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Sample records for improve lv function

  1. Motion corrected LV quantification based on 3D modelling for improved functional assessment in cardiac MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liew, Y. M.; McLaughlin, R. A.; Chan, B. T.; Aziz, Y. F. Abdul; Chee, K. H.; Ung, N. M.; Tan, L. K.; Lai, K. W.; Ng, S.; Lim, E.

    2015-04-01

    Cine MRI is a clinical reference standard for the quantitative assessment of cardiac function, but reproducibility is confounded by motion artefacts. We explore the feasibility of a motion corrected 3D left ventricle (LV) quantification method, incorporating multislice image registration into the 3D model reconstruction, to improve reproducibility of 3D LV functional quantification. Multi-breath-hold short-axis and radial long-axis images were acquired from 10 patients and 10 healthy subjects. The proposed framework reduced misalignment between slices to subpixel accuracy (2.88 to 1.21?mm), and improved interstudy reproducibility for 5 important clinical functional measures, i.e. end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, ejection fraction, myocardial mass and 3D-sphericity index, as reflected in a reduction in the sample size required to detect statistically significant cardiac changes: a reduction of 21-66%. Our investigation on the optimum registration parameters, including both cardiac time frames and number of long-axis (LA) slices, suggested that a single time frame is adequate for motion correction whereas integrating more LA slices can improve registration and model reconstruction accuracy for improved functional quantification especially on datasets with severe motion artefacts.

  2. 3D Strain helps relating LV function to LV and structure in athletes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The evaluation of cardiac contraction could benefit from a connection with the underlying helical structure of cardiac fibers in athletes either completely healthy or with minor common cardiopathies like Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV). This study aims to exploit the potential role of 3D strain to improve the physiological understanding of LV function and modification due to physical activity as a comparative model. Methods Three age-matched groups of young (age 20.3?±?5.4) individuals are prospectively enrolled: 15 normal healthy subjects, 15 healthy athletes, and 20 athletes with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV). All subjects underwent echocardiographic examination and both 2D and 3D strain analysis. Results All echo parameters were within the normal range in the three groups. Global values of end-systolic longitudinal and circumferential strain, assesses by either 2D or 3D analysis, were not significantly different. The 3D strain analysis was extended in terms of principal and secondary strain (PS, SS). Global PS was very similar, global SS was significantly higher in athletes and displays a modified time course. The comparative analysis of strain-lines pattern suggests that the enhancement of LV function is achieved by a more synchronous recruitment of both left- and right-handed helical fibers. Conclusions 3D strain analysis allows a deeper physiological understanding of LV contraction in different types of athletes. Secondary strain, only available in 3D, identifies increase of performances due to physical activity; this appears to follow from the synergic activation of endocardial and epicardial fibers. PMID:25113389

  3. A Targeted Mutation within the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Envelope Protein Immunosuppressive Domain To Improve a Canarypox Virus-Vectored FeLV Vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Schlecht-Louf, Géraldine; Mangeney, Marianne; El-Garch, Hanane; Lacombe, Valérie; Poulet, Hervé

    2014-01-01

    We previously delineated a highly conserved immunosuppressive (IS) domain within murine and primate retroviral envelope proteins that is critical for virus propagation in vivo. The envelope-mediated immunosuppression was assessed by the ability of the proteins, when expressed by allogeneic tumor cells normally rejected by engrafted mice, to allow these cells to escape, at least transiently, immune rejection. Using this approach, we identified key residues whose mutation (i) specifically abolishes immunosuppressive activity without affecting the “mechanical” function of the envelope protein and (ii) significantly enhances humoral and cellular immune responses elicited against the virus. The objective of this work was to study the immunosuppressive activity of the envelope protein (p15E) of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and evaluate the effect of its abolition on the efficacy of a vaccine against FeLV. Here we demonstrate that the FeLV envelope protein is immunosuppressive in vivo and that this immunosuppressive activity can be “switched off” by targeted mutation of a specific amino acid. As a result of the introduction of the mutated envelope sequence into a previously well characterized canarypox virus-vectored vaccine (ALVAC-FeLV), the frequency of vaccine-induced FeLV-specific gamma interferon (IFN-?)-producing cells was increased, whereas conversely, the frequency of vaccine-induced FeLV-specific interleukin-10 (IL-10)-producing cells was reduced. This shift in the IFN-?/IL-10 response was associated with a higher efficacy of ALVAC-FeLV against FeLV infection. This study demonstrates that FeLV p15E is immunosuppressive in vivo, that the immunosuppressive domain of p15E can modulate the FeLV-specific immune response, and that the efficacy of FeLV vaccines can be enhanced by inhibiting the immunosuppressive activity of the IS domain through an appropriate mutation. PMID:24198407

  4. LV mechanics in mitral and aortic valve diseases: value of functional assessment beyond ejection fraction.

    PubMed

    Galli, Elena; Lancellotti, Patrizio; Sengupta, Partho P; Donal, Erwan

    2014-11-01

    The assessment of myocardial function in the context of valvular heart disease remains highly challenging. The myocardium deforms simultaneously in 3 dimensions, and global left ventricular (LV) function parameters such as volume and ejection fraction may remain compensated despite the changes in myocardial deformation properties. Current guidelines recommend valve replacement/repair in the presence of symptoms or reduced LV ejection fraction, but the resolution of symptoms or recovery of LV function post-surgery may not be reliably predicted. A wealth of evidence currently suggests that LV dysfunction is frequently subclinical despite normal ejection fraction. It may precede the onset of symptoms and portend a poor outcome due to progressive myocardial remodeling and dysfunction during the post-operative period. The advent of novel tissue-tracking echocardiography techniques has unleashed new opportunities for the clinical identification of early abnormalities in LV function. This review gathers and summarizes current evidence regarding the use of these techniques to assess myocardial deformation in patients with valvular heart disease. PMID:25459597

  5. Hyperinsulinemia improves ischemic LV function in insulin resistant subjects

    E-print Network

    Heck, Patrick M.; Hoole, Stephen P.; Khan, Sadia N.; Dutka, David P.

    2010-06-24

    ) 1374 (646) 0.04 Insulin (pmol/l) FFA (nmol/l) Baseline 38.9 (18.7) 102 (27.6) < 0.0001 Baseline 374 (153) 548 (299) ns Steady state 447 (78.6) 624 (150) 0.004 Steady state 49.2 (51.3) 114 (72) 0.04 Peak Stress 386 (82.9) 523 (198) 0.06 Peak Stress 365... .4 (6.3) 0.002 64.8 (7.2) 73.5 (5.8) < 0.0001 Recovery EDV (ml) 92.2 (21) 98.7 (21) ns 103 (24) 104 (23) ns ESV (ml) 35.5 (11) 39 (11) ns 40.5 (15) 35.8 (13) 0.09 SV (ml) 56.6 (13) 58.7 (12) ns 62 (12) 68 (12) 0.05 CO (L/min) 4.4 (0.8) 4.7 (0.8) ns 4...

  6. A EUKARYOTIC GENE IS FUNCTIONALLY EXPRESSED ri\\i E.COLI Kevin Struhl and Rona1d lV. Davis

    E-print Network

    A EUKARYOTIC GENE IS FUNCTIONALLY EXPRESSED ri\\i E.COLI Kevin Struhl and Rona1d lV. Davis: The bacteriurn E. cgli can transcribe and translate a cloned segment of eukaryotic DNA with sufficient fidelity to the predicted eukaryotic protein. The amount of enzyrrle acti.rity produced as a result of functional genetic

  7. Neonatal transfer of membrane-bound stem cell factor improves survival and heart function in aged mice after myocardial ischemia.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhuo; Lee, Chyan-Jang; Mejia-Guerrero, Salvador; Zhang, Yuemei; Higuchi, Koji; Li, Ren-Ke; Medin, Jeffrey A

    2012-12-01

    Stem cell mobilization to injured tissue contributes to neovascularization, resulting in regeneration after myocardial infarction (MI). We previously showed that direct cardiac injection of a recombinant lentivirus (LV) that engineers expression of membrane-bound stem cell factor (mSCF) improves outcomes immediately after MI. In this study, we evaluated the effect of neonatal LV/mSCF transduction on MI outcomes in aged mice. We constructed a recombinant LV harboring an ?-myosin heavy chain promoter that drives mSCF expression and injected it into the temporal vein of neonatal mice. One year later, sustained expression of mSCF in the adult mouse hearts was detected by genomic and quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. To evaluate the contribution of neonatal LV/mSCF delivery to recovery from MI, we induced an MI in adult LV/mSCF-transduced, LV only-transduced, and nontransduced control mice. Strikingly, LV/mSCF transduction reduced infarct scar size, enhanced angiogenesis, improved ventricular function, and significantly increased survival of the mice. Regional overexpression of CD11b, a marker of monocytes and proangiogenic cells, was observed on monocytes isolated from the infarcted hearts of LV/mSCF-transduced mice. Our data suggest a model of neonatal gene delivery that leads to sustained mSCF expression during adulthood to aid recovery from MI and prevent heart failure. PMID:22998370

  8. Letter by Cacko, et al Regarding Article, "Improvement of Cardiac Function by Increasing Stimulus Strength During Left Ventricular Pacing in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy".

    PubMed

    Cacko, Andrzej; Michalak, Marcin; G?ówczy?ska, Renata; Kochanowski, Janusz; Grabowski, Marcin

    2015-09-29

    Dear Editor,We have read with great interest the article discussing an improvement of cardiac function by increasing stimulus strength during left ventricular pacing in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) by Ishibashi, et al.(1)) The authors investigated whether increasing stimulus strength of left ventricle (LV) pacing improves LV mechanical dyssynchrony and cardiac function in patients treated with CRT. According to their observation higher stimulus strength may result in statistically significant decreases in QRS duration, septal-posterior wall motion delay, and standard deviation of time from QRS, and increases in LV ejection fraction and LV stroke volume. Thus, increasing stimulus strength of LV pacing in patients treated with CRT improves LV mechanical dyssynchrony and cardiac function.One of the limitations of CRT in clinical practice is the high percentage of patients not responding to the therapy. Clinical or echocardiographic improvement is not recorded in 20 to 45% of patients after implantation of CRT.(2)) Many physicians used to believe optimal selection of patients and LV lead placement were crucial for efficient CRT. Based on current knowledge we predict that optimal device programming influences cardiac function.(3))Ishibashi, et al state that LV pacing with higher energy should result in depolarization of the enlarged myocardial area. Assuming this mechanism is true, it is possible to reduce myocardium depolarization time in patients with suboptimal placement of the LV lead, such as near the infarction area. It is a very important observation as LV stimulus strength is often being programmed close to capture the threshold to save battery life and avoid phrenic nerve stimulation. Moreover, for a long time physicians have been striving to avoid high LV pacing energy to reduce the risk of anodal pacing.Influenced by Ishibashi, et al we decided to check if increasing stimulus strength of LV pacing would affect cardiac function in our patients who were not responding to CRT. We chose two men with significant QRS complex narrowing when increasing the energy of LV pacing and carefully assessed LV function with echocardiography. Both of them had ischemic heart failure with significantly reduced ejection fraction (25% and 15%). First, we assessed QRS complex width, rate of LV pressure rise [dP/dt], and LV velocity-time integral [VTI] pacing at LV capture threshold. Then, we assessed those parameters doubling the energy of LV pacing. Our observation was consistent with the results of the trial; LV systolic function was more efficient when conducting LV pacing with increased energy (Table).We must remember that increased stimulus strength results in increased energy consumption and faster battery depletion. Reducing device battery longevity may increase the number of device replacements in a patient's lifetime. However, CRT is a treatment option for symptomatic patients on top of optimal heart failure therapy. Only responders benefit from CRT. In our opinion if no clinical (or other) symptoms of improvement are observed and the patient is classified as a non-responder, every possible and rational opportunity should be evaluated - even if it results in faster battery depletion.Based on our review of the literature and on our observations, we are strongly convinced that the results of the published trial may have significant influence in clinical practice. We would like to encourage Ishibashi, et al to perform a longterm observation to confirm the possible positive impact of increasing stimulus strength of LV pacing on the response to CRT. PMID:26370367

  9. A novel functional glucose transporter in the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei -LvGLUT2- is up-regulated during hypoxia in hepatopancreas.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Quintana, José A; Kikuta, Shingo; Felix-Portillo, Monserrath; Peregrino-Uriarte, Alma B; Yepiz-Plascencia, Gloria

    2015-12-01

    In hypoxia conditions, the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei shifts its energetic metabolism from aerobic to anaerobic, requiring more glucose uptake into the cells by GLUT proteins. We here report a novel glucose transporter in shrimp. The Lvglut2 cDNA is 2473 bp-long containing an ORF of 1458 bp encoding 486 amino acid residues. The deduced protein has the features of a facilitative sugar transporter. The Lvglut2 gene product tagged with GFP was expressed in the cell membrane of Xenopus oocytes. In the same expression system, untagged LvGLUT2 resulted to be a bidirectional glucose transporter that functions moving glucose down its concentration gradient in and out of the cell. Lvglut2 mRNA is expressed in hepatopancreas while in muscle and gills it was not detected. Hypoxia up-regulates the expression of Lvglut2 transcripts in hepatopancreas. These results provide a better understanding of facilitative glucose transporters and gene regulation during hypoxia in crustaceans. PMID:26415036

  10. LV software for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, William A.

    1992-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) maintains a leadership position in research into advanced aerospace propulsion systems. For the next generation of aircraft, engine designs continue to involve complex, high-speed flows. Performing the detailed flow diagnostics to properly evaluate these designs requires advanced instrumentation to probe these highly turbulent flows. The hostile flow environment often requires nonintrusive measurement techniques such as the laser velocimeter (LV). Since the LV is a proven instrument for nonintrusive flow measurement, it can provide quantitative velocity data with minimal interference to the flow. Based on anticipated flow conditions, laser velocimeter systems were procured from TSI, Inc. The initial system utilized counter processor technology, but later procurements this past year include a more advanced, correlator-based processor, which significantly improves the overall LV performance. To meet the needs of advanced research into propulsion, this instrument must be integrated into an existing VAX/VMS computer system for data acquisition, processing, and presentation. The work done under this grant before this period concentrated on developing the software required to setup and acquire data from the TSI MI-990 multichannel interface, and the RMR 1989 rotating machinery resolver. With the basis established for controlling the operation of the LV system, software development this past year shifted in emphasis from instrumentation control and data acquisition to data analysis and presentation. The progress of the program is reported.

  11. Improving cognitive function.

    PubMed

    2015-12-16

    Essential facts Age-related decline in mental ability varies from person to person. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have subtle but detectable problems with memory, but are able to function normally in everyday life. MCI affects between 5% and 20% of the UK population aged over 65 - or between half a million and two million people - according to research commissioned by Age UK. Although MCI increases the risk of dementia, with one in six people going on to develop it, many people remain stable and others improve, especially if it is caused by a treatable condition. PMID:26669382

  12. Antihypertensive treatment improves left ventricular diastolic function in patients with chronic kidney disease

    PubMed Central

    LI, KU-LIN; WANG, RU-XING; DAI, MIN; LU, JUAN; XUE, JING; YANG, XIANG-JUN

    2015-01-01

    In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), hypertension (HP) is associated with the development of left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction. However, the impact of antihypertensive treatment on LV diastolic function has not been well studied in CKD patients. Recently, two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (2DSTE) has emerged as a sensitive and quantitative assessment of LV diastolic function. The present study used 2DSTE to investigate the effects of antihypertensive treatment on LV diastolic function in patients with CKD and untreated HP. The study comprised 134 patients with CKD and untreated HP. The patients received blood pressure (BP)-lowering therapy for six months. The patients were clinically and echocardiographically evaluated at baseline and after 6 months of therapy. It was found that the mean systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) at baseline were 154.0±7.0 and 92.6±10.2 mmHg, respectively, decreasing to 121.2±7.3 and 74.6±10.4 mmHg, respectively (P<0.05 for both) after the 6-month treatment period. Moreover, the mean peak LV strain rate during the isovolumetric relaxation period (SRIVR) and early diastole (SRE) improved following treatment (from 0.23±0.10 to 0.42±0.10 sec?1 and from 0.58±0.25 to 1.07±0.24 sec?1, respectively; P<0.05 for both). Notably, the patients with CKD stage ?3 were more likely to demonstrate an improvement in diastolic speckle-tracking parameters than those with CKD stage 1 or 2. For the entire population, the change (?) in B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level correlated with changes in echocardiographic parameters between baseline and follow-up, among which ?SRIVR presented the highest correlation coefficient (r=-0.73, P<0.01). On multivariate analysis, the independent predictors of ?SRIVR were found to include baseline CKD stage, SBP and SRIVR. This study demonstrated that LV diastolic function was improved in CKD patients following antihypertensive treatment, particularly in patients with CKD stage ?3, higher baseline SBP and worse LV diastolic function. These results highlight the importance of BP reduction in the treatment of CKD. PMID:26136880

  13. Relationship between early diastolic intraventricular pressure gradients, an index of elastic recoil, and improvements in systolic and diastolic function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Firstenberg, M. S.; Smedira, N. G.; Greenberg, N. L.; Prior, D. L.; McCarthy, P. M.; Garcia, M. J.; Thomas, J. D.

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Early diastolic intraventricular pressure gradients (IVPGs) have been proposed to relate to left ventricular (LV) elastic recoil and early ventricular "suction." Animal studies have demonstrated relationships between IVPGs and systolic and diastolic indices during acute ischemia. However, data on the effects of improvements in LV function in humans and the relationship to IVPGs are lacking. METHODS AND RESULTS: Eight patients undergoing CABG and/or infarct exclusion surgery had a triple-sensor high-fidelity catheter placed across the mitral valve intraoperatively for simultaneous recording of left atrial (LA), basal LV, and apical LV pressures. Hemodynamic data obtained before bypass were compared with those with similar LA pressures and heart rates obtained after bypass. From each LV waveform, the time constant of LV relaxation (tau), +dP/dt(max), and -dP/dt(max) were determined. Transesophageal echocardiography was used to determined end-diastolic (EDV) and end-systolic (ESV) volumes and ejection fractions (EF). At similar LA pressures and heart rates, IVPG increased after bypass (before bypass 1.64+/-0.79 mm Hg; after bypass 2.67+/-1.25 mm Hg; P<0.01). Significant improvements were observed in ESV, as well as in apical and basal +dP/dt(max), -dP/dt(max), and tau (each P<0.05). Overall, IVPGs correlated inversely with both ESV (IVPG=-0.027[ESV]+3.46, r=-0.64) and EDV (IVPG=-0.027[EDV]+4.30, r=-0.70). Improvements in IVPGs correlated with improvements in apical tau (Deltatau =5.93[DeltaIVPG]+4.76, r=0.91) and basal tau (Deltatau =2.41[DeltaIVPG]+5.13, r=-0.67). Relative changes in IVPGs correlated with changes in ESV (DeltaESV=-0.97[%DeltaIVPG]+23.34, r=-0.79), EDV (DeltaEDV=-1.16[%DeltaIVPG]+34.92, r=-0.84), and EF (DeltaEF=0.38[%DeltaIVPG]-8.39, r=0.85). CONCLUSIONS: Improvements in LV function also increase IVPGs. These changes in IVPGs, suggestive of increases in LV suction and elastic recoil, correlate directly with improvements in LV relaxation and ESV.

  14. Enhanced external counterpulsation improves endothelial function and exercise capacity in patients with ischaemic left ventricular dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Beck, Darren T; Martin, Jeffrey S; Casey, Darren P; Avery, Joseph C; Sardina, Paloma D; Braith, Randy W

    2014-09-01

    Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) therapy decreases angina episodes and improves quality of life in patients with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction (LVD). However, studies have not elucidated the mechanisms of action and overall effects of EECP in patients with LVD. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of EECP on endothelial function in peripheral conduit arteries and exercise capacity (peak Vo2 ) in patients with LVD. Patients with ischaemic LVD (ejection fraction (EF) 34.5 ± 4.2%; n = 9) and patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) and preserved LV function (EF 53.5 ± 6.6%; n = 15) were studied before and after 35 sessions (1 h) of EECP. Brachial and femoral artery flow-mediated dilation (bFMD and fFMD, respectively) were evaluated using high-resolution ultrasound. Enhanced external counterpulsation elicited similar significant improvements in the following FMD parameters in the CAD and LVD groups (P ? 0.05 between groups for all): absolute bFMD (+53% and +70%, respectively), relative bFMD (+50% and +74%, respectively), bFMD normalized for shear rate (+70% and +61%, respectively), absolute fFMD (+33% and +21%, respectively) and relative fFMD (+32% and +17%, respectively). In addition, EECP significantly improved plasma levels of nitrate/nitrite (+55% and +28%) and prostacyclin (+50% and +70%), as well as peak Vo2 (+36% and +21%), similarly in both the CAD and LVD groups (P ? 0.05 between groups for all). Despite reduced LV function, EECP therapy significantly improves peripheral vascular function and functional capacity in CAD patients with ischaemic LVD to a similar degree to that seen in CAD patients with preserved LV function. PMID:24862172

  15. Nicorandil improves myocardial function by regulating plasma nitric oxide and endothelin-1 in coronary slow flow

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiuhua; Li, Shan; Huo, Xuezhen; Fu, Xiuxiu; Dong, Xiaonan

    2015-01-01

    Background Coronary slow flow (CSF) is a special coronary microvascular disorder. The pathogenesis and effective therapeutics of CSF remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the global and regional functions of the left ventricle (LV) and investigate the efficacy of nicorandil in patients with CSF. Patients and methods Thirty-six patients with CSF in the left anterior descending (LAD) branch and 20 patients with normal coronary arteries were included. Global and regional functions of the LV supplied by LAD were measured using conventional Doppler echocardiography and two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography, respectively, within 24?h after coronary angiography. Concentrations of plasma nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) were detected using colorimetry and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The function of the LV and the levels of NO and ET-1 were also investigated before and 90 days after treatment with 15?mg/day of nicorandil. Results Compared with the control group, the early diastolic peak velocity (E), E/A ratio, and plasma NO levels were lower, whereas the late diastolic peak flow velocity (A) and plasma ET-1 levels were significantly higher in the CSF group (P<0.05). The longitudinal strain rate peak of the LV was reduced significantly in CSF patients (P<0.001). After treatment, 75% (27/36) of CSF patients were free of chest pain. The values of E peak, E/A ratio, longitudinal strain rate peak, and plasma NO level were increased (P<0.001), whereas the ET-1 level was decreased in CSF patients (P<0.001). Conclusion Nicorandil may improve chest pain symptoms and the impaired function of the LV, possibly by increasing plasma NO and reducing ET-1 in CSF. PMID:25325437

  16. Reduction in Left Ventricular Wall Stress and Improvement in Function in Failing Hearts using Algisyl-LVR

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Lik Chuan; Zhihong, Zhang; Hinson, Andrew; Guccione, Julius M.

    2013-01-01

    Injection of Algisyl-LVR, a treatment under clinical development, is intended to treat patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. This treatment was recently used for the first time in patients who had symptomatic heart failure. In all patients, cardiac function of the left ventricle (LV) improved significantly, as manifested by consistent reduction of the LV volume and wall stress. Here we describe this novel treatment procedure and the methods used to quantify its effects on LV wall stress and function. Algisyl-LVR is a biopolymer gel consisting of Na+-Alginate and Ca2+-Alginate. The treatment procedure was carried out by mixing these two components and then combining them into one syringe for intramyocardial injections. This mixture was injected at 10 to 19 locations mid-way between the base and apex of the LV free wall in patients. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), together with mathematical modeling, was used to quantify the effects of this treatment in patients before treatment and at various time points during recovery. The epicardial and endocardial surfaces were first digitized from the MR images to reconstruct the LV geometry at end-systole and at end-diastole. Left ventricular cavity volumes were then measured from these reconstructed surfaces. Mathematical models of the LV were created from these MRI-reconstructed surfaces to calculate regional myofiber stress. Each LV model was constructed so that 1) it deforms according to a previously validated stress-strain relationship of the myocardium, and 2) the predicted LV cavity volume from these models matches the corresponding MRI-measured volume at end-diastole and end-systole. Diastolic filling was simulated by loading the LV endocardial surface with a prescribed end-diastolic pressure. Systolic contraction was simulated by concurrently loading the endocardial surface with a prescribed end-systolic pressure and adding active contraction in the myofiber direction. Regional myofiber stress at end-diastole and end-systole was computed from the deformed LV based on the stress-strain relationship. PMID:23608998

  17. Improvement in left ventricular function assessed by tissue Doppler imaging after aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis

    PubMed Central

    Nieh, Chih-Chiang; Teo, Alvin Yeng-Hok; Soo, Wern Miin; Lee, Glenn K; Singh, Devinder; Poh, Kian-Keong

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The effects of reduction of left ventricular (LV) systemic afterload following aortic valve replacement (AVR) for severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) were investigated, using echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). METHODS We compared the preoperative and postoperative echocardiographic assessments of 23 patients with severe AS who had undergone isolated AVR (n = 13) or concomitant AVR with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) (n = 10). Conventional echocardiographic evaluations and TDI at the lateral mitral annulus were performed. RESULTS Echocardiography was performed at a median of 120 (interquartile range: 66–141) days after AVR. There was significant reduction in aortic transvalvular mean pressure gradient after AVR. Although LV dimensions, mass and ejection fraction remained unchanged, LV diastolic and systolic functions improved (as observed on TDI). Early diastolic (E’), late diastolic (A’) and systolic (S’) mitral annular velocities increased significantly (p < 0.05). There was significant improvement in TDI-derived parameters among the patients who had isolated AVR, while among the patients who had concomitant AVR with CABG, only S’ had significant improvement (p = 0.028). CONCLUSION TDI was able to detect improvements in LV systolic and diastolic function after AVR for severe AS. There was less improvement in the TDI-derived diastolic parameters among patients who underwent concomitant AVR with CABG than among patients who underwent isolated AVR. PMID:26702162

  18. Temporal pattern of left ventricular structural and functional remodeling following reversal of volume overload heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, Kirk R.; Guggilam, Anuradha; Cismowski, Mary J.; Galantowicz, Maarten L.; West, Thomas A.; Stewart, James A.; Zhang, Xiaojin; Lord, Kevin C.

    2011-01-01

    Current surgical management of volume overload-induced heart failure (HF) leads to variable recovery of left ventricular (LV) function despite a return of LV geometry. The mechanisms that prevent restoration of function are unknown but may be related to the timing of intervention and the degree of LV contractile impairment. This study determined whether reduction of aortocaval fistula (ACF)-induced LV volume overload during the compensatory stage of HF results in beneficial LV structural remodeling and restoration of pump function. Rats were subjected to ACF for 4 wk; a subset then received a load-reversal procedure by closing the shunt using a custom-made stent graft approach. Echocardiography or in vivo pressure-volume analysis was used to assess LV morphology and function in sham rats; rats subjected to 4-, 8-, or 15-wk ACF; and rats subjected to 4-wk ACF followed by 4- or 11-wk reversal. Structural and functional changes were correlated to LV collagen content, extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, and hypertrophic markers. ACF-induced volume overload led to progressive LV chamber dilation and contractile dysfunction. Rats subjected to short-term reversal (4-wk ACF + 4-wk reversal) exhibited improved chamber dimensions (LV diastolic dimension) and LV compliance that were associated with ECM remodeling and normalization of atrial and brain natriuretic peptides. Load-independent parameters indicated LV systolic (preload recruitable stroke work, Ees) and diastolic dysfunction (tau, arterial elastance). These changes were associated with an altered ?/?-myosin heavy chain ratio. However, these changes were normalized to sham levels in long-term reversal rats (4-wk ACF + 11-wk reversal). Acute hemodynamic changes following ACF reversal improve LV geometry, but LV dysfunction persists. Gradual restoration of function was related to normalization of eccentric hypertrophy, LV wall stress, and ECM remodeling. These results suggest that mild to moderate LV systolic dysfunction may be an important indicator of the ability of the myocardium to remodel following the reversal of hemodynamic overload. PMID:21885799

  19. Improvement of left ventricular longitudinal systolic function after transcatheter aortic valve implantation: a speckle-tracking prospective study.

    PubMed

    D'Ascenzi, Flavio; Cameli, Matteo; Iadanza, Alessandro; Lisi, Matteo; Zacà, Valerio; Reccia, Rosanna; Curci, Valeria; Torrisi, Andrea; Sinicropi, Giuseppe; Pierli, Carlo; Mondillo, Sergio

    2013-06-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is able to determine a significant improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). The variations of LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) have not been yet investigated in TAVI patients with reduced LVEF. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of TAVI on LV function by 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) in patients with reduced LVEF. Eighteen consecutive patients undergoing TAVI in our centre were prospectively enrolled. Echocardiography was performed pre-procedurally the day of TAVI and at 40-day and 3-month follow-up (FU). The mean age of TAVI patients was 79.75 ± 7.68 years. The mean EuroSCORE was 26.59 ± 14.62%. A significant decrease of mean trans-aortic gradient was observed 40 days after TAVI (51.69 ± 18.82 vs. 9.62 ± 3.28 mmHg, p < 0.0001). LV mass index significantly decreased at 40-day FU (165.72 ± 37.75 vs. 145.52 ± 31.32 g/m(2), p < 0.001) with a further reduction at 3-month FU (136.91 ± 26.91 g/m(2), p < 0.05 in comparison with 40-day FU). The mean pre-procedural LVEF was 45.87 ± 7.95%. LVEF significantly increased at 40-day FU (55.20 ± 5.91%, p < 0.05) and remained stable at 3-month FU (55.58 ± 6.14%). Interestingly, an early improvement of LV GLS was observed at 40-day FU (-11.09 ± 3.40 vs. -14.40 ± 3.68%, p < 0.001) with a slight further increase at 3-month FU (-14.71 ± 3.56%). Our results indicate that significant improvements of LVEF and LV GLS can be observed in patients undergoing TAVI with impaired LVEF. Two-dimensional STE was able to detect the reverse remodeling of LV function, adding further insights into the assessment of LV mid-term recovery after TAVI. PMID:23271458

  20. LV software support for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, William A.

    1991-01-01

    During 1991, the software developed allowed an operator to configure and checkout the TSI, Inc. laser velocimeter (LV) system prior to a run. This setup procedure established the operating conditions for the TSI MI-990 multichannel interface and the RMR-1989 rotating machinery resolver. In addition to initializing the instruments, the software package provides a means of specifying LV calibration constants, controlling the sampling process, and identifying the test parameters.

  1. Dramatically improved left ventricular function after biventricular pacemaker implantation--a case report.

    PubMed

    Bulava, Alan; Lukl, Jan; Skvarilová, Marcela; Marek, Dan

    2005-03-01

    A case study of a patient suffering from severe chronic congestive heart failure resulting from ischemic cardiomyopathy in whom a biventricular (BiV) pacing system was implanted is reported. After a 1-year follow-up, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction improved dramatically from an initial 15% to 60%, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter decreased, as did left atrial dimension. Tissue Doppler data and acute hemodynamic measurements taken during the biventricular pacemaker implantation procedure are presented. The case represents an exceptional example of left ventricular reverse remodeling with practically normalized left ventricular function after 1 year of synchronized pacing. PMID:15701472

  2. LV software support for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, W. A.; Lepicovsky, J.

    1992-01-01

    The software for configuring an LV counter processor system has been developed using structured design. The LV system includes up to three counter processors and a rotary encoder. The software for configuring and testing the LV system has been developed, tested, and included in an overall software package for data acquisition, analysis, and reduction. Error handling routines respond to both operator and instrument errors which often arise in the course of measuring complex, high-speed flows. The use of networking capabilities greatly facilitates the software development process by allowing software development and testing from a remote site. In addition, high-speed transfers allow graphics files or commands to provide viewing of the data from a remote site. Further advances in data analysis require corresponding advances in procedures for statistical and time series analysis of nonuniformly sampled data.

  3. Left Ventricle: Fully Automated Segmentation Based on Spatiotemporal Continuity and Myocardium Information in Cine Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (LV-FAST)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lijia; Pei, Mengchao; Codella, Noel C. F.; Kochar, Minisha; Weinsaft, Jonathan W.; Li, Jianqi; Prince, Martin R.

    2015-01-01

    CMR quantification of LV chamber volumes typically and manually defines the basal-most LV, which adds processing time and user-dependence. This study developed an LV segmentation method that is fully automated based on the spatiotemporal continuity of the LV (LV-FAST). An iteratively decreasing threshold region growing approach was used first from the midventricle to the apex, until the LV area and shape discontinued, and then from midventricle to the base, until less than 50% of the myocardium circumference was observable. Region growth was constrained by LV spatiotemporal continuity to improve robustness of apical and basal segmentations. The LV-FAST method was compared with manual tracing on cardiac cine MRI data of 45 consecutive patients. Of the 45 patients, LV-FAST and manual selection identified the same apical slices at both ED and ES and the same basal slices at both ED and ES in 38, 38, 38, and 41 cases, respectively, and their measurements agreed within ?1.6 ± 8.7?mL, ?1.4 ± 7.8?mL, and 1.0 ± 5.8% for EDV, ESV, and EF, respectively. LV-FAST allowed LV volume-time course quantitatively measured within 3 seconds on a standard desktop computer, which is fast and accurate for processing the cine volumetric cardiac MRI data, and enables LV filling course quantification over the cardiac cycle. PMID:25738153

  4. Early and late improvement of global and regional left ventricular function after transcatheter aortic valve implantation in patients with severe aortic stenosis: an echocardiographic study

    PubMed Central

    Giannini, Cristina; Petronio, Anna Sonia; Talini, Enrica; De Carlo, Marco; Guarracino, Fabio; Grazia, Maria; Donne, Delle; Nardi, Carmela; Conte, Lorenzo; Barletta, Valentina; Marzilli, Mario; Di Bello, Vitantonio

    2011-01-01

    The recent development of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for severe aortic stenosis (AS) treatment offers a viable option for high-risk patient categories. Our aim is to evaluate whether 2D strain and strain rate can detect subtle improvement in global and regional LV systolic function immediately after TAVI. 2D conventional and 2D strain (speckle analysis) echocardiography was performed before, at discharge and after three months in thirty three patients with severe AS. After TAVI, we assessed by conventional echocardiography an immediate reduction of transaortic peak pressure gradient (p<0.0001), of mean pressure gradient (p<0.0001) and a concomitant increase in aortic valve area (AVA: 1.08±0.31 cm2/m2; p<0.0001). 2D longitudinal systolic strain showed a significant improvement in all patients, both at septal and lateral level, as early as 72 h after procedure (septal: -14.2±5.1 vs -16.7±3.7%, p<0.001; lateral: -9.4±3.9 vs -13.1±4.5%, p<0.001; respectively) and continued at 3 months follow-up (septal: -18.1±4.6%, p<0.0001; lateral: -14.8±4.4%, p<0.0001; respectively). Conventional echocardiography after TAVI proved a significant reduction of LV end-systolic volume and of LV mass with a mild improvement of LV ejection fraction (EF) (51.2±11.8 vs 52.9±6.4%; p<0.02) only after three months. 2D strain seems to be able to detect subtle changes in LV systolic function occurring early and late after TAVI in severe AS, while all conventional echo parameters seem to be less effective for this purpose. Further investigations are needed to prove the real prognostic impact of these echocardiographic findings. PMID:22254204

  5. Fiber optics transmission of LV signal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, A. D.; Gunter, W. D., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    The first use of a long optical fiber for transmitting megahertz frequencies in a laser velocimeter (LV) receiver system is reported. The fiber comprises a 600-micron diameter fused silica core, a silicon polymer cladding and a plastic jacket. The fiber numerical aperture is 0.22, corresponding to a maximum entrance half-angle of 0.22 rad. The 10-m length used results in a 5.6% attenuation loss. The fiber is found to transmit an 80-MHz signal with excellent resolution. It is established that an LV receiver using fiber optics sends a clean signal in electronically noisy and high-pressure environments and allows velocity measurements in places too small for a photomultiplier tube.

  6. Ways to improve your correlation functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamilton, A. J. S.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes a number of ways to improve on the standard method for measuring the two-point correlation function of large scale structure in the Universe. Issues addressed are: (1) the problem of the mean density, and how to solve it; (2) how to estimate the uncertainty in a measured correlation function; (3) minimum variance pair weighting; (4) unbiased estimation of the selection function when magnitudes are discrete; and (5) analytic computation of angular integrals in background pair counts.

  7. Peptide Mimetics of Apolipoproteins Improve HDL Function

    PubMed Central

    Navab, Mohamad; Anantharamaiah, G. M.; Reddy, Srinivasa T.; Van Lenten, Brian J.; Buga, Georgette M.; Fogelman, Alan M.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past decade evidence has accumulated that suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of HDL may be at least as important as the levels of HDL-cholesterol. The recent failure of the torcetrapib clinical trails has highlighted the potential differences between HDL-cholesterol levels and HDL function. Agents to improve HDL function including HDL anti-inflammatory properties provide a new therapeutic strategy for ameliorating atherosclerosis and other chronic inflammatory conditions related to dyslipidemia. Seeking guidance from the structure of the apolipoproteins of the plasma lipoproteins has allowed the creation of a series of polypeptides that have interesting functionality with therapeutic implications. In animal models of atherosclerosis, peptide mimetics of apolipoproteins have been shown to improve the anti-inflammatory properties of HDL, significantly reduce lesions and improve vascular inflammation and function without necessarily altering HDL-cholesterol levels. Some of these are now entering the clinical arena as interventions in pharmacologic and pharmacodynamic studies. PMID:18449337

  8. Surgical repair of an impending rupture of left ventricular (LV) aneurysm with septal perforation and rupture of papillary muscle after acute myocarial infarction.

    PubMed

    Tahalele, P; Prasmono, A; Puruhito; Prayitno, B W; Rahardjo, P; Adipranoto, J; Pikir, B S; Pranawa

    2000-12-01

    Acute cardiac rupture following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) carries a high mortality. The progression and rapid hemodinamic deterioration is the usual clinical course, with 50-80% mortality within the first week. The combination of septal perforation, impending cardiac rupture of left ventricular (LV) aneurysm and rupture of papillary muscle after AMI has rarely been reported. This article describes a case of successful surgical repair of this condition in a 52 years old man. The important clinical features were as follows: 1) a sick looking patient in gross congestion heart failure, 2) persistent pulmonary oedema, 3) hepatomegali, 4) arrhythmias, 5) cardiogenic shock. The respirator was removed on the first postoperative day. An echocardiography evaluation on the 3rd postoperative day showed normal LV dimension, normal LV systolic function. There were no VSD and mitral regurgitation, but apical wall and septal still hipokinesia-akinesia. The ejection fraction showed improvement from 44% to 71%. The patient was discharged from hospital on the 30th post-operative day and returned to work after 60th post-operative day. Seven months later today his condition is still good. PMID:11173356

  9. Revealing domain structure through linker-scanning analysis of the murine leukemia virus (MuLV) RNase H and MuLV and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase proteins.

    PubMed

    Puglia, Jennifer; Wang, Tan; Smith-Snyder, Christine; Cote, Marie; Scher, Michael; Pelletier, Joelle N; John, Sinu; Jonsson, Colleen B; Roth, Monica J

    2006-10-01

    Linker-scanning libraries were generated within the 3' terminus of the Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV) pol gene encoding the connection-RNase H domains of reverse transcriptase (RT) as well as the structurally related M-MuLV and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integrase (IN) proteins. Mutations within the M-MuLV proviral vectors were Tn7 based and resulted in 15-bp insertions. Mutations within an HIV-1 IN bacterial expression vector were based on Tn5 and resulted in 57-bp insertions. The effects of the insertions were examined in vivo (M-MuLV) and in vitro (HIV-1). A total of 178 individual M-MuLV constructs were analyzed; 40 in-frame insertions within RT connection-RNase H, 108 in-frame insertions within IN, 13 insertions encoding stop codons within RNase H, and 17 insertions encoding stop codons within IN. For HIV-1 IN, 56 mutants were analyzed. In both M-MuLV and HIV-1 IN, regions are identified which functionally tolerate multiple-linker insertions. For MuLV, these correspond to the RT-IN proteolytic junction, the junction between the IN core and C terminus, and the C terminus of IN. For HIV-1 IN, in addition to the junction between the IN core and C terminus and the C terminus of IN, insertions between the N terminus and core domains maintained integration and disintegration activity. Of the 40 in-frame insertions within the M-MuLV RT connection-RNase H domains, only the three C-terminal insertions mapping to the RT-IN proteolytic junction were viable. These results correlate with deletion studies mapping the domain and subdomain boundaries of RT and IN. Importantly, these genetic footprints provide a means to identify nonessential regions within RT and IN for targeted gene therapy applications. PMID:16973554

  10. 77 FR 21620 - Notice of the Buy America Waiver Request for Vossloh 101-LV Concrete Ties

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-10

    ...America Waiver Request for Vossloh 101-LV Concrete Ties AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration...for the purchase of Vossloh 101-LV concrete ties, which contain certain components...the installation of Vossloh 101-LV concrete ties. FRA has received this...

  11. Inflammation blockade improves pancreatic islet function.

    PubMed

    Yang, Z; Chen, M; Carter, J D; Ellett, J D; Smith, K M; Nadler, J L

    2004-11-01

    Pancreatic islet transplantation can replace insulin-secreting beta cells in patients with diabetes mellitus. However, current methodology for isolating islets from a pancreas only retrieves a portion of the total islets. Within these limited number of islets, nearly 50% of beta cells lose biological function before transplantation. Protecting and improving beta-cell viability and function was the goal of this study. Previously we observed that an anti-inflammatory compound, lisofylline (LSF), protects beta cells from cytotoxicity during diabetes development. In this study, we demonstrated that human islets treated in vitro with LSF retained beta-cell glucose responsiveness and insulin secretion in the presence of multiple proinflammatory cytokines. In addition, LSF treatment in vitro enhanced basal insulin production in beta cells, suggesting that LSF can directly improve beta-cell function. LSF reduced beta-cell apoptosis induced by proinflammatory cytokines by 50%. Importantly, 30% fewer LSF-treated islets were sufficient to achieve insulin independence in a murine islet transplantation model. These results demonstrate the ability of LSF-like compounds to protect and enhance beta-cell function, suggesting the potential of using LSF or its analogs in islet transplantation. PMID:15621169

  12. Treatment of hypertension with perindopril reduces plasma atrial natriuretic peptide levels, left ventricular mass, and improves echocardiographic parameters of diastolic function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yalcin, F.; Aksoy, F. G.; Muderrisoglu, H.; Sabah, I.; Garcia, M. J.; Thomas, J. D.

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Hypertension is a major independent risk factor for cardiac deaths, and diastolic dysfunction is a usual finding during the course of this disease. HYPOTHESIS: This study was designed to investigate the effects of chronic therapy with perindopril on left ventricular (LV) mass, left atrial size, diastolic function, and plasma level of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) in patients with hypertension. METHODS: Twenty four patients who had not been previously taking any antihypertensive medication and without prior history of angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, dysrhythmias, valvular heart disease, or systemic illnesses received 4-8 mg/day of perindopril orally. Echocardiographic studies were acquired at baseline and 6 months after the initiation of therapy. RESULTS: Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased from 174 +/- 19.7 and 107.5 +/- 7.8 mmHg to 134 +/- 10.6 and 82 +/- 6.7 mmHg, respectively (p < 0.001). Left ventricular mass decreased from 252.4 +/- 8.3 to 205.7 +/- 7.08 g and left atrial volume from 20.4 +/- 5.1 to 17.6 +/- 5.2 ml, respectively (p < 0.001). Transmitral Doppler early and atrial filling velocity ratio (E/A) increased from 0.69 +/- 0.06 to 0.92 +/- 0.05 m/s and plasma ANP level decreased from 71.9 +/- 11.7 to 35.3 +/- 7.8 pg/ml (p < 0.001). Reduction of LV mass correlated positively with a reduction in ANP levels (r = 0.66, p < 0.0005). CONCLUSIONS: Perindopril caused a significant reduction of LV mass, left atrial volume, and plasma ANP levels, as well as improvement in Doppler parameters of LV filling in this group of patients with hypertension.

  13. Virtual reality training improves balance function

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Yurong; Chen, Peiming; Li, Le; Huang, Dongfeng

    2014-01-01

    Virtual reality is a new technology that simulates a three-dimensional virtual world on a computer and enables the generation of visual, audio, and haptic feedback for the full immersion of users. Users can interact with and observe objects in three-dimensional visual space without limitation. At present, virtual reality training has been widely used in rehabilitation therapy for balance dysfunction. This paper summarizes related articles and other articles suggesting that virtual reality training can improve balance dysfunction in patients after neurological diseases. When patients perform virtual reality training, the prefrontal, parietal cortical areas and other motor cortical networks are activated. These activations may be involved in the reconstruction of neurons in the cerebral cortex. Growing evidence from clinical studies reveals that virtual reality training improves the neurological function of patients with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy and other neurological impairments. These findings suggest that virtual reality training can activate the cerebral cortex and improve the spatial orientation capacity of patients, thus facilitating the cortex to control balance and increase motion function. PMID:25368651

  14. Left and right ventricular structure and function in subclinical hypothyroidism: The effects of one-year levothyroxine treatment

    PubMed Central

    Ilic, Sanja; Tadic, Marijana; Ivanovic, Branislava; Caparevic, Zorica; Trbojevic, Boza; Celic, Vera

    2013-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to investigate left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) structure, function, and mechanics in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism (SHT), and to evaluate the effect of a 1-year levothyroxine treatment. Material/Methods We compared 45 untreated women with subclinical hypothyroidism and 35 healthy control women matched by age. All the subjects underwent laboratory analyses, which included a thyroid hormone levels (free T3, free T4, and TSH) test, and a complete 2-dimensional echocardiographic study. All the SHT patients received levothyroxine therapy and were followed for a year after euthyroid state was achieved. Results The LV mass index in the SHT participants before and after replacement therapy was significantly higher than in controls. In the SHT patients before the treatment, LV diastolic function and global function estimated by the Tei index were significantly impaired, whereas the LV systolic function was decreased. The results show that LV mechanics was significantly impaired in the SHT patients at baseline. Additionally, the SHT participants before levothyroxine substitution had increased RV wall thickness and significantly impaired RV diastolic and global function in comparison with the controls or the SHT subjects after the treatment. Furthermore, RV mechanics was also significantly deteriorated in the SHT patients before the treatment. Conclusions Subclinical hypothyroidism significantly affected LV and RV structure, systolic, diastolic and global function, and LV and RV mechanics. Levothyroxine replacement therapy significantly improved cardiac structure, function, and mechanics in the SHT patients. PMID:24217559

  15. Post-infarct treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 improves myocardial function by increasing neovascularization and overexpression of angiogenic growth factors in rats.

    PubMed

    Azizi, Yaser; Faghihi, Mahdieh; Imani, Alireza; Roghani, Mehrdad; Zekri, Ali; Mobasheri, Maryam Beigom; Rastgar, Tayebeh; Moghimian, Maryam

    2015-08-15

    Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the world. Angiogenesis is important for cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI) as restores blood supply to the ischemic myocardium and preserves cardiac function. Apelin is a peptide that has been recently shown to potentiate angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate angiogenic effects of [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 in the rat model of post-MI. Male Wistar rats (n=36) were randomly divided into three groups: (1) sham (2) MI and (3) MI treated with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 (MI+Apel). MI animals were subjected to 30min left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation and 14 days of reperfusion. Twenty-four hours after LAD ligation, [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 (10nmol/kg/day) was administered i.p. for 5 days. Hemodynamic functions by catheter introduced into the left ventricle (LV), myocardial fibrosis by Masson?s trichrome staining, gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGFA), VEGF receptor-2 (Kdr), Ang-1 (angiopoietin-1), Tie2 (tyrosine kinase with immunoglobulin and epidermal growth factor homology domains 2) and eNOS by Real-time polymerase chain reaction (Real-Time PCR) and myocardial angiogenesis by CD31 imunostaining were assessed at day 14 post-MI. Post-infarct treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 improved LV function and decreased myocardial fibrosis. [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 treatment led to a significant increase in the expression of VEGFA, Kdr, Ang-1, Tie2 and eNOS. Further, treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 promoted capillary density. [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 has angiogenic and anti-fibrotic activity via formation of new blood vessels and overexpression of VEGFA, Kdr, Ang-1, Tie2 and eNOS in the infarcted myocardium which could in turn repair myocardium and improve LV function. PMID:25936512

  16. Play Sports to Improve Visual Functions.

    PubMed

    Ha, Kelly; Sogaard, Inga; Gisick, Logan; Ni, Rui

    2015-09-01

    Previous research (Paul et al., 2011) found significant improvements in reaction time and movement in Ping-Pong players who went through visual training. While most research has focused on performance in sports, few studies have examined the effect of sports playing in improving visual functions. The current study aimed to address this question by training participants with Ping-Pong playing. In this study, 15 college students of ages 18-35 went through the multiple test and training sessions within a 2-week period. On Day one and four participants were measured on Ping-Pong play performance and visual functions, including processing speed, motion-in-depth perception, and divided attention. On Day two and three, participants were trained with one of the two playing tasks against a Ping-Pong robot for approximately one hour. For the Ping-Pong play sessions, a robot shot balls towards participants' side of the table in random direction, at three different speed levels with either left or right side spins. One training task involved catching and throwing back the Ping-Pong balls using one hand, while the other task involved intercepting the balls using a racket. Their scores of missed interceptions and failed returns were recorded. A four-way repeated-measures ANOVA was conducted to evaluate the effect of training on Ping-Pong play performance and visual functions. The results showed significant effects and interactions on play performance: Training, F(1, 10) = 5.64, p < .05; Speed, F(2, 20) = 17.12, p < .001; Training x Speed, F(2, 20) = 5.51, p < .05; And Training x Task x Spin x Speed, F(2, 20) = 10.90, p < .001. More importantly, significant improvement was found for the divided attention task after training, F(1, 6) = 8.76, p < .05. The results of the current study suggest that sports training not only improves play performance but also benefit visual functions. Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015. PMID:26326830

  17. Lanczos steps to improve variational wave functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becca, Federico; Hu, Wen-Jun; Iqbal, Yasir; Parola, Alberto; Poilblanc, Didier; Sorella, Sandro

    2015-09-01

    Gutzwiller-projected fermionic states can be efficiently implemented within quantum Monte Carlo calculations to define extremely accurate variational wave functions for Heisenberg models on frustrated two-dimensional lattices, not only for the ground state but also for low-energy excitations. The application of few Lanczos steps on top of these states further improves their accuracy, allowing calculations on large clusters. In addition, by computing both the energy and its variance, it is possible to obtain reliable estimations of exact results. Here, we report the cases of the frustrated Heisenberg models on square and Kagome lattices.

  18. Criteria for definition of regional functional improvement on quantitative post-stress gated myocardial SPET after bypass surgery in patients with ischaemic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dong Soo; Cheon, Gi Jeong; Paeng, Jin Chul; Kim, Ki Bong; Chung, June-Key; Lee, Myung Chul

    2002-08-01

    Myocardial viability can be defined as functional improvement of dysfunctional myocardium after revascularization. The purpose of this study was to define the optimal criteria for definition of regional functional improvement after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery on quantitative gated single-photon emission tomography (SPET). Thirty-two patients (26 men, 6 women; age 56 +/- 13 years) with coronary artery disease (three-vessel disease, 17; two-vessel disease, 15; previous history of myocardial infarction, 9) and severe left ventricular dysfunction (LVEF < or = 35%) underwent CABG. Rest thallium-201/dipyridamole stress technetium-99m methoxyisobutylisonitrile gated myocardial SPET was performed before and 3 months after CABG. Global LV functional improvement was defined as either an improvement in LVEF of 10% ( n = 15) or an improvement in LVEF of 5% combined with a decrease in end-systolic volume of 10 ml ( n = 2) after CABG on quantitative gated SPET. Postoperative regional wall thickening improvement (DeltaRWT), regional wall motion improvement (DeltaRWM) and regional resting (DeltaRP) and stress perfusion improvement (DeltaRstrP) were used to determine global functional improvement by ROC curve analysis, and the optimal criteria for definition of viable regional dysfunctional myocardium were defined on the ROC curves. Correlations were verified by determining the number of improved myocardial regions and LVEF improvement. LVEF was improved from 25% +/- 6% to 34% +/- 11% after CABG. A total of 229 segments were dysfunctional (wall motion < or = 2 mm, thickening < or = 20%) before CABG. On ROC curve analysis using global functional improvement as an indicator of viability, the areas under the ROC curves (AUCs) of DeltaRWT and DeltaRWM were 0.717 and 0.620, respectively. The AUC of DeltaRWT was significantly larger than that of DeltaRWM ( P = 0.009) and the optimal cut-off value of DeltaRWT was 15%. The AUCs of DeltaRP and DeltaRstrP were not significant. The correlation coefficients between summed DeltaRWT and DeltaRWM and LVEF improvement were 0.591 and 0.472, respectively. The number of segments with a DeltaRWT of more than 15% correlated with LVEF improvement (rho = 0.533 by Spearman rank correlation). Regional wall thickening improvement showed the best correlation with global LV functional improvement after CABG. The most reliable regional criterion of myocardial viability was improvement in regional wall thickening by > or = 15% on quantitative gated SPET. PMID:12173023

  19. Acupuncture improves cognitive function: A systematic review?

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Mason Chin Pang; Yip, Ka Keung; Lam, Chung Tsung; Lam, Ka Shun; Lau, Wai; Yu, Wing Lam; Leung, Amethyst King Man; So, Kwok-fai

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Acupuncture has been used as a treatment for cognitive impairment. OBJECTIVE: This review assesses clinical evidence for or against acupuncture as a treatment for cognitive impairment. This review also discusses the proposed mechanism(s) that could link acupuncture to improved cognitive function. METHODS: We searched the literature using PolyUone search from its inception to January 2013, with full text available and language limited to English. Levels of evidence were examined using Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine–Levels of Evidence (March, 2009). RESULTS: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria: 3 human studies and 9 animal studies. Levels of evidence ranged from level 1b to level 5. CONCLUSION: Most animal studies demonstrated a positive effect of acupuncture on cognitive impairment. However, the results of human studies were inconsistent. Further high-quality human studies with greater statistical power are needed to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture and an optimal protocol. PMID:25206464

  20. Passive ventricular mechanics modelling using MRI of structure and function.

    PubMed

    Wang, V Y; Lam, H I; Ennis, D B; Young, A A; Nash, M P

    2008-01-01

    Patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy or myocardial infarction can develop left ventricular (LV) diastolic impairment. The LV remodels its structure and function to adapt to pathophysiological changes in geometry and loading conditions and this remodeling process can alter the passive ventricular mechanics. In order to better understand passive ventricular mechanics, a LV finite element model was developed to incorporate physiological and mechanical information derived from in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tissue tagging, in vivo LV cavity pressure recording and ex vivo diffusion tensor MRI (DTMRI) of a canine heart. MRI tissue tagging enables quantitative evaluation of cardiac mechanical function with high spatial and temporal resolution, whilst the direction of maximum water diffusion (the primary eigenvector) in each voxel of a DTMRI directly correlates with the myocardial fibre orientation. This model was customized to the geometry of the canine LV during diastasis by fitting the segmented epicardial and endocardial surface data from tagged MRI using nonlinear finite element fitting techniques. Myofibre orientations, extracted from DTMRI of the same heart, were incorporated into this geometric model using a free form deformation methodology. Pressure recordings, temporally synchronized to the tissue tagging MRI data, were used to simulate the LV deformation during diastole. Simulation of the diastolic LV mechanics allowed us to estimate the stiffness of the passive LV myocardium based on kinematic data obtained from tagged MRI. This integrated physiological model will allow more insight into the regional passive diastolic mechanics of the LV on an individualized basis, thereby improving our understanding of the underlying structural basis of mechanical dysfunction in pathological conditions. PMID:18982680

  1. Comparison of image quality, myocardial perfusion, and LV function between standard imaging and single-injection ultra-low-dose imaging using a high-efficiency SPECT camera: the MILLISIEVERT study

    PubMed Central

    Einstein, Andrew J.; Blankstein, Ron; Andrews, Howard; Fish, Mathews; Padgett, Richard; Hayes, Sean W.; Friedman, John D.; Qureshi, Mehreen; Rakotoarivelo, Harivony; Slomka, Piotr; Nakazato, Ryo; Bokhari, Sabahat; Di Carli, Marcello; Berman, Daniel S.

    2015-01-01

    SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) plays a central role in coronary artery disease diagnosis; but concerns exist regarding its radiation burden. Compared to standard Anger-SPECT (A-SPECT) cameras, new high-efficiency (HE) cameras with specialized collimators and solid-state cadmium-zinc-telluride detectors offer potential to maintain image quality (IQ), while reducing administered activity and thus radiation dose to patients. No previous study has compared IQ, interpretation, total perfusion deficit (TPD), or ejection fraction (EF) in patients receiving both ultra-low-dose (ULD) imaging on a HE-SPECT camera and standard low-dose (SLD) A-SPECT imaging. Methods We compared ULD-HE-SPECT to SLD-A-SPECT imaging by dividing the rest dose in 101 patients at 3 sites scheduled to undergo clinical A-SPECT MPI using a same day rest/stress Tc-99m protocol. Patients received HE-SPECT imaging following an initial ~130 MBq (3.5mCi) dose, and SLD-A-SPECT imaging following the remainder of the planned dose. Images were scored visually by 2 blinded readers for IQ and summed rest score (SRS). TPD and EF were assessed quantitatively. Results Mean activity was 134 MBq (3.62 mCi) for ULD-HE-SPECT (effective dose 1.15 mSv) and 278 MBq (7.50 mCi, 2.39 mSv) for SLD-A-SPECT. Overall IQ was superior for ULD-HE-SPECT (p<0.0001), with twice as many studies graded excellent quality. Extracardiac activity and overall perfusion assessment were similar. Between-method correlations were high for SRS (r=0.87), TPD (r=0.91), and EF (r=0.88). Conclusion ULD-HE-SPECT rest imaging correlates highly with SLD-A-SPECT. It has improved image quality, comparable extracardiac activity, and achieves radiation dose reduction to 1 mSv for a single injection. PMID:24982439

  2. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Behlau, Mara; Madazio, Glaucya; Oliveira, Gisele

    2015-01-01

    Functional dysphonia (FD) refers to a voice problem in the absence of a physical condition. It is a multifaceted voice disorder. There is no consensus with regard to its definition and inclusion criteria for diagnosis. FD has many predisposing and precipitating factors, which may include genetic susceptibility, psychological traits, and the vocal behavior itself. The assessment of voice disorders should be multidimensional. In addition to the clinical examination, auditory-perceptual, acoustic, and self-assessment analyses are very important. Self-assessment was introduced in the field of voice 25 years ago and has produced a major impact in the clinical and scientific scenario. The choice of treatment for FD is vocal rehabilitation by means of direct therapy; however, compliance has been an issue, except for cases of functional aphonia or when an intensive training is administered. Nevertheless, there are currently no controlled studies that have explored the different options of treatment regimens for these patients. Strategies to improve patient outcome involve proper multidisciplinary diagnosis in order to exclude neurological and psychiatric disorders, careful voice documentation with quantitative measurement and qualitative description of the vocal deviation for comparison after treatment, acoustic evaluation to gather data on the mechanism involved in voice production, self-assessment questionnaires to map the impact of the voice problem on the basis of the patient’s perspective, referral to psychological evaluation in cases of suspected clinical anxiety and/or depression, identification of dysfunctional coping strategies, self-regulation data to assist patients with their vocal load, and direct and intensive vocal rehabilitation to reduce psychological resistance and to reassure patient’s recovery. An international multicentric effort, involving a large population of voice-disordered patients with no physical pathology, could produce enough data for achieving a consensus regarding this complex problem. PMID:26664248

  3. Injectable biodegradable hydrogels for embryonic stem cell transplantation: improved cardiac remodelling and function of myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haibin; Liu, Zhiqiang; Li, Dexue; Guo, Xuan; Kasper, F Kurtis; Duan, Cuimi; Zhou, Jin; Mikos, Antonios G; Wang, Changyong

    2012-01-01

    Abstract In this study, an injectable, biodegradable hydrogel composite of oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) was investigated as a carrier of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) for the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). The OPF hydrogels were used to encapsulate mESCs. The cell differentiation in vitro over 14 days was determined via immunohistochemical examination. Then, mESCs encapsulated in OPF hydrogels were injected into the LV wall of a rat MI model. Detailed histological analysis and echocardiography were used to determine the structural and functional consequences after 4 weeks of transplantation. With ascorbic acid induction, mESCs could differentiate into cardiomyocytes and other cell types in all three lineages in the OPF hydrogel. After transplantation, both the 24-hr cell retention and 4-week graft size were significantly greater in the OPF + ESC group than that of the PBS + ESC group (P < 0.01). Four weeks after transplantation, OPF hydrogel alone significantly reduced the infarct size and collagen deposition and improved the cardiac function. The heart function and revascularization improved significantly, while the infarct size and fibrotic area decreased significantly in the OPF + ESC group compared with that of the PBS + ESC, OPF and PBS groups (P < 0.01). All treatments had significantly reduced MMP2 and MMP9 protein levels compared to the PBS control group, and the OPF + ESC group decreased most by Western blotting. Transplanted mESCs expressed cardiovascular markers. This study suggests the potential of a method for heart regeneration involving OPF hydrogels for stem cell encapsulation and transplantation. PMID:21838774

  4. Improved algorithm for calculating the Chandrasekhar function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jablonski, A.

    2013-02-01

    Theoretical models of electron transport in condensed matter require an effective source of the Chandrasekhar H(x,omega) function. A code providing the H(x,omega) function has to be both accurate and very fast. The current revision of the code published earlier [A. Jablonski, Comput. Phys. Commun. 183 (2012) 1773] decreased the running time, averaged over different pairs of arguments x and omega, by a factor of more than 20. The decrease of the running time in the range of small values of the argument x, less than 0.05, is even more pronounced, reaching a factor of 30. The accuracy of the current code is not affected, and is typically better than 12 decimal places. New version program summaryProgram title: CHANDRAS_v2 Catalogue identifier: AEMC_v2_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEMC_v2_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC license, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 976 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 11416 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Fortran 90 Computer: Any computer with a Fortran 90 compiler Operating system: Windows 7, Windows XP, Unix/Linux RAM: 0.7 MB Classification: 2.4, 7.2 Catalogue identifier of previous version: AEMC_v1_0 Journal reference of previous version: Comput. Phys. Commun. 183 (2012) 1773 Does the new version supersede the old program: Yes Nature of problem: An attempt has been made to develop a subroutine that calculates the Chandrasekhar function with high accuracy, of at least 10 decimal places. Simultaneously, this subroutine should be very fast. Both requirements stem from the theory of electron transport in condensed matter. Solution method: Two algorithms were developed, each based on a different integral representation of the Chandrasekhar function. The final algorithm is edited by mixing these two algorithms by selecting ranges of the argument omega in which the performance is the fastest. Reasons for the new version: Some of the theoretical models describing electron transport in condensed matter need a source of the Chandrasekhar H function values with an accuracy of at least 10 decimal places. Additionally, calculations of this function should be as fast as possible since frequent calls to a subroutine providing this function are made (e.g., numerical evaluation of a double integral with a complicated integrand containing the H function). Both conditions were satisfied in the algorithm previously published [1]. However, it has been found that a proper selection of the quadrature in an integral representation of the Chandrasekhar function may considerably decrease the running time. By suitable selection of the number of abscissas in Gauss-Legendre quadrature, the execution time was decreased by a factor of more than 20. Simultaneously, the accuracy of results has not been affected. Summary of revisions: (1) As in previous work [1], two integral representations of the Chandrasekhar function, H(x,omega), were considered: the expression published by Dudarev and Whelan [2] and the expression published by Davidovi? et al. [3]. The algorithms implementing these representations were designated A and B, respectively. All integrals in these implementations were previously calculated using Romberg quadrature. It has been found, however, that the use of Gauss-Legendre quadrature considerably improved the performance of both algorithms. Two conditions have to be satisfied. (i) The number of abscissas, N, has to be rather large, and (ii) the abscissas and corresponding weights should be determined with accuracy as high as possible. The abscissas and weights are available for N=16, 20, 24, 32, 40, 48, 64, 80, and 96 with accuracy of 20 decimal places [4], and all these values were introduced into a new procedure GAUSS replacing procedure ROMBERG. Due to the fact that the implemented tables are rather extensive, they were recalculated using the Rybicki algorithm (Re

  5. Effects of Acute Intravenous Infusion of Apelin on Left Ventricular Function in Dogs with Advanced Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Mengjun; Gupta, Ramesh C.; Rastogi, Sharad; Kohli, Smita; Sabbah, Michael S.; Zhang, Kefei; Mohyi, Paula; Hogie, Manuela; Fischer, Yvan; Sabbah, Hani N.

    2013-01-01

    Background Apelin-13 (APLN) through apelin receptor (APJ) exerts peripheral vasodilatory and potent positive inotropic effects. We examined the effects of exogenous intravenous infusion of APLN on left ventricular (LV) systolic function in dogs with heart failure (HF, LV ejection fraction, EF~30%). Methods and Results Studies were performed in 7 dogs with microembolization-induced HF. Each dog received an intravenous infusion of low dose and high dose APLN followed by washout period. LV end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV) and LV EF were measured at specified time points. APLN protein level was determined in plasma at all time points. mRNA and protein levels of APLN and APJ in LV tissue were also measured in 7 normal (NL) and 7 heart failure (HF) dogs. APLN reduced EDV only at the high dose, significantly reduced ESV and increased EF with both doses. In plasma of HF dogs, APLN levels were reduced significantly compared to NL dogs. APLN treatment in HF dogs significantly increased the plasma APLN levels at both low and high doses. Expression of APLN, but not of APJ, was reduced in LV tissue of HF dogs compared to NL. Conclusion Exogenous administration of APLN improved LV systolic function in dogs with advanced HF. PMID:23834927

  6. Correcting For Seed-Particle Lag In LV Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Gregory S.; Gartrell, Luther R.; Kamemoto, Derek Y.

    1994-01-01

    Two experiments conducted to evaluate effects of sizes of seed particles on errors in LV measurements of mean flows. Both theoretical and conventional experimental methods used to evaluate errors. First experiment focused on measurement of decelerating stagnation streamline of low-speed flow around circular cylinder with two-dimensional afterbody. Second performed in transonic flow and involved measurement of decelerating stagnation streamline of hemisphere with cylindrical afterbody. Concluded, mean-quantity LV measurements subject to large errors directly attributable to sizes of particles. Predictions of particle-response theory showed good agreement with experimental results, indicating velocity-error-correction technique used in study viable for increasing accuracy of laser velocimetry measurements. Technique simple and useful in any research facility in which flow velocities measured.

  7. Theoretic Impact of Infarct Compliance on Left Ventricular Function

    PubMed Central

    Pilla, James J.; Gorman, Joseph H.; Gorman, Robert C.

    2011-01-01

    Background After coronary occlusion, the infarct region loses contractile function immediately and then undergoes a progressive healing process. This causes complex and time-dependent changes in infarct material properties that have not been well described experimentally. We used a theoretic approach to assess how infarct compliance effects left ventricular (LV) size and function after myocardial infarction. Methods We used a closed-loop lumped-parameter model of the ovine cardiovascular system developed to study the effect of infarct size and compliance on cardiovascular function. The time-varying LV function was partitioned into infarct and noninfarct regions where the parameters of each could be adjusted separately. The model incorporated an adaptive compensatory mechanism to maintain stroke volume by varying the total blood volume. Results For the preinfarction heart, the model produced pressure, volume, and functional results that were consistent with normal values for large animals. When infarcts of progressively larger size (5% to 25%) were introduced and stroke volume adaptation was permitted, the model produced pressure, volume, and functional results that were consistent with postinfarction values measured experimentally in large animals. Infarct size was held at 20% as infarct compliance decreased from 7 to 1 mL/mm Hg. This stiffening of the infarct resulted in reduced LV end-diastolic volume (200 to 60 mL), increased ejection fraction (0.10 to 0.30), and reduced LV end-diastolic pressure (14 to 5 mm Hg). Estimated LV oxygen consumption was also improved in the stiffer infracts. Conclusion Stiffer infarcts are associated with less LV dilatation, reduced filling pressures and better global LV function. PMID:19231393

  8. ?3 adrenergic receptor selective stimulation during ischemia/reperfusion improves cardiac function in translational models through inhibition of mPTP opening in cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    García-Prieto, Jaime; García-Ruiz, Jose Manuel; Sanz-Rosa, David; Pun, Andrés; García-Alvarez, Ana; Davidson, Sean M; Fernández-Friera, Leticia; Nuno-Ayala, Mario; Fernández-Jiménez, Rodrigo; Bernal, Juan A; Izquierdo-Garcia, José Luis; Jimenez-Borreguero, Jesús; Pizarro, Gonzalo; Ruiz-Cabello, Jesús; Macaya, Carlos; Fuster, Valentín; Yellon, Derek M; Ibanez, Borja

    2014-07-01

    Selective stimulation of ?3 adrenergic-receptor (?3AR) has been shown to reduce infarct size in a mouse model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. However, its functional long-term effect and the cardioprotective mechanisms at the level of cardiomyocytes have not been elucidated, and the impact of ?3AR stimulation has not been evaluated in a more translational large animal model. This study aimed at evaluating pre-perfusion administration of BRL37344 both in small and large animal models of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. Pre-reperfusion administration of the ?3AR agonist BRL37344 (5 ?g/kg) reduced infarct size at 2-and 24-h reperfusion in wild-type mice. Long-term (12-weeks) left ventricular (LV) function assessed by echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) was significantly improved in ?3AR agonist-treated mice. Incubation with ?3AR agonist (BRL37344, 7 ?mol/L) significantly reduced cell death in isolated adult mouse cardiomyocytes during hypoxia/reoxygenation and decreased susceptibility to deleterious opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), via a mechanism dependent on the Akt-NO signaling pathway. Pre-reperfusion BRL37344 administration had no effect on infarct size in cyclophilin-D KO mice, further implicating mPTP in the mechanism of protection. Large-white pigs underwent percutaneous coronary ischemia/reperfusion and 3-T CMR at 7 and 45 days post-infarction. Pre-perfusion administration of BRL37344 (5 ?g/kg) decreased infarct size and improved long-term LV contractile function. A single-dose administration of ?3AR agonist before reperfusion decreased infarct size and resulted in a consistent and long-term improvement in cardiac function, both in small and large animal models of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. This protection appears to be executed through inhibition of mPTP opening in cardiomyocytes. PMID:24951958

  9. Litopenaeus vannamei Sterile-Alpha and Armadillo Motif Containing Protein (LvSARM) Is Involved in Regulation of Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Pei-Hui; Gu, Zhi-Hua; Wan, Ding-Hui; Zhu, Wei-Bin; Qiu, Wei; Weng, Shao-Ping; Yu, Xiao-Qiang; He, Jian-Guo

    2013-01-01

    The Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated NF-?B pathway is tightly controlled because overactivation may result in severe damage to the host, such as in the case of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. In mammals, sterile-alpha and armadillo motif-containing protein (SARM) plays an important role in negatively regulating this pathway. While Caenorhabditis elegans SARM is crucial for an efficient immune response against bacterial and fungal infections, it is still unknown whether Drosophila SARM participates in immune responses. Here, Litopenaeus vannamei SARM (LvSARM) was cloned and functionally characterized. LvSARM shared signature domains with and exhibited significant similarities to mammalian SARM. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that the expression of LvSARM was responsive to Vibrio alginolyticus and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infections in the hemocyte, gill, hepatopancreas and intestine. In Drosophila S2 cells, LvSARM was widely distributed in the cytoplasm and could significantly inhibit the promoters of the NF-?B pathway-controlled antimicrobial peptide genes (AMPs). Silencing of LvSARM using dsRNA-mediated RNA interference increased the expression levels of Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors, which are L.vannamei AMPs, and increased the mortality rate after V. alginolyticus infection. Taken together, our results reveal that LvSARM may be a novel component of the shrimp Toll pathway that negatively regulates shrimp AMPs, particularly Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors. PMID:23405063

  10. Improved association in a classical density functional theory for water

    SciTech Connect

    Krebs, Eric J.; Schulte, Jeff B.; Roundy, David

    2014-03-28

    We present a modification to our recently published statistical associating fluid theory-based classical density functional theory for water. We have recently developed and tested a functional for the averaged radial distribution function at contact of the hard-sphere fluid that is dramatically more accurate at interfaces than earlier approximations. We now incorporate this improved functional into the association term of our free energy functional for water, improving its description of hydrogen bonding. We examine the effect of this improvement by studying two hard solutes (a hard hydrophobic rod and a hard sphere) and a Lennard-Jones approximation of a krypton atom solute. The improved functional leads to a moderate change in the density profile and a large decrease in the number of hydrogen bonds broken in the vicinity of the hard solutes. We find an improvement of the partial radial distribution for a krypton atom in water when compared with experiment.

  11. Improved association in a classical density functional theory for water.

    PubMed

    Krebs, Eric J; Schulte, Jeff B; Roundy, David

    2014-03-28

    We present a modification to our recently published statistical associating fluid theory-based classical density functional theory for water. We have recently developed and tested a functional for the averaged radial distribution function at contact of the hard-sphere fluid that is dramatically more accurate at interfaces than earlier approximations. We now incorporate this improved functional into the association term of our free energy functional for water, improving its description of hydrogen bonding. We examine the effect of this improvement by studying two hard solutes (a hard hydrophobic rod and a hard sphere) and a Lennard-Jones approximation of a krypton atom solute. The improved functional leads to a moderate change in the density profile and a large decrease in the number of hydrogen bonds broken in the vicinity of the hard solutes. We find an improvement of the partial radial distribution for a krypton atom in water when compared with experiment. PMID:24697459

  12. LV wall segmentation using the variational level set method (LSM) with additional shape constraint for oedema quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadir, K.; Gao, H.; Payne, A.; Soraghan, J.; Berry, C.

    2012-10-01

    In this paper an automatic algorithm for the left ventricle (LV) wall segmentation and oedema quantification from T2-weighted cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images is presented. The extent of myocardial oedema delineates the ischaemic area-at-risk (AAR) after myocardial infarction (MI). Since AAR can be used to estimate the amount of salvageable myocardial post-MI, oedema imaging has potential clinical utility in the management of acute MI patients. This paper presents a new scheme based on the variational level set method (LSM) with additional shape constraint for the segmentation of T2-weighted CMR image. In our approach, shape information of the myocardial wall is utilized to introduce a shape feature of the myocardial wall into the variational level set formulation. The performance of the method is tested using real CMR images (12 patients) and the results of the automatic system are compared to manual segmentation. The mean perpendicular distances between the automatic and manual LV wall boundaries are in the range of 1-2 mm. Bland-Altman analysis on LV wall area indicates there is no consistent bias as a function of LV wall area, with a mean bias of -121 mm2 between individual investigator one (IV1) and LSM, and -122 mm2 between individual investigator two (IV2) and LSM when compared to two investigators. Furthermore, the oedema quantification demonstrates good correlation when compared to an expert with an average error of 9.3% for 69 slices of short axis CMR image from 12 patients.

  13. Crosslinking food proteins for improved functionality.

    PubMed

    Buchert, Johanna; Ercili Cura, Dilek; Ma, Hairan; Gasparetti, Chiara; Monogioudi, Evanthia; Faccio, Greta; Mattinen, Maija; Boer, Harry; Partanen, Riitta; Selinheimo, Emilia; Lantto, Raija; Kruus, Kristiina

    2010-01-01

    Different possibilities for protein crosslinking are examined in this review, with special emphasis on enzymatic crosslinking and its impact on food structure. Among potential enzymes for protein crosslinking are transglutaminase (TG) and various oxidative enzymes. Crosslinking enzymes can be applied in cereal, dairy, meat, and fish processing to improve the texture of the product. Most of the current commercial applications are based on TG. The reaction mechanisms of the crosslinking enzymes differ, which in turn results in different technological properties. PMID:22129332

  14. MR Prediction of Liver Function and Pathology Using Gd-EOB-DTPA: Effect of Liver Volume Consideration

    PubMed Central

    Shimamoto, Dai; Nishie, Akihiro; Asayama, Yoshiki; Ushijima, Yasuhiro; Takayama, Yukihisa; Fujita, Nobuhiro; Shirabe, Ken; Hida, Tomoyuki; Kubo, Yuichiro; Honda, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate whether the diagnostic performance of Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI in evaluating liver function and pathology is improved by considering liver volume (LV). Methods. This retrospective study included 104 patients who underwent Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI before liver surgery. For each patient, using the precontrast and hepatobiliary phase images, we calculated the increase rate of the liver-to-spleen signal intensity ratio (LSR), that is, the “?LSR,” and the increase rate of the liver-to-muscle signal intensity ratio (LMR), that is, the “?LMR.” ?LSR × LV and ?LMR × LV were also calculated. The correlation of each MR parameter with liver function data or liver pathology was assessed. The correlation coefficients were compared between ?LSR (?LMR) and ?LSR (?LMR) × LV. Results. The correlation coefficient between ?LSR (?LMR) × LV and cholinesterase was significantly higher than that between ?LSR (?LMR) and cholinesterase. The correlation coefficient between ?LSR (?LMR) × LV and the degree of fibrosis or necroinflammatory activity was significantly lower than that between ?LSR (?LMR) and the degree of fibrosis or necroinflammatory activity. Conclusion. The inclusion of liver volume may improve Gd-EOB-DTPA-based predictions of liver function, but not in predictions of liver pathology. PMID:26609519

  15. Psychosocial functioning improves following adolescent bariatric surgery.

    PubMed

    Zeller, Meg H; Modi, Avani C; Noll, Jennie G; Long, Jeffrey D; Inge, Thomas H

    2009-05-01

    The aims of the present study were to examine changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and depressive symptoms in adolescents with extreme obesity undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) across the first postoperative year. A prospective longitudinal observational study of 31 adolescent patients undergoing RYGBP at a pediatric medical center (mean = 16.4 years; 64.5% females, mean BMI 63.5; 97% of study eligible and consecutive patients) was conducted. Participants completed two adolescent HRQOL measures, the PedsQL (generic) and the IWQOL-Kids (weight-related), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and height and weight were measured at three time points: baseline, and 6 and 12 months following RYGBP. Prior to RYGBP, significant impairments in HRQOL were documented and 38.7% reported depressive symptomatology in the clinical range. As expected, BMI and depressive symptoms decreased and HRQOL improved from baseline to 12 months post-RYGBP. Linear mixed modeling analyses detected several nonlinear slopes in BMI, depressive symptoms, and the majority of HRQOL domains over time with deceleration in these postoperative changes beginning at the 6th month time point. In contrast, the rate of change in weight-related social relations was linear (e.g., no deceleration), indicating continued improvement across the first postoperative year. Adolescent RYGBP results in significant improvement in HRQOL and depressive symptomatology over the first postoperative year. Longer-term follow-up will be critical to determine adolescent weight and psychosocial trajectories, their interrelations, and what role psychosocial status plays in continued weight loss, maintenance, and regain. PMID:19165158

  16. Improvement-related functional plasticity following pitch memory training

    E-print Network

    Gaser, Christian

    Improvement-related functional plasticity following pitch memory training Nadine Gaab,a Christian to the functional changes that were shown. In contrast, motor training studies (Jenkins et al., 1994; Schlaug et al; revised 20 October 2005; accepted 18 November 2005 Available online 19 January 2006 Functional activation

  17. Improved Density Functionals for Water University of Minnesota

    E-print Network

    Truhlar, Donald G

    Improved Density Functionals for Water University of Minnesota NSF ITR-0428774 The ubiquitous attention has focused on using density functional theory (DFT) as a means to study these systems, however the high expense of these simulations has restricted the choice of available density functionals to less

  18. [Effect of tetrandrine and verapamil on left ventricular diastolic and systolic function in essential hypertension].

    PubMed

    Zeng, B; Dai, G Z

    1991-03-01

    By using apexcardiography and echocardiography, the diastolic and systolic function of 34 hypertensive patients were studied. The results indicated that left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy is one of the important factors in impairing LV diastolic function in essential hypertension. By using self-control method, Verapamil(V) was injected intravenously. Relative A wave to total diastolic amplitude (A/D), total apexcardiographic relaxation time index (TARTI), diastolic amplitude time index (DATI) and PEP/LVET were measured. After 5 half-lives of V, intravenous Tetrandrine (T) was given, all the measurements were repeated in the same way. The data revealed that A/D, TRATI and DATI improved significantly after intravenous T and V as well, yet PEP/LVET showed no significant change. It, therefore, seems clear that both T and V could induce a significant improvement in LV diastolic function without any apparent adverse influence on systolic function. PMID:1874078

  19. Long-term levosimendan treatment improves systolic function and myocardial relaxation in mice with cardiomyocyte-specific disruption of the Serca2 gene.

    PubMed

    Hillestad, Vigdis; Kramer, Frank; Golz, Stefan; Knorr, Andreas; Andersson, Kristin B; Christensen, Geir

    2013-11-01

    In human heart failure (HF), reduced cardiac function has, at least partly, been ascribed to altered calcium homeostasis in cardiomyocytes. The effects of the calcium sensitizer levosimendan on diastolic dysfunction caused by reduced removal of calcium from cytosol in early diastole are not well known. In this study, we investigated the effect of long-term levosimendan treatment in a murine model of HF where the sarco(endo)plasmatic reticulum ATPase (Serca) gene is specifically disrupted in the cardiomyocytes, leading to reduced removal of cytosolic calcium. After induction of Serca2 gene disruption, these mice develop marked diastolic dysfunction as well as impaired contractility. SERCA2 knockout (SERCA2KO) mice were treated with levosimendan or vehicle from the time of KO induction. At the 7-wk end point, cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and pressure measurements. Vehicle-treated SERCA2KO mice showed significantly diminished left-ventricular (LV) contractility, as shown by decreased ejection fraction, stroke volume, and cardiac output. LV pressure measurements revealed a marked increase in the time constant (?) of isovolumetric pressure decay, showing impaired relaxation. Levosimendan treatment significantly improved all three systolic parameters. Moreover, a significant reduction in ? toward normalization indicated improved relaxation. Gene-expression analysis, however, revealed an increase in genes related to production of the ECM in animals treated with levosimendan. In conclusion, long-term levosimendan treatment improves both contractility and relaxation in a heart-failure model with marked diastolic dysfunction due to reduced calcium transients. However, altered gene expression related to fibrosis was observed. PMID:24072410

  20. Regression of left ventricular hypertrophy in diabetic nephropathy: loss of parasympathetic function predicts response to treatment.

    PubMed

    Weinrauch, Larry A; Berger, Andrew J; Aronson, Doron; Gleason, Ray E; Lee, Annette T; D'Elia, John A

    2006-05-01

    Both left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and decreased autonomic function are predictors of adverse cardiac events. Patients with diabetic nephropathy have an excess cardiovascular risk. The authors determined heart rate variability from 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic recordings and measures of LV mass with systolic and diastolic function from echocardiograms. Patients with diabetic nephropathy (n=16) were seen weekly for insulin and hypertension management. Glycohemoglobin decreased from 9.5+/-0.4% to 8.3+/-0.4% (p=0.01), and advanced glycated end products decreased from 12.1+/-2.2 to 7.4+/-1.2 units (p=0.03). Mean arterial pressure and body weight did not change. Serum creatinine increased (1.8+/-0.1 mg/dL to 2.0+/-0.2 mg/dL; p=0.03). The authors used a panel of markers of baseline heart rate variation to assess autonomic function. When covariance of the heart rate interval results were evaluated, the group below the median was found to have a significant decrease in LV mass, from 230 g to 184 g (p=0.013); the group above the median had an increase (182 g to 193 g; p=0.5329). Baseline covariance of the heart rate interval predicted 12-month changes in LV mass in 13 of 16 patients (predictive accuracy, 81%). Improvement in measures of heart rate variation correlated with a decrease in LV mass. Parallel improvement of LV mass and autonomic function suggests a common mechanism, allowing for prediction of LV mass improvement through analysis of baseline heart rate variation. PMID:16687941

  1. Cardiac Structure and Function in Cushing's Syndrome: A Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Charles; Salenave, Sylvie; Kachenoura, Nadjia; Raissouni, Zainab; Macron, Laurent; Guignat, Laurence; Jublanc, Christel; Azarine, Arshid; Brailly, Sylvie; Young, Jacques; Mousseaux, Elie; Chanson, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Background: Patients with Cushing's syndrome have left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and dysfunction on echocardiography, but echo-based measurements may have limited accuracy in obese patients. No data are available on right ventricular (RV) and left atrial (LA) size and function in these patients. Objectives: The objective of the study was to evaluate LV, RV, and LA structure and function in patients with Cushing's syndrome by means of cardiac magnetic resonance, currently the reference modality in assessment of cardiac geometry and function. Methods: Eighteen patients with active Cushing's syndrome and 18 volunteers matched for age, sex, and body mass index were studied by cardiac magnetic resonance. The imaging was repeated in the patients 6 months (range 2–12 mo) after the treatment of hypercortisolism. Results: Compared with controls, patients with Cushing's syndrome had lower LV, RV, and LA ejection fractions (P < .001 for all) and increased end-diastolic LV segmental thickness (P < .001). Treatment of hypercortisolism was associated with an improvement in ventricular and atrial systolic performance, as reflected by a 15% increase in the LV ejection fraction (P = .029), a 45% increase in the LA ejection fraction (P < .001), and an 11% increase in the RV ejection fraction (P = NS). After treatment, the LV mass index and end-diastolic LV mass to volume ratio decreased by 17% (P < .001) and 10% (P = .002), respectively. None of the patients had late gadolinium myocardial enhancement. Conclusion: Cushing's syndrome is associated with subclinical biventricular and LA systolic dysfunctions that are reversible after treatment. Despite skeletal muscle atrophy, Cushing's syndrome patients have an increased LV mass, reversible upon correction of hypercortisolism. PMID:25093618

  2. Effect of paricalcitol on left ventricular mass and function in CKD--the OPERA trial.

    PubMed

    Wang, Angela Yee-Moon; Fang, Fang; Chan, John; Wen, Yue-Yi; Qing, Shang; Chan, Iris Hiu-Shuen; Lo, Gladys; Lai, Kar-Neng; Lo, Wai-Kei; Lam, Christopher Wai-Kei; Yu, Cheuk-Man

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin D seems to protect against cardiovascular disease, but the reported effects of vitamin D on patient outcomes in CKD are controversial. We conducted a prospective, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine whether oral activated vitamin D reduces left ventricular (LV) mass in patients with stages 3-5 CKD with LV hypertrophy. Subjects with echocardiographic criteria of LV hypertrophy were randomly assigned to receive either oral paricalcitol (1 ?g) one time daily (n=30) or matching placebo (n=30) for 52 weeks. The primary end point was change in LV mass index over 52 weeks, which was measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Secondary end points included changes in LV volume, echocardiographic measures of systolic and diastolic function, biochemical parameters of mineral bone disease, and measures of renal function. Change in LV mass index did not differ significantly between groups (median [interquartile range], -2.59 [-6.13 to 0.32] g/m(2) with paricalcitol versus -4.85 [-9.89 to 1.10] g/m(2) with placebo). Changes in LV volume, ejection fraction, tissue Doppler-derived measures of early diastolic and systolic mitral annular velocities, and ratio of early mitral inflow velocity to early diastolic mitral annular velocity did not differ between the groups. However, paricalcitol treatment significantly reduced intact parathyroid hormone (P<0.001) and alkaline phosphatase (P=0.001) levels as well as the number of cardiovascular-related hospitalizations compared with placebo. In conclusion, 52 weeks of treatment with oral paricalcitol (1 ?g one time daily) significantly improved secondary hyperparathyroidism but did not alter measures of LV structure and function in patients with severe CKD. PMID:24052631

  3. Recombinant Expression and Characterization of ?-Conotoxin LvIA in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaopeng; Bi, Jianpeng; Yu, Jinpeng; Li, Xiaodan; Zhang, Yaning; Zhangsun, Dongting; Luo, Sulan

    2016-01-01

    ?-Conotoxin LvIA is derived from Conus lividus, native to Hainan, and is the most selective inhibitor of ?3?2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) known to date. In this study, an efficient approach for the production of recombinant ?-Conotoxin LvIA is described. Tandem repeats of a LvIA gene fragment were constructed and fused with a KSI gene and a His? tag in a Escherichia coli (E. coli) expression vector pET-31b(+). The recombinant plasmids were transformed into E. coli and were found to express well. The KSI-(LvIA)n-His? fusion protein was purified by metal affinity chromatography and then cleaved with CNBr to release recombinant LvIA (rLvIA). High yields of fusion protein ranging from 100 to 500 mg/L culture were obtained. The pharmacological profile of rLvIA was determined by two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing rat nAChR subtypes. The rLvIA antagonized the ?3?2 nAChR subtype selectively with a nano-molar IC50. The rLvIA was analgesic in a mouse hot-plate test model of pain. Overall, this study provides an effective method to synthesize ?-conotoxin LvIA in an E. coli recombinant expression system, and this approach could be useful to obtain active conopeptides in large quantity and at low cost. PMID:26742048

  4. Improving the algebraic immunity of resilient and nonlinear functions and

    E-print Network

    International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR)

    Improving the algebraic immunity of resilient and nonlinear functions and constructing bent high algebraic immunities. We introduce a construction of Boolean functions, which builds a new and can have the same nonlinearity, but has potentially better algebraic degree and algebraic immunity

  5. Bridge Functionality Relationships for Improved Seismic Risk Assessment

    E-print Network

    Padgett, Jamie Ellen

    Bridge Functionality Relationships for Improved Seismic Risk Assessment of Transportation Networks Jamie E. Padgett,a... M.EERI, and Reginald DesRoches,b... M.EERI Relationships between bridge damage and the resulting loss of functionality of the bridge are critical to assessing the impact of an earthquake event

  6. Comparison of left ventricular diastolic function in obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in patients undergoing percutaneous septal alcohol ablation versus surgical myotomy/myectomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sitges, Marta; Shiota, Takahiro; Lever, Harry M.; Qin, Jian Xin; Bauer, Fabrice; Drinko, Jeannie K.; Agler, Deborah A.; Martin, Maureen G.; Greenberg, Neil L.; Smedira, Nicholas G.; Lytle, Bruce W.; Tuzcu, E. Murat; Garcia, Mario J.; Thomas, James D.

    2003-01-01

    Both percutaneous transcoronary alcohol septal reduction (ASR) and surgical myectomy are effective treatments to relieve left ventricular (LV) outflow tract obstruction in obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC). LV diastolic function was assessed by echocardiography in 57 patients with obstructive HC at baseline and 5 +/- 4 months after ASR (n = 37) or surgical myectomy (n = 20). LV outflow tract pressure gradient decreased from 65 +/- 40 to 23 +/- 21 mm Hg (p <0.01) after treatment. The ratio of the early-to-late peak diastolic LV inflow velocities, and the ratio of the early peak diastolic LV inflow velocity to the lateral mitral annulus early diastolic velocity determined by tissue Doppler imaging significantly decreased after the procedures (1.6 +/- 1.7 vs 1.0 +/- 0.7 and 15 +/- 8 vs 11 +/- 5, respectively), whereas LV inflow propagation velocity significantly increased (60 +/- 24 vs 71 +/- 36 cm/s). Left atrial size decreased from 29 +/- 7 to 25 +/- 6 cm(2) (p <0.05). Patients had a significant improvement in New York Heart Association functional class and in exercise performance. When comparing ASR with myectomy, no difference was found in the degree of change in any parameter of diastolic function. Thus, diastolic function indexes obtained by echocardiography changed after septal reduction interventions in patients with obstructive HC; this change was similar to that after surgical myectomy and ASR.

  7. Cardiovascular function is better in veteran football players than age-matched untrained elderly healthy men.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, J F; Andersen, T R; Andersen, L J; Randers, M B; Hornstrup, T; Hansen, P R; Bangsbo, J; Krustrup, P

    2015-02-01

    The aim of the study was to determine whether lifelong football training may improve cardiovascular function, physical fitness, and body composition. Our subjects were 17 male veteran football players (VPG; 68.1 ± 2.1 years) and 26 healthy age-matched untrained men who served as a control group (CG; 68.2 ± 3.2 years). Examinations included measurements of cardiac function, microvascular endothelial function [reactive hyperemic index (RHI)], maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), and body composition. In VPG, left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume was 20% larger (P < 0.01) and LV ejection fraction was higher (P < 0.001). Tissue Doppler imaging revealed an augmented LV longitudinal displacement, i.e., LV shortening of 21% (P < 0.001) and longitudinal 2D strain was 12% higher (P < 0.05), in VPG. In VPG, resting heart rate was lower (6 bpm, P < 0.05), and VO2max was higher (18%, P < 0.05). In addition, RHI was 21% higher (P < 0.05) in VPG. VPG also had lower body mass index (P < 0.05), body fat percentage, total body fat mass, android fat percentage, and gynoid fat percentage (all P < 0.01). Lifelong participation in football training is associated with better LV systolic function, physical fitness, microvascular function, and a healthier body composition. Overall, VPG have better cardiovascular function compared with CG, which may reduce their cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. PMID:24303918

  8. Low-intensity interval exercise training attenuates coronary vascular dysfunction and preserves Ca2+-sensitive K+ current in miniature swine with LV hypertrophy

    PubMed Central

    Tharp, Darla L.; Ivey, Jan R.; Ganjam, Venkataseshu K.; Bowles, Douglas K.

    2011-01-01

    Coronary vascular dysfunction has been observed in several models of heart failure (HF). Recent evidence indicates that exercise training is beneficial for patients with HF, but the precise intensity and underlying mechanisms are unknown. Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy can play a significant role in the development of HF; therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of low-intensity interval exercise training on coronary vascular function in sedentary (HF) and exercise trained (HF-TR) aortic-banded miniature swine displaying LV hypertrophy. Six months postsurgery, in vivo coronary vascular responses to endothelin-1 (ET-1) and adenosine were measured in the left anterior descending coronary artery. Baseline and maximal coronary vascular conductance were similar between all groups. ET-1-induced reductions in coronary vascular conductance (P < 0.05) were greater in HF vs. sedentary control and HF-TR groups. Pretreatment with the ET type A (ETA) receptor blocker BQ-123 prevented ET-1 hypersensitivity in HF animals. Whole cell voltage clamp was used to characterize composite K+ currents (IK+) in coronary smooth muscle cells. Raising internal Ca2+ from 200 to 500 nM increased Ca2+-sensitive K+ current in HF-TR and control, but not HF animals. In conclusion, an ETA-receptor-mediated hypersensitivity to ET-1, elevated resting LV wall tension, and decreased coronary smooth muscle cell Ca2+-sensitive IK+ was found in sedentary animals with LV hypertrophy. Low-intensity interval exercise training preserved normal coronary vascular function and smooth muscle cell Ca2+-sensitive IK+, illustrating a potential mechanism underlying coronary vascular dysfunction in a large-animal model of LV hypertrophy. Our results demonstrate the potential clinical impact of exercise on coronary vascular function in HF patients displaying pathological LV hypertrophy. PMID:21841018

  9. Publications from GCRC Protocols -2005 16236669 Trap-Cardoso M, Bracker A, Dauser D, Oncken C, Barrera LV, Gould B, Grey MR

    E-print Network

    Oliver, Douglas L.

    Associations among clinical, immunological, and viral quasispecies measurements in advanced chronic hepatitis C, Barrera LV, Gould B, Grey MR Cotinine levels and green tobacco sickness among shade-tobacco workers. J, Padmanabhan L, HALT-C Trial Group Cognitive function in hepatitis C patients with advanced fibrosis enrolled

  10. DOES FUNCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT FOLLOWING TKA CORRELATE TO INCREASED SPORTS ACTIVITY?

    PubMed Central

    Marker, David R.; Mont, Michael A.; Seyler, Thorsten M.; McGrath, Michael S.; Kolisek, Frank R.; Bonutti, Peter M.

    2009-01-01

    Improved TKA designs and surgical techniques have allowed surgeons to not only treat the pain associated with osteoarthritis but also to restore function. The present study analyzed whether the increase in physical activity of patients following surgery is associated with their level of functional and objective improvement. An activity questionnaire was utilized to collect pre- and post-operative information from 355 patients (417 knees). Corresponding functional and objective assessments were collected using the Knee Society rating system. Overall, a mean 48 point (range, ?44 to 97 points) improvement in Knee Society function score showed moderate correlation to a 2.5 point (range, ?40 to 57 points) increase in weighted activity score (R = 0.362). There was less of a correlation between the mean objective score increase of 49 points (?32 to 84 points) and change in activity level (R = 0.194). There were 29% of the patients who showed no change in activity level. These results suggest that change in activity level is more closely associated with improved function than changes in objective measures. With more than 52% of TKA patients reporting increased activity scores, further studies are needed to assess longer-term effects of activity levels on the durability of these prostheses. PMID:19742078

  11. Assessment of the LV-S2 & LV-S3 Stack Sampling Probe Locations for Compliance with ANSI/HPS N13.1-1999

    SciTech Connect

    Glissmeyer, John A.; Antonio, Ernest J.; Flaherty, Julia E.; Amidan, Brett G.

    2014-09-30

    This document reports on a series of tests conducted to assess the proposed air sampling locations for the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Group 1-2A exhaust stacks with respect to the applicable criteria regarding the placement of an air sampling probe. The LV-C2, LV-S2, and LV-S3 exhaust stacks were tested together as a group (Test Group 1-2A). This report only covers the results of LV-S2 and LV-S3; LV-C2 will be reported on separately. Federal regulations1 require that a sampling probe be located in the exhaust stack according to the criteria established by the American National Standards Institute/Health Physics Society (ANSI/HPS) N13.1-1999, Sampling and Monitoring Releases of Airborne Radioactive Substances from the Stack and Ducts of Nuclear Facilities. 2 These criteria address the capability of the sampling probe to extract a sample that represents the effluent stream.

  12. Aalborg Universitet Power flow analysis for droop controlled LV hybrid AC-DC microgrids with virtual

    E-print Network

    Vasquez, Juan Carlos

    Aalborg Universitet Power flow analysis for droop controlled LV hybrid AC-DC microgrids controlled LV hybrid AC-DC microgrids with virtual impedance. In Proceedings of the IEEE Power & Energy Interlinking converter PV WT IBS DC microgrid DC microgrid AC microgrid AC Load Figure 1. Structure

  13. 77 FR 21620 - Notice of the Buy America Waiver Request for Vossloh 101-LV Concrete Ties

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-10

    ... Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://www.dot.gov/privacy.html... Federal Railroad Administration Notice of the Buy America Waiver Request for Vossloh 101-LV Concrete Ties... requirements for the purchase of Vossloh 101-LV concrete ties, which contain certain components...

  14. Original Article Mechanical function, glycolysis, and ultrastructure of perfused working

    E-print Network

    Vetter, Frederick J.

    subject to genetic manipulation [13]. Advantages of the perfused working heart technique, compared function, including LV end-systolic pressure, cardiac output, and rate of LV pressure development flux represent maladaptive structural and metabolic remodeling that contribute to the development

  15. FAB (Functionally Alert Behavior Strategies) to Improve Self-Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pagano, John

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the FAB (Functionally Alert Behavior) Strategies approach to improve behavior in children and adolescents with complex behavioral challenges. FAB Strategies include evidence-based environmental adaptations, sensory modulation, positive behavioral support, and physical self-regulation strategies. FAB Strategies can be used by…

  16. Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation Improves Liver Functional Reserve

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Ting; Deng, Qinzhi; Zhang, Shun; Hu, Airong; Gong, Qinghai; Zhang, Xingfen

    2015-01-01

    Background Currently available treatment options for decompensated hepatitis B-induced liver cirrhosis are limited and largely ineffective. Recently, stem cell transplantation has emerged as a promising treatment for cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to determine whether autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation can improve liver functional reserve in patients with hepatitis B-induced cirrhosis. Material/Methods In this study, 51 patients with hepatitis B-induced liver cirrhosis were assigned to the treatment group (n=23) or the control group (n=28). The treatment group underwent autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in addition to comprehensive medical treatment, and the control group received comprehensive medical treatment alone. Liver functional reserve was monitored for 48 weeks after autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. Results After transplantation, most patients showed improvements in symptoms such as fatigue, anorexia, and abdominal distension. The retention rate of indocyanine green at 15 minutes, a common indicator of liver functional reserve, declined from 41.99±4.68 at baseline to 37.79±3.75 by 48 weeks after transplantation, showing significant improvement. Conclusions Autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation can improve several markers of liver health and liver functional reserve and is a promising prospect for clinical application. PMID:25970080

  17. Improved gradient flow for step scaling function and scale setting

    E-print Network

    Anna Hasenfratz

    2015-01-30

    The gradient flow renormalized coupling offers a simple and relatively inexpensive way to calculate the step scaling function and the lattice scale, but both applications can be hindered by large lattice artifacts. Recently we introduced an empirical non-perturbative improvement that can reduce, even remove $\\mathcal{O}(a^2)$ lattice artifacts. The method is easy to implement and can be applied to any lattice gauge theory of interest both in step scaling studies and for scale setting. In this talk I will briefly review this improvement method and discuss its application for determining the discrete $\\beta$ function of the 8 and 12 flavor SU(3) systems and for improved scale setting in 2+1+1 flavor QCD

  18. Functional fitness improvements after a worksite-based yoga initiative.

    PubMed

    Cowen, Virginia S

    2010-01-01

    This study explored the benefits of yoga on functional fitness, flexibility, and perceived stress. A quasi-experimental design was used to measure benefits of yoga in sample of firefighters from a major metropolitan fire department. Yoga classes were conducted on-shift, in the fire stations over the period of 6 weeks. The classes included pranayama (breathing), asana (postures), and savasana (relaxation); 108 firefighters enrolled in the study, most were physically active but had no prior experience with yoga. Baseline and post-yoga assessments were completed by 77 participants. Paired t-tests revealed significant improvements in the Functional Movement Screen, a seven item test that measures functional fitness. Improvements were also noted in trunk flexibility and perceived stress. Participants also reported favorable perceptions of yoga: feeling more focused and less musculoskeletal pain. These findings - along with the retention of the majority of the participants - indicate that participants benefited from yoga. PMID:20006289

  19. Improved Functional Characteristics of Whey Protein Hydrolysates in Food Industry

    PubMed Central

    Jeewanthi, Renda Kankanamge Chaturika; Lee, Na-Kyoung; Paik, Hyun-Dong

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the enhanced functional characteristics of enzymatic hydrolysates of whey proteins (WPHs) in food applications compared to intact whey proteins (WPs). WPs are applied in foods as whey protein concentrates (WPCs), whey protein isolates (WPIs), and WPHs. WPs are byproducts of cheese production, used in a wide range of food applications due to their nutritional validity, functional activities, and cost effectiveness. Enzymatic hydrolysis yields improved functional and nutritional benefits in contrast to heat denaturation or native applications. WPHs improve solubility over a wide range of pH, create viscosity through water binding, and promote cohesion, adhesion, and elasticity. WPHs form stronger but more flexible edible films than WPC or WPI. WPHs enhance emulsification, bind fat, and facilitate whipping, compared to intact WPs. Extensive hydrolyzed WPHs with proper heat applications are the best emulsifiers and addition of polysaccharides improves the emulsification ability of WPHs. Also, WPHs improve the sensorial properties like color, flavor, and texture but impart a bitter taste in case where extensive hydrolysis (degree of hydrolysis greater than 8%). It is important to consider the type of enzyme, hydrolysis conditions, and WPHs production method based on the nature of food application.

  20. Lymphadiposal Flaps and Lymphaticovenular Anastomoses for Severe Leg Edema: Functional Reconstruction for Lymph Drainage System.

    PubMed

    Koshima, Isao; Narushima, Mitsunaga; Mihara, Makoto; Yamamoto, Takumi; Hara, Hisako; Ohshima, Azusa; Kikuchi, Kazuki; Todokoro, Ken; Seki, Yukio; Iida, Takuya; Nakagawa, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    Background?Collecting lymphatics have lymph-drainage function with contraction of smooth muscle cells. Patients with edema have lost this drainage function due to degeneration of smooth muscle cells. Lymphaticovenular (LV) anastomosis salvages smooth muscle cells from reversible degeneration (mild edema), but muscle cells cannot be recovered from irreversible degeneration (severe edema). Therefore, in severe edema, LV anastomoses cannot reestablish the drainage function of the lymphatic system.To overcome this weakness of LV bypass methods for severe edema, new methods were instituted for repair of this missing drainage function using a lymphadiposal flap from the contralateral foot for hemilateral edema, or transfer of lateral thoracic lymph nodes for bilateral edema. Methods?A total of 13 cases were repaired with lymphadiposal flaps and additional LV anastomoses. These cases have frequent phlegmon or cellulitis or resisted to previous LV anastomoses and/or compression therapy. The ages ranged from 15 to 75 years. There were four cases of primary edema and nine cases of secondary edema. Results?Regarding the lymphadiposal flap (n?=?8), three cases showed an excellent response (37.5%; no need for compression therapy), four cases had a good response (50%; improvement with compression), one case showed no change (12.5%; no improvement), and there were no cases of deterioration. Regarding the lateral thoracic lymph nodes transfer (n?=?5), two cases had a good response (40%), three showed no improvement (60%), and there were no cases of deterioration. Conclusion?It is concluded that lymphadiposal flap or lymph nodes transfer is suitable for severe edema having frequent cellulitis in unilateral or bilateral lower extremities resisting previous LV anastomoses and/or compression therapy. PMID:26258914

  1. Training improves visual processing speed and generalizes to untrained functions

    PubMed Central

    Lev, Maria; Ludwig, Karin; Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon; Voss, Stephanie; Sterzer, Philipp; Hesselmann, Guido; Polat, Uri

    2014-01-01

    Studies show that manipulating certain training features in perceptual learning determines the specificity of the improvement. The improvement in abnormal visual processing following training and its generalization to visual acuity, as measured on static clinical charts, can be explained by improved sensitivity or processing speed. Crowding, the inability to recognize objects in a clutter, fundamentally limits conscious visual perception. Although it was largely considered absent in the fovea, earlier studies report foveal crowding upon very brief exposures or following spatial manipulations. Here we used GlassesOff's application for iDevices to train foveal vision of young participants. The training was performed at reading distance based on contrast detection tasks under different spatial and temporal constraints using Gabor patches aimed at testing improvement of processing speed. We found several significant improvements in spatio-temporal visual functions including near and also non-trained far distances. A remarkable transfer to visual acuity measured under crowded conditions resulted in reduced processing time of 81?ms, in order to achieve 6/6 acuity. Despite a subtle change in contrast sensitivity, a robust increase in processing speed was found. Thus, enhanced processing speed may lead to overcoming foveal crowding and might be the enabling factor for generalization to other visual functions. PMID:25431233

  2. Reconstructive Osteotomy for Ankle Malunion Improves Patient Satisfaction and Function

    PubMed Central

    Tohyama, Masahiko; Yasuda, Hiroyuki; Konishi, Sadahiko; Waseda, Akeo

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of chronic symptoms caused by a malunion is a difficult problem in orthopedic surgery. We encountered a case of ankle malunion at our hospital about 1 year after the first operation. The patient had been unable to walk with weight-bearing but regained the ability to walk after reconstructive osteotomy of the fibula. Functional scores for the foot and ankle were significantly improved after intervention. Reconstructive osteotomy appears to represent a good option for ankle malunion. PMID:26064743

  3. Modification of biochar for functionality improvement in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwart, Kor; Kuikman, Peter; Ross, Anrew; Takaya, Chibi; Singh, Surjit; Kocaturk, Pelin; Visser, Rian

    2014-05-01

    Application of biochar to soils is generally considered and practiced in order to improve specific soil functions such as CEC, moisture and nutrient retention and providing additional habitat for micro-organisms. Improvement of these soil functions should lead to a higher crop yield. This would be added value to the long term sequestration of carbon in soils and contribution to renewable energy from producing and using biochar. The concept of using biochar for soil amendment is predicated on biochar behaving in a similar manner as soil organic matter (SOM) does. However, if one critically compares the properties of biochar with the properties of SOM, it is evident that biochar is rather different from SOM [Zwart, 2013 ;Zwart & Kuikman, 2013]. We have has produced a range of biochar from different feedstock using pyrolysis, gasification and hydrothermal carbonisation resulting in chars with significantly different properties. The project also investigates and tested several possibilities for improving the functionality of biochar in soils by either(i) selection of feedstock, (ii), selection of processing conditions and (iii) chemical and physical modification of biochar during and after the production process. Post modification includes the chemical treatment of biochars with either H2O2, KOH, H2SO4 and transitional metals such as Fe and investigates their effect on surface functionality, porosity, surface area, CEC and phosphate sorption. The influence of the addition of chemical modifiers and oxidants during pyrolysis and gasification has also been investigated and their effect on surface functionality determined using similar techniques. The influence of the original biomass structure on the morphology of the resultant biochars has been investigated using scanning electron microscopy.

  4. Activities and Programs That Improve Children’s Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve children’s EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use children’s motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing children’s emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to “catch up” with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities. PMID:25328287

  5. Activities and Programs That Improve Children's Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve children's EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use children's motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing children's emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to "catch up" with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities. PMID:25328287

  6. Automated classification of LV regional wall motion based on spatio-temporal profiles from cardiac cine magnetic resonance imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantilla, Juan; Garreau, Mireille; Bellanger, Jean-Jacques; Paredes, José Luis

    2013-11-01

    Assessment of the cardiac Left Ventricle (LV) wall motion is generally based on visual inspection or quantitative analysis of 2D+t sequences acquired in short-axis cardiac cine-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Most often, cardiac dynamic is globally analized from two particular phases of the cardiac cycle. In this paper, we propose an automated method to classify regional wall motion in LV function based on spatio-temporal pro les and Support Vector Machines (SVM). This approach allows to obtain a binary classi cation between normal and abnormal motion, without the need of pre-processing and by exploiting all the images of the cardiac cycle. In each short- axis MRI slice level (basal, median, and apical), the spatio-temporal pro les are extracted from the selection of a subset of diametrical lines crossing opposites LV segments. Initialized at end-diastole phase, the pro les are concatenated with their corresponding projections into the succesive temporal phases of the cardiac cycle. These pro les are associated to di erent types of information that derive from the image (gray levels), Fourier, Wavelet or Curvelet domains. The approach has been tested on a set of 14 abnormal and 6 healthy patients by using a leave-one-out cross validation and two kernel functions for SVM classi er. The best classi cation performance is yielded by using four-level db4 wavelet transform and SVM with a linear kernel. At each slice level the results provided a classi cation rate of 87.14% in apical level, 95.48% in median level and 93.65% in basal level.

  7. Improving functional disability and cognition in Parkinson disease

    PubMed Central

    Peña, Javier; García-Gorostiaga, Inés; Gomez-Beldarrain, Maria Angeles; Díez-Cirarda, María; Ojeda, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: To examine the efficacy of an integrative cognitive training program (REHACOP) to improve cognition, clinical symptoms, and functional disability of patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Methods: Forty-two patients diagnosed with PD in Hoehn & Yahr stages 1 to 3 were randomly assigned to either the cognitive training group (REHACOP) or the control group (occupational activities) for 3 months (3 sessions, 60 min/wk). Primary outcomes were change on processing speed, verbal memory, visual memory, executive functioning, and theory of mind. Secondary outcomes included changes on neuropsychiatric symptoms, depression, apathy, and functional disability. The trial was registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02118480). Results: No baseline group differences were found. Bootstrapped analysis of variance results showed significant differences in the mean change scores between the REHACOP group and control group in processing speed (0.13 [SE = 0.07] vs ?0.15 [SE = 0.09], p = 0.025), visual memory (0.10 [SE = 0.10] vs ?0.24 [SE = 0.09], p = 0.011), theory of mind (1.00 [SE = 0.37] vs ?0.27 [SE = 0.29], p = 0.013), and functional disability (?5.15 [SE = 1.35] vs 0.53 [SE = 1.49], p = 0.012). Conclusions: Patients with PD receiving cognitive training with REHACOP demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in processing speed, visual memory, theory of mind, and functional disability. Future studies should consider the long-term effect of this type of intervention. These findings support the integration of cognitive training into the standard of care for patients with PD. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with PD, an integrative cognitive training program improves processing speed, visual memory, theory of mind, and functional disability. PMID:25361785

  8. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ...Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee...Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. (a) HHS will establish a Clinical Laboratory Improvement...

  9. Functional improvements in ?-lactoglobulin by conjugating with soybean soluble polysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Inada, Naoki; Hayashi, Mai; Yoshida, Tadashi; Hattori, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Soybean soluble polysaccharide (SSPS) was hydrolyzed by autoclaving for 6 and 12 h to obtain SSPS (6 h) and SSPS (12 h). Bovine ?-lactoglobulin (BLG) was conjugated with each SSPS by the Maillard reaction to improve its function. Conjugation between BLG and each SSPS was confirmed by Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing. BLG-SSPS (6 h) and BLG-SSPS (12 h), respectively, retained approximately 56 and 43% of the retinol-binding activity of BLG. Structural analyses by intrinsic fluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with monoclonal antibodies indicated that the native structure of BLG had almost been maintained in each conjugate and that the surface structure was covered by conjugated SSPS. The emulsifying properties of BLG were improved in each conjugate at pH 3, 5, and 7 in the presence of 0.2 M NaCl. The antibody responses to BLG-SSPS (6 h) and BLG-SSPS (12 h) were considerably reduced in BALB/c mice. We conclude that conjugation with SSPS was very effective for improving the function of BLG and this study would contribute to greater utilization of SSPS. PMID:25315246

  10. Phosphonic Acid-Functionalized Polyurethane Dispersions with Improved Adhesion Properties.

    PubMed

    Breucker, Laura; Landfester, Katharina; Taden, Andreas

    2015-11-11

    A facile route to phosphorus-functionalized polyurethane dispersions (P-PUDs) with improved adhesion properties is presented. (Bis)phosphonic acid moieties serve as adhesion promoting sites that are covalently attached via an end-capping reaction to isocyanate-reactive polyurethane particles under aqueous conditions. The synthetic approach circumvents solubility issues, offers great flexibility in terms of polyurethane composition, and allows for the synthesis of semicrystalline systems with thermomechanical response due to reversible physical cross-linking. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is used to investigate the effect of functionalization on the semicrystallinity. The end-capping conversion was determined via inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and was surprisingly found to be almost independent of the stoichiometry of reaction, suggesting an adsorption-dominated process. Particle charge detection (PCD) experiments reveal that a dense surface coverage of phosphonic acid groups can be attained and that, at high functionalization degrees, the phosphonic adhesion moieties are partially dragged inside the colloidal P-PUD particle. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCMD) investigations conducted with hydroxyapatite (HAP) and stainless steel sensors as model surfaces show a greatly enhanced affinity of the aqueous P-PUDs and furthermore indicate polymer chain rearrangements and autonomous film formation under wet conditions. Due to their facile synthesis, significantly improved adhesion, and variable film properties, P-PUD systems such as the one described here are believed to be of great interest for multiple applications, e.g., adhesives, paints, anticorrosion, or dentistry. PMID:26491881

  11. Improving executive functioning in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Nash, Kelly; Stevens, Sara; Greenbaum, Rachel; Weiner, Judith; Koren, Gideon; Rovet, Joanne

    2015-01-01

    An extensive body of literature has documented executive function (EF) impairments in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD); however, few studies have aimed specifically at improving EF. One treatment program that shows promise for children with FASD is the Alert Program for Self-Regulation®, which is a 12-week treatment specifically designed to target self-regulation, a component of EF. The present study sought to examine if Alert would produce improvements in self-regulation that would generalize to other aspects of EF, behavior, and social skills in children with FASD. Twenty-five children aged 8-12 years diagnosed with an FASD were assigned in alternating sequence to either an immediate treatment (TXT) or a delayed treatment control (DTC) group. Both groups received a comprehensive evaluation of EF at baseline and upon completing therapy (TXT), or after a 12- to 14-week interval from baseline (DTC). Parents also completed questionnaires assessing EF and behavior at both time points. For the TXT group only, parent questionnaires were readministered at 6-month follow-up. At the 12-week follow-up, the TXT group displayed significant improvements in inhibitory control and social cognition. Parents of children in the TXT group reported improved behavioral and emotional regulation, as well as reduced externalizing behavior problems. These behavioral improvements along with further improved parent-rated inhibitory control was maintained at the 6-month follow-up. The EF disabilities in children with FASD can be remediated through a targeted treatment approach aimed at facilitating self-regulation skills. PMID:25010354

  12. A Short Executive Function Training Program Improves Preschoolers’ Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Blakey, Emma; Carroll, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions (EFs) in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years—a time when EFs undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session EF training program in 54 four-year-olds. The training group significantly improved their working memory from pre-training relative to an active control group. Notably, this effect extended to a task sharing few surface features with the trained tasks, and continued to be apparent 3 months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning 3 months later, indicating that training EFs during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging. PMID:26635710

  13. Active robotic training improves locomotor function in a stroke survivor

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Clinical outcomes after robotic training are often not superior to conventional therapy. One key factor responsible for this is the use of control strategies that provide substantial guidance. This strategy not only leads to a reduction in volitional physical effort, but also interferes with motor relearning. Methods We tested the feasibility of a novel training approach (active robotic training) using a powered gait orthosis (Lokomat) in mitigating post-stroke gait impairments of a 52-year-old male stroke survivor. This gait training paradigm combined patient-cooperative robot-aided walking with a target-tracking task. The training lasted for 4-weeks (12 visits, 3?×?per week). The subject’s neuromotor performance and recovery were evaluated using biomechanical, neuromuscular and clinical measures recorded at various time-points (pre-training, post-training, and 6-weeks after training). Results Active robotic training resulted in considerable increase in target-tracking accuracy and reduction in the kinematic variability of ankle trajectory during robot-aided treadmill walking. These improvements also transferred to overground walking as characterized by larger propulsive forces and more symmetric ground reaction forces (GRFs). Training also resulted in improvements in muscle coordination, which resembled patterns observed in healthy controls. These changes were accompanied by a reduction in motor cortical excitability (MCE) of the vastus medialis, medial hamstrings, and gluteus medius muscles during treadmill walking. Importantly, active robotic training resulted in substantial improvements in several standard clinical and functional parameters. These improvements persisted during the follow-up evaluation at 6?weeks. Conclusions The results indicate that active robotic training appears to be a promising way of facilitating gait and physical function in moderately impaired stroke survivors. PMID:22906099

  14. Note: Work function change measurement via improved Anderson method

    SciTech Connect

    Sabik, A. Go?ek, F.; Antczak, G.

    2015-05-15

    We propose the modification to the Anderson method of work function change (??) measurements. In this technique, the kinetic energy of the probing electrons is already low enough for non-destructive investigation of delicate molecular systems. However, in our implementation, all electrodes including filament of the electron gun are polarized positively. As a consequence, electron bombardment of any elements of experimental system is eliminated. Our modification improves cleanliness of the ultra-high vacuum system. As an illustration of the solution capabilities, we present ?? of the Ag(100) surface induced by cobalt phthalocyanine layers.

  15. Left ventricular epicardial admittance measurement for detection of acute LV dilation.

    PubMed

    Porterfield, John E; Larson, Erik R; Jenkins, James T; Escobedo, Daniel; Valvano, Jonathan W; Pearce, John A; Feldman, Marc D

    2011-03-01

    There are two implanted heart failure warning systems incorporated into biventricular pacemakers/automatic implantable cardiac defibrillators and tested in clinical trials: right heart pressures, and lung conductance measurements. However, both warning systems postdate measures of the earliest indicator of impending heart failure: left ventricular (LV) volume. There are currently no proposed implanted technologies that can perform LV blood volume measurements in humans. We propose to solve this problem by incorporating an admittance measurement system onto currently deployed biventricular and automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator leads. This study will demonstrate that an admittance measurement system can detect LV blood conductance from the epicardial position, despite the current generating and sensing electrodes being in constant motion with the heart, and with dynamic removal of the myocardial component of the returning voltage signal. Specifically, in 11 pigs, it will be demonstrated that 1) a physiological LV blood conductance signal can be derived; 2) LV dilation in response to dose-response intravenous neosynephrine can be detected by blood conductance in a similar fashion to the standard of endocardial crystals when admittance is used, but not when only traditional conductance is used; 3) the physiological impact of acute left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion and resultant LV dilation can be detected by blood conductance, before the anticipated secondary rise in right ventricular systolic pressure; and 4) a pleural effusion simulated by placing saline outside the pericardium does not serve as a source of artifact for blood conductance measurements. PMID:21148342

  16. Schrödinger functional boundary conditions and improvement for N>3

    E-print Network

    Ari Hietanen; Tuomas Karavirta; Pol Vilaseca

    2014-08-29

    The standard method to calculate non-perturbatively the evolution of the running coupling of a SU(N) gauge theory is based on the Schr\\"odinger functional (SF). In this paper we construct a family of boundary fields for general values of N which enter the standard definition of the SF coupling. We provide spatial boundary conditions for fermions in several representations which reduce the condition number of the squared Dirac operator. In addition, we calculate the O(a) improvement coefficients for N>3 needed to remove boundary cutoff effects from the gauge action. After this, residual cutoff effects on the step scaling function are shown to be very small even when considering non-fundamental representations. We also calculate the ratio of Lambda parameters between the MS-bar and SF schemes.

  17. Short-term improvement of masticatory function after implant restoration

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Dental implants present several advantages over other tooth replacement options. However, there has been little research on masticatory function in relation to implant treatment. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the improvement of masticatory function two weeks after implant restoration. Methods Masticatory ability was evaluated with the subjective food intake ability (FIA) and objective mixing ability index (MAI) methods. Fifty-four subjects with first and second missing molars completed the study. The subjects were asked to complete a self-reported questionnaire about 30 different food items, and to chew wax samples 10 times both before and two weeks after implant restoration. A total of 108 waxes were analyzed with an image analysis program. Results Dental implant restoration for lost molar teeth on one side increased the FIA score by 9.0% (P<0.0001). The MAI score also increased, by 14.3% after implant restoration (P<0.0001). Comparison between the good and poor mastication groups, which were subdivided based on the median MAI score before implant restoration, showed that the FIA score of the poor group was enhanced 1.1-fold while its MAI score was enhanced 2.0-fold two weeks after an implant surgery. Conclusions Using the FIA and MAI assessment methods, this study showed that masticatory function was improved two weeks after implant restoration. In particular, the enhancement of masticatory function by implant restoration was greater in patients with relatively poor initial mastication than in those with good initial mastication.

  18. Improved protein structure selection using decoy-dependent discriminatory functions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Fain, Boris; Levitt, Michael; Samudrala, Ram

    2004-01-01

    Background A key component in protein structure prediction is a scoring or discriminatory function that can distinguish near-native conformations from misfolded ones. Various types of scoring functions have been developed to accomplish this goal, but their performance is not adequate to solve the structure selection problem. In addition, there is poor correlation between the scores and the accuracy of the generated conformations. Results We present a simple and nonparametric formula to estimate the accuracy of predicted conformations (or decoys). This scoring function, called the density score function, evaluates decoy conformations by performing an all-against-all C? RMSD (Root Mean Square Deviation) calculation in a given decoy set. We tested the density score function on 83 decoy sets grouped by their generation methods (4state_reduced, fisa, fisa_casp3, lmds, lattice_ssfit, semfold and Rosetta). The density scores have correlations as high as 0.9 with the C? RMSDs of the decoy conformations, measured relative to the experimental conformation for each decoy. We previously developed a residue-specific all-atom probability discriminatory function (RAPDF), which compiles statistics from a database of experimentally determined conformations, to aid in structure selection. Here, we present a decoy-dependent discriminatory function called self-RAPDF, where we compiled the atom-atom contact probabilities from all the conformations in a decoy set instead of using an ensemble of native conformations, with a weighting scheme based on the density scores. The self-RAPDF has a higher correlation with C? RMSD than RAPDF for 76/83 decoy sets, and selects better near-native conformations for 62/83 decoy sets. Self-RAPDF may be useful not only for selecting near-native conformations from decoy sets, but also for fold simulations and protein structure refinement. Conclusions Both the density score and the self-RAPDF functions are decoy-dependent scoring functions for improved protein structure selection. Their success indicates that information from the ensemble of decoy conformations can be used to derive statistical probabilities and facilitate the identification of near-native structures. PMID:15207004

  19. Exercise Training Improves Plantarflexor Muscle Function in mdx Mice

    PubMed Central

    Baltgalvis, Kristen A.; Call, Jarrod A.; Cochrane, Gregory D.; Laker, Rhianna C.; Yan, Zhen; Lowe, Dawn A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose We tested the hypothesis that low intensity exercise in mdx mice improves plantarflexor muscle contractile function, resistance to fatigue, and mitochondrial adaptations without exacerbating muscular dystrophy. Methods We subjected mdx mice to 12 wk of voluntary, low-resistance wheel running (Run, n=17) or normal cage activities (sedentary; Sed, n=16) followed by in vivo analyses for plantarflexor torque generation and fatigue resistance, or running capacity on a treadmill. Gastrocnemius muscles were further evaluated for exercise-induced mitochondrial adaptations and fiber type distribution and central nuclei. T-tests were used to determine differences between the Sed and Run groups. Results Plantarflexor submaximal isometric torques and maximal isometric torque at multiple ankle joint angles, and resistance to fatigue were greater in Run compared to Sed mdx mice (P<0.05). Citrate synthase and ?-HAD enzyme activities and COX IV protein expression in gastrocnemius muscles were greater in Run than Sed mdx mice (P?0.04), along with a trend of fiber type transformation from type IIb to type 2x fibers. Exercise training in mdx mice did not elevate serum creatine kinase levels, but led to a significant reduction of centrally-nucleated myofibers. Conclusion Voluntary, low-resistance wheel running in mdx mice can result in skeletal muscle adaptation, leading to improved contractile function and reduced fatigability, with no indication that exercise was detrimental. This study supports the need for further investigation of low intensity exercise as an early therapeutic intervention in ambulatory boys with DMD. PMID:22460476

  20. Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an Andean plant of the brassica (mustard) family. Preparations from maca root have been reported to improve sexual function. The aim of this review was to assess the clinical evidence for or against the effectiveness of the maca plant as a treatment for sexual dysfunction. Methods We searched 17 databases from their inception to April 2010 and included all randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of any type of maca compared to a placebo for the treatment of healthy people or human patients with sexual dysfunction. The risk of bias for each study was assessed using Cochrane criteria, and statistical pooling of data was performed where possible. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validations were performed independently by two authors. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion by the two authors. Results Four RCTs met all the inclusion criteria. Two RCTs suggested a significant positive effect of maca on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in healthy menopausal women or healthy adult men, respectively, while the other RCT failed to show any effects in healthy cyclists. The further RCT assessed the effects of maca in patients with erectile dysfunction using the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction-5 and showed significant effects. Conclusion The results of our systematic review provide limited evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving sexual function. However, the total number of trials, the total sample size, and the average methodological quality of the primary studies were too limited to draw firm conclusions. More rigorous studies are warranted. PMID:20691074

  1. Improved CLARAty Functional-Layer/Decision-Layer Interface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Rabideau, Gregg; Gaines, Daniel; Johnston, Mark; Chouinard, Caroline; Nessnas, Issa; Shu, I-Hsiang

    2008-01-01

    Improved interface software for communication between the CLARAty Decision and Functional layers has been developed. [The Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotics Autonomy (CLARAty) was described in Coupled-Layer Robotics Architecture for Autonomy (NPO-21218), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 12 (December 2002), page 48. To recapitulate: the CLARAty architecture was developed to improve the modularity of robotic software while tightening coupling between planning/execution and basic control subsystems. Whereas prior robotic software architectures typically contained three layers, the CLARAty contains two layers: a decision layer (DL) and a functional layer (FL).] Types of communication supported by the present software include sending commands from DL modules to FL modules and sending data updates from FL modules to DL modules. The present software supplants prior interface software that had little error-checking capability, supported data parameters in string form only, supported commanding at only one level of the FL, and supported only limited updates of the state of the robot. The present software offers strong error checking, and supports complex data structures and commanding at multiple levels of the FL, and relative to the prior software, offers a much wider spectrum of state-update capabilities.

  2. Inflammatory blockade improves human pancreatic islet function and viability.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zandong; Chen, Meng; Ellett, Justin D; Carter, Jeffrey D; Brayman, Kenneth L; Nadler, Jerry L

    2005-03-01

    The pathogenesis of pancreatic beta-cell death in diabetes mellitus is still under investigation. Inflammation is likely to be one of the factors responsible for beta-cell death during disease development. In this study, we have used a novel antiinflammatory compound, Lisofylline (LSF), to investigate the role of inflammatory blockade in protecting human pancreatic islets. LSF is a small synthetic molecule that reduces inflammatory cytokine production and action, improves beta-cell mitochondrial metabolism, and regulates immune activities. The present study has demonstrated that the treatment of human islets with LSF not only allows the retention of glucose responsiveness and insulin secretion in the presence of multiple proinflammatory cytokines, but also enhances basal insulin secretion of beta cells in vitro. LSF also significantly reduces islet apoptosis, protects beta cells from proinflammatory cytokine damage, and maintains cellular viability. In a mouse transplantation model, insulin independence could be reached in diabetic recipient mice by implantation of 30% fewer islets when LSF was used in islet culture compared to the control group. These results demonstrate that LSF profoundly enhances beta-cell function, and suggest the potential of using inflammatory blockade, such as LSF, to improve beta-cell function for islet transplantation. PMID:15707401

  3. Impact of biogenic nanoscale metals Fe, Cu, Zn and Se on reproductive LV chickens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khiem Nguyen, Quy; Dieu Nguyen, Duy; Kien Nguyen, Van; Thinh Nguyen, Khac; Chau Nguyen, Hoai; Tin Tran, Xuan; Nguyen, Huu Cuong; Tien Phung, Duc

    2015-09-01

    Using biogenic nanoscale metals (Fe, Cu, ZnO, Se) to supplement into diet premix of reproductive LV (a Vietnamese Luong Phuong chicken breed) chickens resulted in certain improvement of poultry farming. The experimental data obtained showed that the farming indices depend mainly on the quantity of nanocrystalline metals which replaced the inorganic mineral component in the feed premix. All four experimental groups with different quantities of the replacement nano component grew and developed normally with livability reaching 91 to 94%, hen’s bodyweight at 38 weeks of age and egg weight ranged from 2.53-2.60 kg/hen and 50.86-51.55 g/egg, respectively. All these farming indices together with laying rate, egg productivity and chick hatchability peaked at group 5 with 25% of nanoscale metals compared to the standard inorganic mineral supplement, while feed consumption was lowest. The results also confirmed that nanocrystalline metals Fe, Cu, ZnO and Se supplemented to chicken feed were able to decrease inorganic minerals in the diet premixes at least four times, allowing animals to more effectively absorb feed minerals, consequently decreasing environmental pollution risks.

  4. Efficacy of stem cell in improvement of left ventricular function in acute myocardial infarction - MI3 Trial

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Velu; Madan, Hemant; Sofat, Sunil; Ganguli, Prosenjit; Jacob, M.J.; Datta, Rajat; Bharadwaj, Prashant; Sarkar, R.S.; Pandit, A.J.; Nityanand, Soniya; Goel, Pravin K.; Garg, Naveen; Gambhir, Sanjay; George, Paul V.; Chandy, Sunil; Mathews, Vikram; George, Oomen K.; Talwar, K.K.; Bahl, Ajay; Marwah, Neelam; Bhatacharya, Anish; Bhargava, Balram; Airan, Balram; Mohanty, Sujata; Patel, Chetan D.; Sharma, Alka; Bhatnagar, Shinjini; Mondal, A.; Jose, Jacob; Srivastava, A.

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is characterized by irreparable and irreversible loss of cardiac myocytes. Despite major advances in the management of AMI, a large number of patients are left with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), which is a major determinant of short and long term morbidity and mortality. A review of 33 randomized control trials has shown varying improvement in left ventricular (LV) function in patients receiving stem cells compared to standard medical therapy. Most trials had small sample size and were underpowered. This phase III prospective, open labelled, randomized multicenteric trial was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy in improving the LVEF over a period of six months, after injecting a predefined dose of 5-10 × 108 autologous mononuclear cells (MNC) by intra-coronary route, in patients, one to three weeks post ST elevation AMI, in addition to the standard medical therapy. Methods: In this phase III prospective, multicentric trial 250 patients with AMI were included and randomized into stem cell therapy (SCT) and non SCT groups. All patients were followed up for six months. Patients with AMI having left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 20-50 per cent were included and were randomized to receive intracoronary stem cell infusion after successfully completing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Results: On intention-to-treat analysis the infusion of MNCs had no positive impact on LVEF improvement of ? 5 per cent. The improvement in LVEF after six months was 5.17 ± 8.90 per cent in non SCT group and 4.82 ± 10.32 per cent in SCT group. The adverse effects were comparable in both the groups. On post hoc analysis it was noted that the cell dose had a positive impact when infused in the dose of ? 5 × 108(n=71). This benefit was noted upto three weeks post AMI. There were 38 trial deviates in the SCT group which was a limitation of the study. Interpretation & conclusions: Infusion of stem cells was found to have no benefit in ST elevation AMI. However, the procedure was safe. A possible benefit was seen when the predefined cell dose was administered which was noted upto three weeks post AMI, but this was not significant and needs confirmation by larger trials. PMID:26354213

  5. Lingo-1 inhibited by RNA interference promotes functional recovery of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chun-Juan; Qu, Chuan-Qiang; Zhang, Jie; Fu, Pei-Cai; Guo, Shou-Gang; Tang, Rong-Hua

    2014-12-01

    Lingo-1 is a negative regulator of myelination. Repairment of demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS)/experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), requires activation of the myelination program. In this study, we observed the effect of RNA interference on Lingo-1 expression, and the impact of Lingo-1 suppression on functional recovery and myelination/remyelination in EAE mice. Lentiviral vectors encoding Lingo-1 short hairpin RNA (LV/Lingo-1-shRNA) were constructed to inhibit Lingo-1 expression. LV/Lingo-1-shRNA of different titers were transferred into myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced EAE mice by intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection. Meanwhile, lentiviral vectors carrying nonsense gene sequence (LVCON053) were used as negative control. The Lingo-1 expression was detected and locomotor function was evaluated at different time points (on days 1,3,7,14,21, and 30 after ICV injection). Myelination was investigated by luxol fast blue (LFB) staining.LV/Lingo-1-shRNA administration via ICV injection could efficiently down-regulate the Lingo-1 mRNA and protein expression in EAE mice on days 7,14,21, and 30 (P?LV/Lingo-1-shRNA groups. The locomotor function score in the LV/Lingo-1-shRNA treated groups were significantly lower than the untreated or LVCON053 group from day 7 on. The 5 × 10(8) TU/mL LV/Lingo-1-shRNA group achieved the best functional improvement (0.87?±?0.11 vs. 3.05?±?0.13, P?LV/Lingo-1-shRNA groups by LFB staining (P?LV/Lingo-1-shRNA by ICV injection could efficiently knockdown Lingo-1 expression in vivo, improve functional recovery and enhance myelination/remyelination. Antagonism of Lingo-1 by RNA interference is, therefore, a promising approach for the treatment of demyelinating diseases, such as MS/EAE. PMID:25045138

  6. Heart rate variability biofeedback improves cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, Masahito; Hayano, Junichiro; Oikawa, Leo O; Katsamanis, Maria; Lehrer, Paul

    2013-12-01

    The present study was designed to examine the effect of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback on the cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep in daily life. Forty-five healthy young adults were randomly assigned to one of three groups: HRV biofeedback, Autogenic Training(AT), and no-treatment control. Participants in the HRV biofeedback were instructed to use a handheld HRV biofeedback device before their habitual bedtime, those in the AT were asked to listen to an audiotaped instruction before bedtime,and those in the control were asked to engage in their habitual activity before bedtime. Pulse wave signal during sleep at their own residences was measured continuously with a wrist watch-type transdermal photoelectric sensor for three time points. Baseline data were collected on the first night of measurements, followed by two successive nights for HRV biofeedback, AT, or control. Cardiorespiratory resting function was assessed quantitatively as the amplitude of high frequency(HF) component of pulse rate variability, a surrogate measure of respiratory sinus arrhythmia. HF component increased during sleep in the HRV biofeedback group,although it remained unchanged in the AT and control groups. These results suggest that HRV biofeedback before sleep may improve cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep. PMID:23959190

  7. Splenectomy Improves Hemostatic and Liver Functions in Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis Mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Leite, Luiz Arthur Calheiros; Pimenta Filho, Adenor Almeida; Ferreira, Rita de Cássia dos Santos; da Fonseca, Caíque Silveira Martins; dos Santos, Bianka Santana; Montenegro, Silvia Maria Lucena; Lopes, Edmundo Pessoa de Almeida; Domingues, Ana Lúcia Coutinho; Owen, James Stuart; Lima, Vera Lucia de Menezes

    2015-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis mansoni is a chronic liver disease, in which some patients (5–10%) progress to the most severe form, hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. This form is associated with portal hypertension and splenomegaly, and often episodes of gastrointestinal bleeding, even with liver function preserved. Splenectomy is a validated procedure to reduce portal hypertension following digestive bleeding. Here, we evaluate beneficial effects of splenectomy on blood coagulation factors and liver function tests in hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni compared to non-operated patients. Methodology/Principal Findings Forty-five patients who had undergone splenectomy surgery were assessed by laboratory analyses and ultrasound examination and compared to a non-operated group (n = 55). Blood samples were obtained for liver function tests, platelet count and prothrombin time. Coagulation factors (II, VII, VIII, IX and X), protein C and antithrombin IIa, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were measured by routine photometric, chromogenic or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, while hyperfibrinolysis was defined by plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels. Both groups had similar age, gender and pattern of periportal fibrosis. Splenectomized patients showed significant reductions in portal vein diameter, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels compared to non-operated patients, while for coagulation factors there were significant improvement in prothrombin, partial thromboplastin times and higher levels of factor VII, VIII, IX, X, protein C and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. Conclusion/Significance This study shows that the decrease of flow pressure in portal circulation after splenectomy restores the capacity of hepatocyte synthesis, especially on the factor VII and protein C levels, and these findings suggest that portal hypertension in patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis influences liver functioning and the blood coagulation status. PMID:26267788

  8. Improving Project Management with Simulation and Completion Distribution Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cates, Grant R.

    2004-01-01

    Despite the critical importance of project completion timeliness, management practices in place today remain inadequate for addressing the persistent problem of project completion tardiness. A major culprit in late projects is uncertainty, which most, if not all, projects are inherently subject to. This uncertainty resides in the estimates for activity durations, the occurrence of unplanned and unforeseen events, and the availability of critical resources. In response to this problem, this research developed a comprehensive simulation based methodology for conducting quantitative project completion time risk analysis. It is called the Project Assessment by Simulation Technique (PAST). This new tool enables project stakeholders to visualize uncertainty or risk, i.e. the likelihood of their project completing late and the magnitude of the lateness, by providing them with a completion time distribution function of their projects. Discrete event simulation is used within PAST to determine the completion distribution function for the project of interest. The simulation is populated with both deterministic and stochastic elements. The deterministic inputs include planned project activities, precedence requirements, and resource requirements. The stochastic inputs include activity duration growth distributions, probabilities for events that can impact the project, and other dynamic constraints that may be placed upon project activities and milestones. These stochastic inputs are based upon past data from similar projects. The time for an entity to complete the simulation network, subject to both the deterministic and stochastic factors, represents the time to complete the project. Repeating the simulation hundreds or thousands of times allows one to create the project completion distribution function. The Project Assessment by Simulation Technique was demonstrated to be effective for the on-going NASA project to assemble the International Space Station. Approximately $500 million per month is being spent on this project, which is scheduled to complete by 2010. NASA project stakeholders participated in determining and managing completion distribution functions produced from PAST. The first result was that project stakeholders improved project completion risk awareness. Secondly, using PAST, mitigation options were analyzed to improve project completion performance and reduce total project cost.

  9. Interventions to improve neuropsychological functioning in childhood cancer survivors.

    PubMed

    Butler, Robert W; Sahler, Olle Jane Z; Askins, Martha A; Alderfer, Melissa A; Katz, Ernest R; Phipps, Sean; Noll, Robert B

    2008-01-01

    A very brief historical review on the identification of neurocognitive deficits in patients treated for a pediatric malignancy that involved CNS disease, treatment, or a combination is provided. This review is particularly directed toward providing a foundation upon which the introduction of specific brain injury rehabilitation efforts and subsequent research were introduced into this population of patients. Three primary methods by which clinicians and researchers have attempted to improve neurocognitive functioning with survivors of pediatric cancer that have suffered a CNS insult are identified. From a pharmacological perspective, research is reviewed that documents the potential beneficial effects of stimulant medication. Results of two drug trials that used double-blind crossover methodology are reviewed, and it is highly likely that medications may be of significant benefit to pediatric cancer survivors who are experiencing attentional deficits, impairment in social functioning, and also declines in academic achievement. We next describe psychologically based brain injury rehabilitation efforts, including on-treatment schooling and reentry, within the survivor population. A phase III clinical trial of a comprehensive rehabilitation approach is discussed in detail. New directions in the area of brain injury rehabilitation for childhood cancer survivors are presented, and the need for professionals in this area to work toward a team approach is emphasized. PMID:18924157

  10. Improved Functionality and Curation Support in the ADS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accomazzi, Alberto; Kurtz, Michael J.; Henneken, Edwin A.; Grant, Carolyn S.; Thompson, Donna; Chyla, Roman; Holachek, Alexandra; Sudilovsky, Vladimir; Murray, Stephen S.

    2015-01-01

    In this poster we describe the developments of the new ADS platform over the past year, focusing on the functionality which improves its discovery and curation capabilities.The ADS Application Programming Interface (API) is being updated to support authenticated access to the entire suite of ADS services, in addition to the search functionality itself. This allows programmatic access to resources which are specific to a user or class of users.A new interface, built directly on top of the API, now provides a more intuitive search experience and takes into account the best practices in web usability and responsive design. The interface now incorporates in-line views of graphics from the AAS Astroexplorer and the ADS All-Sky Survey image collections.The ADS Private Libraries, first introduced over 10 years ago, are now being enhanced to allow the bookmarking, tagging and annotation of records of interest. In addition, libraries can be shared with one or more ADS users, providing an easy way to collaborate in the curation of lists of papers. A library can also be explicitly made public and shared at large via the publishing of its URL.In collaboration with the AAS, the ADS plans to support the adoption of ORCID identifiers by implementing a plugin which will simplify the import of papers in ORCID via a query to the ADS API. Deeper integration between the two systems will depend on available resources and feedback from the community.

  11. Real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic study of left ventricular function after infarct exclusion surgery for ischemic cardiomyopathy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Qin, J. X.; Shiota, T.; McCarthy, P. M.; Firstenberg, M. S.; Greenberg, N. L.; Tsujino, H.; Bauer, F.; Travaglini, A.; Hoercher, K. J.; Buda, T.; Smedira, N. G.; Thomas, J. D.

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Infarct exclusion (IE) surgery, a technique of left ventricular (LV) reconstruction for dyskinetic or akinetic LV segments in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy, requires accurate volume quantification to determine the impact of surgery due to complicated geometric changes. METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty patients who underwent IE (mean age 61+/-8 years, 73% men) had epicardial real-time 3-dimensional echocardiographic (RT3DE) studies performed before and after IE. RT3DE follow-up was performed transthoracically 42+/-67 days after surgery in 22 patients. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare the values before and after IE surgery and at follow-up. Significant decreases in LV end-diastolic (EDVI) and end-systolic (ESVI) volume indices were apparent immediately after IE and in follow-up (EDVI 99+/-40, 67+/-26, and 71+/-31 mL/m(2), respectively; ESVI 72+/-37, 40+/-21, and 42+/-22 mL/m(2), respectively; P:<0.05). LV ejection fraction increased significantly and remained higher (0.29+/-0.11, 0.43+/-0.13, and 0.42+/-0.09, respectively, P:<0.05). Forward stroke volume in 16 patients with preoperative mitral regurgitation significantly improved after IE and in follow-up (22+/-12, 53+/-24, and 58+/-21 mL, respectively, P:<0.005). New York Heart Association functional class at an average 285+/-144 days of clinical follow-up significantly improved from 3.0+/-0.8 to 1.8+/-0.8 (P:<0.0001). Smaller end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes measured with RT3DE immediately after IE were closely related to improvement in New York Heart Association functional class at clinical follow-up (Spearman's rho=0.58 and 0.60, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: RT3DE can be used to quantitatively assess changes in LV volume and function after complicated LV reconstruction. Decreased LV volume and increased ejection fraction imply a reduction in LV wall stress after IE surgery and are predictive of symptomatic improvement.

  12. A novel ?4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks ?3?2 vs. ?6/?3?2?3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Sulan; Zhangsun, Dongting; Schroeder, Christina I.; Zhu, Xiaopeng; Hu, Yuanyan; Wu, Yong; Weltzin, Maegan M.; Eberhard, Spencer; Kaas, Quentin; Craik, David J.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Whiteaker, Paul

    2014-01-01

    This study was performed to discover and characterize the first potent ?3?2-subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligand. A novel ?4/7-conotoxin, ?-CTxLvIA, was cloned from Conus lividus. Its pharmacological profile at Xenopus laevis oocyte-expressed rat nAChR subtypes was determined by 2-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology, and its 3-dimensional (3D) structure was determined by NMR spectroscopy. ?-CTx LvIA is a 16-aa C-terminally-amidated peptide with 2-disulfide bridges. Using rat subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes, we found the highest affinity of ?-CTxLvIA was for ?3?2 nAChRs (IC50 8.7 nM), where blockade was reversible within 2 min. IC50 values were >100 nM at ?6/?3?2?3, ?6/?3?4, and ?3?4 nAChRs, and ?3 ?M at all other subtypes tested. ?3?2 vs. ?6?2 subtype selectivity was confirmed for human-subunit nAChRs with much greater preference (300-fold) for ?3?2 over ?6?2 nAChRs. This is the first ?-CTx reported to show high selectivity for human ?3?2 vs. ?6?2 nAChRs. ?-CTxLvIA adopts two similarly populated conformations water: one (assumed to be bioactive) is highly structured, whereas the other is mostly random coil in nature. Selectivity differences with the similarly potent, but less selective, ?3?2 nAChR antagonist ?-CTx PeIA probably reside within the three residues, which differ in loop 2, given their otherwise similar 3D structures. ?4/7-CTx LvIA is a new, potent, selective ?3?2 nAChR antagonist, which will enable detailed studies of ?3?2 nAChR structure, function, and physiological roles.—Luo, S., Zhangsun, D., Schroeder, C. I., Zhu, X., Hu, Y., Wu, Y., Weltzin, M. M., Eberhard, S., Kaas, Q., Craik, D. J., McIntosh, J. M., Whiteaker, P. A novel ?4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks ?3?2 vs. ?6/?3?2?3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PMID:24398291

  13. Improvement in renal functions with transcatheter aortic valve implantation

    PubMed Central

    Kele?, Telat; Ayhan, Hüseyin; Durmaz, Tahir; Sar?, Cenk; Aslan, Abdullah Nabi; Erdo?an, Kemal E?ref; Kasapkara, Hac? Ahmet; Bilen, Emine; Bayram, Nihal Akar; Akçay, Murat; Bozkurt, Engin

    2013-01-01

    Background & Objectives In recent years, emerging transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has become an alternative for surgery. However, with advanced age, several co-morbid factors together with contrast agent usage can cause deterioration in renal function and increase in the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) with poor prognosis in patients with AKI. Therefore, many patients cannot benefit from this treatment. In this study, we aim to examine the effects of TAVI on renal functions. Methods and Results Seventy patients, mean age of 77.6 years, underwent TAVI between July 2011 and December 2012. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated by using the Cockcroft and Gault Formula. Patients were monitored for 48 h for urine output. Stage 1 AKI, according to the VARC-2 AKIN system, developed in only five (7.1%) of the patients after the procedure. There was a statistically significant increase between the mean 1st month eGFRs before (68.2 vs. 61.0, P < 0.01) and after (68.2 vs. 63.6, P < 0.05) the TAVI in the cohort. After TAVI (48.5 mL/min, P < 0.01) and the 1st month (52.1 mL/min, P < 0.01), the eGFR of the 36 (51.4%) patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease before the procedure showed a statistically significant increase in renal functions. The hospital mortality rate was higher in the group which developed AKI (P < 0.01). First month eGFR showed a more statistically significant increase than pre-TAVI eGFR (62.8 and 69.8, P < 0.05, respectively) in AKI developing patients and this difference - though statistically not significant - continued into the sixth month. Conclusions In this study, we showed that the treatment of aortic stenosis through TAVI allows improvement of renal functions, and that AKI rates will be lower with careful patient selection, proper pre-procedural hydration, and careful use of contrast agent. PMID:24454323

  14. The Rapalogue, CCI-779, improves salivary gland function following radiation.

    PubMed

    Morgan-Bathke, Maria; Harris, Zoey I; Arnett, Deborah G; Klein, Rob R; Burd, Randy; Ann, David K; Limesand, Kirsten H

    2014-01-01

    The standard of care for head and neck cancer typically includes surgical resection of the tumor followed by targeted head and neck radiation. However depending on tumor location and stage, some cases may not require surgical resection while others may be treated with chemoradiation. Unfortunately, these radiation treatments cause chronic negative side effects for patients. These side effects are associated with damage to surrounding normal salivary gland tissue and include xerostomia, changes in taste and malnutrition. The underlying mechanisms of chronic radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction are unknown, however, in rodent models persistently elevated proliferation is correlated with reduced stimulated salivary flow. The rapalogue, CCI-779, has been used in other cell systems to induce autophagy and reduce proliferation, therefore the aim of this study was to determine if CCI-779 could be utilized to ameliorate chronic radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction. Four to six week old Atg5f/f; Aqp5-Cre, Atg5+/+; Aqp5-Cre and FVB mice were treated with targeted head and neck radiation. FVB mice were treated with CCI-779, chloroquine, or DMSO post-radiation. Stimulated salivary flow rates were determined and parotid and submandibular salivary gland tissues were collected for analyses. Mice with a defect in autophagy, via a conditional knockout of Atg5 in the salivary glands, display increased compensatory proliferation in the acinar cell compartment and hypertrophy at 24-72 hours following radiation. FVB mice treated with post-therapy CCI-779 have significant improvements in salivary gland physiology as determined by stimulated salivary flow rates, proliferation indices and amylase production and secretion. Consequently, post-radiation use of CCI-779 allows for improvement of salivary gland function and reestablishment of glandular homeostasis. As CCI-779 is already FDA approved for other uses, it could have a secondary use to alleviate the chronic side effects in head and neck cancer patients who have completed anti-tumor therapy. PMID:25437438

  15. The Rapalogue, CCI-779, Improves Salivary Gland Function following Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Morgan-Bathke, Maria; Harris, Zoey I.; Arnett, Deborah G.; Klein, Rob R.; Burd, Randy; Ann, David K.; Limesand, Kirsten H.

    2014-01-01

    The standard of care for head and neck cancer typically includes surgical resection of the tumor followed by targeted head and neck radiation. However depending on tumor location and stage, some cases may not require surgical resection while others may be treated with chemoradiation. Unfortunately, these radiation treatments cause chronic negative side effects for patients. These side effects are associated with damage to surrounding normal salivary gland tissue and include xerostomia, changes in taste and malnutrition. The underlying mechanisms of chronic radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction are unknown, however, in rodent models persistently elevated proliferation is correlated with reduced stimulated salivary flow. The rapalogue, CCI-779, has been used in other cell systems to induce autophagy and reduce proliferation, therefore the aim of this study was to determine if CCI-779 could be utilized to ameliorate chronic radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction. Four to six week old Atg5f/f; Aqp5-Cre, Atg5+/+; Aqp5-Cre and FVB mice were treated with targeted head and neck radiation. FVB mice were treated with CCI-779, chloroquine, or DMSO post-radiation. Stimulated salivary flow rates were determined and parotid and submandibular salivary gland tissues were collected for analyses. Mice with a defect in autophagy, via a conditional knockout of Atg5 in the salivary glands, display increased compensatory proliferation in the acinar cell compartment and hypertrophy at 24-72 hours following radiation. FVB mice treated with post-therapy CCI-779 have significant improvements in salivary gland physiology as determined by stimulated salivary flow rates, proliferation indices and amylase production and secretion. Consequently, post-radiation use of CCI-779 allows for improvement of salivary gland function and reestablishment of glandular homeostasis. As CCI-779 is already FDA approved for other uses, it could have a secondary use to alleviate the chronic side effects in head and neck cancer patients who have completed anti-tumor therapy. PMID:25437438

  16. Developing crash modification functions for pedestrian signal improvement.

    PubMed

    Sacchi, Emanuele; Sayed, Tarek; Osama, Ahmed

    2015-10-01

    Pedestrian signals are viable traffic control devices that help pedestrians to cross safely at intersections. Although the literature is extensive when dealing with pedestrian signals design and operations, few studies have focused on the potential safety benefits of installing pedestrian signals at intersections. Most of these studies employed simple before-after (BA) safety evaluation techniques which suffer from methodological and statistical issues. Recent advances in safety evaluation research advocate the use of crash modification functions (CMFunctions) to represent the safety effectiveness of treatments. Unlike crash modification factors (CMFs) that are represented as single values, CMFunctions account for variable treatment location characteristics (heterogeneity). Therefore, the main objective of this study was to quantify the safety impact of installing pedestrian signals at signalized intersections by developing CMFunctions within an observational BA study. The use of observational BA framework to develop the CMFunctions avoids the cross-sectional approach where the functions are derived based on a single time period and no actual treatment intervention. Treatment sites heterogeneity was incorporated into CMFunctions using fixed-effects and random-effects regression models. In addition to heterogeneity, the paper also advocates the use of CMFunctions with a time variable to acknowledge that the safety treatment (intervention) effects do not occur instantaneously but are spread over future time. This is achieved using non-linear intervention (Koyck) models, developed within a hierarchical full Bayes context. The results demonstrated the importance of considering treatment sites heterogeneity (i.e., different circulating volumes and area type among treated locations) and time trends when developing CMFunctions for pedestrian signal improvement. PMID:26196466

  17. A device for the functional improvement of lagophthalmos.

    PubMed

    A?ik, Mehmet Do?an; Yaprak, Bülent; Güven, Erdem; Karabulut, Aylin Bilgin; Güçlü, Burak

    2013-07-01

    A new device was tested on rabbits for the improvement of lagophthalmos, which causes dryness and irritation of the eye and may cause blindness if untreated. In the presented study, 14 rabbits were injected with local anesthetic to induce temporary facial palsy leading to lagophthalmos on one side. To provide functionality to the upper eyelids, ferromagnetic steel plates were either implanted within the eyelid or taped on the eyelid surface. The device detected blinking in the nonparalytic side and moved the anesthetized paralytic eyelid by pulling the steel plate electromagnetically. The control group (n = 5) did not wear the device, and they could not shut their paralytic eyelids. The treatment group with the external placement of the metal plate (n = 4) and the treatment group with the implant (n = 5) wore the device for artificial blinking. All animals were observed during the experiments, and blinking was recorded on digital video. The data collected from video records were analyzed to test the statistical difference of blinking between control and the treated groups. The results showed that the treatment groups could artificially move their paralytic eyelids. Furthermore, the treatment group with the implant showed a noticeable similarity in eyelid position compared with healthy (nonparalytic) eyes. PMID:23851837

  18. Stimulus Characteristics for Vestibular Stochastic Resonance to Improve Balance Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian; Wood, Scott; Serrado, Jorge; Cohen, Helen; Reschke, Millard; Bloomberg, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) is a mechanism by which noise can enhance the response of neural systems to relevant sensory signals. Studies have shown that imperceptible stochastic vestibular electrical stimulation, when applied to normal young and elderly subjects, significantly improved their ocular stabilization reflexes in response to whole-body tilt as well as balance performance during postural disturbances. The goal of this study was to optimize the amplitude characteristics of the stochastic vestibular signals for balance performance during standing on an unstable surface. Subjects performed a standard balance task of standing on a block of foam with their eyes closed. Bipolar stochastic electrical stimulation was applied to the vestibular system using constant current stimulation through electrodes placed over the mastoid process behind the ears. Amplitude of the signals varied in the range of 0-700 microamperes. Balance performance was measured using a force plate under the foam block, and inertial motion sensors were placed on the torso and head. Balance performance with stimulation was significantly greater (10%-25%) than with no stimulation. The signal amplitude at which performance was maximized was in the range of 100-300 microamperes. Optimization of the amplitude of the stochastic signals for maximizing balance performance will have a significant impact on development of vestibular SR as a unique system to aid recovery of function in astronauts after long-duration space flight or in patients with balance disorders.

  19. Genetically enhancing mitochondrial antioxidant activity improves muscle function in aging

    PubMed Central

    Umanskaya, Alisa; Santulli, Gaetano; Andersson, Daniel C.; Reiken, Steven R.; Marks, Andrew R.

    2014-01-01

    Age-related skeletal muscle dysfunction is a leading cause of morbidity that affects up to half the population aged 80 or greater. Here we tested the effects of increased mitochondrial antioxidant activity on age-dependent skeletal muscle dysfunction using transgenic mice with targeted overexpression of the human catalase gene to mitochondria (MCat mice). Aged MCat mice exhibited improved voluntary exercise, increased skeletal muscle specific force and tetanic Ca2+ transients, decreased intracellular Ca2+ leak and increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load compared with age-matched wild type (WT) littermates. Furthermore, ryanodine receptor 1 (the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release channel required for skeletal muscle contraction; RyR1) from aged MCat mice was less oxidized, depleted of the channel stabilizing subunit, calstabin1, and displayed increased single channel open probability (Po). Overall, these data indicate a direct role for mitochondrial free radicals in promoting the pathological intracellular Ca2+ leak that underlies age-dependent loss of skeletal muscle function. This study harbors implications for the development of novel therapeutic strategies, including mitochondria-targeted antioxidants for treatment of mitochondrial myopathies and other healthspan-limiting disorders. PMID:25288763

  20. Emulsion design to improve the delivery of functional lipophilic components.

    PubMed

    McClements, David Julian

    2010-01-01

    The food industry has used emulsion science and technology for many years to create a diverse range of food products, such as milk, cream, soft drinks, nutritional beverages, dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, dips, deserts, ice cream, margarine, and butter. The majority of these food products are conventional oil-in-water (O/W) or water-in-oil (W/O) type emulsions. Recently, there has been increasing interest within the food industry in either improving or extending the functional performance of foods using novel structured emulsions. This article reviews recent developments in the creation of structured emulsions that could be used by the food and other industries, including nanoemulsions, multiple emulsions, multilayer emulsions, solid lipid particles, and filled hydrogel particles. These structured emulsions can be produced from food-grade [generally recognized as safe (GRAS)] ingredients (e.g., lipids, proteins, polysaccharides, surfactants, and minerals), using simple processing operations (e.g., mixing, homogenizing, and thermal processing). The structure, production, performance, and potential applications of each type of structured emulsion system are discussed. PMID:22129337

  1. Effects of a myofilament calcium sensitizer on left ventricular systolic and diastolic function in rats with volume overload heart failure.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Kristin; Guggilam, Anuradha; West, T Aaron; Zhang, Xiaojin; Trask, Aaron J; Cismowski, Mary J; de Tombe, Pieter; Sadayappan, Sakthivel; Lucchesi, Pamela A

    2014-12-01

    Aortocaval fistula (ACF)-induced volume overload (VO) heart failure (HF) results in progressive left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Hemodynamic load reversal during pre-HF (4 wk post-ACF; REV) results in rapid structural but delayed functional recovery. This study investigated myocyte and myofilament function in ACF and REV and tested the hypothesis that a myofilament Ca(2+) sensitizer would improve VO-induced myofilament dysfunction in ACF and REV. Following the initial sham or ACF surgery in male Sprague-Dawley rats (200-240 g) at week 0, REV surgery and experiments were performed at weeks 4 and 8, respectively. In ACF, decreased LV function is accompanied by impaired sarcomeric shortening and force generation and decreased Ca(2+) sensitivity, whereas, in REV, impaired LV function is accompanied by decreased Ca(2+) sensitivity. Intravenous levosimendan (Levo) elicited the best inotropic and lusitropic responses and was selected for chronic oral studies. Subsets of ACF and REV rats were given vehicle (water) or Levo (1 mg/kg) in drinking water from weeks 4-8. Levo improved systolic (% fractional shortening, end-systolic elastance, and preload-recruitable stroke work) and diastolic (?, dP/dtmin) function in ACF and REV. Levo improved Ca(2+) sensitivity without altering the amplitude and kinetics of the intracellular Ca(2+) transient. In ACF-Levo, increased cMyBP-C Ser-273 and Ser-302 and cardiac troponin I Ser-23/24 phosphorylation correlated with improved diastolic relaxation, whereas, in REV-Levo, increased cMyBP-C Ser-273 phosphorylation and increased ?-to-?-myosin heavy chain correlated with improved diastolic relaxation. We concluded that Levo improves LV function, and myofilament composition and regulatory protein phosphorylation likely play a key role in improving function. PMID:25260618

  2. Novel MRI-derived quantitative biomarker for cardiac function applied to classifying ischemic cardiomyopathy within a Bayesian rule learning framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menon, Prahlad G.; Morris, Lailonny; Staines, Mara; Lima, Joao; Lee, Daniel C.; Gopalakrishnan, Vanathi

    2014-03-01

    Characterization of regional left ventricular (LV) function may have application in prognosticating timely response and informing choice therapy in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. The purpose of this study is to characterize LV function through a systematic analysis of 4D (3D + time) endocardial motion over the cardiac cycle in an effort to define objective, clinically useful metrics of pathological remodeling and declining cardiac performance, using standard cardiac MRI data for two distinct patient cohorts accessed from CardiacAtlas.org: a) MESA - a cohort of asymptomatic patients; and b) DETERMINE - a cohort of symptomatic patients with a history of ischemic heart disease (IHD) or myocardial infarction. The LV endocardium was segmented and a signed phase-to-phase Hausdorff distance (HD) was computed at 3D uniformly spaced points tracked on segmented endocardial surface contours, over the cardiac cycle. An LV-averaged index of phase-to-phase endocardial displacement (P2PD) time-histories was computed at each tracked point, using the HD computed between consecutive cardiac phases. Average and standard deviation in P2PD over the cardiac cycle was used to prepare characteristic curves for the asymptomatic and IHD cohort. A novel biomarker of RMS error between mean patient-specific characteristic P2PD over the cardiac cycle for each individual patient and the cumulative P2PD characteristic of a cohort of asymptomatic patients was established as the RMS-P2PD marker. The novel RMS-P2PD marker was tested as a cardiac function based feature for automatic patient classification using a Bayesian Rule Learning (BRL) framework. The RMS-P2PD biomarker indices were significantly different for the symptomatic patient and asymptomatic control cohorts (p<0.001). BRL accurately classified 83.8% of patients correctly from the patient and control populations, with leave-one-out cross validation, using standard indices of LV ejection fraction (LV-EF) and LV end-systolic volume index (LV-ESVI). This improved to 91.9% with inclusion of the RMS-P2PD biomarker and was congruent with improvements in both sensitivity for classifying patients and specificity for identifying asymptomatic controls from 82.6% up to 95.7%. RMS-P2PD, when contrasted against a collective normal reference, is a promising biomarker to investigate further in its utility for identifying quantitative signs of pathological endocardial function which may boost standard image makers as precursors of declining cardiac performance.

  3. SVM-based classification of LV wall motion in cardiac MRI with the assessment of STE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantilla, Juan; Garreau, Mireille; Bellanger, Jean-Jacques; Paredes, José Luis

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an automated method to classify normal/abnormal wall motion in Left Ventricle (LV) function in cardiac cine-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), taking as reference, strain information obtained from 2D Speckle Tracking Echocardiography (STE). Without the need of pre-processing and by exploiting all the images acquired during a cardiac cycle, spatio-temporal profiles are extracted from a subset of radial lines from the ventricle centroid to points outside the epicardial border. Classical Support Vector Machines (SVM) are used to classify features extracted from gray levels of the spatio-temporal profile as well as their representations in the Wavelet domain under the assumption that the data may be sparse in that domain. Based on information obtained from radial strain curves in 2D-STE studies, we label all the spatio-temporal profiles that belong to a particular segment as normal if the peak systolic radial strain curve of this segment presents normal kinesis, or abnormal if the peak systolic radial strain curve presents hypokinesis or akinesis. For this study, short-axis cine- MR images are collected from 9 patients with cardiac dyssynchrony for which we have the radial strain tracings at the mid-papilary muscle obtained by 2D STE; and from one control group formed by 9 healthy subjects. The best classification performance is obtained with the gray level information of the spatio-temporal profiles using a RBF kernel with 91.88% of accuracy, 92.75% of sensitivity and 91.52% of specificity.

  4. Exercise training improves endothelial function in young prehypertensives

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Darren T; Casey, Darren P; Martin, Jeffrey S; Emerson, Blaze D; Braith, Randy W

    2015-01-01

    Prehypertensives exhibit marked endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for future cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the ability of exercise to ameliorate endothelial dysfunction in prehypertensives is grossly underinvestigated. This prospective randomized and controlled study examined the separate effects of resistance and endurance training on conduit artery endothelial function in young prehypertensives. Forty-three unmedicated prehypertensive (systolic blood pressure [SBP]=120–139 mmHg; diastolic blood pressure [DBP]=80–89 mmHg) but otherwise healthy men and women and 15 normotensive matched time-controls (NMTC); n = 15) between 18 and 35 y of age met screening requirements and participated in the study. Prehypertensive subjects were randomly assigned to either a resistance exercise training (PHRT; n = 15), endurance exercise training (PHET; n = 13) or time-control group (PHTC; n = 15). The treatment groups performed exercise training three days per week for eight weeks. The control groups did not initiate exercise programs throughout the study. Flow mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, biomarkers of enodothelial function and peripheral blood pressure were evaluated before and after exercise intervention or time-matched control. PHRT and PHET reduced resting SBP (9.6 ± 3.6 and 11.9 ± 3.4 mmHg, respectively; P < 0.05) and DBP (8.0 ± 5.1 and 7.2 ± 3.4 mmHg, respectively; P < 0.05). Exercise training improved brachial artery FMD absolute diameter, percent dilation and normalized percent dilation by 30%, 34% and 19% for PHRT, P < 0.05; and by 54%, 63% and 75% for PHET, P < 0.05; respectively. PHRT and PHET increased plasma concentrations of 6-keto prostaglandin F1? (19% and 22%, respectively; P < 0.05), NOx (19% and 23%, respectively; P < 0.05), and reduced endothelin-1 by (16% and 24%, respectively; P < 0.01). This study provides novel evidence that resistance and endurance exercise separately have beneficial effects on resting peripheral blood pressure, brachial artery FMD and endothelial-derived vasoactive agents in young prehypertensives. PMID:23760009

  5. An improved version of the Green's function molecular dynamics method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Ling Ti; Denniston, Colin; Müser, Martin H.

    2011-02-01

    This work presents an improved version of the Green's function molecular dynamics method (Kong et al., 2009; Campañá and Müser, 2004 [1,2]), which enables one to study the elastic response of a three-dimensional solid to an external stress field by taking into consideration only atoms near the surface. In the previous implementation, the effective elastic coefficients measured at the ?-point were altered to reduce finite size effects: their eigenvalues corresponding to the acoustic modes were set to zero. This scheme was found to work well for simple Bravais lattices as long as only atoms within the last layer were treated as Green's function atoms. However, it failed to function as expected in all other cases. It turns out that a violation of the acoustic sum rule for the effective elastic coefficients at ? (Kong, 2010 [3]) was responsible for this behavior. In the new version, the acoustic sum rule is enforced by adopting an iterative procedure, which is found to be physically more meaningful than the previous one. In addition, the new algorithm allows one to treat lattices with bases and the Green's function slab is no longer confined to one layer. New version program summaryProgram title: FixGFC/FixGFMD v1.12 Catalogue identifier: AECW_v1_1 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AECW_v1_1.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 206 436 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 4 314 850 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: C++ Computer: All Operating system: Linux Has the code been vectorized or parallelized?: Yes. Code has been parallelized using MPI directives. RAM: Depends on the problem Classification: 7.7 External routines: LAMMPS ( http://lammps.sandia.gov/), MPI ( http://www.mcs.anl.gov/research/projects/mpi/), FFT ( http://www.fftw.org/) Catalogue identifier of previous version: AECW_v1_0 Journal reference of previous version: Comput. Phys. Comm. 180 (2009) 1004 Does the new version supersede the previous version?: Yes Nature of problem: Green's function molecular dynamics (GFMD) is a coarse-graining method that enables one to investigate the full elastic response of an interface between a semi-infinite solid and a contact while taking only the surface atoms in the solid into consideration. The effect of long-range elastic deformations on the surface atoms from the semi-infinite solid is replaced by effective elastic interactions, thus reducing the problem from three dimensions to two dimensions without compromising the physical essence of the problem. Solution method: See "Nature of problem". Reasons for new version: The basic theory underlying the new version is essentially the same as the previous one, while the special treatment to reduce the finite size effect on effective elastic coefficients at the ?-point is now realized in a physically meaningful manner. Finite size effects are an important issue in molecular dynamics simulations, particularly for GFMD, they result in a violation of the acoustic sum rule (ASR) for the effective elastic coefficients measured at the ?-point ( ?). In the previous implementation, the effective elastic coefficients measured at the ?-point were altered by setting their eigenvalues corresponding to the acoustic modes to zero. This scheme was found to work well for simple Bravais lattices as long as only atoms within the last layer were treated as Green's function atoms. However, it failed to function as expected in all other cases. We therefore adopt a new algorithm to enforce the ASR for ? (Kong, 2010 [3]) which is implemented in this revision. Summary of revisions: Assuming the lattice under study consists of surface unit cells with n basis atoms labeled by k=1,2,…,n. When all atoms in the lattice are moved by the same amount, i.e., the crystal is rigidly translated, the force on any atom must be zero

  6. On Optimal Sizing of Tiered Network Services Qian Lv and George N. Rouskas

    E-print Network

    On Optimal Sizing of Tiered Network Services Qian Lv and George N. Rouskas Department of Computer,rouskas}@ncsu.edu Abstract-- We develop an economic model for networks offer- ing tiered services and we formulate the problem of selecting the service tiers from three perspectives: one that considers the users' interests

  7. ABBERANT PLUMAGE Ahcrranl-lv colorrrcri or naffernen Feathers in bifds are not a

    E-print Network

    de Villiers, Marienne

    ABBERANT PLUMAGE Ahcrranl-lv colorrrcri or naffernen Feathers in bifds are not a rare phenomenon.g. starlings vs swifts. It usua]ly affects one or two feathers at random and does not usually occur in the homologous lsame) feathers on the oCher sioe of the body. Much less common is partial symmetrical albinism

  8. In: Trends in Soliton Research Editor: L.v. Chen, pp. 15-27

    E-print Network

    Yang, Jianke

    by the inverse scattering method ([1], [2], and references therein). Integrable equations support solitons which theory, based on either the inverse scattering method or a direct method (e.g., [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12In: Trends in Soliton Research Editor: L.v. Chen, pp. 15-27 Chapter 2 ISBN 1-59454-560-X © 2006

  9. CaJ!'ll'eLV:L{li Compact snapshot birefringent imaging Fourier transform

    E-print Network

    Dereniak, Eustace L.

    . Merlet, M. T. Gruneisen, M. Dusek, J. G. Rarity, G. J. Bishop, J. Gonglewski, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8542a CaJ!'ll'eLV:L{li .7Ktlif1=: Compact snapshot birefringent imaging Fourier transform spectrometer for remote sensing and endoscopy Michael W. Kudenov1 , Bhaskar Banerjee2 , Victoria C. Chan2 , and Eustace L

  10. Study on Telexistence (LV) -Haptic Telexistence: robotic hand system for transmission of distributed haptic information -

    E-print Network

    Tachi, Susumu

    213 Study on Telexistence (LV) - Haptic Telexistence: robotic hand system for transmission}@star.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp) Abstract: "Haptic Telexistence" is a robotic hand master-slave system that enables us to conduct intuitive of Robotics and Mechatronics, No. 17, Vol. 6, pp. 655-663. H. Kajimoto, N. Kawakami, T. Maeda and S. Tachi

  11. Event-free survival following CRT with surgically implanted LV leads versus standard transvenous approach

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Amy Leigh; Kramer, Daniel B.; Lewis, Eldrin F.; Koplan, Bruce; Epstein, Laurence M.; Tedrow, Usha

    2011-01-01

    Background While surgical epicardial lead placement is performed in a subset of CRT patients, data comparing survival following surgical vs. transvenous lead placement is limited. We hypothesized that surgical procedures would be associated with increased mortality risk. Methods Long-term event-free survival was assessed for 480 consecutive patients undergoing surgical (48) or percutaneous (432) LV lead placement at our institution from January 2000 to September 2008. Results Baseline clinical and demographic characteristics were similar between groups. While there was no statistically significant difference in overall event-free survival (p=0.13), when analysis was restricted to surgical patients with isolated surgical lead placement (n=28), event-free survival was significantly lower in surgical patients (p=0.015). There appeared to be an early risk (first ?3 months post-implantation) with surgical lead placement, primarily in LV-lead only patients. Event rates were significantly higher in LV-lead only surgical patients than in transvenous patients in the first 3 months (p=0.006). In proportional hazards analysis comparing isolated surgical LV lead placement to transvenous lead placement, adjusted hazard ratios were 1.8 ([1.1,2.7] p=0.02) and 1.3 ([1.0,1.7] p=0.07) for the first 3 months and for the full duration of follow-up, respectively. Conclusions Isolated surgical LV lead placement appears to carry a small but significant up-front mortality cost, with risk extending beyond the immediate postoperative period. Long-term survival is similar, suggesting those surviving beyond this period of early risk derive the same benefit as CS lead recipients. Further work is needed to identify risk factors associated with early mortality following surgical lead placement. PMID:21463344

  12. Overview of solid particle LV seeding techniques used at UTRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrick, W. P.

    1985-10-01

    Due to the failure of existing seeders to meet the stringent specifications required for benchmark experiments in high pressure, high temperature, rapidly accelerating flowfields, an effort is made to improve an existing solid particle seeder. The goal is to produce a more monodisperse seed from the 0.3 micro alumina powder with more than 99 percent of the particles in the submicron range while maintaining a high seeding rate. Coiled-wire inserts are installed within the ends of the nitrogen injection lines in the primary seeder to produce swirling conical jets to vigorously agitate the seed bed. A secondary swirler, constructed from a 25 cm length of 3.8 cm ID steel pipe having threaded end caps, is connected to the output line of the primary seeder. The seeded nitrogen from the primary seeder is injected tangentially at near sonic velocity into the secondary swirler 9.4 cm above its base. Independently controlled auxiliary nitrogen used to increase the swirl in the secondary chamber is also injected tangentially 2.5 cm below the seeded nitrogen lines. Large seed particles are collected by bleeds in the swirler cap and directed overboard. The remaining seeded nitrogen is collected on the center line of the secondary swirler and ducted to the rig.

  13. Improving Sensorimotor Function and Adaptation using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galvan, R. C.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Clark, T. K.; Merfeld, D. M.; Oman, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Astronauts experience sensorimotor changes during adaption to G-transitions that occur when entering and exiting microgravity. Post space flight, these sensorimotor disturbances can include postural and gait instability, visual performance changes, manual control disruptions, spatial disorientation, and motion sickness, all of which can hinder the operational capabilities of the astronauts. Crewmember safety would be significantly increased if sensorimotor changes brought on by gravitational changes could be mitigated and adaptation could be facilitated. The goal of this research is to investigate and develop the use of electrical stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) as a countermeasure to augment sensorimotor function and facilitate adaptation. For this project, SVS will be applied via electrodes on the mastoid processes at imperceptible amplitude levels. We hypothesize that SVS will improve sensorimotor performance through the phenomena of stochastic resonance, which occurs when the response of a nonlinear system to a weak input signal is optimized by the application of a particular nonzero level of noise. In line with the theory of stochastic resonance, a specific optimal level of SVS will be found and tested for each subject [1]. Three experiments are planned to investigate the use of SVS in sensory-dependent tasks and performance. The first experiment will aim to demonstrate stochastic resonance in the vestibular system through perception based motion recognition thresholds obtained using a 6-degree of freedom Stewart platform in the Jenks Vestibular Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. A range of SVS amplitudes will be applied to each subject and the subjectspecific optimal SVS level will be identified as that which results in the lowest motion recognition threshold, through previously established, well developed methods [2,3,4]. The second experiment will investigate the use of optimal SVS in facilitating sensorimotor adaptation to system disturbances. Subjects will adapt to wearing minifying glasses, resulting in decreased vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) gain. The VOR gain will then be intermittently measured while the subject readapts to normal vision, with and without optimal SVS. We expect that optimal SVS will cause a steepening of the adaptation curve. The third experiment will test the use of optimal SVS in an operationally relevant aerospace task, using the tilt translation sled at NASA Johnson Space Center, a test platform capable of recreating the tilt-gain and tilt-translation illusions associated with landing of a spacecraft post-space flight. In this experiment, a perception based manual control measure will be used to compare performance with and without optimal SVS. We expect performance to improve in this task when optimal SVS is applied. The ultimate goal of this work is to systematically investigate and further understand the potential benefits of stochastic vestibular stimulation in the context of human space flight so that it may be used in the future as a component of a comprehensive countermeasure plan for adaptation to G-transitions.

  14. Fixed-Bearing Total Ankle Replacement (TAR) Improves Gait Function

    MedlinePLUS

    ... by Area of Interest Adult Reconstruction Foot and Ankle Hand and Wrist Musculoskeletal Oncology Shoulder and Elbow ... of gait mechanics in patients who underwent total ankle replacement (TAR) with fixed-bearing implants found improvements ...

  15. Changes in rest and exercise myocardial perfusion and left ventricular function 3 to 26 weeks after clinically uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction: effects of exercise training

    SciTech Connect

    Hung, J.; Gordon, E.P.; Houston, N.; Haskell, W.L.; Goris, M.L.; DeBusk, R.F.

    1984-11-01

    The effects of exercise training on exercise myocardial perfusion and left ventricular (LV) function in the first 6 months after clinically uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were assessed in 53 consecutive men aged 55 +/- 9 years. Symptom-limited treadmill exercise with thallium myocardial perfusion scintigraphy and symptom-limited upright bicycle ergometry with equilibrium gated radionuclide ventriculography were performed 3, 11 and 26 weeks after AMI by 23 men randomized to training and 30 randomized to no training. Peak cycle capacity increased in both groups between 3 and 26 weeks (p less than 0.01), but reached higher levels in trained than in untrained patients (803 +/- 149 vs 648 +/- 182 kg-m/min, p less than 0.01). Reversible thallium perfusion defects were significantly more frequent at 3 than at 26 weeks: 59% and 36% of patients, respectively (p less than 0.05), without significant inter-group differences. Values of LV ejection fraction at rest, submaximal and peak exercise did not change significantly in either group. The increase in functional capacity, i.e., peak treadmill or bicycle workload, that occurred 3 to 26 weeks after infarction was significantly correlated with the increase in peak exercise heart rate (p less than 0.001), but not with changes in myocardial perfusion or LV function determined by radionuclide techniques. Changes in myocardial perfusion or LV function do not appear to account for the improvement in peak functional capacity that occurs within the first 6 months after clinically uncomplicated AMI.

  16. Towards improved methods for determining porous media multiphase flow functions 

    E-print Network

    Xue, Song

    2004-09-30

    The mathematical modeling and simulation of the flow of fluid through porous media are important in many areas. Relative permeability and capillary pressure functions are macroscopic properties that are defined within ...

  17. Cooling suit for multiple sclerosis: functional improvement in daily living?

    PubMed

    Kinnman, J; Andersson, U; Wetterquist, L; Kinnman, Y; Andersson, U

    2000-03-01

    Eight cryopositive patients with multiple sclerosis used cooling suits for 40 minutes regularly one or more times daily for a six-week period. The patients were given repeated motor and mental tests by a physiotherapist in order to determine whether they had a continuous beneficial effect of cooling during this period. Additionally, selected activities of daily living performed in the patient's homes were evaluated and registered according to Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS). Six out of eight patients improved in at least one motor test and all patients improved according to AMPS. For one of the patients, who was profoundly handicapped, the effect of cooling was evaluated differently. PMID:10782937

  18. Envelope Proteins of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) Interact with Litopenaeus vannamei Peritrophin-Like Protein (LvPT)

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Shijun; Zhang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Jiquan; Li, Fuhua; Xiang, Jianhai

    2015-01-01

    White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a major pathogen in shrimp cultures. The interactions between viral proteins and their receptors on the surface of cells in a frontier target tissue are crucial for triggering an infection. In this study, a yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) library was constructed using cDNA obtained from the stomach and gut of Litopenaeus vannamei, to ascertain the role of envelope proteins in WSSV infection. For this purpose, VP37 was used as the bait in the Y2H library screening. Forty positive clones were detected after screening. The positive clones were analyzed and discriminated, and two clones belonging to the peritrophin family were subsequently confirmed as genuine positive clones. Sequence analysis revealed that both clones could be considered as the same gene, LV-peritrophin (LvPT). Co-immunoprecipitation confirmed the interaction between LvPT and VP37. Further studies in the Y2H system revealed that LvPT could also interact with other WSSV envelope proteins such as VP32, VP38A, VP39B, and VP41A. The distribution of LvPT in tissues revealed that LvPT was mainly expressed in the stomach than in other tissues. In addition, LvPT was found to be a secretory protein, and its chitin-binding ability was also confirmed. PMID:26692362

  19. Neurofeedback Improves Executive Functioning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kouijzer, Mirjam E. J.; de Moor, Jan M. H.; Gerrits, Berrie J. L.; Congedo, Marco; van Schie, Hein T.

    2009-01-01

    Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation over sessions. Following treatment, children's…

  20. Effect of energy window on LV ejection fraction using ECG-gated energy spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bacharach, S.L.; Green, M.V.; Findley, S.; Bonow, R.O.; Larson, S.M.

    1984-01-01

    Changes in volume and shape of the left ventricle (LV) may significantly effect the shape of the LV energy spectrum observed during a gated equilibrium, cardiac study. The authors tested this supposition by creating a gamma ray energy spectrum at each moment in time during the cardiac cycle. Each spectrum was created at progressive 50 msec increments during a cardiac cycle by gating for 300 beats. Two sets of spectra were obtained from each of 10 subjects studied at rest: one from an LV region of interest (ROI), one from a background (BKG) ROI. Multiple LV time activity curves (TAC's) were obtained using multiple energy windows placed over the energy spectra. Both raw and BKG corrected TAC's were produced. BKG correction was performed using the same energy (E) window. BKG TAC's were flat over the photopeak and time variant at lower E's (single and multiple scatter region). Ejection fraction (EF) was found to be strongly dependent on the exact position of the energy window used. Moving a narrow (4KeV) window over the photopeak in 4 KeV steps produced a (roughly) linear increase in EF with energy, maximum EF occurring at the highest window measured (155-158 KeV). Comparing the two halves of the photopeak (126-140 KeV and 140-154 KeV), the EF's obtained differed significantly (high E window exceeded low E by 25%+-5%). Similarly, progressive movement of a 20% window across the photopeak produced a change in EF of 10%/10KeV change in window position. Increasing the width of a narrow window centered about the photopeak, however, produced no measureable change in EF for windows up to 25%. Thus placement or changes in the position of an asymmetric photopeak window may alter ejection fraction significantly.

  1. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Establishment and function of the Clinical... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. (a) HHS will establish a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee...

  2. Amphetamine improves cognitive function in medicated individuals with schizophrenia and in healthy volunteers

    E-print Network

    Amphetamine improves cognitive function in medicated individuals with schizophrenia and in healthy administration of d-amphetamine can improve cognitive function in individuals with schizophrenia who are well production, and Stroop tasks under both placebo and 0.25 mg/kg of d-amphetamine. Results: d-Amphetamine

  3. Bayesian Estimation of Conditional Independence Graphs Improves Functional Connectivity Estimates.

    PubMed

    Hinne, Max; Janssen, Ronald J; Heskes, Tom; van Gerven, Marcel A J

    2015-11-01

    Functional connectivity concerns the correlated activity between neuronal populations in spatially segregated regions of the brain, which may be studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This coupled activity is conveniently expressed using covariance, but this measure fails to distinguish between direct and indirect effects. A popular alternative that addresses this issue is partial correlation, which regresses out the signal of potentially confounding variables, resulting in a measure that reveals only direct connections. Importantly, provided the data are normally distributed, if two variables are conditionally independent given all other variables, their respective partial correlation is zero. In this paper, we propose a probabilistic generative model that allows us to estimate functional connectivity in terms of both partial correlations and a graph representing conditional independencies. Simulation results show that this methodology is able to outperform the graphical LASSO, which is the de facto standard for estimating partial correlations. Furthermore, we apply the model to estimate functional connectivity for twenty subjects using resting-state fMRI data. Results show that our model provides a richer representation of functional connectivity as compared to considering partial correlations alone. Finally, we demonstrate how our approach can be extended in several ways, for instance to achieve data fusion by informing the conditional independence graph with data from probabilistic tractography. As our Bayesian formulation of functional connectivity provides access to the posterior distribution instead of only to point estimates, we are able to quantify the uncertainty associated with our results. This reveals that while we are able to infer a clear backbone of connectivity in our empirical results, the data are not accurately described by simply looking at the mode of the distribution over connectivity. The implication of this is that deterministic alternatives may misjudge connectivity results by drawing conclusions from noisy and limited data. PMID:26540089

  4. Bayesian Estimation of Conditional Independence Graphs Improves Functional Connectivity Estimates

    PubMed Central

    Hinne, Max; Janssen, Ronald J.; Heskes, Tom; van Gerven, Marcel A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Functional connectivity concerns the correlated activity between neuronal populations in spatially segregated regions of the brain, which may be studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This coupled activity is conveniently expressed using covariance, but this measure fails to distinguish between direct and indirect effects. A popular alternative that addresses this issue is partial correlation, which regresses out the signal of potentially confounding variables, resulting in a measure that reveals only direct connections. Importantly, provided the data are normally distributed, if two variables are conditionally independent given all other variables, their respective partial correlation is zero. In this paper, we propose a probabilistic generative model that allows us to estimate functional connectivity in terms of both partial correlations and a graph representing conditional independencies. Simulation results show that this methodology is able to outperform the graphical LASSO, which is the de facto standard for estimating partial correlations. Furthermore, we apply the model to estimate functional connectivity for twenty subjects using resting-state fMRI data. Results show that our model provides a richer representation of functional connectivity as compared to considering partial correlations alone. Finally, we demonstrate how our approach can be extended in several ways, for instance to achieve data fusion by informing the conditional independence graph with data from probabilistic tractography. As our Bayesian formulation of functional connectivity provides access to the posterior distribution instead of only to point estimates, we are able to quantify the uncertainty associated with our results. This reveals that while we are able to infer a clear backbone of connectivity in our empirical results, the data are not accurately described by simply looking at the mode of the distribution over connectivity. The implication of this is that deterministic alternatives may misjudge connectivity results by drawing conclusions from noisy and limited data. PMID:26540089

  5. Improved response functions for gamma-ray skyshine analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shultis, J. K.; Faw, R. E.; Deng, X.

    1992-09-01

    A computationally simple method, based on line-beam response functions, is refined for estimating gamma skyshine dose rates. Critical to this method is the availability of an accurate approximation for the line-beam response function (LBRF). In this study, the LBRF is evaluated accurately with the point-kernel technique using recent photon interaction data. Various approximations to the LBRF are considered, and a three parameter formula is selected as the most practical approximation. By fitting the approximating formula to point-kernel results, a set of parameters is obtained that allows the LBRF to be quickly and accurately evaluated for energies between 0.01 and 15 MeV, for source-to-detector distances from 1 to 3000 m, and for beam angles from 0 to 180 degrees. This re-evaluation of the approximate LBRF gives better accuracy, especially at low energies, over a greater source-to-detector range than do previous LBRF approximations. A conical beam response function is also introduced for application to skyshine sources that are azimuthally symmetric about a vertical axis. The new response functions are then applied to three simple skyshine geometries (an open silo geometry, an infinite wall, and a rectangular four-wall building) and the results are compared to previous calculations and benchmark data.

  6. Improved statistical quark model for the nucleon structure function

    SciTech Connect

    Mirez, Carlos

    2010-05-21

    An improved statistical quark model, with quark energy levels given by a central linear confining potential, is used to obtain the light sea-quark asymmetry, d-bar/u-bar, and also for the corresponding difference d-bar-u-bar, inside the nucleon. In the model, a temperature parameter is adjusted by recent results obtained for the Gottfried sum rule violation, with two chemical potentials adjusted by the valence up and down quark normalizations. The results are compared with available recent experimental data.

  7. Synthesis of Functionalized Perfluorinated Porphyrins for Improved Spin Switching.

    PubMed

    Dommaschk, M; Näther, C; Herges, R

    2015-09-01

    We have established a method to synthesize perfluorinated meso-phenylporphyrins with one phenyl group bearing a substituent in the ortho position. These novel electron-deficient porphyrins are interesting for model enzymes, catalysis, photodynamic therapy, and electron transfer. The key step is the synthesis of an iodine-substituted porphyrin and its Suzuki cross coupling with boronic acid derivatives. We applied the novel strategy to synthesize a highly electron-deficient, azopyridine-substituted Ni-porphyrin that undergoes an improved ligand-driven coordination-induced spin-state switch. PMID:26301895

  8. Atrioventricular Left Ventricular Apical Pacing Improves Haemodynamic, Rotational, and Deformation Variables in Comparison to Pacing at the Lateral Wall in Intact Myocardium: Experimental Study

    PubMed Central

    Kaladaridou, Anna; Bramos, Dimitrios; Skaltsiotes, Elias; Agrios, John; Pamboucas, Constantinos; Kottis, George; Antoniou, Anna; Papadopoulou, Elektra; Moulopoulos, Spyridon

    2014-01-01

    Aim. To assess the effect on left ventricular (LV) function of atrioventricular (AV) and ventricular pacing at the LV apical or lateral wall and to compare the normal torsional and deformation pattern of the intact LV myocardium with those created by the aforementioned LV pacing modes and sites. Methods. Experiments were conducted in pigs (n = 21) with normal LV function to investigate the acute hemodynamic effects of epicardial AV and ventricular LV pacing at the LV apical or lateral wall. Torsional and deformation indices of LV function were assessed using speckle tracking echocardiography. Results. AV pacing at the apex revealed a significant reduction in the radial strain of the base (P < 0.03), without affecting significantly the ejection fraction and the LV torsion or twist. In contrast, AV pacing at the lateral wall produced, in addition to the reduction of the radial strain of the base (P < 0.01), significant reduction of the circumferential and the radial strain of the apex (both P < 0.01) as well as of the ejection fraction (P < 0.002) and twist (P < 0.05). Conclusions. In pig hearts with intact myocardium, LV function is maintained at sinus rhythm level when AV pacing is performed at the LV apex. PMID:24660086

  9. Improved Learning Performance of Hardware Self-Organizing Map Using a Novel Neighborhood Function.

    PubMed

    Hikawa, Hiroomi; Maeda, Yutaka

    2015-11-01

    Many self-organizing maps (SOMs) implemented on hardware restrict their neighborhood function values to negative powers of two. In this paper, we propose a novel hardware friendly neighborhood function that is aimed to improve the vector quantization performance of hardware SOM. The quantization performance of the hardware SOM with the proposed neighborhood function is examined by simulations. Simulation results show that the proposed function can improve the hardware SOM's vector quantization capability even though the function value is restricted to negative powers of two. Then, the hardware SOM is implemented on field-programmable gate array to find out the hardware cost and performance speed of the proposed neighborhood function. Experimental results show that the proposed neighborhood function can improve SOM's quantization performance without additional hardware cost or slowing down the operating speed. Due to fully parallel operation, the proposed SOM with 16×16 neurons achieves a performance of 25 344 million connections updates per second. PMID:26484943

  10. Relationship between systolic and diastolic function with improvements in forward stroke volume following reduction in mitral regurgitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Firstenberg, M. S.; Greenberg, N. L.; Smedira, N. G.; McCarthy, P. M.; Garcia, M. J.; Thomas, J. D.

    2001-01-01

    Efforts to improve mitral regurgitation (MR) are often performed in conjunction with coronary revascularization. However, the independent effects of a reduced MR area (MRa) are difficult to quantify. Using a previously developed cardiovascular model, ventricular contractility (elastance 1-8 mmHg/ml) and relaxation (tau: 40-150 msec) were independently adjusted for four grades of MR orifice areas (0.0 to 0.8 cm2). Improvements in forward stroke volume (fSV) were determined for the permutations of reduced MRa. For all conditions, LV end-diastolic pressure and volumes ranged from 7.3-24.2 mmHg and 64.8-174.3 ml, respectively. Overall, fSV ranged from 36.0-89.4 (mean: 64.2 +/- 12.8) ml, improved between 6.4 and 35.3% (mean: 15.6 +/- 8.1%), and was best predicted by (r=0.97, p<0.01) %delta(fSV)[correction of fVS]=34[MRa initial] - 46[MRa final] -0.5[elastance]. Reduced MRa, independent of relaxation and minimally influence by contractility, yield improved fSVs.

  11. Cellular entry via an actin and clathrin-dependent route is required for Lv2 restriction of HIV-2

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, I.P.; McKnight, A.

    2011-06-20

    Lv2 is a human factor that restricts infection of some HIV-2 viruses after entry into particular target cells. HIV-2 MCR is highly susceptible to Lv2 whereas HIV-2 MCN is not. The block is after reverse transcription but prior to nuclear entry. The viral determinants for this restriction have been mapped to the HIV-2 envelope and the capsid genes. Our model of Lv2 restriction suggests that the route taken into a cell is important in determining whether a productive infection occurs. Here we characterised the infectious routes used by MCN and MCR using chemical compounds and molecular techniques to distinguish between potential pathways. Our results suggest that susceptible MCR can enter restrictive HeLa{sup CD4} cells via two pathways; a clathrin/AP2 mediated endocytic route that is sensitive to Lv2 restriction and an alternative, non-clathrin mediated route, which results in more efficient infection.

  12. Regular Football Practice Improves Autonomic Cardiac Function in Male Children

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Luis; Oliveira, Jose; Soares-Miranda, Luisa; Rebelo, Antonio; Brito, Joao

    2015-01-01

    Background: The role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the cardiovascular regulation is of primal importance. Since it has been associated with adverse conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias, sudden death, sleep disorders, hypertension and obesity. Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the impact of recreational football practice on the autonomic cardiac function of male children, as measured by heart rate variability. Patients and Methods: Forty-seven male children aged 9 - 12 years were selected according to their engagement with football oriented practice outside school context. The children were divided into a football group (FG; n = 22) and a control group (CG; n = 25). The FG had regular football practices, with 2 weekly training sessions and occasional weekend matches. The CG was not engaged with any physical activity other than complementary school-based physical education classes. Data from physical activity, physical fitness, and heart rate variability measured in time and frequency domains were obtained. Results: The anthropometric and body composition characteristics were similar in both groups (P > 0.05). The groups were also similar in time spent daily on moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (FG vs. CG: 114 ± 64 vs. 87 ± 55 minutes; P > 0.05). However, the FG performed better (P < 0.05) in Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test (1394 ± 558 vs. 778 ± 408 m) and 15-m sprint test (3.06 ± 0.17 vs. 3.20 ± 0.23 s). Also, the FG presented enhanced autonomic function. Significant differences were detected (P < 0.05) between groups for low frequency normalized units (38.0 ± 15.2 vs. 47.3 ± 14.2 n.u (normalized units)), high frequency normalized units (62.1 ± 15.2 vs. 52.8 ± 14.2 n.u.), and LF:HF ratio (0.7 ± 0.4 vs. 1.1 ± 0.6 ms2). Conclusions: Children engaged with regular football practice presented enhanced physical fitness and autonomic function, by increasing vagal tone at rest. PMID:26448848

  13. Early Intervention to Improve Hand Function in Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Anna Purna; Pearse, Janice; Kelly, Susan; Wisher, Vicki; Kisler, Jill

    2015-01-01

    Children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy often have marked hand involvement with excessive thumb adduction and flexion and limited active wrist extension from infancy. Post-lesional aberrant plasticity can lead to progressive abnormalities of the developing motor system. Disturbances of somatosensory and visual function and developmental disregard contribute to difficulties with hand use. Progressive soft tissue and bony changes may occur, leading to contractures, which further limit function in a vicious cycle. Early intervention might help to break this cycle, however, the precise nature and appropriateness of the intervention must be carefully considered. Traditional approaches to the hemiplegic upper limb include medications and botulinum toxin injections to manage abnormalities of tone, and surgical interventions. Therapist input, including provision of orthoses, remains a mainstay although many therapies have not been well evaluated. There has been a recent increase in interventions for the hemiplegic upper limb, mostly aimed outside the period of infancy. These include trials of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and bimanual therapy as well as the use of virtual reality and robot-assisted therapy. In future, non-invasive brain stimulation may be combined with therapy. Interventions under investigation in the infant age group include modified CIMT and action observation therapy. A further approach which may be suited to the infant with thumb-in-palm deformity, but which requires evaluation, is the use of elastic taping. Enhanced cutaneous feedback through mechanical stimulation to the skin provided by the tape during movement has been postulated to modulate ongoing muscle activity. If effective, this would represent a low-cost, safe, widely applicable early intervention. PMID:25610423

  14. Effect of endovascular stenting of aortic coarctation on biventricular function in adults

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Yat?Yin; Kaya, Mehmet G; Li, Wei; Mahadevan, Vaikom S; Khan, Arif A; Henein, Michael Y; Mullen, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of endovascular stenting of aortic coarctation on biventricular function in adults during intermediate?term follow?up. Methods 21 patients (age 34 (10)?years) were studied prospectively before and 14 (2)?months after coarctation stenting from year 2002 to 2005. Biventricular function and blood pressure measurements were made. The post?stenting results were compared with pre?stenting values (group 1), with 22 age? and sex?matched post?surgical repair patients (group 2) and 30 normal controls (group 3). Results The peak systolic gradient across the coarctation site fell (55 (15)?mm Hg to 18 (8)?mm Hg, p<0.001). Systolic, mean blood pressure and left ventricular (LV) mass dropped after stenting (p<0.05 for all). LV long?axis function improved at intermediate?term follow?up (tissue Doppler imaging lateral and septal systolic and diastolic velocities and E/Em ratios: LSm, 6.5 (1.4)?cm/s to 7.9 (1.7)?cm/s; SSm, 5.8 (1.2)?cm/s to 7.3 (1.6)?cm/s; LEm, 8.1 (1.3) to 9.4 (2.3)?cm/s; SEm, 6.7 (1.5)?cm/s to 7.8 (1.9)?cm/s; LE/Em, 11.2 (2.7) to 9.8 (2.8); SE/Em, 14.8 (5.3) to 11.8 (3.9); p<0.05 for all). No significant difference in LV ejection fraction, conventional LV diastolic measurements (E, A, E/A ratio, IVRT and DT) was found after stenting. No significant deterioration of right ventricular function was seen in stented patients. Both post?stenting and post?surgical repair patients had poorer LV long?axis function than controls (p<0.01 for all). Conclusions Endovascular stenting of aortic coarctation resulted in medium?term LV mass regression and long?axis function improvement that may provide insight into long?term outcome of the stented patients. The results support aortic stenting in patients with anatomically suitable defects, given the additional benefit of avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass. The clinical significance of subclinical myocardial dysfunction in patients with stented or repaired coarctation warrants further studies. PMID:17575331

  15. Improved cellular uptake of functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonelli, A.; Serafini, S.; Menotta, M.; Sfara, C.; Pierigé, F.; Giorgi, L.; Ambrosi, G.; Rossi, L.; Magnani, M.

    2010-10-01

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) due to their unique structural and physicochemical properties, have been proposed as delivery systems for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. However, SWNTs have proven difficult to solubilize in aqueous solution, limiting their use in biological applications. In an attempt to improve SWNTs' solubility, biocompatibility, and to increase cell penetration we have thoroughly investigated the construction of carbon scaffolds coated with aliphatic carbon chains and phospholipids to obtain micelle-like structures. At first, oxidized SWNTs (2370 ± 30 nmol mg - 1 of SWNTs) were covalently coupled with an alcoholic chain (stearyl alcohol, C18H37OH; 816 nmol mg - 1 of SWNTs). Subsequently, SWNTs-COOC18H37 derivatives were coated with phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) or -serine (PS) phospholipids obtaining micelle-like structures. We found that cellular uptake of these constructs by phagocytic cells occurs via an endocytotic mechanism for constructs larger than 400 nm while occurs via diffusion through the cell membrane for constructs up to 400 nm. The material that enters the cell by phagocytosis is actively internalized by macrophages and localizes inside endocytotic vesicles. In contrast the material that enters the cells by diffusion is found in the cell cytosol. In conclusion, we have realized new biomimetic constructs based on alkylated SWNTs coated with phospholipids that are efficiently internalized by different cell types only if their size is lower than 400 nm. These constructs are not toxic to the cells and could now be explored as delivery systems for non-permeant cargoes.

  16. Peptide Lv augments L-type voltage-gated calcium channels through vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) signaling.

    PubMed

    Shi, Liheng; Ko, Soyoung; Ko, Michael L; Kim, Andy Jeesu; Ko, Gladys Y-P

    2015-05-01

    We previously identified peptide Lv, a novel bioactive peptide that enhances the activity of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (L-VGCCs) in cone photoreceptors. In this study, we verified that peptide Lv was able to augment L-VGCC currents in cardiomyocytes, as well as promote proliferation of endothelial cells. We used a proteomics approach to determine the specific receptors and binding partners of peptide Lv and found that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) interacted with peptide Lv. Peptide Lv treatment in embryonic cardiomyocytes stimulated tyrosine autophosphorylation of VEGFR2 and activated its downstream signaling. Peptide Lv activity was blocked by DMH4, a VEGFR2 specific blocker, but not by SCH202676, an allosteric inhibitor of G protein-coupled receptors, suggesting that the activity of peptide Lv was mediated through VEGFR2 signaling. Inhibition of VEGFR tyrosine kinase or its downstream signaling molecules abolished the augmentation of L-VGCCs elicited by peptide Lv in cardiomyocytes. In addition, peptide Lv promoted cell proliferation of cultured human endothelial cells. Calcium entry through L-VGCCs is essential for excitation-contraction coupling in cardiomyocytes. Since peptide Lv was able to augment L-VGCCs through activation of VEGF signaling in cardiomyocytes and promote proliferation of endothelial cells, peptide Lv may play an important role in regulating the cardiovascular system. PMID:25698653

  17. Functionally gradient hard carbon composites for improved adhesion and wear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayan, Roger Jagdish

    A new approach is proposed for fabricating biomedical devices that last longer and are more biocompatible than those presently available. In this approach, a bulk material is chosen that has desirable mechanical properties (low modulus, high strength, high ductility and high fatigue strength). This material is coated with corrosion-resistant, wear-resistant, hard, and biocompatible hard carbon films. One of the many forms of carbon, tetrahedral amorphous carbon, consists mainly of sp3-bonded atoms. Tetrahedral amorphous carbon possesses properties close to diamond in terms of hardness, atomic smoothness, and inertness. Tetrahedral amorphous carbon and diamond films usually contain large amounts of compressive and sometimes tensile stresses; adhesive failure from these stresses has limited widespread use of these materials. This research involves processing, characterization and modeling of functionally gradient tetrahedral amorphous carbon and diamond composite films on metals (cobalt-chromium and titanium alloys) and polymers (polymethylmethacrylate and polyethylene) used in biomedical applications. Multilayer discontinuous thin films of titanium carbide, titanium nitride, aluminum nitride, and tungsten carbide have been developed to control stresses and graphitization in diamond films. A morphology of randomly interconnected micron sized diamond crystallites provides increased toughness and stress reduction. Internal stresses in tetrahedral amorphous carbon were reduced via incorporation of carbide forming elements (silicon and titanium) and noncarbide forming elements (copper, platinum, and silver). These materials were produced using a novel target design during pulsed laser deposition. These alloying atoms reduce hardness and sp3-bonded carbon content, but increase adhesion and wear resistance. Silver and platinum provide the films with antimicrobial properties, and silicon provides bioactivity and aids bone formation. Bilayer coatings were created that couple the adherence, biocompatibility, erosion resistance, and long term release of functional elements from hard carbon coatings with bioactive properties of nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite and short term drug release properties of resorbable poly (D,L) lactide-based materials. Finally, these hard carbon coatings have a variety of non-medical applications, including use in microelectronics packaging, sensors, flat panel displays, photodiodes, cutting tools, optical switches, and wear-resistant magnetic disks.

  18. Therapeutic intraspinal microstimulation improves forelimb function after cervical contusion injury

    PubMed Central

    Kasten, M.R.; Sunshine, M.D.; Secrist, E.S.; Horner, P.J.; Moritz, C.T.

    2013-01-01

    Objective Intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) is a promising method for activating the spinal cord distal to an injury. The objectives of this study were to examine the ability of chronically implanted stimulating wires within the cervical spinal cord to (1) directly produce forelimb movements, and (2) assess whether ISMS stimulation improved subsequent volitional control of paretic extremities following injury. Approach We developed a technique for implanting intraspinal stimulating electrodes within the cervical spinal cord segments C6-T1 of Long-Evans rats. Beginning 4 weeks after a severe cervical contusion injury at C4–C5, animals in the treatment condition received therapeutic ISMS 7 hours/day, 5 days/week for the following 12 weeks. Main Results Over 12 weeks of therapeutic ISMS, stimulus-evoked forelimb movements were relatively stable. We also explored whether therapeutic ISMS promotes recovery of forelimb reaching movements. Animals receiving daily therapeutic ISMS performed significantly better than unstimulated animals during behavioral tests conducted without stimulation. Quantitative video analysis of forelimb movements showed that stimulated animals performed better in the movements reinforced by stimulation, including extending the elbow to advance the forelimb and opening the digits. While threshold current to elicit forelimb movement gradually increased over time, no differences were observed between chronically stimulated and unstimulated electrodes suggesting that no additional tissue damage was produced by the electrical stimulation. Significance The results indicate that therapeutic intraspinal stimulation delivered via chronic microwire implants within the cervical spinal cord confers benefits extending beyond the period of stimulation, suggesting future strategies for neural devices to promote sustained recovery after injury. PMID:23715242

  19. Therapeutic intraspinal microstimulation improves forelimb function after cervical contusion injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasten, M. R.; Sunshine, M. D.; Secrist, E. S.; Horner, P. J.; Moritz, C. T.

    2013-08-01

    Objective. Intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) is a promising method for activating the spinal cord distal to an injury. The objectives of this study were to examine the ability of chronically implanted stimulating wires within the cervical spinal cord to (1) directly produce forelimb movements, and (2) assess whether ISMS stimulation could improve subsequent volitional control of paretic extremities following injury. Approach. We developed a technique for implanting intraspinal stimulating electrodes within the cervical spinal cord segments C6-T1 of Long-Evans rats. Beginning 4 weeks after a severe cervical contusion injury at C4-C5, animals in the treatment condition received therapeutic ISMS 7 hours/day, 5 days/week for the following 12 weeks. Main results. Over 12 weeks of therapeutic ISMS, stimulus-evoked forelimb movements were relatively stable. We also explored whether therapeutic ISMS promoted recovery of forelimb reaching movements. Animals receiving daily therapeutic ISMS performed significantly better than unstimulated animals during behavioural tests conducted without stimulation. Quantitative video analysis of forelimb movements showed that stimulated animals performed better in the movements reinforced by stimulation, including extending the elbow to advance the forelimb and opening the digits. While threshold current to elicit forelimb movement gradually increased over time, no differences were observed between chronically stimulated and unstimulated electrodes suggesting that no additional tissue damage was produced by the electrical stimulation. Significance. The results indicate that therapeutic intraspinal stimulation delivered via chronic microwire implants within the cervical spinal cord confers benefits extending beyond the period of stimulation, suggesting future strategies for neural devices to promote sustained recovery after injury.

  20. An improved method for extracting matrix elements from lattice three-point functions

    SciTech Connect

    C. Aubin, K. Orginos

    2011-12-01

    The extraction of matrix elements from baryon three-point functions is complicated by the fact that the signal-to-noise drops rapidly as a function of time. Using a previously discussed method to improve the signal-to-noise for lattice two-point functions, we use this technique to do so for lattice three-point functions, using electromagnetic form factors for the nucleon and Delta as an example.

  1. Improved Displacement Transfer Functions for Structure Deformed Shape Predictions Using Discretely Distributed Surface Strains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, William L.; Fleischer, Van Tran

    2012-01-01

    In the formulations of earlier Displacement Transfer Functions for structure shape predictions, the surface strain distributions, along a strain-sensing line, were represented with piecewise linear functions. To improve the shape-prediction accuracies, Improved Displacement Transfer Functions were formulated using piecewise nonlinear strain representations. Through discretization of an embedded beam (depth-wise cross section of a structure along a strain-sensing line) into multiple small domains, piecewise nonlinear functions were used to describe the surface strain distributions along the discretized embedded beam. Such piecewise approach enabled the piecewise integrations of the embedded beam curvature equations to yield slope and deflection equations in recursive forms. The resulting Improved Displacement Transfer Functions, written in summation forms, were expressed in terms of beam geometrical parameters and surface strains along the strain-sensing line. By feeding the surface strains into the Improved Displacement Transfer Functions, structural deflections could be calculated at multiple points for mapping out the overall structural deformed shapes for visual display. The shape-prediction accuracies of the Improved Displacement Transfer Functions were then examined in view of finite-element-calculated deflections using different tapered cantilever tubular beams. It was found that by using the piecewise nonlinear strain representations, the shape-prediction accuracies could be greatly improved, especially for highly-tapered cantilever tubular beams.

  2. Brazilian green propolis improves immune function in aged mice

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Weina; Wu, Jianquan; Wei, Jingyu; Pu, Lingling; Guo, Changjiang; Yang, Jijun; Yang, Ming; Luo, Haiji

    2014-01-01

    Aging weakened innate and adaptive immunity both quantitatively and qualitatively. Some components in propolis could stimulate immune function in young animals or cultured immune cells in vitro. Few studies had been carried out in the aged. The present study was to evaluate the effects of Brazilian green propolis supplementation on the immunological parameters in aged mice. Eighty Kunming mice, aged 15–18 months, were randomly assigned to the control and three experimental groups supplemented with different doses (83.3, 157.4 and 352.9 mg/kg.bw respectively) of Brazilian green propolis. The experiment lasted for 4 weeks. Contents of total polyphenol, flavonoid, cinnamic acid and artepillin-C in Brazilian green propolis were analyzed. Splenic NK cytotoxic, T lymphocyte proliferation and antibody generation cells, as well as the phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophages, ear swelling, and serum contents of IgG, IgM, hemolysin and cytokines were measured. After 4 weeks of treatment, the phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophages was enhanced in 157.4 mg/kg and 352.9 mg/kg groups. Ear swelling increased in all propolis treatmented groups. Antibodies specific to sheep erythrocytes were higher in the groups receiving 157.4 and 352.9 mg/kg.bw than that of control group. IgG level dramatically increased in the groups receiving 83.3 and 157.4 mg/kg.bw in comparison to the control group. These results indicate that administration of Brazilian green propolis have a positive effect on innate and adaptive immunity in aged mice. PMID:25120274

  3. Rodent Biocompatibility Test Using the NASA Foodbar and Epoxy EP21LV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tillman, J.; Steele, M.; Dumars, P.; Vasques, M.; Girten, B.; Sun, S. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Epoxy has been used successfully to affix NASA foodbars to the inner walls of the Animal Enclosure Module for past space flight experiments utilizing rodents. The epoxy used on past missions was discontinued, making it necessary to identify a new epoxy for use on the STS-108 and STS-107 missions. This experiment was designed to test the basic biocompatibility of epoxy EP21LV with male rats (Sprague Dawley) and mice (Swiss Webster) when applied to NASA foodbars. For each species, the test was conducted with a control group fed untreated foodbars and an experimental group fed foodbars applied with EP21LV. For each species, there were no group differences in animal health and no statistical differences (P<0.05) in body weights throughout the study. In mice, there was a 16% increase in heart weight in the epoxy group; this result was not found in rats. For both species, there were no statistical differences found in other organ weights measured. In rats, blood glucose levels were 15% higher and both total protein and globulin were 10% lower in the epoxy group. Statistical differences in these parameters were not found in mice. For both species, no statistical differences were found in other blood parameters tested. Food consumption was not different in rats but water consumption was significantly decreased 10 to 15% in the epoxy group. The difference in water consumption is likely due to an increased water content of the epoxy-treated foodbars. Finally, both species avoided consumption of the epoxy material. Based on the global analysis of the results, the few parameters found to be statistically different do not appear to be a physiologically relevant effect of the epoxy material, We conclude that the EP21LV epoxy is biocompatible with rodents.

  4. Recent developments in liquid flow seeding techniques for use with LV measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parobek, D. M.; Boyer, D. L.; Clinehens, G. A.

    1986-03-01

    A liquid aerosol flow seeding technique has been developed for achieving relatively high data rate LV measurements in elevated temperature, high speed, high Reynolds number intermittent flows at the Flight Dynamics Laboratory. Data are presented on the seed material as well as the generator development and its performance in the Mach 6 and Mach 3 High Reynolds Number Facilities, in the laboratory regarding aerosol plume and particulate data and as to its merits in application to a continuous flow facility in the subsonic regime.

  5. Improved child behavioural and emotional functioning after Circle of Security 20-week intervention.

    PubMed

    Huber, Anna; McMahon, Catherine; Sweller, Naomi

    2015-12-01

    This study examined the efficacy of the attachment-based Circle of Security 20-week intervention in improving child behavioural and emotional functioning. Participants were 83 parents of children (1-7 years) referred to a clinical service with concerns about their young children's behaviour. Parents (and teachers, when available) completed questionnaires assessing child protective factors, behavioural concerns, internalizing and externalizing problems, prior to and immediately after the intervention. The following were considered as potential moderators: child gender and age, parent representations, reflective functioning, child attachment indices and severity of presenting problems, prior to treatment. Results showed significant improvement for parent ratings of child protective factors, behavioural concerns, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, all ps < .05, and children with more severe problems showed most improvement. Teachers also reported improvements, but change was significant only for externalizing problems (p = .030). Findings suggest Circle of Security is effective in improving child behavioural and emotional functioning in clinically referred children aged 1-7 years. PMID:26422336

  6. Cost-effectiveness of adjuvant FOLFOX and 5FU/LV chemotherapy for patients with stage II colon cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ayvaci, Mehmet U.S.; Shi, Jinghua; Alagoz, Oguzhan; Lubner, Sam

    2014-01-01

    Purpose We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy using 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin (5FU/LV), and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) compared with 5FU/LV alone and 5FU/LV compared with observation alone for patients who had resected stage II colon cancer. Methods We developed two Markov models to represent the adjuvant chemotherapy and follow-up periods and a single Markov model to represent the observation group. We used calibration to estimate the transition probabilities among different toxicity levels. The base-case considered 60-year-old patients who had undergone an uncomplicated hemicolectomy for stage II colon cancer and was medically fit to receive 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. We measured health outcomes in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and estimated costs using 2007 US$. Results In the base-case, adjuvant chemotherapy of FOLFOX regimen had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $54,359/QALY compared with the 5FU/LV regimen and the 5FU/LV regimen had an ICER of $14,584/QALY compared with the observation group from the third-party payer perspective. The ICER values were most sensitive to 5-year relapse probability, cost of adjuvant chemotherapy, and the discount rate for the FOLFOX arm, whereas the ICER value of 5FU/LV was most sensitive to the 5-year relapse probability, 5-year survival probability, and the relapse cost. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis indicate that the ICER of 5FU/LV is less than $50,000/QALY with a probability of 99.62% and the ICER of FOLFOX as compared to 5FU/LV is less than $50,000/QALY and $100,000/QALY with a probability of 44.48% and 97.24%, respectively. Conclusion While adjuvant chemotherapy with 5FU/LV is cost-effective at all ages for patients who had undergone an uncomplicated hemicolectomy for stage II colon cancer, FOLFOX is not likely to be cost-effective as compared to 5FU/LV. PMID:23313932

  7. Editorial Commentary: Platelet-Rich Plasma Improves Knee Pain and Function in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Lubowitz, James H

    2015-11-01

    Systematic review of overlapping meta-analyses shows that platelet-rich plasma improves knee pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Ultimately, biologics hold promise for chondroprotection in addition to symptomatic relief. PMID:26542203

  8. High-intensity functional training improves functional movement and body composition among cancer survivors: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, K M; Becker, C; Carlisle, T; Gilmore, K; Hauser, J; Frye, J; Harms, C A

    2015-11-01

    This pilot study investigated feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a high-intensity functional training (HIFT) group-exercise programme among adult cancer survivors within 5 years of last cancer treatment. Eight participants were assigned to a 5-week, 3 days/week HIFT intervention with four testing sessions and 12 workouts along with mobility and stretching exercises. Feasibility was assessed by initiation, adherence, and acceptability. Efficacy was determined by changes from baseline to post-test in health-related quality of life, body composition and functional movement. The recruitment rate was 80% and the adherence rate was 75%. Significant improvements were found for emotional functioning (P = 0.042) and body composition (lean mass +3.8 ± 2.1 kg, P = 0.008; fat mass -3.3 ± 1.0 kg, P = 0.001; body fat percentage -4.7 ± 1.2%, P < 0.001). Participants also significantly improved on five of seven functional movements: balance (P = 0.032), carrying a weighted object (P = 0.004), lower body strength and power (P = 0.009), aerobic capacity and endurance (P = 0.039), and perceived difficulty for flexibility (P = 0.012). Five weeks of HIFT training was well-received and feasible for most cancer survivors, and effective for improving emotional functioning, body composition and functional movement. PMID:26094701

  9. School Improvement: A Functional View of Enabling Equity of Opportunity. A Center Policy & Practice Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2011

    2011-01-01

    The ongoing dilemma for those expected to improve schools is how to meet our society's basic aims for public education in ways that level the playing field. The dilemma is exacerbated by the need to do more with less. This brief approaches these matters in the context of three direct functions that are essential to school improvement: (1)…

  10. Improved lower bound on the number of balanced symmetric functions over Fujian Normal University

    E-print Network

    International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR)

    subclass of Boolean functions whose output depend only on the weight of the input vector. These functions in [1] is improved. In the last section, an equivalent problem is described. 2 Preliminaries Let p(n)) by abuse of notation. Define an equivalent relation on GF(p)n : for any X, Y GF(p)n , write X Y

  11. NEW FUNCTIONAL FOOD INGREDIENTS FOR IMPROVING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASIAN FOODS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this study was to utilize new functional food ingredients containing soluble beta-glucan fiber that could be used to improve the health qualities of Asian foods. These functional food fibers were studied as replacements for coconut milk, butter, or saturated fat shortenings that are ...

  12. NEW FUNCTIONAL FOOD INGREDIENTS FOR IMPROVING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASIAN FOODS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this study was to utilize new functional food ingredients containing soluble betaglucan fiber that could be used to improve the heatlh qualities of Asian foods. These functional food fibers were studied as replacements for coconut milk, butter, or saturated fat shortenings that are w...

  13. An improved nearly-orthogonal structured mesh generation system with smoothness control functions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper presents an improved nearly-orthogonal structured mesh generation system with a set of smoothness control functions, which were derived based on the ratio between the Jacobian of the transformation matrix and the Jacobian of the metric tensor. The proposed smoothness control functions are...

  14. Effect of Intracoronary Delivery of Autolologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells Two to Three Weeks Following Acute Myocardial Infarction on Left-Ventricular Function: The LateTIME Randomized Trial

    PubMed Central

    Traverse, Jay H.; Henry, Timothy D.; Ellis, Stephen G.; Pepine, Carl J.; Willerson, James T.; Zhao, David X.M.; Forder, John R.; Byrne, Barry J.; Hatzopoulos, Antonis K.; Penn, Marc S.; Perin, Emerson C.; Baran, Kenneth W.; Chambers, Jeffrey; Lambert, Charles; Raveendran, Ganesh; Simon, Daniel I.; Vaughan, Douglas E.; Simpson, Lara M.; Gee, Adrian P.; Taylor, Doris A.; Cogle, Christopher R.; Thomas, James D.; Silva, Guilherme V.; Jorgenson, Beth C.; Olson, Rachel E.; Bowman, Sherry; Francescon, Judy; Geither, Carrie; Handberg, Eileen; Smith, Deirdre X.; Baraniuk, Sarah; Piller, Linda B.; Loghin, Catalin; Aguilar, David; Richman, Sara; Zierold, Claudia; Bettencourt, Judy; Sayre, Shelly L.; Vojvodic, Rachel W.; Skarlatos, Sonia I.; Gordon, David J.; Ebert, Ray F.; Kwak, Minjung; Moyé, Lemuel A.; Simari, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    Context Clinical trial results suggest that intracoronary delivery of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMCs) may improve left ventricular (LV) function when administered within the first week following myocardial infarction (MI). However, since a substantial number of patients may not present for early cell delivery, we investigated the efficacy of autologous BMC delivery 2–3 weeks post-MI. Objective To determine if intracoronary delivery of autologous BMCs improves global and regional LV function when delivered 2–3 weeks following first MI. Design, Setting, and Patients LateTIME is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - sponsored Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) of 87 patients with significant LV dysfunction (LVEF ? 45%) following successful primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Interventions Intracoronary infusion of 150 × 106 autologous BMCs (total nucleated cells) or placebo (2:1 BMC:placebo) was performed within 12 hours of bone marrow aspiration after local automated cell processing. Main Outcome Measures The primary endpoints were changes in global (LVEF) and regional (wall motion) LV function in the infarct and border zone from baseline to 6 months as measured by cardiac MRI at a core lab blinded to treatment assignment Secondary endpoints included changes in LV volumes and infarct size. Results 87 patients were randomized between July 2008 and February 2011: mean age = 57 ± 11 yrs, 83% male. Harvesting, processing, and intracoronary delivery of BMCs in this setting was feasible and safe. The change from baseline to six months in the BMC group, when compared to the placebo group, for LVEF (48.7 to 49.2% vs. 45.3 to 48.8%; Difference = ?3.0, 95% CI ?7.0 to 0.9), wall motion in the infarct zone (6.2 to 6.5 vs. 4.9 to 5.9 mm; Difference = ?0.7, 95% CI ?2.8 to 1.3), and wall motion in the border zone (16.0 to 16.6 mm vs. 16.1 to 19.3 mm; Difference = ?2.6; 95% CI ?6.0 to 0.8) were not statistically significant. There was no significant change in LV volumes and infarct volumes decreased by a similar amount in both groups at 6 months compared to baseline. Conclusions Among patients with MI and LV dysfunction following reperfusion with PCI, intracoronary infusion of autologous BMCs compared to intracoronary placebo infusion, 2–3 weeks after PCI did not improve global or regional function at 6 months. PMID:22084195

  15. Functionalized self-assembling peptide improves INS-1 ?-cell function and proliferation via the integrin/FAK/ERK/cyclin pathway

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jingping; Liu, Shuyun; Chen, Younan; Zhao, Xiaojun; Lu, Yanrong; Cheng, Jingqiu

    2015-01-01

    Islet transplantation is considered to be a curative treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, disruption of the extracellular matrix (ECM) leads to ?-cell destruction and graft dysfunction. In this study, we developed a functionalized self-assembling peptide, KLD-F, with ECM mimic motifs derived from fibronectin and collagen IV, and evaluated its effect on ?-cell function and proliferation. Atomic force microscopy and rheological results showed that KLD-F could self-assemble into a nanofibrous scaffold and change into a hydrogel in physiological saline condition. In a three-dimensional cell culture model, KLD-F improved ECM remodeling and cell-cell adhesion of INS-1 ?-cells by upregulation of E-cadherin, fibronectin, and collagen IV. KLD-F also enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and expression of ?-cell function genes, including Glut2, Ins1, MafA, and Pdx-1 in INS-1 cells. Moreover, KLD-F promoted proliferation of INS-1 ?-cells and upregulated Ki67 expression by mediating cell cycle progression. In addition, KLD-F improved ?-cell function and proliferation via an integrin/focal adhesion kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/cyclin D pathway. This study highlights the fact that the ?-cell-ECM interaction reestablished with this functionalized self-assembling peptide is a promising method to improve the therapeutic efficacy of islet transplantation. PMID:25999715

  16. Local administration of TLR ligands rescues the function of tumor-infiltrating CD8-T cells and enhances the antitumor effect of lentivector immunization

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Haiyan; Peng, Yibing; Hong, Yuan; Huang, Lei; Guo, Z Sheng; Bartlett, David L.; Fu, Ning; Munn, David H.; Mellor, Andrew; He, Yukai

    2013-01-01

    Cancer vaccines, so far, have shown limited effect to control the growth of established tumors due largely to effector failure of the antitumor immune responses. Tumor lesion is characterized as chronic indolent inflammation in which the effector function of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is severely impaired. In this study, we investigated whether the effector function of CD8 TILs could be rescued by converting the chronic inflammation milieu to acute inflammation within tumors. We found that injection of TLR3/9 ligands (PolyI:C/CpG) into a tumor during the effector phase of lentivector (lv) immunization effectively rescued the function of lv-activated CD8 TILs and decreased the percentage of Treg within the tumor, resulting in a marked improvement in the antitumor efficacy of lv immunization. Mechanistically, rescue of the effector function of CD8 TILs by TLR3/9 ligands is likely dependent on production, within a tumor, of type-1 IFN that can mature and activate tumor infiltrating dendritic cells (TIDCs). The effector function of CD8 TILs could not be rescued in mice lacking intact type-I IFN signaling. These findings have important implications for tumor immunotherapy, suggesting that type-I IFN mediated activation of TIDCs within a tumor will likely restore/enhance the effector function of CD8 TILs and thus improve the antitumor efficacy of current cancer vaccines. PMID:23610140

  17. A morphological control for ventricular pathology in man: a morphometric and morphologic assessment of LV myofibres in secundum ASD.

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, M. A.; Whitton, I. D.

    1990-01-01

    Ethical considerations preclude the biopsy of normal human myocardium. As a consequence, morphological investigations of diseased human heart muscle are hampered by a lack of suitable normal control tissue. The left ventricular (LV) myocardium of patients with isolated secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) is considered to be normal. This study was designed to investigate the possibility that the fine-structure of LV myofibres in hearts with ASD could be used as normal controls for myofibre pathomorphology. Wedge biopsies from the LV of four adults undergoing elective surgery for the repair of ASD were examined by light and electron microscopy. Bivariant myofibre morphometry showed that the LV myocardium of one specimen was 'normal' while three specimens exhibited varying degrees of hypertrophy. There was a correlation between the diameter (FD) and morphology of individual myofibres within and between specimens. In general, myofibres with FD less than 25 microns were similar in fine-structural appearance to those described as morphologically normal in animal models whereas those with FD greater than 25 microns exhibited hypertrophic features that increased in 'severity' with increase in myofibre size. It is proposed that although the LV myocardium in ASD may be mildly hypertrophied, myofibres with FD less than 25 microns are probably normal and may be used as fine-structural controls for myofibre pathomorphology in hearts suspected of disease. Images Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 PMID:2278821

  18. Influence of a quality improvement learning collaborative program on team functioning in primary healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kotecha, Jyoti; Brown, Judith Belle; Han, Han; Harris, Stewart B; Green, Michael; Russell, Grant; Roberts, Sharon; Webster-Bogaert, Susan; Fournie, Meghan; Thind, Amardeep; Reichert, Sonja M; Birtwhistle, Richard

    2015-09-01

    Quality improvement (QI) programs are frequently implemented to support primary healthcare (PHC) team development and to improve care outcomes. In Ontario, Canada, the Quality Improvement and Innovation Partnership (QIIP) offered a learning collaborative (LC) program to support the development of interdisciplinary team function and improve chronic disease management, disease prevention, and access to care. A qualitative study using a phenomenological approach was conducted as part of a mixed-method evaluation to explore the influence of the program on team functioning in participating PHC teams. A purposive sampling strategy was used to identify PHC teams (n = 10), from which participants of different professional roles were selected through a purposeful recruitment process to reflect maximum variation of team roles. Additionally, QI coaches working with the interview participants and the LC administrators were also interviewed. Data were collected through semistructured telephone interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was conducted through an iterative and interpretive approach. The shared experience of participating in the program appeared to improve team functioning. Participants described increased trust and respect for each other's clinical and administrative roles and were inspired by learning about different approaches to interdisciplinary care. This appeared to enhance collegial relationships, collapse professional silos, improve communication, and increase interdisciplinary collaboration. Teamwork involves more than just physically grouping healthcare providers from multiple disciplines and mandating them to work together. The LC program provided opportunities for participants to learn how to work collaboratively, and participation in the LC program appeared to enhance team functioning. PMID:25799255

  19. Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, Jacob; Reschke, Millard; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Wood, Scott; Serrador, Jorge; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian T.; Cohen, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/ sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain s ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable providing imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles.

  20. Improved Linear Trial Function Finite Element Model of Soil Moisture Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hromadka, T. V., II; Guymon, G. L.

    1981-06-01

    Two methods of modeling a higher-order approximation function of soil moisture transport by an improved linear trial function approximation are presented. The first approach considered is based upon use of the alternation theorem and a finite element capacitance matrix that incorporates the Galerkin finite element, subdomain, finite difference, and proposed nodal domain integration methods. The second approach extends the first approach by developing a temporal relationship for element matrices such that a higher-order approximation function can be modeled by a linear approximation function. Comparison of model results produced from a nodal domain integration model incorporating these improved linear trial function approximations to the finite element, subdomain, and finite difference methods indicates that this approach may lead to a generalized modeling method for soil moisture transport problems.

  1. Direct injection of kit ligand-2 lentivirus improves cardiac repair and rescues mice post-myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Higuchi, Koji; Ayach, Bilal; Sato, Takeya; Chen, Manyin; Devine, Sean P; Rasaiah, Vanessa I; Dawood, Fayez; Yanagisawa, Teruyuki; Tei, Chuwa; Takenaka, Toshihiro; Liu, Peter P; Medin, Jeffrey A

    2009-02-01

    Myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent adverse remodeling cause heart failure. Previously we demonstrated a role for Kit ligand (KL) in improving cardiac function post-MI. KL has two major isoforms; KL-1 is secreted whereas KL-2 is predominantly membrane bound. We demonstrate here first that KL-2-deficient mice have worse survival and an increased heart/bodyweight ratio post-MI compared to mice with reduced c-Kit receptor expression. Next we synthesized recombinant lentiviral vectors (LVs) that engineered functional expression of murine KL-1 and KL-2. For in vivo analyses, we directly injected these LVs into the left ventricle of membrane-bound KL-deficient Sl/Sl(d) or wild-type (WT) mice undergoing MI. Control LV/enGFP injection led to measurable reporter gene expression in hearts. Injection of LV/KL-2 attenuated adverse left ventricular remodeling and dramatically improved survival post-MI in both Sl/Sl(d) and WT mice (from 12 to 71% and 35 to 73%, respectively, versus controls). With regard toward beginning to understand the possible salutary mechanisms involved in this effect, differential staining patterns of Sca-1 and Ly49 on peripheral blood (PB) cells from therapeutically treated animals was found. Our data show that LV/KL-2 gene therapy is a promising treatment for MI. PMID:19002160

  2. Surfactant treatment before reperfusion improves the immediate function of lung transplants in rats.

    PubMed

    Erasmus, M E; Petersen, A H; Hofstede, G; Haagsman, H P; Bambang Oetomo, S; Prop, J

    1996-02-01

    An impaired function of alveolar surfactant can cause lung transplant dysfunction early after reperfusion. In this study it was investigated whether treatment with surfactant before reperfusion improves the immediate function of lung transplants and whether an improved transplant function was associated with an increase in alveolar surfactant components. Left lungs with 6-h (n = 8) or prolonged 20-h ischemia (n = 10) were transplanted syngeneically in rats. In both ischemia groups half of the lung transplants were treated with surfactant just before reperfusion. Lung function was measured during reperfusion for 1 h. Thereafter, the rats were killed and bronchoalveolar lavage was performed to measure alveolar surfactant components. We found that surfactant treatment improved the immediate function of lung transplants in parallel with a higher amount of total surfactant phospholipids, a higher percentage of the heavy subtype of surfactant, a normalized percentage of phosphatidylcholine, and a higher amount of endogenous surfactant protein A (SP-A). We conclude that surfactant treatment before reperfusion does improve the immediate lung transplant function in rats in association with an increase in alveolar surfactant components. More particularly, the amount of (endogenous) SP-A is thought to be crucial for the efficacy of surfactant treatment after lung transplantation. PMID:8564115

  3. The non-specificity of the left/right ventricular amplitude ratio (LV/RV) for mitral insufficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Preston, D.F.; Reinsel, M.S.; Martin, N.L.; Robinson, R.G.

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the specificity of the LV/RV for mitral insufficiency. One hundred and sixty patients underwent MUGA studies as part of their diagnostic evaluation. Phase analysis was performed. In the amplitude image, the LV/RV was measured. Patients were divided into 11 clinical groups based on chart review after adequate follow-up. The groups were compared by Duncan's Multiple Comparsion Test. Patients with mitral insufficiency (N = 12, mean LV/RV = 2.36), those with idiopathic myocardiopathy (8, 2.29) and those with normal hearts having lung disease on chest x-ray (22, 1.78) formed a group which at the p < .05 level were not different from one another. Patients with idiopathic myocardiography, normal hearts with lung disease on chest x-ray, normal hearts with lung disease (23, 1.71) formed a second group which partially overlapped with both the first and third groups. The third group consisted of normal hearts with lung disease, normal hearts not taking adriamycin (18, 1.53), normal hearts taking adriamycin (22, 1.50), congestive heart failure (19, 1.50), arteriosclerotic heart disease, normal hearts (15, 1.29), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute myocardial infarction. The LV/RV is not specific for mitral insufficiency. Idiopathic myocardiography, and normal hearts with lung disease on chest x-ray (metastases, cancer of the lung, infiltrates, fibrosis, and/or COPD) cannot be differentiated on a statistical basis. The mitral insufficiency group had the greatest values of LV/RV. It appears that decreased RV amplitude seen with diseases causing strain on the right ventricle will result in elevated LV/RV ratios.

  4. Direct evidence of lymphatic function improvement after advanced pneumatic compression device treatment of lymphedema

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Kristen E.; Rasmussen, John C.; Darne, Chinmay; Tan, I-Chih; Aldrich, Melissa B.; Marshall, Milton V.; Fife, Caroline E.; Maus, Erik A.; Smith, Latisha A.; Guilloid, Renie; Hoy, Sunday; Sevick-Muraca, Eva M.

    2010-01-01

    Lymphedema affects up to 50% of all breast cancer survivors. Management with pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) is controversial, owing to the lack of methods to directly assess benefit. This pilot study employed an investigational, near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging technique to evaluate lymphatic response to PCD therapy in normal control and breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) subjects. Lymphatic propulsion rate, apparent lymph velocity, and lymphatic vessel recruitment were measured before, during, and after advanced PCD therapy. Lymphatic function improved in all control subjects and all asymptomatic arms of BCRL subjects. Lymphatic function improved in 4 of 6 BCRL affected arms, improvement defined as proximal movement of dye after therapy. NIR fluorescence lymphatic imaging may be useful to directly evaluate lymphatic response to therapy. These results suggest that PCDs can stimulate lymphatic function and may be an effective method to manage BCRL, warranting future clinical trials. PMID:21258451

  5. Impact of psychosocial factors on functional improvement in Latino older adults after Tai Chi exercise.

    PubMed

    Siu, Ka-Chun; Rajaram, Shireen S; Padilla, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence underscores the health benefits of Tai Chi (TC), although there is limited evidence of benefits among racial and ethnic minorities. This study investigated the impact of psychosocial status on balance among 23 Latino seniors after a twice-a-week, 12-week TC exercise program. Functional status was measured at baseline, immediately after, and three months following the TC exercise program, using the Timed Up and Go Test and Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale. Psychosocial status was measured at baseline by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire. Both measures of functional status improved and were sustained after three months of TC. Greater improvement was significantly related to a higher level of baseline social support. More depressed seniors reported less fear of falling after TC. Depression and social support are important moderators of functional improvement after TC among Latino seniors. PMID:24451550

  6. SIRT1 Overexpression Maintains Cell Phenotype and Function of Endothelial Cells Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Bin; Jen, Michele; Perrin, Louisiane; Wertheim, Jason A; Ameer, Guillermo A

    2015-12-01

    Endothelial cells (ECs) that are differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be used in establishing disease models for personalized drug discovery or developing patient-specific vascularized tissues or organoids. However, a number of technical challenges are often associated with iPSC-ECs in culture, including instability of the endothelial phenotype and limited cell proliferative capacity over time. Early senescence is believed to be the primary mechanism underlying these limitations. Sirtuin1 (SIRT1) is an NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase involved in the regulation of cell senescence, redox state, and inflammatory status. We hypothesize that overexpression of the SIRT1 gene in iPSC-ECs will maintain EC phenotype, function, and proliferative capacity by overcoming early cell senescence. SIRT1 gene was packaged into a lentiviral vector (LV-SIRT1) and transduced into iPSC-ECs at passage 4. Beginning with passage 5, iPSC-ECs exhibited a fibroblast-like morphology, whereas iPSC-ECs overexpressing SIRT1 maintained EC cobblestone morphology. SIRT1 overexpressing iPSC-ECs also exhibited a higher percentage of canonical markers of endothelia (LV-SIRT1 61.8% CD31(+) vs. LV-empty 31.7% CD31(+), P?LV-SIRT1 46.3% CD144(+) vs. LV-empty 20.5% CD144(+), P?LV-SIRT1 vs. 38.6% for LV-empty, P?improves EC function, and extends cell lifespan, overcoming critical hurdles associated with the use of iPSC-ECs in translational research. PMID:26413932

  7. The effectiveness of proprioceptive training for improving motor function: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Aman, Joshua E.; Elangovan, Naveen; Yeh, I-Ling; Konczak, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Numerous reports advocate that training of the proprioceptive sense is a viable behavioral therapy for improving impaired motor function. However, there is little agreement of what constitutes proprioceptive training and how effective it is. We therefore conducted a comprehensive, systematic review of the available literature in order to provide clarity to the notion of training the proprioceptive system. Methods: Four major scientific databases were searched. The following criteria were subsequently applied: (1) A quantified pre- and post-treatment measure of proprioceptive function. (2) An intervention or training program believed to influence or enhance proprioceptive function. (3) Contained at least one form of treatment or outcome measure that is indicative of somatosensory function. From a total of 1284 articles, 51 studies fulfilled all criteria and were selected for further review. Results: Overall, proprioceptive training resulted in an average improvement of 52% across all outcome measures. Applying muscle vibration above 30 Hz for longer durations (i.e., min vs. s) induced outcome improvements of up to 60%. Joint position and target reaching training consistently enhanced joint position sense (up to 109%) showing an average improvement of 48%. Cortical stroke was the most studied disease entity but no clear evidence indicated that proprioceptive training is differentially beneficial across the reported diseases. Conclusions: There is converging evidence that proprioceptive training can yield meaningful improvements in somatosensory and sensorimotor function. However, there is a clear need for further work. Those forms of training utilizing both passive and active movements with and without visual feedback tended to be most beneficial. There is also initial evidence suggesting that proprioceptive training induces cortical reorganization, reinforcing the notion that proprioceptive training is a viable method for improving sensorimotor function. PMID:25674059

  8. ATP synthase subunit alpha and LV mass in ischaemic human hearts

    PubMed Central

    Roselló-Lletí, Esther; Tarazón, Estefanía; Barderas, María G; Ortega, Ana; Molina-Navarro, Maria Micaela; Martínez, Alba; Lago, Francisca; Martínez-Dolz, Luis; González-Juanatey, Jose Ramón; Salvador, Antonio; Portolés, Manuel; Rivera, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in the development of ischaemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). In this study, the mitochondrial proteome in the cardiac tissue of ICM patients was analysed by quantitative differential electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry (MS) for the first time to provide new insights into cardiac dysfunction in this cardiomyopathy. We isolated mitochondria from LV samples of explanted hearts of ICM patients (n = 8) and control donors (n = 8) and used a proteomic approach to investigate the variations in mitochondrial protein expression. We found that most of the altered proteins were involved in cardiac energy metabolism (82%). We focused on ATPA, which is involved in energy production, and dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, implicated in substrate utilization, and observed that these molecules were overexpressed and that the changes detected in the processes mediated by these proteins were closely related. Notably, we found that ATPA overexpression was associated with reduction in LV mass (r = ?0.74, P < 0.01). We also found a substantial increase in the expression of elongation factor Tu, a molecule implicated in protein synthesis, and PRDX3, involved in the stress response. All of these changes were validated using classical techniques and by using novel and precise selected reaction monitoring analysis and an RNA sequencing approach, with the total heart samples being increased to 24. This study provides key insights that enhance our understanding of the cellular mechanisms related to the pathophysiology of ICM and could lead to the development of aetiology-specific heart failure therapies. ATPA could serve as a molecular target suitable for new therapeutic interventions. PMID:25382018

  9. Systemic and coronary hemodynamic actions and left ventricular functional effects of levosimendan in conscious dogs.

    PubMed

    Harkin, C P; Pagel, P S; Tessmer, J P; Warltier, D C

    1995-08-01

    We examined the effects of levosimendan, a new myofilament Ca2+ sensitizer with phosphodiesterase (PDE)-inhibiting properties, on systemic and coronary hemodynamics and left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function in conscious dogs with intact and blocked autonomic nervous system (ANS) reflexes. Twenty experiments were conducted in 10 dogs chronically instrumented for measurement of aortic and LV pressure, the peak rate of increase and decrease in LV pressure (+dP/dtmax and -dP/dtmin), subendocardial segment length, diastolic coronary blood flow (CBF) velocity, and cardiac output (CO). The slope (Mw) of the regional preload recruitable stroke work relation was used to assess myocardial contractility. Diastolic function was evaluated by -dP/dtmin, a time constant of isovolumic relaxation (tau), maximum segment lengthening velocity during rapid ventricular filling (dL/dtmax), and a regional chamber stiffness constant (Kp). Dogs were randomly assigned to receive levosimendan (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 micrograms.kg-1.min-1) with or without ANS blockade. On separate experimental days, systemic and coronary hemodynamics and LV pressure-segment length diagrams and waveforms were recorded after 10-min equilibration at each dose in the conscious ANS-intact or ANS-blocked state. Levosimendan increased heart rate (HR), CO, mean and diastolic CBF velocity, and pressure-work index (PWI, an estimate of myocardial oxygen consumption) and decreased LV end-diastolic pressure (EDP), systemic vascular resistance (SVR), end-systolic and end-diastolic segment length, and mean and diastolic coronary vascular resistance (CVR) in dogs with intact ANS function. Levosimendan-induced increases in HR and PWI and decreases in SVR were attenuated by ANS blockade. Levosimendan caused equivalent dose-dependent increases in Mw in ANS-intact and ANS-blocked dogs, consistent with a positive inotropic effect independent of ANS activity. Levosimendan decreased tau (e.g., 35 +/- 1 ms during control to 29 +/- 1 ms at the high dose) and increased the magnitude of LV -dP/dtmin in dogs with intact but not blocked ANS reflexes, suggesting that relaxation was enhanced by favorable changes in systemic hemodynamics or ANS activation and direct effects of this drug on lusitropic state. Levosimendan also increased dL/dtmax to a greater degree in ANS-intact dogs, indicating that improvement of rapid ventricular filling was also partially dependent on ANS tone. No changes in Kp were observed in either experimental group. The results indicate that levosimendan decreases preload and afterload and has positive inotropic and lusitropic properties. The actions of levosimendan on diastolic function are largely mediated by the ANS. PMID:7475041

  10. Improved Particle Swarm Optimization for Global Optimization of Unimodal and Multimodal Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Mousumi

    2015-07-01

    Particle swarm optimization (PSO) performs well for small dimensional and less complicated problems but fails to locate global minima for complex multi-minima functions. This paper proposes an improved particle swarm optimization (IPSO) which introduces Gaussian random variables in velocity term. This improves search efficiency and guarantees a high probability of obtaining the global optimum without significantly impairing the speed of convergence and the simplicity of the structure of particle swarm optimization. The algorithm is experimentally validated on 17 benchmark functions and the results demonstrate good performance of the IPSO in solving unimodal and multimodal problems. Its high performance is verified by comparing with two popular PSO variants.

  11. A decentralized mechanism for improving the functional robustness of distribution networks.

    PubMed

    Shi, Benyun; Liu, Jiming

    2012-10-01

    Most real-world distribution systems can be modeled as distribution networks, where a commodity can flow from source nodes to sink nodes through junction nodes. One of the fundamental characteristics of distribution networks is the functional robustness, which reflects the ability of maintaining its function in the face of internal or external disruptions. In view of the fact that most distribution networks do not have any centralized control mechanisms, we consider the problem of how to improve the functional robustness in a decentralized way. To achieve this goal, we study two important problems: 1) how to formally measure the functional robustness, and 2) how to improve the functional robustness of a network based on the local interaction of its nodes. First, we derive a utility function in terms of network entropy to characterize the functional robustness of a distribution network. Second, we propose a decentralized network pricing mechanism, where each node need only communicate with its distribution neighbors by sending a "price" signal to its upstream neighbors and receiving "price" signals from its downstream neighbors. By doing so, each node can determine its outflows by maximizing its own payoff function. Our mathematical analysis shows that the decentralized pricing mechanism can produce results equivalent to those of an ideal centralized maximization with complete information. Finally, to demonstrate the properties of our mechanism, we carry out a case study on the U.S. natural gas distribution network. The results validate the convergence and effectiveness of our mechanism when comparing it with an existing algorithm. PMID:22547458

  12. Thermal and rheological properties improvement of drilling fluids using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazelabdolabadi, Babak; Khodadadi, Abbas Ali; Sedaghatzadeh, Mostafa

    2015-08-01

    The application of functionalized/unfunctionalized (multi-walled) carbon nanotubes (CNT) was investigated in the context of formulating nano-based drilling fluids from water/oil-based fluid templates. CNT functionalization was attempted by applying hydrophilic functional groups onto the surface of the nanotubes via acid treatment. Experimental data were collected for thermal conductivity, viscosity/yield point, and filtrate amount in all samples. The time evolution of thermal conductivity was studied, as well as the effects of temperature and CNTs volume fraction on the parameter. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to monitor CNTs dispersion quality. The thermal conductivity results unveil considerable enhancements, by as much as 23.2 % (1 % vol. functionalized CNT) in CNT-water-based case at ambient temperature, with extended improvement of 31.8 % at an elevated temperature of 50 °C. Corresponding results for the CNT-oil-based case exhibit an improvement in thermal conductivity by 40.3 % (unfunctionalized) and 43.1 % (functionalized) and 1 % volume fraction of CNT. The rheological results follow an analogous improvement trend. For the CNT-oil-based case, the filtration tests conducted at 138 °C and 500 (psi) show a 16.67 % reduction in filtrate amount (1 % vol. CNT). The time evolution of thermal conductivity was found to nearly equalize (at an amount of 9.7 %) after 100 h of sample preparation in both functionalized and unfunctionalized CNT-oil-based cases.

  13. Postnatal Estradiol Up-regulates Lung Nitric Oxide Synthases and Improves Lung Function in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

    PubMed Central

    McCurnin, Donald C.; Pierce, Richard A.; Willis, Brigham C.; Chang, Ling Yi; Yoder, Bradley A.; Yuhanna, Ivan S.; Ballard, Philip L.; Clyman, Ronald I.; Waleh, Nahid; Maniscalco, William; Crapo, James D.; Grubb, Peter H.; Shaul, Philip W.

    2009-01-01

    Rationale: Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in lung development and perinatal lung function, and pulmonary NO synthases (NOS) are decreased in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) following preterm birth. Fetal estradiol levels increase during late gestation and estradiol up-regulates NOS, suggesting that after preterm birth estradiol deprivation causes attenuated lung NOS resulting in impaired pulmonary function. Objective: To test the effects of postnatal estradiol administration in a primate model of BPD over 14 days after delivery at 125 days of gestation (term = 185 d). Methods: Cardiopulmonary function was assessed by echocardiography and whole body plethysmography. Lung morphometric and histopathologic analyses were performed, and NOS enzymatic activity and abundance were measured. Measurements and Main Results: Estradiol caused an increase in blood pressure and ductus arteriosus closure. Expiratory resistance and lung compliance were also improved, and this occurred before spontaneous ductal closure. Furthermore, both oxygenation and ventilation indices were improved with estradiol, and the changes in lung function and ventilatory support requirements persisted throughout the study period. Whereas estradiol had negligible effect on indicators of lung inflammation and on lung structure assessed after the initial 14 days of ventilatory support, it caused an increase in lung neuronal and endothelial NOS enzymatic activity. Conclusions: In a primate model of BPD, postnatal estradiol treatment had favorable cardiovascular impact, enhanced pulmonary function, and lowered requirements for ventilatory support in association with an up-regulation of lung NOS. Estradiol may be an efficacious postnatal therapy to improve lung function and outcome in preterm infants. PMID:19151197

  14. Bilateral Improvements in Lower Extremity Function After Unilateral Balance Training in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability

    PubMed Central

    Hale, Sheri A.; Fergus, Andrea; Axmacher, Rachel; Kiser, Kimberly

    2014-01-01

    Context: Bilateral improvements in postural control have been reported among individuals with acute lateral ankle sprains and individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI) when only the unstable ankle is rehabilitated. We do not know if training the stable ankle will improve function on the unstable side. Objective: To explore the effects of a unilateral balance-training program on bilateral lower extremity balance and function in individuals with CAI when only the stable limb is trained. Design: Cohort study. Setting: University clinical research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 34 volunteers (8 men, 26 women; age = 24.32 ± 4.95 years, height = 167.01 ± 9.45 cm, mass = 77.54 ± 23.76 kg) with CAI were assigned to the rehabilitation (n = 17) or control (n = 17) group. Of those, 27 (13 rehabilitation group, 14 control group) completed the study. Intervention(s): Balance training twice weekly for 4 weeks. Main Outcome Measure(s): Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI), FADI Sport (FADI-S), Star Excursion Balance Test, and Balance Error Scoring System. Results: The rehabilitation and control groups differed in changes in FADI-S and Star Excursion Balance Test scores over time. Only the rehabilitation group improved in the FADI-S and in the posteromedial and anterior reaches of the Star Excursion Balance Test. Both groups demonstrated improvements in posterolateral reach; however, the rehabilitation group demonstrated greater improvement than the control group. When the groups were combined, participants reported improvements in FADI and FADI-S scores for the unstable ankle but not the stable ankle. Conclusions: Our data suggest training the stable ankle may result in improvements in balance and lower extremity function in the unstable ankle. This further supports the existence of a centrally mediated mechanism in the development of postural-control deficits after injury, as well as improved postural control after rehabilitation. PMID:24568231

  15. Stretch-induced increase in cardiac contractility is independent of myocyte Ca2+ while block of stretch channels by streptomycin improves contractility after ischemic stunning

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, Samhita S; Camara, Amadou K S; Aldakkak, Mohammed; Heisner, James S; Stowe, David F

    2015-01-01

    Stretching the cardiac left ventricle (LV) enhances contractility but its effect on myoplasmic [Ca2+] is controversial. We measured LV pressure (LVP) and [Ca2+] as a function of intra-LV stretch in guinea pig intact hearts before and after 15 min global stunning ± perfusion with streptomycin (STM), a stretch-activated channel blocker. LV wall [Ca2+] was measured by indo-1 fluorescence and LVP by a saline-filled latex balloon inflated in 50 ?L steps to stretch the LV. We implemented a mathematical model to interpret cross-bridge dynamics and myofilament Ca2+ responsiveness from the instantaneous relationship between [Ca2+] and LVP ± stretching. We found that: (1) stretch enhanced LVP but not [Ca2+] before and after stunning in either control (CON) and STM groups, (2) after stunning [Ca2+] increased in both groups although higher in STM versus CON (56% vs. 39%), (3) STM-enhanced LVP after stunning compared to CON (98% vs. 76% of prestunning values), and (4) stretch-induced effects on LVP were independent of [Ca2+] before or after stunning in both groups. Mathematical modeling suggested: (1) cooperativity in cross-bridge kinetics and myofilament Ca2+ handling is reduced after stunning in the unstretched heart, (2) stunning results in depressed myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity in the presence of attached cross-bridges regardless of stretch, and (3) the initial mechanism responsible for increased contractility during stretch may be enhanced formation of cross-bridges. Thus stretch-induced enhancement of contractility is not due to increased [Ca2+], whereas enhanced contractility after stunning in STM versus CON hearts results from improved Ca2+ handling and/or enhanced actinomyosin cross-bridge cycling. PMID:26290532

  16. Reversing vascular dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis: PPAR-? agonist therapy improves augmentation index but not endothelial function

    PubMed Central

    Ormseth, Michelle J; Oeser, Annette M; Cunningham, Andrew; Bian, Aihua; Shintani, Ayumi; Solus, Joseph; Tanner, S Bobo; Stein, C Michael

    2014-01-01

    Objective To examine the hypothesis that improving insulin sensitivity would improve vascular function in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods We performed a 20-week, single center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Patients with RA (n=34) and moderate disease activity on stable disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy were randomized to drug sequence, receiving either pioglitazone 45mg daily or matching placebo for 8 weeks, followed by a 4-week washout period and the alternative treatment for 8 weeks. We measured change in vascular stiffness (augmentation index and aortic pulse wave velocity), endothelial function (reactive hyperemia index), and blood pressure. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA) were also measured. The treatment effect of pioglitazone on outcomes was analyzed using linear mixed effect models. Results Pioglitazone reduced augmentation index by ?4.7% units (95% CI, ?7.9, ?1.5% units) P=0.004 and diastolic blood pressure by ?3.0 mmHg (?5.7, ?0.2 mmHg) P=0.03, but did not change aortic pulse wave velocity (P=0.33), or reactive hyperemia index (P=0.46) significantly. The improvements in augmentation index and diastolic blood pressure were not mediated by pioglitazone's effect on insulin resistance or inflammation. Conclusion Pioglitazone improved some indices of vascular function, including augmentation index and diastolic blood pressure, in patients with RA; this was not mediated by improved insulin sensitivity. PMID:24782291

  17. Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation Nathaniel J. Blanco1

    E-print Network

    Maddox, W. Todd

    , low-level light therapy, transcranial infrared laser stimulation, Wisconsin Card Sorting Task-fluence monochromatic or quasimonochromatic light from lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the red to near-infraredImproving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation Nathaniel J. Blanco1

  18. Improvement in Rod and Cone Function in Mouse Model of Fundus albipunctatus after Pharmacologic

    E-print Network

    Palczewski, Krzysztof

    analyzed with normal-phase HPLC and ERG techniques. Pro- duction of 11-cis-retinal, the visual pigment. Aberrant cone responses were detected in 12-month- old Rdh5­/­ Rdh11­/­ mice raised in a 12-hour light/12 caused by inefficient cone pigment re- generation. Rod and cone visual function improved signifi- cantly

  19. Improving the Safety of Homeless Young People with Mobile Phones: Values, Form and Function

    E-print Network

    Anderson, Richard

    Improving the Safety of Homeless Young People with Mobile Phones: Values, Form and Function Jill this proposition, 43 participants, from four stakeholder groups (homeless young people, service providers, police officers, and community members), were asked to consider how homeless young people could use mobile phones

  20. proteinsSTRUCTURE O FUNCTION O BIOINFORMATICS Improving NMR protein structure quality

    E-print Network

    Baker, David

    ,3 and Michael A. Kennedy1 * 1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Northeast Structural Genomics version of this article. *Correspondence to: Michael A. Kennedy, Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryproteinsSTRUCTURE O FUNCTION O BIOINFORMATICS Improving NMR protein structure quality by Rosetta

  1. Regularization of Legendre Function Series for Charged Particles Improved Nearside-Farside Subamplitudes

    E-print Network

    R. Anni

    2002-08-20

    A simple regularization procedure is proposed for the Legendre function series of improved nearside-farside subamplitudes for charged particles elastic scattering. The procedure is the extension of the usual one which defines the partial wave series for the scattering amplitude in the presence of a long range Coulomb term in the potential, and it provides the same convergence rate.

  2. Bovine colostrum improves intestinal function following formula-induced gut inflammation in preterm pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only few hours of formula feeding may induce proinflammatory responses and predispose to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm pigs. We hypothesized that bovine colostrum, rich in bioactive factors, would improve intestinal function in preterm pigs following an initial exposure to formula feedi...

  3. proteinsSTRUCTURE O FUNCTION O BIOINFORMATICS Improving taxonomy-based protein fold

    E-print Network

    Chen, Xin

    proteinsSTRUCTURE O FUNCTION O BIOINFORMATICS Improving taxonomy-based protein fold recognition methods can be broadly classified into two categories, that is, template-based1­6 and taxonomy- based.7­13 In recent years, the taxonomy-based method has attracted great attention due to its encouraging performance

  4. Playing piano can improve upper extremity function after stroke: case studies.

    PubMed

    Villeneuve, Myriam; Lamontagne, Anouk

    2013-01-01

    Music-supported therapy (MST) is an innovative approach that was shown to improve manual dexterity in acute stroke survivors. The feasibility of such intervention in chronic stroke survivors and its longer-term benefits, however, remain unknown. The objective of this pilot study was to estimate the short- and long-term effects of a 3-week piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. A multiple pre-post sequential design was used, with measurements taken at baseline (week0, week3), prior to (week6) and after the intervention (week9), and at 3-week follow-up (week12). Three persons with stroke participated in the 3-week piano training program that combined structured piano lessons to home practice program. The songs, played on an electronic keyboard, involved all 5 digits of the affected hand and were displayed using a user-friendly MIDI program. After intervention, all the three participants showed improvements in their fine (nine hole peg test) and gross (box and block test) manual dexterity, as well as in the functional use of the upper extremity (Jebsen hand function test). Improvements were maintained at follow-up. These preliminary results support the feasibility of using an MST approach that combines structured lessons to home practice to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke. PMID:23533954

  5. EXERCISE IMPROVES SEXUAL FUNCTION IN WOMEN TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS: RESULTS FROM A RANDOMIZED CROSSOVER TRIAL

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Tierney Ahrold; Meston, Cindy May

    2014-01-01

    Background In laboratory studies, exercise immediately before sexual stimuli improved sexual arousal of women taking antidepressants [1]. We evaluated if exercise improves sexual desire, orgasm, and global sexual functioning in women experiencing antidepressant-induced sexual side effects. Methods Fifty-two women who were reporting antidepressant sexual side effects were followed for 3 weeks of sexual activity only. They were randomized to complete either three weeks of exercise immediately before sexual activity (3×/week) or 3 weeks of exercise separate from sexual activity (3×/week). At the end of the first exercise arm, participants crossed to the other. We measured sexual functioning, sexual satisfaction, depression, and physical health. Results Exercise immediately prior to sexual activity significantly improved sexual desire and, for women with sexual dysfunction at baseline, global sexual function. Scheduling regular sexual activity significantly improved orgasm function; exercise did not increase this benefit. Neither regular sexual activity nor exercise significantly changed sexual satisfaction. Conclusions Scheduling regular sexual activity and exercise may be an effective tool for the behavioral management of sexual side effects of antidepressants. PMID:24754044

  6. Structural damages disturb functional improvement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with etanercept.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Yoshiya; Yamanaka, Hisashi; Saito, Kazuyoshi; Iwata, Shigeru; Miyagawa, Ippei; Seto, Yohei; Momohara, Shigeki; Nagasawa, Hayato; Kameda, Hideto; Kaneko, Yuko; Izumi, Keisuke; Amano, Koichi; Takeuchi, Tsutomu

    2012-04-01

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors have produced improvements in clinical, radiographic, and functional outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. However, it remains unclear whether factors affecting physical functions remain following TNF therapy. The objective of our study was to assess factors affecting improvement of physical functions and to shed light on relations to disease activity and structural changes in patients with RA treated with etanercept. The study enrolled 208 patients, all of whose composite measures regarding clinical, radiographic, and functional estimation both at 0 and 52 weeks after etanercept therapy were completed. Mean disease duration of 208 patients was 9.6 years, mean Disease Activity Score for 28 joints (DAS28) was 5.4, and mean van der Heijde modified total Sharp score (mTSS) was 94.6. Mean Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) improved from 1.4 at 0 weeks to 1.0 at 52 weeks after etanercept therapy, a 31% reduction, which was much less than changes in DAS28 and mTSS. By multivariate analysis, HAQ-DI and mTSS at baseline were significantly correlated HAQ remission. Median HAQ-DI improved in 100 versus 20% of the HAQ-DI ? 0.6 versus ? 2.0 groups, respectively. The mTSS cutoff point at baseline to obtain HAQ remission was 55.5. During etanercept treatment in the mTSS <55.5 versus >55.5 groups, median HAQ-DI improved in 70 versus 39%; remission was achieved in 59 versus 33%; and there was no improvement in 14 versus 30%, respectively. HAQ-DI improvement was significantly correlated with that of DAS28 but not of mTSS. In conclusion, higher HAQ and mTSS at baseline inhibits HAQ-DI improvement within 1 year of etanercept treatment, and the cutoff point necessary for mTSS to improve physical functions in patients with RA was 55.5. PMID:21901357

  7. Increasing Muscle Mass Improves Vascular Function in Obese (db/db) Mice

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Shuiqing; Mintz, James D.; Salet, Christina D.; Han, Weihong; Giannis, Athanassios; Chen, Feng; Yu, Yanfang; Su, Yunchao; Fulton, David J.; Stepp, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Background A sedentary lifestyle is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and exercise has been shown to ameliorate this risk. Inactivity is associated with a loss of muscle mass, which is also reversed with isometric exercise training. The relationship between muscle mass and vascular function is poorly defined. The aims of the current study were to determine whether increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of myostatin, a negative regulator of muscle growth, can influence vascular function in mesenteric arteries from obese db/db mice. Methods and Results Myostatin expression was elevated in skeletal muscle of obese mice and associated with reduced muscle mass (30% to 50%). Myostatin deletion increased muscle mass in lean (40% to 60%) and obese (80% to 115%) mice through increased muscle fiber size (P<0.05). Myostatin deletion decreased adipose tissue in lean mice, but not obese mice. Markers of insulin resistance and glucose tolerance were improved in obese myostatin knockout mice. Obese mice demonstrated an impaired endothelial vasodilation, compared to lean mice. This impairment was improved by superoxide dismutase mimic Tempol. Deletion of myostatin improved endothelial vasodilation in mesenteric arteries in obese, but not in lean, mice. This improvement was blunted by nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor l?NG?nitroarginine methyl ester (l?NAME). Prostacyclin (PGI2)? and endothelium?derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)?mediated vasodilation were preserved in obese mice and unaffected by myostatin deletion. Reactive oxygen species) was elevated in the mesenteric endothelium of obese mice and down?regulated by deletion of myostatin in obese mice. Impaired vasodilation in obese mice was improved by NADPH oxidase inhibitor (GKT136901). Treatment with sepiapterin, which increases levels of tetrahydrobiopterin, improved vasodilation in obese mice, an improvement blocked by l?NAME. Conclusions Increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of myostatin improves NO?, but not PGI2? or EDHF?mediated vasodilation in obese mice; this vasodilation improvement is mediated by down?regulation of superoxide. PMID:24965025

  8. DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF IMMUNOCHEMICAL METHODS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AT THE U.S. EPA, NERL, HERB-LV

    EPA Science Inventory

    The HERB-LV has developed several immunoassay methods for environmental and human exposure studies. Immunoassays to detect low levels (<10 ng/mL) chlorpyrifos in track-in dirt and house dust have been developed for indoor exposure surveys. An immunoassay for the urinary metabol...

  9. A new function of rapid eye movement sleep: improvement of muscular efficiency.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zi-Jian

    2015-05-15

    Previously I demonstrated that the slow wave sleep (SWS) functioned to adjust the emotional balance disrupted by emotional memories randomly accumulated during waking, while the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep played the opposite role. Many experimental results have unambiguously shown that various emotional memories are processed during REM sleep. In this article, it is attempted to combine this confirmed function of REM sleep with the atonic state unique to REM sleep, and to integrate a new theory suggesting that improvement of muscular efficiency be a new function of REM sleep. This new function of REM sleep is more advantageous than the function of REM sleep in emotional memories and disinhibited drives to account for the phylogenetic variations of REM sleep, especially the absence of REM sleep in dolphins and short duration of REM sleep in birds in contrary to that in humans and rodents, the absence of penile erections in REM sleep in armadillo, as well as the higher voltage in EEG during REM sleep in platypus and ostrich. Besides, this new function of REM sleep is also advantageous to explain the association of REM sleep with the atonic episodes in SWS, the absence of drastic menopausal change in duration of REM sleep, and the effects of ambient temperature on the duration of REM sleep. These comparative and experimental evidences support the improvement of muscular efficiency as a new and major function of REM sleep. PMID:25770701

  10. Review of functional markers for improving cooking, eating, and the nutritional qualities of rice.

    PubMed

    Lau, Wendy C P; Rafii, Mohd Y; Ismail, Mohd R; Puteh, Adam; Latif, Mohammad A; Ramli, Asfaliza

    2015-01-01

    After yield, quality is one of the most important aspects of rice breeding. Preference for rice quality varies among cultures and regions; therefore, rice breeders have to tailor the quality according to the preferences of local consumers. Rice quality assessment requires routine chemical analysis procedures. The advancement of molecular marker technology has revolutionized the strategy in breeding programs. The availability of rice genome sequences and the use of forward and reverse genetics approaches facilitate gene discovery and the deciphering of gene functions. A well-characterized gene is the basis for the development of functional markers, which play an important role in plant genotyping and, in particular, marker-assisted breeding. In addition, functional markers offer advantages that counteract the limitations of random DNA markers. Some functional markers have been applied in marker-assisted breeding programs and have successfully improved rice quality to meet local consumers' preferences. Although functional markers offer a plethora of advantages over random genetic markers, the development and application of functional markers should be conducted with care. The decreasing cost of sequencing will enable more functional markers for rice quality improvement to be developed, and application of these markers in rice quality breeding programs is highly anticipated. PMID:26528304

  11. Review of functional markers for improving cooking, eating, and the nutritional qualities of rice

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Wendy C. P.; Rafii, Mohd Y.; Ismail, Mohd R.; Puteh, Adam; Latif, Mohammad A.; Ramli, Asfaliza

    2015-01-01

    After yield, quality is one of the most important aspects of rice breeding. Preference for rice quality varies among cultures and regions; therefore, rice breeders have to tailor the quality according to the preferences of local consumers. Rice quality assessment requires routine chemical analysis procedures. The advancement of molecular marker technology has revolutionized the strategy in breeding programs. The availability of rice genome sequences and the use of forward and reverse genetics approaches facilitate gene discovery and the deciphering of gene functions. A well-characterized gene is the basis for the development of functional markers, which play an important role in plant genotyping and, in particular, marker-assisted breeding. In addition, functional markers offer advantages that counteract the limitations of random DNA markers. Some functional markers have been applied in marker-assisted breeding programs and have successfully improved rice quality to meet local consumers’ preferences. Although functional markers offer a plethora of advantages over random genetic markers, the development and application of functional markers should be conducted with care. The decreasing cost of sequencing will enable more functional markers for rice quality improvement to be developed, and application of these markers in rice quality breeding programs is highly anticipated. PMID:26528304

  12. Lactulose enhances neuroplasticity to improve cognitive function in early hepatic encephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Nan; Liu, He; Jiang, Yao; Zheng, Ji; Li, Dong-mei; Ji, Chao; Liu, Yan-yong; Zuo, Ping-ping

    2015-01-01

    Lactulose is known to improve cognitive function in patients with early hepatic encephalopathy; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral and neurochemical effects of lactulose in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy induced by carbon tetrachloride. Immunohistochemistry showed that lactulose treatment promoted neurogenesis and increased the number of neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus. Moreover, lactulose-treated rats showed shorter escape latencies than model rats in the Morris water maze, indicating that lactulose improved the cognitive impairments caused by hepatic encephalopathy. The present findings suggest that lactulose effectively improves cognitive function by enhancing neuroplasticity in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:26604907

  13. Lactulose enhances neuroplasticity to improve cognitive function in early hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Nan; Liu, He; Jiang, Yao; Zheng, Ji; Li, Dong-Mei; Ji, Chao; Liu, Yan-Yong; Zuo, Ping-Ping

    2015-09-01

    Lactulose is known to improve cognitive function in patients with early hepatic encephalopathy; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral and neurochemical effects of lactulose in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy induced by carbon tetrachloride. Immunohistochemistry showed that lactulose treatment promoted neurogenesis and increased the number of neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus. Moreover, lactulose-treated rats showed shorter escape latencies than model rats in the Morris water maze, indicating that lactulose improved the cognitive impairments caused by hepatic encephalopathy. The present findings suggest that lactulose effectively improves cognitive function by enhancing neuroplasticity in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:26604907

  14. Inhibition of Src Family Kinases Protects Hippocampal Neurons and Improves Cognitive Function after Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Frank R.; Van, Ken C.; Ander, Bradley P.; Ghiasvand, Rahil; Zhan, Xinhua; Stamova, Boryana; Jickling, Glen C.; Lyeth, Bruce G.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often associated with intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage. Thrombin is a neurotoxin generated at bleeding sites fater TBI and can lead to cell death and subsequent cognitive dysfunction via activation of Src family kinases (SFKs). We hypothesize that inhibiting SFKs can protect hippocampal neurons and improve cognitive memory function after TBI. To test these hypotheses, we show that moderate lateral fluid percussion (LFP) TBI in adult rats produces bleeding into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in both lateral ventricles, which elevates oxyhemoglobin and thrombin levels in the CSF, activates the SFK family member Fyn, and increases Rho-kinase 1(ROCK1) expression. Systemic administration of the SFK inhibitor, PP2, immediately after moderate TBI blocks ROCK1 expression, protects hippocampal CA2/3 neurons, and improves spatial memory function. These data suggest the possibility that inhibiting SFKs after TBI might improve clinical outcomes. PMID:24428562

  15. Continuous epidural fentanyl analgesia: ventilatory function improvement with routine use in treatment of blunt chest injury.

    PubMed

    Mackersie, R C; Shackford, S R; Hoyt, D B; Karagianes, T G

    1987-11-01

    The safety and effectiveness of continuous epidural fentanyl analgesia (CEFA) in the treatment of blunt chest injury was evaluated by reviewing its use in 40 patients with multiple rib fractures or flail chest. Ventilatory function tests were performed before and after the institution of CEFA and mean changes calculated. The use of CEFA was associated with significant improvement in vital capacity and maximum inspiratory pressure (p less than 0.05). Minute ventilatory volumes and tidal volumes also showed slight improvement. There was no significant change in arterial CO2 tension with the institution of CEFA, and 85% of patients had good pain relief with CEFA. None of these patients required any other narcotic administration. Documented complications associated with CEFA included pruritus, urinary retention, and transient hypotension. There were no major associated complications. The results suggest that CEFA is a safe, effective method of pain control that acts to improve ventilatory function in patients with blunt chest trauma. PMID:3682033

  16. Fluorescently Labeled Peptide Increases Identification of Degenerated Facial Nerve Branches during Surgery and Improves Functional Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Timon; Mastrodimos, Melina B.; Raju, Sharat C.; Glasgow, Heather L.; Whitney, Michael; Friedman, Beth; Moore, Jeffrey D.; Kleinfeld, David; Steinbach, Paul; Messer, Karen; Pu, Minya; Tsien, Roger Y.; Nguyen, Quyen T.

    2015-01-01

    Nerve degeneration after transection injury decreases intraoperative visibility under white light (WL), complicating surgical repair. We show here that the use of fluorescently labeled nerve binding probe (F-NP41) can improve intraoperative visualization of chronically (up to 9 months) denervated nerves. In a mouse model for the repair of chronically denervated facial nerves, the intraoperative use of fluorescent labeling decreased time to nerve identification by 40% compared to surgeries performed under WL alone. Cumulative functional post-operative recovery was also significantly improved in the fluorescence guided group as determined by quantitatively tracking of the recovery of whisker movement at time intervals for 6 weeks post-repair. To our knowledge, this is the first description of an injectable probe that increases visibility of chronically denervated nerves during surgical repair in live animals. Future translation of this probe may improve functional outcome for patients with chronic denervation undergoing surgical repair. PMID:25751149

  17. IMPROVING CORRELATION FUNCTION FITTING WITH RIDGE REGRESSION: APPLICATION TO CROSS-CORRELATION RECONSTRUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, Daniel J.; Newman, Jeffrey A. E-mail: janewman@pitt.edu

    2012-02-01

    Cross-correlation techniques provide a promising avenue for calibrating photometric redshifts and determining redshift distributions using spectroscopy which is systematically incomplete (e.g., current deep spectroscopic surveys fail to obtain secure redshifts for 30%-50% or more of the galaxies targeted). In this paper, we improve on the redshift distribution reconstruction methods from our previous work by incorporating full covariance information into our correlation function fits. Correlation function measurements are strongly covariant between angular or spatial bins, and accounting for this in fitting can yield substantial reduction in errors. However, frequently the covariance matrices used in these calculations are determined from a relatively small set (dozens rather than hundreds) of subsamples or mock catalogs, resulting in noisy covariance matrices whose inversion is ill-conditioned and numerically unstable. We present here a method of conditioning the covariance matrix known as ridge regression which results in a more well behaved inversion than other techniques common in large-scale structure studies. We demonstrate that ridge regression significantly improves the determination of correlation function parameters. We then apply these improved techniques to the problem of reconstructing redshift distributions. By incorporating full covariance information, applying ridge regression, and changing the weighting of fields in obtaining average correlation functions, we obtain reductions in the mean redshift distribution reconstruction error of as much as {approx}40% compared to previous methods. We provide a description of POWERFIT, an IDL code for performing power-law fits to correlation functions with ridge regression conditioning that we are making publicly available.

  18. Improving function in age-related macular degeneration: design and methods of a randomized clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Rovner, Barry W; Casten, Robin J; Hegel, Mark T; Massof, Robert W; Leiby, Benjamin E; Tasman, William S

    2011-03-01

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in older adults and impairs the ability to read, drive, and live independently and increases the risk for depression, falls, and earlier mortality. Although new medical treatments have improved AMD's prognosis, vision-related disability remains a major public health problem. Improving Function in AMD (IF-AMD) is a two-group randomized, parallel design, controlled clinical trial that compares the efficacy of Problem-Solving Therapy (PST) with Supportive Therapy (ST) (an attention control treatment) to improve vision function in 240 patients with AMD. PST and ST therapists deliver 6 one-hour respective treatment sessions to subjects in their homes over 2 months. Outcomes are assessed masked to treatment assignment at 3 months (main trial endpoint) and 6 months (maintenance effects). The primary outcome is targeted vision function (TVF), which refers to specific vision-dependent functional goals that subjects highly value but find difficult to achieve. TVF is an innovative outcome measure in that it is targeted and tailored to individual subjects yet is measured in a standardized way. This paper describes the research methods, theoretical and clinical aspects of the study treatments, and the measures used to evaluate functional and psychiatric outcomes in this population. PMID:20974293

  19. Treating Insomnia Improves Mood State, Sleep, and Functioning in Bipolar Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Allison G.; Soehner, Adriane M.; Kaplan, Kate A.; Hein, Kerrie; Lee, Jason; Kanady, Jennifer; Rabe-Hesketh, Sophia; Neylan, Thomas C.; Li, Descartes; Ketter, Terence A.; Buysse, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine if a treatment for interepisode bipolar disorder I patients with insomnia improves mood state, sleep, and functioning. Method Alongside psychiatric care, interepisode bipolar disorder I participants with insomnia were randomly allocated to a bipolar disorder–specific modification of cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBTI-BP; n = 30) or psychoeducation (PE; n = 28) as a comparison condition. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, the end of 8 sessions of treatment, and 6 months later. This pilot was conducted to determine initial feasibility and generate effect size estimates. Results During the 6-month follow-up, the CBTI-BP group had fewer days in a bipolar episode relative to the PE group (3.3 days vs. 25.5 days). The CBTI-BP group also experienced a significantly lower hypomania/mania relapse rate (4.6% vs. 31.6%) and a marginally lower overall mood episode relapse rate (13.6% vs. 42.1%) compared with the PE group. Relative to PE, CBTI-BP reduced insomnia severity and led to higher rates of insomnia remission at posttreatment and marginally higher rates at 6 months. Both CBTI-BP and PE showed statistically significant improvement on selected sleep and functional impairment measures. The effects of treatment were well sustained through follow-up for most outcomes, although some decline on secondary sleep benefits was observed. Conclusions CBTI-BP was associated with reduced risk of mood episode relapse and improved sleep and functioning on certain outcomes in bipolar disorder. Hence, sleep disturbance appears to be an important pathway contributing to bipolar disorder. The need to develop bipolar disorder–specific sleep diary scoring standards is highlighted. Public Health Significance This study suggests that an intervention to improve sleep and circadian functioning reduces risk of relapse and improves sleep and overall functioning among individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder. PMID:25622197

  20. Alterations in left ventricular diastolic function in conscious dogs with pacing-induced heart failure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Komamura, K.; Shannon, R. P.; Pasipoularides, A.; Ihara, T.; Lader, A. S.; Patrick, T. A.; Bishop, S. P.; Vatner, S. F.

    1992-01-01

    We investigated in conscious dogs (a) the effects of heart failure induced by chronic rapid ventricular pacing on the sequence of development of left ventricular (LV) diastolic versus systolic dysfunction and (b) whether the changes were load dependent or secondary to alterations in structure. LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction were evident within 24 h after initiation of pacing and occurred in parallel over 3 wk. LV systolic function was reduced at 3 wk, i.e., peak LV dP/dt fell by -1,327 +/- 105 mmHg/s and ejection fraction by -22 +/- 2%. LV diastolic dysfunction also progressed over 3 wk of pacing, i.e., tau increased by +14.0 +/- 2.8 ms and the myocardial stiffness constant by +6.5 +/- 1.4, whereas LV chamber stiffness did not change. These alterations were associated with increases in LV end-systolic (+28.6 +/- 5.7 g/cm2) and LV end-diastolic stresses (+40.4 +/- 5.3 g/cm2). When stresses and heart rate were matched at the same levels in the control and failure states, the increases in tau and myocardial stiffness were no longer observed, whereas LV systolic function remained depressed. There were no increases in connective tissue content in heart failure. Thus, pacing-induced heart failure in conscious dogs is characterized by major alterations in diastolic function which are reversible with normalization of increased loading condition.

  1. Alterations in left ventricular diastolic function in conscious dogs with pacing-induced heart failure.

    PubMed Central

    Komamura, K; Shannon, R P; Pasipoularides, A; Ihara, T; Lader, A S; Patrick, T A; Bishop, S P; Vatner, S F

    1992-01-01

    We investigated in conscious dogs (a) the effects of heart failure induced by chronic rapid ventricular pacing on the sequence of development of left ventricular (LV) diastolic versus systolic dysfunction and (b) whether the changes were load dependent or secondary to alterations in structure. LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction were evident within 24 h after initiation of pacing and occurred in parallel over 3 wk. LV systolic function was reduced at 3 wk, i.e., peak LV dP/dt fell by -1,327 +/- 105 mmHg/s and ejection fraction by -22 +/- 2%. LV diastolic dysfunction also progressed over 3 wk of pacing, i.e., tau increased by +14.0 +/- 2.8 ms and the myocardial stiffness constant by +6.5 +/- 1.4, whereas LV chamber stiffness did not change. These alterations were associated with increases in LV end-systolic (+28.6 +/- 5.7 g/cm2) and LV end-diastolic stresses (+40.4 +/- 5.3 g/cm2). When stresses and heart rate were matched at the same levels in the control and failure states, the increases in tau and myocardial stiffness were no longer observed, whereas LV systolic function remained depressed. There were no increases in connective tissue content in heart failure. Thus, pacing-induced heart failure in conscious dogs is characterized by major alterations in diastolic function which are reversible with normalization of increased loading condition. Images PMID:1601992

  2. Neurologic music therapy improves executive function and emotional adjustment in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Thaut, Michael H; Gardiner, James C; Holmberg, Dawn; Horwitz, Javan; Kent, Luanne; Andrews, Garrett; Donelan, Beth; McIntosh, Gerald R

    2009-07-01

    This study examined the immediate effects of neurologic music therapy (NMT) on cognitive functioning and emotional adjustment with brain-injured persons. Four treatment sessions were held, during which participants were given a pre-test, participated in 30 min of NMT that focused on one aspect of rehabilitation (attention, memory, executive function, or emotional adjustment), which was followed by post-testing. Control participants engaged in a pre-test, 30 min of rest, and then a post-test. Treatment participants showed improvement in executive function and overall emotional adjustment, and lessening of depression, sensation seeking, and anxiety. Control participants improved in emotional adjustment and lessening of hostility, but showed decreases in measures of memory, positive affect, and sensation seeking. PMID:19673815

  3. Can We Quantify Functional Improvement Following Total Knee Arthroplasty in the Clinical Setting?

    PubMed

    Parks, Nancy L; Whitney, Catherine E; Engh, Gerard A

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if improvements in knee function after arthroplasty could be practicably measured in the clinical setting using available, validated technology. The tools we assessed included a timed test of common activities, a platform posturography analysis, and a portable gait laboratory device to quantify body segment motion. We measured the function of 25 total knee arthroplasty patients before surgery and at 1, 4, 12, and 24 months after surgery. Assessment of sit-to-stand, walking, stair climbing, lunging, Knee Society Scores, and Oxford Survey Scores were collected at each interval. Patients showed significant improvement in step length, gait speed, symmetry of weight distribution, symmetry of lunging, and speed of stair climbing. Changes in function with long-term follow-up can be precisely measured, making this technology promising for clinical or research applications. PMID:25260032

  4. N-acetylcysteineamide Preserves Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Improves Functional Recovery Following Spinal Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Samir P.; Sullivan, Patrick G.; Pandya, Jignesh D.; Goldstein, Glenn A.; VanRooyen, Jenna L.; Yonutas, Heather M.; Eldahan, Khalid C.; Morehouse, Johnny; Magnuson, David S. K.; Rabchevsky, Alexander G.

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is becoming a pivotal target for neuroprotective strategies following contusion spinal cord injury (SCI) and the pharmacological compounds that maintain mitochondrial function confer neuroprotection and improve long-term hindlimb function after injury. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of cell-permeating thiol, N-acetylcysteineamide (NACA), a precursor of endogenous antioxidant glutathione (GSH), on mitochondrial function acutely, and long-term tissue sparing and hindlimb locomotor recovery following upper lumbar contusion SCI. Some designated injured adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (n=120) received either Vehicle or NACA (75, 150, 300 or 600 mg/kg) at 15min and 6hrs post-injury. After 24hr the total, synaptic, and non-synaptic mitochondrial populations were isolated from a single 1.5cm spinal cord segment (centered at injury site) and assessed for mitochondrial bioenergetics. Results showed compromised total mitochondrial bioenergetics following acute SCI that was significantly improved with NACA treatment in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum effects at 300 mg/kg (n=4/group). For synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria, only 300 mg/kg NACA dosage showed efficacy. Similar dosage (300mg/kg) also maintained mitochondrial GSH near normal levels. Other designated injured rats (n=21) received continuous NACA (150 or 300mg/kg/day) treatment starting at 15min post-injury for one week to assess long-term functional recovery over 6 weeks post-injury. Locomotor testing and novel gait analyses showed significantly improved hindlimb function with NACA that were associated with increased tissue sparing at the injury site. Overall, NACA treatment significantly maintained acute mitochondrial bioenergetics and normalized GSH levels following SCI, and prolonged delivery resulted in significant tissue sparing and improved recovery of hindlimb function. PMID:24805071

  5. Increased LV apical untwist during preload reduction in healthy humans: an echocardiographic speckle tracking study during lower body negative pressure

    PubMed Central

    Hodt, Anders; Hisdal, Jonny; Stugaard, Marie; Stranden, Einar; Atar, Dan; Steine, Kjetil

    2015-01-01

    We sought to investigate the effect of reduced preload on left ventricle (LV) untwist and early diastolic filling in healthy individuals. Twelve healthy men, 22 (22, 23) years of age, were examined at rest and during applied lower body negative pressure (LBNP) of ?20 mmHg and ?40 mmHg, respectively. Regional untwist and untwist rate during IVRT were calculated at LV basal, papillary, subpapillary, and apical short axis levels by two dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography. Left ventricle early diastolic filling was assessed by transmitral E-wave (E) peak velocity by pulsed Doppler and flow propagation velocity (Vp) by color M-mode Doppler and early diastolic pulsed Doppler tissue velocities (E') from septal and lateral mitral annulus. From rest to LBNP ?40 mmHg, the LV untwist and untwist rate at subpapillary level increased from 2.3 (1.4, 3.5) to 4.5 (3.1, 7.6) degrees and from ?36 (?51, ?25) to ?69 (?127, ?42) °/s (P < 0.001, P = 0.003), respectively, while apical untwist and untwist rate increased from 3.9 (2.3, 4.3) to 7.6 (6.4, 10.5) degrees and from ?51 (?69, ?40) to ?118 (?170, ?84) °/s (P < 0.001, P < 0.001), respectively. Since untwist and untwist rate at the basal level were unchanged, this created markedly larger base to apical untwist and untwist rate gradients from rest to LBNP ?40 mmHg. E, Vp, and E' were reduced by 34, 32, and 39%, respectively. LV untwist and untwist rate during IVRT were increased at apical levels, which might be a physiological mechanism to minimize the impairment in LV early diastolic filling during preload reduction. PMID:25802362

  6. Dor procedure for dyskinetic anteroapical myocardial infarction fails to improve contractility in the borderzone

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Kay; Zhang, Zhihong; Suzuki, Takamaro; Wenk, Jonathan; Stander, Nielen; Einstein, Daniel R.; Saloner, David A.; Wallace, Arthur W.; Guccione, Julius M.; Ratcliffe, Mark B.

    2009-01-01

    Background Endoventricular patch plasty (Dor) is used to reduce left ventricular (LV) volume after myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent LV remodeling. Methods and Results End-diastolic and end-systolic pressure volume and Starling relationships were measured and magnetic resonance (MRI) images with non-invasive tags used to calculate 3D myocardial strain in six sheep 2 weeks before, and 2 and 6 weeks after the Dor procedure. These experimental results were previously reported. The imaging data from one sheep was incomplete. Animal specific finite element (FE) models were created from the remaining five animals using MRI images and LV pressure obtained at early diastolic filling. FE models were optimized using 3D strain and used to determine systolic material properties, Tmax,skinned-fiber, and diastolic and systolic stress in remote myocardium and borderzone (BZ). Six weeks after Dor procedure, end-diastolic and end-systolic stress in the BZ were substantially reduced. However, although there was a slight increase in Tmax,skinned-fiber in the BZ near the MI at 6 weeks, the change was not significant. Conclusions The Dor procedure decreases end-diastolic and end-systolic stress but fails to improve contractility in the infarct BZ. Future work should focus on measures that will enhance BZ function alone or in combination with surgical remodeling. PMID:20299030

  7. Levomilnacipran Extended-Release Treatment in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: Improvements in Functional Impairment Categories

    PubMed Central

    Gommoll, Carl P.; Chen, Changzheng; Greenberg, William M.; Ruth, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Objective: In this post hoc analysis, improvement in functional impairment in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with levomilnacipran extended release (ER) was evaluated by assessing shifts from more severe to less severe functional impairment categories on individual Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) subscales. Method: SDS data were pooled from 5 phase II/III studies conducted between December 2006 and March 2012 of levomilnacipran ER versus placebo in adult patients with MDD (DSM-IV-TR criteria). Proportions of patients shifting from moderate-extreme baseline impairment (score ? 4) to mild-no impairment (score ? 3) at end of treatment were assessed for each SDS subscale. Proportions of patients shifting from marked-extreme (score ? 7) baseline impairment to moderate-no (score ? 6) or mild-no impairment (score ? 3) at end of treatment, and shifts in which patients worsened from moderate-no to marked-extreme impairment, were also evaluated. Results: A significantly higher proportion of patients treated with levomilnacipran ER than placebo-treated patients improved from more severe categories of functional impairment at baseline to less severe impairment categories across all SDS subscales: work/school, social life, and family life/home responsibilities (P < .01). Depending on the SDS subscale, 48%–55% of levomilnacipran ER–treated patients with moderate-extreme impairment at baseline improved to mild or no impairment, compared with no more than 40% of placebo patients on any subscale. Almost half (42%–47%) of levomilnacipran ER–treated patients versus only about one-third (29%–34%) of placebo patients improved from marked-extreme to mild or no impairment across functional domains. Conclusions: These results suggest that functional improvement was observed across the SDS functional domains. To our knowledge, this is the first such categorical analysis of functional improvement, as measured by the SDS, for an antidepressant. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT00969709, NCT01377194, NCT00969150, and NCT01034462 and EudraCT identifier: 2006–002404-34 PMID:26644957

  8. Phenomenological and biological correlates of improved cognitive function in hospitalized elderly medical inpatients.

    PubMed

    Adamis, Dimitrios; Meagher, David; Treloar, Adrian; Dunne, Colum; Larvin, Michael; Martin, Finbarr C; Macdonald, Alastair J D

    2014-01-01

    Deterioration of cognitive ability is a recognized outcome following acute illness in older patients. Levels of circulating cytokines and APOE genotype have both been linked with acute illness-related cognitive decline. In this observational longitudinal study, consecutive admissions to an elderly medical unit of patients aged ?70 years were assessed within 3 days and re-assessed twice weekly with a range of scales assessing cognitive function, functional status and illness severity. Cytokines and APOE genotype were measured in a subsample. Improvement was defined as either a 20% or three points increase in mini mental state examination (MMSE). From the 142 participants 55 (39%) experienced cognitive improvement, of which 30 (54.5%) had delirium while 25 had non-delirious acute cognitive disorder. Using bivariate statistics, subjects with more severe acute illness, lower insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels and more severe delirium were more likely to experience a ?20% improvement in MMSE scores. When the criterion of cognitive improvement was a 3 point improvement in MMSE, those with more severe delirium, females and older were more likely to be improved. Longitudinal analysis using any criterion of improvement indicated that improvement was significantly (p<.05) predicted by higher levels of IGF-I, lower levels of IL-1 (alpha and beta), lack of APOE epsilon 4 allele, and female gender. In conclusion, cognitive recovery during admission is not exclusively linked to delirium status, but reflects a range of factors. The character and relevance of non-delirious acute cognitive disorder warrants further study. PMID:25189345

  9. Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, Jacob; Reschke, Millard; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Wood, Scott; Serrador, Jorge; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian T.; Cohen, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain's ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable and provides imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles. SR using imperceptible stochastic electrical stimulation of the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation, SVS) applied to normal subjects has shown to improve the degree of association between the weak input periodic signals introduced via venous blood pressure receptors and the heart-rate responses. Also, application of SVS over 24 hours improves the long-term heart-rate dynamics and motor responsiveness as indicated by daytime trunk activity measurements in patients with multi-system atrophy, Parkinson s disease, or both, including patients who were unresponsive to standard therapy for Parkinson s disease. Recent studies conducted at the NASA JSC Neurosciences Laboratories showed that imperceptible SVS, when applied to normal young healthy subjects, leads to significantly improved balance performance during postural disturbances on unstable compliant surfaces. These studies have shown the benefit of SR noise characteristic optimization with imperceptible SVS in the frequency range of 0-30 Hz, and amplitudes of stimulation have ranged from 100 to 400 microamperes.

  10. Development and validation of an evaporation duct model. Part II: Evaluation and improvement of stability functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Juli; Fei, Jianfang; Huang, Xiaogang; Cheng, Xiaoping; Hu, Xiaohua; Ji, Liang

    2015-06-01

    This study aims to validate and improve the universal evaporation duct (UED) model through a further analysis of the stability function ( ?). A large number of hydrometeorological observations obtained from a tower platform near Xisha Island of the South China Sea are employed, together with the latest variations in ? function. Applicability of different ? functions for specific sea areas and stratification conditions is investigated based on three objective criteria. The results show that, under unstable conditions, ? function of Fairall et al. (1996) (i.e., Fairall96, similar for abbreviations of other function names) in general offers the best performance. However, strictly speaking, this holds true only for the stability (represented by bulk Richardson number R iB) range -2.6 ? R iB < -0.1; when conditions become weakly unstable (-0.1 ? R iB < -0.01), Fairall96 offers the second best performance after Hu and Zhang (1992) (HYQ92). Conversely, for near-neutral but slightly unstable conditions (-0.01 ? R iB < 0.0), the effects of Edson04, Fairall03, Grachev00, and Fairall96 are similar, with Edson04 being the best function but offering only a weak advantage. Under stable conditions, HYQ92 is the optimal and offers a pronounced advantage, followed by the newly introduced SHEBA07 (by Grachev et al., 2007) function. Accordingly, the most favorable functions, i.e., Fairall96 and HYQ92, are incorporated into the UED model to obtain an improved version of the model. With the new functions, the mean root-mean-square (rms) errors of the modified refractivity ( M), 0-5-m M slope, 5-40-m M slope, and the rms errors of evaporation duct height (EDH) are reduced by 21.65%, 9.12%, 38.79%, and 59.06%, respectively, compared to the classical Naval Postgraduate School model.

  11. Progenitor cell release plus exercise to improve functional performance in peripheral artery disease: the PROPEL Study.

    PubMed

    Domanchuk, Kathryn; Ferrucci, Luigi; Guralnik, Jack M; Criqui, Michael H; Tian, Lu; Liu, Kiang; Losordo, Douglas; Stein, James; Green, David; Kibbe, Melina; Zhao, Lihui; Annex, Brian; Perlman, Harris; Lloyd-Jones, Donald; Pearce, William; Taylor, Doris; McDermott, Mary M

    2013-11-01

    Functional impairment, functional decline, and mobility loss are major public health problems in people with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD). Few medical therapies significantly improve walking performance in PAD. We describe methods for the PROgenitor cell release Plus Exercise to improve functionaL performance in PAD (PROPEL) Study, a randomized controlled clinical trial designed to determine whether granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) combined with supervised treadmill walking exercise improves six-minute walk distance more than GM-CSF alone, more than supervised treadmill exercise alone, and more than placebo plus attention control in participants with PAD, respectively. PROPEL Study participants are randomized to one of four arms in a 2 by 2 factorial design. The four study arms are GM-CSF plus supervised treadmill exercise, GM-CSF plus attention control, placebo plus supervised exercise therapy, or placebo plus attention control. The primary outcome is change in six-minute walk distance at 12-week follow-up. Secondary outcomes include change in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), change in maximal treadmill walking time, and change in circulating CD34+ cells at 12-week follow-up. Outcomes are also measured at six-week and six-month follow-up. Results of the PROPEL Study will have important implications for understanding mechanisms of improving walking performance and preventing mobility loss in the large and growing number of men and women with PAD. PMID:24080099

  12. PROGENITOR CELL RELEASE PLUS EXERCISE TO IMPROVE FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE: THE PROPEL STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Domanchuk, Kathryn; Ferrucci, Luigi; Guralnik, Jack M.; Criqui, Michael H.; Tian, Lu; Liu, Kiang; Losordo, Douglas; Stein, James; Green, David; Kibbe, Melina; Zhao, Lihui; Annex, Brian; Perlman, Harris; Lloyd-Jones, Donald; Pearce, William; Taylor, Doris; McDermott, Mary M.

    2013-01-01

    Functional impairment, functional decline, and mobility loss are major public health problems in people with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD). Few medical therapies significantly improve walking performance in PAD. We describe methods for the PROgenitor cell release Plus Exercise to improve functionaL performance in PAD (PROPEL) Study, a randomized controlled clinical trial designed to determine whether granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) combined with supervised treadmill walking exercise improves six-minute walk distance more than GM-CSF alone, more than supervised treadmill exercise alone, and more than placebo plus attention control in participants with PAD, respectively. PROPEL Study participants are randomized to one of four arms in a 2 by 2 factorial design. The four study arms are GM-CSF plus supervised treadmill exercise, GM-CSF plus attention control, placebo plus supervised exercise therapy, or placebo plus attention control. The primary outcome is change in six-minute walk distance at 12-week follow-up. Secondary outcomes include change in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), change in maximal treadmill walking time, and change in circulating CD34+ cells at 12-week follow-up. Outcomes are also measured at six-week and six-month follow-up. Results of the PROPEL Study will have important implications for understanding mechanisms of improving walking performance and preventing mobility loss in the large and growing number of men and women with PAD. PMID:24080099

  13. Anti-VEGF treatment improves neurological function and augments radiation response in NF2 schwannoma model.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xing; Zhao, Yingchao; Stemmer-Rachamimov, Anat O; Liu, Hao; Huang, Peigen; Chin, ShanMin; Selig, Martin K; Plotkin, Scott R; Jain, Rakesh K; Xu, Lei

    2015-11-24

    Hearing loss is the main limitation of radiation therapy for vestibular schwannoma (VS), and identifying treatment options that minimize hearing loss are urgently needed. Treatment with bevacizumab is associated with tumor control and hearing improvement in neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients; however, its effect is not durable and its mechanism of action on nerve function is unknown. We modeled the effect anti-VEGF therapy on neurological function in the sciatic nerve model and found that it improves neurological function by alleviating tumor edema, which may further improve results by decreasing muscle atrophy and increasing nerve regeneration. Using a cranial window model, we showed that anti-VEGF treatment may achieve these effects via normalizing the tumor vasculature, improving vessel perfusion, and delivery of oxygenation. It is known that oxygen is a potent radiosensitizer; therefore, we further demonstrated that combining anti-VEGF with radiation therapy can achieve a better tumor control and help lower the radiation dose and, thus, minimize radiation-related neurological toxicity. Our results provide compelling rationale for testing combined therapy in human VS. PMID:26554010

  14. Evaluation of the Effect of Mega MSM on Improving Joint Function in Populations Experiencing Joint Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Gang; Zhou, Tian; Gu, Yaqin; Wang, Qinping; Shariff, Mina; Gu, Pingping; Nguyen, Tuong; Shi, Rong; Rao, Jianyu

    2015-01-01

    Joint degeneration has become a commonplace problem in aging populations. The main clinical manifestations include joint pain, joint stiffness and joint swelling with functional disorder. Mega MSM is a nutritional supplement that may provide potential relief for joint problems associated with joint degeneration. The current experiment performed was a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, controlled study conducted on populations in China experiencing joint degeneration. The objective of the study was to determine whether the daily use of Mega MSM capsules could improve joint function, relieve symptoms of joint degeneration and improve the quality of life in aging populations. A total of 100 male and female participants over 50 years old who had at least one of the related symptoms of joint degeneration (joint pain, joint stiffness, joint swelling, difficulty walking, difficulty getting up from bed and difficulty going down stairs) were recruited and their symptoms of joint degeneration before and after the intervention were recorded. In this study, Mega MSM shows positive effects in improving joint function, relieving symptoms associated with joint degeneration and improving the quality of life in aging populations. PMID:26199577

  15. Cortical gray-matter thinning is associated with age-related improvements on executive function tasks

    PubMed Central

    Kharitonova, Maria; Martin, Rebecca E.; Gabrieli, John D.E.; Sheridan, Margaret A.

    2013-01-01

    Across development children show marked improvement in their executive functions (EFs), including the ability to hold information in working memory and to deploy cognitive control, allowing them to ignore prepotent responses in favor of newly learned behaviors. How does the brain support these age-related improvements? Age-related cortical gray-matter thinning, thought to result from selective pruning of inefficient synaptic connections and increases in myelination, may support age-related improvements in EFs. Here we used structural MRI to measure cortical thickness. We investigate the association between cortical thickness in three cortical regions of interest (ROIs), and age-related changes in cognitive control and working memory in 5–10 year old children. We found significant associations between reductions in cortical thickness and age-related improvements in performance on both working memory and cognitive control tasks. Moreover, we observed a dissociation between ROIs typically thought to underlie changes in cognitive control (right Inferior Frontal gyrus and Anterior Cingulate cortex) and age-related improvements in cognitive control, and ROIs for working memory (superior parietal cortex), and age-related changes in a working memory task. These data add to our growing understanding of how structural maturation of the brain supports vast behavioral changes in executive functions observed across childhood. PMID:23896579

  16. Declining ambient air pollution and lung function improvement in Austrian children

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuberger, Manfred; Moshammer, Hanns; Kundi, Michael

    Three thousand four hundred fifty-one Austrian elementary school children were examined (between 2 and 8 times) by spirometry by standardized methods, over a 5 yr period. The districts where they lived were grouped into those where NO 2 declined during this period (by at least 30 ?g/m 3 measured as half year means) and those with less or no decline in ambient NO 2. In both groups of districts, SO 2 and TSP fell by similar amounts over this period. A continuous improvement of MEF25 (maximum exspiratory flow rate at 25% vital capacity) was found in districts with declining ambient NO 2. Populations did not differ in respect of anthropometric factors, passive smoking or socioeconomic status. A birth cohort from this study population which was followed up to age 18 confirmed the improved growth of MEF25 with decline in NO 2, while the improved growth of forced vital capacity was more related to decline in SO 2. This study provides the first evidence that improvements in the outdoor air quality during the 1980s are correlated with health benefits, and suggest that adverse effects on lung function related to ambient air pollution are reversible before adulthood. Improvement of small airway functions appeared to be more dependent on reductions of NO 2 than reduction in SO 2 and TSP.

  17. Improved cognitive-cerebral function in older adults with chromium supplementation.

    PubMed

    Krikorian, Robert; Eliassen, James C; Boespflug, Erin L; Nash, Tiffany A; Shidler, Marcelle D

    2010-06-01

    Insulin resistance is implicated in the pathophysiological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease, and pharmaceutical treatments that overcome insulin resistance improve memory function in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's disease. Chromium (Cr) supplementation improves glucose disposal in patients with insulin resistance and diabetes. We sought to assess whether supplementation with Cr might improve memory and neural function in older adults with cognitive decline. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, we randomly assigned 26 older adults to receive either chromium picolinate (CrPic) or placebo for 12 weeks. Memory and depression were assessed prior to treatment initiation and during the final week of treatment. We also performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans on a subset of subjects. Although learning rate and retention were not enhanced by CrPic supplementation, we observed reduced semantic interference on learning, recall, and recognition memory tasks. In addition, fMRI indicated comparatively increased activation for the CrPic subjects in right thalamic, right temporal, right posterior parietal, and bifrontal regions. These findings suggest that supplementation with CrPic can enhance cognitive inhibitory control and cerebral function in older adults at risk for neurodegeneration. PMID:20423560

  18. Using Low Levels of Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation to Improve Balance Function

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Rahul; Kofman, Igor; Jeevarajan, Jerome; De Dios, Yiri; Cohen, Helen S.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.

    2015-01-01

    Low-level stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) has been associated with improved postural responses in the medio-lateral (ML) direction, but its effect in improving balance function in both the ML and anterior-posterior (AP) directions has not been studied. In this series of studies, the efficacy of applying low amplitude SVS in 0–30 Hz range between the mastoids in the ML direction on improving cross-planar balance function was investigated. Forty-five (45) subjects stood on a compliant surface with their eyes closed and were instructed to maintain a stable upright stance. Measures of stability of the head, trunk, and whole body were quantified in ML, AP and combined APML directions. Results show that binaural bipolar SVS given in the ML direction significantly improved balance performance with the peak of optimal stimulus amplitude predominantly in the range of 100–500 ?A for all the three directions, exhibiting stochastic resonance (SR) phenomenon. Objective perceptual and body motion thresholds as estimates of internal noise while subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and were given 1 Hz bipolar binaural sinusoidal electrical stimuli were also measured. In general, there was no significant difference between estimates of perceptual and body motion thresholds. The average optimal SVS amplitude that improved balance performance (peak SVS amplitude normalized to perceptual threshold) was estimated to be 46% in ML, 53% in AP, and 50% in APML directions. A miniature patch-type SVS device may be useful to improve balance function in people with disabilities due to aging, Parkinson’s disease or in astronauts returning from long-duration space flight. PMID:26295807

  19. A preconditioning regimen with a PKC? activator improves islet graft function in a mouse transplant model.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Diana; Rugg, Caitlin; Davis, Nicolynn; Kvezereli, Manana; Tafti, Bashir Akhavan; Busque, Stephan; Fontaine, Magali

    2014-01-01

    Transplantation of islets isolated from deceased donor pancreata is an attractive method of ?-cell replacement therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, the loss of islet cell viability and function during the peritransplant period is a limiting factor to long-term islet engraftment. Activation of the isoenzyme PKC? may improve islet survival and function. The current study assesses the effects of PKC? activation on islet graft function in a syngeneic streptozotocin-induced diabetic mouse model. Islets were isolated from wild-type BALB/c mice preconditioned with either a PKC? activator (??RACK) or a TAT carrier control peptide. Islets were further treated with the same agents during isolation, purification, and incubation prior to transplantation. Two hundred seventy-five islet equivalents were transplanted under the kidney capsule of streptozotocin-induced diabetic BALB/c mice. Islet function was assessed by measurement of blood glucose levels every 3 days for 42 days after transplant and through an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT). The time for return to euglycemia in mice transplanted with islets treated with ??RACK was improved at 14 ± 6 days versus 21 ± 6 days with TAT-treated islets. The IPGTT showed a 50% reduction in the area under the curve associated with an improved insulin response in mice transplanted with ??RACK-treated islets compared to TAT-treated islets. A preconditioning regimen using PKC? agonist before pancreatic recovery and during islet isolation improves islet graft function and resistance to high glucose stress after transplantation. PMID:23562311

  20. Improving Function in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Randomized Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Rovner, Barry W.; Casten, Robin J.; Hegel, Mark T.; Massof, Robert W.; Leiby, Benjamin E.; Ho, Allen C.; Tasman, William S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To compare the efficacy of Problem-Solving Therapy (PST) with Supportive Therapy (ST) to improve Targeted Vision Function in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Design Single-masked, attention controlled randomized clinical trial with outcome assessments at 3 months (main trial endpoint) and 6 months (maintenance effects). Participants Patients with AMD (N = 241) attending retina practices. Interventions PST uses a structured problem-solving approach to reduce vision-related task difficulty. ST is a standardized attention control treatment. Main Outcome Measures Targeted Vision Function (TVF); National Eye Institute Vision Function Questionnaire - 25 plus Supplement (NEI VFQ); Activities Inventory (AI); and Vision-Related Quality of Life. Results There were no significant between-group differences in TVF scores at 3 months (p = 0.47) or 6 months (p = 0.62). For PST subjects, mean [standard deviation (SD)] TVF scores improved from 2.71 (0.52) at baseline to 2.18 (0.88) at 3 months (p = 0.001) and were 2.18 (0.95) at 6 months (change from 3 to 6 months, p = .74). For ST subjects, TVF scores improved from 2.73 (0.52) at baseline to 2.14 (0.96) at 3 months (p = 0.001) and were 2.15 (0.96) at 6 months (change from 3 to 6 months, p = .85). Similar proportions of PST and ST subjects had less difficulty performing a TVF goal at 3 months (77.4% vs. 78.6%, respectively; p = 0.83) and 6 months (76.2% vs. 79.1%, respectively; p = 0.61). There were no significant changes in the NEI VFQ or AI. Vision-related quality-of-life improved for PST relative to ST subjects at 3 months [F (4,192) = 2.46; p = 0.05] and 6 months [F (4,178) = 2.55; p = 0.05)]. PST subjects also developed more adaptive coping strategies than ST subjects. Conclusions We found that PST was not superior to ST at improving vision function in patients with AMD but PST improved their vision-related quality of life. Despite the benefits of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatments, AMD remains associated with disability, depression, and diminished quality of life. This clinical reality necessitates new rehabilitative interventions to improve the vision function and quality of life of older persons with AMD. PMID:23642378

  1. Sleep Extension Improves Neurocognitive Functions in Chronically Sleep-Deprived Obese Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Lucassen, Eliane A.; Piaggi, Paolo; Dsurney, John; de Jonge, Lilian; Zhao, Xiong-ce; Mattingly, Megan S.; Ramer, Angela; Gershengorn, Janet; Csako, Gyorgy; Cizza, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Background Sleep deprivation and obesity, are associated with neurocognitive impairments. Effects of sleep deprivation and obesity on cognition are unknown, and the cognitive long-term effects of improvement of sleep have not been prospectively assessed in short sleeping, obese individuals. Objective To characterize neurocognitive functions and assess its reversibility. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting Tertiary Referral Research Clinical Center. Patients A cohort of 121 short-sleeping (<6.5 h/night) obese (BMI 30–55 kg/m2) men and pre-menopausal women. Intervention Sleep extension (468±88 days) with life-style modifications. Measurements Neurocognitive functions, sleep quality and sleep duration. Results At baseline, 44% of the individuals had an impaired global deficit score (t-score 0–39). Impaired global deficit score was associated with worse subjective sleep quality (p?=?0.02), and lower urinary dopamine levels (p?=?0.001). Memory was impaired in 33%; attention in 35%; motor skills in 42%; and executive function in 51% of individuals. At the final evaluation (N?=?74), subjective sleep quality improved by 24% (p<0.001), self-reported sleep duration increased by 11% by questionnaires (p<0.001) and by 4% by diaries (p?=?0.04), and daytime sleepiness tended to improve (p?=?0.10). Global cognitive function and attention improved by 7% and 10%, respectively (both p?=?0.001), and memory and executive functions tended to improve (p?=?0.07 and p?=?0.06). Serum cortisol increased by 17% (p?=?0.02). In a multivariate mixed model, subjective sleep quality and sleep efficiency, urinary free cortisol and dopamine and plasma total ghrelin accounted for 1/5 of the variability in global cognitive function. Limitations Drop-out rate. Conclusions Chronically sleep-deprived obese individuals exhibit substantial neurocognitive deficits that are partially reversible upon improvement of sleep in a non-pharmacological way. These findings have clinical implications for large segments of the US population. Trail registration www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00261898. NIDDK protocol 06-DK-0036 PMID:24482677

  2. Predictors of improved functional outcome in elderly inpatients after rehabilitation: a retrospective study

    PubMed Central

    Naruishi, Koji; Kunita, Akiko; Kubo, Katsuyuki; Nagata, Toshihiko; Takashiba, Shogo; Adachi, Seiji

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The number of elderly inpatients has been steadily increasing worldwide. However, the ability to predict the degree of improvement of functional capacity after comprehensive examination of elderly inpatients is still lacking. The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictors of improved functional outcome after rehabilitation of elderly inpatients. Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study with 1,079 patients (age <70 years: N=331, age ?70 years: N=748) who had been admitted to Tottori Municipal Hospital. Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores were measured both at admission and discharge to calculate FIM gain and efficiency. Of these patients, 262 patients had oral examinations on admission. The Mann–Whitney U-test or chi-square test was used for statistical analyses. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to compute the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Cut-off values of FIM scores to determine if elderly inpatients were able to return home after discharge were determined using a receiver operating characteristic curve. Results FIM scores, including FIM gain and efficiency, of elderly patients were significantly lower than those of middle-aged patients. Inability to close the lips and dysfunctional tongue movement, but not the loss of teeth, were correlated with a reduced improvement of FIM scores. Cognitive impairment and aspiration pneumonia, but not cerebrovascular disease, were also correlated with a reduced improvement of FIM scores. Interestingly, FIM scores were significantly lower in patients with both cerebrovascular disease and a loss of posterior occlusion. Factors shown to have a significant impact on the improvement of FIM scores included the stable posterior occlusion (OR: 2.23, 95% CI: 1.2–4.1), closed lips (OR: 5.15, 95% CI: 2.3–11.7), functional tongue movement (OR: 5.74, 95% CI: 3.0–11.0), presence of cognitive impairment (OR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.17–0.49), and presence of aspiration pneumonia (OR: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.15–0.51). Conclusion Age and disorder of oral function may be significant predictors of improved functional capacity after rehabilitation for elderly inpatients. PMID:25584025

  3. Towards improved exact exchange functionals relying on G W quasiparticle methods for parametrization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zólyomi, V.; Kürti, J.

    2015-07-01

    We use fully self-consistent GW calculations on diamond and silicon carbide to reparametrize the Heyd-Scuseria-Ernzerhof (HSE) exact exchange density functional for use in band structure calculations of semiconductors and insulators. We show that the thus modified functional is able to calculate the band structure of bulk Si, Ge, GaAs, and CdTe with good quantitative accuracy at a significantly reduced computational cost as compared to G W methods, and also gives significantly improved band gap predictions in wide-gap ionic crystals as compared to the HSE06 parametrization. We discuss the limitations of this functional in low dimensions by calculating the band structures of single-layer hexagonal BN and MoS2, and by demonstrating that the diameter scaling of curvature induced band gaps in single-walled carbon nanotubes is still physically incorrect using our functional; we consider possible remedies to this problem.

  4. Use of global functions for improvement in efficiency of nonlinear analysis. [in computer structural displacement estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Almroth, B. O.; Stehlin, P.; Brogan, F. A.

    1981-01-01

    A method for improving the efficiency of nonlinear structural analysis by the use of global displacement functions is presented. The computer programs include options to define the global functions as input or let the program automatically select and update these functions. The program was applied to a number of structures: (1) 'pear-shaped cylinder' in compression, (2) bending of a long cylinder, (3) spherical shell subjected to point force, (4) panel with initial imperfections, (5) cylinder with cutouts. The sample cases indicate the usefulness of the procedure in the solution of nonlinear structural shell problems by the finite element method. It is concluded that the use of global functions for extrapolation will lead to savings in computer time.

  5. Mechanisms of Functional Improvement in a Two-Year Trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Early Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Eack, Shaun M.; Pogue-Geile, Michael F.; Greenwald, Deborah P.; Hogarty, Susan S.; Keshavan, Matcheri S.

    2013-01-01

    Background Cognitive rehabilitation has emerged as an effective treatment for addressing cognitive impairments and functional disability in schizophrenia; however, the degree to which changes in various social and non-social cognitive processes translate into improved functioning during treatment remains unclear. This research sought to identify the neurocognitive and social-cognitive mechanisms of functional improvement during a two-year trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) for early course schizophrenia. Method Patients in the early course of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to CET (n = 31) or an Enriched Supportive Therapy control (n = 27) and treated for up to two years. A comprehensive neurocognitive assessment battery and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) were completed annually, along with measures of functioning. Mediator analyses using mixed-effects growth models were conducted to examine the effects of neurocognitive and social-cognitive improvement on functional change. Results Two-year improvement in neurocognition and the emotion management branch of the MSCEIT were found to be significantly related to improved functional outcome in early course schizophrenia patients. Neurocognitive improvement, primarily in executive functioning, and social-cognitive change in emotion management also mediated the robust effects of CET on functioning. Conclusions Improvements in neurocognition and social cognition that result from cognitive rehabilitation are both significant mediators of functional improvement in early course schizophrenia. Cognitive rehabilitation programs for schizophrenia may need to target deficits in both social and non-social cognition to achieve an optimal functional response. PMID:20860867

  6. Restriction of multiple divergent retroviruses by Lv1 and Ref1

    PubMed Central

    Hatziioannou, Theodora; Cowan, Simone; Goff, Stephen P.; Bieniasz, Paul D.; Towers, Greg J.

    2003-01-01

    The mouse gene Fv1 encodes a saturable restriction factor that selectively blocks infection by N-tropic or B-tropic murine leukemia virus (MLV) strains. Despite the absence of an Fv1 gene, a similar activity is present in humans that blocks N-MLV infection (Ref1). Moreover, some non-human primate cell lines express a potentially related inhibitor of HIV-1 and/or SIVmac infection (Lv1). Here, we examine the spectrum of retrovirus-restricting activities expressed by human and African green monkey cell lines. Human cells restrict N-MLV and equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), but not HIV-1, HIV-2, SIVmac or SIVagm, whilst AGM cells restrict N-MLV, EIAV, HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIVmac. Remarkably, in each example examined, restriction of infection by a given retrovirus can be abrogated at least partially by saturation with another retrovirus, provided that it is also restricted but regardless of whether it is closely related. These data suggest that restriction factors in human and non-human primate cells are able to recognize and block infection by multiple, widely divergent retroviruses and that the factors themselves may be related. PMID:12554640

  7. Nitric oxide-donating statin improves multiple functions of circulating angiogenic cells

    PubMed Central

    Mangialardi, G; Monopoli, A; Ongini, E; Spinetti, G; Fortunato, O; Emanueli, C; Madeddu, P

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Statins, a major component of the prevention of cardiovascular disease, aid progenitor cell functions in vivo and in vitro. Statins bearing a NO-releasing moiety were developed for their enhanced anti-inflammatory/anti-thrombotic properties. Here, we investigated if the NO-donating atorvastatin (NCX 547) improved the functions of circulating angiogenic cells (CACs). EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) were prepared from peripheral blood monocytes of healthy volunteers and type-2 diabetic patients and were cultured in low (LG) or high glucose (HG) conditions, in presence of atorvastatin or NCX 547 (both at 0.1 µM) or vehicle. Functional assays (outgrowth, proliferation, viability, senescence and apoptosis) were performed in presence of the endothelial NOS inhibitor L-NIO, the NO scavenger c-PTIO or vehicle. KEY RESULTS Culturing in HG conditions lowered NO in CACs, inhibited outgrowth, proliferation, viability and migration, and induced cell senescence and apoptosis. NCX 547 fully restored NO levels and functions of HG-cultured CACs, while atorvastatin prevented only apoptosis in CACs. The activity of Akt, a pro-survival kinase, was increased by atorvastatin in LG-cultured but not in HG-cultured CACs, whereas NCX 547 increased Akt activity in both conditions. L-NIO partially blunted and c-PTIO prevented NCX 547-induced improvements in CAC functions. Finally, NCX 547 improved outgrowth and migration of CACs prepared from patients with type 2 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS NCX 547 was more effective than atorvastatin in preserving functions of CACs. This property adds to the spectrum of favourable actions that would make NO-releasing statins more effective agents for treating cardiovascular disease. PMID:21486281

  8. miR-27b overexpression improves mitochondrial function in a Sirt1-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xihong; Zuo, Shengnan; Xin, Wu

    2015-12-01

    Resveratrol improves mitochondrial function, and recent evidences demonstrate that miRNAs play important roles in certain effects of resveratrol. In the current study, we found that a microRNA, miR-27b, was significantly induced in a dose-dependent way in skeletal muscle and C2C12 myoblast treated with resveratrol. Our results showed that overexpression of miR-27b could mimic the effects of resveratrol on improving mitochondrial function and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells. Subsequently, we found that FOXO1 was a potential target of miR-27b, and the effects of resveratrol on mitochondrial function were significantly affected after inhibition of miR-27b. Moreover, the effects of miR-27b on mitochondrial function were lost after inhibition of Sirt1, although miR-27b and FOXO1 expression were not influenced. Taken together, these data suggested that overexpression of miR-27b could benefit mitochondrial function, while the effects of overexpressed miR-27b were Sirt1-dependent. PMID:26452502

  9. Avocado Oil Improves Mitochondrial Function and Decreases Oxidative Stress in Brain of Diabetic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Avila, Omar; Esquivel-Martínez, Mauricio; Olmos-Orizaba, Berenice Eridani; Saavedra-Molina, Alfredo; Rodriguez-Orozco, Alain R.; Cortés-Rojo, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic encephalopathy is a diabetic complication related to the metabolic alterations featuring diabetes. Diabetes is characterized by increased lipid peroxidation, altered glutathione redox status, exacerbated levels of ROS, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Although the pathophysiology of diabetic encephalopathy remains to be clarified, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of chronic diabetic complications. Taking this into consideration, the aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of 90-day avocado oil intake in brain mitochondrial function and oxidative status in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ rats). Avocado oil improves brain mitochondrial function in diabetic rats preventing impairment of mitochondrial respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential (??m), besides increasing complex III activity. Avocado oil also decreased ROS levels and lipid peroxidation and improved the GSH/GSSG ratio as well. These results demonstrate that avocado oil supplementation prevents brain mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetes in association with decreased oxidative stress. PMID:26180820

  10. Improving optical limiting of cw lasers with fullerene functionalized gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frare, Maria Chiara; Weber, Verena; De Filippo, Christian Corrado; Signorini, Raffaella; Maggini, Michele; Bozio, Renato

    2014-10-01

    In the attempt to improve optical limiting of cw lasers by exploiting the thermo-optic effect exhibited by gold nanostructures, we investigated two coupled systems consisting of either gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) or gold-silica core-shell (AuNSs), both functionalized with a thiolated-fulleropyrrolidine (C60Py). We measured the optical limiting behavior under cw illumination at 514 and 647 nm, resonant with the surface plasmon resonance at around 520 of AuNPs and at 650 nm of AuNSs, respectively. Temporal response analysis shows the variation of transmitted irradiance in a 300 milliseconds time interval, corresponding to the blinking time of the human eye. Comparing the present results we those previously obtained for AuNPs1 we demonstrate an improvement of the response of functionalized nanoparticles (AuNPs- C60Py) with respect to bare AuNPs.

  11. Stratum corneum drying drives vertical compression and lipid organization and improves barrier function in vitro.

    PubMed

    Iwai, Ichiro; Kunizawa, Naomi; Yagi, Eiichiro; Hirao, Tetsuji; Hatta, Ichiro

    2013-03-27

    The stratum corneum dehydrates after exogenous hydration due to skincare or bathing. In this study, sheets of stratum corneum were isolated from reconstructed human epidermis and the barrier function and structure of these sheets were assessed during drying with the aim of improving our understanding of skincare. Water diffusion through the sheets of stratum corneum decreased with drying, accompanied by decreased thickness and increased visible light transmission through the sheets. Electron paramagnetic resonance revealed that the order parameter values of stratum corneum lipids increased with drying. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed increases in the diffraction intensity of lamellar structures, with an 11-12 nm periodicity and spacing of 0.42 nm for lattice structures with drying. These results suggest that the drying process improves the barrier function of the stratum corneum by organizing the intercellular lipids in a vertically compressed arrangement. PMID:23165657

  12. Avocado Oil Improves Mitochondrial Function and Decreases Oxidative Stress in Brain of Diabetic Rats.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Avila, Omar; Esquivel-Martínez, Mauricio; Olmos-Orizaba, Berenice Eridani; Saavedra-Molina, Alfredo; Rodriguez-Orozco, Alain R; Cortés-Rojo, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic encephalopathy is a diabetic complication related to the metabolic alterations featuring diabetes. Diabetes is characterized by increased lipid peroxidation, altered glutathione redox status, exacerbated levels of ROS, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Although the pathophysiology of diabetic encephalopathy remains to be clarified, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of chronic diabetic complications. Taking this into consideration, the aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of 90-day avocado oil intake in brain mitochondrial function and oxidative status in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ rats). Avocado oil improves brain mitochondrial function in diabetic rats preventing impairment of mitochondrial respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential (?? m ), besides increasing complex III activity. Avocado oil also decreased ROS levels and lipid peroxidation and improved the GSH/GSSG ratio as well. These results demonstrate that avocado oil supplementation prevents brain mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetes in association with decreased oxidative stress. PMID:26180820

  13. Intramyocardial stem cell injection in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy: Functional recovery and reverse remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Adam R.; Trachtenberg, Barry; Velazquez, Darcy L.; McNiece, Ian; Altman, Peter; Rouy, Didier; Mendizabal, Adam M.; Pattany, Pradip M.; Lopera, Gustavo A.; Fishman, Joel; Zambrano, Juan P.; Heldman, Alan W.; Hare, Joshua M.

    2012-01-01

    Rationale Transcatheter, intramyocardial injections of bone marrow derived cell therapy produces reverse remodeling in large animal models of ischemic cardiomyopathy. Objective We used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) in patients with LV dysfunction related to remote myocardial infarction (MI) to test the hypothesis that bone marrow progenitor cell injection cause functional recovery of scarred myocardium and reverse remodeling. Methods and Results Eight patients (age 57.2±13.3) received transendocardial, intramyocardial injection of autologous bone marrow progenitor cells (mononuclear or mesenchymal stem cells) in LV scar and border zone. All patients tolerated the procedure with no serious adverse events. CMR at 1-year demonstrated a decrease in end-diastolic volume (208.7±20.4 vs. 167.4±7.32mL; p=0.03), a trend towards decreased end-systolic volume (142.4±16.5 vs. 107.6±7.4mL; p=0.06), decreased infarct size (p<0.05), and improved regional LV function by peak Ecc in the treated infarct zone (-8.1±1.0 vs. -11.4±1.3; p=0.04). Improvements in regional function were evident at 3 months, while the changes in chamber dimensions were not significant until 6 months. Improved regional function in the infarct zone strongly correlated with reduction of EDV (r2=0.69, p=0.04) and ESV (r2=0.83, p=0.01). Conclusions These data suggest that transcatheter, intramyocardial injections of autologous bone marrow progenitor cells improve regional contractility of a chronic myocardial scar and these changes predict subsequent reverse remodeling. The findings support the potential clinical benefits of this new treatment strategy and ongoing randomized clinical trials. PMID:21415390

  14. Does an exercise aimed at improving swallow function have an effect on vocal function in the healthy elderly?

    PubMed

    Easterling, Caryn

    2008-09-01

    Age-related sarcopenia or muscle wasting contributes to changes in the ability to perform activities of daily living, changes in deglutition, and changes in vocal function. The Shaker Exercise, an isometric and isokinetic exercise, has been shown to strengthen suprahyoid muscles and increase deglutitive anteroposterior (AP) upper esophageal sphincter (UES) opening diameter. The aim of this study was to determine if this exercise has an effect on the age-related changes in vocal function and deglutition in healthy older adults. Eleven females and 10 males, aged 65-78 years (mean = 70 +/- 4 years) and with a negative history for dysphagia and voice disorders, participated by exercising three times per day for 6 weeks. Five age-matched controls did not perform the exercise. Acoustic analysis of voice and biomechanical analysis of deglutition were performed before and after 6 weeks of exercise. Controls participated in voice analysis only. Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI), a multivariate voice index, was used to compare voice production initially and after 6 weeks. Deglutitive biomechanical measures increased and DSI scores improved in 10 of 21 participants following 6 weeks of the exercise. DSI for controls did not change over the 6-week period. Ten of 21 exercise participants experienced improved deglutitive biomechanics and DSI scores. Accuracy of exercise performance, compliance, and/or disclosed alterations in health status may contribute to the lack of deglutitive and DSI change in the participants who did not experience change in function. A large randomized control study, including periodic monitoring of health status, exercise performance accuracy, and compliance, is warranted to evaluate the affect of this exercise on deglutition as well as voice. The Shaker Exercise could be recommended as a preventative measure to diminish the effect of sarcopenia on the muscles used in deglutition and voice and alter the progression of the characteristic senescent voice and swallow changes. PMID:18437461

  15. A new therapeutic effect of simvastatin revealed by functional improvement in muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Nicholas P.; Kim, Min Jeong; Bible, Kenneth L.; Adams, Marvin E.; Froehner, Stanley C.

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, degenerative muscle disease with no effective treatment. DMD muscle pathogenesis is characterized by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis. Statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, inhibit these deleterious processes in ischemic diseases affecting skeletal muscle, and therefore have potential to improve DMD. However, statins have not been considered for DMD, or other muscular dystrophies, principally because skeletal-muscle-related symptoms are rare, but widely publicized, side effects of these drugs. Here we show positive effects of statins in dystrophic skeletal muscle. Simvastatin dramatically reduced damage and enhanced muscle function in dystrophic (mdx) mice. Long-term simvastatin treatment vastly improved overall muscle health in mdx mice, reducing plasma creatine kinase activity, an established measure of muscle damage, to near-normal levels. This reduction was accompanied by reduced inflammation, more oxidative muscle fibers, and improved strength of the weak diaphragm muscle. Shorter-term treatment protected against muscle fatigue and increased mdx hindlimb muscle force by 40%, a value comparable to current dystrophin gene-based therapies. Increased force correlated with reduced NADPH Oxidase 2 protein expression, the major source of oxidative stress in dystrophic muscle. Finally, in old mdx mice with severe muscle degeneration, simvastatin enhanced diaphragm force and halved fibrosis, a major cause of functional decline in DMD. These improvements were accompanied by autophagy activation, a recent therapeutic target for DMD, and less oxidative stress. Together, our findings highlight that simvastatin substantially improves the overall health and function of dystrophic skeletal muscles and may provide an unexpected, novel therapy for DMD and related neuromuscular diseases. PMID:26417069

  16. A new therapeutic effect of simvastatin revealed by functional improvement in muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Nicholas P; Kim, Min Jeong; Bible, Kenneth L; Adams, Marvin E; Froehner, Stanley C

    2015-10-13

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, degenerative muscle disease with no effective treatment. DMD muscle pathogenesis is characterized by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis. Statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, inhibit these deleterious processes in ischemic diseases affecting skeletal muscle, and therefore have potential to improve DMD. However, statins have not been considered for DMD, or other muscular dystrophies, principally because skeletal-muscle-related symptoms are rare, but widely publicized, side effects of these drugs. Here we show positive effects of statins in dystrophic skeletal muscle. Simvastatin dramatically reduced damage and enhanced muscle function in dystrophic (mdx) mice. Long-term simvastatin treatment vastly improved overall muscle health in mdx mice, reducing plasma creatine kinase activity, an established measure of muscle damage, to near-normal levels. This reduction was accompanied by reduced inflammation, more oxidative muscle fibers, and improved strength of the weak diaphragm muscle. Shorter-term treatment protected against muscle fatigue and increased mdx hindlimb muscle force by 40%, a value comparable to current dystrophin gene-based therapies. Increased force correlated with reduced NADPH Oxidase 2 protein expression, the major source of oxidative stress in dystrophic muscle. Finally, in old mdx mice with severe muscle degeneration, simvastatin enhanced diaphragm force and halved fibrosis, a major cause of functional decline in DMD. These improvements were accompanied by autophagy activation, a recent therapeutic target for DMD, and less oxidative stress. Together, our findings highlight that simvastatin substantially improves the overall health and function of dystrophic skeletal muscles and may provide an unexpected, novel therapy for DMD and related neuromuscular diseases. PMID:26417069

  17. Qiliqiangxin improves cardiac function and attenuates cardiac remodeling in rats with experimental myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jingfeng; Zhou, Jingmin; Ding, Xuefeng; Zhu, Lingti; Jiang, Kun; Fu, Mingqiang; Wang, Shijun; Hu, Kai; Ge, Junbo

    2015-01-01

    Objective: It has been reported that Qiliqiangxin (QL), a traditional Chinese medicine compound, could inhibit cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling, and improve cardiac function. However, whether and how it reverses cardiac remodeling in rats post myocardial infarction (MI) remains unknown. This study aims to explore related mechanisms linked with cardiac function improvement and attenuation of cardiac remodeling by QL in rats with experimental MI. Methods: MI was induced by ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats with LVEF < 50% at four weeks after procedure were treated for another 6 weeks with placebo, QL and captopril. Echocardiography and plasma NT-proBNP were measured at the end of study, and histological studies were performed. Protein expressions of Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1), total-Akt, phospho-Akt (Ser473), hydroxy-HIF-1? (Pro564), VEGF, Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase 3 were examined by Western blot. mRNA expression of NRG-1 and p53 was detected by real-time PCR. Results: Compared with the placebo group, QL improved cardiac function, reduced left ventricular dimension, inhibited interstitial inflammation and fibrosis, increased neovascularization, and attenuated cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Meanwhile QL significantly upregulated the expression of HIF-1?, VEGF, enhanced phosphorylation of Akt, decreased the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and Caspase 3 expression. Furthermore, we observed upregulation of NRG-1 and downregulation of p53 after QL treatment. Conclusion: Our data suggest that the beneficial effects of QL on improving cardiac function and attenuating cardiac remodeling post MI are associated with angiogenesis enhancement and apoptosis inhibition, which may be mediated via activation of NRG-1/Akt signaling and suppression of p53 pathway. PMID:26261541

  18. Longer Term Improvement in Neurocognitive Functioning and Affective Distress Among Methamphetamine Users Who Achieve Stable Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    IUDICELLO, JENNIFER E.; WOODS, STEVEN PAUL; VIGIL, OFILIO; SCOTT, J. COBB; CHERNER, MARIANA; HEATON, ROBERT K.; ATKINSON, J. HAMPTON; GRANT, IGOR

    2010-01-01

    Chronic use of methamphetamine (MA) is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction and affective distress. Some normalization of function has been reported after abstinence, but little data is available on the possible added benefits of long-term sobriety. To address this, we performed detailed neuropsychological and affective evaluations in 83 MA-dependent individuals at a baseline visit and following an average one-year interval period. Among the 83 MA-dependent participants, 25 remained abstinent and 58 used MA at least once during the interval period. Thirty-eight non-MA-addicted, demographically matched healthy comparison (i.e., HC) participants were also examined. At baseline, both MA-dependent participants who were able to maintain abstinence and those who were not performed significantly worse than the healthy comparison subjects on global neuropsychological functioning and were significantly more distressed. At the one-year follow-up, both the long term abstainers and healthy comparison groups showed comparable global neuropsychological performance and affective distress levels, whereas the MA-dependent group who continued to use were worse than the comparison participants in terms of global neuropsychological functioning and affective distress. An interaction was observed between neuropsychological impairment at baseline, MA abstinence, and cognitive improvement, with abstinent MA-dependent participants who were neuropsychologically impaired at baseline demonstrating significantly and disproportionately greater improvement in processing speed and slightly greater improvement in motor abilities relative to the other participants. These results suggest partial recovery of neuropsychological functioning and improvement in affective distress upon sustained abstinence from MA that may extend beyond a year or more. PMID:20198527

  19. Improving Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy Deconvolution Using Constrained Laguerre Basis Functions 

    E-print Network

    Khatkhatay, Mohammed M

    2014-04-25

    IMPROVING FLUORESCENCE LIFETIME IMAGING MICROSCOPY DECONVOLUTION USING CONSTRAINED LAGUERRE BASIS FUNCTIONS A Thesis by MOHAMMED IBRAHIM KHATKHATAY Submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies of Texas A&M University in partial... Engineering Copyright 2014 Mohammed Ibrahim Khatkhatay ii ABSTRACT Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) is a noninvasive invasive optical imaging modality which is finding new applications in medical imaging. In FLIM, the fluorescence...

  20. Longer term improvement in neurocognitive functioning and affective distress among methamphetamine users who achieve stable abstinence.

    PubMed

    Iudicello, Jennifer E; Woods, Steven P; Vigil, Ofilio; Scott, J Cobb; Cherner, Mariana; Heaton, Robert K; Atkinson, J Hampton; Grant, Igor

    2010-08-01

    Chronic use of methamphetamine (MA) is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction and affective distress. Some normalization of function has been reported after abstinence, but little in the way of data is available on the possible added benefits of long-term sobriety. To address this, we performed detailed neuropsychological and affective evaluations in 83 MA-dependent individuals at a baseline visit and following an average one-year interval period. Among the 83 MA-dependent participants, 25 remained abstinent, and 58 used MA at least once during the interval period. A total of 38 non-MA-addicted, demographically matched healthy comparison (i.e., HC) participants were also examined. At baseline, both MA-dependent participants who were able to maintain abstinence and those who were not performed significantly worse than the healthy comparison subjects on global neuropsychological functioning and were significantly more distressed. At the one-year follow-up, both the long-term abstainers and healthy comparison groups showed comparable global neuropsychological performance and affective distress levels, whereas the MA-dependent group who continued to use MA were worse than the comparison participants in terms of global neuropsychological functioning and affective distress. An interaction was observed between neuropsychological impairment at baseline, MA abstinence, and cognitive improvement, with abstinent MA-dependent participants who were neuropsychologically impaired at baseline demonstrating significantly and disproportionately greater improvement in processing speed and slightly greater improvement in motor abilities than the other participants. These results suggest partial recovery of neuropsychological functioning and improvement in affective distress upon sustained abstinence from MA that may extend beyond a year or more. PMID:20198527

  1. Inscapes: A movie paradigm to improve compliance in functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Vanderwal, Tamara; Kelly, Clare; Eilbott, Jeffrey; Mayes, Linda C; Castellanos, F Xavier

    2015-11-15

    The examination of functional connectivity in fMRI data collected during task-free "rest" has provided a powerful tool for studying functional brain organization. Limitations of this approach include susceptibility to head motion artifacts and participant drowsiness or sleep. These issues are especially relevant when studying young children or clinical populations. Here we introduce a movie paradigm, Inscapes, that features abstract shapes without a narrative or scene-cuts. The movie was designed to provide enough stimulation to improve compliance related to motion and wakefulness while minimizing cognitive load during the collection of functional imaging data. We compare Inscapes to eyes-open rest and to age-appropriate movie clips in healthy adults (Ocean's Eleven, n=22) and a pilot sample of typically developing children ages 3-7 (Fantasia, n=13). Head motion was significantly lower during both movies relative to rest for both groups. In adults, movies decreased the number of participants who self-reported sleep. Intersubject correlations, used to quantify synchronized, task-evoked activity across movie and rest conditions in adults, involved less cortex during Inscapes than Ocean's Eleven. To evaluate the effect of movie-watching on intrinsic functional connectivity networks, we examined mean functional connectivity using both whole-brain functional parcellation and network-based approaches. Both inter- and intra-network metrics were more similar between Inscapes and Rest than between Ocean's Eleven and Rest, particularly in comparisons involving the default network. When comparing movies to Rest, the mean functional connectivity of somatomotor, visual and ventral attention networks differed significantly across various analyses. We conclude that low-demand movies like Inscapes may represent a useful intermediate condition between task-free rest and typical narrative movies while still improving participant compliance. Inscapes is publicly available for download at headspacestudios.org/inscapes. PMID:26241683

  2. Robot-Assisted Reach Training for Improving Upper Extremity Function of Chronic Stroke.

    PubMed

    Cho, Ki Hun; Song, Won-Kyung

    2015-01-01

    Stroke, as a major risk factor for chronic impairment of upper limb function, can severely restrict the activities of daily living. Recently, robotic devices have been used to enhance the functional upper extremity movement of stroke patients. The purpose of the current study was to assess whether a robot-assisted reach training program using a whole arm manipulator (WAM) could improve upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement for chronic stroke patients. Using a single-group design, this study followed 10 people with chronic stroke (6 men, 61.5 years; Mini-Mental State Examination score: 27.0; onset duration: 8.9 years). WAM with seven degrees of freedom for the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints was used during robot-assisted reach exercises. Subjects participated in the training program for 40 minutes per day, 2 times a week, for 4 weeks. The main outcome measures were upper extremity kinematic performance (movement velocity) for three directions and functional movement (Action Research Arm Test). Upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement measures were performed three times: at baseline, during intervention (at 2 weeks), and post intervention. Upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement showed improvement after two weeks (P < 0.05) and four weeks (P < 0.05) of training compared to baseline. The findings of the current study demonstrated the positive effects of short-term robot-assisted reach training on upper extremity kinematic performance as well as functional movement in individuals with chronic stroke. In addition, the findings of the current study may provide valuable information for subsequent randomized controlled trials. PMID:26460793

  3. Luteolin improves the impaired nerve functions in diabetic neuropathy: behavioral and biochemical evidences

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ming; Li, Qiang; Zhao, Qingsong; Zhang, Jinchao; Lin, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Peripheral neuropathies are a major cause of morbidity in patients with diabetes mellitus. Up to now, drugs for improving the impaired nerve functions has been lacking for diabetic neuropathy. The antioxidant and neuroprotective effects of luteolin make it an attractive candidate for diabetic neuropathy. The present study was designed to investigate the putative beneficial effect of luteolin on diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic rats were intraperitoneally treated with daily luteolin (50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg) or vehicle for 3 weeks from the 28th day after streptozotocin injection. Behavioral, electrophysiological and biochemical studies were performed to evaluate the effect of luteolin on the impaired nerve functions in diabetic neuropathy. It was found that luteolin dose dependently alleviated abnormal sensation, improved nerve conduction velocities and nerve blood flow in diabetic rats. Biochanical analysis showed that luteolin significantly lowered the reactive oxygen species production and malondialdehyde level, as well as increased antioxidants activities in a dose dependent manner. In addition, luteolin significantly up-regulated the protein levels of nuclear factor-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in diabetic nerves. Taken together, luteolin is capable of improving diabetes-induced deficit in motor and sensory functions, which could be attributable, at least in part, to its Nrf2-dependent antioxidant capacity. The findings in the present study highlight the therapeutic value of luteolin for diabetic neuropathy. PMID:26617718

  4. Bone Marrow Transplantation in Dysferlin-Deficient Mice Results in a Mild Functional Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Flix, Bàrbara; Suárez-Calvet, Xavier; Díaz-Manera, Jordi; Santos-Nogueira, Eva; Mancuso, Renzo; Barquinero, Jordi; Navas, Miquel; Navarro, Xavier; Illa, Isabel

    2013-01-01

    Dysferlinopathies are caused by mutations in the DYSF gene. Dysferlin is a protein mainly expressed in the skeletal muscle and monocytes. Cell therapy constitutes a promising tool for the treatment of muscular dystrophies. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) using the A/J Dysfprmd mouse model of dysferlinopathy. For that purpose, we studied dysferlin expression by western blot and/or immunohistochemistry in transplanted mice and controls. Computerized analyses of locomotion and electrophysiological techniques were also performed to test the functional improvement. We observed dysferlin expression in splenocytes, but not in the skeletal muscle of the transplanted mice. However, the locomotion test, electromyography studies, and muscle histology showed an improvement in all transplanted mice that was more significant in the animals transplanted with dysferlin+/+ cells. In conclusion, although BMT restores dysferlin expression in monocytes, but not in skeletal muscle, muscle function was partially recovered. We propose that the slight improvement observed in the functional studies could be related with factors, such as the hepatocyte growth factor, released after BMT that prevented muscle degeneration. PMID:23777246

  5. Cardiac I-1c Overexpression With Reengineered AAV Improves Cardiac Function in Swine Ischemic Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Ishikawa, Kiyotake; Fish, Kenneth M; Tilemann, Lisa; Rapti, Kleopatra; Aguero, Jaume; Santos-Gallego, Carlos G; Lee, Ahyoung; Karakikes, Ioannis; Xie, Chaoqin; Akar, Fadi G; Shimada, Yuichi J; Gwathmey, Judith K; Asokan, Aravind; McPhee, Scott; Samulski, Jade; Samulski, Richard Jude; Sigg, Daniel C; Weber, Thomas; Kranias, Evangelia G; Hajjar, Roger J

    2014-01-01

    Cardiac gene therapy has emerged as a promising option to treat advanced heart failure (HF). Advances in molecular biology and gene targeting approaches are offering further novel options for genetic manipulation of the cardiovascular system. The aim of this study was to improve cardiac function in chronic HF by overexpressing constitutively active inhibitor-1 (I-1c) using a novel cardiotropic vector generated by capsid reengineering of adeno-associated virus (BNP116). One month after a large anterior myocardial infarction, 20 Yorkshire pigs randomly received intracoronary injection of either high-dose BNP116.I-1c (1.0?×?1013 vector genomes (vg), n = 7), low-dose BNP116.I-1c (3.0?×?1012 vg, n = 7), or saline (n = 6). Compared to baseline, mean left ventricular ejection fraction increased by 5.7% in the high-dose group, and by 5.2% in the low-dose group, whereas it decreased by 7% in the saline group. Additionally, preload-recruitable stroke work obtained from pressure–volume analysis demonstrated significantly higher cardiac performance in the high-dose group. Likewise, other hemodynamic parameters, including stroke volume and contractility index indicated improved cardiac function after the I-1c gene transfer. Furthermore, BNP116 showed a favorable gene expression pattern for targeting the heart. In summary, I-1c overexpression using BNP116 improves cardiac function in a clinically relevant model of ischemic HF. PMID:25023328

  6. Improving the accuracy of MTF measurement at low frequencies based on oversampled edge spread function deconvolution.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhongxing; Gao, Feng; Zhao, Huijuan; Zhang, Lixin; Ren, Liqiang; Li, Zheng; Ghani, Muhammad U; Hao, Ting; Liu, Hong

    2015-07-01

    The modulation transfer function (MTF) of a radiographic system is often evaluated by measuring the system's edge spread function (ESF) using edge device. However, the numerical differentiation procedure of the traditional slanted edge method amplifies noises in the line spread function (LSF) and limits the accuracy of the MTF measurement at low frequencies. The purpose of this study is to improve the accuracy of low-frequency MTF measurement for digital x-ray imaging systems. An edge spread function (ESF) deconvolution technique was developed for MTF measurement based on the degradation model of slanted edge images. Specifically, symmetric oversampled ESFs were constructed by subtracting a shifted version of the ESF from the original one. For validation, the proposed MTF technique was compared with conventional slanted edge method through computer simulations as well as experiments on two digital radiography systems. The simulation results show that the average errors of the proposed ESF deconvolution technique were 0.11% ± 0.09% and 0.23% ± 0.14%, and they outperformed the conventional edge method (0.64% ± 0.57% and 1.04% ± 0.82% respectively) at low-frequencies. On the experimental edge images, the proposed technique achieved better uncertainty performance than the conventional method. As a result, both computer simulation and experiments have demonstrated that the accuracy of MTF measurement at low frequencies can be improved by using the proposed ESF deconvolution technique. PMID:26410662

  7. Dietary sphingolipids improve skin barrier functions via the upregulation of ceramide synthases in the epidermis.

    PubMed

    Duan, Jingjing; Sugawara, Tatsuya; Hirose, Mayumi; Aida, Kazuhiko; Sakai, Shota; Fujii, Aoi; Hirata, Takashi

    2012-06-01

    Sphingolipids are ubiquitous in eukaryotic organisms and are significant components in foods. It has been reported that treatment with sphingolipids prevents colon cancer, improves skin barrier function and suppresses inflammatory responses. However, the mechanisms for those effects of dietary sphingolipids are not well understood. In this study, to investigate the effects of dietary glucosylceramide (GluCer) and sphingomyelin (SM) on skin function, we characterized the recovery of skin barrier function and the change in sphingolipid metabolism-related enzymes in the epidermis using a special Mg-deficient diet-induced atopic dermatitis-like skin and tape-stripping damaged skin murine models. Our results show that dietary GluCer and SM accelerate the recoveries of damaged skin barrier functions. Correspondingly, dietary sphingolipids significantly upregulated the expression of ceramide synthases 3 and 4 in the epidermis of the atopic dermatitis-like skin model (P < 0.05). In the case of cultured cells, the expression of ceramide synthases 2-4 in normal human foreskin keratinocytes was significantly upregulated by treatment with 0.001-0.1 ?m sphingoid bases (sphinganine, sphingosine and trans-4,cis-8-sphingadienine) (P < 0.05). These results suggest that the effects of dietary sphingolipids might be due to the activation of ceramide synthesis in the skin, rather than the direct reutilization of dietary sphingolipids. Our findings provide a novel insight into the mechanisms of the skin barrier improving effect and a more comprehensive understanding of dietary sphingolipids. PMID:22621186

  8. Chondroitinase gene therapy improves upper limb function following cervical contusion injury.

    PubMed

    James, Nicholas D; Shea, Jessie; Muir, Elizabeth M; Verhaagen, Joost; Schneider, Bernard L; Bradbury, Elizabeth J

    2015-09-01

    Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are known to be important contributors to the intensely inhibitory environment that prevents tissue repair and regeneration following spinal cord injury. The bacterial enzyme chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) degrades these inhibitory molecules and has repeatedly been shown to promote functional recovery in a number of spinal cord injury models. However, when used to treat more traumatic and clinically relevant spinal contusion injuries, findings with the ChABC enzyme have been inconsistent. We recently demonstrated that delivery of mammalian-compatible ChABC via gene therapy led to sustained and widespread digestion of CSPGs, resulting in significant functional repair of a moderate thoracic contusion injury in adult rats. Here we demonstrate that chondroitinase gene therapy significantly enhances upper limb function following cervical contusion injury, with improved forelimb ladder performance and grip strength as well as increased spinal conduction through the injury site and reduced lesion pathology. This is an important addition to our previous findings as improving upper limb function is a top priority for spinal injured patients. Additionally great importance is placed on replication in the spinal cord injury field. That chondroitinase gene therapy has now been shown to be efficacious in contusion models at either thoracic or cervical level is an important step in the further development of this promising therapeutic strategy towards the clinic. PMID:26044197

  9. Chondroitinase gene therapy improves upper limb function following cervical contusion injury

    PubMed Central

    James, Nicholas D.; Shea, Jessie; Muir, Elizabeth M.; Verhaagen, Joost; Schneider, Bernard L.; Bradbury, Elizabeth J.

    2015-01-01

    Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are known to be important contributors to the intensely inhibitory environment that prevents tissue repair and regeneration following spinal cord injury. The bacterial enzyme chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) degrades these inhibitory molecules and has repeatedly been shown to promote functional recovery in a number of spinal cord injury models. However, when used to treat more traumatic and clinically relevant spinal contusion injuries, findings with the ChABC enzyme have been inconsistent. We recently demonstrated that delivery of mammalian-compatible ChABC via gene therapy led to sustained and widespread digestion of CSPGs, resulting in significant functional repair of a moderate thoracic contusion injury in adult rats. Here we demonstrate that chondroitinase gene therapy significantly enhances upper limb function following cervical contusion injury, with improved forelimb ladder performance and grip strength as well as increased spinal conduction through the injury site and reduced lesion pathology. This is an important addition to our previous findings as improving upper limb function is a top priority for spinal injured patients. Additionally great importance is placed on replication in the spinal cord injury field. That chondroitinase gene therapy has now been shown to be efficacious in contusion models at either thoracic or cervical level is an important step in the further development of this promising therapeutic strategy towards the clinic. PMID:26044197

  10. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids improve brain function and structure in older adults.

    PubMed

    Witte, A Veronica; Kerti, Lucia; Hermannstädter, Henrike M; Fiebach, Jochen B; Schreiber, Stephan J; Schuchardt, Jan Philipp; Hahn, Andreas; Flöel, Agnes

    2014-11-01

    Higher intake of seafish or oil rich in long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-n3-FA) may be beneficial for the aging brain. We tested in a prospective interventional design whether high levels of supplementary LC-n3-FA would improve cognition, and addressed potential mechanisms underlying the effects. Sixty-five healthy subjects (50-75 years, 30 females) successfully completed 26 weeks of either fish oil (2.2 g/day LC-n3-FA) or placebo intake. Before and after the intervention period, cognitive performance, structural neuroimaging, vascular markers, and blood parameters were assayed. We found a significant increase in executive functions after LC-n3-FA compared with placebo (P = 0.023). In parallel, LC-n3-FA exerted beneficial effects on white matter microstructural integrity and gray matter volume in frontal, temporal, parietal, and limbic areas primarily of the left hemisphere, and on carotid intima media thickness and diastolic blood pressure. Improvements in executive functions correlated positively with changes in omega-3-index and peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and negatively with changes in peripheral fasting insulin. This double-blind randomized interventional study provides first-time evidence that LC-n3-FA exert positive effects on brain functions in healthy older adults, and elucidates underlying mechanisms. Our findings suggest novel strategies to maintain cognitive functions into old age. PMID:23796946

  11. Subliminal Strengthening: Improving Elders’ Physical Function over Time through an Implicit-Age-Stereotype Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Becca R.; Pilver, Corey; Chung, Pil H.; Slade, Martin D.

    2015-01-01

    Negative age stereotypes that older individuals assimilate from their culture are associated with detrimental outcomes, including worse physical function. We examined for the first time whether positive age stereotypes, presented subliminally across multiple sessions in the community, would reverse this process. One hundred older individuals (aged 61-99, SD=10 years, M=81) were randomly assigned to an implicit-positive-age-stereotype intervention, explicit-positive-age-stereotype intervention, both, or neither. Interventions occurred at four one week intervals. As expected, the implicit intervention, in sequence, strengthened positive age stereotypes, strengthened positive self-perceptions of aging, and improved physical function. The improvement of physical function continued for three weeks following the last intervention session. Further, negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging were weakened. For all outcomes, the implicit intervention's impact was greater than, and independent of, the explicit intervention's impact. The implicit physical-function effect surpassed a previous study's six-month-exercise intervention with similar-aged participants. These findings suggest the intervention served, in effect, as an implicit fitness center. PMID:25326508

  12. Inhibition of CXCL12 signaling attenuates the postischemic immune response and improves functional recovery after stroke.

    PubMed

    Ruscher, Karsten; Kuric, Enida; Liu, Yawei; Walter, Helene L; Issazadeh-Navikas, Shohreh; Englund, Elisabet; Wieloch, Tadeusz

    2013-08-01

    After stroke, brain inflammation in the ischemic hemisphere hampers brain tissue reorganization and functional recovery. Housing rats in an enriched environment (EE) dramatically improves recovery of lost neurologic functions after experimental stroke. We show here that rats housed in EE after stroke induced by permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (pMCAO), showed attenuated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the ischemic core and the surrounding peri-infarct area, including a significant reduction in the stroke-induced chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its natural ligand stromal cell-derived factor-1 (CXCL12). To mimic beneficial effects of EE, we studied the impact of inhibiting CXCL12 action on functional recovery after transient MCAO (tMCAO). Rats treated with the specific CXCL12 receptor antagonist 1-[4-(1,4,8,11-tetrazacyclotetradec-1-ylmethyl)phenyl]methyl]-1,4,8,11-tetrazacyclo-tetradecan (AMD3100) showed improved recovery compared with saline-treated rats after tMCAO, without a concomitant reduction in infarct size. This was accompanied by a reduction of infiltrating immune cells in the ischemic hemisphere, particularly cluster of differentiation 3-positive (CD3(+)) and CD3(+)/CD4(+) T cells. Spleen atrophy and delayed death of splenocytes, induced by tMCAO, was prevented by AMD3100 treatment. We conclude that immoderate excessive activation of the CXCL12 pathway after stroke contributes to depression of neurologic function after stroke and that CXCR4 antagonism is beneficial for the recovery after stroke. PMID:23632969

  13. Improved conductivity of transparent single-wall carbon nanotube thin films via stable postdeposition functionalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parekh, Bhavin B.; Fanchini, Giovanni; Eda, Goki; Chhowalla, Manish

    2007-03-01

    A simple postdeposition method for improving the conductivity of transparent and conducting single-wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) thin films via exposure to nitric acid and thionyl chloride is reported. A systematic study on a range of films of variable density and from different commercial sources of SWNTs is performed. The functionalized films possess sheet resistances as low as that of indium tin oxide (ITO) (˜30?/?) albeit at lower transmittance (˜50%). At 80±5% transmittance, the functionalized films have resistance values ranging from 150to300?/?. The SWNT films, however, are more flexible than ITO. The stability of the functionalized films upon annealing and processing in solvents (water, methanol, and chloroform) is also reported.

  14. A Combined Aerobic and Resistance Exercise Program Improves Physical Functional Performance in Patients With Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Gary, Rebecca A.; Cress, M. Elaine; Higgins, Melinda K.; Smith, Andrew L.; Dunbar, Sandra B.

    2014-01-01

    Background Recent guidelines for exercise in patients with heart failure (HF) recommended aerobic and resistance exercise as being safe and effective; however, the clinical and functional significance of these combined training modalities has not been established. In this pilot study, combined aerobic and resistance training was hypothesized to improve physical function, muscle strength, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) compared with an attention control wait list (ACWL). Methods The 10-item Continuous Scale Physical Functional Performance Test (CS-PFP10), which simulates common household chores; muscle strength (handgrip and knee extension); and HRQOL (Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire) were evaluated at baseline (T1) and at 12 weeks (T2). The home-based moderate-intensity walking and resistance training program was performed 5 days a week. Results Twenty-four New York Heart Association class II to III HF patients (mean [SD] age, 60 [10] years; mean [SD] left ventricular ejection fraction, 25% [9%]) were randomized to a combined aerobic and resistance exercise program or to an ACWL group. Of the total group, 58% were New York Heart Association class III HF patients, 50% were white, and 50% were female. The CS-PFP10 total scores were significantly increased in the exercise group, from 45 (18) to 56 (16). The Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire overall summary score was significantly improved (P < .001) at T2 in the exercise intervention group compared with the ACWL group. Conclusions Participants provided the home-based, combined aerobic and resistance exercise program had significantly improved physical function, muscle strength, symptom severity, and HRQOL compared with the ACWL group. The findings of this study must be interpreted cautiously owing to the limitations of a small sample, data collection from a single center, and differences between control and interventions groups at baseline. A combined aerobic and resistance exercise approach may improve physical function in stable HF patients, but further study in a larger, more diverse population is recommended. However, in this study, the CS-PFP10 instrument demonstrated its ability to identify functional health status in HF patients and thus warrants further testing in a larger sample for possible use in clinical practice. PMID:21912268

  15. Intracoronary endothelin receptor blockade improves endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease.

    PubMed

    Böhm, Felix; Jensen, Jens; Svane, Bertil; Settergren, Magnus; Pernow, John

    2008-11-01

    Endothelin (ET)-1 receptor blockade improves endothelial function in the forearm of patients with atherosclerosis. The aim was to investigate whether intracoronary ET receptor blockade improves coronary endothelial function and increases blood flow in patients with coronary artery disease. Ten patients received a 60-minute infusion of either the selective ETA receptor antagonist BQ123 (40 nmol/min, n = 6) or BQ123 + the ETB receptor antagonist BQ788 (40 nmol/min, n = 4). In all patients, substance P, an endothelium-dependent vasodilator, did not increase baseline coronary flow reserve with thermodilution (CFRThermo) (0.71 +/- 0.14 s during NaCl versus 0.59 +/- 0.14 s during substance P) or baseline quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) (2.74 +/- 0.16 mm versus 2.83 +/- 0.20 mm). After ET receptor blockade, however, the response to substance P was significantly improved as determined both by CFRThermo (0.62 +/- 0.14 s during NaCl versus 0.48 +/- 0.10 s during substance P, p < 0.05) and by QCA (2.70 +/- 0.18 mm versus 2.85 +/- 0.19 mm, p < 0.05). In addition, ET blockade increased blood flow in all patients by 16% +/- 10% (n = 10, p < 0.05) and in the BQ123 group by 22% +/- 16% (n = 6, p < 0.05). Furthermore, ETA blockade increased blood flow significantly more than did dual ETA/ETB blockade (p < 0.05). These findings indicate that ET receptor blockade may be a new therapeutic strategy to improve coronary vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease. PMID:19011669

  16. Improved functional properties of glycosylated soy protein isolate using D-glucose and xanthan gum.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruiqi; Hettiarachchy, Navam; Rayaprolu, Srinivas; Davis, Mike; Eswaranandam, Satchithanandam; Jha, Alok; Chen, Pengyin

    2015-09-01

    Functional properties of the soy protein need to improve to have better applications in food industry. Alkali extracted and acid precipitated soy protein isolate (SPI) was glycosylated using D-glucose (G) and Xanthan gum (X) via Maillard reaction to improve solubility. The effects of SPI to G and SPI to X ratios (SPI:G = 2:1, 1:1, and 1:2; SPI:X = 100:1 and 10:1) and incubation time (0, 6, 12, and 24 h) on the solubility and functional properties of glycosylated SPI were evaluated. The SPI:G ratio of 1:2 yielded a maximum degree of glycosylation of 71.1 %. The solubility of SPI after glycosylation significantly increased (P??0.05), the emulsifying activity improved significantly (P?improve the functional quality of the food products. PMID:26345030

  17. Modulating molecular chaperones improves sensory fiber recovery and mitochondrial function in diabetic peripheral neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Michael J.; Pan, Pan; Farmer, Kevin L.; Zhao, Huiping; Blagg, Brian S.J.; Dobrowsky, Rick T.

    2012-01-01

    Quantification of intra-epidermal nerve fibers (iENFs) is an important approach to stage diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and is a promising clinical endpoint for identifying beneficial therapeutics. Mechanistically, diabetes decreases neuronal mitochondrial function and enhancing mitochondrial respiratory capacity may aid neuronal recovery from glucotoxic insults. We have proposed that modulating the activity and expression of heat shock proteins (Hsp) may be of benefit in treating DPN. KU-32 is a C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor that improved thermal hypoalgesia in diabetic C57Bl/6 mice but it was not determined if this was associated with an increase in iENF density and mitochondrial function. After 16 weeks of diabetes, Swiss Webster mice showed decreased electrophysiological and psychosensory responses and a >30% loss of iENFs. Treatment of the mice with ten weekly doses of 20 mg/kg KU-32 significantly reversed pre-existing deficits in nerve conduction velocity and responses to mechanical and thermal stimuli. KU-32 therapy significantly reversed the pre-existing loss of iENFs despite the identification of a sub-group of drug-treated diabetic mice that showed improved thermal sensitivity but no increase in iENF density. To determine if the improved clinical indices correlated with enhanced mitochondrial activity, sensory neurons were isolated and mitochondrial bioenergetics assessed ex vivo using extracellular flux technology. Diabetes decreased maximal respiratory capacity in sensory neurons and this deficit was improved following KU-32 treatment. In conclusion, KU-32 improved physiological and morphologic markers of degenerative neuropathy and drug efficacy may be related to enhanced mitochondrial bioenergetics in sensory neurons. PMID:22465570

  18. SPONTANEOUS IMPROVEMENT OF ROD SYSTEM FUNCTION IN A PATIENT WITH MELANOMA-ASSOCIATED RETINOPATHY

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Linda S.; Alexander, Kenneth R.; Fishman, Gerald A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose To report spontaneous improvement of rod visual function in a patient with melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR). Methods Electroretinography (ERG), and dark-adapted psychophysical thresholds were performed on a male patient with the MAR syndrome, during four visits over a period of almost 7 years. Results There was a spontaneous, subjective improvement in night vision and a decrease in the severity of photopsias of the patient’s left eye between the initial and most recent visits. Both the dark-adapted rod-isolated and maximal-flash b-wave ERG amplitude also improved his initial visit to the most recent visit. By comparison, the light-adapted brief-flash and flicker ERG amplitudes were initially within the range of normal in the left eye but showed a subsequent reduction in amplitude. The ERG response of the right eye was only measured at the most recent visit, but gave a dark-adapted response that was similar to that of the left eye on the initial visit, and a light-adapted response that was similar to that of the left eye on the most recent visit. Rod sensitivity was substantially better in the left eye than in the right eye by psychophysical testing, although the right eye did show a noticeable level of improvement in rod thresholds between the initial and most recent visits. Conclusions These findings document the potential for spontaneous improvement in electrophysiological and psychophysical rod function, as well as in subjective symptoms, in patients with the MAR syndrome. PMID:19343091

  19. Delayed administration of a PTEN inhibitor BPV improves functional recovery after experimental stroke.

    PubMed

    Mao, L; Jia, J; Zhou, X; Xiao, Y; Wang, Y; Mao, X; Zhen, X; Guan, Y; Alkayed, N J; Cheng, J

    2013-02-12

    Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) inhibitors administered prior to or immediately after experimental stroke confer acute neuroprotection. However, it remains unclear if delayed treatment with a PTEN inhibitor improves long-term functional recovery after stroke. We addressed the issue in this study. Adult male mice were subjected to 1h of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) followed by treatment with a well-established PTEN inhibitor BPV or saline daily for 14 days, starting at 24h after MCAO. Functional recovery was assessed with behavioral tests and acute infarct volumes were analyzed histologically. Delayed BPV treatment did not reduce infarction during the acute phase, but significantly improved long-term functional recovery after MCAO. Since PTEN is a critical intrinsic inhibitory factor in axonal regeneration, we further examined BPV effects on axonal densities following MCAO using bielschowsky silver staining and immunohistochemistry with antibodies against myelin basic protein. Delayed BPV treatment significantly increased axon densities in the ischemic brain at 14 days after MCAO. Moreover, PTEN expression persistently remained high in the ischemic brain over 14 days after MCAO, and BPV treatment increased post-ischemic activation of Akt and mTOR in the ischemic brain. Akt and mTOR activation are the well-established cascades downstream to PTEN inhibition and have been shown to contribute to post-injury axonal regrowth in response to PTEN inhibition. Consistently, in an in vitro neuronal ischemia model, BPV enhanced axonal outgrowth of primary cortical neurons after oxygen-glucose deprivation and the enhancing effects were abolished by Akt/mTOR inhibition. In conclusion, delayed BPV treatment improved functional recovery from experimental stroke possibly via enhancing axonal growth and Akt/mTOR activation contributed to BPV-enhanced post-stroke axon growth. PMID:23219909

  20. HIGH RESOLUTION H{alpha} IMAGES OF THE BINARY LOW-MASS PROPLYD LV 1 WITH THE MAGELLAN AO SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Y.-L.; Close, L. M.; Males, J. R.; Follette, K.; Morzinski, K.; Kopon, D.; Rodigas, T. J.; Hinz, P.; Puglisi, A.; Esposito, S.; Pinna, E.; Riccardi, A.; Xompero, M.; Briguglio, R.

    2013-09-01

    We utilize the new Magellan adaptive optics system (MagAO) to image the binary proplyd LV 1 in the Orion Trapezium at H{alpha}. This is among the first AO results in visible wavelengths. The H{alpha} image clearly shows the ionization fronts, the interproplyd shell, and the cometary tails. Our astrometric measurements find no significant relative motion between components over {approx}18 yr, implying that LV 1 is a low-mass system. We also analyze Large Binocular Telescope AO observations, and find a point source which may be the embedded protostar's photosphere in the continuum. Converting the H magnitudes to mass, we show that the LV 1 binary may consist of one very-low-mass star with a likely brown dwarf secondary, or even plausibly a double brown dwarf. Finally, the magnetopause of the minor proplyd is estimated to have a radius of 110 AU, consistent with the location of the bow shock seen in H{alpha}.

  1. A novel cable-driven robotic training improves locomotor function in individuals post-stroke.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ming; Landry, Jill M; Yen, Sheng-Che; Schmit, Brian D; Hornby, T George; Rafferty, Miriam

    2011-01-01

    A novel cable-driven robotic gait training system has been tested to improve the locomotor function in individuals post stroke. Seven subjects with chronic stroke were recruited to participate in this 6 weeks robot-assisted treadmill training paradigm. A controlled assistance force was applied to the paretic leg at the ankle through a cable-driven robotic system. The force was applied from late stance to mid-swing during treadmill training. Body weight support was provided as necessary to prevent knee buckling or toe drag. Subjects were trained 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Overground gait speed, 6 minute walking distance, and balance were evaluated at pre, post 6 weeks robotic training, and at 8 weeks follow up. Significant improvements in gait speed and 6 minute walking distance were obtained following robotic treadmill training through a cable-driven robotic system. Results from this study indicate that it is feasible to improve the locomotor function in individuals post stroke through a flexible cable-driven robot. PMID:22256331

  2. Structural stabilization and functional improvement of horseradish peroxidase upon modification of accessible lysines: experiments and simulation.

    PubMed

    Mogharrab, Navid; Ghourchian, Hedayatollah; Amininasab, Mehriar

    2007-02-15

    Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) is an important heme enzyme with enormous medical diagnostic, biosensing, and biotechnological applications. Thus, any improvement in the applicability and stability of the enzyme is potentially interesting. We previously reported that covalent attachment of an electron relay (anthraquinone 2-carboxylic acid) to the surface-exposed Lys residues successfully improves electron transfer properties of HRP. Here we investigated structural and functional consequences of this modification, which alters three accessible charged lysines (Lys-174, Lys-232, and Lys-241) to the hydrophobic anthraquinolysine residues. Thermal denaturation and thermoinactivation studies demonstrated that this kind of modification enhances the conformational and operational stability of HRP. The melting temperature increased 3 degrees C and the catalytic efficiency enhanced by 80%. Fluorescence and circular dichroism investigations suggest that the modified HRP benefits from enhanced aromatic packing and more buried hydrophobic patches as compared to the native one. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that modification improves the accessibility of His-42 and the heme prosthetic group to the peroxide and aromatic substrates, respectively. Additionally, the hydrophobic patch, which functions as a binding site or trap for reducing aromatic substrates, is more extended in the modified enzyme. In summary, this modification produces a new derivative of HRP with enhanced electron transfer properties, catalytic efficiency, and stability for biotechnological applications. PMID:17114227

  3. Remark on "Algorithm 916: Computing the Faddeyeva and Voigt functions": Efficiency Improvements and Fortran Translation

    E-print Network

    Zaghloul, Mofreh R

    2015-01-01

    This remark describes efficiency improvements to Algorithm 916 [Zaghloul and Ali 2011]. It is shown that the execution time required by the algorithm, when run at its highest accuracy, may be improved by more than a factor of two. A better accuracy vs efficiency trade off scheme is also implemented; this requires the user to supply the number of significant figures desired in the computed values as an extra input argument to the function. Using this trade-off, it is shown that the efficiency of the algorithm may be further improved significantly while maintaining reasonably accurate and safe results that are free of the pitfalls and complete loss of accuracy seen in other competitive techniques. The current version of the code is provided in Matlab and Scilab in addition to a Fortran translation prepared to meet the needs of real-world problems where very large numbers of function evaluations would require the use of a compiled language. To fulfill this last requirement, a recently proposed reformed version o...

  4. Rice Improvement Through Genome-Based Functional Analysis and Molecular Breeding in India.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Pinky; Parida, Swarup K; Raghuvanshi, Saurabh; Kapoor, Sanjay; Khurana, Paramjit; Khurana, Jitendra P; Tyagi, Akhilesh K

    2016-12-01

    Rice is one of the main pillars of food security in India. Its improvement for higher yield in sustainable agriculture system is also vital to provide energy and nutritional needs of growing world population, expected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. The high quality genome sequence of rice has provided a rich resource to mine information about diversity of genes and alleles which can contribute to improvement of useful agronomic traits. Defining the function of each gene and regulatory element of rice remains a challenge for the rice community in the coming years. Subsequent to participation in IRGSP, India has continued to contribute in the areas of diversity analysis, transcriptomics, functional genomics, marker development, QTL mapping and molecular breeding, through national and multi-national research programs. These efforts have helped generate resources for rice improvement, some of which have already been deployed to mitigate loss due to environmental stress and pathogens. With renewed efforts, Indian researchers are making new strides, along with the international scientific community, in both basic research and realization of its translational impact. PMID:26743769

  5. The Use of Diagnostic Frequency Continuous Ultrasound to Improve Microcirculatory Function After Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury

    PubMed Central

    HIGHTOWER, C. MAKENA; INTAGLIETTA, MARCOS

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Damage to the circulatory system resulting from ischemia–reperfusion injury (I/R injury) occurs during heart attacks and hemorrhagic shock. The authors report a method for mitigating microcirculatory injury, using diagnostic frequency continuous-mode ultrasound and how effects are influenced by nitric oxide production impairment. Methods: Five groups of hamsters were studied using the dorsal skin fold window chamber: (1) I/R; (2) I/R + ultrasound during ischemia; (3) I/R + ultrasound after ischemia; (4) I/R + N?-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME); and (5) I/R + l-NAME + ultrasound. Functional capillary density (FCD) and microvascular diameter, flow velocity, and flow were monitored. During the exposures 2.49 MHz continuous ultrasound was used. Results: Significant improvements in animals exposed to ultrasound after ischemia were found at 24 h of reperfusion in FCD, arteriolar diameter, and arteriolar and venular flow velocity and flow. Animals exposed to ultrasound during ischemia showed significantly improved FCD. l-NAME treatment reduced the improvement of microvascular function, compared to animals exposed after ischemia. Conclusions: The use of continuous-mode diagnostic frequency ultrasound is beneficial in preventing long-term ischemia–reperfusion effects in the microcirculation as shown by the return of microvascular parameters to baseline values, an effect not attained in the absence of ultrasound treatment. The effects may be in part due to the production of nitric oxide consequent to locally induced shear stress effects by ultrasound exposure. PMID:17710628

  6. Chronic vagal nerve stimulation improves baroreflex neural arc function in heart failure rats.

    PubMed

    Kawada, Toru; Li, Meihua; Zheng, Can; Shimizu, Shuji; Uemura, Kazunori; Turner, Michael J; Yamamoto, Hiromi; Sugimachi, Masaru

    2014-05-15

    We tested whether 6-wk vagal stimulation (VS) treatment improved open-loop baroreflex function in rats after myocardial infarction (MI). The following three groups of Sprague-Dawley rats were examined: normal control (NC, n = 9), MI with no treatment (MI-NT, n = 8), and MI treated with VS (MI-VS, n = 7). Under anesthesia, a stepwise input ranging from 60 to 180 mmHg was imposed on isolated carotid sinus baroreceptor regions, while the responses in splanchnic sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) and arterial pressure (AP) were measured. The response range of percent SNA was greater in the MI-VS than in the MI-NT group (63.8 ± 4.9% vs. 33.1 ± 3.8%, P < 0.01). The slope of the AP response to percent SNA was not different between the MI-VS and MI-NT groups (0.611 ± 0.076 vs. 0.781 ± 0.057 mmHg/%). The difference in the response range of AP between the MI-VS and MI-NT groups did not reach statistical significance (40.7 ± 6.2 vs. 26.4 ± 3.5 mmHg). In conclusion, the 6-wk VS treatment significantly improved the baroreflex control of SNA, but the effect was limited for the baroreflex total-loop function due to the lack of significant improvement in the AP response to percent SNA. PMID:24674859

  7. A prospective comparison of alginate-hydrogel with standard medical therapy to determine impact on functional capacity and clinical outcomes in patients with advanced heart failure (AUGMENT-HF trial)

    PubMed Central

    Anker, Stefan D.; Coats, Andrew J.S.; Cristian, Gabriel; Dragomir, Dinu; Pusineri, Enrico; Piredda, Massimo; Bettari, Luca; Dowling, Robert; Volterrani, Maurizio; Kirwan, Bridget-Anne; Filippatos, Gerasimos; Mas, Jean-Louis; Danchin, Nicolas; Solomon, Scott D.; Lee, Randall J.; Ahmann, Frank; Hinson, Andy; Sabbah, Hani N.; Mann, Douglas L.

    2015-01-01

    Aims AUGMENT-HF was an international, multi-centre, prospective, randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the benefits and safety of a novel method of left ventricular (LV) modification with alginate-hydrogel. Methods Alginate-hydrogel is an inert permanent implant that is directly injected into LV heart muscle and serves as a prosthetic scaffold to modify the shape and size of the dilated LV. Patients with advanced chronic heart failure (HF) were randomized (1 : 1) to alginate-hydrogel (n = 40) in combination with standard medical therapy or standard medical therapy alone (Control, n = 38). The primary endpoint of AUGMENT-HF was the change in peak VO2 from baseline to 6 months. Secondary endpoints included changes in 6-min walk test (6MWT) distance and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class, as well as assessments of procedural safety. Results Enrolled patients were 63 ± 10 years old, 74% in NYHA functional class III, had a LV ejection fraction of 26 ± 5% and a mean peak VO2 of 12.2 ± 1.8 mL/kg/min. Thirty-five patients were successfully treated with alginate-hydrogel injections through a limited left thoracotomy approach without device-related complications; the 30-day surgical mortality was 8.6% (3 deaths). Alginate-hydrogel treatment was associated with improved peak VO2 at 6 months—treatment effect vs. Control: +1.24 mL/kg/min (95% confidence interval 0.26–2.23, P = 0.014). Also 6MWT distance and NYHA functional class improved in alginate-hydrogel-treated patients vs. Control (both P < 0.001). Conclusion Alginate-hydrogel in addition to standard medical therapy for patients with advanced chronic HF was more effective than standard medical therapy alone for improving exercise capacity and symptoms. The results of AUGMENT-HF provide proof of concept for a pivotal trial. Trial Registration Number NCT01311791. PMID:26082085

  8. Adeno-associated virus 9 mediated FKRP gene therapy restores functional glycosylation of ?-dystroglycan and improves muscle functions.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lei; Lu, Pei Juan; Wang, Chi-Hsien; Keramaris, Elizabeth; Qiao, Chunping; Xiao, Bin; Blake, Derek J; Xiao, Xiao; Lu, Qi Long

    2013-10-01

    Mutations in the FKRP gene are associated with a wide range of muscular dystrophies from mild limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) 2I to severe Walker-Warburg syndrome and muscle-eye-brain disease. The characteristic biochemical feature of these diseases is the hypoglycosylation of ?-dystroglycan (?-DG). Currently there is no effective treatment available. In this study, we examined the adeno-associated virus serotype 9 vector (AAV9)-mediated gene therapy in the FKRP mutant mouse model with a proline to leucine missense mutation (P448L). Our results showed that intraperitoneal administration of AAV9-FKRP resulted in systemic FKRP expression in all striated muscles examined with the highest levels in cardiac muscle. Consistent with our previous observations, FKRP protein is localized in the Golgi apparatus in myofibers. Expression of FKRP consequently restored functional glycosylation of ?-DG in the skeletal and cardiac muscles. Significant improvement in dystrophic pathology, serum creatine kinase levels and muscle function was observed. Only limited FKRP transgene expression was detected in kidney and liver with no detectable toxicity. Our results provided evidence for the utility of AAV-mediated gene replacement therapy for FKRP-related muscular dystrophies. PMID:23817215

  9. Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults.

    PubMed

    Brickman, Adam M; Khan, Usman A; Provenzano, Frank A; Yeung, Lok-Kin; Suzuki, Wendy; Schroeter, Hagen; Wall, Melanie; Sloan, Richard P; Small, Scott A

    2014-12-01

    The dentate gyrus (DG) is a region in the hippocampal formation whose function declines in association with human aging and is therefore considered to be a possible source of age-related memory decline. Causal evidence is needed, however, to show that DG-associated memory decline in otherwise healthy elders can be improved by interventions that enhance DG function. We addressed this issue by first using a high-resolution variant of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the precise site of age-related DG dysfunction and to develop a cognitive task whose function localized to this anatomical site. Then, in a controlled randomized trial, we applied these tools to study healthy 50-69-year-old subjects who consumed either a high or low cocoa flavanol-containing diet for 3 months. A high-flavanol intervention was found to enhance DG function, as measured by fMRI and by cognitive testing. Our findings establish that DG dysfunction is a driver of age-related cognitive decline and suggest non-pharmacological means for its amelioration. PMID:25344629

  10. Memantine exerts functional recovery by improving BDNF and GDNF expression in 3-nitropropionic acid intoxicated mice.

    PubMed

    Ranju, Vijayan; Sathiya, Sekar; Kalaivani, Periyathambi; Priya, Raju Jyothi; Saravana Babu, Chidambaram

    2015-01-23

    Memantine (MN), a NMDA blocker is well known for its protective effect against various neurodegenerative diseases. However, its role in improving motor function and regulation of neurotrophic factors in Huntington's disease (HD) has not been studied yet. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of MN against 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP), induced motor impairment, and alterations in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in mice brain. Further, its role in mitochondrial function was assessed by measuring succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neuronal nuclei (NeuN) immunoreactivity were studied to evaluate the role of MN on glial and neuronal function. Its effect on apoptosis was adjudged by studying the expression of apoptotic markers. MN restored motor functions with an associated up-regulation in neurotrophin expression. MN also enhanced brain SDH activity and decreased glutamate content. MN ameliorated striatal neuronal loss, reduced GFAP immunoreactivity, and exhibited protective effect against neuronal apoptosis. Data from the current study demonstrated that MN exerted neuroprotective effect against 3NP induced neuropathology. Restoration of motor function by MN might be through regulation of neurotrophin expression. MN can therefore be a useful therapeutic choice in the symptomatic management of HD. PMID:25475686

  11. Sarcolemmal targeting of nNOS? improves contractile function of mdx muscle.

    PubMed

    Rebolledo, Daniela L; Kim, Min Jeong; Whitehead, Nicholas P; Adams, Marvin E; Froehner, Stanley C

    2016-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a key regulator of skeletal muscle function and metabolism, including vasoregulation, mitochondrial function, glucose uptake, fatigue and excitation-contraction coupling. The main generator of NO in skeletal muscle is the muscle-specific form of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS?) produced by the NOS1 gene. Skeletal muscle nNOS? is predominantly localized at the sarcolemma by interaction with the dystrophin protein complex (DPC). In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), loss of dystrophin leads to the mislocalization of nNOS? from the sarcolemma to the cytosol. This perturbation has been shown to impair contractile function and cause muscle fatigue in dystrophic (mdx) mice. Here, we investigated the effect of restoring sarcolemmal nNOS? on muscle contractile function in mdx mice. To achieve this, we designed a modified form of nNOS? (NOS-M) that is targeted to the sarcolemma by palmitoylation, even in the absence of the DPC. When expressed specifically in mdx skeletal muscle, NOS-M significantly attenuates force loss owing to damaging eccentric contractions and repetitive isometric contractions (fatigue), while also improving force recovery after fatigue. Expression of unmodified nNOS? at similar levels does not lead to sarcolemmal association and fails to improve muscle function. Aside from the benefits of sarcolemmal-localized NO production, NOS-M also increased the surface membrane levels of utrophin and other DPC proteins, including ?-dystroglycan, ?-syntrophin and ?-dystrobrevin in mdx muscle. These results suggest that the expression of NOS-M in skeletal muscle may be therapeutically beneficial in DMD and other muscle diseases characterized by the loss of nNOS? from the sarcolemma. PMID:26604149

  12. Is velocity-specific strength training important in improving functional performance?

    PubMed

    Cronin, J B; McNair, P J; Marshall, R N

    2002-09-01

    A variable considered when designing programs to optimize athletic performance is training velocity. It has been suggested that training at a specific velocity improves strength mainly at that velocity and as velocity deviates from the trained velocity, the less effective training will be. However, the research describing velocity-specific adaptation and the transference of these adaptations to other movement velocities is by no means clear. Compounding the problem in this area is the failure of research to detail the relationship between training velocity and actual movement velocity of a given task or athletic pursuit. In most cases there is a great disparity between training velocity and actual movement velocity. Factors that may better develop and explain velocity-specific adaptation in relation to functional performance are discussed. Developing qualities such as strength, power and rate of force development would appear of greater importance than training at the actual movement velocity of a task. It may be that irrespective of load and limb velocity, the repeated intent to move an isoinertial load as rapidly as possible might be an important stimulus for functional high velocity adaptation. The ability of the nervous system to activate and coordinate agonist, synergist and antagonist activity would seem essential. It was suggested training techniques that simulate the velocity and acceleration profiles associated with the desired functional performance, such as throw or jump training, may optimize functional adaptation. Furthermore combination training that incorporates same session sport specific training with either a heavy load or a mixed training load approach might provide an optimal strategy for promoting intramuscular and intermuscular co-ordination and improving functional performance. PMID:12094114

  13. Ketogenic diet improves forelimb motor function after spinal cord injury in rodents.

    PubMed

    Streijger, Femke; Plunet, Ward T; Lee, Jae H T; Liu, Jie; Lam, Clarrie K; Park, Soeyun; Hilton, Brett J; Fransen, Bas L; Matheson, Keely A J; Assinck, Peggy; Kwon, Brian K; Tetzlaff, Wolfram

    2013-01-01

    High fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diets (KD) are validated non-pharmacological treatments for some forms of drug-resistant epilepsy. Ketones reduce neuronal excitation and promote neuroprotection. Here, we investigated the efficacy of KD as a treatment for acute cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats. Starting 4 hours following C5 hemi-contusion injury animals were fed either a standard carbohydrate based diet or a KD formulation with lipid to carbohydrate plus protein ratio of 3:1. The forelimb functional recovery was evaluated for 14 weeks, followed by quantitative histopathology. Post-injury 3:1 KD treatment resulted in increased usage and range of motion of the affected forepaw. Furthermore, KD improved pellet retrieval with recovery of wrist and digit movements. Importantly, after returning to a standard diet after 12 weeks of KD treatment, the improved forelimb function remained stable. Histologically, the spinal cords of KD treated animals displayed smaller lesion areas and more grey matter sparing. In addition, KD treatment increased the number of glucose transporter-1 positive blood vessels in the lesion penumbra and monocarboxylate transporter-1 (MCT1) expression. Pharmacological inhibition of MCTs with 4-CIN (?-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate) prevented the KD-induced neuroprotection after SCI, In conclusion, post-injury KD effectively promotes functional recovery and is neuroprotective after cervical SCI. These beneficial effects require the function of monocarboxylate transporters responsible for ketone uptake and link the observed neuroprotection directly to the function of ketones, which are known to exert neuroprotection by multiple mechanisms. Our data suggest that current clinical nutritional guidelines, which include relatively high carbohydrate contents, should be revisited. PMID:24223849

  14. A Multiphysics Modeling Approach to Develop Right Ventricle Pulmonary Valve Replacement Surgical Procedures with a Contracting Band to Improve Ventricle Ejection Fraction

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Dalin; Yang, Chun; Geva, Tal; Rathod, Rahul; Yamauchi, Haruo; Gooty, Vasu; Tang, Alexander; Kural, Mehmet H.; Billiar, Kristen L.; Gaudette, Glenn; del Nido, Pedro J.

    2012-01-01

    Patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot account for the majority of cases with late onset right ventricle (RV) failure. A new surgical procedure placing an elastic band in the right ventricle is proposed to improve RV function measured by ejection fraction. A multiphysics modeling approach is developed to combine cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, modeling, tissue engineering and mechanical testing to demonstrate feasibility of the new surgical procedure. Our modeling results indicated that the new surgical procedure has the potential to improve right ventricle ejection fraction by 2–7% which compared favorably with recently published drug trials to treat LV heart failure. PMID:23667272

  15. Treatment with hESC-Derived Myocardial Precursors Improves Cardiac Function after a Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yan; Sievers, Richard E.; Woods, Brandon J.; Aurigui, Julian; Bernstein, Harold S.; Yeghiazarians, Yerem

    2015-01-01

    Background We previously reported the generation of a reporter line of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression driven by the ?-myosin heavy chain (?MHC) promoter. The GFP+/?MHC+ cells derived from this cell line behave as multipotent, human myocardial precursors (hMPs) in vitro. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of GFP+/?MHC+ cells isolated from the reporter line in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI). Methods MI was generated in immunodeficient mice. hMPs were injected into murine infarcted hearts under ultrasound guidance at 3 days post-MI. Human fetal skin fibroblasts (hFFs) were injected as control. Cardiac function was evaluated by echocardiography. Infarct size, angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell fate, and teratoma formation were analyzed by immunohistochemical staining. Results Compared with control, hMPs resulted in improvement of cardiac function post-MI with smaller infarct size, induced endogenous angiogenesis, and reduced apoptosis of host cardiomyocytes at the peri-infarct zone at 28 days post-MI. Conclusion Intramyocardial injection of hMPs improved cardiac function post-MI. The engraftment rate of these cells in the myocardium post-MI was low, suggesting that the majority of effect occurs via paracrine mechanisms. PMID:26230835

  16. The Effectiveness of Basic Military Training To Improve Functional Lifting Strength in New Recruits.

    PubMed

    Drain, Jace R; Sampson, John A; Billing, Daniel C; Burley, Simon D; Linnane, Denise M; Groeller, Herbert

    2015-11-01

    Drain, JR, Sampson, JA, Billing, DC, Burley, SD, Linnane, DM, and Groeller, H. The effectiveness of basic military training to improve functional lifting strength in new recruits. J Strength Cond Res 29(11S): S173-S177, 2015-Australian Army recruits are required to meet the incumbent baseline physical employment standards (PES) during basic military training. A box lift and place (BLP) assessment is included in the PES, and it assesses the ability to perform essential muscular strength tasks. Therefore, basic military training must provide sufficient training stimulus to enable recruits to achieve the baseline BLP standard. A study was undertaken to investigate changes in the performance of 1-repetition maximum BLP in male (n = 154; age, 21.4 years) and female (n = 20; age, 23.1 years) recruits over the first 8 weeks of a 12-week basic military training course. Both male and female recruits showed modest improvements (2.2 ± 5.9 kg and 3.0 ± 3.1 kg, respectively; p ? 0.05) in maximal BLP performance, and there were no differences between genders. The female recruits showed greater relative improvements compared with the male recruits (14.7 ± 7.8% vs. 6.5 ± 2.3%). Despite the modest improvements in BLP performance, 70% of female and 100% of male recruits achieved the baseline BLP standard (25 kg) during week 8. The 30% failure rate for female recruits, however, suggests that the basic training program should be improved. A training program that yields greater gains in muscular strength would likely increase female recruit BLP pass rates. Augmented muscular strength would also likely increase the number of recruits capable of achieving higher BLP standards for more physically demanding employment categories. A training program that yields greater improvements in muscular strength may also enable lower entry standards, thereby increasing the recruit pool. PMID:26506184

  17. Improving CO2 adsorption onto activated carbon through functionalization by chitosan and triethylenetetramine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keramati, Mona; Ghoreyshi, Ali Asghar

    2014-03-01

    Activated carbon (AC) is one of the most dominant adsorbents for CO2 capture. To increase the capacity of CO2 adsorption, amine functional groups are grafted onto the adsorbent surfaces. In this study AC was functionalized by two different amines; chitosan and triethylenetetramine. The adsorption of CO2 onto raw and amine functionalized AC was experimentally investigated using volumetric technique in the temperature range of 293-313 K and pressure range of 1-40 bar. Results indicated that amine functionalization of the adsorbent significantly improved the adsorption of CO2. The adsorption capacity of CO2 achieved by the amine functionalized AC with triethylenetetramine (AC-TETA) was more than the amount, reached by amine functionalized AC with chitosan (AC-chitosan). The maximum amount of CO2 uptake achieved by AC-TETA and AC-chitosan was16.16 and 13.65 mmol/g at 298 K and 40 bar which shows 90% and 60% increase compared to raw AC, respectively. The experimental data of CO2 adsorption were analyzed using different model isotherms such as Freundlich, Langmuir, and Langmuir-Freundlich. Freundlich isotherm presented a nearly perfect fit in all cases which indicated the heterogeneous nature of the adsorbents surfaces. Gas adsorption kinetic study on the adsorbents revealed fast kinetics of CO2 adsorption on the AC before and after amine functionalization. Small values of isosteric heat of adsorption evaluated by a set of isotherms based on the Clasius-Clapeyron equation indicated that physisorption was the dominant mechanism in the adsorption process.

  18. Improved functionality of graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam architecture by UV-ozone treatment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Ruiz, Isaac; Lee, Ilkeun; Zaera, Francisco; Ozkan, Mihrimah; Ozkan, Cengiz S

    2015-04-28

    Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability. PMID:25695726

  19. Improving oral function and cosmesis in a case of Freeman-Sheldon syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Vyas, Vishal; Agha, Riaz; Ahmad, Tariq

    2013-01-01

    Children born with the rare congenital condition Freeman-Sheldon syndrome (FSS) have a characteristic facial appearance: microstomia, a long philtrum, ‘H-shaped’ chin abnormality and ‘pinched lips’ in addition to extra-facial features such as kyphoscoliosis and hand deformities. Such children often have problems with oral continence and difficulties with speech leading to both nutritional and psychosocial concerns. Prompt correction through surgery is therefore important in effectively managing the condition. We report the case of a 7-year-old girl who presented with the appearance of scarred lips with difficulties in closing her mouth, a speech impediment and oral incontinence. Using a muscle-sparing technique to reconstruct the upper and lower lips, better oral continence was achieved alongside markedly improved speech and an aesthetically pleasing result. Taken together, this case aptly illustrates the benefits of lip reconstruction in improving function and cosmesis in patients with FSS. PMID:24225909

  20. The function and response of an improved stratospheric condensation nucleus counter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, J. C.; Hyun, J. H.; Blackshear, E. D.

    1983-01-01

    An improved condensation nucleus counter (CNC) for use in the stratosphere is described. The University of Minnesota CNC (UMCNC) has a sequential saturator and condenser and uses n-butyl alcohol as the working fluid. The use of a coaxial saturator flow, with aerosol in the center and filtered, alcohol-laden air around it, speeds the response of this instrument and improves its stability as pressure changes. The counting efficiency has been studied as a function of particle size and pressure. The UMCNC provides an accurate measure of submicron aerosol concentration as long as the number distribution is not dominated by sub-0.02 micron diameter aerosol. The response of the UMCNC is compared with that of other stratospheric condensation nucleus counters, and the results of a (near) comparison with a balloon-borne condensation nucleus counter are presented. The UMCNC has operated 14 times on a NASA U-2 aircraft at altitudes from 8 to 21.5 km.

  1. Aldioxa improves delayed gastric emptying and impaired gastric compliance, pathophysiologic mechanisms of functional dyspepsia

    PubMed Central

    Asano, Teita; Aida, Shuji; Suemasu, Shintaro; Tahara, Kayoko; Tanaka, Ken-ichiro; Mizushima, Tohru

    2015-01-01

    Delayed gastric emptying and impaired gastric accommodation (decreased gastric compliance) play important roles in functional dyspepsia (FD). Here we screen for a clinically used drug with an ability to improve delayed gastric emptying in rats. Oral administration of aldioxa (dihydroxyaluminum allantoinate) partially improved clonidine- or restraint stress-induced delayed gastric emptying. Administration of allantoin, but not aluminium hydroxide, restored the gastric emptying. Both aldioxa and allantoin inhibited clonidine binding to the ?-2 adrenergic receptor, suggesting that antagonistic activity of the allantoin moiety of aldioxa on this receptor is involved in the restoration of gastric emptying activity. Aldioxa or aluminium hydroxide but not allantoin restored gastric compliance with restraint stress, suggesting that aluminium hydroxide moiety is involved in this restoration. We propose that aldioxa is a candidate drug for FD, because its safety in humans has already been confirmed and its ameliorating effect on both of delayed gastric emptying and impaired gastric compliance are confirmed here. PMID:26620883

  2. Aldioxa improves delayed gastric emptying and impaired gastric compliance, pathophysiologic mechanisms of functional dyspepsia.

    PubMed

    Asano, Teita; Aida, Shuji; Suemasu, Shintaro; Tahara, Kayoko; Tanaka, Ken-Ichiro; Mizushima, Tohru

    2015-01-01

    Delayed gastric emptying and impaired gastric accommodation (decreased gastric compliance) play important roles in functional dyspepsia (FD). Here we screen for a clinically used drug with an ability to improve delayed gastric emptying in rats. Oral administration of aldioxa (dihydroxyaluminum allantoinate) partially improved clonidine- or restraint stress-induced delayed gastric emptying. Administration of allantoin, but not aluminium hydroxide, restored the gastric emptying. Both aldioxa and allantoin inhibited clonidine binding to the ?-2 adrenergic receptor, suggesting that antagonistic activity of the allantoin moiety of aldioxa on this receptor is involved in the restoration of gastric emptying activity. Aldioxa or aluminium hydroxide but not allantoin restored gastric compliance with restraint stress, suggesting that aluminium hydroxide moiety is involved in this restoration. We propose that aldioxa is a candidate drug for FD, because its safety in humans has already been confirmed and its ameliorating effect on both of delayed gastric emptying and impaired gastric compliance are confirmed here. PMID:26620883

  3. Improved cognitive function in schizophrenia after one year of cognitive training and vocational services.

    PubMed

    Greig, Tamasine C; Zito, Wayne; Wexler, Bruce E; Fiszdon, Joanna; Bell, Morris D

    2007-11-01

    A year-long program of Neurocognitive Enhancement Therapy (NET) was used to remediate cognitive deficits in people with schizophrenia who were participating in a vocational program. Seventy-two stable outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, recruited from an urban community mental health center were randomly assigned to a twelve-month vocational program (VOC) or NET+VOC. The vocational program had characteristics of individual placement and support (IPS) programs but also included transitional funding. NET included computer-based cognitive training exercises, a social information processing group and a work feedback group. Sixty-two participants completed a neuropsychological test battery before and after treatment. After one year of treatment, participants receiving NET+VOC had significantly greater improvements on measures of executive function and working memory than did participants in the VOC only condition. Augmenting vocational services with a multifaceted cognitive remediation program may improve cognition in participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. PMID:17669629

  4. Improved Cognitive Function in Schizophrenia After One Year of Cognitive Training and Vocational Services

    PubMed Central

    Greig, Tamasine C.; Zito, Wayne; Wexler, Bruce E.; Fiszdon, Joanna; Bell, Morris D.

    2007-01-01

    A year- long program of Neurocognitive Enhancement Therapy (NET) was used to remediate cognitive deficits in people with schizophrenia who were participating in a vocational program Seventy-two stable outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, recruited from an urban community mental health center were randomly assigned to a 12 month vocational program (VOC) or NET + VOC. The vocational program had characteristics of individual placement and support (IPS) programs but also included transitional funding. NET included computer-based cognitive training exercises, a social information processing group and a work feedback group. Sixty-two participants completed a neuropsychological test battery before and after treatment. After one year of treatment, participants receiving NET+VOC had significantly greater improvements on measures of executive function and working memory than did participants in the VOC only condition. Augmenting vocational services with a multifaceted cognitive remediation program may improve cognition in participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. PMID:17669629

  5. Contrast and harmonic imaging improves accuracy and efficiency of novice readers for dobutamine stress echocardiography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vlassak, Irmien; Rubin, David N.; Odabashian, Jill A.; Garcia, Mario J.; King, Lisa M.; Lin, Steve S.; Drinko, Jeanne K.; Morehead, Annitta J.; Prior, David L.; Asher, Craig R.; Klein, Allan L.; Thomas, James D.

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Newer contrast agents as well as tissue harmonic imaging enhance left ventricular (LV) endocardial border delineation, and therefore, improve LV wall-motion analysis. Interpretation of dobutamine stress echocardiography is observer-dependent and requires experience. This study was performed to evaluate whether these new imaging modalities would improve endocardial visualization and enhance accuracy and efficiency of the inexperienced reader interpreting dobutamine stress echocardiography. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-nine consecutive patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease underwent dobutamine stress echocardiography. Both fundamental (2.5 MHZ) and harmonic (1.7 and 3.5 MHZ) mode images were obtained in four standard views at rest and at peak stress during a standard dobutamine infusion stress protocol. Following the noncontrast images, Optison was administered intravenously in bolus (0.5-3.0 ml), and fundamental and harmonic images were obtained. The dobutamine echocardiography studies were reviewed by one experienced and one inexperienced echocardiographer. LV segments were graded for image quality and function. Time for interpretation also was recorded. Contrast with harmonic imaging improved the diagnostic concordance of the novice reader to the expert reader by 7.1%, 7.5%, and 12.6% (P < 0.001) as compared with harmonic imaging, fundamental imaging, and fundamental imaging with contrast, respectively. For the novice reader, reading time was reduced by 47%, 55%, and 58% (P < 0.005) as compared with the time needed for fundamental, fundamental contrast, and harmonic modes, respectively. With harmonic imaging, the image quality score was 4.6% higher (P < 0.001) than for fundamental imaging. Image quality scores were not significantly different for noncontrast and contrast images. CONCLUSION: Harmonic imaging with contrast significantly improves the accuracy and efficiency of the novice dobutamine stress echocardiography reader. The use of harmonic imaging reduces the frequency of nondiagnostic wall segments.

  6. Functional Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the Assessment of Myocardial Viability and Perfusion

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    Executive Summary Objective The objective of this health technology policy assessment was to determine the effectiveness safety and cost-effectiveness of using functional cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the assessment of myocardial viability and perfusion in patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction. Results Functional MRI has become increasingly investigated as a noninvasive method for assessing myocardial viability and perfusion. Most patients in the published literature have mild to moderate impaired LV function. It is possible that the severity of LV dysfunction may be an important factor that can alter the diagnostic accuracy of imaging techniques. There is some evidence of comparable or better performance of functional cardiac MRI for the assessment of myocardial viability and perfusion compared with other imaging techniques. However limitations to most of the studies included: Functional cardiac MRI studies that assess myocardial viability and perfusion have had small sample sizes. Some studies assessed myocardial viability/perfusion in patients who had already undergone revascularization, or excluded patients with a prior MI (Schwitter et al., 2001). Lack of explicit detail of patient recruitment. Patients with LVEF >35%. Interstudy variability in post MI imaging time(including acute or chronic MI), when patients with a prior MI were included. Poor interobserver agreement (kappa statistic) in the interpretation of the results. Traditionally, 0.80 is considered “good”. Cardiac MRI measurement of myocardial perfusion to as an adjunct tool to help diagnose CAD (prior to a definitive coronary angiography) has also been examined in some studies, with methodological limitations, yielding comparable results. Many studies examining myocardial viability and perfusion report on the accuracy of imaging methods with limited data on long-term patient outcome and management. Kim et al. (2000) revealed that the transmural extent of hyperenhancement was significantly related to the likelihood of improvement in contractility after revascularization. However, the LVEF in the patient population was 43% prior to revascularization. It is important to know whether the technique has the same degree of accuracy in patients who have more severe LV dysfunction and who would most benefit from an assessment of myocardial viability. “Substantial” viability used as a measure of a patient’s ability to recover after revascularization has not been definitively reported (how much viability is enough?). Patients with severe LV dysfunction are more likely to have mixtures of surviving myocardium, including normal, infarcted, stunned and hibernating myocardium (Cowley et al., 1999). This may lead to a lack of homogeneity of response to testing and to revascularization and contribute to inter- and intra-study differences. There is a need for a large prospective study with adequate follow-up time for patients with CAD and LV dysfunction (LVEF<35%) comparing MRI and an alternate imaging technique. There is some evidence that MRI has comparable sensitivity, specificity and accuracy to PET for determining myocardial viability. However, there is a lack of evidence comparing the accuracy of these two techniques to predict LV function recovery. In addition, some studies refer to PET as the gold standard for the assessment of myocardial viability. Therefore, PET may be an ideal noninvasive imaging comparator to MRI for a prospective study with follow-up. To date, there is a lack of cost-effectiveness analyses (or any economic analyses) of functional cardiac MRI versus an alternate noninvasive imaging method for the assessment of myocardial viability/perfusion. Conclusion There is some evidence that the accuracy of functional cardiac MRI compares favourably with alternate imaging techniques for the assessment of myocardial viability and perfusion. There is insufficient evidence whether functional cardiac MRI can better select which patients [who have CAD and severe LV dysfuncti

  7. Sustained delivery of VEGF from designer self-assembling peptides improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, Hai-dong; Cui, Guo-hong; Yang, Jia-jun; Wang, Cun; Zhu, Jing; Zhang, Li-sheng; Jiang, Jun; Shao, Shui-jin

    2012-07-20

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The designer peptide LRKKLGKA could self-assemble into nanofibers. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of LRKKLGKA peptides could promote the sustained delivery of VEGF. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides lead to sufficient angiogenesis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides improves heart function. -- Abstract: Poor vascularization and insufficient oxygen supply are detrimental to the survival of residual cardiomyocytes or transplanted stem cells after myocardial infarction. To prolong and slow the release of angiogenic factors, which stimulate both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, we constructed a novel self-assembling peptide by attaching the heparin-binding domain sequence LRKKLGKA to the self-assembling peptide RADA16. This designer self-assembling peptide self-assembled into nanofiber scaffolds under physiological conditions, as observed by atomic force microscopy. The injection of designer self-assembling peptides can efficiently provide the sustained delivery of VEGF for at least 1 month. At 4 weeks after transplantation, cardiac function was improved, and scar size and collagen deposition were markedly reduced in the group receiving VEGF with the LRKKLGKA scaffolds compared with groups receiving VEGF alone, LRKKLGKA scaffolds alone or VEGF with RADA16 scaffolds. The microvessel density in the VEGF with LRKKLGKA group was higher than that in the VEGF with RADA16 group. TUNEL and cleaved caspase-3 expression assays showed that the transplantation of VEGF with LRKKLGKA enhanced cell survival in the infarcted heart. These results present the tailor-made peptide scaffolds as a new generation of sustained-release biomimetic biomaterials and suggest that the use of angiogenic factors along with designer self-assembling peptides can lead to myocardial protection, sufficient angiogenesis, and improvement in cardiac function.

  8. Nano-structured and functionalized surfaces for cytocompatibility improvement and bactericidal action.

    PubMed

    Slepicka, Petr; Kasalkova, Nikola Slepickova; Siegel, Jakub; Kolska, Zdenka; Bacakova, Lucie; Svorcik, Vaclav

    2015-11-01

    The field of material surface modification with the aim of biomaterial construction involves several approaches of treatments that allow the preparation of materials, which positively influence adhesion of cells and their proliferation and thus aid and improve tissue formation. Modified materials have a surface composition and morphology intended to interact with biological systems and cellular functions. Not only surface chemistry has an effect on material biological response, surface structures of different morphology can be constructed to guide a desirable biological outcome. Nano-patterned material surfaces have been tested with the aim of how surface geometry and physical properties on a micro- and nano-scale can affect cellular response and influence cell adhesion and proliferation. Biological functionality of solid state substrates was significantly improved by the irradiation of material with plasma discharge or laser treatment. Commonly used "artificial" polymers (e.g. polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene naphthalate (PEN)) and biopolymers (e.g. Poly-l-Lactic acid (PLLA), polymethylpentene (PMP)) were treated with aim of biocompatibility improvement. The treatment of polymer/biopolymer substrates leads to formation of ripple or wrinkle-like structures, supported also with heat treatment or other subsequent surface processing. Several types of chemically different substances (e.g. metal or carbon nano-particles, proteins) were grafted onto material surfaces or built into material structures by different processes. Surface physico-chemical properties (e.g. chemistry, charge, morphology, wettability, electrical conductivity, optical and mechanical properties) of treated surfaces were determined. The enhancement of adhesion and proliferation of cells on modified substrates was investigated in vitro. Bactericidal action of noble metal nano-particles (e.g. Au, Ag) on polymers was characterized. The influence of metal nano-particle grafting by using metal nano-particle suspension prepared by "green" methods was determined. Micro- and nano-patterned surfaces can be constructed as tissue scaffolds with specific functions regarding cell adhesion and proliferation or potential biosensor applications. PMID:25596482

  9. Improved functionality of graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam architecture by UV-ozone treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei; Ruiz, Isaac; Lee, Ilkeun; Zaera, Francisco; Ozkan, Mihrimah; Ozkan, Cengiz S.

    2015-04-01

    Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability.Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr06795a

  10. Robotic Resistance/Assistance Training Improves Locomotor Function in Individuals Poststroke: A Randomized Controlled Study

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ming; Landry, Jill M.; Kim, Janis; Schmit, Brian D.; Yen, Sheng-Che; MacDonald, Jillian

    2014-01-01

    Objective To determine whether providing a controlled resistance versus assistance to the paretic leg at the ankle during treadmill training will improve walking function in individuals poststroke. Design Repeated assessment of the same patients with parallel design and randomized controlled study between 2 groups. Setting Research units of rehabilitation hospitals. Participants Patients (N=30) with chronic stroke. Intervention Subjects were stratified based on self-selected walking speed and were randomly assigned to the resistance or assistance training group. For the resistance group, a controlled resistance load was applied to the paretic leg at the ankle to resist leg swing during treadmill walking. For the assistance group, a load that assists swing was applied. Main Outcome Measures Primary outcome measures were walking speed and 6-minute walking distance. Secondary measures included clinical assessments of balance, muscle tone, and quality of life. Outcome measures were evaluated before and after 6 weeks of training and at 8 weeks’ follow-up, and compared within group and between the 2 groups. Results After 6 weeks of robotic training, walking speed significantly increased for both groups, with no significant differences in walking speed gains observed between the 2 groups. In addition, 6-minute walking distance and balance significantly improved for the assistance group but not for the resistance group. Conclusions Applying a controlled resistance or an assistance load to the paretic leg during treadmill training may induce improvements in walking speed in individuals poststroke. Resistance training was not superior to assistance training in improving locomotor function in individuals poststroke. PMID:24440365

  11. Progressive resistance strength training for improving physical function in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chiung-ju; Latham, Nancy K

    2014-01-01

    Background Muscle weakness in old age is associated with physical function decline. Progressive resistance strength training (PRT) exercises are designed to increase strength. Objectives To assess the effects of PRT on older people and identify adverse events. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialized Register (to March 2007), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2007, Issue 2), MEDLINE (1966 to May 01, 2008), EMBASE (1980 to February 06 2007), CINAHL (1982 to July 01 2007) and two other electronic databases. We also searched reference lists of articles, reviewed conference abstracts and contacted authors. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials reporting physical outcomes of PRT for older people were included. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently selected trials, assessed trial quality and extracted data. Data were pooled where appropriate. Main results One hundred and twenty one trials with 6700 participants were included. In most trials, PRT was performed two to three times per week and at a high intensity. PRT resulted in a small but significant improvement in physical ability (33 trials, 2172 participants; SMD 0.14, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.22). Functional limitation measures also showed improvements: e.g. there was a modest improvement in gait speed (24 trials, 1179 participants, MD 0.08 m/s, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.12); and a moderate to large effect for getting out of a chair (11 trials, 384 participants, SMD -0.94, 95% CI -1.49 to -0.38). PRT had a large positive effect on muscle strength (73 trials, 3059 participants, SMD 0.84, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.00). Participants with osteoarthritis reported a reduction in pain following PRT (6 trials, 503 participants, SMD -0.30, 95% CI -0.48 to -0.13). There was no evidence from 10 other trials (587 participants) that PRT had an effect on bodily pain. Adverse events were poorly recorded but adverse events related to musculoskeletal complaints, such as joint pain and muscle soreness, were reported in many of the studies that prospectively defined and monitored these events. Serious adverse events were rare, and no serious events were reported to be directly related to the exercise programme. Authors' conclusions This review provides evidence that PRT is an effective intervention for improving physical functioning in older people, including improving strength and the performance of some simple and complex activities. However, some caution is needed with transferring these exercises for use with clinical populations because adverse events are not adequately reported. PMID:19588334

  12. Improving Performance of the System Safety Function at Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiessling, Ed; Tippett, Donald D.; Shivers, Herb

    2004-01-01

    The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) determined that organizational and management issues were significant contributors to the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia. In addition, the CAIB observed similarities between the organizational and management climate that preceded the Challenger accident and the climate that preceded the Columbia accident. To prevent recurrence of adverse organizational and management climates, effective implementation of the system safety function is suggested. Attributes of an effective system safety program are presented. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) system safety program is analyzed using the attributes. Conclusions and recommendations for improving the MSFC system safety program are offered in this case study.

  13. Teaching others rule-use improves executive function and prefrontal activations in young children

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Yusuke; Sakata, Yoko; Ishibashi, Mikako; Ishikawa, Yusuke

    2015-01-01

    Intervention of executive function during early childhood is an important research topic. This study examined the effect of a child-friendly intervention program, where children interacted with a doll or a puppet. Children were presented with cognitive shifting tasks before and after an intervention. In the intervention, children interacted with a doll or a puppet, and taught rules of the cognitive shifting tasks to the object. As the results, 3- to 5-year-old children significantly improved the performances and strengthened activations in the lateral prefrontal regions as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. The results suggest that interaction with a doll or a puppet may have a significant impact on the development of executive function. PMID:26175706

  14. Nonlinear vibration of functionally graded circular cylindrical shells based on improved Donnell equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bich, Dao Huy; Xuan Nguyen, Nguyen

    2012-12-01

    In the present work, the study of the nonlinear vibration of a functionally graded cylindrical shell subjected to axial and transverse mechanical loads is presented. Material properties are graded in the thickness direction of the shell according to a simple power law distribution in terms of volume fractions of the material constituents. Governing equations are derived using improved Donnell shell theory ignoring the shallowness of cylindrical shells and kinematic nonlinearity is taken into consideration. One-term approximate solution is assumed to satisfy simply supported boundary conditions. The Galerkin method, the Volmir's assumption and fourth-order Runge-Kutta method are used for dynamical analysis of shells to give explicit expressions of natural frequencies, nonlinear frequency-amplitude relation and nonlinear dynamic responses. Numerical results show the effects of characteristics of functionally graded materials, pre-loaded axial compression and dimensional ratios on the dynamical behavior of shells. The proposed results are validated by comparing with those in the literature.

  15. Improvements in the sensibility of MSA-GA tool using COFFEE objective function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amorim, A. R.; Zafalon, G. F. D.; Neves, L. A.; Pinto, A. R.; Valêncio, C. R.; Machado, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    The sequence alignment is one of the most important tasks in Bioinformatics, playing an important role in the sequences analysis. There are many strategies to perform sequence alignment, since those use deterministic algorithms, as dynamic programming, until those ones, which use heuristic algorithms, as Progressive, Ant Colony (ACO), Genetic Algorithms (GA), Simulated Annealing (SA), among others. In this work, we have implemented the objective function COFFEE in the MSA-GA tool, in substitution of Weighted Sum-of-Pairs (WSP), to improve the final results. In the tests, we were able to verify the approach using COFFEE function achieved better results in 81% of the lower similarity alignments when compared with WSP approach. Moreover, even in the tests with more similar sets, the approach using COFFEE was better in 43% of the times.

  16. Engineering the heart: Evaluation of conductive nanomaterials for improving implant integration and cardiac function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jin; Chen, Jun; Sun, Hongyu; Qiu, Xiaozhong; Mou, Yongchao; Liu, Zhiqiang; Zhao, Yuwei; Li, Xia; Han, Yao; Duan, Cuimi; Tang, Rongyu; Wang, Chunlan; Zhong, Wen; Liu, Jie; Luo, Ying; (Mengqiu) Xing, Malcolm; Wang, Changyong

    2014-01-01

    Recently, carbon nanotubes together with other types of conductive materials have been used to enhance the viability and function of cardiomyocytes in vitro. Here we demonstrated a paradigm to construct ECTs for cardiac repair using conductive nanomaterials. Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were incorporated into gelatin hydrogel scaffolds to construct three-dimensional ECTs. We found that SWNTs could provide cellular microenvironment in vitro favorable for cardiac contraction and the expression of electrochemical associated proteins. Upon implantation into the infarct hearts in rats, ECTs structurally integrated with the host myocardium, with different types of cells observed to mutually invade into implants and host tissues. The functional measurements showed that SWNTs were essential to improve the performance of ECTs in inhibiting pathological deterioration of myocardium. This work suggested that conductive nanomaterials hold therapeutic potential in engineering cardiac tissues to repair myocardial infarction.

  17. Rational identification of diet-derived postbiotics for improving intestinal microbiota function.

    PubMed

    Klemashevich, Cory; Wu, Charmian; Howsmon, Daniel; Alaniz, Robert C; Lee, Kyongbum; Jayaraman, Arul

    2014-04-01

    The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in a wide range of functions and whole body homeostasis. Recent advances have linked microbiota dysbiosis to conditions ranging from Crohn's disease to cancer. The restoration or strengthening of the intestinal microbiota through diet-based approaches such as probiotics and prebiotics has been proposed for combating the onset or progression of these diseases. In this review, we highlight the importance of postbiotics for the manipulation of the intestinal microbiota, with special emphasis on systems biology computational tools and targeted metabolomics for the rational discovery and identification of these bioactive molecules. The identification of novel postbiotics and the pathways responsible for their production should lead to improved mechanistic understanding of the role that specific probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics have in restoring intestinal microbiota composition and function. PMID:24679263

  18. Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade Associated with Statin Improves Endothelial Function in Diabetics

    PubMed Central

    Gismondi, Ronaldo Altenburg; Bedirian, Ricardo; Pozzobon, Cesar Romaro; Ladeira, Márcia Cristina; Oigman, Wille; Neves, Mário Fritsch

    2015-01-01

    Background Studies suggest that statins have pleiotropic effects, such as reduction in blood pressure, and improvement in endothelial function and vascular stiffness. Objective To analyze if prior statin use influences the effect of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors on blood pressure, endothelial function, and vascular stiffness. Methods Patients with diabetes and hypertension with office systolic blood pressure ? 130 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ? 80 mmHg had their antihypertensive medications replaced by amlodipine during 6 weeks. They were then randomized to either benazepril or losartan for 12 additional weeks while continuing on amlodipine. Blood pressure (assessed with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring), endothelial function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation), and vascular stiffness (pulse wave velocity) were evaluated before and after the combined treatment. In this study, a post hoc analysis was performed to compare patients who were or were not on statins (SU and NSU groups, respectively). Results The SU group presented a greater reduction in the 24-hour systolic blood pressure (from 134 to 122 mmHg, p = 0.007), and in the brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (from 6.5 to 10.9%, p = 0.003) when compared with the NSU group (from 137 to 128 mmHg, p = 0.362, and from 7.5 to 8.3%, p = 0.820). There was no statistically significant difference in pulse wave velocity (SU group: from 9.95 to 9.90 m/s, p = 0.650; NSU group: from 10.65 to 11.05 m/s, p = 0.586). Conclusion Combined use of statins, amlodipine, and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors improves the antihypertensive response and endothelial function in patients with hypertension and diabetes. PMID:26465872

  19. Irisin improves endothelial function in obese mice through the AMPK-eNOS pathway.

    PubMed

    Han, Fang; Zhang, Shuxian; Hou, Ningning; Wang, Di; Sun, Xiaodong

    2015-11-01

    Irisin is a novel hormone secreted by myocytes. Lower levels of irisin are independently associated with endothelial dysfunction in obese subjects. The objective of this study was to explore whether irisin exerts a direct vascular protective effect on endothelial function in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were given chow or a high-fat diet with or without treatment with irisin. Aortic endothelial function was determined by measuring endothelium-dependent vasodilatation (EDV). Nitric oxide (NO) in the aorta was determined. The effect of irisin on the levels of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), Akt, and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation in endothelial cells was determined. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were used to study the role of irisin in the AMPK-eNOS pathway. Acetylcholine-stimulated EDV was significantly lower in obese mice compared with control mice. Treatment of obese mice with irisin significantly enhanced EDV and improved endothelial function. This beneficial effect of irisin was partly attenuated in the presence of inhibitors of AMPK, Akt, and eNOS. Treatment of obese mice with irisin enhanced NO production and phosphorylation of AMPK, Akt, and eNOS in endothelial cells. These factors were also enhanced by irisin in human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro. Suppression of AMPK expression by small interfering RNA blocked irisin-induced eNOS and Akt phosphorylation and NO production. We have provided the first evidence that irisin improves endothelial function in aortas of high-fat-diet-induced obese mice. The mechanism for this protective effect is related to the activation of the AMPK-eNOS signaling pathway. PMID:26371167

  20. Improvement of pulmonary function with arm swing exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Tunkamnerdthai, Orathai; Auvichayapat, Paradee; Donsom, Montana; Leelayuwat, Naruemon

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] Obesity and hyperglycemia play roles in the impairment of pulmonary function in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. Low-intensity exercise is known to reduce body fat and improve hyperglycemia. The arm swing exercise (ASE), a low-intensity exercise, is easy and convenient to perform without any equipment and is suitable for daily practice. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effects of ASE on lung function and obesity in overweight T2DM patients. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-four subjects continued their daily life routines for 8 weeks (control period), and then performed ASE for 8 weeks (30 minutes per day, 3 days per week) (ASE period). Pulmonary function tests were performed, and fasting blood glucose, haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), lipid profiles, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (HSCRP), insulin concentration, and anthropometric parameters were measured before and after each period. [Results] After the ASE period, the forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration, and maximal voluntary ventilation were increased when compared with after the control period. HbA1c, a low-density lipoprotein, malondialdehyde, oxidized glutathione, and the percent body fat were significantly decreased when compared with after the control period. However, other parameters, such as lung volume, anthropometric parameters, and fasting blood glucose, insulin, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, total cholesterol and glutathione concentrations, showed no differences between the two periods. [Conclusion] These data suggest that there is improvement of pulmonary functions in T2DM patients after ASE training. PMID:25931700

  1. Race–Ethnic and Sex Differences in Left Ventricular Structure and Function: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study

    PubMed Central

    Kishi, Satoru; Reis, Jared P.; Venkatesh, Bharath A.; Gidding, Samuel S.; Armstrong, Anderson C.; Jacobs, David R.; Sidney, Stephen; Wu, Colin O.; Cook, Nakela L.; Lewis, Cora E.; Schreiner, Pamela J.; Isogawa, Akihiro; Liu, Kiang; Lima, João A. C.

    2015-01-01

    Background We investigated race–ethnic and sex?specific relationships of left ventricular (LV) structure and LV function in African American and white men and women at 43 to 55 years of age. Methods and Results The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study enrolled African American and white adults, age 18 to 30 years, from 4 US field centers in 1985–1986 (Year?0) who have been followed prospectively. We included participants with echocardiographic assessment at the Year?25 examination (n=3320; 44% men, 46% African American). The end points of LV structure and function were assessed using conventional echocardiography and speckle?tracking echocardiography. In the multivariable models, we used, in addition to race–ethnic and gender terms, demographic (age, physical activity, and educational level) and cardiovascular risk variables (body mass index, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, presence of diabetes, use of antihypertensive medications, number of cigarettes/day) at Year?0 and ?25 examinations as independent predictors of echocardiographic outcomes at the Year?25 examination (LV end?diastolic volume [LVEDV]/height, LV end?systolic volume [LVESV]/height, LV mass [LVM]/height, and LVM/LVEDV ratio for LV structural indices; LV ejection fraction [LVEF], Ell, and Ecc for systolic indices; and early diastolic and atrial ratio, mitral annulus early peak velocity, ratio of mitral early peak velocity/mitral annulus early peak velocity; ratio, left atrial volume/height, longitudinal peak early diastolic strain rate, and circumferential peak early diastolic strain rate for diastolic indices). Compared with women, African American and white men had greater LV volume and LV mass (P<0.05). For LV systolic function, African American men had the lowest LVEF as well as longitudinal (Ell) and circumferential (Ecc) strain indices among the 4 sex/race–ethnic groups (P<0.05). For LV diastolic function, African American men and women had larger left atrial volumes; African American men had the lowest values of Ell and Ecc for diastolic strain rate (P<0.05). These race/sex differences in LV structure and LV function persisted after adjustment. Conclusions African American men have greater LV size and lower LV systolic and diastolic function compared to African American women and to white men and women. The reasons for these racial?ethnic differences are partially but not completely explained by established cardiovascular risk factors. PMID:25770024

  2. Oxidative stress improves coronary endothelial function through activation of the pro-survival kinase AMPK

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuhong; Feng, Jun; Cordeiro, Brenda; Lyra, Arthur; Arafah, Mohammed; Yassin-Kassab, Abdulmounem; Zanetti, Arthus V.D.; Clements, Richard T.; Bianchi, Cesario; Benjamin, Laura E.; Sellke, Frank W.; Abid, Ruhul

    2013-01-01

    Age-associated decline in cardiovascular function is believed to occur from the deleterious effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, failure of recent clinical trials using antioxidants in patients with cardiovascular disease, and the recent findings showing paradoxical role for NADPH oxidase-derived ROS in endothelial function challenge this long-held notion against ROS. Here, we examine the effects of endothelium-specific conditional increase in ROS on coronary endothelial function. We have generated a novel binary (Tet-ON/OFF) conditional transgenic mouse (Tet-Nox2:VE-Cad-tTA) that induces endothelial cell (EC)-specific overexpression of Nox2/gp91 (NADPH oxidase) and 1.8±0.42-fold increase in EC-ROS upon tetracycline withdrawal (Tet-OFF). We examined ROS effects on EC signaling and function. First, we demonstrate that endothelium-dependent coronary vasodilation was significantly improved in Tet-OFF Nox2 compared to Tet-ON (control) littermates. Using EC isolated from mouse heart, we show that endogenous ROS increased eNOS activation and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis through activation of the survival kinase AMPK. Coronary vasodilation in Tet-OFF Nox2 animals was CaMKK?-AMPK-dependent. Finally, we demonstrate that AMPK activation induced autophagy and thus, protected ECs from oxidant-induced cell death. Together, these findings suggest that increased ROS levels, often associated with cardiovascular conditions in advanced age, play a protective role in endothelial homeostasis by inducing AMPK-eNOS axis. PMID:24018842

  3. Oxidative stress improves coronary endothelial function through activation of the pro-survival kinase AMPK.

    PubMed

    Shafique, Ehtesham; Choy, Wing C; Liu, Yuhong; Feng, Jun; Cordeiro, Brenda; Lyra, Arthur; Arafah, Mohammed; Yassin-Kassab, Abdulmounem; Zanetti, Arthus V D; Clements, Richard T; Bianchi, Cesario; Benjamin, Laura E; Sellke, Frank W; Abid, Md Ruhul

    2013-07-01

    Age-associated decline in cardiovascular function is believed to occur from the deleterious effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, failure of recent clinical trials using antioxidants in patients with cardiovascular disease, and the recent findings showing paradoxical role for NADPH oxidase-derived ROS in endothelial function challenge this long-held notion against ROS. Here, we examine the effects of endothelium-specific conditional increase in ROS on coronary endothelial function. We have generated a novel binary (Tet-ON/OFF) conditional transgenic mouse (Tet-Nox2:VE-Cad-tTA) that induces endothelial cell (EC)-specific overexpression of Nox2/gp91 (NADPH oxidase) and 1.8?0.42-fold increase in EC-ROS upon tetracycline withdrawal (Tet-OFF). We examined ROS effects on EC signaling and function. First, we demonstrate that endothelium-dependent coronary vasodilation was significantly improved in Tet-OFF Nox2 compared to Tet-ON (control) littermates. Using EC isolated from mouse heart, we show that endogenous ROS increased eNOS activation and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis through activation of the survival kinase AMPK. Coronary vasodilation in Tet-OFF Nox2 animals was CaMKK?-AMPK-dependent. Finally, we demonstrate that AMPK activation induced autophagy and thus, protected ECs from oxidant-induced cell death. Together, these findings suggest that increased ROS levels, often associated with cardiovascular conditions in advanced age, play a protective role in endothelial homeostasis by inducing AMPK-eNOS axis. PMID:24018842

  4. Use of anodes with tunable work function for improving organic light-emitting diode performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Meng-Chi; Lo, Yen-Ming; Liao, Shih-Fang; Chen, Hsi-Chao; Chang, Hsin-Hua; Lee, Cheng-Chung; Kuo, Chien-Cheng

    2015-12-01

    The effect of reactive gases-oxygen and hydrogen-on the tunable work function of Al-doped ZnO (AZO) films was studied. An increase in the work function with an increase in the oxygen flow rate was mainly interpreted as reflecting a decrease in the carrier concentration, which was attributed to the filling of oxygen vacancies. However, a decrease in the carrier concentration would result in the resistivity increasing sharply. This article presents a new concept for improving the performance of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) through easy and effective hole injection from a multilayer AZO anode to the organic layer. A bilayer AZO film prepared using a tunable work function technique was used to modify the surface of AZO anodes and to ensure that the anodes had low resistivity. The AZO anode stacked with high-work-function AZO films, similar to hole transport buffer layers, had a low turn-on voltage of 2.89 V, and its luminance efficiency and power efficiency were 5.01% and 6.1% greater than those of tin-doped indium oxide anodes used in OLEDs.

  5. Wheelchair rugby improves pulmonary function in people with tetraplegia after 1 year of training.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Marlene A; Paris, Juliana V; Sarro, Karine J; Lodovico, Angélica; Silvatti, Amanda P; Barros, Ricardo M L

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of 1 year of regular wheelchair rugby training on the pulmonary function of subjects with tetraplegia. A total of 15 male subjects with tetraplegia participated in this study and were divided into an experimental group of rugby players (n = 8) and a control group (n = 7) of sedentary tetraplegic subjects. Both groups underwent spirometry, and the experimental group was tested before and after participating of a regular 1-year program of wheelchair rugby training. At the beginning of the training program, all the subjects presented reduced pulmonary function compared with predicted values (p < 0.05) for healthy subjects. There were a significant increase in forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expired volume after 1 second (FEV1), and maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV, p < 0.05) values after 1 year of regular wheelchair rugby training. The regression analysis between total training time and spirometric variables FVC (r = 0.97, p < 0.0001) and MVV (r = 0.58, p = 0.02) revealed that the players with longer training time had higher pulmonary function values. This study showed that regular wheelchair rugby training can improve the pulmonary function of subjects with spinal cord injuries. PMID:23254487

  6. The pharmacists' role in improving guideline compliance for thyroid function testing in patients with heart failure.

    PubMed

    Ziman, Melanie E; Bui, Hien T; Smith, Craig S; Tsukiji, Lori A; Asmatey, Veda M; Chu, Steven B; Miano, John S

    2012-04-01

    This single-center retrospective pilot program's objective was to utilize outpatient pharmacists to improve laboratory test adherence in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients overdue for thyroid function testing, thereby demonstrating the value of the outpatient pharmacist and justifying possible clinical role expansion. Thyroid disorders may contribute to CHF development, progression, and exacerbation. Testing is the standard of care in CHF patients per American Heart Association's 2009 Guidelines. Delinquency was defined as labs not conducted within 1 year in patients with euthyroid history, within 6 months in patients with thyroid dysfunction, abnormal labs at any time without follow-up, or lab absence after thyroid medication initiation, adjustment, or discontinuation. Targeted 80 nonpregnant adult CHF patients with delinquent thyroid function tests were counseled to get thyroid labs at point of sale, via telephone, e-mail, or letter. In collaboration with physicians, pharmacists ordered thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free T4 (FT4) labs. For patients with abnormal laboratory results, pharmacists coordinated drug therapy and follow-up labs. Data were collected from November 1, 2009 to March 30, 2010. Seventy-two patients (90%) previously delinquent for thyroid function testing received relevant thyroid labs. Ten patients (12.5%) with abnormal thyroid function tests not on prior drug therapy received treatment. PMID:21844214

  7. Functional improvement in cerebral palsy patients treated with botulinum toxin A injections - preliminary results.

    PubMed

    S?awek, J; Klimont, L

    2003-05-01

    Authors report the preliminary results of an open-label, prospective study to evaluate a functional benefit of botulinum toxin type A injections in diparetic cerebral palsy patients, using gross motor function measure (GMFM) score. In a group of 14 children (mean age 3.9 years, range 2-6) treated with Dysport 30 IU/kg, a statistically significant improvement (P < 0.05) was noticed in both simple measurements (Modified Ashworth Scale, Selective Motor Control, Passive Range of Movements, Physician Rating Scale and parental Clinical Global Impression) and complex functions (GMFM dimensions D and E) after 1 and 3 months. However, the simple measurement scores decreased (but not to the baseline) after 3 months; surprisingly, GMFM scores were still increasing (7.7% change after 3 months and 11.3% change after 6 months in nine patients). These results are in concordance with a few other data published to date. The study may support the concept of persistent functional gain in long-term treatment of spasticity caused by cerebral palsy with botulinum toxin type A. PMID:12752407

  8. Improving microbial fitness in the mammalian gut by in vivo temporal functional metagenomics

    PubMed Central

    Yaung, Stephanie J; Deng, Luxue; Li, Ning; Braff, Jonathan L; Church, George M; Bry, Lynn; Wang, Harris H; Gerber, Georg K

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating functions of commensal microbial genes in the mammalian gut is challenging because many commensals are recalcitrant to laboratory cultivation and genetic manipulation. We present Temporal FUnctional Metagenomics sequencing (TFUMseq), a platform to functionally mine bacterial genomes for genes that contribute to fitness of commensal bacteria in vivo. Our approach uses metagenomic DNA to construct large-scale heterologous expression libraries that are tracked over time in vivo by deep sequencing and computational methods. To demonstrate our approach, we built a TFUMseq plasmid library using the gut commensal Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt) and introduced Escherichia coli carrying this library into germfree mice. Population dynamics of library clones revealed Bt genes conferring significant fitness advantages in E. coli over time, including carbohydrate utilization genes, with a Bt galactokinase central to early colonization, and subsequent dominance by a Bt glycoside hydrolase enabling sucrose metabolism coupled with co-evolution of the plasmid library and E. coli genome driving increased galactose utilization. Our findings highlight the utility of functional metagenomics for engineering commensal bacteria with improved properties, including expanded colonization capabilities in vivo. PMID:25762151

  9. An improved calculation of the non-Gaussian halo mass function

    SciTech Connect

    D'Amico, Guido; Noreña, Jorge; Musso, Marcello; Paranjape, Aseem E-mail: musso@ictp.it E-mail: aparanja@ictp.it

    2011-02-01

    The abundance of collapsed objects in the universe, or halo mass function, is an important theoretical tool in studying the effects of primordially generated non-Gaussianities on the large scale structure. The non-Gaussian mass function has been calculated by several authors in different ways, typically by exploiting the smallness of certain parameters which naturally appear in the calculation, to set up a perturbative expansion. We improve upon the existing results for the mass function by combining path integral methods and saddle point techniques (which have been separately applied in previous approaches). Additionally, we carefully account for the various scale dependent combinations of small parameters which appear. Some of these combinations in fact become of order unity for large mass scales and at high redshifts, and must therefore be treated non-perturbatively. Our approach allows us to do this, and also to account for multi-scale density correlations which appear in the calculation. We thus derive an accurate expression for the mass function which is based on approximations that are valid over a larger range of mass scales and redshifts than those of other authors. By tracking the terms ignored in the analysis, we estimate theoretical errors for our result and also for the results of others. We also discuss the complications introduced by the choice of smoothing filter function, which we take to be a top-hat in real space, and which leads to the dominant errors in our expression. Finally, we present a detailed comparison between the various expressions for the mass functions, exploring the accuracy and range of validity of each.

  10. Resveratrol Improves the Mitochondrial Function and Fertilization Outcome of Bovine Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    TAKEO, Shun; SATO, Daichi; KIMURA, Koji; MONJI, Yasunori; KUWAYAMA, Takehito; KAWAHARA-MIKI, Ryoka; IWATA, Hisataka

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to address the effect of resveratrol-mediated upregulation of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) during oocyte maturation on mitochondrial function, the developmental ability of oocytes and on mechanisms responsible for blockage of polyspermic fertilization. Oocytes collected from slaughterhouse-derived ovaries were cultured in TCM-199 medium supplemented with 10% FCS and 0 or 20 µM resveratrol (Res). We examined the effect of Res on SIRT1 expression in in vitro-matured oocytes (Exp 1); fertilization and developmental ability (Exp 2); mitochondrial DNA copy number (Mt number), ATP content and mitochondrial membrane potential in matured oocytes (Exp 3); and the time required for proteinase to dissolve the zona pellucida following in vitro fertilization (as a marker of zona pellucida hardening), as well as on the distribution of cortical granules before and after fertilization (Exp 4). In Exp 1, the 20 µM Res treatment upregulated protein expression of SIRT1 in oocytes. In Exp 2, Res treatment improved the ratio of normal fertilization and the total cell number of blastocysts. In Exp 3, Res treatment significantly increased the ATP content in matured oocytes. Additionally, Res increased the overall Mt number and mitochondrial membrane potential, but the effect was donor-dependent. In Exp 4, Res-induced zona hardening improved the distribution and exocytosis of cortical granules after in vitro fertilization. In conclusion, Res improved the quality of oocytes by improving mitochondrial quantity and quality. In addition, Res added to the maturation medium enhanced SIRT1 protein expression in oocytes and improved fertilization via reinforcement of the mechanisms responsible for blockage of polyspermic fertilization. PMID:24390595

  11. Functional Improvement Among Short-Stay Nursing Home Residents in the MDS 3.0

    PubMed Central

    Wysocki, Andrea; Thomas, Kali S.; Mor, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the completeness of the activities of daily living (ADL) items on admission and discharge assessments and the improvement in ADL performance among short-stay residents in the newly adopted Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0. Design Retrospective analysis of MDS admission and discharge assessments. Setting Nursing homes from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. Participants New nursing home residents admitted from acute hospitals with corresponding admission and discharge assessments between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, who had a length of stay of 100 days or less. Measurements ADL self-performance items, including bed mobility, transfer, walking in room, walking in corridor, locomotion on unit, locomotion off unit, dressing, eating, toilet use, and personal hygiene, at admission and discharge. Results The ADL self-performance items are complete at both admission and discharge, with less than 1% missing for any item. More than 60% of residents improved over the course of their post-acute stay. New short-stay nursing home residents with conditions such as cognitive impairment, delirium, dementia, heart failure, and stroke showed less improvement in ADL performance during their stay. Conclusion The discharge assessment data in the MDS 3.0 provide new information to researchers and providers to examine and track ADL performance. Nursing homes can identify and track patients who require more intensive therapies or targeted interventions to achieve functional improvement during their stay. Future research can examine facility-level measures to better understand how ADL improvement varies across facilities. PMID:25659622

  12. Left Ventricular Morphology and Systolic Function in Sleep-Disordered Breathing

    PubMed Central

    Chami, Hassan A.; Devereux, Richard B.; Gottdiener, John S.; Mehra, Reena; Roman, Mary J.; Benjamin, Emelia J.; Gottlieb, Daniel J.

    2010-01-01

    Background Whether sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a risk factor for left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and dysfunction is controversial. We assessed the relation of SDB to LV morphology and systolic function in a community-based sample of middle-aged and older adults. Methods and Results The present study was a cross-sectional observational study of 2058 Sleep Heart Health Study participants (mean age 65±12 years; 58% women; 44% ethnic minorities) who had technically adequate echocardiograms. A polysomnographically derived apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and hypoxemia index (percent of sleep time with oxyhemoglobin saturation <90%) were used to quantify SDB severity. LV mass index was significantly associated with both AHI and hypoxemia index after adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, study site, body mass index, current and prior smoking, alcohol consumption, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive medication use, diabetes mellitus, and prevalent myocardial infarction. Adjusted LV mass index was 41.3 (SD 9.90) g/m2.7 in participants with AHI <5 (n=957) and 44.1 (SD 9.90) g/m2.7 in participants with AHI ?30 (n=84) events per hour. Compared with participants with AHI <5, those with AHI ?30 had an adjusted odds ratio of 1.78 (95% confidence interval 1.14 to 2.79) for LV hypertrophy. A higher AHI and higher hypoxemia index were also associated with larger LV diastolic dimension and lower LV ejection fraction, with a trend toward lower LV fractional shortening. LV wall thickness was significantly associated with the hypoxemia index but not with AHI. Left atrial diameter was not associated with either SDB measure. Conclusions In a community-based cohort, SDB is associated with echocardiographic evidence of increased LV mass and reduced LV systolic function. PMID:18458174

  13. Effect of Smaller Left Ventricular Capture Threshold Safety Margins to Improve Device Longevity in Recipients of Cardiac Resynchronization-Defibrillation Therapy.

    PubMed

    Steinhaus, Daniel A; Waks, Jonathan W; Collins, Robert; Kleckner, Karen; Kramer, Daniel B; Zimetbaum, Peter J

    2015-07-01

    Device longevity in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is affected by the pacing capture threshold (PCT) and programmed pacing amplitude of the left ventricular (LV) pacing lead. The aims of this study were to evaluate the stability of LV pacing thresholds in a nationwide sample of CRT defibrillator recipients and to determine potential longevity improvements associated with a decrease in the LV safety margin while maintaining effective delivery of CRT. CRT defibrillator patients in the Medtronic CareLink database were eligible for inclusion. LV PCT stability was evaluated using ?2 measurements over a 14-day period. Separately, a random sample of 7,250 patients with programmed right atrial and right ventricular amplitudes ?2.5 V, LV thresholds ? 2.5 V, and LV pacing ?90% were evaluated to estimate theoretical battery longevity improvement using LV safety margins of 0.5 and 1.5 V. Threshold stability analysis in 43,256 patients demonstrated LV PCT stability of <0.5 V in 77% of patients and <1 V in 95%. Device longevity analysis showed that the use of a 0.5-V safety margin increased average battery longevity by 0.62 years (95% confidence interval 0.61 to 0.63) compared with a safety margin of 1.5 V. Patients with LV PCTs >1 V had the greatest increases in battery life (mean increase 0.86 years, 95% confidence interval 0.85 to 0.87). In conclusion, nearly all CRT defibrillator patients had LV PCT stability <1.0 V. Decreasing the LV safety margin from 1.5 to 0.5 V provided consistent delivery of CRT for most patients and significantly improved battery longevity. PMID:25933732

  14. Regional assessment of LV wall in infarcted heart using tagged MRI and cardiac modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahanzad, Zeinab; Miin Liew, Yih; Bilgen, Mehmet; McLaughlin, Robert A.; Onn Leong, Chen; Chee, Kok Han; Aziz, Yang Faridah Abdul; Ung, Ngie Min; Lai, Khin Wee; Ng, Siew-Cheok; Lim, Einly

    2015-05-01

    A segmental two-parameter empirical deformable model is proposed for evaluating regional motion abnormality of the left ventricle. Short-axis tagged MRI scans were acquired from 10 healthy subjects and 10 postinfarct patients. Two motion parameters, contraction and rotation, were quantified for each cardiac segment by fitting the proposed model using a non-rigid registration algorithm. The accuracy in motion estimation was compared to a global model approach. Motion parameters extracted from patients were correlated to infarct transmurality assessed with delayed-contrast-enhanced MRI. The proposed segmental model allows markedly improved accuracy in regional motion analysis as compared to the global model for both subject groups (1.22-1.40?mm versus 2.31-2.55?mm error). By end-systole, all healthy segments experienced radial displacement by ~25-35% of the epicardial radius, whereas the 3 short-axis planes rotated differently (basal: 3.3° mid:??-1° and apical:??-4.6°) to create a twisting motion. While systolic contraction showed clear correspondence to infarct transmurality, rotation was nonspecific to either infarct location or transmurality but could indicate the presence of functional abnormality. Regional contraction and rotation derived using this model could potentially aid in the assessment of severity of regional dysfunction of infarcted myocardium.

  15. Complete obstetric brachial plexus palsy: surgical improvement to recover a functional hand

    PubMed Central

    Romana, Claudia

    2009-01-01

    Objective Complete obstetrical brachial plexus palsy remains a difficult situation for the child and his/her family. The quality of spontaneous reinnervation is rarely good and always leads to a non-sensitive and non-functional hand, even if abduction of the shoulder and elbow flexion do spontaneously recover. The aim of this study was to assess the results from nerve reconstruction in cases of complete palsy and to demonstrate the effect of a change in surgical technique on the outcome of hand function. Methods Thirty pediatric patients with complete obstetric brachial plexus palsy were operated on in our department between 1987 and 2003. Twenty-five of these patients were clinically reviewed and evaluated by a physiotherapist and a surgeon (not the surgeon who performed the surgery). Functional assessment was based on the Gilbert shoulder score, the Gilbert–Raimondi score for elbow function and the Raimondi hand score. All children underwent a nerve reconstruction as graft and/or intra- or extra-plexual neurotization. Our neural surgical strategy changed between 1995 and 1996 to one that addresses the function of the hand and the wrist. A secondary surgical intervention was required in 18 cases. The most frequent procedures were a radial rotation osteotomy and a tendon transfer restoring wrist extension. Results Mean follow-up was 7 years and 10 months. Among children operated on with the first surgical strategy—the pre-1995–1996 period—hand function was good in three cases, satisfactory in four cases and unsatisfactory in one case. Among children for whom the second surgical strategy was used—1995–1996 and later—hand function was good or very good in eight cases, satisfactory in four cases and unsatisfactory in two cases. When the 25 patients were assessed for shoulder function, the functional result was good or very good in 12 cases, satisfactory in seven cases and unsatisfactory in six cases. In terms of elbow function, the results were good or very good in 14 cases, satisfactory in eight cases and unsatisfactory in three cases. All hands recovered sensation to a certain degree. Conclusion The surgical results are encouraging in terms of shoulder and elbow function, but not as good for hand function. With the change in neural surgical strategy in 1995–1996, when more focus was placed on the hand (second surgical strategy), the results on hand function improved relative to those obtained with the first surgical strategy. It must also be noted that hand recovery requires more time, which may partially explain why functional results are not as good for the hand as for the shoulder and elbow. These results demonstrate that early surgical exploration is useful in complete obstetrical brachial plexus palsies and that there is a need for neural reconstruction of the lower trunk. PMID:19308620

  16. Connexin43 mimetic peptide is neuroprotective and improves function following spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    O'Carroll, Simon J; Gorrie, Catherine A; Velamoor, Sailakshmi; Green, Colin R; Nicholson, Louise F B

    2013-03-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) is a gap junction protein up-regulated after spinal cord injury and is involved in the on-going spread of secondary tissue damage. To test whether a connexin43 mimetic peptide (Peptide5) reduces inflammation and tissue damage and improves function in an in vivo model of spinal cord injury, rats were subjected to a 10g, 12.5mm weight drop injury at the vertebral level T10 using a MASCIS impactor. Vehicle or connexin43 mimetic peptide was delivered directly to the lesion via intrathecal catheter and osmotic mini-pump for up to 24h after injury. Treatment with Peptide5 led to significant improvements in hindlimb function as assessed using the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan scale. Peptide5 caused a reduction in Cx43 protein, increased Cx43 phosphorylation and decreased levels of TNF-? and IL-1? as assessed by Western blotting. Immunohistochemistry of tissue sections 5 weeks after injury showed reductions in astrocytosis and activated microglia as well as an increase in motor neuron survival. These results show that administration of a connexin mimetic peptide reduces secondary tissue damage after spinal cord injury by reducing gliosis and cytokine release and indicate the clinical potential for mimetic peptides in the treatment of spinal cord patients. PMID:23403365

  17. Arm weight support training improves functional motor outcome and movement smoothness after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Bartolo, Michelangelo; De Nunzio, Alessandro Marco; Sebastiano, Fabio; Spicciato, Francesca; Tortola, Paolo; Nilsson, Jan; Pierelli, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Summary The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness in acute stroke patients of a rehabilitation program performed with or without an arm weight support device. Twenty-eight acute, first-ever unilateral stroke patients were enrolled in a single-blind, randomized controlled trial. Clinical evaluation included Fugl-Mayer Assessment, Functional Independence Measure and kinematic analysis [maximum and mean hand velocity, maximum range of motion (Max RoM), normalized jerk (NJ)]. Patients received 12 daily 30-minute sessions (6/week) of additional upper limb therapy performed using an arm weight support device (study group) or additional traditional physiotherapy (control group). The patients were evaluated on admission and at the end of the rehabilitation intervention. The two groups were clinically comparable on admission (p>0.05). Both groups showed significant improvements in clinical scale scores and in Max RoM in flexion-extension, while only the study group showed improvements in NJ and in Max RoM in adduction-abduction. Rehabilitation training using an arm weight support device appears to be a useful method to supplement conventional therapy in acute stroke patients, increasing smoothness of movement and motor function. PMID:25014045

  18. Improved Structure and Function in Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Rat Kidneys with Renal Tubular Cell Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, K. J.; Zhang, Jizhong; Han, Ling; Kamocka, Malgorzata; Miller, Caroline; Dominguez, Jesus H.

    2015-01-01

    Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease is a truly catastrophic monogenetic disease, causing death and end stage renal disease in neonates and children. Using PCK female rats, an orthologous model of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease harboring mutant Pkhd1, we tested the hypothesis that intravenous renal cell transplantation with normal Sprague Dawley male kidney cells would improve the polycystic kidney disease phenotype. Cytotherapy with renal cells expressing wild type Pkhd1 and tubulogenic serum amyloid A1 had powerful and sustained beneficial effects on renal function and structure in the polycystic kidney disease model. Donor cell engraftment and both mutant and wild type Pkhd1 were found in treated but not control PCK kidneys 15 weeks after the final cell infusion. To examine the mechanisms of global protection with a small number of transplanted cells, we tested the hypothesis that exosomes derived from normal Sprague Dawley cells can limit the cystic phenotype of PCK recipient cells. We found that renal exosomes originating from normal Sprague Dawley cells carried and transferred wild type Pkhd1 mRNA to PCK cells in vivo and in vitro and restricted cyst formation by cultured PCK cells. The results indicate that transplantation with renal cells containing wild type Pkhd1 improves renal structure and function in autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease and may provide an intra-renal supply of normal Pkhd1 mRNA. PMID:26136112

  19. Intrapleural Administration of AAV9 Improves Neural and Cardiorespiratory Function in Pompe Disease

    PubMed Central

    Falk, Darin J; Mah, Cathryn S; Soustek, Meghan S; Lee, Kun-Ze; ElMallah, Mai K; Cloutier, Denise A; Fuller, David D; Byrne, Barry J

    2013-01-01

    Pompe disease is a neuromuscular disease resulting from deficiency in acid ?-glucosidase (GAA), results in cardiac, skeletal muscle, and central nervous system (CNS) pathology. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has been shown to partially correct cardiac and skeletal muscle dysfunction. However, ERT does not cross the blood–brain barrier and progressive CNS pathology ensues. We tested the hypothesis that intrapleural administration of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV9)-GAA driven by a cytomegalovirus (CMV) or desmin (DES) promoter would improve cardiac and respiratory function in Gaa?/? mice through a direct effect and retrograde transport to motoneurons. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed significant improvement in ejection fraction in rAAV9-GAA–treated animals. Inspiratory phrenic and diaphragm activity was examined at baseline and during hypercapnic respiratory challenge. Mice treated with AAV9 had greater relative inspiratory burst amplitude during baseline conditions when compared with Gaa?/?. In addition, efferent phrenic burst amplitude was significantly correlated with diaphragm activity in both AAV9-DES and AAV9-CMV groups but not in Gaa?/?. This is the first study to indicate improvements in cardiac, skeletal muscle, and respiratory neural output following rAAV administration in Pompe disease. These results further implicate a role for the CNS in Pompe disease pathology and the critical need to target the neurologic aspects in developing therapeutic strategies. PMID:23732990

  20. Immediate and delayed nerve repair: improved muscle mass and function with leukemia inhibitory factor.

    PubMed

    Brown, David L; Bennett, Timothy M; Dowsing, Bruce J; Hayes, Alan; Abate, Massimo; Morrison, Wayne A

    2002-11-01

    In this study we examined the effect of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) on delayed repair of injured nerves. In a standard entubulation gap repair model of sciatic nerve in the rat, repair was performed immediately and after delays of 1 day, 1 week, and 4 weeks. Repaired nerves were treated with either LIF (10 ng) or saline, and assessment was by muscle mass and force contraction at 12 weeks after repair. After immediate nerve repair LIF administration resulted in 2.5- to 3-fold improvements compared with saline. In the 1-day delayed group, both saline and LIF treatment groups were comparable with that achieved with immediate repair combined with LIF. This result is consistent with the concept of preconditioning. In the 1-week delayed repair groups with LIF, muscle mass recovery and maximum force contraction were improved by 32% and 55%, respectively, compared with saline, whereas repairs delayed for 4 weeks showed increases of 50% and 36%. All delayed repairs treated with LIF were more effective than immediate repair with saline, but not as effective as primary repair with LIF. Our findings support the view that factors such as LIF may be efficacious for improving recovery of function in cases of delayed peripheral nerve repair. PMID:12457356

  1. High Intensity Interval Training Improves Glycaemic Control and Pancreatic ? Cell Function of Type 2 Diabetes Patients

    PubMed Central

    Madsen, Søren Møller; Thorup, Anne Cathrine; Overgaard, Kristian; Jeppesen, Per Bendix

    2015-01-01

    Physical activity improves the regulation of glucose homeostasis in both type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients and healthy individuals, but the effect on pancreatic ? cell function is unknown. We investigated glycaemic control, pancreatic function and total fat mass before and after 8 weeks of low volume high intensity interval training (HIIT) on cycle ergometer in T2D patients and matched healthy control individuals. Study design/method: Elderly (56 yrs±2), non-active T2D patients (n = 10) and matched (52 yrs±2) healthy controls (CON) (n = 13) exercised 3 times (10×60 sec. HIIT) a week over an 8 week period on a cycle ergometer. Participants underwent a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). On a separate day, resting blood pressure measurement was conducted followed by an incremental maximal oxygen uptake (V?O2max) cycle ergometer test. Finally, a whole body dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was performed. After 8 weeks of training, the same measurements were performed. Results: in the T2D-group, glycaemic control as determined by average fasting venous glucose concentration (p = 0.01), end point 2-hour OGTT (p = 0.04) and glycosylated haemoglobin (p = 0.04) were significantly reduced. Pancreatic homeostasis as determined by homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and HOMA ? cell function (HOMA-%?) were both significantly ameliorated (p = 0.03 and p = 0.03, respectively). Whole body insulin sensitivity as determined by the disposition index (DI) was significantly increased (p = 0.03). During OGTT, the glucose continuum was significantly reduced at -15 (p = 0.03), 30 (p = 0.03) and 120 min (p = 0.03) and at -10 (p = 0.003) and 0 min (p = 0.003) with an additional improvement (p = 0.03) of its 1st phase (30 min) area under curve (AUC). Significant abdominal fat mass losses were seen in both groups (T2D: p = 0.004 and CON: p = 0.02) corresponding to a percentage change of -17.84%±5.02 and -9.66%±3.07, respectively. Conclusion: these results demonstrate that HIIT improves overall glycaemic control and pancreatic ? cell function in T2D patients. Additionally, both groups experienced abdominal fat mass losses. These findings demonstrate that HIIT is a health beneficial exercise strategy in T2D patients. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02333734 http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02333734 PMID:26258597

  2. Coffee polyphenol consumption improves postprandial hyperglycemia associated with impaired vascular endothelial function in healthy male adults.

    PubMed

    Jokura, Hiroko; Watanabe, Isamu; Umeda, Mika; Hase, Tadashi; Shimotoyodome, Akira

    2015-10-01

    Epidemiological studies indicate that habitual coffee consumption lowers the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Postprandial hyperglycemia is a direct and independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. We previously demonstrated that coffee polyphenol ingestion increased secretion of Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which has been shown to exhibit anti-diabetic and cardiovascular effects. We hypothesized coffee polyphenol consumption may improve postprandial hyperglycemia and vascular endothelial function by increasing GLP-1 release and/or reducing oxidative stress. To examine this hypothesis, we conducted a randomized, acute, crossover, intervention study in healthy male adults, measuring blood parameters and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) after ingestion of a meal with or without coffee polyphenol extract (CPE). Nineteen subjects consumed a test meal with either a placebo- or CPE-containing beverage. Blood biomarkers and FMD were measured at fasting and up to 180 minutes postprandially. The CPE beverage led to a significantly lower peak postprandial increase in blood glucose and diacron-reactive oxygen metabolite, and significantly higher postprandial FMD than the placebo beverage. Postprandial blood GLP-1 increase tended to be higher after ingestion of the CPE beverage, compared with placebo. Subclass analysis revealed that the CPE beverage significantly improved postprandial blood GLP-1 response and reduced blood glucose increase in the subjects with a lower insulinogenic index. Correlation analysis showed postprandial FMD was negatively associated with blood glucose increase after ingestion of the CPE beverage. In conclusion, these results suggest that coffee polyphenol consumption improves postprandial hyperglycemia and vascular endothelial function, which is associated with increased GLP-1 secretion and decreased oxidative stress in healthy humans. PMID:26337017

  3. CCR2 Deficiency Impairs Macrophage Infiltration and Improves Cognitive Function after Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Niemi, Erene C.; Wang, Sarah H.; Lee, Chih Cheng; Bingham, Deborah; Zhang, Jiasheng; Cozen, Myrna L.; Charo, Israel; Huang, Eric J.; Liu, Jialing; Nakamura, Mary C.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) provokes inflammatory responses, including a dramatic rise in brain macrophages in the area of injury. The pathway(s) responsible for macrophage infiltration of the traumatically injured brain and the effects of macrophages on functional outcomes are not well understood. C-C-chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) is known for directing monocytes to inflamed tissues. To assess the role of macrophages and CCR2 in TBI, we determined outcomes in CCR2-deficient (Ccr2?/?) mice in a controlled cortical impact model. We quantified brain myeloid cell numbers post-TBI by flow cytometry and found that Ccr2?/? mice had greatly reduced macrophage numbers (?80–90% reduction) early post-TBI, compared with wild-type mice. Motor, locomotor, and cognitive outcomes were assessed. Lack of Ccr2 improved locomotor activity with less hyperactivity in open field testing, but did not affect anxiety levels or motor coordination on the rotarod three weeks after TBI. Importantly, Ccr2?/? mice demonstrated greater spatial learning and memory, compared with wild-type mice eight weeks after TBI. Although there was no difference in the volume of tissue loss, Ccr2?/? mice had significantly increased neuronal density in the CA1-CA3 regions of the hippocampus after TBI, compared with wild-type mice. These data demonstrate that Ccr2 directs the majority of macrophage homing to the brain early after TBI and indicates that Ccr2 may facilitate harmful responses. Lack of Ccr2 improves functional recovery and neuronal survival. These results suggest that therapeutic blockade of CCR2-dependent responses may improve outcomes following TBI. PMID:24806994

  4. Postinfarct intramyocardial injection of mesenchymal stem cells pretreated with TGF-? improves acute myocardial function

    PubMed Central

    Herrmann, Jeremy L.; Abarbanell, Aaron M.; Weil, Brent R.; Wang, Yue; Poynter, Jeffrey A.; Manukyan, Mariuxi C.

    2010-01-01

    Stem cell-based therapies offer promising potential for myocardial infarction (MI), but endogenous molecules released in response to injury likely impair posttransplantation stem cell function. Stem cell-mediated cardioprotection occurs in part via paracrine effects, and transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) has been shown to enhance paracrine function. However, it is unknown whether pretreating stem cells with TGF-? increases stem cell-mediated cardioprotection after acute MI. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were treated with TGF-? (250 ng/ml) for 24 h. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rat hearts were isolated and perfused using the Langendorff method. MI was induced by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery. Postligation (30 min), vehicle or 1 × 106 MSCs with or without pretreatment were injected in the infarct border zones, and the hearts were perfused for an additional 60 min. Left ventricular function was continuously measured, and infarct size was assessed with Evans blue dye and 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Myocardial production of interleukin (IL)-1? and IL-6 and caspase 3 activation was also measured. Left ventricular function decreased significantly following coronary artery ligation but improved following injection of untreated MSCs and to a greater extent after injection of pretreated MSCs. In addition, the infarct area, myocardial caspase 3 activation, and IL-6 production were lowest in hearts injected with pretreated cells. Intramyocardial injection of TGF-?-pretreated MSCs after acute MI is associated with increased myocardial function and decreased myocardial injury. This strategy may be useful for optimizing the therapeutic efficacy of stem cells for the treatment of acute MI. PMID:20484699

  5. Method of Improving a Digital Image as a Function of its Dynamic Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodell, Glenn (Inventor); Jobson, Daniel J. (Inventor); Rahman, Zia-ur (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    The present invention is a method of processing a digital image that is initially represented by digital data indexed to represent position on a display. The digital data is indicative of an intensity value I(sub i)(x,y) for each position (x,y) in each i-th spectral band. A classification of the image based on its dynamic range is then defined in each of the image's S spectral bands. The intensity value for each position in each i-th spectral band is adjusted to generate an adjusted intensity value for each position in each i-th spectral band in accordance with SIGMA (sup n)(sub n=1) W(sub n)(log I (sub i)(x,y) - log[I(sub i)(x,y)*F(sub n)(x,y)]), i=1,...,S where W(sub n) is a weighting factor, "*" is the convolution operator and S is the total number of unique spectral bands. For each n, the function F(sub n)(x,y) is a unique surround function applied to each position (x,y) and N is the total number of unique surround functions. Each unique surround function is scaled to improve some aspect of the digital image, e.g., dynamic range compression, color constancy, and lightness rendition. The adjusted intensity value to each position in each i-th spectral band of the image is then filtered with a filter function that is based on the dynamic range classification of the image.

  6. Acute Exercise Improves Prefrontal Cortex but not Hippocampal Function in Healthy Adults.

    PubMed

    Basso, Julia C; Shang, Andrea; Elman, Meredith; Karmouta, Ryan; Suzuki, Wendy A

    2015-11-01

    The effects of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive functions in humans have been the subject of much investigation; however, these studies are limited by several factors, including a lack of randomized controlled designs, focus on only a single cognitive function, and testing during or shortly after exercise. Using a randomized controlled design, the present study asked how a single bout of aerobic exercise affects a range of frontal- and medial temporal lobe-dependent cognitive functions and how long these effects last. We randomly assigned 85 subjects to either a vigorous intensity acute aerobic exercise group or a video watching control group. All subjects completed a battery of cognitive tasks both before and 30, 60, 90, or 120 min after the intervention. This battery included the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, the Modified Benton Visual Retention Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Digit Span Test, the Trail Making Test, and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test. Based on these measures, composite scores were formed to independently assess prefrontal cortex- and hippocampal-dependent cognition. A three-way mixed Analysis of Variance was used to determine whether differences existed between groups in the change in cognitive function from pre- to post-intervention testing. Acute exercise improved prefrontal cortex- but not hippocampal-dependent functioning, with no differences found between delay groups. Vigorous acute aerobic exercise has beneficial effects on prefrontal cortex-dependent cognition and these effects can last for up to 2 hr after exercise. (JINS, 2015, 21, 791-801). PMID:26581791

  7. Comprehensive psychological intervention to improve outcome in functional gastrointestinal disorder: a cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu Tien; Kwok, Kah Foo Victor; Tan, Shian Ming; Yek, Ming Hwei; Ong, Wai Choung; Barbier, Sylvaine; Ng, Beng Yeong

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION Patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) have a decreased quality of life (QoL). Psychological illnesses are strongly associated with FGIDs. This study examined the effect of a comprehensive psychological intervention programme designed for refractory FGID patients. METHODS Refractory FGID patients at a tertiary gastroenterology unit were encouraged to participate in a psychological intervention programme, which included screening for anxiety and depression in patients, educating patients and physicians on FGIDs, and providing early access to psychiatric consultation for patients with significant psychological illnesses. The duration of follow-up was six months. Outcomes were measured using the Irritable Bowel Syndrome-QoL (IBS-QoL) instrument and the EuroQol five dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire. RESULTS A total of 1,189 patients (68% female, 80% Chinese, mean age 48.6 years) participated in the programme. Among these participants, 51% had a significant psychological disorder (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS] anxiety or depression score > 7). These participants had a significantly poorer QoL (IBS-QoL and EQ-5D, both p < 0.0001), and were more likely to be single or English-speaking, as compared to the participants without psychological disorders. Participants who completed ? 3 months of follow-up (n = 906) showed significant and durable improvement. High baseline HADS anxiety score predicted improvement (p < 0.001), with participant IBS-QoL and EQ-5D scores decreasing over time. CONCLUSION The intervention programme was associated with a clinically meaningful improvement in the QoL of patients with refractory FGIDs. High baseline anxiety was predictive of improvement. PMID:26243975

  8. Improving optical contact for functional near?infrared brain spectroscopy and imaging with brush optodes

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Bilal; Wildey, Chester; Francis, Robert; Tian, Fenghua; Delgado, Mauricio R.; Liu, Hanli; MacFarlane, Duncan; Alexandrakis, George

    2012-01-01

    A novel brush optode was designed and demonstrated to overcome poor optical contact with the scalp that can occur during functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and imaging due to light obstruction by hair. The brush optodes were implemented as an attachment to existing commercial flat-faced (conventional) fiber bundle optodes. The goal was that the brush optodes would thread through hair and improve optical contact on subjects with dense hair. Simulations and experiments were performed to assess the magnitude of these improvements. FNIRS measurements on 17 subjects with varying hair colors (blonde, brown, and black) and hair densities (0–2.96 hairs/mm2) were performed during a finger tapping protocol for both flat and brush optodes. In addition to reaching a study success rate of almost 100% when using the brush optode extensions, the measurement setup times were reduced by a factor of three. Furthermore, the brush optodes enabled improvements in the activation signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by up to a factor of ten as well as significant (p < 0.05) increases in the detected area of activation (dAoA). The measured improvements in SNR were matched by Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of photon propagation through scalp and hair. In addition, an analytical model was derived to mathematically estimate the observed light power losses due to different hair colors and hair densities. Interestingly, the derived analytical formula produced excellent estimates of the experimental data and MC simulation results despite several simplifying assumptions. The analytical model enables researchers to readily estimate the light power losses due to obstruction by hair for both flat-faced fiber bundles and individual fibers for a given subject. PMID:22567582

  9. Acupuncture improves locomotor function by enhancing GABA receptor expression in transient focal cerebral ischemia rats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Qian; Yang, Jing-Wen; Cao, Yan; Zhang, Li-Wen; Zeng, Xiang-Hong; Li, Fang; Du, Si-Qi; Wang, Lin-Peng; Liu, Cun-Zhi

    2015-02-19

    Stroke is the major cause of long-term disability among adults. Recent studies have found that GABAergic inhibitory neurotransmission plays a vital role in ameliorate locomotor damage after ischemic injury. Acupuncture has been widely used to improve locomotor function. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The present study is designed to investigate whether GABA and GABA receptors are involved in the mechanism underlying acupuncture treatment in rats with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). One week after acupuncture at JiaJi acupoint, the locomotor function and infarct volumes were tested. Then level of GABA and the expressions of GABAA?2 and GABABR2 were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Compared with normal group, GABAA?2 and GABABR2 expressions were decreased in striatum and spinal cord of the MCAO group. After acupuncture, the expressions of the two receptors were increased, but levels of GABA and trafficking protein, kinesin binding 1 (TRAK1), which plays a role in the intracellular transport of GABA receptors, were unchanged. The present study suggests that acupuncture could reverse locomotor function by modulating the expressions of GABA receptors in MCAO rats. PMID:25556683

  10. Vasoactive intestinal peptide administration after stroke in rats enhances neurogenesis and improves neurological function.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Shi, Qing-Dong; Yang, Yuan-Bo; Qian, Yi-Hua; Feng, Gai-Feng; Chang, Ling; Zong, Chang-Hong

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) on neurogenesis and neurological function after cerebral ischemia. Rats were intracerebroventricular administered with VIP after a 2h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and sacrificed at 7, 14 and 28 days after MCAO. Functional outcome was studied with the modified neurological severity score. The infarct volume was evaluated via histology. Neurogenesis, angiogenesis and the protein expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were measured by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting analysis, respectively. The treatment with VIP significantly reduced the neurological severity score and the infarc volume, and increased the numbers of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) immunoreactive cells and doublecortin immunoreactive area in the subventricular zone (SVZ) at 7, 14 and 28 days after ischemia. The cerebral protein levels of VEGF and VEGF expression in the SVZ were also enhanced in VIP-treated rats at 7 days after stroke. VIP treatment obviously increased the number of BrdU positive endothelial cells in the SVZ and density of cerebral microvessels in the ischemic boundary at 28 days after ischemia. Our study suggests that in the ischemic rat brain VIP reduces brain damage and promotes neurogenesis by increasing VEGF. VIP-enhanced neurogenesis is associated with angiogenesis. These changes may contribute to improvement in functional outcome. PMID:26363093

  11. AmIRTEM: a functional model for training of aerobic endurance for health improvement.

    PubMed

    Gaeta, Eugenio; Cea, Gloria; Arredondo, Maria T; Leuteritz, Jan P

    2012-11-01

    In a nonstrenuous exercise, the heart rate (HR) shows a linear relationship with the maximum volume of oxygen consumption VO(2Max) and serves as an indicator of performance of the cardiovascular system. The HR replaces the %VO(2Max) in exercise program prescription to improve aerobic endurance. In order to achieve an optimal effect in an endurance training, the athlete needs to work out at an HR high enough to trigger the aerobic metabolism, while avoiding the very high HRs that bring along significant risks of myocardial infarction. The minimal and optimal base training programs, followed by stretching exercises to prevent injuries, are adequate programs to maximize benefits and minimize health risks for the cardiovascular system during single session training. In this paper, we have defined a functional model for an ambient intelligence system that monitors, evaluates, and trains the aerobic endurance. It is based on the Android operating system and the Gow Running smart shirt. The system has been evaluated during functional assessment stress testing of aerobic endurance in the Stress Physiology Laboratory (SPL) of the Technical University of Madrid. Furthermore, a voice system designed to guide the user through minimal and optimal base training programs has been evaluated. The results obtained fully confirm the model with a high correlation between the data collected by the system and the by SPL. There is also a high hit rate between training sessions of the users and the objective training functions defined in the training programs. PMID:22801486

  12. Virtual reality using games for improving physical functioning in older adults: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Molina, Karina Iglesia; Ricci, Natalia Aquaroni; de Moraes, Suzana Albuquerque; Perracini, Monica Rodrigues

    2014-01-01

    The use of virtual reality through exergames or active video game, i.e. a new form of interactive gaming, as a complementary tool in rehabilitation has been a frequent focus in research and clinical practice in the last few years. However, evidence of their effectiveness is scarce in the older population. This review aim to provide a summary of the effects of exergames in improving physical functioning in older adults. A search for randomized controlled trials was performed in the databases EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsyInfo, Cochrane data base, PEDro and ISI Web of Knowledge. Results from the included studies were analyzed through a critical review and methodological quality by the PEDro scale. Thirteen studies were included in the review. The most common apparatus for exergames intervention was the Nintendo Wii gaming console (8 studies), followed by computers games, Dance video game with pad (two studies each) and only one study with the Balance Rehabilitation Unit. The Timed Up and Go was the most frequently used instrument to assess physical functioning (7 studies). According to the PEDro scale, most of the studies presented methodological problems, with a high proportion of scores below 5 points (8 studies). The exergames protocols and their duration varied widely, and the benefits for physical function in older people remain inconclusive. However, a consensus between studies is the positive motivational aspect that the use of exergames provides. Further studies are needed in order to achieve better methodological quality, external validity and provide stronger scientific evidence. PMID:25399408

  13. Dietary and plant polyphenols exert neuroprotective effects and improve cognitive function in cerebral ischemia.

    PubMed

    Panickar, Kiran S; Jang, Saebyeol

    2013-08-01

    Cerebral ischemia is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain which generally leads to irreversible brain damage. Ischemic injury is associated with vascular leakage, inflammation, tissue injury, and cell death. Cellular changes associated with ischemia include impairment of metabolism, energy failure, free radical production, excitotoxicity, altered calcium homeostasis, and activation of proteases all of which affect brain functioning and also contribute to longterm disabilities including cognitive decline. Inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased oxidative/nitrosative stress, and intracellular calcium overload contribute to brain injury including cell death and brain edema. However, there is a paucity of agents that can effectively reduce cerebral damage and hence considerable attention has focused on developing newer agents with more efficacy and fewer side-effects. Polyphenols are natural compounds with variable phenolic structures and are rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. Most polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties and their protective effects on mitochondrial functioning, glutamate uptake, and regulating intracellular calcium levels in ischemic injury in vitro have been demonstrated. This review will assess the current status of the potential effects of polyphenols in reducing cerebral injury and improving cognitive function in ischemia in animal and human studies. In addition, the review will also examine available patents in nutrition and agriculture that relates to cerebral ischemic injury with an emphasis on plant polyphenols. PMID:23621667

  14. Characterizing Point Spread Function (PSF) fluctuations to improve Resident Space Object detection (RSO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, Tyler J.; Cain, Stephen C.

    2015-05-01

    This research paper deals with methods for improving the performance of Electro-optical detection systems designed to find Resident Space Objects (RSOs). Some methods for detecting RSOs rely on accurate knowledge of the system Point Spread Function (PSF). The PSF is a function of the telescope optics, the atmosphere, and other factors including object intensity and noise present in the system. Due to the random photon arrival times, any observed data will contain Poisson noise. Assuming that other noise sources such as dark current and readout noise do not contribute significantly, the final source of intensity fluctuations in the data is the atmosphere. To quantify these fluctuations, an optical model of a telescope system is developed, and its PSF is simulated. In a long exposure image, the effects of the atmosphere are well characterized with the long exposure atmosphere Optical Transfer Function (OTF). In contrast, a short exposure image does not average the fluctuations as effectively. To model the atmosphere, random phase screens with Kolmogorov statistics are added to the optical model to observe PSF fluctuations in short exposure telescope data. The distribution of the peak intensity is analyzed for varying exposure times and atmospheric turbulence strengths. This distribution is combined with the Poisson random arrival times of photons to create a combined model for received data, which is then used to design a new detection algorithm. The performance of the new space object detection algorithm will be compared to a traditional algorithm using simulated telescope data.

  15. rTMS neuromodulation improves electrocortical functional measures of information processing and behavioral responses in autism

    PubMed Central

    Sokhadze, Estate M.; El-Baz, Ayman S.; Sears, Lonnie L.; Opris, Ioan; Casanova, Manuel F.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Reports in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) of a minicolumnopathy with consequent deficits of lateral inhibition help explain observed behavioral and executive dysfunctions. We propose that neuromodulation based on low frequency repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) will enhance lateral inhibition through activation of inhibitory double bouquet interneurons and will be accompanied by improvements in the prefrontal executive functions. In addition we proposed that rTMS will improve cortical excitation/inhibition ratio and result in changes manifested in event-related potential (ERP) recorded during cognitive tests. Materials and Methods: Along with traditional clinical behavioral evaluations the current study used ERPs in a visual oddball task with illusory figures. We compared clinical, behavioral and electrocortical outcomes in two groups of children with autism (TMS, wait-list group). We predicted that 18 session long course in autistic patients will have better behavioral and ERP outcomes as compared to age- and IQ-matched WTL group. We used 18 sessions of 1 Hz rTMS applied over the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in 27 individuals with ASD diagnosis. The WTL group was comprised of 27 age-matched subjects with ASD tested twice. Both TMS and WTL groups were assessed at the baseline and after completion of 18 weekly sessions of rTMS (or wait period) using clinical behavioral questionnaires and during performance on visual oddball task with Kanizsa illusory figures. Results: Post-TMS evaluations showed decreased irritability and hyperactivity on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), and decreased stereotypic behaviors on the Repetitive Behavior Scale (RBS-R). Following rTMS course we found decreased amplitude and prolonged latency in the frontal and fronto-central N100, N200 and P300 (P3a) ERPs to non-targets in active TMS treatment group. TMS resulted in increase of P2d (P2a to targets minus P2a to non-targets) amplitude. These ERP changes along with increased centro-parietal P100 and P300 (P3b) to targets are indicative of more efficient processing of information post-TMS treatment. Another important finding was decrease of the latency and increase of negativity of error-related negativity (ERN) during commission errors that may reflect improvement in error monitoring and correction function. Enhanced information processing was also manifested in lower error rate. In addition we calculated normative post-error treaction time (RT) slowing response in both groups and found that rTMS treatment was accompanied by post-error RT slowing and higher accuracy of responses, whereas the WTL group kept on showing typical for ASD post-error RT speeding and higher commission and omission error rates. Conclusion: Results from our study indicate that rTMS improves executive functioning in ASD as evidenced by normalization of ERP responses and behavioral reactions (RT, accuracy) during executive function test, and also by improvements in clinical evaluations. PMID:25147508

  16. Effects of thrombin and thrombin receptor activation on cardiac function after acute myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Xinyuan; Zhang, Xiaorong; Lu, Guihua; Li, Yanhui; Li, Xiujuan; Huang, He; Zeng, Jianping; Tang, Lilong

    2015-01-01

    Thrombin and thrombin receptor activation impact cardiomyocyte contraction and ventricular remodeling. However, there is some controversy regarding their effects in cardiac function, especially in cardiac dysfunction after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). A rat AMI model was created by left coronary artery ligation (LCA). Cardiac functional parameters, including the maximum left ventricular (LV) systolic pressure (LVSPmax), LV end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), and the rise and fall rates in LV pressure (dp/dt max and dp/dt min, respectively), were measured. Hirudin decreased cardiac function within 120 minutes after AMI, whereas treatment with thrombin receptor-activating peptide (TRAP) reversed this hirudin-induced decrease in cardiac function. The mRNA and protein expression levels of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) subtypes in infarct area tissues were analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunoreaction. Hirudin decreased the expression levels of IP3R-1, -2, and -3 in the infarct area for up to 40 minutes after AMI, whereas TRAP treatment reversed these hirudin-induced effects. Treatment with the IP3R antagonist 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2.5 mg/kg) eliminated the effect of TRAP on the hirudin-induced decrease in cardiac function after AMI. Finally, TRAP increased the maximum binding capacity of the three IP3R subtypes, but only enhanced the affinity of IP3R-2. Thrombin and thrombin receptor activation improved cardiac function after AMI by an IP3R-mediated pathway, probably through the IP3R-2 subtype. PMID:26064435

  17. [Functional significance of left ventricular distortion in patients with right ventricular volume or pressure overloading].

    PubMed

    Maeda, T; Matsuzaki, M; Anno, Y; Toma, Y; Maeda, R; Konishi, M; Okada, K; Tanaka, N; Suetsugu, M; Ono, S

    1986-06-01

    To evaluate the effects of left ventricular (LV) distortion on its pump function, the LV cavity shape was analyzed by two-dimensional echocardiography in normal subjects and in patients with right ventricular (RV) volume or pressure overload. The functional significance of LV distortion in the short-axis sections was evaluated by an index of the efficiency of ejection (E) of endocardial circumferential fiber length (ECL) shortening in reducing LV cavity area during systole; E = measured systolic area reduction/ideal systolic area reduction X 100 (%), where an ideal area at end-diastole or end-systole was computed for the measured ECL, assuming its shape to be perfectly circular (ideal area = ECL2/4 pi), and then an ideal systolic area reduction was determined. E at the chordal level was termed Ech. In patients with atrial septal defect (ASD), the LV cavity was distorted at end-diastole and became more circular at end-systole. Since this characteristic change during systole diminished the E, and the values of E at the chordal level (Ech) were significantly lower in ASD than those in normal subjects (89.4 +/- 4.4% vs 98.3 +/- 0.8%, p less than 0.001), strongly suggesting impairment of the efficiency of LV pump function in ASD. In patients with pulmonary hypertension, the LV cavity was more distorted at systole, and a decrease in cavity area at end-systole with the distorted LV contributed to increased systolic area reduction. Thus, the values of Ech in this group exceeded 100% in five of nine patients (103.8 +/- 12.3%). In other words, when marked RV systolic overload exists, an increase in LV systolic area reduction due to progressive LV compression will occur against LV systolic pressure. This phenomenon suggests the existence of "cardiac massage on the LV by the RV with elevated pressure". In conclusion, it was strongly suggested that the efficiency of LV pump function is modulated by RV overload through dynamic changes in the LV shape. PMID:3585071

  18. Vestibular Stochastic Resonance as a Method to Improve Balance Function: Optimization of Stimulus Characteristics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian; Wood, Scott; Serrador, Jorge; Cohen, Helen; Reschke, Millard; Bloomberg, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) is a mechanism by which noise can assist and enhance the response of neural systems to relevant sensory signals. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input through the proprioceptive, visual, or vestibular sensory systems has been shown to improve motor function. Specifically, studies have shown that that vestibular electrical stimulation by imperceptible stochastic noise, when applied to normal young and elderly subjects, significantly improved their ocular stabilization reflexes in response to whole-body tilt as well as balance performance during postural disturbances. The goal of this study was to optimize the characteristics of the stochastic vestibular signals for balance performance during standing on an unstable surface. Subjects performed a standardized balance task of standing on a block of 10 cm thick medium density foam with their eyes closed for a total of 40 seconds. Stochastic electrical stimulation was applied to the vestibular system through electrodes placed over the mastoid process behind the ears during the last 20 seconds of the test period. A custom built constant current stimulator with subject isolation delivered the stimulus. Stimulation signals were generated with frequencies in the bandwidth of 1-2 Hz and 0.01-30 Hz. Amplitude of the signals were varied in the range of 0- +/-700 micro amperes with the RMS of the signal increased by 30 micro amperes for each 100 micro amperes increase in the current range. Balance performance was measured using a force plate under the foam block and inertial motion sensors placed on the torso and head segments. Preliminary results indicate that balance performance is improved in the range of 10-25% compared to no stimulation conditions. Subjects improved their performance consistently across the blocks of stimulation. Further the signal amplitude at which the performance was maximized was different in the two frequency ranges. Optimization of the frequency and amplitude of the signal characteristics of the stochastic noise signals on maximizing balance performance will have a significant impact in its development as a unique system to aid recovery of function in astronauts after long duration space flight or for people with balance disorders.

  19. Acute right ventricular pressure overload compromises left ventricular function by altering septal strain and rotation

    PubMed Central

    Chua, Jason; Zhou, Wei; Ho, Jonathan K.; Patel, Nikhil A.; Burkhard Mackensen, G.

    2013-01-01

    While right ventricular (RV) dysfunction has long been known to affect the performance of left ventricle (LV), the mechanisms remain poorly defined. Recently, speckle-tracking echocardiography has demonstrated that preservation of strain and rotational dynamics is crucial to both LV systolic and diastolic function. We hypothesized that alteration in septal strain and rotational dynamics of the LV occurs during acute RV pressure overload (RVPO) and leads to decreased cardiac performance. Seven anesthetized pigs underwent median sternotomy and placement of intraventricular pressure-volume conductance catheters. Two-dimensional echocardiographic images and LV pressure-volume loops were acquired for offline analysis at baseline and after banding of the pulmonary artery to achieve RVPO (>50 mmHg) induced RV dysfunction. RVPO resulted in a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in LV end-systolic elastance (50%), systolic change in pressure over change in time (19%), end-diastolic volume (22%), and cardiac output (37%) that correlated with decrease in LV global circumferential strain (58%), LV apical rotation (28%), peak untwisting (reverse rotation) rate (27%), and prolonged time to peak rotation (17%), while basal rotation was not significantly altered. RVPO reduced septal radial and circumferential strain, while no other segment of the LV midpapillary wall was affected. RVPO decreased septal radial strain on LV side by 27% and induced a negative radial strain from 28 ± 5 to ?16 ± 2% on the RV side of the septum. The septal circumferential strain on both LV and RV side decreased by 46 and 50%, respectively, following RVPO (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that acute RVPO impairs LV performance by primarily altering septal strain and apical rotation. PMID:23661621

  20. Improved deposition and deprotection of silane tethered 3,4 hydroxypyridinone (HOPO) ligands on functionalized nanoporous silica

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, Joseph D.; Wiacek, Robert J.; Burton, Sarah D.; Li, Xiaohong S.; Fryxell, Glen E.; Addleman, Raymond S.; Yantasee, Wasanna; Sangvanich, Thanapon; Pattamakomsan, Kanda

    2012-04-01

    An improved synthesis of a 3,4 hydroxypyridinone (HOPO) functionalized mesoporous silica is described. Higher 3,4-HOPO monolayer ligand loadings have been achieved, resulting in better performance. Performance improvements were demonstrated with the capture of U(VI) from human blood, plasma and filtered river water.

  1. Intensive lifestyle intervention improves physical function among obese adults with knee pain: Findings from the Look AHEAD Trial

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lifestyle interventions have resulted in weight loss or improved physical fitness among individuals with obesity, which may lead to improved physical function. This prospective investigation involved participants in the Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD) trial who reported knee pain at basel...

  2. Intensive lifestyle intervention improves physical function among obese adults with knee pain: Findings from the Look AHEAD trial

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lifestyle interventions causing weight loss or improved physical fitness in obese individuals may lead to improved physical function. This study involved participants in the Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD) trial who reported knee pain at baseline (n = 2,203). The purposes of this study we...

  3. A machine learning based method to improve docking scoring functions and its application to drug repurposing

    PubMed Central

    Kinnings, Sarah L.; Liu, Nina; Tonge, Peter J.; Jackson, Richard M.; Xie, Lei; Bourne, Philip E.

    2011-01-01

    Docking scoring functions are notoriously weak predictors of binding affinity. They typically assign a common set of weights to the individual energy terms that contribute to the overall energy score, however, these weights should be gene family-dependent. In addition, they incorrectly assume that individual interactions contribute towards the total binding affinity in an additive manner. In reality, noncovalent interactions often depend on one another in a nonlinear manner. In this paper we show how the use of support vector machines (SVMs), trained by associating sets of individual energy terms retrieved from molecular docking with the known binding affinity of each compound from high-throughput screening experiments, can be used to improve the correlation between known binding affinities and those predicted by the docking program eHiTS. We construct two prediction models; a regression model trained using IC50 values from BindingDB, and a classification model trained using active and decoy compounds from the Directory of Useful Decoys (DUD). Moreover, to address the issue of overrepresentation of negative data in high-throughput screening data sets, we have designed a multiple-planar SVM training procedure for the classification model. The increased performance that both SVMs give when compared with the original eHiTS scoring function highlights the potential for using nonlinear methods when deriving overall energy scores from their individual components. We apply the above methodology to train a new scoring function for direct inhibitors of M.tuberculosis (M.tb) InhA. By combining ligand binding site comparison with the new scoring function, we propose that phosphodiesterase inhibitors can potentially be repurposed to target M.tb InhA. Our methodology may be applied to other gene families for which target structures and activity data are available, as demonstrated in the work presented here. PMID:21291174

  4. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with less reliance on chemical treatment. This will in turn contribute to the reduction in the cost of operation, but more importantly reduce the impact on the environment (i.e., discharge, GHGs), and increase water quality and the potential for water reuse worldwide.

  5. Functional improvement in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis undergoing single lung transplantation *

    PubMed Central

    Rubin, Adalberto Sperb; Nascimento, Douglas Zaione; Sanchez, Letícia; Watte, Guilherme; Holand, Arthur Rodrigo Ronconi; Fassbind, Derrick Alexandre; Camargo, José Jesus

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objective: To evaluate the changes in lung function in the first year after single lung transplantation in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Methods: We retrospectively evaluated patients with IPF who underwent single lung transplantation between January of 2006 and December of 2012, reviewing the changes in the lung function occurring during the first year after the procedure. Results: Of the 218 patients undergoing lung transplantation during the study period, 79 (36.2%) had IPF. Of those 79 patients, 24 (30%) died, and 11 (14%) did not undergo spirometry at the end of the first year. Of the 44 patients included in the study, 29 (66%) were men. The mean age of the patients was 57 years. Before transplantation, mean FVC, FEV1, and FEV1/FVC ratio were 1.78 L (50% of predicted), 1.48 L (52% of predicted), and 83%, respectively. In the first month after transplantation, there was a mean increase of 12% in FVC (400 mL) and FEV1 (350 mL). In the third month after transplantation, there were additional increases, of 5% (170 mL) in FVC and 1% (50 mL) in FEV1. At the end of the first year, the functional improvement persisted, with a mean gain of 19% (620 mL) in FVC and 16% (430 mL) in FEV1. Conclusions: Single lung transplantation in IPF patients who survive for at least one year provides significant and progressive benefits in lung function during the first year. This procedure is an important therapeutic alternative in the management of IPF. PMID:26398749

  6. Chronic administration of sildenafil improves erectile function in a rat model of chronic renal failure.

    PubMed

    Gurbuz, Nilgun; Kol, Arif; Ipekci, Tumay; Ates, Erhan; Baykal, Asli; Usta, Mustafa F

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between erectile dysfunction (ED) and chronic renal failure (CRF) has been reported in several studies. This study aimed to investigate whether the chronic use of sildenafil could enhance the erectile capacity in CRF-induced rats. In addition, we assessed the effect of that treatment on certain molecules, which have been suggested to play crucial roles in erectile physiology and CRF-related ED as well. Three groups of animals were utilized: (1) age-matched control rats, (2) CRF-induced rats, (3) CRF-induced rats treated with chronic administration of sildenafil (5 mg kg-1 p.o. for 6 weeks [treatment started after 6 weeks of CRF induction]). At 3 months, all animals underwent cavernosal nerve stimulation (CNS) to assess erectile function. Penile tissue advanced glycation end products (AGE's)/5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde, malondialdehyde (MDA), cGMP (ELISA), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and neuronal NOS (nNOS) (Western blot) analyses were performed in all rat groups. CRF-induced rats had a significant decrease in erectile function when compared to control rats (P < 0.05). The increase in both intracavernosal pressure (ICP) and area under the curve of CRF-induced rats treated with sildenafil (Group 3) was greater than CRF-induced rats (Group 2). Additionally, sildenafil treatment decreased AGE, MDA and iNOS levels, while it preserved nNOS and cGMP contents in CRF-induced penile tissue. Decreased AGE, MDA, iNOS and increased nNOS, cGMP levels at the sildenafil-treated group increased both ICP and Total ICP to CNS, which led to improve erectile function in CRF-induced rats. The results of the present study revealed the therapeutic effect of chronic sildenafil administration on erectile function in CRF-induced rats. PMID:25652632

  7. Sodium nitrite supplementation improves motor function and skeletal muscle inflammatory profile in old male mice.

    PubMed

    Justice, Jamie N; Gioscia-Ryan, Rachel A; Johnson, Lawrence C; Battson, Micah L; de Picciotto, Natalie E; Beck, Hannah J; Jiang, Hong; Sindler, Amy L; Bryan, Nathan S; Enoka, Roger M; Seals, Douglas R

    2015-01-15

    Aging is associated with motor declines that lead to functional limitations and disability, necessitating the development of therapies to slow or reverse these events. We tested the hypothesis that sodium nitrite supplementation attenuates declines in motor function in older C57BL/6 mice. Motor function was assessed using a battery of tests (grip strength, open-field distance, rota-rod endurance) in old animals (age 20-24 mo) at baseline and after 8 wk of sodium nitrite (old nitrite, n = 22, 50 mg/liter) or no treatment (old control, n = 40), and in young reference animals (3 mo, n = 87). Eight weeks of sodium nitrite supplementation improved grip strength (old nitrite, +12.0 ± 14.9% vs. old control, +1.5 ± 15.2%, P < 0.05) and open field distance (old nitrite, +9.5 ± 7.7%, P < 0.01 vs. old control, -28.1 ± 2.0%) and completely restored rota-rod endurance-run time (old nitrite, +3.2 ± 7.1%, P < 0.01 vs. old control, -21.5 ± 7.2%; old nitrite after treatment P > 0.05 vs. young reference). Inflammatory cytokines were markedly increased in quadriceps of old compared with young reference animals (by ELISA, interleukin-1? [IL-1?] 3.86 ± 2.34 vs. 1.11 ± 0.74, P < 0.05; interferon-gamma [INF-?] 8.31 ± 1.59 vs. 3.99 ± 2.59, P < 0.01; tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-?] 1.69 ± 0.44 vs. 0.76 ± 0.30 pg/ml, P < 0.01), but were reduced to young reference levels after treatment (old nitrite, IL-1? 0.67 ± 0.95; INF-? 5.22 ± 2.01, TNF-? 1.21 ± 0.39 pg/ml, P < 0.05 vs. old control, P > 0.05 vs. young reference). Cytokine expression and treatment (old nitrite vs. old control) predicted strength (R(2) = 0.822, P < 0.001, IL-1?, INF-?, group), open field distance (R(2) = 0.574, P < 0.01, IL-1?, group) and endurance run time (R(2) = 0.477, P < 0.05, INF-?). Our results suggest that sodium nitrite improves motor function in old mice, in part by reducing low-grade inflammation in muscle. PMID:25377884

  8. EXERCISE TRAINING IMPROVES ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION IN RESISTANCE ARTERIES OF YOUNG PREHYPERTENSIVES

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Darren T.; Martin, Jeffrey S.; Casey, Darren P.; Braith, Randy W.

    2013-01-01

    Prehypertension is associated with reduced conduit artery endothelial function and perturbation of oxidant/antioxidant status. It is unknown if endothelial dysfunction persists to resistance arteries and if exercise training effects oxidant/antioxidant balance in young prehypertensives. We examined resistance artery function using venous occlusion plethysmography measurement of forearm (FBF) and calf blood flow (CBF) at rest and during reactive hyperemia, as well as lipid peroxidation (8-iso-PGF2?) and antioxidant capacity (Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity; TEAC) before and after exercise intervention or time-control. Forty-three unmedicated prehypertensive and fifteen matched normotensive time-controls met screening requirements and participated in the study (age: 21.1±0.8 years). Prehypertensive subjects were randomly assigned to resistance exercise training (PHRT; n=15), endurance exercise training (PHET; n=13) or time-control groups (PHTC; n=15). Treatment groups exercised 3 days per week for 8 weeks. Peak and total FBF were lower in prehypertensives than normotensives (12.7±1.2 ml/min/100ml tissue and 89.1±7.7 ml/min/100ml tissue vs. 16.3±1.0 ml/min/100ml tissue and 123.3±6.4 ml/min/100ml tissue, respectively; p<0.05). Peak and total CBF were lower in prehypertensives than normotensives (15.3±1.2 ml/min/100ml tissue and 74±8.3 ml/min/100ml tissue vs. 20.9±1.4 ml/min/100ml tissue and 107±9.2 ml/min/100ml tissue, respectively; p<0.05). PHRT and PHET improved humoral measures of Trolox-equivalent antioxidant-capacity (TEAC) (+24% and +30%) and 8-iso-PGF2? (?43% and ?40%, respectively; p<0.05). This study provides evidence that young prehypertensives exhibit reduced resistance artery endothelial function and that short term (8weeks) resistance or endurance training are effective in improving resistance artery endothelial function and oxidant/antioxidant balance in young prehypertensives. PMID:24172292

  9. Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Sensorimotor Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goel, R.; Kofman, I.; DeDios, Y. E.; Jeevarajan, J.; Stepanyan, V.; Nair, M.; Congdon, S.; Fregia, M.; Cohen, H.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.

    2014-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). Our previous work has shown the advantageous effects of VSR in a balance task of standing on an unstable surface. This technique to improve detection of vestibular signals uses a stimulus delivery system that is wearable or portable and provides imperceptibly low levels of white noise-based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. The goal of this project is to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection. A series of experiments were carried out to determine a robust paradigm to identify a vestibular threshold that can then be used to recommend optimal stimulation levels for SR training applications customized to each crewmember. Customizing stimulus intensity can maximize treatment effects. The amplitude of stimulation to be used in the VSR application has varied across studies in the literature such as 60% of nociceptive stimulus thresholds. We compared subjects' perceptual threshold with that obtained from two measures of body sway. Each test session was 463s long and consisted of several 15s sinusoidal stimuli, at different current amplitudes (0-2 mA), interspersed with 20-20.5s periods of no stimulation. Subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and had to report their perception of motion through a joystick. A force plate underneath the chair recorded medio-lateral shear forces and roll moments. First we determined the percent time during stimulation periods for which perception of motion (activity above a pre-defined threshold) was reported using the joystick, and body sway (two standard deviation of the noise level in the baseline measurement) was detected by the sensors. The percentage time at each stimulation level for motion detection was normalized with respect to the largest value and a logistic regression curve fit was applied to these data. The threshold was defined at the 50% probability of motion detection. Comparison of threshold of motion detection obtained from joystick data versus body sway suggests that perceptual thresholds were significantly lower, and were not impacted by system noise. Further, in order to determine optimal stimulation amplitude to improve balance, two sets of experiments were carried out. In the first set of experiments, all subjects received the same level of stimuli and the intensity of optimal performance was projected back on subjects' vestibular threshold curve. In the second set of experiments, on different subjects, stimulation was administered from 20-400% of subjects' vestibular threshold obtained from joystick data. Preliminary results of our study show that, in general, using stimulation amplitudes at 40-60% of perceptual motion threshold improved balance performance significantly compared to control (no stimulation). The amplitude of vestibular stimulation that improved balance function was predominantly in the range of +/- 100 to +/- 400 micro A. We hypothesize that VSR stimulation will act synergistically with sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training to improve adaptability by increasing utilization of vestibular information and therefore will help us to optimize and personalize a SA countermeasure prescription. This combination will help to significantly reduce the number of days required to recover functional performance to preflight levels after long-duration spaceflight.

  10. Very long-term ECG monitoring patch with improved functionality and wearability.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Tabares, F J; Gaviria-Gomez, N; Castellanos-Dominguez, G

    2014-01-01

    Heart activity monitoring is an important task for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. However, development of long-term, wearable electrodes remains an open issue. In fact, adhesion ability and energy consumption while preserving aesthetics is one of the major concerns to implement a minimally invasive monitoring system that measures and transmits electrocardiographic signals (ECG) during long-term periods of time. Based on the concepts of functionality, wearability, and resources, we develop a new long-term ECG monitoring system under the wear-and-forget principle. We also propose a system model of the electrode-skin interface that performs real-time measurements with a minimally invasive effect when compared with another competitive and implantable systems. As a result, testing of designed prototype shows that the developed very long-term ECG monitoring patch improves energy consumption and adhesion time up to 40 days. PMID:25571355

  11. Improving the Description of Nonmagnetic and Magnetic Molecular Crystals via the van der Waals Density Functional

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obata, Masao; Nakamura, Makoto; Hamada, Ikutaro; Oda, Tatsuki

    2015-02-01

    We have derived and implemented a stress tensor formulation for the van der Waals density functional (vdW-DF) with spin-polarization-dependent gradient correction (GC) recently proposed by the authors [J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 82, 093701 (2013)] and applied it to nonmagnetic and magnetic molecular crystals under ambient condition. We found that the cell parameters of the molecular crystals obtained with vdW-DF show an overall improvement compared with those obtained using local density and generalized gradient approximations. In particular, the original vdW-DF with GC gives the equilibrium structural parameters of solid oxygen in the ?-phase, which are in good agreement with the experiment.

  12. Improved Potential Energy Surface of Ozone Constructed Using the Fitting by Permutationally Invariant Polynomial Function

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ayouz, Mehdi; Babikov, Dmitri

    2012-01-01

    New global potential energy surface for the ground electronic state of ozone is constructed at the complete basis set level of the multireference configuration interaction theory. A method of fitting the data points by analytical permutationally invariant polynomial function is adopted. A small set of 500 points is preoptimized using the old surface of ozone. In this procedure the positions of points in the configuration space are chosen such that the RMS deviation of the fit is minimized. New ab initio calculations are carried out at these points and are used to build new surface. Additional points are addedmore »to the vicinity of the minimum energy path in order to improve accuracy of the fit, particularly in the region where the surface of ozone exhibits a shallow van der Waals well. New surface can be used to study formation of ozone at thermal energies and its spectroscopy near the dissociation threshold. « less

  13. Integrated treatment approach improves cognitive function in demented and clinically depressed patients.

    PubMed

    Bragin, Valentin; Chemodanova, Marina; Dzhafarova, Narmina; Bragin, Ilya; Czerniawski, Jennifer L; Aliev, Gjumrakch

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an integrative treatment approach on cognitive performance. The study sample comprised 35 medically ill patients (20 male, 15 female) with an average age of 71.05, who were diagnosed with mild dementia and depression. These patients were evaluated at baseline and at six, 12, and 24 months of treatment, which included antidepressants (sertraline, citalopram, or venlafaxine XR, alone or in combination with bupropion XR), cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine), as well as vitamins and supplements (multivitamins, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, omega-3 and coenzyme Q-10). Patients were encouraged to modify their diet and lifestyle and perform mild physical exercises. Results show that the integrative treatment not only protracted cognitive decline for 24 months but even improved cognition, especially memory and frontal lobe functions. PMID:15751450

  14. Improving the Description of Nonmagnetic and Magnetic Molecular Crystals via the van der Waals Density Functional

    E-print Network

    Obata, Masao; Hamada, Ikutaro; Oda, Tatsuki

    2015-01-01

    We have derived and implemented a stress tensor formulation for the van derWaals density functional (vdW-DF) with spin-polarization-dependent gradient correction (GC) recently proposed by the authors [J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 82, 093701 (2013)] and applied it to nonmagnetic and magnetic molecular crystals under ambient condition. We found that the cell parameters of the molecular crystals obtained with vdW-DF show an overall improvement compared with those obtained using local density and generalized gradient approximations. In particular, the original vdW-DF with GC gives the equilibrium structural parameters of solid oxygen in the {\\alpha}-phase, which are in good agreement with the experiment.

  15. Improved cardiovascular function with aminoguanidine in DOCA-salt hypertensive rats

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Vincent; Hoey, Andrew; Brown, Lindsay

    2006-01-01

    The ability of aminoguanidine (AG), an inhibitor of collagen crosslinking, to prevent changes in cardiac and vascular structure and function has been determined in the deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertensive rat as a model of the cardiovascular remodelling observed in chronic human hypertension. Uninephrectomized rats (UNX) administered DOCA (25?mg every fourth day s.c.) and 1% NaCl in drinking water for 28 days developed cardiovascular remodelling shown as systolic hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, increased thoracic aortic and left ventricular wall thickness, increased left ventricular inflammatory cell infiltration together with increased interstitial collagen and increased passive diastolic stiffness, impaired contractility, prolongation of the action potential duration and vascular dysfunction. Treatment with AG (0.05–0.1% in drinking water; average 182±17?mg?kg?1?day?1 in DOCA-salt rats) decreased blood pressure (DOCA-salt 176±4; +AG 144±5?mmHg; *P<0.05 vs DOCA-salt), decreased left ventricular wet weights (DOCA-salt 3.17±0.07; +AG 2.66±0.08?mg?g?1 body wt*), reduced diastolic stiffness constant (DOCA-salt 30.1±1.2; +AG 24.3±1.2* (dimensionless)), improved cardiac contractility (DOCA-salt 1610±130; +AG 2370±100?mmHg?s?1*) and vascular reactivity (3.4-fold increase in maximal contractile response to noradrenaline, 3.2-fold increase in maximal relaxation response to acetylcholine, twofold increase in maximal relaxation response to sodium nitroprusside) and prolonged the action potential duration at 50% repolarization without altering collagen content or inflammatory cell infiltration. Thus, cardiovascular function in DOCA-salt hypertensive rats can be improved by AG independent of changes in collagen content. This suggests that collagen crosslinking is an important cause of cardiovascular dysfunction during cardiovascular remodelling in hypertension. PMID:16783413

  16. A novel RNA oligonucleotide improves liver function and inhibits liver carcinogenesis in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Reebye, V.; Sætrom, P.; Mintz, P.J.; Huang, K.W.; Swiderski, P.; Peng, L.; Liu, C.; Liu, X.X.; Jensen, S.; Zacharoulis, D.; Kostomitsopoulos, N.; Kasahara, N.; Nicholls, J.P.; Jiao, L.R.; Pai, M.; Mizandari, M.; Chikovani, T.; Emara, M.M.; Haoudi, A.; Tomalia, D.A.; Rossi, J.J.; Habib, N.A.; Spalding, D.R.

    2015-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurs predominantly in patients with liver cirrhosis. Here, we show an innovative RNA-based targeted approach to enhance endogenous albumin production whilst reducing liver tumour burden. We designed short-activating RNAs (saRNA) to enhance expression of C/EBP? (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-?), a transcriptional regulator and activator of albumin gene expression. Increased levels of both C/EBP? and albumin mRNA in addition to a 3-fold increase in albumin secretion and 50% decrease in cell proliferation was observed in C/EBP?-saRNA transfected HepG2 cells. Intravenous injection of C/EBP?-saRNA in a cirrhotic rat model with multifocal liver tumours increased circulating serum albumin by over 30% showing evidence of improved liver function. Tumour burden decreased by 80% (p = 0.003) with a 40% reduction in a marker of pre-neoplastic transformation. Since C/EBP? has known anti-proliferative activities via retinoblastoma, p21 and cyclins; we used mRNA expression liver cancer specific microarray in C/EBP?-saRNA transfected HepG2 cells to confirm down-regulation of genes strongly enriched for negative regulation of apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastasis. Up-regulated genes were enriched for tumour suppressors and positive regulators of cell differentiation. A quantitative PCR and Western-blot analysis of C/EBP?-saRNA transfected cells suggested that in addition to the known anti-proliferative targets of C/EBP?, we also observed suppression of IL6R, c-Myc and reduced STAT3 phosphorylation. Conclusion We demonstrate for the first time that a novel injectable saRNA-oligonucleotide that enhances C/EBP? expression successfully reduces tumour burden and simultaneously improves liver function in a clinically relevant liver cirrhosis/HCC model. PMID:23929703

  17. Genetic engineering of somatic cells to study and improve cardiac function

    PubMed Central

    Kirkton, Robert D.; Bursac, Nenad

    2012-01-01

    Aims To demonstrate the utility of genetically engineered excitable cells for studies of basic electrophysiology and cardiac cell therapy. Methods and results ‘Zig-zag’ networks of neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) were micropatterned onto thin elastomeric films to mimic the slow action potential (AP) conduction found in fibrotic myocardium. Addition of genetically engineered excitable human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293 cells) (‘Ex-293’ cells stably expressing Kir2.1, Nav1.5, and Cx43 channels) increased both cardiac conduction velocity by 370% and twitch force amplitude by 64%. Furthermore, we stably expressed mutant Nav1.5 [A1924T (fast sodium channel mutant (substitution of alanine by threonine at amino acid 1924)] channels with hyperpolarized steady-state activation and showed that, despite a 71.6% reduction in peak INa, these cells propagated APs at the same velocity as the wild-type Nav1.5-expressing Ex-293 cells. Stable expression of Cav3.3 (T-type voltage-gated calcium) channels in Ex-293 cells (to generate an ‘ExCa-293’ line) significantly increased their AP duration and reduced repolarization gradients in cocultures of these cells and NRVMs. Additional expression of an optogenetic construct [ChIEF (light-gated Channelrhodopsin mutant)]enabled light-based control of AP firing in ExCa-293 cells. Conclusion We show that, despite being non-contractile, genetically engineered excitable cells can significantly improve both electrical and mechanical function of engineered cardiac tissues in vitro. We further demonstrate the utility of engineered cells for tissue-level studies of basic electrophysiology and cardiac channelopathies. In the future, this novel platform could be utilized in the high-throughput design of new genetically encoded indicators of cell electrical function, validation, and improvement of computer models of AP conduction, and development of novel engineered somatic cell therapies for the treatment of cardiac infarction and arrhythmias. PMID:23104914

  18. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Prevented the Progression of Renovascular Hypertension, Improved Renal Function and Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira-Sales, Elizabeth B.; Maquigussa, Edgar; Semedo, Patricia; Pereira, Luciana G.; Ferreira, Vanessa M.; Câmara, Niels O.; Bergamaschi, Cassia T.; Campos, Ruy R.; Boim, Mirian A.

    2013-01-01

    Renovascular hypertension induced by 2 Kidney-1 Clip (2K-1C) is a renin-angiotensin-system (RAS)-dependent model, leading to renal vascular rarefaction and renal failure. RAS inhibitors are not able to reduce arterial pressure (AP) and/or preserve the renal function, and thus, alternative therapies are needed. Three weeks after left renal artery occlusion, fluorescently tagged mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (2×105 cells/animal) were injected weekly into the tail vein in 2K-1C hypertensive rats. Flow cytometry showed labeled MSC in the cortex and medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC prevented a further increase in the AP, significantly reduced proteinuria and decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in 2K-1C rats. Renal function parameters were unchanged, except for an increase in urinary volume observed in 2K-1C rats, which was not corrected by MSC. The treatment improved the morphology and decreased the fibrotic areas in the clipped kidney and also significantly reduced renal vascular rarefaction typical of 2K-1C model. Expression levels of IL-1?, TNF-? angiotensinogen, ACE, and Ang II receptor AT1 were elevated, whereas AT2 levels were decreased in the medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC normalized these expression levels. In conclusion, MSC therapy in the 2K-1C model (i) prevented the progressive increase of AP, (ii) improved renal morphology and microvascular rarefaction, (iii) reduced fibrosis, proteinuria and inflammatory cytokines, (iv) suppressed the intrarenal RAS, iv) decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in anesthetized animals and v) MSC were detected at the CNS suggesting that the cells crossed the blood-brain barrier. This therapy may be a promising strategy to treat renovascular hypertension and its renal consequences in the near future. PMID:24223811

  19. Pitavastatin calcium improves endothelial function and delays the progress of atherosclerosis in patients with hypercholesterolemia*

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jing; Yan, Hui-min; Li, Ya; Wang, Jia; Han, Lu; Wang, Zhi-hao; Tang, Meng-xiong; Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Yun; Zhong, Ming

    2015-01-01

    Background: Statins have proven efficacy in inhibiting the onset and progress of atherosclerosis. The effectiveness of pitavastatin in reversing carotid atherosclerosis associated with hypercholesterolemia (HC) is unknown. Objectives: To explore the simultaneous effects of pitavastatin calcium on brachial arterial flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD), carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), and arterial stiffness (?), three surrogate markers of atherosclerosis were studied in HC patients. Methods: A randomized, double-blind trial was performed with 40 HC subjects who fulfilled the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Patients were given pitavastatin calcium 1 mg/d (Group 1) or 2 mg/d (Group 2) for 8 weeks. There were 20 patients in each group, and 30 gender- and age-matched healthy subjects as controls were recruited. FMD of the brachial artery, carotid IMT, and arterial stiffness indicated by ? were measured at baseline and at 8 weeks after starting pitavastatin calcium therapy using ultrasound techniques. Biochemical tests were also made on all subjects. Results: At baseline, higher total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), reduced FMD, and increased ? and IMT were observed in HC patients (P<0.001 for all) compared with controls. After 8 weeks, TC was decreased by 20.59%/27.56% and LDL-C 30.92%/35.64%, respectively, in comparison to baseline groups; the HC groups had reduced ? and improved endothelial function over the 8-week follow-up (P<0.05–0.001); nonetheless, no significant alterations of IMT were found (P>0.05). Significant negative interactions between TC/LDL and FMD (P<0.05–0.001), positive interactions between TC and IMT (P=0.003) and between TC/LDL and ? (P<0.001–0.000) were found. Conclusions: Treatment with pitavastatin calcium exerted favorable effects on endothelial function and arterial stiffness. It also improved carotid atherosclerosis in patients with HC. PMID:25990055

  20. Regulation of Isotopic Composition of Water - way of Improvement of Cosmonauts Drinking Water Functional Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulikova, Ekaterina; Utina, Dina; Vorozhtsova, Svetlana; Severyuhin, Yuri; Abrosimova, Anna; Sinyak, Yuri; Ivanov, Alexander

    The problem in providing drinking water to cosmonauts is solved - at this moment there is a task to improve the functional properties of the water. One of the perspectives of this trend is the use of light isotopic water. The animal studies have shown that long-term consumption of water with a depletion of deuterium and oxygen heavy isotopes accelerates the rise of mass non-irradiated mice, the phase fluctuations reducing or increasing hematological parameters were having adaptive nature. These fluctuations didn’t overcome values beyond the physiological norm of this type of animal. It is established that the therapeutic use of light isotopic water with 35 - 90 ppm in deuterium increases the survival of irradiated mice by an average of 30%, contributes to the preservation of irradiated animals body weight. Treatment of acute radiation sickness with light isotopic water stimulates hematopoietic recovery. At the same time, keeping mice drinking light isotopic water for 7 - 8 days before the irradiation (from 4 to 8.5 Gr) has no effect on the level of radio resistance. Longer keeping mice on light isotopic water, for 14 -21 days - reduction in life expectancy, animal mass, bone marrow cellularity and the level of white blood cells in irradiated animals is noted. It was established that keeping mice on light isotopic water for 14 days before exposure in experimental animals causes an increase in the mitotic index and the frequency of formation of aberrant mitosis after 24 hours of Co(60) gamma radiation in doses of 1 , 2, and 4 Gr. Thus, it is clear that the regulation of the isotopic composition of drinking water - way to improve its functional properties.

  1. Melatonin reduces oxidative stress and improves vascular function in pulmonary hypertensive newborn sheep.

    PubMed

    Torres, Flavio; González-Candia, Alejandro; Montt, Camilo; Ebensperger, Germán; Chubretovic, Magdalena; Serón-Ferré, María; Reyes, Roberto V; Llanos, Aníbal J; Herrera, Emilio A

    2015-04-01

    Pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PHN) constitutes a critical condition with severe cardiovascular and neurological consequences. One of its main causes is hypoxia during gestation, and thus, it is a public health concern in populations living above 2500 m. Although some mechanisms are recognized, the pathophysiological facts that lead to PHN are not fully understood, which explains the lack of an effective treatment. Oxidative stress is one of the proposed mechanisms inducing pulmonary vascular dysfunction and PHN. Therefore, we assessed whether melatonin, a potent antioxidant, improves pulmonary vascular function. Twelve newborn sheep were gestated, born, and raised at 3600 meters. At 3 days old, lambs were catheterized and daily cardiovascular measurements were recorded. Lambs were divided into two groups, one received daily vehicle as control and another received daily melatonin (1 mg/kg/d), for 8 days. At 11 days old, lung tissue and small pulmonary arteries (SPA) were collected. Melatonin decreased pulmonary pressure and resistance for the first 3 days of treatment. Further, melatonin significantly improved the vasodilator function of SPA, enhancing the endothelial- and muscular-dependent pathways. This was associated with an enhanced nitric oxide-dependent and nitric oxide independent vasodilator components and with increased nitric oxide bioavailability in lung tissue. Further, melatonin reduced the pulmonary oxidative stress markers and increased enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidant capacity. Finally, these effects were associated with an increase of lumen diameter and a mild decrease in the wall of the pulmonary arteries. These outcomes support the use of melatonin as an adjuvant in the treatment for PHN. PMID:25736256

  2. High hydrostatic pressure modification of whey protein concentrate for improved functional properties.

    PubMed

    Lim, S-Y; Swanson, B G; Clark, S

    2008-04-01

    Whey protein concentrate (WPC) has many applications in the food industry. Previous research demonstrated that treatment of whey proteins with high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) can enhance solubility and foaming properties of whey proteins. The objective of this study was to use HHP to improve functional properties of fresh WPC, compared with functional properties of reconstituted commercial whey protein concentrate 35 (WPC 35) powder. Fluid whey was ultrafiltered to concentrate proteins and reconstituted to equivalent total solids (8.23%) as reconstituted commercial WPC 35 powder. Solutions of WPC were treated with 300 and 400 MPa (0- and 15-min holding time) and 600 MPa (0-min holding time) pressure. After HHP, the solubility of the WPC was determined at both pH 4.6 and 7.0 using UDY and BioRad protein assay methods. Overrun and foam stability were determined after protein dispersions were whipped for 15 min. The protein solubility was greater at pH 7.0 than at pH 4.6, but there were no significant differences at different HHP treatment conditions. The maintenance of protein solubility after HHP indicates that HHP-treated WPC might be appropriate for applications to food systems. Untreated WPC exhibited the smallest overrun percentage, whereas the largest percentage for overrun and foam stability was obtained for WPC treated at 300 MPa for 15 min. Additionally, HHP-WPC treated at 300 MPa for 15 min acquired larger overrun than commercial WPC 35. The HHP treatment of 300 MPa for 0 min did not improve foam stability of WPC. However, WPC treated at 300 or 400 MPa for 15 min and 600 MPa for 0 min exhibited significantly greater foam stability than commercial WPC 35. The HHP treatment was beneficial to enhance overrun and foam stability of WPC, showing promise for ice cream and whipping cream applications. PMID:18349222

  3. Novel Television-Based Cognitive Training Improves Working Memory and Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Shatil, Evelyn; Mikulecká, Jaroslava; Bellotti, Francesco; Bureš, Vladimír

    2014-01-01

    The main study objective was to investigate the effect of interactive television-based cognitive training on cognitive performance of 119 healthy older adults, aged 60–87 years. Participants were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group or to an active control group in a single-blind controlled two-group design. Before and after training interactive television cognitive performance was assessed on well validated tests of fluid, higher-order ability, and system usability was evaluated. The participants in the cognitive training group completed a television-based cognitive training programme, while the participants in the active control group completed a TV-based programme of personally benefiting activities. Significant improvements were observed in well validated working memory and executive function tasks in the cognitive training but not in the control group. None of the groups showed statistically significant improvement in life satisfaction score. Participants' reports of “adequate” to “high” system usability testify to the successful development and implementation of the interactive television-based system and compliant cognitive training contents. The study demonstrates that cognitive training delivered by means of an interactive television system can generate genuine cognitive benefits in users and these are measurable using well-validated cognitive tests. Thus, older adults who cannot use or afford a computer can easily use digital interactive television to benefit from advanced software applications designed to train cognition. PMID:24992187

  4. Protein-free phospholipid emulsion treatment improved cardiopulmonary function and survival in porcine sepsis.

    PubMed

    Goldfarb, Roy D; Parker, Thomas S; Levine, Daniel M; Glock, Dana; Akhter, Imran; Alkhudari, Azzam; McCarthy, Robert J; David, Eric M; Gordon, Bruce R; Saal, Stuart D; Rubin, Albert L; Trenholme, Gordon M; Parrillo, Joseph E

    2003-02-01

    Lipoprotein phospholipid (PL) plays a major role in neutralization of endotoxin. This study tested the hypothesis that prophylactic administration of a PL-enriched emulsion (PRE), which augments PL content of serum lipoproteins and neutralizes endotoxin in vitro, would preserve cardiovascular function and improve survival in porcine septic peritonitis. A control group was compared with low-, mid-, and high-dose treatment groups that received PRE by primed continuous infusion for 48 h. A fibrin clot containing live Escherichia coli 0111.B4 was implanted intraperitoneally 30 min after the priming dose. Survival increased in a dose-dependent manner and was correlated with serum PL. Infused PL was associated with high-density lipoprotein in the low-dose group and all serum lipoproteins at higher doses. Treatment significantly lowered serum endotoxin and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, preserved cardiac output and ejection fraction, and attenuated increases in systemic and pulmonary vascular resistances. This study demonstrated that augmentation of lipoprotein PL via administration of PRE improved survival and offered a novel therapeutic approach to sepsis. PMID:12399248

  5. Inhibitory effect of bisphosphonate on osteoclast function contributes to improved skeletal pain in ovariectomized mice.

    PubMed

    Abe, Yasuhisa; Iba, Kousuke; Sasaki, Koichi; Chiba, Hironori; Kanaya, Kumiko; Kawamata, Tomoyuki; Oda, Kimimitsu; Amizuka, Norio; Sasaki, Muneteru; Yamashita, Toshihiko

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate skeletal pain associated with osteoporosis and to examine the inhibitory effect of bisphosphonate (BP) on pain in an ovariectomized (OVX) mouse model. We evaluated skeletal pain in OVX mice through an examination of pain-like behavior as well as immunohistochemical findings. In addition, we assessed the effects of alendronate (ALN), a potent osteoclast inhibitor, on those parameters. The OVX mice showed a decrease in the pain threshold value, and an increase in the number of c-Fos immunoreactive neurons in laminae I-II of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Alendronate caused an increase in the pain threshold value and inhibited c-Fos expression. The serum level of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b, a marker of osteoclast activity, was significantly negatively correlated with the pain threshold value. Furthermore, we found that an antagonist of the transient receptor potential channel vanilloid subfamily member 1, which is an acid-sensing nociceptor, improved pain-like behavior in OVX mice. These results indicated that the inhibitory effect of BP on osteoclast function might contribute to an improvement in skeletal pain in osteoporosis patients. PMID:24633536

  6. From Genetics to Functional Genomics: Improvement in Drought Signaling and Tolerance in Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Budak, Hikmet; Hussain, Babar; Khan, Zaeema; Ozturk, Neslihan Z.; Ullah, Naimat

    2015-01-01

    Drought being a yield limiting factor has become a major threat to international food security. It is a complex trait and drought tolerance response is carried out by various genes, transcription factors (TFs), microRNAs (miRNAs), hormones, proteins, co-factors, ions, and metabolites. This complexity has limited the development of wheat cultivars for drought tolerance by classical breeding. However, attempts have been made to fill the lost genetic diversity by crossing wheat with wild wheat relatives. In recent years, several molecular markers including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with genes for drought signaling pathways have been reported. Screening of large wheat collections by marker assisted selection (MAS) and transformation of wheat with different genes/TFs has improved drought signaling pathways and tolerance. Several miRNAs also provide drought tolerance to wheat by regulating various TFs/genes. Emergence of OMICS techniques including transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and ionomics has helped to identify and characterize the genes, proteins, metabolites, and ions involved in drought signaling pathways. Together, all these efforts helped in understanding the complex drought tolerance mechanism. Here, we have reviewed the advances in wide hybridization, MAS, QTL mapping, miRNAs, transgenic technique, genome editing system, and above mentioned functional genomics tools for identification and utility of signaling molecules for improvement in wheat drought tolerance. PMID:26635838

  7. Silicon Application Increases Drought Tolerance of Kentucky Bluegrass by Improving Plant Water Relations and Morphophysiological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Saud, Shah; Chen, Yang; Zhang, Lu; Sadiq, Arooj; Chen, Yajun

    2014-01-01

    Drought stress encumbers the growth of turfgrass principally by disrupting the plant-water relations and physiological functions. The present study was carried out to appraise the role of silicon (Si) in improving the drought tolerance in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Drought stress and four levels (0, 200, 400, and 800?mg?L?1) of Si (Na2SiO3·9H2O) were imposed after 2 months old plants cultured under glasshouse conditions. Drought stress was found to decrease the photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, leaf water content, relative growth rate, water use efficiency, and turf quality, but to increase in the root/shoot and leaf carbon/nitrogen ratio. Such physiological interferences, disturbances in plant water relations, and visually noticeable growth reductions in Kentucky bluegrass were significantly alleviated by the addition of Si after drought stress. For example, Si application at 400?mg?L?1 significantly increased the net photosynthesis by 44%, leaf water contents by 33%, leaf green color by 42%, and turf quality by 44% after 20 days of drought stress. Si application proved beneficial in improving the performance of Kentucky bluegrass in the present study suggesting that manipulation of endogenous Si through genetic or biotechnological means may result in the development of drought resistance in grasses. PMID:25054178

  8. Silicon application increases drought tolerance of kentucky bluegrass by improving plant water relations and morphophysiological functions.

    PubMed

    Saud, Shah; Li, Xin; Chen, Yang; Zhang, Lu; Fahad, Shah; Hussain, Saddam; Sadiq, Arooj; Chen, Yajun

    2014-01-01

    Drought stress encumbers the growth of turfgrass principally by disrupting the plant-water relations and physiological functions. The present study was carried out to appraise the role of silicon (Si) in improving the drought tolerance in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Drought stress and four levels (0, 200, 400, and 800?mg?L(-1)) of Si (Na2SiO3·9H2O) were imposed after 2 months old plants cultured under glasshouse conditions. Drought stress was found to decrease the photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, leaf water content, relative growth rate, water use efficiency, and turf quality, but to increase in the root/shoot and leaf carbon/nitrogen ratio. Such physiological interferences, disturbances in plant water relations, and visually noticeable growth reductions in Kentucky bluegrass were significantly alleviated by the addition of Si after drought stress. For example, Si application at 400?mg?L(-1) significantly increased the net photosynthesis by 44%, leaf water contents by 33%, leaf green color by 42%, and turf quality by 44% after 20 days of drought stress. Si application proved beneficial in improving the performance of Kentucky bluegrass in the present study suggesting that manipulation of endogenous Si through genetic or biotechnological means may result in the development of drought resistance in grasses. PMID:25054178

  9. MetaPathways v2.5: quantitative functional, taxonomic and usability improvements

    PubMed Central

    Konwar, Kishori M.; Hanson, Niels W.; Bhatia, Maya P.; Kim, Dongjae; Wu, Shang-Ju; Hahn, Aria S.; Morgan-Lang, Connor; Cheung, Hiu Kan; Hallam, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary: Next-generation sequencing is producing vast amounts of sequence information from natural and engineered ecosystems. Although this data deluge has an enormous potential to transform our lives, knowledge creation and translation need software applications that scale with increasing data processing and analysis requirements. Here, we present improvements to MetaPathways, an annotation and analysis pipeline for environmental sequence information that expedites this transformation. We specifically address pathway prediction hazards through integration of a weighted taxonomic distance and enable quantitative comparison of assembled annotations through a normalized read-mapping measure. Additionally, we improve LAST homology searches through BLAST-equivalent E-values and output formats that are natively compatible with prevailing software applications. Finally, an updated graphical user interface allows for keyword annotation query and projection onto user-defined functional gene hierarchies, including the Carbohydrate-Active Enzyme database. Availability and implementation: MetaPathways v2.5 is available on GitHub: http://github.com/hallamlab/metapathways2. Contact: shallam@mail.ubc.ca Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:26076725

  10. Nanoparticles functionalized with collagenase exhibit improved tumor accumulation in a murine xenograft model

    PubMed Central

    Murty, Surya; Gilliland, Taylor; Qiao, Peter; Tabtieng, Tate; Higbee, Elizabeth; Al Zaki, Ajlan; Puré, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Nanoparticles have garnered widespread interest for both the imaging and treatment of cancer due to their unique and tunable pharmacokinetics and their ability to carry a high payload of diverse compounds. However, despite these favorable attributes, the extent of tumor accumulation can be severely restricted due to the dense stroma surrounding the often-permeable blood vessel wall and high intratumoral pressure. In this study, we investigated whether modifying the surface of pegylated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with collagenase could improve the accumulation of nanoparticles within a murine tumor xenograft. It was determined that collagenase remains active after surface conjugation and the presence of collagenase has no measureable effect on cell proliferation in vitro. Following intravenous injection, the largest fractions of collagenase-labeled AuNPs were found in the liver and spleen. Histological analysis revealed no signs of toxicity in either of these organs. Blood chemistry revealed normal levels of liver enzymes, but a slightly elevated level of total bilirubin. Within the tumor, AuNPs labeled with collagenase exhibited a 35% increase in accumulation compared with unlabeled AuNPs. Therefore, these studies provide preliminary evidence that the functionalization of nanoparticles with collagenase represent an effective and safe approach to improve tumor accumulation. PMID:26380538

  11. Increasing Steps/Day Predicts Improvement in Physical Function and Pain Interference in Adults with Fibromyalgia

    PubMed Central

    Kaleth, Anthony S.; Slaven, James E.; Ang, Dennis C.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To examine the concurrent and predictive associations between the number of steps taken per day (steps/day) and clinical outcomes in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Methods 199 adults with FM [mean age = 46.1 yr; 95% females] enrolled in a randomized clinical trial wore a hip-mounted accelerometer for 1 week and completed self-report measures of physical function [Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire-Physical Impairment (FIQ-PI), SF-36 physical component score (SF-36 PCS)], pain intensity and interference (Brief Pain Inventory; BPI), and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-8; PHQ-8) as part of their baseline and follow-up assessments. Associations of steps/day with self-report clinical measures were evaluated from baseline to week 12 using multivariate regression models adjusted for demographic and baseline covariates. Results Study participants were primarily sedentary, averaging 4,019 ± 1,530 steps/day. Our findings demonstrate a linear relationship between the change in steps/day and improvement in health outcomes for FM. Incremental increases on the order of 1,000 steps/day were significantly associated with (and predictive of) improvements in FIQ-PI, SF-36 PCS, BPI pain interference, and PHQ-8 (all p<0.05). Although higher step counts were associated with lower FIQ and BPI pain intensity scores, these were not statistically significant. Conclusion Step counts is an easily obtained and understood objective measure of daily physical activity. An exercise prescription that includes recommendations to gradually accumulate at least 5,000 additional steps/day may result in clinically significant improvements in outcomes relevant to patients with FM. Future studies are needed to elucidate the dose-response relationship between steps/day and patient outcomes in FM. PMID:25049001

  12. Ingestion of sodium plus water improves cardiovascular function and performance during dehydrating cycling in the heat.

    PubMed

    Hamouti, N; Fernández-Elías, V E; Ortega, J F; Mora-Rodriguez, R

    2014-06-01

    We studied if salt and water ingestion alleviates the physiological strain caused by dehydrating exercise in the heat. Ten trained male cyclists (VO2max?: 60 ± 7 mL/kg/min) completed three randomized trials in a hot-dry environment (33 °C, 30% rh, 2.5 m/s airflow). Ninety minutes before the exercise, participants ingested 10 mL of water/kg body mass either alone (CON trial) or with salt to result in concentrations of 82 or 164 mM Na(+) (ModNa(+) or HighNa(+) trial, respectively). Then, participants cycled at 63% of VO2 m ? a x for 120 min immediately followed by a time-trial. After 120 min of exercise, the reduction in plasma volume was lessened with ModNa(+) and HighNa(+) trials (-11.9 ± 2.1 and -9.8 ± 4.2%) in comparison with CON (-16.4 ± 3.2%; P < 0.05). However, heat accumulation or dissipation (forearm skin blood flow and sweat rate) were not improved by salt ingestion. In contrast, both salt trials maintained cardiac output (? 1.3 ± 1.4 L/min; P < 0.05) and stroke volume (? 10 ± 11 mL/beat; P < 0.05) above CON after 120 min of exercise. Furthermore, the salt trials equally improved time-trial performance by 7.4% above CON (? 289 ± 42 vs 269 ± 50 W, respectively; P < 0.05). Our data suggest that pre-exercise ingestion of salt plus water maintains higher plasma volume during dehydrating exercise in the heat without thermoregulatory effects. However, it maintains cardiovascular function and improves cycling performance. PMID:23253191

  13. The Efficacy of a Social Skills Group Intervention for Improving Social Behaviors in Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeRosier, Melissa E.; Swick, Danielle C.; Davis, Naomi Ornstein; McMillen, Janey Sturtz; Matthews, Rebecca

    2011-01-01

    This study tested the efficacy of a new social skills intervention, "S ocial S kills GR oup IN tervention-High Functioning Autism" ("S.S.GRIN-HFA"), designed to improve social behaviors in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Fifty-five children were randomly assigned to "S.S.GRIN-HFA" treatment (n = 27) or control (i.e.,…

  14. Serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii, Dirofilaria immitis, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) infections in pet cats in Bangkok and vicinities, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sukhumavasi, Woraporn; Bellosa, Mary L; Lucio-Forster, Araceli; Liotta, Janice L; Lee, Alice C Y; Pornmingmas, Pitcha; Chungpivat, Sudchit; Mohammed, Hussni O; Lorentzen, Leif; Dubey, J P; Bowman, Dwight D

    2012-08-13

    The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infections was examined using serum or plasma samples from 746 pet cats collected between May and July 2009 from clinics and hospitals located in and around Bangkok, Thailand. The samples were tested for heartworm, FIV, and FeLV using a commercial ELISA. Of the 746 samples, 4.6% (34/746) were positive for heartworm antigen, 24.5% (183/746) had circulating FeLV antigen, and 20.1% (150/746) had antibodies against FIV. In addition, the first 348 submitted samples were tested for T. gondii antibodies using a modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:25); 10.1% (35/348) were seropositive. Of the 348 cats sampled for all four pathogens, 11, 10, and 1 were positive for T. gondii antibodies and FIV antibodies, FeLV antigen, or D. immitis antigen, respectively. Of the 35 T. gondii-seropositive cats, 42.9% (15/35) were co-infected with at least one of the other three pathogens. The presence of antibodies to FIV was significantly associated with both age and gender, while FeLV antigen presence was only associated with age. In the case of FIV, males were twice as likely to be infected as females, and cats over 10 years of age were 13.5 times more likely to be infected than cats less than 1 year of age. FeLV antigen was more common in younger cats, with cats over 10 years of age being 10 times less likely to be FeLV positive than cats under 1 year of age. This is the first survey for these four pathogens affecting feline health in Thailand. PMID:22497870

  15. Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound Improves the Functional Properties of Cardiac Mesoangioblasts.

    PubMed

    Bernal, Aurora; Pérez, Laura M; De Lucas, Beatriz; Martín, Nuria San; Kadow-Romacker, Anke; Plaza, Gustavo; Raum, Kay; Gálvez, Beatriz G

    2015-12-01

    Cell-based therapy is a promising approach for many diseases, including ischemic heart disease. Cardiac mesoangioblasts are committed vessel-associated progenitors that can restore to a significant, although partial, extent, heart structure and function in a murine model of myocardial infarction. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) is a non-invasive form of mechanical energy that can be delivered into biological tissues as acoustic pressure waves, and is widely used for clinical applications including bone fracture healing. We hypothesized that the positive effects of LIPUS on bone and soft tissue, such as increased cell differentiation and cytoskeleton reorganization, could be applied to increase the therapeutic potential of mesoangioblasts for heart repair. In this work, we show that LIPUS stimulation of cardiac mesoangioblasts isolated from mouse and human heart results in significant cellular modifications that provide beneficial effects to the cells, including increased malleability and improved motility. Additionally, LIPUS stimulation increased the number of binucleated cells and induced cardiac differentiation to an extent comparable with 5'-azacytidine treatment. Mechanistically, LIPUS stimulation activated the BMP-Smad signalling pathway and increased the expression of myosin light chain-2 together with upregulation of ?1 integrin and RhoA, highlighting a potentially important role for cytoskeleton reorganization. Taken together, these results provide functional evidence that LIPUS might be a useful tool to explore in the field of heart cell therapy. PMID:26201830

  16. Mining gene functional networks to improve mass-spectrometry-based protein identification

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Smriti R.; Vogel, Christine; Kwon, Taejoon; Penalva, Luiz O.; Marcotte, Edward M.; Miranker, Daniel P.

    2009-01-01

    Motivation: High-throughput protein identification experiments based on tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) often suffer from low sensitivity and low-confidence protein identifications. In a typical shotgun proteomics experiment, it is assumed that all proteins are equally likely to be present. However, there is often other evidence to suggest that a protein is present and confidence in individual protein identification can be updated accordingly. Results: We develop a method that analyzes MS/MS experiments in the larger context of the biological processes active in a cell. Our method, MSNet, improves protein identification in shotgun proteomics experiments by considering information on functional associations from a gene functional network. MSNet substantially increases the number of proteins identified in the sample at a given error rate. We identify 8–29% more proteins than the original MS experiment when applied to yeast grown in different experimental conditions analyzed on different MS/MS instruments, and 37% more proteins in a human sample. We validate up to 94% of our identifications in yeast by presence in ground-truth reference sets. Availability and Implementation: Software and datasets are available at http://aug.csres.utexas.edu/msnet Contact: miranker@cs.utexas.edu, marcotte@icmb.utexas.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:19633097

  17. The improvement in functional characteristics of eco-friendly composites made of natural rubber and cellulose

    SciTech Connect

    Araki, Kunihiro; Kaneko, Shonosuke; Matsumoto, Koki; Tanaka, Tatsuya; Arao, Yoshihiko; Nagatani, Asahiro

    2015-05-22

    We investigated the efficient use of cellulose to resolve the problem of the depletion of fossil resources. In this study, as the biomass material, the green composite based on natural rubber (NR) and the flake-shaped cellulose particles (FSCP) was produced. In order to further improvement of functional characteristics, epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) was also used instead of NR. The FSCP were produced by mechanical milling in a planetary ball mill with a grinding aid as a cellulose aggregation inhibitor. Moreover, talc and mica particles were used to compare with FSCP. NR and ENR was mixed with vulcanizing agents and then each filler was added to NR compound in an internal mixer. The vulcanizing agents are as follows: stearic acid, zinc oxide, sulfur, and vulcanization accelerator. The functionalities of the composites were evaluated by a vibration-damping experiment and a gas permeability experiment. As a result, we found that FSCP filler has effects similar to (or more than) inorganic filler in vibration-damping and O{sub 2} barrier properties. And then, vibration- damping and O{sub 2} barrier properties of the composite including FSCP was increased with use of ENR. In particular, we found that ENR-50 composite containing 50 phr FSCP has three times as high vibration-damping property as ENR-50 without FSCP.

  18. Tai chi improves cognitive and physical function in the elderly: a randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiao; Kanagawa, Katsuko; Sasaki, Junko; Ooki, Syuichi; Xu, Huali; Wang, Li

    2015-05-01

    [Purpose] To investigate the effect of Tai Chi on cognitive and physical function in the elderly. [Subjects and Methods] A randomized trial design was used. A total 150 subjects were enrolled and were divided into Tai Chi and control groups. Subjects in the Tai Chi group participated Tai Chi for 6 months, and subjects in the control group participated in other non-athletic activities. [Results] There were no differences between the groups in the one leg standing time with eyes open, left grip strength, or the Frontal Assessment Battery at bedside after 3 and 6 months of intervention. The Mini-Mental State Examination scores after 3 and 6 months were higher in the Tai Chi group than in the control group. The right grip strength after 3 months increased more in the Tai Chi group than in the control group. Both the 5-m high walking speed and 10-m normal walking speed were significantly lower after 3 and 6 months of Tai Chi practice. [Conclusion] These results suggest that regular Tai Chi practice may improve cognitive and physical function in the elderly. PMID:26157242

  19. Bone marrow mesenchymal cells improve muscle function in a skeletal muscle re-injury model.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Bruno M; Baldanza, Marcelo R; Ribeiro, Karla C; Porto, Anderson; Peçanha, Ramon; Fortes, Fabio S A; Zapata-Sudo, Gisele; Campos-de-Carvalho, Antonio C; Goldenberg, Regina C S; Werneck-de-Castro, João Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal muscle injury is the most common problem in orthopedic and sports medicine, and severe injury leads to fibrosis and muscle dysfunction. Conventional treatment for successive muscle injury is currently controversial, although new therapies, like cell therapy, seem to be promise. We developed a model of successive injuries in rat to evaluate the therapeutic potential of bone marrow mesenchymal cells (BMMC) injected directly into the injured muscle. Functional and histological assays were performed 14 and 28 days after the injury protocol by isometric tension recording and picrosirius/Hematoxilin & Eosin staining, respectively. We also evaluated the presence and the fate of BMMC on treated muscles; and muscle fiber regeneration. BMMC treatment increased maximal skeletal muscle contraction 14 and 28 days after muscle injury compared to non-treated group (4.5 ± 1.7 vs 2.5 ± 0.98 N/cm2, p<0.05 and 8.4 ± 2.3 vs. 5.7 ± 1.3 N/cm2, p<0.05 respectively). Furthermore, BMMC treatment increased muscle fiber cross-sectional area and the presence of mature muscle fiber 28 days after muscle injury. However, there was no difference in collagen deposition between groups. Immunoassays for cytoskeleton markers of skeletal and smooth muscle cells revealed an apparent integration of the BMMC within the muscle. These data suggest that BMMC transplantation accelerates and improves muscle function recovery in our extensive muscle re-injury model. PMID:26039243

  20. Deep inelastic scattering in improved lattice QCD (II). The second moment of structure functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beccarini, Giuseppe; Bianchi, Massimo; Capitani, Stefano; Rossi, Giancarlo

    1995-02-01

    In this paper we present the 1-loop perturbative computation of the renormalization constants and mixing coefficients of the lattice quark operators of rank three whose hadronic elements enter in the determination of the second moment of Deep Inelastic Scattering (DIS) structure functions. We have employed in our calculations the nearest-neighbor improved "clover-leaf" lattice QCD action. The interest of using this action in Monte Carlo simulations lies in the fact that all terms which in the continuum limit are effectively of order a ( a being the lattice spacing) have been demonstrated to be absent from on-shell hadronic lattice matrix elements. We have limited our computations to the quenched case, in which quark operators do not mix with gluon operators. We have studied the transformation properties under the hypercubic group of the operators up to the rank five (which are related to moments up to the fourth of DIS structure functions), and we discuss the choice of the operators considered in this paper together with the feasibility of lattice computations for operators of higher ranks. To perform the huge amount of calculations required for the evaluation of all the relevant Feynman diagrams, we have extensively used the symbolic manipulation languages Schoonschip and Form.

  1. Bovine Milk as a Source of Functional Oligosaccharides for Improving Human Health12

    PubMed Central

    Zivkovic, Angela M.; Barile, Daniela

    2011-01-01

    Human milk oligosaccharides are complex sugars that function as selective growth substrates for specific beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. Bovine milk is a potentially excellent source of commercially viable analogs of these unique molecules. However, bovine milk has a much lower concentration of these oligosaccharides than human milk, and the majority of the molecules are simpler in structure than those found in human milk. Specific structural characteristics of milk-derived oligosaccharides are crucial to their ability to selectively enrich beneficial bacteria while inhibiting or being less than ideal substrates for undesirable and pathogenic bacteria. Thus, if bovine milk products are to provide human milk–like benefits, it is important to identify specific dairy streams that can be processed commercially and cost-effectively and that can yield specific oligosaccharide compositions that will be beneficial as new food ingredients or supplements to improve human health. Whey streams have the potential to be commercially viable sources of complex oligosaccharides that have the structural resemblance and diversity of the bioactive oligosaccharides in human milk. With further refinements to dairy stream processing techniques and functional testing to identify streams that are particularly suitable for enriching beneficial intestinal bacteria, the future of oligosaccharides isolated from dairy streams as a food category with substantiated health claims is promising. PMID:22332060

  2. Functional Tissue Engineering of Tendon: Establishing Biological Success Criteria for Improving Tendon Repair

    PubMed Central

    Breidenbach, Andrew P; Gilday, Steven D; Lalley, Andrea L; Dyment, Nathaniel A; Gooch, Cynthia; Shearn, Jason T; Butler, David L

    2013-01-01

    Improving tendon repair using Functional Tissue Engineering (FTE) principles has been the focus of our laboratory over the last decade. Although our primary goals were initially focused only on mechanical outcomes, we are now carefully assessing the biological properties of our tissue-engineered tendon repairs so as to link biological influences with mechanics. However, given the complexities of tendon development and healing, it remains challenging to determine which aspects of tendon biology are the most important to focus on in the context of tissue engineering. To address this problem, we have formalized a strategy to identify, prioritize, and evaluate potential biological success criteria for tendon repair. We have defined numerous biological properties of normal tendon relative to cellular phenotype, extracellular matrix and tissue ultra-structure that we would like to reproduce in our tissue-engineered repairs and prioritized these biological criteria by examining their relative importance during both normal development and natural tendon healing. Here, we propose three specific biological criteria which we believe are essential for normal tendon function: 1) scleraxis-expressing cells; 2) well-organized and axially-aligned collagen fibrils having bimodal diameter distribution; and 3) a specialized tendon-to-bone insertion site. Moving forward, these biological success criteria will be used in conjunction with our already established mechanical success criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of our tissue-engineered tendon repairs. PMID:24200342

  3. Functional and Morphological Improvement of Dystrophic Muscle by Interleukin 6 Receptor Blockade

    PubMed Central

    Pelosi, Laura; Berardinelli, Maria Grazia; De Pasquale, Loredana; Nicoletti, Carmine; D'Amico, Adele; Carvello, Francesco; Moneta, Gian Marco; Catizone, Angela; Bertini, Enrico; De Benedetti, Fabrizio; Musarò, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    The anti-inflammatory agents glucocorticoids (GC) are the only available treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). However, long-term GC treatment causes muscle atrophy and wasting. Thus, targeting specific mediator of inflammatory response may be more specific, more efficacious, and with fewer side effects. The pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL) 6 is overproduced in patients with DMD and in the muscle of mdx, the animal model for human DMD. We tested the ability of inhibition of IL6 activity, using an interleukin-6 receptor (Il6r) neutralizing antibody, to ameliorate the dystrophic phenotype. Blockade of endogenous Il6r conferred on dystrophic muscle resistance to degeneration and alleviated both morphological and functional consequences of the primary genetic defect. Pharmacological inhibition of IL6 activity leaded to changes in the dystrophic muscle environment, favoring anti-inflammatory responses and improvement in muscle repair. This resulted in a functional homeostatic maintenance of dystrophic muscle. These data provide an alternative pharmacological strategy for treatment of DMD and circumvent the major problems associated with conventional therapy. PMID:26137572

  4. Improved endothelialization of NiTi alloy by VEGF functionalized nanocoating.

    PubMed

    Shen, Weixing; Cai, Kaiyong; Yang, Zaixiang; Yan, Ying; Yang, Weihu; Liu, Peng

    2012-06-01

    To improve surface endothelialization of NiTi alloy substrate, a nano-structured coating functionalized with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was fabricated via polydopamine (PDOP) as intermediate layer. The successful preparation of VEGF conjugated nanocoating was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscope (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) test showed that the formed nanocoating significantly reduced the release of Ni ion from NiTi alloy in simulated body fluid. The biological behaviors of endothelial cells adhered to modified NiTi alloy substrates, including cell proliferation, cell spreading and production of nitric oxide and prostacyclin were investigated in vitro. The results suggest that surface functionalization of NiTi alloy substrate with VEGF is beneficial for cell growth. The approach presented here affords an alternative for surface modification of NiTi implants applied as heart and vascular implant devices. PMID:22387019

  5. The improvement in functional characteristics of eco-friendly composites made of natural rubber and cellulose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araki, Kunihiro; Kaneko, Shonosuke; Matsumoto, Koki; Nagatani, Asahiro; Tanaka, Tatsuya; Arao, Yoshihiko

    2015-05-01

    We investigated the efficient use of cellulose to resolve the problem of the depletion of fossil resources. In this study, as the biomass material, the green composite based on natural rubber (NR) and the flake-shaped cellulose particles (FSCP) was produced. In order to further improvement of functional characteristics, epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) was also used instead of NR. The FSCP were produced by mechanical milling in a planetary ball mill with a grinding aid as a cellulose aggregation inhibitor. Moreover, talc and mica particles were used to compare with FSCP. NR and ENR was mixed with vulcanizing agents and then each filler was added to NR compound in an internal mixer. The vulcanizing agents are as follows: stearic acid, zinc oxide, sulfur, and vulcanization accelerator. The functionalities of the composites were evaluated by a vibration-damping experiment and a gas permeability experiment. As a result, we found that FSCP filler has effects similar to (or more than) inorganic filler in vibration-damping and O2 barrier properties. And then, vibration- damping and O2 barrier properties of the composite including FSCP was increased with use of ENR. In particular, we found that ENR-50 composite containing 50 phr FSCP has three times as high vibration-damping property as ENR-50 without FSCP.

  6. Determine Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Using Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Balance Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goel, R.; Kofman, I.; DeDios, Y. E.; Jeevarajan, J.; Stepanyan, V.; Nair, M.; Congdon, S.; Fregia, M.; Cohen, H.; Bloomberg, J.J.; Mulavara, A.P.

    2015-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). Our previous work has shown the advantageous effects of VSR in a balance task of standing on an unstable surface [1]. This technique to improve detection of vestibular signals uses a stimulus delivery system that provides imperceptibly low levels of white noise-based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. The goal of this project is to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection. A series of experiments were carried out to determine a robust paradigm to identify a vestibular threshold that can then be used to recommend optimal stimulation levels for sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training applications customized to each crewmember. The amplitude of stimulation to be used in the VSR application has varied across studies in the literature such as 60% of nociceptive stimulus thresholds [2]. We compared subjects' perceptual threshold with that obtained from two measures of body sway. Each test session was 463s long and consisted of several 15s long sinusoidal stimuli, at different current amplitudes (0-2 mA), interspersed with 20-20.5s periods of no stimulation. Subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and had to report their perception of motion through a joystick. A force plate underneath the chair recorded medio-lateral shear forces and roll moments. Comparison of threshold of motion detection obtained from joystick data versus body sway suggests that perceptual thresholds were significantly lower. In the balance task, subjects stood on an unstable surface and had to maintain balance, and the stimulation was administered from 20-400% of subjects' vestibular threshold. Optimal stimulation amplitude was determined at which the balance performance was best compared to control (no stimulation). Preliminary results show that, in general, using stimulation amplitudes at 40-60% of perceptual motion threshold significantly improved the balance performance. We hypothesize that VSR stimulation will act synergistically with SA training to improve adaptability by increasing utilization of vestibular information and therefore will help us to optimize and personalize a SA countermeasure prescription. This combination may help to significantly reduce the number of days required to recover functional performance to preflight levels after long-duration spaceflight.

  7. Folic acid supplementation improves microvascular function in older adults through nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Stanhewicz, Anna E; Alexander, Lacy M; Kenney, W Larry

    2015-07-01

    Older adults have reduced vascular endothelial function, evidenced by attenuated nitric oxide (NO)-dependent cutaneous vasodilatation. Folic acid and its metabolite, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), are reported to improve vessel function. We hypothesized that (i) local 5-MTHF administration and (ii) chronic folic acid supplementation would improve cutaneous microvascular function in ageing through NO-dependent mechanisms. There were two separate studies in which there were 11 young (Y: 22 ± 1 years) and 11 older (O: 71 ± 3 years) participants. In both studies, two intradermal microdialysis fibres were placed in the forearm skin for local delivery of lactated Ringer's solution with or without 5 mM 5-MTHF. Red cell flux was measured by laser-Doppler flowmetry. Cutaneous vascular conductance [CVC=red cell flux/mean arterial pressure] was normalized as percentage maximum CVC (%CVCmax) (28 mM sodium nitroprusside, local temperature 43°C). In study 1 after CVC plateaued during local heating, 20 mM NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) was perfused at each site to quantify NO-dependent vasodilatation. The local heating plateau (%CVCmax: O = 82 ± 3 vs Y = 96 ± 1, P = 0.002) and NO-dependent vasodilatation (%CVCmax: O = 26 ± 6% vs Y = 49 ± 5, P = 0.03) were attenuated in older participants. 5-MTHF augmented the overall (%CVCmax = 91 ± 2, P = 0.03) and NO-dependent (%CVCmax = 43 ± 9%, P = 0.04) vasodilatation in older but not young participants. In study 2 the participants ingested folic acid (5 mg/day) or placebo for 6 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. A rise in oral temperature of 1°C was induced using a water-perfused suit, body temperature was held and 20 mM L-NAME was perfused at each site. Older participants had attenuated reflex (%CVCmax: O = 31 ± 8 vs Y = 44 ± 5, P = 0.001) and NO-dependent (%CVCmax: O = 9 ± 2 vs Y = 21 ± 2, P = 0.003) vasodilatation. Folic acid increased CVC (%CVCmax = 47 ± 5%, P = 0.001) and NO-dependent vasodilatation (20 ± 3%, P = 0.003) in the older but not the young participants. Both local perfusion of 5-MTHF and supplementation with folic acid increase vasodilatation in ageing individuals through NO-dependent mechanisms. PMID:25748442

  8. Interaction between endoplasmic reticulum stress and caspase 8 activation in retrovirus MoMuLV-ts1-infected astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Na; Scofield, Virginia L; Qiang, Wenan; Yan, Mingshan; Kuang, Xianghong; Wong, Paul K Y

    2006-05-10

    The murine retrovirus, MoMuLV-ts1, induces progressive paralysis and immune deficiency in FVB/N mice. We have reported previously that ts1 infection causes apoptosis in astrocytes via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial stress (Liu, N., Kuang, X., Kim, H.T., Stoica, G., Qiang, W., Scofield, V.L., Wong, P.K.Y. Wong. 2004. Possible involvement of both endoplasmic reticulum- and mitochondria-dependent pathways in MoMuLV-ts1-induced apoptosis in astrocytes. J. NeuroVirol. 10, 189-198). In the present study, we show that caspase 8 activation in these cells is mediated through ER stress-associated elevation of death receptor DR5 and the C/EBP homologous protein (GADD153/CHOP), an ER stress-initiated transcription factor, rather than through TNFalpha and TNF-R1 interactions on the cell surface. Treatment with Z-IETD-FMK, a specific inhibitor of caspase 8 enzymatic activity, reduced ER stress by two mechanisms: by inhibiting caspase 8 activation, and by preventing cleavage of the ER-associated membrane protein BAP31 into BAP20, which exacerbates the ER stress response. These findings suggest that caspase 8- and ER stress-associated apoptotic pathways are linked in ts1-infected astrocytes. PMID:16466764

  9. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. We developed a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which we used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods We mapped snow cover at 15 m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years and fitted a generalized additive model (GAM) for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots (including species richness, community weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content). Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared to without led to an average gain in R2 of 0.26 and also reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions We show that in alpine environments, high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. Our results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response of alpine plant communities to climate change need to consider shifts in both temperature and nival regimes. PMID:25851138

  10. Reduction of Leukocyte Counts by Hydroxyurea Improves Cardiac Function in Rats with Acute Myocardial Infarction.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Guiyue; Yao, Yucai; Pan, Lingyun; Zhu, Wei; Yan, Suhua

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND This study aimed to decrease leukocytes counts by hydroxyurea (Hu) in an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rat model and examine its effect on the inflammatory response of myocardial infarction and cardiac functions. MATERIAL AND METHODS AMI was successfully caused in 36 rats, and 12 control rats received sham operation. Rats in the AMI group were then randomly divided into Hu and vehicle group with 18 rats each. Rats in the Hu AMI group received Hu (200 mg/kg) intragastrically while vehicle AMI group received saline. Leukocytes counts, cardiac functions, myocardial tissue morphology, and levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM), P-selectin and platelet activating factor (PAF) were measured and compared among the three groups four weeks after AMI induction. RESULTS Leukocytes, neutrophils, and leukomonocyte counts in vehicle AMI rats were significantly higher than that of the normal control group (p<0.05). However, Hu treatment decreased their counts significantly (p<0.05). sICAM, P-selectin, and PAF level in vehicle AMI group were significantly higher than those of the normal group, and their level was also decreased by Hu treatment (p<0.05). Echocardiography analysis showed that Hu treatment increased left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and left ventricular fractional shortening (LVFS) compared to that of vehicle AMI group (p<0.05). Histopathological examination showed that Hu significantly reduced the swelling of the heart muscle fiber in necrotic foci and the number of inflammatory cells infiltrated into myocardial interstitium compared to vehicle AMI group. CONCLUSIONS Decrease leukocytes counts by Hu significantly reduced inflammatory reaction and improved cardiac functions in AMI rats. PMID:26675565

  11. Continued artificial selection for running endurance in rats is associated with improved lung function.

    PubMed

    Kirkton, Scott D; Howlett, Richard A; Gonzalez, Norberto C; Giuliano, Patrick G; Britton, Steven L; Koch, Lauren G; Wagner, Harrieth E; Wagner, Peter D

    2009-06-01

    Previous studies found that selection for endurance running in untrained rats produced distinct high (HCR) and low (LCR) capacity runners. Furthermore, despite weighing 14% less, 7th generation HCR rats achieved the same absolute maximal oxygen consumption (Vo(2max)) as LCR due to muscle adaptations that improved oxygen extraction and use. However, there were no differences in cardiopulmonary function after seven generations of selection. If selection for increased endurance capacity continued, we hypothesized that due to the serial nature of oxygen delivery enhanced cardiopulmonary function would be required. In the present study, generation 15 rats selected for high and low endurance running capacity showed differences in pulmonary function. HCR, now 25% lighter than LCR, reached a 12% higher absolute Vo(2max) than LCR, P < 0.05 (49% higher Vo(2max)/kg). Despite the 25% difference in body size, both lung volume (at 20 cmH(2)O airway pressure) and exercise diffusing capacity were similar in HCR and LCR. Lung volume of LCR lay on published mammalian allometrical relationships while that of HCR lay above that line. Alveolar ventilation at Vo(2max) was 30% higher, P < 0.05 (78% higher, per kg), arterial Pco(2) was 4.5 mmHg (17%) lower, P < 0.05, while total pulmonary vascular resistance was (insignificantly) 5% lower (30% lower, per kg) in HCR. The smaller mass of HCR animals was due mostly to a smaller body frame rather than to a lower fat mass. These findings show that by generation 15, lung size in smaller HCR rats is not reduced in concert with their smaller body size, but has remained similar to that of LCR, supporting the hypothesis that continued selection for increased endurance capacity requires relatively larger lungs, supporting greater ventilation, gas exchange, and pulmonary vascular conductance. PMID:19299574

  12. Reduction of Leukocyte Counts by Hydroxyurea Improves Cardiac Function in Rats with Acute Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Guiyue; Yao, Yucai; Pan, Lingyun; Zhu, Wei; Yan, Suhua

    2015-01-01

    Background This study aimed to decrease leukocytes counts by hydroxyurea (Hu) in an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rat model and examine its effect on the inflammatory response of myocardial infarction and cardiac functions. Material/Methods AMI was successfully caused in 36 rats, and 12 control rats received sham operation. Rats in the AMI group were then randomly divided into Hu and vehicle group with 18 rats each. Rats in the Hu AMI group received Hu (200 mg/kg) intragastrically while vehicle AMI group received saline. Leukocytes counts, cardiac functions, myocardial tissue morphology, and levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM), P-selectin and platelet activating factor (PAF) were measured and compared among the three groups four weeks after AMI induction. Results Leukocytes, neutrophils, and leukomonocyte counts in vehicle AMI rats were significantly higher than that of the normal control group (p<0.05). However, Hu treatment decreased their counts significantly (p<0.05). sICAM, P-selectin, and PAF level in vehicle AMI group were significantly higher than those of the normal group, and their level was also decreased by Hu treatment (p<0.05). Echocardiography analysis showed that Hu treatment increased left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and left ventricular fractional shortening (LVFS) compared to that of vehicle AMI group (p<0.05). Histopathological examination showed that Hu significantly reduced the swelling of the heart muscle fiber in necrotic foci and the number of inflammatory cells infiltrated into myocardial interstitium compared to vehicle AMI group. Conclusions Decrease leukocytes counts by Hu significantly reduced inflammatory reaction and improved cardiac functions in AMI rats. PMID:26675565

  13. Improved pulmonary function in working divers breathing nitrox at shallow depths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzpatrick, Daniel T.; Conkin, Johnny

    2003-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: There is limited data about the long-term pulmonary effects of nitrox use in divers at shallow depths. This study examined changes in pulmonary function in a cohort of working divers breathing a 46% oxygen enriched mixture while diving at depths less than 12 m. METHODS: A total of 43 working divers from the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), NASA-Johnson Space Center completed a questionnaire providing information on diving history prior to NBL employment, diving history outside the NBL since employment, and smoking history. Cumulative dive hours were obtained from the NBL dive-time database. Medical records were reviewed to obtain the diver's height, weight, and pulmonary function measurements from initial pre-dive, first year and third year annual medical examinations. RESULTS: The initial forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) were greater than predicted, 104% and 102%, respectively. After 3 yr of diving at the NBL, both the FVC and FEV1 showed a significant (p < 0.01) increase of 6.3% and 5.5%, respectively. There were no significant changes in peak expiratory flow (PEF), forced mid-expiratory flow rate (FEF(25-75%)), and forced expiratory flow rates at 25%, 50%, and 75% of FVC expired (FEF25%, FEF50%, FEF75%). Cumulative NBL dive hours was the only contributing variable found to be significantly associated with both FVC and FEV1 at 1 and 3 yr. CONCLUSIONS: NBL divers initially belong to a select group with larger than predicted lung volumes. Regular diving with nitrox at shallow depths over a 3-yr period did not impair pulmonary function. Improvements in FVC and FEV1 were primarily due to a training effect.

  14. Improvements in Speed and Functionality of a 670-GHz Imaging Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dengler, Robert J.; Cooper, Ken B.; Mehdi, Imran; Siegel, Peter H.; Tarsala, Jan A.; Bryllert, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    Significant improvements have been made in the instrument originally described in a prior NASA Tech Briefs article: Improved Speed and Functionality of a 580-GHz Imaging Radar (NPO-45156), Vol. 34, No. 7 (July 2010), p. 51. First, the wideband YIG oscillator has been replaced with a JPL-designed and built phase-locked, low-noise chirp source. Second, further refinements to the data acquisition and signal processing software have been performed by moving critical code sections to C code, and compiling those sections to Windows DLLs, which are then invoked from the main LabVIEW executive. This system is an active, single-pixel scanned imager operating at 670 GHz. The actual chirp signals for the RF and LO chains were generated by a pair of MITEQ 2.5 3.3 GHz chirp sources. Agilent benchtop synthesizers operating at fixed frequencies around 13 GHz were then used to up-convert the chirp sources to 15.5 16.3 GHz. The resulting signals were then multiplied 36 times by a combination of off-the-shelf millimeter- wave components, and JPL-built 200- GHz doublers and 300- and 600-GHz triplers. The power required to drive the submillimeter-wave multipliers was provided by JPL-built W-band amplifiers. The receive and transmit signal paths were combined using a thin, high-resistivity silicon wafer as a beam splitter. While the results at present are encouraging, the system still lacks sufficient speed to be usable for practical applications in a contraband detection. Ideally, an image acquisition speed of ten seconds, or a factor of 30 improvement, is desired. However, the system improvements to date have resulted in a factor of five increase in signal acquisition speed, as well as enhanced signal processing algorithms, permitting clearer imaging of contraband objects hidden underneath clothing. In particular, advances in three distinct areas have enabled these performance enhancements: base source phase noise reduction, chirp rate, and signal processing. Additionally, a second pixel was added, automatically reducing the imaging time by a factor of two. Although adding a second pixel to the system doubles the amount of submillimeter components required, some savings in microwave hardware can be realized by using a common low-noise source.

  15. Left Ventricular Synchrony and Function in Pediatric Patients with Definitive Pacemakers

    PubMed Central

    Ortega, Michel Cabrera; Morejón, Adel Eladio Gonzales; Ricardo, Giselle Serrano

    2013-01-01

    Background Chronic right ventricular pacing (RVP) induces a dyssynchronous contraction pattern, producing interventricular and intraventricular asynchrony. Many studies have shown the relationship of RVP with impaired left ventricular (LV) form and function. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate LV synchrony and function in pediatric patients receiving RVP in comparison with those receiving LV pacing (LVP). Methods LV systolic and diastolic function and synchrony were evaluated in 80 pediatric patients with either nonsurgical or postsurgical complete atrioventricular block, with pacing from either the RV endocardium (n = 40) or the LV epicardium (n = 40). Echocardiographic data obtained before pacemaker implantation, immediately after it, and at the end of a mean follow-up of 6.8 years were analyzed. Results LV diastolic function did not change in any patient during follow-up. LV systolic function was preserved in patients with LVP. However, in children with RVP the shortening fraction and ejection fraction decreased from medians of 41% ± 2.6% and 70% ± 6.9% before implantation to 32% ± 4.2% and 64% ± 2.5% (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0001), respectively, at final follow-up. Interventricular mechanical delay was significantly larger with RVP (66 ± 13 ms) than with LVP (20 ± 8 ms). Similarly, the following parameters were significantly different in the two groups: LV mechanical delay (RVP: 69 ± 6 ms, LVP: 30 ± 11 ms, p < 0.0001); septal to lateral wall motion delay (RVP: 75 ± 19 ms, LVP: 42 ± 10 ms, p < 0.0001); and, septal to posterior wall motion delay (RVP: 127 ± 33 ms, LVP: 58 ± 17 ms, p < 0.0001). Conclusion Compared with RV endocardium, LV epicardium is an optimal site for pacing to preserve cardiac synchrony and function. PMID:24061683

  16. Fibroblast Growth Factor-Peptide Improves Barrier Function and Proliferation in Human Keratinocytes After Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang Kunzhong; Tian Yeping; Yin Liangjie; Zhang Mei; Beck, Lisa A.; Zhang, Bingrong; Okunieff, Paul; Zhang Lurong; Vidyasagar, Sadasivan

    2011-09-01

    Purpose: Epidermal keratinocytes, which can be severely damaged after ionizing radiation (IR), are rapid turnover cells that function as a barrier, protecting the host from pathogenic invasion and fluid loss. We tested fibroblast growth factor-peptide (FGF-P), a small peptide derived from the receptor-binding domain of FGF-2, as a potential mitigator of radiation effects via proliferation and the barrier function of keratinocytes. Methods and Materials: Keratinocytes isolated from neonatal foreskin were grown on transwells. After being exposed to 0, 5, or 10 Gy IR, the cells were treated with a vehicle or FGF-P. The permeability of IR cells was assessed by using transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and a paracellular tracer flux of fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) with Ussing chambers. The cell proliferation was measured with yellow tetrazolium salt (MTT) and tritiated thymidine ([{sup 3}H]-TdR) assays. The phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) was measured in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA)-like assay, and the proteins related to tight junctions (TJ) and adherens junctions (AJ) were examined with Western blotting. We used a mouse model to assess the ability of FGF-P to promote the healing of skin {beta} burns created with a strontium applicator. Results: We found (1) FGF-P reduced the permeability of irradiated keratinocytes, as evidenced by increased TEER and decreased diffusion of FITC-BSA, both associated with the regulation of different proteins and levels of TJ and AJ; and (2) FGF-P enhanced the proliferation of irradiated keratinocytes, as evidenced by increased MTT activity and [{sup 3}H]-TdR incorporation, which was associated with activation of the ERK pathway; and (3) FGF-P promoted the healing of skin {beta} burns. Conclusions: FGF-P enhances the barrier function, including up-regulation of TJ proteins, increases proliferation of human keratinocytes, and accelerates the healing of skin {beta} burns. FGF-P is a promising mitigator that improves the proliferation and barrier function of keratinocytes after IR.

  17. Hollow Fiber Membrane Modification with Functional Zwitterionic Macromolecules for Improved Thromboresistance in Artificial Lungs

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Sang-Ho; Arazawa, David T.; Zhu, Yang; Shankarraman, Venkat; Malkin, Alexander D.; Kimmel, Jeremy D.; Gamble, Lara J.; Ishihara, Kazuhiko; Federspiel, William J.; Wagner, William R.

    2015-01-01

    Respiratory assist devices seek optimized performance in terms of gas transfer efficiency and thromboresistance to minimize device size and reduce complications associated with inadequate blood biocompatibility. The exchange of gas with blood occurs at the surface of the hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) used in these devices. In this study, three zwitterionic macromolecules were attached to HFM surfaces to putatively improve thromboresistance: (1) carboxyl-functionalized zwitterionic phosphorylcholine (PC) and (2) sulfobetaine (SB) macromolecules (mPC or mSB-COOH) prepared by a simple thiol-ene radical polymerization and (3) a low-molecular weight sulfobetaine (SB)-co-methacrylic acid (MA) block copolymer (SBMAb-COOH) prepared by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Each macromolecule type was covalently immobilized on an aminated commercial HFM (Celg-A) by a condensation reaction, and HFM surface composition changes were analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Thrombotic deposition on the HFMs was investigated after contact with ovine blood in vitro. The removal of CO2 by the HFMs was also evaluated using a model respiratory assistance device. The HFMs conjugated with zwitterionic macromolecules (Celg-mPC, Celg-mSB, and Celg-SBMAb) showed expected increases in phosphorus or sulfur surface content. Celg-mPC and Celg-SBMAb experienced rates of platelet deposition significantly lower than those of unmodified (Celg-A, >95% reduction) and heparin-coated (>88% reduction) control HFMs. Smaller reductions were seen with Celg-mSB. The CO2 removal rate for Celg-SBMAb HFMs remained comparable to that of Celg-A. In contrast, the rate of removal of CO2 for heparin-coated HFMs was significantly reduced. The results demonstrate a promising approach to modifying HFMs using zwitterionic macromolecules for artificial lung devices with improved thromboresistance without degradation of gas transfer. PMID:25669307

  18. Brief bursts of infrasound may improve cognitive function - An fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Weichenberger, Markus; Kühler, Robert; Bauer, Martin; Hensel, Johannes; Brühl, Rüdiger; Ihlenfeld, Albrecht; Ittermann, Bernd; Gallinat, Jürgen; Koch, Christian; Sander, Tilmann; Kühn, Simone

    2015-10-01

    At present, infrasound (sound frequency < 20 Hz; IS) is being controversially discussed as a potential mediator of several adverse bodily as well as psychological effects. However, it remains unclear, if and in what way IS influences cognition. Here, we conducted an fMRI experiment, in which 13 healthy participants were exposed to IS, while cognitive performance was assessed in an n-back working memory paradigm. During the task, short sinusoidal tone bursts of 12 Hz were administered monaurally with sound pressure levels that had been determined individually in a categorical loudness scaling session prior to the fMRI experiment. We found that task execution was associated with a significant activation of the prefrontal and the parietal cortex, as well as the striatum and the cerebellum, indicating the recruitment of a cognitive control network. Reverse contrast analysis (n-back with tone vs. n-back without tone) revealed a significant activation of the bilateral primary auditory cortex (Brodmann areas 41, 42). Surprisingly, we also found a strong, yet non-significant trend for an improvement of task performance during IS exposure. There was no correlation between performance and brain activity measures in tone and no-tone condition with sum scores of depression-, anxiety-, and personality factor assessment scales (BDI, STAIX1/X2, BFI-S). Although exerting a pronounced effect on cortical brain activity, we obtained no evidence for an impairment of cognition due to brief bursts of IS. On the contrary, potential improvement of working memory function introduces an entirely new aspect to the debate on IS-related effects. PMID:26260309

  19. A diet based on multiple functional concepts improves cognitive performance in healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Disorders such as the metabolic syndrome (MetS), impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes, are associated with increased risk of cognitive decline. Also several of the individual key features that define the MetS, e.g. hypertension, impaired glucose regulation, dyslipidemia, obesity, and inflammation, are related to an increased risk of cognitive decline. Consequently, a diet that prevents metabolic disorders might be expected to prevent cognitive decline. The purpose of the present study was to, in overweight but otherwise healthy subjects, investigate effects on cognitive functions of a dietary regime combining multiple functional concepts potentially beneficial to risk markers associated with MetS. The purpose was in addition to evaluate cognitive performance in relation to results on cardiometabolic risk variables (BMI, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, lipoprotein A-1 and B, hs-CRP, HbA1c, interleukin-6, TNF-?, and PAI-1). Methods Fourty-four healthy women and men (50–73 years, BMI 25–33, fasting glycemia???6.1 mmol/L) participated in a randomized, controlled crossover intervention, comparing a multifunctional diet (active diet (AD)) including foods with a potential anti-inflammatory action, with a control diet (CD) devoid of the “active” components. Both diets were composed in close agreement with the Nordic dietary recommendations. Each diet was consumed during 4 wk, separated by a 4 wk washout period. Cognitive tests were performed at fasting and in the postprandial period after a standardized breakfast, after each diet period. Results In comparison with the CD, the AD improved performance in the Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning test (recognition test, p?improved performance in test of selective attention, which also included aspects of working memory (p?

  20. A diet based on multiple functional concepts improves cardiometabolic risk parameters in healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Different foods can modulate cardiometabolic risk factors in persons already affected by metabolic alterations. The objective of this study was to assess, in healthy overweight individuals, the impact of a diet combining multiple functional concepts on risk markers associated with cardiometabolic diseases (CMD). Methods Fourty-four healthy women and men (50-73 y.o, BMI 25-33, fasting glycemia ? 6.1 mmol/L) participated in a randomized crossover intervention comparing a multifunctional (active) diet (AD) with a control diet (CD) devoid of the "active" components. Each diet was consumed during 4 wk with a 4 wk washout period. AD included the following functional concepts: low glycemic impact meals, antioxidant-rich foods, oily fish as source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, viscous dietary fibers, soybean and whole barley kernel products, almonds, stanols and a probiotic strain (Lactobacillus plantarum Heal19/DSM15313). Results Although the aim was to improve metabolic markers without promoting body weight loss, minor weight reductions were observed with both diets (0.9-1.8 ± 0.2%; P < 0.05). CD did not modify the metabolic variables measured. AD promoted significant changes in total serum cholesterol (-26 ± 1% vs baseline; P < 0.0001), LDL-cholesterol (-34 ± 1%; P < 0.0001), triglycerides (-19 ± 3%; P = 0.0056), LDL/HDL (-27 ± 2%; P < 0.0001), apoB/apoA1 (-10 ± 2%; P < 0.0001), HbA1c (-2 ± 0.4%; P = 0.0013), hs-CRP (-29 ± 9%; P = 0.0497) and systolic blood pressure (-8 ± 1%¸ P = 0.0123). The differences remained significant after adjustment for weight change. After AD, the Framingham cardiovascular risk estimate was 30 ± 4% (P < 0.0001) lower and the Reynolds cardiovascular risk score, which considers CRP values, decreased by 35 ± 3% (P < 0.0001). Conclusion The improved biomarker levels recorded in healthy individuals following the multifunctional regime suggest preventive potential of this dietary approach against CMD. PMID:22472183

  1. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function

    PubMed Central

    Groenendyk, Derek G.; Ferré, Ty P.A.; Thorp, Kelly R.; Rice, Amy K.

    2015-01-01

    Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth’s surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization of landscape function, suggest that hydrologic-process-based classifications should be incorporated into environmental process models and can be used to define application-specific maps of hydrologic function. PMID:26121466

  2. Enhanced neonatal Fc receptor function improves protection against primate SHIV infection.

    PubMed

    Ko, Sung-Youl; Pegu, Amarendra; Rudicell, Rebecca S; Yang, Zhi-yong; Joyce, M Gordon; Chen, Xuejun; Wang, Keyun; Bao, Saran; Kraemer, Thomas D; Rath, Timo; Zeng, Ming; Schmidt, Stephen D; Todd, John-Paul; Penzak, Scott R; Saunders, Kevin O; Nason, Martha C; Haase, Ashley T; Rao, Srinivas S; Blumberg, Richard S; Mascola, John R; Nabel, Gary J

    2014-10-30

    To protect against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection, broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) must be active at the portals of viral entry in the gastrointestinal or cervicovaginal tracts. The localization and persistence of antibodies at these sites is influenced by the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), whose role in protecting against infection in vivo has not been defined. Here, we show that a bnAb with enhanced FcRn binding has increased gut mucosal tissue localization, which improves protection against lentiviral infection in non-human primates. A bnAb directed to the CD4-binding site of the HIV-1 envelope (Env) protein (denoted VRC01) was modified by site-directed mutagenesis to increase its binding affinity for FcRn. This enhanced FcRn-binding mutant bnAb, denoted VRC01-LS, displayed increased transcytosis across human FcRn-expressing cellular monolayers in vitro while retaining Fc?RIIIa binding and function, including antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity, at levels similar to VRC01 (the wild type). VRC01-LS had a threefold longer serum half-life than VRC01 in non-human primates and persisted in the rectal mucosa even when it was no longer detectable in the serum. Notably, VRC01-LS mediated protection superior to that afforded by VRC01 against intrarectal infection with simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV). These findings suggest that modification of FcRn binding provides a mechanism not only to increase serum half-life but also to enhance mucosal localization that confers immune protection. Mutations that enhance FcRn function could therefore increase the potency and durability of passive immunization strategies to prevent HIV-1 infection. PMID:25119033

  3. Dense Cores in The Pipe Nebula: An Improved Core Mass Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathborne, J. M.; Lada, C. J.; Muench, A. A.; Alves, J. F.; Kainulainen, J.; Lombardi, M.

    2009-07-01

    In this paper, we derive an improved core mass function (CMF) for the Pipe Nebula from a detailed comparison between measurements of visual extinction and molecular-line emission. We have compiled a refined sample of 201 dense cores toward the Pipe Nebula using a two-dimensional threshold identification algorithm informed by recent simulations of dense core populations. Measurements of radial velocities using complimentary C18O (1-0) observations enable us to cull out from this sample those 43 extinction peaks that are either not associated with dense gas or are not physically associated with the Pipe Nebula. Moreover, we use the derived C18O central velocities to differentiate between single cores with internal structure and blends of two or more physically distinct cores, superposed along the same line of sight. We then are able to produce a more robust dense core sample for future follow-up studies and a more reliable CMF than was possible previously. We confirm earlier indications that the CMF for the Pipe Nebula departs from a single power-law-like form with a break or knee at M ~ 2.7 ± 1.3 M sun. Moreover, we also confirm that the CMF exhibits a similar shape to the stellar initial mass function (IMF), but is scaled to higher masses by a factor of ~4.5. We interpret this difference in scaling to be a measure of the star formation efficiency (22% ± 8%). This supports earlier suggestions that the stellar IMF may originate more or less directly from the CMF.

  4. Endurance training improves gastrocnemius mitochondrial function despite increased susceptibility to permeability transition.

    PubMed

    Lumini-Oliveira, José; Magalhães, José; Pereira, Cláudia V; Aleixo, Inês; Oliveira, Paulo J; Ascensão, António

    2009-11-01

    The aim of the present work was to test the hypothesis that moderate endurance treadmill training ameliorates gastrocnemius mitochondrial bioenergetics and increases the tolerance to the calcium-induced mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening. Twelve adult (6-8 week old) male Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups (n=6per group): sedentary and trained (14 week of endurance treadmill running, 60min/day). Several end-points for invitro gastrocnemius mitochondrial function including oxygen consumption, transmembrane electric potential and susceptibility to calcium-induced MPTP opening were evaluated. Caspase-9 activity was measured in the intact tissue. Endurance training induced significant increases in state 3 and in respiratory control ratio both with complex I and II-linked substrates (malate+pyruvate and succinate, respectively). Increased CCCP-induced uncoupled respiration with succinate as substrate was also observed (p<0.05). No differences were found regarding state 4 and ADP/O ratio with both substrates. In addition, training significantly decreased the phosphorylative lag phase, whereas no changes were observed on maximal transmembrane electric potential, ADP-induced depolarization and repolarization potential (p<0.05). Interestingly and as opposed to our hypothesis, muscle mitochondria isolated from trained rats were more susceptible to MPTP induction by calcium, although in an initial phase muscle mitochondria isolated from trained rats had an increased calcium uptake. Interestingly, we also verified that endurance training increased the activity of caspase 9. The data obtained confirms that endurance training results in a general improvement in the gastrocnemius mitochondrial respiratory function, although mitochondrial and cellular alterations during training also result in increased calcium-induced MPTP opening. PMID:19682604

  5. Proteasome inhibition slightly improves cardiac function in mice with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Schlossarek, Saskia; Singh, Sonia R.; Geertz, Birgit; Schulz, Herbert; Reischmann, Silke; Hübner, Norbert; Carrier, Lucie

    2014-01-01

    A growing line of evidence indicates a dysfunctional ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in cardiac diseases. Anti-hypertrophic effects and improved cardiac function have been reported after treatment with proteasome inhibitors in experimental models of cardiac hypertrophy. Here we tested whether proteasome inhibition could also reverse the disease phenotype in a genetically-modified mouse model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which carries a mutation in Mybpc3, encoding the myofilament protein cardiac myosin-binding protein C. At 7 weeks of age, homozygous mutant mice (KI) have 39% higher left ventricular mass-to-body-weight ratio and 29% lower fractional area shortening (FAS) than wild-type (WT) mice. Both groups were treated with epoxomicin (0.5 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 1 week via osmotic minipumps. Epoxomicin inhibited the chymotrypsin-like activity by ~50% in both groups. All parameters of cardiac hypertrophy (including the fetal gene program) were not affected by epoxomicin treatment in both groups. In contrast, FAS was 12% and 35% higher in epoxomicin-treated than vehicle-treated WT and KI mice, respectively. To identify which genes or pathways could be involved in this positive effect, we performed a transcriptome analysis in KI and WT neonatal cardiac myocytes, treated or not with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 (1 ?M, 24 h). This revealed 103 genes (four-fold difference; 5% FDR) which are commonly regulated in both KI and WT cardiac myocytes. Thus, even in genetically-modified mice with manifest HCM, proteasome inhibition showed beneficial effects, at least with regard to cardiac function. Targeting the UPS in cardiac diseases remains therefore a therapeutic option. PMID:25566086

  6. Metformin improves endothelial function in aortic tissue and microvascular endothelial cells subjected to diabetic hyperglycaemic conditions.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Suparna; Lakshmanan, Arun P; Hwang, Mu Ji; Kubba, Haidar; Mushannen, Ahmed; Triggle, Chris R; Ding, Hong

    2015-12-01

    The cellular mechanisms whereby metformin, the first line drug for type 2 diabetes (T2DM), mediates its antidiabetic effects remain elusive, particularly as to whether metformin has a direct protective action on the vasculature. This study was designed to determine if a brief 3-h exposure to metformin protects endothelial function against the effects of hyperglycaemia. We investigated the protective effects of metformin on endothelial-dependent vasodilatation (EDV) in thoracic aortae from T2DM db/db mice and on high glucose (HG, 40mM) induced changes in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) signaling in mouse microvascular endothelial cells (MMECs) in culture. Exposure of aortae from db+/? non-diabetic control mice to high glucose (HG, 40mM) containing Krebs for 3-h significantly (P<0.05) reduced acetylcholine (ACh)-induced EDV compared to ACh-induced EDV in aortae maintained in normal glucose (NG, 11mM) Krebs. The reduction of EDV was partially reversed following a 3-h exposure to 50?M metformin; metformin also improved ACh-induced EDV in aortae from diabetic db/db mice. Immunoblot analysis of MMECs cultured in HG versus NG revealed a significant reduction of the ratio of phosphorylated (p-eNOS)/eNOS and p-Akt/Akt, but not the expression of total eNOS or Akt. The 3-h exposure of MMECs to metformin significantly (P<0.05) reversed the HG-induced reduction in phosphorylation of both eNOS and Akt; however, no changes were detected for phosphorylation of AMPK or the expression of SIRT1. Our data indicate that a 3-h exposure to metformin can reverse/reduce the impact of HG on endothelial function, via mechanisms linked to increased phosphorylation of eNOS and Akt. PMID:26467186

  7. Docosahexaenoic Acid Pretreatment Confers Protection and Functional Improvements after Acute Spinal Cord Injury in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Figueroa, Johnny D.; Cordero, Kathia; Baldeosingh, Keisha; Torrado, Aranza I.; Walker, Robert L.; Miranda, Jorge D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Currently, few interventions have been shown to successfully limit the progression of secondary damage events associated with the acute phase of spinal cord injury (SCI). Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6 n-3) is neuroprotective when administered following SCI, but its potential as a pretreatment modality has not been addressed. This study used a novel DHA pretreatment experimental paradigm that targets acute cellular and molecular events during the first week after SCI in rats. We found that DHA pretreatment reduced functional deficits during the acute phase of injury, as shown by significant improvements in Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) locomotor scores, and the detection of transcranial magnetic motor evoked potentials (tcMMEPs) compared to vehicle-pretreated animals. We demonstrated that, at 7 days post-injury, DHA pretreatment significantly increased the percentage of white matter sparing, and resulted in axonal preservation, compared to the vehicle injections. We found a significant increase in the survival of NG2+, APC+, and NeuN+ cells in the ventrolateral funiculus (VLF), dorsal corticospinal tract (dCST), and ventral horns, respectively. Interestingly, these DHA protective effects were observed despite the lack of inhibition of inflammatory markers for monocytes/macrophages and astrocytes, ED1/OX42 and GFAP, respectively. DHA pretreatment induced levels of Akt and cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) mRNA and protein. This study shows for the first time that DHA pretreatment ameliorates functional deficits, and increases tissue sparing and precursor cell survival. Further, our data suggest that DHA-mediated activation of pro-survival/anti-apoptotic pathways may be independent of its anti-inflammatory effects. PMID:21970623

  8. Enhanced neonatal Fc receptor function improves protection against primate SHIV infection

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Sung-Youl; Pegu, Amarendra; Rudicell, Rebecca S.; Yang, Zhi-yong; Joyce, M. Gordon; Chen, Xuejun; Wang, Keyun; Bao, Saran; Kraemer, Thomas D.; Rath, Timo; Zeng, Ming; Schmidt, Stephen D.; Todd, John-Paul; Penzak, Scott R.; Saunders, Kevin O.; Nason, Martha C.; Haase, Ashley T.; Rao, Srinivas S.; Blumberg, Richard S.; Mascola, John R.; Nabel, Gary J.

    2015-01-01

    To protect against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection, broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) must be active at the portals of viral entry in the gastrointestinal or cervicovaginal tracts. The localization and persistence of antibodies at these sites is influenced by the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn)1,2, whose role in protecting against infection in vivo has not been defined. Here, we show that a bnAb with enhanced FcRn binding has increased gut mucosal tissue localization, which improves protection against lentiviral infection in non-human primates. A bnAb directed to the CD4-binding site of the HIV-1 envelope (Env) protein (denoted VRC01)3 was modified by site-directed mutagenesis to increase its binding affinity for FcRn. This enhanced FcRn-binding mutant bnAb, denoted VRC01-LS, displayed increased transcytosis across human FcRn-expressing cellular monolayers in vitro while retaining Fc?RIIIa binding and function, including antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity, at levels similar to VRC01 (the wild type). VRC01-LS had a threefold longer serum half-life than VRC01 in non-human primates and persisted in the rectal mucosa even when it was no longer detectable in the serum. Notably, VRC01-LS mediated protection superior to that afforded by VRC01 against intrarectal infection with simian–human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV). These findings suggest that modification of FcRn binding provides a mechanism not only to increase serum half-life but also to enhance mucosal localization that confers immune protection. Mutations that enhance FcRn function could therefore increase the potency and durability of passive immunization strategies to prevent HIV-1 infection. PMID:25119033

  9. Laminin-111 Improves Skeletal Muscle Stem Cell Quantity and Function Following Eccentric Exercise

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Kai; De Lisio, Michael; Huntsman, Heather D.; Pincu, Yair; Mahmassani, Ziad; Miller, Matthew; Olatunbosun, Dami; Jensen, Tor

    2014-01-01

    Laminin-111 (?1, ?1, ?1; LM-111) is an important component of the extracellular matrix that is required for formation of skeletal muscle during embryonic development. Recent studies suggest that LM-111 supplementation can enhance satellite cell proliferation and muscle function in mouse models of muscular dystrophy. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which LM-111 can alter satellite and nonsatellite stem cell quantity following eccentric exercise-induced damage in young adult, healthy mice. One week following injection of LM-111 or saline, mice either remained sedentary or were subjected to a single bout of downhill running (EX). While one muscle was preserved for evaluation of satellite cell number, the other muscle was processed for isolation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs; Sca-1+CD45?) via FACS at 24 hours postexercise. Satellite cell number was approximately twofold higher in LM-111/EX compared with all other groups (p < .05), and the number of satellite cells expressing the proliferation marker Ki67 was 50% to threefold higher in LM-111/EX compared with all other groups (p < .05). LM-111 also increased the quantity of embryonic myosin heavy chain-positive (eMHC+) fibers in young mice after eccentric exercise (p < .05). Although MSC percentage and number were not altered, MSC proinflammatory gene expression was decreased, and hepatocyte growth factor gene expression was increased in the presence of LM-111 (p < .05). Together, these data suggest that LM-111 supplementation provides a viable solution for increasing skeletal muscle stem cell number and/or function, ultimately allowing for improvements in the regenerative response to eccentric exercise. PMID:25015639

  10. D-Cycloserine improves functional outcome after traumatic brain injury with wide therapeutic window

    SciTech Connect

    Adeleye, A.; Biegon, A.; Adeleye, A.; Shohami, E.; Nachman, D.; Alexandrovich, A.; Trembovler, V.; Yaka, R.; Shoshan, Y.; Dhawan, J.; Biegon, A.

    2009-12-01

    It has been long thought that hyperactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors underlies neurological decline after traumatic brain injury. However, all clinical trials with NMDA receptor antagonists failed. Since NMDA receptors are down-regulated from 4 h to 2 weeks after brain injury, activation at 24 h, rather than inhibition, of these receptors, was previously shown to be beneficial in mice. Here, we tested the therapeutic window, dose regimen and mechanism of action of the NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS) in traumatic brain injury. Male mice were subjected to trauma using a weight-drop model, and administered 10 mg/kg (i.p.) DCS or vehicle once (8, 16, 24, or 72 h) twice (24 and 48 h) or three times (24, 48 and 72 h). Functional recovery was assessed for up to 60 days, using a Neurological Severity Score that measures neurobehavioral parameters. In all groups in which treatment was begun at 24 or 72 h neurobehavioral function was significantly better than in the vehicle-treated groups. Additional doses, on days 2 and 3 did not further improve recovery. Mice treated at 8 h or 16 h post injury did not differ from the vehicle-treated controls. Co-administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 completely blocked the protective effect of DCS given at 24 h. Infarct volume measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining at 48 h or by cresyl violet at 28 days was not affected by DCS treatment. Since DCS is used clinically for other indications, the present study offers a novel approach for treating human traumatic brain injury with a therapeutic window of at least 24 h.

  11. An improved joint optimization of multiple level set functions for the segmentation of overlapping cervical cells.

    PubMed

    Zhi Lu; Carneiro, Gustavo; Bradley, Andrew P

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, we present an improved algorithm for the segmentation of cytoplasm and nuclei from clumps of overlapping cervical cells. This problem is notoriously difficult because of the degree of overlap among cells, the poor contrast of cell cytoplasm and the presence of mucus, blood, and inflammatory cells. Our methodology addresses these issues by utilizing a joint optimization of multiple level set functions, where each function represents a cell within a clump, that have both unary (intracell) and pairwise (intercell) constraints. The unary constraints are based on contour length, edge strength, and cell shape, while the pairwise constraint is computed based on the area of the overlapping regions. In this way, our methodology enables the analysis of nuclei and cytoplasm from both free-lying and overlapping cells. We provide a systematic evaluation of our methodology using a database of over 900 images generated by synthetically overlapping images of free-lying cervical cells, where the number of cells within a clump is varied from 2 to 10 and the overlap coefficient between pairs of cells from 0.1 to 0.5. This quantitative assessment demonstrates that our methodology can successfully segment clumps of up to 10 cells, provided the overlap between pairs of cells is <;0.2. Moreover, if the clump consists of three or fewer cells, then our methodology can successfully segment individual cells even when the overlap is ~0.5. We also evaluate our approach quantitatively and qualitatively on a set of 16 extended depth of field images, where we are able to segment a total of 645 cells, of which only ~10% are free-lying. Finally, we demonstrate that our method of cell nuclei segmentation is competitive when compared with the current state of the art. PMID:25585419

  12. [Assessment of systolic function in patients with poor echogenicity: echocardiographic methods].

    PubMed

    Weidemann, F; Liu, D; Niemann, M; Herrmann, S; Hu, H; Gaudron, P D; Ertl, G; Hu, K

    2015-04-01

    The visual echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular (LV) systolic function can be cumbersome, especially in patients with poor image quality. This review describes several alternative echocardiographic methods to determine LV systolic function: endocardial border delineation by contrast agents, mitral annular plane systolic excursion, mitral annular velocity derived from tissue Doppler, myocardial performance index, mitral regurgitation derived LV dP/dtMax and estimation of cardiac output by Doppler echocardiography. The review introduces the respective methods along with the presentation of suitable measurements, clinical implications and methodological limitations. PMID:23942734

  13. Genetic influence on left ventricular structure and function: a Korean twin and family study.

    PubMed

    Noh, Hye-Mi; Lee, Sang Cheol; Park, Seung Woo; Sung, Joohon; Song, Yun-Mi

    2015-06-01

    Genetic factors have been suggested to be one of the determinants of the variation of left ventricular (LV) structure and function. However, the heritability range of LV structure varies across studies and the influence of genetics on LV function is not well established, especially in Asian populations. Study subjects were 1,642 healthy Korean adults from 426 families, consisting of 298 pairs of monozygotic twins, 62 pairs of dizygotic twins, one set of triplets, 567 siblings, and 354 parents. LV structure and function were measured by M-mode and 2D echocardiography, and conventional and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). Pairwise intra-class correlations for various familial relationships and heritability were estimated for LV structure and function. The heritability of LV mass, LV ejection fraction (LVEF), left atrial volume index, the ratio between early and late diastolic velocity of mitral inflow (E/A ratio), and the ratio between early diastolic velocity of mitral inflow and early diastolic mitral annular velocities (E/Ea ratio) was 0.44, 0.27, 0.44, 0.25, and 0.33, respectively. Bivariate genetic analysis showed that LV structural and functional traits had significant genetic correlations with cardiovascular risk factors. Additive genetic correlation (?G) of LV mass with body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol were 0.49, 0.42, and -0.15 respectively. LVEF (?G = 0.33) and left atrial volume index (?G = 0.24) also had a significant genetic correlation with systolic blood pressure. These findings support the theory that genetic factors have significant influence on these traits and necessitate further work to identify the specific genes involved. PMID:25871282

  14. Cognitive Improvement after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Measured with Functional Neuroimaging during the Acute Period

    PubMed Central

    Wylie, Glenn R.; Freeman, Kalev; Thomas, Alex; Shpaner, Marina; OKeefe, Michael; Watts, Richard; Naylor, Magdalena R.

    2015-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) have been largely limited to patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, utilizing images obtained months to years after the actual head trauma. We sought to distinguish acute and delayed effects of mild traumatic brain injury on working memory functional brain activation patterns < 72 hours after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and again one-week later. We hypothesized that clinical and fMRI measures of working memory would be abnormal in symptomatic mTBI patients assessed < 72 hours after injury, with most patients showing clinical recovery (i.e., improvement in these measures) within 1 week after the initial assessment. We also hypothesized that increased memory workload at 1 week following injury would expose different cortical activation patterns in mTBI patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, compared to those with full clinical recovery. We performed a prospective, cohort study of working memory in emergency department patients with isolated head injury and clinical diagnosis of concussion, compared to control subjects (both uninjured volunteers and emergency department patients with extremity injuries and no head trauma). The primary outcome of cognitive recovery was defined as resolution of reported cognitive impairment and quantified by scoring the subject’s reported cognitive post-concussive symptoms at 1 week. Secondary outcomes included additional post-concussive symptoms and neurocognitive testing results. We enrolled 46 subjects: 27 with mild TBI and 19 controls. The time of initial neuroimaging was 48 (+22 S.D.) hours after injury (time 1). At follow up (8.7, + 1.2 S.D., days after injury, time 2), 18 of mTBI subjects (64%) reported moderate to complete cognitive recovery, 8 of whom fully recovered between initial and follow-up imaging. fMRI changes from time 1 to time 2 showed an increase in posterior cingulate activation in the mTBI subjects compared to controls. Increases in activation were greater in those mTBI subjects without cognitive recovery. As workload increased in mTBI subjects, activation increased in cortical regions in the right hemisphere. In summary, we found neuroimaging evidence for working memory deficits during the first week following mild traumatic brain injury. Subjects with persistent cognitive symptoms after mTBI had increased requirement for posterior cingulate activation to complete memory tasks at 1 week following a brain injury. These results provide insight into functional activation patterns during initial recovery from mTBI and expose the regional activation networks that may be involved in working memory deficits. PMID:25962067

  15. CPSC 466: Genomics for Plant Improvement A current educational gap seems to be functional genomics to characterize genes and their function, and how this

    E-print Network

    Downie, Stephen R.

    CPSC 466: Genomics for Plant Improvement A current educational gap seems to be functional genomics: Plant Genomics course to meet the defined educational gap. The course complements and builds upon topics Course Catalog Description. An overview of genomics in the context of molecular biology including: basic

  16. Iptakalim protects against ischemic injury by improving neurovascular unit function in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Ji, Juan; Yan, Hui; Chen, Zheng-Zhen; Zhao, Zhan; Yang, Dan-Dan; Sun, Xiu-Lan; Shi, Yong-Ping

    2015-07-01

    It has been reported that the novel ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channel opener iptakalim (IPT) decreases ischemic neuronal damage in rats. However, the mechanisms underlying neuroprotection are still to be fully elucidated. The results of this study showed that mice with ischemia induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion exhibited higher mortality and more neurological deficits, as well as larger infarct volume, compared with sham mice. Moreover, it was found that ischemia activated astrocytes surrounding CA1 neurons with an increased expression of D-serine, induced greater microglial activation accompanied by higher tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) production, and caused higher expressions of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in the endothelial cells of mice. Pretreatment with IPT significantly attenuated the neurological deficits and decreased the infarct volume in mice. IPT treatment could decrease MMP-9 secretion, inhibit astrocytic activation with decreasing D-serine and elevating connexin43 expression. Microglial activation was also inhibited and TNF-? production was decreased by IPT. Taken together, a K-ATP channel opener may improve the function of neurovascular unit and protect against ischemic injury. These findings suggest that targeting K-ATP channels provides a promising therapeuti