Fourteen self-reported insomniacs (SRI) and 14 good sleepers (GS) had their cardiac neuronal activity assessed by heart rate variability (HRV) under controlled respiration at a slow frequency rate of 0.1?Hz, and a forced rate of 0.2?Hz during daytime rest. Nighttime sleep was measured by polysomnography. The SRI showed depressed high frequency power of HRV compared to the GS. An increased total power of HRV was observed among the SRI during slow, paced breathing compared with spontaneous breathing and 0.2?Hz. Sleep onset latency, number of awakenings, and awakening time during sleep were decreased and sleep efficiency was increased if SRI practiced slow, paced breathing exercises for 20?min before going to sleep. Our results indicate that there is autonomic dysfunction among insomniacs, especially in relation to vagal activity; however, this decreased vagal activity can be facilitated by practicing slow, paced breathing, thereby improving sleep quality.
Various studies have linked the occurrence of cardiovascular events and low ambient temperatures as well as the morning blood pressure surge (MBPS). We hypothesized that low ambient temperatures produce a higher sympathetic change during the last rapid eye movement (REM) sleep transition and that this may play an important role in cold-related cardiovascular events.
This study hypothesized that the sleep-wake cycle is the major determinant factor affecting blood pressure (BP) dipping in rats and that the sympathovagal imbalance during quiet sleep is associated with the degree of BP fall.
Imbalance from degeneration of vestibular end organs is a common problem in the elderly. However, the decline of vestibular function with aging was revealed in few vestibular function tests such as vestibular autorotation test (VAT). In the current VAT, there are drawbacks of poor test-retest reliability, slippage of the sensor at high-speed rotations, and limited data about the effect of aging. We developed a correlational-VAT (cVAT) system that included a small, light sensor (less than 20 g) with wireless data transmission technique to evaluate the aging of vestibular function.
In a tonal language, the identity of a word depends largely on the tonal identification of the contour of vocal fundamental frequency energy of which usually centers in a low frequency of less than 600 Hz. However, cochlear dead region (DR) is present mostly in the frequency range of 2000 Hz to 4000 Hz, and the effect of DR on a tonal language is worth investigating. Thirty-two native Mandarin speakers with moderate-to-severe degree of sensorineural hearing loss were included in this study. The pure-tone audiometry, speech recognition threshold (SRT) and word recognition score (WRS) were used to evaluate the degree of hearing loss and word recognition. The threshold equalizing noise (TEN) tests were used to identify the presence of DR. The results showed that most DRs were present in high frequencies. The hearing thresholds of the ears with a DR were not significantly different from those without DR. However, the WRS was significantly worse for the DR ears, especially for those whose DR included three or more audiometric frequencies. A DR caused a significantly worse word recognition for the tonal language speakers of Mandarin in Taiwan, although the DR frequency occurred in the high frequency of 2000 Hz to 4000 Hz.
To investigate the audio-vocal feedback responses of (F0) to hearing amplification in severe-to-profound prelingual hearing loss (SPHL) using power spectral analysis of F0 contour of sustained vowels. Sustained phonations of vowel/a/of seventeen participants with SPHL were acquired with and without hearing-aid amplifications. The vocal intensity was visually fed back to the participants to help controlling the vocal intensity at 65-75 dBA and 85-95 dBA. The F0 contour of the phonations was extracted and submitted to spectral analysis to measure the extent of F0 fluctuations at different frequency ranges. The results showed that both high vocal intensity and hearing-aid amplification significantly improved voice F0 control by reducing the low-frequency fluctuations (low-frequency power, LFP, 0.2-3 Hz) in F0 spectrum. However, the enhanced feedback from higher vocal intensity and/or hearing amplification was not adequate to reduce the LFP to the level of a normal hearing person. Moreover, we found significant and negative correlations between LFP and supra-threshold feedback intensity (phonation intensity - hearing threshold level) for the frequencies of 500-2000 Hz. Increased vocal intensity, as well as hearing-aid amplification, improved voice F0 control by reducing the LFP of F0 spectrum, and the subtle changes in voices could be well explored using spectral analysis of F0.
Very few studies investigate the role of the autonomic nervous system in allergic rhinitis. In this study, we evaluated the autonomic nervous system in allergic rhinitis patients using heart rate variability (HRV) analysis.
The highly lethal nature of pancreatic cancer and the increasing recognition of high-risk individuals have made research into chemoprevention a high priority. Here, we tested the chemopreventive activity of ?-tocotrienol, a bioactive vitamin E derivative extracted from palm fruit, in the LSL-Kras(G12D/+);Pdx-1-Cre pancreatic cancer mouse model. At 10 weeks of age, mice (n = 92) were randomly allocated to three groups: (i) no treatment; (ii) vehicle and (iii) ?-tocotrienol (200mg/kg × 2/day, PO). Treatment was continued for 12 months. Mice treated with ?-tocotrienol showed increased median survival from the onset of treatment (11.1 months) compared with vehicle-treated mice (9.7 months) and non-treated mice (8.5 months; P < 0.025). Importantly, none of the mice treated with ?-tocotrienol harbored invasive cancer compared with 10% and 8% in vehicle-treated and non-treated mice, respectively. Furthermore, ?-tocotrienol treatment also resulted in significant suppression of mouse pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasm (mPanIN) progression compared with vehicle-treated and non-treated mice: mPanIN-1: 47-50% (P < 0.09), mPanIN-2: 6-11% (P < 0.001), mPanIN-3: 3-15% (P < 0.001) and invasive cancer: 0-10% (P < 0.001). ?-Tocotrienol treatment inhibited mutant Kras-driven pathways such as MEK/ERK, PI3K/AKT and NF-kB/p65, as well as Bcl-xL and induced p27. ?-Tocotrienol also induced biomarkers of apoptosis such as Bax and activated caspase 3 along with an increase in plasma levels of CK18. In summary, ?-tocotrienols ability to interfere with oncogenic Kras pathways coupled with the observed increase in median survival and significant delay in PanIN progression highlights the chemopreventative potential of ?-tocotrienol and warrants further investigation of this micronutrient in individuals at high risk for pancreatic cancer.
Salmon eggs are common in Japanese sushi and other seafood products; however, certain fish eggs are used as counterfeit salmon eggs which are found in foods and processed products. This study develops a simple, rapid, and cost-effective method for DNA extraction, filtration (FT) and dilution (DL) protocols from a single salmon egg with good DNA quality for real-time PCR amplification. The DNA amount, DNA quality, and real-time PCR performance for different dilutions and different lengths of PCR amplicons were evaluated and compared with the common Qiagen tissue kit (QTK) and Chelex-100-based (CX) protocols. The extracted DNA from a single salmon egg using the FT or DL protocol can be applied in phylogenic research, food authentication and post-marketing monitoring of genetically modified (GM) food products.
Objective : Voice low tone to high tone ratio (VLHR) is defined as the power ratio of a voice spectrum with a specific cut-off frequency. Previous studies have shown that there are significant correlations between VLHR and nasalance and hypernasality ratings in vowels. The correlation was investigated in this study using connected speech material. Design : The Zoo Passage, the Rainbow Passage, the English Nasal Sentences, the Mandarin Nonnasal Sentences, and the Mandarin Nasal Sentences were used to acquire VLHRs, nasalance scores, and perceptual judgments of nasality. Each passage was recorded twice for averaging, and the cut-off frequencies from 200 Hz to 1200 Hz were used to survey for the presence of optimal correlations with VLHR. Participants : Ten native Mandarin speakers with an English learning history of over 8 years were enrolled. Main outcome measures : VLHRs, nasalance scores, and hypernasality ratings. Results : The correlations of VLHR with nasalance (rho ?=? .76, p < .001, Spearman rank correlation) and nasality ratings (rho ?=? .81, p < .001) were significant using a cut-off frequency of 300 Hz for the English passages. For the Mandarin Sentences, the optimal correlations of VLHR with nasalance (rho ?=? .83, p < .001) and nasality ratings (rho ?=? .79, p < .001) were identified using a cut-off frequency of 500-Hz. Conclusion : The significant correlations of VLHR with nasalance and perceptual ratings of nasality using connected speech show that these approaches have a potential value in terms of basic and clinical application.
It has been reported that medicinal mushrooms might induce different types of immune responses. Anthodia camphorata (A. camphorata) has attracted much attention for its therapeutic effects in treating hepatoma. We tested this anti-tumor effects using immunomodulation of macrophages and extracts of A. camphorata. We evaluated the anti-proliferation effects of various extracts of A. camphorata from fruiting bodies (AC-FB), mycelium of solid-state cultures (AC-SS), liquid-state cultures (AC-LS) and polyaccharide extracts from liquid-state cultures (AC-PS), and extracts of A. camphorata stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cell-conditioned mediums (MC-CMs). We measured cell proliferation and, did migration assays by cell cycle analysis and by observing apoptosis-related proteins (AKT, PARP-1, and NF-?B) and the mRNA expression of cytokines (TNF-? and IL-1?) of macrophages in human hepatoma cell lines. Our results revealed that two of the extracts (AC-FB and AC-SS) had better anti-proliferation effects, implying an immunomodulatory role the macrophages might play. This outcome is consistent with findings that AC-FB and AC-SS increase mRNA expression of TNF-? and the corresponding expression of apoptosis-related proteins on activation of MC-CMs, while A. camphorata polysaccharides induce macrophage-derived anti-tumor activities in human hepatoma cells via IL-1? and Akt activation. These results indicate that anti-tumor effects exerted by modulation of macrophage activation of A. camphorate may be influenced by the other constituents which (contained little or no polysaccharide) of A. camphorata.
In a previous study, the low-frequency modulation extent (LFP) of the vocal fundamental frequency (F(0)) showed a significant increase in the presence of binaural noise masking for the healthy individuals. This study was to investigate the F(0) of subjects with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) using sustained phonations to explore the changes of F(0) modulations in SNHL. Twenty-three SNHL subjects and 14 age-matched subjects without hearing loss were enrolled in the study. Sustained vocalizations of vowel /a/ for more than 5 seconds were digitally recorded. The F(0) contour of each phonation was acquired using digital signal processing. The modulation extent at different frequencies was obtained using Fourier transformation of F(0) contour. The LFP of F(0) (<3Hz) was significantly greater for the SNHL subjects (P<0.001, independent samples t test). Although the correlation analysis was limited to the auditory-evoked brainstem response (ABR) thresholds because of their disagreement with the pure-tone thresholds in some subjects with functional hearing disorder, the correlation between LFP and ABR thresholds was significant (?=0.45, P=0.03, Spearmans correlation analysis). The LFPs of F(0) were significantly greater for the SNHL subjects and the changes of F(0) modulations could be detected using power spectral analysis of F(0). The method may be used for evaluation of audio-vocal feedback in SNHL.
To investigate the responses of nasal airway and autonomic nervous system (ANS) under controlled nasal breathings. Ten healthy volunteers, aged between 21 and 37 years, were enrolled. The participants breathed either through bilateral nostrils (BNB) or unilaterally through the left nostril (UNB) at 0.25 Hz for 5 min. The electrocardiography was simultaneously recorded and the ANS activities were evaluated using heart rate variability analysis. Nasal airway resistance and related factors were measured by rhinomanometry. The results showed that the mean heartbeat interval during UNB was significantly greater than during BNB. The sympathetic modulation decreased significantly during UNB. The correlations between nasal airway resistance and mean heartbeat interval were significant for both UNB and BNB. The increase of heartbeat intervals during UNB was associated with the decrease of cardiac sympathetic activities. The changes of ANS activities and nasal airway resistance during UNB are similar to the changes caused by a prolonged lying.
To investigate and to establish a model for evaluation of the instant cardiovascular responses to the noises of low-to-moderate intensity, sixteen healthy subjects were enrolled. The white noises were binaurally presented with a supra-aural earphone. The test intensities of noises were no noise, 50, 60, 70 and 80 dBA. Each noise was continued for 5 min and the electrocardiogram was simultaneously recorded. The cardiac autonomic responses were evaluated using power spectral analysis of the R-R contour obtained from digital signal processing of the ECG tracings. The result showed that the mean heart rate and mean blood pressure did not change significantly with the noises. However, the low-frequency power (LF) which represents cardiac autonomic modulations and the ratio (LHR) of LF to high-frequency power (HF) which reflects cardiac sympathetic modulations were significantly greater in the noise intensity of 50, 60, 70 and 80dBA (p<0.01, repeated measures ANOVA). In addition, the LHR was significantly correlated with the noise intensity (rho=0.90, p<0.05, Spearmans correlation analysis). The instant autonomic responses to white noises can be detected using power spectral analysis of heart rate variability and the evoked responses may provide a sensitive way to evaluate the instant effect of noise to humans.
The pathology of chronic otitis media (COM) could delay and reduce the energy transfer of sound to the inner ear. The significant improvement of postoperative vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) response rate and p13 latencies in the group of patients with no or negative postoperative ABG gain provided evidence that the sound energy inducing a VEMP might be different from the energy producing the auditory perception.
Antrodia camphorata, unique fungal specie, has been used as a folk medicine in Taiwan for many years. The purpose of this study was to compare the extracts from the solid-state culture of A. camphorata co-fermented with Chinese medicinal herb (AC-CF) with two other extracts from fruiting bodies (AC-FB) or solid-state culture (AC-SS), for their anti-tumor effects in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. We measured in vitro cell proliferation, percentage of apoptosis, population distribution of cell cycles, Western blot analysis of multiple drugs resistance-1 (MDR-1), and apoptosis-related proteins in HepG2 cells treated with three different preparations of A. camphorate extracts. Our results showed that AC-CF had better anti-proliferation effect on human hepatoma HepG2 cells than AC-FB or AC-SS dose-dependently. In addition, AC-CF in combination with anti-tumor agents (mitomycin C or methotrexate) showed better adjuvant anti-tumor effects than AC-FB or AC-SS. We further demonstrated the augmented adjuvant anti-tumor effects of AC-CF not only through down regulation of MDR-1 expression but also through a COX-2 dependent apoptosis pathway, involving down-regulation of COX-2 and p-AKT and up-regulation of PARP-1. In conclusion, in this study, we have demonstrated a novel strategy of fermenting A. camphorata with Chinese medicinal herb (AC-CF), which augmented their anti-tumor effects in human hepatoma HepG2 cells as compared to the traditional ones (AC-FB or AC-SS).
The voice low tone to high tone ratio (VLHR) is defined as the power ratio of low frequency to high frequency energy obtained by dividing the voice spectrum with a specific cutoff frequency. In a previous study, VLHR correlated significantly with nasalance and perceptual rating of hypernasality for a single vowel. The methodology was optimized in this study by investigating the correlations among other vowels.
Three new polyoxygenated C(18)-dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans, arisanschinins M and N (1 and 2) and schisphenin A (3), together with eight related metabolites (4-11), were isolated from the fruits of Schisandra arisanensis and Schisandra sphenanthera, respectively. The structures of 1-3 were elucidated on the basis of extensive spectroscopic and 2D NMR (HSQC, HMBC, and NOESY) analyses. The configuration of the biphenyl moiety in the octadiene ring was determined by circular dichroism (CD). Compound 1 possessed an unprecedented 3-(1-hydroxypropan-2-yl)-3-methyl-1,4-dioxo-2-one lactonide ring system attaching at C-6/C-14. Pharmacological studies revealed that compounds 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10 exhibited significant anti-hepatic fibrosis activity, while 9 and 11 showed cytotoxicity against HSC-T6 cells. The biogenetic pathway for compound 1 was also proposed.
The presented study aimed to clarify the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and disruptive behaviors among preschoolers. Possible gender differences in autonomic activity were also examined. A total of 88 preschool-age children were enrolled in this study. Autonomic activities were measured by power spectrum analysis of heart rate variability (HRV). The Swanson, Nolan and Pelham parents and teachers rating scale (SNAP-IV) was applied to evaluate each subjects severity of disruptive behavior. The relationship between the HRV results and the SNAP-IV was evaluated by correlation analysis, which disclosed that the scores for inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity and oppositional defiant disorder showed a negative association with LF % and LF/HF. The above scales, except for the hyperactivity subscale, also showed a positive association with HF. On separating the two genders, only boys showed the above correlations. Preschool-age boys who show more inattentive and hyperactive features have lower sympathetic and higher parasympathetic activity.
High-frequency paced breathing is required to avoid overestimation when measuring spectral baroreflex sensitivity (BRSLF) to predict outcomes in cardiovascular patients. We examined whether respiration should also be controlled when measuring the baroreflex effectiveness index (BEI) and baroreflex sensitivity (BRSseq), which are derived by sequence analysis.
We proposed that the higher incidence of sleep fragmentation, sympathovagal imbalance and baroreceptor reflex impairment during quiet sleep may play a critical role in late-sleep-related cardiovascular events. Polysomnographic recording was performed through wireless transmission using freely moving Wistar-Kyoto rats over 24 h. The low-frequency power of arterial pressure variability was quantified to provide an index of vascular sympathetic activity. Spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity was assessed by slope of arterial pressure-RR linear regression. As compared with early-light period (Zeitgeber time 0-6 h), rats during the late-light period (Zeitgeber time 6-12 h) showed lower accumulated quiet sleep time and higher paradoxical sleep time; furthermore, during quiet sleep, the rats showed a lower ?% of electroencephalogram, more incidents of interruptions, higher ?% and higher ?% of electroencephalogram, raised low-frequency power of arterial pressure variability value and lower baroreflex sensitivity parameters. During the light period, low-frequency power of arterial pressure variability during quiet sleep had a negative correlation with accumulated quiet sleep time and ?% of electroencephalogram, while it also had a positive correlation with ?% and ?% of electroencephalogram and interruption events. However, late-sleep-related raised sympathetic activity and sleep fragmentation diminished when an ?1-adrenoceptor antagonist was given to the rats. Our results suggest that the higher incidence of sleep fragmentation and sympathovagal imbalance during quiet sleep may play a critical role in late-sleep-related cardiovascular events. Such sleep fragmentation is coincident with an impairment of baroreflex sensitivity, and is mediated via ?1-adernoceptors.
The responses of ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential (oVEMP) vary significantly with the type and setting of the stimuli. This work was to investigate the effects of different ramp time and plateau time on oVEMP latency and amplitude. Twenty-two healthy volunteers aged from 20 years to 39 years were enrolled. The oVEMPs were acquired with the eyes upwards-gaze 30 degree above the head, and the sound stimuli included 0.1-ms click, and 500-Hz short tone burst (STB) of rise-plateau-fall time of 0.5-2-0.5 ms, 0.5-4-0.5 ms, 2-2-2 ms, and 2-4-2 ms. The response rate of click oVEMP (66%) was lower than STB oVEMP (100%). The click oVEMP amplitude was significantly smaller (p < 0.01, one-way ANOVA and post-hoc Scheffe procedure). The latency n1 increased by 1.4 ms as the rise/fall time shifted from 0.5 ms to 2 ms for STB stimuli. However, the latency and amplitude did not show significant difference between the STB stimuli with different plateau times. The lower amplitude and response rate for click oVEMP were associated with its lower mechanical energy of click, especially the energy from 500 to 1000 Hz.
Nervous necrosis virus (NNV) infection during larvae and juvenile stage in grouper (Epinephelus coioides) has caused severe economic losses in the aquaculture industry in Asia. The aims of this study were to evaluate the influence of recombinant Reishi protein, rLZ-8, on the innate immune responses and the viral resisting ability in fish. Groupers were fed with rLZ-8 supplemented diet (1.25-37.5 mg (rLZ-8)/kg(diet)), and the cytokine gene expression, innate immune responses, and survival rate after NNV challenge were examined. The fish fed with rLZ-8 diet showed 6- to 11-fold upregulated TNF-? and IL-1? gene expression, along with significant increased respiratory burst and phagocytic activity. Moreover, feeding the fish with 37.5 mg/kg rLZ-8 diet elicited significant improvement in post viral challenge survival rate (85.7%). These discoveries indicated that rLZ-8 could be utilized as an ant-pathogen immunostimulant, and provided a new candidate to fight against NNV infection in fish.
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