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In spite of significant concerns about Hg contamination and its toxic impacts in the environment, limited studies have been carried out in Korea. The objectives of this study are to investigate the extent and degree of Hg contamination in soil, sediment, dust and sludge from various anthropogenic sources in Korea, and to understand the distribution patterns of Hg in the study areas. The anthropogenic sources of Hg contamination were divided into four major sources: (1) by-product from abandoned Au-Ag mines; (2) coal combustion; (3) cement production; and (4) industrial and domestic discharges. A calculation of enrichment factor and index of geoaccumulation for Hg in soils and sediments indicated that some samples from mining sites were enriched in Hg. In addition, Hg concentrations in marine sediments from industrial sites were above the Effects Range Median (ERM) criteria suggested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (NOAA). Therefore, it can be concluded that samples from various sites were directly influenced by anthropogenic sources of Hg in the surface environment.
Using data from the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) study, we aimed to present the rates and clinical correlates of suicidal thoughts/acts in patients recruited from a total of 40 centres in 10 Asian countries/areas: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Data from 1122 patients with depressive disorders in the REAP-AD study were used. The ICD-10 was employed to diagnose depressive episodes and recurrent depressive disorder. The presence or absence of suicidal thoughts/acts and profile of other depressive symptoms was established using the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for depression. Country/area differences in rates of suicidal thoughts/acts were evaluated with the χ2 test. In addition, depressive symptom profiles, other clinical characteristics, and patterns of psychotropic drug prescription in depressed patients with and without suicidal thoughts/acts were compared using analysis of covariance for continuous variables and logistic regression analysis for discrete variables to adjust the effects of covariates.
The rates of suicidal thoughts/acts in 10 countries/areas varied from 12.8% in Japan to 36.3% in China. Patients with suicidal thoughts/acts presented more persistent sadness (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=2.64, p<0.001), loss of interest (aOR=2.33, p<0.001), fatigue (aOR=1.58, p<0.001), insomnia (aOR=1.74, p<0.001), poor concentration (aOR=1.88, p<0.001), low self-confidence (aOR=1.78, p<0.001), poor appetite (aOR=2.27, p<0.001), guilt/self-blame (aOR=3.03, p<0.001), and use of mood stabilisers (aOR=1.79, p<0.001) than those without suicidal thoughts/acts.
Suicidal thoughts/acts can indicate greater severity of depression, and are associated with a poorer response to antidepressants and increased burden of illness. Hence, suicidal thoughts/acts can provide a clinical index reflecting the clinical status of depressive disorders in Asians.
Effects of Ag content on microstructure, mechanical properties, and electrical conductivity in long time aged Cu-Ti-Ag alloys were investigated. In short time ageing condition, both electrical conductivity and mechanical properties were enhanced by Ag addition. On the other hand, in long time ageing condition, Ag addition showed a faster deterioration of mechanical properties than Ag free CuTi alloys.
This chapter discusses the case of a 38-year-oldwoman who had presented to the sleep center's outpatient clinic for evaluation of frequent sleepwalking episodes. It presents the clinical history, examination, follow-up, treatment, diagnosis, and the results of the procedures performed on the patient. A comprehensive evaluation including polysomnography (PSG), video-electroencephalography (EEG), psychological testing and necessary medical testing is important as it can have a major impact on the question of the patient's criminal responsibility. The EEG showed no epileptiform abnormalities interictally or during the events. The patient was referred for hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for her insomnia. Given these results, a diagnosis of sleepwalking, arousal disorder, was made. The daytime sleepiness was thought to be due to the intake of excess clonazepam. Medications (lithium, zolpidem, high doses of neuroleptic drugs and benzodiazepines) and recreational drugs may also induce sleepwalking.
The biological changes in recurrent laryngeal cancer following radiotherapy are not fully understood. The authors investigated differences in the expression of p53, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and bcl-2 in laryngeal cancer specimens before radiotherapy and in recurrent laryngeal cancer specimens following radiotherapy in the same patients. The authors investigated the expression of p53, PCNA and bcl-2 by immunohistochemical stain in 30 specimens from 15 patients with primary laryngeal cancer and recurrent laryngeal cancer after radiotherapy.
The expression of p53 protein was significantly different in laryngeal cancer before radiotherapy (4/15, 26.7 per cent) compared with recurrent laryngeal cancer after radiotherapy (8/15, 53.3 per cent) (p < 0.05). The PCNA index was also significantly different in laryngeal cancer specimens before radiotherapy (mean, 11.9 per cent) compared with recurrent laryngeal cancer after radiotherapy (mean, 18.0 per cent) (p < 0.05). However, there was no statistically significant alteration of bcl-2 expression in primary compared with recurrent laryngeal cancer. The expression of p53 and PCNA increased in recurrent laryngeal cancers after radiotherapy, compared with that in laryngeal cancers before radiotherapy. Recurrent laryngeal cancers arising following radiotherapy became biologically aggressive.
Telomerase maintains the length of telomeres in immortal cells and is also often associated with cell proliferation. Cholesteatoma epithelium is characterized by a dysregulation with hyperproliferative growth. The study evaluated the telomerase activity in cholesteatoma and normal retro-auricular skin to discover the relationship between telomerase expression and clinical findings. Twenty-two samples of cholesteatoma and 15 samples of retro-auricular skin were obtained from patients undergoing middle-ear surgery. The telomerase activity was detected by the telomerase repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay method. Seventeen of the 22 (77.3 per cent) cholesteatoma cases expressed telomerase activity, whereas none of the 15 retro-auricular normal skin (0 per cent) detected telomerase activity. There was no significant difference between telomerase expressions and clinical findings, including hearing level, duration of disease, and the degree of extension (p>0.05). The high expression of telomerase in cholesteatoma suggests that the activation of telomerase may be related to the proliferative nature of cholesteatoma.
Highly c-axis-oriented Bi3.25La0.75Ti3O12 (BLT) films with a homogeneous in-plane orientation were successfully grown on SiO2/Si(100) and Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si(100) substrates by a sol-coating route. The substitution of lanthanum ions for bismuth ions in the layered perovskite suppressed the formation of pyrochlore phase and enhanced the c-axis-oriented growth. The c-axis-oriented BLT film fabricated on a Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si(100) substrate showed fatigue-free characteristics with a large remanent polarization of 26–28 μC/cm2 and the coercive field of 50–75 kV/cm. These features significantly enhance the potential value of the BLT film for the applications to high-density ferroelectric random-access memories devices. In addition, the c-axis-oriented BLT film, with a homogeneous in-plane orientation on an amorphous surface, can be used as a suitable template material for applications to various electro-magneto-optic devices.
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