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To revise an abbreviated version of the Silhouettes subtest of the Visual Object and Space Perception (VOSP) battery in order to recognize mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determine the optimal cutoffs to differentiate among cognitively normal controls (NC), MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the Chinese elderly.
A cross-sectional validation study.
Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
A total of 591 participants: Individuals with MCI (n = 211), AD (n = 139) and NC (n = 241) were recruited from the Memory Clinic, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Baseline neuropsychological battery (including VOSP) scores were collected from firsthand data. An abbreviated version of silhouettes test (Silhouettes-A) was revised from the original English version more suitable for the elderly, including eight silhouettes of animals and seven silhouettes of inanimate objects, with a score ranging from 0 to 15.
Silhouettes-A was an effective test to screen MCI in the Chinese elderly with good sensitivity and specificity, similar to the Montreal cognitive assessment and superior to other single tests reflecting language, spatial, or executive function. However, it had no advantage in distinguishing MCI from AD. The corresponding optimal cutoff scores of Silhouettes-A were 10 for screening MCI and 8 for AD.
Silhouettes-A is a quick, simple, sensitive, and dependable cognitive test to distinguish among NC, MCI, and AD patients.
The MMSE is used to screen for cognitive impairment and estimate dementia severity. In clinical settings, conventional cut-off scores have been used to distinguish between dementia stages. However, these scores have not been validated for different populations. This study maps scores from the modified version of the MMSE to dementia stages delineated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-3rd revised edition (DSM-III-R), the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) and Functional Assessment Staging Test (FAST). We used cross-sectional data from a tertiary hospital memory clinic. Subjects were stratified into “primary education and below” (PE) or “secondary education and above” (SE). Receiving operating characteristic (ROC) analyses and Cohen's κ were performed to determine MMSE cut-off scores for dementia stages. Our derived cut-off scores were lower compared to the conventional scores. Scores also differed between subjects of different education levels. MMSE cut-off scores were 19, 15, and 9 for CDR stages 1, 2, and 3 respectively in PE subjects, and 23, 17, and 10 for SE subjects. Cut-off scores were comparable for staging by DSM-III-R Criteria and FAST. There is a need for locally derived stage-specific MMSE cut-off scores for the Asian population adjusted for education.
Many shorebird populations are in decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over sites during migration, is believed to be the cause of the alarming trends. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, a protected area in the north Yellow Sea, supports the largest known migratory staging populations of Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica (menzbieri and baueri subspecies) and Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris. Monitoring of the macrozoobenthos food for these shorebirds from 2011 to 2016 showed declines of over 99% in the densities of the bivalve Potamocorbula laevis, the major food here for both Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots. The loss of the bivalve might be caused by any combination of, but not limited to: (1) change in hydrological conditions and sediment composition due to nearby port construction, (2) run-off of agrochemicals from the extensive shoreline sea cucumber farms, and (3) parasitic infection. Surprisingly, the numbers of birds using the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland remained stable during the study period, except for the subspecies of Bar-tailed Godwit L. l. menzbieri, which exhibited a 91% decline in peak numbers. The lack of an overall decline in the number of bird days in Great Knots and in the peak numbers of L. l. baueri, also given the published simultaneous decreases in their annual survival, implies a lack of alternative habitats that birds could relocate to. This study highlights that food declines at staging sites could be an overlooked but important factor causing population declines of shorebirds along the Flyway. Maintaining the quality of protected staging sites is as important in shorebird conservation as is the safeguarding of staging sites from land claim. Meanwhile, it calls for immediate action to restore the food base for these beleaguered migrant shorebirds at Yalu Jiang coastal wetland.
MicroRNA (miR)-29b plays a crucial role during somatic cell reprogramming. The aim of the current study was to explore the effects of miR-29b on the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, as well as the underlying mechanisms of action. The expression level of miR-29b was lower in bovine SCNT embryos at the pronuclear, 8-cell, and blastocyst stages compared with in vitro fertilized embryos. In addition, miR-29b regulates the expression of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt3a/3b and Dnmt1) in bovine SCNT embryos. We further investigated SCNT embryo developmental competence and found that miR-29b overexpression during bovine SCNT embryonic development does not improve developmental potency and downregulation inhibits developmental potency. Nevertheless, the quality of bovine SCNT embryos at the blastocyst stage improved significantly. The expression of pluripotency factors and cellular proliferation were significantly higher in blastocysts from the miR-29b overexpression group than the control and downregulation groups. In addition, outgrowth potential in blastocysts after miR-29b overexpression was also significantly greater in the miR-29b overexpression group than in the control and downregulation groups. Taken together, these results demonstrated that miR-29b plays an important role in bovine SCNT embryo development.
For treatment of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, comparative
long-term effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs to reduce relapses when
minimising adverse effects is of clinical interest, hence prompting this
To evaluate the comparative long-term effectiveness of antipsychotic
We systematically searched electronic databases for reports of randomised
controlled trials (RCTs) of antipsychotic monotherapy aimed at reducing
relapse risks in schizophrenia. We conducted network meta-analysis of 18
antipsychotics and placebo.
Studies of 10 177 patients in 56 reports were included; treatment
duration averaged 48 weeks (range 4–156). Olanzapine was significantly
more effective than chlorpromazine (odds ratio (OR) 0.35, 95% CI
0.14–0.88) or haloperidol (OR=0.50, 95% CI 0.30–0.82); and fluphenazine
decanoate was more effective than chlorpromazine (OR=0.31, 95% CI
0.11–0.88) in relapse reduction. Fluphenazine decanoate, haloperidol,
haloperidol decanoate and trifluoperazine produced more extrapyramidal
adverse effects than olanzapine or quetiapine; and olanzapine was
associated with more weight gain than other agents.
Except for apparent superiority of olanzapine and fluphenazine decanoate
over chlorpromazine, most agents showed intermediate efficacy for relapse
prevention and differences among them were minor. Typical antipsychotics
yielded adverse neurological effects, and olanzapine was associated with
weight gain. The findings may contribute to evidence-based treatment
selection for patients with chronic psychotic disorders.
Coenzyme Q10 (Q10) plays an important role in the cellular antioxidant system by protecting the cells from free-radical oxidative damage and apoptosis. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of Q10 on the preimplantation development of porcine parthenogenetic embryos, as well as the underlying mechanism. The results showed that 100 μM was the optimal concentration of Q10, which resulted in significantly increased cleavage and blastocyst formation rates and improvement of blastocyst quality. Q10 improved the blastocyst hatching rate and cellular proliferation rate in hatching blastocysts and increased the expression of hatching-related genes. Furthermore, Q10 not only decreased reactive oxygen species production, DNA damage levels, and apoptosis in the blastocysts from H2O2-induced oxidative injury, but also maintained mitochondrial function. Taken together, these results indicate that Q10 has beneficial effects on the development of porcine parthenogenetic embryos by preventing oxidative damage and apoptosis.
In this present study, the influence of different casting processes on high cycle fatigue behavior of Mg–10Gd–3Y–0.5Zr magnesium alloy was investigated by using porosity-free low-pressure sand-casting (LPS) bars and gravity permanent mold casting (GPM) ingots. The results show that the fatigue properties of both LPS and GPM Mg–10Gd–3Y–0.5Zr alloy in as-cast condition are determined by Mg matrix and eutectic phase. However, the fatigue property improvement for LPS alloy by T6 heat treatment is significantly superior to that of GPM alloy. The different degree of enhancement of fatigue properties for two conditions of the alloy is related to different crack initiation mechanism. The fatigue crack of the LPS alloy initiates from the free surface of the sample, while the crack of the GPM alloy initiates from porosities or inclusions near the surface of the sample. Meanwhile, the crack of slip band has a crucial effect on the fatigue crack initiation of both as-cast and T6 conditions for LPS alloy.
Objectives: Effective formulary management in healthcare institutions safeguards rational drug use and optimizes health outcomes. We implemented a formulary management program integrating the principles of health technology assessment (HTA) to improve the safe, appropriate, and cost-effective use of medicine in Singapore.
Methods: A 3-year formulary management program was initiated in 2011 in five public healthcare institutions. This program was managed by a project team comprising HTA researchers. The project team worked with institutional pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committees to: (i) develop tools for formulary drug review and decision making; (ii) enhance the HTA knowledge and skills of formulary pharmacists and members of P&T committees; (iii) devise a prioritization framework to overcome resource constraints and time pressure; and (iv) conceptualize and implement a framework to review existing formulary.
Results: Tools that facilitate drug request submission, drug review, and decision making were developed for formulary drug inclusion. A systematic framework to review existing formulary was also developed and tested in selected institutions. A competency development plan was rolled out over 2 years to enhance formulary pharmacists’ proficiency in systematic literature search and review, meta-analysis, and pharmacoeconomic evaluation. The plan comprised training workshops and on-the-job knowledge transfer between the project team and institutional formulary pharmacists through collaborating on selected drug reviews. A resource guide that consolidated the tools and templates was published to encourage the adoption of best practices in formulary management.
Conclusions: Based on the concepts of HTA, we implemented an evidence-based approach to optimize formulary management.
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of the socioeconomic status and interpersonal trust of elderly victims of the Ya’an earthquake on their ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).
Random sampling was done in the 8 counties of Ya’an in Sichuan, China (N=691). A multistage random sampling method was used. Samples were selected from counties, towns, and villages, respectively. The Faith in People Scale was used to measure interpersonal trust, and the Barthel ADL Index was used to measure ADLs. Both scales have strong reliability.
A total of 37.34% of elderly earthquake victims relied on others moderately to live, and their self-rating of interpersonal trust was relatively unfavorable. Factors such as being female, being widowed, having a low educational level, and income negatively affected ADLs, among which education had the greatest influence. Interpersonal trust was vital in enhancing the level of ADLs of elderly victims.
A high level of interpersonal trust can significantly improve the ADLs of elderly persons. However, this may be achieved by weakening the negative effect of deteriorating social structure of victims. Attention should be focused on elderly victims whose social network worsens to improve their ADLs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;page 1 of 7)
This paper presents a Chinese adaption of the Formal Characteristics of the Behavior-Temperament Inventory (FCB-TI), a self-report instrument that evaluates six temperamental scales, based on Strelau’s concept of temperament. A first sample of 626 undergraduates completed the Chinese version of the Regulative Theory of Temperament Questionnaire (RTTQ), which is an initial pool of 381 items. Internal consistency suggests adequate reliability (.66 to .82), and an exploratory factor analysis revealed a six-factor solution consistent with the original instrument. A follow-up confirmatory factor analysis revealed good support for the temperament structure with a second sample of students (N = 2.980). Internal consistency and factorial structure were re-examined (Cronbach’s alpha ranged .64 to .85), and test-retest correlations over a two-week period ranged from .82 to .96 with a third sample of adults (N = 2.265). Convergent and discriminant validity was explored in relation to the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revision Short Scale for Chinese (EPQ-RSC) model dimensions. Results indicate that the Chinese version of the FCB-TI has similar psychometric properties and generally satisfactory reliability and validity.
We conducted community interviews and field surveys to determine the distribution and population of the Endangered Shortridge's capped langur Trachypithecus shortridgei, and the threats to the species, in the Dulong and Nu River valleys of north-western Yunnan Province, China. We found that c. 19 groups of T. shortridgei reside in the Dulong valley, mostly located in the southern portion of the valley. According to interview and observational records in the Gaoligong Mountains to the west of the Nu River, 12 individuals and no groups were observed. Family groups consist of one adult male, 2–3 adult females and up to five young. We estimate the population of T. shortridgei in China to be c. 250–370 individuals. Threats to the species include habitat loss and poaching. We suggest several measures to conserve T. shortridgei, such as a review of the Gaoligong National Nature Reserve management strategy, and increasing engagement, education, inclusion of local people in forest management, and the consistency of enforcement.
A combination of factors has led to an increasing imbalance in the sex ratio of China's population. China's sex ratio at birth is 119 boys per 100 girls, far above the global norm of 106. This paper will focus on the abnormal sex ratio as a consequence of traditional Chinese gender attitudes holding women inferior and subordinate to men, which have been brought to the fore by a combination of fertility decline and technological advancement. Accordingly, any solution to the demographic problem must address these prevalent, entrenched mind-sets. The government appears to realise that existing laws prohibiting sex-selective abortion and infanticide will fail to correct the sex ratio. This paper examines the trend in government responses towards efforts to address traditional gender attitudes and argues that the demographic crisis may have turned the Chinese government into an unlikely champion of gender equality.
This study explored the influence of satisfaction with economic and social rights (ESR) on the quality of life (QOL) of people in post-disaster zones in Sichuan, China.
Data from a survey conducted in 2013 in the 5 hardest hit counties in the earthquake-prone area of Sichuan were used. QOL was measured by use of the brief version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF). Structural equation models were developed to determine the specific features of the influence of satisfaction with ESR on QOL.
The mean values of both the WHOQOL-BREF scale and the ESR satisfaction scale were lower than the midpoint of the scales. Satisfaction with ESR had a significant effect on psychological health, social relationships, and environment, apart from physical health. Satisfaction with the right to food had the greatest effect on QOL, followed by the rights to education, work, health, social security, and housing.
Satisfaction with ESR had a significant positive influence on the QOL of people in a post-disaster zone, particularly satisfaction with the right to food. Policies on food and education guarantees and mental health intervention are highlighted. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:111-118)
This study assessed the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and the adaptation to harsh conditions (APHC) of residents living in post-earthquake zones in Sichuan Province, China, as well as the effect of HRQOL on APHC.
A sample survey was conducted in 5 counties in Sichuan in May and June 2013 (N=2000). The 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) was used to measure HRQOL. The APHC scale was self-developed and was based on real-life conditions in China. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation model were used to analyze how HRQOL affected APHC.
Cronbach α coefficients indicated that the internal reliability of both scales were good. Results showed that the physical component summary significantly affected APHC, while the effect of the mental component summary was insignificant. APHC had the greatest effect on the adaptation to poor infrastructures (r=0.721) and the least effect on the adaptation to poor social security systems (r=0.608).
The HRQOL of residents living in post-earthquake zones positively affected APHC, particularly physical health. These findings suggested the need for governmental improvement of infrastructures in post-disaster areas. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-7)
Self-assembled vertical heteroepitaxial nanostructures (VHN) in the complex oxide field have fascinated scientists for decades because they provide degrees of freedom to explore in condensed matter physics and design-coupled multifunctionlities. Recently, of particular interest is the perovskite-spinel-based VHN, covering a wide spectrum of promising applications. In this review, fabrication of VHN, their growth mechanism, control, and resulting novel multifunctionalities are discussed thoroughly, providing researchers a comprehensive blueprint to construct promising VHN. Following the fabrication section, the state-of-the-art design concepts for multifunctionalities are proposed and reviewed by suitable examples. By summarizing the outlook of this field, we are excitedly expecting this field to rise with significant contributions ranging from scientific value to practical applications in the foreseeable future.
SnZn(OH)6 (ZHS) with different morphologies were synthesized by a facile self-templated method at room temperature. It was found that the morphology of ZHS could be controlled by varying the concentration of OH−. The crystalline structure and morphology of the particles were characterized by x-ray diffraction, UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy images, and N2 adsorption. The results indicated that the particles had almost uniform monoclinic geometry and uniform size. The photocatalytic activity of ZHS with different morphologies was tested through degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB). Therein, the hollow ZHS showed the highest light catalytic performance due to its large BET surface area, wide band gap, and high crystallinity.
A quasicrystal (QC)- based alloy composite was made by copper mold casting under a low-vacuum level condition at the bulk metallic glass (BMG)- forming composition (Zr65Cu15Al10Ni10)90Nb10. The QC alloy consisted of a majority of icosahedral quasicrystal phase and a small amount Zr-rich glassy phase. Under uniaxial compression at room temperature, the BMG alloy exhibits a certain plastic strain; the QC alloy is much stronger but brittle. The icosahedral glass model was used to describe the I-phase structure. The structure–property relations of the BMG and QC alloys are discussed assuming the common preferential icosahedral atomic structure in both cases and the existence of local glue structure in the BMG structure.
This study was conducted to investigate the pattern of DNA methylation in vitrified–thawed mouse oocytes and their in vitro fertilized early embryos. Firstly, mouse oocytes at metaphase II (MII) stage of meiosis were allocated randomly into three groups: (1) untreated (control); (2) exposed to vitrification solution without being plunged into liquid nitrogen (toxicity); or (3) vitrified by open-pulled straw (OPS) method (vitrification). Oocytes from all three groups were fertilized subsequently in vitro. The level of DNA methylation in the MII oocytes and their early embryos was then examined by immunofluorescence using an anti-5-methylcytosine (anti-5-MeC) monoclonal antibody and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated goat anti-mouse IgG. Developmental rates to 2-cell embryos (62.28%) and blastocysts (43.68%) of the vitrified–thawed oocytes were lower (P < 0.01) than those of fresh oocytes (81.47%, 61.99%) and vitrification solution treated (79.20%, 60.04%) oocytes. DNA methylation (as reflected by 5-MeC fluorescence intensity) in the vitrification group was less (P < 0.01) for MII oocyte and 2- to 8-cell stages compared with that in the control and toxicity groups. Accordingly, a reduction in global genomic methylation due to vitrification of MII oocytes may result in compromised in vitro developmental potential in early mouse embryos.
Behavior of oxygen, carbon and minority-carrier lifetimes of multi-crystalline silicon (mc-Si) has been investigated by means of FTIR and QSSPCD after three step annealing. For comparison, the annealing of czochralski (CZ) silicon was also carried out under the same conditions. The results revalted that oxygen and carbon concentration pf mc-Si had a larger decrease than that of CZ -Si, which means the more oxygen precipitates in mc-Si were generated. High density defects of mc-Si such as grain boundaries and dislocations accelerated formation of oxygen precipates and defect complex compounds are generated after three step annealing, which could be suction center of defect, that reduced carrier decentralized recombination centers that resulted in improvement of lifetime of wafer. Tendency of difference of lifetime was correlated with interior structure of crystalline silicon.
Bombardment of silicon surfaces by low-energy nitrogen ions has been investigated as a possible process for growing films of silicon nitride at relatively low temperature(<500°C). Broad ion beams of energy 300–1200eV have been used to grow ultrathin silicon nitride films. Film thickness and chemical states are analyzed using ellipsometery, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Auger electron spectroscopy(AES). As a result, thicknesses dependence on ion energy, substrate temperature and implantation time have been investigated. The thicknesses of films obtained appear to increase with ion energy in the range from 300 to 1200eV, and with time of bombardment. The thicknesses are also observed to vary slightly with substrate temperature. The growth mechanism has also been investigated and discussed. The average activation energy of nitridation rates is about 3.5meV which indicates nonthermal process kinetics, compared to an activation energy of 0.2–0.6eV for thermal nitridation. AES results show that the atomic ratio [N]/[Si] is about 1.5, larger than that of pure Si3N4. All the analyses show that silicon nitride films of about 60Å thickness have been grown on silicon by low-energy ion beam nitridation.