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Understanding the patterns of treatment response is critical for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia; one way to achieve this is through using a longitudinal dynamic process study design.
This study aims to explore the response trajectory of antipsychotics and compare the treatment responses of seven different antipsychotics over 6 weeks in patients with schizoprenia (trial registration: Chinese Clinical Trials Registry Identifier: ChiCTR-TRC-10000934).
Data were collected from a multicentre, randomised open-label clinical trial. Patients were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and follow-up at weeks 2, 4 and 6. Trajectory groups were classified by the method of k-means cluster modelling for longitudinal data. Trajectory analyses were also employed for the seven antipsychotic groups.
The early treatment response trajectories were classified into a high-trajectory group of better responders and a low-trajectory group of worse responders. The results of trajectory analysis showed differences compared with the classification method characterised by a 50% reduction in PANSS scores at week 6. A total of 349 patients were inconsistently grouped by the two methods, with a significant difference in the composition ratio of treatment response groups using these two methods (χ2 = 43.37, P < 0.001). There was no differential contribution of high- and low trajectories to different drugs (χ2 = 12.52, P = 0.051); olanzapine and risperidone, which had a larger proportion in the >50% reduction at week 6, performed better than aripiprazole, quetiapine, ziprasidone and perphenazine.
The trajectory analysis of treatment response to schizophrenia revealed two distinct trajectories. Comparing the treatment responses to different antipsychotics through longitudinal analysis may offer a new perspective for evaluating antipsychotics.
We hypothesized that insulin-induced gene 1 (INSIG1) affects milk fat synthesis in buffalo. For this reason, the protein abundance of INSIG1 in the mammary tissue of buffalo during the peak period of lactation and dry-off period was evaluated. The results showed that the expression of INSIG1 at the peak of lactation was lower than that in the dry-off period. To explore the role of INSIG1 in milk fat synthesis, the buffalo mammary epithelial cells (BMECs) were isolated and purified from buffalo mammary tissue, and INSIG1 gene were overexpressed and knocked down by constructing the recombinant lentivirus vector of INSIG1 gene and transfecting into BMECs. Results revealed that INSIG1 overexpression decreased the expression of INSIG2, SREBP, PPARG, SCD, GPAM, DGAT2 and AGPAT6, which led to reduction of triglycerides (TAG) content in the cell. In contrast, knockdown of INSIG1 had a positive effect on mRNA expression of the above genes. Overall, the data provide strong support for a key role of INSIG1 in the regulation of milk fat synthesis in BMECs.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the main cause of end-stage liver disease. Probiotics have the potential effect of alleviating NAFLD. The aim of this study was to explore functional probiotics and their underlying mechanisms. The bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity in thirty-four strains was determined in vitro. Then, C57BL/6 mice were used to explore the effects of probiotics on NAFLD. Body weight and food intake were measured, and serum lipid concentrations, oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines levels were determined using commercial kits. The expressions of intestinal bile acid pathway genes were evaluated via real-time PCR. The results showed that Lactobacillus casei YRL577 and L. paracasei X11 had higher BSH activity. L. casei YRL577 significantly reduced liver weight and liver index and could regulate the levels of lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines as compared with L. paracasei X11. Furthermore, the results indicated that L. casei YRL577 up-regulated the mRNA levels of farnesoid X receptor and fibroblast growth factor 15, whereas down-regulated the mRNA level of apical Na-dependent bile acid transporter. These findings suggested that L. casei YRL577 modified genes in the intestinal bile acid pathway which might contribute to the alleviation of NAFLD.
Probiotics and plant extracts are considered to prevent the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study explores the effects of using both probiotics and plant extracts on NAFLD. This study evaluated the effects of plant extracts on lipid droplet accumulation and the growth of probiotics in vitro. A C57BL/6 mouse model was used to examine the effects of probiotics and plant extracts on NAFLD. The body weight and food intake were measured. The levels of serum lipids, oxidative stress, and the liver injury index were determined using commercial kits. HE staining, gas chromatography and Real-Time PCR were also used for analysis. The results revealed that administration of Lactobacillus casei YRL577 and Lactobacilli paracasei X11 with resveratrol (RES) or tea polyphenols (TP) significantly reduced the levels of total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerols (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and increased the level of the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The groups of L. casei YRL577 with RES and TP also regulated the liver structure, oxidative stress, and injury. Furthermore, L. casei YRL577 with TP exhibited a more positive effect toward improving the NAFLD and increased the concentrations of the butyric acid than other three combined groups. L. casei YRL577 with TP up-regulated the mRNA levels of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15) and decreased the mRNA levels of the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT). These findings showed that L. casei YRL577 + TP modified genes in the intestinal bile acid pathway improved markers of NAFLD.
This paper claims that palliative care (PC) is a suitable approach for offering comprehensive support to patients with life-threatening illness and unavoidable asthenia, to enhance their quality of life in aging and chronic illness. There are however some conceptual barriers to accessing that care on the Chinese Mainland: (1) Death-denying culture and society; (2) Misguidance and malpractice derived from the biomedical model; (3) Prejudice against PC and certain deviant understandings of filial piety culture. To counter these obstacles, the study introduces the philosophy of Chinese Taoist Chuang-tze to enlighten the public from ignorance and remove some illusions about death and dying; inspire people to face and accept illness and death calmly, and keep harmony and inner peace of mind to alleviate suffering, with the aim of providing wisdom and a shift of attitude toward life and death. Chuang-tze’s thoughts are consistent with the provision of palliative care, and to a certain degree, can promote its acceptability and delivery, and the conception of good death in practice.
The Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) gene has been identified as a top risk gene for schizophrenia in several large-scale genome-wide association studies. A variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) of this gene is the most significant expression quantitative trait locus, but its role in brain activity in vivo is still unknown.
We first performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan of 101 healthy subjects during a memory span task, trained all subjects on an adaptive memory span task for 1 month, and finally performed another fMRI scan after the training. After excluding subjects with excessive head movements for one or more scanning sessions, data from 93 subjects were included in the final analyses.
The VNTR was significantly associated with both baseline brain activation and training-induced changes in multiple regions including the prefrontal cortex and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, it was associated with baseline brain activation in the striatum and the parietal cortex. All these results were corrected based on the family-wise error rate method across the whole brain at the peak level.
This study sheds light on the role of AS3MT gene variants in neural plasticity related to memory span training.
Titanium (Ti) has been extensively used in medical devices owing to their low density, high strength, excellent corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility. However, thrombus formation and bacterial infections are still challenges for their application in specific clinical cases. Hence, we have developed a simple, efficient, and stable strategy that endow Ti with anticoagulant and antibacterial properties through chemical bonding and electrostatic bonding. A large number of hydroxyl groups were produced on the surface of Ti by annealing at 500 °C. Then, heparin was immobilized on annealed surface with chemical bonding and chitosan was captured in an electrostatically bound manner by simply soaking in solution. The results indicated that the surface-functionalized Ti exhibited excellent anticoagulant properties by a reduction in platelet adhesion and prolonged blood clotting time. Furthermore, the modified Ti also showed antibacterial properties against both Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).
Anatase phase NOx/S6+–TiO2 (x= 0, 1) film with high solar-driven activity has been successfully prepared via electro-assisted oxidation processes. The morphological and structural properties of the film were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction, while the optical property was detected by UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy. The results showed that the NOx/S6+–TiO2 film was composed of “flower-like” microvoids structure and displayed broad and strong optical absorption at around 544 and 1500 nm. Transient photocurrent response, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicated that the generation and separation of photogenerated charges were significantly enhanced under simulated solar irradiation. The NOx/S6+–TiO2 film exhibited excellent photoelectrocatalytic activity for the degradation of methyl orange (MO), and the decoloration rate and TOC removal respectively reached 98.97 and 59.44% at 20 min under solar irradiation. The film still had good stability after reusing ten times. Furthermore, a possible mechanism of photoelectrocatalysis was suggested in MO degradation by using NOx/S6+–TiO2 film.
Whether borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder are the same or different disorders lacks consistency.
To detect whether grey matter volume (GMV) and grey matter density (GMD) alterations show any similarities or differences between BPD and bipolar disorder.
Web-based publication databases were searched to conduct a meta-analysis of all voxel-based studies that compared BPD or bipolar disorder with healthy controls. We included 13 BPD studies (395 patients with BPD and 415 healthy controls) and 47 bipolar disorder studies (2111 patients with bipolar disorder and 3261 healthy controls). Peak coordinates from clusters with significant group differences were extracted. Effect-size signed differential mapping meta-analysis was performed to analyse peak coordinates of clusters and thresholds (P < 0.005, uncorrected). Conjunction analyses identified regions in which disorders showed common patterns of volumetric alteration. Correlation analyses were also performed.
Patients with BPD showed decreased GMV and GMD in the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex network (mPFC), bilateral amygdala and right parahippocampal gyrus; patients with bipolar disorder showed decreased GMV and GMD in the bilateral medial orbital frontal cortex (mOFC), right insula and right thalamus, and increased GMV and GMD in the right putamen. Multi-modal analysis indicated smaller volumes in both disorders in clusters in the right medial orbital frontal cortex. Decreased bilateral mPFC in BPD was partly mediated by patient age. Increased GMV and GMD of the right putamen was positively correlated with Young Mania Rating Scale scores in bipolar disorder.
Our results show different patterns of GMV and GMD alteration and do not support the hypothesis that bipolar disorder and BPD are on the same affective spectrum.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide and influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. Genetic studies of MDD have focused on common variants and have been constrained by the heterogeneity of clinical symptoms.
We sequenced the exome of 77 cases and 245 controls of Han Chinese ancestry and scanned their brain. Burden tests of rare variants were performed first to explore the association between genes/pathways and MDD. Secondly, parallel Independent Component Analysis was conducted to investigate genetic underpinnings of gray matter volume (GMV) changes of MDD.
Two genes (CSMD1, p = 5.32×10−6; CNTNAP5, p = 1.32×10−6) and one pathway (Neuroactive Ligand Receptor Interactive, p = 1.29×10−5) achieved significance in burden test. In addition, we identified one pair of imaging-genetic components of significant correlation (r = 0.38, p = 9.92×10−6). The imaging component reflected decreased GMV in cases and correlated with intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ mediated the effects of GMV on MDD. The genetic component enriched in two gene sets, namely Singling by G-protein coupled receptors [false discovery rate (FDR) q = 3.23×10−4) and Alzheimer Disease Up (FDR q = 6.12×10−4).
Both rare variants analysis and imaging–genetic analysis found evidence corresponding with the neuroinflammation and synaptic plasticity hypotheses of MDD. The mediation of IQ indicates that genetic component may act on MDD through GMV alteration and cognitive impairment.
This paper first investigates the influencing factors of between-receiver Differential Inter-System Bias (DISB) between overlapping frequencies of the Global Positioning System (GPS), Galileo and the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). It was found that the receiver reboot and the type of observations may have an impact on DISBs. The impact of receiver firmware upgrades and the activation of anti-multipath filters are also investigated and some new results are presented. Then a performance evaluation is presented of tightly combined relative positioning for a short baseline with GPS/Galileo/QZSS L1-E1-L1/L5-E5a-L5 observations with the current constellations, in which the recently launched Galileo and QZSS satellites will also be included. It is demonstrated that when DISBs are a priori calibrated and corrected, the tightly combined model can deliver a much higher empirical ambiguity resolution success rate and positioning accuracy with respect to the classical loosely combined model, especially under environments where the observed satellites for each system are limited and only single-frequency observations are available. The ambiguity dilution of precision, bootstrapping success rate, and ratio values are analysed to illustrate the benefits of the tightly combined model as well.
Health care workers performing rescue tasks in large-scale disaster areas are usually challenged in terms of physical and mental endurance, which can affect their lifestyles. Nevertheless, data on whether health care workers tend to adopt healthy lifestyles after disasters are limited. This paper compares the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors among health care workers with that among non–health care workers in a postdisaster area.
This cross-sectional observational study was conducted in August 2016. The Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II questionnaire was used to interview 261 health care workers and 848 non–health care workers.
Results of the multivariable linear models showed that health care workers had lower physical activity levels (ß=−1.363, P<.0001), worse stress management (ß=−1.282, P<.0001), slower spiritual growth (ß=−1.228, P=.002), and poorer interpersonal relationships (ß=−0.814, P=.019) than non–health care workers. However, no significant differences were found in either nutrition (ß=−0.362, P=.319) or health responsibility (ß=−0.421, P=.283).
Health care workers had less healthy lifestyle behaviors, including physical activity, stress management, spiritual growth, and interpersonal relationships. Further studies are needed to develop health-improving interventions for health care workers in postdisaster areas. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:230–235)
Paragonimiasis is an important infectious disease in Chongqing, China. However, no epidemiological surveys of paragonimiasis have been carried out in Chongqing since it became a municipality in 1997. We conducted a retrospective case review of 683 patients who were referred to our laboratory and diagnosed as having paragonimiasis during 2010–2015. Patients were diagnosed with paragonimiasis based on immunodiagnostic tests in addition to clinical and laboratory findings. Patient data extracted from the epidemiologic form were analysed. The majority of patients were distributed on the east side of the Wujiang River, which belongs to the Three Gorges Reservoir region. Consumption of raw or undercooked freshwater crab or crayfish in the family Cambaridae was the main reason for infection. Notably, more than 50·0% of patients were diagnosed between March and July, indicating that serious clinical symptoms only appear approximately 6 months post-infection. Paragonimiasis remains a public health issue in Chongqing, and an epidemiological study of Paragonimus in the Three Gorges region is strongly recommended.
In precise relative positioning applications, an effective approach to improve the interoperability of GNSS systems is the tightly combining or inter-system double-differencing of observations from the common frequencies that are shared by different constellations. As the BeiDou satellites are currently transmitting a B2 signal at 1207.14 MHz that is identical to the Galileo E5b signal, the inter-system double-differenced observations can also be created between observations from both systems at that particular frequency. In this paper, we will focus on the instantaneous ambiguity resolution performance analysis of tightly combining BeiDou B2 and Galileo E5b observations. The size and stability of phase and code Differential Inter-System Biases (DISBs) between BeiDou B2 and Galileo E5b signals are first investigated, in which the new BeiDou and Galileo satellites launched recently will also be included. Then, first results of the Tightly Combined Model (TCM) with a priori corrected DISBs (TCM_C) are evaluated in comparison to the Loosely Combined Model (LCM) and tightly combined model with unknown DISBs (TCM_F) in an instantaneous approach. It is demonstrated that the instantaneous integer ambiguity resolution performance can be improved using the TCM_C with respect to LCM and TCM_F.
In view that most Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) users are still using single-frequency receivers due to the low costs, single-frequency Precise Point Positioning (PPP) has been attracting increasing attention in the GNSS community. For a long period, single-frequency PPP technology has mainly relied on the Global Positioning System (GPS). With the recent revitalisation of the Russian GLONASS constellation and two newly emerging constellations, BeiDou and Galileo, it is now feasible to investigate the performance of Four-Constellation integrated Single-Frequency PPP (FCSF-PPP) with GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo measurements. In this study, a FCSF-PPP model is presented to simultaneously process observations from all four GNSS constellations. Datasets collected at 47 globally distributed four-system Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) stations on seven consecutive days and a kinematic experimental dataset are employed to fully assess the performance of FCSF-PPP. The FCSF-PPP solutions are compared to GPS-only and combined GPS/GLONASS single-frequency PPP solutions. The results indicate that the positioning performance is significantly improved by integrating multi-constellation signals.
TiO2 nanotubes have been demonstrated with promising future in photoelectrocatalytic (PEC)_ applications and deposition of Pt nanoparticles on TiO2 has been widely used to enhance their PEC activities. However, those Pt nanoparticles are normally randomly deposited on the surface of TiO2 nanotubes. Selective deposition of Pt nanoparticles is important to achieve better charge separation. In this study, we reported an electrochemical activation step to prepare TiO2 nanotubes deposited with Pt nanoparticles on their open ends. The “activation step” played a key role in achieving a clean surface of the TiO2 nanotubes, thus ensuring the uniform growth of Pt nanoparticles and efficient photogenerated electrons transportation. The Pt-A-TiO2 films have photocatalytic activities in hydrogen generation and methyl orange degradation with a high hydrogen generation rate of 0.74 mL/h/cm2, three times that of the pure TiO2 nanotubes (0.24 mL/h/cm2). Thus, this study demonstrated an effective method for improving the performance of Pt/TiO2 photocatalyst.
Magnesium oxide aerogels were made by sol-gel process using magnesium methoxide as precursor, methanol and deionized water as solvent with ethanol supercritical fluid drying. The influences of the different factors on the gel time and the specific surface area of magnesium oxide aerogels were studied, and the structure and morphology were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), and the Small Angle X-ray Scatter (SAXS) was utilized to determine the fractural structure of the magnesium oxide aerogels. The results show that MgO aerogels belong to the typical mesoporous materials with rich network and highly developed pore structure, and the specific surface area is 904.9 m2/g, the apparent density is 0.055 g/cm3, the average pore size is 19.6 nm. The results of SAXS analysis show that the fractal dimension of the MgO aerogels is 2.32 in high q area which proves the existence of rough surface and pore fractal structure.
All over the world, high-altitude peatlands are the product of co-evolution between nature and pastoral communities. Over thousands of years, people, looking for subsistence and resources, have changed the character of fragile mountain landscapes and their peatlands through deforestation and livestock grazing (Trimble and Mendel 1995). Increasing population pressure, the quest for mineral resources and perverse policies have in recent times intensified these changes.
The character of high-altitude peatlands can be paraphrased as ‘cold and steep and wet and sheep’. The high altitude induces colder and more humid conditions and – upwind of the mountain – more precipitation. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation at high altitudes requires special adaptation of the biota, whereas the climatic island character explains the disjunct distribution of species and the high degree of endemism (Körner 2003, 2008; Spehn et al. 2010). The colder climate also discourages arable agriculture so that pastoralism – with a wide variety of livestock – is the principal form of subsistence. High rainfall and relatively steep slopes generate surface runoff, exposing the landscape and the sensitive peatlands to strong erosive forces (Evans and Warburton 2007).
The world's largest concentration of high-altitude peatlands is found in the northeastern part of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (China). There, in the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu right in the heart of China (Figure 13.1), the Ruoergai (or Zoige) Plateau is located at an altitude of about 3500 m a.s.l. In contrast to the drier western and central parts of Tibet, the Ruoergai Plateau, a plain glacial landscape with low mountain ranges of some hundred metres in height, has a humid climate with long winters and short summers (Lehmkuhl and Liu 1994) which have facilitated the development of 474 000 ha of peatlands (Schumann, Thevs and Joosten 2008).
In this chapter, we explore the history and drivers of peatland degradation on the Ruoergai Plateau, the loss of important ecosystem services and the impact of such loss on livelihoods. We discuss how integrated projects may facilitate the restoration of ecosystem services and biodiversity while contributing to poverty alleviation. Case studies present the various approaches and illustrate how participatory community involvement is integral to the successful implementation of peatland conservation and restoration programmes.