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Since the significance of metacognition as the theoretical basis of a psychological intervention for schizophrenia first emerged, there have been ongoing attempts to restore or strengthen patients’ metacognitive abilities.
A Korean version of the metacognitive training (MCT) program was developed, and its effects on theory of mind, positive and negative symptoms, and interpersonal relationships were examined in stable outpatients with schizophrenia.
A pre-test–post-test design with a control group was used. The participants were 59 outpatients (30 in experimental group, 29 in control group) registered at five mental health facilities in a city in South Korea. The developed MCT program was applied for a total of 18 sessions, 60 min per session, over a period of 14 weeks. The hinting task, false belief task, Scale for the Assessment of Positive and Negative Symptoms, and Relationship Change Scale were used to verify the effects of this program. Data were analysed by the chi-square test, t-test, and Mann–Whitney U-test using the SPSS/PASW 18.0 statistics program.
The general characteristics, intelligence, and outcome variables of the two groups were homogeneous. After the intervention, the experimental group showed significant improvements in theory of mind, positive and negative symptoms and interpersonal relationships compared with the control group.
These results suggest that the MCT program can be a complementary psychotherapy that contributes to symptom relief and interpersonal functioning in patients with schizophrenia, and is effective in the Korean culture, beyond the Western context.
After Hong Kong fell on Christmas Day 1941, the ongoing war threatened life in isolated, neutral Macao. While many scholars have attributed the local people's starvation and suffering to the war, others have highlighted Macao's economic prosperity. To explain the gap between these two narratives, this article explores how the locals dealt with rice scarcity and fared relatively well during the four years of Japanese occupation of the Pearl River Delta. Instead of blaming the shortage solely on the machinations of the Japanese and the rice merchants, we uncover the local people's actions in exacerbating the problem.
The aim of the present study was to compare selected obesity indicators with comprehensive health status.
The study employed a pooled cross-sectional design.
BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and body fat percentage were considered as indirect obesity indicators. The Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) was used as a composite indicator to comprehensively reflect obesity-related co-morbidities. Cohen’s κ coefficient was used to evaluate inter-measurement agreement for obesity. Conformity of indirect obesity indicators to the EOSS was assessed based on percentage agreement (proportion classified as obese and severely unhealthy as a result of obesity among the total sample), sensitivity (proportion classified as obese among individuals severely unhealthy as a result of obesity) and specificity (proportion classified as non-obese among fairly healthy individuals). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the sociodemographic factors most strongly associated with conformity.
The study included 17338 adults from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination survey conducted between July 2008 and May 2011.
Level of conformity to the EOSS was highest for WHtR (60·77 %) and lowest for BMI (35·96 %). WHtR and BMI had the highest sensitivity (53·7 %) and specificity (98·4 %), respectively. Predictability of conformity was lower among men for all indirect obesity indicators.
WHtR has the greatest potential to identify individuals at risk of health problems due to obesity. Individual demographic factors must be considered in selecting the most appropriate obesity measurement.
Refugees commonly experience difficulties with emotional processing, such as alexithymia, due to stressful or traumatic experiences. However, the functional connectivity of the amygdala, which is central to emotional processing, has yet to be assessed in refugees. Thus, the present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and its association with emotional processing in North Korean (NK) refugees.
This study included 45 NK refugees and 40 native South Koreans (SK). All participants were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and differences between NK refugees and native SK in terms of resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala were assessed. Additionally, the association between the strength of amygdala connectivity and the TAS score was examined.
Resting-state connectivity values from the left amygdala to the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were higher in NK refugees than in native SK. Additionally, the strength of connectivity between the left amygdala and right dlPFC was positively associated with TAS score after controlling for the number of traumatic experiences and BDI and CAPS scores.
The present study found that NK refugees exhibited heightened frontal–amygdala connectivity, and that this connectivity was correlated with alexithymia. The present results suggest that increased frontal–amygdala connectivity in refugees may represent frontal down-regulation of the amygdala, which in turn may produce alexithymia.
Given its diverse disease courses and symptom presentations, multiple phenotype dimensions with different biological underpinnings are expected with bipolar disorders (BPs). In this study, we aimed to identify lifetime BP psychopathology dimensions. We also explored the differing associations with bipolar I (BP-I) and bipolar II (BP-II) disorders.
We included a total of 307 subjects with BPs in the analysis. For the factor analysis, we chose six variables related to clinical courses, 29 indicators covering lifetime symptoms of mood episodes, and 6 specific comorbid conditions. To determine the relationships among the identified phenotypic dimensions and their effects on differentiating BP subtypes, we applied structural equation modeling.
We selected a six-factor solution through scree plot, Velicer's minimum average partial test, and face validity evaluations; the six factors were cyclicity, depression, atypical vegetative symptoms, elation, psychotic/irritable mania, and comorbidity. In the path analysis, five factors excluding atypical vegetative symptoms were associated with one another. Cyclicity, depression, and comorbidity had positive associations, and they correlated negatively with psychotic/irritable mania; elation showed positive correlations with cyclicity and psychotic/irritable mania. Depression, cyclicity, and comorbidity were stronger in BP-II than in BP-I, and they contributed significantly to the distinction between the two disorders.
We identified six phenotype dimensions; in addition to symptom features of manic and depressive episodes, various comorbidities and high cyclicity constructed separate dimensions. Except for atypical vegetative symptoms, all factors showed a complex interdependency and played roles in discriminating BP-II from BP-I.
Here, we report an experimental characterization of a new subcritical graphene nanostructure termed a crinkle ruga. Multilayer graphene forms crinkles as a periodic mode of buckling if the ratio of periodic buckling span to thickness is smaller than a critical value. Otherwise, it forms wrinkles. The crinkles have sawtooth-shaped profiles with their faces perfectly flat and the tips of the peaks and valleys highly curved. Our AFM measurements show that the width of the curvature focusing band at the tip is very narrow, e.g. smaller than 16 nm for a 6o crinkle, indicating a strong influence of flexoelectric coupling in crinkle formation. We also found that concavity or convexity of crinkle tips, i.e. parity of the crinkle, can be controlled. Due to the flexoelectric coupling, the concave tip at the crinkle valley is positively charged, and the convex tip at the crinkle peak negatively charged. In addition, here, we demonstrate that the charges at the crinkle tips can attract macromolecules in adsorption experiments. We show linearly-aligned adsorption of C60 along crinkle valleys on an HOPG surface. In another experiment, we exhibit period-doubled adsorption of lambda DNA on an HOPG surface, possibly caused by ion kinetics involved in the DNA adsorption along the crinkle valleys.
In this brief report, computed tomography perfusion (CTP) thresholds predicting follow-up infarction in patients presenting <3 hours from stroke onset and achieving ultra-early reperfusion (<45 minutes from CTP) are reported. CTP thresholds that predict follow-up infarction vary based on time to reperfusion: Tmax >20 to 23 seconds and cerebral blood flow <5 to 7 ml/min−1/(100 g)−1 or relative cerebral blood flow <0.14 to 0.20 optimally predicted the final infarct. These thresholds are stricter than published thresholds.
The current Korean national geodetic reference frame, KGD2002, refers to the fixed epoch at 2002·0 under the assumption that there is no crustal movement of the Korean peninsula. A discontinuity in the coordinates of the reference stations may occur due to the relocation of the stations, antenna replacement, or earthquakes. The static reference frame has difficulty in covering continuous and/or discontinuous crustal movements at the same time. A new dynamic local geodetic reference frame has been calculated based on eight years (2007–2014) of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data. The final geodetic coordinates and velocities were calculated on the basis of the IGb08 reference frame. The discontinuity caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake can be addressed using the newly proposed model in this study, which ensures the consistency and continuity of the local geodetic datum.
A single-item depression measure may not be adequate in capturing the complex entity of mental health, despite wide use of this indicator in community studies. This study evaluated the accuracy of a single-question depression measure in comparison to two composite indices–the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).
Materials and methods:
A total of 800 elderly participants ranging from 60 to 89 years of age and residing in Seoul were recruited using a multistage sampling scheme in 2015. The survey was conducted by trained interviewers with a constructed questionnaire. Reliability and validity measures such as the Kappa index, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and AUC were used to evaluate the accuracy of the single question measure. Socio-demographic group differences in accuracy were compared by age, sex, marital status, education, employment, and financial status.
The prevalence of depression by a single-question measure was much lower than those of CESD and GDS (5.5%, 12.3%, and 12.1%, respectively). The sensitivity of the single-item measure, based on CESD and GDS, was extremely low at 30.6% and 36.1%. In the subgroup analysis, however, there was a marked educational discrepancy in all accuracy measures; in sensitivity, people with a university degree or higher showed about 2.4 times higher sensitivity than those having only a primary school education.
The results show that a single-question depression measure should be used with caution. In addition, the single-question measure could substantially underestimate depression among the risk group of older adults.
The Korean VLBI Network (KVN) is a unique millimeter VLBI system which is consisted of three 21 m telescopes with relatively short baselines. We present the preliminary results of simultaneous monitoring observations of the 22.2 GHz H2O and 43.1/42.8/86.2/129.3 GHz SiO masers based on the KVN Key Science Project (KSP). We obtained the astrometrically registered maps of the H2O and SiO masers toward nine evolved stars using the source frequency phase referencing method (SFPR). The SFPR maps of the H2O and SiO masers enabled us to investigate the spatial structure and kinematics from the SiO to H2O maser regions including the development of an outward motion from the ring-like or elliptical structures of SiO masers to the asymmetric structures of the 22.2 GHz H2O maser features. In particular, the 86.2/129.3 GHz SiO (v=1, J=2–1 and J=3–2) masers were clearly imaged toward several objects for the first time. The SiO v=1, J=3–2 maser shows different distributions compared to those of the SiO v=1, 2, J=1–0 and v=1, J=2–1 masers implying a different physical condition.
Vertically aligned BaTiO3 nanowire (NW) arrays on a Ti substrate were adopted for use in piezoelectric energy harvesting device that scavenges electricity from mechanical energy. BaTiO3 NWs were simultaneously grown at the top and bottom surfaces of a Ti substrate by two-step hydrothermal process. To characterized the piezoelectric output performance of the individual NW, we transferred a BaTiO3 single NW that was selected from well-aligned NW arrays onto a flexible substrate and measured the electric signals during the bending/unbending motions. For fabricating a piezoelectric energy harvester (PEH), both NW arrays were sandwiched between two transparent indium tin oxide (ITO)-coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic films and then packaged with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer. A lead-free BaTiO3 NW array-based PEH produced an output voltage of about 90 V and a maximum current of 1.2 μA under periodically bending motions.
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.
A 45-year-old man with dyspnoea and palpitations exhibited a unique systemic-to-pulmonary veno-venous connection on preoperative CT images. A window of 31.5-mm diameter was evident between the superior caval vein and the middle pulmonary vein, which was normally connected to the left atrium via a 30-mm-diameter orifice. The atrial septum was intact.
The aim of this study is to develop predictive models to predict organ at risk (OAR) complication level, classification of OAR dose-volume and combination of this function with our in-house developed treatment decision support system.
Materials and methods
We analysed the support vector machine and decision tree algorithm for predicting OAR complication level and toxicity in order to integrate this function into our in-house radiation treatment planning decision support system. A total of 12 TomoTherapyTM treatment plans for prostate cancer were established, and a hundred modelled plans were generated to analyse the toxicity prediction for bladder and rectum.
The toxicity prediction algorithm analysis showed 91·0% accuracy in the training process. A scatter plot for bladder and rectum was obtained by 100 modelled plans and classification result derived. OAR complication level was analysed and risk factor for 25% bladder and 50% rectum was detected by decision tree. Therefore, it was shown that complication prediction of patients using big data-based clinical information is possible.
We verified the accuracy of the tested algorithm using prostate cancer cases. Side effects can be minimised by applying this predictive modelling algorithm with the planning decision support system for patient-specific radiotherapy planning.
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.