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Short stature may reflect health in early life and be an enduring disability. How birth weight, gender, household, elementary schooling and diet play a role in associations between stature and overall school competence (OSC) have been assessed.
The 2001–2002 Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (NAHSIT) for elementary schoolchildren (n 2274, 52·1 % boys) was linked to birth records. It provided sociodemographic, dietary quality, body compositional and school performance (as Scale for Assessing Emotional Disturbance, SAED; OSC as an SAED subscale) data. Lower birth weight was ≤15th percentile: 2850 g for boys and 2700 g for girls, and stature as z-scores for Taiwanese. Multivariable linear regression was used for relationships between OSC and stature. Trends in OSC by stature and school grade were assessed.
The 2001–2002 NAHSIT for elementary schoolchildren.
Totally, 2274 schoolchildren aged 6–13 years.
Compared to normal height (−2< height for age z-score (HAZ) <2), shorter girls (HAZ ≤ −2) had a lower OSC (8·87 v. 10·5, P < 0·05) and taller girls (HAZ ≥ 2) had a better OSC (12·3 v. 10·5, P < 0·001). Maternal education and household income each contributed more than 5 % of OSC variance. OSC and HAZ among girls were positively associated and emotional disturbance negatively associated. Shortness-associated lower OSC underwent remediation with advancing school grade. Stature and OSC were not evidently related in boys.
Shorter stature can compromise OSC among school girls. The major determinants in shorter girls are less household income and limited parental education.
This exercise aimed to validate New Taipei City’s strategic plan for a city lockdown in response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The main goal of all solutions was the principle of “reducing citizen activity and strengthening government control.”
We created a suitable exercise, creating 15 hypothetical situations for 3 stages. All participating units designed and proposed policy plans and execution protocols according to each situation.
In the course of the exercise, many existing policies and execution protocols were validated. These addressed (1) situations occurring in Stage 1, when the epidemic was spreading to the point of lockdown preparations; (2) approaches to curb the continued spread of the epidemic in Stage 2; and (3) returning to work after the epidemic was controlled and lockdown lifted in Stage 3. Twenty response units participated in the exercise. Although favorable outcomes were obtained, the evaluators provided comments suggesting further improvements.
Our exercise demonstrated a successful example to help policy-making and revision in a large city of over 4 million people during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also enhanced participants’ subject knowledge and familiarity with the implementation of a city lockdown. For locations intending to go into lockdown, similar tabletop exercises are an effective verification option.
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.
Previous studies suggested that a disturbance of the dopamine system underlies the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD). In addition, the therapeutic action of medications for treating BD, such as valproate (VPA), might modulate dopamine system activity, but it remains unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) in BD patients and in social defeat (SD) mice treated with VPA.
We enrolled community-dwelling controls (N = 18) and BD patients (N = 23) who were treated with VPA in a euthymic stage. The striatal DAT availabilities were approached by TRODAT-1 single photon emission computed tomography. We also established a chronic SD mouse model and treated mice with 350 mg/kg VPA for 3 weeks. Behavioral tests were administered, and striatal DAT expression levels were determined.
In humans, the level of striatal DAT availability was significantly higher in euthymic BD patients (1.52 ± 0.17 and 1.37 ± 0.23, p = 0.015). Moreover, the level of striatal DAT availability was also negatively correlated with the VPA concentration in BD patients (r = −0.653, p = 0.003). In SD mice, the expression of striatal DAT significantly increased (p < 0.001), and the SD effect on DAT expression was rescued by VPA treatment.
The striatal DAT might play a role in the pathophysiology of BD and in the therapeutic mechanism of VPA. The homeostasis of DAT might represent a new therapeutic strategy for BD patients.
The prediction of prognosis is an important part of management in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related decompensated cirrhosis patients with high long-term mortality. Lactate is a known predictor of outcome in critically ill patients. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of lactate in HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients. We performed a single-centre, observational, retrospective study of 405 HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients. Individuals were evaluated within 24 h after admission and the primary outcome was evaluated at 6-months. Multivariable analyses were used to determine whether lactate was independently associated with the prognosis of HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients. The area under the ROC (AUROC) was calculated to assess the predictive accuracy compared with existing scores. Serum lactate level was significantly higher in non-surviving patients than in surviving patients. Multivariable analyses demonstrated that lactate was an independent risk factor of 6-months mortality (odds ratio: 2.076, P < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were drawn to evaluate the discriminative ability of lactate for 6-months mortality (AUROC: 0.716, P < 0.001). Based on our patient cohort, the new scores (Model For End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) + lactate score, Child–Pugh + lactate score) had good accuracy for predicting 6-months mortality (AUROC = 0.769, P < 0.001; AUROC = 0.766, P < 0.001). Additionally, the performance of the new scores was superior to those of existing scores (all P < 0.001). Serum lactate at admission may be useful for predicting 6-months mortality in HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients, and the predictive value of the MELD score and Child–Pugh score was improved by adjusting lactate. Serum lactate should be part of the rapid diagnosis and initiation of therapy to improve clinical outcome.
We report a case of a 25-year-old man diagnosed with an unusual case of cor triatriatum sinister with a mobile left atrial thrombus. He was hospitalised with aggravating dyspnoea. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a membrane-like structure traversing the left atrial and a small orifice of about 7.1 mm. The mean pressure gradient was 12.94 mmHg across the orifice of the membrane-like structure and there was a mobile mass in the post-erosuperior chamber. The anomaly was rectified by a surgical resection. Timely diagnosis and surgical repair may prevent stroke in patients with unusual cor triatriatum sinister.
The upsurge in the number of people affected by the COVID-19 is likely to lead to increased rates of emotional trauma and mental illnesses. This article systematically reviewed the available data on the benefits of interventions to reduce adverse mental health sequelae of infectious disease outbreaks, and to offer guidance for mental health service responses to infectious disease pandemic. PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, PsycINFO, WHO Global Research Database on infectious disease, and the preprint server medRxiv were searched. Of 4278 reports identified, 32 were included in this review. Most articles of psychological interventions were implemented to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, followed by Ebola, SARS, and MERS for multiple vulnerable populations. Increasing mental health literacy of the public is vital to prevent the mental health crisis under the COVID-19 pandemic. Group-based cognitive behavioral therapy, psychological first aid, community-based psychosocial arts program, and other culturally adapted interventions were reported as being effective against the mental health impacts of COVID-19, Ebola, and SARS. Culturally-adapted, cost-effective, and accessible strategies integrated into the public health emergency response and established medical systems at the local and national levels are likely to be an effective option to enhance mental health response capacity for the current and for future infectious disease outbreaks. Tele-mental healthcare services were key central components of stepped care for both infectious disease outbreak management and routine support; however, the usefulness and limitations of remote health delivery should also be recognized.
Mach reflection subjected to the influence of an upstream shock wave from the same side is studied here. This situation occurs when two incident shock waves induced by a double wedge reflect at the same point of the reflecting surface and when the downstream incident shock wave is stronger than the upstream one. A shock polar analysis is used to show that this configuration produces an inverted Mach stem and a type IV shock interference between the Mach stem and the upstream shock wave. This shock interference produces a jet that divides the flow stream downstream of the Mach stem into two ducts with different sonic throats, thus complicating the mechanism by which the Mach stem size is determined. A transition analysis shows that the Mach reflection of the downstream shock wave is promoted by the upstream one. Computational fluid dynamics is used to assess the flow pattern anticipated by shock polar analysis and demonstrates how the heights of Mach stem and jet depend on the inflow Mach number and wedge turning angle.
To explore the relationship between dietary patterns and physical fitness among older Chinese (≥60 years) individuals.
Cross-sectional survey. Dietary data were collected by a simplified semi-quantitative FFQ. The 30-s Chair Stand test (30sCST), 30-s Arm Curl test (30sACT), 8-foot Time Up-and-Go test (8fTUAGT) and 6-min Walking test (6mWT) were used to assess physical fitness. Dietary patterns were obtained by factor analysis. The association between dietary patterns and physical fitness was explored by multiple logistic regression.
Six communities (villages) of three districts in Liaocheng City (Shandong Province, China).
A total of 596 residents were recruited from April to May 2017.
Among 556 residents who were finally enrolled, 196 were men (35 %) and 360 were women (65 %). Three dietary patterns were identified: ‘Western’, ‘Vegetarian’ and ‘Modern’. The 30sACT revealed that men in the fourth quartile of the Western pattern were less likely to be classified in the ‘high-level’ group, but men in the fourth quartile of the Vegetarian pattern were classified in the high-level group. The 6mWT revealed that men in the fourth quartile of the Modern pattern were classified in the high-level group. These associations were independent of confounding factors.
Adherence to the Vegetarian pattern and Modern pattern may be protective factors for maintaining good physical fitness in older Chinese individuals. The Western pattern may lead to poor physical fitness in this population.
Teenagers are important carriers of Neisseria meningitidis, which is a leading cause of invasive meningococcal disease. In China, the carriage rate and risk factors among teenagers are unclear. The present study presents a retrospective analysis of epidemiological data for N. meningitidis carriage from 2013 to 2017 in Suizhou city, China. The carriage rates were 3.26%, 2.22%, 3.33%, 3.53% and 9.88% for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. From 2014 to 2017, the carriage rate in the 15- to 19-year-old age group (teenagers) was the highest and significantly higher than that in remain age groups. Subsequently, a larger scale survey (December 2017) for carriage rate and relative risk factors (population density, time spent in the classroom, gender and antibiotics use) were investigated on the teenagers (15- to 19-year-old age) at the same school. The carriage rate was still high at 33.48% (223/663) and varied greatly from 6.56% to 52.94% in a different class. Population density of the classroom was found to be a significant risk factor for carriage, and 1.4 persons/m2 is recommended as the maximum classroom density. Further, higher male gender ratio and more time spent in the classroom were also significantly associated with higher carriage. Finally, antibiotic use was associated with a significantly lower carriage rate. All the results imply that attention should be paid to the teenagers and various measures can be taken to reduce the N. meningitidis carriage, to prevent and control the outbreak of IMD.
The present study investigated the association between fibre degradation and the concentration of dissolved molecular hydrogen (H2) in the rumen. Napier grass (NG) silage and corn stover (CS) silage were compared as forages with contrasting structures and degradation patterns. In the first experiment, CS silage had greater 48-h DM, neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) and acid-detergent fibre degradation, and total gas and methane (CH4) volumes, and lower 48-h H2 volume than NG silage in 48-h in vitro incubations. In the second experiment, twenty-four growing beef bulls were fed diets including 55 % (DM basis) NG or CS silages. Bulls fed the CS diet had greater DM intake (DMI), average daily gain, total-tract digestibility of OM and NDF, ruminal dissolved methane (dCH4) concentration and gene copies of protozoa, methanogens, Ruminococcus albus and R. flavefaciens, and had lower ruminal dH2 concentration, and molar proportions of valerate and isovalerate, in comparison with those fed the NG diet. There was a negative correlation between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility in bulls fed the CS diet, and a lack of relationship between dH2 concentration and NDF digestibility with the NG diet. In summary, the fibre of CS silage was more easily degraded by rumen microorganisms than that of NG silage. Increased dCH4 concentration with the CS diet presumably led to the decreased ruminal dH2 concentration, which may be helpful for fibre degradation and growth of fibrolytic micro-organisms in the rumen.
Bile acids (BA) have emerged as signalling molecules regulating intestinal physiology. The importance of intestinal microbiota in production of secondary BA, for example, lithocholic acid (LCA) which impairs enterocyte proliferation and permeability, triggered us to determine the effects of oral probiotics on intestinal BA metabolism. Piglets were weaned at 28 d of age and allocated into control (CON, n 14) or probiotic (PRO, n 14) group fed 50 mg of Lactobacillus plantarum daily, and gut microbiota and BA profile were determined. To test the potential interaction of LCA with bacteria endotoxins in inducing damage of enterocytes, IPEC-J2 cells were treated with LCA, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and LCA + LPS and expressions of genes related to inflammation, antioxidant capacity and nutrient transport were determined. Compared with the CON group, the PRO group showed lower total LCA level in the ileum and higher relative abundance of the Lactobacillus genus in faeces. In contrast, the relative abundances of Bacteroides, Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Parabacteroides and Ruminococcus_1, important bacteria genera in BA biotransformation, were all lower in the PRO than in the CON group. Moreover, PRO piglets had lower postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 level, while higher glucose level than CON piglets. Co-administration of LPS and LCA led to down-regulated expression of glucose and peptide transporter genes in IPEC-J2 cells. Altogether, oral L. plantarum altered BA profile probably by modulating relative abundances of gut microbial genera that play key roles in BA metabolism and might consequently impact glucose homoeostasis. The detrimental effect of LCA on nutrient transport in enterocytes might be aggravated under LPS challenge.
The aim of this study was to determine the most cost-effective strategy for the prevention and control of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in intensive care units (ICUs) in areas with limited health resources. The study was conducted in 12 ICUs of four hospitals. The total cost for the prevention of MDROs and the secondary attack rate (SAR) of MDROs for each strategy were collected retrospectively from 2046 subjects from January to December 2017. The average cost-effectiveness ratio (CER), incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and cost-effectiveness acceptability curve were calculated. Hand hygiene (HH) had the lowest total cost (2149.6 RMB) and SAR of MDROs (8.8%) while single-room isolation showed the highest cost (33 700.2 RMB) and contact isolation had the highest SAR of MDROs (31.8%). The average cost per unit infection prevention was 24 427.8 RMB, with the HH strategy followed by the environment disinfection strategy (CER = 21 314.67). HH had the highest iterative cost effect under willingness to pay less than 2000 RMB. Due to the low cost for repeatability and obvious effectiveness, we conclude that HH is the optimal strategy for MDROs infections in ICUs in developing countries. The cost-effectiveness of the four prevention strategies provides some reference for developing countries but multiple strategies remain to be examined.
To address critical energy issues in civic structures, we have developed a novel concept of optical thermal insulation (OTI) without relying on a conventional thermal intervention medium, such as air or argon, as often used in conventional window systems. We have synthesized the photothermal (PT) materials, such as the Fe3O4 and Fe3O4@Cu2−xS nanoparticles, that exhibit strong UV and near-infrared (NIR) absorptions but with good visible transparency. Upon coating the inner surface of the window glass with a PT film, under solar irradiation, the inner surface temperature rises due to the PT effect. Subsequently, the temperature difference, ΔT, is reduced between the single pane and room interior. This leads to lower the thermal loss through a window, reflected by the U-factor, resulting in considerable energy saving without double- or triple-glazing. Comparing with the Fe3O4 coatings, Fe3O4@Cu2−xS is spectrally characterized with a much stronger NIR absorbance, contributing to an increased PT efficiency under simulated solar irradiation (0.1 W/cm2). PT experiments are carried out via both white light and monochromic NIR irradiations (785 nm). The parameters associated with the thermal performance of the PT films are calculated, including PT conversion efficiency, specific absorption rate (SAR), and U-factor. Based on the concept of OTI, we have reached an optimum U-factor of 1.46 W/m2 K for a single pane, which is satisfactory to the DOE requirement (<1.7 W/m2 K).
Chlamydia spp. are a group of obligate intracellular pathogens causing a number of diseases in animals and humans. Avian chlamydiosis (AC), caused by Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci) as well as new emerging C. avium, C. gallinacea and C. ibidis, have been described in nearly 500 avian species worldwidely. The Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) is a world endangered avian species with limited population and vulnerable for various infections. To get a better understanding of the prevalence of Chlamydia spp. in the endangered Crested Ibis, faecal samples were collected and analysed. The results confirmed that 20.20% (20/99) of the faecal samples were positive for Chlamydiaceae and were identified as C. ibidis with co-existence of C. psittaci in one of the 20 positive samples. In addition, ompA sequence of C. psittaci obtained in this study was classified into the provisional genotype Matt116, while that of C. ibidis showed high genetic diversity, sharing only 77% identity with C. ibidis reference strain 10-1398/6. We report for the first time the presence of C. ibidis and C. psittaci in the Crested Ibis, which may indicate a potential threat to the endangered birds and should be aware of the future protection practice.
The dopamine transporter gene (DAT1), striatal network dysfunction, and visual memory deficits have been consistently reported to be associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study aimed to examine the effects of the DAT1 rs27048 (C)/rs429699 (T) haplotype on striatal functional connectivity and visual memory performance in youths with ADHD.
After excluding those who had excessive head motion, a total of 96 drug-naïve youths with ADHD and 114 typically developing (TD) youths were assessed with the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and the delayed matching to sample (DMS) task for visual memory. We examined the effects of ADHD, DAT1 CT haplotype, and the ADHD × CT haplotype interaction on the functional connectivity of five striatal seeds. We also correlated visual memory performance with the functional connectivity of striatal subregions, which showed significant diagnosis × genotype interactions.
Compared with TD youths, ADHD youths showed significant hypoconnectivity of the left dorsal caudate (DC) with bilateral sensorimotor clusters. Significant diagnosis × genotype interactions were found in the connectivity between the left DC and the right sensorimotor cluster, and between the right DC and the left dorsolateral prefrontal/bilateral anterior cingulate clusters. Furthermore, the connectivity of the left DC showing significant diagnosis × genotype interactions was associated with DMS performance in youths with ADHD who carried the DAT1 CT haplotype.
A novel gene-brain-behavior association between the left DC functional connectivity and visual memory performance in ADHD youths with the DAT1 rs27048 (C)/rs429699 (T) haplotype suggests a differential effect of DAT1 genotype altering specific brain function causing neuropsychological dysfunction in ADHD.
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.
English as a lingua franca (ELF) refers to ‘any use of English among speakers of different first languages for whom English is the communicative medium of choice, and often the only option’ (Seidlhofer, 2011, p. 7*). ELF research started relatively recently. It was only discussed occasionally in the last century. Landmark changes were the publications of Jenkins (2000*) and Seidlhofer (2001*). These works inspired more research into ELF, as witnessed by a dramatically increased interest in ELF since then, resulting in a large number of journal articles, monographs, edited books (e.g. Mauranen & Ranta, 2009*) and large corpora (e.g. the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English, the Corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings, and the Asian Corpus of English). In addition, ELF researchers have launched the annual conference series (International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca), the Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, and the De Gruyter book series Developments in English as a Lingua Franca. These publications move from an initial understanding of ELF as a ‘variety’ or ‘varieties’ to a later conceptualisation of ELF as a dynamic, fluid and variable phenomenon. ELF has become a major focus of discussions and activities among both applied linguists and English language teaching professionals (Jenkins, Cogo, & Dewey, 2011).