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Hearing impairment in older adults may affect cognitive function and increase the risk of dementia. Most cognitive tests are delivered auditorily, and individuals with hearing loss may fail to hear verbal instructions. Greater listening difficulty and fatigue in acoustic conditions may impact test performance. This study aimed to examine the effect of decreased audibility on cognitive screening test performance in older adults.
Older adults (n = 63) with different levels of hearing loss completed a standard auditory Mini-Mental State Examination test and a written version of the test.
Individuals with moderate to moderately severe hearing loss (41–70 dB) performed significantly better on the written (24.34 ± 4.90) than on the standard test (22.55 ± 6.25), whereas scores were not impacted for mild hearing loss (less than 40 dB).
Hearing evaluations should be included in cognitive assessment, and test performance should be carefully interpreted in individuals with hearing loss to avoid overestimating cognitive decline.
Visitors to zoos are a source of potential stress to certain captive-housed animals. Much research has focused on Europe and America, whereas the effect of human audiences on the behaviour of captive animals in Chinese parks has so far not been investigated. Sika deer (Cervus nippon) housed in Zhu-Yu-Wan Park, Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, were studied to determine the effect of different visitor density levels on the animals’ activity. From June 21 to December 10, 2006, and again from February 21 to July 10, 2007, 21 subjects were observed for 10 h per week for a total of 44 weeks. Continuous focal animal sampling was used to quantify behaviours, and visitor density was recorded every minute. Friedman's tests were used to examine the effects of visitor density on the behaviour of sika deer. Results showed that high visitor density was significantly related to foraging, resting, watching and ‘non-visible’ behaviours. The findings demonstrate that high numbers of visitors have an effect on the welfare of sika deer.
This study aimed to analyse the temporal and spatial trends in the burden of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder related to bullying victimisation on global, regional and country scales.
Data were from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study. We assessed the global disability-adjusted life years (DALYs, per 100 000 population) of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder attributable to bullying victimisation by age, sex and geographical location. The percentage changes in age-standardised rates of DALYs were used to quantify temporal trends, and the annual rate changes across 204 countries and territories were used to present spatial trends. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between the sociodemographic index (SDI) and the burden of anxiety disorders as well as major depressive disorder attributable to bullying victimisation and its spatial and temporal characteristics globally.
From 1990 to 2019, the global DALY rates of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder attributable to bullying victimisation increased by 23.31 and 26.60%, respectively, with 27.27 and 29.07% for females and 18.88 and 23.84% for males. Across the 21 GBD regions, the highest age-standardised rates of bullying victimisation-related DALYs for anxiety disorders were in North Africa and the Middle East and for major depressive disorder in High-income North America. From 1990 to 2019, the region with the largest percentage increase in the rates of DALYs was High-income North America (54.66% for anxiety disorders and 105.88% for major depressive disorder), whereas the region with the slowest growth rate or largest percentage decline was East Asia (1.71% for anxiety disorders and −25.37% for major depressive disorder). In terms of SDI, this study found overall upward trends of bullying-related mental disorders in areas regardless of the SDI levels, although there were temporary downward trends in some stages of certain areas.
The number and rates of DALYs of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder attributable to bullying victimisation increased from 1990 to 2019. Effective strategies to eliminate bullying victimisation in children and adolescents are needed to reduce the burden of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder. Considering the large variations in the burden by SDI and geographic location, future protective actions should be developed based on the specific cultural contexts, development status and regional characteristics of each country.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Developing alternatives to antibiotics is an urgent need in livestock production. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as powerful antibiotic substitutes (ASs) because AMPs have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and growth-promoting ability. Here, we aimed to comprehensively assess the effects of AMPs on the growth performance, diarrhea rate, intestinal morphology and immunity of healthy or challenged piglets, compared with an antibiotics group or negative control group. We performed a set of meta-analyses of feeding trials from database inception to 27 May 2019. Among the 1379 identified studies, 20 were included in our meta-analyses (56 arms and 4067 piglets). The meta-analyses revealed that (1) compared with the negative control group, AMPs significantly improved the healthy piglets’ average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain : feed ratio (G/F), levels of immune globulin (Ig) IgM and IgG, and intestinal villus height : crypt depth ratio (V/C) (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, AMPs significantly increased the challenged piglets’ ADG, ADFI, G/F and V/C of the jejunum and ileum, and notably deceased the diarrhea rate (P < 0.05); (2) compared with antibiotics group, the effects of AMPs were slightly weaker than those of antibiotics in the healthy piglets, but AMPs have similar effects to those of antibiotics in challenged piglets. In a higher purity, the optimal dose of AMPs may be approximately 0.01%. Our findings indicate that AMPs can improve piglet growth performance, enhance immunity, benefit intestinal morphology and decrease the diarrheal rate. AMPs could be great ASs especially under infection conditions.
Antibiotics are commonly used in intensive care units (ICUs), yet differences in antibiotic use across ICUs are unknown. Herein, we studied antibiotic use across ICUs and examined factors that contributed to variation.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study using data from Ontario’s Critical Care Information System (CCIS), which included 201 adult ICUs and 2,013,397 patient days from January 2012 to June 2016. Antibiotic use was measured in days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days. ICU factors included ability to provide ventilator support (level 3) or not (level 2), ICU type (medical-surgical or other), and academic status. Patient factors included severity of illness using multiple-organ dysfunction score (MODS), ventilatory support, and central venous catheter (CVC) use. We analyzed the effect of these factors on variation in antibiotic use.
Overall, 269,351 patients (56%) received antibiotics during their ICU stay. The mean antibiotic use was 624 (range 3–1460) DOT per 1,000 patient days. Antibiotic use was significantly higher in medical-surgical ICUs compared to other ICUs (697 vs 410 DOT per 1,000 patient days; P < .0001) and in level 3 ICUs compared to level 2 ICUs (751 vs 513 DOT per 1,000 patient days; P < .0001). Higher antibiotic use was associated with higher severity of illness and intensity of treatment. ICU and patient factors explained 47% of the variation in antibiotic use across ICUs.
Antibiotic use varies widely across ICUs, which is partially associated with ICUs and patient characteristics. These differences highlight the importance of antimicrobial stewardship to ensure appropriate use of antibiotics in ICU patients.
Available data suggest that sex hormone levels during puberty may affect symptom onset and expression, treatment responsiveness and outcomes in schizophrenia, whereas post-pubertal adolescents may have a similar clinical presentation and treatment response compared to adults with schizophrenia.
Post-hoc analyses were conducted to assess the similarity of short- and long-term efficacy between post-pubertal adolescents and adults with schizophrenia treated with aripiprazole.
Based on available European epidemiologic data, a cut-off age of 15 years was used to isolate a subgroup of mostly post-pubertal adolescents with schizophrenia in aripiprazole clinical studies. Outcome measures from this subgroup (ages 15-17; n=147) were then compared to outcomes from one adult study (n=853) on short and long-term measures of efficacy, including PANSS scores, response rates, and remission rates.
Comparable short and long-term treatment effects were observed on the PANSS total and subscale scores, demonstrated by overlapping 95% confidence intervals (mean change from baseline in PANSS total score (OC dataset): at week 6 in adults: -27,7; in adolescents 15-17 yr: -29,6; at week 30 in adults: -39,2; in adolescents 15-17 yr: -36). Percent of adolescents achieving response (defined as ≥ 30% decrease in PANSS total score from baseline) at 32 weeks (80,2%) on open label treatment was similar to that in adult studies at week 34 (80%) on double blind treatment (OC dataset).
Adolescents with schizophrenia (ages 15-17, mostly post-pubertal) demonstrate a positive treatment response in short-term and long-term studies which is similar to that observed in the adult patient population.
Efficacy of conventional repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in major depressive disorder (MDD) is limited. The authors report here on an alternative treatment using low energy synchronized TMS (sTMS) at the intrinsic frequency of subjects’ alpha electroencephalogram (EEG).
Establish efficacy and safety profile of sTMS in MDD.
(1) Examine the clinical effectiveness of sTMS.
(2) Identify adverse effects associated with sTMS.
Fifty-two MDD subjects with 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD17) scores >17 were enrolled into a randomized, sham controlled, double-blind trial. Current medication remained unchanged during the trial. Depressive symptoms were evaluated by HAMD17 administered weekly.
EEGs were recorded at baseline to determine the stimulus frequency and at week 4 to evaluate the physiological effect. sTMS was delivered through three 6000-G cylindrical neodymium magnets synchronously rotating at a rate equal to the subject's intrinsic alpha frequency.
Forty-five subjects completed at least 1 week of treatment and were evaluable. Those who received active treatment had superior clinical response to sham (t = 2.54, P = 0.01), where 55.2% in the active treatment group were clinical responders versus 12.5% in sham (X2 = 7.82, P = 0.005). No significant side effects were reported. The clinical improvement was correlated with the degree of EEG improvement (r = .46, P = 0.009).
A therapeutic effect in MDD subjects can be achieved through administration of sTMS at the subject's alpha EEG frequency. Because of minimal side effects, this appears to be a safe and effective treatment option.
An increasing number of studies have described the relationship between velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) and schizophrenia. in a family-based study, we found that rs10314, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) present in the 3’-flanking region of the CLDN5 gene, was associated with schizophrenia among a Chinese population. High false positive rate is a common problem with the association study of human diseases. It is very important to replicate an initial finding with different samples and experimental designs.
A total of 749 patients with schizophrenia and 383 age and sex matched healthy control subjects in Chinese population were recruited. PCR-based RFLP protocol was applied to genotype rs10314 to see its disease association.
The χ2 goodness-of-fit test showed that the genotypic distributions of rs10314 were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in both the patient group (χ2=1.12, P=0.289) and the control group (χ2=0.22, P=0.639). rs10314 was associated with schizophrenia with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.32 in the male subjects (χ2=5.45, P=0.02, 95% CI 1.05-1.67) but not in the female subjects (χ2=0.64, P=0.425, OR=1.14, 95% CI 0.83-1.57). the χ2 test showed a genotypic association only for combined samples (χ2=7.80, df=2, P=0.02). SNP rs10314 is a G to C base change. Frequency of the genotypes containing the C allele was significantly higher in the patient group than in the control group.
The present work shows that the CLDN5 gene polymorphism is more likely to be involved in schizophrenic men than women, suggesting that this gene may contribute to the gender differences in schizophrenia.
We aimed to identify the association of hydration status with insulin resistance (IR) and body fat distribution. A total of 14 344 adults participated in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008–2010. We used urine specific gravity (USG) to indicate hydration status, and HOMA-IR (homoeostasis model assessment of IR) and trunk:leg fat ratio (TLR) as primary outcomes. In multivariate logistic regression, the OR per 0·01 increase in USG for high IR was 1·303 (95 % CI 1·185, 1·433; P < 0·001). In multivariate generalised additive model plots, increased USG showed a J-shaped association with logarithmic HOMA-IR, with the lowest Akaike’s information criterion score of USG 1·030. Moreover, increased USG was independently associated with increased trunk fat, decreased leg fat and increased TLR. In mediation analysis, the proportion of mediation effects of USG on TLR via IR was 0·193 (95 % CI 0·132, 0·285; P < 0·001), while the proportion of mediation effects of USG on IR via TLR was 0·130 (95 % CI 0·086, 0·188; P < 0·001). Increased USG, a sign of low hydration status and presumably high vasopressin, was associated with IR and poor fat distribution. Direct effect of low hydration status may be more dominant than indirect effect via IR or fat distribution. Further studies are necessary to confirm our findings.
Atomically thin 2D materials exhibit strong intralayer covalent bonding and weak interlayer van der Waals interactions, offering unique high in-plane strength and out-of-plane flexibility. While atom-thick nature of 2D materials may cause uncontrolled intrinsic/extrinsic deformation in multiple length scales, it also provides new opportunities for exploring coupling between heterogeneous deformations and emerging functionalities in controllable and scalable ways for electronic, optical, and optoelectronic applications. In this review, we discuss (i) the mechanical characteristics of 2D materials, (ii) uncontrolled inherent deformation and extrinsic heterogeneity present in 2D materials, (iii) experimental strategies for controlled heterogeneous deformation of 2D materials, (iv) 3D structure-induced novel functionalities via crumple/wrinkle structure or kirigami structures, and (v) heterogeneous strain-induced emerging functionalities in exciton and phase engineering. Overall, heterogeneous deformation offers unique advantages for 2D materials research by enabling spatial tunability of 2D materials' interactions with photons, electrons, and molecules in a programmable and controlled manner.
Optimal stroke care requires access to resources such as neuroimaging, acute revascularization, rehabilitation, and stroke prevention services, which may not be available in rural areas. We aimed to determine geographic access to stroke care for residents of rural communities in the province of Ontario, Canada.
We used the Ontario Road Network File database linked with the 2016 Ontario Acute Stroke Care Resource Inventory to estimate the proportion of people in rural communities, defined as those with a population size <10,000, who were within 30, 60, and 240 minutes of travel time by car from stroke care services, including brain imaging, thrombolysis treatment centers, stroke units, stroke prevention clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and endovascular treatment centers.
Of the 1,496,262 people residing in rural communities, the majority resided within 60 minutes of driving time to a center with computed tomography (85%), thrombolysis (81%), a stroke unit (68%), a stroke prevention clinic (74%), or inpatient rehabilitation (77.0%), but a much lower proportion (32%) were within 60 minutes of driving time to a center capable of providing endovascular thrombectomy (EVT).
Most rural Ontario residents have appropriate geographic access to stroke services, with the exception of EVT. This information may be useful for jurisdictions seeking to optimize the regional organization of stroke care services.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
Triploid and pentaploid breeding is of great importance in agricultural production, but it is not always easy to obtain double ploidy parents. However, in fishes, chromosome ploidy is diversiform, which may provide natural parental resources for triploid and pentaploid breeding. Both tetraploid and hexaploid exist in Schizothorax fishes, which were thought to belong to different subfamilies with tetraploid Percocypris fishes in morphology, but they are sister genera in molecule. Fortunately, the pentaploid hybrid fishes have been successfully obtained by hybridization of Schizothorax wangchiachii (♀, 2n = 6X = 148) × Percocypris pingi (♂, 2n = 4X = 98). To understand the genetic and morphological difference among the hybrid fishes and their parents, four methods were used in this study: morphology, karyotype, red blood cell (RBC) DNA content determination and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). In morphology, the hybrid fishes were steady, and between their parents with no obvious preference. The chromosome numbers of P. pingi have been reported as 2n = 4X = 98. In this study, the karyotype of S. wangchiachii was 2n = 6X = 148 = 36m + 34sm + 12st + 66t, while that the hybrid fishes was 2n = 5X = 123 = 39m + 28sm + 5st + 51t. Similarly, the RBC DNA content of the hybrid fishes was intermediate among their parents. In ISSR, the within-group genetic diversity of hybrid fishes was higher than that of their parents. Moreover, the genetic distance of hybrid fishes between P. pingi and S.wangchiachii was closely related to that of their parental ploidy, suggesting that parental genetic material stably coexisted in the hybrid fishes. This is the first report to show a stable pentaploid F1 hybrids produced by hybridization of a hexaploid and a tetraploid in aquaculture.
This study sets out to determine the influence of age at the time of surgery as a risk factor for post-operative length of stay after bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis.
All patients undergoing a Glenn procedure between January 2010 and July 2015 were included in this retrospective cohort study. Demographic data were examined. Standard descriptive statistics was used. A univariable analysis was conducted using the appropriate test based on data distribution. A propensity score for balancing the group difference was included in the multi-variable analysis, which was then completed using predictors from the univariable analysis that achieved significance of p<0.1.
Over the study period, 50 patients met the inclusion criteria. Patients were separated into two cohorts of ⩾4 months (28 patients) and <4 months (22 patients). Other than height and weight, the two cohorts were indistinguishable in their pre-operative saturation, medications, catheterisation haemodynamics, atrioventricular valve regurgitation, and ventricular function. After adjusting group differences, younger age was associated with longer post-operative length of hospitalisation – adjusted mean 15 (±2.53) versus 8 (±2.15) days (p=0.03). In a multi-variable regression analysis, in addition to ventricular dysfunction (β coefficient=8.8, p=0.05), Glenn procedures performed before 4 months were independently associated with longer length of stay (β coefficient=−6.9, p=0.03).
We found that Glenn procedures performed after 4 months of age had shorter post-operative length of stay when compared to a younger cohort. These findings suggest that balancing timing of surgery to decrease the inter-stage period should take into consideration differences in post-operative recovery with earlier operations.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy is an effective and safe treatment for allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. Different symptom scores are used to evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous immunotherapy in clinical trials.
A total of 58 allergic rhinitis patients sensitised to house dust mites, with or without mild asthma, were included. Symptom score, medication score, visual analogue scale score and quality of life were assessed before and after 6, 12 and 24 months of subcutaneous immunotherapy.
After two years of subcutaneous immunotherapy, asthma symptom scores nearly reached zero, whereas the scores remained higher for nasal symptoms. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different (p < 0.05) and occurred faster than the changes in nasal symptom scores when compared between monosensitised and polysensitised groups. Significant reductions in visual analogue scale score and medication score were demonstrated after subcutaneous immunotherapy.
Two-year subcutaneous immunotherapy with house dust mite vaccine is an effective treatment for both monosensitised and polysensitised allergic patients. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different and occurred quicker than the changes in nasal symptom scores in Chinese house dust mite allergic patients.
Feeding ruminants a high-grain (HG) diet is a widely used strategy to improve milk yield and cost efficiency. However, it may cause certain metabolic disorders. At present, information about the effects of HG diets on the systemic metabolic profile of goats and the correlation of such diets with rumen bacteria is limited. In the present study, goats were randomly divided into two groups: one was fed the hay diet (hay; n = 5), while the other was fed HG diets (HG; n = 5). On day 50, samples of rumen contents, peripheral blood serum and liver tissues were collected to determine the metabolic profiles in the rumen fluid, liver and serum and the microbial composition in rumen. The results revealed that HG diets reduced (P < 0.05) the community richness and diversity of rumen microbiota, with an increase in the Chao 1 and Shannon index and a decrease in the Simpson index. HG diets also altered the composition of rumen microbiota, with 30 genera affected (P < 0.05). Data on the metabolome showed that the metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were affected (variable importance projection > 1, P <0.05) by dietary treatment, with 47, 10 and 27 metabolites identified as differentially metabolites. Pathway analysis showed that the common metabolites in the shared key pathway (aminoacyl-transfer RNA biosynthesis) in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were glycine, lysine and valine. These findings suggested that HG diets changed the composition of the rumen microbiota and metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum, mainly involved in amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide new insights into the understanding of diet-related systemic metabolism and the effects of HG diets on the overall health of goats.