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While schizophrenia (SCZ) is a devastating psychiatric disorder that detrimentally affects a significant portion of the worldwide population, its diagnosis is traditionally based on a relatively subjective assessment of current symptoms and medical history, devoid of an objective diagnostic modality. Antipsychotic medications are commonly used in the treatment of SCZ; however, some patients have low remission rates or forsake treatment due to the associated multiple side effects, resulting in recurrent episodes of the disease and poor prognosis. These situations imply that the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of SCZ need to be improved to increase the odds of a better outcome. Mounting studies have found that extracellular vesicles (EVs) play essential roles in the central nervous system. They are implicated in several mechanisms closely associated with SCZ such as cellular communication and synaptic plasticity. They can additionally exhibit neuroprotective and therapeutic effects. Since they possess distinct constituents, are readily available, easily detectable, and dependent on the internal environment, they can potentially serve as reliable biomarkers for disease diagnosis. Moreover, their biological configuration along with their ability to increase the bioavailability of their constituents and modulate intricate intracellular reactions in target cells, propel EVs as new targets for treatment. This review paper summarizes relevant research pertaining to the roles of EVs in SCZ, with the aim of improving insights into SCZ pathogenesis and evaluating EVs as potential biomarkers in the diagnosis and treatment of SCZ.
Patients with geriatric depression exhibit a spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild to severe cognitive impairment which could potentially lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The aim of the study is to assess the alterations of the default mode network (DMN) in remitted geriatric depression (RGD) patients and whether it could serve as an underlying neuropathological mechanism associated with the risk of progression of AD.
A total of 154 participants, comprising 66 RGD subjects (which included 27 patients with comorbid amnestic mild cognitive impairment [aMCI] and 39 without aMCI [RGD]), 45 aMCI subjects without a history of depression (aMCI), and 43 matched healthy comparisons (HC), were recruited.
All participants completed neuropsychological tests and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)-seeded DMN functional connectivity (FC) along with cognitive function were compared among the four groups, and correlation analyses were conducted.
In contrast to HC, RGD, aMCI, and RGD-aMCI subjects showed significant impairment across all domains of cognitive functions except for attention. Furthermore, compared with HC, there was a similar and significant decrease in PCC-seed FC in the bilateral medial superior frontal gyrus (M-SFG) in the RGD, aMCI, and RGD-aMCI groups.
The aberrations in rsFC of the DMN were associated with cognitive deficits in RGD patients and might potentially reflect an underlying neuropathological mechanism for the increased risk of developing AD. Therefore, altered connectivity in the DMN could serve as a potential neural marker for the conversion of geriatric depression to AD.
Schizophrenia is a severe and complex psychiatric disorder that needs treatment based on extensive experience. Antipsychotic drugs have already become the cornerstone of the treatment for schizophrenia; however, the therapeutic effect is of significant variability among patients, and only around a third of patients with schizophrenia show good efficacy. Meanwhile, drug-induced metabolic syndrome and other side-effects significantly affect treatment adherence and prognosis. Therefore, strategies for drug selection are desperately needed. In this study, we will perform pharmacogenomics research and set up an individualised preferred treatment prediction model.
We aim to create a standard clinical cohort, with multidimensional index assessment of antipsychotic treatment for patients with schizophrenia.
This trial is designed as a randomised clinical trial comparing treatment with different kinds of antipsychotics. A total sample of 2000 patients with schizophrenia will be recruited from in-patient units from five clinical research centres. Using a computer-generated program, the participants will be randomly assigned to four treatment groups: aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine and risperidone. The primary outcomes will be measured as changes in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale of schizophrenia, which reflects the efficacy. Secondary outcomes include the measure of side-effects, such as metabolic syndromes. The efficacy evaluation and side-effects assessment will be performed at baseline, 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months.
This trial will assess the efficacy and side effects of antipsychotics and create a standard clinical cohort with a multi-dimensional index assessment of antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia patients.
This study aims to set up an individualized preferred treatment prediction model through the genetic analysis of patients using different kinds of antipsychotics.
The Ordovician–Silurian (O–S) transition was a critical interval in geological history. Multiple geochemical methods are used to explore the changes in oceanic environment. The Nd isotopic compositions in the Yangtze Sea are controlled by two sources: the continental erosion and the Panthalassa Ocean. High εNd(t) values during the Katian, late Hirnantian and Rhuddanian intervals are associated with the high sea level, which resulted in less terrestrial input based on the low Ti/Al and Zr/Al ratios. In contrast, low εNd(t) values during the early Hirnantian interval are related to the sea-level fall; in this case, the exposure of submarine highs and the growth of Yangtze Oldlands could lead to more continental materials being transported into the Yangtze Sea based on high Ti/Al and Zr/Al ratios. In addition, the negative εNd(t) excursion can also be attributed to the weak circulation between the Yangtze Sea and Panthalassa Ocean when sea level was low. Furthermore, the sea-level eustacy plays a significant role in the changes in redox water conditions. The redox indices, mainly UEF, Ce/Ce* and Corg/PT, across the O–S transition show a predominance of anoxic ocean over the Yangtze Sea during the Katian, late Hirnantian and Rhuddanian intervals, and an oxygenated episode was briefly introduced during the early Hirnantian period because of the fall in sea level. The Late Ordovician biotic crisis was marked by two-phase extinction events, and the change in sea level and redox chemistry may be the important kill mechanisms.
Val66Met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene has been suggested to be associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). There were a few reports of the relationship between the variant and late-onset depression (LOD) in Chinese Han population.
To investigate the relationship among BDNF Val66Met gene variants, BDNF plasma level and LOD.
Chinese Han patients with LOD (n = 99) and control subjects (n = 110) were assessed for BDNF Val66Met gene polymorphism. BDNF plasma level was tested only in LOD.
There were no significant differences in genotypes and allele frequencies between cases and controls (p = 0.744 and p = 0.845, respectively). Plasma BDNF level also did not show significant differences in three genotypes in LOD (p = 0.860).
The Val66Met polymorphism in BDNF gene may not confer susceptibility to LOD in Chinese Han population.
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