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In this study, we evaluated brain perfusion in patients with first-episode medicated schizophrenia using the new analytical method, statistical parametric mapping (SPM) applied to single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
We performed SPECT with 99-Tc-ethyl cysteinate dimer (99mTc-ECD) of the brain and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with schizophrenia (n = 30) and control subjects matched for age and gender (n = 37). A voxel-by-voxel group analysis was performed using SPM2 (Z > 3.0, P < 0.001, uncorrected for multiple comparisons).
In comparison with control subjects, the volumes of the bilateral frontal areas were found to be decreased on MRI. Blood flow was found to be reduced in the bilateral temporal areas in the patients with schizophrenia on SPECT.
In this study, patients with first-episode schizophrenia appeared to have significant bilateral temporal hypoperfusion, although temporal volumes were not significantly decreased in comparison with control subjects. Abnormality of temporal lobe blood flow in schizophrenia may show that functional changes occur earlier than structural changes, and may assist in the diagnosis of schizophrenia.
N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were investigated. In addition, plasma levels of homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) were compared between the two groups.
Eighteen patients (nine males, nine females; age range: 13–52 years) were enrolled in the study, and 18 volunteers (nine males, nine females; age range: 15–49 years) with no current or past psychiatric history were also studied by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) as sex- and age-matched controls.
Levels of NAA/Cr in the left basal ganglia (p = 0.0065) and parieto-occipital lobe (p = 0.00498), but not in the frontal lobe, were significantly lower in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis than in control subjects. No difference was observed between the serum BDNF levels of patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and control subjects. In regard to the plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, plasma MHPG, but not HVA, was significantly lower in the patients with first-episode psychosis than in control subjects. In addition, a significantly positive correlation was observed between the levels of NAA/Cr of the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG in all subjects.
These results suggest that brain NAA levels in the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG levels were significantly reduced at the first episode of schizophrenia psychosis, indicating that neurodegeneration via noradrenergic neurons might be associated with the initial progression of the disease.
As the IAU heads towards its second century, many changes have simultaneously transformed Astronomy and the human condition world-wide. Amid the amazing recent discoveries of exoplanets, primeval galaxies, and gravitational radiation, the human condition on Earth has become blazingly interconnected, yet beset with ever-increasing problems of over-population, pollution, and never-ending wars. Fossil-fueled global climate change has begun to yield perilous consequences. And the displacement of people from war-torn nations has reached levels not seen since World War II.
Enhancement of the quality of laser wake-field accelerated (LWFA) electron beams implies the improvement and controllability of the properties of the wake waves generated by ultra-short pulse lasers in underdense plasmas. In this work we present a compendium of useful formulas giving relations between the laser and plasma target parameters allowing one to obtain basic dependences, e.g. the energy scaling of the electrons accelerated by the wake field excited in inhomogeneous media including multi-stage LWFA accelerators. Consideration of the effects of using the chirped laser pulse driver allows us to find the regimes where the chirp enhances the wake field amplitude. We present an analysis of the three-dimensional effects on the electron beam loading and on the unlimited LWFA acceleration in inhomogeneous plasmas. Using the conditions of electron trapping to the wake-field acceleration phase we analyse the multi-equal stage and multiuneven stage LWFA configurations. In the first configuration the energy of fast electrons is a linear function of the number of stages, and in the second case, the accelerated electron energy grows exponentially with the number of stages. The results of the two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations presented here show the high quality electron acceleration in the triple stage injection–acceleration configuration.
We have conducted 1.1 mm ALMA observations of a contiguous 105” × 50” or 1.5 arcmin2 window in the SXDF-UDS-CANDELS. We achieved a 5σ sensitivity of 0.28 mJy, giving a flat sensus of dusty star-forming galaxies with LIR ~6×1011L⊙ (if Tdust=40K) up to z ~ 10 thanks to the negative K-correction at this wavelength. We detected 5 brightest sources (S/N>6) and 18 low-significant sources (5>S/N>4; they may contain spurious detections, though). One of the 5 brightest ALMA sources (S1.1mm = 0.84 ± 0.09 mJy) is extremely faint in the WFC3 and VLT/HAWK-I images, demonstrating that a contiguous ALMA imaging survey uncovers a faint dust-obscured population invisible in the deep optical/near-infrared surveys. We find a possible [CII]-line emitter at z=5.955 or a low-z CO emitting galaxy within the field, allowing us to constrain the [CII] and/or CO luminosity functions across the history of the universe.
Mg-Si thin films were systematically studied using combinatorial approach by co-sputtering with Mg and Si targets. Single phase of Mg2Si appeared around the stoichiometric composition region, and in Mg-rich region (Mg/Si>4) Mg2Si and Mg phases coexisted. The transition of electrical conduction type from n-type to p-type occurred near the stoichiometric composition region where the strongest peak of Mg2Si appeared in the XRD patterns and the Raman scattering spectra. The p-type conduction was observed in Mg-poor region near the stoichiometric composition region. The results of first principle calculation suggest that Mg vacancy may cause p-type conduction.
To increase X-ray photon number generated by laser-cluster interaction, it is important to understand the dependence of X-ray generation on cluster size. We carried out Xe K-shell X-ray generation using a conical nozzle with Xe clusters, the radius of which was controllable by adjusting the backing pressure. The experiment clarifies the result that the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number increases with increasing cluster radius from 8 to 12 nm, and saturates at the radius between 12 and 17 nm. We also investigated the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number dependence on laser intensity, and found that the threshold laser intensity of the Xe K-shell X-ray generation exists between 2 × 1017 and 5 × 1018 W/cm2.
Sunspot observations inspired solar dynamo theory and continue to do so. Simply counting them established the sunspot cycle and its period. Latitudinal distributions introduced the tough constraint that the source of sunspots moves equator-ward as the cycle progresses. Observations of Hale's polarity law mandated hemispheric asymmetry. How much more can sunspots tell us about the solar dynamo? We draw attention to a few outstanding questions raised by inherent sunspot properties. Namely, how to explain sunspot rotation rates, the incoherence of follower spots, the longitudinal spacing of sunspot groups, and brightness trends within a given sunspot cycle. After reviewing the first several topics, we then present new results on the brightness of sunspots in Cycle 24 as observed with the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI). We compare these results to the sunspot brightness observed in Cycle 23 with the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI). Next, we compare the minimum intensities of five sunspots simultaneously observed by the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope Spectropolarimeter (SOT-SP) and HMI to verify that the minimum brightness of sunspot umbrae correlates well to the maximum field strength. We then examine 90 and 52 sunspots in the north and south hemisphere, respectively, from 2010 - 2012. Finally, we conclude that the average maximum field strengths of umbra 40 Carrington Rotations into Cycle 24 are 2690 Gauss, virtually indistinguishable from the 2660 Gauss value observed at a similar time in Cycle 23 with MDI.
It is shown that various spectroscopic methods based on measurements of X-ray spectra radiated from cluster targets can be used for estimation of the destruction degree of clusters by laser prepulses. These methods allow insight to be gained regarding the important issue of preservation of the dense cluster core at the moment of the arrival of the main laser pulse. In addition, they can be used for quantitative estimation of the size of the undestroyed parts of the clusters and also for measuring the temperature and density of the preplasmas produced by the laser prepulses.
The current trends in stimulated Brillouin scattering and optical phase conjugation are overviewed. This report is formed by the selected papers presented in the “Fifth International Workshop on stimulated Brillouin scattering and phase conjugation 2010” in Japan. The nonlinear properties of phase conjugation based on stimulated Brillouin scattering and photo-refraction can compensate phase distortions in the high power laser systems, and they will also open up potentially novel laser technologies, e.g., phase stabilization, beam combination, pulse compression, ultrafast pulse shaping, and arbitrary waveform generation.
Using a N2 gas plasma apparatus (BLP-TES, NGK Insulators, Ltd), we showed that N2 gas plasma treatment of influenza A virus caused degradation of viral nucleoproteins. These findings suggest that N2 gas plasma treatment may contribute to infection prevention control for influenza.
Variation in thermal conductivity of Ag-based composites by introduction of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was investigated. The Ag/MWCNT nanocomposite powder was successfully prepared when appropriate surfactants were used via a sonoprocess. The nanocomposite powder was subsequently cured at 280-300 ºC in air. After curing, the thermal conductivity of the nanocomposites was compared with the electronic contribution to thermal conductivity that was estimated from experimental values of the electrical conductivity. The thermal conductivity of Ag/MWCNT nanocomposites was much higher than the electronic contribution. Therefore, the increase in thermal conductivity of the Ag-based nanocomposites is attributed to phonon transfer along the percolation network of MWCNTs.
Previously studied for its role in processing olfactory information in the antennal lobe, GABA also may shape development of the olfactory pathway, acting either through or on glial cells. Early in development, the dendrites of GABAergic neurons extend to the glial border that surrounds the nascent olfactory lobe neuropil. These neuropil glia express both GABAA and GABAB receptors, about half of the glia in acute cultures responded to GABA with small outward currents, and about a third responded with small transient increases in intracellular calcium. The neuronal classes that express GABA in vivo, the local interneurons and a subset of projection neurons, also do so in culture. Exposure to GABA in culture increased the size and complexity of local interneurons, but had no effect on glial morphology. The presence of glia alone did not affect neuronal morphology, but in the presence of both glia and GABA, the growth-enhancing effects of GABA on cultured antennal lobe neurons were eliminated. Contact between the glial cells and the neurons was not necessary. Operating in vivo, these antagonistic effects, one direct and one glia mediated, could help to sculpt the densely branched, tufted arbors that are characteristic of neurons innervating olfactory glomeruli.
A hospital disaster drill is commonly carried out based on the activities assigned beforehand by the occupational description. However, it is difficult for each staff the role is fixing to understand the global image of a disaster correspondence in a hospital disaster when their role is assigned and fixed. We have developed the understandable drill about the whole practice at each hospital in disaster. We keenly realized the necessity of a standard disaster medicine. Therefore we have developed the disaster drill which can be held per hospital. As a goal of a course, each hospital personnel could understand the global image of the disaster, and aimed at the daily course which can master necessary minimum skill to correspond a disaster in each hospital. From the reasons above, we created the course which consisted of a lecture, individual skill training, and a gross training. As essential skill, it starts with (1) management of disaster countermeasures office (2) management of triage post (3) treatment at room (4) support of conveyance between hospitals (5) information control. In order to employ these individual skill booths efficiently we divided attendances into five groups. Five hospitals started from 2008, were carried out 11 times, and about 500 persons took this disaster drill on a course. We expect that cost to bellower, the course to be simpler, and the quality of training will improve by holding this course repeatedly.
Silicon-based films have gained much interest as protective coatings for transparent polymeric materials. In this study, SiOC(–H) thin films were deposited on polycarbonate (PC) or Si substrates from trimethylsilane (TrMS) gas diluted with He gas by atmospheric pressure plasma enhanced CVD (AP-PECVD) method with varying substrate temperature, and transparency and hardness of the films were investigated. The films exhibited a good optical transparency with an optical transmittance of about 90% irrespective of the substrate temperature, and the hardness increased from 0.6 to 1.3 GPa as the substrate temperature increased from 60 to 140°C. The results are discussed in terms of chemical structural changes in the films according to the substrate temperature.
A histopathological study was performed to clarify the characteristics of granuloma formation and liver fibrosis in Schistosoma mekongi infection in comparison with S. japonicum infection. Mice were exposed to S. mekongi (Laotian strain) and S. japonicum (Japanese strain) cercariae, and were dissected at 6, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks post-exposure. In the liver, granulomas in S. mekongi infection were cellular, initially organized with foam cells, and continuously appeared in the intralobular area, while granulomas in S. japonicum infection were fibrous and did not continuously appear in the intralobular area. Portal fibrosis was not seen in S. mekongi infection, but was commonly seen in S. japonicum infection in the later weeks. Granulomas in the small intestine were seen mainly in the submucosa with foam cells in S. mekongi infection and without foam cells in S. japonicum infection. The lung granulomas contained mainly histiocytes in both S. mekongi and S. japonicum infection. The absence of portal fibrosis in S. mekongi infection allows schistosome eggs to infiltrate into the intralobular area continuously, which can be what lies behind the ultrasonographic differences; the echogenic network pattern as was seen in S. japonicum infection, has not been noted in S. mekongi infection.
This study aimed to analyse vocal performance and to investigate the nature of the neoglottal sound source in patients who had undergone supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy, using a high-speed digital imaging system.
High-speed digital imaging analysis of neoglottal kinetics was performed in two patients who had undergone supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy; laryngotopography, inverse filtering analysis and multiline kymography were also undertaken.
In case one, laryngotopography demonstrated two vibrating areas: one matched with the primary (i.e. fundamental) frequency (75 Hz) and the other with the secondary frequency (150 Hz) at the neoglottis. In case two, laryngotopography showed two vibrating areas matched with the fundamental frequency (172 Hz) at the neoglottis. The interaction between the two areas was considered to be the sound source in both patients. The waveform of the estimated volume flow at the neoglottis, obtained by inverse filtering analysis, corresponded well to the neoglottal vibration patterns derived by multiline kymography. These findings indicated that the specific sites identified at the neoglottis by the present method were likely to be the sound source in each patient.
High-speed digital imaging analysis is effective in locating the sites responsible for voice production in patients who have undergone supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy. This is the first study to clearly identify the neoglottal sound source in such patients, using a high-speed digital imaging system.