Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: Kazuhiro Fukata

9 Relationship between Pushing Behavior and Subcortical White Matter Lesion in the Acute Phase after Stroke

Authors: Yuji Fujino, Kazu Amimoto, Kazuhiro Fukata, Masahide Inoue, Hidetoshi Takahashi, Shigeru Makita


Aim: Pusher behavior (PB) is a disorder in which stroke patients shift their body weight toward the affected side of the body (the hemiparetic side) and push away from the non-hemiparetic side. These patients often use further pushing to resist any attempts to correct their position to upright. It is known that the subcortical white matter lesion (SWML) usually correlates of gait or balance function in stroke patients. However, it is unclear whether the SWML influences PB. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the damage of SWML affects the severity of PB on acute stroke patients. Methods: Fourteen PB patients without thalamic or cortical lesions (mean age 73.4 years, 17.5 days from onset) participated in this study. Evaluation of PB was performed according to the Scale for Contraversive Pushing (SCP) for sitting and/or standing. We used modified criteria wherein the SCP subscale scores in each section of the scale were >0. As a clinical measurement, patients were evaluated by the Stroke Impairment Assessment Set (SIAS). For the depiction of SWML, we used T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery imaging. The degree of damage on SWML was assessed using the Fazekas scale. Patients were divided into two groups in the presence of SWML (SWML+ group; Fazekas scale grade 1-3, SWML- group; Fazekas scale grade 0). The independent t-test was used to compare the SCP and SIAS. This retrospective study was approved by the Ethics Committee. Results: In SWML+ group, the SCP was 3.7±1.0 points (mean±SD), the SIAS was 28.0 points (median). In SWML- group, the SCP was 2.0±0.2 points, and the SIAS was 31.5 points. The SCP was significantly higher in SWML+ group than in SWML- group (p<0.05). The SIAS was not significant in both groups (p>0.05). Discussion: It has been considered that the posterior thalamus is the neural structures that process the afferent sensory signals mediating graviceptive information about upright body orientation in humans. Therefore, many studies reported that PB was typically associated with unilateral lesions of the posterior thalamus. However, the result indicates that these extra-thalamic brain areas also contribute to the network controlling upright body posture. Therefore, SMWL might induce dysfunction through malperfusion in distant thalamic or other structurally intact neural structures. This study had a small sample size. Therefore, future studies should be performed with a large number of PB patients. Conclusion: The present study suggests that SWML can be definitely associated with PB. The patients with SWML may be severely incapacitating.

Keywords: pushing behavior, subcortical white matter lesion, acute phase, stroke

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8 A Geometrical Perspective on the Insulin Evolution

Authors: Yuhei Kunihiro, Sorin V. Sabau, Kazuhiro Shibuya


We study the molecular evolution of insulin from the metric geometry point of view. In mathematics, and particularly in geometry, distances and metrics between objects are of fundamental importance. Using a weaker notion than the classical distance, namely the weighted quasi-metrics, one can study the geometry of biological sequences (DNA, mRNA, or proteins) space. We analyze from the geometrical point of view a family of 60 insulin homologous sequences ranging on a large variety of living organisms from human to the nematode C. elegans. We show that the distances between sequences provide important information about the evolution and function of insulin.

Keywords: metric geometry, evolution, insulin, C. elegans

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7 An Experimental Study on Intellectual Concentration Influenced by Indoor Airflow

Authors: Kyoko Ito, Shinya Furuta, Daisuke Kamihigashi, Kimi Ueda, Hirotake Ishii, Hiroshi Shimoda, Fumiaki Obayashi, Kazuhiro Taniguchi


In order to improve intellectual concentration, few studies have verified the effect of indoor airflow among the thermal environment conditions, and the differences of the season in effects have not been studied. In this study, in order to investigate the influence of the airflow in winter on the intellectual concentration, an evaluation experiment was conducted. In the previous study, an effective airflow in summer was proposed and the improvement of intellectual concentration by evaluation experiment was confirmed. Therefore, an airflow profile in winter was proposed with reference to the airflow profile in summer. The airflows are a combination of a simulative airflow and mild airflow. An experiment has been conducted to investigate the influence of a room airflow in winter on intellectual concentration. As a result of comparison with no airflow condition, no significant difference was found. Based on the results, it is a future task to ask preliminary preference in advance and to establish a mechanism that can provide controllable airflow for each individual, taking into account the preference for airflow to be different for each individual.

Keywords: concentration time ratio, CTR, indoor airflow, intellectual concentration, workplace environment

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6 Rehabilitation Robot in Primary Walking Pattern Training for SCI Patient at Home

Authors: Taisuke Sakaki, Toshihiko Shimokawa, Nobuhiro Ushimi, Koji Murakami, Yong-Kwun Lee, Kazuhiro Tsuruta, Kanta Aoki, Kaoru Fujiie, Ryuji Katamoto, Atsushi Sugyo


Recently attention has been focused on incomplete spinal cord injuries (SCI) to the central spine caused by pressure on parts of the white matter conduction pathway, such as the pyramidal tract. In this paper, we focus on a training robot designed to assist with primary walking-pattern training. The target patient for this training robot is relearning the basic functions of the usual walking pattern; it is meant especially for those with incomplete-type SCI to the central spine, who are capable of standing by themselves but not of performing walking motions. From the perspective of human engineering, we monitored the operator’s actions to the robot and investigated the movement of joints of the lower extremities, the circumference of the lower extremities, and exercise intensity with the machine. The concept of the device was to provide mild training without any sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure, which will be particularly useful for the elderly and disabled. The mechanism of the robot is modified to be simple and lightweight with the expectation that it will be used at home.

Keywords: training, rehabilitation, SCI patient, welfare, robot

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5 Competitive Adsorption of Al, Ga and In by Gamma Irradiation Induced Pectin-Acrylamide-(Vinyl Phosphonic Acid) Hydrogel

Authors: Md Murshed Bhuyan, Hirotaka Okabe, Yoshiki Hidaka, Kazuhiro Hara


Pectin-Acrylamide- (Vinyl Phosphonic Acid) Hydrogels were prepared from their blend by using gamma radiation of various doses. It was found that the gel fraction of hydrogel increases with increasing the radiation dose reaches a maximum and then started decreasing with increasing the dose. The optimum radiation dose and the composition of raw materials were determined on the basis of equilibrium swelling which resulted in 20 kGy absorbed dose and 1:2:4 (Pectin:AAm:VPA) composition. Differential scanning calorimetry reveals the gel strength for using them as the adsorbent. The FTIR-spectrum confirmed the grafting/ crosslinking of the monomer on the backbone of pectin chain. The hydrogels were applied in adsorption of Al, Ga, and In from multielement solution where the adsorption capacity order for those three elements was found as – In>Ga>Al. SEM images of hydrogels and metal adsorbed hydrogels indicate the gel network and adherence of the metal ions in the interpenetrating network of the hydrogel which were supported by EDS spectra. The adsorption isotherm models were studied and found that the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model was well fitted with the data. Adsorption data were also fitted to different adsorption kinetic and diffusion models. Desorption of metal adsorbed hydrogels was performed in 5% nitric acid where desorption efficiency was found around 90%.

Keywords: hydrogel, gamma radiation, vinyl phosphonic acid, metal adsorption

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4 Integrated Thermal Control to Improve Workers' Intellectual Concentration in Office Environment

Authors: Kimi Ueda, Kosuke Sugita, Soma Kawamoto, Hiroshi Shimoda, Hirotake Ishii, Fumiaki Obayashi, Kazuhiro Taniguchi, Ayaka Suzuki


The authors have focused on the thermal difference between office rooms and break rooms, and proposed an integrated thermal control method to improve workers’ intellectual concentration. First, a trial experiment was conducted to verify the effect of temperature difference on workers’ intellectual concentration with using two experimental rooms; a thermally neutral break room and a cooler office room. As the result of the experiment, it was found that the thermal difference had a significant effect on improving their intellectual concentration. Workers, however, often take a short break at their desks without moving to a break room, so that the thermal difference cannot be given to them. So utilization of airflow was proposed as an integrated thermal control method instead of the temperature difference to realize the similar effect. Concretely, they are exposed to airflow when working in order to reduce their effective temperature while it is weakened when taking a break. Another experiment was conducted to confirm the effect of the airflow control on their intellectual concentration. As the result of concentration index and questionnaire survey, their intellectual concentration was significantly improved in the integrated thermal controlled environment. It was also found that most of them felt more comfortable and had higher motivation and higher degree of concentration in the environment.

Keywords: airflow, evaluation experiment, intellectual concentration, thermal difference

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3 Survey of Epidemiology and Mechanisms of Badminton Injury Using Medical Check-Up and Questionnaire of School Age Badminton Players

Authors: Xiao Zhou, Kazuhiro Imai, Xiaoxuan Liu


Badminton is one type of racket sports that requires repetitive overhead motion, with the shoulder in abduction/external rotation and requires players to perform jumps, lunges, and quick directional changes. These characteristics could be stressful for body regions that may cause badminton injuries. Regarding racket players including badminton players, there have not been any studies that have utilized medical check-up to evaluate epidemiology and mechanism of injuries. In addition, epidemiology of badminton injury in school age badminton players is unknown. The first purpose of this study was to investigate the badminton injuries, physical fitness parameters, and intensity of shoulder pain using medical check-up so that the mechanisms of shoulder injuries might be revealed. The second purpose of this study was to survey the distribution of badminton injuries in elementary school age players so that injury prevention can be implemented as early as possible. The results of this study revealed that shoulder pain occurred in all players, and present shoulder pain players had smaller weight, greater shoulder external rotation (ER) gain, significantly thinner circumference of upper limbs and greater trunk extension. Identifying players with specific of these factors may enhance the prevention of badminton injury. This study also shows that there are high incidences of knee, ankle, plantar, and shoulder injury or pain in elementary school age badminton players. Injury prevention program might be implemented for elementary school age players.

Keywords: badminton injury, epidemiology, medical check-up, school age players

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2 Potential of Polyphenols from Tamarix Gallica towards Common Pathological Features of Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Diseases

Authors: Asma Ben Hmidene, Mizuho Hanaki, Kazuma Murakami, Kazuhiro Irie, Hiroko Isoda, Hideyuki Shigemori


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are characterized as a peripheral metabolic disorder and a degenerative disease of the central nervous system, respectively. It is now widely recognized that T2DM and AD share many pathophysiological features including glucose metabolism, increased oxidative stress and amyloid aggregation. Amyloid beta (Aβ) is the components of the amyloid deposits in the AD brain and while the component of the amyloidogenic peptide deposit in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans is identified as human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP). These two proteins are originated from the amyloid precursor protein and have a high sequence similarity. Although the amino acid sequences of amyloidogenic proteins are diverse, they all adopt a similar structure in aggregates called cross-beta-spine. Add at that, extensive studies in the past years have found that like Aβ1-42, IAPP forms early intermediate assemblies as spherical oligomers, implicating that these oligomers possess a common folding pattern or conformation. These similarities can be used in the search for effective pharmacotherapy for DM, since potent therapeutic agents such as antioxidants with a catechol moiety, proved to inhibit Aβ aggregation, may play a key role in the inhibit the aggregation of hIAPP treatment of patients with DM. Tamarix gallica is one of the halophyte species having a powerful antioxidant system. Although it was traditionally used for the treatment of various liver metabolic disorders, there is no report about the use of this plant for the treatment or prevention of T2DM and AD. Therefore, the aim of this work is to investigate their protective effect towards T2DM and AD by isolation and identification of α-glucosidase inhibitors, with antioxidant potential, that play an important role in the glucose metabolism in diabetic patient, as well as, the polymerization of hIAPP and Aβ aggregation inhibitors. Structure-activity relationship study was conducted for both assays. And as for α-glucosidase inhibitors, their mechanism of action and their synergistic potential when applied with a very low concentration of acarbose were also suggesting that they can be used not only as α-glucosidase inhibitors but also be combined with established α-glucosidase inhibitors to reduce their adverse effect. The antioxidant potential of the purified substances was evaluated by DPPH and SOD assays. Th-T assay using 42-mer amyloid β-protein (Aβ42) for AD and hIAPP which is a 37-residue peptide secreted by the pancreatic β –cells for T2DM and Transmission electronic microscopy (TEM) were conducted to evaluate the amyloid aggragation of the actives substances. For α-glucosidase, p-NPG and glucose oxidase assays were performed for determining the inhibition potential and structure-activity relationship study. The Enzyme kinetic protocol was used to study the mechanism of action. From this research, it was concluded that polyphenols playing a role in the glucose metabolism and oxidative stress can also inhibit the amyloid aggregation, and that substances with a catechol and glucuronide moieties inhibiting amyloid-β aggregation, might be used to inhibit the aggregation of hIAPP.

Keywords: α-glucosidase inhibitors, amyloid aggregation inhibition, mechanism of action, polyphenols, structure activity relationship, synergistic potential, tamarix gallica

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1 CLOUD Japan: Prospective Multi-Hospital Study to Determine the Population-Based Incidence of Hospitalized Clostridium difficile Infections

Authors: Kazuhiro Tateda, Elisa Gonzalez, Shuhei Ito, Kirstin Heinrich, Kevin Sweetland, Pingping Zhang, Catia Ferreira, Michael Pride, Jennifer Moisi, Sharon Gray, Bennett Lee, Fred Angulo


Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea in healthcare settings. Japan has an aging population; the elderly are at increased risk of hospitalization, antibiotic use, and C. difficile infection (CDI). Little is known about the population-based incidence and disease burden of CDI in Japan although limited hospital-based studies have reported a lower incidence than the United States. To understand CDI disease burden in Japan, CLOUD (Clostridium difficile Infection Burden of Disease in Adults in Japan) was developed. CLOUD will derive population-based incidence estimates of the number of CDI cases per 100,000 population per year in Ota-ku (population 723,341), one of the districts in Tokyo, Japan. CLOUD will include approximately 14 of the 28 Ota-ku hospitals including Toho University Hospital, which is a 1,000 bed tertiary care teaching hospital. During the 12-month patient enrollment period, which is scheduled to begin in November 2018, Ota-ku residents > 50 years of age who are hospitalized at a participating hospital with diarrhea ( > 3 unformed stools (Bristol Stool Chart 5-7) in 24 hours) will be actively ascertained, consented, and enrolled by study surveillance staff. A stool specimen will be collected from enrolled patients and tested at a local reference laboratory (LSI Medience, Tokyo) using QUIK CHEK COMPLETE® (Abbott Laboratories). which simultaneously tests specimens for the presence of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and C. difficile toxins A and B. A frozen stool specimen will also be sent to the Pfizer Laboratory (Pearl River, United States) for analysis using a two-step diagnostic testing algorithm that is based on detection of C. difficile strains/spores harboring toxin B gene by PCR followed by detection of free toxins (A and B) using a proprietary cell cytotoxicity neutralization assay (CCNA) developed by Pfizer. Positive specimens will be anaerobically cultured, and C. difficile isolates will be characterized by ribotyping and whole genomic sequencing. CDI patients enrolled in CLOUD will be contacted weekly for 90 days following diarrhea onset to describe clinical outcomes including recurrence, reinfection, and mortality, and patient reported economic, clinical and humanistic outcomes (e.g., health-related quality of life, worsening of comorbidities, and patient and caregiver work absenteeism). Studies will also be undertaken to fully characterize the catchment area to enable population-based estimates. The 12-month active ascertainment of CDI cases among hospitalized Ota-ku residents with diarrhea in CLOUD, and the characterization of the Ota-ku catchment area, including estimation of the proportion of all hospitalizations of Ota-ku residents that occur in the CLOUD-participating hospitals, will yield CDI population-based incidence estimates, which can be stratified by age groups, risk groups, and source (hospital-acquired or community-acquired). These incidence estimates will be extrapolated, following age standardization using national census data, to yield CDI disease burden estimates for Japan. CLOUD also serves as a model for studies in other countries that can use the CLOUD protocol to estimate CDI disease burden.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile, disease burden, epidemiology, study protocol

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