Publications by authors named "Yifeng Liu"

66 Publications

Prediction of Protein Solubility Based on Sequence Feature Fusion and DDcCNN.

Interdiscip Sci 2021 Jul 8. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China.

Background: Prediction of protein solubility is an indispensable prerequisite for pharmaceutical research and production. The general and specific objective of this work is to design a new model for predicting protein solubility by using protein sequence feature fusion and deep dual-channel convolutional neural networks (DDcCNN) to improve the performance of existing prediction models.

Methods: The redundancy of raw protein is reduced by CD-HIT. The four subsequences are built from protein sequence: one global and three locals. The global subsequence is the entire protein sequence, and these local subsequences are obtained by moving a sliding window with some rules. Using G-gap to extract the features of the above four subsequences, a mixed matrix is constructed as the input of one channel which is composed of three-layer convolutional operating. Additional features are extracted by SCRATCH tool as input of another channel, which is consist of a single convolution in order to find hidden relationships and improve the accuracy of predictor. The outputs of two parallel channels are concatenated as the input of the hidden layer. And the prediction of protein solubility is obtained in the output layer. The best protein solubility prediction model is obtained by doing some comparative experiments of different frameworks.

Results: The performance indicators of DDcCNN model (our designed) are as follows: accuracy of 77.82%, Matthew's correlation coefficient of 0.57, sensitivity of 76.13% and specificity of 79.32%. The results of some comparative experiments show that the overall performance of DDcCNN model is better than existing models (GCNN, LCNN and PCNN). The related models and data are publicly deposited at http://www.ddccnn.wang .

Conclusion: The satisfactory performance of DDcCNN model reveals that these features and flexible computational methodologies can reinforce the existing prediction models for better prediction of protein solubility could be applied in several applications, such as to preselect initial targets that are soluble or to alter solubility of target proteins, thus can help to reduce the production cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12539-021-00456-1DOI Listing
July 2021

Oligo/Amenorrhea Is an Independent Risk Factor Associated With Low Ovarian Response.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2021 9;12:612042. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Key Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics (Ministry of Education) and Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Women's Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Capsule: Oligo/amenorrhea is an independent risk factor of low ovarian response but not high ovarian response, particularly in women with low AMH levels.

Objective: To investigate the association of menstrual cycle length (MCL) with anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and ovarian response.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. A total of 7471 women who underwent ovarian stimulation and oocyte retrieval were enrolled. The main outcome was the number of oocytes retrieved.

Main Results: A total of 5734 patients were eligible for analysis. In women without polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), serum AMH levels and antral follicle count were significantly lower in women with short cycles and higher in women with oligo/amenorrhea than those with a normal menstrual cycle. In women with PCOS, compared to women with a normal menstrual cycle, women with short cycles and women with oligo/amenorrhea showed higher antral follicle count and higher serum AMH levels. Compared with the 0-25th range group of AMH levels, 75-100th percentile groups showed a significantly increased rate of oligo/amenorrhea in women with and without PCOS [adjusted odds ratio (OR) =1.9 (1.04, 3.46), 2.4 (1.70, 3.35)]. In women without PCOS, the low ovarian response was more common in women with short cycles and less common in women with oligo/amenorrhea compared to women with normal cycles [OR=3.0 (2.38, 3.78), 0.7 (0.55, 0.96), respectively]. When adjusted for AMH levels, both short cycles and oligo/amenorrhea were associated with an increased risk of low response [adjusted OR=1.3 (1.02, 1.75), 1.3 (0.93, 1.86), respectively]. In women without PCOS and with low AMH levels, the low ovarian response was more common in women with short cycles as well as in women with oligo/amenorrhea [OR=1.5 (1.08, 1.98), 1.7 (1.08, 2.69), adjusted OR=1.2 (0.86, 1.74), 2.2 (1.31, 3.82), respectively].

Conclusion: AMH levels are significantly associated with increased risk of oligo/amenorrhea in women with and without PCOS. AMH is an indispensable confounder in the association between MCL and ovarian response in women without PCOS. Oligo/amenorrhea is an independent risk factor associated with a low ovarian response in women without PCOS, particularly those with low AMH levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.612042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8220146PMC
June 2021

Laparoscopic versus open pancreatoduodenectomy for pancreatic or periampullary tumours: a multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 06 27;6(6):438-447. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, Sichuan Province, China.

Background: The benefit and safety of laparoscopic pancreatoduodenectomy (LPD) for the treatment of pancreatic or periampullary tumours remain controversial. Studies have shown that the learning curve plays an important role in LPD, yet there are no randomised studies on LPD after the surgeons have surmounted the learning curve. The aim of this trial was to compare the outcomes of open pancreatoduodenectomy (OPD) with those of LPD, when performed by experienced surgeons.

Methods: In this multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial done in 14 Chinese medical centres, we recruited patients aged 18-75 years with a benign, premalignant, or malignant indication for pancreatoduodenectomy. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to undergo either LPD or OPD. Randomisation was centralised via a computer-generated system that used a block size of four. The patients and surgeons were unmasked to study group, whereas the data collectors, outcome assessors, and data analysts were masked. LPD and OPD were performed by experienced surgeons who had already done at least 104 LPD operations. The primary outcome was the postoperative length of stay. The criteria for discharge were based on functional recovery, and analyses were done on a modified intention-to-treat basis (ie, including patients who had a pancreatoduodenectomy regardless of whether the operation was the one they were assigned to). This trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT03138213.

Findings: Between May 18, 2018, and Dec 19, 2019, we assessed 762 patients for eligibility, of whom 656 were randomly assigned to either the LPD group (n=328) or the OPD group (n=328). 31 patients in each group were excluded and 80 patients crossed over (33 from LPD to OPD, 47 from OPD to LPD). In the modified intention-to-treat analysis (297 patients in the LPD group and 297 patients in the OPD group), the postoperative length of stay was significantly shorter for patients in the LPD group than for patients in the OPD group (median 15·0 days [95% CI 14·0-16·0] vs 16·0 days [15·0-17·0]; p=0·02). 90-day mortality was similar in both groups (five [2%] of 297 patients in the LPD group vs six [2%] of 297 in the OPD group, risk ratio [RR] 0·83 [95% CI 0·26-2·70]; p=0·76). The incidence rate of serious postoperative morbidities (Clavien-Dindo grade of at least 3) was not significantly different in the two groups (85 [29%] of 297 patients in the LPD group vs 69 [23%] of 297 patients in OPD group, RR 1·23 [95% CI 0·94-1·62]; p=0·13). The comprehensive complication index score was not significantly different between the two groups (median score 8·7 [IQR 0·0-26·2] vs 0·0 [0·0-20·9]; p=0·06).

Interpretation: In highly experienced hands, LPD is a safe and feasible procedure. It was associated with a shorter length of stay and similar short-term morbidity and mortality rates to OPD. Nonetheless, the clinical benefit of LPD compared with OPD was marginal despite extensive procedural expertise. Future research should focus on identifying the populations that will benefit from LPD.

Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China and Tongji Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(21)00054-6DOI Listing
June 2021

Challenges of Using Resonance Frequency Analysis to Identify Stability of a Dental Implant Placed in the Mandible.

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2021 Mar-Apr;36(2):e7-e21

Purpose: This numerical study examined the efficacy and challenges of using resonance frequency analysis to identify the stability of implants placed in mandibles. The study also examined the feasibility of using angular stiffness as an alternative index to quantify dental implant stability in mandibles.

Materials And Methods: A finite element model consisting of a mandible, an implant, an abutment, and a bonding layer (between the implant and the mandible) was created in commercially available software ANSYS. The level of osseointegration was modeled by varying the stiffness of the bonding layer. Three sets of boundary conditions were imposed on the mandible: fixed, rotationally free, and rotationally restrained. Three implant locations were studied: central, premolar, and molar positions. An alternative abutment mimicking SmartPeg and eight different implant lengths were also included. A modal analysis and a static analysis were conducted to calculate resonance frequencies and angular stiffness, respectively.

Results: Two types of vibration modes were found. One was jawbone modes, for which the mandible deformed significantly but not the bonding layer. Resonance frequencies of the jawbone modes were not sensitive to the level of osseointegration. The other was implant modes, for which the bonding layer deformed significantly but not the mandible. Among multiple implant modes obtained, only one was trackable as the level of osseointegration increased. The resonance frequency of the trackable implant mode was very sensitive to the implant location as well as boundary conditions, but not as much to the level of osseointegration. In contrast, angular stiffness was sensitive to the level of osseointegration but not as much to boundary conditions.

Conclusion: The efficacy of using resonance frequency analysis to quantify the stability of a dental implant is questionable. Its high sensitivity to implant locations and boundary conditions as well as its low sensitivity to the level of osseointegration cause huge uncertainties in correlating measured resonance frequencies to implant stability. Angular stiffness is a much more reliable indicator because of its high sensitivity to the level of osseointegration and low sensitivity to boundary conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11607/jomi.8579DOI Listing
April 2021

Thermally tunable high-Q metamaterial and sensing application based on liquid metals.

Opt Express 2021 Feb;29(4):6069-6079

Achieving a high Q-factor metamaterial unit for a precision sensing application is highly demanded in recent years, and most of the developed high-performance sensors based on the high-Q metamaterial units are due to the dielectric/magnetic property changes of the substrate/superstrate. In this paper, we propose a completely different sensing metamaterial unit configuration, with good sensing sensitivity and precision properties, based on the thermally tunable liquid metals. Specifically, a basic thermally tunable metamaterial unit, the mercury-inspired split ring resonator (SRR), is firstly presented to theoretically show the magnetic resonance and negative permeability frequency band shift properties under different background temperatures. Then, considering the radiation loss mechanism of the conventional SRR metamaterial unit and based on the physically reliable ability of liquid metals, the modified mercury-inspired Fano and toroidal resonators with a large frequency tuning range and high Q-factor are developed and discussed. The numerical demonstrations have shown that the designed Fano and toroidal resonators have much better sensing precision performances compared to the conventional SRR for the temperature sensing application. The experimental demonstrations have also been used to verify the proposed mercury-based toroidal resonators, and good agreements are achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.418024DOI Listing
February 2021

Noninvasive preimplantation genetic testing in assisted reproductive technology: current state and future perspectives.

J Genet Genomics 2020 12 26;47(12):723-726. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Key Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics (Ministry of Education) and Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310006, China; Key Laboratory of Women's Reproductive Health of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310006, China. Electronic address:

Invasive genetic screening of pre-implantation embryos via biopsied trophectoderm (TE) cells has been in use for more than 20 years, while its benefits in selecting euploid embryos remain controversial. Recent advances in the ability to process embryonic cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from blastocoel fluid (BF) and spent culture media (SCM) of blastocysts in a manner similar to that of a biopsied TE sample provide a potential alternative holding great promise for obtaining cytogenetic information of the embryos without intrusive biopsy of traditional biopsy-based pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT). Several studies have reported even higher diagnostic accuracy in non-invasive PGT (ni-PGT) than conventional PGT. However, there are still several technical challenges to be overcome before ni-PGT can be accepted as a reliable genomic information source of embryo. In this review, we have summarized the emergence and current state of ni-PGT, and discussed our own perspectives on their limitations and future prospect. There is still a long way to go before truly wide clinical application of ni-PGT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgg.2020.11.007DOI Listing
December 2020

High performance exhaled breath biomarkers for diagnosis of lung cancer and potential biomarkers for classification of lung cancer.

J Breath Res 2021 02 13;15(1):016017. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Research Center of Analytical Instrumentation, Key Laboratory of Bio-source and Eco-environment, Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, People's Republic of China.

Exhaled breath analysis has emerged as a promising non-invasive method for diagnosing lung cancer (LC), whereas reliable biomarkers are lacking. Herein, a standardized and systematic study was presented for LC diagnosis, classification and metabolism exploration. To improve the reliability of biomarkers, a validation group was included, and quality control for breath sampling and analysis, comprehensive pollutants analysis, and strict biomarker screening were performed. The performance of exhaled breath biomarkers was shown to be excellent in diagnosing LC even in early stages (stage I and II) with surpassing 0.930 area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC), 90% of sensitivity and 88% of specificity both in the discovery and validation analyses. Meanwhile, in these two groups, diagnosing subtypes of LC attained AUCs over 0.930 and reached 1.00 in the two subtypes of adenocarcinomas. It is demonstrated that the metabolism changes in LC are possibly related to lipid oxidation, gut microbial, cytochrome P450 and glutathione S-transferase, and glutathione pathways change in LC progression. Overall, the reliable biomarkers contribute to the clinical application of breath analysis in screening LC patients as well as those in early stages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1752-7163/abaecbDOI Listing
February 2021

Ursodeoxycholic Acid at 18-22 mg/kg/d Showed a Promising Capacity for Treating Refractory Primary Biliary Cholangitis.

Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 21;2021:6691425. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Sichuan University-University of Oxford Huaxi Joint Centre for Gastrointestinal Cancer, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Aim: To compare the response between the current recommended dosage 13-15 mg/kg/d and 20 mg/kg/d dose of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) patients who do not respond completely to a standard dose of UDCA.

Methods: We included 73 patients with poor response and randomized them into two groups to investigate whether increasing the dosage of UDCA was beneficial to nonresponders. Patients assigned to the 13-15 mg/kg/d group continued with standard therapy, and participants in the 18-22 mg/kg/d group switched to the higher dosage (18-22 mg/kg/d), with a follow-up of 12 months for both groups. The primary endpoints were the rate of response at 6 months and drug side effects.

Results: According to the Paris 2 criteria, patients receiving 18-22 mg/kg/d UDCA achieved a response rate of 59.4% compared with 36.1% in the standard dosage group (=0.046) at 6 months, respectively. At 12 months, the high-UDCA-dosage group achieved a response rate of 59.4% compared with 47.2% in the standard dosage group (=0.295), respectively. Additionally, the risk score predicted by the UK-PBC model was lower in high-dosage UDCA-treated patients than in the standard dosage group (all < 0.05). Side effects include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, rash, and newly developed high blood pressure, which were mild and tolerated.

Conclusions: Patients treated with the high UDCA dosage showed some advantages over those who continued the standard dosage in terms of biochemical remission and disease progression, indicating that standard therapy with UDCA for 6 months and then another 1 year with high UDCA dosage for nonresponders could be a treatment option before second-line therapy is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6691425DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7843178PMC
January 2021

PSANet: Pyramid Splitting and Aggregation Network for 3D Object Detection in Point Cloud.

Sensors (Basel) 2020 Dec 28;21(1). Epub 2020 Dec 28.

National Engineering Laboratory for Risk Perception and Prevention (NEL-RPP), Beijing 100041, China.

3D object detection in LiDAR point clouds has been extensively used in autonomous driving, intelligent robotics, and augmented reality. Although the one-stage 3D detector has satisfactory training and inference speed, there are still some performance problems due to insufficient utilization of bird's eye view (BEV) information. In this paper, a new backbone network is proposed to complete the cross-layer fusion of multi-scale BEV feature maps, which makes full use of various information for detection. Specifically, our proposed backbone network can be divided into a coarse branch and a fine branch. In the coarse branch, we use the pyramidal feature hierarchy (PFH) to generate multi-scale BEV feature maps, which retain the advantages of different levels and serves as the input of the fine branch. In the fine branch, our proposed pyramid splitting and aggregation (PSA) module deeply integrates different levels of multi-scale feature maps, thereby improving the expressive ability of the final features. Extensive experiments on the challenging KITTI-3D benchmark show that our method has better performance in both 3D and BEV object detection compared with some previous state-of-the-art methods. Experimental results with average precision (AP) prove the effectiveness of our network.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21010136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796238PMC
December 2020

Whole and Part Adaptive Fusion Graph Convolutional Networks for Skeleton-Based Action Recognition.

Sensors (Basel) 2020 Dec 13;20(24). Epub 2020 Dec 13.

National Engineering Laboratory for Risk Perception and Prevention (NEL-RPP), Beijing 100041, China.

Spatiotemporal graph convolution has made significant progress in skeleton-based action recognition in recent years. Most of the existing graph convolution methods take all the joints of the human skeleton as the overall modeling graph, ignoring the differences in the movement patterns of various parts of the human, and cannot well connect the relationship between the different parts of the human skeleton. To capture the unique features of different parts of human skeleton data and the correlation of different parts, we propose two new graph convolution methods: the whole graph convolution network (WGCN) and the part graph convolution network (PGCN). WGCN learns the whole scale skeleton spatiotemporal features according to the movement patterns and physical structure of the human skeleton. PGCN divides the human skeleton graph into several subgraphs to learn the part scale spatiotemporal features. Moreover, we propose an adaptive fusion module that combines the two features for multiple complementary adaptive fusion to obtain more effective skeleton features. By coupling these proposals, we build a whole and part adaptive fusion graph convolution neural network (WPGCN) that outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods on three large-scale datasets: NTU RGB+D 60, NTU RGB+D 120, and Kinetics Skeleton 400.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s20247149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763937PMC
December 2020

Vitamin D supplementation prior to in vitro fertilisation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a protocol of a multicentre randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

BMJ Open 2020 12 8;10(12):e041409. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Key Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics, Ministry of Education, Women's Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Introduction: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the leading causes of female infertility, affecting around 5% of women of childbearing age in China. Vitamin D insufficiency is common in women with PCOS and is associated with lower live birth rates. However, evidence regarding the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in women with PCOS is inconclusive. This multicentre randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation prior to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) on the live birth rate in women with PCOS.

Methods And Analysis: We plan to enrol women with PCOS scheduled for IVF. After informed consent, eligible participants will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive oral capsules of 4000 IU vitamin D per day or placebo for around 12 weeks until the day of triggering. All IVF procedures will be carried out routinely in each centre. The primary outcome is live birth after the first embryo transfer. The primary analysis will be by intention-to-treat analysis. To demonstrate or refute that treatment with vitamin D results in a 10% higher live birth rate than treatment with placebo, we need to recruit 860 women (48% vs 38% difference, anticipating 10% loss to follow-up and non-compliance, significance level 0.05 and power 80%).

Ethics And Dissemination: This study has been approved by the Ethics Committee in Women's Hospital of Zhejiang University on 2 March 2020 (reference number: IRB-20200035-R). All participants will provide written informed consent before randomisation. The results of the study will be submitted to scientific conferences and a peer-reviewed journal.

Trial Registration Number: NCT04082650.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041409DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725097PMC
December 2020

EPGNet: Enhanced Point Cloud Generation for 3D Object Detection.

Sensors (Basel) 2020 Dec 4;20(23). Epub 2020 Dec 4.

National Engineering Laboratory for Public Safety Risk Perception and Control by Big Data (NEL-PSRPC), Beijing 100041, China.

Three-dimensional object detection from point cloud data is becoming more and more significant, especially for autonomous driving applications. However, it is difficult for lidar to obtain the complete structure of an object in a real scene due to its scanning characteristics. Although the existing methods have made great progress, most of them ignore the prior information of object structure, such as symmetry. So, in this paper, we use the symmetry of the object to complete the missing part in the point cloud and then detect it. Specifically, we propose a two-stage detection framework. In the first stage, we adopt an encoder-decoder structure to generate the symmetry points of the foreground points and make the symmetry points and the non-empty voxel centers form an enhanced point cloud. In the second stage, the enhanced point cloud is input into the baseline, which is an anchor-based region proposal network, to generate the detection results. Extensive experiments on the challenging KITTI benchmark show the effectiveness of our method, which has better performance on both 3D and BEV (bird's eye view) object detection compared with some previous state-of-the-art methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s20236927DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730589PMC
December 2020

Association between social participation and cognitive function among middle- and old-aged Chinese: A fixed-effects analysis.

J Glob Health 2020 Dec;10(2):020801

School of Medicine and Health Management, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Background: Social Participation (SP) is known to benefit cognitive function. However, whether the positive relationship holds across different types of SP and dimensions of cognitive function, and whether the statement stays true in middle- and old-aged Chinese have not been investigated. The present study aimed to understand the current patterns of SP and cognitive function in China's context, and therefore, explore the associations between cognitive function and SP at different levels from various aspects.

Methods: A total of 7973 community residents aged 45 years and older were selected from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS, 2011-2015). A fixed-effects analysis was used to explore the association between changes in SP (diversity, frequency, and type) and that in cognitive function (memory and mental status) over a four-year period.

Results: Changing from no SP to more variety (β = 0.377, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.192-0.562 for 1 type, β = 0.703, 95% CI = 0.470-0.937 for ≥2 types) or higher frequency (β = 0.235, 95% CI = 0.007-0.462 for not regularly, β = 0.604, 95% CI = 0.411-0.798) of SP was associated with improvements in cognitive function. Playing mah-jong and using Internet were associated with improved memory but not with mental status. Sports and volunteering were associated with improved mental status but not with memory. The same pattern was observed in men and in women.

Conclusions: The study confirmed that more diversity and higher frequency of SP was associated with improved cognitive function, whereas reminded policymakers to consider cultural context when developing target strategies to improve cognitive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7189/jogh.10.020801DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7568928PMC
December 2020

Perceived quality of primary healthcare services and its association with institutional trust among caregivers of persons diagnosed with a severe mental illness in China.

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 2021 Jun 17;28(3):394-408. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Shenzhen Kanning Hospital, Shenzhen, China.

What Is Known On The Subject: Low utilization of the family-oriented community rehabilitation services is a threatening challenge facing low- and middle- income countries. Family caregiver's trust in community healthcare providers is the precondition of service utilization and is shaped by their perceived quality of primary healthcare services from previous experience. Most of the studies concerning the relationship between perceived quality and institutional trust were conducted in western countries, resulting in limited attention paid to conditions in non-western countries. Which aspect of quality predicts institutional trust in China has not been studied yet.

What The Paper Adds To Existing Knowledge: In China's context, institutional trust was generally associated with communication, worry relief and risk of privacy leak, but not with technical competence. Significant rural-urban disparity was observed: among rural respondents, institutional trust was associated with technical competence, communication and risk of privacy leak, but not with worry relief; institutional trust was only associated with worry relief in urban respondents.

What Are The Implications For Practice: Mental health nurses training or working with community healthcare workers may improve their technical and communicative competence. Priorities may differ between rural and urban areas. Mental health nurses or community healthcare workers may provide more family-oriented psycho-education to rural families, and more emotional support to urban families. Wider public anti-stigma initiatives are needed to reduce the affiliated stigma of families of persons diagnosed with a severe mental illness.

Abstract: Introduction Prior studies suggested that caregiver's trust in community healthcare providers is the precondition of the utilization of community-based rehabilitation services and is shaped by their perceived quality of primary healthcare services. Nevertheless, the research conducted in non-western countries is scarce, and which aspect of quality is associated with institutional trust in China has not been studied. Aim To explore the association between perceived quality of primary healthcare services and institutional trust in China's context. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted with 796 family caregivers from Eastern, Central and Western China between August 2018 and October 2019. Perceived quality of primary healthcare services was measured by technical competence, communication, worry relief and risk of privacy leak. Results Institutional trust was generally associated with communication, worry relief and risk of privacy leak, but not with technical competence. Among rural respondents, institutional trust was associated with technical competence, communication and risk of privacy leak, but not with worry relief. Contrary finding was observed in urban respondents. Discussion and implications for practice With rural-urban disparity considered, strategies such as improving the technical and communicative competence of community healthcare workers, providing family-oriented psycho-education and emotional support, and promoting public anti-stigma initiatives may be worth consideration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12687DOI Listing
June 2021

The Association Between Previous TORCH Infections and Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes in IVF/ICSI-ET: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2020 5;11:466. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Key Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics (Ministry of Education), Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, School of Medicine, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

This study aimed to investigate the associations between previous TORCH infection (cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, herpes simplex virus, and rubella) with pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in couples undergoing IVF/ICSI-ET. A total of 18,074 couples underwent fresh IVF/ICSI-ET ( fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection-embryo transfer) cycles were included in our analyses. TORCH infection status was determined by serological confirmation of cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, herpes simplex virus, and rubella IgG in the absence of IgM antibodies. Clinical pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, live birth, preterm birth, congenital malformation, and perinatal death were evaluated in both infection and non-infection group. Multivariate logistic regression was applied to calculate odds ratio. Previous toxoplasmosis infection is associated with a significantly decreased preterm birth rate [ = 0.045, OR = 0.755 (95% CI, 0.571-0.997), Adjusted OR = 0.749 (95%CI, 0.566-0.991)]. No differences in clinical pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and perinatal death were observed between the corresponding TORCH infection group [IgM (-) IgG(+)] and the non-infection group [IgM (-) IgG (-)]. Previous TORCH infections were not associated with adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in IVF/ICSI-ET overall, and toxoplasmosis infection might be associated with a lower preterm birth rate in patients underwent IVF/ICSI-ET. The necessity of TORCH IgG screening in IVF procedure might need re-evaluation, and further cost-effective analysis might be helpful for the clinical management strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7419419PMC
May 2021

Association of Metformin With Pregnancy Outcomes in Women With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 08 3;3(8):e2011995. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Women's Reproductive Health Research Key Laboratory of Zhejiang Province, Women's Hospital, Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Importance: Metformin is widely used among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, its associations with outcomes of in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection and embryo transfer (IVF/ICSI-ET) in women with PCOS remain controversial.

Objective: To assess whether metformin is associated with improved outcomes of IVF/ICSI-ET in women with PCOS.

Data Sources: PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane were searched from database inception to January 31, 2020.

Study Selection: Only randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included. Eligible studies enrolled women with PCOS undergoing infertility treatment with IVF/ICSI-ET and reported at least 1 outcome of IVF/ICSI-ET.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: This study followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta analyses guidelines. Two authors independently extracted the data. Study quality was evaluated using the GRADE system. Treatment effect was quantified using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs using random-effect models with the Mantel-Haenszel method.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), clinical pregnancy rate, and live birth rate.

Results: A total of 12 RCTs, which collectively included 1123 women with PCOS undergoing infertility treatment with IVF/ICSI-ET, were identified. The risk of OHSS in women randomized to metformin was lower than in women not randomized to metformin (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.24-0.78), although this difference was not significant for women with PCOS with a body mass index of less than 26 (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.30-1.51). There was no significant difference in clinical pregnancy rate (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.82-1.86) or live birth rate (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 0.74-2.04) in the total population studied. However, in a post hoc analysis among women with a body mass index of 26 or greater, metformin treatment was associated with increased clinical pregnancy rates (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.12-2.60).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, metformin treatment was associated with a decreased risk of OHSS but had no association with the overall clinical pregnancy rate or live birth rate among women with PCOS undergoing IVF/ICSI-ET. Metformin treatment should be carefully considered for women with PCOS undergoing IVF/ICSI-ET and may be more preferred for women with a body mass index greater than 26.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.11995DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399751PMC
August 2020

Risk of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Transmission in Train Passengers: an Epidemiological and Modeling Study.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 02;72(4):604-610

WorldPop, School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.

Background: Train travel is a common mode of public transport across the globe; however, the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission among individual train passengers remains unclear.

Methods: We quantified the transmission risk of COVID-19 on high-speed train passengers using data from 2334 index patients and 72 093 close contacts who had co-travel times of 0-8 hours from 19 December 2019 through 6 March 2020 in China. We analyzed the spatial and temporal distribution of COVID-19 transmission among train passengers to elucidate the associations between infection, spatial distance, and co-travel time.

Results: The attack rate in train passengers on seats within a distance of 3 rows and 5 columns of the index patient varied from 0 to 10.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.3%-19.0%), with a mean of 0.32% (95% CI, .29%-.37%). Passengers in seats on the same row (including the adjacent passengers to the index patient) as the index patient had an average attack rate of 1.5% (95% CI, 1.3%-1.8%), higher than that in other rows (0.14% [95% CI, .11%-.17%]), with a relative risk (RR) of 11.2 (95% CI, 8.6-14.6). Travelers adjacent to the index patient had the highest attack rate (3.5% [95% CI, 2.9%-4.3%]) of COVID-19 infection (RR, 18.0 [95% CI, 13.9-23.4]) among all seats. The attack rate decreased with increasing distance, but increased with increasing co-travel time. The attack rate increased on average by 0.15% (P = .005) per hour of co-travel; for passengers in adjacent seats, this increase was 1.3% (P = .008), the highest among all seats considered.

Conclusions: COVID-19 has a high transmission risk among train passengers, but this risk shows significant differences with co-travel time and seat location. During disease outbreaks, when traveling on public transportation in confined spaces such as trains, measures should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission, including increasing seat distance, reducing passenger density, and use of personal hygiene protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7454391PMC
February 2021

Remarks on Computational Method for Identifying Acid and Alkaline Enzymes.

Curr Pharm Des 2020 ;26(26):3105-3114

Department of Computer Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 65211, United States.

The catalytic efficiency of the enzyme is thousands of times higher than that of ordinary catalysts. Thus, they are widely used in industrial and medical fields. However, enzymes with protein structure can be destroyed and inactivated in high temperature, over acid or over alkali environment. It is well known that most of enzymes work well in an environment with pH of 6-8, while some special enzymes remain active only in an alkaline environment with pH > 8 or an acidic environment with pH < 6. Therefore, the identification of acidic and alkaline enzymes has become a key task for industrial production. Because of the wide varieties of enzymes, it is hard work to determine the acidity and alkalinity of the enzyme by experimental methods, and even this task cannot be achieved. Converting protein sequences into digital features and building computational models can efficiently and accurately identify the acidity and alkalinity of enzymes. This review summarized the progress of the digital features to express proteins and computational methods to identify acidic and alkaline enzymes. We hope that this paper will provide more convenience, ideas, and guides for computationally classifying acid and alkaline enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612826666200617170826DOI Listing
January 2021

Variety, frequency, and type of Internet use and its association with risk of depression in middle- and older-aged Chinese: A cross-sectional study.

J Affect Disord 2020 08 12;273:280-290. Epub 2020 May 12.

School of Medicine and Health Management, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, 430030, China; Research center for Rural Health Services, Hubei Province Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei, 430030, China. Electronic address:

Background: Internet use is beneficial to mental health has been acknowledged, but its specific patterns await further investigation in China's context of urban-rural disparity. Therefore, we aimed to understand the patterns of Internet use and measure their associations with risk of depression in China from three dimensions: variety, frequency and type.

Methods: We selected 18,492 urban and rural Chinses respondents aged 45 years and older from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) 2015 dataset. Risk of depression was measured by 10-item Centre for Epidemiologic Studies (CES-D 10). Internet use was measured from three dimensions: variety, frequency and type, whereas its relationship with risk of depression was examined by multivariate logistic regression model.

Results: In the whole sample, 67.2% of respondents had no risk of depression, and approximately 7% used Internet, which was inversely associated with risk of depression (AOR=0.617, 95% CI=0.444, 0.858). Rural respondents had higher risk of depression (37.1% VS 26.2%) and lower prevalence of Internet use (2.6% VS 13%). Among rural respondents, using Internet occasionally (AOR=0.338; 95% CI=0.130, 0.881), using one type of device (AOR=0.293; 95% CI=0.113, 0.760), especially mobile phone (AOR=0.427; 95% CI=0.187, 0.978) were associated with lower odds of depression. No significant associations were observed in urban respondents.

Limitations: The causal relationship between variables awaits further investigation with a longitudinal design.

Conclusion: Internet use was negatively associated with risks of depression, especially in rural but not in urban participants. Rural-urban disparities should be considered when designing strategies to encourage moderate Internet use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.04.022DOI Listing
August 2020

Reduced length of hospitalization and associated healthcare costs using an enhanced recovery pathway after kidney transplant surgery.

J Clin Anesth 2020 Oct 12;65:109855. Epub 2020 May 12.

Department of Anesthesiology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA, United States of America. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinane.2020.109855DOI Listing
October 2020

Dipeptide Frequency of Word Frequency and Graph Convolutional Networks for DTA Prediction.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2020 3;8:267. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Deep learning is an effective method to capture drug-target binding affinity, but low accuracy is still an obstacle to be overcome. Thus, we propose a novel predictor for drug-target binding affinity based on dipeptide frequency of word frequency encoding and a hybrid graph convolutional network. Word frequency characteristics of natural language are used to improve the frequency characteristics of peptides to express target proteins. For each drug molecules, the five different features of drug atoms and the atomic bond relationships are expressed as graphs. The obtained protein features and graph structure are used as the input of convolution neural network and the input of graph convolution neural network, respectively. A prediction model is established to predict the drug affinity by calculating the hidden relationship. In the KIBA data set test experiment, the consistency coefficient of the model is 0.901, which is 0.01 higher than the existing model, and the MSE (mean square error) of the model is 0.126, which is 5% lower than the existing model. In Davis data set test experiment, the consistency coefficient of the model is 0.895, which is 0.006 higher than the existing model, and the MSE of the model is 0.220, which is 4% lower than the existing model. These results show that our proposed method can not only predict the affinity better than those existing models, but also outperform unitary deep learning approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147459PMC
April 2020

The effects and mechanisms of GM-CSF on endometrial regeneration.

Cytokine 2020 01 23;125:154850. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Key Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics (Ministry of Education) and Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310006, PR China. Electronic address:

Background: Endometrial injury can result in thin endometrium and subfertility. Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) contributes to tissue repair, but its role in endometrial regeneration has not been investigated.

Methods: To determine the effect of GM-CSF on endometrial regeneration, we established a mouse model of thin endometrium by uterine perfusion with 20 μL 90% ethanol. Thin endometrium in mice was featured by lowered endometrial thickness, decreased expression of Ki67 in glandular cells, and a reduced number of implantation sites. To explore the mechanism of GM-CSF on endometrial regeneration, endometrium was obtained from patients undergoing hysterectomy or hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy. Effects of GM-CSF on primary cultured human endometrial glandular and stromal cells were examined by the 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) proliferation assay and transwell migration assay, followed by exploration of the potential signaling pathway.

Results: GM-CSF intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection significantly increased endometrial thickness, expression of Ki67 in endometrial glandular cells, and the number of implantation sites. GM-CSF significantly promoted proliferation of primary human endometrial glandular cells and migration of stromal cells. GM-CSF activated p-Akt and increased expressions of p70S6K and c-Jun, which were blocked by LY294002.

Conclusion: We found that GM-CSF could improve endometrial regeneration, possibly through activating PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cyto.2019.154850DOI Listing
January 2020

VOC biomarkers identification and predictive model construction for lung cancer based on exhaled breath analysis: research protocol for an exploratory study.

BMJ Open 2019 08 8;9(8):e028448. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Research Center of Analytical Instrumentation, The College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Introduction: Lung cancer is the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in China, as well as in the world. Late diagnosis is the main obstacle to improving survival. Currently, early detection methods for lung cancer have many limitations, for example, low specificity, risk of radiation exposure and overdiagnosis. Exhaled breath analysis is one of the most promising non-invasive techniques for early detection of lung cancer. The aim of this study is to identify volatile organic compound (VOC) biomarkers in lung cancer and to construct a predictive model for lung cancer based on exhaled breath analysis.

Methods And Analysis: The study will recruit 389 lung cancer patients in one cancer centre and 389 healthy subjects in two lung cancer screening centres. Bio-VOC breath sampler and Tedlar bag will be used to collect breath samples. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry coupled with solid phase microextraction technique will be used to analyse VOCs in exhaled breath. VOC biomarkers with statistical significance and showing abilities to discriminate lung cancer patients from healthy subjects will be selected for the construction of predictive model for lung cancer.

Ethics And Dissemination: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Sichuan Cancer Hospital on 6 April 2017 (No. SCCHEC-02-2017-011). The results of this study will be disseminated in presentations at academic conferences, publications in peer-reviewed journals and the news media.

Trial Registration Number: ChiCTR-DOD-17011134; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028448DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6701581PMC
August 2019

The miR-186-3p/EREG axis orchestrates tamoxifen resistance and aerobic glycolysis in breast cancer cells.

Oncogene 2019 07 9;38(28):5551-5565. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Key Laboratory of Diagnostic Medicine Designated by the Ministry of Education, Chongqing Medical University, 400016, Chongqing, China.

Tamoxifen resistance is one of the major challenges for its medical uses in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Aerobic glycolysis, an anomalous characteristic of glucose metabolism in cancer cells, has been shown to associate with the resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. It remains, however, largely unclear whether and how tamoxifen resistance contributes to aerobic glycolysis in breast cancer. Here, we report that tamoxifen resistance is associated with enhanced glycolysis in ER-positive breast cancer cells. We demonstrate that EREG, an agonist of EGFR, has an important role in enhancing glycolysis via activating EGFR signaling and its downstream glycolytic genes in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells. We further show that EREG is a direct target of miR-186-3p and that downregulation of miR-186-3p by tamoxifen results in EREG upregulation in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells. Importantly, systemic delivery of cholesterol-modified agomiR-186-3p to mice bearing tamoxifen-resistant breast tumors effectively attenuates both tumor growth and [F]-fluoro-deoxyglucose ([F]-FDG) uptake. Together, our results reveal a novel molecular mechanism of resistance to hormone therapies in which the miR-186-3p/EREG axis orchestrates tamoxifen resistance and aerobic glycolysis in ER-positive breast cancer, suggesting targeting miR-186-3p as a promising strategy for therapeutic intervention in endocrine-resistant breast tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-019-0817-3DOI Listing
July 2019

MicroRNA-186 promotes cell proliferation and inhibits cell apoptosis in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma by targeting RETREG1.

Exp Ther Med 2019 Mar 7;17(3):1930-1938. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Hanpu Science and Teaching Park, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha, Hunan 410208, P.R. China.

MicroRNAs (miRs), a class of small non-coding RNAs, have been demonstrated to be involved in the development and progression of human malignancies, including cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC). miR-186 serves a suppressive role in certain common types of human cancer; however, its exact function in CSCC has not been reported previously. In the present study, the expression of miR-186 was significantly increased in CSCC tissues compared with adjacent non-tumour tissues. Overexpression of miR-186 significantly promoted CSCC cell proliferation while inhibiting cell apoptosis. Reticulophagy regulator 1 (RETREG1), a gene that is significantly downregulated in CSCC tissues and cell lines, was identified as a novel target of miR-186. In addition, the expression of RETREG1 was inversely correlated with miR-186 expression in CSCC tissues. Furthermore, the expression of RETREG1 was negatively regulated by miR-186 in CSCC cells, and restoration of RETREG1 attenuated the effects of miR-186 on CSCC cells. Taken together, the results of the current study suggest that miR-186 serves an oncogenic role in CSCC and may be used as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.7154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396005PMC
March 2019

Pharmacological treatments for generalised anxiety disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

Lancet 2019 02 31;393(10173):768-777. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Institute for Clinical Trials, University College London, London UK. Electronic address:

Background: Generalised anxiety disorder is a disease that can be associated with substantial dysfunction. Pharmacological treatment is often the first choice for clinicians because of the cost and resource constraints of psychological alternatives, but there is a paucity of comparative information for the multiple available drug choices.

Methods: A systematic review and network meta-analysis was performed on randomised trials in adult outpatients with generalised anxiety disorder identified from MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, ClinicalTrials.gov, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang data, [email protected] and commercial pharmaceutical registries. Placebo and active control trials were included. Data were extracted from all manuscripts and reports. Primary outcomes were efficacy (mean difference [MD] in change in Hamilton Anxiety Scale Score) and acceptability (study discontinuations for any cause). We estimated summary mean treatment differences and odds ratios using network meta-analyses with random effects. This study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42018087106.

Findings: Studies were published between Jan 1, 1994 and Aug 1, 2017, in which 1992 potential studies were screened for inclusion. This analysis is based on 89 trials, which included 25 441 patients randomly assigned to 22 different active drugs or placebo. Duloxetine (MD -3·13, 95% credible interval [CrI] -4·13 to -2·13), pregabalin (MD -2·79, 95% CrI -3·69 to -1·91), venlafaxine (MD -2·69, 95% CrI -3·50 to -1·89), and escitalopram (MD -2·45, 95% CrI -3·27 to -1·63) were more efficacious than placebo with relatively good acceptability. Mirtazapine, sertraline, fluoxetine, buspirone, and agomelatine were also found to be efficacious and well tolerated but these findings were limited by small sample sizes. Quetiapine (MD -3·60 95% CrI -4·83 to -2·39) had the largest effect on HAM-A but it was poorly tolerated (odds ratio 1·44, 95% CrI 1·16-1·80) when compared with placebo. Likewise, paroxetine and benzodiazepines were effective but also poorly tolerated when compared with placebo. Risk of reporting bias was considered low, and when possible all completed studies were included to avoid publication bias.

Interpretation: To our knowledge, this is the largest contemporary review of pharmacological agents for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder by use of network analysis. There are several effective treatment choices for generalised anxiety disorder across classes of medication. The failure of initial pharmacological therapy might not be a reason to abandon a pharmacological treatment strategy.

Funding: No funding was received for this research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31793-8DOI Listing
February 2019

Factors affecting the live-birth rate in women with diminished ovarian reserve undergoing IVF-ET.

Arch Gynecol Obstet 2018 11 19;298(5):1017-1027. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Key Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics (Ministry of Education), and Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310006, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: The occurrence of diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) in women was growing in recent years. Although in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) became an effective treatment for DOR, the live-birth (LB) rate remains unsatisfactory. This study aimed to investigate the impact factors of LB rate in women with DOR undergoing assisted reproduction.

Methods: This was a single-center retrospective cohort study. A total of 2277 IVF-ET or ICSI cycles from 1957 DOR women were analysed. Impact factors of LB rate were explored via Student's t test, Pearson's Chi-square test, and multivariate logistic regression models.

Results: There were statistically significant differences in maternal age (P < 0.001), duration of infertility (P < 0.001), female body mass index (P = 0.039), first IVF cycle (P = 0.004), poor ovarian response (P < 0.001), paternal age (P < 0.001), total gonadotropin dose (P = 0.010), endometrial thickness (P = 0.021), number of follicles ≥ 14 mm (P = 0.007), number of oocytes retrieved (P < 0.001), number of frozen embryos (P = 0.014), and the stage (P < 0.001) and number (P < 0.001) of embryos transferred between the non-live-birth (NLB) and LB groups. However, only factors of maternal age, the stage and number of embryos transferred remained different after adjusting for potential confounders.

Conclusions: Maternal age, the stage and number of embryos transferred were independent impact factors affecting the live-birth rate in women with DOR seeking for assisted conception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00404-018-4884-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6182694PMC
November 2018

Recruitment and retention strategies in mental health trials - A systematic review.

PLoS One 2018 29;13(8):e0203127. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Recruitment and retention challenges are very common in mental health randomised trials. Investigators utilise different methods to improve recruitment or retention. However, evidence of the effectiveness and efficiency of these strategies in mental health has not been synthesised. This systematic review is to investigate and assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different strategies to improve recruitment and retention in mental health randomised trials.

Methods And Materials: MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Methodology Register and PsycINFO were searched from beginning of record up to July 2016. Randomised trials involving participants with mental health problems which compared different strategies for recruitment or retention were selected. Two authors independently screened identified studies for eligibility.

Results: A total of 5,157 citations were identified. Thirteen articles were included, 11 on recruitment and 2 on retention. Three randomised controlled trials compared different recruitment strategies, none of which found statistically significant differences between the interventional recruitment strategies and the routine recruitment methods. Retrospective comparisons of recruitment methods showed that non-web-based advertisement and recruitment by clinical research staff each have advantages in efficiency. Web-based adverts had the lowest cost per person recruited (£13.41 per person recruited). Specialised care referral cost £183.24 per person, non-web-based adverts cost £372.03 per patient and recruitment via primary care cost £407.65 for each patient. Financial incentives, abridged questionnaires and pre-notification had a positive effect on retention rates.

Conclusion: The recruitment studies included showed differences in strategies, clinical settings, mental health conditions and study design. It is difficult to assess the overall effectiveness of any particular recruitment strategy as some strategies that worked well for a particular population may not work as well for others. Paying attention to the accessibility of information and consent materials may help improve recruitment. More research in this area is needed given its important implications.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203127PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6114918PMC
February 2019

Activation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) leads to cytokine profile shift to pro-inflammatory in labor.

EMBO Mol Med 2018 10;10(10)

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

The shift of cytokine profile from anti- to pro-inflammatory is the most recognizable sign of labor, although the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Here, we report that the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is upregulated and activated in the uterus at labor in mice. Mechanical activation of ENaC results in phosphorylation of CREB and upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as COX-2/PGE in uterine epithelial cells. ENaC expression is also upregulated in mice with RU486-induced preterm labor as well as in women with preterm labor. Interference with ENaC attenuates mechanically stimulated uterine contractions and significantly delays the RU486-induced preterm labor in mice. Analysis of a human transcriptome database for maternal-fetus tissue/blood collected at onset of human term and preterm births reveals significant and positive correlation of ENaC with labor-associated pro-inflammatory factors in labored birth groups (both term and preterm), but not in non-labored birth groups. Taken together, the present finding reveals a pro-inflammatory role of ENaC in labor at term and preterm, suggesting it as a potential target for the prevention and treatment of preterm labor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.201808868DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6402451PMC
October 2018

Basonuclin 1 deficiency is a cause of primary ovarian insufficiency.

Hum Mol Genet 2018 11;27(21):3787-3800

Key Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics (Ministry of Education) and Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Zhejiang, China.

Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) leads to infertility and premature menopause in young women. The genetic etiology of this disorder remains unknown in most patients. Using whole exome sequencing of a large Chinese POI pedigree, we identified a heterozygous 5 bp deletion inducing a frameshift in BNC1, which is predicted to result in a non-sense-mediated decay or a truncated BNC1 protein. Sanger sequencing identified another BNC1 missense mutation in 4 of 82 idiopathic patients with POI, and the mutation was absent in 332 healthy controls. Transfection of recombinant plasmids with the frameshift mutant and separately with the missense mutant in HEK293T cells led to abnormal nuclear localization. Knockdown of BNC1 was found to reduce BMP15 and p-AKT levels and to inhibit meiosis in oocytes. A female mouse model of the human Bnc1 frameshift mutation exhibited infertility, significantly increased serum follicle-stimulating hormone, decreased ovary size and reduced follicle numbers, consistent with POI. We report haploinsufficiency of BNC1 as an etiology of human autosomal dominant POI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy261DOI Listing
November 2018