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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.
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.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is closely related to stress reactions and serotonin probably underpins the pathophysiology of MDD. Alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis at the gene level have reciprocal consequences on serotonin neurotransmission. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) polymorphisms affect glucocorticoid sensitivity, which is associated with cortisol feedback effects. Therefore, we hypothesised that GR polymorphisms are associated with the susceptibility to MDD and predict the treatment response.
Ninety-six subjects with a minimum score of 17 on the 21-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) at baseline were enrolled into the present study. The genotypes of GR (N363S, ER22/23EK, Bcl1, and TthIII1 polymorphisms) were analysed. The HAMD score was again measured after 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks of antidepressant treatment to detect whether the therapeutic effects differed with the GR genotype.
Our subjects carried no N363S or ER22/23EK genetic polymorphisms and three types of Bcl1 and TthIII1 genetic polymorphisms. The C/C genotype and C allele at Bcl1 polymorphism were more frequent in MDD patients than in normal controls (p < 0.01 and p = 0.01, respectively). The genotype distributions did not differ significantly between responders and non-responders.
These results suggest that GR polymorphism cannot predict the therapeutic response after antidepressant administration. However, GR polymorphism (Bcl1) might play a role in the pathophysiology of MDD. Future studies should check this finding in larger populations with different characteristics.
To improve the IPD reliability of NAND flash memory, plasma oxidation was introduced as the post-treatment process of ONO (Oxide/Nitride/Oxide) IPD. The LP-CVD SiO2 modified by plasma oxidation showed the excellent electrical properties. e.g., low leakage current, high breakdown voltage etc. By the analysis of Tof-SIMS and XRR, we could observe the several changes of physical characteristics such as the reduction of impurities (H, N etc.), the increase of oxide density, and the improvement of oxide surface roughness. We found out the appropriate treatment condition to be able to densify oxide layer without the addition of ONO Equivalent Oxide Thickness (EOT). The LP-CVD SiO2 prepared by plasma oxidation was used for the ONO IPD of 50nm NAND flash device and also compared with the conventional LP-CVD SiO2 in the aspect of the IPD reliability.
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