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Patients with remitted psychosis wish to reduce antipsychotic doses yet facing increased risks of relapse. Examining dose-tapering processes may provide insights to re-evaluate the risk-to-benefit balance. We aimed to depict and subgroup tapering trajectories, and explore factors associated with different dose-reduction patterns.
A 2-year open-label randomized prospective comparative trial from August 2017 to September 2022 in Taiwan. Patients with a history of schizophrenia-related psychotic disorders under stable medications and symptoms were eligible, randomizing a proportion to conduct guided dose reduction. We depicted the trajectories of individual patients and named subgroups based on dose-tapering patterns. Predictors of baseline characteristics for designated subgroups were examined by logistic regression analysis; changes in outcomes were compared by paired t-test.
Fifty-one patients undergoing guided dose reduction, 18 (35.3%) reduced 4 steps consecutively (sequential reducers, SR), 14 (27.5%) reduced 1 to 3 steps (modest reducers, MR), 3 (5.9%) re-escalated to previous level (alert reducers, AR), 7 (13.7%) returned to baseline level (baseline returners, BR), 6 (11.7%) relapsed (failed reducers, FR) and 3 (5.9%) withdrew without relapse (early exits, EE). Patients with a history of relapse assumed a conservative dose-tapering pace; only the SR subgroup exhibited significant improvements in functioning and quality of life while failing to identify variables for predicting who would become SR or FR.
Guided dose reduction comprises dynamic processes with differences between individual trajectories. The proposed naming of dose-tapering patterns/subgroups provides a framework depicting patients undergoing dose-tapering. Longer-term observation and more flexible tapering approaches are anticipated to reveal favorable outcomes.
Patients with remitted psychosis face a dilemma between the wish to discontinue antipsychotics and the risk of relapse. We test if an operationalized guided-dose-reduction algorithm can help reach a lower effective dose without increased risks of relapse.
A 2-year open-label randomized prospective comparative cohort trial from Aug 2017 to Sep 2022. Patients with a history of schizophrenia-related psychotic disorders under stable medications and symptoms were eligible, randomized 2:1 into guided dose reduction group (GDR) v. maintenance treatment group (MT1), together with a group of naturalistic maintenance controls (MT2). We observed if the relapse rates would be different between 3 groups, to what extent the dose could be reduced, and if GDR patients could have improved functioning and quality of life.
A total of 96 patients, comprised 51, 24, and 21 patients in GDR, MT1, and MT2 groups, respectively. During follow-up, 14 patients (14.6%) relapsed, including 6, 4, and 4 from GDR, MT1, and MT2, statistically no difference between groups. In total, 74.5% of GDR patients could stay well under a lower dose, including 18 patients (35.3%) conducting 4 consecutive dose-tapering and staying well after reducing 58.5% of their baseline dose. The GDR group exhibited improved clinical outcomes and endorsed better quality of life.
GDR is a feasible approach as the majority of patients had a chance to taper antipsychotics to certain extents. Still, 25.5% of GDR patients could not successfully decrease any dose, including 11.8% experienced relapse, a risk comparable to their maintenance counterparts.
Circulating n-3 PUFA, which integrate endogenous and exogenous n-3 PUFA, can be better used to investigate the relationship between n-3 PUFA and disease. However, studies examining the associations between circulating n-3 PUFA and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk were limited, and the results remained inconclusive. This case–control study aimed to examine the association between serum n-3 PUFA and CRC risk in Chinese population. A total of 680 CRC cases and 680 sex- and age-matched (5-year interval) controls were included. Fatty acids were assayed by GC. OR and 95 % CI were calculated using multivariable logistic regression after adjustment for potential confounders. Higher level of serum α-linolenic acid (ALA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), DHA, long-chain n-3 PUFA and total n-3 PUFA were associated with lower odds of CRC. The adjusted OR and 95 % CI were 0·34 (0·24, 0·49, Pfor trend < 0·001) for ALA, 0·57 (0·40, 0·80, Pfor trend < 0·001) for DPA, 0·48 (0·34, 0·68, Pfor trend < 0·001) for DHA, 0·39 (0·27, 0·56, Pfor trend < 0·001) for long-chain n-3 PUFA and 0·31 (0·22, 0·45, Pfor trend < 0·001) for total n-3 PUFA comparing the highest with the lowest quartile. However, there was no statistically significant association between EPA and odds of CRC. Analysis stratified by sex showed that ALA, DHA, long-chain n-3 PUFA and total n-3 PUFA were inversely associated with odds of CRC in both sexes. This study indicated that serum ALA, DPA, DHA, long-chain n-3 PUFA and total n-3 PUFA were inversely associated with odds of having CRC in Chinese population.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented global health crisis that may cause mental health problems and heighten suicide risk. We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trends in suicide attempts and suicide deaths in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
The current study used the official daily data on suicide attempts and deaths in New Taipei City, Taiwan (4 million inhabitants) between 2015 and 2020 from the Taiwan National Suicide Prevention Reporting System. Interrupted time-series (ITS) analyses with parameters corrected by the estimated autocorrelations were applied on weekly aggregated data to examine whether the suicide trends during the early COVID-19 pandemic (late January to July 2020) deviated from previous trends (January 2015 to late January 2020). The impact due to the suicide prevention policy change was also examined (since August 2020).
ITS analyses revealed no significant increases in both mean and trend on weekly suicide deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic and after the policy change. In contrast, there was a significant increasing trend in weekly suicide attempts since the COVID-19 outbreak at the rate of 1.54 attempts per week (95% confidence interval 0.49–2.60; p = 0.004). Sex difference analysis revealed that, however, this increasing trend was observed only in females not in males.
The COVID-19 pandemic has different impacts on suicides attempts and deaths during the early pandemic in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The COVID-19 outbreak drastically increased the trend of suicide attempts. In contrast, the number of suicide deaths had remained constant in the investigated periods.
A proportion of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) manifests with only unipolar mania (UM). This study examined relevant clinical features and psychosocial characteristics in UM compared with depressive-manic (D-M) subgroups. Moreover, comorbidity patterns of physical conditions and psychiatric disorders were evaluated between the UM and D-M groups.
This clinical retrospective study (N = 1015) analyzed cases with an average of 10 years of illness duration and a nationwide population-based cohort (N = 8343) followed up for 10 years in the Taiwanese population. UM was defined as patients who did not experience depressive episodes and were not prescribed adequate antidepressant treatment during the disease course of BD. Logistic regression models adjusted for relevant covariates were used to evaluate the characteristics and lifetime comorbidities in the two groups.
The proportion of UM ranged from 12.91% to 14.87% in the two datasets. Compared with the D-M group, the UM group had more psychotic symptoms, fewer suicidal behaviors, a higher proportion of morningness chronotype, better sleep quality, higher extraversion, lower neuroticism, and less harm avoidance personality traits. Substantially different lifetime comorbidity patterns were observed between the two groups.
Patients with UM exhibited distinct clinical and psychosocial features compared with patients with the D-M subtype. In particular, a higher risk of comorbid cardiovascular diseases and anxiety disorders is apparent in patients with D-M. Further studies are warranted to investigate the underlying mechanisms for diverse presentations in subgroups of BDs.
The Brain Health Test-7 (BHT-7) is a revised tool from the original BHT, containing more tests about frontal lobe function. It was developed with theaim of identifying patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia.
Here we report the validity of the BHT-7 versus the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in differentpsychiatry or neurology clinics.
Patients with memory complaints were recruited in this study from the outpatient clinic of psychiatry or neurology in 3 different kinds of hospitals. Allpatients underwent the evaluation of the BHT-7, MMSE, MoCA, and clinical dementia rating (CDR). The clinical diagnosis (normal, MCI, dementia) was made by consensus meeting, taking into account all available data.
Demographic data and the scores of the MMSE, MoCA, and BHT-7 between groups were compared. Logistic regression was adopted for analysis of optimal cutoff values, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve,and the area under the ROC curve (AUC).
We enrolled a total of 1090 subjects (normal 402, MCI 317, dementia 371); of them, 705 (64.7%) were female. There was a statistically significant differencein age, years of education, and 3 cognitive test scores among the 3 groups.
Compared with the MMSE and MoCA, the BHT-7 performed slightly betterthan MMSE and MoCA in differentiating MCI or dementia from the normalcontrols (Table 1). For BHT- 7, the cutoff point was 17 between normal andMCI, and 14 between normal and dementia. These cutoff points for BHT-7were consistent through 3 different clinical settings, but inconsistent for MMSE and MoCA. The testing time for the BHT-7 was about 5-7 minutes, shorter than that of the MMSE and MoCA.
Compared with MMSE and MoCA, the BHT-7 showed slightly better performance in differentiating normal from MCI or dementia subjects. The testing time for the BHT-7 was shorter, and its cutoff points were consistent through different outpatient clinic settings. The results support that BHT-7 is auseful cognitive screening tool for MCI or early dementia in various hospital settings.
Comparisons of the performance of BHT-7, MMSE, MoCA
To evaluate age-related differences in the independent/combined association of added sugar intake from soda and body adiposity with hyperuricaemia in gender-stratified US adults.
Consumption of added sugar from soda was calculated from 24-h dietary interviews and categorised into none, regular and excessive consumption. Hyperuricaemia was defined as serum uric acid levels >417 mmol/l in men and >357 mmol/l in women. Multiple regression models with interaction terms and logistic models adjusted for covariates were conducted under survey-data modules.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey during 2007–2016.
15 338 adults without gout, failing kidneys, an estimated glomerular filtration rate < 30 or diabetes were selected.
The age-stratified prevalence rate of hyperuricaemia was 18·8–20·4 % in males and 6·8–17·3 % in females. Hyperuricaemia prevalence of approximately 50 % was observed in young and middle age males who consumed excessive added sugar from soda. Excessive added sugar intake was observed to be associated with 1·5- to 2·0-fold and 2·0- to 2·3-fold increased risk of the probability of hyperuricaemia in young and middle age males and middle age females, respectively. Study participants, regardless of age or gender, who were obese and consumed excessive added sugar from soda had the highest risk of having hyperuricaemia.
Our study revealed that the association between hyperuricaemia and consumption of excessive added sugar from soda may vary by age and gender. Obese adults who consumed excessive added sugar from soda had the highest risk of hyperuricaemia, a finding that was found across all age-specific groups for both genders.
Ubiquinone is a lipid antioxidant, and a novel liquid ubiquinol (a hydro-soluble, reduced form of coenzyme Q10) supplement was recently developed. The purpose of this study was to examine the levels of glucose, lipids and antioxidant capacity of type 2 diabetes patients after liquid ubiquinol supplementation. This study was designed as a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. In all, fifty participants were randomly assigned to a placebo (n 25) or liquid ubiquinol (100 mg/d, n 25) group, and the intervention lasted for 12 weeks. Plasma coenzyme Q10, glucose homoeostasis parameters, lipid profiles, oxidative stress and antioxidative enzyme activities were measured during the study. After 12 weeks of supplementation, glyco Hb (HbA1c) value was significantly decreased in the liquid ubiquinol group (P=0·03), and subjects in the liquid ubiquinol group had significantly lower anti-glycaemic medication effect scores (MES) compared with those in the placebo group (P=0·03). The catalase (P<0·01) and glutathione peroxidase (P=0·03) activities were increased significantly after supplementation. Plasma coenzyme Q10 was correlated with the insulin level (P=0·05), homoeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (P=0·07), quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (P=0·03) and the anti-hyperglycaemic agents’ MES (P=0·03) after supplementation. Lipid profiles did not change after supplementation; however, the subjects in the placebo group had a significantly lower level of HDL-cholesterol after 12 weeks of intervention. In conclusion, oral intake of 100 mg/d liquid ubiquinol might benefit type 2 diabetes patients by increasing antioxidant enzyme activity levels, reducing HbA1c levels and maintaining HDL-cholesterol levels.
A novel radio frequency identification tag antenna is composed of a resonant open-slot exciter and a dipole-type ground radiator. For a conjugate match to the Alien Higgs-4 chip impedance of 8−j149 Ω at 925 MHz, a quarter wavelength open-slot resonator embedded at the center of the dipole-type ground plane (130 × 18 mm2) was investigated and fabricated. Simple size adjustments and various loaded inductor of the open-slot resonator allow for easy control of the tag antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement can be easily obtained. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a foam in the free space can reach more than 9 m, which has been tested for a radio frequency identification reader with 4.0-W of effective isotropic radiated power. Measurement data are in good agreement with simulation results.
In contrast to voice traffic, wireless data traffic is mostly asymmetric and time-variant with a requirement for a dynamically adjusting technique to divide the uplink (UL) and downlink (DL) resource. In typical cellular systems, the length of UL resource and the length of DL resource are predetermined. In a typical frequency-division duplex (FDD) system, the UL and DL transmission use distinctive frequency bands, which is especially efficient in cases of symmetric traffic due to the avoidance of possible interference between UL and DL transmission. However the FDD system has difficulty in adjusting its UL and DL resource in asymmetric traffic since the resource division is operated by the duplexer in the hardware. A typical time-division duplex (TDD) system is capable of adjusting the UL and DL transmission in time domain. However, due to the requirement of synchronization in order to eliminate the interference, the UL and DL resource is still fixed. To support asymmetric and time-variant traffic, LTE provides small cell base stations (BSs) with dynamic TDD by supporting seven TDD UL/DL configurations, enabling the BSs dynamically to change the ratio of UP and DL resource to handle the time-variant traffic. Nevertheless, such a scheme also induces two type of interference: BS–BS interference and MS–MS interference. In this chapter the interference issues and several interference mitigation methods will be extensively discussed.
Dynamic TDD system overview
To divide the UL and DL traffic resource, some typical communication systems apply FDD, where different frequency bands are used for transmitting and receiving, the benefit of which is that no interference will be incurred between UL and DL signals. For the symmetrical traffic on UL and DL (e.g., voice service), the FDD system is suitable since the BS is assigned the same amount of radio resource in the UL and DL. Whereas for wireless data services, FDD is not flexible enough to handle this type of dynamic UL/DL traffic due to the character of the UL and DL traffic being asymmetric and time-variant in these cases.
Compared to FDD, TDD is different in that the UL and DL resource is divided in time domain and can be easily adjusted. It possesses an advantage of greater flexibility in handling the dynamic UL/DL traffic. In the TDD system, the boundary between the UL and DL duty cycle is adaptively adjustable according to service requirements.
During 1997–2012 we conducted a nationwide camera-trapping survey and assessed the availability of prey and habitat for the clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa in Taiwan. We surveyed 1,249 camera-trap sites over 113,636 camera-trap days, from the seashore to an altitude of 3,796 m and covering various types of vegetation. No clouded leopards were photographed during 128,394 camera-trap days, including at 209 sites in other studies, confirming the presumed extinction of clouded leopards in Taiwan. Assessment of the prey base revealed altitudinal distribution patterns of prey species and prey biomass. Areas at lower altitudes and with less human encroachment and hunting supported a higher prey biomass and more of the typical prey species of clouded leopards. Habitat analysis revealed 8,523 km2 of suitable habitat but this was reduced to 6,734 km2 when adjacent areas of human encroachment were subtracted. In the absence of hunting and large mammalian carnivores the major prey of clouded leopards in Taiwan, such as Formosan macaques Macaca cyclopis, Reeves's muntjacs Muntiacus reevesi, Formosan serow Capricornis swinhoei and sambar Rusa unicolor, could become over-abundant. Thus, it is important to address the cascading effect of the disappearance of top-down predator control. Our assessment indicated that, with proper regulation of hunting, habitat restoration and corridor improvement, it may be possible to reintroduce the clouded leopard.
Thin silicate nanoplatelets, derived from the exfoliation of natural Sodium montmorillonite (Na+-MMT) clays, show an unexpected antimicrobial property. A physical trapping mechanism has been proposed because the clay nanoplatelets can indiscriminately inhibit the growth of a broad spectrum of bacteria, including drug-resistant species such as methicillin-resistance S. aureus (MRSA) and silver ion-resistant E. coli. The ability to generate singlet oxygen species was first observed for the clay platelets that showed a high-aspect-ratio geometric shape and the presence of surface ionic charges. By comparison, the pristine clay with a multilayered structure failed to generate any singlet oxygen species. The ability to emit singlet oxygen species provides direct evidence for the antimicrobial ability of clay through a non-chemical mechanism, which opens the potential for medical use.
500 nm-thick aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) thin film is usually used as a front transparent conductive oxide (TCO) contact on photovoltaic devices, and for this application is often deposited by a reactive radio-frequency (r.f.) magnetron sputtering system from a ceramic target. This work reports on the preparation and characterization of AZO thin films on Corning 1737 glass substrates grown by reactive r.f.-magnetron sputtering from a ZnO ceramic target with 2 wt% Al content. It was found that the growth parameters, such as chamber pressure, working power, and deposition temperature, have significant influences on the properties of AZO films. According to the experimental results: (1) Films were polycrystalline showing a strong preferred c-axis orientation. (2) With increasing working power, the resistivity decreased, and mobility and the carrier concentration increased. (3) Lower deposition temperature leads to a decrease in resistivity, with 2.5×10-4 Ω-cm representing the lowest resistivity reached.
This work reports on the fabrication and characterization of Mo thin films on soda-lime glass substrate grown by reactive RF magnetron sputtering. Film thickness was measured by x-ray step surface profiler. The structural properties and surface morphology were analyzed by x-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscope (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Electrical properties were measured by four-point probe. It was found that the growth parameters, such as argon flow rate, RF power, film thickness, have significant influences on properties of Mo films. The strain on films revealed the complicated relationship with the working pressure, which might be associated with micro structures and impurities. In order to improve the adhesion and electricity, we adopted a two-pressure deposition scheme. The optimal thickness and sheet resistance are νm and 0.12 ω The mechanisms therein will be discussed in detail. Furthermore, we also investigated the diffusion property of Na ion of double Mo films sputtered on soda-lime glass. Our experimental results could lead to better understanding for improving further CIGS-based photovoltaic devices.
In this study, we attempted to evaluate the effect of administration of a high quantity of red yeast rice on coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) synthesis in the tissues of ICR mice. Eighty-eight adult male ICR mice were housed and divided into control and experimental groups for red yeast rice treatment. Animals were gavaged with a low (1 g/kg body weight) or a high dose (5 g/kg body weight, approximately five times the typical recommended human dose) of red yeast rice dissolved in soyabean oil. After gavagement, animals of the control group were immediately killed; mice of the experimental groups (eight for each subgroup) were killed at different time intervals of 0·5, 1, 1·5, 4 and 24 h. The liver, heart and kidney were taken for analysis of monacolin K (liver only) and CoQ10 analysis. Liver and heart CoQ10 levels declined dramatically in both groups administered red yeast rice, especially in the high-dose group, within 30 min. After 24 h, the levels of hepatic and cardiac CoQ10 were still reduced. A similar trend was also observed in the heart, but the inhibitory effect began after 90 min. The higher dose of red yeast rice presented a greater suppressive effect than did the lower dose on tissue CoQ10 levels. In conclusion, acute red yeast rice gavage suppressed hepatic and cardiac CoQ10 levels in rodents; furthermore, the inhibitory effect was responsive to the doses administered.
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