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Objective: Previous studies have shown differences in the regional brain structure and function between patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and healthy subjects, but little is known about the structural connectivity between BD patients and healthy subjects. In this study, we evaluated the disease-related changes in regional structural connectivity derived from gray matter magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Methods: The subjects were 73 patients with BD and 80 healthy volunteers who underwent 3-Tesla MRI. Network metrics, such as the small world properties, were computed. We also performed rendering of the network metric images such as the degree, betweenness centrality, and clustering coefficient, on individual brain image. Then, we estimated the differences between them, and evaluate the relationships between the clinical symptoms and the network metrics in the patients with BD. Results: BD patients showed a lower clustering coefficient in the right parietal region and left occipital region, compared with healthy subjects. A weak negative correlation between Young mania rating scale and clustering coefficient was found in left anterior cingulate cortex. Conclusions: We found differences in gray matter structural connectivity between BD patients and healthy subjects by a similarity-based approach. These points may provide objective biological information as an adjunct to the clinical diagnosis of BD.
The anabolic effects of androgen on skeletal muscles are thought to be mediated by androgen receptor (AR). Although multiple studies concerning the effects of AR in males have been performed, the molecular mechanisms of AR in skeletal muscles remain unclear. Here we first confirmed that satellite cells from mouse hindlimb muscles express AR. We then generated satellite cell-specific AR knockout mice using Pax7CreERT2 and ARL2/Y mice to test whether AR in satellite cells is necessary for muscle regeneration. Surprisingly, we found that muscle regeneration was compromised in both Pax7CreERT2(Fan)/+ control mice and Pax7CreERT2(Fan)/+;ARL2/Y mice compared to ARL2/Y mice. However, Pax7CreERT2(Gaka)/+;ARL2/Y;R26tdTomato/+ mice showed no significant differences between control and mutant muscle regeneration. These findings indicate that AR in satellite cells is not essential for muscle regeneration. We propose that Pax7CreERT2(Fan)/+ control mice should be included in all experiments, because these mice negatively affect the muscle regeneration and show the mild regeneration phenotype.
The myxozoan genus Unicapsula Davis, 1924 (Myxosporea: Multivalvulida: Trilosporidae) is characterized as having one functional polar capsule (PC) and two rudimentary PCs in a three-valved myxospore. The plasmodia of Unicapsula spp. grow either in the myofibres or in the gills, oesophageal walls and urinary organs of marine fish. Few studies have investigated the taxonomy of Unicapsula spp. including the type species Unicapsula muscularis. Accordingly, the taxonomy of the genus was explored in the present study by using 15 new isolates of seven Unicapsula spp. (U. muscularis, U. galeata, U. andersenae, U. pyramidata, U. pflugfelderi, and two new species) that had formed pseudocysts in the trunk myofibres of commercial fish collected in southern China and Japan from November 2015 to January 2019. Two new species Unicapsula trigona n. sp., and Unicapsula motomurai n. sp. exhibited unique myxospore morphologies (semi-triangular and spherical myxospores, respectively) and 18S and 28S rDNA sequences that were distinct from those of the other Unicapsula spp. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S and 28S rDNA sequences confirmed the monophyletic status of Unicapsula.
Thiamine deficiency (TD) is recognized in various kinds of disease with associated loss of appetite including cancer. However, it has not been recognized to date in bereaved partners after spousal loss from cancer.
From a series of bereaved partners who lost a spouse to cancer, we report on those who developed TD after bereavement.
Case 1 was a 57-year-old woman who sought consultation at our “bereavement clinic.” Her husband had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer one year earlier and had died one month previously. At the first visit, she was observed to suffer depression, anxiety, and decreased appetite. Neurological, blood, and biochemical examinations did not reveal any noteworthy findings. She was diagnosed with uncomplicated bereavement. Detailed examination revealed that her appetite had been markedly decreased for approximately five weeks. The diagnosis of TD was supported by her abnormally low serum thiamine level. Case 2 was a bereaved 73-year-old male who had lost his wife to hypopharyngeal cancer one month previously after a five-year illness. He had shown a lack of energy for the month preceding his wife's death, but because there was no improvement after her death, his family recommended he seek consultation at our “bereavement clinic.” He was suffering from major depressive disorder. Detailed examination revealed that his appetite had been decreased for more than two weeks. Again, the diagnosis of TD was supported by his abnormally low serum thiamine level.
Significance of results
These reports demonstrate that there is a possibility that bereaved could develop TD after the loss of a loved one. TD should be considered whenever there is a loss of appetite lasting for more than 2 weeks, and medical staff should pay careful attention to the physical condition of the bereaved to prevent complications because of TD.
Maternal gut microbiota is thought to be one of the important factors in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) concept, but the effects of maternal gut microbiota on foetal growth are not well known. In this study, the association between maternal gut microbiota and foetal growth was investigated. Maternal and newborn information, as well as stool samples at the third trimester of pregnancy, were obtained from 51 mother–newborn pairs from the Chiba study of Mother and Child Health (C-MACH). Gut microbiota was analysed by 16S rRNA sequencing of stool samples and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in stool were analysed by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. After adjustment for covariates, it was found that maternal gut microbial diversity had a positive association with head circumference in newborn males (Chao 1: adjusted r = 0.515, p = 0.029). Genus Parabacteroides and genus Eggerthella showed negative associations with newborn head circumference and weight, respectively in males (genus Parabacteroides: adjusted r = −0.598, p = 0.009, genus Eggerthella: adjusted r = −0.481, p = 0.043). On the other hand, genus Streptococcus showed a negative association with newborn height in females (adjusted r = −0.413, p = 0.040). In addition, hexanoate was involved in the association between maternal gut microbiota and newborn anthropometrics in the univariate analysis, but not in the multivariate analysis. These data suggest that maternal gut microbiota has sex-specific effects on foetal growth. Maternal gut microbiota is an important factor for optimal intrauterine growth.
We give new estimates of lengths of extremal rays of birational type for toric varieties. We can see that our new estimates are the best by constructing some examples explicitly. As applications, we discuss the nefness and pseudo-effectivity of adjoint bundles of projective toric varieties. We also treat some generalizations of Fujita’s freeness and very ampleness for toric varieties.
Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is a neuropsychiatric disorder caused by thiamine deficiency. It is recognized in various stages of the cancer trajectory but has not previously been recognized during nivolumab treatment.
From a series of WE patients with cancer, we report a lung cancer patient who developed WE during treatment with nivolumab.
A 78-year-old woman with lung cancer was referred to our psycho-oncology clinic because of depressed mood. Psychiatric examination revealed disorientation to time, date, and place, which had not been recognized 1 month previously. Her symptoms fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for delirium. No laboratory findings or drugs explaining her delirium were identified. WE was suspected as she experienced a loss of appetite lasting 4 weeks. This diagnosis was supported by abnormal serum thiamine and the disappearance of delirium after intravenous thiamine administration.
Significance of results
We found WE in an advanced lung cancer patient receiving treatment with nivolumab. Further study revealed the association between nivolumab and thiamine deficiency. Oncologists should consider thiamine deficiency when a patient experiences a loss of appetite of more than 2 weeks regardless of the presence or absence of delirium.
In this proceeding paper, we introduce the recent results of Galactic maser astrometry by mainly focusing on those obtained with Japanese VLBI array VERA. So far we have obtained parallaxes for 86 sources including preliminary results, and combination with the data obtained with VLBA/BeSSeL provides astrometric results for 159 sources. With these most updated results we conduct preliminary determinations of Galactic fundamental parameters, obtaining R0 = 8.16 ± 0.26 kpc and Θ0 = 237 ± 8 km/s. We also derive the rotation curve of the Milky Way Galaxy and confirm the previous results that the rotation curve is fairly flat between 5 kpc and 16 kpc, while a remarkable deviation is seen toward the Galactic center region. In addition to the results on the Galactic structure, we also present brief overviews on other science topics related to masers conducted with VERA, and also discuss the future prospect of the project.
Recent studies have detected similarities between autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. We investigated structural abnormalities associated with autistic-like traits in patients with schizophrenia by voxel-based morphometry.
Patients with schizophrenia and healthy subjects were evaluated by the adult version of the social responsiveness scale (SRS-A), which is sensitive to autistic traits and symptoms even under subthreshold conditions, and magnetic resonance imaging.
There were significant decreases in the anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral hippocampi, cerebellums, and right insula of patients with schizophrenia, compared with healthy subjects. We found significant negative correlations of the social communication and interaction (SCI) score, a subscale of SRS-A, with grey matter volume in the left posterior superior temporal region of schizophrenia patients. When subscales of SCI were examined separately in schizophrenic patients, negative correlations were observed between the social cognition score and the volumes of the left posterior superior temporal region, and between social motivation and the posterior cingulate cortex.
We found significant negative correlation between the SCI score and the grey matter volume in the left posterior superior temporal region of schizophrenia patients. This area was the region affected in previous studies of autistic spectrum disorders. Further, this area was associated with the theory of mind. Schizophrenia patients not necessarily show the impairment of SCI, nor this correlated region was not always the point with schizophrenia-specific change. However, we reveal the relationship between the left posterior superior temporal gyrus and the severity of the SCI in schizophrenia by using with SRS-A.
We have detected [C I] 3P1–3P0 emissions in the gaseous debris disks of 49 Ceti and β Pictoris with the 10 m telescope of the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment, which is the first detection of such emissions. The line profiles of [C I] are found to resemble those of CO(J=3–2) observed with the same telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. This result suggests that atomic carbon (C) coexists with CO in the debris disks, and is likely formed by the photodissociation of CO. Assuming an optically thin [C I] emission with the excitation temperature ranging from 30 to 100 K, the column density of C is evaluated to be (2.2 ± 0.2) × 1017 and (2.5 ± 0.7) × 1016 cm−2 for 49 Ceti and β Pictoris, respectively. The C/CO column density ratio is thus derived to be 54 ± 19 and 69 ± 42 for 49 Ceti and β Pictoris, respectively. These ratios are higher than those of molecular clouds and diffuse clouds by an order of magnitude. The unusually high ratios of C to CO are likely attributed to a lack of H2 molecules needed to reproduce CO molecules efficiently from C. This result implies a small number of H2 molecules in the gas disk; i.e., there is an appreciable contribution of secondary gas from dust grains.
Glutamatergic dysfunction in the brain has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Previous studies suggested that l-theanine affects the glutamatergic neurotransmission and ameliorates symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. The aims of the present study were twofold: to examine the possible effects of l-theanine on symptoms in chronic schizophrenia patients and to evaluate the changes in chemical mediators, including glutamate + glutamine (Glx), in the brain by using 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).
The subjects were 17 patients with schizophrenia and 22 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. l-Theanine (250 mg/day) was added to the patients’ ongoing antipsychotic treatment for 8 weeks. The outcome measures were the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores and MRS results.
There were significant improvements in the PANSS positive scale and sleep quality after the l-theanine treatment. As for MRS, we found no significant differences in Glx levels before and after the 8 week l-theanine treatment. However, significant correlations were observed between baseline density of Glx and change in Glx density by l-theanine.
Our results suggest that l-theanine is effective in ameliorating positive symptoms and sleep quality in schizophrenia. The MRS findings suggest that l-theanine stabilises the glutamatergic concentration in the brain, which is a possible mechanism underlying the therapeutic effect.
Amorphous Ta–O nanotubes (NTs) prepared by anodization in a sulfuric-acid-based solution have been found to contain considerable amounts of extra oxygen and sulfur. Their structural and thermal stability has been studied by combining x-ray diffractometry, transmission electron microscopy, and thermal analysis. The amorphous Ta–O, whose composition was estimated to be Ta2O6.6S0.7, crystallizes into orthorhombic β-Ta2O5 at temperatures around 1073 K by an endothermic reaction, at which excess oxygen and impurity sulfur are released. The amorphous NTs were found to be thermally more stable than stoichiometric amorphous Ta2O5, whose crystallization temperature is around 973 K. Excess oxygen and impurity sulfur, which form chemical bonds with Ta atoms in the amorphous solid, must be the origin of the stability. The crystallization follows the out-diffusion of oxygen and sulfur from the solid at temperatures where the mobility of atoms is high enough, indicating that the crystallization is kinetically arrested.
More than three decades have passed since China embarked on economic reform and began to transform its economy from a socialist planned economy to a market economy. During these decades China has experienced rapid growth in gross domestic product (GDP) and personal living standards. Growth, however, has been accompanied by widening income inequality. The rise in inequality has been documented in a wide range of studies by individual researchers, international organizations, and government agencies (Benjamin et al. 2008; Griffin and Zhao 1993; Gustafsson, Li, and Sicular 2008; Ravallion and Chen 2007; Riskin, Zhao, and Li 2001; World Bank 2009; Zhang 2010). The various studies give different estimates of the level of inequality, but the authors all agree that since the 1980s inequality in China has increased markedly.
In the context of China's reforms and ensuing rapid growth, it is not surprising that inequality has increased. Growth is often associated with early stages of economic takeoff, which usually begin in particular sectors and regions. As those leading sectors and regions pull ahead of others, income distribution becomes increasingly uneven. Transition from a socialist planned economy characterized by egalitarian wage and income distribution systems also generates inequality. Markets bring income variation arising from risk and uncertainty, and they differentiate among households and individuals based on productivity, human capital, effort, entrepreneurship, and wealth holdings. In a market system, such sources of inequality can play a positive role in providing incentives for innovation, risk taking, effort, and investment.