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It has been suggested that psychosocial factors are related to survival time of inpatients with cancer. However, there are not many studies examining the relationship between spiritual well-being (SWB) and survival time among countries. This study investigated the relationship between SWB and survival time among three East Asian countries.
This international multicenter cohort study is a secondary analysis involving newly admitted inpatients with advanced cancer in palliative care units in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. SWB was measured using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS) at admission. We performed multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model to identify independent prognostic factors.
A total of 2,638 patients treated at 37 palliative care units from January 2017 to September 2018 were analyzed. The median survival time was 18.0 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 16.5–19.5) in Japan, 23.0 days (95% CI 19.9–26.1) in Korea, and 15.0 days (95% CI 13.0–17.0) in Taiwan. SWB was a significant factor correlated with survival in Taiwan (hazard ratio [HR] 1.27; 95% CI 1.01–1.59; p = 0.04), while it was insignificant in Japan (HR 1.10; 95% CI 1.00–1.22; p = 0.06), and Korea (HR 1.02; 95% CI 0.77–1.35; p = 0.89).
Significance of results
SWB on admission was associated with survival in patients with advanced cancer in Taiwan but not Japan or Korea. The findings suggest the possibility of a positive relationship between spiritual care and survival time in patients with far advanced cancer.
Accurate prognostication is important for patients and their families to prepare for the end of life. Objective Prognostic Score (OPS) is an easy-to-use tool that does not require the clinicians’ prediction of survival (CPS), whereas Palliative Prognostic Score (PaP) needs CPS. Thus, inexperienced clinicians may hesitate to use PaP. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of OPS compared with PaP in inpatients in palliative care units (PCUs) in three East Asian countries.
This study was a secondary analysis of a cross-cultural, multicenter cohort study. We enrolled inpatients with far-advanced cancer in PCUs in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan from 2017 to 2018. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve to compare the accuracy of OPS and PaP.
A total of 1,628 inpatients in 33 PCUs in Japan and Korea were analyzed. OPS and PaP were calculated in 71.7% of the Japanese patients and 80.0% of the Korean patients. In Taiwan, PaP was calculated for 81.6% of the patients. The AUROC for 3-week survival was 0.74 for OPS in Japan, 0.68 for OPS in Korea, 0.80 for PaP in Japan, and 0.73 for PaP in Korea. The AUROC for 30-day survival was 0.70 for OPS in Japan, 0.71 for OPS in Korea, 0.79 for PaP in Japan, and 0.74 for PaP in Korea.
Significance of results
Both OPS and PaP showed good performance in Japan and Korea. Compared with PaP, OPS could be more useful for inexperienced physicians who hesitate to estimate CPS.
Conflict across African states has often been linked to ethnic-based biases in government, and exclusive policies. However, the domestic politics of developing states, and the elites who contest for power therein, have often been overlooked when explaining the patterns and risk of disorder and violence. We consider how African leaders practice politics in whom to represent, and at what level. These choices have consequences as how regimes accommodate political elites creates different competitive conditions which, in turn, create incentives and opportunities for political violence. Using a dataset on cabinet appointments over twenty years, we find that high levels of elite political inclusion and mal-apportionment in positions is consistently associated with increases in non-state violence. Power distribution levels among those groups included in senior positions account for more political violence than that which stems from exclusive politics.
A disaster in the hospital is particularly serious and quite different from other ordinary disasters. This study aimed at analyzing the activity outcomes of a disaster medical assistance team (DMAT) for a fire disaster at the hospital.
The data which was documented by a DMAT and emergent medical technicians of a fire department contained information about the patient’s characteristics, medical records, triage results, and the hospital which the patient was transferred from. Patients were categorized into four groups according to results of field triage using the simple triage and rapid treatment method.
DMAT arrived on the scene in 37 minutes. One hundred and thirty eight (138) patients were evacuated from the disaster scene. There were 25 patients (18.1%) in the Red group, 96 patients (69.6%) in the Yellow group, and 1 patient (0.7%) in the Green group. One patient died. There were 16 (11.6%) medical staff and hospital employees. The injury of the caregiver or the medical staff was more severe compared to the family protector.
For an effective disaster-response system in hospital disasters, it is important to secure the safety of medical staff, to utilize available medical resources, to secure patients’ medical records, and to reorganize the DMAT dispatch system.
Bloodstream infection (BSI) occurred in 21 of 121 patients (17%) receiving venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation within the median time of 6 days after initiation (interquartile range, 4–19 days). Longer duration of arterial catheterization and more blood transfusions were independently associated with BSI, which is associated with poor clinical outcomes.
Hyperlipidaemia is a major cause of atherosclerosis and related CVD and can be prevented with natural substances. Previously, we reported that a novel Bacillus-fermented green tea (FGT) exerts anti-obesity and hypolipidaemic effects. This study further investigated the hypotriglyceridaemic and anti-obesogenic effects of FGT and its underlying mechanisms. FGT effectively inhibited pancreatic lipase activity in vitro (IC50, 0·48 mg/ml) and ameliorated postprandial lipaemia in rats (26 % reduction with 500 mg/kg FGT). In hypertriglyceridaemic hamsters, FGT administration significantly reduced plasma TAG levels. In mice, FGT administration (500 mg/kg) for 2 weeks augmented energy expenditure by 22 % through the induction of plasma serotonin, a neurotransmitter that modulates energy expenditure and mRNA expressions of lipid metabolism genes in peripheral tissues. Analysis of the gut microbiota showed that FGT reduced the proportion of the phylum Firmicutes in hamsters, which could further contribute to its anti-obesity effects. Collectively, these data demonstrate that FGT decreases plasma TAG levels via multiple mechanisms including inhibition of pancreatic lipase, augmentation of energy expenditure, induction of serotonin secretion and alteration of gut microbiota. These results suggest that FGT may be a useful natural agent for preventing hypertriglyceridaemia and obesity.
This article illuminates the relationship between level of religious restriction and the onset of religious civil war in the context of autocracy. That is, we investigate how autocrats' religious restriction accounts for religious civil war. We hypothesize that in autocracies, moderate religious restriction is likely to engender religious civil war (Hypothesis 1), policy change from religious laissez-faire to moderate restriction raises the probability of religious civil war (Hypothesis 2), and the transition from tight restriction to moderate restriction is likely to trigger religious civil war (Hypothesis 3). To test our hypotheses, we conduct statistical analyses as well as case studies. The results confirm Hypotheses 1 and 2, but not Hypothesis 3. This suggests that (1) within autocracies, different levels of religious restriction exert different effects on religious civil war and (2) moderate religious restriction is dangerous enough to spark religious civil war and religious laissez-faire helps to generate religious peace.
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.
A CoCrFeNiMn high-entropy alloy (HEA), in the form of a face-centered cubic (fcc) solid solution, was processed by high-pressure torsion (HPT) to produce a nanocrystalline (nc) HEA. Significant grain refinement was achieved from the very early stage of HPT through 1/4 turn and an nc structure with an average grain size of ∼40 nm was successfully attained after 2 turns. The feasibility of significant microstructural changes was attributed to the occurrence of accelerated atomic diffusivity under the torsional stress during HPT. Nanoindentation experiments showed that the hardness increased significantly in the nc HEA during HPT processing and this was associated with additional grain refinement. The estimated values of the strain-rate sensitivity were maintained reasonably constant from the as-cast condition to the nc alloy after HPT through 2 turns, thereby demonstrating a preservation of plasticity in the HEA. In addition, a calculation of the activation volume suggested that the grain boundaries play an important role in the plastic deformation of the nc HEA where the flow mechanism is consistent with other nc metals. Transmission electron microscopy showed that, unlike conventional fcc nc metals, the nc HEA exhibits excellent microstructural stability under severe stress conditions.
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 aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is one of the oldest oil crops and is widely cultivated in Asia and Africa. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationships and population structure of 277 sesame core collection accessions collected from 15 countries in four different continents. A total of 158 alleles were detected among the sesame accessions, with the number varying from 3 to 25 alleles per locus and an average of 11.3. Polymorphism information content values ranged from 0.34 to 0.84, with an average of 0.568. These values indicated a high genetic diversity at 14 loci both among and within the populations. Of these, 44 genotype-specific alleles were identified in 12 of the 14 polymorphic simple sequence repeat markers. The core collection preserved a much higher level of genetic variation. Therefore, 10.1% was selected as the best sampling percentage from the whole collection when constructing the core collection. The 277 core collection accessions formed four robust clusters in the unweighted pair group method and the arithmetic averages (UPGMA) dendrogram, although the clustering did not indicate any clear division among the sesame accessions based on their geographical locations. Similar patterns were obtained using model-based structure analysis and country-based dendrograms, as some accessions situated geographically far apart were grouped together in the same cluster. The results of these analyses will increase our understanding of the genotype-specific alleles, genetic diversity and population structure of core collections, and the information can be used for the development of a future breeding strategy to improve sesame yield.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to systematically assess the long-term (≥ 6 months) benefits of epidural steroid injection therapies for patients with low back pain.
Methods: We identified randomized controlled trials by database searches up to October 2011 and by additional hand searches without language restrictions. Randomized controlled trials on the effects of epidurals for low back pain with follow-up for at least 6 months were included. Outcomes considered were pain relief, functional improvement in 6 to 12 months after epidural steroid injection treatment and the number of patients who underwent subsequent surgery. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effects model.
Results: Twenty-nine articles were selected. The meta-analysis suggested that a significant treatment effect on pain was noted at 6 months of follow-up (weighted mean difference [WMD], −0.41; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], −0.66 to −0.16), but was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for the baseline pain score (WMD, −0.19; 95 percent CI, −0.61 to 0.24). Epidural steroid injection did not improve back-specific disability more than a placebo or other procedure. Epidural steroid injection did not significantly decrease the number of patients who underwent subsequent surgery compared with a placebo or other treatments (relative risk, 1.02; 95 percent CI, 0.83 to 1.24).
Conclusions: A long-term benefit of epidural steroid injections for low back pain was not suggested at 6 months or longer. Introduction of selection bias in the majority of injection studies seems apparent. Baseline adjustment is essential when we evaluate pain as a main outcome of injection therapy.
This study quantitatively investigated the immediate effects of a photooxidative collagen cross-linking treatment with photosensitizer riboflavin (RF) and 370 nm UVA light in in vitro human corneoscleral collagen fibrils using histology, thickness, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy analyses. Twenty 8 × 2 mm corneoscleral strips were dissected sagittally from donor tissue using a scalpel. Four parameters were investigated, including the density, thickness, adhesion force, and stiffness of corneoscleral tissues before and after the collagen cross-linking treatment. The RFUVA-catalyzed collagen cross-linking treatment led to an increase in the density of both corneal (8%) and scleral (23%) stromal collagens. However, there was no difference in corneoscleral thickness. Furthermore, RFUVA-catalyzed collagen cross-linking treatment led to an increased biomechanical response of corneosclera: 25 and 8% increases in corneoscleral stiffness, and 24 and 22% increases in corneoscleral adhesion force. The collagen cross-linking treatment through RF-sensitized photoreaction may cause structural and biomechanical changes in the collagen fibril network of the cornea and the sclera. This is due to narrowing of the interfibrillar spacing and the stromal edema.
This study investigated the inflammatory effect of intraoperative mitomycin C (MMC) on adhesion reformation in human rectus muscles. Ten consecutive patients who underwent medial rectus resection had their postoperative rectus muscles divided into two groups: control group (n = 10) and MMC group (n = 10). In the MMC group, the muscle was soaked for 2 min with MMC, prepared as a 0.2 mg/mL (0.02%) solution. The 0.02% MMC reactions were examined using histological analysis with hematoxylin-eosin (inflammatory response) and Masson's trichrome (collagen fibrils), immunoreactivities of cyclooxygenase-II (inflammatory response), and collagen type I and III, scanning electron microscopy analysis to quantify the diameter and D-periodicity of collagen fibrils, and atomic force microscopy analysis to quantify the diameter, D-periodicity, and adhesion force of collagen fibrils. The rectus muscles treated with 0.02% MMC showed a significantly increased inflammatory response (p < 0.05), increased collagen density (p < 0.0001), increased fibril diameter (p < 0.001 or p < 0.05), and decreased fibril adhesion force (p < 0.005) compared to the rectus muscles in the control group. MMC simultaneously caused an inflammatory response as well as nanostructural and biomechanical property changes in the collagen fibril network.
Klotho protein is involved in insulin-signalling and ageing. Klotho mutation causes premature ageing and significantly shortens the lifespan. The anti-neoplastic drug cisplatin promotes ototoxicity at higher doses by inducing apoptosis. This study aimed to clarify the effect of klotho expression on cisplatin ototoxicity, using an auditory cell line.
Materials and methods:
Expressions of klotho messenger RNA and protein were analysed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. Auditory cells (HEI-OC1 line) were pretreated with 2 nM klotho protein for 2 hours; 15 µM cisplatin was then applied. After 48 hours incubation, assessment of cell viability (via 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide assay), apoptosis (via Hoechst 33258 staining) and reactive oxygen species was performed.
Klotho protein expression increased in cisplatin-treated auditory cells. Cells treated with both klotho protein and cisplatin showed a viability of 67.7 per cent, versus 59.4 per cent in cisplatin-treated cells. Klotho significantly attenuated the cisplatin-induced increase in reactive oxygen species, and increased the viability of cells with cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity.
Klotho protein is protective against cisplatin-induced auditory cell cytotoxicity; inhibition of reactive oxygen species may be the main mechanism.