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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a clinically and biologically heterogeneous syndrome. Identifying discrete subtypes of illness with distinguishing neurobiological substrates and clinical features is a promising strategy for guiding personalised therapeutics.
This study aimed to identify depression subtypes with correlated patterns of functional network connectivity and clinical symptoms by clustering patients according to a weighted linear combination of both features in a relatively large, medication-naïve depression sample.
We recruited 115 medication-naïve adults with MDD and 129 matched healthy controls, and evaluated all participants with magnetic resonance imaging. We used regularised canonical correlation analysis to identify component mapping relationships between functional network connectivity and symptom profiles, and K-means clustering was used to define distinct subtypes of patients.
Two subtypes of MDD were identified: insomnia-dominated subtype 1 and anhedonia-dominated subtype 2. Subtype 1 was characterised by abnormal hyperconnectivity within the ventral attention network and sleep maintenance insomnia. Subtype 2 was characterised by abnormal hypoconnectivity in the subcortical and dorsal attention networks, and prominent anhedonia symptoms.
Our study identified two distinct subtypes of patients with specific neurobiological and clinical symptom profiles. These findings advance understanding of the biological and clinical heterogeneity of MDD, offering a pathway for defining categorical subtypes of illness via consideration of both biological and clinical features.
The Songling and Majiayu peridotite blocks occur in the Eastern Block, North China Craton (NCC). Geothermobarometry data show that the Songling peridotites began exhumation from a depth of c. 70 km (c. 23 kbar). During exhumation, the Songling peridotites were intruded by an upper-crust-derived, high-δ18O (up to +7.28‰ in zircon) trondhjemitic dyke at 2.47 Ga and experienced granulite-facies metamorphism. The Songling peridotites have hybrid mantle wedge (HMW) -like high SiO2 (> 45 wt%), high FeOt (c. 10 wt%) content, high modal orthopyroxene abundance (> 35%) and high ϵNd(t) (+18.4 to +21.4), which were generated by the reaction between peridotite and eclogite-derived melts. The clinopyroxenes from the Songling peridotites were in equilibrium with a Nb-, Zr- and Ti-depleted arc-like magma. The Majiayu peridotites are characterized by depletion of Nb, Zr and Hf and are highly enriched in FeOt, Th and light rare earth elements (LREEs), which can be interpreted as an open system reaction between hydrous melts and fore-arc mantle peridotites. These two peridotite blocks are considered to be arc-related mantle peridotites that experienced melt extraction and metasomatism in different styles. They were exhumed to the north margin of the North China Craton during the c. 2.47 Ga arc–continent collision along the Zunhua structural belt.
China accounts for 17% of the global disease burden attributable to mental, neurological and substance use disorders. As a country undergoing profound societal change, China faces growing challenges to reduce the disease burden caused by psychiatric disorders. In this review, we aim to present an overview of progress in neuroscience research and clinical services for psychiatric disorders in China during the past three decades, analysing contributing factors and potential challenges to the field development. We first review studies in the epidemiological, genetic and neuroimaging fields as examples to illustrate a growing contribution of studies from China to the neuroscience research. Next, we introduce large-scale, open-access imaging genetic cohorts and recently initiated brain banks in China as platforms to study healthy brain functions and brain disorders. Then, we show progress in clinical services, including an integration of hospital and community-based healthcare systems and early intervention schemes. We finally discuss opportunities and existing challenges: achievements in research and clinical services are indispensable to the growing funding investment and continued engagement in international collaborations. The unique aspect of traditional Chinese medicine may provide insights to develop a novel treatment for psychiatric disorders. Yet obstacles still remain to promote research quality and to provide ubiquitous clinical services to vulnerable populations. Taken together, we expect to see a sustained advancement in psychiatric research and healthcare system in China. These achievements will contribute to the global efforts to realize good physical, mental and social well-being for all individuals.
Environmental hypoxia exposure causes fertility problems in human and animals. Compelling evidence suggests that chronic hypoxia impairs spermatogenesis and reduces sperm motility. However, it is unclear whether paternal hypoxic exposure affects fertilization and early embryo development. In the present study, we exposed male mice to high altitude (3200 m above sea level) for 7 or 60 days to evaluate the effects of hypoxia on sperm quality, zygotic DNA methylation and blastocyst formation. Compared with age-matched controls, hypoxia-treated males exhibited reduced fertility after mating with normoxic females as a result of defects in sperm motility and function. Results of in vitro fertilization (IVF) experiments revealed that 60 days’ exposure significantly reduced cleavage and blastocyst rates by 30% and 70%, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining of pronuclear formation indicated that the pronuclear formation process was disturbed and expression of imprinted genes was reduced in early embryos after paternal hypoxia. Overall, the findings of this study suggested that exposing male mice to hypoxia impaired sperm function and affected key events during early embryo development in mammals.
Schizophrenia is considered a polygenic disorder. People with schizophrenia and those with genetic high risk of schizophrenia (GHR) have presented with similar neurodevelopmental deficits in hemispheric asymmetry. The potential associations between neurodevelopmental abnormalities and schizophrenia-related risk genes in both schizophrenia and those with GHR remains unclear.
To investigate the shared and specific alternations to the structural network in people with schizophrenia and those with GHR. And to identify an association between vulnerable structural network alternation and schizophrenia-related risk genes.
A total of 97 participants with schizophrenia, 79 participants with GHR and 192 healthy controls, underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans at a single site. We used graph theory to characterise hemispheric and whole-brain structural network topological metrics. For 26 people in the schizophrenia group and 48 in the GHR group with DTI scans we also calculated their schizophrenia-related polygenic risk scores (SZ-PRSs). The correlations between alterations to the structural network and SZ-PRSs were calculated. Based on the identified genetic–neural association, bioinformatics enrichment was explored.
There were significant hemispheric asymmetric deficits of nodal efficiency, global and local efficiency in the schizophrenia and GHR groups. Hemispheric asymmetric deficit of local efficiency was significantly positively correlated with SZ-PRSs in the schizophrenia and GHR groups. Bioinformatics enrichment analysis showed that these risk genes may be linked to signal transduction, neural development and neuron structure. The schizophrenia group showed a significant decrease in the whole-brain structural network.
The shared asymmetric deficits in people with schizophrenia and those with GHR, and the association between anomalous asymmetry and SZ-PRSs suggested a vulnerability imaging marker regulated by schizophrenia-related risk genes. Our findings provide new insights into asymmetry regulated by risk genes and provides a better understanding of the genetic–neural pathological underpinnings of schizophrenia.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is characterised by dilatation and impaired contraction of the left ventricle or both ventricles, which is the most common childhood cardiomyopathy. In recent years, it has been recognised that many sorts of genetic mutations may contribute to dilated cardiomyopathy. We now report a rare association of dilated cardiomyopathy with site mutation of BMPR2 gene. We did not find such an association reported in the medical literature.
Subglacial lake exploration is of great interest to the science community. RECoverable Autonomous Sonde (RECAS) provides an exploration tool to measure and sample subglacial lake environments while the subglacial lake remains isolated from the glacier surface and atmosphere. This paper presents an electronic control system design of 200 m prototype of RECAS. The proposed electronic control system consists of a surface system, a downhole control system, and a power transfer and communication system. The downhole control system is the core element of RECAS, and is responsible for sonde status monitoring, sonde motion control, subglacial water sampling and in situ analysis. A custom RS485 temperature sensor was developed to cater for the limited size and depth requirements of the system. We adopted a humidity-based measurement to monitor for a housing leak. This condition is because standard leak detection monitoring of water conductivity may be inapplicable to pure ice in Antarctica. A water sampler control board was designed to control the samplers and monitor the on/off state. A high-definition camera system with built-in storage and self-heating ability was designed to perform the video recording in the subglacial lake. The proposed electronic control system is proven effective after a series of tests.
Inflammation might play a role in bipolar disorder (BD), but it remains unclear the relationship between inflammation and brain structural and functional abnormalities in patients with BD. In this study, we focused on the alterations of functional connectivity (FC), peripheral pro-inflammatory cytokines and their correlations to investigate the role of inflammation in FC in BD depression.
In this study, 42 unmedicated patients with BD II depression and 62 healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled. Resting-state-functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in all participants and independent component analysis was used. Serum levels of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Interleukin-8 (IL-8) were measured in all participants. Correlation between FC values and IL-6 and IL-8 levels in BD was calculated.
Compared with the HCs, BD II patients showed decreased FC in the left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) implicating the limbic network and the right precentral gyrus implicating the somatomotor network. BD II showed increased IL-6 (p = 0.039), IL-8 (p = 0.002) levels. Moreover, abnormal FC in the right precentral gyrus were inversely correlated with the IL-8 (r = −0.458, p = 0.004) levels in BD II. No significant correlation was found between FC in the left OFC and cytokines levels.
Our findings that serum IL-8 levels are associated with impaired FC in the right precentral gyrus in BD II patients suggest that inflammation might play a crucial role in brain functional abnormalities in BD.
In December 2019, the first confirmed case of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus was reported. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently spreading around the world. The relationships among the pandemic and its associated travel restrictions, social distancing measures, contact tracing, mask-wearing habits and medical consultation efficiency have not yet been extensively assessed. Based on the epidemic data reported by the Health Commission of Wenzhou, we analysed the developmental characteristics of the epidemic and modified the Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) model in three discrete ways. (1) According to the implemented preventive measures, the epidemic was divided into three stages: initial, outbreak and controlled. (2) We added many factors, such as health protections, travel restrictions and social distancing, close-contact tracing and the time from symptom onset to hospitalisation (TSOH), to the model. (3) Exposed and infected people were subdivided into isolated and free-moving populations. For the parameter estimation of the model, the average TSOH and daily cured cases, deaths and imported cases can be obtained through individual data from epidemiological investigations. The changes in daily contacts are simulated using the intracity travel intensity (ICTI) from the Baidu Migration Big Data platform. The optimal values of the remaining parameters are calculated by the grid search method. With this model, we calculated the sensitivity of the control measures with regard to the prevention of the spread of the epidemic by simulating the number of infected people in various hypothetical situations. Simultaneously, through a simulation of a second epidemic, the challenges from the rebound of the epidemic were analysed, and prevention and control recommendations were made. The results show that the modified SEIR model can effectively simulate the spread of COVID-19 in Wenzhou. The policy of the lockdown of Wuhan, the launch of the first-level Public Health Emergency Preparedness measures on 23 January 2020 and the implementation of resident travel control measures on 31 January 2020 were crucial to COVID-19 control.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to mental health. Herein, we assessed the impact of COVID-19 on subthreshold depressive symptoms and identified potential mitigating factors.
Participants were from Depression Cohort in China (ChiCTR registry number 1900022145). Adults (n = 1722) with subthreshold depressive symptoms were enrolled between March and October 2019 in a 6-month, community-based interventional study that aimed to prevent clinical depression using psychoeducation. A total of 1506 participants completed the study in Shenzhen, China: 726 participants, who completed the study between March 2019 and January 2020 (i.e. before COVID-19), comprised the ‘wave 1’ group; 780 participants, who were enrolled before COVID-19 and completed the 6-month endpoint assessment during COVID-19, comprised ‘wave 2’. Symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia were assessed at baseline and endpoint (i.e. 6-month follow-up) using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), respectively. Measures of resilience and regular exercise were assessed at baseline. We compared the mental health outcomes between wave 1 and wave 2 groups. We additionally investigated how mental health outcomes changed across disparate stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, i.e. peak (7–13 February), post-peak (14–27 February), remission plateau (28 February−present).
COVID-19 increased the risk for three mental outcomes: (1) depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.62); (2) anxiety (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.16–1.88) and (3) insomnia (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.07–1.77). The highest proportion of probable depression and anxiety was observed post-peak, with 52.9% and 41.4%, respectively. Greater baseline resilience scores had a protective effect on the three main outcomes (depression: OR = 0.26, 95% CI: 0.19–0.37; anxiety: OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.14–0.33 and insomnia: OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.11–0.28). Furthermore, regular physical activity mitigated the risk for depression (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.79–0.99).
The COVID-19 pandemic exerted a highly significant and negative impact on symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Mental health outcomes fluctuated as a function of the duration of the pandemic and were alleviated to some extent with the observed decline in community-based transmission. Augmenting resiliency and regular exercise provide an opportunity to mitigate the risk for mental health symptoms during this severe public health crisis.
It is essential to investigate the experiences behind why adolescents start and continue to self-harm in order to develop targeted treatment and prevent future self-harming behaviours.
The aims of this study are to understand the motivations for initiating and repeating nonfatal self-harm, the different methods used between first-time and repeated self-harm and the reasons that adolescents do not seek help from health services.
Adolescents with repeated nonfatal self-harm experiences were recruited to participate in individual, semi-structured qualitative interviews. The interviews were analysed with interpretative phenomenological analysis.
We found that nonfatal self-harm among adolescents occurred comparatively early and was often triggered by specific reasons. However, the subsequent nonfatal self-harm could be causeless, with repeated self-harm becoming a maladaptive coping strategy to handle daily pressure and negative emotions. The choice of tools used was related to the ease of accessibility, the life-threatening risk and the size of the scars. Adolescents often concealed their scars on purpose, which made early identification insufficient. Peer influence, such as online chat groups encouraging self-harm by discussing and sharing self-harm pictures, could also lead to increased self-harm. The results also included participants’ opinions on how to stop nonfatal self-harm and their dissatisfaction with the current healthcare services.
The current study provides important implications both for early identification and interventions for adolescents who engage in repeated nonfatal self-harm, and for individualising treatment planning that benefits them. It is also worthwhile to further investigate how peer influence and social media may affect self-harm in adolescents.
To assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Chinese adults living in Ningbo and to examine the association between alcohol consumption and MetS and its medical components.
A representative survey in Ningbo was conducted in 2015 covering socio-demography. A FFQ together with additional questionnaires was used to collect information on alcohol consumption, diet, demography, lifestyle and medical information. Multivariable logistic regression and generalised linear models were used to examine the association between alcohol consumption and both MetS and its medical components, respectively.
A total of 2853 adults ≥ 20 years (44 % men) in this final analysis.
The prevalence of frequent alcohol drinkers and MetS was 29·9 % and 28·0 %, respectively. Significantly higher prevalence of MetS and mean values of medical components were found in the group of frequent alcohol drinkers with an exception for HDL-cholesterol, compared with less or non-alcohol drinkers. Frequent alcohol consumption was associated with higher odds of developing MetS and positively associated with medical components excepting waist circumference.
Frequent alcohol consumption contributed to a higher prevalence of MetS and unfavourable influence on MetS and its medical components among Chinese adults. A public health intervention on alcohol restriction is necessary for the prevention and control of the ongoing epidemic MetS.
A series of new synthetic armored cables were developed and tested to ensure that they were suitable for use with the RECoverable Autonomous Sonde (RECAS), which is a newly designed freezing-in thermal ice probe. The final version of the cable consists of two concentric conductors that can be used as the power and signal lines. Two polyfluoroalkoxy jackets are used for electrical insulation (one for insulation between conductors, and the other for insulation of the outer conductor). The outer insulation layer is coated by polyurethane jacket to seal the connections between the cable and electrical units. The 0.65 mm thick strength member is made from aramid fibers woven together. To hold these aramid fibers in place, a sheathing layer was produced from a polyamide fabric cover net. The outer diameter of the final version of the cable is ~6.1 mm. The permissible bending radius is as low as 17–20 mm. The maximal breaking force under straight tension is ~12.2 kN. The cable weight is only ~0.061 kg m−1. The mechanical and electrical properties and environmental suitability of the cable were determined through laboratory testing and joint testing with the probe.
Accumulating studies have found structural and functional abnormalities of the striatum in bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, changes in intrinsic brain functional connectivity dynamics of striato-cortical circuitry have not been investigated in BD and MDD. This study aimed to investigate the shared and specific patterns of dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) variability of striato-cortical circuitry in BD and MDD.
Brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 128 patients with unmedicated BD II (current episode depressed), 140 patients with unmedicated MDD, and 132 healthy controls (HCs). Six pairs of striatum seed regions were selected: the ventral striatum inferior (VSi) and the ventral striatum superior (VSs), the dorsal-caudal putamen (DCP), the dorsal-rostral putamen (DRP), and the dorsal caudate and the ventral-rostral putamen (VRP). The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate dFC for each seed.
Both BD II and MDD exhibited increased dFC variability between the left DRP and the left supplementary motor area, and between the right VRP and the right inferior parietal lobule. The BD II had specific increased dFC variability between the right DCP and the left precentral gyrus compared with MDD and HCs. The MDD had increased dFC variability between the left VSi and the left medial prefrontal cortex compared with BD II and HCs.
The patients with BD and MDD shared common dFC alteration in the dorsal striatal-sensorimotor and ventral striatal-cognitive circuitries. The patients with MDD had specific dFC alteration in the ventral striatal-affective circuitry.
Hubei province in China has had the most confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and has reported sustained transmission of the disease. Although Lu'an city is adjacent to Hubei province, its community transmission was blocked at the early stage, and the impact of the epidemic was limited. Therefore, we summarised the overall characteristics of the entire epidemic course in Lu'an to help cities with a few imported cases better contain the epidemic. A total of 69 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11 asymptomatic carriers were identified in Lu'an during the epidemic from 12 January to 21 February 2020. Fifty-two (65.0%) cases were male, and the median age was 40 years. On admission, 56.5% of cases had a fever as the initial symptom, and pneumonia was present in 89.9% of cases. The mean serial interval and the mean duration of hospitalisation were 6.5 days (95% CI: 4.8–8.2) and 18.2 days (95% CI: 16.8–19.5), respectively. A total of 16 clusters involving 60 cases (17 first-generation cases and 43 secondary cases) were reported during the epidemic. We observed that only 18.9% (7/37) index cases resulted in community transmission during the epidemic in Lu'an, indicating that the scale of the epidemic was limited to a low level in Lu'an city. An asymptomatic carrier caused the largest cluster, involving 13 cases. Spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers represents an enormous challenge for countries responding to the pandemic.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
Drilling to the bedrock of ice sheets and glaciers offers unique opportunities for examining the processes occurring in the bed. Basal and subglacial materials contain important paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental records and provide a unique habitat for life; they offer significant information regarding the sediment deformation beneath glaciers and its effects on the subglacial hydraulic system and geology. The newly developed and tested Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover ice and bedrock core samples from depths of up to 1400 m. All of the drilling equipment is installed inside a movable, sledge-mounted, temperature-controlled and wind-protected drilling shelter and workshop. To facilitate helicopter unloading of the research vessel, the shelter and workshop can be disassembled, with individual parts weighing <2–3 tons. The entire ASDR system weighs ~55 tons, including transport packaging. The ASDR is designed to be transported to the chosen site via snow vehicles and would be ready for drilling operations within 2–3 d after arrival. The ASDR was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica. At the test site, 2-week drilling operations resulted in a borehole that reached bedrock at a depth of 198 m.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.