Science.gov

Sample records for functional level evaluated

  1. Comparative Candidate Evaluation as a Function of Election Level and Candidate Incumbency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellweg, Susan A.; And Others

    A study examined the evaluative structures employed by voters in making decisions about political contenders, specifically as a function of the level of the election involved and the incumbent-challenger status of the candidates. Data were obtained by questionnaires administered within two weeks prior to the 1984 general election to 550…

  2. Comparative Candidate Evaluation as a Function of Election Level and Candidate Incumbency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellweg, Susan A.; And Others

    A study examined the evaluative structures employed by voters in making decisions about political contenders, specifically as a function of the level of the election involved and the incumbent-challenger status of the candidates. Data were obtained by questionnaires administered within two weeks prior to the 1984 general election to 550…

  3. [Evaluation of functional adaptation level in air specialists according to biochemical indexes of saliva secretion].

    PubMed

    Soldatov, S K; Malysheva, E V; Zasiad'ko, K I; Abashev, V Iu; Gulin, A V; Ermakova, N V

    2009-09-01

    It was examined a capability of evaluation of functional condition of air staff by indexes of natrium, kalium, cortisol and glucose in saliva. There were realized 5 series of examinations with participations of 71 airplane pilot of the same level in conditions of realizing flies of different difficultness. Saliva sampling was effectuated before and after the flies not later then 10-15 minutes after landing. On pre-flight medical examination and after performance of task of air relay there was registration of systolic, diasystolic blood pressure and cardiac rate. It was posed the correlation of physiological indexes with percentage of examined ingredients in saliva in different flight loads. The results of examinations speak for capability of using of indexes of percentage of natrium, kalium, cortisol and glucose in saliva for evaluation of functional condition of airplane pilots during effectuating the flies and rating of value of flight load with account of individual peculiarities.

  4. Sudomotor function as a tool for cardiorespiratory fitness level evaluation: comparison with maximal exercise capacity.

    PubMed

    Raisanen, Anu; Eklund, Jyrki; Calvet, Jean-Henri; Tuomilehto, Jaakko

    2014-05-30

    Physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) and metabolic disorders. VO2max is the best method to assess cardio-respiratory fitness level but it is poorly adopted in clinical practice. Sudomotor dysfunction may develop early in metabolic diseases. This study aimed at comparing established CV risk evaluation techniques with SUDOSCAN; a quick and non-invasive method to assess sudomotor function. A questionnaire was filled-in; physical examination and VO2max estimation using a maximal test on a bicycle ergometer were performed on active Finish workers. Hand and foot electrochemical skin conductance (ESC) were measured to assess sudomotor function. Subjects with the lowest fitness level were involved in a 12 month training program with recording of their weekly physical activity and a final fitness level evaluation. Significant differences in BMI; waist and body fat were seen according to SUDOSCAN risk score classification. Correlation between the risk score and estimated VO2max was r = -0.57, p < 0.0001 for women and -0.48, p < 0.0001 for men. A significant increase in estimated VO2max, in hand and foot ESC and in risk score was observed after lifestyle intervention and was more important in subjects with the highest weekly activity. SUDOSCAN could be used to assess cardio-metabolic disease risk status in a working population and to follow individual lifestyle interventions.

  5. Evaluation of uric acid levels, thyroid function, and anthropometric parameters in Japanese children with Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Niegawa, Tomomi; Takitani, Kimitaka; Takaya, Ryuzo; Ishiro, Manabu; Kuroyanagi, Yuichi; Okasora, Keisuke; Minami, Yukako; Matsuda, Takuya; Tamai, Hiroshi

    2017-01-01

    Down syndrome, caused by trisomy 21, is characterized by congenital abnormalities as well as mental retardation. From the neonatal stage through adolescence, patients with Down syndrome often have several complications. Thus, it is important to attain knowledge of the prevalence of these comorbidities in children with Down syndrome. We, therefore, evaluated the biochemical data, thyroid function, and anthropometric parameters, and analyzed the association among them in Japanese children and early adolescents with Down syndrome. There was no difference in the prevalence of obesity and overweight between boys and girls. The level of uric acid was higher in boys than in girls. Moreover, the prevalence of hyperuricemia was also higher in boys than in girls (approximately 32% and 10%, respectively). The prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in children with Down syndrome was approximately 20%, with no significant sex differences. The levels of uric acid and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate were positively associated with age, while the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine had a negative association with age. Overall, children with Down syndrome, exhibit a higher incidence of hyperuricemia. Therefore, uric acid levels, as well as thyroid function, from childhood to early adulthood should be monitored in this patient cohort. PMID:28955133

  6. Evaluation of uric acid levels, thyroid function, and anthropometric parameters in Japanese children with Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Niegawa, Tomomi; Takitani, Kimitaka; Takaya, Ryuzo; Ishiro, Manabu; Kuroyanagi, Yuichi; Okasora, Keisuke; Minami, Yukako; Matsuda, Takuya; Tamai, Hiroshi

    2017-09-01

    Down syndrome, caused by trisomy 21, is characterized by congenital abnormalities as well as mental retardation. From the neonatal stage through adolescence, patients with Down syndrome often have several complications. Thus, it is important to attain knowledge of the prevalence of these comorbidities in children with Down syndrome. We, therefore, evaluated the biochemical data, thyroid function, and anthropometric parameters, and analyzed the association among them in Japanese children and early adolescents with Down syndrome. There was no difference in the prevalence of obesity and overweight between boys and girls. The level of uric acid was higher in boys than in girls. Moreover, the prevalence of hyperuricemia was also higher in boys than in girls (approximately 32% and 10%, respectively). The prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in children with Down syndrome was approximately 20%, with no significant sex differences. The levels of uric acid and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate were positively associated with age, while the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine had a negative association with age. Overall, children with Down syndrome, exhibit a higher incidence of hyperuricemia. Therefore, uric acid levels, as well as thyroid function, from childhood to early adulthood should be monitored in this patient cohort.

  7. Evaluation of oral functions of the stomatognathic system according to the levels of asthma severity.

    PubMed

    Castro, Mariana San Jorge de; Toro, Adyléia Aparecida Dalbo Contrera; Sakano, Eulália; Ribeiro, José Dirceu

    2012-01-01

    To compare the orofacial functions (chewing, swallowing and speech) in children with asthma and healthy children. A cross sectional study including 54 children of both genders with ages between 7 and 10 years was conducted. Twenty-seven of these subjects composed the experimental group, and were subdivided into two severity levels of asthma: Group I - mild intermittent and persistent asthma; Group II - persistent moderate to severe asthma. Twenty-seven healthy children were included in the control group (Group III). Speech-language pathology evaluation used the adapted Orofacial Myofunctional Assessment Protocol. Adaptation consisted in the exclusion of the structural part of the test, since this was not the aim of the study. The structural part was excluded because it was not the aim of this study. It was found alterations in oral functions, with significant differences between the three groups. These alterations showed no correlation with asthma severity, since the highest rate of alterations was found in Group I (mild asthma). Regardless of the severity level, children with asthma have altered patterns of chewing, swallowing and speech.

  8. Targeting the mitochondrial genome via a dual function MITO-Porter: evaluation of mtDNA levels and mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Yuma; Harashima, Hideyoshi

    2015-01-01

    Genetic mutations and defects in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are associated with certain types of mitochondrial dysfunction, ultimately resulting in the occurrence of a variety of human diseases. For an effective mitochondrial gene therapy, it will be necessary to deliver therapeutic agents to the innermost mitochondrial space (the mitochondrial matrix), which contains the mtDNA pool. We recently developed a MITO-Porter, a liposome-based nano-carrier that delivers cargo to mitochondria via a membrane-fusion mechanism. Using propidium iodide, as a probe to detect mtDNA, we were able to confirm that the MITO-Porter delivered cargoes to mitochondrial matrices in living cells. More recently, we constructed a Dual Function (DF)-MITO-Porter, a liposome-based nanocarrier for mitochondrial delivery via a stepwise process. In this chapter, we describe the methodology used to deliver bioactive molecules to the mitochondrial matrix using the above DF-MITO-Porter, and the evaluation of mtDNA levels and mitochondrial activities in living cells.

  9. Evaluation of Model Selection Strategies for Cross-Level Two-Way Differential Item Functioning Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patarapichayatham, Chalie; Kamata, Akihito; Kanjanawasee, Sirichai

    2012-01-01

    Model specification issues on the cross-level two-way differential item functioning model were previously investigated by Patarapichayatham et al. (2009). Their study clarified that an incorrect model specification can easily lead to biased estimates of key parameters. The objective of this article is to provide further insights on the issue by…

  10. Effects of environmental levels of cadmium, lead and mercury on human renal function evaluated by structural equation modeling.

    PubMed

    Trzeciakowski, Jerome P; Gardiner, Lesley; Parrish, Alan R

    2014-07-03

    A relationship between exposure to heavy metals, including lead and cadmium, and renal dysfunction has long been suggested. However, modeling of the potential additive, or synergistic, impact of metals on renal dysfunction has proven to be challenging. In these studies, we used structural equation modeling (SEM), to investigate the relationship between heavy metal burden (serum and urine levels of lead, cadmium and mercury) and renal function using data from the NHANES database. We were able to generate a model with goodness of fit indices consistent with a well-fitting model. This model demonstrated that lead and cadmium had a negative relationship with renal function, while mercury did not contribute to renal dysfunction. Interestingly, a linear relationship between lead and loss of renal function was observed, while the maximal impact of cadmium occurred at or above serum cadmium levels of 0.8 μg/L. The interaction of lead and cadmium in loss of renal function was also observed in the model. These data highlight the use of SEM to model interaction between environmental contaminants and pathophysiology, which has important implications in mechanistic and regulatory toxicology.

  11. Effects of environmental levels of cadmium, lead and mercury on human renal function evaluated by structural equation modeling

    PubMed Central

    Trzeciakowski, Jerome P.; Gardiner, Lesley; Parrish, Alan R.

    2014-01-01

    A relationship between exposure to heavy metals, including lead and cadmium, and renal dysfunction has long been suggested. However, modeling of the potential additive, or synergistic, impact of metals on renal dysfunction has proven to be challenging. In these studies, we used structural equation modeling (SEM), to investigate the relationship between heavy metal burden (serum and urine levels of lead, cadmium and mercury) and renal function using data from the NHANES database. We were able to generate a model with goodness of fit indices consistent with a well-fitting model. This model demonstrated that lead and cadmium had a negative relationship with renal function, while mercury did not contribute to renal dysfunction. Interestingly, a linear relationship between lead and loss of renal function was observed, while the maximal impact of cadmium occurred at or above serum cadmium levels of 0.8 µg/L. The interaction of lead and cadmium in loss of renal function was also observed in the model. These data highlight the use of SEM to model interaction between environmental contaminants and pathophysiology, which has important implications in mechanistic and regulatory toxicology. PMID:24769258

  12. Development and Initial Evaluation of a Self-Report Form of the DSM-5 Level of Personality Functioning Scale.

    PubMed

    Morey, Leslie C

    2017-02-27

    The DSM-5 presents an Alternative Model for Personality Disorder (AMPD) recommending the assessment of impairments in core personality functions as well as clinically relevant personality traits. Although a self-report assessment instrument has been provided corresponding to the trait model proposed in the AMPD, no comparable instrument provides a direct assessment of the specific indicators of core personality functions described in that model. The goal of this paper is to provide preliminary reliability and validity data for a measure that directly corresponds to core personality pathology as operationalized in the AMPD. Self-report questions were generated to capture each diagnostic indicator provided in the Level of Personality Functioning Scale, a clinician rating guide provided in the AMPD that describes characteristic impairments in identity, self-direction, empathy, and intimacy at 5 different levels of personality functioning. These questions were administered to a community sample of 306 participants, with the resulting scale examined for internal consistency, unidimensionality, and concurrent validity with 4 other self-report measures of global personality dysfunction. Items representing the 4 subcomponents of personality dysfunction were found to manifest high degrees of internal consistency, and were highly related to each other, supporting the AMPD contention that these core dysfunctions reflect a single dimension of personality dysfunction. Correlations with concurrent validity measures were large, with associations at the global level of dysfunction often exceeding .80. The developed instrument is reprinted in the supplementary materials, with the goal of encouraging additional refinement and development by other investigators as part of the call for additional research on the AMPD. (PsycINFO Database Record

  13. Evaluation of the saliva cortisol levels in patients under prosthetic treatment due to functional disorders of the masticatory organ.

    PubMed

    Pihut, M; Dziurkowska, E; Wisniewska, G; Szewczyk, M; Bieganska, J

    2015-02-01

    One of the main etiological factors of the stomatognathic system dysfunction is stress and psychoemotional disorders. During stressful situations, there is an increase in the level of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. Literature data indicate the existence of a correlation between blood cortisol levels and its amount in the saliva. This spurred an inspiration to undertake open, non-randomised studies, the objective of which was to conduct a comparative assessment of the saliva cortisol levels in patients with functional disorders of the masticatory system and in healthy volunteers, as well as to compare the results of cortisol levels with the results of survey-based tests with the use of Endler and Parker's CISS survey. Cortisol level was assessed due to its association with stress present in the body as one of the primary etiological factors of the stomatognathic system dysfunction, and hence the association of elevated cortisol levels assessed in the morning with the occurrence of dysfunctions of the stomatognathic system. The subject of the study is a group of 30 patients, of both sexes, aged between 20 and 46, who reported to the Dental Prosthetic Out-Patient Clinic of the Institute of Dentistry, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, for prosthetic treatment due to the painful form of functional masticatory organ disorders. The control group consisted of 30 subjects, aged between 19 and 41, in whom dysfunctions of the stomatognathic system were excluded. Collection of saliva for testing was performed at a fixed hour (9 am) into plastic test tubes with a stopper. Immediately after collection, the saliva was frozen at the temperature of -18 °C. The assessment of the cortisol levels was conducted by the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV detection at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Laboratory Medicine of the Gdansk Medical University. Moreover, a 20-minute psychological test was conducted with the

  14. Differential Item Functioning in Primary Healthcare Evaluation Instruments by French/English Version, Educational Level and Urban/Rural Location

    PubMed Central

    Haggerty, Jeannie L.; Bouharaoui, Fatima; Santor, Darcy A.

    2011-01-01

    Evaluating the extent to which groups or subgroups of individuals differ with respect to primary healthcare experience depends on first ruling out the possibility of bias. Objective: To determine whether item or subscale performance differs systematically between French/English, high/low education subgroups and urban/rural residency. Method: A sample of 645 adult users balanced by French/English language (in Quebec and Nova Scotia, respectively), high/low education and urban/rural residency responded to six validated instruments: the Primary Care Assessment Survey (PCAS); the Primary Care Assessment Tool – Short Form (PCAT-S); the Components of Primary Care Index (CPCI); the first version of the EUROPEP (EUROPEP-I); the Interpersonal Processes of Care Survey, version II (IPC-II); and part of the Veterans Affairs National Outpatient Customer Satisfaction Survey (VANOCSS). We normalized subscale scores to a 0-to-10 scale and tested for between-group differences using ANOVA tests. We used a parametric item response model to test for differences between subgroups in item discriminability and item difficulty. We re-examined group differences after removing items with differential item functioning. Results: Experience of care was assessed more positively in the English-speaking (Nova Scotia) than in the French-speaking (Quebec) respondents. We found differential English/French item functioning in 48% of the 153 items: discriminability in 20% and differential difficulty in 28%. English items were more discriminating generally than the French. Removing problematic items did not change the differences in French/English assessments. Differential item functioning by high/low education status affected 27% of items, with items being generally more discriminating in high-education groups. Between-group comparisons were unchanged. In contrast, only 9% of items showed differential item functioning by geography, affecting principally the accessibility attribute. Removing

  15. Evaluation of serum pesticide residue levels and liver function in persons exposed to dairy products contaminated with heptachlor

    SciTech Connect

    Stehr-Green, P.A.; Wohlleb, J.C.; Royce, W.; Head, S.L.

    1988-01-15

    The authors studied a group of 45 dairy farm family members who had consumed undiluted raw milk products known to be contaminated with residues of the pesticide heptachlor at concentrations as high as 89.2 ppm (fat basis). They compared results of serum pesticide assays for these exposed persons with results for an unexposed group of 94 persons from the same geographic area and the results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The exposed group had significantly higher mean levels of primary heptachlor metabolites-i.e., heptachlor epoxide and oxychlordane than the unexposed group. In the exposed group, 21.2% had evaluated serum concentrations of these same metabolites; this rate was significantly greater than the rates in both the unexposed farm family members (heptachlor epoxide, 3.8%; oxychlordane, 6.3%) and the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey sample (2.5% for both metabolites). However they found no evidence of related acute and/or subacute hepatic effects in these exposed persons regardless of their serum concentrations of pesticide residues.

  16. Evaluation of the toxicity of superfine materials to change the physiological functions of aquatic organisms of different trophic levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgalev, S.; Morgaleva, T.; Gosteva, I.; Morgalev, Yu

    2015-11-01

    We assessed ecological and biological effects caused by the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials on the basis of the laboratory researches into water test-organisms of different trophic levels. We studied the physiological functions of water organisms on adding into the environment superfine materials of various chemical nature and structural characteristics: metallic nanoparticles of nikel (nNi), argentum (nAg), platinum (nPt), aurum (nAu), binary NPs (powder of titanium dioxide - nTiO2, aluminum oxide - nAl2O3, zink oxide - nZnO, silicon nitride - nSi3N4, silicon carbide (nSiC) and carbon nanotubes (BT-50, MCD- material). We observed the dependence of developing the complex of unfavourable biological effects in water plants and entomostracans’ organisms on the physical and chemical properties of superfine materials. We determined the values of NOEC, L(E)C20 and L(E)C50 for aquatic organisms of various regular groups. We found out the most vulnerable elements of the communities’ trophic structure and the possibility of a breakdown in the water ecosystem food pyramid.

  17. Evaluation at the Unit Level.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-26

    RD-fli56 922 EVALUATION AT THE UNIT LEVEL(U) ARMYV WAR COLL CARLISLE i/i BARRACKS PA J F NAU 15 APR 85 UNCLASSIFIED F/G 5/9 N MENMhEEhE... EVALUATION AT THE UNIT LEVEL BY COLONEL JOHN F. NA!, JR., FA DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT 4: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. C) .4C.1...been cleared by the appropriate military service or government agency. Evaluation at the Unit Level An Individual Essay by Colonel John F. Nau, Jr

  18. Levels of Evaluation: Beyond Kirkpatrick.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufman, Roger; Keller, John M.

    1994-01-01

    Expands Kirkpatrick's four-level evaluation model (reaction, learning, behavior, results) to five levels: enabling/reaction, acquisition, application, organizational outputs, and societal outcomes. The expanded model enables consideration of the value and worth of training resources as well as the broader social consequences. (SK)

  19. Relationship between myocardial T2 values and cardiac volumetric and functional parameters in β-thalassemia patients evaluated by cardiac magnetic resonance in association with serum ferritin levels.

    PubMed

    Liguori, Carlo; Pitocco, Francesca; Di Giampietro, Ilenia; de Vivo, Aldo Eros; Schena, Emiliano; Cianciulli, Paolo; Zobel, Bruno Beomonte

    2013-09-01

    Myocardial T2 cardiovascular magnetic resonance provides a rapid and reproducible assessment of cardiac iron load in thalassemia patients. Although cardiac involvement is mainly characterized by left ventricular dysfunction caused by iron overload, little is known about right ventricular function. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between T2 value in myocardium and left-right ventricular volumetric and functional parameters and to evaluate the existing associations between left-right ventricles volumetric and functional parameter, myocardial T2 values and blood ferritin levels. A retrospective analysis of 208 patients with β-thalassemia major and thalassemia intermedia was performed (109 males and 99 females; mean age 37.7 ± 13 years; 143 thalassemia major, 65 thalassemia intermedia). Myocardial iron load was assessed by T2 measurements, and volumetric functions were analyzed using the steady state free precession sequence. A significant correlation was observed between EFLV and T2 (p=0.0001), EFRV and T2 (p=0.0279). An inverse correlation was present between DVLV and T2 (p=0.0468), SVLV and T2 (p=0.0003), SVRV and T2 (p=0.0001). There was no significant correlation between cardiac T2 and LV-RV mass indices. A significant correlation was observed between T2 and serum ferritin levels (p<0.001) and between EFLV and serum ferritin (p<0.05). Myocardial iron load assessed by T2 cardiac magnetic resonance is associated with deterioration in left-right ventricular function; this is more evident when T2 values fall below 14 ms. CMR appears to be a promising approach for cardiac risk evaluation in TM patients. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evaluations of average level spacings

    SciTech Connect

    Liou, H.I.

    1980-01-01

    The average level spacing for highly excited nuclei is a key parameter in cross section formulas based on statistical nuclear models, and also plays an important role in determining many physics quantities. Various methods to evaluate average level spacings are reviewed. Because of the finite experimental resolution, to detect a complete sequence of levels without mixing other parities is extremely difficult, if not totally impossible. Most methods derive the average level spacings by applying a fit, with different degrees of generality, to the truncated Porter-Thomas distribution for reduced neutron widths. A method that tests both distributions of level widths and positions is discussed extensivey with an example of /sup 168/Er data. 19 figures, 2 tables.

  1. Functional Performance Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenisen, Michael C.; Hayes, Judith C.; Siconolfi, Steven F.; Moore, Alan D.

    1999-01-01

    The Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project (EDOMP) was established to address specific issues associated with optimizing the ability of crews to complete mission tasks deemed essential to entry, landing, and egress for spaceflights lasting up to 16 days. The main objectives of this functional performance evaluation were to investigate the physiological effects of long-duration spaceflight on skeletal muscle strength and endurance, as well as aerobic capacity and orthostatic function. Long-duration exposure to a microgravity environment may produce physiological alterations that affect crew ability to complete critical tasks such as extravehicular activity (EVA), intravehicular activity (IVA), and nominal or emergency egress. Ultimately, this information will be used to develop and verify countermeasures. The answers to three specific functional performance questions were sought: (1) What are the performance decrements resulting from missions of varying durations? (2) What are the physical requirements for successful entry, landing, and emergency egress from the Shuttle? and (3) What combination of preflight fitness training and in-flight countermeasures will minimize in-flight muscle performance decrements? To answer these questions, the Exercise Countermeasures Project looked at physiological changes associated with muscle degradation as well as orthostatic intolerance. A means of ensuring motor coordination was necessary to maintain proficiency in piloting skills, EVA, and IVA tasks. In addition, it was necessary to maintain musculoskeletal strength and function to meet the rigors associated with moderate altitude bailout and with nominal or emergency egress from the landed Orbiter. Eight investigations, referred to as Detailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs) 475, 476, 477, 606, 608, 617, 618, and 624, were conducted to study muscle degradation and the effects of exercise on exercise capacity and orthostatic function (Table 3-1). This chapter is divided into

  2. Bolt cutter functional evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, S.; Wong, T. E.; Frost, S. W.; Gageby, J. V.; Pan, R. B.

    1994-01-01

    The Aerospace Corporation has been implementing finite difference and finite element codes for the analysis of a variety of explosive ordnance devices. Both MESA-2D and DYNA3D have been used to evaluate the role of several design parameters on the performance of a satellite separation system bolt cutter. Due to a lack of high strain rate response data for the materials involved, the properties for the bolt cutter and the bolt were selected to achieve agreement between computer simulation and observed characteristics of the recovered test hardware. The calculations provided insight into design parameters such as the cutter blade kinetic energy, the preload on the bolt, the relative position of the anvil, and the anvil shape. Modeling of the cutting process clarifies metallographic observation of both cut and uncut bolts obtained from several tests. Understanding the physical processes involved in bolt cutter operation may suggest certain design modifications that could improve performance margin without increasing environmental shock response levels.

  3. Bolt cutter functional evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, S.; Wong, T. E.; Frost, S. W.; Gageby, J. V.; Pan, R. B.

    1994-01-01

    The Aerospace Corporation has been implementing finite difference and finite element codes for the analysis of a variety of explosive ordnance devices. Both MESA-2D and DYNA3D have been used to evaluate the role of several design parameters on the performance of a satellite separation system bolt cutter. Due to a lack of high strain rate response data for the materials involved, the properties for the bolt cutter and the bolt were selected to achieve agreement between computer simulation and observed characteristics of the recovered test hardware. The calculations provided insight into design parameters such as the cutter blade kinetic energy, the preload on the bolt, the relative position of the anvil, and the anvil shape. Modeling of the cutting process clarifies metallographic observation of both cut and uncut bolts obtained from several tests. Understanding the physical processes involved in bolt cutter operation may suggest certain design modifications that could improve performance margin without increasing environmental shock response levels.

  4. Teacher Evaluations of Executive Functioning in Schoolchildren Aged 9–12 and the Influence of Age, Sex, Level of Parental Education

    PubMed Central

    van Tetering, Marleen A. J.; Jolles, Jelle

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) develop over the period of early childhood and adolescence up until young adulthood. Individual children differ substantially in the pace at which their EFs develop, and characteristics such as sex and the level of parental education (LPE) are thought to contribute to these differences. In the present study, we assessed age-related changes in EFs as perceived and evaluated by teachers and parents as well as the influence of sex and LPE on their evaluations. We used a newly developed observer-report questionnaire, the Amsterdam Executive Function Inventory (AEFI). The AEFI assesses three important components of the executive aspects of daily life behavior in 13 questions: Attention; Self-control and Self-monitoring; and Planning and Initiative taking. Teachers and parents evaluated these aspects of executive functioning in 186 schoolchildren in grades 3–6 (age: 9–12 years). Age effects within grades and differences in social economic status between the four participating schools were controlled. Results showed a significant increase in teacher-perceived EFs from third to fourth grades and from fifth to sixth grades. This development was influenced both by the sex of the child and by the LPE. As perceived by teachers, the component self-control and self-monitoring was higher for girls than for boys, and planning abilities were higher for children from families with a higher LPE. Additional analyses showed that there is a systematic and statistically significant difference between the evaluations of the teachers and that of parents. Parents reported higher scores for planning, whereas teachers reported higher scores for self-control and self-monitoring. Evaluations by parents and teachers were different for girls, but not for boys. These findings are important because they imply that the development of EFs as perceived by parents and teachers is influenced by child-related factors. Second, there are clear differences in evaluations

  5. On reinitializing level set functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Min, Chohong

    2010-04-01

    In this paper, we consider reinitializing level functions through equation ϕt+sgn(ϕ0)(‖∇ϕ‖-1)=0[16]. The method of Russo and Smereka [11] is taken in the spatial discretization of the equation. The spatial discretization is, simply speaking, the second order ENO finite difference with subcell resolution near the interface. Our main interest is on the temporal discretization of the equation. We compare the three temporal discretizations: the second order Runge-Kutta method, the forward Euler method, and a Gauss-Seidel iteration of the forward Euler method. The fact that the time in the equation is fictitious makes a hypothesis that all the temporal discretizations result in the same result in their stationary states. The fact that the absolute stability region of the forward Euler method is not wide enough to include all the eigenvalues of the linearized semi-discrete system of the second order ENO spatial discretization makes another hypothesis that the forward Euler temporal discretization should invoke numerical instability. Our results in this paper contradict both the hypotheses. The Runge-Kutta and Gauss-Seidel methods obtain the second order accuracy, and the forward Euler method converges with order between one and two. Examining all their properties, we conclude that the Gauss-Seidel method is the best among the three. Compared to the Runge-Kutta, it is twice faster and requires memory two times less with the same accuracy.

  6. Evaluation of Lower Limb Motor Function Using Wireless Motion Sensors—A Comparison of Normal Elderly Subjects and those Requiring Support Level 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Hiroaki; Numata, Takayuki; Kuwae, Yutaka; Sekine, Masaki; Tsuji, Miwa; Okabe, Ichiro; Hara, Keita; Fujimoto, Toshiro; Tamura, Toshiyo

    This study quantitatively compared lower limb motility of normal subjects and those requiring support level 1 (support_1). We developed a wireless inertia sensor with an embedded tri-axial accelerometer and angular velocity sensor. Six normal elderly subjects and ten elderly subjects who were classified as support_1 by the Japanese care insurance system participated in the study. We attached the wireless motion sensors to the center of the lower back and both thighs in the subjects. Subjects were then asked to walk 10 m and perform a stepping exercise. For the evaluation, the cadence, pitch angle, and pitch angular velocity of the thigh auto-correlation function and root mean square (RMS) on the lower back were calculated. The autocorrelation coefficient function for the support_1 subjects was smaller than in the normal subjects, while the RMS was larger in support_1. These differences indicated that the gait and balance abilities of the support_1 subjects were poorer than those of the normal subjects. This suggests that our wireless motion sensor is useful for assessing the motility of the lower limbs while walking and climbing steps.

  7. Assessing DSM-5-oriented level of personality functioning: Development and psychometric evaluation of the Semi-Structured Interview for Personality Functioning DSM-5 (STiP-5.1).

    PubMed

    Hutsebaut, Joost; Kamphuis, Jan H; Feenstra, Dine J; Weekers, Laura C; De Saeger, Hilde

    2017-01-01

    The alternative model for personality disorders (AMPD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) features a Level of Personality Functioning Scale, measuring intrinsic personality processes that include identity, self-direction, empathy, and intimacy. This study describes the development and psychometric evaluation of a semistructured interview schedule for the multi-item assessment of the level of personality functioning, the Semi-Structured Interview for Personality Functioning DSM-5 (STiP-5.1). Eighty patients and 18 community subjects completed the STiP-5.1. Patients additionally completed the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Severity Indices of Personality Problems, and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and Axis II Personality Disorders. Good interrater reliability was observed in subsamples of patients (n = 40) and nonpatients (n = 18). Associations between the interview scores and conceptually relevant external measures consistently supported the construct validity of the instrument. The STiP-5.1 thus offers a brief, relatively user-friendly instrument with generally favorable psychometric properties for the assessment of level of personality functioning of the DSM-5 AMPD. (PsycINFO Database Record

  8. A multi-level approach of evaluating crew resource management training: a laboratory-based study examining communication skills as a function of team congruence.

    PubMed

    Sauer, J; Darioly, A; Mast, M Schmid; Schmid, P C; Bischof, N

    2010-11-01

    The article proposes a multi-level approach for evaluating communication skills training (CST) as an important element of crew resource management (CRM) training. Within this methodological framework, the present work examined the effectiveness of CST in matching or mismatching team compositions with regard to hierarchical status and competence. There is little experimental research that evaluated the effectiveness of CRM training at multiple levels (i.e. reaction, learning, behaviour) and in teams composed of members of different status and competence. An experiment with a two (CST: with vs. without) by two (competence/hierarchical status: congruent vs. incongruent) design was carried out. A total of 64 participants were trained for 2.5 h on a simulated process control environment, with the experimental group being given 45 min of training on receptiveness and influencing skills. Prior to the 1-h experimental session, participants were assigned to two-person teams. The results showed overall support for the use of such a multi-level approach of training evaluation. Stronger positive effects of CST were found for subjective measures than for objective performance measures. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: This work provides some guidance for the use of a multi-level evaluation of CRM training. It also emphasises the need to collect objective performance data for training evaluation in addition to subjective measures with a view to gain a more accurate picture of the benefits of such training approaches.

  9. Evaluation of species-specific dissimilarities in two marine fish species: mercury accumulation as a function of metal levels in consumed prey.

    PubMed

    Mieiro, C L; Coelho, J P; Pacheco, M; Duarte, A C; Pereira, M E

    2012-07-01

    The aim of this research was to compare mercury (Hg) accumulation (total and organic) and tissue distribution in two marine fish species with contrasting feeding tactics. Thus, juvenile specimens of European sea bass and Golden grey mullet were surveyed in an estuary historically affected by Hg discharges. Total Hg was preferentially accumulated in intestine, muscle, and liver, whereas gills and brain presented the lowest Hg levels observed in both species. Significant differences between species were only verified for muscle, with D. labrax's levels being greater than L. aurata's. Muscle accounted for >87% of the Hg relative tissue burden, whereas liver did not exceed 11%. Organic Hg accumulation occurred mainly in liver and muscle, with D. labrax evidencing significantly greater loads. Moreover, organic Hg in consumed prey items was also significantly greater in D. labrax. Accumulation of organic Hg in liver, intestine, and muscle seemed to vary as a function of the consumed prey items contamination, suggesting fish feeding strategies as the dominant factor determining metal accumulation. For both fish species, a stable ratio was observed between Hg increments from the reference to the contaminated site, possibly indicating that the organic Hg content of diet may regulate the internal levels of this contaminant. Thus, this ratio might prove to be a useful contamination predictor tool in early life stages of fish.

  10. Radionuclide evaluation of renal function.

    PubMed

    Bueschen, A J; Witten, D M

    1979-06-01

    The renal scintillation camera study and the excretory urogram should be considered to be complementary studies. The renal scintillation camera study provides an accurate evaluation of changes in total, differential, and segmental renal function but affords only a gross assessment of anatomic changes. The excretory urogram provides superior information about renal anatomic changes but only inferior information about functional changes of the kidney. The advantages of a renal scintillation camera study with regard to the patient are that it is done in a state of normal hydration, it requires no bowel preparation, it is not associated with allergic reactions, it provides a low radiation exposure, and it is a noninvasive procedure for differential renal function which requires no ureteral catheters.

  11. Radiative Strength Functions and Level Densities

    SciTech Connect

    Schiller, A; Becker, J A; Bernstein, L A; Voinov, A; Guttormsen, M; Hjorth-Jensen, M; Rekstad, J; Siem, S; Mitchell, G E; Tavukcu, E

    2002-08-28

    Radiative strength functions and level densities have been extracted from primary {gamma}-ray spectra for {sup 27,28}Si, {sup 56,57}Fe, {sup 96,97}Mo, and several rare earth nuclei. An unexpectedly strong ({approx} 1 mb MeV) resonance at 3 MeV in the radiative strength function has been observed for well-deformed rare earth nuclei. The physical origin of this resonance and its connection to the scissors mode is discussed.

  12. Methods for incomplete Bessel function evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Frank E.; Fripiat, J. G.

    Presented here are detailed methods for evaluating the incomplete Bessel functions arising when Gaussian-type orbitals are used for systems periodic in one spatial dimension. The scheme is designed to yield these incomplete Bessel functions with an absolute accuracy of ±1 × 10-10, for the range of integer orders 0 ≤ n ≤ 12 [a range sufficient for a basis whose members have angular momenta of up to three units (s, p, d, or f atomic functions)]. To reach this accuracy level within acceptable computation times, new rational approximations were developed to compute the special functions involved, namely, the exponential integral E1(x) and the modified Bessel functions K0(x) and K1(x), to absolute accuracy ±1 × 10-15.

  13. Design of a Functional Competence Training Program for Development, Dissemination, and Evaluation Personnel at Professional and Paraprofessional Levels in Education. Volumes I and II; Attachments One and Two.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hood, Paul D.; Banathy, Bela H.

    The mission of the Far West Consortium for DD&E training is to design, develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive and transportable training program to meet the demand for trained personnel in educational development, dissemination, and evaluation (DD&E). The program provides both preservice training and continuing education to upgrade those…

  14. A Special Function Coprocessor for Level-2

    SciTech Connect

    Cutts, D.; Hoftun, J.H.; Nesic, D.; Johnson, C.R.; Zeller, R.T.

    1990-06-26

    The idea of supplementing Level-2 filtering nodes with additional processing power has been alive within D0 collaboration for some time now. The utility of additional processing power became increasingly recognized as the Level-2 filtering code matures. Here we will describe one scenario of augmenting Level-2 nodes with coprocessing power within the framework of the present D0 data acquisition system. Primary data reduction, consisting of repetitive but simple tasks, form the major part of the first order Level-2 filter, in terms of its time budget. Such computing tasks are well suited to the coprocessor environment. In what follows we will use the term Special Function Coprocessor (SFC) to denote this additional processor. 2 figs.

  15. Ideal functional outcomes for amputation levels.

    PubMed

    Meier, Robert H; Melton, Danielle

    2014-02-01

    This article provides a generalized overview of amputation classifications and the idealized outcomes for upper and lower amputations at their respective levels. The following levels are discussed: above knee/transfemoral, below knee/transtibial, above elbow/transhumeral, below elbow/transradial, and bilateral for upper and lower extremities. This classification defines a framework for clinicians to share with patients so that they understand the potential for their expected functional outcomes regarding mobility and activities of daily living, both with and without a prosthesis. Moreover, it addresses some of the vocational and avocational needs of the individual regarding amputation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Walkyourplace - Evaluating Neighbourhood Accessibility at Street Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steiniger, S.; Poorazizi, M. E.; Hunter, A. J. S.

    2013-05-01

    The popularity of a neighbourhood is often explained by its perceived "higher" quality of life. Good access to shops, restaurants, parks, etc., is seen as an indicator that reflects improved quality of life. We present a web-based tool for assessment of accessibility to such services. The system evaluates in real time an area that is accessible using pedestrian, transit, and cycling infrastructure. The accessible area is evaluated using "quality of life" indicators, such as the number of grocery stores, shopping and recreation facilities, and local crime within that area. This tool sets itself apart from pre-computed and neighbourhood-level walkability indices, because it makes use of detailed street-level data, rather than block-level generalizations. It uses real network travel time, and, when transit data are provided, permits the creation and evaluation of accessibility areas for a combination of travel modes such as walking with transit use.

  17. Development and Preliminary Psychometric Evaluation of a Brief Self-Report Questionnaire for the Assessment of the DSM-5 level of Personality Functioning Scale: The LPFS Brief Form (LPFS-BF).

    PubMed

    Hutsebaut, Joost; Feenstra, Dine J; Kamphuis, Jan H

    2016-04-01

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) alternative model for personality disorders (PDs) introduced a new paradigm for the assessment of PDs that includes levels of personality functioning indexing the severity of personality pathology irrespective of diagnosis. In this study, we describe the development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of a newly developed brief self-report questionnaire to assess levels of personality functioning, the Level of Personality Functioning Scale-Brief Form (LPFS-BF; Bender, Morey, & Skodol, 2011). Patients (N = 240) referred to a specialized setting for the assessment and treatment of PDs completed the LPFS-BF, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis, 1975), the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-118; Verheul et al., 2008), and were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Personality Disorders (SCID-I; APA, 1994; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, & Williams, 1997) and the SCID Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, Williams, & Benjamin, 1996). When constrained to a 2-factor oblique solution, the LPFS-BF yielded a structure that corresponded well to an interpretation of Self- and Interpersonal Functioning scales. The instrument demonstrated fair to satisfactory internal consistency and promising construct validity. The LPFS-BF constitutes a short, user-friendly instrument that provides a quick impression of the severity of personality pathology, specifically oriented to the DSM-5 model. Clearly, more research is needed to test its validity and clinical utility. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Functional seismic evaluation of hospitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara, L. T.

    2003-04-01

    Functional collapse of hospitals (FCH) occurs when a medical complex, or part of it, although with neither structural nor nonstructural damage, is unable to provide required services for immediate attention to earthquake victims and for the recovery of the affected community. As it is known, FCH during and after an earthquake, is produced, not only by the damage to nonstructural components, but by an inappropriate or deficient distribution of essential and supporting medical spaces. This paper presents some conclusions on the analysis of the traditional architectural schemes for the design and construction of hospitals in the 20th Century and some recommendations for the establishment of evaluation parameters for the remodeling and seismic upgrade of existing hospitals in seismic zones based on the new concepts of: a) the relative location of each essential service (ES) into the medical complex, b) the capacity of each of these spaces for housing temporary activities required for the attention of a massive emergency (ME); c) the relationship between ES and the supporting services (SS); d) the flexibility of transformation of nonessential services into complementary spaces for the attention of extraordinary number of victims; e) the dimensions and appropriateness of evacuation routes; and d) the appropriate supply and maintenance of water, electricity and vital gases emergency installations.

  19. [Cost of functioning of a centralised pharmaceutical unit: evaluation of mean costs of chemotherapy preparations according to the level of production of the unit].

    PubMed

    Galy, Guillaume; Bauler, Stéphanie; Buchi, Marjolaine; Pirot, Fabrice; Pivot, Christine

    2011-10-01

    The interest of centralization of preparations of chemotherapy drugs is in addition to its economic aspect, to secure drugs circuit. The aims of this study are to determine needs in employees and equipments of 11 theoretical levels of production from 1,000 to 50,000 preparations per year and to determine the cost of chemotherapy's preparation for each theoretical unit. The operating cost was divided in four areas of expenditure: employees (66-78%), investment (5-15%), maintenance (3-15%) and consumables (4-16%). If we consider the 11 units, the theoretical cost varies between 27.4 € for a unit with 50,000 preparations per year and 114.1 € for a unit with 1,000 preparations per year. This study shows the importance of setting up an optimal unit of preparations according to its activity and highlights the high cost's variation in relation to the activity of the unit.

  20. Evaluation of object level change detection techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, John M.; Bergeron, Stuart; Hugo, Doug; O'Brien, Michael A.

    2007-04-01

    A variety of change detection (CD) methods have been developed and employed to support imagery analysis for applications including environmental monitoring, mapping, and support to military operations. Evaluation of these methods is necessary to assess technology maturity, identify areas for improvement, and support transition to operations. This paper presents a methodology for conducting this type of evaluation, discusses the challenges, and illustrates the techniques. The evaluation of object-level change detection methods is more complicated than for automated techniques for processing a single image. We explore algorithm performance assessments, emphasizing the definition of the operating conditions (sensor, target, and environmental factors) and the development of measures of performance. Specific challenges include image registration; occlusion due to foliage, cultural clutter and terrain masking; diurnal differences; and differences in viewing geometry. Careful planning, sound experimental design, and access to suitable imagery with image truth and metadata are critical.

  1. Mixed low-level waste form evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Pohl, P.I.; Cheng, Wu-Ching; Wheeler, T.; Waters, R.D.

    1997-03-01

    A scoping level evaluation of polyethylene encapsulation and vitreous waste forms for safe storage of mixed low-level waste was performed. Maximum permissible radionuclide concentrations were estimated for 15 indicator radionuclides disposed of at the Hanford and Savannah River sites with respect to protection of the groundwater and inadvertent intruder pathways. Nominal performance improvements of polyethylene and glass waste forms relative to grout are reported. These improvements in maximum permissible radionuclide concentrations depend strongly on the radionuclide of concern and pathway. Recommendations for future research include improving the current understanding of the performance of polymer waste forms, particularly macroencapsulation. To provide context to these estimates, the concentrations of radionuclides in treated DOE waste should be compared with the results of this study to determine required performance.

  2. Feeding, evaluating, and controlling rumen function

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Optimal rumen function is pivotal to health, production, and profit in dairy systems. Achieving that function requires an understanding of feeds and systems of nutritional evaluation. A key influence on optimal rumen function includes dry matter intake. The function of feeds in the rumen depends on ...

  3. Evaluation of Language Function under Awake Craniotomy.

    PubMed

    Kanno, Aya; Mikuni, Nobuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Awake craniotomy is the only established way to assess patients' language functions intraoperatively and to contribute to their preservation, if necessary. Recent guidelines have enabled the approach to be used widely, effectively, and safely. Non-invasive brain functional imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging, have been used preoperatively to identify brain functional regions corresponding to language, and their accuracy has increased year by year. In addition, the use of neuronavigation that incorporates this preoperative information has made it possible to identify the positional relationships between the lesion and functional regions involved in language, conduct functional brain mapping in the awake state with electrical stimulation, and intraoperatively assess nerve function in real time when resecting the lesion. This article outlines the history of awake craniotomy, the current state of pre- and intraoperative evaluation of language function, and the clinical usefulness of such functional evaluation. When evaluating patients' language functions during awake craniotomy, given the various intraoperative stresses involved, it is necessary to carefully select the tasks to be undertaken, quickly perform all examinations, and promptly evaluate the results. As language functions involve both input and output, they are strongly affected by patients' preoperative cognitive function, degree of intraoperative wakefulness and fatigue, the ability to produce verbal articulations and utterances, as well as perform synergic movement. Therefore, it is essential to appropriately assess the reproducibility of language function evaluation using awake craniotomy techniques.

  4. Evaluation of Language Function under Awake Craniotomy

    PubMed Central

    KANNO, Aya; MIKUNI, Nobuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Awake craniotomy is the only established way to assess patients’ language functions intraoperatively and to contribute to their preservation, if necessary. Recent guidelines have enabled the approach to be used widely, effectively, and safely. Non-invasive brain functional imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging, have been used preoperatively to identify brain functional regions corresponding to language, and their accuracy has increased year by year. In addition, the use of neuronavigation that incorporates this preoperative information has made it possible to identify the positional relationships between the lesion and functional regions involved in language, conduct functional brain mapping in the awake state with electrical stimulation, and intraoperatively assess nerve function in real time when resecting the lesion. This article outlines the history of awake craniotomy, the current state of pre- and intraoperative evaluation of language function, and the clinical usefulness of such functional evaluation. When evaluating patients’ language functions during awake craniotomy, given the various intraoperative stresses involved, it is necessary to carefully select the tasks to be undertaken, quickly perform all examinations, and promptly evaluate the results. As language functions involve both input and output, they are strongly affected by patients’ preoperative cognitive function, degree of intraoperative wakefulness and fatigue, the ability to produce verbal articulations and utterances, as well as perform synergic movement. Therefore, it is essential to appropriately assess the reproducibility of language function evaluation using awake craniotomy techniques. PMID:25925758

  5. Multi-level Expression Design Language: Requirement level (MEDL-R) system evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    An evaluation of the Multi-Level Expression Design Language Requirements Level (MEDL-R) system was conducted to determine whether it would be of use in the Goddard Space Flight Center Code 580 software development environment. The evaluation is based upon a study of the MEDL-R concept of requirement languages, the functions performed by MEDL-R, and the MEDL-R language syntax. Recommendations are made for changes to MEDL-R that would make it useful in the Code 580 environment.

  6. Evaluation of hospital service level agreements.

    PubMed

    Berbée, Rieneke G; Gemmel, Paul; Droesbeke, Brenda; Casteleyn, Hugo; Vandaele, Darline

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the paper is to evaluate the development and use of service level agreements (SLAs) in a Belgian hospital from a client's point of view. The paper is based on a theoretical framework indicating the variables that influence the relationship between the use of a specific governance mechanisms and performance, a new instrument was developed and applied on a convenience sample of 107 SLA clients from a Belgian hospital. SLAs are useful for hospitals, as they improve people's insight into processes, stimulate people to think about performance measurement and, in some cases, also lead to improved services. The main advantages of SLAs do not really lie in improved relationships and better fits with clients' needs, but in improved process mapping and improved performance measurement. The questionnaire from this research study proves to be a useful and reliable instrument for evaluating internal SLAs from a client's point of view. The results of this study are limited, as they are only based on one Belgian institution. Other limitations include the posttest-only research design and the unequal distribution of the respondents over the different SLAs. Recommendations for future research include applying the questionnaire in other Belgian hospitals and in settings where both a pretest and posttest can be conducted. As far as known, no other studies have yet evaluated the effectiveness of SLAs in the healthcare sector. While a fairly-substantial amount of scientific literature deals with SLAs in the world of ICT, this literature is often very specific and cannot always be applied to other service sectors.

  7. Interpersonal Functions of EFL Teachers' Evaluative Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Junming

    2010-01-01

    As an important dimension of interpersonal function in SFL, appraisal has attracted a lot of attentions from the linguists home and abroad. This thesis is an attempt to analyze the interpersonal functions of EFL teachers' evaluative discourse with in the framework of Palladian Systemic-functional Grammar (SFG) and Martin's Appraisal theory. The…

  8. Systematic evaluation of skeletal mechanical function

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lauren; Bigelow, Erin M.R.; Jepsen, Karl J.

    2013-01-01

    Many genetic and environmental perturbations lead to measurable changes in bone morphology, matrix composition, and matrix organization. The skeletal system is highly adaptive, such that genetic and environmental perturbations affecting one trait are often accompanied by compensatory changes in other traits. This adaptation should be considered when attempting to draw meaningful conclusions about the role of a gene, for example. The challenge is to figure out which alterations can be attributed to the perturbation and which result from adaptive changes associated with establishing mechanical function. The goal of this chapter is to describe straight-forward biomechanical methods that can be used to determine whether a genetic or environmental perturbation affected bone strength. We introduce a systematic method for evaluating how bone strength was altered in the context of morphology and tissue-level mechanical properties, which are determined in large part from matrix composition, matrix organization, and porosity. We present this work as a first step toward screening mice for a phenotypic effect and for establishing the associated biomechanical mechanism by which function was altered. The outcome of these analyses generally provides insight into the next set of experiments required to further connect the cellular perturbation with the functional changes. The protocols were written to enable researchers without a background in engineering to conduct the assays or to enable researchers to better understand the outcomes of similar assays conducted by colleagues knowledgeable in engineering. PMID:24634803

  9. Experimental evaluation of pedestrian-level winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youssef, Sadek Wahba

    The presence of tall buildings has in many cases created uncomfortable and dangerous wind conditions at pedestrian level. Here a successful simple methodology was established to evaluate pedestrian level winds in a built-up urban terrain. Experiments were conducted using a 1:300 geometric scale model of the University of Minnesota hospital complex (UOMHC) and its surroundings, known for their unpleasant wind conditions. The UOMHC model was exposed to an accurately simulated atmospheric boundary layer in the SAFL wind tunnel. The modeling criteria for wind tunnel simulation of atmospheric flows and the applicability of the simulation to the experimental study are presented and discussed. The comparison between the available prototype data and the corresponding wind tunnel data showed in general good agreement for the two tested wind directions; west and northwest. Velocity measurements underneath Unit B indicated that the pedestrian access to the PWB and Unit B buildings is the worst location along the street for a door. A combination of sand scour tests, fog flow visualization, and tests using the oil film technique was applied to determine the wind environment in the UOMHC model. Sand scour tests supplied contour lines for the relative wind speeds. The scour technique can be used to estimate wind speed. The results using fine sand indicated that the scour contours most closely reflect the mean wind speeds measured by hot-film anemometers close to the ground. Fog flow visualization allowed good insight into the movement of the airstream. The average direction of the wind at ground level was shown clearly by the oil film technique. All the three visualization techniques indicated high pedestrian level winds under Unit B. The use of various combinations of wind barriers to alleviate the problems of pedestrian discomfort induced by wind effects at the UOMHC were proposed and investigated. The results of a barrier, installed as a canopy at Unit B, indicated its

  10. Trace Element Levels and Cognitive Function in Rural Elderly Chinese

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Sujuan; Jin, Yinlong; Unverzagt, Frederick W.; Ma, Feng; Hall, Kathleen S.; Murrell, Jill R.; Cheng, Yibin; Shen, Jianzhao; Ying, Bo; Ji, Rongdi; Matesan, Janetta; Liang, Chaoke; Hendrie, Hugh C.

    2009-01-01

    Background Trace elements are involved in metabolic processes and oxidation-reduction reactions in the central nervous system and could have a possible effect on cognitive function. The relationship between trace elements measured in individual biological samples and cognitive function in an elderly population had not been investigated extensively. Methods The participant population is part of a large cohort study of 2000 rural elderly Chinese persons. Six cognitive assessment tests were used to evaluate cognitive function in this population, and a composite score was created to represent global cognitive function. Trace element levels of aluminum, calcium, cadmium, copper, iron, lead, and zinc were analyzed in plasma samples of 188 individuals who were randomly selected and consented to donating fasting blood. Analysis of covariance models were used to assess the association between each trace element and the composite cognitive score adjusting for demographics, medical history of chronic diseases, and the apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype. Results Three trace elements—calcium, cadmium, and copper—were found to be significantly related to the composite cognitive score. Increasing plasma calcium level was associated with higher cognitive score (p < .0001). Increasing cadmium and copper, in contrast, were significantly associated with lower composite score (p = .0044 and p = .0121, respectively). Other trace elements did not show significant association with the composite cognitive score. Conclusions Our results suggest that calcium, cadmium, and copper may be associated with cognitive function in the elderly population. PMID:18559640

  11. Association between serum fetuin-A level and erectile function.

    PubMed

    Karabakan, M; Bozkurt, A; Gunay, M; Aktas, B K; Hirik, E; Aydın, M; Nuhoglu, B

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have shown that ED is an early symptom of atherosclerosis. Fetuin-A, a glycoprotein secreted by the liver, kidneys and choroid plexus, has been linked to systemic fibrosis and calcification in human and rat studies. Deficiency of this compound may play a role in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease progression. The aim of the study was to examine whether serum fetuin-A level is related to erectile function or severity of ED. Sixty ED patients without cardiovascular disease were assigned to one of the three groups (mild, moderate or severe ED) depending on ED severity. Twenty healthy volunteers were included as the control group. The International Index of Erectile Function-5 questionnaire was used to measure erection quality in all four groups. Mean age, body mass index, total testosterone, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels did not significantly differ between the three erectile dysfunction and control groups (P > 0.05). The group with severe ED had a significantly lower mean fetuin-A level than the mild ED and control groups. For both mild and moderate ED groups, the mean serum fetuin-A level was significantly lower in comparison with the control group (P < 0.001). Serum fetuin-A level may be used as a supplemental biochemical parameter in preliminary evaluation of ED. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  12. Serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels in patients with suppressed pituitary function

    SciTech Connect

    Vasavada, P.; Chen, I.; Maxon, H.; Barnes, E.; Sperling, M.

    1984-01-01

    The diagnosis of borderline hyperthyroidism is difficult. A sensitive radioimmunoassay capable of detecting subnormal levels of serum TSH may be of value in confirming this diagnosis because of the suppressed pituitary function in this disease state. This sensitive assay may also be useful in monitoring the suppression of pituitary function in thyroid cancer patients receiving thyroid hormone therapy. A sensitive radioimmunoassay capable of detecting serum TSH levels as low as 0.25 ..mu..U/m1 with coefficients of variation less than 17.2% was used to measure serum TSH levels in 80 healthy subjects, 44 hyperthyroid patients, and 25 athyrotic thyroid cancer patients on daily suppressive doses of thyroxine. All healthy subjects had detectable TSH levels with a mean value of 1.17 and two standard deviation ranges of 0.41 - 2.70 ..mu..U/m1 (lognormal distribution). Although the mean +-1 SEM value of 0.63 +- 0.003 ..mu..Um1 for hyperthyroid patients and 0.76 +- 0.08 ..mu..U/ml for thyroid cancer patients were significantly lower than that of healthy subjects (t-test, p<0.05), subnormal levels of serum TSH were found in only 28.6% (12/42) and 24% (6/25) of hyperthyroid and thyroid cancer patients, respectively. TSH stimulation tests performed in 6 of the cancer patients all gave suppressed responses. Because of considerable overlap, serum TSH levels alone cannot distinguish hyperthyroidsm from euthyroidism. However, a sensitive TSH radioimmunoassay such as the one described here may be of value in evaluating the extent of pituitary suppression in thyroid cancer therapy.

  13. Efficient Credit Assignment through Evaluation Function Decomposition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Turner, Kagan; Mikkulainen, Risto

    2005-01-01

    Evolutionary methods are powerful tools in discovering solutions for difficult continuous tasks. When such a solution is encoded over multiple genes, a genetic algorithm faces the difficult credit assignment problem of evaluating how a single gene in a chromosome contributes to the full solution. Typically a single evaluation function is used for the entire chromosome, implicitly giving each gene in the chromosome the same evaluation. This method is inefficient because a gene will get credit for the contribution of all the other genes as well. Accurately measuring the fitness of individual genes in such a large search space requires many trials. This paper instead proposes turning this single complex search problem into a multi-agent search problem, where each agent has the simpler task of discovering a suitable gene. Gene-specific evaluation functions can then be created that have better theoretical properties than a single evaluation function over all genes. This method is tested in the difficult double-pole balancing problem, showing that agents using gene-specific evaluation functions can create a successful control policy in 20 percent fewer trials than the best existing genetic algorithms. The method is extended to more distributed problems, achieving 95 percent performance gains over tradition methods in the multi-rover domain.

  14. Empirical evaluation of interest-level criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahar, Sigal; Mansour, Yishay

    1999-02-01

    Efficient association rule mining algorithms already exist, however, as the size of databases increases, the number of patterns mined by the algorithms increases to such an extent that their manual evaluation becomes impractical. Automatic evaluation methods are, therefore, required in order to sift through the initial list of rules, which the datamining algorithm outputs. These evaluation methods, or criteria, rank the association rules mined from the dataset. We empirically examined several such statistical criteria: new criteria, as well as previously known ones. The empirical evaluation was conducted using several databases, including a large real-life dataset, acquired from an order-by-phone grocery store, a dataset composed from www proxy logs, and several datasets from the UCI repository. We were interested in discovering whether the ranking performed by the various criteria is similar or easily distinguishable. Our evaluation detected, when significant differences exist, three patterns of behavior in the eight criteria we examined. There is an obvious dilemma in determining how many association rules to choose (in accordance with support and confidence parameters). The tradeoff is between having stringent parameters and, therefore, few rules, or lenient parameters and, thus, a multitude of rules. In many cases, our empirical evaluation revealed that most of the rules found by the comparably strict parameters ranked highly according to the interestingness criteria, when using lax parameters (producing significantly more association rules). Finally, we discuss the association rules that ranked highest, explain why these results are sound, and how they direct future research.

  15. Evaluating success levels of mega-projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kumaraswamy, Mohan M.

    1994-01-01

    Today's mega-projects transcend the traditional trajectories traced within national and technological limitations. Powers unleashed by internationalization of initiatives, in for example space exploration and environmental protection, are arguably only temporarily suppressed by narrower national, economic, and professional disagreements as to how best they should be harnessed. While the world gets its act together there is time to develop the technologies of such supra-mega-project management that will synergize truly diverse resources and smoothly mesh their interfaces. Such mega-projects and their management need to be realistically evaluated, when implementing such improvements. This paper examines current approaches to evaluating mega-projects and questions the validity of extrapolations to the supra-mega-projects of the future. Alternatives to improve such evaluations are proposed and described.

  16. Prestige Factors Influencing Evaluative Level Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Linda L.

    Prestige-suggestion, the effect that the prestige or reputation of a source has on a receiver, is the subject of this paper. Three research studies which have been done recently by researchers in reading are reported. These studies asked the following questions: If consumers evaluate products by means of reading store advertisements, will they be…

  17. Ergonomic Evaluation of Biomechanical Hand Function

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kyung-Sun; Jung, Myung-Chul

    2014-01-01

    The human hand is a complex structure that performs various functions for activities of daily living and occupations. This paper presents a literature review on the methodologies used to evaluate hand functions from a biomechanics standpoint, including anthropometry, kinematics, kinetics, and electromyography (EMG). Anthropometry describes the dimensions and measurements of the hand. Kinematics includes hand movements and the range of motion of finger joints. Kinetics includes hand models for tendon and joint force analysis. EMG is used on hand muscles associated with hand functions and with signal-processing technology. PMID:25830064

  18. Ergonomic evaluation of biomechanical hand function.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyung-Sun; Jung, Myung-Chul

    2015-03-01

    The human hand is a complex structure that performs various functions for activities of daily living and occupations. This paper presents a literature review on the methodologies used to evaluate hand functions from a biomechanics standpoint, including anthropometry, kinematics, kinetics, and electromyography (EMG). Anthropometry describes the dimensions and measurements of the hand. Kinematics includes hand movements and the range of motion of finger joints. Kinetics includes hand models for tendon and joint force analysis. EMG is used on hand muscles associated with hand functions and with signal-processing technology.

  19. Improving landscape-level environmental impact evaluations.

    SciTech Connect

    Walston, L.J.; LaGory, K.E.; Vinikour, W.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.L.; Cantwell, B.

    2012-04-01

    New spatial data and advancements in GIS tools allow much more comprehensive and quantitative analyses of the large datasets required when making programmatic evaluations of the ecological effects of proposed activities that cover a large area or region. Understanding the environmental impacts of proposed human developments is critical to making appropriate siting decisions and designing mitigation strategies to reduce impacts on important resources. Impact analyses conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) or Environmental Assessments (EAs) are intended to determine the resource-specific impacts of proposed activities of federal agencies and their alternatives using the best available information. Impacts to ecological resources are often a primary focus of these analyses. Information used in NEPA analyses include some measure of the known or probable presence of plants and wildlife in the project area, with special emphasis placed on threatened, endangered, and other special-status species. Site-specific information pertaining to ecological resources is usually easier to obtain for small-scale activities such as a local facility, road, or transmission upgrade project, where the ability to conduct fieldwork is more often feasible. However, site-specific data is more difficult-and sometimes impossible-to obtain for proposed activities that could affect a large area or region. These types of analyses often are considered in programmatic NEPA documents, in which a federal agency evaluates the implementation of a broad program or plan. Under these programmatic evaluations, the exact location and size of developments are often not known. Because obtaining quantitative information for ecological resources at such large spatial scales is difficult, programmatic impact evaluations typically rely on sketchy or partial information such as recorded species occurrences, species ranges, and general habitat

  20. Evaluation of Stress Levels of Professionals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnorr, Janet K.; McWilliams, Jettie M.

    This study was conducted to analyze levels and areas of stress of professionals in selected service professions and to establish national norms of stress for these professions. The 60-item Tennessee Stress Scale-R (TSS-R) is a work-related stress inventory for professionals which provides a measure of stress in three areas: stress producers,…

  1. Lung function and cytokine levels in professional athletes.

    PubMed

    Rong, Cui; Bei, He; Yun, Ma; Yuzhu, Wang; Mingwu, Zhao

    2008-05-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that exercise-induced asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness commonly occur in athletes. The present study investigates pulmonary function and cytokine levels in professional athletes to explore the impact of various sports on respiratory system function and to evaluate the possible role of systemic anaphylaxis. Lung function was measured at rest in professional athletes without a history of smoking. Athletes were recruited from 10 different sports including swimming, water ballet, shooting, volleyball, softball, football, kickboxing, fencing, judo, and track and field. Measurements included forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)), vital capacity (VC), peak expiratory flow (PEF), maximal mid-expiratory flow curve (MMEF), and forced expiratory flow rate (FEF(25-75)%). In addition, the medical history of all athletes was recorded. Correlations between lung function measurements and the different sports, age, gender, height and weight were analyzed. In some athletes, serum was sampled to detect IL-4 and IL-10 concentrations. In these subjects, the correlation between pulmonary function and cytokine levels was analyzed. A total of 147 professional athletes and 30 healthy volunteers were enrolled in the study. Allergic rhinitis and asthma were detected only in swimmers with an incidence of 56.52% (13/23) and 8.70% (2/23), respectively. Lung function measures were significantly correlated with sport, age, gender, height, and weight. Ventilation functions (including FVC, FEV(1), FEV(1)/FVC, and MMV) in male athletes were superior to those in females, and the ventilation functions in swimmers were superior to those in others. However, the small airway functions (MMEF, FEF(50), FEF(75)) in swimmers and in track and field athletes were lower than predicted (swimmers: 72%, 70%, and 78%, respectively; track and field athletes: 79%, 75%, and 99%, respectively). Serum analyses for IL-4 and IL-10 revealed

  2. Power estimation on functional level for programmable processors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, M.; Blume, H.; Noll, T. G.

    2004-05-01

    In diesem Beitrag werden verschiedene Ansätze zur Verlustleistungsschätzung von programmierbaren Prozessoren vorgestellt und bezüglich ihrer Übertragbarkeit auf moderne Prozessor-Architekturen wie beispielsweise Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW)-Architekturen bewertet. Besonderes Augenmerk liegt hierbei auf dem Konzept der sogenannten Functional-Level Power Analysis (FLPA). Dieser Ansatz basiert auf der Einteilung der Prozessor-Architektur in funktionale Blöcke wie beispielsweise Processing-Unit, Clock-Netzwerk, interner Speicher und andere. Die Verlustleistungsaufnahme dieser Bl¨ocke wird parameterabhängig durch arithmetische Modellfunktionen beschrieben. Durch automatisierte Analyse von Assemblercodes des zu schätzenden Systems mittels eines Parsers können die Eingangsparameter wie beispielsweise der erzielte Parallelitätsgrad oder die Art des Speicherzugriffs gewonnen werden. Dieser Ansatz wird am Beispiel zweier moderner digitaler Signalprozessoren durch eine Vielzahl von Basis-Algorithmen der digitalen Signalverarbeitung evaluiert. Die ermittelten Schätzwerte für die einzelnen Algorithmen werden dabei mit physikalisch gemessenen Werten verglichen. Es ergibt sich ein sehr kleiner maximaler Schätzfehler von 3%. In this contribution different approaches for power estimation for programmable processors are presented and evaluated concerning their capability to be applied to modern digital signal processor architectures like e.g. Very Long InstructionWord (VLIW) -architectures. Special emphasis will be laid on the concept of so-called Functional-Level Power Analysis (FLPA). This approach is based on the separation of the processor architecture into functional blocks like e.g. processing unit, clock network, internal memory and others. The power consumption of these blocks is described by parameter dependent arithmetic model functions. By application of a parser based automized analysis of assembler codes of the systems to be estimated the input

  3. Urban noise functional stratification for estimating average annual sound level.

    PubMed

    Rey Gozalo, Guillermo; Barrigón Morillas, Juan Miguel; Prieto Gajardo, Carlos

    2015-06-01

    Road traffic noise causes many health problems and the deterioration of the quality of urban life; thus, adequate spatial noise and temporal assessment methods are required. Different methods have been proposed for the spatial evaluation of noise in cities, including the categorization method. Until now, this method has only been applied for the study of spatial variability with measurements taken over a week. In this work, continuous measurements of 1 year carried out in 21 different locations in Madrid (Spain), which has more than three million inhabitants, were analyzed. The annual average sound levels and the temporal variability were studied in the proposed categories. The results show that the three proposed categories highlight the spatial noise stratification of the studied city in each period of the day (day, evening, and night) and in the overall indicators (L(And), L(Aden), and L(A24)). Also, significant differences between the diurnal and nocturnal sound levels show functional stratification in these categories. Therefore, this functional stratification offers advantages from both spatial and temporal perspectives by reducing the sampling points and the measurement time.

  4. [Evaluation of serum creatinine level in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients].

    PubMed

    Ren, Yuting; Zhu, Wenjia; Cui, Fang; Yang, Fei; Huang, Xusheng

    2014-04-01

    To investigate the serum creatinine (SCr) level in patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) and to explore the relationship between the SCr level and the clinical characteristics. A total of 80 patients with sALS, 80 patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA) and 80 patients with tension-type headache (TTH) were enrolled in the study. The SCr levels were compared among the three groups. The association between the SCr level and the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R), the forced vital capacity (FVC) percentage of predicted (FVC%pred), the site of symptom onset, the duration of disease and the rate of disease progression was evaluated in the sALS group. The SCr level was significantly decreased in the sALS group than the other two groups [(60.86 ± 16.80) µmol/L vs (70.05 ± 12.79) µmol/L and (66.97 ± 14.14) µmol/L, P < 0.01].In the sALS group, the SCr level was positively correlated with the ALSFRS-R (r = 0.315, P = 0.005), while no correlation was found between the SCr level and the FVC%pred, the site of symptom onset, the duration of disease and the rate of disease progression (all P > 0.05). The SCr level is an important biochemical index in the patients with sALS and might play an important role in monitoring the disease progression.

  5. PEAPOL (Program Evaluation at the Performance Objective Level) Outside Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Auvil, Mary S.

    In evaluating this pilot project, which developed a computer system for assessing student progress and cost effectiveness as related to achievement of performance objectives, interviews were conducted with project participants, including project staff, school administrators, and the auto shop instructors. Project documents were reviewed and a…

  6. The functional basis of face evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Oosterhof, Nikolaas N.; Todorov, Alexander

    2008-01-01

    People automatically evaluate faces on multiple trait dimensions, and these evaluations predict important social outcomes, ranging from electoral success to sentencing decisions. Based on behavioral studies and computer modeling, we develop a 2D model of face evaluation. First, using a principal components analysis of trait judgments of emotionally neutral faces, we identify two orthogonal dimensions, valence and dominance, that are sufficient to describe face evaluation and show that these dimensions can be approximated by judgments of trustworthiness and dominance. Second, using a data-driven statistical model for face representation, we build and validate models for representing face trustworthiness and face dominance. Third, using these models, we show that, whereas valence evaluation is more sensitive to features resembling expressions signaling whether the person should be avoided or approached, dominance evaluation is more sensitive to features signaling physical strength/weakness. Fourth, we show that important social judgments, such as threat, can be reproduced as a function of the two orthogonal dimensions of valence and dominance. The findings suggest that face evaluation involves an overgeneralization of adaptive mechanisms for inferring harmful intentions and the ability to cause harm and can account for rapid, yet not necessarily accurate, judgments from faces. PMID:18685089

  7. Innovative Evaluation: Creating Speed and Efficiency in Your Level 3 Evaluation Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Thomas; Davani, Holly; Chason, Pat; Findley, Ken; Druyor, Dale

    2003-01-01

    Discusses level 3 evaluation from Donald Kirkpatrick's Four Level Evaluation Model (level: 1-reaction; 2-learning; 3-behavior; 4-results) to measure training program performance. Highlights include an evaluation planning matrix; increasing evaluation data accuracy and reliability; data collection method selection; designing data collection…

  8. Plasma levels of acylated ghrelin in patients with functional dyspepsia

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yeon Soo; Lee, Joon Seong; Lee, Tae Hee; Cho, Joo Young; Kim, Jin Oh; Kim, Wan Jung; Kim, Hyun Gun; Jeon, Seong Ran; Jeong, Hoe Su

    2012-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the relationship between plasma acylated ghrelin levels and the pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia. METHODS: Twenty-two female patients with functional dyspepsia and twelve healthy volunteers were recruited for the study. The functional dyspepsia patients were each diagnosed based on the Rome III criteria. Eligible patients completed a questionnaire concerning the severity of 10 symptoms. Plasma acylated ghrelin levels before and after a meal were determined in the study participants using a commercial human acylated enzyme immunoassay kit; electrogastrograms were performed for 50 min before and after a standardized 10-min meal containing 265 kcal. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in plasma acylated ghrelin levels between healthy volunteers and patients with functional dyspepsia. However, in patients with functional dyspepsia, there was a negative correlation between fasting plasma acylated ghrelin levels and the sum score of epigastric pain (r = -0.427, P = 0.047) and a positive correlation between the postprandial/fasting plasma acylated ghrelin ratio and the sum score of early satiety (r = 0.428, P =0.047). Additionally, there was a negative correlation between fasting acylated ghrelin plasma levels and fasting normogastria (%) (r = -0.522, P = 0.013). Interestingly, two functional dyspepsia patients showed paradoxically elevated plasma acylated ghrelin levels after the meal. CONCLUSION: Abnormal plasma acylated ghrelin levels before or after a meal may be related to several of the dyspeptic symptoms seen in patients with functional dyspepsia. PMID:22611317

  9. Functional evaluation after aortic valve replacement.

    PubMed

    Niemelä, K; Ikäheimo, M; Takkunen, J

    1983-01-01

    Preoperative and sequential postoperative bicycle exercise tests were compared with clinical and catheterization data in assessment of the functional outcome of uncomplicated aortic valve replacement (AVR) in 33 patients. The operation was done because of aortic stenosis (AS) in 14 patients and aortic regurgitation (AR) in 19. Both groups of patients showed improved NYHA functional class and peak achieved workload after AVR, but the results in these respects did not correlate. Nor did the regression in left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and dilatation after AVR that was seen in both patient groups correlate with the changes measured in exercise tolerance. Preoperative exercise capacity was not predictive of the postoperative performance. In the AR patients, however, preoperative ability to raise the systolic blood pressure during exercise appeared to predict which patients were likely to show enhanced resting LV systolic pump function after AVR. It is concluded that objective tests of exercise tolerance alone permit reliable evaluation of the functional outcome of uncomplicated AVR. Indices of resting LV performance, though helpful in observation of the changes resulting from removal of the untoward LV burden after AVR, are likely to be less useful for evaluating changes in the LV exercise reserve. The response of the systolic blood pressure to exercise may be an additional predictive factor for postoperative resting LV performance in patients with AR.

  10. Evaluation of autonomic functions in subclinical hypothyroid and hypothyroid patients

    PubMed Central

    Mahajan, Aarti S.; Lal, Ram; Dhanwal, Dinesh K.; Jain, Ajay K.; Chowdhury, Veena

    2013-01-01

    Background: Autonomic dysfunction may contribute to cardiovascular morbidity in subclinical hypothyroid patients. It is controversial whether the abnormality exists in sympathetic or the parasympathetic function. It is also not known whether the severity of autonomic dysfunction is related to the degree of thyroid deficiency. Design of Study: Prospective case control. Materials and Methods: Autonomic functions based on heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) responses to various maneuvers were evaluated and scored in twenty two subclinical hypothyroid patients, 30-50 years and compared with twenty hypothyroid patients. Biochemical estimation of TSH, fT3, fT4, TPO antibody was done. Result: Sympathetic function abnormalities were seen in 82% subclinical hypothyroid patients and 85%hypothyroid patients when one test was abnormal. Parasympathetic dysfunction was also recorded in eight patients in both groups. When two abnormal tests were used as the selection criteria sympathetic function abnormality was observed in about 41% subclinical hypothyroid and 65% hypothyroid patients. There were no intergroup differences in autonomic functions, score and TPO levels. The TSH levels were not related to type or degree of autonomic dysfunction. Systolic BP in both groups and diastolic BP in hypothyroid patients were higher with lower thyroxine levels but the patients were normotensive. Conclusion: Autonomic dysfunction of comparable degree was seen in subclinical hypothyroid and hypothyroid patients. Sympathetic function abnormality was more common although decreased parasympathetic function reactivity was also present. These abnormalities were unrelated to TSH levels. PMID:23869303

  11. Evaluating a Training Using the "Four Levels Model"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensma, Herman; Groeneveld, Karin

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The aims of this study are: to present a training evaluation based on the "four levels model"; to demonstrate the value of experimental designs in evaluation studies; and to take a first step in the development of an evidence-based training program. Design/methodology/approach: The Kirkpatrick four levels model was used to…

  12. Evaluating a Training Using the "Four Levels Model"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensma, Herman; Groeneveld, Karin

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The aims of this study are: to present a training evaluation based on the "four levels model"; to demonstrate the value of experimental designs in evaluation studies; and to take a first step in the development of an evidence-based training program. Design/methodology/approach: The Kirkpatrick four levels model was used to…

  13. Evolving techniques to evaluate ejaculatory function.

    PubMed

    Vaucher, Laurent; Bolyakov, Alexander; Paduch, Darius A

    2009-11-01

    Recent findings in the physiology and neurobiology of ejaculation have expanded our understanding of male sexual function and have allowed the development of new instruments to investigate ejaculatory and orgasmic disorders. The evidence-based definition of lifelong premature ejaculation has set a model in the evaluation and treatment outcome of sexual dysfunction. New instruments to objectively assess arousal, orgasm and the expulsion phase of ejaculation such as functional MRI, dynamic pelvic ultrasound, PET scans and validated questionnaires have lead to a better understanding of sexual dysfunction in men. Animal models, developments in neurobiology and clinical experience have transformed a purely psychoanalytical approach to ejaculatory and orgasmic function into a novel multidisciplinary, scientifically sound and evidence-based discipline of medicine. Ejaculation is an integral part of normal sexual function. Ejaculatory dysfunction is common and may cause substantial disruption to the quality of a patient's life. A better understanding of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, neuroscience and genetics of ejaculatory and orgasmic function will eventually lead to the development of new, effective methods of treatment of disorders of ejaculation and orgasm in men.

  14. Examining the Levels of Job Satisfaction among Peer Evaluators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Althea Rochelle

    2013-01-01

    This study focused on assessing the levels of job satisfaction among peer evaluators in a large, metropolitan public K-12 school district in Florida. Peer evaluators were defined as former classroom teachers with five or more years of teaching experience who observe and evaluate teachers with two or more years of teaching experience. Seventy-eight…

  15. Functions and Statistics with Computers at the College Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hollowell, Kathleen A.; Duch, Barbara J.

    An experimental college level course, Functions and Statistics with Computers, was designed using the textbook "Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry with Computers" developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. Students in the experimental course were compared with students in the traditional course based on attitude toward…

  16. A Top Level Analysis of Training Management Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ackerson, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Discusses how to conduct a top-level analysis of training management functions to identify problems within a training system resulting from rapid growth, the acquisition of new departments, or mergers. The data gathering process and analyses are explained, training management functions and activities are described, and root causes and solutions…

  17. A Top Level Analysis of Training Management Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ackerson, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Discusses how to conduct a top-level analysis of training management functions to identify problems within a training system resulting from rapid growth, the acquisition of new departments, or mergers. The data gathering process and analyses are explained, training management functions and activities are described, and root causes and solutions…

  18. New Generation Nuclear Plant -- High Level Functions and Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    J. M. Ryskamp; E. J. Gorski; E. A. Harvego; S. T. Khericha; G. A. Beitel

    2003-09-01

    This functions and requirements (F&R) document was prepared for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. The highest-level functions and requirements for the NGNP preconceptual design are identified in this document, which establishes performance definitions for what the NGNP will achieve. NGNP designs will be developed based on these requirements by commercial vendor(s).

  19. Efficient algorithm for level set method preserving distance function.

    PubMed

    Estellers, Virginia; Zosso, Dominique; Lai, Rongjie; Osher, Stanley; Thiran, Jean-Philippe; Bresson, Xavier

    2012-12-01

    The level set method is a popular technique for tracking moving interfaces in several disciplines, including computer vision and fluid dynamics. However, despite its high flexibility, the original level set method is limited by two important numerical issues. First, the level set method does not implicitly preserve the level set function as a distance function, which is necessary to estimate accurately geometric features, s.a. the curvature or the contour normal. Second, the level set algorithm is slow because the time step is limited by the standard Courant-Friedrichs-Lewy (CFL) condition, which is also essential to the numerical stability of the iterative scheme. Recent advances with graph cut methods and continuous convex relaxation methods provide powerful alternatives to the level set method for image processing problems because they are fast, accurate, and guaranteed to find the global minimizer independently to the initialization. These recent techniques use binary functions to represent the contour rather than distance functions, which are usually considered for the level set method. However, the binary function cannot provide the distance information, which can be essential for some applications, s.a. the surface reconstruction problem from scattered points and the cortex segmentation problem in medical imaging. In this paper, we propose a fast algorithm to preserve distance functions in level set methods. Our algorithm is inspired by recent efficient l(1) optimization techniques, which will provide an efficient and easy to implement algorithm. It is interesting to note that our algorithm is not limited by the CFL condition and it naturally preserves the level set function as a distance function during the evolution, which avoids the classical re-distancing problem in level set methods. We apply the proposed algorithm to carry out image segmentation, where our methods prove to be 5-6 times faster than standard distance preserving level set techniques. We

  20. Relationship between Functional Classification Levels and Anaerobic Performance of Wheelchair Basketball Athletes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Molik, Bartosz; Laskin, James J.; Kosmol, Andrzej; Skucas, Kestas; Bida, Urszula

    2010-01-01

    Wheelchair basketball athletes are classified using the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) functional classification system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between upper extremity anaerobic performance (AnP) and all functional classification levels in wheelchair basketball. Ninety-seven male athletes…

  1. Relationship between Functional Classification Levels and Anaerobic Performance of Wheelchair Basketball Athletes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Molik, Bartosz; Laskin, James J.; Kosmol, Andrzej; Skucas, Kestas; Bida, Urszula

    2010-01-01

    Wheelchair basketball athletes are classified using the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) functional classification system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between upper extremity anaerobic performance (AnP) and all functional classification levels in wheelchair basketball. Ninety-seven male athletes…

  2. Concurrent and Predictive Relations between Hormone Levels and Social-Emotional Functioning in Early Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nottelmann, Editha D.; And Others

    Hormone levels and changes in hormone levels were evaluated three times across a 1-year period as concurrent and predictive correlates of the socio-emotional functioning of 56 boys 10- to 14-years-old and 52 girls 9- to 14-years-old who represented the five stages of Tanner's criteria of pubertal development. The hormone measures were serum levels…

  3. Functional Integrative Levels in the Human Interactome Recapitulate Organ Organization

    PubMed Central

    Prieto, Carlos; Benkahla, Alia; De Las Rivas, Javier; Brun, Christine

    2011-01-01

    Interactome networks represent sets of possible physical interactions between proteins. They lack spatio-temporal information by construction. However, the specialized functions of the differentiated cell types which are assembled into tissues or organs depend on the combinatorial arrangements of proteins and their physical interactions. Is tissue-specificity, therefore, encoded within the interactome? In order to address this question, we combined protein-protein interactions, expression data, functional annotations and interactome topology. We first identified a subnetwork formed exclusively of proteins whose interactions were observed in all tested tissues. These are mainly involved in housekeeping functions and are located at the topological center of the interactome. This ‘Largest Common Interactome Network’ represents a ‘functional interactome core’. Interestingly, two types of tissue-specific interactions are distinguished when considering function and network topology: tissue-specific interactions involved in regulatory and developmental functions are central whereas tissue-specific interactions involved in organ physiological functions are peripheral. Overall, the functional organization of the human interactome reflects several integrative levels of functions with housekeeping and regulatory tissue-specific functions at the center and physiological tissue-specific functions at the periphery. This gradient of functions recapitulates the organization of organs, from cells to organs. Given that several gradients have already been identified across interactomes, we propose that gradients may represent a general principle of protein-protein interaction network organization. PMID:21799769

  4. Information Quality Evaluation of C2 Systems at Architecture Level

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    significantly impacts the information quality of C2 system and improve the architecture designs. The rest of paper is organized as follow: Section 2 ...Simulation simulate the described architecture under specific scenarios Evaluation evaluate the IQ of the C2 system based on simulation results Analysis ...their 12 interactions SV- 2 5 systems and their 4 communications 4 systems and their 3 communications SV-4 27 functions 24 functions SV-5 39

  5. Neuropsychological Characteristics and Their Association with Higher-Level Functional Capacity in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Kayoko; Matsui, Mie; Takashima, Shutaro; Tanaka, Kortaro

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims Little is known about the relationship between cognitive functions and higher-level functional capacity (e.g. intellectual activity, social role, and social participation) in Parkinson's disease (PD). The purpose of this study was to clarify neuropsychological characteristics and their association with higher-level functional capacity in PD patients. Methods Participants were 31 PD patients and 23 demographically matched healthy controls. Neuropsychological tests were conducted. One year later, a questionnaire survey evaluated higher-level functional capacity in daily living. Results The PD group scored significantly lower than the control group in all cognitive domains, particularly executive function and processing. Executive function, processing speed, language, and memory were significantly correlated with higher-level functional capacity in PD patients. Stepwise regression showed that only executive function (Trail Making Test-B), together with disease severity (HY stage), predicted the higher-level functional capacity. Conclusion Our findings provide evidence of a relationship between executive function and higher-level functional capacity in patients with PD. PMID:26273243

  6. Sustainable development level evaluation based on ecosystem services welfare index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, W.; Shi, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Rapidly economic development makes global ecosystem degradation and ecosystem services descent, which aroused people's concern increasingly. A serious of disastrous weather such as sandstorm, haze, and floods become the focus of public. Take an example of the impact on natural ecosystems, firstly, human are over-dependence on the supply services provided by ecosystem, especially the grain, fibers, forest and so on, resulting other ecosystem services decline. Secondly, the raising artificial ecosystems lead to the simplification of system structure and function. End up with environment pollution and habitat fragmentation, which endanger human well-being. Ecosystem Services Welfare Index was introduced into this study. Evaluating the sustainable development level of regional ecology and society by calculating the efficiency of per unit ecosystem services consumption contributes to the human welfare. Welfare is the degree of human satisfaction, including not only the economic level, but also the education, health, and housing. This study will select the human development index (HDI) as the representation of human welfare, and ecosystem services footprint index (ESFI) presenting the ecosystem services consumption. According the results, 31 province in China could be divided into several different type, "high development- low efficiency- high consumption", "low development - high efficiency- low consumption" and "low development- high efficiency- low consumption", which could be evidence for decision makers.

  7. The evaluation of cochlear functions in Familial Mediterranean Fever.

    PubMed

    Eryilmaz, Mehmet Akif; Yucel, Abitter; Cure, Erkan; Sakiz, Davut; Koder, Ahmet; Kucuk, Adem; Tunc, Recep

    2016-12-01

    Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is a progressive disease characterized by chronic inflammation, which also has negative effects on cochlear functions and hearing levels. We investigated whether the cochlear functions and hearing levels of FMF patients were different than healthy controls and also evaluated the relationship of hearing levels with the age at diagnosis, duration without treatment, and inflammation and lipid parameters in this study. A total of 60 patients diagnosed with FMF and 48 age, gender and body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy controls were included in the study. The hemogram, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and lipid parameters of the subjects were studied and they all underwent pure tone audiometry and Transient evoked otoacoustic emission tests after an otologic examination. The hearing levels of the FMF group were significantly higher than those of the control group. The TEOAE signal/noise (S/N) ratios were similar in both groups. A positive relationship was present between the audiometric test results and the age, BMI, low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels and a negative relationship with the high-density lipoprotein levels. A negative relationship was present between the TEOAE S/N ratios and the age of the patients, duration without treatment, lipid parameters, inflammation markers and the creatinine level. FMF patients are exposed to chronic inflammation and this can influence their hearing levels. The age at diagnosis, duration without treatment, chronic inflammation, unfavorable lipid parameters, and obesity can affect hearing tests negatively.

  8. Levels of Use Interviews: A Successful Formative Evaluation Tool [Revised].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roecks, Alan L.; Andrews, John H.

    Levels of Use (LOU) interviews can be used for formative evaluation purposes in an intermediate education agency. Programs and services for training teachers provided to districts are evaluated. LOU interviews give program staff unique information for improving programs. Program improvement is aided by LOU interviews because information is…

  9. Practices and Pitfalls: A Practitioner's Journey into Level 3 Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Tom; Davani, Holly; Chason, Pat; Findley, Ken

    2002-01-01

    Provides a practitioner's overview of the processes, models, and lessons learned from a successful application of Level Three training evaluation theory, tools, and principles. Focuses on the development and implementation of a program for a fast track, cost-effective evaluation that balances organizational needs, regulatory requirements, and…

  10. Level two string functions and Rogers Ramanujan type identities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genish, Arel; Gepner, Doron

    2014-09-01

    The level two string functions are calculated exactly for all simply laced Lie algebras, using a ladder coset construction. These are the characters of cosets of the type G/U(1, where G is the algebra at level two and r is its rank. This coset is a theory of generalized parafermions. A conjectured Rogers Ramanujan type identity is described for these characters. Using the exact string functions, we verify the Rogers Ramanujan type expressions, that are the main focus of this work.

  11. Circulating humanin levels are associated with preserved coronary endothelial function

    PubMed Central

    Widmer, R. J.; Flammer, A. J.; Herrmann, J.; Rodriguez-Porcel, M.; Wan, J.; Cohen, P.; Lerman, L. O.

    2013-01-01

    Humanin is a small endogenous antiapoptotic peptide, originally identified as protective against Alzheimer's disease, but subsequently also found on human endothelium as well as carotid artery plaques. Endothelial dysfunction is a precursor to the development of atherosclerotic plaques, which are characterized by a highly proinflammatory, reactive oxygen species, and apoptotic milieu. Previous animal studies demonstrated that humanin administration may improve endothelial function. Thus the aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that patients with coronary endothelial dysfunction have reduced systemic levels of humanin. Forty patients undergoing coronary angiography and endothelial function testing were included and subsequently divided into two groups based on coronary blood flow (CBF) response to intracoronary acetylcholine (normal ≥ 50% increase from baseline, n = 20 each). Aortic plasma samples were obtained at the time of catheterization for the analysis of humanin levels and traditional biomarkers of atherosclerosis including C-reactive protein, Lp-Pla2, and homocysteine. Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. Patients with coronary endothelial dysfunction (change in CBF = −33 ± 25%) had significantly lower humanin levels (1.3 ± 1.1 vs. 2.2 ± 1.5 ng/ml, P = 0.03) compared with those with normal coronary endothelial function (change in CBF = 194 ± 157%). There was a significant and positive correlation between improved CBF and humanin levels (P = 0.0091) not seen with changes in coronary flow reserve (P = 0.76). C-reactive protein, Lp-Pla2, and homocysteine were not associated with humanin levels. Thus we observed that preserved human coronary endothelial function is uniquely associated with higher systemic humanin levels, introducing a potential diagnostic and/or therapeutic target for patients with coronary endothelial function. PMID:23220334

  12. Multimodal evaluation of the amygdala's functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kerestes, Rebecca; Chase, Henry W; Phillips, Mary L; Ladouceur, Cecile D; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2017-01-09

    The amygdala is one of the most extensively studied human brain regions and undisputedly plays a central role in many psychiatric disorders. However, an outstanding question is whether connectivity of amygdala subregions, specifically the centromedial (CM), laterobasal (LB) and superficial (SF) nuclei, are modulated by brain state (i.e., task vs. rest). Here, using a multimodal approach, we directly compared meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and specific co-activation likelihood estimation (SCALE)-derived estimates of CM, LB and SF task-based co-activation to the functional connectivity of these nuclei as assessed by resting state fmri (rs-fmri). Finally, using a preexisting resting state functional connectivity-derived cortical parcellation, we examined both MACM and rs-fmri amygdala subregion connectivity with 17 large-scale networks, to explicitly address how the amygdala interacts with other large-scale neural networks. Analyses revealed strong differentiation of CM, LB and SF connectivity patterns with other brain regions, both in task-dependent and task-independent contexts. All three regions, however, showed convergent connectivity with the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) that was not driven by high base rate levels of activation. Similar patterns of connectivity across rs-fmri and MACM were observed for each subregion, suggesting a similar network architecture of amygdala connectivity with the rest of the brain across tasks and resting state for each subregion, that may be modified in the context of specific task demands. These findings support animal models that posit a parallel model of amygdala functioning, but importantly, also modify this position to suggest integrative processing in the amygdala.

  13. Orbit targeting specialist function: Level C formulation requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupont, A.; Mcadoo, S.; Jones, H.; Jones, A. K.; Pearson, D.

    1978-01-01

    A definition of the level C requirements for onboard maneuver targeting software is provided. Included are revisions of the level C software requirements delineated in JSC IN 78-FM-27, Proximity Operations Software; Level C Requirements, dated May 1978. The software supports the terminal phase midcourse (TPM) maneuver, braking and close-in operations as well as supporting computation of the rendezvous corrective combination maneuver (NCC), and the terminal phase initiation (TPI). Specific formulation is contained here for the orbit targeting specialist function including the processing logic, linkage, and data base definitions for all modules. The crew interface with the software is through the keyboard and the ORBIT-TGT display.

  14. Integrated Locomotor Function Tests for Countermeasure Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Cohen, H. S.; Landsness, E. C.; Black, F. O.

    2005-01-01

    Following spaceflight crewmembers experience locomotor dysfunction due to inflight adaptive alterations in sensorimotor function. Countermeasures designed to mitigate these postflight gait alterations need to be assessed with a new generation of tests that evaluate the interaction of various sensorimotor sub-systems central to locomotor control. The goal of the present study was to develop new functional tests of locomotor control that could be used to test the efficacy of countermeasures. These tests were designed to simultaneously examine the function of multiple sensorimotor systems underlying the control of locomotion and be operationally relevant to the astronaut population. Traditionally, gaze stabilization has been studied almost exclusively in seated subjects performing target acquisition tasks requiring only the involvement of coordinated eye-head movements. However, activities like walking involve full-body movement and require coordination between lower limbs and the eye-head-trunk complex to achieve stabilized gaze during locomotion. Therefore the first goal of this study was to determine how the multiple, interdependent, full-body sensorimotor gaze stabilization subsystems are functionally coordinated during locomotion. In an earlier study we investigated how alteration in gaze tasking changes full-body locomotor control strategies. Subjects walked on a treadmill and either focused on a central point target or read numeral characters. We measured: temporal parameters of gait, full body sagittal plane segmental kinematics of the head, trunk, thigh, shank and foot, accelerations along the vertical axis at the head and the shank, and the vertical forces acting on the support surface. In comparison to the point target fixation condition, the results of the number reading task showed that compensatory head pitch movements increased, peak head acceleration was reduced and knee flexion at heel-strike was increased. In a more recent study we investigated the

  15. Evaluation and selection of candidate high-level waste forms

    SciTech Connect

    Bernadzikowski, T. A.; Allender, J. S.; Butler, J. L.; Gordon, D. E.; Gould, Jr., T. H.; Stone, J. A.

    1982-03-01

    Seven candidate waste forms being developed under the direction of the Department of Energy's National High-Level Waste (HLW) Technology Program, were evaluated as potential media for the immobilization and geologic disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. The evaluation combined preliminary waste form evaluations conducted at DOE defense waste-sites and independent laboratories, peer review assessments, a product performance evaluation, and a processability analysis. Based on the combined results of these four inputs, two of the seven forms, borosilicate glass and a titanate based ceramic, SYNROC, were selected as the reference and alternative forms for continued development and evaluation in the National HLW Program. Both the glass and ceramic forms are viable candidates for use at each of the DOE defense waste-sites; they are also potential candidates for immobilization of commercial reprocessing wastes. This report describes the waste form screening process, and discusses each of the four major inputs considered in the selection of the two forms.

  16. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions... Services 36.602-3 Evaluation board functions. Under the general direction of the head of the contracting activity, an evaluation board shall perform the following functions: (a) Review the current data files on...

  17. Ecosystem functions across trophic levels are linked to functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Davies, T Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures.

  18. Ecosystem Functions across Trophic Levels Are Linked to Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Patrick L.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  19. Quantitative Evaluation of the Reticuloendothelial System Function with Dynamic MRI

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ting; Choi, Hoon; Zhou, Rong; Chen, I-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the reticuloendothelial system (RES) function by real-time imaging blood clearance as well as hepatic uptake of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPIO) using dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with two-compartment pharmacokinetic modeling. Materials and Methods Kinetics of blood clearance and hepatic accumulation were recorded in young adult male 01b74 athymic nude mice by dynamic T2* weighted MRI after the injection of different doses of SPIO nanoparticles (0.5, 3 or 10 mg Fe/kg). Association parameter, Kin, dissociation parameter, Kout, and elimination constant, Ke, derived from dynamic data with two-compartment model, were used to describe active binding to Kupffer cells and extrahepatic clearance. The clodrosome and liposome were utilized to deplete macrophages and block the RES function to evaluate the capability of the kinetic parameters for investigation of macrophage function and density. Results The two-compartment model provided a good description for all data and showed a low sum squared residual for all mice (0.27±0.03). A lower Kin, a lower Kout and a lower Ke were found after clodrosome treatment, whereas a lower Kin, a higher Kout and a lower Ke were observed after liposome treatment in comparison to saline treatment (P<0.005). Conclusion Dynamic SPIO-enhanced MR imaging with two-compartment modeling can provide information on RES function on both a cell number and receptor function level. PMID:25090653

  20. Evaluation of triggering functions in convective parameterization schemes using observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ettammal, S.; Zhang, G. J.

    2013-12-01

    Realistic simulation of different modes of atmospheric variability ranging from the diurnal cycle to inter-annual variability in global climate models (GCMs) depends crucially on the convection triggering criteria. In this study, using the data from constrained variational analysis by the Atmospheric System Research program for single column models (SCM), the performance of the commonly used convective triggering functions in GCMs is evaluated, based on the equitable threat score (ETS) value, a widely used forecast verification metric. From the ETS score, four consistently better performing triggering functions were identified. They are based on dilute dCAPE, parcel buoyancy at the lifting condensation level (Bechtold scheme), undilute dCAPE and dilute CAPE triggering functions. The key variables used to define these triggering functions were examined in detail. It was found that the skill score value of the dilute dCAPE triggering function does not show much variation among different data sets. Analysis of the composite fields and probability distributions of key variables of the triggering functions, based on the correct-prediction, over-prediction, under-prediction of convection and correct prediction of no convection cases for convection onset, brings to light some critical factors responsible for the performance of the trigger functions.

  1. A multivariate analysis of serum nutrient levels and lung function

    PubMed Central

    McKeever, Tricia M; Lewis, Sarah A; Smit, Henriette A; Burney, Peter; Cassano, Patricia A; Britton, John

    2008-01-01

    Background There is mounting evidence that estimates of intakes of a range of dietary nutrients are related to both lung function level and rate of decline, but far less evidence on the relation between lung function and objective measures of serum levels of individual nutrients. The aim of this study was to conduct a comprehensive examination of the independent associations of a wide range of serum markers of nutritional status with lung function, measured as the one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1). Methods Using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a US population-based cross-sectional study, we investigated the relation between 21 serum markers of potentially relevant nutrients and FEV1, with adjustment for potential confounding factors. Systematic approaches were used to guide the analysis. Results In a mutually adjusted model, higher serum levels of antioxidant vitamins (vitamin A, beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E), selenium, normalized calcium, chloride, and iron were independently associated with higher levels of FEV1. Higher concentrations of potassium and sodium were associated with lower FEV1. Conclusion Maintaining higher serum concentrations of dietary antioxidant vitamins and selenium is potentially beneficial to lung health. In addition other novel associations found in this study merit further investigation. PMID:18823528

  2. Relationship between static postural control and the level of functional abilities in children with cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Pavão, Sílvia L.; Nunes, Gabriela S.; Santos, Adriana N.; Rocha, Nelci A. C. F.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Postural control deficits can impair functional performance in children with cerebral palsy (CP) in daily living activities. Objective: To verify the relationship between standing static postural control and the functional ability level in children with CP. Method: The postural control of 10 children with CP (gross motor function levels I and II) was evaluated during static standing on a force platform for 30 seconds. The analyzed variables were the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) displacement of the center of pressure (CoP) and the area and velocity of the CoP oscillation. The functional abilities were evaluated using the mean Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) scores, which evaluated self-care, mobility and social function in the domains of functional abilities and caregiver assistance. Results: Spearman's correlation test found a relationship between postural control and functional abilities. The results showed a strong negative correlation between the variables of ML displacement of CoP, the area and velocity of the CoP oscillation and the PEDI scores in the self-care and caregiver assistance domains. Additionally, a moderate negative correlation was found between the area of the CoP oscillation and the mobility scores in the caregiver assistance domain. We used a significance level of 5% (p <0.05). Conclusions: We observed that children with cerebral palsy with high CoP oscillation values had lower caregiver assistance scores for activities of daily living (ADL) and consequently higher levels of caregiver dependence. These results demonstrate the repercussions of impairments to the body structure and function in terms of the activity levels of children with CP such that postural control impairments in these children lead to higher requirements for caregiver assistance. PMID:25054383

  3. Core level binding energies of functionalized and defective graphene

    PubMed Central

    Kaukonen, Markus; Havu, Paula; Ljungberg, Mathias P; Ayala, Paola; Kauppinen, Esko I

    2014-01-01

    Summary X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a widely used tool for studying the chemical composition of materials and it is a standard technique in surface science and technology. XPS is particularly useful for characterizing nanostructures such as carbon nanomaterials due to their reduced dimensionality. In order to assign the measured binding energies to specific bonding environments, reference energy values need to be known. Experimental measurements of the core level signals of the elements present in novel materials such as graphene have often been compared to values measured for molecules, or calculated for finite clusters. Here we have calculated core level binding energies for variously functionalized or defected graphene by delta Kohn–Sham total energy differences in the real-space grid-based projector-augmented wave density functional theory code (GPAW). To accurately model extended systems, we applied periodic boundary conditions in large unit cells to avoid computational artifacts. In select cases, we compared the results to all-electron calculations using an ab initio molecular simulations (FHI-aims) code. We calculated the carbon and oxygen 1s core level binding energies for oxygen and hydrogen functionalities such as graphane-like hydrogenation, and epoxide, hydroxide and carboxylic functional groups. In all cases, we considered binding energy contributions arising from carbon atoms up to the third nearest neighbor from the functional group, and plotted C 1s line shapes by using experimentally realistic broadenings. Furthermore, we simulated the simplest atomic defects, namely single and double vacancies and the Stone–Thrower–Wales defect. Finally, we studied modifications of a reactive single vacancy with O and H functionalities, and compared the calculated values to data found in the literature. PMID:24605278

  4. Why functions are not special dispositions: an improved classification of realizables for top-level ontologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The concept of function is central to both biology and technology, but neither in philosophy nor in formal ontology is there a generally accepted theory of functions. In particular, there is no consensus how to include functions into a top-level ontology or whether to include them at all. Methods We first review current conceptions of functions in philosophy and formal ontology and evaluate them against a set of criteria. These evaluation criteria are derived from a synopsis of theoretical and practical requirements that have been suggested for formal accounts of functions. In a second step, we elucidate in particular the relation between functions and dispositions. Results We argue that functions should not be taken as a subtype of dispositions. The strongest reason for this is that any view that identifies functions with certain dispositions cannot account for malfunctioning, which is having a function but lacking the matching disposition. As a result, we suggest a cross-classification of realizables with dispositions supervening on the physical structure of their bearer, whereas both functions and roles also have some external grounding. While bearers can survive the gain, loss and change of roles, functions are rigid properties that are essentially connected to their particular bearers. Therefore, Function should not be regarded as a subtype of Disposition; rather, the classes of functions and dispositions are disjoint siblings of Realizable. PMID:25009736

  5. Noise Hazard Evaluation Sound Level Data on Noise Sources

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-01-01

    AD-A021 465 NOISE HAZARD EfALUATION SOUND LEVEL DATA ON NOISE SOURCES Jeffrey Goldstein Army Environmental Hygiene Agency Prepared for: Army Health ...A. Noise Hazard Evaluation. B. Engineering Noise Control. C. Health Education. D. Audiometry. E. Hearing Protection. This technical guide concerns the...SOUND LEVEL DATA OF NOISE SOURCES Approved for public release, distribution unlimited. jGI4A C4C SENTINEL HEALTH I 5 US ARMY ENVIROIN.MENTAL HYGIENE

  6. Evaluation of serum uric acid levels in psoriasis vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Yilmaz, Emrah; Tamer, Emine; Artüz, Ferda; Külcü Çakmak, Seray; Köktürk, Fürüzan

    2017-04-18

    Psoriasis has been accepted as a systemic disease and it is known to be associated with various disorders including metabolic syndrome. High serum uric acid levels are also associated with the components of metabolic syndrome. In this study, we aimed to determine serum uric acid levels in patients with psoriasis and the association of uric acid levels with disease activity by taking the presence of metabolic syndrome criteria into account, since it is one of the most important factors that affect serum uric acid levels. In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated 70 psoriasis patients and 70 healthy individuals who were matched with the patients according to the presence of metabolic syndrome. We evaluated the demographic features, levels of serum uric acid, Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) scores, presence of psoriatic arthritis, nail involvement, and metabolic syndrome criteria of the patients. Serum uric acid levels of psoriasis patients were significantly higher than those of controls. There was a positive correlation between PASI scores and serum uric acid levels of the patients. As hyperuricemia had a close relationship with psoriasis and PASI scores, we suggest monitoring patients with psoriasis for serum uric acid levels during treatment and follow-up.

  7. Assumptions at the philosophical and programmatic levels in evaluation.

    PubMed

    Mertens, Donna M

    2016-12-01

    Stakeholders and evaluators hold a variety of levels of assumptions at the philosophical, methodological, and programmatic levels. The use of a transformative philosophical framework is presented as a way for evaluators to become more aware of the implications of various assumptions made by themselves and program stakeholders. The argument is examined and demonstrated that evaluators who are aware of the assumptions that underlie their evaluation choices are able to provide useful support for stakeholders in the examination of the assumptions they hold with regard to the nature of the problem being addressed, the program designed to solve the problem, and the approach to evaluation that is appropriate in that context. Such an informed approach has the potential for development of more appropriate and culturally responsive programs being implemented in ways that lead to the desired impacts, as well as to lead to evaluation approaches that support effective solutions to intransigent social problems. These arguments are illustrated through examples of evaluations from multiple sectors; additional challenges are also identified. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Normal cardiac function in mice with supraphysiological cardiac creatine levels

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Alejandro; Nienaber, Jeffrey; Mishra, Rajashree; Pinilla, Miguel; Burchette, James; Mao, Lan; Rockman, Howard A.; Jacobs, Danny O.

    2013-01-01

    Creatine and phosphocreatine levels are decreased in heart failure, and reductions in myocellular phosphocreatine levels predict the severity of the disease and portend adverse outcomes. Previous studies of transgenic mouse models with increased creatine content higher than two times baseline showed the development of heart failure and shortened lifespan. Given phosphocreatine's role in buffering ATP content, we tested the hypothesis whether elevated cardiac creatine content would alter cardiac function under normal physiological conditions. Here, we report the creation of transgenic mice that overexpress the human creatine transporter (CrT) in cardiac muscle under the control of the α-myosin heavy chain promoter. Cardiac transgene expression was quantified by qRT-PCR, and human CrT protein expression was documented on Western blots and immunohistochemistry using a specific anti-CrT antibody. High-energy phosphate metabolites and cardiac function were measured in transgenic animals and compared with age-matched, wild-type controls. Adult transgenic animals showed increases of 5.7- and 4.7-fold in the content of creatine and free ADP, respectively. Phosphocreatine and ATP levels were two times as high in young transgenic animals but declined to control levels by the time the animals reached 8 wk of age. Transgenic mice appeared to be healthy and had normal life spans. Cardiac morphometry, conscious echocardiography, and pressure-volume loop studies demonstrated mild hypertrophy but normal function. Based on our characterization of the human CrT protein expression, creatine and phosphocreatine content, and cardiac morphometry and function, these transgenic mice provide an in vivo model for examining the therapeutic value of elevated creatine content for cardiac pathologies. PMID:24271489

  9. Yoga practice improves executive function by attenuating stress levels.

    PubMed

    Gothe, Neha P; Keswani, Rahul K; McAuley, Edward

    2016-12-01

    Prolonged activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system is thought to have deleterious effects on brain function. Neuroendocrine studies suggest that brain exposure to higher cortisol concentrations contribute to cognitive deficits as we age. Mind-body techniques such as yoga have shown to improve stress levels by restoring the body's sympathetic-parasympathetic balance. The objective of this study was to determine whether yoga practice moderated the stress response resulting in improved executive function. Sedentary community dwelling older adults (N=118, Mean age=62.02) were randomized to an 8-week yoga intervention or a stretching control group. At baseline and following 8 weeks, all participants completed measures of executive function, self-reported stress and anxiety and provided saliva samples before and after cognitive testing to assess cortisol. Yoga participants showed improved accuracy on executive function measures and an attenuated cortisol response compared to their stretching counterparts who showed increased cortisol levels and poor cognitive performance at follow up. The change in cortisol levels as well as self-reported stress and anxiety levels predicted performance on the running span task, n-back working memory and task switching paradigm (β's=0.27-0.38, p's≤0.05 for yoga and β's=-0.37-0.47, p's≤0.01 for stretching control). Eight weeks of regular yoga practice resulted in improved working memory performance that was mediated by an attenuated response to stress as measured by self-report stress and objective salivary cortisol measurements. This trial offers evidence for non-traditional physical activity interventions such as yoga that may be helpful in restoring HPA balance in older adults, thereby preventing cognitive decline. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Normal cardiac function in mice with supraphysiological cardiac creatine levels.

    PubMed

    Santacruz, Lucia; Hernandez, Alejandro; Nienaber, Jeffrey; Mishra, Rajashree; Pinilla, Miguel; Burchette, James; Mao, Lan; Rockman, Howard A; Jacobs, Danny O

    2014-02-01

    Creatine and phosphocreatine levels are decreased in heart failure, and reductions in myocellular phosphocreatine levels predict the severity of the disease and portend adverse outcomes. Previous studies of transgenic mouse models with increased creatine content higher than two times baseline showed the development of heart failure and shortened lifespan. Given phosphocreatine's role in buffering ATP content, we tested the hypothesis whether elevated cardiac creatine content would alter cardiac function under normal physiological conditions. Here, we report the creation of transgenic mice that overexpress the human creatine transporter (CrT) in cardiac muscle under the control of the α-myosin heavy chain promoter. Cardiac transgene expression was quantified by qRT-PCR, and human CrT protein expression was documented on Western blots and immunohistochemistry using a specific anti-CrT antibody. High-energy phosphate metabolites and cardiac function were measured in transgenic animals and compared with age-matched, wild-type controls. Adult transgenic animals showed increases of 5.7- and 4.7-fold in the content of creatine and free ADP, respectively. Phosphocreatine and ATP levels were two times as high in young transgenic animals but declined to control levels by the time the animals reached 8 wk of age. Transgenic mice appeared to be healthy and had normal life spans. Cardiac morphometry, conscious echocardiography, and pressure-volume loop studies demonstrated mild hypertrophy but normal function. Based on our characterization of the human CrT protein expression, creatine and phosphocreatine content, and cardiac morphometry and function, these transgenic mice provide an in vivo model for examining the therapeutic value of elevated creatine content for cardiac pathologies.

  11. Evaluation of nurse staffing levels and outcomes under the government--recommended staffing levels in Korea.

    PubMed

    Yu, Soyoung; Kim, Tae Gon

    2015-05-01

    This study aimed to evaluate registered nurse staffing levels and outcomes enforced by the current Korean nursing regulations. Registered nurse staffing levels are closely related to patient and nurse outcomes. Thus, the government's policy regarding nursing staffing has a practical impact, and better policies could lead to more appropriate nurse staffing. The actual evaluation of the government-recommended staffing levels in Korea is paramount for the establishment of a realistic and effective system that promotes quality care and patient safety. The participating hospital operated under the government-recommended staffing levels (Grade 2 of the Graded Fee of Nursing Management Inpatient System). For unit-level evaluations, one surgical unit was chosen and its staffing level was changed by assigning one additional registered nurse for 6 months. Length of hospitalisation, incidents of death, overtime hours and nursing job performance were measured prior to and after the addition of the extra staff. After 6 months, the length of patient hospitalisation and registered nurse overtime hours reduced and nurse job performance scores in the unit analysed improved. The results demonstrated that increasing the number of registered nurses beyond the current government-recommended staffing level improves patient and nurse outcomes. This indicates the importance and value of empirically assessing the need for changes in the recommended nurse staffing levels to develop appropriate, realistic and effective policies. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Influence of low-level laser radiation on kidney functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koultchavenia, Ekaterina V.

    1998-12-01

    Most of all renal diseases are accompanied by lowering of kidney functions. That makes the quality of the treatment worse. On an example 69 patients receiving Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), the influence of the laser radiation on a contracting system of blood, on current of an active and inactive tubercular inflammation and on partial functions of kidneys were investigated. Is established, that LLLT does not render influence to a contracting system; promotes stopping of unspecific and moderate peaking of a specific inflammation of kidneys. Is proved, that after a rate of laserotherapy the improving of a blood micricirculation in kidney occurs in 57.9% of patients; a secretion - in 63.1% of the patients; a stimulation of urodynamic is fixed in 79% of cases. Magnification of diuresis, improving filtration and concentration functions of kidneys also is marked.

  13. Convergence in pigmentation at multiple levels: mutations, genes and function

    PubMed Central

    Manceau, Marie; Domingues, Vera S.; Linnen, Catherine R.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2010-01-01

    Convergence—the independent evolution of the same trait by two or more taxa—has long been of interest to evolutionary biologists, but only recently has the molecular basis of phenotypic convergence been identified. Here, we highlight studies of rapid evolution of cryptic coloration in vertebrates to demonstrate that phenotypic convergence can occur at multiple levels: mutations, genes and gene function. We first show that different genes can be responsible for convergent phenotypes even among closely related populations, for example, in the pale beach mice inhabiting Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. By contrast, the exact same mutation can create similar phenotypes in distantly related species such as mice and mammoths. Next, we show that different mutations in the same gene need not be functionally equivalent to produce similar phenotypes. For example, separate mutations produce divergent protein function but convergent pale coloration in two lizard species. Similarly, mutations that alter the expression of a gene in different ways can, nevertheless, result in similar phenotypes, as demonstrated by sister species of deer mice. Together these studies underscore the importance of identifying not only the genes, but also the precise mutations and their effects on protein function, that contribute to adaptation and highlight how convergence can occur at different genetic levels. PMID:20643733

  14. [Functional evaluation in patients with kidney calculi].

    PubMed

    Stojimirović, B

    1998-01-01

    crystallographic analysis, includes serum urea, creatinine, uric acid, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and protein levels, urinary pH and volume, urine samples for culture and urinary calcium, uric acid, oxalate and citrate. Extensive metabolic evaluation includes simple protocol, determination of serum levels of alkaline phosphatase, parathyroid hormone, thyroxin, magnesium. A 24-h collection of urine specimen is analysed for urea, creatinine, uric acid, calcium, phosphate, sodium, magnesium, oxalate and citrate. Extensive protocol includes specialized evaluation tests [5]. Urinary acidification test is important for detecting distal renal tubular acidosis. Two 24-h urine specimens are collected while the patient is on the regular diet. The patient is then placed on a restricted diet (400 mg of calcium and 100 mEq of sodium) for a week, and another 24-h urine sample is collected. After that fasting and calcium load tests are performed (Sheme 1). Fasting urinary calcium is used to detect renal calcium leak, and calciuric response to oral calcium load provides an indirect measure of intestinal calcium absorption. Diagnostic criteria for major forms of stone disease [8] are presented in Table 1. There are some still unsolved questions: does time after passage of stones or urological intervention influence the frequency of urine abnormalities that can be detected; are there differences in 24-h urine composition between weekdays and weekends: what is the prevalence of the most important urinary risk factors of recurrent idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis: do male patients differ from females with respect to urinary risk factors or recurrent idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis? [7].

  15. Mapping the functional connectome traits of levels of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Amico, Enrico; Marinazzo, Daniele; Di Perri, Carol; Heine, Lizette; Annen, Jitka; Martial, Charlotte; Dzemidzic, Mario; Kirsch, Murielle; Bonhomme, Vincent; Laureys, Steven; Goñi, Joaquín

    2017-03-01

    Examining task-free functional connectivity (FC) in the human brain offers insights on how spontaneous integration and segregation of information relate to human cognition, and how this organization may be altered in different conditions, and neurological disorders. This is particularly relevant for patients in disorders of consciousness (DOC) following severe acquired brain damage and coma, one of the most devastating conditions in modern medical care. We present a novel data-driven methodology, connICA, which implements Independent Component Analysis (ICA) for the extraction of robust independent FC patterns (FC-traits) from a set of individual functional connectomes, without imposing any a priori data stratification into groups. We here apply connICA to investigate associations between network traits derived from task-free FC and cognitive/clinical features that define levels of consciousness. Three main independent FC-traits were identified and linked to consciousness-related clinical features. The first one represents the functional configuration of a "resting" human brain, and it is associated to a sedative (sevoflurane), the overall effect of the pathology and the level of arousal. The second FC-trait reflects the disconnection of the visual and sensory-motor connectivity patterns. It also relates to the time since the insult and to the ability of communicating with the external environment. The third FC-trait isolates the connectivity pattern encompassing the fronto-parietal and the default-mode network areas as well as the interaction between left and right hemispheres, which are also associated to the awareness of the self and its surroundings. Each FC-trait represents a distinct functional process with a role in the degradation of conscious states of functional brain networks, shedding further light on the functional sub-circuits that get disrupted in severe brain-damage.

  16. On the dependence of the two-level source function on its radiation field.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinitz, R.; Shine, R. A.

    1973-01-01

    The consequences of the universally made assumption that the stimulated emission profile is identical to the absorption profile are quantitatively investigated for a two-level atom with Doppler redistribution. The nonlinear terms arising in the source function are evaluated iteratively. We find that the magnitude of the effects is probably completely negligible for visible and UV solar lines.

  17. On the dependence of the two-level source function on its radiation field.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinitz, R.; Shine, R. A.

    1973-01-01

    The consequences of the universally made assumption that the stimulated emission profile is identical to the absorption profile are quantitatively investigated for a two-level atom with Doppler redistribution. The nonlinear terms arising in the source function are evaluated iteratively. We find that the magnitude of the effects is probably completely negligible for visible and UV solar lines.

  18. Teaching and Learning about Functions at Upper Secondary Level: Designing and Experimenting the Software Environment Casyopee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lagrange, Jean-Baptiste

    2010-01-01

    Casyopee is an evolving project focusing on the development of both software and classroom situations to teach algebra and analysis at upper secondary level. In this article, we sketch the rationales for the Casyopee project in relationship with the focus on functions in upper secondary curricula. To evaluate Casyopee's contribution, we present…

  19. Distributed Evaluation Functions for Fault Tolerant Multi-Rover Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Turner, Kagan

    2005-01-01

    The ability to evolve fault tolerant control strategies for large collections of agents is critical to the successful application of evolutionary strategies to domains where failures are common. Furthermore, while evolutionary algorithms have been highly successful in discovering single-agent control strategies, extending such algorithms to multiagent domains has proven to be difficult. In this paper we present a method for shaping evaluation functions for agents that provide control strategies that both are tolerant to different types of failures and lead to coordinated behavior in a multi-agent setting. This method neither relies of a centralized strategy (susceptible to single point of failures) nor a distributed strategy where each agent uses a system wide evaluation function (severe credit assignment problem). In a multi-rover problem, we show that agents using our agent-specific evaluation perform up to 500% better than agents using the system evaluation. In addition we show that agents are still able to maintain a high level of performance when up to 60% of the agents fail due to actuator, communication or controller faults.

  20. Distributed Evaluation Functions for Fault Tolerant Multi-Rover Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Turner, Kagan

    2005-01-01

    The ability to evolve fault tolerant control strategies for large collections of agents is critical to the successful application of evolutionary strategies to domains where failures are common. Furthermore, while evolutionary algorithms have been highly successful in discovering single-agent control strategies, extending such algorithms to multiagent domains has proven to be difficult. In this paper we present a method for shaping evaluation functions for agents that provide control strategies that both are tolerant to different types of failures and lead to coordinated behavior in a multi-agent setting. This method neither relies of a centralized strategy (susceptible to single point of failures) nor a distributed strategy where each agent uses a system wide evaluation function (severe credit assignment problem). In a multi-rover problem, we show that agents using our agent-specific evaluation perform up to 500% better than agents using the system evaluation. In addition we show that agents are still able to maintain a high level of performance when up to 60% of the agents fail due to actuator, communication or controller faults.

  1. 40 CFR 141.626 - Operational evaluation levels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 22 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Operational evaluation levels. 141.626 Section 141.626 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) WATER PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL PRIMARY DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS Stage 2 Disinfection Byproducts Requirements § 141...

  2. Maternal blood metal levels and fetal markers of metabolic function

    SciTech Connect

    Ashley-Martin, Jillian; Dodds, Linda; Arbuckle, Tye E.; Ettinger, Adrienne S.; Shapiro, Gabriel D.; Fisher, Mandy; Taback, Shayne; Bouchard, Maryse F.; Monnier, Patricia; Dallaire, Renee; Fraser, William D.

    2015-01-15

    Exposure to metals commonly found in the environment has been hypothesized to be associated with measures of fetal growth but the epidemiological literature is limited. The Maternal–Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study recruited 2001 women during the first trimester of pregnancy from 10 Canadian sites. Our objective was to assess the association between prenatal exposure to metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury) and fetal metabolic function. Average maternal metal concentrations in 1st and 3rd trimester blood samples were used to represent prenatal metals exposure. Leptin and adiponectin were measured in 1363 cord blood samples and served as markers of fetal metabolic function. Polytomous logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between metals and both high (≥90%) and low (≤10%) fetal adiponectin and leptin levels. Leptin levels were significantly higher in female infants compared to males. A significant relationship between maternal blood cadmium and odds of high leptin was observed among males but not females in adjusted models. When adjusting for birth weight z-score, lead was associated with an increased odd of high leptin. No other significant associations were found at the top or bottom 10th percentile in either leptin or adiponectin models. This study supports the proposition that maternal levels of cadmium influence cord blood adipokine levels in a sex-dependent manner. Further investigation is required to confirm these findings and to determine how such findings at birth will translate into childhood anthropometric measures. - Highlights: • We determined relationships between maternal metal levels and cord blood adipokines. • Cord blood leptin levels were higher among female than male infants. • Maternal cadmium was associated with elevated leptin in male, not female infants. • No significant associations were observed between metals and

  3. Investigating the Photon Strength Function to Discrete Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiedeking, M.; Bernstein, L. A.; Bleuel, D. L.; Burke, J. T.; Hatarik, R.; Lesher, S. R.; Scielzo, N. D.; Krtička, M.; Allmond, J. M.; Basunia, M. S.; Fallon, P.; Firestone, R. B.; Goldblum, B. L.; Lake, P. T.; Lee, I.-Y.; Paschalis, S.; Petri, M.; Phair, L.

    2015-11-01

    Over the last decade several measurements in medium mass nuclei have reported a low-energy enhancement in the photon strength function. Although, much effort has been invested in unravelling the mysteries of this effect, its physical origin is still not understood. Here, a completely model-independent experimental approach to investigate the possible existence of this enhancement is presented. The experiment was designed to study statistical feeding from the quasi-continuum (below the neutron separation energy) to individual low-lying discrete levels in 95Mo produced in the (d,p) reaction. A key aspect to successfully study gamma decay from the region of high level-density is the detection and extraction of correlated particle-gamma-gamma events which was accomplished using an array of Clover HPGe detectors and large area annular silicon detectors. The entrance channel excitation energy into the residual nucleus produced in the reaction was inferred from the detected proton energies in the silicon detectors. Gating on gamma-transitions originating from low-lying discrete levels specifies the state fed by statistical gamma-rays. Any particle-gamma-gamma event in combination with specific energy sum requirements ensures a clean and unambiguous determination of the initial and final state of the observed gamma rays. With these requirements the statistical feeding to individual discrete levels is extracted on an event-by-event basis. The latest results are presented and compared to 95Mo photon strength function data measured at the University of Oslo by Guttormsen et al. In particular, questions regarding the existence of the low-energy enhancement in the photon strength function are addressed.

  4. Functional capacity evaluation: an empirical approach.

    PubMed

    Jette, A M

    1980-02-01

    This paper presents an empirical approach to selecting activities of daily living (ADL) to assess the functional capacity of noninstitutionalized individuals with polyarticular disability. The results of structural analyses illustrate the feasibility of substantially reducing the task of assessing functional capacity with a subset of ADL items without sacrificing the comprehensiveness of the assessment. The analyses reveal 5 common functional categories: physical mobility, transfers, home chores, kitchen chores, and personal care, which account for over 50% of the variance in the data.

  5. Serum irisin levels and thyroid function--newly discovered association.

    PubMed

    Ruchala, Marek; Zybek, Ariadna; Szczepanek-Parulska, Ewelina

    2014-10-01

    Irisin is a newly discovered adipo-myokin, which is reported to have a significant influence on the body metabolism and thermogenesis. Other influencing factors on metabolic state are thyroid hormones, which increase heat production and control the energy balance. Due to numerous similarities in action it seems imperative to explore these substances' potential mutual influence on the body. The aim of the study is to provide the first ever, according to our knowledge, evaluation of serum irisin concentrations in patients with thyroid dysfunction and its correlation with creatine kinase (CK) levels - a serum marker of muscle damage. The studied group consisted of 20 patients with newly diagnosed thyroid disorder - hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Venous blood samples were analyzed for irisin, thyrotropin (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3) and CK serum concentrations. Patients' body mass index (BMI), body weight and muscle mass were evaluated using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Median serum irisin levels were lower in hypothyroid (117.30ng/ml) than hyperthyroid (161.95ng/ml) patients with a borderline statistical significance (p=0.0726). The negative correlation between irisin and TSH levels was demonstrated (r=-0.4924, p=0.0230), as well as the positive correlation between irisin and FT4 levels (r=0.4833, p=0.0360). The CK level was negatively correlated with irisin, FT4 and FT3 concentrations (r=-0.7272, p=0.0140; r=-0.9636, p=<0.0001; r=-0.8838, p=0.0007, respectively). The study demonstrates that irisin concentrations may vary according to the thyrometabolic state, which potentially could be related to the degree of muscle damage.

  6. Evaluation of neopterin levels in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

    PubMed

    Asci, Ali; Baydar, Terken; Cetinkaya, Ramazan; Dolgun, Anil; Sahin, Gonul

    2010-04-01

    Neopterin is a diagnostic or a prognostic biomarker for several pathologies including renal diseases. However, the association between neopterin status and causative main reasons such as diabetes and hypertension for renal disease remains unclear. The aim of the study was to evaluate neopterin levels in diabetes and hypertension patients treated with/without hemodialysis. According to primary renal disorders, the patients undergoing hemodialysis were classified into 4 groups as diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive nephropathy, reflux nephropathy or interstitial nephritis, and others. The controls consisted of healthy subjects, hypertensive subjects, and diabetic individuals without any renal disorder. In the study, both urinary and serum neopterin levels were measured using high performance liquid chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay in patients undergoing regular hemodialysis therapy (n=71). The effects of the duration of hemodialysis and treatment of erythropoietin and/or iron on neopterin levels were also evaluated. Neopterin levels were found to be higher in hemodialysis patients than in the healthy controls (P<0.05). A significant difference in neopterin levels was also found between diabetic control patients and diabetic nephropathy patients (P<0.05). A similar significant difference was detected in neopterin levels between hypertensive patients with/without nephropathy (P<0.05). Neopterin may be an early critical marker for progression of nephropathy in diabetic and hypertensive patients in early stages.

  7. Vestibular contributions to high-level sensorimotor functions.

    PubMed

    Medendorp, W Pieter; Selen, Luc J P

    2017-02-02

    The vestibular system, which detects motion and orientation of the head in space, is known to be important in controlling gaze to stabilize vision, to ensure postural stability and to provide our sense of self-motion. While the brain's computations underlying these functions are extensively studied, the role of the vestibular system in higher level sensorimotor functions is less clear. This review covers new research on the vestibular influence on perceptual judgments, motor decisions, and the ability to learn multiple motor actions. Guided by concepts such as optimization, inference, estimation and control, we focus on how the brain determines causal relationships between memorized and visual representations in the updating of visual space, and how vestibular, visual and efferent motor information are integrated in the estimation of body motion. We also discuss evidence that these computations involve multiple coordinate representations, some of which can be probed in parietal cortex using neuronal oscillations derived from EEG. In addition, we describe work on decision making during self-motion, showing a clear modulation of bottom-up acceleration signals on decisions in the saccadic system. Finally, we consider the importance of vestibular signals as contextual cues in motor learning and recall. Taken together, these results emphasize the impact of vestibular information on high-level sensorimotor functions, and identify future directions for theoretical, behavioral, and neurophysiological investigations.

  8. Low level CO2 effects on pulmonary function in humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sexton, J.; Mueller, K.; Elliott, A.; Gerzer, D.; Strohl, K. P.; West, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine whether chamber exposure to low levels of CO2 results in functional alterations in gas mixing and closing volume in humans. Four healthy volunteer subjects were exposed to 0.7% CO2 and to 1.2% CO2. Spirometry, lung volumes, single breath nitrogen washout, diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) by two methods, and cardiac output were measured in triplicate. Values were obtained over two non-consecutive days during the training period (control) and on days 2 or 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, and 23 of exposure to each CO2 level. Measurements were made during the same time of day. There was one day of testing after exposure, while still in the chamber but off carbon dioxide. The order of testing, up until measurements of DLCO and cardiac output, were randomized to avoid presentation effects. The consistent findings were a reduction in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide and a fall in cardiac output, occurring to a similar degree with both exposures. For the group as a whole, there was no indication of major effects on spirometry, lung volumes, gas mixing or dead space. We conclude that small changes may occur in the function of distal gas exchanging units; however, these effects were not associated with any adverse health effects. The likelihood of pathophysiologic changes in lung function or structure with 0.7 or 1.2% CO2 exposure for this period of time, is therefore, low.

  9. Low level CO2 effects on pulmonary function in humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sexton, J.; Mueller, K.; Elliott, A.; Gerzer, D.; Strohl, K. P.; West, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine whether chamber exposure to low levels of CO2 results in functional alterations in gas mixing and closing volume in humans. Four healthy volunteer subjects were exposed to 0.7% CO2 and to 1.2% CO2. Spirometry, lung volumes, single breath nitrogen washout, diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) by two methods, and cardiac output were measured in triplicate. Values were obtained over two non-consecutive days during the training period (control) and on days 2 or 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, and 23 of exposure to each CO2 level. Measurements were made during the same time of day. There was one day of testing after exposure, while still in the chamber but off carbon dioxide. The order of testing, up until measurements of DLCO and cardiac output, were randomized to avoid presentation effects. The consistent findings were a reduction in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide and a fall in cardiac output, occurring to a similar degree with both exposures. For the group as a whole, there was no indication of major effects on spirometry, lung volumes, gas mixing or dead space. We conclude that small changes may occur in the function of distal gas exchanging units; however, these effects were not associated with any adverse health effects. The likelihood of pathophysiologic changes in lung function or structure with 0.7 or 1.2% CO2 exposure for this period of time, is therefore, low.

  10. Distinguishing Functional DNA Words; A Method for Measuring Clustering Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moghaddasi, Hanieh; Khalifeh, Khosrow; Darooneh, Amir Hossein

    2017-01-01

    Functional DNA sub-sequences and genome elements are spatially clustered through the genome just as keywords in literary texts. Therefore, some of the methods for ranking words in texts can also be used to compare different DNA sub-sequences. In analogy with the literary texts, here we claim that the distribution of distances between the successive sub-sequences (words) is q-exponential which is the distribution function in non-extensive statistical mechanics. Thus the q-parameter can be used as a measure of words clustering levels. Here, we analyzed the distribution of distances between consecutive occurrences of 16 possible dinucleotides in human chromosomes to obtain their corresponding q-parameters. We found that CG as a biologically important two-letter word concerning its methylation, has the highest clustering level. This finding shows the predicting ability of the method in biology. We also proposed that chromosome 18 with the largest value of q-parameter for promoters of genes is more sensitive to dietary and lifestyle. We extended our study to compare the genome of some selected organisms and concluded that the clustering level of CGs increases in higher evolutionary organisms compared to lower ones.

  11. Distinguishing Functional DNA Words; A Method for Measuring Clustering Levels

    PubMed Central

    Moghaddasi, Hanieh; Khalifeh, Khosrow; Darooneh, Amir Hossein

    2017-01-01

    Functional DNA sub-sequences and genome elements are spatially clustered through the genome just as keywords in literary texts. Therefore, some of the methods for ranking words in texts can also be used to compare different DNA sub-sequences. In analogy with the literary texts, here we claim that the distribution of distances between the successive sub-sequences (words) is q-exponential which is the distribution function in non-extensive statistical mechanics. Thus the q-parameter can be used as a measure of words clustering levels. Here, we analyzed the distribution of distances between consecutive occurrences of 16 possible dinucleotides in human chromosomes to obtain their corresponding q-parameters. We found that CG as a biologically important two-letter word concerning its methylation, has the highest clustering level. This finding shows the predicting ability of the method in biology. We also proposed that chromosome 18 with the largest value of q-parameter for promoters of genes is more sensitive to dietary and lifestyle. We extended our study to compare the genome of some selected organisms and concluded that the clustering level of CGs increases in higher evolutionary organisms compared to lower ones. PMID:28128320

  12. Fast construction of voxel-level functional connectivity graphs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Graph-based analysis of fMRI data has recently emerged as a promising approach to study brain networks. Based on the assessment of synchronous fMRI activity at separate brain sites, functional connectivity graphs are constructed and analyzed using graph-theoretical concepts. Most previous studies investigated region-level graphs, which are computationally inexpensive, but bring along the problem of choosing sensible regions and involve blurring of more detailed information. In contrast, voxel-level graphs provide the finest granularity attainable from the data, enabling analyses at superior spatial resolution. They are, however, associated with considerable computational demands, which can render high-resolution analyses infeasible. In response, many existing studies investigating functional connectivity at the voxel-level reduced the computational burden by sacrificing spatial resolution. Methods Here, a novel, time-efficient method for graph construction is presented that retains the original spatial resolution. Performance gains are instead achieved through data reduction in the temporal domain based on dichotomization of voxel time series combined with tetrachoric correlation estimation and efficient implementation. Results By comparison with graph construction based on Pearson’s r, the technique used by the majority of previous studies, we find that the novel approach produces highly similar results an order of magnitude faster. Conclusions Its demonstrated performance makes the proposed approach a sensible and efficient alternative to customary practice. An open source software package containing the created programs is freely available for download. PMID:24947161

  13. [The evaluation of sound level in dental practice].

    PubMed

    Morăraşu, C; Burlui, V; Bortă, C; Ignat, L; Bortă, B; Morăraşu, G

    2001-01-01

    Noise pollution is one of the most important problems of the contemporary world. Dentistry is one of the most affected areas because the activity in a dental practice involves the use of different devices that generate noise. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the sound level in a dental practice with 4 dental units using a complex system, which comprises: a Sound Blaster Live 5.1, a Dual microphone, a PC and special software for the acquisition and data analysis. The sound level detected by us is similar with the data from the international literature with some particular aspects and suggests that the dental practice is a noise polluted environment although most of the sound levels are beneath the damaging noise level for the human ear (85 dB).

  14. Risk evaluation - conventional and low level effects of radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, V.P.; Varma, M.N.

    1984-04-01

    Any discussion of the risk of exposure to potentially-hazardous agents in the environment inevitably involves the question of whether the dose effect curve is of the threshold or linear, non-threshold type. A principal objective of this presentation is to show that the function is actually two separate relationships, each representing distinctly different functions with differing variables on the axes, and each characteristic of quite different functions with differing variables on the axes, and each characteristic of quite different disciplines (i.e., the threshold function, of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Medicine (PTM); the linear, non-threshold function, of Public Health including safety and accident statistics (PHS)). It is shown that low-level exposure (LLE) to radiation falls clearly in the PHS category. A function for cell dose vs. the fraction of single cell quantal responses is characterized, which reflects the absolute and relative sensitivities of cells. Acceptance of this function would obviate any requirement for the use in Radiation Protection of the concepts of a standard radiation, Q, dose equivalent and rem. 9 references, 4 figures.

  15. Non-functional genes repaired at the RNA level.

    PubMed

    Burger, Gertraud

    2016-01-01

    Genomes and genes continuously evolve. Gene sequences undergo substitutions, deletions or nucleotide insertions; mobile genetic elements invade genomes and interleave in genes; chromosomes break, even within genes, and pieces reseal in reshuffled order. To maintain functional gene products and assure an organism's survival, two principal strategies are used - either repair of the gene itself or of its product. I will introduce common types of gene aberrations and how gene function is restored secondarily, and then focus on systematically fragmented genes found in a poorly studied protist group, the diplonemids. Expression of their broken genes involves restitching of pieces at the RNA-level, and substantial RNA editing, to compensate for point mutations. I will conclude with thoughts on how such a grotesquely unorthodox system may have evolved, and why this group of organisms persists and thrives since tens of millions of years.

  16. Oestrogen, ocular function and low-level vision: a review.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Claire V; Walker, James A; Davidson, Colin

    2014-11-01

    Over the past 10 years, a literature has emerged concerning the sex steroid hormone oestrogen and its role in human vision. Herein, we review evidence that oestrogen (oestradiol) levels may significantly affect ocular function and low-level vision, particularly in older females. In doing so, we have examined a number of vision-related disorders including dry eye, cataract, increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy. In each case, we have found oestrogen, or lack thereof, to have a role. We have also included discussion of how oestrogen-related pharmacological treatments for menopause and breast cancer can impact the pathology of the eye and a number of psychophysical aspects of vision. Finally, we have reviewed oestrogen's pharmacology and suggest potential mechanisms underlying its beneficial effects, with particular emphasis on anti-apoptotic and vascular effects. © 2014 Society for Endocrinology.

  17. Training Professionals' Usage and Understanding of Kirkpatrick's Level 3 and Level 4 Evaluations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Perri Estes; Chyung, Seung Youn; Winiecki, Donald J.; Brinkerhoff, Robert O.

    2014-01-01

    Training professionals have long acknowledged the necessity of conducting behavior-based (Level 3) and results-based (Level 4) evaluations, yet organizations do not frequently conduct such evaluations. This research examined training professionals' perceptions of the utility of Level 3 and Level 4 evaluations and the factors that facilitate…

  18. [Evaluation of the level of students' knowledge about psychoactive drugs].

    PubMed

    Medrela-Kuder, Ewa

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the paper is to evaluate the level of knowledge about addictions. The research was conducted among a group of 158 people, with 85 of whom studying physiotherapy and 73--physical education at the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow. Students of both disciplines had compulsory health promotion classes. The level of knowledge is insufficient and comparable in both cases. The vast majority of the surveyed know the definition of psychical and physical addiction. Students are not capable of listing the consequences of smoking for health. A relatively high percentage claims that beer is not addictive. Not all students know that marijuana smoking leads to addiction as well.

  19. Zero-field magnetic response functions in Landau levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Yang; Niu, Qian

    2017-07-01

    We present a fresh perspective on the Landau level quantization rule; that is, by successively including zero-field magnetic response functions at zero temperature, such as zero-field magnetization and susceptibility, the Onsager’s rule can be corrected order by order. Such a perspective is further reinterpreted as a quantization of the semiclassical electron density in solids. Our theory not only reproduces Onsager’s rule at zeroth order and the Berry phase and magnetic moment correction at first order but also explains the nature of higher-order corrections in a universal way. In applications, those higher-order corrections are expected to curve the linear relation between the level index and the inverse of the magnetic field, as already observed in experiments. Our theory then provides a way to extract the correct value of Berry phase as well as the magnetic susceptibility at zero temperature from Landau level fan diagrams in experiments. Moreover, it can be used theoretically to calculate Landau levels up to second-order accuracy for realistic models.

  20. Zero-field magnetic response functions in Landau levels.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yang; Niu, Qian

    2017-07-11

    We present a fresh perspective on the Landau level quantization rule; that is, by successively including zero-field magnetic response functions at zero temperature, such as zero-field magnetization and susceptibility, the Onsager's rule can be corrected order by order. Such a perspective is further reinterpreted as a quantization of the semiclassical electron density in solids. Our theory not only reproduces Onsager's rule at zeroth order and the Berry phase and magnetic moment correction at first order but also explains the nature of higher-order corrections in a universal way. In applications, those higher-order corrections are expected to curve the linear relation between the level index and the inverse of the magnetic field, as already observed in experiments. Our theory then provides a way to extract the correct value of Berry phase as well as the magnetic susceptibility at zero temperature from Landau level fan diagrams in experiments. Moreover, it can be used theoretically to calculate Landau levels up to second-order accuracy for realistic models.

  1. A Rasch-Validated Version of the Upper Extremity Functional Index for Interval-Level Measurement of Upper Extremity Function

    PubMed Central

    Chesworth, Bert M.

    2013-01-01

    Background The original 20-item Upper Extremity Functional Index (UEFI) has not undergone Rasch validation. Objective The purpose of this study was to determine whether Rasch analysis supports the UEFI as a measure of a single construct (ie, upper extremity function) and whether a Rasch-validated UEFI has adequate reproducibility for individual-level patient evaluation. Design This was a secondary analysis of data from a repeated-measures study designed to evaluate the measurement properties of the UEFI over a 3-week period. Methods Patients (n=239) with musculoskeletal upper extremity disorders were recruited from 17 physical therapy clinics across 4 Canadian provinces. Rasch analysis of the UEFI measurement properties was performed. If the UEFI did not fit the Rasch model, misfitting patients were deleted, items with poor response structure were corrected, and misfitting items and redundant items were deleted. The impact of differential item functioning on the ability estimate of patients was investigated. Results A 15-item modified UEFI was derived to achieve fit to the Rasch model where the total score was supported as a measure of upper extremity function only. The resultant UEFI-15 interval-level scale (0–100, worst to best state) demonstrated excellent internal consistency (person separation index=0.94) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient [2,1]=.95). The minimal detectable change at the 90% confidence interval was 8.1. Limitations Patients who were ambidextrous or bilaterally affected were excluded to allow for the analysis of differential item functioning due to limb involvement and arm dominance. Conclusion Rasch analysis did not support the validity of the 20-item UEFI. However, the UEFI-15 was a valid and reliable interval-level measure of a single dimension: upper extremity function. Rasch analysis supports using the UEFI-15 in physical therapist practice to quantify upper extremity function in patients with musculoskeletal

  2. Functional Capacity Evaluation Research: Report from the Second International Functional Capacity Evaluation Research Meeting.

    PubMed

    James, C L; Reneman, M F; Gross, D P

    2016-03-01

    Functional capacity evaluations are an important component of many occupational rehabilitation programs and can play a role in facilitating reintegration to work thus improving health and disability outcomes. The field of functional capacity evaluation (FCE) research has continued to develop over recent years, with growing evidence on the reliability, validity and clinical utility of FCE within different patient and healthy worker groups. The second International FCE Research Conference was held in Toronto, Canada on October 2nd 2014 adjacent to the 2014 Work Disability Prevention Integration conference. This paper describes the outcomes of the conference. Fifty-four participants from nine countries attended the conference where eleven research projects and three workshops were presented. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss FCE practice, present new research and provide a forum for discourse around the issues pertinent to FCE use. Conference presentations covered aspects of FCE use including the ICF-FCE interface, aspects of reliability and validity, consideration of specific injury populations, comparisons of FCE components and a lively debate on the merits of 'Man versus Machine' in FCE's. Researchers, clinicians, and other professionals in the FCE area have a common desire to improve the content and quality of FCE research and to collaborate to further develop research across systems, cultures and countries.

  3. The Evaluation of Burnout Levels of Sports Sciences Faculty Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kocaeksi, Serdar

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research is to evaluate the burnout levels of sports sciences faculty students in terms of some other variables. 46 Female (Age, M: 20.88 ± 1.86) and 107 male (Age, M: 22.15 ± 2.15) in total 153 students participated in this research. Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Form (MBI-SF) was used for data collection. Descriptive…

  4. Serial evaluation of hepatic function profile after Fontan operation.

    PubMed

    Kaulitz, R; Haber, P; Sturm, E; Schäfer, J; Hofbeck, M

    2014-02-01

    Moderate persistent elevation of the γ-glutamyltransferase (γGT) level is a frequent finding during long-term follow-up of patients with total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC) for palliation of functionally univentricular hearts. Serial intraindividual data revealed a significant increase in the γGT level within a minimum 4-year interval in more than 80 % of cases. The level of γGT elevation showed a significant correlation to hemodynamic parameters such as systemic ventricular end diastolic pressure and mean pulmonary artery pressure, but did not strongly correlate with duration of follow-up or other liver function parameters, which were less frequent and less impressively deranged. None of the patients had signs of synthetic dysfunction. With increasing postoperative follow-up, abnormalities of sonographic hepatic texture including increased echogenicity, inhomogeneity, or liver surface nodularity were found. All 17 patients with liver surface nodularity had a follow-up period of over 10 years. Structural abnormalities did not correlate with biochemical or hemodynamic parameters. Doppler evaluation revealed inspiratory dependence of hepatic vein flow in more than 90 % as a relevant finding after TCPC; a decrease in portal vein flow velocity was observed in many patients. Since long-term survivors after Fontan procedure are at an increased risk of cardiac hepatopathy and cirrhosis, detailed routine investigation and monitoring of hepatic morphology are needed.

  5. Evaluation of strain levels in the IFSF rack

    SciTech Connect

    Richins, W.D.; Miller, G.K.

    1997-06-01

    An evaluation has been performed on strain levels determined for the IFSF fuel storage rack for seismic loading. The storage rack had been previously analyzed by a consulting company, Advanced Engineering Consultants (AEC), who reported significant strain levels in several members of the rack. The purpose for the study conducted herein was to refine the method for calculating strain levels, and then to assess the acceptability of the refined strain values. This was accomplished by making a modification to AEC`s model to more realistically represent plastic behavior in all locations where material yields. An analysis was performed where this modified model was subjected to the same seismic loadings as applied in AEC`s analysis. It was expected that the more realistic representation of plastic behavior in the modified model would result in reduced maximum calculated strains for the rack. Results of the analysis showed that the more realistic representation of plastic behavior in rack members did reduce the calculated maximum strains from those reported by AEC. These modified strains were evaluated for acceptability according to ductility criteria of the governing standard (i.e. ANSI/AISC N690-1994, as specified by the project Criteria Application Document). This evaluation showed that the strains meet these acceptance criteria. The analysis described herein was performed only to investigate this issue. AEC`s analysis stands as the analysis of record for the rack.

  6. Trust-Based Security Level Evaluation Using Bayesian Belief Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houmb, Siv Hilde; Ray, Indrakshi; Ray, Indrajit; Chakraborty, Sudip

    Security is not merely about technical solutions and patching vulnerabilities. Security is about trade-offs and adhering to realistic security needs, employed to support core business processes. Also, modern systems are subject to a highly competitive market, often demanding rapid development cycles, short life-time, short time-to-market, and small budgets. Security evaluation standards, such as ISO 14508 Common Criteria and ISO/IEC 27002, are not adequate for evaluating the security of many modern systems for resource limitations, time-to-market, and other constraints. Towards this end, we propose an alternative time and cost effective approach for evaluating the security level of a security solution, system or part thereof. Our approach relies on collecting information from different sources, who are trusted to varying degrees, and on using a trust measure to aggregate available information when deriving security level. Our approach is quantitative and implemented as a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) topology, allowing us to reason over uncertain information and seemingly aggregating disparate information. We illustrate our approach by deriving the security level of two alternative Denial of Service (DoS) solutions. Our approach can also be used in the context of security solution trade-off analysis.

  7. Purification, Cellular Levels, and Functional Domains of LMF1

    PubMed Central

    Babilonia-Rosa, Melissa; Neher, Saskia B.

    2014-01-01

    Over a third of the US adult population has hypertriglyceridemia, resulting in an increased risk of atherosclerosis, pancreatitis, and metabolic syndrome. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL)1, a dimeric enzyme, is the main lipase responsible for TG clearance from the blood after food intake. LPL requires an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident, transmembrane protein known as lipase maturation factor 1 (LMF1) for secretion and enzymatic activity. LMF1 is believed to act as a client specific chaperone for dimeric lipases, but the precise mechanism by which LMF1 functions is not understood. Here, we examine which domains of LMF1 contribute to dimeric lipase maturation by assessing the function of truncation variants. N-terminal truncations of LMF1 show that all the domains are necessary for LPL maturation. Fluorescence microscopy and protease protection assays confirmed that these variants were properly oriented in the ER. We measured cellular levels of LMF1 and found that it is expressed at low levels and each molecule of LMF1 promotes the maturation of 50 or more molecules of LPL. Thus we provide evidence for the critical role of the N-terminus of LMF1 for the maturation of LPL and relevant ratio of chaperone to substrate. PMID:24909692

  8. Long-Term Risk Function Evaluation: Biochemical

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-07-01

    AND LIPID CONTENT OF DISCRETE LIPOPROTEIN FRACTIONS Results from the West Point Cardiovascular Disease Follow-up Study showed that the composition of... Lipoprotein Prcptnt Reports that the average HDL-C level was lower in persons with coronary artery disease (CAD) than in normal persons (5,6,7) made...too much precipitant is added for the levels of lipoproteins present in the sample being analyzed, some of the HDL may be precipitated, causing the

  9. Low-level cadmium exposure and effects on kidney function.

    PubMed

    Wallin, Maria; Sallsten, Gerd; Lundh, Thomas; Barregard, Lars

    2014-12-01

    The nephrotoxicity of cadmium at low levels of exposure, measured by urinary cadmium, has recently been questioned since co-excretion of cadmium and proteins may have causes other than cadmium toxicity. The aim of this study was to explore the relation between kidney function and low or moderate cadmium levels, measured directly in kidney biopsies. We analysed cadmium in kidney biopsies (K-Cd), blood (B-Cd) and urine (U-Cd) from 109 living kidney donors in a cross-sectional study. We measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR), cystatin C in serum, albumin, β-2-microglobulin (B2M), retinol-binding protein (RBP), α-1-microglobulin (A1M), N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase and kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1) in 24 h and overnight urine. We found significant positive associations between A1M excretion and K-Cd in multiple regression models including age, sex, weight, smoking and urinary flow rate. This association was also present in never-smokers. A1M was also positively associated with B-Cd and U-Cd. GFR and the other biomarkers of kidney function were not associated with K-Cd. GFR estimated from serum cystatin C showed a very poor correlation with measured GFR. KIM-1, RBP and possibly albumin were positively associated with U-Cd, but only in overnight urine. No associations were found with B2M. Our results suggest that A1M in urine is a sensitive biomarker for effects of low-level cadmium exposure. A few associations between other renal biomarkers and U-Cd, but not K-Cd, were probably caused by physiological co-excretion or chance. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  10. Low-level cadmium exposure and effects on kidney function

    PubMed Central

    Wallin, Maria; Sallsten, Gerd; Lundh, Thomas; Barregard, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The nephrotoxicity of cadmium at low levels of exposure, measured by urinary cadmium, has recently been questioned since co-excretion of cadmium and proteins may have causes other than cadmium toxicity. The aim of this study was to explore the relation between kidney function and low or moderate cadmium levels, measured directly in kidney biopsies. Methods We analysed cadmium in kidney biopsies (K-Cd), blood (B-Cd) and urine (U-Cd) from 109 living kidney donors in a cross-sectional study. We measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR), cystatin C in serum, albumin, β-2-microglobulin (B2M), retinol-binding protein (RBP), α-1-microglobulin (A1M), N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase and kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1) in 24 h and overnight urine. Results We found significant positive associations between A1M excretion and K-Cd in multiple regression models including age, sex, weight, smoking and urinary flow rate. This association was also present in never-smokers. A1M was also positively associated with B-Cd and U-Cd. GFR and the other biomarkers of kidney function were not associated with K-Cd. GFR estimated from serum cystatin C showed a very poor correlation with measured GFR. KIM-1, RBP and possibly albumin were positively associated with U-Cd, but only in overnight urine. No associations were found with B2M. Conclusions Our results suggest that A1M in urine is a sensitive biomarker for effects of low-level cadmium exposure. A few associations between other renal biomarkers and U-Cd, but not K-Cd, were probably caused by physiological co-excretion or chance. PMID:25286916

  11. Pitavastatin and HDL: Effects on plasma levels and function(s).

    PubMed

    Pirillo, Angela; Catapano, Alberico L

    2017-07-01

    Low high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels represent an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease; in addition to the reduced HDL-C levels commonly observed in patients at cardiovascular risk, the presence of dysfunctional HDL, i.e. HDL with reduced atheroprotective properties, has been reported. Despite the established inverse correlation between HDL-C levels and cardiovascular risk, several clinical trials with HDL-C-increasing drugs (such as niacin, CETP inhibitors or fibrate) failed to demonstrate that a significant rise in HDL-C levels translate into a cardiovascular benefit. Statins, that are the most used lipid-lowering drugs, can also increase HDL-C levels, although this effect is highly variable among studies and statins; the most recent developed statin, pitavastatin, beside its role as LDL-C-lowering agent, increases HDL-C levels at a significantly higher extent and progressively upon treatment; such increase was observed also when patients where shifted from another statin to pitavastatin. The stratification by baseline HDL-C levels revealed that only pitavastatin significantly increased HDL-C levels in patients with baseline HDL-C ≤45 mg/dl, while no changes were observed in patients with higher baseline HDL-C levels. In the last years the hypothesis that functional properties of HDL may be more relevant than HDL-C levels has risen from several observations. The treatment with pitavastatin not only increased HDL-C levels, but also increased the phospholipid content of HDL, increased the HDL efflux capacity and their anti-oxidant properties. These observations suggest that, besides its high LDL-C-lowering effect, pitavastatin also exhibits a significantly higher ability to increase HDL-C levels and may also positively affect the quality and functionality of HDL particles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Merging Traditional Evaluation and Research Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Janet; Godin, Donn

    The Charleston County School District's efforts to increase the percentage of students meeting high school graduation requirements at the appropriate age and the percentage of students who graduate within 6 years of entry into grade 9 require a well-designed plan for monitoring their success. Evaluation of those efforts depends upon the use of…

  13. Efficient Evaluation Functions for Multi-Rover Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Tumer, Kagan

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary computation can be a powerful tool in cresting a control policy for a single agent receiving local continuous input. This paper extends single-agent evolutionary computation to multi-agent systems, where a collection of agents strives to maximize a global fitness evaluation function that rates the performance of the entire system. This problem is solved in a distributed manner, where each agent evolves its own population of neural networks that are used as the control policies for the agent. Each agent evolves its population using its own agent-specific fitness evaluation function. We propose to create these agent-specific evaluation functions using the theory of collectives to avoid the coordination problem where each agent evolves a population that maximizes its own fitness function, yet the system has a whole achieves low values of the global fitness function. Instead we will ensure that each fitness evaluation function is both "aligned" with the global evaluation function and is "learnable," i.e., the agents can readily see how their behavior affects their evaluation function. We then show how these agent-specific evaluation functions outperform global evaluation methods by up to 600% in a domain where a set of rovers attempt to maximize the amount of information observed while navigating through a simulated environment.

  14. Functionally Layered Video Coding for Water Level Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udomsiri, Sakol; Iwahashi, Masahiro; Muramatsu, Shogo

    This paper proposes a new type of layered video coding especially for the use of monitoring water level of a river. A sensor node of the system decomposes an input video signal into some kinds of component signals and produces a bit stream functionally separated into three layers. The first layer contains the minimum components effective for detecting the water level. It is transmitted at very low bit rate for regular monitoring. The second layer contains signals for thumb-nail video browsing. The third layer contains additional data for decoding the original video signal. These are transmitted in case of necessity. A video signal is decomposed into several bands with the three dimensional Haar transform. In this paper, optimum bands to be contained into the 1st layer are experimentally investigated considering both of water level detection and data size to be transmitted. As a result, bit rate for transmitting the first layer is reduced by 32.5% at the cost of negligible 3.7% decrease of recognition performance for one of video examples.

  15. [Evaluation of smell function changes in pregnancy].

    PubMed

    Gül, Aylin; Yilmaz, Beyhan; Karababa, Songül; Tuna, Selin Fulya; Özkurt, Fazil Emre; Yaman Yörük, Neval; Topçu, İsmail

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to compare the olfactory function changes among pregnant women in varying trimesters and non-pregnant women. Thirty-five healthy pregnant women and 14 non-pregnant women were included in the study. Volunteer pregnant women were divided into three subgroups including the first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester. All volunteers were tested with the smell bottle test battery. The content of the test was consistent with the Sniffin' sticks including three detailed olfactory function tests, namely olfactory threshold (OT), olfactory discrimination (OD), and olfactory identification (OI). Total results of these three tests were defined as TDI scores. TDI score and test scores of the pregnant women in the first trimester statistically significantly decreased compared to pregnant women in other trimesters and non-pregnant women (p<0.05). Pregnant women in the second and third trimesters had similar olfactory function scores to the non-pregnant women (p>0.05). The olfactory function changes are observed in women during pregnancy. In particular, decreased smell sensitivity in the first trimester returns to normal scores towards the end of pregnancy.

  16. Evaluation of pituitary function after infectious meningitis in childhood.

    PubMed

    Giavoli, Claudia; Tagliabue, Claudia; Profka, Eriselda; Senatore, Laura; Bergamaschi, Silvia; Rodari, Giulia; Spada, Anna; Beck-Peccoz, Paolo; Esposito, Susanna

    2014-10-06

    A number of studies of adults have shown that pituitary deficiencies can develop in a considerable proportion of subjects during the acute phase of meningitis or years after the infection has disappeared. The results of the very few studies of the impact of pediatric meningitis on hypothalamic-pituitary function are conflicting. In order to determine the incidence of pituitary dysfunction in children with central nervous system infection, we evaluated pituitary function and anthropometric parameters in 19 children with meningitis of different etiologies (15 males; mean age ± standard deviation [SD] at pituitary evaluation, 5.9 ± 4.0 years; mean time from the acute event ± SD, 18 ± 10 months). All of the subjects had a normal stature and growth velocity for their age and gender, and none of them was obese. On the basis of Tanner's reference charts, 17 subjects (13 boys and all four girls) were pre-pubertal; two boys were in Tanner stage 2. None of the subjects had central hypothyroidism. All of the patients had normal serum of insulin growth factor (IGF)-I and prolactin. Their sex steroid and gonadotropin levels were concordant with their age and pubertal status. Early morning urine osmolality and serum electrolyte levels showed no signs of diabetes insipidus. All of the patients had normal plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels. Peak cortisol responses to the standard dose Synacthen test (SDST) were normal in all cases. The results showed that hypopituitarism following infectious meningitis appears to be infrequent in childhood and children's pituitary glands seem to be less vulnerable to damage than those of adults.

  17. Evaluation of Eyelid Function and Aesthetics.

    PubMed

    Neimkin, Michael G; Holds, John B

    2016-05-01

    The eyes and periocular area are the central aesthetic unit of the face. Facial aging is a dynamic process that involves skin, subcutaneous soft tissues, and bony structures. An understanding of what is perceived as youthful and beautiful is critical for success. Knowledge of the functional aspects of the eyelid and periocular area can identify pre-preoperative red flags. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Distributed implementation of functional program evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Fasel, J.H.; Douglass, R.J.; Michelsen, R.; Hudak, P.

    1985-01-01

    In this paper, we explore the potential of the functional model, particularly as it pertains to architecture. In Section 2, we describe the graph-reduction operational model of computation and its relation to AI problems. In Section 3, we discuss a class of architectures that implement graph reduction and a prototype implementation in this class being developed at Los Alamos. Finally, we speculate on the applicability of graph reduction to some other classes of architecture.

  19. Evaluating cerebellar functions using optogenetic transgenic mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, John P.; Turecek, Josef; Turner, Eric E.

    2013-03-01

    We employed a transgenic mouse having conditional expression of ChR2(H134R) in neurons of the inferior olive to facilitate understanding of the role of electrical coupling and oscillation in central nervous system function. Two-photon excitation of ChR2-expressing neurons using 64 laser beams restricted to single inferior olive cell bodies depolarized neurons and evoked voltage deflections in neighboring neurons demonstrating electrical coupling. Broader illumination of neuronal ensembles using blue light induced an optical clamp of endogenous electrical rhythms in the inferior olive of acutely-prepared brain slices, which when applied in vivo directly modulated the local field potential activity and induced tremor. The experiments demonstrate novel methods to optically manipulate electrically coupled potentials and rhythmogenesis within a neuronal ensemble. From a functional perspective, the experiments shed light on the cellular and circuitry mechanisms of essential tremor, a prevalent neurological condition, by indicating time- and frequencydependence of tremor upon varying rhythms of inferior olive stimulation. The experiments indicate analog control of a brain rhythm that may be used to enhance our understanding of the functional consequences of central rhythmogenesis.

  20. An Evaluation of Generalization of Mands during Functional Communication Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falcomata, Terry S.; Wacker, David P.; Ringdahl, Joel E.; Vinquist, Kelly; Dutt, Anuradha

    2013-01-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the generalization of mands during functional communication training (FCT) and sign language training across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement). A secondary purpose was to evaluate a training procedure based on stimulus control to teach manual signs. During…

  1. An Evaluation of Generalization of Mands during Functional Communication Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falcomata, Terry S.; Wacker, David P.; Ringdahl, Joel E.; Vinquist, Kelly; Dutt, Anuradha

    2013-01-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the generalization of mands during functional communication training (FCT) and sign language training across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement). A secondary purpose was to evaluate a training procedure based on stimulus control to teach manual signs. During…

  2. Hepcidin levels in chronic hemodialysis patients: a critical evaluation.

    PubMed

    Valenti, Luca; Messa, Piergiorgio; Pelusi, Serena; Campostrini, Natascia; Girelli, Domenico

    2014-05-01

    Altered systemic iron metabolism is a key element of uremia, and functional iron deficiency mainly related to subclinical inflammation makes it difficult to maintain proper control of anemia in chronic hemodialysis patients (CHD). In the last decade, the hepatic hormone hepcidin has been progressively recognized as the master regulator of circulating iron levels through the modulation of cellular iron fluxes in response to iron stores, as well as to erythroid and inflammatory stimuli. Hepcidin is cleared by the kidney and progression of renal disease has been associated to increased serum hepcidin levels. This, in turn, reduces iron availability for erythropoiesis, suggesting anti-hepcidin strategies for improving anemia control. Moreover, hepcidin has been recently implicated in the pathogenesis of long-term complications of dialysis, like accelerated atherosclerosis. Initial studies almost invariably reported a sustained increase of serum hepcidin in chronic hemodialysis patients. Noteworthy, such studies included relatively few patients and controls that were poorly matched for major determinants of serum hepcidin at population level, i.e., age and gender. More recent data based on accurately matched larger series challenge the view that hepcidin is intrinsically increased in hemodialysis patients, showing a marked inter- and intra-individual variability of hormone levels. Here we take a critical look to the data published so far on hepcidin levels in CHD, analyze the reasons underlying the discrepancies in available studies and the hepcidin variability in CHD, and point out the need for further studies in large series of well-characterized CHD patients and controls.

  3. Evaluating forensic biology results given source level propositions.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Duncan; Abarno, Damien; Hicks, Tacha; Champod, Christophe

    2016-03-01

    The evaluation of forensic evidence can occur at any level within the hierarchy of propositions depending on the question being asked and the amount and type of information that is taken into account within the evaluation. Commonly DNA evidence is reported given propositions that deal with the sub-source level in the hierarchy, which deals only with the possibility that a nominated individual is a source of DNA in a trace (or contributor to the DNA in the case of a mixed DNA trace). We explore the use of information obtained from examinations, presumptive and discriminating tests for body fluids, DNA concentrations and some case circumstances within a Bayesian network in order to provide assistance to the Courts that have to consider propositions at source level. We use a scenario in which the presence of blood is of interest as an exemplar and consider how DNA profiling results and the potential for laboratory error can be taken into account. We finish with examples of how the results of these reports could be presented in court using either numerical values or verbal descriptions of the results.

  4. Evaluation of galectin-3 levels in acute coronary syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gucuk Ipek, E; Akin Suljevic, S; Kafes, H; Basyigit, F; Karalok, N; Guray, Y; Dinc Asarcikli, L; Acar, B; Demirel, H

    2016-02-01

    Galectin-3 is a new biomarker that is assumed to reflect fibrogenesis and inflammation. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the levels of galectin-3 in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and the relation of galectin-3 to the burden of atherosclerosis. Nineteen patients with ACS who underwent coronary angiography and 17 age-matched healthy controls were enrolled. The burden of atherosclerosis was assessed with Gensini score and with the number of involved vessels. Galectin-3 levels were measured on admission by using ELISA. The mean age of the cohort was 62.8±10.6 and 56% of the patients were male. Compared to control group, median galectin-3 levels were significantly higher in ACS patients (0.77ng/mL [0.50-1.19] vs. 0.51ng/mL [0.41-0.78], P=0.01). Patients were classified into three groups according to the number of involved vessels. Median galectin-3 levels did not differ significantly among groups (one vessel: 0.68ng/mL [0.55-0.74], two vessels: 0.67ng/mL [0.46-1.84], three vessels 0.90ng/mL [0.53-1.38], P=0.62). There was a strong correlation between galectin-3 levels and Gensini score (r=0.625, P=0.004). In conclusion, galectin-3 levels were elevated in patients with ACS and there was a strong correlation between galectin-3 levels and Gensini score.

  5. Effects of gross motor function and manual function levels on performance-based ADL motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Park, Myoung-Ok

    2017-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine effects of Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels on performance-based motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-three children with cerebral palsy were included. The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills was used to evaluate performance-based motor skills in daily life. Gross motor function was assessed using Gross Motor Function Classification Systems, and manual function was measured using the Manual Ability Classification System. [Results] Motor skills in daily activities were significantly different on Gross Motor Function Classification System level and Manual Ability Classification System level. According to the results of multiple regression analysis, children categorized as Gross Motor Function Classification System level III scored lower in terms of performance based motor skills than Gross Motor Function Classification System level I children. Also, when analyzed with respect to Manual Ability Classification System level, level II was lower than level I, and level III was lower than level II in terms of performance based motor skills. [Conclusion] The results of this study indicate that performance-based motor skills differ among children categorized based on Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels of cerebral palsy. PMID:28265171

  6. Effects of gross motor function and manual function levels on performance-based ADL motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Park, Myoung-Ok

    2017-02-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine effects of Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels on performance-based motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-three children with cerebral palsy were included. The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills was used to evaluate performance-based motor skills in daily life. Gross motor function was assessed using Gross Motor Function Classification Systems, and manual function was measured using the Manual Ability Classification System. [Results] Motor skills in daily activities were significantly different on Gross Motor Function Classification System level and Manual Ability Classification System level. According to the results of multiple regression analysis, children categorized as Gross Motor Function Classification System level III scored lower in terms of performance based motor skills than Gross Motor Function Classification System level I children. Also, when analyzed with respect to Manual Ability Classification System level, level II was lower than level I, and level III was lower than level II in terms of performance based motor skills. [Conclusion] The results of this study indicate that performance-based motor skills differ among children categorized based on Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels of cerebral palsy.

  7. Relationship between plasma matrix metalloproteinase levels, pulmonary function, bronchodilator response, and emphysema severity.

    PubMed

    Koo, Hyeon-Kyoung; Hong, Yoonki; Lim, Myoung Nam; Yim, Jae-Joon; Kim, Woo Jin

    2016-01-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic inflammation in the airway and lung. A protease-antiprotease imbalance has been suggested as a possible pathogenic mechanism for COPD. We evaluated the relationship between matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) levels and COPD severity. Plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-12 were measured in 57 COPD patients and 36 normal controls. The relationship between MMP levels and lung function, emphysema index, bronchial wall thickness, pulmonary artery pressure, and quality of life was examined using general linear regression analyses. There were significant associations of MMP-1 with bronchodilator reversibility and of MMP-8 and MMP-9 with lung function. Also, MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-9 levels were correlated with the emphysema index, independent of lung function. However, MMP-12 was not associated with lung function or emphysema severity. Associations between MMP levels and bronchial wall thickness, pulmonary artery pressure, and quality of life were not statistically significant. Plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-9 are associated with COPD severity and can be used as a biomarker to better understand the characteristics of COPD patients.

  8. Relationship between plasma matrix metalloproteinase levels, pulmonary function, bronchodilator response, and emphysema severity

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Hyeon-Kyoung; Hong, Yoonki; Lim, Myoung Nam; Yim, Jae-Joon; Kim, Woo Jin

    2016-01-01

    Objective Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic inflammation in the airway and lung. A protease–antiprotease imbalance has been suggested as a possible pathogenic mechanism for COPD. We evaluated the relationship between matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) levels and COPD severity. Methods Plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-12 were measured in 57 COPD patients and 36 normal controls. The relationship between MMP levels and lung function, emphysema index, bronchial wall thickness, pulmonary artery pressure, and quality of life was examined using general linear regression analyses. Results There were significant associations of MMP-1 with bronchodilator reversibility and of MMP-8 and MMP-9 with lung function. Also, MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-9 levels were correlated with the emphysema index, independent of lung function. However, MMP-12 was not associated with lung function or emphysema severity. Associations between MMP levels and bronchial wall thickness, pulmonary artery pressure, and quality of life were not statistically significant. Conclusion Plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-9 are associated with COPD severity and can be used as a biomarker to better understand the characteristics of COPD patients. PMID:27313452

  9. Evaluation of body weight, insulin resistance, leptin and adiponectin levels in premenopausal women with hyperprolactinemia.

    PubMed

    Atmaca, Aysegul; Bilgici, Birsen; Ecemis, Gulcin Cengiz; Tuncel, Ozgur Korhan

    2013-12-01

    The effects of hyperprolactinemia on metabolic parameters are not clear and a few data evaluating adiponectin levels in prolactinoma and idiopathic hyperprolactinemia exist. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of hyperprolactinemia on body weight, insulin resistance, beta cell function, and leptin and adiponectin levels in premenopausal women with hyperprolactinemia. Forty premenopausal women with prolactinoma or idiopathic hyperprolactinemia were compared to 41 age-matched healthy premenopausal women with regard to body weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumferences, waist to hip ratio, fasting plasma glucose, insulin levels, insulin resistance measured by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-insulin resistance index, beta cell function measured by HOMA-β index, leptin and adiponectin levels. Plasma insulin levels and HOMA indexes (both insulin resistance and beta indexes) were significantly higher in hyperprolactinemic women. The other parameters were similar between both groups. There was a positive correlation between prolactin levels and fasting plasma glucose in hyperprolactinemic women. The results of this study showed that high prolactin levels may be associated with hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance in premenopausal women. This effect seems to be independent of body weight, leptin and adiponectin levels. High prolactin levels may directly stimulate insulin secretion from pancreas and directly cause hepatic and whole-body insulin resistance.

  10. 48 CFR 736.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 736.602-3 Evaluation board functions. Agency architect-engineer evaluation boards shall perform... information specified in 736.602-3(c). (b) In evaluating architect-engineer firms, the...

  11. Methodology for Prototyping Increased Levels of Automation for Spacecraft Rendezvous Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, Jeremy J.; Valasek, John

    2007-01-01

    The Crew Exploration Vehicle necessitates higher levels of automation than previous NASA vehicles, due to program requirements for automation, including Automated Rendezvous and Docking. Studies of spacecraft development often point to the locus of decision-making authority between humans and computers (i.e. automation) as a prime driver for cost, safety, and mission success. Therefore, a critical component in the Crew Exploration Vehicle development is the determination of the correct level of automation. To identify the appropriate levels of automation and autonomy to design into a human space flight vehicle, NASA has created the Function-specific Level of Autonomy and Automation Tool. This paper develops a methodology for prototyping increased levels of automation for spacecraft rendezvous functions. This methodology is used to evaluate the accuracy of the Function-specific Level of Autonomy and Automation Tool specified levels of automation, via prototyping. Spacecraft rendezvous planning tasks are selected and then prototyped in Matlab using Fuzzy Logic techniques and existing Space Shuttle rendezvous trajectory algorithms.

  12. [Imaging evaluation of renal function: principles and limitations].

    PubMed

    Vivier, P-H; Dolores, M; Le Cloirec, J; Beurdeley, M; Liard, A; Elbaz, F; Roset, J-B; Dacher, J-N

    2011-04-01

    The kidney performs multiple functions. Glomerular filtration is the most studied of these functions. In clinical practice, the surgical indication for patients with unilateral uropathy is frequently based on the split renal function as demonstrated by scintigraphy. MRI is not yet validated as a technique but nonetheless offers an interesting non-radiating alternative to achieve both morphological and functional renal evaluation. Recent pulse sequences such as diffusion, arterial spin labeling, and blood oxygenation dependent imaging may also provide additional information. CT and US remain of limited value for the evaluation of renal function.

  13. Evaluation of gene expression levels for cytokines in ocular toxoplasmosis.

    PubMed

    Maia, M M; Meira-Strejevitch, C S; Pereira-Chioccola, V L; de Hippólito, D D C; Silva, V O; Brandão de Mattos, C C; Frederico, F B; Siqueira, R C; de Mattos, L C

    2017-10-01

    This study evaluated levels for mRNA expression of 7 cytokines in ocular toxoplasmosis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with ocular toxoplasmosis (OT Group, n = 23) and chronic toxoplasmosis individuals (CHR Group, n = 9) were isolated and stimulated in vitro with T. gondii antigen. Negative controls (NC) were constituted of 7 PBMC samples from individuals seronegative for toxoplasmosis. mRNA expression for cytokines was determined by qPCR. Results showed a significant increase in mRNA levels from antigen stimulated PBMCs derived from OT Group for expressing IL-6 (at P < .005 and P < .0005 for CHR and NC groups, respectively), IL-10 (at P < .0005 and P < .005 for CHR and NC groups, respectively) and TGF-β (at P < .005) for NC group. mRNA levels for TNF-α and IL-12 were also upregulated in patients with OT compared to CHR and NC individuals, although without statistical significance. Additionally, mRNA levels for IL-27 and IFN-γ in PBMC of patients with OT were upregulated in comparison with NC individuals. Differences between OT and NC groups were statistically significant at P < .05 and P < .0005, respectively. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Evaluation of Heart Function in Patients With Hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Amoozgar, Hamid; Fath, Maedeh; Jooya, Parisa; Karimi, Mehran

    2015-11-04

    There are conflicting reports about the protective effect of hemophilia on the occurrence of ischemic heart disease. This study focuses on evaluation of heart function in patients with hemophilia. Cross-sectional, case-control study was done on all patients with hemophilia A or B who came to hemophilia center, and data were compared to controls. The data were collected from their charts, and heart function was evaluated by 2-dimensional, Doppler and pulse tissue Doppler. The serum troponin I level was measured in all patients as a marker of myocardial damage. Fifty patients with hemophilia took part in this study. All of them were male with mean age 29.1 years. Systolic blood pressure (mean = 121.52 ± 11 vs 115.61 ± 9.81, P = .038) and diastolic (mean = 81.94 ± 4.51 vs 75.21 ± 3.95, P = .042) blood pressure were higher in the patients. Five (10%) patients had systolic hypertension and 7 (14%) patients had diastolic hypertension. The M-mode echocardiography results showed that interventricular septum in diastole in patients with hemophilia (mean 1.143 ± 0.29) was significantly thicker than the control group (mean 0.828 ± 0.22, P < .001). Tissue Doppler echocardiography showed that late diastolic velocity of septum (Aa; P = .030), systolic velocity (S) of lateral mitral valve (P = .006), late diastolic velocity of lateral mitral (Aa) annulus (P = .038), and late velocity of (Aa) tricuspid (P = .004) had significant difference compared with the control group (P < .05). Troponin enzyme level was < 0.1 in all patients. Patients with hemophilia had higher blood pressure and more hypertension. Echocardiographic study of patients with hemophilia showed some increase in septal thickness and changes in diastolic dysfunction.

  15. An evaluation of generalization of mands during functional communication training.

    PubMed

    Falcomata, Terry S; Wacker, David P; Ringdahl, Joel E; Vinquist, Kelly; Dutt, Anuradha

    2013-01-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the generalization of mands during functional communication training (FCT) and sign language training across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement). A secondary purpose was to evaluate a training procedure based on stimulus control to teach manual signs. During the treatment evaluation, we implemented sign language training in 1 functional context (e.g., positive reinforcement by attention) while continuing the functional analysis conditions in 2 other contexts (e.g., positive reinforcement by tangible item; negative reinforcement by escape). During the generalization evaluation, we tested for the generalization of trained mands across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement; negative reinforcement) by implementing extinction in the 2 nontarget contexts. The results suggested that the stimulus control training procedure effectively taught manual signs and treated destructive behavior. Specific patterns of generalization of trained mands and destructive behavior also were observed.

  16. Evaluation of Low-Level Laser Therapy in TMD Patients

    PubMed Central

    Ayyildiz, Simel; Emir, Faruk; Sahin, Cem

    2015-01-01

    Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) is one of the most recent treatment modalities in dentistry. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is suggested to have biostimulating and analgesic effects through direct irradiation without causing thermal response. There are few studies that have investigated the efficacy of laser therapy in temporomandibular disorders (TMD), especially in reduced mouth opening. The case report here evaluates performance of LLLT with a diode laser for temporomandibular clicking and postoperative findings were evaluated in two cases of TMD patients. First patient had a history of limited mouth opening and pain in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region since nine months. Second patient's main complaint was his restricted mouth opening, which was progressed in one year. LLLT was performed with a 685 nm red probed diode laser that has an energy density of 6.2 J/cm2, three times a week for one month, and application time was 30 seconds (685 nm, 25 mW, 30 s, 0.02 Hz, and 6.2 J/cm2) (BTL-2000, Portative Laser Therapy Device). The treatment protocol was decided according to the literature. One year later patients were evaluated and there were no changes. This application suggested that LLLT is an appropriate treatment for TMD related pain and limited mouth opening and should be considered as an alternative to other methods. PMID:26587294

  17. Pituitary function and IGF-I levels following ischemic stroke.

    PubMed

    Boehncke, Sandra; Ackermann, Hanns; Badenhoop, Klaus; Sitzer, Matthias

    2011-01-01

    Pituitary dysfunction is a known complication of traumatic brain injury and subarachnoidal hemorrhage but there are few data about pituitary dysfunction as a complication of ischemic stroke. We prospectively studied patients 66-274 days after an ischemic stroke, evaluating the prevalence of pituitary dysfunction (by combined releasing hormone testing: GHRH, CRH), stroke severity, outcome and incidence of anxiety and depression. Thirty-two patients (82%) presented with some degree of pituitary dysfunction with predominantly impaired growth hormone response (79.5%) and secondary adrenal failure (14.6%). Abnormal anxiety and/or depression was found in 28.3 and 32.7% of the patients. NIHSS (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale) varied between 1 and 15. Improvement in neurological deficit (ΔNIHSS) correlated significantly with NIHSS at baseline (p < 0.001) but not with pituitary function. Patients with ischemic stroke may suffer from pituitary dysfunction with predominantly impaired growth hormone response and secondary adrenal failure. We suggest that patients who suffer from stroke should undergo pituitary testing. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Intraoperative electrophysiological evaluations of macular function during peripheral scleral indentation

    PubMed Central

    Akiyama, Goichi; Matsumoto, Celso Soiti; Shinoda, Kei; Terauchi, Gaku; Matsumoto, Harue; Watanabe, Emiko; Iwata, Takeshi; Mizota, Atsushi; Miyake, Yozo

    2016-01-01

    Scleral indentation is widely used to examine the peripheral fundus, however it can increase the intraocular pressure (IOP) to high levels which can then affect retinal function. We evaluated the effects of scleral indentation on the macular function electrophysiologically. Intraoperative focal macular electroretinograms (iFMERGs) were recorded with and without controlling the IOP in 7 eyes. Without IOP control, the IOP increased from 21.7 ± 4.9 to 92.7 ± 20.2 mmHg significantly (P = 0.020) and the amplitudes of the b-wave (from 6.29 ± 1.160 to 3.71 ± 1.98 uV, P = 0.007), on-photopic negative response (from 2.29 ± 0.99 to 0.72 ± 0.47 uV, on-PhNR, P = 0.005), and d-wave (from 2.57 ± 0.41 to 1.64 ± 0.69 uV, P = 0.007) decreased significantly soon after beginning the indentation. All values returned to the baseline levels after releasing the indentation. In the eyes with IOP controlled, the IOP and the amplitude of all components did not change significantly during and after the indentation except the on-PhNR amplitude which was significantly reduced during the indentation. The changes in the iFMERGs and macular function caused by scleral indentation were transient and reversible. The changes can be minimized by controlling the IOP. PMID:27762313

  19. Low-level inorganic arsenic exposure and neuropsychological functioning in American Indian elders.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Clint R; Noonan, Carolyn; Garroutte, Eva M; Navas-Acien, Ana; Verney, Steven P; Buchwald, Dedra

    2017-07-01

    Inorganic arsenic at high and prolonged doses is highly neurotoxic. Few studies have evaluated whether long-term, low-level arsenic exposure is associated with neuropsychological functioning in adults. To investigate the association between long-term, low-level inorganic arsenic exposure and neuropsychological functioning among American Indians aged 64-95. We assessed 928 participants in the Strong Heart Study by using data on arsenic species in urine samples collected at baseline (1989-1991) and results of standardized tests of global cognition, executive functioning, verbal learning and memory, fine motor functioning, and speed of mental processing administered during comprehensive follow-up evaluations in 2009-2013. We calculated the difference in neuropsychological functioning for a 10% increase in urinary arsenic with adjustment for sex, age, education, and study site. The sum of inorganic and methylated arsenic species (∑As) in urine was associated with limited fine motor functioning and processing speed. A 10% increase in ∑As was associated with a .10 (95% CI -.20, -.01) decrease on the Finger Tapping Test for the dominant hand and a .13 decrease (95% CI -.21, -.04) for the non-dominant hand. Similarly, a 10% increase in ∑As was associated with a .15 (95% CI -.29, .00) decrease on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition Coding Subtest. ∑As was not associated with other neuropsychological functions. Findings indicate an adverse association between increased urinary arsenic fine motor functioning and processing speed, but not with other neuropsychological functioning, among elderly American Indians. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Low level methylmercury exposure affects neuropsychological function in adults

    PubMed Central

    Yokoo, Edna M; Valente, Joaquim G; Grattan, Lynn; Schmidt, Sérgio Luís; Platt, Illeane; Silbergeld, Ellen K

    2003-01-01

    Background The neurotoxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg) have been demonstrated in both human and animal studies. Both adult and fetal brains are susceptible to the effects of MeHg toxicity. However, the specific effects of adult exposures have been less well-documented than those of children with prenatal exposures. This is largely because few studies of MeHg exposures in adults have used sensitive neurological endpoints. The present study reports on the results of neuropsychological testing and hair mercury concentrations in adults (>17 yrs) living in fishing communities of Baixada Cuiabana (Mato Grosso) in the Pantanal region of Brazil. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in six villages on the Cuiaba River. Participants included 129 men and women older than 17 years of age. They were randomly selected in proportion to the age range and number of inhabitants in each village. Questionnaire information was collected on demographic variables, including education, occupation, and residence history. Mercury exposure was determined by analysis of hair using flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The neurocognitive screening battery included tests from the Wechsler Memory Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Concentrated Attention Test of the Toulouse-Pierron Factorial Battery, the Manual Ability Subtests of the Tests of Mechanical Ability, and the Profile of Mood States. Results Mercury exposures in this population were associated with fish consumption. The hair mercury concentration in the 129 subjects ranged from 0.56 to 13.6 μg/g; the mean concentration was 4.2 ± 2.4 micrograms/g and the median was 3.7 μg/g. Hair mercury levels were associated with detectable alterations in performance on tests of fine motor speed and dexterity, and concentration. Some aspects of verbal learning and memory were also disrupted by mercury exposure. The magnitude of the effects increased with hair mercury concentration, consistent with a dose

  1. Influencing factors on the functional level of haemophilic patients assessed by FISH.

    PubMed

    Kachooei, A R; Badiei, Z; Zandinezhad, M E; Ebrahimzadeh, M H; Mazloumi, S M; Omidi-Kashani, F; Moradi, A; Mahdavian-Naghashzargar, R; Razi, S

    2014-03-01

    Joint destruction in early adulthood brings the patients to the orthopaedic clinics. If a haemophilic patient becomes disabled, it shows a number of factors such as timely diagnosis, availability of appropriate treatment depending on the country, access and affordability to treatments and equally importantly the responsibility of the patient in managing self care by remaining compliant by prescribed treatment regimen. We assessed the functional level by functional independence score in haemophilia (FISH). Overall, 104 patients with haemophilia A and 29 with haemophilia B were evaluated. We assessed the function of the patients by FISH. We divided the sum scores into weak (FISH score 8-16), moderate (17-24), and good (25-32). For evaluating the level of functional deficit in a 2 × 2 table, we categorized the weak and moderate levels into Disordered Group and the good level into Not-Disordered Group. The average age was 26.9 ± 14.24. Each 1 year increase in age can increase 1.07 fold the possibility of being placed in Disordered Function Group. Severe haemophilia can increase 7.34 fold, presence of inhibitor can increase 9.75 fold and home self-care increases 3.89 fold the possibility of being placed in Disordered Function Group. To decrease the burden of the cost on patient, family and the government, education plays the most important role. We suggest that we send a trained team of physician and nurses to the deprived villages and cities instead of waiting for the patient to refer to our Care Center.

  2. Evaluation of ploidy level and endoreduplication in carnation (Dianthus spp.).

    PubMed

    Agulló-Antón, María Ángeles; Olmos, Enrique; Pérez-Pérez, José Manuel; Acosta, Manuel

    2013-03-01

    Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) is one of the fifth most important ornamental species worldwide. Many desirable plant characteristics, such as big size, adaptation under stress, and intra or interspecific hybridization capability, are dependent on plant ploidy level. We optimized a quick flow cytometry method for DNA content determination in wild and cultivated carnation samples that allowed a systematic evaluation of ploidy levels in Dianthus species. The DNA content of different carnation cultivars and wild Dianthus species was determined using internal reference standards. The precise characterization of ploidy, endoreduplication and C-value of D. caryophyllus 'Master' makes it a suitable standard cultivar for ploidy level determination in other carnation cultivars. Mixoploidy was rigorously characterized in different regions of several organs from D. caryophyllus 'Master', which combined with a detailed morphological description suggested some distinctive developmental traits of this species. Both the number of endoreduplication cycles and the proportion of endopolyploid cells were highly variable in the petals among the cultivars studied, differently to the values found in leaves. Our results suggest a positive correlation between ploidy, cell size and petal size in cultivated carnation, which should be considered in breeding programs aimed to obtain new varieties with large flowers.

  3. Relationship between functional classification levels and anaerobic performance of wheelchair basketball athletes.

    PubMed

    Molik, Bartosz; Laskin, James J; Kosmol, Andrzej; Skucas, Kestas; Bida, Urszula

    2010-03-01

    Wheelchair basketball athletes are classified using the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) functional classification system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between upper extremity anaerobic performance (AnP) and all functional classification levels in wheelchair basketball. Ninety-seven male athletes from the Polish and Lithuanian national wheelchair basketball leagues took part in this study. The Wingate Anaerobic Test was used to assess four AnP indexes with an arm crank ergometer The level of AnP in wheelchair basketball athletes depends to some degree on classification level. No significant differences were found for the AnP indexes across levels 1.0-2.5 and 3.0-4.5. However the AnP level for those in classes 1.0-2.5 was significantly lower than those in classes 3. 0-4.5. The findings from this study provided some evidence that the IWBF functional classification system should be reexamined and that a consolidation of the current eight levels might be in order.

  4. Evaluation of a differentiation model of preschoolers’ executive functions

    PubMed Central

    Howard, Steven J.; Okely, Anthony D.; Ellis, Yvonne G.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the prominent role of executive functions in children’s emerging competencies, there remains debate regarding the structure and development of executive functions. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, a differentiation model of executive function development was evaluated in the early years using 6-month age groupings. Specifically, 281 preschoolers completed measures of working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results contradicted suggestions that executive functions follow a single trajectory of progressive separation in childhood, instead suggesting that these functions may undergo a period of integration in the preschool years. These results highlight potential problems with current practices and theorizing in executive function research. PMID:25852603

  5. Evaluation of a differentiation model of preschoolers' executive functions.

    PubMed

    Howard, Steven J; Okely, Anthony D; Ellis, Yvonne G

    2015-01-01

    Despite the prominent role of executive functions in children's emerging competencies, there remains debate regarding the structure and development of executive functions. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, a differentiation model of executive function development was evaluated in the early years using 6-month age groupings. Specifically, 281 preschoolers completed measures of working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results contradicted suggestions that executive functions follow a single trajectory of progressive separation in childhood, instead suggesting that these functions may undergo a period of integration in the preschool years. These results highlight potential problems with current practices and theorizing in executive function research.

  6. Above-Level Test Item Functioning across Examinee Age Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warne, Russell T.; Doty, Kristine J.; Malbica, Anne Marie; Angeles, Victor R.; Innes, Scott; Hall, Jared; Masterson-Nixon, Kelli

    2016-01-01

    "Above-level testing" (also called "above-grade testing," "out-of-level testing," and "off-level testing") is the practice of administering to a child a test that is designed for an examinee population that is older or in a more advanced grade. Above-level testing is frequently used to help educators design…

  7. Above-Level Test Item Functioning across Examinee Age Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warne, Russell T.; Doty, Kristine J.; Malbica, Anne Marie; Angeles, Victor R.; Innes, Scott; Hall, Jared; Masterson-Nixon, Kelli

    2016-01-01

    "Above-level testing" (also called "above-grade testing," "out-of-level testing," and "off-level testing") is the practice of administering to a child a test that is designed for an examinee population that is older or in a more advanced grade. Above-level testing is frequently used to help educators design…

  8. Evaluation of Biomass Availability for Biogas Production at Regional Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzene, I.; Bodescu, F.

    2009-01-01

    Currently available data were used in an integrated deterministic modelling approach to assess the total biomass availability. The conceptual approach of combining the benefits of relational database and GIS modelling was tested in two eastern European countries - in Latvia and Romania, both located in different bio-geographical regions. The developed system has proven its efficiency in dealing with heterogeneity in different levels of complexity regarding environmental and ecological structures. The overall approach of assessing the biomass resources was first to estimate the quantity of material generated from municipal waste and agricultural practices in each of research areas. The quantity of material that could be recovered from these practices was then taken into account and the technical and environmental constraints associated with other site factors were evaluated. As a result, the particular areas with high, medium and low potential in each country were identified.

  9. Level1B Performance Evaluation On CryoSat Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scagliola, Michele; Fornari, Marco; Tagliani, Nicolas

    2013-12-01

    A performance assessment of the CryoSat products for SAR/SARin modes is here presented. The effective across-track IRF has been compared with the expected one, according to the system requirements, and exploiting the calibration products. Then, starting from the along-track processing for Delay/Doppler Radar altimeters, the theoretical model of the along-track IRF for CryoSat has been derived. Moreover the effects of the azimuth windowing on the along-track resolution and on the clutter suppression have been investigated. In particular, the clutter has been evaluated on the Level1b products for both sea ice and ocean scenario, revealing that the azimuth window allows to improve the signal to clutter ratio also in case of ocean waveforms.

  10. Development of Efficiency in Visual Functioning: An Evaluation Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Marcia E.; Barraga, Natalie C.

    1980-01-01

    The article reviews the Diagnostic Assessment Procedure and related facets of the evaluation process within the Program to Develop Efficiency in Visual Functioning. Basic assumptions, rationale for development, administration, interpretation, and use of the program are considered. (Author/PHR)

  11. Serum cadmium levels are independently associated with endothelial function in hemodialysis patients.

    PubMed

    Kaya, Yuksel; Ari, Elif; Demir, Halit; Gecit, Ilhan; Beytur, Ali; Kaspar, Cigdem

    2012-10-01

    Hemodialysis (HD) patients are at risk of deficiency of essential trace elements and excess of toxic trace elements. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relation between the serum levels of some trace elements and heavy metals (iron, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, cobalt, cadmium, and lead) and endothelial function in HD patients. Forty-eight chronic HD patients without known atherosclerotic disease and 42 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals were included in the study. The serum levels of trace elements (iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and magnesium) and heavy metals (cobalt, cadmium, and lead) were measured by Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer (UNICAM-929). The serum levels of iron, zinc, and manganese were lower, and levels of copper, magnesium, cobalt, cadmium, and lead were higher in HD patients compared to controls. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD %) in HD patients was lower than that in the control group (7.27 ± 0.76 vs. 11.29 ± 0.82, P < 0.001). There was a significant negative correlation between FMD % and serum levels of cobalt (r = -0.313, P = 0.03) and cadmium (r = -0.524, P < 0.01). A linear regression analysis showed that serum cadmium levels were still significantly and negatively correlated with FMD % (regression coefficient = -0.526, P < 0.001). We first demonstrated that serum cadmium levels independently predict endothelial function in HD patients without known atherosclerotic disease.

  12. Potential Functional Embedding Theory at the Correlated Wave Function Level. 2. Error Sources and Performance Tests.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jin; Yu, Kuang; Libisch, Florian; Dieterich, Johannes M; Carter, Emily A

    2017-03-14

    Quantum mechanical embedding theories partition a complex system into multiple spatial regions that can use different electronic structure methods within each, to optimize trade-offs between accuracy and cost. The present work incorporates accurate but expensive correlated wave function (CW) methods for a subsystem containing the phenomenon or feature of greatest interest, while self-consistently capturing quantum effects of the surroundings using fast but less accurate density functional theory (DFT) approximations. We recently proposed two embedding methods [for a review, see: Acc. Chem. Res. 2014 , 47 , 2768 ]: density functional embedding theory (DFET) and potential functional embedding theory (PFET). DFET provides a fast but non-self-consistent density-based embedding scheme, whereas PFET offers a more rigorous theoretical framework to perform fully self-consistent, variational CW/DFT calculations [as defined in part 1, CW/DFT means subsystem 1(2) is treated with CW(DFT) methods]. When originally presented, PFET was only tested at the DFT/DFT level of theory as a proof of principle within a planewave (PW) basis. Part 1 of this two-part series demonstrated that PFET can be made to work well with mixed Gaussian type orbital (GTO)/PW bases, as long as optimized GTO bases and consistent electron-ion potentials are employed throughout. Here in part 2 we conduct the first PFET calculations at the CW/DFT level and compare them to DFET and full CW benchmarks. We test the performance of PFET at the CW/DFT level for a variety of types of interactions (hydrogen bonding, metallic, and ionic). By introducing an intermediate CW/DFT embedding scheme denoted DFET/PFET, we show how PFET remedies different types of errors in DFET, serving as a more robust type of embedding theory.

  13. [Functional dependency evaluation of hemodialysis patients: a multicentric study].

    PubMed

    Arenas, M D; Alvarez-Ude, F; Angoso, M; Berdud, I; Antolín, A; Lacueva, J; García Marcos, S; Fernández, A; Gil, M T; Soriano, A

    2006-01-01

    There has been a change in the hemodialysis population characteristics over the last years with a progressive increase in patient,s age and associated comorbility and mortality. This older hemodialysis population are more functionally and medically dependent increasing the time taken to perform nursing work. The objective of this study was to evaluate the degree of functional dependency on hemodialysis patients and the need of care by nursing workload. A transversal descriptive study was done during 1 month (april 2005) on 586 patients from 10 HD Units in Spain. No exclusion criteria were used. The Delta Test, who was used to evaluate the patients dependency needs, is a workload measure instrument base on three subscales: dependency, Physical Deficiency and mental deficiency. The indicators are measure on a scale of one to three with each level representing an increasing demand on nursing time. The results obtained from the Delta Test were analyzed taking into account the following variables: age, average time in dialysis, Charlson comorbidity Index, geographic location and HD unit. 46% of the patients show some degree of dependency, of these 12.8% were moderated and 8.1% severe; the subscale analysis showed that 19.6% and 6.7% had, respectively, a moderate to severe physical and mental health deficiency. The dependency degree varied significantly between HD Units and geographic location with a range of 0% to 59.8%. The degree of dependency were statistically associated with age and CCI. The higher CCI (r: 0,21; p < 0.001) and age (r: 0,26; p < 0.001) the higher was the Delta Test Score for dependency level. Patients times of initiation on dialysis were not associated with an increase in the degree of dependency. The aspects evaluated by the Delta Test that showed a higher score were those related to patients mobility. The patients assistance requirements during the HD session are basically related to a lack of mobility due to musculoskeletal disease and to a

  14. Cardiorespiratory fitness, pulmonary function and C-reactive protein levels in nonsmoking individuals with diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Francisco, C.O.; Catai, A.M.; Moura-Tonello, S.C.G.; Lopes, S.L.B.; Benze, B.G.; Del Vale, A.M.; Leal, A.M.O.

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate cardiorespiratory fitness and pulmonary function and the relationship with metabolic variables and C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma levels in individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM). Nineteen men with diabetes and 19 age- and gender-matched control subjects were studied. All individuals were given incremental cardiopulmonary exercise and pulmonary function tests. In the exercise test, maximal workload (158.3±22.3 vs 135.1±25.2, P=0.005), peak heart rate (HRpeak: 149±12 vs 139±10, P=0.009), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak: 24.2±3.2 vs 18.9±2.8, P<0.001), and anaerobic threshold (VO2VT: 14.1±3.4 vs 12.2±2.2, P=0.04) were significantly lower in individuals with diabetes than in control subjects. Pulmonary function test parameters, blood pressure, lipid profile (triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol), and CRP plasma levels were not different in control subjects and individuals with DM. No correlations were observed between hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), CRP and pulmonary function test and cardiopulmonary exercise test performance. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that nonsmoking individuals with DM have decreased cardiorespiratory fitness that is not correlated with resting pulmonary function parameters, HbA1c, and CRP plasma levels. PMID:24760118

  15. Cardiorespiratory fitness, pulmonary function and C-reactive protein levels in nonsmoking individuals with diabetes.

    PubMed

    Francisco, C O; Catai, A M; Moura-Tonello, S C G; Lopes, S L B; Benze, B G; Del Vale, A M; Leal, A M O

    2014-05-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate cardiorespiratory fitness and pulmonary function and the relationship with metabolic variables and C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma levels in individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM). Nineteen men with diabetes and 19 age- and gender-matched control subjects were studied. All individuals were given incremental cardiopulmonary exercise and pulmonary function tests. In the exercise test, maximal workload (158.3 ± 22.3 vs 135.1 ± 25.2, P=0.005), peak heart rate (HRpeak: 149 ± 12 vs 139 ± 10, P=0.009), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak: 24.2 ± 3.2 vs 18.9 ± 2.8, P<0.001), and anaerobic threshold (VO2VT: 14.1 ± 3.4 vs 12.2 ± 2.2, P=0.04) were significantly lower in individuals with diabetes than in control subjects. Pulmonary function test parameters, blood pressure, lipid profile (triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol), and CRP plasma levels were not different in control subjects and individuals with DM. No correlations were observed between hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), CRP and pulmonary function test and cardiopulmonary exercise test performance. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that nonsmoking individuals with DM have decreased cardiorespiratory fitness that is not correlated with resting pulmonary function parameters, HbA1c, and CRP plasma levels.

  16. Functional magnetic resonance imaging evaluation of lumbosacral radiculopathic pain.

    PubMed

    Koefman, Alex J; Licari, Melissa; Bynevelt, Michael; Lind, Christopher R P

    2016-10-01

    OBJECTIVE An objective biomarker for pain is yet to be established. Functional MRI (fMRI) is a promising neuroimaging technique that may reveal an objective radiological biomarker. The purpose of this study was to evaluate fMRI technology in the setting of lumbosacral radiculopathy and discuss its application in revealing a biomarker for pain in the future. METHODS A prospective, within-participant control study was conducted. Twenty participants with painful lumbosacral radiculopathy from intervertebral disc pathology were recruited. Functional imaging of the brain was performed during a randomly generated series of nonprovocative and provocative straight leg raise maneuvers. RESULTS With a statistical threshold set at p < 0.000001, 3 areas showed significant blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal change: right superior frontal gyrus (x = 2, y = 13, z = 48, k = 29, Brodmann area 6 [BA6]), left supramarginal cortex (x = -37, y = -44, z = 33, k = 1084, BA40), and left parietal cortex (x = -19, y = -41, z = 63, k = 354, BA5). With a statistical threshold set at p < 0.0002, 2 structures showed significant BOLD signal change: right putamen (x = 29, y = -11, z = 6, k = 72) and bilateral thalami (right: x = 23, y = -11, z = 21, k = 29; x = 8, y = -11, z = 9, k = 274; and left: x = -28, y = -32, z = 6, k = 21). CONCLUSIONS The results in this study compare with those in previous studies and suggest that fMRI technology can provide an objective assessment of the pain experience.

  17. Level 2 and level 2.5 large deviation functionals for systems with and without detailed balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppenau, J.; Nickelsen, D.; Engel, A.

    2016-08-01

    Large deviation functions are an essential tool in the statistics of rare events. Often they can be obtained by contraction from a so-called level 2 or level 2.5 large deviation functional characterizing the empirical density and current of the underlying stochastic process. For Langevin systems obeying detailed balance, the explicit form of the level 2 functional has been known ever since the mathematical work of Donsker and Varadhan. We rederive the Donsker-Varadhan result using stochastic path-integrals. We than generalize the derivation to level 2.5 large deviation functionals for non-equilibrium steady states and elucidate the relation between the large deviation functionals and different notions of entropy production in stochastic thermodynamics. Finally, we discuss some aspects of the contractions to level 1 large deviation functions and illustrate our findings with examples.

  18. Relationship of serum gamma-glutamyltransferase levels with pulmonary function and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyun-Woo; Lee, Seock-Hwan; Lee, Duk-Hee

    2014-10-01

    Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels within the normal reference range, possibly a biomarker of oxidative stress and/or exposure to various environmental chemicals, are associated with pulmonary function. However, it is unclear whether it is totally independent of cigarette smoking. Also, the potential interaction between serum GGT and cigarette smoking has not ever been evaluated. Therefore, this study investigated (1) whether serum GGT levels are associated with pulmonary function and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), independent of cigarette smoking, and (2) whether there is any interaction between serum GGT and cigarette smoking status on pulmonary function. The study subjects were 4,583 participants aged ≥ 40 in the 2010-2011 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The outcomes were pulmonary function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] and forced vital capacity [FVC]) and spirometrically defined COPD. After adjusting for potential confounders, including cigarette smoking, serum GGT levels were inversely associated with FEV1 and FVC in both genders and positively associated with the risk of COPD in men (all P values < 0.01). In men, adjusted odds ratios of COPD were 1.0, 1.69, 1.97, and 2.02 across the quartiles of GGT level (P trend = 0.002). However, the associations between serum GGT and pulmonary function seemed to differ depending on the smoking status; inverse associations of GGT with FEV1 % and FVC % were clearly observed only among non-current smokers. In conclusion, in non-smokers serum GGT levels can be used to detect individuals at high risk of decreased pulmonary function and/or COPD.

  19. Quantitative evaluation of activation state in functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhenghui; Ni, Pengyu; Liu, Cong; Zhao, Xiaohu; Liu, Huafeng; Shi, Pengcheng

    2012-10-01

    Neuronal activity can evoke the hemodynamic change that gives rise to the observed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal. These increases are also regulated by the resting blood volume fraction (V (0)) associated with regional vasculature. The activation locus detected by means of the change in the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal intensity thereby may deviate from the actual active site due to varied vascular density in the cortex. Furthermore, conventional detection techniques evaluate the statistical significance of the hemodynamic observations. In this sense, the significance level relies not only upon the intensity of the BOLD signal change, but also upon the spatially inhomogeneous fMRI noise distribution that complicates the expression of the results. In this paper, we propose a quantitative strategy for the calibration of activation states to address these challenging problems. The quantitative assessment is based on the estimated neuronal efficacy parameter [Formula: see text] of the hemodynamic model in a voxel-by-voxel way. It is partly immune to the inhomogeneous fMRI noise by virtue of the strength of the optimization strategy. Moreover, it is easy to incorporate regional vascular information into the activation detection procedure. By combining MR angiography images, this approach can remove large vessel contamination in fMRI signals, and provide more accurate functional localization than classical statistical techniques for clinical applications. It is also helpful to investigate the nonlinear nature of the coupling between synaptic activity and the evoked BOLD response. The proposed method might be considered as a potentially useful complement to existing statistical approaches.

  20. 48 CFR 736.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 736.602-3 Section 736.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL... information specified in 736.602-3(c). (b) In evaluating architect-engineer firms, the architect-engineer...

  1. Evaluating Functional Decline in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenblum, Sara; Weiss, Patrice L.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with a wide-ranging impact on functional status. The aim of the study was to examine the added value of simultaneously evaluating fatigue, personal ADL and handwriting performance as indicators for functional decline among patients with MS. Participants were 50 outpatients with MS and 26 matched healthy…

  2. Evaluating Functional Decline in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenblum, Sara; Weiss, Patrice L.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with a wide-ranging impact on functional status. The aim of the study was to examine the added value of simultaneously evaluating fatigue, personal ADL and handwriting performance as indicators for functional decline among patients with MS. Participants were 50 outpatients with MS and 26 matched healthy…

  3. A Modified Adiabatic Quantum Algorithm for Evaluation of Boolean Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Jie; Lu, Songfeng; Liu, Fang

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, we propose a modified construction of the quantum adiabatic algorithm for Boolean functions studied by M. Andrecut et al. [13, 14]. Our algorithm has the time complexity O(1) for the evaluation of Boolean functions, without additional computational cost of implementing the driving Hamiltonian, which is required by the adiabatic evolution described in [13, 14].

  4. Evaluation of Computer Games for Learning about Mathematical Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tüzün, Hakan; Arkun, Selay; Bayirtepe-Yagiz, Ezgi; Kurt, Funda; Yermeydan-Ugur, Benlihan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, researchers evaluated the usability of game environments for teaching and learning about mathematical functions. A 3-Dimensional multi-user computer game called as "Quest Atlantis" has been used, and an educational game about mathematical functions has been developed in parallel to the Quest Atlantis' technical and…

  5. A practical approach for the evaluation of women with abnormal polytomography or elevated prolactin levels.

    PubMed

    Speroff, L; Levin, R M; Haning, R V; Kase, N G

    1979-12-01

    Based upon the experience gained in the evaluation of 60 patients with abnormal polytomography and/or elevated prolactin levels, the following observations can be made: Patients with amenorrhea, amenorrhea and galactorrhea, galactorrhea alone, or anovulatory cycles and infertility may or may not have pituitary tumors. Clinical symptoms do not always correlate with the prolactin level, and patients with normal prolactins may have pituitary tumors. The incidence of empty sella is significant (15.8% in this series). Visual field examination is not a useful screening procedure, but evaluation of thyroid function is important to detect the occasional patient with hypothyroidism (3.5% in this series). The insulin tolerance test is not helpful in detecting the presence of pituitary tumors or in guiding management decisions, and the CT scan contributes little and should be omitted from the evaluation process. A straightforward, economical, and efficient approach to this clinical problem is presented.

  6. The visual function of olympic-level athletes-an initial report.

    PubMed

    Laby, Daniel M; Kirschen, David G; Pantall, Paige

    2011-05-01

    To describe the visual functions of Olympic-level athletes and begin to describe any differences between sports. A commercially available testing system was used to evaluate 157 Olympic-level athletes. These sports vision evaluations were therefore performed under standardized conditions. Visual functions, tested at a distance, consisted of monocular visual acuity, contour and random dot stereoacuity, and contrast sensitivity. Boxers and track-and-field athletes demonstrated mean logMAR visual acuities between -0.078 and -0.060. All others demonstrated results better than -0.121. There were statistically significant differences and suggestive trends in the visual acuity in the right and left eyes between the track-and-field and archery and track-and-field and softball, and between softball and boxing (range P=0.0005-0.0243). Mean distance contour stereoacuity of the archers was 62 arcsec, worse than the soccer, softball, and speed skaters. All athletes demonstrated similar contrast sensitivity results at low spatial frequencies, whereas at higher spatial frequencies, softball players performed better than did the speed skaters, track-and-field, and volleyball athletes. There seems to be a unique set of visual skills that are common to athletes in certain sports. In addition, visual performance measures vary between sports at the Olympic level. The ability to identify the visual needs for an athlete who wishes to participate in a given sport, and to correct any deficits an athlete may have, could lead to more success, at the elite and amateur levels.

  7. Evaluation of hearing functions in patients with euthyroid Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

    PubMed

    Arduc, Ayse; Isık, Serhat; Allusoglu, Serpil; Iriz, Ayse; Dogan, Bercem Aycicek; Gocer, Celil; Tuna, Mazhar Muslim; Berker, Dilek; Guler, Serdar

    2015-12-01

    Sensorineural hearing loss has been reported in various autoimmune diseases. The relationship between Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) and the auditory system has not been previously evaluated. In this study, we investigated the effect of euthyroid HT on the hearing ability of adult patients. The study included 30 patients with newly diagnosed euthyroid HT and 30 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. All subjects had a normal otoscopic examination and tympanometry, and they were negative for rheumatoid factor, antinuclear, anti-smooth muscle, antimitochondrial, antineutrophilcytoplasmic, and antigliadin antibodies. Pure tone audiometry exams at 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hertz (Hz) were performed in both groups. Thyroid peroxidase antibody and thyroglobulin antibody (anti-Tg) levels were higher in HT group while TSH, free T4, free T3, plasma electrolytes, glucose, lipid profile, vitamin B12, and blood pressure measurements were similar between the two groups. Higher audiometric thresholds and a higher prevalence of hearing loss at 250, 500, and 6000 Hz were detected in the HT patients than in the healthy controls (P < 0.05). Hearing levels at 250 and 500 Hz correlated positively with anti-Tg levels (ρ = 0.650, P = 0.002; ρ = 0.719, P < 0.001, respectively), and this association remained significant in linear regression analysis. Anti-Tg-positive HT patients had higher hearing thresholds at 250 and 500 Hz than anti-Tg-negative HT patients. Hearing thresholds were similar between anti-Tg-negative HT patients and the control subjects. This study demonstrated that hearing functions are impaired in HT patients. Thyroid autoimmunity seems to have an important impact on a decreased hearing ability, particularly at lower frequencies, in this population of patients.

  8. Network-Level Structure-Function Relationships in Human Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Mišić, Bratislav; Betzel, Richard F.; de Reus, Marcel A.; van den Heuvel, Martijn P.; Berman, Marc G.; McIntosh, Anthony R.; Sporns, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of spontaneous fluctuations in neural activity are shaped by underlying patterns of anatomical connectivity. While numerous studies have demonstrated edge-wise correspondence between structural and functional connections, much less is known about how large-scale coherent functional network patterns emerge from the topology of structural networks. In the present study, we deploy a multivariate statistical technique, partial least squares, to investigate the association between spatially extended structural networks and functional networks. We find multiple statistically robust patterns, reflecting reliable combinations of structural and functional subnetworks that are optimally associated with one another. Importantly, these patterns generally do not show a one-to-one correspondence between structural and functional edges, but are instead distributed and heterogeneous, with many functional relationships arising from nonoverlapping sets of anatomical connections. We also find that structural connections between high-degree hubs are disproportionately represented, suggesting that these connections are particularly important in establishing coherent functional networks. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the network organization of the cerebral cortex supports the emergence of diverse functional network configurations that often diverge from the underlying anatomical substrate. PMID:27102654

  9. Interactions between levels of attention ability and levels of bilingualism in children's executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Sorge, Geoff B; Toplak, Maggie E; Bialystok, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of typically developing children who were 8 to 11 years old for their ability in attention control and level of bilingualism on the basis of questionnaires completed by parents and teachers. Children performed three tasks requiring aspects of EF: stop signal task (inhibition), flanker task (interference control), and frogs matrices task (spatial working memory). Results from hierarchical regressions confirmed that both attention ability and bilingualism contributed to performance on the EF tasks. Where interaction effects were significant, they showed that attention ability was a stronger predictor for an inhibition task, namely stop signal, and bilingualism a stronger predictor for an interference task, namely flanker. Furthermore, these results allow us to discuss the relation between EF and attention ability.

  10. A cluster randomized clinical trial comparing functional capacity evaluation and functional interviewing as components of occupational rehabilitation programs.

    PubMed

    Gross, Douglas P; Asante, Alexander K; Miciak, Maxi; Battié, Michele C; Carroll, Linda J; Sun, Ambrose; Mikalsky, Marti; Huellstrung, Rene; Niemeläinen, Riikka

    2014-12-01

    Functional capacity evaluations (FCE) are used to identify work abilities and are commonly integrated into rehabilitation programs. We studied whether integrating FCE into rehabilitation leads to better outcomes for injured workers. A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted at a workers' compensation rehabilitation facility (registration ISRCTN61284905). Clinicians were randomised into 2 groups: 1 group used FCE while another conducted semi-structured functional interviews. Outcomes included recommendations following assessment, rehabilitation program outcomes including functional work levels and pain intensity, as well as compensation outcomes at 1, 3, and 6 months after assessment. Analysis included Mann-Whitney U, Chi square and t tests. Subjects included 225 claimants of whom 105 were tested with FCE. Subjects were predominantly employed (84 %) males (63 %) with sub-acute musculoskeletal conditions (median duration 67 days). Claimants undergoing FCE had ~15 % higher average functional work levels recommended at time of assessment (Mann-Whitney U = 4,391.0, p < 0.001) but differences at other follow-up times were smaller (0-8 %), in favour of functional interviewing, and not statistically significant. Clinically important improvement during rehabilitation in functional work level (0.9/4, SRM = 0.94), pain intensity (2.0/10, SRM = 0.88) and self-reported disability (21.8/100, SRM = 1.45) were only observed in those undergoing the functional interview. Performance-based FCE integrated into occupational rehabilitation appears to lead to higher baseline functional work levels compared to a semi-structured functional interview, but not improved RTW rates or functional work levels at follow-up. Functional interviewing has potential for efficiency gains and higher likelihood of clinically important improvement following rehabilitation, however further research is needed.

  11. Pranic meditation affects phagocyte functions and hormonal levels of recent practitioners.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, César A; Nóbrega, Yanna K M; Tosta, C Eduardo

    2012-08-01

    Despite the recognized importance of phagocytes in the maintenance and recovery of health, the influence of meditation on their functions is not properly established. This investigation aimed at evaluating the influence of pranic meditation on the functions of phagocytes, and on the levels of hormones that influence them. A pre-post design was adopted. The investigation was carried out at a university research laboratory. Twenty-nine (29) healthy individuals of both sexes, 24-67 years old (median 45), with no previous experience in meditation, received 3-hour-duration weekly training on pranic meditation during 10 weeks and agreed to engage in daily home practice for 20 minutes. Pranic meditation is a novel method of meditation, based on the Vedic tradition, which uses techniques of breathing and visualization for quieting the mind, and for capturing and intentionally directing prana ("vital energy") wherever necessary. For assessing phagocytosis, the production of hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide by monocytes, and the concentrations of corticotrophin and cortisol, blood was collected at the beginning (week 1), at the middle (week 5), and by the end (week 10) of the practice period. At the same intervals, melatonin concentrations were evaluated in the saliva. Those who meditated for more than 980 minutes showed increased phagocytosis, their monocytes produced higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, and their plasma levels of corticotrophin were reduced. The production of nitric oxide by monocytes, and the levels of cortisol and melatonin were not modified by meditation. This is the first study to show that a short program of pranic meditation practice was able to upregulate the function and metabolism of phagocytes, in parallel with the reduction of the plasma levels of corticotrophin. The results of this study point to a possible causal effect between these events, and indicate that pranic meditation could be useful for stimulating the function and

  12. Development and evaluation of a water level proportional water sampler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, P.; Lange, A.; Doppler, T.

    2013-12-01

    We developed and adapted a new type of sampler for time-integrated, water level proportional water quality sampling (e.g. nutrients, contaminants and stable isotopes). Our samplers are designed for sampling small to mid-size streams based on the law of Hagen-Poiseuille, where a capillary (or a valve) limits the sampling aliquot by reducing the air flux out of a submersed plastic (HDPE) sampling container. They are good alternatives to battery-operated automated water samplers when working in remote areas, or at streams that are characterized by pronounced daily discharge variations such as glacier streams. We evaluated our samplers against standard automated water samplers (ISCO 2900 and ISCO 6712) during the snowmelt in the Black Forest and the Alps and tested them in remote glacial catchments in Iceland, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan. The results clearly showed that our samplers are an adequate tool for time-integrated, water level proportional water sampling at remote test sites, as they do not need batteries, are relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and compact. They are well suited for headwater streams - especially when sampling for stable isotopes - as the sampled water is perfectly protected against evaporation. Moreover, our samplers have a reduced risk of icing in cold environments, as they are installed submersed in water, whereas automated samplers (typically installed outside the stream) may get clogged due to icing of hoses. Based on this study, we find these samplers to be an adequate replacement for automated samplers when time-integrated sampling or solute load estimates are the main monitoring tasks.

  13. [Correlation between facial nerve functional evaluation and efficacy evaluation of acupuncture treatment for Bell's palsy].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhang-ling; Li, Cheng-xin; Jiang, Yue-bo; Zuo, Cong; Cai, Yun; Wang, Rui

    2012-09-01

    To assess and grade facial nerve dysfunction according to the extent of facial paralysis in the clinical course of acupuncture treatment for Bell's palsy, and to observe the interrelationship between the grade, the efficacy and the period of treatment, as well as the effect on prognosis. The authors employed the House-Brackmann scale, a commonly used evaluation scale for facial paralysis motor function, and set standards for eye fissure and lips. According to the improved scale, the authors assessed and graded the degree of facial paralysis in terms of facial nerve dysfunction both before and after treatment. The grade was divided into five levels: mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe dysfunction and complete paralysis. The authors gave acupuncture treatment according to the state of the disease without artificially setting the treatment period. The observation was focused on the efficacy and the efficacy was evaluated throughout the entire treatment process. Fifty-three cases out of 68 patients with Bell's palsy were cured and the overall rate of efficacy was 97%. Statistically significant differences (P<0.01) were perceived among the efficacy of five levels of facial nerve dysfunction. Efficacy was correlated with the damage level of the disease (correlation coefficient r=0.423, P<0.01). The course of treatment also extended with the severity of facial nerve dysfunction (P<0.01). Differences exist in patients with Bell's palsy in terms of severity of facial nerve dysfunction. Efficacy is reduced in correlation with an increase in facial nerve dysfunction, and the period of treatment varies in need of different levels of facial nerve dysfunction. It is highly necessary to assess and grade patients before observation and treatment in clinical study, and choose corresponding treatment according to severity of damage of the disease.

  14. Effects of childhood trauma exposure and cortisol levels on cognitive functioning among breast cancer survivors.

    PubMed

    Kamen, Charles; Scheiber, Caroline; Janelsins, Michelle; Jo, Booil; Shen, Hanyang; Palesh, Oxana

    2017-08-14

    Cognitive functioning difficultiesin breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are common, but not all women experience these impairments. Exposure to childhood trauma may impair cognitive functioning following chemotherapy, and these impairments may be mediated by dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and cortisol slope. This study evaluated the association between childhood trauma exposure, cortisol, and cognition in a sample of breast cancer survivors. 56 women completed measures of trauma exposure (the Traumatic Events Survey), salivary cortisol, and self-reported cognitive functioning (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Cognitive). We examined correlations between childhood trauma exposure and cognitive functioning, then used linear regression to control for factors associated with cognition (age, education, time since chemotherapy, depression, anxiety, and insomnia), and the MacArthur approach to test whether cortisol levels mediated the relationship between trauma and cognitive functioning. 57.1% of the sample had experienced at least one traumatic event in childhood, with 19.6% of the sample witnessing a serious injury, 17.9% experiencing physical abuse, and 14.3% experiencing sexual abuse. Childhood trauma exposure and cognitive functioning were moderately associated (r=-0.29). This association remained even when controlling for other factors associated with cognition; the final model explained 47% of the variance in cognitive functioning. The association between childhood trauma and cognitive functioning was mediated by steeper cortisol slope (partial r=0.35, p=0.02). Childhood trauma exposure is associated with self-reported cognitive functioning among breast cancer survivors and is mediated by cortisol dysregulation. Trauma should be considered, among other factors, in programs aiming to address cognition in this population. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Self Assessment in Schizophrenia: Accuracy of Evaluation of Cognition and Everyday Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Gould, Felicia; McGuire, Laura Stone; Durand, Dante; Sabbag, Samir; Larrauri, Carlos; Patterson, Thomas L.; Twamley, Elizabeth W.; Harvey, Philip D.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Self-assessment deficits, often referred to as impaired insight or unawareness of illness, are well established in people with schizophrenia. There are multiple levels of awareness, including awareness of symptoms, functional deficits, cognitive impairments, and the ability to monitor cognitive and functional performance in an ongoing manner. The present study aimed to evaluate the comparative predictive value of each aspect of awareness on the levels of everyday functioning in people with schizophrenia. Method We examined multiple aspects of self-assessment of functioning in 214 people with schizophrenia. We also collected information on everyday functioning rated by high contact clinicians and examined the importance of self-assessment for the prediction of real world functional outcomes. The relative impact of performance based measures of cognition, functional capacity, and metacognitive performance on everyday functioning was also examined. Results Misestimation of ability emerged as the strongest predictor of real world functioning and exceeded the influences of cognitive performance, functional capacity performance, and performance-based assessment of metacognitive monitoring. The relative contribution of the factors other than self-assessment varied according to which domain of everyday functioning was being examined, but in all cases, accounted for less predictive variance. Conclusions These results underscore the functional impact of misestimating one’s current functioning and relative level of ability. These findings are consistent with the use of insight-focused treatments and compensatory strategies designed to increase self-awareness in multiple functional domains. PMID:25643212

  16. Tuning sum rules with window functions for optical constant evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-de Marcos, Luis V.; Méndez, José A.; Larruquert, Juan I.

    2016-07-01

    Sum rules are a useful tool to evaluate the global consistency of a set of optical constants. We present a procedure to spectrally tune sum rules to evaluate the local consistency of optical constants. It enables enhancing the weight of a desired spectral range within the sum-rule integral. The procedure consists in multiplying the complex refractive index with an adapted function, which is named window function. Window functions are constructed through integration of Lorentz oscillators. The asymptotic decay of these window functions enables the derivation of a multiplicity of sum rules akin to the inertial sum rule, along with one modified version of f-sum rule. This multiplicity of sum rules combined with the free selection of the photon energy range provides a double way to tune the spectral contribution within the sum rule. Window functions were applied to reported data of SrF2 and of Al films in order to check data consistency over the spectrum. The use of window functions shows that the optical constants of SrF2 are consistent in a broad spectrum. Regarding Al, some spectral ranges are seen to present a lower consistency, even though the standard sum rules with no window function did not detect inconsistencies. Hence window functions are expected to be a helpful tool to evaluate the local consistency of optical constants.

  17. Evaluating office lighting environments: Second-level analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, B.L.; Fisher, W.S.; Gillette, G.L.; Marans, R.W.

    1989-04-01

    Data from a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of 912 work stations with lighting power density (LPD), photometric, and occupant-response measures were examined in a detailed, second-level analysis. Seven types of lighting systems were identified with different combinations of direct and indirect ambient lighting, and task lighting and daylight. The mean illuminances at the primary task location were within the IES target values for office task with a range of mean illuminances from 32 to 75 fc, depending on the lighting system. The median LPD was about 2.36 watts/sq ft, with about one-third the work stations having LPD's at or below 2.0 watts/sq ft. Although a majority of the occupants (69%) were satisfied about their lighting, the highest percentage of those expressing dissatisfaction (37%) with lighting had an indirect fluorescent furniture-mounted (IFFM) system. The negative reaction of so many people to the IFFM system suggests that the combination of task lighting with an indirect ambient system had an important influence on lighting satisfaction, even though task illuminances tended to be higher with the IFFM system. Concepts of lighting quality, visual health, and control were explored, as well as average luminance to explain the negative reactions to the combination of indirect lighting with furniture-mounted lighting.

  18. A STUDY TO EVALUATE THE LEVELS OF DIOXIN-LIKE ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with USDA and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has undertaken a program to study the presence of dioxin-like compounds in animal feeds. Two phases of this program have been completed, and this paper reports on the third phase. The first phase was a study on the mass balance of dioxins in lactating cows. The objective of that study was to quantify the role feeds play in total dairy cow exposures. The second phase of the program involved the collections and measurement of dioxins in minor feed components. Dioxins in specific targeted animal feed components of interest, including animal and plant byproducts were measured. The third phase involved sampling of total mixed dairy feeds and feed components from dairy facilities around the United States, and measuring for dioxin-like compounds. Lorber, M; Ferrario, J; Byrne, C; Greene, C; Cyrus, A. 2004. A Study to Evaluate the Levels of Dioxin-Like Compounds in Dairy Feeds in the United States. Organohalogen Compounds 66: 1958-1965. journal articles

  19. Sacral nervous function, hormonal levels and sexuality in premenopausal women before and after hysterectomy.

    PubMed

    Helström, L; Bäckström, T; Sörbom, D; Lundberg, P O

    1994-08-01

    To investigate the predictive value of sacral nervous function, result of pelvic examination and hormonal status on sexuality before and after subtotal hysterectomy. One hundred and four women were examined and interviewed one month before and one year after hysterectomy for non-malignant diseases. Genital examination, sacral nervous function testing including vibrotactility were performed, and sex hormone levels were estimated at each occasion. The results were evaluated and compared using multivariate analyses. Postoperative experience of multiple orgasm was negatively correlated to three out of five measured factors for pelvic sacral function: i.e. vibrotactility of the clitoris, the external anal reflex and the levator muscle strength. No correlations were found between tests for sacral nervous function and a latent factor for sexuality before and after the operation. Preoperative uterine size did not show correlation to either preoperative or postoperative sexual parameters nor did uterine pain during vaginal examination. The preoperative sex hormone levels, and the result of histopathological examination showed no correlation to sexual variables. Preoperative somatic findings including sacral nervous function and pelvic muscular strength cannot be used as predictors for sexuality after subtotal hysterectomy.

  20. Structural and functional correlates of serum soluble IL-6 receptor level in patients with bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Tu, Pei-Chi; Li, Cheng-Ta; Lin, Wei-Chen; Chen, Mu-Hong; Su, Tung-Ping; Bai, Ya-Mei

    2017-09-01

    Inflammation is reported to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder (BD). Higher serum levels of soluble interleukin-6 receptor (sIL-6R), which forms a ligand-receptor complex with the potent proinflammatory cytokine IL-6, have been consistently observed in patients with BD. However, the effect of sIL-6R on neural structure and function remains unclear. This study investigated the association between serum sIL-6R levels and the structural and functional connectivity (FC) of the brain in patients with BD. Seventy-four stable patients with BD-I or BD-II were enrolled from the outpatient clinic. Structural and resting functional MRI and clinical evaluations were performed in all participants, and serum sIL-6R levels were measured. We used an automated surface-based method (FreeSurfer) to measure cortical thickness and a seed-based FC analysis to derive the FC map of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a key region implicated in the fronto-limbic disconnection hypothesis of BD. Brain-wise regression analyses of cortical thickness and FC mapping on IL-6 levels were performed using a general linear model. Higher sIL-6R levels were associated with a thinner cortex in the right middle temporal gyrus. Furthermore, higher sIL-6R levels were associated with increased FC between the mPFC and amygdala, pallidum, putamen, and insula and decreased FC between the mPFC and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and frontal pole. The results evidence that higher serum inflammatory marker levels are associated with a severer deficit in structural and connectivity abnormalities implicated in BD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. An evaluation of an interprofessional master's level programme in children's palliative care: The students' evaluation.

    PubMed

    Nicholl, Honor; Price, Jayne; Tracey, Catherine

    2016-03-01

    In 2010/12 an innovative children's palliative care interprofessional educational project funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation was undertaken in a University faculty (Trinity College Dublin). This initiative responded to international educational recommendations to meet the palliative care needs of children. The project involved the development and delivery of 3 standalone modules at Master's level and a substantive research evaluation of the project to examine stakeholders and students perspectives to provide an insight into their experiences and to gather data for future developments. The research evaluation was conducted in two parts, part one sought students' evaluation and part two sought stakeholders', curriculum developers and lecturers' feedback. This paper reports the students' evaluation. Findings indicate that students perceived undertaking the modules provided them with the opportunity for improved interprofessional learning and they found modular content and assessment challenging. They also found the modules met their educational needs and also promoted an awareness of interprofessional education and the collaborative teamwork involved in children's palliative care. These students already experienced in children's palliative care indicated that those teaching on programmes at this level need expertise and programme time needs to be available for sharing experiences and for consolidation of learning.

  2. A study on the quantitative evaluation of skin barrier function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maruyama, Tomomi; Kabetani, Yasuhiro; Kido, Michiko; Yamada, Kenji; Oikaze, Hirotoshi; Takechi, Yohei; Furuta, Tomotaka; Ishii, Shoichi; Katayama, Haruna; Jeong, Hieyong; Ohno, Yuko

    2015-03-01

    We propose a quantitative evaluation method of skin barrier function using Optical Coherence Microscopy system (OCM system) with coherency of near-infrared light. There are a lot of skin problems such as itching, irritation and so on. It has been recognized skin problems are caused by impairment of skin barrier function, which prevents damage from various external stimuli and loss of water. To evaluate skin barrier function, it is a common strategy that they observe skin surface and ask patients about their skin condition. The methods are subjective judgements and they are influenced by difference of experience of persons. Furthermore, microscopy has been used to observe inner structure of the skin in detail, and in vitro measurements like microscopy requires tissue sampling. On the other hand, it is necessary to assess objectively skin barrier function by quantitative evaluation method. In addition, non-invasive and nondestructive measuring method and examination changes over time are needed. Therefore, in vivo measurements are crucial for evaluating skin barrier function. In this study, we evaluate changes of stratum corneum structure which is important for evaluating skin barrier function by comparing water-penetrated skin with normal skin using a system with coherency of near-infrared light. Proposed method can obtain in vivo 3D images of inner structure of body tissue, which is non-invasive and non-destructive measuring method. We formulate changes of skin ultrastructure after water penetration. Finally, we evaluate the limit of performance of the OCM system in this work in order to discuss how to improve the OCM system.

  3. Evaluation of Climate Variability of Sea Level from the ESA CCI product and ECMWF ocean reanalyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Hao; Balmaseda, Magdalena

    2016-07-01

    The ESA CCI initiative has provided an improved monthly averaged sea level anomalies (SLA) product (ECV1.1) in 1/4 degree resolution and from 1993 to 2014. The evaluation of ECV1.1 has been carried out by comparison with previous ECV versions, and with new ECMWF ocean and sea-ice reanalyses (ORAS5), which assimilates in-situ temperature and salinity observations, in different resolutions (1/4 of degree and 1 degree). The robustness of the sea level climate variability from ECV1.1 and its attribution to physical processes are evaluated using ocean reanalysis. Spatial distributions of uncertainties on regional sea level trends from ECV1.1 are also evaluated against ensemble spread from ORAS5. An Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis show that the amplitude, phase, and spatial patterns of the interannual signals of sea level in the new ESA CCI SL are more consistent with the ocean reanalyses than previous SL products. The relation between the leading EOF modes of sea-level and climate variability processes is discussed, at a global and regional scale, with a special focus in the North Atlantic.

  4. Connected Functional Working Spaces: A Framework for the Teaching and Learning of Functions at Upper Secondary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minh, Tran Kiem; Lagrange, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-01-01

    This paper aims at contributing to remedy the narrow treatment of functions at upper secondary level. Assuming that students make sense of functions by working on functional situations in distinctive settings, we propose to consider functional working spaces inspired by geometrical working spaces. We analyse a classroom situation based on a…

  5. Connected Functional Working Spaces: A Framework for the Teaching and Learning of Functions at Upper Secondary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minh, Tran Kiem; Lagrange, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-01-01

    This paper aims at contributing to remedy the narrow treatment of functions at upper secondary level. Assuming that students make sense of functions by working on functional situations in distinctive settings, we propose to consider functional working spaces inspired by geometrical working spaces. We analyse a classroom situation based on a…

  6. Implicit function-based phantoms for evaluation of registration algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopalakrishnan, Girish; Poston, Timothy; Nagaraj, Nithin; Mullick, Rakesh; Knoplioch, Jerome

    2005-04-01

    Medical image fusion is increasingly enhancing diagnostic accuracy by synergizing information from multiple images, obtained by the same modality at different times or from complementary modalities such as structural information from CT and functional from PET. An active, crucial research topic in fusion is validation of the registration (point-to-point correspondence) used. Phantoms and other simulated studies are useful in the absence of, or as a preliminary to, definitive clinical tests. Software phantoms in specific have the added advantage of robustness, repeatability and reproducibility. Our virtual-lung-phantom-based scheme can test the accuracy of any registration algorithm and is flexible enough for added levels of complexity (addition of blur/anti-alias, rotate/warp, and modality-associated noise) to help evaluate the robustness of an image registration/fusion methodology. Such a framework extends easily to different anatomies. The feature of adding software-based fiducials both within and outside simulated anatomies prove more beneficial when compared to experiments using data from external fiducials on a patient. It would help the diagnosing clinician make a prudent choice of registration algorithm.

  7. Correlation between von Willebrand factor levels and early graft function in clinical liver transplantation.

    PubMed

    Basile, J; Busuttil, A; Sheiner, P A; Emre, S; Guy, S; Schwartz, M E; Boros, P; Miller, C M

    1999-02-01

    Cold preservation/reperfusion leads to sinusoidal endothelial cell (SEC) activation and damage in nearly every liver transplantation; the extent of these changes influences early graft function. Upon reperfusion, activated SEC show increased expression of adhesion molecules, including von Willebrand factor (vWF) which is released into the circulation. This study was designed to evaluate the levels of vWF measured in the caval effluent and correlate these findings with known markers of SEC damage and early graft function. Data were obtained from 35 patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (LTx). Two samples were taken from each patient for measurement of vWF: a) from the portal vein immediately prior to reperfusion; and b) from the first 50 ml of the caval effluent. Commercial assays were used to measure vWF, as well as hyaluronic acid (HA), thrombomodulin (TM), IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-alpha. Patients were divided into two groups based on early graft function. Poor early graft function (PEGF) was defined as a peak aspartate transaminase (AST) or alanine transaminase (ALT) level > 2500 U/L during the first three postoperative days (POD) and a prothrombin time (PT) > 16 s on POD 2 (n = 8). The remaining 27 patients had good early graft function (GEGF). In patients with GEGF, vWF levels dropped significantly between the two time points. This change was not observed in those with PEGF. A positive linear correlation was observed in the PEGF group between vWF and HA and IL-6. The different pattern of change in vWF between the two groups, as well as the positive correlation between HA, IL-6 and vWF in PEGF, suggest that vWF may be a useful marker of early graft function.

  8. [Videomimicography: a new objective evaluation of facial motor function].

    PubMed

    Wang, De-sheng; Dulguerov, Pavel; Lehmann, Willy

    2004-01-01

    To develop a new method, videomimicography (VMG), to evaluate facial motor function. During VMG, 11 landmarks were placed on the face, and 5 movements (forehead lifting, eye closure, nose wrinkling, lip puckering and smiling) with maximal contraction were requested. A digital video film was recorded then fed in a computer to be analyzed. Ten normal subjects were used as normal control. Area measures were found better than distance measures in evaluating facial movements. The best measure for each movement was determined. Then a global index of facial motor function was derived from these measures. This index was found well correlated with the facial paralysis House-Brackmann grade in 48 patients with facial paralysis (r = -0.928). VMG is an objective, quantitative, relative simple method. It has good reproducibility. So it can be used in clinic for evaluating facial motor function.

  9. The Beneficial Effects of Cardiac Rehabilitation on the Function and Levels of Endothelial Progenitor Cells.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yuan; Ledesma, Robert Andre; Peng, Ran; Liu, Qiong; Xu, Danyan

    2017-01-01

    Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a comprehensive program, which mainly focusses on exercise training, disease evaluation, cardiovascular risk factors control, medication therapy, psychosocial intervention, and patient education. Although the beneficial properties of CR have been widely evidenced, its mechanism is still not completely clarified. To date, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been explored by emerging studies, and evidence has suggested that CR, especially exercise training, significantly increases the function and levels of EPCs, which is likely to elucidate the profiting mechanism of CR. Thus, this review summarises the potential relationship between CR and EPCs with an aim of providing novel directions for future CR research. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Effects of ration level on immune functions in chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alcorn, S.W.; Pascho, R.J.; Murray, A.L.; Shearer, K.D.

    2003-01-01

    The relationship between nutritional status and disease resistance in cultured salmonids can be affected by dietary manipulations. Careful attention to feeding levels may be important to avoid imbalances in nutrient levels that could ultimately impair a fish's ability to resist infectious microorganisms. In the current study, fish in three feed-level groups were fed an experimental diet either to satiation, 64% of satiation or 40% of satiation. A fourth group of fish were fed a commercial diet at the 64% of satiation level and served as controls. To evaluate certain indices of disease resistance in the test and control fish, a panel of assays was employed to measure humoral and cellular immune functions 30, 39 and 54 weeks after starting the dietary treatments. The panel included measures of blood hematocrit and leucocrit levels, plasma protein concentration and serum lysozyme and complement activity. Cellular analyses included differential blood leucocyte counts, NBT reduction and phagocytosis by pronephros macrophages and myeloperoxidase activity of pronephros neutrophils. No differences were observed in those indices between fish tested from the control-diet group (commercial diet fed at the 64% rate) and fish tested from the 64% feed-level group, except that fish fed the commercial diet had a greater concentration of plasma protein. Leucocrit values and plasma protein concentrations tended to increase among the experimental feed groups as the ration increased from 40% to satiation. More importantly, phagocytic activity by anterior kidney leucocytes was found to be inversely proportional to the feed level. Whereas the results of this study provide evidence that the salmonid immune system may be fairly robust with regard to available metabolic energy, the significant changes observed in phagocytic cell activity suggest that some cellular immune functions may be affected by the feed level.

  11. Functional evaluation of patients with surgically treated terrible triad of the elbow

    PubMed Central

    Brigato, Rafael Mulatti; Mouraria, Guilherme Grisi; Kikuta, Fernando Kenji; Coelho, Sérgio de Paula; Cruz, Márcio Alves; Zoppi, Américo

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the functional outcome of patients with surgically treated terrible triad of the elbow. METHODS: A retrospective evaluation was performed using the MEPS score (Mayo Elbow Performance Score) of patients diagnosed with terrible triad of the elbow who underwent surgical treatment. RESULTS: 14 patients (nine men and five women) and 15 elbows (one bilateral case) were evaluated. A MEPS average score of 78 points and 86% good and excellent results was obtained. As complications, we had one case of infection and three of neuropraxia of the ulnar nerve. CONCLUSION: The patients had stable elbow with good function, however with reduced range of motion. Level of Evidence IV, Case Series. PMID:26207090

  12. Evaluation of transfer functions in spatially structured environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Telford, R. J.; Birks, H. J. B.

    2009-06-01

    Transfer function training set sites close to each other tend to have similar species assemblages and environmental conditions in both oceanic and terrestrial data sets. This is unremarkable, but as this lack of independence between sites violates the assumptions of many statistical tests, it has severe consequences for transfer function evaluation, possibly resulting in inappropriate model choice and misleading and over-optimistic estimates of a transfer function's performance. In this paper, we develop a simple graphical method to test if spatial autocorrelation affects a training set, develop a Monte Carlo geostatistical simulation as a null model to test the significance of transfer functions in autocorrelated environments, and introduce a cross-validation scheme that is more robust to autocorrelation. We use these tests to show that some recently-published transfer functions have no predictive power, and strongly recommend the use of these tests to make transfer functions more robust to autocorrelation.

  13. Evaluation of sexual function in men with orchialgia.

    PubMed

    Ciftci, Halil; Savas, Murat; Gulum, Mehmet; Yeni, Ercan; Verit, Ayhan; Topal, Ufuk

    2011-06-01

    This study examined the effect of chronic scrotal pain on sexual function using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). We enrolled 50 patients with symptoms consistent with orchialgia and 50 control subjects without orchialgia, who were healthy, sexually active, married, and age-matched. Both groups were evaluated using the IIEF questions for sexual function, and quality of life was investigated using the abbreviated version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire. A significant difference was found in the values of orgasmic function, intercourse satisfaction, sexual desire, overall sexual satisfaction, and total IIEF scores between the patient and control groups; however, there were no significant group differences in the IIEF scores related to erectile function. In the patient group, 39 of 50 subjects reported decreased sexual desire and satisfaction due to a decrease in frequency of sexual activities. Thus, investigation of sexual function was essential for these patients in order to determine the adequate management and treatment of chronic orchialgia.

  14. [Doppler evaluation of diastolic function in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy].

    PubMed

    Borzi, M; Capria, A; Calò, L; Luzi, M; Cannata, D

    1995-01-01

    Diastolic function may play a significant role in patients affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, because abnormalities in diastolic function, even in presence of a normal systolic function, may determine the clinical features of the disease. Doppler ecocardiography, using a non-invasive and not highly expensive method, easily allows to analize the indexes of diastolic function, as soon as some morpho-functional parameters, represented by extent and localization of the myocardial hypertrophy and presence or absence of obstruction in the left ventricular outflow, which have always been considered relevant in the prognosis together with the typical arrhythmic abnormalities of the disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the behaviour of Doppler ecocardiographic parameters of diastolic function in 38 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and to analize whether they might be correlated with the morpho-functional patterns and clinical features of the disease, represented by the NYHA functional class and occurrence of ventricular tachycardia during 48 hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. Diastolic function abnormalities, although occurring in most patients, do not seem to be related with clinical conditions and/or with the typical morpho-functional patterns of the disease; however, an increase in the left atrial size together with a specific increase in the rate of deceleration of flow velocity in early diastole that were detected in patients with ventricular tachycardia, by suggesting a relation between diastolic dysfunction and arrhythmogenic substrate, remarks the importance of the analysis of diastolic function for a better prognostic evaluation of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

  15. Impact of sea level rise on tide gate function.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Sean; Miskewitz, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Sea level rise resulting from climate change and land subsidence is expected to severely impact the duration and associated damage resulting from flooding events in tidal communities. These communities must continuously invest resources for the maintenance of existing structures and installation of new flood prevention infrastructure. Tide gates are a common flood prevention structure for low-lying communities in the tidal zone. Tide gates close during incoming tides to prevent inundation from downstream water propagating inland and open during outgoing tides to drain upland areas. Higher downstream mean sea level elevations reduce the effectiveness of tide gates by impacting the hydraulics of the system. This project developed a HEC-RAS and HEC-HMS model of an existing tide gate structure and its upland drainage area in the New Jersey Meadowlands to simulate the impact of rising mean sea level elevations on the tide gate's ability to prevent upstream flooding. Model predictions indicate that sea level rise will reduce the tide gate effectiveness resulting in longer lasting and deeper flood events. The results indicate that there is a critical point in the sea level elevation for this local area, beyond which flooding scenarios become dramatically worse and would have a significantly negative impact on the standard of living and ability to do business in one of the most densely populated areas of America.

  16. Generalized Fermi-Dirac functions and derivatives: properties and evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Z.; Zejda, L.; Däppen, W.; Aparicio, J. M.

    2001-05-01

    The generalized Fermi-Dirac functions and their derivatives are important in evaluating the thermodynamic quantities of partially degenerate electrons in hot dense stellar plasmas. New recursion relations of the generalized Fermi-Dirac functions have been found. An effective numerical method to evaluate the derivatives of the generalized Fermi-Dirac functions up to third order with respect to both degeneracy and temperature is then proposed, following Aparicio [Ap.J.S.S. 117 (1998) 627]. A Fortran program based on this method, together with a sample test case, is provided. Accuracy and domain of reliability of some other, popularly used analytic approximations of the generalized Fermi-Dirac functions for extreme conditions are investigated and compared with our results.

  17. Accurate evaluation and analysis of functional genomics data and methods

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Casey S.; Troyanskaya, Olga G.

    2016-01-01

    The development of technology capable of inexpensively performing large-scale measurements of biological systems has generated a wealth of data. Integrative analysis of these data holds the promise of uncovering gene function, regulation, and, in the longer run, understanding complex disease. However, their analysis has proved very challenging, as it is difficult to quickly and effectively assess the relevance and accuracy of these data for individual biological questions. Here, we identify biases that present challenges for the assessment of functional genomics data and methods. We then discuss evaluation methods that, taken together, begin to address these issues. We also argue that the funding of systematic data-driven experiments and of high-quality curation efforts will further improve evaluation metrics so that they more-accurately assess functional genomics data and methods. Such metrics will allow researchers in the field of functional genomics to continue to answer important biological questions in a data-driven manner. PMID:22268703

  18. Maternal Sensitivity, Child Functional Level, and Attachment in Down Syndrome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Leslie; Chrisholm, Vivienne C.; Scott, Brian; Goldberg, Susan; Vaughn, Brian E.; Blackwell, Janis; Dickens, Susan; Tam, Frances

    1999-01-01

    Investigated the influence of child intellectual/adaptive functioning and maternal sensitivity on attachment security, using a sample of children with Down syndrome. Found a relationship between attachment security in DS related to the interaction of maternal sensitivity and cognitive competence. (JPB)

  19. A Multi-Level Model of Moral Functioning Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Don Collins

    2009-01-01

    The model of moral functioning scaffolded in the 2008 "JME" Special Issue is here revisited in response to three papers criticising that volume. As guest editor of that Special Issue I have formulated the main body of this response, concerning the dynamic systems approach to moral development, the problem of moral relativism and the role of…

  20. Functional evaluation before stone surgery: Is it mandatory?

    PubMed Central

    Nayyar, Rishi; Khattar, Nikhil; Sood, Rajeev

    2012-01-01

    Functional evaluation of the renal unit has often been quoted as a standard practice for management of stone disease of the upper urinary tract. However, there is very little available evidence from the existing literature to directly support or refute this practice. Here we try to critically review the existing literature on related questions, put into perspective its clinical utility and attempt to rationalize the concept of functional evaluation in patients of renal stone disease in the contemporary era of minimally invasive surgery. PMID:23204650

  1. Functional and Behavioral Metrics for Evaluating Laser Retinal Damage

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    pigmentosa , and retinal detachment10. mfERG response characteristics have been shown to vary depending on the part of the retina that is affected by a...DoD Controlling Office is (insert controlling DoD office). 20100715258 Functional and behavioral metrics for evaluating laser retinal damage Cheryl...potential for and severity of laser eye injury and retinal damage is increasing . Sensitive and accurate methods to evaluate and follow laser retinal

  2. Telemedicine for evaluation of brain function by a metacomputer.

    PubMed

    Mizuno-Matsumoto, Y; Date, S; Tabuchi, Y; Tamura, S; Sato, Y; Zoroofi, R A; Shimojo, S; Kadobayashi, Y; Tatsumi, H; Nogawa, H; Shinosaki, K; Takeda, M; Inouye, T; Miyahara, H

    2000-06-01

    A method of evaluating brain function using the metacomputer concept of the Globus system combined with a message-passing interface is described. The proposed method has the ability to exploit various geographically distributed resources and parallel computing linked to a high-technology medical instrumentation system, magnetoencephalography, to analyze the functional state of the brain. It is envisaged that the method will lead to the realization of an efficient telemedicine system for health care.

  3. The Relationship Between Hemoglobin Level and Intellectual Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munro, Nancy

    In a study to learn whether or not poor nutrition, as indicated by low hemoglobin levels, affects intelligence and behavior, 113 Head Start children in Missoula, Montana took part. Group testing with the Lorge Thorndike Intelligence Test and individual testing with the Wechsler and Primary Scale of Intelligence or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for…

  4. Multi-level methods and approximating distribution functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D.; Baker, R. E.

    2016-07-01

    Biochemical reaction networks are often modelled using discrete-state, continuous-time Markov chains. System statistics of these Markov chains usually cannot be calculated analytically and therefore estimates must be generated via simulation techniques. There is a well documented class of simulation techniques known as exact stochastic simulation algorithms, an example of which is Gillespie's direct method. These algorithms often come with high computational costs, therefore approximate stochastic simulation algorithms such as the tau-leap method are used. However, in order to minimise the bias in the estimates generated using them, a relatively small value of tau is needed, rendering the computational costs comparable to Gillespie's direct method. The multi-level Monte Carlo method (Anderson and Higham, Multiscale Model. Simul. 10:146-179, 2012) provides a reduction in computational costs whilst minimising or even eliminating the bias in the estimates of system statistics. This is achieved by first crudely approximating required statistics with many sample paths of low accuracy. Then correction terms are added until a required level of accuracy is reached. Recent literature has primarily focussed on implementing the multi-level method efficiently to estimate a single system statistic. However, it is clearly also of interest to be able to approximate entire probability distributions of species counts. We present two novel methods that combine known techniques for distribution reconstruction with the multi-level method. We demonstrate the potential of our methods using a number of examples.

  5. Multi-level methods and approximating distribution functions

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, D. Baker, R. E.

    2016-07-15

    Biochemical reaction networks are often modelled using discrete-state, continuous-time Markov chains. System statistics of these Markov chains usually cannot be calculated analytically and therefore estimates must be generated via simulation techniques. There is a well documented class of simulation techniques known as exact stochastic simulation algorithms, an example of which is Gillespie’s direct method. These algorithms often come with high computational costs, therefore approximate stochastic simulation algorithms such as the tau-leap method are used. However, in order to minimise the bias in the estimates generated using them, a relatively small value of tau is needed, rendering the computational costs comparable to Gillespie’s direct method. The multi-level Monte Carlo method (Anderson and Higham, Multiscale Model. Simul. 10:146–179, 2012) provides a reduction in computational costs whilst minimising or even eliminating the bias in the estimates of system statistics. This is achieved by first crudely approximating required statistics with many sample paths of low accuracy. Then correction terms are added until a required level of accuracy is reached. Recent literature has primarily focussed on implementing the multi-level method efficiently to estimate a single system statistic. However, it is clearly also of interest to be able to approximate entire probability distributions of species counts. We present two novel methods that combine known techniques for distribution reconstruction with the multi-level method. We demonstrate the potential of our methods using a number of examples.

  6. Irisin levels in relation to metabolic and liver functions in Egyptian patients with metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Rizk, Fatma H; Elshweikh, Samah A; Abd El-Naby, Amira Y

    2016-04-01

    Irisin is a new myokine that is suspected to influence metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, there is a great controversy with respect to its level in cases of MetS and its correlation with different metabolic parameters. The present study assesses irisin levels in MetS patients and studies its relationship to metabolic and liver functions to evaluate the possible role of the liver in regulation of this level. Sixty subjects were included in this experiment, who were divided into 3 groups: group I (normal control), group II (MetS patients with normal liver enzymes), and group III (MetS with elevated liver enzymes and fatty liver disease). Serum irisin levels showed significant increases in groups II and III compared with group I, and significant increases in group III compared with group II. Also, irisin levels were positively correlated with body mass index, serum triglycerides, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), and liver enzymes. We concluded that serum irisin levels increased in patients with MetS, especially those with elevated liver enzymes, and had a positive correlation with parameters of lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis with the possibility of hepatic clearance to irisin.

  7. Functional ground testing - Evaluating the Tomahawk Cruise Missile

    SciTech Connect

    Parise, K.W. )

    1992-01-01

    Flight testing evaluates vehicle performance in a flight environment and, in the case of a weapon system, clearly indicates mission readiness. However, there is a cost-effective alternative method of testing which is capable of indicating weapon system functionality and subsystem success. Functional ground testing of the all-up round Tomahawk Cruise Missile is described. The Tomahawk functional ground test (FGT) cannot make the same conclusive determinations that an operational test launch can. This paper describes the Tomahawk FGT and what makes it unique. It describes the developments and status of this testing methodology, the data acquisition and control, and the engineering challenges encountered. 3 refs.

  8. Blood lead and cadmium levels and renal function in Korean adults.

    PubMed

    Chung, Sungjin; Chung, Jong Hee; Kim, Sung Jun; Koh, Eun Sil; Yoon, Hye Eun; Park, Cheol Whee; Chang, Yoon Sik; Shin, Seok Joon

    2014-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the associations of blood lead and cadmium levels with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria in Korean adults. This was a cross-sectional study based on the Korea Nation Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) to analyze the association of blood lead and cadmium levels with renal dysfunction and urine protein excretion. We defined renal dysfunction as eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2), as measured by the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation and proteinuria as positive urine dip-stick result. Blood lead and cadmium levels were significantly increased in the renal dysfunction group compared with the normal renal function group. Lead levels were significantly higher in the proteinuria group than in the group with no proteinuria. There were no differences in cadmium levels according to the amount of proteinuria. Multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for age and sex demonstrated higher lead and cadmium levels in the renal dysfunction group than in the group with normal renal function [odds ratio (OR) 1.344, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.157-1.162, P < 0.05; OR 1.467, 95 % CI 1.077-1.999, P < 0.05, respectively]. For proteinuria, the fully adjusted ORs comparing the highest versus the lowest lead and cadmium quartiles were 1.22 (95 % CI 1.00-1.50) and 0.51 (95 % CI 0.24-1.08), respectively, showing no significance. For reduced eGFR, the fully adjusted ORs comparing the highest versus the lowest lead and cadmium quartiles were 1.23 (95 % CI 0.98-1.53) and 1.93 (95 % CI 1.39-2.67), respectively, showing the significant association between lead and cadmium levels and renal function. The risk of having reduced eGFR for individuals in the highest quartiles of both lead and cadmium levels in blood was greater than for those in the highest quartile of blood level of lead or cadmium only. The CKD-EPI equation showed that blood lead and cadmium levels were

  9. An Experiment Regarding the Evaluation of Learning at University Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olatunji, Stella A.

    1975-01-01

    The practical application of an evaluation model involving an education course at the University of Ife is described. It was shown that the model is workable and that a university course can be consciously planned, pursued, and evaluated beyond the ordinary processes. (Author/LBH)

  10. Great Ideas Revisited. Techniques for Evaluating Training Programs. Revisiting Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirkpatrick, Donald

    1996-01-01

    Kirkpatrick reviews his 1959 article presenting his four-level model of evaluation. He suggests that training professionals should evaluate their programs and understanding those four levels is a good start. The text of the original article is included. (JOW)

  11. Blood lead levels in relation to cognitive function in older U.S. adults.

    PubMed

    van Wijngaarden, Edwin; Winters, Paul C; Cory-Slechta, Deborah A

    2011-01-01

    Studies suggest that cumulative exposure to lead, as measured in the bone, is associated with accelerated cognitive decline at older age. It is presently unclear, however, whether current blood lead levels (BLLs) are adversely related to cognitive functioning in older adults. We evaluated BLLs in relation to cognition in the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The current study was limited to adults age 60 and older. We examined two measures of cognitive functioning: self-reported functional limitation due to difficulty remembering or periods of confusion (NHANES 1999-2008; n=7277) and performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST; NHANES 1999-2002; n=2299). We evaluated quintiles of BLL (<1.30, 1.79-<2.30, 2.30-<3.20, and ≥3.20μg/dL) in relation to cognitive functioning using logistic (functional limitation) and linear (DSST scores) regression in SUDAAN, adjusting for age, sex, race, poverty-income ratio, education, and self-reported general health status. BLLs were not associated with self-reported confusion or memory problems in crude and adjusted analyses, with adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 1.0 (ref.), 0.9 (CI=0.7-1.3), 0.8 (CI=0.6-1.2), 1.0 (CI=0.7-1.3), 1.0 (CI=0.7-1.4), respectively, in increasing quintiles. Similarly, there was no clear association between performance on the DSST and BLL after accounting for all covariates. Our findings add to the inconsistent evidence regarding the association between concurrent BLLs and cognitive function in older adults. Early-life or long-term, accumulated lead exposures may be etiologically more relevant to accelerated cognitive decline at older age.

  12. Evaluation of computing systems using functionals of a Stochastic process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, J. F.; Wu, L. T.

    1980-01-01

    An intermediate model was used to represent the probabilistic nature of a total system at a level which is higher than the base model and thus closer to the performance variable. A class of intermediate models, which are generally referred to as functionals of a Markov process, were considered. A closed form solution of performability for the case where performance is identified with the minimum value of a functional was developed.

  13. Evaluation of effect of different membership functions on risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Atalay, Kumru Didem; Can, Gülin Feryal; Eraslan, Ergün

    2017-03-23

    This study aims to define the relationship between risk degrees and risk indexes on different functional structures with the assumption that, risk degrees may not always present linear relationship with the risk indexes. In this wise, risk indexes; suitable for expert evaluation of working conditions and computed by using three different membership functions are determined. Among the membership functions used, one of them is preferred as linear and the others are preferred as nonlinear. Additionally, a new fuzzy risk assessment (RA) algorithm is developed by using these three membership functions. With this new fuzzy RA algorithm, a more flexible and precise process becomes available, while information loss during the determination of the risk index of danger sources is prevented. As a result, nonlinear increasing membership function is selected as the most suitable one for the expression of relationship between risk degrees and risk indexes.

  14. Evaluation of Climate Variability of Sea Level from the ESA CCI products and ECMWF ocean reanalyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Hao; Balmaseda, Magdalena

    2017-04-01

    Together with ocean heat content change, sea level rise is the most reliable climate indicator of global warming. Robust climate signals can be derived from sea level changes in the objective analysis of satellite radar altimeter data, as well as in the ocean reanalysis products during the satellite era. The ESA Sea Level Climate Change Initiative (SL_CCI) project provides a stable, homogenized satellite-based sea level product with reduced altimetry errors at climate scales. Climate signals from different versions of SL_CCI product were assessed and verified against other reference sea-level datasets (e.g. mapped SLA data from AVISO), and ECMWF's ocean reanalyses using multi-model approach. The robustness of the sea level temporal variability from SL_CCI and its attribution to physical processes were evaluated using the new ECMWF's Ocean ReAnalysis System 5 (ORAS5), with a generic perturbation scheme and 5 ensemble members. The spatial distribution of uncertainties on sea level trends from SL_CCI product was evaluated against ensemble spreads from ORAS5. An Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis show that the amplitude, phase, and spatial patterns of the interannual signals of sea level in the new SL_CCI product are more consistent with the ORAS5 than previous SL_CCI products. A robust SL signals in the Baltic Sea and North Sea as identified from the leading EOF pattern for the North Atlantic can be derived from both SL_CCI product and AVISO MSLAs, and was likely associated with the prevailing zonal wind patterns in the North Atlantic sub-polar regions. The relation between the leading EOF modes of sea-level and climate variability processes was also discussed here.

  15. [Ecological validity and multitasking environments in the evaluation of the executive functions].

    PubMed

    Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-07-16

    Evaluation of executive functions is a major issue of neuropsychological assessment, due to the role displayed by these on a cognitive, behavioural and emotional level, and the implication of these functions in daily life functioning. In order to perform a reliable assessment, the strategy traditionally followed for the evaluation of executive functions has been their atomization in different cognitive subprocesses, which is useful in a clinical or a research context. However, in clinical practice it is frequently artificial to disintegrate a global and complex cognitive process, such as executive functions, in a variety of related components; thus, tests designed according to these theoretical processes have low value in clinical procedures (diagnosis, rehabilitation design) due to their poor correspondence with the subject's or patient's clinical reality. The aims of the present work are to revise the concept of ecological validity applied to the evaluation of executive functions, and to perform a critical review of executive functions assessment by means of multitask paradigms as a way to increase the ecological validity and predictive value of the subject's functional performance. After a historical journey around the (low) ecological validity of single-task tests, and the bet in favour of a multitask paradigm for the evaluation of executive functions, up-to-date existing multitask tests are presented meticulously (with their respective advantages and disadvantages). Finally, concrete recommendations about how to develop multitask tests in the future are presented, attending to concrete parameters related to the context, tasks, objectives, rules and scoring.

  16. Performance-based standards: safety instrumented functions and safety integrity levels.

    PubMed

    Stavrianidis, P; Bhimavarapu, K

    2000-01-07

    This paper discusses two international performance-based standards, ANSI/ISA S84.01 and IEC d61508 and the requirements they place upon companies that rely on electrical, electronic and programmable electronic systems to perform safety functions. Performance-based regulations are also discussed and common safety elements between the standards and regulations are identified. Several risk analysis techniques that can be used to comply with the aforementioned requirements are discussed and a simple example is used to illustrate the use, advantages and disadvantages of the techniques. The evaluation of safety integrity level (SIL) of the Safety Instrumented System (SIS) in terms of the probability to fail to function is outside the scope of this paper.

  17. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  18. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  19. The evaluation of functional heart condition with machine learning algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overchuk, K. V.; Lezhnina, I. A.; Uvarov, A. A.; Perchatkin, V. A.; Lvova, A. B.

    2017-08-01

    This paper is considering the most suitable algorithms to build a classifier for evaluating of the functional heart condition with the ability to estimate the direction and progress of the patient’s treatment. The cons and pros of algorithms was analyzed with respect to the problem posed. The most optimal solution has been given and justified.

  20. Evaluating the Magnitude of Differential Item Functioning in Polytomous Items.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zwick, Rebecca; Thayer, Dorothy T.

    1996-01-01

    Two possible standard error formulas for the polytomous differential item functioning index proposed by N. J. Dorans and A. P. Schmitt (1991) were derived. These standard errors, and associated hypothesis-testing procedures, were evaluated through simulated data. The standard error that performed better is based on N. Mantel's (1963)…

  1. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service 436.602-3...

  2. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service 436.602-3...

  3. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 36.602-3 Section 36.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer...

  4. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 1436.602...

  5. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service 436.602-3...

  6. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2013-10-01 2012-10-01 true Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 2936.602-3...

  7. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 36.602-3 Section 36.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer...

  8. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 36.602-3 Section 36.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer...

  9. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 1436.602...

  10. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 2936.602-3...

  11. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 36.602-3 Section 36.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer...

  12. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service 436.602-3...

  13. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 2936.602-3...

  14. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 1436.602...

  15. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service 436.602-3...

  16. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 1436.602...

  17. An Evaluation of Routines Analyses within Functional Behavior Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Aaron C.

    2009-01-01

    Procedures for direct observation as part of functional behavior assessment (FBA) in natural settings continue to be an important area of inquiry and evaluation in the field of education. Spread across a continuum of control and rigor, various direct FBA methods involve a variety of strengths and limitations. The purpose of this study was to…

  18. Generalized pattern search algorithms with adaptive precision function evaluations

    SciTech Connect

    Polak, Elijah; Wetter, Michael

    2003-05-14

    In the literature on generalized pattern search algorithms, convergence to a stationary point of a once continuously differentiable cost function is established under the assumption that the cost function can be evaluated exactly. However, there is a large class of engineering problems where the numerical evaluation of the cost function involves the solution of systems of differential algebraic equations. Since the termination criteria of the numerical solvers often depend on the design parameters, computer code for solving these systems usually defines a numerical approximation to the cost function that is discontinuous with respect to the design parameters. Standard generalized pattern search algorithms have been applied heuristically to such problems, but no convergence properties have been stated. In this paper we extend a class of generalized pattern search algorithms to a form that uses adaptive precision approximations to the cost function. These numerical approximations need not define a continuous function. Our algorithms can be used for solving linearly constrained problems with cost functions that are at least locally Lipschitz continuous. Assuming that the cost function is smooth, we prove that our algorithms converge to a stationary point. Under the weaker assumption that the cost function is only locally Lipschitz continuous, we show that our algorithms converge to points at which the Clarke generalized directional derivatives are nonnegative in predefined directions. An important feature of our adaptive precision scheme is the use of coarse approximations in the early iterations, with the approximation precision controlled by a test. Such an approach leads to substantial time savings in minimizing computationally expensive functions.

  19. [Techniques for the functional evaluation of neurodevelopmental disorders].

    PubMed

    Etchepareborda, M C; Mulas, F; Gandia, R; Abad-Mas, L; Moreno, F; Díaz-Lucero, A

    2006-02-13

    To review the evaluation of neuropsychological functions by using non-invasive functional neuroimaging methods. Non-invasive functional neuroimaging methods can be sorted into two broad categories: the first includes those that make use of electromagnetic techniques, such as event-related potentials and magnetoencephalography (MEG), and the second consists of those involving haemodynamic techniques, such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. These methods have been employed in particular to evaluate the following functions: attention, perception, imagination, language, working memory, semantic retrieval, episodic memory, episodic memory retrieval, priming and procedural memory. The capacity of MEG, both for analysis and for organising the information it receives, is so large that it takes only a few milliseconds to evaluate brain activity and to create functional maps of the brain in which the brain structure is set out in blocks of cubic centimetres or even millimetres. This makes it possible to generate functional maps of brain activity that are capable of being organised and represented in terms of both time and space. It also enables us to obtain images that result from the signalling activity of sets of nerve cells (especially from the dendritic currents) and the electromagnetic signal that carries this information to the outer surface of the head, where the magnetic flow can be recorded. With the findings from these studies it has become possible to establish a topographic correlation between the functions and the basic brain processes involved in each paradigm. A growing body of clinical evidence proves the value of using them (especially MEG) with cases of epilepsy, language, dyslexia, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  20. Quantification of Basal and Stimulated ROS Levels as Predictors of Islet Potency and Function

    PubMed Central

    Armann, B.; Hanson, M. S.; Hatch, E.; Steffen, A.; Fernandez, L. A.

    2009-01-01

    We have developed a luminol-based assay using intact islets, which allows for quantification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In addition, an index capable of characterizing metabolic and mitochondrial integrity prior to transplantation was created based on the capacity of islets to respond to high glucose and rotenone (mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I inhibitor) by production of ROS. To validate this assay, lipid peroxidation and antioxidative defense capacity were evaluated by detection of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and glutathione peroxidase activity (GPx), respectively. Also, flow cytometric analyses of ROS (dihydroethidine), apoptosis (Annexin V, active caspases), necrosis (Topro3), and mitochondrial membrane potential (JC-1) were done in parallel to correlate with changes in luminol-measured ROS. ATP/ADP ratios were quantified by HPLC and the predictive value of ROS measurement on islet functional potency was correlated with capacity to reverse diabetes in a streptozotocin-induced diabetic NOD.scid mouse model as well as in human transplant recipients. Our data demonstrate that levels of ROS in islets correlate with the percentage of apoptotic cells and their functional potency in vivo. The ROS indices following glucose and rotenone exposure are indicative of metabolic potency and mitochondrial integrity and can be used as surrogate markers to evaluate the quality of islets prior to transplantation. PMID:17227556

  1. Ankle-foot orthosis function in low-level myelomeningocele.

    PubMed

    Hullin, M G; Robb, J E; Loudon, I R

    1992-01-01

    Six children with low-level myelomeningocele underwent gait analysis. All showed excessive ankle dorsiflexion and knee flexion when walking barefoot. A rigid thermoplastic ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) improved gait by preventing ankle dorsiflexion and reducing knee flexion. Biomechanically, the AFO caused a reduction in external knee moment by aligning the knee with the ground reaction force. Small changes in the foot-shank angle of the orthosis had profound effects on knee mechanics. Knee hyperextension could be controlled by a rocker sole. Kinetic gait analysis permits understanding of the biomechanical effects of orthoses.

  2. Community-Wide Evaluation of Computational Function Prediction.

    PubMed

    Friedberg, Iddo; Radivojac, Predrag

    2017-01-01

    A biological experiment is the most reliable way of assigning function to a protein. However, in the era of high-throughput sequencing, scientists are unable to carry out experiments to determine the function of every single gene product. Therefore, to gain insights into the activity of these molecules and guide experiments, we must rely on computational means to functionally annotate the majority of sequence data. To understand how well these algorithms perform, we have established a challenge involving a broad scientific community in which we evaluate different annotation methods according to their ability to predict the associations between previously unannotated protein sequences and Gene Ontology terms. Here we discuss the rationale, benefits, and issues associated with evaluating computational methods in an ongoing community-wide challenge.

  3. 77 FR 58416 - Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-20

    ... COMMISSION Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste... Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste Spent Ion Exchange Resins from... Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste Spent Ion...

  4. Association of serum zinc levels with liver function and survival in patients awaiting liver transplantation.

    PubMed

    Friedrich, Kilian; Baumann, Carina; Brune, Maik; Wannhoff, Andreas; Rupp, Christian; Scholl, Sabine G; Antoni, Christoph; Dollinger, Matthias; Neumann-Haefelin, Christoph; Weiss, Karl Heinz; Stremmel, Wolfgang; Schemmer, Peter; Gotthardt, Daniel Nils

    2015-10-01

    Zinc is an important trace element with catalytic and defensive functions. We assessed the impact of zinc deficiency in patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplantation. Serum zinc levels were measured at the time of evaluation for liver transplantation (n = 368). Patients were dichotomized in two groups based on low and normal zinc serum levels. Serum zinc levels are tightly associated with liver function as patients with low zinc levels (n = 226) had a higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score (15.0 [5.0-40.0]) than patients with normal zinc (n = 142) levels (9.0 [6.0-34.0]; p < 0.00). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that serum zinc levels function as an independent predictor of hepatic decompensation (hydropic decompensation: odds ratio [OR] 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70-0.96; p = 0.015; hepatic encephalopathy: OR 0.80; 95% CI 0.71-0.90; p = 0.000; spontaneous bacterial peritonitis: OR 0.85; 95% CI 0.72-1.00; p = 0.047; hepatorenal syndrome: OR 0.83; 95% CI 0.72-0.95; p = 0.011). Actuarial survival free of liver transplantation was reduced for low-zinc patients (26.7 ± 4.0 months; 95% CI 18.8-34.6) compared to patients with normal zinc levels (30.9 ± 3.0 months; 95% CI 24.9-36.9; p = 0.008). Reduction of zinc levels for patients on the transplantation list resulted in a 28.3-fold increased risk of death/liver transplantation (95% CI 3.2-244.8, p < 0.001). Serum zinc levels are associated with reduced survival in end-stage liver disease patients. Whether or not zinc supplementation might be beneficial for patients on a liver transplantation list requires further study.

  5. Evaluating natural resource amenities in a human life expectancy production function

    Treesearch

    Neelam C. Poudyal; Donald G. Hodges; J.M. Bowker; H.K. Cordell

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the effect of natural resource amenities on human life expectancy. Extending the existing model of the life expectancy production function, and correcting for spatial dependence, we evaluated the determinants of life expectancy using county level data. Results indicate that after controlling for socio-demographic and economic factors, medical...

  6. Evaluating Which Dose-Function Metrics Are Most Critical for Functional-Guided Radiation Therapy.

    PubMed

    Faught, Austin M; Yamamoto, Tokihiro; Castillo, Richard; Castillo, Edward; Zhang, Jingjing; Miften, Moyed; Vinogradskiy, Yevgeniy

    2017-09-01

    Four-dimensional (4D) computed tomography (CT) ventilation imaging is increasingly being used to calculate lung ventilation and implement functional-guided radiation therapy in clinical trials. There has been little exhaustive work evaluating which dose-function metrics should be used for treatment planning and plan evaluation. The purpose of our study was to evaluate which dose-function metrics best predict for radiation pneumonitis (RP). Seventy lung cancer patients who underwent 4D CT imaging and pneumonitis grading were assessed. Pretreatment 4D CT scans of each patient were used to calculate ventilation images. We evaluated 3 types of dose-function metrics that combined the patient's 4D CT ventilation image and treatment planning dose distribution: (1) structure-based approaches; (2) image-based approaches using the dose-function histogram; and (3) nonlinear weighting schemes. Log-likelihood methods were used to generate normal tissue complication probability models predicting grade 3 or higher (ie, grade 3+) pneumonitis for all dose-function schemes. The area under the curve (AUC) was used to assess the predictive power of the models. All techniques were compared with normal tissue complication probability models based on traditional, total lung dose metrics. The most predictive models were structure-based approaches that focused on the volume of functional lung receiving ≥20 Gy (AUC, 0.70). Probabilities of grade 3+ RP of 20% and 10% correspond to V20 (percentage of volume receiving ≥20 Gy) to the functional subvolumes of 26.8% and 9.3%, respectively. Imaging-based analysis with the dose-function histogram and nonlinear weighted ventilation values yielded AUCs of 0.66 and 0.67, respectively, when we evaluated the percentage of functionality receiving ≥20 Gy. All dose-function metrics outperformed the traditional dose metrics (mean lung dose, AUC of 0.55). A full range of dose-function metrics and functional thresholds was examined. The

  7. Evaluation of serum immunoglobulin E levels in bronchial asthma

    PubMed Central

    Sandeep, Thirunavukkarasu; Roopakala, Mysore Subrahmanyam; Silvia, Chickballapur Rayappa Wilma Delphine; Chandrashekara, Srikantaiah; Rao, Mohan

    2010-01-01

    Background: Immunoglobulin E and associated cellular responses are responsible for allergic airway diseases. A hypersensitivity reaction initiated by immunologic mechanisms, mediated by IgE antibodies occurs in allergic asthma Aim: To estimate and compare serum IgE levels in mild, moderate, and severe asthmatics and in normal subjects and to obtain a mathematical model describing the relationship between serum IgE levels and severity of asthma. Materials and Methods: A stratified sample of 60 patients within age group of 18-60 years and 31 male and 29 female asthmatic patients and 13 healthy controls within 18-60 years were included in this study and classified according to GINA classification. Serum IgE levels were estimated by using ELISA kit. Results: Mean IgE levels ranged from 151.95 IU/ml in normal subjects to 1045.32 IU/ml in severe asthmatics. The model developed was 27% efficient. Conclusion: Serum Immunoglobulin E levels were high in asthmatics as compared to normal subjects. On an average, the levels increased as the severity of asthma increased. However, there was no statistically significant correlation since the variability in each level of asthma was very large PMID:20931031

  8. Evaluations of Alternative Approaches to Central Stock Leveling

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1995-01-01

    definition in (2) above, we have DI=S-AP. (4) This equation should make the difference between stock level and asset posi- tion clear. The stock level is a...lower avail- ability rates within a weapon system at smaller bases than larger ones. 1 For a more definitive discussion, see Hanks and Kline (1987...Distribution of Parts in Resupply From the definition of a stock level as on-hand plus due-ins minus due-outs, we have the equation S = OH+ DI- DO. In this

  9. A discriminant function model for admission at undergraduate university level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Hamdi F.; Charbaji, Abdulrazzak; Hajj, Nada Kassim

    1992-09-01

    The study is aimed at predicting objective criteria based on a statistically tested model for admitting undergraduate students to Beirut University College. The University is faced with a dual problem of having to select only a fraction of an increasing number of applicants, and of trying to minimize the number of students placed on academic probation (currently 36 percent of new admissions). Out of 659 new students, a sample of 272 students (45 percent) were selected; these were all the students on the Dean's list and on academic probation. With academic performance as the dependent variable, the model included ten independent variables and their interactions. These variables included the type of high school, the language of instruction in high school, recommendations, sex, academic average in high school, score on the English Entrance Examination, the major in high school, and whether the major was originally applied for by the student. Discriminant analysis was used to evaluate the relative weight of the independent variables, and from the analysis three equations were developed, one for each academic division in the College. The predictive power of these equations was tested by using them to classify students not in the selected sample into successful and unsuccessful ones. Applicability of the model to other institutions of higher learning is discussed.

  10. Creativity Lost: The Importance of Testing Higher-Level Executive Functions in School-Age Children and Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delis, Dean C.; Lansing, Amy; Houston, Wes S.; Wetter, Spencer; Han, S. Duke; Jacobson, Mark; Holdnack, James; Kramer, Joel

    2007-01-01

    In school settings, students are typically evaluated using group achievement tests, IQ scales, and college entrance exams that focus more on rote-verbal skills (e.g., vocabulary, mathematical facts) than on higher level executive functions (e.g., abstract thinking, problem solving). However, recent neuropsychological findings suggest that…

  11. Creativity Lost: The Importance of Testing Higher-Level Executive Functions in School-Age Children and Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delis, Dean C.; Lansing, Amy; Houston, Wes S.; Wetter, Spencer; Han, S. Duke; Jacobson, Mark; Holdnack, James; Kramer, Joel

    2007-01-01

    In school settings, students are typically evaluated using group achievement tests, IQ scales, and college entrance exams that focus more on rote-verbal skills (e.g., vocabulary, mathematical facts) than on higher level executive functions (e.g., abstract thinking, problem solving). However, recent neuropsychological findings suggest that…

  12. Interactions between Levels of Attention Ability and Levels of Bilingualism in Children's Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of…

  13. Interactions between Levels of Attention Ability and Levels of Bilingualism in Children's Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of…

  14. Emergy evaluation of contrasting dairy systems at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Vigne, Mathieu; Peyraud, Jean-Louis; Lecomte, Philippe; Corson, Michael S; Wilfart, Aurélie

    2013-11-15

    Emergy accounting (EmA) was applied to a range of dairy systems, from low-input smallholder systems in South Mali (SM), to intermediate-input systems in two regions of France, Poitou-Charentes (PC) and Bretagne (BR), to high-input systems on Reunion Island (RI). These systems were studied at three different levels: whole-farm (dairy system and cropping system), dairy-system (dairy herd and forage land), and herd (animals only). Dairy farms in SM used the lowest total emergy at all levels and was the highest user of renewable resources. Despite the low quality of resources consumed (crop residues and natural pasture), efficiency of their use was similar to that of industrialised inputs by intensive systems in RI, PC and BR. In addition, among the systems studied, SM dairy farms lay closest to environmental sustainability, contradicting the usual image of high environmental impact of cattle production in developing countries. EmA also revealed characteristics of the three intensive systems. Systems from RI and PC had lower resource transformation efficiency and higher environmental impacts than those from BR, due mainly to feeding strategies that differed due to differing socio-climatic constraints. Application of EmA at multiple levels revealed the importance of a multi-level analysis. While the whole-farm level assesses the overall contribution of the system to its environment, the dairy-system level is suitable for comparison of multi-product systems. In contrast, the herd level focuses on herd management and bypasses debates about definition of system boundaries by excluding land management. Combining all levels highlights the contribution of livestock to the global agricultural system and identifies inefficiencies and influences of system components on the environment.

  15. A large-scale evaluation of computational protein function prediction.

    PubMed

    Radivojac, Predrag; Clark, Wyatt T; Oron, Tal Ronnen; Schnoes, Alexandra M; Wittkop, Tobias; Sokolov, Artem; Graim, Kiley; Funk, Christopher; Verspoor, Karin; Ben-Hur, Asa; Pandey, Gaurav; Yunes, Jeffrey M; Talwalkar, Ameet S; Repo, Susanna; Souza, Michael L; Piovesan, Damiano; Casadio, Rita; Wang, Zheng; Cheng, Jianlin; Fang, Hai; Gough, Julian; Koskinen, Patrik; Törönen, Petri; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Holm, Liisa; Cozzetto, Domenico; Buchan, Daniel W A; Bryson, Kevin; Jones, David T; Limaye, Bhakti; Inamdar, Harshal; Datta, Avik; Manjari, Sunitha K; Joshi, Rajendra; Chitale, Meghana; Kihara, Daisuke; Lisewski, Andreas M; Erdin, Serkan; Venner, Eric; Lichtarge, Olivier; Rentzsch, Robert; Yang, Haixuan; Romero, Alfonso E; Bhat, Prajwal; Paccanaro, Alberto; Hamp, Tobias; Kaßner, Rebecca; Seemayer, Stefan; Vicedo, Esmeralda; Schaefer, Christian; Achten, Dominik; Auer, Florian; Boehm, Ariane; Braun, Tatjana; Hecht, Maximilian; Heron, Mark; Hönigschmid, Peter; Hopf, Thomas A; Kaufmann, Stefanie; Kiening, Michael; Krompass, Denis; Landerer, Cedric; Mahlich, Yannick; Roos, Manfred; Björne, Jari; Salakoski, Tapio; Wong, Andrew; Shatkay, Hagit; Gatzmann, Fanny; Sommer, Ingolf; Wass, Mark N; Sternberg, Michael J E; Škunca, Nives; Supek, Fran; Bošnjak, Matko; Panov, Panče; Džeroski, Sašo; Šmuc, Tomislav; Kourmpetis, Yiannis A I; van Dijk, Aalt D J; ter Braak, Cajo J F; Zhou, Yuanpeng; Gong, Qingtian; Dong, Xinran; Tian, Weidong; Falda, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Lavezzo, Enrico; Di Camillo, Barbara; Toppo, Stefano; Lan, Liang; Djuric, Nemanja; Guo, Yuhong; Vucetic, Slobodan; Bairoch, Amos; Linial, Michal; Babbitt, Patricia C; Brenner, Steven E; Orengo, Christine; Rost, Burkhard; Mooney, Sean D; Friedberg, Iddo

    2013-03-01

    Automated annotation of protein function is challenging. As the number of sequenced genomes rapidly grows, the overwhelming majority of protein products can only be annotated computationally. If computational predictions are to be relied upon, it is crucial that the accuracy of these methods be high. Here we report the results from the first large-scale community-based critical assessment of protein function annotation (CAFA) experiment. Fifty-four methods representing the state of the art for protein function prediction were evaluated on a target set of 866 proteins from 11 organisms. Two findings stand out: (i) today's best protein function prediction algorithms substantially outperform widely used first-generation methods, with large gains on all types of targets; and (ii) although the top methods perform well enough to guide experiments, there is considerable need for improvement of currently available tools.

  16. A large-scale evaluation of computational protein function prediction

    PubMed Central

    Radivojac, Predrag; Clark, Wyatt T; Ronnen Oron, Tal; Schnoes, Alexandra M; Wittkop, Tobias; Sokolov, Artem; Graim, Kiley; Funk, Christopher; Verspoor, Karin; Ben-Hur, Asa; Pandey, Gaurav; Yunes, Jeffrey M; Talwalkar, Ameet S; Repo, Susanna; Souza, Michael L; Piovesan, Damiano; Casadio, Rita; Wang, Zheng; Cheng, Jianlin; Fang, Hai; Gough, Julian; Koskinen, Patrik; Törönen, Petri; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Holm, Liisa; Cozzetto, Domenico; Buchan, Daniel W A; Bryson, Kevin; Jones, David T; Limaye, Bhakti; Inamdar, Harshal; Datta, Avik; Manjari, Sunitha K; Joshi, Rajendra; Chitale, Meghana; Kihara, Daisuke; Lisewski, Andreas M; Erdin, Serkan; Venner, Eric; Lichtarge, Olivier; Rentzsch, Robert; Yang, Haixuan; Romero, Alfonso E; Bhat, Prajwal; Paccanaro, Alberto; Hamp, Tobias; Kassner, Rebecca; Seemayer, Stefan; Vicedo, Esmeralda; Schaefer, Christian; Achten, Dominik; Auer, Florian; Böhm, Ariane; Braun, Tatjana; Hecht, Maximilian; Heron, Mark; Hönigschmid, Peter; Hopf, Thomas; Kaufmann, Stefanie; Kiening, Michael; Krompass, Denis; Landerer, Cedric; Mahlich, Yannick; Roos, Manfred; Björne, Jari; Salakoski, Tapio; Wong, Andrew; Shatkay, Hagit; Gatzmann, Fanny; Sommer, Ingolf; Wass, Mark N; Sternberg, Michael J E; Škunca, Nives; Supek, Fran; Bošnjak, Matko; Panov, Panče; Džeroski, Sašo; Šmuc, Tomislav; Kourmpetis, Yiannis A I; van Dijk, Aalt D J; ter Braak, Cajo J F; Zhou, Yuanpeng; Gong, Qingtian; Dong, Xinran; Tian, Weidong; Falda, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Lavezzo, Enrico; Di Camillo, Barbara; Toppo, Stefano; Lan, Liang; Djuric, Nemanja; Guo, Yuhong; Vucetic, Slobodan; Bairoch, Amos; Linial, Michal; Babbitt, Patricia C; Brenner, Steven E; Orengo, Christine; Rost, Burkhard; Mooney, Sean D; Friedberg, Iddo

    2013-01-01

    Automated annotation of protein function is challenging. As the number of sequenced genomes rapidly grows, the overwhelming majority of protein products can only be annotated computationally. If computational predictions are to be relied upon, it is crucial that the accuracy of these methods be high. Here we report the results from the first large-scale community-based Critical Assessment of protein Function Annotation (CAFA) experiment. Fifty-four methods representing the state-of-the-art for protein function prediction were evaluated on a target set of 866 proteins from eleven organisms. Two findings stand out: (i) today’s best protein function prediction algorithms significantly outperformed widely-used first-generation methods, with large gains on all types of targets; and (ii) although the top methods perform well enough to guide experiments, there is significant need for improvement of currently available tools. PMID:23353650

  17. Beef assessments using functional magnetic resonance imaging and sensory evaluation.

    PubMed

    Tapp, W N; Davis, T H; Paniukov, D; Brooks, J C; Brashears, M M; Miller, M F

    2017-04-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been used to unveil how some foods and basic rewards are processed in the human brain. This study evaluated how resting state functional connectivity in regions of the human brain changed after differing qualities of beef steaks were consumed. Functional images of participants (n=8) were collected after eating high or low quality beef steaks on separate days, after consumption a sensory ballot was administered to evaluate consumers' perceptions of tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and overall liking. Imaging data showed that high quality steak samples resulted in greater functional connectivity to the striatum, medial orbitofrontal cortex, and insular cortex at various stages after consumption (P≤0.05). Furthermore, high quality steaks elicited higher sensory ballot scores for each palatability trait (P≤0.01). Together, these results suggest that resting state fMRI may be a useful tool for evaluating the neural process that follows positive sensory experiences such as the enjoyment of high quality beef steaks. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Patterns Predict Consciousness Level and Recovery Outcome in Acquired Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xuehai; Zou, Qihong; Hu, Jin; Tang, Weijun; Mao, Ying; Gao, Liang; Zhu, Jianhong; Jin, Yi; Wu, Xin; Lu, Lu; Zhang, Yaojun; Zhang, Yao; Dai, Zhengjia; Gao, Jia-Hong; Weng, Xuchu; Zhou, Liangfu; Northoff, Georg; Giacino, Joseph T; He, Yong; Yang, Yihong

    2015-09-16

    For accurate diagnosis and prognostic prediction of acquired brain injury (ABI), it is crucial to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying loss of consciousness. However, there is no consensus on which regions and networks act as biomarkers for consciousness level and recovery outcome in ABI. Using resting-state fMRI, we assessed intrinsic functional connectivity strength (FCS) of whole-brain networks in a large sample of 99 ABI patients with varying degrees of consciousness loss (including fully preserved consciousness state, minimally conscious state, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and coma) and 34 healthy control subjects. Consciousness level was evaluated using the Glasgow Coma Scale and Coma Recovery Scale-Revised on the day of fMRI scanning; recovery outcome was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale 3 months after the fMRI scanning. One-way ANOVA of FCS, Spearman correlation analyses between FCS and the consciousness level and recovery outcome, and FCS-based multivariate pattern analysis were performed. We found decreased FCS with loss of consciousness primarily distributed in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCU), medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortex. The FCS values of these regions were significantly correlated with consciousness level and recovery outcome. Multivariate support vector machine discrimination analysis revealed that the FCS patterns predicted whether patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state and coma would regain consciousness with an accuracy of 81.25%, and the most discriminative region was the PCC/PCU. These findings suggest that intrinsic functional connectivity patterns of the human posteromedial cortex could serve as a potential indicator for consciousness level and recovery outcome in individuals with ABI. Varying degrees of consciousness loss and recovery are commonly observed in acquired brain injury patients, yet the underlying neurobiological

  19. Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Patterns Predict Consciousness Level and Recovery Outcome in Acquired Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xuehai; Zou, Qihong; Hu, Jin; Tang, Weijun; Mao, Ying; Gao, Liang; Zhu, Jianhong; Jin, Yi; Wu, Xin; Lu, Lu; Zhang, Yaojun; Zhang, Yao; Dai, Zhengjia; Gao, Jia-Hong; Weng, Xuchu; Northoff, Georg; Giacino, Joseph T.; He, Yong

    2015-01-01

    For accurate diagnosis and prognostic prediction of acquired brain injury (ABI), it is crucial to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying loss of consciousness. However, there is no consensus on which regions and networks act as biomarkers for consciousness level and recovery outcome in ABI. Using resting-state fMRI, we assessed intrinsic functional connectivity strength (FCS) of whole-brain networks in a large sample of 99 ABI patients with varying degrees of consciousness loss (including fully preserved consciousness state, minimally conscious state, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and coma) and 34 healthy control subjects. Consciousness level was evaluated using the Glasgow Coma Scale and Coma Recovery Scale-Revised on the day of fMRI scanning; recovery outcome was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale 3 months after the fMRI scanning. One-way ANOVA of FCS, Spearman correlation analyses between FCS and the consciousness level and recovery outcome, and FCS-based multivariate pattern analysis were performed. We found decreased FCS with loss of consciousness primarily distributed in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCU), medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortex. The FCS values of these regions were significantly correlated with consciousness level and recovery outcome. Multivariate support vector machine discrimination analysis revealed that the FCS patterns predicted whether patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state and coma would regain consciousness with an accuracy of 81.25%, and the most discriminative region was the PCC/PCU. These findings suggest that intrinsic functional connectivity patterns of the human posteromedial cortex could serve as a potential indicator for consciousness level and recovery outcome in individuals with ABI. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Varying degrees of consciousness loss and recovery are commonly observed in acquired brain injury patients, yet the

  20. Experimental evaluation of adaptive three-tank level control.

    PubMed

    Cartes, David; Wu, Lei

    2005-04-01

    Liquid level control through regulation of mass flow rates is an important application in various areas of the power industry. Very often a PID controller is used for these applications. This paper compares a nonconventional PID controller and three different types of adaptive controller, a direct model reference adaptive controller (MRAC), an indirect MRAC with Lyapunov estimation, and an indirect MRAC with recursive least-squares (RLS) updating estimation, for liquid level control. By implementing all four controllers on a three-tank system, the performances of each are compared. All controllers track a sinusoidal input very well and overall exhibit somewhat varying performance. The direct MRAC and the indirect MRAC with RLS estimation give the best performance. With Lyapunov estimation and RLS estimation, all the system parameter estimates converge to the reference model values. However, RLS estimation has a much faster convergence. It is concluded that adaptive liquid level control is an improvement over traditional liquid level control when precise level control in three coupled tanks is desired.

  1. Tree-level contribution to B¯→Xdγ using fragmentation functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asatrian, H. M.; Greub, C.

    2013-10-01

    We evaluate the most important tree-level contributions connected with the b→uu¯dγ transition to the inclusive radiative decay B¯→Xdγ using fragmentation functions. In this framework the singularities arising from collinear photon emission from the light quarks (u, u¯, and d) can be absorbed into the (bare) quark-to-photon fragmentation function. We use as input the fragmentation function extracted by the ALEPH group from the two-jet cross section measured at the large electron positron (LEP) collider, where one of the jets is required to contain a photon. To get the quark-to-photon fragmentation function at the fragmentation scale μF˜mb, we use the evolution equation, which we solve numerically. We then calculate the (integrated) photon energy spectrum for b→uu¯dγ related to the operators P1,2u. For comparison, we also give the corresponding results when using nonzero (constituent) masses for the light quarks.

  2. Impact of plasma transaminase levels on the peripheral blood glutamate levels and memory functions in healthy subjects.

    PubMed

    Kamada, Yoshihiro; Hashimoto, Ryota; Yamamori, Hidenaga; Yasuda, Yuka; Takehara, Tetsuo; Fujita, Yuko; Hashimoto, Kenji; Miyoshi, Eiji

    2016-06-01

    Blood aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels are the most frequently reliable biomarkers of liver injury. Although AST and ALT play central roles in glutamate production as transaminases, peripheral blood levels of AST and ALT have been regarded only as liver injury biomarkers. Glutamate is a principal excitatory neurotransmitter, which affects memory functions in the brain. In this study, we investigated the impact of blood transaminase levels on blood glutamate concentration and memory. Psychiatrically, medically, and neurologically healthy subjects (n = 514, female/male: 268/246) were enrolled in this study through local advertisements. Plasma amino acids (glutamate, glutamine, glycine, d-serine, and l-serine) were measured using a high performance liquid chromatography system. The five indices, verbal memory, visual memory, general memory, attention/concentration, and delayed recall of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised were used to measure memory functions. Both plasma AST and ALT had a significant positive correlation with plasma glutamate levels. Plasma AST and ALT levels were significantly negatively correlated with four of five memory functions, and plasma glutamate was significantly negatively correlated with three of five memory functions. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that plasma AST, ALT, and glutamate levels were significantly correlated with memory functions even after adjustment for gender and education. As far as we know, this is the first report which could demonstrate the impact of blood transaminase levels on blood glutamate concentration and memory functions in human. These findings are important for the interpretation of obesity-induced metabolic syndrome with elevated transaminases and cognitive dysfunction.

  3. Levels of personality functioning and their association with clinical features and interpersonal functioning in patients with personality disorders.

    PubMed

    Lowyck, Benedicte; Luyten, Patrick; Verhaest, Yannic; Vandeneede, Bart; Vermote, Rudi

    2013-06-01

    Recently, the DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group has proposed a multiple level approach toward the classification and diagnosis of personality disorders (PDs), with the first level entailing a rating of impairments in levels of personality functioning. Although a number of measures that assess levels of personality functioning have been validated, given its prominent status in the DSM-5 proposal and contemporary theories of personality pathology, the Work Group has called for more research in this area (e.g., Bender, Morey, & Skodol, 2011). In response to this call, this study investigates the relationship between two major, well-validated dimensional measures of levels of personality functioning, that is, the Differentiation-Relatedness Scale (DR-S; Diamond, Blatt, Stayner, & Kaslow, 1991), as scored on the Object Relations Inventory (ORI; Blatt, Wein, Chevron, & Quinlan, 1979), and the Inventory of Personality Organization (IPO; Lenzenweger, Clarkin, Kernberg, & Foelsch, 2001), a self-report instrument, and their relationship with different measures of clinical and interpersonal functioning in 70 patients with a PD. First, results showed that higher levels of differentiation and relatedness of descriptions of self and significant others, and of the self in particular, were negatively related to indices of personality functioning as assessed by the IPO. Lower levels of personality functioning, as measured with both the DR-S and the IPO, were positively related to severity of depression, symptomatic distress, self-harm, and interpersonal problems. Finally, results showed that the DR-S and the IPO independently predicted clinical features and interpersonal functioning. Hence, this study lends further support for the concurrent and predictive validity of the DR-S and the IPO in assessing levels of personality functioning. However, more research concerning the validity of these measures in assessing levels of personality functioning is needed

  4. Excessive penile norepinephrine level underlies impaired erectile function in adenosine A1 receptor deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Ning, Chen; Qi, Lin; Wen, Jiaming; Zhang, Yujin; Zhang, Weiru; Wang, Wei; Blackburn, Michael; Kellems, Rodney; Xia, Yang

    2012-10-01

    Penile erection is a complex neurovascular physiological event controlled by multiple factors and signaling pathways. A considerable amount of evidence indicates that adenosine plays a significant role in cavernosal smooth muscle relaxation. However, the specific role of adenosine and its receptors in erectile physiology and pathology is not fully understood. To determine the role of the adenosine A1 receptor (ADORA1) in penile erection. Adenosine A1 receptor deficient (Adora1-/-) mice and aged-matched wild-type (WT) mice were utilized. We evaluated the in vivo erectile function by measuring the intracavernosal pressure (ICP) in response to cavernous nerve stimulation (CNS). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the norepinephrine (NE) plasma concentration in the corpus cavernosum and systemic circulation. We also evaluated the myosin light chain phosphorylation (p-MLC) in penile tissue pre- and post-CNS. The main outcome measurement of this research was the evaluation of in vivo erectile response to CNS by measuring the ICP in Adora1-/- mice and WT mice and to identify the localization and specific neuron types of ADORA1 expression by dual immunostaining and immunofluorescence co-localization. In vivo, both the ratio of CNS-induced Maximum ICP to mean arterial pressure and CNS-induced slope in Adora1-/- mice were significantly lower than WT mice. At the cellular level in penile tissue, we determined that ADORA1 was highly abundant in neuronal cells. During penile erection, Adora1-/- mice exhibited a higher level of NE plasma concentration in the penis than WT mice. And WT mice had a significantly greater reduction in p-MLC compared to Adora1-/- mice. Our results show that ADORA1 is enriched on neuron cells where it functions to control NE release. Activation of this receptor during penile erection results in reduced NE release and reduced cavernosal smooth muscle contraction, therefore facilitating penile erection. © 2012 International Society for

  5. Physiological Levels of Melatonin Relate to Cognitive Function and Depressive Symptoms: The HEIJO-KYO Cohort.

    PubMed

    Obayashi, Kenji; Saeki, Keigo; Iwamoto, Junko; Tone, Nobuhiro; Tanaka, Kunihiko; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Morikawa, Masayuki; Kurumatani, Norio

    2015-08-01

    In contrast with randomized controlled trials, observational studies have suggested that physiological levels of melatonin are reduced in patients with dementia or depression, but the relationship has not been evaluated in large populations. The objective was to determine the relationships between physiological levels of melatonin and cognitive function and depressive symptoms. A cohort of 1105 community-dwelling elderly individuals was enrolled in this cross-sectional study (mean age, 71.8 ± 7.1 y). Urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion (UME) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE; n = 935) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; n = 1097) scores were measured as indices of physiological melatonin levels, cognitive function, and depressive symptoms, respectively. With increases in UME quartiles, the prevalence of cognitive impairment (MMSE score ≤ 26) and depressed mood (GDS score ≥ 6) significantly decreased (P for trend = .003 and .012, respectively). In multivariate logistic regression models, after adjusting for confounders such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, physical activity, and sleep/wake cycles, higher UME levels were significantly associated with lower odds ratios (ORs) for cognitive impairment and depressed mood (ORs: Q1 = 1.00; Q2 = 0.88 and 0.76; Q3 = 0.66 and 0.85; Q4 = 0.67 and 0.53; P for trend = .023 and .033, respectively). In addition, the highest UME group showed a significantly lower OR for depressed mood than the lowest UME group (Q4 vs Q1: OR, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.32-0.89; P = .033). UME levels above the median value were significantly associated with a lower OR for cognitive impairment, even after further adjustment for depressive symptoms (OR = 0.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.99; P = .043). Significant associations of higher physiological melatonin levels with lower prevalence of cognitive impairment and depressed mood were revealed in a large general elderly population. The association between physiological

  6. Sleep endoscopy with midazolam: sedation level evaluation with bispectral analysis.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Victor James; Lee, Dennis Lip Yen; Ha, Stanley Ching Nam; van Hasselt, Charles Andrew

    2013-02-01

    This study examines subjects' level of consciousness with bispectral analysis in sedation endoscopy of the upper airway. A prospective study. University hospital. Bispectral analysis levels recorded in natural sleep of 43 patients with obstructive sleep apnea during an overnight polysomnographic sleep study were directly compared with the levels recorded during midazolam sedation sleep endoscopy in the same subjects. The possible muscle relaxation effect of midazolam was examined via surface chin electrodes. Supine Müller maneuver findings in 50 patients with obstructive sleep apnea were also compared with soft tissue dynamics during midazolam sedation sleep endoscopy. In our study of the 43 patients with bispectral analysis during natural sleep and midazolam sedation sleep endoscopy, a predominance of bispectral analysis values indicating N1 and N2 sleep was observed during the sedation study. Midazolam failed to achieve deeper levels of sleep with minimal N3 and no convincing rapid eye movement. As N1 and N2 are the stages during which maximal dynamic activities occur, and they make up an average of 70.5% of total sleep time, from 210 sleep studies at our laboratory, the present technique would be ideal as a surgical assessment tool. No muscle relaxation effect could be detected at our protocol dose of midazolam. The supine Müller maneuver findings were significantly different from those observed during sedation sleep. These findings support the value of sleep endoscopy as an efficient and informative technique for the examination of upper airway dynamics relevant to focused surgical planning.

  7. A Research into Evaluation of Basketball Athletes' Risk Perception Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karatas, Ozgur

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to compare the risk perception levels of Basketball athletes in Turkish League teams according to some variables. In this research the "general screening model," which is one of the descriptive screening methods, was used. While the population of the study consists of athletes actively engaged in the Turkish…

  8. EVALUATING EFFECTS ACROSS BIOLOGICAL LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION: EDCS IN FISH

    EPA Science Inventory

    A challenge in ecological risk assessments is to obtain, in a resource-effective manner, information that provides insight both into chemical mode/mechanism of action (MOA) and adverse effects in individual animals, which are indicative of potential population-level responses. T...

  9. Rural Electrification and Level of Living: Evaluation of Impact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, J. Michael; Saunders, John

    Utilizing an ex-post-facto experimental design, all occupied households located within the rural area of Canton San Carlos in Costa Rica (La Fortuna) were studied in August of 1972 for purposes of testing the hypothesis that electricity use is positively associated with level of living. Interviews with 452 heads of households (when possible)…

  10. [Nutritional evaluation and functional class in hospitalized cardiopathy patients].

    PubMed

    Herrera Franco, R; Martínez Martínez, E; López Vega, L T; Astudillo Sandoval, R; Benítez Pérez, C; Ariza Andraca, H

    1999-01-01

    The nutritional state evaluation of any patient with heart disease must include the anthropometric measures, organic metabolic and cellular immunity test. We evaluated the nutritional state of 75 hospitalized patients with heart disease, and its correlation with New York Heart Association class and heart disease type. There was 36 patients (48%) with normal nutritional state, 24 (32%) with grade I malnutrition, 12 (16%) with grade II malnutrition, and 3 (4%) with grade III malnutrition. Of 23 patients with rheumatic valvular heart disease 83.4% have some degree of malnutrition, 37 patients with ischemic heart disease 25% was under nourished. Fifty percent of patients with hypertensive cardiopathy, 75% of the patients with cardiomyopathy and 83% of the 7 patients with other type of heart disease had some degree of malnourishment. There was a direct correlation between nutritional state and functional class, we found no patient in IV class functional with normal nutritional state, or grade I malnutrition.

  11. Correlation between endometrial biopsy and serum progesterone level in prediction of corpus luteum function.

    PubMed

    El-hefnawi, N; Abou-gabal, A; El-etriby, A; Maged, M; Wafa, G; Ragab, I

    1987-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the correlation between endometrial biopsy and serum progesterone level in prediction of corpus luteum function in regularly menstruating women. Endometrial biopsy specimens were obtained from 40 women 20-25 years old with unproven fertility 2-3 days before the anticipated onset of menses. A simultaneous blood sample was obtained for measurement of serum progesterone levels using a radioimmunoassay technique. 27 biopsies were considered to be in-phase (IP) by histologic criteria, and the remaining 13 were out-of-phase (OOP). The mean serum progesterone level obtained from women with OOP biopsies 3-4 days before onset of menses was significantly lower than that obtained 1-2 days before the onset of menses. Menstruation occurred in women with OOP biopsies at a time when serum progesterone level was apparently rising. On the other hand, values were too small to identify any significant difference between groups of women with IP and OOP biopsies when these biopsies were performed very late in the cycle. The author states the importance of evaluating both serum progesterone and endometrial biopsy dating in the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Serum progesterone was easy to perform, while endometrial biopsy showed the end result.

  12. Estimation of signal-dependent noise level function in transform domain via a sparse recovery model.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jingyu; Gan, Ziqiao; Wu, Zhaoyang; Hou, Chunping

    2015-05-01

    This paper proposes a novel algorithm to estimate the noise level function (NLF) of signal-dependent noise (SDN) from a single image based on the sparse representation of NLFs. Noise level samples are estimated from the high-frequency discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients of nonlocal-grouped low-variation image patches. Then, an NLF recovery model based on the sparse representation of NLFs under a trained basis is constructed to recover NLF from the incomplete noise level samples. Confidence levels of the NLF samples are incorporated into the proposed model to promote reliable samples and weaken unreliable ones. We investigate the behavior of the estimation performance with respect to the block size, sampling rate, and confidence weighting. Simulation results on synthetic noisy images show that our method outperforms existing state-of-the-art schemes. The proposed method is evaluated on real noisy images captured by three types of commodity imaging devices, and shows consistently excellent SDN estimation performance. The estimated NLFs are incorporated into two well-known denoising schemes, nonlocal means and BM3D, and show significant improvements in denoising SDN-polluted images.

  13. Methods to assess an exercise intervention trial based on 3-level functional data.

    PubMed

    Li, Haocheng; Kozey Keadle, Sarah; Staudenmayer, John; Assaad, Houssein; Huang, Jianhua Z; Carroll, Raymond J

    2015-10-01

    Motivated by data recording the effects of an exercise intervention on subjects' physical activity over time, we develop a model to assess the effects of a treatment when the data are functional with 3 levels (subjects, weeks and days in our application) and possibly incomplete. We develop a model with 3-level mean structure effects, all stratified by treatment and subject random effects, including a general subject effect and nested effects for the 3 levels. The mean and random structures are specified as smooth curves measured at various time points. The association structure of the 3-level data is induced through the random curves, which are summarized using a few important principal components. We use penalized splines to model the mean curves and the principal component curves, and cast the proposed model into a mixed effects model framework for model fitting, prediction and inference. We develop an algorithm to fit the model iteratively with the Expectation/Conditional Maximization Either (ECME) version of the EM algorithm and eigenvalue decompositions. Selection of the number of principal components and handling incomplete data issues are incorporated into the algorithm. The performance of the Wald-type hypothesis test is also discussed. The method is applied to the physical activity data and evaluated empirically by a simulation study.

  14. Adapted Transfer Function Design for Coronary Artery Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaßer, Sylvia; Oeltze, Steffen; Hennemuth, Anja; Wilhelmsen, Skadi; Preim, Bernhard

    We present an approach for adapted transfer function (TF) specification to highlight pathologic changes of the coronary artery vessel wall based on contrast medium-enhanced computed tomography (CT) datasets. The TFs are combined with common visualization techniques for the evaluation of coronary arteries in CT image data. The presented mapping of CT values in Hounsfield Units (HU) to optical properties such as color and opacity leads to a different color coding for different plaque types.

  15. Evaluation of ventricular function in patients with coronary artery disease

    SciTech Connect

    Rocco, T.P.; Dilsizian, V.; Fischman, A.J.; Strauss, H.W.

    1989-07-01

    The recent expansion of interventional cardiovascular technologies has stimulated a concomitant expansion of noninvasive cardiac studies, both to assist in diagnosis and to evaluate treatment outcomes. Radionuclide ventricular function studies provide a reliable, reproducible means to quantify global left ventricular systolic performance, a critical determinant of prognosis in patients with cardiovascular disease. In addition, the ability to evaluate regional left ventricular wall motion and to assess ventricular performance during exercise have secured a fundamental role for such studies in the screening and treatment of patients with coronary artery disease. Radionuclide techniques have been extended to the evaluation of left ventricular relaxation/filling events, left ventricular systolic/diastolic function in the ambulatory setting, and with appropriate technical modifications, to the assessment of right ventricular performance at rest and with exercise. As a complement to radionuclide perfusion studies, cardiac blood-pool imaging allows for thorough noninvasive description of cardiac physiology and function in both normal subjects and in patients with a broad range of cardiovascular diseases. 122 references.

  16. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Evaluation of calibration efficacy under different levels of uncertainty

    SciTech Connect

    Heo, Yeonsook; Graziano, Diane J.; Guzowski, Leah; Muehleisen, Ralph T.

    2014-06-10

    This study examines how calibration performs under different levels of uncertainty in model input data. It specifically assesses the efficacy of Bayesian calibration to enhance the reliability of EnergyPlus model predictions. A Bayesian approach can be used to update uncertain values of parameters, given measured energy-use data, and to quantify the associated uncertainty.We assess the efficacy of Bayesian calibration under a controlled virtual-reality setup, which enables rigorous validation of the accuracy of calibration results in terms of both calibrated parameter values and model predictions. Case studies demonstrate the performance of Bayesian calibration of base models developed from audit data with differing levels of detail in building design, usage, and operation.

  18. Evaluation of calibration efficacy under different levels of uncertainty

    DOE PAGES

    Heo, Yeonsook; Graziano, Diane J.; Guzowski, Leah; ...

    2014-06-10

    This study examines how calibration performs under different levels of uncertainty in model input data. It specifically assesses the efficacy of Bayesian calibration to enhance the reliability of EnergyPlus model predictions. A Bayesian approach can be used to update uncertain values of parameters, given measured energy-use data, and to quantify the associated uncertainty.We assess the efficacy of Bayesian calibration under a controlled virtual-reality setup, which enables rigorous validation of the accuracy of calibration results in terms of both calibrated parameter values and model predictions. Case studies demonstrate the performance of Bayesian calibration of base models developed from audit data withmore » differing levels of detail in building design, usage, and operation.« less

  19. Differences of respiratory function according to level of the gross motor function classification system in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Yong Hyun; Lee, Hye Young

    2014-03-01

    [Purpose] The current study was designed to investigate the difference in lung capacity and muscle strengthening related to respiration depending on the level of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) through tests of respiratory function and respiratory pressure. [Subjects and Methods] A total of 49 children with CP who were classified as below level III of the GMFCS were recruited for this study. They were divided into three groups (i.e., GMFCS level I, GMFCS level II, and GMFCS level III). All children took the pulmonary function test (PFT) and underwent respiratory pressure testing for assessment of respiratory function in terms of lung capacity and respiratory muscle strength. [Results] The GMFCS level III group showed significantly lower scores for all tests of the PFT (i.e., forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1), and slow vital capacity (SVC)) and testing for respiratory pressures (maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP)) compared with the other two groups. The results of post hoc analysis indicated that the GMFCS level III group differed significantly from the other two groups in terms of FVC, FEV1, MIP, and MEP. In addition, a significant difference in SVC was observed between GMFCS level II and III. [Conclusion] Children with CP who had relatively low motor function showed poor pulmonary capacity and respiratory muscle weakness. Therefore, clinical manifestations regarding lung capacity and respiratory muscle will be required in children with CP who demonstrate poor physical activity.

  20. [Evaluation of cognitive functions after anesthesia with propofol].

    PubMed

    Sanou, J; Ilboudo, D; Goodall, G; Bourdallé-Badie, C; Erny, P

    1996-01-01

    To assess the disturbances and delay of recovery of cognitive functions following propofol anaesthesia, and to evaluate a series of simple cognitive recovery tests. Prospective comparative non randomized clinical study. Two groups of non premedicated patients, of ASA physical class 1 and 2 were studied. The control group (n = 11) included patients undergoing gastric fibroscopy under local anaesthesia. The propofol group (n = 22) consisted of patients scheduled for coloscopy under propofol anaesthesia. The gastric fibroscopy was performed under local anaesthesia with lidocaine and the coloscopy under general anaesthesia with propofol as the sole anaesthetic. Five cognitive tests, designed to assess short-term memory, delayed memory, the ability to plan complex tasks, attention, and language comprehension were conducted the day before, and 1 hour, 3 hours and 6 hours after the endoscopy. The cognitive functions remained significantly depressed for at least 3 hours after anaesthesia, and recovered fully about 6 hours after the cessation of propofol administration. The capacity for planning was the most heavily affected. Complete recovery can be evaluated by simple cognitive tests, which showed that cognitive functions are impaired over a longer period than psychomotor functions. Oral instructions may therefore not be fully understood by the patient within 3 hours after anaesthesia, emphasizing the importance of written instructions and the essential role played by a well-informed accompanying person.

  1. Evaluation of salivary function in patients with burning mouth syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lee, Y C; Hong, I K; Na, S Y; Eun, Y G

    2015-04-01

    To investigate salivary function in patients with primary burning mouth syndrome (BMS) compared with control and to evaluate salivary hypofunction using salivary gland scintigraphy (SGS). A total of 33 patients with primary BMS and 30 control subjects were enrolled in our study. The severity of the pain and the burning sensation on a 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS) and the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14) were assessed. Unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow rates (SFRs) were measured. (99m) Tc pertechnetate SGS was used to evaluate salivary gland function. Unstimulated SFR in patients with BMS was significantly lower than that in the control group (0.11 ± 0.15 vs 0.21 ± 0.16 ml min(-1) , P = 0.014). There was no significant difference in stimulated SFR between the two groups. The VAS scores for oral pain and burning sensation, the total OHIP-14 score, and salivary gland function by salivary scintigraphy were not significantly different between BMS patients with normal flow rate and hyposalivation. Patients with primary BMS exhibited a significant decrease in unstimulated SFR compared with control group. In addition, we could not find any difference in salivary gland function between BMS patients with or without hyposalivation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Evaluation Studies of The Nuffield A-Level Biology Trials--2. Evaluation of Specific Objectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, P. J.

    1972-01-01

    Reports the results of evaluation of specified student and course objectives by teacher ratings and test results. Includes a discussion of the evaluation of the materials as a result of formative evaluation. (AL)

  3. Functional and biochemical adaptations of elite level futsal players from Brazil along a training season.

    PubMed

    Barcelos, Rômulo Pillon; Tocchetto, Guilherme Lopes; Lima, Frederico Diniz; Stefanello, Sílvio Terra; Rodrigues, Harrison Fabricio Muzzy; Sangoi, Manuela Borges; Moresco, Rafael Noal; Royes, Luiz Fernando Freire; Soares, Félix Alexandre Antunes; Bresciani, Guilherme

    2017-08-26

    Although hard training is mandatory in elite level futsal training, few studies have proposed a biochemical follow up in futsal players during a whole season. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare functional and biochemical markers in Brazilian elite level futsal players throughout a competition season. Eight players aged 25.5±5.4 years were evaluated at three time points: preseason (T1), immediately before the FIFA(®)-Intercontinental-Futsal-Cup (T2), and at the end of the season (T3), with a tapering period of 1 week before T2. Functional parameters (weight, height, body fat, VO2max, heart rate, and distance ran) and blood sampling for cell count and lipid profile (cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, triglycerides) were assessed at each time point. After, a Yo-Yo R2 test was carried out in each time point (T1, T2 and T3) and blood samples to assess skeletal muscle damage (creatine kinase [CK], lactate dehydrogenase [LDH]), inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP]) and oxidative stress markers (ischemia modified albumin [IMA], and advanced oxidation protein products [AOPP]) were obtained before and after the tests. Although functional parameters did not change throughout the season, greater total number of erythrocytes (P≤0.05), and hemoglobin (P≤0.05) were found at T2 compared to T1. Similarly, lower LDH (P≤0.05) and CK (P≤0.05) levels were found at T2 compared to T1. CPR levels were also decreased at T2 in comparison to T1 both before and after Yo-Yo R2 test (P≤0.05), while IMA and AOPP levels showed only a season effect (P≤0.05). The tapering strategy was successful considering players presented lower levels of muscle damage, inflammation and oxidative stress makers before T2, which preceded the main championship of the year. These results are of great relevance, considering the team won the FIFA(®)-Intercontinental-Futsal-Cup, which happened at T2. Thus, it seems that routine-based biochemical markers may be useful as training control means in

  4. Esophageal baseline impedance levels in patients with pathophysiological characteristics of functional heartburn.

    PubMed

    Martinucci, I; de Bortoli, N; Savarino, E; Piaggi, P; Bellini, M; Antonelli, A; Savarino, V; Frazzoni, M; Marchi, S

    2014-04-01

    Recently, it has been suggested that low esophageal basal impedance may reflect impaired mucosal integrity and increased acid sensitivity. We aimed to compare baseline impedance levels in patients with heartburn and pathophysiological characteristics related to functional heartburn (FH) divided into two groups on the basis of symptom relief after proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Patients with heartburn and negative endoscopy were treated with esomeprazole or pantoprazole 40 mg daily for 8 weeks. According to MII-pH (off therapy) analysis, patients with normal acid exposure time (AET), normal reflux number, and lack of association between symptoms and refluxes were selected; of whom 30 patients with a symptom relief higher than 50% after PPIs composed Group A, and 30 patients, matched for sex and age, without symptom relief composed Group B. A group of 20 healthy volunteers (HVs) was enrolled. For each patient and HV, we evaluated the baseline impedance levels at channel 3, during the overnight rest, at three different times. Group A (vs Group B) showed an increase in the following parameters: mean AET (1.4 ± 0.8% vs 0.5 ± 0.6%), mean reflux number (30.4 ± 8.7 vs 24 ± 6.9), proximal reflux number (11.1 ± 5.2 vs 8.2 ± 3.6), acid reflux number (17.9 ± 6.1 vs 10.7 ± 6.9). Baseline impedance levels were lower in Group A than in Group B and in HVs (p < 0.001). Evaluating baseline impedance levels in patients with heartburn and normal AET could achieve a better understanding of pathophysiology in reflux disease patients, and could improve the distinction between FH and hypersensitive esophagus. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Effect of the transdermal low-level laser therapy on endothelial function.

    PubMed

    Szymczyszyn, Alicja; Doroszko, Adrian; Szahidewicz-Krupska, Ewa; Rola, Piotr; Gutherc, Radosław; Jasiczek, Jakub; Mazur, Grzegorz; Derkacz, Arkadiusz

    2016-09-01

    The effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the cardiovascular system is not fully established. Since the endothelium is an important endocrine element, establishing the mechanisms of LLLT action is an important issue.The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of transdermal LLLT on endothelial function.In this study, healthy volunteers (n = 40, age = 20-40 years) were enrolled. N = 30 (14 female, 16 male, mean age 30 ± 5 years) constituted the laser-irradiated group (LG). The remaining 10 subjects (6 women, 4 men, mean age 28 ± 5 years) constituted the control group (CG). Participants were subjected to LLLT once a day for three consecutive days. Blood for biochemical assessments was drawn before the first irradiation and 24 h after the last session. In the LG, transdermal illumination of radial artery was conducted (a semiconductor laser λ = 808 nm, irradiation 50 mW, energy density 1.6 W/cm(2) and a dose 20 J/day, a total dose of 60 J). Biochemical parameters (reflecting angiogenesis: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), angiostatin; antioxidative status: glutathione (GSH) and the nitric oxide metabolic pathway: symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and L-arginine) were assessed. In the LG, a significant increase in GSH levels and considerable decrease in angiostatin concentration following the LLLT were observed. No significant differences in levels of the VEGF, FGF, SDMA, ADMA were observed.LLLT modifies vascular endothelial function by increasing its antioxidant and angiogenic potential. We found no significant differences in levels of the nitric oxide pathway metabolites within 24 h following the LLLT irradiation.

  6. Further evaluation of antecedent social events during functional analysis.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, David E; Hardesty, Samantha L; Luczynski, Kevin

    2009-01-01

    The value of a reinforcer may change based on antecedent events, specifically the behavior of others (Bruzek & Thompson, 2007). In the current study, we examined the effects of manipulating the behavior of the therapist on problem behavior while all dimensions of reinforcement were held constant. Both participants' levels of problem behaviors increased as a function of the altered behavior of the therapist without direct manipulation of states of satiation or deprivation.

  7. Serum Tocopherol Levels and Vitamin E Intake are Associated with Lung Function in the Normative Aging Study

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Corrine; Lyden, Elizabeth; Furtado, Jeremy; Campos, Hannia; Sparrow, David; Vokonas, Pantel; Litonjua, Augusto A.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims The results of studies assessing relationships between vitamin E intake and status and lung function are conflicting. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of vitamin E intake and serum levels of tocopherol isoforms on lung function in a cross-sectional sample of 580 men from the Normative Aging Study, a longitudinal aging study. Methods Regression models were used to look at associations of serum tocopherol isoform levels and vitamin E intake with lung function parameters after adjustment for confounders. Vitamin E intake was measured using a food frequency questionnaire and serum levels of γ, α, and δ-tocopherol levels were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. Results After adjustment for potential confounders, serum γ-tocopherol had a significant inverse association with forced vital capacity (β=-0.10, p=0.05). Alpha and δ-tocopherol were not associated with any lung function parameter. After classifying COPD status according to Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage criteria, serum levels of δ-tocopherol were lower in participants with more severe COPD (p=0.01). Serum levels of δ-tocopherol were also lower in participants with greater levels of smoking (p=0.02). Both vitamin E intake (β=0.03, p=0.02; β=0.03, p=0.01) and use of vitamin E supplements (β=0.05, p=0.03; β=0.06. p=0.02) were positively associated with FEV1 and FVC, after adjusting for confounders. Subjects who took vitamin E supplements had significantly higher α-tocopherol levels (p<0.0001) and lower γ-tocopherol levels (p<0.0001) than non-users. Conclusion In this study, there is a positive association between dietary vitamin E intake and lung function, and evidence of an inverse relationship between serum levels of γ-tocopherol and lung function. PMID:25715694

  8. Evaluation of low-level waste analysis using the MADAM system

    SciTech Connect

    Foster, L.A.; Wachter, J.R.; Hagan, R.C.

    1994-08-01

    Previously, the important hardware features and capabilities for the Multiple Assay Dual Analysis Measurement (MADAM) system were reported. MADAM is a combined low-level and transuranic waste assay system. The system integrated commercially available Segmented Gamma Scanner (SGS) capability together with multienergy X-ray and gamma-ray analysis to measure these two waste forms. In addition, the system incorporated a small neutron slab detector to satisfy safeguards concerns and high resolution gamma-ray isotopics analysis proficiency. Since delivery of the system to this facility, an evaluation of its low-level waste measurement performance has been conducted using a set of specially constructed NIST-traceable standards. The evaluation studied existing analysis algorithms, matrix and attenuation effects, source position as a function of detector response, instrument stability, and sensitivity. Based on these studies, several modifications to the existing analysis algorithms have been performed, new correction factors for matrix attenuation have been devised, and measurement error estimates have been calculated and incorporated into the software. This report discusses the results of the evaluation program and the software modifications that have been developed.

  9. Evaluating the Level of Degree Programmes in Higher Education: The Case of Nursing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rexwinkel, Trudy; Haenen, Jacques; Pilot, Albert

    2013-01-01

    The European Quality Assurance system demands that the degree programme level is represented in terms of quantitative outcomes to be valid and reliable. To meet this need the Educational Level Evaluator (ELE) was devised. This conceptually designed procedure with instrumentation aiming to evaluate the level of a degree validly and reliably still…

  10. Evaluating the Level of Degree Programmes in Higher Education: The Case of Nursing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rexwinkel, Trudy; Haenen, Jacques; Pilot, Albert

    2013-01-01

    The European Quality Assurance system demands that the degree programme level is represented in terms of quantitative outcomes to be valid and reliable. To meet this need the Educational Level Evaluator (ELE) was devised. This conceptually designed procedure with instrumentation aiming to evaluate the level of a degree validly and reliably still…

  11. Hanford high level waste: Sample Exchange/Evaluation (SEE) Program

    SciTech Connect

    King, A.G.

    1994-08-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL)/Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (ACL) and the Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC)/Process Analytical Laboratory (PAL) provide analytical support services to various environmental restoration and waste management projects/programs at Hanford. In response to a US Department of Energy -- Richland Field Office (DOE-RL) audit, which questioned the comparability of analytical methods employed at each laboratory, the Sample Exchange/Exchange (SEE) program was initiated. The SEE Program is a selfassessment program designed to compare analytical methods of the PAL and ACL laboratories using sitespecific waste material. The SEE program is managed by a collaborative, the Quality Assurance Triad (Triad). Triad membership is made up of representatives from the WHC/PAL, PNL/ACL, and WHC Hanford Analytical Services Management (HASM) organizations. The Triad works together to design/evaluate/implement each phase of the SEE Program.

  12. Evaluation of parathyroid autograft growth and function in hemodialysis patients

    SciTech Connect

    Karsenty, G.; Petraglia, A.; Bourdeau, A.; Gambini, D.J.; Moreau, J.F.; Lecharpentier, Y.; Zingraff, J.; Bournerias, F.; Buisson, C.; Dubost, C.

    1986-07-01

    The aim of our study was to evaluate the function and growth of parathyroid tissue autografted into the forearm of hemodialysis patients using several presently available methods. In a dynamic study, the secretory function of autografted tissue was evaluated in seven patients using either zero calcium dialysate or calcium infusion. In an additional prospective study, seven patients had repeated determinations of plasma immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (iPTH) concentration on samples from both forearms, a radionuclide evaluation of autograft function using thallium-201 chloride, and real time ultrasonography. Light microscopy analysis was performed in two patients. The dynamic study demonstrated that induction of hypocalcemia was followed by an increase, and induction of hypercalcemia by a decrease in circulating iPTH in both forearms using three different radioimmunoassays similar to what has been reported for normal parathyroid tissue. A significant gradient (ie, greater than 2.0) of plasma iPTH concentration in samples from both forearms was observed in only three out of the seven patients of the prospective study. Two of these patients disclosed an increased uptake of /sup 201/TI chloride at the site of autografted tissue and had an echographically detectable mass. In both, hyperplastic parathyroid tissue was removed. At present, the remaining third patient does not have other features of recurrent hyperparathyroidism. In conclusion, autotransplanted parathyroid tissue of hemodialysis patients shows an adequate response to physiologic stimuli such as hypo- and hypercalcemia. Dynamic tests, therefore, appear to be a useful tool in the assessment of its function. In addition, radionuclide and echographic studies may be reliable adjuncts in the detection of marked parathyroid autograft hyperplasia.

  13. Evaluation of Second-Level Inference in fMRI Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Roels, Sanne P.; Loeys, Tom; Moerkerke, Beatrijs

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the impact of decisions in the second-level (i.e., over subjects) inferential process in functional magnetic resonance imaging on (1) the balance between false positives and false negatives and on (2) the data-analytical stability, both proxies for the reproducibility of results. Second-level analysis based on a mass univariate approach typically consists of 3 phases. First, one proceeds via a general linear model for a test image that consists of pooled information from different subjects. We evaluate models that take into account first-level (within-subjects) variability and models that do not take into account this variability. Second, one proceeds via inference based on parametrical assumptions or via permutation-based inference. Third, we evaluate 3 commonly used procedures to address the multiple testing problem: familywise error rate correction, False Discovery Rate (FDR) correction, and a two-step procedure with minimal cluster size. Based on a simulation study and real data we find that the two-step procedure with minimal cluster size results in most stable results, followed by the familywise error rate correction. The FDR results in most variable results, for both permutation-based inference and parametrical inference. Modeling the subject-specific variability yields a better balance between false positives and false negatives when using parametric inference. PMID:26819578

  14. Evaluation of Second-Level Inference in fMRI Analysis.

    PubMed

    Roels, Sanne P; Loeys, Tom; Moerkerke, Beatrijs

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the impact of decisions in the second-level (i.e., over subjects) inferential process in functional magnetic resonance imaging on (1) the balance between false positives and false negatives and on (2) the data-analytical stability, both proxies for the reproducibility of results. Second-level analysis based on a mass univariate approach typically consists of 3 phases. First, one proceeds via a general linear model for a test image that consists of pooled information from different subjects. We evaluate models that take into account first-level (within-subjects) variability and models that do not take into account this variability. Second, one proceeds via inference based on parametrical assumptions or via permutation-based inference. Third, we evaluate 3 commonly used procedures to address the multiple testing problem: familywise error rate correction, False Discovery Rate (FDR) correction, and a two-step procedure with minimal cluster size. Based on a simulation study and real data we find that the two-step procedure with minimal cluster size results in most stable results, followed by the familywise error rate correction. The FDR results in most variable results, for both permutation-based inference and parametrical inference. Modeling the subject-specific variability yields a better balance between false positives and false negatives when using parametric inference.

  15. A 3-year prospective radiographic evaluation of marginal bone level around different implant systems.

    PubMed

    Lee, S Y; Piao, C M; Koak, J Y; Kim, S K; Kim, Y S; Ku, Y; Rhyu, I C; Han, C H; Heo, Seong-Joo

    2010-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the change of marginal bone level radiographically around three different implant systems after 3 years in function. Fifty-four patients were included and randomly assigned to three treatment groups of rough-surface implants (TiUnite, n = 37), hybrid of smooth and rough-surface implants (Restore, n = 38) and rough surface with microthread implants (Hexplant, n = 45). Clinical and radiographic examinations were conducted at the time of implant loading (baseline), 1 and 3 years after loading. A three-level mixed-effect analysis of covariance (ancova) was used to test the significance of the mean marginal bone change of the three implant groups. A total 120 of 135 implants completed the study. None of the implants failed to integrate. Significant differences were noted in the marginal bone loss recorded for the three groups (P < 0.0001). At 3 years, the rough surface with microthread implants had a mean crestal bone loss of 0.59 +/- 0.30 mm; the rough-surface implants, 0.95 +/- 0.27 mm; and the hybrid surface implants, 1.05 +/- 0.34 mm. Within the limitations of this study, rough-surface implants with microthread at the coronal part might have a long-term positive effect in maintaining the marginal bone level against functional loading in comparison with implants without these two features.

  16. A preliminary evaluation of alternatives for disposal of INEL low-level waste and low-level mixed waste

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.H.; Roesener, W.S.; Jorgenson-Waters, M.J.

    1993-07-01

    The Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility (MLLWDF) project was established in 1992 by the US Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office to provide enhanced disposal capabilities for Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) low-level mixed waste and low-level waste. This Preliminary Evaluation of Alternatives for Disposal of INEL Low-Level Waste and Low-Level Mixed Waste identifies and evaluates-on a preliminary, overview basis-the alternatives for disposal of that waste. Five disposal alternatives, ranging from of no-action`` to constructing and operating the MLLWDF, are identified and evaluated. Several subalternatives are formulated within the MLLWDF alternative. The subalternatives involve various disposal technologies as well as various scenarios related to the waste volumes and waste forms to be received for disposal. The evaluations include qualitative comparisons of the projected isolation performance for each alternative, and facility, health and safety, environmental, institutional, schedule, and rough order-of-magnitude life-cycle cost comparisons. The performance of each alternative is evaluated against lists of ``musts`` and ``wants.`` Also included is a discussion of other key considerations for decisionmaking. The analysis of results indicated further study is necessary to obtain the best estimate of long-term future waste volume and characteristics from the INEL Environmental Restoration activities and the expanded INEL Decontamination and Decommissioning Program.

  17. Adverse childhood experiences and higher-level functional limitations among older Japanese people: results from the JAGES study.

    PubMed

    Amemiya, Airi; Fujiwara, Takeo; Murayama, Hiroshi; Tani, Yukako; Kondo, Katsunori

    2017-05-19

    A life-course perspective is essential in understanding the determinants of higher-level functional limitations. We examine the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on higher-level functional limitations in older people. Data were from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study 2013, a population-based cohort of independent people aged 65 years or older across Japan (n = 19,220). ACEs before the age of 18 were assessed in terms of seven adversities: parental death, parental divorce, parental mental illness, family violence, physical abuse, psychological neglect, and psychological abuse. Associations between the cumulative number of ACEs and higher-level functional limitations were investigated by multivariate Poisson regression with robust error variances, adjusted for age, gender, childhood disadvantage, adult socio-demographics, adult health behaviours, and health status. Of the older people, 36.3% reported at least one ACE. Older people who had experienced two or more ACEs showed significantly greater higher-level functional limitations than those with no ACE in a crude model (prevalence ratio, PR = 1.61, 95% confidence interval, CI = 1.51-1.71). After adjusting the covariates, this association remained (PR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.12-1.27). ACEs showed robust independent effects on higher-level functional limitations among older Japanese without disabilities, even after adjusting for potential covariates in childhood and adulthood. The current findings may help in understanding the impact of the latent effects of ACEs on functional limitations in older people.

  18. Sensory profile of a model energy drink with varying levels of functional ingredients-caffeine, ginseng, and taurine.

    PubMed

    Tamamoto, Lauren C; Schmidt, Shelly J; Lee, Soo-Yeun

    2010-08-01

    Energy drinks have increased in popularity in recent years due to the claimed energy boost provided by functional ingredients. A multitude of functional ingredients have been utilized; however, there is limited research on their sensory effects in energy drink formulations. A 13-member descriptive analysis panel was conducted to investigate the effects on the sensory and rheological properties of 3 common functional ingredients-caffeine, ginseng, and taurine-in a noncarbonated model energy drink solution. Combinations of these functional ingredients at 3 levels (low, medium, high) were added to create a total of 27 different solutions (3 x 3 x 3 factorial design). Analysis of variance was performed to evaluate the sensory effects of the varying concentrations of functional ingredients in solution. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to summarize the relationship among the attributes and solutions. In general, high levels of caffeine in solution resulted in low ratings of fruity attributes and high ratings of bitter tea and fruit bitter attributes. The high level of ginseng in solution was characterized by high ratings of bitter attributes. A horns effect was observed as the sweet, artificial lemon-lime, pear, mango, and pineapple attributes were rated lower in intensity with increased ginseng levels. Taurine levels of up to 416 mg/100 mL had no significant effect on the sensory attribute ratings of the model energy drink solutions. These findings can be utilized to predict the changes in sensory characteristics when formulating energy drinks containing these popular functional ingredients.

  19. The Time Course of Pulmonary Function Tests in COPD Patients with Different Levels of Blood Eosinophils

    PubMed Central

    Rogliani, Paola; Puxeddu, Ermanno; Ciaprini, Chiara; Ora, Josuel; Onorato, Angelo; Pezzuto, Gabriella; Calzetta, Luigino

    2016-01-01

    Only very few studies have investigated the influence of eosinophils on the functional progression of COPD. We aimed at retrospectively analyzing the trend of pulmonary function tests over time in patients with COPD according to two baseline blood eosinophil cell count strata (<2% [EOS−] and ≥2% [EOS+]). We used the last 9-year data present in the database of our outpatient clinic and selected only those who had two blood counts that would guarantee the stability of the value of eosinophils and serial spirometry for 4 consecutive years. The analysis of the time course of the spirometric variables analysed showed differences in FEV1 and FVC decline between the subjects of the EOS− group and those of the EOS+ group. The integrated evaluation of our results suggests that the different level of blood eosinophils in the two groups may have influenced independently the time course of the pulmonary function tests and identify two subgroups of subjects with specific disease characteristics: the hyperinflator and the rapid decliner, respectively. PMID:27822474

  20. Blood oxygen-level dependent functional assessment of cerebrovascular reactivity: Feasibility for intraoperative 3 Tesla MRI.

    PubMed

    Fierstra, Jorn; Burkhardt, Jan-Karl; van Niftrik, Christiaan Hendrik Bas; Piccirelli, Marco; Pangalu, Athina; Kocian, Roman; Neidert, Marian Christoph; Valavanis, Antonios; Regli, Luca; Bozinov, Oliver

    2017-02-01

    To assess the feasibility of functional blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) MRI to evaluate intraoperative cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) at 3 Tesla field strength. Ten consecutive neurosurgical subjects scheduled for a clinical intraoperative MRI examination were enrolled in this study. In addition to the clinical protocol a BOLD sequence was implemented with three cycles of 44 s apnea to calculate CVR values on a voxel-by-voxel basis throughout the brain. The CVR range was then color-coded and superimposed on an anatomical volume to create high spatial resolution CVR maps. Ten subjects (mean age 34.8 ± 13.4; 2 females) uneventfully underwent the intraoperative BOLD protocol, with no complications occurring. Whole-brain CVR for all subjects was (mean ± SD) 0.69 ± 0.42, whereas CVR was markedly higher for tumor subjects as compared to vascular subjects, 0.81 ± 0.44 versus 0.33 ± 0.10, respectively. Furthermore, color-coded functional maps could be robustly interpreted for a whole-brain assessment of CVR. We demonstrate that intraoperative BOLD MRI is feasible in creating functional maps to assess cerebrovascular reactivity throughout the brain in subjects undergoing a neurosurgical procedure. Magn Reson Med 77:806-813, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  1. Evaluating Functional Annotations of Enzymes Using the Gene Ontology.

    PubMed

    Holliday, Gemma L; Davidson, Rebecca; Akiva, Eyal; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2017-01-01

    The Gene Ontology (GO) (Ashburner et al., Nat Genet 25(1):25-29, 2000) is a powerful tool in the informatics arsenal of methods for evaluating annotations in a protein dataset. From identifying the nearest well annotated homologue of a protein of interest to predicting where misannotation has occurred to knowing how confident you can be in the annotations assigned to those proteins is critical. In this chapter we explore what makes an enzyme unique and how we can use GO to infer aspects of protein function based on sequence similarity. These can range from identification of misannotation or other errors in a predicted function to accurate function prediction for an enzyme of entirely unknown function. Although GO annotation applies to any gene products, we focus here a describing our approach for hierarchical classification of enzymes in the Structure-Function Linkage Database (SFLD) (Akiva et al., Nucleic Acids Res 42(Database issue):D521-530, 2014) as a guide for informed utilisation of annotation transfer based on GO terms.

  2. Evaluation of Bioenergetic Function in Cerebral Vascular Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Rellick, Stephanie L; Hu, Heng; Simpkins, James W; Ren, Xuefang

    2016-11-19

    The integrity of the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) is critical to prevent brain injury. Cerebral vascular endothelial (CVE) cells are one of the cell types that comprise the BBB; these cells have a very high-energy demand, which requires optimal mitochondrial function. In the case of disease or injury, the mitochondrial function in these cells can be altered, resulting in disease or the opening of the BBB. In this manuscript, we introduce a method to measure mitochondrial function in CVE cells by using whole, intact cells and a bioanalyzer. A mito-stress assay is used to challenge the cells that have been perturbed, either physically or chemically, and evaluate their bioenergetic function. Additionally, this method also provides a useful way to screen new therapeutics that have direct effects on mitochondrial function. We have optimized the cell density necessary to yield oxygen consumption rates that allow for the calculation of a variety of mitochondrial parameters, including ATP production, maximal respiration, and spare capacity. We also show the sensitivity of the assay by demonstrating that the introduction of the microRNA, miR-34a, leads to a pronounced and detectable decrease in mitochondrial activity. While the data shown in this paper is optimized for the bEnd.3 cell line, we have also optimized the protocol for primary CVE cells, further suggesting the utility in preclinical and clinical models.

  3. Evaluation of stereoscopic display with visual function and interview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okuyama, Fumio

    1999-05-01

    The influence of binocular stereoscopic (3D) television display on the human eye were compared with one of a 2D display, using human visual function testing and interviews. A 40- inch double lenticular display was used for 2D/3D comparison experiments. Subjects observed the display for 30 minutes at a distance 1.0 m, with a combination of 2D material and one of 3D material. The participants were twelve young adults. Main optometric test with visual function measured were visual acuity, refraction, phoria, near vision point, accommodation etc. The interview consisted of 17 questions. Testing procedures were performed just before watching, just after watching, and forty-five minutes after watching. Changes in visual function are characterized as prolongation of near vision point, decrease of accommodation and increase in phoria. 3D viewing interview results show much more visual fatigue in comparison with 2D results. The conclusions are: 1) change in visual function is larger and visual fatigue is more intense when viewing 3D images. 2) The evaluation method with visual function and interview proved to be very satisfactory for analyzing the influence of stereoscopic display on human eye.

  4. Assessment of executive functions in Prader-Willi syndrome and relationship with intellectual level.

    PubMed

    Chevalère, J; Postal, V; Jauregui, J; Copet, P; Laurier, V; Thuilleaux, D

    2013-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) have impaired global executive functioning and whether this deficit is linked with intellectual disability. Another objective focussed on the variability in performance of intellectual quotient (IQ) and executive functions (EF) depending on the genotypic subtype. A final objective investigated whether the relationships between IQ and EF are different according to the genotypic subtype. Twenty individuals with PWS and mild-to-moderate IQ (standard scores between 55 and 90, age range 19 and 49 years old, SD = 28.1) were administered an ecological battery of executive functioning (behavioural assessment of dysexecutive syndrome, BADS, adapted from Wilson et al. (1996) Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Thames Valley Test Company: Bury St Edmunds, UK.). The BADS contains six tests evaluating EF. The sample comprised 14 deletion subtype and six maternal uniparental disomy (m-UPD) subtype. Behavioural assessment of dysexecutive syndrome scores were below the level of the standardized healthy populations of the battery and equivalent to those of the neuropathological standardized population. Most scores on EF tasks were relatively highly correlated with Full Scale and Verbal IQs but were not significant or moderately correlated with Performance IQ. Lastly, underlying differences were found in scores on two EF tasks (the Rule Shift Card and the Zoo Map subtests) between the deletion and m-UPD subtypes. These data suggest a deficit of executive functioning in PWS that is linked more with verbal skills than performance skills. They also suggest that the impact on executive functioning may differ according to the genotype. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Multiple-level defect species evaluation from average carrier decay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debuf, Didier

    2003-10-01

    An expression for the average decay is determined by solving the the carrier continuity equations, which include terms for multiple defect recombination. This expression is the decay measured by techniques such as the contactless photoconductance decay method, which determines the average or volume integrated decay. Implicit in the above is the requirement for good surface passivation such that only bulk properties are observed. A proposed experimental configuration is given to achieve the intended goal of an assessment of the type of defect in an n-type Czochralski-grown silicon semiconductor with an unusually high relative lifetime. The high lifetime is explained in terms of a ground excited state multiple-level defect system. Also, minority carrier trapping is investigated.

  6. Non-functioning adrenal incidentalomas are associated with elevated D-dimer levels.

    PubMed

    Yener, S; Comlekci, A; Akinci, B; Secil, M; Demir, T; Ertilav, S; Yesil, S

    2009-04-01

    Although the majority of adrenal incidentalomas (AI) are non-functioning, studies evaluating metabolic disturbances in this particular group are limited. The objective of this study is to investigate metabolic syndrome components and levels of plasma von Willebrand factor (VWF), fibrinogen, and D-dimer in subjects with non-functioning AI. Forty-five subjects without clinical and subclinical findings of hypercortisolism or other adrenal gland disorders and 37 healthy controls were enrolled. The patients and controls underwent hormonal evaluation including morning cortisol, ACTH, post-dexamethasone suppression test (DST), morning cortisol, DHEAS, and urinary free cortisol. Anthropometric and metabolic parameters and body composition were assessed and fibrinogen, D-dimer, and VWF were measured. When compared with healthy controls, subjects with AI had significant elevations in several metabolic and anthropometric parameters, uric acid, post-DST cortisol, and D-dimer. When compared with body mass index-matched controls, blood pressure (p=0.004), uric acid (p=0.009), post-DST cortisol (p=0.014), and D-dimer (p=0.045) remained significantly elevated. We demonstrated weak correlations between D-dimer and other metabolic and anthropometric variables. Morning cortisol was demonstrated as an independent variable associated with homeostasis model assessment levels in subjects with AI (beta=410, p=0.004). Individuals with clinically and hormonally inactive adrenal adenomas feature insulin resistance and a variety of metabolic disturbances. The subtle cortisol autonomy seems to be associated with insulin-resistant state. D-dimer elevation in AI group was a consequence of insulin-resistant state associated with subtle cortisol autonomy rather than a direct effect of cortisol secretion.

  7. Comparison of Student-Level and School-Level Data in a National Impact Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Velez, Melissa; Sahni, Sarah; Rulf-Fountain, Alyssa; Gamse, Beth

    2014-01-01

    One of the primary obstacles facing education researchers today is the struggle to obtain student-level data from states, districts, and schools. Researchers typically face one of two scenarios; they must either (1) work with contractors hired by the state or district to handle data requests who can be prohibitively expensive or (2) invest…

  8. The Rett Syndrome Complex: Communicative Functions in Relation to Developmental Level and Autistic Features.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandberg, Annika Dahlgren; Ehlers, Stephan; Hagberg, Bengt; Gillberg, Christopher

    2000-01-01

    Communicative functions, overall developmental level, and autistic features were studied in eight females (ages 11-36) with Rett Syndrome. Low levels of communicative abilities and overall functioning were demonstrated, and joint attention behaviors and expression of communicative intent were rare. Six subjects, however, showed clear examples of…

  9. Functional magnetic resonance in the evaluation of oesophageal motility disorders.

    PubMed

    Covotta, Francesco; Piretta, Luca; Badiali, Danilo; Laghi, Andrea; Biondi, Tommaso; Corazziari, Enrico S; Panebianco, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been recently proposed for the evaluation of the esophagus. Our aim is to assess the role of fMRI as a technique to assess morphological and functional parameters of the esophagus in patients with esophageal motor disorders and in healthy controls. Subsequently, we assessed the diagnostic efficiency of fMRI in comparison to videofluoroscopic and manometric findings in the investigation of patients with esophageal motor disorders. Considering that fMRI was shown to offer valuable information on bolus transit and on the caliber of the esophagus, variations of these two parameters in the different types of esophageal motor alterations have been assessed. fMRI, compared to manometry and videofluoroscopy, showed that a deranged or absent peristalsis is significantly associated with slower transit time and with increased esophageal diameter. Although further studies are needed, fMRI represents a promising noninvasive technique for the integrated functional and morphological evaluation of esophageal motility disorders.

  10. Functional Magnetic Resonance in the Evaluation of Oesophageal Motility Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Covotta, Francesco; Piretta, Luca; Badiali, Danilo; Laghi, Andrea; Biondi, Tommaso; Corazziari, Enrico S.; Panebianco, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been recently proposed for the evaluation of the esophagus. Our aim is to assess the role of fMRI as a technique to assess morphological and functional parameters of the esophagus in patients with esophageal motor disorders and in healthy controls. Subsequently, we assessed the diagnostic efficiency of fMRI in comparison to videofluoroscopic and manometric findings in the investigation of patients with esophageal motor disorders. Considering that fMRI was shown to offer valuable information on bolus transit and on the caliber of the esophagus, variations of these two parameters in the different types of esophageal motor alterations have been assessed. fMRI, compared to manometry and videofluoroscopy, showed that a deranged or absent peristalsis is significantly associated with slower transit time and with increased esophageal diameter. Although further studies are needed, fMRI represents a promising noninvasive technique for the integrated functional and morphological evaluation of esophageal motility disorders. PMID:21904543

  11. Multi-level functionality of social media in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    PubMed

    Jung, Joo-Young; Moro, Munehito

    2014-07-01

    This study examines the multi-level functionalities of social media in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011. Based on a conceptual model of multi-level story flows of social media (Jung and Moro, 2012), the study analyses the multiple functionalities that were ascribed to social media by individuals, organisations, and macro-level social systems (government and the mass media) after the earthquake. Based on survey data, a review of Twitter timelines and secondary sources, the authors derive five functionalities of social media: interpersonal communications with others (micro level); channels for local governments; organisations and local media (meso level); channels for mass media (macro level); information sharing and gathering (cross level); and direct channels between micro-/meso- and macro-level agents. The study sheds light on the future potential of social media in disaster situations and suggests how to design an effective communication network to prepare for emergency situations.

  12. Ego functions and ego development: defense mechanisms and intelligence as predictors of ego level.

    PubMed

    Cramer, P

    1999-10-01

    This study considers the contribution of two ego functions--intelligence and defense mechanisms--to ego developmental level. Two independent assessments of ego level were related to IQ and defense mechanism use in a sample of 89 young adults. Whereas IQ and defense were themselves found to be unrelated, both variables predicted ego level: The relation with IQ was linear, whereas the relation with defense was curvilinear. In addition, the relation between defense and ego level varied as a function of IQ level. At low levels of IQ, stronger use of Denial and Projection was associated with higher ego levels. At high IQ levels, strong use of Denial was associated with lower ego levels, whereas moderate use of Projection was associated with higher ego levels.

  13. Evaluating the relationship between education level and cognitive impairment with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test.

    PubMed

    Yancar Demir, Esra; Özcan, Tuba

    2015-09-01

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is defined as 'a cognitive decline greater than that expected for an individual's age and education level but that does not interfere notably with activities of daily life'. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a screening test for MCI. We investigated the performance of the Turkish version of the MoCA in detecting MCI among elderly persons in a rural area, the majority of whom have a low level of education. We evaluated 50 consecutive men referred from an outpatient clinic. Educational level was divided into three categories: group 1, less than primary (<5 years); group 2, primary (5 years); group 3, more than primary (>5 years). We evaluated the effect of education on MoCA scores and compared subjects' test performance among the different categories of education level. A total of 50 male patients with MCI (mean age: 70.74 ± 7.87) met the inclusion criteria. There were no differences in the total scores based on education or in the subscores for visuospatial/executive function, naming, attention, abstraction and delayed recall. Language was the only domain that showed significant differences between the groups. In post-hoc analysis, differences were found between groups 1 and 3 and between groups 1 and 2. Group 1 had significantly lower scores for language. The repeat subscore for language was significantly lower in group 1 than in group 2. In fluency, there were significant differences between groups 2 and 3 and between group 1 and 3. To our knowledge, this is the first study to analyze the applicability of the Turkish version of MoCA in populations with little education. Our results emphasize the need to adapt the language sections of this test, so it can be easily used in populations with low education levels. © 2014 The Authors. Psychogeriatrics © 2014 Japanese Psychogeriatric Society.

  14. About Essence of the Wave Function on Atomic Level and in Superconductors

    SciTech Connect

    Nikulov, A. V.

    2007-12-03

    The wave function was proposed for description of quantum phenomena on the atomic level. But now it is well known that quantum phenomena are observed not only on atomic level and the wave function is used for description of macroscopic quantum phenomena, such as superconductivity. The essence of the wave function on level elementary particles was and is the subject of heated argument among founders of quantum mechanics and other physicists. This essence seems more clear in superconductor. But impossibility of probabilistic interpretation of wave function in this case results to obvious contradiction of quantum principles with some fundamental principles of physics.

  15. Preoperative evaluation of activity and function in patients with paralytic scoliosis.

    PubMed

    Larsson, E L; Aaro, S; Ahlinder, P; Oberg, B

    1998-01-01

    Preoperative evaluation of patients with paralytic scoliosis should take into account the consequences of surgery on the every day life of the patient. However, the parameters that are customarily used in these operations relate only to very narrow measures such as the angle of scoliosis or kyphosis. The aim of this study was to introduce a set of instruments appropriate for measuring both function and activities in paralytic scoliosis patients. The study took as its starting point the WHO International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH), in which an activity is described at the level of the individual and function at the level of the organ. A consecutive series of 100 paralytic scoliosis patients with 18 different diagnoses were evaluated preoperatively with a set of instruments that had been specially developed at Linköping hospital, in which the variables are classified according to the system used in the ICIDH. The set of instruments included general information and evaluation of activities and function--sitting, balance, weight distribution to sitting surface, angle of scoliosis, reaching, pain estimation, activities of daily living (ADL) Barthel and ADL Klein and Bell, care given, time spent resting, and seating supports). The results showed that patients with paralytic scoliosis constitute a heterogeneous group in activities and function. Even when the patients were grouped into four subgroups according to the Scoliosis Research Society Classification, they remained very heterogeneous. However, reaching, Klein and Bell Activities of Daily Living and pain could only evaluate patients who could understand verbal instructions. In those who could not, assessment relied more heavily on measures of function and level of dependence. It was concluded that the choice of assessment must be guided by the patient's ability to understand verbal instructions irrespective of his/her disorder. It is important to use the three levels

  16. The Fusarium toxin zearalenone and deoxynivalenol affect murine splenic antioxidant functions, interferon levels, and T-cell subsets.

    PubMed

    Ren, Z H; Deng, H D; Wang, Y C; Deng, J L; Zuo, Z C; Wang, Y; Peng, X; Cui, H M; Fang, J; Yu, S M; Shen, L H; Hu, Y C

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the Fusarium toxin zearalenone (ZEA) and deoxynivalenol (DON) on splenic antioxidant functions, IFN levels, and T-cell subsets in mice. Herein, 360 mice were assigned to nine groups for a 12-day study. Mice were administered an intraperitoneal injection for 4 consecutive days with different concentrations of ZEA alone, DON alone, or ZEA+DON. Spleen and blood samples were collected on days 0, 3, 5, 8, and 12. Mice in each of the experimental groups showed dysreglated splenic antioxidant functions, IFN levels, and T-cell subset frequencies, suggesting that the immune system had been affected. The ZEA+DON-treated groups, especially the group that received a higher concentration of ZEA+DON (Group D2Z2), showed more obvious effects on the dysregulation of splenic antioxidant functions, IFN levels, and T-cell subsets. This finding suggested that DON and ZEA exerted synergistic effects.

  17. Evaluating nicotine dependence levels in e-cigarette users.

    PubMed

    González Roz, Alba; Secades Villa, Roberto; Weidberg, Sara

    2017-01-11

    Despite the fact that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are rapidly growing in popularity and use worldwide, there is scarce scientific data on abuse liability among e-cigarette users, and about whether e-cigarette use is related to nicotine dependence or not. The aim of this study is to explore nicotine dependence levels in a sample of experienced e-cigarette users (n= 39) and to compare them with current tobacco cigarette smokers (n=42). We conducted several face-to-face interviews in order to assess sociodemographic and dependence related characteristics in both e-cigarette users and in smokers. Adapted versions of both the Fagerström test for nicotine dependence (FTND) and the nicotine dependence syndrome scale (NDSS) were used to analyze nicotine dependence in each of the groups. Biochemical markers of carbon monoxide and urinary cotinine analysis were also collected. Results showed that e-cigarette users scored lower than cigarette smokers in both FTND and all NDSS subscales. Our findings extend previous research on e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction and suggest that e-cigarette users are less dependent on nicotine than current tobacco cigarette smokers. Further prospective studies are needed to better ascertain their addictiveness potential, comparing those smokers who switched to e-cigarettes from smoking cigarettes, and those who had never been tobacco cigarette smokers.

  18. Increased DHEAS levels in patients with rheumatoid arthritis after treatment with tumor necrosis factor antagonists: evidence for improved adrenal function.

    PubMed

    Ernestam, Sofia; Hafström, Ingiäld; Werner, Sigbritt; Carlström, Kjell; Tengstrand, Birgitta

    2007-07-01

    To determine if major reduction of inflammation with longterm tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist treatment has any influence on the adrenal and gonadal axes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Forty-eight patients with RA were treated with infliximab or etanercept for 2 years. Disease activity, clinical response, and physical function were evaluated and serum levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 were analyzed before start of treatment and after 1 and 2 years. At the same timepoints adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) were analyzed; luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, and testosterone were analyzed as well in 18 male patients. DHEAS increased (p levels of ACTH, cortisol, LH, estradiol, or testosterone was recorded during the 2 years. The increased levels of DHEAS correlated with improved physical function measured by Health Assessment Questionnaire (p levels and clinical response or inflammatory markers. A longitudinal stability in individual hormone levels was found between baseline and 2 years, most markedly for DHEAS levels (rs = 0.90, p levels of DHEAS had a lower age at disease onset. The increased DHEAS levels may indicate an improved adrenal function during 2 years' treatment with TNF antagonists. Improved physical function, correlated to increased DHEAS levels, may be an effect of better adrenal function during powerful antiinflammatory treatment. The stability in individual hormone levels suggests a stable hormonal homeostasis, independent of inflammatory activity.

  19. Advanced Inverter Functions to Support High Levels of Distributed Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2014-11-01

    This paper explains how advanced inverter functions (sometimes called 'smart inverters') contribute to the integration of high levels of solar PV generation onto the electrical grid and covers the contributions of advanced functions to maintaining grid stability. Policy and regulatory considerations associated with the deployment of advanced inverter functions are also introduced.

  20. The effect of psychoeducation on the functioning level of patients with bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Kurdal, Ebru; Tanriverdi, Derya; Savas, Haluk Asuman

    2014-03-01

    Bipolar disorder has adverse effects on the lives of the individuals and the people around them and causes disability due to impaired social and occupational functioning, risk of suicide, and frequent relapses. This study was conducted as a two-group pretest-posttest design to determine the effect of psychoeducation on the functioning levels of patients with bipolar disorder. A total of 80 patients were assigned to either the experimental (n = 40) or the control group (n = 40). The data were collected using a questionnaire form, and the Bipolar Disorder Functioning Questionnaire. The experimental group scored significantly higher on the functioning levels (emotional functioning, intellectual functioning, feelings of stigmatization, social withdrawal, household relations, relations with friends, participating in social activities, daily activities and recreational activities, taking initiative and self-sufficiency, and occupation) (p < .05) compared with the control group after psychoeducation. Psychoeducation has become considerably effective in increasing the functioning levels of patients with bipolar disorder.

  1. [Evaluation of reserved hepatic function in patients with hepatobiliary tumor by 99mTc-GSA: effect of hyperbilirubinemia and usefulness of regional reserved hepatic functional imaging].

    PubMed

    Wu, J; Ishikawa, N; Takeda, T; Sato, M; Fukunaga, K; Todoroki, T; Okumura, T; Hatakeyama, R; Itai, Y

    1996-02-01

    The evaluation of the reserved hepatic function was performed by 99mTc-galactosyl serum albumin (99mTc-GSA) in seventy patients with hepatobiliary tumor. The dynamic study was performed to evaluate global reserved hepatic function following the intravenous bolus injection of 99mTc-GSA, and the hepatic single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was obtained to assess the regional reserved hepatic function. The functional hepatic index (LHL15) was derived from liver time-activity data, and it was compared with serum total-bilirubin level, serum albumin level and plasma disappearance rate of indocyanine green (ICG15). In the patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, LHL15 value agreed well with ICG15 value, serum total-bilirubin level, and serum albumin level. Moderate or severe hepatic dysfunction was observed at 65.4% of these patients. In the patients with cholangiocellular carcinoma, a discrepancy of LHL15 value and ICG15 value was observed. Increment of the ICG15 value was correlated with that of the serum total-bilirubin level, whereas the correlations was not observed between the LHL15 value and the serum total-bilirubin level. These results indicate that 99mTc-GSA scintigraphy can evaluate the reserved hepatic function without the embellishment of jaundice. This method is useful for assessing the global and regional reserved hepatic function.

  2. The correct renal function evaluation in patients with thyroid dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Simeoni, Mariadelina; Cerantonio, Annamaria; Pastore, Ida; Liguori, Rossella; Greco, Marta; Foti, Daniela; Gulletta, Elio; Brunetti, Antonio; Fuiano, Giorgio

    2016-05-01

    Thyroid dysfunction induces several renal derangements involving all nephron portions. Furthermore, dysthyroidism is a recognized risk factor associated with the development of chronic kidney disease. Current data, in fact, demonstrate that either subclinical or overt thyroid disease is associated with significant changes in creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate, measured glomerular filtration rate and Cystatin C. Herein, we systematically reviewed several relevant studies aiming at the identification of the most sensitive and specific parameter for the correct renal function evaluation in patients with thyroid dysfunction, that are usually treated as outpatients. Our systematic review indicates that estimated glomerular filtration rate, preferably with CKD-EPI equation, appears to be the most reliable and wieldy renal function parameter. Instead, Cystatin C should be better used in the grading of thyroid dysfunction severity.

  3. Functional oesophagoscopy: endoscopic evaluation of the oesophageal phase of deglutition.

    PubMed

    Belafsky, P C; Rees, C J

    2009-09-01

    The anatomy and function of the oropharynx and larynx during deglutition can be assessed using the flexible endoscope, but this evaluation does not provide information on the oesophagus. Guided observation of oesophageal swallowing enables extended dysphagia evaluation. To assess the diagnostic utility of guided observation of oesophageal swallowing in the evaluation of dysphagia. Retrospective case series. Procedures for guided observation of oesophageal swallowing were reviewed for oesophageal findings and compared with fluoroscopy and manometry. Twenty-one patients underwent guided observation of oesophageal swallowing and concurrent videofluoroscopy and/or manometry. No complications of the former procedure occurred. The results of guided observation of oesophageal swallowing concurred with those of fluoroscopy in 15/21 cases (71 per cent) and with those of manometry in five of six (83 per cent) cases. Guided observation of oesophageal swallowing revealed anatomic pathology contributing to dysphagia in 15/21 (71 per cent) patients. The procedure identified pathology not detected by fluoroscopy and manometry in 13/21 (62 per cent) patients. Guided observation of oesophageal swallowing appears to be a safe diagnostic tool with which to evaluate the oesophageal phase of deglutition.

  4. Discovery and functional evaluation of ciliary proteins in Tetrahymena thermophila

    PubMed Central

    Gaertig, Jacek; Wloga, Dorota; Vasudevan, Krishna Kumar; Guha, Mayukh; Dentler, William

    2015-01-01

    The ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila is an excellent model system for the discovery and functional studies of ciliary proteins. The power of the model is based on the ease with which cilia can be purified in large quantities for fractionation and proteomic identification, and the ability to knock out any gene by homologous DNA recombination. Here, we include methods used by our laboratories for isolation and fractionation of cilia, in vivo tagging and localization of ciliary proteins and the evaluation of ciliary mutants. PMID:23522474

  5. Backup flight control system functional evaluator software manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helmke, C. A.; Hasara, S. H.; Mount, F. E.

    1977-01-01

    The software for the Backup Flight Control System Functional Evaluator (BFCSFE) on a Data General Corporation Nova 1200 computer consists of three programs: the ground support program, the operational flight program (OFP), and the ground pulse code modulation (PCM) program. The Nova OFP software is structurally as close as possible to the AP101 code; therefore, this document highlights and describes only those areas of the Nova OFP that are significantly different from the AP101. Since the Ground Support Program was developed to meet BFCSFE requirements and differs considerably from the AP101 code, it is described in detail.

  6. FUNCTIONAL EVALUATION OF AUTISM-ASSOCIATED MUTATIONS IN NHE9

    PubMed Central

    Kondapalli, Kalyan C.; Hack, Anniesha; Schushan, Maya; Landau, Meytal; Ben-Tal, Nir; Rao, Rajini

    2013-01-01

    Summary NHE9 (SLC9A9) is an endosomal cation/proton antiporter with orthologs in yeast and bacteria. Rare, missense substitutions in NHE9 are genetically linked with autism, but have not been functionally evaluated. Here we use evolutionary conservation analysis to build a model-structure of NHE9 based on the crystal structure of bacterial NhaA and use it to screen autism-associated variants in the human population first by phenotype complementation in yeast, followed by functional analysis in primary cortical astrocytes from mouse. NHE9-GFP localizes to recycling endosomes where it significantly alkalinizes luminal pH, elevates uptake of transferrin and the neurotransmitter glutamate, and stabilizes surface expression of transferrin receptor and GLAST transporter. In contrast, autism associated variants L236S, S438P and V176I lack function in astrocytes. Thus, we establish a neurobiological cell model of a candidate gene in autism. Loss of function mutations in NHE9 may contribute to autistic phenotype by modulating synaptic membrane protein expression and neurotransmitter clearance. PMID:24065030

  7. The evaluation of Bessel functions via exp-arc integrals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borwein, David; Borwein, Jonathan M.; Chan, O.-Yeat

    2008-05-01

    A standard method for computing values of Bessel functions has been to use the well-known ascending series for small argument, and to use an asymptotic series for large argument; with the choice of the series changing at some appropriate argument magnitude, depending on the number of digits required. In a recent paper, D. Borwein, J. Borwein, and R. Crandall [D. Borwein, J.M. Borwein, R. Crandall, Effective Laguerre asymptotics, preprint at http://locutus.cs.dal.ca:8088/archive/00000334/] derived a series for an "exp-arc" integral which gave rise to an absolutely convergent series for the J and I Bessel functions with integral order. Such series can be rapidly evaluated via recursion and elementary operations, and provide a viable alternative to the conventional ascending-asymptotic switching. In the present work, we extend the method to deal with Bessel functions of general (non-integral) order, as well as to deal with the Y and K Bessel functions.

  8. Evaluation of sexual function in women with rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Coskun, Burhan; Coskun, Belkis Nihan; Atis, Gokhan; Ergenekon, Erbil; Dilek, Kamil

    2014-01-04

    To evaluate the link between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and female sexual functioning. A total of 32 women with RA and 20 healthy age matched controls were enrolled in this study. The participations are asked to complete Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), The Short form 36 (SF-36) Health Survey and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)questionnaires. The groups were comparable in terms of demographic characteristics. The women with RA represented significantly worse sexual functioning in category of desire, arousal, lubrication,orgasm, satisfaction domain and total FSFI score compared with healthy women (P = .0001, P = .0001, P = .0001, P = .0001, P = .022 and P = .0001, respectively). The mean BDI scores for the patients with RA were greater than control group (P = .036). Women with RA also had significantly lower quality of life (QoL) parameters: physical functioning, limitations due to physical health, pain, general health, vitality and limitations due to emotional problems compared with healthy women (P = .0001, P = .0001, P = .028, P = .002, P = .001 and P = .0001, respectively). The present study shows that a significant percent of patients with RA had sexual dysfunction and also deterioration in QoL.

  9. Evaluation of Olfactory and Gustatory Function of HIV Infected Women

    PubMed Central

    Kuti, Kehinde Mobolanle; Nwaorgu, Onyekwere George; Akinyinka, Olusina Olusegun

    2016-01-01

    Background. Compliance with medication requires good sense of smell and taste. Objective. To evaluate the olfactory and gustatory function of HIV infected women in Ibadan, Nigeria. Methods. A case control study of women comprising 83 HIV infected women and 79 HIV uninfected women. Subjective self-rating of taste and smell function was by visual analogue scale. Olfactory function was measured via olfactory threshold (OT), olfactory discrimination (OD), olfactory identification (OI), and TDI using “Sniffin' sticks” kits and taste function (Total Taste Strips (TTS) score) measurement was by taste strips. Results. The mean age of the HIV infected women was 43.67 years ± 10.72 and control was 41.48 years ± 10.99. There was no significant difference in the self-reported assessment of smell (p = 0.67) and taste (p = 0.84) of HIV infected and uninfected women. Although the mean OT, OD, OI, TDI, and TTS scores of HIV infected and uninfected women were within the normosmic and normogeusic values, the values were significantly higher in the controls (p < 0.05). Hyposmia was in 39.7% of subjects and 12.6% of controls while hypogeusia was in 15.7% of subjects and 1.3% of controls. Conclusions. Hyposmia and hypogeusia are commoner among the HIV infected women than the HIV uninfected women and the risk increases with an increased duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy. PMID:27047688

  10. Functionality level and its relation to postural control during sitting-to-stand movement in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Pavão, Silvia Leticia; Dos Santos, Adriana Neves; de Oliveira, Ana Beatriz; Rocha, Nelci Adriana Cicuto Ferreira

    2014-02-01

    In this study we studied functional performance and functional balance in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and typically developing (TD) children. The relationship between these components and postural control during sit-to-stand movement (STS) was also investigated. Ten children with CP (GMFCS I and II) and 27 TD children, ages 5-12 years, were included in the study. The Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) and the Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) were used to measure functional performance and functional balance, respectively. Postural control during STS was assessed by means of a force plate. Participants were asked to stand from a chair with feet over a force plate. Children with CP exhibited lower scores than TD children in the PBS and in the mobility Functional Skills and Caregiver Assistance domains of the PEDI (p≤0.05). In both groups postural control during STS movement was correlated with mobility Caregiver Assistance scores of the PEDI. The results demonstrate that although the participants had mild to moderate motor impairment, they exhibit deficits in their level of functional performance and functional balance compared to typical children. Moreover, it was observed that impairments in postural control during the STS movement are related to functional performance in both groups. This result demonstrates the importance of the structure and function components to the level of activity in children.

  11. Performance Evaluation at the Hardware Architecture Level and the Operating System Kernel Design Level.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1977-12-01

    interrupted to tae the necess.ary action suchi as disabiincg event dletrction or reit iliziiig its programr .. Whc’n an overflow happoens no0 furl hrr...inc hor are that only usv r programr . can be traced and morvaver, the ’cxcu ttion of the I race-d mii!r proir;4m!; gets f.lowecd down by orders of it...appliration arra!. 4. The~ difftere!nt phom-!s of r’.).-cution in a1 programr 5. J hI i :.oriipillar tued to translate the high level programn into

  12. Fast and robust clinical triple-region image segmentation using one level set function.

    PubMed

    Li, Shuo; Fevens, Thomas; Krzyzak, Adam; Jin, Chao; Li, Song

    2006-01-01

    This paper proposes a novel method for clinical triple-region image segmentation using a single level set function. Triple-region image segmentation finds wide application in the computer aided X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound image analysis and diagnosis. Usually multiple level set functions are used consecutively or simultaneously to segment triple-region medical images. These approaches are either time consuming or suffer from the convergence problems. With the new proposed triple-regions level set energy modelling, the triple-region segmentation is handled within the two region level set framework where only one single level set function needed. Since only a single level set function is used, the segmentation is much faster and more robust than using multiple level set functions. Adapted to the clinical setting, individual principal component analysis and a support vector machine classifier based clinical acceleration scheme are used to accelerate the segmentation. The clinical acceleration scheme takes the strengths of both machine learning and the level set method while limiting their weaknesses to achieve automatic and fast clinical segmentation. Both synthesized and practical images are used to test the proposed method. These results show that the proposed method is able to successfully segment the triple-region using a single level set function. Also this segmentation is very robust to the placement of initial contour. While still quickly converging to the final image, with the clinical acceleration scheme, our proposed method can be used during pre-processing for automatic computer aided diagnosis and surgery.

  13. Psychometric Evaluation of a Novel Instrument Assessing the Impact of Migraine on Physical Functioning: The Migraine Physical Function Impact Diary.

    PubMed

    Kawata, Ariane K; Hsieh, Ray; Bender, Randall; Shaffer, Shannon; Revicki, Dennis A; Bayliss, Martha; Buse, Dawn C; Desai, Pooja; Sapra, Sandhya; Ortmeier, Brian; Hareendran, Asha

    2017-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the measurement properties of the Migraine Physical Function Impact Diary (MPFID), a novel patient-reported outcome (PRO) measure for assessing the impact of migraine on physical functioning. In a prospective, observational study, adults with episodic migraine (EM) or chronic migraine (CM) used an eDiary to complete the MPFID (assessing daily impacts of migraine on physical function) and a headache diary (capturing migraine days, migraine pain intensity, and migraine interference) each day, and other PRO instruments related to migraine. Item-level evaluation, item response theory (IRT), and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) methods were applied to identify domains, select final MPFID items, and develop scoring procedures. Psychometric properties of the final 13-item MPFID were evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis and tests of reliability (Cronbach's α for internal consistency and intra-class correlation [ICC] for test-retest) and validity (convergent and known-groups). The study enrolled 569 adults with chronic or episodic migraine, mean (SD) age 39.9 (12.0) years and 87.2% female. Item-level analyses based on interim data informed selection of a set of 13 items for the MPFID, through evaluation of floor/ceiling effects, item-to-item correlations, factor loadings, and IRT-based fit/misfit statistics. Two domain scores (EA: Impact on Everyday Activities; PI: Physical Impairment) and a global item score for impact on everyday activities were identified. EA and PI domains exhibited high internal consistency (α = 0.97; α = 0.93) and good test-retest reliability among stable subjects (ICCs = 0.74 and 0.77). Convergent validity was demonstrated by moderate correlations (r = ±0.50-0.68; P < .0001) between MPFID domain scores and number of migraine days, headache days, bed days, and other migraine-related PRO instruments. EA and PI scores differentiated between groups who varied by number of

  14. Spatiotemporal Groundwater-Level Change for the Evaluation of Groundwater Use and Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, K. C.; Willman, S.; Fernald, A.; Archambault, S.

    2015-12-01

    Sustainability of water resources is a particular concern in arid and semiarid regions including the southwestern USA. With increasing water needs and diminishing supplies due to drought, surface water shortfalls are leading to increased groundwater extraction. Groundwater extraction may provide short-term resiliency of the hydrologic system at the cost of long-term resource sustainability. Proactive conjunctive use of surface and subsurface water requires research-based information. The inaccessibility and variability in groundwater data can make it challenging to examine impacts of drought, changes in agriculture, and population variability. The purpose of this study was to advance our understanding of changes in groundwater levels and how they relate to water use dynamics. We utilized both spatial and temporal methods for evaluation of changes in groundwater level data. We compiled monitoring data provided by several government agencies in New Mexico, simulated, with loess regression, the temporal trends between data collection periods, and used geographic information system software to spatially represent changes in groundwater levels for various time intervals. Wells located closer to major rivers typically had lower rates of decrease in groundwater elevation. Areas without surface water had higher rates of groundwater elevation decrease. Several regions had reversals in groundwater-change trends from increasing groundwater elevation to decreasing and vice versa. There were some anomalously increasing groundwater elevations even when overall groundwater elevations decreased in certain areas. The rate of water-level change as a function of time shows promise for evaluation of groundwater use and dynamics, thus providing the basis for improved groundwater sustainability.

  15. System-level biomechanical approach for the evaluation of term and preterm pregnancy maintenance.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Hussam; Wagoner Johnson, Amy; Chien, Edward K; Poellmann, Michael J; McFarlin, Barbara

    2013-02-01

    Preterm birth is the primary contributor to perinatal morbidity and mortality, with those born prior to 32 weeks disproportionately contributing compared to those born at 32-37 weeks. Outcomes for babies born prematurely can be devastating. Parturition is recognized as a mechanical process that involves the two processes that are required to initiate labor: rhythmic myometrial contractions and cervical remodeling with subsequent dilation. Studies of parturition tend to separate these two processes rather than evaluate them as a unified system. The mechanical property characterization of the cervix has been primarily performed on isolated cervical tissue, with an implied understanding of the contribution from the uterine corpus. Few studies have evaluated the function of the uterine corpus in the absence of myometrial contractions or in relationship to retaining the fetus. Therefore, the cervical-uterine interaction has largely been neglected in the literature. We suggest that a system-level biomechanical approach is needed to understand pregnancy maintenance. To that end, this paper has two main goals. One goal is to highlight the gaps in current knowledge that need to be addressed in order to develop any comprehensive and clinically relevant models of the system. The second goal is to illustrate the utility of finite element models in understanding pregnancy maintenance of the cervical-uterine system. The paper targets an audience that includes the reproductive biologist/clinician and the engineer/physical scientist interested in biomechanics and the system level behavior of tissues.

  16. Drugs or disease: evaluating salivary function in RA patients.

    PubMed

    Torres, Sandra Regina; Pedrazas, Carlos Henrique Silva; Correia, Marcos Paulo Veloso; Azevedo, Mario Newton Leitão de; Zamprogno, Thaís; Silva, Arley; Gonçalves, Lucio Souza; Papi, José Angelo de Souza

    2016-10-10

    Oral complications of RA may include temporomandibular joint disorders, mucosa alterations and symptoms of dry mouth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the salivary gland function of subjects with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) comparing it to healthy controls. Subjects with other systemic conditions known to affect salivary functions were excluded. A questionnaire was applied for the evaluation of xerostomia. Resting and chewing-stimulated salivary flow rates (SFR) were obtained under standard conditions. There were 145 subjects included of the study (104 RA and 38 controls). About 66.7% of the RA subjects and 2.4% in control group presented xerostomia. The median resting SFR were 0.24 ml/min for RA subjects and 0.40 mL/min for controls (p = 0.04). The median stimulated SFR were 1.31 mL/min for RA subjects and 1.52 ml/min for controls (p = 0.33). No significant differences were found between resting and stimulated SFR of RA subjects not using xerogenic medications and controls. There was significantly higher number of subjects presenting hyposalivation in the RA group than among controls, even when subjects using xerogenic medications were eliminated from the analysis. In conclusion, hyposalivation and xerostomia were more frequent among RA subjects not using xerogenic medication than among controls, although there were no significant differences in the median SFR between groups.

  17. Evaluation of right ventricular function in patients with COPD.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Yosuke; Hino, Mitsunori; Mizuno, Kyoichi; Gemma, Akihiko

    2013-05-01

    Pulmonary hypertension is an independent risk factor for death in patients with COPD. Current prognostic models of COPD do not include sufficient indicators of right ventricular (RV) function to enable accurate assessment of changes in RV function over time. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that it would be useful to include noninvasive markers of RV function in the routine assessment and prognostic models of early stage COPD with or without pulmonary hypertension. We reviewed the clinical records of 49 male subjects who had COPD but no other conditions that might affect physical status or prognosis, who underwent cardiac ultrasonography. Various echocardiographic parameters of pulmonary circulation and RV function were compared with indices of physical status and prognosis. The Medical Research Council dyspnea score was higher in subjects with echocardiographic findings suggestive of pulmonary hypertension than those without (mean ± SD 3.17 ± 1.23 vs 2.26 ± 0.81, P = .02). RV ejection time, RV isovolumetric relaxation time, RV isovolumetric contraction time + RV isovolumetric relaxation time, and RV total ejection isovolume index differed significantly between subjects with echocardiographic findings suggestive of pulmonary hypertension and those without. The RV total ejection isovolume index was strongly correlated with the MRC score (P < .001), and was significantly correlated with the overall survival rate (hazard ratio 5.31, 95% CI 1.91-14.77) and hospital-free survival rate (hazard ratio 3.26, 95% CI 1.48-7.16). It may be valuable to add assessment of RV function to the routine evaluation of physical status in patients with COPD.

  18. Functional evaluation of circulating hematopoietic progenitors in Noonan syndrome

    PubMed Central

    TIMEUS, FABIO; CRESCENZIO, NICOLETTA; BALDASSARRE, GIUSEPPINA; DORIA, ALESSANDRA; VALLERO, STEFANO; FOGLIA, LUISELDA; PAGLIANO, SARA; ROSSI, CESARE; SILENGO, MARGHERITA CIRILLO; RAMENGHI, UGO; FAGIOLI, FRANCA; DI MONTEZEMOLO, LUCA CORDERO; FERRERO, GIOVANNI BATTISTA

    2013-01-01

    Noonan syndrome (NS) is an autosomal dominant disorder, characterized by short stature, multiple dysmorphisms and congenital heart defects. A myeloproliferative disorder (NS/MPD), resembling juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), is occasionally diagnosed in infants with NS. In the present study, we performed a functional evaluation of the circulating hematopoietic progenitors in a series of NS, NS/MPD and JMML patients. The different functional patterns were compared with the aim to identify a possible NS subgroup worthy of stringent hematological follow-up for an increased risk of MPD development. We studied 27 NS and 5 JMML patients fulfilling EWOG-MDS criteria. The more frequent molecular defects observed in NS were mutations in the PTPN11 and SOS genes. The absolute count of monocytes, circulating CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors, their apoptotic rate and the number of circulating CFU-GMs cultured in the presence of decreasing concentrations or in the absence of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were evaluated. All JMML patients showed monocytosis >1,000/μl. Ten out of the 27 NS patients showed monocytosis >1,000/μl, which included the 3 NS/MPD patients. In JMML patients, circulating CD34+ cells were significantly increased (median, 109.8/μl; range, 44–232) with a low rate of apoptosis (median, 2.1%; range, 0.4–12.1%), and circulating CFU-GMs were hyper-responsive to GM-CSF. NS/MPD patients showed the same flow cytometric pattern as the JMML patients (median, CD34+ cells/μl, 205.7; range, 58–1374; median apoptotic rate, 1.4%; range, 0.2–2.4%) and their circulating CFU-GMs were hyper-responsive to GM-CSF. These functional alterations appeared 10 months before the typical clinical manifestations in 1 NS/MPD patient. In NS, the CD34+ absolute cell count and circulating CFU-GMs showed a normal pattern (median CD34+ cells/μl, 4.9; range, 1.3–17.5), whereas the CD34+ cell apoptotic rate was significantly decreased in

  19. Functional evaluation of circulating hematopoietic progenitors in Noonan syndrome.

    PubMed

    Timeus, Fabio; Crescenzio, Nicoletta; Baldassarre, Giuseppina; Doria, Alessandra; Vallero, Stefano; Foglia, Luiselda; Pagliano, Sara; Rossi, Cesare; Silengo, Margherita Cirillo; Ramenghi, Ugo; Fagioli, Franca; Cordero di Montezemolo, Luca; Ferrero, Giovanni Battista

    2013-08-01

    Noonan syndrome (NS) is an autosomal dominant disorder, characterized by short stature, multiple dysmorphisms and congenital heart defects. A myeloproliferative disorder (NS/MPD), resembling juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), is occasionally diagnosed in infants with NS. In the present study, we performed a functional evaluation of the circulating hematopoietic progenitors in a series of NS, NS/MPD and JMML patients. The different functional patterns were compared with the aim to identify a possible NS subgroup worthy of stringent hematological follow-up for an increased risk of MPD development. We studied 27 NS and 5 JMML patients fulfilling EWOG-MDS criteria. The more frequent molecular defects observed in NS were mutations in the PTPN11 and SOS genes. The absolute count of monocytes, circulating CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors, their apoptotic rate and the number of circulating CFU-GMs cultured in the presence of decreasing concentrations or in the absence of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were evaluated. All JMML patients showed monocytosis>1,000/µl. Ten out of the 27 NS patients showed monocytosis>1,000/µl, which included the 3 NS/MPD patients. In JMML patients, circulating CD34+ cells were significantly increased (median, 109.8/µl; range, 44-232) with a low rate of apoptosis (median, 2.1%; range, 0.4-12.1%), and circulating CFU-GMs were hyper-responsive to GM-CSF. NS/MPD patients showed the same flow cytometric pattern as the JMML patients (median, CD34+ cells/µl, 205.7; range, 58-1374; median apoptotic rate, 1.4%; range, 0.2-2.4%) and their circulating CFU-GMs were hyper-responsive to GM-CSF. These functional alterations appeared 10 months before the typical clinical manifestations in 1 NS/MPD patient. In NS, the CD34+ absolute cell count and circulating CFU-GMs showed a normal pattern (median CD34+ cells/µl, 4.9; range, 1.3-17.5), whereas the CD34+ cell apoptotic rate was significantly decreased in comparison with the

  20. Correlation of thiamine metabolite levels with cognitive function in the non-demented elderly.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jingwen; Pan, Xiaoli; Fei, Guoqiang; Wang, Changpeng; Zhao, Lei; Sang, Shaoming; Liu, Huimin; Liu, Meng; Wang, Hui; Wang, Zhiliang; Zhong, Chunjiu

    2015-12-01

    Thiamine metabolism is critical for glucose metabolism and also vital for brain function, which is susceptible to decline in the elderly. This study aimed to investigate whether thiamine metabolites correlate with cognitive function in the non-demented elderly and their impact factors. Volunteers >60 years old were recruited and their blood thiamine metabolites and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores were measured. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, routine blood parameters, liver and kidney function, and levels of fasting blood glucose and triglycerides were also measured. The results showed that the thiamine diphosphate (TDP) level weakly correlated with MMSE score in the non-demented elderly. Participants with high TDP levels performed better in Recall and Attention and Calculation than those with low TDP. TDP levels were associated with the APOE ε2 allele, body mass index, hemoglobin level, fasting blood glucose, and triglycerides. Our results suggest that TDP, which is easily affected by many factors, impacts cognitive function in the elderly.

  1. A preliminary evaluation of alternatives for treatment of INEL Low-Level Waste and low-level mixed waste

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.H.; Roesener, W.S.; Jorgensen-Waters, M.J.; Edinborough, C.R.

    1992-06-01

    The Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) project was established in 1991 by the US Department of Energy Idaho Field Office to provide treatment capabilities for Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) low-level mixed waste and low-level waste. This report identifies and evaluates the alternatives for treating that waste. Twelve treatment alternatives, ranging from ``no-action`` to constructing and operating the MLLWTF, are identified and evaluated. Evaluations include facility performance, environmental, safety, institutional, schedule, and rough order-of-magnitude cost comparisons. The performance of each alternative is evaluated against lists of ``musts`` and ``wants.`` Also included is a discussion of other key considerations for decision making. Analysis of results indicated further study is necessary to obtain the best estimate of future waste volumes and characteristics from the expanded INEL Decontamination and Decommissioning Program. It is also recommended that conceptual design begin as scheduled on the MLLWTF, maximum treatment alternative while re-evaluating the waste volume projections.

  2. Automatic Four-Chamber Segmentation Using Level-Set Method and Split Energy Function

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Ho Chul; Shin, Juneseuk

    2016-01-01

    Objectives In this paper, we present an automatic method to segment four chambers by extracting a whole heart, separating the left and right sides of the heart, and spliting the atrium and ventricle regions from each heart in cardiac computed tomography angiography (CTA) efficiently. Methods We smooth the images by applying filters to remove noise. Next, the volume of interest is detected by using k-means clustering. In this step, the whole heart is coarsely extracted, and it is used for seed volumes in the next step. Then, we detect seed volumes using a geometric analysis based on anatomical information and separate the left and right heart regions with the power watershed algorithm. Finally, we refine the left and right sides of the heart using the level-set method, and extract the atrium and ventricle from the left and right heart regions using the split energy function. Results We tested the proposed heart segmentation method using 20 clinical scan datasets which were acquired from various patients. To validate the proposed heart segmentation method, we evaluated its accuracy in segmenting four chambers based on four error evaluation metrics. The average values of differences between the manual and automatic segmentations were less than 3.3%, approximately. Conclusions The proposed method extracts the four chambers of the heart accurately, demonstrating that this approach can assist the cardiologist. PMID:27895960

  3. Gene Level Meta-Analysis of Quantitative Traits by Functional Linear Models.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Boehnke, Michael; Chen, Wei; Li, Yun; Ren, Haobo; Lobach, Iryna; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-08-01

    Meta-analysis of genetic data must account for differences among studies including study designs, markers genotyped, and covariates. The effects of genetic variants may differ from population to population, i.e., heterogeneity. Thus, meta-analysis of combining data of multiple studies is difficult. Novel statistical methods for meta-analysis are needed. In this article, functional linear models are developed for meta-analyses that connect genetic data to quantitative traits, adjusting for covariates. The models can be used to analyze rare variants, common variants, or a combination of the two. Both likelihood-ratio test (LRT) and F-distributed statistics are introduced to test association between quantitative traits and multiple variants in one genetic region. Extensive simulations are performed to evaluate empirical type I error rates and power performance of the proposed tests. The proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics control the type I error very well and have higher power than the existing methods of the meta-analysis sequence kernel association test (MetaSKAT). We analyze four blood lipid levels in data from a meta-analysis of eight European studies. The proposed methods detect more significant associations than MetaSKAT and the P-values of the proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics are usually much smaller than those of MetaSKAT. The functional linear models and related test statistics can be useful in whole-genome and whole-exome association studies.

  4. Gene Level Meta-Analysis of Quantitative Traits by Functional Linear Models

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Boehnke, Michael; Chen, Wei; Li, Yun; Ren, Haobo; Lobach, Iryna; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-01-01

    Meta-analysis of genetic data must account for differences among studies including study designs, markers genotyped, and covariates. The effects of genetic variants may differ from population to population, i.e., heterogeneity. Thus, meta-analysis of combining data of multiple studies is difficult. Novel statistical methods for meta-analysis are needed. In this article, functional linear models are developed for meta-analyses that connect genetic data to quantitative traits, adjusting for covariates. The models can be used to analyze rare variants, common variants, or a combination of the two. Both likelihood-ratio test (LRT) and F-distributed statistics are introduced to test association between quantitative traits and multiple variants in one genetic region. Extensive simulations are performed to evaluate empirical type I error rates and power performance of the proposed tests. The proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics control the type I error very well and have higher power than the existing methods of the meta-analysis sequence kernel association test (MetaSKAT). We analyze four blood lipid levels in data from a meta-analysis of eight European studies. The proposed methods detect more significant associations than MetaSKAT and the P-values of the proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics are usually much smaller than those of MetaSKAT. The functional linear models and related test statistics can be useful in whole-genome and whole-exome association studies. PMID:26058849

  5. Evaluation of cochlear functions in children with Familial Mediterranean Fever.

    PubMed

    Lordoglu, Begüm; Acar, Baran; Yazilitas, Fatma; Ozlu, Sare Gulfem; Senel, Saliha

    2016-08-01

    To evaluate cochlear functions in patients with Familial Mediterranean Fever in relation to the disease severity score and treatment duration. 50 patients (4-18 years) who had been followed-up with the diagnosis of FMF and regularly receiving appropriate colchicine treatment and 39 healthy controls were included in the study. All the patients and controls were evaluated by audiologic evaluation, including high-frequency pure-tone audiometry and distortion product otoacoustic emission tests (DPOAE). The disease severity was determined by scoring system developed by Pras et al. Fifty patients (52% female, 48% male; mean age12.2 ± 4.1 years) and 39 controls (58.9% female, 41.1% male, mean age 11.1 ± 3.4 years) were enrolled the study. The pure tone average of FMF patients was significantly higher than that of the control group at 500, 4000, and 8000 Hz frequencies. The patients' DPOAE signal values at 6 kHz, 8 kHz frequencies and SNR values at 8 kHz were significantly higher than control group. The patients' audiometry and DPOAE results were compared with the disease severity scores. Pure tone average was significantly higher in severe and moderate patient groups compared to the mild patient group at 2000 Hz frequency. DPOAE signal values showed statistically significant differences between the patient severity scores at 1.4 and 2.8 kHz frequencies. The mean colchicine treatment duration was found to be 5.1 ± 3.7 years. There were significant differences at 250 and 500 Hz frequencies when patients' audiometry results were compared with the treatment periods. FMF affects cochlear functions particularly at high frequencies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. [Hemispheric functional specialization and anxiety. Focus on an evaluation procedure].

    PubMed

    Perier, N; Boulenger, J P; Eustache, F; Bisserbe, J C; Lebreuilly, J; Zarifian, E

    1992-01-01

    Observations of brain-lesioned patients and experimental psychology studies have shown that the influence of the specific functioning of the two hemispheres of the brain on the regulation of emotional behaviour appears to be unequal and suggests a functional specialization of the right hemisphere for the expression and comprehension of the affective components of behaviour. However, the extension of this hypothesis to include all emotional experiences remains controversial. The observed superiority of the left hemisphere in the perception of positive emotions and the predominance of the right hemisphere in the treatment of negative emotions would appear to favour a joint and complementary participation of both cerebral hemispheres in emotional experiences. In the case of affective disorders, and particularly in anxiety symptoms, the hypothesis of a dysfunctioning of the right hemisphere is similarly questioned: while all metabolic studies corroborate this hypothesis, experimental psychological studies suggest the existence of a preferential involvement of one or the other hemisphere in relation to individual differences such as the "trait" anxiety score. Moreover, the few studies which have been undertaken with healthy volunteers raise the problem of their extrapolation to pathological situations. In view of the potential interest in the neuropsychological evaluations of subjects with different forms of pathological anxiety, we have developed an experimented with two tests aimed at evaluating the differential activity of the two hemispheres of the brain. These two tests, constructed on a "mirror-image" model from the specifications of a functional hemispheric specialization, are supposed to involve cognitive strategies pinpointing preferentially one hemisphere or the other.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  7. An Evaluation of the High Level Architecture (HLA) as a Framework for NASA Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Michael R.; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The High Level Architecture (HLA) is a current US Department of Defense and an industry (IEEE-1516) standard architecture for modeling and simulations. It provides a framework and set of functional rules and common interfaces for integrating separate and disparate simulators into a larger simulation. The goal of the HLA is to reduce software costs by facilitating the reuse of simulation components and by providing a runtime infrastructure to manage the simulations. In order to evaluate the applicability of the HLA as a technology for NASA space mission simulations, a Simulations Group at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) conducted a study of the HLA and developed a simple prototype HLA-compliant space mission simulator. This paper summarizes the prototyping effort and discusses the potential usefulness of the HLA in the design and planning of future NASA space missions with a focus on risk mitigation and cost reduction.

  8. Evaluating Functional Autocorrelation within Spatially Distributed Neural Processing Networks*

    PubMed Central

    Derado, Gordana; Bowman, F. Dubois; Ely, Timothy D.; Kilts, Clinton D.

    2010-01-01

    Data-driven statistical approaches, such as cluster analysis or independent component analysis, applied to in vivo functional neuroimaging data help to identify neural processing networks that exhibit similar task-related or restingstate patterns of activity. Ideally, the measured brain activity for voxels within such networks should exhibit high autocorrelation. An important limitation is that the algorithms do not typically quantify or statistically test the strength or nature of the within-network relatedness between voxels. To extend the results given by such data-driven analyses, we propose the use of Moran’s I statistic to measure the degree of functional autocorrelation within identified neural processing networks and to evaluate the statistical significance of the observed associations. We adapt the conventional definition of Moran’s I, for applicability to neuroimaging analyses, by defining the global autocorrelation index using network-based neighborhoods. Also, we compute network-specific contributions to the overall autocorrelation. We present results from a bootstrap analysis that provide empirical support for the use of our hypothesis testing framework. We illustrate our methodology using positron emission tomography (PET) data from a study that examines the neural representation of working memory among individuals with schizophrenia and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a study of depression. PMID:21643436

  9. Evaluating Functional Autocorrelation within Spatially Distributed Neural Processing Networks.

    PubMed

    Derado, Gordana; Bowman, F Dubois; Ely, Timothy D; Kilts, Clinton D

    2010-01-01

    Data-driven statistical approaches, such as cluster analysis or independent component analysis, applied to in vivo functional neuroimaging data help to identify neural processing networks that exhibit similar task-related or restingstate patterns of activity. Ideally, the measured brain activity for voxels within such networks should exhibit high autocorrelation. An important limitation is that the algorithms do not typically quantify or statistically test the strength or nature of the within-network relatedness between voxels. To extend the results given by such data-driven analyses, we propose the use of Moran's I statistic to measure the degree of functional autocorrelation within identified neural processing networks and to evaluate the statistical significance of the observed associations. We adapt the conventional definition of Moran's I, for applicability to neuroimaging analyses, by defining the global autocorrelation index using network-based neighborhoods. Also, we compute network-specific contributions to the overall autocorrelation. We present results from a bootstrap analysis that provide empirical support for the use of our hypothesis testing framework. We illustrate our methodology using positron emission tomography (PET) data from a study that examines the neural representation of working memory among individuals with schizophrenia and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a study of depression.

  10. Temperature Measurement and Control System for Transtibial Prostheses: Functional Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Ghoseiri, Kamiar; Zheng, Yong Ping; Leung, Aaron K L; Rahgozar, Mehdi; Aminian, Gholamreza; Lee, Tat Hing; Safari, Mohammad Reza

    2016-10-03

    The accumulation of heat inside the prosthetic socket increases skin temperature and fosters perspiration, which consequently leads to high tissue stress, friction blister, discomfort, unpleasant odor, and decreased prosthesis suspension and use. In the present study, the prototype of a temperature measurement and control (TM&C) system was designed, fabricated, and functionally evaluated in a phantom model of the transtibial prosthetic socket. The TM&C system was comprised of 12 thermistors divided equally into two groups that arranged internal and external to a prosthetic silicone liner. Its control system was programmed to select the required heating or cooling function of a thermal pump to provide thermal equilibrium based on the amount of temperature difference from a defined set temperature, or the amount of difference between the mean temperature recorded by inside and outside thermistors. A thin layer of aluminum was used for thermal conduction between the thermal pump and different sites around the silicone liner. The results showed functionality of the TM&C system for thermoregulation inside the prosthetic socket. However, enhancing the structure of this TM&C system, increasing its thermal power, and decreasing its weight and cost are main priorities before further development.

  11. Evaluation of Analytical Modeling Functions for the Phonation Onset Process.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Simon; Kniesburges, Stefan; Ziethe, Anke; Schützenberger, Anne; Döllinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The human voice originates from oscillations of the vocal folds in the larynx. The duration of the voice onset (VO), called the voice onset time (VOT), is currently under investigation as a clinical indicator for correct laryngeal functionality. Different analytical approaches for computing the VOT based on endoscopic imaging were compared to determine the most reliable method to quantify automatically the transient vocal fold oscillations during VO. Transnasal endoscopic imaging in combination with a high-speed camera (8000 fps) was applied to visualize the phonation onset process. Two different definitions of VO interval were investigated. Six analytical functions were tested that approximate the envelope of the filtered or unfiltered glottal area waveform (GAW) during phonation onset. A total of 126 recordings from nine healthy males and 210 recordings from 15 healthy females were evaluated. Three criteria were analyzed to determine the most appropriate computation approach: (1) reliability of the fit function for a correct approximation of VO; (2) consistency represented by the standard deviation of VOT; and (3) accuracy of the approximation of VO. The results suggest the computation of VOT by a fourth-order polynomial approximation in the interval between 32.2 and 67.8% of the saturation amplitude of the filtered GAW.

  12. Evaluation of Analytical Modeling Functions for the Phonation Onset Process

    PubMed Central

    Petermann, Simon; Kniesburges, Stefan; Ziethe, Anke; Schützenberger, Anne; Döllinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The human voice originates from oscillations of the vocal folds in the larynx. The duration of the voice onset (VO), called the voice onset time (VOT), is currently under investigation as a clinical indicator for correct laryngeal functionality. Different analytical approaches for computing the VOT based on endoscopic imaging were compared to determine the most reliable method to quantify automatically the transient vocal fold oscillations during VO. Transnasal endoscopic imaging in combination with a high-speed camera (8000 fps) was applied to visualize the phonation onset process. Two different definitions of VO interval were investigated. Six analytical functions were tested that approximate the envelope of the filtered or unfiltered glottal area waveform (GAW) during phonation onset. A total of 126 recordings from nine healthy males and 210 recordings from 15 healthy females were evaluated. Three criteria were analyzed to determine the most appropriate computation approach: (1) reliability of the fit function for a correct approximation of VO; (2) consistency represented by the standard deviation of VOT; and (3) accuracy of the approximation of VO. The results suggest the computation of VOT by a fourth-order polynomial approximation in the interval between 32.2 and 67.8% of the saturation amplitude of the filtered GAW. PMID:27066108

  13. Once daily tacrolimus formulation: monitoring of plasma levels, graft function, and cardiovascular risk factors.

    PubMed

    Meçule, A; Poli, L; Nofroni, I; Bachetoni, A; Tinti, F; Umbro, I; Barile, M; Berloco, P B; Mitterhofer, A P

    2010-05-01

    Advagraf, an extended release formulation of tacrolimus, is administered once daily during the morning fast. Tacrolimus can be safely converted from the twice daily formulation (Prograf) to the same dose (1 mg:1 mg) of once daily dosing tacrolimus (m-Tac). The adverse effects of tacrolimus play important roles in posttransplant cardiovascular risk factors (CVR): hyperglycemia, posttransplant diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and hypertension. It has been suggested that avoiding high tacrolimus peak levels minimizes its diabetogenic effects leading to better glycemic control. The aim of our study was to observe the effects of conversion to m-Tac therapy on graft function and CVR among stable transplant kidney recipients. We selected 2 groups of 20 patients with stable kidney transplantation, who had been treated with Prograf for >6 months with a triple regimen. Group 1 were converted to once daily tacrolimus at the same dose (1 mg:1 mg); whereas in group 2, the therapy was maintained as a twice daily regimen. Blood pressure, creatinine and glomerular filtration rate levels evaluated by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula, as well as urea, total, high- and low-density lipoprotein remained stable between the 2 groups as well as inside group 1 before and after conversion. After conversion, glycemia and triglyceride values showed significant reductions in group 1 and between the 2 groups. These results were significant, as they may be associated with better long-term graft and patient survivals. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA level 1 and level 2-cognitive evaluation preparation and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Maholtz, Danielle E; Erickson, Michael J; Cymet, Tyler

    2015-04-01

    The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA (COMLEX-USA) assesses the competence of osteopathic physicians in training. It is designed to protect the public by setting minimum competence standards. All osteopathic medical students must pass COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-Cognitive Evaluation, and Level 2-Performance Evaluation before being allowed to graduate from an osteopathic medical school. Residency training programs use COMLEX-USA scores as a major factor in deciding whom they will interview and admit into their programs. In addition, colleges of osteopathic medicine use student COMLEX-USA scores as an external assessment of their success in educating students. Because COMLEX-USA is a high-stakes examination series, it is important to understand predictive factors for performance. The authors review the literature on the relationship between COMLEX-USA scores and correlated student variables. Results from the Council on Osteopathic Student Government Presidents' survey on students' preparation methods and performance are also provided.

  15. Probing the Nodal Structure of Landau Level Wave Functions in Real Space.

    PubMed

    Bindel, J R; Ulrich, J; Liebmann, M; Morgenstern, M

    2017-01-06

    The inversion layer of p-InSb(110) obtained by Cs adsorption of 1.8% of a monolayer is used to probe the Landau level wave functions within smooth potential valleys by scanning tunneling spectroscopy at 14 T. The nodal structure becomes apparent as a double peak structure of each spin polarized first Landau level, while the zeroth Landau level exhibits a single peak per spin level only. The real space data show single rings of the valley-confined drift states for the zeroth Landau level and double rings for the first Landau level. The result is reproduced by a recursive Green function algorithm using the potential landscape obtained experimentally. We show that the result is generic by comparing the local density of states from the Green function algorithm with results from a well-controlled analytic model based on the guiding center approach.

  16. Probing the Nodal Structure of Landau Level Wave Functions in Real Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindel, J. R.; Ulrich, J.; Liebmann, M.; Morgenstern, M.

    2017-01-01

    The inversion layer of p -InSb (110 ) obtained by Cs adsorption of 1.8% of a monolayer is used to probe the Landau level wave functions within smooth potential valleys by scanning tunneling spectroscopy at 14 T. The nodal structure becomes apparent as a double peak structure of each spin polarized first Landau level, while the zeroth Landau level exhibits a single peak per spin level only. The real space data show single rings of the valley-confined drift states for the zeroth Landau level and double rings for the first Landau level. The result is reproduced by a recursive Green function algorithm using the potential landscape obtained experimentally. We show that the result is generic by comparing the local density of states from the Green function algorithm with results from a well-controlled analytic model based on the guiding center approach.

  17. An Analysis of Grades, Class Level and Faculty Evaluation Scores in the United Arab Emirates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waller, Lee

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the results of a student evaluation of faculty against the grades awarded and the level of the course for a higher education institution in the United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the study was to determine if the grades awarded in the course and/or level of the course impacted the evaluation scores awarded to the faculty…

  18. Evaluating the Level of Degree Programmes in Higher Education: Conceptual Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rexwinkel, Trudy; Haenen, Jacques; Pilot, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Evaluating the level of degree programmes became crucial with the Bologna Agreement in 1999 when European ministers agreed to implement common bachelor's and master's degree programmes and a common system of quality assurance. The European Quality Assurance system demands evaluation of the degree programme level based on valid and reliable…

  19. Extensive Functional Evaluations to Monitor Aerobic Training in Becker Muscular Dystrophy: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Tramonti, Caterina; Rossi, Bruno; Chisari, Carmelo

    2016-06-13

    Low-intensity aerobic training seems to have positive effects on muscle strength, endurance and fatigue in Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) patients. We describe the case of a 33-year old BMD man, who performed a four-week aerobic training. Extensive functional evaluations were executed to monitor the efficacy of the rehabilitative treatment. Results evidenced an increased force exertion and an improvement in muscle contraction during sustained exercise. An improvement of walk velocity, together with agility, endurance capacity and oxygen consumption during exercise was observed. Moreover, an enhanced metabolic efficiency was evidenced, as shown by reduced lactate blood levels after training. Interestingly, CK showed higher levels after the training protocol, revealing possible muscle damage. In conclusion, aerobic training may represent an effective method improving exercise performance, functional status and metabolic efficiency. Anyway, a careful functional assessment should be taken into account as a useful approach in the management of the disease's rehabilitative treatment.

  20. Extensive Functional Evaluations to Monitor Aerobic Training in Becker Muscular Dystrophy: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Tramonti, Caterina; Rossi, Bruno; Chisari, Carmelo

    2016-01-01

    Low-intensity aerobic training seems to have positive effects on muscle strength, endurance and fatigue in Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) patients. We describe the case of a 33-year old BMD man, who performed a four-week aerobic training. Extensive functional evaluations were executed to monitor the efficacy of the rehabilitative treatment. Results evidenced an increased force exertion and an improvement in muscle contraction during sustained exercise. An improvement of walk velocity, together with agility, endurance capacity and oxygen consumption during exercise was observed. Moreover, an enhanced metabolic efficiency was evidenced, as shown by reduced lactate blood levels after training. Interestingly, CK showed higher levels after the training protocol, revealing possible muscle damage. In conclusion, aerobic training may represent an effective method improving exercise performance, functional status and metabolic efficiency. Anyway, a careful functional assessment should be taken into account as a useful approach in the management of the disease’s rehabilitative treatment. PMID:27478558

  1. Graft function based on two hours peak level monitoring of cyclosporine A during the first six months of renal transplantation.

    PubMed

    Hami, Maryam; Naghibi, Massih; Mojahedi, Mohammad Javad; Sharifipour, Farzaneh; Shakeri, Mohammad Taghi

    2012-11-01

    Inadequate cyclosporine blood levels may cause acute rejection in transplanted renal graft, and its increase is accompanied with graft toxicity. Cyclosporine has variable bioavailability and pharmacokinetics among patients at different times after transplantation. In this study, we compared the effects of cyclosporine blood levels (trough versus 2-hour peak, C2) on renal graft function during the first six months after transplantation in order to find better methods for drug levels assessment in our patients. We studied 50 patients who received grafts at Mashhad transplant centers from October 2006 to May 2007. Drug levels were monitored seven times during the study; in each assessment, more than 80% of the patients did not reach the therapeutic C2 levels. There was no significant correlation between age, sex, times of transplantation and acute rejection with drug C2 levels. There was no difference between graft function in patients with therapeutic C2 level and those with inadequate C2 levels. However, we found a significant correlation between trough levels and acute rejection (P <0.05). Only during the 6 th month after transplantation was the drug dosage significantly higher in patients with therapeutic C2 level than that in other patients (P >0.05). Apparently, peak levels were not a suitable method in drug monitoring in our patients, or peak levels might have occurred at a different time (like 1.5 or 3 or 4 h after ingestion of the drug) in our population. Based on this study, trough level may be a better method of evaluation of cyclosporine effects on renal allografts than 2-h peak levels in our patients.

  2. Assessment of family functioning: evaluation of the General Functioning Scale in a Swedish Bariatric Sample.

    PubMed

    Bylund, Ami; Årestedt, Kristofer; Benzein, Eva; Thorell, Anders; Persson, Carina

    2016-09-01

    The General Functioning Scale (GFS) was developed to assess self-perceived overall family functioning. The scale has satisfactory psychometric properties, is internationally recognised and has been used in different contexts. However, no validated Swedish version is available. Healthy family functioning can support patients and help them adhere to treatment regimens. Moreover, it maintains the physical and emotional health and that of the family as a unit. Yet, there is limited information regarding family functioning postgastric bypass surgery. Thus, it is important to use validated instruments to understand family functioning in bariatric contexts. To evaluate aspects of reliability and validity in GFS in a Swedish bariatric sample, focusing on factor structure. The Swedish version of the GFS (S-GFS) was administered on two occasions to 163 participants who had undergone gastric bypass surgery 6-8 weeks prior to testing. Internal consistency, temporal stability and construct validity were assessed. Data were positively skewed. The S-GFS showed good internal consistency (ordinal α = 0.92) with a sufficient overall mean interitem correlation (0.500) and adequate temporal stability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.833). After modifying response alternatives, confirmatory factor analysis indicated acceptable fit for a one-factor model. The scale is a promising tool for assessing family functioning in bariatric settings. The S-GFS showed satisfactory reliability - consistent with prior research - and acceptable validity in the study sample. This study contributes to the limited research on the scale's validity. However, the S-GFS needs to be evaluated in different cultural and clinical contexts, focusing on various aspects of validity and responsiveness (sensitivity to detect significant change over time) in different samples. © 2015 Nordic College of Caring Science.

  3. Relationship of lung function loss to level of initial function: correcting for measurement error using the reliability coefficient.

    PubMed Central

    Irwig, L; Groeneveld, H; Becklake, M

    1988-01-01

    The regression of lung function change on the initial lung function level is biased when the initial level is measured with random error. Several methods have been proposed to obtain unbiased estimates of regression coefficients in such circumstances. We apply these methods to examine the relationship between lung function loss over 11 years and its initial level in 433 men aged about 20 when first seen. On theoretical and practical grounds the best method is the correction of the regression coefficient using the reliability coefficient. This is defined as the ratio of the error free variance to the variance of the variable measured with error, and is easily estimated as the correlation between repeat measurements of the underlying level. In young men the loss of some lung functions (forced vital capacity [FVC], forced expiratory volume in one second [FEV1], forced expiratory flow in the middle half of expiration, and the ratio FEV1/FVC) do not appear to be related to initial level. PMID:3256581

  4. Understanding the atomic-level Green-Kubo stress correlation function for a liquid through phonons in a model crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levashov, V. A.

    2014-11-01

    In order to gain insight into the connection between the vibrational dynamics and the atomic-level Green-Kubo stress correlation function in liquids, we consider this connection in a model crystal instead. Of course, vibrational dynamics in liquids and crystals are quite different and it is not expected that the results obtained on a model crystal should be valid for liquids. However, these considerations provide a benchmark to which the results of the previous molecular dynamics simulations can be compared. Thus, assuming that vibrations are plane waves, we derive analytical expressions for the atomic-level stress correlation functions in the classical limit and analyze them. These results provide, in particular, a recipe for analysis of the atomic-level stress correlation functions in Fourier space and extraction of the wave-vector and frequency-dependent information. We also evaluate the energies of the atomic-level stresses. The energies obtained are significantly smaller than the energies previously determined in molecular dynamics simulations of several model liquids. This result suggests that the average energies of the atomic-level stresses in liquids and glasses are largely determined by the structural disorder. We discuss this result in the context of equipartition of the atomic-level stress energies. Analysis of the previously published data suggests that it is possible to speak about configurational and vibrational contributions to the average energies of the atomic-level stresses in a glass state. However, this separation in a liquid state is problematic. We also introduce and briefly consider the atomic-level transverse current correlation function. Finally, we address the broadening of the peaks in the pair distribution function with increase of distance. We find that the peaks' broadening (by ≈40 % ) occurs due to the transverse vibrational modes, while contribution from the longitudinal modes does not change with distance.

  5. Exploring quantitative methods for evaluation of lip function.

    PubMed

    Sjögreen, L; Lohmander, A; Kiliaridis, S

    2011-06-01

    The objective was to explore quantitative methods for the measurement of lip mobility and lip force and to relate these to qualitative assessments of lip function. Fifty healthy adults (mean age 45 years) and 23 adults with diagnoses affecting the facial muscles (mean age 37 years) participated in the study. Diagnoses were Möbius syndrome (n=5), Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (n=6) and Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (n=12). A system for computerised 3D analysis of lip mobility and a lip force meter were tested, and the results were related to results from qualitative assessments of lip mobility, speech (articulation), eating ability and saliva control. Facial expressions studied were open mouth smile and lip pucker. Normative data and cut-off values for adults on lip mobility and lip force were proposed, and the diagnostic value of these thresholds was tested. The proposed cut-off values could identify all inviduals with moderate or severe impairment of lip mobility but not always the milder cases. There were significant correlations between the results from quantitative measurements and qualitative assessments. The examined instruments for measuring lip function were found to be reliable with an acceptable measuring error. The combination of quantitative and qualitative ways to evaluate lip function made it possible to show the strong relation between lip contraction, lip force, eating ability and saliva control. The same combination of assessments can be used in the future to study if oral motor exercises aimed at improving lip mobility and strength could have a positive effect on lip function. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Document Level Assessment of Document Retrieval Systems in a Pairwise System Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rajagopal, Prabha; Ravana, Sri Devi

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: The use of averaged topic-level scores can result in the loss of valuable data and can cause misinterpretation of the effectiveness of system performance. This study aims to use the scores of each document to evaluate document retrieval systems in a pairwise system evaluation. Method: The chosen evaluation metrics are document-level…

  7. Functional imaging of membrane potential at the single mitochondrion level: possible application for diagnosis of human diseases.

    PubMed

    Quarato, Giovanni; Piccoli, Claudia; Scrima, Rosella; Capitanio, Nazzareno

    2011-09-01

    Functional biochemical tests are the gold standard for the diagnosis of mitochondria-related diseases. However, the availability of the biological samples from patients' tissues represents a severe limitation to the number of screenable enzymatic activities. In this study we developed a fluorescent probe-assisted microscopy protocol enabling to assess the ΔΨ(m)-generating capacity by mitochondria immobilized on a glass surface at the single organelle resolution-level. The advantage of this assay over others is to scale-down the amount of the biological sample required to test in a short time the functional activity of all the components of the oxidative phosphorylation system without loss of accuracy. Furthermore, the distribution of a given enzymatic activity can also be evaluated within the mitochondrial population enabling to measure the level of functional heterogeneity of the respiratory chain dysfunction.

  8. [Impact on evaluation of clinical efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine for level in soft targets of processing technology].

    PubMed

    Shao, Ming-Yi; Wei, Ming; Yan, Bo-Hua

    2014-04-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a very practical subject, which has its unique theoretical system and clinical characteristics. In the course of clinical practice, the exact clinical efficacy is the key of existence and development. But the existing evaluation system is difficult to objectively evaluate the clinical efficacy of TCM. Therefore, how to objectively evaluate the clinical efficacy and get definitive evidence is the focus of the evaluation of clinical efficacy of TCM. Relative to modern medicine, TCM is more concerned about the changes of feelings and clinical symptoms of the patient in the course of the evolution of the disease. Soft targets mainly used for the evaluation of the clinical efficacy of symptoms and functional activity of the disease. The level in soft targets of processing technology is often used methods in clinical evaluation. But it has often produced the phenomenon which the results of the evaluation is mutual contradiction, which will ultimately affect the effect of evaluation of clinical efficacy of TCM. In order to better evaluate the clinical efficacy of TCM, in the process of adoption of soft targets, it clearly identify it's role, highlighting the characteristics of interventions on disease, and as much as possibly avoid the level in soft targets of processing technology to real assess clinical efficacy of TCM.

  9. Teaching and learning about functions at upper secondary level: designing and experimenting the software environment Casyopée

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagrange, Jean-Baptiste

    2010-03-01

    Casyopée is an evolving project focusing on the development of both software and classroom situations to teach algebra and analysis at upper secondary level. In this article, we sketch the rationales for the Casyopée project in relationship with the focus on functions in upper secondary curricula. To evaluate Casyopée's contribution, we present and analyse an experimental teaching unit carried out in the ReMath European project focusing on the approach to functions via multiple representations for the 11th grade.

  10. The effect of spinal cord level on sexual function in the spina bifida population.

    PubMed

    Lee, N G; Andrews, E; Rosoklija, I; Logvinenko, T; Johnson, E K; Oates, R D; Estrada, C R

    2015-06-01

    Sexual dysfunction and infertility are prevalent in the spina bifida (SB) population; however, the mechanism of how they affect a person with spina bifida is poorly understood. Additionally, the management of children with spina bifida becomes more difficult as they exit from pediatric institutes. The present study sought to evaluate sexual health (using validated questionnaires) and fertility in adults with spina bifida and to correlate spinal cord level and ambulatory status with degree of sexual function. After institutional board review approval, 199 adult patients with SB, aged 18 and older and who were followed in one pediatric institution, were identified. Patients who were non-English speaking, cognitively and/or developmentally delayed, or unable to be contacted were excluded. Surveys regarding demographics, sexual health and infertility were mailed to the patients and administered in the clinic with the option to opt-out of the survey. Survey questions regarding sexual health were constructed using validated questionnaires: Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) for females, and International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) for males. Sexual dysfunction scores were correlated to the patients' spinal level and ambulatory status. Of the 121 eligible patients, 45 replied, with a response rate of 39%. For females, using a cut-off value of 26.5 for FSFI scoring, 25 out of 28 (89%) had sexual dysfunction. No association was seen between spinal level or ambulatory status and overall FSFI, satisfaction, or desire scores. For males, 10 out of 17 (59%) had severe erectile dysfunction (ED), and one out of 17 (6%) had no ED. No association was seen between ambulatory status and sexual function scores for the males. However, SHIM, satisfaction, and ED scores were higher in males with lower spinal lesions. People with spina bifida of both genders tended to have more severe dysfunction compared to those with sexual dysfunction

  11. Curriculum Evaluation in the 1980's: A Review of Current School Level Evaluation Initiatives. Discussion Paper No. 2. Teachers As Evaluators Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, P. W.; And Others

    There is an increasing awareness of the need for school-level curriculum evaluation in Australia, due to improved teaching and learning factors and to the wider role and responsibilities of schools in educational policy making. Although the school-level evaluation policies of the eight Australian states have similar goals, there are marked…

  12. An Evaluation of Manding Across Functions Prior to Functional Communication Training.

    PubMed

    Schieltz, Kelly M; Wacker, David P; Harding, Jay W; Berg, Wendy K; Lee, John F; Dalmau, Yaniz C Padilla

    2010-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether destructive behavior and manding were maintained by the same social reinforcers. A summary of 10 participants that met criteria for differentiated functional analysis and mand analysis results were included in this study. All participants were preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities who engaged in destructive behavior. All procedures were conducted in the participants' homes by their parent with investigator coaching. Functional analyses (attention, escape, and tangible test conditions) of destructive behavior and manding were conducted within multielement designs and showed social functions. The functional analysis of destructive behavior and functional analysis of mands identified the same reinforcers for only 2 of the 10 participants. The analysis of mands identified a reinforcer that was not identified by the analysis of destructive behavior for 5 participants (over-identification), did not identify a reinforcer that was identified by the analysis of destructive behavior for 2 participants (under-identification), and identified mixed reinforcers (combination of over-identification and under-identification) for 1 participant. Results suggest that the analysis of destructive behavior and the analysis of mands identified different reinforcers and are not interchangeable.

  13. Prospect evaluation as a function of numeracy and probability denominator.

    PubMed

    Millroth, Philip; Juslin, Peter

    2015-05-01

    This study examines how numeracy and probability denominator (a direct-ratio probability, a relative frequency with denominator 100, a relative frequency with denominator 10,000) affect the evaluation of prospects in an expected-value based pricing task. We expected that numeracy would affect the results due to differences in the linearity of number perception and the susceptibility to denominator neglect with different probability formats. An analysis with functional measurement verified that participants integrated value and probability into an expected value. However, a significant interaction between numeracy and probability format and subsequent analyses of the parameters of cumulative prospect theory showed that the manipulation of probability denominator changed participants' psychophysical response to probability and value. Standard methods in decision research may thus confound people's genuine risk attitude with their numerical capacities and the probability format used.

  14. Evaluation of extinction as a functional treatment for binge eating.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Amanda; Miltenberger, Raymond G; Gross, Amy; Knudson, Peter; Breitwieser, Carrie Brower

    2008-07-01

    Binge eating is a serious behavior problem exhibited by individuals diagnosed with binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. Binge eating is thought to be maintained by automatic negative reinforcement in the form of relief from negative emotional responding. Current treatments produce only moderate abstinence, perhaps because they do not attempt to alter the functional consequences of the behavior. Although extinction has been thought impossible with behaviors maintained by automatic negative reinforcement, this study evaluated the application of extinction with binge eating. Four women who reported engaging in binge eating at least twice per week participated. Participants listened to an audio tape recording of the covert verbal behavior associated with their negative emotional responding during the binge to prevent alleviation of the negative emotional responding, thus eliminating the reinforcer in an attempt to reduce the behavior. The procedure effectively reduced frequency of the binges when correctly implemented. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

  15. Physicochemical evaluation of sheep milk yogurts containing different levels of inulin.

    PubMed

    Balthazar, C F; Conte Júnior, C A; Moraes, J; Costa, M P; Raices, R S L; Franco, R M; Cruz, A G; Silva, A C O

    2016-06-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate the physicochemical parameters of sheep milk yogurt smoothies (SMY) containing inulin at different levels (0, 2, 4, and 6%). Titratable acidity and pH, yogurt bacteria counts, fatty acids profile, and healthy lipid indices were evaluated during 28 d of refrigerated storage. As expected for yogurts, Streptococcus thermophilus counts decreased 1 to 3 log cycles and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus counts decreased 1 to 2 cycles from d 1 to 28. The protective effect of inulin on bacteria survival and viability in the food matrix was not verified in the prebiotic SMY during storage, regardless of inulin level. Although lower post-acidification was observed in prebiotic SMY due to inulin addition, no changes were verified in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In contrast, an increase in medium- and long-chain fatty acids (MCFA and LCFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) was observed during storage in all SMY. The most significant levels of fatty acids in SMY were oleic acid, followed by palmitic and myristic acids. A high positive correlation between conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and oleic acid (r=0.978) was observed. The cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer represented approximately 78% of total PUFA and 2% of total fatty acids, whereas α-linoleic acid comprised about 22% PUFA and 1% of total fatty acids in SMY. The fatty acid changes during storage were associated with the metabolic activity of the starter bacteria, especially for oleic acid and cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer. Thus, the SMY represented a great source of these compounds. We observed that inulin levels did not affect fatty acids. A nonsignificant decrease in atherogenic index was observed during storage in all SMY, and a positive correlation (r=0.973) was found between atherogenic index and thrombogenic index of SMY. High correlations were observed between lauric and myristic acids and saturated fatty acids (r=0.907 and r=0

  16. Dominant Functional Group Effects on the Invasion Resistance at Different Resource Levels

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiang; Ge, Yuan; Zhang, Chong B.; Bai, Yi; Du, Zhao K.

    2013-01-01

    Background Functional group composition may affect invasion in two ways the effect of abundance, i.e. dominance of functional group; and the effect of traits, i.e. identity of functional groups. However, few studies have focused on the role of abundance of functional group on invasion resistance. Moreover, how resource availability influences the role of the dominant functional group in invasion resistance is even less understood. Methodology/Principal Findings In this experiment, we established experimental pots using four different functional groups (annual grass, perennial grass, deciduous shrub or arbor and evergreen shrub or arbor), and the dominant functional group was manipulated. These experimental pots were respectively constructed at different soil nitrogen levels (control and fertilized). After one year of growth, we added seeds of 20 different species (five species per functional group) to the experimental pots. Fertilization significantly increased the overall invasion success, while dominant functional group had little effect on overall invasion success. When invaders were grouped into functional groups, invaders generally had lower success in pots dominated by the same functional group in the control pots. However, individual invaders of the same functional group exhibited different invasion patterns. Fertilization generally increased success of invaders in pots dominated by the same than by another functional group. However, fertilization led to great differences for individual invaders. Conclusions/Significance The results showed that the dominant functional group, independent of functional group identity, had a significant effect on the composition of invaders. We suggest that the limiting similarity hypothesis may be applicable at the functional group level, and limiting similarity may have a limited role for individual invaders as shown by the inconsistent effects of dominant functional group and fertilization. PMID:24167565

  17. Dominant functional group effects on the invasion resistance at different resource levels.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiang; Ge, Yuan; Zhang, Chong B; Bai, Yi; Du, Zhao K

    2013-01-01

    Functional group composition may affect invasion in two ways the effect of abundance, i.e. dominance of functional group; and the effect of traits, i.e. identity of functional groups. However, few studies have focused on the role of abundance of functional group on invasion resistance. Moreover, how resource availability influences the role of the dominant functional group in invasion resistance is even less understood. In this experiment, we established experimental pots using four different functional groups (annual grass, perennial grass, deciduous shrub or arbor and evergreen shrub or arbor), and the dominant functional group was manipulated. These experimental pots were respectively constructed at different soil nitrogen levels (control and fertilized). After one year of growth, we added seeds of 20 different species (five species per functional group) to the experimental pots. Fertilization significantly increased the overall invasion success, while dominant functional group had little effect on overall invasion success. When invaders were grouped into functional groups, invaders generally had lower success in pots dominated by the same functional group in the control pots. However, individual invaders of the same functional group exhibited different invasion patterns. Fertilization generally increased success of invaders in pots dominated by the same than by another functional group. However, fertilization led to great differences for individual invaders. The results showed that the dominant functional group, independent of functional group identity, had a significant effect on the composition of invaders. We suggest that the limiting similarity hypothesis may be applicable at the functional group level, and limiting similarity may have a limited role for individual invaders as shown by the inconsistent effects of dominant functional group and fertilization.

  18. Space-Time Modelling of Groundwater Level Using Spartan Covariance Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varouchakis, Emmanouil; Hristopulos, Dionissios

    2014-05-01

    Geostatistical models often need to handle variables that change in space and in time, such as the groundwater level of aquifers. A major advantage of space-time observations is that a higher number of data supports parameter estimation and prediction. In a statistical context, space-time data can be considered as realizations of random fields that are spatially extended and evolve in time. The combination of spatial and temporal measurements in sparsely monitored watersheds can provide very useful information by incorporating spatiotemporal correlations. Spatiotemporal interpolation is usually performed by applying the standard Kriging algorithms extended in a space-time framework. Spatiotemoral covariance functions for groundwater level modelling, however, have not been widely developed. We present a new non-separable theoretical spatiotemporal variogram function which is based on the Spartan covariance family and evaluate its performance in spatiotemporal Kriging (STRK) interpolation. The original spatial expression (Hristopulos and Elogne 2007) that has been successfully used for the spatial interpolation of groundwater level (Varouchakis and Hristopulos 2013) is modified by defining the following space-time normalized distance h = °h2r-+-α h2τ, hr=r- ξr, hτ=τ- ξτ; where r is the spatial lag vector, τ the temporal lag vector, ξr is the correlation length in position space (r) and ξτ in time (τ), h the normalized space-time lag vector, h = |h| is its Euclidean norm of the normalized space-time lag and α the coefficient that determines the relative weight of the time lag. The space-time experimental semivariogram is determined from the biannual (wet and dry period) time series of groundwater level residuals (obtained from the original series after trend removal) between the years 1981 and 2003 at ten sampling stations located in the Mires hydrological basin in the island of Crete (Greece). After the hydrological year 2002-2003 there is a significant

  19. Differences in neonatal exposure to estradiol or testosterone on ovarian function and hormonal levels.

    PubMed

    Marcondes, Rodrigo R; Carvalho, Kátia C; Duarte, Daniele C; Garcia, Natália; Amaral, Vinícius C; Simões, Manuel J; Lo Turco, Edson G; Soares, José M; Baracat, Edmund C; Maciel, Gustavo A R

    2015-02-01

    Exposure to an excess of androgen or estrogen can induce changes in reproductive function in adult animals that resemble polycystic ovary syndrome in humans. However, considerable differences exist among several types of animal models. Little is known about the molecular features of steroidogenesis and folliculogenesis in the ovaries of rats exposed to different sex steroids as neonates. Here, we evaluated the impact of androgen and estrogen exposure on the ovaries of adult female rats during their neonatal period in the gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1, two key players of steroidogenesis. We also assessed hormone levels, folliculogenesis and the theca-interstitial cell population. The study was performed on the second postnatal day in thirty female Wistar rats that were sorted into the following three intervention groups: testosterone, estradiol and vehicle (control group). The animals were euthanized 90 days after birth. The main outcomes were hormone serum levels, ovary histomorphometry and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1 as analyzed via quantitative real-time PCR. We found that exposure to excess testosterone in early life increased the LH and testosterone serum levels, the LH/FSH ratio, ovarian theca-interstitial area and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1 in adult rats. Estrogen induced an increase in the ovarian theca-interstitial area, the secondary follicle population and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1. All animals exposed to the sex steroids presented with closed vaginas. Our data suggest that testosterone resulted in more pronounced reproductive changes than did estrogen exposure. Our results might provide some insight into the role of different hormones on reproductive development and on the heterogeneity of clinical manifestations of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Using Bloom's Taxonomy to Evaluate the Cognitive Levels of Master Class Textbook's Questions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Assaly, Ibtihal R.; Smadi, Oqlah M.

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed at evaluating the cognitive levels of the questions following the reading texts of Master Class textbook. A checklist based on Bloom's Taxonomy was the instrument used to categorize the cognitive levels of these questions. The researchers used proper statistics to rank the cognitive levels of the comprehension questions. The…

  1. A biological measure of stress levels in patients with functional movement disorders.

    PubMed

    Maurer, Carine W; LaFaver, Kathrin; Ameli, Rezvan; Toledo, Ryan; Hallett, Mark

    2015-09-01

    While the presence of co-existing psychological stressors has historically been used as a supportive factor in the diagnosis of functional neurological disorders, many patients with functional neurological disorders deny the presence of these stressors. The stress response circuitry in these patients remains largely unexplored. We performed an observational study examining biological stress levels in patients with functional movement disorders as compared with matched healthy controls. Specifically, we compared levels of circulating cortisol, the end-product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Salivary cortisol samples were collected from patients with "clinically definite" functional movement disorders (n = 33) and their age- and sex-matched controls (n = 33). Collections were performed at five standardized time points, reflecting participants' diurnal cortisol cycles. To rule out confounders, participants also underwent extensive psychological assessment including Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Patients with functional movement disorders did not differ from matched controls with respect to levels of circulating cortisol. We demonstrate that current stress levels are not altered in patients with functional movement disorders. Our results warrant careful review of current management of patients with functional neurological symptoms, and suggest that the insistence on heightened stress levels in these patients is unjustified. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Energy level alignment and quantum conductance of functionalized metal-molecule junctions: Density functional theory versus GW calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Chengjun; Markussen, Troels; Thygesen, Kristian S.; Strange, Mikkel; Solomon, Gemma C.

    2013-11-14

    We study the effect of functional groups (CH{sub 3}*4, OCH{sub 3}, CH{sub 3}, Cl, CN, F*4) on the electronic transport properties of 1,4-benzenediamine molecular junctions using the non-equilibrium Green function method. Exchange and correlation effects are included at various levels of theory, namely density functional theory (DFT), energy level-corrected DFT (DFT+Σ), Hartree-Fock and the many-body GW approximation. All methods reproduce the expected trends for the energy of the frontier orbitals according to the electron donating or withdrawing character of the substituent group. However, only the GW method predicts the correct ordering of the conductance amongst the molecules. The absolute GW (DFT) conductance is within a factor of two (three) of the experimental values. Correcting the DFT orbital energies by a simple physically motivated scissors operator, Σ, can bring the DFT conductances close to experiments, but does not improve on the relative ordering. We ascribe this to a too strong pinning of the molecular energy levels to the metal Fermi level by DFT which suppresses the variation in orbital energy with functional group.

  3. Bietti crystalline dystrophy: a morpho-functional evaluation.

    PubMed

    Parravano, Mariacristina; Sciamanna, Marta; Giorno, Paola; Boninfante, Antonluca; Varano, Monica

    2012-02-01

    We report the clinical findings and macular function of a patient with Bietti crystalline dystrophy. A 39-year-old woman reported visual loss in both eyes and nyctalopia. A complete ophthalmological evaluation, retromode imaging, SD-OCT acquisition, MP1 microperimetry, and multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) were performed. Microcrystalline deposits in the cornea and the retina with retinal pigment epithelial atrophy were observed. Retromode imaging revealed visualization of normal large choroidal vessels, cystoid macular edema, and small defined glistening lesions. SD-OCT showed changes in the outer retina with numerous microcrystalline deposits. Microperimetry showed an absolute scotoma involving the perimacular area but sparing of the fovea. In both eyes, mfERG analysis suggests a dysfunction of pre-ganglionic retinal elements detectable in the 20 central retinal degrees. The genetic characterization showed an homozygous mutation c.772C > T[p.Leu258Phe] in exon 6. Retromode imaging and SD-OCT were useful tools to determine the extent and the localization of the crystals. Microperimetry should allow evaluation of the progression of the macular changes.

  4. Nutritional evaluation and functional properties of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) flour.

    PubMed

    Ogungbenle, H N

    2003-03-01

    The proximate analysis, evaluation of nutritionally valuable minerals, sugars, chemical properties of the oil and functional properties of the seed flour of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) were studied. The results showed that the quinoa flour contained 11.2% moisture, 13.5% crude protein, 6.3% ether extract, 9.5% crude fibre, 1.2% total ash and 58.3% carbohydrate. The quinoa has a high proportion of D-xylose (120.0 mg in 100 g sample) and maltose (101.0 mg in 100 g sample), and a low content of glucose (19.0 mg in 100 g sample) and fructose (19.6 mg in 100 g sample), suggesting that it would be useful in malted drink formulations. The values for the chemical properties of the oil extracted were: acid value, 0.50%; iodine value, 54.0%; peroxide value, 2.44%; and saponification value, 192.0%. Quinoa has a high water absorption capacity (147.0%) and low foaming capacity and stability (9.0%, 2.0%). The flour has a least gelation concentration of 16% w/v. Protein solubility of the flour was also evaluated and found to be pH dependent, with minimum solubility at about pH 6.0.

  5. Antroduodenal manometry in the evaluation of chronic functional gastrointestinal symptoms.

    PubMed

    Hyman, P E; Napolitano, J A; Diego, A; Patel, S; Flores, A F; Grill, B B; Reddy, S N; Garvey, T Q; Tomomasa, T

    1990-07-01

    Intraluminal pressure in the gastric antrum and duodenum was studied in 44 children and adolescents referred for evaluation because of functional symptoms, including vomiting, abdominal distension, and abdominal pain. Manometric abnormalities were found in 39 patients (89%). Abnormalities during fasting included absence of the migrating motor complex; retrograde, phase 3-like episodes; increased frequency, decreased duration, and decreased amplitude of phase 3 episodes; tonic duodenal contractions; nonpropagated bursts of duodenal contractions; and consistently low-amplitude or absent contractions. Postprandial abnormalities included a phase 1-like pattern (postprandial hypomotility) and phase 3-like episodes (failure to induce a fed pattern). The presence or absence of the migrating motor complex was a predictor of disability. Parenteral alimentation was needed by only 4 of 28 patients with the migrating motor complex, but by 13 of 16 patients without the migrating motor complex (P less than .001). In 15 of 18 patients studied on consecutive days, oral cisapride was associated with increases in the number and amplitude of duodenal contractions after a complex-liquid meal (P less than .02). It is concluded that antroduodenal manometry is a useful technique that elucidates the underlying gastrointestinal motility disorder present in the majority of children and adolescents with severe functional symptoms.

  6. Evaluation of client preference for function-based treatment packages.

    PubMed

    Hanley, G P; Piazza, C C; Fisher, W W; Contrucci, S A; Maglieri, K A

    1997-01-01

    Functional communication training (FCT) and noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) are commonly prescribed treatments that are based on the results of a functional analysis. Both treatments involve delivery of the reinforcer that is responsible for the maintenance of destructive behavior. One major difference between the two treatment procedures is that client responding determines reinforcement delivery with FCT (e.g., reinforcement of communication is delivered on a fixed-ratio 1 schedule) but not with NCR (e.g., reinforcement is delivered on a fixed-time 30-s schedule). In the current investigation, FCT and NCR were equally effective in reducing 2 participants' destructive behavior that was sensitive to attention as reinforcement. After the treatment analysis, the participants' relative preference for each treatment was evaluated using a modified concurrent-chains procedure. Both participants demonstrated a preference for the FCT procedure. The results are discussed in terms of treatment efficacy and preference for control over when reinforcement is delivered. In addition, a method is demonstrated in which clients with developmental disabilities can participate in selecting treatments that are designed to reduce their destructive behavior.

  7. Evaluation of Thermoelectric Performance and Durability of Functionalized Skutterudite Legs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skomedal, Gunstein; Kristiansen, Nils R.; Sottong, Reinhard; Middleton, Hugh

    2017-04-01

    Thermoelectric generators are a promising technology for waste heat recovery. As new materials and devices enter a market penetration stage, it is of interest to employ fast and efficient measurement methods to evaluate the long-term stability of thermoelectric materials in combination with metallization and coating (functionalized thermoelectric legs). We have investigated a method for measuring several thermoelectric legs simultaneously. The legs are put under a common temperature gradient, and the electrical characteristics of each leg are measured individually during thermal cycling. Using this method, one can test different types of metallization and coating applied to skutterudite thermoelectric legs and look at the relative changes over time. Postcharacterization of these initial tests with skutterudite legs using a potential Seebeck microprobe and an electron microscope showed that oxidation and interlayer diffusion are the main reasons for the gradual increase in internal resistance and the decrease in open-circuit voltage. Although we only tested skutterudite material in this work, the method is fully capable of testing all kinds of material, metallization, and coating. It is thus a promising method for studying the relationship between failure modes and mechanisms of functionalized thermoelectric legs.

  8. The Relationship between Form and Function Level Receptive Prosodic Abilities in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvinen-Pasley, Anna; Peppe, Susan; King-Smith, Gavin; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-01-01

    Prosody can be conceived as having form (auditory-perceptual characteristics) and function (pragmatic/linguistic meaning). No known studies have examined the relationship between form- and function-level prosodic skills in relation to the effects of stimulus length and/or complexity upon such abilities in autism. Research in this area is both…

  9. Associations between Parents' Marital Functioning, Maternal Parenting Quality, Maternal Emotion and Child Cortisol Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pendry, Patricia; Adam, Emma K.

    2007-01-01

    Associations between family functioning and children's stress hormone levels are explored, by examining how aspects of the interparental relationship (parents' marital satisfaction and parent conflict styles), the mother-child relationship (maternal involvement and warmth) and maternal emotional functioning (depression, anxiety and self-esteem)…

  10. Associations between Parents' Marital Functioning, Maternal Parenting Quality, Maternal Emotion and Child Cortisol Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pendry, Patricia; Adam, Emma K.

    2007-01-01

    Associations between family functioning and children's stress hormone levels are explored, by examining how aspects of the interparental relationship (parents' marital satisfaction and parent conflict styles), the mother-child relationship (maternal involvement and warmth) and maternal emotional functioning (depression, anxiety and self-esteem)…

  11. The Bias Function of the Maximum Likelihood Estimate of Ability for the Dichotomous Response Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samejima, Fumiko

    1993-01-01

    F. Samejima's approximation for the bias function for the maximum likelihood estimate of the latent trait in the general case where item responses are discrete is explored. Observations are made about the behavior of this bias function for the dichotomous response level in general. Empirical examples are given. (SLD)

  12. The Role of High Level Play as a Predictor Social Functioning in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manning, Margaret M.; Wainwright, Laurel D.

    2010-01-01

    Play and social abilities of a group of children diagnosed with high functioning autism were compared to a second group diagnosed with a variety of developmental language disorders (DLD). The children with autism engaged in fewer acts of high level play. The children with autism also had significantly lower social functioning than the DLD group…

  13. Parental Divorce and Family Functioning: Effects on Differentiation Levels of Young Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Patrick; Throngren, Jill M.; Smith, Adina J.

    2001-01-01

    Study examines the effect of parental divorce and various dimensions of functioning in the family of origin on young adult development. Results indicate that parental divorce and family functioning significantly affect differentiation levels of young adults. Implications of the results for counselors and future researchers are provided. (Contains…

  14. Mobile personal health records: an evaluation of features and functionality.

    PubMed

    Kharrazi, Hadi; Chisholm, Robin; VanNasdale, Dean; Thompson, Benjamin

    2012-09-01

    To evaluate stand-alone mobile personal health record (mPHR) applications for the three leading cellular phone platforms (iOS, BlackBerry, and Android), assessing each for content, function, security, and marketing characteristics. Nineteen stand-alone mPHR applications (8 for iOS, 5 for BlackBerry, and 6 for Android) were identified and evaluated. Main criteria used to include mPHRs were: operating standalone on a mobile platform; not requiring external connectivity; and covering a wide range of health topics. Selected mPHRs were analyzed considering product characteristics, data elements, and application features. We also reviewed additional features such as marketing tactics. Within and between the different mobile platforms attributes for the mPHR were highly variable. None of the mPHRs contained all attributes included in our evaluation. The top four mPHRs contained 13 of the 14 features omitting only the in-case-of emergency feature. Surprisingly, seven mPHRs lacked basic security measures as important as password protection. The mPHRs were relatively inexpensive: ranging from no cost to $9.99. The mPHR application cost varied in some instances based on whether it supported single or multiple users. Ten mPHRs supported multiple user profiles. Notably, eight mPHRs used scare tactics as marketing strategy. mPHR is an emerging health care technology. The majority of existing mPHR apps is limited by at least one of the attributes considered for this study; however, as the mobile market continues to expand it is likely that more comprehensive mPHRs will be developed in the near future. New advancements in mobile technology can be utilized to enhance mPHRs by long-term patient empowerment features. Marketing strategies for mPHRs should target specific subpopulations and avoid scare tactics. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. [Prevalence of respiratory systems and evaluation of sensitization levels in traditional grain market workers in Casablanca].

    PubMed

    Laraqui, C H; Caubet, A; Laraqui, O; Benghalem, A; Harourate, K; Bichara, M; Curtes, J P; Verger, C

    2000-11-01

    Our study proposes to evaluate the prevalence of clinical respiratory symptoms, spirometric abnormalities and allergy skin test sensitivities in two groups: on exposed to grain dust in a big traditional grain market in Casablanca and the other unexposed. The inquiry which concerned 277 exposed workers and 230 non exposed consisted of a questionnaire, spirometric examinations and skin prick testings. Exposed and no exposed groups are statically similar as far as physical data (sex, age, weight, heignt) and smoking habits. The atopy was found among 18% of the exposed. The prevalence of clinical respiratory symptomatology among exposed is 64.3% against 24.8% among non exposed. Respiratory symptoms (cough, expectoration), rhinitis, asthma, conjonctivitis, dermatitis, chronic bronchitis were significantly more frequent in those exposed than in the non exposed. Smoking is at the origin of additional morbidity. Atopy seems to be a potentiating factor as all the atopic people exposed are symptomatic. Respiratory function was altered in 37.1% of those exposed versus 12.8% of those no exposed. Among exposed workers with decline of lung function parameters 68.9% have only light anomalies. Tabacco interferes significantly in the alteration of respiratory function parameters. Work exposure to grain associated with smoking resulted in a reduction in respiratory function values. In grain workers, the prevalence of allergy skin test sensitivities of occupational allergens is 30.3% versus 6.9% among those no exposed. The enquiry in the workplace shows complete absence of means of protection for the work force and elevated levels of dust. It is imperative to implement an occupational health service and to develop means for collective and individual prevention to maximally reduce the risk.

  16. Empirical evaluation of scoring functions for Bayesian network model selection.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhifa; Malone, Brandon; Yuan, Changhe

    2012-01-01

    In this work, we empirically evaluate the capability of various scoring functions of Bayesian networks for recovering true underlying structures. Similar investigations have been carried out before, but they typically relied on approximate learning algorithms to learn the network structures. The suboptimal structures found by the approximation methods have unknown quality and may affect the reliability of their conclusions. Our study uses an optimal algorithm to learn Bayesian network structures from datasets generated from a set of gold standard Bayesian networks. Because all optimal algorithms always learn equivalent networks, this ensures that only the choice of scoring function affects the learned networks. Another shortcoming of the previous studies stems from their use of random synthetic networks as test cases. There is no guarantee that these networks reflect real-world data. We use real-world data to generate our gold-standard structures, so our experimental design more closely approximates real-world situations. A major finding of our study suggests that, in contrast to results reported by several prior works, the Minimum Description Length (MDL) (or equivalently, Bayesian information criterion (BIC)) consistently outperforms other scoring functions such as Akaike's information criterion (AIC), Bayesian Dirichlet equivalence score (BDeu), and factorized normalized maximum likelihood (fNML) in recovering the underlying Bayesian network structures. We believe this finding is a result of using both datasets generated from real-world applications rather than from random processes used in previous studies and learning algorithms to select high-scoring structures rather than selecting random models. Other findings of our study support existing work, e.g., large sample sizes result in learning structures closer to the true underlying structure; the BDeu score is sensitive to the parameter settings; and the fNML performs pretty well on small datasets. We also

  17. Empirical evaluation of scoring functions for Bayesian network model selection

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    In this work, we empirically evaluate the capability of various scoring functions of Bayesian networks for recovering true underlying structures. Similar investigations have been carried out before, but they typically relied on approximate learning algorithms to learn the network structures. The suboptimal structures found by the approximation methods have unknown quality and may affect the reliability of their conclusions. Our study uses an optimal algorithm to learn Bayesian network structures from datasets generated from a set of gold standard Bayesian networks. Because all optimal algorithms always learn equivalent networks, this ensures that only the choice of scoring function affects the learned networks. Another shortcoming of the previous studies stems from their use of random synthetic networks as test cases. There is no guarantee that these networks reflect real-world data. We use real-world data to generate our gold-standard structures, so our experimental design more closely approximates real-world situations. A major finding of our study suggests that, in contrast to results reported by several prior works, the Minimum Description Length (MDL) (or equivalently, Bayesian information criterion (BIC)) consistently outperforms other scoring functions such as Akaike's information criterion (AIC), Bayesian Dirichlet equivalence score (BDeu), and factorized normalized maximum likelihood (fNML) in recovering the underlying Bayesian network structures. We believe this finding is a result of using both datasets generated from real-world applications rather than from random processes used in previous studies and learning algorithms to select high-scoring structures rather than selecting random models. Other findings of our study support existing work, e.g., large sample sizes result in learning structures closer to the true underlying structure; the BDeu score is sensitive to the parameter settings; and the fNML performs pretty well on small datasets. We also

  18. Quantitative evaluation of interaction force between functional groups in protein and polymer brush surfaces.

    PubMed

    Sakata, Sho; Inoue, Yuuki; Ishihara, Kazuhiko

    2014-03-18

    To understand interactions between polymer surfaces and different functional groups in proteins, interaction forces were quantitatively evaluated by force-versus-distance curve measurements using atomic force microscopy with a functional-group-functionalized cantilever. Various polymer brush surfaces were systematically prepared by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization as well-defined model surfaces to understand protein adsorption behavior. The polymer brush layers consisted of phosphorylcholine groups (zwitterionic/hydrophilic), trimethylammonium groups (cationic/hydrophilic), sulfonate groups (anionic/hydrophilic), hydroxyl groups (nonionic/hydrophilic), and n-butyl groups (nonionic/hydrophobic) in their side chains. The interaction forces between these polymer brush surfaces and different functional groups (carboxyl groups, amino groups, and methyl groups, which are typical functional groups existing in proteins) were quantitatively evaluated by force-versus-distance curve measurements using atomic force microscopy with a functional-group-functionalized cantilever. Furthermore, the amount of adsorbed protein on the polymer brush surfaces was quantified by surface plasmon resonance using albumin with a negative net charge and lysozyme with a positive net charge under physiological conditions. The amount of proteins adsorbed on the polymer brush surfaces corresponded to the interaction forces generated between the functional groups on the cantilever and the polymer brush surfaces. The weakest interaction force and least amount of protein adsorbed were observed in the case of the polymer brush surface with phosphorylcholine groups in the side chain. On the other hand, positive and negative surfaces generated strong forces against the oppositely charged functional groups. In addition, they showed significant adsorption with albumin and lysozyme, respectively. These results indicated that the interaction force at the functional group level might be

  19. Male Attitudes Toward Women's Rights as a Function of Their Level of Self-Esteem.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Thomas W.

    The purpose of this research was to study the effects of men's attitudes toward the principles of the women's liberation movement as a function of their own self-esteem. The author hypothesizes that males found to have high levels of self esteem will have favorable and positive attitudes toward women's liberation while men with low levels of self…

  20. Assessment of liver volume variation to evaluate liver function.

    PubMed

    Tong, Cong; Xu, Xinsen; Liu, Chang; Zhang, Tianzheng; Qu, Kai

    2012-12-01

    In order to assess the value of liver volumetry in cirrhosis and acute liver failure (ALF) patients, we explored the correlation between hepatic volume and severity of the hepatic diseases. The clinical data of 48 cirrhosis patients with 60 normal controls and 39 ALF patients were collected. Computed tomography-derived liver volume (CTLV) and body surface area (BSA) of normal controls were calculated to get a regression formula for standard liver volume (SLV) and BSA. Then CTLV and SLV of all patients were calculated and grouped by Child-Turcotte-Pugh classification for cirrhosis patients and assigned according to prognosis of ALF patients for further comparison. It turned out that the mean liver volume of the control group was 1,058 ± 337 cm(3). SLV was correlated with BSA according to the regression formula. The hepatic volume of cirrhosis patients in Child A, B level was not reduced, but in Child C level it was significantly reduced with the lowest liver volume index (CTLV/SLV). Likewise, in the death group of ALF patients, the volume index was significantly lower than that of the survival group. Based on volumetric study, we proposed an ROC (receiver operating characteristic) analysis to predict the prognosis of ALF patients that CTLV/SLV < 83.9% indicates a poor prognosis. In conclusion, the CTLV/SLV ratio, which reflects liver volume variations, correlates well with the liver function and progression of cirrhosis and ALF. It is also a very useful marker for predicting the prognosis of ALF.

  1. Use of a structured functional evaluation process for independent medical evaluations of claimants presenting with disabling mental illness: rationale and design for a multi-center reliability study.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Monica; de Boer, Wout; Schandelmaier, Stefan; Leibold, Andrea; Marelli, Renato; Jeger, Joerg; Hoffmann-Richter, Ulrike; Mager, Ralph; Schaad, Heinz; Zumbrunn, Thomas; Vogel, Nicole; Bänziger, Oskar; Busse, Jason W; Fischer, Katrin; Kunz, Regina

    2016-07-29

    structured functional approach will show moderate reliability (ICC ≥ 0.6) of psychiatric evaluation of work capacity. Enrollment of actual claimants with mental disorders referred for evaluation by disability/accident insurers will increase the external validity of our findings. Finding moderate levels of reliability, we will continue with a randomized trial to test the reliability of a structured functional approach versus evaluation-as-usual.

  2. Functional properties of behaviour problems depending on level of intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, K; Rojahn, J; Moore, L L; van Ingen, D J

    2014-02-01

    Behaviour problems are common among individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) especially in those with more severe forms. The determination of the functional profile of a targeted behaviour has important implications for the design of customised behavioural interventions. We investigated the relationship between the level of ID and the functional profile of aggression, stereotypy and self-injurious behaviour (SIB) using the Questions about Behavioural Function (QABF). Two staff members at two time points completed the QABF for each of 115 adults with varying levels of ID participating in a day training and habilitation programme. Our results suggest that there is a differential relationship between the functions of behaviour problems and level of ID. While SIB is more often seen by raters to be maintained by escape of social demands and by attaining access to tangible items with the decline of the intellectual level, aggressive and stereotypic behaviours were identified more often as serving multiple functions equally across functioning level. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, MENCAP & IASSIDD.

  3. Serum Endocan Levels Associated with Hypertension and Loss of Renal Function in Pediatric Patients after Two Years from Renal Transplant

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Livia Victorino; Oliveira, Vanessa; Laurindo, Aline Oliveira; Huarachı, DelmaRegına Gomes; Nogueira, Paulo Cesar Koch; Feltran, Luciana de Santis; Medina-Pestana, José Osmar

    2016-01-01

    Endocan is an important biomarker of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction that increases in association with several chronic diseases. Few published data have described the role of endocan in pediatric renal transplant (RT) patients. We evaluated the endocan concentrations in 62 children who underwent renal transplantation and assessed their relationships with the patients' blood pressure and loss of renal function. The endocan levels were significantly elevated in the pediatric RT patients who had hypertension and a loss of renal function. We determined positive correlations between the endocan concentrations and the hemodynamic variables (systolic blood pressure: r = 0.416; P = 0.001; pulse pressure: r = 0.412; P = 0.003). The endocan levels were inversely correlated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (r = −0.388; P = 0.003). An endocan cutoff concentration of 7.0 ng/mL identified pediatric RT patients who had hypertension and a loss of renal function with 100% sensitivity and 75% specificity. In conclusion, the endocan concentrations were significantly elevated in pediatric RT patients who had both hypertension and a loss of renal function. The correlations between the endocan levels and the hemodynamic variables and the markers of renal function strengthen the hypothesis that it is an important marker of cardiorenal risk. PMID:28083150

  4. [The effect of atrial pacing on left ventricular diastolic function and BNP levels in patients with DDD pacemaker].

    PubMed

    Apali, Zeynep; Bayata, Serdar; Yeşil, Murat; Arikan, Erdinç; Postaci, Nursen

    2010-08-01

    We aimed to investigate the effect of atrial pacing on left ventricular diastolic function and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in patients with DDD pacemaker. Thirty patients with complete atrio-ventricular (AV) block and DDD pacemaker were included. All patients had normal left ventricular systolic function. Echocardiographic diastolic function parameters (transmitral and tissue Doppler velocities during early (E and E') and late (A and A') filling) and NT-pro-BNP levels were evaluated prospectively during atrial sensing and pacing periods. Echocardiographic data were compared with paired sample t test and NT-pro-BNP levels were compared with Wilcoxon test. Echocardiographic E/A, E'/A', E/E' ratios were calculated as 0.72+/-0.34, 0.61+/-0.21 and 8.76+/-2.58 during atrial sensing period. Same parameters were found as 0.71+/-0.23, 0.64+/-0.16 and 8.93+/-3.16 respectively during atrial pacing period. Echocardiographic left ventricular diastolic function parameters were not significantly different during atrial pacing and atrial sensing periods. Median plasma NT-pro-BNP levels were measured as 142 pg/ml (min-max 47-563 pg/ml) and 147 pg/ml (min-max 33-1035 pg/ml) during atrial sensing and pacing periods respectively. These levels were not significantly different (p=0.86). The result of this study has shown that, atrial pacing has not any additional detrimental effect on left ventricular diastolic function parameters in paced patients with normal left ventricular systolic function.

  5. Evaluation of the performance of smoothing functions in generalized additive models for spatial variation in disease.

    PubMed

    Siangphoe, Umaporn; Wheeler, David C

    2015-01-01

    Generalized additive models (GAMs) with bivariate smoothing functions have been applied to estimate spatial variation in risk for many types of cancers. Only a handful of studies have evaluated the performance of smoothing functions applied in GAMs with regard to different geographical areas of elevated risk and different risk levels. This study evaluates the ability of different smoothing functions to detect overall spatial variation of risk and elevated risk in diverse geographical areas at various risk levels using a simulation study. We created five scenarios with different true risk area shapes (circle, triangle, linear) in a square study region. We applied four different smoothing functions in the GAMs, including two types of thin plate regression splines (TPRS) and two versions of locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (loess). We tested the null hypothesis of constant risk and detected areas of elevated risk using analysis of deviance with permutation methods and assessed the performance of the smoothing methods based on the spatial detection rate, sensitivity, accuracy, precision, power, and false-positive rate. The results showed that all methods had a higher sensitivity and a consistently moderate-to-high accuracy rate when the true disease risk was higher. The models generally performed better in detecting elevated risk areas than detecting overall spatial variation. One of the loess methods had the highest precision in detecting overall spatial variation across scenarios and outperformed the other methods in detecting a linear elevated risk area. The TPRS methods outperformed loess in detecting elevated risk in two circular areas.

  6. Evaluation of the Performance of Smoothing Functions in Generalized Additive Models for Spatial Variation in Disease

    PubMed Central

    Siangphoe, Umaporn; Wheeler, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Generalized additive models (GAMs) with bivariate smoothing functions have been applied to estimate spatial variation in risk for many types of cancers. Only a handful of studies have evaluated the performance of smoothing functions applied in GAMs with regard to different geographical areas of elevated risk and different risk levels. This study evaluates the ability of different smoothing functions to detect overall spatial variation of risk and elevated risk in diverse geographical areas at various risk levels using a simulation study. We created five scenarios with different true risk area shapes (circle, triangle, linear) in a square study region. We applied four different smoothing functions in the GAMs, including two types of thin plate regression splines (TPRS) and two versions of locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (loess). We tested the null hypothesis of constant risk and detected areas of elevated risk using analysis of deviance with permutation methods and assessed the performance of the smoothing methods based on the spatial detection rate, sensitivity, accuracy, precision, power, and false-positive rate. The results showed that all methods had a higher sensitivity and a consistently moderate-to-high accuracy rate when the true disease risk was higher. The models generally performed better in detecting elevated risk areas than detecting overall spatial variation. One of the loess methods had the highest precision in detecting overall spatial variation across scenarios and outperformed the other methods in detecting a linear elevated risk area. The TPRS methods outperformed loess in detecting elevated risk in two circular areas. PMID:25983545

  7. Plasma and urine renalase levels and activity during the recovery of renal function in kidney transplant recipients.

    PubMed

    Quelhas-Santos, Janete; Soares-Silva, Isabel; Fernandes-Cerqueira, Cátia; Simões-Silva, Liliana; Ferreira, Inês; Carvalho, Catarina; Coentrão, Luís; Vaz, Raquel; Sampaio-Maia, Benedita; Pestana, Manuel

    2014-04-01

    Renalase is a recently described enzyme secreted by the kidney into both plasma and urine, where it was suggested to degrade catecholamines contributing to blood pressure control. While there is a controversy regarding the relationship between renal function and plasma renalase levels, there is virtually no data in humans on plasma renalase activity as well as on both urine renalase levels and activity. We prospectively examined the time course of plasma and urine renalase levels and activity in 26 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients receiving a cadaver kidney transplant (cadaver kidney recipients [CKR]) before surgery and during the recovery of renal function up to day 90 post transplant. The relationship with sympathetic and renal dopaminergic activities was also evaluated. The recovery of renal function in CKR closely predicted decreases in plasma renalase levels (r = 0.88; P < 0.0001), urine renalase levels (r = 0.75; P < 0.0001) and urine renalase activity (r = 0.56; P < 0.03), but did not predict changes in plasma renalase activity (r = -0.02; NS). Plasma norepinephrine levels positively correlated with plasma renalase levels (r = 0.64, P < 0.002) as well as with urine renalase levels and activity (r = 0.47 P < 0.02; r = 0.71, P < 0.0005, respectively) and negatively correlated with plasma renalase activity (r = -0.57, P < 0.002). By contrast, plasma epinephrine levels positively correlated with plasma renalase activity (r = 0.67, P < 0.0001) and negatively correlated with plasma renalase levels (r = -0.62, P < 0.003). A significant negative relationship was observed between urine dopamine output and urine renalase levels (r = -0.48; P < 0.03) but not with urine renalase activity (r = -0.33, NS). We conclude that plasma and urine renalase levels closely depend on renal function and sympathetic nervous system activity. It is suggested that epinephrine-mediated activation of circulating renalase may occur in renal transplant recipients with good recovery of

  8. Evaluation of Fermented Sausages Manufactured with Reduced-fat and Functional Starter Cultures on Physicochemical, Functional and Flavor Characteristics.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young Joo; Park, Sung Yong; Lee, Hong Cheol; Yoo, Seung Seok; Oh, Se Jong; Kim, Hyeong Sang; Chin, Koo Bok

    2014-01-01

    Fermented foods with probiotics having functional properties may provide beneficial effects on health. These effects are varied, depending on the type of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Different probiotic LAB might have different functional properties. Thus, this study was performed to evaluate the quality of fermented sausages manufactured with functional starter cultures (Lactobacillus plantarum 115 and 167, and Pediococcus damnosus L12) and different fat levels, and to determine the optimum condition for the manufacture of these products. Medium-fat (~15%) fermented sausages reduced the drying time and cholesterol contents, as compared to regular-fat counterparts. In proximate analysis, the contents of moisture and protein of regular-fat products were lower than medium-fat with reduced fat content. The regular-fat products also had a lighter color and less redness, due to reduced fat content. Approximately 35 volatile compounds were identified in functional fermented sausages, and hexanal, trans-caryophyllene, and tetradecanal were the major volatile compounds. Selected mixed starter culture showed the potential possibility of replacing the commercial starter culture (LK30 plus) in flavor profiles. However, medium-fat fermented sausage containing selected mixed starter culture tended to be less acceptable than their high-fat counterparts, due to excess dry ring developed in the surface. These results indicate that the use of combinations of L. plantarum 115 and 167, and P. damnosus L12 as a starter culture, will prove useful for manufacturing the fermented sausage.

  9. JTPA Evaluation at the State and Local Level. Volume III: A Guide for Process Evaluations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grembowski, David

    This guide is intended to assist states and service delivery areas (SDAs) in addressing the new oversight responsibilities and opportunities stipulated by the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) with respect to process evaluation. The first chapter provides an overview of the JTPA organizational system. Discussed next is the relationship among…

  10. Utilization of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halim, A. A. A.; Laili, M. H.; Aziz, N. A.; Laili, A. R.; Salikin, M. S.; Rusop, M.

    2016-07-01

    The goal of this brief review is to report the techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation in human study. The development of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technologies has advanced quantification signal using multiple wavelength and detector to solve the propagation of light inside the tissues including the absorption, scattering coefficient and to define the light penetration into tissues multilayers. There are a lot of studies that demonstrate signal from fNIRS which can be used to evaluate the changes of oxygenation level and measure the limitation of muscle performance in human brain and muscle tissues. Comprehensive reviews of diffuse reflectance based on beer lambert law theory were presented in this paper. The principle and development of fNIRS instrumentation is reported in detail.

  11. Image Segmentation via Convolution of a Level-Set Function with a Rigaut Kernel*

    PubMed Central

    Subakan, Özlem N.; Vemuri, Baba C.

    2009-01-01

    Image segmentation is a fundamental task in Computer Vision and there are numerous algorithms that have been successfully applied in various domains. There are still plenty of challenges to be met with. In this paper, we consider one such challenge, that of achieving segmentation while preserving complicated and detailed features present in the image, be it a gray level or a textured image. We present a novel approach that does not make use of any prior information about the objects in the image being segmented. Segmentation is achieved using local orientation information, which is obtained via the application of a steerable Gabor filter bank, in a statistical framework. This information is used to construct a spatially varying kernel called the Rigaut Kernel, which is then convolved with the signed distance function of an evolving contour (placed in the image) to achieve segmentation. We present numerous experimental results on real images, including a quantitative evaluation. Superior performance of our technique is depicted via comparison to the state-of-the-art algorithms in literature. PMID:19209232

  12. Effects of low level exposure to lead on neurophysiological functions among lead battery workers.

    PubMed

    Kovala, T; Matikainen, E; Mannelin, T; Erkkilä, J; Riihimäki, V; Hänninen, H; Aitio, A

    1997-07-01

    Assessment of neurophysiological functions in workers with low level exposure to lead and evaluation of the efficacy of bone lead measurements in the prediction of effects of lead. Exposure to lead of 60 workers from a lead battery battery factory was estimated from historical blood lead measurements and analysis of lead in the tibial and calcaneal bones with x ray fluorescence. Peripheral and central nervous system functions were assessed by measuring conduction velocities, sensory distal latencies, sensory amplitudes, and vibration thresholds as well as by quantitative measurement of the absolute and relative powers and mean frequencies of different electroencephalograph (EEG) channels. Sensory amplitudes, and to a smaller degree sensory or motor conduction velocities, showed a negative correlation with long term exposure to lead, most clearly with integrated blood lead concentration and exposure time. Vibration thresholds measured in the arm were related to recent exposure to lead, those measured in the leg to long term exposure. The alpha and beta activities of the EEG were more abundant in subjects with higher long term exposure to lead. Calcaneal lead content reflected short term exposure, tibial lead content reflected long term exposure. Blood lead history showed a closer relation with effects of lead than the tibial or calcaneal lead concentrations. Vibratory thresholds, quantitative EEG, and to a smaller extent the sensory amplitude, provide sensitive measures of effects of lead in occupationally exposed adults. Most accurate estimates of health risks induced by lead can be obtained from a good history of blood lead measurements. If such a history of blood lead concentrations is not available, analysis of bone lead may be used for the assessment of health risks.

  13. Composite modulation transfer function evaluation of a cone beam computed tomography breast imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betancourt-Benítez, Ricardo; Ning, Ruola; Liu, Shaohua

    2009-11-01

    Several factors during the scanning process, image reconstruction and geometry of an imaging system, influence the spatial resolution of a computed tomography imaging system. In this work, the spatial resolution of a state of the art flat panel detector-based cone beam computed tomography breast imaging system is evaluated. First, scattering, exposure level, voltage, voxel size, pixel size, back-projection filter, reconstruction algorithm, and number of projections are varied to evaluate their effect on spatial resolution. Second, its uniformity throughout the whole field of view is evaluated as a function of radius along the x-y plane and as a function of z at the center of rotation. The results of the study suggest that the modulation transfer function is mainly influenced by the pixel, back-projection filter, and number of projections used. The evaluation of spatial resolution throughout the field of view also suggests that this imaging system does have a 3-D quasi-isotropic spatial resolution in a cylindrical region of radius equal to 40 mm centered at the axis of rotation. Overall, this study provides a useful tool to determine the optimal parameters for the best possible use of this cone beam computed tomography breast imaging system.

  14. Serum tocopherol levels and vitamin E intake are associated with lung function in the normative aging study.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Corrine; Lyden, Elizabeth; Furtado, Jeremy; Campos, Hannia; Sparrow, David; Vokonas, Pantel; Litonjua, Augusto A

    2016-02-01

    The results of studies assessing relationships between vitamin E intake and status and lung function are conflicting. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of vitamin E intake and serum levels of tocopherol isoforms on lung function in a cross-sectional sample of 580 men from the Normative Aging Study, a longitudinal aging study. Regression models were used to look at associations of serum tocopherol isoform levels and vitamin E intake with lung function parameters after adjustment for confounders. Vitamin E intake was measured using a food frequency questionnaire and serum levels of γ, α, and δ-tocopherol levels were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. After adjustment for potential confounders, serum γ-tocopherol had a significant inverse association with forced vital capacity (β = -0.10, p = 0.05). Alpha and δ-tocopherol were not associated with any lung function parameter. After classifying COPD status according to Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage criteria, serum levels of δ-tocopherol were lower in participants with more severe COPD (p = 0.01). Serum levels of δ-tocopherol were also lower in participants with greater levels of smoking (p = 0.02). Both vitamin E intake (β = 0.03, p = 0.02; β = 0.03, p = 0.01) and use of vitamin E supplements (β = 0.05, p = 0.03; β = 0.06. p = 0.02) were positively associated with FEV1 and FVC, after adjusting for confounders. Subjects who took vitamin E supplements had significantly higher α-tocopherol levels (p < 0.0001) and lower γ-tocopherol levels (p < 0.0001) than non-users. In this study, there is a positive association between dietary vitamin E intake and lung function, and evidence of an inverse relationship between serum levels of γ-tocopherol and lung function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.

  15. Effects of photobiomodulation on the fatigue level in elderly women: an isokinetic dynamometry evaluation.

    PubMed

    Vassão, P G; Toma, R L; Antunes, H K M; Tucci, H T; Renno, A C M

    2016-02-01

    Aging is responsible by a series of morphological and functional modifications that lead to a decline of muscle function, particularly in females. Muscle tissue in elderly people is more susceptible to fatigue and, consequently, to an increased inability to maintain strength and motor control. In this context, therapeutic approaches able of attenuating muscle fatigue have been investigated. Among these, the photobiomodulation demonstrate positive results to interacts with biological tissues, promoting the increase in cell energy production. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of photobiomodulation (808 nm, 250 J/cm(2), 100 mW, 7 J each point) in the fatigue level and muscle performance in elderly women. Thirty subjects entered a crossover randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial. Photobiomodulation was delivered on the rectus femoris muscle of the dominant limb immediately before the fatigue protocol. In both sessions, peripheral muscle fatigue was analyzed by surface electromyography (EMG) and blood lactate analysis. Muscle performance was evaluated using an isokinetic dynamometer. The results showed that photobiomodulation was able of reducing muscle fatigue by a significant increase of electromyographic fatigue index (EFI) (p = 0.047) and decreasing significantly lactate concentration 6 min after the performance of the fatigue protocol (p = 0. 0006) compared the placebo laser session. However, the photobiomodulation was not able of increasing muscle performance measured by the isokinetic dynamometer. Thus, it can be conclude that the photobiomodulation was effective in reducing fatigue levels. However, no effects of photobiomodulation on muscle performance was observed.

  16. [Evaluation of a functional plan for caregivers in hospital].

    PubMed

    Quiñoz-Gallardo, M Dolores; Vellido-González, Concepción; Rivas-Campos, Antonio; Martín-Berrido, Mercedes; González-Guerrero, Leticia; Vellido-González, Dolores; Nieto-Poyato, Rosa María; Corral-Rubio, M Carmen

    2013-01-01

    The care of dependent persons has increased, as such that healthcare reforms are taking caregivers into account. A functional plan in hospitalization was developed for caregivers, and his study aims to investigate its implementation, identifying the strengths and weaknesses that promote changes between the formal and informal system. A qualitative study was designed, using nursing professionals and caregivers identified in the hospital as subjects. A focus group technique was used with 8 people selected for each segment. Two scripts were developed with questions on the evaluation criteria included in the plan: identification/recruitment, reception, rest, diet, health care, information/health education, management and implementation of the plan and other proposals. The data were collected during May 2011. Difficulties were encountered in identifying caregivers, as an initial evaluation was not made. As regards the reception, in some cases the information brochure was not given. Rest was not possible as the caregivers did not want to move away from the patient. Diet was the main cause of the conflict, highlighting the lack of health education to continue in home care. Circuits of preferential care in emergency were positively valuated. Nurses consider the plan as an extra task. The strengths and weaknesses identified should enable improvements to be made in the implementation of the plan, in order to achieve changes in specific aspects such as information/education, health, rest and diet of the caregivers. We emphasize the need to enhance the model change. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

  17. Blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging: current and potential uses in obstetrics and gynaecology

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, K; Moore, J; Kennedy, S; Tracey, I

    2008-01-01

    Blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging is a noninvasive technique that has become increasingly popular in the neurosciences. It measures the proportion of oxygenated haemoglobin in specific areas of the brain, mirroring blood flow and therefore function. Here we review how the findings from functional studies impact on areas of gynaecological practice as diverse as chronic pain, continence, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Finally we review some of the more novel applications of the technique, such as imaging of pelvic floor function and the effects of hypoxia on the fetus. PMID:19076956

  18. Scale Refinement and Initial Evaluation of a Behavioral Health Function Measurement Tool for Work Disability Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Marfeo, Elizabeth E.; Ni, Pengsheng; Bogusz, Kara; Meterko, Mark; McDonough, Christine M.; Chan, Leighton; Rasch, Elizabeth K.; Brandt, Diane E.; Jette, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To use item response theory (IRT) data simulations to construct and perform initial psychometric testing of a newly developed instrument, the Social Security Administration Behavioral Health Function (SSA-BH) instrument, that aims to assess behavioral health functioning relevant to the context of work. Design Cross-sectional survey followed by item response theory (IRT) calibration data simulations Setting Community Participants A sample of individuals applying for SSA disability benefits, claimants (N=1015), and a normative comparative sample of US adults (N=1000) Interventions None. Main Outcome Measure Social Security Administration Behavioral Health Function (SSA-BH) measurement instrument Results Item response theory analyses supported the unidimensionality of four SSA-BH scales: Mood and Emotions (35 items), Self-Efficacy (23 items), Social Interactions (6 items), and Behavioral Control (15 items). All SSA-BH scales demonstrated strong psychometric properties including reliability, accuracy, and breadth of coverage. High correlations of the simulated 5- or 10- item CATs with the full item bank indicated robust ability of the CAT approach to comprehensively characterize behavioral health function along four distinct dimensions. Conclusions Initial testing and evaluation of the SSA-BH instrument demonstrated good accuracy, reliability, and content coverage along all four scales. Behavioral function profiles of SSA claimants were generated and compared to age and sex matched norms along four scales: Mood and Emotions, Behavioral Control, Social Interactions, and Self-Efficacy. Utilizing the CAT based approach offers the ability to collect standardized, comprehensive functional information about claimants in an efficient way, which may prove useful in the context of the SSA’s work disability programs. PMID:23542404

  19. Evaluation of the controlled grip force exertion tasks associated with age, gender, handedness and target force level.

    PubMed

    Choi, Kyeong-Hee; Kim, Dae-Min; Lee, Sung-Yong; Lee, Jun-Hyub; Kong, Yong-Ku

    2017-05-23

    Force control of the hand is an essential factor for operating tools and moving objects. Therefore, a method for quantifying hand functionality more accurately and objectively is very important. The present study included 60 healthy participants (30 elderly and 30 young adults) to evaluate the effects of age, gender and target force levels on tracking performance. Tracking performance was quantified by measuring the difference between target force levels and exerted force. Females exerted 59.6% of the maximum grip strength of males and the elderly group exerted 70.5% of maximum grip strength compared with the young group. The elderly group showed 3.1 times larger tracking error than the young group. There was a significant difference in females between the young and elderly groups, indicating age-related decline in hand function is more pronounced in females. The difference in grip force control ability between the elderly and young groups was significant at the low target force level (5% maximum voluntary contraction). The results of this study could be used for hand function evaluation guidelines. In addition, this study could be used as a tool for physiotherapy to improve hand function and prevent its decline in elderly people.

  20. Two-level evaluation on sensor interoperability of features in fingerprint image segmentation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Gongping; Li, Ying; Yin, Yilong; Li, Ya-Shuo

    2012-01-01

    Features used in fingerprint segmentation significantly affect the segmentation performance. Various features exhibit different discriminating abilities on fingerprint images derived from different sensors. One feature which has better discriminating ability on images derived from a certain sensor may not adapt to segment images derived from other sensors. This degrades the segmentation performance. This paper empirically analyzes the sensor interoperability problem of segmentation feature, which refers to the feature's ability to adapt to the raw fingerprints captured by different sensors. To address this issue, this paper presents a two-level feature evaluation method, including the first level feature evaluation based on segmentation error rate and the second level feature evaluation based on decision tree. The proposed method is performed on a number of fingerprint databases which are obtained from various sensors. Experimental results show that the proposed method can effectively evaluate the sensor interoperability of features, and the features with good evaluation results acquire better segmentation accuracies of images originating from different sensors.

  1. High level functions for the intuitive use of an assistive robot.

    PubMed

    Lebec, Olivier; Ben Ghezala, Mohamed Walid; Leynart, Violaine; Laffont, Isabelle; Fattal, Charles; Devilliers, Laurence; Chastagnol, Clement; Martin, Jean-Claude; Mezouar, Youcef; Korrapatti, Hermanth; Dupourqué, Vincent; Leroux, Christophe

    2013-06-01

    This document presents the research project ARMEN (Assistive Robotics to Maintain Elderly People in a Natural environment), aimed at the development of a user friendly robot with advanced functions for assistance to elderly or disabled persons at home. Focus is given to the robot SAM (Smart Autonomous Majordomo) and its new features of navigation, manipulation, object recognition, and knowledge representation developed for the intuitive supervision of the robot. The results of the technical evaluations show the value and potential of these functions for practical applications. The paper also documents the details of the clinical evaluations carried out with elderly and disabled persons in a therapeutic setting to validate the project.

  2. The Evaluation of Steam Generator Level Measurement Model for OPR1000 Using RETRAN-3D

    SciTech Connect

    Doo Yong Lee; Soon Joon Hong; Byung Chul Lee; Heok Soon Lim

    2006-07-01

    Steam generator level measurement is important factor for plant transient analyses using best estimate thermal hydraulic computer codes since the value of steam generator level is used for steam generator level control system and plant protection system. Because steam generator is in the saturation condition which includes steam and liquid together and is the place that heat exchange occurs from primary side to secondary side, computer codes are hard to calculate steam generator level realistically without appropriate level measurement model. In this paper, we prepare the steam generator models using RETRAN-3D that include geometry models, full range feedwater control system and five types of steam generator level measurement model. Five types of steam generator level measurement model consist of level measurement model using elevation difference in downcomer, 1D level measurement model using fluid mass, 1D level measurement model using fluid volume, 2D level measurement model using power and fluid mass, and 2D level measurement model using power and fluid volume. And we perform the evaluation of the capability of each steam generator level measurement model by simulating the real plant transient condition, the title is 'Reactor Trip by The Failure of The Deaerator Level Control Card of Ulchin Unit 3'. The comparison results between real plant data and RETRAN-3D analyses for each steam generator level measurement model show that 2D level measurement model using power and fluid mass or fluid volume has more realistic prediction capability compared with other level measurement models. (authors)

  3. [Functional magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of radiation-induced renal damage].

    PubMed

    Haneder, S; Boda-Heggemann, J; Schoenberg, S O; Michaely, H J

    2012-03-01

    The diagnosis of radiation-induced (especially chronic) renal alterations/damage is difficult and currently relies primarily on clinical evaluation. The importance of renal diagnostic evaluation will increase continuously due to the increasing number of long-term survivors after radiotherapy. This article evaluates the potentia diagnostic contribution of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with a focus on functional MRI. The following functional MRI approaches are briefly presented and evaluated: blood oxygenation level-dependent imaging (BOLD), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), MR perfusion measurements and (23)Na imaging. In summary, only DWI and contrast-enhanced MR perfusion currently seem to be suitable approaches for a broader, clinical implementation. However, up to now valid data from larger patient studies are lacking for both techniques in regard to radiation-induced renal alterations. The BOLD and (23)Na imaging procedures have a huge potential but are currently neither sufficiently evaluated with regard to radiation-induced renal alterations nor technically simple and reliable for implementation into the clinical routine.

  4. Functional changes in vascular amputee patients: evaluation by Barthel Index, PULSES profile and ESCROW scale.

    PubMed

    O'Toole, D M; Goldberg, R T; Ryan, B

    1985-08-01

    This study evaluated the changes made by 60 peripheral vascular amputees from one month prior to admission to six months after attending a rehabilitation hospital. The Barthel index, PULSES profile, and ESCROW profile were used to measure functional status, social support, and rehabilitation progress. Statistical analysis consisted of t-tests to determine significant differences between the means of scores at varying intervals, and analysis of variance was added to determine interactions between amputation level, age, and sex as related to functional change. Amputees showed significant gains in Barthel scores from admission to discharge; this was attributed to rehabilitation intervention. They showed a significant decrease by the PULSES profile over the study period, indicating a decrease in independence from their premorbid function. Changes in ESCROW scores showed patients to have a greater need for social supports as they moved from admission to discharge. Age was a significant factor in mobility at discharge as measured by the Barthel index. As measured by the PULSES profile, men did better than women at six months follow-up. Unexpected results were that neither amputation level nor the presence or absence of diabetes mellitus had a significant impact on functional status as measured. The lack of significant differences by amputation level may be due to factors of age and sex, as well as to more depression in the below-knee group.

  5. A Prospective Analysis of Elevated Fasting Glucose Levels and Cognitive Function in Older People

    PubMed Central

    Euser, Sjoerd M.; Sattar, Naveed; Witteman, Jacqueline C.M.; Bollen, Eduard L.E.M.; Sijbrands, Eric J.G.; Hofman, Albert; Perry, Ivan J.; Breteler, Monique M.B.; Westendorp, Rudi G.J.

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To investigate the relationship between fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, and cognitive impairment in old age. Diabetes is associated with cognitive impairment in older people. However, the link between elevated fasting glucose levels and insulin resistance in nondiabetic individuals, and the risk of cognitive impairment is unclear. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We analyzed data from, in total, 8,447 participants in two independent prospective studies: the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER), 5,019 participants, aged 69–84 years, and the Rotterdam Study, 3,428 participants, aged 61–97 years. Fasting glucose levels were assessed at baseline in both studies; fasting insulin levels were assessed in the Rotterdam Study only. Cognitive function was assessed in both studies at baseline and during follow-up. RESULTS Subjects with diabetes had impaired cognitive function at baseline. In contrast, in people without a history of diabetes, there was no clear association between baseline fasting glucose levels and executive function and memory, nor was there a consistent relationship between elevated baseline fasting glucose levels and the rate of cognitive decline in either cohort. Insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment index) was also unrelated to cognitive function and decline. CONCLUSIONS Elevated fasting glucose levels and insulin resistance are not associated with worse cognitive function in older people without a history of diabetes. These data suggest either that there is a threshold for effects of dysglycemia on cognitive function or that factors other than hyperglycemia contribute to cognitive impairment in individuals with frank diabetes. PMID:20393152

  6. Treadmill exercise induced functional recovery after peripheral nerve repair is associated with increased levels of neurotrophic factors.

    PubMed

    Park, Jae-Sung; Höke, Ahmet

    2014-01-01

    Benefits of exercise on nerve regeneration and functional recovery have been reported in both central and peripheral nervous system disease models. However, underlying molecular mechanisms of enhanced regeneration and improved functional outcomes are less understood. We used a peripheral nerve regeneration model that has a good correlation between functional outcomes and number of motor axons that regenerate to evaluate the impact of treadmill exercise. In this model, the median nerve was transected and repaired while the ulnar nerve was transected and prevented from regeneration. Daily treadmill exercise resulted in faster recovery of the forelimb grip function as evaluated by grip power and inverted holding test. Daily exercise also resulted in better regeneration as evaluated by recovery of compound motor action potentials, higher number of axons in the median nerve and larger myofiber size in target muscles. Furthermore, these observations correlated with higher levels of neurotrophic factors, glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), in serum, nerve and muscle suggesting that increase in muscle derived neurotrophic factors may be responsible for improved regeneration.

  7. Functional and nutritional evaluation of supplementary food formulations.

    PubMed

    Khanam, Anjum; Chikkegowda, Rashmi Kumkum; Swamylingappa, Bhagya

    2013-04-01

    Two type of ready to eat supplementary food formulations were developed by roller drying based on wheat, soy protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and green gram flour and were fortified with vitamins and minerals to meet the one third of the Recommended daily allowance (RDA). The supplementary food formulations contained 20-21% protein, 370-390 kcal of energy and 2,300 μg of β-carotene per 100 g serving. The physico-chemical, functional and nutritional characteristics were evaluated. The chemical score indicated that sulphur containing amino acids were the first limiting in both the formulations. The calculated nutritional indices, essential amino acid index, biological value, nutritional index and C-PER were higher for formula II. Rat bioassay showed higher PER (2.3) for formula II compared to formula I (2.1). The bioaccessibility of iron was 23%. Sensory studies indicated that the products were acceptable with a shelf life of 1 year under normal storage condition. However, the formulations were nutritionally better than only cereal based supplementary food formulations available commercially. The product could be served in the form of porridge with water/milk or in the form of small laddu.

  8. Masticatory function in temporomandibular dysfunction patients: electromyographic evaluation.

    PubMed

    Berretin-Felix, Giédre; Genaro, Katia Flores; Trindade, Inge Elly Kiemle; Trindade Júnior, Alceu Sergio

    2005-12-01

    Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) is a complex disturbance that involves the masticatory muscles and/or temporomandibular joint, causing damage to the masticatory function. This study evaluated the electromyographic activity of the masseter muscle during habitual mastication of bread, apple, banana, cashew nut and paraffin film (Parafilm M) in 25 adult subjects, of both gender, with TMD. The results were compared to those of a control group, composed of 15 adult subjects, of both sexes, free of signs and/or symptoms of TMD. The MYO-TRONICS Inc., K6-I computer software was used for electromyographic processing and analyzed the following parameters: duration of the act, duration of the masticatory cycle and number of cycles. No significant differences were found between subjects in the control group and individuals with TMD as to duration of the masticatory act and of the masticatory cycle, considering all materials used for mastication. The duration of the masticatory act and cycle was longer during mastication of paraffin film in both groups. The number of masticatory cycles was higher for mastication of apple in comparison to mastication of banana, in both groups. It can be concluded that the consistency of foods influences the duration parameters of the act, duration of the cycle and the number of masticatory cycles, and the behavior of the masticatory muscles in individuals with TMD during habitual mastication is similar to that verified in individuals without TMD.

  9. Unilateral Laryngeal Pacing System and Its Functional Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhiping; Peng, Weiwei; Zhang, Fei; Shi, Baker Y.

    2017-01-01

    Goal. To establish a reliable instrumental system for synchronized reactivation of a unilaterally paralyzed vocal fold and evaluate its functional feasibility. Methods. Unilateral vocal fold paralysis model was induced by destruction of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) in anesthetized dogs. With a micro controller-based electronic system, electromyography (EMG) signals from cricothyroid (CT) muscle on the ipsilateral side were recorded and used to trigger pacing of paralyzed vocalis muscles. The dynamic movement of vocal folds was continuously monitored using an endoscope, and the opening and closing of the glottis were quantified with customized imaging processing software. Results. The recorded video images showed that left side vocal fold was obviously paralyzed after destructing the RLN. Using the pacing system with feedback triggering EMG signals from the ipsilateral CT muscle, the paralyzed vocal fold was successfully reactivated, and its movement was shown to be synchronized with the healthy side. Significance. The developed unilateral laryngeal pacing system triggered by EMG from the ipsilateral side CT muscle could be successfully used in unilateral vocal fold paralysis with the advantage of avoiding disturbance to the healthy side muscles. PMID:28203464

  10. Relationship between kinesiophobia and performance in a functional capacity evaluation.

    PubMed

    Reneman, Michiel F; Jorritsma, Wim; Dijkstra, Sjoerd J; Dijkstra, Pieter U

    2003-12-01

    Fear of movement and (re)injury (kinesiophobia) has been postulated to play an important role in the performance in a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). This study was performed to analyze the relationship between kinesiophobia and performance in an FCE. Kinesiophobia and FCE performance of 54 male and 10 female patients (mean age 38.0) suffering chronic low back pain (mean length of episode 9.9 months, 93% off work) were assessed. Kinesiophobia was assessed using the Dutch Version of the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (scale 17-68). A lifting task and an FCE were operationalizations of avoidance. FCE results were transformed into a single measure using the classification of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (FCE-DOT, scale 1-5). Correlations between the variables were calculated. The results are: kinesiophobia mean 41.6 (SD 7.3), lifting mean 29.5 kg (SD 11.6), FCE-DOT mean 3.6 (SD 0.6). Correlations between kinesiophobia and lifting was r = 0.01 (p = 0.93) and between kinesiophobia and FCE-DOT was rho = -0.04 (p = 0.75). The results indicate that the patients were substantially kinesiophobic, yet they were able to lift a mean of 29.5 kg and were physically able to perform moderate to heavy work. The strength of the correlations was very low. The relationship between kinesiophobia and avoidance, operationalized as lifting and an FCE, could not be confirmed in this study.

  11. [Individual management of Meniere's disease and evaluation of functional outcome].

    PubMed

    Chen, Ying; Yang, Jun; Wu, Hao; Huang, Qi; Wang, Zhaoyan; Zhang, Zhihua

    2011-08-01

    To investigate individual management for Meniere's disease and analyze outcomes of nonsurgical and surgical management of Meniere's disease. Patients with Meniere's disease were staged according to hearing and quality of life. The individual management according to the staging was established, including outpatient treatment (lifestyle change, medical management and intratympanic steroids), endolymphatic sac decompression or drainage, vestibular neurectomy and labyrinthectomy. The characteristics of patients who underwent surgical management were analyzed. The functional outcomes of surgery in dizziness, hearing loss and quality of life were evaluated for 12-month postoperative follow-up. Twenty patients underwent intratympanic injection of dexamethasone. Dizziness improved in 70% (14/20), tinnitus improved in 41% (7/17), and aural fullness improved in 36% (4/11). There were 55 patients who underwent surgical managements for 57 times. Endolymphatic sac decompression or drainage was carried out in 27 patients for 28 times, vestibular neurectomy in 26 patients and labyrinthectomy in 3 patients. Vertigo control rate was 75% in patients with endolymphatic sac decompression or drainage, 100% in vestibular neurectomy and 100% in labyrinthectomy at 12-month postoperative follow-up. The non-surgical management and endolymphatic sac decompression or drainage can improve vertigo and ameliorate quality of life. Vestibular neurectomy and labyrinthectomy are effective surgical managements to eliminate vertigo. The management of Meniere's disease depends on several factors: stages of vertigo and hearing, quality of life, surgical contraindications and subjective desire. Therefore, the management for Menieres disease must be individualized for each patient.

  12. The Effects of an Exercise Program on Anxiety Levels and Metabolic Functions in Patients With Anxiety Disorders.

    PubMed

    Ma, Wei-Fen; Wu, Po-Lun; Su, Chia-Hsien; Yang, Tzu-Ching

    2017-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a home-based (HB) exercise program on anxiety levels and metabolic functions in patients with anxiety disorders in Taiwan. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 86 participants for this randomized, experimental study. Participants were asked to complete a pretest before the 3-month exercise program, a posttest at 1 week, and a follow-up test at 3 months after the exercise program. Study measures included four Self-Report Scales and biophysical assessments to collect and assess personal data, lifestyle behaviors, anxiety levels, and metabolic control functions. Of the 86 study participants, 83 completed the posttest and the 3-month follow-up test, including 41 in the experimental group and 42 in the control group. Participants in the experimental group showed significant improvements in body mass index, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and the level of moderate exercise after the program relative to the control group, as analyzed by generalized estimating equations mixed-model repeated measures. State and trait anxiety levels were also significantly improved from pretest to follow-up test in the experimental group. Finally, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome declined for participants in the experimental group. The HB exercise program produced positive effects on the metabolic indicators and anxiety levels of Taiwanese adults with anxiety disorders. Health providers should consider using similar HB exercise programs to help improve the mental and physical health of patients with anxiety disorders in their communities.

  13. TIGIT expression levels on human NK cells correlate with functional heterogeneity among healthy individuals.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Hou, Hongyan; Wu, Shiji; Tang, Qing; Liu, Weiyong; Huang, Min; Yin, Botao; Huang, Jing; Mao, Lie; Lu, Yanfang; Sun, Ziyong

    2015-10-01

    Human NK cells display extensive phenotypic and functional heterogeneity among healthy individuals, but the mechanism responsible for this variation is still largely unknown. Here, we show that a novel immune receptor, T-cell immunoglobulin and ITIM domain (TIGIT), is expressed preferentially on human NK cells but shows wide variation in its expression levels among healthy individuals. We found that the TIGIT expression level is related to the phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of NK cells, and that NK cells from healthy individuals can be divided into three categories according to TIGIT expression. NK cells with low levels of TIGIT expression show higher cytokine secretion capability, degranulation activity, and cytotoxic potential than NK cells with high levels of TIGIT expression. Blockade of the TIGIT pathway significantly increased NK-cell function, particularly in NK cells with high levels of TIGIT expression. We further observed that the TIGIT expression level was inversely correlated with the IFN-γ secretion capability of NK cells in patients with cancers and autoimmune diseases. Importantly, we propose a novel mechanism that links TIGIT expression with NK-cell functional heterogeneity, and this mechanism might partially explain why individuals have different susceptibilities to infection, autoimmune disease, and cancer.

  14. Effect of sweetener and flavoring agent on oxidative indices, liver and kidney function levels in rats.

    PubMed

    Amin, Kamal A; Al-muzafar, Hessa M; Abd Elsttar, Adel H

    2016-01-01

    Food additives while attract consumers, improve quality, control weight and replace sugar, may affect seriously children and adults health. Here, we investigated the adverse effects of saccharin and methylsalicyltaes as sweetener and flavoring agent on lipid profile, blood glucose, renal, hepatic function and oxidative stress/antioxidants (lipid peroxidation, catalase and reduced glutathione in liver tissues). Saccharin and methylsalicylate were administered orally in young male albino rats at low and high dose for 30 days. Rats were divided into 5 groups, 1st control group, 2nd and 3rd (low and high saccharin-treated groups) and 4th and 5th (low and high methylsalicylate-treated group). Serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose levels and body weight gain were found decreased in saccharin high dose group compared to control. Rats consumed high dose of saccharin showed a significant decrease in serum triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL levels. Low and high doses of saccharin exhibited a significant increase in liver function marker of ALT, AST, ALP activity, total proteins and albumin levels and renal function test (urea and creatinine levels) in comparison with control group. Further, saccharin at high dose induced significant decrease in liver GSH levels, catalase and SOD activity and increase in hepatic MDA level. Overall saccharin harmfully altered biochemical markers in liver and kidney at higher as well as lower doses. Whereas, methyl salicylates did not pose a risk for renal function and hepatic oxidative markers.

  15. [Radionuclide evaluation of renal function in essential hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease].

    PubMed

    Musina, N S; Semenova, R I

    2012-01-01

    To carry out radionuclide evaluation of renal function in patients with arterial hypertension (AH) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Thirty-one AH patients with CKD were examined using dynamic nephroscintigraphy. A control group consisted of 8 CKD patients without AH. The scintigraphic findings reflected statistically significant differences in renal secretory and excretory functions depending on the level of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decrease in AH patients with CKD. If GFR was 30-59 ml/min, there was a deceleration in the secretory phase in the histogram; but when it was lower than 30 ml/min, the secretory function tended to accelerate, which appeared as a 3-fold reduction in achieving the peak radio tracer concentration (p < 0.001). Dynamic nephroscintigraphy can detect early renal secretory and excretory dysfunctions and it is of prognostic value in assessing renal dysfunction, which necessitates early drug correction of revealed disorders.

  16. Effects of social, demographical and behavioral factors on the sound level evaluation in urban open spaces.

    PubMed

    Yu, Lei; Kang, Jian

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of social, demographical and behavioral factors as well as long-term sound experience on the subjective evaluation of sound level in urban open public spaces. This is based on a series of large scale surveys in 19 urban open spaces in Europe and China. The results suggest that the effects of social/demographical factors, including age, gender, occupation, education and residential status, on the sound level evaluation are generally insignificant, although occupation and education are two related factors and both correlate to the sound level evaluation more than other factors. The effects of some behavioral factors, including wearing earphones, reading/writing and moving activities, are also insignificant on the sound level evaluation, but the watching behavior is highly related to the sound level evaluation. Compared to the social, demographical and behavioral factors, the long-term sound experience, i.e. the acoustic environment at home, significantly affect the sound level evaluation in urban open spaces. It is important to note that between the social/demographical factors, there are generally significant correlations, although the correlation coefficients may not be high. It is also noted that there are considerable variations between different urban open spaces.

  17. GST-omega genes interact with environmental tobacco smoke on adult level of lung function.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Kim; Boezen, H Marike; Hacken, Nick H T ten; Postma, Dirkje S; Vonk, Judith M

    2013-08-09

    Lung growth in utero and lung function loss during adulthood can be affected by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Both ETS exposure and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Glutathione S-Transferase (GST) Omega genes have been associated with the level of lung function. This study aimed to assess if GSTO SNPs interact with ETS exposure in utero and during adulthood on the level of lung function during adulthood. We used cross-sectional data of 8,128 genotyped participants from the LifeLines cohort study. Linear regression models (adjusted for age, sex, height, weight, current smoking, ex-smoking and packyears smoked) were used to analyze the associations between in utero, daily and workplace ETS exposure, GSTO SNPs, the interaction between ETS and GSTOs, and level of lung function (FEV(1), FEV(1)/FVC). Since the interactions between ETS and GSTOs may be modified by active tobacco smoking we additionally assessed associations in never and ever smokers separately. A second sample of 5,308 genotyped LifeLines participants was used to verify our initial findings. Daily and workplace ETS exposure was associated with significantly lower FEV(1)levels. GSTO SNPs (recessive model) interacted with in utero ETS and were associated with higher levels of FEV(1), whereas the interactions with daily and workplace ETS exposure were associated with lower levels of FEV(1), effects being more pronounced in never smokers. The interaction of GSTO2 SNP rs156697 with in utero ETS associated with a higher level of FEV(1) was significantly replicated in the second sample. Overall, the directions of the interactions of in utero and workplace ETS exposure with the SNPs found in the second (verification) sample were in line with the first sample. GSTO genotypes interact with in utero and adulthood ETS exposure on adult lung function level, but in opposite directions.

  18. Evaluation of Rock Mass Responses Using High Resolution Water-level Tiltmeter Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, J. S.; Wang, H. F.; Fratta, D.; Stetler, L. D.; Volk, J. T.; Geox^Tm

    2010-12-01

    External forces act on the surface of the earth and produce deformation across all spatial and temporal scales. This research study focuses on the deformation evaluation of the rock-mass subjected to tidal, earthquake and surface forces. The events are monitored over horizontal distances of over 100 meters with tilt measurement arrays with a resolution of 10-8 radians. These measurements are obtained from hydrostatic leveling system (HLS) arrays that have been installed in the LaFarge mine in North Aurora, IL by Fermilab. Each sensor in the array is equipped with a water-filled reservoir beneath a capacitor. The amount of water in the reservoir is calculated as a function of the measured capacitance. Individual sensors are connected in a closed system via a water and air line. As the host rock expands and contracts sensors are raised relative to another and water is displaced. The water level in each reservoir is sent to a computer in the mine and recorded. In order to measure the tilt of the rock between two points, the difference in water levels between adjacent sensors is computed. The difference between the end sensors is also calculated to determine the larger-scale tilt of the array. The tiltmeters in LaFarge mine are supported by concrete pedestals installed on the floor of the drift. In the Homestake mine the tiltmeters are placed on similar pedestals, as well as platforms made of artificial wood decking. These platforms are fixed to the wall of the drift with a rock bolt. Time and frequency domain analyses were performed on time series ranging from hours to six months to capture relevant time scales including the response to the 2010 Chile Earthquake (hour-long scale), the stages of the moon (month scale), Fox River floods (flooding week long scales and pressure dissipation month-long scales). By monitoring tiltmeter array responses to different forces, we aim at making predictions about the material properties of rock masses.

  19. "On the Level". Formative Evaluation: Coping With Stress. Research Report 72.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agency for Instructional Television, Bloomington, IN.

    A formative evaluation was conducted of the instructional television program "Brad's Journey through Stress," from the Coping with Stress unit of "On the Level," a series of 12 lessons designed to aid secondary school students in dealing with personal and social growth. The evaluation involved 291 students in 9 classes in…

  20. Educational Evaluation in the Light of Construal Level Theory: The Case of Cognitive Tuning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kovac, Velibor B.; Langfeldt, Gjert

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to examine the relation between stakeholders as internal evaluators and their systemic positions in light of construal level theory. The study examines the two samples of county representatives, teachers and principals who answered the questionnaire regarding evaluation of the Norwegian assessment program. In…

  1. Association by Spatial Interpolation between Ozone Levels and Lung Function of Residents at an Industrial Complex in South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Soon-Won; Lee, Kyoungho; Cho, Yong-Sung; Choi, Ji-Hee; Yang, Wonho; Kang, Tack-Shin; Park, Choonghee; Kim, Geun-Bae; Yu, Seung-Do; Son, Bu-Soon

    2016-01-01

    Spatial interpolation is employed to improve exposure estimates and to assess adverse health effects associated with environmental risk factors. Since various studies have reported that high ozone (O3) concentrations can give rise to adverse effects on respiratory symptoms and lung function, we investigated the association between O3 levels and lung function using a variety of spatial interpolation techniques and evaluated how different methods for estimating exposure may influence health results for a cohort from an industrial complex (Gwangyang Bay) in South Korea in 2009. To estimate daily concentrations of O3 in each subject, four different methods were used, which include simple averaging, nearest neighbor, inverse distance weighting, and kriging. Also, to compare the association between O3 levels and lung function by age-groups, we explored ozone’s impacts on three age-related groups: children (9–14 years), adults (15–64 years), and the elderly (≥65 years). The overall change of effect size on lung function in each age group tended to show similar patterns for lag and methods for estimating exposure. A significant negative association was only observed between O3 levels and FVC and FEV1 for most of the lag and methods in children. The largest effect of O3 levels was found at the average for the lung function test day and last 2 days (0–2 days). In conclusions, the spatial interpolation methods may benefit in providing individual-level exposure with appropriate temporal resolution from ambient monitors. However, time-activity patterns of residents, monitoring site locations, methodological choices, and other factors should be considered to minimize exposure misclassification. PMID:27447653

  2. A mixed integer bi-level DEA model for bank branch performance evaluation by Stackelberg approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafiee, Morteza; Lotfi, Farhad Hosseinzadeh; Saleh, Hilda; Ghaderi, Mehdi

    2016-11-01

    One of the most complicated decision making problems for managers is the evaluation of bank performance, which involves various criteria. There are many studies about bank efficiency evaluation by network DEA in the literature review. These studies do not focus on multi-level network. Wu (Eur J Oper Res 207:856-864, 2010) proposed a bi-level structure for cost efficiency at the first time. In this model, multi-level programming and cost efficiency were used. He used a nonlinear programming to solve the model. In this paper, we have focused on multi-level structure and proposed a bi-level DEA model. We then used a liner programming to solve our model. In other hand, we significantly improved the way to achieve the optimum solution in comparison with the work by Wu (2010) by converting the NP-hard nonlinear programing into a mixed integer linear programming. This study uses a bi-level programming data envelopment analysis model that embodies internal structure with Stackelberg-game relationships to evaluate the performance of banking chain. The perspective of decentralized decisions is taken in this paper to cope with complex interactions in banking chain. The results derived from bi-level programming DEA can provide valuable insights and detailed information for managers to help them evaluate the performance of the banking chain as a whole using Stackelberg-game relationships. Finally, this model was applied in the Iranian bank to evaluate cost efficiency.

  3. Evaluation of the Quality of Semen and Sexual Function in Men with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    PubMed

    Valer, Paz; Algaba, Alicia; Santos, Daniel; Fuentes, Manuel E; Nieto, Elva; Gisbert, Javier P; López, Pilar; Quintanilla, Elvira; García-Alonso, Francisco J; Guerra, Iván; Páez, Álvaro; Bermejo, Fernando

    2017-07-01

    Data on fertility rates and medication safety in men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there is a seminal alteration in patients with IBD and, if so, to evaluate the mechanisms that may play a role according to what has been described in the literature. Its secondary aim was to evaluate the impact on male sexual function of IBD. Multicenter, cross-sectional, case series study comparing men with IBD and control subjects. Semen analysis was performed according to the recommendations of World Health Organization. The impact on male sexual function was evaluated with the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire. On multivariate analysis, patients with Crohn's disease had lower sperm concentrations compared with those with ulcerative colitis (median [interquartile range], 34.5 [19.2-48] versus 70 [34.5-127.5], P = 0.02) and lower seminal zinc levels (mean ± SD, 1475 ± 235 μmol/L versus 2221 ± 1123 μmol/L, P = 0.04). Patients with Crohn's disease on anti-tumor necrosis factor treatment had better progressive motility (mean ± SD, 56.7 ± 17.7 versus 35.1 ± 22.1, P = 0.01) and sperm morphology (14.4 ± 7.1 versus 7.6 ± 4.9, P = 0.04) than those who were not on anti-tumor necrosis factor. Regarding sexual function, no significant differences were found across patients with IBD and control subjects. Men with Crohn's disease showed a trend toward poorer semen quality than those with ulcerative colitis. Treatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs does not seem to be associated with poor sperm quality. In patients in clinical remission, male sexual function is not affected by IBD.

  4. [Effects of silkworm pupa oil on serum lipids level and platelet function in rats].

    PubMed

    Yang, Xuefeng; Huang, Lianzhen; Hu, Jianping; Li, Tao

    2002-08-01

    To observe the effects of silkworm pupa oil on serum lipids level and platelet function in rats, according to serum TG, TC level, 40 male Wistar rats are divided into four groups (normal control group, high fat control group, silkworm pupa oil group and silkworm pupa oil + VE group). The rats are fed different diets and six weeks later, serum lipids level and platelet function are measured. The results show that (1) Compared with high fat control group, serum TC, TG, LDL-C level, AI value, Platelet aggregability, plasma TXB2 level and T/P ratio decrease significantly while HDL-C level and 6-k-PGF1 level increase in silkworm pupa oil group; (2) Serum TC, LDL-C level, T/P ratio and platelet aggregability are significantly lower in silkworm pupa oil + VE group than in silkworm pupa oil group. It is suggested that silkworm pupa oil rich in alpha-linolenic acid can reduce serum lipids level and inhibit platelet aggregation, which is more effective with the supplementation with VE.

  5. Evaluation of tablet computers for visual function assessment.

    PubMed

    Bodduluri, Lakshmi; Boon, Mei Ying; Dain, Stephen J

    2017-04-01

    Recent advances in technology and the increased use of tablet computers for mobile health applications such as vision testing necessitate an understanding of the behavior of the displays of such devices, to facilitate the reproduction of existing or the development of new vision assessment tests. The purpose of this study was to investigate the physical characteristics of one model of tablet computer (iPad mini Retina display) with regard to display consistency across a set of devices (15) and their potential application as clinical vision assessment tools. Once the tablet computer was switched on, it required about 13 min to reach luminance stability, while chromaticity remained constant. The luminance output of the device remained stable until a battery level of 5%. Luminance varied from center to peripheral locations of the display and with viewing angle, whereas the chromaticity did not vary. A minimal (1%) variation in luminance was observed due to temperature, and once again chromaticity remained constant. Also, these devices showed good temporal stability of luminance and chromaticity. All 15 tablet computers showed gamma functions approximating the standard gamma (2.20) and showed similar color gamut sizes, except for the blue primary, which displayed minimal variations. The physical characteristics across the 15 devices were similar and are known, thereby facilitating the use of this model of tablet computer as visual stimulus displays.

  6. Scale refinement and initial evaluation of a behavioral health function measurement tool for work disability evaluation.

    PubMed

    Marfeo, Elizabeth E; Ni, Pengsheng; Haley, Stephen M; Bogusz, Kara; Meterko, Mark; McDonough, Christine M; Chan, Leighton; Rasch, Elizabeth K; Brandt, Diane E; Jette, Alan M

    2013-09-01

    To use item response theory (IRT) data simulations to construct and perform initial psychometric testing of a newly developed instrument, the Social Security Administration Behavioral Health Function (SSA-BH) instrument, that aims to assess behavioral health functioning relevant to the context of work. Cross-sectional survey followed by IRT calibration data simulations. Community. Sample of individuals applying for Social Security Administration disability benefits: claimants (n=1015) and a normative comparative sample of U.S. adults (n=1000). None. SSA-BH measurement instrument. IRT analyses supported the unidimensionality of 4 SSA-BH scales: mood and emotions (35 items), self-efficacy (23 items), social interactions (6 items), and behavioral control (15 items). All SSA-BH scales demonstrated strong psychometric properties including reliability, accuracy, and breadth of coverage. High correlations of the simulated 5- or 10-item computer adaptive tests with the full item bank indicated robust ability of the computer adaptive testing approach to comprehensively characterize behavioral health function along 4 distinct dimensions. Initial testing and evaluation of the SSA-BH instrument demonstrated good accuracy, reliability, and content coverage along all 4 scales. Behavioral function profiles of Social Security Administration claimants were generated and compared with age- and sex-matched norms along 4 scales: mood and emotions, behavioral control, social interactions, and self-efficacy. Using the computer adaptive test-based approach offers the ability to collect standardized, comprehensive functional information about claimants in an efficient way, which may prove useful in the context of the Social Security Administration's work disability programs. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Aerobic Physical Exercise Improved the Cognitive Function of Elderly Males but Did Not Modify Their Blood Homocysteine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Antunes, Hanna Karen M.; De Mello, Marco Túlio; de Aquino Lemos, Valdir; Santos-Galduróz, Ruth Ferreira; Camargo Galdieri, Luciano; Amodeo Bueno, Orlando Francisco; Tufik, Sergio; D'Almeida, Vânia

    2015-01-01

    Background Physical exercise influences homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations, cognitive function and the metabolic profile. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of regular physical exercise on Hcy levels, the metabolic profile and cognitive function in healthy elderly males before and after an endurance exercise program. Methods Forty-five healthy and sedentary volunteers were randomized into 2 groups: (1) a control group asked not to change their normal everyday activities and not to start any regular physical exercise program and (2) an experimental group trained at a heart rate intensity corresponding to ventilatory threshold 1 (VT-1) for 60 min/day 3 times weekly on alternate days for 6 months using a cycle ergometer. All volunteers underwent cognitive evaluations, blood sample analyses and ergospirometric assessments. Results A significant improvement in cognitive function was observed in the experimental group compared with the control group (p < 0.05). No significant changes in Hcy levels were observed in the experimental group (p > 0.05), but there was a significant increase in peak oxygen consumption and workload at VT-1 as well as a significant improvement in cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, glucose, alkaline phosphatase, urea, T3, T4 and prostate-specific antigen compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion The data suggest that a physical exercise program does not reduce Hcy levels in healthy elderly males, although it improves the cardiovascular and metabolic profile as well as cognitive function. PMID:25759715

  8. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are associated with functional capacity but not with postural balance in osteoporotic postmenopausal women.

    PubMed

    Brech, Guilherme Carlos; Ciolac, Emmanuel Gomes; Peterson, Mark D; Greve, Júlia Maria D'Andréa

    2017-01-01

    In post-menopausal women with osteoporosis, insufficient vitamin D levels decrease calcium fixation in the bones and calcium transport in the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which impairs muscle strength, possibly leading to detrimental consequences for the preservation of functional capacity and postural balance, fall prevention, and fracture risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between vitamin D levels and knee muscle strength, postural balance and functional mobility among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. This cross-sectional study included 63 osteoporotic older women (aged 60.6±3.1 years). The subjects completed the Timed Up and Go Test to measure functional mobility, and postural balance was assessed on the AccuSway Plus portable force platform. Maximal strength was tested using an isokinetic dynamometer for knee flexion and extension. The subjects were assessed as a group and were divided into quartiles according to their vitamin D levels. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02771834. Vitamin D status was independently associated with the normalized peak torque of the knee extensors (β=0.59; p=0.04) and Timed Up and Go Test (β=-0.07; p<0.001). No between-group differences were observed in the demographic and clinical variables or postural balance; however, significant differences were observed in the Timed Up and Go Test, and the group with the highest vitamin D levels exhibited better performance than the group with the lowest vitamin D levels (p<0.001). The serum vitamin D levels were independently associated with normalized knee extension strength and functional mobility in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

  9. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are associated with functional capacity but not with postural balance in osteoporotic postmenopausal women

    PubMed Central

    Brech, Guilherme Carlos; Ciolac, Emmanuel Gomes; Peterson, Mark D; Greve, Júlia Maria D’Andréa

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: In post-menopausal women with osteoporosis, insufficient vitamin D levels decrease calcium fixation in the bones and calcium transport in the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which impairs muscle strength, possibly leading to detrimental consequences for the preservation of functional capacity and postural balance, fall prevention, and fracture risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between vitamin D levels and knee muscle strength, postural balance and functional mobility among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 63 osteoporotic older women (aged 60.6±3.1 years). The subjects completed the Timed Up and Go Test to measure functional mobility, and postural balance was assessed on the AccuSway Plus portable force platform. Maximal strength was tested using an isokinetic dynamometer for knee flexion and extension. The subjects were assessed as a group and were divided into quartiles according to their vitamin D levels. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02771834. RESULTS: Vitamin D status was independently associated with the normalized peak torque of the knee extensors (β=0.59; p=0.04) and Timed Up and Go Test (β=-0.07; p<0.001). No between-group differences were observed in the demographic and clinical variables or postural balance; however, significant differences were observed in the Timed Up and Go Test, and the group with the highest vitamin D levels exhibited better performance than the group with the lowest vitamin D levels (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The serum vitamin D levels were independently associated with normalized knee extension strength and functional mobility in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. PMID:28226027

  10. Kidney Function Alters the Relationship between Postoperative Troponin T Level and Death

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chew-Yin; Ong, Gracie S.Y.; Tan, Alvin S.B.; Mansor, Marzida; Shariffuddin, Ina I.; Hashim, Noorjahan H.M.; Lai, Hou Yee; Undok, A. Wahab; Kolandaivel, Ushananthini N.; Vajiravelu, Vasanthan; Garg, Amit X.; Cuerden, Meaghan; Guyatt, Gordon; Thabane, Lehana; Mooney, John; Lee, Vincent; Chow, Clara; Devereaux, Phillip J.

    2015-01-01

    Cardiac troponin T (cTnT), even at low concentrations, is a risk factor for 30-day mortality in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery, but it is uncertain whether that risk is generalizable to patients with poor kidney function. We, therefore, evaluated the relationship between cTnT concentration and kidney function on the outcome of 30-day mortality in a post hoc analysis of a prospective cohort study of patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. cTnT was measured for 3 days after surgery and considered abnormal if the peak was ≥0.02 ng/ml. Of the included 14,037 patients, 267 (1.9%) patients died within 30 days of surgery. The adjusted hazard ratios for death with an abnormal cTnT concentration were 4.37 (95% confidence intervals [95% CI], 3.21 to 6.22), 6.15 (95% CI, 2.95 to 140.9), 6.30 (95% CI, 3.12 to 21.23), 1.33 (95% CI, 0.56 to 4.85), and 1.46 (95% CI, 0.46 to 9.21) for eGFR≥60, 45 to <60, 30 to <45, 15 to <30, and <15 ml/min per 1.73 m2 or on dialysis, respectively. Compared with patients with eGFR≥60 ml/min per 1.73 m2, the adjusted hazard ratio was significantly lower for patients with eGFR=15 to <30 ml/min per 1.73 m2 (interaction P value=0.02). Redefining abnormal cTnT concentration as ≥0.03 ng/ml or a change of ≥0.02 ng/ml did not alter results. Because the risk associated with postoperative cTnT levels may be different for patients with eGFR<30 ml/min per 1.73 m2, additional research is required to determine how to interpret perioperative cTnT values for patients with low kidney function. PMID:25711126

  11. Tank 241-SY-101 surface level rise remediation test and evaluation plan for transfer system

    SciTech Connect

    BAUER, R.E.

    1999-07-14

    The purpose of this testing and evaluation plan (TEP) is to provide the high level guidance on testing requirements for ensuring that the equipment and systems to be implemented for remediation of the SY-101 waste level rise USQ are effective.

  12. Evaluation of noise pollution level based upon community exposure and response data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edmiston, R. D.

    1972-01-01

    The results and procedures are reported from an evaluation of noise pollution level as a predictor of annoyance, based on aircraft noise exposure and community response data. The measures of noise exposure presented include composite noise rating, noise exposure forecast, noise and number index. A proposed measure as a universal noise exposure measure for noise pollution level (L sub NP) is discussed.

  13. Inspection and evaluation of Nuclear Fuel Services high-level waste storage system, program plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1980-01-01

    Information concerning the condition of the high-level waste tanks at the Western New York State Nuclear Service center near West Valley, New York is presented. This information is to be used in evaluating the safety of continued storage and in the development of alternatives for final disposition of the high-level waste.