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1.  Effectiveness of a life story work program on older adults with intellectual disabilities 
This study examines the effectiveness of a life story work program (LSWp) in older adults with mild-to-moderate levels of intellectual disability (ID).
Using a quasiexperimental design, this study assigned 60 older adults who were between 50–90 years old with mild-to-moderate levels of ID to receive either the LSWp (intervention group, N=32) or usual activities (control group, N=28) during a period of 6 months. Evaluation was made based on the outcomes assessed by the Mood Interest and Pleasure Questionnaire, the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, and the Personal Wellbeing Index – ID.
Results and conclusion
LSWp shows potential for improving the quality of life and preventing the loss of interest and pleasure in older adults with ID. It also shows promise in enhancing their socialization skills. Patients with better communication abilities seemed to benefit more from the LSWp.
PMCID: PMC4222619  PMID: 25382974
life story work; life story book; intellectual disabilities; older adults; effectiveness
2.  Effectiveness of cognitive training for Chinese elderly in Hong Kong 
In Hong Kong, the evidence for cognitive-training programs in fighting against memory complaints is lacking. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Active Mind cognitive-training program in improving the cognitive function and quality of life (QoL) for local community-dwelling Chinese older adults. A total of 200 subjects were recruited from 20 different district elderly community centers (DECCs). Centers were randomly assigned into either the intervention group or control group. The intervention group underwent eight 1-hour sessions of cognitive training, while the control group were included in the usual group activities provided by the DECCs. Standardized neuropsychological tests (the Chinese version of Mattis Dementia Rating Scale [CDRS] and the Cantonese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination) and the QoL questionnaire SF12 were used to assess participants’ cognitive function and QoL before and after the trial. A total of 176 subjects completed the study. The intervention group showed greater improvement in the cognitive function measured by total CDRS score (treatment: 12.24 ± 11.57 vs control: 4.37 ± 7.99; P < 0.001) and QoL measured by total SF12 score (treatment: 7.82 ± 13.19 vs control: 3.18 ± 11.61; P = 0.014). Subjects with lower education level were associated with better cognitive response to the cognitive-training program. The current findings indicated that the Active Mind cognitive-training program was effective in improving the cognitive function and QoL for community-dwelling Chinese older adults in Hong Kong.
PMCID: PMC3578501  PMID: 23440076
cognitive training; cognitive stimulation; memory; older adults; effectiveness
3.  Investigating the relationship between UMODL1 gene polymorphisms and high myopia: a case–control study in Chinese 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:64.
The UMODL1 gene was found to be associated with high myopia in Japanese. This study aimed to investigate this gene for association with high myopia in Chinese.
Two groups of unrelated Han Chinese from Hong Kong were recruited using the same criteria: Sample Set 1 comprising 356 controls (spherical equivalent, SE, within ±1 diopter or D) and 356 cases (SE ≤ −8D), and Sample Set 2 comprising 394 controls and 526 cases. Fifty-nine tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected and genotyped for Sample Set 1. Four SNPs were followed up with Sample Set 2. Both single-marker and haplotype analyses were performed with cases defined by different SE thresholds. Secondary phenotypes were also analyzed for association with genotypes.
Data filtering left 57 SNPs for analysis. Single-marker analysis did not reveal any significant differences between cases and controls in the initial study. However, haplotype GCT for markers rs220168-rs220170-rs11911271 showed marginal significance (empirical P = 0.076; SE ≤ −12D for cases), but could not be replicated in the follow-up study. In contrast, non-synonymous SNP rs3819142 was associated with high myopia (SE ≤ −10D) in the follow-up study, but could not be confirmed using Sample Set 1. The SNP rs2839471, positive in the original Japanese study, gave negative results in all our analyses. Exploratory analysis of secondary phenotypes indicated that allele C of rs220120 was associated with anterior chamber depth (adjusted P = 0.0460).
Common UMODL1 polymorphisms were unlikely to be important in the genetic susceptibility to high myopia in Han Chinese.
PMCID: PMC3489600  PMID: 22857148
High myopia; UMODL1; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Association study; Secondary phenotype
4.  UPDG: Utilities package for data analysis of Pooled DNA GWAS 
BMC Genetics  2012;13:1.
Despite being a well-established strategy for cost reduction in disease gene mapping, pooled DNA association study is much less popular than the individual DNA approach. This situation is especially true for pooled DNA genomewide association study (GWAS), for which very few computer resources have been developed for its data analysis. This motivates the development of UPDG (Utilities package for data analysis of Pooled DNA GWAS).
UPDG represents a generalized framework for data analysis of pooled DNA GWAS with the integration of Unix/Linux shell operations, Perl programs and R scripts. With the input of raw intensity data from GWAS, UPDG performs the following tasks in a stepwise manner: raw data manipulation, correction for allelic preferential amplification, normalization, nested analysis of variance for genetic association testing, and summarization of analysis results. Detailed instructions, procedures and commands are provided in the comprehensive user manual describing the whole process from preliminary preparation of software installation to final outcome acquisition. An example dataset (input files and sample output files) is also included in the package so that users can easily familiarize themselves with the data file formats, working procedures and expected output. Therefore, UPDG is especially useful for users with some computer knowledge, but without a sophisticated programming background.
UPDG provides a free, simple and platform-independent one-stop service to scientists working on pooled DNA GWAS data analysis, but with less advanced programming knowledge. It is our vision and mission to reduce the hindrance for performing data analysis of pooled DNA GWAS through our contribution of UPDG. More importantly, we hope to promote the popularity of pooled DNA GWAS, which is a very useful research strategy.
PMCID: PMC3293712  PMID: 22252406
5.  Association between promoter -1607 polymorphism of MMP1 and Lumbar Disc Disease in Southern Chinese 
BMC Medical Genetics  2008;9:38.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in the degradation of the extracellular matrix of the intervertebral disc. A SNP for guanine insertion/deletion (G/D), the -1607 promoter polymorphism, of the MMP1 gene was found significantly affecting promoter activity and corresponding transcription level. Hence it is a good candidate for genetic studies in DDD.
Southern Chinese volunteers between 18 and 55 years were recruited from the population. DDD in the lumbar spine was defined by MRI using Schneiderman's classification. Genomic DNA was isolated from the leukocytes and genotyping was performed using the Sequenom® platform. Association and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium checking were assessed by Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U test.
Our results showed substantial evidence of association between -1607 promoter polymorphism of MMP1 and DDD in the Southern Chinese subjects. D allelic was significantly associated with DDD (p value = 0.027, odds ratio = 1.41 with 95% CI = 1.04–1.90) while Genotypic association on the presence of D allele was also significantly associated with DDD (p value = 0.046, odds ratio = 1.50 with 95% CI = 1.01–2.24). Further age stratification showed significant genotypic as well as allelic association in the group of over 40 years (genotypic: p value = 0.035, odds ratio = 1.617 with 95% CI = 1.033–2.529; allelic: p value = 0.033, odds ratio = 1.445 with 95% CI = 1.029–2.029). Disc bulge, annular tears and the Schmorl's nodes were not associated with the D allele.
We demonstrated that individuals with the presence of D allele for the -1607 promoter polymorphism of MMP1 are about 1.5 times more susceptible to develop DDD when compared with those having G allele only. Further association was identified in individuals over 40 years of age. Disc bulge, annular tear as well as Schmorl's nodes were not associated with this polymorphism.
PMCID: PMC2386444  PMID: 18439317

Results 1-5 (5)