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To investigate the relationship between paleoenvironmental changes and marine reservoir effects, the radiocarbon ages of marine bioclasts and terrestrial plants from the same horizons of a sediment core in the Holocene Epoch were measured. This core, with a length of approximately 9 m, was obtained from the southern part of the Miyazaki Plain southeast of Kyushu Island, which faces the Kuroshio warm current. This drilling site is located in an uplift area associated with the subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate. Based on analyses of lithology, molluscan and foraminifera assemblages, and radiocarbon dating, we interpreted four sedimentary units in order of age: tidal flat, inner bay, Kikai-Akahoya volcanic ash, and delta plain. These paleoenvironmental changes were mainly associated with the sea-level rise during the deglacial period. The reservoir ages of nine pairs from the tidal flat to inner bay facies were found to be from the time span of 7300–8200 cal BP. The chronological changes in the reservoir effect are correlated with those seen in Holocene sediments of the other coastal area in East Asia.
Nanocrystalline (NC) and ultrafine-grained (UFG) CoCrCuFeNi high-entropy alloy (HEA) with grain size ranging between 59 and 386 nm was produced via powder metallurgy and heat treatment. The as-sintered HEA exhibited two face-centered cubic (FCC) phases (CoCrFeNi-rich and Cu-rich phases) and a small grain size (59 nm), whereas the alloy after heat treatment at 1000 °C exhibited a CoCuFeNi-rich phase with FCC structure and relatively larger grain size (386 nm). Moreover, the yield strength decreased from 1930 to 883 MPa, and plastic strain to failure increased by 8–32%. In terms of microstructural evolution, grain boundary strengthening coupled with lattice distortion was the dominant strengthening mechanism for NC HEAs. Furthermore, the coefficient for boundary strengthening was higher in the HEAs than in the corresponding pure elemental metals with FCC structure, possibly because of significant lattice distortion. The UFG HEAs exhibited high strength and good ductility because of the activation of dislocation.
The role of eating frequency (EF) in obesity development has been debated, and few studies have investigated Asian populations. Diet quality might affect the association between EF and obesity. Therefore, we investigated the association between EF and obesity indicators in a representative sample of Korean adults with consideration to diet quality. This cross-sectional study used data of 6951 participants aged 19–93 years (male 49·8 %, female 50·2 %) from the Fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. EF was assessed using a questionnaire, and diet quality was defined as mean adequacy ratio (MAR). To explore the association between EF and obesity indicators, we used multiple linear regression analyses with and without interaction terms between diet quality and EF. EF was inversely associated with each obesity indicator, including body fat percentage (BF%), BMI and waist circumference (WC), showing a significant linear trend (P<0·001 for BF%, WC and BMI). In addition, the association between EF and each obesity indicator was significantly altered according to diet quality (P value of the interaction term EF×diet quality=0·008 in the regression model for BF%, <0·001 for BMI and 0·043 for WC). In the stratified analyses according to diet quality, EF had a significant inverse association with BF%, WC and BMI in the high diet quality groups, but not in the low diet quality groups. This study suggests that EF is inversely associated with the obesity indicators when diet quality is high, but not when it is low in Korean adults.
The National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke-Canadian Stroke Network (NINDS-CSN) 5-minute neuropsychology protocol consists of only verbal tasks, and is proposed as a brief screening method for vascular cognitive impairment. We evaluated its feasibility within two weeks after stroke and ability to predict the development of post-stroke dementia (PSD) at 3 months after stroke.
We prospectively enrolled subjects with ischemic stroke within seven days of symptom onset who were consecutively admitted to 12 university hospitals. Neuropsychological assessments using the NINDS-CSN 5-minute and 60-minute neuropsychology protocols were administered within two weeks and at 3 months after stroke onset, respectively. PSD was diagnosed with reference to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association statement, requiring deficits in at least two cognitive domains.
Of 620 patients, 512 (82.6%) were feasible for the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol within two weeks after stroke. The incidence of PSD was 16.2% in 308 subjects who had completed follow-up at 3 months after stroke onset. The total score of the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol differed significantly between those with and without PSD (4.0 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.7, respectively; p < 0.01). A cut-off value of 6/7 showed reasonable discriminative power (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.67, AUC 0.74). The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol score was a significant predictor for PSD (adjusted odds ratio 6.32, 95% CI 2.65–15.05).
The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol is feasible to evaluate cognitive functions in patients with acute ischemic stroke. It might be a useful screening method for early identification of high-risk groups for PSD.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
The development of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from large animal species has become an important model for therapeutic cloning using ESCs derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). However, poor embryo quality and blastocyst formation have been major limitations for derivation of cloned ESCs (ntESCs). In this study, we have tried to overcome these problems by treating these cells with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and aggregating porcine embryos. First, cloned embryos were treated with Scriptaid to confirm the effect of HDACi on cloned embryo quality. The Scriptaid-treated blastocysts showed significantly higher total cell numbers (29.50 ± 2.10) than non-treated blastocysts (22.29 ± 1.50, P < 0.05). Next, cloned embryo quality and blastocyst formation were analyzed in aggregates. Three zona-free, reconstructed, four-cell-stage SCNT embryos were injected into the empty zona of hatched parthenogenetic (PA) blastocysts. Blastocyst formation and total cell number of cloned blastocysts increased significantly for all aggregates (76.4% and 83.18 ± 8.33) compared with non-aggregates (25.5% and 27.11 ± 1.67, P < 0.05). Finally, aggregated blastocysts were cultured on a feeder layer to examine the efficiency of porcine ES-like cell derivation. Aggregated blastocysts showed a higher primary colony formation rate than non-aggregated cloned blastocysts (17.6 ± 12.3% vs. 2.2 ± 1.35%, respectively, P < 0.05). In addition, derived ES-like cells showed typical characters of ESCs. In conclusion, the aggregation of porcine SCNT embryos at the four-cell stage could be a useful technique for improving the development rate and quality of porcine-cloned blastocysts and the derivation efficiency of porcine ntESCs.
A new species of Leptostraca, Nebalia cambodiana sp. nov. (Crustacea: Malacostraca), is described from Cambodia. The specimen was collected by light traps on a diving deck where the bottom consisted of fine sand and gravel. The new species is distinguished from all other known species of Nebalia by the following characteristics: rostrum very long, length nearly 3.5 times width; a compound eye with one distinct dorsal papilla and four small lobes on distal margin; an antennular flagellum with nine articles; the fourth article of the antennular peduncle with only one distal thick seta; the antennular scale is elliptical, with a length that is 2 times the width; exopod of the second maxilla is the same length as first article of its endopod; pleonites 5 to 7 with rounded denticles along their posterior dorsal margins; the protopod of pleopod 4 lacks serration along the posterior margin; and anal plates with distinct lateral ‘shoulder’.
The new species is the first species of Leptostraca found in South-east Asia. In this paper, we provide illustrations and a detailed description of the diagnostic characteristics of N. cambodiana sp. nov.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
This study examined changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and quality of care (QoC) as perceived by terminally ill cancer patients and a stratified set of HRQoL or QoC factors that are most likely to influence survival at the end of life (EoL).
We administered questionnaires to 619 consecutive patients immediately after they were diagnosed with terminal cancer by physicians at 11 university hospitals and at the National Cancer Center in Korea. Subjects were followed up over 161.2 person-years until their deaths. We measured HRQoL using the core 30-item European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, and QoC using the Quality Care Questionnaire–End of Life (QCQ–EoL). We evaluated changes in HRQoL and QoC issues during the first three months after enrollment, performing sensitivity analysis by using data generated via four methods (complete case analysis, available case analysis, the last observation carried forward, and multiple imputation).
Emotional and cognitive functioning decreased significantly over time, while dyspnea, constipation, and pain increased significantly. Dignity-conserving care, care by healthcare professionals, family relationships, and QCQ–EoL total score decreased significantly. Global QoL, appetite loss, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG–PS) scores were significantly associated with survival.
Significance of results:
Future standardization of palliative care should be focused on assessment of these deteriorated types of quality. Accurate estimates of the length of life remaining for terminally ill cancer patients by such EoL-enhancing factors as global QoL, appetite loss, and ECOG–PS are needed to help patients experience a dignified and comfortable death.