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Several studies suggested a potential role of viral infection in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the association between herpes zoster and PD was not investigated well till now.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 13 083 patients aged ≥45 years with herpes zoster and 52 332 (1:4) age-/sex-matched controls were enrolled between 1998 and 2008 and followed to the end of 2011. Those who developed PD during the follow-up period were identified.
The Cox regression analysis with adjustment of demographic characteristics, health system utilization, and comorbidities demonstrated that patients with herpes zoster had an increased risk (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.43-2.28) of developing PD in later life compared to the control group. Sensitivity tests after excluding the first year (HR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.16-1.93) and first 2-year (HR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.10-1.88) observation periods showed consistent results.
Patients with herpes zoster were more likely to develop PD in later life compared to the controls. Additional studies are necessary for validating our results and to clarify the underlying pathophysiology between herpes zoster and PD.
In view of the rise in child abuse in Singapore, our Family Service Centre developed a child welfare practice model to guide and anchor our practitioners in trauma-informed approaches. This practice model was developed over two years through literature reviews and qualitative interviews with practitioners. Three aspects of the practice model were found to be key in ensuring practitioners were trauma-informed in their practices, these being: the principles and values related to trauma-informed practice; reflection by practitioners on their attachment history and self; and the assessment of caregivers’ characteristics. Despite this practice model being largely beneficial for practitioners in our agency, implementation in the local context gives rise to certain challenges due to differences in beliefs about disciplining children.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
The present study was performed to identify the genotype of a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy family and investigate the clinicopathogenic characteristics and prognostic features of relevant genetic abnormalities. Target sequence capture sequencing was performed to screen for pathogenic alleles in a 32-year-old female patient (proband). Sanger sequencing was carried out to verify the results. Sanger sequencing was also performed on other family members to identify allele carriers. A survival analysis was carried out using published literature and our findings. We found that the proband and her son harboured a Gly716Arg sequence variant of the β-myosin heavy chain. Neither the proband’s father nor the mother were carriers of this sequence variant; thus, the mutation was classified as “de novo”. Further survival analysis revealed that female patients appear to have a longer life expectancy compared with males. Our study may provide an effective approach for the genetic diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The Doba gabbro was collected from an exploration well through the Cretaceous Doba basin of southern Chad. The gabbro is composed mostly of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and Fe–Ti oxide minerals and displays cumulus mineral textures. Whole-rock 40Ar–39Ar step-heating geochronology yielded a Late Permian plateau age of 257 ± 1 Ma. The major and trace elemental geochemistry shows that the gabbro is tholeiitic in composition and has trace element ratios (i.e. La/YbN > 7; Sm/YbPM > 3.4; Nb/Y > 1; Zr/Y > 5) indicative of a basaltic melt derived from a garnet-bearing mantle source. The moderately enriched Sr–Nd isotopes (i.e. ISr = 0.70495 to 0.70839; ɛNd(T) = −1.0 to −1.3) fall within the mantle array (i.e. OIB-like) and are similar to other Late Permian plutonic rocks of North-Central Africa (i.e. ISr = 0.7040 to 0.7070). The enriched isotopic composition of the Doba gabbro contrasts with the more depleted compositions of the spatially associated Neoproterozoic post-Pan-African within-plate granites. The contrasting Nd isotope composition between the older within-plate granites and the younger Doba gabbro indicates that different mantle sources produced the rocks and thus may mark the southern boundary of the Saharan Metacraton.
Unawareness of deficits is common and is associated with poor outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, little is known about correlated neurobiochemical changes.
Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to examine neurobiochemical correlates of unawareness of deficits as assessed by the Dementia Deficit Scale in 36 patients with AD. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy spectra were acquired from the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. Concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), total creatine, and other neurometabolites were calculated.
Nineteen (52.8%) participants had relative unawareness of deficits. This condition was negatively correlated with NAA/creatine in the anterior cingulate area (β = −0.36, p = 0.025) and positively correlated with NAA/creatine in the right orbitofrontal area (β = 0.41, p = 0.009) after controlling for dementia severity.
These findings suggest unawareness of deficits in AD was associated with the altered neurochemical metabolites in the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. However, the two areas might have opposite neuronal functions in unawareness of deficits.
The defect structure of the GaN film grown on sapphire by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) technique was found to be dependent on the AlN buffer layer growth temperature. This buffer growth temperature controlled the defect density in GaN film but had shown contrary effects on the density of screw threading dislocation (TD) and edge TD. The density of screw TD was high on lower temperature buffer but low on the higher temperature buffer. Meanwhile the density of edge TD had shown the opposite. Further examinations have suggested that the defect structure was closely related to the stress in the GaN film, which can be controlled by the growth temperature of the AlN buffer. Using the 525°C AlN buffer, optimum quality GaN film with relatively low screw and edge TDs were achieved.
To investigate the potential reservoir and mode of transmission of pandrug-resistant (PDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in a 7-day-old neonate who developed PDR A. baumannii bacteremia that was presumed to be the iceberg of a potential outbreak.
Outbreak investigation based on a program of prospective hospital-wide surveillance for nosocomial infection.
A 24-bed neonatal intensive care unit in a 2,200-bed major teaching hospital in Taiwan that provides care for critically ill neonates born in this hospital and those transferred from other hospitals.
Samples from 33 healthcare workers' hands and 40 samples from the environment were cultured. Surveillance cultures of anal swab specimens and sputum samples were performed for neonates on admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and every 2 weeks until discharge. The PDR A. baumannii isolates, defined as isolates resistant to all currently available systemic antimicrobials except polymyxin B, were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Control measures consisted of implementing contact isolation, reinforcing hand hygiene adherence, cohorting of nurses, and environmental cleaning.
One culture of an environmental sample and no cultures of samples from healthcare workers' hands grew PDR A. baumannii. The positive culture result involved a sample obtained from a ventilation tube used by the index patient. During the following 2 months, active surveillance identified PDR A. baumannii in 8 additional neonates, and isolates from 7 had the same electrokaryotype. Of the 9 neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii, 1 died from an unrelated condition. Reinforcement of infection control measures resulted in 100% adherence to proper hand hygiene protocol. The outbreak was stopped without compromising patient care.
In the absence of environmental contamination, transient hand carriage by personnel who cared for neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii was suspected to be the mode of transmission. Vigilance, prompt intervention and strict adherence to hand hygiene protocol were the key factors that led to the successful control of this outbreak. Active surveillance appears to be an effective measure to identify potential transmitters and reservoirs of PDR A. baumannii.
ZnO films were grown on (0001) sapphire substrates by atomic layer deposition (ALD) using diethylzinc (DeZn) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in an inductively heated reactor operated at atmospheric pressure. Low-temperature (LT) ZnO buffer layers having various thicknesses were deposited at 400¢J followed by subsequent growth of ZnO films at 600¢J. Some of the ZnO films were then post-annealed at 1000¢J in the N2O flow. Under certain growth conditions, ZnO nanowires were formed on the post-annealed ZnO samples. Room temperature (RT) photoluminescence (PL) spectra of the ZnO nanowires show strong ultraviolet (UV) near band edge emissions at 3.27 eV with a typical full width at half-maximum ( FWHM ) of ~130 meV and quenched defect luminescence at 2.8 eV. 10 K PL spectra of the post-annealed ZnO all exhibit sharp excitonic emissions with the dominant emission being located at 3.36 eV having a FWHM of 4.6 meV.
Customers can directly express their preferences on many options when
ordering products today. Mass customization manufacturing thus has emerged
as a new trend for its aiming to satisfy the needs of individual
customers. This process of offering a wide product variety often induces
an exponential growth in the volume of information and redundancy for data
storage. Thus, a technique for managing product configuration is
necessary, on the one hand, to provide customers faster configured and
lower priced products, and on the other hand, to translate customers'
needs into the product information needed for tendering and manufacturing.
This paper presents a decision-making scheme through constructing a
product family model (PFM) first, in which the relationship between
product, modules, and components are defined. The PFM is then transformed
into a product configuration network. A product configuration problem
assuming that customers would like to have a minimum-cost and customized
product can be easily solved by finding the shortest path in the
corresponding product configuration network. Genetic algorithms (GAs),
mathematical programming, and tree-searching methods such as uniform-cost
search and iterative deepening A* are applied to obtain solutions to this
problem. An empirical case is studied in this work as an example.
Computational results show that the solution quality of GAs retains 93.89%
for a complicated configuration problem. However, the running time of GAs
outperforms the running time of other methods with a minimum speed factor
of 25. This feature is very useful for a real-time system.
One-dimensional CdS nanocrystallites were used as precursors for preparation of mesoporous CdS nanorods through an ion-exchange process at room temperature. The results from x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive x-ray analysis, and x-ray powder diffraction techniques showed that Ag+ did not affect the electronic structure of CdS or cause the disorder of crystal structure although the product contained a considerable amount of Ag2S. The visible absorption of Ag2S nanoparticles in the mesoporous structure led to the result that the intensities of Raman scattering peaks of the mesoporous nanorods were weaker than those of CdS initial nanorods.
Growth and development of 207 children (49% males; mean age 5.4 years [SD 0.2], range 4 to 7.3 years whose mothers received iodine during pregnancy, and children who received iodine first in their 2nd year, were examined in 1996; 192 children (49% males; mean age 6.5 years[SD 0.2], range 5.8 to 6.9 years) whose mothers received iodine while pregnant were seen in 1998. Children were from the southern part of China's Xinjiang Province which has the lowest levels of iodine in water and soil ever recorded. Head circumference but not height was improved for those who received iodine during pregnancy (compared with those receiving iodine at age 2) and for those supplemented before the end of the 2nd trimester (relative to those supplemented during the 3rd trimester). Iodine before the 3rd trimester predicted higher psychomotor test scores for children relative to those provided iodine later in pregnancy or at 2 years. Results from the test for cognitive development resulted in trend only differences between those children supplemented during pregnancy versus later. The results address the question of when maternal iodine supplements should begin in public health programs world wide. Findings may be relevant to the treatment of maternal and newborn thyroid deficiency in industrialized countries, particularly for those infants delivered before the end of the second trimester.
Nanorods Bi3Se4 were synthesized directly through the reaction between BiCl3 and elemental selenium in an autoclave with hydrazine hydrate as solvent at 165 °C for 10 h. X-ray powder diffraction patterns, x-ray photoelectron spectra, and transmission electron microscope images show that the products are well-crystallized hexagonal Bi3Se4 nanorods. The solvent hydrazine hydrate played an important role in formation and growth of Bi3Se4 nanorods. The possible reaction mechanism was proposed.
Real-time x-ray reflectivity and diffraction measurements under in situ sputtering conditions were employed to study the growth behavior of LaNiO3 thin films on a Si substrate. Our results clearly show there is a transition layer of 60 Å, which grew in the first 6 min of deposition. The in situ x-ray-diffraction patterns indicated that this transition layer is amorphous. Subsequently, a polycrystalline overlayer grew as observed from the in situ x-ray reflectivity curves and diffraction patterns. Nucleation and growth took place on this transition layer with random orientation and then the polycrystalline columnar textures of (100) and (110) grew on the top of this random orientation layer. By comparing the integrated intensities of two Bragg peaks in the plane normal of x-ray diffraction, it was found that a crossover of the growth orientation from the ⟨110⟩ to the ⟨100ߩ direction occurred and the ability of (100) texturization enhanced with increasing film thickness beyond a certain critical value.
A novel one-step solvothermal decomposition process (SDP) was successfully developed for fabrication of Bi2S3 nanowires via a reaction between BiCl3 and thiourea in polar solvents at 140 °C for 6–12 h. The influence of solvents, reaction temperature, and reaction time on the formation of Bi2S3 nanowires was investigated. The yield was as high as 98%. The particle sizes of Bi2S3 nanowires are controlled by the choice of solvents. The possible formation mechanism of Bi2S3 nanowires via the so-called SDP method is proposed. The present technique is expected to synthesize other nanostructural metal chalcogenides under mild conditions.
Real-time x-ray reflectivity and diffraction measurements under in-situ sputtering deposition conditions were performed to study the crystallization behavior of LaNiO3thin films on Si substrate. We found that an amorphous layer of 60 Å was grown in the first 6 min of the deposition and subsequently a polycrystalline overlayer was developed as observed from the in-situ x-ray reflectivity curves and diffraction patterns. Polycrystalline columnar textures of (110) and (100) were grown on the top of this amorphous film. By comparing the integrated intensities of two Bragg peaks in the plane normal of x-ray diffraction, it was found that the ability of (100)-texturization enhanced with increasing film thickness over a certain critical value.
An organothermal reduction process has been successfully developed for synthesis of nanocrystalline Ni2P in benzene at 140 °C. An x-ray powder diffraction pattern (XRD) indicated that the product was pure hexagonal Ni2P phase with a cell constants a =0.5866 and c = 0.3377 nm. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the average particle size of the powders was 40 nm with a circular-shaped flake morphology.
The kinetics of in situ crystallization of LaNiO3 thin films in sputtering deposition at temperatures ranging from 250 to 450 °C and isothermal crystallization of room-temperature (RT) sputtered LaNiO3 thin films in annealing at 350–500 °C were investigated by the x-ray diffraction method. The crystallization in both cases basically followed the Johnson–Mehl–Avrami (JMA) relation. However, different crystallization kinetics were observed. The transformation index and activation energy of crystallization in high temperature sputtering were about 1.5 and 33 kJ/mole, respectively, while in the annealing of RT-sputtered films, 1.0 and 63 kJ/mole were found. From the determined transformation index, it is suggested that the crystallization rate in high temperature sputtering was determined by a diffusion-controlled process of lateral growth with a decreasing nucleation rate of crystallites in the adsorption layer. However, the annealed films crystallized by an interface-controlled and one-dimensional growth of existing nuclei.