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Little is known about long-term employment outcomes for patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum (FES) disorders who received early intervention services.
We compared the 10-year employment trajectory of patients with FES who received early intervention services with those who received standard care. Factors differentiating the employment trajectories were explored.
Patients with FES (N = 145) who received early intervention services in Hong Kong between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002 were matched with those who entered standard care 1 year previously. We used hierarchical clustering analysis to explore the 10-year employment clusters for both groups. We used the mixed model test to compare cluster memberships and piecewise regression analysis to compare the employment trajectories of the two groups.
There were significantly more patients who received the early intervention service in the good employment cluster (early intervention: N = 98 [67.6%]; standard care: N = 76 [52.4%]; P = 0.009). In the poor employment cluster, there was a significant difference in the longitudinal pattern between early intervention and standard care for years 1–5 (P < 0.0001). The number of relapses during the first 3 years, months of full-time employment during the first year and years of education were significant in differentiating the clusters of the early intervention group.
Results suggest there was an overall long-term benefit of early intervention services on employment. However, the benefit was not sustained for all patients. Personalisation of the duration of the early intervention service with a focus on relapse prevention and early vocational reintegration should be considered for service enhancement.
Declaration of interests
No relevant conflicts of interests reported by C.L.M.H., Y.N.S., P.S., H.H.P. and K.K.Y. S.K.W.C., W.C.C. and E.H.M.L. report that they are members of the working group of the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. E.Y.H.C. is the convener of the working group of the EASY programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly heterogeneous and can be classified as treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or antidepressant-responsive depression (non-TRD) based on patients' responses to antidepressant treatment. Methods for distinguishing between TRD and non-TRD are critical clinical concerns. Deficits of cortical inhibition (CI) have been reported to play an influential role in the pathophysiology of MDD. Whether TRD patients' CI is more impaired than that of non-TRD patients remains unclear.
Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) was used to measure cortical inhibitory function including GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-related CI and cortical excitatory function including glutamate-receptor-related intracortical facilitation (ICF). We recruited 36 healthy controls (HC) and 36 patients with MDD (non-TRD, n = 16; TRD, n = 20). All participants received evaluations for depression severity and ppTMS examinations. Non-TRD patients received an additional ppTMS examination after 3 months of treatment with the SSRI escitalopram.
Patients with TRD exhibited reduced short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), as shown by abnormally higher estimates, than those with non-TRD or HC (F = 11.030, p < 0.001; F = 10.309, p < 0.001, respectively). After an adequate trial of escitalopram treatment, the LICI of non-TRD reduced significantly (t = − 3.628, p < 0.001), whereas the ICF remained lower than that of HC and showed no difference from pretreatment non-TRD.
TRD was characterized by relatively reduced CI, including both GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-mediated neurons while non-TRD preserved partial CI. In non-TRD, SSRIs may mainly modulate GABAB-receptor-related LICI. Our findings revealed distinguishable features of CI in antidepressant-resistant and responsive major depression.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
Composite materials include various components with different structures, which cooperatively increase their properties and extend their application. In this study, the graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) guest material was assembled into the porous of the SiO2 aerogel, which was prepared during the gel process. By this way, the g-C3N4 could be absolutely encapsulated into the porous of the disordered porous SiO2 aerogel. The prepared g-C3N4/SiO2 composite had a loose porous structure and exhibited the much higher photocatalytic activity to the photodegradation of rhodamine B (RhB) under visible light. The disordered porous structure enhanced photocatalytic activity, and the degradation rate reached to 96.42% in 90 min under the irradiation of visible light, which could be attributed to its high surface area and effective electron–hole separation rate. The catalyst had the much higher stability and could be easily recycled utilization. The prepared composites could be applied to degrade organic pollutants in wastewater.
The influence of the azimuthal electron drift on anomalous erosion and the sheath profile in a stationary plasma thruster (SPT) is analysed in this article. It is found that the anomalous erosion has a self-organized structure, which is formed by the interaction between the plasma and the ceramic walls. In order to interpret the mechanism of the azimuthal erosion structure, a particle in cell (PIC) model is developed to simulate the azimuthal sheath. The results show that the electron azimuthal Hall drift due to crossed electric and magnetic field plays a key role in the azimuthal erosion evolution process. Electron Hall drift can generate an asymmetric sheath structure and induce azimuthal sheath oscillation. Furthermore, an asymmetric sheath caused by the integrated effect of the azimuthal irregular wall structure and azimuthal Hall drift will result in the azimuthal movement of ions. Based on the sheath simulated results, an erosion model is used to simulate the azimuthal erosion evolution. An asymmetric erosion profile caused by the azimuthal asymmetric ion sputtering is found.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
κ-Al2O3-type GaFeO3 is a promising multiferroic material due to the coexistence of a large spontaneous magnetization and polarization near room temperature. In the current study, we present the magnetic properties of single crystalline GaFeO3 and compare it with that of ε-Fe2O3. Magnetic measurements revealed that spontaneous magnetization appears below 540 K in two steps, similar to that reported for ε−Fe2O3. Partial magnetic ordering takes place at 540 K (TN1), with Fe3+ ions in two distorted octahedral sites ordering antiparallel to one another. Upon further cooling at 200 K (TN2), the remaining Fe3+ ions in regular octahedra and tetrahedra order antiparallel to one another. Substitution of Ga for Fe in ε-Fe2O3 leads to a decrease in TN1 and TN2 from 850 to 540 K and from 480 to 200 K, respectively, caused by a dilution of magnetic Fe by nonmagnetic Ga and preferential site occupation of Ga.
In situ U–Pb and Hf analyses were used for crustal zircon xenocrysts from Triassic kimberlites exposed in the Rangnim Massif of North Korea to identify components of the basement hidden in the deep crust of the Rangnim Massif and to clarify the crustal evolution of the massif. The U–Pb age spectrum of the zircons has a prominent population at 1.9–1.8 Ga and a lack of Archaean ages. The data indicate that the deep crust and basement beneath the Rangnim Massif are predominantly of Palaeoproterozoic age, consistent with the ages of widely exposed Palaeoproterozoic granitic rocks. In situ zircon Hf isotope data show that most of the Palaeoproterozoic zircon xenocrysts have negative ϵHf(t) values (−9.7 to +0.7) with an average Hf model age of 2.86 ± 0.02 Ga (2σ), which suggests that the Palaeoproterozoic basement was not juvenile but derived from the reworking of Archaean rocks. Considering the existence of Archaean remanent material in the Rangnim Massif and their juvenile features, a strong crustal reworking event is indicated at 1.9–1.8 Ga, during which time the pre-existing Archaean basement was exhausted and replaced by a newly formed Palaeoproterozoic basement. These features suggest that the Rangnim Massif constitutes the eastern extension of the Palaeoproterozoic Liao–Ji Belt of the North China Craton instead of the Archaean Liaonan Block as previously thought. A huge Palaeoproterozoic orogen may exist in the eastern margin of the Sino-Korean Craton.
This study investigated the effect of pre-exercise α-lactalbumin ingestion on subsequent endurance exercise performance, muscle pain and mood states. In a two-stage cross-over counterbalance design, eleven male endurance runners (age: 31 (se 2) years, height: 169·5 (se 4·4) cm, weight: 63·6 (se 5·1) kg, V̇O2max: 58·8 (se 6·3) ml/kg per min) consumed two solutions (carbohydrate+α-lactalbumin, CA; carbohydrate+whey protein isolate, CW) 2 h before a self-paced 21-km run. Creatine kinase, IL-6, muscle pain, pressure pain threshold (PPT) and mood states were assessed 2 h before exercise, immediately before exercise (Pre-ex0) and immediately after exercise (Post-ex0). No difference was found in 21-km running performance between two trials (CA v. CW: 115·85 (se 5·20) v. 118·85 (se 5·51) min, P=0·48). Compared with CW, CA led to higher PPT at Pre-ex0 (41·77 (se 2·27) v. 35·56 (se 2·10) N/cm2, P<0·01) and Post-ex0 (38·76 (se 3·23) v. 35·30 (se 3·55) N/cm2, P=0·047). Compared with CW, CA reduced the feeling of fatigue at Post-ex0 (P<0·01); CA also reduced salivary cortisol levels at Post-ex0 (0·72 (se 0·07) v. 0·83 (se 0·13) ng/ml, P<0·01). In conclusion, the ingestion of α-lactalbumin did not improve the 21-km time-trial performance. However, compared with the pre-exercise ingestion of whey protein, that of α-lactalbumin led to superior results during similar levels of endurance exercise: it elevated PPT and reduced the feeling of fatigue and the cortisol levels.
The Ordos Basin is the largest and most important intracontinental sedimentary depression in China, and a significant amount of crude oil resources has developed within this Mesozoic formation. High-grade organic-rich shale is prevalent in the large-scale areas of the Chang 7 sedimentary stage and provides essential hydrocarbon resources for abundant oil enrichment in the Mesozoic. This research investigated the geochemical characteristics of Chang 7 shale using core samples and well logs and via laboratory tests. In addition, the microscopic components of the shale organic matter (OM), biological marker compounds, carbon isotopes, enrichment grade of trace elements, and elemental ratio were analysed systematically. Moreover, the aspects related to the shale OM source, sedimentary environment and resource potential were evaluated. Our results revealed that spherical alginate and calcium spherical alginate were predominant in the micropetrological components of the shale. Many biomarkers, including n-alkanes, steranes and terpanes, were detected in the gas chromatography – mass spectrometry spectra. An analysis of n-alkanes, regular sterane shapes (C21−/C22− and C26+C27/C28+C29), odd–even predominance index (OEP) and carbon preference index (CPI) values and carbon isotope distributions showed that OM was produced from aquatic organisms. The indicators of trace elements, such as Sr/Ba and V/V+Ni, combined with the biomarker compound in Pr/Ph and the gammacerane index showed the presence of a semi-deep – deep lake environment containing fresh–brackish water. In addition, the hydrocarbon conversion rate index and shale rock pyrolysis parameters revealed that Chang 7 has a high hydrocarbon generation ability and hydrocarbon expulsion efficiency.
To determine the efficacy of 2 types of antimicrobial privacy curtains in clinical settings and the costs involved in replacing standard curtains with antimicrobial curtains.
A prospective, open-labeled, multicenter study with a follow-up duration of 6 months.
This study included 12 rooms of patients with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) (668 patient bed days) and 10 cubicles (8,839 patient bed days) in the medical, surgical, neurosurgical, orthopedics, and rehabilitation units of 10 hospitals.
Culture samples were collected from curtain surfaces twice a week for 2 weeks, followed by weekly intervals.
With a median hanging time of 173 days, antimicrobial curtain B (quaternary ammonium chlorides [QAC] plus polyorganosiloxane) was highly effective in reducing the bioburden (colony-forming units/100 cm2, 1 vs 57; P < .001) compared with the standard curtain. The percentages of MDRO contamination were also significantly lower on antimicrobial curtain B than the standard curtain: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, 0.5% vs 24% (P < .001); carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp, 0.2% vs 22.1% (P < .001); multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter spp, 0% vs 13.2% (P < .001). Notably, the median time to first contamination by MDROs was 27.6 times longer for antimicrobial curtain B than for the standard curtain (138 days vs 5 days; P = .001).
Antimicrobial curtain B (QAC plus polyorganosiloxane) but not antimicrobial curtain A (built-in silver) effectively reduced the microbial burden and MDRO contamination compared with the standard curtain, even after extended use in an active clinical setting. The antimicrobial curtain provided an opportunity to avert indirect costs related to curtain changing and laundering in addition to improving patient safety.
We hypothesize that the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) may play a role in disturbing the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on the striatal connectivity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
We performed a longitudinal observation by combining resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and biochemical analyses to identify the abnormal striatal connectivity in MDD patients, and to evaluate the effect of TNF-α level on these abnormal connectivities during SSRI treatment. Eighty-five rs-fMRI scans were collected from 25 MDD patients and 35 healthy controls, and the scans were repeated for all the patients before and after a 6-week SSRI treatment. Whole-brain voxel-wise functional connectivity (FC) was calculated by correlating the rs-fMRI time courses between each voxel and the striatal seeds (i.e. spherical regions placed at the striatums). The level of TNF-α in serum was evaluated by Milliplex assay. Factorial analysis was performed to assess the interaction effects of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ in the regions with between-group FC difference.
Compared with controls, MDD patients showed significantly higher striatal FC in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and bilateral middle/superior temporal cortices before SSRI treatment (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Moreover, a significant interaction effect of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ was found in MPFC-striatum FC in MDD patients (p = 0.002), and the significance remained after adjusted for age, gender, head motion, and episode of disease.
These findings provide evidence that treatment-related brain connectivity change is dependent on the TNF-α level in MDD patients, and the MPFC-striatum connectivities possibly serve as an important target in the brain.
Currently, 564,000 Canadians are living with dementia. This number will continue to rise as the population ages. Family physicians play an integral role in the diagnosis and management of dementia patients. Although studies have looked at family physician perspectives on dementia care in the urban setting, much less is known about challenges in rural areas. This study aimed to explore rural family physicians’ experiences in caring for patients with dementia in rural Alberta, Canada. We conducted three semi-structured focus groups with 16 family physicians to evaluate barriers and facilitators to providing care to persons with dementia in three rural communities. We developed focus group questions based on the theoretical domains framework (TDF) and analysed them using a framework approach. Physician capabilities, opportunities, and motivations appear to play important roles in caring for these patients. These research findings can be used to advance quality of care for rural dementia patients.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia and has been observed in both familial (FHR) and clinical high-risk (CHR) samples. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of research directly contrasting cognitive profiles in these two high-risk states and first-episode schizophrenia. This study aimed to compare cognitive functions in patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (FES), their unaffected siblings (FHR), CHR individuals and healthy controls.
A standardized battery of cognitive assessments was administered to 69 FES patients, 71 help-seeking CHR individuals without family history of psychotic disorder, 50 FHR participants and 68 controls. FES and CHR participants were recruited from territory-wide early intervention service for psychosis in Hong Kong. CHR status was ascertained using Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State.
Among four groups, FES patients displayed the largest global cognitive impairment and had medium-to-large deficits across all cognitive tests relative to controls. CHR and FHR participants significantly underperformed in most cognitive tests than controls. Among various cognitive tests, digit symbol coding demonstrated the greatest magnitude of impairment in FES and CHR groups compared with controls. No significant difference between two high-risk groups was observed in global cognition and all individual cognitive tests except digit symbol coding which showed greater deficits in CHR than in FHR participants.
Clinical and familial risk groups experienced largely comparable cognitive impairment that was intermediate between FES and controls. Digit symbol coding may have the greatest discriminant capacity in distinguishing FES and CHR from healthy controls, and between two high-risk samples.
Associations between ferritin and insulin sensitivity have been described in recent studies. The possible association showed conflicting results by sex and menopausal status. We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association of ferritin levels with insulin resistance and β-cell function. A total of 2518 participants (1033 men, 235 pre-menopausal women and 1250 post-menopausal women) were enrolled from the Changfeng Study. A standard interview was conducted, as well as anthropometric measurements and laboratory analyses, for each participant. The serum ferritin level was measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Insulin resistance and β-cell function indices were derived from a homeostasis model assessment. The results showed that the serum ferritin levels were 250·4 (sd 165·2), 94·6 (sd 82·0) and 179·8 (sd 126·6) ng/ml in the men, pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women, respectively. In fully adjusted models (adjusting for age, current smoking, BMI, waist:hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, TAG, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, log urine albumin:creatinine ratio, leucocytes, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase), serum ferritin concentrations are significantly associated with insulin resistance in men and post-menopausal females, and the null association was observed in pre-menopausal females. Interestingly, an increased β-cell function associated with higher ferritin was observed in post-menopausal participants, but not in male participants. In conclusion, these results suggested that elevated serum ferritin levels were associated with surrogate measures of insulin resistance among the middle-aged and elderly male and post-menopausal women, but not in pre-menopausal women.
The purpose of the study was to determine the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (PLWHA) in Taiwan. PLWHA were identified from the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control HIV Surveillance System between 2000 and 2014. To examine the effect of active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on CVD incidence, incidence densities and standardised incidence rates (SIRs) of CVD were calculated after stratifying PLWHA by HAART. Of 26 272 PLWHA (mean age, 32.3 years) identified, 73.4% received HAART. Compared with general population, SIRs (95% confidence interval) were higher for incident coronary artery disease (1.11 (1.04–1.19)), percutaneous coronary intervention (1.32 (1.18–1.47)), coronary artery bypass surgery (1.47 (1.29–1.66)), sudden cardiac death (3.01 (2.39–3.73)), heart failure (1.50 (1.31–1.70)) and chronic kidney disease (1.95 (1.81–2.10)), but was lower for incident atrial fibrillation (0.53 (0.37–0.73)). Considering the effect of HAART on incident CVD, the SIRs for all-cause, ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke were higher in PLWHA who did not receive HAART, but were lower in PLWHA who received HAART. PLWHA had higher risks of incident coronary artery disease, percutaneous coronary intervention, coronary artery bypass surgery, sudden cardiac death, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. HAART reduces risks of incident CVD in PLWHA.