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Taurine (TAU) plays important roles in the metabolism of bile acids, cholesterol and lipids. However, little relevant information has been available in fish where TAU has been identified as a conditionally essential nutrient. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary TAU on the metabolism of bile acids, cholesterol and lipids in tiger puffer, which is both an important aquaculture species and a good research model, having a unique lipid storage pattern. An 8-week feeding trial was conducted in a flow-through seawater system. Three experimental diets differed only in TAU level, that is, 1·7, 8·2 and 14·0 mg/kg. TAU supplementation increased the total bile acid content in liver but decreased the content in serum. TAU supplementation also increased the contents of total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol in both liver and serum. The hepatic bile acid profile mainly includes taurocholic acid (94·48 %), taurochenodeoxycholic acid (4·17 %) and taurodeoxycholic acid (1·35 %), and the contents of all these conjugated bile acids were increased by dietary TAU. The hepatic lipidomics analysis showed that TAU tended to decrease the abundance of individual phospholipids and increase those of some individual TAG and ceramides. The hepatic mRNA expression study showed that TAU stimulated the biosynthesis of both bile acids and cholesterol, possibly via regulation of farnesoid X receptor and HDL metabolism. TAU also stimulated the hepatic expression of lipogenic genes. In conclusion, dietary TAU stimulated the hepatic biosynthesis of both bile acids and cholesterol and tended to regulate lipid metabolism in multiple ways.
Spirituality is what gives people meaning and purpose in life, and it has been recognized as a critical factor in patients’ well-being, particularly at the ends of their lives. Studies have demonstrated relationships between spirituality and patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life and mental health. Although a number of studies have suggested that spiritual belief can be associated with mortality, the results are inconsistent. We aimed to determine whether spirituality was related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea.
For this multicenter study, we recruited adult advanced cancer inpatients who had been admitted to seven palliative care units with estimated survival of <3 months. We measured spirituality at admission using the Korean version of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-sp), which comprises two subscales: meaning/peace and faith. We calculated a Kaplan-Meier curve for spirituality, dichotomized at the predefined cutoffs and medians for the total scale and each of the two subscales, and performed univariate regression with a Cox proportional hazard model.
We enrolled a total of 204 adults (mean age: 64.5 ± 13.0; 48.5% female) in the study. The most common primary cancer diagnoses were lung (21.6%), colorectal (18.6%), and liver/biliary tract (13.0%). Median survival was 19.5 days (95% confidence interval [CI95%]: 23.5, 30.6). Total FACIT-sp score was not related to survival time (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.981, CI95% = 0.957, 1.007), and neither were the scores for its two subscales, meaning/peace (HR = 0.969, CI95% = 0.932, 1.008) and faith (HR = 0.981, CI95% = 0.938, 1.026).
Significance of results
Spirituality was not related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea. Plausible mechanisms merit further investigation.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic, relapsing mental illness. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors block serotonin transporters (SERTs) and are the mainstay of treatment for OCD. SERT abnormalities are reported in drug-free patients with OCD, but it is not known what happens to SERT levels during treatment. This is important as alterations in SERT levels in patients under treatment could underlie poor response, or relapse during or after treatment. The aim of the present study was first to validate a novel approach to measuring SERT levels in people taking treatment and then to investigate SERT binding potential (BP) using [11C]DASB PET in patients with OCD currently treated with escitalopram in comparison with healthy controls.
Twelve patients and age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled. The patients and healthy controls underwent serial PET scans after administration of escitalopram and blood samples for drug concentrations were collected simultaneously with the scans. Drug-free BPs were obtained by using an inhibitory Emax model we developed previously.
The inhibitory Emax model was able to accurately predict drug-free SERT BP in people taking drug treatment. The drug-free BP in patients with OCD currently treated with escitalopram was significantly different from those in healthy volunteers [Cohen's d = 0.03 (caudate), 1.16 (putamen), 1.46 (thalamus), −5.67 (dorsal raphe nucleus)].
This result extends previous findings showing SERT abnormalities in drug-free patients with OCD by indicating that altered SERT availability is seen in OCD despite treatment. This could account for poor response and the high risk of relapse in OCD.
Substantial empirical evidence has indicated impairment in the cognitive functioning of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) despite inconsistencies. Although several confounding factors have been investigated to explain the conflicting results, the findings remain mixed. This study aimed to investigate cognitive dysfunction in patients with OCD using a meta-analytic approach.
The PubMed database was searched between 1980 and October 2012, and reference lists of review papers were examined. A total of 221 studies were identified, of which 88 studies met inclusion criteria. Neuropsychological performance and demographic and clinical variables were extracted from each study.
Patients with OCD were significantly impaired in tasks that measured visuospatial memory, executive function, verbal memory and verbal fluency, whereas auditory attention was preserved in these individuals. The largest effect size was found in the ability to recall complex visual stimuli. Overall effect estimates were in the small to medium ranges for executive function, verbal memory and verbal fluency. The effects of potentially confounding factors including educational level, symptom severity, medication status and co-morbid disorders were not significant.
Patients with OCD appear to have wide-ranging cognitive deficits, although their impairment is not so large in general. The different test forms and methods of testing may have influenced the performance of patients with OCD, indicating the need to select carefully the test forms and methods of testing used in future research. The effects of various confounding variables on cognitive functioning need to be investigated further and to be controlled before a definite conclusion can be made.
To evaluate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and predictors for low vitamin D status in Korean adolescents living between latitudes 33° and 39°N.
A descriptive cross-sectional study.
Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2009.
A total of 1510 healthy adolescents aged 12–18 years (806 male, mean age 14·7 years) participated. Possible predictors for low vitamin D status (log-transformed 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations) were evaluated.
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D<20 ng/ml) was 89·1 % in spring, 53·7 % in summer, 63·9 % in autumn and 90·5 % in winter. Winter season, older age, higher education level reached, being female, being obese, a lack of vitamin D supplementation, lower milk consumption (0–<200 ml/d) and a lack of physical activity were unadjusted predictors (all P < 0·05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that winter season (P < 0·001), higher education level (P < 0·001) and a lack of vitamin D supplementation (P = 0·012) were independent predictors for low vitamin D status. The modifying effect of season on the association between vitamin D supplement use and vitamin D status was significant (P < 0·001).
Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in Korean adolescents, especially those in higher school grades. Vitamin D supplementation may contribute to maintain a better vitamin D status with lower seasonal variation. Further studies are required to determine optimal vitamin D intakes to maintain sufficient vitamin D status for Korean adolescents.
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.
The prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains causing bloodstream infection (BSI) has not been studied in Korea.
We sought to determine the prevalence of CA-MRSA strains among isolates recovered from patients with MRSA BSIs and to explore epidemiological changes in Korea. We also sought to evaluate clinical characteristics relevant to the development of healthcare-associated BSIs.
We prospectively collected consecutive MRSA isolates from patients with BSI at 4 hospitals from July 1 through November 30, 2007, and we also included MRSA isolates recovered from culture of blood samples collected during a previous year (October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005) at a different hospital. Molecular typing studies were performed, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, Staphylococcus protein A (spa) typing, and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to CA-MRSA strains with those of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains.
There were 76 cases of MRSA BSI, of which 4 (5.3%) were community-associated and 72 (94.7%) were healthcare-associated. Among the 72 HA-MRSA BSIs, 18 (25%) were community onset, and 54 (75%) were hospital onset. PFGE type D-ST72–spa B-SCCmec type IVA MRSA, the predominant genotype of CA-MRSA in Korea, accounted for 19 (25%) of all 76 MRSA BSIs, including 17 (23.6%) of 72 HA-MRSA BSIs and 11 (20.8%) of 53 hospital-onset HA-MRSA BSIs. Patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to CA-MRSA strains carrying SCCmec type IVA tended to have fewer healthcare-associated risk factors, compared with patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to HA-MRSA strains carrying other SCCmec types. The presence of a central venous catheter or other invasive device was the only independent factor differentiating patients infected with hospital-associated genotype strains from patients infected with other strains. Clinical outcomes were similar between both groups.
CA-MRSA strains are emerging as a major cause of BSI in healthcare settings in Korea. This changing epidemiology of MRSA poses a challenge to public health and infection control in hospital settings.
We characterized phytoplankton community succession at different depths of a shallow hypertrophic reservoir in relation to physical and chemical environmental variables. The phytoplankton community was sampled biweekly at three different water depths (surface, middle and bottom) in the reservoir from November 2002 to February 2004. A range of 18 environmental variables including temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN) were measured to assess their influence on phytoplankton community succession. As well, combined multivariate analyses with a cluster analysis and a nonmetric multidimensional scale (NMDS) were conducted. Microcystis aeruginosa was the dominant species in all seasons except spring. Thus, Cyanophyceae was a dominant taxonomic group. In spring, Bacillariophyceae dominated, followed by Cryptophyceae and Chlorophyceae. The succession was relatively delayed at the middle and bottom layers compared with at the surface layer. Abundance and species richness of phytoplankton were also higher in the surface layer than in the bottom layer. Cluster analysis classified the phytoplankton community into four clusters at each depth, and the changes were also well reflected in the NMDS ordination. Each cluster showed seasonal patterns characterized by indicator species, as well as environmental variables such as temperature, conductivity, and nutrients including N and P. Seasonal dynamics of the phytoplankton community was the strongest at the surface layer and weakest at the bottom layer. These depth-variable environmental variables are likely to be the key factors driving changes in the phytoplankton community composition.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the acceptability and therapeutic efficacy of a preoperative single administration of long-acting 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist in an orally disintegrating tablet formulation, ramosetron, in breast cancer patients.
Two hundred and forty women, ASA I-II, aged 24–60 yr, undergoing elective breast cancer surgery, were randomized. A standardized anaesthetic technique was used. Patients were assigned to receive one of three treatment regimens (n = 80 in each group): no prophylactic antiemetics (Group A), single prophylactic intravenous injection of ramosetron 0.1 mg at the completion of surgery (Group B) or preoperatively oral administration of 0.1 mg of ramosetron (Group C). Episodes of nausea and vomiting, the use of rescue antiemetic treatment, degree of pain, adverse events and level of satisfaction were recorded.
The overall incidence of nausea and vomiting during the first 24 h after the recovery in Groups B (27.8%) and C (25%) was decreased significantly compared with Group A (75.3%). The frequency of the use of rescue antiemetics was significantly lower in Group C (5.0%) compared with Groups A (53.2%) and B (15.2%). The patients in Group C were more satisfied with control of postoperative nausea and vomiting than others.
Preoperative oral administration of ramosetron at a dose of 0.1 mg is an acceptable and effective way of reducing the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting in breast cancer patients.
Surveillance is an important component of influenza control. This report describes the establishment and first results of the Korean Influenza Surveillance Scheme (KISS), an integrated clinical and laboratory surveillance network involving 622 public health centres (PHCs) and private clinics. Sentinel physicians reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) weekly and forwarded specimens for virus isolation and characterization. Influenza activity during the opening 2000–2001 season was milder and delayed compared with previous years. The ILI consultation rate corresponded well with the number of influenza virus isolates, both peaking in week 10 of 2001. Influenza A(H3N2) was the dominant isolate. The peak ILI consultation rate was higher in private clinics than in PHCs (5·04 vs 1·79 cases/1000 visits). An evaluation questionnaire generated potential enhancements to the scheme. KISS appears to represent the pattern of influenza activity accurately and will have a valuable role in monitoring and preventing epidemics in Korea.
In this study, we assess the neuropsychological profiles of both early
and late symptom-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. The
early and late-onset OCD patients are compared to the control group with a
series of neuropsychological measurements. The late-onset OCD patients
exhibited impaired performance on the immediate and the delayed recall
conditions of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) and the letter
and category fluency of the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWA),
compared to the normal controls and the early-onset OCD patients. The
controls and early-onset OCD patients did not differ on any of the
neuropsychological measurements taken in this study. These results suggest
that different neurophysiological mechanisms are in play in early and
late-onset OCD patients, and age of onset can serve as a potential marker
for the subtyping of OCD. (JINS, 2007, 13,
The composition of yeast communities in the rumen of cattle was investigated using comparative DNA sequence analysis of yeast 26S rDNA genes. 26S rDNA libraries were constructed from rumen fluid (FF), rumen solid (FS) and rumen epithelium (FE). A total of 97 clones, containing a partial 26S rDNA sequence of 0·6 kb length, were sequenced and subjected to an on-line similarity search.
The 41 FF clones could be divided into five classes. The largest class was affiliated with Pezizomycotina class (85·4% of clones), and the remaining classes were related with the Urediniomycotina (2·4%), Hymenomycetes (4·9%), Ustilaginomycetes (4·9%) and Saccharomycotina (2·4%) classes. The 26 FE clones could be divided into three classes and the Saccharomycetes class (92·4% of clones) was the largest group. The remaining classes were related with either Pezizomycotina (3·8%) or Ustilaginomycetes (3·8%). The 30 FS clones were all affiliated with Saccharomycotina. Saccharomycotina were predominant in rumen epithelium and rumen solid while Pezizomycotina were predominant in rumen fluid. Yeast belonging to the Saccharomycotina class was predominant in the rumen as a whole (57%). One clone (FF34) had less than 90% similarity to any sequence in the database and was thus apparently unrelated to any previously described yeast.
Highly hydrophobic fluorocarbon films were prepared by the vapor phase (VP) deposition method in a vacuum chamber using both liquid (3M's FC40, FC722) and solid sources (perfluorodecanoic acid (CF3(CF2)8COOH), perfluorododecane (C12F26)) on Al, Si and oxide coated wafers. The highest static contact angles of water were measured on films deposited on aluminum substrate. But relatively lower contact angles were obtained on the films on Si and oxide wafers. The advancing and receding contact angle analysis using a captive drop method showed a large contact angle hysteresis (ΔH) on the VP deposited fluorocarbon films. AFM study showed poor film coverage on the surface with large hysteresis. FTIR-ATR analysis positively revealed the stretching band of CF2 groups on the VP deposited substrates. The thermal stability of films was measured at 150°C in air and nitrogen atmospheres as a function of time. The rapid decrease of contact angles was observed on VP deposited FC and PFDA films in air. However, no decrease of contact angle on them was observed in N2.
A gradual change in thermal oxide surface state from hydrophilic to
hydrophobic was observed with time -delay in a clean room environment.
Surface quality and reflectivity for the Al/Ti metal layers showed a strong
dependency on the oxide surface state. From the hydrophilic oxide substrate,
a lower (002) Ti preferred orientation was obtained than from hydrophobic
ones. This resulted in a degraded (111) Al preferred orientation and rough
metal surface. The RF-etch process increased the smoothness and hydrophobic
surface property for the inter -metal dielectric (IMD) oxides, and therefore
greatly improved Al/Ti surface quality. When conventional CMOS double layer
metal interconnection process is performed, metal inter-line bridge yield
was strongly affected by the surface state of substrate oxides.
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