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Problematic internet use, especially in people with substance use disorder, may negatively affect their quality of life (QoL). However, it is unclear whether sleep quality is a key mediator in the association between problematic internet use and QoL among people with substance use disorder.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between problematic internet use and QoL and how sleep quality may mediate the association between these two variables.
Overall, 319 people (85% male) with substance use disorder (mean age 42.2 years, s.d. 8.9) participated in a cross-sectional study in Taiwan. The Smartphone Application-Based Addiction Scale, Bergan Social Media Addiction Scale, Internet Gaming Disorder-Short Form, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire Brief Version were used.
The prevalence of sleep problems was 56%. There were significant and direct associations between sleep quality and two types of problematic internet use, and between sleep quality and different dimensions of QoL. All types of problematic internet use were significantly and negatively correlated with QoL. Mediated effects of sleep quality in relationships between the different types of problematic internet use and all dimensions of QoL were significant, except for problematic use of social media.
Different types of problematic internet use in people with substance use disorder may be directly associated with reduced QoL. Sleep quality as a significant mediator in this association may be an underlying mechanism to explain pathways between problematic internet use and QoL in this population.
Cognitive impairment is common in late-life depression, which may increase Alzheimer disease (AD) risk. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether late-life major depressive disorder (MDD) has worse cognition and increases the characteristic AD neuropathology. Furthermore, we carried out a comparison between treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and non-TRD. We hypothesized that patients with late-life depression and TRD may have increased β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits in brain regions responsible for global cognition.
We recruited 81 subjects, including 54 MDD patients (27 TRD and 27 non-TRD) and 27 matched healthy controls (HCs). Neurocognitive tasks were examined, including Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal Cognitive Assessment to detect global cognitive functions. PET with Pittsburgh compound-B and fluorodeoxyglucose were used to capture brain Aβ pathology and glucose use, respectively, in some patients.
MDD patients performed worse in Montreal Cognitive Assessment (p = 0.003) and had more Aβ deposits than HCs across the brain (family-wise error-corrected p < 0.001), with the most significant finding in the left middle frontal gyrus. Significant negative correlations between global cognition and prefrontal Aβ deposits existed in MDD patients, whereas positive correlations were noted in HCs. TRD patients had significantly more deposits in the left-sided brain regions (corrected p < 0.001). The findings were not explained by APOE genotypes. No between-group fluorodeoxyglucose difference was detected.
Late-life depression, particularly TRD, had increased brain Aβ deposits and showed vulnerability to Aβ deposits. A detrimental role of Aβ deposits in global cognition in patients with late-onset or non-late-onset MDD supported the theory that late-life MDD could be a risk factor for AD.
The retention of patients under methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is an indication for the effectiveness of the therapy. We aimed to explore the relation between mortality and the cumulative MMT duration.
A retrospective cohort analysis was performed using Taiwan Illicit Drug Issue Database (TIDID) and National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) during 2012–2016. We included 9149 and 11 112 MMT patients as the short and long groups according to the length of their cumulative MMT duration, 1–364 and ⩾365 days, respectively. The risk of mortality was calculated by Cox proportional hazards regression model with time-dependent exposure to MMT, and the survival probability was plotted with the Kaplan-Meier curve.
The mortality rates were 2.51 and 1.51 per 100 person-years in the short and long cumulative MMT duration groups, respectively. After adjusting for on or off MMT, age, sex, marital status, education level, maximum methadone dose, and comorbidities (human immunodeficiency virus, depression, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, alcoholic liver disease, and cardiovascular disease), the long group had a lower risk of death (hazard ratio = 0.67; 95% confidence interval 0.60–0.75) than the short group. Increased risk was observed in patients with advanced age, being male, unmarried, infected by HIV, HCV, and HBV, and diagnosed with depression, ALD, and CVD. Causes of death were frequently related to drug and injury.
Longer cumulative MMT duration is associated with lower all-cause and drug-related mortality rate.
We investigated the effects of botulinum toxin on gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with foot dystonia. Six patients underwent onabotulinum toxin A injection and were assessed by Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS), visual analog scale (VAS) of pain, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Test (BBT), and 3D gait analysis at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. BFMDRS (p = 0.002), VAS (p = 0.024), TUG (p = 0.028), and BBT (p = 0.034) were improved. Foot pressures at Toe 1 (p = 0.028) and Midfoot (p = 0.018) were reduced, indicating botulinum toxin’s effects in alleviating the dystonia severity and pain and improving foot pressures during walking in PD.
The condition of caregivers is important to the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially at the late disease stages. This study addresses the distress placed on caregivers by participants’ neuropsychiatric symptoms at different stages of PD in Taiwan
This prospective study enrolled 108 people with PD. All participants were examined with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Caregiver distress was measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D). Statistical analysis was used to explore the PD-related factors that contribute to caregiver distress.
The mean follow-up interval in the 108 PD participants were 24.0 ± 10.2 months with no participant lost to follow-up due to death. NPI-distress (the sum of NPI caregiver distress scale across the 12 domains of the NPI) was positively correlated with NPI-sum (the total score across the 12 domains of the NPI) (r = 0.787, p < 0.001), CDR (r = 0.403, p < 0.001), UPRDS (r = 0.276, p = 0.004), and disease duration (r = 0.246, p = 0.002), but negatively correlated with CASI (r = −0.237, p = 0.043) and MMSE (r = −0.281, p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only NPI-sum and disease duration were independently correlated with NPI-distress.
The disease duration and NPI-sum are independent predictors of caregiver distress in Taiwanese populations with PD. Early detection and reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with PD can help decrease caregiver distress.
Altered heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system function, has been reported in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but the results have been mixed. Thus, the present study, using a large sample size and better methodology, aims to examine whether GAD is associated with impaired HRV, both at rest and in response to posture challenges.
In total, 1832 participants were recruited in this study, consisting of 682 patients with GAD (including 326 drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients) and 1150 healthy controls. Short-term HRV was measured during the supine-standing-supine test (5-min per position). Propensity score matching (PSM), a relatively novel method, was used to control for potential confounders.
After PSM algorithm, drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients had reductions in resting (baseline) high-frequency power (HF), an index for parasympathetic modulation, and increases in the low-frequency/HF ratio (LF/HF), an index for sympathovagal balance as compared to matched controls. Furthermore, the responses of HF and LF/HF to posture changes were all attenuated when compared with matched controls. Effect sizes, given by Cohen's d, for resting HF and HF reactivity were 0.42 and 0.36–0.42, respectively.
GAD is associated with altered sympathovagal balance, characterized by attenuation in both resting vagal modulation and vagal reactivity, with an almost medium effect size (Cohen's d ≈ 0.4), regardless of medication use or comorbidity status.
The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is
To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients
with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being
All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin,
Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123
572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.
The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who
received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were
significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher
rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living
alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and
complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher
than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the
never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status,
being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.
Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic
medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that
outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental
healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for
earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.
It is controversial to observe or close symptomatic congenital coronary artery fistula in infants. We herein describe a medium-sized symptomatic congenital coronary artery fistula that underwent rapid spontaneous closure in an infant aged <3 months.
The electrode materials for VRFB should possess higher electric conductivity, corrosion resistance and hydrophilic properties in sulfuric acid. The characteristics of the electrode materials affect the stability and the energy efficiency of VRFB. Carbon materials are the best suited for VRFB applications. In this study, the calcined treatment, acid treatment and ozone treatment were used to modify the surface of carbon papers. The redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+ on the modified carbon papers was evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV). The surface compositions of carbon materials were analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectrometry (XPS). The experimental results reveal that three oxidative methods enhance the redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+. The calcined treatments and acid treatments also enhanced hydrolysis reaction. The mole ratio of O/C apparently increased, but the binding energy of C1s and O1s were not chemically shifted in the acid treatment. The intensity of binding energy of O1s, between 532 eV and 534 eV, apparently increased in the ozone and calcined treatments. The Ox treated samples were more hydrophilic than the Oz treated samples. In the Ox treated samples, the decrease of Rct value indicates that was contributed from the redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+ and hydrolysis reaction. It does not completely benefit the energy efficiency of VRFB. The 5 x 5 cm2 modified carbon papers were used as electrode materials in the VRFB. The voltage efficiency, coulomb efficiency and energy efficiency reached 93 %, 90 % and 83 %, respectively, at a current density of 12 mA．cm-2 at 0.8-1.8 V.
The ZnO thin film was successfully deposited on a glass substrate at RT by a RF reactive magnetron sputtering method. Structural, chemical, optical, and hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties are measured by using a surface profilometer, an x-ray diffractometry (XRD), an x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), a UV-VIS spectrophotometer, and a contact angle system, respectively. Results show that the deposition rate decreases with increasing O2/(Ar+O2) ratio. Otherwise, the best stoichiometric and quality of ZnO thin film was observed at 0.30 of O2/(Ar+O2) ratio by the smallest FWHM and the strong O-Zn bonds. Regardless of O2/(Ar+O2) ratio effect or thickness effect, high transmittance (> 86%) in the visible region is observed, while the UV-shielding characteristics depend upon both the magnitude of film thickness. The film thickness plays a more prominent role in controlling optical properties, especially in the UV-shielding characteristics, than the O2/(Ar+O2) ratio. However, the hydrophobic characteristics can be obtained when the glass coating with ZnO thin films. In general, with properly coated ZnO thin film, we can obtain a glass substrate which is highly transparent in the visible region, has good UV-shielding characteristics, and possesses highly hydrophobic characteristics (self-clean capability), which is highly suitable for applications in the glass industries.
Plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) is a technique of material processing and surface modification, using controllable negative high voltage pulsed bias to attract the ion generated from the plasma. The method using PIII treatment quickly improves the performance of solar cell made of crystalline silicon, including monocrystalline, multicrystalline and polycrystalline silicon. Hydrogen ions are attracted and quickly implanted into solar cell under a predetermined negative pulse voltage, thus, the passivation of the crystal defects of the solar cell can be realized in a short period. Meanwhile, the properties of the antireflection layer can not be damaged as the proper operating conditions are used. Consequently, the series resistance can be significantly reduced and the filling factor increases as a result. Both the short-circuit and the open-circuit voltage can be increased. The efficiency can be enhanced.
We have investigated TiN/TiSi2 films as diffusion barriers between copper and silicon. The TiN/TiSi2 films were formed by annealing Ti/Si via rapid thermal process at a temperature of 850'C for 30 seconds in N2 ambient. The contact resistance and leakage current of the Cu/TiN/TiSi 2/n+-p Si contact system were measured after sintering at 350-600°C for 30 minutes in an N2 ambient. We found an abrupt increase of contact resistance occurred at a sintering temperature of 600°C. From the leakage current of n+-p diode, we observed that the thermally stable temperature was about 475ycC. Meanwhile, XTEM photographs showed small Cu3Si crystallites with size of about 0.25 μm precipitated in the n+Si substrate at a sintering temperature 500°C. The formation of Cu3Si increases the occupied volume, generates the gap between TiSi2 and n+Si, and gradually increases the specific contact resistance. SIMS profiles also showed that a certain amount of Cu atoms diffused into the n+-p Si junction and that Si atoms existed in the Cu film. The Cu3Si formation across the n+-p junction can explain the abrupt increase in the leakage current measurement at 500°C. So the failure mechanisms for contact resistance and leakage current are different.
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