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Neuroimaging- and machine-learning-based brain-age prediction of schizophrenia is well established. However, the diagnostic significance and the effect of early medication on first-episode schizophrenia remains unclear.
To explore whether predicted brain age can be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia diagnosis, and the relationship between clinical characteristics and brain-predicted age difference (PAD), and the effects of early medication on predicted brain age.
The predicted model was built on 523 diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging scans from healthy controls. First, the brain-PAD of 60 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 60 healthy controls and 21 follow-up patients from the principal data-set and 40 pairs of individuals in the replication data-set were calculated. Next, the brain-PAD between groups were compared and the correlations between brain-PAD and clinical measurements were analysed.
The patients showed a significant increase in brain-PAD compared with healthy controls. After early medication, the brain-PAD of patients decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < 0.001). The fractional anisotropy value of 31/33 white matter tract features, which related to the brain-PAD scores, had significantly statistical differences before and after measurements (P < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Correlation analysis showed that the age gap was negatively associated with the positive score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the principal data-set (r = −0.326, P = 0.014).
The brain age of patients with first-episode schizophrenia may be older than their chronological age. Early medication holds promise for improving the patient's brain ageing. Neuroimaging-based brain-age prediction can provide novel insights into the understanding of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a serious health problem worldwide. This systematic analysis aims to quantify the burden of schizophrenia at the global, regional and national levels using the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017).
We collected detailed information on the number of incidence cases, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and age-standardised incidence rate (ASIR) and age-standardised rate of DALYs (ASDR) during 1990–2017 from GBD 2017. The estimated annual percentage changes (EAPCs) in the ASIR and in the ASDR were calculated to quantify the temporal trends in the ASIR and ASDR of schizophrenia.
Globally there were 1.13 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] = 1.00 to 1.28) incident schizophrenia cases and 12.66 million (95% UI = 9.48 to 15.56) DALYs due to schizophrenia in 2017. The global ASIR decreased slightly from 1990 to 2017 (EAPC = −0.124, 95% UI = −0.114 to −0.135), while the ASDR was stable. The number of incident cases, DALYs, ASIR and ASDR were higher for males than for females. The incident rate and DALYs rate were highest among those aged 20–29 and 30–54 years, respectively. ASIR and ASDR were highest in East Asia in 2017, at 19.66 (95% UI = 17.72 to 22.00) and 205.23 (95% UI = 153.13 to 253.34), respectively. In 2017, the ASIR was highest in countries with a high-moderate sociodemographic index (SDI) and the ASDR was highest in high-SDI countries. We also found that the EAPC in ASDR was negatively correlated with the ASDR in 1990 (P = 0.001, ρ = −0.23).
The global burden of schizophrenia remains large and continues to increase, thereby increasing the burden on health-care systems. The reported findings should be useful for resource allocation and health services planning for the increasing numbers of patients with schizophrenia in ageing societies.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
The composite Li-ion battery anode material of Fe2SiO4, Fe3O4, Fe3C (Fe-Si-O) and carbon nanotubes was prepared by a simple one-step reaction between ferrocene and tetraethyl orthosilicate. When cycled at 100 mA g-1, this material exhibited ever-increasing capacities and reached 588 mAh g-1 at the 280th cycle. At 500 mA g-1, a reversible capacity of 350 mAh g-1 was retained for 600 cycles. Compared with Fe3O4 materials, the Fe-Si-O/CNT exhibited superior long-term high-rate performance, which could mainly result from its enhanced stability and conductivities by introducing silicates and CNTs during the one-step synthesis.
To verify its antibacterial activity, recombinant human lactoferrin (rhLF) was extracted from the milk of transgenic mice (Mus musculus) (PCL25 and AP) by gel filtration chromatography and analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, its bacteriostatic properties were tested using the agar disc diffusion method. ELISA analysis showed that the concentration of rhLF in the milk of transgenic mice ranged from 7 to 8 mg/ml, and the recombinant protein expressed in the milk had the same molecular weight as the native protein (~78 kDa), indicating that the rhLFs had a strong antibacterial activity on Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
Seventeen special loci were selected from 77 microsatellite markers to distinguish three varieties of tilapias, including the six differential loci UNH636, UNH117, UNH172, UNH738, UNH878 and UNH896 in Oreochromis aureus; five differential loci UNH913, UNH907, UNH222, UNH980 and UNH880 in O. niloticus; and six differential loci of UNH876, UNH899, UNH853, UNH932, UNH933 and UNH773 in O. mossambicus. Any one of the 17 loci could amplify particular bands to distinguish one tilapia from the other two. The genetic structure of O. aureus, O. niloticus and O. mossambicus stocks and their phylogenetic relationships were also analysed using these 17 loci. In total 142 alleles were detected, and the average number of alleles per locus was 8.35. Additionally, a clustering analysis was performed based on the result of the Popgen32 software package and phylogenetic trees were constructed by MEGA4 using the unweighted pair group method using arithmetic average (UPGMA). The results showed that the mean value of observed heterozygosity was 0.0941, 0.5490 and 0.2588, the mean value of expected heterozygosity was 0.1089, 0.7230 and 0.1965, and the polymorphism information content was 0.0869, 0.7149 and 0.1643, in O. aureus, O. niloticus and O. mossambicus, respectively. The UPGMA tree demonstrated that O. aureus was more closely related to O. mossambicus than to O. niloticus.
An efficient AHL (N-acyl-homoserine lactone) bioassay strain, JZA1, of Agrobacterium tumefaciens was used to detect the AHL production from Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli [the pathogen causing bacterial fruit blotch (BFB) of melons], and the results showed that A. avenae subsp. citrulli produced a 3-O-C8-homoserine (HSL) type signal molecule. Gene aiiA, which could degrade AHL molecules, was transformed into A. avenae subsp. citrulli strain NJF10, creating strain NJF10-aiiA. The AHL production from NJF10-aiiA was significantly reduced compared with wild-type NJF10. Inoculation tests showed that NJF10-aiiA had an obvious reduction of virulence on watermelon fruits. Our finds showed that AHL production by A. avenae subsp. citrulli was related to its pathogenicity. This work might provide a novel way to control BFB by QS (quorum sensing) interference.
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