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Serotonergic dysfunction may play an important role in motor and nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The loudness dependence of auditory evoked potentials (LDAEP) has been used to evaluate serotonergic activity. Therefore, this study aimed to determine central serotonergic activity using LDAEP in de novo PD according to the age at onset and changes in serotonergic activity after dopaminergic treatment.
A total of 30 patients with unmedicated PD, 16 in the early-onset and 14 in the late-onset groups, were enrolled. All subjects underwent comprehensive neurological examination, laboratory tests, the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, and LDAEP. The LDAEP was calculated as the slope of the two N1/P2 peaks measured at the Cz electrode, first at baseline conditions (pretreatment) and a second time after 12 weeks (post-treatment) following dopaminergic medications.
The absolute values of pretreatment N1/P2 LDAEP (early-onset: late-onset, 0.99 ± 0.68: 1.62 ± 0.88, p = 0.035) and post-treatment N1 LDAEP (early-onset: late-onset, −0.61 ± 0.61: −1.26 ± 0.91, p = 0.03) were significantly lower in the early-onset group compared with those of the late-onset group. In addition, a higher value of pretreatment N1/P2 LDAEP was significantly correlated with the late-onset group (coefficient = 1.204, p = 0.044). The absolute value of the N1 LDAEP decreased after 12 weeks of taking dopaminergic medication (pretreatment: post-treatment, −1.457 ± 1.078: −0.904 ± 0.812, p = 0.0018).
Based on the results of this study, LDAEP could be a marker for serotonergic neurotransmission in PD. Central serotonergic activity assessed by LDAEP may be more preserved in early-onset PD patients and can be altered with dopaminergic medication.
The ferroelectricity in fluorite-structure oxides such as hafnia and zirconia has attracted increasing interest since 2011. They have various advantages such as Si-based complementary metal oxide semiconductor-compatibility, matured deposition techniques, a low dielectric constant and the resulting decreased depolarization field, and stronger resistance to hydrogen annealing. However, the wake-up effect, imprint, and insufficient endurance are remaining reliability issues. Therefore, this paper reviews two major aspects: the advantages of fluorite-structure ferroelectrics for memory applications are reviewed from a material's point of view, and the critical issues of wake-up effect and insufficient endurance are examined, and potential solutions are subsequently discussed.
Adequate facepiece fit of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) is crucial for optimal protection against airborne pathogens. The quantitative fit test (QNFT) pass rates of the 4 N95 FFR models commonly used in Korea were below 50%. Male sex was identified as a single independent predictive factor for QNFT pass.
Allicin (AL) regulates the cellular redox, proliferation, viability, and cell cycle of different cells against extracellular-derived stress. This study investigated the effects of allicin treatment on porcine oocyte maturation and developmental competence. Porcine oocytes were cultured in medium supplemented with 0 (control), 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10 or 100 μM AL, respectively, during in vitro maturation (IVM). The rate of polar body emission was higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group (74.5% ± 2.3%) than in the control (68.0% ± 2.6%) (P < 0.1). After parthenogenetic activation, the rates of cleavage and blastocyst formation were significantly higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control (P < 0.05). The reactive oxygen species level at metaphase II did not significantly differ among all groups. In matured oocytes, the expression of both BAK and CASP3, and BIRC5 was significantly lower and higher, respectively, in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control. Similarly, the expression of BMP15 and CCNB1, and the activity of phospho-p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), significantly increased. These results indicate that supplementation of oocyte maturation medium with allicin during IVM improves the maturation of oocytes and the subsequent developmental competence of porcine oocytes.
Two challenges exist in laser-assisted atom probe tomography (APT). First, a drastic decline in mass-resolving power is caused, not only by laser-induced thermal effects on the APT tips of bulk oxide materials, but also the associated asymmetric evaporation behavior; second, the field evaporation mechanisms of bulk oxide tips under laser illumination are still unclear due to the complex relations between laser pulse and oxide materials. In this study, both phenomena were investigated by depositing Ni- and Co-capping layers onto the bulk LaAlO3 tips, and using stepwise APT analysis with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation of the tip shapes. By employing the metallic capping, the heating at the surface of the oxide tips during APT analysis became more symmetrical, thereby enabling a high mass-resolving power in the mass spectrum. In addition, the stepwise microscopy technique visualized tip shape evolution during APT analysis, thereby accounting for evaporation sequences at the tip surface. The combination of “capping” and “stepwise APT with TEM,” is applicable to any nonconductors; it provides a direct observation of tip shape evolution, allows determination of the field evaporation strength of oxides, and facilitates understanding of the effects of ultrafast laser illumination on an oxide tip.
The Sewol ferry disaster is one of the most tragic events in Korea’s modern history. Among the 476 people on board, which included Danwon High School students (324) and teachers (14), 304 passengers died in the disaster (295 recovered corpses and 9 missing) and 172 survived. Of the rescued survivors, 72 were attending Danwon High School, located in Ansan City, and residing in a residence nearby. Because the students were young, emotionally susceptible adolescents, both the government and the parents requested the students be grouped together at a single hospital capable of appropriate psychiatric care. Korea University Ansan Hospital was the logical choice, as the only third-tier university-grade hospital with the necessary faculty and facilities within the residential area of the families of the students. We report the experiences and the lessons learned from the processes of preparing for and managing the surviving young students as a community-based hospital. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:389–393)
Feasibility of multiwavelength Raman spectroscopy was studied as a potential
in-line monitoring technique for grain size distribution in channel poly-Si used
in three dimensional stacked NAND (3D NAND) Flash memory devices. Various
channel poly-Si materials in 3D-NAND Flash memory devices, converted from
chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown a-Si, were characterized using
non-contact, multiwavelength Raman spectroscopy and high resolution
cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (HRXTEM). The Raman
characterization results were compared with HRXTEM images. The correlation
between the grain size distribution characterized by multiwavelength Raman
spectroscopy and “on current” (ION) of 3D NAND
Flash memory devices was investigated. Good correlation between these techniques
was seen. Multiwavelength Raman spectroscopy is very promising as a
non-destructive in-line monitoring technique for grain size distribution in
channel poly-Si used in 3D NAND Flash memory devices.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
Many transgenic domestic animals have been developed to produce therapeutic proteins in the mammary gland, and this approach is one of the most important methods for agricultural and biomedical applications. However, expression and secretion of a protein varies because transgenes are integrated at random sites in the genome. In addition, distal enhancers are very important for transcriptional gene regulation and tissue-specific gene expression. Development of a vector system regulated accurately in the genome is needed to improve production of therapeutic proteins. The objective of this study was to develop a knock-in system for expression of human fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) in the bovine β-casein gene locus. The F2A sequence was fused to the human FGF2 gene and inserted into exon 3 of the β-casein gene. We detected expression of human FGF2 mRNA in the HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells by RT-PCR and human FGF2 protein in the culture media using western blot analysis when the knock-in vector was introduced. We transfected the knock-in vector into bovine ear fibroblasts and produced knock-in fibroblasts using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system. Moreover, the CRISPR/Cas9 system was more efficient than conventional methods. In addition, we produced knock-in blastocysts by somatic cell nuclear transfer using the knock-in fibroblasts. Our knock-in fibroblasts may help to create cloned embryos for development of transgenic dairy cattle expressing human FGF2 protein in the mammary gland via the expression system of the bovine β-casein gene.
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
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
During the past decades, a rapid nutritional transition has been observed along with economic growth in the Republic of Korea. Since this dramatic change in diet has been frequently associated with cancer and other non-communicable diseases, dietary monitoring is essential to understand the association. Benefiting from pre-existing standardised dietary methodologies, the present study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and describe the development of a Korean version of the international computerised 24 h dietary recall method (GloboDiet software) and its complementary tools, developed at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), WHO. Following established international Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines, about seventy common and country-specific databases on foods, recipes, dietary supplements, quantification methods and coefficients were customised and translated. The main results of the present study highlight the specific adaptations made to adapt the GloboDiet software for research and dietary surveillance in Korea. New (sub-) subgroups were added into the existing common food classification, and new descriptors were added to the facets to classify and describe specific Korean foods. Quantification methods were critically evaluated and adapted considering the foods and food packages available in the Korean market. Furthermore, a picture book of foods/dishes was prepared including new pictures and food portion sizes relevant to Korean diet. The development of the Korean version of GloboDiet demonstrated that it was possible to adapt the IARC-WHO international dietary tool to an Asian context without compromising its concept of standardisation and software structure. It, thus, confirms that this international dietary methodology, used so far only in Europe, is flexible and robust enough to be customised for other regions worldwide.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to predict the potential impact of the introduction of implantation of polyurethane scaffold for the treatment of partial meniscal lesions in the South Korean healthcare system.
Methods: The horizon scanning process was used to select a target technology and assess its potential impacts on patients and the Korean healthcare system. We identified and filtered research-phase health technologies that are not listed yet in Korean, but appear promising. After a process of prioritization, we chose the implantation of polyurethane scaffolds as a target technology. Then, through the procedures of assessment and peer review, we analyzed current evidence and its predicted potential impacts.
Results: There were eight studies included in the review: one prospective cohort and seven case-series studies. Six revealed significant improvements in function and pain relief. Of the six studies, which reported safety endpoints, four stated no major postoperative complications related to scaffold, and two reported adverse events and serious adverse events such as pain, joint swelling, et cetera. We also included the potential impact of this technology based on the experts’ consultation. They all agreed that it would satisfy the diverse needs of patients and fulfill clinical needs. However, the majority of related clinical studies were based on short-term follow-up observations without any validation process involving comparison with control groups.
Conclusions: Through a horizon scanning activity, we found that the implantation of polyurethane scaffolds is a promising technology to resolve articular cartilage defects; however, long-term evidence with comparison groups for safety and effectiveness is required.
There is increasing evidence of a relationship between underweight or obesity and dementia risk. Several studies have investigated the relationship between body weight and brain atrophy, a pathological change preceding dementia, but their results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cortical atrophy among cognitively normal participants.
We recruited cognitively normal participants (n = 1,111) who underwent medical checkups and detailed neurologic screening, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the health screening visits between September 2008 and December 2011. The main outcome was cortical thickness measured using MRI. The number of subjects with five BMI groups in men/women was 9/9, 148/258, 185/128, 149/111, and 64/50 in underweight, normal, overweight, mild obesity, and moderate to severe obesity, respectively. Linear and non-linear relationships between BMI and cortical thickness were examined using multiple linear regression analysis and generalized additive models after adjustment for potential confounders.
Among men, underweight participants showed significant cortical thinning in the frontal and temporal regions compared to normal weight participants, while overweight and mildly obese participants had greater cortical thicknesses in the frontal region and the frontal, temporal, and occipital regions, respectively. However, cortical thickness in each brain region was not significantly different in normal weight and moderate to severe obesity groups. Among women, the association between BMI and cortical thickness was not statistically significant.
Our findings suggested that underweight might be an important risk factor for pathological changes in the brain, while overweight or mild obesity may be inversely associated with cortical atrophy in cognitively normal elderly males.
Epidemiological studies have reported that higher education (HE) is associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, after the clinical onset of AD, patients with HE levels show more rapid cognitive decline than patients with lower education (LE) levels. Although education level and cognition have been linked, there have been few longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between education level and cortical decline in patients with AD. The aim of this study was to compare the topography of cortical atrophy longitudinally between AD patients with HE (HE-AD) and AD patients with LE (LE-AD).
We prospectively recruited 36 patients with early-stage AD and 14 normal controls. The patients were classified into two groups according to educational level, 23 HE-AD (>9 years) and 13 LE-AD (≤9 years).
As AD progressed over the 5-year longitudinal follow-ups, the HE-AD showed a significant group-by-time interaction in the right dorsolateral frontal and precuneus, and the left parahippocampal regions compared to the LE-AD.
Our study reveals that the preliminary longitudinal effect of HE accelerates cortical atrophy in AD patients over time, which underlines the importance of education level for predicting prognosis.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Genetic variation in wild soybean (Glycine soja Sieb. and Zucc.) is a valuable resource for crop improvement efforts. Soybean is believed to have originated from China, Korea, and Japan, but little is known about the diversity or evolution of Korean wild soybean. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the genetic diversity and population structure of 733 G. soja accessions collected in Korea using 21 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The SSR loci produced 539 alleles (25.7 per locus) with a mean genetic diversity of 0.882 in these accessions. Rare alleles, those with a frequency of less than 5%, represented 75% of the total number. This collection was divided into two populations based on the principal coordinate analysis. Accessions from population 1 were distributed throughout the country, whereas most of the accessions from population 2 were distributed on the western side of the Taebaek and Sobaek mountains. The Korean G. soja collection evaluated in this study should provide useful background information for allele mining approach and breeding programmes to introgress alleles into the cultivated soybean (G. max (L). Merr.) from wild soybean.