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Many women experience both vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) and depressed mood at midlife, but little is known regarding the prospective bi-directional relationships between VMS and depressed mood and the role of sleep difficulties in both directions.
A pooled analysis was conducted using data from 21 312 women (median: 50 years, interquartile range 49−51) in eight studies from the InterLACE consortium. The degree of VMS, sleep difficulties, and depressed mood was self-reported and categorised as never, rarely, sometimes, and often (if reporting frequency) or never, mild, moderate, and severe (if reporting severity). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the bi-directional associations adjusted for within-study correlation.
At baseline, the prevalence of VMS (40%, range 13–62%) and depressed mood (26%, 8–41%) varied substantially across studies, and a strong dose-dependent association between VMS and likelihood of depressed mood was found. Over 3 years of follow-up, women with often/severe VMS at baseline were more likely to have subsequent depressed mood compared with those without VMS (odds ratios (OR) 1.56, 1.27–1.92). Women with often/severe depressed mood at baseline were also more likely to have subsequent VMS than those without depressed mood (OR 1.89, 1.47–2.44). With further adjustment for the degree of sleep difficulties at baseline, the OR of having a subsequent depressed mood associated with often/severe VMS was attenuated and no longer significant (OR 1.13, 0.90–1.40). Conversely, often/severe depressed mood remained significantly associated with subsequent VMS (OR 1.80, 1.38–2.34).
Difficulty in sleeping largely explained the relationship between VMS and subsequent depressed mood, but it had little impact on the relationship between depressed mood and subsequent VMS.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and identifying effective treatment strategies is crucial for the control of depression. Well-conducted systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses can provide the best evidence for supporting treatment decision-making. Nevertheless, the trustworthiness of conclusions can be limited by lack of methodological rigour. This study aims to assess the methodological quality of a representative sample of SRs on depression treatments.
A cross-sectional study on the bibliographical and methodological characteristics of SRs published on depression treatments trials was conducted. Two electronic databases (the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects) were searched for potential SRs. SRs with at least one meta-analysis on the effects of depression treatments were considered eligible. The methodological quality of included SRs was assessed using the validated AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool. The associations between bibliographical characteristics and scoring on AMSTAR items were analysed using logistic regression analysis.
A total of 358 SRs were included and appraised. Over half of included SRs (n = 195) focused on non-pharmacological treatments and harms were reported in 45.5% (n = 163) of all studies. Studies varied in methods and reporting practices: only 112 (31.3%) took the risk of bias among primary studies into account when formulating conclusions; 245 (68.4%) did not fully declare conflict of interests; 93 (26.0%) reported an ‘a priori’ design and 104 (29.1%) provided lists of both included and excluded studies. Results from regression analyses showed: more recent publications were more likely to report ‘a priori’ designs [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.57], to describe study characteristics fully (AOR 1.16, 95% CI 1.06–1.28), and to assess presence of publication bias (AOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.19), but were less likely to list both included and excluded studies (AOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.81–0.92). SRs published in journals with higher impact factor (AOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04–1.25), completed by more review authors (AOR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01–1.24) and SRs on non-pharmacological treatments (AOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.01–2.59) were associated with better performance in publication bias assessment.
The methodological quality of included SRs is disappointing. Future SRs should strive to improve rigour by considering of risk of bias when formulating conclusions, reporting conflict of interests and authors should explicitly describe harms. SR authors should also use appropriate methods to combine the results, prevent language and publication biases, and ensure timely updates.
Plant defence systems can be induced by biotic and abiotic stress. Experiments were undertaken to explore the feasibility of different fungal proteins for the reduction of vegetable diseases. Total proteins purified from three soil-borne and five foliar fungal pathogens had no fungistatic effects nor did they trigger hypersensitive reactions on test plants. The abilities to promote plant growth and to reduce disease severity varied among test proteins and plants. Depending on test proteins, experiments have demonstrated that exogenous application of fungal proteins could reduce Alternaria brassicicola-induced black spot severity on cabbage, Colletotrichum spp.-induced anthracnose on Chinese cabbage and cucumber, Rhizoctonia solani-induced damping-off on sweet pepper and Chinese cabbage, and powdery mildew on cucumber seedlings. An Alternariaprotein effector 1 (Ape1)-coding gene was cloned from two Alternaria spp. and expressed in Escherichia coli. The expressed Ape1 reduced anthracnose incidence on cucumber leaves, indicating that Ape1 was the primary activator in the crude protein extracts responsible for disease reduction. Application of Alternaria proteins onto Chinese cabbage seedlings caused an increase of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and peroxidase activities in treated seedlings, which may have played a role in host defence.
Improving neurocognitive outcomes following treatment for brain metastases have become increasingly important. We propose that a brief telephone-based neurocognitive assessment may improve follow-up cognitive assessments in this palliative population. Aim: To prospectively assess the feasibility and reliability of a telephone based brief neurocognitive assessment compared to the same tests delivered face-to-face. Methods: Brain metastases patients to be treated with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) were assessed using a brief validated neurocognitive battery at baseline, at 1 month and 3 months following WBRT (in person and over the phone). The primary outcome was feasibility and inter-procedural (in person versus telephone) reliability. The secondary objective was to evaluate the change in neurocognitive function before and after WBRT. Results: Out of 39 patients enrolled, 82% of patients completed the baseline in-person and telephone neurocognitive assessments. However, at 1 month, only 41% of enrolled patients completed the in-person and telephone cognitive assessments and at 3 months, only 10% of patients completed them. Results pertaining to reliability and change in neurocognitive function will be updated. Conclusion: The pre-defined definition of feasibility (at least 80% completion for face to face and telephone neurocognitive assessments) was met at baseline. However, a large proportion of participants did not complete either telephone or in person neurocognitive follow-up at 1 month and at 3 months post-WBRT. Attrition remained a challenge for neurocognitive testing in this population even when a telephone-based brief assessment was used.
This study aimed to evaluate the association of chronic rhinosinusitis with sudden sensorineural hearing loss using a population-based database.
Sampled subject data were obtained from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. A total of 3325 patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss were identified and 9975 controls were randomly selected. A conditional logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio for having been previously diagnosed with chronic rhinosinusitis, for cases and controls.
Results and conclusion:
The adjusted odds ratio of having prior chronic rhinosinusitis among cases compared to controls was 1.36 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.16–1.60). The significant relationship between sudden sensorineural hearing loss and chronic rhinosinusitis was most pronounced among those patients aged 44 years or less (compared to controls) (odds ratio = 2.18; 95 per cent confidence interval = 1.63–2.92). However, the significant relationship between sudden sensorineural hearing loss and prior chronic rhinosinusitis was not sustained for patients older than 60 years compared to controls.
Language use is often disrupted in patients with schizophrenia; novel
computational approaches may provide new insights.
To test word use patterns as markers of the perceptual, cognitive and
social experiences characteristic of schizophrenia.
Word counting software was applied to first-person accounts of
schizophrenia and mood disorder.
More third-person plural pronouns (‘they’) and fewer first-person
singular pronouns (‘I’) were used in schizophrenia than mood disorder
accounts. Schizophrenia accounts included fewer words related to the body
and ingestion, and more related to religion. Perceptual and causal
language were negatively correlated in schizophrenia accounts but
positively correlated in mood disorder accounts.
Differences in pronouns suggest decreased self-focus or perhaps even an
understanding of self as other in schizophrenia. Differences in how
perceptual and causal words are correlated suggest that long-held
delusions represent a decreased coupling of explanations with sensory
experience over time.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Linear/nonlinear and Stokes based-stabilizations for the filter equations for damping out primitive variable (PV) solutions corrupted by uniformly distributed random noises are numerically studied through the natural convection (NC) as well as the mixed convection (MC) environment. The most recognizable filter-scheme is based on a combination of the negative Laplace equation multiplied with the selection of the spatial scale and a linear function in order to preserve the uniqueness of the filtered solution. A more complicated filter-scheme, based on a Stokes problem which couples a filtered velocity and a filtered (artificial) pressure (or Lagrange multiplier) in order to enforce the incompressibility constraint, is also studied. Linear and Stokes based-filters via nested iterative (NI) filters and the consistent splitting scheme (CSS) are proposed for the NC/MC problems. Inspired by the total-variation (TV) model of image diffusion, well preserved feature flow patterns from the corrupted NC/MC environment are obtained by TV-Stokes based-filters together with the CSS. Our experimental results show that our proposed algorithms are effective and efficient in eliminating the unwanted spurious oscillations and preserving the accuracy of thermal convective fluid flows.
The crystal structure of a-plane GaN/ZnO heterostructures on r-plane sapphire was investigated by using the XRD and TEM measurment. It was found the formation of (220) ZnGa2O4 and crystal orientation of semipolar (10
3) GaN at GaN/ZnO interface. The epitaxial relation of normal surface direction are the sapphire (1
02) // a-GaN (11
0) and ZnGa2O4 (220) // semi-polar GaN (10
). Beside, the emission peak energy of ZnO appears shift about 60 meV in the GaN/ZnO/GaN heterostructures due to the re-crystallization of ZnO layer with Ga or N atom and the formation of the localized state.
The defect levels associated with Mg impurity in p-type GaN films were systematically investigated in terms of doping concentration by photocurrent spectroscopy. Mg-doped GaN samples were grown on sapphire substrate by metal organic chemical vapor deposition and annealed in nitrogen atmosphere at 850 for 10 minutes. At room temperature, PC spectra showed two peaks at 3.31 and 3.15 eV associated with acceptor levels formed at 300 and 142 meV above valence band in as grown samples. But, after the thermal annealing, PC spectra exhibited various additional peaks depending on the Mg concentration. In the GaN samples with Mg concentration around 6 7 1017 cm−3, we have observed PC peaks related to Mg at 3.31 as well as 3.02 eV and carbon acceptor at 3.17 eV. For moderately Mg doped GaN samples, i.e., the hole concentration p=3 4 1017 cm−3, additional peak was observed at around 0.9 eV which can be attributed to defects related to Ga vacancy. For relatively low Mg doped samples whose hole concentrations are 1 2 1017 cm−3, additional broad peak was observed at around 1.3 eV. This peak may be related to the yellow band luminescence. As the Mg concentration is increased, the concentration of Ga vacancies can be reduced because Mg occupies the substitutional site of Ga in GaN lattice. When the hole concentration is above 6 7 1017 cm−3, the yellow luminescence and Ga vacancy related peaks disappeared completely.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) based on p-GaN/ZnO heterojunction were fabricated. GaN was deposited on sapphire using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), and two kinds of ZnO i.e. ZnO thin film deposited by sputtering and ZnO nanorods (NRs) grown by hydrothermal method were used as n-type layer respectively. MgO film with the thickness around 10 nm was deposited by electron-beam deposition to act as an interlayer between GaN and ZnO. Photoluminescence, electroluminescence and I-V curves were measured to compare the properties of GaN based heterojunction LEDs with different architectures. The existence of MgO interlayer as well as the morphology of ZnO obviously influenced the electrical and optical properties of GaN based LEDs. The effect of MgO interlayer on ZnO growth, properties and I-V curves and emission spectra of LEDs is discussed in detail.
A strong resonance in the inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (IPES) of cerium oxide was reported recently. Here, it is shown that dominance of the indirect channel of the resonant inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (RIPES) is so complete that the photon energy dependence can be explained in terms of emission associated with a single photon energy.
This paper characterizes the mass transfer and replenishment of glucose and oxygen in tissue engineered cartilage constructs by a numerical approach. Cell population growth modulated by glucose and oxygen is incorporated in the mathematic model. The distribution of synthesized type II collagen and its influence on mediating the chondrocyte growth over scaffold are also investigated. Results from simulation are compared with the experiments in literature to verify the formulation and predictions. It is found that, under static culture, the oftentimes observed phenomenon that the overall cell number densities in thick scaffolds are smaller than in thin scaffolds is mainly due to depletion of glucose rather than oxygen. Cell growth is found to be more sensitive to the change in glucose concentration for thick scaffolds, whereas to be more sensitive to the change in oxygen concentration for thin scaffolds. Results also demonstrate the modulation of chondrocyte growth by type II collagen, presenting the biphasic impact of type II collagen which promotes chondrocyte growth in the initial phase of cultivation, while inhibits cell growth in the long term. The numerical model provides a useful reference for developing cartilaginous constructs in tissue engineering.
Gravure contact printing is the highest volume, large area printing technique known. It is ideally suited for the fabrication of large-area polymer light emitting diode (PLED) based lighting, backlights and displays. Here we show how gravure can be used to fabricate the poly (3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) : poly(styrene sulfonate) hole injection layer and the light emitting polymer emissive layer in a conventional PLED, as well as the cesium carbonate electron injection layer in an inverted PLED. The performance equals or exceeds that of devices where these layers are deposited by conventional spin-coating.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.
The bentgrasses comprise an adaptable group of grasses that include introduced species, cultivated turfgrasses, and native plants in North America. Their distribution in cultural landscapes has not been documented, and this gap in knowledge has limited the development of predictive ecological risk assessments for creeping bentgrass engineered for herbicide resistance. In this study, bentgrass distribution and abundance were surveyed in 289 plots in an 8.5 km2 site surrounding a golf course in the northeastern United States. Four introduced species and two native bentgrasses were identified in seminatural and managed plant communities. Across the study site, 77% of the plots containing creeping bentgrass also had invasive plants. Bentgrasses co-occurred with critical habitat for threatened or endangered animals. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that bentgrasses were positively correlated with herbaceous plant cover and mowing, but negatively correlated with tree canopy cover, shrub cover, poorly drained soils, and leaf litter. The most influential ecological factors were tree canopy cover and soil moisture. Geospatial information about these two ecological factors was combined with mathematical models to generate two habitat suitability maps. The favorable environments map (FEM) showed that highly suitable bentgrass habitat covered 36% of the study site and included common features such as home lawns and railroad right-of-ways. Our results suggest that release of herbicide-resistant creeping bentgrass in this cultural landscape could potentially result in pollen-mediated gene flow, interspecific hybridization, environmental hazards, and herbicide selection pressure in some areas. Habitat suitability maps could be critical tools for predictive ecological risk assessments, monitoring projects, and management of herbicide-resistant bentgrasses.
This paper describes the development of a nitrogen-based passivation technique for interface states near the conduction band edge [Dit(Ec)] in 4H-SiC/SiO2. These states have been observed and characterized in several laboratories for n- and p-SiC since their existence was first proposed by Schorner, et al. . The origin of these states remains a point of discussion, but there is now general agreement that these states are largely responsible for the lower channel mobilities that are reported for n-channel, inversion mode 4H-SiC MOSFETs. Over the past year, much attention has been focused on finding methods by which these states can be passivated. The nitrogen passivation process that is described herein is based on post-oxidation, high temperature anneals in nitric oxide. An NO anneal at atmospheric pressure, 1175°C and 200–400sccm for 2hr reduces the interface state density at Ec-E ≅0.1eV in n-4H-SiC by more than one order of magnitude - from > 3×1013 to approximately 2×1012cm−2eV−1. Measurements for passivated MOSFETs yield effective channel mobilities of approximately 30–35cm2/V-s and low field mobilities of around 100cm2/V-s. These mobilities are the highest yet reported for MOSFETs fabricated with thermal oxides on standard 4H-SiC and represent a significant improvement compared to the single digit mobilities commonly reported for 4H inversion mode devices. The reduction in the interface state density is associated with the passivation of carbon cluster states that have energies near the conduction band edge. However, attempts to optimize the the passivation process for both dry and wet thermal oxides do not appear to reduce Dit(Ec) below about 2×1012cm−2eV−1 (compared to approximately 1010cm−2eV−1 for passivated Si/SiO2). This may be an indication that two types of interface states exist in the upper half of the SiC band gap – one type that is amenable to passivation by nitrogen and one that is not. Following NO passivation, the average breakdown field for dry oxides on p-4H-SiC is higher than the average field for wet oxides (7.6MV/cm compared to 7.1MV/cm at room temperature). However, both breakdown fields are lower than the average value of 8.2MV/cm measured for wet oxide layers that were not passivated. The lower breakdown fields can be attributed to donor-like states that appear near the valence band edge during passivation.
This paper presents a review of new results obtained by a combination of first-principles theory, Z-contrast imaging, and electron-energy-loss spectroscopy in the context of a broader experimental/theoretical program to understand and control the atomic-scale structure of SiCSiO2 interfaces. The ultimate purpose is to achieve low interface trap densities for device applications. Results are given for global bonding arrangements in comparison with those of the Si-SiO2 interface, the mechanism of the oxidation process, the nature of possible interface defects and their passivation by N and H, and the formation and dissolution of C clusters in SiO2 during oxidation and reoxidation.