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It is unclear whether the enhancing contact model (ECM) intervention is effective in reducing family caregiving burden and improving hope and quality of life (QOL) among family caregivers of persons with schizophrenia (FCPWS).
We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in FCPWS in eight rural townships in Xinjin, Chengdu, China. In total, 253 FCPWS were randomly allocated to the ECM, psychoeducational family intervention (PFI), or treatment as usual (TAU) group. FCPWS in three groups were assessed caregiving burden, QOL and state of hope at baseline (T0), post-intervention (T1), 3-month (T2), and 9-month (T3) follow-up, respectively.
Compared with participants in the TAU group, participants in the ECM group had statistically significantly lower caregiving burden scores both at T1 and T2 (p = 0.0059 and 0.0257, respectively). Compared with participants in the TAU group, participants in the PFI group had statistically significantly higher QOL scores in T1 (p = 0.0406), while participants in the ECM group had statistically significantly higher QOL scores in T3 (p = 0.0240). Participants in both ECM and PFI groups had statistically significantly higher hope scores than those in the TAU group at T1 (p = 0.0160 and 0.0486, respectively).
This is the first study to explore the effectiveness of ECM on reducing family caregiving burden and improving hope and QOL in rural China. The results indicate the ECM intervention, a comprehensive and multifaceted intervention, is more effective than the PFI in various aspects of mental wellbeing among FCPWS. Future research needs to confirm ECM's effectiveness in various population.
Pharmacological treatment of major depressive disorder is often inefficient, and multiple strategies are used for inadequate response to antidepressants. Second-generation antipsychotics are used as augmentation measures in clinical practice; evidence of their efficacy and acceptability is insufficient, and it remains confusing as to which drug should be selected first. In this systematic review and network meta-analysis, we included randomised controlled trials of second-generation antipsychotics used as adjunctive treatment in patients with suboptimal responses. Outcome measures were efficacy (response and remission) and acceptability (dropout due to any reason and adverse events). Thirty-three trials comprising 10 602 participants were included. Regarding efficacy, response rates indicated that all antipsychotics except for ziprasidone were more efficacious than the placebo, with the odds ratios (ORs) ranging from 1.34 for olanzapine and cariprazine [95% credible interval (CrI) 1.04–1.73 and 1.07–1.67, respectively] to 2.17 for risperidone (95% CrI 1.38–3.42). When considering remission, cariprazine was not effective (OR 1.21, 95% CrI 0.96–1.54). For acceptability, quetiapine (OR 0.68, 95% CrI 0.50–0.91), brexpiprazole (OR 0.69, 95% CrI 0.55–0.86), and cariprazine (OR 0.61, 95% CrI 0.46–0.82) were worse than the placebo. With regards to tolerability, only olanzapine (OR 0.51, 95% CrI 0.25–1.07) and risperidone (OR 0.48, 95% CrI 0.10–2.21) showed no significant differences compared with placebo. The administration of adjunctive antipsychotics is associated with high effectiveness and low acceptability. Risperidone and aripiprazole are more efficacious and accepted than other atypical antipsychotics.
This paper investigates whether pollution-intensive industries develop faster in a time of economic downturn. Using firm-level panel data from 2005 to 2013, we find supporting empirical results in an analysis of China's manufacturing industries in the 2008 economic crisis. We find that pollution-intensive firms tended to produce more compared with non-pollution-intensive firms in the 2008 economic crisis, with the pre-crisis period as a baseline. We further find that this effect is more pronounced in areas with higher export dependence and a smaller proportion of production from pollution-intensive industries. The relatively faster production expansion in pollution-intensive industries is more evident for state-owned enterprises.
The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition, with symptoms appearing in the early developmental period. Little is known about its current burden at the global, regional and national levels. This systematic analysis aims to summarise the latest magnitudes and temporal trends of ASD burden, which is essential to facilitate more detailed development of prevention and intervention strategies.
The data on ASD incidence, prevalence, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 204 countries and territories between 1990 and 2019 came from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The average annual percentage change was calculated to quantify the secular trends in age-standardised rates (ASRs) of ASD burden by region, sex and age.
In 2019, there were an estimated 60.38 × 104 [95% uncertainty interval (UI) 50.17–72.01] incident cases of ASD, 283.25 × 105 (95% UI 235.01–338.11) prevalent cases and 43.07 × 105 (95% UI 28.22–62.32) DALYs globally. The ASR of incidence slightly increased by around 0.06% annually over the past three decades, while the ASRs of prevalence and DALYs both remained stable over the past three decades. In 2019, the highest burden of ASD was observed in high-income regions, especially in high-income North America, high-income Asia Pacific and Western Europe, where a significant growth in ASRs was also observed. The ASR of ASD burden in males was around three times that of females, but the gender difference was shrunk with the pronounced increase among females. Of note, among the population aged over 65 years, the burden of ASD presented increasing trends globally.
The global burden of ASD continues to increase and remains a major mental health concern. These substantial heterogeneities in ASD burden worldwide highlight the need for making suitable mental-related policies and providing special social and health services.
Metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) might be an alternative valuable target in obesity treatment. We aimed to assess whether alternative Mediterranean (aMED) diet and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were favourably associated with obesity and MHO phenotype in a Chinese multi-ethnic population. We conducted this cross-sectional analysis using the baseline data of the China Multi-Ethnic Cohort study that enrolled 99 556 participants from seven diverse ethnic groups. Participants with self-reported cardiometabolic diseases were excluded to eliminate possible reverse causality. Marginal structural logistic models were used to estimate the associations, with confounders determined by directed acyclic graph (DAG). Among 65 699 included participants, 11·2 % were with obesity. MHO phenotype was present in 5·7 % of total population and 52·7 % of population with obesity. Compared with the lowest quintile, the highest quintile of DASH diet score had 23 % decreased odds of obesity (OR = 0·77, 95 % CI 0·71, 0·83, Ptrend < 0·001) and 27 % increased odds of MHO (OR = 1·27, 95 % CI 1·10, 1·48, Ptrend = 0·001) in population with obesity. However, aMED diet showed no obvious favourable associations. Further adjusting for BMI did not change the associations between diet scores and MHO. Results were robust to various sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, DASH diet rather than aMED diet is associated with reduced risk of obesity and presents BMI-independent metabolic benefits in this large population-based study. Recommendation for adhering to DASH diet may benefit the prevention of obesity and related metabolic disorders in Chinese population.
This study examined the pattern of medical utilization and the distribution of comorbidities shortly before death among adolescents who died from suicide and compared these data with those of living controls.
From Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, this study identified adolescents aged 10–19 years who died from suicide (n = 935) between 1 January 2000, and 31 December 2016, by linking each patient with the national mortality database. The researchers conducted a nested case–control study through risk set sampling, and for each case, 20 age- and sex-matched controls (n = 18 700) were selected from the general population. The researchers applied conditional logistic regression to investigate differences in medical utilization and physical and psychiatric comorbidities between cases and controls.
Cases had a higher proportion of contact with the psychiatric department but a similar proportion of contact with any non-psychiatric medical department within 1 year before suicide compared with controls. There were 18.6% of adolescent suicide victims who only had contacted with a psychiatric department 3 months before suicide. Moreover, cases had a higher proportion of contact with non-psychiatric services within 3 months before suicide, particularly with emergency, surgery, and internal medicine departments. Cases had higher risks of several psychiatric disorders and physical illnesses, including heart diseases, pneumonia, and ulcer disease, than did controls.
The findings of increased medical utilization and higher risks of physical and psychiatric comorbidities in adolescent suicide victims are crucial for developing specific interventions to prevent suicide in this population.
Cancer remains the leading cause of death worldwide, and metastasis is still the major cause of treatment failure for cancer patients. Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been shown to play a critical role in the metastasis cascade of epithelium-derived carcinoma. Tumour microenvironment (TME) refers to the local tissue environment in which tumour cells produce and live, including not only tumour cells themselves, but also fibroblasts, immune and inflammatory cells, glial cells and other cells around them, as well as intercellular stroma, micro vessels and infiltrated biomolecules from the nearby areas, which has been proved to widely participate in the occurrence and progress of cancer. Emerging and accumulating studies indicate that, on one hand, mesenchymal cells in TME can establish ‘crosstalk’ with tumour cells to regulate their EMT programme; on the other, EMT-tumour cells can create a favourable environment for their own growth via educating stromal cells. Recently, our group has conducted a series of studies on the interaction between tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) and colorectal cancer (CRC) cells in TME, confirming that the interaction between TAMs and CRC cells mediated by cytokines or exosomes can jointly promote the metastasis of CRC by regulating the EMT process of tumour cells and the M2-type polarisation process of TAMs. Herein, we present an overview to describe the current knowledge about EMT in cancer, summarise the important role of TME in EMT, and provide an update on the mechanisms of TME-induced EMT in CRC, aiming to provide new ideas for understanding and resisting tumour metastasis.
Modelling semantic similarity plays a fundamental role in lexical semantic applications. A natural way of calculating semantic similarity is to access handcrafted semantic networks, but similarity prediction can also be anticipated in a distributional vector space. Similarity calculation continues to be a challenging task, even with the latest breakthroughs in deep neural language models. We first examined popular methodologies in measuring taxonomic similarity, including edge-counting that solely employs semantic relations in a taxonomy, as well as the complex methods that estimate concept specificity. We further extrapolated three weighting factors in modelling taxonomic similarity. To study the distinct mechanisms between taxonomic and distributional similarity measures, we ran head-to-head comparisons of each measure with human similarity judgements from the perspectives of word frequency, polysemy degree and similarity intensity. Our findings suggest that without fine-tuning the uniform distance, taxonomic similarity measures can depend on the shortest path length as a prime factor to predict semantic similarity; in contrast to distributional semantics, edge-counting is free from sense distribution bias in use and can measure word similarity both literally and metaphorically; the synergy of retrofitting neural embeddings with concept relations in similarity prediction may indicate a new trend to leverage knowledge bases on transfer learning. It appears that a large gap still exists on computing semantic similarity among different ranges of word frequency, polysemous degree and similarity intensity.
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.
Anxiety disorders are widespread across the world. A systematic understanding of the disease burden, temporal trend and risk factors of anxiety disorders provides the essential foundation for targeted public policies on mental health at the national, regional, and global levels.
The estimation of anxiety disorders in the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 using systematic review was conducted to describe incidence, prevalence and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 204 countries and regions from 1990 to 2019. We calculated the estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) to quantify the temporal trends in anxiety disorders burden by sex, region and age over the past 30 years and analysed the impact of epidemiological and demographic changes on anxiety disorders.
Globally, 45.82 [95% uncertainty interval (UI): 37.14, 55.62] million incident cases of anxiety disorders, 301.39 million (95% UI: 252.63, 356.00) prevalent cases and 28.68 (95% UI: 19.86, 39.32) million DALYs were estimated in 2019. Although the overall age-standardised burden rate of anxiety disorders remained stable over the past three decades, the latest absolute number of anxiety disorders increased by 50% from 1990. We observed huge disparities in both age-standardised burden rate and changing trend of anxiety disorders in sex, country and age. In 2019, 7.07% of the global DALYs due to anxiety disorders were attributable to bullying victimisation, mainly among the population aged 5–39 years, and the proportion increased in almost all countries and territories compared with 1990.
Anxiety disorder is still the most common mental illness in the world and has a striking impact on the global burden of disease. Controlling potential risk factors, such as bullying, establishing effective mental health knowledge dissemination and diversifying intervention strategies adapted to specific characteristics will reduce the burden of anxiety disorders.
Alligatorweed [Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.] is an invasive semiaquatic weed that poses a serious threat to agricultural production and ecological balance worldwide. However, information about genetic factors associated with the adaptation and invasion mechanisms of this species is limited. Screening for appropriate reference genes is important for gene expression and functional analysis research in A. philoxeroides. In this study, 30 candidate genes that showed stable expression in different A. philoxeroides tissues under various treatments in RNA-seq data were chosen to design quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) primers. After the amplification specificity validation, 25 candidates were selected and further evaluated in a diverse set of A. philoxeroides samples, including leaf, stem, and root tissues under drought, salinity, heat, chilling, five herbicides, and corresponding untreated controls using qRT-PCR. The delta-CT method, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder algorithms were used to identify stable reference genes from A. philoxeroides samples. Overall, CoA, RFI2, Tubby, SRP19, and V-ATPase were the top five ideal reference genes in all organs and conditions. Tubby and CoA were the most stable reference genes in the leaf/stem; and RFI2, ERprr, and SPR19 were suitable reference genes for the roots. This work provided a foundation for exploring gene expression profiling of A. philoxeroides, especially those adaptation- and invasion-related genes, which may help in management of this invasive weed.
We investigated motor cortical excitability (CE) in unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and its relationship to bilateral tonic-clonic seizure (BTCS) using paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
In this cross-sectional study, we enrolled 46 unilateral TLE patients and 16 age-and sex-matched healthy controls. Resting motor thresholds (RMT); short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI, GABAA receptor-mediated); facilitation (ICF, glutamatergic-mediated) with interstimulus intervals (ISIs) of 2, 5, 10, and 15 ms; and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI, GABAB receptor-mediated) with ISIs of 200–400 ms were measured via paired-pulse TMS. Comparisons were made between controls and patients with TLE, and then among the TLE subgroups (no BTCS, infrequent BTCS and frequent BTCS subgroup).
Compared with controls, TLE patients had higher RMT, lower SICI and higher LICI in both hemispheres, and higher ICF in the ipsilateral hemisphere. In patients with frequent BTCS, cortical hyperexcitability in the ipsilateral hemisphere was found in a parameter-dependent manner (SICI decreased at a stimulation interval of 5 ms, and ICF increased at a stimulation interval of 15 ms) compared with patients with infrequent or no BTCS.
Our results demonstrate that motor cortical hyper-excitability in the ipsilateral hemisphere underlies the epileptogenic network of patients with active BTCS, which is more extensive than those with infrequent or no BTCS.
Late-life depression issues in developing countries are challenging because of understaffing in mental health. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is effective for treating depression.
This pilot trial examined the adherence and effectiveness of an eight-session adapted CBT delivered by trained lay health workers for older adults with depressive symptoms living in rural areas of China, compared with the usual care.
Fifty with screen-positive depression were randomly assigned to the CBT arm or the care as usual (CAU) arm. The primary outcomes were the session completion of older adults and changes in depressive symptoms, assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).
The majority (19/24) of participants in the CBT arm completed all sessions. Mixed-effect linear regression showed that the CBT reduced more GDS scores over time compared with CAU.
Lay-delivered culturally adapted CBT is potentially effective for screen-positive late-life depression.
The effects of flow velocity on the fitness-related behaviours of Mesocentrotus nudus remain largely unknown, greatly hampering the efficiency of stock enhancement. To explore the appropriate velocities for stock enhancement, we investigated dislodgement and immobilization velocities up to 90 cm s−1. The experimental results showed that M. nudus (test diameter of ~30 mm) were dislodged at 73.50 ± 7.7 cm s−1 and that M. nudus movement occurred only when the flow velocity was less than 33.40 ± 2.7 cm s−1. Three flow velocities less than 33.40 ± 2.7 cm s−1 (2, 10 and 20 cm s−1) were subsequently used to study the effects of flow velocities on covering behaviour and the righting response time of M. nudus. The downstream movement velocity of M. nudus was significantly larger than that upstream at 2 cm s−1 (P = 0.016) and 10 cm s−1 (P = 0.008), but not at 20 cm s−1 (P = 0.222). The righting response time of M. nudus was significantly longer at 20 cm s−1 than that at 2 cm s−1 (P = 0.015). The present study indicates that a flow velocity less than 20 cm s−1, preferably 2–10 cm s−1, is probably appropriate for the stock enhancement of M. nudus. Notably, the current study is a laboratory investigation without considering the hydrographic complexity in the field. Further studies should be carried out to investigate the long-term effects of water flow on feeding and growth of M. nudus both in the laboratory and the field.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
Southern China is affected by multi-stage tectonic activities, with strong fold deformation, complex fault systems and poor shale gas preservation conditions. Here, we used shale samples from the lower Silurian Longmaxi shale in the complex tectonic area of Southern China, to study the relationship between differential structural deformation, and pore structure and adsorption capacity. According to the deformation mechanism of the shale, it is further divided into brittle-slip rheological deformation (BD) and ductile-slip rheological deformation (DD). The results show that all micro-fractures can be observed under scanning electron microscopy in deformed shale samples, but in shale samples with different types of rheological deformation, the micro-fractures have large differences in scale, fracture length and lateral connectivity. The micro-fractures developed in DD shales are small in scale and short in fracture length, but have strong local connectivity. In contrast, brittle minerals are more developed in BD shales, and interlayer shearing has formed micro-fractures with large fracture length and good lateral connectivity, which is beneficial for later fracturing. In these two types of deformed shales, pores in organic matter are rare, and sporadic organic pores have small pore size and poor connectivity. The total pore volume (1.8–2.4 × 10−2 cm3 g–1) of BD shale samples is higher than that of DD shale samples (0.8–1.6 × 10−2 cm3 g–1). There is a positive correlation between total pore volume and quartz content. In addition, the specific surface area (12–18 m2 g–1) of DD shale samples is larger than that of BD shale samples (6–12 m2 g–1).