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Firefighters are routinely exposed to various traumatic events and often experience a range of trauma-related symptoms. Although these repeated traumatic exposures rarely progress to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, firefighters are still considered to be a vulnerable population with regard to trauma.
To investigate how the human brain responds to or compensates for the repeated experience of traumatic stress.
We included 98 healthy firefighters with repeated traumatic experiences but without any diagnosis of mental illness and 98 non-firefighter healthy individuals without any history of trauma. Functional connectivity within the fear circuitry, which consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), was examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Trauma-related symptoms were evaluated using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised.
The firefighter group had greater functional connectivity between the insula and several regions of the fear circuitry including the bilateral amygdalae, bilateral hippocampi and vmPFC as compared with healthy individuals. In the firefighter group, stronger insula–amygdala connectivity was associated with greater severity of trauma-related symptoms (β = 0.36, P = 0.005), whereas higher insula–vmPFC connectivity was related to milder symptoms in response to repeated trauma (β = −0.28, P = 0.01).
The current findings suggest an active involvement of insular functional connectivity in response to repeated traumatic stress. Functional connectivity of the insula in relation to the amygdala and vmPFC may be potential pathways that underlie the risk for and resilience to repeated traumatic stress, respectively.
Depressive symptoms are common in bereaved caregivers; however, there have been few prospective studies using a structured interview. This study investigated the prevalence and preloss predictors of major depressive disorder (MDD) in bereaved caregivers of patients in a palliative care unit.
This prospective cohort study collected caregiver sociodemographic and psychological data before the death of a palliative care unit patient, including MDD, care-burden, coping style, and hopeful attitude. Postloss MDD was assessed 6 and 13 months after death, and a multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify its predictors.
Of 305 caregivers contacted, 92 participated in this study. The prevalence of preloss MDD was 21.8%; the prevalences of postloss MDD were 34.8% and 24.7% at 6 and 13 months, respectively. Preloss MDD predicted postloss MDD at 6 months (odds ratio [OR] = 5.38, 95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.29, 22.43); preloss nonhopeful attitude and unemployment status of caregivers predicted postloss MDD at 13 months (OR = 8.77, CI95% = 1.87, 41.13 and OR = 7.10, CI95% = 1.28, 39.36, respectively).
Significance of results
Approximately 35% of caregivers suffered from MDD at 6 months postloss, but the prevalence of MDD decreased to about 25% at 13 months. Preloss MDD significantly predicted postloss MDD at 6 months, whereas hopeful attitude and unemployment at baseline were significantly associated with postloss MDD at 13 months.
Bloodstream infection (BSI) occurred in 21 of 121 patients (17%) receiving venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation within the median time of 6 days after initiation (interquartile range, 4–19 days). Longer duration of arterial catheterization and more blood transfusions were independently associated with BSI, which is associated with poor clinical outcomes.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
Subjective memory impairment (SMI) is common among older adults. Increasing evidence suggests that SMI is a risk factor for future cognitive decline, as well as for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Medial temporal lobe structures, including the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, are affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The current study examined the gray matter (GM) volume and microstructural changes of hippocampal and entorhinal regions in individuals with SMI, compared with elderly control participants without memory complaints.
A total of 45 participants (mean age: 70.31 ± 6.07 years) took part in the study, including 18 participants with SMI and 27 elderly controls without memory complaints. We compared the GM volume and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures in the hippocampal and entorhinal regions between SMI and control groups.
Individuals with SMI had lower entorhinal cortical volumes than control participants, but no differences in hippocampal volume were found between groups. In addition, SMI patients exhibited DTI changes (lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher mean diffusivity in SMI) in the hippocampal body and entorhinal white matter compared with controls. Combining entorhinal cortical volume and FA in the hippocampal body improved the accuracy of classification between SMI and control groups.
These findings suggest that the entorhinal region exhibits macrostructural as well as microstructural changes in individuals with SMI, whereas the hippocampus exhibits only microstructural alterations.
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.
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
Despite recent reports regarding the biology of cytosine methylation in Schistosoma mansoni, the impact of the regulatory machinery remains unclear in diverse platyhelminthes. This ambiguity is reinforced by discoveries of DNA methyltransferase 2 (DNMT2)-only organisms and the substrate specificity of DNMT2 preferential to RNA molecules. Here, we characterized a novel DNA methyltransferase, named CsDNMT2, in a liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis. The protein exhibited structural properties conserved in other members of the DNMT2 family. The native and recombinant CsDNMT2 exhibited considerable enzymatic activity on DNA. The spatiotemporal expression of CsDNMT2 mirrored that of 5-methylcytosine (5 mC), both of which were elevated in the C. sinensis eggs. However, CsDNMT2 and 5 mC were marginally detected in other histological regions of C. sinensis adults including ovaries and seminal receptacle. The methylation site seemed not related to genomic loci occupied by progenies of an active long-terminal-repeat retrotransposon. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that C. sinensis has preserved the functional DNA methylation machinery and that DNMT2 acts as a genuine alternative to DNMT1/DNMT3 to methylate DNA in the DNMT2-only organism. The epigenetic regulation would target functional genes primarily involved in the formation and/or maturation of eggs, rather than retrotransposons.
To determine the influence of early pain relief for patients with suspected appendicitis on the diagnostic performance of surgical residents.
A prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted for patients with suspected appendicitis. The patients were randomized to receive placebo (normal saline intravenous [IV]) infusions over 5 minutes or the study drug (morphine 5 mg IV). All of the clinical evaluations by surgical residents were performed 30 minutes after administration of the study drug or placebo. After obtaining the clinical probability of appendicitis, as determined by the surgical residents, abdominal computed tomography was performed. The primary objective was to compare the influence of IV morphine on the ability of surgical residents to diagnose appendicitis.
A total of 213 patients with suspected appendicitis were enrolled. Of these patients, 107 patients received morphine, and 106 patients received placebo saline. The negative appendectomy percentages in each group were similar (3.8% in the placebo group and 3.2% in the pain control group, p=0.62). The perforation rates in each group were also similar (18.9% in the placebo group and 14.3% in the pain control group, p=0.75). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the overall diagnostic accuracy in each group was similar (the area under the curve of the placebo group and the pain control group was 0.63 v. 0.61, respectively, p=0.81).
Early pain control in patients with suspected appendicitis does not affect the diagnostic performance of surgical residents.
This study aimed to assess the prevalence, incidence, and persistence of suicidal ideation (SI), and to investigate the psychosocial factors associated with these.
A total of 1,204 community dwelling elderly adults aged 65 years or older were evaluated at baseline, 909 (75%) of whom were followed two years later. The presence of SI was identified using the questions from the community version of the Geriatric Mental State (GMS) diagnostic schedule (GMS B3) at both baseline and follow-up interviews. Baseline measures included demographic status, years of education, rural/urban residence, accommodation, past and current occupation, monthly income, marital status, stressful life events, social support deficits, number of physical illnesses, severity of pain, physical activity, disability, depressive symptoms, anxiety, insomnia, cognitive function, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Baseline SI prevalence, follow-up incidence (SI rate at follow-up of 805 elderly subjects who did not have SI at baseline), and persistence (SI rate at follow-up of 104 elderly subjects who had SI at baseline) were 11.5%, 9.6%, and 36.5%, respectively. Baseline SI was independently associated with no current employment, lower monthly income, stressful life events, more severe pain, presence of disability, depressive symptoms, and smoking. Incident SI was independently predicted by baseline unmarried status, social support deficit, severe pain, presence of depressive symptoms, and smoking. Persistent SI was independently predicted by baseline stressful life events and depressive symptoms.
Depressive symptoms were independently associated with prevalent, incident, and persistent SI, but other predictors varied according to incidence and persistence outcomes.
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.
To evaluate the risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) after gastric surgery in patients in Korea.
A nationwide prospective multicenter study.
Twenty university-affiliated hospitals in Korea.
The Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS), a Web-based system, was developed. Patients in 20 Korean hospitals from 2007 to 2009 were prospectively monitored for SSI for up to 30 days after gastric surgery. Demographic data, hospital characteristics, and potential perioperative risk factors were collected and analyzed, using multivariate logistic regression models.
Of the 4,238 case patients monitored, 64.9% (2,752) were male, and mean age (±SD) was 58.8 (±12.3) years. The SSI rates were 2.92, 6.45, and 10.87 per 100 operations for the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system risk index categories of 0, 1, and 2 or 3, respectively. The majority (69.4%) of the SSIs observed were organ or space SSIs. The most frequently isolated microorganisms were Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.67 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–2.58]), increased operation time (1.20 [1.07–1.34] per 1-hour increase), reoperation (7.27 [3.68–14.38]), combined multiple procedures (1.79 [1.13–2.83]), prophylactic administration of the first antibiotic dose after skin incision (3.00 [1.09–8.23]), and prolonged duration (≥7 days) of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP; 2.70 [1.26–5.64]) were independently associated with increased risk of SSI.
Male sex, inappropriate SAP, and operation-related variables are independent risk factors for SSI after gastric surgery.
To describe the incidence of recovery of both vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from culture of a single clinical specimen, to describe the clinical characteristics of patients from whom these specimens were recovered, and to identify the risk factors of these patients.
A retrospective cohort and case-control study.
A tertiary care university hospital and referral center in Seoul, Korea.
We identified 61 case patients for whom a single clinical specimen yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and 122 control patients for whom any clinical specimen yielded only VRE on culture. The control patients were selected by matching 2 :1 with the case patients for age, sex, and first date of sampling that led to isolation of VRE or both VRE and MRSA among 1,536 VRE-colonized patients from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2006. To identify patient risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen, we performed univariate comparisons between the 2 groups and then multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The incidence of recovery of both VRE and MRSA from culture of a single clinical specimen was 3.97% (for 61 of 1,536 VRE-colonized patients) over 4 years. Among these 82 single clinical specimens, the most common type was wound specimens (26.8%), followed by lower respiratory tract specimens (18.3%), urine specimens (17.1%), and catheter tips (15.9%). Of the 61 case patients, 14 (23.0%) had 2 or more single clinical specimens that yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and the longest interval from the first sampling that yielded both organisms to the last sampling that yielded both was 174 days. Independent patient risk factors for the presence of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen were chronic renal disease (odds ratio [OR], 7.00; P = .012), urinary catheterization (OR, 3.36; P = .026), and longer total cumulative duration of hospital stay within the previous year (OR, 1.03; P < .001).
We confirmed that the recovery of VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen occurs continually. Because prolonged cell-to-cell contact can facilitate transfer of vanA, close observation and surveillance for vancomycin-resistant S. aureus, especially among patients with risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen, should be continued.
Oxidative modification of LDL is causally involved in the development of atherosclerosis and occurs in vivo in the blood as well as within the vascular wall. The present study attempted to explore whether polyphenolic flavonoids influence monocyte-endothelium interaction and lectin-like oxidised LDL receptor 1 (LOX-1) expression involved in the early development of atherosclerosis. The flavones luteolin and apigenin inhibited THP-1 cell adhesion onto oxidised LDL-activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), while the flavanols of ( − )epigallocatechin gallate and (+)catechin, the flavonols of quercetin and rutin, and the flavanones of naringin, naringenin, hesperidin and hesperetin did not have such effects. Consistently, Western blot analysis revealed that the flavones at 25 μm dramatically and significantly abolished HUVEC expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin evidently enhanced by oxidised LDL; these inhibitory effects were exerted by drastically down regulating mRNA levels of these cell adhesion molecules. In addition, quercetin and luteolin significantly attenuated expression of LOX-1 protein up regulated in oxidised LDL-activated HUVEC with a fall in transcriptional mRNA levels of LOX-1. In addition, quercetin and luteolin clearly blunted oxidised LDL uptake by HUVEC treated with oxidised LDL. The results demonstrate that the flavones luteolin and apigenin as well as quercetin were effective in the different initial steps of atherosclerosis process by inhibiting oxidised LDL-induced endothelial monocyte adhesion and/or oxidised LDL uptake. Therefore, certain flavonoids qualify as anti-atherogenic agents in LDL systems, which may have implications for strategies attenuating endothelial dysfunction-related atherosclerosis.
To identify the factors that inhibit or motivate influenza vaccination among healthcare workers (HCWs).
In March 2000, we prepared 34-item questionnaire for both vaccine recipients and nonrecipients regarding demographic characteristics, factors motivating and inhibiting vaccination, and knowledge and attitudes about influenza vaccination. On the basis of the results of our survey, an aggressive hospital vaccination campaign was undertaken. In April 2004, after the 4-year campaign, the same questionnaire was again administered to HCWs.
In both 2000 and 2004, the main motives for undergoing influenza vaccination were “hospital campaign” and “recommendation by colleagues”; the percentage of respondents who were motivated by the hospital campaign had remarkably increased from 27% in 2000 to 52% in 2004 (P<.001), whereas the percentage who were motivated by recommendation by colleagues had not changed significantly (21% vs 14%). Qverall, the 4 reasons most frequently cited by HCWs for noncompliance with vaccination were insufficient available time, confidence in their health, doubt about vaccine efficacy, and fear of injection. In 2000, vaccination rates were below 30%, irrespective of occupation. After an aggressive vaccination campaign, the increase in the vaccination rate was highest among the nursing staff, increasing from 21% in 2000 to 92% in 2004, whereas the vaccination rate among the physicians was still below 60%.
We conclude that a hospital campaign can markedly improve influenza vaccination rates among HCWs. Both a mobile cart system and free vaccine supply contributed to improving the vaccination rates in our study. In addition, a specifically tailored intervention strategy was required.
High plasma level of cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases. Oxidized LDL induces cellular and nuclear damage that leads to apoptotic cell death. We tested the hypothesis that flavonoids may function as antioxidants with regard to LDL incubated with 5 μm-Cu2+ alone or in combination with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Cytotoxicity and formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances induced by Cu2+-oxidized LDL were examined in the presence of various subtypes of flavonoid. Flavanols, flavonols and flavanones at a non-toxic dose of 50 μm markedly inhibited LDL oxidation by inhibiting the formation of peroxidative products. In contrast, the flavones luteolin and apigenin had no such effect, with >30 % of cells killed after exposure to 0.1 mg LDL/ml. Protective flavonoids, especially (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin, rutin and hesperetin, inhibited HUVEC nuclear condensation and fragmentation induced by Cu2+-oxidized LDL. In addition, immunochemical staining and Western blot analysis revealed that anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression was enhanced following treatment with these protective flavonoids. However, Bax expression and caspase-3 cleavage stimulated by 18 h incubation with oxidized LDL were reduced following treatment with these protective flavonoids. The down-regulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of caspase-3 activation were reversed by the cytoprotective flavonoids, (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin and hesperetin, at ≥10 μm. These results suggest that flavonoids may differentially prevent Cu2+-oxidized LDL-induced apoptosis and promote cell survival as potent antioxidants. Survival potentials of certain flavonoids against cytotoxic oxidized LDL appeared to stem from their disparate chemical structure. Furthermore, dietary flavonoids may have therapeutic potential for protecting the endothelium from oxidative stress and oxidized LDL-triggered atherogenesis.
BN films consisting of c-BN and h-BN phases were synthesized using an ion-beam-assisted deposition process. In contrast to conventional observations, the c-BN and h-BN phases did not form separate layers, but were distributed in the form of nano-sized grains throughout the film thickness. No distinctly aligned h-BN layer was observed before the c-BN phase. Such a mixed character of the film was attributed to a localized ion bombardment effect instead of the macro-stress. Possibly because of the presence of scattered h-BN phases, the thin film described here possessed a low hardness of about 20 GPa and a low stress of about 5 GPa, compared with other reported c-BN-containing films.
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