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Dysregulated proinflammatory cytokines have been shown to be associated with suicidal behavior. Cognitive deficits in working memory and inhibitory control have been demonstrated in depressed patients and people with suicidal ideation (SI). However, the association between proinflammatory cytokines, SI, and cognitive deficits in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) remains unclear.
A total of 77 patients with MDD and age-/sex-matched 60 healthy individuals were recruited. MDD patients were divided into two groups: with SI (n = 36) and no SI (n = 41). SI was defined by a score of ≥2 in item 3 of the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including soluble interleukin-6 receptor, soluble tumor necrosis factor-α receptor type 1, and C-reactive protein (CRP), were measured, and cognitive function was assessed using 2-back task and Go/No-Go task.
Patients with SI had higher levels of CRP than those without SI and controls (P = .007). CRP was positively associated with SI (β = 0.21, P = .037), independent of cognitive function and depressive symptoms. Furthermore, SI was associated with cognitive deficits in working memory and inhibitory control after adjusting for confounding factors (P < .05).
Our findings suggest that higher levels of serum CRP and deficits in working memory and inhibitory control may be associated with higher SI among patients with MDD.
Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata is one of the most serious insect pests to a large number of nightshades and cucurbits. RNA interference (RNAi) triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) offers a reduced risk approach to control the beetle. Identification of amenable target genes and determination of appropriate life stage for dsRNA treatment are two critical steps in order to improve RNAi efficiency. In the present paper, we identified three vATPase genes, namely HvvATPaseC, HvvATPaseE and HvvATPaseH. We found that the three transcripts were widely expressed in the eggs, first- to fourth-instar larvae, prepupae, pupae and adults. They were abundantly transcribed in the hindgut and Malpighian tubules, in contrast to the epidermis and fat body. Three days' ingestion of dsvATPaseC, dsvATPaseE and dsvATPaseH by the fourth-instar larvae significantly decreased corresponding transcript level by 90.1, 88.9 and 97.2%, greatly reduced larval fresh weight by 28.0, 29.9 and 28.0%, and caused 66.7, 100 and 78.7% larval lethality respectively. Comparably, 3 days' exposure of the third-instar larvae to dsvATPaseC significantly reduced HvvATPaseC mRNA level by 89.5%, decreased approximately 80% of the larval fresh weight, and killed 100% of the treated larvae. Therefore, the three vATPase genes, especially HvvATPaseE, are potential amenable target genes and young larvae are more susceptible to dsRNA. Our findings will enable the development of the dsRNA-based pesticide to control H. vigintioctopunctata.
Altered immunity and metabolic profiles have been compared between bipolar depression (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed at developing a composite predictor of appetite hormones and proinflammatory cytokines to differentiate BD from MDD.
This cross-sectional study enrolled patients with BD and those with MDD aged 20 to 59 years and displaying depressive episodes. Clinical characteristics (age, sex, body mass index, and depression severity), cytokines (C-reactive protein, interleukin [IL]-2, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, P-selectin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein), and appetite hormones (leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, and insulin) were assessed as potential predictors using a classification and regression tree (CRT) model for differentiating BD from MDD.
The predicted probability of a composite predictor of ghrelin and TNF-α was significantly greater (for BD: area under curve = 0.877; for MDD: area under curve = 0.914) than that of any one marker (all P > .05) to distinguish BD from MDD. The most powerful predictors for diagnosing BD were high ghrelin and TNF-α levels, whereas those for MDD were low ghrelin and TNF-α levels.
A composite predictor of ghrelin and TNF-α driven by CRT could assist in the differential diagnosis of BD from MDD with high specificity. Further clinical studies are warranted to validate our results and to explore underlying mechanisms.
Recent imaging studies of large datasets suggested that psychiatric disorders have common biological substrates. This study aimed to identify all the common neural substrates with connectomic abnormalities across four major psychiatric disorders by using the data-driven connectome-wide association method of multivariate distance matrix regression (MDMR).
This study analyzed a resting functional magnetic resonance imaging dataset of 100 patients with schizophrenia, 100 patients with bipolar I disorder, 100 patients with bipolar II disorder, 100 patients with major depressive disorder, and 100 healthy controls (HCs). We calculated a voxel-wise 4,330 × 4,330 matrix of whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) with 8-mm isotropic resolution for each participant and then performed MDMR to identify structures where the overall multivariate pattern of FC was significantly different between each patient group and the HC group. A conjunction analysis was performed to identify common neural regions with FC abnormalities across these four psychiatric disorders.
The conjunction of the MDMR maps revealed that the four groups of patients shared connectomic abnormalities in distributed cortical and subcortical structures, which included bilateral thalamus, cerebellum, frontal pole, supramarginal gyrus, postcentral gyrus, lingual gyrus, lateral occipital cortex, and parahippocampus. The follow-up analysis based on pair-wise FC of these regions demonstrated that these psychiatric disorders also shared similar patterns of FC abnormalities characterized by sensory/subcortical hyperconnectivity, association/subcortical hypoconnectivity, and sensory/association hyperconnectivity.
These findings suggest that major psychiatric disorders share common connectomic abnormalities in distributed cortical and subcortical regions and provide crucial support for the common network hypothesis of major psychiatric disorders.
Studies have suggested an association between metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the risk of metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases in the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD remains uncertain. Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 22,438 unaffected siblings of patients with MDD and 89,752 age-/sex-matched controls were selected and followed up from 1996 to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases during the follow-up period were identified. Compared with the controls, the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD had a higher prevalence of metabolic diseases, such as hypertension (5.0% vs. 4.5%, p = 0.007), dyslipidemia (5.6% vs. 4.8%, p < 0.001), and obesity (1.7% vs. 1.5%, p = 0.028), and cerebrocardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke (0.6% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.005) and ischemic heart disease (2.1% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD were more likely to develop hypertension, dyslipidemia, ischemic stroke, and ischemic heart diseases during the follow-up period than the controls. Our study revealed a familial coaggregation between MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases.
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.
Studies have suggested the detrimental effects of obesity and systemic inflammation on the cognitive function of patients with bipolar or major depressive disorder. However, the complex associations between affective disorder, obesity, systemic inflammation, and cognitive dysfunction remain unclear.
Overall, 110 patients with affective disorder (59 with bipolar I disorder and 51 with major depressive disorder) who scored ≥61 on the Global Assessment of Functioning and 51 age- and sex-matched controls were enrolled. Body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 was defined as obesity or overweight. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines—including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and C-reactive protein (CRP)—were measured, and cognitive function was assessed using various methods, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and go/no-go task.
Patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder were more likely to be obese or overweight, had higher CRP and TNF-α levels, and had greater executive dysfunction in the WCST than the controls. TNF-α level (P < .05) but not affective disorder diagnosis or obesity/overweight was significantly associated with cognitive function deficits, although obesity/overweight and diagnosis were significantly associated with increased TNF-α level.
Our findings may indicate that proinflammatory cytokines, but not obesity or overweight, have crucial effects on cognitive function in patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder, although proinflammatory cytokines and obesity or overweight were found to be strongly associated. The complex relationships between affective disorder diagnosis, proinflammatory cytokine levels, obesity or overweight, and cognitive function require further investigation.
Since December 2019, China has experienced a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. However, at the early stage of outbreak, investigations revealed a variety of patterns resulting in the transmission of COVID-19. Thus, it is essential to understand the transmission types and the potential for sustained human-to-human transmission. Moreover, the information regarding the characteristics of transmission helps in coordinating the current screening programme, and controlling and containing measures, and also, helps in deciding the appropriate quarantine duration. Thus, this investigation reports an outbreak of COVID-19 in a family residing in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China during the month of January−February 2020.
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.
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.
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.
The Brinkman model describes flow of fluid in complex porous media with a high-contrast permeability coefficient such that the flow is dominated by Darcy in some regions and by Stokes in others. A weak Galerkin (WG) finite element method for solving the Brinkman equations in two or three dimensional spaces by using polynomials is developed and analyzed. The WG method is designed by using the generalized functions and their weak derivatives which are defined as generalized distributions. The variational form we considered in this paper is based on two gradient operators which is different from the usual gradient-divergence operators for Brinkman equations. The WG method is highly flexible by allowing the use of discontinuous functions on arbitrary polygons or polyhedra with certain shape regularity. Optimal-order error estimates are established for the corresponding WG finite element solutions in various norms. Some computational results are presented to demonstrate the robustness, reliability, accuracy, and flexibility of the WG method for the Brinkman equations.
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
A weak Galerkin (WG) method is introduced and numerically tested for the Helmholtz equation. This method is flexible by using discontinuous piecewise polynomials and retains the mass conservation property. At the same time, the WG finite element formulation is symmetric and parameter free. Several test scenarios are designed for a numerical investigation on the accuracy, convergence, and robustness of the WG method in both inhomogeneous and homogeneous media over convex and non-convex domains. Challenging problems with high wave numbers are also examined. Our numerical experiments indicate that the weak Galerkin is a finite element technique that is easy to implement, and provides very accurate and robust numerical solutions for the Helmholtz problem with high wave numbers.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of lutein and lycopene supplementation on carotid artery intima–media thickness (CAIMT) in subjects with subclinical atherosclerosis. A total of 144 subjects aged 45–68 years were recruited from local communities. All the subjects were randomly assigned to receive 20 mg lutein/d (n 48), 20 mg lutein/d+20 mg lycopene/d (n 48) or placebo (n 48) for 12 months. CAIMT was measured using Doppler ultrasonography at baseline and after 12 months, and serum lutein and lycopene concentrations were determined using HPLC. Serum lutein concentrations increased significantly from 0·34 to 1·96 μmol/l in the lutein group (P< 0·001) and from 0·35 to 1·66 μmol/l in the combination group (P< 0·001). Similarly, serum lycopene concentrations increased significantly from 0·18 to 0·71 μmol/l in the combination group at month 12 (P< 0·001), whereas no significant change was observed in the placebo group. The mean values of CAIMT decreased significantly by 0·035 mm (P= 0·042) and 0·073 mm (P< 0·001) in the lutein and combination groups at month 12, respectively. The change in CAIMT was inversely associated with the increase in serum lutein concentrations (P< 0·05) in both the active treatment groups and with that in serum lycopene concentrations (β = − 0·342, P= 0·031) in the combination group. Lutein and lycopene supplementation significantly increased the serum concentrations of lutein and lycopene with a decrease in CAIMT being associated with both concentrations. In addition, the combination of lutein and lycopene supplementation was more effective than lutein alone for protection against the development of CAIMT in Chinese subjects with subclinical atherosclerosis, and further studies are needed to confirm whether synergistic effects of lutein and lycopene exist.
Potassium (K) is an essential nutrient and abundant cation in plant cells. The application of K+ could alleviate abiotic stress. However, it was reported that the alleviation of K+ on salt-stressed plants only happened when K+ concentration was low. Most studies were focused on effects of sodium salts on plants in salty soils, and little information was reported about potassium salts, especially a higher level of potassium in alkaline salts. To explore the effects of K+ in alkaline salts on plant growth, and whether it had a same destructive impact as Na+, we mixed two alkaline sodium salts (ASS) (NaHCO3:Na2CO3 = 9:1) and two alkaline potassium salts (APS) (KHCO3:K2CO3 = 9:1) to treat 10-day-old wheat seedlings. Effects of ASS and APS on growth, photosynthesis, ions absorption and solutes accumulation were compared. Results indicated that effects of potassium salts in soil on plants growth were related to K+ concentration. Both growth and photosynthesis of wheat seedlings decreased, and the reduction was higher in APS treatment than in ASS treatment at 40 mM alkalinity. ASS treatment absorbed Na+, competing with K+ and free Ca2+, and inhibited the absorption of inorganic anions. APS treatments accumulated K+ and reduced the absorption of anions, with no competition with other cations. Both APS and ASS treatments promoted free Mg2+ accumulation and inhibited H2PO4−uptake. The reduction of H2PO4− promoted organic acid synthesis indirectly. Soluble sugar and proline accumulation were also related to the alkaline condition and extra K+ addition. In conclusion, excess potassium ions in soil, especially in alkaline soils, were harmful to plants. APS was another severe salt stress, intensity of which was higher than ASS. The growth and physiological response mechanisms of wheat seedlings to APS were similar to ASS. Both inorganic ions and organic solutes took part in the osmotic adjustment. Differences for APS depended on K+, but ASS on Na+.
Systemic Fe overload can contribute to abnormal glucose metabolism and the onset of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Although hepcidin is the master regulator of systemic Fe homeostasis, few studies have systematically evaluated the associations of serum hepcidin concentrations with Fe metabolism parameters and risks for the development of T2D. In this regard, whether hepcidin concentrations are associated with T2D remains controversial. We measured serum hepcidin and ferritin concentrations in a case–control study of 1259 Han Chinese participants to evaluate the possible associations of serum hepcidin concentrations with Fe metabolism parameters and risks of T2D. Individuals with diabetes (n 555) and control participants (n 704) were recruited and serum hepcidin and ferritin concentrations were quantified. Additionally, selected biochemical and anthropometric variables were determined. A logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association of serum hepcidin and ferritin concentrations with T2D. A linear regression analysis was used to test for associations between serum hepcidin and ferritin concentrations and a number of clinical, demographic and diabetes-associated variables. We found that serum hepcidin concentrations correlated with Hb and serum ferritin concentrations. No differences in hepcidin concentrations were found between the group with diabetes and the control group. Hepcidin concentrations were not significantly correlated with T2D risk factors. We also found that serum ferritin concentrations were elevated in individuals with diabetes and were positively correlated with both Hb concentrations and T2D risk factors. The present findings suggest that serum ferritin concentrations correlate with T2D risk factors, while serum hepcidin concentrations are positively associated with Hb and serum ferritin concentrations, but do not correlate with T2D.
Owing to energy conservation of waste heat, Lead telluride, PbTe, based materials have promising good thermoelectric properties around a range of middle temperature (Fig. 1, from 300 to 600°C), due to their high melting point, fine chemical stability, and the high figure of merit Z. The general physical properties and factors affecting the figure of merit have been reviewed. This research is focused on the n-type of PbTe materials and collocated with analysis of densities, hardness, elastic modulus, and thermoelectric properties thermoelectric figure of merit ZT=GS2T/κ (where G is electrical conductivity, S is Seebeck coefficient , T is absolute temperature, and κ is thermal conductivity). Room temperature hardness and Young’s modulus are measured by nano-indentation. In this study, the hot-press compacts under the pressure of 4 ton/cm2 can reach the maximum density about 8.2 g/cm3, and hardness and elastic modulus are 0.6 GPa and 70 GPa, respectively. The figure of merit value (ZT) of PbTe in low temperature (around 340°C) was found about 1 with carrier concentration above 1019 cm−3. These results also indicate that the powder metallurgy parameters provide potentialities for further increase of the high efficiency of energy conversion in PbTe materials.