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Residents of Hong Kong have undergone a dietary transition from a traditional Chinese diet that is high in seafood to a more Western diet. This may have affected the nutritional composition of breast milk of Hong Kong mothers. The present study aims to investigate the relationship between the dietary pattern and the fatty acid profile of the breast milk of lactating women in Hong Kong. Seventy-three volunteering healthy Hong Kong lactating mothers participated in the study. Their dietary intakes were assessed by using a 3-d dietary record and FFQ. The mean n-3 fatty acid levels were approximately 0·4 % (EPA) and 0·9 % (DHA) of total fatty acids in the breast milk of lactating mothers who had exclusively breastfed their infants aged 2–6 months. Maternal dietary intakes of n-3 fatty acids were positively associated with their levels in the breast milk. The levels of maternal intakes of freshwater and saltwater fish, especially the consumption of salmon, croaker and mandarin, were significantly correlated with the content of DHA in breast milk. The present study is among the very few in the literature to determine the fatty acid profile of breast milk in Hong Kong populations and verify certain dietary factors that influence this profile. High levels of n-3 PUFA, especially DHA, were observed in the breast milk of Hong Kong lactating women. The findings may serve as a dietary reference for lactating mothers to optimise the fatty acid profile of their breast milk.
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.
More mobile devices such as mobile phones and robots are wirelessly charged for convenience, simplicity, and safety, and it would be desirable to achieve three-dimensional (3D) wireless charging with high spatial freedom and long range. This paper proposes a 3D wireless charging cube with three orthogonal coils and supporting magnetic cores to enhance the magnetic flux outside the cube. The proposed system is simulated by Ansoft Maxwell and implemented by a downsized prototype. Both simulation and experimental results show that the magnetic cores can strengthen the magnitude of B-field outside the cube. The final prototype demonstrates that the power transfer distance outside the cube for getting the same induced electromotive force in the receiver coil is extended approximately by 50 mm using magnetic cores with a permeability of 2800. It is found that the magnitude of B-field outside the cube can be increased by increasing the width and the permeability of the magnetic cores. The measured results show that when the permeability of the magnetic cores is fixed, the induced electromotive force in the receiver coil at a point 300 mm away from the center of the cube is increased by about 2V when the width of the magnetic cores is increased from 50 to 100 mm. The increase in the induced electromotive force at an extended point implies a greater potential of wireless power transfer capability to the power pickup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this work, fluorescent Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) cells were developed as probes for imaging applications and to explore behaviorial interaction between B. subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). A novel biological strategy of coupling intracellular biochemical reactions for controllable biosynthesis of CdSe quantum dots by living B. subtilis cells was demonstrated, through which highly luminant and photostable fluorescent B. subtilis cells were achieved with good uniformity. With the help of the obtained fluorescent B. subtilis cells probes, S. aureus cells responded to co-cultured B. subtilis and to aggregate. The degree of aggregation was calculated and nonlinearly fitted to a polynomial model. Systematic investigations of their interactions implied that B. subtilis cells inhibit the growth of neighboring S. aureus cells, and this inhibition was affected by both the growth stage and the amount of surrounding B. subtilis cells. Compared to traditional methods of studying bacterial interaction between two species, such as solid culture medium colony observation and imaging mass spectrometry detection, the procedures were more simple, vivid, and photostable due to the efficient fluorescence intralabeling with less influence on the cells’ surface, which might provide a new paradigm for future visualization of microbial behavior.
Previous evidence has shown positive associations between post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes
mellitus, which are all risk factors for stroke, but the role of PTSD in
the subsequent development of stroke is still unknown.
To investigate the temporal association between PTSD and the development
Identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database,
5217 individuals aged 18 years, with PTSD but with no history of stroke,
and 20 868 age- and gender-matched controls were enrolled between 2002
and 2009, and followed up until the end of 2011 to identify the
development of stroke.
Individuals with PTSD had an increased risk of developing any stroke
(hazard ratio (HR) 3.37, 95% CI 2.44–4.67) and ischaemic stroke (HR =
3.47, 95% CI 2.23–5.39) after adjusting for demographic data and medical
comorbidities. Sensitivity tests showed consistent findings (any stroke
HR = 3.02, 95% CI 2.13–4.28; ischaemic stroke HR = 2.89, 95% CI
1.79–4.66) after excluding the first year of observation.
Individuals with PTSD have an increased risk of developing any stroke and
ischaemic stroke. Further studies are required to investigate the
This study identified possible risk factors for newly diagnosed mood disorders, including depressive and bipolar disorders, in prostate cancer patients.
From 2000 to 2006, two cohorts were evaluated on the occurrence of mood disorder diagnosis and treatment. For the first cohort, data of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer was obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance (NHI) Research Database. As the second cohort, a cancer-free comparison group was matched for age, comorbidities, geographic region, and socioeconomic status.
Final analyses involved 12,872 men with prostate cancer and 12,872 matched patients. Increased incidence of both depressive (IRR 1.52, 95% CI 1.30–1.79, P <0.001) and bipolar disorder (IRR 1.84, 95% CI 1.25–2.74, P = 0.001) was observed among patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. Multivariate matched regression models show that cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and radiotherapy treatment could be independent risk factors for developing subsequent depressive and bipolar disorders.
We observed that the risk of developing newly diagnosed depressive and bipolar disorders is higher among Taiwanese prostate cancer patients. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of increased depressive and bipolar disorders among prostate cancer patients in Taiwan. A prospective study is necessary to confirm these findings.
Asians and Pacific Islanders have higher circulating serum ferritin (SF) compared with Caucasians but the clinical significance of this is unclear. There is a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Taiwanese Indigenous than Han Chinese. Genetically, Indigenous are related to Austronesians and account for 2 % of Taiwan's population. We tested the hypothesis that accumulation of Fe in the body contributes to the ethnic/racial disparities in MetS in Taiwan.
A population-based, cross-sectional study.
National Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan and Penghu Island.
A total of 2638 healthy adults aged ≥19 years. Three ethnic groups were included.
Han Chinese and Indigenous people had comparable levels of SF. Austronesia origin was independently associated with MetS (OR = 2·61, 95 % CI 2·02, 3·36). After multiple adjustments, the odds for MetS (OR = 2·49, 95 % CI 1·15, 5·28) was significantly higher among Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile compared with those in the lowest tertile. Hakka and Penghu Islanders yielded the lowest risks (OR = 1·08, 95 % CI 0·44, 2·65 and OR = 1·21, 95 % CI 0·52, 2·78, respectively). Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile had increased risk for abnormal levels of fasting glucose (OR = 2·34, 95 % CI 1·27, 4·29), TAG (OR = 1·94, 95 % CI 1·11, 3·39) and HDL-cholesterol (OR = 2·10, 95 % CI 1·18, 3·73) than those in the lowest SF tertile.
Our results raise the possibility that ethnic/racial differences in body Fe store susceptibility may contribute to racial and geographic disparities in MetS.
The goal of this research was to investigate the ability of lubricin to prevent bio-fouling of intraocular lenses after surgery, through surface coating trials with lubricin and analogues of the two major sub-units of the lubricin molecule (mucin and vitronectin). Yearly, there are over 6 million surgeries worldwide that involve intraocular lenses (IOLs) 1. However, preventing post-operative biofouling and bacterial infection of these implants remains a challenge 2. Surface modification of IOLs may provide a solution. This study proposes the use of the anti-adhesive protein lubricin (LUB), a glycoprotein found in the synovial fluid, as a means to make polymer surfaces less prone to bacterial adhesion and proliferation; thus, reducing the opportunity for post-operative infection 3. This study used extended bacteria growth trials on tissue cultures polystyrene coated with either lubricin, vitronectin, or mucin to investigate how lubricin and protein sub-regions of lubricin may reduce bacterial adhesion and proliferation.
Previous studies have suggested that the daidzein metabolite equol rather than daidzein itself contributes to the beneficial effect of soya foods in the prevention of CVD. The aim of the present study is to examine the proportion of equol excretion in Chinese adults and compare plasma lipids and carotid artery intima–media thickness (IMT) between equol excretors and non-excretors, and to evaluate the effect of soya isoflavone intakes on serum lipids and IMT in either equol excretors or non-excretors. Subjects (n 572; women n 362, men n 210) were recruited for the present study. An overnight urine sample was provided by each subject on their usual diet to quantify urinary concentrations of daidzein and equol. Far-wall IMT was determined by B-mode ultrasound in the right carotid at two sites, carotid bulb (CB-IMT) and common carotid artery (CCA-IMT), and fasting serum lipids were measured. Habitual dietary intakes were estimated with a FFQ, and soya isoflavone intake derived from the FFQ was assessed. Of the 572 subjects, the proportion of equol excretors on their usual diet was 25·0 % (n 143). Compared with non-excretors, equol excretors showed significantly lower serum TAG ( − 38·2 (95 % CI − 70·4, − 5·9) %, P = 0·012) and CCA-IMT ( − 4·9 (95 % CI − 9·7, − 0·3) %, P = 0·033). Equol excretors with higher daily isoflavone intakes ( − 5·4 mg/d) had significantly lower IMT ( − 16·2 %, P = 0·035) and tended to have higher HDL-cholesterol (P = 0·055) than did those with lower daily isoflavone intakes (1·5 mg/d), while no association was observed between soya isoflavone intakes and serum lipids or IMT in non-excretors. In conclusion, the benefits of soya isoflavones in preventing CVD may be apparent among equol excretors only.
People with major depressive disorder who fail to respond to adequate trials of antidepressant treatment may harbour hidden bipolar disorder.
We aimed to compare the rates of a change in diagnosis to bipolar disorder among people with major depressive disorder with stratified responses to antidepressants during an 8-year follow-up period.
Information on individuals with major depressive disorder identified during 2000 (cohort 2000, n = 1485) and 2003 (cohort 2003, n = 2459) were collected from a nationally representative cohort of 1 000 000 health service users in Taiwan. Participants responding well to antidepressants were compared with those showing poor responses to adequate trials of antidepressants.
In 7.6–12.1% of those with a diagnosis of unipolar major depressive disorder this diagnosis was subsequently changed to bipolar disorder, with a mean time to change of 1.89–2.98 years. Difficult-to-treat participants presented higher rates of change to a bipolar diagnosis (25.6% in cohort 2000; 26.6% in cohort 2003) than easy-to-treat participants (8.8–8.9% in cohort 2000; 6.8–8.6% in cohort 2003; P<0.0001). Regression analysis showed that the variable most strongly associated with the change in diagnosis was antidepressant use history. The difficult-to-treat participants were associated most with diagnostic changing (cohort 2000: odds ratio (OR) = 1.88 (95% CI 1.12–3.16); cohort 2003: OR = 4.94 (95% CI 2.81–8.68)).
This is the first large-scale study to report an association between antidepressant response history and subsequent change in diagnosis from major depressive disorder to bipolar disorder. Our findings support the view that a history of poor response to antidepressants in unipolar depression could be a useful predictor for bipolar diathesis.
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) are widely used in diets for patients with obesity. To develop a delivery system for suppressing dietary fat accumulation into adipose tissue, MCFA were encapsulated in nanoliposomes (NL), which can overcome the drawbacks of MCFA and keep their properties unchanged. In the present study, crude liposomes were first produced by the thin-layer dispersion method, and then dynamic high-pressure microfluidisation (DHPM) and DHPM combined with freeze–thawing methods were used to prepare MCFA NL (NL-1 and NL-2, respectively). NL-1 exhibited smaller average size (77·6 (sd 4·3) nm), higher zeta potential ( − 40·8 (sd 1·7) mV) and entrapment efficiency (73·3 (sd 16·1) %) and better stability, while NL-2 showed narrower distribution (polydispersion index 0·193 (sd 0·016)). The body fat reduction property of NL-1 and NL-2 were evaluated by short-term (2 weeks) and long-term (6 weeks) experiments of mice. In contrast to the MCFA group, the NL groups had overcome the poor palatability of MCFA because the normal diet of mice was maintained. The body fat and total cholesterol (TCH) of NL-1 (1·54 (sd 0·30) g, P = 0·039 and 2·33 (sd 0·44) mmol/l, P = 0·021, respectively) and NL-2 (1·58 (sd 0·69) g, P = 0·041 and 2·29 (sd 0·38) mmol/l, P = 0·015, respectively) significantly decreased when compared with the control group (2·11 (sd 0·82) g and 2·99 (sd 0·48) mmol/l, respectively). The TAG concentration of the NL-1 group (0·55 (sd 0·14) mmol/l) was remarkably lower (P = 0·045) than the control group (0·94 (sd 0·37) mmol/l). No significant difference in weight and fat gain, TCH and TAG was detected between the MCFA NL and MCFA groups. Therefore, MCFA NL could be potential nutritional candidates for obesity to suppress body fat accumulation.
The influences of (SiN)+ and Eu2+ concentration on the optical properties of BaAl2−xSixO4−xNx:Eu2+ were investigated. The lifetime results show that there are two different cation sites occupied by Eu2+ ions and the energy transfer occurs between them. The Huang–Rhys factor and the Stokes energy shift were determined, and thermal quenching with increasing temperature was observed. Finally, intense yellowish-green light emitting diodes (LED) with the color coordinate of (0.2936, 0.4483) under a forward-bias current of 20 mA was successfully fabricated on the basis of a structure consisting of BaAl2−xSixO4−xNx:Eu2+ phosphor and near-ultraviolet (∼395 nm) GaN chip.
On September 28, 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party was formed in defiance of restrictions set by a decades-old authoritarian regime, heralding the emergence of a fully competitive multiparty electoral system in Taiwan. Existing literature on Taiwan's democratic breakthrough suggests that international factors have played a significant role in bringing about democracy on the island. But what exactly were these external factors and how have they effected political change in Taiwan? A reexamination of the changing geopolitical and normative environments surrounding Taiwan suggests that they were crucial in shaping political development on the island in ways that have not been described in the literature. This article examines how the geopolitical and international normative environment enabled myriad external substate and nonstate actors to form a transnational “protection regime” around the political opposition, preserving the democratic movement and allowing it to reach its full mobilizational potential in time.
Proliferation of intimal vascular smooth muscle cells is an important component in the development of atherosclerosis. Ellagic acid is a phenolic compound present in fruits (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries) and walnuts. The present study investigated the effect of ellagic acid on the oxidised LDL (ox-LDL)-induced proliferation of rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMC). The study found that ellagic acid significantly inhibited ox-LDL-induced proliferation of RASMC and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2.Furthermore, ellagic acid also blocked the ox-LDL-induced (inducible) cell-cycle progression and down regulation of the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in RASMC. Therefore, ellagic acid reduced the amount of ox-LDL-induced proliferation of RASMC via inactivation of the ERK pathway and suppression of PCNA expression. These results may significantly advance the understanding of the role that antioxidants play in the prevention of atherosclerosis.