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1.  A Novel Methodology to Evaluate Health Impacts Caused by VOC Exposures Using Real-Time VOC and Holter Monitors 
While various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to show neurotoxic effects, the detailed mechanisms of the action of VOCs on the autonomic nervous system are not fully understood, partially because objective and quantitative measures to indicate neural abnormalities are still under development. Nevertheless, heart rate variability (HRV) has been recently proposed as an indicative measure of the autonomic effects. In this study, we used HRV as an indicative measure of the autonomic effrects to relate their values to the personal concentrations of VOCs measured by a real-time VOC monitor. The measurements were conducted for 24 hours on seven healthy subjects under usual daily life conditions. The results showed HF powers were significantly decreased for six subjects when the changes of total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentrations were large, indicating a suppression of parasympathetic nervous activity induced by the exposure to VOCs. The present study indicated these real-time monitoring was useful to characterize the trends of VOC exposures and their effects on autonomic nervous system.
doi:10.3390/ijerph7124127
PMCID: PMC3037044  PMID: 21317998
real-time monitoring; VOCs; heart rate variability (HRV); Holter monitor
2.  Evaluation of subjective symptoms of Japanese patients with multiple chemical sensitivity using QEESI© 
Objectives
The Quick Environment Exposure Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI©) has been used as a questionnaire to evaluate subjective symptoms of patients with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also known as idiopathic environmental intolerance, in Japan. However, no cutoff value for Japanese subjects has yet been established. We designed this study to establish a cutoff value for Japanese subjects using QEESI© for screening of MCS patients.
Methods
A questionnaire using the QEESI© was administered to 103 MCS patients and 309 healthy control subjects matched for age and sex. QEESI© scores of the two groups were compared using logistic regression analysis, receiver operating characteristic analysis, and the Mann–Whitney test.
Results
Cutoff values for Japanese subjects were determined for the Chemical Intolerance subscale (40), Symptom Severity subscale (20), and Life Impact subscale (10). The subjects whose scores exceeded the cutoff values in any two subscales accounted for 88.4% of the patients but only 14.5% of the controls.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that subjects meeting two out of three subscale criteria can be screened as “patients suffering from a low level of environmental chemicals such as MCS” in Japan.
doi:10.1007/s12199-009-0095-8
PMCID: PMC2728252  PMID: 19603254
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS); Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI); Quick Environment Exposure Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI©); Logistic regression analysis; Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis
3.  Decreased response inhibition in middle-aged male patients with type 2 diabetes 
Background
This study was performed to examine whether patients with type 2 diabetes have cognitive deficits associated with the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
Methods
Twenty-seven middle-aged patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and 27 healthy controls underwent physical measurements and neuropsychological tasks. Response inhibition, reward prediction, and executive function were assessed by the Go/NoGo task, the reversal and extinction tasks, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). To examine the interactions of being overweight with diabetes on cognitive performance, performance data were analysed by two-way ANCOVA with diabetes and overweight as factors and age as a covariate.
Results
Patients with type 2 diabetes showed significantly decreased response inhibition in the Go/NoGo task (discriminability index: P = 0.001). There was an interaction of being overweight with diabetes on reaction time in the Go trials of the Go/NoGo task (P = 0.009). Being overweight was related to retained responses to the presentiment of reward in the extinction task (P = 0.029). The four groups showed normal cognitive performance in the WCST.
Conclusions
Our results showed that middle-aged, newly diagnosed and medication-free patients with type 2 diabetes have a particular neuropsychological deficit in inhibitory control of impulsive response, which is an independent effect of diabetes apart from being overweight.
doi:10.1186/1751-0759-4-1
PMCID: PMC2834594  PMID: 20181219
4.  A real-time assessment of the effect of exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome 
Physiology & behavior  2007;92(5):963-968.
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) report substantial symptom worsening after exercise. However, the time course over which this develops has not been explored. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the influence of exercise on subjective symptoms and on cognitive function in CFS patients in natural settings using a computerized ecological momentary assessment method, which allowed us to track the effects of exercise within and across days. Subjects were 9 female patients with CFS and 9 healthy women. A watch-type computer was used to collect real time data on physical and psychological symptoms and cognitive function for one week before and two weeks after a maximal exercise test. For each variable, we investigated temporal changes after exercise using multilevel modeling. Following exercise, physical symptoms did get worse but not until a five-day delay in CFS patients. Despite this, there was no difference in the temporal pattern of changes in psychological symptoms or in cognitive function after exercise between CFS patients and controls. In conclusion, physical symptoms worsened after a several day delay in patients with CFS following exercise while psychological symptoms or cognitive function did not change after exercise.
doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.07.001
PMCID: PMC2170105  PMID: 17655887
chronic fatigue syndrome; ecological momentary assessment; multilevel modeling
5.  Panic disorder and locomotor activity 
Background
Panic disorder is one of the anxiety disorders, and anxiety is associated with some locomotor activity changes such as "restlessness". However, there have been few studies on locomotor activity in panic disorder using actigraphy, although many studies on other psychiatric disorders have been reported using actigraphy. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between panic disorder and locomotor activity pattern using a wrist-worn activity monitor. In addition, an ecological momentary assessment technique was used to record panic attacks in natural settings.
Methods
Sixteen patients with panic disorder were asked to wear a watch-type computer as an electronic diary for recording panic attacks for two weeks. In addition, locomotor activity was measured and recorded continuously in an accelerometer equipped in the watch-type computer. Locomotor activity data were analyzed using double cosinor analysis to calculate mesor and the amplitude and acrophase of each of the circadian rhythm and 12-hour harmonic component. Correlations between panic disorder symptoms and locomotor activity were investigated.
Results
There were significant positive correlations between the frequency of panic attacks and mesor calculated from double cosinor analysis of locomotor activity (r = 0.55) and between HAM-A scores and mesor calculated from double cosinor analysis of locomotor activity (r = 0.62).
Conclusion
Panic disorder patients with more panic attacks and more anxiety have greater objectively assessed locomotor activity, which may reflect the "restlessness" of anxiety disorders.
doi:10.1186/1751-0759-2-23
PMCID: PMC2596169  PMID: 19017383

Results 1-5 (5)