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1.  House-plant placement for indoor air purification and health benefits on asthmatics 
Objectives
Some plants were placed in indoor locations frequented by asthmatics in order to evaluate the quality of indoor air and examine the health benefits to asthmatics.
Methods
The present study classified the participants into two groups: households of continuation and households of withdrawal by a quasi-experimental design. The households of continuation spent the two observation terms with indoor plants, whereas the households of withdrawal passed the former observation terms with indoor plants and went through the latter observation term without any indoor plants.
Results
The household of continuation showed a continual decrease in the indoor concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the entire observation period, but the household of withdrawal performed an increase in the indoor concentrations of VOCs, except formaldehyde and toluene during the latter observation term after the decrease during the former observation term. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) increased in the households of continuation with the value of 13.9 L/min in the morning and 20.6 L/ min in the evening, but decreased in the households of withdrawal with the value of -24.7 L/min in the morning and -30.2 L/min in the evening in the first experimental season. All of the households exhibited a decrease in the value of PEFR in the second experimental season.
Conclusions
Limitations to the generalizability of findings regarding the presence of plants indoors can be seen as a more general expression of such a benefit of human-environment relations.
doi:10.5620/eht.e2014014
PMCID: PMC4258716  PMID: 25384387
Asthma; Formaldehyde; Health; House-plant; Indoor air quality; Volatile organic compounds
2.  Reduced orbitofrontal cortical thickness in male adolescents with internet addiction 
Background
The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has consistently been implicated in the pathology of both drug and behavioral addictions. However, no study to date has examined OFC thickness in internet addiction. In the current study, we investigated the existence of differences in cortical thickness of the OFC in adolescents with internet addiction. On the basis of recently proposed theoretical models of addiction, we predicted a reduction of thickness in the OFC of internet addicted individuals.
Findings
Participants were 15 male adolescents diagnosed as having internet addiction and 15 male healthy comparison subjects. Brain magnetic resonance images were acquired on a 3T MRI and group differences in cortical thickness were analyzed using FreeSurfer. Our results confirmed that male adolescents with internet addiction have significantly decreased cortical thickness in the right lateral OFC (p<0.05).
Conclusion
This finding supports the view that the OFC alterations in adolescents with internet addiction reflect a shared neurobiological marker of addiction-related disorders in general.
doi:10.1186/1744-9081-9-11
PMCID: PMC3608995  PMID: 23497383
Internet addiction; Magnetic resonance imaging; Cortical thickness; Orbitofrontal cortex
3.  Decreased Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57831.
Background
Internet addiction has become increasingly recognized as a mental disorder, though its neurobiological basis is unknown. This study used functional neuroimaging to investigate whole-brain functional connectivity in adolescents diagnosed with internet addiction. Based on neurobiological changes seen in other addiction related disorders, it was predicted that connectivity disruptions in adolescents with internet addiction would be most prominent in cortico-striatal circuitry.
Methods
Participants were 12 adolescents diagnosed with internet addiction and 11 healthy comparison subjects. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired, and group differences in brain functional connectivity were analyzed using the network-based statistic. We also analyzed network topology, testing for between-group differences in key graph-based network measures.
Results
Adolescents with internet addiction showed reduced functional connectivity spanning a distributed network. The majority of impaired connections involved cortico-subcortical circuits (∼24% with prefrontal and ∼27% with parietal cortex). Bilateral putamen was the most extensively involved subcortical brain region. No between-group difference was observed in network topological measures, including the clustering coefficient, characteristic path length, or the small-worldness ratio.
Conclusions
Internet addiction is associated with a widespread and significant decrease of functional connectivity in cortico-striatal circuits, in the absence of global changes in brain functional network topology.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057831
PMCID: PMC3581468  PMID: 23451272
5.  Pancreatic hamartoma diagnosed after surgical resection 
A pancreatic hamartoma is a rare benign lesion that may be mistaken for malignancy. A pancreatic hamartoma can present with vague, non-specific symptoms, which can be difficult to diagnose despite modern diagnostic tools. We report here a pancreatic hamartoma diagnosed after surgical resection. A 52-year-old female presented with postprandial abdominal discomfort. Abdominal computed tomography and pancreatic magnetic resonance imaging revealed a 2.2 × 2.5-cm cystic mass in the pancreatic head. The patient underwent a pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy. The histopathological and immunohistochemical studies helped make the diagnosis of pancreatic hamartoma. Here, we report a case of pancreatic hamartoma and review the relevant medical literature.
doi:10.4174/jkss.2012.83.5.330
PMCID: PMC3491237  PMID: 23166894
Hamartoma; Pancreas; Pancreaticoduodenectomy
6.  Health Risk Assessment of Lead Ingestion Exposure by Particle Sizes in Crumb Rubber on Artificial Turf Considering Bioavailability 
Objectives
The purpose of this study was to assess the risk of ingestion exposure of lead by particle sizes of crumb rubber in artificial turf filling material with consideration of bioavailability.
Methods
This study estimated the ingestion exposure by particle sizes (more than 250 um or less than 250 um) focusing on recyclable ethylene propylene diene monomer crumb rubber being used as artificial turf filling. Analysis on crumb rubber was conducted using body ingestion exposure estimate method in which total content test method, acid extraction method and digestion extraction method are reflected. Bioavailability which is a calibrating factor was reflected in ingestion exposure estimate method and applied in exposure assessment and risk assessment. Two methods using acid extraction and digestion extraction concentration were compared and evaluated.
Results
As a result of the ingestion exposure of crumb rubber material, the average lead exposure amount to the digestion extraction result among crumb rubber was calculated to be 1.56×10-4 mg/kg-day for low grade elementary school students and 4.87×10-5 mg/kg-day for middle and high school students in 250 um or less particle size, and that to the acid extraction result was higher than the digestion extraction result. Results of digestion extraction and acid extraction showed that the hazard quotient was estimated by about over 2 times more in particle size of lower than 250 um than in higher than 250 um. There was a case of an elementary school student in which the hazard quotient exceeded 0.1.
Conclusions
Results of this study confirm that the exposure of lead ingestion and risk level increases as the particle size of crumb rubber gets smaller.
doi:10.5620/eht.2012.27.e2012005
PMCID: PMC3278598  PMID: 22355803
Artificial turf; Bioavailability; Crumb rubber; Exposure assessment; Lead
7.  Association Between Body Mass Index and Asthma Symptoms Among Korean Children: A Nation-Wide Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(12):1541-1547.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and the prevalence of wheeze using nation-wide cross-sectional study in Korean children. Total 50,200 children from 427 elementary schools were randomly selected according to residential areas (metropolitan, provincial, rural, and industrial areas) by the cluster sampling method. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaires were used to measure the prevalence of wheeze. Among 31,026 respondents, 25,322 were analyzed. BMI was classified into quartiles based on BMI-for-age percentile. In all residential areas, pets at home and visible mold or moisture were associated with an increased prevalence of wheeze in both genders. However, other living environment factors were not consistently associated among residential areas and gender. Among girls, lowest BMI was negatively associated with prevalence of wheeze and highest BMI was positively associated in all residential areas. In multilevel logistic regression analysis, environmental tobacco smoking exposure, pets at home, visible mold or moisture, and being in the lowest and highest BMI quartile were significantly associated with the prevalence of wheeze in both genders. BMI has become an important risk factor for asthma symptoms among Korean children.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2011.26.12.1541
PMCID: PMC3230012  PMID: 22147989
Asthma; Body Mass Index; Child; Residence Characteristics
8.  Health Risks Assessment in Children for Phthalate Exposure Associated with Childcare Facilities and Indoor Playgrounds 
Objectives
This study assessed the health risks for children exposed to phthalate through several pathways including house dust, surface wipes and hand wipes in child facilities and indoor playgrounds.
Methods
The indoor samples were collected from various children's facilities (40 playrooms, 42 daycare centers, 44 kindergartens, and 42 indoor-playgrounds) in both summer (Jul-Sep, 2007) and winter (Jan-Feb, 2008). Hazard index (HI) was estimated for the non-carcinogens and the examined phthalates were diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), dibutyl-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP). The present study examined these four kinds of samples, i.e., indoor dust, surface wipes of product and hand wipes.
Results
Among the phthalates, the detection rates of DEHP were 98% in dust samples, 100% in surface wipe samples, and 95% in hand wipe samples. In this study, phthalate levels obtained from floor dust, product surface and children's hand wipe samples were similar to or slightly less compared to previous studies. The 50th and 95th percentile value of child-sensitive materials did not exceed 1 (HI) for all subjects in all facilities.
Conclusions
For DEHP, DnBP and BBzP their detection rates through multi-routes were high and their risk based on health risk assessment was also observed to be acceptable. This study suggested that ingestion and dermal exposure could be the most important pathway of phthalates besides digestion through food.
doi:10.5620/eht.2011.26.e2011008
PMCID: PMC3214980  PMID: 22125769
Phthalate; Childcare facilities; Health risk assessment; Multi-route exposure
9.  Prevalence of Allergic Diseases among Korean School-age Children: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Questionnaire Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(3):332-338.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the nationwide prevalence of childhood asthma, eczema and other allergic diseases in Korean school-age children (8-11 yr old) and to assess the difference between residential areas. Among 6,279 elementary schools, 427 schools were randomly selected according to residential area (metropolitan, provincial, rural, and industrial area) by the cluster sampling method. Parents of students completed a modified Korean version of a questionnaire formulated by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Among 50,200 subjects, 31,026 (61.8%) responded, and 30,893 (99.6%) were analyzed. The 12-month prevalence of wheeze, flexural rash, and allergic rhinitis symptoms were 4.8%, 15.3%, and 32.9%, respectively. The prevalence of diagnosis of allergic diseases in boys was higher than that in girls, with the exception of eczema. In both boys and girls, the difference of the prevalence of allergic diseases among industrial, metropolitan and provincial areas was not statistically significant, but the differences between rural area and other areas were significant. Our results support the importance of contextual effect associated with residential area as causative agents of allergic diseases among Korean school-age children.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2011.26.3.332
PMCID: PMC3051078  PMID: 21394299
Asthma; Allergy; Prevalence; Child

Results 1-9 (9)