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There is growing evidence for the use of acceptance-commitment therapy (ACT) for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, few fully implemented ACT have been conducted on the neural mechanisms underlying its effect on OCD. Thus, this study aimed to elucidate the neural correlates of ACT in patients with OCD using task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Patients with OCD were randomly assigned to the ACT (n = 21) or the wait-list control group (n = 21). An 8-week group-format ACT program was provided to the ACT group. All participants underwent an fMRI scan and psychological measurements before and after 8 weeks.
Patients with OCD showed significantly increased activation in the bilateral insula and superior temporal gyri (STG), induced by the thought-action fusion task after ACT intervention. Further psycho-physiological interaction analyses with these regions as seeds revealed that the left insular–left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) connectivity was strengthened in the ACT group after treatment. Increased resting-state functional connectivity was also found in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus, and lingual gyrus after ACT intervention Most of these regions showed significant correlations with ACT process measures while only the right insula was correlated with the obsessive-compulsive symptom measure.
These findings suggest that the therapeutic effect of ACT on OCD may involve the salience and interoception processes (i.e. insula), multisensory integration (i.e. STG), language (i.e. IFG), and self-referential processes (i.e. PCC and precuneus). These areas or their interactions could be important for understanding how ACT works psychologically.
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.
Litter-dwelling arthropods play an important role in maintaining forest ecosystem function. This study was designed to understand seasonal variations and diversity of litter-dwelling adult beetles, one of the most diverse groups of arthropods. Sampling was conducted in mixed-wood forests of South Korea between March and December 2019, covering all seasons, including winter. We used a sifting method and a Berlese funnel to collect arthropods living in leaf litter and soil. We collected a total of 5820 invertebrates representing six orders, of which 1422 were beetles representing 24 families and minimum 141 species. Beetle species richness was highest in spring and lowest in summer based on rarefaction and extrapolation. However, beetle abundance was lowest in spring, but abundance was similar among the other seasons. Beetle assemblage composition was correlated significantly with soil surface and atmospheric temperature. The assemblage composition differed among seasons, except between spring and winter, which overlapped slightly. The combined sifting–Berlese funnel method showed great advantages for investigating the diversity of overwintering arthropods. Continued study of the relationship between arthropods and the leaf-litter environment is essential to understand this microecosystem and will increase the chance of discovering new beetle species.
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to determine the effect of supplementing different forms of L-methionine (L-Met) and acetate on protein synthesis in immortalized bovine mammary epithelial cell line (MAC-T cells). Treatments were Control, L-Met, conjugated L-Met and acetate (CMA), and non-conjugated L-Met and Acetate (NMA). Protein synthesis mechanism was determined by omics method. NMA group had the highest protein content in the media and CSN2 mRNA expression levels (P < 0.05). The number of upregulated and downregulated proteins observed were 39 and 77 in L-Met group, 62 and 80 in CMA group and 50 and 81 in NMA group from 448 proteins, respectively (P < 0.05). L-Met, NMA and CMA treatments stimulated pathways related to protein and energy metabolism (P < 0.05). Metabolomic analysis also revealed that L-Met, CMA and NMA treatments resulted in increases of several metabolites (P < 0.05). In conclusion, NMA treatment increased protein concentration and expression level of CSN2 mRNA in MAC-T cells compared to control as well as L-Met and CMA treatments through increased expression of milk protein synthesis-related genes and production of the proteins and metabolites involved in energy and protein synthesis pathways.
To evaluate the appropriateness of the screening strategy for healthcare personnel (HCP) during a hospital-associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, we performed a serologic investigation in 189 rRT-PCR–negative HCP exposed and assigned to MERS patients. Although 20%–25% of HCP experienced MERS-like symptoms, none of them showed seroconversion by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT).
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
In this paper, the electrical properties of bottom-gate (BG) polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin-film transistors (TFTs) by NiSi2 seed-induced lateral crystallization (SILC) and its applications are presented. Sequential lateral solidification (SLS), which is one of crystallization methods, is known to have poor electrical properties of TFTs with BG structures due to problems induced by laser. Therefore, the laser method cannot be used to well-developed production line of amorphous-Si (a-Si) TFT, resulting in large initial investment cost to change fabrication procedures. On the other hand, the BG poly-Si TFT by SILC (SILC-BGPS TFT) has basically compatible process flows with that of the a-Si TFT. The SILC-BGPS TFT exhibited threshold voltage of -3.9 V, steep subthreshold slope of 130 mV/dec, a high field-effect mobility of 129 cm2/Vs , and Ion/Ioff ratio of ∼106.
A CoCrFeNiMn high-entropy alloy (HEA), in the form of a face-centered cubic (fcc) solid solution, was processed by high-pressure torsion (HPT) to produce a nanocrystalline (nc) HEA. Significant grain refinement was achieved from the very early stage of HPT through 1/4 turn and an nc structure with an average grain size of ∼40 nm was successfully attained after 2 turns. The feasibility of significant microstructural changes was attributed to the occurrence of accelerated atomic diffusivity under the torsional stress during HPT. Nanoindentation experiments showed that the hardness increased significantly in the nc HEA during HPT processing and this was associated with additional grain refinement. The estimated values of the strain-rate sensitivity were maintained reasonably constant from the as-cast condition to the nc alloy after HPT through 2 turns, thereby demonstrating a preservation of plasticity in the HEA. In addition, a calculation of the activation volume suggested that the grain boundaries play an important role in the plastic deformation of the nc HEA where the flow mechanism is consistent with other nc metals. Transmission electron microscopy showed that, unlike conventional fcc nc metals, the nc HEA exhibits excellent microstructural stability under severe stress conditions.
A cylindrical-shaped micropillar array embedded microfluidic device was proposed to enhance the dispersion of cell clusters and the efficiency of single cell encapsulation in hydrogel. Different sizes of micropillar arrays act as a sieve to break Escherichia coli (E. coli) aggregates into single cells in polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) solution. We applied the external force for the continuous breakup of cell clusters, resulting in the production of more than 70% of single cells into individual hydrogel particles. This proposed strategy and device will be a useful platform to utilize genetically modified microorganisms in practical applications.
Whether an association exists between cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) and functional recovery after ischemic stroke is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the association between CMBs and functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
Consecutive patients with acute stroke were enrolled, and all patients were stratified into good and poor functional outcome groups at discharge and 6 months after ischemic stroke by using a modified Rankin Scale score. Cardiovascular risk factors, CMBs, and white matter hyperintensities were compared between these two outcome groups. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the risk of poor functional outcomes.
A total of 225 patients were enrolled, 121 of whom were classified as having a good functional outcome at discharge and 142 as having a good 6-month functional outcome. The presence of CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge [CMBs (+) patients in poor vs. good functional group; 48.1% vs. 30.6%; p=0.007] and 6 months [53.0% vs. 30.3%; p=0.001]. After adjustment for confounding factors, only the presence of infratentorial CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge and 6 months. The poor functional outcome group had more CMBs than the good outcome group at 6 months.
Infratentorial cerebral microbleeds were significantly associated with worse functional outcomes not only in the early phase of ischemic stroke but also in the chronic phase. These findings suggest that the presence of infratentorial CMBs can predict poor functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
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.
An FM-ultra-wideband (UWB) system with a wideband RF carrier (WRC) is proposed for wireless body area network applications. The proposed system can control the channel power by means of an adjustable carrier bandwidth (BW), while the conventional one with a CW carrier (CWC) makes use of peak power control. The implemented WRC system performances have been evaluated for the WRC generation and digital data transmission. In addition, transmission performances have been compared with that of a conventional CWC system by bit-error-rate (BER) tests. For random data of a 29−1 pattern at a data-rate of 64 kbps, in spite of the flexible carrier BW, the WRC system has presented excellent transmission capability compared with that of the CWC system.
The in vitro corrosion mechanism of the biodegradable cast Mg–10% Ca binary alloy in Hanks' solution was evaluated through transmission electron microscopy observations. The corrosion behavior depends strongly on the microstructural peculiarity of Mg2Ca phase surrounding the island-like primary Mg phase and the fast corrosion induced by the interdiffusion of O and Ca via the Mg2Ca phase of lamellar structure. At the corrosion front, we found that a nanosized crack-like pathway was formed along the interface between the Mg2Ca phase and the primary Mg phase. Through the crack-like pathway, O and Ca are atomically exchanged each other and then the corroded Mg2Ca phase was transformed to Mg oxides. The in vitro corrosion by the exchange of Ca and O at the nanosized pathway led to the rapid bulk corrosion in the Mg–Ca alloys.
Background: Mortality associated with depression may be influenced by severity of depression and gender. We investigated the differential impacts on all-cause mortality of late-life depression by the type of depression (major depressive disorder, MDD; minor depressive disorder, MnDD; subsyndromal depression, SSD) and gender after adjusting comorbid conditions in the randomly sampled elderly.
Methods: One thousand community-dwelling elderly individuals were enrolled. Standardized face-to-face clinical interviews, neurological examination, and physical examination were conducted to diagnose depressive disorders and comorbid cognitive disorders. Depressive disorders were diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria and SSD to study-specific operational criteria. Five-year survivals were compared between groups using Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: By the end of 2010, 174 subjects (17.4%) died. Depressive disorder (p = 0.001) and its interaction term with gender (p < 0.001) were significant in predicting five-year survival. MDD was an independent risk factor for mortality in men (hazard ratio = 3.65, 95% confidence interval = 1.67–7.96) whereas MnDD and SSD were not when other risk factors were adjusted.
Conclusions: MDD may directly confer the risk of mortality in elderly men whereas non-major depression may be just an indicator of increased mortality in both genders.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
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.
Second nearest-neighbor modified embedded-atom method (MEAM) interatomic potentials for the Al–H and Ni–H binary systems have been developed on the basis of previously developed MEAM potentials of pure Al, Ni, and H. The potentials can describe various fundamental physical properties of the relevant binary alloys (structural, thermodynamic, defect, and dynamic properties of metastable hydrides or hydrogen in face-centered cubic solid solutions) in good agreement with experiments or first-principles calculations. The applicability of the present potentials to atomic level investigations of dynamic behavior of hydrogen atoms in metal membranes is also discussed.
We present a versatile and facile route for highly sensitive detection of
analytes through coupling the enlargement of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs)
with fluorescence decrease. The fluorescence intensity of dye molecules
(e.g., fluorescein or rhodamine B) significantly decreased with the
increasing concentration of reducing agents, such as hydrogen peroxide and
hydroquinone. The sensitivity for the detection of reducing agents was much
higher than other detection methods based on the absorbance measurement of
enlarged gold nanoparticles or quantum dot-enzyme hybridization. We could
successfully detect acetylthiocholine with the detection limit of several nM
orders, using an enzymatic reaction by acetylcholinesterase, a key route for
the detection of toxic organophosphate compounds. The fluorescence
decreasing approach described in this work requires only a simple addition
of fluorescence dye to the reaction solution without any chemical
modification. The strategy of fluorescence decrease coupled with
nanoparticle growth will be applied on the fluorescent substrate to develop
detection templates for highly sensitive optical biosensor.
The advanced electrodes for detecting organophosphate pesticides were prepared by modification of the gold (Au) electrode with the reduced graphene oxide/ionic liquid (RGO/IL) nanohybrids. Due to the cationic and anionic parts, the ILs on RGO sheets provide the amount of functional groups for dispersion of hybrids and immobilization of organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) enzymes. After the immobilization of OPH on the RGO/IL-modified Au electrodes, the modified electrodes represent faster electron transfer than that of Au electrode, resulting in high performance of biosensor with response time (~ 10 s) and sensitivity (4.56 nA μM−1). In addition, the OPH/RGO/IL-modified Au electrode displayed good stability and reproducibility.