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Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by anxiety regarding social situations, avoidance of external social stimuli, and negative self-beliefs. Virtual reality self-training (VRS) at home may be a good interim modality for reducing social fears before formal treatment. This study aimed to find neurobiological evidence for the therapeutic effect of VRS.
Fifty-two patients with SAD were randomly assigned to a VRS or waiting list (WL) group. The VRS group received an eight-session VRS program for 2 weeks, whereas the WL group received no intervention. Clinical assessments and functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning with the distress and speech evaluation tasks were repeatedly performed at baseline and after 3 weeks.
The post-VRS assessment showed significantly decreased anxiety and avoidance scores, distress index, and negative evaluation index for ‘self’, but no change in the negative evaluation index for ‘other’. Patients showed significant responses to the distress task in various regions, including both sides of the prefrontal regions, occipital regions, insula, and thalamus, and to the speech evaluation task in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex. Among these, significant neuronal changes after VRS were observed only in the right lingual gyrus and left thalamus.
VRS-induced improvements in the ability to pay attention to social stimuli without avoidance and even positively modulate emotional cues are based on functional changes in the visual cortices and thalamus. Based on these short-term neuronal changes, VRS can be a first intervention option for individuals with SAD who avoid society or are reluctant to receive formal treatment.
This article reviews the advancements and prospects of liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging and analysis methods in understanding the nucleation, growth, etching, and assembly dynamics of nanocrystals. The bonding of atoms into nanoscale crystallites produces materials with nonadditive properties unique to their size and geometry. The recent application of in situ liquid cell TEM to nanocrystal development has initiated a paradigm shift, (1) from trial-and-error synthesis to a mechanistic understanding of the “synthetic reactions” responsible for the emergence of crystallites from a disordered soup of reactive species (e.g., ions, atoms, molecules) and shape-defined growth or etching; and (2) from post-processing characterization of the nanocrystals’ superlattice assemblies to in situ imaging and mapping of the fundamental interactions and energy landscape governing their collective phase behaviors. Imaging nanocrystal formation and assembly processes on the single-particle level in solution immediately impacts many existing fields, including materials science, nanochemistry, colloidal science, biology, environmental science, electrochemistry, mineralization, soft condensed-matter physics, and device fabrication.
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to determine the effect of supplementing different forms of L-methionine (L-Met) and acetate on protein synthesis in immortalized bovine mammary epithelial cell line (MAC-T cells). Treatments were Control, L-Met, conjugated L-Met and acetate (CMA), and non-conjugated L-Met and Acetate (NMA). Protein synthesis mechanism was determined by omics method. NMA group had the highest protein content in the media and CSN2 mRNA expression levels (P < 0.05). The number of upregulated and downregulated proteins observed were 39 and 77 in L-Met group, 62 and 80 in CMA group and 50 and 81 in NMA group from 448 proteins, respectively (P < 0.05). L-Met, NMA and CMA treatments stimulated pathways related to protein and energy metabolism (P < 0.05). Metabolomic analysis also revealed that L-Met, CMA and NMA treatments resulted in increases of several metabolites (P < 0.05). In conclusion, NMA treatment increased protein concentration and expression level of CSN2 mRNA in MAC-T cells compared to control as well as L-Met and CMA treatments through increased expression of milk protein synthesis-related genes and production of the proteins and metabolites involved in energy and protein synthesis pathways.
To investigate the impacts of depression screening, diagnosis and treatment on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Prospective cohort study including a nested 24-week randomised clinical trial for treating depression was performed with 5–12 years after the index ACS. A total of 1152 patients recently hospitalised with ACS were recruited from 2006 to 2012, and were divided by depression screening and diagnosis at baseline and 24-week treatment allocation into five groups: 651 screening negative (N), 55 screening positive but no depressive disorder (S), 149 depressive disorder randomised to escitalopram (E), 151 depressive disorder randomised to placebo (P) and 146 depressive disorder receiving medical treatment only (M).
Cumulative MACE incidences over a median 8.4-year follow-up period were 29.6% in N, 43.6% in S, 40.9% in E, 53.6% in P and 59.6% in M. Compared to N, screening positive was associated with higher incidence of MACE [adjusted hazards ratio 2.15 (95% confidence interval 1.63–2.83)]. No differences were found between screening positive with and without a formal depressive disorder diagnosis. Of those screening positive, E was associated with a lower incidence of MACE than P and M. M had the worst outcomes even compared to P, despite significantly milder depressive symptoms at baseline.
Routine depression screening in patients with recent ACS and subsequent appropriate treatment of depression could improve long-term cardiac outcomes.
Tricuspid atresia with absent pulmonary valve and intact ventricular septum is an extremely rare cardiac malformation, historically associated with a poor prognosis. Only a few cases with successful surgical palliation have been reported in the literature. We present the case of an 8-month-old infant with this malformation who underwent successful bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis with complete exclusion of the right ventricle.
This research investigated patients who underwent surgery for a dilated aorta associated with a connective tissue disease or inflammatory vasculitis in children and adolescents.
Materials and Methods:
The medical records of 11 patients who underwent aortic surgery for dilatation resulting from a connective tissue disease or inflammatory vasculitis between 2000 and 2017 were retrospectively reviewed.
The median age and body weight of the patients were 9.6 years (range 5.4 months–15.5 years) and 25.8 kg (range 6.8–81.5), respectively. The associated diseases were Marfan syndrome (n = 3), Loeys-Dietz syndrome (n = 3), Kawasaki disease (n = 1), Takayasu arteritis (n = 1), PHACE syndrome (n = 1), tuberous sclerosis (n = 1), and unknown (n = 1). The most common initially affected area was the ascending aorta. During the 66.4 ± 35.9 months of follow-up, two Marfan syndrome patients died, and four patients (one Marfan syndrome and three Loeys-Dietz syndrome) had repeated aortic operation. Except for one patient, the functional class was well maintained in all patients who were followed up.
Cases of surgical treatment for a dilated aorta associated with a connective tissue disease and inflammatory vasculitis are rare in children and adolescents at our institution. Most of the patients in this study showed a tolerable postoperative course. However, the aorta showed progressive dilation over time even after surgical treatment, especially in patients with Loeys-Dietz syndrome. In these patients, close and more frequent regular follow-up is required.
Residual stress is generally evaluated using indentation by comparing the indentation curves of stressed and stress-free states. Here, we suggest a new method that can evaluate surface residual stress without indentation testing on stress-free specimen using stress-independent indentation parameters and an analysis of indentation contact morphology for the stress-free state. We found that several indentation parameters are independent of the stress by Vickers indentation testing on various stress states. The indentation contact morphology can be represented by indentation parameters including stress-independent ones, and by applying the stress-independent parameters obtained from the stressed state to the indentation contact depth function, we can estimate an indentation curve for stress-free state. The estimated curve matches well with the experimental stress-free indentation curve, and it was also confirmed that the applied stress values evaluated by comparing the estimated curve with the stressed indentation curve agree well with the reference values obtained from strain gauge.
This study aimed to investigate associations among spirituality, coping strategies, quality of life (QOL), and the effects of depression and anxiety thereon in cancer patients.
In total, 237 cancer patients referred to a psycho-oncology clinic at a university hospital in Korea were enrolled. After identifying predictors of patient QOL in a stepwise regression model, we developed a hypothetical path model wherein interpersonal coping was considered as a mediating variable between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL and wherein depression and anxiety affected each of these three variables.
The direct effect of spirituality (meaning/peace) on QOL was 36.7%. In an indirect model, interpersonal coping significantly mediated the relationship between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL. Depression exerted the largest negative effect on spirituality (meaning/peace), interpersonal coping, and QOL. Anxiety had negative effects on spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL, but a positive effect on interpersonal coping.
Significance of results
Interpersonal coping strategies work as a partial mediator of the relationship between meaning/peace subscales of spirituality and QOL. Effective management of depression may help in achieving better outcomes associated therewith. Greater attention and efforts to improve social connectedness and meaning of life in spiritual well-being may improve the QOL of cancer patients.
We suggest a new method to evaluate stress directionality, the ratio of principal stresses, using nanoindentation by introducing a modified Berkovich indenter that is extended in one direction from the Berkovich indenter. In a nonequibiaxial stress state, the indentation load-depth curves are shifted differently as the extended axis of the indenter is placed in accordance with each principal direction. The indentation load-difference is proportional to each principal stress and the slopes are defined by the normal and parallel conversion factors whose ratio is constant at 0.58. The suggested method was verified by indentation tests using five nonequibiaxial stressed specimens. The evaluated stress directionality results show agreement with the applied reference values within ±20%. Furthermore, we calculated the conversion factor ratios for other modified Berkovich indenters extended to different degrees through finite element analysis and confirmed that the conversion factor ratio was inversely proportional to the extension of the modified Berkovich indenter.
Depressive symptoms are common in bereaved caregivers; however, there have been few prospective studies using a structured interview. This study investigated the prevalence and preloss predictors of major depressive disorder (MDD) in bereaved caregivers of patients in a palliative care unit.
This prospective cohort study collected caregiver sociodemographic and psychological data before the death of a palliative care unit patient, including MDD, care-burden, coping style, and hopeful attitude. Postloss MDD was assessed 6 and 13 months after death, and a multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify its predictors.
Of 305 caregivers contacted, 92 participated in this study. The prevalence of preloss MDD was 21.8%; the prevalences of postloss MDD were 34.8% and 24.7% at 6 and 13 months, respectively. Preloss MDD predicted postloss MDD at 6 months (odds ratio [OR] = 5.38, 95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.29, 22.43); preloss nonhopeful attitude and unemployment status of caregivers predicted postloss MDD at 13 months (OR = 8.77, CI95% = 1.87, 41.13 and OR = 7.10, CI95% = 1.28, 39.36, respectively).
Significance of results
Approximately 35% of caregivers suffered from MDD at 6 months postloss, but the prevalence of MDD decreased to about 25% at 13 months. Preloss MDD significantly predicted postloss MDD at 6 months, whereas hopeful attitude and unemployment at baseline were significantly associated with postloss MDD at 13 months.
Objectives: Rotator cuff tear is the leading cause of the decline in quality of life for older adults, but comparative evidence on treatment effectiveness is lacking. This study systematically reviewed the effects of various rotator cuff tear treatments through a Bayesian meta-analysis of the related randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
Methods: We searched nine electronic databases for RCTs evaluating rotator cuff tear treatments from their inception through June 2017. A systematic review was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-Decision Support Unit guidelines (Supplementary Table 1). Outcomes included functional improvement, pain one year after surgical treatment, and tendon structural integrity. The Bayesian network meta-analysis was applied for functional improvement and pain, based on an assumption of consistency and similarity. Tendon integrity was reported descriptively.
Results: Fifteen RCTs were selected. Patients undergoing physiotherapy after open surgery showed statistically significant functional improvements compared with those undergoing physiotherapy only (mean differences, 9.1 [credible interval, 0.9–17.4]). Open surgery with physiotherapy was associated with a decrease in pain 1 year after treatment compared with when physiotherapy was combined with arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, mini open surgery, platelet-rich plasma therapy, or physiotherapy alone (absolute value of mean difference 1.2 to 1.4). The tendon integrity results were inconsistent.
Conclusions: Some surgical treatments were associated with significant improvement in function and pain, but evidence regarding their comparative effectiveness is still lacking. A well-designed RCT discussing functional and structural treatment outcomes is needed in future.
We trace Sn nanoparticles (NPs) produced from SnO2 nanotubes (NTs) during lithiation initialized by high energy e-beam irradiation. The growth dynamics of Sn NPs is visualized in liquid electrolytes by graphene liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. The observation reveals that Sn NPs grow on the surface of SnO2 NTs via coalescence and the final shape of agglomerated NPs is governed by surface energy of the Sn NPs and the interfacial energy between Sn NPs and SnO2 NTs. Our result will likely benefit more rational material design of the ideal interface for facile ion insertion.
Two challenges exist in laser-assisted atom probe tomography (APT). First, a drastic decline in mass-resolving power is caused, not only by laser-induced thermal effects on the APT tips of bulk oxide materials, but also the associated asymmetric evaporation behavior; second, the field evaporation mechanisms of bulk oxide tips under laser illumination are still unclear due to the complex relations between laser pulse and oxide materials. In this study, both phenomena were investigated by depositing Ni- and Co-capping layers onto the bulk LaAlO3 tips, and using stepwise APT analysis with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation of the tip shapes. By employing the metallic capping, the heating at the surface of the oxide tips during APT analysis became more symmetrical, thereby enabling a high mass-resolving power in the mass spectrum. In addition, the stepwise microscopy technique visualized tip shape evolution during APT analysis, thereby accounting for evaporation sequences at the tip surface. The combination of “capping” and “stepwise APT with TEM,” is applicable to any nonconductors; it provides a direct observation of tip shape evolution, allows determination of the field evaporation strength of oxides, and facilitates understanding of the effects of ultrafast laser illumination on an oxide tip.
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.
To date, there have been a number of research proposals to explore the newly emerging wireless charging technologies based on radio-frequency (RF) signals, ambient or dedicated. In particular, research efforts towards achieving the goal of transmitting information and energy at the same time have been rapidly expanding, but the feasibility of this goal has not been fully addressed. Moreover, the respective coverage areas of transmitting information and energy are wildly different, the latter being considerably smaller than the former. This is because the receiver sensitivities are very different, namely -60 dBm for an information receiver and -10 dBm for an energy receiver [1, 2].
Owing to this limitation, recently a commercial implementation of RF energy transfer has been restricted to lower-power sensor nodes with dedicated RF energy transmitters, such as the Powercast wireless rechargeable sensor system  and the Cota system .
In this chapter, we discuss the implementation of long- and short-range RF energy harvesting systems, where the former is to provide far-field-based RF energy transfer over long distances with a 4 × 4 phased antenna array and the latter to provide biosensors with RF energy over short distances. An overall circuit design for these RF energy harvesting systems is described in detail, along with the measurement results to validate the feasibility of far-field-based RF energy transfer. We illustrate the designed test-beds which will be applied to develop sophisticated energy beamforming algorithms to increase the transmission range. Finally, a new research framework is developed through the cross-layer design of the RF energy harvesting system, which is intended to power a low-power sensor node, like the Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensor node. To this end, we present a circuit-layer stored energy evolution model based on the measurements which will be used in designing the upper-layer energy management algorithm for efficient control of the stored energy at the sensor node. The new framework will be useful because the existing works on RF energy harvesting do not explicitly take into account a realistic temporal evolution model of the stored energy in the energy storage device, like such as a supercapacitor.