ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1945.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: Smartphone Addiction; Risk Decision-Making; College Students; fNIRS
Online: 29 August 2023 (11:18:58 CEST)
Smartphone Addiction is a social issue caused by excessive smartphone use, affecting decision-making processes. Current research on the risky decision-making abilities of smartphone addicts is limited. This study used the fNIRS brain imaging technique and a Sequential Risk-Taking Task experimental paradigm to investigate the decision-making behavior and brain activity of smartphone addicts under varying risk levels. Using a mixed experimental design, the research assessed decision-making ability and brain activation levels as dependent variables across two groups (addiction and control), two risk amounts (high and low), and two outcomes (gain and loss). The study included 42 participants, with 25 in the addiction group and 17 in the control group. Results indicated that risk level significantly impacted the decision-making ability of smartphone addicts, with high-risk levels leading to weaker decision-making ability and increased risk-taking. However, at low risk levels, decision-making abilities between addicts and healthy individuals showed no significant difference. Furthermore, brain imaging results using fNIRS revealed stronger brain activation in the dlPFC region for smartphone addicts under loss outcome conditions, with no significant differences between the two groups in terms of brain activation at varying risk volumes. These findings are critical in promoting healthy smartphone use, guiding clinical treatment, and advancing brain mechanism research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0031.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Rett syndrome; MeCP2; CRISPR/cas9; transcriptome; calcium ion
Online: 2 April 2019 (12:28:17 CEST)
Objective: Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in MeCP2, a transcription factor. MeCP2 mutations cause abnormal expression of downstream genes and eventually lead to brain dysfunction. The role of MeCP2 in brain neural development remains unclear. To further elucidate this role, a MeCP2-null rat model was created with the CRISPR/cas9 system. Method: A MeCP2-cas9 vector was constructed and then microinjected into fertilized rat ova in vitro. Two mutations by CRISPR/cas9 were confirmed to cause deletions in exon 2 of MeCP2 via DNA sequencing, and protein expression was measured by Western blotting. Transcriptome data for three brain tissues, the cerebellum, cerebral cortex and hippocampus, were obtained via next-generation sequencing. Results: MeCP2-null rats were successfully obtained, and preliminary analysis showed that the MeCP2-null rats exhibited motor dysfunction and anxious and depressed behaviour. In addition, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the three MeCP2-null brain tissues compared to wild-type rat brain tissues. In the rat cerebellum, 388 downregulated DEGs were mainly involved in the calcium ion signalling pathway and the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. In the cerebral cortex, 386 upregulated DEGs were primarily involved in intracellular signal transduction, protein phosphorylation and the MAPK signalling pathway. In the hippocampus, the DEGs were related to the MAPK signalling pathway. Conclusion: We constructed a MeCP2-null rat model with unique features with CRISPR/cas9 technology to study RTT and analysed DEGs in three rat brain tissues to highlight potential targets for the development of new medicines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0302.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: volunteer; peer groups; pain management; nursing homes
Online: 28 June 2019 (15:43:27 CEST)
Abstract Background: Chronic pain is common among older adults and is associated with adverse physical and psychological outcomes. Given the expected burden and limited healthcare resources, an innovative and cost-effective method to manage chronic pain should be developed. Peer volunteers (PVs) have been used as an affordable alternative to professional services to help patients manage their chronic conditions including pain with success and acceptance. The aim of this paper is to explore the experiences and perceptions of PVs in a peer-led pain management program among nursing home residents. Methods: This longitudinal study formed part of a wider research study, a clustered randomised controlled trial, which investigates the effectiveness of a 12-week peer-led pain management program (PAP) in relieving chronic pain and enhancing pain self-efficacy among nursing home residents. Quantitative data were collected from questionnaires (demographics, pain situation and pain knowledge) for all PVs. Qualitative data (PVs’ experiences in leading the PAP, their perceived benefits, limitations and barriers encountered, its usefulness to the participants and recommendations for improving the PAP) were collected from focus group for a selected sample at baseline (before attending the training) and at week 12 (upon completion of the PAP). Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences and NVivo 8. Results: A total of 46 PVs were recruited (34 female, 74%), with mean±SD age of 61.0±5.1 years. Thirty-one PVs reported to have chronic pain. Before the training, self-rated pain knowledge was 39.1±20.4 (maximum 100 points). When actual pain knowledge was assessed, a mean pain knowledge score of 86.1±10.6 points was found. There was a significant difference between the self-rated pain knowledge and the pain knowledge score (p<0.001). PVs reported to have improvement in their knowledge and skills. No PVs reported negative comments regarding their role in the PAP, although experienced barriers such as communication, space and privacy were reported. Conclusions: This study provides further evidence that peer-led pain management program is feasible. Barriers identified may benefit the design and planning of future PAP. Trial registration: ClincalTrials.gov (NCT03823495), 30 January 2019. (Retrospectively registered).