International Science Index

International Journal of Medical, Health, Biomedical, Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering

1462
10009055
A Pilot Study of Robot Reminiscence in Dementia Care
Abstract:

In care for older adults, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) like agitation and aggression are distressing for patients and their caretakers, often resulting in premature institutionalization with increased costs of care. To improve mood and mitigate symptoms, as a non-pharmaceutical approach, emotion-oriented therapy like reminiscence work is adopted in face-to-face communication. Telecommunication support is expected to be provided by robotic media as a bridge for digital divide for those with dementia and facilitate social interaction both verbally and nonverbally. The purpose of this case study is to explore the conditions in which robotic media can effectively attract attention from older adults with dementia and promote their well-being. As a pilot study, we introduced the pillow-phone Hugvie®, a huggable humanly shaped communication medium to five residents with dementia at a care facility, to investigate how the following conditions work for the elderly when they use the medium; 1) no sound, 2) radio, non-interactive, 3) daily conversation, and 4) reminiscence work. As a result, under condition 4, reminiscence work, the five participants kept concentration in interacting with the medium for a longer duration than other conditions. In condition 4, they also showed larger amount of utterances than under other conditions. These results indicate that providing topics related to personal histories through robotic media could affect communication positively and should, therefore, be further investigated. In addition, the issue of ethical implications by using persuasive technology that affects emotions and behaviors of older adults is also discussed.

Paper Detail
10
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10008872
A Literature Review on Nutritional Supplements for the Treatment of Obesity
Abstract:

The problem of obesity is one that continues to be faced in the United States health care system and across the developing world. Prescription medications are available, but are often very expensive with minimal insurance coverage. The over-the-counter diet aid industry is a robust one, selling billions of dollars in products every year. It is important for clinicians to understand the myriad of different nutritional supplements marketed for obesity, and to weigh the evidence behind these products. This manuscript outlines the most commonly used nutritional supplements currently marketed for weight loss, reviewing the evidence with a focus on the efficacy and safety of these products.

Paper Detail
89
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1460
10008875
Immunolabeling of TGF-β during Muscle Regeneration
Abstract:

Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration. They are secreted by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. On the other hand, it has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. Therefore, we investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. Muscle regeneration was studied in an irradiated muscle of minipig animal model in presence or absence of ASC treatment (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). We characterized macrophage populations by immunolabeling in the different conditions. In our study, we found mostly M2 and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, only few M2b macrophages were noticed in the IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization and immunolabeling, we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages and we showed that M2d macrophage are the most abundant in the IRR+ASC samples. By in situ hybridization, strong expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed in the IRR+ASC but very week in the IRR samples. But when we analyzed TGF-β level with immunolabeling the expression was very different: many M2 macrophages showed week expression in IRR+ASC and few cells expressing stronger level in IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.

Paper Detail
72
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1459
10008914
Neuropalliative Care in Patients with Progressive Neurological Disease in Czech Republic: Study Protocol
Abstract:

Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.

Paper Detail
55
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1458
10008938
Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Using a Combination of Images Processing and Brain Signals
Abstract:

Alzheimer's prevalence is on the rise, and the disease comes with problems like cessation of treatment, high cost of treatment, and the lack of early detection methods. The pathology of this disease causes the formation of protein deposits in the brain of patients called plaque amyloid. Generally, the diagnosis of this disease is done by performing tests such as a cerebrospinal fluid, CT scan, MRI, and spinal cord fluid testing, or mental testing tests and eye tracing tests. In this paper, we tried to use the Medial Temporal Atrophy (MTA) method and the Leave One Out (LOO) cycle to extract the statistical properties of the three Fz, Pz, and Cz channels of ERP signals for early diagnosis of this disease. In the process of CT scan images, the accuracy of the results is 81% for the healthy person and 88% for the severe patient. After the process of ERP signaling, the accuracy of the results for a healthy person in the delta band in the Cz channel is 81% and in the alpha band the Pz channel is 90%. In the results obtained from the signal processing, the results of the severe patient in the delta band of the Cz channel were 89% and in the alpha band Pz channel 92%.

Paper Detail
60
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1457
10008941
Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity
Abstract:

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

Paper Detail
58
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1456
10008942
Associations between Metabolic Syndrome and Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Postmenopausal Women with Non-Vertebral Fractures
Abstract:

Medical, social, and economic relevance of osteoporosis is caused by reducing quality of life, increasing disability and mortality of the patients as a result of fractures due to the low-energy trauma. This study is aimed to examine the associations of metabolic syndrome components, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in menopausal women with non-vertebral fractures. 1161 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into three groups: A included 419 women with increased body weight (BMI - 25.0-29.9 kg/m2), B – 442 females with obesity (BMI >29.9 kg/m2)i and C – 300 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm was investigated with usage of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The bone quality indexes were measured according to Med-Imaps installation. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package 6.0. BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body, and ultradistal radius was significant higher in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to the pre-obese ones (p<0.001). TBS was significantly higher in women with increased body weight compared to obese and metabolic syndrome patients. Analysis showed significant positive correlation between waist circumference, triglycerides level and BMD of lumbar spine and femur. Significant negative association between serum HDL level and BMD of investigated sites was established. The TBS (L1-L4) indexes positively correlated with HDL (high-density lipoprotein) level. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were better in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of non-vertebral fractures was significantly higher in this group of patients.

Paper Detail
49
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1455
10008964
Causes and Implications of Obesity in Urban School Going Children
Abstract:

Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.

Paper Detail
54
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1454
10008972
Memory Types in Hemodialysis Patients: A Study Based on Hemodialysis Duration, Zahedan, South East of Iran
Abstract:

Neuropsychological problems are more common in hemodialysis (HD) patients than in healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long term HD on memory types of HD patients. To assess the different type of memory, we used memory parts of the Persian Papers and Pencil Cognitive assessment package (PCAP) and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-R). Our study included 80 HD patients of whom 39 had less than six months of HD and 41 patients and another group which had a history of HD more than six months. The population had a mean age of 51.60 years old and 27.5% of them were female. The scores of patients who have been hemodialyzed for a long time (median time of HD was up to 4 years) had lower score in anterograde, explicit, visual, recall and recognition memory (5.44±1.07, 9.49±3.472, 22.805±6.6913, 5.59±10.435, 11.02±3.190 score) than the HD patients who underwent HD for a shorter term, where the median time was 3 to 5 months (P<0.01). The regression result shows that, by increasing the HD duration, all memory types are reduced (R2=0.600, P<0.01). The present study demonstrated that HD patients who were under HD for a long time had significantly lower scores in the different types of memory. However, additional researches are needed in this area.

Paper Detail
48
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1453
10008975
The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Paper Detail
52
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1452
10008977
When Psychology Meets Ecology: Cognitive Flexibility for Quarry Rehabilitation
Abstract:

Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.

Paper Detail
53
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1451
10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

Paper Detail
50
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1450
10009000
Replicating Brain’s Resting State Functional Connectivity Network Using a Multi-Factor Hub-Based Model
Abstract:
The brain’s functional connectivity while temporally non-stationary does express consistency at a macro spatial level. The study of stable resting state connectivity patterns hence provides opportunities for identification of diseases if such stability is severely perturbed. A mathematical model replicating the brain’s spatial connections will be useful for understanding brain’s representative geometry and complements the empirical model where it falls short. Empirical computations tend to involve large matrices and become infeasible with fine parcellation. However, the proposed analytical model has no such computational problems. To improve replicability, 92 subject data are obtained from two open sources. The proposed methodology, inspired by financial theory, uses multivariate regression to find relationships of every cortical region of interest (ROI) with some pre-identified hubs. These hubs acted as representatives for the entire cortical surface. A variance-covariance framework of all ROIs is then built based on these relationships to link up all the ROIs. The result is a high level of match between model and empirical correlations in the range of 0.59 to 0.66 after adjusting for sample size; an increase of almost forty percent. More significantly, the model framework provides an intuitive way to delineate between systemic drivers and idiosyncratic noise while reducing dimensions by more than 30 folds, hence, providing a way to conduct attribution analysis. Due to its analytical nature and simple structure, the model is useful as a standalone toolkit for network dependency analysis or as a module for other mathematical models.
Paper Detail
37
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1449
10009022
Microfluidic Plasmonic Bio-Sensing of Exosomes by Using a Gold Nano-Island Platform
Abstract:

A bio-sensing method, based on the plasmonic property of gold nano-islands, has been developed for detection of exosomes in a clinical setting. The position of the gold plasmon band in the UV-Visible spectrum depends on the size and shape of gold nanoparticles as well as on the surrounding environment. By adsorbing various chemical entities, or binding them, the gold plasmon band will shift toward longer wavelengths and the shift is proportional to the concentration. Exosomes transport cargoes of molecules and genetic materials to proximal and distal cells. Presently, the standard method for their isolation and quantification from body fluids is by ultracentrifugation, not a practical method to be implemented in a clinical setting. Thus, a versatile and cutting-edge platform is required to selectively detect and isolate exosomes for further analysis at clinical level. The new sensing protocol, instead of antibodies, makes use of a specially synthesized polypeptide (Vn96), to capture and quantify the exosomes from different media, by binding the heat shock proteins from exosomes. The protocol has been established and optimized by using a glass substrate, in order to facilitate the next stage, namely the transfer of the protocol to a microfluidic environment. After each step of the protocol, the UV-Vis spectrum was recorded and the position of gold Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) band was measured. The sensing process was modelled, taking into account the characteristics of the nano-island structure, prepared by thermal convection and annealing. The optimal molar ratios of the most important chemical entities, involved in the detection of exosomes were calculated as well. Indeed, it was found that the results of the sensing process depend on the two major steps: the molar ratios of streptavidin to biotin-PEG-Vn96 and, the final step, the capture of exosomes by the biotin-PEG-Vn96 complex. The microfluidic device designed for sensing of exosomes consists of a glass substrate, sealed by a PDMS layer that contains the channel and a collecting chamber. In the device, the solutions of linker, cross-linker, etc., are pumped over the gold nano-islands and an Ocean Optics spectrometer is used to measure the position of the Au plasmon band at each step of the sensing. The experiments have shown that the shift of the Au LSPR band is proportional to the concentration of exosomes and, thereby, exosomes can be accurately quantified. An important advantage of the method is the ability to discriminate between exosomes having different origins.

Paper Detail
29
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1448
10008803
Discrepant Views of Social Competence and Links with Social Phobia
Abstract:

Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Paper Detail
96
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10008818
Emotion Regulation: An Exploratory Cross-Sectional Study on the Change and Grow Therapeutic Model
Abstract:

Emotion dysregulation has been linked to psychopathology in general and, in particular, to substance abuse and other addiction-related disorders, such as eating disorders, impulsive disorder, and gambling. It has been proposed that a lessening of the difficulties in emotion regulation can have a significant positive impact on the treatment of these disorders. The present study explores the association between the progress in the Change & Grow® therapeutic model (5 stages of treatment), and the decrease in the difficulties related to emotion regulation. The Change & Grow® model has five stages of treatment according to the model’s five principles (Truth, Acceptance, Gratitude, Love and Responsibility) and incorporates different therapeutic approaches such as positive psychology, cognitive and behavioral therapy and third generation therapies. The main objective is to understand the impact of the presented therapeutic model on difficulties in emotion regulation in patients with addiction-related disorders. The exploratory study has a cross-sectional design. Participants were 44 (15 women and 29 men) Portuguese patients in the residential Villa Ramadas International Treatment Centre. The instrument used was the Portuguese version of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), which measures six dimensions of emotion regulation (Strategies, Non-acceptance, Awareness, Impulse, Goals, and Clarity). The mean rank scores for both the DERS total score and the Impulse subscale showed statistically significant differences according to Stage of Treatment/Principles. Furthermore, Stage of Treatment/Principles held a negative correlation with the scores of the Non-acceptance and Impulse subscales, as well as the DERS total score. The results indicate that the Change & Grow® model seems to have an impact in lessening the patient’s difficulties in emotion regulation. The Impulse dimension suffered the greater impact, which supports the well-known relevance of impulse control, or related difficulties, in addiction-related disorders.

Paper Detail
95
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10008822
Antibody Reactivity of Synthetic Peptides Belonging to Proteins Encoded by Genes Located in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Specific Genomic Regions of Differences
Abstract:

The comparisons of mycobacterial genomes have identified several Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific genomic regions that are absent in other mycobacteria and are known as regions of differences. Due to M. tuberculosis-specificity, the peptides encoded by these regions could be useful in the specific diagnosis of tuberculosis. To explore this possibility, overlapping synthetic peptides corresponding to 39 proteins predicted to be encoded by genes present in regions of differences were tested for antibody-reactivity with sera from tuberculosis patients and healthy subjects. The results identified four immunodominant peptides corresponding to four different proteins, with three of the peptides showing significantly stronger antibody reactivity and rate of positivity with sera from tuberculosis patients than healthy subjects. The fourth peptide was recognized equally well by the sera of tuberculosis patients as well as healthy subjects. Predication of antibody epitopes by bioinformatics analyses using ABCpred server predicted multiple linear epitopes in each peptide. Furthermore, peptide sequence analysis for sequence identity using BLAST suggested M. tuberculosis-specificity for the three peptides that had preferential reactivity with sera from tuberculosis patients, but the peptide with equal reactivity with sera of TB patients and healthy subjects showed significant identity with sequences present in nob-tuberculous mycobacteria. The three identified M. tuberculosis-specific immunodominant peptides may be useful in the serological diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Paper Detail
95
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10008890
Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots
Abstract:
Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living, but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not previously been automated, since there existed no description of a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.
Paper Detail
84
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10008891
A Pre-Assessment Questionnaire to Identify Healthcare Professionals’ Perception on Information Technology Implementation
Abstract:

Health information technologies promise higher quality, safer care and much more for both patients and professionals. Despite their promise, they are costly to develop and difficult to implement. On the other hand, user acceptance and usage determine the success of implemented information technology in healthcare. This study provides a model to understand health professionals’ perception and expectation of health information technology. Extensive literature review has been conducted to determine the main factors to be measured. A questionnaire has been designed as a measurement model and submitted to the personnel of an in vitro fertilization clinic. The respondents’ degree of agreement according to five-point Likert scale was 72% for convenient access to data and 69.4% for the importance of data security. There was a significant difference in acceptance of electronic data storage for female respondents. Also, other significant differences between professions were obtained.

Paper Detail
69
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10008910
A Dose Distribution Approach Using Monte Carlo Simulation in Dosimetric Accuracy Calculation for Treating the Lung Tumor
Abstract:

This paper presents a Monte Carlo (MC) method-based dose distributions on lung tumor for 6 MV photon beam to improve the dosimetric accuracy for cancer treatment. The polystyrene which is tissue equivalent material to the lung tumor density is used in this research. In the empirical calculations, TRS-398 formalism of IAEA has been used, and the setup was made according to the ICRU recommendations. The research outcomes were compared with the state-of-the-art experimental results. From the experimental results, it is observed that the proposed based approach provides more accurate results and improves the accuracy than the existing approaches. The average %variation between measured and TPS simulated values was obtained 1.337±0.531, which shows a substantial improvement comparing with the state-of-the-art technology.

Paper Detail
98
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1442
10008984
Identification of Promiscuous Epitopes for Cellular Immune Responses in the Major Antigenic Protein Rv3873 Encoded by Region of Difference 1 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Abstract:

Rv3873 is a relatively large size protein (371 amino acids in length) and its gene is located in the immunodominant genomic region of difference (RD)1 that is present in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis but deleted from the genomes of all the vaccine strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and most other mycobacteria. However, when tested for cellular immune responses using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and BCG-vaccinated healthy subjects, this protein was found to be a major stimulator of cell mediated immune responses in both groups of subjects. In order to further identify the sequence of immunodominant epitopes and explore their Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-restriction for epitope recognition, 24 peptides (25-mers overlapping with the neighboring peptides by 10 residues) covering the sequence of Rv3873 were synthesized chemically using fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chemistry and tested in cell mediated immune responses. The results of these experiments helped in the identification of an immunodominant peptide P9 that was recognized by people expressing varying HLA-DR types. Furthermore, it was also predicted to be a promiscuous binder with multiple epitopes for binding to HLA-DR, HLA-DP and HLA-DQ alleles of HLA-class II molecules that present antigens to T helper cells, and to HLA-class I molecules that present antigens to T cytotoxic cells. In addition, the evaluation of peptide P9 using an immunogenicity predictor server yielded a high score (0.94), which indicated a greater probability of this peptide to elicit a protective cellular immune response. In conclusion, P9, a peptide with multiple epitopes and ability to bind several HLA class I and class II molecules for presentation to cells of the cellular immune response, may be useful as a peptide-based vaccine against tuberculosis.

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10008989
Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and Mini Mental State Examination-2 in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Case Studies
Abstract:

From a psychological perspective, psychopathology is the area of clinical psychology that has at its core psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In day-to-day clinical practice, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy are used independently, according to their intended purpose and their specific methods of application. The paper explores how the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Mini Mental State Examination-2 (MMSE-2) psychological tools contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This combined approach, psychotherapy in conjunction with assessment of personality and cognitive functions, is illustrated by two cases, a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms and a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. The order in which CBT, MMPI-2, and MMSE-2 were used in the diagnostic and therapeutic process was determined by the particularities of each case. In the first case, the sequence started with psychotherapy, followed by the administration of blue form MMSE-2, MMPI-2, and red form MMSE-2. In the second case, the cognitive screening with blue form MMSE-2 led to a personality assessment using MMPI-2, followed by red form MMSE-2; reapplication of the MMPI-2 due to the invalidation of the first profile, and finally, psychotherapy. The MMPI-2 protocols gathered useful information that directed the steps of therapeutic intervention: a detailed symptom picture of potentially self-destructive thoughts and behaviors otherwise undetected during the interview. The memory loss and poor concentration were confirmed by MMSE-2 cognitive screening. This combined approach, psychotherapy with psychological assessment, aligns with the trend of adaptation of the psychological services to the everyday life of contemporary man and paves the way for deepening and developing the field.

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10008625
Evaluation of the MCFLIRT Correction Algorithm in Head Motion from Resting State fMRI Data
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In the last few years, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was widely used to investigate the architecture of brain networks by investigating the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent response. This technique represented an interesting, robust and reliable approach to compare pathologic and healthy subjects in order to investigate neurodegenerative diseases evolution. On the other hand, the elaboration of rs-fMRI data resulted to be very prone to noise due to confounding factors especially the head motion. Head motion has long been known to be a source of artefacts in task-based functional MRI studies, but it has become a particularly challenging problem in recent studies using rs-fMRI. The aim of this work was to evaluate in MS patients a well-known motion correction algorithm from the FMRIB's Software Library - MCFLIRT - that could be applied to minimize the head motion distortions, allowing to correctly interpret rs-fMRI results.

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143
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10008661
University Students Sport’s Activities Assessment in Harsh Weather Conditions
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This paper addresses the application of physiological status monitoring (PSM) for assessing the impact of harsh weather conditions on sports activities in universities in Saudi Arabia. Real sports measurement was conducted during sports activities such that the physiological status (HR and BR) of five students were continuously monitored by using Zephyr BioHarnessTM 3.0 sensors in order to identify the physiological bonds and zones. These bonds and zones were employed as indicators of the associated physiological risks of the performed sports activities. Furthermore, a short yes/no questionnaire was applied to collect information on participants’ health conditions and opinions of the applied PSM sensors. The results show the absence of a warning system as a protective aid for the hazardous levels of extremely hot and humid weather conditions that may cause dangerous and fatal circumstances. The applied formulas for estimating maximum HR provides accurate estimations for Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax). The physiological results reveal that the performed activities by the participants are considered the highest category (90–100%) in terms of activity intensity. This category is associated with higher HR, BR and physiological risks including losing the ability to control human body behaviors. Therefore, there is a need for immediate intervention actions to reduce the intensity of the performed activities to safer zones. The outcomes of this study assist the safety improvement of sports activities inside universities and athletes performing their sports activities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to represent a special case of the application of PSM technology for assessing sports activities in universities considering the impacts of harsh weather conditions on students’ health and safety.

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138
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10008667
Comparing Measurements of UV Radiation in Winter and Summer in Finland
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The objective of our study is to investigate UV exposure in Finland through sample measurements as a typical case study in summer and winter. We measured UV-BC weighted radiation and calculated a daily dose, which is about 100–150 times the Finnish exposure limit value in summer and 1–6 times in winter. The measured ultraviolet indices varied from 0 to 7 (scale 0–18), which is less than the values obtained in countries that are located farther south from Tampere latitude of 61 degrees. In wintertime, the UV exposure was modest compared to summertime, 50–150 mW/m2 and about 1–5 mW/m2 in summer and winter, respectively. However, technical means to manage UV exposure in Scandinavia are also needed in summer- and springtime.

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10008716
Synthesis, Physicochemical Characterization and Study of the Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorobutanol
Abstract:

Introduction and objectives: Chlorobutanol is a raw material, mainly used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial preservative in injectable and ophthalmic preparations. The main objective of our study was the synthesis and evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of chlorobutanol hemihydrates. Material and methods: Chlorobutanol was synthesized according to the nucleophilic addition reaction of chloroform to acetone, identified by an infrared absorption using Spectrum One FTIR spectrometer, melting point, Scanning electron microscopy and colorimetric reactions. The dosage of Carvedilol active substance was carried out by assaying the degradation products of chlorobutanol in a basic solution. The chlorobutanol obtained was subjected to bacteriological tests in order to study its antimicrobial activity. The antibacterial activity was evaluated against strains such as Escherichia coli (ATCC 25 922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25 923) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (ATCC = American type culture collection). The antifungal activity was evaluated against human pathogenic fungal strains, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger provided by the parasitology laboratory of the Hospital of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. Results and discussion: Chlorobutanol was obtained in an acceptable yield. The characterization tests of the product obtained showed a white and crystalline appearance (confirmed by scanning electron microscopy), solubilities (in water, ethanol and glycerol), and a melting temperature in accordance with the requirements of the European pharmacopoeia. The colorimetric reactions were directed towards the presence of a trihalogenated carbon and an alcohol function. The spectral identification (IR) showed the presence of characteristic chlorobutanol peaks and confirmed the structure of the latter. The microbiological study revealed an antimicrobial effect on all strains tested (Sataphylococcus aureus (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), E. coli (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Pseudomonas aeroginosa (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Candida albicans (MIC =2500 µg/ml), Aspergillus niger (MIC =2500 µg/ml)) with MIC values close to literature data. Conclusion: Thus, on the whole, the synthesized chlorobutanol satisfied the requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia, and possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity; nevertheless it is necessary to insist on the purification step of the product in order to eliminate the maximum impurities.

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120
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10008737
Apparent Temperature Distribution on Scaffoldings during Construction Works
Abstract:

People on construction scaffoldings work in dynamically changing, often unfavourable climate. Additionally, this kind of work is performed on low stiffness structures at high altitude, which increases the risk of accidents. It is therefore desirable to define the parameters of the work environment that contribute to increasing the construction worker occupational safety level. The aim of this article is to present how changes in microclimate parameters on scaffolding can impact the development of dangerous situations and accidents. For this purpose, indicators based on the human thermal balance were used. However, use of this model under construction conditions is often burdened by significant errors or even impossible to implement due to the lack of precise data. Thus, in the target model, the modified parameter was used – apparent environmental temperature. Apparent temperature in the proposed Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model has been a perceived outdoor temperature, caused by the combined effects of air temperature, radiative temperature, relative humidity and wind speed (wind chill index, heat index). In the paper, correlations between component factors and apparent temperature for facade scaffolding with a width of 24.5 m and a height of 42.3 m, located at south-west side of building are presented. The distribution of factors on the scaffolding has been used to evaluate fitting of the microclimate model. The results of the studies indicate that observed ranges of apparent temperature on the scaffolds frequently results in a worker’s inability to adapt. This leads to reduced concentration and increased fatigue, adversely affects health, and consequently increases the risk of dangerous situations and accidental injuries

Paper Detail
101
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10008740
Quality of Life Assessment across the Cancer Continuum: Understanding the Role of an Exercise Rehabilitation Programme
Abstract:

The Quality of Life (QoL) paradigm is multidimensional, dynamic and modular and its definition differs across the cancer continuum. The challenge in the interpretation of QoL data in clinical research is that QoL is influenced by psychological phenomena such as adaptation to illness. This research aims to obtain a valid and sensitive assessment of QoL change over the continuum disease, and to evaluate a rehabilitation programme aimed at inverting the observed decrease in QoL when patients return to daily living activities. The sample comprised 66 men. Patients were first assessed to establish a baseline (P1-diagnosis). This was followed by a post-test (P2-discharge) and a then-test measurement (P3-retrospective evaluation) and after returning home patients were randomized in experimental and control groups. The experimental group attended a rehabilitation programme over 24 weeks (P4). Results show that from baseline to post-test, QoL decreased significantly. The recalibration then-test confirmed a low QoL in all periods evaluated. Significant differences between the experimental and control groups prove the positive effect of the Exercise Rehabilitation Programme (ERP) on QoL. Understanding the real dynamic of QoL over time would help to adapt rehabilitation programmes by improving sensitivity and efficacy and provide professionals with a more accurate perception of the impact of treatment and side effects on patients’ QoL. Our results underline the importance of changing the approach adopted by health professionals towards one of watchful waiting on patients’ QoL until their complete recovery in daily life.

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120
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10008865
Basic Research for Electroretinogram Moving the Center of the Multifocal Hexagonal Stimulus Array
Authors:
Abstract:

Many ophthalmologists can examine declines in visual sensitivity at arbitrary points on the retina using a precise perimetry device with a fundus camera function. However, the retinal layer causing the decline in visual sensitivity cannot be identified by this method. We studied an electroretinogram (ERG) function that can move the center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array in order to investigate cryptogenic diseases, such as macular dystrophy, acute zonal occult outer retinopathy, and multiple evanescent white dot syndrome. An electroretinographic optical system, specifically a perimetric optical system, was added to an experimental device carrying the same optical system as a fundus camera. We also added an infrared camera, a cold mirror, a halogen lamp, and a monitor. The software was generated to show the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array on the monitor using C++Builder XE8 and to move the center of the array up and down as well as back and forth. We used a multifunction I/O device and its design platform LabVIEW for data retrieval. The plate electrodes were used to measure electrodermal activities around the eyes. We used a multifocal hexagonal stimulus array with 37 elements in the software. The center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array could be adjusted to the same position as the examination target of the precise perimetry. We successfully added the moving ERG function to the experimental ophthalmologic device.

Paper Detail
57
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10008912
Procedure to Use Quantitative Bone-Specific SPECT/CT in North Karelia Central Hospital
Abstract:

This study aimed to describe procedures that we developed to use in the quantitative, bone-specific SPECT/CT at our hospital. Our procedures included the following questions for choosing imaging protocols, which were based on a clinical doctor's referral: (1) Is she/he a cancer patient or not? (2) Are there any indications of inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis? We performed about 1,106 skeletal scintigraphies over two years. About 394 patients were studied with quantitative bone-specific single-photon emission computed tomography/computerized tomography (SPECT/CT) (i.e., about 36% of all bone scintigraphies). Approximately 64% of the patients were studied using the conventional Anterior-Posterior/Posterior-Anterior imaging. Our procedure has improved efficiency and decreased cycle times.

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63
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