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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Reducing dietary CP content is an effective approach to reduce animal nitrogen excretion and save protein feed resources. However, it is not clear how reducing dietary CP content affects the nutrient digestion and absorption in the gut of ruminants, therefore it is difficult to accurately determine how much reduction in dietary CP content is appropriate. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of reduced dietary CP content on N balance, intestinal nutrient digestion and absorption, and rumen microbiota in growing goats. To determine N balance, 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three diets: 13.0% (control), 11.5% and 10.0% CP. Another 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were surgically fitted with ruminal, proximate duodenal, and terminal ileal fistulae and were randomly assigned to one of the three diets to investigate intestinal amino acid (AA) absorption and rumen microbiota. The results showed that fecal and urinary N excretion of goats fed diets containing 11.5% and 10.0% CP were lower than those of goats fed the control diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, N retention was decreased and apparent N digestibility in the entire gastrointestinal tract was increased in goats fed the 10% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the duodenal flow of lysine, tryptophan and phenylalanine was decreased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, glutamic acid, tyrosine, essential AAs (EAAs) and total AAs (TAAs) was decreased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the apparent absorption of TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of isoleucine, serine, cysteine, EAAs, non-essential AAs, and TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the relative richness of Bacteroidetes and Fibrobacteres was increased and that of Proteobacteria and Synergistetes was decreased in the rumen of goats fed a diet with 10.0% CP. In conclusion, reducing dietary CP content reduced N excretion and increased nutrient utilization by improving rumen fermentation, enhancing nutrient digestion and absorption, and altering rumen microbiota in growing goats.
Previously the GABA(A) receptor beta-2 subunit gene GABRB2 was found to be associated with schizophrenia (SCZ). for SNPs and haplotypes in GRBRB2, the associations with bipolar disorder (BPD), the functional consequences on GABRB2 expression and their relationship to demographic and clinical characteristics in BPD and SCZ remain to be elucidated.
Case-control analysis was performed for association study of GABRB2 with BPD, and its mRNA expression in postmortem BPD brains was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. Quantitative trait analysis was subsequently employed to assess the covariate effects of demographic and clinical characteristics on genotypic correlation of GABRB2 expression in SCZ and BPD.
Significant association of GABRB2 with BPD and reduction in GABRB2 mRNA expression in BPD brains were observed in the present study. Duration of illness (DOI) was found to be a significant covariate for the correlation of the disease-associated SNPs rs1816071, rs1816072 and rs187269 with GABRB2 expression in both SCZ and BPD. for individuals with homozygous major genotypes of these SNPs, while GABRB2 expression increased with age in the controls, it decreased with DOI and age in SCZ, and with DOI in BPD. with age of onset as covariate, these three SNPs were significantly correlated with antipsychotic dosage in SCZ.
These results have thus revealed correlations of GABRB2 SNPs and expression not only with the occurrence of SCZ and BPD, but also with the clinical characteristics of patients, therefore providing support for a shared etiological role played by the gene in both diseases.
Many family characteristics were reported to increase the risk of bipolar disorder (BPD). The development of BPD may be mediated through different pathways, involving diverse risk factor profiles. We evaluated the associations of family characteristics to build influential causal-pie models to estimate their contributions on the risk of developing BPD at the population level. We recruited 329 clinically diagnosed BPD patients and 202 healthy controls to collect information in parental psychopathology, parent-child relationship, and conflict within family. Other than logistic regression models, we applied causal-pie models to identify pathways involved with different family factors for BPD. The risk of BPD was significantly increased with parental depression, neurosis, anxiety, paternal substance use problems, and poor relationship with parents. Having a depressed mother further predicted early onset of BPD. Additionally, a greater risk for BPD was observed with higher numbers of paternal/maternal psychopathologies. Three significant risk profiles were identified for BPD, including paternal substance use problems (73.0%), maternal depression (17.6%), and through poor relationship with parents and conflict within the family (6.3%). Our findings demonstrate that different aspects of family characteristics elicit negative impacts on bipolar illness, which can be utilized to target specific factors to design and employ efficient intervention programs.
Multiple cortical and subcortical regions have been shown to exhibit altered transcriptional states in association with schizophrenia (SZ) through gene expression studies. Select nuclei of the thalamus, a subcortical region, have been previously shown to have neuron and volume loss. These thalamic regions are reciprocally connected with areas of cortex which have been implicated in SZ. The thalamic anterior nucleus (AN) is of particular interest due to its reciprocal connectivity with the SZ-associated anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). To identify SZ-related gene expression changes we used whole genome microarray screening to compare transcriptional profiles of two thalamic regions, the AN and VPL (a lateral tier nucleus not considered SZ-impacted) in the same subject with SZ. The same microarray screening comparison was performed with the same regions in non-psychiatric controls (NC) subjects. Differentially expressed genes common to both analyses were removed from the SZ list to sharpen focus on disease-related genes. One-hundred thirty-six gene expression changes were identified. This list was used with DAVID functional annotation and Ingenuity pathway tools which indicated their involvement in endocytosis, neuron projection morphogenesis, and cytoskeleton organization. These findings further support the notion of schizophrenia being a “disease of the synapse.”
It is known that Sexual Dysfunction (SD) is higher in patient with depression than in the general population. Though antidepressant seems to worsen the situation, there are also indications that the gender may play a role on it.
Evaluate the gender effect of sexual function among unmedicated MDD, MDD receiving antidepressant, and healthy controls.
The sample was formed by male and female Taiwanese outpatients in three age and sex matched groups, with sixty nine participants per group: unmedicated MDD, MDD receiving antidepressant, and healthy controls. the diagnoses of depressions were performed according DSM-IV and Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire. SD was evaluated with the Chinese version of the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire. Finally, the data was analyzed using SPSS software v17. Mixed designed ANOVA was used.
There are significant differences between males and females CSFQ results (sex main effect F = 82.44, p < 0.001) and between groups (group main effect F = 3.48, p = 0.034). Additionally, the 2-way interaction between sex and group was also significant (F = 3.40, p = 0.036). Simple main effect analysis shows differences among male participants, between healthy and medicated males (F = 11.41, p = 0.002), but not in female (F = 1.58, p = 0.21). However the statistics weren’t different between females groups, the medicated expresses better results (similar to healthy group) than the unmedicated one.
SD is different between genders in each of the groups. Antidepressant seems to increase SD in man, while improves sexual satisfaction/function among depressive woman. We speculate that psychological improvement after treatment may have different impact between genders on sexual satisfaction.
Studies have shown that mental health problems during pregnancy have adverse effects on fetal growth. The impact of depressive and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy on the fetus have not yet been examined in Singapore.
To examine the association between mental health problems during the second trimester of pregnancy on the quality of the pregnancy, reflected by birth weight and birth length of the newborn.
This study aims to understand the importance of mental health during pregnancy on the development of the child in an Asian population.
Preliminary data of a prospective cohort study of pregnant women (GUSTO), were followed from pregnancy onwards. At 26 weeks of the pregnancy, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were administered. Data on birth parameters were collected from medical records.
Linear regression analyses of preliminary data show negative correlations between depressive symptoms measured with EPDS (n = 1025, P = 0.54), BDI (n = 1012, P = 0.001), and anxiety symptoms measured with STAI (n = 1023, P = 0.002) and birth length (corrected for gestational age and gender). No associations were found for birth weight.
There is an association between depressive and anxiety symptoms reported at the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy and birth length, but not birth weight, of the newborn. As it is known that fetal length increases mainly in the second trimester, it suggests that stress of the mother influences the development of the fetus during this trimester.
Maternal mental well being influences offspring development. Research suggests that an interplay between genetic and environmental factors underlies this familial transmission of mental disorders.
To explore an interaction between genetic and environmental factors to predict trajectories of maternal mental well being, and to examine whether these trajectories are associated with epigenetic modifications in mothers and their offspring.
We assessed maternal childhood trauma and rearing experiences, prenatal and postnatal symptoms of depression and stress experience from 6 to 72 months postpartum, and genetic and epigenetic variation in a longitudinal birth-cohort study (n = 262) (Maternal adversity, vulnerability and neurodevelopment project). We used latent class modeling to describe trajectories in maternal depressive symptoms, parenting stress, marital stress and general stress, taking polygenetic risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), a composite score for maternal early life adversities, and prenatal depressive symptoms into account.
Genetic risk for MDD associated with trajectories of maternal well being in the postpartum, conditional on the experience of early life adversities and prenatal symptoms of depression. We will explore whether these trajectories are also linked to DNA methylation patterns in mothers and their offspring. Preliminary analyses suggest that maternal early life adversities associate with offspring DNA methylation age estimates, which is mediated through maternal mental well being and maternal DNA methylation age estimates.
We found relevant gene-environment interactions associated with trajectories of maternal well being. Our findings inform research on mechanisms underlying familial transmission of vulnerability for psychopathology and might thus be relevant to prevention and early intervention programs.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
To describe the infection control preparedness measures undertaken for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019 novel coronavirus) in the first 42 days after announcement of a cluster of pneumonia in China, on December 31, 2019 (day 1) in Hong Kong.
A bundled approach of active and enhanced laboratory surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and contact tracing for healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure in the hospitals was implemented. Epidemiological characteristics of confirmed cases, environmental samples, and air samples were collected and analyzed.
From day 1 to day 42, 42 of 1,275 patients (3.3%) fulfilling active (n = 29) and enhanced laboratory surveillance (n = 13) were confirmed to have the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The number of locally acquired case significantly increased from 1 of 13 confirmed cases (7.7%, day 22 to day 32) to 27 of 29 confirmed cases (93.1%, day 33 to day 42; P < .001). Among them, 28 patients (66.6%) came from 8 family clusters. Of 413 HCWs caring for these confirmed cases, 11 (2.7%) had unprotected exposure requiring quarantine for 14 days. None of these was infected, and nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was not observed. Environmental surveillance was performed in the room of a patient with viral load of 3.3 × 106 copies/mL (pooled nasopharyngeal and throat swabs) and 5.9 × 106 copies/mL (saliva), respectively. SARS-CoV-2 was identified in 1 of 13 environmental samples (7.7%) but not in 8 air samples collected at a distance of 10 cm from the patient’s chin with or without wearing a surgical mask.
Appropriate hospital infection control measures was able to prevent nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
In this study, the thermal deformation of a machine tool structure due to the heat generated during operation was analyzed, and embedded cooling channels were applied to exchange the heat generated during the operation to achieve thermal error suppression. Then, the finite volume method was used to simulate the effect of cooling oil temperature on thermal deformation, and the effect of thermal suppression was experimentally studied using a feed system combined with a cooler to improve the positioning accuracy of the machine tool. In this study, the supply oil temperature in the structural cooling channels was found to significantly affect the position accuracy of the moving table and moving carrier. If the supply oil temperature in the cooling channels is consistent with the operational ambient temperature, the position accuracy of the moving table in the Y direction and the moving carrier in the X and Z directions has the best performance under different feed rates. From the thermal suppression experiments of the embedded cooling channels, the positioning accuracy of the feed system can be improved by approximately 25.5 % during the dynamic feeding process. Furthermore, when the hydrostatic guideway is cooled and dynamic feeding is conducted, positioning accuracy can be improved by up to 47.8 %. The machining accuracy can be improved by approximately 60 % on average by using the embedded cooling channels in this study. Therefore, thermal suppression by the cooling channels in this study can not only effectively improve the positioning accuracy but also enhance machining accuracy, proving that the method is effective for enhancing machine tool accuracy.
The Pennsylvania Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Twin Registry was developed to capture a representative sample of multiple births and their parents in the state of Pennsylvania. The registry has two main efforts. The first began in 2012 through recruitment of adolescents in Pennsylvania schools. The second effort began in January 2019 in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to capture the birth cohort of twins born from 2007 to 2017. Study recruitment, sample demographics, focus and measures are provided, as well as future directions.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
In this paper, we develop the isogeometric analysis of the dual boundary element method (IGA-DBEM) to solve the potential problem with a degenerate boundary. The non-uniform rational B-Spline (NURBS) based functions are employed to interpolate the geometry and physical function. To deal with the rank-deficiency problem due to the degenerate boundary, the hypersingular integral equation is introduced to promote the full rank for the influence matrix in the dual BEM. Finally, three numerical examples are given to verify the accuracy of our proposed method. Both circular and square domains subjected to the Dirichlet boundary condition are considered. The engineering problem containing a degenerate boundary is considered, e.g., a seepage flow problem with a sheet pile. Numerical results of the IGA-DBEM agree well with these of the exact solution and the original dual boundary element method.
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.
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.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
Copy number variations (CNVs), as an important source of genetic variation, can affect a wide range of phenotypes by diverse mechanisms. The somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) gene plays important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, this gene was mapped to a CNV region, which encompasses quantitative trait loci of cattle economic traits including body weight, marbling score, etc. Therefore, SSTR2 CNV may exhibit phenotypic effects on cattle growth traits. In the current study, distribution of SSTR2 gene CNVs was investigated in six Chinese cattle breeds (XN, QC, NY, JA, LX and PN), and the results showed higher CNV polymorphisms in XN, QC and NY cattle. Next, association analysis between growth traits and SSTR2 CNV was performed for XN, QC and NY cattle. In NY, individuals with fewer copies showed better performance than those with more copies. Further, the effects of SSTR2 CNV on the SSTR2 mRNA level were also investigated, but revealed no significant correlation in either muscle or adipose tissue of adult NY cattle. The results suggested the potential for use of SSTR2 CNV as a marker for the molecular breeding of NY cattle.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing different amounts of daidzein in a diet on the growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and meat quality of finishing beef cattle. Thirty finishing Xianan steers were distributed in three groups equilibrated by weight and fed three different dietary treatments (concentrate ratio = 80%): (1) control; (2) 500 mg/kg daidzein and (3) 1000 mg/kg daidzein, respectively. Steers were slaughtered after an 80-day feeding trial. Results showed that daidzein supplementation had no effect on the final body weight, average daily gain and feed conversion rate of steers. Steers fed with 1000 mg/kg daidzein had greater dry matter intake than those fed with control diets. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group had a higher fat thickness, lower shear force and lightness. The pH, drip loss, cooking loss, redness (a*), yellowness (b*), moisture, ash, crude protein and intramuscular fat of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by daidzein supplementation. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentrations of insulin, free fatty acid and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. The 500 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentration of tetraiodothyronine compared with the control group. Supplemental daidzein did not affect the blood antioxidant ability and blood immune parameters in serum. In conclusion, daidzein supplementation above 500 mg/day modifies feed intake and metabolic and hormonal profile, with positive and negative effects on meat quality.
Identifying routes of transmission among hospitalized patients during a healthcare-associated outbreak can be tedious, particularly among patients with complex hospital stays and multiple exposures. Data mining of the electronic health record (EHR) has the potential to rapidly identify common exposures among patients suspected of being part of an outbreak.
We retrospectively analyzed 9 hospital outbreaks that occurred during 2011–2016 and that had previously been characterized both according to transmission route and by molecular characterization of the bacterial isolates. We determined (1) the ability of data mining of the EHR to identify the correct route of transmission, (2) how early the correct route was identified during the timeline of the outbreak, and (3) how many cases in the outbreaks could have been prevented had the system been running in real time.
Correct routes were identified for all outbreaks at the second patient, except for one outbreak involving >1 transmission route that was detected at the eighth patient. Up to 40 or 34 infections (78% or 66% of possible preventable infections, respectively) could have been prevented if data mining had been implemented in real time, assuming the initiation of an effective intervention within 7 or 14 days of identification of the transmission route, respectively.
Data mining of the EHR was accurate for identifying routes of transmission among patients who were part of the outbreak. Prospective validation of this approach using routine whole-genome sequencing and data mining of the EHR for both outbreak detection and route attribution is ongoing.