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Dementia is an increasing challenge across the globe. The 2015 World Alzheimer Report by Alzheimer’s Disease International describes the global impact of dementia, which is summarized below (Prince et al., 2015). The prevalence of dementia is increasing worldwide with 47 million people with dementia in 2015, estimated to rise to 131 million by 2050. Dementia is the leading contributor to disability and need for care in older people, with a population-attributable fraction of 25% for disability. In people aged over 60 years globally, dementia is the ninth leading cause of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost and the eighth leading case of Years Lived with Disability. The global cost of dementia in 2015 was estimated to be US$818 billion. The rate of population ageing is relatively greater in low- to middle-income countries and this is compounded by a relative lack of resources. As a result, low- to middle-income countries will be impacted more dramatically by dementia compared to high-income countries. A recent review and accompanying editorial has concluded with ‘a call to action’ for greater research attention to the impact of sex in Alzheimer’s disease to help improve outcomes with an acknowledgment that insufficient attention has hitherto been paid to sex-specific issues in dementia more broadly (Mielke et al., 2018 and Nebel et al., 2018). This chapter provides an overview of dementia, with a focus on males.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Febrile seizure (FS) in children is a common complication of infections with respiratory viruses and hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). We conducted a retrospective ecological time-series analysis to determine the temporal relationship between hospital attendances for FS and HFMD or respiratory virus infections. Epilepsy attendance was used as a control. Data from 2004 to 2012 FS and epilepsy hospital attendance, HFMD notifications to the Ministry of Health and from laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections among KK Women's and Children's Hospital inpatients were used. A multivariate linear regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the relationship between FS and the virus time series. Relative risks of FS by age were calculated using Bayesian statistical methods. Paediatric accident and emergency (A&E) attendances for FS were found to be associated with influenza A (extra 0.47 FS per influenza A case), B (extra 0.32 per influenza B case) and parainfluenza 3 (extra 0.35 per parainfluenza type 3 case). However, other viruses were not significantly associated with FS. None of the viruses were associated with epileptic seizure attendance. Influenza A, B and parainfluenza 3 viruses contributed to the burden of FS resulting in A&E attendance. Children at risk of FS should be advised to receive seasonal influenza vaccination.
The increasing demands on renewable energy nowadays caused the development of marine current turbine industry. In order to improve the current design of marine current turbines, studies were conducted to analyse their hydrodynamic performances during operation. Since most of the time marine current turbines operate in arrays, it is important to understand the interactions between the turbines in order to design the optimum turbine farm. OpenFOAM® was used to simulate the turbine interactions of conventional and biomimetic marine current turbines in tandem configuration. The conventional marine current turbines were referred to Pinon et al. (2012) and Mycek et al. (2013) while the biomimetic marine current turbine was adopted from Chu (2016). The numerical simulations were conducted with turbines in different inter-device distances, A/D. The percentage differences of ‘‘efficiency’’, η between the IFREMER-LOMC and the biomimetic turbine case of inter-device distances, A/D = 4, 6, 8 and 10 are 14.3%, 6.4%, 3% and 1.92% respectively. The results show that the power produced by the biomimetic turbines in tandem is comparable with the IFREMER-LOMC turbines when A/D > 4. The biomimetic marine current turbines can be a fair choice due to their potential to have alternative fabrication method of their sheet-like turbine blades.
Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that most commonly affects the feet and lower limbs. It is rare for this infection to occur on the face, and it is exceptionally rare for it to involve the nose and sinuses. This paper reports a rare case of nasal chromoblastomycosis in a 50-year-old Malaysian male.
The patient, who was a rubber plantation worker in the southern state of Johor, presented to the ENT clinic with a history of epistaxis. He did not recall any history of injury to the nose. Nasal endoscopy showed a pale yellowish lesion at the inferior edge of the left middle turbinate. Histology revealed that this was a case of chromoblastomycosis.
Chromoblastomycosis of the nasal cavity is very rare and can be mistaken for other granulomatous conditions in the nose. It progresses very slowly over many years. Our patient was managed conservatively, as he was not keen on undergoing surgical intervention. Lesion size remained the same at five months' follow up, with no recurrence of epistaxis.
Nanoscale superlattice-like (SLL) dielectric was employed to reduce the power consumption of the Phase-change random access memory (PCRAM) cells. In this study, we have simulated and found that the cells with the SLL dielectric have a higher peak temperature compared to that of the cells with the SiO2 dielectric after constant pulse activation, due to the interface scattering mechanism. Scaling of the SLL dielectric has resulted in higher peak temperatures, which can be even higher after material/structural modifications. Furthermore, the SLL dielectric has good material properties that enable the cells to have high endurance. This shows the effectiveness of the SLL dielectric for advanced memory applications.
The growth temperature and properties of Ge4Sb3Te3 thin films are presented in this paper. The critical growth temperature of Ge4Sb3Te3 is between 300 and 340 °C. The Ge4Sb3Te3 films can only be grown on a substrate below the critical growth temperature. The typical resistivity and carrier density are in the order of 10-4 Ωcm and 1021 cm-3 for crystalline phase. It has a rock salt crystal structure with a lattice constant of 0.602 nm. Ge4Sb3Te3 has a better thermal stability but a lower crystallization speed than Ge2Sb2Te5.
This paper describes an experimental and numerical investigation of concentrated vortex flow past a sphere in a constant-diameter pipe. As the swirl was increased at a fixed sphere Reynolds number of approximately 1100, the length of the mean downstream separation bubble decreased. For a small range of swirl intensity, an almost stagnant separation bubble formed on the upstream hemisphere. A further increase in swirl caused the bubble to become unstable and develop into an unsteady spiral disturbance. At very high swirl the downstream separation bubble was eliminated and an unsteady separation zone extended far upstream. Calculations of the vorticity field from surface fits to azimuthal and axial velocity data suggest that upstream separation is caused by the distortion of vortex filaments in the diverging flow approaching the sphere. Numerical solutions of steady inviscid axisymmetric flow past a sphere exhibit a fold in the vicinity of upstream separation. It is suggested that this accounts for the extreme sensitivity encountered in the experiments.
This paper describes an exploration of the behaviour and properties of swirling flow
through a constant-diameter pipe. The experiments reveal a complicated transition
process as the swirl intensity Ω is increased at fixed pipe Reynolds number Re ≈ 4900.
For Ω [les ] 1.09, the vortex was steady, laminar, axisymmetric, and developed slowly with
streamwise distance. The upstream velocity profiles were similar to those commonly
appearing in the literature in similar apparatus. Spiral vortex breakdown appeared
in the test section for 1.09 [les ] Ω [les ] 1.31 and was associated with a localized transition
from jet-like to wake-like mean axial velocity profiles. Further increase in Ω caused
the breakdown to move upstream of the test section. Downstream, the core of
the post-breakdown flow was unsteady and recovered toward jet-like profiles with
streamwise distance. At Ω = 2.68, a global transition occurred in which the mean
axial velocity profiles suddenly developed an annular axial velocity deficit. At the
same time, disturbances began to appear in the outer flow. Further increase in Ω
eventually led to an annulus of reversed axial flow and a completely unsteady vortex.
A solid polythiophene pellet was ablated by a KrF excimer laser beam to deposit thin films on silicon substrates. The laser-ablated plasma was studied by optical emission spectroscopy to identify the photon-breaking of C–S bonds in the ablated heterocycles. Raman and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements of the deposited thin films also supported the selective photon-induced bond breaking. After eliminating sulfur in the molecular structures, the thin films appeared to be composed of cubic nanocrystals with a uniform size of 240 nm. X-ray diffraction measurement determined the cubic crystal structures with a lattice constant of α =3.38 Å and suggested a quasi-onedimensional carbon chain structure along the body diagonal of the cube.
Laser directly writing of nanostrucrures on magnetic film surfaces with optical near field effects has been investigated. Spherical 0.99 m or 0.47 m silica particles were placed on Cr/CoCrPt multilayers. After laser illumination with an excimer laser for a single shot, pits were obtained at the original position of the particles using different laser fluences or particle size parameters. The mechanism of the formation of nanostructure pattern was discussed and found to be the near-field optical resonance effect induced by particles on the surface. A comparison with accurate theoretical calculations of near-field light intensity distribution showed good agreement with the experiment results. The method of particle enhanced laser irradiation allows the study of field enhancement effects as well as its potential applications for nanolithography.