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We developed novel and polymorphic microsatellite primers for Spathoglottis plicata, a tropical and subtropical terrestrial orchid, to investigate the genetic patterns and population structure among wild populations, and also to identify the varieties and hybrids of S. plicata in horticultural industry. The 12 novel microsatellites from S. plicata were developed by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based isolation of microsatellite arrays. These markers that were successfully PCR amplified exhibited polymorphisms in S. plicata. The number of alleles, observed heterozygosity, expected heterozygosity and polymorphism information content values across loci ranged from 2.000 to 8.000, 0.000 to 0.756, 0.208 to 0.813 and 0.405 to 0.805 in total populations, respectively. The newly developed microsatellite markers exhibited variation in S. plicata. These markers can be used as a tool to further investigate the genetic diversity, conservation genetics and variety/hybrid identification of S. plicata.
Sedative–hypnotic medication use has been related to severe adverse events and risks. This study investigated the prevalence of and characteristics associated with the use of sedatives and hypnotics among community-dwelling elderly persons aged 65 years and over in Taiwan.
A representative sample of community-dwelling adults was recruited. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected for assessing physical, mental, and cognitive functioning and disorders. Sedatives and hypnotics use was determined via both self-reporting and prescription records. Logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate associations between sedative–hypnotic use and demographic and health status.
Among the 3,978 participants aged 65 years and over, the rate of sedative–hypnotic use was 19.7% (n = 785). 4.5% (n = 35) of users reported sedative–hypnotic use without a doctor's prescription. Several sociodemographic characteristics were positively associated with sedative and hypnotic use, including older age, female gender, higher education level, married status, unemployment, and current alcohol consumption. Comorbid chronic and cardiovascular diseases, mental illness, depression, pain, and sleep problems also increased the likelihood of sedative–hypnotic use.
This study is one of the largest pioneer studies to date to survey sedatives–hypnotics use among community-dwelling elderly. One in five community-dwelling older adults reported sedative–hypnotic drugs use in Taiwan, and about 5% of sedative and/or hypnotics usage was without a doctor's prescription. Findings could be helpful for drug-use safety interventions to identify target geriatric patients who are in general at higher risk of downstream harm associated with sedative–hypnotic use in geriatric patients.
The escalating tendency of elderly population aged 65 and over, which grown up to 9% since 2001 in Taiwan, remarks the important issue of mental health among ageing population. Depression in the elderly is frequently undetected or inadequately treated. This study aimed to investigate the pharmacotherapy of elderly patients with depression by comparing the patterns of prescribing psychotropic drugs (psychotropics) of psychiatrists and non-psychiatrists.
A random sampling of 5% of inpatients from the National Health Insurance (NHI) database in Taiwan from 2001 to 2003 was selected. In all, 1058 (0.9%) inpatients aged 65 and older with a diagnosis of any depressive disorder were included. The psychotropic prescribing pattern and the dosages used were analysed and compared. Physician specialties were based on the record of NHI database. Non-psychiatrists were defined by physicians other than psychiatry.
A total of 88% of elderly depressed inpatients had two or more comorbid physical illnesses. The most commonly prescribed psychotropics were: antidepressants (71.4%), anxiolytics (62.6%) and hypnotics (51.4%). Psychiatrists had a higher rate of prescribing psychotropics, except anxiolytics, than non-psychiatrists. Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were commonly prescribed, non-psychiatrists preferred the use of tricyclic antidepressants and moclobemide. Trazodone was the most preferred antidepressant, but was generally used in low dosages.
Psychiatrists generally utilised higher dosages of newer antidepressants than non-psychiatrists. Differences in the prescribing pattern of psychotropics existed between physician specialties. Further investigations are warranted to determine how the selection and dosing of drugs influence the outcome of depression on the elderly.
To investigate genetic and lifestyle factors and their interactions on plasma homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations in the Boston Puerto Rican population.
Cross-sectional study. Plasma concentrations of Hcy, folate, vitamin B12 and pyridoxal phosphate were measured, and genetic polymorphisms were determined. Data on lifestyle factors were collected in interviews.
A population survey of health and nutritional measures.
A total of 994 Puerto Rican men and women residing in the Boston metropolitan area.
Smoking status was positively associated with plasma Hcy. Genetic polymorphisms MTHFR 677C→T, FOLH1 1561C→T, FOLH1 rs647370 and PCFT 928A→G interacted significantly with smoking for Hcy. MTHFR 1298A→C (P = 0·040) and PCFT 928A→G (P = 0·002) displayed significant interactions with alcohol intake in determining plasma Hcy. Subjects with PCFT928GG genotype had significantly higher plasma Hcy concentrations compared with carriers of the A allele (AA+AG; P = 0·030) among non-drinking subjects. When consuming alcohol, GG subjects had lower plasma Hcy levels compared with AA+AG subjects. Physical activity interacted significantly with MTR 2756A→G in determining plasma Hcy (P for interaction = 0·002). Smoking interacted with physical activity for plasma Hcy (P for interaction = 0·023).
Smoking and drinking were associated plasma Hcy concentrations. Genetic variants involved in folate metabolism further modify the effects of lifestyle on plasma Hcy.
Episodic memory tasks are one of the most sensitive tools to discriminate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study aimed to validate a shorter version verbal memory test that will efficiently assess Chinese elderly with memory complaints. One hundred and eighty-five elderly with normal cognition (NC) and 217 AD patients were evaluated. Each participant received the Chinese Version Verbal Learning Test (CVVLT) consisting of 9 two-character nouns with 4 learning trials, 2 delayed recalls in 30 seconds and 10 minutes, and a word recognition test. In the NC elderly, age and sex had significant effects on recall scores in CVVLT, while education level showed an inverse correlation with 3 different patterns of errors made during the learning, recall, and recognition trials. AD patients had lower scores across all recall tests. In those with lower educational level, NC elderly had higher perseveration errors than AD patients. The cutoff value between the AD and NC groups in the 10-minute recall was 4/5 for those aged >75 years and 5/6 for those aged <75 years. This study has good validity in discriminating AD participants and the data here can help in diagnosing AD and mild cognitive impairment using the CVVLT. (JINS, 2010, 16, 244–251.)
The present study was to test the relative hypercholesterolaemic and atherogenic potency of oxidised cholesterol (OxC) and non-oxidised cholesterol in hamsters. An OxC mixture, prepared by heating pure cholesterol (100 g) at 160°C in air for 72 h, contained 78 % cholesterol and 22 % OxC. Fifty Golden Syrian hamsters were randomly divided into five groups of ten animals and fed the control diet, a 0·05 % cholesterol diet (C-0·05), a 0·10 % cholesterol diet (C-0·1), a 0·05 % OxC mixture diet (OxC-0·05) or a 0·10 % OxC mixture diet (OxC-0·1), respectively. The OxC-0·05 and OxC-0·1 groups were more hypercholesterolaemic and had serum total cholesterol 22 and 12 % higher than the corresponding C-0·05 and C-0·1 hamsters (P < 0·05). The OxC-0·1 group demonstrated greater deposition of cholesterol and had a larger area of atherosclerotic plaque in the aorta than the corresponding C-0·1 hamsters (P < 0·05). Similarly, the aorta in the OxC-0·1 group showed greater inhibition on acetylcholine-induced relaxation compared with that in the C-0·1 hamsters. It was concluded that OxC was much more hypercholesterolaemic and atherogenic than cholesterol.
Described is a method for preparing crystalline silver nanorods in water, in the absence of a surfactant or polymer to direct nanoparticle growth, and without externally added seed crystallites. The procedure used is one in which a silver salt is reduced to silver metal by sodium citrate under the influence of microwave irradiation. Key aspects for the production of these nanorods are the use of a closed-chamber microwave heating system that allows precise temperature control and judicious choice of the citrate concentration. This novel finding demonstrates the utility of microwave-assisted synthesis and provides a promising method for the preparation of silver nanorods.
The present study was designed to study the mechanisms by which dietary conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) decrease serum cholesterol. Hamsters were fed a semi-synthetic diet containing 1 g cholesterol/kg diet with or without supplementation with 20 g linoleic acid (LA) and 20 g CLA/kg diet. After 8 weeks, serum fasting total cholesterol (TC) and triacylglycerol (TG) were significantly lower in the LA-supplemented and CLA-supplemented groups compared with those of the control (CTL) hamsters. In contrast to LA, CLA significantly lowered hepatic cholesterol but it increased the level of adipose tissue cholesterol, suggesting that the hypocholesterolaemic mechanism of CLA is different from that of LA. CLA decreased the activity of intestinal acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) whereas LA had no effect on this enzyme. Consequently, CLA supplementation increased the faecal excretion of total neutral sterols, but it had no or little effect on the faecal acidic sterols. If the ACAT is associated with cholesterol absorption, the part of mechanisms by which CLA decreases serum cholesterol may involve down-regulation of intestinal ACAT activity.
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