To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
To investigate potential risk factors for mild behavioral impairment (MBI) among non-demented geriatrics.
Population-based, cross-sectional survey.
Taiwan Alzheimer Disease Association (TADA) Database.
Participants were selected by multistage random sampling of all Taiwan counties. They received in-person interviews between December 2011 and March 2013.
Demographic data, lifestyle and habits, medical comorbidities, cognitive status measured by the Taiwanese Mini-Mental Status Examination (TMSE) and presence of MCI of the participants were collected. Subjects were distributed to the MBI and non-MBI groups. These factors had been evaluated for their effects on MBI in the univariate and multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 6,196 non-demented participants aged 65 years or older, including 409 MBI and 5,787 non-MBI participants, were recruited. After adjustment for age, sex, education, body mass index, lifestyle and habits, medical comorbidities, and MCI, good sleep was associated with lower risk of MBI (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.07 – 0.12). Low body weight (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.21–3.33), low-to-medium education (OR 1.40, 95%CI 1.06–1.85; OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.67–3.21), medical comorbidities of hypertension (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.25–1.95), hyperlipidemia (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.00–1.67), cancer (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.37–3.06) were significantly associated with increased MBI risk. MCI neither increased nor decreased risk of MBI (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.76–1.32).
Good sleep was associated with lower MBI risk. Underweight, lower education, medical comorbidities of cancer, hypertension, hyperlipidemia were predictive of MBI.
Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive.
This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID).
FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls: ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50–19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72–4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74–3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98–2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76–2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95–5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18–21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only.
The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.
The antidepressant effect of low-dose ketamine infusion on Taiwanese patients with anxious vs nonanxious treatment-resistant depression (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) has remained unknown.
In total, 71 patients with TRD were randomized to three groups. Each group had participants who received saline infusions mixed with 0 (a normal saline infusion), 0.2, and 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine. Participants were followed up for 2 weeks. Anxious depression was defined as major depressive disorder with a total score of 7 or more on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Anxiety-Somatization factor. Generalized estimating equation models were used to investigate the effects of treatment (ketamine vs placebo) and depression type (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) in the reduction of depressive symptoms during the follow-up period.
Patients with ANX-TRD were less likely to respond to a single low-dose ketamine infusion than those with NANX-TRD. Among patients with NANX-TRD, low-dose ketamine infusion was significantly superior to placebo for reducing depressive symptoms. However, among patients with ANX-TRD, ketamine was not superior to placebo; nonetheless, approximately 30% of the patients responded to ketamine infusion compared to 13% who responded to the placebo.
Low-dose ketamine infusion was effective for Taiwanese patients with NANX-TRD but not so effective for those with ANX-TRD. A higher level of anxiety severity accompanying depression was related to greater depression severity. This may confound and reduce the antidepressant effect of ketamine infusion.
Has the eurozone (EZ) really gained from integration? This study applied two econometric frameworks, mGARCH and gMMPI, to test this hypothesis, using panel data that span 1996–2014, a total of 19 years, involving the EZ, EU, G8, G20 and some emerging economies. The empirical outcomes initially showed that the EZ economies experienced neither superior output growth nor a better capital market return than non-EZ economies or the pre-EZ period. They further suggested that each EZ country had a higher degree of risk bearing and, as a group, a greater risk linkage. Moreover, the results indicated that the EZ had a higher productivity gain if the risk premium was counted as part of productivity. Nonetheless, the EZ did not show a substantial productivity gain when the effect of the risk factor was controlled. The ratio of risk bearing to risk premium gain was shown to be 1 to 0.97. The general conclusion is that, other than the risk premium, there was no extra productivity gain for the EZ from taking the risk.
Whether the first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have an increased risk of the major psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database with the whole population sample size (n = 23 258 175), 89 500 FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with OCD.
FDRs of patients with OCD had higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders, namely OCD (RR 8.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.68–8.57), bipolar disorder (RR 2.85, 95% CI 2.68–3.04), MDD (RR 2.67, 95% CI 2.58–2.76), ASD (RR 2.38, 95% CI 2.10–2.71), ADHD (RR 2.19, 95% CI 2.07–2.32), and schizophrenia (RR 1.97, 95% CI 1.86–2.09), compared with the total population. Different familial kinships of FDRs, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins consistently had increased risks for these disorders. In addition, a dose-dependent relationship was found between the numbers of OCD probands and the risk of each major psychiatric disorder.
The FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD have a higher risk of OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, MDD, ADHD, and ASD. The familial co-aggregation of OCD with OCD and other major psychiatric disorders was existent in a dose-dependent manner. Given the increased risks of psychiatric disorders, medical practitioners should closely monitor the mental health of the FDRs of patients with OCD.
Several studies suggested a potential role of viral infection in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the association between herpes zoster and PD was not investigated well till now.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 13 083 patients aged ≥45 years with herpes zoster and 52 332 (1:4) age-/sex-matched controls were enrolled between 1998 and 2008 and followed to the end of 2011. Those who developed PD during the follow-up period were identified.
The Cox regression analysis with adjustment of demographic characteristics, health system utilization, and comorbidities demonstrated that patients with herpes zoster had an increased risk (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.43-2.28) of developing PD in later life compared to the control group. Sensitivity tests after excluding the first year (HR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.16-1.93) and first 2-year (HR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.10-1.88) observation periods showed consistent results.
Patients with herpes zoster were more likely to develop PD in later life compared to the controls. Additional studies are necessary for validating our results and to clarify the underlying pathophysiology between herpes zoster and PD.
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.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
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.
The present study investigates the relationship between BMI and all-cause mortality among middle-aged and older adults with or without pre-existing diseases.
A population-based cohort study.
The Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging is a nationwide prospective cohort study comprising a representative random sample of middle-aged and older adults. The study period was 1996–2007.
We followed 4145 middle-aged and older adults, totalling 42 353 person-years.
Overweight and mildly obese participants showed a 16 % and 30 % decrease in the risk of death, respectively, compared with those of normal weight after adjusting for potential covariates (e.g. demographic characteristics, health behaviour, co-morbidities and physical function). Underweight adults showed a 1·36-fold increased adjusted hazard ratio of death compared with normal-weight adults. Adults with a BMI of 27·0–28·0 kg/m2 showed a significantly lower adjusted hazard ratio of all-cause mortality rate compared with adults who had normal BMI values when they had coexisting hypertension or diabetes (adjusted hazard ratio=0·50; 95 % CI 0·30, 0·81 for hypertension and adjusted hazard ratio=0·41; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·89 for diabetes).
The study demonstrates that underweight people have a higher risk of death, and overweight and mildly obese people have a lower risk of death, compared with people of normal weight among middle-aged and older adults. An optimal BMI may be based on the individual, who exhibits pre-existing diseases or not.
Congenital anomalies of the coronary arteries are present in 0.2–1.4% of the general population. These anomalies represent one of the most confusing issues in the field of cardiology and challenges for interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons if the anomalies are unrecognised. Double right coronary artery is one of the rarest coronary arteries. Previously, the probability of developing atherosclerotic changes in patients with a double right coronary artery was considered to be equal to that in those without it. In reality, however, a high prevalence of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease was found in patients with a double right coronary artery originating from a single ostium after our comprehensive literature search through the PubMed database. Owing to the fact that double right coronary artery is both a congenital and potentially atherosclerotic coronary artery disease at diagnosis, coronary intervention or cardiac operation is more complicated than previously believed. Individuals with a double right coronary artery may be unaware of its presence until an accidental finding during coronary angiography or cardiac operation and are at risk for unsuspected complications of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease or during cardiac operation. Therefore, it is important to obtain information on the anatomic variants of this congenital coronary anomaly in patients who are undergoing either coronary intervention, aortic root operation or myocardial revascularisation. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive article to discuss the anomalies and their clinical implications.
The high sensitivity and spatial resolution enabled by two-photon excitation fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy/fluorescence resonance energy transfer (2PE-FLIM/FRET) provide an effective approach that reveals protein-protein interactions in a single cell during stimulated exocytosis. Enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP)–labeled synaptosomal associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP25A) and red fluorescence protein (mRFP)–labeled Rabphillin 3A (RPH3A) were co-expressed in PC12 cells as the FRET donor and acceptor, respectively. The FLIM images of EGFP-SNAP25A suggested that SNAP25A/RPH3A interaction was increased during exocytosis. In addition, the multidimensional (three-dimensional with time) nature of the 2PE-FLIM image datasets can also resolve the protein interactions in the z direction, and we have compared several image analysis methods to extract more accurate and detailed information from the FLIM images. Fluorescence lifetime was fitted by using one and two component analysis. The lifetime FRET efficiency was calculated by the peak lifetime (τpeak) and the left side of the half-peak width (τ1/2), respectively. The results show that FRET efficiency increased at cell surface, which suggests that SNAP25A/RPH3A interactions take place at cell surface during stimulated exocytosis. In summary, we have demonstrated that the 2PE-FLIM/FRET technique is a powerful tool to reveal dynamic SNAP25A/RPH3A interactions in single neuroendocrine cells.
Sc-doped ZnO thin films were deposited on Corning 1737 glasses by using RF magnetron co-sputtering system with Sc2O3 and ZnO targets. Different sputtering powers of Sc2O3 target and post annealing of 550°C for 2 hr were investigated to understand the effect on microstructural, optical and electrical properties of Sc-doped ZnO thin films. From X-ray diffraction (XRD) results, the Sc-doped films have (002) preferred orientation. Cross-sectional scanning electron microscope (SEM) show that the Sc-doped ZnO thin films have columnar structure before and after annealing procedure. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) surface measurement also shows that the surface roughness of the films was smoother when the Sc2O3 sputtering power increased. The optical transmission of as deposited Sc-doped films in the visible region all exceeded 80%, and increased about 3% after samples annealed. Electrical resistivity measurement reveals that the as-deposited Sc-doped ZnO thin films had lowest resistivity of 0.97 Ω cm when the Sc2O3 sputtering power was 125W. After annealing the lowest resistivity decreased to 9.85 × 10−2 Ω cm in which 200W of the Sc2O3 sputtering power was applied.