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Concept: Delay

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Background The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is highly effective in reducing mortality among patients at risk for fatal arrhythmias, but inappropriate ICD activations are frequent, with potential adverse effects. Methods We randomly assigned 1500 patients with a primary-prevention indication to receive an ICD with one of three programming configurations. The primary objective was to determine whether programmed high-rate therapy (with a 2.5-second delay before the initiation of therapy at a heart rate of ≥200 beats per minute) or delayed therapy (with a 60-second delay at 170 to 199 beats per minute, a 12-second delay at 200 to 249 beats per minute, and a 2.5-second delay at ≥250 beats per minute) was associated with a decrease in the number of patients with a first occurrence of inappropriate antitachycardia pacing or shocks, as compared with conventional programming (with a 2.5-second delay at 170 to 199 beats per minute and a 1.0-second delay at ≥200 beats per minute). Results During an average follow-up of 1.4 years, high-rate therapy and delayed ICD therapy, as compared with conventional device programming, were associated with reductions in a first occurrence of inappropriate therapy (hazard ratio with high-rate therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.13 to 0.34; P<0.001; hazard ratio with delayed therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.40; P<0.001) and reductions in all-cause mortality (hazard ratio with high-rate therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.85; P=0.01; hazard ratio with delayed therapy vs. conventional therapy, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.30 to 1.02; P=0.06). There were no significant differences in procedure-related adverse events among the three treatment groups. Conclusions Programming of ICD therapies for tachyarrhythmias of 200 beats per minute or higher or with a prolonged delay in therapy at 170 beats per minute or higher, as compared with conventional programming, was associated with reductions in inappropriate therapy and all-cause mortality during long-term follow-up. (Funded by Boston Scientific; MADIT-RIT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00947310 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Heart rate, Delay, Tom DeLay

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To investigate the short- and longer-term impact of a 45-min delay in school start time on sleep and well-being of adolescents.

Concepts: Delay

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A number of new crops have been developed that address important traits of particular relevance for smallholder farmers in Africa. Scientists, policy makers, and other stakeholders have raised concerns that the approval process for these new crops causes delays that are often scientifically unjustified. This article develops a real option model for the optimal regulation of a risky technology that enhances economic welfare and reduces malnutrition. We consider gradual adoption of the technology and show that delaying approval reduces uncertainty about perceived risks of the technology. Optimal conditions for approval incorporate parameters of the stochastic processes governing the dynamics of risk. The model is applied to three cases of improved crops, which either are, or are expected to be, delayed by the regulatory process. The benefits and costs of the crops are presented in a partial equilibrium that considers changes in adoption over time and the foregone benefits caused by a delay in approval under irreversibility and uncertainty. We derive the equilibrium conditions where the net-benefits of the technology equal the costs that would justify a delay. The sooner information about the safety of the technology arrive, the lower the costs for justifying a delay need to be i.e. it pays more to delay. The costs of a delay can be substantial: e.g. a one year delay in approval of the pod-borer resistant cowpea in Nigeria will cost the country about 33 million USD to 46 million USD and between 100 and 3,000 lives.

Concepts: Agriculture, Africa, Risk, Delay, Tom DeLay, Equilibrium

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Advanced age is the main risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional deficits in humans, but the fundamental mechanisms that drive ageing remain largely unknown, impeding the development of interventions that might delay or prevent age-related disorders and maximize healthy lifespan. Cellular senescence, which halts the proliferation of damaged or dysfunctional cells, is an important mechanism to constrain the malignant progression of tumour cells. Senescent cells accumulate in various tissues and organs with ageing and have been hypothesized to disrupt tissue structure and function because of the components they secrete. However, whether senescent cells are causally implicated in age-related dysfunction and whether their removal is beneficial has remained unknown. To address these fundamental questions, we made use of a biomarker for senescence, p16(Ink4a), to design a novel transgene, INK-ATTAC, for inducible elimination of p16(Ink4a)-positive senescent cells upon administration of a drug. Here we show that in the BubR1 progeroid mouse background, INK-ATTAC removes p16(Ink4a)-positive senescent cells upon drug treatment. In tissues–such as adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and eye–in which p16(Ink4a) contributes to the acquisition of age-related pathologies, life-long removal of p16(Ink4a)-expressing cells delayed onset of these phenotypes. Furthermore, late-life clearance attenuated progression of already established age-related disorders. These data indicate that cellular senescence is causally implicated in generating age-related phenotypes and that removal of senescent cells can prevent or delay tissue dysfunction and extend healthspan.

Concepts: Cancer, Death, Senescence, Gerontology, Delay, Ageing, Aging, Progeria

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Delaying gratification is hard, yet predictive of important life outcomes, such as academic achievement and physical health. Prominent theories focus on the role of self-control, hypersensitivity to immediate rewards, and the cost of time spent waiting. However, delaying gratification may also require trust in people delivering future rewards as promised. To test the role of social trust, participants were presented with character vignettes and faces that varied in trustworthiness, and then choose between hypothetical smaller immediate or larger delayed rewards from those characters. Across two experiments, participants were less willing to wait for delayed rewards from less trustworthy characters, and perceived trustworthiness predicted willingness to delay gratification. These findings provide the first demonstration of a causal role for social trust in willingness to delay gratification, independent of other relevant factors, such as self-control or reward history. Thus, delaying gratification requires choosing not only a later reward, but a reward that is potentially less likely to be delivered, when there is doubt about the person promising it. Implications of this work include the need to revise prominent theories of delay of gratification, and new directions for interventions with populations characterized by impulsivity.

Concepts: Scientific method, Experiment, Hypothesis, Delay, Tom DeLay

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Clinical initiatives have aimed to reduce the age at ASD diagnosis in the UK. This study investigated whether the median age at diagnosis in childhood has reduced in recent years, and identified the factors associated with earlier diagnosis in the UK. Data on 2134 children with ASD came from two large family databases. Results showed that the age of ASD diagnosis has not decreased. The median age of diagnosis of all ASDs was 55 months. Factors associated with earlier age of diagnosis were autism diagnosis (compared with other ASD), language regression, language delay, lower socioeconomic status, and greater degree of support required. Effective clinical strategies are needed to identify children with characteristics that have in the past delayed ASD diagnosis.

Concepts: Socioeconomic status, The Age, Industrial Revolution, United Kingdom, Delay, Broadsheet, Referendum, Status Quo

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Remembering to perform deferred actions when an event is encountered in the future is referred to as event-based prospective memory (PM). We examined whether the failure of individuals to allocate sufficient attentional resources to nonfocal PM tasks can be linked to the response demands inherent in PM paradigms that require the PM task to race for response selection with the speeded ongoing task. In three experiments, participants performed a lexical decision task while being required to make a separate PM response to a specific word (focal), an exemplar of a category (nonfocal), or a syllable (nonfocal). We manipulated the earliest time participants could make task responses by presenting a tone at varying onsets (0-1,600 ms) following stimulus presentation. Improvements in focal PM and nonfocal PM were observed at response delays as brief as 200 ms and 400 ms, respectively. Nonfocal PM accuracy was comparable to focal PM accuracy at delays of 600 ms and 1,600 ms for categorical targets and syllable targets, respectively. Delaying task responses freed the resource-demanding processing operations used on the ongoing task for use on the nonfocal PM task, increasing the probability that the nonfocal PM features of ongoing task stimuli were adequately assessed prior to the ongoing task response.

Concepts: Future, Memory, Paradigm, Performance, Delay, Prospective memory, Task, Lexical decision task

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Human skin heals more slowly in aged vs. young adults, but the mechanism for this delay is unclear. In humans, eccrine sweat glands (ESGs) and hair follicles underlying wounds generate cohesive keratinocyte outgrowths that expand to form the new epidermis. Here, we compared the re-epithelialization of partial-thickness wounds created on the forearm of healthy young (< 40 yo) and aged (> 70 yo) adults. Our results confirm that the outgrowth of cells from ESGs is a major feature of repair in young skin. Strikingly, in aged skin, although ESG density is unaltered, less than 50% of the ESGs generate epithelial outgrowths during repair (vs. 100% in young). Surprisingly, aging does not alter the wound-induced proliferation response in hair follicles or ESGs. Instead, there is an overall reduced cohesiveness of keratinocytes in aged skin. Reduced cell-cell cohesiveness was most obvious in ESG-derived outgrowths that, when present, were surrounded by unconnected cells in the scab overlaying aged wounds. Reduced cell-cell contact persisted during the repair process, with increased intercellular spacing and reduced number of desmosomes. Together, reduced outgrowths of ESG (i) reduce the initial number of cells participating in epidermal repair, (ii) delay wound closure, and (iii) lead to a thinner repaired epidermis in aged vs. young skin. Failure to form cohesive ESG outgrowths may reflect impaired interactions of keratinocytes with the damaged ECM in aged skin. Our findings provide a framework to better understand the mediators of delayed re-epithelialization in aging and further support the importance of ESGs for the repair of human wounds.

Concepts: Human, Epithelium, Skin, Delay, Tom DeLay, Epidermis, Keratin, Keratinocyte

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Data for copying and delayed recall (after a 15-min delay) of the Modified Taylor Complex Figure (MTCF), an alternative form of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF), were collected from 290 healthy participants. Normative data are provided. Age and education were significantly correlated with MTCF scores and must be corrected for to interpret results accurately. More specifically, increasing age adversely affected performance, whereas a higher education resulted in a better performance. Twenty-five participants were tested with both complex figures (MTCF and ROCF) in two separate sessions to assess correlation, which proved to be high. The collected data allow using the MTCF as a valid alternative material for testing visual long-term memory avoiding implicit learning that can occur when the same version of the ROCF is used for repeated testing sessions.

Concepts: Psychology, Education, Educational psychology, Learning, Delay, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, Higher education, Psychological testing