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Altered levels of phenylalanine and its metabolites in blood and cerebrospinal fluid have previously been reported in schizophrenia. This study attempted to examine whether phenylalanine kinetics is altered in schizophrenia using the 13C-phenylalanine breath test (13C-PBT).
Subjects were 20 patients with schizophrenia and the same number of controls. 13C-phenylalanine was administered and then 13CO2 concentration in breath was monitored for 120 minutes. The Δ 13CO2 at each collecting time, the maximal Δ 13CO2 (Cmax), the time to reach Cmax (Tmax), the area under the curve of time course of Δ13CO2 (AUC), the cumulative recovery rate (CRR) at each collecting time of the 13C-PBT were calculated for each subject.
Body weight (BW) and diagnostic status were significant predictors for Cmax. BW, age and diagnostic status were significant predictors for AUC and CRR at 120 minutes (CRR0-120). A repeated measures ANCOVA controlling for age and BW revealed a different pattern of change in CRR over time between the patients and controls and that Δ13CO2 in schizophrenia were lower than that in healthy control at all sampling point during 120 min, with an overall significant differences between healthy control and schizophrenia. The ANCOVA controlling for age and BW, showed that Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 were significantly lower in schizophrenics than in controls.
Our data indicate the different change of Δ13CO2 and CRR over time and the decreased Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 of 13C-PBT in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls, suggesting the altered phenylalanine kinetics in schizophrenia.
Public health checkups are conducted on 3-year-old children in Japan. However, it is often difficult to detect or provide ongoing support to children with developmental disorders without MR. Therefore we have conducted health checkups on 5 year olds.
The objectives are to describe the results and follow-up of health checkups in 5-year-old children and examine the utility of such checkups.
The aims are to make clear the utility of health checkups in 5-year-old children for screening for developmental disorders.
The subjects were 303 children of 5-year-old that lived in Kanie-cho and participated in health checkups. in the checkups, a child psychiatrist examined the children, and made a provisional diagnosis of a developmental disorder.
Eighty-two children were provisionally diagnosed as having developmental disorders. the follow-up allowed final diagnosis of developmental disorders (suspect diagnosis included) to be made in 39 children (12.9%), and pinpointed 19 children with ADHD, 9 children with PDD, 9 children with mild MR, and 2 children with motor skills disorder.
All children with PDD had already been informed about the possible occurrence of developmental disorders at 3 years of age. However, most of ADHD, mild MR, and motor function disorder were diagnosed in these children during the checkups at the age of 5 years.
The health checkup in 5-year-old children is useful not only as a tool to detect developmental disorders that are difficult to diagnose at the age of 3 years but also as an approach in patients lost to follow-up.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
We aimed to verify the effectiveness of real-time reverse transcription (rRT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detecting cases of modified measles (M-Me) and for predicting super-spreader candidates through the experience of a measles outbreak dominated by M-Me in Yamagata, Japan, during March–April 2017. We applied rRT-PCR to specimens from 35 cases of M-Me, nine cases of typical measles (T-Me) and nine cases of prodromal stage of T-Me (P-Me). From rRT-PCR among the M-Me cases, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) showed the highest positive rate (80.0%), followed by throat swab (48.6%), urine (33.3%) and serum (3.1%). The negative result of PBMC in M-Me cases was recovered by the result of a throat swab. In specimens of PBMC, throat swab and urine, M-Me group showed the significantly higher cycle of threshold (i.e., lower viral load) in the rRT-PCR than T-Me and P-Me groups, respectively. Furthermore, three super-spreaders in T-Me or P-Me showed an extremely low cycle of threshold in their throat swab specimens. rRT-PCR using PBMC and throat swab might be helpful for clinical management and measles control by certain detection of M-Me cases and by predicting super-spreading events resulting from measles cases with the high viral load.
The aim of this study was to estimate the associations of the first occurrence of pathogen-specific clinical mastitis (CM) with milk yield and milk composition (somatic cell count (SCC), lactose, fat, protein content in milk and milk urea nitrogen (MUN)). We studied 3149 dairy cows in 31 Hokkaido dairy farms in Japan. Five pathogen groups were studied: Streptococcus spp.; Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus); coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS); coliforms; and fungi. Test-day milk data and clinical records were collected from June 2011 until February 2014. Mixed models with an autoregressive correlation structure were fitted to quantify the effects of CM and several other control variables (herd, calving season, parity, week of lactation, and other diseases). Primipara (first lactation) and multipara (second and later lactations) were analysed separately. All pathogens, particularly S. aureus and fungi, were associated with significant milk losses in multipara. In this study, S. aureus and CNS infections were not associated with significant milk loss in primipara. All pathogens, in particular S. aureus and fungi, significantly increased SCC in both parity groups. All pathogens, especially CNS (in primipara) and S. aureus (in multipara), decreased lactose content. All pathogen groups except for fungi were associated with significant changes in fat, protein and MUN. Some pathogens such as Streptococcus spp. and coliforms seemed to be associated with long-term fat, protein and MUN changes. These findings provide estimates that could be used to calculate precise costs of CM, and also provide better indicators of pathogen-specific mastitis.
It is thought that protoplanets formed in protoplanetary disks excite the orbital motion of the surrounding planetesimals, and the bow shocks caused by the highly excited planetesimals heat their icy component evaporating into gas. We have performed model calculations to study the evolution of molecular abundances of the evaporated icy component, which suggests sulfur-bearing molecules can be good tracers of icy planetesimal evaporation. Here we report the result of our ALMA observations of sulfur-bearing molecules towards protoplanetary disks. The lines were undetected but the obtained upper limits of the line fluxes and our model calculations give upper limits of the fractional abundances of x(H2S) < 10−11 and x(SO) < 10−10 in the outer disk. These results are consistent with the molecular abundances in comets in our Solar system.
To assess the diagnostic role of mean platelet volume in tonsillitis with and without peritonsillar abscess.
Mean platelet volume and other laboratory data were retrospectively investigated.
Mean platelet volume was significantly lower in the tonsillitis group (7.8 per cent ± 0.7 per cent) than in the control group (8.7 per cent ± 0.6 per cent; p < 0.0001), and it was significantly lower in the abscess group (7.5 per cent ± 0.6 per cent) than in the no abscess group (8.0 per cent ± 0.7 per cent; p = 0.0277). White blood cell counts and C-reactive protein levels were not significantly different between patients with an abscess and those without. The mean platelet volume cut-off values for the diagnosis of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess were 7.95 fl and 7.75 fl, respectively.
Our results suggest that a decreased mean platelet volume is associated with the development and severity of tonsillitis. This finding provides useful diagnostic information for physicians treating patients with tonsillitis.
The “Stop the Bleed” campaign advocates for non-medical personnel to be trained in basic hemorrhage control. However, it is not clear what type of education or the duration of instruction needed to meet that requirement. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of a brief hemorrhage control educational curriculum on the willingness of laypersons to respond during a traumatic emergency.
This “Stop the Bleed” education initiative was conducted by the University of Texas Health San Antonio Office of the Medical Director (San Antonio, Texas USA) between September 2016 and March 2017. Individuals with formal medical certification were excluded from this analysis. Trainers used a pre-event questionnaire to assess participants knowledge and attitudes about tourniquets and responding to traumatic emergencies. Each training course included an individual evaluation of tourniquet placement, 20 minutes of didactic instruction on hemorrhage control techniques, and hands-on instruction with tourniquet application on both adult and child mannequins. The primary outcome in this study was the willingness to use a tourniquet in response to a traumatic medical emergency.
Of 236 participants, 218 met the eligibility criteria. When initially asked if they would use a tourniquet in real life, 64.2% (140/218) responded “Yes.” Following training, 95.6% (194/203) of participants responded that they would use a tourniquet in real life. When participants were asked about their comfort level with using a tourniquet in real life, there was a statistically significant improvement between their initial response and their response post training (2.5 versus 4.0, based on 5-point Likert scale; P<.001).
In this hemorrhage control education study, it was found that a short educational intervention can improve laypersons’ self-efficacy and reported willingness to use a tourniquet in an emergency. Identified barriers to act should be addressed when designing future hemorrhage control public health education campaigns. Community education should continue to be a priority of the “Stop the Bleed” campaign.
RossEM, RedmanTT, MappJG, BrownDJ, TanakaK, CooleyCW, KharodCU, WamplerDA. Stop the Bleed: The Effect of Hemorrhage Control Education on Laypersons’ Willingness to Respond During a Traumatic Medical Emergency. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(2):127–132.
We initiated a long-term and highly frequent monitoring project toward 442 methanol masers at 6.7 GHz (Dec >−30 deg) using the Hitachi 32-m radio telescope in December 2012. The observations have been carried out daily, monitoring a spectrum of each source with intervals of 9–10 days. In September 2015, the number of the target sources and intervals were redesigned into 143 and 4–5 days, respectively. This monitoring provides us complete information on how many sources show periodic flux variations in high-mass star-forming regions, which have been detected in 20 sources with periods of 29.5–668 days so far (e.g., Goedhart et al. 2004). We have already obtained new detections of periodic flux variations in 31 methanol sources with periods of 22–409 days. These periodic flux variations must be a unique tool to investigate high-mass protostars themselves and their circumstellar structure on a very tiny spatial scale of 0.1–1 au.
Silicified beyrichiocopid and podocopid ostracods from limestone nodules derived from the middle part of the Ichinotani Formation within the Hida Gaien Terrane of central Honshu Island, Japan, are associated with fusulinid foraminifera that indicate strata of the middle Moscovian (Pennsylvanian, Carboniferous). This is a rare record of ostracods from the Palaeozoic of Japan and the first systematic description of ostracods from the Carboniferous of the Hida Gaien Terrane. The fauna comprises six ostracod species (two new) assigned to the genera Amphissites, Kirkbya, Bairdia, Aechmina and Healdia, and additional material of possible cavellinids. The numerical dominance of ornamented beyrichiocopids such as Kirkbya and Amphissites, along with smaller numbers of smooth podocopids such as Bairdia, indicates an ‘Eifelian mega-assemblage’ ecotype (sensu G. Becker), that is typical of mid Palaeozoic shallow marine, high-energy environments in a fore-reef ecosystem.
The overview of the recent results for discovery and investigations of a very exotic phenomenon – optical mirage in the X-ray spectral range – is presented. It was found that the mirage could be created in the form of coherent virtual point source, emerging in the vicinity of the second plasma in two-stage oscillator-amplifier X-ray laser. The X-ray source-mirage, rigidly phased with the initial radiation of generator, occurs only when amplification takes place in the amplifier plasma and leads to the appearance of the interference pattern in the form of concentric rings in the spatial profile of the output X-ray laser beam. The equation describing the emergence of X-ray mirage was found, numerical solution of which shows that its formation is similar to that of the optical mirages observed at propagation of light rays through an inhomogeneously heated air. Obtained results have already demonstrated novel comprehension into the physical nature of amplification of X-ray radiation, opening additional opportunities for X-ray interferometry, holography, and other applications, which require multiple rigidly phased sources of coherent radiation.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Here we discuss requirements for high performance and solution processable organic semiconductors, by presenting a systematic investigation of 7-alkyl-2-phenylbenzothieno[3,2-b]benzothiophenes (Ph-BTBT-Cn’s). We found that the solubility and thermal properties of Ph-BTBT-Cn’s depend systematically on the substituted alkyl-chain length n. The observed features are well understood in terms of the change of molecular packing motif with n: The compounds with n ≤ 4 do not form independent alkyl chain layers, whereas those with n ≥ 5 form isolated alkyl chain layers. The latter compounds afford a series of isomorphous bilayer-type crystal structures that form two-dimensional carrier transport layers within the crystals. We also show that the Ph-BTBT-C10 afford high performance single-crystalline field-effect transistors the mobility of which reaches as high as 15.9 cm2/Vs. These results demonstrate a crucial role of the substituted alkyl chain length for obtaining high performance organic semiconductors and field-effect transistors.
We previously reported an association between human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) and epidemic myalgia with myositis in adults during summers in which an HPeV3 outbreak occurred in children. However, this disease association has not yet been reported elsewhere. We have since continued our surveillance to accumulate data on this disease association and to confirm whether myalgia occurs in children as well as adults. Between June and August 2014, we collected 380 specimens from children with infectious diseases. We also collected clinical specimens from two adult and three paediatric patients suspected of myalgia. We then performed virus isolation and reverse-transcription–PCR using the collected specimens. We detected HPeV3 in 26 children with infectious diseases, which we regarded as indicating an outbreak. We also confirmed HPeV3 infection in all patients suspected of myalgia. In particular the symptoms in two boys, complaining of myalgia and fever, closely matched the criteria for adult myalgia. Based on our findings from 2008, 2011 and 2014, we again urge that clinical consideration be given to the relationship between myalgia and HPeV3 infections during HPeV3 outbreaks in children. Furthermore, our observations from 2014 suggest that epidemic myalgia and myositis occur not only in adults but also in children.
The mode of onset and the course of schizophrenia illness exhibit substantial individual variations. Previous studies have pointed out that the mode of onset affects the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical outcomes, such as cognitive and social functioning. This study attempted to clarify the association between the DUP and clinical features, taking the different modes of onset into consideration, in a prospective longitudinal study examining patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
This study was conducted in six areas of Japan. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia were followed for over 18 months. Cognitive function, psychopathology, and social functioning were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-up points.
We identified 168 patients and sufficient information was available to determine the DUP and the mode of onset for 156 patients (92.9%): 79 had an acute onset, and 77 had an insidious onset. The DUP was significantly associated with quality of life (QOL), social functioning, and cognitive function at most of the follow-up points in the insidious-onset group. The DUP and negative symptoms at baseline were significant predictors of cognitive function at the 18-month follow-up in the insidious-onset group.
The present results further support the hypothesis that the DUP affects QOL, social functioning, and cognitive function over the course of illness, especially in patients with an insidious onset. Effective strategies for detecting and caring for individuals with insidious onset early during the course of schizophrenia will be essential for achieving a full patient recovery.
The transport of relativistic electron beam in compressed cylindrical targets was studied from a numerical and experimental point of view. In the experiment, cylindrical targets were imploded using the Gekko XII laser facility of the Institute of Laser Engineering. Then the fast electron beam was created by shooting the LFEX laser beam. The penetration of fast electrons was studied by observing Kα emission from tracer layers in the target.