Test di ammissione per le classi 45A e 46A INGLESE
Read the WHOLE article before answering
Does Alcohol Slow Dementia?
By Laura Blue (Time magazine on-line, Monday, May. 21, 2007
Anyone who reads a daily paper could be forgiven for wondering how carbs, alcohol, fats — a whole host of things, really — can be reported as healthy one day and unhealthy the next. Of the conflicted bunch, however, alcohol just might be most enduringly confusing: scientific studies proclaim that it protects against heart attack and stroke, while others suggest it promotes violent tendencies or destroys the liver. Why the mixed messages? A new study demonstrates what can go wrong.
The latest in a long line of research on alcohol’s benefits — sure to cause a stir — is a paper by geriatrics researchers at the University of Bari in Italy appearing in the May 22 issue of Neurology, revealing that the progression of dementia may be slower in people who drink moderately than in teetotallers. A survey of elderly Italians — 1,445 of whom had no cognitive impairment and 121 who suffered mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — found that, over 3.5 years, those with MCI who drank less than one drink a day progressed to dementia at a rate 85% slower than those who drank nothing. Drinking more did not seem to be better than drinking nothing. Expect big headlines to follow: “Booze boosts the brain”; “A drink a day keeps dementia away.”
The problem is, of course, that that’s not what the Bari scientists actually wrote in their paper. They said only that a drink a day may keep dementia away. Like so many studies of this kind, where researchers follow a large group without making any interventions of their own, it can be hard to distinguish the effects of alcohol from the effects of other lifestyle factors. As the Neurology article plainly states: “It is… possible that moderate lifestyles in general, which obviously vary according to different cultural environments, protect from cognitive impairment. Thus it may not be the direct effect of alcohol or specific substances in alcoholic drinks that provide the protection.”
In other words, common sense and your own personal experience might explain just as much of the association between drinking and delayed mental decay as can be explained by neurology. Seventy-year-olds who have a regular glass of wine, for example, might well be moderate drinkers precisely because they are still physically fit, eat reasonably well, are in good enough health that don’t take serious medications that prevent them from drinking, and lead active social lives — all factors that, like moderate drinking, have been linked to staying mentally sharp. Researchers who study the effects of any one of these factors will, of course, try to separate it from the others. But when it comes right down to it, that’s not always easy. There are some ethical problems that get in the way of researchers force-feeding patients pre-determined quantities of alcohol. Without that kind of control over study subjects, however, scientists are limited in what they can measure.
To be fair, the scientists and journal publishers are almost never the ones who claim unambiguous relationships between alcohol — or anything else — and good health. But journal articles generally assume readers understand that correlation is not causation, a subtlety that may be lost on the layperson. And subtlety is often what’s needed to present these studies fairly. Alcohol could offer some protection against cognitive decline, after all. Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked with reduced risk of vascular disease, and good vascular health could slow the progression of dementia. The study authors note that some experiments show that ethanol encourages the release of a brain chemical that could be responsible for improved memory; that alcohol is associated with high levels of HDL cholesterol, linked to better coronary health; and that anti-oxidants in wine, the main source of the elderly Italians’ alcohol intake, might also boost cognitive performance. Or there could be an entirely different mechanism at play.
The simple thing to note is that the researchers behind this study weren’t claiming to show any of these things. The paper is still valuable: it is the first to identify a relationship between alcohol consumption and the rate of progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia, according to the study authors. It also appears consistent with other papers that suggest, over a longer time period, that moderate alcohol consumption might be linked to reduced risk of dementia. That’s all a bit complicated for a headline. But on reports like this one, it’s usually worth reading the fine print.
Read the WHOLE article before answering
1. In the context of the article, the first paragraph
a) shows how mass media share the same stereotypes on food.
b) gives proof that the same piece of information can be divergently interpreted by different readers.
c) points to the contradictory nature of information about food and health in newspapers.
d) blames readers for paying lip service to warnings in daily newspapers about unhealthy food habits.
e) reflects a libertarian approach to food.
2. In the context of the article, “to cause a stir” (2nd paragraph) means
a) to originate a lively debate
b) to cause heavy damage
c) to change the direction of current research
d) to bring about a complete U turn in the direction of scientific research
e) to quietly but definitively change the current perspective
3. In the context of the article, “teetotallers” (2nd paragraph) are
a) people unstable standing on their feet or in their walk.
b) heavy drinkers.
c) people totally addicted to drugs or alcohol.
d) people who completely refrain from drinking alcohol.
e) people who take alcohol (whisky, rum or gin) in their tea.
4. According to the article, which one of the following statements is TRUE?
a) It is impossible for drinkers of even moderate quantities of alcohol to lead a moderate lifestyle.
b) Drinking even moderate quantities of alcohol increases the probability of developing dementia.
c) There is no correlation between vascular disease and the risk of progression of dementia.
d) Geriatrics researchers at the University of Bari describe force-feeding patients pre-determined quantities of alcohol.
e) Geriatrics researchers at the University of Bari said that a drink a day may keep dementia away.
5. According to the article and to the opinion of its author, which one of the following statements is FALSE?
a) Articles from scientific journals are often too confused and are much better understood when translated into the simpler headlines of daily newspapers.
b) Newspapers often turn scientific articles into big headlines.
c) Some experiments show that alcohol could be responsible for improved memory.
d) MCI stands for “mild cognitive impairment”, which afflicts elderly people.
e) High levels of HDL cholesterol, usually associated with alcohol, are good for coronary health.
Choose the best answer:
6. Pauline’s play has been ___________ in the West End for the past year.
7. All the classroom windows were broken, but nobody knew who the ___________ was.
8. If the government concerned refuses to change its practices, the Commission can propose to ___________ through measures which target trade from the country concerned.
d) from him
e) as for him.
9. The guy started walking back toward me ___________ that he had never missed an object in eight years military career.
10. Karate hurt my hands at first, but I finally _________ it in the end.
a) used to
b) was used to
c) was used
d) got used
e) got used to
11. The “Morality” was
a) A Medieval religious drama based on the Old Testament stories
b) A Medieval collection of proverbs for popular instruction
c) a philosophical work by F. Bacon
d) A Medieval lay drama performed in the open air showing the battle between good and evil
e) an Elizabethan type of drama for Easter time.
12. Blank verse is
a) an unrhymed iambic pentameter
b) a rhymed trochaic trimeter
c) a rhymed iambic pentameter
d an unrhymed iambic tetrameter
e) a rhymed iambic tetrameter
«Give me the map there. Know that we have divided
In three our kingdom; and ‘tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburthen’d crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters’ several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now».
This quotation is taken from Shakespeare’s :
a) The Merchant of Venice
b) King Lear
c) Titus Andronicus
d) Timon of Athens
«The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!».
These verses are by :
a) John Keats
b) T.S. Eliot
c) William Wordsworth
d) William Blake
e) Lord Byron.
15. The animals’ revolution in Animal Farm fails because
a) the strongest animals kill the weakest ones
b) after man has gone, there is nobody who possesses the ability to organise life on the farm
c) the animals lack sense of discipline
d) things had not been planned carefully enough
e) individual ambition and wish for power are stronger than the ideals which inspired it
16. The coherence of a text is:
a) the grammatical/lexical relationship between sentences
b) the way it makes sense to the reader/listener
c) the sentence variety
d) the paragraph structure
e) the sentence structure
17. In the UK the Welfare State was established:
a) at the end of the first World War
b) after the second World War
c) in the age of Cromwell
d) during the Industrial Revolution
e) in the Victorian period
18. The “Boston Tea Party” is:
a) a high tea offered by US presidents to heads of state on official visits
b) a high tea offered by British monarchs to US presidents on official visits
c) the social event opening each academic year at Harvard University in Boston
d) the historical event that started the American Revolution
e) the political meeting, held in Boston, that concluded the American Revolution
19. The work of the American psychologist William James is connected to:
b) reception theory
d) stream of consciousness
20 . The Easter Rising of 1916 occurred:
a) in Edinburgh, claiming the independence of the Scottish Parliament
b) among the Welsh miners, after a long strike for better working conditions
c) in Northern Ireland, where Orangemen marched to support Ireland as part of the United Kingdom
d) in Dublin, when extreme nationalists attempted to seize power
e) in Delhi, after the jailing of Gandhi
21. If you were talking about the Okenfenokee and the Everglades, what geographical feature would you be discussing?
22. Which of the following underlined pronouns is unstressed?
a) It is me who had the idea, remember?
b) Don’t look at me, look at him!
c) Don’t tell me what to say, tell me what to do
d) I’ll have some coffee; what will you have?
e) Are you referring to me?
23. They returned by a different _________
24. What did they say when they realized you weren’t a shoplifter? They apologized _________ me
a) to doubt
b) they had doubted
c) about doubting
d) the doubt of
e) for doubting
25. If you have passed the sell-by-date age, you _________
a) are inexperienced
b) aren’t energetic
c) aren’t jaunty
d) aren’t young
e) aren’t keen on shopping
26. If you say you have to eat the humble pie, you_________
a) don’t eat enough
b) you must acknowledge your own mistakes
c) you must acknowledge somebody else’s mistakes
d) you think you are a good cook
e) you have to go on a diet
27. Eva speaks out of the back of her mind. People are often taken _________ by her outspoken comments
28. When we talk about the “Restoration” in English history, we refer to:
a) The dissolution of Parliament by the King
b) The resumption of a dissolute way of living
c) The rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666
d) The calling back of the King from his exile in 1660
e) The beginning of the Stuart dynasty in 1603
29. The MOMA is _________ :
a) the Museum of Modern Architecture in Philadelphia
b) the Museum of Modern Art in New York
c) the Museum of Movies and Animation in Hollywood
d) the Museum of Modern Aviation at Kill-Devil-Hills, North Carolina
e) the Museum of Manufacturing in America, Detroit
30. How many representatives are elected to the House of Commons from each constituency?
d) five, in England and Wales
e) a percentage according to the number of voters