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The retention of patients under methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is an indication for the effectiveness of the therapy. We aimed to explore the relation between mortality and the cumulative MMT duration.
A retrospective cohort analysis was performed using Taiwan Illicit Drug Issue Database (TIDID) and National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) during 2012–2016. We included 9149 and 11 112 MMT patients as the short and long groups according to the length of their cumulative MMT duration, 1–364 and ⩾365 days, respectively. The risk of mortality was calculated by Cox proportional hazards regression model with time-dependent exposure to MMT, and the survival probability was plotted with the Kaplan-Meier curve.
The mortality rates were 2.51 and 1.51 per 100 person-years in the short and long cumulative MMT duration groups, respectively. After adjusting for on or off MMT, age, sex, marital status, education level, maximum methadone dose, and comorbidities (human immunodeficiency virus, depression, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, alcoholic liver disease, and cardiovascular disease), the long group had a lower risk of death (hazard ratio = 0.67; 95% confidence interval 0.60–0.75) than the short group. Increased risk was observed in patients with advanced age, being male, unmarried, infected by HIV, HCV, and HBV, and diagnosed with depression, ALD, and CVD. Causes of death were frequently related to drug and injury.
Longer cumulative MMT duration is associated with lower all-cause and drug-related mortality rate.
The earliest colonisation of oceanic islands by Homo sapiens occurred ~50 000–30 000 years ago in the Western Pacific, yet how this was achieved remains a matter of debate. With a focus on East Asia, the research presented here tests the hypothesis that bamboo rafts were used for these early maritime migrations. The authors review the evidence for Palaeolithic seafaring in East Asia as the context for an experimental archaeology project to build two bamboo watercraft. Sea trials demonstrate the unsuitability of bamboo, at least in East Asia, indicating that more sophisticated and durable vessels would have been required to traverse the Kuroshio Current.
The condition of caregivers is important to the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially at the late disease stages. This study addresses the distress placed on caregivers by participants’ neuropsychiatric symptoms at different stages of PD in Taiwan
This prospective study enrolled 108 people with PD. All participants were examined with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Caregiver distress was measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D). Statistical analysis was used to explore the PD-related factors that contribute to caregiver distress.
The mean follow-up interval in the 108 PD participants were 24.0 ± 10.2 months with no participant lost to follow-up due to death. NPI-distress (the sum of NPI caregiver distress scale across the 12 domains of the NPI) was positively correlated with NPI-sum (the total score across the 12 domains of the NPI) (r = 0.787, p < 0.001), CDR (r = 0.403, p < 0.001), UPRDS (r = 0.276, p = 0.004), and disease duration (r = 0.246, p = 0.002), but negatively correlated with CASI (r = −0.237, p = 0.043) and MMSE (r = −0.281, p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only NPI-sum and disease duration were independently correlated with NPI-distress.
The disease duration and NPI-sum are independent predictors of caregiver distress in Taiwanese populations with PD. Early detection and reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with PD can help decrease caregiver distress.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly heterogeneous and can be classified as treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or antidepressant-responsive depression (non-TRD) based on patients' responses to antidepressant treatment. Methods for distinguishing between TRD and non-TRD are critical clinical concerns. Deficits of cortical inhibition (CI) have been reported to play an influential role in the pathophysiology of MDD. Whether TRD patients' CI is more impaired than that of non-TRD patients remains unclear.
Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) was used to measure cortical inhibitory function including GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-related CI and cortical excitatory function including glutamate-receptor-related intracortical facilitation (ICF). We recruited 36 healthy controls (HC) and 36 patients with MDD (non-TRD, n = 16; TRD, n = 20). All participants received evaluations for depression severity and ppTMS examinations. Non-TRD patients received an additional ppTMS examination after 3 months of treatment with the SSRI escitalopram.
Patients with TRD exhibited reduced short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), as shown by abnormally higher estimates, than those with non-TRD or HC (F = 11.030, p < 0.001; F = 10.309, p < 0.001, respectively). After an adequate trial of escitalopram treatment, the LICI of non-TRD reduced significantly (t = − 3.628, p < 0.001), whereas the ICF remained lower than that of HC and showed no difference from pretreatment non-TRD.
TRD was characterized by relatively reduced CI, including both GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-mediated neurons while non-TRD preserved partial CI. In non-TRD, SSRIs may mainly modulate GABAB-receptor-related LICI. Our findings revealed distinguishable features of CI in antidepressant-resistant and responsive major depression.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of suicidal behaviours through psychiatric comorbidities; however, a significant direct association has not been observed between ADHD and suicide attempts.
To evaluate the risk of suicide attempt in adolescents and young adults with ADHD.
Using a nationwide, population-based insurance claims database, this longitudinal cohort study enrolled 20 574 adolescents and young adults with ADHD and 61 722 age- and gender-matched controls between 2001 and 2009. Any suicide attempt was identified from enrolment to 31 December 2011. The association between ADHD medications and the likelihood of suicide attempt was assessed.
ADHD was an independent risk factor for any suicide attempt (hazard ratio = 3.84, 95% CI = 3.19–4.62) and repeated suicide attempts (hazard ratio = 6.52, 95% CI = 4.46–9.53). Subgroup analyses of men, women, adolescents and young adults demonstrated the same trend. Methylphenidate or atomoxetine treatment did not increase the risk of suicide attempt or repeated suicide attempts. Long-term methylphenidate treatment was associated with a significantly decreased risk of repeated suicide attempts in men (hazard ratio = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22–0.97).
ADHD was a risk factor for suicide attempt and a stronger predictor of repeated suicide attempts, independent of comorbidities. Further investigation is warranted to explore the mechanism underlying the association between ADHD and suicidal behaviours.
To develop a theoretical model explaining the longitudinal changes in the caregiving process for family caregivers of persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Taiwan.
A longitudinal, grounded theory approach using in-depth face-to-face interviews and an open-ended interview guide. We conducted 42 interviews over a two-year period; each participant was interviewed at least once every six months. All participants were interviewed in their home. The participants total of 13 family caregivers of persons with MCI.
One core theme emerged: “protective preparation.” This reflected the family caregiving process of preparation for a further decline in cognitive function, and protection from the impact of low self-esteem, accidents, and symptoms of comorbidities for the family member with MCI. Protective preparation contained three components: ambivalent normalization, vigilant preparation, and protective management.
Interventions to help family caregivers manage the changes in persons with MCI can reduce caregiver burden. Our findings could provide a knowledge base for use by healthcare providers to develop and implement strategies to reduce caregiver burden for family caregivers of persons with MCI.
To investigate the effect of Mn on antioxidant status and on the expressions of heat shock proteins/factors in tissues of laying broiler breeders subjected to heat challenge, we used a completely randomised design (n 6) with a factorial arrangement of 2 environmental temperatures (normal, 21±1°C, and high, 32±1°C)×3 dietary Mn treatments (a Mn-unsupplemented basal diet (CON), or a basal diet supplemented with 120 mg Mn/kg diet, either as inorganic Mn sulphate (iMn) or as organic Mn proteinate (oMn)). There were no interactions (P>0·10) between environmental temperature and dietary Mn in any of the measured indices. High temperature decreased (P<0·003) Mn content, and also tended (P=0·07) to decrease Cu Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) activity in the liver and heart. However, an increased Mn superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity (P<0·05) and a slight increase in malondialdehyde level (P=0·06) were detected in breast muscle. Up-regulated (P<0·05) expressions of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) and HSF3 mRNA and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) mRNA and protein were found in all three tissues. Broiler breeders fed either iMn or oMn had higher tissue Mn content (P<0·0001), heart MnSOD and CuZnSOD activities (P<0·01) and breast muscle MnSOD protein levels (P<0·05), and lower (P<0·05) breast muscle HSP70 mRNA and protein levels compared with those fed CON. Broiler breeders fed oMn had higher (P<0·03) bone Mn content than those fed iMn. These results indicate that high temperature decreases Mn retention and increases HSP70, HSF1 and HSF3 expressions in the tissues of laying broiler breeders. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with Mn in either source may enhance the heart’s antioxidant ability and inhibit the expression of HSP70 in breast muscle. Finally, the organic Mn appears to be more available than inorganic Mn for bone in laying broiler breeders regardless of environmental temperatures.
To investigate the effect of Mn on antioxidant status and expression levels of heat-shock proteins/factors in tissues of laying broiler breeders subjected to heat challenge, we used a completely randomised design (n 6) with a factorial arrangement of 2 environmental temperatures (normal, 21 (sem 1)°C and high, 32 (sem 1)°C)×3 dietary Mn treatments (an Mn-unsupplemented basal diet (CON), or a basal diet supplemented with 120 mg Mn/kg diet as inorganic Mn sulphate (iMn) or organic Mn proteinate (oMn)). There were no interactions (P>0·10) between environmental temperature and dietary Mn in all of the measured indices. High temperature decreased (P<0·003) Mn content, and also tended (P=0·07) to decrease copper zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) activity in the liver and heart. However, an increased manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity (P<0·05) and a slight increase of malondialdehyde level (P=0·06) were detected in breast muscle. Up-regulated (P<0·05) expression levels of heat-shock factor 1 (HSF1) and HSF3 mRNA and heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) mRNA and protein were found in all three tissues. Broiler breeders fed either iMn or oMn had higher tissue Mn content (P<0·0001), heart MnSOD and CuZnSOD activities (P<0·01) and breast muscle MnSOD protein levels (P<0·05), and lower (P<0·05) breast muscle HSP70 mRNA and protein levels than those fed CON. Broiler breeders fed oMn had higher (P<0·03) bone Mn content than those fed iMn. These results indicate that high temperature decreases Mn retention and increases HSP70 and HSF1, HSF3 expression levels in tissues of laying broiler breeders. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with Mn in either source may enhance heart antioxidant ability and inhibit the expression of HSP70 in breast muscle. Finally, the organic Mn appears to be more available than inorganic Mn for bone in laying broiler breeders regardless of environmental temperatures.
Previous evidence has shown positive associations between post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes
mellitus, which are all risk factors for stroke, but the role of PTSD in
the subsequent development of stroke is still unknown.
To investigate the temporal association between PTSD and the development
Identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database,
5217 individuals aged 18 years, with PTSD but with no history of stroke,
and 20 868 age- and gender-matched controls were enrolled between 2002
and 2009, and followed up until the end of 2011 to identify the
development of stroke.
Individuals with PTSD had an increased risk of developing any stroke
(hazard ratio (HR) 3.37, 95% CI 2.44–4.67) and ischaemic stroke (HR =
3.47, 95% CI 2.23–5.39) after adjusting for demographic data and medical
comorbidities. Sensitivity tests showed consistent findings (any stroke
HR = 3.02, 95% CI 2.13–4.28; ischaemic stroke HR = 2.89, 95% CI
1.79–4.66) after excluding the first year of observation.
Individuals with PTSD have an increased risk of developing any stroke and
ischaemic stroke. Further studies are required to investigate the
This study examined the combined effect of family ownership and high-discretion organizational slack on the international involvement of Taiwanese firms. Employing a sample of 179 publicly listed high-tech firms in Taiwan over a period of 6 years (2000–2005), we found that firms with high levels of international involvement, that is, a higher degree of internationalization, (i) were not closely held, and (ii) were not excessively controlled by the family. Further, high-discretion organizational slack (indicated by resources that can be deployed in a flexible fashion such as in cash and receivables) moderated the negative relationship between family control and international involvement. This relationship is stronger with a higher level of high-discretion slack. The results support the hypothesis that family control and high-discretion organizational slack negatively influence the decision to internationalize.
A radio-frequency magnetron sputtering technique and subsequent rapid thermal annealing (RTA) at 600, 700, 800, and 900 °C were implemented to grow high-quality Ga-doped MgxZn1-xO (GMZO) epi-layers. The GMZO films were deposited using a radio-frequency magnetron sputtering system and a 4 inch ZnO/MgO/Ga2O3 (75/20/5 wt %) target. The Hall results, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmittance were determined and are reported in this paper. The Hall results indicated that the increase in mobility was likely caused by the improved crystallization in the GMZO films after thermal annealing. The XRD results revealed that MgxZn1-xO (111) and MgO2 (200) peaks were obtained in the GMZO films. The absorption edges of the as-grown and annealed GMZO films shifted toward the short wavelength of 373 nm at a transmittance of 90%. According to these results, GMZO films are feasible for forming transparent contact layers for near-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes.
A photoactivated ZnO nanomesh with precisely controlled dimensions and geometries is fabricated by using nanosphere lithography process. The nanomesh structures effectively increase the surface-to-volume ratio to improve the sensing response under the same testing gas. And the periodical nanostructures also increase the effective light path and lead to more efficient light activation for gas sensing. With the increase of the photoinduced oxygen ions by UV illumination, a distinguished sensing response is observed at room temperature. In the optimized case, the sensing response (△R/R0) of the ZnO nanomesh at the butanol concentration of 500 ppm is 97.5%, which is 4.54 times higher than the unpatterned one.
In the current research, we successfully prepared TiO2/Ni–Cu–Zn ferrite composite powder for magnetic photocatalyst. The core Ni–Cu–Zn ferrite powder was synthesized using the steel pickling liquor and the waste solution of electroplating as the starting materials. The shell TiO2 nanocrystal was prepared by sol-gel hydrolysis precipitation of titanium isopropoxide [Ti(OC3H7)4] on the Ni–Cu–Zn ferrite powder followed by heat treatment. From transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image, the thickness of the titania shell was found to be approximately 5 nm. The core of Ni–Cu–Zn ferrite is spherical or elliptical shape, and the particle size of the core is in the range of 70–110 nm. The magnetic Ni–Cu–Zn ferrite nanopowder is uniformly encapsulated in a titania layer forming core-shell structure of TiO2/Ni–Cu–Zn ferrite powder. The degradation efficiency for methylene blue (MB) increases with magnetic photocatalyst (TiO2/Ni–Cu–Zn ferrite powder) content. When the magnetic photocatalyst content is 0.40 g in 150 mL of MB, the photocatalytic activity reached the largest value. With a further increase in the content of magnetic photocatalyst, the degradation efficiency slightly decreased. This occurs because the ultraviolet (UV) illumination is covered by catalysts, which were suspended in the methylene blue solution and resulted in the inhibition in the photocatalytic reaction. The photocatalytic degradation result for the relationship between MB concentration and illumination revealed a pseudo first-order kinetic model of the degradation with the limiting rate constant of 1.717 mg/L·min and equilibrium adsorption constant 0.0627 L/mg. Furthermore, the Langmuir–Hinshelwood model can be used to describe the degradation reaction, which suggests that the rate-determining step is surface reaction rather than adsorption is in photocatalytic degradation.
The aim of this study was to determine potential risk factors for mortality in patients with nosocomial Stenotrophomonas maltophilia pneumonia.
A retrospective, single-center, observational study.
A 2400-bed tertiary teaching hospital in southern Taiwan.
Patients and Methods.
This retrospective study evaluated patients (age, at least 18 years) with nosocomial pneumonia (S. maltophilia isolated from respiratory culture) who were seen at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital over a 3-year period. A total of 406 patients (64% male, mean age ± standard deviation, 69.6 ± 14.93 years; mean duration of hospital stay ± standard deviation, 57.5 ± 39.47 days) were included.
Most index isolates (53.9%) were from the first sample cultured. Polymicrobial isolates were cultured from samples from 177 (43.6%) of the 406 study patients. The most common copathogen was Pseudomonas aeruginosa (53.11% of isolates). The all-cause hospital mortality rate was 42.6% (173 deaths among 406 patients). Survivors had a shorter time from admission to a positive index culture result than did nonsurvivors (26.1 vs 31.7 days; P = .04). Mortality was significantly higher among patients with malignancy (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52–4.07; P < .001 ), renal disease (AOR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.51–4.47; P = .001), intensive care unit stay (AOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.1–2.7; P = .018), and inadequate initial empirical antibiotic therapy (AOR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.4–3.38; P = .001).
S. maltophilia pneumonia is associated with a high mortality rate and is commonly associated with concomitant polymicrobial colonization or infection. Underlying comorbidities and inadequate initial empirical antibiotic therapy substantially account for increased mortality rates.