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l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the primary diagnoses and outcomes of emergency department visits in older people with dementia and to compare these parameters with those in older adults without dementia.
Design and Setting:
This hospital-based retrospective study retrieved patient records from a hospital research database, which included the outpatient and inpatient claims of two hospitals.
The patient records were retrieved from the two hospitals in an urban setting. The inclusion criteria were all patients aged 65 and older who had attended the two hospitals as an outpatient or inpatient between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Patients with dementia were identified to have at least three reports of diagnostic codes, either during outpatient visits, during emergency department visits, or in hospitalized database records. The other patients were categorized as patients without dementia.
The primary diagnosis during the emergency department visit, cost of emergency department treatment, cost of hospital admission, length of hospital stay, and diagnosis of death were collected.
A total of 149,203 outpatients and inpatients aged 65 and older who were admitted to the two hospitals were retrieved. The rate of emergency department visits in patients with dementia (23.2%) was lower than that in those without dementia (48.6%). The most frequent primary reason for emergency department visits and the main cause of patient death was pneumonia. Patients with dementia in the emergency department had higher hospital admission rates and longer hospital stays; however, the cost of treatment did not show a significant difference between the two groups.
Future large and prospective studies should explore the severity of disease in older people with dementia and compare results with older adults without dementia in the emergency department.
In most of video coding standards such as high efficiency video coding (HEVC), I-frame assignment is periodic even when the content change is minor, which degrades the coding efficiency. This paper proposes an I-frame assignment method based on Nash bargaining solution (NBS) in game theory to solve this problem. The encoded sequence is divided into several subsequences. Each subsequence is regarded as a game. All group of picture (GOP) in a subsequence is further divided into several sets of GOP. Each set of GOP is regarded as a player and compete for the number of I-frames. The optimal I-frame assignment is determined based on the generalized NBS. Experimental results show the proposed method outperforms HEVC by 5.21% bitrate saving.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Manganese sulfides (MnS) with a diversity of well-defined morphologies and phases have been successfully synthesized by the solvothermal approach. The phase structure and morphology of MnS could readily be tuned by adjusting the sulfur sources and solvents. Hollow γ-MnS spheres were obtained by treating L-cysteine and manganese source in ethylene glycol (EG) at 200 °C for 2 h, whereas a replacement of the mixture solvent by EG and deionized water yields the hierarchical flower-like γ-MnS. γ-MnS tubes were also produced under the same condition by using diethylene glycol and deionized water as solvents. When thioacetamide used as the sulfur source and oleylamine used as the solvent, monodisperse α-MnS nanoparticles with the mean diameter of 17 nm could be synthesized successfully. The phase structures, sizes, and morphologies of samples were investigated in detail by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The UV-vis absorption peak and the width of band gap with different morphologies of the as-prepared MnS were measured. The samples described in this paper are promising to be utilized in solar cells, biomedicine, short wavelength electronic devices, photocatalysis, and other fields.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
Energy restriction (ER) has been widely studied as a novel intervention, and its ability to prolong life has been fully demonstrated. For example, ER can significantly extend the lifespans of model flies, worms, rodents and other mammals. The role of ER in renal protection has also been elucidated. In preclinical studies, adjusting total energy intake or consumption of specific nutrients has prophylactic or therapeutic effects on ageing-related kidney disease and acute and chronic kidney injury. Amino acid restriction has gradually attracted attention. ER mimetics have also been studied in depth. The protective mechanisms of ER and ER mimetics for renal injury include increasing AMP-activated protein kinase and sirtuin type 1 (Sirt1) levels and autophagy and reducing mammalian target of rapamycin, inflammation and oxidative stress. However, the renal protective effect of ER has mostly been investigated in rodent models, and the role of ER in patients cannot be determined due to the lack of large randomised controlled trials. To protect the kidney, the mechanism of ER must be thoroughly researched, and more accurate diet or drug interventions need to be identified.
Maternal dietary patterns and macronutrients intake have been shown to affect the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), but the findings are inconsistent. We aimed to identify maternal dietary patterns and examine their associations with GDM risk, and to evaluate the contributions of macronutrients intake to these associations. We included 2755 Chinese pregnant women from the Tongji Maternal and Child Health Cohort. Dietary intakes were assessed using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ 2 weeks before the diagnosis of GDM. GDM (n 248) was diagnosed based on the results of a 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks gestation. We derived five different dietary patterns from a principal component analysis. The results showed that high fish–meat–eggs scores, which were positively related to protein intake and inversely related to carbohydrate intake, were associated with a higher risk of GDM (adjusted OR for quartile 4 v. quartile 1: 1·83; 95 % CI 1·21, 2·79; Ptrend=0·007) and higher plasma glucose levels. In contrast, high rice–wheat–fruits scores, which were positively related to carbohydrate intake and inversely related to protein intake, were associated with lower risk of GDM (adjusted OR for quartile 3 v. quartile 1: 0·54; 95 % CI 0·36, 0·83; Ptrend=0·010) and lower plasma glucose levels. In addition, dietary protein and carbohydrate intake significantly contributed to the associations between dietary patterns and GDM risk or glucose levels. These findings suggest that a dietary pattern characterised by high protein and low carbohydrate intake in pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of GDM, which may provide important clues for dietary guidance during pregnancy to prevent GDM.
Improvement of environmental cleaning in hospitals has been shown to decrease in-hospital cross transmission of pathogens. Several objective methods, including aerobic colony counts (ACCs), the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and the fluorescent marker method have been developed to assess cleanliness. However, the standard interpretation of cleanliness using the fluorescent marker method remains uncertain.
To assess the fluorescent marker method as a tool for determining the effectiveness of hospital cleaning.
A prospective survey study.
An academic medical center.
The same 10 high-touch surfaces were tested after each terminal cleaning using (1) the fluorescent marker method, (2) the ATP assay, and (3) the ACC method. Using the fluorescent marker method under study, surfaces were classified as totally clean, partially clean, or not clean. The ACC method was used as the standard for comparison.
According to the fluorescent marker method, of the 830 high-touch surfaces, 321 surfaces (38.7%) were totally clean (TC group), 84 surfaces (10.1%) were partially clean (PC group), and 425 surfaces (51.2%) were not clean (NC group). The TC group had significantly lower ATP and ACC values (mean ± SD, 428.7 ± 1,180.0 relative light units [RLU] and 15.6 ± 77.3 colony forming units [CFU]/100 cm2) than the PC group (1,386.8 ± 2,434.0 RLU and 34.9 ± 87.2 CFU/100 cm2) and the NC group (1,132.9 ± 2,976.1 RLU and 46.8 ± 119.2 CFU/100 cm2).
The fluorescent marker method provided a simple, reliable, and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning in hospitals. Our results indicate that only a surface determined to be totally clean using the fluorescent marker method could be considered clean.
With the development of remote sensing and geostatistical technology, complex environmental variables are increasingly easily quantified and applied in modelling soil organic carbon (SOC). However, this emphasizes data redundancy and multicollinearity problems adding to the difficulty in selecting dominant influential auxiliary variables and uncertainty in estimating SOC stocks. The current paper considers the spatial characteristics of SOC density (SOCD) to construct prediction models of SOCD on the basis of reducing the data dimensionality and complexity using the principal component analysis (PCA) method. A total of 260 topsoil samples were collected from Chahe town, China. Eight environmental variables (elevation, aspect, slope, normalized difference vegetation index, normalized difference moisture index, nearest distance to construction area and road, and land use degree comprehensive index) were pre-analysed by PCA and then extracted as the main principal component variables to construct prediction models. Two geostatistical approaches (ordinary kriging and ordinary co-kriging) and two regression approaches (ordinary least squares and geographically weighted regression (GWR)) were used to estimate SOCD. Results showed that PCA played an important role in reducing the redundancy and multicollinearity of the auxiliary variables and GWR achieved the highest prediction accuracy in these four models. GWR considered not only the spatial characteristics of SOCD but also the related valuable information of the auxiliary attributes. In summary, PCA-GWR is a promising spatial method used here to predict SOC stocks.
To determine whether the developing semantic lexicon varies with culture, we examined the animal and food naming of children from three communities distinguished by language, cultural heritage, and population density. The children were five- and seven-year-olds from Australia (n = 197), Taiwan (n = 456), and the US (n = 172). Naming patterns revealed hierarchical and flexible organization of the semantic lexicon. The content of the lexicon, particularly food names, varied with cultural heritage. In all three communities, wild mammals were predominant during animal naming, a likely influence of children's media. The influence of the Chinese zodiac was evident in the clustering of animal names in the Taiwanese sample. There was no apparent influence of population density and little influence of language, except that the Taiwanese children more frequently named foods at the superordinate level, a possible influence of the structure of Mandarin. Children develop their lexicons in response to culture as experienced first-hand or through media.
Introduction: To investigate the effects of paroxetine (PAR) on motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with non-depressed ischemic stroke (nD-AIS).
Methods: One hundred sixty-seven patients hospitalized for non-depressed acute ischemic stroke were selected and divided into treatment (T) and control (C) groups using a random number table. All patients received conventional secondary ischemic stroke prevention and rehabilitation training; patients in Group T additionally received treatment with PAR (10 mg/day during week 1 and 20 mg/day thereafter) for 3 months. The follow-up observation lasted 6 months. The Fugl–Meyer motor scale (FMMS), Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA), and Hamilton depression scale (HAMD) were used on D0, D15, D90, and D180 (T0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively; D180 = 90 days after treatment cessation) after study initiation, and scores were compared between the groups.
Results: The FMMS and MoCA scores differed significantly between Groups T and C at T2 and T3 (p < .05); by contrast, these scores did not differ significantly between the groups at T1 (p > .05). Furthermore, the HAMD scores differed significantly between the two groups at T3 (p < .05), but not at T1 and T2 (p > .05).
Conclusions: PAR treatment may improve motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with nD-AIS. Moreover, PAR may reduce the occurrence of depression after stroke.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of suicidal behaviours through psychiatric comorbidities; however, a significant direct association has not been observed between ADHD and suicide attempts.
To evaluate the risk of suicide attempt in adolescents and young adults with ADHD.
Using a nationwide, population-based insurance claims database, this longitudinal cohort study enrolled 20 574 adolescents and young adults with ADHD and 61 722 age- and gender-matched controls between 2001 and 2009. Any suicide attempt was identified from enrolment to 31 December 2011. The association between ADHD medications and the likelihood of suicide attempt was assessed.
ADHD was an independent risk factor for any suicide attempt (hazard ratio = 3.84, 95% CI = 3.19–4.62) and repeated suicide attempts (hazard ratio = 6.52, 95% CI = 4.46–9.53). Subgroup analyses of men, women, adolescents and young adults demonstrated the same trend. Methylphenidate or atomoxetine treatment did not increase the risk of suicide attempt or repeated suicide attempts. Long-term methylphenidate treatment was associated with a significantly decreased risk of repeated suicide attempts in men (hazard ratio = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22–0.97).
ADHD was a risk factor for suicide attempt and a stronger predictor of repeated suicide attempts, independent of comorbidities. Further investigation is warranted to explore the mechanism underlying the association between ADHD and suicidal behaviours.
Dietary energy density (ED) might have influences on body composition. We therefore examined whether ED is associated with body composition among Chinese adults.
We collected dietary data through validated two-day 24 h recalls. ED, defined as the amount of energy per unit weight of food consumed, was calculated based on five methods. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to explore the associations between ED and body composition parameters, including BMI, fat mass index (FMI), fat-free mass index (FFMI), percentage body fat (%BF) and waist circumference (WC).
Chinese adults (n 1933) in 2013.
After adjusting the covariates, all ED definitions were positively associated with BMI, FMI, FFMI, %BF and WC among women (P<0·01). In men, however, ED with foods only was positively associated with BMI, FMI, FFMI and %BF (P<0·05), but not with WC (P=0·07); we also found null associations between ED with foods and all beverages and body composition among men. Additionally, ED contributed to higher increases of body composition in women than in men (P<0·01).
The present study supports the positive association between ED and body composition among adults in Southwest China, in which beverages may play an important role.
There is an urgent need to understand lived experiences of climate change in the context of African cities, where even small climate shocks can have significant implications for the livelihoods of the urban poor. This article examines narratives of climate and livelihood changes within Jinja Municipality, Uganda, emphasizing how Jinja's residents make sense of climate change through their own narrative frames rather than through the lens of global climate change discourses. We demonstrate how the onset of climate change in Jinja is widely attributed to perceived moral and environmental failings on the part of a present generation that is viewed as both more destructive than previous generations and unable to preserve land, trees and other resources for future generations. A focus on local ontologies of climate change highlights how the multiple, intersecting vulnerabilities of contemporary urban life in Jinja serve to obfuscate not only the conditions of possibility of an immediate future, but the longer-term horizons for future generations, as changing weather patterns exacerbate existing challenges people face in adapting to wider socio-economic changes and rising livelihood vulnerability. This form of analysis situates changing climate and environments within the context of everyday urban struggles and emphasizes the need for civic participation in developing climate change strategies that avoid the pitfalls of climate reductionism. The article draws on more than 150 qualitative interviews, generational dialogue groups, and creative methods based on research-led community theatre.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
In the above publication by Chen et al. (2017), the authors neglected to include that Dr. Zhang was supported by the 111 Project (Grant Number B16031) as part of their financial support and conflicts of interest. The complete corrected conflicts of interest section is provided below:
The authors report grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, grants from the National Science & Technology Pillar Program during the Twelfth Five-year Plan Period, and grants from the Key Discipline in Shanghai during the conduct of the study. Dr. Zhang was supported by the 111 Project (Grant Number B16031).
Previous studies have indicated that there is dopamine transporter (DAT) dysregulation and P300 abnormality in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, the correlations among the three have not been fully explored.
A total of 11 adults (9 males and 2 females) with ADHD and 11 age-, sex-, and education-level-matched controls were recruited. We explored differences in DAT availability using single-photon emission computed tomography and P300 wave of event-related potentials between the two groups. The correlation between DAT availability and P300 performance was also examined.
DAT availability in the basal ganglia, caudate nucleus, and putamen was significantly lower in the ADHD group. Adults with ADHD had lower auditory P300 amplitudes at the Pz and Cz sites, as well as longer Fz latency than controls. DAT availability was negatively correlated to P300 latency at Pz and Fz.
Adults with ADHD had both abnormal DAT availability and P300 amplitude, suggesting that ADHD is linked to dysfunction of the central dopaminergic system and poor cognitive processes related to response selection and execution.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.