Publications by authors named "Yanjie Zhang"

198 Publications

An AIS-based emission inventory and the impact on air quality in Tianjin port based on localized emission factors.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Apr 6;783:146869. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Urban Transport Emission Research & State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Urban Ambient Air Particulate Matter Pollution Prevention and Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China. Electronic address:

Ship pollution has become a hot global issue. This study established a basic information database of Tianjin Port ship emissions and used it to screen representative ship types and perform real-world ship measurements by a portable emission measurement system (PEMS), which generated localized emission factors. The results show that the localized emission factors are significantly higher than those recommended in recommended in Chinese guidelines, which will lead to lower calculation results of the previous inventory. A high temporal-spatial ship emission inventory for Tianjin Port was developed using a "bottom-up" method based on automatic identification system (AIS) data by combining localized emission factors. The total estimated ship emissions for SO2, NOX, PM10, PM2.5, THC and CO in 2018 were 1.453 × 10 t, 2.861 × 10 t, 2.04 × 10 t, 1.82 × 10 t, 1.13 × 10 t, and 2.21 × 10 t, respectively. NOX was the primary pollutant, accounting for 56.9%, followed by SO2 (28.9%). The use of low-sulfur fuel in the port area has significantly reduced the discharge of SO and primary particles. The main channel and anchorage are the areas with the highest emission intensity. The intermonth ship emissions varied according to the ship activity, lowest in February and highest in May. The contribution of cargo transportation vessels to various pollutant emissions is more than 60%. Main engines (MEs) were the largest source of emissions, followed by auxiliary engines (AEs). NOX and SOX from ships have the greatest impact on the air quality in the surrounding area, especially in summer and autumn, as analyzed by the atmospheric dispersion modeling system (ADMS) model. Our research will update localized emission factors and inventories and evaluate the impact of ship emissions on air quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146869DOI Listing
April 2021

Early stage risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) strategies and measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 14;5(1):44-50. Epub 2021 Feb 14.

National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention; WHO Collaborating Centre for Tropical Diseases, Shanghai 200025, China.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has proven to be tenacious and shows that the global community is still poorly prepared to handling such emerging pandemics. Enhancing global solidarity in emergency preparedness and response, and the mobilization of conscience and cooperation, can serve as an excellent source of ideas and measures in a timely manner. The article provides an overview of the key components of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) strategies at the early stages in vulnerable nations and populations, and highlight contextual recommendations for strengthening coordinated and sustainable RCCE preventive and emergency response strategies against COVID-19 pandemic. Global solidarity calls for firming governance, abundant community participation and enough trust to boost early pandemic preparedness and response. Promoting public RCCE response interventions needs crucially improving government health systems and security proactiveness, community to individual confinement, trust and resilience solutions. To better understand population risk and vulnerability, as well as COVID-19 transmission dynamics, it is important to build intelligent systems for monitoring isolation/quarantine and tracking by use of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems algorithms. Experiences and lessons learned from the international community is crucial for emerging pandemics prevention and control programs, especially in promoting evidence-based decision-making, integrating data and models to inform effective and sustainable RCCE strategies, such as local and global safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and mass immunization programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032327PMC
March 2021

Experiences of surveillance, influential factors, and prevention to end the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 8;5(1):1-3. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032348PMC
March 2021

Cystathionine gamma-lyase/H S signaling facilitates myogenesis under aging and injury condition.

FASEB J 2021 May;35(5):e21511

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada.

Hydrogen sulfide (H S) can be endogenously produced and belongs to the class of signaling molecules known as gasotransmitters. Cystathionine gamma-lyase (CSE)-derived H S is implicated in the regulation of cell differentiation and the aging process, but the involvements of the CSE/H S system in myogenesis upon aging and injury have not been explored. In this study, we demonstrated that CSE acts as a major H S-generating enzyme in skeletal muscles and is significantly down-regulated in aged skeletal muscles in mice. CSE deficiency exacerbated the age-dependent sarcopenia and cardiotoxin-induced injury/regeneration in mouse skeletal muscle, possibly attributed to inefficient myogenesis. In contrast, supplement of NaHS (an H S donor) induced the expressions of myogenic genes and promoted muscle regeneration in mice. In vitro, incubation of myoblast cells (C2C12) with H S promoted myogenesis, as evidenced by the inhibition of cell cycle progression and migration, altered expressions of myogenic markers, elongation of myoblasts, and formation of multinucleated myotubes. Myogenesis was also found to upregulate CSE expression, while blockage of CSE/H S signaling resulted in a suppression of myogenesis. Mechanically, H S significantly induced the heterodimer formation between MEF2c and MRF4 and promoted the binding of MEF2c/MRF4 to myogenin promoter. MEF2c was S-sulfhydrated at both cysteine 361 and 420 in the C-terminal transactivation domain, and blockage of MEF2c S-sulfhydration abolished the stimulatory role of H S on MEF2c/MRF4 heterodimer formation. These findings support an essential role for H S in maintaining myogenesis, presenting it as a potential candidate for the prevention of age-related sarcopenia and treatment of muscle injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202002675RDOI Listing
May 2021

Effects of a Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program on Social Interaction and Communication in Children with Autism.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 6;18(5). Epub 2021 Mar 6.

School of Humanities and Social Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518060, China.

Various therapeutic interventions have been studied and found to be effective in reducing the stereotypical behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There has been increasing interest in using animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) as an alternative approach to therapeutic rehabilitation for children with ASD, and many studies have reported that AAI has significant benefits for the cognitive, psychological, and social behavior of children with ASD. The present study was designed to examine the effects of a 16 weeks therapeutic horseback riding program on social interaction and communication skills in children with autism. Eighty-four children diagnosed with ASD, aged between 6 and 12 years old, were recruited for this study. All selected participants met the DSM-V criteria, and a total of sixty-one participants ( = 61) completed the study. A quasi-experimental design with an experimental group and control group was implemented for this study, taking measurements at pre-test, interim-test, and post-test to monitor the behavior changes in social and communication throughout the 16-week intervention. Repeated measures ANOVA and the independent sample -test were used for data analysis, to assess the difference between the experimental group and control group. The results indicated that the THR program had positive influences on overall social skills and communication, based on the SSIS and the ABLLS-R scores, compared to the control group ( < 0.05). A notable improvement in the overall social interaction score was observed from the interim-testing point to post-test. In addition, participants in the therapeutic horseback riding (THR) group achieved significant improvements on six out of seven items in their communication evaluations. In conclusion, after 16 weeks of intervention, the THR program significantly enhanced the subdomains of social and communication skills in the areas of social interaction, communication, responsibility, and self-control, compared to the control group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967314PMC
March 2021

A 14 nucleotide deletion mutation in the coding region of the PpBBX24 gene is associated with the red skin of "Zaosu Red" pear (Pyrus pyrifolia White Pear Group): a deletion in the PpBBX24 gene is associated with the red skin of pear.

Hortic Res 2020 Apr 1;7(1):39. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

College of Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, 110161, Liaoning, PR China.

Red skin is an important quality trait for pear fruits and is determined by the concentration and composition of anthocyanins. The regulatory mechanism underlying anthocyanin accumulation is a popular topic in fruit research. Red mutants are ideal materials for studying the molecular mechanism of color diversity in pear. Although several red pear mutants have been cultivated and are in production, no exact locus containing the responsible genetic mutation has been identified. In this study, by combining the bulked segregant analysis with whole-genome sequencing, we identified a 14 nucleotide deletion mutation in the coding region of the PpBBX24 gene from the red pear mutant "Zaosu Red". We further verified that the deletion was present only in the red mutant of "Zaosu" and in its red offspring, which was different from that which occurred in other red pear fruits. This deletion results in a coding frame shift such that there is an early termination of the PpBBX24 gene and loss of key NLS and VP domains from PpBBX24. The lost domains may reduce or alter the normal function of PpBBX24. In addition, we found that the transcript levels of the PpMYB10 and PpHY5 genes in red samples were significantly higher than those in green samples, whereas the results for the normal-type PpBBX24 gene were the opposite. We ultimately revealed that the 14 nucleotide deletion mutation in the coding region of the PpBBX24 gene is associated with the red skin of the "Zaosu Red" pear. This finding of somatic mutational events will be helpful for breeding new red pear cultivars and for understanding the regulatory mechanisms involved in pear skin pigmentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41438-020-0259-7DOI Listing
April 2020

3D printing of chemical-empowered tendon stem/progenitor cells for functional tissue repair.

Biomaterials 2021 Apr 15;271:120722. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Dr. Li Dak Sum & Yip Yio Chin Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China; Key Laboratory of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine of Zhejiang Province, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China; China Orthopaedic Regenerative Medicine (CORMed), Hangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Tendon injuries are the leading cause of chronic debilitation to patients. Tendon stem/progenitor cells (TSPCs) are potential seed cells for tendon tissue engineering and regeneration, but TSPCs are prone to lose their distinct phenotype in vitro and specific differentiation into the tenocyte lineage is challenging. Utilizing small molecules in an ex vivo culture system may be a promising solution and can significantly improve the therapeutic applications of these cells. Here, by using an image-based, high-throughput screening platform on small molecule libraries, this study established an effective stepwise culture strategy for TSPCs application. The study formulated a cocktail of small molecules which effected proliferation, tenogenesis initiation and maturation phases, and significantly upregulated expression of various tendon-related genes and proteins in TSPCs, which were demonstrated by high-throughput PCR, ScxGFP reporter assay and immunocytochemistry. Furthermore, by combining small molecule-based culture system with 3D printing technology, we embedded living, chemical-empowered TSPCs within a biocompatible hydrogel to engineer tendon grafts, and verified their enhanced ability in promoting functional tendon repair and regeneration both in vivo and in situ. The stepwise culture system for TSPCs and construction of engineered tendon grafts can not only serve as a platform for further studies of underlying molecular mechanisms of tenogenic differentiation, but also provide a new strategy for tissue engineering and development of novel therapeutics for clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.120722DOI Listing
April 2021

Cognitive benefits of exercise interventions: an fMRI activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis.

Brain Struct Funct 2021 Apr 6;226(3):601-619. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Exercise and Mental Health Laboratory, School of Psychology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 518060, China.

Despite a growing number of functional MRI studies reporting exercise-induced changes during cognitive processing, a systematic determination of the underlying neurobiological pathways is currently lacking. To this end, our neuroimaging meta-analysis included 20 studies and investigated the influence of physical exercise on cognition-related functional brain activation. The overall meta-analysis encompassing all experiments revealed physical exercise-induced changes in the left parietal lobe during cognitive processing. Subgroup analysis further revealed that in the younger-age group (< 35 years old) physical exercise induced more widespread changes in the right hemisphere, whereas in the older-age group (≥ 35 years old) exercise-induced changes were restricted to the left parietal lobe. Subgroup analysis for intervention duration showed that shorter exercise interventions induced changes in regions connected with frontoparietal and default mode networks, whereas regions exhibiting effects of longer interventions connected with frontoparietal and dorsal attention networks. Our findings suggest that physical exercise interventions lead to changes in functional activation patterns primarily located in precuneus and associated with frontoparietal, dorsal attention and default mode networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-021-02247-2DOI Listing
April 2021

Determining the environmental and atmospheric effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quarantining by studying the total aerosol optical depth, black carbon, organic matter, and sulfate in Blida City of Algeria.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 23;5(1):37-43. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Biskra, Biskra 07000, Algeria.

Background: To study, estimate and discuss the variations of the aerosol optical depth (AOD), black carbon, sulfate and organic matter, in the atmosphere in Blida City of Algeria, which was greatly affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We analyzed the effects of changes in the total AOD, black carbon, sulfate, and organic matter in the atmosphere (λ = 550 nm) in the same period of 2019 and 2020, following the COVID-19 epidemic in Blida City, which was the most-affected city in Algeria.

Results: The quarantine that was enacted to limit the spread of COVID-19 resulted in side effects that were identifiable in the total AOD and in some of its atmospheric components. Comparing these variables in 2019 and 2020 (in the months during the quarantine) revealed that in April, the BCAOD values were much lower in 2020 than in 2019.

Conclusion: Based on the effects of the emerging COVID-19, the research listed the changes received from the AOD, and is considered as a comparative study and represents a significant side effect of the quarantine that was mainly designed to limit COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901496PMC
March 2021

Circulating Tumor Cells Correlate With Prognosis in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Technol Cancer Res Treat 2021 Jan-Dec;20:1533033821990037

Department of Oncology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, 56694Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Background: To investigate the relationship of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and the clinical characteristic parameters and prognosis in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

Methods: The retrospective clinical study included 95 patients with HNSCC who after surgery in Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine between December 2015 and December 2016. All patients were followed up for survival until the end of June 2019. The CTCs detection was performed by negative enrichment (NE) immunofluorescence-in situ hybridization (im-FISH) of chromosome 8.

Results: Patients with higher CTCs counts are associated with a worse prognosis with an area under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.756 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.640-0.872, = 0.001]. The CTCs-positive rate of HNSCC patients was 58.9% (56/95) by using the cut-point of 3. Both the chi-square test and binary logistic regression analysis showed that the N stage and clinical stage were significantly associated with CTCs-positive in patients with HNSCC ( < 0.05). Further Non-parametric test analysis indicated that more CTCs counts were detected in late N and clinical stages patients ( < 0.001). The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis indicated that CTCs-positive were correlated with shorter progression-free survival (PFS) ( < 0.001) and overall survival (OS) ( 0.001). Further, the CTCs-positive was an independent prognostic factor for PFS and OS according to the Cox multivariate regression analysis ( < 0.05).

Conclusion: More CTCs were associated with N stage, clinical stage, poor prognosis in patients with HNSCC, which might be used as a prognostic biomarker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1533033821990037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924006PMC
March 2021

[Arthroscopic reinforced reconstruction of anterior cruciate ligament with autologous hamstring tendon and anchor suture band].

Zhongguo Xiu Fu Chong Jian Wai Ke Za Zhi 2021 Feb;35(2):171-177

Department of Knee Surgery, Luoyang Orthopedic-Traumatological Hospital of Henan Province (Henan Provincial Orthopedic Hospital), Luoyang Henan, 471002, P.R.China.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of arthroscopic reinforced reconstruction of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) with autologous hamstring tendon combined with anchor suture band.

Methods: Between February 2016 and March 2018, 60 patients who were to be treated with arthroscopic ACL reconstruction and met the selection criteria were selected in the study. Among them, 30 cases were reconstructed with autologous hamstring tendon combined with anchor suture band (trial group), and 30 cases were reconstructed with simple autologous hamstring tendon (control group). There was no significant difference in gender, age, disease duration, cause of injury, injury side, and preoperative Lysholm score, Tegner score, and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score between the two groups ( >0.05). After reconstruction, the patients in the trial group were allowed to start knee flexion and extension activities early without wearing an adjustable brace, while the patients in the control group were required to wear an adjustable brace for 12 weeks. The knee joint function (Lysholm score, Tegner score, IKDC score) and stability (Lachman test and pivot shift test) were compared between the two groups after operation.

Results: There was no significant difference in graft diameter between the two groups ( =1.061, =0.115). Compared with the control group, the operation time of the trial group was significantly different ( =4.924, =0.000). All incisions healed primarily. In the control group, the intramuscular venous thrombosis occurred in 2 cases after operation. Both groups were followed up 18 months. The Lysholm score, Tegner score, and IKDC score of the two groups at each time point after operation were significantly higher than those before operation ( <0.05); the above scores in the trial group were significantly higher than those in the control group at 3, 6, and 9 months after operation ( <0.05); there was no significant difference between the two groups at 18 months after operation ( >0.05). There was no significant difference in Lachman test results between the two groups at each time point after operation ( >0.05). There was a significant difference in pivot shift test results at 6 months after operation between the two groups ( <0.05); but there was no significant difference at other time points ( >0.05).

Conclusion: The effectiveness of ACL reinforcedreconstruction with autologous hamstring tendon combined with anchor suture band is satisfactory. Compared with using autologous hamstring tendon alone, it has better initial strength and joint stability, and is more conducive to early postoperative functional exercise and functional recovery of knee joint.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7507/1002-1892.202008123DOI Listing
February 2021

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and global mental health.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 13;5(1):31-36. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Institute of Psychology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Bavaria 93040, Germany.

The mental health effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may shape population health for many years to come. Failure to address the mental health issues stemming from the pandemic is likely to prolong its impact. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant global challenge and, in lower-income countries, even a disruption of mental health services. Given our experience with previous pandemics, the present COVID-19 crisis can be expected to cause psychological trauma, and steps are needed to address this issue proactively. Policies focusing on the long-term mental health consequences of COVID-19 may equal the importance of those currently seeking to mitigate its physical effects. The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for mental health call for a greater focus on the needs of those with mental disorders and on mental health issues affecting health care workers and the general public. Timely preventive and therapeutic mental health care is essential in addressing the psychosocial needs of populations exposed to the pandemic. In addition to specialist care, "task-shifting" and digital technologies may provide cost-effective means of providing mental health care in lower-income countries worldwide as well as in higher-income countries with mental health services overwhelmed by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the ever-increasing pressure on global health systems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, adopting and adapting "task-shifting", i.e., the delegation of psychotherapeutic interventions to trained non-specialists, as an element of the provision of mental health services, is overdue. Digital technologies can be used to enhance social support and facilitate resilience to the detrimental mental health effects of the pandemic; they may also offer an efficient and cost-effective way to provide easy access to mental health care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881705PMC
March 2021

Another blow to the conserved gene order in Annelida: Evidence from mitochondrial genomes of the calcareous tubeworm genus Hydroides.

Mol Phylogenet Evol 2021 Feb 19;160:107124. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia; Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia. Electronic address:

Mitochondrial genomes are frequently applied in phylogenetic and evolutionary studies across metazoans, yet they are still poorly represented in many groups of invertebrates, including annelids. Here, we report ten mitochondrial genomes from the annelid genus Hydroides (Serpulidae) and compare them with all available annelid mitogenomes. We detected all 13 protein coding genes in Hydroides spp., including the atp8 which was reported as a missing gene in the Christmas Tree worm Spirobranchus giganteus, another annelid of the family Serpulidae. All available mitochondrial genomes of Hydroides show a highly positive GC skew combined with a highly negative AT skew - a feature consistent with that found only in the mitogenome of S. giganteus. In addition, amino acid sequences of the 13 protein-coding genes showed a high genetic distance between the Hydroides clade and S. giganteus, suggesting a fast rate of mitochondrial sequence evolution in Serpulidae. The gene order of protein-coding genes within Hydroides exhibited extensive rearrangements at species level, and were different from the arrangement patterns of other annelids, including S. giganteus. Phylogenetic analyses based on protein-coding genes recovered Hydroides as a monophyletic group sister to Spirobranchus with a long branch, and sister to the fan worm Sabellidae. Yet the Serpulidae + Sabellidae clade was unexpectedly grouped with Sipuncula, suggesting that mitochondrial genomes alone are insufficient to resolve the phylogenetic position of Serpulidae within Annelida due to its high base substitution rates. Overall, our study revealed a high variability in the gene order arrangement of mitochondrial genomes within Serpulidae, provided evidence to question the conserved pattern of the mitochondrial gene order in Annelida and called for caution when applying mitochondrial genes to infer their phylogenetic relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107124DOI Listing
February 2021

Levels of economic developement and the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 50 U.S. states and territories and 28 European countries: an association analysis of aggregated data.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 9;5(1):24-30. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

College of Public Health and Health Professions & College of Medicine, University of Florida, FL 32610, USA.

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a global pandemic within several months after it was first reported at the end of December, 2019. Countries in the Northern Hemisphere have been affected the most, including the United States and European countries. Contrary to the common knowledge that infectious diseases are more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, COVID-19 appears to affect wealthy countries more. This paper attempts to quantify the relationship between COVID-19 infections and levels of economic development with data from the U.S. and Europe.

Methods: Public domain data on the confirmed COVID-19 cases during January 1 and May 31, 2020 by states and territories in the U.S. and by countries in Europe were included. Incidence rate was estimated using the 2019 total population. COVID-19 cases were associated with 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) using regression models after a logarithmic transformation of the data. The U.S. data and European data were analyzed separately, considering significant heterogeneity between the two.

Results: A total of 2 451 691 COVID-19 cases during a 5-month period were analyzed, including 1 787 414 from 50 U.S. states and territories and 664 277 from 28 European countries. The overall incidence rate was 5.393/1000 for the U.S. and 1.411/1 000 for European countries with large variations. Lg (total cases) was significantly associated with lg (GDP) for U.S. states (= 1.2579,  < 0.001) and European countries (= 0.7156,  < 0.001), respectively.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated a positive correlation between COVID-19 case incidence and GDP in the United States and 28 European countries. Study findings suggest a potential role of high-level development in facilitating infectious disease spread, such as more advanced transportation system, large metropolitan cities with high population density, better domestic and international travel for businesses, leisure, and more group activities. These factors must be considered in controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. This study focuses on the impact of economic development, many other factors might also have contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in these countries and states, such as differences in national and statewide anti-epidemic strategies, people's behavior, and healthcare systems. Besides, low- and middle-income countries may have an artificially low COVID-19 case count just due to lack of diagnostic capabilities. Findings of this study also encourage future research with individual-level data to detect risk factors at the personal level to understand the risk of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871881PMC
March 2021

Barriers to vaccination for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) control: experience from the United States.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 9;5(1):51-55. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.

To date, the United States (U.S.) has been the most heavily impacted country by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). By November 30, 2020, when this paper was written, 13.5 million cases were reported in the U.S. with over 268 000 deaths. Historically, vaccines have been one of the most effective and efficient technical tools for controlling a communicable disease. While the development of these vaccines has certainly been a challenge, it could be more challenging to achieve robust vaccine uptake because of many barriers. In this review, we focused on two types of barriers documented from long-term experience in the U.S.: structural and attitudinal. Structural barriers are systemic issues that impact one's ability to access a service, and they include time, transportation, cost, and clinic or outlet location; while attitudinal barriers are beliefs or perceptions that impact the willingness of at-risk individuals to seek out and/or accept a service. In the context of vaccination they include beliefs about the communicable disease, beliefs about vaccines, fear, and trust in healthcare and governmental agencies. Of the attitudinal barriers, public trust is a barrier that is of particular importance. In addition to affecting reception of vaccines, it may exacerbate disparities and reduce the likelihood of success of a vaccination program. Recommendations are made to overcome attitudinal barriers to help improve the effectiveness of vaccination programs for COVID-19 control in the U.S., such as building public support through bipartisan endorsements and leveraging social media platforms to promote vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871809PMC
March 2021

Lessons from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic response in China, Italy, and the U.S.: a guide for Africa and low- and middle-income countries.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 9;5(1):56-61. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Slum and Rural Health Initiative Research Academy, Ibadan, Oyo State 200212, Nigeria.

Africa can be "left behind" after other advanced continents recover from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as reflected by the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS. In this paper, we summarize potentially adaptable, effective and innovative strategies from China, Italy, and the U.S. The purpose is to help African countries with weaker healthcare systems better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. China, being the first to report COVID-19 infection swiftly swung into anti-epidemic actions by the use of innovative risk communication and epidemic containment strategies. Italy and U.S., the next rapidly hit countries after China, however, experienced sustained infections and deaths due to delayed and ineffective response. Many African countries responded poorly to the COVID-19 pandemic as evidenced by the limited capacity for public health surveillance, poor leadership, low education and socioeconomic status, among others. Experience from China, Italy and U.S. suggests that a better response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa needs a strong public health leadership, proactive strategies, innovative risk communication about the pandemic, massive tests and isolation, and scaling-up community engagement. Lastly, African countries must collaborate with other countries to facilitate real-time information and experience exchange with other countries to avoid being left behind.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871778PMC
March 2021

Policy and research frame of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: reflections on urban informality.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 9;5(1):12-17. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

School of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, United Kingdom.

How has the informality of urban slums exposed a gap in policy formulation and research questions in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic? This paper seeks to identify the appropriate questions and policy frame that would assist future researchers and policymakers on the subject of pandemics in densely populated urban settlements. The authors argue that the nexus between asking the appropriate questions and developing appropriate policy response measures during a pandemic can significantly impact the outcome of the response. The paper examines how the government of Kenya's response to the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a deep-rooted socio-economic and cultural inequality when "blanket" policies are adopted without taking into consideration the unique dynamics characterizing the society. The findings show that the effectiveness of implementing COVID-19 containment policies such as lockdowns, the cession of movement, working from home, distance learning, and social distancing are affected by other factors such as the nature of jobs, one's income levels, where someone lives, cultural beliefs, access to water, sanitation, internet, and medical facilities. This means that a significant number of people within the society experience a double tragedy from the pandemic and impact of government response measures. Yet most of the existing literature has focused on the causes, spread, and impact of the pandemic on health institutions, economies, and public health with little emphasis on the impact on policy measures especially on the vulnerable segments of the society. This paper, therefore, looks at the question of how the various public health intervention strategies disrupt or construct the livelihood of the already complex informal settlement. It provides policymakers and researchers with a number of questions that can frame policy and research during a pandemic with important consideration to urban informality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871774PMC
March 2021

Dynamics of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic in Wuhan City, Hubei Province and China: a second derivative analysis of the cumulative daily diagnosed cases during the first 85 days.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 6;5(1):4-11. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China.

Background: Controlling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic requires information beyond new and cumulative cases. This study aims to conduct an in-depth analysis by geographic strata: Wuhan City (hereafter referred to as Wuhan) only, Hubei Province (hereafter referred to as Hubei) excluding Wuhan, and China excluding Hubei.

Methods: Daily cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases between December 8, 2019 (the date of symptom onset based on patients' recall during the investigation), and March 1, 2020, from official sources and published studies were analyzed. The second derivative model was used for information extraction. Data analysis was conducted separately for the three strata.

Results: A total of 80 026 diagnosed COVID-19 cases were reported during the first 85 days of the epidemic, with 49 315 cases from Wuhan, 17 788 from Hubei excluding Wuhan, and 12 923 from China excluding Hubei. Analytical results indicate that the COVID-19 epidemic consists of an Acceleration, a Deceleration, and a Stabilization Phase in all three geographic strata, plus a Silent Attack Phase for Wuhan only. Given the reported incubation period of 14 days, effects of the massive anti-epidemic actions were revealed by both the Acceleration and Deceleration Phases. The Acceleration Phase signaled the effect of the intervention to detect the infected; the Deceleration Phase signaled the declines in new infections after the infected were detected, treated and quarantined.

Conclusion: Findings of the study provide new evidence to better monitor the epidemic, evaluate its response to intervention, and predict the trend long. In addition to re-evaluating the control of the COVID-19 epidemic in China, this study provided a model for monitoring outbreaks of COVID-19 in different countries across the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7866847PMC
March 2021

State fragility and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: an ecologic analysis of data from 146 countries.

Glob Health J 2021 Mar 6;5(1):18-23. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, 38 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, China.

Background: Global spread and impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are determined to a large extent, by resistance to the pandemic and public response of all countries in the world; while a country's resistance and response are in turn determined by its political and socio economic conditions. To inform future disease prevention and control, we analyzed global data to exam the relationship between state vulnerabilities and COVID-19 incidences and deaths.

Methods: Vulnerability was measured using the Fragile States Index (FSI). FSI is created by the Fund for Peace to assess levels of fragility for individual countries. Total FSI score and scores for 12 specific indicators were used as the predictor variables. Outcome variables were national cumulative COVID-19 cases and deaths up to September 16, 2020, derived from the World Health Organization. Cumulative incidence rates were computed using 2019 National population derived from the World Bank, and case fatality rates were computed as the ratio of deaths/COVID-19 cases. Countries with incomplete data were excluded, yielding a final sample of 146 countries. Multivariate regression was used to examine the association between the predictor and the outcome measures.

Results: There were dramatic cross-country variations in both FSI and COVID-19 epidemiological measurements. FSI total scores were negatively associated with both COVID-19 cumulative incidence rates (β = -0.0135, < 0.001) and case fatality rates (β = -0.0147, < 0.05). Of the 12 FSI indicators, three negatively associated with COVID-19 incidences were E1(Economic Decline and Poverty), E3 (Human Flight and Brain Drain), and S2 (Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons); two positively associated were P1 (State Legitimacy) and X1 (External Intervention). With regard to association with case fatality rates, C1 (Security Apparatus) was positive, and P3 (Human Rights and Rule of Law) and X1 was negative.

Conclusion: With FSI measures by the Fund of Peace, overall, more fragile countries are less likely to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and even if affected, death rates were lower. However, poor in state legitimacy and lack of external intervention are risk for COVID-19 infection and lack of security apparatus is risky for COVID-19 death. Implications of the study findings are discussed and additional studies are needed to examine the mechanisms underpinning these relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.glohj.2021.02.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7866846PMC
March 2021

Periodically programmed building and collapse of DNA networks enables an ultrahigh signal amplification effect for ultrasensitive nucleic acids analysis.

Anal Chim Acta 2021 Mar 20;1150:338221. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Engineering Research Center of Bio-process, Ministry of Education, School of Food and Biological Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, 230009, China. Electronic address:

Analysis: of molecular species is needed for applications in diagnosis of infections and genetic diseases. Herein, we demonstrate a target DNA-responsive ultrahigh fluorescence signal-on DNA amplification system via periodically programmed building and collapse of DNA networks. In this system, a pair of oligonucleotides of padlock probe (PP) and palindromic hairpin probe (PHP) are utilized. The presence of target DNA firstly hybridizes with PP, allowing the occurrence of rolling circle amplification (RCA) to produce RCA products with tandem repeats in abundance to bind and unfold numbers of PHPs. The conformational change of PHPs enables the building of DNA networks via the intermolecular palindrome pairing, but then makes the DNA networks collapsed via the palindrome-induced strand displacement polymerization. The displaced RCA products are dynamically reused to undergo periodically programmed multiple rounds of DNA network building and collapse. Depend on the bidirectional DNA assembly and disassembly, a strikingly amplified fluorescence can be collected to ultrasensitive and specific detection of target DNA. The practicability has been demonstrated by evaluating target-spiked human serum, saliva, and urine samples with acceptable recoveries and reproducibility. Therefore, this newly explored method opens a promising avenue for the detection of nucleic acids with low abundance in biochemical analysis and diseases diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2021.338221DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of Basketball and Baduanjin Exercise Interventions on Problematic Smartphone Use and Mental Health among College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 28;2021:8880716. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

School of Psychology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.

Problematic smartphone use (PSU) has become a prevalent issue worldwide. Previous studies suggest that physical exercising may effectively reduce smartphone users' addiction levels. Comparisons and further evaluations on the long-term effects of different types of exercise-based interventions on treating PSU remain to be investigated. . We investigated if group-based basketball and Baduanjin exercise (a type of Qigong) would reduce PSU and improve the mental health of college students and whether such effects would be sustained. A twelve-week experiment was conducted, where 96 eligible Chinese college students with PSU were randomly assigned to two intervention arms (i.e., basketball and Baduanjin exercises) and a control arm. Outcome measures, including PSU (measured by the Mobile Phone Addiction Index in Chinese (MPAI)) and mental health indices for anxiety (measured by Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SRAS)), loneliness (measured by the short-form of the UCLA Loneliness Scale (UCLA-LS)), inadequacy (measured by the revised Janis and Field's Feelings of Inadequacy Scale (FIS)), and stress (measured by the Chinese version of Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS)) were collected at the baseline, the end of week 12, and the two-month follow-up. A Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) model for longitudinal data was utilized in analyses. . Both exercise interventions demonstrated significant effects on decreasing PSU (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: < 0.01), feelings of anxiety (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: =0.04), loneliness (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: < 0.01), inadequacy (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: < 0.01), and perceived stress (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: =0.04), at the end of interventions. At two months after interventions, both exercise interventions demonstrated significant effects on decreasing PSU (basketball: < 0.05; Baduanjin: < 0.05), feelings of anxiety (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: =0.03), loneliness (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: < 0.01), and inadequacy (basketball: < 0.01; Baduanjin: =0.01), but not for feeling of stress. Furthermore, group-based basketball demonstrated larger improvements for all these significant results on reducing PSU and meanwhile improving their related mental health parameters among college students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8880716DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7864751PMC
January 2021

Nuclear factor Y participates in alcoholic liver disease by activating SREBP1 expression in mice.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 Feb 20;541:90-94. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Henan Key Laboratory of Biological Psychiatry, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, 453002, Henan Province, China. Electronic address:

Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption leads to alcoholic liver disease (ALD). However, the molecular mechanisms in the regulation of ALD have not been fully deciphered. Liver lipid accumulation is an important research direction in ALD. In this study, the physiological role of nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) in ALD and the related mechanisms were investigated using murine hepatocytes and an ethanol-induced liver injury mouse model. In this study, ethanol promoted hepatic NF-Y expression in a mouse model and Hepa1-6 mouse hepatocytes. Lentivirus-mediated NF-Y overexpression in Hepa1-6 cells markedly increased sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1) and fatty acid synthase (FASN) expression compared with empty vector control cells. Conversely, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockdown of NF-Y subunit A (NF-YA) attenuated FASN and SREBP1 expression. Mechanistically, luciferase reporter gene assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis indicated that NF-Y activates the transcription of SREBP1 by directly binding to the CCAAT regulatory sequence motif in the promoter. Overall, our results reveal a previously unrecognized physiological function of NF-Y in ALD by activating sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1). Modulation of hepatic NF-Y expression may therefore offer an attractive therapeutic approach to manage ALD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.01.011DOI Listing
February 2021

Effects of Acute and Chronic Exercises on Executive Function in Children and Adolescents: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Front Psychol 2020 17;11:554915. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

School of Physical Education and Sport Training, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China.

Physical exercises can affect executive function both acutely and chronically, with different mechanisms for each moment. Currently, only a few reviews have elaborated on the premise that different types of exercises have different mechanisms for improving executive function. Therefore, the primary purpose of our systematic review was to analyze the effects of acute and chronic exercises on executive function in children and adolescents. We identified acute and chronic exercise studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of executive function in children and adolescents that reported overall effect, heterogeneity, and publication bias of acute and chronic exercises on executive function. We searched for RCTs of exercise interventions in children and adolescents from databases including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, The Cochrane Library, CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), and Wanfang, from January 1 2009 to December 31 2019. We performed methodological quality evaluations on the included literature using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database Scale (PEDro) and graded evidence with a meta-analysis using Stata 12.0 software. In total, 36 RCTs were included (14 acute exercises, 22 chronic exercises); the overall results of the meta-analysis (4,577 students) indicated that acute exercises significantly improved working memory (standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.72; 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.89 to -0.56; < 0.001), inhibitory control (SMD = -0.25; 95% CI -0.40 to -0.09; = 0.002), and cognitive flexibility (SMD = -0.34; 95% CI -0.55 to -0.14; < 0.005), whereas chronic exercises significantly improved working memory (SMD = -0.54; 95% CI -0.74 to -0.33; < 0.001), inhibitory control (SMD = -0.30; 95% CI -0.38 to -0.22; < 0.001), and cognitive flexibility (SMD = -0.34, 95 % CI -0.48 to -0.20, < 0.001). Acute and chronic exercises can effectively improve the executive function of children and adolescents. The effects on inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility are considered as small effect sizes, while the effects on working memory are considered as moderate effect size. Limited by the quantity and quality of the included studies, the above conclusions need to be verified with more high-quality studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.554915DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773601PMC
December 2020

Advances in exogenous docosahexaenoic acid-containing phospholipids: Sources, positional isomerism, biological activities, and advantages.

Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 2020 07 23;19(4):1420-1448. Epub 2020 May 23.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China.

In recent years, docosahexaenoic acid-containing phospholipids (DHA-PLs) have attracted much attention because of theirs unique health benefits. Compared with other forms of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), DHA-PLs possess superior biological effects (e.g., anticancer, lipid metabolism regulation, visual development, and brain and nervous system biochemical reactions), more intricate metabolism mechanisms, and a stronger attraction to consumer. The production of DHA-PLs is hampered by several challenges associated with the limited content of DHA-PLs in natural sources, incomplete utilization of by-products, few microorganisms for DHA-PLs production, high cost, and complex process of artificial preparation of DHA-PLs. In this article, the sources, biological activities, and commercial applications of DHA-PLs were summarized, with intensive discussions on advantages of DHA-PLs over DHA, isomerism of DHA in phospholipids (PLs), and brain health. The excellent biological characteristics of DHA-PLs are primarily concerned with DHA and PLs. The metabolic fate of different DHA-PLs varies from the position of DHA in PLs to polar groups in DHA-PLs. Overall, well understanding of DHA-PLs about their sources and characteristics is critical to accelerate the production of DHA-PLs, economically enhance the value of DHA-PLs, and improve the applicability of DHA-PLs and the acceptance of consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1541-4337.12543DOI Listing
July 2020

Increased NFATC4 Correlates With Poor Prognosis of AML Through Recruiting Regulatory T Cells.

Front Genet 2020 27;11:573124. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Department of Hematology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Despite that immune responses play important roles in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), immunotherapy is still not widely used in AML due to lack of an ideal target. Therefore, we identified key immune genes and cellular components in AML by an integrated bioinformatics analysis, trying to find potential targets for AML. Eighty-six differentially expressed immune genes (DEIGs) were identified from 751 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between AML patients with fair prognosis and poor prognosis from the TCGA database. Among them, nine prognostic immune genes, including NCR2, NPDC1, KIR2DL4, KLC3, TWIST1, SNORD3B-1, NFATC4, XCR1, and LEFTY1, were identified by univariate Cox regression analysis. A multivariable prediction model was established based on prognostic immune genes. Kaplan-Meier survival curve analysis indicated that patients in the high-risk group had a shorter survival rate and higher mortality than those in the low-risk group ( < 0.001), indicating good effectiveness of the model. Furthermore, nuclear factors of activated T cells-4 (NFATC4) was recognized as the key immune gene identified by co-expression of differentially expressed transcription factors (DETFs) and prognostic immune genes. ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC transporters) were the downstream KEGG pathway of NFATC4, identified by gene set variation analysis (GSVA) and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). To explore the immune responses NFATC4 was involved in, an immune gene set of T cell co-stimulation was identified by single-cell GSEA (ssGSEA) and Pearson correlation analysis, positively associated with NFATC4 in AML ( = 0.323, < 0.001, positive). In order to find out the immune cell types affected by NFATC4, the CIBERSORT algorithm and Pearson correlation analysis were applied, and it was revealed that regulatory T cells (Tregs) have the highest correlation with NFATC4 ( = 0.526, < 0.001, positive) in AML from 22 subsets of tumor-infiltrating immune cells. The results of this study were supported by multi-omics database validation. In all, our study indicated that NFATC4 was the key immune gene in AML poor prognosis through recruiting Tregs, suggesting that NFATC4 might serve as a new therapy target for AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.573124DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7728998PMC
November 2020

Cognitive Benefits of Activity Engagement among 12,093 Adults Aged over 65 Years.

Brain Sci 2020 Dec 10;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research, Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB T2S 3C3, Canada.

Objective: The present study includes two aims: (1) to understand patterns of activity engagement among older Chinese adults; (2) to further investigate associations between activity engagement and cognitive abilities in this population.

Methods: Latent class analysis was applied to answer the aforementioned research questions across different age ranges while controlling for confounding variables (age, health, socioeconomic status (SES), and living alone). Specifically, five latent classes (non-active, working-active, comprehensive-active, physical-active, and less-active) were identified. Furthermore, associations between the classes of activity engagement and cognition were examined separately in three age groups: less than 80 years (young-old group), 80-99.5 years (old-old group) and more than 100 years (oldest-old group) of age.

Results: Compared with Non-active older individuals, the other classes with a higher probability of engagement in various activities generally showed higher cognitive abilities (including general cognition, orientation, calculation, recall, and language), but not all patterns of active engagement in daily life were positively associated with better cognitive status across different age ranges. In particular, differences in the individuals' cognitive abilities across the four active latent classes were especially obvious in the old-old group as follows: the Comprehensive-active class had higher general cognitive and recall abilities than the other three active classes and higher calculation and language abilities than the Working-active class. In addition, significant sex differences were observed in activity patterns, cognition, and their associations in the young-old and old-old groups. Culture-specific programs should be customized to subgroups of different ages and genders by providing different training or activity modules based on their related dimensions of cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10120967DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7764821PMC
December 2020

A New Species of Predatory Nudibranch (Gastropoda: Trinchesiidae) of the Coral .

Zool Stud 2020 14;59:e30. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, 224 Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. E-mail: (Qiu); (Hu), (Zhang), (Xie).

Some nudibranchs are predators of scleractinian corals, but little is known about their diversity. Here we describe sp. nov., the first species of nudibranch that preys on , a structure-forming agariciid species in the South China Sea. This new species has a white body with brown pigmentation on the dorsum and cerata, and exhibits excellent mimicry by matching the colour of its coral host. The nudibranch lays crescent-shaped egg masses on the coral surface, where the embryos develop and hatch in 2-3 weeks. This new species possesses a large number of cerata that are arranged in widely-spaced rows, with each row having one dorsal ceras and zero to several ventral cerata, which distinguishes it from all other congeneric species. A comparison of the mitochondrial and 16S rRNA genes and the nuclear H3 gene between sp. nov. and other spp. found that their interspecific distances are large enough to justify the recognition of the new species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6620/ZS.2020.59-30DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689335PMC
July 2020

Effects of three different rehabilitation games' interaction on brain activation using functional near-infrared spectroscopy.

Physiol Meas 2020 12 31;41(12):125005. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

School of Mechanical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, 250061, People's Republic of China.

Objective: This study reveals the changes in brain activation due to different game interaction states based on functional near-infrared spectroscopy signals and discusses their significance for stroke rehabilitation.

Approach: The oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (Delta [HbO]) signals and the deoxygenated hemoglobin (Delta [HbR]) signals were recorded from the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the motor cortex (MC), the occipital lobe (OL) and the temporal lobe of 21 subjects (mean age: 24.6 ± 1.9 years old) in three game interaction states: physical, motion-sensing, and button-push training. The subjects were also asked to complete user-satisfaction survey scales after the experiment.

Main Results: Compared with the button-training state, several channels in the PFC and MC region of the physical-training state were significantly altered as were several channels in the RMC region of the motion-sensing training state (P < 0.05 after adjustment). The motion-sensing state of the PFC had a significant correlation with that of the MC and the OL. The subjective scale results show that the acceptability of the physical and motion-sensing states was greater than the acceptability of the button-push training state.

Significance: The results show that the brain regions responded more strongly when activated by the physical and motion-sensing states compared with the button-push training state, and the physical and motion-sensing states are more conducive to the rehabilitation of the nervous system. The design of rehabilitation products for stroke patients is discussed and valuable insights are offered to support the selection of better interactive training methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6579/abcd1fDOI Listing
December 2020

Regular Tai Chi Practice Is Associated With Improved Memory as Well as Structural and Functional Alterations of the Hippocampus in the Elderly.

Front Aging Neurosci 2020 29;12:586770. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Exercise and Mental Health Laboratory, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.

Objective: The current study aimed at comparing the effects of Tai Chi (a motor-cognitive exercise) with walking (an exercise without cognitive demands) on cognitive performance, brain structure, and brain function in the elderly.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 42 healthy elderly women within two groups: Tai Chi ( = 20; mean age = 62.90 ± 2.38 years) and brisk walking exercise ( = 22; mean age = 63.27 ± 3.58 years). All the participants underwent a cognitive assessment via the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and brain structural and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) assessments.

Results: Episodic memory in the Tai Chi group was superior to that of the walking group. Higher gray matter density in the inferior and medial temporal regions (including the hippocampus) and higher ReHo in temporal regions (specifically the fusiform gyrus and hippocampus) were found in the Tai Chi group. Significant partial correlations were found between the gray matter density of the left hippocampus and episodic memory in the whole sample. Significant partial correlations were observed between the ReHo in left hippocampus, left parahippocampal, left fusiform, and delayed memory task, which was observed among all subjects.

Conclusion: The present study suggests that long-term Tai Chi practice may improve memory performance via remodeling the structure and function of the hippocampus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.586770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7658399PMC
October 2020

Does Cardiorespiratory Fitness Influence the Effect of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Executive Function?

Front Hum Neurosci 2020 6;14:569010. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, MOE & STCSM, School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.

Background: The beneficial effects of acute exercise on executive function have been well-documented, but the influence of cardiorespiratory fitness on this effect requires further investigations, especially using imaging technique. This study aimed to examine the effects of cardiorespiratory fitness on acute exercise-induced changes on behavioral performance and on functional brain activation.

Method: Based on their cardiorespiratory fitness level, 62 participants ranked in the top and bottom of the maximum oxygen consumption (VO max) were finally selected and allocated to high-fit group or low-fit group. Both groups were asked to complete the Stroop task after 30 min of aerobic exercise and chair-seated rest (control session). Among them, 26 participants were randomly selected and asked to undergo the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

Results: Behavioral results showed that individuals responded significantly faster after exercise than those in the control session. The fMRI results revealed a significant interaction effects of Group by Session in brain regions including anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and bilateral dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). For the ACC, activation in the high-fit group was significantly decreased after aerobic exercise compared to those in the control session; whereas an increased activation was noticed in the low-fit group. Regarding to the bilateral DLPFC, activation in high-fit group was significantly decreased after exercise compared to those in the control session, while no significant differences were found in the low-fit group. In addition, for the post-exercise session, a significant positive correlations between activation of the ACC and left DLPFC in the high-fit group was observed. There was a significant negative correlation between activation of the ACC and reaction time in the congruent condition after exercise in the low-fit group.

Conclusion: Findings further clarify the neurophysiological processes of acute exercise-induced changes in cognitive performance as they suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness is an important factor which influences changes in brain activation patterns in response to acute aerobic exercises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.569010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7573667PMC
October 2020