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No relevant studies have yet been conducted to explore which measurement can best predict the survival time of patients with cancer cachexia. This study aimed to identify an anthropometric measurement that could predict the 1-year survival of patients with cancer cachexia. We conducted a nested case–control study using data from a multicentre clinical investigation of cancer from 2013 to 2020. Cachexia was defined using the Fearon criteria. A total of 262 patients who survived less than 1 year and 262 patients who survived more than 1 year were included in this study. Six candidate variables were selected based on clinical experience and previous studies. Five variables, BMI, mid-arm circumference, mid-arm muscle circumference, calf circumference and triceps skin fold (TSF), were selected for inclusion in the multivariable model. In the conditional logistic regression analysis, TSF (P = 0·014) was identified as a significant independent protective factor. A similar result was observed in all patients with cancer cachexia (n 3084). In addition, a significantly stronger positive association between TSF and the 1-year survival of patients with cancer cachexia was observed in participants aged > 65 years (OR: 0·94; 95 % CI 0·89, 0·99) than in those aged ≤ 65 years (OR: 0·96; 95 % CI 0·93, 0·99; Pinteraction = 0·013) and in participants with no chronic disease (OR: 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) than in those with chronic disease (OR: 0·97; 95 % CI 0·94, 1·00; Pinteraction = 0·049). According to this study, TSF might be a good anthropometric measurement for predicting 1-year survival in patients with cancer cachexia.
High prevalence of insulin resistance (IR) has been reported in bipolar disorder (BD) patients. Importantly, impaired insulin sensitivity could modulate the course and treatment outcome in BD. Here, we hypothesized that insulin sensitivity could be potentially associated with the neurocognitive trajectory in euthymic BD. We aimed to examine differences in insulin sensitivity and executive function between BD patients and controls.
Sixty-two patients with BD receiving mood stabilizer treatment and 62 controls, matching age, sex, and body mass index, were recruited in this study. Insulin sensitivity was estimated using the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). The Wisconsin card-sorting test (WCST) was applied to test participants’ ability to shift cognitive set. Group differences were measured and multivariate regression analysis was performed to examine relationships among factors.
The results indicated that the HOMA-IR (P = .048) value in the patients with BD were significantly higher than those in controls. With regards to executive function, the BD patients performed significantly poorer than the control subjects (P < .05). Moreover, the interaction effect between BD diagnosis and HOMA-IR value on the WCST-preservation errors was significant (P = .01), and post-hoc analyses showed that the cognitive abilities were worse in the BD patients with a higher IR than in the others groups.
Insulin sensitivity is associated with the neurocognitive performance in euthymic BD patients. Although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear, interventions to improve insulin sensitivity could potentially improve the functional outcome of BD.
Previous studies suggested that a disturbance of the dopamine system underlies the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD). In addition, the therapeutic action of medications for treating BD, such as valproate (VPA), might modulate dopamine system activity, but it remains unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) in BD patients and in social defeat (SD) mice treated with VPA.
We enrolled community-dwelling controls (N = 18) and BD patients (N = 23) who were treated with VPA in a euthymic stage. The striatal DAT availabilities were approached by TRODAT-1 single photon emission computed tomography. We also established a chronic SD mouse model and treated mice with 350 mg/kg VPA for 3 weeks. Behavioral tests were administered, and striatal DAT expression levels were determined.
In humans, the level of striatal DAT availability was significantly higher in euthymic BD patients (1.52 ± 0.17 and 1.37 ± 0.23, p = 0.015). Moreover, the level of striatal DAT availability was also negatively correlated with the VPA concentration in BD patients (r = −0.653, p = 0.003). In SD mice, the expression of striatal DAT significantly increased (p < 0.001), and the SD effect on DAT expression was rescued by VPA treatment.
The striatal DAT might play a role in the pathophysiology of BD and in the therapeutic mechanism of VPA. The homeostasis of DAT might represent a new therapeutic strategy for BD patients.
This study aimed to determine the effects of supplementing the diet of adult Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus with phosphatidylcholine (PC) on growth performance, body composition, fatty acid composition and gene expression. Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia fish with an initial body weight of 83·1 (sd 2·9) g were divided into six groups. Each group was hand-fed a semi-purified diet containing 1·7 (control diet), 4·0, 6·5, 11·5, 21·3 or 41·0 g PC/kg diet for 68 d. Supplemental PC improved the feed efficiency rate, which was highest in the 11·5 g PC/kg diet. Weight gain and specific growth rate were unaffected. Dietary PC increased PC content in the liver and decreased crude fat content in the liver, viscera and body. SFA and MUFA increased and PUFA decreased in muscle with increasing dietary PC. Cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 and secreted phospholipase A2 mRNA expression were up-regulated in the brain and heart in PC-supplemented fish. PC reduced fatty acid synthase mRNA expression in the liver and visceral tissue but increased expression in muscle. Hormone-sensitive lipase and lipoprotein lipase expression increased in the liver with increasing dietary PC. Growth hormone mRNA expression was reduced in the brain and insulin-like growth factor-1 mRNA expression in liver reduced with PC above 6·5 g/kg. Our results demonstrate that dietary supplementation with PC improves feed efficiency and reduces liver fat in adult Nile tilapia, without increasing weight gain, representing a novel dietary approach to reduce feed requirements and improve the health of Nile tilapia.
The Doba gabbro was collected from an exploration well through the Cretaceous Doba basin of southern Chad. The gabbro is composed mostly of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and Fe–Ti oxide minerals and displays cumulus mineral textures. Whole-rock 40Ar–39Ar step-heating geochronology yielded a Late Permian plateau age of 257 ± 1 Ma. The major and trace elemental geochemistry shows that the gabbro is tholeiitic in composition and has trace element ratios (i.e. La/YbN > 7; Sm/YbPM > 3.4; Nb/Y > 1; Zr/Y > 5) indicative of a basaltic melt derived from a garnet-bearing mantle source. The moderately enriched Sr–Nd isotopes (i.e. ISr = 0.70495 to 0.70839; ɛNd(T) = −1.0 to −1.3) fall within the mantle array (i.e. OIB-like) and are similar to other Late Permian plutonic rocks of North-Central Africa (i.e. ISr = 0.7040 to 0.7070). The enriched isotopic composition of the Doba gabbro contrasts with the more depleted compositions of the spatially associated Neoproterozoic post-Pan-African within-plate granites. The contrasting Nd isotope composition between the older within-plate granites and the younger Doba gabbro indicates that different mantle sources produced the rocks and thus may mark the southern boundary of the Saharan Metacraton.
Based on the results of the study of convex object motion1 (J. Hopcroft and G. Wilfong, “Motion of objects in contact,” Int. J. Robot. Res., 4(4), 32–46 (1986)), this paper addresses the problem of exact collision detection of a pair of scaled convex polyhedra in relative motion, and determines the contact conditions of tangential contact features, arbitrary relative motion involving translation and rotation, and uniform scaling of the objects about a fixed point. We propose a new concept of the decision curve based on analytical contact equations that characterize a continuum of scaling factors (or a single scaling factor), which ensures that a pair of objects undergoing a scaling transformation will maintain the same tangential contact feature pair (or make instantaneous tangential contact feature transitions). We propose a reliable simulation-based approach to construct the decision curve by hybridizing analytical contact equations and conventional collision detection method, called the Fast Collision Detection Method (FCDM). This method can determine whether two scaled objects will make contact at specific tangential contact features (vertices, edges, or faces) under particular uniform scaling factors and after distinctive relative motion with better accuracy and less computational time than the existing collision detection methods. Finally, we demonstrate our approach for solving motion design in simple assembly/disassembly problems.
Impaired regulation of blood glucose levels in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and the associated elevation of blood glucose levels are known to increase the risk of diabetic cardiomyopathy (DC). In the present study, a probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus reuteri GMN-32, was evaluated for its potential to reduce blood glucose levels and to provide protection against DC risks in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced DM rats. The blood glucose levels of the STZ-induced DM rats when treated with L. reuteri GMN-32 decreased from 4480 to 3620 mg/l (with 107 colony-forming units (cfu)/d) and 3040 mg/l (with 109 cfu/d). Probiotic treatment also reduced the changes in the heart caused by the effects of DM. Furthermore, the Fas/Fas-associated protein with death domain pathway-induced caspase 8-mediated apoptosis that was observed in the cardiomyocytes of the STZ-induced DM rats was also found to be controlled in the probiotic-treated rats. The results highlight that L. reuteri GMN-32 treatment reduces blood glucose levels, inhibits caspase 8-mediated apoptosis and promotes cardiac function in DM rats as observed from their ejection fraction and fractional shortening values. In conclusion, the administration of L. reuteri GMN-32 probiotics can regulate blood glucose levels, protect cardiomyocytes and prevent DC in DM rats.
Based on a scanning electron microscope operated at 30 kV with a homemade specimen holder and a multiangle solid-state detector behind the sample, low-kV scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is presented with subsequent electron tomography for three-dimensional (3D) volume structure. Because of the low acceleration voltage, the stronger electron-atom scattering leads to a stronger contrast in the resulting image than standard TEM, especially for light elements. Furthermore, the low-kV STEM yields less radiation damage to the specimen, hence the structure can be preserved. In this work, two-dimensional STEM images of a 1-μm-thick cell section with projection angles between ±50° were collected, and the 3D volume structure was reconstructed using the simultaneous iterative reconstructive technique algorithm with the TomoJ plugin for ImageJ, which are both public domain software. Furthermore, the cross-sectional structure was obtained with the Volume Viewer plugin in ImageJ. Although the tilting angle is constrained and limits the resulting structural resolution, slicing the reconstructed volume generated the depth profile of the thick specimen with sufficient resolution to examine cellular uptake of Au nanoparticles, and the final position of these nanoparticles inside the cell was imaged.
In this work, the relationship between the substrate crystallinity and the on-state resistances of silicon carbide (SiC) photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSSs) was investigated. PCSSs with different channel lengths were fabricated on semi insulating 6H–SiC having different crystal qualities. A method was introduced for determining the photoconductive capacity of the SiC PCSSs. The experimental data suggest that the photoconductive capacity decreases sharply with the degradation of the full width at half maximum of the rocking curve of the 6H–SiC substrates. It is found that increasing the carrier mobility is a key factor for reducing the on-state resistance of the 6H–SiC PCSSs. Moreover, the results in this work present reference for the selection of 6H–SiC substrates for the fabrication of PCSSs and some other photoelectric devices.
We report herein the crystal growth of ZnO nanoparticles by the foam fractionation method. In this study, the vertical column height of the foam was fixed and the velocity of the sparging air was varied, and the effect of foam flow rate on the synthesis of ZnO was investigated. The obtained ZnO consisted of aggregated platelets and had differing ultraviolet absorbances. The as-synthesized ZnO was hydrophobic because of the interaction between the anionic head groups of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and the ZnO under the precipitation conditions. The long chain of the SDS molecule was the cause of hydrophobicity. The contact angle of water was in the range of 95–105° for the obtained ZnO/SDS surface. The photocatalytic degradation efficiency of the as-synthesized (ZnO/SDS) and the calcined ZnO was investigated for methylene blue, and the calcined ZnO retained its activity even after three recycles.
During diabetes, structural and functional changes in the alimentary tract are known to take place resulting in an increased absorption of intestinal glucose and alterations in the activities of brush-border disaccharidases. To elucidate the effect of administrating polysaccharide from Gynura divaricata (PGD) on disaccharidase activities, the specific activities of intestinal disaccharidases, namely sucrase, maltase and lactase, were measured in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Normal control and diabetic rats were treated by oral administration with PGD. Specific activities of intestinal disaccharidases were increased significantly during diabetes, and amelioration of the activities of sucrase and maltase during diabetes was clearly visible by the treatment with PGD. However, the increased activity of lactase during diabetes mellitus was remarkably alleviated by the administration of PGD only in the duodenum. Meanwhile, oral sucrose tolerance tests demonstrated that PGD alleviated the hyperglycaemia during diabetes mellitus, resulting from the amelioration in the activities of intestinal disaccharidases. The present investigation suggests that PGD exerted an anti-diabetic effect partly via inhibiting the increased intestinal disaccharidase activities of diabetic rats. This beneficial influence of administration of PGD on intestinal disaccharidases clearly indicates their helpful role in the management of diabetes.
The Critically Endangered Chinese crested tern Sterna bernsteini is a poorly known species. From June 2003 to August 2007 we therefore surveyed the Zhejiang and Shandong coasts of eastern China for breeding colonies and to document any threats. Our results indicated that (1) the colonies at Matzu and Jiushan are the only two in the species' potential breeding range, (2) the total population is no more than 50, (3) numbers in the two extant breeding colonies fluctuate annually, and (4) threats to the breeding populations include habitat degradation, egg poaching, disturbance, overfishing and typhoons. Egg poaching is the greatest threat to the Chinese crested tern population and other breeding seabird populations along the coast of China. We make recommendations for the conservation of this species.
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