Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Kenji Gwee

11 Maximising the Therapeutic Value of the Mental Capacity Act of Singapore for People Who Lack Legal Capacity

Authors: Kenji Gwee


The Mental Capacity Act is a new legislation that allows for lasting powers of attorney and court-appointed deputies, in respect of people who lack legal capacity. While the UK Act, after which the Singapore Act is modeled, has been shown to be therapeutic to donors, the Singapore Act differs from its UK counterpart and it is unclear if the Singapore Act can be beneficial to donors as purported. The purpose of this study was to determine what the perceptions of three groups of stakeholders (patients, caregivers and psychiatrists) are about the aspects of the Mental Capacity Act that are therapeutic to donors. In addition, ways to increase the therapeutic value of the Act to donors are sought. A qualitative methodology was used and the research was guided by two theoretical frameworks: therapeutic jurisprudence and an interpretive constructive framework. Interviews with 12 psychiatrists, and focus groups with twenty three patients and seven caregivers showed agreement that, allowing donors to nominate more than one decision- maker, and whistle-blowing mechanisms for recourse for abuse, were therapeutic to donors. To further increase the therapeutic value of the Act, 2 suggestions were made: the Act should provide for (i) advanced healthcare directives- allowing donors to make advance decisions to refuse treatment, or cease existing treatment, and (ii) independent advocacy services- to have a case worker to represent people who have no family or friends and are thus unable to find suitable donees.

Keywords: Mental Capacity Act, therapeutic jurisprudence, qualitative methodology, the UK Act

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10 The Test of Memory Malingering and Offence Severity

Authors: Kenji Gwee


In Singapore, the death penalty remains in active use for murder and drug trafficking of controlled drugs such as heroin. As such, the psychological assessment of defendants can often be of high stakes. The Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) is employed by government psychologists to determine the degree of effort invested by defendants, which in turn inform on the veracity of overall psychological findings that can invariably determine the life and death of defendants. The purpose of this study was to find out if defendants facing the death penalty were more likely to invest less effort during psychological assessment (to fake bad in hopes of escaping the death sentence) compared to defendants facing lesser penalties. An archival search of all forensic cases assessed in 2012-2013 by Singapore’s designated forensic psychiatric facility yielded 186 defendants’ TOMM scores. Offence severity, coded into 6 rank-ordered categories, was analyzed in a one-way ANOVA with TOMM score as the dependent variable. There was a statistically significant difference (F(5,87) = 2.473, p = 0.038). A Tukey post-hoc test with Bonferroni correction revealed that defendants facing lower charges (Theft, shoplifting, criminal breach of trust) invested less test-taking effort (TOMM = 37.4±12.3, p = 0.033) compared to those facing the death penalty (TOMM = 46.2±8.1). The surprising finding that those facing death penalties actually invested more test taking effort than those facing relatively minor charges could be due to higher levels of cooperation when faced with death. Alternatively, other legal avenues to escape the death sentence may have been preferred over the mitigatory chance of a psychiatric defence.

Keywords: capital sentencing, offence severity, Singapore, Test of Memory Malingering

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9 Integral Image-Based Differential Filters

Authors: Kohei Inoue, Kenji Hara, Kiichi Urahama


We describe a relationship between integral images and differential images. First, we derive a simple difference filter from conventional integral image. In the derivation, we show that an integral image and the corresponding differential image are related to each other by simultaneous linear equations, where the numbers of unknowns and equations are the same, and therefore, we can execute the integration and differentiation by solving the simultaneous equations. We applied the relationship to an image fusion problem, and experimentally verified the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Keywords: integral images, differential images, differential filters, image fusion

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8 The Development of the Self-concept Scale for Elders in Taiwan

Authors: Ting-Chia Lien, Tzu-Yin Yen, Szu-Fan Chen, Tai-chun Kuo, Hung-Tse Lin, Yi-Chen Chung, Hock-Sen Gwee


The purpose of this study was to explore the result of the survey by developing “Self-Concept Scale for Elders”, which could provide community counseling and guidance institution for practical application. The sample of this study consisted of 332 elders in Taiwan (male: 33.4%; female: 66.6%). The mean age of participants was 65-98 years. The measurements applied in this study is “Self-Concept Scale for Elders”. After item and factor analyses, the preliminary version of the Self-Concept Scale for Elders was revised to the final version. The results were summarized as follows: 1) There were 10 items in Self-Concept Scale for Elders. 2) The variance explained for the scale accounted for 77.15%, with corrected item-total correlations Cronbach’s alpha=0.87. 3) The content validity, criterion validity and construct validity have been found to be satisfactory. Based on the findings, the implication and suggestions are offered for reference regarding counselor education and future research.

Keywords: self-concept, elder, development scale, applied psychology

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7 Orientation of Japanese Literary Translation to the Japanese Studies Undergraduate Students: Focusing on Bengali

Authors: Lopamudra Malek


Bangladesh continues a compacted bilateral relationship with Japan since 1971, but the seed of this vital relationship had been sown much earlier in 1863 when MadhushudhonMukhapaddhay translated Commodore Mathew’s book, and the seed was nourished and nurtured by Rabindranath and other writers by translating Japanese literature in Bengali. Sano Jinnotsuke translated Rabindranath’s novel ‘Gora’ in 1924. Concentrating on formal literary translation, Jyotirmoy Mukhopadhyay, Jalal Ahmed continued to translate important novels, short poems, and short stories as well. Kyoko Niwa - GouriAiyub and Monjurul Huq and Swandip Tagore had translated one of the master pieces of Matsuo Basho and 万葉集. Gita A. Keeni has translated few stories from Kenji Miyazawa and in contemporary literature, Abhijit Mukherjee translating Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami in Bengali language.

Keywords: literary translation, bengali, Japanese, book

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6 A Pilot Study Exploring Dog Owners’ Perceptions on Volunteering With Their Dogs in Animal-Assisted Therapy Program in Singapore

Authors: Julia Wong, Hua Beng Lim, Cheryl Ho, Gin Jen Gwee, Rachel Tay


In Singapore, a few hospitals and non-governmental social service agencies have been utilising animal-assisted therapy (AAT) in their practice in recent years, although the animals used (e.g., dogs, cats, and horses) and program modality may differ due to the different practice settings, client profiles, and intervention goals. This pilot study explores dog owners’ perceptions of AAT with a focus on examining the enablers and barriers towards volunteering with their dogs in AAT programs in Singapore. A qualitative, thematic analysis study was conducted using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 16 dog owners. 3 of the dog owners had previous experience volunteering with their dogs serving elderly patients in a community hospital, while the rest of the dog owners had no previous experience volunteering with their dogs. The former group was recruited with the help of the hospital, while the latter group was recruited via word-of-mouth. Dog owners who had volunteering experiences in AAT program versus those who had none differed in their perceptions towards AAT. Dog owners who had volunteered with their dogs in an AAT program in a hospital felt that their volunteering experience were meaningful to patients and to themselves, as they were intrinsically motivated by the desire to serve the community. Those who had not volunteered were hesitant to volunteer with their dogs as they were not comfortable with strangers touching their dogs. They also felt that it would be a huge commitment in terms of time and money; most of them do not own a car as it is uneconomical, and pets are not allowed on Singapore’s public transport systems. This study is limited by its small sample size, and its findings are not generalisable. However, given that volunteers are an invaluable resource in healthcare settings, future studies can examine more stakeholders’ perceptions towards AAT.

Keywords: animal-assisted therapy, dog-assisted therapy, volunteers, complementary therapy

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5 The Impact of Initiators on Fast Drying Traffic Marking Paint

Authors: Maryam Taheri, Mehdi Jahanfar, Kenji Ogino


Fast drying traffic marking paint comprising a solvent-borne resin, a filler, a pigment and a solvent that is especially suitable for colder ambient (temperatures near freezing) applications, where waterborne traffic paint cannot be used. Acrylic resins based on methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate, acrylic acid, and styrene were synthesized in different solvents using organic peroxide initiators such as peroxyester, peroxyketal, dialkylperoxide and azo. After polymerization, the molecular weight (Mw), polydispersity index= PDI (Mw/Mn), viscosity, total residual monomer and APHA color were evaluated and results of organic peroxide initiators (t- butyl and t-amyl derivatives) were also compared with the azo initiator. The Mw, PDI, viscosity, mass conversation and APHA color of resins with t-amyl derivatives of organic peroxide initiators are very proper. The results of the traffic marking paints test such as non-volatile matter, no- pick- up time, hiding power, resistance to wear and water resistance study that produced with these resins also confirm this.

Keywords: fast drying traffic marking paint, acrylic resin, organic peroxide initiator, peroxyester, peroxyketal, dialkylperoxide and azo initiator

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4 Perceptions and Attitudes toward Pain in Patients with Chronic Low-Back Pain

Authors: Naomi Sato, Tomonori Sato, Kenji Masui, Rob Stanborough


To date, there are few studies on the subjective experiences of patients with chronic low-back pain (CLBP). The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of CLBP patients’ perceptions and attitudes regarding pain. Individual, semi-constructed interviews were conducted with 7 Japanese and 10 Americans who had been diagnosed with CLBP. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed based on a content analysis approach. The study proposal was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the first author’s affiliate university. All participants provided written consent. Participants’ ages ranged from 48 to 82. Five main categories were emerged, namely, 'There are no reasons for long-term chronic pain,' 'Just will not worsen,' 'Have something to help me cope,' 'Pain restricts my life,' and 'Have something to relieve me.' Participants lived with CLBP, which could sometimes be avoided as a result of the coping strategies that they employed, and due to which they sometimes felt helpless, despite their efforts. As a result, they had mixed feelings, which included resignation, resoluteness, and optimism. However, their perceptions and attitudes toward pain seemed to differ based on their backgrounds, including biological, social, religious, and cultural status. There is a need for the development of a scale in future studies, to enable quantitative measurement of individuals’ perceptions of and attitudes toward pain. There is also a need for an investigation of factors influencing perceptions and attitudes toward pain.

Keywords: attitude, chronic low-back pain, perception, qualitative study

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3 A Challenge to Acquire Serious Victims’ Locations during Acute Period of Giant Disasters

Authors: Keiko Shimazu, Yasuhiro Maida, Tetsuya Sugata, Daisuke Tamakoshi, Kenji Makabe, Haruki Suzuki


In this paper, we report how to acquire serious victims’ locations in the Acute Stage of Large-scale Disasters, in an Emergency Information Network System designed by us. The background of our concept is based on the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th, 2011. Through many experiences of national crises caused by earthquakes and tsunamis, we have established advanced communication systems and advanced disaster medical response systems. However, Japan was devastated by huge tsunamis swept a vast area of Tohoku causing a complete breakdown of all the infrastructures including telecommunications. Therefore, we noticed that we need interdisciplinary collaboration between science of disaster medicine, regional administrative sociology, satellite communication technology and systems engineering experts. Communication of emergency information was limited causing a serious delay in the initial rescue and medical operation. For the emergency rescue and medical operations, the most important thing is to identify the number of casualties, their locations and status and to dispatch doctors and rescue workers from multiple organizations. In the case of the Tohoku earthquake, the dispatching mechanism and/or decision support system did not exist to allocate the appropriate number of doctors and locate disaster victims. Even though the doctors and rescue workers from multiple government organizations have their own dedicated communication system, the systems are not interoperable.

Keywords: crisis management, disaster mitigation, messing, MGRS, military grid reference system, satellite communication system

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2 STD-NMR Based Protein Engineering of the Unique Arylpropionate-Racemase AMDase G74C

Authors: Sarah Gaßmeyer, Nadine Hülsemann, Raphael Stoll, Kenji Miyamoto, Robert Kourist


Enzymatic racemization allows the smooth interconversion of stereocenters under very mild reaction conditions. Racemases find frequent applications in deracemization and dynamic kinetic resolutions. Arylmalonate decarboxylase (AMDase) from Bordetella Bronchiseptica has high structural similarity to amino acid racemases. These cofactor-free racemases are able to break chemically strong CH-bonds under mild conditions. The racemase-like catalytic machinery of mutant G74C conveys it a unique activity in the racemisation of pharmacologically relevant derivates of 2-phenylpropionic acid (profenes), which makes AMDase G74C an interesting object for the mechanistic investigation of cofactor-independent racemases. Structure-guided protein engineering achieved a variant of this unique racemase with 40-fold increased activity in the racemisation of several arylaliphatic carboxylic acids. By saturation–transfer–difference NMR spectroscopy (STD-NMR), substrate binding during catalysis was investigated. All atoms of the substrate showed interactions with the enzyme. STD-NMR measurements revealed distinct nuclear Overhauser effects in experiments with and without molecular conversion. The spectroscopic analysis led to the identification of several amino acid residues whose variation increased the activity of G74C. While single-amino acid exchanges increased the activity moderately, structure-guided saturation mutagenesis yielded a quadruple mutant with a 40 times higher reaction rate. This study presents STD-NMR as versatile tool for the analysis of enzyme-substrate interactions in catalytically competent systems and for the guidance of protein engineering.

Keywords: racemase, rational protein design, STD-NMR, structure guided saturation mutagenesis

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1 Differentiation of Drug Stereoisomers by Their Stereostructure-Selective Membrane Interactions as One of Pharmacological Mechanisms

Authors: Maki Mizogami, Hironori Tsuchiya, Yoshiroh Hayabuchi, Kenji Shigemi


Since drugs exhibit significant structure-dependent differences in activity and toxicity, their differentiation based on the mechanism of action should have implications for comparative drug efficacy and safety. We aimed to differentiate drug stereoisomers by their stereostructure-selective membrane interactions underlying pharmacological and toxicological effects. Biomimetic lipid bilayer membranes were prepared with phospholipids and sterols (either cholesterol or epicholesterol) to mimic the lipid compositions of neuronal and cardiomyocyte membranes and to provide these membranes with the chirality. The membrane preparations were treated with different classes of stereoisomers at clinically- and pharmacologically-relevant concentrations (25-200 μM), followed by measuring fluorescence polarization to determine the membrane interactivity of drugs to change the physicochemical property of membranes. All the tested drugs acted on lipid bilayers to increase or decrease the membrane fluidity. Drug stereoisomers could not be differentiated when interacting with the membranes consisting of phospholipids alone. However, they stereostructure-selectively interacted with neuro-mimetic and cardio-mimetic membranes containing 40 mol% cholesterol ((3β)-cholest-5-en-3-ol) to show the relative potencies being local anesthetic R(+)-bupivacaine > rac-bupivacaine > S(‒)-bupivacaine, α2-adrenergic agonistic D-medetomidine > rac-medetomidine > L-medetomidine, β-adrenergic antagonistic R(+)-propranolol > rac-propranolol > S(–)-propranolol, NMDA receptor antagonistic S(+)-ketamine > rac-ketamine, analgesic monoterpenoid (+)-menthol > (‒)-menthol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory S(+)-ibuprofen > rac-ibuprofen > R(‒)-ibuprofen, and bioactive flavonoid (+)-epicatechin > (‒)-epicatechin. All of the order of membrane interactivity were correlated to those of beneficial and adverse effects of the tested stereoisomers. In contrast, the membranes prepared with epicholesterol ((3α)-chotest-5-en-3-ol), an epimeric form of cholesterol, reversed the rank order of membrane interactivity to be S(‒)-enantiomeric > racemic > R(+)-enantiomeric bupivacaine, L-enantiomeric > racemic > D-enantiomeric medetomidine, S(–)-enantiomeric > racemic > R(+)-enantiomeric propranolol, racemic > S(+)-enantiomeric ketamine, (‒)-enantiomeric > (+)-enantiomeric menthol, R(‒)-enantiomeric > racemic > S(+)-enantiomeric ibuprofen, and (‒)-enantiomeric > (+)-enantiomeric epicatechin. The opposite configuration allows drug molecules to interact with chiral sterol membranes enantiomer-selectively. From the comparative results, it is speculated that a 3β-hydroxyl group in cholesterol is responsible for the enantioselective interactions of drugs. In conclusion, the differentiation of drug stereoisomers by their stereostructure-selective membrane interactions would be useful for designing and predicting drugs with higher activity and/or lower toxicity.

Keywords: chiral membrane, differentiation, drug stereoisomer, enantioselective membrane interaction

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