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Mammalian oocytes not fertilized immediately after ovulation can undergo ageing and a rapid decline in quality. The addition of antioxidants can be an efficient approach to delaying the oocyte ageing process. Onion peel extract (OPE) contains quercetin and other flavonoids with natural antioxidant activities. In this study, we investigated the effect of OPE on mouse oocyte ageing and its mechanism of action. The oocytes were aged in vitro in M16 medium for 16 h after adding OPE at different concentrations (0, 50, 100, 200, and 500 μg/ml). The addition of 100 μg/ml OPE reduced the oocyte fragmentation rate, decreased the reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, increased the glutathione (GSH) level, and improved the mitochondrial membrane potential compared with the control group. The addition of OPE also increased the expression of SOD1, CAT, and GPX3 genes, and the caspase-3 activity in OPE-treated aged oocytes was significantly lower than that in untreated aged oocytes and similar to that in fresh oocytes. These results indicated that OPE delayed mouse oocyte ageing by reducing oxidative stress and apoptosis and enhancing mitochondrial function.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
The conduction mechanism of quasi-breakdown (QB) for ultra-thin gate oxide has been studied in dual-gate CMOSFET with a 3.7 nm thick gate oxide. Systematic carrier separation experiments were conducted to investigate the evolutions of gate, source/drain, and substrate currents before and after gate oxide QB. Our experimental results clearly show that QB is due to the formation of a local physically-damaged-region (LPDR) at Si/SiO2 interface. At this region, the effective oxide thickness is reduced to the direct tunneling (DT) regime. The observed high gate leakage current is due to DT electron or hole currents through the region where the LPDR is generated. Under substrate injection stress condition, there is several orders of magnitude increase of Isub(Is/d) at the onset point of QB for n(p) - MOSFET, which mainly corresponds to valence electrons DT from the substrate to the gate. Consequently, cold holes are left in the substrate and measured as substrate current. Under gate injection stress condition, there is sudden drop and even change of sign of Isub(Is/d) at the onset point of QB for n(p)-MOSFET, which corresponds to the disappearance of impact ionization and the appearance of hole DT current from the substrate to the gate. In the LPDR region, the damaged structure may have two or multi metastable states corresponding to different effective oxide thickness. The thermal transition between two or multi metastable states leads to random telegraph switching noise (RTSN) fluctuation between two or multi levels.
The quasi-breakdown (QB) in ultra thin gate oxide is investigated through the observation of defect generation during high field F-N stress and substrate hot hole and hot electron stresses. The interface trap density increases during stress and reaches to a same critical amount at the onset point of QB regardless of stress current density and stressing carrier type. The experiments also show that hot carriers are much more effective to trigger QB than F-N electrons at the same current level. This can be ascribed to the fact that hot carrier has much higher interface state generation rate than F-N electron does. All results consistently support the interface damage model for the QB occurrence.
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