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We analysed associations between exposure to nightlife businesses and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 PCR test results at a tertiary hospital in Tokyo between March and April 2020. A nightlife group was defined as those who had worked at or visited the businesses. We included 1517 individuals; 196 (12.9%) were categorised as the nightlife group. After propensity score matching, the proportion of positive PCR tests in the nightlife group was significantly higher than that in the non-nightlife group (nightlife, 63.8%; non-nightlife, 23.0%; P < 0.001). An inclusive approach to mitigate risks related to the businesses needs to be identified.
The authors evaluated cerebral blood flow response in schizophrenia patients during face perception to test the hypothesis of diminished limbic activation related to emotional relevance of facial stimuli.
Thirteen patients with schizophrenia and 17 comparison subjects viewed facial displays of happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, fear, and disgust as well as neutral faces using the Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expressions of Emotion and Neutral Faces (Matsumoto and Ekman, 1988). Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal changes as the subjects alternated between tasks of discriminating sex with an interleaved reference condition.
The groups did not differ in performance on the task. Healthy participants showed activation in the bilateral fusiform gyrus, medial temporal structures, occipital lobe, and inferior frontal cortex relative to the baseline condition. The increase was greater these regions in the right hemisphere than those in the left hemisphere. In the patients with schizophrenia, minimal focal response in the right fusiform gyrus, medial temporal structures, and occipital lobe was observed for the facial perception task relative to the baseline condition. Contrasting patients and comparison subjects revealed voxels in the left medial temporal structures, occipital lobe in which the healthy comparison subjects had significantly greater activation.
Impaired activation was seen in patients with schizophrenia for detection of facial attributes such as sex. Impairment in the medial temporal structure such as amygdale may lead to misunderstanding of social communication and may underlie difficulties in social adjustment experienced by people with schizophrenia.
Although longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown that various brain regions undergo progressive tissue loss during the early phases of schizophrenia, regional pattern of these changes remain unclear.
Longitudinal MRI data were obtained from 18 (12 males and 6 females) patients with first-episode schizophrenia and 20 (11 males and 9 females) healthy controls and at baseline and follow-up with mean scan interval of 2.7 years. To compare gray matter changes over time between patients and controls were evaluated with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) using SPM8 following the longitudinal DARTEL protocol.
In both groups of patient and control longitudinal gray mater reduction was observed in various brain regions including lateral and medial frontal regions and superior temporal region. Excessive decrease in gray matter was found in patients as compared to healthy controls in the left superior temporal region and right inferior frontal region.
Our findings suggest that there are differing longitudinal gray matter changes in patients with schizophrenia during the early phases of the illness as compared to healthy individuals.
Idiopathic basal ganglia calcification (IBGC) is a neuropathological finding known to manifest motor disturbance, cognitive impairment and psychiatric symptoms. Pathophysiology of psychiatric symptoms, however, remains controversial. Previous biochemical study suggests that dopaminergic impairment is involved in IBGC. We therefore performed positron emission tomography (PET) to elucidate the pre- and postsynaptic dopaminergic function and glucose metabolism in two IBGC patients.
Case 1 is a 44 years old woman presented with disorganized thought, echolalia, verbigeration and parkinsonism. She was administered bitemporal electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). Case 2 is a 35 years old woman with persecutory delusion. Computed tomography showed bilateral symmetric calcification of striatum, globus pallidus and dentate nucei. Other causes of intracranial calcification were excluded. PET scans were obtained using [11C]-labeled 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-flurophenyl)-tropane, [11C]-labeled raclopride and [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose.
The decreased binding potential was severe in bilateral head of caudate nuclei and anterior putamen. In case 1, the decline was also found in posterior putamen. There were widespread decreases of glucose uptake in frontal, temporal and parietal cortices bilaterally in case 1. Significant hypometabolism was observed in the right frontal, temporal and parietal cortices. After the ECT session, the previous areas of significant hypometabolism in the right hemisphere had improved. In case 2, there was no significant change of glucose metabolism in cerebral cortex.
The difference in affected region within basal ganglia might be associated with the diverse clinical pictures in IBGC. Particularly, in the psychiatric manifestation, dopaminergic dysfunction in caudate nucleus and anterior putamen could be participated.
N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were investigated. In addition, plasma levels of homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) were compared between the two groups.
Eighteen patients (nine males, nine females; age range: 13–52 years) were enrolled in the study, and 18 volunteers (nine males, nine females; age range: 15–49 years) with no current or past psychiatric history were also studied by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) as sex- and age-matched controls.
Levels of NAA/Cr in the left basal ganglia (p = 0.0065) and parieto-occipital lobe (p = 0.00498), but not in the frontal lobe, were significantly lower in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis than in control subjects. No difference was observed between the serum BDNF levels of patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and control subjects. In regard to the plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, plasma MHPG, but not HVA, was significantly lower in the patients with first-episode psychosis than in control subjects. In addition, a significantly positive correlation was observed between the levels of NAA/Cr of the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG in all subjects.
These results suggest that brain NAA levels in the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG levels were significantly reduced at the first episode of schizophrenia psychosis, indicating that neurodegeneration via noradrenergic neurons might be associated with the initial progression of the disease.
Impaired self-awareness has been noted as a core feature of schizophrenia. Recent neuroimaging studies examining self-referential process in schizophrenia have yielded inconsistent results. We aimed to examine the self-referential neural network using the self- and other-evaluation tasks in schizophrenia.
Fifteen schizophrenia patients and fifteen age-, sex- and parental education-matched healthy subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects were required to make a decision whether the sentence described their own personal trait (self-evaluation) and that of their close friends (other-evaluation).
Both patients and healthy groups showed significant activation in multiple brain regions including the medial- and lateral-prefrontal, temporal and parietal cortices during self- and other-evaluation tasks. The control subjects showed higher activations in left posterior cingulate and parahippocampal gyri during self-evaluation than other-evaluation, whereas there was no difference in activated regions between self- and other-conditions in the patients. As compared with the controls, the patients showed higher activations in the right superior frontal and right supramarginal gyri during self-evaluation.
These findings provide evidence for neural basis for deficits in self-awareness in schizophrenia and may underlie core clinical symptomatology of schizophrenia.
It has been said that nearly 30% of the patients with Alzheimer’ disease (AD) manifest loss of appetite, which might increase cognitive impairments and the incidence of neuropsychiatric symptoms, and malnutrition. As a result, a vicious cycle decreases functionality and quality of life in patients with AD. Cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) is the first-line drugs in the treatment of AD. On the one hand, appetite or weight loss can be seen due to gastrointestinal side effects in the treatment of ChEIs. On the other hand, there are some reports in clinical-settings that patients with AD treated with rivastigmine transdermal patch showed the improvement of appetite loss.
To evaluate the efficacy of rivastigmine transdermal patch in AD patients with poor appetite.
In this 16-weeks, multicenter prospective study, patients with mild to moderate AD, who manifest loss of appetite and began to receive rivastigmine transdermal patch therapy, were enrolled. The amount of food, total time-eating, body weight, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) were evaluated.
The amount of food eaten by treated patients significantly increased 10.5% at 8 weeks after the initiation of rivastigmine transdermal patch therapy.
This preliminary results might show favourable effects of rivastigmine transdermal patch therapy on AD patients with loss of appetite.
The deviation from thermodynamic equilibrium of the ion velocity distribution functions (VDFs), as measured by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission in the Earth’s turbulent magnetosheath, is quantitatively investigated. Making use of the unprecedented high-resolution MMS ion data, and together with Vlasov–Maxwell simulations, this analysis aims at investigating the relationship between deviation from Maxwellian equilibrium and typical plasma parameters. Correlations of the non-Maxwellian features with plasma quantities such as electric fields, ion temperature, current density and ion vorticity are found to be similar in magnetosheath data and numerical experiments, with a poor correlation between distortions of ion VDFs and current density, evidence that questions the occurrence of VDF departure from Maxwellian at the current density peaks. Moreover, strong correlation has been observed with the magnitude of the electric field in the turbulent magnetosheath, while a certain degree of correlation has been found in the numerical simulations and during a magnetopause crossing by MMS. This work could help shed light on the influence of electrostatic waves on the distortion of the ion VDFs in space turbulent plasmas.
Transnasal inferior meatal antrostomy is increasingly used for the treatment of post-Caldwell–Luc mucoceles in maxillary sinus. This study aimed to report the outcomes after inferior meatal antrostomy with a mucosal flap for recurrent mucoceles.
The records of patients who had undergone transnasal inferior meatal antrostomy with or without a mucosal flap were reviewed.
Transnasal endoscopic inferior meatal antrostomy with or without a mucosal flap was performed in 21 and 49 patients, respectively. No complications were observed. A closing of the antrostomy was found in 9 (18.4 per cent) of the 49 patients who underwent antrostomy without a mucosal flap. No closings were observed in the 21 patients who underwent antrostomy with a mucosal flap. There was a significant difference in the rate of closing for surgery with and without the mucosal flap.
Transnasal endoscopic inferior meatal antrostomy with a mucosal flap is a safe method for the treatment of post-Caldwell–Luc maxillary mucoceles that effectively prevents recurrence.
Structural variation of LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4 spinel cathode during the Li+ extraction/insertion reaction was studied using operando X-ray diffraction. It was found that the reaction in the voltage range from 3.5 to 4.9 V consisted of two consecutive two-phase reactions, where three spinel phases of LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4, Li0.5Mn1.5Ni0.5O4 and Mn1.5Ni0.5O4 were identified and the lattice volume change in the whole reaction was evaluated as 6%. The reactions were symmetric and reversible under low-current conditions, but some asymmetries were detected during high current operation. Furthermore, a two-phase reaction between cubic and tetragonal phases was observed in the low-voltage reaction at 2.1–3.5 V, where the lattice volume change was approximately 4.9%. The rate-determining step was discussed based on these operando results.
An outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 occurred in multiple prefectures of Japan in November 2009. We conducted two case–control studies with trace-back and trace-forward investigations to determine the source. The case definition was met by 21 individuals; 14 (66.7%) were hospitalised, but no haemolytic uraemic syndrome, acute encephalopathy or deaths occurred. Median age was 23 (range 12–48) years and 14 cases were male (66.7%). No significant associations with food were found in a case–control study by local public health centres, but our matched case–control study using Internet surveys found that beef hanging tender (or hanger steak), derived from the diaphragm of the cattle, was significantly associated with illness (odds ratio = 15.77; 95% confidence interval, 2.00–124.11). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis of isolates from patients and the suspected food showed five different patterns: two in faecal and food samples, and another three in patient faecal samples only, although there were epidemiological links to the meat consumed at the restaurants. Trace-back investigation implicated a common food processing company from outside Japan. Examination of the logistics of the meat processing company suggested that contamination did not occur in Japan. We concluded that the source of the outbreak was imported hanging tender. This investigation revealed that Internet surveys could be useful for outbreak investigations.
Although organised haematoma often induces bone thinning and destruction similar to malignant diseases, the aetiology of organised haematoma and the optimal treatment remain unclear. This paper presents the clinical features of individuals with organised haematoma, and describes cases in which a novel modified approach was successfully applied for resection of organised haematoma in the maxillary sinus.
Pre-operative examination data were evaluated retrospectively. Modified transnasal endoscopic medial maxillectomy was employed.
Fourteen patients with organised haematoma were treated. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography showed heterogeneous enhancement in all patients. Eight patients underwent modified transnasal endoscopic medial maxillectomy, without complications such as facial numbness, tooth numbness, facial tingling, lacrimation and eye discharge. Dissection of the apertura piriformis and anterior maxillary wall was not necessary for any of these eight patients. No recurrence was observed.
Pre-operative examinations can be helpful in determining the likelihood of organised haematoma. Modified transnasal endoscopic medial maxillectomy appears to be a safe and effective method for organised haematoma resection.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections usually cause haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) equally in male and female children. This study investigated the localization of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in human brain and kidney tissues removed from forensic autopsy cases in Japan. A fatal case was used as a positive control in an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease caused by STEC O157:H7 in a kindergarten in Urawa in 1990. Positive immunodetection of Gb3 was significantly more frequent in female than in male distal and collecting renal tubules. To correlate this finding with a clinical outcome, a retrospective analysis of the predictors of renal failure in the 162 patients of two outbreaks in Japan was performed: one in Tochigi in 2002 and the other in Kagawa Prefecture in 2005. This study concludes renal failure, including HUS, was significantly associated with female sex, and the odds ratio was 4·06 compared to male patients in the two outbreaks. From 2006 to 2009 in Japan, the risk factor of HUS associated with STEC infection was analysed. The number of males and females and the proportion of females who developed HUS were calculated by age and year from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, 2007 and 2009 in adults aged >20 years, adult women were significantly more at risk of developing HUS in Japan.
Although Kawasaki disease (KD), which was first reported in the 1960s, is assumed to be infectious, its aetiological agent(s) remains unknown. We compared the geographical distribution of the force of infection and the super-annual periodicity of KD and seven other paediatric infectious diseases in Japan. The geographical distribution of the force of infection, which was estimated as the inverse of the mean patient age, was similar in KD and other paediatric viral infections. This similarity was due to the fact that the force of infection was determined largely by the total fertility rate. This finding suggests that KD shares a transmission route, i.e. sibling-to-sibling infection, with other paediatric infections. The super-annual periodicity, which is positively associated with the sum of an infectious disease's incubation period and infectious period, was much longer for KD and exanthema subitum than other paediatric infectious diseases. The virus for exanthema subitum is known to persist across the host's lifespan, which suggests that the aetiological agent for KD may also be capable of persistent infection. Taken together, these findings suggest that the aetiological agent for KD is transmitted through close contact and persists asymptomatically in most hosts.