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Magnetic skyrmions are vortex-like spin structures that are of great interest scientifically and for applications in low-power magnetic memories. The nanometer size and complex spin structure require high-resolution and quantitative experimental methods to study the physical properties of skyrmions. Here, we illustrate how Lorentz TEM and off-axis electron holography can be used to study the spin textures of magnetic skyrmions in the noncentrosymmetric B20-type helimagnet FeGe as a function of temperature and applied magnetic field. By reversing the magnetic field inside the microscope, the switching mechanism of the skyrmion lattice at 240 K is followed, showing a transition of the skyrmion lattice to the helical structure before the anti-skyrmion lattice is formed.

Open access

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present cross-sectional study is to examine the degree of degenerative patho-anatomical changes in the thoracic vertebrae in asymptomatic adult patients.

Materials and Methods

A total of 150 adult patients were examined with computed tomography (CT) because of various health conditions (e.g., tumour risk). The images were revised with post-processing procedures to detect bony changes in the thoracic vertebrae. Three types of degenerations (osteophytes, arthrosis, and irregular endplates) were examined and graded using appropriate grading systems. Correlational investigations were carried out in relation to age, BMI, and degenerations. Moreover, to examine the value of the degenerations the frequencies of the grading categories were assessed in each segment.

Results

The total number of the patients included was 41, who had no trunk symptoms. We found no convincing correlations in terms of age, BMI, and degenerations, however, age and facet joint arthrosis showed a tentative association. The degree of the degenerations was the largest in the Th7-8, Th8-9, Th9-10 segments for osteophytes, in the Th4-5, Th5-6 for arthrosis, and in the Th8-9, Th9-10 for irregular endplates.

Conclusions

This study found that there are several progressive degenerative changes in the thoracic spine without any clinical symptoms. Accordingly, it can be advised that clinicians should avoid labelling the disorders and planning their treatment based on the results of diagnostic imaging only.

Open access

Purpose

Reduced functional mobility is a risk factor for falls. The Timed Up and Go test is a complex measurement tool for functional mobility. Our aims were to assess the functional mobility of: (a) community-living elderly who were participating in an exercise programme (n = 40; mean age = 73.7 years), (b) community-living elderly who were physically inactive (n = 40; mean age = 74.1 years), and (c) institutionalized elderly (n = 40; mean age = 73.5 years) and to compare the results with cut-off values for risk of fall.

Materials and methods

After measuring functional mobility, one-way independent ANOVAs and sample t-tests were used for analysis.

Results

The functional mobility of the active participants was better than that of the inactive (p < .001) and institutionalized participants (p < .001). There was no significant difference between the inactive and institutionalized participants (p = .990). The functional mobility of the active participants was better, whereas the functional mobility of the inactive participants was worse than the cut-off value of 13.5 s for risk of fall for community-living elderly. The functional mobility of the institutionalized participants did not differ from the 15-s reference value for predicting risk of fall.

Conclusion

The results indicate that regular physical activity has a positive effect on maintaining functional mobility among both community-living and institutionalized elderly individuals.

Open access

Factors associated with postural control in nursing home residents

Oral presentation at the 13th Conference of the Hungarian Medical Association of America – Hungary Chapter (HMAA-HC) at 30–31 August 2019, in Balatonfüred, Hungary

Developments in Health Sciences
Authors: R.L. ErdŐs, I. Jónásné Sztruhár, A. Simon, and É. Kovács

Abstract

Purpose

Decline of the sensory and motor systems in older people negatively affects postural control. This increases the risk of falls, which is dangerous for older people in long-term care. Being aware of the quality of postural control and the factors affecting it among elderly people, is crucial in implementing an effective fall-prevention program. This study aimed to measure postural control and the demographic, health-related, and functional factors presumed to be correlated with it among nursing home residents. Another aim was to find valid screening tools based on these factors.

Materials and methods

Seventy one nursing home residents were included. Postural control was measured using the Berg Balance Scale. Grip strength, the 30-s chair stand test, and the Timed Up and Go test were used to measure global muscle strength, and functional mobility, respectively. The results of these functional tests were dichotomized using age-specific reference values.

Results

Postural control was significantly worse in those who did not reach the age-specific reference values in any of the three functional tests. Effect sizes were large for functional mobility and medium for muscle strength. Multimorbidity and gender had no effect on postural control in our sample.

Conclusions

Among nursing home residents, postural control is related to functional mobility and muscle strength. Thus, routine testing of these skills among elderly people is an important task of the physiotherapist.

Open access
Physiology International
Authors: Zs. Sári, T. Kovács, T. Csonka, M. Török, É. Sebő, J. Toth, D. Tóth, E. Mikó, B. Kiss, D. Szeőcs, K. Uray, Zs. Karányi, I. Kovács, G. Méhes, P. Árkosy, and P. Bai

Abstract

Breast cancer is characterized by oncobiosis, the abnormal composition of the microbiome in neoplastic diseases. The biosynthetic capacity of the oncobiotic flora in breast cancer is suppressed, as suggested by metagenomic studies. The microbiome synthesizes a set of cytostatic and antimetastatic metabolites that are downregulated in breast cancer, including cadaverine, a microbiome metabolite with cytostatic properties. We set out to assess how the protein expression of constitutive lysine decarboxylase (LdcC), a key enzyme for cadaverine production, changes in the feces of human breast cancer patients (n = 35). We found that the fecal expression of Escherichia coli LdcC is downregulated in lobular cases as compared to invasive carcinoma of no special type (NST) cases. Lobular breast carcinoma is characterized by low or absent expression of E-cadherin. Fecal E. coli LdcC protein expression is downregulated in E-cadherin negative breast cancer cases as compared to positive ones. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of LdcC expression in lobular and NST cases revealed that fecal E. coli LdcC protein expression might have predictive values. These data suggest that the oncobiotic transformation of the microbiome indeed leads to the downregulation of the production of cytostatic and antimetastatic metabolites. In E-cadherin negative lobular carcinoma that has a higher potential for metastasis formation, the protein levels of enzymes producing antimetastatic metabolites are downregulated. This finding represents a new route that renders lobular cases permissive for metastasis formation. Furthermore, our findings underline the role of oncobiosis in regulating metastasis formation in breast cancer.

Open access
Physiology International
Authors: E. Kovács, D. Pilecky, Z. Szakál-Tóth, A. Fekete-Győr, V.A. Gyarmathy, L. Gellér, B. Hauser, J. Gál, B. Merkely, and E. Zima

Abstract

Aim

We investigated the effect of age on post-cardiac arrest treatment outcomes in an elderly population, based on a local database and a systemic review of the literature.

Methods

Data were collected retrospectively from medical charts and reports. Sixty-one comatose patients, cooled to 32–34 °C for 24 h, were categorized into three groups: younger group (≤65 years), older group (66–75 years), and very old group (>75 years). Circumstances of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), patients' characteristics, post-resuscitation treatment, hemodynamic monitoring, neurologic outcome and survival were compared across age groups. Kruskal-Wallis test, Chi-square test and binary logistic regression (BLR) were applied. In addition, a literature search of PubMed/Medline database was performed to provide a background.

Results

Age was significantly associated with having a cardiac arrest on a monitor and a history of hypertension. No association was found between age and survival or neurologic outcome. Age did not affect hemodynamic parameter changes during target temperature management (TTM), except mean arterial pressure (MAP). Need of catecholamine administration was the highest among very old patients. During the literature review, seven papers were identified. Most studies had a retrospective design and investigated interventions and outcome, but lacked unified age categorization. All studies reported worse survival in the elderly, although old survivors showed a favorable neurologic outcome in most of the cases.

Conclusion

There is no evidence to support the limitation of post-cardiac arrest therapy in the aging population. Furthermore, additional prospective studies are needed to investigate the characteristics and outcome of post-cardiac arrest therapy in this patient group.

Open access