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This study investigated the effect of the flavonoid-based compound isorhamnetin (ISO) on maturation and developmental competence in oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes in vitro. Treatment with 2 μM ISO (2 ISO) increases the developmental rate of oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes during in vitro maturation (IVM). The glutathione level and mRNA expression of antioxidant-related genes (NFE2L2 and SOD2) were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group, whereas the reactive oxygen species level was decreased. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of a cumulus cell expansion-related gene (SHAS2) and improved chromosomal alignment. mRNA expression of maternal genes (CCNB1, MOS, BMP15 and GDF9) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group. The total cell number per blastocyst and percentage of apoptotic cells were increased and decreased in the 2 ISO-treated group, respectively. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of development-related genes (SOX2, NANOG, and POU5F1) and anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1 and BIRC5) and decreased that of pro-apoptotic genes (CASP3 and FAS). These results demonstrate that 2 ISO improves the quality of porcine oocytes by protecting them against oxidative stress during IVM and enhances subsequent embryo development in vitro. Therefore, we propose that ISO is a useful supplement for IVM of porcine oocytes.
Our previous studies have already revealed that β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), hesperetin (HES), and icariin (ICA) antioxidants are effective for in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes. In this study, we investigated which of BCX, HES, or ICA was more effective for IVM of porcine oocytes. The antioxidant properties were assessed with aged porcine oocytes and embryos by comparing 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power, and H2O2 scavenging activity assays. The chemical assay results demonstrated that BCX had a greater DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power than HES and ICA, compared with controls. However, the H2O2 scavenging activity of the antioxidants was similar when tested at the optimal concentrations of 1 μM BCX (BCX-1), 100 μM HES (HES-100), and 5 μM ICA (ICA-5). The biological assay results showed that BCX-1 treatment was more effective in inducing a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving glutathione levels, and increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. In addition, BCX-1 inhibited apoptosis by increasing the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and decreasing pro-apoptotic genes in porcine parthenogenetic blastocysts. BCX-1 also significantly increased the blastocyst formation rate compared with the ageing control group, HES-100 and ICA-5. This study demonstrates that damage from ROS produced during oocyte ageing can be prevented by supplementing antioxidants into the IVM medium, and BCX may be a potential candidate to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
The present study analysed and compared the nutritional qualities of private brand (PB) and national brand (NB) ready meal (RM) products in South Korea.
Data on RM products were collected via a food information database (EatSight) between February and May of 2017. A total of ninety-one PB products from a leading discount store chain in South Korea and 415 NB products were selected and divided into four main categories of ‘refrigerated soups/stews’, ‘refrigerated noodles’, ‘frozen rice/noodles’ and ‘frozen dumplings’. Nutritional information was extracted for each product and analyses were performed to compare nutritional differences.
A total of 506 RM products.
PB products explained the highest percentage of refrigerated RM products while NB products occupied the highest percentage of frozen ones. Notably, main PB and NB products showed evident nutritional problems. Among PB products, refrigerated soups/stews were significantly higher in energy, fat, Na, saturated fat and trans-fat. Likewise, in the case of NB products, frozen rice/noodles were significantly higher in Na and saturated fat. Particularly, overall Na contents were high. When the Korean guidance on traffic-light labelling was applied, a mere 0·2 and 5·9 % of total RM products showed all four and three green lights, respectively. Meanwhile, those with no green lights accounted for 42·3 %.
Although it is difficult to draw a definitive conclusion on the comparative nutritional qualities due to the lack of consistency in the results, the study suggests that there is room to improve the nutritional qualities of overall RM products.
Refugees commonly experience difficulties with emotional processing, such as alexithymia, due to stressful or traumatic experiences. However, the functional connectivity of the amygdala, which is central to emotional processing, has yet to be assessed in refugees. Thus, the present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and its association with emotional processing in North Korean (NK) refugees.
This study included 45 NK refugees and 40 native South Koreans (SK). All participants were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and differences between NK refugees and native SK in terms of resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala were assessed. Additionally, the association between the strength of amygdala connectivity and the TAS score was examined.
Resting-state connectivity values from the left amygdala to the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were higher in NK refugees than in native SK. Additionally, the strength of connectivity between the left amygdala and right dlPFC was positively associated with TAS score after controlling for the number of traumatic experiences and BDI and CAPS scores.
The present study found that NK refugees exhibited heightened frontal–amygdala connectivity, and that this connectivity was correlated with alexithymia. The present results suggest that increased frontal–amygdala connectivity in refugees may represent frontal down-regulation of the amygdala, which in turn may produce alexithymia.
This study aimed to investigate associations among spirituality, coping strategies, quality of life (QOL), and the effects of depression and anxiety thereon in cancer patients.
In total, 237 cancer patients referred to a psycho-oncology clinic at a university hospital in Korea were enrolled. After identifying predictors of patient QOL in a stepwise regression model, we developed a hypothetical path model wherein interpersonal coping was considered as a mediating variable between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL and wherein depression and anxiety affected each of these three variables.
The direct effect of spirituality (meaning/peace) on QOL was 36.7%. In an indirect model, interpersonal coping significantly mediated the relationship between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL. Depression exerted the largest negative effect on spirituality (meaning/peace), interpersonal coping, and QOL. Anxiety had negative effects on spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL, but a positive effect on interpersonal coping.
Significance of results
Interpersonal coping strategies work as a partial mediator of the relationship between meaning/peace subscales of spirituality and QOL. Effective management of depression may help in achieving better outcomes associated therewith. Greater attention and efforts to improve social connectedness and meaning of life in spiritual well-being may improve the QOL of cancer patients.
Given its diverse disease courses and symptom presentations, multiple phenotype dimensions with different biological underpinnings are expected with bipolar disorders (BPs). In this study, we aimed to identify lifetime BP psychopathology dimensions. We also explored the differing associations with bipolar I (BP-I) and bipolar II (BP-II) disorders.
We included a total of 307 subjects with BPs in the analysis. For the factor analysis, we chose six variables related to clinical courses, 29 indicators covering lifetime symptoms of mood episodes, and 6 specific comorbid conditions. To determine the relationships among the identified phenotypic dimensions and their effects on differentiating BP subtypes, we applied structural equation modeling.
We selected a six-factor solution through scree plot, Velicer's minimum average partial test, and face validity evaluations; the six factors were cyclicity, depression, atypical vegetative symptoms, elation, psychotic/irritable mania, and comorbidity. In the path analysis, five factors excluding atypical vegetative symptoms were associated with one another. Cyclicity, depression, and comorbidity had positive associations, and they correlated negatively with psychotic/irritable mania; elation showed positive correlations with cyclicity and psychotic/irritable mania. Depression, cyclicity, and comorbidity were stronger in BP-II than in BP-I, and they contributed significantly to the distinction between the two disorders.
We identified six phenotype dimensions; in addition to symptom features of manic and depressive episodes, various comorbidities and high cyclicity constructed separate dimensions. Except for atypical vegetative symptoms, all factors showed a complex interdependency and played roles in discriminating BP-II from BP-I.
A 30,000 yr dinocyst and pollen record from the eastern equatorial Atlantic (off Cameroon) has been investigated in order to identify land–ocean linkages during the last deglacial transition. A strong correlation between the abundance of Brigantedinium spp. and the Ca/Fe ratio during the last glacial period suggests enhanced marine productivity in association with cool seawater temperatures and nutrient input linked to coastal upwelling and/or a proximal river mouth. Dry conditions are recorded on the adjacent continent with a significant representation of open vegetation indicators and the Afromontane taxon Podocarpus. After 17 calka BP these indicators register a sharp decline as a result of a climatic transition from the dry/cooler conditions of the last glacial period to the wetter/warmer conditions of the deglaciation. Simultaneously, dinocysts show a significant shift from dominant heterotrophs to an increasing abundance of autotrophs, reflecting warmer conditions. Significant changes are observed during the Younger Dryas, with a return to drier conditions and higher salinities. The start of the Holocene is marked by very low-salinity conditions, reflecting optimal monsoonal conditions over west equatorial Africa. The end of the African Humid Period is observed between 6 and 5 calka BP, followed by significant fluctuations in both terrestrial and oceanic proxies.
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.
Research on the effect of low-fat intake on hearing is limited. This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between fat, carbohydrate and protein intake and the presence of hearing discomfort among the elderly. The Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was conducted from 2009 through to 2012. A total of 4615 participants ranging in age from 60 to 80 years underwent a pure-tone audiometric evaluation, a physical examination and a nutritional survey. The associations between the participants’ hearing thresholds and their protein/fat/carbohydrate intake/total energy intake were analysed using simple and multiple regression models with complex sampling adjusted for confounding factors, such as BMI, income level, smoking status and a history of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and diabetes. Low fat and protein intakes were associated with hearing discomfort (OR 0·82, 95 % CI 0·71, 0·96, P=0·011; OR 0·81, 95 % CI 0·67, 0·96, P=0·017, respectively). This study revealed that low fat and protein intakes are associated with hearing discomfort in the elderly Korean population.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
The study's aim was to examine the association of alcohol consumption with verbal and visuospatial memory impairment in older people.
Participants were 1,572, aged ≥60 years, in the hospital-based registry of the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS). Moderate drinking was defined as no more than seven drinks per week and three drinks per day. Memory impairment was defined as performance with more than 1 standard deviation below the mean value on the Seoul Verbal Learning Test and Rey Complex Figure Test.
Those who consumed alcohol moderately, compared with abstainers, had a lower odds of verbal memory impairment (Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.64; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.46–0.87), adjusting for covariates. Visuospatial memory, however, was not significantly associated with alcohol consumption.
Moderate alcohol drinking is associated with a reduced likelihood of verbal memory impairment among older people attending memory clinics.
An indexed offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet ⩾8 mm/m2 is a quantitative criterion for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of this criterion for the discrimination of Ebstein’s anomaly from pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum in neonatal patients. A total of 122 neonatal patients, 56 with Ebstein’s anomaly and 66 with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, were enrolled. Diagnosis of each anomaly was based on typical morphologic features. Echocardiographic variables, including the offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet, were measured via an offline analysis of images recorded before 1 month of age. The offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet was indexed by the body surface area, and the indexed offset distances in the Ebstein’s anomaly and pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum groups were 34.2 mm/m2 (7.1–119.1 mm/m2) and 7.2 mm/m2 (0.0–25.6 mm/m2), respectively. The indexed offset distance was ⩾8 mm/m2 in 29 (43.9%) of the patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum; clinical and echocardiographic characteristics were comparable between these 29 patients and the remaining 37 patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. When an indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 was applied as a cut-off for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly, the sensitivity was 0.963 and the specificity was 0.561. In conclusion, indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 cannot be used as a cut-off for the diagnosis of complicated Ebstein’s anomaly in neonatal patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum.
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.
We have carried out simultaneous 22 GHz H2O and 44 GHz Class I CH3OH maser line surveys of more than 1500 intermediate- and high-mass YSOs in the Galaxy using newly-constructed KVN 21-m telescopes. As the central (proto)stars evolve, the detection rates of the two masers rapidly decrease for intermediate-mass YSOs while the rates increase for high-mass YSOs. These results suggest that the occurrence of the two masers is closely related both to the evolutionary stage of the central objects and to the circumstellar environments. CH3OH masers always have very similar velocities (<10 km s−1) to the natal dense cores, whereas H2O masers often have significantly different velocities. The isotropic luminosities of both masers are well correlated with the bolometric luminosities of the central (proto)stars.
Climate change has become a focal point in recent environmental debates and policymaking. Latest polls show rising consensus among the global public on the urgency of the problem. Home to the fastest growing economies as well as to four of the ten largest greenhouse gas emitters, Asia holds key to successful global coordination on climate change policy. This essay draws a contour of Asian public opinion on climate change issues based on multiple cross-national polls. While generally aware of climate change and seriously concerned about its effects, Asians turn out to be the least willing to bear the costs of climate change mitigation as compared to the residents of other regions of the world. This portends a great hurdle to devising and implementing proactive policies to address the challenges of climate change in the region.
To enhance the lifetime of large-sized active matrix organic light emitting
diodes (AMOLEDs), we developed a liquid desiccant for encapsulation. The
liquid desiccant was prepared by mixing nano-sized calcium oxide (CaO)
powders and silicone binder including polyalkylalkenylsiloxane,
polyalkylhydrogensiloxane and platinum compound. It was confirmed that
liquid desiccant had an effect on absorption of penetrated moisture and
oxygen through calcium tests. Also, the test cells encapsulated with only
epoxy sealant dispensed at the edge of the cell developed dark spots within
100 hrs, which grew larger with time at 85 oC and 85 % R.H. On the other hand, the test cell sealed with epoxy
sealant and liquid desiccant showed no dark spots and retained 97% of its
initial luminance even after being stored for 800 hrs at 85 oC and 85 % R.H. Furthermore, the accelerating storage lifetimes of
31-inch bottom-emitting AMOLEDs with epoxy sealant and liquid desiccant
showed about 1000 hrs. These results suggest that the liquid desiccant can
be applied to encapsulation of large-sized AMOLEDs.