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Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Oats can be processed in a variety of ways ranging from minimally processed such as steel-cut oats (SCO), to mildly processed such as large-flake oats (old fashioned oats, OFO), moderately processed such as instant oats (IO) or highly processed in ready-to-eat oat cereals such as Honey Nut Cheerios (HNC). Although processing is believed to increase glycaemic and insulinaemic responses, the effect of oat processing in these respects is unclear. Thus, we compared the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses elicited by 628 kJ portions of SCO, OFO, IO and HNC and a portion of Cream of Rice cereal (CR) containing the same amount of available-carbohydrate (23 g) as the oatmeals. Healthy males (n 18) and females (n 12) completed this randomised, cross-over trial. Blood was taken fasting and at intervals for 3 h following test-meal consumption. Glucose and insulin peak-rises and incremental AUC (iAUC) were subjected to repeated-measures ANOVA using Tukey’s test (two-sided P<0·05) to compare individual means. Glucose peak-rise (primary endpoint, mean (sem) mmol/l) after OFO, 2·19 (sem 0·11), was significantly less than after CR, 2·61 (sem 0·13); and glucose peak-rise after SCO, 1·93 (sem 0·13), was significantly less than after CR, HNC, 2·49 (sem 0·13) and IO 2·47 (sem 0·13). Glucose iAUC was significantly lower after SCO than CR and HNC. Insulin peak rise was similar among the test meals, but insulin iAUC was significantly less after SCO than IO. Thus, the results show that oat processing affects glycaemic and insulinaemic responses with lower responses associated with less processing.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
In linear system, in-plane motions are decoupled from out-of-plane motions for planar frame structures. A theoretical method is proposed that permits the efficient calculations of modal characteristics of planar multi-story frame structures. There are 3 × m beam components for a planar m-story frame structure. By analyzing the transverse and longitudinal motions of each component simultaneously and considering the compatibility requirements across each frame joint, the undetermined variables of the entire m-story frame structure system can be reduced to six, regardless of the number of stories, and that can be determined by the application of the boundary conditions. The main feature of this method is to decrease the dimensions of the matrix involved in the finite element methods and certain other analytical methods.
A new Edition of the Asiago Catalogue of QSOs (Barbieri et al. 1982) is available on magnetic tape. It contains essentially all the information of the previous editions updated with the papers published before Dec.31, 1984. The catalog should be essentially complete to that date in respect to objects having slit spectra (2330 objects), while it is seriously incomplete regarding candidates discovered by objective prism or grism/grens surveys after 1982 (279 such objects included in the present version).
Introduction: A novel bladder stimulation technique has been described for midstream urine (MSU) collection in well-feeding, inpatient newborns. We sought to determine the performance of this technique amongst infants presenting to the Emergency Department (ED). Methods: Our prospective ED-based study enrolled a convenience cohort of infants aged ≤ 90 days who required urine testing. Infants with significant feeding issues, moderate to severe dehydration, or critical illness were excluded. Bladder stimulation consisted of finger tapping on the lower abdomen with or without lower back massage while holding the child upright. Healthcare providers received standardized training in the technique. Primary outcome was the proportion of infants with successful MSU collection via the technique. Success was defined as adequate sample collection (≥ 1 mL urine) within 5 minutes of initiating stimulation. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of contaminated MSU samples, time required for MSU collection and full protocol completion, and patient discomfort as perceived by parent/guardian using a 100 mm visual analog scale [VAS]. Assuming success a priori in 50% of infants, a sample size of 115 allowed a 95% confidence interval of +/- 9.1% around the point estimate. Results: We enrolled 115 infants. Mean age was 53.0 days old (interquartile range [IQR] 26.7-68.0); 58.3% were male (69.2% uncircumcised). Midstream urine was successfully collected in 61 infants (53.0%; 95% CI 0.44,0.62). Thirty-one MSU samples (50.8%) were contaminated; uncircumcised males held the highest proportion (55.0%). Most contaminated samples (83.9%) were reported as “non-significant growth” or “growth of ≥ 3 organisms” and were easily identifiable as contaminants with minimal impact on clinical care. Only 4 (8.5%) of the 47 patients discharged home after successful MSU collection had a repeat ED visit for urine testing. Median stimulation time for MSU collection was 45 seconds (IQR 20-99 secs). Median time for full protocol completion was 30.83 minutes (IQR 24.42-46.83 mins). Mean VAS for infant discomfort was 20.2 mm (SD +/- 20.4 mm). Conclusion: Our pragmatic, ED-based study found the success rate of this bladder stimulation technique to be significantly lower (53%) than its published rate (86%). The contamination rate was high but most contaminated specimens were easily identifiable as such and had minimal clinical impact.
This study examined the temporal and spatial patterns of diarrhoea in relation to hydro-meteorological factors in the Mekong Delta area in Vietnam. A time-series design was applied to examine the temporal pattern of the climate–diarrhoea relationship using Poisson regression models. Spatial analysis was applied to examine the spatial clusters of diarrhoea using Global Moran's I and local indicators of spatial autocorrelation (LISA). The temporal pattern showed that the highest peak of diarrhoea was from weeks 30–42 corresponding to August–October annually. A 1 cm increase in river water level at a lag of 1 week was associated with a small [0·07%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·01–0·1] increase in the diarrhoeal rate. A 1 °C increase in temperature at lag of 2 and 4 weeks was associated with a 1·5% (95% CI 0·3−2·7) and 1·1% (95% CI 0·1−2·3) increase in diarrhoeal risk, respectively. Relative humidity and diarrhoeal risk were in nonlinear relationship. The spatial analysis showed significant clustering of diarrhoea, and the LISA map shows three multi-centred diarrhoeal clusters and three single-centred clusters in the research location. The findings suggest that climatic conditions projected to be associated with climate change have important implication for human health impact in the Mekong Delta region.
Undoped, 4µm thick GaN layers grown by Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition were used for fabrication of high stand off voltage (356 V) Schottky diode rectifiers. The figure of merit VRB2/RON, where VRB is the reverse breakdown voltage and RON is the on-resistance, was ~ 4.53 MW-cm−2 at 25°C. The reverse breakdown voltage displayed a negative temperature coefficient, due to an increase in carrier concentration with increasing temperature. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry measurements showed that Si and O were the most predominant electrically active impurities present in the GaN.
Outcome of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) includes impaired emotion regulation. Emotion regulation has been associated with amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate (rACC). However, functional connectivity between the two structures after injury has not been reported. A preliminary examination of functional connectivity of rACC and right amygdala was conducted in adolescents 2 to 3 years after moderate to severe TBI and in typically developing (TD) control adolescents, with the hypothesis that the TBI adolescents would demonstrate altered functional connectivity in the two regions. Functional connectivity was determined by correlating fluctuations in the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal of the rACC and right amygdala with that of other brain regions. In the TBI adolescents, the rACC was found to be significantly less functionally connected to medial prefrontal cortices and to right temporal regions near the amygdala (height threshold T = 2.5, cluster level p < .05, FDR corrected), while the right amygdala showed a trend in reduced functional connectivity with the rACC (height threshold T = 2.5, cluster level p = .06, FDR corrected). Data suggest disrupted functional connectivity in emotion regulation regions. Limitations include small sample sizes. Studies with larger sample sizes are necessary to characterize the persistent neural damage resulting from moderate to severe TBI during development. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–14)
We examined the spatial distribution pattern and meteorological drivers of dengue fever (DF) in Guangdong Province, China. Annual incidence of DF was calculated for each county between 2005 and 2011 and the geographical distribution pattern of DF was examined using Moran's I statistic and excess risk maps. A time-stratified case-crossover study was used to investigate the short-term relationship between DF and meteorological factors and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). High-epidemic DF areas were restricted to the Pearl River Delta region and the Han River Delta region, Moran's I of DF distribution was significant from 2005 to 2006 and from 2009 to 2011. Daily vapour pressure, mean and minimum temperatures were associated with increased DF risk. Maximum temperature and SOI were negatively associated with DF transmission. The risk of DF was non-randomly distributed in the counties in Guangdong Province. Meteorological factors could be important predictors of DF transmission.
Since 2004, efforts to improve poliovirus detection have significantly increased the volume of specimen testing from acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) patients in India. One option to decrease collection and testing burden would be collecting only a single stool specimen instead of two. We investigated stool specimen sensitivity for poliovirus detection in India to estimate the contribution of the second specimen. We reviewed poliovirus isolation data for 303984 children aged <15 years with AFP during 2000–2010. Using maximum-likelihood estimation, we determined specimen sensitivity of each stool specimen, combined sensitivity of both specimens, and sensitivity added by the second specimen. Of 5184 AFP patients with poliovirus isolates, 382 (7·4%) were identified only by the second specimen. Sensitivity was 91·4% for the first specimen and 84·5% for the second specimen; the second specimen added 7·3% sensitivity, giving a combined sensitivity of 98·7%. Combined sensitivity declined, and added sensitivity increased, as the time from paralysis onset to stool collection increased (P = 0·032). The sensitivity added by the second specimen is important to detect the last chains of poliovirus transmission and to achieve certification of polio eradication. For sensitive surveillance, two stool specimens should continue to be collected from each AFP patient in India.
Arabinoxylans are polysaccharides constituted of a linear backbone of xylose in which arabinose substituents are attached, some ferulic acid esterifies arabinose. Arabinoxylan can form covalent gels by oxidative coupling of ferulic acid. Arabinoxylan gels could have potential applications for colon-specific biomolecules delivery due to their macroporous structure, and their aqueous environment and their dietary fiber nature. Lycopene has received increasing attention for its possible role in the prevention of colon cancer. It has been previously reported that arabinoxylan gels could be formed in presence of lycopene with no detriment on the lycopene antioxidant activity. The objective of this research was to investigate the in vitro degradation of arabinoxylan gels (AX gels) by two human colon bacterial species (Bacteroides ovatus and Bifidobacterium longum). Bacterial counts (CFU ml-1) and metabolic heat production (p) followed a similar pattern with a high response during the first 24 h at 37 °C. A regression model related CFU ml-1 and p (r2= 0.98). These results show that AX gels could be carriers for lycopene delivery in colon due structure degradation by gut microbiota.
Arabinoxylan gels are receiving increasing attention as oral delivery systems of biomolecules for therapeutic purposes. The aim of this research was to evaluate arabinoxylan gels as an oral delivery system for insulin, representing a painless therapy for diabetics. Gels at two concentrations of arabinoxylan were prepared (2.5 and 3.5 % w/v). One concentration of insulin (0.05 % w/v) entrapped in the arabinoxylan gels was investigated. At the end of gelation elasticity (G’) values were 11 and 20 for gels at 2.5 and 3.5% (w/v) in arabinoxylan, respectively. The presence of insulin in the gels did not affect the values of G’. The apparent diffusion coefficient for insulin decreased from 1.30 x 10-7 to 1.09 x 10-7 cm2/s when the concentration of arabinoxylan in the gel increased from 2.5 to 3.5% (w/v). The percentage of proteolysis for insulin entrapped in the gels at 2.5 and 3.5% in arabinoxylan (w/v) were 35 and 17%, respectively, in relation to 100% hydrolysis of insulin in solution. Results indicate that arabinoxylan gels could be potential candidates as oral delivery systems for insulin.
SXP 1062 is an exceptional case of a young neutron star in a wind-fed high-mass X-ray binary associated with a supernova remnant. A unique combination of measured spin period, its derivative, luminosity and young age makes this source a key probe for the physics of accretion and neutron star evolution. Theoretical models proposed to explain the properties of SXP 1062 shall be tested with new data.
Motivated by recent experimental observations, we consider a steady-state boundary layer flow with polymers in forced convection above a heated plate and study how the heat transport might be affected by the polymers. We discuss how a set of equations can be derived for the problem and how these equations can be solved numerically by an iterative scheme. By carrying out such a scheme, we find that the effect of the polymers is equivalent to producing a space-dependent effective viscosity that first increases from the zero-shear value at the plate then decreases rapidly back to the zero-shear value far from the plate. We further show that such an effective viscosity leads to a decrease in the streamwise velocity near the plate, which in turn leads to a reduction in heat transport.
Previous studies have suggested that Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum) has antioxidant effects and possibly beneficial effects on blood pressure, plasma lipids and glucose, but these have not been confirmed in subjects with mild hypertension or hyperlipidaemia. The objective of the present study was to assess the cardiovascular, metabolic, antioxidant and immunomodulatory responses to therapy with Lingzhi in patients with borderline elevations of blood pressure and/or cholesterol in a controlled cross-over trial. A total of twenty-six patients received 1·44 g Lingzhi daily or matching placebo for 12 weeks in a randomised, double-blind, cross-over study with placebo-controlled run-in and cross-over periods. Body weight, blood pressure, metabolic parameters, urine catecholamines and cortisol, antioxidant status and lymphocyte subsets were measured after each period. Lingzhi was well tolerated and data from twenty-three evaluable subjects showed no changes in BMI or blood pressure when treated with Lingzhi or placebo. Plasma insulin and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance were lower after treatment with Lingzhi than after placebo. TAG decreased and HDL-cholesterol increased with Lingzhi but not with placebo in the first treatment period, but significant carry-over effects prevented complete analysis of these parameters. Urine catecholamines and cortisol, plasma antioxidant status and blood lymphocyte subsets showed no significant differences across treatments. Results indicate that Lingzhi might have mild antidiabetic effects and potentially improve the dyslipidaemia of diabetes, as shown previously in some animal studies. Further studies are desirable in patients with hyperglycaemia.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.