ResearchPad - Cognitive Neuroscience https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Clinical impact of melatonin on breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy; effects on cognition, sleep and depressive symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nf52b3d22-02a5-4e7e-bb1d-9e73ca6c7e6b

This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial tested the hypothesis that 20mg of melatonin before and during the first cycle of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer (ACBC) reduced the side effects associated with cognitive impairment. We evaluated the effects of melatonin on cognition, depressive symptoms and sleep quality, and whether these effects were related to serum levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and its receptor, tropomyosin kinase B (TrkB). Thirty-six women were randomly assigned to receive melatonin or placebo for 10 days. To evaluate cognitive performance, we used the Trail-Making-Test Parts A and B (A-B), Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) and an inhibitory task type Go / No-Go. Our results revealed that melatonin improved executive function on TMT scores, enhanced episodic memory (immediate and delayed) and recognition on RAVLT, and increased verbal fluency in the orthographic COWAT. The TMT-A-B(A-B) were negatively correlated with baseline levels of TrkB and BDNF, respectively. At the end of treatment, changes in TrkB and BDNF were inversely associated with depressive symptoms and sleep quality, but not with the TMT scores. These results suggest a neuroprotective effect of melatonin to counteract the adverse effects of ACBC on cognitive function, sleep quality and depressive symptoms.

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<![CDATA[Retrospective inferences in selective trust]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N67952646-cb6e-4f33-85f8-efb0d8a8ad50

Young children learn selectively from others based on the speakers' prior accuracy. This indicates that they recognize the models’ (in)competence and use it to predict who will provide the most accurate and useful information in the future. Here, we investigated whether 5-year-old children are also able to use speaker reliability retrospectively, once they have more information regarding their competence. They first experienced two previously unknown speakers who provided conflicting information about the referent of a novel label, with each speaker using the same novel label to refer exclusively to a different novel object. Following this, children learned about the speakers' differing labelling accuracy. Subsequently, children selectively endorsed the object–label link initially provided by the speaker who turned out to be reliable significantly above chance. Crucially, more than half of these children justified their object selection with reference to speaker reliability, indicating the ability to explicitly reason about their selective trust in others based on the informants’ individual competences. Findings further corroborate the notion that young children are able to use advanced, metacognitive strategies (trait reasoning) to learn selectively. By contrast, since learning preceded reliability exposure and gaze data showed no preferential looking toward the more reliable speaker, findings cannot be accounted for by attentional bias accounts of selective social learning.

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<![CDATA[Man's best friends: attitudes towards the use of different kinds of animal depend on belief in different species' mental capacities and purpose of use]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N72b34b13-6070-4fb8-865d-de6ec6be0a2c

The animal purpose questionnaire (APQ) is a new instrument to measure human attitudes to animal use systematically across both species and purpose of use. This offers a more fine-grained approach to our understanding of how the belief in a specific animal's mental capacities relates to (dis-)agreement with their use for different human purposes. In the present study, 317 participants completed an online survey containing the APQ and the belief in animal mind (BAM) scale in a species-specific format, to test the prediction that levels of (dis-)agreement with animal use should mirror participants' judgements of animal sentience. The results obtained with the APQ confirmed that attitudes to animal use differed significantly across both purpose and species. Key findings included a relatively greater concern for dolphins and dogs over chimpanzees (suggesting that phylogenetic position is not the only determinant of attitudes to animal use). Across the purposes examined, respondents were largely negative about animal usage, with the exception that there was less disagreement if this was for medical research. Participants were also asked to provide demographic details such as gender and dietary preference. Regression analyses revealed high predictive power for species-specific BAM across five different kinds of animal use. General BAM scores, non-meat-eating and being female accounted for 31.5% of the total variability in APQ scores. The results indicate that BAM is a strong predictor of self-reported attitudes for using particular animals. However, the results showed some exceptions in the case of culturally typical ‘produce’ animals.

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<![CDATA[Difficulties in analysing animal song under formal language theory framework: comparison with metric-based model evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Ne7ffb4be-ee8a-4f07-b477-5a43e4e967fa ]]> <![CDATA[Hippocampal-dependent appetitive control is impaired by experimental exposure to a Western-style diet]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Ne6f9e78e-4c08-49ce-9d6e-6bd48316f702

Animals fed a Western-style diet (WS-diet) demonstrate rapid impairments in hippocampal function and poorer appetitive control. We examined if this also occurs in humans. One-hundred and ten healthy lean adults were randomized to either a one-week WS-diet intervention or a habitual-diet control group. Measures of hippocampal-dependent learning and memory (HDLM) and of appetitive control were obtained pre- and post-intervention. HDLM was retested at three-week follow-up. Relative to controls, HDLM performance declined in the WS-diet group (d = 0.43), but was not different at follow-up. Appetitive control also declined in the WS-diet group (d = 0.47) and this was strongly correlated with HDLM decline (d = 1.01). These findings demonstrate that a WS-diet can rapidly impair appetitive control in humans—an effect that could promote overeating in consumers of a WS-diet. The study also suggests a functional role for the hippocampus in appetitive control and provides new evidence for the adverse neurocognitive effects of a WS-diet.

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<![CDATA[An empirical assessment of transparency and reproducibility-related research practices in the social sciences (2014–2017)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Na9fea507-e973-490f-8824-5cace01d5471

Serious concerns about research quality have catalysed a number of reform initiatives intended to improve transparency and reproducibility and thus facilitate self-correction, increase efficiency and enhance research credibility. Meta-research has evaluated the merits of some individual initiatives; however, this may not capture broader trends reflecting the cumulative contribution of these efforts. In this study, we manually examined a random sample of 250 articles in order to estimate the prevalence of a range of transparency and reproducibility-related indicators in the social sciences literature published between 2014 and 2017. Few articles indicated availability of materials (16/151, 11% [95% confidence interval, 7% to 16%]), protocols (0/156, 0% [0% to 1%]), raw data (11/156, 7% [2% to 13%]) or analysis scripts (2/156, 1% [0% to 3%]), and no studies were pre-registered (0/156, 0% [0% to 1%]). Some articles explicitly disclosed funding sources (or lack of; 74/236, 31% [25% to 37%]) and some declared no conflicts of interest (36/236, 15% [11% to 20%]). Replication studies were rare (2/156, 1% [0% to 3%]). Few studies were included in evidence synthesis via systematic review (17/151, 11% [7% to 16%]) or meta-analysis (2/151, 1% [0% to 3%]). Less than half the articles were publicly available (101/250, 40% [34% to 47%]). Minimal adoption of transparency and reproducibility-related research practices could be undermining the credibility and efficiency of social science research. The present study establishes a baseline that can be revisited in the future to assess progress.

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<![CDATA[Is mere exposure enough? The effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nc52279e9-73e2-43e3-a4a9-5e0eefa8386a

Bilinguals purportedly outperform monolinguals in non-verbal tasks of cognitive control (the ‘bilingual advantage'). The most common explanation is that managing two languages during language production constantly draws upon, and thus strengthens, domain-general inhibitory mechanisms (Green 1998 Biling. Lang. Cogn. 1, 67–81. (doi:10.1017/S1366728998000133)). However, this theory cannot explain why a bilingual advantage has been found in preverbal infants (Kovacs & Mehler 2009 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 6556–6560. (doi:10.1073/pnas.0811323106)). An alternative explanation is needed. We propose that exposure to more varied, less predictable (language) environments drive infants to sample more by placing less weight on consolidating familiar information in order to orient sooner to (and explore) new stimuli. To confirm the bilingual advantage in infants and test our proposal, we administered four gaze-contingent eye-tracking tasks to seven- to nine-month-old infants who were being raised in either bilingual (n = 51) or monolingual (n = 51) homes. We could not replicate the finding by Kovacs and Mehler that bilingual but not monolingual infants inhibit learned behaviour (experiment 1). However, we found that infants exposed to bilingual environments do indeed explore more than those exposed to monolingual environments, by potentially disengaging attention faster from one stimulus in order to shift attention to another (experiment 3) and by switching attention more frequently between stimuli (experiment 4). These data suggest that experience-driven adaptations may indeed result in infants exposed to bilingual environments switching attention more frequently than infants exposed to a monolingual environment.

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<![CDATA[Long-term consistency of personality traits of cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N11626383-a8e9-4139-b4b5-168a63c3ad5e

Personality is often defined as the behaviour of individual animals that is consistent across contexts and over time. Personality traits may become unstable during stages of ontogeny from infancy to adulthood, especially during major periods of development such as around the time of sexual maturation. The personality of domesticated farm animals has links with productivity, health and welfare, but to our knowledge, no studies have investigated the development and stability of personality traits across developmental life stages in a mammalian farm animal species. Here, we describe the consistency of personality traits across ontogeny in dairy cattle from neonate to first lactation as an adult. The personality traits ‘bold’ and ‘exploratory’, as measured by behavioural responses to novelty, were highly consistent during the earlier (before and after weaning from milk) and later (after puberty to first lactation) rearing periods, but were not consistent across these rearing periods when puberty occurred. These findings indicate that personality changes in cattle around sexual maturation are probably owing to major physiological changes that are accelerated under typical management conditions at this time. This work contributes to the understanding of the ontogeny of behaviour in farm animals, especially how and why individuals differ in their behaviour.

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<![CDATA[Individual differences in human voice pitch are preserved from speech to screams, roars and pain cries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nb3a6d0bb-0830-45c2-9b4c-a0eb0c89b11e

Fundamental frequency (F0, perceived as voice pitch) predicts sex and age, hormonal status, mating success and a range of social traits, and thus functions as an important biosocial marker in modal speech. Yet, the role of F0 in human nonverbal vocalizations remains unclear, and given considerable variability in F0 across call types, it is not known whether F0 cues to vocalizer attributes are shared across speech and nonverbal vocalizations. Here, using a corpus of vocal sounds from 51 men and women, we examined whether individual differences in F0 are retained across neutral speech, valenced speech and nonverbal vocalizations (screams, roars and pain cries). Acoustic analyses revealed substantial variability in F0 across vocal types, with mean F0 increasing as much as 10-fold in screams compared to speech in the same individual. Despite these extreme pitch differences, sexual dimorphism was preserved within call types and, critically, inter-individual differences in F0 correlated across vocal types (r = 0.36–0.80) with stronger relationships between vocal types of the same valence (e.g. 38% of the variance in roar F0 was predicted by aggressive speech F0). Our results indicate that biologically and socially relevant indexical cues in the human voice are preserved in simulated valenced speech and vocalizations, including vocalizations characterized by extreme F0 modulation, suggesting that voice pitch may function as a reliable individual and biosocial marker across disparate communication contexts.

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<![CDATA[Flexibility in reaction time analysis: many roads to a false positive?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nacef8a27-6e46-4e36-a4ba-7989eab660c3

In the present article, we explore the influence of undisclosed flexibility in the analysis of reaction times (RTs). RTs entail some degrees of freedom of their own, due to their skewed distribution, the potential presence of outliers and the availability of different methods to deal with these issues. Moreover, these degrees of freedom are usually not considered part of the analysis itself, but preprocessing steps that are contingent on data. We analysed the impact of these degrees of freedom on the false-positive rate using simulations over real and simulated data. When several preprocessing methods are used in combination, the false-positive rate can easily rise to 17%. This figure becomes more concerning if we consider that more degrees of freedom are awaiting down the analysis pipeline, potentially making the final false-positive rate much higher.

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<![CDATA[Multimodality and the origin of a novel communication system in face-to-face interaction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N33aabe53-c5ad-409f-a17a-550e3fa57da8

Face-to-face communication is multimodal at its core: it consists of a combination of vocal and visual signalling. However, current evidence suggests that, in the absence of an established communication system, visual signalling, especially in the form of visible gesture, is a more powerful form of communication than vocalization and therefore likely to have played a primary role in the emergence of human language. This argument is based on experimental evidence of how vocal and visual modalities (i.e. gesture) are employed to communicate about familiar concepts when participants cannot use their existing languages. To investigate this further, we introduce an experiment where pairs of participants performed a referential communication task in which they described unfamiliar stimuli in order to reduce reliance on conventional signals. Visual and auditory stimuli were described in three conditions: using visible gestures only, using non-linguistic vocalizations only and given the option to use both (multimodal communication). The results suggest that even in the absence of conventional signals, gesture is a more powerful mode of communication compared with vocalization, but that there are also advantages to multimodality compared to using gesture alone. Participants with an option to produce multimodal signals had comparable accuracy to those using only gesture, but gained an efficiency advantage. The analysis of the interactions between participants showed that interactants developed novel communication systems for unfamiliar stimuli by deploying different modalities flexibly to suit their needs and by taking advantage of multimodality when required.

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<![CDATA[Distinguishing between parallel and serial processing in visual attention from neurobiological data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N836b305b-f617-4595-ade6-7975711e2b15

Serial and parallel processing in visual search have been long debated in psychology, but the processing mechanism remains an open issue. Serial processing allows only one object at a time to be processed, whereas parallel processing assumes that various objects are processed simultaneously. Here, we present novel neural models for the two types of processing mechanisms based on analysis of simultaneously recorded spike trains using electrophysiological data from prefrontal cortex of rhesus monkeys while processing task-relevant visual displays. We combine mathematical models describing neuronal attention and point process models for spike trains. The same model can explain both serial and parallel processing by adopting different parameter regimes. We present statistical methods to distinguish between serial and parallel processing based on both maximum likelihood estimates and decoding the momentary focus of attention when two stimuli are presented simultaneously. Results show that both processing mechanisms are in play for the simultaneously recorded neurons, but neurons tend to follow parallel processing in the beginning after the onset of the stimulus pair, whereas they tend to serial processing later on.

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<![CDATA[Communicating the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of government policies and their impact on public support: a systematic review with meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nb816fa8b-1a07-4f8b-ba11-40ecbf1d333f

Low public support for government interventions in health, environment and other policy domains can be a barrier to implementation. Communicating evidence of policy effectiveness has been used to influence attitudes towards policies, with mixed results. This review provides the first systematic synthesis of such studies. Eligible studies were randomized controlled experiments that included an intervention group that provided evidence of a policy's effectiveness or ineffectiveness at achieving a salient outcome, and measured policy support. From 6498 abstracts examined, there were 45 effect sizes from 36 eligible studies. In total, 35 (N = 30 858) communicated evidence of effectiveness, and 10 (N = 5078) communicated evidence of ineffectiveness. Random effects meta-analysis revealed that communicating evidence of a policy's effectiveness increased support for the policy (SMD = 0.11, 95% CI [0.07, 0.15], p < 0.0001), equivalent to support increasing from 50% to 54% (95% CI [53%, 56%]). Communicating evidence of ineffectiveness decreased policy support (SMD = −0.14, 95% CI [−0.22, −0.06], p < 0.001), equivalent to support decreasing from 50% to 44% (95% CI [41%, 47%]). These findings suggest that public support for policies in a range of domains is sensitive to evidence of their effectiveness, as well as their ineffectiveness.

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<![CDATA[Mindreading in the balance: adults' mediolateral leaning and anticipatory looking foretell others’ action preparation in a false-belief interactive task]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N95bb01ba-f9d7-4ea2-9945-d13b4f30a4c5

Anticipatory looking on mindreading tasks can indicate our expectation of an agent's action. The challenge is that social situations are often more complex, involving instances where we need to track an agent's false belief to successfully identify the outcome to which an action is directed. If motor processes can guide how action goals are understood, it is conceivable—where that kind of goal ascription occurs in false-belief tasks—for motor representations to account for someone's belief-like state. Testing adults (N = 42) in a real-time interactive helping scenario, we discovered that participants' early mediolateral motor activity (leftwards–rightwards leaning on balance board) foreshadowed the agent's belief-based action preparation. These results suggest fast belief-tracking can modulate motor representations generated in the course of one's interaction with an agent. While adults' leaning, and anticipatory looking, revealed the contribution of fast false-belief tracking, participants did not correct the agent's mistake in their final helping action. These discoveries suggest that adults may not necessarily use another's belief during overt social interaction or find reflecting on another's belief as being normatively relevant to one's own choice of action. Our interactive task design offers a promising way to investigate how motor and mindreading processes may be variously integrated.

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<![CDATA[A multivariate analysis of women's mating strategies and sexual selection on men's facial morphology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N25e0ddb3-4144-4e77-b0b0-40a850cdf521

The strength and direction of sexual selection via female choice on masculine facial traits in men is a paradox in human mate choice research. While masculinity may communicate benefits to women and offspring directly (i.e. resources) or indirectly (i.e. health), masculine men may be costly as long-term partners owing to lower paternal investment. Mating strategy theory suggests women's preferences for masculine traits are strongest when the costs associated with masculinity are reduced. This study takes a multivariate approach to testing whether women's mate preferences are context-dependent. Women (n = 919) rated attractiveness when considering long-term and short-term relationships for male faces varying in beardedness (clean-shaven and full beards) and facial masculinity (30% and 60% feminized, unmanipulated, 30% and 60% masculinized). Participants then completed scales measuring pathogen, sexual and moral disgust, disgust towards ectoparasites, reproductive ambition, self-perceived mate value and the facial hair in partners and fathers. In contrast to past research, we found no associations between pathogen disgust, self-perceived mate value or reproductive ambition and facial masculinity preferences. However, we found a significant positive association between moral disgust and preferences for masculine faces and bearded faces. Preferences for beards were lower among women with higher ectoparasite disgust, providing evidence for ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis. However, women reporting higher pathogen disgust gave higher attractiveness ratings for bearded faces than women reporting lower pathogen disgust, providing support for parasite-stress theories of sexual selection and mate choice. Preferences for beards were also highest among single and married women with the strongest reproductive ambition. Overall, our results reflect mixed associations between individual differences in mating strategies and women's mate preferences for masculine facial traits.

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<![CDATA[Processing of performance errors predicts memory formation: Enhanced feedback‐related negativities for corrected versus repeated errors in an associative learning paradigm]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N22d2b881-f09a-45c7-a79f-0eb5acf924a9

Abstract

Learning from errors or negative feedback is crucial for adaptive behavior. FMRI studies have demonstrated enhanced anterior cingulate cortex activity for errors that were later corrected versus repeated errors even when a substantial delay between the error and the opportunity to correct was introduced. We aimed at identifying the electrophysiological correlates of these processes by investigating the feedback‐related negativity (FRN) and stimulus‐locked P3. Participants had to learn and recall the location of 2‐digit targets over consecutive rounds. Feedback was provided in two steps, first a color change indicated a correct or incorrect response (feedback phase) followed by presentation of the correct digit information (re‐encoding phase). Behaviorally, participants improved performance from the first to the third round. FRN amplitudes time‐locked to feedback were enhanced for corrected compared to repeated errors. The P3 in response to re‐encoding did not differ between the two error types. The finding that FRN amplitudes positively predicted memory performance is consistent with the idea that the FRN reflects prediction errors and the need for enhanced cognitive control. Interestingly, this happens early during feedback processing and not at a later time point when re‐encoding of correct information takes place. The prediction error signal reflected in the FRN is usually elicited by performance errors, but may thus also play a role in preparing/optimizing the system for memory formation. This supports the existence of a close link between action control and memory processes even when there is a substantial delay between error feedback and the opportunity to correct the error.

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<![CDATA[The relationship between individual differences in gray matter volume and religiosity and mystical experiences: A preregistered voxel‐based morphometry study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nc8ffd081-6eb7-40a3-aa69-b749fc5f994d

Abstract

The neural substrates of religious belief and experience are an intriguing though contentious topic. Here, we had the unique opportunity to establish the relation between validated measures of religiosity and gray matter volume in a large sample of participants (N = 211). In this registered report, we conducted a confirmatory voxel‐based morphometry analysis to test three central hypotheses regarding the relationship between religiosity and mystical experiences and gray matter volume. The preregisterered hypotheses, analysis plan, preprocessing and analysis code and statistical brain maps are all available from online repositories. By using a region‐of‐interest analysis, we found no evidence that religiosity is associated with a reduced volume of the orbito‐frontal cortex and changes in the structure of the bilateral inferior parietal lobes. Neither did we find support for the notion that mystical experiences are associated with a reduced volume of the hippocampus, the right middle temporal gyrus or with the inferior parietal lobes. A whole‐brain analysis furthermore indicated that no structural brain differences were found in association with religiosity and mystical experiences. We believe that the search for the neural correlates of religious beliefs and experiences should therefore shift focus from studying structural brain differences to a functional and multivariate approach.

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<![CDATA[Symmetric patterns with different luminance polarity (anti‐symmetry) generate an automatic response in extrastriate cortex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N6272e4a7-bdaa-4eac-a6b0-645563ad816f

Abstract

People can quickly detect bilateral reflection in an image. This is true when elements of the same luminance are matched on either side of the axis (symmetry) and when they have opposite luminance polarity (anti‐symmetry). Using electroencephalography, we measured the well‐established sustained posterior negativity (SPN) response to symmetry and anti‐symmetry. In one task, participants judged the presence or absence of regularity (Regularity Discrimination Task). In another, they judged the presence or absence of rare colored oddball trials (Colored Oddball Task). Previous work has concluded that anti‐symmetry is only detected indirectly, through serial visual search of element locations. This selective attention account predicts that the anti‐symmetry SPN should be abolished in the Colored Oddball Task because there is no need to search for anti‐symmetry. However, this prediction was not confirmed: The symmetry and anti‐symmetry SPN waves were not modulated by task. We conclude that at least some forms of anti‐symmetry can be extracted from the image automatically, in much the same way as symmetry. This is an important consideration for models of symmetry perception, which must be flexible enough to accommodate opposite luminance polarity, while also accounting for the fact anti‐symmetry is often perceptually weaker than symmetry.

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<![CDATA[A smartphone-based test for the assessment of attention deficits in delirium: A case-control diagnostic test accuracy study in older hospitalised patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N8fecd5fe-2073-4d74-805a-6132ddca5eea

Background

Delirium is a common and serious acute neuropsychiatric syndrome which is often missed in routine clinical care. Inattention is the core cognitive feature. Diagnostic test accuracy (including cut-points) of a smartphone Delirium App (DelApp) for assessing attention deficits was assessed in older hospital inpatients.

Methods

This was a case-control study of hospitalised patients aged ≥65 years with delirium (with or without pre-existing cognitive impairment), who were compared to patients with dementia without delirium, and patients without cognitive impairment. Reference standard delirium assessment, which included a neuropsychological test battery, was based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 criteria. A separate blinded assessor administered the DelApp arousal assessment (score 0–4) and attention task (0–6) yielding an overall score of 0 to 10 (lower scores indicate poorer performance). Analyses included receiver operating characteristic curves and sensitivity and specificity. Optimal cut-points for delirium detection were determined using Youden’s index.

Results

A total of 187 patients were recruited, mean age 83.8 (range 67–98) years, 152 (81%) women; n = 61 with delirium; n = 61 with dementia without delirium; and n = 65 without cognitive impairment. Patients with delirium performed poorly on the DelApp (median score = 4/10; inter-quartile range 3.0, 5.5) compared to patients with dementia (9.0; 5.5, 10.0) and those without cognitive impairment (10.0; 10.0, 10.0). Area under the curve for detecting delirium was 0.89 (95% Confidence Interval 0.84, 0.94). At an optimal cut-point of ≤8, sensitivity was 91.7% (84.7%, 98.7%) and specificity 74.2% (66.5%, 81.9%) for discriminating delirium from the other groups. Specificity was 68.3% (56.6%, 80.1%) for discriminating delirium from dementia (cut-point ≤6).

Conclusion

Patients with delirium (with or without pre-existing cognitive impairment) perform poorly on the DelApp compared to patients with dementia and those without cognitive impairment. A cut-point of ≤8/10 is suggested as having optimal sensitivity and specificity. The DelApp is a promising tool for assessment of attention deficits associated with delirium in older hospitalised adults, many of whom have prior cognitive impairment, and should be further validated in representative patient cohorts.

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<![CDATA[Mixed evidence for the relationship between periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease: A bidirectional Mendelian randomization study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N89b89fe7-2f39-423b-9f5f-6e2e7b2736b5

Recent experimental studies indicated that a periodontitis-causing bacterium might be a causal factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We applied a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) approach to examine the potential causal relationship between chronic periodontitis and AD bidirectionally in the population of European ancestry. We used publicly available data of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on periodontitis and AD. Five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used as instrumental variables for periodontitis. For the MR analysis of periodontitis on risk of AD, the causal odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were derived from the GWAS of periodontitis (4,924 cases vs. 7,301 controls) and from the GWAS of AD (21,982 cases vs. 41,944 controls). Seven non-overlapping SNPs from another latest GWAS of periodontitis was used to validate the above association. Twenty SNPs were used as instrumental variables for AD. For the MR analysis of liability to AD on risk of periodontitis, the causal OR was derived from the GWAS of AD including 30,344 cases and 52,427 controls and from the GWAS of periodontitis consisted of 12,289 cases and 22,326 controls. We employed multiple methods of MR. Using the five SNPs as instruments of periodontitis, there was suggestive evidence of genetically predicted periodontitis being associated with a higher risk of AD (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.19, P = 0.02). However, this association was not verified using the seven independent SNPs (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.08, P = 0.59). There was no association of genetically predicted AD with the risk of periodontitis (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.04, P = 0.85). In summary, we did not find convincing evidence to support periodontitis being a causal factor for the development of AD. There was also limited evidence to suggest genetic liability to AD being associated with the risk of periodontitis.

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