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Discretionary decisions and disparities in receiving drug-eluting stents under a universal healthcare system: A population-based study

Objectives One of the main objectives behind the expansion of insurance coverage is to eliminate disparities in health and healthcare. However, researchers have not yet fully elucidated the reasons for disparities in the use of high-cost treatments among patients of different occupations. Furthermore, it remains unknown whether discretionary decisions made at the hospital level ...

Validation of Taiwan Performance-Based Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (TPIADL), a Performance- Based Measurement of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living for Patients with Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Objective Patients with cerebrovascular diseases often presented both cognitive and physical impairment. Disability in everyday functioning involving cognitive impairment among patients may be hard to completely rely on informants’ reports, as their reports may be confounded with physical impairment. The aim of this study was to validate a performance-based measure of functional ...

Validation of NINDS-VCI Neuropsychology Protocols for Vascular Cognitive Impairment in Taiwan

Objective To validate the three time-difference neuropsychological protocols developed by the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Canadian Stroke Network for assessment of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) in Mandarin-speaking subjects and to investigate the clinical application of the shortest form. Methods ...

Association of Fluid Status and Body Composition with Physical Function in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Background Impairment of physical function and abnormal body composition are the major presentations in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between body composition and physical function in CKD patients. Methods This cross-sectional study enrolled 172 of CKD stages 1–5 from February 2013 to September 2013. Handgrip ...

Folding a stable RNA pseudoknot through rearrangement of two hairpin structures

Folding messenger RNA into specific structures is a common regulatory mechanism involved in translation. In Escherichia coli, the operator of the rpsO gene transcript folds into a pseudoknot or double-hairpin conformation. S15, the gene product, binds only to the pseudoknot, thereby repressing its own synthesis when it is present in excess in the cell. The two RNA conformations ...

Chinese Herbal Medicine Treatment Improves the Overall Survival Rate of Individuals with Hypertension among Type 2 Diabetes Patients and Modulates In Vitro Smooth Muscle Cell Contractility

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic, multifactorial, and metabolic disorder accounting for 90% diabetes cases worldwide. Among them, almost half of T2D have hypertension, which is responsible for cardiovascular disease, morbidity, and mortality in these patients. The Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) prescription patterns of hypertension individuals among T2D patients have yet to be ...

H. pylori CagL-Y58/E59 Prime Higher Integrin α5β1 in Adverse pH Condition to Enhance Hypochlorhydria Vicious Cycle for Gastric Carcinogenesis

Background/Aims H. pylori CagL amino acid polymorphisms such as Y58/E59 can increase integrin α5β1 expression and gastric cancer risk. Hypochlorhydria during chronic H. pylori infection promotes gastric carcinogenesis. The study test whether CagL-Y58/E59 isolates may regulate integrin α5β1 to translocate CagA via the type IV secretory system even under adverse pH conditions, and ...

Association of Adjuvant Antiviral Therapy with Risk of Cancer Progression and Deaths in Patients with Hepatitis-B-Virus-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma following Curative Treatment: A Nationwide Cohort Study

Background Limited information about tumor status and the time at which antiviral therapy was initiated may have influenced effect estimation in previous research. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of antiviral therapies on HBV-related HCC progression and deaths in patients receiving curative treatment based on clear clinical-pathological cancer status and the ...

BLMP-1/Blimp-1 Regulates the Spatiotemporal Cell Migration Pattern in C. elegans

Spatiotemporal regulation of cell migration is crucial for animal development and organogenesis. Compared to spatial signals, little is known about temporal signals and the mechanisms integrating the two. In the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite, the stereotyped migration pattern of two somatic distal tip cells (DTCs) is responsible for shaping the gonad. Guidance receptor UNC-5 ...

Measurement equivalence and feasibility of the EORTC QLQ-PR25: paper-and-pencil versus touch-screen administration

Objective We assessed the measurement equivalence and feasibility of the paper-and-pencil and touch-screen modes of administration of the Taiwan Chinese version of the EORTC QLQ-PR25, a commonly used questionnaire to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with prostate cancer in Taiwan. Methods A cross-over design study was conducted in 99 prostate cancer ...

Development of a broad-host synthetic biology toolbox for ralstonia eutropha and its application to engineering hydrocarbon biofuel production

Background The chemoautotrophic bacterium Ralstonia eutropha can utilize H2/CO2 for growth under aerobic conditions. While this microbial host has great potential to be engineered to produce desired compounds (beyond polyhydroxybutyrate) directly from CO2, little work has been done to develop genetic part libraries to enable such endeavors. Results We report the development of a ...

Radiofrequency Ablation Is Superior to Ethanol Injection in Early-Stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma Irrespective of Tumor Size

BackgroundRandomized trials suggest that radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be more effective than percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the survival advantage of RFA needs confirmation in daily practice. MethodsWe conducted a population-based cohort study using the Taiwan Cancer Registry, National Health Insurance claim ...

Psychometric evaluation of the Taiwan Chinese version of the EORTC QLQ-PR25 for HRQOL assessment in prostate cancer patients

Objective To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Taiwan Chinese Version of the EORTC QLQ-PR25 health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaire for patients with prostate cancer. Methods 135 prostate cancer patients were recruited in the urology outpatient clinic of a university teaching hospital. Each patient completed the EORTC QLQ-PR25 at every clinic visit between ...

A VLP Vaccine Induces Broad-Spectrum Cross-Protective Antibody Immunity against H5N1 and H1N1 Subtypes of Influenza A Virus

The recent threats of influenza epidemics and pandemics have prioritized the development of a universal vaccine that offers protection against a wider variety of influenza infections. Here, we demonstrate a genetically modified virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine, referred to as H5M2eN1-VLP, that increased the antigenic content of NA and induced rapid recall of antibody against HA2 ...

Matrix metalloproteinase-3 promoter polymorphisms but not dupA-H. pylori correlate to duodenal ulcers in H. pylori-infected females

Background This study investigated if the H. pylori dupA genotype and certain host single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors (TIMPs), including MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-9, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, might correlate with ulcer risk of H. pylori-infected Taiwanese patients. Results Of the 549 H. pylori-infected patients enrolled, 470 patients ...

Weak up-regulation of serum response factor in gastric ulcers in patients with co-morbidities is associated with increased risk of recurrent bleeding

Internal Medicine, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University , Tainan , Taiwan. Yi-Chun Yeh, MS: Institute of Clinical Medicine, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Medical College, National Cheng

Mammalian Expression of Virus-Like Particles for Advanced Mimicry of Authentic Influenza Virus

Background Influenza A viruses are major human and animal pathogens with huge economic and societal impact from illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. Virus-like particles (VLPs) of influenza virus have been suggested as a vaccine candidate offering improved safety and efficacy. To develop this concept further, we established a flexible platform to efficiently generate different ...

Effect of Qigong on quality of life: a cross-sectional population-based comparison study in Taiwan

Background Qigong, similar to Tai Chi Chuan, is beneficial to health. In Taiwan, Waitankung, a type of Qigong, is as popular as Tai Chi Chuan. This population-based comparison study compares the health-related quality of life between people practicing Waitankung and their comparable community residents. Methods A total of 165 individuals practicing Waitankung were matched by age ...