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  • 1
    ISSN: 1365-2524
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Given the cutbacks which have been carried out in the Swedish welfare state despite the unchanged official policy of allocation of home help services according to needs, it is essential to evaluate the factors which guide the allocation of home help today. Whereas numerous studies have identified factors which predict entry into the home help system, the present paper concentrates on predictors of the amount of home help amongst those allocated assistance. Data were obtained from the population-based care and services section of the 2002 Swedish National Study of Aging and Care – Kungsholmen (SNAC-K). All home help recipients (≥ 65 years of age) living in an inner city district of Stockholm (Kungsholmen) were analysed with ordinary least squares regressions to identify predictors of the number of hours of home help (n = 943). Need indicators, i.e. dependency in activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs (IADLs), and cognitive impairment (Berger scale) were the strongest predictors of more hours of home help. The addition of sociodemographic (i.e. age, gender and income), environmental (i.e. informal care, housing adaptations and housing accessibility) and structural (i.e. variations in allocation decisions between one care manager and another) factors contributed only marginally to the explained variance. Hours of help entitlement increased slightly with greater age. Co-residing individuals were allocated significantly fewer home help hours than those living alone. Income and regular access to informal care were not significant predictors. The fact that services are provided according to need criteria does not necessarily mean that the provided services are adequate to meet needs. On the macro level, social policy decisions and available economic and manpower resources determine the allotment of municipal home help. However, this study in an urban sample suggests that, within the available resources, the amount of home help allocated is guided mainly by need indicators amongst those given assistance.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract: The somatodendritic release of dopamine in substantia nigra previously has been suggested to be nonvesicular in nature and thus to differ from the classical, exocytotic release of dopamine described for the dopaminergic nerve terminal in striatum. We have compared the effects of reserpine, a compound that disrupts vesicular sequestration of monoamines, on the storage and release of dopamine in substantia nigra and striatum of rats. Reserpine administration (5 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly decreased the tissue level of dopamine in substantia nigra pars reticulata, substantia nigra pars compacta, and striatum. In these brain areas, reserpine-induced reductions in tissue dopamine level occurred within 2 h and persisted at 24 h postdrug. In vivo measurements using microdialysis revealed that reserpine administration rapidly decreased the extracellular dopamine concentration to nondetectable levels in substantia nigra as well as in striatum. In both structures, it was observed that reserpine treatment significantly attenuated the release of dopamine evoked by a high dose of amphetamine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) given 2 h later. In contrast, dopamine efflux in response to a low dose of amphetamine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) was not altered by reserpine pretreatment either in substantia nigra or in striatum. The present data suggest the existence, both at the somatodendritic and at the nerve terminal level, of a vesicular pool of dopamine that is the primary site of transmitter storage and that can be displaced by high but not low doses of amphetamine. The physiological release of dopamine in substantia nigra and in striatum is dependent on the integrity of this vesicular store.
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148-5018 , USA , and 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2DQ , UK . : Blackwell Futura Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1540-8159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of preshock atrial pacing on the atrial defibrillation threshold (DFT) during internal cardioversion of AF. The implantable atrial defibrillator has been added to the therapeutic options for patients with recurrent episodes of persistent AF. Although the device is efficient in restoring sinus rhythm, patient discomfort is a limitation. Methods that lower the ADFT are needed. Eleven patients with AF underwent internal cardioversion. In a randomized, crossover design, ADFT testing was performed, applying a step-up protocol starting at 100 V. Rapid atrial pacing was performed with a right atrial catheter for 20 seconds at 90% of the average cycle length of the fibrillatory waves and was immediately followed by a biphasic defibrillation shock. At each energy level, pacing + shock was compared to shock only, until the level at which sinus rhythm was restored by both modes. The step-up protocol was thereafter repeated using the inverse sequence of the two modes. A total of 19 ADFTs were obtained. For 10 the ADFT was lower with pacing + shock, in 4 equal and in 5 higher, than with shock only. The ADFT (mean ± SD) with pacing + shock was 260 ± 84 V (3.4 ± 2.9 J) and did not differ from shock only: 268 ± 85 V (3.8 ± 3.0 J) (P 〉 0.05) . The coefficient of variation and the coefficient of reproducibility for pacing + shock was 16% and 60 V, respectively, and for shock only 17% and 61 V. Rapid atrial pacing did not influence the internal ADFT in AF. The randomized, crossover protocol used was reproducible between different modes, and seems useful when testing the impact of different interventions on the ADFT. (PACE 2003; 26[Pt. I]:1461–1466)
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra is associated with one of the most prominent human neurological disorders, Parkinson's disease. It is therefore of high interest to identify molecules with trophic effects on this neuronal population. We show here that the neuregulin receptor ErbB4 is differentially expressed in mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons, found in the substantia nigra and in a subregion of the ventral tegmentum but not in the retrorubral field. Early developmental onset and continued expression of ErbB4 into the adult and the presence of two high affinity ligands, neuregulin-1 and betacellulin, in the basal ganglia, suggested that these molecules might participate in the differentiation and/or maintenance of the nigrostriatal system. In order to address this hypothesis, we used a loxP flanked ErbB4 allele in combination with a nestin-Cre transgene and generated brain-specific ErbB4 null mice. These mutant animals survived into adulthood. The distribution of dopaminergic cell bodies in the midbrain, the expression of numerous genes specific to mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons, and the axonal projection to the basal ganglia all appeared normal. Finally, an assessment of their motor function revealed no behavioral deficits. The apparent lack of any mutant phenotype suggests the presence of a strong compensatory mechanism.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: Predictions of the effects of climate change on the extent of forests, savannas and deserts are usually based on simple response models derived from actual vegetation distributions. In this review, we show two major problems with the implicitly assumed straightforward cause–effect relationship. Firstly, several studies suggest that vegetation itself may have considerable effects on regional climate implying a positive feedback, which can potentially lead to large-scale hysteresis. Secondly, vegetation ecologists have found that effects of plants on microclimate and soils can cause a microscale positive feedback, implying that critical precipitation conditions for colonization of a site may differ from those for disappearance from that site. We argue that it is important to integrate these nonlinearities at disparate scales in models to produce more realistic predictions of potential effects of climate change and deforestation.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1365-2427
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: 1. The effect of light intensity on the decomposition of poplar (Populus nigra) leaves and growth of the shredders, Asellus aquaticus and Gammarus pulex, was studied in a laboratory experiment. The response was studied along a gradient of six light intensities of 0, 5, 23, 54, 97 and 156 μmol m−2 s−1. It was hypothesised that an increase in light intensity would increase growth of shredders, because of an increase of algae (i.e. food quality) in the leaf-biofilm.2. Light intensity affected both leaf-biofilm quality and consumer behaviour and affected several aspects of the decomposition-consumer interaction. In the absence of invertebrates, leaf mass loss was lower in the dark, while light intensity had no significant effect on mass loss of poplar leaf in the presence of invertebrates. Light intensity affected algal biomass, density and composition, and had a significant positive effect on the growth of both shredders.3. Our results suggest that algae can be an important component of the nutritional value of the leaf-biofilm for benthic invertebrates, directly as an additional food source and indirectly through a link with bacteria and/or fungi.4. The River Continuum Concept mainly emphasises allochthonous inputs to headwater streams and autochthonous production further downstream. Our results suggest that light, by its effect on the biofilms on leaf surfaces, might be a more important factor in headwaters than is usually assumed.
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  • 7
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Science Ltd
    Freshwater biology 45 (2000), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-2427
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: 1. A set of models describing the dynamics of top-down control of phytoplankton by Daphnia in lakes is reviewed. The basis of these models is a simple and well-known model that has been used, among other things, to demonstrate the paradox of enrichment. 
2. We discuss minimal extensions that allow this model to mimic the effects of spatial heterogeneity, planktivory, seasonality and inedible algae. 
3. These models generate hypotheses about mechanisms that may cause patterns observed in the field such as:〈list style="custom"〉• Spatial heterogeneity stabilizes plankton dynamics, and causes enrichment to result in a gradual increase of both zooplankton and algal biomass.•  Daphnia populations can collapse at a threshold level of predation pressure from fish, rather than gradually become less abundant.• Absence of Daphnia in summer may typically be caused by the combination of food shortage followed by suppression by fish.• The spring clear-water phase and various other aspects of the typical seasonal dynamics of Daphnia and algal biomass can simply be explained from the seasonal rise and fall of rates of biological processes and the reproduction cycle of fish.• Depending on the conditions, cyanobacterial dominance can be stimulated but also suppressed by Daphnia.4. We discuss the way in which such very simple models may contribute to the building of theories about plankton dynamics in the field, and the caveats of interpreting wrongly the message from models.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an angiogenetic factor that promotes endothelial cell proliferation during development and after injury to various types of tissue, including the central nervous system (CNS). Using immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization methods we have here demonstrated that VEGF and its receptors Flk-1, Flt-1 and Neuropilin-1 mRNAs and proteins are induced after incisions in the rat spinal cord. The inducible enzyme for prostaglandin synthesis cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is known to be upregulated after spinal injury, cerebral ischemia and to stimulate angiogenesis. To test the hypothesis that prostaglandins may be involved in the VEGF response after lesion we investigated whether intraspinal microinjections of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) alters VEGF expression in the spinal cord. Such treatment was followed by a strong upregulation of VEGF mRNA and protein in the injection area. Finally, by use of an in vitro model with cell cultures of meningeal fibroblast and astrocyte origin, resembling the lesion area cellular content after spinal cord injury but devoid of inflammatory cells, we showed that VEGF is expressed in this in vitro model cell system after treatment with PGF2α and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). These data suggest that cells within a lesion area in the spinal cord are capable of expressing VEGF and its receptors in response to mechanical injury and that prostaglandins may induce VEGF expression in such cells, even in the absence of inflammatory cells.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: A mitochondrial-type ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) has been identified in the hydrogenosomes of the anaerobic chytridiomycete fungus Neocallimastix sp. L2. Biochemical and immunocytochemical studies revealed that this ADP/ATP carrier is an integral component of hydrogenosomal membranes. Expression of the corresponding cDNA in Escherichia coli confers the ability on the bacterial host to incorporate ADP at significantly higher rates than ATP – similar to isolated mitochondria of yeast and animals. Phylogenetic analysis of this AAC gene (hdgaac) confirmed with high statistical support that the hydrogenosomal ADP/ATP carrier of Neocallimastix sp. L2 belongs to the family of veritable mitochondrial-type AACs. Hydrogenosome-bearing anaerobic ciliates possess clearly distinct mitochondrial-type AACs, whereas the potential hydrogenosomal carrier Hmp31 of the anaerobic flagellate Trichomonas vaginalis and its homologue from Trichomonas gallinae do not belong to this family of proteins. Also, phylogenetic analysis of genes encoding mitochondrial-type chaperonin 60 proteins (HSP 60) supports the conclusion that the hydrogenosomes of anaerobic chytrids and anaerobic ciliates had independent origins, although both of them arose from mitochondria.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Curli, an adhesive surface fibre produced by Escherichia coli and salmonellae, was proposed on the basis of genetic evidence to follow a distinct assembly pathway involving an extracellular intermediate of the fibre subunit CsgA, the polymerization of which can be induced at the cell surface by a ‘nucleator’ protein (CsgB). Here we show biochemically that CsgA is actively secreted to the extracellular milieu and that CsgB is surface located. We demonstrate that the putative curli assembly factor CsgG is an outer membrane-located lipoprotein. CsgG is highly resistant to protease digestion both in vivo and in vitro. During curli assembly, CsgG is required to maintain the stability of CsgA and CsgB. In line with this, it is possible to modulate the steady-state levels of CsgA and CsgB by varying intracellular levels of CsgG. This suggests that, in the absence of CsgG, CsgA and CsgB are proteolytically degraded. Moreover, curli production and steady-state levels of CsgA and CsgB can be increased above wild-type levels by overexpression of CsgG, meaning that the quantity of assembled curli fibres can be controlled by this lipoprotein.
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