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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.
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.
To date, many studies surveying the bacterial communities in lichen thalli from diverse geographical areas have shown that Alphaproteobacteria is the predominant bacterial class in most lichens. In this study, bacterial communities in several Antarctic lichens with different growth form and substrates were analysed. The bacterial community composition in fruticose and foliose lichens, Cladonia, Umbilicaria and Usnea, and crustose lichens, Buelia granulosa, Amandinea coniops and Ochrolechia parella, from King George Island was analysed by pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Results showed that Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were predominant phyla. The predominant bacterial class in most of the samples was Alphaproteobacteria. Acetobacteriaceae of the order Rhodospiralles in Alphaproteobacteria was the most abundant bacterial family in Antarctic lichens. The LAR1 lineage of the order Rhizobiales, a putative N-fixer which has been frequently observed in lichens from temperate areas, was detected only from a few samples at low frequency. It is expected that other bacterial taxa are working as N-fixers in Antarctic lichens. From the PCoA analysis of the Fast UniFrac distance matrix, it was proposed that the microbial community structures in Antarctic lichens were affected by host species, growth form and substrates.
Background: Dysphagia is a common symptom and an important prognostic factor in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although cognitive and motor dysfunctions may contribute to dysphagia in patients with PD, any specific association between such problems and swallowing functions is unclear. Here, we examined the potential relationship between cognitive/motor components and swallowing functions in PD. We evaluated the contributions of cognition and motor function to the components of swallowing via video fluoroscopic swallowing (VFS) experiments. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 56 patients without dementia having PD. Parkinson’s disease severity was assessed by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). All participants received neuropsychological tests covering general mental status, visuospatial function, attention, language, learning and memory, and frontal executive function. The well-validated “modified barium swallow impairment profile” scoring system was applied during VFS studies to quantify swallowing impairments. Finally, correlations between neuropsychological or motor functions and impairment in swallowing components were calculated. Results: The most significant correlations were found between the frontal/executive or learning/memory domains and the oral phase of swallowing, though a minor component of the pharyngeal phase correlated with frontal function as well. Bradykinesia and the UPDRS total score were associated with both the pharyngeal and oral phases. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that cognitive dysfunctions are associated with the oral phase of swallowing in patients with early stage PD while the severity of motor symptoms may be associated with overall swallowing function.
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
We report on the formation of highly flexible and transparent TiO2/Ag/ITO multilayer films deposited on polyethylene terephthalate substrates. The optical and electrical properties of the multilayer films were investigated as a function of oxide thickness. The transmission window gradually shifted toward lower energies with increasing oxide thickness. The TiO2 (40 nm)/Ag (18 nm)/ITO (40 nm) films gave the transmittance of 93.1% at 560 nm. The relationship between transmittance and oxide thickness was simulated using the scattering matrix method to understand high transmittance. As the oxide thickness increased from 20 to 50 nm, the carrier concentration gradually decreased from 1.08 × 1022 to 6.66 × 1021 cm−3, while the sheet resistance varied from 5.8 to 6.1 Ω/sq. Haacke's figure of merit reached a maximum at 40 nm and then decreased with increasing oxide thickness. The change in resistance for the 60 nm-thick ITO single film rapidly increased with increasing bending cycles, while that of the TiO2/Ag/ITO (40 nm/18 nm/40 nm) film remained virtually unchanged during the bending test.
Caregiver burden is a complex and multidimensional construct. Although previous studies have explored numerous factors associated with caregiver burden, these factors have not been identified with a large population-based sample in a theory-based multidimensional way. This study explores multidimensional determinants associated with family caregiver burden to determine the main contributors of caregiver burden in Alzheimer's disease (AD) using a large community dataset.
A retrospective secondary data analysis was conducted on 1,133 patients with AD and 1,133 primary caregivers who were registered in a metropolitan city dementia center in South Korea. The patient data included socio-demographic and disease profiles. The caregiver data consisted of socio-demographic and caregiving profiles.
The study results identified that dementia-related factors were the most significant factors, representing 25.6% of caregiver burden and were followed by caregiving-related factors explaining caregiver burden significantly. Behavioral problems and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependency of the patient, spousal relationship, hours of caregiving, and the number of diseases associated with the caregiver were found to be significant individual variables.
It is vital to develop a service and support program with a greater emphasis on the behavioral problems and IADL deficiency of patients with AD as well as on improving the competence ability of caregivers to deal with such difficulties.
The RDA Genebank at the National Agrobiodiversity Center (NAAS, RDA, Republic of Korea) has conserved about 182,000 accessions in 1777 species and is working at preserving agricultural genetic resources for the conservation and sustainable utilization of genetic diversity. The detection of genetic variability in conserved resources is important for germplasm management, but the molecular evaluation tools providing genetic information are insufficient for underutilized crops, unlike those for major crops. In this regard, the Korean National Agrobiodiversity Center has been developing microsatellite markers for several underutilized crops. We designed 3640 primer pairs flanking simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs for 6310 SSR clones in 21 crop species. Polymorphic loci were revealed in each species (7–36), and the mean ratio of polymorphic loci to all the loci tested was 12%. The average allele number was 5.1 (2.8–10.3) and the expected heterozygosity 0.51 (0.31–0.74). Some SSRs were transferable to closely related species, such as within the genera Fagopyrum and Allium. These SSR markers might be used for studying the genetic diversity of conserved underutilized crops.
Theranostics was proposed as a combined process of therapeutics and diagnostics methodology for increasing treatment efficacy and safety with simultaneous monitoring of the response to treatment. In the past two decades, nanotechnology has been the focus of developing strategies for drug delivery and imaging functions, and it has expanded to the design of multifunctional nanoparticles and the creation of “nanotheranostics” (i.e., theranostic nanomedicines). Nanotheranostics also shows potential in gene therapy; however, nanoparticle-mediated delivery of genes still faces major obstacles related to (1) the uptake by the reticuloendothelial system, (2) the ability to get across the target cell membranes through endocytosis, and (3) the ability to accumulate in organs with permeable vasculature. Here, we review the development and application of nanotheranostics, highlighting their relevance to gene therapy as well as molecular imaging.
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.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
Symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS) is a dynamic disease that frequently progresses. Statins have been shown to have anti-atherosclerotic activity. We therefore investigated whether statins could prevent progression of ICAS.
This retrospective cohort study assessed 55 patients with acute ischemic stroke and symptomatic ICAS in the middle cerebral or basilar arteries as shown on magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), with follow-up MRA performed more than 1 year after the index stroke. Change in ICAS was classified as progressive, regressive, or stable. Baseline clinical characteristics and risk factor control during follow-up were assessed, and laboratory tests were performed at the time of follow-up MRA. The statin group was defined as patients regularly treated with statins for more than 75% of the follow-up period; the remaining patients were defined as the non-statin group.
At a median follow-up time of 21.8 months (range, 11.8-66.1 months), the statin group consisted of 26 (47.3%) patients and the non-statin group of 29 (52.7%). During follow-up, 6 (10.9%) patients progressed, 14 (25.5%) regressed, and 35 (63.6%) remained stable. Statin treatment was significantly associated with non-progression of ICAS (p=0.024). Two patients in the non-statin group had recurrent strokes. Border-zone infarcts were associated with progression of ICAS (3/6, 50%; p=0.007), whereas risk factors and inflammatory biomarkers were not related to progression.
Treatment with statins may prevent progression of symptomatic ICAS. Prospective randomized controlled trials are required to confirm that statins protect against such progression.
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.
CMP(Chemical Mechanical Planarization) process is widely used to reduce step height in semiconductor fabrication processes. As a design rule shrinks, a highly planar surface becomes inevitable within wafer scales. In order to get a high degree of a planarization, self-stopping characteristics of a ceria-based slurry should be studied and used in semiconductor process. In this study, threshold polishing pressure for a self-stopping characteristics was obtained by optimizing down pressure, pad conditioning, and mixing ratio of ceria abrasive and additive. A series of experiments were made to optimize the threshold polishing pressure in variable line & space patterns that consist of 0.8um step height and unit oxide film. As a result, self-stopping cmp process is twice batter than conventional silica-based process with respect to planarity and WIWNU. In addition, WIWNU and step height was dramatically decreased to less than 1000Å when applying to real fabrication devices over 2um step height.
We report a new Ni/Pt/Au (20/30/80 nm) metallization scheme to achieve a low ohmic contacts to p-type GaN with a carrier concentration of 9.4 × 1016 cm-3. A Mg-doped GaN layer (0.5 μm) was grown on (0001) sapphire substrate by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). All metal thin films were deposited on the p-GaN layer in an electron-beam evaporation system. Samples were annealed by a rapid thermal annealing (RTA) process at a range of temperatures from 300 °C to 850 °C under a flowing Ar atmosphere. A circulartransmission line model (c-TLM) was employed to calculate the specific contact resistance, and current-voltage (I-V) data were measured with HP4155A. The Ni/Pt/Au contacts without the annealing process showed nearly rectifying characteristics. The ohmic contacts were formed on the samples annealed at 500 °C for 30 sec and the I-V data showed a linear behavior. The specific contact resistance was 2.1 × 10-2 Ωcm2. However with increasing the annealing temperature above 600 °C, ohmic contacts were again degraded. Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) depth profiles were used to investigate the interfacial reactions between the trilayer and GaN. AES results suggested that Pt plays a significant role in forming ohmic contact as an acceptor at the interface. Atomic force microscope (AFM) also showed that the samples with good ohmic contact have very smooth surface.
The materials characteristics of Al2O3 films grown on Si (100) substrate by traveling wave reactor atomic layer deposition were investigated at the growth temperature ranging from 250 to 500°C. The Al2O3 films grown using Al(CH3)3(TMA) and H2O as precursors were characterized and also compared with the films grown using AlCl3 and H2O. In the study of impurity incorporation, the films grown using TMA showed the C and H count rates of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) approximately 7–10 times higher than those of the film grown using AlCl3. For the Al2O3 films grown using TMA, the impurity contents and the growth rate decreased and the refractive index increased as increasing the growth temperature. The effect of purge time increase on the impurity incorporation was very small compared with that of growth temperature. The refractive indices were 1.64 and 1.68 at the growth temperatures of 250 and 400°C, respectively. The rough estimation using SIMS data and refractive indices indicated that the H-content decreased from 8.6 at% to 2.9 at% as increasing the substrate temperature from 250 to 400°C. The Al2O3 film grown using AlCl3 and H2O at 500°C contained approximately 0.5% Cl and revealed the refractive index of 1.65.
To examine the prevalence of food insecurity and to identify factors that contribute to it in the Republic of Korea.
A cross-sectional study.
Data were selected from a secondary data set, the third Korean Welfare Panel Study. Household food insecurity was measured with a six-item Korean version of the US Household Food Security Survey Module. The differences in proportions or means of household characteristics, householder's characteristics, economic status and social benefits by food insecurity status were tested with the χ2 or t test. The independent associations of food insecurity with each characteristic were assessed with multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The sample size consisted of 6238 households.
The prevalence of food insecurity was 5·3 % among all households and 25·7 % among low-income households. Risk factors that were associated with a higher risk of food insecurity included living alone, unemployment, no job, low household income and living in a leased or rented home. For low-income households, living in a leased or rented home increased the risk of food insecurity. Among food-insecure households, 26·1 % of the full sample of households and 34·3 % of low-income households were participating in food assistance programmes.
Food insecurity among the Korean population was related to household type, income, job status and housing. Food assistance programmes were not enough to completely alleviate food insecurity.
The BZN pyrochlore thin films were prepared on platinized Si substrates using a reactive RF magnetron sputtering. The structures, surface morphologies, dielectric properties and voltage tunable properties of films with deposition parameters were investigated. The BZN thin films have a cubic pyrochlore phase and secondary phases of zinc niobate, bismuth niobate when crystallized at 600° 800°. The dielectric constant and tunability of thin films are O2/Ar ratio and post-annealing temperature dependent. The BZN thin films sputtered in 15% O2 and annealed at 700° had a dielectric constant of 153, tan δof~0.003 and maximum tunability of 14% at 1,000kV/cm.