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We investigated the effects of botulinum toxin on gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with foot dystonia. Six patients underwent onabotulinum toxin A injection and were assessed by Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS), visual analog scale (VAS) of pain, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Test (BBT), and 3D gait analysis at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. BFMDRS (p = 0.002), VAS (p = 0.024), TUG (p = 0.028), and BBT (p = 0.034) were improved. Foot pressures at Toe 1 (p = 0.028) and Midfoot (p = 0.018) were reduced, indicating botulinum toxin’s effects in alleviating the dystonia severity and pain and improving foot pressures during walking in PD.
The objective of this study was to analyze differences in birth weight and overweight/obesity in a Shanghai twin cohort. We also wanted to study their association and explore possible risk factors for the discordance of overweight/obesity within twins. This was an internal case–control study designed for twins. The 2012 Shanghai Twin Registration System baseline survey data of a total of 3417 twin pairs were statistically analyzed using SPSS22 software. Results show that the body mass index (BMI) of the Shanghai twin population increased with age. Twins with a high birth weight had a higher BMI and a higher rate of overweight and obesity; 0- to 6-year-old twins, male twins and dizygotic (DZ) twins had higher rates of overweight/obesity than other groups. The greater the discordant birth weight rate of twins, the more obvious the difference in BMI (p < .05). There was a significant difference in overweight/obesity between twins with a relative difference of birth weight ≥15% in DZ twins (p < .05). DZ twins, male twins and 0- to 6-year-old twins were more likely to be discordant in overweight/obese than others. The discordant birth weight within twins was not a risk factor for discordant overweight/obesity. However, attention should be paid to childhood obesity, and appropriate interventions should be made at the appropriate time. Genetics may play an important role in the occurrence and development of overweight/obesity. In conclusion, discordant growth and development in the uterus early in life may not lead to discordant weight development in the future.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
Idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) refer to customized work arrangements and employment conditions employees negotiate with employers. Significant scholarly attention has been paid to understand the responses of i-deals' recipients. However, little attention has been paid to coworkers' reactions to the i-deals. This study examines how coworkers react to focal employees' i-deals. We tested our hypotheses with a sample of 253 employee–coworker pairs and found that coworkers are more likely to accept focal employees' flexibility i-deals than development i-deals. Specifically, we found that coworkers view focal employees' development i-deals as more threatening to their status than flexibility i-deals, and status threat mediates the relationship between development i-deals and coworkers' acceptance. In addition, flexibility i-deals increase coworkers' perception of obtaining future i-deals more than development i-deals, and this perception mediates the relationship between flexibility i-deals and coworkers' acceptance. Furthermore, the results show that coworkers' relative leader–member exchange moderates the above relationships.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Cysticercosis caused by the metacestode larval stage of Taenia hydatigena formerly referred to as Cysticercus tenuicollis is a disease of veterinary importance that constitutes a significant threat to livestock production worldwide, especially in endemic regions due to condemnation of visceral organs and mortality rate of infected young animals. While the genetic diversity among parasites is found to be potentially useful in many areas of research including molecular diagnostics, epidemiology and control, that of T. hydatigena across the globe remains poorly understood. In this study, analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of adult worms and larval stages of T. hydatigena isolated from dogs, sheep and a wild boar in China showed that the population structure consists of two major haplogroups with very high nucleotide substitutions involving synonymous and non-synonymous changes. Compared with other cestodes such as Echinococcus spp., the genetic variation observed between the haplogroups is sufficient for the assignment of major haplotype or genotype division as both groups showed a total of 166 point-mutation differences between the 12 mitochondrial protein-coding gene sequences. Preliminary analysis of a nuclear protein-coding gene (pepck) did not reveal any peculiar changes between both groups which suggests that these variants may only differ in their mitochondrial makeup.
Eating-related problems are common in people with dementia, and may have many adverse consequences. To provide a comprehensive assessment and understanding of these issues, we validated the Chinese version of the Abnormal Eating Behavior Questionnaire (AEBQ), and investigated the prevalence of and factors related to eating-related problems in people with dementia.
A total of 129 people with dementia were recruited from a nursing home and a psychiatric hospital for a cross -sectional study. Internal consistency and test–retest reliability were tested using Cronbach’s α and intra-class correlation coefficient. Dimensionality was evaluated by principal component analysis. Concurrent validity was assessed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient to compare scores for AEBQ and the eating-related items in the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Factors affecting the prevalence of eating-related problems were identified using logistic regression analysis.
The Chinese version of the AEBQ showed acceptable internal consistency, time stability, dimensionality, and concurrent validity. Overall, 86.8% of the participants showed eating-related problems. “Needs supervision” was the most common one, followed by “swallowing problems”. History of stroke (OR: 12.62, 95% CI: 1.58–101.06) and Clinical Dementia Rating (OR: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.02–3.24) were risk factors for “swallowing problems”. Use of antipsychotics protected against “decline in table manners” (OR: 0.21, 95% CI: 0.06–0.74), but was a risk factor for “decrease in appetite” (OR: 3.15, 95% CI: 1.35–7.38). Clinical Dementia Rating (OR: 9.27, 95% CI: 4.13–20.79) independently predicted “needs supervision”.
The Chinese version of the AEBQ is a reliable and valid tool. People with dementia had a high prevalence of eating-related problems. Clinical assessment of eating-related problems in this group needs to screen for secondary causes or risk factors, such as psychotropic medications and comorbidities. Targeted interventions should be used to manage reversible eating-related problems among people with dementia.
Responding to the extreme scarcity of medical resources during the early outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, an emergency specialist hospital of Leishenshan started to construct on January 26, 2020, and accommodate patients on February 6, 2020. The clinical laboratory center of Leishenshan Hospital (CLCLH) was constructed at the same time within 11 days to support the treatment of inpatients in Leishenshan Hospital and the testing of suspected patients from different fever clinics in Wuhan. The CLCLH could perform a total of 320 clinic, 299 biochemistry, 31 microorganism, and 47 infection and immunity examinations per day. It could also complete an average of 239 nucleic acid tests and 118 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody examinations per day. No suspected cases were documented among the health care workers during the operation of the CLCLH. The construction and operation experiences of the CLCLH is provided in this study and might be used by other countries as reference. The content of this study is divided into 4 parts: (1) the establishment of the CLCLH, including its layout and medical resource allocation; (2) the major testing items; (3) the specific procedure of COVID-19 indicator examination; and (4) the standardized personal protection measures.
The present study investigated the association between fibre degradation and the concentration of dissolved molecular hydrogen (H2) in the rumen. Napier grass (NG) silage and corn stover (CS) silage were compared as forages with contrasting structures and degradation patterns. In the first experiment, CS silage had greater 48-h DM, neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) and acid-detergent fibre degradation, and total gas and methane (CH4) volumes, and lower 48-h H2 volume than NG silage in 48-h in vitro incubations. In the second experiment, twenty-four growing beef bulls were fed diets including 55 % (DM basis) NG or CS silages. Bulls fed the CS diet had greater DM intake (DMI), average daily gain, total-tract digestibility of OM and NDF, ruminal dissolved methane (dCH4) concentration and gene copies of protozoa, methanogens, Ruminococcus albus and R. flavefaciens, and had lower ruminal dH2 concentration, and molar proportions of valerate and isovalerate, in comparison with those fed the NG diet. There was a negative correlation between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility in bulls fed the CS diet, and a lack of relationship between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility with the NG diet. In summary, the fibre of CS silage was more easily degraded by rumen microorganisms than that of NG silage. Increased dCH4 concentration with the CS diet presumably led to the decreased ruminal dH2 concentration, which may be helpful for fibre degradation and growth of fibrolytic micro-organisms in the rumen.
Birth weight influences not only brain development, but also mental health outcomes, including depression, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.
The phenotypic data of 12,872–91,009 participants (59.18–63.38% women) from UK Biobank were included to test the associations between the birth weight, depression, and brain volumes through the linear and logistic regression models. As birth weight is highly heritable, the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) of birth weight were calculated from the UK Biobank cohort (154,539 participants, 56.90% women) to estimate the effect of birth weight-related genetic variation on the development of depression and brain volumes. Finally, the mediation analyses of step approach and mediation analysis were used to estimate the role of brain volumes in the association between birth weight and depression. All analyses were conducted sex stratified to assess sex-specific role in the associations.
We observed associations between birth weight and depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.968, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.957–0.979, p = 2.29 × 10−6). Positive associations were observed between birth weight and brain volumes, such as gray matter (B = 0.131, p = 3.51 × 10−74) and white matter (B = 0.129, p = 1.67 × 10−74). Depression was also associated with brain volume, such as left thalamus (OR = 0.891, 95% CI = 0.850–0.933, p = 4.46 × 10−5) and right thalamus (OR = 0.884, 95% CI = 0.841–0.928, p = 2.67 × 10−5). Additionally, significant mediation effects of brain volume were found for the associations between birth weight and depression through steps approach and mediation analysis, such as gray matter (B = –0.220, p = 0.020) and right thalamus (B = –0.207, p = 0.014).
Our results showed the associations among birth weight, depression, and brain volumes, and the mediation effect of brain volumes also provide evidence for the sex-specific of associations.
The present study aimed to evaluate the status of iodine nutrition and thyroid function in adults, to understand the distribution of thyroid disease in people with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) in different water iodine areas and to explore the relationship between serum iodine, urine iodine and thyroid function in people with AITD. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in areas of Shandong Province with different water iodine levels, and subsequently 1225 adults were enrolled from iodine-deficient (ID), iodine-adequate (IA) and iodine-excess (IE) areas. Urinary iodine, water iodine, salt iodine, serum iodine and thyroid function were measured. According to the urine iodine concentration, the ID and IA areas were defined as iodine sufficient and the IE area as iodine excessive. Urine iodine, serum iodine, free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were comparatively higher in the IE area. The positive rate of thyroglobulin antibody (19·1 %) and the prevalence of AITD (21·8 %) were higher in the ID areas; the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism was lowest in the ID areas (7·3 %) and highest in the IE area (16·3 %). Among the AITD population, urinary iodine concentration, free triiodothyronine, FT4 and TSH had a non-linear correlation with serum iodine; abnormal TSH level, serum iodine concentration > 110 µg/l and goitre were risk factors for AITD in adults, especially females. Our data collectively suggest that universal salt iodisation has improved the iodine nutritional status of the population in ID areas in China. Non-step-by-step iodine fortification may induce the transformation of thyroid autoimmune diseases from recessive-to-dominant in susceptible people. Moreover, enhanced monitoring of thyroid function in people with AITD is important.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2 virus) has been sustained in China since December 2019, and has become a pandemic. The mental health of frontline medical staff is a concern. In this study, we aimed to identify the factors influencing medical worker anxiety in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of anxiety among medical staff in China from 10 February 2020 to 20 February 2020 using the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) to assess anxiety, with the criteria of normal (⩽49), mild (50–59), moderate (60–70) and severe anxiety (⩾70). We used multivariable linear regression to determine the factors (e.g. having direct contact when treating infected patients, being a medical staff worker from Hubei province, being a suspect case) for anxiety. We also used adjusted models to confirm independent factors for anxiety after adjusting for gender, age, education and marital status. Of 512 medical staff in China, 164 (32.03%) had had direct contact treating infected patients. The prevalence of anxiety was 12.5%, with 53 workers suffering from mild (10.35%), seven workers suffering from moderate (1.36%) and four workers suffering from severe anxiety (0.78%). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, education and marital status), medical staff who had had direct contact treating infected patients experienced higher anxiety scores than those who had not had direct contact (β value = 2.33, confidence interval (CI) 0.65–4.00; P = 0.0068). A similar trend was observed in medical staff from Hubei province, compared with those from other parts of China (β value = 3.67, CI 1.44–5.89; P = 0.0013). The most important variable was suspect cases with high anxiety scores, compared to non-suspect cases (β value = 4.44, CI 1.55–7.33; P = 0.0028). In this survey of hospital medical workers during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, we found that study participants experienced anxiety symptoms, especially those who had direct clinical contact with infected patients; as did those in the worst affected areas, including Hubei province; and those who were suspect cases. Governments and healthcare authorities should proactively implement appropriate psychological intervention programmes, to prevent, alleviate or treat increased anxiety.
Executive dysfunction is one of the main cognitive theories of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite evidence of deficits in executive functions in individuals with ASD, little is known about executive dysfunctions as candidate cognitive endophenotypes for ASD. In this study, we investigated executive functions in youths with ASD, their unaffected siblings and typically developing controls (TDC).
We recruited 240 youths with a clinical diagnosis of ASD (aged 6–18 years), 147 unaffected siblings of ASD youths, and 240 TDC youths. TDC youths were recruited based on the age and sex distribution of the ASD youths. Participants were assessed using the verbal Digit Span test and four executive function tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, including Intra-dimensional/Extra-dimensional Shift (I/ED), Spatial Span (SSP), Spatial Working Memory (SWM), and Stocking of Cambridge (SoC).
ASD youths, relative to TDC, performed significantly worse in executive function tasks assessing verbal working memory (forward and backward digit span), set-shifting (I/ED), visuospatial working memory (SSP, SWM), and planning/problem solving (SoC). Furthermore, unaffected siblings, relative to TDC, performed worse in forward and backward digit recalls and made more errors in SWM. These results were independent of the effects of age, sex, IQ, and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Our findings support impaired executive functions in youths with ASD. However, unaffected siblings were mostly unimpaired except in the areas of verbal and spatial working memory, which may be potential cognitive endophenotypes for ASD.
Multiple neurotrophic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, nerve growth factor (NGF) and insulin-like growth factor(IGF)-1, have been shown to play important roles in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, insufficient clinical data supporting the importance of these neurotrophic factors in mood disorders, especially manic episode, have made inconclusive to make a connection between these factors and the disorder.
This study intended to investigate possible peripheral biomarkers in serum of manic episode of bipolar disorder.
We aimed to investigate whether or not serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 varied in manic state.
Serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were examined in 70 drug-naïve patients with manic episode of bipolar disorder (BM) as well as 50 healthy controls, using an ELISA method.
The mean serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were 168.13±225.61pg/ml, 279.09±378.62pg/ml, 61.38±171.67pg/ml and 162.01±72.00ng/ml in BM patients, and 140.80±143.71pg/ml, 275.46±235.29pg/ml, 36.34±15.14pg/ml and 138.90±80.11ng/ml in healthy controls, respectively. Serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in patients were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (Z=−2.896, P=0.004; Z=− 2.050, P=0.040; Z=−2.188, P=0.029; respectively), although there was no statistical difference in the serum levels of VEGF between two groups (Z=-0.468, P=0.639). Moreover, serum levels of NGF in patients correlated with the duration of disorder (rs=−0.241, P=0.044).
The increase in serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in manic state may reflect a neuroprotective role for these factors, and these factors may be considered biological markers for manic episode.
Observational studies have linked elevated homocysteine to vascular conditions. Folate intake has been associated with lower homocysteine concentration, although randomised controlled trials of folic acid supplementation to decrease the incidence of vascular conditions have been inconclusive. We investigated determinants of maternal homocysteine during pregnancy, particularly in a folic acid-fortified population.
Data were from the Ottawa and Kingston Birth Cohort of 8085 participants. We used multivariable regression analyses to identify factors associated with maternal homocysteine, adjusted for gestational age at bloodwork. Continuous factors were modelled using restricted cubic splines. A subgroup analysis examined the modifying effect of MTHFR 677C>T genotype on folate, in determining homocysteine concentration.
Participants were recruited in Ottawa and Kingston, Canada, from 2002 to 2009.
Women were recruited when presenting for prenatal care in the early second trimester.
In 7587 participants, factors significantly associated with higher homocysteine concentration were nulliparous, smoking and chronic hypertension, while factors significantly associated with lower homocysteine concentration were non-Caucasian race, history of a placenta-mediated complication and folic acid supplementation. Maternal age and BMI demonstrated U-shaped associations. Folic acid supplementation of >1 mg/d during pregnancy did not substantially increase folate concentration. In the subgroup analysis, MTHFR 677C>T modified the effect of folate status on homocysteine concentration.
We identified determinants of maternal homocysteine relevant to the lowering of homocysteine in the post-folic acid fortification era, characterised by folate-replete populations. A focus on periconceptional folic acid supplementation and improving health status may form an effective approach to lower homocysteine.
Varicella is an acute respiratory infectious diseases, with high transmissibility and quick dissemination. In this study, an SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered) dynamic model was established to explore the optimal prevention and control measures according to the epidemiological characteristics about varicella outbreak in a school in a central city of China. Berkeley Madonna 8.3.18 and Microsoft Office Excel 2010 software were employed for the model simulation and data management, respectively. The result showed that the simulated result of SEIR model agreed well with the reported data when β (infected rate) equal to 0.067. Models showed that the cumulative number of cases was only 13 when isolation adopted when the infected individuals were identified (assuming isolation rate was up to 100%); the cumulative number of cases was only two and the TAR (total attack rate) was 0.56% when the vaccination coefficient reached 50%. The cumulative number of cases did not change significantly with the change of efficiency of ventilation and disinfection, but the peak time was delayed; when δ (vaccination coefficient) = 0.1, m (ventilation efficiency) = 0.7 or δ = 0.2, m = 0.5 or δ = 0.3, m = 0.1 or δ = 0.4 and above, the cumulative number of cases would reduce to one case and TAR would reduce to 0.28% with combined interventions. Varicella outbreak in school could be controlled through strict isolation or vaccination singly; combined interventions have been adopted when the vaccination coefficient was low.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.