Sleep is essential. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the population experiences altered sleep states that often result in a multitude of health-related issues. The regulation of sleep and sleep-wake cycles is an area of intense research, and many options for treatment are available. The following review summarizes the current understanding of normal and abnormal sleep-related conditions and the available treatment options. All clinicians managing patients must recommend appropriate therapeutic interventions for abnormal sleep states. Clinicians' solid understanding of sleep physiology, abnormal sleep states, and treatments will greatly benefit patients regardless of their disease process.
Abnormal sleep; apnea; dyssomnia; parasomnia; sleep physiology
contact lens; informed consent
Many patients with chronic pain receive substandard analgesic therapy. Incomplete or inadequate care often stems from physician fears of patient addiction and/or drug toxicity. As a result, many chronic pain patients are undertreated and have unrelieved pain that tempts them to overuse or to abuse prescribed pharmacologic treatments. In the last few years, educational efforts have targeted physicians who treat chronic, nonmalignant pain with information to improve prescribing strategies and to appreciate side effects. Additionally, opioid prescribing guidelines and educational programs, including World Health Organization-published guidelines for the management of cancer pain in 1986 and the American Pain Society's promotion of pain as the 5th vital sign, have increased the propensity of pharmacists, physicians, and pain specialists to dispense pain treatments.
Controversial and evolving consequences from this explosion of prescription opioid use have emerged and are discussed in this review, including prescribing principles, opioid analgesic side effects, and driving concerns.
With additional appreciation for the untoward effects of chronic analgesia and a better understanding of opioid pharmacology, physicians can utilize pain management treatments in a safer and more effective manner.
Analgesics—opioid; chronic pain; medication therapy management; opioid-related disorders
Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening syndrome that is precipitated by the use of serotonergic drugs and overactivation of both the peripheral and central postsynaptic 5HT-1A and, most notably, 5HT-2A receptors. This syndrome consists of a combination of mental status changes, neuromuscular hyperactivity, and autonomic hyperactivity. Serotonin syndrome can occur via the therapeutic use of serotonergic drugs alone, an intentional overdose of serotonergic drugs, or classically, as a result of a complex drug interaction between two serotonergic drugs that work by different mechanisms. A multitude of drug combinations can result in serotonin syndrome.
This review describes the presentation and management of serotonin syndrome and discusses the drugs and interactions that can precipitate this syndrome with the goal of making physicians more alert and aware of this potentially fatal yet preventable syndrome.
Many commonly used medications have proven to be the culprits of serotonin syndrome. Proper education and awareness about serotonin syndrome will improve the accuracy of diagnosis and promote the institution of the appropriate treatment that may prevent significant morbidity and mortality.
Drug toxicity; serotonin syndrome
There are few data on the persistence of individual human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmitted drug resistance (TDR) mutations in the absence of selective drug pressure. We studied 313 patients in whom TDR mutations were detected at their first resistance test and who had a subsequent test performed while ART-naive. The rate at which mutations became undetectable was estimated using exponential regression accounting for interval censoring. Most thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs) and T215 revertants (but not T215F/Y) were found to be highly stable, with NNRTI and PI mutations being relatively less persistent. Our estimates are important for informing HIV transmission models.
persistence; transmitted; HIV-1; resistance; mutations
Owing to the low therapeutic index of barbiturates, benzodiazepines (BZDs) became popular in this country and worldwide many decades ago for a wide range of conditions. Because of an increased understanding of pharmacology and physiology, the mechanisms of action of many BZDs are now largely understood, and BZDs of varying potency and duration of action have been developed and marketed. Although BZDs have many therapeutic roles and BZD-mediated effects are typically well tolerated in the general population, side effects and toxicity can result in morbidity and mortality for some patients. The elderly; certain subpopulations of patients with lung, liver, or kidney dysfunction; and patients on other classes of medication are especially prone to toxicity.
This review details the present knowledge about BZD mechanisms of action, drug profiles, clinical actions, and potential side effects. In addition, this review describes numerous types of BZD-mediated central nervous system effects.
For any patient taking a BZD, the prescribing physician must carefully evaluate the risks and benefits, and higher-risk patients require careful considerations. Clinically appropriate use of BZDs requires prudence and the understanding of pharmacology.
Adverse effects; benzodiazepines; central nervous system
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (neurofibromatosis-1), a relatively common single-gene disorder, is caused by a mutation of the NF1 gene that results in a loss of activity or in a nonfunctional neurofibromin protein. Clinical anesthesiologists may find patients with neurofibromatosis-1 challenging because this condition may affect most organ systems and result in a wide variety of presentations and clinical implications. Current neurofibromatosis-1 research studies include genotype-phenotype correlations, investigation of the pathoetiology behind the different clinical manifestations of neurofibromatosis-1, and the search for treatment options for the different features of the disorder. Neurofibromatosis-1–associated complications of the central nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems all present various degrees of considerations for anesthesiologists. Additionally, neurofibromatosis-1 has dramatic implications for pregnant women.
Anesthesia; café-au-lait macules; NF1 gene; neurofibromatosis type 1
Chronic pain patients often have comorbidities, including social habits such as tobacco abuse, they use to cope with pain states. This study tested the hypothesis that physician activism, communication, and interest in smoking cessation can reduce or eliminate tobacco use.
We developed a survey to evaluate patients' smoking habits and to determine if active physician participation changed these habits.
We surveyed a total of 112 patients. Of the 56 smokers, 59% reported they had previously tried to stop. Smokers initially reported smoking 25.5 cigarettes per day for an average of 18.4 years. After receiving monthly physician messages regarding smoking, 51 of the smokers (91%) reported a reduction. These patients reported an average of 7.2 cigarettes smoked per day. Of the smoking patients, 79% indicated that they were influenced to reduce or stop smoking at the clinic, and 86% recalled that they heard specific statements from their doctor in the clinic. After reducing the number of cigarettes smoked, patients reported breathing better (68%), feeling better (66%), and experiencing less pain (34%).
Physician influence correlated with smoking reduction in this study.
Nicotine; pain management; smoking; tobacco abuse
The use of phenylephrine has been well described as a potential cause of morbidity and mortality. A thorough literature review of phenylephrine use is presented in this article. The use of ketamine and epinephrine with phenylephrine can precipitate an even more potentially lethal and catastrophic syndrome. We present the case of a 21-year-old man with Hodgkin's lymphoma and lupus who experienced an abrupt hypertensive crisis followed by pulseless electrical activity and cardiogenic shock after application of 2.5% phenylephrine-soaked nasal pledgets prior to excision of a large nasopharyngeal tumor. This case report adds to the current literature on the potential dangers of phenylephrine in clinical practice and describes a case of reversible severe left ventricular dysfunction in the setting of excessive pharmacologically induced sympathetic stimulation.
Cardiogenic shock; Hodgkin's lymphoma; lupus; phenylephrine
Somatic mutations at Thr-58 of c-Myc have been detected in Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) tumors and have been shown to affect the transforming potential of the Myc oncoprotein. In addition, the N-terminal domain of c-Myc has been shown to interact with microtubules in vivo, and the binding of c-Myc to α-tubulin was localized to amino acids 48 to 135 within the c-Myc protein. We demonstrate that c-Myc proteins harboring a naturally occurring mutation at Thr-58 from BL cell lines have increased stability and are constitutively hyperphosphorylated, which disrupts the in vivo interaction of c-Myc with α-tubulin. In addition, we show that wild-type c-Myc–α-tubulin interactions are also disrupted during a transient mitosis-specific hyperphosphorylation of c-Myc, which resembles the constitutive hyperphosphorylation pattern of Thr-58 in BL cells.
The polymerization of alpha- and beta-tubulin into microtubules results in a complex network of microfibrils that have important structural and functional roles in all eukaryotic cells. In addition, microtubules can interact with a diverse family of polypeptides which are believed to directly promote the assembly of microtubules and to modulate their functional activity. We have demonstrated that the c-Myc oncoprotein interacts in vivo and in vitro with alpha-tubulin and with polymerized microtubules and have defined the binding site to the N-terminal region within the transactivation domain of c-Myc. In addition, we have shown that c-Myc colocalizes with microtubules and remains tightly bound to the microtubule network after detergent extraction of intact cells. These findings suggest a potential role for Myc-tubulin interaction in vivo.
Two hundred fifty clinical isolates of anaerobic bacteria were tested for suceptibility to cefoperazone, cefamandole, cefoxitin, carbenicillin, clindamycin, and chloramphenicol. Anaerobic gram-positive cocci were susceptible to all of the antibiotics tested. Clindamycin was the most active agent against Bacteroides species, followed by chloramphenicol and then cefoxitin. Cefoperazone was less active than cefoxitin and equal in activity to carbenicillin. Cefamandole was the least active antibiotic against Bacteroides. B. distasonis, B. vulgatus, B. thetaiotaomicron, and B. ovatus were more resistant to the antibiotics than B. melaninogenicus, B. oralis, or B. bivius. Clindamycin was the most active agent against Clostridium species, followed by chloramphenicol; the three cephalosporins and carbenicillin were about equal in activity. Clindamycin was the most active antibiotic against Fusobacterium species, followed by chloramphenicol, carbenicillin, and cefoperazone (which were about equally active) and then cefamandole.
The early stages of nuclear differentiation in spermatids of the house cricket are described with regard to the fine structural elements and chemical components which occur. Particular attention is given to the loss of nonhistone protein from the nucleus and its relation to chromatin structure. Granular elements about 25 to 80 mµ in diameter, and fibers about 8 mµ in diameter occur in the earliest spermatid nucleus. The fibers are found in diffuse and condensed chromatin while granules are found only in diffuse material. DNA and histone parallel the chromatin fibers in distribution, while nonhistone protein and RNA parallel the granules in distribution. The granules and most of the nonhistone protein are lost, simultaneously, after the early spermatid stage. The protein loss occurs without detectable change in the structure of chromatin fibers. Chromatin fibers first show a structural change in mid spermiogenesis, when they become thicker and very contorted. Unusually thin fibers (about 5 mµ) also appear in mid spermatid nuclei; they are apparently composed of nonhistone protein and free of DNA and histone.
To describe the challenges encountered in the recruitment and retention of a sample of older adolescent and young adult female survivors of childhood cancer for a longitudinal study testing a targeted psychosocial intervention aimed at enhancing hope.
Published literature on constructing longitudinal intervention studies and strategies in the recruitment and retention of childhood cancer survivors in research was used to develop the protocol of this study.
Using empirical literature to construct the study’s design resulted in achieving certain goals for the design, but not in the recruitment and retention of study participants. Using online technology to deliver the intervention and collect data was efficient and effective. Traditional approaches to recruitment and retention of those survivors, however, were not effective. Use of more novel approaches to enroll study participants demonstrated only modest success.
Additional research is needed on strategies to successfully recruit and retain older adolescents and young adult female survivors of childhood cancer in longitudinal intervention studies.
Implications for Nursing
The improvement in the psychological well-being of female survivors of childhood cancer remains an important outcome in ongoing care. The need to continue to identify creative and effective ways to recruit and retain those survivors is warranted.
To test for an association between the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele and dementias with synucleinopathy.
Genetic case-control association study.
Autopsied subjects were classified into 5 categories: dementia with high-level Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathologic changes (NCs) but without Lewy body disease (LBD) NCs (AD group; n=244), dementia with LBDNCs and high-level ADNCs (LBD-AD group; n=224), dementia with LBDNCs and no or low levels of ADNCs (pure DLB [pDLB] group; n=91), Parkinson disease dementia (PDD) with no or low levels of ADNCs (n=81), and control group (n=269).
Main Outcome Measure
The APOE allele frequencies.
The APOE ε4 allele frequency was significantly higher in the AD (38.1%), LBD-AD (40.6%), pDLB (31.9%), and PDD (19.1%) groups compared with the control group (7.2%; overall χ42=185.25; P=5.56×10−39), and it was higher in the pDLB group than the PDD group (P=.01). In an age-adjusted and sex-adjusted dominant model, ε4 was strongly associated with AD (odds ratio, 9.9; 95% CI, 6.4–15.3), LBD-AD (odds ratio, 12.6; 95% CI, 8.1–19.8), pDLB (odds ratio, 6.1; 95% CI, 3.5–10.5), and PDD (odds ratio, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.7–5.6).
The APOE ε4 allele is a strong risk factor across the LBD spectrum and occurs at an increased frequency in pDLB relative to PDD. This suggests that ε4 increases the likelihood of presenting with dementia in the context of a pure synucleinopathy. The elevated ε4 frequency in the pDLB and PDD groups, in which the overall brain neuritic plaque burden was low, indicates that apoE might contribute to neurodegeneration through mechanisms unrelated to amyloid processing.
A case-case-control study was conducted to identify independent risk factors for recovery of Escherichia coli strains producing CTX-M-type extended-spectrum β-lactamases (CTX-M E. coli) within a large Southeastern Michigan medical center. Unique cases with isolation of ESBL-producing E. coli from February 2010 through July 2011 were analyzed by PCR for blaCTX-M, blaTEM, and blaSHV genes. Patients with CTX-M E. coli were compared to patients with E. coli strains not producing CTX-M-type ESBLs (non-CTX-M E. coli) and uninfected controls. Of 575 patients with ESBL-producing E. coli, 491 (85.4%) isolates contained a CTX-M ESBL gene. A total of 319 (84.6%) patients with CTX-M E. coli (282 [74.8%] CTX-M-15 type) were compared to 58 (15.4%) non-CTX-M E. coli patients and to uninfected controls. Independent risk factors for CTX-M E. coli isolation compared to non-CTX-M E. coli included male gender, impaired consciousness, H2 blocker use, immunosuppression, and exposure to penicillins and/or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Compared to uninfected controls, independent risk factors for isolation of CTX-M E. coli included presence of a urinary catheter, previous urinary tract infection, exposure to oxyimino-cephalosporins, dependent functional status, non-home residence, and multiple comorbid conditions. Within 48 h of admission, community-acquired CTX-M E. coli (n = 51 [16%]) and non-CTX-M E coli (n = 11 [19%]) strains were isolated from patients with no recent health care contacts. CTX-M E. coli strains were more resistant to multiple antibiotics than non-CTX-M E. coli strains. CTX-M-encoding genes, especially blaCTX-M-15 type, represented the most common ESBL determinants from ESBL-producing E. coli, the majority of which were present upon admission. Septic patients with risk factors for isolation of CTX-M E. coli should be empirically treated with appropriate agents. Regional infection control efforts and judicious antibiotic use are needed to control the spread of these organisms.
Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) engage in relentless, restrictive eating and often become severely emaciated. Because there are no proven treatments, AN has high rates of relapse, chronicity, and death. Those with AN tend to have childhood temperament and personality traits, such as anxiety, obsessions, and perfectionism, which may reflect neurobiological risk factors for developing AN. Restricted eating may be a means of reducing negative mood caused by skewed interactions between serotonin aversive or inhibitory and dopamine reward systems. Brain imaging studies suggest altered eating is a consequence of dysregulated reward, and/or awareness of homeostatic needs, perhaps related to enhanced executive ability to inhibit incentive motivational drives. Understanding the neurobiology of this disorder is likely to be important for developing more effective treatments.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; dopamine; serotonin; fMRI; PET brain imaging
•Sodium antimony gluconate contributes towards the pathogenesis of PKDL.•UV light plays a pivotal role in the development of PKDL.•Development of PKDL can be viewed as a reinfection or activation of latent Leishmania parasites.•PKDL can be resolved by mounting an effective tissue-specific memory T cell response.•Host genetic factors play a contributory role.
Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL), a cutaneous sequela of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), develops in some patients alongside but more commonly after apparent cure from VL. In view of the pivotal role of PKDL patients in the transmission of VL, here we review clinical, epidemiological, parasitological, and immunological perspectives of this disease, focusing on five hypotheses to explain the development of PKDL: (i) the role of antimonial drugs; (ii) UV-induced skin damage; (iii) reinfection; (iv) organ specific failure of memory T cell responses; and (v) genetic susceptibility of the host. This review will enable researchers and clinicians to explore the unresolved mystery of PKDL and provide a framework for future application of ‘omic’ approaches for the control and eventual elimination of VL.
antimony; post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL); UV light; vitamin D; regulatory T cells
Development of appropriate interventions to increase male involvement in pregnancy and childbirth is vital to strategies for improving health outcomes of women with obstetric complications. The objective was to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences of male involvement in their partners’ healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth. The findings might inform interventions for increasing men’s involvement in reproductive health issues.
We conducted 16 in-depth interviews with men who came to the hospital to attend to their spouses/partners admitted to Mulago National Referral Hospital. All the spouses/partners had developed severe obstetric complications and were admitted in the high dependency unit. We sought to obtain detailed descriptions of men’s experiences, their perception of an ideal “father” and the challenges in achieving this ideal status. We also assessed perceived strategies for increasing male participation in their partners’ healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth. Data was analyzed by content analysis.
The identified themes were: Men have different descriptions of their relationships; responsibility was an obligation; ideal fathers provide support to mothers during childbirth; the health system limits male involvement in childbirth; men have no clear roles during childbirth, and exclusion and alienation in the hospital environment. The men described qualities of the ideal father as one who was available, easily reached, accessible and considerate. Most men were willing to learn about their expected roles during childbirth and were eager to support their partners/wives/spouses during this time. However, they identified personal, relationship, family and community factors as barriers to their involvement. They found the health system unwelcoming, intimidating and unsupportive. Suggestions to improve men’s involvement include creating more awareness for fathers, male-targeted antenatal education and support, and changing provider attitudes.
This study generates information on perceived roles, expectations, experiences and challenges faced by men who wish to be involved in maternal health issues, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth. There is discord between the policy and practice on male involvement in pregnancy and childbirth. Health system factors that are critical to promoting male involvement in women’s health issues during pregnancy and childbirth need to be addressed.
Revised diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer disease (AD) acknowledge a key role of imaging biomarkers for early diagnosis. Diagnostic accuracy depends on which marker (i.e., amyloid imaging, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose [FDG]-PET, SPECT, MRI) as well as how it is measured (“metric”: visual, manual, semiautomated, or automated segmentation/computation). We evaluated diagnostic accuracy of marker vs metric in separating AD from healthy and prognostic accuracy to predict progression in mild cognitive impairment. The outcome measure was positive (negative) likelihood ratio, LR+ (LR−), defined as the ratio between the probability of positive (negative) test outcome in patients and the probability of positive (negative) test outcome in healthy controls. Diagnostic LR+ of markers was between 4.4 and 9.4 and LR− between 0.25 and 0.08, whereas prognostic LR+ and LR− were between 1.7 and 7.5, and 0.50 and 0.11, respectively. Within metrics, LRs varied up to 100-fold: LR+ from approximately 1 to 100; LR− from approximately 1.00 to 0.01. Markers accounted for 11% and 18% of diagnostic and prognostic variance of LR+ and 16% and 24% of LR−. Across all markers, metrics accounted for an equal or larger amount of variance than markers: 13% and 62% of diagnostic and prognostic variance of LR+, and 29% and 18% of LR−. Within markers, the largest proportion of diagnostic LR+ and LR− variability was within 18F-FDG-PET and MRI metrics, respectively. Diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of imaging AD biomarkers is at least as dependent on how the biomarker is measured as on the biomarker itself. Standard operating procedures are key to biomarker use in the clinical routine and drug trials.
To determine the efficacy of potential cystic fibrosis (CF) therapies we have developed a novel mucociliary transit (MCT) measurement that uses synchrotron phase contrast X-ray imaging (PCXI) to non-invasively measure the transit rate of individual micron-sized particles deposited into the airways of live mice. The aim of this study was to image changes in MCT produced by a rehydrating treatment based on hypertonic saline (HS), a current CF clinical treatment. Live mice received HS containing a long acting epithelial sodium channel blocker (P308); isotonic saline; or no treatment, using a nebuliser integrated within a small-animal ventilator circuit. Marker particle motion was tracked for 20 minutes using PCXI. There were statistically significant increases in MCT in the isotonic and HS-P308 groups. The ability to quantify in vivo changes in MCT may have utility in pre-clinical research studies designed to bring new genetic and pharmaceutical treatments for respiratory diseases into clinical trials.
Good mentoring is a key variable for determining success in completing a doctoral program. We identified prevailing mentoring practices among doctoral students and their mentors, identified common challenges facing doctoral training, and proposed some solutions to enhance the quality of the doctoral training experience for both candidates and mentors at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS).
This cross-sectional qualitative evaluation was part of the monitoring and evaluation program for doctoral training. All doctoral students and their mentors were invited for a half-day workshop through the MakCHS mailing list. Prevailing doctoral supervision and mentoring guidelines were summarised in a one-hour presentation. Participants were split into two homogenous students’ (mentees’) and mentors’ groups to discuss specific issues using a focus group discussion (FGD) guide, that highlighted four main themes in regard to the doctoral training experience; what was going well, what was not going well, proposed solutions to current challenges and perceived high priority areas for improvement. The two groups came together again and the note-takers from each group presented their data and discussions were recorded by a note-taker.
Twelve out of 36 invited mentors (33%) and 22 out of 40 invited mentees (55%) attended the workshop. Mentors and mentees noted increasing numbers of doctoral students and mentors, which provided opportunities for peer mentorship. Delays in procurement and research regulatory processes subsequently delayed students’ projects. Similarly, mentees mentioned challenges of limited; 1) infrastructure and mentors to support basic science research projects, 2) physical office space for doctoral students and their mentors, 3) skills in budgeting and finance management and 4) communication skills including conflict resolution. As solutions, the team proposed skills’ training, induction courses for doctoral students-mentor teams, and a Frequently Asked Questions’ document, to better inform mentors’, mentees’ expectations and experiences.
Systemic and infrastructural limitations affect the quality of the doctoral training experience at MaKCHS. Clinical and biomedical research infrastructure, in addition to training in research regulatory processes, procurement and finance management, communication skills and information technology, were highlighted as high priority areas for strategic interventions to improve mentoring within doctoral training of clinician scientists.
Mentorship; Doctoral training; Supervision; Capacity building; Health care; Low and middle income countries; Uganda
Reprogramming of tumor cell metabolism contributes to disease progression and resistance to therapy, but how this process is regulated on the molecular level is unclear. Here we report that Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90)-directed protein folding in mitochondria controls central metabolic networks in tumor cells, including the electron transport chain, citric acid cycle, fatty acid oxidation, amino acid synthesis, and cellular redox status. Specifically, mitochondrial Hsp90, but not cytosolic Hsp90, binds and stabilizes the electron transport chain Complex II subunit succinate dehydrogenase-B, maintaining cellular respiration under low-nutrient conditions, and contributing to hypoxia-inducible factor-1α-mediated tumorigenesis in patients carrying succinate dehydrogenase-B mutations. Thus, Hsp90-directed proteostasis in mitochondria regulates tumor cell metabolism, and may provide a tractable target for cancer therapy.
Oxidative stress, inflammation, and increased cholesterol levels are all mechanisms that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. Several epidemiologic studies have reported a decreased risk of AD with fish consumption. This pilot study was designed to evaluate the effects of supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids alone (ω-3) or omega-3 plus alpha lipoic acid (ω-3 +LA) compared to placebo on oxidative stress biomarkers in AD. The primary outcome measure was peripheral F2-isoprostane levels (oxidative stress measure). Secondary outcome measures included performance on: Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Activities of Daily Living/Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADL/IADL), and Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog). Thirty-nine AD subjects were randomized to one of three groups: 1) placebo, 2) ω-3, or 3) ω-3 + LA for a treatment duration of 12 months. Eighty seven percent (34/39) of the subjects completed the 12-month intervention. There was no difference between groups at 12 months in peripheral F2-isoprostane levels (p = 0.83). The ω-3 +LA and ω-3 were not significantly different than the placebo group in ADAS-cog (p = 0.98, p = 0.86) and in ADL (p = 0.15, p = 0.82). Compared to placebo, the ω-3+LA showed less decline in MMSE (p< 0.01) and IADL (p= 0.01) and the ω-3 group showed less decline in IADL (p < 0.01). The combination of ω-3+LA slowed cognitive and functional decline in AD over 12 months. Because the results were generated from a small sample size, further evaluation of the combination of omega-3 fatty acids plus alpha-lipoic acid as a potential treatment in AD is warranted.
Alpha-lipoic acid; Alzheimer’s disease; clinical trial; omega-3 fatty acids
This study aims to infer the social nature of conversations from their content automatically. To place this work in context, our motivation stems from the need to understand how social disengagement affects cognitive decline or depression among older adults. For this purpose, we collected a comprehensive and naturalistic corpus comprising of all the incoming and outgoing telephone calls from 10 subjects over the duration of a year. As a first step, we learned a binary classifier to filter out business related conversation, achieving an accuracy of about 85%. This classification task provides a convenient tool to probe the nature of telephone conversations. We evaluated the utility of openings and closing in differentiating personal calls, and find that empirical results on a large corpus do not support the hypotheses by Schegloff and Sacks that personal conversations are marked by unique closing structures. For classifying different types of social relationships such as family vs other, we investigated features related to language use (entropy), hand-crafted dictionary (LIWC) and topics learned using unsupervised latent Dirichlet models (LDA). Our results show that the posteriors over topics from LDA provide consistently higher accuracy (60-81%) compared to LIWC or language use features in distinguishing different types of conversations.