth factors, and if there are any generalizations that could be made based on these parameters and the aging process. Findings In this large clinically based preliminary study several sex-stratified associations between hormone levels and cognition were observed, including (1 for males aged 30 to 49, both IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 significantly associated negatively with prolonged P300 latency; (2 for males aged 30 to 49, the spearman correlation between prolonged P300 latency and low free testosterone was significant; (3 for males aged 60 to 69, there was a significant negative correlation between P300 latency and DHEA levels; (4 for females aged 50 to 59 IGFBP-3 significantly associated negatively with prolonged P300 latency; (5 for females at all age periods, estrogen and progesterone were uncorrelated with P300 latency; and (6 for females aged 40 to 69, there was significant negative correlation between DHEA levels and P300 latency. Moreover there were no statistically significant correlations between any hormone and Wechsler Memory Scale-III (WMS-111. However, in females, there was a significant positive correlation between estrogen levels and the number of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD complaints. Conclusion Given certain caveats including confounding factors involving psychiatric and other chronic diseases as well as medications, the results may still have important value. If these results could be confirmed in a more rigorously controlled investigation, it may have important value in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cognitive impairments and decline.
Hanavan, Ryan P; Pontius, Jennifer; Hallett, Richard
The hemlock woolly adelgid is a serious pest of Eastern and Carolina hemlock in the eastern United States. Successfully managing the hemlock resource in the region depends on careful monitoring of the spread of this invasive pest and the targeted application of management options such as biological control, chemical, or silvicultural treatments. To inform these management activities and test the applicability of a landscape-scale remote sensing effort to monitor hemlock condition, hyperspectral collections, and concurrent ground-truthing in 2001 and 2012 of hemlock condition were compared with field metrics spanning a 10-yr survey in the Catskills region of New York. Fine twig dieback significantly increased from 9 to 15% and live crown ratio significantly decreased from 67 to 56% in 2001 and 2012, respectively. We found a significant shift from 59% "healthy" hemlock in 2001 to only 16% in 2012. However, this shift from healthy to declining classifications was mostly a shift to decline class 2 "early decline". These results indicate that while there has been significant increase in decline symptoms as measured in both field and remote sensing assessments, a majority of the declining areas identified in the resulting spatial coverages remain in the "early decline" category and widespread mortality has not yet occurred. While this slow decline across the region stands in contrast to many reports of mortality within 10 yr, the results from this work are in line with other long-term monitoring studies and indicate that armed with the spatial information provided here, continued management strategies can be focused on particular areas to help control the further decline of hemlock in the region. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
Kristine A. Wilckens
Full Text Available Age-related cognitive impairments often include difficulty retrieving memories, particularly those that rely on executive control. In this paper we discuss the influence of the prefrontal cortex on memory retrieval, and the specific memory processes associated with the prefrontal cortex that decline in late adulthood. We conclude that preretrieval processes associated with preparation to make a memory judgment are impaired, leading to greater reliance on postretrieval processes. This is consistent with the view that impairments in executive control significantly contribute to deficits in controlled retrieval. Finally, we discuss age-related changes in sleep as a potential mechanism that contributes to deficiencies in executive control that are important for efficient retrieval. The sleep literature points to the importance of slow-wave sleep in restoration of prefrontal cortex function. Given that slow-wave sleep significantly declines with age, we hypothesize that age-related changes in slow-wave sleep could mediate age-related decline in executive control, manifesting a robust deficit in controlled memory retrieval processes. Interventions, like physical activity, that improve sleep could be effective methods to enhance controlled memory processes in late life.
Grubbs, Vanessa; Vittinghoff, Eric; Taylor, George; Kritz-Silverstein, Donna; Powe, Neil; Bibbins-Domingo, Kirsten; Ishani, Areef; Cummings, Steven R
Identifying modifiable risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) is essential for reducing its burden. Periodontal disease is common, modifiable and has been implicated as a novel potential CKD risk factor, but evidence of its association with kidney function decline over time is limited. In a longitudinal retrospective cohort of 761 elderly men with preserved kidney function [estimated glomerular filtration rate > 60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) using a calibrated creatinine and cystatin C (eGFRcr-cys) equation] at baseline, we performed multivariable Poisson's regression to examine the association of severe periodontal disease with incident CKD, defined as incident eGFRcr-cys 5% annualized) eGFRcr-cys decline. Severe periodontal disease was defined in two ways: (i) ≥5 mm proximal attachment loss in 30% of teeth examined (European Workshop in Periodontology Group C, European Workshop); and (ii) 2+ interproximal sites with attachment loss ≥6 mm and 1+ interproximal sites with probing depth ≥5 mm (Centers for Disease Control/American Academy of Periodontology, CDC/AAP). At baseline, the mean age was 73.4 (SD 4.8) years, the median eGFRcr-cys was 82.4 mL/min/1.73 m(2), and 35.5 and 25.4% of participants had severe periodontal disease by European Workshop and CDC/AAP criteria, respectively. After a mean follow-up of 4.9 years (SD 0.3), 56 (7.4%) participants had incident CKD. Severe periodontal disease was associated with a 2-fold greater rate of incident CKD [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.01 (1.21-3.44), P = 0.007] after adjusting for confounders compared with not severe periodontal disease by European Workshop criteria but did not reach statistical significance by CDC/AAP criteria [IRR 1.10 (0.63-1.91), P = 0.9]. Severe periodontal disease may be associated with incident clinically significant kidney function decline among a cohort of elderly men. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.
Hestir, E.L.; Schoellhamer, David H.; Jonathan Greenberg,; Morgan-King, Tara L.; Ustin, S.L.
Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) has well-documented effects on water clarity. SAV beds can slow water movement and reduce bed shear stress, promoting sedimentation and reducing suspension. However, estuaries have multiple controls on turbidity that make it difficult to determine the effect of SAV on water clarity. In this study, we investigated the effect of primarily invasive SAV expansion on a concomitant decline in turbidity in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The objective of this study was to separate the effects of decreasing sediment supply from the watershed from increasing SAV cover to determine the effect of SAV on the declining turbidity trend. SAV cover was determined by airborne hyperspectral remote sensing and turbidity data from long-term monitoring records. The turbidity trends were corrected for the declining sediment supply using suspended-sediment concentration data from a station immediately upstream of the Delta. We found a significant negative trend in turbidity from 1975 to 2008, and when we removed the sediment supply signal from the trend it was still significant and negative, indicating that a factor other than sediment supply was responsible for part of the turbidity decline. Turbidity monitoring stations with high rates of SAV expansion had steeper and more significant turbidity trends than those with low SAV cover. Our findings suggest that SAV is an important (but not sole) factor in the turbidity decline, and we estimate that 21–70 % of the total declining turbidity trend is due to SAV expansion.
Marques, Carolina Mattos; Caboclo, Luís Otávio Sales Ferreira; da Silva, Tatiana Indelicato; Noffs, Maria Helena da Silva; Carrete, Henrique; Lin, Katia; Lin, Jaime; Sakamoto, Américo Ceiki; Yacubian, Elza Márcia Targas
We assessed the cognitive performance of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) caused by unilateral hippocampal sclerosis (HS), in comparison with that of matched, healthy controls. We report the relationship between cognitive measures and duration of epilepsy, correlating with hippocampal volumes, and the impact of educational level on cognitive decline. This study involved 61 outpatients (40 with 8 years of formal education) with unilateral HS and 61 controls. Volumetric MRI was performed on all patients and 10 controls. The results (mean, SD) of the neuropsychological tests of healthy subjects and patients were compared using the Student t and Mann-Whitney tests. Patients performed worse than controls in the neuropsychological evaluation. When adjusted z scores were used to calculate the impairment index, patients had a greater percentage of abnormal tests compared with controls. The cognitive decline, assessed through the impairment index, correlated with duration of epilepsy. Higher level of education did not protect against this decline, thus not supporting the hypothesis of cerebral reserve in this population. A significant correlation between hippocampal volumetric measures and duration of epilepsy was observed only in patients with left HS. Patients with TLE caused by HS present with cognitive morbidity that extends beyond memory deficits. Cognitive decline is associated with duration of epilepsy, and in patients with left-sided HS, duration may correlate with volumetric hippocampal loss.
Ozmeral, Erol J; Eddins, Ann C; Frisina, D Robert; Eddins, David A
The auditory system relies on extraordinarily precise timing cues for the accurate perception of speech, music, and object identification. Epidemiological research has documented the age-related progressive decline in hearing sensitivity that is known to be a major health concern for the elderly. Although smaller investigations indicate that auditory temporal processing also declines with age, such measures have not been included in larger studies. Temporal gap detection thresholds (TGDTs; an index of auditory temporal resolution) measured in 1071 listeners (aged 18-98 years) were shown to decline at a minimum rate of 1.05 ms (15%) per decade. Age was a significant predictor of TGDT when controlling for audibility (partial correlation) and when restricting analyses to persons with normal-hearing sensitivity (n = 434). The TGDTs were significantly better for males (3.5 ms; 51%) than females when averaged across the life span. These results highlight the need for indices of temporal processing in diagnostics, as treatment targets, and as factors in models of aging. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Asin, Jesus; McVicar, Tim R.; Minola, Lorenzo; Lopez-Moreno, Juan I.; Vicente-Serrano, Sergio M.; Chen, Deliang
Recent studies on observed wind variability have revealed a decline (termed "stilling") of near-surface wind speed during the last 30-50 years over many mid-latitude terrestrial regions, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. The well-known impact of cup anemometer drift (i.e., wear on the bearings) on the observed weakening of wind speed has been mentioned as a potential contributor to the declining trend. However, to date, no research has quantified its contribution to stilling based on measurements, which is most likely due to lack of quantification of the ageing effect. In this study, a 3-year field experiment (2014-2016) with 10-minute paired wind speed measurements from one new and one malfunctioned (i.e., old bearings) SEAC SV5 cup anemometer which has been used by the Spanish Meteorological Agency in automatic weather stations since mid-1980s, was developed for assessing for the first time the role of anemometer drift on wind speed measurement. The results showed a statistical significant impact of anemometer drift on wind speed measurements, with the old anemometer measuring lower wind speeds than the new one. Biases show a marked temporal pattern and clear dependency on wind speed, with both weak and strong winds causing significant biases. This pioneering quantification of biases has allowed us to define two regression models that correct up to 37% of the artificial bias in wind speed due to measurement with an old anemometer.
Michael J Lawes
Full Text Available Australia has experienced dramatic declines and extinctions of its native rodent species over the last 200 years, particularly in southern Australia. In the tropical savanna of northern Australia significant declines have occurred only in recent decades. The later onset of these declines suggests that the causes may differ from earlier declines in the south. We examine potential regional effects (northern versus southern Australia on biological and ecological correlates of range decline in Australian rodents. We demonstrate that rodent declines have been greater in the south than in the tropical north, are strongly influenced by phylogeny, and are consistently greater for species inhabiting relatively open or sparsely vegetated habitat. Unlike in marsupials, where some species have much larger body size than rodents, body mass was not an important predictor of decline in rodents. All Australian rodent species are within the prey-size range of cats (throughout the continent and red foxes (in the south. Contrary to the hypothesis that mammal declines are related directly to ecosystem productivity (annual rainfall, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that disturbances such as fire and grazing, which occur in non-rainforest habitats and remove cover used by rodents for shelter, nesting and foraging, increase predation risk. We agree with calls to introduce conservation management that limits the size and intensity of fires, increases fire patchiness and reduces grazing impacts at ecological scales appropriate for rodents. Controlling feral predators, even creating predator-free reserves in relatively sparsely-vegetated habitats, is urgently required to ensure the survival of rodent species, particularly in northern Australia where declines are not yet as severe as those in the south.
Full Text Available This study was conducted to compare the pattern of age-related hearing decline in individuals with and without self-reported previous occupational noise exposure. This was a prospective, population-based, longitudinal study of individuals aged 70-75 years, from an epidemiological investigation, comprising three age cohorts. In total there were 1013 subjects (432 men and 581 women. Participants were tested with pure tone audiometry, and they answered a questionnaire to provide information regarding number of years of occupational noise exposure. There were no significant differences in hearing decline, at any frequency, for those aged 70-75 years between the noise-exposed (N= 62 men, 22 women and the nonexposed groups (N = 96 men, 158 women. This study supports the additive model of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL and age-related hearing loss (ARHL. The concept of different patterns of hearing decline between persons exposed and not exposed to noise could not be verified.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This programs derives a table of secular change in magnetic declination for a specified point in the conterminous United States. It utilizes the USD polynomial and...
Rohr, Jason R; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Raffel, Thomas R; Carrick, Hunter J; Halstead, Neal; Hoverman, Jason T; Johnson, Catherine M; Johnson, Lucinda B; Lieske, Camilla; Piwoni, Marvin D; Schoff, Patrick K; Beasley, Val R
Global amphibian declines have often been attributed to disease, but ignorance of the relative importance and mode of action of potential drivers of infection has made it difficult to develop effective remediation. In a field study, here we show that the widely used herbicide, atrazine, was the best predictor (out of more than 240 plausible candidates) of the abundance of larval trematodes (parasitic flatworms) in the declining northern leopard frog Rana pipiens. The effects of atrazine were consistent across trematode taxa. The combination of atrazine and phosphate--principal agrochemicals in global corn and sorghum production--accounted for 74% of the variation in the abundance of these often debilitating larval trematodes (atrazine alone accounted for 51%). Analysis of field data supported a causal mechanism whereby both agrochemicals increase exposure and susceptibility to larval trematodes by augmenting snail intermediate hosts and suppressing amphibian immunity. A mesocosm experiment demonstrated that, relative to control tanks, atrazine tanks had immunosuppressed tadpoles, had significantly more attached algae and snails, and had tadpoles with elevated trematode loads, further supporting a causal relationship between atrazine and elevated trematode infections in amphibians. These results raise concerns about the role of atrazine and phosphate in amphibian declines, and illustrate the value of quantifying the relative importance of several possible drivers of disease risk while determining the mechanisms by which they facilitate disease emergence.
Full Text Available Understanding effects of harvest on population dynamics is of major interest, especially for declining species. European lapwing Vanellus vanellus populations increased from the 1960s until the 1980s and declined strongly thereafter. About 400,000 lapwings are harvested annually and it is thus of high conservation relevance to assess whether hunting was a main cause for the observed changes in lapwing population trends. We developed a multi-event cause-specific mortality model which we applied to a long-term ring-recovery data set (1960-2010 of > 360,000 records to estimate survival and cause-specific mortalities. We found no temporal change in survival over the last 50 years for first-year (FY and older birds (after first-year; AFY originating from different ringing areas. Mean survival was high, around 0.60 and 0.80 for FY and AFY individuals, respectively. The proportion of total mortality due to hunting was <0.10 over the study period and the estimated proportion of harvested individuals (kill rate was <0.05 in each year. Our result of constant survival indicates that demographic processes other than survival were responsible for the pronounced change in lapwing population trends in the 1980s. Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that hunting was not a significant contributor to the large-scale decline of lapwing populations. To halt the ongoing decline of European lapwing populations management should focus on life history stages other than survival (e.g. productivity. Further analyses are required to investigate the contribution of other demographic rates to the decline of lapwings and to identify the most efficient conservation actions.
A. Hak (Tony)
textabstractIn the longer term null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) will disappear because p- values are not informative and not replicable. Should we continue to teach in the future the procedures of then abolished routines (i.e., NHST)? Three arguments are discussed for not teaching NHST in
Kleijn, David; Raemakers, Ivo
Understanding population declines has been the objective of a wide range of ecological studies. When species have become rare such studies are complicated because particular behavior or life history traits may be the cause but also the result of the decline of a species. We approached this problem by studying species' characteristics on specimens that were collected before the onset of their decline and preserved in natural history museums. In northwestern Europe, some bumble bee species declined dramatically during the 20th century whereas other, ecologically similar, species maintained stable populations. A long-standing debate focuses on whether this is caused by declining species having stricter host plant preferences. We compared the composition of pollen loads of five bumble bee species with stable populations and five with declining populations using museum specimens collected before 1950 in Belgium, England, and The Netherlands. Prior to 1950, the number of plant taxa in pollen loads of declining species was almost one-third lower than that in stable species even though individuals of stable and declining species generally originated from the same areas. There were no systematic differences in the composition of pollen loads between stable and declining species, but the plant taxa preferred by declining species before 1950 had experienced a stronger decline in the 20th century than those preferred by stable species. In 2004 and 2005, we surveyed the areas where bumble bees had been caught in the past and compared the composition of past and present pollen loads of the stable, but not of the by now locally extinct declining species. The number of collected pollen taxa was similar, but the composition differed significantly between the two periods. Differences in composition reflected the major changes in land use in northwestern Europe but also the spread of the invasive plant species Impatiens glandulifera. The main question now is why declining species
Li, Xu; Chen, Yubao; Shao, Siying; Tang, Qing; Chen, Weihai; Chen, Yi; Xu, Xiaoyu
Brain Erythropoietin (EPO), an important neurotrophic factor and neuroprotective factor, was found to be associated with aging. Studies found EPO expression was significantly decreased in the hippocampus of aging rat compared with that of the youth. But mechanisms of the decline of the brain EPO during aging remain unclear. The present study utilized a d-galactose (d-gal)-induced aging model in which the inducement of aging was mainly oxidative injury, to explore underlying mechanisms for the decline of brain EPO in aging rats. d-gal-induced aging rats (2months) were simulated by subcutaneously injecting with d-gal at doses of 50mg·kg(-1), 150mg·kg(-1) and 250mg·kg(-1) daily for 8weeks while the control group received vehicle only. These groups were all compared with the aging rats (24months) which had received no other treatment. The cognitive impairment was assessed using Morris water maze (MWM) in the prepared models, and the amount of β-galactosidase, the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) level and the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the hippocampus was examined by assay kits. The levels of EPO, EPOR, p-JAK2 and hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) in the hippocampus were detected by western blot. Additionally, the correlation coefficient between EPO/EPOR expression and MDA level was analyzed. The MWM test showed that compared to control group, the escape latency was significantly extended and the times of crossing the platform was decreased at the doses of 150mg·kg(-1) and 250mg·kg(-1) (paging rats, the expressions of EPO, EPOR, p-JAK2, and HIF-2αin the brain of d-gal-treated rats were significantly decreased (paging could result in the decline of EPO in the hippocampus and oxidative stress might be the main reason for the decline of brain EPO in aging rats, involved with the decrease of HIF-2α stability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Olson, Deanna H.; Chestnut, Tara E.
A parasitic fungus, similar to the one that caused the extinction of numerous tropical frog and toad species, is killing salamanders in Europe. Scientists first identified the fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, in 2013 as the culprit behind the death of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in the Netherlands (Martel et al. 2013) and are now exploring its potential impact to other species. Although the fungus, which kills the amphibians by infecting their skin, has not yet spread to the United States, researchers believe it’s only a matter of time before it does and, when that happens, the impact on salamander populations could be devastating (Martel et al. 2014).Reports of worldwide declines of amphibians began a quarter of a century ago (Blaustein & Wake 1990). Globally, some amphibian population declines occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and declining trends continued in North America (Houlahan et al. 2000). In the earlier years, population declines were attributed primarily to overharvest due to unregulated supply of species such as the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) for educational use (Dodd 2013). In later years, however, causes of declines were less evident. In 1989, herpetologists at the First World Congress of Herpetology traded alarming stories of losses across continents and in seemingly protected landscapes, making it clear that amphibian population declines were a “global phenomenon.” In response to these reports, in 1991, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force to better understand the scale and scope of global amphibian declines. Unfortunately, the absence of long-term monitoring data and targeted studies made it difficult for the task force to compile information.Today, according to AmphibiaWeb.org, there are 7,342 amphibian species in the world — double the number since the first alerts of declines — making the situation
Levine, David M; Lipsitz, Stuart R; Linder, Jeffrey A
U.S. seniors' digital health and everyday technology use when their health declines are unknown. Longitudinal cohort using the National Health and Aging Trends Study, a nationally representative, annually administered sample of community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries (n = 4,037). We used difference-in-differences to assess the adjusted difference (AD) in technology use from 2011 to 2014 between those with and without health declines. Health decline measures included new-onset dementia; new-onset depression; decreases in activities of daily living (ADLs), short physical performance battery (SPPB), grip strength, and self-reported health; relocation to nursing facility; increased hospitalizations; and new-onset comorbidity. Digital health included use of the Internet to research health conditions, contact clinicians, fill prescriptions, and address insurance matters. Between 2011 and 2014, seniors experiencing health decline used various digital health technologies at low absolute rates (range: 1%-20%). Between 2011 and 2014, use of everyday technology decreased significantly among seniors with new-onset dementia (from 73% to 51%; AD, -26%), decreased ADLs (from 76% to 67%; AD, -10%), decreased SPPB (from 88% to 86%; AD, -3%), and relocation to a nursing facility (from 49% to 22%; AD, -31%) compared to seniors without comparable decline (all p seniors with new-onset probable dementia (from 9% to 4%; AD, -6%) and decreased SPPB (from 24% to 25%; AD, -4%; all p senior experiences predicts technology use, which may allow better targeting of digital health to specific seniors. Seniors with new dementia, relocation to a nursing home, and declining physical performance seem especially poor candidates for technology interventions.
Goulson, Dave; Nicholls, Elizabeth
Bee declines have received much attention of late, but there is considerable debate and confusion as to the extent, significance and causes of declines. In part, this reflects conflation of data for domestic honeybees, numbers of which are largely driven by economic factors, with those for wild bees, many of which have undergone marked range contractions but for the majority of which we have no good data on population size. There is no doubt that bees are subject to numerous pressures in the modern world. The abundance and diversity of flowers has declined along with availability of suitable nest sites, bees are chronically exposed to cocktails of agrochemicals, and they are simultaneously exposed to novel parasites and pathogens accidentally spread by humans. Climate change is likely to exacerbate these problems in the future, particularly for cool- climate specialists such as bumblebees. Stressors do not act in isolation; for example pesticide exposure can impair both detoxification mechanisms and immune responses, rendering bees more susceptible to parasites. It seems certain that chronic exposure to multiple, interacting stressors is driving honeybee colony losses and declines of wild pollinators. Bees have a high profile and so their travails attract attention, but these same stressors undoubtedly bear upon other wild organisms, many of which are not monitored and have few champions. Those wild insects for which we do have population data (notably butterflies and moths) are overwhelmingly also in decline. We argue that bee declines are indicators of pervasive and ongoing environmental damage that is likely to impact broadly on biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides.
Melia T DeVivo
Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is a fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni, and moose (Alces alces shirasi in North America. In southeastern Wyoming average annual CWD prevalence in mule deer exceeds 20% and appears to contribute to regional population declines. We determined the effect of CWD on mule deer demography using age-specific, female-only, CWD transition matrix models to estimate the population growth rate (λ. Mule deer were captured from 2010-2014 in southern Converse County Wyoming, USA. Captured adult (≥ 1.5 years old deer were tested ante-mortem for CWD using tonsil biopsies and monitored using radio telemetry. Mean annual survival rates of CWD-negative and CWD-positive deer were 0.76 and 0.32, respectively. Pregnancy and fawn recruitment were not observed to be influenced by CWD. We estimated λ = 0.79, indicating an annual population decline of 21% under current CWD prevalence levels. A model derived from the demography of only CWD-negative individuals yielded; λ = 1.00, indicating a stable population if CWD were absent. These findings support CWD as a significant contributor to mule deer population decline. Chronic wasting disease is difficult or impossible to eradicate with current tools, given significant environmental contamination, and at present our best recommendation for control of this disease is to minimize spread to new areas and naïve cervid populations.
DeVivo, Melia T.; Edmunds, David R.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Schumaker, Brant A.; Binfet, Justin; Kreeger, Terry J.; Richards, Bryan J.; Schatzl, Hermann M.; Cornish, Todd
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and moose (Alces alces shirasi) in North America. In southeastern Wyoming average annual CWD prevalence in mule deer exceeds 20% and appears to contribute to regional population declines. We determined the effect of CWD on mule deer demography using age-specific, female-only, CWD transition matrix models to estimate the population growth rate (λ). Mule deer were captured from 2010–2014 in southern Converse County Wyoming, USA. Captured adult (≥ 1.5 years old) deer were tested ante-mortem for CWD using tonsil biopsies and monitored using radio telemetry. Mean annual survival rates of CWD-negative and CWD-positive deer were 0.76 and 0.32, respectively. Pregnancy and fawn recruitment were not observed to be influenced by CWD. We estimated λ= 0.79, indicating an annual population decline of 21% under current CWD prevalence levels. A model derived from the demography of only CWD-negative individuals yielded; λ = 1.00, indicating a stable population if CWD were absent. These findings support CWD as a significant contributor to mule deer population decline. Chronic wasting disease is difficult or impossible to eradicate with current tools, given significant environmental contamination, and at present our best recommendation for control of this disease is to minimize spread to new areas and naïve cervid populations.
Full Text Available Tree rings provide fruitful information on climate features driving annual forest growth through statistical correlations between annual tree growth and climate features. Indices built upon tree growth limitation by carbon sequestration (source hypothesis or drought-driven cambial phenology (sink hypothesis can be used to better identify underlying processes. We used both analytical frameworks on Quercus suber, a sparsely studied species due to tree ring methodological issues, and growing on a favorable sub-humid Mediterranean climate and deep soil conditions in Tunisia (North Africa. Statistical analysis revealed the major role of autumnal rainfall before the growing season on annual tree growth over the 1918–2008 time series. Using a water budget model, we were able to explain the critical role of the deep soil water refill during the wet season in affecting both the drought onset controlling growth phenology and the summer drought intensity affecting carbon assimilation. Analysis of recent climate changes in the region additionally illustrated an increase in temperatures enhancing the evaporative demand and advancing growth start, and a decline in rainfalls in autumn, two key variables driving stem growth. We concluded on the benefits of using process-based indices in dendrochronological analysis and identified the main vulnerability of this Mediterranean forest to autumnal rainfall decline, a peculiar aspect of climate change under summer-dry climates.
Ozawa, Mio; Shipley, Martin; Kivimaki, Mika; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Brunner, Eric J
Low-grade inflammation appears to play an etiological role in cognitive decline. However the association between an inflammatory dietary pattern and cognitive decline has not been investigated. We aimed to investigate dietary patterns associated with inflammation and whether such diet is associated with cognitive decline. We analyzed 5083 participants (28.7% women) from the Whitehall II cohort study. Diet and serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) were assessed in 1991-1993 and 1997-1999. We used reduced rank regression methods to determine a dietary pattern associated with elevated IL-6. Cognitive tests were performed in 1997-1999 and repeated in 2002-2004 and 2007-2009. The association between dietary pattern and cognitive decline between ages 45 and 79 was assessed using linear mixed models. We identified an inflammatory dietary pattern characterized by higher intake of red meat, processed meat, peas and legumes, and fried food, and lower intake of whole grains which correlated with elevated IL-6 both in 1991-1993 and 1997-1999. A greater decline in reasoning was seen in participants in the highest tertile of adherence to the inflammatory dietary pattern (-0.37 SD; 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.40, -0.34) compared to those in the lowest tertile (-0.31; 95% CI -0.34, -0.28) after adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, occupational status, education, and total energy intake (p for interaction across tertiles = 0.01). This association remained significant after multivariable adjustment. Similarly for global cognition, the inflammatory dietary pattern was associated with faster cognitive decline after multivariable adjustment (p for interaction across tertiles = 0.04). Associations were stronger in younger participants (dietary pattern characterized as higher intake of red and processed meat, peas, legumes and fried food, and lower intake of whole grains was associated with higher inflammatory markers and accelerated cognitive decline at older ages. This supports the
Mejía, Luz María; Méndez-Vicente, Ana; Abrevaya, Lorena; Lawrence, Kira T.; Ladlow, Caroline; Bolton, Clara; Cacho, Isabel; Stoll, Heather
Extratropical sea surface temperature records from alkenones record a dramatic cooling of up to 17 °C over the last ∼14 Ma, but the relationship between this cooling and greenhouse gas forcing has been elusive due to sparse and contrasting reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 for the time period. Alkenone carbon isotopic fractionation during photosynthesis has previously been used to estimate changes in pCO2 over this interval, but is complicated by significant changes in cell size of the alkenone-producing coccolithophorids over this time period. In this study, we reconstruct carbon isotopic fractionation during photosynthesis (εp) using organic compounds trapped within the frustules of pennate diatoms in sediments from the Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean at Ocean Drilling Program Site 846 over the last ∼13 Ma. Physical separation of pennate diatoms prior to measuring carbon isotopic fractionation enables us to obtain a record with constant cell geometry, eliminating this factor of uncertainty in our pCO2 reconstruction. In the past ∼11 Ma, εp declines from 15.5 to 10.3‰. Using the classic diffusive model and taking into account variations in opal content, alkenone concentration and coccolith Sr/Ca as indicators of past productivity and growth rate, and sea surface temperature records from the site, we estimate a decline in pCO2 from 454 (+ / - 41) to 250 (+ / - 15) ppmv between ∼11 and 6 Ma. Models accounting for changing the significance of active carbon uptake for photosynthesis, which likely produce more accurate CO2 estimates, suggest a significant larger pCO2 decline of up to twice that shown by the classic diffusive model (in average from 794 (+ / - 233) ppmv at ∼11 Ma to 288 (+/-25) ppmv at ∼6 Ma, considering growth rates varying between 0.5 and 1.7 day-1). Large uncertainties in the pCO2 estimated between ∼8 and 11 Ma using the active uptake model are related to the growth rate used for calculations. Together, these results suggest CO2
Cheng, J; East, P; Blanco, E; Sim, E Kang; Castillo, M; Lozoff, B; Gahagan, S
Poor motor skills have been consistently linked with a higher body weight in childhood, but the causal direction of this association is not fully understood. This study investigated the temporal ordering between children's motor skills and weight status at 5 and 10 years. Participants were 668 children (54% male) who were studied from infancy as part of an iron deficiency anaemia preventive trial and follow-up study in Santiago, Chile. All were healthy, full-term and weighing 3 kg or more at birth. Cross-lagged panel modelling was conducted to understand the temporal precedence between children's weight status and motor proficiency. Analyses also examined differences in gross and fine motor skills among healthy weight, overweight, and obese children. A higher BMI at 5 years contributed to declines in motor proficiency from 5 to 10 years. There was no support for the reverse, that is, poor motor skills at 5 years did not predict increases in relative weight from 5 to 10 years. Obesity at 5 years also predicted declines in motor proficiency. When compared with normal weight children, obese children had significantly poorer total and gross motor skills at both 5 and 10 years. Overweight children had poorer total and gross motor skills at 10 years only. The differences in total and gross motor skills among normal weight, overweight and obese children appear to increase with age. There were small differences in fine motor skill between obese and non-obese children at 5 years only. Obesity preceded declines in motor skills and not the reverse. Study findings suggest that early childhood obesity intervention efforts might help prevent declines in motor proficiency that, in turn, may positively impact children's physical activity and overall fitness levels. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Williams, Amanda S.
Statistics anxiety is a problem for most graduate students. This study investigates the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty, worry, and statistics anxiety. Intolerance of uncertainty was significantly related to worry, and worry was significantly related to three types of statistics anxiety. Six types of statistics anxiety were…
Chiou, Chei-Chang; Wang, Yu-Min; Lee, Li-Tze
Statistical knowledge is widely used in academia; however, statistics teachers struggle with the issue of how to reduce students' statistics anxiety and enhance students' statistics learning. This study assesses the effectiveness of a "one-minute paper strategy" in reducing students' statistics-related anxiety and in improving students' statistics-related achievement. Participants were 77 undergraduates from two classes enrolled in applied statistics courses. An experiment was implemented according to a pretest/posttest comparison group design. The quasi-experimental design showed that the one-minute paper strategy significantly reduced students' statistics anxiety and improved students' statistics learning achievement. The strategy was a better instructional tool than the textbook exercise for reducing students' statistics anxiety and improving students' statistics achievement.
Vujović Svetlana R.
Full Text Available This paper illustrates the utility of multivariate statistical techniques for analysis and interpretation of water quality data sets and identification of pollution sources/factors with a view to get better information about the water quality and design of monitoring network for effective management of water resources. Multivariate statistical techniques, such as factor analysis (FA/principal component analysis (PCA and cluster analysis (CA, were applied for the evaluation of variations and for the interpretation of a water quality data set of the natural water bodies obtained during 2010 year of monitoring of 13 parameters at 33 different sites. FA/PCA attempts to explain the correlations between the observations in terms of the underlying factors, which are not directly observable. Factor analysis is applied to physico-chemical parameters of natural water bodies with the aim classification and data summation as well as segmentation of heterogeneous data sets into smaller homogeneous subsets. Factor loadings were categorized as strong and moderate corresponding to the absolute loading values of >0.75, 0.75-0.50, respectively. Four principal factors were obtained with Eigenvalues >1 summing more than 78 % of the total variance in the water data sets, which is adequate to give good prior information regarding data structure. Each factor that is significantly related to specific variables represents a different dimension of water quality. The first factor F1 accounting for 28 % of the total variance and represents the hydrochemical dimension of water quality. The second factor F2 accounting for 18% of the total variance and may be taken factor of water eutrophication. The third factor F3 accounting 17 % of the total variance and represents the influence of point sources of pollution on water quality. The fourth factor F4 accounting 13 % of the total variance and may be taken as an ecological dimension of water quality. Cluster analysis (CA is an
Kossobokov, V.G.; Romashkova, L.L.; Keilis-Borok, V. I.; Healy, J.H.
Algorithms M8 and MSc (i.e., the Mendocino Scenario) were used in a real-time intermediate-term research prediction of the strongest earthquakes in the Circum-Pacific seismic belt. Predictions are made by M8 first. Then, the areas of alarm are reduced by MSc at the cost that some earthquakes are missed in the second approximation of prediction. In 1992-1997, five earthquakes of magnitude 8 and above occurred in the test area: all of them were predicted by M8 and MSc identified correctly the locations of four of them. The space-time volume of the alarms is 36% and 18%, correspondingly, when estimated with a normalized product measure of empirical distribution of epicenters and uniform time. The statistical significance of the achieved results is beyond 99% both for M8 and MSc. For magnitude 7.5 + , 10 out of 19 earthquakes were predicted by M8 in 40% and five were predicted by M8-MSc in 13% of the total volume considered. This implies a significance level of 81% for M8 and 92% for M8-MSc. The lower significance levels might result from a global change in seismic regime in 1993-1996, when the rate of the largest events has doubled and all of them become exclusively normal or reversed faults. The predictions are fully reproducible; the algorithms M8 and MSc in complete formal definitions were published before we started our experiment [Keilis-Borok, V.I., Kossobokov, V.G., 1990. Premonitory activation of seismic flow: Algorithm M8, Phys. Earth and Planet. Inter. 61, 73-83; Kossobokov, V.G., Keilis-Borok, V.I., Smith, S.W., 1990. Localization of intermediate-term earthquake prediction, J. Geophys. Res., 95, 19763-19772; Healy, J.H., Kossobokov, V.G., Dewey, J.W., 1992. A test to evaluate the earthquake prediction algorithm, M8. U.S. Geol. Surv. OFR 92-401]. M8 is available from the IASPEI Software Library [Healy, J.H., Keilis-Borok, V.I., Lee, W.H.K. (Eds.), 1997. Algorithms for Earthquake Statistics and Prediction, Vol. 6. IASPEI Software Library]. ?? 1999 Elsevier
Horgan, R P
Hysterectomy is one of the most common gynaecological surgical procedures performed but there appears to be a decline in the performance of this procedure in Ireland in recent times. We set out to establish the extent of the decline of hysterectomy and to explore possible explanations. Data for hysterectomy for benign disease from Ireland was obtained from the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry Scheme (HIPE) section of the Economic and Social Research Institute for the years 1999 to 2006. The total number of hysterectomies performed for benign disease showed a consistent decline during this time. There was a 36% reduction in the number of abdominal hysterectomy procedures performed.
Zheng, Fanfan; Yan, Li; Yang, Zhenchun; Zhong, Baoliang; Xie, Wuxiang
The aim of the study was to evaluate longitudinal associations between HbA 1c levels, diabetes status and subsequent cognitive decline over a 10 year follow-up period. Data from wave 2 (2004-2005) to wave 7 (2014-2015) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) were analysed. Cognitive function was assessed at baseline (wave 2) and reassessed every 2 years at waves 3-7. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate longitudinal associations. The study comprised 5189 participants (55.1% women, mean age 65.6 ± 9.4 years) with baseline HbA 1c levels ranging from 15.9 to 126.3 mmol/mol (3.6-13.7%). The mean follow-up duration was 8.1 ± 2.8 years and the mean number of cognitive assessments was 4.9 ± 1.5. A 1 mmol/mol increment in HbA 1c was significantly associated with an increased rate of decline in global cognitive z scores (-0.0009 SD/year, 95% CI -0.0014, -0.0003), memory z scores (-0.0005 SD/year, 95% CI -0.0009, -0.0001) and executive function z scores (-0.0008 SD/year, 95% CI -0.0013, -0.0004) after adjustment for baseline age, sex, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerol, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, BMI, education, marital status, depressive symptoms, current smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, CHD, stroke, chronic lung disease and cancer. Compared with participants with normoglycaemia, the multivariable-adjusted rate of global cognitive decline associated with prediabetes and diabetes was increased by -0.012 SD/year (95% CI -0.022, -0.002) and -0.031 SD/year (95% CI -0.046, -0.015), respectively (p for trend cognitive decline with diabetes. Significant longitudinal associations between HbA 1c levels, diabetes status and long-term cognitive decline were observed in this study. Future studies are required to determine the effects of maintaining optimal glucose control on the rate of cognitive decline in people with diabetes.
Full Text Available Aim of study: We studied the presence of fungi and distribution patterns in relation to the health status of declining Pinus pinaster trees. Area of study: Trees in two declining stands in Central Spain were allotted to three declining classes. Material and Methods: Trees in two declining stands in Central Spain were allotted to three declining classes (healthy, declining and recently dead and 3 trees of each class were felled in each stand. Wood slides (phloem and xylem were taken at six positions along the trees and samples collected from fungal identification. Main results: A total of 21 fungal taxa were isolated and identified; eleven of these species belonged to the Ophiostomatoid group. Ophiostoma minus was the most frequently isolated fungus and was identified in 22% of the samples, mainly associated to dead and diseased trees. Research highlights: Together these results suggest a putative association of O. minor with the decline in this area, and thus we suggest paying more attention to this fungus as a potential agent of decline in P. pinaster stands.
Robinson, Kelly F.; Fuller, Angela K.; Schiavone, Michael V.; Swift, Bryan L.; Diefenbach, Duane R.; Siemer, William F.; Decker, Daniel J.
We present a case study from New York, USA, of the use of structured decision making (SDM) to identify fall turkey harvest regulations that best meet stakeholder objectives, in light of recent apparent declines in abundance of wild turkeys in the northeastern United States. We used the SDM framework to incorporate the multiple objectives associated with turkey hunting, stakeholder desires, and region-specific ecological and environmental factors that could influence fall harvest. We identified a set of 4 fall harvest regulations, composed of different season lengths and bag limits, and evaluated their relative achievement of the objectives. We used a stochastic turkey population model, statistical modeling, and expert elicitation to evaluate the consequences of each harvest regulation on each of the objectives. We conducted a statewide mail survey of fall turkey hunters in New York to gather the necessary information to evaluate tradeoffs among multiple objectives associated with hunter satisfaction. The optimal fall harvest regulation was a 2-week season and allowed for the harvest of 1 bird/hunter. This regulation was the most conservative of those evaluated, reflecting the concerns about recent declines in turkey abundance among agency wildlife biologists and the hunting public. Depending on the region of the state, the 2-week, 1-bird regulation was predicted to result in 7–32% more turkeys on the landscape after 5 years. The SDM process provided a transparent framework for setting fall turkey harvest regulations and reduced potential stakeholder conflict by explicitly taking the multiple objectives of different stakeholder groups into account.
Full Text Available Abstract The supplementation of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3 could increase performance or delay fatigue in intermittent high-intensity exercise. Prolonged tennis matches result in fatigue, which impairs skilled performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of NaHCO3 supplementation on skilled tennis performance after a simulated match. Nine male college tennis players were recruited for this randomized cross-over, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. The participants consumed NaHCO3 (0.3 g. kg-1 or NaCl (0.209 g. kg-1 before the trial. An additional supplementation of 0.1 g. kg-1 NaHCO3 or 0.07 g. kg-1 NaCl was ingested after the third game in the simulated match. The Loughborough Tennis Skill Test was performed before and after the simulated match. Post-match [HCO3-] and base excess were significantly higher in the bicarbonate trial than those in the placebo trial. Blood [lactate] was significantly increased in the placebo (pre: 1.22 ± 0.54; post: 2.17 ± 1.46 mM and bicarbonate (pre: 1.23 ± 0.41; post: 3.21 ± 1.89 mM trials. The match-induced change in blood [lactate] was significantly higher in the bicarbonate trial. Blood pH remained unchanged in the placebo trial (pre: 7.37 ± 0.32; post: 7.37 ± 0.14 but was significantly increased in the bicarbonate trial (pre: 7.37 ± 0.26; post: 7.45 ± 0.63, indicating a more alkaline environment. The service and forehand ground stroke consistency scores were declined significantly after the simulated match in the placebo trial, while they were maintained in the bicarbonate trial. The match-induced declines in the consistency scores were significantly larger in the placebo trial than those in the bicarbonate trial. This study suggested that NaHCO3 supplementation could prevent the decline in skilled tennis performance after a simulated match.
Jensen, Trine-Lee Wincentz
In recent decades the brown hare (Lepus europaeus) population in Denmark has undergone a substantial decline, but proximate causes are unknown and little is known about actual densities. In this thesis, hare populations are investigated with respect to age composition and reproductive parameters...... proportions in game bags have dropped significantly since the 1950ies. Simple matrix population models with variable juvenile recruitment predict the similar population growth rates as actually observed in the annual bag records. The model substantiates the supposition that declines in the Danish hare...
Docherty, David E.; And Others
Claims that the decline in attendance at the British cinema since World War II is not explained either by the lack of good films or by the coming of television, but by both changing demographics and significant shifts in the social construction of leisure. (JD)
Huang, Honggang; Larsen, Martin R; Karlsson, Anders H
The aim of this study was to characterize the protein phosphorylation in postmortem (PM) muscle and reveal the change during meat quality development. The gel-based phosphoproteomic analysis of PM porcine muscle was performed in three pig groups with different pH decline rates from PM 1h to 24 h....... The sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar fractions were analyzed using gel electrophoresis in combination with a phosphoprotein specific staining. Globally, the group with fast pH decline rate had the highest phosphorylation level at PM 1 h, but lowest at PM 24 h, whereas the group with slow pH decline rate showed...... the reverse case. The phosphorylation level of 12 bands in sarcoplasmic fraction and 3 bands in myofibrillar fraction were significantly affected by the synergy effects of pH and time (p
Niu, Jinya; Han, Huijun; Wang, Yanhong; Wang, Li; Gao, Xiang; Liao, Susu
To examine the association between self-reported sleep quality and cognitive decline one year later. A longitudinal study of 1010 cognitively intact adults, aged 65-80 years at baseline, from two urban communities in China was performed. Sleep quality at baseline was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Cognitive function was determined by using the Chinese version of Mini-Mental State Examination (CMMSE) at the baseline and one year later. Substantial CMMSE decline was defined as the CMMSE score decreases by three or more points during the follow-up. Potential confounders, such as age, sex, education, baseline CMMSE score, depression, physical activity level, drinking status, smoking status, body mass index, snoring frequency, history of hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease were measured via questionnaires or physical examination. After adjusting for potential confounders, individuals with poor sleep quality (PSQI > 7), relative to whose with good sleep quality, had 0.32 (95% CI: -0.62, -0.02; p = 0.04) CMMSE-points more decline and tended to have a higher likelihood of developing substantial CMMSE decline (OR = 1.46; 95% CI: 0.97, 2.18; p = 0.06). Among seven subscales of the PSQI, poor sleep efficiency was associated with greater CMMSE decline (beta = -0.16, 95% CI: -0.29, -0.03; p = 0.01) and higher risk of substantial CMMSE decline (OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.46; p = 0.01). Short sleep duration (sleeping ≤5 h/night) was also significantly associated with more CMMSE decline and a higher likelihood of developing substantial CMMSE decline (p sleep quality may be an indicator of early cognitive decline for elderly people and should be paid particular attention by clinicians. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Liu, Wei; Ding, Jinhui
The application of the principle of the intention-to-treat (ITT) to the analysis of clinical trials is challenged in the presence of missing outcome data. The consequences of stopping an assigned treatment in a withdrawn subject are unknown. It is difficult to make a single assumption about missing mechanisms for all clinical trials because there are complicated reactions in the human body to drugs due to the presence of complex biological networks, leading to data missing randomly or non-randomly. Currently there is no statistical method that can tell whether a difference between two treatments in the ITT population of a randomized clinical trial with missing data is significant at a pre-specified level. Making no assumptions about the missing mechanisms, we propose a generalized complete-case (GCC) analysis based on the data of completers. An evaluation of the impact of missing data on the ITT analysis reveals that a statistically significant GCC result implies a significant treatment effect in the ITT population at a pre-specified significance level unless, relative to the comparator, the test drug is poisonous to the non-completers as documented in their medical records. Applications of the GCC analysis are illustrated using literature data, and its properties and limits are discussed.
Ioannou, L; Massie, J; Lewis, S; McClaren, B; Collins, V; Delatycki, M B
The objective of this study was to assess attitudes and opinions of women declining the offer of cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier screening through a population-based programme in Victoria, Australia. Between December 2009 and May 2011, women declining an offer of CF carrier screening were invited to participate in a questionnaire-based study. Recruitment was at two private obstetric ultrasound clinics and two private obstetric practices in Melbourne. Of the participants (n = 54), the majority were well educated (76%), aged 30-34 years (54%), with a household income of >AUD$100,000 (76%). Compared to those who accepted screening (reported in a previous study) (Ioannou et al., Public Health Genomics 13:449-56, 2010), knowledge levels were significantly lower in participants declining screening (t = 3.32, p < 0.01). The main reasons for declining screening were having no family history of CF (58%) and not considering a termination of pregnancy for CF (53%). Providers and consumers should be informed that most children born with autosomal-recessive conditions such as CF have no family history of the condition.
Full Text Available The present study investigates the effect of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF val66met polymorphism on change in olfactory function in a large scale, longitudinal population-based sample (n=836. The subjects were tested on a 13 item force-choice odor identification test on two test occasions over a 5-year-interval. Sex, education, health-related factors, and semantic ability were controlled for in the statistical analyses. Results showed an interaction effect of age and BDNF val66met on olfactory change, such that the magnitude of olfactory decline in the older age cohort (70-90 years old at baseline was larger for the val homozygote carriers than for the met carriers. The older met carriers did not display larger age-related decline in olfactory function compared to the younger group. The BDNF val66met polymorphism did not affect the rate of decline in the younger age cohort (45-65 years. The findings are discussed in the light of the proposed roles of BDNF in neural development and maintenance.
Verfaillie, Sander C J; Slot, Rosalinde E; Tijms, Betty M; Bouwman, Femke; Benedictus, Marije R; Overbeek, Jozefien M; Koene, Teddy; Vrenken, Hugo; Scheltens, Philip; Barkhof, Frederik; van der Flier, Wiesje M
We aimed to investigate associations between regional cortical thickness and rate of decline over time in 4 cognitive domains in patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). We included 233 SCD patients with the total number of 654 neuropsychological assessments (median = 3, range = 2-8) and available baseline magnetic resonance imaging from the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort (125 males, age: 63 ± 9, Mini-Mental State Examination score: 28 ± 2). We assessed longitudinal cognitive functioning at baseline and follow-up in 4 cognitive domains (composite Z-scores): memory, attention, executive function, and language. Thickness (millimeter) was estimated using FreeSurfer for frontal, temporal, parietal, cingulate, and occipital cortices. We used linear mixed models to estimate effects of cortical thickness on cognitive performance (dependent variables). There were no associations between cortical thickness and baseline cognition, but a faster subsequent rate of memory loss was associated with thinner cortex of the frontal [β (SE) = 0.20 (0.07)], temporal [β (SE) = 0.18 (0.07)], and occipital [β (SE) = 0.22 (0.09)] cortices (all p cognitive decline related to neurodegenerative diseases, most prominently Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Moreno, G.; Vivas, M.; Pérez, A.; Cubera, E.; Madeira, M.; Solla, A.
symptomatic (declined) trees, at surface, 50, 100 and 150 cm depths. Soil texture, redox potential, mineral N, and the presence of Phytophthora cinnamomi were determined. Soil bulk density was measured at the surface, and soil compactness was measured through a digital penetrometer at 0-40 cm depth. In the stream banks, fine-textured soils were significantly more common under declined trees than under healthy ones, while in slopes the contrary trend occurred. Differences were clearly observed at layers located at 100 and 150 cm depth. Soil bulk density was moderate, with mean values of 1.05 and 1.07 g cm-3 (0-5 cm depth), and 1.28 and 1.30 g cm-3 (5-10 cm) for healthy and declined oaks, respectively. Regarding soil resistance to penetration, values under declined oaks were significantly (p=0.012) higher below 20 cm depth, probably due to compaction caused by old cultivation practices. Most of the soil samples analyzed showed a high level of oxidation (superoxic and manoxic), 28% were suboxic and only 0.7% were anoxic, with a possible limitation of root growth. Although not significant, soils trended to be more reduced under declined oaks at stream banks, with a contrary tendency at slopes (Table 1). The presence of P. cinammomi in soil was positively related to oak decline in stream banks (p=0.011), but not in slopes, and associated to more compacted soils (p=0.05). The presence of P. cinammomi in roots was positively correlated with oak decay (p=0.01), being more abundant among 50-100 cm depth in slopes, and among 100-150 cm depth in the stream banks, but in both cases was mostly associated to fine-textured soils. In conclusion, Q. ilex decline was not related with anoxic conditions limiting root growth, but with soil properties leading to restricted water availability for trees in slopes, and with soil conditions favorable for P. cinnamomi root-infections in the stream banks.
Gubhaju, B; Shahidullah, M
Over the period 1966-86, both the Fijian and Indian populations of Fiji demonstrated declines in fertility. Differentials in the decline were, however, noted with the total fertility rate (TFR) of the Fijian population declining by 26% over the period compared to a 50% decline in the Indian TFR. Moreover, rate declines were not smooth and consistent over the period. Faster fertility decline was experienced in the 1st decade for both groups, slowing in the 2nd decade for Indian women, and stabilizing among the Fijians. This paper decomposes these differential changes in fertility rate into marital structure and marital fertility. The study was conducted using data from the censuses of 1966, 1976, and 1986. For the period 1966-76, declines in marital fertility contributed most to overall TFR decline for both ethnic groups. Marital structure had a reducing effect upon TFR among Indian women in the 1st decaed, but not during the 2nd. Fijian women experienced an overall negative impact from marital structure. Contraception plays an important role in limiting fertility in these 2 populations. Accordingly, differentials in acceptance were noticed, the family planning acceptance rate for Indians being almost twice that of Fijians; 35.6% and 18.7%, respectively in 1986. Compared to Indian women, Fijian women were more literate, more economically active, had higher life expectancies, and experience lower infant mortality rates. Nonetheless, they are not motivated to use family planning. Motivational, cultural, religious, and behavioral factors are suggested as causal factors determining acceptance and use of modern contraceptive methods.
Walters, David; D.F. Raikow,; C.R. Hammerschmidt,; M.G. Mehling,; A. Kovach,; J.T. Oris,
Opposing hypotheses posit that increasing primary productivity should result in either greater or lesser contaminant accumulation in stream food webs. We conducted an experiment to evaluate primary productivity effects on MeHg accumulation in stream consumers. We varied light for 16 artificial streams creating a productivity gradient (oxygen production =0.048–0.71 mg O2 L–1 d–1) among streams. Two-level food webs were established consisting of phytoplankton/filter feeding clam, periphyton/grazing snail, and leaves/shredding amphipod (Hyalella azteca). Phytoplankton and periphyton biomass, along with MeHg removal from the water column, increased significantly with productivity, but MeHg concentrations in these primary producers declined. Methylmercury concentrations in clams and snails also declined with productivity, and consumer concentrations were strongly correlated with MeHg concentrations in primary producers. Heterotroph biomass on leaves, MeHg in leaves, and MeHg in Hyalella were unrelated to stream productivity. Our results support the hypothesis that contaminant bioaccumulation declines with stream primary production via the mechanism of bloom dilution (MeHg burden per cell decreases in algal blooms), extending patterns of contaminant accumulation documented in lakes to lotic systems.
Zhi Hong Zhang
Full Text Available Background: Previous researches about the effect of smoking on semen quality are contradictory, and the mechanism behind the harmful effect of smoking on semen quality still remains unclear until today. Objective: The objectives of this study are evaluation of the relationship between smoking and fertility, investigation of the effects of cigarette smoking on sperm parameters and detection of presence of leukocytes within the semen of idiopathic infertile men from Northeastern China. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of 1512 infertile patients who visited affiliated hospitals of Jilin University from 2007-2010 were enrolled in this study. Patients were assigned into one non-smoking and one smoking group which was divided into mild, moderate and heavy subgroups. Sperm parameters (including leukocytes and sperm morphology analysis were performed using standard techniques. Results: Compared with non-smokers, smokers had a significant decrease in semen volumes (p=0.006, rapid progressive motility (p=0.002 and sperm viability (p=0.019; moreover, smokers had a significant increase in the levels of immotile sperms (p=0.005 and semen leukocytes (p=0.002; pH and sperm concentration were not statistically significant (p=0.789 and p=0.297 respectively. Sperm motion parameters were all lower in the smokers except for beat-cross frequency (Hz (BCF. Further, the percentage of normal morphology sperm was decreased significantly in smokers (p=0.003, the sperm morphology was worse with increasing degree of smoking. Conclusion: These findings suggest that smoking leads to a significant decline in semen quality and higher levels of leukocytes, thus smoking may affects the fertilization efficiency.
Paul, Kimberly C; Ling, Chenxiao; Lee, Anne; To, Tu My; Cockburn, Myles; Haan, Mary; Ritz, Beate
Cognitive impairment is a major health concern among older Mexican Americans, associated with significant morbidity and mortality, and may be influenced by environmental exposures. To investigate whether agricultural based ambient organophosphorus (OP) exposure influences 1) the rate of cognitive decline and mortality and 2) whether these associations are mediated through metabolic or inflammatory biomarkers. In a subset of older Mexican Americans from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging (n = 430), who completed modified mini-mental state exams (3MSE) up to 7 times (1998-2007), we examined the relationship between estimated ambient OP exposures and cognitive decline (linear repeated measures model) and time to dementia or being cognitively impaired but not demented (CIND) and time to mortality (cox proportional hazards model). We then explored metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers as potential mediators of these relationships (additive hazards mediation). OP exposures at residential addresses were estimated with a geographic information system (GIS) based exposure assessment tool. Participants with high OP exposure in the five years prior to baseline experienced faster cognitive decline (β = 0.038, p = 0.02) and higher mortality over follow-up (HR = 1.91, 95% CI = 1.12, 3.26). The direct effect of OP exposure was estimated at 241 (95% CI = 27-455) additional deaths per 100,000 person-years, and the proportion mediated through the metabolic hormone adiponectin was estimated to be 4% 1.5-19.2). No other biomarkers were associated with OP exposure. Our study provides support for the involvement of OP pesticides in cognitive decline and mortality among older Mexican Americans, possibly through biologic pathways involving adiponectin. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Adelaide C. Johnson; Peter. Wilcock
A natural decline in the population of yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) is occurring in pristine southeast Alaska forests and may be the most significant forest decline in the western United States. The frequency of landslides in cedar decline areas is three times larger than in areas of healthy forest. Three regions are investigated in...
de Beer, J.A.A.
United Nations projections assume that by the end of this century one third of the world population will live in India, China or Nigeria. While population growth in India will slow down and the population size of China will decline, population growth in Nigeria will accelerate. A new NIDI scenario projects less population growth in Nigeria and sharp population decline in China.
Valera-Leal, Javier; Acevedo, Aldemar; Pérez-Sánchez, Antonio; Vega, Jorge; Manzanilla, Jesús
G. ovifera is a marsupial frog of the cloud and riparian forest from Western and Litoral sections of the Venezuelan Cordillera de la Costa (820-2 000m). This amphibian is considered as an endangered species by the IUCN Species Red List, due to its population decline in pristine and well preserved environments. This conservation status is based on anecdotic interpretations. We collected disperse data from museum records (national and international) and explored the possible association between collection records and precipitation data available for the Henri Pittier National Park (PNHP). Likewise, we carried out a systematic population monitoring of G. ovifera in historic and additional localities among the cloud forest of Rancho Grande, PNHP. We found 106 individuals in 11 zoological collections deposited during 1929-2007. After an effort of 646 hours/person we did not detect G. ovifera individuals in the evaluated localities; as well as no statistical significant associations between the annual precipitation average and the historic records of the species during 1941-1997 period (r = -0.054, p = 0.820, n = 19). We discussed the distribution, fluctuation and population changes of this species, analyzing it conservation status.
Benedictus, M.R.; Hochart, A.; Rossi, C.; Boulouis, G.; Henon, H.; van der Flier, W.M.; Cordonnier, C.
Background and Purpose-Stroke and dementia are closely related, but no prospective study ever focused on poststroke cognitive decline in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We aimed to determine prognostic factors for cognitive decline in patients with ICH. Methods-We prospectively
Full Text Available Background: Postoperative cognitive decline (POCD after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG is a common problem. Studies show that pentoxifylline administration reduces inflammation induced by cardiopulmonary bypass and brain injury after ischaemia. Hence the perioperative use of pentoxifylline in attenuating POCD was evaluated in the study. Materials and Methods: Eighty patients were divided randomly into two groups from 106 patients scheduled for CABG surgery. The study group was administered pentoxifylline 400 mg twice daily orally from day of admission to 7th day after surgery, whereas the control group patients received placebo. Neurocognitive assessment was assessed by an independent clinical psychologist one day after admission to hospital and again on 7th postoperative day. The data was analyzed and a P < 0.05 was considered significant results. Results: Pentoxifylline-treated group showed no statistically significant difference in animal naming test scores (10.3 ± 2.2 versus 9.4 ± 2.5, P = 0.07, digit symbol substitution test (26.1 ± 7.47 vs 22.2 ± 6.07, P = 0.09 and 8 subtests of Post Graduate Institute-memory scale. The control group had significant POCD as detected by animal naming test (10.5 ± 3.7 versus 8.6 ± 3.9, P = 0.008, digit symbol substitution test (20.2 ± 8.2 versus 14.7 ± 8.9, P = 0.008 and five subtests of memory scale (P = 0.01, 0.04, 0.003, 0.005 and 0.02. The incidence of POCD was 50% in placebo-treated group compared to 22.5% in pentoxifylline group. Conclusions: The perioperative use of pentoxifylline attenuates the early postoperative neurocognitive decline after CABG using cardiopulmonary bypass.
Kitagawa, Kazuo; Oku, Naohiko; Yagita, Yoshiki; Sakaguchi, Manabu; Sakoda, Saburo; Kimura, Yasuyuku; Hatazawa, Jun
Vascular risk factors are thought to be important for dementia. However, there is little evidence for a prospective association between cerebral blood flow and the risk of cognitive decline. Twenty-seven cognitively intact hypertensive patients aged 55 years and older with lacunar infarction or white matter lesions in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) underwent positron emission tomography (PET) to measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR). Cognitive function was assessed at baseline and 3 years later with the mini-mental state examination (MMSE). Patients whose MMSE score fell by more than three points were classified as having cognitive decline. Six patients showed cognitive decline. Baseline CBF in these patients was significantly lower than that of the 21 patients without cognitive decline (31.2±2.4 vs. 42.6±5.9 ml per 100 gmin -1 , respectively; P<0.001). A moderate linear association was found between CBF and change in MMSE score over a 3-year period (r=0.59, P=0.001), not between CBF and baseline MMSE score. In contrast, no association between CVR and later cognitive decline was found. This study suggests that cerebral hypoperfusion is associated with later cognitive decline. (author)
McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd C.; Pedro, Sara; Peacock, Elizabeth
We evaluated total mercury (THg) concentrations and trends in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation from 2004 to 2011. Hair THg concentrations ranged widely among individuals from 0.6 to 13.3 μg g–1 dry weight (mean: 3.5 ± 0.2 μg g–1). Concentrations differed among sex and age classes: solitary adult females ≈ adult females with cubs ≈ subadults > adult males ≈ yearlings > cubs-of-the-year ≈ 2 year old dependent cubs. No variation was observed between spring and fall samples. For spring-sampled adults, THg concentrations declined by 13% per year, contrasting recent trends observed for other Western Hemispheric Arctic biota. Concentrations also declined by 15% per year considering adult males only, while a slower, nonsignificant decrease of 4.4% per year was found for adult females. Lower THg concentrations were associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and higher proportions of lower trophic position food resources consumed. Because BMI and diet were related, and the relationship to THg was strongest for BMI, trends were re-evaluated adjusting for BMI as the covariate. The adjusted annual decline was not significant. These findings indicate that changes in foraging ecology, not declining environmental concentrations of mercury, are driving short-term declines in THg concentrations in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears.
Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...
Phoenix, Cassandra; Smith, Brett
In Western society, the narrative of decline dominates the aging process. We know very little about the complexities of how people resist this narrative. The purpose of this article is to understand how a group of mature natural bodybuilders resisted the narrative of decline. In-depth life story interviews were conducted with 13 natural bodybuilders aged between 50 and 73 years. Verbatim transcripts were produced and the data analyzed using a structural narrative analysis. A dialogical analysis was also utilized. The participants' experiences did not fit with stereotypical assumptions about decline and deterioration in older age. They all told counterstories to "natural" aging, yet what differed was how the participants' counterstories resisted the narrative of decline and the level of resistance that they provided. We advance knowledge in the fields of aging and narrative inquiry by revealing the multidimensionality of resistance. We demonstrated how participants storied resistance in different ways and the important implications this had for the way aging was understood and acted upon-by themselves and potentially by others. In addition to advancing theoretical knowledge, in this article, we also significantly contribute to understandings of the potential of narrative for changing human lives and behavior across the life course in more positive and nuanced ways.
Full Text Available Periodontitis is common in the elderly and may become more common in Alzheimer's disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Elevated antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increased systemic pro-inflammatory state. Elsewhere raised serum pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We hypothesized that periodontitis would be associated with increased dementia severity and a more rapid cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to determine if periodontitis in Alzheimer's disease is associated with both increased dementia severity and cognitive decline, and an increased systemic pro inflammatory state. In a six month observational cohort study 60 community dwelling participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for systemic inflammatory markers. Dental health was assessed by a dental hygienist, blind to cognitive outcomes. All assessments were repeated at six months. The presence of periodontitis at baseline was not related to baseline cognitive state but was associated with a six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline as assessed by the ADAS-cog over a six month follow up period. Periodontitis at baseline was associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six month follow up period. Our data showed that periodontitis is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer's Disease, independent to baseline cognitive state, which may be mediated through effects on systemic inflammation.
Full Text Available Introduction: The elderly population is at high risk of functional decline, which will induce significant costs due to long-term care. Dependency could be delayed by preventing one of its major determinants: falls. Light paths coupled with personal emergency response systems could prevent the functional decline through fall prevention. Methods: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of light paths coupled with personal emergency response systems on the functional decline in an elderly population living at home. It is a secondary analysis on data from a previous cohort. In all, 190 older adults (aged 65 years or more living at home participated. Participants in the exposed group were equipped with home-based technologies: light paths coupled with personal emergency response systems. The participants’ functional status was assessed using the Functional Autonomy Measurement System scale at baseline (T0 and at the end of the study (T12-month. Baseline characteristics were evaluated by a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Results: After 1 year, 43% of the unexposed group had functional decline versus 16% of the exposed group. Light paths coupled with personal emergency response systems were significantly associated with a decrease in the functional decline (Δ Functional Autonomy Measurement System ⩾ 5 at home (odds ratio = 0.24, 95% confidence interval (0.11–0.54, p = 0.002. Discussion: This study suggests that light paths coupled with personal emergency response systems prevent the functional decline over 12 months. This result may encourage the prescription and use of home-based technologies to postpone dependency and institutionalization, but they need a larger cost-effectiveness study to demonstrate the efficiency of these technologies.
Maric, Marija; de Haan, Else; Hogendoorn, Sanne M; Wolters, Lidewij H; Huizenga, Hilde M
Single-case experimental designs are useful methods in clinical research practice to investigate individual client progress. Their proliferation might have been hampered by methodological challenges such as the difficulty applying existing statistical procedures. In this article, we describe a data-analytic method to analyze univariate (i.e., one symptom) single-case data using the common package SPSS. This method can help the clinical researcher to investigate whether an intervention works as compared with a baseline period or another intervention type, and to determine whether symptom improvement is clinically significant. First, we describe the statistical method in a conceptual way and show how it can be implemented in SPSS. Simulation studies were performed to determine the number of observation points required per intervention phase. Second, to illustrate this method and its implications, we present a case study of an adolescent with anxiety disorders treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques in an outpatient psychotherapy clinic, whose symptoms were regularly assessed before each session. We provide a description of the data analyses and results of this case study. Finally, we discuss the advantages and shortcomings of the proposed method. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
S K Adiga
Full Text Available Background : Male reproductive function has recently attracted increasing attention due to reports on time-related decline in semen quality. Furthermore, regional differences in the semen quality have also been reported. Aim : To investigate the semen quality among large cohort of infertile individuals at a regional level, in terms of the sperm concentration, total sperm motility, sperm morphology and incidence of azoospermia over a period of 13 years. Setting : University infertility clinic at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal which is a tertiary healthcare centre serving the general population. Design : Retrospective analysis. Materials and Methods: This includes a total of 7770 subjects who presented for semen analysis from 1993 to 2005. The data regarding ejaculate volume, sperm density, motility, morphology and the incidence of azoospermia were collected. Statistical Analysis Used : One way analysis of variance (ANOVA, regression analysis and Chi square analysis. Results : The average sperm density among infertile men during 2004-2005 was 26.61 ± 0.71 millions/mL which was significantly lower than the average sperm density observed in 1993-1994 (38.18 ± 1.46 millions/mL. Similar trend was also observed for sperm motility (47.14% motile sperms vs. 61.16% and normal sperm morphology (19.75% vs. 40.51%. Interestingly, the incidence of severe oligospermia (mean sperm density < 10 millions/mL observed in 2002-2005 and 1993-1997 demonstrated a significant inverse relationship ( P < 0.001. Conclusion : Our study provides the first evidence that the quality of human semen evaluated for infertility is deteriorating in the southern part of the India over the years, probably due to environmental, nutritional, life style or socioeconomic causes.
Full Text Available Background: This descriptive finding examines the comparative pace of fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa, relative to Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern Africa. Objective: We seek to determine if fertility decline has been slower in sub-Saharan Africa than elsewhere in the developing world. Methods: United Nations 2017 estimates of national fertility are used in assessing the comparative pace of fertility decline, and the four regions are compared in terms of how far they are into their fertility transition. Results: The data shows clearly that fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa, still at a comparatively early stage, has been considerably slower than the earlier declines in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern Africa at comparable stages of the transition, and displays less within-region heterogeneity than the transitions in these other regions. Conclusions: The slower pace of fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa, in conjunction with the high current fertility levels in the region, means that in the absence of policies seeking to accelerate fertility decline, sub-Saharan Africa will continue to experience rapid population growth that in turn will constrain its development. Contribution: Presentation of data in a novel way (Figures 2‒4, and associated calculations unambiguously demonstrates the slow pace of fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa compared with other regions of the world.
Cvan Trobec, Katja; Kerec Kos, Mojca; von Haehling, Stephan; Anker, Stefan D; Macdougall, Iain C; Ponikowski, Piotr; Lainscak, Mitja
To compare the performance of iohexol plasma clearance and creatinine-based renal function estimating equations in monitoring longitudinal renal function changes in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients, and to assess the effects of body composition on the equation performance. Iohexol plasma clearance was measured in 43 CHF patients at baseline and after at least 6 months. Simultaneously, renal function was estimated with five creatinine-based equations (four- and six-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease, Cockcroft-Gault, Cockcroft-Gault adjusted for lean body mass, Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation) and body composition was assessed using bioimpedance and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Over a median follow-up of 7.5 months (range 6-17 months), iohexol clearance significantly declined (52.8 vs 44.4 mL/[min ×1.73 m2], P=0.001). This decline was significantly higher in patients receiving mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists at baseline (mean decline -22% of baseline value vs -3%, P=0.037). Mean serum creatinine concentration did not change significantly during follow-up and no creatinine-based renal function estimating equation was able to detect the significant longitudinal decline of renal function determined by iohexol clearance. After accounting for body composition, the accuracy of the equations improved, but not their ability to detect renal function decline. Renal function measured with iohexol plasma clearance showed relevant decline in CHF patients, particularly in those treated with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. None of the equations for renal function estimation was able to detect these changes. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT01829880.
Di Florio, Adriano
In order to test the computing capabilities of GPUs with respect to traditional CPU cores a high-statistics toy Monte Carlo technique has been implemented both in ROOT/RooFit and GooFit frameworks with the purpose to estimate the statistical significance of the structure observed by CMS close to the kinematical boundary of the J/ψϕ invariant mass in the three-body decay B + → J/ψϕK +. GooFit is a data analysis open tool under development that interfaces ROOT/RooFit to CUDA platform on nVidia GPU. The optimized GooFit application running on GPUs hosted by servers in the Bari Tier2 provides striking speed-up performances with respect to the RooFit application parallelised on multiple CPUs by means of PROOF-Lite tool. The considerable resulting speed-up, evident when comparing concurrent GooFit processes allowed by CUDA Multi Process Service and a RooFit/PROOF-Lite process with multiple CPU workers, is presented and discussed in detail. By means of GooFit it has also been possible to explore the behaviour of a likelihood ratio test statistic in different situations in which the Wilks Theorem may or may not apply because its regularity conditions are not satisfied.
Jensen, Birger Boutrup; Orquin, Jacob Lund; Bech-Larsen, Tino
While sales flyer ad spending in Denmark has increased over the last decade ,the proportion of consumers declining to receive such flyers has been ever-increasing. To address this paradox, attitudinal and behavioural factors distinguishing passive recipients from active decliners of sales flyers ...... on the Internet.To reach the decliners, retailers could focus on the possibilities of the Internet, but to stop the trend of escalating numbers of decliners, retailers will have to address the perceived inconvenience and uselessness of sales flyers....
Itai, Miki; Kuwano, Yuki; Nishikawa, Tatsuya; Rokutan, Kazuhito; Kensei, Nishida
Geranylgeranylacetone (GGA) is a chaperon inducer that protects various types of cell and tissue against stress. We examined whether GGA modulated energy intake and expenditure under stressful conditions. After mice were untreated or treated orally with GGA (0.16 g per kg body weight per day) for 10 days, they were subjected to 2-h restraint stress once or once a day for 5 consecutive days. GGA administration did not affect corticosterone response to the stress. Restraint stress rapidly decreased plasma leptin levels in control mice. GGA significantly increased circulating leptin levels without changing food intake and prevented the stress-induced decline of circulating leptin. However GGA-treated mice significantly reduced food intake during the repeated stress, compared with control mice. GGA prevented the stress-induced decline of leptin mRNA and its protein levels in epidydimal adipose tissues. We also found that GGA decreased ghrelin mRNA expression in gastric mucosa before the stress, whereas GGA-treated mice recovered the ghrelin mRNA expression to the baseline level after the repeated stress. Leptin and ghrelin are now recognized as regulators of anxiety and depressive mood. Our results suggest that GGA may regulate food intake and relief stress-induced mood disturbance through regulating leptin and ghrelin secretions. J. Med. Invest. 65:103-109, February, 2018.
In contrast to most dowry oriented societies where payments have declined with modernisation, those in India have undergone significant inflation over the last five decades.This paper explains the difference between these two experiences by focusing on the role played by caste.The theoretical model
Soer, Remko; Brouwer, Sandra; Geertzen, Jan H; van der Schans, Cees; Groothoff, Johan W.; Reneman, Michiel F
OBJECTIVES: (1) To study the natural decline in functional capacity (FC) of healthy aging workers; (2) to compare FC to categories of workload; and (3) to study the differences in decline between men and women. DESIGN: Cross-sectional design. SETTING: A rehabilitation center at a university medical
EL HAJ, Mohamad; Antoine, Pascal; Nandrino, Jean-Louis; Kapogiannis, Dimitrios
Autobiographical memory, or memory for personal experiences, allows individuals to define themselves and construct a meaningful life story. Decline of this ability, as observed in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), results in an impaired sense of self and identity. We present a critical review of theories and findings regarding cognitive and neuroanatomical underpinnings of autobiographical memory and its decline in AD and highlight studies on its clinical rehabilitation. We propose that autobiographi...
van den Berg, Esther; Nys, Gudrun M S; Brands, Augustina M A; Ruis, Carla; van Zandvoort, Martine J E; Kessels, Roy P C
Previous studies have shown that the discrepancy between performance on "fluid" and "crystallized" intelligence measures may serve as an indicator for intellectual decline. The validity of this procedure in older persons is unknown. The present study developed a multiple regression equation, to predict the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) score from the National Adult Reading Test (NART) score and demographic variables in a large sample of healthy older persons (n = 270). The discrepancy between the predicted and observed Raven APM scores was transformed into a percentile distribution as an indicator of intellectual decline, which can be used in clinical practice. The validity of the procedure was further examined by comparing the proportion of persons with a significant decline (at the -1 and -1.65 SD level) between two older patient samples (87 patients with cerebral stroke and 387 patients with diabetes mellitus) by means of χ(2) tests. There was a significantly higher rate of intellectual decline at the -1 SD ("below average") and -1.65 SD ("impaired") cutoff levels for patients with stroke compared with patients with diabetes (stroke, 34% and 14%; diabetes, 16% and 5%, p Raven APM-NART discrepancy may be a useful measure of intellectual decline in older persons.
Edwin Q. P. Petteys; Robert E. Burgan; Robert E. Nelson
Ohia forest declineâits severity and rate of spreadâwas studied by aerial photographic techniques on a 197,000-acre (80,000-ha) portion of the island of Hawaii. In 1954, only 300 acres (121 ha) showed signs of severe decline; by 1972, the acreage of severely affected forest had increased to 85,200 acres (34,480 ha). Rate of decline and current severity were related to...
Aarsland, Dag; Creese, Byron; Politis, Marios; Chaudhuri, K. Ray; ffytche, Dominic H.; Weintraub, Daniel; Ballard, Clive
Dementia is a frequent problem encountered in advanced stages of Parkinson disease (PD). In recent years, research has focused on the pre-dementia stages of cognitive impairment in PD, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Several longitudinal studies have shown that MCI is a harbinger of dementia in PD, although the course is variable, and stabilization of cognition — or even reversal to normal cognition — is not uncommon. In addition to limbic and cortical spread of Lewy pathology, several other mechanisms are likely to contribute to cognitive decline in PD, and a variety of biomarker studies, some using novel structural and functional imaging techniques, have documented in vivo brain changes associated with cognitive impairment. The evidence consistently suggests that low cerebrospinal fluid levels of amyloid-β42, a marker of comorbid Alzheimer disease (AD), predict future cognitive decline and dementia in PD. Emerging genetic evidence indicates that in addition to the APOE*ε4 allele (an established risk factor for AD), GBA mutations and SCNA mutations and triplications are associated with cognitive decline in PD, whereas the findings are mixed for MAPT polymorphisms. Cognitive enhancing medications have some effect in PD dementia, but no convincing evidence that progression from MCI to dementia can be delayed or prevented is available, although cognitive training has shown promising results. PMID:28257128
Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C Guilherme; Toledo, Luís Felipe
The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd 's global emergence , further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd -screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd -infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979-1987). We also found that clusters of Bd -positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. © 2017 The Author(s).
Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C. Guilherme
The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd's global emergence, further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd-screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd-infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979–1987). We also found that clusters of Bd-positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. PMID:28179514
In the present thesis I develop, implement and apply statistical methods for detecting genomic elements implicated in cancer development and progression. This is done in two separate bodies of work. The first uses the somatic mutation burden to distinguish cancer driver mutations from passenger m...
Examines the causes and impacts of agricultural decline in Ghana. Presents a macroeconomic overview and discusses the nature of decline. Emphasizes the roles of prices and migration. Examines changes in incomes and access to food as both a result and a cause of poor performance in agriculture. (CH)
Bell, Tyler; Dávila, Ana Luisa; Clay, Olivio; Markides, Kyriakos S; Andel, Ross; Crowe, Michael
Older Puerto Rican adults have particularly high risk of diabetes compared to the general US population. Diabetes is associated with both higher depressive symptoms and cognitive decline, but less is known about the longitudinal relationship between cognitive decline and incident depressive symptoms in those with diabetes. This study investigated the association between cognitive decline and incident depressive symptoms in older Puerto Rican adults with diabetes over a four-year period. Households across Puerto Rico were visited to identify a population-based sample of adults aged 60 years and over for the Puerto Rican Elderly: Health Conditions study (PREHCO); 680 participants with diabetes at baseline and no baseline cognitive impairment were included in analyses. Cognitive decline and depressive symptoms were measured using the Mini-Mental Cabán (MMC) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), respectively. We examined predictors of incident depressive symptoms (GDS ≥ 5 at follow-up but not baseline) and cognitive decline using regression modeling. In a covariate-adjusted logistic regression model, cognitive decline, female gender, and greater diabetes-related complications were each significantly associated with increased odds of incident depressive symptoms (p Puerto Ricans with diabetes who also experienced cognitive decline. Efforts are needed to optimize diabetes management and monitor for depression and cognitive decline in this population.
Polcher, Alexandra; Frommann, Ingo; Koppara, Alexander; Wolfsgruber, Steffen; Jessen, Frank; Wagner, Michael
There is a need for more sensitive neuropsychological tests to detect subtle cognitive deficits emerging in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Associative memory is a cognitive function supported by the hippocampus and affected early in the process of AD. We developed a short computerized face-name associative recognition test (FNART) and tested whether it would detect memory impairment in memory clinic patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and subjective cognitive decline (SCD). We recruited 61 elderly patients with either SCD (n = 32) or MCI (n = 29) and 28 healthy controls (HC) and compared performance on FNART, self-reported cognitive deterioration in different domains (ECog-39), and, in a reduced sample (n = 46), performance on the visual Paired Associates Learning of the CANTAB battery. A significant effect of group on FNART test performance in the total sample was found (p < 0.001). Planned contrasts indicated a significantly lower associative memory performance in the SCD (p = 0.001, d = 0.82) and MCI group (p < 0.001, d = 1.54), as compared to HCs, respectively. The CANTAB-PAL discriminated only between HC and MCI, possibly because of reduced statistical power. Adjusted for depression, performance on FNART was significantly related to ECog-39 Memory in SCD patients (p = 0.024) but not in MCI patients. Associative memory is substantially impaired in memory clinic patients with SCD and correlates specifically with memory complaints at this putative preclinical stage of AD. Further studies will need to examine the predictive validity of the FNART in SCD patients with regard to longitudinal (i.e., conversion to MCI/AD) and biomarker outcomes.
This article first presents the historical background of recent events popularized under the names: acid rains, forests declines. The first major crisis was soil and lake acidifications in Scandinavian countries, then a fast forest decay, first in Germany, in the early eighties, then in a number of European countries, including France. These phenomena were attributed to atmospheric pollutions, essentially acidic pollution. The consequences were drastic legislations in Germany, then the European Directive on large combustion plants (November 1988). Another consequence was the UNECE Convention on long range transport of pollutants (1979). Observations in the field on tree declines (loss of needles or leaves, abnormal yellowings, soil studies, etc.) and laboratory experiments showed that causes are very complex, involving the low quality of soils, abnormal droughts, presence of pollutants in atmosphere, mainly ozone [fr
McMenamin, Sarah K; Hadly, Elizabeth A; Wright, Christopher K
Amphibians are a bellwether for environmental degradation, even in natural ecosystems such as Yellowstone National Park in the western United States, where species have been actively protected longer than anywhere else on Earth. We document that recent climatic warming and resultant wetland desiccation are causing severe declines in 4 once-common amphibian species native to Yellowstone. Climate monitoring over 6 decades, remote sensing, and repeated surveys of 49 ponds indicate that decreasing annual precipitation and increasing temperatures during the warmest months of the year have significantly altered the landscape and the local biological communities. Drought is now more common and more severe than at any time in the past century. Compared with 16 years ago, the number of permanently dry ponds in northern Yellowstone has increased 4-fold. Of the ponds that remain, the proportion supporting amphibians has declined significantly, as has the number of species found in each location. Our results indicate that climatic warming already has disrupted one of the best-protected ecosystems on our planet and that current assessments of species' vulnerability do not adequately consider such impacts.
Madsen, Tobias; Hobolth, Asger; Jensen, Jens Ledet
in genomics and the multiple-testing issues accompanying them, accurate significance evaluation is of great importance. We here address the problem of evaluating statistical significance of observations from factor graph models. Results Two novel numerical approximations for evaluation of statistical...... significance are presented. First a method using importance sampling. Second a saddlepoint approximation based method. We develop algorithms to efficiently compute the approximations and compare them to naive sampling and the normal approximation. The individual merits of the methods are analysed both from....... Conclusions The applicability of saddlepoint approximation and importance sampling is demonstrated on known models in the factor graph framework. Using the two methods we can substantially improve computational cost without compromising accuracy. This contribution allows analyses of large datasets...
Müller, Nils C J; Genzel, Lisa; Konrad, Boris N; Pawlowski, Marcel; Neville, David; Fernández, Guillén; Steiger, Axel; Dresler, Martin
The ability to consolidate procedural memories declines with increasing age. Prior knowledge enhances learning and memory consolidation of novel but related information in various domains. Here, we present evidence that prior motor experience-in our case piano skills-increases procedural learning and has a protective effect against age-related decline for the consolidation of novel but related manual movements. In our main experiment, we tested 128 participants with a sequential finger-tapping motor task during two sessions 24 hours apart. We observed enhanced online learning speed and offline memory consolidation for piano players. Enhanced memory consolidation was driven by a strong effect in older participants, whereas younger participants did not benefit significantly from prior piano experience. In a follow up independent control experiment, this compensatory effect of piano experience was not visible after a brief offline period of 30 minutes, hence requiring an extended consolidation window potentially involving sleep. Through a further control experiment, we rejected the possibility that the decreased effect in younger participants was caused by training saturation. We discuss our results in the context of the neurobiological schema approach and suggest that prior experience has the potential to rescue memory consolidation from age-related cognitive decline.
Zheng, Hong; Zheng, Yongquan; Wang, Dan; Cai, Aimin; Lin, Qiuting; Zhao, Liangcai; Chen, Minjiang; Deng, Mingjie; Ye, Xinjian
Type 2 diabetes has been linked to cognitive impairment, but its potential metabolic mechanism is still unclear. The present study aimed to explore neuron–astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of diabetic (db/db, BKS.Cg-m+/+ Leprdb/J) mice with cognitive decline using 13C NMR technique in combination with intravenous [2-13C]-acetate and [3-13C]-lactate infusions. We found that the 13C-enrichment from [2-13C]-acetate into tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, succinate, was significantly decreased in db/db mice with cognitive decline compared with wild-type (WT, C57BLKS/J) mice, while an opposite result was obtained after [3-13C]-lactate infusion. Relative to WT mice, db/db mice with cognitive decline had significantly lower 13C labeling percentages in neurotransmitters including glutamine, glutamate, and γ-aminobutyric acid after [2-13C]-acetate infusion. However, [3-13C]-lactate resulted in increased 13C-enrichments in neurotransmitters in db/db mice with cognitive decline. This may indicate that the disturbance of neurotransmitter metabolism occurred during the development of cognitive decline. In addition, a reduction in 13C-labeling of lactate and an increase in gluconeogenesis were found from both labeled infusions in db/db mice with cognitive decline. Therefore, our results suggest that the development of cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes may be implicated to an unbalanced metabolism in neuron–astrocyte cooperation and an enhancement of gluconeogenesis. PMID:26762505
Zheng, Hong; Zheng, Yongquan; Wang, Dan; Cai, Aimin; Lin, Qiuting; Zhao, Liangcai; Chen, Minjiang; Deng, Mingjie; Ye, Xinjian; Gao, Hongchang
Type 2 diabetes has been linked to cognitive impairment, but its potential metabolic mechanism is still unclear. The present study aimed to explore neuron-astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of diabetic (db/db, BKS.Cg-m +/+ Leprdb/J) mice with cognitive decline using 13 C NMR technique in combination with intravenous [2- 13 C]-acetate and [3- 13 C]-lactate infusions. We found that the 13 C-enrichment from [2- 13 C]-acetate into tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, succinate, was significantly decreased in db/db mice with cognitive decline compared with wild-type (WT, C57BLKS/J) mice, while an opposite result was obtained after [3- 13 C]-lactate infusion. Relative to WT mice, db/db mice with cognitive decline had significantly lower 13 C labeling percentages in neurotransmitters including glutamine, glutamate, and γ-aminobutyric acid after [2- 13 C]-acetate infusion. However, [3- 13 C]-lactate resulted in increased 13 C-enrichments in neurotransmitters in db/db mice with cognitive decline. This may indicate that the disturbance of neurotransmitter metabolism occurred during the development of cognitive decline. In addition, a reduction in 13 C-labeling of lactate and an increase in gluconeogenesis were found from both labeled infusions in db/db mice with cognitive decline. Therefore, our results suggest that the development of cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes may be implicated to an unbalanced metabolism in neuron-astrocyte cooperation and an enhancement of gluconeogenesis. © The Author(s) 2016.
Papp, Kathryn V; Rentz, Dorene M; Mormino, Elizabeth C; Schultz, Aaron P; Amariglio, Rebecca E; Quiroz, Yakeel; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A
To determine whether a decline in cued recall is observable in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer disease (AD) in clinically normal older adults with elevated β-amyloid (Aβ) burden on PET imaging. Clinically normal older adults underwent baseline neuroimaging (PET to assess Aβ +/- status and MRI) and annual neuropsychological testing. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the relative risk of cued memory decline (drop of 1, 2, 3, or 4 points on the total score of the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test) in relation to neuroimaging measures, functional status, age, sex, and education. A total of 276 older adults (Clinical Dementia Rating = 0, mean Mini-Mental State Examination score = 29 ± 1.06) were followed up for a mean of 3.6 ± 1.2 years. Despite the infrequency of cued memory decline (only 19% of participants scored ≤46/48 in total recall by year 3), Aβ + participants were 3.55 times (95% confidence interval = 1.77-7.12) more likely to exhibit decline in total recall (≤46/48) compared with their Aβ - peers. Furthermore, Aβ + participants who scored ≤46/48 had smaller hippocampal volumes ( t = 3.37, p = 0.001) and evidence of early functional decline, i.e., greater risk of progression to global Clinical Dementia Rating of 0.5 (χ 2 = 14.30, p recall. Cued memory decline in healthy older adults may be particularly indicative of Aβ-related decline during the preclinical stage of AD and useful for identifying Aβ + clinically normal individuals at greatest risk of short-term clinical progression. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.
Cvan Trobec, Katja; Kerec Kos, Mojca; von Haehling, Stephan; Anker, Stefan D.; Macdougall, Iain C.; Ponikowski, Piotr; Lainscak, Mitja
Aim To compare the performance of iohexol plasma clearance and creatinine-based renal function estimating equations in monitoring longitudinal renal function changes in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients, and to assess the effects of body composition on the equation performance. Methods Iohexol plasma clearance was measured in 43 CHF patients at baseline and after at least 6 months. Simultaneously, renal function was estimated with five creatinine-based equations (four- and six-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease, Cockcroft-Gault, Cockcroft-Gault adjusted for lean body mass, Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation) and body composition was assessed using bioimpedance and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Results Over a median follow-up of 7.5 months (range 6-17 months), iohexol clearance significantly declined (52.8 vs 44.4 mL/[min ×1.73 m2], P = 0.001). This decline was significantly higher in patients receiving mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists at baseline (mean decline -22% of baseline value vs -3%, P = 0.037). Mean serum creatinine concentration did not change significantly during follow-up and no creatinine-based renal function estimating equation was able to detect the significant longitudinal decline of renal function determined by iohexol clearance. After accounting for body composition, the accuracy of the equations improved, but not their ability to detect renal function decline. Conclusions Renal function measured with iohexol plasma clearance showed relevant decline in CHF patients, particularly in those treated with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. None of the equations for renal function estimation was able to detect these changes. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number NCT01829880 PMID:26718759
van den Heuvel, E G H M; van Schoor, N M; Vermeer, C; Zwijsen, R M L; den Heijer, M; Comijs, H C
The aim of this study was to examine the association between dephospho-uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP), an indicator of vitamin K status, and cognitive decline, and the modifying role of 25(OH)D. Longitudinal study with six years follow-up. Community based. 599 participants of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (aged 55-65 years). Information processing speed and a composite Z-score by combining three domains of cognition reflecting general cognitive functioning. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) showed no significant associations between dp-ucMGP and decline in general cognitive functioning. Vitamin D modified the association between dp-ucMGP and speed of information processing (p 50 nmol/l, the highest tertile of dp-ucMGP (>406 pmol/l), which corresponds to lower vitamin K levels, was associated with 1.5 higher score on information processing speed (p=0.023) as compared to the lowest tertile of dp-ucMGP. In contrast to our hypothesis, a suboptimal vitamin K was not associated with cognitive decline in middle-aged adults.
Barbara J. Bond; Nicole M. Czarnomski; Clifton Cooper; Michael E. Day; Michael S. Greenwood
The characteristic decline in height growth that occurs over a tree's lifespan is often called "age-related decline." But is the reduction in height growth in aging trees a function of age or of size? We grafted shoot tips across different ages and sizes of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) trees to determine whether...
Harris, N. R. P.
Stratospheric ozone depletion has been one of the leading environmental issues of the last 40 years. It has required research scientists, industry and government to work together to address it successfully. Steps have been taken to reduce the emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) under successive revisions of the measures in the 30 year old Montreal Protocol. These have led to a reduction in atmospheric ODS concentrations and so are expected over time to result in a reduction of chemical ozone depletion by ODS. This 'recovery' is being influenced by a number of other factors (natural variability, climate change, other changes in stratospheric chemistry) which makes it hard to provide good, quantitative estimates of the impact of the recent ODS reductions on stratospheric ozone. In this presentation, I discuss how ozone trends were linked to ODS during the period of ozone depletion and during the recent period of 'recovery', i.e. before and after the peak in atmospheric ODS. It is important to be as rigorous as possible in order to give public confidence in the advice provided through the scientific assessment process. We thus need to be as critical of our analyses of the recent data as possible, even though there is a strong expectation and hope from all sides that stratospheric ozone is recovering. I will describe in outline the main challenges that exist now and looking forward.
Svanes, Øistein; Bertelsen, Randi J; Lygre, Stein H L; Carsin, Anne E; Antó, Josep M; Forsberg, Bertil; García-García, José M; Gullón, José A; Heinrich, Joachim; Holm, Mathias; Kogevinas, Manolis; Urrutia, Isabel; Leynaert, Bénédicte; Moratalla, Jesús M; Le Moual, Nicole; Lytras, Theodore; Norbäck, Dan; Nowak, Dennis; Olivieri, Mario; Pin, Isabelle; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Schlünssen, Vivi; Sigsgaard, Torben; Skorge, Trude D; Villani, Simona; Jarvis, Debbie; Zock, Jan P; Svanes, Cecilie
Cleaning tasks may imply exposure to chemical agents with potential harmful effects to the respiratory system, and increased risk of asthma and respiratory symptoms among professional cleaners and in persons cleaning at home has been reported. Long-term consequences of cleaning agents on respiratory health are, however, not well described. This study aimed to investigate long-term effects of occupational cleaning and cleaning at home on lung function decline and airway obstruction. The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) investigated a multicenter population-based cohort at three time points over 20 years. A total of 6,235 participants with at least one lung function measurement from 22 study centers, who in ECRHS II responded to questionnaire modules concerning cleaning activities between ECRHS I and ECRHS II, were included. The data were analyzed with mixed linear models adjusting for potential confounders. As compared with women not engaged in cleaning (ΔFEV 1 = -18.5 ml/yr), FEV 1 declined more rapidly in women responsible for cleaning at home (-22.1; P = 0.01) and occupational cleaners (-22.4; P = 0.03). The same was found for decline in FVC (ΔFVC = -8.8 ml/yr; -13.1, P = 0.02; and -15.9, P = 0.002; respectively). Both cleaning sprays and other cleaning agents were associated with accelerated FEV 1 decline (-22.0, P = 0.04; and -22.9, P = 0.004; respectively). Cleaning was not significantly associated with lung function decline in men or with FEV 1 /FVC decline or airway obstruction. Women cleaning at home or working as occupational cleaners had accelerated decline in lung function, suggesting that exposures related to cleaning activities may constitute a risk to long-term respiratory health.
Full Text Available Functional decline after hospitalization is a common adverse outcome in elderly. An easy to use, reproducible and accurate tool to identify those at risk would aid focusing interventions in those at higher risk. Handgrip strength has been shown to predict adverse outcomes in other settings. The aim of this study was to determine if handgrip strength measured upon admission to an acute care facility would predict functional decline (either incident or worsening of preexisting at discharge among older Mexican, stratified by gender. In addition, cutoff points as a function of specificity would be determined. A cohort study was conducted in two hospitals in Mexico City. The primary endpoint was functional decline on discharge, defined as a 30-point reduction in the Barthel Index score from that of the baseline score. Handgrip strength along with other variables was measured at initial assessment, including: instrumental activities of daily living, cognition, depressive symptoms, delirium, hospitalization length and quality of life. All analyses were stratified by gender. Logistic regression to test independent association between handgrip strength and functional decline was performed, along with estimation of handgrip strength test values (specificity, sensitivity, area under the curve, etc.. A total of 223 patients admitted to an acute care facility between 2007 and 2009 were recruited. A total of 55 patients (24.7% had functional decline, 23.46% in male and 25.6% in women. Multivariate analysis showed that only males with low handgrip strength had an increased risk of functional decline at discharge (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.79-0.98, p = 0.01, with a specificity of 91.3% and a cutoff point of 20.65 kg for handgrip strength. Females had not a significant association between handgrip strength and functional decline. Measurement of handgrip strength on admission to acute care facilities may identify male elderly patients at risk of having functional decline
García-Peña, Carmen; García-Fabela, Luis C.; Gutiérrez-Robledo, Luis M.; García-González, Jose J.; Arango-Lopera, Victoria E.; Pérez-Zepeda, Mario U.
Functional decline after hospitalization is a common adverse outcome in elderly. An easy to use, reproducible and accurate tool to identify those at risk would aid focusing interventions in those at higher risk. Handgrip strength has been shown to predict adverse outcomes in other settings. The aim of this study was to determine if handgrip strength measured upon admission to an acute care facility would predict functional decline (either incident or worsening of preexisting) at discharge among older Mexican, stratified by gender. In addition, cutoff points as a function of specificity would be determined. A cohort study was conducted in two hospitals in Mexico City. The primary endpoint was functional decline on discharge, defined as a 30-point reduction in the Barthel Index score from that of the baseline score. Handgrip strength along with other variables was measured at initial assessment, including: instrumental activities of daily living, cognition, depressive symptoms, delirium, hospitalization length and quality of life. All analyses were stratified by gender. Logistic regression to test independent association between handgrip strength and functional decline was performed, along with estimation of handgrip strength test values (specificity, sensitivity, area under the curve, etc.). A total of 223 patients admitted to an acute care facility between 2007 and 2009 were recruited. A total of 55 patients (24.7%) had functional decline, 23.46% in male and 25.6% in women. Multivariate analysis showed that only males with low handgrip strength had an increased risk of functional decline at discharge (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.79–0.98, p = 0.01), with a specificity of 91.3% and a cutoff point of 20.65 kg for handgrip strength. Females had not a significant association between handgrip strength and functional decline. Measurement of handgrip strength on admission to acute care facilities may identify male elderly patients at risk of having functional decline, and
Edmonds, Eric V.
The rapid economic growth of Vietnam provides an interesting insight into the sharp decline in child labor. A study of the rising economic status of the population across Vietnam shows that children returned to school or stopped working as their family incomes grew. The decline in child labor is steep in poor households as they emerged from…
Nolan J. Hess; William J. Otrosina; Emily A. Carter; Jim R. Steinman; John P. Jones; Lori G. Eckhardt; Ann M. Weber; Charles H. Walkinshaw
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) decline has been prevalent on upland sites of central Alabama since the 1960's. The purpose of this study was to compare Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) standards and protocols with root health evaluations relative to crown, stem, and site measurements. Thirty-nine 1/6 acre plots were established on loblolly decline...
Ho, Tuan Anh; Criscenti, Louise J.; Wang, Yifeng
Despite massive success of shale gas production in the US in the last few decades there are still major concerns with the steep decline in wellbore production and the large uncertainty in a long-term projection of decline curves. A reliable projection must rely on a mechanistic understanding of methane release in shale matrix-a limiting step in shale gas extraction. Using molecular simulations, we here show that methane release in nanoporous kerogen matrix is characterized by fast release of pressurized free gas (accounting for ~30-47% recovery) followed by slow release of adsorbed gas as the gas pressure decreases. The first stage is driven by the gas pressure gradient while the second stage is controlled by gas desorption and diffusion. We further show that diffusion of all methane in nanoporous kerogen behaves differently from the bulk phase, with much smaller diffusion coefficients. The MD simulations also indicate that a significant fraction (3-35%) of methane deposited in kerogen can potentially become trapped in isolated nanopores and thus not recoverable. Our results shed a new light on mechanistic understanding gas release and production decline in unconventional reservoirs. The long-term production decline appears controlled by the second stage of gas release.
Harley, Joel B.
Guided wave localization methods based on delay-and-sum imaging, matched field processing, and other techniques have been designed and researched to create images that locate and describe structural damage. The maximum value of these images typically represent an estimated damage location. Yet, it is often unclear if this maximum value, or any other value in the image, is a statistically significant indicator of damage. Furthermore, there are currently few, if any, approaches to assess the statistical significance of guided wave localization images. As a result, we present statistical delay-and-sum and statistical matched field processing localization methods to create statistically significant images of damage. Our framework uses constant rate of false alarm statistics and extreme value theory to detect damage with little prior information. We demonstrate our methods with in situ guided wave data from an aluminum plate to detect two 0.75 cm diameter holes. Our results show an expected improvement in statistical significance as the number of sensors increase. With seventeen sensors, both methods successfully detect damage with statistical significance.
Leibowitz, David; Jacobs, Jeremy M; Lande-Stessman, Irit; Gilon, Dan; Stessman, Jochanan
Background This study examined the association between cardiac structure and function and the deterioration in activities of daily living (ADLs) in an age-homogenous, community-dwelling population of patients born in 1920-1921 over a five-year follow-up period. Design Longitudinal cohort study. Methods Patients were recruited from the Jerusalem Longitudinal Cohort Study, which has followed an age-homogenous cohort of Jerusalem residents born in 1920-1921. Patients underwent home echocardiography and were followed up for five years. Dependence was defined as needing assistance with one or more basic ADL. Standard echocardiographic assessment of cardiac structure and function, including systolic and diastolic function, was performed. Reassessment of ADLs was performed at the five-year follow-up. Results A total of 459 patients were included in the study. Of these, 362 (79%) showed a deterioration in at least one ADL at follow-up. Patients with functional deterioration had a significantly higher left ventricular mass index and left atrial volume with a lower ejection fraction. There was no significant difference between the diastolic parameters the groups in examined. When the data were examined categorically, a significantly larger percentage of patients with functional decline had an abnormal left ventricular ejection fraction and left ventricular hypertrophy. The association between left ventricular mass index and functional decline remained significant in all multivariate models. Conclusions In this cohort of the oldest old, an elevated left ventricular mass index, higher left atrial volumes and systolic, but not diastolic dysfunction, were predictive of functional disability.
Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M
Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis.
Full Text Available Introduction: DM provokes peripheral complications and changes in central nervous system. Central changes in the course of diabetes mellitus (DM include changes in brain tissue structure, electrophysiological abnormalities but also disturbances in neurotransmission leading to cognitive decline.
Full Text Available Cognitive decline has a spectrum of presentations, which manifest from normality as part of senility to the established form of various neurodegenerative illnesses causing dementia. Understanding these various differential diagnoses is of great clinical significance as they have different management and interventional strategies. The neuropsychological deficits which are identified should follow known neuropathological disease patterns that helps in distinguishing different types of cognitive impairment to established dementia. It is important to look at different cognitive impairment in elderly with core diagnostic sense to define severity, type of cognitive impairments, identifying patients need for accommodation or adaptation, associated risks, effectiveness of therapies and predict mortality. This would help clinicians to identify and plan management based on individual needs in cases with variable cognitive impairment.
William E. Sharpe; Troy L. Sunderland
Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) is an important commercial tree species of the central hardwood region which is valued for its wood and maple sugar products. High elevation sugar maple stands in northcentral Pennsylvania have been in serious decline for about the last 15 years with more than 1,200 hectares of maple forest affected. The decline...
Tsakos, Georgios; Watt, Richard G; Rouxel, Patrick L; de Oliveira, Cesar; Demakakos, Panayotes
To examine the effect of total tooth loss (edentulousness) on decline in physical and cognitive functioning over 10 years in older adults in England. Secondary data analysis. English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a national prospective cohort study of community-dwelling people aged 50 and older. Individuals aged 60 and older (N = 3,166). Cognitive function (memory) was measured using a 10-word recall test. Physical function was assessed using gait speed (m/s). Generalized estimating equations were used to model associations between baseline edentulousness and six repeated measurements of gait speed and memory from 2002-03 to 2012-13. Models were sequentially adjusted for time, demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, comorbidities, health behaviors, depressive symptoms, and anthropometric measurements and mutually adjusted for gait speed or memory. Edentulous participants recalled 0.88 fewer words and were 0.09 m/s slower than dentate participants after adjusting for time and demographics. Only the latter association remained significant after full adjustment, with edentulous participants being 0.02 m/s slower than dentate participants. In age-stratified analyses, baseline edentulousness was associated with both outcomes in fully adjusted models in participants aged 60 to 74 but not in those aged 75 and older. Supplementary analysis indicated significant associations between baseline edentulousness and 4-year change in gait speed and memory in participants aged 60 to 74; the former was fully explained in the fully adjusted model and the latter after adjusting for socioeconomic status. Total tooth loss was independently associated with physical and cognitive decline in older adults in England. Tooth loss is a potential early marker of decline in older age. © 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.
Wolinsky Fredric D
Full Text Available Abstract Background Most prior studies have focused on short-term (≤ 2 years functional declines. But those studies cannot address aging effects inasmuch as all participants have aged the same amount. Therefore, the authors studied the extent of long-term functional decline in older Medicare beneficiaries who were followed for varying time lengths, and the authors also identified the risk factors associated with those declines. Methods The analytic sample included 5,871 self- or proxy-respondents who had complete baseline and follow-up survey data that could be linked to their Medicare claims for 1993-2007. Functional status was assessed using activities of daily living (ADLs, instrumental ADLs (IADLs, and mobility limitations, with declines defined as the development of two of more new difficulties. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to focus on the associations involving respondent status, health lifestyle, continuity of care, managed care status, health shocks, and terminal drop. Results The average amount of time between the first and final interviews was 8.0 years. Declines were observed for 36.6% on ADL abilities, 32.3% on IADL abilities, and 30.9% on mobility abilities. Functional decline was more likely to occur when proxy-reports were used, and the effects of baseline function on decline were reduced when proxy-reports were used. Engaging in vigorous physical activity consistently and substantially protected against functional decline, whereas obesity, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption were only associated with mobility declines. Post-baseline hospitalizations were the most robust predictors of functional decline, exhibiting a dose-response effect such that the greater the average annual number of hospital episodes, the greater the likelihood of functional status decline. Participants whose final interview preceded their death by one year or less had substantially greater odds of functional status decline
Giraldo Estrada, Horacio; Arboleda Casas, Felipe; Duarte, Monica; Triana Harker, Ricardo
The paper describes the decline and infiltrated lung in a patient of 45 years, with diagnosis of arthritis rheumatoid from the 43 years, asymptomatic, without treatment, married, of the 15 to the 35 years of 3 to 10 cigarettes daily, she refers of 7 months of evolution episodes of moderate dyspnoea with exercises and dry cough with occasional mucous expectoration between others
Mango Sudden Decline (MSD), sometimes referred to as mango wilt, is an important disease of mango caused by one of the most significant fungal species causing disease in woody plants, Ceratocystis fimbriata. This species is mainly disseminated by the mango bark beetle, Hypocryphalus mangiferae (Steb...
Ogada, Darcy L; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z
Vultures are nature's most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures' unique adaptations include soaring flight, keen eyesight, and extremely low pH levels in their stomachs. Presently, 14 of 23 (61%) vulture species worldwide are threatened with extinction, and the most rapid declines have occurred in the vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures has occurred for centuries, and shooting and deliberate poisoning are the most widely practiced activities. Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little
Huang, Honggang; Larsen, Martin Røssel; Karlsson, Anders H
phosphorylation in sarcoplasmic proteins from three groups of pigs with different pH decline rates from PM 1 to 24¿h. Globally, the fast pH decline group had the highest phosphorylation level at PM 1¿h, but lowest at 24¿h, whereas the slow pH decline group showed the reverse case. The same pattern was also...... observed in most individual bands in 1-DE. The protein phosphorylation levels of 12 bands were significantly affected by the synergy effects of pH and time (p......Meat quality development is highly influenced by the pH decline caused by the postmortem (PM) glycolysis. Protein phosphorylation is an important mechanism in regulating the activity of glycometabolic enzymes. Here, a gel-based phosphoproteomic study was performed to analyze the protein...
Kilpua, E. K. J.; Olspert, N.; Grigorievskiy, A.; Käpylä, M. J.; Tanskanen, E. I.; Pelt, J.; Miyahara, H.; Kataoka, R.; Liu, Y. D.
We study the relation between strong and extreme geomagnetic storms and solar cycle characteristics. The analysis uses an extensive geomagnetic index AA data set spanning over 150 yr complemented by the Kakioka magnetometer recordings. We apply Pearson correlation statistics and estimate the significance of the correlation with a bootstrapping technique. We show that the correlation between the storm occurrence and the strength of the solar cycle decreases from a clear positive correlation with increasing storm magnitude toward a negligible relationship. Hence, the quieter Sun can also launch superstorms that may lead to significant societal and economic impact. Our results show that while weaker storms occur most frequently in the declining phase, the stronger storms have the tendency to occur near solar maximum. Our analysis suggests that the most extreme solar eruptions do not have a direct connection between the solar large-scale dynamo-generated magnetic field, but are rather associated with smaller-scale dynamo and resulting turbulent magnetic fields. The phase distributions of sunspots and storms becoming increasingly in phase with increasing storm strength, on the other hand, may indicate that the extreme storms are related to the toroidal component of the solar large-scale field
Kilpua, E. K. J. [Department of Physics, University Helsinki (Finland); Olspert, N.; Grigorievskiy, A.; Käpylä, M. J.; Tanskanen, E. I.; Pelt, J. [ReSoLVE Centre of Excellence, Department of Computer Science, P.O. Box 15400, FI-00076 Aalto Univeristy (Finland); Miyahara, H. [Musashino Art University, 1-736 Ogawa-cho, Kodaira-shi, Tokyo 187-8505 (Japan); Kataoka, R. [National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518 (Japan); Liu, Y. D. [State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China)
We study the relation between strong and extreme geomagnetic storms and solar cycle characteristics. The analysis uses an extensive geomagnetic index AA data set spanning over 150 yr complemented by the Kakioka magnetometer recordings. We apply Pearson correlation statistics and estimate the significance of the correlation with a bootstrapping technique. We show that the correlation between the storm occurrence and the strength of the solar cycle decreases from a clear positive correlation with increasing storm magnitude toward a negligible relationship. Hence, the quieter Sun can also launch superstorms that may lead to significant societal and economic impact. Our results show that while weaker storms occur most frequently in the declining phase, the stronger storms have the tendency to occur near solar maximum. Our analysis suggests that the most extreme solar eruptions do not have a direct connection between the solar large-scale dynamo-generated magnetic field, but are rather associated with smaller-scale dynamo and resulting turbulent magnetic fields. The phase distributions of sunspots and storms becoming increasingly in phase with increasing storm strength, on the other hand, may indicate that the extreme storms are related to the toroidal component of the solar large-scale field.
Following several years of decline, the number of full-time Idaho Power employees increased to 1,528 at the end of 1989, up from 1,500 in 1988. The increase reversed a steady decline that began in 1984 when the company had a peak employment of 1,725. Last year's increase in the work force in part reflects recent additions in customers served and the electric demands of an expanding economy in the service area, as well as new regulatory requirements, the company said
Chambers, P.A.; Barko, J.W.; Smith, C.S.
During the past 60 yr, sightings of aquatic macrophyte species in geographic regions where they had previously not been found have occurred with increasing frequency, apparently due to both greater dispersal of the plants as a result of human activities as well as better documentation of plant distribution. Intercontinental invasions, such as Myriophyllum spicatum and Hydrilla into North America, Elodea canadensis into Europe and Elodea nuttallii, Egeria densa and Cabomba caroliniana into Japan, have generally been well documented. However, the spread of an exotic species across a continent after its initial introduction (e.g., Potamogeton crispus in North America) or the expansion of a species native to a continent into hitherto unexploited territory (e.g.,the expansion of the North American native Myriophyllum heterophyllum into New England) have received little attention. Natural declines in aquatic macrophyte communities have also received little scientific study although there are many accounts of macrophyte declines. The best-documented example comes from the marine literature where extensive declines of eelgrass (Zostera) occurred in the 1930s along the Atlantic coast due to a pathogenic marine slime mold (''wasting disease''). The aim of this workshop was to identify examples of invasions or natural declines of aquatic macrophyte species throughout the world and assess the importance of environmental factors in their control. Forty-five scientists and aquatic plant managers from ten countries participated in the workshop. Eleven of the participants contributed written evaluations of species invasions and declines in their geo-graphic region. These were distributed to registered participants prior to the meeting and served as the starting-point of workshop discussions. To address the topics raised in the working papers, the participants divided into four working groups to evaluate: 1. Environmental controls of species invasions. 2. Biotic controls of species
Ash, Sharon; Jester, Charles; York, Collin; Kofman, Olga L; Langey, Rachel; Halpin, Amy; Firn, Kim; Dominguez Perez, Sophia; Chahine, Lama; Spindler, Meredith; Dahodwala, Nabila; Irwin, David J; McMillan, Corey; Weintraub, Daniel; Grossman, Murray
We examined narrative speech production longitudinally in non-demented (n=15) and mildly demented (n=8) patients with Parkinson's disease spectrum disorder (PDSD), and we related increasing impairment to structural brain changes in specific language and motor regions. Patients provided semi-structured speech samples, describing a standardized picture at two time points (mean±SD interval=38±24months). The recorded speech samples were analyzed for fluency, grammar, and informativeness. PDSD patients with dementia exhibited significant decline in their speech, unrelated to changes in overall cognitive or motor functioning. Regression analysis in a subset of patients with MRI scans (n=11) revealed that impaired language performance at Time 2 was associated with reduced gray matter (GM) volume at Time 1 in regions of interest important for language functioning but not with reduced GM volume in motor brain areas. These results dissociate language and motor systems and highlight the importance of non-motor brain regions for declining language in PDSD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
On presenting the energy consumption figures for 1993 the Minister for Economic Affairs of Baden-Wuerttemberg Dieter Spoeri (SPD) spoke of the eternal task of saving energy. In his view the slight decline in energy consumption from 1992 to 1993 should not be interpreted as a greater willingness to save energy; its main cause is rather to be seen in the course of the economy. According to estimations, total energy consumption fell 0.5% and electricity consumption 1.0% from 1992 to 1993. The economy on the other hand, still a decisive factor in energy consumption, is estimated to have declined 3% during that period. In the ten years from 1983 to 1993 total energy consumption in the Land rose an average annual 1.8% while electricity consumption kept astride with the economy with an average annual rise 2.7%, he said. (orig./HP) [de
Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.
Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.
Full Text Available Our best estimates of 1 April snow water equivalent (SWE in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State indicate a substantial (roughly 15–35% decline from mid-century to 2006, with larger declines at low elevations and smaller declines or increases at high elevations. This range of values includes estimates from observations and hydrologic modeling, reflects a range of starting points between about 1930 and 1970 and also reflects uncertainties about sampling. The most important sampling issue springs from the fact that half the 1 April SWE in the Cascades is found below about 1240 m, altitudes at which sampling was poor before 1945. Separating the influences of temperature and precipitation on 1 April SWE in several ways, it is clear that long-term trends are dominated by trends in temperature, whereas variability in precipitation adds "noise" to the time series. Consideration of spatial and temporal patterns of change rules out natural variations like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation as the sole cause of the decline. Regional warming has clearly played a role, but it is not yet possible to quantify how much of that regional warming is related to greenhouse gas emissions.
He, Jian-Qing; Foreman, Marilyn G.; Shumansky, Karey; Zhang, Xuekui; Akhabir, Loubna; Sin, Don D; Man, S F Paul; DeMeo, Dawn L.; Litonjua, Augusto A.; Silverman, Edwin K.; Connett, John E; Anthonisen, Nicholas R; Wise, Robert A; Paré, Peter D; Sandford, Andrew J
Background Interleukin-6 (IL6) is a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokine which likely plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD. There is a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), −174G/C, in the promoter region of IL6. We hypothesized that IL6 SNPs influence susceptibility for impaired lung function and COPD in smokers. Methods Seven and 5 SNPs in IL6 were genotyped in two nested case-control samples derived from the Lung Health Study (LHS) based on phenotypes of rate of decline of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) over 5 years and baseline FEV1 at the beginning of the LHS. Serum IL6 concentrations were measured for all subjects. A partially overlapping panel of 9 IL6 SNPs was genotyped in 389 COPD cases from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) and 420 controls from the Normative Aging Study (NAS). Results In the LHS, three IL6 SNPs were associated with FEV1 decline (0.023 ≤ P ≤ 0.041 in additive models). Among them the IL6_−174C allele was associated with rapid decline of lung function. The association was more significant in a genotype-based analysis (P = 0.006). In the NETT-NAS study, IL6_−174G/C and four other IL6 SNPs, all of which are in linkage disequilibrium with IL6_−174G/C, were associated with susceptibility to COPD (0.01 ≤ P ≤ 0.04 in additive genetic models). Conclusion Our results suggest that the IL6_−174G/C SNP is associated with rapid decline of FEV1 and susceptibility to COPD in smokers. PMID:19359268
Full Text Available Between the years 1993 and 2008, mortality rates from coronary heart disease (CHD in the Slovak Republic have decreased by almost one quarter. However, this was a smaller decline than in neighbouring countries. The aim of this modelling study was therefore to quantify the contributions of risk factor changes and the use of evidence-based medical therapies to the CHD mortality decline between 1993 and 2008.We identified, obtained and scrutinised the data required for the model. These data detailed trends in the major population cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, blood pressure, total cholesterol, diabetes prevalence, body mass index (BMI and physical activity levels, and also the uptake of all standard CHD treatments. The main data sources were official statistics (National Health Information Centre and Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic and national representative studies (AUDIT, SLOVAKS, SLOVASeZ, CINDI, EHES, EHIS. The previously validated IMPACT policy model was then used to combine and integrate these data with effect sizes from published meta-analyses quantifying the effectiveness of specific evidence-based treatments, and population-wide changes in cardiovascular risk factors. Results were expressed as deaths prevented or postponed (DPPs attributable to risk factor changes or treatments. Uncertainties were explored using sensitivity analyses.Between 1993 and 2008 age-adjusted CHD mortality rates in the Slovak Republic (SR decreased by 23% in men and 26% in women aged 25-74 years. This represented some 1820 fewer CHD deaths in 2008 than expected if mortality rates had not fallen. The IMPACT model explained 91% of this mortality decline. Approximately 50% of the decline was attributable to changes in acute phase and secondary prevention treatments, particularly acute and chronic treatments for heart failure (≈12%, acute coronary syndrome treatments (≈9% and secondary prevention following AMI and revascularisation (≈8
Psota, Marek; Bandosz, Piotr; Gonçalvesová, Eva; Avdičová, Mária; Bucek Pšenková, Mária; Studenčan, Martin; Pekarčíková, Jarmila; Capewell, Simon; O'Flaherty, Martin
Between the years 1993 and 2008, mortality rates from coronary heart disease (CHD) in the Slovak Republic have decreased by almost one quarter. However, this was a smaller decline than in neighbouring countries. The aim of this modelling study was therefore to quantify the contributions of risk factor changes and the use of evidence-based medical therapies to the CHD mortality decline between 1993 and 2008. We identified, obtained and scrutinised the data required for the model. These data detailed trends in the major population cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, blood pressure, total cholesterol, diabetes prevalence, body mass index (BMI) and physical activity levels), and also the uptake of all standard CHD treatments. The main data sources were official statistics (National Health Information Centre and Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic) and national representative studies (AUDIT, SLOVAKS, SLOVASeZ, CINDI, EHES, EHIS). The previously validated IMPACT policy model was then used to combine and integrate these data with effect sizes from published meta-analyses quantifying the effectiveness of specific evidence-based treatments, and population-wide changes in cardiovascular risk factors. Results were expressed as deaths prevented or postponed (DPPs) attributable to risk factor changes or treatments. Uncertainties were explored using sensitivity analyses. Between 1993 and 2008 age-adjusted CHD mortality rates in the Slovak Republic (SR) decreased by 23% in men and 26% in women aged 25-74 years. This represented some 1820 fewer CHD deaths in 2008 than expected if mortality rates had not fallen. The IMPACT model explained 91% of this mortality decline. Approximately 50% of the decline was attributable to changes in acute phase and secondary prevention treatments, particularly acute and chronic treatments for heart failure (≈12%), acute coronary syndrome treatments (≈9%) and secondary prevention following AMI and revascularisation (≈8%). Changes in CHD
Full Text Available A loss of sperm viability and functionality during sperm transfer and storage within the female reproductive tract can have important fitness implications by disrupting fertilization and impairing offspring development and survival. Consequently, mechanisms that mitigate the temporal decline in sperm function are likely to be important targets of selection. In many species, ovarian fluid is known to regulate and maintain sperm quality. In this paper, we use the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a highly polyandrous freshwater fish exhibiting internal fertilization and sperm storage, to determine whether ovarian fluid (OF influences the decline in sperm viability (the proportion of live sperm in the ejaculate over time and whether any observed effects depend on male sexual ornamentation. To address these questions we used a paired experimental design in which ejaculates from individual males were tested in vitro both in presence and absence of OF. Our results revealed that the temporal decline in sperm viability was significantly reduced in the presence of OF compared to a saline control. This finding raises the intriguing possibility that OF may play a role in mediating the decline in sperm quality due to the deleterious effects of sperm ageing, although other possible explanations for this observation are discussed. Interestingly, we also show that the age-related decline in sperm viability was contingent on male sexual ornamentation; males with relatively high levels of iridescence (indicating higher sexual attractiveness exhibited a more pronounced decline in sperm viability over time than their less ornamented counterparts. This latter finding offers possible insights into the functional basis for the previously observed trade-off between these key components of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection.
Fu, Guobin; Charles, Stephen P.; Chiew, Francis H. S.; Ekström, Marie; Potter, Nick J.
The nonhomogeneous hidden Markov model (NHMM) statistical downscaling model, 38 catchments in southeast Australia and 19 general circulation models (GCMs) were used in this study to demonstrate statistical downscaling uncertainties caused by equifinality to and transferability. That is to say, there could be multiple sets of predictors that give similar daily rainfall simulation results for both calibration and validation periods, but project different amounts (or even directions of change) of rainfall changing in the future. Results indicated that two sets of predictors (Set 1 with predictors of sea level pressure north-south gradient, u-wind at 700 hPa, v-wind at 700 hPa, and specific humidity at 700 hPa and Set 2 with predictors of sea level pressure north-south gradient, u-wind at 700 hPa, v-wind at 700 hPa, and dewpoint temperature depression at 850 hPa) as inputs to the NHMM produced satisfactory results of seasonal rainfall in comparison with observations. For example, during the model calibration period, the relative errors across the 38 catchments ranged from 0.48 to 1.76% with a mean value of 1.09% for the predictor Set 1, and from 0.22 to 2.24% with a mean value of 1.16% for the predictor Set 2. However, the changes of future rainfall from NHMM projections based on 19 GCMs produced projections with a different sign for these two different sets of predictors: Set 1 predictors project an increase of future rainfall with magnitudes depending on future time periods and emission scenarios, but Set 2 predictors project a decline of future rainfall. Such divergent projections may present a significant challenge for applications of statistical downscaling as well as climate change impact studies, and could potentially imply caveats in many existing studies in the literature.
Ewing, R. P.; Hu, Q.
Shale gas production forms an increasing fraction of domestic US energy supplies, but individual gas production wells show steep production declines. Better understanding of this production decline would allow better economic forecasting; better understanding of the reasons behind the decline would allow better production management. Yet despite these incentives, production declines curves remain poorly understood, and current analyses range from Arps' purely empirical equation to new sophisticated approaches requiring multiple unavailable parameters. Models often fail to capture salient features: for example, in log-log space many wells decline with an exponent markedly different from the -0.5 expected from diffusion, and often show a transition from one decline mode to another. We propose a new approach based on the assumption that the rate-limiting step is gas movement from the matrix to the induced fracture network. The matrix is represented as an assemblage of equivalent spheres (geometry), with low matrix pore connectivity (topology) that results in a distance-dependent accessible porosity profile given by percolation theory. The basic theory has just 2 parameters: the sphere size distribution (geometry), and the crossover distance (topology) that characterizes the porosity distribution. The theory is readily extended to include e.g. alternative geometries and bi-modal size distributions. Comparisons with historical data are promising.
Mirosław Mrozkowiak; Hanna Żukowska
Mrozkowiak Mirosław, Żukowska Hanna. Znaczenie Dobrego Krzesła, jako elementu szkolnego i domowego środowiska ucznia, w profilaktyce zaburzeń statyki postawy ciała = The significance of Good Chair as part of children’s school and home environment in the preventive treatment of body statistics distortions. Journal of Education, Health and Sport. 2015;5(7):179-215. ISSN 2391-8306. DOI 10.5281/zenodo.19832 http://ojs.ukw.edu.pl/index.php/johs/article/view/2015%3B5%287%29%3A179-215 https:...
Pereira, Carlos A. de B.; Stern, Julio Michael; Wechsler, Sergio
The Full Bayesian Significance Test, FBST, is extensively reviewed. Its test statistic, a genuine Bayesian measure of evidence, is discussed in detail. Its behavior in some problems of statistical inference like testing for independence in contingency tables is discussed.
Verhoef, M J; Rose, M S; White, M; Balneaves, L G
Several studies have shown that a small but significant percentage of cancer patients decline one or more conventional cancer treatments and use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) instead. Here, drawing on the literature and on our own ongoing research, we describe why cancer patients decide to decline conventional cancer treatments, who those patients are, and the response by physicians to patients who make such decisions. Poor doctor-patient communication, the emotional impact of the cancer diagnosis, perceived severity of conventional treatment side effects, a high need for decision-making control, and strong beliefs in holistic healing appear to affect the decision by patients to decline some or all conventional cancer treatments. Many patients indicate that they value ongoing follow-up care from their oncologists provided that the oncologists respect their beliefs. Patients declining conventional treatments have a strong sense of internal control and prefer to make the final treatment decisions after considering the opinions of their doctors. Few studies have looked at the response by physicians to patients making such a decision. Where research has been done, it found that a tendency by doctors to dichotomize patient decisions as rational or irrational may interfere with the ability of the doctors to respond with sensitivity and understanding. Declining conventional treatment is not necessarily an indicator of distrust of the medical system, but rather a reflection of many personal factors. Accepting and respecting such decisions may be instrumental in "keeping the door open."
Adalberto Studart Neto
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Background: Mild cognitive impairment is considered as the first clinical manifestation of Alzheimer's disease (AD, when the individual exhibits below performance on standardized neuropsychological tests. However, some subjects before having a lower performance on cognitive assessments already have a subjective memory complaint. Objective: A review about subjective cognitive decline, the association with AD biomarkers and risk of conversion to dementia. Methods: We performed a comprehensive non-systematic review on PubMed. The keywords used in the search were terms related to subjective cognitive decline. Results: Subjective cognitive decline is characterized by self-experience of deterioration in cognitive performance not detected objectively through formal neuropsychological testing. However, various terms and definitions have been used in the literature and the lack of a widely accepted concept hampers comparison of studies. Epidemiological data have shown that individuals with subjective cognitive decline are at increased risk of progression to AD dementia. In addition, there is evidence that this group has a higher prevalence of positive biomarkers for amyloidosis and neurodegeneration. However, Alzheimer's disease is not the only cause of subjective cognitive decline and various other conditions can be associated with subjective memory complaints, such as psychiatric disorders or normal aging. The features suggestive of a neurodegenerative disorder are: onset of decline within the last five years, age at onset above 60 years, associated concerns about decline and confirmation by an informant. Conclusion: These findings support the idea that subjective cognitive complaints may be an early clinical marker that precedes mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.
Kunst, A. E.; Looman, C. W.; Mackenbach, J. P.
In most countries, numbers of deaths rise considerably during the winter season. This winter excess in mortality has, however, been declining during recent decades. The causes of this decline are hardly known. This paper attempts to derive a number of hypotheses on the basis of a detailed
Whitwell, Jennifer L; Weigand, Stephen D; Duffy, Joseph R; Clark, Heather M; Strand, Edythe A; Machulda, Mary M; Spychalla, Anthony J; Senjem, Matthew L; Jack, Clifford R; Josephs, Keith A
To determine whether baseline clinical and MRI features predict rate of clinical decline in patients with progressive apraxia of speech (AOS). Thirty-four patients with progressive AOS, with AOS either in isolation or in the presence of agrammatic aphasia, were followed up longitudinally for up to 4 visits, with clinical testing and MRI at each visit. Linear mixed-effects regression models including all visits (n = 94) were used to assess baseline clinical and MRI variables that predict rate of worsening of aphasia, motor speech, parkinsonism, and behavior. Clinical predictors included baseline severity and AOS type. MRI predictors included baseline frontal, premotor, motor, and striatal gray matter volumes. More severe parkinsonism at baseline was associated with faster rate of decline in parkinsonism. Patients with predominant sound distortions (AOS type 1) showed faster rates of decline in aphasia and motor speech, while patients with segmented speech (AOS type 2) showed faster rates of decline in parkinsonism. On MRI, we observed trends for fastest rates of decline in aphasia in patients with relatively small left, but preserved right, Broca area and precentral cortex. Bilateral reductions in lateral premotor cortex were associated with faster rates of decline of behavior. No associations were observed between volumes and decline in motor speech or parkinsonism. Rate of decline of each of the 4 clinical features assessed was associated with different baseline clinical and regional MRI predictors. Our findings could help improve prognostic estimates for these patients. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.
Decoster, L; Kenis, C; Schallier, D; Vansteenkiste, J; Nackaerts, K; Vanacker, L; Vandewalle, N; Flamaing, J; Lobelle, J P; Milisen, K; De Grève, J; Wildiers, H
Older patients with lung cancer are a heterogeneous population making treatment decisions complex. This study aims to evaluate the value of geriatric assessment (GA) as well as the evolution of functional status (FS) in older patients with lung cancer, and to identify predictors associated with functional decline and overall survival (OS). At baseline, GA was performed in patients ≥70 years with newly diagnosed lung cancer. FS measured by activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) was reassessed at follow-up to define functional decline and OS was collected. Predictors for functional decline and OS were determined. Two hundred and forty-five patients were included in this study. At baseline, GA deficiencies were present in all domains and ADL and IADL were impaired in 51 and 63% of patients, respectively. At follow-up, functional decline in ADL was observed in 23% and in IADL in 45% of patients. In multivariable analysis, radiotherapy was predictive for ADL decline. No other predictors for ADL or IADL decline were identified. Stage and baseline performance status were predictive for OS. Older patients with lung cancer present with multiple deficiencies covering all geriatric domains. During treatment, functional decline is observed in almost half of the patients. None of the specific domains of the GA were predictive for functional decline or survival, probably because of the high impact of the aggressiveness of this tumor type leading to a poor prognosis.
Barragan, Noel C; Moschetti, Kristin; Smith, Lisa V; Sorvillo, Frank; Kuo, Tony
After reaching an all time low in 2000, the rate of syphilis in the United States has been steadily increasing. Parallel benchmarking of the disease's mortality burden has not been undertaken. Using ICD-10 classification, all syphilis-related deaths in the national Multiple Cause of Death dataset were examined for the period 2000-2014. Descriptive statistics and age-adjusted mortality rates were generated. Poisson regression was performed to analyze trends over time. A matched case-control analysis was conducted to assess the associations between syphilis-related deaths and comorbid conditions listed in the death records. A total of 1,829 deaths were attributed to syphilis; 32% (n = 593) identified syphilis as the underlying cause of death. Most decedents were men (60%) and either black (48%) or white (39%). Decedents aged ≥85 years had the highest average mortality rate (0.47 per 100,000 population; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42-0.52). For the sampled period, the average annual decline in mortality was -2.90% (95% CI, -3.93% to -1.87%). However, the average annual percent change varied across subgroups of interest. Declines in U.S. syphilis mortality suggest early detection and improved treatment access likely helped attenuate disease progression; however, increases in the disease rate since 2000 may be offsetting the impact of these advancements. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This dissertation focuses on the role of family and social relationships in individuals’ reproductive careers during the fertility decline in Soviet Ukraine from around 1950 to 1975. These three decades after the Second World War signified the end of the First Demographic Transition in Ukraine
French wines, differentiated by geographic origin, served for many decades as a basis for the French success in the British wine market. However in the early 1990s, market share began to decline. This article explores the values that market participants placed on labelling information on French...
Davidson, Carlos; Knapp, Roland A
More than 40% of Earth's 5700+ amphibian species have undergone recent declines. Despite the likely involvement of multiple factors in driving these declines, most studies continue to focus on single stressors. In California (USA), separate studies have implicated either introduced fish or pesticides as causal agents. To date, however, no study has simultaneously evaluated the respective roles of these two potential stressors nor attempted to assess their relative importance, information critical for the development of effective conservation efforts and environmental policies. We examined the role and relative effect of fish and pesticides on the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) using unusually detailed data sets for a large portion of R. muscosa's historic range in California's Sierra Nevada. Habitat characteristics and presence/absence of R. muscosa and fish were quantified at each of 6831 sites during field surveys. Pesticide use upwind of each site was calculated from pesticide application records and predominant wind directions. Using generalized additive models, we found that, after accounting for habitat effects, the probability of R. muscosa presence was significantly reduced by both fish and pesticides, with the landscape-scale effect of pesticides much stronger than that of fish. The degree to which a site was sheltered from the predominant wind (and associated pesticides) was also a significant predictor of R. muscosa presence. Taken together, these results represent the strongest evidence to date that windborne pesticides are contributing to amphibian declines in pristine locations. Our results suggest that amphibian declines may have complex multi-factorial causes, and caution that single-factor studies that demonstrate the importance of one factor should not be used as evidence against the importance of other factors.
BACKGROUND: Reports indicate that nutritional and respiratory decline occur up to four years prior to diagnosis of cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD). Our aim was to establish whether intensive nutritional intervention prevents pre-diabetic nutritional decline in an adult population with CFRD. METHODS: 48 adult patients with CFRD were matched to 48 controls with CF, for age, gender and lung pathogen status. Nutritional and other clinical indices were recorded at annual intervals from six years before until two years after diagnosis. Data were also analysed to examine the impact of early and late acquisition of CFRD. RESULTS: No important differences in weight, height, body mass index (BMI), lung function or intravenous treatment were found between groups in the six years prior to diagnosis, nor any significant deviation over time. In those who developed diabetes, use of overnight enteral tube feeding (ETF) was four times as likely at the time of diagnosis, compared to controls [ETF 43.8% (CFRD) v 18.8% (CF Controls), OR 4.0, CI 1.3 to 16.4, p=0.01]. Age at onset of CFRD played a significant role in determining the pre-diabetic clinical course. Younger diabetics with continued growth at study onset (n=17) had a lower BMI from 2 years prior to diagnosis compared to controls [BMI 18.9 kg\\/m(2) (CFRD) v 20.8 kg\\/m(2) (CF Controls), diff=1.9, CI -0.1 to 3.7 p=0.04]. The BMI of older diabetics (completed growth at study onset) was equal to that of controls throughout. CONCLUSION: Pre-diabetic nutritional decline is not inevitable in adults with CFRD, but is influenced by age of onset. In the group overall, those with CFRD are more likely to require ETF from 2 years prior to diagnosis. Despite intensive nutritional intervention, patients who continue to grow throughout the pre-diabetic years, show a level of nutritional decline absent in older adults.
Jensen, Siv Aina; Mundry, Roger; Nunn, Charles L; Boesch, Christophe; Leendertz, Fabian H
New methods are required to increase our understanding of pathologic processes in wild mammals. We developed a noninvasive field method to estimate the body temperature of wild living chimpanzees habituated to humans, based on statistically fitting temperature decline of feces after defecation. The method was established with the use of control measures of human rectal temperature and subsequent changes in fecal temperature over time. The method was then applied to temperature data collected from wild chimpanzee feces. In humans, we found good correspondence between the temperature estimated by the method and the actual rectal temperature that was measured (maximum deviation 0.22 C). The method was successfully applied and the average estimated temperature of the chimpanzees was 37.2 C. This simple-to-use field method reliably estimates the body temperature of wild chimpanzees and probably also other large mammals.
Full Text Available Midlife cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipemia, and an unhealthy lifestyle, have been linked to subsequent incidence, delay of onset, and progression rate of Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. Conversely, optimal treatment of cardiovascular risk factors prevents and slows down age-related cognitive disorders. The impact of antihypertensive therapy on cognitive outcome in patients with hypertension was assessed in large trials which demonstrated a reduction in progression of MRI white matter hyperintensities, in cognitive decline and in incidence of dementia. Large-scale database correlated statin use and reduction in the incidence of dementia, mainly in patients with documented atherosclerosis, but clinical trials failed to reach similar conclusions. Whether a multitargeted intervention would substantially improve protection, quality of life, and reduce medical cost expenditures in patients with lower risk profile has not been ascertained. This would require appropriately designed trials targeting large populations and focusing on cognitive decline as a primary outcome endpoint.
Dupont, Corinne; Occelli, Pauline; Deneux-Tharaux, Catherine; Touzet, Sandrine; Duclos, Antoine; Bouvier-Colle, Marie-Hélène; Rudigoz, René-Charles; Huissoud, Cyril
Severe postpartum haemorrhage after vaginal delivery: a statistical process control chart to report seven years of continuous quality improvement To use statistical process control charts to describe trends in the prevalence of severe postpartum haemorrhage after vaginal delivery. This assessment was performed 7 years after we initiated a continuous quality improvement programme that began with regular criteria-based audits Observational descriptive study, in a French maternity unit in the Rhône-Alpes region. Quarterly clinical audit meetings to analyse all cases of severe postpartum haemorrhage after vaginal delivery and provide feedback on quality of care with statistical process control tools. The primary outcomes were the prevalence of severe PPH after vaginal delivery and its quarterly monitoring with a control chart. The secondary outcomes included the global quality of care for women with severe postpartum haemorrhage, including the performance rate of each recommended procedure. Differences in these variables between 2005 and 2012 were tested. From 2005 to 2012, the prevalence of severe postpartum haemorrhage declined significantly, from 1.2% to 0.6% of vaginal deliveries (pcontrol limits, that is, been out of statistical control. The proportion of cases that were managed consistently with the guidelines increased for all of their main components. Implementation of continuous quality improvement efforts began seven years ago and used, among other tools, statistical process control charts. During this period, the prevalence of severe postpartum haemorrhage after vaginal delivery has been reduced by 50%. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
John, A; Patel, U; Rusted, J; Richards, M; Gaysina, D
Evidence suggests that affective problems, such as depression and anxiety, increase risk for late-life dementia. However, the extent to which affective problems influence cognitive decline, even many years prior to clinical diagnosis of dementia, is not clear. The present study systematically reviews and synthesises the evidence for the association between affective problems and decline in cognitive state (i.e., decline in non-specific cognitive function) in older adults. An electronic search of PubMed, PsycInfo, Cochrane, and ScienceDirect was conducted to identify studies of the association between depression and anxiety separately and decline in cognitive state. Key inclusion criteria were prospective, longitudinal designs with a minimum follow-up period of 1 year. Data extraction and methodological quality assessment using the STROBE checklist were conducted independently by two raters. A total of 34 studies (n = 71 244) met eligibility criteria, with 32 studies measuring depression (n = 68 793), and five measuring anxiety (n = 4698). A multi-level meta-analysis revealed that depression assessed as a binary predictor (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.05-1.76, p = 0.02) or a continuous predictor (B = -0.008, 95% CI -0.015 to -0.002, p = 0.012; OR 0.992, 95% CI 0.985-0.998) was significantly associated with decline in cognitive state. The number of anxiety studies was insufficient for meta-analysis, and they are described in a narrative review. Results of the present study improve current understanding of the temporal nature of the association between affective problems and decline in cognitive state. They also suggest that cognitive function may need to be monitored closely in individuals with affective disorders, as these individuals may be at particular risk of greater cognitive decline.
van der Meer, P.H.
In this paper I try to answer the question whether the gender wage gap in the Netherlands is declining. I posed this question because on several other indicators labour market differences between men and women in the Netherlands declined or disappeared altogether. First of all the labour market
Dam, van R.M.; Schuit, A.J.; Schouten, E.G.; Vader, H.L.; Pop, V.J.M.
We examined the relation between total serum cholesterol decline and depression in the postpartum period in a prospective study of 266 Dutch women, who were followed until 34 weeks after delivery. The decline in serum cholesterol between week 32 of pregnancy and week 10 postpartum was similar for
van Dam, R M; Schuit, A.J.; Schouten, E G; Vader, H L; Pop, V.J.
We examined the relation between total serum cholesterol decline and depression in the postpartum period in a prospective study of 266 Dutch women, who were followed until 34 weeks after delivery. The decline in serum cholesterol between week 32 of pregnancy and week 10 postpartum was similar for
Full Text Available Groundwater decline is widespread, yet its implications for natural systems are poorly understood. Previous research has revealed links between groundwater depth and tree condition; however, critical thresholds which might indicate ecological ‘tipping points’ associated with rapid and potentially irreversible change have been difficult to quantify. This study collated data for two dominant floodplain species, Eucalyptus camaldulensis (river red gum and E. populnea (poplar box from 118 sites in eastern Australia where significant groundwater decline has occurred. Boosted regression trees, quantile regression and Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis were used to investigate the relationship between tree condition and groundwater depth. Distinct non-linear responses were found, with groundwater depth thresholds identified in the range from 12.1 m to 22.6 m for E. camaldulensis and 12.6 m to 26.6 m for E. populnea beyond which canopy condition declined abruptly. Non-linear threshold responses in canopy condition in these species may be linked to rooting depth, with chronic groundwater decline decoupling trees from deep soil moisture resources. The quantification of groundwater depth thresholds is likely to be critical for management aimed at conserving groundwater dependent biodiversity. Identifying thresholds will be important in regions where water extraction and drying climates may contribute to further groundwater decline. Keywords: Canopy condition, Dieback, Drought, Tipping point, Ecological threshold, Groundwater dependent ecosystems
Full Text Available The article is focused on the consideration between the agricultural land acreage and the amount of land tax in the selected sample of companies of agricultural primary production in the Slovak Republic within the period from 2010 to 2014 based on the data from departmental database of enterprises with primary agricultural production drawn from the factsheets of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic presented by the selected statistical methods. In particular, the article presents the agricultural land and land tax from the accounting and tax perspective of the Slovak Republic and the European Union. It can be resulted that a slightly declining trend of the mean acreage of agricultural land was recorded for the evaluated group of agricultural enterprises within the reported period, while the mean land tax value per hectare of agricultural land had increasing trend. Results of the survey on significances of differences in the values of the dependent variables at the level of combinations of factors of year and enterprise indicate that the acreage of agricultural land and the volume of the land tax are statistically dependant at the level of year, however there are not dependent at the level of combination of factors of year and enterprise within the surveyed period.
David Shapiro; Andrew Hinde
Background: This descriptive finding examines the comparative pace of fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa, relative to Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern Africa.Objective: We seek to determine if fertility decline has been slower in sub-Saharan Africa than elsewhere in the developing world.Methods: United Nations 2017 estimates of national fertility are used in assessing the comparative pace of fertility decline, and the four regions are compared in terms of how far they ...
Then, Francisca S; Luck, Tobias; Luppa, Melanie; König, Hans-Helmut; Angermeyer, Matthias C; Riedel-Heller, Steffi G
The aim of the present study was to investigate how different mentally demanding work conditions during the professional life-i.e., enriched environments at work-might influence the rate of cognitive decline in old age. Individuals (n = 1,054) of the Leipzig Longitudinal Study of the Aged, a representative population-based cohort study of individuals aged 75 years and older, underwent cognitive testing via the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in up to 6 measurement waves. Type and level of mentally demanding work conditions in the participants' former professional life were classified based on the O*NET job descriptor database. In multivariate mixed-model analyses (controlling for sociodemographic and health-related factors), a high level of mentally demanding work tasks stimulating verbal intelligence was significantly associated with a better cognitive functioning at baseline (on average 5 MMSE points higher) as well as a lower rate of cognitive decline (on average 2 MMSE points less) over the 8-year follow-up period compared with a low level. The rate of cognitive decline in old age was also significantly lower (on average 3 MMSE points less) in individuals who had a high level of mentally demanding work tasks stimulating executive functions than those who had a low level. The results suggest that a professional life enriched with work tasks stimulating verbal intelligence and executive functions may help to sustain a good cognitive functioning in old age (75+ years). The findings thus emphasize that today's challenging work conditions may also promote positive health effects. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
Forest stress and decline resulting from increased river flows were investigated in Myakka River State Park (MRSP), Florida, USA. Since 1977, land-use changes around the upper Myakka River watershed have resulted in significant increases in water entering the river, which have...
Full Text Available The productivity of a gas well declines over its production life as cannot cover economic policies. To overcome such problems, the production performance of gas wells should be predicted by applying reliable methods to analyse the decline trend. Therefore, reliable models are developed in this study on the basis of powerful artificial intelligence techniques viz. the artificial neural network (ANN modelling strategy, least square support vector machine (LSSVM approach, adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS, and decision tree (DT method for the prediction of cumulative gas production as well as initial decline rate multiplied by time as a function of the Arps' decline curve exponent and ratio of initial gas flow rate over total gas flow rate. It was concluded that the results obtained based on the models developed in current study are in satisfactory agreement with the actual gas well production data. Furthermore, the results of comparative study performed demonstrates that the LSSVM strategy is superior to the other models investigated for the prediction of both cumulative gas production, and initial decline rate multiplied by time.
Ilonka. H. van Veen
Full Text Available There is increasing evidence that activation of the complement system in asthma contributes to ongoing inflammation, tissue damage and airway remodeling. Mannose binding lectin (MBL is a pattern recognition molecule that serves as the key mediator of the lectin pathway of complement activation. MBL levels are genetically determined and vary widely amongst individuals. In the present study we hypothesized that high MBL levels in asthma are associated with increased loss of lung function over time, as a consequence of inflammatory tissue damage. We measured serum MBL levels by ELISA in 68 patients with severe asthma and prospectively determined the change in post-bronchodilator (pb FEV1 over a mean period of 5.7 years. The relationship between MBL and change in pbFEV1 (FEV1 was analysed using (multiple regression analysis and corrected for possible confounders (age, sex, age of onset, asthma duration, and pbFEV1. The median (range MBL level was 332 (10.8-3587 ng·ml–1. MBL was significantly associated with FEV1 (p<0.04. Patients with a high MBL level (332 ng·ml–1 had an increased risk of lung function decline compared to those with low MBL levels (OR (CI: 3.16 (1.14-8.79, p = 0.027; the excess decline being 42 ml·yr–1 (p = 0.01. We conclude that a high MBL level is associated with an increased decline in lung function in patients with severe asthma. MBL might provide a clue towards better understanding of the pathophysiology of ongoing inflammation and subsequent decline in lung function of patients with severe asthma.
Wang, Yu; Shumansky, Karey; Sin, Don D; Man, SF Paul; Akhabir, Loubna; Connett, John E; Anthonisen, Nicholas R; Paré, Peter D; Sandford, Andrew J; He, Jian-Qing
Objective: We reported association of haplotypes formed by IL-1b (IL1B)-511C/T (rs16944) and a variable number of tandem repeats (rs2234663) in intron 3 of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN) with rate of lung function decline in smoking-induced COPD. The aim of current study was to further investigate this association. Methods: We genotyped an additional 19 polymorphisms in IL1 cluster (including IL1A, IL1B and IL1RN) in non-Hispanic whites who had the fastest (n = 268) and the slowest (n = 292) decline of FEV1% predicted in the same study. We also analyzed the association of all 21 polymorphisms with serum CRP levels. Results: None of 21 polymorphisms showed significant association with rate of decline of lung function or CRP levels after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Before adjusting for multiple comparisons, only IL1RN_19327 (rs315949) showed significant association with lung function decline (P = 0.03, additive model). The frequencies of genotypes containing the IL1RN_19327A allele were 71.9% and 62.2%, respectively in the fast and slow decline groups (P = 0.02, odds ratio = 1.6, 95% confidence interval = 1.1-2.3); the IL1B_5200 (rs1143633) and rs2234663 in IL1RN were associated with serum CRP levels (P=0.04 and 0.03, respectively). Conclusions: No single marker was significantly associated with either rate of lung function decline or serum CRP levels. PMID:26722511
Cooper, B E
Statistics for Experimentalists aims to provide experimental scientists with a working knowledge of statistical methods and search approaches to the analysis of data. The book first elaborates on probability and continuous probability distributions. Discussions focus on properties of continuous random variables and normal variables, independence of two random variables, central moments of a continuous distribution, prediction from a normal distribution, binomial probabilities, and multiplication of probabilities and independence. The text then examines estimation and tests of significance. Topics include estimators and estimates, expected values, minimum variance linear unbiased estimators, sufficient estimators, methods of maximum likelihood and least squares, and the test of significance method. The manuscript ponders on distribution-free tests, Poisson process and counting problems, correlation and function fitting, balanced incomplete randomized block designs and the analysis of covariance, and experiment...
Lori Eckhardt; Mary Anne Sword Sayer; Don Imm
Pine decline is an emerging forest health issue in the southeastern United States. Observations suggest pine decline is caused by environmental stress arising from competition, weather, insects and fungi, anthropogenic disturbances, and previous management. The problem is most severe for loblolly pine on sites that historically supported longleaf pine, are highly...
Helmer, Catherine; Andrieu, Sandrine; Pérès, Karine; Orgogozo, Jean-Marc; Vellas, Bruno; Dartigues, Jean-François
To determine the predictive value of the 6-month evolution of the ADAS-cog score in initially mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients on the risk of death or severe dementia (MMSE ADAS-cog scale in the Real.fr study, a cohort of AD patients. Six classes of ADAS-cog evolution were distinguished, from the severest deterioration (decline >or=7 points) to the greatest cognitive improvement (gain >or=4 points). Among 536 AD patients, 53 (9.9%) had a 6-month decline of 7 points or more. This group with the severest deterioration was significantly associated with the risk of severe dementia or death at 2 years (relative risk, RR = 3.8, 95% confidence interval, CI = 2.1-6.8), even after adjustment for baseline MMSE, disability and ADAS-cog score (RR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.4-5.0). In addition, subjects with a decline by at least 4 points were also at greater risk of severe dementia. These results confirm the value of the ADAS-cog scale as a judgement criterion in clinical trials since it is a good surrogate marker of long-term prognosis. The proportion of fast decliners on the ADAS-cog could be a helpful judgement criterion for future trials in AD.
Buckley, Rachel F; Schultz, Aaron P; Hedden, Trey; Papp, Kathryn V; Hanseeuw, Bernard J; Marshall, Gad; Sepulcre, Jorge; Smith, Emily E; Rentz, Dorene M; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Chhatwal, Jasmeer P
To examine the utility of resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) measurements of network integrity as a predictor of future cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer disease (AD). A total of 237 clinically normal older adults (aged 63-90 years, Clinical Dementia Rating 0) underwent baseline β-amyloid (Aβ) imaging with Pittsburgh compound B PET and structural and rs-fcMRI. We identified 7 networks for analysis, including 4 cognitive networks (default, salience, dorsal attention, and frontoparietal control) and 3 noncognitive networks (primary visual, extrastriate visual, motor). Using linear and curvilinear mixed models, we used baseline connectivity in these networks to predict longitudinal changes in preclinical Alzheimer cognitive composite (PACC) performance, both alone and interacting with Aβ burden. Median neuropsychological follow-up was 3 years. Baseline connectivity in the default, salience, and control networks predicted longitudinal PACC decline, unlike connectivity in the dorsal attention and all noncognitive networks. Default, salience, and control network connectivity was also synergistic with Aβ burden in predicting decline, with combined higher Aβ and lower connectivity predicting the steepest curvilinear decline in PACC performance. In clinically normal older adults, lower functional connectivity predicted more rapid decline in PACC scores over time, particularly when coupled with increased Aβ burden. Among examined networks, default, salience, and control networks were the strongest predictors of rate of change in PACC scores, with the inflection point of greatest decline beyond the fourth year of follow-up. These results suggest that rs-fcMRI may be a useful predictor of early, AD-related cognitive decline in clinical research settings. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.
Ahmad, Asima K; Kao, Chia-Ning; Quinn, Molly; Lenhart, Nikolaus; Rosen, Mitchell; Cedars, Marcelle I; Huddleston, Heather
To estimate rates of ovarian aging in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) subjects versus a community control population. Longitudinal. Tertiary academic center. PCOS subjects diagnosed according to the 2004 Rotterdam criteria were systematically enrolled in a PCOS cohort study. The comparison control subjects were from the Ovarian Aging study, a prospective longitudinal study of ovarian aging in healthy women with regular menstrual cycles. Clinical data collection over two study visits. Antral follicle count (AFC), ovarian volume (OV), and antimüllerian hormone level (AMH). PCOS subjects were found to have higher baseline values for all ovarian reserve markers compared with control subjects. Univariate models indicated that, compared with control subjects, PCOS patients experienced significantly faster rates of decline for both AFC and AMH. Change in OV did not differ significantly. To account for potential confounder effects, multiple analysis of covariance models were evaluated for the best fit, considering age, body mass index, and baseline ovarian reserve markers. Adjusted models demonstrated that PCOS patients do not experience a significant difference in AFC decline compared with control subjects, but they do experience a faster rate of decline in AMH (POvarian aging in PCOS is characterized by a more rapid decline in AMH and a slower decline in OV compared with control subjects. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ever since coral reefs exist, changing environmental conditions have periodically led to their decline. However, within the perspective of geological time-spans, corals have always managed to re-install themselves. Today, human activity has enhanced stress factors and added new ones that cause a rapid and (on the human time-scale) irreversible decline of many reef ecosystems. The reasons for the disturbance of these complex communities are multiple, but global warming is a k...
Dec 29, 2009 ... forests of Central Europe, Eastern North America and the Pacific ... permit the reader to have general idea about forest decline. DEFINITION OF FOREST DECLINE. Definition of forest decline is not founded on a universal.
Hacker, J. David
This study relies on IPUMS samples of the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses, aggregate census data, and the timing of state laws criminalizing abortion to construct regional estimates of marital fertility in the United States and estimate correlates of marital fertility. The results show a significant lag between the onset of marital fertility decline in the nation’s northeastern census divisions and its onset in western and southern census divisions. Empirical models indicate the presence of cultural, economic, and legal impediments to the diffusion of marital fertility control and illustrate the need for more inclusive models of fertility decline. PMID:27757800
Early functional neuroimaging research on normal aging brain has been dominated by the interest in cognitive decline. In this framework the age-related compensatory recruitment of prefrontal cortex, in terms of executive system or reduced lateralization, has been established. Further details on these compensatory mechanisms and the findings reflecting cognitive decline, however, remain the matter of intensive investigations. Studies in another framework where age-related neural alteration is considered adaptation to the environmental change are recently burgeoning and appear largely categorized into three domains. The age-related increase in activation of the sensorimotor network may reflect the alteration of the peripheral sensorimotor systems. The increased susceptibility of the network for the mental-state inference to the socioemotional significance may be explained by the age-related motivational shift due to the altered social perception. The age-related change in activation of the self-referential network may be relevant to the focused positive self-concept of elderly driven by a similar motivational shift. Across the domains, the concept of the self and internal model may provide the theoretical bases of this adaptation framework. These two frameworks complement each other to provide a comprehensive view of the normal aging brain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Missimer, J; Knorr, U; Maguire, RP; Herzog, H; Seitz, RJ; Tellman, L; Leenders, K.L.
The computerized brain atlas (CBA) and statistical parametric mapping (SPM) are two procedures for voxel-based statistical evaluation of PET activation studies. Each includes spatial standardization of image volumes, computation of a statistic, and evaluation of its significance. In addition,
.... ( We are all Americans now. ) Since then, polls conducted by the U.S. Government and respected private firms have revealed a precipitous decline in favorability toward the United States and its foreign policy...
Full Text Available Germany has a record of more than 40 years of below-replacement fertility and annual death surplus. Hence, it is commonly accepted that Germany’s population will decline considerably in the coming decades. Recent increases in immigration may, however, challenge the official long-term demographic projections for Germany. This paper assesses the impact of a permanent higher-than-expected level of net immigration to Germany as in the past three years on the projections for population, age structure and ethnic makeup by mid-century.The paper adds a higher immigration variant to the Federal Statistical Office’s latest Coordinated Population Projection and two variants of a (a constant or (b decreasing fertility rate among migrant women. It can be shown that with permanent net migration as high as in recent years (around 300,000 per annum, Germany’s population would not significantly decrease in the coming decades but would rather remain at 80 million until 2050. On the other hand, the sharp rise in the old-age dependency ratio is only mildly weakened by increased immigration rates. This issue is therefore probably best addressed by other (or additional means. The increase in retirees will level off after 2035 in any case. The ethnic makeup of society would be affected to a greater degree than its age composition: The share of first- and second-generation immigrants among the total population is projected to rise to about 35 percent in this scenario (and to above 40 percent if the third generation is also counted.
Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A
Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.
Clinical outcomes and survival surrogacy studies of prostate‐specific antigen declines following enzalutamide in men with metastatic castration‐resistant prostate cancer previously treated with docetaxel
Saad, Fred; Phung, De; Dmuchowski, Carl; Shore, Neal D.; Fizazi, Karim; Hirmand, Mohammad; Forer, David; Scher, Howard I.; Bono, Johann De
BACKGROUND In the AFFIRM trial, enzalutamide significantly increased overall survival (OS) for men with metastatic castration‐resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) after chemotherapy versus placebo and significantly decreased prostate‐specific antigen (PSA) levels. The goal of this post hoc analysis was to associate levels of PSA decline from baseline after enzalutamide with clinical outcomes in the postchemotherapy mCRPC setting. METHODS Men in the AFFIRM trial (n = 1199) were grouped by maximal PSA decline in the first 90 days of treatment. Kaplan‐Meier estimates evaluated the association of defined PSA changes from baseline with OS, progression‐free survival (PFS), radiographic PFS (rPFS), and pain response. Each PSA decline category was assessed for OS surrogacy using Prentice criteria, proportion of treatment effect explained (PTE), and proportion of variation explained. RESULTS Men treated with enzalutamide had improved OS (hazard ratio, 0.63; P 19.0; P .20). CONCLUSIONS PSA declines of any, ≥30%, and ≥50% following enzalutamide were associated with greater clinical and pain response and improvements in PFS and OS. Surrogacy of PSA decline for OS was not fully established, possibly due to lack of PSA declines with placebo, and discordant results between PSA and imaging responses over time, and because some declines were not durable due to rapid resistance development. However, a lack of PSA decline by 90 days following enzalutamide treatment was a poor prognosis indicator in this setting. Conclusions from sensitivity analyses of maximal PSA decline from baseline over the entire treatment period are consistent with PSA declines restricted to the first 90 days. Cancer 2017;123:2303–2311. © 2017 American Cancer Society. PMID:28171710
The decline phenomena of Japanese cedar in Kanto and Koshin districts have attracted large interest regarding the relation with acid fallout. As the cause of the decline, the effect of acid fallout and the drying of the atmosphere was reported. The authors investigated this problem in whole Japan, and reported that in the decline of Japanese cedar trees, the secondary polluting substances in the atmosphere and the amount of rain fall during the growth period seemed to take part. In this report, based on the results of investigation from the viewpoint of field ecology, the present state of the decline of Japanese cedar trees in Kansai-Setouchi district is summarized, and the relation of the decline of Japanese cedar trees to the secondary polluting substances in the atmosphere is reported as the results of the synthetic investigation. The distribution of the decline of Japanese cedar forests and its relation to the distribution of oxidant index and the amount of rainfall, and the relation of the decline of Japanese cedar trees to the secondary polluting substances in the atmosphere are described. (K.I.)
Ong, Mei-Lyn; Tan, Pei Fang; Holbrook, Joanna D
Better predictors of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease course could enable smaller and more targeted clinical trials. Partially to address this aim, the Prize for Life foundation collected de-identified records from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis sufferers who participated in clinical trials of investigational drugs and made them available to researchers in the PRO-ACT database. In this study, time series data from PRO-ACT subjects were fitted to exponential models. Binary classes for decline in the total score of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale revised (ALSFRS-R) (fast/slow progression) and survival (high/low death risk) were derived. Data was segregated into training and test sets via cross validation. Learning algorithms were applied to the demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters in the training set to predict ALSFRS-R decline and the derived fast/slow progression and high/low death risk categories. The performance of predictive models was assessed by cross-validation in the test set using Receiver Operator Curves and root mean squared errors. A model created using a boosting algorithm containing the decline in four parameters (weight, alkaline phosphatase, albumin and creatine kinase) post baseline, was able to predict functional decline class (fast or slow) with fair accuracy (AUC = 0.82). However similar approaches to build a predictive model for decline class by baseline subject characteristics were not successful. In contrast, baseline values of total bilirubin, gamma glutamyltransferase, urine specific gravity and ALSFRS-R item score-climbing stairs were sufficient to predict survival class. Using combinations of small numbers of variables it was possible to predict classes of functional decline and survival across the 1-2 year timeframe available in PRO-ACT. These findings may have utility for design of future ALS clinical trials.
Bartolini, Stefano; Bilancini, Ennio; Pugno, Maurizio
During the last 30 years US citizens experienced, on average, a decline in reported happiness, social connections, and confidence in institutions. We show that a remarkable portion of the decrease in happiness is predicted by the decline in social connections and confidence in institutions. We carry out our investigation in three steps. First, we…
Rosenthal, Jeffrey S.
This article advocates that introductory statistics be taught by basing all calculations on a single simple margin-of-error formula and deriving all of the standard introductory statistical concepts (confidence intervals, significance tests, comparisons of means and proportions, etc) from that one formula. It is argued that this approach will…
Koh, Denise; Zawi, Mohd Khairi
Most postgraduate programmes, that have research components, require students to take at least one course of research statistics. Not all postgraduate programmes are science based, there are a significant number of postgraduate students who are from the social sciences that will be taking statistics courses, as they try to complete their…
The 1993-1995 period represents a time of significant transition for workers engages in nuclear-related activities. Total nuclear-related employment fell markedly from about 300,000 workers in 1993 to 265, 000 in 1995, a 12% decline. This is the lowest level since the 1970s. In 1995, a third of all nuclear-related employment was in the reactor operation and maintenance segment. 6 figs, 1 table
Kinch, Michael S
Since the 1970s, biotechnology has been a key innovator in drug development. An analysis of FDA-approved therapeutics demonstrates pharmaceutical companies outpace biotechs in terms of new approvals but biotechnology companies are now responsible for earlier-stage activities (patents, INDs or clinical development). The number of biotechnology organizations that contributed to an FDA approval began declining in the 2000s and is at a level not seen since the 1980s. Whereas early biotechnology companies had a decade from first approval until acquisition, the average acquisition of a biotechnology company now occurs months before their first FDA approval. The number of hybrid organizations that arise when pharmaceutical companies acquire biotechnology is likewise declining, raising questions about the sustainability of biotechnology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ferreira, Nicola; Owen, Adrian; Mohan, Anita; Corbett, Anne; Ballard, Clive
Emerging literature suggests that lifestyle factors may play an important role in reducing age-related cognitive decline. There have, however, been few studies investigating the role of cognitively stimulating leisure activities in maintaining cognitive health. This study sought to identify changes in cognitive performance with age and to investigate associations of cognitive performance with several key cognitively stimulating leisure activities. Over 65,000 participants provided demographic and lifestyle information and completed tests of grammatical reasoning, spatial working memory, verbal working memory and episodic memory. Regression analyses suggested that frequency of engaging in Sudoku or similar puzzles was significantly positively associated with grammatical reasoning, spatial working memory and episodic memory scores. Furthermore, for participants aged under 65 years, frequency of playing non-cognitive training computer games was also positively associated with performance in the same cognitive domains. The results also suggest that grammatical reasoning and episodic memory are particularly vulnerable to age-related decline. Further investigation to determine the potential benefits of participating in Sudoku puzzles and non-cognitive computer games is indicated, particularly as they are associated with grammatical reasoning and episodic memory, cognitive domains found to be strongly associated with age-related cognitive decline. Results of this study have implications for developing improved guidance for the public regarding the potential value of cognitively stimulating leisure activities. The results also suggest that grammatical reasoning and episodic memory should be targeted in developing appropriate outcome measures to assess efficacy of future interventions, and in developing cognitive training programmes to prevent or delay cognitive decline. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Iakovakis, Dimitrios; Hadjidimitriou, Stelios; Charisis, Vasileios; Bostantzopoulou, Sevasti; Katsarou, Zoe; Hadjileontiadis, Leontios J
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative movement disorder causing progressive disability that severely affects patients' quality of life. While early treatment can produce significant benefits for patients, the mildness of many early signs combined with the lack of accessible high-frequency monitoring tools may delay clinical diagnosis. To meet this need, user interaction data from consumer technologies have recently been exploited towards unsupervised screening for PD symptoms in daily life. Similarly, this work proposes a method for detecting fine motor skills decline in early PD patients via analysis of patterns emerging from finger interaction with touchscreen smartphones during natural typing. Our approach relies on low-/higher-order statistical features of keystrokes timing and pressure variables, computed from short typing sessions. Features are fed into a two-stage multi-model classification pipeline that reaches a decision on the subject's status (PD patient/control) by gradually fusing prediction probabilities obtained for individual typing sessions and keystroke variables. This method achieved an AUC = 0.92 and 0.82/0.81 sensitivity/specificity (matched groups of 18 early PD patients/15 controls) with discriminant features plausibly correlating with clinical scores of relevant PD motor symptoms. These findings suggest an improvement over similar approaches, thereby constituting a further step towards unobtrusive early PD detection from routine activities.
Gibson, David; And Others
A study of 18 Down Syndrome and 18 other mentally retarded adults found evidence of a significant erosion of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children scores from the third to fourth decades of life. The Block Design subtest was especially vulnerable to performance decline with age in the Down Syndrome adults. (Author/JDD)
Army Study Shows Decline in Behavioral Health Stigma By Rob McIlvaine Army News Service WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2012 - A newly released Army study on...conference yesterday. The three-year study outlines the problem of suicide in the Army and related issues of substance abuse, spouse abuse and child abuse...REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2012 to 00-00-2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Army Study Shows Decline In Behavioral Health Stigma 5a. CONTRACT
Cirillo, Pasquale; Taleb, Nassim Nicholas
We examine statistical pictures of violent conflicts over the last 2000 years, providing techniques for dealing with the unreliability of historical data. We make use of a novel approach to deal with fat-tailed random variables with a remote but nonetheless finite upper bound, by defining a corresponding unbounded dual distribution (given that potential war casualties are bounded by the world population). This approach can also be applied to other fields of science where power laws play a role in modeling, like geology, hydrology, statistical physics and finance. We apply methods from extreme value theory on the dual distribution and derive its tail properties. The dual method allows us to calculate the real tail mean of war casualties, which proves to be considerably larger than the corresponding sample mean for large thresholds, meaning severe underestimation of the tail risks of conflicts from naive observation. We analyze the robustness of our results to errors in historical reports. We study inter-arrival times between tail events and find that no particular trend can be asserted. All the statistical pictures obtained are at variance with the prevailing claims about ;long peace;, namely that violence has been declining over time.
In some patients with cancer that has spread to the brain, whole brain radiation following radiosurgery causes more severe cognitive decline and does not improve survival compared with radiosurgery alone, a new study has found.
Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi; Nakamura, Keisuke; Okuda, Nobuyuki
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) is a widely cultivated perennial veritable and can be harvested more than ten years. However, the crop quality and yield decline after a few year's cultivation, which is called "asparagus decline". Even though those asparagus plants were replaced with new young asparagus plants, the productivity and quality of the crop remain relatively low, which is known as a "asparagus replant problem". One of the possible reasons for "asparagus decline" and "asparagus replant problem" is thought to be autotoxicity of asparagus. However, the compounds involved in the autotoxicity is not clear. The objective of this study was therefore to determine the potential role of autotoxicity in the "asparagus decline" and "asparagus replant problem". An aqueous methanol extract of 10-year-asparagus-cultivated soils inhibited the growth of asparagus seedlings and other two test plants with concentration dependent manner. The result confirmed that the asparagus soils have autotoxic activity. The extract was then purified by several chromatographies with monitoring the inhibitory activity and a potent growth inhibitory substance causing the autotoxic effect was isolated. The chemical structures of the compound was determined by spectral data to be trans-cinnamic acid. trans-Cinnamic acid inhibited the growth of asparagus seedlings at concentrations greater than 10 μM. The concentrations required for 50% growth inhibition of asparagus (IC 50 ) were 24.1-41.6 μM. trans-Cinnamic acid accumulated 174 μM in the 10-year-asparagus-cultivated soils, which may be enough levels to cause the growth inhibition on asparagus considering its IC 50 value. Therefore, trans-cinnamic acid may contribute to the autotoxic effect of asparagus soils, and may be in part responsible for "asparagus decline" and "asparagus replant problem". Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Gomez, Scarlett Lin; Canchola, Alison J; Nelson, David O; Keegan, Theresa H M; Clarke, Christina A; Cheng, Iona; Shariff-Marco, Salma; DeRouen, Mindy; Catalano, Ralph; Satariano, William A; Davidson-Allen, Kathleen; Glaser, Sally L
In recent years, cancer case counts in the U.S. underwent a large, rapid decline-an unexpected change given population growth for older persons at highest cancer risk. As these declines coincided with the Great Recession, we examined whether they were related to economic conditions. Using California Cancer Registry data from California's 30 most populous counties, we analyzed trends in cancer incidence during pre-recession (1996-2007) and recession/recovery (2008-2012) periods for all cancers combined and the ten most common sites. We evaluated the recession's association with rates using a multifactorial index that measured recession impact, and modeled associations between case counts and county-level unemployment rates using Poisson regression. Yearly cancer incidence rate declines were greater during the recession/recovery (3.3% among males, 1.4% among females) than before (0.7 and 0.5%, respectively), particularly for prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers. Lower case counts, especially for prostate and liver cancer among males and breast cancer, melanoma, and ovarian cancer among females, were associated with higher unemployment rates, irrespective of time period, but independent of secular effects. The associations for melanoma translated up to a 3.6% decrease in cases with each 1% increase in unemployment. Incidence declines were not greater in counties with higher recession impact index. Although recent declines in incidence of certain cancers are not differentially impacted by economic conditions related to the Great Recession relative to pre-recession conditions, the large recent absolute declines in the case counts of some cancer may be attributable to the large declines in unemployment in the recessionary period. This may occur through decreased engagement in preventive health behaviors, particularly for clinically less urgent cancers. Continued monitoring of trends is important to detect any rises in incidence rates as deferred diagnoses come to
Kemper, S; Greiner, L H; Marquis, J G; Prenovost, K; Mitzner, T L
The present study examines language samples from the Nun Study. Measures of grammatical complexity and idea density were obtained from autobiographies written over a 60-year span. Participants who had met criteria for dementia were contrasted with those who did not. Grammatical complexity initially averaged 4.78 (on a 0-to-7-point scale) for participants who did not meet criteria for dementia and declined .04 units per year; grammatical complexity for participants who met criteria for dementia initially averaged 3.86 and declined .03 units per year. Idea density averaged 5.35 propositions per 10 words initially for participants who did not meet criteria for dementia and declined an average of .03 units per year, whereas idea density averaged 4.34 propositions per 10 words initially for participants who met criteria for dementia and declined .02 units per year. Adult experiences, in general, did not moderate these declines.
Clark, D Matthew T; Loxton, Natalie J; Tobin, Stephanie J
We examined changes in loneliness over time. Study 1 was a cross-temporal meta-analysis of 48 samples of American college students who completed the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale (total N = 13,041). In Study 1, loneliness declined from 1978 to 2009 (d = -0.26). Study 2 used a representative sample of high school students from the Monitoring the Future project (total N = 385,153). In Study 2, loneliness declined from 1991 to 2012. Declines were similar among White students (d = -0.14), Black students (d = -0.17), male students (d = -0.11), and female students (d = -0.11). Different loneliness factors showed diverging trends. Subjective isolation declined (d = -0.20), whereas social network isolation increased (d = 0.06). We discuss the declines in loneliness within the context of other cultural changes, including changes to group membership and personality. © 2014 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
Sergeant Martin J
Full Text Available Abstract Background The vast quantities of gene expression profiling data produced in microarray studies, and the more precise quantitative PCR, are often not statistically analysed to their full potential. Previous studies have summarised gene expression profiles using simple descriptive statistics, basic analysis of variance (ANOVA and the clustering of genes based on simple models fitted to their expression profiles over time. We report the novel application of statistical non-linear regression modelling techniques to describe the shapes of expression profiles for the fungus Agaricus bisporus, quantified by PCR, and for E. coli and Rattus norvegicus, using microarray technology. The use of parametric non-linear regression models provides a more precise description of expression profiles, reducing the "noise" of the raw data to produce a clear "signal" given by the fitted curve, and describing each profile with a small number of biologically interpretable parameters. This approach then allows the direct comparison and clustering of the shapes of response patterns between genes and potentially enables a greater exploration and interpretation of the biological processes driving gene expression. Results Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR-derived time-course data of genes were modelled. "Split-line" or "broken-stick" regression identified the initial time of gene up-regulation, enabling the classification of genes into those with primary and secondary responses. Five-day profiles were modelled using the biologically-oriented, critical exponential curve, y(t = A + (B + CtRt + ε. This non-linear regression approach allowed the expression patterns for different genes to be compared in terms of curve shape, time of maximal transcript level and the decline and asymptotic response levels. Three distinct regulatory patterns were identified for the five genes studied. Applying the regression modelling approach to microarray-derived time course data
Charles S. Hodges; Ken T. Adee; John D. Stein; Hulton B. Wood; Robert D. Doty
Portions of the ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha) forests on the windward slopes of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii began dying in 1952. Little mortality has occurred since 1972. About 50,000 ha are affected by the decline. Individual trees exhibit several symptoms, from slow progressive dieback to rapid death. Seven types of decline...
Yuan, Hao; Nielsen, Sidsel Marie; Shapiro, Alexander
Injectivity decline during sea waterflooding or produced water re-injection is widely observed in North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Campos Basin fields. The formation damage occurs mainly due to the deposition of suspended solids around injectors and the build-up the external filter cakes in the well...... bores. The ability to predict injectivity decline accurately is of great importance for project designs and water management. A comprehensive model that incorporates a variety of factors influencing the process is desirable for the prediction. In this paper, a new comprehensive approach for predicting...... injectivity decline during water flooding is proposed. The deep bed filtration is described by novel stochastic random walk equations. The injectivity decline model takes into account the reservoir heterogeneity and the distribution of solid particles by sizes. It also accounts for the later formation...
Lee, M.C.; Kang, H.; Kang, E.; Lee, J.S.; Lee, D.S.; Lee, D.W.; Cho, M.J.
Aim: Reduction of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in various cerebral regions and decline of cognitive function have been reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The aim of this study was to identify the brain areas showing correlation between longitudinal changes of rCBFs and decline of general mental function, measured by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in probable Alzheimer's disease patients. Materials and Methods: Nine probable AD patients according to NINCDS-ADRDA criteria and DSM-IV were studied with Tc-99m HMPAO SPECT at an initial point and at the follow-up after a period of average 1.8 year. MMSE score was obtained in both occasions (average MMSE 16.4 at initial study; average MMSE = 8.1 at follow-up). Single SPECT was performed in 30 age-matched normal controls. Each SPECT image was normalized to the cerebellar activity. Using statistical parametric mapping (SPM99), correlation was analyzed between individual changes in rCBF of two SPECT scans and the MMSE scores at the time of each study in AD patients. In addition, the SPECT images of the initial study and the follow-up study were compared with SPECT images of the age-matched normal group respectively. Results: Significant correlation between longitudinal changes of rCBFs and MMSE scores was found in left basal forebrain region including substantia innominata (x, y, z = -24, 16, -23; P < .05, corrected). Within a short follow-up period of 1.8 years, cerebral hypoperfusion extended to various cortical regions from bilateral temporo-parietal to bilateral frontal regions and cingulate cortex, compared to normal controls. Conclusion: The decline of cognitive function in individual AD patients was correlated with rCBF reduction in left basal forebrain. This finding supports the cholinergic hypothesis of AD since hypoperfusion in basal forebrain region might indicate deterioration of cholinergic neurons in nucleus basalis of Meynert or substantia innominata
This study identified the factors responsible for the decline of native amphibians in the U.S. The type of land use, the introduction of exotic animal species, and chemical contamination were identified as the most likely causes of decline.
Gimeno-Sotelo, Luis; Nieto, Raquel; Vázquez, Marta; Gimeno, Luis
In this study we use the term moisture transport for precipitation for a target region as the moisture coming to this region from its major moisture sources resulting in precipitation over the target region (MTP). We have identified changes in the pattern of moisture transport for precipitation over the Arctic region, the Arctic Ocean, and its 13 main subdomains concurrent with the major sea ice decline that occurred in 2003. The pattern consists of a general decrease in moisture transport in summer and enhanced moisture transport in autumn and early winter, with different contributions depending on the moisture source and ocean subregion. The pattern is statistically significant and consistent with changes in the vertically integrated moisture fluxes and frequency of circulation types. The results of this paper also reveal that the assumed and partially documented enhanced poleward moisture transport from lower latitudes as a consequence of increased moisture from climate change seems to be less simple and constant than typically recognised in relation to enhanced Arctic precipitation throughout the year in the present climate.
Mungas, Dan; Gavett, Brandon; Fletcher, Evan; Farias, Sarah Tomaszewski; DeCarli, Charles; Reed, Bruce
Level of education is often regarded as a proxy for cognitive reserve in older adults. This implies that brain degeneration has a smaller effect on cognitive decline in those with more education, but this has not been directly tested in previous research. We examined how education, quantitative magnetic resonance imaging-based measurement of brain degeneration, and their interaction affect cognitive decline in diverse older adults spanning the spectrum from normal cognition to dementia. Gray matter atrophy was strongly related to cognitive decline. While education was not related to cognitive decline, brain atrophy had a stronger effect on cognitive decline in those with more education. Importantly, high education was associated with slower decline in individuals with lesser atrophy but with faster decline in those with greater atrophy. This moderation effect was observed in Hispanics (who had high heterogeneity of education) but not in African-Americans or Caucasians. These results suggest that education is an indicator of cognitive reserve in individuals with low levels of brain degeneration, but the protective effect of higher education is rapidly depleted as brain degeneration progresses. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sam C Banks
Full Text Available Species in many ecosystems are facing declines of key resources. If we are to understand and predict the effects of resource loss on natural populations, we need to understand whether and how the way animals use resources changes under resource decline. We investigated how the abundance of arboreal marsupials varies in response to a critical resource, hollow-bearing trees. Principally, we asked what mechanisms mediate the relationship between resources and abundance? Do animals use a greater or smaller proportion of the remaining resource, and is there a change in cooperative resource use (den sharing, as the availability of hollow trees declines? Analyses of data from 160 sites surveyed from 1997 to 2007 showed that hollow tree availability was positively associated with abundance of the mountain brushtail possum, the agile antechinus and the greater glider. The abundance of Leadbeater's