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Assessment of frontal lobe impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a matter of great importance, since it often causes ALS patients to decrease medication and nursing compliance, thus shortening their survival time.
The frontal assessment battery (FAB) is a short and rapid method for assessing frontal executive functions. We investigated the applicability of the FAB as a screening method for assessing cognitive impairments in 61 ALS patients. Depending on the results of the FAB, we classified patients into two subgroups: FAB-normal and FAB-abnormal. We then performed additional evaluations of cognitive function using the Korean version of the mini-mental state examination (K-MMSE), a verbal fluency test (COWAT), and a neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI). Results of these tests were compared between the two groups using Mann-Whitney U-tests, and Spearman correlation analyses were used to investigate the relationships between FAB score and disease duration and severity.
Of the 61 sporadic ALS patients included in this study, 14 were classified as FAB-abnormal and 47 were classified as FAB-normal. The FAB-normal and FAB-abnormal patients performed significantly differently in all domains of the COWAT. There was no difference in behavioral disturbance, as assessed by the NPI, between the two groups. The FAB scores were found to significantly correlate with both disease duration and severity.
The FAB shows promise as a method of screening for frontal lobe dysfunction in ALS, as it is not only quick and easy, but also reliable. Additional studies should examine how FAB performance changes as ALS progresses.
Pathological gambling (PG) is a severe and persistent pattern of problem gambling that has been aligned with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, no study has compared the neurocognitive profiles of individuals with PG and OCD.
We compared neurocognitive functioning, including executive function, verbal learning and memory, and visual–spatial organization and memory among 16 pathological gamblers, 31 drug-naïve OCD subjects, and 52 healthy controls.
The only neurocognitive marker common to both groups was increased fragmentation errors on the Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF). The PG subjects showed increased nonperseverative error on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and organization difficulties in the ROCF, whereas the OCD subjects revealed longer response times on the Stroop test and retention difficulties on the immediate recall scale of the ROCF.
A more careful approach is required in considering whether PG is a part of the OCD spectrum, as little evidence of neurocognitive overlap between PG and OCD has been reported.
Two new species of litter-inhabiting leptonetid spiders from Korea are described: Leptoneta namkungisp. nov. from Mt. Buyong, Chungcheongbuk-do, and Leptoneta kwangreungensissp. nov. from Kwangreung, Gyeonggi-do.
The effect of wet chemical treatment on the magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) was examined. The tunneling magneto-resistance (TMR) increased and the resistance of anti-parallel state and parallel state decreased when a wet cleaning treatment was carried out after a reactive ion etching process. Furthermore, the exfoliation between the capping layer and Inter layer Dielectric (ILD) was prevented. Presumably, these were due to the elimination of the damaged layer and the residues. This investigation showed that the wet treatment after the MTJ patterning using RIE process could improve the MTJ properties without degradation of Hc, such as TMR and Rlow.
Background: The influences of demographics, culture, language, and environmental changes on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores are considerable.
Methods: Using a sample of 7452 healthy, community-dwelling elderly Koreans, aged 55 to 94 years, who participated in the four ongoing geriatric cohorts in Korea, we investigated demographic influences on MMSE scores and derived normative data for this population. Geropsychiatrists strictly excluded subjects with cognitive disorders according to the protocol of the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet (CERAD-K) Clinical Assessment Battery (CERAD-K-C).
Results: Education (standardized β = 0.463), age (standardized β = −0.303), and gender (standardized β = −0.057) had significant effects on MMSE scores (p < 0.001). The score of MMSE increase 0.379 point per 1-year education, decrease 0.188 per 1-year older, and decrease 0.491 in women compared to men. Education explained 30.4% of the scores’ total variance, which was much larger than the variances explained by age (8.4%) or gender (0.3%). Accordingly, we present normative data for the MMSE stratified by education (0, 1–3, 4–6, 7–9, 10–12, and ≥ 13 years), age (60–69, 70–79, and 80–89 years), and gender.
Conclusions: We provide contemporary education-, age-, and gender-stratified norms for the MMSE, derived from a large, community-dwelling elderly Korean population sample, which could be useful in evaluating individual MMSE scores.
Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) is reported as the main factor responsible for the beneficial effects of glutamine (GLN) and as a negative regulator of high mobility group box protein-1 (HMGB-1) expression. Our aim was to determine whether GLN attenuates acute lung injury (ALI) by the inhibition of HMGB-1 expression during sepsis. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were subjected to caecal ligation and puncture (CLP) to induce sepsis. GLN or saline was administered through tail vein 1 h after CLP. Then, quercetin (Q), an inhibitor of HSP70, was utilised to assess the role of the enhanced HSP70. We observed the survival of the subjects. At 24 h post-CLP, we measured lung HSP70, phosphorylated heat shock factor-1 (HSF-1-p) and HMGB-1 expressions, NF-κB DNA-binding activity and ALI occurrence. We also measured serum HSP70, IL-6 and HMGB-1 concentrations. GLN improved survival during sepsis. In GLN-treated rats, lung HSP70 and HSF-1-p expressions were enhanced, lung HMGB-1 expression and NF-κB DNA-binding activity were suppressed, and ALI was attenuated. Furthermore, in GLN-administered rats, serum HSP70 concentration was higher, and serum IL-6 and HMGB-1 concentrations were lower than those in non-treated rats. Q inhibited the enhancement of HSP70 and HSF-1-p expressions and abrogated the GLN-mediated benefits. In conclusion, GLN attenuated ALI and improved survival by the inhibition of HMGB-1 expression during sepsis in rats. These benefits were associated with the enhancement of HSP70 expression by GLN.
Vitamin D is essential for Ca absorption, prevention of falls and fracture, and maintenance of muscle strength and balance. Lack of awareness of the importance of vitamin D in bone health is common in Asia.
To define key statements, objectives and actions for improving osteoporosis management and vitamin D inadequacy in Asia.
Results and conclusion
This declaration was jointly produced by specialists at the Asia Metaforum on the Role of Vitamin D and the Management of Osteoporosis, held in September 2006 in Hong Kong, to define actions to prevent vitamin D insufficiency in Asia. Although developed specifically for Asia, some or all of these statements may be applicable to other regions of the world.
A Sr0.7Bi2.4Ta2O9 (SBT) seed layer approximately 40 nm thick was formed on Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si substrates, and SBT thin films with the same chemical composition were deposited on the substrates with and without seed layer using sol-gel and spin coating methods. The influence of seed layer on the phase formation characteristics of SBT thin films was investigated using x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy analyses. Formation of pyrochlore as well as Aurivillius phase was observed in both the unseeded and seeded SBT films heated at 740 °C. However, it was revealed that Aurivillius phase formation was enhanced in seeded SBT thin films and pyrochlore phase formation was highly suppressed. In this study, two possible mechanisms for the suppression of pyrochlore phase formation were proposed from the perspectives of activation energy difference between Aurivillius and pyrochlore phase formation, and Bi-ion diffusion to pyrochlore phase.
Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si substrates seeded by SBT nanoparticles (∼60–80 nm) were used to enhance the phase formation kinetics of Sr0.7Bi2.4Ta2O9 (SBT) thin films. The volume fractions of Aurivillius phase formation obtained through quantitative x-ray diffraction (Q-XRD) analyses showed highly enhanced kinetics in seeded SBT thin films. The Avrami exponents were determined as ∼1.4 and ∼0.9 for unseeded and seeded SBT films, respectively, which reveals different nucleation modes. By using Arrhenius–type plots the activation energy values for the phase transformation of unseeded and seeded SBT thin films were determined to be ∼264 and ∼168 kJ/mol, respectively. This gives a key reason to the enhanced kinetics in seeded films. Microstructural analyses on unseeded SBT thin films showed formation of randomly oriented needle-like crystals, while those on seeded ones showed formation of domains comprised of directionally grown worm-like crystals.
Sr0.7Bi2.4Ta2O9 (SBT) thin films were deposited on Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si substrates with and without a seed layer of ∼40 nm thickness using sol-gel and spin coating methods. The influence of seed layer on the phase formation characteristics of SBT thin films was investigated using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses. Formation of pyrochlore as well as Aurivillius phase was observed in both the unseeded and seeded SBT films heated at 740°C. However, it was revealed that Aurivillius phase formation was enhanced in seeded SBT thin films and pyrochlore phase formation was highly suppressed. In this study, two possible mechanisms for the suppression of pyrochlore phase formation were proposed from the perspectives of activation energy difference for Aurivillius and pyrochlore phase formation and Bi-ion diffusion to pyrochlore phase.
Strontium bismuth tantalate (SBT) having composition of Sr0.7Bi2.4Ta2O9 has been prepared through sol-gel method using their corresponding metal alkoxides as precursors. Seeded SBT powder was prepared by the addition of 5 wt.% of nanometer sized SBT particles to the sol followed by pyrolysis. By applying non-isothermal kinetic analysis to the DTA results, activation energy values for the unseeded and seeded samples were determined. Enhanced crystallization kinetics was observed for the seeded one and the activation energy for the aurivillius phase formation was found to be 318 kJ/mol, while 375 kJ/mol for the unseeded. The Avrami exponent values for the seeded and unseeded were found to be 2.80 and 0.96 respectively.
The crystallization kinetics of SBT and SBT-BTT thin films formed by sol-gel technique on Pt substrate was studied. Phase formation and crystal growth are greatly affected by the film composition and crystallization temperature. Isothermal kinetics analysis was performed on x-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of the thin films heated in the range 730 to 760° at 10° intervals. Activation energy and Avrami exponent values were determined for the fluorite to Aurivillus phase formation. A reduction of ∼55 kJ/mol in activation is observed for the SBT-BTT system. A comparison has been made and the possible crystallization mechanism is discussed.
The lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films were fabricated using sol-gel spin coating onto Pt/Ti/glass substrates. Effects of the holding time for pyrolysis and the coating cycle on the preferred orientation of the PZT thin films were studied. The films were fabricated with different coating cycles (3, 5, 7, 9, 11), dried at 330 °C for different holding times (5, 30, 60 min), and then annealed at the same temperature of 650 °C using rapid thermal annealing (RTA). The preferred orientations of the films were investigated using x-ray diffraction and glancing angle x-ray diffraction. The microstructure and the selected area diffraction pattern of the PZT thin films were also investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), respectively.
Strip-shaped diamond-tip field emitter array was fabricated by using the transfer mold technique. The sharp turn-on characteristic was observed from the current-voltage measurement of the fabricated diamond-tip field emitter array. The turn-on characteristic of the diamond-tip field emitter array was compared with that of a flat diamond film. High emission current density was obtained from the diamond-tip field emitter array. The threshold voltage of the diamond-tip field emitter array was lower than that of a flat diamond film.
Epitaxial lead lanthanum zirconate titanate [PLZT(9/50/50)] thin films were fabricated on various single crystal substrates using the spin coating of metallo-organic solutions. The films were heat-treated at 700 °C for 1 h using the direct insertion method. The films were epitaxially grown with (100), (100), and (110) being parallel to the SrTiO3(100), the MgO(100), and the sapphire (0112) substrates, respectively. The epitaxy of the films was investigated using x-ray diffraction, pole figures, rocking curves, and scanning electron microscopy.
Highly preferentially oriented lead lathanum zirconate titanate(PLZT) thin films were fabricated on various substrates using the spin coating of metal organic solutions having the composition of (9/50/50) and (10/0/100). The substrates used in this study were SrTiO3(100), MgO(100), r-plane sapphire, PLT-coated glass, and Pt/Ti/MgO substrates. The films were heat-treated at 600°C and 700°C using the direct insertion method. The phases and the orientation of the PLZT thin films were examined using X-ray diffraction(XRD). Pole figure and X-ray rocking curves were measured to study the film orientation. The films were grown with (100), (110), and (001) plane being parallel to the surfaces of SrTiO3, sapphire, and Pt/Ti/MgO, respectively. The dielectric and optical properties of both the oriented films and the noncrystalline films were measured and discussed.
The (100), (111) and randomly oriented PZT thin films were fabricated on Pt/Ti/Coming 7059 glass using sol-gel method. The thin films having different orientation were fabricated by different drying conditions for pyrolysis. The preferred orientations of the PZT thin films were observed using XRD, rocking curves, and pole figures. The microstructures were investigated using SEM. The hysteresis loops and capacitance-voltage characteristics of the films were investigated using a standardized ferroelectric test system. The dielectric constant and current-voltage characteristics of the films were investigated using an impedance analyzer and pA meter, respectively. The films oriented in a particular direction showed superior electrical characteristics to the randomly oriented films.
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