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Social functioning is crucial for daily living and is an essential indicator of dementia in patients with Parkinson's disease. The pattern of social functioning in patients with Parkinson's disease without dementia (i.e. those who are cognitively intact or have mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI)) and its determinants are unclear.
In exploring the heterogeneity of social functioning among patients with Parkinson's disease-associated dementia, we determined the optimal cut-off score of the Parkinson's Disease Social Functioning Scale (PDSFS) for patients with PD-MCI, and the variables influencing patients’ social functioning.
A total of 302 participants underwent the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and PDSFS; 120 patients with Parkinson's disease completed the measurements (MMSE, Activities of Daily Living Scale and Neuropsychiatric Inventory). Group comparisons, receiver operating characteristic curves, Spearman correlation and multiple and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted.
The PD-MCI group scored the lowest on the PDSFS (F = 10.10, P < 0.001). The PDSFS cut-off score was 53 (area under the curve 0.700, sensitivity 0.800, specificity 0.534). The MMSE (β = 0.293, P = 0.002), Activities of Daily Living Scale (β = 0.189, P = 0.028) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (β = −0.216, P = 0.005) scores predicted the PDSFS score. Further, there was an interaction effect between the Activities of Daily Living Scale and Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores on the PDSFS score (β = 0.305, P < 0.001).
We determined a PDSFS cut-off score for detecting PD-MCI and found that patients with PD-MCI have social dysfunction. Future research should focus on the effects of neuropsychiatry symptoms and activities of daily living on social functioning, and tailor the intervention programme for patients with Parkinson's disease.
Although maternal mental illnesses have been found to influence child health and development, little is known about the impact of maternal positive well-being on child health and development. Therefore, this longitudinal study investigated the effects of prenatal subjective well-being on birth outcomes and child development by considering the potential modifier effect of parity.
Pregnant women in early stages of pregnancy were recruited at five selected hospitals in Taipei, Taiwan, during their prenatal appointments since 2011. Self-reported evaluations were conducted at seven time points up to 2 years postpartum. Linear regression and generalized estimating equation models were used for examination.
Higher prenatal eudaimonic well-being was associated with longer gestational length (adjusted beta [aβ] = 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.03, 0.68) and higher birth weight (aβ = 124.71, 95% CI = 35.75, 213.66). Higher positive and negative affect were associated with longer gestational length (aβ = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.06, 0.70) and smaller birth weight (aβ = −93.51, 95% CI = −178.35, −8.67), respectively. For child’s outcomes, we found an association between higher prenatal eudaimonic well-being and decreased risks of suspected developmental delay, particularly for children of multiparous mothers (adjusted odds ratio = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.05, 0.70). Higher levels of prenatal depression and anxiety were significantly associated with increased risks of suspected developmental delay for children of primiparous mothers.
Positive prenatal maternal mental health may benefit birth outcomes and child development, particularly for children of multiparous mothers. Interventions for improving prenatal mental health may be beneficial for child development.
Contrasting the well-described effects of early intervention (EI) services for youth-onset psychosis, the potential benefits of the intervention for adult-onset psychosis are uncertain. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of EI on functioning and symptomatic improvement in adult-onset psychosis, and the optimal duration of the intervention.
360 psychosis patients aged 26–55 years were randomized to receive either standard care (SC, n = 120), or case management for two (2-year EI, n = 120) or 4 years (4-year EI, n = 120) in a 4-year rater-masked, parallel-group, superiority, randomized controlled trial of treatment effectiveness (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00919620). Primary (i.e. social and occupational functioning) and secondary outcomes (i.e. positive and negative symptoms, and quality of life) were assessed at baseline, 6-month, and yearly for 4 years.
Compared with SC, patients with 4-year EI had better Role Functioning Scale (RFS) immediate [interaction estimate = 0.008, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.001–0.014, p = 0.02] and extended social network (interaction estimate = 0.011, 95% CI = 0.004–0.018, p = 0.003) scores. Specifically, these improvements were observed in the first 2 years. Compared with the 2-year EI group, the 4-year EI group had better RFS total (p = 0.01), immediate (p = 0.01), and extended social network (p = 0.05) scores at the fourth year. Meanwhile, the 4-year (p = 0.02) and 2-year EI (p = 0.004) group had less severe symptoms than the SC group at the first year.
Specialized EI treatment for psychosis patients aged 26–55 should be provided for at least the initial 2 years of illness. Further treatment up to 4 years confers little benefits in this age range over the course of the study.
Evidence on sex-specific incidence and comorbidity risk factors of suicide among patients with bipolar disorder is scarce. This study investigated the sex-specific risk profiles for suicide among the bipolar disorder population in terms of incidence, healthcare utilization and comorbidity.
Using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2016, this nationwide cohort study included patients with bipolar disorder (N = 46 490) and individuals representative of the general population (N = 185 960) matched by age and sex at a 1:4 ratio. Mortality rate ratios (MRRs) of suicide were calculated between suicide rates of bipolar disorder cohort and general population. In addition, a nested case–control study (1428 cases died by suicide and 5710 living controls) was conducted in the bipolar disorder cohort to examine the sex-specific risk of healthcare utilization and comorbidities.
Suicide risk was considerably higher in the cohort (MRR = 21.9) than in the general population, especially among women (MRR = 35.6). Sex-stratified analyses revealed distinct healthcare utilization patterns and physical comorbidity risk profiles between the sexes. Although female patients who died by suicide had higher risks of nonhypertensive cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, chronic kidney disease, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, and sepsis compared to their living counterparts, male patients who died by suicide had higher risks of chronic kidney disease and sepsis compared to the living controls.
Patients with bipolar disorder who died by suicide had sex-specific risk profiles in incidence and physical comorbidities. Identifying these modifiable risk factors may guide interventions for suicide risk reduction.
The coexistence of underweight (UW) and overweight (OW)/obese (OB) at the population level is known to affect iron deficiency (ID) anaemia (IDA), but how the weight status affects erythropoiesis during pregnancy is less clear at a population scale. This study investigated associations between the pre-pregnancy BMI (pBMI) and erythropoiesis-related nutritional deficiencies.
Anthropometry, blood biochemistry and 24-h dietary recall data were collected during prenatal care visits. The weight status was defined based on the pBMI. Mild nutrition deficiency-related erythropoiesis was defined if individuals had an ID, folate depletion or a vitamin B12 deficiency.
The Nationwide Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (Pregnant NAHSIT 2017–2019).
We included 1456 women aged 20 to 45 years with singleton pregnancies.
Among these pregnant women, 9·6 % were UW, and 29·2 % were either OW (15·8 %) or OB (13·4 %). A U-shaped association between the pBMI and IDA was observed, with decreased odds (OR; 95 % CI) for OW subjects (0·6; 95 % CI (0·4, 0·9)) but increased odds for UW (1·2; 95 % CI (0·8, 2·0)) and OB subjects (1·2; 95 % CI (0·8, 1·8)). The pBMI was positively correlated with the prevalence of a mild nutritional deficiency. Compared to normal weight, OB pregnant women had 3·4-fold (3·4; 95 % CI (1·4, 8·1)) higher odds for multiple mild nutritional deficiencies, while UW individuals had lowest odds (0·3; 95 % CI (0·1, 1·2)). A dietary analysis showed negative relationships of pBMI with energy, carbohydrates, protein, Fe and folate intakes, but positive relationship with fat intakes.
The pre-pregnancy weight status can possibly serve as a good nutritional screening tool for preventing IDA during pregnancy.
Although the relationship between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and transport accidents has been shown, there is limited information on the relationship between medication and dose–response effects and transport accident risk. This study aims to determine whether young people with ADHD, including adolescents, are more prone to transport accidents than those without, and the extent to which methylphenidate (MPH) prescription in these patients reduces the risk.
We identified 114 486 patients diagnosed with ADHD from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database from 1997 to 2013. Using a Cox regression model, we compared the risk of transport accidents between ADHD and non-ADHD groups and estimated the effect of MPH on accidents. Furthermore, we applied a self-control case-series analysis to compare the risk of accidents during the medication periods with the same patients' non-medication periods.
Male ADHD patients had a higher risk of transport accidents than non-ADHD individuals (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 1.24, [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–1.39]), especially for those comorbid with epilepsy, oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD), and intellectual disabilities (ID). Female ADHD patients showed no relationship, except for comorbid with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or ID. We found a reduced risk of transport accidents in patients with ADHD with MPH medication than those without MPH, with a plausible dose–response relationship (aHR of 0.23 to 0.07). A similar pattern was found in self-controlled case-series analysis.
Male patients with ADHD, especially those comorbid with epilepsy, ODD/CD, or ID, were at high risk of transport accidents. Female patients, when comorbid with ASD or ID, also exhibited a higher risk of accidents. MPH treatment lowered the accident risk with a dose–response relationship.
Lysosomes are integration hubs for several signaling pathways, such as autophagy and endocytosis, and also crucial stores of ions, including Zn2+. Lysosomal dysfunction caused by changes in their morphology by fusion and fission processes can result in several pathological disorders. However, the role of Zn2+ in modulating the morphology of lysosomes is unclear. The resolution of conventional epifluorescence microscopy restricts accurate observation of morphological changes of subcellular fluorescence punctum. In this study, we used a modified epifluorescence microscopy to identify the center of a punctum from a series of z-stack images and calculate the morphological changes. We stained primary cultured rat embryonic cortical neurons with FluoZin3, a Zn2+-sensitive fluorescent dye, and Lysotracker, a lysosome-specific marker, to visualize the distribution of Zn2+-enriched vesicles and lysosomes, respectively. Our results revealed that treating neurons with N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine, a cell-permeable Zn2+ chelator, shrank Zn2+-enriched vesicles and lysosomes by up to 25% in an hour. Pretreating the neurons with YM201636, a blocker of lysosome fission, could suppress this shrinkage. These results demonstrate the usefulness of the modified epifluorescence microscopy for investigating the homeostasis of intracellular organelles and related disorders.
In this article, we discuss the backgrounds and technical details about several smart manufacturing projects in a tier-one electronics manufacturing facility. We devise a process to manage logistic forecast and inventory preparation for electronic parts using historical data and a recurrent neural network to achieve significant improvement over current methods. We present a system for automatically qualifying laptop software for mass production through computer vision and automation technology. The result is a reliable system that can save hundreds of man-years in the qualification process. Finally, we create a deep learning-based algorithm for visual inspection of product appearances, which requires significantly less defect training data compared to traditional approaches. For production needs, we design an automatic optical inspection machine suitable for our algorithm and process. We also discuss the issues for data collection and enabling smart manufacturing projects in a factory setting, where the projects operate on a delicate balance between process innovations and cost-saving measures.
Sample geometry effects on mechanical strengths of gold micro-cantilevers are evaluated by a micro-bending test. Six micro-cantilevers with the same length of 50 μm are prepared, and the width and the thickness are varied to examine individual effects on the yield stress. The yield stress increases from 428 to 519 MPa when the thickness decreases from 11.1 to 6.0 μm. No obvious dependency is observed when varying the width. The results reveal that the thickness and the width each has a different influence on the yield stresses of micro-cantilevers evaluated by the bending test, which is the sample geometry effect.
Both konjac glucomannan (KGM) and inulin oligosaccharide have been shown to improve bowel function, but their effects on the mucosal barrier function and immunity are not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of a low-level supplementation of dietary fibres on the colonic mucosal barrier function, antioxidant enzyme defence and immunity. C57BL/6J mice (6 weeks of age, eight per group) were randomly assigned to consume one of the following diets: control or control diet supplemented with 2 % (w/w) of KGM, inulin oligosaccharide (degree polymerisation = 8) or KGM+inulin (1 %, w/w each (K+I)). Fresh faeces were collected on days 19–21. Mice were killed on day 22 after fasting. Segments of colon tissues were processed for histological procedure and stained for acidic mucins and tight junction protein marker zona occludin-1 (ZO-1). The remaining tissues were processed to determine the gene expression of mucin 2, tight junction proteins, antioxidant enzymes and cytokines. The plasma cytokines were measured. Results indicated that KGM, inulin and K+I significantly increased the mucosal layer thickness, mucin density (granule number/crypt) and gene expression of Muc2 as compared with the control. All fibre treatments increased the gene expressions of ZO-1, occludin, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase π, catalase and IL-10. In addition, all fibre treatments increased faecal butyrate and probiotics, and plasma IL-10 concentrations. In conclusion, supplementation of low-level, 2 % (w/w), of K+I was sufficient to enhance the mucosal barrier function and anti-inflammatory status.
This paper investigates a wideband and low axial ratio circularly polarized (CP) antenna, which is composed of a monopole on a novel polarization rotating reflective surface (PRRS) based on a corner-truncated artificial magnetic conductor (AMC) structure. By adjusting the dimensions of truncated corner properly, the PRRS has two polarization rotation (PR) frequency points. Then, a large PR band of 18% (5.55–6.65 GHz) can be achieved with two adjacent PR frequency points coming together. The profile of the newly PRRS is only0.04λ0. With corner-truncated AMC-based PRRS loading, a measured impedance bandwidth of 1.8 GHz (5.4–7.2 GHz) and the 3 dB axial ratio bandwidth of 1 GHz (5.55–6.65 GHz) could be obtained by the monopole antenna and validated by measurements. The values of AR were well below 1 dB at most of the CP region, which show a perfect CP performance. Moreover, the proposed antenna has exhibited a large axial ratio beamwidth in both the xoz- and yoz-planes and a peak gain of 6.1 dBic within the operational bandwidth.
Evidence regarding the relationships between the socioeconomic status and
long-term outcomes of individuals with bipolar affective disorder (BPD)
We aimed to estimate the effects of baseline socioeconomic status on
A national cohort of adult participants with newly diagnosed BPD was
identified in 2008. The effects of personal and household socioeconomic
status were explored on outcomes of hospital treatment, mortality and
healthcare costs, over a 3-year follow-up period (2008–2011).
A total of 7987 participants were recruited. The relative risks of
hospital treatment and mortality were found elevated for the ones from
low-income households who also had higher healthcare costs. Low premium
levels did not correlate with future healthcare costs.
Socioeconomic deprivation is associated with poorer outcome and higher
healthcare costs in BPD patients. Special care should be given to those
with lower socioeconomic status to improve outcomes with potential
benefits of cost savings in the following years.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
The hydrobaric effect on photoactivity of titanium dioxide (TiO2) fabricated by cathodic deposition in an aqueous solution was evaluated in this study. When the applied pressure was increased to 35 MPa, the water-splitting performance was improved by almost fourfold of the performance of the TiO2 prepared at atmospheric pressure. The surface states effect was significant in the deposited TiO2, which was exploited to affect the charges recombination of TiO2, and thereby enhance the resultant photoelectrochemical water-splitting performance. The hydrobaric cathodic deposition could be extended to fabrication of other metal oxides to eliminate the negative influence from the high-temperature process.
Recent studies have suggested an association between vitamin D and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, some results are subject to debate. This study was carried out to evaluate the correlation between NAFLD and vitamin D in men and women in East China. The data were obtained from a cross-sectional study that focused on the health and metabolic status of adults in sixteen areas of East China. According to ultrasonic assessments, the patients were divided into normal and NAFLD groups. Demographic characteristics and biochemical measurements were obtained. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to explore the association. In total, 5066 subjects were enrolled, and 2193 (43·3 %) were diagnosed with NAFLD; 84·56 % of the subjects showed vitamin D deficiency. Subjects with high vitamin D levels had a lower prevalence of NAFLD, particularly male subjects. Within the highest quartile of vitamin D levels, the prevalence of NAFLD was 40·8 %, whereas the lowest quartile of vitamin D levels showed a prevalence of 62·2 %, which was unchanged in women across the vitamin D levels. Binary logistic analysis showed that decreased vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of NAFLD (OR 1·54; 95 % CI 1·26, 1·88). This study suggests that vitamin D levels are significantly associated with NAFLD and that vitamin D acts as an independent factor for NAFLD prevalence, particularly in males in East China. Vitamin D interventional treatment might be a new target for controlling NAFLD; elucidating the mechanism requires further research.
Introduction: The mortality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its associated risk factors among clinically definite PD patients in China has been rarely investigated. Our study aimed to identify the mortality rates and predictors of death in PD patients in China. Methods: 157 consecutive, clinically definite PD patients from the urban area of Shanghai were recruited from a central hospital based movement disorder clinic in 2006. All patients were regularly followed up at the clinic until December 31, 2011, or death. Mortality and associations with baseline demographics, health and medical factors were then determined within the cohort. Results: After 5 years, 11(7%) patients had died. The standardised mortality ratio was 0.62 (95% CI 0.32 to 1.07, P=0.104). The main causes of death were pneumonia (54.5%, 6/11) and digestive disorders (18.2%, 2/11), respectively. Age at onset, independent living, the mini mental state examination score, the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale score and the Epworth sleepiness scale score at baseline were statistically significantly different between the survival group and the deceased group (P<0.05). Across all participants, risk factors for death included low mini mental state examination score, and high Epworth sleepiness scale score according to a binary variable logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: This study confirms the similar survival of patients with PD to the control population up to a follow-up of 5 years. Interventions tailored to potential risk factors associated with death may offer further benefits.
It is common for patients to experience positive and negative psychological changes (e.g., posttraumatic growth or demoralization) after being diagnosed with cancer. Although demoralization and posttraumatic growth are both related to meaning-making, little attention has been paid to the associations among these concepts. The current study investigated the relationship between demoralization, posttraumatic growth, and meaning-making (focusing on sense-making and benefit-finding during the experience of illness) in cancer patients.
Some 200 cancer patients (with lung cancer, lymphoma, or leukemia) at the MacKay Memorial Hospital in New Taipei completed the Demoralization Scale–Mandarin Version (DS–MV), the Chinese Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (CPTGI), and a self-designed questionnaire for assessing sense-making and benefit-finding.
Demoralization was negatively correlated with posttraumatic growth, sense-making, benefit-finding, and time-since-diagnosis. Multiple regression analysis showed that meaning-making had different effects on demoralization and posttraumatic growth. The interactions of sense-making with either benefit-finding or time-since-diagnosis significantly predicted demoralization. Individuals with relatively higher sense-making and benefit-finding or shorter time-since-diagnosis experienced less demoralization.
Significance of Results:
The suffering of cancer may turn on the psychological process of demoralization, posttraumatic growth, and meaning-making in patients. Cancer patients who evidenced higher posttraumatic growth experienced less demoralization. Trying to identify positive changes in the experience of cancer may be a powerful way to increase posttraumatic growth. As time goes by, patients experienced less demoralization. Facilitating sense-making can have similar effects. Cancer patients with less benefit-finding experience higher demoralization, but sense-making buffers this effect.