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Firefighters are routinely exposed to various traumatic events and often experience a range of trauma-related symptoms. Although these repeated traumatic exposures rarely progress to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, firefighters are still considered to be a vulnerable population with regard to trauma.
To investigate how the human brain responds to or compensates for the repeated experience of traumatic stress.
We included 98 healthy firefighters with repeated traumatic experiences but without any diagnosis of mental illness and 98 non-firefighter healthy individuals without any history of trauma. Functional connectivity within the fear circuitry, which consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), was examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Trauma-related symptoms were evaluated using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised.
The firefighter group had greater functional connectivity between the insula and several regions of the fear circuitry including the bilateral amygdalae, bilateral hippocampi and vmPFC as compared with healthy individuals. In the firefighter group, stronger insula–amygdala connectivity was associated with greater severity of trauma-related symptoms (β = 0.36, P = 0.005), whereas higher insula–vmPFC connectivity was related to milder symptoms in response to repeated trauma (β = −0.28, P = 0.01).
The current findings suggest an active involvement of insular functional connectivity in response to repeated traumatic stress. Functional connectivity of the insula in relation to the amygdala and vmPFC may be potential pathways that underlie the risk for and resilience to repeated traumatic stress, respectively.
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.
In this study, we propose a Se-incorporated Ge10Sb90 as a phase-change material for phase-change memory (PCM) with high reliability and low operation power. We investigated the effect of the Se concentration on the thermal and electrical properties of Se-doped Ge10Sb90 films by varying the Se concentration from 0 to 20 at.%. The crystallization temperature, crystallization activation energy, and maximum ten-year data retention temperature increased with the increasing Se, thus demonstrating the improved thermal stability of Se-doped Ge10Sb90 films with higher Se contents. More Se also increased the rate factor, band gap, threshold voltage, and load resistance. In addition, the crystallization speed, programming window, and resistances of both the amorphous and crystalline states increased with the increasing Se concentration. In contrast, the reset current decreased with the increasing Se concentration. These results demonstrate that Se-doped Ge10Sb90 is a highly promising material for PCM applications.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
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.
Suicide rates are high among elderly individuals experiencing socioeconomic insecurity. Socioeconomic security is of critical importance for elderly individuals and directly affects mental health, including suicidal behavior. Thus, we investigated the relationship between socioeconomic status and suicidal ideation in elderly individuals.
We conducted a cross-sectional study using data on 58,590 individuals 65 years of age or older from the Korean Community Health Survey 2013. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify relationships between socioeconomic factors (food insecurity, household income, and living arrangement) and suicidal ideation in the elderly population.
The study included 58,590 participants (24,246 males and 34,344 females). Of those, 2,847 males and 6,418 females experienced suicidal ideation. Participants with food insecure were more likely to experience suicidal ideation than were those who were food secure (males: OR = 1.60; 95% CI, 1.34–1.90; females: OR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.38–1.72). We found a similar pattern among participants with a low household income and those living alone. Additionally, male and female subjects who were food insecure and living alone or food insecure and had a low household income showed a marked increase in suicidal ideation.
Our findings suggest that low socioeconomic status is associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation among the elderly. Furthermore, intervention programs that address the prevalence of elderly suicide, particularly among those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, are needed.
Many transgenic domestic animals have been developed to produce therapeutic proteins in the mammary gland, and this approach is one of the most important methods for agricultural and biomedical applications. However, expression and secretion of a protein varies because transgenes are integrated at random sites in the genome. In addition, distal enhancers are very important for transcriptional gene regulation and tissue-specific gene expression. Development of a vector system regulated accurately in the genome is needed to improve production of therapeutic proteins. The objective of this study was to develop a knock-in system for expression of human fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) in the bovine β-casein gene locus. The F2A sequence was fused to the human FGF2 gene and inserted into exon 3 of the β-casein gene. We detected expression of human FGF2 mRNA in the HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells by RT-PCR and human FGF2 protein in the culture media using western blot analysis when the knock-in vector was introduced. We transfected the knock-in vector into bovine ear fibroblasts and produced knock-in fibroblasts using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system. Moreover, the CRISPR/Cas9 system was more efficient than conventional methods. In addition, we produced knock-in blastocysts by somatic cell nuclear transfer using the knock-in fibroblasts. Our knock-in fibroblasts may help to create cloned embryos for development of transgenic dairy cattle expressing human FGF2 protein in the mammary gland via the expression system of the bovine β-casein gene.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
To determine the influence of early pain relief for patients with suspected appendicitis on the diagnostic performance of surgical residents.
A prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted for patients with suspected appendicitis. The patients were randomized to receive placebo (normal saline intravenous [IV]) infusions over 5 minutes or the study drug (morphine 5 mg IV). All of the clinical evaluations by surgical residents were performed 30 minutes after administration of the study drug or placebo. After obtaining the clinical probability of appendicitis, as determined by the surgical residents, abdominal computed tomography was performed. The primary objective was to compare the influence of IV morphine on the ability of surgical residents to diagnose appendicitis.
A total of 213 patients with suspected appendicitis were enrolled. Of these patients, 107 patients received morphine, and 106 patients received placebo saline. The negative appendectomy percentages in each group were similar (3.8% in the placebo group and 3.2% in the pain control group, p=0.62). The perforation rates in each group were also similar (18.9% in the placebo group and 14.3% in the pain control group, p=0.75). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the overall diagnostic accuracy in each group was similar (the area under the curve of the placebo group and the pain control group was 0.63 v. 0.61, respectively, p=0.81).
Early pain control in patients with suspected appendicitis does not affect the diagnostic performance of surgical residents.
Selection of a proper electrode for high dielectric material such as (Ba, Sr)TiO3 is a great concern because the deposition of BST requires a high temperature and an oxidizing atmosphere. In this study, we suggested the perovskite-type electrodes, which provide a structural match with the BST dielectric material, under the recognition that the high leakage current is associated with the structural mismatch between BST and the electrode. We studied the (Ca,Sr)RuO3 electrode of which the lattice parameter can be tuned to fit into BST by changing the Ca/Sr ratio. We also studied (Ba,Sr)RuO3 electrode which is not only structurally identical but also chemically similar to BST. In addition, the effect of doping in the BSR electrode was investigated to minimize the leakage current by proper modulation of the barrier height. The electrodes were directly deposited on an Si substrate and all the films in the experiments were deposited by RF magnetron sputtering technique. Electrical properties were measured from MIM structure. The main focus was to address the effect of Ca/Sr and Ba/Sr ratio variations in the electrodes on the resulting dielectric constant and the leakage current. The interface characteristics between the BST film and the electrode were examined in order to interpret the electrical properties of BST films.
For a diffusion barrier against Cu, tantalum nitride (TaN) films have been successfully deposited by both conventional thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) and plasma assisted atomic layer deposition (PAALD), using pentakis (ethylmethlyamino) tantalum (PEMAT) and ammonia (NH3) as precursors. The growth rate of PAALD TaN at substrate temperature 250° was slightly higher than that of ALD TaN (0.80 Å/cycle for PAALD and 0.75 Å/cycle for ALD). Density of TaN films deposited by PAALD was as high as 11.0 g/cm3, considerably higher compared to the value of 8.3 g/cm3 obtained by ALD. The N: Ta ratio for ALD TaN was 44: 37 in composition and the film contained approximately 8∼10 atomic % carbon and 11 atomic % oxygen impurities. On the other hand, the ratio for PAALD TaN layers was 47: 44 and the respective carbon and oxygen contents of TaN layers decreased to 3 atomic % and 4 atomic %. The stability of 10 nm-thick TaN films as a Cu diffusion barrier was tested through thermal annealing for 30 minutes in N2 ambient and characterized by XRD, which proves the PAALD deposited TaN film to maintain better barrier properties against Cu below 800°.
Mobile robots in field environment travel not only on even terrain but also on uneven or sloped terrain. Practical methods for preventing turnover of the mobile robot are essential since the turnover of the mobile robot is very perilous. This paper proposes an efficient algorithm for preventing turnover of a mobile robot on uneven terrain by controlling linear acceleration and rotational velocity of the mobile robot. The concept of the modified zero moment point (ZMP) is proposed for evaluating the potential turnover of the mobile robot. Also, the turnover stability indices for linear acceleration and rotational velocity are defined with the modified ZMP. The turnover stability space (TSS) with turnover stability indices is presented to control the mobile robot in order to avoid turnover effectively. Finally, the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm are verified through simulations conducted on a three-wheeled mobile robot.
The present study shows that the as-melt-spun Zr28Y28Al22Co22 amorphous ribbon undergoes solid-state phase separation into Zr- and Y-rich regions when heated below the glass transition temperature (Tg). Dynamic mechanical measurements show that two types of low-temperature relaxation occur below Tg, and transmission electron microscopy observation confirms the solid-state phase-separated microstructure. The diffusion coefficient of solid-state phase separation is calculated by the measured separation distance.
To identify the factors that inhibit or motivate influenza vaccination among healthcare workers (HCWs).
In March 2000, we prepared 34-item questionnaire for both vaccine recipients and nonrecipients regarding demographic characteristics, factors motivating and inhibiting vaccination, and knowledge and attitudes about influenza vaccination. On the basis of the results of our survey, an aggressive hospital vaccination campaign was undertaken. In April 2004, after the 4-year campaign, the same questionnaire was again administered to HCWs.
In both 2000 and 2004, the main motives for undergoing influenza vaccination were “hospital campaign” and “recommendation by colleagues”; the percentage of respondents who were motivated by the hospital campaign had remarkably increased from 27% in 2000 to 52% in 2004 (P<.001), whereas the percentage who were motivated by recommendation by colleagues had not changed significantly (21% vs 14%). Qverall, the 4 reasons most frequently cited by HCWs for noncompliance with vaccination were insufficient available time, confidence in their health, doubt about vaccine efficacy, and fear of injection. In 2000, vaccination rates were below 30%, irrespective of occupation. After an aggressive vaccination campaign, the increase in the vaccination rate was highest among the nursing staff, increasing from 21% in 2000 to 92% in 2004, whereas the vaccination rate among the physicians was still below 60%.
We conclude that a hospital campaign can markedly improve influenza vaccination rates among HCWs. Both a mobile cart system and free vaccine supply contributed to improving the vaccination rates in our study. In addition, a specifically tailored intervention strategy was required.
High plasma level of cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases. Oxidized LDL induces cellular and nuclear damage that leads to apoptotic cell death. We tested the hypothesis that flavonoids may function as antioxidants with regard to LDL incubated with 5 μm-Cu2+ alone or in combination with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Cytotoxicity and formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances induced by Cu2+-oxidized LDL were examined in the presence of various subtypes of flavonoid. Flavanols, flavonols and flavanones at a non-toxic dose of 50 μm markedly inhibited LDL oxidation by inhibiting the formation of peroxidative products. In contrast, the flavones luteolin and apigenin had no such effect, with >30 % of cells killed after exposure to 0.1 mg LDL/ml. Protective flavonoids, especially (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin, rutin and hesperetin, inhibited HUVEC nuclear condensation and fragmentation induced by Cu2+-oxidized LDL. In addition, immunochemical staining and Western blot analysis revealed that anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression was enhanced following treatment with these protective flavonoids. However, Bax expression and caspase-3 cleavage stimulated by 18 h incubation with oxidized LDL were reduced following treatment with these protective flavonoids. The down-regulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of caspase-3 activation were reversed by the cytoprotective flavonoids, (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin and hesperetin, at ≥10 μm. These results suggest that flavonoids may differentially prevent Cu2+-oxidized LDL-induced apoptosis and promote cell survival as potent antioxidants. Survival potentials of certain flavonoids against cytotoxic oxidized LDL appeared to stem from their disparate chemical structure. Furthermore, dietary flavonoids may have therapeutic potential for protecting the endothelium from oxidative stress and oxidized LDL-triggered atherogenesis.
BN films consisting of c-BN and h-BN phases were synthesized using an ion-beam-assisted deposition process. In contrast to conventional observations, the c-BN and h-BN phases did not form separate layers, but were distributed in the form of nano-sized grains throughout the film thickness. No distinctly aligned h-BN layer was observed before the c-BN phase. Such a mixed character of the film was attributed to a localized ion bombardment effect instead of the macro-stress. Possibly because of the presence of scattered h-BN phases, the thin film described here possessed a low hardness of about 20 GPa and a low stress of about 5 GPa, compared with other reported c-BN-containing films.
Anatomic data are presented of a female abortus with the unusual combination of Ebstein's malformation and atrioventricular septal defect with right isomerism of the atrial appendages, left-hand ventricular topology and discordant ventriculoarterial connection. The common atrioventricular orifice was guarded by an effectively common valve, the right half being guarded by a well-formed three-leaflet valve, but the posterior and left lateral wall of the orifice being deficient of valvar leaflet tissue. The right ventricular inlet was a blind chamber, an imperforate dimple being seen which was surrounded by valvar remnants. The apical trabecular and outlet components of the right ventricle communicated with the left ventricle through an outlet ventricular septal defect in front of the anterosuperior leaflet of the atrioventricular valve, giving the potential clinically for the lesion to be misdiagnosed as double inlet left ventricle.
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