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Patients with severe mental disorders in low-resource settings have limited access to services, resulting in overwhelming caregiving burden for families. In extreme cases, this has led to the long-term restraining of patients in their homes. China underwent a nationwide initiative to unlock patients and provide continued treatment. This study aims to quantify household economic burden in families after unlocking and treatment, and to identify factors associated with increased burden due to schizophrenia.
A total of 264 subjects were enrolled from three geographically diverse provinces in 2012. Subjects were patients with schizophrenia who were previously put under restraints and had participated in the ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention. The primary outcome was the current household economic burden, obtained from past year financial information collected through on-site interview. Patient disease characteristics, treatment, outcomes and family caregiving burden were collected as well. Univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to construct risk factor models for indirect economic burden.
After participating in the intervention, 85% of patients continued to receive mental health services, 70% used medication as prescribed and 80% were never relocked. Family members reported significantly decreased caregiving burden after receiving the intervention. Mean direct and indirect household economic burdens were CNY963 (US$31.7) and CNY11 724 (US$1670) per year, respectively, while family total income was on average CNY12 108 (US$1913) per year. Greater disease severity and poorer patient psychosocial function at time of study were found to be independent factors related to increased indirect burden.
The ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention has improved the lives of patients and families. Indirect burden due to disease is still a major economic issue that needs to be addressed, potentially through improving treatment and patient functioning. Our findings contribute to the unravelling and eventual elimination of chronic restraining of mentally ill patients in low-resource settings.
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.
Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis a hereditary, multi-systemic and life-threatening disease resulting in neuropathy and cardiomyopathy. In the APOLLO study, patisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting hepatic TTR production resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL compared to placebo and was generally well tolerated. Methods: APOLLO, a Phase 3 study of patisiran vs. placebo (NCT01960348) prespecified a cardiac subpopulation (n=126 of 225 total) that included patients with baseline left ventricular (LV) wall thickness ≥ 13mm and no medical history of aortic valve disease or hypertension. Cardiac measures included structure and function by electrocardiography, changes in NT-proBNP and 10-MWT gait speed. Results: At 18 months, patisiran treatment resulted in a mean reduction in LV wall thickness of 1 mm (p=0.017) compared to baseline, which was associated with significant improvements relative to placebo in LV end diastolic volume (+8.31 mL, p=0.036), global longitudinal strain (-1.37%, p=0.015) and NT-proBNP (55% reduction, p=7.7 x 10-8) (Figure 1). Gait speed was also improved relative to placebo (+0.35 m/sec, p=7.4 x 10-9). Rate of death or hospitalization was lower with patisiran. mNIS+7 results in the cardiac subpopulation will also be presented. Conclusions: These data suggest patisiran has the potential to halt or reverse cardiac manifestations of hATTR amyloidosis.
Hemostasis, a process which causes bleeding to stop, can be enhanced using chitosan; but the detailed mechanism is unclear. Red blood cells (RBCs) adhere to chitosan because of their opposite charges, but the adhesion force is small, 3.83 pN as measured here using an optical tweezer, such that the direct adhesion cannot be the sole cause for hemostasis. However, it was observed in this study that layer structures of aggregated RBCs were formed next to chitosan objects in both static and flowing environments, but not formed next to cotton and rayon yarns. The layer structure is the clue for the initiation of hemostatsis. Through the supporting measurements of zeta potentials of RBCs and pH's using blood-chitosan mixtures, it is proposed here that the formation of the RBC layer structure next to chitosan objects is due to the reduction of repulsive electric double layer force between RBCs, because of the association of H+ deprotonated from chitosan with COO− on RBC membrane, under the DLVO (Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek) theory. The results are beneficial for designing effective chitosan-based wound dressings, and also for general biomedical applications.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
To identify modifiable risk factors for acquisition of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (KPC) colonization among long-term acute-care hospital (LTACH) patients.
Multicenter, matched case-control study.
Four LTACHs in Chicago, Illinois.
Each case patient included in this study had a KPC-negative rectal surveillance culture on admission followed by a KPC-positive surveillance culture later in the hospital stay. Each matched control patient had a KPC-negative rectal surveillance culture on admission and no KPC isolated during the hospital stay.
From June 2012 to June 2013, 2,575 patients were admitted to 4 LTACHs; 217 of 2,144 KPC-negative patients (10.1%) acquired KPC. In total, 100 of these patients were selected at random and matched to 100 controls by LTACH facility, admission date, and censored length of stay. Acquisitions occurred a median of 16.5 days after admission. On multivariate analysis, we found that exposure to higher colonization pressure (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01–1.04; P=.002), exposure to a carbapenem (OR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.06–4.77; P=.04), and higher Charlson comorbidity index (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.01–1.29; P=.04) were independent risk factors for KPC acquisition; the odds of KPC acquisition increased by 2% for each 1% increase in colonization pressure.
Higher colonization pressure, exposure to carbapenems, and a higher Charlson comorbidity index independently increased the odds of KPC acquisition among LTACH patients. Reducing colonization pressure (through separation of KPC-positive patients from KPC-negative patients using strict cohorts or private rooms) and reducing carbapenem exposure may prevent KPC cross transmission in this high-risk patient population.
Plant defence systems can be induced by biotic and abiotic stress. Experiments were undertaken to explore the feasibility of different fungal proteins for the reduction of vegetable diseases. Total proteins purified from three soil-borne and five foliar fungal pathogens had no fungistatic effects nor did they trigger hypersensitive reactions on test plants. The abilities to promote plant growth and to reduce disease severity varied among test proteins and plants. Depending on test proteins, experiments have demonstrated that exogenous application of fungal proteins could reduce Alternaria brassicicola-induced black spot severity on cabbage, Colletotrichum spp.-induced anthracnose on Chinese cabbage and cucumber, Rhizoctonia solani-induced damping-off on sweet pepper and Chinese cabbage, and powdery mildew on cucumber seedlings. An Alternariaprotein effector 1 (Ape1)-coding gene was cloned from two Alternaria spp. and expressed in Escherichia coli. The expressed Ape1 reduced anthracnose incidence on cucumber leaves, indicating that Ape1 was the primary activator in the crude protein extracts responsible for disease reduction. Application of Alternaria proteins onto Chinese cabbage seedlings caused an increase of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and peroxidase activities in treated seedlings, which may have played a role in host defence.
Development of transparent electrodynamic screens (EDS) printed on ultrathin
flexible glass film substrates for retrofitting on solar panels and solar
mirrors to perform self cleaning function is reviewed. Large-scale solar plants
are generally installed in semi-arid and desert areas where dust layers build up
on solar collectors causes major energy-yield loss. Maintaining designed plant
capacities requires more than 90% reflectivity for CSP mirrors and 90%
transmission efficiency for PV modules; solar collectors must therefore be
cleaned at a frequency depending on the rate of dust deposition. Scarcity of
water in these regions requires a cleaning method that drastically reduces or
eliminates water and the associated labor costs for high efficiency operation of
large-scale solar plants. An EDS film consists of rows of interdigitated,
transparent conducting parallel electrodes embedded within a flexible ultrathin
glass film and an optically clear adhesive film used for retrofitting the film
on the surface of solar collectors. When phased voltage pulses activate the
electrodes, the dust particles are first electrostatically charged, then
repelled and removed from the surface of the solar collectors by Coulomb force,
restoring transmission efficiency greater than 90%. The electrodes of EDS are
either made from silver nanowire or another conductive transparent material
printed on a highly transparent, ultrathin (100-μm thick), flexible
borosilicate glass film. Applications of different conducting transparent
electrodes and methods of printing are reviewed for optimizing self-cleaning
function of solar panels and mirrors.
In order to analyze the boiling and capillary limitations of two-phase heat transport devices, the existing models developed by Chi and Peterson and the existing experimental data carried out with various micro channel wick structures from literature were collected for benchmark. It was found that the dominant parameters for boiling and capillary limitations were the nucleation sites and structure geometries of the micro channels, and important parameters were considered to modify the models empirically. It was also found that for micro channel structures the inclined angle is sensitive to the capillary limitations and not to boiling limitations. By properly estimating the nucleation sites and empirical coefficients for micro channels needed by the newly modified models, the boiling and capillary limitations can be accurately predicted, and hence the applicability of the modified models is confirmed. Based on this, a numerical analysis was then carried out to investigate the trends of boiling and capillary limitations of the micro channel wick structures. Effects of the channel geometries and arrangement were taken into account, including the aspect ratio and structure size of the micro channels. Furthermore, the effects of inclined angle and contact angle were also analyzed. The present results can provide a design reference of performance trends of micro channel wick structures.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
Delusional disorder (DD) is thought to be distinct from schizophrenia (SZ). However, few systematic investigations have been conducted on DD because of the difficulty in ascertaining a representative sample size. Existing knowledge has been mostly generated from inpatient cohorts, which may be biased towards a more severe sample.
We compared the demographic, clinical and cognitive differences between 71 patients with first-episode DD and 71 age-matched patients with first-episode SZ. Participants were consecutively recruited from a population-based territory-wide study of early psychosis in Hong Kong targeting first-episode psychosis. Basic demographic information, premorbid functioning, duration of untreated psychosis, pathways to care, symptomatology, social, occupational, and cognitive functioning were comprehensively assessed using standardized measurements.
Patients with DD had less premorbid schizoid and schizotypal traits compared to patients with SZ. More patients with DD were married compared to patients with SZ. However, at first episode, there were no significant differences between the two groups in regards to the duration of untreated psychosis, pathways to care, symptom severity, neurocognitive performance, treatment, and functioning.
Our findings challenge previous thinking that patients with DD had better functioning than patients with SZ. This study not only provides an updated perspective into conceptualizing the clinical differences between DD and SZ, but also expands the descriptive account of the two disorders to include the neurocognitive dimension.
With prevention and treatment of mental disorders a challenge for primary care and increasing capability of electronic medical records (EMRs) to facilitate research in practice, we aim to determine the prevalence and treatment of mental disorders by using routinely collected clinical data contained in EMRs.
We reviewed EMRs of patients randomly sampled from seven general practices, by piloting a study instrument and extracting data on mental disorders and their treatment.
Data were collected on 690 patients (age range 18–95, 52% male, 52% GMS-eligible). A mental disorder (most commonly anxiety/stress, depression and problem alcohol use) was recorded in the clinical records of 139 (20%) during the 2-year study period. While most patients with the common disorders had been prescribed medication (i.e. antidepressants or benzodiazepines), a minority had been referred to other agencies or received psychological interventions. ‘Free text’ consultation notes and ‘prescriptions’ were how most patients with disorders were identified. Diagnostic coding alone would have failed to identify 92% of patients with a disorder.
Although mental disorders are common in general practice, this study suggests their formal diagnosis, disease coding and access to psychological treatments are priorities for future research efforts.
Some studies demonstrated that physical activity may have beneficial effect on cognitive function. The objective of the study was to estimate the association between physical activity and cognitive function in community-dwelling elderly Chinese in Hong Kong (HK) and Guangzhou (GZ).
In the neighborhood of HK and GZ, a convenience sample of 557 (260 in HK and 297 in GZ) older persons without dementia aged over 60 years (73.4 ± 6.5) was recruited. Physical activity was measured using a checklist. Information on physical activity participation, cognitive function, and other variables were collected. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association between physical activity and cognitive function.
Total number of physical activities showed significant association with the delayed recall test (p < 0.01) and category verbal fluency test (CVFT) (p < 0.01). However, with further adjustment for participation in intellectual activity, the coefficients were no longer statistically significant (p > 0.05)
Physical activity may not be associated with better cognitive function among elderly Chinese independently of other factors.
To understand the clinical epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in children with diarrhoea in Guangzhou, South China, we collected 1128 faecal specimens from children with diarrhoea from July 2010 to December 2012. HBoV and five other major enteric viruses were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Human rotavirus (HRV) was the most prevalent pathogen, detected in 250 (22·2%) cases, followed by enteric adenovirus (EADV) in 76 (6·7%) cases, human astrovirus (HAstV) in 38 (3·4%) cases, HBoV in 17 (1·5%) cases, sapovirus (SaV) in 14 (1·2%) cases, and norovirus (NoV) in 9 (0·8%) cases. Co-infections were identified in 3·7% of the study population and 23·5% of HBoV-positive specimens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 14 HBoV strains to be clustered into species HBoV1 with only minor variations among them. Overall, the detection of HBoV appears to partially contribute to the overall detection gap for enteric infections, single HBoV infection rarely results in severe clinical outcomes, and HBoV sequencing data appears to support conserved genomes across strains identified in this study.