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Evidence suggests a familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Those disorders are further related to suicide and accidental death. However, whether death by suicide may coaggregate with accidental death and major psychiatric disorders within families remains unclear.
To clarify the familial coaggregation of deaths by suicide with accidental death and five major psychiatric disorders.
Using a database linked to the entire Taiwanese population, 68 214 first-degree relatives of individuals who died by suicide between 2003 and 2017 and 272 856 age- and gender-matched controls were assessed for the risks of death by suicide, accidental death and major psychiatric disorders.
A Poisson regression model showed that the first-degree relatives of individuals who died by suicide were more likely to die by suicide (relative risk RR = 4.61, 95% CI 4.02–5.29) or accident (RR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.43–1.84) or to be diagnosed with schizophrenia (RR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.40–1.66), bipolar disorder (RR = 1.99, 95% CI 1.83–2.16), MDD (RR = 1.98, 95% CI 1.89–2.08) or ADHD (RR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.24–1.44).
Our findings identified a familial coaggregation of death by suicide with accidental death, schizophrenia, major affective disorders and ADHD. Further studies would be required to elucidate the pathological mechanisms underlying this coaggregation.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis causes a form of parasitic meningitis in humans. Albendazole (ABZ) kills nematode larvae in the brain. However, dead larvae can trigger a severe inflammatory response, resulting in brain damage. Accumulating evidence suggests that calycosin represents a potential anti-inflammatory therapeutic candidate. In this study, we investigated the combined effects of ABZ and calycosin in angiostrongyliasis caused by A. cantonensis in BALB/c mice. Inflammatory mediators (such as phospho-nuclear factor-κB, cyclooxygenase-2, matrix metalloproteinase-9, tumour necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β) are associated with the development of meningitis and immune inflammatory reactions. We found that A. cantonensis significantly induces inflammatory mediator production and increases the blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability. However, co-administration of both ABZ and calycosin markedly suppressed meningitis and inflammatory mediator production and decreased the BBB permeability compared to treatment with a single drug. Furthermore, calycosin and ABZ plus calycosin treatment facilitated production of the antioxidant haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Moreover, co-therapy with ABZ and calycosin failed to mitigate angiostrongyliasis in the presence of tin-protoporphyrin IX, an HO-1-specific inhibitor. This finding suggests that the beneficial effects of ABZ plus calycosin treatment on the regulation of inflammation are mediated by the modulation of HO-1 activation. The present results provide new insights into the treatment of human angiostrongyliasis using co-therapy with ABZ and calycosin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
English as a lingua franca (ELF) refers to ‘any use of English among speakers of different first languages for whom English is the communicative medium of choice, and often the only option’ (Seidlhofer, 2011, p. 7*). ELF research started relatively recently. It was only discussed occasionally in the last century. Landmark changes were the publications of Jenkins (2000*) and Seidlhofer (2001*). These works inspired more research into ELF, as witnessed by a dramatically increased interest in ELF since then, resulting in a large number of journal articles, monographs, edited books (e.g. Mauranen & Ranta, 2009*) and large corpora (e.g. the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English, the Corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings, and the Asian Corpus of English). In addition, ELF researchers have launched the annual conference series (International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca), the Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, and the De Gruyter book series Developments in English as a Lingua Franca. These publications move from an initial understanding of ELF as a ‘variety’ or ‘varieties’ to a later conceptualisation of ELF as a dynamic, fluid and variable phenomenon. ELF has become a major focus of discussions and activities among both applied linguists and English language teaching professionals (Jenkins, Cogo, & Dewey, 2011).
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 accounting information of a firm is analogous to the characteristics of an organism that contain biological information that influences decisions; such characteristics result from organizational routines (genes). Organizational routines result from organizational learning, and learning from an associated company is an efficient approach for a new venture to establish routines. The study results revealed that the subsidiaries inherited routines from the parent companies related to financial ratios, so we suggest that people should judge the adequacy of a firm’s financial situation by not only referring to the standard of its industry but also to its parent company.
Obesity and hyperlipidaemia increase the risk of CVD. Some strains of probiotics have been suggested to have potential applications in cardiovascular health by lowering serum LDL-cholesterol. In this work, high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidaemia in hamsters was treated with different doses (5×108 and 2·5×109 cells/kg per d) of heat-killed Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-263 (Lr263) by oral gavage for 8 weeks. The serum lipid profile analysis showed that LDL-cholesterol and plasma malondialdehyde (P-MDA) were reduced in the GMNL-263 5×108 cells/kg per d treatment group. Total cholesterol and P-MDA were reduced in the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatment group. In terms of heart function, the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatments improved the ejection fraction from 85·71 to 91·81 % and fractional shortening from 46·93 to 57·92 % in the high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts. Moreover, the GMNL-263-treated, high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts exhibited reduced Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis and a reactivated IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway. Interestingly, the GMNL-263 treatments also enhanced the heat-shock protein 27 expression in a dose-dependent manner, but the mechanism for this increase remains unclear. In conclusion, supplementary heat-killed L. reuteri GMNL-263 can slightly reduce serum cholesterol. The anti-hyperlipidaemia effects of GMNL-263 may reactivate the IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway and reduce Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis in high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts.
The Ser9Gly polymorphism in dopamine D3 receptor gene (DRD3) was considered an important factor in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Allele and genotype frequencies of this polymorphism were studied in different ethnic groups of schizophrenic patients. However, the results have been inconclusive.
To determine whether the DRD3 Ser9Gly polymorphism is associated with schizophrenia or influences its psychopathological symptoms in Han Chinese population.
We recruited 256 schizophrenic patients and 285 normal controls matched for gender, age and ethnicity. Pretreatment psychotic symptoms were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS) in 128 acutely exacerbated schizophrenic in-patients. Genotyping of Ser9Gly polymorphism was performed with a polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism method and reconfirmed by a direct sequencing technique.
No significant difference was found between either patients with schizophrenia or with more homogeneous schizophrenic subgroups and healthy controls in genotype distributions and allele frequencies for the DRD3 Ser9Gly polymorphism. Similarly, DRD3 Ser9Gly genotype differences failed to reach significance in PANSS global, positive, negative and general symptoms scores. There is a trend (P = 0.064) towards higher PANSS positive symptoms scores in subjects carrying the Gly/Gly genotype.
This study does not support the role of DRD3 Ser9Gly polymorphism in increasing genetic risk for schizophrenia in Han Chinese population. Still, there is a possibility that the DRD3 Ser9Gly variant may reflect genetic variation of severity of positive symptoms in acutely exacerbated schizophrenia. Further studies are warranted to investigate the effect of the DRD3 Ser9Gly polymorphism in relation to longer time course of schizophrenia, including treatment response to antipsychotics.
The potential relationship between anaesthesia, surgery and onset of
dementia remains elusive.
To determine whether the risk of dementia increases after surgery with
anaesthesia, and to evaluate possible associations among age, mode of
anaesthesia, type of surgery and risk of dementia.
The study cohort comprised patients aged 50 years and older who were
anaesthetised for the first time since 1995 between 1 January 2004 and 31
December 2007, and a control group of randomly selected patients matched
for age and gender. Patients were followed until 31 December 2010 to
identify the emergence of dementia.
Relative to the control group, patients who underwent anaesthesia and
surgery exhibited an increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio = 1.99) and
a reduced mean interval to dementia diagnosis. The risk of dementia
increased in patients who received intravenous or intramuscular
anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia and general anaesthesia.
The results of our nationwide, population-based study suggest that
patients who undergo anaesthesia and surgery may be at increased risk of
We have developed a low cost and convenient approach to fabricate ITO-comparable transparent electrodes by using solution process of silver nanowires mixed with poly peroxotitanic acid (PPT) gel. The PPT gel is applied to connect the dispersed silver nanowires to preserve its high conductivity while remaining transparency and reducing surface roughness of the transparent electrode. The silver nanowires were synthesized via a modified polyol method, and the PPT gels were prepared by sol-gel method in appropriate concentrations. After applying the PPT gels, the sheet resistance of the transparent electrodes was improved from 192 Ω/□ to 44.7 Ω/□ with a transmittance of 81 %. And the roughness (RMS) was decreased from 106.3 nm to 48.1 nm. The PPT gel also improved the reliability of the proposed electrodes, which the conductivity was remained after general atmospheric storage of 6 months. We also demonstrate an Alq3 based OLED with the proposed transparent electrodes.
An approach formulated by vector algebra is proposed to deal with great circle sailing problems. Using the technique of the fixed coordinates system and relative longitude concept, derivations of formulae for this approach are simpler than those of the conventional methods. Due to fixing the initial great circle course, the great circle track (GCT) is determined. Since the course is fixed (known as “COFI” in this paper), the proposed approach, which we have named the “COFI method”, can directly calculate the waypoints along the GCT. It is considered that the COFI method is a more understandable and straightforward method to solve waypoint problems than older approaches in the literature. Based on the COFI method, a program has been developed for the navigator. In addition, the spherical triangle method with respect to the equator crossing point (STM-E) is developed by supplemental theorem. Several examples are demonstrated to validate the proposed COFI method and STM-E.