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There are growing concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of older adults. We examined the effect of the pandemic on the risk of depression in older adults.
We analyzed data from the prospective cohort study of Korean older adults, which has been followed every 2 years. Among the 2308 participants who completed both the third and the fourth follow-up assessments, 58.4% completed their fourth follow-up before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the rest completed it during the pandemic. We conducted face-to-face diagnostic interviews using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and used Geriatric Depression Scale. We performed generalized estimating equations and logistic regression analyses.
The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with increased depressive symptoms in older adults [b (standard error) = 0.42 (0.20), p = 0.040] and a doubling of the risk for incident depressive disorder even in euthymic older adults without a history of depression (odds ratio = 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.18–5.02, p = 0.016). Less social activities, which was associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic. However, less family gatherings, which was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was associated with the doubled risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly influences the risk of late-life depression in the community. Older adults with a lack of family gatherings may be particularly vulnerable.
Lack of understanding the effects of single- and multiple-weed interference on soybean yield has led to inadequate weed management in Primorsky Krai, resulting in much lower average yield than neighboring regions. A 2 yr field experiment was conducted in a soybean field located in Bogatyrka (43.82°N, 131.6°E), Primorsky Krai, Russia, in 2013 and 2014 to investigate the effects of single and multiple interference caused by naturally established weeds on soybean yield and to model these effects. Aboveground dry weight was negatively affected the most by weed interference, followed by number of pods and seeds. Soybean yield under single-weed interference was best demonstrated by a rectangular hyperbolic model, showing that common ragweed and barnyardgrass were the most competitive weed species, followed by annual sowthistle, American sloughgrass, and common lambsquarters. In the case of multiple-weed interference, soybean yield loss was accurately described by a multivariate rectangular hyperbolic model, with total density equivalent as the independent variable. Parameter estimates indicated that weed-free soybean yields were similar in 2013 and 2014, i.e., estimated as 1.72 t and 1.75 t ha−1, respectively, and competitiveness of each weed species was not significantly different between the two years. Economic thresholds for single-weed interference were 0.74, 0.66, 1.15, 1.23, and 1.45 plants m−2 for common ragweed, barnyardgrass, annual sowthistle, American sloughgrass, and common lambsquarters, respectively. The economic threshold for multiple-weed interference was 0.70 density equivalent m−2. These results, including the model, thus can be applied to a decision support system for weed management in soybean cultivation under single and multiple-weed interference in Primorsky Krai and its neighboring regions of Russia.
The junction resistance control of conducting networks is a crucial factor for high performance of the network-structured conducting film. Here, we show that silver nanowire (AgNW) networks can be stabilized by using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) which were functionalized with 2-ureido-4[1H]pyrimidinone (UHP) moieties. UHP-modified SWCNTs allowed us to fabricate AgNW suspension containing SWCNTs without adding additional dispersant molecules. The stabilization of AgNW networks was achieved by minimizing the joule heating at the NW-NW junction assisted by in-situ interconnection with the work function modulated SWCNTs. We propose that the electrical transportation pathway was modulated by the SWCNTs through the SWCNT-AgNW junctions, which results in a relatively lower junction resistance than the NW-NW junction in the network film.
Social support programs for dementia caregivers were widely used in order to reduce care burden. We investigated which types of social supports can reduce psychological and non-psychological burdens of dementia caregivers, and explored the mechanism of those social supports.
We evaluated 731 community-dwelling dementia patients and their caregivers from the National Survey of Dementia Care in South Korea. We investigated the five types of social supports (emotional support, informational support, tangible support, positive social interaction, affectionate support) using the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey in each caregiver. The mechanisms of specific types of social support on psychological/non-psychological burden were examined using path analysis.
Positive social interaction and affectionate support reduced psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Tangible support reduced the non-psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Informational support and emotional support were not helpful for reducing psychological or non-psychological burden. A maximum of 20% of psychological burden could be relieved by positive social interaction and 10.3% of that could be reduced by affectionate support. Tangible support was associated with a 15.1% maximal improvement in non-psychological burden.
In order to reduce caregiver burden in dementia effectively, psychosocial interventions should be tailored to target type of caregiver burden.
Background: The influences of demographics, culture, language, and environmental changes on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores are considerable.
Methods: Using a sample of 7452 healthy, community-dwelling elderly Koreans, aged 55 to 94 years, who participated in the four ongoing geriatric cohorts in Korea, we investigated demographic influences on MMSE scores and derived normative data for this population. Geropsychiatrists strictly excluded subjects with cognitive disorders according to the protocol of the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet (CERAD-K) Clinical Assessment Battery (CERAD-K-C).
Results: Education (standardized β = 0.463), age (standardized β = −0.303), and gender (standardized β = −0.057) had significant effects on MMSE scores (p < 0.001). The score of MMSE increase 0.379 point per 1-year education, decrease 0.188 per 1-year older, and decrease 0.491 in women compared to men. Education explained 30.4% of the scores’ total variance, which was much larger than the variances explained by age (8.4%) or gender (0.3%). Accordingly, we present normative data for the MMSE stratified by education (0, 1–3, 4–6, 7–9, 10–12, and ≥ 13 years), age (60–69, 70–79, and 80–89 years), and gender.
Conclusions: We provide contemporary education-, age-, and gender-stratified norms for the MMSE, derived from a large, community-dwelling elderly Korean population sample, which could be useful in evaluating individual MMSE scores.
We fabricated PMOS SPC-Si TFTs which show better current uniformity than ELA poly-Si TFTs and superior stability compare to a-Si:H TFT on a glass substrate employing alternating magnetic field crystallization. However the leakage current of SPC-Si TFT was rather high for circuit element of AMOLED display due to many grain boundaries which could be electron hole generation centers. We applied off-state bias annealing of VGS=5V, VDS=-20V in order to suppress the leakage current of SPC-Si TFT. When the off-state bias annealing was applied on the SPC-Si TFT, the electron carriers were trapped in the gate insulator by high gate-drain voltage (25V). The trapped electron carriers could reduce the gate-drain field, so that the leakage current of SPC-Si TFT was reduced after off-state bias annealing. . We also applied same off state bias annealing at SPC-Si TFT with 20,000 lx light illumination in order to verify the reduction of leakage current of SPC-Si TFT under light illumination. The leakage current of SPC-Si TFT was reduced successfully even under light illumination during off-state bias annealing. The off-state bias annealed SPC-Si TFT could be used as pixel element of high quality AMOLED display.
We have propsed MgO/AZO bi-layer transparent conducting oxide (TCO) for thin film solar cells. From XRD analysis, it was observed that the full width at half maximum of AZO decreased when it was grown on MgO precursor. The Hall mobility of MgO/AZO bi-layer was 17.5cm2/Vs, whereas that of AZO was 20.8cm2/Vs. These indicated that the crystallinity of AZO decreased by employing MgO precursor. However, the haze (=total diffusive transmittance/total transmittance) characteristics of highly crystalline AZO was significantly improved by MgO precursor. The average haze in the visible region increased from 14.3 to 48.2%, and that in the NIR region increased from 6.3 to 18.9%. The reflectance of microcrystalline silicon solar cell was decreased and external quantum efficiency was significantly improved by applying MgO/AZO bi-layer TCO. The efficiency of microcrystalline silicon solar cell with MgO/AZO bi-layer front TCO was 6.66%, whereas the efficiency of one with AZO single TCO was 5.19%.
We investigated the pressure dependence of the inductive coupled plasma (ICP) oxidation on the electrical characteristics of the thin oxide films. Activation energies and electron temperatures with different pressures were estimated. To demonstrate the pressure effect on the plasma oxide quality, simple N type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) transistors were fabricated and investigated in a few electrical properties. At higher pressure than 200mTorr, plasma oxide has a slightly higher on-current and a lower interfacial trap density. The on-current gain seems to be related to the field mobility increase and the lower defective interface to the electron temperature during oxidation.
RF MEMS(Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) switch technology is one of powerful solution for future RF systems. This technology provides low insertion loss, High linearity and broad bandwidth. Wide driving membrane used MEMS switch can reduce driving voltage but it is easy to bend because of the stress gradient. In order to solve this problem we fabricated Au cantilever in various sputtering condition and various substrate materials. As a result of this experiment, we fabricated cantilever which was bent within 1 um, with 2 um thickness and 340 um length. We applied this condition to RF MEMS switch and we fabricated switch membrane within 1 um bend, under 10MPa stress gradient.
The effect of microstructure of dc magnetron sputtered TiN and TaN diffusion barriers on the palladium activation for autocatalytic electroless copper deposition has been investigated by using X-ray diffraction, sheet resistance measurement, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and plan view transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The density of palladium nuclei on TaN diffusion barrier increases as the grain size of TaN films decreases, which was caused by increasing nitrogen content in TaN films. Plan view TEM results of TiN and TaN diffusiton barriers showed that palladium nuclei formed mainly on the grain boundaries of the diffusion barriers.
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