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The COVID-19 outbreak required the significantly increased working time and intensity for health professionals in China, which may cause stress signs.
From March 2–13 of 2020, 4,618 health professionals in China were included in an anonymous, self-rated online survey regarding their concerns on exposure to the COVID-19 outbreak. The questionnaires consisted of five parts: basic demographic information and epidemiological exposure; occupational and psychological impact; concerns during the episode; coping strategies; and the Huaxi Emotional-Distress Index (HEI).
About 24.2% of respondents experienced high levels of anxiety or/and depressive symptoms since the COVID-19 outbreak. Respondents who worried about their physical health and those who had COVID-19 infected friends or close relatives were more likely to have high HEI levels, than those without these characteristics. Further, family relationship was found to have an independent protective effect against high HEI levels. Their main concerns were that their families would not be cared for and that they would not be able to work properly. Compared to respondents with clear emotional problems, those with somewhat hidden emotional issues adopted more positive coping measures.
About a quarter of medical staff experienced psychological problems during the pandemic of COVID-19. The psychological impact of stressful events was related to worrying about their physical health, having close COVID-19 infected acquaintances and family relationship issues. Therefore, the psychological supprot for medical staff fighting in the COVID-19 pandemic may be needed.
An atmospheric pressure microwave plasma tubular furnace apparatus (MPTF) for the rapid synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been developed. CNTs have been synthesized by an Argon-Hydrogen microwave plasma using ethanol vapor as carbon source with the furnace temperature of 800 °C at the atmospheric pressure. The synthesized CNTs have been analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and are shown to be multi-walled and tangled and chemically connected to form a high-density network with the diameter at the range of 25-70 nm. The measurement of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicates that a large number of oxygenated functional groups grown on the surface of CNTs. These properties proved that the CNTs could be utilized as nanoscale templates for various applications.
The head-on collision between two dust-acoustic solitary waves in a non-magnetized, collisionless and strongly coupled dust plasma has been studied. The application scope of the analytical solution of the head-on collision is given in the present paper by using the particle-in-cell simulation method. It is noted that the analytical results are valid if the amplitudes of both of the solitary waves are small enough. The effects of the coupling parameters on both the head-on collision and the waveform are also studied in the present paper.
Schizophrenia is a serious health problem worldwide. This systematic analysis aims to quantify the burden of schizophrenia at the global, regional and national levels using the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017).
We collected detailed information on the number of incidence cases, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and age-standardised incidence rate (ASIR) and age-standardised rate of DALYs (ASDR) during 1990–2017 from GBD 2017. The estimated annual percentage changes (EAPCs) in the ASIR and in the ASDR were calculated to quantify the temporal trends in the ASIR and ASDR of schizophrenia.
Globally there were 1.13 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] = 1.00 to 1.28) incident schizophrenia cases and 12.66 million (95% UI = 9.48 to 15.56) DALYs due to schizophrenia in 2017. The global ASIR decreased slightly from 1990 to 2017 (EAPC = −0.124, 95% UI = −0.114 to −0.135), while the ASDR was stable. The number of incident cases, DALYs, ASIR and ASDR were higher for males than for females. The incident rate and DALYs rate were highest among those aged 20–29 and 30–54 years, respectively. ASIR and ASDR were highest in East Asia in 2017, at 19.66 (95% UI = 17.72 to 22.00) and 205.23 (95% UI = 153.13 to 253.34), respectively. In 2017, the ASIR was highest in countries with a high-moderate sociodemographic index (SDI) and the ASDR was highest in high-SDI countries. We also found that the EAPC in ASDR was negatively correlated with the ASDR in 1990 (P = 0.001, ρ = −0.23).
The global burden of schizophrenia remains large and continues to increase, thereby increasing the burden on health-care systems. The reported findings should be useful for resource allocation and health services planning for the increasing numbers of patients with schizophrenia in ageing societies.
Several observational studies have investigated the association of insomnia with psychiatric disorders. Such studies yielded mixed results, and whether these associations are causal remains unclear. Thus, we aimed to identify the causal relationships between insomnia and five major psychiatric disorders.
The analysis was implemented with six genome-wide association studies; one for insomnia and five for psychiatric disorders (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder). A heterogeneity in dependent instrument (HEIDI) approach was used to remove the pleiotropic instruments, Mendelian randomization (MR)-Egger regression was adopted to test the validity of the screened instruments, and bidirectional generalized summary data-based MR was performed to estimate the causal relationships between insomnia and these major psychiatric disorders.
We observed significant causal effects of insomnia on the risk of autism spectrum disorder and bipolar disorder, with odds ratios of 1.739 (95% confidence interval: 1.217–2.486, p = 0.002) and 1.786 (95% confidence interval: 1.396–2.285, p = 4.02 × 10−6), respectively. There was no convincing evidence of reverse causality for insomnia with these two disorders (p = 0.945 and 0.546, respectively). When insomnia was considered as either the exposure or outcome variable, causal estimates for the remaining three psychiatric disorders were not significant.
Our results suggest a causal role of insomnia in autism spectrum disorder and bipolar disorder. Future disease models should include insomnia as a factor for these two disorders to develop effective interventions. More detailed mechanism studies may also be inspired by this causal inference.
Perceived loneliness, an increasingly prevalent social issue, is closely associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the neural mechanisms previously implicated in key cognitive and affective processes in loneliness and MDD still remain unclear. Such understanding is critical for delineating the psychobiological basis of the relationship between loneliness and MDD.
We isolated the unique and interactive cognitive and neural substrates of loneliness and MDD among 27 MDD patients (mean age = 51.85 years, 20 females), and 25 matched healthy controls (HCs; mean age = 48.72 years, 19 females). We assessed participants' behavioral performance and neural regional and network functions on a Stroop color-word task, and their resting-state neural connectivity.
Behaviorally, we found greater incongruence-related accuracy cost in MDD patients, but reduced incongruence effect on reaction time in lonelier individuals. When performing the Stroop task, loneliness positively predicted prefrontal-anterior cingulate-parietal connectivity across all participants, whereas MDD patients showed a decrease in connectivity compared to controls. Furthermore, loneliness negatively predicted parietal and cerebellar activities in MDD patients, but positively predicted the same activities in HCs. During resting state, MDD patients showed reduced parietal-anterior cingulate connectivity, which again positively correlated with loneliness in this group.
We speculate the distinct neurocognitive profile of loneliness might indicate increase in both bottom-up attention and top-down executive control functions. However, the upregulated cognitive control processes in lonely individuals may eventually become exhausted, which may in turn predispose to MDD onset.
To explore whether and how group cognitive-behavioural therapy (GCBT) plus medication differs from medication alone for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Hundred and seventy patients were randomly assigned to the GCBT plus duloxetine (n=89) or duloxetine group (n=81). The primary outcomes were Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) response and remission rates. The explorative secondary measures included score reductions from baseline in the HAMA total, psychic, and somatic anxiety subscales (HAMA-PA, HAMA-SA), the Hamilton Depression Scale, the Severity Subscale of Clinical Global Impression Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 4-week, 8-week, and 3-month follow-up.
At 4 weeks, HAMA response (GCBT group 57.0% vs. control group 24.4%, p=0.000, Cohen’s d=0.90) and remission rates (GCBT group 21.5% vs. control group 6.2%, p=0.004; d=0.51), and most secondary outcomes (all p<0.05, d=0.36−0.77) showed that the combined therapy was superior. At 8 weeks, all the primary and secondary significant differences found at 4 weeks were maintained with smaller effect sizes (p<0.05, d=0.32−0.48). At 3-month follow-up, the combined therapy was only significantly superior in the HAMA total (p<0.045, d=0.43) and HAMA-PA score reductions (p<0.001, d=0.77). Logistic regression showed superiority of the combined therapy for HAMA response rates [odds ratio (OR)=2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02−4.42, p=0.04] and remission rates (OR=2.80, 95% CI 1.27−6.16, p=0.01).
Compared with duloxetine alone, GCBT plus duloxetine showed significant treatment response for GAD over a shorter period of time, particularly for psychic anxiety symptoms, which may suggest that GCBT was effective in changing cognitive style.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Hierarchical nanostructure of TiO2 nanoparticles/nanorod arrays (TiO2 NPs/NRs) is synthesized and applied in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) comparing with the TiO2 nanorod (TiO2 NR) arrays and the TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs). The TiO2 NP/NR surface morphology is revealed by X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning, and transmission electron microscopy. The power conversion efficiency of NP/NR-based DSSCs (length 3 μm) is improved to 3.47%, which is 2.2 times higher than the NR-based DSSCs (length 3 μm), and rivals the NP-based DSSC (length 5 μm). The high photovoltaic performance was attributed to that the TiO2 NP/NR photoanode has large surface area and exhibits excellent light scattering, allowing for fast interfacial charge transfer and less charge recombination, which are characterized using the UV-vis absorbance spectra, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements, and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. However, further work is needed to overcome the limitations of TiO2 NP/NR and improve the performance of TiO2 NP/NR-based DSSC.
Radiocarbon (14C) in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) was measured for water samples collected from six deep stations in the Kuroshio Extension (KE) region in the northwestern North Pacific in April–May 2015. Vertical profiles of Δ14C-DIC indicate that bomb-produced 14C was present from the surface to ~1500 m water depth. Large variations in Δ14C-DIC values (300‰) were observed at 500 m water depth among the stations and the differences were likely controlled by transport and mixing dynamics of different water masses in the region. The major Pacific western boundary currents, such as Kuroshio and Oyashio and regional mesoscale eddies, could play important roles affecting the observed Δ14C-DIC variability. The depth profiles of both Δ14C-DIC and DIC concentrations can be predicted by the solution mixing model and can be used as conservative tracers of water mass movement and water parcel homogenization in the ocean.
Kawasaki disease, which is characterised by systemic vasculitides accompanied by acute fever, is regularly treated by intravenous immunoglobulin to avoid lesion formation in the coronary artery; however, the mechanism of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy is unclear. Hence, we aimed to analyse the global expression profile of serum exosomal proteins before and after administering intravenous immunoglobulin.
Two-dimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry analysis was used to identify the differentially expressed proteome of serum exosomes in patients with Kawasaki disease before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy.
Our analysis revealed 69 differential protein spots in the Kawasaki disease group with changes larger than 1.5-fold and 59 differential ones in patients after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy compared with the control group. Gene ontology analysis revealed that the acute-phase response disappeared, the functions of the complement system and innate immune response were enhanced, and the antibacterial humoral response pathway of corticosteroids and cardioprotection emerged after administration of intravenous immunoglobulin. Further, we showed that complement C3 and apolipoprotein A-IV levels increased before and decreased after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy and that the insulin-like growth factor-binding protein complex acid labile subunit displayed reverse alteration before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. These observations might be potential indicators of intravenous immunoglobulin function.
Our results show the differential proteomic profile of serum exosomes of patients with Kawasaki disease before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, such as complement C3, apolipoprotein A-IV, and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein complex acid labile subunit. These results may be useful in the identification of markers for monitoring intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with Kawasaki disease.
Spherical Sn0.3Ag0.7Cu (wt.%) solder droplets with diameter ranging from 70.6 to 334.0 µm were prepared using pulsated orifice ejection method. Compared with conventional atomization, these droplets are almost completely spherical with a much narrower size distribution. The surface of these droplets is smooth without detectable satellite particles. Furthermore, both the composition and microstructure are homogenous throughout any single droplet regardless of their size. Detailed microstructural analysis shows that nano-sized Ag3Sn particles are distributed homogenously in the β-Sn matrix. The results suggest that the droplets have advantage as electronic packaging material and be a promising candidate material for three-dimensional printing.
The goal of the present prospective study was to assess health-related quality of life in children and adolescents with CHD before and after cardiac catheter treatment.
The study enrolled 96 children/adolescents with CHD from the north-east of China who underwent cardiac catheter intervention treatment between March, 2013 and January, 2014. The health-related quality of life at 24 hours before treatment, 1 month after treatment, and 6 months after treatment was evaluated using Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Measurement Models 4.0 (PedsQLTM 4.0) generic core scales, and the scores were further compared.
Before treatment, each HRQOL domain score and the total score were obviously decreased than the post-treatment scores (1 month and 6 months). The total score and the scores in physical functioning and psychological functioning components were further increased 6 months after treatment than the scores 1 month after treatment.
The present study suggests that cardiac catheter interventional treatment improves the life quality of children or adolescents with CHD as time increases after the intervention.
Research suggests that an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
(MBCT) course may be effective for generalised anxiety disorder
To compare changes in anxiety levels among participants with GAD randomly
assigned to MBCT, cognitive–behavioural therapy-based psychoeducation and
In total, 182 participants with GAD were recruited (trial registration
number: CUHK_CCT00267) and assigned to the three groups and followed for
5 months after baseline assessment with the two intervention groups
followed for an additional 6 months. Primary outcomes were anxiety and
Linear mixed models demonstrated significant group × time interaction
(F(4,148) = 5.10, P = 0.001) effects
for decreased anxiety for both the intervention groups relative to usual
care. Significant group × time interaction effects were observed for
worry and depressive symptoms and mental health-related quality of life
for the psychoeducation group only.
These results suggest that both of the interventions appear to be
superior to usual care for the reduction of anxiety symptoms.
An epigenetic mechanism has been suggested to explain the effects of the maternal diet on the development of disease in offspring. The present study aimed to observe the effects of a maternal high-lipid, high-energy (HLE) diet on the DNA methylation pattern of male offspring in mice. Female C57BL/6J mice were fed an HLE diet during gestation and lactation. The genomic DNA methylations at promoter sites of genes in the liver, mRNA and protein levels of selected genes related to lipid and glucose metabolism were measured by microarray, real-time PCR and Western blot. The results indicated that the percentage of methylated DNA in offspring from dams that were fed an HLE diet was significantly higher than that from dams that were fed a chow diet, and most of these genes were hypermethylated in promoter regions. The nuclear protein content and mRNA levels of hypermethylated genes, such as PPARγ and liver X receptor α (LXRα), were decreased significantly in offspring in the HLE group. The results suggested that the DNA methylation profile in adult offspring livers was changed by the maternal HLE diet during gestation and lactation.
The present study investigated the effects of xanthophyll supplementation on production performance, antioxidant capacity (measured by glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), and reduced glutathione:oxidised glutathione ratio (GSH:GSSG)) and lipid peroxidation (measured by malondialdehyde (MDA)) in breeding hens and chicks. In Expt 1, 432 hens were fed diets supplemented with 0 (control group), 20 or 40 mg xanthophyll/kg diet. Blood samples were taken at 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 d of the trial. Liver and jejunal mucosa were sampled at 35 d. Both xanthophyll groups improved serum SOD at 21 and 28 d, serum T-AOC at 21 d and liver T-AOC, and serum GSH:GSSG at 21, 28 and 35 d and liver GSH:GSSG. Xanthophylls also decreased serum MDA at 21 d in hens. Expt 2 was a 2 × 2 factorial design. Male chicks hatched from 0 or 40 mg in ovo xanthophyll/kg diet of hens were fed a diet containing either 0 or 40 mg xanthophyll/kg diet. Liver samples were collected at 0, 7, 14 and 21 d after hatching. Blood samples were also collected at 21 d. In ovo-deposited xanthophylls increased antioxidant capacity and decreased MDA in the liver mainly within 1 week after hatching. Maternal effects gradually vanished during 1–2 weeks after hatching. Dietary xanthophylls increased antioxidant capacity and decreased MDA in the liver and serum mainly from 2 weeks onwards. Data suggested that xanthophyll supplementation enhanced antioxidant capacity and reduced lipid peroxidation in different tissues of hens and chicks.
The present study investigated the effects of xanthophylls (containing 40 % of lutein and 60 % of zeaxanthin) on proinflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, IL-6, interferon (IFN)-γ and lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-α factor (LITAF)) and anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-4 and IL-10) expression of breeding hens and chicks. In Expt 1, a total of 432 hens were fed diets supplemented with 0 (as the control group), 20 or 40 mg/kg xanthophylls (six replicates per treatment). The liver, duodenum, jejunum and ileum were sampled at 35 d of the trial. The results showed that both levels of xanthophyll addition decreased IL-1β mRNA in the liver and jejunum, IL-6 mRNA in the liver, IFN-γ mRNA in the jejunum and LITAF mRNA in the liver compared to the control group. Expt 2 was a 2 × 2 factorial design. Male chicks hatched from 0 or 40 mg/kg xanthophyll diet of hens were fed a diet containing either 0 or 40 mg/kg xanthophylls. The liver, duodenum, jejunum and ileum were collected at 0, 7, 14 and 21 d after hatching. The results showed that in ovo xanthophylls decreased proinflammatory cytokine expression (IL-1β, IL-6, IFN-γ and LITAF) in the liver, duodenum, jejunum and ileum and increased anti-inflammatory cytokine expression (IL-4 and IL-10) in the liver, jejunum and ileum mainly at 0–7 d after hatching. In ovo effects gradually vanished and dietary effects began to work during 1–2 weeks after hatching. Dietary xanthophylls modulated proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and IFN-γ) in the liver, duodenum, jejunum and ileum and anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) in the liver and jejunum mainly from 2 weeks onwards. In conclusion, xanthophylls could regulate proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine expression in different tissues of hens and chicks.
The different effects of ethanol on insulin sensitivity may be due to complex reasons. Here, we focus on the various daily ethanol consumption frequencies in rats fed a high-fat (HF) diet and explore the possible mechanism mediated by adiponectin and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). A total of thirty-six male Wistar rats were fed a HF diet and were randomly divided into three groups: those that received tap water (C); those that received ethanol via a gastric tube twice per d (E1); those that received free access to ethanol for drinking (E2). The total daily ethanol dosage in groups E1 and E2 were the same (5 g/kg per d). At the end of 18 weeks, insulin sensitivity was evaluated. Adiponectin AMPK and GLUT4 levels were determined. We found that the different administration frequencies led to markedly different plasma ethanol concentrations and there were intimate relationships between plasma ethanol concentration and insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance was markedly improved in group E1, whereas only a slight improvement was observed in group E2. Accordingly, adiponectin, phosphorylated AMPK and GLUT4 levels were significantly increased in group E1. Based on these findings, we propose that ethanol concentration might be the major influencing factor mediating the effect of ethanol on insulin sensitivity. At a total daily dosage of 5 g/kg per d, twice daily administration of ethanol was more beneficial than continuous drinking. The protective effect of ethanol might be mediated by increased adiponectin levels, which subsequently improve the activation of AMPKα and GLUT4 expression in adipose tissue.
Interspecies intracytoplasmic sperm injection has been carried out to understand species-specific differences in oocyte environments and sperm components during fertilization. While sperm aster organization during cat fertilization requires a paternally derived centriole, mouse and hamster fertilization occur within the maternal centrosomal components. To address the questions of where sperm aster assembly occurs and whether complete fertilization is achieved in cat oocytes by interspecies sperm, we studied the fertilization processes of cat oocytes following the injection of cat, mouse, or hamster sperm. Male and female pronuclear formations were not different in the cat oocytes at 6 h following cat, mouse or hamster sperm injection. Microtubule asters were seen in all oocytes following intracytoplasmic injection of cat, mouse or hamster sperm. Immunocytochemical staining with a histone H3-m2K9 antibody revealed that mouse sperm chromatin is incorporated normally with cat egg chromatin, and that the cat eggs fertilized with mouse sperm enter metaphase and become normal 2-cell stage embryos. These results suggest that sperm aster formation is maternally dependent, and that fertilization processes and cleavage occur in a non-species specific manner in cat oocytes.