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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.
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.
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.
Among domesticated traits, pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) caused by the early breakage of dormancy leads to severe economic losses. Therefore, regulating PHS is important for cereal crop improvement against changes in climate. In this study, we surveyed naturally occurring variations in seed germination in diverse rice germplasm for the available resources of this trait, and investigated the changes of abscisic acid (ABA) levels during grain development by the distinguished PHS-resistant groups. We discovered wide variations in germination among the 205 rice accessions examined and found that 90 accessions are resistant (germination <20%) to PHS. Tropical and subtropical accessions, which are subjected to long wet periods, are more resistant to PHS than the other accessions. We detected an increase in germination of detached seeds from the panicle compared with intact seeds in panicle at harvesting time. This might be attributed to a weakening of the mechanical barrier that prevents water imbibition and radical emergence. ABA levels were maximal at 10 d after flowering and decreased thereafter. Interestingly, PHS-susceptible accessions maintained higher or similar ABA levels compared with PHS-resistant accessions, suggesting that the key factors for seed dormancy and its breakage are ABA perception and signal transduction rather than total ABA content. The diversity of germination ability detected in this study could be sustainably used for crop improvement and to help unveil the genetic and physiological basis of this quantitative trait.
To examine the hypothesis that the association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms is dependent upon total cholesterol level in a representative national sample of the South Korean population.
This was a population-based cross-sectional study.
The Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V, 2010–2012).
We included 7198 adults aged 20–88 years.
The incidence of depressive symptoms in individuals with vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D<20 ng/ml) was 1·54-fold (95 % CI 1·20, 1·98) greater than in individuals without vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ≥20 ng/ml). The relationship was stronger in individuals with normal-to-borderline serum total cholesterol (serum total cholesterol<240 mg/dl; OR=1·60; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·08) and non-significant in individuals with high serum total cholesterol (OR=0·97; 95 % CI 0·52, 1·81) after adjustment for confounding variables (age, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking status, regular exercise, income level, education level, marital status, changes in body weight, perceived body shape, season of examination date and cholesterol profiles).
The association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms was weakened by high serum total cholesterol status. These findings suggest that both vitamin D and total cholesterol are important targets for the prevention and treatment of depression.
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
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
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.
There is increasing evidence of a relationship between underweight or obesity and dementia risk. Several studies have investigated the relationship between body weight and brain atrophy, a pathological change preceding dementia, but their results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cortical atrophy among cognitively normal participants.
We recruited cognitively normal participants (n = 1,111) who underwent medical checkups and detailed neurologic screening, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the health screening visits between September 2008 and December 2011. The main outcome was cortical thickness measured using MRI. The number of subjects with five BMI groups in men/women was 9/9, 148/258, 185/128, 149/111, and 64/50 in underweight, normal, overweight, mild obesity, and moderate to severe obesity, respectively. Linear and non-linear relationships between BMI and cortical thickness were examined using multiple linear regression analysis and generalized additive models after adjustment for potential confounders.
Among men, underweight participants showed significant cortical thinning in the frontal and temporal regions compared to normal weight participants, while overweight and mildly obese participants had greater cortical thicknesses in the frontal region and the frontal, temporal, and occipital regions, respectively. However, cortical thickness in each brain region was not significantly different in normal weight and moderate to severe obesity groups. Among women, the association between BMI and cortical thickness was not statistically significant.
Our findings suggested that underweight might be an important risk factor for pathological changes in the brain, while overweight or mild obesity may be inversely associated with cortical atrophy in cognitively normal elderly males.
Epidemiological studies have reported that higher education (HE) is associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, after the clinical onset of AD, patients with HE levels show more rapid cognitive decline than patients with lower education (LE) levels. Although education level and cognition have been linked, there have been few longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between education level and cortical decline in patients with AD. The aim of this study was to compare the topography of cortical atrophy longitudinally between AD patients with HE (HE-AD) and AD patients with LE (LE-AD).
We prospectively recruited 36 patients with early-stage AD and 14 normal controls. The patients were classified into two groups according to educational level, 23 HE-AD (>9 years) and 13 LE-AD (≤9 years).
As AD progressed over the 5-year longitudinal follow-ups, the HE-AD showed a significant group-by-time interaction in the right dorsolateral frontal and precuneus, and the left parahippocampal regions compared to the LE-AD.
Our study reveals that the preliminary longitudinal effect of HE accelerates cortical atrophy in AD patients over time, which underlines the importance of education level for predicting prognosis.
Semi-insulating undoped GaN films were grown based on controlling the size of the nucleation sites through a special two-step growth method: First, 16 nm LT-GaN was annealed at 950 ° with a ramping time of 4 min, then the GaN was grown at this temperature for 1 min. Second, the growth temperature was increased to 1020° with a ramping time of 2 min and the GaN layer finally grown at 1020 ° for 40 min. The film grown by this sequence exhibited sheet resistance of up to 109 Ω/sq with mirror-like surface morphology. By slow ramping to 950° in the initial phase of growth, smaller grain sizes and higher nuclei densities were formed and the columnar growth mode along the c direction was dominant. The observation of higher resistance in two-step growth is believed due to the increased misorientation of nuclei when the growth proceeds during temperature ramping to 1020°. The fabricated saw filter on semi-insulating GaN exhibited a high velocity of 5342 m/s at center frequencies of 133.57 MHz and an electromechanical coupling coefficient(k2) of about 0.763 %, which was enhanced due to the improvement of surface morphology with high sheet resistance by the two- step ramping technique.
Si delta-doping in the GaN layer has been successfully demonstrated by low-pressure metalorganic chemical vapor deposition at a growth temperature of 1040 . Si delta-doping concentration increases and then decreases with an increase in delta-doping time. This indicates that delta-doping concentration is limited by the desorption process owing to much higher thermal decomposition efficiency of silane at high growth temperatures of GaN. In addition, it was observed that the use of a post-purge step in the ammonia ambient reduces Si delta-doping concentration. From capacitance-voltage measurement, a sharp carrier concentration profile with a full-width at half maximum of 4.1 nm has been achieved with a high peak concentration of 9.8 1018 cm−3.
Visual hallucination (VH) is a common psychotic symptom in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and may be a significant predictor of cognitive impairment (CI) in such patients.
This study aimed to investigate the pattern of glucose metabolism of VH and the relationship between VH and CI in PD.
We studied 28 PD patients, including 15 with VH (PD-VH) and 13 without VH (PD-NVH). Of the 15 PD-VH patients, 8 patients had cognitive impairment (PD-VHCI) whereas 7 did not (PD-VHNCI). All patients underwent [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F] FDG PET) followed by statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analyses.
Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHNCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the inferior and middle temporal cortices, fusiform gyri, and frontal areas, suggesting the involvement of the ventral visual pathway. Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the temporoparietal association cortices with scattered frontal areas.
Dysfunction of ventral visual pathway involving the temporal lobe may play a key role in VH development in PD patients. The evolving distribution from the ventral visual pathway to more extensive posterior cortices in PD-VHCI patients suggests that VH may be a prodromal symptom occurring prior to CI in PD patients.
Cataract, defined as opacity of the lens in one or both eyes, is a major cause of blindness throughout the world, and not uncommon, particularly in the elderly population. However, congenital cataracts are rare and occur with a frequency of 30 cases in 100,000 births. About one-third of the cases fall into the group inherited without systemic abnormality. Importantly, congenital cataracts produce deprivation amblyopia, refractive amblyopia, and retinal detachment, leading to lifelong visual impairment. Successful management is dependent on early diagnosis and referral for surgery when indicated. Here we present a case of hereditary bilateral cataracts in a dizygotic twin detected on prenatal ultrasound examinations and postnatally confirmed as congenital cataracts associated with posterior lenticonus.
Sources of variation in nutrient intake have been examined for Western diets, but little is known about the sources of variation and their differences by age and sex among Koreans. We examined sources of variation in nutrient intake and calculated the number of days needed to estimate usual intake using 12 d of dietary records (DR). To this end, four 3 d DR including two weekdays and one weekend day were collected throughout four seasons of 1 year from 178 male and 236 female adults aged 20–65 years residing in Seoul, Korea. The sources of variation were estimated using the random-effects model, and the variation ratio (within-individual:between-individual) was calculated to determine a desirable number of days. Variations attributable to the day of the week, recording sequence and seasonality were generally small, although the degree of variation differed by sex and age (20–45 years and 46–65 years). The correlation coefficient between the true intake and the observed intake (r) increased with additional DR days, reaching 0·7 at 3–4 d and 0·8 at 6–7 d. However, the degree of increase became attenuated with additional days: r increased by 13·0–26·9 % from 2 to 4 d, by 6·5–16·4 % from 4 to 7 d and by 4·0–11·6 % from 7 to 12 d for energy and fifteen nutrients. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the day of the week, recording sequence and seasonality minimally contribute to the variation in nutrient intake. To measure Korean usual dietary intake using open-ended dietary instruments, 3–4 d may be needed to achieve modest precision (r>0·7) and 6–7 d for high precision (r>0·8).
To compare the characteristics and risk factors for surgical site infections (SSIs) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in a nationwide survey, using shared case detection and recording systems.
Retrospective cohort study.
Twenty-six hospitals participating in the Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS).
From 2006 to 2009, all patients undergoing THA and TKA in KONIS were enrolled.
SSI occurred in 161 (2.35%) of 6,848 cases (3,422 THAs and 3,426 TKAs). Pooled mean SSI rates were 1.69% and 2.82% for THA and TKA, respectively. Of the cases we examined, 42 (26%) were superficial-incisional SSIs and 119 (74%) were “severe” SSIs; of the latter, 24 (15%) were deep-incisional SSIs and 95 (59%) were organ/space SSIs. In multivariate analysis, a duration of preoperative hospital stay of greater than 3 days was a risk factor for total SSI after both THA and TKA. Diabetes mellitus, revision surgery, prolonged duration of surgery (above the 75th percentile), and the need for surgery due to trauma were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after THA, while male sex and an operating room without artificial ventilation were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after TKA. A large volume of surgeries (more than 10 procedures per month) protected against total and severe SSI, but only in patients who underwent TKA.
Risk factors for SSI after arthroplasty differ according to the site of the arthroplasty. Therefore, clinicians should take into account the site of arthroplasty in the analysis of SSI and the development of strategies for reducing SSI.
The purpose of the present study was to explore the relationships between three predictor variables (attitude toward school, parent-child communication, and school commitment action) and the criterion variable (parent involvement) in a representative sample and to examine if these relationships were consistent across three groups (English speaking Caucasian family, English speaking Latino family, and Spanish speaking Latino families). Using a national database (N = 9.841), multi-group SEM analyses were conducted to investigate the relationship between three predictor variables and the criterion variable in three family groups. While all three predictor variables significantly predicted parent involvement in English speaking Caucasian and Latino families, only two variables (parent-child communication and school commitment actions), significantly predicted parent involvement in Spanish speaking Latino families. The results of this study suggest that when administrators, teachers and counselors in school strive to share specific school-related information with Latino families, Spanish speaking families are more likely to become involved with schools.
We have studied the growth of microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si) and amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by layer by layer deposition technique, where the deposition and the radical exposure are done alternatively. He or hydrogen plasma exposure gives rise to the etching effect of both μc-Si and a-Si:H even though the etch rate by He plasma is much smaller. The long exposure of hydrogen radical on a-Si:H gives rise to the formation of μc-Si at low substrate temperature (Ts), whereas the hydrogen content decreases at high Ts. The growth mechanism of the crystallite is proposed on the basis of experimental results.
Si delta-doping in the GaN layer has been successfully demonstrated by low-pressure metalorganic chemical vapor deposition at a growth temperature of 1040°C. Si delta-doping concentration increases and then decreases with an increase in delta-doping time. This indicates that delta-doping concentration is limited by the desorption process owing to much higher thermal decomposition efficiency of silane at high growth temperatures of GaN. In addition, it was observed that the use of a post-purge step in the ammonia ambient reduces Si delta-doping concentration. From capacitance-voltage measurement, a sharp carrier concentration profile with a full-width at half maximum of 4.1 nm has been achieved with a high peak concentration of 9.8 x 1018 cm-3