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Due to the lack of research between the inner layers in the structure of colonic mucous and the metabolism of fatty acid in the constipation model, we aim to determine the changes in the mucous phenotype of the colonic glycocalyx and the microbial community structure following treatment with Rhubarb extract in our research. The constipation and treatment models are generated using adult male C57BL/6N mice. We perform light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect a Muc2-rich inner mucus layer attached to mice colon under different conditions. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing is performed to examine the intestinal flora. According to TEM images, we demonstrate that Rhubarb can promote mucin secretion and find direct evidence of dendritic structure-linked mucus structures with its assembly into a lamellar network in a pore size distribution in the isolated colon section. Moreover, the diversity of intestinal flora has noticeable changes in constipated mice. The present study characterizes a dendritic structure and persistent cross-links have significant changes accompanied by the alteration of intestinal flora in feces in models of constipation and pretreatment with Rhubarb extract.
In this paper, effects of discharge parameters and modulation frequency on the signal of laser-induced fluorescence measurements of ion velocity distribution functions are investigated in the LIF Test Source. A maximum modulation frequency is found for each given set of parameters, beyond which the signal gradually declines. Meanwhile, this maximum modulation frequency occurred consistently at ~1/10 of the theoretical frequency limit and photon counts received by a photomultiplier tube, which indicates that as modulation frequency and the associated per-pulse-excitation-event count decrease, the transition from the macroscopic statistical signal to the microscopic probabilistic signal is a gradual process.
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.
Increasing evidence supports sarcopenia as an important parameter for predicting cardiometabolic risks. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical performance, and cardiovascular risk among older community-dwelling adults.
The associations between dynapenia, sarcopenia, and Framingham risk score (FRS) were estimated by multivariate regression models.
Muscle mass is estimated by skeletal muscle mass index using a bioelectrical impedance analysis. Muscle strength is measured by handgrip strength using an analogue isometric dynamometer. Physical performance is measured by gait speed using a 6-m walking distance. Dynapenia was defined as low muscle strength and/or slow gait speed presents with normal muscle mass. The diagnosis of presarcopenia and sarcopenia was based on criteria proposed by the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia in 2014. The FRS was used for evaluating 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) risk.
Adults aged 65 years and older who attended health examinations from 2015 to 2017 were recruited.
There were totally 709 subjects enrolled in this study. Dynapenic men (n 47) had 17·70 ± 5·08 % FRS and sarcopenic women (n 74) had 7·74 ± 6·06 % FRS. Participants with presarcopenia had the lowest FRS (men: 15·41 ± 5·35 %; women: 5·25 ± 3·70 %). Men with dynapenia had higher FRS than the presarcopenia group with odds ratio (OR) of 2·52 (95 % confidence interval (CI): 1·03, 6·14). Women with sarcopenia had significantly higher FRS than the presarcopenia group with OR of 2·81 (95 % CI: 1·09, 7·27).
Older dynapenic men and older sarcopenic women had higher risks of 10-year CHD. Presarcopenic older adults had the lowest CHD risk in both genders.
As a neuroprogressive illness, depression is accompanied by brain structural abnormality that extends to many brain regions. However, the progressive structural alteration pattern remains unknown.
To elaborate the progressive structural alteration of depression according to illness duration, we recruited 195 never-treated first-episode patients with depression and 130 healthy controls (HCs) undergoing T1-weighted MRI scans. Voxel-based morphometry method was adopted to measure gray matter volume (GMV) for each participant. Patients were first divided into three stages according to the length of illness duration, then we explored stage-specific GMV alterations and the causal effect relationship between them using causal structural covariance network (CaSCN) analysis.
Overall, patients with depression presented stage-specific GMV alterations compared with HCs. Regions including the hippocampus, the thalamus and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) presented GMV alteration at onset of illness. Then as the illness advanced, others regions began to present GMV alterations. These results suggested that GMV alteration originated from the hippocampus, the thalamus and vmPFC then expanded to other brain regions. The results of CaSCN analysis revealed that the hippocampus and the vmPFC corporately exerted causal effect on regions such as nucleus accumbens, the precuneus and the cerebellum. In addition, GMV alteration in the hippocampus was also potentially causally related to that in the dorsolateral frontal gyrus.
Consistent with the neuroprogressive hypothesis, our results reveal progressive morphological alteration originating from the vmPFC and the hippocampus and further elucidate possible details about disease progression of depression.
Nutritional Risk Screening index is a standard tool to assess nutritional risk, but epidemiological data are scarce on controlling nutritional status (CONUT) as a prognostic marker in acute haemorrhagic stroke (AHS). We aimed to explore whether the CONUT may predict a 3-month functional outcome in AHS. In total, 349 Chinese patients with incident AHS were consecutively recruited, and their malnutrition risks were determined using a high CONUT score of ≥ 2. The cohort patients were divided into high-CONUT (≥ 2) and low-CONUT (< 2) groups, and primary outcomes were a poor functional prognosis defined as the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of ≥ 3 at post-discharge for 3 months. Odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the poor functional prognosis at post-discharge were estimated by using a logistic analysis with additional adjustments for unbalanced variables between the high-CONUT and low-CONUT groups. A total of 328 patients (60·38 ± 12·83 years; 66·77 % male) completed the mRS assessment at post-discharge for 3 months, with 172 patients at malnutrition risk at admission and 104 patients with a poor prognosis. The levels of total cholesterol and total lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in high-CONUT patients than low-CONUT patients (P = 0·012 and < 0·001, respectively). At 3-month post discharge, there was a greater risk for the poor outcome in the high-CONUT compared with the low-CONUT patients at admission (OR: 2·32, 95 % CI: 1·28, 4·17). High-CONUT scores independently predict a 3-month poor prognosis in AHS, which helps to identify those who need additional nutritional managements.
Despite the fact that social deficits among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are lifelong and impact many aspects of personal functioning, evidence-based programs for social skills training were not available until recently. The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) has been shown to effectively improve social skills for adolescents on the spectrum across different social cultures. However, the effectiveness for young adults beyond North America has yet to be examined. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the PEERS intervention in Taiwanese young adults with ASD, and examine its durability and clinical correlates.
We recruited 82 cognitively-able young adults with ASD, randomized to the PEERS treatment or treatment-as-usual.
Following treatment, significant improvement was found in aspects of social deficits, autism severity, social interaction anxiety, empathy, and social skills knowledge either by self-report or coach-report. Additionally, communicative behaviors rated by observers improved throughout the sessions, showing a trend toward more appropriate eye contact, gestures, facial expression during conversation, and appropriate maintenance of conversation and reciprocity. Most effects maintained at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. The improvement of social deficits was positively correlated with baseline severity, while gains in social skills knowledge were positively correlated with IQ. The improvement of social deficits, autism severity, and empathy were positively correlated with each other.
Overall, the PEERS intervention appears to effectively improve social functioning in Taiwanese young adults with ASD. Improvement of social response and knowledge may be predicted by baseline severity and intelligence respectively.
The present study evaluated whether fat mass assessment using the triceps skinfold (TSF) thickness provides additional prognostic value to the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) framework in patients with lung cancer (LC). We performed an observational cohort study including 2672 LC patients in China. Comprehensive demographic, disease and nutritional characteristics were collected. Malnutrition was retrospectively defined using the GLIM criteria, and optimal stratification was used to determine the best thresholds for the TSF. The associations of malnutrition and TSF categories with survival were estimated independently and jointly by calculating multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR). Malnutrition was identified in 808 (30·2 %) patients, and the best TSF thresholds were 9·5 mm in men and 12 mm in women. Accordingly, 496 (18·6 %) patients were identified as having a low TSF. Patients with concurrent malnutrition and a low TSF had a 54 % (HR = 1·54, 95 % CI = 1·25, 1·88) greater death hazard compared with well-nourished individuals, which was also greater compared with malnourished patients with a normal TSF (HR = 1·23, 95 % CI = 1·06, 1·43) or malnourished patients without TSF assessment (HR = 1·31, 95 % CI = 1·14, 1·50). These associations were concentrated among those patients with adequate muscle mass (as indicated by the calf circumference). Additional fat mass assessment using the TSF enhances the prognostic value of the GLIM criteria. Using the population-derived thresholds for the TSF may provide significant prognostic value when used in combination with the GLIM criteria to guide strategies to optimise the long-term outcomes in patients with LC.
The most important issue for the clinical application of sarcopenic obesity (SO) is the lack of a consensus definition. The aim of the present study was to determine the best measurement for SO by estimating the association between various definitions and the risk of falls and metabolic syndrome (MS). We studied a community of 765 adults aged 65 years and older in 2015–2017. Sarcopenia obesity was measured by sarcopenia (defined by low muscle mass with either low handgrip strength or low gait speed or both) plus obesity (defined by waist circumference, body fat percentage and BMI). The MS was defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program ATP III. Logistic regression models were constructed to examine the relationships between sarcopenia obesity and risk of fall and MS. In the analysis of the fall risk with SO defined by waist circumference, the participants with non-sarcopenia/non-obesity were treated as the reference group. The OR to fall in participants with SO was 10·16 (95 % CI 2·71, 38·13) after adjusting for confounding covariates. In the analysis of the risk of the MS between participants with individual components of sarcopenia coupled with obesity defined by waist circumference, the risk was statistically significant for low gait speed (OR: 7·19; 95 % CI 3·61, 14·30) and low grip strength (OR: 9·19; 95 % CI 5·00, 16·91). A combination of low grip strength and abdominal obesity for identifying SO may be a more precise and practical method for predicting target populations with unfavourable health risks, such as falls risk and MS.
Engineered biomaterials provide unique functions to overcome the bottlenecks seen in biomedicine. Hence, a technique for rapid and routine tests of collagen is required, in which the test items commonly include molecular weight, crosslinking degree, purity, and sterilization induced structural change. Among them, the crosslinking degree mainly influences collagen properties. In this study, second harmonic generation (SHG) and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are used in combination to explore the collagen structure at molecular and macromolecular scales. These measured parameters are applied for the classification and quantification among the different collagen scaffolds, which were verified by other conventional methods. It is demonstrated that the crosslinking status can be analyzed from SHG images and presented as the coherency of collagen organization that is correlated with the mechanical properties. Also, the comparative analyses of SHG signal and relative CARS signal of amide III band at 1,240 cm−1 to δCH2 band at 1,450 cm−1 of these samples provide information regarding the variation of the molecular structure during a crosslinking process, thus serving as nonlinear optical signatures to indicate a successful crosslinking.
Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and questionnaire surveys at 98 sites across the range of giant salamanders in China. We did not find any statistically significant differences between water parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, alkalinity, hardness and flow rate) recorded at sites where giant salamanders were detected by survey teams and/or had been recently seen by local respondents, and sites where they were not detected and/or from which they had recently been extirpated. Additionally, we found direct and indirect evidence that the extraction of giant salamanders from the wild is ongoing, including within protected areas. Our results support the hypothesis that the decline of giant salamanders across China has been primarily driven by overexploitation. Data on water parameters may be informative for the establishment of conservation breeding programmes, an initiative recommended for the conservation of these species.
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is a type of behavioural addictions. One of the key features of addiction is the excessive exposure to addictive objectives (e.g. drugs) reduces the sensitivity of the brain reward system to daily rewards (e.g. money). This is thought to be mediated via the signals expressed as dopaminergic reward prediction error (RPE). Emerging evidence highlights blunted RPE signals in drug addictions. However, no study has examined whether IGD also involves alterations in RPE signals that are observed in other types of addictions.
To fill this gap, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 45 IGD and 42 healthy controls (HCs) during a reward-related prediction-error task and utilised a psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis to characterise the underlying neural correlates of RPE and related functional connectivity.
Relative to HCs, IGD individuals showed impaired reinforcement learning, blunted RPE signals in multiple regions of the brain reward system, including the right caudate, left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Moreover, the PPI analysis revealed a pattern of hyperconnectivity between the right caudate, right putamen, bilateral DLPFC, and right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) in the IGD group. Finally, linear regression suggested that the connection between the right DLPFC and right dACC could significantly predict the variation of RPE signals in the left OFC.
These results highlight disrupted RPE signalling and hyperconnectivity between regions of the brain reward system in IGD. Reinforcement learning deficits may be crucial underlying characteristics of IGD pathophysiology.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a higher risk of burn injury than in the normal population. Nevertheless, the influence of methylphenidate (MPH) on the risk of burn injury remains unclear. This retrospective cohort study analysed the effect of MPH on the risk of burn injury in children with ADHD.
Data were from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). The sample comprised individuals younger than 18 years with a diagnosis of ADHD (n = 90 634) in Taiwan's NHIRD between January 1996 and December 2013. We examined the cumulative effect of MPH on burn injury risk using Cox proportional hazards models. We conducted a sensitivity analysis for immortal time bias using a time-dependent Cox model and within-patient comparisons using the self-controlled case series model.
Children with ADHD taking MPH had a reduced risk of burn injury, with a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect, compared with those not taking MPH. Compared with children with ADHD not taking MPH, the adjusted hazard ratio for burn injury was 0.70 in children taking MPH for <90 days (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64–0.77) and 0.43 in children taking MPH for ≥90 days (95% CI 0.40–0.47), with a 50.8% preventable fraction. The negative association of MPH was replicated in age-stratified analysis using time-dependent Cox regression and self-controlled case series models.
This study showed that MPH treatment was associated with a lower risk of burn injury in a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect manner.
We present details of on-wafer-level 16-term error model calibration kits used for the characterization of W-band circuits based on a grounded coplanar waveguide (GCPW). These circuits were fabricated on a thin gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate, and via holes, were utilized to ensure single mode propagation (i.e., eliminating the parallel-plate mode or surface mode). To ensure the accuracy of the definition for the calibration kits, multi-line thru-reflect-line (MTRL) assistant standards were also fabricated on the same wafer and measured. The same wafer also contained passive and active devices, which were measured subject to both 16-term and conventional line-reflect-reflect-match calibrations. Measurement results show that 16-term calibration kits are capable of determining the cross-talk more accurately. Other typical calibration techniques were also implemented using the standards on the GCPW calibration kits, and were compared with the MTRL calibration using a passive device under test. This revealed that the proposed GCPW GaAs calibration substrate could be a feasible alternative to conventional CPW impedance standard substrates, for on-wafer measurements at W-band and above.
Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.
The excessive use of plastic, especially polystyrene (PS), has caused serious environmental pollution. The efficient utilization of plastics and the conversion of plastics into value-added carbon materials are the concerns of researchers. Herein, we propose novel “pyrolysis–deposition” method to convert one popular plastic substance, PS, into ordered mesoporous carbons (OMCs). During the synthesis process, PS is pyrolyzed into small organic gases under high temperature, which is then adsorbed through capillary adsorption into the mesoporous of SBA-15 in the presence of catalyst. The obtained OMCs have high specific surface area, uniform pore size, and ordered pore structure. The OMCs exhibit specific capacitance of 118 F/g at a current density of 0.2 A/g and electrochemical stability of 87.2% at a current density of 2 A/g after 5000 cycles. The pyrolysis–deposition strategy provides a new idea to convert waste plastics into high-performance carbon materials for electrochemical applications.
'Missing wedge' problem exists in some kind of CT imaging situations, such as electron microscopy, x-ray nano-CT image, etc. Method such as iterative reconstruction algorithms, total variation based method were applied to improve the reconstruction quality, but the 'missing wedge' artifacts are still inevitable. In this paper, a method based on image processing technique was proposed to locate the 'missing wedge' artifacts in CT reconstruction. The result showed good performance on locating the artifacts, which also showed the potential in CT reconstruction and image analysis in nano-CT.
As a promising new way to generate a controllable strong magnetic field, laser-driven magnetic coils have attracted interest in many research fields. In 2013, a kilotesla level magnetic field was achieved at the Gekko XII laser facility with a capacitor–coil target. A similar approach has been adopted in a number of laboratories, with a variety of targets of different shapes. The peak strength of the magnetic field varies from a few tesla to kilotesla, with different spatio-temporal ranges. The differences are determined by the target geometry and the parameters of the incident laser. Here we present a review of the results of recent experimental studies of laser-driven magnetic field generation, as well as a discussion of the diagnostic techniques required for such rapidly changing magnetic fields. As an extension of the magnetic field generation, some applications are discussed.