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During the COVID-19 pandemic, care for the elderly in the community was greatly limited. Accordingly, the demand for alternative community care have increased to cope with changing situations.
In this study, we tried to find out whether the companion robot improved mood state and related problem in depressive or isolated community dwelling elderly
For 186 community dwelling elderly who have received social welfare service due to depression or social isolation, we provided companion robot that could support their daily living. The robot was equipped with special program that could recognize and respond to the participant’s own emotion. It was part of behavioral activation techniques which is one of powerful treatment for depression. The self-report questionnaires were used to measure changes in cognitive function, depression, suicidality, loneliness, resilience and satisfaction of life. Outcomes were measured before using companion robot and after 3 months, and we compared them.
The elderly using companion robot for 3 months showed improved cognitive function (45.7% to 30.1%), depression (p<0.001), suicidality(p<0.001), and loneliness (p=0.033) in the self-report questionnaire. Resilience(p=0.749) and satisfaction of life (p=0.246) were also improved but not reached significance.
These findings showed that the use of companion robot with emotional recognition coaching program could help improve depression, cognitive function, loneliness and suicidal ideation. In particular, this effect was also useful for those who were diagnosed with depression. Also if we can put more techniques of behavioral activation programs into robot, it could be useful in community care for depressive and isolated elderly.
The suicide rate in the elderly population is the highest of all ages in Korea. Suicide prevention programs specialized in the elderly are scarce.
We evaluated the effect of the suicidal prevention program named “Nae-an-ae” (means to love oneself), which was specifically designed for the conditions of the community dwelling elderly.
The subjects were those who agreed to participate in the Nae-an-ae program among those evaluated as suicide high-risk groups according to the 2021 Jeollanam-do Mental Health Survey. The program consisted of five sessions of simple activities that could be practiced in daily life along with knowledge transfer through education on emotion recognition, stress management, sleep and relaxation, pain and exercise, and depression. This program was conducted by social workers or nurses working at each local community mental health and welfare center. We evaluated the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form Korean Version (GDS-SF), suicidal ideation, satisfaction with life scale (SWLS) and brief resilience scale (BRS) which were measured before and after the program and compared them with the control group.
A total of 276 participated in the program, 226 were in the control group. In the program participating group, the frequency of suicidal ideation was significantly decreased from 36.2% to 11.6% after the program. GDS-SF, SWLS and BRS were significantly decreased in active group than control group.
These findings showed that “Nae-an-ae” program was found to affect not only the control of suicide risk factors such as depression but also positive factors such as life satisfaction and resilience.
The Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) is a relatively specific test for bipolar disorders designed to assess the main functioning problems experienced by patients.
FAST includes 24 items assessing impairment or disability in 6 domains of functioning: autonomy, occupational functioning, cognitive functioning, financial issues, interpersonal relationships, and leisure time. It has already been translated into standardized versions in several languages. The aim of this study is to measure the validity and reliability of the Korean version of FAST (K-FAST).
A total of 209 bipolar disorder patients were recruited from 14 centers in Korea. K-FAST, Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), Bipolar Depression Rating Scale (BDRS), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment Instrument Brief Form (WHOQOL-BREF) were administered, and psychometric analysis of the K-FAST was conducted
The internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) of the K-FAST was 0.95. Test-retest reliability analysis showed a strong correlation between the two measures assessed at a 1-week interval (ICC = 0.97; p < 0.001). The K-FAST exhibited significant correlations with GAF (r=-0.771), WHOQOL-BREF (r=-0.326), YMRS (r=0.509) and BDRS (r=0.598). A strong negative correlation with GAF pointed to a reasonable degree of concurrent validity. Although the exploratory factor analysis showed 4 factors, the confirmatory factor analysis of questionnaires had a good fit for a six factors model (CFI=0.925; TLI=0.912; RMSEA=0.078).Table.
Model fit index of confirmatory factor analysis (n=209)
Measure of fit
RMSEA (90% CI)
χ2, chi-square; df, degrees of freedom; RMSEA, root mean square error of approximation; CFI, comparative fit index; TLI, Tucker-Lewis index.
The K-FAST has good psychometric properties, good internal consistency, and can be applicable and acceptable to the Korean context.
Depressive disorder is one of the most typical psychiatric disorder that occurs after a traumatic event. However, there has been minimal research regarding the prevalence and associated factors of depression after a traumatic event.
Therefore, this study aims to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms and associated factors in the residents of the Gangjeong village, who have been exposed to a traumatic event recently for a prolonged period.
The subjects of this study were the residents of the Gangjeong village, who have been exposed to a traumatic event related to the construction of the Jeju Civilian-Military Complex Port. The questionnaires were used to assess the participants` general characteristics (sex, age, marital status, occupation, self-perceived health, etc.); in addition, for the clinical evaluation, overall stress was assessed through the Global Assessment of Recent Stress Scale (GARS), social support through Functional Social Support Questionnaire (FSSQ) and suicide risk through Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview-Plus (M.I.N.I-Plus). In order to evaluate the depressive symtpoms, CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) was used.
In 713 subjects, the prevalence of depressive symptoms was 18.5% (95% CI=15.66-21.36) (Table 1). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified the length of residence and marital status as factors associated with depressive symptoms (Table 2). Furthermore, the depression group has a significantly higher score of overall stress (GARS), suicide risk and the lack of social support (FSSQ), in comparison with the non-depression group (Figure 1) group (depression gr. vs non-depression gr. : 28.8±15.0 vs 12.8±10.1, 4.9±8.0 vs 1.1±3.6, 44.8±13.2 vs 34.0±13.9, respectively).
The prevalence of depressive symptoms was higher among the study population compared to the general population. People exposed to the traumatic event, especially after prolonged exposure, should be assessed environment factors, the status of overall stress, social support and the suicidal risk.
The impacts of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on mental health have been relatively severe.
This study examined the influence of the COVID-19 especially on depression and suicidal ideation in community-dwelling elderly in Korea.
Data were employed from a survey on elderly mental health in Jeollanam-do (southwest province in Korea). A total of 2,423 elderlies were recruited from 22 counties in Jeollanam-do between April and October 2021. We used self-reported questionnaires, including sociodemographic factors, COVID-19 related stress, suicidal ideation, Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form Korean Version (GDS-SF). Logistic regression was performed to examine the factors on depression and suicidal ideation
Of the 2423 subjects, 622 (25.7%) reported depressive symptoms and 518 (21.4%) reported suicidal ideation. The multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that living alone, poor perceived health status, the worry of COVID-19 infection and restriction of daily activity due to COVID-19 pandemic were significantly associated with depression. Male sex, poor perceived health status, disability in house chores and depressive symptom are risk factors for suicidal ideation.
These findings showed that increased risk factor for depression and suicidal ideation in community dwelling elderly during COVID-19 pandemic. We confirmed that feelings of isolation and negative perception of health were risk factors on depression in community dwelling elderly in the context of the COVID –19 pandemic. Also male, poor self-perceived health status, difficulty of independent living and worry and depression are increased the risk of suicidal ideation among the elderly.
Olanzapine (OLA) is a common first-prescribed antipsychotic and has shown favorable efficacy in acutely exacerbated patients with schizophrenia. The mixed receptor activity of OLA and its greater affinity for serotonin 5-HT2A rather than dopamine D2 receptors are similar to those of clozapine. Pharmacokinetically, OLA is metabolized mainly by hepatic cytochrome enzyme P450 1A2 (CYP1A2). Because risks of antipsychotic polypharmacy include increased drug-drug interactions, pharmacokinetic considerations are important for selection of antipsychotics to be combined. Due to its pharmacological characteristics, amisulpride (AMI), another atypical antipsychotic with proven efficacy, is a promising adjuvant agent of special interest. AMI is unlikely to interact with other drugs due to the low plasma protein binding and metabolism and does not affect the activity of the CYP system. Furthermore, AMI is highly selective for dopamine D2/D3 receptors; has minimal or no affinity for D1, D4, or D5 receptors. Despite the potential benefits of the combination of OLA and AMI, only a few open-label studies have been conducted, and no randomized clinical trial has been performed to date to examine the efficacy and tolerability of the combination. Hence, the goals of this study were to test the hypothesis that AMI augmentation would improve psychotic symptoms and be well tolerated in schizophrenic patients who showed poor response to OLA monotherapy.
The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of continued olanzapine (OLA) versus amisulpride (AMI) augmentation in schizophrenic patients with poor response to OLA monotherapy.
The present 4-week, randomized, rater-blinded study included 25 patients with schizophrenia who were partially or completely unresponsive to treatment with OLA monotherapy. Eligible subjects were randomly assigned at a 1:1 ratio to continuation of OLA monotherapy (OLA group) or OLA with AMI augmentation (AMI group). Efficacy was primarily evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and at 1, 2, and 4 weeks.
The changes in PANSS total score and PANSS-positive subscale score were significantly different (p < 0.05) between the OLA and AMI groups. The differences between the two groups in PANSS-negative subscale, PANSS-general subscale, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scale scores were not statistically significant.
AMI augmentation could be an effective strategy for patients with schizophrenia who show inadequate early response to OLA monotherapy.
Disclosure of Interest
W.-M. Bahk Grant / Research support from: Handok Pharmaceuticals, Seoul, Korea, Y. S. Woo: None Declared, S.-Y. Park: None Declared, B.-H. Yoon: None Declared, S.-M. Wang: None Declared, M.-D. Kim: None Declared
We describe the scientific goals and survey design of the First Large Absorption Survey in H i (FLASH), a wide field survey for 21-cm line absorption in neutral atomic hydrogen (H i) at intermediate cosmological redshifts. FLASH will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope and is planned to cover the sky south of
$\delta \approx +40\,\deg$
at frequencies between 711.5 and 999.5 MHz. At redshifts between
$z = 0.4$
(look-back times of 4 – 8 Gyr), the H i content of the Universe has been poorly explored due to the difficulty of carrying out radio surveys for faint 21-cm line emission and, at ultra-violet wavelengths, space-borne searches for Damped Lyman-
absorption in quasar spectra. The ASKAP wide field of view and large spectral bandwidth, in combination with a radio-quiet site, will enable a search for absorption lines in the radio spectra of bright continuum sources over 80% of the sky. This survey is expected to detect at least several hundred intervening 21-cm absorbers and will produce an H i-absorption-selected catalogue of galaxies rich in cool, star-forming gas, some of which may be concealed from optical surveys. Likewise, at least several hundred associated 21-cm absorbers are expected to be detected within the host galaxies of radio sources at
$0.4 < z < 1.0$
, providing valuable kinematical information for models of gas accretion and jet-driven feedback in radio-loud active galactic nuclei. FLASH will also detect OH 18-cm absorbers in diffuse molecular gas, megamaser OH emission, radio recombination lines, and stacked H i emission.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak was reported in May 2013 in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. Eight students who had eaten breakfast on 21 May 2013 at a high-school restaurant exhibited AGE symptoms. Our case-control study showed that a strong association was observed between AGE symptoms and fermented oyster consumption. Virological studies also indicated that noroviruses (NoVs) were detected from both clinical samples and fermented oyster samples, and multiple different genotypes (genogroups GII.4, GII.11 and GII.14) of NoVs were present in both samples. The nucleotide sequence similarity between the strains found in the clinical samples and those in the fermented oysters was more than 99·5%. Therefore, to prevent further outbreaks, proper management of raw oysters is necessary and the food industry should be aware of the risk of viral gastroenteritis posed by fermented oysters contaminated with NoVs.
To evaluate the causes, treatment modalities and recovery rate of paediatric facial nerve paralysis.
Materials and methods:
We analysed 24 cases of paediatric facial nerve paralysis diagnosed in the otolaryngology department of Gachon University Gil Medical Center between January 2001 and June 2006.
The most common cause was idiopathic palsy (16 cases, 66.7 per cent). The most common degree of facial nerve paralysis on first presentation was House–Brackmann grade IV (15 of 24 cases). All cases were treated with steroids. One of the 24 cases was also treated surgically with facial nerve decompression. Twenty-two cases (91.6 per cent) recovered to House–Brackmann grade I or II over the six-month follow-up period.
Facial nerve paralysis in children can generally be successfully treated with conservative measures. However, in cases associated with trauma, radiological investigation is required for further evaluation and treatment.
Between January 2006 and May 2008, 2624 pregnant S. Korean women between 35–37 weeks gestation were screened for group B streptococcus (GBS). Resistance to antimicrobials was tested by disk diffusion and serotype determined using co-agglutination assays and microarray methods. Overall, 8% of pregnant women were colonized. Serotype III was the predominant serotype (43·8%), followed by serotypes V (20·3%), Ia (12·1%), and Ib (9·5%). GBS was frequently resistant to clindamycin (54·0%) and erythromycin (25·6%); 3·7% were resistant to cefazolin. More than three-quarters of serotype V were resistant to clindamycin or erythromycin or both, and 71% of serotype III were resistant to clindamycin but only 12% were resistant to erythromycin. GBS prevalence exceeded earlier reports by one-third. This is the first report of cefazolin resistance in Korea. These results underscore the need to establish screening measures and chemoprophylaxis guidelines regarding GBS infections in Korea.
Pb(ZrxTi1−x)O3 (PZT) films were grown by molecular beam epitaxy using hydrogen peroxide as a source of reactive oxygen. Phase composition as well as structural and electrical properties of the films were studied by x-ray diffractometry, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, conductive atomic force microscopy, and electrical (I-V and polarization-field) measurements. The hydrogen peroxide pressure was found to control the phase composition of the films. Excess peroxide leads to PbO inclusions in PZT layers, whereas deficiency results in the TiO2 or the ZrO2 phase. The second-phase inclusions can be responsible for high leakage current in the films. Precise control over the peroxide pressure is imperative for single-phase PZT films with good ferroelectric properties.
Background and objective: The cyclic guanosine monophosphate level, which causes an antinociception, is increased in cells as a direct result of phosphodiesterase inhibition. This study used a nociceptive test to examine the nature of the pharmacological interaction between intrathecal zaprinast, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, and morphine. Methods: Catheters were inserted into the intrathecal space through an incision in the atlantooccipital membrane of male Sprague–Dawley rats. As a nociceptive model, 50 μL of a 5% formalin solution was injected into the hind paw. After observing the effect of zaprinast (37, 111, 369 nmol) and morphine (1, 4, 10, 40 nmol) alone, the interactions of their combination were examined by an isobolographic analysis. Results: Intrathecal zaprinast (P < 0.05) and morphine (P < 0.05) dose-dependently suppressed the flinching observed during phase 1 and phase 2 in the formalin test. The ED50 values (95% confidence intervals) of zaprinast and morphine in phase 1 were 161.9 (87.9–298.3) and 11.6 nmol (4.8–27.9 nmol), respectively. The phase 2 ED50 values (95% confidence intervals) of zaprinast and morphine were 229.9 (142.5–370.9) and 3.9 nmol (1.9–7.6 nmol), respectively. Isobolographic analysis revealed a synergistic interaction after intrathecal delivery a zaprinast–morphine mixture in both phases. The ED50 values of (95% confidence intervals) zaprinast in the combination of zaprinast with morphine in phase 1 and phase 2 were 14.2 (4.9–40.6) and 10.4 nmol (3–35.9 nmol), respectively. Conclusions: Intrathecal zaprinast and morphine are effective against acute pain and facilitated pain state. Zaprinast interacts synergistically with morphine.
To investigate the causal relationship of blood clotting factors and hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection in haemophilia patients during 1998–1999 in Korea, we performed a 1:3 matched case-control study and molecular detection of HAV from clotting factors and patients. The epidemiological investigation showed that one lot of clotting factor VIII was related epidemiologically to patients with hepatitis A with an odds ratio of 35·0, or 38·4 when adjusted for the interval between injections. We examined 17 sera collected from seven patients and 124 lots of blood clotting factors (factor VIII and factor IV) by HAV reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR). HAV RNA was detected in five clotting factors and six sera. The HAV sequence of one of the factor VIII samples was identical to the sequences found in three patients' sera. Findings from the laboratory and epidemiological studies suggested that the clotting factor was causally related to HAV infection in three haemophilia patients.
We aimed to determine the seroprevalence of poliovirus antibody in Korea by using the cell culture neutralization method recommended by the WHO. A total of 500 sera collected from children at eight primary schools in Kyunggi province were used for this study. We found that 82·2% of children were positive for all three types of poliovirus and antibody-positive rates for types I, II and III were 94·4, 96·6 and 86·8% respectively, indicating that seropositive rates for types I and II were considerably higher than for type III (P<0·0001). This result implies that the type III component of the oral polio vaccine should be evaluated further. Although a greater number of children, including young infants, need to be tested for seroprevalence, this study still provides us with valuable information on the effectiveness of vaccination against polioviruses in Korea.
A silica-colloidal template approach was used to prepare monodisperse nanospheres of TiO2. Close-packed arrays of silica spheres were infiltrated with a sucrose precursor used as a source of carbon. The infiltrated sucrose was carbonized by calcination at 800 °C in flowing argon. After removal of the silica spheres by washing with HF, a porous carbon replica remained. The resulting pores in the replica were then filled with a chloroform solution of titanium alkoxide. Nanospheres of TiO2 approximately 200 nm in diameter were obtained after calcination of the organic component at 600 °C in an argon atmosphere and subsequent sintering in air at 700 °C.