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After MRI studies suggested the efficacy of ethyl-EPA in reducing the progressive brain atrophy in Huntington disease (HD), trials were conducted to test its efficacy as a treatment for HD. Trials that continued for 6 months did not find any significant improvement, urging discontinuation of the drug. However, trials that continued for 12 months indicated improvement of motor functions in these patients.
We searched 12 electronic databases to find randomised clinical trials relevant to our inclusion criteria. After screening, only five papers were included. Continuous and binary variables were analysed to compute the pooled mean difference (MD) and risk ratio (RR), respectively. Quality effect model meta-analysis was used as a post hoc analysis for studies at 12 months.
Meta-analysis indicated that ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) has no significant effect on any scale of HD at 6 months. At 12 months, two studies suggested significant improvements of the Total Motor Score and Total Motor Score–4 in both fixed and quality effect models [MD = −2.720, 95% CI (−4.76, –.68), p = 0.009; MD = −2.225, 95% CI (−3.842, −0.607), p = 0.007], respectively. Maximal chorea score showed significant results [MD = −1.013, 95% CI (−1.793, −0.233), p = 0.011] in only fixed-effect model, while no improvement was detected for Stroop colour naming test or symbol digit modality.
Meta-analysis indicated a significant improvement of motor scores only after 12 months. These results should be interpreted cautiously because only two studies had assessed the efficacy of ethyl-EPA after 12 months with one of them having a 6-month open-label phase.
In this paper, a multiple input multiple output antenna which operates at 5.8 GHz for wireless local area network applications is proposed. The proposed antenna is composed of two sets of four elements antenna array (2 × 2) on the top and a novel metamaterial structure on the ground plane. Here, the ground plane, which includes a lattice of 2 × 5 unit cells of metamaterial structure, is utilized in order to improve parameters of the antenna. Thanks to the proposed metamaterial structure, not only gain and bandwidth of antenna are enhanced, but also mutual coupling is reduced. The final design, with an overall size of 137 × 77 × 3.048 mm3, resulted in a |S11| <−10 dB bandwidth of 1.78 GHz and a peak gain of 9.2 dBi. In addition, the isolation is higher than 18 dB although the close separation from edge to edge of the two antennas is only 2 mm and radiation efficiency of 73% at the operating frequency band. All is simulated based on CST Studio software and the simulated S-parameter results of the antenna are in good agreement with measurement results.
During the course of development, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seen as the cornerstone of a national economy and significant contributors to the prosperity of a country. SMEs play an important role in a wide spectrum of industries in a country. The number of SMEs dominates that of large and very large enterprises. They contribute significantly to a country's economic growth and employment creation of most countries. Most governments view the SME sector as a key engine of the economy and a source of employment creation (Harvie 2010).
The role of SMEs, however, was not recognized until the mid-1970s. Before that concentration and centralization of economic activities were seen as the main evidence of a firm's competitiveness and large firms received much attention. SMEs’ contributions to economic activity only began to be a priority after the Bolton Report in the UK (1971) and the Wiltshire Report in Australia (1971) on the role of SMEs in the economies of the UK and Australia, respectively were published (Al-Qirim 2004).
In Europe, two-thirds of all new jobs are created by SMEs and more than 99 per cent of all enterprises are SMEs. In the United States, more than 99 per cent of all independent enterprises employ fewer than 500 employees, which is the definition of an SME in the United States. These SMEs employ 52 per cent of all U.S. workers (Devos et al. 2014).
In Australia, SMEs is a substantial sector, making up 95 per cent of all enterprises (Chau and Turner 2004). These enterprises contribute A$530 billion to the economy in 2010–11, more than half of private sector economic activities, and employed over 7 million people, generating more than two thirds of private sector employment (Deloitte 2013).
In East Asia, SMEs account for about 98 per cent of all enterprises, equivalent to between 20 and 30 million businesses. In the three largest economies of East Asia — Japan, China and Korea — SMEs account for 70 per cent of enterprises in the region (China: 8 million; Japan: 5 million; and Korea: 2.6 million). The intensity ratio of SMEs is only 20 people per SME in developed countries.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh, Chief Economist, Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN, Vietnam),
Nguyen Thi Tuong Anh, Vice Dean, Faculty of International Economics, Foreign Trade University, Hanoi,
Nguyen Ngoc Minh, Senior Researcher, Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN, Vietnam),
Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai, Deputy Director, Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN, Vietnam)
During the last decade, Asian countries, especially East and Southeast Asia countries, have witnessed an ever increasing trend of regional integration with the dramatic proliferation of regional free trade agreements (FTAs), both concluded and still in the process of negotiation. This process of regional economic integration has been driven by the mutually reinforcing market forces and trade agreements (regional and preferential). According to data from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the number of FTAs involving at least one Asian country has almost doubled, from 124 in 2005 to 220 in 2016. In addition, there are 67 FTAs being proposed and pending negotiation. This phenomenon is referred to as the “Asian noodle bowl” with the economies of ASEAN and East Asia becoming increasingly integrated. According to data from ADB, the 16 ASEAN+6 countries (10 ASEAN members plus Australia, PRC, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand) account disproportionately for over 62 per cent of total FTAs (being in effect and in negotiation) of the total 48 ADB member countries/economies in Asia.
The most important market force that drives international trade in recent years is the rise of global production networks operated by multinationals in which firms slice up a production chain into small production stages and then assigning them each to the most cost effective location across borders (ADB 2010; Helpman 2011). Globally operating firms have been taking advantage of these factors to exploit differences in factor prices (i.e. inputs and low-skilled labour) around the world (Blinder 2006; Baldwin-Edwards 2011) and multinationals are at the forefront of global production networks taking advantage of reductions of trade barriers, rapid advancements in production technology, and a decrease in transport and communication costs as explained by Athukorala (2013). He explains that firstly “rapid advancements in production technology have enabled the industry to slice up the value chain into finer, ‘portable’, components” (i.e. modular production technology with “standard fragments”); secondly “technological innovations in communication and transportation have shrunk the distance that once separated the world's nations, and improved speed, efficiency and economy of coordinating geographically dispersed production process”, and thirdly the “liberalization policy reforms across the world over the past four decades have considerably removed barriers to trade and foreign direct investment (FDI)”.
Mobile health (mHealth) is increasingly being seen as a promising solution to the multiple health system challenges that Vietnam faces, including inadequate health service provision. Nevertheless, there is limited published information describing the sustainability of such mHealth solutions in the Vietnamese context. This study reviewed the available projects and interventions to evaluate factors challenging sustainability of mHealth initiatives in Vietnam.
A multimodal scoping study was designed to collect data from various sources: published literature, government reports, unpublished literature, conference presentations, online documents, and key informant interviews. Relevant mHealth initiatives were identified and selected through electronic searches and informal discussions with key stakeholders. Collected data was charted and classified by thematic analysis. Challenges to the sustainability of mHealth initiatives were discussed in the context of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
Twenty mHealth initiatives with relevant information and available data were collected, covering the period from 2010 to 2017. Fifteen (75 percent) were primarily funded by external donors, one (5 percent) was government supported, and four (20 percent) were self-funded projects. Five (25 percent) were on-going, and fifteen (75 percent) were completed at the time of data collection. Four (20 percent) out of the completed initiatives were continuing to use materials, infrastructure, and technology to engage end-users.
The high percentage of external funding, complicated governmental bureaucracy and lack of government commitment, electronic medical record standardization, and legislation relating to mHealth are amongst the largest challenges to mHealth sustainability in Vietnam. In addition, findings demonstrate it is crucial for project managers of mHealth initiatives to build strong relationships with the Vietnam government and advocate for their mHealth initiatives in order to promote sustainability.
According to the Vietnamese Cardiovascular Association, one-fifth of Vietnam's population is suffering from cardiovascular disease (CVD) – now the leading cause of death in the country that accounts for about one-third of total deaths every year. Yet affordable and convenient solutions to monitor and detect CVDs remain limited and not available nation-wide. This study aimed to investigate the usability of a portable dry-electrode electrocardiography (ECG) device, paired with a mobile phone, in supporting ECG service delivery in Vietnam.
An evaluation study was designed to combine a portable dry-electrode ECG device to measure and a mobile phone to receive and record ECG signals. Healthy young college students were invited to participate in the study. Three rounds of ECG measurement were administered for each of the participants. Usability of the device was assessed through the reliability of the measures and feasibility of use during intervention. Standard error of measurement (SEM) and intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) estimations were used for reliability, while structured questionnaire administered before and after measures was used for feasibility assessments.
A total of 234 participants enrolled in the study. No major difference was found in SEMs between trials one and two (4.96 percent, 90% CI: 4.61 − 5.37) and two and three (4.14 percent, 90% CI: 3.85 − 4.48). A slight improvement was observed in ICC of trials two and three (0.95, 90% CI 0.94 − 0.96) in comparison to one of trials one and two (0.94, 90% CI: 0.92 − 0.95). The SEM and average ICC of all trials were 3.41 (90% CI: 3.17 − 3.69) and 0.96 (90% CI: 0.95 − 0.96) respectively. Forty-five percent of participants thought the device would be suitable for their parents while 69 percent thought the device would benefit their grandparents the most.
High consistency of measures demonstrated that the device is reliable to provide ECG service delivery. The study also showed great potential of device usage in primary health care of Vietnam.
Soil salinity is a major limitation to legume production in many areas of the world. Identification of the genetic source of salt tolerance is critical in soybean breeding for improving soybean production in salt-affected regions. Vietnam has unique sources of soybean germplasm and varieties are grown in the area where exposure to salinity is frequent. However, there is little research on the identification of salt tolerant sources in the Vietnamese gene pool. The present study compared 18 Vietnamese soybean cultivars for their differences in salt tolerance. Under a range of NaCl stress from 0 to 200 mM NaCl, there was a large variation in salt tolerance among the 18 soybean lines evaluated. The soybean accession PI 675847 A (Vietnamese variety DT2008), was identified as a useful source of salt tolerance. During vegetative growth, PI 675847 A had lower leaf scorch scores, higher cell membrane stability, better photosynthesis and biomass accumulation under NaCl stress than the other 17 strains evaluated. In addition, PI 675847 A maintained better growth and seed yield in salt-affected soils compared with the sensitive lines. Analyses of ion contents in plant leaves under saline conditions showed that PI 675847 A was able to limit uptake and transport of Na+ and Cl−. Because of its higher productivity under saline conditions, PI 675847 A will be a useful germplasm source in soybean improvement programs for salt tolerance.
be a Schrödinger operator on
is a potential satisfying an appropriate reverse Hölder inequality. In this paper, we prove the boundedness of the Riesz transforms and the Littlewood–Paley square function associated with Schrödinger operators
in some new function spaces, such as new weighted Bounded Mean Oscillation (BMO) and weighted Lipschitz spaces, associated with
. Our results extend certain well-known results.
The forest of mutations associated to a multitype branching forest is obtained by merging together all vertices in each of its clusters and by preserving connections between them. (Here, by cluster, we mean a maximal connected component of the forest in which all vertices have the same type.) We first show that the forest of mutations of any multitype branching forest is itself a branching forest. Then we give its progeny distribution and we describe some of its crucial properties in terms of the initial progeny distribution. We also obtain the limiting behaviour of the number of mutations both when the total number of individuals tends to ∞ and when the number of roots tends to ∞. The continuous-time case is then investigated by considering multitype branching forests with edge lengths. When mutations are nonreversible, we give a representation of their emergence times which allows us to describe the asymptotic behaviour of the latter, under certain conditions on the mutation rates. These results have potential relevance for emergence of mutations in population cells, particularly for genetic evolution of cancer or development of infectious diseases.
Along with the exponential growth of technology, the use of mobile devices in health, or mHealth, has been quickly becoming a viable practice to strengthen health systems, especially in low-resource settings. Nevertheless, the majority of mHealth interventions are pilot efforts which mostly lack robust design and evidence about the use of mHealth in public health. This study assessed the use of a bi-directional Short Message Service (SMS) in disease surveillance in Vietnam and aimed to bring evidence in improving engagement of health staff as well as the quality of reporting.
Eighty health staff from fourty communes of Hoa Binh and Hung Yen provinces were trained and participated in two 6-month pilots: one with one-way, and one with a bi-directional SMS system for assisting in error screening, and reminder and feedback provision to report two diseases: influenza and diarrhea using cell phones. After each examination and checking-in onto the paper logbook, participants reported the case by texting an SMS to a designated number and made notes of successfully reported cases. A central data repository server was set up to collect SMS reports, and aggregate reported patient data. Engagement of health staff and quality of the reporting work were assessed by the evaluation of the qualitative questionnaires, and the comparison of the texted SMS reports to the patient logbooks.
With the use of a two-way versus one-way SMS system, participants were 4.6 times more likely (95 percent Confidence Interval, CI 3.93-5.44, p< .001) to send correctly formatted text reports, and 3.4 times more likely (95 percent CI 2.72-4.33, p< .001) to have precise information in their texted messages. Results also revealed that while their position, age, or gender of participants did not statistically influence the results, ethnicity and management roles did.
The study showed that the use of a bi-directional SMS-based reporting system both significantly improved participants engagement in the reporting protocol, and greatly enhanced their reporting quality. The study demonstrated that robust evidence of a practical utilization of SMS in a disease reporting system to replace the traditional paper-based one has great potential for a scale-up and national-wide implementation.
Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) sets out the legal regime governing the novel ‘continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles’ or ‘the outer continental shelf’. As Article 76 contains a complex interface between law and science, its interpretation and application raises intricate issues, with which no international court or tribunal had dealt with substantively before 2012. The UNCLOS dispute settlement bodies were the first international tribunals to provide answers to long-standing questions surrounding the meaning and application of several important, but ambiguous or controversial, legal terms employed under Article 76. As such, the decisions rendered by the UNCLOS tribunals have been seen as playing an important role in elucidating the legal regime of the outer continental shelf. This article queries this assessment by critically examining whether and to what extent the relevant pronouncements made by UNCLOS tribunals have contributed to clarifying and developing the law governing the outer continental shelf regime under UNCLOS.
On 12 July 2016, the Tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration issued its final award. China rejected the ruling as “null and void”. The Philippines dismissed it as “a piece of paper” after initially hailing the ruling a “milestone decision”. The reactions of the parties concerned raise important questions about the bindingness, finality, and state compliance with UNCLOS dispute settlement decisions. This paper addresses these questions by dissecting China’s arguments that the award “has no binding force” and by examining the options available for promoting compliance with the award. The paper also considers the broader question of how states generally comply with UNCLOS dispute settlement decisions and evaluates the significance of UNCLOS dispute settlement mechanisms, including the South China Sea arbitration, in the absence of external enforcement.
Low- and middle-income countries such as Vietnam are home to a majority of the world's population with dementia, yet little is known regarding how individuals in these countries perceive memory problems that might be indicative of cognitive impairment. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in Vietnamese adults in Da Nang, Vietnam.
A stratified sample of 600 adults (aged ≥ 55 years) living in Da Nang, Vietnam, and surrounding areas were recruited to participate in a cross-sectional study. Students and faculty from the National Technical Medical College Number 2 administered questionnaires in participants’ homes regarding socio-demographic characteristics, functional health, social support, cognitive and mental health, and SMCs. Descriptive and stepwise regression analyses examined the prevalence and correlates of SMCs.
Approximately 64% of the sample reported at least poor memory and 39% said that memory interfered with their daily life at least somewhat. Multivariate regression analyses (adjusted for all covariates) showed that depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, self-rated health and pain, and material hardship were associated with SMCs.
Prevalence of SMCs as well as depressive symptoms was high in this Vietnamese population. Although future research using more detailed measures of subjective memory and which include longitudinal data are required, the need for physicians to routinely assess Vietnamese patients for depression, SMCs, and cognitive impairment may be warranted.
A prevalent problem in general state-space models is the approximation of the smoothing distribution of a state conditional on the observations from the past, the present, and the future. The aim of this paper is to provide a rigorous analysis of such approximations of smoothed distributions provided by the two-filter algorithms. We extend the results available for the approximation of smoothing distributions to these two-filter approaches which combine a forward filter approximating the filtering distributions with a backward information filter approximating a quantity proportional to the posterior distribution of the state, given future observations.
Strongyloidiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the roundworm Strongyloides stercoralis affecting 30–100 million people worldwide. Many Southeast-Asian countries report a high prevalence of S. stercoralis infection, but there are little data from Vietnam. Here, we evaluated the seroprevalence of S. stercoralis related to geography, sex and age in Vietnam through serological testing of anonymized sera. Sera (n = 1710, 1340 adults and 270 children) from an anonymized age-stratified serum bank from four regions in Vietnam between 2012 and 2013 were tested using a commercial Strongyloides ratti immunoglobulin G ELISA. Seroreactivity was found in 29·1% (390/1340) of adults and 5·5% (15/270) of children. Male adults were more frequently seroreactive than females (33·3% vs. 24·9%, P = 0·001). The rural central highlands had the highest seroprevalence (42·4% of adults). Seroreactivity in the other regions was 29·9% (Hue) and 26·0% and 18·2% in the large urban centres of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, respectively. We conclude that seroprevalence of S. stercoralis was high in the Vietnamese adult population, especially in rural areas.
Asia is currently the scene of some of the most high-profile maritime disputes in the world. Even though the majority of states in Asia are parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS], its dispute settlement system has only been utilized in a handful of cases. Given that negotiations have brought about limited results in easing many of the tensions, it is worth asking whether the UNCLOS dispute settlement system can play a role in the resolution of maritime disputes in Asia. This paper, based on a review of the disputes before UNCLOS Tribunals, as well the advantages and limitations of the system, argues that the UNCLOS dispute settlement system can make meaningful contributions to resolving thorny disputes between Asian states. It does so by providing a solution to the disputes brought before them, clarifying the legal framework for the conduct of the parties and facilitating co-operation amongst countries in the region.
We prove the existence of weak solutions of complex
-Hessian equations on compact Hermitian manifolds for the non-negative right-hand side belonging to
is the dimension of the manifold). For smooth, positive data the equation has recently been solved by Székelyhidi and Zhang. We also give a stability result for such solutions.
The classical Itô-Michler theorem on character degrees of finite groups asserts that if the degree of every complex irreducible character of a finite group G is coprime to a given prime p, then G has a normal Sylow p-subgroup. We propose a new direction to generalize this theorem by introducing an invariant concerning character degrees. We show that if the average degree of linear and even-degree irreducible characters of G is less than 4/3 then G has a normal Sylow 2-subgroup, as well as corresponding analogues for real-valued characters and strongly real characters. These results improve on several earlier results concerning the Itô-Michler theorem.
The first aim in this article is to give some sufficient conditions for a family of meromorphic mappings of a domain D in Cn into PN(C) omitting hypersurfaces to be meromorphically normal. Our result is a generalization of the results of Fujimoto and Tu. The second aim is to investigate extending holomorphic mappings into the compact complex space from the viewpoint of the theory of meromorphically normal families of meromorphic mappings.
A conjecture of Scharaschkin and Skorobogatov states that there is a Brauer–Manin obstruction to the existence of rational points on a smooth geometrically irreducible curve over a number field. In this paper, we verify the Scharaschkin–Skorobogatov conjecture for explicit families of generalized Mordell curves. Our approach uses standard techniques from the Brauer–Manin obstruction and the arithmetic of certain threefolds.